USA Today put together a great interactive map to help visualize all of the mass killings that have occurred in the US since 2006.
USA Today put together a great interactive map to help visualize all of the mass killings that have occurred in the US since 2006.
(CNN) — A 21-year-old airman shot two Walmart employees, killing one, before apparently ending his own life in the store on Tuesday, police in Grand Forks, North Dakota, said.
Marcell Willis also fired once at a third employee but missed before he shot himself with a handgun, authorities said.
Willis died at a hospital. He was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, where 3,000 Air Force personnel and civilians work, according to the facility’s website.
Andy Legg, who was shopping in the store, told CNN affiliate WDAY he heard three or four gunshots just after 1 a.m., and people started running and screaming.
“Just replaying it in my head it’s still kind of hard to grasp,” Legg said.
Police said they would release the names of the victims on Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened about this situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Walmart spokesman Brian Nick said. “We are still learning information about the events surrounding this tragedy and assisting law enforcement in their investigation.”
(Policeone.com) — A gunman opened fire at a veterans’ medical clinic in West Texas on Tuesday, killing one other person.
A gunman opened fire at a veterans’ medical clinic in West Texas on Tuesday, killing one other person, officials said. The gunman was also killed.
Investigators did not say whether the gunman killed himself or was killed by someone else. They also did not provide any details on the victim or provide a motive for the shooting.
Police officers guard an entrance to the Beaumont Army Medical Center/El Paso VA campus during the search for a gunman Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2014. (AP Image)
Fort Bliss Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Twitty said the shooting happened at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System’s clinic. The VA clinic is in a complex that also includes the William Beaumont Army Medical Center.
“The alleged shooter is dead, and we have one casualty. That casualty is deceased. All other VA patients and staff are safe,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Twitty, commanding officer of nearby Fort Bliss.
“Everything is under control and there is no immediate threat to Fort Bliss or the local community,” Twitty said at a news conference Tuesday night.
The VA clinic will be closed Wednesday, said its acting director, Peter Dancy.
The FBI is leading the investigation into the shooting and has hundreds of potential witnesses, many of whom were patients or would-be patients at the clinic, said Douglas Lindquist, special agent in charge of the FBI El Paso office.
“Those people were here seeking medical assistance, so we understand the difficulties that this situation presents to them and we’re trying to expeditiously get through those hundreds of witnesses to find out details about this incident,” Lindquist said.
The VA clinic came under scrutiny last year after a federal audit showed it had some of the nation’s longest wait times for veterans’ trying to see a doctor for the first time. A survey of hundreds of West Texas veterans last year found that they waited an average of more than two months to see a Veterans Affairs mental health professional and even longer to see a physician.
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke commissioned that survey of more than 690 veterans living in El Paso County. O’Rourke also was active in a congressional probe into long waiting times in the VA health care system.
In a statement issued by his office Tuesday, the El Paso Democrat said his “thoughts and prayers are with the men and women at the El Paso VA clinic.”
The VA said in a statement that it “is deeply saddened by the tragic situation that has occurred in El Paso, and we are actively working with our partners at Fort Bliss to investigate this matter.”
“The safety and continued care of our veterans and the staff will be our focus throughout this situation,” the agency said.
(Newstribune.com) — MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — An ex-convict who owned a towing company made good on his grudges, police said Tuesday, killing his partner, his business rival, his ex-girlfriend and the woman’s new boyfriend before firing a gun through his head in the cab of his pickup truck.
Posting a message to Facebook as police hunted him down after the rampage, Jody Lee Hunt said he wanted to see that his victims “received their fair pay of hurt.”
“My actions were not right nor were the actions of those who tried to tear me down and take from me,” Hunt wrote in the lengthy Facebook post before committing suicide.
The shootings began Monday morning when Hunt with the settling of a professional grudge: For the past couple of months, he had been complaining to county officials that towing operators, including his rival Doug Brady, had been poaching jobs, Monongalia County commissioner Tom Bloom said.
Police said Hunt drove over to Doug’s Towing and shot Brady in the head twice while he was working in his garage.
That set off what would become about a 12-hour manhunt for the 39-year-old Hunt and his black 2011 Ford F-150, leaving the city on edge and police miles behind.
Hunt next drove next to a home his ex-girlfriend, 39-year-old Sharon Kay Berkshire, was renting with her new boyfriend, Michael David Frum, 28, Monongalia County Sheriff Kenneth “Al” Kisner said.
Frum and Berkshire had been dating for a few months, and at one point, Frum may have taunted Hunt with a text message. Frum was found shot to death inside the home, and Berkshire, shot twice, was discovered outside, perhaps dying as she tried to escape.
“Having a man text u to say I’m with her and u are stuck without her is not a game. Games hurt people’s hearts. Games don’t solve anything,” Hunt wrote.
Hunt then drove back across town and killed his business partner and cousin Jody Taylor, who also may have been romantically involved with Berkshire at some point, police said.
“I did not chose (sic) to have the love of my life to go behind my back and sleep with several guys as she came home to lay her head on my shoulder to say goodnight I love you,” Hunt wrote.
The manhunt finally ended Monday night when his body was found in the pickup in some woods.
Hunt and Berkshire had a rocky two-year relationship, the sheriff said.
She filed a restraining order against him late last year, but dropped it two weeks later when things improved, according to court documents. She took out a second restraining order on Oct. 26, then terminated that one as well about two weeks later after moving in with Frum.
Hunt had criminal convictions in three states.
In 1994, he was sentenced to probation in Pennsylvania for trespassing and theft. Then in 1999, he was twice charged with abducting an earlier girlfriend.
In Winchester, Virginia, he held this estranged girlfriend hostage for hours at gunpoint in an auto parts factory before he surrendered. She was pregnant with his child at the time. He was sentenced to three years in prison, served concurrently with a five year sentence for wanton endangerment in West Virginia.
In 2006, Hunt was ordered to pay more than $12,000 in back child support, and by March 2009, that had been paid in full, court records show.
Hunt was not allowed to own a gun under West Virginia law. Police were not sure where he got the handgun he used Monday, nor where they certain that the same gun was used in all the shootings.
Hunt ended his Facebook confession with a plea for understanding — and for his pets.
“I except my actions were wrong but in my eyes just. So I will leave this world as others did. May your saddened hearts be replaced with hate for me.
Please take care of my dogs.”
(Fox News) — Terrified Black Friday shoppers fled a crowded Nordstrom in downtown Chicago after a shooting inside the store left a man dead and a woman critically wounded.
MyFoxChicago.com said the gunfire erupted Friday evening around 8:30 p.m. in the cosmetics department on the store’s second floor. Police said the man shot his girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend, and then fatally shot himself. The station said shoppers were so scared they ran out of the store, leaving their bags and coats behind.
(Washington Post) — A gunman in Austin opened fire Friday on “multiple downtown buildings” — including a federal courthouse, the Mexican consulate and Austin Police Department headquarters — before dying of a gunshot wound, according to officials in the Texas capital. Authorities initially said the man, identified as 49-year-old Larry McQuilliams, had been shot and killed by police, but said later that they were still investigating the possibility that he died of a self-inflicted wound.
Authorities are still investigating a possible motive. But Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters Friday that, based on his own experience and the suspect’s targets, “the national debate about immigration right now…certainly comes to mind.”
(Dallas Morning News) — AUSTIN — A gunman fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings in Austin and tried to set the Mexican Consulate ablaze early Friday before he died during a confrontation with police, authorities said.
Some of the targeted buildings are near the popular Sixth Street entertainment district, where bars close at 2 a.m., about the same time the shootings began. Thousands of people are typically on the street at that time, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
“Many, many rounds were fired in downtown Austin,” Acevedo said. “With all the people on the streets, we’re very fortunate. I give thanks that no one but the suspect is injured or deceased.”
Investigators identified the shooter as 49-year-old Larry McQuilliams of Austin. Police said he had a criminal record but didn’t release details, and said they were still trying to determine a motive.
Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement expressing “profound concern and condemnation” of the attack, but also said “there is no evidence the shots were exclusively directed at our facility.”
Other targeted buildings included Austin police headquarters and the U.S. courthouse.
Acevedo said a sergeant, while holding the reins of two police horses after his patrol, shot the gunman just outside the main entrance to police headquarters. But Acevedo said it’s not clear if the shot was fatal or if McQuilliams took his own life.
His targets were located throughout downtown Austin and officers received multiple reports of gunfire, though the entire incident lasted about 10 minutes from the first call, Acevedo said.
Officers approached McQuilliams after he had been shot, but noticed cylinders in his vehicle, which was nearby. They also discovered he was wearing a vest they thought may have been rigged to explode. Officers retreated and a bomb squad was called, but it was later determined that the items were not explosive.
The shooter’s white van was still on the street outside police headquarters several hours after the shooting. Its doors, the trunk and hood were open as investigators looked it over.
The fire at the consulate was extinguished before any significant damage was done to the building. The federal courthouse’s guard house was shot several times, as was police headquarters, which Acevedo said was “extensively damaged.”
As a precaution, a police tactical team later went to the Austin apartment complex where they believed the gunman lived. Some homes close to his apartment were evacuated.
Officers at the scene were seen removing about a dozen small tanks of propane, the type used in camping and the type police said was used in the attempt to set fire to the Mexican Consulate.
Adam Peyton, who lives in the area, said he awoke Friday to see SWAT vehicles and police officers on motorcycles in the southwest Austin neighborhood near the city’s well-known Zilker Park. He said the area was “really laid back” and close-knit, where residents know each other and are often out walking their dogs.
(Huffington Post) — A man who had made previous threats against police set his house on fire Saturday and ambushed the first sheriff’s deputy who responded, fatally shooting the deputy and wounding another before he was killed by a police officer who lives nearby, a law enforcement official said.
The man’s name and address had been entered into a law enforcement computer system because of previous threats, but the 911 dispatcher who entered the fire call put in the address of a neighbor who reported the blaze, so the alert wasn’t activated and the Leon County deputy who responded first had no warning, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.
(CNN) — In Alabama, a recently fired man walks into a UPS facility he’d worked at, shoots dead two people, then takes his own life.
In Oklahoma, another man — also just after being laid off — allegedly heads to his former food processing plant, beheads the first person he sees, then attacks another.
In Illinois, police say, a man walks into his air traffic control center in the early morning, starts a destructive fire, then slices his own throat.
In all three instances, all from this week, seemingly safe workplaces transformed instantly into danger zones.
Why? How might these or other cases of workplace violence have been prevented? And are these events signs of a larger, growing possibility of death in the average Americans place of employment — where many spend more waking hours, on a given week, than inside their own homes?