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|Wayne in WA State||
Posted: Aug 13 2008, 01:58 PM
Member No.: 1466
Joined: 14-September 06
Gwatney shot at state democratic headquarters
LITTLE ROCK — Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney was shot at the State Democratic Party Headquarters in Little Rock, Wednesday. His condition is unknown.
A witness speaks after a man with a gun entered the State Baptist Convention building downtown.
Video availableWATCH VIDEO
An aide from the governors office confirmed the shooting about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday.
The shooting occurred in a headquarter office about 11:49 a.m. Wednesday, Lt. Terry Hastings, spokesman for the Little Rock Police Department, said during a press conference at the scene at 1300 W. Capitol Ave.
Bill Gwatney, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, in a Feb. 2008 file photo.
Hastings said a white man walked into an office at the state Democratic headquarters and fired several shots. Police are not confirming the victims identity until all family has been notified.
After the shooting, police chased the driver of a blue pickup south on I-530 to U.S. 167 toward Sheridan. That chase ended with an exchange of gunfire between the driver and police. The driver's unknown.
Gwatney was taken from the scene by ambulance to UAMS, according to witnesses.
A white man in a white t-shirt also flashed a gun in the Arkansas Baptist Convention building downtown, according to witnesses. The man left without incident, but police were called.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
Posted: Aug 13 2008, 02:17 PM
Member No.: 455
Joined: 8-November 04
from what is said if you google him, this guy was a Hillary and Bill friend.(and super delegate).
and the shooter it appears was known to people in the area.
sure seems like a lot of suspicious deaths are occuring lately, or shootings, or just oddball stuff
Posted: Aug 13 2008, 03:01 PM
Group: Super Moderator
Member No.: 386
Joined: 22-August 04
Wounded suspect in Ark. shooting dies after chase
By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer
Police say a man suspected of bursting into the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters and shooting the party chairman has died.
Police say the suspect burst into the office of Party Chairman Bill Gwatney and fired three shots. Gwatney is hospitalized in critical condition.
Police Lt. Terry Hastings says authorities chased the suspect into Grant County, south of Little Rock, and that he was fatally wounded during a 30-mile chase.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A gunman barged into the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday and shot the state party chairman, critically wounding him, authorities and party officials said.
The unidentified man was later wounded after a chase and taken into police custody, authorities said.
The gunman demanded to speak to the party chairman, Bill Gwatney, and fired three shots at the office near the state Capitol.
"He came in and went into this office and started shooting," police Lt. Terry Hastings told reporters near the party headquarters.
The victim was in critical condition, Hastings said. He didn't identify him, but Democratic Party officials confirmed the victim was Gwatney, a former state senator.
The suspect was chased some 30 miles, into Grant County, and apprehended after being shot, the police spokesman said. The suspect's condition and motive were not known. It wasn't immediately known whether that shot was self-inflicted.
Millie McLain, a reporter for the Sheridan Headlight newspaper, said the suspect's blue truck was turned sideways along a highway northeast of Sheridan. Emergency crews were loading the man onto a Med-Flight helicopter.
The Arkansas State Capitol was locked down for about an hour until police got word the shooter had been captured, said Capitol police Sgt. Charlie Brice.
Sarah Lee, a sales clerk at a flower shop across street from the party headquarters, said that Gwatney's secretary ran into the shop around noon and asked someone to call 911.
Lee said the secretary told her the man had come into the party's office and asked to speak with Gwatney. When the secretary said she wouldn't allow that, the man went into his office and shot him, Lee said.
She said the secretary described him as a white man in his 40s and said he drove off in a blue truck.
Moments before the Democratic headquarters shooting, a man with a gun had threatened an employee at that Arkansas State Baptist Convention headquarters seven blocks east, an official there said.
Dan Jordan, the Baptist group's business manager, said a man pointed a gun at another official there, and when asked what was wrong, the man said, "I lost my job." Jordan said he didn't know if it was the same suspect.
FBI spokesman Steve Frazier said his agency was assisting in the investigation but could not offer any details.
Party director Bruce Sinclair and House Majority Leader Steve Harrelson, a Democrat, identified Gwatney as the victim.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat who served with Gwatney in the Legislature, had been on a flight to Springdale in northwestern Arkansas but returned to the Capitol after hearing about the shooting, Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said.
Karen Ray, executive director of the Republican Party of Arkansas, sent her workers home early "out of an abundance of caution."
"Our hearts go out to everyone at the Democratic headquarters. What a tragedy," Ray said. "This is just a very upsetting, troubling and scary thing for our staff as well."
Gwatney, who owns three GM car dealerships in Pulaski County, served 10 years in the state Senate. Gwatney was Beebe's finance chairman during Beebe's run for governor in 2006.
Posted: Aug 13 2008, 05:33 PM
Member No.: 353
Joined: 24-June 04
My condolences go out to Bill Gwatney's family. :(
Posted: Aug 14 2008, 09:02 AM
Gore aficionado since 1988
Member No.: 232
Joined: 19-June 04
When I heard about this, the first feeling/thought (in that order) I had was: this is like the shooting at the Unitarian church.
Apparently, violent hate crimes against liberals are on the rise. I don't know about you guys, but I'm scared, in all honesty. These are frightening times, and we are a frightening species when we tap into the worst end of the spectrum of our potential. We have the capacity to do great good...but also to be very hateful and evil. Right now, it seems the latter potential becoming realized is on the rise, and that is very frightening.
edited to add: the only way to fight it is to--corny and oversimplified as this may sound--be as good, and do as much good, as possible. I always hark back to 9/11, because I work at a blood bank and, when the planes hit, it seemed that God went away and evil had taken over the world. But within an HOUR, we had lines of people out the door waiting to donate blood. Those people restored my faith in humanity and in the cosmos that morning. I held onto staring at that ever-lengthening line for dear life. Because I realized: while there is great evil in the world, there is even more good. The good is more powerful. We just have to be vigilent about doing good, because actions speak louder than words. Those blood donors' actions that day restored my faith.
This post has been edited by hangingchad on Aug 14 2008, 09:07 AM