Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Carnage Here and There: Alabama and Germany Shootings

In Samson, Ala., a small town just above the Florida border, 11 people are dead after yesterday's shooting spree, including the killer. The shootings began at at the killer's mother's home and spread over four locations. By the time it was over dead bodies, including a child, lay across county lines (Geneva and Coffee counties). The killer ended his carnage by shooting himself.

CBS News video follows:

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Counting the gunman's death, WSFA Alabama reports death toll at 12 (This source corrected itself in updates and now declares 10 people dead, plus the killer to equal 11 dead), and from its reports it sounds like another domestic violence incident expanded, beginning with the murder of the killer's mother and possibly a girlfriend.
The Coffee County coroner said McLendon started his day off with bloodshed at the Kinston area home owned by his mother; a home he ended up burning to the ground. The mother's body was still inside the house Tuesday evening, but Coroner Robert Preachers said officials had not been able to enter the house to determine if she was shot. It's also believed McClendon's girlfriend was killed inside the home. (WSFA)
The station has video interviews with a witness from the local paper.

CNN reports that the shooter, Michael McLendon, killed both family and strangers:
By the time McLendon ended his rampage, he had fatally shot his mother and set fire to her house, and killed his grandparents, his aunt and uncle, the wife and child of a sheriff's deputy, and three other people, according to King and the coroners of the two counties where the shootings occurred.

"He was shooting at just ordinary people going about their business," said Alabama state Sen. Harri Anne Smith.

Smith represents Geneva County, where all but one of the victims were killed. Smith said she had been briefed about the incident by state and local law enforcement.

... The shooting started about 4 p.m. at a house that McLendon shared with his mother, Lisa, in the town of Kinston, near the Florida border in Coffee County.

A passerby found the house on fire and alerted authorities. Inside, firefighters found the bodies of Lisa McLendon and four dogs, said county Coroner Robert Preachers.(CNN)
Authorities have not figured out McLendon's motive yet.
"He cleaned his family out," Coffee County Coroner Robert Preachers said. "We don't know what triggered it." (AP)
The AP also reports McLendon had once trained to be a police officer and days before the shootings he quit his job at a sausage factory.

Deputy Meyers wife and child were shot by McLendonCNN's just posted the story of Geneva County Sheriff's Deputy Josh Myers whose wife and child were killed by McLendon with the headline "Deputy: 'It's supposed to be me getting shot, not my family'."
... Myers quickly hung up the phone when he got that message on Tuesday and started home to Samson, having no idea what had happened to his wife or his three children.

"We got notified on the radio that a trooper was chasing a suspect that had fired shots," Myers told reporters on Wednesday.

Instead of heading home, the deputy drove to Reliable Metal Products plant in the nearby town of Geneva, where the gunman had shot and killed himself after a bloody rampage in southern Alabama ... Myers had no idea that the man, whose body he saw at the plant, had shot and killed his wife and 1½-year-old daughter, Corinne Gracy, and shot and wounded his 3-month-old baby girl, Ella Kay.(CNN)
Two of Meyers children survived.

Germany Massacre at a School

While we watch the news of McLendon's shooting spree and absorb its horror here in the states, another shooting story unfolds in Germany, Europe. Time Magazine and other news sources report a gunman killed 17 people at Albertville school near Stuttgart, Germany.
Police say 17-year-old Tim K., a former student who graduated from the Albertville high school last year, opened fire in two classrooms early Wednesday morning before fleeing. He hijacked a car, triggering a manhunt, and was found in a nearby town where he was confronted by police and killed in the ensuing shootout.

The death toll brings the killing on par with Germany's worst school shooting ever, when a 19-year-old killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer and himself in Erfurt in 2002.
Read the full story at this link.

Related: Santa Claus Massacre in California last year

Updated Links:
Some people have been hitting this blog wondering what race was the Alabama killer Michale McLendon. To them I recommend an old post about the Virginia Tech massacre called, "The Colors of Killers."


1 comment:

msladydeborah said...

My heart goes out to the deputy. He did very well during the interview. I know how difficult it must be for him to comprehend what has happened to his wife and daughter.