The Huffington Post published a “list of ‘mass killings’ that you don’t know about” to attempt to illustrate the need for “gun control”. I wanted to take a look at each of the incidents and in every case; there are common themes – mental illness, prior violent crimes, drugs and early releases from prison.
I invite any commenter from the Huffington Post to explain how restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will stop the mentally ill, violent criminals and those convicted for crimes that have been released from prison early from committing these crimes.
Full disclosure: There is one case where a person with a legally obtained gun committed a murder and there was no hint of mental illness – but he also had already had the cops called on him for two domestic violence issues and was never charged.
Sept. 16, 2013 – Washington, D.C. – 13 dead (including gunman)
Defense contract employee and former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, 34, allegedly opened fire shortly after 8 a.m. inside building 197 in the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people and wounding more than a dozen others. Alexis was slain in a gun battle with police.
We know that Alexis was mentally ill, had a criminal record and was a known malcontent and that he had security access that he never should have had.
Sept. 11, 2013 – Crab Orchard, Tenn. – 4 dead
Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, was arrested in the shooting deaths of a woman and three teenagers. Their bodies were found in a car about 50 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn.
Bennett was out on parole. The linked article notes:
Bennett was sentenced to six years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to a series of charges in Cumberland and Fentress counties, including being a convicted violent felon in possession of a firearm and theft, according to court records. He was released on parole from the Hardeman County Correctional Facility in March, according to the state Department of Correction.
Bennett had previously been incarcerated in Florida.
August 14, 2013 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – 4 dead
- Daniel Livingston Green, 40, was arrested on four counts of first-degree murder, after his mother, sister and her two children were discovered fatally shot inside their home.
Green was known to be mentally ill. The HuffPo link to the article is broken but the local TV station reports:
Daniel Green’s father, admitted to police that his son was capable of killing his family. Raymond Green also told police that Daniel Green was diagnosed as being schizophrenic and had a violent past.
August 11, 2013 – Omaha, Neb. – 4 dead
- Nikko Jenkins, 26, was arrested for allegedly shooting four people in the head. Police say three of the four victims had no connection to Jenkins.
Nikko Johnson was a known violent criminal who was on early release and based on the linked article, he never should have been out:
But he only served 10 and a half years in prison. That’s just half the 21-year sentence he got for two carjackings and the assaults that happened when he was in prison, according to the World-Herald.
Nebraska law gives inmates “good-time” credit of a day for every day they serve. While he lost 17 and a half months of his “good time” credit, a judge gave him about 17 months of credit for time served in a county jail.
Jenkins’ early release obviously calls into question the wisdom of “good-time” credit. It also calls into question the notion that prison has any power at all to rehabilitate criminals. Jenkins got locked up as a relatively young teenager and apparently just got more violent.
Aug. 7, 2013 – Dallas – 4 dead
- Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, a former teacher and Dallas Mavericks hip-hop dancer, was charged with two counts of capital murder after police said he attacked the homes of his estranged wife and his girlfriend, killing both women and two of their children. Four additional people were wounded in the attacks.
Bowser had already been arrested and his ex-wife had taken out a protective order against him:
Zina Bowser obtained a protective order in February 2011 after an associate judge reported that “family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.” It barred her husband from coming within 200 yards of her and her children and from communicating with the children. He later was arrested for violating the order.
In seeking the order, Zina Bowser said her husband had threatened the lives of her and her sons after she asked for a separation. According to her, Erbie Bowser told her that if she tried to take any of their belongings, “I will bury you.” She said he took a pocketknife from a drawer, opened it and said, “Call the police and I will execute your kids.”
She called 911 anyway and fled with her sons, and Erbie Bowser was arrested.
July 26, 2013 – Hialeah, Fla. – 7 dead (including gunman)
- Police say Pedro Vargas, 42, went on a shooting spree in his South Florida apartment complex, killing the building’s two managers, a family of three, and a man returning from his son’s boxing practice. Before the attack, Vargas called the police asking the dispatcher to run the license plate of a vehicle parked outside the building, after reporting he had been followed and threatened by people doing witchcraft.
Vargas was killed by a SWAT team after an eight-hour stand-off with police, during which he took two people hostage. The hostages were rescued when the SWAT team stormed the apartment.
Vargas was clearly mentally ill and nothing was done:
Authorities have not described a motive, but the 911 recording offered insight into Vargas’ behavior. An attorney also confirmed Wednesday that Vargas acknowledged in a deposition days before the shooting that he had harassed former colleagues by email.
The 911 call and deposition were first reported by The Miami Herald.
In the call, Vargas spoke briefly and vaguely about how he was being “victimized.”
“They’re doing witchcraft and things to me,” he said.
July 26, 2013 – Clarksburg, W. Va. – 4 dead
- Sidney Muller, 27, was arrested on four counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing two individuals after a drug deal gone wrong. Muller allegedly then turned his weapon on two passersby, a father and his son who were delivering the local newspaper, killing them.
This was a killing in the commission of a crime. This was not a “mass killing” in the way that the author wants the reader to believe.
June 7, 2013 – Santa Monica, Calif. – 5 dead (including gunman)
- Police say John Zawahri, 23, armed with a homemade assault rifle and high-capacity magazines, killed his brother and father at their home and then headed to Santa Monica College, where he carjacked a woman, ordering her to drive him around while he fired at other people. The woman escaped unharmed but two other people were gunned down.
Zawahri was confronted by police outside the school’s library. They traded fire and police officers ultimately shot him dead.
Another mentally ill individual:
The newspaper cited other anonymous law enforcement sources as saying the suspect, who was believed to have lived with his mother, had suffered from mental-health problems in the past and was angry over his parents’ divorce.
May 11, 2013 – Waynesville, Ind. – 4 dead
- Four bodies were discovered in a home after a vicious killing that authorities said was a drug-related crime. One victim’s son returned home to find the bodies and reported them to 911. Police say Samuel Sallee, 55, is the prime suspect in the case.
Another drug related crime. Two of the victims were stabbed and then shot by yet another person with a record of violent crime.
In a report out by affiliate WISH TV in Indianapolis, Sheriff Mark Gorbett says 55-year-old Samuel Sallee, who has been in jail since May 13 for failing to appear on a battery charge, is the prime and only suspect.
Gorbett says he released the information Monday night in order to relieve the fears of the community.
On May 11, Katheryn Burton, Thomas Smith, Aaron Cross and Shawn Burton were all found shot to death in their home.
Investigators believe the killings were drug-related, after finding meth in the home.
May 10, 2013 – Fernley, Nev. – 5 dead
- Jeremiah Bean, 25, was arrested days after allegedly killing an elderly couple in their home, then a newspaper delivery man and another couple nearby. Police say the first attack went undetected, giving Bean the opportunity to commit the three others. He was arraigned on 19 counts, including first-degree murder, arson and burglary.
Another crime perpetrated by a known criminal:
Bean has a previous felony conviction related to burglary and attempted grand larceny. He finished his parole in December. Authorities say he has also acknowledged gang ties.
April 24, 2013 – Manchester, Ill. – 5 dead
- Rick Odell Smith, 43, allegedly stormed a home, killing five members of the same family. Smith had been in a dispute with at least one of the victims, potentially over the custody of a child, police said. The five victims included a grandmother, her granddaughter, the granddaughter’s boyfriend and their two children.
Another known criminal:
Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill said Smith, of rural Morgan County, had previous convictions for reckless homicide, drugs and bad checks.
April 21, 2013 – Federal Way, Wash. – 4 dead (including gunman)
- A domestic-violence homicide claimed three additional lives before the gunman was killed by responding officers. Police say Dennis Clark III, 27, shot and killed his girlfriend in their shared apartment before killing two witnesses in the building’s parking lot and a third victim in another apartment.
This one appears to have been the only incident that didn’t have a precursor – except that there were two earlier domestic violence incidents:
Wilson said the suspect, who had a valid concealed weapons permit, had no criminal history. However, he had been involved in two prior domestic violence calls in Federal Way and Seattle, Wilson said.
Both incidents were verbal in nature and no arrests were made, Wilson said.
April 18, 2013 – Akron, Ohio – 4 dead
- Derrick Brantley and Deshanon Haywood, both 21, were each charged for the murder of four adults, two men and two women, who had been found shot in the head in a townhouse basement. Police say two guns were used.
These were murders committed during the commission of aggravated robbery.
March 13, 2013 – Herkimer County, N.Y. – 4 dead
- In a shooting rampage that spanned two upstate New York villages, Kurt Meyers, 64, allegedly took the lives of four people.Police say Meyers first opened fire in a barber shop in Mohawk, killing two customers, one a retired corrections officer. The gunman then fled to an auto care business in neighboring Herkimer and fatally shot an employee and a customer who was a 23-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections. According to authorities, the gunman had no money, no job and was maxed out on his credit cards.
No clear motive but this has the earmarks of another case of mental illness:
Instead, police said, everybody seems to be repeating the same story – that Myers was a loner, a strange man who didn’t have much to say to anyone.
One man who worked for 20 years with Myers said the suspect was intelligent, quiet and a good worker who had gotten along well with colleagues.
But Steve Copperwheat, who hired Myers as a machine operator in the early 1980s at Waterbury Felt in Oriskany, a manufacturer of industrial textiles, said he encountered him in a Walmart parking lot three months ago after not seeing him in about 10 years.
“I yelled over to him and he looked at me, said my name, said he was retired, and just went booking away,” Copperwheat said. “It was almost like he didn’t want anybody to know where he was. He was trying to be very distant, which surprised me. The whole conversation was really spooky.”
Jan. 19, 2013 – Albuquerque, N.M. – 5 dead
- Nehemiah Griego, 15, is accused of killing both his parents and three younger siblings. According to police documents, Griego shot his mother while she slept, then killed his brother and sisters after they woke up. Griego told authorities he ambushed his father, who was returning home from work, with a semi-automatic rifle that his parents owned. All victims appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head. New Mexico authorities also report that the teen had planned to go to Walmart and randomly shoot people.
Another case of mental illness:
“Clearly, there was some sort of break or psychotic break that happened that night,” said Nehemiah’s aunt, and now guardian, Regina Griego.
Regina Griego is still grieving the death of her brother, Albuquerque pastor Greg Griego, and his family while trying to get the right mental health care for Nehemiah.
Jan. 7, 2013 – Tulsa, Okla. – 4 dead
- Brothers Cedric Poore, 39, and James Poore, 32, are accused of killing four women, two of whom were twins. The victims, found in an apartment, were all mothers, and a 3-year-old boy was also found unharmed.
More murders committed in the commission of another crime – robbery:
James Poore and Cedric Poore have pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery charges stemming from the Fairmont Terrace killings on Jan. 7.