Monday, February 14, 2005

A Mall Shooting Getting Valentine's Day Media Attention

It happened in Ulster. But not Ulster in Ireland, Ulster in New York State, near Kingston, about 90 miles north of New York City. Around 3:15 p.m. on the Sunday afternoon of February 13, 2005, a 24 year old man, fully dressed in black, opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle at a Best Buy store, then went into the rest of the Hudson Valley Mall, walking towards the center court, firing the whole time. Two or three people were hurt, with one man (a recruiter for the U.S. National Guard) who was shot in the leg and arm, in critical condition late Sunday night. He may lose his arm from the injury. The 24-year-old alleged gunman is under arrest, the motive in the incident not clear in first media accounts. It ended suddenly, when he appeared to give up, according to WABC news. The news accounts casually end with this note: "The mall... will be reopened by tomorrow afternoon."

The gunman was later identified as Robert Bonelli Jr. of Glasco, New York. In Glasco, police and FBI agents swarmed Bonelli's Liberty Street home. Two employees from Dick's Sporting Goods were involved in subduing him after he had thrown down his weapon, according to Hudson Valley's Times Herald-Record.

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