Sunday, March 29, 2009

Carthage Carnage

Seven patients and a nurse were killed during a Sunday (March 29, 2009) morning shooting at a Carthage, North Carolina, nursing home. At its peak, the ancient metropolis of Carthage was the "shining city," ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean and leading the Phoenician (or Punic) world, during an era of extreme violence and wars.

The modern shooting happened at about 10 a.m. Sunday, March 29, 2009, when a gunman burst into a Carthage, North Carolina nursing home and started "shooting everything," killing seven residents and a nurse and wounding at least three others.

The man accused of carrying out the attack was shot by a police officer, and his condition "is currently unknown," Carthage Police Chief Chris McKenzie said. A police officer was shot in the leg and was treated and released, McKenzie said.

The slain patients ranged in age from 78 to 98, Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger said. The victims were identified as residents Tessie Garner, 88; Lillian Dunn, 89; Jessie Musser, 88; Bessie Hendrick, 78; John Goldston, 78; Margaret Johnson, 89; Louise Decker, 98; and nurse Jerry Avent, whose age wasn't immediately available, according to the AP.

The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Robert Stewart, faces eight counts of murder and one count of felony assault on a police officer, she said.

Stewart was not an employee of the nursing home -- the Pine Lake Health and Rehab Center -- and he did not appear to have been related to any of the patients, Krueger said. (It was learned later his ex-wife worked at this nursing home.)

"There is still more to be uncovered as far as his purpose in being there," she said.

"I ain't never seen nobody being mistreated down there or nothing," Bobby Dunn, whose 89-year-old mother was living at the facility, told CNN affiliate News 14 Carolina. "That's what I can't understand -- why somebody would come and do something like that."

North Carolina Sandhills, where the nursing home in Carthage is located, is about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The American city is named after an ancient site associated with violent wars and child sacrifice. Carthage (Arabic: قرطاج‎, Ancient Greek: Καρχηδών Karkhēdōn, Berber: Kartajen, Latin: Carthago or Karthago, from the Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt meaning new town) refers both to an ancient city in present-day Tunisia, and a modern-day suburb of Tunis.

The well-known city of old Carthage is located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the center of Tunis. According to Roman legend it was founded in 814 BC by Phoenician colonists under the leadership of Elissa (Queen Dido). It became a large and rich city and thus a major power in the Mediterranean.

The resulting rivalry with Syracuse and Rome was accompanied by several wars with respective invasions of each other's homeland. Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the Second Punic War culminated in the Carthaginian victory at Cannae and led to a serious threat to the continuation of Roman rule over Italy, however Carthage emerged from the conflict at its historical weakest. After the Third Punic War, the city was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. However, the Romans refounded Carthage, which became one of the three most important cities of the Empire and the capital of the short-lived Vandal kingdom. It remained one of the most important Roman cities until the Muslim conquest when it was destroyed a second time in AD 698.

Carthage under the Phoenicians was criticized by its neighbors for child sacrifice. Plutarch (c. 46–120) mentions the practice, as do Tertullian, Orosius, Philo and Diodorus Siculus. The Hebrew Bible also mentions child sacrifice practiced by the Canaanites, ancestors of the Carthaginians.

Sunday's killings in the American Carthage were the latest in a series of high-profile but, according CNN, apparently unrelated rampages in March, including the killings of 10 people by an Alabama man who was then killed by police. At an Illinois church, a man shot and killed the pastor and stabbed two parishioners, and a 17-year-old in Germany killed 15 people in two small towns before dying in a shootout with police.

Within copycat effect theory, of course, I would not use the phrase "unrelated."

Additional note: The date of 27 June 1844 marked a turning point for the Church of Latter Day Saints movement, of which Joseph Smith, Jr. was the founder and leader. On that date, Smith was attacked and killed by a mob, as he was serving as the mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois, and running for President of the United States. He was killed while jailed in Carthage, Illinois.

My appreciation to SM and PH for their alert to me on this 2009 breaking news, while I am in the midst of a personal medical emergency of my own.

Thanks to all for your continued support of my research, through clicking below to...


Anonymous said...

Damn! And another decapitaion! The self is the center and violence spreads from it like ripples in a pond. Thats why people with any amount of intelligence see the limitations of the ego and put it on the back burner. People like this are sick, disturbed lost in them selves and their suffering breaks like a dam and destroys the lives of those around them. Be kind to people that you meet you could be defusing a killer. Good Luck, Loren.

Mich said...

Nice comments, Anonymous. I read that story in horror yesterday. I've been following the Carthage story on the Internet and then this morning, I found this out of California near SF. Another murder suicide.

Bladerunner said...

Another beheading as well. I feel something building to a very bad climax here...

Anonymous said...

Suicidal poets use the word "I" more in their poetry than non-suicidal poets (Psychosomatic Medicine, 2001)