Wednesday, January 20, 2010

VA: 8 Dead

The number of shooting incidents has increased dramatically in the USA since the Fort Hood incident. Whether the reasons are the copycat effect, behavior contagion, media reporting increase, or coincidence doesn't matter. It is happening and we are in the midst of a major cluster. Another shooting has occurred.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2010, a gunman went on a "rampage" (as the media is terming it) in the Virginia, killing eight people and shooting a police helicopter taking part in a hunt for him, officials said. A 39-year-old man was believed to be surrounded early Wednesday after the shootings in a rural district near Appomattox (where the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee took place, ending the Civil War) in southern Virginia. Police confirmed that there were eight dead.

The suspect, named as Christopher Speight, shot a helicopter that was called to the scene at least four times, forcing it to make an emergency landing, officials said.

[Some of the first settlers in America with this family name, Speight, or its variants, were Frances Speight who settled in Virginia in 1642; William and Mary Speights plus their daughter Elizabeth in Barbados in 1678; and Christopher Speight in New England in 1760. The family motto is "by strength and valor." One of the more well-known holders of the name was Englishman Mark Warwick Fordham Speight (August 6, 1965 – April 7, 2008), who was an English television presenter, who once played the "Abominable No Man" in Timmy Mallett's Timmy Towers. On the afternoon of January 3, 2008, Speight called emergency services after waking up to discover fiancée Natasha Collins's body in the bath of their St John's Wood flat, in northwest London. He was originally arrested and charged with her murder. An inquest later determined Collins had died of a drug overdose and severe burns from hot water. Then on April 7, 2008, Speight was reported missing and soon found that he had died by suicide by hanging near Paddington Station. He left suicide notes saying he could not live without Collins.]

"More than 100 deputies, officers and state troopers will continue working through the night to locate and apprehend the armed subject" Virginia State Police said in a statement.

The incident unfolded around noon on Tuesday when a deputy from the Appomattox sheriff's office responded to an emergency call about an injured man lying on a country road.

"When the deputy arrived on scene, the deputy heard several gun shots," Sergeant Thomas Molnar, a spokesman for the Virginia State Police told AFP.

As the victim was being airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he later died, officers found four bodies outside a nearby home and "three bodies inside the residence."

The victims were male and female, according to police.

The shootings were said to be the act of a lone gunman, who was pinned down by police in nearby woods late Tuesday, officials said.

A nearby residence was evacuated as the manhunt grew ever tenser.

"The perimeter has been established and we believe the suspect is within the quarantined area," Molnar said.

A motive for the attacks was not immediately clear.


starviego said...

Just in the past three weeks--

Man shoots handgun outside state capital building, Austin, TX

Eight dead in central Virginia

Five found shot to death in house in Buckhorn, southeast Texas

Workplace shooting in Kennesaw, GA 2 dead, 3 wounded

Power plant in St. Louis, MO 3 dead, 5 wounded

Las Vegas Federal Courthouse shooting, 2 dead 1 wounded

Anonymous said...

another incident seems to have been narrowly avoided