Friday, January 24, 2014

Tecumseh Name Game Surfaces In Mass Shootings

After the release of my 2004 Simon and Schuster book, The Copycat Effect, I was ridiculed by mainstream media for pointing to rising data that was clearly indicating a reinforcement of a probable violent future.

Today, mass shootings, school shootings, and related forms of violence are routine in America.

This weekend, mass media stories are appearing noting that in the first 14 days of 2014, there have been seven school shootings, an average of one every other day. A simplistic and perhaps slightly inaccurate summary, but the stat is remarkably close to the truth, if we restrict the timeframe to the first 14 school days of the year.

Based upon a survey of small media markets about various forms of mass shootings, it appears that the frequency of these events may be higher than that quick media statistic would lead us to believe.

Here's what I've seen in the news:

January 9:

Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee ~

A 17-year-old student was wounded Thursday in a shooting at a Jackson high school, and another student was taken into custody, police said.
The 17-year-old was shot once in the left thigh outside of Liberty Technology Magnet High School and was taken by ambulance to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. The shooting occurred at the front of the school at 2:21 p.m., a few minutes after dismissal time. Officials said the suspect left campus in a car. He was taken into custody about 30 minutes after the shooting.
Police took a 16-year-old Liberty student into custody at his grandmother's house on Cotton Grove Road in east Madison County.
The names of the victim and the suspect have not been released.

January 13:

Wesley Chapel, Pasco County, Florida ~

Not a school shooting, but a movie theater shooting made the news on this Monday. Curtis Reeves, Jr., 71, a retired Tampa Police Captain was arrested and held without bail for shooting a man and his wife after an apparent argument over texting while at a Wesley Chapel, Florida, movie theater.
At the Monday afternoon showing of the film Lone Survivor, Reeves and his wife were sitting behind another couple, Chad and Nicole Oulson, watching the previews, when Reeves became agitated with Chad for texting before the movie began.
At the Wesley Chapel-January 13th screening of Lone Survivor an argument broke out between the couples, popcorn was thrown, after which Reeves reportedly left the theater, came back, took out a gun and fired at Oulson and his wife. Officials said Nicole tried to block the bullet, resulting in a gunshot wound to her hand, before Chad was struck. And killed.

January 14:

Roswell, Chaves County, New Mexico ~

Tuesday, a Berrendo Middle School student opened fire in his gym with a shotgun and critically wounded two students in Roswell, New Mexico.

The injured were a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy who were "simply sitting in their gym waiting to go to class," New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said. The shooting occurred shortly before class was to begin at Berrendo Middle School.
The Eastern New Mexico Medical Center confirmed it treated two patients, who were then air lifted to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, located about 175 miles from the middle school.
A spokesperson for UMC said the boy, who the governor said was 12, is out of surgery and is listed in critical condition. The girl, 13, is also being treated at the hospital and is listed in serious condition, according to the spokesperson. A school staff member suffered a minor injury and declined treatment.
The 12-year-old suspect was named as Mason Campbell.

January 15:

West Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania ~
A 17-year-old boy was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to a West Philadelphia charter school.

St. Louis, Missouri ~
A hidden-camera TV news story on security at St. Louis schools led to a Thursday afternoon lockdown at Kirkwood High and a flurry of complaints by angry parents.
A KSDK-TV reporter visited four elementary schools and the St. Louis County high school without identifying himself as a journalist. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Kirkwood students and teachers were huddled in classrooms with the lights off for about 40 minutes Thursday after a man came into the school and asked to speak with security, then left.
The station defended its reporting in a statement broadcast Thursday night before its news report on school security lapses. The statement noted that the lockdown didn't happen until one hour after the reporter left Kirkwood High.

Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana ~

In Elkhart, Indiana, Shawn Walter Bair, 22, killed an employee, Krystle Dikes, and a shopper, Rachelle Godfread, at the Martin's Super Market on January 15th, Wednesday night.

Although apparently a name of German or Germanic origin, the etymology of Elkhart's name is disputed. One source claims that the origin of the city's name was the Shawnee Indian Chief Elkhart, cousin of the famous Chief Tecumseh, and the father of Princess Mishawaka, the namesake of neighboring Mishawaka, Indiana.

January 17:

Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia ~
A student was shot near Albany High School, Albany, Georgia. Albany Police said the 16 year old student was shot in the arm. Officers said the victim was walking along Tift Avenue when it happened. Investigators said the student was shot with a small caliber weapon. The victim was taken to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, but the injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Logan, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania ~

Two 15-year-old students were wounded Friday afternoon in what may have been an accidental shooting inside a charter high school in Logan, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia police said. One of the victims, a girl who was shot through the arm, was treated at and released from Einstein Medical Center, just blocks away from Delaware Valley Charter High School, where the shooting occurred. The second victim, her boyfriend, was struck by the same bullet, which lodged in his shoulder, police said. He remained at the hospital Friday night. The shooting took place just before 3:30 p.m. in the gym at Delaware Valley Charter High, 5201 Old York Rd., Philadelphia.

January 19-20:

Schulenburg, Fayette County, Texas:
Miguel Mejia-Ramos returned to his Queens, New York home on Sunday, January 19, and rifled through his wife's phone and Facebook account. He found an image of her with another man. He grabbed a knife from a butcher block and stood over his sleeping wife, Deisy Garcia, 21, and two daughters 2 and 1. He stabbed all of them to death. Mejia-Ramos fled in a white van, driving south to Texas. Authorities in Fayette County, Texas, say the suspect, who goes by at least one other name, was located Monday night, January 20th, after he turned on his cellphone. Authorities were able to track his location and arrest him at a vehicle roadblock on Interstate 10 in Schulenburg, Texas. The location is about 1,700 miles from New York.

January 20:

Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania ~
A school shooting, happening near the athletic center of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, left one student in the hospital. The shooting put the campus on lockdown Monday night. The student was shot in the side while sitting in a car. The suspect remains on the run.

January 20-22:

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina:
A 19-year-old man wanted for questioning in Fayetteville's first two homicides of 2014 turned himself in Wednesday evening.
Family members surrounded Albert Lamont Jackson, 19, of 3521 Seawell St. in Fayetteville, as he surrendered to police. Jackson was wanted for questioning in the murders of Manuel Sampeur, 25, and Pamela Ann Coe, 40, who were both found dead inside a residence at the Cambridge Arms Apartments on Monday.
Jackson, who had active warrants for assault with a deadly weapon, simple assault and communication of threats, was transported to the Cumberland County Detention Center.
The 19-year-old was the second person wanted in connection with the double homicide. Rashawn Javonte Hill, 17, was arrested Tuesday night after firing a shotgun at police.
Authorities arrived at 3611 Pickerel St. at about 11 p.m. to speak with Hill about the killings. As Fayetteville police and Cumberland County deputies entered the home, they heard a shotgun being racked from a rear bedroom. Hill then fired a single round as authorities walked down the hallway, police said. A Fayetteville police detective fired one shot at Hill. No one was hit.
Officers immediately retreated from the home and established a perimeter to ensure Hill did not escape. Hill was taken into custody without incident after authorities convinced him to surrender.

January 21: 

West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana ~
One student was killed in a shooting on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Police said the victim was a male senior and also a teaching assistant.

Purdue University Police Chief John Cox said Cody Mark Cousins, 23, of Centerville, Ohio, and Warsaw, Indiana, was being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail in Lafayette, on a preliminary charge of murder.
Cousins is accused of shooting 21-year-old Andrew F. Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin, in the basement of the electrical engineering building around noon.
The suspect was apprehended moments after the shooting as he ran outside and was caught by West Lafayette, Indiana, police.


Thus ended the third Fayette incident in three days. See the Fayette Factor, noted before, here. But intriguingly, another name in the background that keeps popping up in 2014 is Tecumseh.

Fayette county, Indiana, is best known for The Battle of Tippecanoe, which was fought on November 7, 1811, between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and Native American warriors associated with the Shawnee leader Tecumseh.

For more on the "Curse of Tippecanoe," see here.


Turlock, Stanislaus County, California ~
A man was shot near Turlock, California's Wakefield Elementary School Tuesday afternoon, putting the school on temporary lockdown as police searched for a fleeing suspect. According to Turlock Police Sgt. Steven Webb, the incident occurred at approximately 4:13 p.m., when persons in a late 1990s or early 2000s Honda started to argue with three other individuals near the intersection of South Avenue and Spruce Street – just across the street from Wakefield Elementary School.

The media placed this event in their list of 2014 "school shootings," but it does not really seem to fit there.

January 22:

Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma ~
Located south of Tecumseh Road, the University of Oklahoma resumed campus operations after a shooting scare.
There was no evidence of shots fired and no injuries after university officials reported a possible shooting just before noon central time on Wednesday.
"Shooting on campus. Avoid Gould Hall. Seek immediate shelter in place," the university tweeted.
The shelter in place order was lifted shortly afterward.

Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine ~
A University of Southern Maine student allegedly caused a four-hour police standoff at one of the school’s two remaining off-campus fraternity houses in Gorham, Maine. The entire downtown area was shutdown.

Alan-Michael Santos, 23, of Winchester, Massachusetts, was arrested and held on $15,000 bail at Cumberland County Jail in Portland after his arrest late Wednesday night.
Earlier, before the standoff, one of Santos's fraternity brothers had gone in to check on him and was met with a gun. Then other students started evacuating the house, and the standoff with law enforcement began. It lasted over four hours. Police executed a search warrant Thursday morning at the Sigma Nu fraternity at 24 School Street and seized two handguns that they believe belonged to Santos. They did not recover any other guns in the building.

January 23:

Littleton, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties, Colorado ~
Police were investigating a threat made at Columbine High School in Colorado on Thursday. A lockout was lifted for seven Jefferson County schools in Colorado after a threat was made Thursday at Columbine High School. Jefferson County Public School officials that the lockdown was lifted after about a three hour lockout. During that time, no one was allowed in or out of school buildings in the area.

January 24:

Orangeburg, Orangeburg County, South Carolina ~
A student was shot and killed Friday at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Those on campus at the 3,200-student historically black university about 40 miles south of Columbia, S.C., have been told to shelter in place. The shooting took place in a dormitory. Campus officials know who fired the shots, said Sonya Bennett, a university spokeswoman, but the name of the accused shooter has not been released. Authorities were searching for the suspect.
The victim who was killed was a SCSU football player, Brandon A. Robinson, 20.

Orangeburg's first church was erected prior to 1763 in the center of the village and was destroyed during the Revolutionary War. A subsequent church building was used as a smallpox hospital by General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War. General W. Tecumseh Sherman is noted for his burning of Atlanta, utilizing the "Army of the Cumberland."

A few hours after I wrote the above, the following occurred:

January 25:

Columbia, Howard County, Maryland

On Saturday reports of an active shooter at a shopping mall in Columbia, Maryland became bulletins on the news. The shooter, Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Maryland, arrived at the mall shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday armed with a Mossburg 12-gauge shotgun and used it to kill two people at a store on the upper level of the Mall of Columbia before killing himself. Police identified the dead employees as Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College Park, Maryland, and Tyler Johnson, 25, of Ellicott City and/or Mount Airy, Maryland. Both worked at Zumiez. Both worked at Zumiez, a shop that caters to skaters, where the shootings took place. 
"We have no known relationship between the victims and our shooter," Howard County Police Chief Bill McMahon said at a news conference late Sunday.The body of the suspected shooter (who reportedly took his own life) was found near a shotgun on the floor of Zumiez. A large amount of ammunition was found near the body, and leading investigators to suspect that he might be carrying explosives.

The meaning and origin of the surname Aguilar is linked to the eagle. The name is found in Latin America as Aguilar meaning "sharp-eyed" as an eagle, to Spain where Aguilar means "the eagle." Linguistically Aguilar is related to aquila, a Roman name and the Black Eagle was the devise used on the Roman Legions' banners. Aguilar thus is a habitational name from any of numerous places called Aguilar, from Latin aquilare "haunt of eagles," a derivative of aquila "eagle."

Zumiez is a leading retailer for lifestyle brands centering on action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and motocross.

The name Zumiez breaks down to have this complex meaning: Z is for zest, your zeal for life. Uis for uncanny, the way you know what to do. Mis for mighty, your inner strength. Iis for intense, your zest of living. Eis for extra, those little things you do! Zis for zip, the quickness in your step!

For more on the Columbus-Columbia-Columbine linkages, see here.


Tecumseh (March 1768 – October 5, 1813), the Shawnee leader and hero, is from the name, TekoomsÄ“, meaning "Shooting Star" or "Panther Across The Sky." When he was still young, his father Puckshinwa was "brutally murdered" by white frontiersmen who had crossed onto Indian land in violation of a recent treaty, at the Battle of Point Pleasant (West Virginia) during Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774. Tecumseh resolved to become a warrior like his father and to be "a fire spreading over the hill and valley, consuming the race of dark souls."

"Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart...Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and in the service of your people." ~ Tecumseh


There were 28 school shootings in all of 2013, following the Sandy Hook shooting.

Here's the listing again:

What some positive folks said about The Copycat Effect, ten years ago:

Dr. Steven Stack, sociologist, Center for Suicide Research: "The media are still largely in a state of denial on how their coverage of death contributes to the violence and destructiveness in our society -- but Coleman's book should wake them up!"

Benjamin Radford, author of Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us: "Coleman raises troubling questions about the media's hidden role in perpetuating the very crimes and tragedies they sensationalize."

Tess Gerritsen, M.D., author of The Sinner, The Last to Die, and others: "A fascinating and frightening look at the bizarre outer limits of human behavior."

Kenn Thomas, author of Popular Alienation and Popular Paranoia: "This is urgent reading."

Publishers Weekly: "A convincing case."


Sibyl Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aferrismoon said...

A piece about the assassination of Lincoln. It has a few instances of 'Fayette' , so thought it might interest you.


Sibyl Hunter said...

The Maryland shooter was from College Park.
I was trying to avoid this conclusion, but all these names are well-known places in the metro Atlanta, GA area: Roswell/Roswell Rd, Cumberland Blvd, College Park, Fayetteville, Wesley Chapel Rd.

In fact, if you draw a line through each location it forms a circle around the city of Atlanta. (Map View).

And, of course, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman is famous for capturing and burning down Atlanta with his 60,0000-man strong "Army of the Cumberland" during the Civil War in 1864. The Battle of Atlanta was a great, pivotal defeat that paved the way for Lincoln's re-election allowing him to successfully enforce the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in all states.

Sibyl Hunter said...

All the gold is peeling off NYC's William Tecumseh Sherman statue. again.