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.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Valentine's Day Suicide Pact Leader Arrested

On February 11, 2005, sheriff's deputies in Klamath Falls, Oregon, arrested Gerald Krein on charges that he attempted to solicit 32 people in the United States and Canada to commit murder, mostly through suicide. Using chat rooms, Krein allegedly convinced over thirty people to kill themselves and others. Investigators said the case came to light when a woman in Canada told them that she'd planned to take part in the mass suicide but then had second thoughts when another chat room follower talked about killing herself and her two children, the Associated Press reported.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Nine die in two separate group suicides in Japan

On Saturday, February 5, 2005, Japanese police found nine people in two separate group suicides. The deaths by suicide were by inhaling carbon monoxide, via charcoal burners and sleeping pills. The reports indicate that in one incident, six people, three men and three women mostly aged in their 20s, were found in a rented minivan parked on a farm road on the scenic peninsula of Miura at the mouth of Tokyo Bay. A few hours later, the bodies of one man and two women, in their 30s and 40s, were found in a rented sedan on the grounds of a villa on a Pacific coast in Higashi Izu, some 100 kilometres south-west of Tokyo.
Police found several charcoal burners inside the two vehicles.

"The two separate cases appear to be the latest in a string of such group suicides using traditional terracotta charcoal burners in Japan, many of which have involved strangers who met over the Internet to die together. The charcoal burner is rarely used in modern living in Japan except at traditional-style Japanese or Korean restaurants. Nearly 50 people have died in similar suicides since early October," notes the overseas accounts.