Monday, April 30, 2007

Kansas City mall shooter had a plan to 'cause havoc'

Associated Press
Apr. 30, 2007 02:59 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A former Target employee who was turned down for a private security license and planned to "cause havoc" was identified Monday as the man suspected of killing two people in a crowded mall parking lot before he was shot by police.

David W. Logsdon, 51, had been stopped by police while driving the car of his next-door neighbor, who police had found dead in her home hours earlier. Police did not say how Patricia Ann Reed, 67, died or if Logsdon was a suspect in her death, but they believed the events were connected.

"David Logsdon had a plan," police chief James Corwin said. "And that plan was that he had been an employee of that Target store and had been turned down for a private security license. His objective was to go to the mall and cause havoc."

Logsdon applied for a private security permit from the police department, but was turned down because he had two outstanding city warrants, police said.

After the officer pulled Logsdon over Sunday, police say he shot the officer in the arm. The officer, whose wound was not life-threatening, returned fire and shattered the window of the gunman's car.

Logsdon drove to the shopping center, fatally shot two people in the parking lot and wounded several others, then went inside the mall where he was killed by police, authorities said. Corwin said bomb squad crews were also called to Logsdon's home Monday after police reported his house had been "booby-trapped with a self-made bomb." Police ordered a voluntary evacuation of the immediate area, a suburban residential area of lower income homes and apartments.


Gunman, 2 others killed in Kansas City shooting

Associated PressApr. 30, 2007 12:00 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A gunman shot a police officer then opened fire in a parking lot and a mall Sunday, authorities said. By the time the violence was over, the shooter and two other people were dead.
The gunman was shot to death inside Ward Parkway Center in south Kansas City, police spokesman Tony Sanders said.
He was apparently killed by police gunfire, officials said.
Police said the violence began early Sunday afternoon, when they went to a home to check on a woman relatives hadn't seen for days. The victim was found dead and her car missing, Sanders said.
The car was spotted later in the day by an officer, who pulled the driver over and was shot in the arm, police said. The officer, whose wound was not life-threatening, returned fire.
The car took off and was spotted later at the shopping center. The man fatally shot two people in the parking lot, then went inside the mall and fired more shots, wounding at least two others, Sanders said.
Target employee Caffie Bradshaw, 19, said she was in a break room with two other people when they heard shots. She said co-workers saw a White man with a rifle who was "spraying bullets."


At this early juncture, it would appear that the criminal was actually stopped by police response. Nice. Although most active shooter scenarios are NOT stopped by the intervention of police officers, it looks like the officers on scene responded quickly. News footage that I saw yesterday showed officers sprinting into the mall. A decidedly different image than other incidents (like Virginia Tech) where officers were taking up defensive positions behind trees and patrol cars.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Copy Cats Coming out After Virginia Tech

Keep your guard up at work. Following highly publicized events, there is always an increase in copy cat threats.

It's already started after Virginia Tech -- an employee at SeaWorld in Orlando threatened to go on a shooting rampage and then, after he was fired, threatened to come back to blow up the park.

Twenty-year-old Gilbert Alexander Garcia admitted that he told a co-worker, "I am going to do what happened at Virginia Tech here at SeaWorld," and that he idolized the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people on April 16, according to an Orange County sheriff's report.

Two hours after Garcia was fired and escorted off SeaWorld premises, a co-worker recorded a phone call with Garcia, who said he was mad about being fired and was "going to blow up SeaWorld."

Garcia, was arrested a few hours later at his home and charged with threatening a place with a destructive device, a felony. Deputies found several baseball bats and a knife in Garcia's car, but no firearms.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that "it can't happen here." Have a plan. If you are a professional, get your plan in place and rehearse.

Dig your well before you are thirsty.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cho Killed 30 in 9 Minutes

You've heard the numbers before -- most active-shooter scenarios last between 4 and 17 minutes...

According the the Associated Press, initial police estimations are that the Virginia Tech murderer, Cho, killed 30 of his victims in the engineering within nine minutes.

Nine minutes.

Is nine minutes a short time or a long time? Depends on which side of the equation you are on. If you are a campus cop or local constable, then nine minutes is a flash when you have to respond to a confusing and chaotic situation that may be completely across campus. It's impossible for the SWAT team to suit-up and deploy in that time frame.

It's an eternity if you are one of the students trapped in the engineering building. You hear the loud shots ringing out. All of you look at each other, what is that -- gunshots? You are trapped in a classroom that only has one doorway. Do you flee? Do you hide under a desk? Your mind is reeling, what are you supposed to do?

Some witnesses reported several encounters with Cho as he approached, tried the classroom door handle, and returned to shoot into the classroom door. That entire cycle could have happened in just 20 or 30 seconds. Think about how long it must have felt like during that entire massacre. Cho may have fired anywhere from 50 to 170 shots during that time.

Nine minutes and 30 students lay dead.

We've said it before and we'll say it again -- the cops can't save you during an active-shooter scenario. There's just not enough time.

You have to save yourself.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Road deaths No. 1 killer of the young

Washington Post
Apr. 20, 2007 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Traffic injuries are the leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24 around the world - a huge, overlooked and largely preventable public health problem, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

In a new report, the organization promoted a long list of suggestions to developing countries, where most of the deaths and disabling injuries occur. The improvements include safer roads and vehicles, better urban planning, helmet laws, prosecution of speeders and drunken drivers, better education of the driving and walking public, and simple interventions such as putting reflective tape on backpacks.

"It is a big public health issue for kids, and we can do something about it," said Etienne Krug, a physician who heads WHO's department for injury and violence prevention.

About 30 percent of all traffic deaths worldwide - roughly 400,000 each year - are of people younger than 25. Although teenage and young-adult drivers are at greatest risk, younger age groups also have high mortality. In 2002, traffic injuries were the third leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 9, behind pneumonia and AIDS. About 46 percent of traffic deaths in sub-Saharan Africa occurred in that age group that year.


Woman Raped, Tortured Over 19 Hours

Tom HaysAssociated Press
Apr. 20, 2007 12:00 AM

NEW YORK - It was an ordeal that lasted 19 hours. In that span, a man bound a Columbia University graduate student in her apartment, raped her, doused her with hot water and bleach, slit her eyelids and finally set a fire before fleeing, police said.

Police pressed a manhunt for the assailant in the April 13 attack, with investigators hoping any surviving DNA and a $12,000 reward for information leading to an arrest would produce fresh leads.

The victim, who managed to free herself before the fire spread, was still in the hospital Thursday, police said.

The woman was nearing completion of her degree at the Graduate School of Journalism when the attack occurred at her apartment more than 20 blocks north of the Ivy League campus in upper Manhattan, classmates have said. Dozens paid tribute to her Monday with a candlelight vigil.

Female students throughout the school were rattled, especially because the attacker is still on the loose, said Lindsay Miller, 23, an architecture student who, like the victim, lives blocks from the campus.

Witnesses told police they had spotted the attacker loitering around the victim's building on the night of the attack. At about 9:30 p.m., he slipped inside, got on an elevator with her and pushed a button for a different floor than hers, police said. He followed her out of the elevator and pretended like he was lost, police said. Then he followed her to her apartment door and forced his way inside, where he beat her.

Over the next several hours, he raped her on her futon bed, tied her up with computer cables, force fed her drugs and alcohol and used a knife to slit her eyelids, police said.
Before fleeing at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, he ignited a corner of the futon, unknowingly providing his victim a means to escape and get help from a building handyman, police said.

"It appears she was able to escape as a result of the fire," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. "She was tied, and the flame was used by her to break the bond."

Investigators recovered a videotape from a neighboring market showing the suspected attacker walking in.


Vulnerable Society

"A free society is open, and an open society is vulnerable."

Robert Robb

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Murderer

"Let's also drop the nearly universal moral absurdity of counting murderers among the dead. As of this writing, eight hours after the massacre, I see on all the networks "32 dead." It should read "31 murdered." I do not know when exactly this notion of counting murderers along with their victims began, but it is a moral travesty.

"No news organization would have imagined giving the number of dead at Pearl Harbor so as to include Japanese pilots shot down. But in our age of moral neutrality, all dead are given equal weight -- the terrorist along with his victims; the shooter along with the students.

"Why is the Virginia Tech murderer always referred to as the 'gunman' and not the 'murderer'? Had he stabbed a dozen students to death, would he be the 'knifeman'?

"And why is it always referred to as a 'tragedy'? Virginia Tech wasn't hit by a cyclone. That would be a tragedy. This was evil. Call it that."

Dennis Prager


Wanted: A culture of self-defense

Wanted: A culture of self-defense

By Michelle Malkin
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

There's no polite way or time to say it: American colleges and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregated dorms, politically correct academic departments and designated "safe spaces" to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions -- while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University's anti-Minuteman Project protesters).
Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.
And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

Get the whole article here.

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Eyewitness Accounts at Virginia Tech

Check out these eyewitness accounts:

"I saw bullets hit people's bodies. There was blood everywhere. People in the class were passed out, I don't know whether from shock or pain. But I was one of only four that made it out of that classroom. The rest were dead or injured." [The shooter looked like]"just a normal looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout type outfit. He wore a tan button up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something."

"[I was listening to my iPod when I heard] a big bang. I recognized the sound of gunfire but was mostly confused .... I looked around at the other students on the drillfield, most of them confused like clicked in everyone's head immediately the sound we heard was a gun shot and everyone started running. I went back to the dorm, locked the door, and turned on the news."

"[We were walking to class when] we heard a couple gunshots and we started running. Everyone was sprinting away. There were literally, like, 300, 400 students just running away from the site. They just told us all to get going, and we started running."

"He (Cho, the murderer)looked, I guess you could say, serious. He didn't look frightened at all, he didn't look angry. Just a straight face. He didn't say a single word the whole time. He didn't say get down, he didn't say anything. He just came in and started shooting."

"I was in class when we heard loud bangs coming from the hallway. The girl sitting by the door peeked out and saw the shooter, so she immediately closed the door. Three other students moved a table and barricaded the door. A few seconds later, the shooter tried to open the door, but my classmates kept it well shut. The shooter shot the door twice, one of which hit the podium in the front of the classroom and the other continued out the window. At this point he reloaded, shot the door again - this shot did not penetrate - and moved on to the other classrooms. Thankfully, nobody in our room was hurt. The shooting continued for several minutes, until the police arrived, and the shooter must have shot at least 80-100 rounds. As we heard the police arrive outside the building, the shooting continued, and the officers eventually came through the building. Even though it seemed to take quite a long time, the timer on my phone seemed to indicate that the whole sequence of events was over in only 25 minutes."

"I was working in my office and then I heard three "bang bang bang" sounds and I looked outside and I saw a bunch of police officers, guns drawn, hiding behind trees."

"We [saw armed police officers running by and we] were like, 'What's going on?' Because this definitely is a quaint town where stuff doesn't really happen. It's pretty boring here."

"[We initially thought the gunshots were construction noise until we heard screaming and police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns entered our classroom]. "They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn't cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot. I guess they were afraid, like us, like the shooter was going to be among one of us."

"...she was in class and they heard a banging, her teacher opened the door to find out what was going on, and after not seeing anything, closed the door. Not more than two seconds later, a gunman entered her room, to which the class responded by getting underneath the desks and basicly hiding as well as possible from this guy. He then shot at the class somewhere between 8 to 12 times and then left. She said that the gunman, who looked Asian, left and She and another classmate barricaded the door while others attended to the wounded and injured. The gunman came back and tried to get in, but because of the barricade couldn't and proceeded to shoot at the door at hip level, while kate was and the other classmates were at ground level."

Source: Various published accounts

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You have to save yourself

According to the Secret Service, most mass shootings -- when not ended by the criminal's suicide -- were ended by citizens intervening. This means the minority of situations were resolved by the police.

You cannot count on the campus cops to help you. Or the city/county/state SWAT team to help you. Even if they can find where the shooter is on a sprawling campus, they won't be able to make it in time.

You have to have the will and the skill to save yourself when no one else can save you.

The heroic actions of the passengers on Flight 93 on 9-11-01 changed our way of thinking about resisting against skyjackers/terrorists.

I contend that the horrific murders at Virginia Tech on 4-16-07 will change the way we think about resisting active shooters at schools.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

World's Greatest Shooter: Competition Good Test of Ability

"I recently ran a class of military shooters and among other things, ran them through the IDPA classifier, participated in a local steel match and shot the Arizona State IDPA Championships!

Let me share with you some interesting observations. They get more wound up and nervous in a match than they do in combat! Why? Because they have time to think about it and get tense! I respect these guys opinion more than ANY so-called tactician out there who is sure he knows the tricks to surviving an armed confrontation. These guys have been doing that a bunch lately, and think IDPA and IPSC shooting both offer much to the testing phase of ones' ability.

On the other hand, they--to a man--do not agree with the philosophies that either is inherently more practical. All the little things like which way do you turn or where you do the load is all something that we can discuss all day on the range, but on the battlefield, men do things that may not be considered practical or tactical and live because they did it fast, accurately and decisively. On the other hand, there are those who did it "right" by some folks judgment and still lost. We all have our ideas of how it should be done, and the rules of the existing games are just that, someone's ideas.

To say going to any kind of shooting event will teach you technique that will get you killed is idiotic and irresponsible. Guys, it is cool to have your own plan but do not try to pass it off as gospel to the rest of us. A discussion of technique and philosophy seldom ends with agreement, but that does not make the other guy wrong or stupid. These are just games designed to test your abilities in a very controlled and pre-planned arena. Who wins [these games] is your best shot, not your most likely survivor [of a real gunfight]. That cannot be tested under the clock. However, those that master executing under the timer are probably more likely to do well in a pressure situation than someone who chokes, misses or gets procedural penalties. This is a point the boys all agree on, thus they train hard and test themselves in the arena of competition to see what they know and whether they can do it."

Rob Leatham


Deadliest School Shootings

April, 16, 2007, an unknown criminal kills at least 31 college students at Virginia Tech.

In 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25-year-old ex-Marine, killed 13 people on the University of Texas campus. He was killed by police.

In 1999, 17-year-old Dylan Klebold and 18-year-old Eric Harris -- armed with guns and pipe bombs -- killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.


Virginia Tech Shooting Update

The death toll is up to at least 31 people who were killed today (Mon. 4-16-07) in a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech -- making it the deadliest school shooting incident in U.S. history.

The coverage all morning has been hectic and there is little good information on the event. Here's what we know so far:
  • The apparent sociopathic killer is dead, it's not known whether police killed him or if he killed himself. (My guess is going to be that he killed himself).

  • Some victims were trapped and shot in a classroom.

  • Spokespersons for hospitals in Roanoke, Christiansburg, Blacksburg and Salem told CNN they were treating 29 people from the shootings.

  • One person was killed and others were wounded at multiple locations inside a dormitory about 7:15 a.m.
  • Two hours later (my emphasis added), another shooting at the engineering science and mechanics building resulted in multiple casualties.

  • Per procedure, police were challenging students, ordering them to put their hands up with the threat of being shot in case the shooter was trying to hide among them.

  • Many students were "locked down" inside class rooms during the incident.

  • Three days ago, on Friday, a bomb threat forced the cancellation of classes in three buildings. Also, the 100,000-square-foot Torgersen Hall was evacuated April 2 after police received a written bomb threat. It's unknown at this time if the incidents are related. (It wouldn't be a bad guess to surmise that these incidents were related and the criminal will ultimately be found to be an anti-social, disgruntled student).