Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gunman Kills Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman

Having worked in the front office of the New Hampshire Republican Party, in John Sununu's U.S. Senate office, and in other campaign offices over the years, I understand that such offices attract not only those interested in winning elections and shaping public policy, but some disturbed and sometimes violent people. Tragically, one of those people acted on his violent impulses, opening fire at the Arkansas Democratic Headquarters and killing the State Party Chairman Bill Gwatney:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man barged into the Arkansas Democratic headquarters and opened fire Wednesday, fatally shooting the state party chairman before speeding off in his pickup. Police later shot and killed the suspect after a 30-mile chase.

Police said they don't know the motive for the 51-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released. However, they said moments after the shooting, he pointed a handgun at the building manager at the nearby the Arkansas Baptist headquarters. He told the manager "I lost my job," said Dan Jordan, a Baptist convention official.

Chairman Bill Gwatney died four hour after the shooting. The 48-year-old former state senator had been planning to travel to the Democratic National Convention later this month as a Hillary Clinton superdelegate.

My prayers are with Mr. Gwantey's family and his colleagues. I'm reminded of the standoff earlier this year in Senator Clinton's New Hampshire office. The men and women who give their time and energy to the political process shouldn't be in the line of fire.

Gateway Pundit has a comprehensive roundup. It appears that the suspect lost his job at Gwatney's dealership, and his motives were not political. Not that motives will comfort Mr. Gwatney's family.

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