Patch.com Reporter Jessica McBride Gets Scoop on Sikh Temple Shooting Suspect UPDATE: More Details Emerge
Posted on | August 5, 2012 | 12 Comments
Earlier I linked the report that the suspect in the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting had reportedly just broken up with his girlfriend. I urged caution because the source is secondhand: The mother of the suspect’s landlord. But kudos to Jessica McBride of the Patch for her resourcefulness in getting this scoop, the first personal information reported about the shooter, who police said was shot dead at the scene.
A source familiar with the investigation said the shooter was a white male in his 40s who had been discharged from the Army. . . .
Kurt Weins said he rented the upper flat of the duplex authorities were searching to a single man in his 40s about month ago. Weins lives across the street from the duplex.
Weins said he had just been interviewed by law enforcement authorities and said he was uncomfortable providing much detail. However, he said, he was surprised by the attention his tenant has attracted.
“I had him checked out and he definitely checked out,” Weins said. “The cops told me they don’t want me to say nothing right now.”
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that it was the gunman’s tattoos that caused the FBI to declare this a “domestic terrorism” case. What kind of tattoos? We don’t know yet.
UPDATE II: OK, there are unconfirmed reports (including in the Hindustan Times) that the gunman’s tattoos referenced the 9/11 attacks, which is kind of confusing to me. If the guy was a military veteran, then a “Remember 9/11″ tattoo would have a more or less patriotic symbolism. However, if the guy was military, he almost certainly would have understood that Sikhs had nothing to do with 9/11.
UPDATE III: A little more detail:
According to CNN, two semi-automatic handguns were recovered at the scene, and member of the temple described the gunman as tall male with what appeared to be a “9/11 tattoo.” Officials told NBC the suspect, who served in the U.S. Army, had many tattoos.
This report of a military veteran with a “9/11 tattoo” is, as I say, confusing. There are probably lots of military guys — and, for that matter, cops and firefighters — with tattoos of a patriotic “Never Forget” sort of message, none of whom would ever go on a murderous rampage.
Many have suggested that the attack on the Sikh Temple was, in fact, misdirected rage against Muslims, but as I said previously, it seems to me that someone from a military background would not make that kind of misidentification. Of course, going on a terroristic shooting rampage against Muslims would be equally senseless, but we cannot expect deranged killers to act on any logical or rational basis in choosing their targets.