Chicago Gunman Had Troubled History With Women

Juan Lopez, who killed a doctor to whom he had been engaged, had an order of protection against him in 2014. Still, he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon when he terrorized a hospital on Monday.

Juan Lopez, the gunman who went on a rampage Monday at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, piled up a history of allegations of menacing behavior in the years before he killed his ex-fiancee, as well as a Chicago cop and a pharmacist who simply crossed his path at the wrong moment, the Chicago Tribune reports. Lopez, 32, had threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Department Academy nearly five years ago, around the time he was fired for failing to show up to work while facing allegations of “improper conduct” toward women there. His ex-wife in 2014 obtained a temporary order of protection against him, alleging that he slept with a pistol under his pillow and had pointed a gun at someone. Nonetheless, Lopez was licensed to carry a concealed weapon when he terrorized the hospital.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Lopez’s alleged past conduct had ever led to any review or temporary revocation of his permission to own or carry a gun. The Washington-based Violence Policy Center said that since 2007, at least 33 shootings involving three or more fatalities have been committed by concealed handgun permit holders across the nation and at least 22 law enforcement officers have been killed by concealed handgun permit holders. Chicago police said Dr. Tamara O’Neal, 38, had broken off her engagement with Lopez and that he had gone to the hospital to demand his ring back. The couple argued in the parking lot and he fatally shot her. While fleeing from officers, Lopez shot first-year pharmacy resident Dayna Less, 24, as she stepped off an elevator inside the hospital. Lopez fatally shot officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, in the neck during a gun battle with police inside the hospital. Lopez then shot himself in the head, and died at the scene. A picture emerged Tuesday of Lopez as a man with a troubled history, particularly with women.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Gunman Kills Three, Including a Policeman, at a Chicago Hospital

The police officer, who joined the Chicago PD just two years ago, along with a doctor and a pharmacy technician died after the shooter entered a hospital where his former girlfriend. worked. The shooter was also killed, though its not known whether he took his own life or was shot by police. ““This tears at the soul of our city,” said a grief-stricken Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A police officer, a doctor and a pharmacy technician were shot to death Monday at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The suspected gunman was also killed, though it was not known if he was killed by police or took his own life. Officer Samuel Jimenez, who joined the police department less than two years ago, was the second police officer to be killed in the line of duty in 2018. The doctor was identified as  Tamara O’Neal, 38, an emergency medicine physician. The shooter was identified as Juan Lopez, 32. “This tears at the soul of our city,” said a visibly grief-stricken Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Jimenez, 28, is survived by his wife and three children. “He was the real police. He wasn’t in it just for the paycheck,” said a fellow officer. The shooting took place less than a mile from where former President Barack Obama was taking part in an Obama Foundation Summit. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the shooter was in an argument with a woman he was in a relationship with. A friend of the woman was also there, and the gunman lifted his shirt and displayed a handgun, Johnson said. The friend ran into the hospital and, moments later, the man shot the woman. As police arrived, the gunman opened fire on the officers. He then ran into the hospital as officers gave chase. James Gray, who was inside the hospital, said he first saw the shooter talking to a woman outside. They appeared to know each other and were having a normal conversation. A few moments later, the man shot the woman repeatedly. After she fell, he continued to shoot. “I thought it was unbelievable. It’s like a movie scene,” Gray said.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Alabama DA Wounded In Ambush By Former Trooper

A West Alabama district attorney survived an ambush assassination attempt Thursday afternoon by a former state trooper who fired several rounds from a shotgun before he was shot dead by law enforcement officers.

A West Alabama district attorney survived an ambush assassination attempt Thursday afternoon by a former state trooper who fired several rounds from a shotgun before he was shot dead by law enforcement officers, the Tuscaloosa News reported. Greg Griggers, 52, since 2003 the district attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit that includes Marengo, Greene and Sumter counties, was hospitalized with injuries that weren’t life-threatening and was released Thursday afternoon. The shooting occurred on the main street of Marengo County’s largest city, Demopolis. Police identified the dead shooter as Steven Smith Jr., 60. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s State Bureau of Investigation shared no information about a possible motive.

Smith was investigated in 1996 in connection with the firing of two shotgun blasts into the home of 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Eddie Hardaway. A state trooper at the time, Smith complained publicly and to the press about the handling of the investigation, which included authorities questioning his then-girlfriend. Smith was fired from the Alabama Department of Public Safety later that year, a decision that was later upheld by the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. AL.com reported that no one was injured in the 1996 shooting at Hardaway’s home. The resulting case was ultimately dismissed in 1997 after a special grand jury that was convened to consider charges connected to the shooting was disbanded.

from https://thecrimereport.org

‘Impossible’ to Predict Mass Shooters, Expert Says

In the two deadliest shootings in the U.S. this year, the accused gunman displayed warning signs before his killing spree. Neither Nikolas Cruz in Florida nor Ian David Long in California were committed for treatment.

In the two deadliest shootings in the U.S. this year, the accused gunman displayed warning signs before his killing spree. Nikolas Cruz demonstrated an obsession with guns and was the subject of more than a dozen police visits at home before he went on a shooting rampage that left 17 dead at his former high school in Parkland, Fl.  Ian David Long, who authorities say burst into the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Ca., Wednesday and gunned down 12 people before taking his own life, was found to be “acting a little irrationally’’ when police visited his house in April. Yet Cruz and Long were both deemed not to be a danger to themselves or others, and they were neither committed for treatment nor forbidden from possessing weapons, USA Today reports.

Amid the grief over another mass shooting, there’s a sense of frustration over the failure to pick up on those cues. Mental health experts say that, in the absence of expressed credible threats, predicting violent behavior presents a significant challenge. “The ability to identify an individual’s first violent act is extraordinarily difficult – I would say it’s impossible,’’ said Steven Hoge, a forensic psychiatrist and clinical professor at Columbia University. Hoge warned against the common perception that the mental health system should identify dangerous people and get them off the streets. Even though they can begin the process of involuntary commitment when they determine someone to be dangerous, he said, the role of mental health professionals is to provide care.” Ventura County, Ca., Sheriff deputies had mental health specialists evaluate Long in April. They did not pursue further action.

from https://thecrimereport.org

FL Yoga Studio Killer Had Been Accused of Harassment

Scott Beierle, who was accused of killing two women and injuring five other people at a Tallahassee, Fl., yoga studio on Friday was the subject of previous complaints related to the harassment of young women. Beierle killed himself at the scene.

The man accused of killing two women and injuring five other people at a Tallahassee, Fl., yoga studio on Friday was the subject of previous complaints related to the harassment of young women, the Wall Street Journal reports. Scott Beierle posed as a customer at Hot Yoga Tallahassee before he took out a handgun and started shooting Friday afternoon, said the Tallahassee Police Department. Customers “fought the assailant to prevent him from harming themselves and others,” police said. Beierle then shot himself, and first responders found him dead on the scene.

Police described Beierle as a 40-year-old graduate of Florida State University and military veteran. He lived in Deltona, Fl., but was staying in a hotel in Tallahassee. Investigators were still trying to determine his motive and whether he had any connection to the victims or the yoga studio. Beierle appeared to have made a series of YouTube videos in 2014 in which he ranted against women and blacks. The YouTube account in question was terminated this weekend.  YouTube is typically alerted to troublesome content when users report it. A spokesman for the Tallahassee Police Department said “multiple search warrants have been obtained on the assailant’s electronic devices and all social media profiles.” The police identified those killed as Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, 61, a faculty member at Florida State University’s College of Medicine, and Maura Binkley, a 21-year-old student at FSU. Four other women and a man suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Racial Motives Investigated in KY Grocery Shooting

Minutes before the man accused of gunning down two Kentucky shoppers walked into the grocery, he tried to enter a predominantly black church. That detail fueled speculation about the motives in the shooting in which Gregory Alan Bush has been charged. Bush, 51, is white. His two victims were black. A witness said the suspect told him that “whites don’t shoot whites.”

Minutes before the man accused of gunning down two shoppers at a Jeffersontown, Ky., Kroger walked into the grocery on Wednesday, he tried to enter a predominantly black church, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. That detail fueled questions and speculation about the motives in the shooting in which Gregory Alan Bush has been charged. Bush, 51, is white. Victims Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Lee Jones, 67, were black. A witness who said he encountered the suspect in the parking lot said the man told him that “whites don’t shoot whites.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the incident is being looked at as a possible hate crimes investigation.

Nicole Talbert, a sales manager whose father was a childhood friend of Stallard, said “there’s not a doubt in my mind this was racially motivated.” Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, supported investigating the incident as a hate crime. While acknowledging the suspect may have mental health issues, she said, “his (Facebook) posts, his comments, and his visit to First Baptist Jeffersontown lead us to express our concern.” Both Stallard and Jones were shot from behind and shot multiple times, said Jeffersontown Police Chief Sam Rogers. He said the shooter was only an “arm’s length” away from Jones when she was shot in the parking lot. Stallard was shot inside the store while shopping for poster board with his 12-year-old grandson, who fled outside. Bush is facing two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment. Authorities are investigating where Bush got the gun used in the shootings and whether Bush was allowed to have a weapon.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Accused KY Store Shooter Called Himself Schizophrenic

A man accused of shooting and killing two people at a Kentucky grocery store paints himself as mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia. A Facebook page that appears to be
Gregory Bush’s says he is on disability because his “paranoid-schizophrenia finally stopped me from working.”

A man accused of shooting and killing two people Wednesday at a Kentucky grocery store paints himself as mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia, according to a Facebook page that appears to be his, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Gregory Bush, 51, is facing two counts of murder and 10 counts of wanton endangerment following the public shooting that left one man dead inside the store and a woman slain in the parking lot. A Facebook page that appears to be Bush’s says he is on disability because his “paranoid-schizophrenia finally stopped me from working.” The page says, “I have worked most of my life and battled mental illness throughout my life.”

The Courier Journal said it had not been able to independently verify whether Bush wrote what is on the Facebook page, nor could it confirm whether Bush has any mental illness or is on any sort of disability. Around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bush allegedly walked into a Kroger store and “pulled a pistol from his waistband and shot (a man) in the rear of the head and again multiple times as he lay on the floor,” according to an arrest citation. Bush then allegedly re-holstered his weapon and walked out of the store. Outside, he reportedly drew his weapon again and shot and killed a woman in the parking lot.  Another shopper, who had a concealed weapon permit, then “challenged” Bush, and Bush began “firing wildly at the civilian throughout the parking lot.” Police arrested Bush at a nearby bank.

from https://thecrimereport.org

No Shootings in New York City All Weekend

There were no shootings in New York City last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, marking the first weekend free of shootings in at least a quarter-century. Mayor
Bill de Blasio says, “Isn’t that amazing?”

There were no shootings in New York City last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, marking the first weekend free of shootings in at least a quarter-century, the New York Post reports. “I really don’t remember a weekend that no one was shot in the entire city,” NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who has worked at the department since 1982. “It’s a different city.” Mayor Bill de Blasio told an NYPD graduating, “There was not a single shooting in all of New York City. Isn’t that amazing?”

The last shooting before to the recent streak occurred Thursday morning in Brooklyn, when a 25-year-old man was blasted in the stomach. The city’s safety streak was snapped by Monday afternoon, when a man was shot at around 1:15 p.m. The Bronx, authorities said. Police Commissioner James O’Neill added, “That’s something not just the NYPD, but . . . all New Yorkers [should] be proud of.” According to the latest NYPD crime figures, through Sunday, there have been 734 shootings so far in 2018, a 2.5 percent drop from the 753 at the same point in 2017.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Michigan Man Guilty of Shooting at Lost Teen

A white Michigan homeowner was convicted Friday of shooting at a lost black teenager who showed up at his door seeking directions to his school. The incident prompted accusations of racial bias.

In a case that attracted national attention and local outrage, a white Michigan homeowner was convicted Friday of shooting at a lost black teenager who showed up at his door seeking directions to his school, the Detroit News reports. Jeffrey Zeigler, 53, was found guilty by an Oakland County jury of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the April 12 incident involving Brennan Walker, 14. He had been charged with assault with intent to commit murder, but Judge Wendy Potts gave jurors the option of convicting Zeigler on the lesser charge.

Defense attorney Rob Morad said the prosecution did not prove an intent to murder or kill Walker. “You had a couple who have had several breaking and enterings and were fearful. His wife’s screams put things in motion, but he loves her and was trying to protect her. I expect he wished he had done a lot of things differently. I know he wished he had never gone outside his house that morning.” The incident prompted accusations that it was racially motivated. Prosecutor Kelly Collins told the jury evidence indicates Walker, then a high school freshman, escaped fatal injury only because Zeigler was unable to immediately fire his 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun  because the safety was engaged. Morad told jurors his client was firing into the air, not to harm anyone, and trying to protect his wife. “If he wanted to kill him, he could have shot him on the porch,” Morad said.

from https://thecrimereport.org

FBI May Expand Study of Mass Shooter Psychology

The agency may launch a broad-based study involving interviews with many mass shooters to seek patterns in their backgrounds, thinking and behavior. There were 30 “active shooter” incidents last year.

The FBI is embarking on an effort to understand better the psychology behind mass shooters. The bureau has conducted a few interviews with perpetrators of mass killings in an effort to find commonalities in what motivated them to attack. Now the agency may launch a broad-based study to interview many mass shooters and look for patterns in their backgrounds, thinking and behavior. “We’re definitely missing a piece of the puzzle through the offenders’ eyes,” said Sarah Craun of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. The potential study would be similar to research the FBI and Secret Service have conducted into serial killers, school shooters and assassins. It would likely take several years. The FBI declined to say how many mass shooters it hopes to interview.

Four of the five deadliest U.S. mass shootings have taken place since 2012, including last year’s Oct. 1 massacre that claimed the lives of 58 Las Vegas concertgoers and the Sutherland Springs, Tx., church shooting that left 26 dead. The 30 active shooter incidents in 2017 and the 138 people killed were both the highest totals since the FBI began keeping track in 2000, though they make up a tiny fraction of the nation’s homicides. The seeming randomness of the attacks often baffles the police and the public. Understanding what makes these types of killers tick could help identify potential attackers beforehand, law-enforcement and security officials say. “People are hungry for anything that can prevent this or predict this or deal with it better,” said criminologist Gregory Vecchi of Missouri Western State University, former chief of the FBI unit now known as Behavioral Analysis. An FBI review of the case files of 63 mass shooters found that only one-quarter had ever been diagnosed with a mental illness and only five percent had been convicted of a violent felony.

from https://thecrimereport.org