July 2019 - Mass Shooting News

Locals rally in response to Brownsville mass shooting


By Aidan Graham

Brooklyn Paper

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Photo by Caroline Ourso

Demonstrators gathered for a rally on July 29 in response to a mass shooting in Brownsville that left one dead and 11 others injured.

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Al Matthews carries his granddaughter Mackinze as they march through Brownsville in response to a deadly shooting just days earlier.

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Ralliers marched down Mother Gaston Boulevard in an effort to raise awareness to curb gun violence in Brownsville.

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Photo by Caroline Ourso

Demonstrators took to the streets to demand action to curb violence in northern Brooklyn.

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Four-year-old Dakota McKay passes out flyers at the rally on July 29.

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The Brownsville Rapid Response Coalition organized the rally on short notice after the tragic incident on Saturday night.

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Minister Mickens poses with a explains his ideas to curb gun violence.

Locals rallied in Brownsville on Monday to demand an end to gun violence following a mass shooting that left one dead and 11 wounded last week.

“It’s about taking back our community,” said Brownsville native Alice McKay. “It’s a call to action to the community, to let people know that they don’t have to be a victim of gun violence.”

Multiple gunmen opened fire at the annual Old Timers Day block party at Hegeman and Christopher avenues on July 27, striking a dozen partygoers — including 38-year-old Jason Pagan, who later died at Brookdale Hospital, cops said.

Police have yet to make an arrest in relation to the killing, but authorities are searching for at least two shooters, who detectives suspect may be members of local street gangs, according to Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

As the investigation continues, hundreds of Brownsville residents took to the streets, marching down Mother Gaston Boulevard to demand action.

“I lost my son to gun violence here in the same community that I grew up in. It breaks my heart to have lost a child — period,” said McKay, whose son was shot and killed in 2014. “But to know that this happened in the same community that I grew up in and love is heartbreak­ing.”

McKay called on Brownsville residents to band together to enrich their communities and provide the youth with an alternative to a life on the streets.

“We need to get more resources for our communities. We used to have community centers — not just liquor stores and laundromats,” she said. “Part of it is because we’ve lost resources, we don’t vote like we need to, and we don’t advocate for ourselves like we need to.”

Another demonstrator spoke bluntly about the need to invest in the local economy and create jobs.

“Most of the time when someone discharges a gun, it’s about a dollar bill,” said Minister Mickens. “It’s always about some kind of currency.”

Mickens took advantage of the rally to promote his advocacy group Community Checkpoints — which collects donations to hire security guards to protect high-crime neighborhoods — saying communities like Brownsville need more boots on the ground in the war against gun violence.

“Every street is vulnerable to gun violence. Every community is vulnerable to gun violence. Every playground is the same way, because you don’t have security there,” he said. “We need a real plan to stop this.”

Police are offering a combined reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunmen involved in Saturday’s murder.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at www.NYPDcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @NYPDTips, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Updated 2:58 pm, July 31, 2019

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Police offer $10k reward for info in Brownsville mass shooting


Police taped off the playground where one or more shooters shot twelve people — killing one — at a n annual block party in Brownsville. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg

Cops are offering up to $10,000 to anyone with information that could help them secure an arrest in the Brownsville mass shooting Saturday night that left one man dead and 11 others injured.

Just before 11 p.m. on Saturday as Brownsville’s Old Timers Day block party was winding down, at least two people opened fire into a crowded playground where thousands of revelers were gathered, causing pandemonium and panic. Police have not yet identified any suspects in the case, but they are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related, according to NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill.

CrimeStoppers offered a $2,500 reward the day after the Brownsville mass shooting. Eagle photo by Noah Goldberg

NYPD CrimeStoppers would pay $2,500 of the reward upon arrest and indictment, while $7,500 would be paid out by the police department upon conviction.

The shooting injured possibly the most New Yorkers of any shooting since 2013, according to the gun violence archive. Still, Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to call it a mass shooting, sparking frustration among community members as well as Brownsville elected officials who gathered for a march Monday.


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After Another Tragic Shooting, Communities Deal With Mass Shooting Fatigue



SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — From concerts to places of worship to school campuses and now festivals, mass shootings have become all too common in the United States. Just this weekend alone, at least eight people were killed and almost 50 injured in eight shootings across the country.

The pictures and stories can be hard to watch and hear.

“We were listening to CNN last night and we were going to listen to what the father says about the death of his 6-year-old son, and I just said ‘I can’t listen to this.’ I turned off my radio off. So yeah, we’re really tired of it,” said Marysville resident Pamela Johnson. 

The traumatic images, the sounds, the terror on people’s faces are certainly having a real impact on society as a whole.

“Our hearts are broken every time we hear this. From movie theater shooting, to Las Vegas. It goes on and on and on,” said Johnson.

READ ALSO: Medical Professionals Stress Importance Of Tourniquet Training After Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting

It may not be a clinical term, but the phrase “mass shooting fatigue,” resonates with some Sacramento area folks seeing these rampages play out far too often.

“We’re numbing ourselves to it, and not allowing ourselves to feel,” said Sacramento mental health professional Trevor Gjeltena.

Gjeltena says people are having difficulty just watching it on television, and in a way, some are going into survival mode.

“Where we change the channel, we have another beer, we tune out a little more cause we don’t want whatever it is to impact our psyche, at the same time it’s something that’s taking a deeper toll,” said Gjeltena.

“I don’t think it should go unreported, but sometimes people need to shut it off,” said Heather Woodford, a licensed clinical social worker.

READ: From Lost2Found: Front Street Shelter’s Program Helps Reunite Pets With Families

Gjeltena, who works closely with kids, says there’s a broader impact.

“Parents aren’t letting kids out like they used to, they’re sheltering them at home more and how that impacts society,” he said.

He adds that in schools, it’s something that’s on the consciousness of every student these days.

“It’s not just oh it’s a fire drill… it’s ‘how do I check in with my friends afterwards, how do I figure out who’s safe?’” said Gjetena.

Johnson says her tuning out is not out of empathy, in fact, the opposite. She’s frustrated and heartbroken that more is not being done.

She says the hope is to take this tragedy and turn it into action and change.



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Community of Gilroy works toward healing after mass shooting


Community of Gilroy works toward healing after mass shooting

Updated: 9:00 PM PDT Jul 30, 2019

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GILROY WITH HOW THEY ARE TRYING TO HEAL. VICKI: GILROY’S POPULATION IS JUST OVER 50,000 PEOPLE. THE GARLIC CAPITAL OF THE WORLD ENERGY, ON PAUSE. >> IT’S USUALLY PRETTY HAPPY GO-LUCKY. GILROY IS SALT OF THE EARTH KIND OF PEOPLE. BUT I THINK IT’S ROCKED THIS COMMUNITY. VICKI: BUT THE COMMUNITY IS WRAPPING ITS ARMS AROUND NEIGHBORS, THE BEST WAY THEY KNOW HOW. >> I LOVE MY TOWN. I’M PROUD TO BE RAISED HERE. VICKI: CAL SILK UNDERSTANDS THAT MEANING OF HOMETOWN. >> WE’RE FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1985. VICKI: THE GILROY SCREEN PRINTING COMPANY, COPING THROUGH TRAUMA. > IT REALLY HITS HOME. PEOPLE NOT RESPONDING TO ME. WHERE ARE YOU? I’M LIKE, WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS? VICKI: GILROY STRONG TO PUSH THROUGH THE DARKEST TIME. >> WE WERE THERE. I HAD A SHOT HIT ABOUT THREE FEET FROM ME. SO, IT WAS NERVE-WRACKING. VICKI: SCOTT AND BRETT MCWILLIAMS, AMONG THE FIRST IN LINE. >> I WAS 100 FEET FROM IT. FIRST, I THOUGHT IT WA FIRECRACKERS AND THEN I SAW GUNSHOTS, AND I WAS LIKE, NO., WHY IN GILROY? VICKI: WHILE OUT OF TOWN VENDOR VINZINA INIGARIDA, IS STRANDED, HER BELONGINGS STILL AT CHRISTMAS HILL PARK. >> SEEING THEM DROP RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY BOOTH AND RUNNING INTO MY BOOTH FOR COVER AND FOR SHELTER. I HAD LITTLE 13-YEAR-OLD GIRLS THAT WERE TREMBLING AND CRYING. VICKI: BUT NOW FOREVER CONNECTED TO GILROY. >> EVEN THOUGH I LIVE IN ESCONDIDO IT’S STILL THE SAME. I FEEL THE STRENGTH. WE ARE ALL TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY. VICKI: THROUGH TERROR, SHOWN THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, GILROY NATIVE SILVIA URIZAR, PULLING THEM OUT OF A RED CROSS SHELTER, OPENING THE DOORS TO HER HOME. >> WE WENT TO A PLACE AND GOT SOME FOOD. WENT TO HER HOME AND WE STAYED THERE. >> WE’RE ALL HUMAN AND WE ALL HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER. AND THE REALITY IS THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY A THERAPY MYSELF, BEING A VICTIM MYSELF. VICKI: A HASHTAG TOWARDS HEALING, THAT ALREADY HUNDREDS, AND QUITE POSSIBLY THOUSANDS, WILL BE WEARING CLOSE TO THEIR HEART. >> WE KNOW IT’S HAPPENED ELSEWHERE. WE NEVER WANT IT TO HAPPEN HERE. BUT IT DID. SO NOW WE’RE ONE OF THOSE GROUPS THAT HAVE TO HEAL AND MOVE ON.

Community of Gilroy works toward healing after mass shooting

Updated: 9:00 PM PDT Jul 30, 2019

Gilroy residents continue to reel from the deadly mass shooting at the annual Garlic Festival. The community came together on Tuesday to help each heal and move forward. Garlic Festival vendors and volunteers were able to gather their belongings and vehicles. However, many fairgoers still have not been able to get their property because the investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Get the full story in the video above.

GILROY, Calif. —

Gilroy residents continue to reel from the deadly mass shooting at the annual Garlic Festival.

The community came together on Tuesday to help each heal and move forward.

Garlic Festival vendors and volunteers were able to gather their belongings and vehicles. However, many fairgoers still have not been able to get their property because the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Get the full story in the video above.



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Scott Adams, Dilbert Creator, Has One Regret About Mass Shooting Tweet


Scott Adams, the 62-year-old creator of the Dilbert comic strip, said he was flipping between CNN and Fox in his home in Pleasanton, Calif., on Sunday when it hit him: His moment had come.

In an interview on Tuesday, he explained that he had been planning to use a big news event to promote his online expert company, which has been struggling to find users.

A few hours earlier, a gunman had opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, 60 miles south of his home. He said he was frustrated by how little the witnesses interviewed by broadcast journalists seemed to know. His site could help, he thought.

And so, seated in the comfort of his home, with its indoor tennis court and three microwave ovens (more on that later), he took action: “I dashed off a tweet and did not think about it.”

In particular the phrase “set your price” — amid a tragedy that took the lives of a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and 25-year-old biologist — struck many people as insensitive. Rather quickly, his tweet was “ratioed,” eventually accumulating more than 1,300 comments, far outnumbering the likes and retweets, the equivalent of a beating in the virtual square.

“THERE WAS A TRAGEDY, USE MY APP,” one user wrote.

“And the ghoulish grifter chimes in,” wrote another.

A user who described sitting in Gilroy with scared family members wrote: “Choppers overhead as we are sheltered in place in the ACTIVE MANHUNT SEARCH ZONE & YOU CARE ABOUT OPTIMIZING THE ALMIGHTY $? DO NOT PASS GO, JUST GO TO HELL!!”

In the interview, Mr. Adams said he regretted the “set your price” wording because it masked the fact that people who sign up for his site are not required to charge for an interview, and because he really believes his site could facilitate better journalism and help connect people to good experts.

“I wouldn’t do it the same way again,” he said, noting that he has promoted his company during two natural disasters without generating any resistance.

But what about the fee that his company collects per interview?

“If you think $5 is money; I don’t,” he said, laughing. (For context: According to Mr. Adams, he was once was paid $100,000 to speak for an hour on techniques for success.)

For anyone who has peeked at Mr. Adams’s Twitter feed in the last few years, however, none of this should come as a big surprise. There are the typical tweets promoting his widely syndicated comic strip, which he has been creating for more than 30 years. But there are also plenty of hints of his other identity: online provocateur.

He is an admirer of President Trump, and he admits to borrowing some of the president’s style. “One of the things that you can learn from Trump’s approach is that energy is more important than being technically correct,” he said on Tuesday.

In a live Periscope video, he connected the recent backlash to his support of the president. “The pushback I’m getting is fueled by the intense hatred of Trump and of anybody who’s ever said anything good about Trump,” he said in one widely circulated remark.

Still, how did a Bay Area-based artist, known for creating a widely syndicated comic strip about the indignities of office life, get to this point? We put some questions to Mr. Adams.

Has he always been a Republican?

No. In fact, the last presidential candidate he voted for was Al Gore, he said. Since then, he said, he has stopped participating in elections.

“I publicly don’t vote because it causes bias,” he said, adding that “I define myself as left of Bernie.”

His appreciation of President Trump is about communication methods, he said. Mr. Adams is a trained hypnotist and has written a book about the art of persuasion.

“He is more persuasive than any public figure I’ve ever seen,” he said of the president. “Early on in 2015 I saw his skill set and thought no one has that skill set. You can’t recognize persuasion unless you’ve studied it.”

Has he met President Trump?

Yes. Mr. Adams said that he was invited to the White House to meet the president after the publication of his book “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter.” The book explores Mr. Trump’s unconventional candidacy.

“Apparently my book ‘Win Bigly’ made a big impact on his advisers, and he wanted to chat,” Mr. Adams said in a direct message on Twitter.

Why does he run a tech start-up?

For an creative person, Mr. Adams has long had an unconventional relationship with work. Even as his comic strip took off, he chose to keep a $70,000-a-year job as an applications engineer at Pacific Bell.

In 1995, The New York Times wrote, “For nearly two decades he has been a denizen of the very environment he lampoons, toiling anonymously in his own cubicle on obscure corporate projects.”

He later ventured into restaurants and a food company, neither of which were particularly successful. The Dilberito, a vitamin-packed meatless burrito, never quite took off. Though his restaurant employees seemed to enjoy his company, they told The Times in 2007 that he had no idea what he was doing.

More recently, he created WhenHub, a venture that aims to connect journalists, investors and others to experts. The home page features dozens of so-called video advisers, including a man who charges $499 an hour for “triple-investment commissions,” another man who will discuss African safaris for $1 an hour and man who will discuss socialism for $100 an hour.

Why does he have three microwaves?

When this fact appeared in a Bloomberg article, it raised more questions than it answered. He needed them, he said, for making popcorn. But how much popcorn could a person eat at once? In an interview with The New York Times, he clarified that it was because he needed popcorn in bulk for guests enjoying his home theater.



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Comedy Central Swapping Out 'Alternatino' Episode Following Garlic Festival Shooting (Exclusive)


The Comedy Central sketch show “Alternatino” is pulling tonight’s originally scheduled episode, “The Gift,” which includes a sketch with a mass-shooting theme, TheWrap has learned exclusively. Instead, the Viacom network will air next week’s original episode in its place and plans to run “The Gift” next week. The decision was made two days after three people were killed in an active shooter situation in Northern California.

In the sketch in question, comedian and show creator Arturo Castro plays a Guatemalan immigrant who is taking a “Welcome to the United States” class when his teacher cautions them about gun violence, including mass shootings. Castro’s character is in disbelief that shootings are so prevalent and seemingly random in the United States.

When reached by TheWrap, Comedy Central had no comment on the programming decision.

“Alternatino” is a sketch comedy show in its first season. Sketches on the show have explored topics like President Donald Trump’s aid to Puerto Rico after the 2017 hurricanes, Latino stereotypes and Latino representation in film and TV.

The show has been well-received by critics, with a current score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 63 on Metacritic.



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After Brownsville Mass Shooting, Officials Call For More Anti-Violence Funding, Not Cops


(Caroline Lewis / Gothamist)

After a shooting Saturday night at Brownsville’s 56th annual Old Timers Day celebration left one dead and 11 others injured, some local elected officials are calling for more city funding for community-based anti-violence programs and cautioning that a greater police presence is not the answer.

“If police could solve the problem, it would be solved already,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said during a speech at a rally and march in Brownsville on Monday evening that was organized by the newly formed Brownsville Rapid Response Coalition. The coalition includes community-based anti-violence groups and local elected officials as well as city agencies and the NYPD.

According to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, more than 100 police officers were on hand Saturday at the concert that closed out the days-long Old Timers festival, which draws people who grew up in Brownsville back to the neighborhood each year.

In an interview at Monday’s rally, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the city should not resort to the same kind of amped-up police presence at future Old Timers Day events that it has deployed in response to violence at J’Ourvet, another beloved annual Brooklyn festival.

“That kind of manpower is not the trick,” said the retired NYPD captain. “I think instead of having 100 police [at Old Timers Day], lets have 100 members from S.O.S. and Man Up!.”

Christian Matthew, a 14-year-old youth ambassador with the anti-violence group Guns Down Life Up, lives in the Bronx but came to the rally Monday to show solidarity with Brownsville, as did others from other parts of the city. (Caroline Lewis / Gothamist)

Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) and Man Up!, which intervene to reduce violence in high-crime areas using tactics like conflict mediation and peer mentorship, were among about a dozen anti-violence organizations represented at Monday’s gathering, which convened outside the Brownsville Recreation Center, where the shooting took place. The rally proceeded up Hegeman Avenue with chants like “Brownsville in, violence out!” and “Never ran, never will: Brownsville!”

Adams said the $36 million or so the city invests in its Cure Violence programs, which take a public health approach to gun violence and have been shown to reduce gun injuries, is not enough, and leaves some known “hotspots” without violence interrupter programs.

City Councilwoman Inez Barron is among those who echoed this sentiment, saying in her speech at the rally, “The people who formed this coalition are the people who are here everyday doing the work and their funding needs to be expanded.”

Elected officials also renewed the call for the bloody incident to be labeled a mass shooting, so it could be met with the same outpouring of support and resources that other mass shootings across the country have received. It’s a designation Mayor Bill de Blasio, who traveled to Michigan on Tuesday to campaign for president, has hesitated to use, saying the phrase is “usually reserved for a different type of situation than what I know this to be so far.”

The NYPD said Monday it’s looking for two or more suspects in the shooting and said 38-year-old Jason Pagan, the man who was fatally shot, was a member of the Bloods.

(Caroline Lewis / Gothamist)

Some in attendance at the rally speculated that whoever committed the crime wasn’t from the neighborhood. But regardless of who was responsible, people said they should be treated as trauma victims, and not allow anyone to normalize violence in Brownsville.

“This ain’t what we about out here,” said Eric Smith, 51, who has lived in Brownsville his whole life and said he attends Old Timers Day events each year to reconnect with old friends who have left the neighborhood. “This is the first time anything like this has happened.

Saturday’s shooting took place just moments after a band played the last song of the night, “Family Reunion,” by the O’Jays, and many sang along, said Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, who was leaving when shots rang out and said she was left traumatized by the event.

“I talked to family and friends and they said, ‘This is not your first shootout,’” Ampry-Samuel told the crowd Monday evening. “And I said, ‘Yes, but it’s my first shootout after Old Timers Day with 12 people lying on the ground.’”



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Gilroy Vigils Honor Mass Shooting Victims


PIX SportsPIX Sports late edition (7-29-2019)

2 hours ago

Gilroy Vigils Honor Mass Shooting VictimsLess than 24 hours after the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, hundreds turned out for two vigils Monday evening to share their pain and their strength. Betty Yu reports. (7-29-2019)

3 hours ago

Investigators Continue Extensive, Complex Probe Into Gilroy Gunman’s MotiveInvestigators worked around the block, trying to piece together why 19-year-old Santino William Legan opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday, killing three victims. Maria Medina reports. (7-29-2019)

3 hours ago

Aunt Of Teen Slain In Gilroy Mass Shooting Hopes Her Death Sparks Change13-year-old Keyla Salazar had been hit by gunfire during Sunday’s mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival and died instantly, but her family didn’t know the truth until seven hours after the shooting. Christin Ayers reports. (7-29-2019)

4 hours ago

KPIX 5 Security Expert: Violence Prevention ‘Nearly Impossible’ With Gunman Driven By HateEven with a security check at the entrance to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, a gunman was able to cut his way through a fence and get inside with a high-powered rifle.

7 hours ago

New Details Emerge In Italy Cop Killing Allegedly Involving Bay Area TeensDetails are emerging out of Italy after a police officer was stabbed to death in Rome, allegedly at the hands of a Bay Area teen and a friend.

7 hours ago

Family, Neighbors Remember 6-Year-Old Boy Killed In Gilroy Garlic Festival ShootingNeighbors say six year old Stephen Romero was a fun-loving fixture in his East San Jose neighborhood.

8 hours ago



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Personal stories emerge during public listening session for Virginia Beach mass shooting investigation


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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Hillard Heintze, the firm hired to investigate the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, held their first public listening session on Monday.

In a question-and-answer set up, the investigative team heard from city employees and concerned citizens.

While they couldn’t respond to every statement, they did get a feel for what concerns people have.

“From our perspective, we hope and pray that you review documents [and] that you’re reviewing documents of the workplace environment that this was hatched,” one man said.

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting

Another woman in attendance said, “I don’t feel comfortable going in [government buildings] knowing that there’s some safety or no safety – that anyone can walk in there. There’s no cameras.”

The meeting was part of a three-phase plan that is expected to last 12 weeks.

In opening remarks, Chief Operating Officer Ken Bouche reiterated that the team will look at everything from city policy and procedures to possible warning signs.

People in attendance want investigators to look at race relations and the workplace environment, claiming toxicity in both respects.

The city can’t respond to these allegations because the investigation review is underway. However, the Hillard Heintze team maintains they will take every piece of information seriously and produce an unbiased and unfiltered report.

There will be another public listening session on August 8 at 7 p.m at the Sandler Center.

If you are unable to make it, you can submit comments in an anonymous email at virginiabeach@hillardheintze.com or by phone at 877-208-5650.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting. 



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Sunday Was a Big Night for Unfortunate Exercises of Our Second Amendment Rights


MediaNews Group/The Mercury NewsGetty Images

28 July 2019.

Gilroy, California.

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Butcher’s Bill: Nine dead, 17 injured.

The Gilroy shooting is the one getting all the attention because two of the murdered people were children, and because the shooter apparently was a deranged Dylann Roof wannabe, and because it conforms to the made-for-TV specifications of a mass shooting. But five people were shot to death in Chippewa Falls, in their homes. The shooter is one of them, so we may never know why. In Philadelphia, an aspiring rapper was shot in the head right before he was about to film a video. And, probably because the shooter was a bloodthirsty moron, five more people got shot there, too. From Channel 6 in Philadelphia:

“A .380 caliber handgun was discovered on his person. The firearm was loaded at the time of recovery,” said Captain Smith.

Sunday night was a big night for the unfortunate exercise of Second Amendment rights in this country.

Respond to this post on the Esquire Politics Facebook page here.

Charles P. Pierce
Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, mostly recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.



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