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David Hines [userpic]

in other news

June 13th, 2009 (10:27 pm)
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The names of the other two guards involved in the Holocaust Museum shootout have been released. They're Harry Weeks and Jason McCuiston. One's a retired cop, the other is thirty years old and was a cop in Georgia before he moved back home to the DC area and took the job as a museum guard. It was sheer luck that they were in the lobby. Weeks had been working somewhere else before a supervisor asked him to go work the metal detectors; McCuiston was roaming around serving as a stand-in for guards who went on break. The WASHINGTON POST reports that it was McCuiston's first gunfight; the article hints that Weeks was in one before, about 25 years ago.

They're not clear yet to talk about the details on the gunfight, but from what I've read, here's how it went down: the perpetrator approached the museum carrying a .22 pump-action Winchester rifle vertically, under one arm. I don't know if he wore a concealing garment, like a long coat, or if he was just hiding it using his body; his age probably helped, because nobody really looks at an 88-year-old guy to see if he's packing. As he approached the door, guard Stephen Tyrone Johns saw him and courteously opened the door for him. As Johns did so, the perp deployed the gun and shot him in the upper right chest. A .22 is not commonly considered a man-stopping round, but this one apparently did some pretty serious damage, because Johns later died in the hospital. Johns went down; he was grievously injured and in shock, and was not able to draw his weapon. Weeks and McCuiston were able to, and did. They fired eight shots. I don't know if the perp fired at them, or what distances were involved except that like most gunfights, it was pretty short. Also like most gunfights, the adrenaline dump caused accuracy to go all to hell: only one of the eight rounds Weeks and McCuiston fired scored a hit. A good hit, though; nailed the perpetrator in the face. The round exited through his neck. The perp went down. He remains in the hospital in critical condition and, one hopes, in serious agony.

Police searching the perpetrator's room found another rifle: make and model unknown, described as .30 caliber. Interesting he didn't use that. Reports are that the perp was in financial straits; evidently he sought to combine a hate crime with suicide by cop. He also had a list of targets in his car. This list included locations significant to Jews and blacks, as well as Washington National Cathedral, a local Fox News office, and the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard. The breadth of the perpetrator's hate is truly astounding; he vilified everybody from Barack Obama to Bill O'Reilly. When I was a kid in school, we watched a film of Bill Cosby demonstrating the venality of bigotry by performing a character who systematically vilifies every single ethnicity and type of person imaginable. It's the kind of thing that adults find deeply meaningful and significant and kids find stupid and boring. Reading about the perpetrator, though, made me recall that film: he truly hated everybody.

Comments

Posted by: Drooling Fan Girl (droolfangrrl)
Posted at: June 14th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)

I wonder how Johns' family is doing...

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