Daily Archives: May 2, 2012
A border militia leader on Wednesday shot and killed four people at a Gilbert home, including a toddler, before committing suicide, sources said.
Sources identified the shooter as Jason “J.T.” Ready, a reputed neo-Nazi who made headlines when he launched a militia movement to patrol the Arizona desert to hunt for illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.
Ready was a former Marine who headed the the U.S. Border Guard, a militia-style group that routinely performed armed patrols in the southern Arizona desert.
At least one person survived the shooting.
It’s not immediately known the gender or ages of the other victims, besides the youngest of the group, a girl between 1 and 2 years old, said Gilbert police Sgt. Bill Balafas. The survivor was being treated at Maricopa Medical Center.
The gunman’s motives also is unknown. Authorities recovered two handguns and a shotgun from the scene, Balafas said.
The shootings occurred sometime after 1 p.m. in a residential area in the 500 block of West Tumbleweed Road, near Warner and Cooper roads.
Balafas said the youngest victim was taken from the scene to Maricopa Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
“There were signs of life, that’s why we transported her,” Balafas said. “This is a domestic situation. We do have a witness that our investigators are interviewing.”
Balafas said the witness saw at least part of the incident.
DeAnn Rawson, 38, who has lived in the Lago Estancia neighborhood for 13 years, said she was “sick to my stomach, as you can tell everyone driving by is absolutely shocked.”
Rawson stood on a street corner and answered drivers who rolled down their windows to ask what happened.
“I would have come and got her,” Rawson said of the youngest victim. “It makes me mad. I can’t have children and you have other people doing things that are insane.”
Gary Davis, who also lives in the neighborhood, stood outside Wednesday afternoon, watching the commotion.
“There’s no excuse for taking a child’s life,” Davis said. “Nothing ever happens in this neighborhood. It’s a shock to us.”
Mesquite Junior High School, along with nearby Gilbert Elementary School, was placed on “modified lockdown” status — meaning classes go on as normal, but students are not allowed to leave and no one is allowed to enter the building — until 2 p.m.
Witnesses in the neighborhood said a SWAT team sealed off part of the area and that investigators told residents to remain indoors.
Nearly an hour after the shootings occurred, police were milling around the neighborhood of stucco homes with red-tile roofs. Police tape cordoned off three separate areas of Tumbleweed Road.
A man equipped with several firearms and body armor killed four people, including a toddler, on Wednesday in Gilbert, Ariz., authorities told azcentral.com. He then killed himself.
J. T. Ready, a neo-Nazi and member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, was among the dead. It is still unclear what role he played in the shootings, although sources told azcentral.com that he was the shooter.
The shootings took place after 1 p.m. Within an hour, police were walking through the residential area where the shootings took place, according to azcentral.com. Two handguns and a shotgun were recovered from the
At least one person survived the shooting, azcentral.com reported, and is being treated at a nearby hospital.
Police did not provide information about how many people were shot or their conditions, other than the toddler was a girl, between one and 2-years-old.
Law enforcement agents had been nervous about Ready, according to a 2010 story by the Associated Press, not just because he led a militia group that watched for immigrants crossing illegally into the United States, but because he was heavily armed and a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi.
“These are explicit Nazis,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project told the AP. “These are people who wear swastikas on their sleeves.”
Down the street from where the shooting took place, neighbor Lieselotte Senge said she heard a loud boom around 1 p.m. and stepped out on her stoop to see where it came from.
“All of a sudden I saw all of the police cars,” Senge told msnbc.com. They were in the garage of a woman who Senge said had a daughter and infant granddaughter.
By afternoon, Senge said, school children were escorted to their homes by police officers.
The neighborhood is quiet and residential, Senge said, and apart from the occasional wave, neighbors mostly keep to themselves. Gilbert is a city of 208,000 southeast of Phoenix.
BOSTON (CBS) — Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead in his home in Oceanside, Calif., on Wednesday, according to TMZ.
TMZ reported that Seau shot himself. The North County Times also reported the death was the result of a suicide. The newspaper reported that a housekeeper found Seau with a gunshot wound in his chest.
The report said that police and the coroner’s office were called to Seau’s home to investigate a possible shooting. A 911 call was placed around 10 a.m. local time, according to TMZ.
The report says that police and the coroner’s office are investigating a scene inside Seau’s home, though the details are still unclear.
Seau was in the news in 2010 for driving his car off a cliff after an alleged domestic dispute.
Seau, 43, spent 20 seasons in the NFL, most recently playing for the New England Patriots from 2006-09. He was a 12-time Pro Bowler and 10-time All-Pro. The fifth overall pick in the 1990 draft, Seau was inducted into the USC Ring of Honor and the Chargers Hall of Fame, and he looked to be a lock for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for which he becomes eligible in 2014.
Seau twice came out of retirement to join the Patriots, first in the summer of 2006 and again in the middle of the 2009 season.
Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts — owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid.
Campaign watchdogs said the size of Gingrich’s debt is extraordinary — and could have been avoided if the candidate and his team had been more disciplined.
“He was reckless in running up these bills, especially in the last month or so of the campaign when it was quite clear that Mitt Romney would be the nominee,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Citizen Union.
The campaign has been dogged by financial problems since last summer, but its cash crunch accelerated in recent weeks. It finished March with $4.3 million in debts, an alarming increase from $1.5 million at the end of February, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The campaign raised $1.6 million in March, spent $2 million and reported having $1.2 million cash on hand.
Help may be on the way. USA Today reports that Gingrich, in an interview, said he is embracing Mitt Romney’s candidacy, and Romney and the Republican National Committee have offered to be helpful in retiring Gingrich’s debt.
Relief can’t come soon enough for the Gingrich campaign’s anxious creditors. The campaign owes Moby Dick Airways $1.1 million for travel and charter flights.; the Patriot Group, a Virginia security company, $449,502 for helping to protect the candidate; and McKenna, Long and Aldridge, a law firm with offices in Atlanta, $183,658 for legal services, the reports show.
But many of the campaign’s creditors are small businesses that say they will suffer major hardship if they are not paid.
In Phoenix, a company called Pro-Production Services is owed $32,506 for providing stages, lighting and sound equipment for a series of campaign appearances by Gingrich in Nevada last January.
“We floated quite a bit of money — a lot of out-of-pocket costs that we covered,” said Ryan Driscoll, a project manager for the company. “I am a little worried. Nobody wants to lose 32 grand.”
Vic Buttermore, owner of Signs Unlimited in Ocala, Fla., says he’s “keeping my fingers crossed” the Gingrich campaign will pony up the $15,000 it still owes for an order of 25,000 “Newt 2012″ lawn signs
“Am I nervous? Oh yeah, by all means,” he said. “They keep telling us, ‘We’ve got you covered, you will be paid.’ But I have my doubts. I really do. That’s a lot of money for a small company.”
George Zimmerman’s Myspace Page Excerpts
“I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft ass wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book,” the 2005 Myspace page said. “Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!” (Every Mexican?)
Another line suggested his friends went to jail and did not rat him out. “They do a year and dont ever open thier [sic] mouth to get my ass pinched.” ( Got Away With A Crime?)
The blog section boasts about having two felonies knocked down to misdemeanors and describes a court battle with an ex-girlfriend a woman who Zimmerman called his “ex-hoe. (Makes Mockery Of The System Once Again)
Last month, a Zimmerman Myspace page under the username “datniggytb” (tb=Trayvon Benjamin?)
Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, confirmed the page was his client’s
Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.
EXCLUSIVE: Richard Grenell hounded from Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives
By Jennifer Rubin
Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.
In a statement obtained by Right Turn, Grenell says:
I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.
Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. [UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Although Grenell also raised the ire of liberal commentators with now-deleted tweets about certain prominent women, none of the sources I spoke with mentioned the tweets as a factor in his resignation decision.]
In the National Review, Matthew J. Franck wrote late last week: “Suppose Barack Obama comes out — as Grenell wishes he would — in favor of same-sex marriage in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. How fast and how publicly will Richard Grenell decamp from Romney to Obama?”
The argument that Grenell could essentially not be openly gay and serve on a GOP presidential campaign was belied by the fact that Grenell has been a loyal Republican for many years, working for esteemed foreign policy figures including former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job. The Romney camp has not responded to my request for comment.
UPDATE (3:10 p.m.): The Romney camp has now responded via campaign manager Matt Rhoades: “We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.”
That is a perhaps too subtle retort to those calling for Grenell’s head, that he was not hired to advise on gay issues but on foreign policy matters.
UPDATE (3:50 p.m.): Right Turn has learned from multiple sources that the senior officials from the Romney campaign and respected Republicans not on the campaign contacted Ric Grenell over the weekend in an attempt to persuade him not to leave the campaign. Those were unsuccessful. During the two weeks after Grenell’s hiring was announced the Romney campaign did not put Grenell out to comment on national security matters and did not use him on a press foreign policy conference call. Despite the controversy in new media and in conservative circles, there was no public statement of support for Grenell by the campaign and no supportive social conservatives were enlisted to calm the waters. Beyond his statement, Grenell has declined further comment today.