A former employee of a Virginia CBS affiliate killed reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward this morning, shooting the two journalists and their interview subject at close range before turning the handgun on himself. Bedford’s WDBJ described the shooter, Bryce Williams, as a disgruntled former employee. If only Ward and Parker had been armed, they might have seen Williams preparing to shoot them and shot him with their superior training and reflexes. Or—and I know this sounds crazy—maybe we could stop selling devices that give every adult in America the power to kill somebody else.
Props to my girl Kathryn Haake for starting this report on the two police shootings that occurred in Missoula last week with “No new information has been released in the investigations of two officer-involved shootings that left a Missoula man dead and an Evaro man injured last week.” I can hear the editorial decision in that sentence. Although we may not have more information, we got a lot more conjecture yesterday, when attorney Terance Perry told the Missoulian that Kaileb Williams had been shot “execution style” by the MCPD. Perry also says that Williams’s mother was initially told that Williams committed suicide. His obituary, which ran in the same issue of the paper as the article announcing his shooting, says he “passed away suddenly.”
First of all, if help is 20 minutes away, don’t beg for an easy death. Forestall death for 20 damn minutes, ideally by not getting into a cover-fire situation in front of a window at the top of an enclosed stair. Second of all, why do Markus Kaarma and his ilk live in a world where violence is both imminent and kind of awesome? After telling his hairdresser that he was “waiting up nights to shoot some [funky] kid,” Kaarma killed an unarmed exchange student in his garage and claimed self-defense. The penalty for burglary is death. The penalty for trespassing is death, provided you carry out the sentence in your home. Which would you rather live with: the knowledge that you killed another person, or the knowledge that you lost property out of your garage? Montana law protects people who choose the former.
If you live in Montana or even know someone from here via Facebook, you have probably heard about Ray Dolin. The 39 year-old West Virginia man was hitchhiking in eastern Montana when he was shot by a passing motorist, apparently for no reason. The motorist was Charles Lloyd Danielson III, drunk on his way to work the oil fields of Williston. Danielson was apprehended a few hours later, and Dolin was picked up by another passer-by and taken to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital. He had been writing a memoir titled “The Kindness of America.”