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Should Guns be Banned? Alabama Gunman a Quiet Dude

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Author Topic: Should Guns be Banned? Alabama Gunman a Quiet Dude  (Read 48 times)
« on: March 13, 2009, 12:38:50 pm »
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From the Los Angeles Times

Alabama gunman recalled as ‘friendly with everyone’

Michael McLendon's rampage left 11 dead, including himself and his mother.
He is remembered as well-liked by co-workers, but he might also have been
seeking vengeance for perceived slights.

By Richard Fausset | Thursday, March 12, 2009

RAMPAGE: Michael Kenneth McLendon shot dead 10 people, including his mother, before killing himself after a gunbattle with police and a car chase down a rural highway in Southern Alabama. REUTERS.

RAMPAGE: Michael Kenneth McLendon shot dead 10 people,
including his mother, before killing himself after a gunbattle
with police and a car chase down a rural highway in
Southern Alabama. — REUTERS

Reporting from Samson, Alabama — First, he killed his mother.

That, according to Alabama officials, was the first chilling act in Michael Kenneth McLendon's trail of carnage across southern Alabama on Tuesday. He killed 10 people, injured six and left a string of small communities wondering what motivated a quiet young man to obliterate the peaceful rhythms of rural Southern life in March.

"He was just friendly with everyone, and kind of stayed to himself," said Jessica Wise, 27, who graduated from high school with McLendon in 1999. "That's why this is such a shock."

But other details emerged Wednesday of a depressed and troubled young man who was obsessed with guns — and who may have been seeking vengeance, or was possibly frustrated by a romantic relationship.

McLendon, of Coffee County, killed himself at a metal-louver factory in Geneva, where he had previously worked. He was 28.

Last Wednesday, he quit his assembly line job at Kelley Foods of Alabama Inc., a rural meat-packing and food distribution company, said Erik Ennis, the human resources manager.

Lynn Hughes of Coffee County said her sister, who works at the plant, had said that McLendon had complained recently about being teased by co-workers, and may have been having girlfriend trouble.

Many could hardly believe that McLendon was the man responsible for it all. Older residents remembered watching the well-behaved and quiet boy pitch in Little League.

Jerry Hysmith, 35, a co-worker at the louver factory, recalled him as a shy but thoughtful man — the only one to offer him a ride home when his car died.

Like others in town, Hysmith said McLendon was fond of guns. But he didn't think much of it in an area where hunting talk, like football talk, is a stock male ritual.

"It was nothing where a red flag would go up," Hysmith said. "He never said anything about hurting anyone."

Elsewhere in the county, grief was mixed with a kind of confusing shock. Many here knew both the shooter and the victims.

At a packed service Wednesday night at First Baptist Church of Samson on Main Street, a guest preacher from Birmingham, Steve Sellers, paraphrased from the Book of Matthew: "It rains on the just, and it rains on the unjust."

Early Wednesday, Gary L. McAliley, district attorney for Coffee and Pike counties, said investigators found notes at McLendon's mother's house that might have been lists of "people who had done him wrong." A statement by state investigators later denied that McLendon had left "hit lists."

State investigators said in a statement late Wednesday that recent developments "may direct them to a motive" for the shootings. But they did not say what that motive might be.

McLendon apparently set the house near Kinston in rural Coffee County ablaze after shooting his mother, Lisa White McLendon, 52, in the head and killing her dogs.

McLendon then took off down state Highway 52 in a little red Mitsubishi, passing bucolic scenes of ryegrass, cows and hay bales. He was wearing khaki pants and a vest with ammunition pockets. He was also loaded with weapons: two assault rifles, a shotgun, a .38-caliber handgun, a Russian semiautomatic carbine, and a military-style Bushmaster rifle.

In the late afternoon, he pulled into Samson, a sleepy farming hub where the big news, before he arrived, was the upcoming start of turkey hunting season.

McLendon drove a few blocks off of Main Street, and pulled in front of a little white house with a porch. He killed five people there.

They included his uncle, James Alford White, 55; his cousin Tracy Michelle Wise, 34; and his second cousin Dean James Wise, 15. Also killed on the porch were neighbors Andrea D. Myers, 31, and Corinne Gracy Myers, the wife and 18-month-old daughter of Geneva County Sheriff's Deputy Josh Myers. McLendon also injured the deputy's 4-month-old daughter, who is in stable condition at a Pensacola, Fla., hospital.

He shot and killed his 74-year-old grandmother, Virginia E. White, as she came to the door of the adjacent house. Tom Knowles, 51, who watched from nearby, said McLendon got out and chased one survivor, shooting at her numerous times and missing.

McLendon drove away from the house, then returned moments later after Knowles had stepped forward to help the victims. Knowles looked in McLendon's face and noticed it was impassive.

"He had that gun aimed at me, and I hollered at him," he said. "I said, ‘I ain't done nothing to you, and I don't know you’."

Elsewhere in town, McLendon shot more victims who officials say may have been randomly chosen.

He killed a man walking down a side street, James Irvin Starling, 24, and injured a man on Main Street, Jeffrey Lynn Nelson, 50.

At a gas station, he killed Sonja Smith, 43, and injured Greg McCullough. Both were near the gas pumps.

Rita Creech, 49, was working at the gas station's deli when she heard two shots ring out. She opened the door and saw McLendon drive up in the red car, firing out of the driver's side window.

"He just pulled up there and started shooting," she said.

Then he drove off toward Geneva, the next significant town to the east. "I could hear him a-shootin', all the way downtown," Creech said.

Like many people in this county of about 25,000, Creech later realized that she knew McLendon — she said she had worked with him at a bakery a couple of years ago.

On the highway, McLendon killed a motorist: Bruce Wilson Malloy, 51. When a state trooper caught up to him, McLendon fired at least seven rounds into the trooper's car, injuring him slightly.

In Geneva, the county seat, city police tried to stop him in front of the Wal-Mart. He shot and injured one officer, and shot Police Chief Frankie Lindsey in the shoulder.

He ended up at Reliable Products, from which he had quit in 2003; according to company officials, he left a perfectly adequate work record.

He got out of the car, exchanged fire with officers, and ran into the building. Gunshots were heard within. Soon after, he was found dead from a self-inflicted wound.

Officials said McLendon, who briefly worked as a police officer before failing to complete his academy training, fired more than 200 rounds along the way.

In the charred remains of his mother's house, where he lived part time, investigators found boxes of ammunition and camping and survivalist supplies.

Esker Chambless Jr., 70, a neighbor, remembered the young man doing a lot of target practice with a Glock pistol that Chambless admired.

On Tuesday, Chambless stopped by McLendon's mother's house about 2 p.m. He had promised McLendon's mother that he'd help her till a garden.

McLendon met him in the front yard and pointed out where he should do the tilling, instructing him to stop just before the grave of a family dog.

Chambless said McLendon was polite to a fault.

The district attorney said his mother may have already been dead inside.

About an hour later, Chambless returned and found the house in flames, and McLendon gone.



You gotta watch the quiet ones.
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 05:02:30 pm »
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No, guns should NOT be banned. 
I'd like to keep the right to protect
myself when LOONS like that come to
my door.
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:45:18 am »
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When eyes are wonky like that feller has, it can be the sign of mdness,

or even brain tumors though with tumors, the eyes will bulge.
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 01:02:12 pm »
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no, because wackos like that would find a means to obtain one anyway
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