Killer at Las Vegas courthouse was angry about Social Security cuts, racial discrimination, and insults to Muhammad (whoops, I got my angry minorities mixed up)
The gunman who was shot dead by law enforcement in the Las Vegas federal courthouse shootout was one Johnnie Lee Wicks. This story doesn’t describe the suspect, but two reports I saw a few minutes ago described the shooter as an “African-American male.”
Wicks was allegedly “disgruntled over cuts in his Social Security benefits.” Also, a blogger says he filed a race discrimination suit last year. Well, he won’t get life without parole now.
David B. writes:
This AP story quotes a neighbor describing Johnny Lee Wicks, the shooter at the Las Vegas Federal Building, as a “quiet man.” They always are, aren’t they?
Here’s the beginning of the AP story:
A gunman who opened fire with a shotgun at a federal building Monday, killing one security guard and wounding a U.S. marshal before he was shot to death, was upset over losing a lawsuit over his Social Security benefits, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 04, 2010 06:56 PM | Send
The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said 66-year-old Johnny Lee Wicks opened fire with a shotgun at a security checkpoint, touching off a gunbattle with deputy U.S. marshals.
Although the investigation is continuing, the officials said preliminary evidence pointed to Wicks’ anger over his benefits case as the motive for the shooting.
Authorities also were investigating the cause of a fire that damaged Wicks’ modest one-bedroom apartment in a 90-unit seniors complex three miles northwest of the scene of the shooting.
“There was a fire at his apartment this morning,” FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said as investigators pieced together a motive for the shooting and retraced Wicks’ steps.
A neighbor, Johnetta Watkins, said she didn’t see Wicks after firefighters doused the fire.
Watkins, 56, used to drive Wicks to the grocery store. She described him as a quiet man who walked with a limp, lived alone and sometimes complained that Las Vegas was a “prejudiced” place to live. He also complained about what he called an unfair cut in his Social Security benefits, she said.
The gunman opened fire at the courthouse at about 8 a.m. Gunfire lasted several minutes, with shots echoing around tall buildings in the area more than a mile north of the Las Vegas Strip.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was in Las Vegas but not at his local office in the building, said one of his aides bent down to pick up some newspapers in the atrium when the shooting began.
“She believes her life was saved as a result of picking up those papers,” Reid said. “She then crouched behind a pillar when this ‘war,’ as she said, took place.”