To borrow what has to be a common thought across America as news of this shooting continues to filter out of Nevada: now can we begin discussing how to deal with these tragedies or would that offend the gun nuts out there?
As many as five people were dead Sunday afternoon after police said a pair of people shot two police officers at a Las Vegas pizzeria and then stormed a nearby Wal-Mart, where they killed another victim in the store, then themselves.
“This is a revolution,” the suspects said during the attack, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Kevin C. McMahill told reporters.
There were conflicting reports about the gender of the two suspects – whether it was a man and a woman or two men – but officials said the attack apparently began at Cici’s Pizza on North Nellis Boulevard.
Two people walked into the pizzeria and shot both police officers in the head before taking their guns and ammunition and heading for the Wal-Mart, McMahill said.
Alize Harper, 16, was selling newspapers outside the Wal-Mart when she saw a car drive up, and a man start yelling for everyone to get out and warning that the police were coming.
Monse Galindo, 19, a customer in the store, was near the registers when she saw a tall, thin, middle-aged white man in military-style clothing walk in with a small gun in his hand.
“He came in, shouting, ‘The revolution is about to start,’ something about a war, and that the cops were on their way,” Galindo told the Los Angeles Times, adding that the man then fired one shot in the air and another shot as he moved toward the left side of the store.
Galindo and Harper said the man appeared to be by himself, though police initially said there were two suspects in the store.
Karl Catarata, 16, was shopping with his mother and brother inside and also were near the registers when they heard the shouting, though the people shouting were just out of eyesight, he said.
“We thought they were shouting because there was a dispute, an argument,” Catarata said, but as he watched the body language of the Wal-Mart employees, who could see what was going on, he knew there was something seriously wrong.
After the first shot rang out, he grabbed his mother’s and brother’s hands and began to run toward the back of the store. He heard three shots in all before he made it to the exit.
Jesus Bustamante, 27, was at the Wal-Mart with his cousin, Emmanuel Florez, 26, to buy an Xbox when the shooting began.
“Should we run?” Florez asked his cousin as the shots rang out, Bustamante said. “Hell yes, we should run!” Bustamante replied, and the pair joined the other shoppers and Wal-Mart employees flooding out the back of the store.
The attacker or attackers shot and killed one person inside before going to the back of the store and carrying out a “suicide pact” as police arrived, McMahill told reporters.(Los Angeles Times)
You know, as I read more about what happened here, I can’t help but think of this scene from the movie And The Band Played On and wonder, “When will someone get up and call the NRA and all the other gun nuts SOBs’ out and ask, ‘when should we discuss gun violence?’ When?”