Mass Shootings Have Become a Pandemic
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Jun 03, 2022
The past week of gathering news have been focused on 19 youth and two teachers who were slaughtered when an active shooter entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX.
And, this was just the start of a week gone horribly wrong.
A recent headline in the Billings, MT, Gazette reads, “Is Mass Death Now Accepted in America?”
In the past few days, mass shootings have spilled into the streets of many cities and communities.
Buffalo, New York
On May 14, a gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, entered a supermarket in Buffalo NY, fatally shooting 10 black people. The shooting has been named a domestic terrorism shooting motivated by hate.
The Buffalo shooting was carried out 10 days before the horrific murders in Uvalde. Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder by the grand jury, for what is characterized as a racially-motivated attach in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
An investigation continues into the hate crimes as federal officials said the shooter allegedly detailed his plans of racial motivation by reviewing hundreds of pages of hate. The shooting was livestreamed from a helmet-mounted camera. The shooter, from Conklin, NY, drove three hours to “kill as many Black people as possible.”
Days later, another 18-year-old gunman entered an elementary school, barricading himself in a fourth-grade classroom, picking off students and two teachers. (Please see other updates from Robb Elementary School. https://campuslifesecurity.com/articles/2022/05/24/texas-shooting-suspect-in-custody.aspx.)
A spate of shootings also included a June 1 attack at the Saint Francis Health System, just hours before the shooter purchased an AR-15 with the express determination to kill the doctor who had been treating him for back pain.
Dr. Preston Phillips was the targeted victim, but three other people “got in the way,” of the shooter, including Dr. Stephanie Husen, employee Amanda Glenn and a patient William Love. Michael Louis then turned the semi-automatic gun on himself.
Police recovered a letter on the suspect that showed that he intended to kill "Dr. Phillips and anyone who got in his way," Franklin said.
"We have seen the violence that has taken place throughout the United States," said Tulsa Chief of Police Wendell Franklin said. "We would be naive not to think that would not happen in our jurisdiction.
A shooter murdered two adult females on the parking lot at Cornerstone Church, June 2. The deceased are named as 22-year-old Eden Mariah Montang, and 21-year-old Vivian Renee Flores, at about 6:50 p.m. in the church parking lot. The gunman, 33-year-old Jonathan Lee Whitlatch, then took his own life.
Law enforcement is still investigating at this writing, but are not aware of any connection between the shooter and victims.
Mark Vance, lead pastor at the church was not able to share any other details, but issued a statement.
"We can say, however, that we are more than saddened by the events that transpired. Our hearts break for all involved, and we are praying for everyone affected, especially the family of the victims. Our Ministry staff are available to support all those impacted, and we will continue to fully cooperate with authorities as they complete their full investigation."
Convicted and incarcerated murderer Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was able to escape a prison near Centerville, Texas. The names and ages of the victims have not yet been released but the deceased included four students and their grandfather. Law enforcement officials say there is no indication that the family and the killer knew each other.
Lopez was serving a life sentence for capital murder (2005) and an attempted capital murder (2004), had escaped from custody in Leon County, between Dallas and Houston. Lopez was being transported to a medical appointment on May 12 in Huntsville. Though he had been locked in a cage within the bus, he broke out of his restraints, stabbed the bus driver and ultimately drove off with the bus. He escaped after crashing in a cow pasture.
About three weeks later, law enforcement officials who had been tracking found him found him near Jourdanton, where a shootout occurred, and the inmate was killed.
In May alone, 74 people have been killed in mass shootings nationwide. More than 200 people have been injured, and countless people have had to bear the brunt of the effects of the shootings.