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The gunman who killed two women in an an Indiana supermarket late Wednesday reveled in his bloodlust for at least two years on Facebook. Shawn Walter Blair, 22, stormed Martin’s Super Market in Elkhart around 10 p.m. and shot a 21-year-old store employee and 44-year-old customer, Sgt. Trent Smith said. “I wouldn’t say it was well-planned, but it was obviously thought-out,” said Smith. “He was going to the store with a mission.” Blair’s mayhem ended when two police officers arriving quickly on the scene shot and killed him as he pointed his semi-automatic handgun at a potential third victim.
Police had not uncovered a motive, but the gunman’s Facebook provided a window into his demented mind. Blair showed a fascination with serial killers, and posted a gruesome photo of his face bloodied by what he said was a bite from a pit bull.
“I MAY BE GOING TO HELL BUT ATLEAST I’M GOING HONEST AND YOU KNOW WHAT THATS ALL I’VE EVER BEEN YOU LOOK AT ME AND SEE THIS FREAK I SEE A GOD BECAUSE I EMBRACE MY F—– UP SIDE AND WHEN I’M IN HELL I HOPE YOU PASS THROUGH MY RACK HAVE FUN WITH THAT AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” he wrote in August 2011.
“I HOPE YOU ALL BURN IN THE FURTHEST PITS OF HELL I HOPE THE TORTURE LASTS FOREVER AND EVERY SECOND OF EVERY MINUTE YOUR THINKING ABOUT YOUR LOVED ONES. EVERYONE WILL PASS THROUGH TORTURE RACKS MADE OF BONE WITH RAZOR BLADES MADE FROM FIRE I WILL BE PICASSO WITH A FIRE RAZOR BLADE BENEATH MY FINGERS,” he wrote.
Other posts featured disturbing artwork of clowns, crime scenes, and a poster of notorious serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Police had not released the names of the victims, saying they were still notifying the victims’ families of the tragedy. ”There’s not a day that goes by, it seems like anymore, where we’re not learning of a school shooting or at a business … we hope that this would never come to our hometown and here it is,” Smith said during a prior press conference at the scene of the crime.
Blair made his move at around 10 p.m., armed and carrying a knife, Smith said. He shot one of the victims and then stalked 12 aisles of the store before killing his second. Two police officers happened to be nearby and were on the scene within three minutes and heard a gunshot as they entered the supermarket, Smith said. When the cops came upon Blair he was pointing his gun at a third person. The suspect then pointed his gun at the cops and they opened fire, killing him, according to WSBT. Officials praised the cops for acting quickly and preventing more deaths. “They were professional,” said Smith. “They strategically cleared the store.”
It didn’t appear Blair knew his victims, according to reports. Police were still investigating his criminal background.
Elkhart is a town of 51,000 that’s 15 miles south of South Bend, Ind. Martin’s said the store would be closed Thursday. “The entire Martin’s family is saddened by this tragedy,” company president and CEO Rob Bartels said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved and the entire community.” Tony Elkhart told the Elkhart Truth his mother had been working at the deli of the supermarket when the chaos unfolded. He said she called him after being evacuated from the store. “As reality set in, and her being upset, I knew something was wrong,” Tony told the newspaper. “It makes me feel angry, obviously. This world I guess is kind of screwed up right now. You can’t even go to the grocery store and be safe.”
This story is heartbreaking! A Nebraska toddler who repeated a slew of profanities in an online video has been taken into child protective custody, Omaha police said Wednesday. While authorities found nothing criminal in the video, officials from the Omaha police’s Child Victim Unit and the Nebraska Child Protective Services took the infant and three other children into custody on Wednesday, the police department said on its Facebook page. The joint investigation found safety concerns, the statement said. DMN learned of development through Twitter.
In the video, the diapered child is bombarded with obscenities and racial slurs by the adults around him. The African-American toddler knocks down a chair and gives nearly as good as he gets, responding to some of the comments with an upraised middle finger and telling one of the adults at one point, “Shut up, bitch.” The adults laugh and prompt him to repeat other crudities. Just another day on the Internet — until the police union in Omaha, Nebraska, posted the clip on its website to highlight what it called the “cycle of violence and thuggery” the community faces.
The Omaha Police Officers Association came under fire from the city’s police chief, the ACLU and at least one community leader. They say the move needlessly antagonizes the city’s minority communities, who make up about a quarter of Omaha’s 409,000 residents. Sgt. John Wells, the union’s president, said the video was “disturbing” and “offensive.” ”The focus here isn’t on any particular ethnic group. The focus here is on the troubling behavior towards this child,” Wells said. “This behavior is going to potentially lead this child down a path that is completely unhealthy.”
On the website where the video is hosted, the union said the clip came from “a local thug’s public Facebook page.” ”We here at OmahaPOA.com viewed the video and we knew that despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in,” the police union wrote in a post accompanying the video. ”Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal,’ we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint,” it added.
Wells said one of the adults mentions a local street gang in the video. ”That is why when we talk about the culture, the criminal culture, that this is to try to break the cycle and deal with the culture of violence and the culture of gang activity,” he said. But in a city where police officers’ treatment of minorities led to lawsuits, criminal charges against two officers and the firings and reassignments of several others in the past year, critics say the video is poking at raw wounds. Willie Hamilton, president of the community activist group Black Men United, said the union “crossed a line by doing this.” ”For them to take a video out of context — a 2-year-old who doesn’t have the brain capacity to know what’s going on — and to say that this child, because two adults acted inappropriately, is going to end up in a life of crime is totally inappropriate,” Hamilton said. And the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, which filed an excessive-force suit against the Omaha Police Department on behalf of an African-American family on Monday, said the union’s use of “racially charged language” was “very disconcerting.”
Police Chief Todd Schmaderer tried to distance his agency from the controversy in a statement issued Tuesday, saying that the union’s website and Facebook page are separate from those of the Omaha Police Department and that he has little authority over the public statements of union members. ”With that background and understanding, I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department,” Schmaderer said. “I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations.”
Wells said union members have turned the video over to the department’s child victim unit, which will work with child-welfare agencies to investigate the circumstances. He said the organization “didn’t think we’d get this big of a reaction.” ”Hopefully, the impact is, it gives law-abiding citizens what law enforcement deals with on a daily basis, and it sort of throws back the blinders that these type of problems are going on,” he said. “And we can have a very frank and open discussion on how to tackle these issues and come up with solutions.”
There is nothing cute or funny about the video. There is nothing cute or funny about very public abuse of a child. Sadly, there is no test before people become parents but perhaps there should be. This little guy clearly does not have a chance with these adults in his life.
OMAHA, Nebraska | DMN — The Omaha Police Officers Association in Nebraska has come under extreme criticism after it posted a video of an African-American toddler uttering profanities to use as an example of ‘the thug cycle’. The diapered child is seen in a phone camera video taken by two purported relatives who are swearing at each other and the child and teaching him to swear back. ’… despite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law-abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in,’ said the post on their website.
The website states: ‘Now while we didn’t see anything in this video that is blatantly ‘illegal’, we sure did see a lot that is flat-out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint.’ The post tells the public that they are ‘literally watching “the cycle” of violence continue right in front of your eyes. A powerful cycle that must be broken if we ever hope to get a handle on violence in Omaha. A powerful cycle that the police alone cannot stop.’ The so-called ‘thug’ who posted the video of the toddler has lashed back in a comment on the police association’s Facebook page, which has not done him any favors as it’s laced with f-word bombs.
Union President John Wells, who is a sergeant in the Omaha Police Department, told Gawker that they use the term ‘thug’ as a ‘general term on our Facebook page’, but that it could be substituted by a variety of other terms including ‘abnormal, antisocial, criminal’. However, many people have taken to social media to criticize the move. One user, Joshua David, said on the union’s Facebook page: ‘As a union employee and member, I’m ashamed that this post exists. Not because of the video, but because of the racism. But hey, at least he’ll learn early that he’s nothing but an n-word to society.’
Defending their action of posting the video of the toddler and likening it to violence, Wells said that ‘a lot of these children end up dealing with law enforcement’. ‘[But] I’m not saying that this kid won’t grow up to be a productive member of society.’ The post called the video’s creator, who is reportedly the toddler’s uncle, a ‘local thug’, but Wells said: ‘I don’t know that he’s a gangbanger… he mentions 29th Street, which is a local Bloods gang here’. He told Gawker.com that his association is different to the police department, which is why they have ‘a lot more latitude to be a little more edgy’ and that edginess is necessary to force a deeper conversation on the city’s crime problems. Omaha is largely ethnically segregated, he says, and many residents dismiss crime by saying ‘it didn’t happen in my part of town, that’s not a problem’, he said.
Self-described Tea Partier and a member of the Quaker faith, Brian Schwanke, who slammed President Obama’s lack of of self-control during Nelson Mandela’s funeral on his Facebook — couldn’t resist an undercover agent’s child pornography advances, according to reports and family members. The Michigan man — using the email address “firstname.lastname@example.org” — began trading images and videos with an investigator who claimed to share a love of underaged girls. After a month-long sting, investigations found a collection of 34 videos and two pictures on Schwanke’s computer in August, according to the federal complaint obtained by The Smoking Gun. “I know they took his computer away, which was a good idea,” his estranged mother Doris Schwanke, 79, told DMN. “I don’t know beyond that.”
On his Facebook, the EMT and security guard, railed against President Obama’s selfie incident with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “What a classy president we have. His wife has to sit between him to make ‘lil Barry “behave,” wrote Schwanke, according to his Facebook page, as reported by The Smoking Gun. During the email exchanges, Schwanke claimed to have slept with girls as young as 10. His multiple dating profiles, ironically, preached openness and honesty in the beginning of any relationship. “I don’t have skeletons, just have mileage. lol,” he wrote on his profile on PlentyofFish.com Schwanke is a father of four and went through a bitter divorce, his mother said. His profile on ChristianDatingForFree.com, Schwanke said that he places his relationship with God above his kids and described his body type as “A Few Extra Pounds.” “I have hobbies that are not popular to some people,” he wrote, not realizing the meaning that would later take on. “I hunt and I eat what I kill. I teach American History through reenacting.” His mother, however, shot down any claims that he was a man of God.
“I was shocked. I just could not understand how I could not have known that,” the mother said. “I thought I taught him better.” Clearly, this proves that people in glass houses should not throw stones.