Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bill Gwatney, Murdered in Arkansas Democratic Party Headquarters

Photo from Arkansas Democratic Party website

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Police say the 49-year-old chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party has died hours after being shot by a gunman who burst into the state party headquarters in Little Rock. Police say Chairman Bill Gwatney died four hours after the shooting near the state Capitol. Ark Demillo AP
The police shot and killed the suspect, Tim Johnson, (name not confirmed) after a 30 mile chase. As yet, no motive is known. Johnson came into Party headquarters saying he wanted to volunteer.

If this is more political hate violence then we are in for a worse year than I feared.

Before becoming State Party Chair, Bill Gwatney was a State Senator for 10 years and State Attorney General. He also worked on Mike Beebe's Campaign for Governor of Arkansas in 2006.

Update 1 from Outside the Beltway
Chairman Bill Gwatney died four hour after the shooting. The 48-year-old former state senator had been planning to travel to the Democratic National Convention later this month as a Hillary Clinton superdelegate. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, issued a statement calling Gwatney -- not only a strong chairman of Arkansas’ Democratic Party, but he is also a cherished friend and confidante.
Unconfirmed reports claim that before the incident the shooter also brandished a weapong outside a baptist convention headquarters in the city.

Update 2- appears the Baptist incident happened just after the shooting. Not before.