Lots in the press and on blogs about the underwear bomber, the health care debacle, and the (hopefully) disintegration of the man-made global warming hoax. I'm glad to see all of it discussed openly, and I'm following those items with much interest just like lots of you.
However, I noticed a story that you're not seeing a lot of detail about in the national media or in the blogs I follow - at least not since the initial event passed. I'm talking about the recent shooting at the Lloyd George Courthouse in Las Vegas. On Monday, Johnny Lee Wicks walked into the courthouse where he shot and killed a security guard on duty that day. Wicks also wounded another officer before being shot by security officers and US Marshalls.
That's about the extent of the coverage that I had heard before I specifically started poking around on the net for more info.
Let's take a walk......
That's Stan Cooper. He was the 72 year old security guard that was shot by Wicks in the courthouse. He had become a security guard after retiring from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department after a 26 year long career. He was a Sergeant there, where he was described as "gentle", "thoughtful", and "quiet" by co-workers. His Lieutenant stated that he was a good cop, and could not remember a single complaint made about Cooper in his many years of service.
He loved horses, built his own house, and was beloved by his family.
Cooper was well like by his co-workers at the courthouse, as well as the judges, lawyers, and clerical staff that saw him there on a daily basis.
Now lets swing to the other end of the spectrum.
Now lets swing to the other end of the spectrum.
That's Johnny Lee Wicks. That's his mugshot from prior encounters with the law in Las Vegas, and elsewhere...
"Wicks had an extensive criminal history in Tennessee and California, including sexual assault, domestic battery and murder", FBI Special Agent In Charge Kevin Favreau said.
The murder conviction referenced above was for Wicks killing his brother in 1974. They had argued over weather or not Wick's motorcycle could beat his brother's car in a race - so Wicks killed him with a shotgun. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison, got the sentence reduced to 12 to 15 years due to an appeal, and was eventually paroled after serving only 6 years.
Wicks was living in Las Vegas, collecting disability benefits from Social Security for a "bad leg" that kept him from working. However, according to one of his few friends - Wicks was obsessed with physical fitness, worked out frequently, and appeared to be very fit during their workout sessions. His "bad leg" didn't interfere with his tinkering as a mechanic, and he was apparently in good enough shape to install a new clutch in the automobile of his workout buddy.
Apparently short fused and bad tempered by all accounts, Wicks was very angry when the Social Security Administration cut his benefits. He could think of only one reason for the insult: his race.
In 2008 Wicks filed a complaint against a regional Social Security Administration commissioner, alleging that his monthly benefits had been reduced because he was black. "It's all about race," he wrote in the complaint, although he cited no evidence. "I am no fool."
Ten years earlier, Wicks had tried to sue an apartment complex. He claimed the complex evicted him because he was Black.
On Monday morning, Wicks and his "bad leg" set fire to his apartment before he walked the three miles to the US Courthouse. He walked in the door, pulled the shotgun from beneath his trench coat, and started shooting. He shot Stan Cooper in the chest, wounded another officer, and then fled out the front door as other officers began to return fire.
Wicks ran across the street, where he turned to fire on the pursuing officers again. Three Deputy US Marshalls and 4 Armed Security Officers fired a total of 81 shots at Wicks, striking him in the head and stomach - killing him.
I had hoped to find some reference online stating how many hits vs how many misses, in regards to the shots fired at Wicks. I'm always curious about such reports. It goes to show you how much situational elements, adrenalin, and fear can affect the aim of even trained professionals. I get the impression that there were more misses than hits. I would also bet that the officers involved would have been able to easily hit a man sized target at the same distance - under less stressful conditions.
That's it. I don't see the point in editorializing on the facts of the case too much. One man was an asset that will be missed. The other should have been purged from the earth long ago.
As I read about the case, I found more and more that interested me and I was more than a little puzzled that more of the details aren't more widely covered. I have my own opinions about that. You can draw your own conclusions.
I'm just sorry that the Cooper family have had to suffer such a terrible loss.