Archive for April 7th, 2009

Fort Lewis soldier fatally shot

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: accident, Washington | Tags: |

Seattle, Washington – A Fort Lewis soldier died today of an apparent gun shot wound to the head, a death now under investigation by Army officials.

The soldier was found at 12:20 p.m. in his car and was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center, where he died at about 2:30 p.m., according to Fort Lewis officials.  More on Seattle Times

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Tacoma man charged in downtown robbery shooting

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: murder, Washington |

TACOMA, Washington — Pierce County prosecutors allege that a man spent several hours robbing people of drugs and money in downtown Tacoma before he shot a woman in the head after she wouldn’t turn over $50.

Ben Aaron Strickland, 32, was charged Monday with one count of first-degree murder in the April 7 death of 51-year-old Carmen Jackson. A plea of not guilty was entered for Strickland at his arraignment, and Pierce County Superior Court Judge Linda Lee set bail at $1 million.

Court documents allege Strickland spent several hours in the downtown neighborhood robbing people of small amounts of money and drugs. Prosecutors say Jackson was shot when she refused to turn over her money. Police found a $50 bill in her pocket.

Strickland was arrested Friday. Court records say he contends his gun went off accidentally. More on Seattle Times

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Woman shot to death in her home, boyfriend claiming suicide

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: suicide, Tennessee |

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tennessee — A woman was found shot to death in her home on Tuesday afternoon, and detectives are trying to determine whether it was a suicide, as was reported by her boyfriend.

Lisa Ann Adkins Giasson, 32, of Oak Trace Lane, was dead from a gunshot wound to the face when deputies arrived on the scene about 3:15 p.m., according to Putnam Sheriff David Andrews.

Giasson’s boyfriend, Todd Thomsen, who also lives at the residence, had called 911 just before that and reported that “she shot herself,” said Detective Red Golden.

“He was very upset and was sobbing when he called,” the detective said.

Lt. Bryan Whitefield was the first to arrive at the scene. Here is his description of what he saw:

“I had been informed that the front door would be open. I approached, but the door was locked. I went around to the side door and made entry. I could hear someone screaming in the other end of the residence.

“Upon following the sound, I entered the bedroom and observed a white male sitting on the bed holding a white female who was laying partially off the bed with her head and upper shoulder on a nightstand beside the bed.

“I approached as the male was ignoring or not hearing my commands. I observed a black pistol laying on the floor by the male’s left foot. I removed the weapon to a shelf at the foot of the bed, then physically removed the male subject, who was Todd Thomsen, to a chair in the living room to allow Emergency Medical Service medics entry to the victim.”

Lt. Whitefield also called for detectives, and Detectives Golden and Mike Hoover came to the scene, as did Deputy Jerry Dale Abston.

Detective Golden said Giasson was dead when he arrived. He said she had been shot in the left cheek just below the eye.

Todd Thomsen told the detective that “although the two had had several arguments in the past, they were not having an argument when the shooting occurred,” according to one report.

“He said they were getting along fine. He said he left the bedroom to go to the kitchen and when he came back to the bedroom, she had the handgun, a .40 caliber Glock, pointing at her head. He said she made a comment about killing herself and that she was losing her children.”

Thomsen told the detective he asked her to put the gun down, “but it discharged at that time.”

Giasson had been worried about retaining custody of her two children from a previous marriage, the detective said.

Detectives gathered evidence and sent the body to Nashville for an autopsy. They have also sent the gun to the TBI crime lab for testing.

“It is too early in the investigation to say what kind of case this is,” Detective Golden said this morning.

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Four Shot, One Dead at Korean Calif. Retreat Center

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: California, mass murder | Tags: , |

TEMECULA, California — A gunman opened fire at a Korean Christian retreat center on Tuesday night, killing one and wounding three others, authorities said.

The gunman was believed to be among the injured at the Kkottongnae Retreat Camp, and investigators were unsure what prompted the attack, sheriff’s spokesman Dennis Gutierrez said.

“We have some nuns that are very distraught,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said at least two of the victims were critically injured. A nursing supervisor at the Inland Valley Regional Medical Center near the retreat said she had no information on any of the victims.

Police and emergency crews converged on the rural area off Highway 79 after receiving reports about 7 p.m. that a gunman had shot his wife, said Mario Lopez, a spokesman with the California Highway Patrol. He said one person was dead when they arrived and the other three were hospitalized.

Law enforcement officers interviewed people at what appeared to be a triage center for injured victims, but Gutierrez said the language barrier was making it difficult to get all the facts. He said investigators believe all the victims are over age 40.

The retreat is one of four U.S. branches of the Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, a Catholic organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless. It was founded in the city of Cheongju, South Korea, by Father Oh Woong Jin in 1976.

A woman who answered the phone at the group’s Lynwood branch on Tuesday night said she did not speak English well and declined to discuss the shooting.

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Alabama man kills wife, 3 others and self

Posted on April 7, 2009. Filed under: Alabama, murder-suicide | Tags: |

Green Hill, Alabama – A man facing a divorce trial shot and killed his estranged wife, their teenage daughter and two other relatives in rural north Alabama before returning to his home in a nearby town and killing himself, authorities said Tuesday.

Kevin Garner’s body was found Tuesday afternoon near his Priceville home, which burned to the ground overnight. His divorce trial was to start Wednesday. Garner apparently shot himself in the chest, said Travis Clemmons, chief investigator for the sheriff’s office in Lauderdale County, where the four bodies were found earlier in the day in a home in Green Hill, a small community near the Tennessee line.

The victims were identified as Garner’s estranged wife, Tammy, 40; their 16-year-old daughter, Chelsie; Garner’s sister, Karen Beaty of Illinois; and Beaty’s 11-year-old son, whose name was not released.

Investigators said the four were shot, apparently with a handgun, around midnight Monday. They did not know if Kevin Garner was licensed to carry a firearm.

It was one of eight mass shootings around the country — and the third in Alabama — in the last month that have left grief-stricken communities in shock.

Clemmons said a neighbor visiting the Green Hill house Tuesday morning saw a body through the door and called authorities.

Court officials said the Garners were in court Monday in advance of the trial and nothing seemed unusual.

“I just can’t understand it,” said Clemmons, “and with a 16-year-old and an 11-year-old kid, there’s nothing rational about it.”

In the divorce file, Tammy Garner sought custody of their daughter and alleged that her husband “has been both physically and emotionally abusive.” Kevin Garner accused her of adultery and of taking $38,000 out of their joint bank account when they separated May 27.

More on Associated Press

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