Monday, July 28, 2008
Police chief: Gunman targeted UUs for 'liberal stance.'
The man who attacked the Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville specifically targeted the Unitarian Universalists for their "liberal stance," according to the Knoxville police chief. WBIR reports:
-KPD Chief Owen says the shooter acted alone, and based on a leter [sic] found after the shooting, the suspect was troubled by joblessness, and wanted to strike a blow at a "liberal movement." -The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime. . . -The shooter brought 76 rounds of ammunition with him into the church. -Owen: Shooter targeted Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church due to "recent publicity" the church had received regarding its "liberal stance" on things. -Owen says the actions of the church members who tackled the shooter likely saved many lives, as it appears the shooter intended to try to kill as many people as possible, and did not expect to leave the church alive.
Here's more from the Knoxville News Standard:
Jim D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he stated his "hatred of the liberal movement," Owen said. "Liberals in general, as well as gays."
Adkisson said he also was frustrated about not being able to obtain a job, Owen said.
The letter, recovered from Adkisson's black 2004 Ford Escape, which was parked in the church's parking lot at 2931 Kingston Pike, indicates he had been planning the shooting for about a week.
"He fully expected to be killed by the responding police," the police chief said.
Owen said Adkisson specifically targeted the church for its beliefs, rather than a particular member of the congregation.
"It appears that church had received some publicity regarding its liberal stance," the chief said. The church has a "gays welcome" sign and regularly runs announcements in the News Sentinel about meetings of the Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays meetings at the church.
The church's Web site states that it has worked for "desegregation, racial harmony, fair wages, women's rights and gay rights" since the 1950s. Current ministries involve emergency aid for the needy, school tutoring and support for the homeless, as well as a cafe that provides a gathering place for gay and lesbian high-schoolers.
Copyright © 2008 by Philocrites | Posted 28 July 2008 at 11:00 AM