Gunman Opens Fire Inside New York City Hall

Two people wounded as others dive for cover

So much for heightened post 9-11 security…

Ugh, I’m sitting in my office in Lower Manhattan, about 3 blocks away. Helicopters everywhere, sirens, bridges closed.

Looks like it’s going to be a bit of a chore getting home this evening. I work in a government building across the street. Streets are closed, subway stations are being bypassed. :frowning:

I thought NYC had some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Maybe security has become lax since only law-abiding citizens have guns there? :wink:

Here’s a bit more info from Reuters. Can’t link to the article directly, but the stuff is there on the front page.

I’m not clear on the details yet, but one of the shooting victims has now died.

James Davis was a counsilman from Brooklyn and was an aquaintance of mine and a friend of my husband. His opponent walked into City Hall, bypassing security, apparently got into an arguement with Davis and shot him.

Davis was one of the good guys. This is sad.

My sympathies to his family and constituents. Definitely one of the good guys.

Two people died–Davis and his killer, Othniel Askew. Davis was the one who walked in the Hall, in seemingly amiable conversation with Askew, right past the detectors as he was a Councillor.

Good coverage on NY1.com. Story gets weirder and weirder–the assassin was a onetime political opponent of Davis’, and had filed a complaint against him with the FBI earlier today!

Askew obviously knew he was dead or was going to jail himself as soon as he opened fire–he shot into poor Davis again and again as he lay dying. He was taken down by a policeman but he may also have shot himself. I don’t get this at all–it’s totally out of proportion to the disagreements they may have had. Guess I’m old-fashioned, but whatever happened to fistfighting or just yelling at somebody and then stalking away in high dudgeon?

I’ll be very interested in the toxicology results for Askew. Another councillor who ran into the two right before the shooting said that Davis introduced Askew to him and the guy totally creeped him out, but Davis laughed and said that he was just ex-military and kind of intense. Poor guy. And also poor folks who witnessed it–people running for their lives in Lower Manhattan is not something anybody wanted to see again.

This is an example of why “heightened security” falls victim to complacency.

In these cases recognized, highly placed officials are usually passed through without checking. Apparently the killer and victim came in together and since one of them was a councilman no questions were asked. I would assume they didn’t go through the metal detector and no questions were asked because one of them was a councilman and they were apparently on good terms at that time.

The only proper way to run such things is to check everybody every time, but that will not prevent complacency from setting in. After a long period of no problems people will get careless and there will be an incident which will tighten things up - until complacency sets in again.

That is the way people seem to act.

4 posts before gun laws got dragged into it. Well, I was half expecting the first post to have some crack about it.