Lights, sirens, & general confusion

Last Thursday evening, about 6:45, about two dozen cop cars sped into our mobile-home park in Gardena, CA, with sirens and lights going. As it turned out, there was some nut in a mobile home near the back of the park (we live in the front, near the only entrance) who had threatened some neighbors. There was a call to 911; one thing led to another and before we knew anything–I didn’t even hear any shots–the guy had shot at some cops and was himself (fatally) shot. He died at a local hospital. A search of his mobile home and yard turned up some semiautomatic weapons, some (dud) hand grenades, and a supply of ammunition. The cops were cool and methodical and it was all over real quick, though I later watched the TV news for Channel 9, KCAL-TV (whose helicopter was hovering overhead) and they gave lurid details. Nobody else was apparently injured, thankfully; but it must have shaken up quite a few people in the park.
If any of you Dopers have been this close to serious police (or fire, or rescue) activity, please post it here.

In short, a UNC law school student suffering from paranoid schizophrenia stopped taking his medication and went through downtown Chapel Hill with an M-1 rifle. Killed two people and injured a police officer. It happened right across the street where I worked. I wasn’t there at the time, but I easily could have been. I know many people who were there and heard the shots. I was walking on campus soon afterwards, and saw the helicopters hovering over the area.

His original plan was not to go downtown, but instead to the basketball arena on a night when students would be camping out for tickets.

Someone went off the deep end here at UMKC last semester, busted out his window in his dorm apartment, and took potshots at anyone walking by. Happily, he was a bad aim, and I don’t think he even hit anyone.


A couple of years ago, fall of '96, while I was attending the University of Northern Colorado, there was a hostage situation. This guy had been dumped by his girlfriend and drove from Bayfield, about 350 miles, to get her to take him back. He walked in to her Dorm room and basically she said no. He then took out a gun and shot her roommate in the foot. The police were called and after several hours a swat team sniper shot him in the head. We later learned that before he left Bayfield he had shot his three roommates and stolen one of their cars. I was in the next building over the whole time, not more than 50 feet away. Spooked a lot of people…