Mass shooting situations trigger a tsunami of public emotion, so there are enormous incentives for politically correct reporters to “interpret” them in certain ways for political purposes. But they are often complex events that take time and careful investigation to unravel. In the recent shooting in Las Vegas, two police officers and a concealed carry permit holder were killed by the two attackers, who also died. The last death occurred in a Wal-Mart, which, I am told, has some of the most complete surveillance camera systems of all U.S. retail establishments . . .
Initial stories did not include mention of the fact that the victim killed in the Wal-Mart was a legally armed citizen. Subsequent stories disclosed that he was attempting to stop the attackers when he was killed; it was implied that his action was futile. Initial police reports claimed that the attackers had committed suicide.
Authorities had earlier said the woman shot and killed her husband before taking her own life. But Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill told reporters Wednesday that a review of forensic evidence at the scene and autopsy results showed that police fatally wounded the gunman.
“We made a determination that she did not shoot him. He did suffer a gunshot wound, and we believe the entrance wound was here,” McMahill said, pointing to his own collarbone.
Note that CNN makes no mention of the armed citizen, Joseph Wilcox, being armed, or of his attempt to stop the attackers, until the end of the story:
After gunning down the officers, Jerad and Amanda Miller ran to a nearby Walmart, police said, where they killed a bystander before barricading themselves inside the store during a firefight with responding officers.
At the end of the article the writer includes this statement from the police spokesperson, Assistant Chief McMahill:
“He was carrying a concealed weapon, and he immediately and heroically moved toward the position of Jerad Miller. Upon completing that action, he did not realize that Amanda Miller was with Jerad Miller,” McMahill said.
The change in the story from the male attacker being shot by his wife, and then committing suicide, to him being fatally shot by police, has prompted at least one observer to wonder if Joseph Wilcox might have wounded the male attacker. From sfgate.com, commenter porkupine writes:
First they said the wife shot the husband at walmart. Now they are saying cops shot him and the wife shot her self, and only now are they saying a concealed permit carrier “confronted them”. You know what I think? I think that the concealed permit citizen shot the husband, then the wife shot the concealed carrier. The concealed guy stopped a potentially huge shooting spree but the anti gun mainstream media doesn’t people to know that
One of the early reports from the Las Vegas Review Journal stated:
One unconfirmed report is that the two exchanged gunfire with a citizen who was carrying a concealed weapon, and that one of the shooters was injured.
There is a clear bias in the old media to downplay successful citizen defensive uses of guns. John Lott wrote an entire book about it, so it’s easy to understand the skepticism embodied in porukpine’s comment. The Las Vegas police have also earned considerable skepticism about their ability to investigate shootings, especially after all the Costco footage of the shooting of another concealed carry permit holder, Eric Scott, was never recovered. In fact, the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote an entire book devoted to criticism of Las Vegas police shooting investigations.
The police acknowledge that they have voluminous videotape of the incident from store cameras.
McMahill said investigators were reviewing a “tremendous” amount of graphic video of the suspects during the rampage.
“The video shows you exactly how vicious and coldblooded these murderers were,” he said.
In the interest of transparency and to nip any questions about a “coverup”, the police should release all of the video to the public. We have often seen how, when only select snippets of video are released, as in the Rodney King affair, those snippets can be completely misleading.
In these days of online video, there is no reason not to release the entire footage.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.