A Virginia man who shot and killed his adopted parents when he was 19 is now calling for assault weapons to be banned. Joshua Cooke said that he felt “like a zombie” on the night of the murders. He is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence.
“If I had an assault weapon, things would have been much worse,” Cooke said during an interview with “Piers Morgan Live.”
“I thank God I didn't have an AR-15 or some other type of assault weapon because the way I was back then mentally, I would have gone to the mall that night or to one of my old high schools the next morning and killed as many people as I possibly could,” he said.
Prior to the shooting, Cooke was playing violent video games in his bedroom. He then picked up a shotgun he had purchased a few days before and decided: “That was it, there was nothing left in my life.” He walked downstairs and shot his mother in the chest before turning the gun on his father, Fox News reported.
“I had no emotion at all. I was basically like a zombie. I went down the steps and I shot my mother. I was numb. There had been so many years of hurt from mother's abuse and bullying, rejection from girls, all types of things like that, I just - I didn't care about anything anymore.”
His mother asked: “What are you doing Joshua? Why did you do this?”
Cooke said: “I loaded the gun, I pointed it at her face and I shot her in the face. I walked down the steps, I stepped over her body and I shot my father in the head one more time.”
He is now urging other people who are having dark thoughts to seek help before hurting anyone. “I've been where you are ... you don't know the pain you'll cause,” he said.
An 8-year-old Louisiana boy shot and killed his elderly caregiver Thursday evening, an act which investigators now believe was intentional.
Marie Smothers, 87, was shot in the back of the head by the 8-year-old boy and died shortly after suffering the wound. The boy, who was back with his parents Thursday night, told East Feliciana Parish investigators that the incident was an accident, according to The Advocate.
The child said that he was playing with the gun, and did not intend to fire it and kill his caregiver.
But after further investigation, police say they think the boy purposefully shot Smothers in the back of the head while she was watching television. However, officials have not determined a motive for the crime.
Relatives of Smothers and the boy said the two had a “normal” and “loving” relationship. Smothers and the child reportedly even slept in the same bedroom.
Investigators said the boy was playing a violent videogame right before he killed Smothers. The game, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” rewards players for killing people.
Police have not yet completed their investigation.
Sources: The Advocate
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) made the extraordinary false claim that no guns were used in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, which he claims was done only with machetes.
Rep. Pierce made the comment during a Las Cruces, New Mexico town hall on Thursday when a voter asked about gun control, which the congressman opposes.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, Rep. Pierce told the voter: “They don’t have guns in Rwanda, yet (more than 500,000) people died by machetes.”
Contrary to Rep. Pierce's claim, Rwanda's officials bought guns, mortar bombs, rocket launchers, grenades and ammunition from Egypt in 1990. The Hutu regime in Rwanda used the weapons in their genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.
According to the book "In A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide" by Linda Melvern, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, even admitted helping Egypt sell the weapons to Rwanda, notes The Guardian.
Boutros-Ghali was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Egypt and said he approved the weapons sale because it was his job.
Also, according to the Journal of Peace Research:
Human Rights Watch has documented how, in 1992–93, burgomasters (the head of the communal authority) ordered quantities of arms and ammunition that far exceeded the needs of their local police forces (Des Forges, 1999: 97–99). They ordered guns, Kalashnikovs, machine guns, grenades and large quantities of ammunition. The report also documents the purchase of arms by the rebels, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Goose & Smith (1994: 86–96) describe and criticize the arms sales to Rwanda in detail.
In another study posted on SmallArmsSurvey.org:
Soldiers, national police (gendarmes), former soldiers, and communal police played a larger part in the slaughter than is generally realized... Although usually few in number at sites of massive killing, their tactical knowledge and their use of weapons of war, including grenades, machine guns, and even mortars, contributed significantly to the death tolls in these massacres.
The North Carolina woman who accidentally discharged her gun and shot herself Thursday inside a Staples will not face charges, according to Wake County prosecutors.
The woman was identified later as 29-year-old mother Danielle Hayes.
Earlier in the day, police were considering charging Hayes with misdemeanor child abuse and failure to secure a firearm from a minor, considering her 2-year-old son was accompanying her in the store.
According to police, Hayes’ son reached for her purse and she pulled it away from him, triggering the gun.
Kelli Hamilton, a Staples customer and gun owner who received her license in July, said gun owners are meant to have training before handling a gun.
“If you pay attention in that class,” Hamilton said, “things like this shouldn't be happening."
Kevin Smith of Kevin Smith's Firearms Training noted that guns should also be stowed above the waist and treated it as if it is loaded at all times.
"We never recommend that you keep a gun in your pocketbook," Smith said. "Action versus reaction tells us that you're not going to have time to retrieve that from some remote place.”
Hayes’ son emerged from the store uninjured, as did the store’s remaining occupants.
The shooting was reported at 7p.m. and Hayes was taken immediately to WakeMed in Raleigh for treatment.
Arkansas Christian Academy posted signs around its campus stating that teachers are armed and that gunmen “will be met with deadly force.”
School Pastor Perry Black posted signs the signs, which read “Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force.”
When teachers return to the private school in Bryant, Ark., this fall, they will be packing heat. Black said one to seven staff members will be armed every day.
Black told KARK-TV that he uses armed security when he gives church services and decide to apply the same protection to students.
“I just felt like with what's going on in many of the public sectors where there seems to be a lot of shootings we need to take the same stance that we do in church on Sunday for our kids Monday through Friday,” Black said.
The school staff began gun training in the beginning of this year in the wake of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
"We have the same law enforcement officers that have helped us through training and helped us through our concealed carry permits,” he said.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel shot down a state plan that would have allowed public school to arm teachers and staff. As a private school, Arkansas Christian Academy does not have to abide by those regulations.
Black acknowledged that the school’s decision goes against McDaniel’s ruling, but said parents were very happy with the new measure.
“We certainly recognize his authority and his right to his opinion and we reserve our right as American citizens and as Christians to protect the children on our campus,” Black said.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Curtis Coleman praised the private school.
"I admire the school's administrator, Perry Black, for recognizing that every moment counts when a gun-toting criminal intent on taking innocent lives is on campus," Coleman said.
Police say no one was hurt Thursday when a gun went off inside a 5-year-old kindergartner’s backpack in a Memphis elementary school.
Students were waiting in the cafeteria of Westside Elementary School for the first school bell when the gun went off.
Shelby County school district said the bag was immediately taken and the child detained.
Police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said police are unsure how the gun got into the child’s backpack. Thursday afternoon officers were still questioning the child, with the child’s mother present.
The school district said that students were kept calm and safe while incident was handled, but that there was no evidence of harmful intent.
A letter was sent to parents to inform them of the incident, said district spokeswoman Stefani Everson. While the school has a ParentLink communication system to inform parents of a school emergency, it was not used because it was "an isolated and controlled situation that occurred before the school day started and did not involve any individual or school-wide threat," Everson said in an email.
"However, weapons of any kind are prohibited on campuses, and this student will be disciplined in accordance with the state's zero tolerance policy," the school board said in a statement.
That zero tolerance policy means "certain, swift and reasoned punishment."
The 5-year-old could face a 180-day suspension.
Cleveland-area police responded with every available unit after it received a call that shots had been fired at the Open Door Christian School on Wednesday, only to discoverer a Nerf gun fight outside of the school.
Police said the confusion began when a staff member sent a text to her daughter saying someone had shot a Nerf gun at her office window. The daughter misinterpreted the text, mistaking it for real gunfire, and called police.
The call was received around 1p.m. when sheriff’s deputies, rangers and firefighters rushed to the scene.
When the emergency team arrived, they were surprised to find that nothing appeared to be wrong with the school or church.
“People were shocked that we were there,” Elyria police Capt. Christopher Costantino said.
Despite appearances, police immediately put the school in lockdown and created a perimeter around the property.
After 15 minutes under lockdown, the first day of school was allowed to resume, police having found no threat of gunfire.
Head of Schools Denver Daniel said he was impressed with the speed at which police arrived.
It has been nearly 24 years since the Cleveland elementary school shooting that made national headlines, prompting anti-gun activists to ask why the mentally ill and people with criminal history had such easy access to guns.
A Florida man accidentally shot himself in his left leg Tuesday evening, while he was driving with his girlfriend.
David Mederios Jr., 35, reached over his girlfriend to grab his gun from the car’s glove compartment, according to Bradenton Patch.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported that the gun was a 1911A1 pistol.
When Mederious grabbed the firearm, its hammer was cocked back, its safety was disabled and it was loaded.
Mederios accidentally shot himself while he was handling the weapon in the car.
Police reported that he is expected to make a full recovery from the injury.
Sources: Bradenton Patch
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has warned civilians on armed patrols in remote desert terrain that they could end up with “30 rounds” fired into them by his deputies.
Arpaio’s comments came Tuesday after an Arizona Minuteman border-watch movement was arrested for pointing a gun at a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy that he mistook for a drug smuggler.
According to court records, the deputy and his partner stopped their vehicle 70 miles southwest of Phoenix near a known drug-trafficking corridor in the desert. They flashed their headlights and honked their horn, a common practice to draw drug smugglers from their hiding spots who think the car is a transfer for their narcotics load.
The deputies then emerged in camouflage, though both were clearly marked with sheriff badges, and followed fresh footprints.
Richard Malley suddenly emerged from the darkness with his rifle and yelled commands at the sheriffs.
When one sheriff identified himself and told Malley to drop his weapon, the 43-year-old refused.
“You aren’t taking my weapons,” Malley replied.
Malley was reportedly armed with a semi-automatic rifle, a .45 caliber handgun and a knife.
Another deputy arrived and eventually arrested Malley for aggravated assault. He was released on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on August 26.
Arpaio, who has promised there would be chaos on the borders if citizens disguised themselves as deputies took the law “into their own hands”, said Malley is lucky he wasn’t shot.
"I have to commend my deputy for not killing this person,” Arpaio said, “which easily could have happened.”
An unidentified and unsuspecting California man drove through Oakland and into the middle of a daylight street shooting and captured the entire event on his dashboard cam last Wednesday.
“It’s really disturbing and alarming that this continues on a daily basis,” said Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo, who lives near the shooting scene.
Gallo added that Oakland officials are not allowing police to be aggressive enough when it comes to stopping crime.
The video shows the driver approaching an intersection when two armed men in hoodies suddenly approached the corner and fired at least 15 gunshots at a passing red car.
Several people were walking by the scene including a young teenage boy wearing a backpack. The boy crossed the street just as the gunmen began to shoot and merely looked over his shoulder as if the event were commonplace.
At least six others were around when gunmen began to shoot.
While the driver was not injured, a bullet did strike the hood of his vehicle.
“The shooting reflects the lawlessness in parts of Oakland,” said the driver, who remained anonymous for fear of retaliation. “I feel unsafe to live in Oakland.”
The video emerged just after the Oakland Tribune reported 12 people were shot within 24 hours during the weekend, three of which died.