Details remain sparse, but Nevada police say two people are dead after a shooting at Sparks Middle School shortly after 7am local time this morning. The shooter is among the dead, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal, and Sparks’ city manager says the shooter was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Two more people have been transferred to a hospital, where they are in critical condition; a hospital rep says both are male minors. The AP notes that Sparks is located just east of Reno. That city’s deputy chief says as many as 200 personnel responded to the school and local area. “The schools are safe. The rest of the city is safe,” he says. Read more at Newser…
An eight-year-old boy in Dallas, Texas, was shot in the face on Tuesday in yet another horrific act of gun violence. Donald Maiden, Jr. was allegedly playing tag around an apartment complex when he was shot by 46-year-old Brian Cloninger. Police “have not been able to determine a motive,” Raw Story reported. Cloninger, who was seen waving a gun at people before the shooting, is being held on a $2.2 million bond after being charged with injury to a child. Meanwhile, Donald Maiden had just celebrated his 8th birthday on Sunday and now he’s hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Our thoughts are with his family. [Dallas News] [Raw Story] [Image of handgun via Shutterstock]
“What happened to Walt is something I related to … If I’m truly honest with myself. I’ve come to realize that I think everybody is capable of [transforming into a villain]. If you came into a condition where you were under tremendous stress. And if I knew what buttons to push that threatened you and yours…You could become an extremely dangerous person … I had one girlfriend I wanted to kill … I envisioned myself killing her … It was so clear. My apartment had a brick wall on one side, and I envisioned opening the door, grabbing her by the hair, dragging her inside, and shoving her head into that brick wall until brain matter was dripping down the sides of it. Then I shuddered and realized how clearly I saw that happening. And I called the police because I was so afraid. I was temporarily insane—capable of doing tremendous damage to her and to myself.”
– Bryan Cranston talks about channelling his dark side to play Walter White on “Breaking Bad” in the August issue of GQ. In the article, he mentions that this ex-girlfriend, whose head he thought about smashing into a brick wall, was a drug addict who stalked him and left messages threatening to kill him on his answering machine — not that that makes his murder fantasy admission any less disturbing. Keep reading »
Aside from it being Valentine’s Day, February 14 was also the day of the One Billion Rising campaign, which aims to end violence against women. Violence is cyclical, so it should be no surprise that many incarcerated women and men were also once victims of physical, emotional and sexual violence at some point in their lives. To combat the cycle of violence and break the hold that violence and victimization has had on their lives, male and female inmates at a prison in San Francisco took part in a dance project sponsored by the One Billion Rising project. Dance may seem like a rather ephemeral way to address such heady issues, but for the inmates that participated in the program, dance provided a metaphorical way to escape their own feelings of pain, victimization and shame and a powerful physical release to shake off the chains of incarceration. “We have mothers and sister and daughters and women in the world who are affected by this every minute of every day,” said one inmate of the event. “As a man, I promise you, I will stand up and be a role model.” Let’s hope that sentiment spreads. [YouTube]
When you live in New York City, it’s impossible not to find yourself inadvertently in the middle of someone else’s crazy. Sometimes it’s a domestic dispute and sometimes it’s a person in the throes of a psychotic break — either due to mental illness or substance use. You learn to assess these situations as best as possible and take your best guess as to whether to call the police or keep the hell out of it. This becomes even more difficult when you find yourself trapped in a subway car with a threatening situation. This happened to me this morning.
A visibly intoxicated 30-something woman got on my train. I’m guessing she was intoxicated because of the water bottle full of what looked and smelled like whiskey she was carrying and the way she was stumbling and slurring. As she pushed her way onto my subway car, she began ranting immediately. This happens a lot — ranters on the train. You usually move as far away from them as you can, avoid eye contact and hope for the best. It’s harder at rush hour when the train is crowded, as it was this morning. My personal motto when it comes to crazies on the train is: “Don’t poke the mad dog.” Keep reading »