Mary “Unique” Spears, a 27-year-old mother of three, had just left the funeral of a relative on Saturday when a man she’d never met began harassing her under the guise of wanting to ask her out. She was on her way to the Joe Louis Post rental hall in Detroit to continue memorial services with her family. The man, 38, asked Spears for her name and her number, but she wasn’t interested. The man continued to pester Spears throughout the evening until the bar’s security staff escorted him out. Around that time is when he grabbed and hit Spears. When Spears’ fiance intervened, the harasser pulled out a gun. He shot her once, and when she tried to run, he shot her two more times in the head. Then, the man turned his gun on the crowd and injured Spears’ fiance and four other members of the family. The five other victims are expected to heal, but Spears was killed. Thankfully, the man is currently in custody and expected to be arraigned on murder charges. Her family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for her funeral.
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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]