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Knoxville TVUU Shooter — A Familiar Character

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

The man who is accused of Sunday’s church shooting was described today by a long-time acquaintance as a loner who hates “blacks, gays and anyone different from him.”

He was also your typical control freak, the malicious sexual possessive, who wants to kill what he can’t control:

Adkisson’s ex-wife, Liza Alexander of Powell, was a former long-time member of the church, congregant Barbara Kemper said today.

Alexander, a resident of the Powell community inside Anderson County, repeatedly refused comment when contacted today.

The Adkissones’ marriage disintegrated eight years ago after Adkisson had been drinking heavily and then put a gun to Alexander’s head, said Carol Smallwood of Alice, Texas.

I know there is no logic in this sort of thing. This type of person is completely nuts but I wish they would just kill themselves and not take other people with them. They’re crazy and they’re cowards and, sorry boys, they are almost always men. At the root of their crazy headedness, there is always sexual possessiveness and sexual control. There is also a logic of entitlement. They seem to believe that they are entitled to own/control other people.

July 28, 2008   1 Comment

Knoxville Shootings — Motive Was Suicide by Cop and Right Wing Loony-ism

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church planned to shoot until police shot him, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV said this morning.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he described his feelings and why he committed the shooting, Owen said.

Adkisson said he was frustrated about not being able to obtain a job and how much he hated the liberal movement, Owen said.

The letter, recovered from Adkisson’s 2004 Ford Escape parked in the church’s parking lot at 2931 Kingston Pike, indicates he had been planning the shooting for about a week.

So, my initial suspicions were correct, the guy is another hateful right wing nutter. He deliberately sought to kill the people at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

It’s such a familiar tune, isn’t it. Some guy who is, by all the sad standards that our culture sets, a loser decides to kill himself but he can’t go it alone. He has to vent his hate by taking others out as well. The school shooters are like this. The family killers are like this. They’re consumed by their own failure and want to punish others for it. He’s just another pitiful nutter.

July 28, 2008   1 Comment

Motive for the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church Killings

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports today that a manifesto was found in Jim D. Adkisson’s car possibly giving his motivation for the shootings.

Police apparently found a multi-page, handwritten letter in the vehicle of the shotgun-wielding suspect charged in Sunday’s mass shooting during a children’s play at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

The letter apparently offers some clues about accused shooter Jim D. Adkisson’s motive for targeting the church’s congregation, although specifics were not immediately available.

From interviews on the local TV stations last night, it appears that this guy had a grudge against his parents for forcing religion on him. The impression that I’m getting is that this guy is not simply a right wing nut who went over the edge but someone with a long standing mental illness something like what was shown to be the case with the Unibomber.

The second victim who died, Linda Kraeger, was a member of my brother’s West Side Unitarian Universalist Church.

July 28, 2008   No Comments

Speculation on the Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

For those of you not familiar with the location of this shooting, the TVUUC is located on on a tree lined 4 lane stretch of Kingston Pike immediately west of the University of Tennessee. There are many churches along this stretch of road. The Unitarian church is a sweeping single story structure set back from the street. It doesn’t rise high above the street. The 2nd Presbyterian Church next door to the TVUUC, for example, is on a hill and more easily visible. This suggests to me that the shooter probably did not randomly select the TVUUC.

As far as I know, the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is the oldest Unitarian church in the immediate area. It is also the largest and most prominent church with the denomination. My brother is a long time member of the West Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church. This is a much smaller group. There are several other small Unitarian groups in the area including Oakridge and Blount County. There’s no doubt that if you wanted to strike at this denomination in east Tennessee, the TVUUC would be the place to hit.

Of course, this is all my speculation. In the next few days, the motive will be exposed. As an evangelical atheist, I’m betting this nut job, Jim Adkisson, had some crazy religious inspired motive.

July 27, 2008   5 Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooter Identified

The shooter has been identified as someone named “Jim D. Adkisson”. There aren’t any other details about him at this time. He’s being held on $1M bail and is charged with first degree murder. Apparently, several people were filming in the church at the time of the shooting and that material is being reviewed by police and the FBI.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

The promised press conference has not been broadcast on local television but the Knoxville News Sentinel continues to provide coverage of the shootings.  From their reports, it looks like the shooter was some sort of right wing nutcase:

Kemper said the gunman walked into the side of the sanctuary after firing one shot from a hallway.

She said the gunman was yelling “hateful things” and was wearing a red, white and blue T-shirt.

The damage reported so far is 1 dead of the 7 people shot. One person was slightly injured from trampling. The FBI is also investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

If you don’t know, there is a bitter county election about to take place and one of the folks running for office in that election is Steve Drevik.  He is a member of the Unitarian church where the shooting took place this morning. This guy was not at the church at the time of the shooting. He went there after he heard the news and now he’s giving interviews to all of the media. This sort of thing makes me gag. Does he realize how inappropriate he’s being?

There will be a police news conference at 4 pm and hopefully we’ll learn the identity of the shooter at that time.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Shooting

The police are keeping mum on the shooter in the attack at the West Knoxville Unitarian Church. No one that I know personally was injured in the attack. The wire services are reporting that one person has died.

The news coverage in Knoxville is horrible. Here’s an event that is getting national headlines and the local stations won’t even interrupt an infomercial to give a detailed report.  The only station attempting to report on the situation with regular updates is WBIR. This is the local NBC affiliate.

p.s. The Knoxville News Sentinel has the video of the police press conference.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Breaking News – West Knoxville Unitarian Church

We made the national news. From CNN:

Seven people were shot and critically wounded Sunday at a Unitarian church in Knoxville, Tennessee, authorities said.

Police have arrested a suspect in the attack, which occurred about 10 a.m. ET at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, said Capt. Brent Seymour, a Knoxville Fire Department spokesman.

According to church members, children from the congregation’s summer theater workshop were preforming the musical “Annie” when the gunman opened fire, WVLT reported.

The seven gunshot victims were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center — located just across the Tennessee River from the church — Seymour said. About 12 others were treated for minor injuries at the church, he said.

My brother is trying to find out who was shot. He’s a member of another Unitarian church further west.

July 27, 2008   No Comments