Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tragedy in Arkansas: Gunman kills former senator, Bill Gwatney

Bill Gwatney, chairman of the state's Democratic Party, former state senator and a party superdelegate was reportedly shot three times shortly before noon Wednesday. The gunman, Timothy Dale Johnson burst into Gwatney's office in Little Rock, Arkansas. During a police chase Johnson was shot and killed.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said:
"Arkansas has lost a great son, and I have lost a great friend. There is deep pain in Arkansas tonight because of the sheer number of people who knew, respected and loved Bill Gwatney"

Hillary and Bill Clinton issued a statement : "[Gwatney] ...was not only a strong chairman of Arkansas' Democratic Party, but ... also a cherished friend and confidante."

Police say they have no motive for the shooting. However, moments after the shooting Johnson left Gwatney's office and pointed a handgun at a worker at the nearby Arkansas Baptist headquarters, telling the worker, "I lost my job." It has also been reported that "there was no indication that Johnson and Gwatney were acquainted."

Bill Gwatney was 48. Our prayers go out to his family and friends.