August 18, 2010

Hm. Wonder how long before this planned domestic-terrorism attack on a police headquarters in McKinney, Texas, is labeled "just another isolated incident":

A man apparently bent on destroying the police headquarters in McKinney was shot and killed this morning after spraying the building with bullets.

Parick Gray_d9af1.JPG Police say 29-year-old Patrick Gray Sharp drove a Ford F150 pickup pulling a trailer to the station and set it on fire in an apparent attempt to draw people out of the building. Inside the trailer, police said, were wood chips, roadside flares, gasoline, and ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the type used in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

"He had a plan. He was executing his plan," McKinney Police Chief Doug Kowalski said at an afternoon news conference at which he confirmed Sharp's identity and talked about the unusual nature of the attack.

Kowalski said more than 100 shell casings were found in the area, and 23 windows were broken in the building. Officers returned fire, and Sharp was killed 50 to 200 yards south of the police station. It was unclear whether he was shot by police or died from a self-inflicted wound.

No one else was injured in the incident, which began about 9 a.m. and according to Kowalski lasted less than five minutes.

"We know the who, what, when, where. "We don't know the why," Kowalski said.

He said Sharp, who lived in Anna, did not have a criminal record.

"We're delving more into his background," the chief said.

CBS-11 has more details:

Police say Sharp may have been trying to draw people out of the building and blow up a trailer loaded with explosives. Kowalski says Sharp fired more than 100 rounds before he died.

During a morning news conference McKinney Police Deputy Chief Scott Brewer confirmed that around 9 a.m. a man driving a Ford F-150 truck drove up on south side of the Public Safety Building, pulling a trailer. The building houses both the McKinney Police and Fire Departments.

Immediately after Sharp exited the vehicle it became engulfed in flames. Police believed there was ammunition inside the pickup. "Subsequently the fire itself set off that ammunition, causing rounds to be dispersed in immediate area," explained Brewer.

Sharp began yelling something toward the building and opened fire. Officers in and outside the building began searching for the shooter. The suspect was located and there was an exchange of gunfire.

The Dallas Morning News went out and talked to his neighbors. Apparently Sharp had a roomie named Eric McClellan who was nowhere near the scene:

McClellan was vacationing in Philadelphia when the shooting occurred, according to his mother. Police said Tuesday afternoon that they had reached him, and he was surprised by the news.

McClellan and Sharp, 29, "were cool guys," Mullins said. "They stuck to themselves."

Both neighbors said they had no idea what could have been behind Sharp's actions Tuesday.

Police say Sharp had no criminal record, but had been a witness in court cases.

He had been working at Encore Wire Corp. in McKinney, according to the company, which said he resigned a few days ago.

Cheryl Cox, McClellan's mother, said Sharp and her son both worked in security at Encore.

Eventually we'll find out more about why Sharp targeted his local police station, though it's worth noting that his strategy was not entirely different from the Hutaree Militia's. Moreover, certain other aspects -- particularly the presence of an ammonium-nitrate bomb -- indicate a well-established modus operandi.

But of course, it will all be written off as just another "lone wolf" indulging in an "isolated incident." Funny how we keep having all these "isolated incidents", isn't it?

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