Violence from Brooklyn, NY, and Michigan State University grips the headlines

February 14 – It seems more than a little sad that on the date of February 14, Valentine’s Day, the news is peppered not with love, but instead a whole lot of violence. 

Michigan State University is closed following a mass shooting on campus Monday night. 

A 43-year-old man, allegedly unaffiliated with the university, opened fire in both the student union building and a classroom, where five students were wounded and three were killed. 

The gunman was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The motive was unclear. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “He walks into a classroom and just starts opening fire, kills two people in the classroom, then runs down the street into the student union building, opens fire there again, kills someone there. There are a number of other people injured. It sounds like some of these other injuries are very serious.” 

More information on the man will likely be forthcoming over the next few days. 

One of the questions is how did he get in the buildings? 

Barkdoll said, “I hope this is not another one of these cases where we’ve seen this so many times where the person slips through the cracks. They had been giving all kinds of warnings and telegraphs that they may do something, but law enforcement failed to intercept them. I don’t know if that’s what the facts will be here.” 

Then in Brooklyn, NY, a man in a U-Haul truck drove through the sidewalks and streets yesterday, apparently aiming for bicycles and pedestrians. Nine people were struck and one has since died. 

The driver, a 62-year-old man, allegedly rented the truck in Florida in the beginning of February and appeared to have been living in it. The man has had numerous brushes with the law. 

Video clips have been released of the U-haul truck speeding through numerous streets and sidewalks. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM wondered, “It seems like he’s driving around an enormously long period of time. Why didn’t they pin this guy down faster? I don’t want to be that armchair guy here, I just want to flush it out.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll pointed out, “This went on for over four miles and when you think about in the context of New York City, that is a lot of territory. It’s not clear to me either why it took four miles to catch up to this guy. He wasn’t really stopped by the police. It appears this came to an end when he crashed the truck into a structure and it was then that the police were then able to capture this guy. It’s sad that we have someone that has been killed and there’s eight more people that are apparently injured. It’s remarkable to me that there weren’t more injuries. You think about driving four miles along busy New York City sidewalks and pedestrian areas in the middle of the day, it’s a blessing that people apparently were able get out of the way to the extent they did.” 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “Family indicates he’s schizophrenic. They were fearful that he would kill himself somehow. I can’t help but think about all the legalized marijuana happening now and that may have nothing to do with this case, but you know causing schizophrenia is something they’re finding out is happening with this very potent marijuana. Can you imagine once we legalize this and millions of people will potentially be using this very potent marijuana? Even if it’s only a small percentage, can you imagine them unleashing this kind of mentality onto our public? Willingly? It’s unbelievable.” 

Ryan said, “New York City is a cesspool now. I saw the Post yesterday. Rapes are up. Drug use is up. I had traveled to New York on a number of occasions to meet with some of our clients at the radio company I was at before. I would routinely get off at Penn Station and I mean, it’s loud, it’s noisy and it stinks, but I didn’t have any of the problems that they’re talking about now.” 

Barkdoll agreed, “New York City is a mess. I used to go up there occasionally to visit, even had weekends where I would take the kids up. I would not do that now. For many years, I felt safe there, but that city is now just a mess. Crime is up in every category across the board. This has been going on for the better part of five if not ten years.” 

The driver of the U-haul once he was subdued apparently said he wanted to die. 

Barkdoll said, “There’s clearly some mental health and maybe some other issues going on there.”