Arizona Shooting Victim Arrested For Threat Against Tea Party Leader
One of the victims of last Saturday’s shooting, who had previously publicly blamed Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for what happened, was arrested last night at a town hall event after making death threats:
Two things are clear from Saturday’s ABC News town hall meeting in Tucson. One: Tucsonans are eager to move forward and recover from last week’s horrible shooting rampage. And two: that process is going to be slow and painful. That latter point was driven home by the arrest of a shooting victim, who threatened a speaker during the taping of the program.
ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour hosted the remarkable gathering of victims, heroes, witnesses and first responders. It was the first time most of them had been together since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing 6, and wounding or injuring 14 others — a rampage that happened one week earlier almost to the hour.
On the platform with Amanpour were Col. Bill Badger, who helped tackle gunman Jared Lee Loughner; Daniel Hernandez, who ran to help wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords while most people were ducking for cover, Patricia Maisch, who grabbed a magazine away from Loughner; Bill Hileman, whose wife, Susan, is still recovering from gunshot wounds.
On the front row was Kenneth Dorushka, who was shot shielding his wife from Loughner’s gunfire; and J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee.
When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated. Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”
The event wrapped up a short time later. Deputies then escorted Fuller from the room. As he was being led off, Fuller shouted loudly to the room at large. Several witnesses said that what they thought they heard him shout was, “You’re all whores!”
Fuller, age 63, is a political operative who specializes in gathering petitions for ballot initiatives. Before the program began, he passed out business cards to people sitting around him that read:
“Expediting Initiatives since 2006
“J. Eric Fuller
A Pima County Sheriff’s spokesman told KGUN9 News that the department has charged Fuller with one count of threats and intimidation, and said they plan to charge him with at least one count of disorderly conduct. Humphries told KGUN9 News that he does plan to press those charges.
At the last word, Fuller has apparently been placed under mental health observation. Ironic considering that’s exactly what should’ve happened to Jared Loughner prior to January 8, 2011.
Update: Via Mediaite, here’s video of the from the town hall, with the audio boosted so you can hear Fuller’s “You’re dead” remark around the 0:28 remark:
Humphries remarks were, of course, non-controversial. Fuller is clearly a man with his own agenda notwithstanding his status as a victim.