“Get down, get down. Everybody get down.”
New Hope, Minnesota, city councilman John Elder drew his concealed weapon Monday night and covered his fellow city council members Monday night after a man with a long history of mental illness opened fire after two new police officers were sworn in.
Elder, a former police officer, drew his concealed weapon and prepared to cover his fellow city council members after shots range out outside the room in city hall. He did not have to fire his weapon, even though at least one bullet entered the room.
The attacker was killed in the exchange of fire with police officers, and two officers were wounded, including one the officers who was just sworn in.
It will probably come as a shock to no one that the attacker had a long history of mental problems and violent threats.
The suspect who opened fire on two suburban Minneapolis police officers after their swearing-in ceremony has been identified by his family as a disgruntled man whose anger was bound to boil over.
The suspect, 69-year-old R______ K____*, was killed during Monday night’s shooting at New Hope City Hall, his son told NBC affiliate KARE on Tuesday, adding that he had a running dispute with city officials and officers over the years. K____ wanted to sell property to the city in 2008 for $955,000, but officials denied the offer after assessing the home at only $255,000, according to his son, Nathan K____.
The elder K___ had other run-ins with authorities — including charges filed against him for making terroristic threats and an incident in 2009 in which New Hope police used a stun gun on him after he was pulled over. Family said he had been getting treatment for mental health issues but warned authorities he was volatile, the station reported.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately confirm the information about the shooter or say why the two officers were targeted. The cops — identified as Joshua Eernisse and Beau Schoenhard — were in good condition after being shot and were expected to survive, Chief Deputy Mike Carlson told reporters on Monday.
The attacker had been committed numerous times to a state mental heath facility, and could not have had legal access to firearms. It will be very interesting to see how he acquired the handgun that he used in the attack.
While we don’t know (nor should we) if Councilman Elder is the only New Hope council member with a concealed carry permit, we are aware that the practice of carrying a concealed weapon is popular among city government officials in jurisdictions where it is legal just for this very reason.
A similar attack in Pennsylvania in 2013 left three people dead and two more injured before the unarmed participants were able to subdue him. Like the New Hope attacker, the Ross Township murderer had a long history of mental illness and did not have legal access to firearms.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass and spree killers, whether they are successful or not.