Monday, January 30, 2006

COPS: WEEKEND SHOOTING LINKED TO MOTEL 7 SPREE

Two men were shot Sunday night in Springfield. Monday afternoon, police acknowledged a huge link to the Jan. 15 shooting spree at Motel 7.

Early reports indicate that the two men were followed back to a house in the 1600 block of East McDaniel Street.

In a news release, police spokesman Matt Brown said:
After further investigation this morning, the SPD would like to make it clear to the public that the shooting last night on McDaniel is not believed to be random. The two victims involved in the shooting, Andre Greer and Taraine Miller were also listed as victims in the Motel 7 shooting. Detectives are still following up in the investigation to determine why the two were again shot at last night.
Citing Missouri's Sunshine Law, police released the identities of the Motel 7 shooting victims last Wednesday. CHATTER published the list of identities; it included Taraine Miller with an address of 1632 E. McDaniel. The posting sparked a debate about the release of such information. Sunday night's shooting should advance that discussion.

Asked if the public release of victim identities led to Sunday's violence, Brown replied:
At this point, we're unsure if this is a retaliation shooting, so I can't say with any confidence that it occurred because of the media release. Like you, others in the media are wondering if the releases that they put out endangered the lives of the victims, and I'm not able to tell them they didn't.
A candid answer to a disquieting question.

10 comments:

John Stone said...

Well, isn't *THAT* precious?

Apparently there is a lot going on around here and our highly vaunted COPS program, and all these guys out on the street don't have a clue.

But ... we can have the certainty of cameras at stoplights and a dozen or so boys in blue downtown (plus a Sheriff's guy or two) making sure those kids behave themselves on the dance floor.

Thank goodness they can't shoot worth a damn ... someone could get killed.

Sickened said...

A disquieting question? Maybe you are the one who should be disquieted, Mr. Davis. Yours is the site that printed addresses of victims, and to my knowledge only your site chose to do that.

You certainly aren't guilty of causing the shootings, but you just as certainly may be the one who made them possible.

Ron Davis said...

Sickened: And the police department "certainly may" be guilty by releasing the information, and lawmakers "certainly may" have done harm by passing open-records laws.

Or you could say the gunman is the one "who made ... possible" the Sunday night shootings. After all, he's the one who opened fire.

How did he know where to go? None of us knows the answer. Did he see the victims in town and follow them to McDaniel Street? Did he ask around and get the information that way? Did he read it here?

I don't know. Neither do you.

Agree with the Others said...

You were the only one who chose to run that info publicly. It was a bad decision then and it looks even worse now.

No one says you are the most to blame. The shooters have that distinction all to themselves.

But did you grease the tracks? If anyone did, it was you.

Anonymous said...

You're doing a pathetic job of washing your hands of any form of ethical responsibility over running the addresses and phones.

You're yet to offer a single defendable reason why you felt compelled to post that information.

Can you name even one respected news organization whose policies would allow that kind of recklessness and insensitivity?

To you, this seems to be purely a chest-beating display of your First Amendment rights. Fine. Go ahead and engage in it if it gives you your jollies. Just don't wring your hands and search the sky the next time you find yourself wondering why so many people seem to have little or no respect for serious journalists. Or even for you, for that matter.

Agree with Anon said...

Nice. His silence clearly says it all.

Anonymous said...

I think the addresses were in the news-leader. I believe they have a slightly larger audience than this blog.

Anonymous said...

Well, the News-Leader DID publish the names of the cities where the victims resided, but it didn't take the additional step of providing specific street addresses, and it certainly didn't list their home phone numbers.

Again, it's fair to ask what purpose was served by posting that information here. I'm sorry, but, "I did it to provoke a public discussion about the public's right to know," is about as weak as it gets.

Ron Davis said...

To Anon: You're still thinking and talking about it.

To Agree: My "silence" doesn't mean I'm tongue-tied by you. This blog isn't the only thing I'm juggling.

As for a "purpose" in posting the identities of the shooting victims -- it's the same one used in newsrooms everyday. The identities were news, and new information in a continuing story. They're part of the basics -- w5h. Who was shot?

Is anyone asking why the media identified the motel and its owner and manager? Why wasn't it good enough to run the address and call it a "northside motel"? Sure would have saved the owner a lot of bad publicity and, I suspect, lost business.

Why identify anyone? Because it's news.

Was it, as some claim, a "bad decision" to run the identities? Easy to say in hindsight, and it assumes too much -- that the publication of the victims' identities led to the second round of shootings. Using that assumption to go forward, where are the other shootings? If the Sunday shooter is still at large and armed with a list of addresses, why isn't he blasting up the town?

I stand by my decision to publish the identities of the shooting victims. I published the identities because they were news in a continuing story. No one has shown a causal relationship between that publication and the second round of shootings.

FYI, police on Friday tied the two shooting sprees to cocaine deals. Cops say they're still having trouble getting eyewitnesses to talk.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your answer of "because it's news" sounds just a little too much like "because I said so."

Surely you can do better than that.