Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Media Ignore Latest Mass Slaying in New Mexico
Not much in the way of fresh news on the incident. Still nothing further on possible plan to kill girlfriend's parents and her role in maybe keeping him from following his plan to shoot up a Walmart. The boy's extended family released a statement complaining that he is being misread as a "monster"--hey, he played drums and basketball and had friends, they say. They say something mental must have snapped. They also ask that he not be used to further "political" goals. This is all part of general response out there from gun advocates--the only problem is people with mental issues, not such people easily able to grab four weapons out of an unlocked closet.
UPDATE #2: And more: Father got some of guns through "private sales." Legal, illegal? He was former felon: gang member turned pastor. Taught son to shoot.
UPDATE #1 The sheriff speaks a little more. Reports Griego saying that after shooting mother and brother, age 9, he "lost his conscience" and then shot two other siblings and dad and then headed for Walmart to kill many more. Turns out he spend a good deal of time with girlfriend (after he sent her photo of dead mother) while trying to decide how to proceed.
More here: "During Tuesday’s press conference, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said Griego possibly started planning the fatal attack a week in advance and may have also plotted to kill his 12-year-old girlfriend’s parents. Investigators believe Griego told his girlfriend about his plans. That young girl is now under investigation and could be facing charges."
Also: Griego may have planned the murders--and attack on local WalMart--possibly for weeks. Could have killed dozens. Police also confirm he took four weapons in all from dad's unlocked gun closet: two shotguns, the assault rifle and a .22. And: "Griego reportedly gushed to police about his love for violent video games during the interrogation, Houston said."
Earlier: I've followed, perhaps more closely (from the beginning) than anyone on the national media level, the latest mass laying by firearms out in New Mexico (go here). No important updates since late yesterday, but a press conference is scheduled for today. But I will note: This tragedy--and object lesson--getting very little national attention. The NYT, for example, carrying nothing more than weak AP story. This shows how common these events have become. You now need dozens shot in a theater, or a U.S. congressman nearly killed, or 20 school kids murdered, to cause much of a ripple. Young Griego needed to carry out his plan of slaughtering dozens at WalMart--which he nearly did.
Yes this incident reflects so (sadly) perfectly the current gun control debate, including the easy access to weapons including an assault weapon--his father buying them, and then son taking them from unlocked closet, and using them. And amid the debate over guns in schools--here's a kid who was home-schooled, and then killed three of his siblings, ages 2, 5, and 9. And his father was a "good guy with a gun"--which was used against him. Finally, why was the kid obsessed with violence for much of his life, as the stories suggest?
More evidence of how little this story has spread: Salon with a major piece today on how so many recent "killing sprees" started with slaying or targeting a woman --and it doesn't even mention Griego shooting his mom.
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch