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Two Mass Shootings, 2000 Miles…


Four people were found dead in a Philadelphia office this evening.

A fifth person was said to be wounded and in the hospital.

The AP reported that a gunman shot four people before turning the gun on himself. All this took place at a location close to the old Philadelphia Navy Yard. A 911 call came into Philly police around 8:30 p.m. Gunfire had been heard in Building 79 of the Philadelphia Naval Business Center.

Some reports indicate that the gunman engaged police before committing suicide.

The AP also quoted a Philadelphia police official who stated that the shooter “appeared to get upset at a board of directors meeting for a company that may have been an investment firm…”

CNN has reported on their website that the shootings took place at ZigZag Net. The website associated with that business name indicates that ZigZag Net specialized in “Creative and Strategic Marketing, Web and Interactive and Web Application Development…”

Updates will follow.


The names of the deceased in the office shootings in Philadelphia have been released:

  • Mark Norris, 46, of Piles Grove, N.J.; president and CEO of Zigzag Net, the building’s primary occupant.
  • Robert Norris, 41, of Newark, Del., vice president of business development for Watson International, the company having the meeting.
  • James Reif, 42, of Endicott, N.Y. and a high school friend of Robert Norris

source: Philadelphia Inquirer.

The killer was identified today as Vincent Dortch, 44, of Newark, Delaware.


A very reliable source in Utah writes to me about the mass shooting that has taken place in a mall in Salt Lake City tonight: “Random, one end of the mall to the other… Mall is a 1 square block redone trolley barn/rail station (…) directly in downtown… White Male, early 20s, random shooting, officers cornered him in a clothing store and killed him… He was wearing a black trench coat… carrying a shotgun…”

My source in Utah also was not yet clear on the number of fatalities at the Trolley Square Mall. MSNBC and the Associated Press report:

The man entered the mall about 6:45 p.m. and began shooting randomly…


An antique-store owner, Barrett Dodds, 29, said he saw a man in a trench coat exchanging gunfire with a police officer outside a card store. The gunman was backed into a children’s clothing store.

“I saw the cops go in the store. I saw the shooter go down,” said Dodds, who watched from the second floor…

There may be as many as 5 fatalities in the Mall shooting, my source is guessing fewer, at the moment.

That the gunman wore a trenchcoat might have more to do with concealing a weapon than making a statement… but at the moment, no one knows.

A strange coincidence where these mass shootings in two cities on different sides of the U.S. are concerned is the fact that they actually took place within minutes of one another. Salt Lake City is on Mountain Time, Philadelphia on Eastern. The Philadelphia shootings were called in at 8:30 p.m., ET — just 15 minutes later, at 6:45 MT, the trenchcoated shooter opened fire at Trolley Square, over 2000 miles away.

Updates will follow.

Also see Bonnie’s Blog of Crime.


When I asked my source in Salt Lake if it was possible that the shooter at Trolley Square was a devotee of the Columbine Killers (and yes, those do exist — just read Trench Reynolds’s site to see what I mean), the response was elliptical — I was told the killer at Trolley Square “didn’t fit that mold.”

In a press conference held in SLC about an hour ago, I realized what my friend meant; it was revealed in the presser that the shooter was a Bosnian refugee living in Salt Lake, 18-year-old Solejman Talovic. At the moment, that’s almost all anyone knows, including Salt Lake City law enforcement.

Talovic apparently got out of his car and simply started shooting everyone he saw.

The victims, according to the Salt Lake Tribune:

  • Jeffrey Walker, 52;
  • Vanessa Quinn, 29;
  • Teresa Ellis, 29;
  • Brad Frantz, 24;
  • Kirsten Hinkley, 15.

I added links in names where I could find something relevant.

I was 16 in 1984 when a terrible massacre in San Ysidro, California hit the news. A soulless bastard named James Huberty went “hunting humans” on July 18 that year. He found his prey in a McDonalds in San Ysidro, and by the time a police sniper took Huberty down, he’d killed 21 and wounded 19.

Perhaps I was mildly insane when I was 16, but for several years after the mass murder in San Ysidro, across the country from where I lived in Nashville, I refused to go inside any fast-food restaurant for a sit-down meal. I’m not kidding. I made exceptions, but one place was never an option — McDonald’s. I’d go through the driver-through any time. But you couldn’t have dragged me inside a Mickey D’s after I’d sat glued to the awful news from California.

I won’t be that way about malls, now. I’ve outgrown a lot of the strange anxieties and paranoias I had as a kid. But I can’t say for sure that the next time I enter a mall that I won’t at least think of Trolley Square.

(NOTE: In a skim of the major cable networks looking for something about either story above, I saw nothing but wall-to-wall Anna Nicole. And I apologize to my friends in the msm, but that’s just wrong. Any other time these stories would merit major national news cut-ins. Astonishing. For another crime news story that actually matters, but you haven’t heard about, check out the Crime Scene Blog, and Stephen McCaskill’s comprehensive post about the NorCal Rapist.)