Arkansas Democratic Party chairman shot; Update: Gwatney dies

He’s alive but in critical condition with three bullet wounds. Awful.

A gunman barged into Arkansas’ Democratic Party headquarters today and fired three shots at the party chairman, who officials say is hospitalized in critical condition.

The gunman had asked to speak to party chairman Bill Gwatney. Police say the gunman went past a secretary and started shooting.

Democratic Party officials confirmed that the shooting victim was Gwatney. Little Rock police spokesman Lieutenant Terry Hastings has not released the victim’s ID. Hastings says the suspect was chased by police and was shot and caught in Grant County, and is now confirmed dead. Hastings says it was unclear who shot the suspect.

Moments before the Democratic headquarters shooting, a man with a gun had threatened workers at the Arkansas State Baptist Convention headquarters seven blocks east. Business manager Dan Jordan says a man with a gun told another manager that he’d just lost his job.

The Arkansas Times claims sources “are working to confirm tentative information that the suspect was a former employee of a Gwatney car dealership.” Bob Owens speculated on that earlier, although in that case I’m not sure what the shooter would be doing at Baptist headquarters. Anyway, this reminds me of when some nut went into Hillary’s New Hampshire headquarters last year professing to have a bomb and terrorizing the people inside for a good six hours while the blogosphere waited with bated breath to see what his motive might be. The Narrative was already written and ready to publish; all they needed was confirmation from the cops, which never came because the guy turned out to be a garden variety wacko. Exit quotation: “I wouldn’t read too much into his political affiliation; his main party was of course ‘Crazy.'”

Update: An already awful story gets worse: Gwatney’s died of his injuries.