This will keep lots of government agencies busy over the next few days. A gunman tried setting a trap for police early this morning at a Trump resort in the Miami area, draping a flag over the desk and “ranting about the president.” Despite his apparent plans, the suspect didn’t manage to kill anyone, but was himself struck several times when police returned fire.
He’ll live, but he probably won’t enjoy life much after this:
Police in Florida captured a gunman who opened fire at the Trump National Doral golf club near Miami. The suspect was arrested overnight after exchanging fire with officers. Police say he was ranting about the president. @BojorquezCBS reports: https://t.co/b0rNDJf0mV pic.twitter.com/qOewjj5NnX
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2018
Police responding overnight to a call of an active shooter at President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Florida, engaged in a shootout with a man and ended up taking him into custody with gunshot wounds. Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said at a news conference early Friday morning that the man was found “actively shooting” in the lobby of Trump National Doral Miami resort, making anti-Trump statements.
One officer sustained a broken wrist during the altercation, but nobody else, apart from the shooter, was wounded. The man in custody was not identified, and his motive remained unclear later Friday morning. …
CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports that police believe the suspect tried to lure law enforcement officers to the scene, and a fire alarm was set off prior to their arrival.
The motive may not be entirely clear, but the choice of venue doesn’t seem to be an accident. The Trump Organization bought the Doral resort in 2012, and the branding appears to be part of the point:
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez said the man was shouting about Trump, and “actively shooting.”
“He was yelling and spewing some information about President Trump and that’s what we know so far. And he had an American flag that he did drape over the counter,” Perez said.
So the motive, such as it is, is probably not too difficult to suss out. (Alternate thought: what if he was ranting in favor of Trump?) The true proximate cause is more likely to be a blend of idiocy and lunacy, which will matter far more than the motive. We should reserve judgment until the investigation is completed, but that’s not all we should reserve either. There will be a great temptation among some to blame Trump opponents for fueling both the idiocy and the lunacy, as is the wont of others in similar situations, but it’s just not the case — and we should resist that impulse. Criticism and debate are too important to a free society to participate in the authoritarian impulse behind a heckler’s veto or a madman’s prevention. Madmen gonna madmen, regardless of the contours of the political debate at any one time.
So how long will the investigation take? With as many agencies on the case as this, not long at all, assuming there’s much more to find out:
In addition to the local police, officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service were on the scene. The FBI was also involved in the investigation.
In a statement, the U.S. Secret Service confirmed Friday that Special Agents from the Miami Field Office were “on the scene and working closely with our law enforcement partners.”
The mystery shooter had better settle in for a very looooong stay in a government facility of some sort after his surgeries.
Update: So much for alternate thoughts — it’s pretty much what we surmised:
“The subject came in and removed the flag from the flag pole at the rear of the complex. He brought it into the hotel lobby and draped it over the counter, and began to yell out anti-President Trump rhetoric,” Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez says https://t.co/5jOlaJM5up pic.twitter.com/FF3sxLBzEH
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2018
I suspect his psychiatric history will come out later on, too.