LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A man barged into the Arkansas Democratic headquarters Wednesday and fatally shot the state party chairman before speeding off in his pickup. Police later shot and killed the suspect after a 30-mile chase.
Police identified the suspect as 50-year-old Timothy Dale Johnson of Searcy, a town about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. They didn't know a motive. However, moments after the shooting, Johnson pointed a handgun at a worker at the nearby Arkansas Baptist headquarters. An official there said he told the worker, "I lost my job."
Chairman Bill Gwatney died four hours after the shooting. The 48-year-old former state senator had been planning to travel to the Democratic National Convention later this month as a superdelegate. He had backed Hillary Rodham Clinton but endorsed Barack Obama after she dropped out of the race. Witnesses said the gunman entered the party offices shortly before noon and said he wanted to see Gwatney.
"He said he was interested in volunteering, but that was obviously a lie," said 17-year-old party volunteer Sam Higginbotham. He said that when the suspect was refused a meeting with Gwatney, he pushed past employees to reach the chairman's office.
Hastings said the suspect and Gwatney introduced themselves to one another, at which time the suspect "pulled out a handgun and shot Gwatney several times." Hastings didn't say what the two discussed, but said their discussion was not a heated one.
After the suspect avoided spike strips and a roadblock along U.S. 167 near Sheridan, police rammed his car, spinning it, said Grant County Sheriff Lance Huey. He got out of his truck and began shooting, and state police and sheriff's deputies fired back, striking him several times, he said.
The state Capitol was locked down for about an hour until police got word the gunman had been captured, said Arkansas State Capitol police Sgt. Charlie Brice.
Taliban ambush kills 3 more aid workers
PUL-E-ALAM, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban fighters with assault rifles shredded a U.S. aid group's SUV with dozens of bullets Wednesday, killing three Western women and their Afghan driver amid an escalating militant onslaught against humanitarian workers in Afghanistan.
The ambush of two clearly marked aid vehicles on the main road south of Kabul was the latest in a record number of attacks on aid groups this year -- a surge that has workers questioning if they can safely provide services in remote and dangerous areas where help is most needed. The group whose workers were slain, the New York-based International Rescue Committee, announced it was suspending its Afghan humanitarian programs indefinitely.