Sunday, June 18, 2006

I never liked that theatre anyway....

Reader_Iam at Done With Mirrors directs my attention to Pajamas Media, where I came across this story, via this blogger. At a Thursday night showing of X-Men: The Last Stand, a bit of violence broke out:

In what police described as a random attack, Paul Schrum, a 62-year-old medical supplies salesman from Pikesville, was shot dead while watching a movie at Loews Valley Center 9 in Owings Mills. About 20 minutes into the film, police said, the gunman stood, told everyone to get on the floor and fired four shots.

The man then walked to the lobby, placed a handgun containing one unspent round on a counter and told theater management that he had shot someone. He waited for police to arrive.
I happen to know that theatre. I never particularly liked it, mainly because it just wasn't a very good theatre, and wasn't terribly easy to get in and out of. By the time we left Baltimore, my wife and I mostly drove well out of our way and went to the Movieco Egyptian at the Arundel Mills Mall. Inconvenient, but a much better theatre than anything in the Owings Mills area. Still, this story is a bit of a shock.

The Baltimore Sun doesn't get around to naming the killer until the sixth paragraph:
The suspect is a 24-year-old man, a 2000 graduate of Mount Hebron High School in Howard County and a 2005 graduate of Loyola College, where he majored in biology. Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar's family home is a house valued at more than $1 million in one of Baltimore County's most affluent neighborhoods.

According to charging documents, Jabbar told police that he had planned to kill someone for several months.

He has been charged with first-degree murder. He was being held without bail at the county detention center. A search of court records showed nothing more than traffic violations for Jabbar.
Yikes! Of course, there's one obvious conclusion to jump to here, namely that this is a bit of free-lance terrorism. (And someone has already jumped to that conclusion, of course.)

Whether that was in fact the case will no doubt come out during the investigation. I will point one additional element about this story: Pikesville, and to a lesser extent Owings Mills, have large Jewish populations. Knowing that certainly raises suspicions that maybe this wasn't entirely random.

Which reminds me of an incident from 9/11/2001. When I finally found out what was happening that morning, I left work and headed home. I commuted to work via Baltimore's only subway line. One the way back, the few of us that were in the subway car spoke briefly about what was going on. One of my traveling companions was headed to the daycare facility in Pikesville that her child attended. "It's a Jewish daycare center. I'm not Jewish, but it's a good facility. It seemed like the best place for him at the time, but now I just want to get him home, someplace safe."

That conversation took place before we knew the second tower had collapsed, but somehow we all knew what was happening. Exactly when did we officially know Arabs were behind the attacks?

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