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Motive remains mystery in fatal Arkansas shootings

Posted: May 5, 2014 - 9:21am
Drug Task Force Detective Josh Talbott, left, and Jonesboro Police Department Patrolman First Class Duane Busby run across a field adjacent to Moore Road while responding to a Saturday, May 3, 2014 shooting in Jonesboro, Ark. A gunman shot six people at an Arkansas home Saturday, killing a man and a teenager and critically wounding two boys, before fatally shooting a worker at a nearby business, police said. (AP Photo/The Jonesboro Sun, Sarah Morris)
Drug Task Force Detective Josh Talbott, left, and Jonesboro Police Department Patrolman First Class Duane Busby run across a field adjacent to Moore Road while responding to a Saturday, May 3, 2014 shooting in Jonesboro, Ark. A gunman shot six people at an Arkansas home Saturday, killing a man and a teenager and critically wounding two boys, before fatally shooting a worker at a nearby business, police said. (AP Photo/The Jonesboro Sun, Sarah Morris)

JONESBORO (AP) — Police in Jonesboro say they may never know why a man killed three people and wounded four others before fatally shooting himself.

Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates says 40-year-old Porfirio Hernandez had been released from a mental health facility a few days before Saturday's fatal shootings. Yates says investigators don't yet know why Hernandez was being treated at the facility.

Police say Hernandez went to a home in Jonesboro on Saturday and shot six people, including three children. He then drove to a business and fatally shot a 31-year-old man. Police say Hernandez was later found on a rural county road, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police said Sunday that Hernandez was a friend or acquaintance of the victims.

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lachowsj
5201
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lachowsj 05/05/14 - 11:40 am
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Obvious question

How does a man recently released from a mental health facility get his hands on a weapon? Was it previously owned? Bought after release? Taken from another family member? Stolen? The answers may give some insight as to how to prevent future tragedies.

mikeng1994
11056
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mikeng1994 05/05/14 - 12:35 pm
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I agree

If found to be the second question, I hope they prosecute. The other question's answers will be difficult to do anything with and just chalk it up to people bent on evil will do so.

lachowsj
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lachowsj 05/05/14 - 02:24 pm
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FYI

Arkansas law 5-73-103.
Possession of firearms by certain persons...no person shall possess or own any firearm who has been:

(1) Convicted of a felony;

(2) Adjudicated mentally ill; or

(3) Committed involuntarily to any mental institution."

Arkansas is among twenty-one states who ban only those subject to court orders and those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution from owning a gun. The criteria for an involuntary commitment is a determination that an individual is currently a danger to themselves or others. A person may have a wide range of mental illnesses without meeting that stringent criteria.

Only two states, Indiana and Oklahoma, place any burden at all on gun sellers not to sell to someone the seller has reasonable cause to believe is mentally incompetent. So as to prosecution, under Arkansas law there would be no one to charge except the buyer who, in this case, is already dead.

I have not seen any information as to the reason for this person's admission to a mental health facility or whether it was a voluntary or involuntary admission.

justoffcenter
752
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justoffcenter 05/05/14 - 03:00 pm
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Dang guys, the real question is...

why did he shoot someone after he "had been released from a mental health facility a few days before Saturday's fatal shootings."

Dang is the real question the lack of help this man received? Why are we not demanding better mental health care? Oh wait it is a gun thing. Get to the root of the problem. You guys read 'gun' and stop thinking.

He didn't receive quality care, damn the gun.

lachowsj
5201
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lachowsj 05/05/14 - 05:15 pm
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Valid question

justoffcenter, you raise a valid question. However, we don't know anything about the mental health care this man received. We don't even know what state it was in. If he checked himself in voluntarily he could leave any time he wanted, even against medical advice, unless a judge found him a danger to himself or others. And that's hard to prove. As it should be. We want a very high standard before we start locking people up when they have not committed any crime. It seems denying a particular person the right to possess a gun is much less intrusive than locking them up against their will.

justoffcenter
752
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justoffcenter 05/06/14 - 08:49 am
1
1
Well why didn't you ask..

those questions instead of the gun crap. Do you really want to know the answers to the real problem or just take the guns?

"It seems denying a particular person the right to possess a gun is much less intrusive than locking them up against their will." Not a valid view, a cop out. Just take the gun and look the other way. What a bad idea.

How we change to meet the needs of today.

Get to the truth, ask the hard questions, but dang as the correct questions not the easy ones that will never work.

He was mentally ill and received sup-standard treatment.

fdsjfsdjfsda543543543
2748
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fdsjfsdjfsda543543543 05/06/14 - 09:21 am
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2
Right, because easy access to

Right, because easy access to weapons has nothing to do with mass shootings.

Typical gun nut logic. Blood is on your hands and all you can do is deny deny deny the truth.

mikeng1994
11056
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mikeng1994 05/06/14 - 09:31 am
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Show me one gun that went on

Show me one gun that went on a mass shooting. The Liberals just can't admit it takes a person to do commit the act. If guns were banned, as you would like them to be, access would never be easier then.

lachowsj
5201
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lachowsj 05/06/14 - 10:22 am
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The gun crap?

Not hard to see where you are coming from.

"He was mentally ill and received sup-standard treatment." And you know this how?

"Get to the truth, ask the hard questions, but dang as(k) the correct questions not the easy ones that will never work." Good advice. The easy answer for a gun supporter is that the problem is anything but the gun. I'm willing to explore any questions related to this incident. Are you?

justoffcenter
752
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justoffcenter 05/06/14 - 04:41 pm
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Yes

Mental health care is a joke in Arkansas. I know. My family has been involved several times with very limited success.

Mental health is limited to lock-up, or turn loose. Maybe you can see a counselor for a few visits (10 a year on my insurance). Then maybe you get past a bad spot in your life, until the next issue. Now you need to wait till the new year, get your 10 visits.

You know as little about the gun as I do about his mental health care, but in your mind I know nothing (by your smart ass answer above "And you know this how?"). Don't get all self-righteous.

You have no desire to know the truth, you desire control over others.

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