As you may have heard, three Pittsburgh police officers were shot dead and two wounded after a lone gunman opened fire from his home Saturday. The Cop Killer, Richard Andrew Poplawski, was a Stormfront member and Alex Jones follower. As typical of these type of folks, he believed in conspiracy theories. He hated President Obama. He was convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry.
It all began when 911 operators dispatched two Pittsburgh police Officers Sciullo and Harper to 1016 Fairfield St. in Stanton Heights at 7:05 a.m. The call, described as a domestic argument between a mother and son with no weapons involved. A third officer, Officer Kelly, heard the call and decided to back up his fellow officers. Within minutes, all three officers were fatally shot by Poplawski.
Police said Poplawski knew his mother had called 911 and knew officers would come to his house. He apparently lay in wait, armed with an AK-47 assault-style rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a revolver and wearing a bulletproof vest. He shot the first two officers in the head when they reached his doorway. Officer Kelly was shot just after pulling up to the scene. Gravely wounded and lying in the street, he used his radio to report that officers were down. Other officers risked their lives to get Officer Kelly out of danger. They succeeded, but he later died.
The shootings started a four-hour siege in which Officer Timothy McManaway was wounded in the hand while trying to help Officer Kelly. Officer Brian Jones broke his leg when a fence collapsed as he was trying to secure the back of the scene.
Mr. Poplawski also was wounded multiple times in the leg. He was in fair condition in UPMC Presbyterian.
Before surrendering, he exchanged hundreds of rounds of gunfire with SWAT officers from his bedroom window, while calling friends and telling them he was going to die, that he had been hit in his bulletproof vest and in his leg, and that he loved them.
Poplawski's friends said he was "preparing for the end of the world," and he had stockpiled bottled water and bags of rice. When asked why he had so many weapons, he replied, "for protection."
Poplawski's like minded friend Edward Perkovic said:
. Poplawski was opposed to the "Zionist propaganda."
. "He always said that if someone tried to take his weapons away he would do what his forefathers told him to do and defend himself. He never threatened violence. He preached self-defense."
Another friend, Aaron Vire, 23, said Mr. Poplawski strongly opposed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's candidacy. He'd had "very spirited debates" with Mr. Vire, who is black and an Obama supporter.
"He wasn't a racist. He was a cool person. He thought he was losing some of his rights," said Mr. Vire. He said he knew Mr. Poplawski owned an AK-47 assault-type rifle, a .357 Magnum revolver, a .380-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun. "He said he'd be ready if there's ever an invasion of the United States and that he had stockpiled foods and guns," Mr. Vire said.
Comments from local articles are more focused on support of the NRA and stopping any sort of ban on assault weapons vs chastising the murderer or mourning the victims.
Deadly ambush claims the lives of 3 city police officers
Richard Poplawski: Two profiles emerge
Neighbors Reflect on Cop Killing Battle (see comments)