Arkansas Democratic Chairman Bill Gwatney Murdered

CNN brings us the sad news:

The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party died Wednesday, hours after a shooting at the party’s headquarters, according to a statement from former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.


The shooting suspect also died Wednesday afternoon after a high-speed chase ended in gunfire, police said.


The gunman walked into the office and said he was interested in volunteering, said Sam Higginbotham, a 17-year-old volunteer at the headquarters, The Associated Press reported.

“That was obviously a lie,” Higginbotham said, the AP reported.

He said the man pushed his way past an employee to reach Gwatney’s office, according to the AP.


A vehicle description was provided to police, Hastings said, and officers found it. A chase involving Little Rock police, Arkansas State Police and the Grant County Sheriff’s office ended about 20 miles south of Little Rock, where the suspect was shot and taken into custody, he said.

Police said the suspect drove into a ditch and around a set of spike strips in an attempt to evade police.


The man then got out of his vehicle and began shooting at officers, who returned fire.

Police would not confirm the victim’s identity, but the Clintons released a statement earlier Wednesday that suggested Gwatney was involved.

“We are stunned and shaken by today’s shooting at the Arkansas Democratic Party where our good friend and fellow Democrat Bill Gwatney was critically wounded,” they said.


The Democratic National Committee also issued a statement on the incident Wednesday that identified Gwatney as the victim.

“This senseless tragedy comes as a shock to all of us,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said in a written statement.