David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Child Among The Dead In California Restaurant Shooting Rampage

>>David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]Sunday, June 20, 2010.

Police say a man opened fire on his stepdaughter’s family in a California restaurant Saturday killing 3.

According to police, 56-year-old Jimmy Schlager, entered the Del Taco Restaurant in San Bernardino just after 1 p.m. [local time], approached the table where his stepdaughter and her family were sitting and opened fire, killing her husband and 6-year-old son before turning the gun on himself.

The unidentified stepdaughter and another child were critically wounded in the shooting.

San Bernardino police Lt. Jarrod Burguan tells NBC NEWS, “There was a very brief exchange of words, then he opened fire on them at near point-blank range.”

Police explain the woman’s mother who married Schlager died several years ago– this, as they search for a motive to explain why he went on the deadly rampage.

The owner of a nearby business tells NBC NEWS they saw terrified patrons fleeing the restaurant as the shots were being fired inside.   

“I saw some people yelling and all of a sudden I heard ‘boom, boom, boom, boom’,” Jorge Garcia, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “I saw two employees run out of the employee door and then I saw eight or 10 people run out of the restaurant and across the street.”

Lancaster Man’s Extensive Criminal History

Schlager was from Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County, an hour’s drive to San Bernardino where the shooting occurred.  Though his wife died years ago, police believe he still had ties to the area.  He once lived just blocks from the restaurant.

Police say Schlager was no stranger to the criminal justice system with a lengthy record dating back to 1972.  Assault with a deadly weapon was just one of many charges in his past.

Burguan described Saturday’s shooting as one of the worst crime scenes he could remember in San Bernardino. “This was something else,” he said.


June 20, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | 1 Comment

Three Killed In Minnesota Tornadoes This Week

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com]Sunday, June 20, 2010

 At least 3 people were killed in Minnesota when a line of intense storms plowed through Thursday evening.

Angie Woodside told The Weather Channel about taking cover in the basement as the tornado approached.  Angie says her mother-in-law, Kathy, 66, refused to go underground despite the warnings.

“She told me she would not go down in one,” Angie Woodside said Friday, the day after Kathy was killed when the tornado picked her up and threw her 200 feet into a field near her home.

In northwestern Minnesota,79-year-old Margie Schulke was killed when the intense twisters destroyed her home with her inside.  58

Courtesy: The Weather Channel, Iwitness Carl Becker

 year old Wes Michaels was also killed when the gas station he owned was leveled by the violent storm.

 In all, 3 people were killed in Minnesota and dozens more were injured in Thursday’s storms. 

Officials report hundreds of homes were damaged by the extreme weather.  The National Weather Service reports 36 tornado sightings Thursday.

Severe storms have wrecked havoc on several mid-west states for several days in a row this week with some states expecting even more this weekend.

Sunday’s Severe Weather Outlook For The Midwest

David Shepherd – Storm Chaser [dshepherd@wtwo.com]

*Note:  The information on the weather blog is not updated regularly.  The forecast is based on data collected early in the day.  For the most up-to-date information on severe weather, consult your local media outlets.

Father’s Day thunderstorms are in the forecast Sunday for the Dakotas, Nebraska, Indiana and northern Kentucky, according to meteorologists. 

Some storms will likely turn severe as they enter a very hot, humid, and unstable air mass. 

Severe storms are expected to pack damaging winds, lightning, hail and isolated tornadoes.  Rainfall estimates of 3 inches for parts of the Midwestern states Sunday.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outrage With BP Peaks As CEO Spends Day Off On 52-Foot Yacht

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] –  Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ever wonder how the CEO of an oil company that’s sparked the worst environmental disaster in American history spends his weekend?  For BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, A leisure trip on his 52-foot yacht was just the way to take a load off.

Making time for that trip to the yacht races is what has many in the Gulf downright outraged.   Their basic argument seems to be:  “How can the company’s CEO spend a day of luxury on the open seas while Gulf residents continue to suffer with each day that passes — as hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil continue to gush into The Gulf Of Mexico daily.”

33 year old Bobby Pitre runs a tattoo shop in the coastal down of Larose, La.  He told the AP, “Man, that ain’t right.  I wish we could get a day off from the oil, too.”

“Man, that ain’t right.  I wish we could get a day off from the oil, too.”

As anger continues to spread Saturday, spokesmen for BP spent the day rushing to Hayward’s defense.  BP rep. Robert Wine explained to the media that this is the first break the CEO has had since the April 20th explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Rig which killed 11 employees.

“He’s spending a few hours with his family at a weekend. I’m sure that everyone would understand that,” Wine told the AP.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment