Firefight: details emerge in Downtown Mall shooting

Early Saturday morning, March 16, at approximately 12:45am, three gunshots rang out on Second Street NW on the Downtown Mall, between the offices of the Hook and the Elks Lodge, leaving two men shot and wounded on the street. According to police, the two men have been identified as Frank D. Brown, 56, of Albemarle County, and Leon T. Brock, 22, of Culpeper County. As of Hook presstime on Tuesday, March 19, both were listed in stable condition at the UVA Medical Center and no charges had been filed. The police officer who has also acknowledged firing his weapon has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

According to a search warrant for Brown filed in Charlottesville Circuit Court,  a witness told police that Brown fired on Brock after Brock and three other men jumped him.

Charlottesville Police Officer Alex Bruner, according to the search warrant, told police on the scene that he had fired his weapon twice. A witness also states that Bruner shouted "Drop the weapon!" before firing.

The late night gun battle– witnessed by a Hook reporter– happened in the blink of an eye, but the repercussions of the violence continue to reverberate across the Downtown community.

"This isn't the first time there have been incidents outside the Elks Lodge," says Sigrid Eilerton, owner of the Firefish art gallery on Second Street NW, directly across from where the shooting took place. "Last September, a fight broke out between two women coming out of the Elks Lodge on a Friday night, and one woman threw the other through one of my windows." Eilerton describes a number of other incidents, too, that occurred while patrons were visiting her gallery. Indeed, a 2007 Hook story on Downtown violence mentions a late night assault on a woman at the Elks Lodge.

"I don't want the Elks Lodge to close down," says Eilerton. "It's a historically important place for the African-American community, but I don't understand why there can't be some controls." Eilerton says she'd like to see a limited or no-alcohol policy at the club, as well as an 11pm curfew and a no firearms policy.

"I would be fine with the Elks Lodge being there if those regulations were put in place," she says.

Phone messages left for Elks Lodge #195 were not returned. Rick Turner, head of the local NAACP, did not return the Hook's calls by press time.

Established in Ohio in 1898, the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World is an African American fraternal organization created to provide financial and emotional support for the community. According to information published by the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, the Charlottesville Black Elks Lodge, as it's commonly known, was established in 1914 in the African American neighborhood known as Vinegar Hill, a neighborhood that was destroyed in the 1960s when Charlottesville residents voted to redevelop the land.

The Black Elks Lodge, however, is a continuing part of that history, an island of local African American culture smack dab in the middle of predominantly white-owned and frequented businesses on the Downtown Mall. As detailed in the Hook and elsewhere, while the Elks club has historically been a place for entertainment and recreation, its members also support the local African community with aid to seniors and education scholarships. In 2006, Elks Lodge #195 hosted the organization's state-wide convention at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Still, as Eilerton and other downtown business owners know, it has often been a raucous scene when a Friday night party at the Elks Lodge on the Downtown Mall lets out, with people pouring out onto Second Street after a night of dancing and drinking. Unlike the Mall's restaurant- and late-night-club owners, the Elks Lodge, as a nonprofit private club, isn't required to have an ABC license or to abide by state regulations for restaurants.

"The Elks should close down. It's nothing but a hole in the wall," writes Lena Haskins, an African American woman who used to go to the club back in the 1990s, on the Hook's website. She confirms the sentiment in a Facebook message exchange with a reporter. "Fights rung out every Friday."

Indeed, nearby restaurant owner Jacie Dunkle claims she has had to make an early last call many of those Friday nights, not wanting her customers at Fellini's #9 caught up in the often-boisterous scene in the street.

"I probably call the police two out of four Fridays every month," says Dunkle. "Fighting is part of the norm on Friday nights when there is a party there.  People who can't get into the Elks wait in the parking lot for friends to come out - you can watch it unfold. It can be absolute mayhem."

Last Friday night, her fears were justified.

After the shots rang out– scattering the crowd, many of whom ran for cover– and two men lay wounded and bleeding on the street,  Dunkle quickly locked the front door of Fellini's and had her customers hit the floor. Outside, there was chaos, shouting, and cries of "a cop shot him!, a cop shot him!" as at least 20 officers arrived.

Almost immediately, a reporter witnessed, police had a heated, racially charged situation on their hands, and they worked to secure the scene, calmly but forcefully demanding that the crowd disperse. Some in the crowd were visibly angry and upset, and police, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in groups of four or five, shouted down and forced the crowd away from the scene.

As a reporter wandered among the crowd snapping photos, he was approached by several angry people demanding to know who he was but refusing to talk about what they had seen when the reporter identified himself. Police, too, declined comment at the scene. 

One man lay handcuffed on the ground, his head and shoulders propped up against a telephone pole. He was bleeding through his shirt around his abdomen and in obvious pain. The other man lay bleeding on the other side of the street, partially leaning against the side of a car.

Within an hour and a half of the shooting, Brown and Brock had been transported to UVA Hospital, the crowd had been dispersed, and a strange calm descended on Second Street. Officers guarded the taped line around the now empty street, and detectives swept the area for evidence. Around the corner, the southern rock and bluegrass band Crow Jane was playing its final set at Miller's, and people could be heard chatting and laughing out front. People strolling the Mall, unaware of what had happened, discovered that Second Street, from Market Street to Water Street, had been taped off and declared a crime scene. Police refused to let anyone in the area, even those who'd parked their cars along the street, much to their annoyance.  Indeed, a reporter, who had retreated into the offices of the Hook to post a story, had to be escorted by police out of the crime scene area when he left the building.

Four days after the shooting, police are still asking any witnesses to the incident to contact Charlottesville Police at 970-3280.


Original story posted 3/16 at 1:21am:

BREAKING: Shots fired on the Downtown Mall, two wounded

At approximately 12:45am this morning, March 16, a reporter heard three loud shots ring out on Second Street NW on the Downtown Mall, between the offices of the Hook and the Elks Lodge, leaving two men down in the street, alive, but in obvious pain. A huge crowd of Elks Lodge-goers poured out on the street, some furious and shouting– several demanding to know what I was doing there with a camera [I identified myself as a reporter for the Hook], and others saying, "A cop shot him! a cop shot him!"– as at least 20 Charlottesville police officers tried to control the crowd. Police handcuffed the two wounded men, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, then taped off the entire street up to Water Street and declared it a crime scene, declining to give a reporter information about the shooting, and not allowing anyone in the taped off area, even those whose cars were parked along the street.

Later, at a 9am press conference, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo offered further details about the incident that sent the two men to UVA hospital.

According to Longo, a witness who'd driven across the Mall on Second Street NW saw two men engaged in an altercation that police believe began inside the Elk's Lodge, next door to Fellini's restaurant. The witness watched as the first man drew a gun and fired on the second man, then proceeded toward him with his weapon aimed. At that time, according to Longo, Charlottesville Police officer Alex Bruner arrived on his bike. While the witness did not see Bruner discharge his weapon, he heard at least one gunshot, and Longo says Bruner has acknowledged firing his weapon.

Bruner has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of both the criminal and administrative investigations. No charges have been filed against either man at this time, and their conditions and identities are being withheld pending family notification.

Any witnesses to the incident are asked to contact Charlottesville Police at 970-3280.


Story updated 10:28am with details from press conference


Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

How many other shootings have occurred on the mall?

It would have been cool if most of the other people in the Lodge also had guns and could have whipped them out right away and everyone could have run through the streets looking for the shooter. We need more guns to make this place more safe.

So why were the Elks furious and shouting? Why were they upset that a reporter was there taking photos?

Lost in Space you seem to be saying all gun owners are stupid. Remember the only person who said everyone should be running through the streets with their guns out waving them around looking for a shooter was you.

I think Now put that in your pipe and smoke it . The Elks should close down.Its nothing but a hole in the wall.I use to go there in the 90,s ,and fights rung out every friday.You could go there and get drunk and people could always find a married man or any man to take home with you.It,s nothing but the Devils Quarters.People need to stop dancing for the Devil and start going to Church and dance for God.

Yes! Who wants to dance with me??

I do not endorse the Elks. Thanks though, Iena.

I do!

People stop getting mad over Reporters.That,s their job to report.If you were a photographer you take pitchures.So think before you speak.

Devil, you must be my replacement... guess I have gone soft.

DDM, I didn't really think it would be stupid for 10 armed, law abiding citizens to come out of the Elk and go after the bad guy(s). That'd only need to happen once and then we'd have the deterrent established. I'm just trying to make the point that, here is another example where we'd all be safer if we had more guns.

Lost in Space, it is estimated there is a gun for every man, woman and child in the US - why do you need more? Guess you are a NRA Member.

More guns does not create a safer society, it creates a society where everyone lives in fear. Go look at Afghanistan or Somalia if you want to see the ultimate outcome of a heavily armed populations. That said, every problem I have ever had on the downtown mall involved the Elks Lodge.

Hopefully Officer Brenner fired a fatal shot and there won't be a lengthy, costly court case that will end up with the shooter getting off easy. Officer Brenner needs to stay on the job. He obviously stands on the right side of justice. Give the officer a commendation for quick response to a nasty situation. Nothing wrong with being an NRA member either.

You commenters are something.


How much closer to the ghetto can you get? It's downtown!

Wait til Stonefield opens up all their new stores this fall. Then many of us won't have to go downtown at night anymore. We can safely shop at nice stores and restaurants and see a movie without having to deal with beggars and shooters.

I totally agree with Lost In Space. In a perfect world, if this had happened in the day time, maybe there would have been a group of school kids on a field trip in the vicinity and their armed teacher who had completed many hours of training on the shooting range could have quickly nailed the shooter and effectively squelched any additional danger to the sorts of people who should not be shot.

CvilleNative- "native" must mean forest lakes, because you are clueless

I like your scenario, Lyle.

It's beyond my understanding how having more people shooting and getting shot could ever be any kind of logical solution to any kind of violent situation and be in anybody's best interests.

Thanks HooDoo. You seem to be the sort gentleman/woman and scholar Thomas Jefferson envisioned inhabiting this city and thus you should not be shot. To be sure that doesn't happen please be sure to carry a loaded firearm at all times.

My heart goes out to you Pete. You are so naive. Just don't try to take away our gun rights.

Archie Bunker on gun control

No I wouldn't try to take away anything from anyone I just don't happen to be a proponent that shoot outs are a solution.

Justified shooting. Nuff said.

Lyle, I hear you. Prevention of these kinds of shootings are yet another reason we need to arm teachers. Lets be honest, no matter what we do, the bad guys will have guns. Arm the population, and scuds our freedom. More guns, less shootings. The way forward couldn't be clearer.

I'm guessing that you must be a public school English teacher Pete. Think of the good you yourself might be able to do in a similar situation simply by preparing yourself with a short course in the safe and effective handling of a firearm and then packing a small handgun under your tweeds.

Indeed, Lost in Space. Not to mention the obvious fact that a militia of armed teachers could put an end to bullying rather handily.

I'm sure you thought of that also, Realistic Resident. It's comforting to know that there are people like you around here who are looking for cutting edge solutions to the problems of gun violence and unseemly behavior in our schools.

A nod to you as well brother Lyle. We only differ on our view of bullies in school. My solution would be to arm them as well. We should revive the tradition of sending kids like that off to military schools for reform so that their energy might be harnessed for a high purpose. A legion of broken, rebuilt, and then well armed (former) bullies walking the streets would put a quick end to this sort of late night folly.

Silly me, I had thought the original comment about everyone being armed and chasing after the shooter was satire. How on Earth could this have been dispatched any quicker? Law enforcement was there and dealt with the situation. The notion that the citizenry should be armed to the teeth is ridiculous. The fact is, if this shooter did not have a gun in the first place, we wouldn't be reading about this. Please do not respond with NRA talking points. Try to use your brains, as difficult as that may be for you...

meanwhile.... if you are so terrified of your rights I can only imagine the magnitude of your fear of your responsibilities.

Realistic Resident, the idea of arming bullies and sending them to military school is brilliant. In a setting like that, obviously the teachers would need to carry loaded guns at all times. Imagine how peaceful that campus would be!

I hope the city got the bodies off the street before they inconvienced a person in a wheelchair... the ADA is a MANDATE you know....

Great, cville native. Make sure you spend ask your money at those new chains and forget about the local businesses that make cville unique downtown.

Elks lodge needs to GO. Simple as that.

local biz,

I agree that I'd rather spend my money at small local businesses. But I don't want to endanger my family or expose them to street hustlers to do so. That's an easy decision to make.

Barracks Road still has a few local businesses, but most of them are leaving. We'll see how many open in Stonefield. Blue Ridge Mountain Sports is moving there and they are local.

Seminole Square is mostly low priced national chains but there are also a lot of local businesses hidden there. I don't have to go downtown to find small local guys. I'd like to, but it's not worth dealing with the problems.

What about the young blacks that go to UVA? Or the ones that went to prep schools around here? Or a county school? Are they felons and gun toters too?

Also young black male? Did you see how old the guy is in the first picture?

To quote the venerable Reverend EG Hall "If there ain't no rootin' and tootin' won't be no fightin' and shootin."

You said it yourself: a gun solved this problem. More guns=more solutions. Perfectly sensible.

Furthermore, lets talk about guns in establishments that serve alcohol, which I gather is true of the Elk. Alcohol can cause people to lose their inhibitions, to make bad decisions and cloud their good judgement. We as a society don't let people drink and drive. That's just downright dangerous.

And that's why it's a blessing we can bring guns into bars in Virginia. Alcohol can cause people to get rowdy and argumentative, and sometimes lead to aggression. Allowing everyone in a bar to have a gun is a great way to keep any alcohol-fueled violence down. Plus, if the whiskey they serve you isn't what you expected, you can just blast it off the shelf, and no one else will have to drink it that night, either. More guns in bars = a safer environment (and better whiskey).

As a matter of fact, don't we have open carry laws here? Everyone should strap on their 45 and let their freak flags fly, so to speak. That's what the 2nd Amendment is all about. Show your gun, have it with you while you you're drinking, and shoot bad guys.

Jesus is coming and He has a gun!

If he'd had a gun, he could have blasted Judas before he was betrayed.

Phenomenal work here, Lost in Space.

It's so funny to see a gun rights troll have a running conversation with himself.

I wonder what Jesus Christ would have done if Simon Peter had blown the Roman Soldier's brains out with an AK-47. Some collecting of chunks before the next miracle, I imagine.

Of course he'd tell you to go sell your coat to buy an AK 47 after he put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

whoever you are joking about Jesus is coming and he has a gun,you definately should not joke about Jesus are you stupid or crazy my bad both.And guns do not kill people -people kill people.Just imagine 2 guns are sitting there placed on an table and noone is there with them what are you think is going to happen with those guns nothing,not until someone picks them up and discharges them.So do you all get my point if so Holla Holla,Holla.And People need to wisen up and turn their mean wicked ways around and go to God for their problems,because I know God is coming back soon just look at the sighns.Someone please close down the elks,and fine a bigger and safer place for the committe And I hope those two men live because even Paul in the Bible turned his wicked ways around.

Dave McNair- we need to take up a collection and buy you a camera!

What's a mouf?

hang out at the elks and you'll hear them yapping all night

Interesting comments (some sensible ones, too!)
Actually, as our society degenerates, and people call evil good and vice versa, the good folks will have to either take what they get as pacifists, or carry and defend. Sadly, Big Brother IS watching and has devious plans to enslave us all. Sadly, he is manipulating bleeding hearts and do-gooders who have tasted the koolaid, like it, and are trying to force-feed it to the rest of use.
So, problem worsens, Gov nanny steps is and slaps on the chains, we all belly ache and take it.
Wait! there is an alternative: let's humble ourselves and pray, turn from our wicked ways, seek God so that He will hear from Heaven and heal our land. Hey, if it was good enough for George Washington, James Madison and John Jay, it's probably still good enough for us, right? Or ... do you not believe in those fairy tales anymore big boys and girls?

I'm sure George Washington and James Madison's slaves would agree, HooDoo. Eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the minds of men, as an enslaver of over six hundred people, whose name rose to immortality on their scarred backs and forgotten lives would say.

One thing many concerned citizens fail to mention, if they know it at all, Someone: black folks in Africa were selling black folks to the white slavers. In fact, slavery had been going on in Africa, just as it was in America with the red man, and is going on now all over the world, especially in Islam dominated areas and the sex slave trade here in America now. By the way, many of those men in Colonial America were working hard to banish slavery. The Irish and Italian immigrants were no better than slaves in many ways, as were children. Can you dig it?

Dig what, your ice pit or your potato patch?

Oh, wait they didn't have potatoes yet in Tom Jefferson's time. But they did have their own graves to dig while he watched the sunset from his patio with Jupes

Another thing, Someone, pretty slick the way you switched the conversation to the slave issue. We have a black president, remember? I think the topic was basically about our right to keep and bear arms.
bear: to carry, walk around with, have in ones possession.
arms: weapons capable of wounding or killing.
Those were my definitions, but I think they're pretty close, don't you?

I thought it was slick how you brought up people who died slaveholders as examples of humble role whose example we should strive to live up to, especially when they denied their slaves the right to keep and bear arms and the very first gun control laws passed in this country were written to deny negroes the right to keep and bear arms. If you want to talk definitions, look up hypocrisy, or simply tell me how your favorite forefathers could have enslaved so many folks without keeping guns out of their hands.

Perhaps you'd care to define "people" first

Great satire

So good to see all the usual propaganda and opinions regurgitated here. As usual its by the trifling wannabe intellectuals who jump on the opportunity to show that they are educated because someone told them something. Here is a thought, try an original idea... sheep. Try and see the events for what they are, the real source. I will give you a hint, it's not guns and it's not race or religion and it's not a government conspiracy funded by the corrupt elite and the world bank, try again clue phone.

I have lots of respect for Dave Chapman and Timothy Longo Sr. However I do not respect their system of passing "justice" on police officers. The only thing I have EVER disagreed with Dave Chapman on in his entire career as Charlottesville's CA was putting Officers Carper and Scalfani up before a grand jury. If you ever have doubts about the time frame a police officer has to make life and eath decisions, put on a badge, swear an oath and serve. I partially blame the chief for not having their backs in that one either. It should never have made it that far. And these are two men I respect a lot. Learn from the past and clear Officer Bruner quickly.

I know its early and we don't have details in this one yet, but don't hang that young officer out to dry. Chief Longo, CA Chapman, in the famous quote from 'Field of Dreams' - "Ease his pain". Don't drag this one out as long as you did the Garrett Square shooting and for God's sake, don't put a blue blood before a grand jury. Learn from the past and don't repeat it.

Well done C-ville Police. This is one liberal Charlottesvillian who has your back.

This investigation should be the order of the day and completely transparent. The police deparment should not investigate in a cloud of secrecy and it should not take weeks to gather the facts about what occured in the 10 second window where the officer arrived on the scene and then discharged his gun. There is zero benefit to dragging anything out. The police should ask for any witneses to come forward within 48 hours on the news stations, interview them and make the transcripts public. If there are no questions than call it good. if there are questions than state the questions and unresolved issues and investigate further. It is wrong to make a officer and the public wait when there are not extenuating circumstances or allegations of abuse. Give us a preliminary answer by Friday so we can all move on. Make the report public so that the public trust is not shaken.

Its a pretty simple question... if we take 20 officers and replay the scenario like the movie groundhog day how many would do it the same way and how many would do it different... If an overwhelmong majority would do it the same way then the reaction was reasonable on its face. if people don't like the decison that that many officers would come to then elect a different chief to change the mindset that comes from the top. Otherwise reload and wait for the next drunken brawl that ends with a gunshot.

Elk are not in their natural habitat in an urban area and thus can become unpredicatble. Going forward, it would be in Elk and Human's best interest if the Elk were relocated to a northern territory.

WOW , I never come to the hook anymore..... What great reporting .

Impressive , pics and ALL!

Glad I stopped by .

I wonder why both men were handcuffed , The Cop knew one was the good guy. Right . If you pull the trigger , you know whats going down . I am sure of it .

Do we hancuff the good guys too with bullet holes ?

20 cops keeping people from filming or recording , none of them had time to help the wounded good guy .

we just throw cuffs on them , throw them around with life threatening injuries like dogs .

Something tells me the cop fired, didn't know WHO the good or bad guy was .

They will get it worked out .

Justified shooting.


Dakota has spoken. No need to investigate anything now that an out of town expert has weighed in.

Dear Badge Bunny .

I have to come over the mountain to see whats up .

We don't seem to have this problem in Augusta County . How about that quick ACSD , FBI and 2 State police agencys and the recovery last week of the young missing girl . Communication WORKS .

Pregnate women , people in wheelchairs , cops go boom boom on backroads. and basicly nobody has been shot by a cop or harrased for speaking out or well... Cops being railroaded by COPS . I can't remember too many problems over here at all on the west side of Afton.

Except Wayneboro railroading the black lady Cop who wrecked her cruiser. I didn't see that one coming. I just hope she is smart enough to never talk to cops . I bet she is now if she wasn't., I hope she takes it to a jury , The people will back her I feel . Just my opinion , looks like Waynesboro is uncle tomming her.. out to look good . Maybe not.

I may also be an intowner soon :) , I share my patrionige and taxes over there often. Just may be a part time resident of the downtown mall. I will ask and say what I feel I need to say.

The cop was supposed to let the shooter finish the job and then politely ask him to surrender his weapon. Anything else would have been racist.

Perspective: not that many people get shot here. The CDC says in 2011 the U.S. had 30,759 gunshot wounds serious enough to require hospital treatment (up from 20,884 in 2001). Most of them were not at the Charlottesville Elks club. We are pretty safe compared to, say, Detroit. We can pat ourselves in the back: we are a pretty civilized place that on rare occasion has a problem with an irate armed Elk. The police were right there. So this is a happy ending if here is such a thing.

You're comparing us to Detroit? Really? There are some places in Afghanistan that might be safer than Detroit.

Why are people walking around carrying guns? A hand gun is designed for one thing: to kill another human being at close range. Do we really have a society so violent that we need to allow people to carry deadly weapons with them wherever they go? I don't think so. All the guns just aren't necessary.

I mean, this is Charlottesville for goodness sakes! There shouldn't be ANY shootings.

Wow, it seems Charlottesville has descended into a city of liberal hobo huggers pitted against gun-toting conspiracy theorists.

@Lost in space....
Handguns can also be used for target shooting, to kill a pitbull at close range, to kill a bear at close range.
Around 30 years ago, a crazed loon walked into a restaurant in Killeen, Texas and killed fifteen or twenty people who were eating. Texas, believe it or not, had some restrictions on carrying handguns in public places. A lady in that restaurant had left her handgun in her car in the parking lot of that restaurant in compliance with the law. Could she have saved a bunch of people had she been carrying? Would she have hit an innocent bystander? Who knows?
Bottom line is, yes. Society is violent. In large part, we have judges and legislators to thank. Most of the violence is perpetrated by repeat offenders. The odd mass shootings that occur are typically committed by people with mental problems (a harder nut to crack). But the day-to-day crime (often black on black) comes from frequent flyers who should actually be behind bars.
A good example is a guy who recently burglarized a bunch of homes near Scottsville. He was caught when he surprised an elderly lady walking out of her shower; he fled but she ID'd him. A pilled-up dirtbag who is clearly a menace and committed four or five burglaries. The sentence: three years. He will probably service 12-18 months. This skank should be in for 10 years, no parole.

Yep, people should be allowed to carry guns.

R.I.P.: Charlton Heston

Is this place the same organization as this: ( . I'm confused, I've never been there, but I thought this was the sort of place elderly white men get together to drink PBR and eat burgers away from their wives. Is this Elk's Club affiliated with the Elk's Lodge, or is it a private bar with the same name? Can someone fill me in on this?

Nice work with the shaky-cam, McNair.


Perhaps someone at the historical society knows. But short of that I will surmise that this is a lodge of the "parallel" fraternal order established by African-Americans during Jim Crow-era racial restrictions.

There was, and still is, a difference between the "Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks" and the "Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World."


Yep. And in fact the Hook ran at least one piece on an IBPOEW event a few years ago:

Sounds like the Elks Club is really living up to their intended purpose.


If you were a witness to the shooting, or have some association to the Elks Lodge, please contact me. I would like to hear your story and/or perspective on the incident, and if you think anything needs to be done to address this kind of violence on the Mall. Thank you.

David McNair, reporter
The Hook
295-8700, ext. 239

How do we address the crime on the Downtown Mall? Simple, let the developers get their hands on Garrett Square, and ensure places like the Elk's Club cannot operate. I'm sure someone holds the lease on that building, all you need to do is get a legitimate business owner to offer to lease the space, and boom, they're gone. Seriously folks, most of the downtown area within walking distance has already been gentrified, just need to get a few more pieces to this puzzle replaced, and crime would clear up tremendously.

"From what I heard" the guy the cop shot was the guy engaged in the use of a firearm for it's express purpose: self defense, after his friend just got knocked unconscious by the attacker who he then justifiably decided to shoot. Can a cop walk up to someone open carrying and say "drop the gun" and then legally shoot you if you don't follow orders? Of course not. Can a cop walk up to someone caught in the legal act of using a firearm in self-defense and say "drop the gun" and then legally shoot you when you don't, unless you point the gun at him? Of course not.

Why is everyone so anti-gun and anti-mayhem?

Personally, I think gunshots and thuggery are festival and in good sport.

People are just too sissy now days.


A bear? You're telling me one reason people need to be able to carry handguns is for protection against bears??

Hey what about the lions and tigers, and the wicked witch of the west? Oh and those flying monkeys, man that's what I need a gun for, to shoot those flying monkeys!

Try walking home in the wee hours with a pack of hungry coyotes howling right outside your door. You'd want a gun, or you'd want to be lunch.

I'd just tell the coyotes how much fluoride laden water I drink. The sad little paranoid things would be gone in a flash.

Actually the odds that they would attack an unarmed person are just as high as them attacking an armed person, thanks to the folks who shoot at them with guns. Take people who shoot at animals who can eat them out of the equation entirely for a few years. I promise once they lose their fear of humans, you'll be dead meat without a gun if you're surrounded by the pack while walking home, day or night. I'm not lying about packs of coyotes (more likely coy wolves actually) terrorizing me into staying inside my house because the state of Virginia denies people who choose not to drink fluorinated water the right to defend themselves with a gun against vicious wild animals.

I feel for you someone, refusing to drink fluoride shouldn't be grounds for being denied the right to amass an arsenal. I mean come on, there's a coyote EPIDEMIC out there! A man has to be able to protect himself.

As along as a man has never done anything to raise legitimate concerns about his possessing weapons, something for instance like having written in a public place that he was in possession of a rifle and entertaining serious thoughts of harming several people, he ought to be free to arm himself with whatever knife, sword, handgun, bazooka, AK47, he chooses.

So people should be denied their 2nd Amendment rights for exercising their 1st Amendment rights? What part of being in possession of a gun is illegal? Unless you're not allowed to own a gun because you refuse to drink fluoride. Then if you say you have a gun you're basically saying you're in commission of a "crime". Of course when the cops drag you off the streets you won't be charged or given due process, you'll just be detained and tortured. Which is exactly why we have the 2nd Amendment to begin with.

Furthermore what part of entertaining thoughts of killing people is illegal? Don't you kind of have to do that to join the U.S. Army in a time of war? You're allowed to entertain whatever thoughts you damn well please and you're allowed to publicly express those thoughts with AK 47 in hand, you're under no obligation to submit to someone who wants to detain and torture you for it, in fact our forefathers said it was not only our right but our duty to kill people who would detain and torture you for expressing your thoughts and rights.

Not only did they say that, they did it. They killed those bastards deader than a hammer time after glorious time after glorious time. And that's why you're free and taking every bit of it for granted today.

@Lost in space...Well, ask the guys near Crozet who were repairing fences a few years back and were confronted by a bear. They did have a four-wheeler on which they could escape (or, in Elks language, "ixcape").

You did not mention the pitbulls, though. I suppose you would rather I have my iPhone so I can call animal control and jump on top of a nearby SUV in the case of a pitbull attack.

Can you do me a favor? Please enumerate the exact reasons I am allowed to possess a handgun. I need the all-knowing government to help me along with this. Those nimbobs in the late 1700s failed to do that; I always knew the framers did not know what they were doing.

R.I.P.: Tige Andrews

Can someone tell me how Liberalace's comment is not blocked?

"Language stronger than "darn," insults, ethnically or racially disparaging language, and comparisons to Hitler usually result in speedy comment deletion and may get you blocked from further commenting."

- "(or, in Elks language, "ixcape")" - what kind of huckleberry finn 'negro dialect' is he insinuating?
- Pitbulls? Every black person owns a pitbull?

This is pretty ethnically or racially disparaging language if you ask me...

@casual reader: Ain't nobody ax me but I agree.

@ casual are looking at things through a dirty filter...thin skinned would be an understatement.

Whatever the merits of arguments for or against gun laws or gun needs, stats pretty much prove that taking a gun into a bar is not the best idea, and sometimes society needs to intervene in order to protect itself from the actions of ignorant, inebriated idiots. An ordinance preventing such portage might reduce the rate of stupid drunks shooting each other or innocent bystanders by some statistical rate (surely there is data to measure this), but a surer approach would be for bars to employ bouncers who frisk would-be patrons to force them to check their guns, knives, numb-chuks, whatever, at the door and then lock them up until the "customer" leaves. Even this, of course, would do little or nothing once the drunk idiot checks back out to reduce mayhem on the streets, but at least while in the bar itself one might feel somewhat safe from the fools. Once the fool is out there, if he brandishes his weapon, I say he's then fair game for the cops, who don't have time to ask if he's just cheerfully exercising his rights.

Yeah the cops have time unless a gun is pointed at them. It's their job to be brave and work professionally in situations where they could be shot at any time just like the State Trooper was last week. They can't just shoot someone because that person has a weapon or has just fired a weapon. If you can be shot by a cop on a whim after using your own gun in self defense, you don't really have the right to self defense.

@Casual Reader...
I mentioned pit bulls because they are indeed an animal that is a problem both rurally and in urban settings, and can be well defended with a handgun. Look at statistics to see pit bull attacks and how many are in caucasian areas; quite a few actually. Examine pit bull attacks in the US...they are not an "urba-only" phenomenon. I also brought up bears as something that could be defended with a handgun. This was in response to a previous poster. It is you sir/madame who made a race connection to pit bulls.

2. As for "dialect," I suppose "fughettaboutit" to parrot white, urban Sicilian dialect, or "Thatsa spicy meatball" or St. Patrick's Day t-shirts in Wal-Mart illustrating a leprechaun puking gold coins over a rainbow into a pot (which really were sold) or bumper stickers that say "Mafia Staff Car...You Toucha the Car, I Breaka You Face" all evoke your ire as much as my "ixcape" reference, correct?

Why does an accurate depiction of urban dialect for AAs cause you such angst? Why didn't Moe's post with the word "thuggery" (Isn't "thug" a stereotype for a black urban criminal?) and CCW's analogy to "elk moving north" get your goat?

Ah, welcome to Cville...bastion of whatever.

R.I.P.: Jason Colina

casualreader, you sound like a thin-skinned liberal and that is what is wrong with this country. Everybody is expected to be PC. Well, PC is ruining this great nation because we are turning those growing up behind us into pu&$ies.

R.I.P. Lindsey Vonn

Liberalace, I always enjoy your posts. You should start a blog.

Thankfully the race card holds usually little weight on the Hook comments board. When the Sandy Hook shooting happened there were all sorts of comments about white males being dangerous villains. I was sort of offended but didn't consider it hate speech.

r.i.p.: Charlie Starkweather

Lindsey Vonn is the Lolo Jones of skiing, who is the Anna Kournikova of track, who is the...

Oh, I agree. I am as white as they come and when there is mass murder, it's usually a white guy with the gun. Am I a racist??

can anyone recite the gun violence statistics by race or is that taboo?

@ racebaiter:

Niggers: most of them, usually at the spur of the moment
Honkeys: the well planned ones

He he...The article states that The Hook tried to reach Rick Turner for comment. Overall I like The Hook, but you've lost some significant respect from me on that one. That man has done more damage to the image and issues of African Americans in this community than any one person or cumulation of incidents. His sole purpose, it seems, is to perpetuate racism.

...And yes I'm no sense in going there. :)

Whoever posted as "ElkMan" up there: You used the wrong email address. I am sick and tired of people like you using my email address. Besides that, you're acting like a keyboard cowboy using racist language like that. If you said something like that in real life, you'd be missing a few teeth right afterward.

What exactly is your problem anyway?

If you wonder why gun owners are paranoid.. check this out...

Firefight????? Really??? Well, I guess there aren't that many Veteran's here in C'Ville to call you on that nonsense.

Maybe hearing a couple shots fired from the comfort of your office signifies a "firefight" to you Dave, but some editor should have checked that... wow, talk about dramatic......

"A well regulated militia . . . being necessary to the security of a free State"
That is how the second amendment begins.

How does that get translated into a bunch unrelated people being allowed to carry a handgun? What about that is contributing to a "well regulated militia"? And what is anyone going to do with a paltry handgun should the State come after you anyway? What are you going to do, shoot the tracks of an Abrams with a Glock?

RIP: common sense

"the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

"Well regulated" means that the people shall not collectiveily be outgunned by the government , so as long as "homeland security" and local cops keep buying assault vehicles and armor piercing bullets then "the people" have a right to keep up.

here is another reason.. the real effing world....

You call that "well regulated" ponce?

Yep, the guy has a license and has to deal with those idiots all day.

Here is what he is up against if the cops decide they don't like him though so you tell me whether he needs "protection" or not...

(actual video recruitment tape for police)

The second amendment really means "A WELL REGULATED militia is necessary to protect the GOVERNMENT, the people must be allowed to have weapons."

The second amendment specifies a WELL REGULATED militia is the goal of allowing people to have weapons.

The second amendment, read it carefully now, specifies the point of this militia is to defend the STATE, not defend oneself from one's neighbor, not shoot a dog, not even to defend oneself from the government. The point was to DEFEND THE GOVERNMENT.

RIP: attention to detail

lost in space.. you are truly lost in space... the government IS the people.

The whole idea was that the people collectively shall never be beholden to the government .

"The right of THE PEOPLE to bear arms shall not be infringed". There is no way to intrepret that to mean that the government can take guns away through regulation. no matter how "well regulated" they make it.

I don't even own a gun but i am glad some friends of mine do.

Ponce, the dude with the gun in the first video you linked to was clearly the source of the problem. He's lucky his stupidity didn't get him killed. If that's the kind of people you think ought to have guns then you are really out to lunch.

not buyin it..... so you think that guy could run that ghetto mall without a gun?

Do you think if they outlawed guns or even took his gun away there would not be an armed robbery in short order?

Are you making up an argument for me BIll?

Anyone who out of the blue starts yelling at people to leave an establishment that is open to the general public and then whips out a gun and points it at them when they don't respond the way he wants is not the right person for that job and absolutely not the sort that should ever be allowed to carry a weapon.

Georgia has a stand your ground law that allows a person to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury. Any one of those men would have been justified in dropping that guard the second he drew his weapon. Probably the only thing working in the guard's favor was the fact that Georgia really only lets white people defend themselves under that law.

not buyin it.. That clip is obviously a highlight reel of what goes on. Do you think that he instagates all that animalistic behavior?

You are so wrong. he has an absolute right to pull a gun to convince people to leave his premises. It is is right no different than his home. If uoi do not leave when requested you are trespassing and if you pull a weapon your are gullty of attempted assault or whatevr charge the call that obvius crime. You cannot trespass and pull a weapon and expect the law to defend you.

First off there is zero chance of removing guns from people because guns canbe manufactured in any machine shop . auto shop, body shop and most outhouses. It is a the simplest of machining to do. So I am unafrad of whatever the government tries to throw at us, but the 2nd amenment is pretty clear about not infringing on the peoples right to own guns.

When exactly was the last time a police officer drew and fired his weapon on or near the Downtown Mall?