Michael McLendon has now been identified as the latest mass murderer in the United States. Over the course of one day, the 27-year-old Alabama man killed many family members and others before his shooting spree finally ended. Nowadays, we are used to hearing about gunmen like Michael McLendon shooting up college and school campuses. But Michael McLendon’s rampage took him through Alabama before he took his own life in a gun fight with police.
News stations broke the news that the killer’s name was Michael McLendon before the police did. Michael McLendon’s killing spree reportedly began, for unknown reasons, in Kinston County, Alabama.
The first victims for Michael McLendon were his family members. On Tuesday afternoon, McLendon burned down his mother’s home, an act which took his mother’s life, either via the fire or a gun shot.
McLendon took his act on the road to Samson County in Alabama, where he moved on to his grandparents, aunt and uncle. By then, McLendon’s rampage had killed five family members. With no more left in range, McLendon went to Geneva County to target random civilians.
McLendon tallied up a sheriff deputy’s wife and child, someone at a supply store, a woman in a service station, and a 10’th victim that has yet to be found. Others were shot at randomly and survived.
McLendon’s final stop was Reliable Metal Products in Geneva, where he was a former employee. Whether this act was triggered by a firing or disputes at work, a la the U.S. postal service shootings, is unknown. It was at this building where McLendon had a final shootout with the police, before turning the gun on himself.
McLendon’s total of 10 victims, according to AFP, falls just behind the tally of 12 in the Columbine shootings, and finishes above the nine victims from a shooting spree in Minnesota in 2005. Fortunately, it was well behind the rampage at Virginia Tech that killed over 30 people.
As per usual, many people who knew McLendon are shocked that he was capable of mass murder, as with most killers, especially in small towns. The refrain “He was a quiet man” is bound to be used at some point.
New York Daily News- “Alabama shooting spree suspect Michael McLendon kills 10 and self in Kinston, Samson and Geneva” www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/03/10/2009-03-10_alabama_shooting_spree_suspect_michael_m.html
Scotsman- “Nine killed as lone gunman goes on shooting spree in Alabama town” news.scotsman.com/world/Nine-killed-as-lone-gunman.5058373.jp
AFP- “Alabama gunman kills 10, self in rampage” www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h7dRmMphLhWPEIVf2ZJosExwPtQA