Shooting in Munich: All Clear is Given

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Earlier today a single perpetrator went on a shooting spree at a shopping mall in Munich, Germany. The Munich Police have now issued an all clear, confirming a single shooter, and indicating that public transportation has resumed and the shelter in place order is lifted. A press conference is ongoing, so we’ll hopefully have more information soon. As of right now we know that there are 10 dead, including the shooter who committed suicide, and 21 wounded. The only current indication of who the shooter might be and what he wanted is from an eye witness who indicated that the shooter “yelled an anti-foreigner slur”. As always this is an ongoing situation and the information is likely to change over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Update at 8:20 PM EDT

Here’s the link to the Munich Police press conference.

Update at 8:25 PM EDT

The Guardian has reported, based on a translation of the Munich Police’s press conference, that the shooter was an 18 year old German of Iranian descent. His body was found at 8:30 PM local time. They have confirmed that he shot himself.

Update at 8:40 PM EDT

The Guardian is reporting that the Munich Police have indicated that the shooter had lived in Munich for a long time and had no criminal record. The investigation is ongoing and no motive has been reported yet.



Just a Quick Housekeeping Note: My Balloon Juice Contact List Email is Fixed!

Several folks have told me they’ve emailed me at, or asked how and been directed to, the email on the contact dropdown on the right side of the page. I haven’t received any of them. I had Alain check it for me today and he found a typo in the logic string for my name (whatever that means) and has fixed it. So if you’ve tried to email me, using the contact dropdown, please resend it and I’ll get back to you. Have a nice night.

If you feel like it you can use this as an open thread.








And Now for the Other Side of Policing: What You Don’t Hear Much About

As valued commenter CMM has reminded us in comments to the previous thread, most law enforcement officers are good people that do a lot of good things that don’t get a lot of press attention. I saw this story earlier this week and had meant to put it up as a late night/early morning feel good open thread, but the events of the past three or four days have overtaken things a bit. So here’s the story:

Police in Barnesville, GA responded to a report of someone sleeping in a tent outside of Barnesville Gordon State College. They found 19 year old Fred Barley who’d come to school early before the start of his sophomore year on his younger brother’s bicycle. From Conyers, GA – a six hour bike ride! He was homeless as the dorms don’t open for another month or so and he was camping out at night while bicycling around looking for a job. While the responding officers couldn’t let him continue to camp out, each of them paid for him to have a night at a local motel. One of the responding officers, Dicky Carreker’s wife posted about Fred on her Facebook post. Donations immediately poured in totaling $70,000 so far, as well as a new, adult sized bike, clothes, shoes, and food. A local restaurant owner created a  job for Fred, which he has accepted, and the motel owner is providing lodging for free until Barnesville Gordon State College can get him into the dorms, which they’ve indicated they will do early.

Maybe you heard or saw this story, maybe you didn’t. But given all the negative things we’ve been exposed to over the past two weeks in the news, its important to remember that despite the “it bleeds, it leads” and “controversy creates cash” models of the news media in their pursuit of profit and the fact that with 24/7 news and social media everything negative is amplified and constantly coming at us, that good things, done by good people still happen. Here’s the link to video of Fred Barley thanking everyone in Barnesville for their support.



Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: I Can’t Be Bothered Edition

For those who just can’t be bothered, here’s the world’s laziest wolf who can’t be bothered getting up and actually responding to the other wolves.



Long Day

Christion’s father died last night and we just found out early afternoon, so I’m going to be scarce for a few days.








Late Night/Early Morning Open Thread: Midsummer Edition

Today is Midsummer on the official calendar for whatever that’s worth because Monday was the first day of Summer – you can’t explain that!

But as it is Midsummer’s Night, the Seelie Court of the daione sidhe led by their Queen will be out enjoying their revels. And Amadan na Briona, the Fool of the Forth, and his coursers from the Unseelie Court will ride the night on the wild hunt. To be seen by them is to be lost forever! So set the proper wards and carry sharpened true silver just in case. And we leave the last words, of course, to Shakespeare:

   If we shadows have offended,
 Think but this, and all is mended—
 That you have but slumbered here
 While these visions did appear.
 And this weak and idle theme,
 No more yielding but a dream,
 Gentles, do not reprehend.
 If you pardon, we will mend.
 And, as I am an honest Puck,
 If we have unearnèd luck
 Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
 We will make amends ere long.
 Else the Puck a liar call.
 So good night unto you all.
 Give me your hands if we be friends,
 And Robin shall restore amends.







Britain First! Political Assassination and an Attack on the British Grey Zone

Earlier today Jo Cox, the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen was attacked in the street by a man yelling “Britain First!” Ms. Cox was stabbed and then shot in the street and ultimately succumbed to her wounds. The leaders of the movement behind the British Exit (Brexit) from the EU campaign, the motto of which is “Britain First!”, quickly moved to distance themselves from this act of terrorism. While they are not immediately/personally responsible for the attack on Ms. Cox, it will remain to be seen how much fallout they will face because their professional rhetoric and activities helped to set the conditions for an attack like this to take place.

The investigation into the man who assassinated Ms. Cox is underway and the information is currently fluid, so the usual 48-96 hour caveats on information need to be kept in mind. Dr. David Brockington – an expatriate American who is a professor in England –  posted an excellent analytical piece this morning at Lawyers, Guns, and Money about the likelihood of the Brexit one week out from the referendum. The effect of today’s political assassination on the Brexit vote are likely to be significant and they may not be possible to measure them adequately or accurately before the actual vote next week. It will depend on how healthy Britain’s civil space actually is right now and the resilience of the British grey zone to withstand this type of pressure.

Ms. Cox was 41; she is survived by her husband and their children.