Bad: Football coach dies after shooting at Iowa high school

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Thread: Bad: Football coach dies after shooting at Iowa high school

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Update.
    Update: Suspect in Parkersburg coach shooting is former player, student | DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register

    Update: Suspect in Parkersburg coach shooting is former player, student

    Mark Becker, 24, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Ed Thomas, the district's long-time football coach.

    Becker was arrested at a rural Parkersburg residence shortly after the shooting, an official from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said. A handgun was used in the shooting. Becker is a former Aplington-Parkersburg player and student.
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    Thomas died this morning from injuries he sustained after being shot at around 7:45 a.m., Superintendent Jon Thompson said. Thomas was in the school's weight room with 30 players who were working out in preparation to the fall football season.

    Thomas died shortly after arriving by helicopter at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    "I've sobbed. I've cried. I've hugged my son. It's a senseless deal," Thompson said. His son Alec graduated this spring from Aplington-Parkersburg High School.

    Thompson said grief counselors from around the area are at the elementary school providing counseling to the players, none of whom were injured.

    Thomas was taken by helicopter to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, where he died, Andrea Barker, a hospital spokeswoman said.
    More about the suspect

    A review of online court records discloses that Mark Daryl Becker, 24, had been arrested Sunday by Parkersburg police on a felony charge of eluding. The court file relating to the charges against Becker wasn’t immediately available to reporters, according to the Butler County Clerk of Courts office.

    That charge was one of four filed against Becker by police on Sunday including charges of speeding, reckless driving and failure to obey a stop sign.

    Online court records also disclose that Becker pleaded guilty to charges of assault causing injury, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal mischief in the fourth degree in Black Hawk County in January and February. His toughest sentence was a four-day jail term with the remaining 86 days suspended on the assault charge. He also was charged with underage possession of alcohol in August 2004 and pleaded guilty to that charge a month later.
    More about Thomas

    Thomas has been the school's coach for nearly three decades. He has nearly 300 career victories, and four of his former players have played in the NFL.

    His home was destroyed by last summer's tornado that devastated Parkersburg.
    He has helped lead the town back, including the Herculean effort to rebuild the ruined football field in time for the start of the 2008 season. The football field is named for him.

    The shooting occurred in a red shed down the hill from the high school in Parkersburg. The shed is being used as the weight room for the football team while the high school is being rebuilt after last year's F5 tornado that ravaged part of the town.

    The shed is going to be converted into a bus barn.

    Marilyn Ingalls, who lives two houses away from the shed, was picking up debris in her yard after last night's storm. She said she saw an ambulance go by and said she thought a construction worker had been hurt. Moments later a police car rushed by, she said.

    "When I heard someone had shot him, I thought maybe he was out shopping somewhere else, definitely not here. Then to hear it happened here in the weight room, doing what he loved to do, makes it that much worse," Ingalls said.

    Outrage over the shooting reached halfway across the country this morning.

    "Why would anyone want to do something like this?" said former Iowa defensive coordinator Bob Elliott, who works in the athletic department at San Diego State. "He's the best. He's the best of the best."

    Elliott knew Thomas through recruiting of former Parkersburg stars Casey Wiegmann, Jared DeVries and Aaron Kampman. Thomas also coached NFL lineman Brad Meester.

    "I talked to Ed after the tornado, and he was clearly devastated," Elliott said. "He was walking around the football field, cleaning up debris when I talked to him. He didn't have a cell phone, so the school gave him one because they knew everybody in the country would be trying to get in touch with him.

    "That's how well-liked Ed was. That community has turned out a lot of NFL guys, but it was Ed Thomas who was the face of the community."

    Reactions to the news...

    Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, himself a former high school football coach, called the shooting "just awful" during a train stop in Earlham where he was promoting passenger railroad service.

    "It's just awful," Culver said.

    Culver said he knows Thomas well, not only as a coach but as a community leader in the wake of last year's devastating tornado.

    "I've been a real fan of his, as an old coach myself," said Culver, who taught and coached at Hoover High School in Des Moines before becoming Iowa secretary of state in 1998.

    "He epitomizes what it means to be a high school football coach. He's just a legend in terms of an incredibly powerful role model for generations of kids in the Parkersburg area. He's made our state proud with his commitment to the kids and high school football."

    Culver, whose comments were made before he knew Thomas had died, continued:

    "He was incredibly instrumental in bringing Parkersburg back, rebuilding the field and stadium and high school."

    The school district's superintendent said some church leaders are discussing having a vigil tonight Church having vigil tonight on the football field.

    "What better place to honor Ed than on the football field."
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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    I am not 200 yards from Covenant Medical Center as I type. The incident happened about 25 miles West of us in a very small town.

    They are being very tight-lipped regarding any details. They have not yet released any details about motive. I can't imagine that this was over a kid getting cut from the team--they're not exactly the NFL over at Aplington/Parkersberg.

    Incidentally, this is the same town that was wiped out last year by an F5 tornado (F5=a really, really big one).

    I'll post again if I hear any details locally.
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  4. #18
    JD
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    The name is out, it was on the news conference, I don't remember the name, it was a 24 yr old former student, he's being held and has been charged w/ 1st degree murder.

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    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    The name is out, it was on the news conference, I don't remember the name, it was a 24 yr old former student, he's being held and has been charged w/ 1st degree murder.
    From a couple of posts up:

    Update: Suspect in Parkersburg coach shooting is former player, student

    Mark Becker, 24, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Ed Thomas, the district's long-time football coach.

    Becker was arrested at a rural Parkersburg residence shortly after the shooting, an official from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said. A handgun was used in the shooting. Becker is a former Aplington-Parkersburg player and student....

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by llred View Post
    someone should have taken a 45lb. plate to this dudes face.
    I'm thinking they should have taken a bar bell and...


    Well, they should have fought the guy.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Gun-Free or not gun-free zone has nothing to do with this incident. You can have all the body armor in the world, 15 guns on your person, and everyone in the school armed, and if someone walks up and ambushes you, there's NOTHING all that firepower you had can do.

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    True-- element of surprise is often key

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
    Gun-Free or not gun-free zone has nothing to do with this incident. You can have all the body armor in the world, 15 guns on your person, and everyone in the school armed, and if someone walks up and ambushes you, there's NOTHING all that firepower you had can do.
    This is so true. The element of surprise is often the key to a successful assault. None of us would ever be victimized or harmed if we could see it coming.

    That is why situational awareness and ordinary prudence about how we live our daily lives is so important.

    I've never been the victim of a serious crime but I am quite sure that two or three episodes could have gone really bad and happened because I let folks get where they shouldn't have without realizing it.

    Mmmm. Thinking back, I in fact was the victim of a violent assault which I had momentarily forgotten. It happened so fast and unexpectedly a gun would have done no good. Fortunately, it was by a drunk and his more sober pals stopped him just as he was about to truly break my bod. Huge guy too. He grabbed me around the waist and lifted me into the air above his head with his arms fully extended, and was about to throw me when his friends stopped him.
    I don't think it took more than 1-2 second between him being 10 feet away and me being about to become broken. I never saw it coming.

    P.S. The police were uninterested in doing more than take a report though I could identify the guy. There were no other witnesses who weren't with the guy and no real harm done to more than my ego.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
    Gun-Free or not gun-free zone has nothing to do with this incident. You can have all the body armor in the world, 15 guns on your person, and everyone in the school armed, and if someone walks up and ambushes you, there's NOTHING all that firepower you had can do.
    I agree completely. I also think that a room full of armed people woud have been foolish to engage. I am surprised that some think fighting this guy could have any useful outcome. The man had a mission. He murdered the coach and left. The story says that no one else was even threatened. Drawing a weapon or starting a fight could have led to an horrendous outcome.

    This is very different than one of the random school shootings in which everyone is in grave danger.

    How can you tell the difference? I can imagine it can be very easy.

  10. #24
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    I think it was meant tongue in cheek guys. Point is, schools are a gun free zone and yet... somehow.... there was still a shooting. Pretty ironic and shows the affectiveness of gun free school zones.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    I've got nothing to add; just wanted to post so that I'm subscribed to this thread. I want to hear why the coach was attacked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
    Gun-Free or not gun-free zone has nothing to do with this incident. You can have all the body armor in the world, 15 guns on your person, and everyone in the school armed, and if someone walks up and ambushes you, there's NOTHING all that firepower you had can do.
    I agree...and disagree.

    We don't know what all was going on here.
    There are clear instances where BGs choose their victims based on the likelihood that they will not have to face people with weapons. In other words, some BGs choose areas that are gun-free because they know they can get away with it.

    Not enough info here to know why this person at this location. But, it COULD have been chosen because it is illegal to possess a weapon on campus.
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    The shooter was a former player, arrested a few days before, after a high speed chase in or near Waterloo. He had been hospitalized over the weekend and released. The Parkersberg police were unaware of his discharge from hospital just prior to shooting. Psych issues are inferred.

  14. #28
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklcolt45 View Post
    I agree...and disagree.

    We don't know what all was going on here.
    There are clear instances where BGs choose their victims based on the likelihood that they will not have to face people with weapons. In other words, some BGs choose areas that are gun-free because they know they can get away with it.

    Not enough info here to know why this person at this location. But, it COULD have been chosen because it is illegal to possess a weapon on campus.
    Well, if you're going after the coach/athletic director, it would probably be a good bet that he'd be at the school. Remember, IA is may issue, even if it were legal to carry in a school, there just aren't that many armed non-LEOs around, although Butler county is reported as being one county that is more shall issue than may issue.

  15. #29
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    It would be nice if they would release something of a motive. It's kind of suspicious that they haven't.
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    I think it was meant tongue in cheek guys. Point is, schools are a gun free zone and yet... somehow.... there was still a shooting. Pretty ironic and shows the affectiveness of gun free school zones.
    If tongue and cheek, why are you making the same argument?

    We can argue that no laws are any good because people can break them. Big deal. So they are all ineffective?
    Considering yourself to be defenseless is the first administrative step to becoming a victim.

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