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The Red River Massacre was a shooting incident that took place on Monday, April 7, 2008 at the Red River Shopping Centre in Red River, a suburb of Doubledance, Georgeland. The perpetrators, 24-year-old Rob Katzenbaum and 21 year-old Ian Lee, killed eleven people and wounded thirty. The incident is the worst of its kind in Georgeland's history.

The Massacre[]

Information regarding the massacre is incomplete as police search for evidence and take witness statements. However, the following information is known and has been verified by police and eyewitnesses: Katzenbaum and Lee opened fire in the food court of the shopping centre at 12:53 PM on April 8, as the lunchtime crowd hit its peak. Lee brandished a shotgun, while Katzenbaum used a hunting rifle. The exact makes and manufacturers of the guns are not yet known - however, both types of weapon are legal in Georgeland with the appropriate permits. At least two, possibly three people were killed in the initial barrage and at least six injured. Following the first shots being fired, the panic striken shoppers and diners began rushing for the exits as security guards heard the commotion and accessed CCTV cameras to discover the gunmen. As security officials called police, Katzenbaum and Lee shot into two separate food court shops before moving from the food court into a video arcade, where they shot and killed two people and wounded another two. Following this, the men reloaded their weapons before pursuing the still-escaping crowd into the street outside, where another five or six people were killed. The men then returned inside the building and shot themselves in their heads. The elapsed time between the initial shots in the food court to the death of the gunmen is estimated to have been less than four minutes. Police arrived at 1:02 PM to discover both men dead, though some sources have reported Lee was alive when discovered by police. Police later confirmed that this was the case and that Lee briefly spoke to officers before his death.

List of Victims[]

On April 9, police released the names of the eleven dead and some of the injured.

Dead[]

  • Sarah Neild, 32, killed in food court
  • Joanne Robinson, 34, killed in food court
  • Max Berenson, 43, killed in food court
  • Geoffrey Staley, 40, killed in video arcade
  • James Fredericks, 15, killed in video arcade
  • Simon Ganges, 20, killed in street
  • Amanda Hollander, 29, killed in street
  • Richard Bryce, 25, killed in street
  • Margaret Talbot, 85, killed in street
  • Catherine Yin, 63, killed in street
  • Harold Carmichael, 50, place of death uncertain

Injured[]

  • Sadie Mitchell, 50
  • Eleanor Neild, 30
  • Barry Tollman, 49
  • Sandra Frame, 60
  • Bartholomew Riley, 13
  • Eric Briggs, 38
  • Tonia Wong, 10
  • Simone Bennett, 49
  • Roger Bennett, 53
  • Alexander Bennett, 23
  • Erika Connolly, 40
  • Susanne Patel, 20
  • Susan Duggan, 34
  • Riley Coper, 18
  • Joanna Lee, 14
  • Kenneth Kennedy, 46

Katzenbaum and Lee[]

The two gunmen were both members of an evangelical church known as the Bretheren of the Gospel, an organisation which encourages its members to "fight for their faith" (quotation from the church's website). The church also teaches that modern society and 'consumerism' is "poisonous for the soul" (ibid). The church has officially denied any of its teachings could have motivated the attack.
Both Lee and Katzenbaum were members of two separate gun clubs in suburban Doubledance. On April 9, police confirmed the two men had held licenses for firearms possession in the past, but did not confirm if they were using legally licensed weapons during the attack.
On April 8, some media outlets reported that home videotapes had been found in a car outside the shopping centre apparently belonging to one of the gunmen. On April 9, police confirmed the reports and stated the car was registered to Katzenbaum. The footage on the tapes was later released to show Katzenbaum and Lee railing against the "sin of consumerism" and pledging to "cleanse the sin". They also referred several times to Norman Baker (see below) and threatened him with "execution".

Reports of searching for a target[]

A number of eyewitnesses have reported to police and media that the men seemed to be searching for a particular target. According to witness Nancy Eckert, who was seated at the table next to the gunmen before they opened fire, Lee asked "where is he" quite loudly several times just before the attack. Other witnesses have reported one or both men repeatedly yelling "there he is" or some variation, as well as "get him" or "get after him" during the attack. No details have been released on who the suspected target may have been.
On April 9, Norman Baker, 30, who had escaped from the food court without injury after the shooting started, told police and media that he knew Katzenbaum socially and 'may have been' the target of the attack due to an 'incident' earlier that month, which police and Baker have refused to elaborate on. Police later stated that it was 'highly likely' the gunmen were targeting Baker, but that it was equally likely he was intended to be one of many victims.

Reaction[]

The national and international reaction to the event has been one of shock and distress - Georgeland is noted for its strict fun-laws and lack of violent incidents. Statements and expressions of condolance have come from many countries and leaders around the world.
In Georgeland, Prime Minister Luke Macaulay has expressed his 'deep shock' at the incident and seemed physically shaken when making his statement to the press. Opposition leader Robin Sales has echoed the Prime Minister's sentiments. The President of Georgeland, Charlotte Lang, has made a televised statement expressing her deepest sympathies for the victims families.
On April 11, Macaulay announced a review into gun control laws. Neither weapon possessed by the gunmen is currently illegal under Georgeland law, though both require licenses.

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