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Sulejman TALOVIC

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Bosniak refugee - Shooting rampage at shopping mall
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: February 12, 2007
Date of birth: October 6, 1988
Victims profile: Jeffrey Walker, 52, Vanessa Quinn, 29, Kirsten Hinckley, 15, Teresa Ellis, 29, and Brad Frantz, 24
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Status: Shot dead by police the same day
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sulejman Talović (October 6, 1988 – February 12, 2007) was a Bosniak refugee whose family moved to the United States from the small town of Cerska in the Vlasenica municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina and who were living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

On February 12, 2007, wearing a tan trench coat, Talović went on a shooting rampage killing five people and wounding several others at Trolley Square, a Salt Lake City shopping mall, before being fatally shot by police. An amateur video of the incident was captured, but little except gunfire can be heard clearly.

Talović was buried in his birthplace, a small village of Talovići near Cerska, Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 2, 2007.

The shooting spree

Police later said Talović was carrying a shotgun, a .38-caliber pistol, and had a backpack full of ammunition. Talović killed five people: Jeffrey Walker, 52, Vanessa Quinn, 29, Kirsten Hinckley, 15, Teresa Ellis, 29, and Brad Frantz, 24. Additionally, four more people were hospitalized: Allen Walker, 16, son of Jeffrey Walker; Carolyn Tuft, 44, mother of Kirsten Hinckley; Shawn Munns, 34; and Stacy Hansen, 53. After the shooting, Tuft and Hansen were listed in critical condition, and Munns and Walker were listed in serious condition.

Four police officers—an off-duty officer from Ogden named Ken Hammond and several Salt Lake City officers—were involved in the shootout with Talović.

Personal history

Talović was a permanent resident who emigrated with his family from Bosnia to the United States in 1998. Talović received a green card in 2005 and lived with his mother in Salt Lake City. He had a record of minor juvenile incidents and had dropped out of high school at age 16.. Talović often attended Friday prayers at the Al-Noor mosque in Salt Lake City.

Motive

Talović's aunt, Ajka Omerović, emerged briefly from the family's house to say relatives had no idea why the young man attacked so many strangers. She said that Talović had lived in the Sarajevo area as a child, and that his family moved to Utah from Bosnia. "He was such a good boy. I don't know what happened," she told Salt Lake City television station KSL-TV.

In another KSL interview, with Omerović, and Talović's father, Suljo Talović, the two indicated concern that some outside influence might have induced Sulejman to commit the killings. "I think this [Sulejman] did. I think somebody (is) behind him, I think, but I am not sure...."

The father suggested that the US government bears some responsibility for his son's actions, saying "The authorities are guilty for not alerting us that he bought a gun. In the US, you cannot buy cigarettes if you are underaged, but you can buy a gun." Contrary to Mr. Talović's statement, federal law prohibits the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to those under 21; shotguns and shotgun ammunition are prohibited to those under 18.

In the light of the American War on Terrorism some conservatives, including commentator John Gibson and congressman Chris Cannon have suggested that Talović repeatedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" prior to his death, suggesting a religious motive. Some sources reach this conclusion by listening to online video of the rampage, which supposedly captures Talović's religious shouting.

However, police investigators conclude that Talović said no such thing and was shouting expletives during his assault. Ajka Onerović was quoted as saying, "We are Muslims, but we are not terrorists," and FBI agent Patrick Kiernan has stated that he has no reason to suspect terrorism.

 

 

The Trolley Square shooting was a shooting rampage that occurred on February 12, 2007, at Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The shooting resulted in the deaths of five bystanders and the shooter himself, as well as the wounding of at least 4 others. The killer's massacre was fatally halted by 5 police officers, including one off duty officer who had been at a restaurant with his wife prior to the shooting.

Timeline

The gunman, Sulejman Talović, was an eighteen year-old Bosniak immigrant. He had a history of minor juvenile incidents, had dropped out of high school and had been living in Salt Lake City with his mother.

On February 12, 2007, at 6:44 PM MST, Talović began a deadly shooting in Trolley Square resulting in the deaths of five bystanders and the shooter himself, as well as the wounding of at least 4 others. Talovic was described as wearing a white shirt, a tan trenchcoat and a mullet. He carried both a shotgun and a handgun, as well as a backpack full of ammunition.

The gunman's rampage was stopped after trading shots with off-duty police officer Kenneth Hammond, and Sgt. Andrew Oblad of the Salt Lake City Police Department; their actions prevented further loss of innocent lives. The final confrontation, in which Talović was killed, occurred in the Pottery Barn Kids home furnishing store. Hammond was at Trolley Square with his pregnant wife, 911 dispatcher Sarita Hammond. Sarita borrowed a waiter's cell phone to call 911.

Talović was cornered and was shooting at officers, until an active shooter contact team comprised of Salt Lake City PD SWAT team members arrived and shot him. Salt Lake City police officials on February 13, 2007, thanked Hammond as a hero in saving countless lives.

According to local TV station ABC 4, several witnesses reported that a majority of the shooting took place on the ground floor near the Pottery Barn store, though the majority of the dead were found in Cabin Fever, a card store. One of the victims, having been shot, apparently entered the nearby Hard Rock Cafe and told customers to lock the doors. Nothing is yet known of the gunman's motive. Several victims were transported to local hospitals, some in critical condition.

One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy found in his car with a wound to the side of his head; another, Cedric Wilson, was grazed in the head by a bullet, but suffered only minor injuries.

Victims

Killed were:

  • Teresa Ellis, 29
  • Brad Frantz, 24
  • Kirsten Hinckley, 15
  • Vanessa Quinn, 28
  • Jeffery Walker, 53

Wounded and hospitalized are:

  • Carolyn Tuft, 43 (mother of Kirsten Hinckley)
  • Shawn Munns, 34
  • Stacy Hanson, 53
  •  Alan "A.J." Walker, 16 (son of Jeffery Walker)

Officers honored

Five officers were honored at the Utah state capitol on February 16 for their bravery in the Trolley Square shooting.

They are: Sgt. Andrew Oblad, Sgt. Joshua Scharman, Detective Dustin Marshall and Detective Brett Olsen, all of the Salt Lake City Police Department, and Officer Kenneth Hammond of the Ogden Police Department.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Gunman kills 5 in shooting spree at Salt Lake City mall before being killed by Police

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY —  The trench coat-clad gunman who killed five people and wounded four at a shopping mall before being fatally shot by police calmly fired a shotgun at his victims and had a handgun, authorities and witnesses said.

Detectives were trying to determine what sparked the rampage at the Trolley Square shopping mall on Monday night.

Salt Lake City police Detective Robin Snyder said the shooter was an 18-year-old from the Salt Lake City area, but she did not release his name. She said he used a shotgun and had a handgun and several rounds of ammunition.

As investigators interviewed 100 to 200 witnesses, people left candles and flowers at two memorials outside the mall for the victims.

Many people forced to leave their cars overnight returned Tuesday to pick them up and reflect on what happened.

"I've worked here for 28 years. It's been the safest place to be," said Steve Farr, who saw pools of blood and broken glass throughout the mall when he was allowed in to check his jewelry store.

Marie Smith, 23, a Bath & Body Works store manager, said she had seen the gunman through the store window. She watched as he raised his gun and fired at a young woman approaching him from behind.

"His expression stayed totally calm. He didn't seem upset, or like he was on a rampage," said Smith, who crawled to an employee restroom to hide with others. He looked like "an average Joe," she said.

Killed in the attack were two 28-year-old women, a 52-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl, Snyder said. Four people were hospitalized — a man and a woman in critical condition and two men in serious condition, Snyder said.

For hours after the rampage, police searched stores for scared, shocked shoppers and employees who were hunkered down awaiting a safe escort.

Matt Lund was visiting his wife, Barbara, manager of the Secret Garden children's clothing store, when he heard the first shots. The couple and three others hid in a storage room for about 40 minutes, isolated but still able to hear the violence.

"We heard them say, 'Police! Drop your weapon!' Then we heard shotgun fire. Then there was a barrage of gunfire," said Lund, 44. "It was hard to believe."

Witnesses said officers treated everyone like suspects — ordering those hiding in storerooms, bathrooms or under stairwells, to lie on the floor with their hands on their heads until police were sure no one posed a threat.

On the way out, Lund said, he saw a woman's body face-down at the entrance to the Pottery Barn Kids store and a man's body on the floor in the mall's east-west corridor. "There were a lot of blown-out store windows and shotgun shell casings all over the floor," Lund said. "It was quite surreal."

The victims were found throughout the 239,000-square-foot (21,510-square-meter) shopping mall.

Outside, streets were blocked as police swarmed the four-block scene. Dozens of people lingered on the sidewalk, many wrapped in blankets, as they talked about what they had seen inside.

The two-story mall, southeast of downtown, is a refurbished trolley barn built in 1908, with a series of winding hallways, brick floors, wrought-iron balconies and about 80 stores, including high-end retailers such as Williams-Sonoma and restaurants such as the Hard Rock Cafe.

Antiques store owner Barrett Dodds, 29, said he saw a man in a trench coat exchanging gunfire with a police officer outside a card store. The gunman, he said, was backed into a children's clothing store.

"I saw the shooter go down," said Dodds, who watched from the second floor.

Four police officers — one an off-duty officer from Ogden and three Salt Lake City officers — were involved in the shootout with the gunman, Snyder said. She provided no other details.

Barb McKeown, 60, of Washington, D.C., was in another antiques shop when two frantic women ran in and reported gunshots.

"Then we heard shot after shot after shot — loud, loud, loud," said McKeown, saying she heard about 20. She and three other people hid under a staircase until it was safe to leave.

The mall was purchased in August by Scanlan Kemper Bard Cos. of Portland, Oregon, from Simon Property Group for $38.6 million. The company said it planned to invest $80 million, attract a new anchor tenant and possibly add condominiums.

"We are devastated and shocked by this senseless, random act of violence and tragedy at Trolley Square, owner Tom Bard said in a statement posted on the KSL-TV Web site. "At this time our greatest concern and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones."

 

 

Off-duty Officer prevented massacre in Salt Lake City mall shooting spree, Police say

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY —  An off-duty police officer credited with helping stop a deadly shooting rampage at a Utah shopping mall said his experience helped him react quickly to confront the gunman.

Kenneth K. Hammond, who was at the mall for an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife, said he first thought the sound of gunfire was construction noise but drew his gun and told his wife to call the police when he realized what was happening.

"I've been in situations before where I've had to chase a guy who was pointing a gun at me," Hammond, 33, said Tuesday.

Investigators were still trying to figure out why Sulejmen Talovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian immigrant, opened fire Monday on shoppers, killing five and injuring four others.

Hammond, who fired on Talovic, is being credited with drawing the gunman's attention until other officers could reach the scene. Talovic was killed, although it was unclear which officer fired the fatal shot, police said.

"I feel like I was there and did what I had to do," Hammond said.

Talovic had a backpack full of ammunition, a shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol, police said. Investigators knew little about him, except that he lived in Salt Lake City with his mother, the police chief said. He was enrolled in numerous city schools before withdrawing in 2004, the school district said.

Talovic's aunt, Ajka Onerovic, emerged briefly from the family's house to say relatives had no idea why the young man attacked so many strangers. She said the family moved to Utah from Bosnia.

"He was a such a good boy. I don't know what happened," she told Salt Lake City television station KSL.

Talovic drove to the Trolley Square shopping center — a century-old former trolley barn with winding hallways, brick floors and wrought-iron balconies — and immediately killed two people, then a third as he came through a door, Burbank said. Five other people were then shot in a gift shop, he said.

Four people who were wounded remained hospitalized Tuesday, two in critical condition, two in serious.

One of the wounded shoppers, Shawn Munns, 34, was alone outside the mall after a meal with his wife and two stepchildren when Talovic blasted him with a shotgun, according to sister-in-law Jodie Sparrow.

With dozens of pellets embedded in his side, Munns staggered into a restaurant and warned diners about the gunman, Sparrow said.

Outside the mall, candles and flowers were left as memorials to those killed.

The state Senate wants to honor Hammond, said his boss, Police Chief Jon Greiner, who is also a state senator.

Hammond said Tuesday he didn't feel like a hero.

"We were there for a reason. I had my gun on me for a reason. We decided to eat dessert, which we never do, for a reason," Hammond said. "Everything happened for a reason."

 

 

 
 
 
 
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