Gunman Tied to Supremacist Websites

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A gunman who allegedly shot and killed three police officers over the weekend has been tied to white-supremacist websites, authorities say.

Richard Poplawski, who had been evicted from the home he shared with his mother, was lying in wait for the police. The three officers were responding to a domestic disturbance called in by the woman. Upon their arrival, Poplawski shot two of them, Paul Scullio II, 37, and Stephen Mayhle, 29. A third officer, 41-year-old Eric Kelly, was killed during a four-hour standoff.

Postings found on an Internet website called Stormfront.org, which is a message board and online meeting place for white supremacists, revealed that Poplawski was concerned about President Obama overturning the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of American citizens to bear arms. He also feared that Jewish were controlling not only the government but also the news media.

Poplawski had uploaded a picture of himself, which showed a large tattoo of a spread-winged eagle on his chest, to the website. Additionally, he had written in January 2007 that he was considering getting a tattoo of so-called “life runes” –a popular symbol with supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Officials at the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors police killings by radical extremists, stated that Poplawski visited a number of supremacist websites on Saturday, just hours before killing the cops.

Poplawski, who was discharged from Marine Corps basic training at Parris Island, S.C., in 2004 reportedly for throwing a lunch tray at a sergeant, had recently been laid off from a factory job. Friends say he was upset about his employment situation and concerned about gun restrictions in the Obama administration.

An African-American friend of Poplawski’s, Aaron Vire, stated that Poplawski was not racist.

When police arrived at Poplawski’s home following a 911 call from his mother, they found him wearing a bulletproof vest and heavily armed. According to police spokespeople, he was wielding an AK-47 assault rifle, among other guns.

The slain officers will lie in state at a municipal building on Wednesday. A community memorial service will be held on Thursday for the three policemen.

 

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