August 13th, 2008
03:39 PM ET
14 years ago

Arkansas Democratic chairman killed in shooting

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="CNN affiliates report that Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney was shot."]

(CNN) - The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party died Wednesday, hours after a shooting at the party's headquarters, police said.

Chairman Bill Gwatney died at 3:59 Wednesday afternoon after a gunman entered his Little Rock office and shot him several times in the upper body, Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said.

Authorities confirmed the news shortly after former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement expressing their condolences.

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Filed under: Democrats
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. guythegood

    Was Dick Cheney out huntin' ?

    August 13, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Foreign Observer

    I'm reading the comments and feel both my jaw and my stomach dropping. Some of you are blaming a man's shooting on the fact that Hillary lost the primaries? Truly? It's so bizarre and so deeply wrong and so incredibly stupid that the very thought that you might be of voting age sends shivers down my spine.

    August 13, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Sprayem [youtube name]

    Obama is not going to win Arkansas. This is clearly some incident that has nothing to do with politics.

    August 13, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. jo

    get well soon sir.

    August 13, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. DR. YES

    i hate living in this state.they are more racist here than anywhere.i'm white ,so i know it!i hear things everyday.i even got called a muslim for wearing an obama hat!i dont care!these people are cowards for attacking fellow americans.this doesnt surprise me.sad sad and evil!

    August 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. John R.

    Can't say I'm surprised either. As a former Democrat, I am disgusted how the Democratic Party ignored the voting process and pushed Obama on us.

    He is not presidential.

    He is not qualified.

    He is immoral.

    He is spineless.

    I hope Obama is happy. At least 18 million Americans denied the right to democracy.

    One can only imagine what lies in store once Obama is propped into the Presidency by his handlers.

    August 13, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Tony

    Obviously another deranged Republican who knows come November they Republicant's are OUT!

    August 13, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Hey America is a country that lives by the gun so when people shoot people it isn't a surprise cause that's what guns are designed to do.

    There are hunters, target shooters and collectors of guns but the majority of people seem to think everyone should be armed to the teeth for self protection. Well self protection will only work if you get off the first shot.

    August 13, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |

    My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    August 13, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Erica, TX

    Stop with the 18 million myth. Get informed, read the news blogs, Hillary went down because she hired incompetent people to run her campaign. I would love to see a woman become President, but she needs to know how to run a campaign before she can run the country.

    August 13, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Joe Kiloz

    Barack Obama, uniter ?

    August 13, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. C Terry

    FYI: The shooter also went in the Baptist Convention Headquarters (few blocks away) waving his gun around as well. A witness said he mentioned losing a job...this may have nothing to do with politics at all.

    August 13, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Sad

    First I would like to let the family of Mr. Gwatney know that my thoughts and prayers are with them during this terrible time.

    Second I would like to comment on the messages about Mr. Gwatney below. The words are harsh, uneducated and insensitive. At this point there is no word on why the shooter came there and asked for Mr. Gwatney before shooting him. Whatever the reason, this is no time to speculate why...especially when it comes to political views. Please discontinue all comments about gun laws, political views, and other suspicions.

    August 13, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. What if?

    Robert and other who are mistaken....that isn't the reason, one of our candidate made it a point to remind people about a tragic day in 1964. Let's STOP blaming Obama for everything...Pleaseeeeeeeeeeee!

    Truth be told I don't think any one in today's time would do this without thinking they were giving someone support.

    August 13, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Joy, DC

    What is going on in Arkansas? My prayers are with this man and his family.

    August 13, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    Aint arkansas a very strong republican state???

    August 13, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Debby

    Where is the unity???????

    August 13, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Terri

    Probably a Hillary supporter ! Those people are crazy

    Go Obama

    August 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Foreign Observer

    Shari, NY," which world are you referring to, exactly, when you write that "
    I used to praise the U.S. for running violence fre elections unlike other places in the world" - does it include places like Denmark or Germany? And which US country might it be you're talking about? Does "Bobby Kennedy" ring a bell?

    August 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Silent independent

    People, People...please...
    "was he a democrat?" "was he a republican?" "this is what America has become under Bush?" "...a country that lives by the gun..."

    Sheesh... Some nut-job shoots someone and you've got to make it about more than that.

    How about sympathy for the victim, his family, and due process for the nut-job. End of Story.

    August 13, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. Unity

    Oh my!

    The Clinton-istas never cease to shock me with their hatred.

    First, they write that Ted Kennedy got what he deserved when he was diagnosed with brain cancer because he endorsed Barack Obama.

    Then, some wrote that Tim Russert's death by heart attack was what he deserved for asking Hillary tough questions during a debate.

    Now, they are somehow blaming a shooting of a man who probably was a Hillary supporter on Barack Obama.

    The Clinton-istas really take your breath away.

    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Phyllis/ PA


    August 13, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. L. W.

    We have no idea the motive in this shooting–it could be a personal issue between 2 people and have nothing to do with politics. However, I like many people, strongly suspect this has to do with a black man being nominated for president. As a spouse of a journalist who travels with Senator Obama I fear for life of Senator Obama. To that point, I believe:
    Every person who tells a racist joke, every person who laughs at a racist joke has blood on their hands if the Senator is attacked. It is not acceptable to stand by and let other people continue to perpetuate stereotypes. It's time to get with the program people. The next time someone tells a racist joke, uses the "N" word, stand up and tell them "not on my watch you don't". The battle against racism will never be won if white people continue to say, "oh let old uncle johnnie have his fun, it's not hurting anyone". That's a load of crap. It is hurting people, every time a child hears these things it gives them the pre-requisition of having a prejudice where before there was none.

    August 13, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Tracy---Indianapolis, IN

    To Robert

    What does Obama have to do with this? Stop blaming Obama for everything, if you don't like him that's fine but ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama 08

    August 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. clacy

    The knee- jerk trash posted here is more of a concern than who did the shooting. MAYBE it's not politically motivated. People hurt people at their place of work because they know they will be there. They hurt them with guns and knives and bombs and their fists. So get off your agenda and try caring for the victim and their family. My first post and my last.

    August 13, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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