Last Thursday in Tacoma an argument allegedly prompted Michael Dillon to fatally shoot his next door neighbor. On Friday a man now identified as John Zawahri shot his father and brother and torched their Santa Monica home before going on to kill others at a nearby college.
Two armed killers, fueled by rage, writing their grievances in innocent blood – just another 24 hours in America.
There are, however, several differences between these two tragic incidents which may shed a dim light on the phenomenon known as the mass shooting.
It starts with a relative unknown: the killers’ mindset. Neighbors say Dillon, whose North End home was rigged with surveillance cameras, had a reputation as the antisocial neighbor nobody messed with. According to a CNN report, Zawahri was purportedly unstable with an undisclosed juvenile record.
The firearms: Witnesses describe hearing approximately ten rapidly fired shots and seeing Dillon armed with a handgun; Santa Monica police state Zawahri was dressed in black, wearing a ballistic vest, armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and 1,300 rounds of ammunition.
The body count: Dillon killed himself after allegedly shooting Frank Rossiter, 55, the only victim attributed to Thursday’s shooting in Tacoma’s North End, while Zawahri is alleged to have shot eight people, killing four (a fifth has now died), before dying in a gunfight with police.
Finally, the age of the shooters: Dillon was 51 when he allegedly shot Rossiter and later himself; Zawahri, who could have passed as a character in an uber violent video game, was 23.