Skip to comments.Three dead, three wounded in sword attack at Irvine grocery store (No Gun No Story)
Posted on 06/30/2003 10:33:38 AM PDT by Travis McGee
Three dead, three wounded in sword attack at Irvine grocery store
By Gail Schiller ASSOCIATED PRESS 3:17 a.m., June 30, 2003
Associated Press A woman, identified as a relative of one of the victims, weeps outside the police command center set up in the parking lot of an Albertsons supermarket in Irvine where two people were killed by a man wielding a samurai-style sword.
IRVINE A sword-wielding man slashed and killed two co-workers and wounded three other people at the Albertsons supermarket where he used to bag groceries before police shot and mortally wounded him.
About 40 to 50 shoppers ran from the store shortly after 9:30 a.m. Sunday as police went in to subdue Joseph Hunter Parker, who was armed with a samurai-style sword and wearing a beret and trenchcoat, said police Cmdr. Jeff Noble. The 30-year-old confronted an officer on aisle 11 before fellow officers shot him, said Lt. Jeff Love.
The wounded were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. One of the wounded was an Albertsons employee and two others were customers, police said. Parker also was taken to the hospital but did not survive.
His mother said Parker, of Santa Ana, collected swords and was a fan of the "Highlander" film and television series in which the hero is a swordsman. Parker's former co-workers said he quit his job bagging groceries about two weeks ago after working at Albertsons for about two years.
Some described him as disturbed but non-threatening.
"I never felt threatened, but he was just a really odd man," said Mark Ming, 26. "He would have full conversations with himself. He obviously had problems, but he was respectful toward customers."
Michael Huggard, 17, remembered Parker as jovial.
"He seemed like a really nice guy," Huggard said. "He was just joking around a lot and smiling at everybody."
But 24-year-old Carl Wieduwilt had a grim premonition.
"I joke around on days I come in here and say he's going to shoot people up," he said. "I had this weird feeling inside that this was going to happen and look. It's amazing." He added that Parker sometimes was homeless.
The grocery chain said it would assist victims' families and provide counseling to employees.
"The entire Albertsons family shares in the sorrow generated from this unfortunate incident," the company said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those victims who lost their lives and also with the surviving victims and their families."
Stunned workers from other Albertsons gathered in the parking lot after hearing about the attack.
Lt. Love called the attacks an aberration in the quiet city 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which he said averages less than one murder a year. About 143,000 people live here.
Parker was raised in rural Ford, Va., and had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, his mother, Susan Davis, said in an interview Sunday. He also was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician.
"He was not in a good state at all," Davis said, adding she had not spoken to Parker in about a year.
"He said voices were telling him to do bad things."
Davis said her son moved to California about five years ago in hopes of making a new life.
"He wasn't happy about his job," she said. "He wasn't happy with his friends."
Davis said Parker only took one sword with him to California and left the remainder with her.
"I'm just sorry about what happened," Davis said, adding her heart ached for the victims.
Parker's sister, Heather Parker, 28, of Anaheim, said she hasn't spoken to her brother in several months.
"I'm sorry," she said in a telephone interview. "He was alone and he was very mistreated his whole life. He was being treated for schizophrenia. He's never been in trouble. He didn't drink, didn't use drugs. He was kind."
I am not being sarcastic when I say we probably can expect some outcry for sword control. It isn't just guns they don't like, it is all types of weapons, although guns being most effective are the ones they hate most.
I doubt that. The anti-gun crowd is not against weapons, just guns.
You are clearly one who sails under false colors. I do suspect you would be familiar with what the gun control crowd is for and against tho.
Shame nothing could be done about him by either the employers or his family. For the sake of those 2 people killed.
So, we're supposed to wait around for men like him to flip out? Nothing anyone can do?