Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Have a History Lesson in Fayette County Violent Crime

Now, I'm not a fan of twisting a tragedy that made national news, like the Naval Yard shooting, to make it about people and places it's not, but hey, at least we've got an interesting story now that we don't have to pay for (full disclosure: I mostly support some sort of payment for news sites to see content. Mostly.)

It's actually a pretty interesting story that my fellow youngins might know nothing about--a shooting at Anchor Glass, AKA that big abandoned thing in the middle of South Connellsville right down the road from my creepy old house.
The former police chief, now mayor of South Connellsville, vividly recalls what he says was the worst day of his professional career — a quiet Saturday morning that was suddenly marred by violence when a man opened fire, killing four and injuring one, at Anchor Glass Container Corp. in South Connellsville. 
Mansel “Sonny” Hammett was considered a quiet, private, hardworking man prior the day he walked into the glassware production plant, where he worked as an hourly employee.
Casini’s crime scene photos bear out the widely reported accounts of the event, that Hammett stalked and killed his supervisors, Donald Abbot, 48, Paul Gabelt, 52, John Coligan, 31, and Ralph Tomaro, 52, before fatally shooting himself.
The article goes on to say that the shooter had been sent home the day before for breaking a company rule and told people in line at the Pechins cafeteria that he was going to the plant "to kill bosses." I know most of the time people are exaggerating and cranky, but we really all need to listen when people's talk turns violent.

The full piece is a very interesting glimpse into the county's past, when its heyday was closer than it is now.

This makes me wish even more that I would've taped my grandma telling her infamous story about the shooting at her school in third grade, and these two shootings do have a common thread--no counseling was provided for victims and witnesses, they just picked up and went on the next day.

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