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Salt Lake Shooter Was Bosnian Muslim

Our earlier surmise has been confirmed.

Buried in this report from the Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL-TV:

Trolley Square Reopens This Morning

February 14th, 2007

Ashley Hayes Reporting

As investigators continue to search for answers into the tragic shooting at Trolley Square, the mall reopens this morning. It’s unclear how many stores will be open for business.

While the mall as a whole reopened around 8 a.m., mall spokeswoman Alicia Bremer said it will be left up to the individual restaurants and businesses whether they want to open.

Earlier this morning we saw security guards milling around and lights coming on inside various stores. We also saw the police tape being removed from around the mall.

In the meantime, police officers are still trying to determine why Monday night’s deadly shooting happened. Even the family of the shooter can’t seem to answer that question.

Sulejmen Talovic’s family is baffled at what happened. When we spoke with his aunt she couldn’t believe her nephew was capable of killing so many people.

Ajka Onerovic, Gunman’s Aunt: "We want to know what happened just like you guys. We have no idea. He was such a good boy. We don’t know what happened."

She said there were no early warning signs Talovic was planning on attacking people at the mall. His co-workers at Aramark Uniform Services said he was at work Monday afternoon, but acted normal.

A family friend, who didn’t want to be identified, told us Talovic’s upbringing may have played a role. He was a Muslim-Bosnian, born in war-torn Bosnia. Talovic has lived in Utah for the past several years. He dropped out of high school in 2004…

And yet this fact wasn’t even considered worthy of a headline or any emphasis. Instead, it is buried in the middle of the eighth paragraph. Just mentioned in passing.

Apparently the real news is that the mall is open for business again.

  Update!

The latest (and the source for the photo above) from the Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV:

First Photos Of Gunman, FBI Rules Out Terrorism

(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY KUTV has acquired the first photographs of Sulejmen Talovic, 18, the man police say went on a shooting rampage at Trolley Square — killing five people and wounding four others.

The gunman’s family spoke to 2News on Wednesday and provided pictures of their son. One is a passport photo taken several years ago that shows Talovic as a young boy.

Also, Talovic’s father and cousin spoke about the tragedy on Wednesday. The father said he believes his son was “pushed” to violence but otherwise was a good boy. The cousin wondered how Talovic got his weapons in the first place.

Meanwhile, the FBI said Wednesday it has no reason to believe the shooting spree that killed five people in a shopping mall was an act of Islamic terrorism, leaving a young Bosnian immigrant’s motives a mystery.

It’s just unexplainable,” FBI agent Patrick Kiernan said. “He was just walking around and shooting everybody he saw.”

Sulejman Talovic, 18, fired randomly at shoppers Monday, killing five and leaving four others with bullet wounds before he was shot dead by police.

“We are Muslims, but we are not terrorists,” the boy’s aunt, Ajka Omerovic, said Wednesday at the family’s house. She rejected any religious motive for the shooting and said the family can’t explain it.

The Talovic family fled war-torn Bosnia for Utah in 1998 “to be free,” she said…

Talovic was only 4 when he and his mother fled their village of Talovici on foot after Serbian forces overran it in 1993, people close to the family told The Associated Press.

He lived as a refugee in Bosnia from 1993 to 1998, when his family moved to the United States, they said.

During that period, he spent some time in Srebrenica, the northeastern enclave where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in 1995 by Serb forces.

Talovic left Srebrenica two years before the massacre, but acquaintances suggested it may have left an indelible mark on the quiet little boy they knew.

“That’s why I’m convinced the war did this in Utah,” said Murat Avdic, a friend of the family. “There cannot be any other reason.” …

What a laughably disgraceful headline. How can they be ruling out anything at this early stage of their investigations?

“We are Muslims, but we are not terrorists,” the boy’s aunt, Ajka Omerovic, said Wednesday at the family’s house. She rejected any religious motive for the shooting and said the family can’t explain it.

She has no idea what his motive was, yet she knows it wasn’t jihad.

Talovic left Srebrenica two years before the massacre, but acquaintances suggested it may have left an indelible mark on the quiet little boy they knew.

But this "indelible mark" would never cause him to work to exact revenge against the infidels, would it? Of course not.

Still, lest we forget, we have this example of another Bosnian Muslim at work, which I had posted in the earlier article on this subject.

From the Associated Press:

Anthrax hoaxer gets 10-month sentence

Monday, July 29, 2002

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – A man who mailed letters threatening to use anthrax against government agencies was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison.

Amir Omerovic, 28, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia, had faced up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in February…

The letters referred to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

This is only the beginning,” the letters said. “Americans will die. Death to America and Israel.

The letters did not contain anthrax or any other substance.

Federal officials said there was no evidence that Omerovic had access to anthrax.

Probably this gentleman’s relatives (who share a last name with Talovic’s Aunt Omerovic) said the same thing. They may even be related.

And I’m sure we’ll never be able to figure out his motive either.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, February 14th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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