Christopher Bryan Speight, the 39-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed eight men and women yesterday in Appomattox, Virginia, is at least the 12th person licensed to carry a concealed handgun reported to have committed a mass shooting since May 2007.
According to the Associated Press, Appomattox County court records show a concealed weapons permit was issued to a Christopher Bryan Speight three times between 1999 and last year.
The 11 prior mass shootings are detailed on the VPC's web site, Concealed Carry Killers, an on-line resource, updated monthly, that tallies from news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders. Not including yesterday's shooting, Concealed Carry Killers reports that since May 2007 concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 117 people, including nine law enforcement officers.
Prior to yesterday's shooting, concealed handgun permit holders had claimed 43 innocent lives in 11 mass shootings since May 2007 (in addition, in six of the incidents, the shooter killed himself). Yesterday's shooting brings the total number of innocent victims reportedly killed by concealed handgun permit holders in mass shootings during this period to 51.
Yesterday's attack is, in fact, the second mass shooting in Virginia by a concealed carry permit holder in less than two years. In May 2008, concealed handgun permit holder Aaron Poseidon Jackson, 24, shot and killed his two children, one-year-old Aaron Neptune Jackson and two-year-old Nicole Aaron Jackson, and their mother Latasha Nicole Thomas, before taking his own life. Jackson was wearing body armor and was surrounded by guns and ammunition when police found him dead in their home in the Walt Lou Trailer Park in Falmouth, Virginia. Christopher Bryan Speight was also wearing body armor when he surrendered to police.
Two mass shootings in two years. Perhaps someone should ask Governor Bob McDonnell whether it's time to reconsider Virginia's lax concealed weapons law.