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Op-Ed: Alleged College Station killer identified as Thomas Caffall

By Bill Schmalfeldt     Aug 13, 2012 in Crime
College Station - To go by his Facebook page, he enjoyed NASCAR, Fox News, Angry Birds, and a lot of the shows on the USA Network, such as "Psych" and "Burn Notice." He listed William Shakespeare as being among his list of "inspirational people."
And earlier today, according to police, a College Station, Texas, constable showed up with an eviction notice. He was allegedly shot to death by 35-year old NASCAR, FOX News and Shakespeare fan Thomas A. Caffall.
We haven't told you everything Caffall listed among his "likes" and "inspirational people" on his Facebook page, which we imagine will not be online much longer.
He also liked Glocks.
Among his "inspirational people" was Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev, a Soviet WWII sniper with 800 certified kills. Also on his list?
Carlos Hathcock. USMC Gunnery Sergeant. Sniper. 99 Confirmed Kills in WWII.
Eugene Stoner, designer of the AR-15 rifle.
Simo Häyhä -- Finnish sniper. 505 confirmed kills.
Mikhail Kalashnikov -- creator of the AK-47. John Garand, developer of the M-1 rifle. Of course, Samuel Colt and John Browning, 19th century gun manufacturers.
Oh, yes. Also on the list? Glenn Beck, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan. Also, Sarah Palin, John Wayne, S.E. Cupp, Michele Bachmann, Tea Party Patriots, Bill O'Reilly, Americans for Prosperity Super PAC, and a group called "I will NOT vote for Obama in 2012."
Are we sensing a pattern yet?
Caffall's mother, Linda Weaver, issued this statement through her family attorney.
"Our family was shocked and devastated by the tragedy this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the deceased and the wounded victims. We mourn them and the loss of Tres. He had been ill. It breaks our hearts his illness led to this.
"Please respect our privacy in our grief."
Earlier, his mother spoke to the Huffington Post.
Caffall is listed in public records as a resident at 211 Fidelity St. in College Station, which police identified as the shooter's house, and is 35-years-old.
Caffall's mother, Linda Weaver, reached by phone by The Huffington Post, said she believed the shooter was her son.
"We have not been notified by the authorities yet, but our suspicions are that it is my son," Weaver said. "We are just devastated. He's been very deeply troubled."
Weaver said her son had been having "difficulties" with his mental health in recent years.
"The minute I saw the TV I knew it was him," she said. "I've been that worried about him."
She had reason to worry.
Earlier this afternoon, Police Constable Brian Bachmann, 41, walked up to Caffall's house on Fidelity Street to serve eviction papers.
Was he thinking of his sniper heroes? Zaytsev with his 800 certified kills? Häyhä with his 505? Hathcock with his relative paltry 99? Or, was he influenced by the paranoid ravings of Glenn Beck, believing the police officer was coming to get his guns? Had he been listening to Michele Bachmann about the advancing menace of socialism? What would Thomas Paine do? Sarah Palin said, "Don't retreat! Reload!" And what would Ronald Reagan do.
As Bachmann approached the house, Caffall allegedly shot the married father of two and killed him.
Now, Caffall allegedly had one notch on his gun stock. He wasn't done.
Police say an unidentified 65-year old civilian bystander was shot and killed.
That made two.
Police swarmed the neighborhood. Caffall went down shooting, wounding several more people, but not killing anyone else The police took him down, ending his short, woeful career as a sniper.
Police haven't said which of his large stockpile of weapons he was using.
According to London's Daily Mail:
On his Facebook page, Caffall has posted multiple photographs of his weapon collection, including antique rifles and semi-auotomatic guns.
'No, it's not an AK. It's a Czech vz. 58. Just picked it up today, can't wait to try it out on the range. :),' he wrote as the caption to one of his gun photographs.
'I just got a new toy!' he wrote on the caption of another one.
He lists his religion as Christian and describes himself as 'a cross between Forrest Gump and Jack Kerouac (without the drugs). I'm on the road, permanently.'
He lists Emily Dickinson, Winston Churchill, Yoda and George Orwell quotes as some of his favorites, as well as one of his own sayings.
'If you feed the bears, they come back,' he says.
Among his favorite quotes, according to his Facebook account?
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell.
Sometimes, it's the rough men ready to do violence on their own behalf that keep others awake at night.
Caffill's mother asked the question that will be on everyone's mind as they try to make sense of this senseless tragedy, the third sensless mass shooting since July.
She added that she was horrified at the loss of life. "If you're going to commit suicide, why take all these other people with you?" she said.
Maybe tomorrow, we can look at the life of the constable he killed and the family he ruined and ask, "why"?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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