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WASHINGTON: ARKANSAS PARTY LEADER SHOT DEAD
Autor: BBC
Objavljeno: 14. Aug 2008. 06:08:37
The head of the Arkansas Democratic Party has been killed by a gunman at the state's party HQ

The announcement was made by Bill and Hillary Clinton's office.

Bill Gwatney, 49, was reportedly shot three times after the gunman barged his way into his office near the state capitol building in Little Rock.

The suspected gunman was shot during a police chase and died, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said it was a "senseless tragedy".

"We are deeply saddened by the news that Bill Gwatney has passed away," the Clintons said in a joint statement.

The couple lived for years in the Arkansas capital of Little Rock while former President Bill Clinton was governor of the state.

Barack Obama, who competed with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. president in November, also said he was "shocked and saddened" by news of the shooting.

The authorities have not yet named the suspected gunman, said to be a 51-year-old man, and the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

A 17-year-old volunteer at the party headquarters building told the Associated Press that the suspect had pushed past staff to get into Gwatney's office.

"He said he was interested in volunteering but that was obviously a lie," Sam Higginbotham said.

Gwatney was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died of his injuries about four hours later.

He was a former state senator and was due to attend the Democratic Party's national convention in Denver later this month as a superdelegate.

He supported Mrs Clinton during the contest for the party's presidential nomination.

Last December, a man who claimed to have a bomb strapped to his chest walked into Mrs Clinton's campaign office in New Hampshire, prompting a hostage drama lasting several hours.



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