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Getty The outside of the Sandra Day O'Connor federal courthouse

James Lee Carr is the suspect who has been arrested and accused of shooting a security officer outside of Phoenix’s Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse on September 15. According to, the security officer was a contractor who had been deputized by the U.

S. Marshals Service.

He was on duty, in uniform and inspecting a UPS truck when he was shot; after a short stint in the hospital, he has been recuperating at home, the Associated Press reported.

Carr’s ex-wife, Donna Gonzales (as it is spelled in the AP, although it is spelled “Gonzalez” in the criminal complaint), told the AP that Carr was suffering from mental illness, but she had never known him to be violent.

The FBI is currently investigating the incident. The 68-year-old Carr has been charged with one count of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon and carrying and discharging a firearm while assaulting a federal officer.

Here’s what you need to know:

Carr Is Accused of Shooting a Security Officer

James Lee Carr arrested in connection with federal courthouse shooting in Phoenix.

— Kari Lake (@KariLakeFox10) September 16, 2020

According to, on the morning of the shooting, Carr’s neighbors told law enforcement that Carr seemed angry and agitated and one neighbor who knew him for almost a decade even suspected that he might commit suicide. The criminal complaint quoted one neighbor who said, “James is an alcoholic, smokes marijuana, and has mental health issues,” according to court documents.

Here is what was reported in the criminal complaint:

On the morning of September 15, 2020, Victim 1 was conducting a security sweep of a UPS truck at the guardhouse on the north side of the Federal Courthouse prior to allowing the truck entry to the courthouse facility. Victim 1 heard someone say “hey.” When Victim 1 looked up, Victim 1 observed a Black male wearing a full-brimmed hat, driving a silver Cadillac sedan westbound on Washington Street on the north side of the courthouse.

At the point, the driver opened fire with a handgun from the vehicle, firing approximately three rounds and striking Victim 1 with at least one round on the right side of his chest area … Victim 1 returned fire, shooting approximately eight rounds back at the subject. Following the return of gunfire, the silver Cadillac sedan continued westbound on Washington Street, fleeing the scene.

Carr then contacted, among others, his ex-wife, Donna Gonzales. She called 911, which led police to show up at the park.

According to the criminal complaint, as the officer went to arrest Carr, he heard James “mutter something about blowing something up.” After being taken into custody, Carr told the officer testing his left hand for gunshot residue, “‘That’s not the hand I shot with,’” according to the criminal complaint.

Carr’s Ex-Wife Said That Carr May Have Had Mental Health Issues

Authorities confirm James Lee Carr was arrested for drive-by shooting of Federal Security Guard outside Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse yesterday,friend’s and family say Carr has mental issues . Injuries were not life threatening ⁦@FBIPhoenix⁩ ⁦⁦@PhoenixPolice⁩

— Rick Davis (@rdavisfox10) September 17, 2020

According to the criminal complaint, Carr called his brother, Lonnie, who told him that he shot a security guard.

James told Lonnie that he shot at a security guard on Washington Street and 7th Avenue. Lonnie told FBI that, at approximately 11:30 AM, he contacted Buford Carr, James Carr’s son, and Donna Gonzalez, James Carr’s ex-wife. Lonnie told them James had told him that he shot a security guard and was sitting in Verde Park. Lonnie further stated that James indicated he wanted to die because he shot the security guard.

Buford Carr and Gonzales both showed up to Verde Park, according to the complaint, and saw Carr with a revolver and rifle next to him.

According to Buford, as Buford and Donna approached James, James told them, “Tell people not to f*** with me.” Buford moved the firearms away from James. Donna told law enforcement that she took the firearms and placed the rifle in the trunk of Buford’s vehicle, and the handgun under the driver’s side seat cushion of Buford’s vehicle. According to Buford, James told Buford he snapped and shot a security guard at 7th Avenue and Washington because the security guard was harassing him. Buford indicated that James had mental health issues and thought it was out of the ordinary that James was wearing a full suit.

The complaint said that Carr was dressed in a full suit, dress shoes and fedora hat.

Gonzales, who has a daughter with Carr, told the Associated Press that he “is sick” and that she hopes “he’s getting the help he needs.” However, she also said that he did not have a history of violence. When arriving at the park, Gonzales said he followed her instructions and didn’t behave in a way that made her feel afraid. “I had no fear. I know the man. He would never hurt me,” she told the AP.

Prior to the incident, Gonzales said that Carr had a history of behavior erratically and that she had only spoken to him two months ago, according to the AP.

The Victim Is Expected to Pull Through

UPDATE | The security guard who police say was shot in the chest by James Lee Carr was released from the hospital and recovering at home.

— 12 News (@12News) September 17, 2020

According to the Associated Press (AP), the officer hit was wearing a protective vest and spent some time in the hospital before being released the same day to recover at home.

According to what Phoenix’s U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Colleen Grayman told the AP, the officer served more than 25 years in law enforcement and was a retired Michigan state trooper.

Trump mentioned the shooting at his White House press briefing on September 16, saying, “In Phoenix last night, a federal officer was gunned down in a drive-by shooting … I’ll always stand by our heroes of law enforcement, and we want to stop this horrible rhetoric and stop it fast.”

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Kansas City Weighs Another Bid to Honor Martin Luther King

By MARGARET STAFFORD, Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A year after a divisive debate that ended with Kansas City residents voting to remove the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s name from a prominent boulevard, the city is trying again to find a way to honor the civil rights icon.

Missouri's largest city started discussions about finding a new way to honor King shortly after last year's vote, but that effort stalled when the coronavirus pandemic began in the spring.

Now, the Board of Parks and Recreation is considering a proposal to rename a 5-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) route along thoroughfares that run east and west between a mostly-Black area of town and the well-known Country Club Plaza for King.

The discussion revives issues that arose when, at the urging of the Southern Christian Leadership Council-Greater Kansas City and other civil rights advocates, the City Council in 2019 renamed one of the city’s most historic boulevards, The Paseo, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

A group of residents who wanted to preserve the street’s history and said the city had not followed proper procedures before the renaming collected enough signatures to get the issue on last November's ballot, and voters overwhelmingly chose to reinstate The Paseo name, leaving Kansas City as one of the largest cities in the U.S. without a street named for King.

Testimony at two public hearings last week suggested that finding a solution won't be easy. Some speakers supported the new proposal, while others said it wasn't a big enough tribute to King, suggested different sites or opposed the renaming of any streets.

Teresa Rynard, director of the parks department, said the park board wants to listen to all opinions to avoid making a decision that will contribute to current tensions over social justice issues in Kansas City and the nation.

“It's really important that this not be seen as ‘let’s just name a street and we’re done,'” Rynard said. “When we finally agree on an honor, let’s use this as a starting point of how to heal and deal not just with the past but with present concerns involving Black Lives Matter and racial injustice that we're confronting.”

Ajamu Webster, a former parks board member, said during one hearing the board should honor the man who was assassinated while working for the benefit of minorities, even if the decision isn't popular. He said opponents should stop worrying about whether changing a street name will inconvenience them and see the bigger picture.

“Do we want to be remembered as people who stood for healing and justice or do we want to be remembered as one of the people who stood back in the background and let other people make the sacrifice?" Webster said. "I plead with the citizens of Kansas City to have a broader vision about what this city can become.”

Not everyone agreed, though.

Asia Campbell, a 27-year-old Black woman who works for a local economic development organization, said she thinks that naming a street for King would be divisive and wouldn't help the city’s Black community. Instead, the city should concentrate on providing economic opportunities for its Black residents.

“Naming a street is not going to change anything,” she said. “What will bring change is if we can get more assets into skills and training.”

The SCLC-GKC, which has pushed for years to have a major street named after King, believes the proposal to rename Volker Boulevard, Swope Parkway and a section of Blue Parkway would appropriately honor King. The route would imprint King's name in an area where the Black community, particularly Black children, could see it. It also runs through a sales tax boundary that supports economic development in the area, the organization's president, Dr. Vernon Howard, wrote in a letter to the board.

The route also goes by Martin Luther King Square Park, which has been neglected since it was dedicated in 1978. Renewed efforts to improve the park got a boost in September when a foundation created by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes pledged support for a play site at the park estimated to cost from $800,000 to $1 million.

The proposed route would end at a fountain near Country Club Plaza, which until this summer was named after J.C. Nichols, a prominent local developer who used racist policies to keep Blacks out of his developments in the early 1900s, creating racial boundaries that still exist.

The parks board voted this summer to remove Nichols' name from the fountain and an adjoining street __ a proposal that faced little public opposition.

With the subject of honoring King back before the public, Raynard said the parks board will take in more citizen input before deciding how to move forward. She said the board does not have a timetable for making a decision.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Kansas, Missouri

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