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Texas High School Football Coach Shot

Associated Press | April 7, 2005

CANTON, Texas - The father of a high school football player shot and wounded the team's coach with an assault rifle Thursday and fled in a pickup loaded with weapons, claiming to have a hit list, state officials said.

Schools in the district were locked down while police searched for the shooter. Officers had weapons drawn near a truck that was found about two hours after the shooting and apparently belonged to suspect Jeffrey Doyle Robertson.

Police were investigating a possible motive for Robertson, 45, in the shooting of Canton High School football coach Gary Joe Kinne. The coach was shot while on campus.

Police Chief Mike Echols said Robertson had been banned from campus and told not to attend school functions. Authorities had reports that the two had an "altercation" after Kinne took over the football program in 2003, said state Department of Public Safety officer Jasmine Andresen.

The state Office of Homeland Security said Robertson fired an AK-47 at Kinne at the school's field house before driving off. Robertson had said he had a hit list and would not be taken alive, agency spokeswoman Sophie Yanez said.

Kinne was shot in the chest, Echols told The Tyler Morning Telegraph. The coach was airlifted to a hospital in nearby Tyler, officials said. Authorities declined to release information on his condition.

Television footage showed officers with weapons drawn and police cars parked behind the truck near a golf course off Interstate 20 between Tyler and Canton. It was not clear whether anyone was in the truck.

An athlete's father said Robertson had threatened to kill his son last year over an on-field teasing.

"He's a very high-strung, hot-tempered individual," said Steve Smith, a Canton business owner.

Smith told the Tyler newspaper that Robertson's son, then a freshman football player, was walking off the field when some older students "razzed" him.

"This guy blew up," Smith said. "He thought some kids were picking on his son. My son wasn't even the one who said anything. But he threatened to kill him."

Smith said he complained to the school and police. Robertson was never charged.

A local restaurant cashier said Robertson had a reputation in Canton, about 60 miles east of Dallas.

"I wouldn't say he was respected. But he was well-known," said Sister's Cafe cashier Diane Price, who said she has known Robertson for 37 years because he attended high school with her daughter.

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