Another Aurora Shooting

Sonny Archuleta, 33, was reportedly on a four day meth binge when he shot and killed three family members inside their home. Sonny Archuleta is also dead. Hostage negotiators were unable to reason with him.

"Sonny, come downstairs. Sonny, we have your wife. Sonny, come out and we'll get you the help you need," [witness] Bustios recalled police telling the man.

We know you've been up for four days. What's done is done. Come out and we'll get you some help," Williams quoted police as calling out on the bullhorn.

Sonny was a very religious person. This is his Twitter page. Archuleta's wife, Stephanie Philbrook Archuleta, who jumped out a window and escaped, told police her husband is mentally ill. [More...]

According to state records:

... Archuleta had three previous charges for weapons offenses, including a prohibited use of a weapon in Federal Heights in 2004 and carrying a concealed weapon in Denver in June.

According to one of his social media accounts,

... he is a freelance artist who specializes in animation, landscape design, concept art and texturing.... he attended the University of Colorado between 2007 and 2010.

For the past three years, Archuleta has helped run a boutique for infants and toddlers. Before that, he was the director of Step Up Inc., a faith-based life-skills workshop and recovery-support agency that focused on overcoming hopelessness, his profile says.

Stephanie's sister was one of those killed. Their mother (Sonny's mother-in-law) says:

“My daughter was murdered, my son-in-law was killed by the police because he’s sick,” said the shooter’s teary mother-in-law, Shannon. “He was still a human. We have no ill feelings towards him.”

One of the neighbors, a nurse who had treated some of the victims in the Aurora movie theater shootings, said:

“I could see the window shade, and all of a sudden the gun broke through the window and then he leaned out of the window and started shooting down toward the police,” she said.

“I’m a nurse so I’m supposed to stay cool . . . I didn’t know what was going on. I had the SWAT team in my front yard. I loaded my gun and got my daughter downstairs on the floor, and I waited.”

On his his twitter account his tag line is "Jesus is my Superhero." This is his current profile photo.

Here's who he followed.

His brother Patrick had been killed in a shooting outside a Denver restaurant in 2011. Here's a photo of Patrick.

Here's the memorial painting Sonny made for Patrick. And this tribute photo.

While there is a tweet about cooking a breakfast in his lab, it appears from the attached photo he really was cooking breakfast, not drugs. (His photos on four square use the handle Sun of G.)

He posted a lot of photos on FourSquare.

As a drug user, Sonny's acquisition and possession of a firearm are prohibited by federal law: 18 U.S.C Sec. 922(g):

g) It shall be unlawful for any person -
(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

....(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

.... [to] possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Under 18 USC Sec. 922 (d):

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or
having reasonable cause to believe that such person -

...(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

Neither federal nor state laws stopped Sonny from getting his hands on guns -- even though they had been used to charge him with crimes. New laws wouldn't prevent this tragedy. What Sonny needed was early intervention and drug and mental health treatment. The signs were there.

< Friday News and Open Thread | Colorado's Largest Shooting Range to Open Jan. 23 >
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  • Display: Sort:
    When you allow... (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:37:44 PM EST
    ...several hundred million guns to float around, awful sh*t is going to happen. That is simple logic. Of course laws don't stop people from doing anything, PEOPLE ENFORCING THOSE LAWS do.  Also, Texas Chainsaw just won the box office. The commercials for that piece of violence porn run at all hours, morning, noon and night, and I have to literally keep my kid from being traumatized by those phucking snuff film trailers. We day in and day out treat violence not simply like its ok, but like it's cool. But show sex and, whoa there, now you're getting out of hand. That is a sickness. Add a lot of guns and a lot of irrational people and a society in the process of chewing its own legs off with absurdity and, well, you get what you get.

    Let's see if we can reach a billion guns on the street by the end of the decade!  Hooray!!!

    If only he had waited for the (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Anne on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:59:08 PM EST
    opening of the new and gigantic shooting range, he could have taken out his anger/psychosis there, safely, instead of killing a couple more people before getting caught - and killed - in police crossfire.

    Seriously, that headline could have a big ___ between "Another" and "Shooting"  - just fill in the name of any city of your choice - and a warehouse full of bloggers could be kept busy 24/7 reporting on the daily carnage around the country.


    Culture of violence (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lora on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:18:58 PM EST
    I agree with Dadler.  We Americans suck up violence by the supersize.  I don't see how you can add extremely easy to obtain, extremely easy to use, extremely lethal, extremely plentiful pieces of hardware to a culture that revels in violence, without getting, well, violence.

    Anne, pardon me, but didn't Adam Lanza go to the shooting range with his mother?  How well did that experience take care of his aggression?


    Lora, I think your question would be (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:22:27 AM EST
    better directed to those who think ginormous shooting ranges have anything to do with ending or lessening the level of gun violence this country is experiencing.

    If my extreme sarcasm prevented you from realizing that I don't believe shooting ranges are any kind of answer, I do apologize.


    is that as a result of the practice and education at the ranges the percentage of gun owners who are capable and responsible would be higher.

    Of course no one can prove a negative, but I would guess there would be fewer needless gun injuries and deaths corresponding to this higher percentage of capable and responsible gun owners.


    I'm not saying it's a bad idea for (none / 0) (#11)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:30:05 PM EST
    anyone who owns a gun to be as educated and trained as it's possible to be in using it; I would like people who have guns not to just assume that, in a pressure situation, their inner hey-if-those-guys-on-my-TV-can-do-it-so-can-I will miraculously take over and all will end well.

    And maybe more training will save some lives at some point - either the gun owner's or someone in his or her family - but chances are, those who really need the training aren't likely to ever get it, either because they don't want to pay to use the range, or they don't think they need it, or they aren't "law-abiding" - whatever.


    In my experience (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:52:58 PM EST
    many, many people who have guns do not:
    just assume that, in a pressure situation, their inner hey-if-those-guys-on-my-TV-can-do-it-so-can-I will miraculously take over and all will end well.

    target practice is not enough (none / 0) (#14)
    by Lora on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:46:49 PM EST
    These videos from ABC news show that some gun training and target practice is probably not enough to stop a shooter in a crowd, may cause harm to innocent bystanders, and incur a greater risk of being shot (posted on the Brad Blog).

    Thanks, although "stopping a shooter... (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:33:01 PM EST
    in a crowd" is really not what I was talking about.

    Mainly, among people who have practice and training I would expect fewer irresponsible and potentially dangerous actions with firearms vs people who do not have such practice and training, and therefor fewer needless gun injuries and deaths.

    Stopping shooters in a crowd didn't even occur to me w/regards to my comment, although I would expect those with training to be less prone to endangering others in the crowded situation you bring up.


    I'm all for practice and training (none / 0) (#18)
    by Lora on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:38:32 PM EST
    In general, I would agree with your statement that practice and training would reduce accidental injuries and deaths.

    I think the point the videos were making is that unless you have very specific training to anticipate a shooter in the crowd, even some training with a weapon such as an average responsible gun owner might obtain is not sufficient to handle an emergency situation and in fact using a gun in an attempt to stop a shooter could make things worse.


    Advocacy Journalism (none / 0) (#16)
    by Cylinder on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:54:24 PM EST
    These videos from ABC news...

    Those videos are ridiculously staged. Oversized shirt, gloves, confined to a raceway in the weakest tactical position, belly carry...

    So yeah, if a person wearing ridiculously impractical clothing with a couple of hours of training and in a confined space with no real cover is confronted by a seasoned firearm instructor - GAME OVER.

    I'm not even arguing for or against. That video is stupid.


    No question. (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:30:20 PM EST
    what points do you think are inaccurate? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Lora on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:58:17 PM EST
    That in the chaos of a shooter in a crowd, even with some to a great deal of target practice and gun safety training:

    A person carrying a gun, in the heat of the moment, might not be able to draw his/her weapon.

    A person carring a gun, in the heat of the moment, might accidentally present themselves as a target to the shooter.

    A person carrying a gun, in the heat of the moment, might not be able to tell the difference between friendly fire and enemy fire.

    A person carrying a gun, in the heat of the moment, might shoot innocent bystanders by accident.


    I'm not sure you understand the difference (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 11:54:31 AM EST
    between gun safety training and what your video showed, which looks like some kind of quasi-LEO/military technique training. No one in gun safety training is taught/encouraged to carry a gun in public and take pot shots at bad guys in crowds. In fact, just the opposite.

    not sure what you're referring to (none / 0) (#22)
    by Lora on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 09:45:20 PM EST
    Do you mean the lecture?  It was supposed to be on "protective gear" and it was the set-up for the fake shooting incident.

    Or do you mean the way the participating students were holding their weapons? The video said some of the participants had already had many hours of training (presumably elsewhere).

    No one in gun safety training is taught/encouraged to carry a gun in public and take pot shots at bad guys in crowds. In fact, just the opposite.

    That's good to know.  I never doubted it.  I understand you are in favor of gun safety training and target practice, to help reduce gun injuries and deaths.  I have no problem with that.

    The point is that one solution being thrown out is that more people should carry guns; that way they can better stop mass shooters (presumably by killing the shooters with the guns they are carrying).

    These videos tend to debunk that notion, and in fact it appears you don't believe it either, given the quote I took from your comment.

    And it seems the latest shooter in CA was stopped by being talked down.


    they need a concealed carry permit. I know that additional training and testing is required for such a permit, but I really don't know anything more about it than that. IF these permit holders are well trained, it would seem that they could be effective and responsible in the crowd situation you describe, and dangerous if not well trained.

    Before the holidays a well-trained concealed carry permit holder decided not to fire on a shooter in a mall because he knew if he missed there was a chance of hitting bystanders. As it turned out the shooter saw this guy pointing his pistol at him, and that apparently made him decide it was time to end the random shooting and commit his pre-planned suicide.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lora on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:31:03 PM EST
    I was too literal.  Thanks for the clarification.

    It is not an either/or situation. (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:14:04 PM EST
    Yes, oh my god yes, we need more and better mental health treatment available to all who need it.

    In addition, we need better gun laws. We need to restrict the easy flow of guns in our country. We need to actually enforce the laws on the books.

    We need quick and decisive action on both fronts.

    Yup (none / 0) (#8)
    by Lora on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:56:13 PM EST
    Follow the money...

    comment deleted (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:53:07 PM EST
    that misrepresented my position, and was little more than a rant, filled with inaccurate information.

    As for existing gun laws, see the Congressional Research Service 2012 report on gun legislation. The list of federal laws is on pages 116-188 or here. You can also read 243 pages of federal gun regulations published by the ATF and DOJ here.

    And of course, every state has its own laws.

    SITE VIOLATOR! (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 01:45:41 PM EST