7 Shot In Xenophobic Attack in Nebraska

(StraightNews.org) – Seven people have been shot, including four children, in an incident Nebraska police believe was motivated by racism. The incident happened in Crete, when 74-year-old Billy Booth reportedly opened fire on his neighbors from inside this home, before taking his own life. Reports indicate that Booth had previously told local Hispanics to “speak English” and go back to where they came from.

The victims range from age three to ten and included 22 and 43-year-old adults. There were no fatalities, however, and many of the wounded have since been released from hospitals in Lincoln and Omaha. All victims were Hispanic. Statistics indicate that Crete’s Hispanic population is roughly 43%, while the white population is just over 50%.

Officers said they do not believe there was any dispute immediately before the shootings, but that Booth was motivated by long-standing grievances with neighbors over issues such as parking spaces. Crete Police explained that officers attended Booth’s home numerous times as Booth complained about “driving too fast in the neighborhood, improper parking, nuisance properties, quality-of-life type issues.”

When officers arrived on the scene, they found several people lying injured on roads and sidewalks and found Mr. Booth dead inside his home and a firearm laying nearby. When asked if the shootings were racially motivated, Crete Police Chief Gary Young Jr. said that was unclear but noted that telling people to go back where they came from “lends itself to that.”

Nebraska State Patrol Col John Bolduc told reporters at a press conference that shots were still ringing out when officers first attended. A SWAT team arrived at what officers initially thought was a hostage situation but then they heard a final shot coming from inside Mr. Booth’s home. Preliminary investigations indicated that only one firearm had been used and all shots were fired from inside Booth’s house. Inquiries are still ongoing, Mr. Bolduc confirmed, adding that his officers are keeping an open mind about the shooter’s motive.

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