Larry Gene Ashbrook

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Larry Gene Ashbrook
Larrygeneashbrook.jpg
Full Name: Larry Gene Ashbook
Origin: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Hobby: Condemning Baptists
Goals: Kill mainstream Christians (partially successful)
Crimes: Murder
Domestic abuse
Destruction of property
Type of Villain: Fanatical Mass Shooter

Larry Gene Ashbrook (July 10, 1952 – September 15, 1999) was an American mass shooter who killed seven people and injured a further seven at a See You at the Pole Rally featuring a concert by the Christian rock group Forty Days, before committing suicide. It occurred at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 15, 1999.

Background

9 years before the shooting, Ashbrook's mother died. This reportedly sent him into a cycle of erratic and frightening behavior. Ashbrook lived for many years with his father, Jack D. Ashbrook. Across the street from the Ashbrooks' home, neighbors said they saw Ashbrook treat his father violently but were afraid to report it. Newspaper editor Stephen Kaye, whom Ashbrook had visited days before the shooting, described him as being "the opposite of someone who'd be concerned about", saying he "couldn't have been any nicer."

However, his neighbors had an entirely different view of him, describing him as strange and violent. Investigators at his house discovered that he had virtually destroyed the interior of his house - holes were bashed into the walls with crowbars, the toilets were filled with concrete, and the fruit trees growing in the front yard had been poisoned.

Police investigating the shooting could find no solid motive for the crime. In the months before the shooting, people who knew Ashbrook said he became increasingly paranoid, certain that he was being framed for serial murder and other crimes that he did not commit. He also feared that the CIA was targeting him, and he reported psychological warfare, assaults by co-workers and being drugged by the police. Just days before the shooting he voiced these concerns to a newspaper, saying "I want someone to tell my story, no one will listen to me; no one will believe me."

The shooting

Ashbrook, who was involved in the Christian Identity movement and also allegedly had ties to the Phineas Priesthood, interrupted a teen prayer rally in the Wedgwood Baptist Church, slamming his hand on a door to make his presence known. Spouting anti-Baptist rhetoric, he opened fire with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and a .380-caliber handgun. He reloaded several times during the shooting; three empty magazines were found at the scene. Seven people were killed, four of whom were teenagers (a 14-year-old boy, two 14-year-old girls and a 17-year-old boy). Three people sustained major injuries while four others received relatively minor injuries. After a brief confrontation with one of the people there, Ashbrook committed suicide.

At Ashbrook's home, police found a pipe, end caps to enclose the pipe, gunpowder and a fuse. Ashbrook had thrown a pipe bomb into the church, but it exploded vertically, and did not injure anyone.