S. Florida man threatens to attack to ‘exterminate’ gay men

jungwirthSouth Florida’s LGBT community — and law enforcement — are on high alert this week after a local man posted numerous threats against LGBT people on Instagram, claiming that what he is “planning for Labor Day” will be worse than the June 12 mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

The shooting at Pulse left 49 victims and the shooter dead, and another 53 people wounded. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Impulse South Florida, the local chapter of the national volunteer HIV/AIDS education and advocacy organization, on Tuesday, Aug. 30, posted screen captures of Craig Jungwirth’s posts on Instagram from that same day, along with a photo of Jungwirth himself (see above) and a warning to be on the look out for him.

In the posts, which appear to be part of a conversation with a man named David Herbert, Jungwirth says, “My events are selling out cause you faggots are total patsies. None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse nightclub shooting was bad, wait till you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”

When Herbert replies that Jungwirth is “fucking crazy” and that he is calling police, Jungwirth continues, “You can never catch a genius from MIT and since you faggots are dying from AIDS anymore, I have a better solution to exterminate you losers. …

“I’m gonna be killing you fags faster than cops kill niggers. It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS infested losers.”

In posting the screen caps to the Impulse South Florida Facebook page, representatives of the organization said Jungwirth has made other “extreme posts” on Instagram, and that he “has been known to be in Wilton Manors and Orlando.” Wilton Manors is located just north of Fort Lauderdale.

In a statement to Dallas Voice on Wednesday, Aug. 31, via Impulse Dallas representative Erik Vasquez, Impulse United Vice President and Impulse South Florida representative A.J. Alegria said, “All local law enforcement has been notified and are working on [Jungwirth]. Our close friend is the captain of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He has been communicating with use. We have been directing everyone to law enforcement. The FBI has also been notified.”

LGBT media in the South Florida area earlier this year — including Peacock Panache and South Florida Gay News — outed Jungwirth as a scam artist, noting that he had taken over the Beach Bear Weekend event in Florida and used it to scam money from the LGBT community. As Tim Peacock with Peacock Panache reported, “What began as a story of his harassment of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence exploded after information surfaced that not only were the events listed for his Beach Bear Weekend event fake but also all hotel bookings through the event website didn’t actually reserve local hotels.”

Peacock said that after he published stories about that situation, Jungwirth “embarked on a harassment campaign” against Peacock Panache and its writers, sent harassing text messages, left “vaguely threatening voice mails,” left spam and threats on the Peacock Panache’s social media pages and comments sections and “even attempted to hack our server several times to access the articles written about him.”

NBC 6 News out of Miami reports that Jungwirth “has a lengthy criminal history which includes stalking charges,” and “a handful of restraining orders” against him. The TV station also said Facebook has deleted Jungwirth’s profile.

Dallas Voice has contacted police departments in both Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale for information and we are awaiting their responses. But NBC 6 says police departments in the area — and the LGBT community — are taking the threats seriously. You can watch NBC 6’s report below.

—  Tammye Nash

Officer in Robert Moore’s photo to be interviewed on local news tonight

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Dallas PoliceOfficer JD Smith, photo taken by Robert Moore during the ambush that killed five officers and wounded 7 other officers and two civilians.

We’ve just received word that Officer JD Smith, the Dallas Police officer in Robert Moore’s photos taken during the July 7 ambush shooting downtown, will be interviewed on local news broadcasts at 6 p.m. tonight (Monday, July 18), on Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate, and Channel 11, the local CBS affiliate.

Robert Moore, former publisher and owner of Dallas Voice, was invited by Dallas PD to participate in the interviews, but was across the Trinity in Fort Worth and wasn’t able to get back to Dallas in time to participate.

You can read Officer Smith’s interview with Channel 5 here now.

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE: Man initially thought to be a suspect has been released

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Mark Hughes has been released and no longer appears to be a suspect in the shootings in downtown Dallas

Mark Hughes, the man in the photo released Thursday evening as a possible suspect in the shooting that happened in downtown Dallas, has been released and is no longer believed to have been involved.

Mark Hughes is the brother of, Cory Hughes, one of the men who organized the peaceful protest. Cory Hughes has said that Mark, who was carrying an assault rifle, was demonstrating his right to carry a firearm. Immediately after the shootings, Cory got Mark to turn the gun over to police to avoid any problems. That happened before police released the photo of Mark, wearing camo and carrying a rifle.

After police released that photo and asked the public to help find him, Mark Hughes turned himself into police. He has now been released and no longer appears to be a suspect in the shooting.

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE: Fourth officer has died

Various news sources are now reporting that a fourth law enforcement officer has died — three Dallas Police Department officers, one DART officer. Eleven officers total were shot, and one civilian.

—  Tammye Nash

Shots fired near The Brick; no injuries, damage reported

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Dallas police are investigating an incident in which shots were fired near Brick Dallas last night (Friday, June 17) during the nightclub’s Juneteenth celebration, according to a notice on the bar’s Facebook page posted shortly after 7 a.m. today (Saturday, June 18). There were no injuries or damage reported.

“The Brick would like to thank everybody who came out tonight for the Juneteenth celebration. There were some shots fired in the air from a car on Wycliff street tonight. Description of the car was given to the police and they are on top off this. Everything is fine at the Brick; thank you for everyone’s concern.”

In a comment on that post, the bar’s management thanked Dallas police for “being on top of this incident in Oak Lawn.”

In a message to Dallas Voice this morning, the bar’s management added, “Just glad no one was affected from this senseless crime. We had armed security [Friday night] and will tonight [Saturday night] as well. We also do wand checks for weapons and bag checks. We do all we can at the door, but we can’t patrol the streets.”

Brick Dallas is located at 2525 Wycliff.

—  Tammye Nash

LOVE IS LOVE: Make a statement, help a good cause

Love Is Love Orlando

It’s been five days now, but if you’re like me, the mass murder that occurred early Sunday morning, June 12,  in the Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse still weighs heavy on your heart. If you’re like me, you want to do something — anything — to help, in some way. Now, Greenville Avenue T-shirt shop Bullzerk — you can do something. And you can look stylish while you do.

Bullzerk is now selling the “Love is Love, Orlando” T-shirt, modeled in the photo above by Dallas Voice’s very own Chad Mantooth. The shop will donate 10 percent of all their sales today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday, June 17-18), to the fund to benefit the Pulse shooting victims.

The folks at Bullzerk told Dallas Voice: “We are printing this #‎LoveIsLove shirt over the next three days, so Dallasites can start wearing their support for #‎Orlando. Stop by the Greenville store and you can pick your color. This Friday and Saturday we are also donating 10 percent of all sales (not just this shirt) to the #‎PulseOrlando victims fund.”

You can order your shirt — for $23 — online here, or go by Bullzerk’s shop at 1909 Greenville Ave.

—  Tammye Nash

Equality Florida sets up GoFundMe Page for Orlando shooting victims

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Equality Florida, a statewide civil rights organization for Florida’s LGBT community, on Sunday, June 12, set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations to support the victims of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Florida.

There were 49 people murdered in the nightclub and another 53, at least, injured. The gunman was killed by police, bringing the death toll to 50.

The goal for the fundraising effort is $2.5 million. As of 2 p.m. Monday, June 13, the effort had already collected $2,094,435.

Equality Florida is working with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both the Chattanooga and Aurora shootings, to distribute the contributions collected through the GoFundMe page. NCVC offers support to communities affected by mass casualty events in the form of the National Compassion Fund, and ensure that every penny donated will be correctly and quickly dispersed to the victims and families.

Victims of the Orlando shooting are asked to call VictimConnect Resource Center at 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) to begin the process of receiving funds.

—  Tammye Nash

Ranch Hand Rescue offers counseling in the wake of Orlando shooting

Because the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., is likely to impact LGBT people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as well as surrounding areas, the counseling team at Ranch Hand Rescue’s Counseling Center in Argyle is offering counseling services to any individual who needs a safe place to discuss how this event has impacted them.

Bob Williams, founder of the Texas-based Ranch Hand Rescue Counseling Center & Animal Sanctuary, said, “Our team stands ready to assist in any way we can to help those impacted by this senseless tragedy. Our mental health professionals specialize in providing trauma-informed counseling and will provide support to those in our community who have been directly traumatized by this event.  It’s important when these types of things happen that we help each other in any way we can.”

Williams explained that Ranch Hand Rescue’s mission is “to provide hope, healing and a sense of security” for people, particularly children, who have suffered severe trauma, including physical and sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence and witnessing murder and suicide. The organization uses equine/animal-assisted counseling, which partners rescued animals with people, under the guidance of a licensed professional counselor, in mental health counseling sessions, conducted at the organization’s animal sanctuary South Argyle.

For information about counseling call 940-464-0985 or email bob@ranchhandrescue.org.

Find more information on Ranch Hand Rescue here. http://ranchhandrescue.org.

—  Tammye Nash

E.B. Johnson: We can’t continue to send condolences while failing at prevention

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Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Democrat representing Texas’ 30th District, has long been an ally of the LGBT community. Today (Monday, June 13), Congresswoman Johnson released this statement in response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this senseless shooting. This attack was an act of hate that marred a weekend where millions of LGBT Americans held Pride events in cities across the country. It is outrageous that the LGBT community was targeted with such violence.

“There have been reports that the ex-wife of the shooter claims he suffered from mental illness. If this is true, this event provides another example of the need for reform to our mental health system. As the lead Democratic cosponsor of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, I recognize the need to be able to identify and treat those with mental illnesses before their illnesses result in deadly acts.

“Tragically, news reports about mass gun violence have become a constant presence in our everyday lives. This attack reiterates the need for our country to fundamentally rethink the gun culture and the laws that surround it in America. When one man, with a history of domestic abuse and mental illness, is able to buy a gun, murder 49 people and injure more than 50 others, it highlights the deficiencies in our current system. We must not continue to send condolences to the countless victims of violence without doing everything in our power to prevent more families and communities from suffering from this kind of senseless violence. We must act now to end mass shootings in our country.”

—  Tammye Nash

PULSE ORLANDO UPDATE: Identifying the victims

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In a press conference just completed in Orlando, Fla., authorities have upped the number of people shot to death in Pulse Orlando from “about 20” to 50 dead and 53 injured, making it “the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech university, which left 32 dead,” according to Reuters.

The shooter has been identified by family members as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old husband and father of one from Fort Pierce, Fla.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and other officials said that they are focusing right now identifying the victims inside the bar and notifying relatives.

Those who are trying to locate friends or relatives inside the nightclub at the time of the attack are asked to call 407-246-4357.

Anyone with information about Mateen or other information that might be pertinent to the investigation is asked to call 1-800-CALL FBI, and choose option 2.

—  Tammye Nash