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Suspect In Gay Bar Shootings Dies


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Suspect In Gay Bar Shootings Dies

by Margo Williams, 365Gay.com Boston Bureau

February 5, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(Gassville, Ark., New Bedford, Mass) A teenager wanted for the brutal attacks on three men in a New Bedford gay bar and the killings of an Arkansas police officer and a woman died Sunday in hospital.

18 year old Jacob D. Robida had been shot twice in the head Saturday in a final gun battle with police in the northern Arkansas town of Norfolk.

He died in hospital in nearby Springfield, Missouri early Sunday morning.

What set off Robida's spree of violence last week may never be known.

It began early Thursday when he went to Puzzles bar in his hometown of New Bedford Massachusetts, took a hatchet from underneath his sweatshirt and struck one man in the face and then pulled a gun and began shooting. In all three people were wounded and sent to hospital. (story)

Robida escaped and an all points bulletin was put out for his mother's green 1999 Pontiac Grand Am.

Two of the victims remain hospitalized - one in critical condition. The third victim, Robert Perry, was released from hospital on Friday. He has a five-inch cut on his right cheek, a hole in the center of his back, where a bullet barely missed his spine, and a black right eye.

Robida's flight ended in a small Arkansas town, some 1,500 miles away. (story)

Saturday the car was spotted in the northern Arkansas town of Gassville. As police officer Jim Sell attempted to apprehend Robida, the teen fired twice at the officer, killing him.

The car then sped off. State troopers laid spike strips on the roadway. Despite two punctured tires the car continued on into downtown Norfolk where police had set up a roadblock.

The car did a 180 degree turn and then slammed into several parked vehicles.

After being ordered to surrender the teen opened fire.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said that during the shootout Robida turned, pointed the gun at a female in the car with him and killed her. State Troopers said they could not confirm that the woman had been shot by Robida.

They said they would wait for ballistics tests before commenting further.

Saturday night news of Robida's capture was brought to Puzzles Lounge personally by New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang.

The news was greeted with applause.

Robert Perry returned to the bar Saturday night as soon as he heard that Robida had been captured. He was hugged by patrons and said the he hopes he can put the attack behind him.

Had Robida recovered from his injuries it is doubtful he would have been returned to Massachusetts. Authorities said he would first be tried first in Arkansas which allows for the death penalty in the killing of a police officer.

The teen's personal Web site shows a youth spiraling downwards. The site is full of references to the rap group Insane Clown Posse - known for its sinister clown makeup and violent lyrics. He posted lyrics from one of the band's songs - "Pass the Ax."

"Pass me something Sharp and Wicked and I'll pass it back don't worry I'll pass it back," the posting read. The logo for the band's label, Psychopathic Records, depicts a silhouette of a man wielding a hatchet.

Using the nickname "Jake Jekyll" Robida also posted pictures of himself on the Web site pointing a gun. The pictures bear the caption "serial killer."

A search by New Bedford police of his home following the attacks turned up Nazi paraphernalia and anti-Semitic writings.

Friday police released one of two frantic 911 calls made from the club. (story) Thursday night about 150 people, including Mayor Lang, attended a vigil at the bar. (story)

©365Gay.com 2006


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