[Press conference at the Mawantick County Sheriff’s Office, joined in progress.]
SHERIFF MANT: After the suspect was apprehended officers performed a search with cause of the vehicle and located a firearm, ammunition, and other evidence related to the shooting and the suspect was brought to the country jail pending arraignment.
REPORTER 1: Sheriff, does the fact that all twelve of the victims were African-American women suggest this might be a hate crime?
SHERIFF MANT: I wouldn’t want to speculate or talk out of turn before the district attorney gets to speak on the matter. And I wouldn’t read too much into the race of the victims. Kinfork is a very diverse community.
REPORTER 1: Sheriff, the shootings took place in three separate neighborhoods that have a majority African-American population, which along with the victims’ identities would suggest the suspect was seeking out women of color.
SHERIFF MANT: I understand how someone might come to that conclusion but it’s our job to gather the facts and maybe down the road we'll have some findings on it.
REPORTER 2: Sheriff Mant, can you —
SHERIFF MANT: Though if you consider the young man’s state of mind, you can see the sort of stress he was under that might have led to the tragic results we saw here this week.
REPORTER 2: Uh — I’m sorry, what?
SHERIFF MANT: The attention on the victims is understandable, it sells papers, but when you look at the big picture, as we have to in our business, you find yourself looking at the perpetrator and the factors that might lead to his behavior. Now, when we found the suspect he was dehydrated and suffering from low blood sugar. I mean, I know when I haven’t eaten for a while I get what you call “hangry,” like in the Snickers commercials. And the suspect had been subsisting on junk food throughout the three days that he carried out the shootings.
REPORTER 2: If we can get back to the —
SHERIFF MANT: Also the suspect reported that he had a troubled love life, which has been known to set a man off, let’s just say that, much more than women statistically for reasons I don’t have the scientific background to explain.
REPORTER 3: Sheriff, the suspect screamed something that, I’m uncomfortable repeating it here, but it was about black women and their sexual behavior. Isn’t this an indication that he held some kind of a grudge or resentment against African-American women?
SHERIFF MANT: Well, you're pretty young, sir, I'd say 25, 26 years old? So you may not be aware of the sort of stories I used to hear about black women when I was a young man, and their, uh, I guess you could say mating habits. This sort of thing sticks with you.
REPORTER 3: Sheriff, the suspect is 25 years old, the same age as me.
SHERIFF MANT: Well then he might have talked to his father about it, or an uncle or some other male authority figure. I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your father but I was close with mine.
REPORTER 4: Sheriff, the suspect killed a dozen black women, was heard screaming extremely vulgar epithets against black women, and we’ve just seen on the wires that the suspect had a website called “Kill black women” from which he sold “Kill black women” t-shirts. He even named his dog —
SHERIFF MANT: Folks, I think we’re getting away from what’s important here. Picture yourself in Jimmy Bobby Walter’s shoes. He suffers from an addiction to sexual behaviors, and also methamphetamine and chaw and he has oppositional defiance syndrome. I guess you could say he feels too much, too deeply, like a poet or a rock musician. But there’s no Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew for Jimmy Bobby Walter. No, there’s only what you might call ghetto rehab — cheap, plywood walls and a shot of something to dull the pain. Then he has to go out and live in a world that’s all Black Lives Matter this and Black Lives Matter that. But doesn’t Jimmy Bobby Walter’s life matter? No wonder — and I said this to him in the squad car — no wonder he snapped. I’m sorry, I’m a little overwhelmed, I see so much of myself in that boy — [Pulls himself together; breathes deeply] Well, you go ahead, write what you’re going to write. Write about Jimmy Bobby Walter’s so-called victims. But I think we all know who the real victim here is! Incidentally, tonight I’m announcing my candidacy for the House seat in the Third District, and when I win there’ll be some changes made!