Anchor: Shouts of “Kill the bill” led to the shooting death of a man named Bill, outside the Capitol Building Saturday during an anti-health care reform protest.
Police say the victim was this man, Bill Abernathy, a shoemaker from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They say he arrived late to the rally, just as protesters were well into one of many rounds of the chant, “Kill the bill.” And then, tragedy.
Detective: What we think happened was the victim approached the crowd, announced his name was Bill, and was promptly shot in the face.
Anchor: Police say Mr. Abernathy was shot not once, but multiple times, by multiple shooters. They have not released the names of any suspects, but say they have several men in custody.
The “bill” the crowd was talking about killing was of course the health care reform legislation being debated inside the Capitol by members of the House of Representatives.
Quickly realizing the mistake they had made, the shooters themselves rushed to aid the wounded man. By the time the ambulance arrived at the scene, he was dead.
When asked how members of the crowd could have made such a mistake, some tea-partiers said it wasn’t that surprising.
Rolland (protester): To me it makes total sense. If they’re yelling, “Kill the bill,” and you show up and say, “Hi, my name is Bill,” you’re going to get shot in the face.
If they were yelling, “Kill the Randall! Kill the Randall!” And I showed up and said, “Hey, my name is Randall,” I might shoot myself in the face.