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Old 05-15-2002, 10:40 PM   #1
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Blockbuster Video Shouldn't Be A Dangerous Place To Work

But tonight 3 people were killed and 1 died later in an armed robbery of the video rental chain store in Anniston, Alabama. Three of the victims were employees and the fourth was a customer. All of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 25.

This crap is senseless. I don't care what the perpetrators "needed" the money for. You should NOT be killed for working at a video store or going to rent a movie.

I guess for the moment, rather than venting my anger, I should pray for the victims and their families.


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Old 05-15-2002, 10:49 PM   #2
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That's awful. And totally incomprehensible.

*says a prayer too*

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Old 05-16-2002, 08:38 AM   #3
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People make me sick.
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Old 05-16-2002, 11:52 AM   #4
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that is just unbelievable. There are a lot of whacked out people in this world.

I vote for banning people from this planet, or at least stupid, ignorant, mean people.

Who's with me? Let's start a petition!
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Old 05-16-2002, 11:58 AM   #5
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Blockbuster Video actually provided a safe haven for me once in NYC when a deranged homeless man was chasing me down the street.
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Old 05-16-2002, 12:01 PM   #6
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It is truly disgusting and horrific.

One more reason to ban the sale of handguns.
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Old 05-16-2002, 12:13 PM   #7
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That is sad.
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Old 05-16-2002, 01:47 PM   #8
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We're not safe anywhere anymore. This just proves that point further.

Let's pray for something
To feel good in the morning
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Old 05-17-2002, 08:42 AM   #9
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Here's a link from this morning's BIRMINGHAM NEWS:

Video store victims shot execution-style


News staff writers

Andrew and Joseph Burch, brothers and best friends, stopped by the Blockbuster Video Wednesday night on a whim to rent a movie to watch with their mother.

Austin Joplin, a Jacksonville State University student, decided to continue working after his 5 p.m. shift had ended to help his assistant manager, Douglas E. Neal Jr., handle the crush of customers.

All four young men had their lives ended by gunshots fired at point-blank range, three to the back of the head, execution-style, in an apparent robbery of the McClellan Boulevard store.

A man fitting the description of the suspect a white male with long, blond hair and a ruddy complexion turned himself in to the Anniston Police Thursday morning with his attorney.

Rick Sanford, division commander of investigations, said the man appeared to be cooperating, but police had no indication he was anything but a "reluctant witness."

"He may have found the bodies inside and fled," Sanford said at a press conference, adding that the man still was being interviewed at that time. "We may have multiple suspects. We don't know."

A gun was left at the scene, and shots had been fired from it, said Police Chief Wayne Chandler. Authorities had not determined whether it was the murder weapon.

"We think it will probably turn out to be the gun," Chandler said.

A video surveillance tape from inside the store proved unhelpful, said Sanford. Although the camera appeared to be recording, he said, the tape did not contain images from the time of the murders.

Investigators are trying to determine whether a Monday robbery and stabbing of a Heflin video store clerk about 20 miles away was committed by the same people.

Neal, 27, and Joplin, 23, were both shot once in the back of the head in a rear office, said Calhoun County Coroner Bill Partridge. In an aisle of tapes, Joseph Burch, 20, was shot once in the back of the head. Andrew Burch, 19, was shot once at point blank range in the abdomen and once in the face, said Partridge. He was also gunned down in an aisle.

Neal, who lived in Weaver, was taken to the Regional Medical Center, where he died.

Neal's roommate of more than two years, Jim Rowe, 27, said family and friends gathered at the medical center throughout the night. Rowe said Neal was on life support until the family decided to turn the machine off early Thursday morning.

"I told him goodbye and that I loved him," Rowe said. "He's been a real good friend. Like a brother."

Rowe said Neal, whose family lives in Tallapoosa, Ga., never would have fought with the killers.

"He was docile," Rowe said. "He always said, `If somebody ever robbed me, I'd say, `Here's the money,' and take it to the car for them.'"

Chandler said Andrew Burch was the only victim who appeared to resist the shooter.

"It appears that the brothers walked in after the robbery and had no idea what was going on," Partridge said.

Gov. Don Siegelman is offering a $40,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the killers, said Chandler.

Circumstance brought three of the murdered men to Blockbuster that evening, friends and family said.

The Burch brothers stopped by the store for a movie after picking up Joseph's car from a nearby auto shop. The two were to have pizza with their mother later that night in the Jacksonville home they all shared, said family friend Carolyn Aderholt. Their father was out of town.

Joseph Burch, who had Wednesdays off from his sales job at Frito-Lay, had spent much of the day with his mother, Cindy Burch.

After dropping off his recently purchased Nissan Maxima to have his windows tinted, Joseph Burch accompanied his mother to the J.C. Penney beauty salon so she could enjoy the gift certificate the brothers bought her for Mother's Day.

The car was still not finished late that afternoon, so the two returned home to Jacksonville. When Andrew Burch came home from his job at Supreme Beverage, the brothers left for Anniston.

When the boys failed to return home quickly, their mother went looking for them. It was not until she stopped by the Jacksonville police station to ask if there had been a wreck that she learned of the shooting.

"They were a very close family," said Aderholt, who accompanied Cindy Burch to the Blockbuster that evening. "They never failed to tell each other I love you when they went anywhere."

Although Joplin, a 1998 Weaver High School graduate known for his gregarious nature and quick wit, ended his shift at 5 p.m., he stayed to help Neal with customers wanting to rent movies.

Drew Housand, a lifelong friend who also worked at Blockbuster, said that is the way everybody at the store behaved, especially Joplin.

No one feared a robbery, he said. The worst thing that had happened at the store was a group of kids stealing DVDs.

Terry Joplin, Austin Joplin's father, had stopped by to see his son that afternoon and invite him to dinner. Austin was going to join him if he could, the father said.

He spotted his son's truck as he headed into Anniston for supper shortly after 5 p.m. and figured his son might not be coming.

Not until his drive home did he see police and the crime scene tape. He pulled into the parking lot, only to learn that his son had not survived.

At his home outside of Anniston, Terry Joplin recalled the words his grandmother said to him after his father died.

"It is just not fair for parents to outlive their children," said Joplin, a history teacher at Anniston's alternative school. "That is so true."

Scores of mourners gathered at a park across the street from the store Thursday night. A second vigil will be tonight at 7:30 at the Jacksonville Square in Jacksonville. Anyone with information about the crime can contact the Anniston Police Department at 256-238-1800.

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Old 05-17-2002, 10:52 AM   #10
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Originally posted by Bonochick:

People make me sick.

This was a terrible and senseless tragedy. It's times like these that, God forgive me, I actually support the death penalty.

People "sucking" is why I probably am not married and why I see little reason to procreate. There are enough people polluting this planet and killing each other already. I don't need to add another one.

However, this doesn't mean I can't someday adopt a child or still help those in need. After all, some people "suck" just a little less than others. :-)

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