Police Say Mall Shooter Had A Plan To 'Cause Havoc'

Tuesday, May 1st 2007, 7:29 am
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A man suspected of killing two people outside the Target store where he used to work returned to the mall to ``cause havoc'' before police fatally shot him, authorities said.

David W. Logsdon, 51, had sought a private security license, but the police department denied certification because he had two outstanding city warrants, police said. It was not clear when he was turned down.

On Sunday, Logsdon was stopped by police while driving the car of his next-door neighbor, who police had found dead in her home hours earlier. Police did not say how 67-year-old Patricia Ann Reed died or if Logsdon was a suspect in her death, but they believed the events were connected.

``David Logsdon had a plan,'' police chief James Corwin said Monday. ``And that plan was that he had been an employee of that Target store and had been turned down for a private security license. His objective was to go to the mall and cause havoc.''

After the officer pulled Logsdon over, police say he shot the officer in the arm. The officer, whose wound was not life-threatening, returned fire and shattered the window of the gunman's car.

Logsdon drove to the shopping center, fatally shot two people in the parking lot and wounded seven others outside Target, then went inside the mall where he was killed by police, authorities said.

The victims shot to death were Leslie N. Ballew, 33, of Kansas City, and Luke A. Nilges, 30, of Shawnee, Kan. Corwin said they appeared to be random victims and did not know Logsdon.

The Target store was closed Monday. Target said in a statement that it ``expressed its deepest sympathies to the families of those affected by yesterday's tragic situation at the Ward Parkway Mall.''

The company said Logsdon was a former ``team member'' at the store and that ``he left on his own accord'' in November. No further details about his employment were provided.

Logsdon's sister, Kathryn Cagg, said her brother was mentally ill and an alcoholic. She said the family was concerned he would commit suicide in October 2005 and had taken him for treatment, but he was released after six hours.

At a news conference, she also apologized to the victims' families but did not take questions.

``When a tragedy like this occurs, we want to understand the reasons,'' Cagg said. ``There is no way to understand this senseless act and so we must, we must turn it over to God.''

Beyond saying that Logsdon had been denied private security certification, investigators on Monday did not address possible motives.

The Kansas City Star reported in Tuesday editions that some of his troubles apparently stemmed from neighborhood complaints against Logsdon last year that led to codes enforcement violations for an overgrown lawn and a motor home in his driveway. He ignored them.

The violations led to $250 in fines and two warrants carrying $50 in fees, The Star said.

Corwin said bomb squad crews were called to Logsdon's home Monday after police reported his house had been ``booby-trapped with a self-made bomb.'' But police later said the device was ``a propane tank with boxes surrounding it'' and was harmless.

Denelle Brown, 41, who lives on the same block as Logsdon, said she knew Logsdon's family and was very close to his mother.

``When I had problems growing up as a child, his family took me in,'' she said. But David Logsdon was ``different.''

``He was a unique individual,'' Brown said. ``He was into scientific things. He was into UFO's and all different kinds of scientific things. ... He was always a little bit strange.''