SENATOR EUGENE PARK ASSASSINATED AT DEMOCRATIC PARTY RALLY
BY VAL ROMANIC | APRIL 22, 2020
SENATOR PARK ASSASSINATED
Senator and President Pro Tempore of the San Andreas State Senate Eugene Park (D-3) was shot and killed by a sniper during a Democratic Party rally in Ocean Docks on the night of April 21st. The 34-year-old Senator was hit in the chest and died at the scene before he could be transported to the nearest hospital.
Senator Park was attending an event organized by the San Andreas Democratic Party to announce the candidacy of Senator and majority leader Charles Moreno (D-5) to the post of Lieutenant Governor, along with Senator and majority whip Dale Sanders (D-6) and Governor Richardson (D). The rally saw the presence a large crowd, with the Los Santos Police Department providing security.
Park opened the meeting, announcing to the attendees the plans of the Democratic Party to introduce legislation to strengthen the protection for labor unions. He then introduced Senator Moreno, who publicly declared his intention to run for Lieutenant Governor at the upcoming elections. Senator Moreno was still speaking when a shot struck Park in the chest. He briefly held his chest before falling from the mobile platform that was being used as a stage.
Panic ensued among the attendants, who rushed to their vehicles while police response was slow to contain the situation. Park was treated by a police officer on scene while members of the Legislative and Executive branch were being brought to temporary safety behind cover. An LSPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, not present at the rally at the moment of the shooting, reached the scene with armored personnel carriers and other bulletproof vehicles approximately fifteen minutes after Park had been shot, proceeding to evacuate the remaining Senators. No one else was hurt during the shooting.
GRIEF EXPRESSED BY BOTH PARTIES
Immediately after the shooting, Governor Richardson called an emergency meeting with sitting members of the Senate at the Governor's Estate in Verdant Bluffs. Senators Sanders and Senator Moreno were present, along with Senator and minority leader Francis Underhill (R-1) and members of the Los Santos Police Department.
In a press conference held at the Governor's Estate, Senator Moreno announced he was suspending all campaign-related activities until further notice in agreement with Senator Underhill. Both offered their condolences, with Moreno praising the swift response of the Los Santos Police Department but refusing to comment on the investigation.
SUSPECT STILL AT LARGE
According to the statement of a Department spokeswoman, the LSPD was already looking into all possible leads but was not at liberty to share any details with the press. The same answer was given when asked on whether the attack was the result of Senator Park's activity in the Senate, and of his anti-corruption bills in particular.
Regarding the lack of security on the scene and the lengthy response times, the same spokeswoman claimed that the scene was "secured immediately", although Metropolitan Division officers were present, they "had to leave [the scene] and return in armored vehicles", resulting in the fifteen minute delay between the shooting and the evacuation. The spokeswoman also claimed that two police helicopters arrived on the scene, along with backup units, immediately after the shooting.
Governor Richardson told the press not to use the death of Park to criticize the Los Santos Police, stating he wouldn't allow them to "turn the tragedy into a damn [expletive] show". He went on to state that his life was never in danger and was immediately removed from the scene by his personal protection detail, although witness' statements are radically different. Senator Moreno also defended the LSPD, stating they "were on scene when [the shooting] happened" and reiterated that he was quickly evacuated from the scene.
The suspect remains at large.
SENATE SESSION SUSPENDED
Newly appointed State Clerk Isaac Disraeli (D), who recently made headlines for his resignation from both the post of State Auditor and his position in the Republican Party, was appointed to the vacant position of President Pro Tempore of the Senate after the death of Park. After praising Parks' talents and enthusiasm he announced a suspension of the Senate session and urged members to use this time to "reflect and remember the loss of one of the greatest figures this chamber has seen for a long time".
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