Cartoonist storms Herald building with fake gun, is captured

By | November 25, 2006

Cartoonist storms Herald building with fake gun is captured

An editorial cartoonist seemingly armed with a submachine gun surrendered to a SWAT squad Friday after a three-hour standoff in the newsroom of El Nuevo Herald, The Miami Herald Media Company’s Spanish-language newspaper.

No one was injured — and the gun turned out to be fake. Cartoonist Jos? Varela, 50, was charged with aggravated assault. Clad in camouflage, and carrying a toy submachine gun and a hunting knife, he had stormed the sixth-floor newsroom, then barricaded himself in the office of El Nuevo Herald Executive Editor Humberto Castell?. Until he surrendered, everyone thought the gun was real. – pbp

“I’m here to unmask the true conflicts in the newspaper,” he said. – ctrib

Unmask? Looks more like you are creating conflicts, Jose. Unmasking is done with cartoons every day. Toy machine-gun-building-storming is more of a ticket to police assisted suicide. Anyway, this happened Friday, the day after a real hostage situation which ended badly in another city:

A slain woman’s relatives were upset Friday by the way police handled a 23-hour Thanksgiving Day standoff in her apartment building that ended with a gunman killing the 22-year-old and himself. … Chicago … South Shore apartment where Lance Johnson, 21, took Tasha Cooks, 22, hostage and then shot her and himself. – sea

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