Fictitious report of gunman at Lubbock City Hall causes concern - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Fictitious online report of gunman at Lubbock City Hall causes concern

Clif Burnett, photo from Lubbock County Register Blog Clif Burnett, photo from Lubbock County Register Blog

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Lubbock City Hall was under tighter than usual security Friday after comments made on an Internet web site.  Lubbock County officials also took action seeking to have the comments' author banned from entering county properties.

Clif Burnett of Shallowater was served with official notice of Criminal Trespass early Friday evening.  That means he is not allowed into the Lubbock County Courthouse or other county buildings.

On Friday morning Burnett wrote a web blog entry with the headline "A work of fiction-How LCR would handle gunman at City Council."  Under the article is a label which also says "fiction".  But the comments between the headline and the fiction tag had officials concerned.

"An angry male has charged the city council after shooting Dale Holton in the head," it says in part.

The posting goes on to say, "Mayor Tom Martin attempted to shoot gunman, missed and hit 2 city workers behind gunman. Gunman then shot Martin several times from a distance. Gunman then jumped city council deck and shot everyone hiding underneath council deck at least once."

It goes on to say that City Manager, "Lee Ann Dumbauld and Tom Martin were put on gurneys and covered up. Both appeared to be not alive (unconfirmed)."

The final line of the fictitious article concludes, "The creeps at city council may have just got it!"

"We have taken certain precautions," Assistant City Manager Quincy White said Friday afternoon.  He referred all other comments to the Lubbock Police Department.

"I know we won't comment on any specific action," said Captain Greg Stevens. 

Stevens did say that police are very well aware of the Internet comments which appeared Friday morning on a website called Lubbock County Register.

Reacting to the article, Captain Stevens said, "Any threat, we take seriously.  First we have to decide if it is a threat."

So is it a threat?  Stevens answered by saying, "We're quite confident that the facility and the staff are safe.  There is no cause for concern as far as our current situation."

Officials did confirm that extra police presence Friday at City Hall was due to Burnett's blog entry.  The north door of City Hall was also locked for the same reason.

Burnett also wrote a similar fictional account Friday on the same website pertaining to Lubbock County officials and the Lubbock County Courthouse. 

Sheriff Kelly Rowe said "We are going to continue to look at this from a potential investigative standpoint."  The Sheriff added, "And if we find that there is something there we will present any of these findings to the attorneys office and pursue it accordingly."

The articles coincided with the same day as the funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll who was among five others killed in an assassination attempt of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday January 8th.

Burnett issued a brief written statement after a request for comment.

It was a simple "fictional presentation" of how LCR would handle a cellphone call of a "possible" gunman at either the city council or commissioners court. Both were clearly labeled as "fictional" and it's that simple. LCR has been accused of "fictional" reporting and has never published "fiction" until today. If law enforcement can not read "fictional" and comprehend the definition of the term they truly are ignorant. Recently there was an actual shooting in Arizona and rock music was an alleged cause. I have never dabbled in fiction until today. It was clearly stated fiction as required.
Burnett posted a follow up article on his blog site Friday evening saying that he had been served with papers pertaining to Lubbock County as well as the Shallowater ISD and the City of Shallowater

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly