The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party was shot and killed Wednesday by a man who barged into his Little Rock office.
The suspect fled, apparently to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention about six blocks down the street, where he threatened a security guard. When he left there, sheriff's deputies gave chase and shot him after a 30-minute pursuit, authorities said. He later died.
Police identified the gunman as Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy, The Associated Press reported. Johnson's motive remained a mystery.
The state Democratic chairman, Bill Gwatney, was in his office shortly before noon when a man walked into the party's Capitol Avenue headquarters and demanded to see him, authorities said. Gwatney's secretary refused to let him through, but he pushed past her.
He introduced himself to Gwatney, a well-known former state legislator and a superdelegate to the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. Then he pulled out a handgun and shot Gwatney several times in the upper body, police said. Gwatney died about four hours later at a hospital.