Robida, Jacob Indiana Gazette, 22 feb 1990
Questions left unanswered as gunman's rampage ends By NOAH TWSTBI Associated Press Writer MOUNTAIN HOMH. Ark. — An alleged attack at a Massachusetts gay bar, the killing of an Arkansas officer and the slaying of a mother mother of three — Jacob 1). Robitla left a streak of unexplained violence that ended in a fatal Shootout with authorities. Robida, IB, was mortally wounded when he opened tire on officers following a chase through the Arkansas hills at speeds in excess ot 90 inph. He was shot twice in ihe head and later died at a hospital Sun day. Authorities say Kobida left behind behind three men wounded in a hatchet-and-gim attack in Massachusetts Massachusetts and two people dead in Arkansas: a (i3- year-old officer, and a passenger in Kobida's car, whom he had apparently met over the Internet. "This is insane,' said Heather Volton, 22, of Tail River, Mass., who had known Kobida. a high school dropout, for a year. "That kid never so much as raised his voice at me. ... This is all pretty much a shock to me, like everyone everyone else." Authorities had sought Robida since a Thursday morning attack at the Pu/./les Lounge in New Bedford. Mass., that left three men wounded, one critically. Kobida's friends said they didn't didn't know him to hold animosity toward homosexuals, though police police investigators said he dabbled in Nazism. Police labeled the attack a hate crime and sought Robida for attempted attempted murder, assault and civil i ights charges. Robida next surfaced when he shot and killed (iassville police officer Jim Sell, which triggered a 20-mile chase from (iassville to Norfork as deputies and state troopers fired shotguns at Robida. Robida. Spike strips finally slowed Robidas Robidas green t'ontiac to around 30 mph. ' I he tires were deflating — at least two of the tires were now running on rims,' Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said. It was apparent he was losing control of the vehicle." Before the final exchange, officers officers had a clear view of Robida and his passenger, Jennifer Rena Bailey. 33, of Charleston. W.Va., after Robida's car spun nearly I HO degrees, crashing into a pair of parked cars. "Investigators now believe Robida Robida raised a handgun to the head of Bailey, fired, and it is believed believed she wasTcilled instantly by that gunshot," Sadler said. "Robida "Robida raised that same handgun and fired on the officers who were present at the scene. They returned fire." West Virginia State Police said Bailey apparently had corresponded corresponded with Robida over the Internet and in letters, and that Robida had picked her up after the Massachusetts attack. Authorities were investigating whether Bailey went willingly with Robida or was abducted. Three of Robida's friends from a home page the teen created on the Web site MySpace.com told The Associated Press that Bailey was Robida's ex-girlfriend. They said the couple had lived together in West Virginia. Bailey was either divorced or separated from her husband. It appeared Sell had no idea that he had pulled over the Massachusetts Massachusetts suspect while working a radar unit on the east side of (.iassville as Robida headed westbound westbound into town. The green Pontiac bore Kentucky Kentucky plates that hadn't been re- TIM MAYFIELO • ... Gassville police chief ported stolen. "The only information they had is what had happened at Gassville to the officer there," Lt. Bill Beach, a criminal investigator investigator for the state police. "It wasn't until after the pursuit had terminated that they were able to identify the suspect." New Bedford investigators had been in contact with West Virginia Virginia authorities before Saturday's Saturday's gunfight, but police spokesman Capt. Richard Spirlet declined to provide details. JIM SELL ... slain police officer Sell was the first Baxter County officer killed in the line of duty since the late 1960s, said Sheriff John Montgomery, who is based in Mountain Home, about five miles from Gassville. Sell worked with the Blytheville police department for over 25 years before retiring as captain in 2000. He had been working with the Gassville force since 2003. "We are a close-knit, small community," Montgomery said. "I can tell you that even though it JACOB 0. ROWOA ...left a streak of violence was not our officer, it was devastating devastating for our department, like everyone else." Bob Perry, one of the Massachusetts Massachusetts bar patrons attacked, said before Robida's death that he was hopeful the gunman would survive — if only to explain explain his actions. "I'd like him to be able to regain consciousness and answer some questions," Perry said Saturday. "I should have been dead 48 hours ago. I have so many questions." questions."