The man who fatally shot the chairman of the state Democratic Party after he lost his job had a Post-it note at home with the victim's last name and phone number along with 14 guns, antidepressants and a last will and testament, according to court documents.
Police said Thursday they know of no relationship between gunman Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, and Bill Gwatney, 48, a car dealer and former state senator who served as the state's Democratic Party chairman.
Johnson shot Gwatney to death Wednesday and was killed by officers after a 30-minute chase.
The search of Johnson's home near Searcy, northeast of Little Rock, turned up two sets of keys for vehicles from Gwatney car dealerships. Johnson also had a pistol and 13 long guns.
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Wreaths and flowers lined the sidewalk in front of Arkansas' Democratic Party headquarters Thursday. The day before, Johnson – after losing his job at a Target store in Conway – drove more than 30 miles and fatally shot Gwatney.
Johnson had been a good employee in a Target stockroom until Wednesday morning, a Target spokeswoman said.
Target fired Johnson before 8 a.m. Wednesday because he had written on a wall and a manager had called police because of an “extremely irate” employee, said Conway police spokeswoman Sharen Carter.
“This was different behavior for him,” spokeswoman Brie Heath said Thursday. “The manager asked him if he needed to talk. At that point he turned in his badge and left the building.”
After leaving the store, Johnson drove to Little Rock and barged into Gwatney's office and shot him multiple times.
“He said he was interested in volunteering, but that was obviously a lie,” said Sam Higginbotham, a 17-year-old volunteer at the party's headquarters.