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Mark James Robert Essex
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    (August 12, 1949-January 7, 1973)
    Nickname was Mata
    Nickname by the police and press was The Howard Johnson's Sniper
    Shot three New Orleans cops December 31, 1972 with a Ruger .44 Magnum carbine rifle (one died immediately, one died two months later, the third was wounded)
    Used the same rifle to wound a grocer January 7, 1973, then drove to the downtown New Orleans Howard Johnson's Hotel
    Inside and outside the hotel killed three cops (including the New Orleans Deputy Police Chief) and wounded three others
    Also killed four civilians (including the general and assistant managers of the hotel) and wounded three others
    He dropped out of Kansas State College after one semester.
    He joined the New York City chapter of the Black Panther Party.
    Just before the Howard Johnson shootings he hijacked a car from a black man, stating, 'I don't want to kill you, I'm just killing honkies today, but I will kill you, too.'
    After shooting a couple on the 18th floor, he threw an African flag by their bodies and set fire to the room.
    He set more fires on several different floors, shot more civilians inside the hotel and police and rescue workers with sniper fire.
    Some spectators cheered when he shot at the cops.
    A Coast Guard helicopter assisted cops, pinned him on the roof and shot him dead as he screamed obscenities.
    A letter penned by him (stating 'Africa greets you') was sent to a TV station, warning of a cop attack but not immediately opened.
    The battle was carried on live TV and viewed by 12-year-old Louisiana native John Allen Muhammad.
    He joined the U.S. Navy, became a dental assistant and studied to become a dentist.
    He experienced racial bigotry in the navy.
    After he was gunned down, he had to be 'scooped up' - his autopsy revealed he sustained more than 200 gunshot wounds.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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