A 911 call following a deadly shooting in Okeana, Ohio last weekend reveals a neighbor fatally shot the caller's husband because "he thought he was a Democrat."
The family of Anthony Lee King, 43, called the local authorities after they found him unresponsive and bleeding in his backyard. They told the 911 dispatcher their neighbor, identified as Austin Gene Combs, gunned King down for his perceived political affiliation.
The wife of the late King can be heard telling dispatchers:
"He’s come over like four times confronting my husband because he thought he was a Democrat."
"Why? Why? Please, I don’t understand." ...
[referring to the sound of gunshots] "I said to my son, what the heck was that?"
"I looked at the backyard, and that man was walking away from my husband."
You can watch news coverage of the event—and listen to the 911 call—in the video below.
911 caller: Neighbor killed husband because 'he thought he was a Democrat'www.youtube.com
King died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The Butler County Coroner’s Office ruled his death a homicide.
The 26-year-old Combs was arrested shortly afterward and officially charged with murder. He was booked into the Butler County Jail on Saturday, November 5 and his bond was set at $950,000 Monday during a video arraignment.
Combs confessed to shooting Anthony Lee King “several times with a revolver” while King and his wife were doing yardwork shortly before noon on November 5.
News of the incident quickly circulated online and many have blamed the Republican Party's inflammatory rhetoric—regularly disseminated via the propaganda network on Fox News—for the murder.
Fox News—often through its most popular personality Tucker Carlson—has been criticized in the past for airing White nationalist talking points and other rhetoric stoking political violence.
Notably, this spring Carlson conveniently ignored conspiracies he was responsible for spreading, refusing to take responsibility for the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory he often touted on his program that suggests White European populations and their descendants are being demographically and culturally replaced with non-European peoples.
This conspiracy theory directly influenced a White nationalist shooter who killed 10 people and injured three others during a mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York supermarket. The shooter subscribed to the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory and even mentioned Carlson in a 180-page manifesto he posted online.
Prominent Republicans have also in recent days been accused of calling for violence against Democratic opponents, particularly in the lead-up to this week's midterm elections.
Last week, Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene had a crowd boo House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi, who in late October survived after being repeatedly struck with a hammer during a home invasion.
The attacker had embraced far-right political conspiracy theories including QAnon, Pizzagate, ideas related to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and Holocaust denial, all of which have regularly circulated in conservative circles.
Similarly, Eric Trump was harshly condemned by Democrats last weekend after he told a gathering of QAnon adherents and other conspiracy theorists that Democrats "want to destroy Christianity—in addition to families, children, and history—in what has been widely interpreted as a call for violence against political opponents.