Police have identified the culprit in yesterday’s Las Vegas courthouse shootout as Johnny Lee Wicks, a black 66-year-old retiree who, they believe, was enraged over a recent Social Security dispute. When Wicks moved from California to Nevada in January 2008, his Social Security check shrank, because he lost a $317 monthly “California State Supplement.” Wicks filed a lawsuit alleging that the Social Security Administration had racially discriminated against him.
“It’s all about race. I am no fool,” he wrote in his complaint, which the LA Times describes as “an erratic document riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.” The case was dismissed, on the grounds that Wicks hadn’t exhausted the administrative appeals process. An appeal was rejected when, according to court documents, Wicks, who was representing himself, failed to show up in court.