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Tennessee Grandfather Dies After a Vicious Targeted Incident, All Over His Online Username

Western Journal

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The family of a 60-year-old Tennessee man who died after extortionists swatted him stepped forward to share his tragic tale.

Mark Herring, described as “so smart” by Corrina Fitch, one of his three daughters, kept up with the latest technological trends, WKRN-TV reported.

According to Fitch, her father — a Tennessee Volunteers fan — “joined Twitter the day or the week Twitter came about,” and eventually got the handle @Tennesee to express his love for his home state, where he grew up and nurtured his family.

Trending: Southern Restaurant Scorched After Refusing to Serve Unvaccinated People

But as the platform drew more and more users over the following years, the number of people eyeing his handle also grew. Herring used to talk about the offers he’d gotten from people willing to buy his handle, Fitch recalled.

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The value of that piece of internet real estate never posed a serious problem to Herring and his family until April 27, 2020.

Fitch said that the family began to learn what happened to Herring that same day after pizza delivery workers began showing up at her, her mother’s and her sister’s doorsteps. They all were cash-on-delivery orders made in Herring’s name, the outlet reported.

She even tried to reach out to her father via Facebook to learn what was going on.

At first, the family thought this was the work of a prankster. But Herring’s son-in-law Greg Hooge suspected something else.

“I thought maybe something is wrong with Mark. I started calling him. I finally reached his live-in girlfriend,” Greg remembered, according to WKRN. “She said, ‘everything is not OK. I’m in the back of a cop car. I got to go.'”

The family later learned that Herring fell prey to what is known as swatting.

“His neighbor called [Herring] and said, ‘there’s police everywhere and they think a man has killed a woman and he’s on your property. You need to take cover,’” Greg said.

“He went out of the house with a gun because he heard someone was on his property and he sees all these cops around him. They ask if he’s Mark Herring and [say] ‘put your hands up.’ He tosses the gun away to show he’s not a threat then [puts his] hands up,” Fitch added.

Moments after seeing the cops, guns drawn, around him, Herring suffered cardiac arrest after being “scared to death,” according to Fran Herring, the mother of his children.

When the family went to Sumner Regional Medical Center, they learned Herring had passed away.

Earlier that day, the family later discovered, an anonymous caller rang Herring, telling him to give up his Twitter account — a demand Herring turned down.

Investigations revealed months later that two minors were behind the extortionist racket.

Should swatting be a crime on its own?

Tennessee resident Shane Sonderman, who was then a minor, had “collected all of our information … my address, my sister, my mom’s, my other sister’s. He put it on a channel on Discord, which is a gaming chat forum,” according to Fitch.

Working with him was a minor in Great Britain, who couldn’t be extradited since he is under 18. He “made the call to [Herring’s] local police,” Fitch added.

“They’re not playing a game, and they’re not thinking it’s funny. This is legit extortion,” Greg said.

Swatting is a form of misleading police, whereby someone dials 911 to inform law enforcement of a fake violent situation transpiring at the victim’s address, requiring the intervention of armed cops.

Swatters can do this as a prank or as an intimidation tactic, as in the case of Herring.

This is a very lethal kind of nefarious activity because things can turn real ugly should police mistake an unsuspecting victim to be an assailant and open fire.

Sonderman faces charges of conspiracy, with five years imprisonment and a $250,000 penalty. He will make his next court appearance on July 21.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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DOJ Now Has Official Request to Begin Criminal Investigation of Dr. Fauci

Western Journal

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Documents obtained by the Washington Examiner revealed that Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to criminally investigate Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden. Paul has sent the criminal referral to Garland because he argues that Fauci lied to Congress when he said at a Senate testimony that the National Institutes of Health never funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Examiner reported Saturday. “I write to urge the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into testimony made to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on May 11, 2021,” Paul’s letter to Garland, obtained by the Examiner, stated. Paul had announced his intention to seek the criminal investigation on Tuesday. On May 11, Paul and Fauci had a rough exchange where Paul questioned Fauci about whether he supported NIH funding of research at the advanced biology institute in Wuhan, China, which included, according to Paul, “gain of function” research. Gain-of-function research is a type of medical research whereby scientists modify a disease-causing organism in a way that alters how the disease is developed, in a way that increases the transmissibility of the illness, and/or in a way that widens or shrinks the range of hosts for the disease. To best understand what this kind of research is, consider a hypothetical virus A as one that affects only humans and dogs. To modify the hypothetical virus A to infect pigs in addition to humans and dogs would be considered a “gain of function” experiment because it, in this case, would be considered widening the disease’s range of hosts. The trouble with such experiments is when the modified…

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Putin Warns Russian Navy Can Detect Any Enemy, Deliver an 'Unpreventable Strike'

Western Journal

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With an openly bellicose swagger reminiscent of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev telling the West “we will bury you,” Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to the world Sunday. As Russia celebrated Navy Day in St. Petersburg, Putin said the Russian navy can destroy anything it wants, anytime it wants, anywhere it wants. “We are capable of detecting any underwater, above-water, airborne enemy and, if required, carry out an unpreventable strike against it,” Putin said, according to Reuters. The Russian state-run Tass news agency said the parade of ships Putin was watching included 50 total vessels, including 18 combat ships. On Navy Day, Vladimir Putin reviewed the Main Naval Parade in St. Petersburg https://t.co/BGSZaUrccS pic.twitter.com/ORTrjxnjik — President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) July 25, 2021 The Naval Parade in Saint Petersburg commemorating the #RussianNavyDay2021 is just about to begin! 50+ ships of various classes, 40+ air units & 4000+ servicemen are taking part. Follow the link to joinhttps://t.co/bzlDasQgu5 Parade starts: 10:45(Moscow time) 9:45(Pretoria time) pic.twitter.com/9F81IrFQ7O — Russia in RSA 🇷🇺 (@EmbassyofRussia) July 25, 2021 Last month, tensions grew after an incident between Russian forces that claimed to have fired warning shots at the HMS Defender, a British warship. Putin has said that the Defender was deliberately sent on a mission to provoke a response. “First of all it was a provocation, quite obviously,” he said in an interview last month, according to the Independent. “What were they trying to tell us?” he said. “What goals were they trying to achieve? “It was a complex provocation organized by the U.S. and the British because a warship entered our waters during the day and then … an American warplane took off from somewhere in Greece,” Putin added. Putin claimed that the British ship “came into our waters and they looked at how we…

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