|Chair of the Arkansas Democratic Party|
2007 – August 13, 2008
|Preceded by||Jason Willett|
|Succeeded by||David Pryor|
|Member of the Arkansas Senate|
from the 19th district
1993 – January 13, 2003
|Succeeded by||Terry Smith|
|Born||August 26, 1959|
|Died||August 13, 2008 (aged 48)|
Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
|Children||Christian and Chase|
William A. Gwatney (August 26, 1959 – August 13, 2008) was an American politician who served as the State Chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. He had previously served as a State Senator for ten years and as the financial chair of Mike Beebe's campaign for Governor of Arkansas in 2006. Gwatney was selected as a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, but was assassinated before the convention.
On August 13, 2008, Gwatney was killed by Timothy Dale Johnson, who entered Democratic Party headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, and shot Gwatney three times. Gwatney was taken to a hospital, but died later that day.
The gunman had said he wanted to speak with Gwatney about volunteering, but sidestepped his assistant when she said he was busy. After the shooting, the gunman fled the scene in his truck and led police on a 30-mile (48 km) chase out of Little Rock. Johnson was killed by police after a PIT maneuver forced him off the road into a field near Sheridan. No motive was discovered, except Johnson quitting his job at a Target retail store earlier that day.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Athletic Department posthumously inducted Gwatney into their Hall of Fame during a ceremony prior to the tip-off of the men's basketball game vs. New Orleans on February 26, 2009.
- List of assassinated American politicians
- List of superdelegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention
- 2011 Tucson shooting
- ^ a b Andrew DeMillo (August 21, 2008). "Widow of slain Demo chairman to attend convention". The Associated Press. Retrieved August 25, 2008.[dead link]
- ^ a b Rob Moritz (August 22, 2008). "Gwatney's widow to serve as superdelegate at Democratic convention". Arkansas News Bureau. Archived from the original on September 24, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
- ^ AP story Archived August 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Bill Gwatney, Ark. Dem. chairman, shot dead at 48". The Associated Press. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 18, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ "Arkansas Democratic Chairman Gwatney Killed In Shooting". RTT News. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 18, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ "Gunman wounds Ark. Dems' party chairman". The Associated Press. August 13, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ a b Shaila Dewan (August 13, 2008). "Gunman Critically Wounds Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ "Arkansas Democratic chairman killed in shooting". CNN. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 15, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ a b "Wounded suspect in Ark. shooting dies after chase". The Associated Press. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- ^ Max Brantley (August 13, 2008). "UPDATE: Bill Gwatney shot;; assailant dead". The Arkansas Times. Archived from the original on August 19, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- 1959 births
- 2008 deaths
- 2008 murders in the United States
- 20th-century American politicians
- American automobile salespeople
- Arkansas Democratic state chairmen
- Arkansas state senators
- Assassinated American politicians
- Businesspeople from Arkansas
- Deaths by firearm in Arkansas
- People murdered in Arkansas
- 20th-century American businesspeople
- Assassinated American former and incumbent party officials