A 53-year-old Whitechapel man was in police custody last night after 3 people were shot dead and 7 were hospitalised with serious gunshot wounds following a violent altercation at his home in Commercial Road.
All the dead and injured are believed to be contributors to the popular blogging site, WordPress, who had gathered at the man’s home for a meeting, where they were hoping to discuss their respective blogs and to swap ideas on writing and self-publishing.
We spoke to one man who attended the gathering and witnessed the carnage.
Toby “Novelist” Dell, an unemployed painter and decorator who writes a daily blog about surviving on benefits and has written 3 self-published books on car maintenance for single men and the pitfalls of sending money to Russian women, told us:
“Things were going great at first. Bloggers were chatting and sharing stories about self-publishing and discussing ploys on how best to lure followers onto a blog, that type of thing.
“All of a sudden, the guy that was hosting the thing stood up and started having a go at everybody. He was going crazy, accusing people of pressing the like button on their readers without actually reading his work.
“He was also ranting about the sales figures for his books, claiming that after an initial surge in the first week, when 30 or so copies had been sold to fellow bloggers, interest had tailed off completely and he’d been reduced to buying his own books to keep his dream alive and to save face.
“He then pulled a handgun and started shooting. I saw a few go down and got the hell out of there a bit lively. I thought it was a bit unnecessary, to be honest.”
A police spokesman said last night that a man had been charged with murder, attempted murder, appalling grammar and syntax and various other offences against the written word.