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White supremacist leader killed in Sacramento County; individual detained in shooting [Updated]

March 3, 2011 | 10:48 am

Police have detained a person of interest in connection with the murder of a prominent white supremacist leader at his home in Citrus Heights in Sacramento County, authorities said.

David Lynch, 40, was found shot to death in the bedroom of his home in the 5900 block of Merlindale Drive just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to police. He had been shot in the head and upper torso, authorities said.

Lt. Gary Hendricks, a Citrus Heights police spokesman, said the person of interest was taken into custody at gunpoint but “without incident” Wednesday afternoon at a gas station in Rancho Cordova. Authorities have not identified the individual, whom Hendricks said had not been charged.

Hendricks said details such as whether the person being detained was acquainted with Lynch, and the motive for Lynch’s killing “were all under investigation.”

“It would be premature to speculate while the investigation is underway,” Hendricks said.

A 33-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was also found in the hallway of Lynch’s home with a gunshot wound to the leg, authorities said. She was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive.

Police confirmed that a third adult and a teenager were also inside the home at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured.

[Updated at 12:15 p.m.: Nancy Appel, associate director in the San Francisco regional office of the Anti-Defamation League, said Lynch was quite a significant figure in the white supremacist movement, and his murder could be viewed as a blow to the movement, at least for the short term.

“For a group like this, dedicated to spreading hate, it is a good thing that they have suffered this blow,” Appel said.

However, Appel said the extent to which Lynch’s death would disrupt the movement and lessen its hatemongering was unclear.

“We’ve seen movements that have lost their leadership, and there is an implosion,” Appel said. “But the haters are still there. We’ll just wait and see what happens. We’re really not going to miss David  Lynch.”]

Since Lynch took over leadership of the American Front in 2002, his greatest strength was to solidify his connections with other white supremacist hate groups across the country and even into Canada, according to information published by the ADL.

On its website the American Front describes itself as “a collective of highly motivated racialists of European descent, striving to establish an autonomous homeland for American whites” and “dedicated to securing, advancing, and defending the sacred blood of our glorious ancestors at all costs."

Members of the group could not be reached for comment on Lynch’s murder.


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