Gunman in Ark. court shooting: 'Today's the day'

September 15, 2011 - 10:30 AM

VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — The gunman who opened fire at a western Arkansas courthouse sent his mother a text message before the attack saying, "Today's the day. Today I'm going to die."

Van Buren Police Lt. Brent Grill says James Ray Palmer also made other plans before Tuesday's attack, which wounded a court worker and frightened others at the courthouse near the Oklahoma border.

Before leaving his home in Kibler for the last time, Palmer moved personal belongings to a storage unit, paid for the unit in advance and mailed a key to a family member.

The home was later set on fire. Grill says that when authorities entered the damaged home, they found a newspaper clipping about a January 2010 shooting at a Hampton Inn in Van Buren.

Authorities believe Palmer acted alone.