Mark Jeffry Bird is a 69-year-old sociology professor who shot himself in the arm, allegedly to protest against President Donald Trump. He was charged with two felonies for firing a weapon on the campus.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Several Witnesses Saw Professor Bird Stumble Out of a Bathroom After He Allegedly Shot Himself
The shooting happened on August 28, 2018 at the Charleston campus of the College of Southern Nevada. The campus is about 7 miles west of downtown Las Vegas.
A faculty member told police she saw Mark Jeffry Bird walk into a restroom around 8:15 a.m.. She then heard a loud noise, which turned out to be a gunshot.
Several witnesses, including at least one student, told police they saw Bird stumble out of the bathroom with blood on his arm. He collapsed on the ground, and someone called 911.
2. Mark Jeffry Bird Told Witnesses He Was Protesting President Trump
The faculty and student witnesses rushed to help Mark Bird and stop the bleeding after he collapsed out of the bathroom. When police arrived, they told officers that Bird had been rambling about President Donald Trump. They said Bird told them he had shot himself as a form of protest against Trump.
After his arrest, Bird granted local news station KVVU-TV an interview at the Clark County Detention Center. But once the reporter sat down, Bird refused to answer her questions. Instead, he stressed, “It’s probably in my best interest not to say too much.”
The reporter asked Bird to confirm whether or not the shooting was in fact in protest of President Trump. Bird responded, “I’m not sure my attorney would want me to say yes or no to that.” He added that his story was complicated and could not be easily summarized. “I don’t want to go into detail. It’s too complex for a 30 or 60-minute news segment.”
3. Mark Bird Apparently Felt Bad About Making a Mess, So He Left $100 For the Janitor in the Bathroom
When police arrived at the College of Southern Nevada, they found .22-caliber pistol in the bathroom and one shell casing. Bird also apparently felt guilty that someone would have to clean up the blood after he shot himself, so he appears to to have planned ahead. Officers found a $100 bill taped to the mirror. There was a note attached to it that read, “For the janitor.”
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, campus officials sent out a message to students shortly after the shooting. The alert confirmed that a professor had been taken to the hospital with a self-inflicted injury and that there was no threat to the campus. The message did not identify Mark Bird by name.
A college spokesman, Richard Lake, spoke with the newspaper. He confirmed that Bird had been an employee with the University of Southern Nevada since 1993. But he was not assigned to teach any classes during the fall semester.
According to Bird’s profile on the university website, he had emeritus status. He worked in the Department of Human Behavior. The bio includes contact information but does not include a photo.
4. Mark Jeffry Bird Faces Charges Including Felony Discharge of a Gun
Mark Jeffry Bird was initially taken to University Medical Center in Clark County to be treated for the gunshot wound. He was later booked into the Clark County Detention Center.
According to inmate records, he was initially charged on four counts:
• Discharging a gun within a prohibited structure (Felony)
• Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit (Felony)
• Possessing a dangerous weapon on school property (Gross Misdemeanor)
• Disturbing the peace (Misdemeanor)
Bail was set at $50,000. Bird was being represented by a public defender. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 17th at the Las Vegas Justice Court.
5. The Shooting is an Example of What Some Commentators Refer to as “Trump Derangement Syndrome”
Since President Donald Trump has taken office, a new term has entered the lexicon: “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” The conservative website TownHall reported on the Mark Bird incident and included the headline: “Trump Derangement Syndrome Strikes Again: A College Professor Shot Himself In The Arm In Protest Of The President.”
The idea of the “syndrome” is that there is nothing Trump can do to win over his harshest critics, and that dislike of him impairs judgment. The president himself has seemed to joke about it. He tweeted in July of 2018, “Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”
It’s important to note that this is NOT a real condition, at least by clinical standards. Urban Dictionary provides this description: “Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their dislike of Donald Trump, to the point at which they will abandon all logic and reason. Symptoms for this condition can be very diverse, ranging from hysterical outbursts to a complete mental break. TDS can also often result in the sufferer exhibiting violent, homicidal, or even genocidal desires.”