“I absolutely could not get the smell of lighter fluid out of my head, and it actually made me feel a bit nauseous,” he wrote. “I had a headache for a few hours after the incident.”
As far as he knew, Cormier said there were no threats or advanced warning that an attack would be taking place. But during the aftermath, he said he heard the senator’s staffers talking about something unusual happening recently.
“I overhead two of the women from the Senator’s office saying that the suspect had come by recently, and made them very uncomfortable,” Cormier wrote to TPM. “I didn’t get the entire story, but apparently he came by with some object or substance which ‘contained a brand new form of life,’ or something to that effect. It sounds to me like this individual is probably battling some mental issues.”
At a news conference on Tuesday night, Davis told reporters that Texas state troopers put her on lockdown for about four hours while they ensured that she was not in danger.
In prepared remarks her spokesman sent to TPM, Davis said at the time that she did not know what the attackers motive was but that she would not back down from her support of the issues that she cares about, including education, jobs and women’s healthcare.
She also invoked last year’s shooting of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Arizona Democrat was wounded and six others were killed at a “Congress on Your Corner” event she was holding in Tucson.
“As these violent incidents happen across the country, it should remind us of the importance of the democratic process and remind us to keep a sense of civility even as we disagree,” Davis said in the prepared remarks. “Acts of violence are never a solution and have no place in our society.”
Indeed, details that emerged on Wednesday made the circumstances of the firebombing attack sound even more similar to the Tucson shooting.
In the Arizona case, the suspect, Jared Loughner, was schizophrenic with a long history of strange behavior. He had also visited the congresswoman at an event prior to the attack, hoping to speak with her.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com