The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

September 24, 2013

Man misidentified as shooter knew victim

McLEAN, Va. — A week ago, Rollie Chance was working the phones, worried that some of his friends at the Washington Navy Yard may have been killed in a mass shooting there.

In the middle of that, he received a call that he thought was a prank: a news organization telling him that he had been identified as the shooter.

Chance’s name was reported Sept. 16 by two network news organizations as the shooter in an apparent mix-up involving his long-discarded Navy Yard identification badge. NBC reporters tweeted Chance’s name as the shooter, while CBS used Chance’s name in tweets and in a radio broadcast. Both networks retracted their reports within minutes of misidentifying him as the shooter.

Chance, a Stafford, Va., resident, has reluctantly spoken with reporters in recent days because he hopes getting stories out about the mix-up will crowd out archived versions of stories on the Internet that misidentify him as the Navy Yard shooter. He also said he wants to ensure that others don’t go through what he did.

On the day of the shooting, Chance also was dealing with the shootings on a personal level. He had worked at the Navy Yard for years, first as a U.S. Navy sailor and later as a civilian in engineering, specifically modernization and maintenance.

He knew one of the victims fairly well; their families met and spent time together at a Christmas party a few years back. Chance declined to identify the person, concerned that bringing the victim’s name into the public eye could cause the family pain.

Chance said he had not received a phone call from NBC or CBS.

The first call he received on the day of the shootings was from ABC, asking if he knew Rollie Chance had been identified as the Navy Yard shooter. Chance thought it was a bad joke. Still, he holds no ill will toward ABC or other news agencies that called trying to get the story straight and that withheld his name from publication.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World
  • Organizers confident of safe race

    BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Ukraine bares teeth against eastern uprising

    KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces repelled an attack Tuesday by about 30 gunmen at an airport, beginning what the president called an “anti-terrorist ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Supremacist faces murder charges

    OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The white supremacist charged in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City made his first court appearance Tuesday....

    April 16, 2014

  • Iran cuts nuclear weapons ability

    VIENNA — The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran’s ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade ...

    April 16, 2014

  • People with old Social Security debts get reprieve

    WASHINGTON — People with old Social Security debts are getting a reprieve — for now....

    April 16, 2014

  • Solemn tributes mark anniversary

    BOSTON — Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Questions linger year after bombs

    BOSTON — A surveillance video shows a man prosecutors say is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, just yards from where an 8-year-old boy was killed when it exploded....

    April 15, 2014

  • Feds abruptly end roundup

    Federal land managers abruptly ended the roundup of cattle on public land in southern Nevada owned by a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority, citing a “serious concern” for the safety of employees and the public....

    April 13, 2014

  • Calif. crash probe includes limiting bus fires

    ORLAND, Calif. — A new twist was added to the investigation of a crash involving a tour bus and FedEx tractor-trailer that killed 10 people when a couple said the big rig already was on fire when it careened across a median and sideswiped ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Disappointment, forgiveness mix in La.

    MONROE, La. — To Louisiana voters accustomed to tawdry scandals involving elected officials, disappointment with an eye toward forgiveness is the prevailing sentiment about their new congressman, caught on video embracing an aide married ...

    April 13, 2014