Station for Peace Gets hit with Drive By Shooting

A bullet hole in a window, an odd-caliber shell casing found in the street and the shadowy sighting of a slow-moving white car — that was all KPFT-FM staffers had to go on Monday as they searched for clues that might explain the early-morning drive-by shooting at their Montrose studio.

Police said they have made no arrests in the 12:55 a.m. shooting, in which the bullet came within 18 inches of striking zydeco program host Mary Thomas in the head. The incident marked the third violent episode at the iconoclastic, listener-supported Pacifica station in three years, General Manager Duane Bradley said.

Discussion on safety
Bradley said a staff meeting will be held at noon today to discuss security concerns. Station workers Monday listened to recordings of the previous night’s programming, including the sometimes combative comments on a late-night talk show, in search of veiled threats.

The station, whose transmitter was twice dynamited by the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1970s, completed a weeklong fundraising drive Sunday, surpassing its $135,000 goal by 5 percent.

Bradley said the station may replace the shattered studio window, which faces Lovett, with bullet-proof glass and might upgrade a video surveillance system that monitors key parts of the property. They also may consider a key-card system for building access.

“We’re kind of walking a tight rope,” Bradley said. “We want to have an open environment, but we need to ensure safety of people at the station.”

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