A Florida musician is gunned down as she leaves rehearsal

A Florida musician is gunned down as she leaves rehearsal


norman lebrecht

February 14, 2018

Caroline Morton-Hicks was leaving rehearsal at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center in Florida when she got into a row with another person in the parking lot.

Shots rang out.

Morton-Hicks, 59, was found dead. She was the orchestra’s trombonist.

Watch the TV news report here.



  • Sharon says:

    Another tragedy. May her children find peace.

  • Hilary says:

    Please ban guns in the US. The time has surely come.

    • La Verita says:

      If the USA bans guns, how could the NRA (and their admirers) protect themselves from the ever present threat of female trombone players?

    • Cubs Fan - NRA member says:

      Here we go again…banning guns wouldn’t do anything except piss off those of us who handle them responsibly. Besides, it can’t be done – the horse is out of the barn, the genie is out of the bottle… How would you collect the estimated 300 million guns out there? This is another tragic event, and there are too many, and I hate it! Let’s wait and see what the details are. Did the trombone player know the shooter?

      • Karen says:

        We have an NRA member here! Well, what is your thought on this ad from NRA?


        “The only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.”

        That image shown at 0:12 in that video is perhaps more relevant here. Does LA Phil know its concert hall has been singled out as a target of attack by NRA?

        • Joe says:

          As New York Senator Pat Moynihan [Z’L’] once said, “Don’t ban the guns, ban the ammunition”. Halevai…..

          • Hilary says:

            I love the simplicity of this.
            Playing devils advocate, I remember the superb film/book “we need to talk about Kevin” where the school massacre was via crossbow.

      • La Verita says:

        How to collect the guns? By offering financial rewards & tax breaks, that’s how. Also by banning ammunition sales. Every long journey begins with a single step…

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Banning the sale of new guns doesn’t mean we have to collect the ones already in circulation. Gradually, over time, there will be fewer and fewer guns held by people. It will take a long time but eventually there will be a sane level of gun-ownership in the US. People with a legitimate reason for owning a gun (such as people who go hunting) can continue to own guns suitable for that purpose with strict safeguards; just as they do in other western countries. Nobody needs to own a high-performance machine gun, or carry around a handgun in their pocket.

      • Marilyn says:

        All of the solutions mentioned here that help to reduce the ownership and handling of guns in the U.S. are needed and should eventually make our country as safe, at the very least, as other developed nations. I suspect that those nations feel less safe, knowing some of the guns in their countries originate in the U.S. I find it a tragedy and an embarrassment. I have lived and vacationed abroad in several developed nations. I never felt the need to look over my shoulder when walking home from concerts the way I do here at home. Let’s start with tax credits or required rebates for returning guns purchased before a certain date, along with sensible regulations for all owners… like the ones we require for driving a car. And of course, get rid of the insane right to own a weapon of war such as any rapid fire weapon… a limit on the number of weapons owned and meaningful punishment for defying these laws. Full background on purchases should be required also. (Mental illness is not the only check. Remember that most of those who are mentally ill could only benefit themselves from all of this. We need to account for those as yet undiagnosed or who simply have personality disorders. Many of the most unbalanced are not certifiably mentally ill anyway.) Regulations should require passing a test (written and demonstrated) on handling your gun. The so-called “well-regulated militia” of the 2nd amendment should not feel impinged in any way by this. If you want to be a part of the militia, you can join the National Guard. We live in changing times, and we should use guns responsibly, not like in the old wild West.

  • Sue says:

    This is just a dreadful story. Thoughts.

  • Michael Comins says:

    Ho-hum – just another day in the good ol’ USA….

    • martain smith says:

      Indeed – truly the Wild West! They haven’t come far….

    • Sue says:

      Not for the victim and her family.

    • Hilary says:

      17 students killed (shot) today in a school in the USA.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s a matter of priorities – part of the usual educational trajectory:


      • Kate says:

        I knew Caroline and socialized with her on many occasions. She was a wonderful, talented, and energetic person. Also, a great trombone player. She was the type of person you could run into after not seeing them for a while, and it would always put a smile on your face. This is just completely horrible and unexpected. We have no idea who the murderer was. She was murdered. I think saying she was murdered is an important legal distinction. Too many articles state she was shot and killed… You can be shot with a gun and not be murdered. This whole thing with guns in America is just one big long nightmare denigrating our country, which is certainly not what our country’s founders intended. The genie is out of the bottle because of the 2nd Amendment, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have stricter regulations that are enforced and curtail gun ownership for those that shouldn’t have them. As far as there being too many guns out, well, we can start collecting them. Doing something is better than nothing. Thoughts and prayers are not enough. There is something called free will.

  • Nina says:

    This was my Aunt Caroline that was murdred, wait until you get a phone call to say a family member of yours has been chased and shot and see if you can still talk of it as such a trivial event.

    • Sharon says:

      New York City has very stringent gun control laws and an ongoing program that any body can turn in a gun to any police precinct and receive $100, no questions asked. It is very difficult for the average citizen to obtain a gun legally and difficult and expensive to obtain a gun illegally. Our death rate due to guns, both accidental deaths and murders, is much less than in Miami and other U.S. cities. The gun control lobbying groups say that a person who owns a gun is much more likely to be killed by it than to be protected by it and apparently there are studies to back this up. I understand that all the US police associations support stronger gun control laws.
      As far as the mentally ill are concerned, as a psychiatric nurse I know that laws that prohibit mentally ill people from having guns (although less than 10% of even “certifiably” mentally ill people would potentially use one), are ineffective. Because of confidentiality regulations that exist to protect the vast majority of mentally ill who are non violent it would be impossible, and if it were possible, grossly unfair, to have a national background check registry to check for psychiatric histories as the US does for people with felony convictions, although the loopholes in the criminal background check law are large enough to drive a truck through.
      Everyone who cares about human life needs to support gun control. If fewer guns are available fewer people would be able to use them and maybe there would be another trombone player around.

    • Sharon says:

      Dear Nina:
      I do not believe that any of the bloggers believes that your family’s horrific tragedy is a trivial event They are using sarcasm not at your aunt’s murder but as a way to express their disgust and anger at a society and political system that allows these tragedies to happen.
      All the bloggers would extend their heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May you and your family find a way to get through this and be comforted by warm memories of your beloved aunt.