US mass shootings: A deadly history

By Alan McGuinness, news reporter

A gunman has opened fire at a country and western bar in California, the latest in a long line of mass shootings in the United States.

Twelve people were killed in what is the 307th mass shooting (one which involves multiple deaths or injuries) this year.

They have become a depressingly regular feature of American life – these are some of the deadliest and most infamous.

:: Tree of Life synagogue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – October 2018

Suspect Robert Bowers is said to have been carrying an AR-15 rifle and three Glock 357 handguns when he stormed into the place of worship and opened fire during a baby naming ceremony, killing 11 people.

The oldest victim was 97.

Bowers, 46, shot one of the first two officers to respond in the hand, and the other was wounded by “shrapnel and broken glass”.

A tactical team found Bowers on the third floor of the synagogue, where he shot two other officers.

He was treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and charged with 29 counts, including 11 of murdering people exercising their religious beliefs.

Bowers faces the death penalty if found guilty.

:: Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas – May 2018

Ten people were killed and the same number wounded when a gunman opened fire at the high school.

The suspect, student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, used a shotgun and a .38 revolver obtained from his father, authorities said.

The 17-year-old, who had posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing a “Born to Kill” shirt, was charged with capital murder.

Though both guns were legally owned, it is not clear whether the suspect’s father knew his son had taken them.

:: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida – February 2018

A gunman entered the school armed with at least one AR-15 assault rifle, a gas mask, smoke grenades and several magazines of ammunition.

He deliberately set off the fire alarm so youngsters would leave their classrooms as he arrived at the scene.

Twelve people were shot dead in the school building, two outside, one in the street and two people were left with injuries from which they later died.

Among those who tried to save students was football coach Aaron Feis, who died after apparently using his body as a shield against the bullets.

The gunman was then detained without incident in the nearby town of Coral Springs after the Valentine’s Day massacre and taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 of attempted murder.

The shooting sparked a renewed debate about gun laws, with calls for stricter regulations as a way of helping to avert future tragedies.

:: First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, Texas – November 2017

Twenty-six people were killed when Devin Kelley opened fire, with the youngest victim just five years old.

Kelley was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he launched his attack as worshippers gathered for a Sunday service at the church, southeast of San Antonio.

The 26-year-old served in the Air Force before being thrown out for assaulting his family.

:: Route 91 Harvest Festival, Las Vegas, Nevada – October 2017

Stephen Paddock opened fire on the country music event from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel.

The 64-year-old killed 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

An hour after firing more than 1,000 rounds over the course of 10 minutes, Paddock was found dead in the hotel room of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators still do not know what motivated him to carry out the massacre.

:: Pulse nightclub, Orlando, Florida – June 2016

Omar Mateen, 29, walked into the nightclub shortly before 2am, armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and multiple rounds of ammunition.

As he opened fire on the more than 300 people in the popular gay venue, Mateen killed 49 before he was shot dead by police following a three-hour standoff when he holed himself up in a toilet.

In a call to police during the atrocity, Mateen claimed he had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

:: Inland Regional Center, San Bernardino, California – December 2015

Syed Rizwan Farook, a US citizen, and his Pakistan-born wife Tashfeen Malik, shot dead 14 employees of the county’s health department who were at a holiday party.

After the shooting, the couple seemingly drove at random around the city, before they were spotted returning home and were killed in a gun battle.

An FBI investigation found the pair were “homegrown violent extremists who were inspired by, but not acting under the direction of, foreign terrorist groups.

:: Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, South Carolina – June 2015

Dylann Roof shot dead nine black churchgoers after being invited into the church – the South’s oldest – to worship with them.

About 45 minutes into the study session, as the group closed their eyes to pray, he began firing the Glock .45 he had been carrying.

In January 2017, the 22-year-old was sentenced to death for the racially motivated attack, becoming the first person in the US to be given the federal death penalty for hate crimes.

Roof, who wanted to incite a race war, posed with the Confederate flag in a number of photos that emerged after the shooting.

This sparked a debate about race relations in the US and led to many Southern states removing the flag – flown by the slavery-supporting South during the Civil War – from civic buildings.

:: University of California, Isla Vista, California – 2014

British-born student Elliot Rodger killed six people in a gun and knife rampage near the university campus on 23 May 2014.

The 22-year-old repeatedly stabbed three men to death in his apartment before taking to the streets in his BMW to target female students.

He had three semi-automatic handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition with him when he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a disturbing 141-page document entitled My Twisted World, as well as in YouTube videos, Rodger vented his rage at women who rejected him.

“I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex,” he wrote.

:: Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut – 2012

Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother Nancy at their home before stealing a number of her guns.

The 20-year-old then drove his mother’s car to the school, which he attended as a child, and shot his way in before killing 20 children, six adults and himself within 11 minutes.

After the shooting, Lanza was said to have had “an obsession” with the 1999 Columbine high school massacre.

The shooting shocked America and led to a White House bid to control gun violence, but the effort failed.

:: Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia – 2007

South Korean-born student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before taking his own life.

The 23-year-old began his rampage in a halls of residence on campus, shooting two students dead.

He later returned to his room, before heading to an academic building two hours later where Cho killed the majority of his victims.

Cho was revealed to have previously spent a night at a hospital’s psychiatric ward, as well as being in contact with mental health staff.

A subsequent report criticised the university’s mental health services and the gunman’s ability to purchase guns.

It remains the deadliest school shooting in US history.

:: Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado – 1999

Seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher and planted more than 100 explosive devices around their school.

They exchanged fire with police officers at the scene before shooting and killing themselves.

Police said Harris and Klebold walked into the school cafeteria and left two bags of explosives which they set to explode.

They left the building and waited, but went back in when they failed to detonate and began their killing spree.

:: Luby’s cafeteria, Killeen, Texas – 1991

After crashing his pickup truck through the wall of the building, George Hannard shot and killed 23 people before killing himself.

Most of the unemployed seaman’s victims were female, which prompted a belief the 35-year-old’s deadly shooting spree was motivated by a hatred of women.

:: McDonald’s, San Ysidro, California – 1984

Armed with three firearms, including an Uzi submachine gun, James Huberty, 41, shot dead 21 adults and children inside the restaurant south of San Diego.

More than an hour after he began his rampage, the unemployed former security guard was shot dead by a SWAT team sniper.

:: University of Texas, Austin, Texas – 1966

Charles Whitman shot and killed 15 people from the viewing platform of the main building at the university on 1 August 1966.

A former Marine sharpshooter, the 25-year-old architectural student was able to accurately aim at people below.

He had shot and killed his mother and stabbed his wife to death the night before, before shooting and killing 14 people on this day of his carefully planned attack.

The 15th victim, David Gunby, died in 2001 due to chronic kidney problems which he suffered as a result of the gunshot wound inflicted by Whitman. One of his victims was an unborn child.

Source: Read Full Article

Dozens of Rohingya flee camps by boat, reviving memories of 2015 tragedy

YANGON/COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – Dozens of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Bangladesh have boarded boats to try to reach Malaysia, officials and aid workers said on Thursday, raising fears of a fresh wave of such dangerous voyages after a 2015 crackdown on people smugglers.

One boat attempted to set sail from the southern coast of Bangladesh on Wednesday, the coast guard said, while several vessels left Rakhine state in western Myanmar, according to Rohingya leaders, aid workers and a monitoring group.

Officials detained 33 Rohingya and six Bangladeshis aboard a fishing boat bound for Malaysia in the southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal, said Foyezul Islam Mondol, the head of the coast guard in southeastern Teknaf upazila.

Six Bangladeshis were also arrested, he said.

A Myanmar government spokesman could not be reached for comment. Kyaw Swar Tun, deputy director of the Rakhine state government, said he was unaware of any boats leaving.

More than 700,000 Rohingya, members of a persecuted Muslim minority, fled Rakhine following an army-led crackdown in August last year, settling in sprawling Bangladeshi refugee camps, according to U.N. agency figures, while hundreds of thousands remain inside the country in internal displacement camps and villages.

Refugees say soldiers and local Buddhists carried out mass killings and rape during the violence last year, while the United Nations has accused the military of “genocidal intent”. Myanmar has denied almost all the allegations.

‘TRAPPED’

For years, Rohingya on both sides of the border have boarded boats organized by smugglers in the dry months between November and March, when the sea is calm. The perilous journey to Thailand and Malaysia, often undertaken in overcrowded, rickety vessels, has cost many lives.

Thailand cracked down on the trade after discovering a series of mass graves in 2015, leading to a crisis when smugglers abandoned their human cargo and left boats adrift in the Andaman Sea.

The new departures come as Myanmar prepares to take some of the refugees back after agreeing with Bangladesh to start repatriation on Nov. 15, despite widespread opposition from Rohingya, who say they will not return without guarantees of basic rights, including citizenship and freedom of movement.

The United Nations has said conditions in Rakhine, where Buddhists have protested against the repatriation, are not conducive for returns and the special envoy on human rights, Yanghee Lee, on Thursday urged a halt to the “rushed plans”.

Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, which has a network of sources across Rohingya communities, said the threat of being sent back to Myanmar could be pushing refugees to turn to smugglers.

“The Rohingya are trapped,” she said when contacted by Reuters via phone. “They have nowhere to go. No one wants them, and now they face on top of that the threat of repatriation.”

On the other side of the border in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, tens of thousands of Rohingya have been languishing in internal displacement camps since a previous wave of violence in 2012.

Accounts of how many boats had left Myanmar differed. A high level of secrecy surrounds the smuggling operations.

An aid worker in Sittwe said they had received information that at least four boats had departed since the start of October, and some of them had already arrived in Malaysia. Some of those boarding the boats were women and children joining other family members, the aid worker said.

“The living conditions in the camp are very bad and there’s not enough food to survive,” said Kyaw Hla, a Rohingya leader from Thae Chaung camp outside Sittwe, where he said one boat carrying some 80 people left last week.

“People are not able to stand against all these troubles, so they are deciding to leave,” he said. “There’s no hope for us here.”

Source: Read Full Article

Democrat beats Republican Karen Handel in Georgia House race

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat and gun-control advocate Lucy McBath defeated Republican U.S. Representative Karen Handel in a congressional race in Georgia, racking up another seat for Democrats who won control of the House of Representative in Tuesday’s elections.

    The closely fought race in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District was one of 10 House races remaining to be decided.

    “This win is just the beginning. We’ve sent a strong message to the entire country,” McBath said on Twitter on Thursday morning. “Absolutely nothing – no politician & no special interest – is more powerful than a mother on a mission.”

    McBath’s son, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was a black teenager killed when a white man fired 10 rounds at a vehicle carrying four teens in a Jacksonville gas station parking lot in November 2012. The gunman complained that he and his friends were playing music too loudly in their car.

    Her son’s death propelled McBath, a former flight attendant, to become a gun-control advocate and ultimately to run for office.

    Handel became the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. Congress in 2017. She conceded early on Thursday.

    “After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel wrote in a Facebook post as she congratulated McBath.

While they lost control of the House in Tuesday’s elections, President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans increased their majority in the Senate.

Source: Read Full Article

Flights cancelled, schools closed as storm rages in New Zealand

Torrential rain and strong winds trigger flooding and landslips forcing school closures and damaging roads and bridges.

    Even for a wet country like New Zealand, the current weather system battering the country has brought phenomenal amounts of rain.

    Ivory Glacier in the west coast has reported a staggering 443.5mm of rain in just 24 hours, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research on Thursday.

    The glacier might be a wet place but to give context, Auckland expects 1,101mm in an entire year.

    Meanwhile, MetService reported that Hokitika, a township in the country’s South Island, saw more than 800 lightning strikes in just 20 minutes.

    Strong winds are also a major problem and warnings remain in force for winds over 150kph in some parts of the country.

    The rain has brought flooding, landslips and triggered widespread disruption; several major roads have been closed, a highway bridge has been swept away and a number of schools have been forced to close.

    The weather also closed New Plymouth airport for a time due to the poor visibility, and a number of students on a school trip have been stranded at Mt Aspiring National Park.

    The weather system responsible originated from tropical Queensland, and picked up even more moisture as it crossed the Tasman Sea.

    Its tropical nature has also ensured that the temperatures have been strangely high, despite the wet and windy weather.

    As the weather system moves northwards, there will be a sharp drop in temperatures as the winds change southerly.

    This will add extra hazards when the rain turns to snow on Friday bringing with it the risk of avalanches.

    Source: Read Full Article

    State-backed Malin not to hire new CEO

    State-backed life sciences investor Malin will not hire a new chief executive, and will instead look for a chief investment officer.

    The new hire will report to Malin’s board, led by recently installed chairman Ian Curley, alongside chief financial officer Darragh Lyons.

    Mr Curley said the new hire will focus on the detail of Malin’s portfolio companies and identify potential new assets.

    • Read more: Malin shares slump more than 3pc as Howd to step down as CEO

    The company is hosting its first ever capital markets day today, and will present on the outcome of a strategic review which will see it focus in the main on four core assets.

    Malin went on a spending spree after a €330m IPO and a number of further share issuances.

    As of this morning the share price is less than half the IPO price – leaving the State sitting on a loss on its initial investment.

    The company has around €30m in cash left, but is hoping to add to that once its investee companies generate realisable returns.

    Mr Lyons said a large proportion of capital realised would be returned to shareholders.

    He said he didn’t anticipate returning to the market to raise more money, with the plan being to fund any new assets from capital generated from investees.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Wall Street dips as weak earnings dampen surge from midterm elections

    (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday, as a clutch of weak earnings reports punctured a rally from the previous session, which was spurred by the outcome for midterm elections.

    Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O), Perrigo Co (PRGO.N) and D.R. Horton Inc (DHI.N) were the biggest losers on the S&P 500, all falling after reporting disappointing quarterly results.

    Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) dropped 7.1 percent after the chipmaker forecast sales revenue for the holiday shopping quarter below analysts’ estimates, as it took a hit from the loss of chip sales to Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

    Stocks had gained more than 2 percent on Wednesday after Americans voted for a divided Congress, which was largely anticipated by investors who raised bets that it would be positive for stocks.

    While it could make it harder for President Donald Trump to push through new legislations such as additional tax cuts, investors are hoping for compromise on policies such as increasing infrastructure spending.

    Despite the dip in markets on Thursday, traders said investors were largely positive about the election outcome.

    “The general sentiment is I should be buying into a split Congress because it probably means nothing will happen out of Washington,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

    The Fed, which is set to release its rate decision at 2:00 pm ET, is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but the statement that follows could lay the ground for a fourth rate hike in December and for the next year.

    A steep selloff in October has taken the S&P 500 .SPX down about 4 percent from its record high, with investors worried that the U.S. economy could gather more steam and encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates further.

    However, some of those worries were put to rest by Wednesday’s election results, which reduced the odds of further corporate tax cuts by the Trump administration.

    At 10:01 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 6.80 points, or 0.03 percent, at 26,187.10, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 2.86 points, or 0.10 percent, at 2,811.03 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 9.52 points, or 0.13 percent, at 7,561.23.

    Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with slight gains seen in the defensive utilities, real estate and consumer staples.

    Wynn Resorts fell 12.3 percent after the casino operator missed third-quarter profit estimate and warned of a slowdown in the key Macau market

    D.R. Horton (DHI.N) dived 9.4 percent after the largest U.S. homebuilder warned of rising home prices and higher mortgage rates weighing on demand and reported a quarterly revenue that missed estimates.

    The PHLX Housing index .HGX fell 2.8 percent, as other housing stocks such as PulteGroup Inc (PHM.N) and Toll Brothers (TOL.N) fell.

    Perrigo Co (PRGO.N) dropped 10.7 percent after the generic drugmaker cut full-year earnings forecast on lowered expectations from its prescription pharmaceuticals.

    The top gainer on the S&P 500 was TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP.O), which jumped 17 percent after the hotel search website reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit.

    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.08-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

    The S&P index recorded 24 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 49 new highs and 41 new lows.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Police car lodged on flight of stairs; officer 'misjudged' perimeter of driveway

    SINGAPORE – An incident in which a police car veered onto a footpath in Changi on Wednesday (Nov 7) is being investigated by the authorities.

    Photos of the police car, which was lodged on a short flight of stairs, surfaced on social media on the same day. In the photos, the rear wheels of the police car are lodged on a footpath while the front of the car tilts downwards.

    Several police officers are also seen at the scene.

    The police told The Straits Times that one of their cars had steered onto the footpath outside Changi City Point at around 5.25pm on Wednesday.

    Preliminary investigations showed that the officer had misjudged the perimeter of the driveway. No one was hurt.

    ST understands that the situation was resolved in less than an hour.

    The Traffic Police are investigating the matter.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Winnipeg drivers worry road construction won’t finish before winter hits

    Winnipeg’s roads might be getting a little slick, but that’s not the only thing drivers are concerned about — there is still plenty of construction slowing down traffic.

    Drivers on Empress Street, for instance, have been navigating pylons, temporary stop signs and big machinery since the summer. Now, with the arrival of snow, many are questioning if work will wrap up before the cold weather forces a halt in construction.

    “There’s no way they’ll be able to do cement properly in this weather coming,” one driver told Global News on Wednesday.

    The work near Polo Park is far from the only current project on the go. According to this map, many of the record 200 plus projects around Winnipeg are still underway. Some of them, however, are multi-year projects.

    “It’s pretty frustrating,” another driver told Global News.

    “I doubt it’s going to be done, so it’s going to make winter driving interesting.”

    City officials were not able to give an exact answer Wednesday as to when, or if, the projects will be completed as scheduled. One spokesperson said there is always some carryover, however.

    As for which projects might be carried over, the city said that is being assessed on a daily basis and hopes to have it all sorted out by next week.

    Source: Read Full Article

    TSB officials to update investigation into plane skidding off Halifax runway

    Global News will be live-streaming the Transportation Safety Board of Canada news conference at 11:30 a.m. AT. 

    Federal officials are expected to shed some light today on their investigation into why a Boeing 747 cargo plane skidded off an airport runway in Halifax.

    The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is providing a briefing this morning at a hotel near the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, where a SkyLease Cargo plane slid off Runway 14 early Wednesday morning.

    The four crew on board were sent to hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries, while the plane was extensively damaged.

    Airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer said Flight KKE 4854 was arriving from Chicago in rainy conditions, and scheduled to be loaded with live lobster destined for China.

    Aviation analyst and former safety board investigator Larry Vance says it appears the plane was landing with a strong tailwind – something he called an “immediate red flag.”

    A team of Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived at the airport Wednesday to examine the aircraft and surrounding terrain, interview possible witnesses and crew members and take possession of the plane’s recorders.

    Source: Read Full Article

    Central African Republic: Humanitarian crisis continues

    Thousands of people forced from their homes find they are trapped by the sectarian violence in the Central African Republic.

      Aid agencies are calling the crisis in Central African Republic one of the world’s most neglected conflicts.

      An elected government is now in power.

      However, the violence between armed groups continues.

      It has forced more than 20,000 people from their homes, this year so far.

      Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from a refugee camp in Kaga Bondoro.

      Source: Read Full Article