Authorities near Houston say they have caught a man suspected of killing five of his neighbors, including a 9-year-old boy, with an AR-style rifle after the family confronted him late at night about firing rounds in his yard. Francisco Oropeza, 38, was arrested Tuesday, four days after the shooting late Friday in the town of Cleveland, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Houston, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson. He said Oropeza was was arrested without incident near Conroe, which is roughly 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the home authorities say Oropeza fled after shooting his neighbors and setting off a widening manhunt that had grown to more than 250 people from multiple jurisdictions. The sheriff would not say whether Oropeza was armed or how authorities figured out where he was. Also read: Shooting kills 2 men, injures 3rd victim in Seattle park Police had used drones and scent-tracking dogs during the wide search for Oropeza that included combing a heavily wooded forest a few miles from the scene. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott offered $50,000 in reward money as the search dragged late into the weekend and the FBI acknowledged that they had little indication as to Oropeza’s whereabouts. The alleged shooter is a Mexican national who has been deported four times, according to U.S. immigration officials. The gunman was first deported in March 2009 and last in July 2016. He was also deported in September 2009 and January 2012. San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said that prior to the shooting deputies had been called to the suspect’s house at least one other time previously over shooting rounds in his yard. All of the victims were from Honduras. Wilson Garcia, who survived the shooting, said friends and family in the home tried to hide and shield themselves and children after Oropeza walked up to the home and began firing, killing his wife first at the front door. Garcia said Oropeza came running over to their house loading an AR-15 after he and two other people had asked him to stop firing off rounds late at night because a baby inside was trying to sleep. Garcia said Oropeza told him he could do what he wanted on his property. In offering the reward, Abbot called the victims “illegal immigrants,” a partially false statement that his office walked back and apologized for Monday after drawing wide backlash over drawing attention to the immigration status of the victims. The victims were identified as Diana Velazquez Alvarado, 21; Julisa Molina Rivera, 31; Jose Jonathan Casarez, 18; Sonia Argentina Guzman, 25; and Daniel Enrique Laso, 9.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was praised around the world for her handling of the nation’s worst mass shooting and the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, said Thursday she was leaving office. Ardern was facing mounting political pressures at home and a level of vitriol from some that hadn’t been experienced by previous New Zealand leaders. Still, her announcement came as a shock to people throughout the nation of 5 million people. Fighting back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 would be her last day as prime minister. “I am entering now my sixth year in office, and for each of those years, I have given my absolute all,” she said. Ardern became an inspiration to women around the world after first winning the top job in 2017 at the relatively young age of 37. She seemed to herald a new generation of leadership — she was on the verge of being a millennial, had spun some records as a part-time DJ, and wasn’t married like most politicians. To many, she was the antithesis of U.S. President Donald Trump. Read more: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to leave office next month, sets October election In 2018, she became just the second world leader to give birth while holding office. Later that year, she brought her infant daughter to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. In March 2019, Ardern faced one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history when a white supremacist gunman stormed two mosques in Christchurch and slaughtered 51 people. She was widely praised for the way she empathized with the survivors and New Zealand’s Muslim community in the aftermath. Less than nine months later, she faced another tragedy when 22 tourists and guides were killed when the White Island volcano erupted. Ardern was lauded globally for her country’s initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic. after New Zealand managed to stop the virus at its borders for months. But she was forced to abandon that zero-tolerance strategy as more contagious variants spread and vaccines became widely available. Ardern faced growing anger at home from those who opposed coronavirus mandates and rules. A protest against vaccine mandates that began on Parliament’s grounds last year lasted for more than three weeks and ended with protesters hurling rocks at police and setting fires to tents and mattresses as they were forced to leave. This year, Ardern was forced to cancel an annual barbecue she hosts due to security fears. Ardern last month announced a wide-ranging Royal Commission of Inquiry would look into whether the government made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it could better prepare for future pandemics. A report is due next year. Some experts said that sexist attitudes played a role in the anger directed at Ardern. But her government also faced criticism that it had been big on ideas but lacking on execution. Supporters worried it hadn’t made promised gains on increasing housing supply and reducing child poverty, while opponents said it was not focusing enough on crime and the struggling economy. Farmers protested against plans to tax cow burps and other greenhouse gas emissions. Ardern had been facing tough reelection prospects. Her center-left Labour Party won reelection in 2020 with a landslide of historic proportions, but recent polls have put her party behind its conservative rivals. Ardern said the role required having a reserve to face the unexpected. “But I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job,” she said. “I am leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not.” She said her time in office had been fulfilling but challenging. Read more: Ardern, rival turn her hot-mic vulgarity into charity’s win “I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple,” she said. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Ardern “has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength.” “She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities,” Albanese tweeted. “Jacinda has been a fierce advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me,” he added. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Ardern on Twitter for her friendship and “empathic, compassionate, strong, and steady leadership.” Ardern charted an independent course for New Zealand. She tried to take a more diplomatic approach to China than neighboring Australia, which had ended up feuding with Beijing. In an interview with The Associated Press last month, she’d said that building relationships with small Pacific nations shouldn’t become a game of one-upmanship with China. Ardern on Thursday also announced that New Zealand’s 2023 general elections would be held on Oct. 14, and that she would remain a lawmaker until then. It’s unclear who will take over as prime minister until the election. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced that he won’t contest the leadership of the Labour Party, throwing the competition open. Labour Party lawmakers will vote for a new leader on Sunday. If no candidate gets at least two-thirds support from the caucus, then the leadership contest will go to the wider party membership. Ardern has recommended the party chose her replacement by the time she finishes in the role on Feb. 7. New Zealand Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon said Ardern had been a strong ambassador for the country on the world stage. He said that for his party “nothing changes” and it remains intent on winning the election and to "deliver a government that can get things done for the New Zealand people.” Ardern said she didn’t have any immediate plans after leaving office, other than family commitments with her daughter, Neve, and her fiancé Clarke Gayford, after an outbreak of the virus thwarted their earlier wedding plans. “And so to Neve, Mum is looking forward to being there when you start school this year,” Ardern said. “And to Clarke, let’s finally get married.”
Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school, but “egregiously poor decision-making” resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed, according to a damning investigative report released Sunday. The nearly 80-page report was the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement, and not just local authorities in the South Texas town for the bewildering inaction by heavily armed officers as a gunman fired inside two fourth-grade classrooms at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 students and two teachers. Altogether, the report amounted to the fullest account to date of the one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. But it did not satisfy all parents and relatives of the victims, some of whom blasted the police as cowards and called for them to resign. “At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety," the report said. The gunman fired approximately 142 rounds inside the building — and it is “almost certain” that at least 100 shots came before any officer entered, according to the report, which laid out in detail numerous failures. Among them: — No one assumed command despite scores of officers being on the scene. — The commander of a Border Patrol tactical team waited for a bullet-proof shield and working master key for the classroom, which may have not even been needed, before entering the classroom. — A Uvalde Police Department officer said he heard about 911 calls that had come from inside the classroom, and that his understanding was the officers on one side of the building knew there were victims trapped inside. Still, no one tried to breach the classroom. The report — the most complete account yet of the hesitant and haphazard response to the May 24 massacre — was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives. Swiftly, the findings set in motion at least one fallout: Lt. Mariano Pargas, a Uvalde Police Department officer who was the city's acting police chief during the massacre, was placed on administrative leave. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said an investigation would be launched to determine whether Pargas should have taken command of the scene. McLaughlin also said the city would now release all body camera footage from Uvalde police that was taken during the shooting. McLaughlin said “a couple, maybe three” officers have left the force since the shooting, and that suicides are “a big concern.” Family members of the victims in Uvalde received copies of the report Sunday before it was released to the public. “It’s a joke. They’re a joke. They’ve got no business wearing a badge. None of them do,” Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazar, who was among those killed, said Sunday. Only the families of the victims were invited to meet with committee members before a news conference with the media following the public release of the report. Tina Quintanilla-Taylor, whose daughter survived the shooting, shouted at the committee members as they left the news conference, saying that they should have taken questions from the community, not just reporters. “I’m pissed. They need to come back and give us their undivided attention,” she said later. Read: Uvalde school police chief on leave after mass shooting “These leaders are not leaders,” she said. According to the report, 376 law enforcement officers massed at the school. The overwhelming majority of those who responded were federal and state law enforcement. That included nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials. “Other than the attacker, the Committee did not find any ‘villains’ in the course of its investigation,” the report said. “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.” The report noted that many of the hundreds of law enforcement responders who rushed to the school were better trained and equipped than the school district police — which the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the state police force, previously faulted for not going into the room sooner. Investigators said it was not their job to determine whether officers should be held accountable, saying that decisions rests with each law enforcement agency. Prior to Sunday, only one of the hundreds of officers on the scene — Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief — was known to have been on leave. “Everyone who came on the scene talked about this being chaotic,” said Texas state Rep. Dustin Burrows, a Republican who led the investigation. Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol did not immediately return requests for comment Sunday. The report followed weeks of closed-door interviews with more than 40 people, including witnesses and law enforcement who were on the scene of the shooting. No single officer has received as much scrutiny since the shooting as Arredondo, who also resigned from his newly appointed seat on the City Council after the shooting. Arredondo told the committee he treated the shooter as “barricaded subject," according to the report, and defended never treating the scene as an active-shooter situation because he did not have visual contact with the gunman. Arredondo also tried to find a key for the classrooms, but no one ever bothered to see if the doors were locked, according to the report. “Arredondo’s search for a key consumed his attention and wasted precious time, delaying the breach of the classrooms," the report read. The report criticized as “lackadaisical” the approach of the hundreds of officers who surrounded the school and said that they should have recognized that Arredondo remaining in the school without reliable communication was “inconsistent” with him being the scene commander. The report concluded that some officers waited because they relied on bad information while others “had enough information to know better.” A nearly 80-minute hallway surveillance video released Sunday showed for the first time a hesitant and haphazard tactical response, which the head of Texas’ state police has condemned as a failure and some Uvalde residents have blasted as cowardly. Calls for police accountability have grown in Uvalde since the shooting. The report is the result of one of several investigations into the shooting, including another led by the Justice Department. A report earlier this month by tactical experts at Texas State University alleged that a Uvalde police officer had a chance to stop the gunman before he went inside the school armed with an AR-15. But in an example of the conflicting statements and disputed accounts since the shooting, McLaughlin has said that never happened. That report had been done at the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which McLaughlin has increasingly criticized and accused of trying to minimize the role of its troopers during the massacre. Steve McCraw, the head of Texas DPS, has called the police response an abject failure. The committee didn’t “receive medical evidence” to show that police breaching the classroom sooner would have saved lives, but it concluded that “it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.” Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the cafeteria at Robb Elementary on the day of the shooting and survived, came to the committee’s news conference Sunday carrying signs saying “ We Want Accountability” and “Prosecute Pete Arredondo.” Brown said he has not yet read the report but already knows enough to say that police “have blood on their hands.” “It’s disgusting. Disgusting,” he said. “They’re cowards.”
President Joe Biden is hosting a “celebration” of a new bipartisan law meant to reduce gun violence that, after just 16 days in effect, already has been overshadowed by yet another mass shooting. The bill, passed after recent gun rampages in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, incrementally toughens requirements for young people to buy guns, denies firearms to more domestic abusers, and helps local authorities temporarily take weapons from people judged to be dangerous. But the South Lawn event on Monday morning comes a week after a gunman in Highland Park, Illinois, killed seven people at an Independence Day parade, a stark reminder of the limitations of the new law in addressing the American phenomenon of mass gun violence. Biden on Saturday invited Americans to share with him via text — a new White House communications strategy — their stories of how they’ve been impacted by gun violence, tweeting that “I’m hosting a celebration of the passage of the Safer Communities Act.” The law is the the most impactful firearms violence measure Congress has approved since enacting a now-expired assault weapons ban in 1993. Yet gun control advocates — and even White House officials — say it’s premature to declare victory. “There’s simply not much to celebrate here,” said Igor Volsky, director of the private group Guns Down America. “It’s historic, but it’s also the very bare minimum of what Congress should do,” Volsky said. “And as we were reminded by the shooting on July 4, and there’s so many other gun deaths that have occurred since then, the crisis of of gun violence is just far more urgent.” Volsky’s group, along with other gun violence advocacy groups, was set to host a news conference on Monday outside the White House calling on Biden to stand up a dedicated office at the White House to address gun violence with a greater sense of urgency. Read: Facing pressure, Biden to sign order on abortion access Biden has left gun control policy to his Domestic Policy Council, rather than establishing a dedicated office like he stood up to address climate change or the gender policy council he established to promote reproductive health access. “We have a president who really hasn’t met the moment, who has chosen to act as a bystander on this issue,” Volsky said. “For some reason the administration absolutely refuses to have a senior official who can drive this issue across government.” The president signed the bipartisan gun bill into law on June 25, calling it “a historic achievement” at the time. “Time is of the essence. Lives will be saved,” Biden said in the Roosevelt Room during a hastily arranged signing ceremony before he flew to Europe. Referencing the families of shooting victims he has met, the president said: “Their message to us was, ‘Do something.’ How many times did we hear that? ‘Just do something. For God’s sake, just do something.’ Today we did.” White House officials said Biden doesn’t see the passage of the bill as the finish line, but rather a foundation that needs to be built on. The Illinois shooting occurred nine days after the bill signing. “I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost 30 years into law, which includes actions that will save lives,” Biden said after July 4th shooting. “But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.” On Friday, Biden responded to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by taking note of how the shooting had shocked people in Japan. The country has a strikingly low incidence of gun violence compared to the U.S., which has experienced thousands of gun deaths already this year. Most of the new law’s $13 billion in spending would be used for bolstering mental health programs and for schools, which have been targeted by shooters in Newtown, Connecticut; Parkland, Florida; and many other gun massacres. It was the product of weeks of closed-door negotiations by a bipartisan group of senators who emerged with a compromise. It does not include far tougher restrictions that Democrats and Biden have long championed, such as a ban on assault-type weapons and background checks for all gun transactions. Biden on Monday was expected to reiterate his call for those tougher measures, but prospects are slim for any further congressional action.
The Uvalde school district’s police chief was put on leave Wednesday following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said that he put schools police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave because the facts of what happened remain unclear. In a statement, Harrell did not address Arredondo’s actions as on-site commander during the attack but said he didn’t know when details of federal, state and local investigations into the law enforcement response to the slayings would be revealed. “From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Harrell said. “Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date.” A spokesperson for the Uvalde school district, Anne Marie Espinoza, declined to say whether Arredondo would continue to be paid while on leave. Read: Texas elementary school shooting: What do we know so far? Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing on Tuesday that Arredondo made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded on May 24 , and that the police response was an “abject failure.” Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, sufficient armed law enforcement were on scene to stop the gunman, McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there is no indication officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said. Read: Texas police: School door shut but didn’t lock before attack McCraw has said parents begged police outside the school to move in and students inside the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help while more than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them move in because children were in danger. “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin pushed back on McCraw’s testimony casting blame on Arredondo, saying the Department of Public Safety has repeatedly put out false information about the shooting and glossed over the role of its own officers. McLaughlin called Tuesday’s Senate hearing a “clown show” and said he heard nothing from McCraw about state troopers’ involvement, even though McLaughlin said their number in the school hallway at points during the slaughter surpassed that of any other law enforcement agency. Delays in the police response as the shooting was happening has become the focus of ongoing investigations and public outcry. Law enforcement has at times offered confusing and sometimes contradictory details and timelines that have drawn anger and frustration. The Uvalde City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously against giving Arredondo — who is a council member — a leave of absence from appearing at public meetings. Relatives of the shooting victims had pleaded with city leaders to instead fire him. “Please, please, we’re begging you, get this man out of our lives,” said Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, a 10-year-old who was fatally shot in the attack. Sen. Paul Bettencourt told the state Senate hearing that Arredondo should have stepped down straight away. “This man should have removed himself from the job immediately because, just looking at his response, he was incapable of it,” Bettencourt said. Arredondo and his lawyer have declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press and did not immediately respond to an inquiry Wednesday about his leave. Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios but that he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys. It’s still not clear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other during the attack, and what their body cameras show. Officials have declined to release more details, citing the investigation. Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in the city. He took the head police job at the school district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the City Council in a closed-door ceremony May 31.
By now it's as predictable as the calls for thoughts and prayers: A mass shooting leaves many dead, and wild conspiracy theories and misinformation about the carnage soon follow. It happened after Sandy Hook, after Parkland, after the Orlando nightclub shooting and after the deadly rampage earlier this month at a Buffalo grocery store. Within hours of Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, another rash began as internet users spread baseless claims about the man named as the gunman and his possible motives. Also read: Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school Unfounded claims that the gunman was an immigrant living in the U.S. illegally, or transgender, quickly emerged on Twitter, Reddit and other social media platforms. They were accompanied by familiar conspiracy theories suggesting the entire shooting was somehow staged. The claims reflect broader problems with racism and intolerance toward transgender people, and are an effort to blame the shooting on minority groups who already endure higher rates of online harassment and hate crimes, according to disinformation expert Jaime Longoria. “It's a tactic that serves two purposes: It avoids real conversations about the issue (of gun violence), and it gives people who don't want to face reality a patsy, it gives them someone to blame,” said Longoria, director of research at the Disinfo Defense League, a non-profit that works to fight racist misinformation. In the hours after the shooting, posts falsely claiming the gunman was living in the country illegally went viral, with some users adding embellishments, including that he was “on the run from Border Patrol.” “He was an illegal alien wanted for murder from El Salvador,” read one tweet liked and retweeted hundreds of times. “This is blood on Biden’s hands and should have never happened.” The man who authorities say carried out the shooting, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, is a U.S. citizen, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news conference on Tuesday. Other social media users seized on images of innocent internet users to falsely identify them as the gunman and claim he was transgender. On the online message board 4Chan, users liberally shared the photos and discussed a plan to label the gunman as transgender, without any evidence to back it up. One post on Twitter, which has since been deleted, featured a photo of a trans woman holding a green bottle to her mouth, looking into the camera, headphones hanging from one ear. “BREAKING NEWS: THE IDENTITY OF THE SHOOTER HAS BEEN REVEALED,” claimed the user, saying the shooter was a “FEMBOY” with a channel on YouTube. None of that was true. The photo actually depicted a 22-year-old trans woman named Sabrina who lives in New York City. Sabrina, who requested her last name not be published due to privacy concerns, confirmed to The Associated Press that the photo was hers and also said she was not affiliated with the purported YouTube account. Sabrina said she received harassing responses on social media, particularly messages claiming that she was the shooter. She responded to a number of posts spreading the image with the misidentification, asking for the posts to be deleted. “This whole ordeal is just horrifying,” Sabrina told the AP. Another photo that circulated widely showed a transgender woman with a Coca-Cola sweatshirt and a black skirt. A second photo showed the same woman wearing a black NASA shirt with a red skirt. These photos didn’t show the gunman either — they were of a Reddit user named Sam, who confirmed her identity to the AP on Wednesday. The AP is not using Sam’s last name to protect her privacy. “It’s not me, I don’t even live in Texas,” Sam wrote in a Reddit post. Authorities have released no information on the gunman's sexuality or gender identification. Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar fit both unfounded claims about Ramos in a single now-deleted tweet that also misspelled his name. “It’s a transsexual leftist illegal alien named Salvatore Ramos,” Gosar tweeted Tuesday night. Gosar’s office did not return a message seeking comment. In some cases, misinformation about mass shootings or other events are spread by well-intentioned social media users trying to be helpful. In other cases, it can be the work of grifters looking to start fake fundraisers or draw attention to their website or organization. Then there are the trolls who seemingly do it for fun. Fringe online communities, including on 4chan, often use mass shootings and other tragedies as opportunities to sow chaos, troll the public and push harmful narratives, according to Ben Decker, founder and CEO of the digital investigations consultancy Memetica. Also read:School massacre continues Texas’ grim run of mass shootings “It is very intentional and deliberate for them in celebrating these types of incidents to also influence what the mainstream conversations actually are,” Decker said. “There’s a nihilistic desire to prove oneself in these types of communities by successfully trolling the public. So if you are able to spearhead a campaign that leads to an outcome like this, you’re gaining increased sort of in-group credibility.” For the communities bearing the brunt of such vicious online attacks, though, the false blame stirs fears of further discrimination and violence. Something as seemingly innocuous as a transphobic comment on social media can spark an act of violence against a transgender person, said Jaden Janak, a PhD candidate at the University of Texas and a junior fellow at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies. “These children and adults who were murdered yesterday were just living their lives," Janak said Wednesday. “They didn’t know that yesterday was going to be their last day. And similarly, as trans people, that’s a fear that we have all the time.”
Six people, including the suspect, were killed in a shooting Thursday evening in the UK's Plymouth, a port city in Devon in southwest England. Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted that the law enforcers were called to a "serious firearms incident" in the Keyham area of Plymouth. Read: 18 killed in Canada’s worst mass shooting "Following attendance at the scene, two females and two males were deceased at the scene. A further male, believed to be the offender, was also deceased at the scene. All are believed to have died from gunshot wounds," it said. Another female, treated at the scene for gunshot wounds, died a short time later in hospital, it added, noting that the shooting was not terrorism-related. Read: Police: Gang member confesses in mass shooting at festival Luke Pollard, member of parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, tweeted that one of the people killed in the shooting was a child under 10 years old. "The incident in Plymouth is shocking, and my thoughts are with those affected," British Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted earlier.
A gunman opened fire at a birthday party in Colorado, slaying six adults before killing himself Sunday, police said. The shooting happened just after midnight in a mobile home park on the east side of Colorado Springs, police said. Officers arrived at a trailer to find six dead adults and a man with serious injuries who died later at a hospital, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. Also Read:Police: 3 hurt in Florida mall shooting as shoppers scatter The suspected shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party attended by friends, family and children. He walked inside and opened fire before shooting himself, police said. The birthday party was for one of the people killed, police said. Neighbor Yenifer Reyes told The Denver Post she woke to the sound of many gunshots. “I thought it was a thunderstorm,” Reyes said. “Then I started hearing sirens.” Police brought children out of the trailer and put them into at least one patrol car, she said, adding that the children were “crying hysterically.” Authorities say the children, who weren’t hurt in the attack, have been placed with relatives. Police on Sunday hadn’t released the identities of the shooter or victims. Authorities say a motive wasn’t immediately known. “My heart breaks for the families who have lost someone they love and for the children who have lost their parents,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement. Also Read: Sheriff: Girl shoots 3 at Idaho school; teacher disarms her It was Colorado’s worst mass shooting since a gunman killed 10 people at a Boulder supermarket March 22. “The tragic shooting in Colorado Springs is devastating,” Gov. Jared Polis said Sunday, “especially as many of us are spending the day celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people we are today.” Colorado Springs, population 465,000, is Colorado’s second-biggest city after Denver. In 2015, a man shot three people to death at random before dying in a shootout with police in Colorado Springs on Halloween. Less than a month later, a man killed three people, including a police officer, and injured eight others in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city.
Police scoured a Fedex facility in Indianapolis and interviewed scores of witnesses Friday in search of a motive for the latest mass shooting to rock the U.S., as family members of the eight victims spent agonizing hours waiting for word on their loved ones. Authorities identified the shooter as a young man in his 20s. They said they could not yet say why he opened fire with a rifle late Thursday night at a FedEx processing center near the Indianapolis airport. Police Chief Randal Taylor also noted that a “significant” number of employees at the facility are members of the Sikh community. Taylor spoke from a hotel where family members are awaiting word on their loved ones. He says he will stay with the families until they get more information. Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis police said the gunman started randomly shooting at people in the parking lot and then went into the building and continued firing. He said the gunman apparently died by suicide shortly before police entered the building. “There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” he said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.” McCartt said four people were killed outside the building and another four inside. Several people were also wounded, including five taken to the hospital. Also read: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis The carnage took just a couple of minutes. “It did not last very long,” he said. Officials with the coroner’s office said they had not been able to get to the scene to identify the victims because evidence is still being collected. The families’ agonizing waiting was exacerbated by the fact that most employees aren’t allowed to carry cellphones inside the FedEx building, making contact with them difficult. “When you see notifications on your phone, but you’re not getting a text back from your kid and you’re not getting information and you still don’t know where they are … what are you supposed to do?” Mindy Carson said early Friday, fighting back tears. At 11:30 a.m., Carson said she had just heard from her daughter, Jessica, who works in the facility. She said her daughter was OK and she was going to meet her, but didn’t say where. It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the U.S. Last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses across the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. It was at least the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis alone. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.” Also read: Child among 4 dead in shooting at California office building President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting and called gun violence “an epidemic” in the U.S. “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation,” he said in a statement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was “horrified and heartbroken” by the shooting and called for congressional action on gun control. “As we pray for the families of all affected, we must work urgently to enact commonsense gun violence prevention laws to save lives & prevent this suffering,” the Democratic leader said in a tweet. A witness said that he was working inside the building when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession. “I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.” Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until April 20, and he and others decried the shooting, with some noting how frequent such attacks are. Chris Bavender, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Indianapolis office, said that they are helping the police with the investigation. A man told WTTV that his niece was sitting in the driver’s seat of her car when the gunfire erupted, and she was wounded. “She got shot on her left arm,” said Parminder Singh. “She’s fine, she’s in the hospital now.”