NEWS of the Day - July 20, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - July 20, 2012
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...

We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...


From Google News

12 dead, 50 wounded in shooting at Colorado theater, police chief says

by Chelsea J. Carter and Michael Pearson

(Videos on site)

(CNN) -- A heavily armed gunman tossed tear gas into an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, then sprayed the audience with gunfire during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, authorities said. Twelve people died and 50 were wounded.

One of the wounded victims was just 3 months old, according to hospital workers.

Police arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN. The suspect was not immediately identified, though Fania said he was believed to be in his early 20s.

"He did not resist. He did not put up a fight," Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said.

KMGH: Mass shooting inside Aurora movie theater

Oates said there was no evidence of a second gunman, and FBI spokesman Jason Pack said it did not appear the incident was related to terrorism.

President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he and first lady Michelle Obama were "shocked and saddened" by the shooting and pledged the administration's support for victims of the shooting.

"As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family," it said.

Chaos broke out during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century Aurora 16 theater when the shooting began, police and witnesses said.

Witnesses told KUSA that the gunman burst into the theater and threw a smoke bomb before opening fire. A federal law enforcement official told CNN the smoke bomb described by witnesses was tear gas.

One movie-goer, who was not identified, told KUSA the gunman was wearing a gas mask.

KUSA: One person in custody

Some people in the audience thought the thick smoke and gunfire was a special effect accompanying the movie, police and witnesses said.

"We just heard a pop, pop, pop, pop," said Quentin Caldwell, who was attending the Batman showing in an adjacent theater.

Cell phone video taken by someone at the theater showed scores of people screaming and fleeing the building. Some had blood on their clothes.

One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. "She wasn't moving."

Authorities also have evacuated the suspect's Aurora apartment building after "he made a statement about explosives" in his unit, Oates said.

The shooter used at least four guns -- an "AK type" rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, the federal law enforcement official told CNN.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents have searched the suspect's car and went to his home to search for explosives, agency spokesman Tom Mangan said. They also are conducting emergency traces on the weapons used to see how they were obtained, he said.

KWGN: Witnesses first thought gunfire was part of movie

Police initially said 14 people had died, 10 in the theater and four at area hospitals, but revised the death toll to 12 later Friday morning, according to Lanigan.

Several people remained in critical condition at area hospitals, however.

Of the wounded, at least 20 were being treated at the University of Colorado Hospital, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery. All of the wounded suffered from gunshot wounds, which ranged from minor to critical, she said.

"They're arriving by police, by ambulance. Some are walking in," she said.

The victims being treated there ranged in age from 3 months to 45, the hospital said.

Denver Health Center had six patients from the shooting, one of them in critical condition, five in fair, said Shelly Davis, house supervisor.

Swedish Health Center spokeswoman Nicole Williams said her hospital was treating three people, two of them in critical and one in fair condition. A fourth patient was on the way, she said.

Parker Adventist Hospital was treating two people for minor injuries, according to a spokeswoman.

Hundreds of police officers descended on the theater, and the FBI has joined the investigation.

"We were calling for help from every police and fire agency," Fania said.

Aurora, a Denver suburb, is about 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado -- site of the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

In that incident, two teenage students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, armed themselves with guns and bombs and opened fire inside the high school. They killed 13 people and wounding 23 others before killing themselves.



'Death Warrants' Found on Homeless LA Stab Victims

Police have linked three stabbings of homeless people in recent weeks to a suspect who left typewritten "death warrant" notes at each crime scene, and they're seeking a person of interest who goes by the name left on the letters.

The third signed letter was found at a stabbing early Thursday morning in Hollywood and was similar to letters found at two previous stabbings in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. Police are asking for the public's help in finding a person of interest.

All three victims are in their 50s and were stabbed in the back in the early morning hours as they slept, Smith said. The victims survived, though one remains hospitalized, police said.

Police are warning homeless people to seek shelter at night and avoid sleeping alone in the streets.

"Any homeless person sleeping anywhere outside is vulnerable tonight — more vulnerable than usual," Smith said.

Homeless people on Skid Row in Los Angeles said they would try to band together to stay safe overnight.

"You just try to stick among ones that you can actually trust and all that so you can watch each other's backs," Roland Roller, who sleeps on Skid Row, told NBC4-TV.

The letters left with the victims were all signed "David Ben Keyes," who police have named as a person of interest in their investigation, Smith said.

Smith emphasized that police are still unclear if the name on the death warrants is the name of the actual suspect, and police only want to question Keyes at this point.

The attacks targeting the homeless are reminiscent of a series of stabbings in Orange County several months ago in which four people died. A suspect was arrested in those cases.

The first stabbing came July 3 in downtown Los Angeles, and is the only stabbing where a witness saw a suspect fleeing the scene, Smith said.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the victim crawled 100 yards looking for help with a large hunting knife lodged between his shoulder blades.

The second stabbing came Tuesday, when a man was stabbed as he slept on a bench in Santa Monica. A passerby responded to the victim's cry for help and called police, Sgt. Richard Lewis said.

The most recent stabbing on Thursday targeted a woman who was sleeping in the Hollywood area.

Keyes may be homeless and is believed to be from the Santa Barbara area, Smith said.

Homicide Division Capt. Billy Hayes —whose detectives took over the case Thursday— said it was too soon to know if the crimes could be linked to the series of gory stabbing deaths of four homeless people in Orange County between Dec. 2011 and January.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, a former Marine, was charged in those homeless murders, and also has been charged with killing the mother and brother of his friend. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty in the ongoing case against Ocampo.