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Detective, gunman die in shooting

Tue., May 9, 2006

An 18-year-old gunman opened fire outside a suburban Washington, D.C., police station Monday, killing one officer and wounding two others before he was shot and killed, authorities said. No motive was disclosed.

A 40-year-old female detective died at a hospital after the shooting, said police Chief David Rohrer, who did not identify the woman, a nine-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department.

A second officer was in serious condition and undergoing surgery late Monday. A third was treated for minor injuries.

Authorities did not divulge the gunman’s name. They were uncertain whether he shot himself or was killed in the exchange of gunfire.


Brush fires spur Florida emergency

Gov. Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency Monday as brush fires burned more than 8,000 acres, destroyed homes and forced authorities to shut down highways.

Officials are tracking about 50 wildfires throughout the water-parched state, and Bush said lightning was probably not to blame in most cases.

“The likelihood is most of these fires have been created by either negligence or people doing harm,” he said.

A fire in New Smyrna Beach has consumed about 1,300 acres and destroyed three homes. But most of the 1,000 people who were ordered to evacuate Sunday returned home Monday afternoon said Timber Weller, a spokesman for the state Division of Forestry.

A brush fire forced the highway patrol to shut down more than four miles of Interstate 75 south of Tampa on Monday. Smoke has been settling on roadways, contributing to collisions that have killed four people.


Rep. Kennedy gets Democrats’ backing

Democrats endorsed an absent Rep. Patrick Kennedy, being treated for addiction to prescription pain drugs, for re-election Monday night at their state convention.

Kennedy checked into the Mayo Clinic on Friday for his second stay in less than five months after a middle-of-the-night car crash near the Capitol on Thursday that he said he couldn’t remember. It was his second car crash in three weeks.

Republicans have said Kennedy should step aside because he can’t fulfill his duties. But Democratic leaders said Monday night that he has done a good job and deserves support in his battle with addiction.

“We do not walk away from our friends,” Democratic Party Chairman Bill Lynch said.


Water declared safe in hard-hit area

The state Health Department cleared the way Monday for people to begin to return to the New Orleans neighborhood that faced Hurricane Katrina’s worst fury, saying tap water in part of the Lower Ninth Ward is safe.

“Our displaced residents in some of the hardest-hit areas are now able to return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives,” Mayor Ray Nagin said Monday in a statement.

The area encompasses the 10 blocks or so closest to the Mississippi River, where the ground is higher.


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