February 13, 2007 in Nation/World

Gunman, 5 others dead in shooting

The Spokesman-Review
 

A man with a shotgun entered a shopping mall and began shooting customers Monday night, killing five people and injuring at least four others before being killed, police said.

More than three hours later, police still were searching stores for shocked shoppers and employees who were hunkered down awaiting a safe escort from the Trolley Square mall.

“We have six fatalities and multiple victims at hospitals,” police Detective Robin Snyder said. “They were found throughout the mall. I don’t know male or female or ages.”

At least four people were hospitalized, three in critical condition and one in serious condition, a hospital spokesman said.

Phoenix

Grandfather killed after two slain

Police killed an 84-year-old man Monday after he reportedly fatally shot his granddaughter and a teenage friend who was staying with the family, authorities said.

The shooting began after the suspect got into an argument with his 20-year-old grandson about the grandson’s teenage friend, police said.

The gunman shot his grandson in the leg and fatally wounded the 16-year-old friend, according to investigators. He then shot and killed his 18-year-old granddaughter after she confronted him about the attack.

Police surrounded the suspect in the home where the shootings occurred. An officer opened fire after the man raised his gun, Detective Bob Ragsdale said.

The identities of the gunman and the victims were not immediately released.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.

Missing drive may contain vets’ data

The Department of Veterans Affairs began notifying 1.8 million veterans and doctors Monday that their personal and business information could be on a portable hard drive that has been missing from an Alabama hospital for nearly three weeks.

The hard drive may have contained Social Security numbers and other personal information from about 535,000 individuals and billing information on 1.3 million doctors nationwide, the VA said. That’s more than 37 times more people than authorities initially believed were affected.

An employee at the VA medical center in Birmingham reported the external hard drive missing Jan. 22. The drive was used to back up information on the employee’s office computer. It may have contained data from research projects, the department said.

San Francisco

Church pays in shark poaching

The church founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon agreed to pay $500,000 to restore damaged habitat – and avoid prosecution – in the case of a pastor who poached baby sharks from San Francisco Bay, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Under the “non- prosecution agreement,” the Unification Church’s payment will go toward a $1.5 million fund to undo the environmental damage inflicted by the pastor’s bizarre scheme, the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco said.

The manner of the habitat damage was unclear Monday, and authorities could not provide details.

Kevin Thompson, 48, who has resigned as pastor of the Bay Area Family Church in San Leandro, pleaded guilty in January to enlisting church members in an 11-year operation to illegally catch and sell at least 465 undersized leopard sharks to pet stores in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


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