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In brief: Teen killed in mall gunfight

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Gunfire broke out inside a crowded Oklahoma shopping mall Saturday, leaving a teenager dead and several injured in what witnesses described as a gunfight, police said.

Five people were taken to a hospital as authorities cordoned off the Arrowhead Mall in downtown Muskogee, police spokesman Pedro Zardeneta said.

It was unclear whether the person killed, 17-year-old Jarrod Reed, of Muskogee, was among several people involved in the shooting or a bystander, he said. Details about the other victims haven’t been released, hospital spokesman Chad Wetz said.

Three people were being sought for questioning late Saturday, police said.

Gas suspected in mine blast

COMFORT, W.Va. – Officials still have not said what caused the blast at the Upper Big Branch mine, killing 29 people. They believe high levels of methane gas may have played a role. Virginia-based Massey Energy has been repeatedly cited and fined for problems with the system that vents methane and for allowing combustible dust to build up.

President Barack Obama said Saturday that steps must be taken to make sure such an explosion does not happen again.

“We cannot bring back the men we lost,” he said in a statement. “What we can do, in their memory, is thoroughly investigate this tragedy and demand accountability.”

Qatari diplomat has left U.S.

WASHINGTON – A diplomat from Qatar who caused a security scare on board a Denver-bound airliner has left the United States.

A State Department official says Mohammed Al-Madadi departed on a flight out of the country late Friday.

Al-Madadi slipped into the bathroom of the plane flight he was on for a smoke.

Elephant kick was accident

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – A coroner says a circus elephant that kicked a handler and killed him before a performance in northeastern Pennsylvania did so accidentally.

Luzerne County coroner John Corcoran said 48-year-old Andrew Anderton died from multiple traumatic injuries after he was kicked Friday afternoon at the Irem Shrine Circus in Wilkes-Barre.

The elephant didn’t participate in Friday night’s performance, which went on after a moment of silence for the handler.


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