INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A manhunt was under way Saturday for a masked gunman who police say set fire to his backyard bungalow before shooting five members of a Southern California family, killing a father and his 4-year-old son.
Desmond John Moses, 55, went on the early morning shooting rampage over a dispute with the victims, Inglewood police Chief Mark Fronterotta told a news conference.
The 30-year-old father was shielding two of his children when he was shot, Fronterotta said, and his 28-year-old wife was shot in both legs but managed to carry the wounded 4-year-old out of the house.
Paramedics found her collapsed on the street. The child, who suffered a bullet wound to the head, died at a hospital.
Police said Moses lived behind the family on the same property and had known them for years. Fronterotta would not discuss the nature of the dispute, but the property owner told the Los Angeles Times that Moses had been fighting an eviction notice and recently lost his case in court.
Execution stayed for mentally ill man
MIAMI – A federal judge on Saturday granted a stay of execution for a convicted mass killer in Florida who is mentally ill and was scheduled to be put to death Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley granted the motion for a stay in the case of John Errol Ferguson, who was to be executed after 34 years on Florida’s death row.
The court will hear three hours of arguments on Ferguson’s habeas corpus petition on Friday, according to his attorneys.
They contend that the Florida Supreme Court, in determining that Ferguson could be executed, relied on an outdated definition of competency that conflicts with a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Ferguson’s attorneys maintain he is insane and that the Constitution prohibits the state from executing him.
The 64-year-old Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people including six who died execution-style in 1977 in Carol City. He also was convicted of killing a teenage couple from Hialeah in 1978.
Off-duty cops fatally shoot naked woman
TAMPA, Fla. – Two off-duty Florida law-enforcement officers fatally shot an armed, naked woman who confronted them at a social gathering Saturday, authorities said.
The shooting occurred about 1:15 p.m. Saturday in Hernando County, north of Tampa. The county sheriff’s office said in a news release that the men were approached by an “armed, naked and irrational female.” The news release does not identify the weapon, but it says “one or both of the law enforcement officers fired their weapons, striking the female.” She died at the scene.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting.
The Hernando County sheriff’s office does permit the carrying of service weapons when off-duty, Lt. Cinda Moore said.