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In brief: Man in custody battle shoots 6, then kills self

Lockport, La. – A nurse embroiled in a custody fight with his ex-wife killed his current wife before shooting his former in-laws and his onetime boss in a rampage that spanned two parishes in Louisiana, leaving three people dead and three wounded. He then fatally shot himself in the head, authorities said.

All three survivors remained hospitalized Friday, two in critical condition.

Preliminary evidence shows that Ben Freeman, 38, first killed his wife, Denise Taylor Freeman, before he went on a rampage and shot the others Thursday. Taylor Freeman’s body was found in a bathtub, and an autopsy conducted Friday showed that she suffocated and drowned.

Ben Freeman then attacked his former in-laws with a shotgun in Lafourche Parish about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans, wounding parish Councilman Louis Phillip Gouaux and Gouaux’s daughter Andrea. Both were in critical condition after surgery early Friday in New Orleans. Gouaux’s wife, Susan, was dead when deputies arrived.

About 20 minutes after the first shootings, Freeman arrived at the home of Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital CEO Milton Bourgeois in nearby Raceland, about 8 miles from Lockport. Bourgeois was shot and killed at close range; his wife, Ann, was shot in the leg.

Governor’s gift prompts gun debate

Columbia, S.C. – Chances are what you got for Christmas probably didn’t cause as much of a stir as what South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley got.

Haley posted a picture Thursday of the 9 mm Beretta handgun she received from her husband on her Facebook account, which generated a lot of post-holiday buzz.

The Facebook post received nearly 15,000 likes and 1,700 comments in less than 10 hours. Social media burst with mini-debates about guns, though a majority of the comments approved Haley’s gift.

Cabbie gets reward for returning $300,000

Las Vegas – A poker player who left $300,000 in the back seat of a Las Vegas taxi made good on his promise this week, handing over a $10,000 reward to the honest cabbie who returned the stash.

Yellow Checker Star Cab Company CEO Bill Shranko confirmed Friday that Gerardo Gamboa had been paid by the poker player. The cab company also honored the driver’s good deed by naming him employee of the year, awarding him $1,000 and giving him a gift certificate to a Las Vegas steakhouse.


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