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AN AMERICAN youth pastor has been arrested in the shooting deaths of his wife, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend in their home on Thanksgiving Day, police said.

Virginia man Christopher Gattis, 58, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

jeanett Gattis and her daughter Candice Kunzeg were killed. Picture: Facebook

Police arriving at the family’s home in the small town of Chester around 11:30pm and found the women’s bodies inside and the man’s body in the front yard, officials said.

Authorities identified the victims as Jeanett Gattis, 58; her daughter Candice “Candy” Kunze, 30; and Kunze’s boyfriend, Andrew Buthorn, 36. All of them lived together in the home, police said.

Neighbours said Kunze recently moved back home from Oregon, with Buthorn joining her. Neighbours also said the family runs a furniture store in nearby Petersburg, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported.

Andrew Buthorn was murdered by his girlfriend’s stepfather, police say. Picture: Facebook

Gattis was a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, where he was a ministries coordinator for middle school and high school students.

“Members of Grace Lutheran Church are deeply saddened by the loss of life last night as a result of three individuals being shot in Chester, and this tragedy included members of Grace Lutheran Church,” the church said in a statement.

Gattis was being held at Chesterfield County Jail without bond. He was scheduled to appear in General District Court on Monday and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.

Outside Truth or Consequences, N.M., David Parker Ray is believed to have tortured and killed over 50 women in his soundproof trailer.

On March 19, 1999, 22-year-old Cynthia Vigil was hooking in a parking lot in Albuquerque, N.M., when a man claiming to be an undercover cop told her she was under arrest for solicitation of sex work, and put her in the back of his car.

David Parker Ray, the “Toy Box Killer.”

“He told me I was under arrest and he put handcuffs on me,” Vigil said.

The man was David Parker Ray, and he brought Vigil to his nearby soundproof trailer, which he called his “Toy Box.”

He then chained her to a gynecologist-type table in the center of the trailer, and over the next three days, raped and tortured Vigil, with help from his girlfriend and accomplice Cindy Hendy.

The two of them used whips, medical instruments, electric shock, and sexual instruments to torture Vigil. Before her torture, Ray would play a cassette tape with a recording detailing exactly what she would be forced to endure.

Chair found in Ray’s trailer.

On the cassette, Ray explained that she was to refer to him only as “master” and the woman with him as “mistress” and never to speak unless spoken to first. He went on to explain exactly how he would rape and torture her.

“The way he talked, I didn’t feel like this was his first time,” Vigil said in a later interview. “It was like he knew what he was doing. He told me I was never going to see my family again. He told me he would kill me like the others.”

On the third day, while Ray was at work, Hendy accidentally left the keys to Vigil’s restraints on a table near where she was chained while she left the room.

Seizing the opportunity, Vigil lunged for the keys, and was able to free her hands. Hendy attempted to stop her, but Vigil stabbed her in the neck with an icepick when she approached.

She ran out of the trailer naked, wearing only a slave collar and padlocked chains.

In desperation, she knocked on the door of a nearby mobile home. The owner of the house brought Vigil in and called the police, who promptly arrested both Ray and Hendy.

Cynthia Virgil talking to reporters in 2011 about being tortured by David Parker Ray in 1999.

David Parker Ray, the infamous “Toy Box” serial killer, was born in Belen, New Mexico in 1939. Little is known about his childhood, outside of the fact that he was mainly raised by his grandfather, but regularly saw his father, who beat him.

As a kid, Ray was bullied by his peers for his shyness around girls. These insecurities drove Ray to drink and abuse drugs.

He served in the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge at the end of his enlistment. Ray was married and divorced four times in his life.

It is believed the Ray began his killing spree sometime during the mid-1950s, which only came to light with the escape of Vigil.

After arresting Ray, the police gained a warrant to search his home and trailer, and what they found shocked and disturbed them.

Ray’s “Toy Box” contained a gynecologist-type table in the middle, with a mirror mounted to the ceiling so his victims could see the horrors delivered upon them. Littering the floor where whips, chains, pulleys, straps, clamps, leg spreader bars, surgical blades, and saws, as well as numerous sex toys.

There was a wooden contraption used to bend over and immobilize Ray’s victims while he and his friends would rape them.

Items found in Ray’s trailer.

On the walls were detailed diagrams showing different methods and techniques for inflicting pain.

In the trailer, the police also discovered a videotape from 1996, showing a terrified woman being raped and tortured by Ray and his girlfriend.

With the publicity surrounding the arrest of Ray, considering the disturbing circumstances of his crime, another woman came forward with a similar story. Angelica Montano was an acquaintance of Ray’s who, after visiting his house to borrow cake mix, had been drugged, raped, and tortured by Ray, before being drugged and left by a highway out in the desert.

Ray would often use drugs that would induce amnesia and memory loss in his victims like sodium pentothal and phenobarbitol, so they could not properly remember what had happened to them.

There she was found by police, but there had been no follow-up on her case.

With this stronger case, with two victims testifying to the crimes, the police were able to press Hendy, who quickly folded and began telling what she knew of the murders. Her testimony led the police to discover that Ray been helped in the abductions and murders by his daughter, Glenda “Jesse” Ray, and friend, Dennis Roy Yancy.

Glenda “Jesse” Ray, daughter and accomplice of David Parker Ray

Yancy admitted to participating in the murder of Marie Parker, a woman who was abducted, drugged, and tortured for days by Ray and his daughter, before Yancy strangled her to death in 1997.

After releasing some details about the woman in the video, she was identified by her ex-mother-in-law as Kelli Garrett, a former friend of Ray’s daughter.

On July 24, 1996, Garrett, after getting in a fight with her then-husband, decided to spend the night playing pool at a local saloon with Jesse.

Jesse roofied Garrett’s beer, and she and her father placed a dog collar and leash on her and brought her to his trailer.

He then raped and tortured her for two days, keeping her on date-rape drugs the while. After these two days, Ray slit her throat and dumped her on the side of the road.

Miraculously, Garrett survived the encounter, but no one, neither her husband nor police believed her story. In fact, her husband, believing she had cheated on him that night, filed for divorce that year.

Due to the effects of the drugs, Garrett had limited recollection of the events over those two days, but remembered being raped by Ray.

Items found in Ray’s trailer.

These drugs, as well as the socioeconomic standing of many of the women involved, made it difficult for their testimony to be readily accepted by jurors.

Though he was able to beat two of the cases put against him, he was ultimately sentenced to 224 years in prison for numerous offenses involved in the abduction and sexual torture of these three women.

Jesse Ray received a sentence of nine years, and Cindy Hendy was given 36 years in prison.

David Parker Ray died of a heart attack on May 28th, 2002, three years into his sentence.

In their investigation of Ray’s trailer, police had found evidence of several more killings, including diaries written by Ray where he detailed the murder of at least 50 other women. Despite the evidence, the authorities were unable to create cases from them.

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Items found in Ray’s trailer.

Though Hendy and Yancy both identified areas they believed Ray disposed of these bodies, police found no human remains in any of these locations.

It is believed that a man who put this amount of effort into his horrifying “Toy Box,” and who killed numerous women over many years, would likely have had a greater number of victims. The many unidentified personal effects and jewelry found in his trailer also point to a greater number of victims.

However, that hasn’t prevented the FBI from continuing to investigate David Park Ray and his potential murders.

“We’re still getting good leads,” FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said in 2011. “As long as we’re getting those leads, and as long as the exposure in the press keeps generating interest in the case, we’re going to keep investigating this.”


Now that you’ve read about David Parker Ray, learn the horrifying story of Rodney Alcala, the serial killer who won ‘the dating game’ during his murder spree. Then read the bizarre but true story of Hungary’s “vampire” serial killer.

 

1…Post officeAugust 20, 1986
Postal worker Patrick Henry Sherrill arms himself with three pistols and kills 14 co-workers in 10 minutes , before taking his own life with a bullet to the head.

2…BlacksburgApril 16, 2007
Student Seung-Hui Cho, 23, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounding 17 others on campus. He then commits suicide.

3…McDonald’sJuly 18, 1984
Armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun James Huberty, 41, shoots dead 21 adults and children at a McDonald’s. A police sniper kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.

4…American Civic Association
immigration centerApril 3, 2009
Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at a migrant centre. He then kills himself.

5…Geneva County massacreMarch 10, 2009
Michael McLendon kills 10 in shooting rampage. The dead include his mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle.

6…Luby’s CafeteriaOctober 16, 1991
George Hennard, 35, crashes his pickup truck through Luby’s Cafeteria then guns down 23 people. He then commits suicide.

7…Wah Mee gambling and social clubFebruary 18, 1983
Three gunmen storm the Wah Mee gambling and social club, rob the 14 occupants then shoot each in the head, killing 13. Two of the assailants are caught and jailed for life. A third flees to Canada before being caught and deported to Hong Kong.

8…PennsylvaniaSeptember 25, 1982
Prison guard George Banks, 40, kills 13 people including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence ruling he is mentally incompetent.

9…University of TexasAugust 1, 1966
Charles Joseph Whitman, a former US Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.

10…Navy YardSeptember 16, 2013
Aaron Alexis, 34, shoots dead 12 people in the Washington Navy Yard. Alexis is killed.

11…Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolDecember 14, 2012
Adam Lanza 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six teachers and staffers, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound.
12…GeorgiaJuly 29, 1999
Mark Barton, 44, kills his wife and two children at his home. He then opens fire in two different stock broker businesses killing nine people and wounding 12. He later kills himself.
13…Century movie theaterJuly 20, 2012
James E. Holmes, 24, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear and aremd with several weapons, sets off two devices before spraying a movie theatre with gunfire during a midnight screening of Batman: Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people are killed and 58 wounded. Holmes is found guilty of 165 charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
14…Fort Hood army baseNovember 5, 2009
Major Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at the Fort Hood army base, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.
15…Route 91 country music festivalOctober 1, 2017
Stephen Paddock, 64, opens fire on revellers at a music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. He fires thousands of bullets into the panicked crowd, killing at least 59 and wounding another 527. Paddock killed himself when SWAT teams stormed his hotel room. A motive is unknown.
16…New JerseySeptember 5, 1949
Howard Unruh, 28, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden’s 32nd Street, using a German Luger pistol. He is found insane and is committed to a state mental institution. He dies at the age of 88.
17…Pulse NightclubJune 12, 2016
Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, opens fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. At least 49 people are killed and more than 50 are injured. Police shoot and kill Mateen during an operation to free hostages.
18…Inland Regional CenterDecember 2, 2015
Married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fire on an employees at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people. They are then gunned down by police after a road chase.
Henry Sapiecha

THE Texas church shooter had family connections to the church where he killed at least 26 on Sunday in what is now the worst mass shooting in the state’s history.

At an afternoon press conference, police revealed that shooter Devin Patrick Kelley was in a domestic dispute with his mother-in-law, Michelle Shields, who attended the church.

Officials said he sent “threatening texts” to his mother-in-law, but wouldn’t go into further detail about their “domestic situation”.

THE “deranged” gunman who killed 26 churchgoers in Texas was militant atheist who ranted on Facebook about “stupid” religious people.

Devin Kelley, 26, who opened fire on worshippers in First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs yesterday, was described as “creepy” and “weird” by former schoolmates.

The Shields family was not present during worship on Sunday when the massacre unfolded, but spoke to investigators after.

Earlier in the day, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackett told reporters that Kelley and his wife Danielle were estranged.

Danielle, Kelley’s wife. Picture: Facebook.

Marriage records show the couple tied the knot in Comal County, Texas on April 4, 2014, when Kelley was 23 and his bride was 19.

As of Monday, Danielle’s Facebook profile still listed her relationship status as “married” and photos on the account show her with two young kids — a baby girl and an older boy.

Neighbour Mark Moravitz told ABC News that Kelley lived at his parents’ home in New Braunfels with his wife. Mr Moravitz said that he would sometimes hear gunshots coming from near the house late at night, reports the Daily Mail.

Mourners participate in a candlelight vigil held for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Picture: AP.

Divorce records show he was also married once before to a Tessa K Kelley. Kelley and his other wife divorced in 2012 — the same year that he was court-martialed for domestic violence.

air force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Kelley was court-martialed on one count of assault on his spouse and another count of assault on their child.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ confinement, a reduction in rank and was discharged for bad conduct two years later.

Stefanek said Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman air force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, reports Mail Online.

SHOOTER COMMITTED SUICIDE AFTER MASSACRE

Kelley fatally shot himself after crashing his vehicle with two local residents in hot pursuit, the local sheriff said.

Mr Tackitt said gunfire was exchanged between Kelley, who was clad in black tactical gear, and two armed citizens during the chase after the shootings.

“There was some gunfire exchanged, I believe, on the roadway also, and then (the shooter’s vehicle) wrecked out,” Mr Tackitt said.

State troopers patrol at the entrance to the First Baptist Church (back) after a mass shooting that killed 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 6, 2017 Picture: AP.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott told CBS News that the attack on the church in Sutherland Springs, a community of fewer than 400 people east of San Antonio, did not appear to be a “random act”.

Mr Abbott also said Kelley tried to get a license to carry a gun in Texas, but the state denied him.

SHOOTER ‘PREACHED HIS ATHEISM’ ONLINE

Former classmates said Kelley was militant atheist who ranted on Facebook about “stupid” religious people.

Classmate Nina Rosa Nava write on Facebook that the mass murderer used to rant on the social network about his atheist beliefs.

She said: “He was always talking about how people who believe in God were stupid and trying to preach his atheism,” reports The Sun.

Fellow user Christopher Leo Longoria replied: “I removed him off FB for those same reasons! He was being super nagtive (sic) all the time (sic).”

Carrie Matula embraces a woman after a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Picture: AP.

TRUMP RESPONDS TO TEXAS TRAGEDY

Responding to the Texas tragedy while in Japan, the US President insisted guns are not the problem and attempted to hose down any legislative hopes.

Kelley was “deranged”, Mr Trump said.

Donald Trump said the shooter was deranged. Picture: Supplied.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, but this isn’t a gun situation,” he said.

Rather than an example of the need for gun control in the US, Mr Trump insisted it was a “mental health problem at the highest level” instead.

Among the dozens murdered and injured, ranging in age from five to 72, was Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor Frank Pomeroy.

“She was one beautiful, special child,” Pomeroy said.

PREGNANT MUM KILLED IN SHOOTING

Some of the victims from the church massacre are beginning to be identified, including a pregnant woman.

Smiling at the camera, with a butterfly painted on her face, pregnant Crystal Holcombe is pictured standing outside a Texas church alongside two little girls believed to be her daughters, reports the Mirror.

The haunting final image was taken on Halloween — just days before a gunman opened fire at the church.

Crystal Holcombe died in the massacre. Picture: Facebook.

Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant, died in the massacre, along with three of her five kids and her in-laws, Karla and Bryan Holcombe.

A devoted mum who “didn’t even drink or smoke”, took care of her children, raised goats and made homemade cheese, a relative said.

. Picture: Facebook.

Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant, died in the massacre, along with three of her five kids and her in-laws, Karla and Bryan Holcombe.

A devoted mum who “didn’t even drink or smoke”, took care of her children, raised goats and made homemade cheese, a relative said.

Crystal Holcombe poses outside the Texas church on Halloween just days before the massacre. Picture: Facebook.

They were attending the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs’s annual Fall Festival, alongside other excited families and churchgoers.

The free event featured food, drinks, a bouncy house, games, a maze and a hayride among other things, with attendees invited to “bring their kids”.

Annabelle, pictured with her father Pastor Frank Pomeroy. Picture: Facebook
Annabelle is being remembered as “a beautiful soul”. Picture: Supplied

HERO COWBOY GAVE CHASE

A pick up-driving, heavily tattooed cowboy is being hailed a hero for his role in bringing down the Texas church massacre gunman.

Johnnie Langendorff was driving past the church just moments after Kelley opened fire on parishioners inside during morning service.

As the gunman fled, another bystander — a local man believed to live next to the church — fired on him with his own rifle.

Mr Langendorff saw this exchange of gunfire and stopped to assist, he told TV news outlet KSAT 12.

“The shooter had taken off, fled in his vehicle,” the good Samaritan recalled.

“I just acted and got (the bystander) off the road. He explained very quickly what happened and he got in the truck. I knew it was time to go.”

Johnnie Langendorff, pictured with his girlfriend Summer Caddell, has been hailed a hero for chasing down the church shooter. Picture: Supplied

They chased Kelley for some time at high speed, reaching 150 kilometres per hour, before the killer crashed.

“He lost control. I put the vehicle in park, the other gentleman got out. He had his rifle drawn but (the shooter) didn’t move after that.”

Mr Langendorff said he didn’t know who the other hero was.

“I was strictly just acting on what’s the right thing to do,” he said.

The Texas church smass murderer Devin Patrick Kelley. Picture: Supplied

MASSACRE CAUGHT ON CAMERA

It’s not yet known what prompted Kelley, to carry out his killing spree at the small town church, armed with a Ruger assault rifle.

However authorities revealed a video camera was rolling inside and will now become a key part of the investigation.

Freeman Martin from the Texas Department of Public Safety said Kelley parked at a service station across the road from the church about 11.20am, crossed to the church and started firing outside the building.

He then walked into the church and continued spraying bullets.

The death toll included 23 parishioners inside the church, two outside the building and another who died after being taken to hospital.

RELATED: Shooting at First Baptist Church puts lax Texas gun laws under the spotlight

The scene outside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs

CHURCH WAS HARD TO FLEE

A teenager says the layout of the church would have made it difficult for congregants to flee a shooter who came in the front door.

Hunter Green, 16, described the building as having only small exits on the side and in the back. If a gunman came in the front door, Green said “they wouldn’t have had anywhere to go”.

He says he attends the church with his girlfriend but they skipped the morning service after a late date night.

A woman prays with a man after a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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Texas church shooting hero chases suspect down

A picture published by The Daily Beast, said to be from Kelley’s Facebook page, of a gun.

WITNESSES REVEAL HORROR: “THIS WAS RAPID FIRE”

Locals in the small town said the shock of the church service attack was “indescribable”.

“This was semiautomatic fire, this was rapid fire. It was very disturbing,” said local resident Carrie Matula, who lives near the church.

“This is a very small town. Everybody knows everybody, this is just devastating. It’s going to change the whole dynamic of this area.”

TEXAS MASSACRE: What we know so far

More than 100 locals were gathered in a community centre, some waiting to hear if they had lost loved ones.

She described the mood inside the centre as: “Just shock and dismay and mourning and lots of people praying together and praying for their neighbours and their loved ones.”

A man wipes his eyes after a deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Picture: AP

An eyewitness, who works at a petrol station across the road, told ABC News: “We heard several shots and we all started running inside the store.

“It lasted about 15 seconds. I yelled, ‘Get down! Get inside’ and we all went into hiding.”

She said the gas station locked its doors. “We have not reopened.

“There were officers that were checking the wounded in here were asking them questions.”

Enrique and Gabby Garcia watch investigators at the scene of a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Picture: AP

KSAT showed video of several fire and police vehicles at the church and a photo of a helicopter arriving to transport victims to hospitals.

The area is known for its annual peanut festival in nearby Floresville, which was most recently held last month.

“We’re shocked. Shocked and dismayed,” said state Senator Judith Zaffirini, a Democrat whose district includes Sutherland Springs.

“It’s especially shocking when it’s such a small, serine area.”

First responders work at the rear of the First Baptist Church. Picture: AP

First responders converged on the small town and helicopters have been taking victims to hospitals, with the FBI also on the scene.

A spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville said the hospital received eight patients with gunshot wounds.

Four had been transferred to San Antonio.

Texan Governor Greg Abbott tweeted his shock in the wake of the tragedy.

“Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response.”

At a later press conference, Governor Abbott said it was “the largest mass shooting in our state’s history”.

“There are so many families who have lost family members. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters,” he said.

Law enforcement officers man a barricade near the First Baptist Church. Picture: AP

His voice broke as he said: “The tragedy is so much worse that this took place in a place of worship.”

“There are 26 lives that have been lost,” he said.

“We don’t know if that number will rise or not. All we know is that’s too many and this will be a long suffering and mourning for those in pain.”

GUN CONTROL ANGER RESURFACES

In the immediate wake of the tragedy attention turned once again to America’s ongoing gun control debate.

Senator Chris Murphy, who represents Connecticut — the state of the Sandy Hook shooting — issued a powerful statement that has since gone viral.

In it, Senator Murphy said “none of this is inevitable” and that “no other country endures this pace of mass carnage”.

Shannon Watts, founder of the Mums Demand anti-gun movement, took to Twitter to point out that since the start of 2009, Texas has seen more mass shootings than any other state.

“In addition, (Texas Governor Greg Abbott) is a staunch advocate of the NRA, which endorsed him in return,” Ms Watts wrote.

A couple comfort each other at a community centre in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Picture: AP

Comedian and television host Chelsea Handler pointed blame directly at Republicans.

“Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honour their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans,” she wrote.

Author Stephen King echoed the sentiment. “How many more have to die before we enact sane gun control laws?”

Former President Barack Obama, who fought for stricter gun controls in the wake of several mass shootings during his time in office, took to Twitter in the wake of today’s tragedy.

While issuing his condolences to the families of victims, he also called for action.

“May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst,” he wrote.

Originally published as Texas gunman targeted wife’s church

Henry Sapiecha

AG Jeff Sessions on DARK WEB with Attorney Rod Rosenstein Cybercrime News Conference DARK NET Video info delivery to you here now..

 

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At least 58 people were killed and 500 injured when a heavily armed ‘lone wolf’ gunman opened fire from a 32-floor hotel room on an open-air concert on the Las Vegas Strip in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 01: People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A gunman has opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, leaving at least 20 people dead and more than 100 injured. Police have confirmed that one suspect has been shot. The investigation is ongoing. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

The IS group claimed the 64-year-old Nevada man behind the Sunday night massacre, Stephen Craig Paddock, was one of its “soldiers” but the FBI said it had found no such connection so far.

Police said Paddock, a retired accountant, killed himself before a SWAT team breached his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel overlooking the venue for the country music concert.

President Donald Trump denounced what he called “an act of pure evil” and said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday.

This undated photo provided by Eric Paddock shows him (left) with his brother, Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock (right) (AAP)

Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters at least eight rifles had been recovered from the gunman’s hotel room.

Paddock was believed to be a “lone wolf” assailant who acted alone, Lombardo said, declining to speculate as to what may have motivated the attack.

Who is the Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock?

The 64-year-old had a home in a tranquil golf course retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada, 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of the gambling hub and, according to a brother, showed no sign he was poised to commit mass murder.

The Islamic State Group said the worst mass shooting in recent US history was perpetrated by one of its “soldiers,” claiming that Paddock had converted to Islam in recent weeks and carried out the attack in its name.

But the FBI said they saw “no connection” between Paddock and international terror groups, and a stunned nation remained at a loss to understand the motive for the Sunday night massacre, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.

“I can’t get into the mind of a psychopath at this point,” he said.

Lombardo said Paddock had apparently used a hammer to smash the window of his hotel room before opening fire on the crowd below.

Police said around 22,000 people were attending the concert when bursts of automatic gunfire erupted shortly after 10:00 pm (0500 GMT).

Concert-goers screamed and fled in panic as a steady stream of bullets rained down from the hotel.

58 dead, 515 injured

Lombardo said 58 people had been confirmed dead and 515 injured and he said the toll could rise. The authorities issued an appeal for blood donors.

IS said one of its “soldiers” who had “converted to Islam several months ago” was behind the shooting but provided no evidence to back up the claim.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it has found no such link so far.

“As this event unfolds we have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” said Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the Las Vegas office of the FBI.

Paddock, who photographs showed as greying with a trimmed beard and moustache, was a former accountant and a licensed private pilot with no criminal record, according to ABC News.

Eric Paddock, the gunman’s brother, said he was at a complete loss to understand what may have motivated the shooting.

“This is an asteroid falling out of the sky,” Eric Paddock told CBS News.

He said his brother had “no religious affiliation, no political affiliation.”

“He was my brother. He was a guy. He gambled,” Eric Paddock said.

He said his brother had no history of mental illness and was “not an avid gun guy at all.”

Paddock resided in a new golf course development in the desert just outside Mesquite, Nevada, 80 miles northeast (130 kilometers) of Las Vegas.

‘Pretty much like a war scene’

Witnesses said Paddock opened fire with an initial long burst of gunfire, and then appeared to reload as he continued his spree.

“We heard (what) sounded like a glass breaking, so you looked around to see what’s going on and then heard a pop, pop, pop,” Monique Dekerf told CNN.

“You’d think for a moment okay we’re fine, there’s no more gunfire, then it starts again.”

Country music star Jason Aldean was on stage and near the end of his concert when the shooting began.

Aldean initially carried on playing when the first crackle of gunfire could be heard but then hurried off the stage.

Robert Hayes, a firefighter from Los Angeles who was in front of the stage, said he first thought the shots were some kind of equipment malfunction.

Once he realised what was going on, he joined the first responders, donning one of their vests.

“Honestly I probably pronounced 15-20 people” dead, he told Fox News. “It was pretty much like a war scene inside.”

Emergency crews used anything to hand as makeshift stretchers, including tables and metal railings normally used to control the crowds, said Hayes.

Asked if he thought it was an inexperienced gunman, he responded: “With 30,000 people in the arena area, it was kind of like shooting goldfish … He didn’t have to be good.”

Broken windows are seen on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino after a lone gunman opened fired (Getty)

‘Beyond horrific’

The Las Vegas attack is the deadliest shooting in recent US history, exceeding the toll of 49 dead in an attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

It was also the latest in a series of recent deadly attacks at concert venues.

Twenty-two people were killed while leaving an Ariana Grande concert in the northern English city of Manchester in May when a suicide bomber detonated a nail bomb in the foyer.

Ninety people were killed in November 2015 at the Bataclan venue in Paris during a concert by US band the Eagles of Death Metal.

A shocked Aldean told his fans via Instagram that he and his band was safe.

“Tonight has been beyond horrific,” the singer wrote.

“It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”

Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” by the “senseless tragedy” while Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May called it an “appalling attack.”

Henry Sapiecha

THE father of Justine Damond, the Australian woman killed by a police officer in Minnesota, has called for justice for his daughter.

“We only ask that the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death,” an emotional John Ruszczyk said outside his family home in Freshwater on Sydney’s northern beaches this afternoon.

The bookshop owner and his family paid tribute to the former vet, with his family supporting him as he faced the media.

“We thought yesterday was our worst nightmare. But we awoke to the ugly truth, and it hurt even more.

“We went down to Freshy beach this morning, and saw the darkness change to light.” he said.

Ruszczyk paid tribute to his daughter, saying she touched many lives.

“Justine our daughter was so special to us, and to so many others,” he said. “Justine was a beacon to all of us,” he added.

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Maryan Herffernan and John Ruszczyk (front), father of Justine Damond, with brother Jason Ruszczyk and Katarina Ruszczyk. Picture: Dylan Robinson

According to the Star Tribune, officer Mohamed Noor violated his department’s rules on the use of bodycams.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Policy and Procedure manual says that any use of force requires the camera’s activation. If things change quickly and the officer is too busy, he or she should activate the camera “as soon as it is safe to do so”.

The cameras record a 30-second video buffer, a so-called “lookback” that allows officers to capture whatever happened in the half-minute before it’s activated.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the actions of Noor, who shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, on Saturday night.

The BCA said in a statement that it will be the Police Department’s job to determine whether the officers officially violated the department’s body camera policy.

Ms Damond’s distraught fiance made an emotional appeal, saying his family is “utterly devastated”.

Don Damond, 50, said the family were “desperate for information” about her shooting — in which he also referred to as a “homicide.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner, after conducting an autopsy on Ms Damond, has issued a statement saying the fatal police shooting was a homicide. She died from a gunshot wound to her abdomen.

Police say officers were responding to a call about a possible assault late on Saturday when Ms Damond was killed. Authorities have released no details about what led to the shooting.

But a history of complaints made against the police officer who shot Ms Damond, including one incident which he is being sued for, has also emerged.

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In 1887, New York State appointed three men to evaluate many possible ways to execute a man—which they did in disturbing detail.

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Government reports rarely make for stimulating reading. That’s because most government reports aren’t about throwing people off a cliff or clubbing them to death.

In 1887, the state of New York published what became popularly known as the Gerry Commission Report. This is one piece of bureaucratic prose that is neither dull nor boring. In fact, it may be among the most macabre and gruesome in the annals of American writing.

And it was important. The ramifications of this execution encyclopedia—officially titled “The Commission to Investigate and Report the Most Humane and Practical Method of Carrying into Effect the Sentence of Death in Capital Cases”—echo still in the courts and prisons of America.

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People implicated in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln await execution by hanging, 1865.

34 Ways to Die

Three men wrote the Gerry report. There was Elbridge Gerry of New York, grandson of another Elbridge Gerry who signed the Declaration of Independence and became the fifth vice president of the United States. There was Matthew Hale, grandson of Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War patriot who famously regretted he had but one life to give for his country. And there was Alfred Southwick, a Buffalo dentist who was the grandson of nobody particularly famous. In 1887, the New York State Legislature appointed this trio to a committee charged with examining all the ways New York State could put condemned felons to death and recommending the best way to do so.

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From colonial times, hanging had been the official form of lawful execution in New York State, but by the 1880s, there was a growing sentiment among New Yorkers that it was barbaric practice. Indeed, there were far too many newspaper stories of hangings gone bad: broken ropes requiring hurried do-overs, incorrectly measured drops resulting in decapitation, and men slowly strangling to death instead of instantly breaking their necks. Such goings-on might be acceptable on the western frontier, but New York prided itself on being the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated state in the Union. There must be a more forward-thinking way to execute a person, it presumed.

Marching orders in hand, the three men catalogued every conceivable method in which the state could dispatch a person from this mortal realm. Then they comprehensively examined the merits of each. The resulting Gerry Commission report is full of lively writing and lurid anecdotes.

In all, the commission evaluated 34 different methods of execution, listing them in alphabetical order. Some methods were described in a single paragraph, while others—which presumably the authors found more interesting—took several pages to illustrate. They are:

  1. Auto da fe (burning to death for heresy)
  2. Beating with clubs
  3. Beheading
  4. Blowing from a cannon
  5. Boiling (“Usually in hot water but sometimes in melted sulfur, lead or the like.”)
  6. Breaking on the wheel
  7. Burning
  8. Burying alive
  9. Crucifixion
  10. Decimation (a military punishment for mutineers)
  11. Dichotomy (cutting a person in half)
  12. Dismemberment (like dichotomy but even messier)
  13. Drowning
  14. Exposure to wild beasts
  15. Flaying
  16. Flogging
  17. Garrote (strangling with a cord)
  18. Guillotine
  19. Hanging
  20. Hari Kari
  21. Impalement
  22. Iron Maiden (A machine in the image of the Virgin Mary equipped with spring loaded knives)
  23. Peine forte et dure (placing heavy weights to stop breathing)
  24. Poisoning
  25. Pounding in a mortar (like it sounds)
  26. Precipitation (throwing from a cliff)
  27. Pressing to death
  28. Rack
  29. Running the gauntlet (being made to walk between two lines of men, each of whom has a club.)
  30. Shooting
  31. Stabbing
  32. Stoning
  33. Strangling
  34. Suffocation

The commission did not pull punches in their descriptions of capital punishment. In their analysis of beheading, they provide numerous examples from England, France, China, and Japan.

“(In Japan) the prisoner’s arms were pinioned behind his back. He raised a weak quavering voice to its highest pitch and screamed out, ‘My friends!’ Immediately an unearthly chorus of wails answered the poor wretch from his friends outside the walls. This was followed by ‘Syonara!’ All was ready; the word was given. Without raising his weapon more than a foot above the neck of the condemned, the executioner brought down his heavy blade with an audible thud.”

It gets more morbid. Under the heading of burning they relate:

“An extraordinary method of this punishment was known as ‘the illuminated body’ and invented by Sefi II, Shah of Persia. The victim was stretched on a slab and fastened to it. Innumerable little holes were bored all over his body. These were filled with oil, and all lighted together. The poor victim perished in the most unspeakable agony.”

Some methods are so bizarre that they seem almost risible, at least at a far remove of time and distance. The commission studied the method of execution they called “blowing from a cannon” based on its contemporary use in the East Indian army, whose soldiers were called “Sepoys.” Apparently, there were two ways for doing this. The report states that “the insurgent Sepoy, lashed to the cannon’s mouth, within two second of pulling the trigger, was blown in 10,000 atoms.” Alternatively, the “living body of the offender is thrust into the cannon, forming, as one might say, part of the charge.”

One of the oddest punishments explored was number 25, pounding in a mortar. In Proverbs 27:22, the Bible reads, “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.” This biblical passage evidently prompted a religious Gerry Commission member to consider “pounding in mortar” as a possible method of serving the death sentence. Presumably, this procedure would involve the condemned being placed in a large mortar or similar vessel and then pounded with an enormous pestle. This is much like what happens when one prepares a mint julep, except a condemned prisoner is substituted for the mint leaves.

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Henry Sapiecha

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Chicago: Six people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings in Chicago over the weekend as the number of murders this year climbed to nearly 200 above the same period last year.

Six people were shot in just one hour between 4am and 5am on Sunday – an average of one person shot every 10 minutes, according to according to data compiled by the Chicago Tribune.

Is Chicago the Murder capital of the USA.?

Chicago: 37 people shot in one weekend

Last weekend in Chicago, 6 people were killed and 31 others were wounded in shootings, as gun violence continues to soar in the US city.

The hour ended with the city’s most recent homicide. At 5am on Sunday, 29-year-old Jason Balboa was found with several gunshot wounds near 28th Street and Pulaski Road in Little Village. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead a few hours later.

The last shooting on the weekend was reported around 7.45pm on Sunday when a 16-year-old boy was wounded in the Gresham neighbourhood.

Extended overnight periods without gun violence have been relatively rare since last winter, say police.

It’s ‘normal’ weekends like this one – combined with mass shootings like at those in Florida and Dallas – that prompted the American Medical Association earlier this year to call gun violence a “public health crisis”

The AMA, which lobbies on behalf of doctors, urged that Congress fund research into the problem.

Its president, Dr Steven Stack, called gun violence crisis “unrivalled in any other developed country.”

Some of the many guns confiscated by Chicago police image www.crimefiles.net

Some of the many guns confiscated by Chicago police. Photo: AP

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theatres, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” he said.

In some parts of Chicago, gun violence is the norm. So far this year, there have been at least 614 murders in the city, with at least 3,560 people wounded as a result of gun shots.

Autumn Dawson lost her brother, Deionte Harris, to gun violence on the South Side of Chicago image www.crimefiles.net

Autumn Dawson lost her brother, Deionte Harris, to gun violence on the South Side of Chicago last year. Photo: AP

This time last year, there were 416 homicides and at least 2,495 people shot.

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Published on Jul 14, 2016

★ Dozens dead as vehicle crashed into crowd in Nice, France
AT LEAST 60 people have been killed in France after a truck packed with arms and grenades ploughed into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in the southern city of Nice.
The city’s mayor said dozens had been killed in the apparent attack while local media is reporting 73 unconfirmed fatalities and more than 100 people injured.
A spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry said “it’s going to be a very high toll”.
The incident interrupted a fireworks display for the national celebration when the huge truck rammed into the crowd celebrating on the French Riviera.
Mown down bodies remain strewn on the streets and the scene has been described as “apocalyptic” and “carnage on the road”.
Christian Estrosi, president of the region, says the truck in Nice was loaded with weapons including grenades.
A man who witnessed the attack told CNN he saw the driver accelerate and aim for people as the vehicle slammed the crowd.
The driver then emerged from the truck and opened fire on the crowd, another eyewitness said. French media is now reporting the gunman got back in the driver’s seat and travelled to another populated area before starting to shoot again.
Police reportedly opened fire on the truck, which local media said crushed revellers and sent people running for their lives. The truck’s driver was shot dead.
Witnesses have reported people being hit by debris flying around the scene, and videos have emerged on social media showing people fleeing in panic.
Images of streets strewn with bodies are flooding social media as authorities warn locals and tourists to stay indoors.
“The driver of a van appears to have killed dozens. Stay in your homes for now. More info to follow,” mayor Christian Estrosi wrote on Twitter.
Local authorities from the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture also urged people to remain indoors following what appeared to be a deliberate attack on crowds who had been watching the annual fireworks display from the famed Promenade des Anglais.
Witnesses also described hearing gunfire, but this was not immediately confirmed by the authorities.
There is speculation the fatal attack was an act of terrorism. Authorities are yet to comment on the situation and emergency crews remain on the scene.
Panic has broken out in Paris where a fire has broken out by the Eiffel Tower following the Nice attack.
The fire is not believed to be terror-related and is not being treated as an attack.

RTJYT

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