Marine combat veteran kills 12 in rampage at California bar THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Terrified patrons hurled barstools through windows to escape or threw their bodies protectively on top of friends as a Marine…
Marine combat veteran kills 12 in rampage at California bar
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Terrified patrons hurled barstools through windows to escape or threw their bodies protectively on top of friends as a Marine combat veteran killed 12 people at a country music bar in an attack that added Thousand Oaks to the tragic roster of American cities traumatized by mass shootings.
Dressed all in black with his hood pulled up, the gunman apparently took his own life as scores of police converged on the Borderline Bar and Grill in Southern California.
The motive for the rampage late Wednesday night was under investigation.
The killer , Ian David Long, 28, was a former machine gunner and Afghanistan war veteran who was interviewed by police at his home last spring after an episode of agitated behavior that authorities were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.
Opening fire with a handgun with an illegal, extra-capacity magazine, Long shot a security guard outside the bar and then went in and took aim at employees and customers, authorities said. He also used a smoke bomb, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
California bar gunman went from a Marine to living with mom
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Ian David Long began his adult life by enlisting in the Marines and getting married. Years after a divorce and a discharge and months after shouting brought a mental health expert to his door, Long killed 12 people at a country music bar outside Los Angeles.
Long, 28, was a former military machine gunner who apparently killed himself after the Wednesday night attack in Thousand Oaks, the quiet suburb where he lived with his mother.
Neighbors said Thursday they would hear loud, aggressive fights between the two. Authorities said they visited that ranch-style house only once, in April, after a neighbor reported yelling and crashing sounds.
Deputies found Long “was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally” and called in a mental health specialist, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. That specialist assessed Long but concluded he couldn’t be involuntarily committed for psychiatric observation.
“The mental health experts out there cleared him that day,” Dean told reporters Thursday, though they were concerned he might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of his military service.
A year apart, some country music fans face 2 mass shootings
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Borderline Bar and Grill in California had become a safe haven for dozens of survivors of last year’s massacre at a Las Vegas country music festival, a place where they gathered for line dancing and drinks.
They found themselves in a terrifyingly familiar scene Wednesday night, when bullets began flying once again. This time, gunfire claimed a Navy veteran who had lived through the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history a year ago.
“I already didn’t wish it on anybody to begin with for the first time,” Brendan Kelly said Thursday outside his Thousand Oaks home. “The second time around doesn’t get any easier.”
Kelly, a 22-year-old Marine, said he heard “pop, pop” and instantly knew it was gunfire.
“The chills go up your spine. You don’t think it’s real — again,” he said.
Indictments? Final report? White House braces for Mueller
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is bracing for the probe of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to fire up again. Trump’s advisers are privately expressing worries that the special counsel, who’s been out of the news for the past month, has been stealthily compiling information and could soon issue new indictments or a damning final report.
Trump abruptly altered the chain of command above Mueller on Wednesday, putting his work under the supervision of a Republican loyalist who has been openly skeptical of the special counsel’s authority and has mused about ways to curtail his power. But Trump and his aides are concerned about Mueller’s next move with the work that is complete, according to a White House official and a Republican with close ties to the administration.
They insisted on anonymity to comment on conversations they were not authorized to describe.
Mueller kept a low profile for the past month as voters were mulling their choices for this week’s elections.
But a flurry of activity during his quiet period, including weeks of grand jury testimony about Trump confidant Roger Stone and negotiations over an interview with the president, hinted at public developments ahead as investigators move closer to addressing key questions underpinning the special counsel inquiry: Did Trump illegally obstruct the investigation? And did his campaign have advance knowledge of illegally hacked Democratic emails?
Wildfire destroys most of California town of Paradise
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — Tens of thousands of people fled a fast-moving wildfire Thursday in Northern California, some clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the flames that forced the evacuation of an entire town and destroyed hundreds of structures.
“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late Thursday. “The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.”
McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, was ordered to get out. The extent of the injuries and specific damage count was not immediately known as officials could not access the dangerous area.
Butte County CalFire Chief Darren Read said at a news conference that two firefighters and multiple residents were injured.
As she fled, Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene in which flames engulfed homes, sparked explosions and toppled utility poles.
Expert: Acosta video distributed by White House was doctored
NEW YORK (AP) — A video distributed by the Trump administration to support its argument for banning CNN reporter Jim Acosta from the White House appears to have been doctored to make Acosta look more aggressive than he was during an exchange with a White House intern, an independent expert said Thursday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted the video, which shows Acosta asking President Donald Trump a question on Wednesday as the intern tries to take his microphone away. But a frame-by-frame comparison with an Associated Press video of the same incident shows that the one tweeted by Sanders appears to have been altered to speed up Acosta’s arm movement as he touches the intern’s arm, according to Abba Shapiro, an independent video producer who examined the footage at AP’s request.
Earlier, Shapiro noticed that frames in the tweeted video were frozen to slow down the action, allowing it to run the same length as the AP one.
The alteration is “too precise to be an accident,” said Shapiro, who trains instructors to use video editing software.
The tweeted video also does not have any audio, which Shapiro said would make it easier to alter. It’s also unlikely the differences could be explained by technical glitches or by video compression — a reduction in a video’s size to enable it to play more smoothly on some sites — because the slowing of the video and the acceleration that followed are “too precise to be an accident.
Protesters nationwide seek to protect Russia investigation
NEW YORK (AP) — Protesters nationwide have called for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday in New York’s Times Square and chanted slogans including “Hands off Mueller” and “Nobody’s above the law” before marching downtown.
In Chicago, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin joined several hundred protesters at Federal Plaza.
Crowds also turned out at the White House and in Greensboro, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Las Vegas and many other places.
Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a “deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation.”
AP NewsBreak: Michelle Obama rips Trump in new book
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former first lady Michelle Obama blasts President Donald Trump in her new book, writing how she reacted in shock the night she learned he would replace her husband in the Oval Office and tried to “block it all out.”
She also denounces Trump’s “birther” campaign questioning her husband’s citizenship, calling it bigoted and dangerous, “deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks.”
In her memoir “Becoming,” set to come out Tuesday, Obama writes openly about everything from growing up in Chicago to confronting racism in public life to her amazement at becoming the country’s first black first lady. She also reflects on early struggles in her marriage to Barack Obama as he began his political career and was often away. She writes that they met with a counselor “a handful of times,” and she came to realize that she was more “in charge” of her happiness than she had realized. “This was my pivot point,” Obama explains. “My moment of self-arrest.”
Obama writes that she assumed Trump was “grandstanding” when he announced his presidential run in 2015. She expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a “misogynist” over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate.” She remembers how her body “buzzed with fury” after seeing the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women.
She also accuses Trump of using body language to “stalk” Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Trump following Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and “trying to diminish her presence.”
Florida faces prospect of recounts in governor, Senate races
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida faced the prospect of recounts in the razor-thin races for governor and U.S. Senate, potentially prolonging the battle over two of this year’s most-closely watched campaigns.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Gillum’s campaign said Thursday it’s prepared for a possible recount. He conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night, though the margin of the race has since tightened. As of Thursday afternoon, DeSantis led Gillum by 0.47 percentage point.
Meanwhile, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson has already begun preparing for a potential recount in a race still too close to call against Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Nelson’s lawyer called that race a “jump ball” — though Scott’s campaign urged Nelson to concede. Scott held a 0.21 percentage lead over Nelson on Thursday afternoon.
The tight races underscored Florida’s status as a perennial swing state where elections are often decided by the thinnest of margins. Since 2000, when Florida decided the presidency by 537 votes in a contest that took more than five weeks to sort out, the state has seen many close elections, but never so many dead heats in one year.
And like 2000, the counting process is becoming contentious.
Acting AG Whitaker has thoughts on Mueller’s Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Matthew Whitaker has warned that Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation risks “going too far” and supported limits on the prosecutor’s power. President Donald Trump couldn’t agree more.
So the loyalty-loving Trump on Wednesday dumped Jeff Sessions from the helm of the Justice Department and replaced him, for now, with the onetime college football player and federal prosecutor. Unlike Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation to Trump’s everlasting fury, Whitaker will oversee it.
Trump and the country already know much about Whitaker’s perspective on the probe.
A look at the investigation and what Whitaker has said about it: