Digest: Suspect in 3 shootings frees child, kills himself; 11 whales found dead in Florida

December 8, 2013
Connecticut
Suspect in shootings frees child, kills self

A man suspected of killing three women in an apartment complex shot himself to death in front of police officers after letting a 13-month-old child go free, authorities said Sunday.

Police in the Hartford suburb of Manchester responded to the Dye House Apartments about 9:40 p.m. Saturday, minutes after receiving 911 calls reporting gunshots.

An armed man was leaving the apartment building carrying the child as officers arrived at the scene, according to a statement by Manchester police Capt. Christopher Davis. During a brief confrontation with officers, the man put down the child and fatally shot himself, Davis said. The child appeared to be unharmed but was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

An officer also fired one shot at the man but apparently missed, Davis said.

Police then searched the apartment building and found three women dead of apparent gunshot wounds in one of the units, police said.

“It should be noted that the officers’ quick response to the scene prevented the suspect from being able to flee with the child and likely saved the child’s life,” Davis said.

Police on Sunday had not released the names of the man, the women or the officer.

— Associated Press

Florida
11 whales found dead near the Everglades

National wildlife officials say 11 whales believed to be part of a pod that was stranded in the Everglades are dead.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official Blair Mase said wildlife workers spotted the dead whales Sunday afternoon on Snipe Point, about six miles north of Sugarloaf Key.

That brings the overall death toll to 22.

The pod of 51 short-finned pilot whales was first spotted by a fishing guide Tuesday in the shallow waters off a remote section of the Everglades. The species is one of the most commonly involved in mass strandings.

Mase says that veterinary teams will try to determine whether disease was a factor in the deaths.

— Associated Press

Montana
Murder trial to start for newlywed bride

The bride was having second thoughts eight days after the wedding, sparking an argument between the newlywed couple that carried from their home in Kalispell, Mont., to a popular trail in Glacier National Park.

Only Jordan Graham left the park alive the night of July 7.

Now it will be up to a jury to decide what happened and whether the 22-year-old woman should be convicted of murder in the death of Cody Johnson.

Graham’s trial will begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Missoula with jury selection and is expected to last one to two weeks with dozens of expert witnesses — although no eyewitnesses — slated to testify.

Federal prosecutors will attempt to convince jurors that Graham deliberately pushed Johnson to his death, then made up a story about how he was last seen driving off with friends.

Graham has pleaded not guilty to murder and making a false statement.

— Associated Press

Man who cut arm in canyon faces charges Aron Ralston, whose harrowing tale of amputating his forearm after he became trapped in a Utah canyon became a best-selling book and later a Hollywood film, was jailed in Denver on suspicion of domestic violence, court records released Sunday show. Ralston, 38, was arrested Saturday night and was being held in the Denver County jail. He faces one count of assault and one count of “wrongs to minors,” according to jail records. Ralston made headlines in 2003 when he amputated his right forearm with a pocketknife to free himself after a boulder dislodged and trapped him inside a Utah canyon. He wrote a best-seller about his ordeal titled, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” In 2010, the story was made into a movie, “127 Hours.” Ralston is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

A more than 160-year-old Long Island church was gutted by a fire hours before Sunday’s service, but congregants still gathered and gave thanks that no one was hurt. The fire, which was reported around 2 a.m., sent smoke pouring from the windows and snaking past the steeple of the Yaphank Presbyterian Church as flames consumed the sanctuary. It appears a heating system problem sparked the conflagration in the wooden floor of the church building, which dates to 1851, the Rev. Gloria Johnson said.

— Reuters

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