National Digest: Two carjackers on the run after crash killed three kids in Philadelphia

July 26
Pennsylvania
3 young carjacking victims identified

Two carjackers who rammed a stolen SUV into a family selling fruit for their church, killing three children, were still on the run Saturday as the reward for their capture reached $110,000.

The children’s mother, Keisha Williams, 34, was in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. Her slain children were identified as Keiearra Williams, 15, Thomas Reed, 10, and Terrence Moore, 7.

The men fled on foot after crashing the stolen car Friday morning at a North Philadelphia intersection. They had first carjacked a real estate agent at gunpoint and forced her into the back seat of her SUV, authorities said.

The 45-year-old agent was hospitalized afterward, as was a 65-year-old woman helping the family with the fruit stand. Their names weren’t released, and their conditions weren’t immediately available Saturday.

Sakina Brown, granddaughter of the older victim, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her grandmother had seen the vehicle coming and tried to get out of the away. She suffered a broken ankle and bruised sternum when she was struck. The group held the fundraiser every week to raise money to turn the corner lot into a playground, Brown said.

Police asked nearby businesses for surveillance videos and were getting tips from the public.

— Associated Press

Illinois
Fast-food workers vow civil action

Fast-food workers from across the nation voted Saturday to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation by including civil disobedience.

More than 1,300 workers gathered Saturday in Villa Park, Ill. Some say they’re prepared to call sit-down strikes and organize more workers in their fight to win $15-an-hour wages and a union. Their actions so far have included one-day strikes and a protest outside this year’s McDonald’s Corp. shareholder meeting.

Industry officials say a $15 wage would hurt job creation and that the solution is more education and job training.

The workers’ effort is supported by the Service Employees International Union.

— Associated Press

Pennsylvania
2 guns found in home of shooting suspect

Authorities found two more guns at the home of a man suspected of fatally shooting his caseworker in suburban Philadelphia before his psychiatrist pulled out a gun and fired back.

The weapons and a computer were seized from Richard Plotts’s home in Clifton Heights, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Saturday.

Authorities plan to arraign Plotts, 49, on a murder charge after he awakens at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he had surgery Thursday.

Plott was at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for an appointment earlier Thursday when he began ranting about its gun ban and then drew a gun from his waistband and shot his caseworker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, psychiatrist Lee Silverman told police. Silverman crouched behind a chair, pulled out his own weapon and fired back, striking Plotts several times, authorities said.

— Associated Press

Plane strikes truck in Nevada: A small airplane struck a pickup truck during an emergency landing on a Nevada highway Saturday morning, authorities said. At least two people were aboard the plane and two people were in the truck when the collision occurred about 9 a.m. on a two-lane section of Nevada Route 445 about 20 miles north of Reno, Nevada Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin Honea said. All four suffered minor injuries, Honea said. The plane, an experimental Thunder Mustang, was forced to land on the highway after losing power, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said. The crash is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.

— Associated Press

Man fatally runs over friend: An inebriated man ran over and killed a friend who had climbed out of his car on Long Island and started walking home because she was worried he was drunk, police said Saturday. The incident happened around 4 a.m. Saturday in Setauket, N.Y. Suffolk County police said Lawrence Pagano, 23, called 911 after his car struck Krystal Berkowitz, 21, of Stony Brook, N.Y. Police said Berkowitz had gotten out of Pagano’s car and had begun walking home and that Pagano tried to pull over to talk to Berkowitz but instead hit her with his vehicle. Berkowitz was pronounced dead at the scene. Pagano, of Coram, N.Y., was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

— Associated Press

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