Tuesday, March 15, 2011; A03

Man who targeted deputies is killed

A sniper-like gunman hiding behind a tree on a hillside in southwest Virginia killed two sheriff's deputies from long range with a high-powered rifle, and wounded two other officers during a shootout.

After a manhunt, Buchanan County authorities caught up with the gunman, and police said he was shot to death when he pulled a pistol on officers.

Authorities were still trying to figure out Monday why a call about a suspected robbery at a salvage yard in rural southwest Virginia led to a shootout with deputies a day earlier. The gunman's motive wasn't clear, though Randy Newberry's car had been impounded at the yard, and authorities didn't think he had any previous run-ins with police.

The injured deputies were in critical condition Monday, authorities said.

- Associated Press

Life terms for men who attacked ship

A federal judge on Monday sentenced five men to life in prison for engaging in piracy and related offenses when they attacked the USS Nicholas.

Judge Mark S. Davis sentenced the five men - all from Somalia - in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

"Today marks the longest sentence ever given to a pirate in U.S. court, following the first time in over 190 years that an American jury has convicted a defendant of piracy," U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a statement.

MacBride said between 650 and 800 people are held hostage by Somali pirates and that the global cost of piracy is as high as $12 billion annually.

- Dana Hedgpeth

Bus driver's actions focus of crash probe

Investigators examined surveillance video from a Connecticut casino Monday as they tried to retrace the actions of a driver whose bus overturned last weekend, killing 15 people.

The investigation continued to focus on the driver, Ophadell Williams, 40. He said that his tour bus carrying 32 people was clipped by a tractor-trailer, but passengers and witnesses contradicted that, saying Williams drove erratically before Saturday's crash on Interstate 95.

The bus, taking gamblers back to Manhattan's Chinatown after a few hours at the casino, was sheared in half by a sign pole after overturning on the highway, leaving a tangle of bodies. Alcohol and drug test results for Williams were pending.

New York State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra wouldn't say specifically what police were seeking from video shot inside and outside the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn.

- Associated Press

Shuttle worker dies in fall at launch pad

A space shuttle worker fell to his death Monday at the Cape Canaveral launch pad, the first fatality there in decades, NASA officials said.

Medics were unable to revive him. He was identified as James Vanover, an engineer for United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor. Neither the company nor NASA released any details, including where he was working on the pad when the accident occurred Monday morning.

- Associated Press

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