Man shot dead at site

of surfing competition

Police officers fatally shot an armed man in the sand in front of dozens of terrified witnesses, many who had gathered at Huntington Beach for the U.S. Open of Surfing.

Officers responding to reports of a man with a gun made contact with him Saturday afternoon and when he refused to comply with numerous commands they opened fire, the city’s police spokeswoman Jennifer Carey said in a statement.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He has not been identified.

A gun was found at the scene, she said.

Witnesses said several shots rang out south of the pier, near the bicycle and pedestrian pathway, after the surfing competition had wrapped up for the day. One witness video showed the man rolling on the sand, appearing to reach for an object before officers fired several rounds, striking him, as people yelled and screamed.

“We started hearing pop, pop, pop,” Hector Tovar told the Orange County Register. “I thought it was fireworks, that’s how many rounds there were.”

The officers’ body cameras were activated during the shooting and the footage will be examined by Orange County sheriff’s investigators, who will work with Huntington Beach police to investigate the shooting, officials said.

— Associated Press


Ex-professor to stand

trial in fatal stabbing

A former Northwestern University professor is set to stand trial in the fatal stabbing of his boyfriend as part of what prosecutors said was a sexual fantasy he shared with another man who was charged in the case.

Jury selection, opening statements and testimony from at least one witness were expected to happen Monday in the trial of 47-year-old Wyndham Lathem, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Lathem is charged in the July 2017 killing of Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, a 26-year-old hairstylist from Michigan, who was stabbed dozens of times in Lathem’s Chicago high-rise condominium. Lathem, a renowned microbiologist, and Andrew Warren, an Oxford University financial officer who authorities say flew to Chicago from England to participate in the killing, were arrested in Northern California after an eight-day manhunt.

Prosecutors said the two planned the killing to fulfill an apparent sexual fantasy.

In 2019, Warren pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison as part of a plea agreement that calls for him to testify against Lathem.

Lathem has been in Cook County jail since he was extradited from California.

Last year, he tried unsuccessfully to persuade a judge to release him on $1 million bail so that his research skills as a microbiologist could be used to battle the coronavirus.

— Associated Press


FBI probing arrest

in which dog bit man

The FBI has opened an investigation into the arrest of a Black man in Missouri during which cellphone video shows three White officers allowing a police dog to repeatedly bite him.

Woodson Terrace Police Chief Randy Halstead said in an email to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his department was “fully cooperating” with the investigations being conducted by the FBI and the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office into last week’s arrest.

Federal officials and St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell declined to discuss their investigations with the paper.

Officers were called Sept. 20 to a report that a man had broken into a business in Woodson Terrace, according to a police statement posted on Facebook. The man appeared to be on drugs and threatened officers, and they warned him the dog would be used if he continued to resist, the department wrote.

Cellphone video from an onlooker shows the dog biting the man’s foot as he yells out in pain. The dog’s handler holds it by a leash but allows the biting to go on for about 30 seconds.

After the officer pulls off the dog, the man appears to take a step but stumbles and the dog lunges at him again, biting one of his legs for an additional 30 seconds until the officer stops the animal.

The man was treated at a hospital and released. He hasn’t been charged with any crimes.

— Associated Press

3 killed in plane crash in southern W.Va.: A small plane crashed Sunday in southern West Virginia, killing three Virginia residents on board, authorities said. The single-engine Beechcraft C23 went down after taking off from the Fayette Airport in Fayetteville about 11 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. State Police Capt. R.A. Maddy told news outlets that the wreckage was found near a barn in the rural community of Lansing, southeast of Charleston. State police identified the victims as Nick Fletcher, 38; Michael Taphouse, 36; and Wesley Farley, 39. All were from the Chesapeake area. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

— From news services