Suspect charged in two killings, police say

The suspect in a pair of deadly shootings hours apart was charged with murder on Friday, a day after he walked into a Missouri police station covered in blood and allegedly told people in the lobby that “I know I committed two murders.”

Cole County prosecutor Locke Thompson charged Torry Andre Upchurch, 27, with two counts of first-degree murder, as well as armed criminal action, unlawful use of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Seventeen-year-old Earle Key Jr. of Jefferson City was killed in the first shooting, which was reported about 6 p.m Thursday.

The Jefferson City News Tribune reported that Upchurch reportedly knocked on the front door of the apartment where Key, whom Upchurch is said to have known, was staying, according to a probable cause statement from the Jefferson City Police Department. Upchurch allegedly shot Key in the face with a 9mm handgun when he opened the door, killing him instantly.

Police responded about 8:45 p.m. Thursday to another shooting a few miles away. They found 33-year-old Shantae Hill-Cook of Columbia dead in the street with multiple gunshot wounds and her car missing.

— Associated Press


Evacuations lifted after chemical plant fires

Officials lifted evacuation orders Friday for around 50,000 people on the Texas Gulf Coast, determining a massive fire was finally under control at a chemical plant rocked by two major explosions two days earlier.

But the area around the TPC Group plant remained dangerous. Several isolated fires were still blazing and visible at the facility, which makes chemical and petroleum-based products. Officials said they could not predict when those would be fully extinguished.

The explosions began early Wednesday morning, shattering windows and ripping doors off hinges. Three workers were injured, and when a second blast erupted 13 hours after the initial overnight explosion, evacuation orders covered a four-mile radius around the plant.

Branick said it may be several months before the cause of the explosions is known. He said the air quality posed no threat to residents.

— Associated Press


10 animals die in fire

at wildlife park

At least 10 animals have died in a barn fire that erupted at an Ohio wildlife park, officials said.

The blaze began Thursday evening at the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton. Three bongos, three giraffes, three red river hogs and a springbok housed in the barn were thought to be dead, fire officials said.

Springboks and bongos are types of antelope.

Officials captured a loose zebra and a giraffe that escaped, the Toledo Blade reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No humans were injured.

— Associated Press