By Richard Valdmanis and Mark Hosenball CHATTANOOGA, Tenn./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The suspect in the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines traveled to Jordan and possibly other Middle Eastern countries for seven months last year, authorities said on Friday, as the investigation focused on any signs of a connection to Islamist militants. Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, died on Thursday in a firefight with police after a rampage at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 24-year-old engineer traveled to Jordan, from around April to November, U.S. government sources and friends of Abdulazeez in Chattanooga told Reuters.
A brush fire burning in the Southern California foothills overran a packed freeway in a mountain pass on Friday, torching several vehicles as drivers abandoned their cars and scrambled to safety. At least three cars and two tractor-trailer rigs, one carrying new vehicles, were in flames on the Interstate 15 freeway that links Southern California and Las Vegas.
Family and supporters on Friday marked the one-year anniversary of the chokehold death of Eric Garner with rallies and vigils demanding police reforms and justice in the controversial case. Protesters headed to Staten Island, the New York City borough where Garner, a 43-year-old black father of six, died last July 17 after New York police put him in a banned chokehold. Video footage of police arresting Garner, in which he could be heard repeatedly saying he couldn't breathe, went viral on the Internet, helping draw attention to the case.
After all 165 guilty verdicts were read and Colorado's movie massacre gunman was taken back to a cell to await his fate, many of his victims rejoiced and said James Holmes must be executed for justice to be done. Survivors and their loved ones smiled and hugged outside the rain-swept courthouse on Thursday evening, after Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 inside a Denver-area theater. "As soon as we heard the first 'guilty' we knew the other dominoes were going to fall," said Tom Sullivan, 60.
By Edward McAllister NEW YORK (Reuters) - Taurean Russell was preparing to coach high school football in St. Louis last Aug. 9 when his Twitter feed began flashing images of a black teenager lying facedown on the street of a nearby suburb, shot dead by police. Within hours came photos of the dead 18-year-old's stepfather, stony-faced, holding a cardboard sign that read: "Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!" "I've seen dead bodies on the street all my life," said Russell, 30. "Michael Brown's death was different.
Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes was found guilty on Thursday of multiple counts of first degree murder, a verdict that enables prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the former graduate student who killed 12 people and wounded 70 at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in 2012. After a three-month trial in which hundreds of witnesses testified and thousands of pieces of evidence were presented, jurors deliberated for about a day and a half, then found Holmes guilty on all 165 counts against him. Before the jury was called in at around 4:00 p.m. local time (1800 EDT), Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour warned the packed public gallery to refrain from emotional outbursts.
By Rich McKay CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Reuters) - Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism. The Federal Bureau of Investigation named the suspect as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, but said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the rampage, which comes at a time when U.S. military and law enforcement authorities are increasingly concerned about the threat posed by "lone wolves" to domestic targets. NBC News reported that Abdulazeez was a naturalized American who was born in Kuwait.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - The judge in the Colorado movie massacre trial began reading the verdict on Thursday in the case against gunman James Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Holmes, a 27-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, faces 165 counts of first degree murder, attempted murder and explosives offenses, meaning the verdict forms filled out by the jury of nine women and three men could take some time to read. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for the California native if he is convicted. ...