Entries in Shootings (41)


'Son of Sam' Killer: Recent Massacres 'Senseless'

Fred R. Conrad/New York Times Co./Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- David Berkowitz, who gunned down 13 people, killing six, 35 years ago, says he hopes society takes the "glamour" out of guns.

In the wake of the Aurora, Colo. theater massacre and the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, Berkowitz is calling for an end to gun violence.

"It's all senseless," Berkowitz told the New York Daily News from his jail cell in a maximum security facility in upstate New York.

"Society has to take the glory out of guns. Young people have no business carrying a gun," he added.

For 13 months in the mid-1970s, Berkowitz, who became known as the "Son of Sam," stalked the streets of New York's neighborhoods with a .44 caliber handgun, shooting his victims as they sat in their cars or walked on sidewalks.

He taunted New York City detectives in notes to Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin promising on one to "buy all those guys working on the case a new pair of shoes," upon his capture. He was eventually caught outside of his home on Aug. 10, 1977.

Now 59 and a born again Christian, Berkowitz avoids talking about his 24-year-old self, whom he called "lost," "tormented," "confused," and "under demonic control."

He spends his time urging young men to avoid resorting to crime in moments of anger, he said. Prison, he told the Daily News, is not all it's cracked up to be.

"I think it's a big tragedy when I see young men with their macho faces like they're cool when I know they are really scared to death," he said. "I know because I've been there. Prison is a house of pain. It's not what you see in the media and on those crime shows."

"One day, I hope that guns will lose their glamour, that it would be seen a social disapproval for those in gangs," Berkowitz added. "I know that's a bit simplistic, but to me the whole tragedy is that young people are losing direction and don't value life or have no clue why they're on this Earth."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Protest Over California Shootings Turns Violent; Five Arrested

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- At least five people were arrested in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday night after clashes broke out between protesters and police, according to officials.

Between 100 and 200 demonstrators were gathered near City Hall to protest two police officer-involved shootings that occurred in the city over the weekend.

ABC News affiliate KABC-TV reports 100 officers from Anaheim and at least six other southern California police departments responded to the scene.  The station says pepper-spray projectiles and bean bag rounds were fired at the rowdy crowd.

Those arrested were detained for resisting arrest, fighting with other protesters, attacking police officers and lighting fires.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


After Mississippi Killings, Man Questioned Following Apparent Fake-Cop Highway Stops

Thinkstock/Getty Images(HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Miss.) -- Authorities are questioning a man over suspicious highway stops in central Mississippi after two fatal shootings last week that apparently occurred during phony police stops in the northern part of the state.

As of late Thursday, the man being held in Humphreys County, Miss., James Lucas, was merely "under investigation," being questioned on two Wednesday-night incidents and not charged with a crime, a Humphreys County sheriff's official said. Police could not say whether the two recent incidents were related to the earlier fatal shootings.

"We're just going to say these are isolated incidents in our county and we're going to deal with that first," Sam Dobbins, an investigator with the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office, told ABC News.

However, Dobbins added, other police agencies in the state, including the Mississippi Department of Investigation, also were investigating, apparently giving the case a broader scope.

At least one detail may not match up to those reported in the fatal shootings from last week: Wednesday's incidents involved a blue Mercury Grand Marquis, possibly the one Lucas was driving when he was pulled over around noon Thursday in Yazoo City, Miss., according to ABC News affiliate WAPT in Jackson, Miss. The fatal incidents, however, were believed to involve a gold Ford Crown Victoria.

The Humphreys County incidents occurred after Mississippi authorities urged drivers to question whether anyone pulling them over really was a police officer.

"We urge everyone to be cautious while driving, especially at night," the Tate County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page. "If someone attempts to pull you over with flashing lights and you feel unsure of stopping, DON'T PULL OVER. Use your cell phone and dial 911 and if it's a real officer then the dispatcher will confirm it for you and if it's not a real officer they will send help to you."

"Our deputies have been told not to overreact if someone does not immediately pull over," the sheriff's office wrote. "Your safety is our primary concern."

Two drivers were killed on northern Mississippi highways within days of each other and investigators in multiple counties and federal officials were working to find out who may be behind the killings.

The recent cases occurred along U.S. 49 in Humphreys County, which is in central Mississippi, between 9 p.m. and midnight Wednesday night.

"We received some calls last night for a blue car similar to a police car, a Mercury Grand Marquis, that attempted to stop two vehicles," Dobbins said.

Although Dobbins believed the person in the Grand Marquis approached the victims' cars in plain clothes, the suspicious car's occupant evidently made indications his was an official vehicle.

"He displayed flashing blue lights, yes he did," Dobbins said. "That's what we call impersonating a police officer."

Both pulled-over drivers grew suspicious and sped off toward Yazoo City in neighboring Yazoo County, where Lucas and the car later were found being brought back to Humphreys County.

One of the two victims grew frightened and fired a gun when he saw the Grand Marquis following him, Dobbins said.

Later, one of the victims identified the seized car as the one involved in the highway stop, Dobbins added.

Dobbins would not comment on whether or not Lucas or the occupant of the Grand Marquis displayed a weapon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Four ICE Agents Shot in Two Separate California Incidents, One Killed

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It was a violent 24 hours for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in California.

In Carson, south of Los Angeles, an ICE agent was shot dead at his home in what is being described as a domestic incident. His 14-year-old son was arrested for allegedly firing the fatal shot.

“We're still working on the motive to this shooting,” said Holly Francisco of the LA County Sheriff's Department. “It's going to take numerous interviews and an investigation.”

And in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, three ICE agents were shot Thursday morning while serving warrants. Their injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

“Three special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) were injured in the Bay Area this morning while executing high risk federal warrants related to an ongoing criminal investigation. The special agents were transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries,” ICE said in a statement.

“One suspect is in custody,” the statement continued. “The investigation into the incident and the related criminal case are both ongoing.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Search for SoCal Gunman After 5 Shootings in 2 Weeks

Thinkstock/Comstock(CARSON, Calif.) -- Authorities are on the hunt for a gunman responsible for five shootings in a two-week period in Carson, Calif., and the neighboring Harbor Gateway area of Southern California.

The gunman, armed with a shotgun, hit a pedestrian as well as four motorists or their vehicles on or around the heavily traveled 110 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. One motorist was seriously injured.

The first shooting was reported April 18, when a woman was shot in the arm as she walked down Main Street, authorities said. Four days later, a woman’s car was hit by birdshot as she drove down Normandie Avenue.

The following day, according to officials, the gunman fired on another vehicle at the Carson Street freeway exit.

On April 26, there were two more shootings an hour apart, authorities said. First, a car headed down Figueroa Street was hit, and less than an hour later another motorist was shot in the ear as he drove his 2008 Honda Accord on the 110 Freeway.

“All shootings happened in the same general area,” said Sgt. Marc Lucia of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. “The shots failed to penetrate the car except in the case where it hit a windshield. The rounds he used were not high-powered, [but were] more of a low-capacity round like birdshot.”

Both injured shooting victims were treated at a hospital and released.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol investigators are meeting to compare notes, tips and a description of the suspect Wednesday.

“We don’t have a description of the suspect yet, but both teams are working together to provide more details,” said Sgt. Dave Nelms of the California Highway Patrol.

Nelms urged residents to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

“Often, people are in a comfort zone when they enter their vehicles and drive but it’s important to be alert,” he said. “If you see anything that is out of the ordinary, call the police.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Police Hunt for Suspect in Shooting Spree That Left 3 Dead, 2 Injured


*UPDATE: The FBI is  investigating the three deadly shooting incidents that targeted African-Americans who were out walking. The FBI’s job will be to determine whether federal hate crime laws were violated, Tulsa World reported.


(TULSA, Okla.) -- Police are on the hunt for a white male driving a white pickup truck after a shooting spree in Tulsa, Okla. has left three people dead and two injured since Friday morning, ABC affiliate KTUL reports.

Dannaer Fields, 49, Bobby Clark, 54, and William Allen, 31, all died after being shot. Officials say the five shootings took place on the same side of town not too far from each other.

"We are doing what we can do. Someone needs to step up and somebody needs to come forward and say you know, we know who did this," says Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker.

All of the victims are African-American and were walking on the street when they were shot. Police have determined that they had no relation to each other.

Dr. Warren Blakney, of the NAACP said, "We feel like he's targeting African Americans and I think law enforcement, some parts of law enforcement feel that same way."

The NAACP urged the public to stay safe and smart.

"As long as that person is loose then we are in danger, and I don't want any vigilante stuff to start happening I don't want a race riot," says city councilor Jack Henderson. "I just want this person caught and I want the people that live in this community to be safe."

Sgt. Walker says if you have information about "this crime specifically" please call the direct homicide tip line at 918-798-8477 or email homicide detectives at homicide@cityof

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former New Orleans Cops Sentenced for Bridge Shootings

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- A federal judge in New Orleans handed down long sentences on Wednesday to five former cops who were found guilty last year of obstruction of justice charges in the shootings of six people on the Danzinger Bridge following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast in late August 2005.

Four of the ex-New Orleans cops, Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and officers Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso, received terms of 38 to 65 years from U.S. District Court Judge Kurt Englehardt.

Former Sgt. Arthur Kauffman was given six years behind bars for taking part in the ensuing cover-up.

After responding to a radio call that fellow officers were under fire, prosecutors said Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso fired on an unarmed family on the bridge, killing James Brissette, and wounding four others.

Two brothers were also shot at, with Ronald Madison hit in the back and then kicked and stomped on before he died.  His sibling, Lance Madison, was first charged with attempting to kill police officers and was then released three weeks afterwards when it was determined that he was falsely charged.

The incident prompted the Justice Department to launch a probe of the New Orleans Police Department, leading to its finding that officers "show a lack of respect for the civil rights and dignity" of the people they serve.

While the officers will likely appeal their sentence, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the convictions brought "significant closure."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jury Finds Virginia Tech Negligent in Wrongful Death Trial

Hemera/Thinkstock(BLACKSBURG, Va.) -- A spokesman for Virginia Tech expressed the administration's disappointment Wednesday after a jury determined the university was negligent in its response to the 2007 campus shootings, which left 33 dead.

"We are disappointed with today's decision and stand by our long-held position that the administration and law enforcement at Virginia Tech did their absolute best with the information available on April 16, 2007," Mark Owczarski, director of news and information and spokesman for Virginia Tech, said of the jury's decision Wednesday.

The jury awarded $4 million each to the families of two students who died in what is said to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, according to The Roanoke Times. The families likely will not see all of the money, though.  Virginia law requires the amount awarded be capped at $100,000. The Roanoke Times reports a judge will rule on the final award at a later date.

Erin Peterson and Julia Pryde might have survived the massacre if Virginia Tech officials had warned students of Seung-Hui Cho's earlier dorm shootings 2 1/2 hours before the killing finally ended, the families said.

The Virginia state panel report, the Federal Department of Education and now a state civil court jury have all found that Virginia Tech's administration erred in their responsibilities to the campus community that day.  

Still, Owczarski maintains the "heinous crimes of Seung-Hui Cho" were an unprecedented act of violence that no one could have foreseen.

The Virginia Tech administration plans to "discuss this matter with the attorney general, carefully review the case, and explore all of the options available."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Deadly Year for Law Enforcement Officers, Report Shows

The casket of NYPD officer Peter Figoski is brought out following his funeral in Babylon, New York. Figoski, a 22-year NYPD veteran was gunned down during an attempted robbery in December. Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- This year was one of the deadliest in recent history for U.S. law enforcement, according to a new report.

In-the-line-of-duty deaths among police officers ticked up for the first time in four years, the report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said. A total of 173 officers were reported killed in the line of duty, up 13 percent from the year before.

“We've seen drastic budget cuts affecting law enforcement agencies across the country and those budget cuts have put our officers at grave risk,” the organization’s Craig Floyd said, adding that “These numbers we’re releasing today are a wake-up call to legislators across this country that when it comes to public safety, we must stop cutting.”

This year marks the first time in 14 years that firearm deaths were higher than the number of officers killed in traffic. Of the 68 firearm deaths, Floyd says, 14 were shot making an arrest.

The report found that 64 officers died in traffic accidents this year, down from the 71 killed in 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NYC Doctor Arrested, Linked to 10 Pain Medication ODs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A doctor linked to ten people who died of prescription pain medication overdoses, including David Laffer -- the man who gunned down four people in a Long Island pharmacy in his desperate quest for pain medication -- was arrested over the weekend on charges linked to one of the deaths, sources told ABC News.

Dr. Stan Xuhui Li, is known to have treated Laffer until about a month before the violent June robbery at Haven Pharmacy in Medford, N.Y., that left four people dead.

The arrest was made Saturday at the doctor's clinic, Medical Pain Management, in Flushing, N.Y.

Authorities say that the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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