NEWS of the Week - Feb 4 to Feb 10, 2013
on some NAACC / LACP issues of interest


NEWS of the Week 
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ... We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...

NOTE: To see full stories either click on the Daily links or on the URL provided below each article.


Feb 10, 2013


Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck’s Statement on Christopher Jordan Dorner

Los Angeles: I have no doubt that the law enforcement community will bring to an end the reign of terror perpetrated on our region by Christopher Jordan Dorner and he will be held accountable for his evil actions. The families that have been devastated by his actions will never be the same. By all accounts, the Los Angeles Police Department has made tremendous strides in gaining the trust and confidence of the people we serve. Dorner’s actions may cause a pause in our increasingly positive relationship with the community but, it will not stop our commitment to provide courteous, professional and constitutional policing to each individual this Department makes contact with. I am aware of the ghosts of the LAPD’s past and one of my biggest concerns is that they will be resurrected by Dorner’s allegations of racism within the Department.

But, I also know that we are a better organization now than ever before; better but not perfect. Fairness and equality are now the cornerstones of our values and that is reflected by the
present diversity of the department. We are a majority of minorities, almost exactly reflecting the ethnic makeup of Los Angeles.

As hard as it has been to change the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department, it has been even more difficult to win and maintain the support of the public. As much as I value our successes in reducing crime, I value even more our gains in public confidence.

Therefore I feel we need to also publicly address Dorner’s allegations regarding his
termination of employment, and to do so I have directed our Professionals Standards Bureau and my Special Assistant for Constitutional Policing to completely review the Dorner complaint of 2007; To include a re-examination of all evidence and a re-interview of witnesses. We will also investigate any allegations made in his manifesto which were not included in his original complaint.

I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do



Dorner continues to elude officers;
LAPD to reopen investigation that led to suspect's firing Chief concerned allegations could erode faith in department

A renegade ex-cop wanted for three murders eluded capture for a third day on Saturday, as Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced he will review the disciplinary proceedings that led to the fugitive's firing.

Beck told a local TV station that Christopher Dorner's case would be reviewed as a way to secure the public's trust in the agency.

"Dorner's allegations are about a police department that doesn't treat African Americans fairly, and I don't think that's true," Beck said. "And I want to make sure we don't lose this precious ground we've gained."

"That's the totality of the reason I will look at this investigation again. More important than the Dorner aspect is the community aspect. I'm not doing this to appease Dorner," he said. "It's about restoring faith," Beck added. "I worry whenever faith in the police department is eroded."

Dorner claimed in an 11,000-word "manifesto" posted online that his career was undone by racist colleagues. The document vowed revenge against Beck and several other officers he held responsible for his firing in 2008.




Steven Seagal will help Sheriff Joe Arpaio train his posse

America's self-styled toughest sheriff is teaming up with an action star.

Steven Seagal will lead a training session about school shootings Saturday at the request of his pal Joe Arpaio — an immigration hardliner and the brazen sheriff of Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa, which includes Phoenix.

Seagal will train Arpaio's volunteer “posse,” which boasts about 3,500 members and tackles an array of issues, Arpaio told the Los Angeles Times. Among other duties, they help patrol busy malls at Christmastime.

“I said to myself, ‘Hey, let's transition the mall patrols to the schools,” Arpaio said. “The mission is to patrol the perimeter of the schools as a prevention measure.”

December's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., raised the nation's consciousness about threats to schools. After 20 children and six adults were slain at Sandy Hook by a gunman with a semiautomatic weapon, President Obama called for tighter gun controls and the National Rifle Assn. called for putting armed guards in schools.



From the FBI

Amish Beard-Cutting Case -- Ohio Residents Sentenced for Hate Crimes

Sixteen individuals were sentenced today for hate crimes involving attacks against Amish residents in Ohio—some carried out by the victims' children—and the group's leader received a 15-year prison term.

In response to a religious dispute among members of the Amish community, Samuel Mullet, Sr.—the 66-year-old bishop of the Amish congregation in Bergholz, Ohio—directed his followers to forcibly cut the hair and beards of other members of the Amish faith.

Male and female victims, some elderly, were held against their will in their homes while scissors and horse shears were used to cut their hair and beards. Head and facial hair is religiously symbolic to the Amish—some of the male victims had been growing their beards for decades.

“These crimes were definitely religiously motivated,” said Michael Sirohman, the special agent in our Cleveland office who investigated the case. Mullet and his Bergholz followers practiced a different kind of religion than other Amish communities, and Mullet believed those other communities were against him and were interfering with his authority. That was the underlying reason for the attacks, Sirohman said.



From the Department of Homeland Security

Working to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence in the United States

The American public increasingly relies on the Internet for socializing, business transactions, gathering information, entertainment, and creating and sharing content. The rapid growth of the Internet has brought opportunities but also risks, and the Federal Government is committed to empowering members of the public to protect themselves against the full range of online threats, including online radicalization to violence.

Violent extremist groups - like al-Qa'ida and its affiliates and adherents, violent supremacist groups, and violent “ sovereign citizens ” - are leveraging online tools and resources to propagate messages of violence and division. These groups use the Internet to disseminate propaganda, identify and groom potential recruits, and supplement their real-world recruitment efforts. Some members and supporters of these groups visit mainstream fora to see whether individuals might be recruited or encouraged to commit acts of violence, look for opportunities to draw targets into private exchanges, and exploit popular media like music videos and online video games. Although the Internet offers countless opportunities for Americans to connect, it has also provided violent extremists with access to new audiences and instruments for radicalization.

As a starting point to prevent online radicalization to violence in the homeland, the Federal Government initially will focus on raising awareness about the threat and providing communities with practical information and tools for staying safe online. In this process, we will work closely with the technology industry to consider policies, technologies, and tools that can help counter violent extremism online. Companies already have developed voluntary measures to promote Internet safety - such as fraud warnings, identity protection, and Internet safety tips - and we will collaborate with industry to explore how we might counter online violent extremism without interfering with lawful Internet use or the privacy and civil liberties of individual users.



Feb 9, 2013



Riverside police accepting donations for fallen officer's family

Riverside police today began accepting donations for the family of an unidentified officer who was shot and killed by fugitive Christopher Dorner early Thursday.

"In response to the many requests, the following information is provided should anyone wish to make a donation to the family of our fallen police officer," wrote Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint in a press release.

Police have not identified the Riverside officer - who was 34-years-old and an 11-year veteran in law enforcement. They have also not identified the officer who was riding in a marked patrol vehicle with him when Dorner opened fire at the corner of Magnolia and Arlington avenues.

The other officer was wounded and listed in stable condition at Riverside Community Hospital.

Donations may be made by check to the Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund, 1965 Chicago Ave., Suite B, Riverside, 92507.




Search in Big Bear for wanted ex-cop to resume Saturday

Deputies and officers will continue looking in the forest this weekend for former LAPD officer and triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department suspended ground and aerial searches in the Big Bear area Friday night due to the weather. The manhunt resumes at 7 a.m. Saturday. But a noon press briefing has been cancelled.

As of 10:10 p.m. Friday, an LAPD spokesman said there was no update on the investigation.

Sightings of Dorner were reported Friday night but were either unfounded or didn't lead to the fugitive.

One sighting was at a Palm Desert rest stop. Riverside County Sheriff's deputies made a traffic stop and determined it wasn't Dorner.

In Los Angeles, LAPD police searched a train at the Amtrak yard by 8th Street and Santa Fe Avenue after a worker reported seeing a black man leaning out of a door of a train at 7:57 p.m.




Police and Emergency Services Becoming Social Media Savvy

Lynchburg, VA- If you're ever stuck in traffic, you can probably check Twitter or Facebook to see what was going on. Thanks to social media, the way we send and receive information has completely changed. Police departments and emergency services are using social media to send out important messages. They're taking advantage of our fast-paced world. With Facebook and Twitter, they're stepping up their internet presence, and learning to be social media savvy.

"Since the early 90s the Lynchburg Police Department has been heavily involved in community policing, and social media is described as the community policing of the 21st century," said Steven Wood, Lynchburg Police Department's Community Services Coordinator.

In September, Wood went to a SMILE conference--that's Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement. There, he learned some tips on technology.

"It's allowing us to have a better communication with the city," said Wood. And as we all learned last summer, communication is key. The derecho was LPD's first real taste of social media.



Feb 8, 2013



Ex-LAPD officer wanted for killings eludes searchers

- The manhunt continues today in the snowy, windy San Bernardino Mountains for fired LAPD Officer Christopher Dorner, who is suspected of killing an Irvine couple and a Riverside police officer in a vendetta against his former department.

Schools and a ski resort in the Big Bear area will reopen Friday as the manhunt for 33-year-old Dorner took another detour in San Diego.

San Diego County sheriff's deputies were still at the Barona Indian Reservation early Friday morning after a caller reported seeing Dorner at a residence around 10:15 p.m. Thursday. It appears the sighting may be unfounded.

"They're having difficulty verifying the legitimacy of the sighting," San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Jason Rothlein said. San Bernardino County Sheriffs officials said the search for Dorner in Big Bear Lake will continue as long as weather permits.

And weather may be a challenge today. Forecasters at the National Weather Service have issued a winter storm warning, saying as much as 10 inches of snow could fall at elevations higher than 6,000 feet and wind gusts could reach 30 mph.




CHP issues Blue Alert for third time since its inception Josh Dulaney and Joe Nelson

Law enforcement agencies issued a Blue Alert throughout Southern California on Thursday as the manhunt for a former police officer suspected of killing three people spread into the Big Bear area.

Christopher Jordan Dorner, a 33-year-old La Palma man, is believed to be targeting police officers in a revenge plot after he was fired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008.

Inspired by the Amber Alert notification system that alerts the public to abducted children, the Blue Alert system was enacted in January 2011 to notify the public of individuals on the lam who are suspected of killing or seriously injuring peace officers, said Officer Mario Lopez of the CHP's Inland Division in San Bernardino.

The system alerts the public to the suspect's physical description, as well as a description of the vehicle they are driving and its license plate number.

Thursday was the third time the Blue Alert system has been activated since it went online more than two years ago, Lopez said.



Los Angeles

Christopher Dorner's manifesto reveals an unraveled mind, experts say

In his 11,000-word manifesto, former police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner writes he'll kill his way through the Los Angeles Police Department until he reclaims his name and identity.

"This is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name," he wrote.

His chilling statements, found on his Facebook page, portray a deeply intelligent and opinionated man, one who promotes gay rights and gun control, but whose mind has unraveled, likely due to mental illness, paranoia and possibly unresolved trauma, experts said Thursday.

"It's not about him being against law enforcement," said Brian Levin, a professor of criminal justice at Cal State San Bernardino and a former LAPD officer.

"We're talking about someone who basically perceives that a tremendous injustice has been done to him that took his life and his identity," Levin said. "Now he's at war."

Dorner, 33, of La Palma is wanted in the killings of Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, in Irvine on Sunday. Quan is the daughter of former police captain Randal Quan, who represented Dorner in his departmental hearing that resulted in his firing from the LAPD in 2008.



Los Angeles

LA Cops Dismiss Claims in Alleged Killer Chris Dorner's 'Self-Serving' Manifesto

The rage-filled "manifesto" written by former police officer Christopher Dorner before he went on an alleged cop killing spree around the Los Angeles area was dismissed by the head of the Los Angeles Police Department today as "self-serving" and "ramblings on the Internet."

Dorner is believed to have killed one police officer and injured two others early this morning, in addition to killing two civilians, on a spree that he threatened would have a "high action of violence" in an angry missive posted to his Facebook wall earlier this week.

Police throughout the Los Angeles and Southern California region were working to apprehend Dorner.

In the letter, Dorner detailed his grievances with his former employer, the Los Angeles Police Department, including his struggles with the department's internal affairs department, which ultimately ended in his getting fired, according to the manifesto. He blamed the problems with the LAPD for inspiring his killing spree.



Los Angeles

Police confuse truck for Christopher Dorner's, shoot at 3 people in Torrance in case of mistaken identity

Twice in the same neighborhood before predawn light Thursday, police officers thought Christopher Dorner was coming at them.

And both times they were wrong.

In two cases of mistaken identity, two people were shot in a sleepy Torrance housing tract by undercover Los Angeles police officers protecting a potential Dorner target, and a third was fired upon by Torrance police responding to the first shooting.

The LAPD and Torrance officers were among thousands of law enforcement authorities throughout Southern California who had braced for a possible confrontation with Dorner after two patrol officers were shot in the Inland Empire earlier in the day.

Everywhere, it seemed, there were sightings of Dorner, the man who had vowed to "bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" to LAPD officers.

Until his truck was found burning in Big Bear, all of them turned out false.



Feb 7, 2013


Canadian woman, 21, missing in L.A. -- could be foul play, says LAPD City News Service

LOS ANGELES -- A young Canadian woman visiting Los Angeles has been missing for nearly a week, and police said today her disappearance is regarded as "suspicious and may suggest foul play."

Elisa Lam, 21, of Vancouver, British Columbia, was traveling alone. She was last seen Thursday at the Cecil Hotel, 640 S. Main St., LAPD Lt. Walter Teague of the Robbery-Homicide Division said.

"She had been in contact with her parents daily until (Jan.) 31st," Teague said at a news conference at police headquarters, accompanied by the missing woman's family. Lam was last seen by staff at the hotel.

Teague said LAPD detectives were contacted by Canadian authorities, and began investigating the woman's disappearance Tuesday.

Teague declined to elaborate about why police felt the woman's disappearance suggested foul play, other than to say it was "very unlike her" not to remain in contact with her family.http://www.dailynews.com/breakingnews/ci_22532214/canadian-woman-21-missing-l-could-be-foul


Immigration reform: Napolitano claims U.S. border with Mexico is secure

EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called Republican lawmakers' insistence that the border be secured before there is immigration reform a flawed argument.

At a stop to inspect border security in El Paso on Tuesday, Napolitano said the argument ignores gains made in illegal immigrant captures as well as seizures of drugs, weapons and currency.

She also said the argument's fundamental flaw is contending that border security is unrelated to interior enforcement such as verification of legal residence of job applicants.

Napolitano said the immigration "system as a whole is badly in need of reform." It is, she said, inextricably linked with interior enforcement, visa reform and the process for legal migration, a pathway to citizenship and earned pathway for those already here.

A bipartisan group of senators wants assurances on border security as Congress considers proposals that would bring the biggest changes to immigration law in nearly three decades. Last week, the group of senators released a blueprint that would bring a path to citizenship for people living in the U.S. illegally, but they demanded assurances on border security first.



6 Spanish tourists reportedly raped by armed men in Mexico resort of Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico - Authorities have information they hope will lead them to the gang of armed, masked men who reportedly raped six Spanish tourists in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the attorney general in the southern state of Guerrero said.

The vicious, hours-long attack at a beach home on the outskirts of Acapulco before dawn Monday was the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort celebrated in Frank Sinatra songs and Elvis Presley movies.

"Fortunately we have strong evidence to lead us to those responsible for this reprehensible act," Guerrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon Guzman told Mexico's Radio Formula on Monday.

The beach home on an idyllic stretch of coastline had been rented by six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman.

The attackers gained access to the house because two of the Spaniards were in the yard and apparently were forced to open the door, Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton told a news conference late Monday.



In Richmond, Lebanese police learn community policing

About a dozen members of Lebanon's Internal Security Forces spent five days in Virginia last week learning about community policing.

"It's certainly different than where we are," John Buturla, Richmond deputy police chief, said about the Middle Eastern country.

But, he stressed, Richmond's concept of bringing the police and the entire community to work together can be adapted to work in other countries as well. Both forces need to deal with a diverse population and different political groups to bridge gaps, Buturla said.

The idea of bringing Lebanese forces to Richmond began about 2 1/2 years ago at the U.S.?Department of State. Buturla's department was contacted by the federal government and asked to work with the Lebanese, because its community policing program has been so successful, he explained.



Feb 6, 2013


From the White House

Preventing Violence: President Obama Asks Americans to Stand Up and Say "This Time It's Different"

President Obama was in Minnesota today, where he met with men and women who are on the front line of the fight to prevent more tragedies like the ones in Newtown and Aurora: local police officers, community leaders, and people who themselves had been victims or whose families had been victims of gun violence.

The roundtable was part of the Obama Administration's ongoing conversations with Americans on all sides of this debate about how we can work together to keep our kids safe, help prevent mass shootings, and reduce the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. President Obama was eager to hear from those gathered at the Minneapolis Police Department's Special Operations Center because they know firsthand the awful consequences of this epidemic, and they know what works, what doesn't work, and how to move forward without regard for politics. Afterwards, the President described the discussion as productive:

One of the things that struck me was that even though those who were sitting around that table represented very different communities, from big cities to small towns, they all believe it's time to take some basic, common-sense steps to reduce gun violence. We may not be able to prevent every massacre or random shooting. No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try.

That's been the philosophy here in Minneapolis. A few years back, you suffered a spike in violent crime involving young people. So this city came together. You launched a series of youth initiatives that have reduced the number of young people injured by guns by 40 percent -- 40 percent. So when it comes to protecting our children from gun violence, you've shown that progress is possible. We've still got to deal with the 60 percent that remains, but that 40 percent means lives saved -- parents whose hearts aren't broken, communities that aren't terrorized and afraid.



From the Department of Justice

Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary Speaks at the 8th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America

It's a privilege to join so many of the premier researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and journalists working in criminal justice today – and to be part of this dynamic discussion about crime and punishment in America. Your theme – “Smart Justice” – very suitably honors Harry Guggenheim and the scholarly principles for which he stood and on which he established his wonderful foundation. It is so encouraging to see his spirit of scientific pursuit – and his hope for solutions to our most vexing problems – alive and well in this hall.

I'm also very pleased to see the ever-strengthening collaboration between academics, justice system professionals, and members of the media, represented by this gathering. And I commend Steve and the John Jay Center on Media, Crime, and Justice for their pioneering work to advance the public discourse about crime and safety. Our collective understanding of these issues has benefitted immeasurably by the networking and information sharing the Center has enabled.

And let me also recognize that you have all had a role in moving the discussion forward. As researchers continue to break new ground, practitioners and policymakers are paying close attention to their findings. And reporters are leaning on the latest social science to inform their stories. We seem to have entered a new age of intellectual curiosity around the causes and consequences of crime.

And that goes for those of us in the federal government. It was President Johnson's Crime Commission that first articulated an expansive and durable federal role in controlling crime. Its final report said the “greatest need” in criminal justice “is the need to know.” That need has always been great, but only recently, I think, have we fully embraced it as a practical goal to be met. What's more, in an era of striking partisanship, we've managed to come to agreement on issues that have historically and bitterly divided our parties.

I'm especially proud of the part that we – at the Office of Justice Programs – have played in improving knowledge about what works in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice. Our National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics have, for many years, made significant contributions to our base of knowledge. But in recent years, we've expanded the scope of our research and data-gathering activities.



Feb 5, 2013



'Greatest birthday' for boy rescued from Alabama bunker by FBI

An Alabama boy is set for the "greatest" birthday of his life after being freed from a week's captivity in an underground bunker, a pastor said Tuesday.

The boy, snatched from a school bus in a fatal shooting, was rescued after a daring raid by FBI agents that left his kidnapper, Jimmy Lee Dykes, dead.

The 5-year-old, who is recovering in hospital, turns 6 on Wednesday. “I would image it's going to be the greatest birthday that family and that little boy has ever experienced and probably will ever experience,” local pastor Michael Senn told TODAY.

The boy was reunited with his mother and is "laughing, joking, playing, eating," said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Richardson at a press briefing Monday.

"He's very brave, he's very lucky. His success story is that he got out and he's doing great." Richardson said the operation began when Dykes was seen holding a gun. "At this point, FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child.”



Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration's most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week's hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.



North Carolina

Greensboro Police release 2012 crime statistics

GREENSBORO, NC — Property crime is way down and violent crime is slightly up in Greensboro, according to Police Chief Ken Miller.

Reports of murder, rape, and robbery all fell in 2012 while the number of assaults rose. Property crimes like burglary, larceny and auto theft were down across the board.

Chief Miller credits community policing for the drop, saying citizens getting involved by keeping police well-informed helped to stop many crimes before they could happen.

Chief Miller said violent crimes are often relationship-driven, and that community policing will not have the same effect when the issue lies between individuals or a group of people who know each other instead of strangers.



Feb 4, 2013



Volunteers hit the streets for 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

More than 5,000 volunteers have spent three nights canvassing the streets of Los Angeles County looking for the county's more than 50,000 homeless, most of whom are far from Skid Row.

The volunteers worked Tuesday through Thursday in 72 cities and 22 communities in the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, coordinated by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

LAHSA has been conducting the homeless count every two years since 2005, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for cities who want to participate in Homeless Assistance Programs, Executive Director Michael Arnold said.

The numbers help HUD officials determine which areas have the biggest homeless populations and where best to allocate federal dollars, Arnold said. And the count helps Homeless Services Authority allocate HUD funds at the local level.

Arnold said LAHSA brings in about $80 million in a year in federal funding for homeless services.




'American Sniper' Chris Kyle and friend Chad Littlefield were shot multiple times at gun range near Glen Rose

STEPHENVILLE -- Retired Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the U.S. military's most lethal sniper, and his friend, Chad Littlefield were shot multiple times at a gun range at Rough Creek Lodge west of Glen Rose, Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said Sunday afternoon.

A semi-automatic handgun found at suspect Eddie Ray Routh's home in Lancaster might have been the weapon Routh used Saturday to kill them, Bryant said.

After shooting the men, Routh, 25, tried to flee from police who tracked him down to his home. Neighbors said they watched as Routh shut off the engine of Kyle's large black Ford pickup, which was nearly surrounded by armed officers, including a Lancaster police detective who lives next door. Then Routh turned the key and sped from the home on West 6th Street.

"He burned rubber and left in a cloud of black smoke," said Carolyn Greathouse, 57, who lives across the street. "None of the officers, including a policewoman with a shotgun, fired on the suspect as he escaped," Greathouse said.

Routh was later stopped by a stripe of spikes and was arrested about 9 p.m. He was being held Sunday night in the Erath County Jail on two counts of capital murder and $3 million bond, authorities said.

Jodi Leigh Routh, the suspect's mother, had reached out to Kyle to ask him to help her son, said Clint Burgess, a Tarrant County constable and Kyle's friend. Kyle did not know Eddie Routh, but knew his mother, Burgess said in an email from New Orleans.




Alabama standoff continues into sixth day as officials say gunman Jimmy Lee Dykes keeps young hostage ‘comfortable'

The 5-year-old kindergartner, who has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was taken off a school bus Tuesday after police say Dykes killed the driver. A funeral was held Sunday for Charles Albert Poland, 66, who was hailed as a hero.

The standoff between police and a 65-year-old man holding a young child hostage has stretched into the sixth day in a southern Alabama town, leaving residents to wait and pray for a nonviolent end.

Over the weekend, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson even expressed gratitude to the gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, who police say fatally shot a man Tuesday before abducting a 5-year-old boy identified only as Ethan. “I want to thank him for taking care of our child,” Olson told reporters Saturday. “That is very important.”

Dykes has been holding the kindergartner, who reportedly has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in his underground bunker in rural Midland City.

While officials aren't saying whether Dykes has made any demands, he has apparently left the young boy unharmed. The child has been given his medication as well as coloring books, a red Hot Wheels car and cheese-flavored crackers.

Dykes told officials the homemade bunker — built as a protection from tornadoes — is equipped with blankets and electric heaters.