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Texas church gunman sent threatening texts to in-laws, officials say

Reuters

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REUTERS/Joe Mitchell

By Jon Herskovitz

The man accused of killing 26 people including an 18-month-old child at a Texas church had sent threatening text messages to his in-laws who sometimes attended the house of worship before launching the latest U.S. mass shooting, officials said on Monday.

“There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws,” Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters. “The mother-in-law attended the church. We know he sent threatening … that she had received threatening text messages from him.”

The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, was court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and child and sentenced to 12 months confinement. He received a “bad conduct” discharge in 2014, according to Ann Stefanek, the chief of Air Force media operations.

Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of Braunfels, Texas, U.S., involved in the First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, is shown in this undated Texas Department of Safety driver license photo, provided November 6, 2017. Texas Department of Safety/Handout via REUTERS

Kelley, 26, walked into the white-steepled First Baptist Church in rural Sutherland Springs on Sunday carrying a Ruger AR-556 assault rifle and wearing a black bulletproof vest, then opened fire during prayer service. He wounded at least 20 others, officials said.

A woman prays after a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S. November 5, 2017. Nick Wagner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN via REUTERS

After he left the church, two local residents, including one who was armed, chased Kelley in a truck and they exchanged gunfire. The chase ended when Kelley crashed his car, and may have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or from the Good Samaritan’s weapon, said Martin.

An autopsy will determine the cause of death, Martin said.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said in an interview that the family members had not been present at the time of Kelley’s attack

“I heard that (the in-laws) attended church from time to time,” Tackitt said. “Not on a regular basis.”

The attack, which killed people ranging from 18 months to 77 years old, came a little more than a month after a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas in the deadliest shooting by a sole gunman in U.S. history.

The initial death toll matched the fatalities at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a man shot and killed 26 children and educators and his mother before taking his own life in December 2012. Those attacks now stand as the fourth deadliest by a single gunman in the United States.

REUTERS/Joe Mitchell

Officials warned that 10 of the wounded remained in critical condition on Monday morning.

 

(Additional reporting by Jane Lee Sutherland Springs, Texas, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Peter Szekely in New York; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Dickhead Jogger Arrested for Throwing Homeless Man’s Belongings in Lake

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A video went viral of a jogger taking time out of his day to throw a homeless man’s belongings into a lake. The jogger has since been identified as 31-year-old Henry William Sintay by The Mercury News and was arrested. He’s currently being held on $100,000 bail.

The dickhead move made by the dickhead jogger happened by Meritt Lake in Oakland, California, on Friday, June 8. A witness named JJ Harris filmed the incident as a woman tried to stop the dickhead jogger. This video is messed up on so many levels — and not only because his thicc dad bod doesn’t suggest he has time to stop mid-jog to try to end homelessness.

Watch this:

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Starbucks will close 8,000 stores May 29 for racial-bias training

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Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

The announcement follows the controversial arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week after the store manager called the police. They were arrested for trespassing. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. That person arrived at the store just as they were being arrested.

Starbucks’ CEO publicly apologized repeatedly following the arrests, which he called “reprehensible.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will be among the help to design the program, as will executives from the Equal Justice Initiative and Demos, to roughly 175,000 Starbucks employees.

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8 Facts About the Late, Great Barbara Bush

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Former first lady Barbara Bush died in Houston on Tuesday. She was 92 years old. The wife of former president George H.W. Bush, and mother of former president George W. Bush, had been battling congestive heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had recently decided not to seek any further treatment.

The matriarch of the Bush family was known for her bluntness and advocacy, but many young people know little about her. So, here are 8 straight up facts about the former first lady of the United States.

1. She was born Barbara Pierce in New York City on June 8, 1925.

2. She met met George H.W. Bush at a school dance in 1941, at the age of 16. After dating for a year and a half, the couple got engaged before he went off to World War II to serve as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. When he returned on leave, she dropped out of Smith College in Northampton, Mass. and they got married two weeks later on Jan. 6, 1945, in Rye, N.Y.

3. Barbara gave birth to six children: George W. (in 1946), Pauline “Robin” (in 1949), Jeb (in 1953), Neil (in 1955), Marvin (in 1956), and Dorothy (in 1959). She lost her daughter “Robin” at the age of three to leukemia. 

4. She served as second lady of the United States when George H.W. Bush was vice president to Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1989. 

5. She alarmed conservatives when she revealed she was pro-choice. 

6. Describing Geraldine Ferraro, her husband’s opponent for vice president in 1984, she said: “I can’t say it, but it rhymes with ‘rich.'”

7. She was first lady of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

8. She helped to develop the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which seeks to improve literacy in the U.S. through programs directed toward pre-school children and parental literacy while cementing her legacy. She spoke regularly on “Mrs. Bush’s Story Time,” a national radio program that stressed the significance of reading aloud to children. 

Political affiliation aside, the death of Barbara Bush is a reminder that class in Washington is dying, too.

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