July 20, 2012
In Aurora, Colorado citizens were at a theater for the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” movie when a greatly armed gunman attacked. He tossed tear gas at the audience before opening fire on them, killing 12 and wounding 38, authorities said.
Batman fans waited for the movie to begin in the darkened theater when all of a sudden the shooting began. Chaos broke out as the black clad gunman who wore a gas mask randomly shot at the screaming moviegoers as he walked up the theater’s steps, said witnesses.
The gunman had gone to the back door of the theater and tossed a canister in before starting the shooting, according to federal law enforcement. A few people in the audience thought the thick smoke and gunfire were a special effect accompanying the movie. The smoke smelled like a Fourth of July firework, said reporter Adam Witt. After a few gunshots he figured out what was really going on.
“I hit the floor and hid behind the seats in front of me, pulling my wife down to hide with me,” Witt said. “It was the longest minute of my life. The gunshots just kept coming. I knew it could be over any second. I knew my wife could be gone any second. It was absolutely surreal. I felt something hit my left arm and my first thought was, ‘At least it’s just my arm.’”
Witt and his wife got up and began to run. He said he held his wife’s hand as they rushed out of the theater. “There was a moment where I lost her hand, but I grabbed her shirt,” he said. “We didn’t let go of each other.”
As police officers swarmed the theater they encountered bloody victims rushing out. Other victims remained inside with gruesome injuries according to the emergency calls with dispatchers.
Police officers rushed many of the wounded victims to hospitals in their patrol cars. Police first said 14 people had died but changed the death toll to 12 later Friday morning, according to Aurora Police Lt. Jad Lanigan. Several people remained in critical condition at the hospitals. The victims being treated ranged from a 3 month old to a 45 year old, the hospital said.
“I don’t know how else to explain it, it’s horrific,” said Tracy Lauzon, director of EMS and trauma services at Aurora Medical Center.
The shooter was identified by two federal law enforcement officers as 24 year old James Holmes from Aurora. Holmes had tear gas, an “AK type” rifle, a shotgun and two handguns, said a federal law enforcement official.
Police arrested Holmes shortly after the shooting had ended in the parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman said. “He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” he said.
The perpetrator is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, although no formal charges have been filed yet, according to the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator.
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July 18, 2012
Laszlo Csizsik-Csatary suspected of Nazi war crimes has been arrested in Hungary. The Simon Wiesenthal Center found Csizsik-Csatary as part of its Last Chance project, said Efraim Zuroff, director of the center’s Israel office. He is accused of sending more than 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said. They consider him their most-wanted Nazi war criminal.
“We found eyewitnesses on three different continents,” Zuroff said. Those witnesses told the center about Csizsik-Csatary’s brutality to Jewish detainees and his role in deportations.
A 1941 Ukraine deportations witness had nine family members that were deported. Csizsik-Csatary had four of them brought back from labor with the Hungarian army so they would be deported and killed, according to Zuroff.
Csizsik-Csatary served as a senior Hungarian police officer in the city of Kosice, the center said. Csizsik-Csatary was involved in the deportation of 15,700 Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944, witnesses have told the center. He also played a role in “deportations to the Ukraine to be killed,” Zuroff said.
In 1949 Csizsik-Csatary arrived in Canada and told immigration officials he was Yugoslavian, according to The Toronto Star newspaper. Sometime after his arrival the Canadian authorities investigated allegations that he had lied to immigration authorities about his past when he first arrived. Canada revoked his citizenship in 1997 and began an investigation. As deportation proceedings were under way, Csizsik-Csatary voluntarily left Canada. Csizsik-Csatary then returned to Hungary.
“Hungarian authorities knew that he was back,” said Zuroff.
Authorities in Hungary started an investigation in September 2011 after receiving information from Zuroff regarding Csizsik-Csatary’s residence in Budapest and his role in the Auschwitz deportations, the center said. This later led to the arrest of Csizsik- Csatary.
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July 11, 2012
On June 28, Eva Cameron drove to Tennessee with her daughter. She stopped at the Big Orange Bar in Caryville, Tennessee to let her daughter Lynn use the restroom. Cameron then abandoned mentally disabled Lynn, 19, by the side of the road and returned to her home in Illinois as if nothing was wrong.
“Lynn didn’t know her age, she didn’t know her address, she didn’t know her phone number and she didn’t even know her name,” Assistant Police Chief Stephanie Smith said.
A picture and request for information on Lynn’s identity was released to the public. The Caryville police later received an anonymous tip on her identity. Investigators ultimately learned the young woman was from Illinois and they tracked her mother down. At their request, Eva Cameron had a brief meeting with Caryville police the following day. She signed a statement that said Lynn Cameron was now a ward of Tennessee, officials said.
“She basically said, ‘I don’t want her and I don’t want to take her.’ Then she got in her car and she left,” Smith said.
Eva Cameron later stated, “We understand she lost her ID card and that’s how the situation has turned into what happened. She’s already an adult. I just have to leave it at that.”
“As terrible as it is, unfortunately there is nothing we can do,” Assistant Police Chief Stephanie Smith said. “There is no doubt we need a law for mental health rights, but pending this investigation, we just don’t know what else to do.”
Authorities took Lynn to a hospital and discovered she only had a basic vocabulary of 30-40 words, according to Smith. A Campbell County Chancery Court order in the case described Lynn Cameron as a “severely disabled adult, suffering from profound mental deficits, and is unable to care for herself or her personal needs.” According to the court, the mother stated “she could not and would not care for Lynn Cameron.” Eva Cameron said that she has another child she cares for who is also disabled and caring for both was too much to handle.
Police in Caryville said Lynn has no assigned legal guardian. Lynn is being cared for at a facility in Roane County. When asked how the Lynn was doing, Smith replied, “Lynn is doing fantastic.”
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July 10, 2012
In Indiana a Wisconsin girl’s basketball coach punched one of his teenage players in the face and threw her to the ground after a loss at the Indiana Fieldhouse Sports Complex, police said Tuesday. Fred Freeman of Hartford, Wis., has been charged with battery after the incident.
“The victim told officers her basketball coach was verbally abusing her after the team lost their game. She reported that during a verbal altercation he punched her in the face, threw her to the ground and got on top of her with his hands around her throat,” said police spokesman Officer Tom Weger.
Freeman was arrested afterward at a restaurant and he admitted to restraining the girl but claimed to have been the victim. Yet Jean Washington, the parent of another player, told officers she saw Freeman striking the victim. She said Freeman “grabbed the victim tightly around her torso” and Washington heard the victim “tell the suspect to get off of her. The two fell to the ground, and the victim continued to resist the suspect. The suspect and victim made it back to their feet, and the suspect grabbed the victim again and slammed her back into the ground.”
A police report says Freeman’s daughter also was nearby and implored for him to stop the attack. “Ms. Washington observed the suspect’s daughter yelling, ‘No, Daddy.’ The suspect then got up and threw the victim’s badge into a tree,” the report said. Washington then guided the victim back inside the building while Freeman left with the other members of the team.
Freeman was due to be released on Tuesday from the Hamilton County Jail. It was not clear if he had an attorney.
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July 6, 2012
Karlisha L. Randolph, 24-year-old pregnant woman, died overnight after an impaired driver ran a red light at a Phoenix intersection and caused a rollover.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department said, Randolph’s baby was delivered successfully, but was in critical condition.
A 21-year-old man was driving south on 35th Avenue when he turned in front of a city bus and then drove west on Dunlap Avenue. The man turned back onto 39th Avenue and was driving south when he ran a red light on Northern Avenue and struck Randolph’s car. The accident caused the vehicle to roll over, Thompson said. The 21-year-old man was taken to a hospital where he was seen for non-life-threatening injuries.
Randolph’s 43-year-old mother was driving Randolph, who was nine months pregnant, and Randolph’s two minor sons. All four were taken to a hospital. Randolph’s mother and the two children do not have life-threatening injuries, police said.
Another collision took place at the same intersection while police were investigating the first collision. A 45-year-old man drove past traffic barricades into the scene. The man then crashed his vehicle into two of the investigators’ vehicles, Thompson said. The 45-year-old man was also thought to be impaired and was hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening, Thompson said.
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