TIME Crime

Unarmed Man Shot by Officers in Maryland Has Died, Police Say

Spencer McCain was in a "defensive position" when police officers encountered him

(OWINGS MILLS, Md.)—Baltimore County’s police chief says an unarmed black man shot by officers who reported that he appeared to have a weapon has died.

Chief Jim Johnson said at a news conference that 41-year-old Spencer Lee McCain died at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Police say there was a protective order barring McCain from going to the Owings Mills house where he was shot.

Officers were called to the about 1 a.m. Thursday for a domestic situation. Once they arrived, police say officers heard a disturbance and forced their way in.

Johnson says McCain was in a “defensive position” and the three officers thought he had a weapon. All three shot him. But Johnson says no weapon was found.

The chief says there have been many prior calls for domestic violence reports to the address.

Johnson says the officers are on administrative leave. Police say two of the officers are white and one is black.

TIME Confederate Flag

Amazon, eBay Show No Signs of Banning Confederate Flag Merchandise

A search on Amazon yields almost 30,000 items

In the aftermath of the shootings at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., last week that left nine dead, public anger over the massacre has evolved into calls to completely retire the Confederate flag that the shooter apparently revered.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday she supports removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds. And Walmart, K-Mart, and Sears, three of the country’s largest retailers, have moved to ban Confederate flag merchandise from their stores.

But not everyone is jumping on board: the e-commerce platforms Amazon and e-Bay have yet to announce they will do the same.

A search on Amazon for “confederate flag” yields almost 30,000 items, including flags in the “Patio, Lawn & Garden” category, blankets, shower curtains, and even knives. Similarly, a search on eBay yields thousands of results, such as confederate-themed dog collars, and iPhone cases.

A widely circulated photo of the shooting suspect Dylann Roof holding a gun and a Confederate flag has stirred up outrage.

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble,” Gov. Haley said at a press conference Monday. “At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

Fortune has reached out to Amazon and eBay for comment and will update this post with any responses.

TIME Charleston

Apple, Microsoft CEOs Call for End to Racism After Charleston Shooting

President Obama Speaks At Summit On Cybersecurity And Consumer Protection At Stanford University
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection on February 13, 2015 in Stanford, California.

The issue has resounded across social media

In the wake of last week’s shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C., that left nine dead, some voices that rarely pipe up on national issues resounded across social media: those of Silicon Valley CEOs.

Over the weekend, executives from Salesforce, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech companies took to Twitter to express condolences for the victims’ families. And some took it even further, joining some politicians to call for South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag that flies in the capital.

Mark Zuckerberg, of course, took to Facebook to express solidarity with Charleston. “Hope can overcome hate,” he wrote. But Slack’s CEO Stewart Butterfield certainly takes the cake for being the most outspoken in the Silicon Valley bubble. Butterfield took issue with a Wall Street Journal editorial on the tragedy, which said that the shooting was not rooted in racism. This is Butterfield’s first tweet, and the rest is here.

TIME Crime

What We Know About South Carolina Shooting Suspect Dylann Roof

The 21-year-old white male suspect was caught Thursday morning

The chief suspect in the fatal shooting of nine people Wednesday night at a historic black church in South Carolina, who was arrested in North Carolina, has arrived back in the state and will be held at a detention center, the city’s police department said Thursday.

Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man from Lexington, S.C., was identified by authorities on Thursday as the suspect. He reportedly spent an hour at a prayer meeting before opening fire, killing nine and injuring several others, at the Emanuel AME Church before fleeing. The Associated Press (AP) reports a florist driving to work saw a vehicle that matched the description of one publicized by authorities and then looked at the driver, whom she recognized from the news; the woman told her boss, who then contacted a police officer he knew, who then told the Shelby Police Department.

A spokeswoman for the Lexington County School District One confirms to TIME that Dylann Storm Roof, born April 3, 1994, attended White Knoll High School for less than two years, entering ninth grade in August 2008 and exiting in February 2010. He moved between at least three schools between fourth and eighth grades.

Roof was arrested twice earlier this year, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, which tells TIME he had been booked at the Lexington County Detention Center on Feb. 28 and April 26, after being arrested by the Columbia Police Department. Local reports have said he was arrested at least once on drug charges. NPR has published the incident reports from the February and April arrests, which took place at the Columbiana mall in Columbia, S.C.

A Facebook page in the name of Dylann Roof, featuring a photo released by Berkeley County authorities in South Carolina, suggests the suspect attended White Knoll High School and was from the city of Columbia.

In the picture featured on the Facebook page, he is wearing a jacket bearing images of the flags of apartheid-era South African and the Republic of Rhodesia, the name for Zimbabwe when it was run by a postcolonial white minority in the 1970s.

A man identifying himself as Roof’s uncle, Carson Cowles, 56, told Reuters that Roof’s father had recently given him a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present. “I actually talked to him on the phone briefly for just a few moments and he was saying, ‘Well, I’m outside practicing with my new gun,'” he said.

Derrick Pearson, a former classmate of the suspect told the Independent that Roof “mostly kept to himself.” An AP report citing a man who identified himself as an old friend of Roof, named Joseph Meek Jr., said Roof had recently made racist comments against African Americans that had come out of nowhere.

Joseph Meek Jr, a childhood friend who apparently saw Roof on the morning of the shooting, told the AP that Roof had ranted that “blacks were taking over the world [and] someone needed to do something about it for the white race.”

Roof’s roommate Dalton Tyler told ABC News that the suspected shooter “wanted to start a civil war” and had been “planning something like that for six months.”

Roof has been taken into custody in Shelby, N.C., where he was “cooperative” with officers. On Thursday afternoon, AP reported, Roof waived extradition and was going back to South Carolina.

TIME Crime

Man Charged With Helping to Plan Texas Cartoon Contest Shooting

garland-texas-muhammad-shooting
Rex Curry—Reuters Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The man allegedly hosted the gunmen in his home and provided the guns they used in the shooting

(PHOENIX)—A Phoenix-area man has been charged with helping plan an attack on a provocative cartoon contest in Texas last month that ended with the two shooters’ deaths.

An indictment filed in federal court in Phoenix alleges that Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem hosted the gunmen in his home beginning in January and provided the guns they used in the May 3 shooting.

Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson were killed by police after they opened fire outside the event in Garland, Texas, where attendees drew cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that are deemed offensive to Muslims.

The indictment says Kareem practiced shooting with Simpson and Soofi in the desert outside Phoenix between January and May.

Kareem is charged with conspiracy, making false statements and interstate transportation of firearms with intent to commit a felony.

TIME Crime

Colorado Gunman’s Notebook of Ramblings Becomes Evidence

Holmes Shooting Notebook
AP A portion of Aurora shooter James Holmes' notebook, after it was presented as evidence in the Holmes murder trial on May 26, 2015, in Centennial, Colo.

Copies of a journal kept by the man on trial for the Aurora theater shooting have been distributed to the jury that will help determine his fate

A notebook containing James Holmes’s ramblings, sketches and thoughts on topics ranging from the meaning of life to murder was presented on Tuesday at his trial for the 2012 mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

It’s a key piece of evidence for prosecutors trying to prove the 27-year-old plotted the killings and for defense lawyers who argue he was experiencing a psychotic episode on July 20, when he opened fire on moviegoers at a premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes’s notebook reveals references to violence and death and is stepped in nihilism. He writes about a “self diagnosis of broken mind” and several pages are covered with the question “Why?” over and over again. “When mankind can’t find truth,” he mentions at one point, “untruth is converted to truth via violence.”

The former doctoral student in neuroscience is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes sent the notebook to his University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, eight days before the shooting, but the package was not discovered until several days after the massacre. Fenton had warned authorities that Holmes was a danger to the public.

Holmes describes in the journal a number of fantasies about different ways to kill, but quickly rules them out. He says a bomb is too regulated and suspicious, biological warfare requires extensive knowledge of chemicals and serial murder is “too personal, too much evidence, easily caught after few kills” before settling on a “mass murder spree.” He writes that he chose this method because it would provide “maximum casualties, easily performed with firearms, although primitive in nature. No fear of consequences, being caught 99% certain.”

At one point, he rules out certain venues, like airports, because he didn’t want his mass killing to be misinterpreted as a terrorist act. Airports have “too much of a terrorist history,” he writes. “Terrorism isn’t the message. The message is there is no message.” The journal also includes diagrams of different theaters within the movie complex, as well as pros and cons for each one.

“And finally, the last escape, mass murder at the movies,” he writes. “Obsession onset: > 10 years ago.”

Holmes describes his psychological struggles as “the real me is fighting the biological me,” and notes that work and romantic failures aren’t the reason for his action, although both are “expediting catalysts.” Instead, he claims, his “state of mind for the last 15 years” is to blame for his actions.

He notes a particular set of symptoms and behaviors that accompanied his self-diagnoses of a “broken mind,” including a “recurring return to mirror to look at appearance, particular attention focused on hair styling. 10+ times a day.” At the time of the shooting, Holmes’s hair was dyed a bright red-orange. He also describes at least one childhood accident that injured his genitals, which he alleges led to an “allergic reaction to sex.”

In one particularly chilling passage, Holmes alludes to the name of the movie he selected for the attack: “I was fear incarnate. Love gone, motivation directed to hate and obsessions, which didnt disapear for whatever reason with the drugs,” he writes. “No consequences, no fear, alone, isolated, no work for distractions, no reason to seek self -actualization. Embraced the hatred, a dark knight rises.”

TIME Crime

Colorado Triathlon Canceled in the Wake of Multiple Shootings and Sniper Fears

Bicyclist Fatally Shot
Jason Pohl — AP Windsor Police investigate the area where a cyclist was fatally shot in Windsor, Colo.

Federal agents join investigation into possible serial shooter

A popular triathlon in northern Colorado has been canceled following a rash of shootings near the small town of Windsor, which has left one person dead and another injured.

John Jacoby, 48, was shot dead earlier this week while cycling along a stretch of road just outside of Windsor, reports ABC News. The incident occurred in close proximity to an earlier shooting late last month, when a 20-year-old woman survived being shot in the neck while driving along Interstate 25 outside of nearby Fort Collins.

Local officials are working in tandem with federal investigators, who are scrambling to see if the two events are connected. In the wake of the shootings, organizers of Pelican Fest Sprint Triathlon have canceled the race slated for this weekend because of security concerns.

“My decision was based on the overall safety of all the athletes, volunteers, traffic control personnel, spectators and vendors,” wrote Dennis Vanderheiden, the race’s director, in a post published online. “The proximity of the shooting death and the bike course gave me real concerns.”

TIME Crime

See Dozens of Mugshots From the Waco Shootout in One Image

A composite image of the men and women arrested and charged with crimes stemming from a large shootout and fight between biker gangs outside the Twin Peaks bar and restaurant at the Central Texas Marketplace in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015.
Mclennan County Sheriff's Department/EPA Headshots of the men and women arrested and charged with crimes stemming from a large shootout and fight between biker gangs outside the Twin Peaks bar and restaurant at the Central Texas Marketplace in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015.

Some 170 bikers were arrested and charged in connection with Sunday's shooting

This composite frame of mug shots shows some of the about 170 bikers who were arrested and charged in connection with Sunday’s fatal shooting in Waco, Texas, that left nine dead and 18 others wounded.

The shooting was thought to have arisen from a dispute after five rival gangs gathered for a meeting at a Twin Peaks restaurant. Authorities said Tuesday that a man’s injury in the parking lot—a vehicle rolled over his foot—led to a dispute that carried into the restaurant, where a knife and gun battle erupted before spilling back outdoors.

Police said the interior of the restaurant was littered with shell casings, bodies and pools of blood after the brawl, but added that no innocent civilians were hurt.

TIME Crime

Teen Shoots, Kills Friend Trying to Wake Him by Throwing Pebbles at Window

Billings police are on the scene of a shooting with one person dead, Sunday, May 17, 2015. A Montana boy startled at being awakened in the middle of the night fired a shot through his bedroom window and killed the 15-year-old friend who had been knocking and throwing pebbles at his window, police said Monday.
Larry Mayer—AP Billings police are on the scene of a shooting with one person dead, Sunday, May 17, 2015

No arrests have been made but investigators are deciding whether to press charges

A 15-year-old boy in Billings, Mont., died early Sunday morning after he tried to wake his friend by throwing rocks at his bedroom window but was shot in response.

Mackeon Schulte died from a bullet wound to the head at about 2:30 a.m. Another boy escaped without injury, according to the Billings Gazette.

Police have ruled the death an accident.

Schulte and his friend were apparently at a sleepover when they decided to visit the shooter’s house. In an attempt to wake the sleeping teen, the two boys knocked on his window and threw pebbles at his room. But he reportedly became frightened by the noise, grabbed a revolver and fired through the window.

No arrests have been made but investigators will be meeting with Schulte’s family and local officials to determine if charges will be filed.

“It’s a tragedy. We have to investigate at this point for what it is, but it’s a tragedy all around,” said police captain John Bedford.

[Billings Gazette]

TIME Religion

Young Muslims Are Inviting You to Draw Muhammad

The campaign is a creative response to Islamophobia

Did you know that Muhammad is the most common name in the world? The chances are you know a Muhammad or know somebody who knows one.

Muslim American activist Amani al-Khatahtbeh, who runs the popular blog MuslimGirl.net, is fighting Islamaphobia by inviting people to draw a picture of their friends who are called Muhammad.

The campaign is in response to the inflammatory Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) in Garland, Texas, on Sunday night. Participants there were invited to draw images of the Prophet Muhammad, which Muslims consider offensive.

The event resulted in violence after two Islamist gunmen, identified as Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, opened fire outside the building, injuring a security officer. The suspects were both shot and killed by police.

Geller is known for her anti-Muslim stance and the AFDI is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Al-Khatahtbeh vigorously condemned the gunmen’s actions as “inexcusable.” But in response to Geller’s event, she came up with her own campaign, ‘Let’s help Pam draw Muhammad.’

People are asked to draw their friend Muhammad as a celebration of the human connections people have to “Muhammad,” it being such a common name.

“Chances are that all know a Muhammad. So, let’s draw Muhammad. Let’s honor his diversity. Let’s celebrate his many different faces. Let’s elevate his humanity,” she writes on MuslimGirl.net.

And using the hashtag #DM2015, people are taking to Twitter to draw a Muhammad in their lives.

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