TIME Canada

Canadian Parliament Will Reconvene After Ottawa Shooting

A soldier locks the gates as flowers are placed at a memorial outside the gates of the John Weir Foote Armory, the home of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in Hamilton, Ontario on Oct. 22, 2014, in memory of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo.
A soldier locks the gates as flowers are placed at a memorial outside the gates of the John Weir Foote Armory, the home of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in Hamilton, Ontario, on Oct. 22, 2014, in memory of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo Aaron Lynett—AP

Some MPs will gather at the War Memorial where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was fatally shot on Wednesday.

Members of Canada’s Parliament were expected to return to work Thursday just one day after a gunman shot and killed a Canadian soldier just outside Parliament before later being killed himself.

The soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was shot early Wednesday while on guard at Ottawa’s War Memorial, which stands just steps from Parliament Hill. A gunman then stormed Parliament itself, with shotgun blasts fired just outside the chamber where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking to legislators before being hustled out of the building. A Globe and Mail reporter captured the following violent, but not graphic, footage from inside Parliament:

The deceased gunman was the only person responsible for the incident, Canadian police said early Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Wednesday’s incident came just two days after after a man ran over two soldiers in Quebec, killing one before the assailant was gunned down by police. The timing of the two incidents have led some observers to suspect ties to terrorism, though the motivation for Wednesday’s attack in downtown Ottawa is still unclear.

“We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” Harper said in a televised address later Wednesday, adding that the incident will lead to a redoubling of Canada’s efforts to fight terrorism. Canada this month said it would send six jets to join the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or ISIS.

President Barack Obama decried the attack on Wednesday as “outrageous,” telling reporters, “Obviously we’re all shaken by it.” Security was tightened at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington in light of the Ottawa shooting, the Associated Press reports.

Industry Minister James Moore said on Twitter that Parliament will convene on Thursday as planned.

Some members of parliament said they would gather beforehand at the National War Memorial, the site of the shooting.

https://twitter.com/CharlieAngusMP

Read next: The Ottawa Attack ‘Changes Everything’ and Hopefully Nothing at All

TIME Canada

The Ottawa Attack ‘Changes Everything’ and Hopefully Nothing at All

CANADA-ATTACKS-POLITICS-PARLIAMENT
Soldiers lock the gates at the John Weir Foote V.C. Armouries in Hamilton, Ontario, on Oct. 22, 2014, after a soldier believed to be from the base was killed in an attack in Ottawa Geoff Robins—AFP/Getty Images

The Canadian capital has been shaken by the unprecedented attack at the National War Memorial, and yet is already showing its resilience

It was Canadian humor. On Oct. 21, I emailed an old friend in Ottawa. After updates on life and work and weather, I asked about what was happening in the capital these days. I once worked for the local paper and have fond memories of the city. But as a Toronto native, I could never admit that. “What’s the mood?” I ventured. “Does Ottawa even have moods?” You see, Ottawa is so safe and nice that even Canadians joke about how safe and nice it is.

Not today. At around 10 a.m. local time on the morning of Oct. 22, the heart of the Canadian capital came under attack. A man with a rifle approached and shot and killed 24-year-old Nathan Cirillo, a reservist standing guard at the National War Memorial, a granite cenotaph that memorializes fallen soldiers.

From there, a male suspect, now identified as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, seized control of a vehicle and drove to the nearby Parliament buildings. Set on rise above the Ottawa River, looking out on Quebec, the site is elegant, but exposed. The north of the complex is a grassy field, the site of group tours, Frisbee tosses and the occasional yoga class. The approach is open and welcoming. You can pretty much walk in.

When the gunman arrived, many members of Parliament (MPs), and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, were gathered inside the Centre Block. Video shot by Josh Wingrove, a reporter for the Globe and Mail, shows police officers rushing in as shots ring through the building’s vaulted stone corridors. Politicians and journalists took cover in offices or under desks, live-tweeting the lockdown from their phones.

Though what happened next is still unclear, several top Canadian politicians reported that Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers, a retired veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, took down the shooter, potentially saving lives. The position of the sergeant at arms is part security, part ceremony, and involves carrying a ceremonial mace into the House of Commons. Vickers is already being hailed as a hero, and a most Canadian one at that: he is described as competent, community-minded, kind.

Outside the Gothic towers, police shut down swaths of the city’s core, and security personnel appeared on rooftops. By the standards of world capitals, Ottawa is very, very safe. When I worked as a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen, I covered more barn fires and county fairs more than murders (there were just nine homicides in 2013). There could have been panic. But footage from the scene shows police officers calmly asking commuters to take cover. Out of habit, they use “please.”

Local authorities released the name of the victim and a suspect, but did not speculate on motives just yet. The press, for the most part, was careful not to jump to conclusions in the hours after the gunfire, noting only that this was the second time in three days that members of Canadian security forces were targeted. (On Oct 20 an assailant ran over two soldiers in Quebec, killing on of them; it is being investigated as a potential terrorist attack.)

Across the border, media critics took note of the nonhysterical, fact-based live broadcasts. “Canada’s CBC News Shows What Thoughtful Breaking News Coverage Really Looks Like,” read one headline. “The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation today gave a master class in calm, credible breaking news reporting,” observed a piece from Mother Jones.

For all its calm and restraint, Ottawa is clearly, and understandably, shaken. In an interview with the Canadian Press newswire, MP John McKay, who was on Parliament Hill during the attacks, said he could not even contemplate what came next. “This changes everything,” he said.

Everything, yes, and hopefully, nothing at all. For those affected and their families, all is different, darker. In the weeks and months to come, the country and the city will face questions about security. Questions about motive. There will be pointed fingers, grief and fear.

But already, the city is showing its best self. People are sending words of support to the victim’s family, praising the sergeant at arms, trying not to think, or say, the worst. Within hours, in tweets that would melt any Canadian’s heart, was the type of news that lets you know that good old Ottawa will be just fine: Minor hockey games are canceled. The Toronto Maple Leaf–Ottawa Senator showdown is delayed, for now.

When the smoke clears, they will play the game — and, hey, the Senators might actually win. Our capital, our lovely capital, lives to laugh another day.

TIME brazil

Brazilian Man Confesses to 39 Murders

BRAZIL-CRIME-SERIAL KILLER-ARREST
Alleged serial killer Tiago Gomes da Rocha, center, suspected of killing 39 people, is escorted by police officers at the Department of Security, a day after his arrest, in Goiania, state of Goias, Brazil, on Oct. 16, 2014. Evaristo Sa—AFP/Getty Images

“We have been shocked by his coldness,” said a police official

A 26-year-old Brazilian man who allegedly killed at least 39 people in the span of three years has been taken into custody by local authorities.

Security guard Thiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha confessed to the murders after being arrested in the central city of Goiania, the BBC reports.

“We have been shocked by his coldness,” a police official who witnessed his interrogation told Brazilian television, saying that Gomes da Rocha referred to his victims by numbers one to 39.

He reportedly targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals, going up to his victims on a motorcycle with his face covered. He would then shoot them and leave without taking any of their possessions, although police said he would often demand valuables.

Other than the killings, he is also suspected of carrying out over 90 robberies.

[BBC]

Read next: Brazil Announces First Suspected Ebola Case

TIME Crime

Scenes From a Second Night of Protests Over Police Shooting in St. Louis

Protesters took to the streets for a second night in St. Louis after holding a candlelight vigil for Vonderrit Myers, the 18-year-old black man who was killed by a white off-duty officer. Authorities say the officer returned fire after Myers began shooting, but Myers' family claims he was unarmed. The incident comes about two months after unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot in nearby Ferguson, Mo., and has reignited protests over racism and excessive force by police in the area

TIME Crime

Police, Protesters Scuffle After Ferguson Apology

Protesters call for resignation of Ferguson police chief
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson begins to march with protesters before clashes led to arrests in front of the Ferguson Police Department on Sept. 25, 2014 Robert Cohen—AP

The police chief started to march with protesters at around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 ft. behind the chief, and one protester was arrested

(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson just hours after the St. Louis suburb’s police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson appeared outside the police department in civilian clothes late Thursday to assure protesters that there would be changes in the wake of Brown’s killing, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes,” Jackson said.

The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 feet behind the chief and one protester was arrested. The Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation.

The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn’t immediately return call to The Associated Press early Friday.

Earlier Thursday, Jackson released a video apology to Brown’s family and the community in which he acknowledged that Brown’s body should have been removed from the street much sooner after he was killed. Brown’s body remained on Canfield Drive, a residential street, for more than four hours while policecollected evidence.

“It was just too long and I’m truly sorry for that,” Jackson, dressed casually in a red polo shirt instead of his police uniform, said on the video. “Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people of Canfield (Drive). They were simply trying to do their jobs.”

To the Brown family, Jackson said: “I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son.”

Brown’s parents declined comment when told about Jackson’s video during a news conference with civil rights leaders at the National Press Club. Their attorney later said they hadn’t heard about the video but would review it.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot Aug. 9 during a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked numerous protests and racial unrest in the predominantly black community. Some residents and civil rights activists have said responding police officers were overly aggressive, noting their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.

“It is clear that we have much work to do,” Jackson said in the video.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations.

TIME Crime

Dashboard Video Shows Shooting Of Unarmed Driver

The 31-year-old former trooper is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — A South Carolina state trooper’s dashboard video shows an unarmed driver being shot just seconds after he was stopped for a seatbelt offense — and the trooper, who was fired last week, has now been charged with assault.

As Levar Jones cried in pain waiting for an ambulance, he repeated one question: “Why did you shoot me?”

Jones’ painful groans and then-Trooper Sean Groubert’s reply — “Well you dove head first back into your car” — were captured by the camera.

Groubert’s boss, state Public Safety Director Leroy Smith, called the video “disturbing” and said “Groubert reacted to a perceived threat where there was none” as he fired the officer Friday.

The 31-year-old former trooper is charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. He was released after paying 10 percent of a $75,000 bond.

The dashboard camera video was released by prosecutors Wednesday night after they showed it at Groubert’s bond hearing.

Jones was stopped Sept. 4 as he pulled into a convenience store on a busy Columbia road. With the camera recording, Groubert pulls up without his siren on as Jones is getting out of his vehicle to go into the store.

“Can I see your license please?” Groubert asks.

As Jones turns and reaches back into his car, Groubert shouts, “Get outa the car, get outa the car.” He begins firing before he has finished the second sentence. There is a third shot as Jones staggers away, backing up with his hands raised, and then a fourth.

From the first shot to the fourth, the video clicks off three seconds.

Jones’ wallet can be seen flying out of his hands as he raises them.

Groubert’s lawyer, Barney Giese, said the shooting was justified because the trooper feared for his life and the safety of others. Police officers are rarely charged in South Carolina. In August, a prosecutor refused to file criminal charges against a York County deputy who shot a 70-year-old man after mistaking his cane for a shotgun during an after-dark traffic stop.

Groubert is white and Jones is black. Neither state police nor the FBI keep detailed statistics on the races of people in officer-involved shootings.

Much like the recent police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, the racial aspect of the South Carolina shooting bothers state Rep. Joe Neal, an African-American lawmaker who has spoken out against racism in law enforcement for years.

“You are doing exactly what the police officer asked you do to and you get shot for it?” said Neal, D-Hopkins. “That’s insane.”

Neal said he doubts the trooper would have been charged without the video. South Carolina has nearly 300 police agencies, and many smaller forces don’t have dashboard cameras.

“If it had been the trooper’s story versus his story, I’m not sure anything happens,” Neal said.

Jones is recovering after being shot in the hip. He released a statement last week saying he hopes his shooting leads to changes in how police officers treat suspects.

“I thank God every day that I am here with a story to tell and hope my situation can make a change,” Jones said.

He and his lawyer have not spoken publicly since Groubert was charged Wednesday.

Groubert first worked for the Highway Patrol from September 2005 to September 2009. After going to work for the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, he returned to the state agency in July 2012.

This isn’t the first time Groubert fired his service weapon. In August 2012, Groubert and another trooper chased a man who drove away from a traffic stop and fired at the suspect after he shot first, according to the Highway Patrol. The suspect was convicted of attempted murder and is spending 20 years in prison.

Groubert was awarded the agency’s Medal of Valor Award for his actions in protecting the public.

So far in 2014 in South Carolina, police have shot at suspects 35 times, killing 16 of them, according to the State Law Enforcement Division. The number of officer-involved shootings has been steadily increasing over the past few years, with 42 reported in 2013.

TIME shooting

2 Wounded in Mall Shooting; 2 Dead in Car Crash

(KISSIMMEE, Fla.) — Police say two people were wounded in a shooting at Florida mall, and two men in a car matching the suspects’ vehicle description were killed in a crash as they fled.

Police say the victims’ injuries aren’t life-threatening. They were shot Tuesday evening near Osceola Square Mall’s Ross Dress for Less store in Kissimmee, outside Orlando, after an argument in the store spilled outside.

Police say the gunmen got into a car and drove toward officers after the shooting. Officers heading to the scene saw a car speeding away and turned to follow it. The vehicle crashed into another car about three miles from the mall. Police say the men inside died from what appeared to be crash-related injuries.

Police say they’re not sure whether the men in the car were the gunmen.

TIME cities

Ferguson Protests Erupt Again After Fire at Michael Brown Memorial

Looting resumes in Ferguson
A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper looks inside the vandalized Beauty Town store on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson late Tuesday, Sept. 23. Robert Cohen—AP

Gunshots reported at gathering that formed after memorial was destroyed in blaze

At least two protesters were arrested Tuesday night after protests returned to Ferguson, Mo. following a fire at a memorial to the unarmed teenager shot by police there in August.

The unrest harked back to sometimes violent demonstrations that took place amid days of protests over the summer in the St. Louis suburb after a police officer shot 19-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Police Tuesday responded to a reported break-in of a beauty supply store in the area, and witnesses reported hearing gunshots, USA Today reports.

About 200 people had gathered in the area where regular demonstrations were held in the wake of the shooting, and some said they were in the streets to protest the burning of the memorial, which they said they believe was intentional.

The fire started around 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday on the street where Brown was shot. Firefighters investigating how the fire started found candles used at the memorial in the debris.

[USA Today]

TIME Crime

3 Dead After Gunman Opens Fire at Alabama UPS Warehouse

Birmingham Police Department photo of shooting suspect Kerry Joe Tesney
Joe Tesney, 45, of Trussville, Ala., is shown in this Birmingham Police Department photo released on Sept. 23, 2014 Handout—Reuters

The shooter had recently been fired from his job as a UPS driver

A sacked UPS employee shot and killed two people at warehouse near Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, according to local authorities.

The Birmingham News identified the gunman as 45-year-old Joe Tesney, who shot himself after opening fire inside a UPS customer-service and warehouse facility.

According to the Birmingham News, Tesney’s employment was terminated on Monday and he was not supposed to be at the facility, although he was found dead in a UPS uniform.

The married father of two had appealed a decision by the company to fire him last month, but lost the appeal on Monday. The cause for his termination is not yet clear.

Birmingham police lieutenant Sean Edwards told local news outlet WBRC that the two victims seemed to be known to Tesney, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a UPS driver.

“It appears that the shooter knew exactly who he wanted to target at the time,” Edwards said.

TIME South Africa

Steenkamp Family Slams Pistorius Ruling

South African Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court in Pretoria on Sept. 12, 2014 after the verdict in his murder trial where he was found guilty of culpable homicide.
South African Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the High Court after the verdict in his murder trial where he was found guilty of culpable homicide in Pretoria, South Africa on Sept. 12, 2014. Gianluigi Guercia—AFP/Getty Images

“Justice was not served,” said the victims mother

The family of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot and killed by South African runner Oscar Pistorius last year, slammed the judge’s decision to acquit Pistorius of murder.

“He shot through the door and I can’t believe that they believe it was an accident,” June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, told NBC News. Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide Friday but cleared of the more serious murder charge. The conviction carriers a minimum 5-year prison sentence but could be served out in the form of house arrest if at the judge’s discretion.

“I don’t really care what happens to Oscar,” June Steenkamp said in an interview with NBC News. “It’s not going to change anything because my daughter is never coming back. He’s still living and breathing and she’s gone, you know, forever.”

Pistorius will be sentenced next month.

[NBC News]

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