American Scene: Two Coast Guard members fatally shot at remote station

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ALASKA

KODIAK — Two Coast Guard members were fatally shot at a communications station on an island off Alaska, officials said Thursday.

Officials said it remained unclear if the deaths at the Coast Guard station on Kodiak Island were a double homicide or murder-suicide. Capt. Jesse Moore said it was “possible that the suspect remains at large.”

The Coast Guard said the identities of the victims would be released after family members were notified. Officials did not yet know whether the shootings took place Wednesday or earlier Thursday.

The FBI said agents were headed to Kodiak from Anchorage, about 250 miles away.

CALIFORNIA

Toy grenade prompts NYC building evacuation

NEW YORK — A toy grenade was to blame for an evacuation Thursday at a building near ground zero, authorities said.

The police bomb squad was called to 2 World Financial Center in lower Manhattan at midday when a security guard reported a package that seemed suspicious. Brookfield Properties, which runs the property, ordered an evacuation as a precaution.

Employees in business suits filed calmly back into the building after the New York Police Department declared the situation all clear about 90 minutes later.

The bomb squad determined the package was a fake explosive that looked like a 1940s-style grenade. It was mounted on a plaque that said “Complaint department: Take a number,” with a number attached to the pin.

PENNSYLVANIA

Church could have gone to police, expert testifies

PHILADELPHIA — An expert on Roman Catholicism told jurors Thursday that no church law prevented the Philadelphia archdiocese from relaying to police the scores of complaints coming in about priests molesting children.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle also described internal laws that make it a church crime to harbor criminals or fail to act in certain situations.

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