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American Scene: Officer, bystander killed in shootout at body shop
HOUSTON — A Houston traffic stop ended with a gunman shooting and killing a police officer and a bystander on Christmas Eve in the parking lot of a body shop, police said.
The incident that began shortly before 9 a.m. Monday quickly evolved from a routine traffic stop into a violent confrontation when the suspect sped off in his black car rather than pull over as the police officer had requested, Houston police spokesman John Cannon said.
The suspect eventually pulled into a nearby Maaco body shop, and that is when the officer with the Bellaire Police Department approached the vehicle, Mr. Cannon added. Apparently, he said, an argument of sorts erupted, and the suspect pulled out a .380 caliber handgun and shot the officer. A man then walked out of the body shop, and the suspect fatally shot him, Mr. Cannon said.
Police have not released the identities of the officer, the bystander or the suspect. The suspect remains in a Houston hospital where he is in critical but stable condition and is expected to survive.
Volunteers at NORADtrack Santa across globe
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Volunteers at an Air Force base in Colorado monitoring maps showing Santa Claus’ progress were several hours into their goodwill mission and already had answered more than 24,000 phone calls from children wanting to know everything from old St. Nick’s age, to how reindeer fly, to when they can expect their presents.
Phones rang nonstop Monday at Peterson Air Force Base, headquarters of the North American Aerospace Command’s annual Santa-tracking operation. Dozens of helpers at NORAD were taking calls and tracking Santa’s location on large projection screens. They’re posting updates for nearly 1.2 million Facebook fans and 104,000 Twitter followers.
At midafternoon Monday, U.S. time, the maps showed Santa in Pakistan and heading west. He had delivered more than 2 billion presents at that point, according to the “NORAD Tracks Santa” website. Volunteers started taking calls at 4 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on Monday and was to keep updating until 3 a.m. on Christmas morning.
NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955 when a newspaper ad listed the wrong phone number for children to call Santa. Callers ended up getting the Continental Air Defense Command, NORAD’s predecessor, and a tradition was born.
Suspects held without bond in home-explosion plot
INDIANAPOLIS — Residents whose Indianapolis homes were battered by a gas explosion and relatives of a couple who were killed packed a court hearing Monday for the three suspects charged with rigging the blast.
The crowd watched in grim silence as a Marion County judge entered not-guilty pleas for Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard, and his brother, Bob Leonard. They are charged with murder, arson and other counts in the Nov. 10 blast.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
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- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- NYC alarms with notice: Immediately surrender your rifle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
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