- - Monday, August 30, 2010

ALASKA

Two police officers die in shootout

ANCHORAGE | Two police officers were fatally shot in a tiny Native village in southeast Alaska and authorities were in a standoff Sunday with the suspect, local officials said.

Bob Prunella, acting Hoonah city administrator, said officers Tony Wallace and Matt Tokuoka died after the shooting late Saturday. He didn’t know what led to the shooting.

The suspect, 45-year-old John Marvin Jr., has barricaded himself in his home, and Alaska State Troopers and other law enforcement agencies are at the scene, authorities said.



Officer Tokuoka’s father-in-law, George Martin, said the policeman was off-duty with his wife and two children and had left Officer Martin’s home moments before the shooting. Mr. Martin said he heard two shots, which hit Officer Wallace, who was on duty. Officer Tokuoka told his wife and children to get away from the site, and then he was shot as well, Mr. Martin said.

“I imagine he was trying to administer help to this other officer when he got hit,” Mr. Martin said.

ARIZONA

Five slain in child dispute

LAKE HAVASU CITY | A gunman entered a western Arizona home and began shooting, killing the mother of his two children and three others before fleeing with his children to California where he fatally shot himself, police said Sunday.

In all, six people died. Officers responding to the home said they found four people dead and two others wounded. One of the injured died of his wounds early Sunday at a local hospital, police said.

The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Brian Diez, was found dead hours later at a residence in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The two young children — a 4-year-old and a 13-month-old — were unharmed at the house with relatives, police said.

Police identified the dead as 23-year-old Deborah Langstaff, the children’s mother from whom Diez was estranged, 24-year-old Primo Verdone, 42-year-old Russell Nyland, 20-year-old Ashley Nyland. Wounded were 20-year-old Brock Kelson, who later died, and 44-year-old Deborah Nyland.

CALIFORNIA

Mormon bishop killed after service

VISALIA | An investigation is under way after authorities say a lay bishop at a Mormon church in Central California was fatally shot in his office during a break between scheduled Sunday services.

Police say Clay Sannar was shot at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Visalia, southeast of Fresno.

Visalia police Chief Colleen Mestas said that minutes later, a caller identified himself to police as the shooter. Police responded. The suspect, who wasn’t immediately identified, was shot and died at a local hospital. No officers were injured.

Visalia police say they’ve handed over the investigation to Tulare County sheriff’s deputies because of the officer’s involvement.

The website of a fertilizer company called Soil Basics identifies Mr. Sannar as the general manager. Church officials say he had six children.

LOUISIANA

Coincidences put minister in jail

SHREVEPORT | A series of unfortunate coincidences led to a case of mistaken identity that put a Louisiana minister behind bars for nearly eight hours.

Gregory Jones, pastor at Eden Worship Center, was pulled over for speeding and arrested as a man wanted for violating parole in Texas. The minister not only had the same name as the wanted man, but the same birthdate and a Texas driver’s license. So he wound up handcuffed and taken to a Shreveport jail.

Mr. Jones says deputies treated him well and assured him they were checking his claims. A photograph and fingerprint check eventually confirmed he wasn’t the wanted man.

Caddo Lt. Don Gibbs says the department was sorry for Mr. Jones’ inconvenience but committed to ensuring wanted criminals don’t accidentally go free.

NEW YORK

French firm offers billions for Genzyme

NEW YORK | French drug giant Sanofi-Aventis SA on Sunday publicly launched its $18.5 billion cash bid for American biotech firm Genzyme Corp. — a move that follows months of rumored interest and failed attempts to bring Genzyme’s management to the table.

Under terms of the proposed acquisition, Genzyme shareholders would receive $69 per share, representing a 38 percent premium over Genzyme’s closing stock price of $49.86 on July 1. That’s the day before speculation began to swirl that Sanofi was looking to buy an American drugmaker, possibly Genzyme, in a bid to help replace revenue being lost to mounting generic competition.

Since then, the French company unexpectedly was faced with generic competition for its blockbuster injected anticlotting drug, Lovenox, which brought Sanofi $3.9 billion last year. Its blood thinner Plavix, the world’s second-best-selling drug, has patent protection only until 2012.

Genzyme is considered attractive because it has promising drugs for high cholesterol and other disorders in late development and it already sells some lucrative drugs for rare genetic disorders — a hot niche as big pharmaceutical companies diversify beyond blockbuster pills that get slammed by cheaper generic rivals after several years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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