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Police: Santa Monica shooting suspect was ‘dressed for battle’

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Santa Monica police said on Saturday that the string of attacks linked to a suspect who was shot and killed by authorities were part of a premeditated assault involving an array of weaponry, KNBC-TV reported.

“Anytime someone puts on a vest, comes out with a bag full of loaded magazines, has an extra receiver, has a handgun and has a semiautomatic rifle, carjacks folks, goes to a college, kills more people and has to be neutralized at the hands of the police, I would say that’s premeditated,” police chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said at a press conference.

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Seabrooks did not identify the 23-year-old male suspect, saying authorities needed to notify next of kin living overseas. The suspect’s first two victims, found in a home near Santa Monica College that had been set on fire, are believed to be his father and brother. She did say that the suspect and one relative were enrolled at the school as recently as 2010, and that police encountered the suspect in 2006, but could not disclose the nature of that meeting because he was underage at the time.

The suspect is believed to have shot and killed two other people while making his way from the house to the college, while shooting at motorists and at a local bus, before shooting a woman on campus and entering the library, where local and campus police shot and killed him. Police spokesperson John Lewis described him as being “heavily armed” and “dressed for battle.”

Seabrooks said that the suspect carrying a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle and multiple loaded magazines. KABC-TV reported that police also revealed more firearms, found inside a duffel bag the suspect dropped while going through the campus. At least 20 loaded magazines were found inside, along with a .44-caliber handgun and an upper receiver for the rifle. She estimated that he was carrying about 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

KABC identified another victim, described by Seabrooks as having a “grim prognosis” for recovery, as Marcela Franco. Her father, 68-year-old Carlos Navarro Franco, was killed when the suspect shot at his red SUV before entering campus. The vehicle then crashed into a parking lot wall. Marcela Franco is on life support at a local hospital.

Watch footage from Seabrooks’ press conference, posted Saturday by KCAL-TV, below.

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Steve Schmidt breaks down why Joe Biden should be an ‘easy’ choice for moderate Republicans

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On MSNBC Friday, former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt criticized Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) claim that she was struggling over whether to support the president — and laid out why she should unequivocally decide she doesn't.

"We saw the president direct violence against peaceful protesters this week, and seen the president lie to the country nearly 20,000 times," said Schmidt. "We've seen the president divide the country and incite violence. And we've seen a level of ineptitude in this historic pandemic that defied description, but included standing in front of the nation when tens of thousands are dead, talking about his ratings or telling the American people that it is a good idea to ingest or household disinfectants. We've seen a president preside over the shattering of an economy. We have seen a president race-bait, demean, disgrace his office, to desecrate the bonds of affection that exist between us as Americans."

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‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op

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The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.

"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.

She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.

"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.

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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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