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Arizona college shooter indicted on first-degree murder and assault charges

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A grand jury has indicted a Northern Arizona University freshman on a first-degree murder charge for killing one student and wounding three others in an on-campus shooting, according to court documents released on Friday.

Steven Edward Jones, 18, also faces six counts of aggravated assault for the Oct. 9 shooting at the state university in Flagstaff, Arizona, under the indictment handed up on Thursday in Coconino County Superior Court.

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Jones, who remains in jail on a $2 million bond, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on Monday, court papers showed.

He was previously charged with second-degree murder, but county prosecutors were able to get the grand jury to agree to a stiffer charge for the murder of 20-year-old Colin Brough.

The first-degree murder charge means that Jones acted “intending or knowing that his conduct would cause death” and that the killing was premeditated, the indictment said.

Police said Jones opened fire with a handgun outside a residence hall early that Friday morning, killing Brough, and wounding Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring.

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Jones remained at the scene and was arrested by police. No guns are allowed to be carried on the campus of the roughly 20,000-student school located about 140 miles (225 km) north of Phoenix.

Burges McCowan, Jones’ attorney, declined comment on Friday.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump mulling ‘uniquely dystopian’ proposal to use AI to identify mental health issues as risk factors for gun violence

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One critic called the proposal, which expands on Trump's claim that mental illnesses, not guns, are to blame for gun violence, "nothing less than chilling."

In keeping with his insistence that people with mental illnesses, and not the wide availability of guns, are to blame for the epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S., President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a new project aimed at detecting mental health issues to stop shootings before they happen.

As The Washington Post reported Thursday, the Trump administration has worked with Bob Wright, a close friend of Trump's and his collaborator on the reality show "The Apprentice," to develop a proposal for a new federal agency that would be called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), within the Health and Human Services Department.

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Democrat mocks Trump for being the wrong person to lead the charge on mental illness

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President Donald Trump may not be the best person to focus on mental health in America, a Democratic senator explained on MSNBC.

"All In" host Chris Hayes interviewed Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) before a live studio audience.

The two discussed Trump's focus on mental health instead of gun control following the latest mass shootings in America.

"I saw this article about the mental health proposal being floated. I gotta say, the more I hear him talk about mental health, the more freaked out I get, honestly," Hayes explained. "It seems like — like sci-fi dystopia. They want to do something like DARPA, the notorious Pentagon research association called HARPA. It’s going to develop 'breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence...The document goes on to list a number of widely used technologies it suggests could be used to help collect data, including Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home."

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Increasing numbers of Americans support gun background checks

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In the aftermath of the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, public debate once again turned to what Congress should do to reduce gun violence.

One of the challenges that many policymakers face is understanding the views of the general public. Policymakers tend to be most concerned about the magnitude and intensity of the opposition to stricter gun regulation.

In late 2016, my research team surveyed 1,115 adults twice, six months apart. We discovered that the number of Americans supporting stricter background checks for gun purchases is growing, and it is growing most among people who previously opposed or were neutral about such regulation.

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