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Authorities piece together motive in Kansas shooting rampage

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Authorities in Kansas were investigating on Friday the motives of a gunman who killed three people and wounded 14 during a shooting spree that ended when an officer killed the suspect at the factory where he worked.

Law enforcement in Hesston, a town of about 3,800 people, have said Thursday’s mass killing was not terror related.

“This is a horrible situation my friends, just terrible,” Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said at a late evening press conference.

“There were some things that triggered this particular individual,” he said, without elaborating.

While many of his victims were coworkers, the attacker appears to have opened fire at random, Walton said.

Five of the 14 wounded were in critical condition.

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The Kansas killings follow a mass shooting in Michigan this weekend, when a driver for car-hailing service Uber killed six people.

The escalating number of mass shootings in the United States have elevated gun control as a campaign issue in the November U.S. presidential election.

The Kansas attacker, who was armed with a .223-caliber assault-style rifle and a pistol, fired out of his vehicle as he drove through two cities, Walton said. He then stole the car of one victim and drove to Excel Industries, where he worked, and shot a person in the parking lot.

The gunman entered the plant, where he had been scheduled to work and where over 100 employees were beginning the day’s second shift, and opened fire on his co-workers, killing three, the sheriff said. Other employees fled in panic.

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The first police officer on the scene exchanged fire with the gunman near the building’s paint room, killing him, Walton said.

“Even though (the officer) took fire, he went inside of that place and saved multiple, multiple lives — a hero, as far as I’m concerned,” the sheriff said.

The killing spree spanned 26 minutes, he said.

A dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Department had identified the shooter as 38-year-old Cedric Ford. Walton declined to identify the suspect, saying his identity would likely be released on Friday.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; editing by Katharine Houreld)

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Lawrence O’Donnell throttles Donny Deutsch for saying Elizabeth Warren can’t beat Trump: ‘This is pure guesswork’

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Lawrence O'Donnell and Donny Deutsch had quite the exchange in the post-debate conversation on MSNBC Wednesday.

Deutsch tried to say that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's outstanding debate performance doesn't matter because Warren can't win in a match-up against President Donald Trump.

"I do not believe Elizabeth Warren, on stage with Donald Trump, beats him," he told the MSNBC panel. "And I think if we're honest with ourselves and we look hard at ourselves, I think a lot of people agree with me. It's — and I also think when you can label somebody a socialist, 57 percent of this country thinks that word is un-American. I'm not saying it's fair. When he can blanket Elizabeth Warren as a socialist, and he's on stage with her, the Democrats lose."

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Father and daughter drowning at the border fuels anger at Trump immigration policies

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A shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his baby daughter drowned in the Rio Grande fueled a surge of emotion around the world Wednesday -- as US Democrats furiously denounced Donald Trump's immigration policies.

"Trump is responsible for these deaths," said Beto O'Rourke, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls who took to Twitter to lash out at the president.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is also seeking the presidency in 2020, called the image "gut-wrenching."

"History will judge how we respond to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrant families & children -- we can't be silent," he said.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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