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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.

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“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.

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.

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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.

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

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“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.

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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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COVID-19 obituary blames Republicans for Texas man’s untimely end: ‘They blame his death on Trump’

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One family in Texas recently used their loved one’s obituary to criticize President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for allowing “needless” COVID-19 deaths.

David W. Nagy died alone in a hospital bed, leaving behind his "inconsolable wife."

"He suffered greatly from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus and the separation from his much loved family who were not allowed at his bedside," the obituary says.

"Family members believe David's death was needless," the obituary continues. "They blame his death and the deaths of all of the other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all the other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives."

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Pennsylvania teen issues violent threat to defend friend from racism accusation: ‘I can show you what a real hate crime is’

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A Pennsylvania man was charged with making terroristic threats after a Black teenager accused his friend of being racist.

A friend of Andrew Smith, of Chalfont, attacked a Central Bucks West High School student by name and used racial slurs, reported the Bucks County Courier Times.

Smith's friend, who has not been charged, lashed out at the teen for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and said her views “make me wanna commit a black hate crime,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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2020 Election

Trump’s strategy isn’t working in Pennsylvania — a state the president can’t afford to lose: report

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Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio are the four states that GOP strategists have been describing as President Donald Trump’s “Rust Belt firewall” — states that went to President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but favored Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. But that “firewall” has not been holding up for the president. Trump’s reelection campaign has "temporarily" suspended its advertising in Michigan, although it continues to advertise in the other three — all of which are clearly in play for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. And Philadelphia-based reporter Holly Otterbein, in an article published in Politico on August 2, stresses that so far, Trump’s attacks on Biden have not been resonating in Pennsylvania.

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