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California gunman who killed five, including ex-wife, had recently divorced

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A gunman who killed five people in Bakersfield, California, and then took his own life was recently divorced and may have forced his ex-wife to accompany him to a trucking business before shooting her and other victims, authorities said on Thursday.

Javier Casarez, 54, may have planned whom he was going to target in Wednesday evening’s shooting spree, but his exact motive remains unclear, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told a news conference.

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Detectives had a lot of work to do investigating the incident, which unfolded over half an hour within an area of several city blocks, said the sheriff, who has called such mass shootings the “new normal” in the United States.

Last week, a gunman killed three people at a bank in downtown Cincinnati before he was shot to death by police.

“We’re seeing this across the nation, people taking handguns and shooting people with more than one victim at a time,” Youngblood said on Thursday, adding: “It’s just something that I hope we don’t become immune to.”

The attack in Bakersfield, a community of 375,000 people about 90 miles (145 km) north of Los Angeles, began at a trucking business where Casarez showed up with his ex-wife, Petra Maribel Bolanos De Casarez, 45, police said.

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It was unclear what Casarez did for a living, but there may have been some connection between his family and the trucking business, Youngblood said.

Casarez pulled out a .50-caliber handgun, a large weapon, and shot an employee, then fatally shot his wife, Youngblood said.

He then chased another man from the trucking company and fatally shot him in front of a nearby sports store.

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His next stop was at a nearby house, where he killed a man and the victim’s adult daughter, who may have tried to protect her father, Youngblood said. Casarez appears to have known that household, the sheriff said.

Casarez then commandeered a vehicle from a woman, taking the car without harming her or a child who was with her, Youngblood said.

“It made us believe the others (victims) were targeted for a specific reason,” he said.

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Casarez then drove into the parking lot of a friend’s business, where a sheriff’s deputy confronted him and he shot himself to death, Youngblood said.

Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Peter Cooney


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USA mystified by ’15 Donald Trumps’ jibe at Rugby World Cup

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USA coach Gary Gold said he was mystified by a comment from England's Eddie Jones that the Eagles would play like "15 Donald Trumps" when they meet at the Rugby World Cup.

"I've absolutely no idea what he means by that," Gold said, ahead of Thursday's game in Kobe.

"We're just a team that's really got to focus on our own processes at the moment. We've got to worry about what we do when we get onto the rugby field.

"At this stage, with all due respect, we're not a good enough rugby team to be making comments or answers to questions like that. I don't know what it means."

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‘Absolutely disgusting’: Trump slammed for trolling Greta Thunberg climate speech

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US President Donald Trump stirred up fresh outrage on social media Monday with a tweet mocking an impassioned speech made by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg at the UN climate summit in New York.

Her voice shaking with emotion in an address that was the defining moment of the summit, Thunberg accused world leaders of betraying her generation by failing to act on rising emissions, repeating the words "how dare you" four times.

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I'm one of the lucky ones," she said. "People are suffering. People are dying."

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Japan refers US military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash

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Japanese authorities on Tuesday referred the case of a US military pilot to prosecutors over the 2016 crash of an Osprey aircraft that fuelled sentiment against a US base on Okinawa island.

The crash did not kill anyone and only caused injuries to two of the five crew members aboard the US Marine MV-22 Osprey.

The Pentagon described the December 2016 crash as a "mishap", which saw the plane end up in shallow water off Okinawa.

But Japanese coast guard officials on Tuesday referred the case to prosecutors on suspicion that the pilot had been flying too fast, causing the crash, a coast guard spokesman said.

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