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Man shot on Allentown street, no connection to recent mass shooting, police say


A 36-year-old Allentown man suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the body Monday night near Fifth and James streets in Allentown, city police report.

No one is in custody, but evidence of the shooting was recovered, said city police Capt. Bill Lake, who wouldn’t say if a gun was found.

The scene was a couple of blocks from where Angelo Luis Rivera, 20, of Allentown, was arrested on a conspiracy charge following a shooting that wounded 10 people early Thursday morning in the 300 block of West Hamilton Street. Rivera drove three masked shooters who then fired on a group of people leaving a nightclub, police said. It’s also about four blocks from where two 19-year-old city men were shot on Tuesday in the 500 block of West Gordon Street.

While he agreed Monday night’s shooting is close to other recent violent crime in the city, Lake said there is “no connection” at this point between Monday night’s shooting just before 8:30 p.m. and those other crimes.

Police do not believe the latest shooting was a random act, he added. The victim, whose name police did not release, was taken to an area hospital, Lake said.

The neighborhood is heavily residential.

There was nothing new to report Tuesday morning on the two previous shootings, Lake said.

If anyone has information on Monday night’s gunfire, they are asked to call the city Detective Bureau at 610-437-7721.

Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.



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Calif. Man, His Wife and Son Among 5 Dead After 'Ongoing Dispute' at Mobile Home Park Turns Deadly


5 Dead in Shooting and Fire After Dispute at California Mobile Home Park | PEOPLE.com

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Calif. Man, His Wife and Son Among 5 Dead After ‘Ongoing Dispute’ at Mobile Home Park Turns Deadly

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Delegates call for independent investigation into Virginia Beach mass shooting


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Delegate Cheryl Turpin and Delegate Kelly Fowler sent letters to Virginia Beach Council Members asking the City Council to open an independent investigation into the Virginia Beach Municipal Building shooting.

The letter also specifies that the investigation should be started immediately.

“As a teacher, who works in a public building and practices lock-downs with my students regularly we need to get as much information as possible to avoid these events occurring again. It is time for the Virginia Beach City Council to act so the legislature can have as much information before the special session as possible,” said Delegate Turpin, who represents the 85th District in Virginia Beach.

The letter used the state investigation into the Charlottesville riot that happened two years ago as an example of a municipality doing this before.

“Delegate Turpin and I will continue to stand with and advocate on behalf of the families who have suffered during this tragedy,” said Delegate Fowler. “We need an independent review of the policies, procedures, and events leading up to the shooting. The General Assembly must know every detail of the events leading up to the 31st, as these details may help save lives. We urge transparency and decisiveness from our fellow leaders without delay.”

Kevin Martingale, representing the Nixon family has also requested Virginia Beach City Council to hire an independent counsel to investigate the tragedy to no avail.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting



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Readers React: Allentown’s mass shooting was only



Readers React: Allentown’s mass shooting was only ‘a matter of when’  Allentown Morning Call

Reader: Allentown has unfortunately joined a very sad club. The Lehigh Valley now has its very own mass shooting with AR-15 assault-type rifles. Shame on …



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Mathematics ties media coverage of gun control to upticks in gun purchases


IMAGE: For the first time, researchers have shown a causal link between print news media coverage of US gun control policy in the wake of mass shooting events and increases in…
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Credit: NYU Tandon: Shinnosuke Nakayama

BROOKLYN, New York, Monday, June 24, 2019 – For the first time, researchers have shown a causal link between print news media coverage of U.S. gun control policy in the wake of mass shooting events and increases in firearm acquisition, particularly in states with the least restrictive gun laws.

The results of a study led by researchers at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, in collaboration with faculty at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Northeastern University, are rooted in a data-driven approach that reveals causal relationships, rather than mere correlations. It is the first study to quantify the influence of news media stories on firearm prevalence.

“Media Coverage and Firearm Acquisition in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting” was published today in Nature Human Behaviour.

Increases in firearm purchases following mass shootings are well-observed phenomena, likely driven by concerns that these events could lead to more restrictive gun controls. Lead author Maurizio Porfiri, NYU Tandon professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, noted that this is the first study to empirically examine — and confirm — the link between news stories specifically about gun policy and increased acquisition of firearms. However, in one surprising finding, the analysis revealed no causal link between an actual mass shooting and gun purchases. Previous studies had noted a correlation between the two.

The latest study quantified influences among the three variables: mass shooting events, media coverage of gun control policy and regulations, and firearm acquisition. Researchers analyzed 69 mass shootings in the United States between January 1999 and December 2017, gathering data on the number of firearm background checks per month (a proxy measure for gun purchases), along with all print news coverage of firearm control policies that appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post during that same period — more than 9,700 documents.

The increases in firearm background checks were most pronounced in states with the least restrictive gun control policies — including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Ohio, and Oregon — and less dramatic in states with stronger restrictions on gun ownership. The team found no significant links between other variables.

“This study provides the critical insight that media coverage appears to mediate the increase in firearm acquisition following mass shootings,” Porfiri said.

“The public health impact of firearm-related physical injury has dramatically increased over recent years and is now a leading cause of death,” said James A. Macinko, a co-author of the study and professor of health policy and management and community health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Our study suggests the need for dialogue around how mass shooting events are discussed by the press, in order to find ways to mitigate unintended consequences.”

The team employed a mathematical construct known as entropy transfer, which can establish causal links between multiple variables by examining the degree to which one variable influences another. In these analyses, influence is defined as an improved ability to make predictions about the future status of a variable (in this case, background checks) based on present knowledge of another variable (media stories about gun control policy).

To further test the validity of the causal link, researchers also searched for influential relationships between mass shootings, background checks, and media coverage of gun-related topics that excluded discussion of gun control policies or regulations. The only link discovered was obvious: a causal link between mass shootings and media coverage of those events. The team also probed potential causal links between firearm background checks and media coverage of unemployment, which has been linked to higher rates of violent crime and could theoretically prompt heightened interest in acquiring firearms for self-defense. None was found.

“The results establish the first step toward our aim of creating a mathematical model of the firearm ecosystem in the United States that explains the relationships among key events,” said co-author Rifat Sipahi, a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at Northeastern University. “Moving forward, one key aspect of such a model will be to understand how subsequent events unfold and how the presence of time delays between them influence the fate of the ecosystem.”

Co-author Shinnosuke Nakayama, a postdoctoral fellow in Porfiri’s laboratory, added: “As an ecologist, I see gun violence in the U.S. as complex ecological processes consisting of multiple agents interacting with each other and the environment. By identifying keystone agents and their ecological functions through rigorous statistics, we will be able to provide tools and transparent guidance for policy.”

Raghu Ram Sattanapalle, a doctoral student in Porfiri’s Dynamical Systems Laboratory, is also part of the research team.

“At the heart of NYU Tandon is a desire to develop technologies and knowledge that make the world safer, healthier, and more sustainable,” said NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević. “This research embodies that goal, revealing new and important insights into one of the drivers behind the growth in the number of firearms in the United States. I congratulate Professor Porfiri and his collaborators on a thought-provoking paper that stands to have significant societal impact.”

The researchers acknowledge several limitations to the study, including the small number of media outlets analyzed. Additionally, background checks are not a direct measure of gun purchases, although they are the closest proxy measure due to the lack of a nationwide gun registry. The study accounted for neither the number of people killed per mass shooting nor the circumstances under which the event took place — elements that can influence media coverage.

“Media Coverage and Firearm Acquisition in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting” is available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-019-0636-0.

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, one of the country’s foremost private research universities, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.

Media contacts:

Kathleen Hamilton, NYU Tandon

646-997-3792 / mobile 347-843-9782
kathleen.hamilton@nyu.edu

Carla Denly, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

310-825-6738
cdenly@support.ucla.edu

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.



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Michigan Man Killed, Among 11 Struck By Bullets In South Bend Mass Shooting


A Michigan man is dead, and ten others were wounded in a mass shooting that happened just south of the Michigan-Indiana border.

The St. Joseph County, Indiana Metro Homicide Unit says 27-year-old Brandon Williams of Niles died after a shooting at Kelly’s pub in South Bend early Sunday morning. Another 10 people were wounded by gunshots. A statement says that five of the 10 wounded remain in the hospital in stable condition. The others were treated and released.

Violence flared up in the city later in the day at the hospital where the victims had been taken to be treated for injuries. St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman says that his officers were called in to assist South Bend police in “controlling a crowd of over 100 upset and angry citizens” who came to Memorial Hospital from Kelly’s Pub early Sunday. It actually caused a lockdown at the hospital, but the crowd was eventually dispersed.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting. No suspect has been apprehended at this time.



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Allentown demonstrators speak out against violence after mass shooting outside nightclub


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Dozens are comforting one another, shedding tears, and speaking out, in the wake of Thursday’s mass shooting outside Allentown’s Deja Vu nightclub.

 

According to officials, early that morning, three masked men, two armed with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, opened fire, injuring 10 people.

 

“It was done with weapons that shouldn’t be available on our streets,” anti-gun violence rally organizer, Fritz Walker said.

Democratic state lawmakers representing Allentown are now calling for tighter restrictions on the sale of the type of rifle used in the shooting.

 

However, gun rights organizations say that’s not the answer. A statement from the NRA says of the A-R 15:  “Law-abiding Americans use them for every type of lawful purpose, including personal and home defense, hunting, marksmanship competitions, and recreational target practice.”

 

Sunday’s anti-gun violence rally in downtown Allentown featured officials, activists, and speakers, many of whom, who have been pierced by the effects of gun violence.

 

Roz Pichardo was shot by the same man who killed her boyfriend back in 1994. Roz survived, but years later, her brother was shot and killed, her identical twin sister took her own life using a gun, and her dad died of grief. While the physical wounds have healed, this trauma has scarred her forever. “It’s been really overwhelming and people don’t understand the ripple affect that gun violence has on a family, trauma is real,” she explained.  

Every time she travels to speak, Roz carries with her, the pictures of loved ones lost to gun violence, in hopes of inspiring change. “I have to give back, that’s the only thing that keeps me whole, keeps the memories of our loved ones alive, keeps my family alive,” Roz said.



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What makes the AR-15 style rifle the weapon of choice for mass shooters?


The mass shooting this past April at a California synagogue has something in common with the deadliest massacres: the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Variations of the AR-15 were used to kill at two New Zealand mosques, a Pittsburgh synagogue, Texas church, a Las Vegas concert, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and Sandy Hook Elementary School. The AR-15 style rifle is the most popular rifle in America. There are well over 11 million and they are rarely used in crime. Handguns kill far more people.   But as we first reported last November, the AR-15 is the choice of our worst mass murderers. AR-15 ammunition travels three times the speed of sound. And tonight we’re going to slow that down, so you can see why the AR-15’s high velocity ammo is the fear of every American emergency room.

Mass shootings were once so shocking they were impossible to forget. Now they’ve become so frequent it’s hard to remember them all. Last October, in a Pittsburgh Synagogue, 11 were killed, six wounded.

Roses memorialize the people who died in the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting

FBI Special Agent Robert Jones: This is the most horrific scene I’ve seen in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Members of the Tree of Life Synagogue conducting a peaceful service in their place of worship were brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith.

Just 11 months before, it was a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Assistant fire chief Rusty Duncan was among the first to arrive.

Rusty Duncan: 90 percent of the people in there were unrecognizable. You know the blood everywhere, I mean it just covered them from head to toe. They were shot in so many different places that you just couldn’t make out who they were.

The church is now a memorial to the 26 who were murdered.

Rusty Duncan: I’ve never had the experience, not with any kind of weapon like this. For me to see the damage that it did was unbelievable, it was shattering concrete, I– you know, you can only imagine what it does to a human body.

Scott Pelley: The police estimate that he fired about 450 rounds.

Rusty Duncan: Oh, I believe it. I saw the damage it did. I saw the holes in the church from one side to the other, all the pews, the concrete, the carpet, I saw it all.

A gunshot wound is potentially fatal no matter what kind of ammunition is used. But Cynthia Bir showed us the difference in an AR-15 round against gelatin targets in her ballistics lab at the University of Southern California.

Cynthia Bir with correspondent Scott Pelley

Cynthia Bir: Years of research have gone in to kind of what the makeup should be of this ordnance gelatin to really represent what damage you would see in your soft tissues.

Scott Pelley: So this is a pretty accurate representation of what would happen to a human being?

Cynthia Bir: Yeah, this is currently considered kind of the state of the art.

“Organs aren’t just going to tear or have bruises on them, they’re going to be, parts of them are going to be destroyed.”

This is a 9 millimeter bullet from a handgun, which we captured in slow motion. The handgun bullet traveled about 800 miles an hour. It sliced nearly straight all the way through the gel.

Now look at the AR-15 round.

Cynthia Bir: See the difference?

Scott Pelley: Yes.

It’s three times faster and struck with more than twice the force. The shockwave of the AR-15 bullet blasted a large cavity in the gel unlike the bullet from the handgun.

Scott Pelley: Wow. There’s an enormous difference. You can see it right away.

Cynthia Bir: Yeah, exactly. There are fragments in here. There’s, kind of took a curve and came out. You can see a much larger area in terms of the fractures that are inside.

Now watch from above. On top, the handgun, at bottom, the AR-15.

Scott Pelley: It’s just exploded.

Cynthia Bir: It’s exploded and it’s tumbling. So what happens is, this particular round is designed to tumble and break apart.

The 9 mm handgun round has a larger bullet, but this AR-15 round has more gunpowder, accelerating its velocity. Both the round and the rifle were designed in the 1950’s for the military. The result was the M16 for our troops and the AR-15 for civilians.

Cynthia Bir: There’s going to be a lot more damage to the tissues, both bones, organs, whatever gets kind of even near this bullet path. The bones aren’t going to just break, they’re going to shatter. Organs aren’t just going to tear or have bruises on them, they’re going to be, parts of them are going to be destroyed.

That fairly describes the wounds suffered by 29-year-old Joann Ward. At Sutherland Springs Baptist Church she was shot more than 20 times while covering her children. Ward was dead, her daughters mortally wounded, as assistant fire chief Rusty Duncan made his way from the back of the sanctuary.

Rusty Duncan

Rusty Duncan: As I got a couple of rows up, Ryland’s hand reached out from under his stepmom and grabbed my pant leg. I wouldn’t even known he was alive until he did that. I didn’t even see him under her. Well, that’s where me and him made eye contact for the first time.

Joann Ward’s five-year-old stepson Ryland Ward was hit five times and was nearly gone when he reached trauma surgeon Lillian Liao at San Antonio’s University Hospital.

Scott Pelley: How much of Ryland’s blood do you think was lost before he came to you?

Lillian Liao: At least half.

This is Ryland’s ER X-ray.

Lillian Liao: You see the two bullet fragments that are in him.

Scott Pelley: The X-ray shows you the solid fragments of the shrapnel and the bullets, but it doesn’t tell you much about the damage to the soft tissue.

Lillian Liao: No, and it doesn’t tell you what’s on the inside. I mean a bomb went off on the inside. And our job is to go in there and clean it up.

Scott Pelley: A bomb went off on the inside because of the shockwave from these high-velocity rounds.

Lillian Liao: Correct.

Ryland endured 24 surgeries to repair his arm, leg, pelvis, intestines, kidney, bladder and hip.

Lillian Liao: At some point it’s like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Scott Pelley: What do you mean?

Lillian Liao: Well his organs are now in different pieces and you have to reconstruct them. The arm was missing soft tissue, skin, muscle and part of the nerves were damaged. The bowel has to be put back together some of the areas of injury has to heal itself so you can see that he can walk around like a normal child and behave as normal as possible.

Lillian Liao

With the AR-15, it’s not just the speed of the bullet, but also how quickly hundreds of bullets can be fired. The AR-15 is not a fully automatic machine gun. It fires only one round with each pull of the trigger. But in Las Vegas, it sounded like a machine gun.

A special add-on device called a bump stock allowed the killer to pull the trigger rapidly enough to kill 58 and wound 489. In other mass killings the AR-15 was fired without a bump stock, but even then, it can fire about 60 rounds a minute. Ammunition magazines that hold up to 100 rounds can be changed in about five seconds.

Maddy Wilford: I remember hearing the gunshots go off and being so nervous and scared and all of the sudden I felt something hit me.

Scott Pelley: You’d been shot how many times?

Maddy Wilford: Four times.

Scott Pelley: How many surgeries?

Maddy Wilford: Three. For my arm, my stomach and my ribs and lung.

Maddy Wilford

In February of 2018, 17-year-old Maddy Wilford was at school, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 were murdered, 17 wounded.

Maddy Wilford: And I just remember thinking to myself, there’s no way, like, not me, please, not me. I don’t wanna go yet.

Laz Ojeda: Her vital signs were almost nonexistent. she looked like all the blood had gone out of her body. She was in a state of deep shock.

Paramedic Laz Ojeda saved Maddy Wilford, in part, because Broward County EMS recently equipped itself for the battlefield wounds that the AR-15 inflicts.

Laz Ojeda: We carry active-killer kits in our rescues.

Scott Pelley: Active-killer kits?

Laz Ojeda: Yes.

Scott Pelley: What is that?

Laz Ojeda: That is a kit that has five tourniquets, five decompression needles, five hemostatic agents, five emergency trauma dressings.

Dr. Peter Antevy, Broward County Medical Director, told us today’s wounds demand a new kind of training.

The explosive force of AR-15 style rifles

Peter Antevy: If I take you through one of our ambulances or take you through our protocols, almost everything we do is based on what the military has taught us. We never used to carry tourniquets. We never used to carry chest seals. These were things that were done in the military for many, many years.

Scott Pelley: When did all of that change?

Peter Antevy: It really changed I think after Sandy Hook.

After Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 first graders and six educators were killed with AR-15 rounds, a campaign called “Stop the Bleed” began nationwide. Antevy and doctors including Lillian Liao in San Antonio, are training civilians who are truly the first responders. There have been more than 45,000 classes like this in the last four years. 

Peter Antevy: The day after the shooting, my kids, they’re waking up, and they’re “time to go to school.” And, my son heard kind of heard what happened the night before, when I was on the scene, and he looked at me with the fear of God that he had to go to school that day. My first instinct was, “He needs a bleeding kit.” My son today has a bleeding kit on his person.

Scott Pelley: How old is he?

Peter Antevy: 12 years old. Here it is. This is it. We, we, I’ve given him this and I’ve taught him how to use it.

Scott Pelley: You believe that these mass casualty events have become so common –

Peter Antevy: Absolutely.

Scott Pelley: – that it is important for everyone in this country to be prepared.

Peter Antevy: Everyone.

Scott Pelley: That’s where we are in America today?

Peter Antevy: That’s where we are.

Ryland Ward

Ryland Ward survived the church massacre because firefighter Rusty Duncan used his belt as a tourniquet.

For over a year Ryland has worked, often six days a week, learning to sit, stand, and walk again.

Ryland Ward: I’m going to see if this actually goes in the hospital. Yep.

Scott Pelley: Did you meet some new people in the hospital? You were there for a long time.

Ryland Ward: How do you know?

Scott Pelley: They told me. I talked to some of the people who helped you.

Ryland Ward: Like who?

Scott Pelley: There was, uh, Doctor –

Ryland Ward: Liao?

Scott Pelley: Doctor Liao, yes.

He has his strength back. Its remarkable, really. But healing from the loss of his stepmother and sisters won’t be as quick.

Maddy Wilford is also moving forward. Like many who suffer physical trauma, her interests have turned to medicine and an internship where she is studying the kind of surgeries that saved her.

Not long ago, many communities assumed mass murder would never come to them

Today, all Americans are being asked to prepare for the grievous wounds of high-velocity rounds. 

Produced by Ashley Velie. Associate producer, Dina Zingaro.



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Dallas’ Shooting Shows We’re in Danger, Even with Improved Security


(TNS) – It’s a fear that’s crept into everyone’s mind. You’re walking down a street on an ordinary day, turn a corner, and hear a barrage of gunfire from an assault rifle. The shooter has multiple clips of ammo and no fear of death.

That was reality on Monday for Don Miles, who was walking to the Commerce Street entrance of the Earle Cabell Federal Building when Dallas’ latest lone wolf assault happened. He ran across the street, into traffic, to get away.

“I really didn’t know exactly where the bullets were coming from. The shots were just ringing out. People were running out the door. I didn’t know if he was inside or where he was,” Miles said during an interview Friday.

Our security is better. Our response is faster.

And yet potential targets remain everywhere. When Brian Clyde attacked the federal courthouse before he was killed by officers in a gun battle, it was at least the third time since 2015 that an aggrieved, heavily armed gunman opened fire on police in and around downtown Dallas.

Although officers on the scene stopped Clyde’s short-lived rampage, someone suitably armed who is highly motivated can get into almost any facility to potentially commit mass murder, security experts say. There is also the risk that creating fortresslike defenses in major cities will encourage terrorists and other bad actors to seek out so-called “soft targets” like movie theaters and restaurants, or target small towns or suburbs where security is light or nonexistent.

Despite advances in high-tech security measures, from place to place and event to event, the level of security can be vastly different. It’s been a reality for a long time now, since 9/11 or even the Oklahoma City bombing of the ’90s, that we are always in danger. Experts say the best thing you can do to stay safe is to remain alert and report suspicious activity,

“There is no silver bullet to any of this stuff,” said Nadav Morag, an associate professor at Sam Houston State University and chairman of its security studies department.

Even after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, Americans were willing to tolerate only so much infringement of their freedoms to increase security, Morag said. Metal detectors are one thing. But U.S. national security agencies cannot, for example, monitor our social media, internet or phone activity and interactions without the reasonable suspicion that requires a warrant.

Even if a family member reports an unstable relative, authorities are limited in what they can do — unless the person has committed a crime or is an immediate threat to themselves or others.

“We have to accept that this is a reality,” Morag said. “It’s a trade-off.”

If we as a society want to have unfettered access to guns, “we have to live with the repercussions,” said Morag, who served as senior director of the Israeli National Security Council.

In some big cities like New York, concrete barriers and other obstacles are showing up in public spaces to try to prevent terrorists from using vehicles to mow down pedestrians. Surveillance cameras are everywhere, and facial recognition software is beginning to be used at large sporting venues, a situation eerily reminiscent of North Korea or a George Orwell novel. It’s also not unusual to see heavily-armed police milling about during large events.

While prevention remains a tricky subject, response efforts have improved greatly.

Kevin Oden, Dallas’ assistant emergency management coordinator, said Dallas is as prepared and equipped for active shooter events as any other city in the nation. Last year was the Office of Emergency Management’s most ambitious, having pulled off the city’s largest full-scale mass casualty incident exercise at the Majestic Theatre.

Police officers are equipped with techniques and firepower that were once the sole purview of SWAT. And Dallas medics with ballistic gear can now enter disaster and mass-casualty scenes to rescue and treat victims without waiting hours for the threat to subside, Oden said. “That’s where we have to be,” he said.

Monday’s attack on the courthouse was the perfect example of the most difficult threat to detect: the self-radicalized lone wolf.

Confidential informants and other intelligence efforts that traditionally have worked against terrorist organizations are useless against this person, whose methods and motivations are typically known only to himself. There is no one harder to stop than the person who doesn’t care what happens to himself, said Kyle Olson, a Virginia-based security consultant.

“If you are willing to die for your cause, you are a very, very potent weapon,” he said. “It’s a big challenge.”

Still, experts point out that Monday’s attack was a relatively rare event.

Government statistics reveal a total of 160 active shooter events in America from 2000 to 2013. The FBI defines active shooters as those “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas,” not including incidents tied to gang or drug violence. The median number of deaths was two.

And just 1% of murder victims were killed during such incidents, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

“We give them more credit than they deserve,” Morag says, because the threat is often not proportional to the response. The shooters are trying to create a big impact, he said.

In Dallas, few have forgotten the downtown sniper who in 2016 killed five officers in an ambush following a protest march. A police robot killed him hours later. And many remember the 2015 attack on the police headquarters building in which the shooter was killed before he could harm anyone.

Miles, 66, a Dallas charter school building director, said he is still shaken by Monday’s attack.

“It scared me to death,” he said. “I’m looking to the left and right all the time. It makes you paranoid because you don’t know what might happen any day.”

Morag said people are more likely to die in vehicle accidents than in a mass shooting or bombing. But people don’t drive less because of it, he said.

Israelis are willing to tolerate considerably more intrusion into their lives for security, such as checkpoints, given the threat level in that country, Morag said. How much Americans will tolerate is a “function of how threatened we feel,” he said. He called it a “psychological function.”

Immediately following the September 2001 attacks, lawmakers passed the Patriot Act that added a number of restrictive security measures. But as the threat recedes, the public is less likely to agree to laws and policies that limit freedoms, Morag said. Americans don’t seem receptive, for example, to the idea of metal detectors at entrances to shopping malls and movie theaters, he said.

Americans, he said, do not want to become like China, which is investing heavily in technology such as artificial intelligence, facial recognition and the monitoring of social media — and not all in the name of security.

Olson, the security consultant, said absolute security is unattainable. By definition, we live in an open society, he said. Commerce and schooling “demand that people be able to come and go.”

WHAT TO DO

Whether it’s a business, a school or a courthouse, people will walk through the front door who you don’t know, Olson said.

Danny Defenbaugh, a longtime FBI supervisor in Dallas who now runs a security and investigative firm, said the one person who’s most important for security is the receptionist, who will be the first to come into contact with a potential threat.

“You find that they don’t have any training,” he said.

Companies and governments are investing more in surveillance systems like video cameras, but Olson said their use is limited. “My problem with that is, it’s good at telling you what happened after the fact,” Olson said.

Some cities like London are using cameras proactively, he said. They have people who monitor live feeds to look for certain behavior, he said. In Sydney, Australia, security workers will follow people on CCTV over multi-block area if they view something suspicious, he said.

But that, Olson added, has “a certain Big Brother quality to it.”

“In the abstract, I don’t like the idea of Big Brother watching me all the time,” he said.

But should something bad happen, Olson said, people will immediately ask: Why weren’t you watching this person?

Oden, the city’s emergency management official, said his department is gearing up for a regional full-scale exercise called the Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attack.

The event, paid for by a grant, will help North Texas prepare for an attack on par with the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka earlier this year. On that day, three churches and three hotels were targeted in coordinated suicide bombings. The terrorist attacks killed 258 people, and wounded at least 500 others. Oden said the exercise will be held as soon as March 2020.

Another tool Dallas police have is called a “fusion center,” where criminal intelligence data is collected and shared among federal, state and local police looking for threat indicators. The city’s fusion center provides “real time tactical intelligence to officers in the field responding to emergency calls,” according to the Dallas police website.

Matthew J. DeSarno, the new special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas field office, has worked in counterterrorism during his career in big cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C. He said cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement in North Texas is the best he’s ever seen.

“That’s critical to protecting cities because the first responders will be local police departments,” he said.

Oden said Dallas police do a great job developing relationships with private security and having plenty of officers in the downtown area that’s home to prime targets for terrorists like City Hall. But that can do only so much.

“There will never be enough cops, enough security,” Oden said.

THE NEW THREAT

Clyde, the 22-year-old courthouse shooter, was considered a lone wolf or, as the FBI calls them, “homegrown violent extremists.”

Defenbaugh says they are usually young men who are “determined to make a name for themselves.”

DeSarno called it a challenging problem because you have “mental health issues combined with some multiple grievances.”

“We are taking steps to be more effective against that threat,” he said.

DeSarno, Oden and other security experts say it is up to the public to act as a first line of defense and report any suspicious activity. That includes warning signs on social media, Oden said, such as a fascination with guns and violence.

It creates a challenge for loved ones who are around a potentially violent person, DeSarno said. In many cases, people are close enough to see some warning signs. DeSarno said they should not be fearful of embarrassment if they are wrong. They should dial 911, he said.

That actually happened in Clyde’s case. A relative warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal. But because there was no specific threat, the FBI said it had no legal reason to pursue an investigation.

DeSarno said he doesn’t want citizens to be paranoid and fearful. But they should raise their level of “situational awareness,” rather than walking around with “earbuds on and your face in your phone.” Know where building exits are, for example. If you had to evacuate a building, where would you go?

“For the average person day to day, just live your life and take a second sometimes to be aware of your surroundings,” Oden said.

Miles, still shaken by Monday’s shooting, said he has already started.

“I’m definitely going to be watching, if someone even looks suspicious,” he said. “You don’t know what might happen any day.”

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©2019 The Dallas Morning News

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One Dead, 10 Injured in South Bend Pub Shooting


One person has died and at least 10 people have been injured after a gunman opened fire at local pub in South Bend, Indiana, police said Sunday morning.

Local police and the Metro Homicide squad were called to a reported mass shooting at 2 a.m. at Kelly’s Pub in South Bend, Indiana.

Local news ABC 57 reports that several victims were taken to area hospitals with gunshot wounds.

There is no information on the shooter or motive for the crime.

South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to give a town hall meeting on Sunday to address concerns after a police shooting last week.

This story is developing.



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