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Security officials to respond to failures at the Capitol on Jan. 6

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Security officials to respond to failures at the Capitol on Jan. 6

 

Congress will be hearing from the former U.S. On Jan. 6, the day a violent mob laid siege to the building and disrupted the presidential electoral count, Capitol security officials first addressed the major law enforcement failures.

Three out of the four set to testify Tuesday before two Senate panels, including the former head of the Capitol Police, resigned under pressure shortly after the deadly assault.

Much remains unclear about what happened before and after the attack, and it is expected that lawmakers would question the former officials vigorously about what went wrong. How much did law enforcement authorities, many of whom were public, know about preparations for violence that day? How have the agencies exchanged their data with each other? And how could the Capitol Police have been so ill-prepared for a violent rebellion that, in plain sight, was orchestrated online?

On the outside of the Capitol, the rioters quickly smashed through security barriers, engaged in hand-to-hand battles with police officers, wounding hundreds of them, and crashed through several windows and doors, sending lawmakers running from the chambers of the House and Senate, and interrupting the 2020 presidential election certification. As a result of the shooting, five people died, including a Capitol Police officer and a woman shot by police as she tried to break through the House chamber doors with lawmakers still inside.

Former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving will talk publicly at the hearing, which is part of a joint inquiry by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the Senate Rules Committee, for the first time since their resignations. They will be accompanied by former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund and Robert Contee, the Metropolitan Police Department’s acting chief of police, who, after the rioting began, sent additional officers to the scene.

The hearing is supposed to be the first of many analyses of what happened that day, occurring almost seven weeks after the assault and more than a week after the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump of triggering the rebellion by urging his supporters to “fight like hell” to undo his election defeat. The Capitol is now surrounded by thousands of National Guard troops on a large perimeter, cutting off streets and sidewalks that are typically full of vehicles, pedestrians and visitors.

A bipartisan, impartial commission to investigate the mistakes is also being considered by Congress, and numerous Congressional panels have said they would look into various aspects of the siege. More than 230 individuals who were suspected of being involved in the attack were arrested by federal law enforcement, and President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, said in his confirmation hearing Monday that investigating the riots would be a top priority.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Congress needs to know, quickly, how failed security plans and delays in the response led to “a mad, angry mob invading this temple of our democracy,” Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar, D-Minn., said senators would concentrate in particular on the timing of the deployment of the National Guard, which finally arrived to assist the exhausted police, how security agencies exchanged information prior to the attack, and if the Capitol Police Board’s command structure, which includes the armed sergeants of the House and Senate, led to the failures. She said laws could exist to resolve any inadequacies.

Here we are on a fast track simply because decisions about the Capitol have to be made,” Klobuchar said.”

Klobuchar said the hearing on Tuesday would be the first of at least two public reviews of what went wrong that day, as the Senate committees are conducting a joint security failure inquiry. The reaction of the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI will be investigated at a second hearing, scheduled to take place in the next few weeks.

Although there is general consensus that security measures on that day were ineffective, officials have pointed to each other’s responsibility for the causes and questioned the accounts of each other. It soon became apparent that although the Capitol Police had prepared for demonstrations, they were greatly unprepared for a violent rebellion, and many were battered as they tried in vain to prevent rioters from entering the building. The day after the riot, Sund said that his force “had a robust plan established to address expected First Amendment activities.”

Interim Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, who briefly replaced Sund, apologised last month for failing to plan, amid threats that Congress would be threatened by white nationalists and far-right groups. She also reported, however, that Sund had demanded that the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the department, declare a state of emergency in advance and allow him to request assistance from the National Guard, but the board refused. The Department of Defense has said it asked the Capitol Police if the Guard wanted it, but the request was refused.

Pittman’s assertion was refuted by a third member of the Capitol Police Board hours after her testimony was released. J. Brett Blanton, who serves as the Capitol’s architect, said Sund had not asked him for support and that there was “no record of an emergency declaration request.”

By interrogating the witnesses together on Tuesday, lawmakers expect to settle some of those contradictions. Klobuchar said she is glad that they are all willingly attending and hopes that a “constructive” tone will be offered to the hearing.

“What happened was a horror, all of us know that,” she said. “But if we’re going to have solutions and move forward with a safer Capitol, we need to identify what went wrong, what the problems were, and the answers we’re going to get are part of that solution.”

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CDC advisory panel backs COVID-19 booster shots for high-risk adults

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CDC advisory panel backs COVID-19 booster shots for high-risk adults

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19 stood on the verge of a major new phase as government advisers Thursday recommended booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans — despite doubts the extra shots will do much to slow the pandemic.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.

But deciding who else might get one was far tougher. While there is little evidence that younger people are at risk of waning immunity, the panel offered the option of a booster for those 18 to 49 who have chronic health problems and want one.

Still, getting the unvaccinated their first shots remains the top priority, and the panel wrestled with whether the booster debate was distracting from that goal.

All three of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. still are highly protective against severe illness, hospitalization and death, even amid the spread of the extra-contagious delta variant. But only about 182 million Americans are fully vaccinated, just 55% of the population.

“We can give boosters to people, but that’s not really the answer to this pandemic,” said Dr. Helen Keipp Talbot of Vanderbilt University. “Hospitals are full because people are not vaccinated. We are declining care to people who deserve care because we are full of unvaccinated COVID-positive patients.”

Thursday’s decision represented a dramatic scaling back of the Biden administration plan, announced last month, to dispense boosters to nearly everyone to shore up their protection. Late Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration, like the CDC, signed off on Pfizer boosters for a much more targeted slice of the American population than the White House envisioned.

It falls to the CDC to set final U.S. policy on who qualifies for the extra shot.

Still, even a limited rollout of boosters marks an important shift in the nation’s vaccination drive. Britain and Israel are already giving a third round of shots over strong objections from the World Health Organization that poor countries don’t have enough for their initial doses.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky opened Thursday’s meeting by stressing that vaccinating the unvaccinated remains the top goal “here in America and around the world.”

Walensky acknowledged that the data on who really needs a booster right away “are not perfect.” “Yet collectively they form a picture for us,” she said, “and they are what we have in this moment to make a decision about the next stage in this pandemic.”

The CDC panel stressed its recommendations will be changed if new evidence shows more people need a booster.

The CDC advisers expressed concern over the millions more Americans who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson shots early in the vaccine rollout. The government still hasn’t considered boosters for those brands and has no data on whether it’s safe or effective to mix-and-match and give those people a Pfizer shot.

“I just don’t understand how later this afternoon we can say to people 65 and older you’re at risk for severe illness and death but only half of you can protect yourselves right now,” said Dr. Sarah Long of Drexel University.

But for most people, if you’re not in a group recommended for a booster, “it’s really because we think you’re well-protected,” said Dr. Matthew Daley of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “This isn’t about who deserves a booster, but who needs a booster.”

The CDC presented data showing the vaccines still offer strong protection for all ages, but there is a slight drop among the oldest adults. And immunity against milder infection appears to be waning months after people’s initial immunization.

Among people who stand to benefit from a booster, there are few risks, the CDC concluded. Serious side effects from the first two Pfizer doses are exceedingly rare, including heart inflammation that sometimes occurs in younger men. Data from Israel, which has given nearly 3 million people — mostly 60 and older — a third Pfizer dose, has uncovered no red flags.

The panelists also wrestled with how to even tell when a booster is needed. While an extra dose revs up numbers of virus-fighting antibodies, those naturally wane over time and no one knows how long the antibody boost from a third Pfizer dose will last — or how much protection it really adds since the immune system also forms additional defenses after vaccination.

The U.S. has already authorized third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for certain people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients and transplant recipients. Other Americans, healthy or not, have managed to get boosters, in some cases simply by asking.

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Missing ISU student Jelani Day identified after body discovered in Illinois River

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Missing ISU student Jelani Day identified after body discovered in Illinois River

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some Missouri senators want to give the Department of Social Services the ability to block abortion providers from Medicaid funding for unethical behavior. 

After a special session over the summer to renew the Federal Reimbursement Allowance (FRA), the tax from health care providers that funds Missouri’s Medicaid program, Senate leaders formed a committee to address some members’ concerns over Medicaid funds going to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. 

The Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Accountability and Taxpayer Protection met for a third time Thursday since July. The focus during the hearing was to discuss a committee report that made changes to the state’s Medicaid system. Sen. Bill White, R-Joplin, is the committee chairman and he read the six-page report. 

“The state has the authority in Medicaid programs to establish qualification standards for Medicaid providers and to take action against providers that fail to meet those standards,” White said.

One of the proposals would allow joint investigations into Medicaid providers from the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). This regulatory proposal would need to be approved by members of the committee and then sent to the department. 

“The committee urges DSS and DHSS to collaborate in modifying and expanding the existing rules to incorporate consideration by DSS of any state law,” White said.

“These violations of state law may include failure to ensure informed patient consent, failure to retain medical records, failure to cooperate with DHSS during an investigation, failure to ensure adequate facilities and sterilized equipment, and failure to provide required printed materials to women referred to an out-of-state abortion facility.”

White and other members are asking DSS and DHSS to draft emergency rules and put them into effect as soon as possible. Under this change, DSS would be able to consider revoking or denying a license based on DHSS reports. 

Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, is concerned the language could affect more health care providers than what’s intended.  

“If this is a backdoor attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, I do worry about the impact it would have on health care access,” Arthur said. “It doesn’t seem like there’s solution for who would feel that gap.”

Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Couer, told the committee she’s worried the investigations could cause a gap in health care coverage for Missourians. 

“I’m concerned about what we are pushing ahead and trying to move forward quickly in a process that ends up perhaps taking away necessary healthcare from our recipients,” Schupp said.

“I’m not sure how that’s beneficial to the state or to the recipient. I think this has the intention of allowing DSS to have more control without having to do their own investigation.”

One proposed law change in the report allows the state to deny or revoke Medicaid funding to MO HealthNet providers, like abortion facilities which in Missouri is only Planned Parenthood, for unethical behavior. 

“That Missouri has an interest in protecting unborn children throughout pregnancy and ensuring respect for all human life from conception to natural death,” White said. 

This law change would require approval from the General Assembly when members return in January. Arthur said she can’t support the language because she’s worried it could affect the entire state’s Medicaid funding. 

“Until there is that assurance that we are in compliance, I think we are taking a gamble that I’m not comfortable with,” Arthur said.

Planned Parenthood is already prohibited from using Medicaid funds for abortions. Another key part of the proposal means if an abortion facility, like Planned Parenthood, fell out of compliance in another state, Missouri could force the location in the Central West End in St. Louis to close. 

White said members are expected to sign off on the report in the coming days with the report being sent to the departments by early next week.

The committee will meet again Oct. 4 to hear from MO Healthnet about transparency issues. 

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Avalanche begins training camp with heralded MacKinnon line intact

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Avalanche begins training camp with heralded MacKinnon line intact

Day 1 of on-ice Avalanche training camp identified what coach Jared Bednar and his staff are thinking with forward lines and defensive combinations.

Call it a road map to scoring and defending for a team that is replacing five forwards and defensemen who played in the June 10 season-ending loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Round 2 of the playoffs.

The lines and pairings are bound to change throughout 2021-22, but it looked familiar at the top Thursday.

The so-called MGM Line (or Money Line?) — center Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen — remained intact. And sans Brandon Saad, who was lost to St. Louis in free agency, five of the top-six forwards from last year remain in the same role.

Bednar said Landeskog and second-line left winger Andre Burakovsky will again be interchangeable, with Landeskog dropping down to play with second-line center Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin on occasion.

But the plan again is to ride the heralded MGM/Money Line until it fails or Bednar sees a need to tinker.

“I really like what Landy provides to that line, but I also like what he’s able to give Naz, for instance, in support,” Bednar said. “A lot of that, for me, doesn’t just depend on how the top line is playing or the other lines are playing. It’s like if Burky’s playing real well, he’s an obvious fit to go up with Mac and Mikko. If he’s playing real well and their line isn’t doing a lot but he seems dangerous, it’s an easy move to slide him up to the left wing and move Landy down to play with Naz and Nichushkin.

“If anyone else can elevate their game to a point where we feel like they can help Mikko and Mac, we’ll get other options to give us a little more depth.”

MacKinnon and Landeskog, who sat side-by-side at the speaker podium after the first session, are proponents of sticking together with Rantanen.

“We’ve been together for four or five years now (and) today, first day back, there’s no rust, the chemistry is there — it’s easy reading off each other,” MacKinnon said. “It’s a lot of fun. We’re lucky that we have that. I feel like a lot of players on teams have to kind of go through that process but it’s easy for us.”

Added Landeskog, “We know each other very well now and we continue to build off of each other on the ice and, even our chemistry off the ice. We’re all kind of similar in age and I think we complement each other. I think every good line says that about one another but for us, we’re three guys that play a little bit differently, all three of us. But it comes down to hard work and that’s where it starts for us.”

Bednar also came up with the following in the first of four on-ice camp days:

— The third line consists of three natural centers from the NCAA development route — rookie Alex Newhook (Boston College) and Tyson Jost (North Dakota) and J.T. Compher (Michigan). Newhook centered the trio.

— The fourth line has two newcomers, Darren Helm and center Mikhail Maltsev, playing with Logan O’Connor.

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Wainwright reaches 2,000 strike-out milestone

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Wainwright reaches 2,000 strike-out milestone

MILWAUKEE, WI – Pitcher Adam Wainwright just hit another milestone. He is the second Cardinals player to reach 2,000 strike-outs. The other player is Bob Gibson.

The Cardinals are currently playing the Brewers in Milwaukee. The team has been on a winning streak with 11 games. That is the most the team has won in a row over 20 years.

The Cards current lead in the NL wild-card race is four and a half games over both the Reds and Phillies with 11 games to go in the regular season.

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Hell’s Kitchen winner dishes on life after finale

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Hell’s Kitchen winner dishes on life after finale

ST. LOUIS– Maplewood Chef Trent Garvey is joining FOX2Now for a Facebook live after winning this season of Hell’s Kitchen: Young Gun. He will be taking your questions and discussing what he’s been up to since he won the show.

He is now the head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas.

“Trenton is everything I could want in a protege,” said Ramsay after announcing Garvey won.

Chef Garvey, 25, is from Union, Missouri. He is the executive chef at The Blue Duck in Maplewood.

After he was chosen as the winner, Trent proposed to his girlfriend Macee. She and Trent’s dad were on hand for the finale.

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Nuggets Podcast: Michael Malone and Tim Connelly talk MPJ, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Nuggets’ upcoming season

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Nuggets Podcast: Michael Malone and Tim Connelly talk MPJ, Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Nuggets’ upcoming season

In the first Nuggets Ink podcast of the 2021-22 season, head coach Michael Malone and team president Tim Connelly join beat writer Mike Singer and columnist Mark Kiszla for a discussion before the start of training camp. Among the topics discussed:

  • Where are things at with Michael Porter Jr.’s potential contract extension? Is the team optimistic something can get worked out prior to the season? How has the young forward developed within the Nuggets’ team-first culture? How has Malone’s relationship with Porter grown through the years?
  • How is rehab going for Jamal Murray? Is the team hopeful he will be able to see the floor by the end of the season? What was the scene like in the locker room in the immediate aftermath of Murray’s season-ending ACL injury last spring?
  • What more can be asked of Nikola Jokic after he just submitted the first NBA MVP season in franchise history? What has his mindset been during this offseason? Time to relax or push even harder?
  • How important was it to the team to sign Aaron Gordon to a long-term contract? What did he show Malone and Connelly during his brief time in Denver last spring that convinced them he was an important piece of the Nuggets’ future?
  • What do Malone and Connelly see as the formula to the team’s unprecedented success during the past three seasons? How much of that can be attributed to luck? And how much is it about the franchise’s strong organizational structure?
  • During a live question-and-answer session, one audience member asks: What does Bol Bol have to do to get on the floor more consistently.

Subscribe to the podcast
SoundCloud | iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS

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Tennessee grocery store attack: ‘He kept on shooting’

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Store attack: ‘He kept on shooting, shooting, shooting’

By JONATHAN MATTISE

A gunman attacked a grocery store in an upscale Tennessee suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing one person and wounding 12 others before the suspect was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store, authorities said.

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the shooting broke out at a Kroger grocery in his suburban community about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Memphis. He said the gunman shot 13 others and himself, and that 12 of the victims were taken to hospitals, some with very serious injuries.

One Kroger worker, Brignetta Dickerson, told WREG-TV she was working a cash register when she heard what at first she thought were balloons popping.

“And, here he comes right behind us and started shooting,” Dickerson said. “And, he kept on shooting, shooting, shooting. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and shot one of my customers in the stomach.”

Lane said police received a call about 1:30 p.m. about the shooting and arrived within minutes, finding multiple people with gunshots when they entered the building.

He said a police SWAT team and other officers went aisle to aisle in the store to find people who sought cover or were in hiding, taking them to safety. He said the shooter, whom he described as male, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“We found people hiding in freezers, in locked offices. They were doing what they had been trained to do: run, hide, fight,” the chief said without elaborating.

Dickerson, the employee, said her co-worker, who is in his 20s, was shot in the head and said he wanted his mother to be notified.

“I left her a voicemail that he was alert and talking,” Dickerson said, adding that she was still trying to reach her.

Another employee, Glenda McDonald, described the chaotic scene to WHBQ-TV.

“I was walking back towards the floral department and I heard a gunshot,” she said. “It sounded like it was coming from the deli. And I ran out the front door and they had already shot the front door.”

Lane briefed reporters at the scene afterward, calling it a sad day for his department.

“I’ve been involved in this for 34 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

The identities of the shooter and the victims were not immediately released. The suspect’s vehicle was in the store’s parking lot and remained there as part of the investigation, the chief said.

He added that investigators were seeking to piece together how the shooting unfolded, adding, “It’s going to take a little bit before we know what happened.”

“Let’s get through the investigation,” Lane said. “Remember, we’re two hours away from the most horrific event that’s occurred in Collierville history.”

Collierville is a growing suburb of more than 51,000 people with a median household income of about $114,000, according to U.S. census figures. Set in a rural and historic area, the town square has largely become known for its boutiques and bed and breakfasts.

Earlier this year, Tennessee became the latest state to allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without first clearing a state-level background check and training. The measure was signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee over objections from some law enforcement groups and gun control advocates concerned the measure would possibly lead to more gun violence.

The Kroger Co., based in Cincinnati, Ohio, issued a statement that it was “deeply saddened” by the shooting and was cooperating with law enforcement. The company in 2019 asked its customers not to openly carry guns while visiting its stores.

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Rockies can’t close the deal, lose to Dodgers in 10 innings

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Rockies can’t close the deal, lose to Dodgers in 10 innings

The big stage proved too big for the Rockies.

With a chance to throw a gut punch to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ chance for their ninth straight National League West title, the Rockies blew a 5-3 lead and ultimately lost, 7-5, in 10 innings Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.

With Justin Turner on second base to open the 10th, Max Muncy ripped a two-run homer to center off Rockies’ rookie Lucas Gilbreath. The lefty entered the 10th inning having pitched 17 scoreless outings dating back to Aug. 8. But Muncy ambushed Gilbreath’s first-pitch fastball for his 35th homer of the season.

Colorado took a 5-3 lead in the fifth on a two-run homer by Raimel Tapia off Dodgers ace Max Scherzer and held a lead until the ninth. Tapia’s blast off the second-deck facade in right field was his first home run since May 21. Tapia connected on Scherzer’s full-count cutter.

The Dodgers took two of three games in the crucial series as they attempt to keep pace in the National League West with San Francisco. Los Angeles entered the game trailing the Giants by two games with 10 games left in the season.

L.A. put the Rockies on edge in the eighth against reliever Jhoulys Chacin. Trea Turner tagged Chacin for a single and scored on Pollock’s double, but Chacin got pinch-hitter Will Smith to fly out to center, preserving Colorado’s 5-4 lead.

But in the ninth, the Dodgers tied the game, 5-5, on three consecutive two-out singles off closer Carlos Estevez. Seager’s hard comebacker ricocheted off Estevez’s right leg for a hit, advancing Mookie Betts to second. Estevez, though limping, stayed in the game but gave up the game-tying single to Turner.

Colorado starter Kyle Freeland’s performance wasn’t always pretty, but the lefty hung tough for six innings and he outpitched Scherzer, a leading candidate for the National League Cy Young Award.

Freeland, who engaged in an animated debate with home-plate umpire Ed Hickox over balls and strikes, gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five.

Scherzer entered the game looking invincible, carrying a 7-0 record with 0.78 ERA in nine starts with Los Angeles since he was acquired from the Nationals at the trade deadline. In 58 innings with the Dodgers, he had given up just five earned runs.

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Store attack: ‘He kept on shooting, shooting, shooting’

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Store attack: ‘He kept on shooting, shooting, shooting’

By JONATHAN MATTISE

A shooter attacked a grocery store in an upscale Tennessee suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing one person and wounding 12 others before the shooter was subsequently found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store, authorities said.

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the shooting broke out at a Kroger store in his suburban community about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Memphis. He said the shooter shot 13 others and himself, and that 12 of the victims were taken to hospitals, some with very serious injuries.

One Kroger worker, Brignetta Dickerson, told WREG-TV she was working a cash register when she heard what at first she thought were balloons popping.

“And, here he comes right behind us and started shooting,” Dickerson said. “And, he kept on shooting, shooting, shooting. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and shot one of my customers in the stomach.”

Lane said police received a call about 1:30 p.m. about the shooting and arrived within minutes, finding multiple people with gunshots when they entered the building.

He said a police SWAT team and other officers went aisle to aisle in the store to find people who sought cover or were in hiding, taking them to safety. He said the shooter, whom he described as male, was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“We found people hiding in freezers, in locked offices. They were doing what they had been trained to do: run, hide, fight,” the chief said without elaborating.

Dickerson, the employee, said her co-worker, who is in his 20s, was shot in the head and said he wanted his mother to be notified.

“I left her a voicemail that he was alert and talking,” Dickerson said, adding that she was still trying to reach her.

Another employee, Glenda McDonald, described the chaotic scene to WHBQ-TV.

“I was walking back towards the floral department and I heard a gunshot,” she said. “It sounded like it was coming from the deli. And I ran out the front door and they had already shot the front door.”

Lane briefed reporters at the scene afterward, calling it a sad day for his department.

“I’ve been involved in this for 34 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.

The identities of the shooter and the victims were not immediately released. The suspect’s vehicle was in the store’s parking lot and remained there as part of the investigation, the chief said.

He added that investigators were seeking to piece together how the shooting unfolded, adding, “It’s going to take a little bit before we know what happened.”

“Let’s get through the investigation,” Lane said. “Remember, we’re two hours away from the most horrific event that’s occurred in Collierville history.”

Collierville is a growing suburb of more than 51,000 people with a median household income of about $114,000, according to U.S. census figures. Seet in a rural and historic area, the town square has largely become known for its boutiques and bed and breakfasts.

Earlier this year, Tennessee became the latest state to allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns without first clearing a state-level background check and training. The measure was signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee over objections from some law enforcement groups and gun control advocates concerned the measure would possibly lead to more gun violence.

The Kroger Company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, issued a statement that it was “deeply saddened” by the shooting and was cooperating with law enforcement. The company in 2019 asked its customers not to openly carry guns while visiting its stores.

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Christian school must comply with Jeffco’s mask mandate, judge rules

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Jeffco public health director spars with Christian school attorneys in court over mask mandate

A judge issued a temporary injunction Thursday requiring Faith Christian Academy to comply with Jefferson County’s mask mandate for students and ordering the school to allow inspection by county public health officials.

District Judge Randall Arp ruled that the county’s mask mandate didn’t violate the constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that Gov. Jared Polis allowing the state declaration of emergency to expire does not mean that local public health agencies can’t impose orders on their own.

“The court will note that the health order was not faith-based or designated at religious practice,” he said. “It was designated to apply to schools, which then also include religious or church schools.”

The temporary injunction, which had been sought by Jefferson County Public Health, will remain in place until the end of the school year or May 31 at the latest, unless another resolution is reached before then.

The ruling follows a three-day hearing that began Tuesday, the courtroom overflowing with school supporters.

The health department sought the judge’s order last week to compel three private Christian schools to both follow the county’s mask mandate and to allow immediate access to health inspectors to conduct compliance checks in their facilities.

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