<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:59:58 -0500 Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:59:58 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Officials: Oregon College Shooter Died of Apparent Suicide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 15:34:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_51415249853.jpg

The man armed with several guns who walked into a Thursday morning writing class at a rural Oregon community college and fatally shot nine people, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, speaking at a news conference Saturday, said the medical examiner's office has determined the cause of death as suicide.

Officials initially said the shooter, identified as 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer, was killed during a shoot out with officers responding to the Umpqua Community College campus. The worst mass shooting in Oregon history also injured nine people.

Hanlin also revealed an additional gun was found at the apartment Harper-Mercer shared with his mother, bringing the total number of weapons seized to 14. 

Harper-Mercer was armed with a 9mm Glock pistol and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, according to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives incident report obtained by The Associated Press.

Mercer also had a .40-caliber Taurus pistol traced to someone in Portland and a .556-caliber Del-Ton.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Celine Nunez announced Friday at a news conference that six weapons were recovered at the college campus and an additional seven were found at the shooter's home.

Nunez said the firearms were purchased legally by the shooter or a family member in the last three years. Officials did not say whether the latest gun found at Harper-Mercer's home was purchased legally. 

Investigators also found a flak jacket next to a rifle at the school, which contained steel plates, Nunez said.

Officials conducting searches at the school, shooter's residence and vehicle have also seized documents and digital media, Hanlin said.

"The Oregon State Police Crime Lab as well as the ATF and FBI Laboratories are all engaged in the effort to move forward with processing this evidence," he added.

Douglas County District Attorney Rick Wesenberg said the Oregon State Police's investigation into the officer-involved shooting is "nearing conclusion."

"I expect to be presented with the case early next week. Once I receive the case, I will do a thorough review and make a determination on whether the use of force was justified," he said.

In a statement, Harper-Mercer's family expressed their grief and offered prayers to the families of the victims.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific events that unfolded on Thursday, October 1. Our thoughts, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of the families of those who died and were injured," the statement read.

Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Mercer left behind a multi-page document at the shooting scene espousing what one of them called "a philosophy of hate."

Two officials familiar with the contents say he wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

The officials said he lamented the fact that he had no girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding, "He felt the world was against him."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[19 Dead After Hospital Hit by Apparent US Airstrike]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:18:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Kunduz+hospital+Bombings+1.JPG

Twelve Doctors Without Borders staff along with seven patients, including three children, were killed and another 37 injured after an apparent U.S. airstrike hit the international charity's hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

Coalition spokesman Col. Brian Tribus confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted at around 2:15 a.m. local time on Saturday (5:45 p.m. ET Friday) "may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility." The incident was being investigated, he added.

Doctors Without Borders — which is also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres — said its site "was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged" in what it called an "aerial attack."

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called the event "tragic" and noted that U.S. forces were "operating nearby" in support of Afghan security forces battling the Taliban.

"While we are still trying to determine exactly what happened, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected," Carter said in a statement.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called Saturday for a "swift, full and transparent investigation."

“This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable, and possibly even criminal,” Zeid said.

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<![CDATA[Contrast in Number of Americans Killed by Gun Violence Vs. Terrorism ]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 07:43:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/deaths-GettyImages-490928292.jpg

A frustrated President Barack Obama addressed the nation Thursday, contrasting federal efforts to combat terrorism with the lack of action on gun violence, NBC News reported.

Obama asked news organizations to “tally up the number of Americans who have been killed in terrorist attacks in the last decade” and compare those killed by gun violence.

An estimated 153,144 homicide cases in which firearms were used were registered by the Centers for Disease Control between 2001 and 2013, compared to 3,046 people killed in the U.S. by terrorist or possible terrorist attacks between 2001 to 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

The shooting rampage on the community college campus in Roseburg left at least 10 people dead, including the shooter.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Shooting at Community College in Oregon]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:32:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_566569925259.jpg At least 10 people are dead and seven others were injured after a gunman opened fire Thursday morning on the campus of Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon, authorities said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Campaign Courts Latino Voters]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:48:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HilaryClinton-HumanRightsFoundation.jpg

Capitalizing on her still positive polling numbers with Latinos, Democrat Hillary Clinton is making the most of Hispanic Heritage Month to bolster her backing in the community and overall nationally, NBC News reported.

The campaign said Thursday it is launching "Latinos for Hillary" with several events that it will roll out over the next several weeks.

Clinton, the frontrunner early in the 2016 election, has seen her positive ratings drop among all voters and the wide lead over closest rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, shrink or disappear in New Hampshire and Iowa.

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released this week shows Clinton with a negative popularity rating, 39 percent to 47 percent (-8) favorable/unfavorable among all voters. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Missing and at Least 73 Dead in Guatemala Mudslide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:01:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GuatemalaMudslide.jpg

Hopes faded of finding any remaining survivors of a massive landslide in Guatemala that killed at least 73 people, even as families scrabbled through rubble hoping to find the bodies of loved-ones, with hundreds of others still missing, NBC News reported.

Distraught relatives of the victims shoveled alongside diggers through the mounds of earth that destroyed homes in Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City after the collapse of a hillside on Thursday night. 

Every fresh batch of earth turned up by the diggers held more personal belongings, from mattresses and books to toys and Christmas decorations, reminders of around 350 people who authorities said were still unaccounted for.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[ER Nurse Treats Dying Brother]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:58:29 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/209*120/Andy+2.jpg

A suspect was arrested in the fatal hit-and-run crash of Cesar Andres Medina, authorities said Saturday. 

Andrew Christopher Michaels, 19, of Laguna Niguel was arrested in connection with the crash, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

An emergency room nurse, Jennifer Medina, was trying to cope with the heartbreak after she discovered that the patient she was treating while working the night shift at a Southern California hospital was her dying brother, Cesar.

Medina, known to friends as Andy, was transported to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in San Juan Capistrano Friday night.

His sister, Jennifer Medina, was working a busy shift at the hospital when her 23-year-old brother was brought in unresponsive and not breathing.

As doctors worked frantically to save Medina, Jennifer Medina and her coworker looked for his identification. "I recognized the wallet ... And she opened it up and it was my brother's face right there," said Jennifer Medina in tears. "Everything just collapsed I just couldn't hold it together."

The collision was reported around 10:10 p.m. on Del Obispo Street and Paseo Carolina, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Witness accounts and evidence shows Medina was struck in the crosswalk as he crossed from the south to the north side of Del Obispo, OCSD said. Witnesses also said Cesar Andres Medina had the right of way while crossing on a green light.

Investigators described the driver's vehicle as an early 2000 model, faded black pick-up truck with tinted windows and possible front end damage.

Family members are pleading with the public to find the driver involved in the crash.

"Please I'm begging the guy that killed my nephew to go to the police," said Mary Floyd, the victim's aunt.

"I just knew I wanted to say my last goodbyes to Andy after they cleaned him up," said Jennifer Medina. "And tell him how much I love him."

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Cesar Andres Medina's memory.

Anyone with information about the vehicle or who witnessed this collision is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Traffic Bureau at (714) 647-7000 or (949) 425-1860.

<![CDATA[The Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 01:04:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_247282778895.jpg

The massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, is the latest in a tragic list of mass shootings that have taken place across the country, at schools and elsewhere.

Here is a list of some of the other shootings across America that claimed the most lives, according to NBC News.

Thirty-two people were killed on April 16, 2007, when 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, before killing himself.

On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza killed 28 people, including himself and his mother, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

George Hennard crashed his pickup through a cafeteria on Oct. 16, 1991, in Killeen, Texas, where he shot and killed 23 people before shooting and killing himself.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[SF More Expensive During Gold Rush]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:43:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GoldPanningGeneric_0608.jpg

San Francisco’s tech boom may be the cause of rising rents in the city, but, apparently, it’s nothing compared to the cost of living in California during the Gold Rush.

In 1849, as men flocked to the San Francisco area in hopes of hitting gold, local retailers took advantage of the situation by charging exorbitant prices for commodities, The Smithsonian reports. Back then, a dozen eggs could cost the equivalent of $90 today.

The Smithsonian cites the writings of Bayard Taylor, a reporter who wrote about the Gold Rush for the now-defunct New York Tribune. According to Taylor’s articles, some individual hotel rooms cost upwards of $10,000 a month – the equivalent of about $300,000 today.

But that’s not all.

Coffee could cost the equivalent of $1,200 per pound while a pair of shoes would run about $3,000.

While researchers have made various estimates for commodity pricing during the Gold Rush – some have priced coffee at around $100 per pound -- most of them agree: it was a very expensive, if not the most expensive time to live in the city.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Weather 2015]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 13:47:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/hurricaneJoaquin-NBCNews-NASA.jpg See photos of extreme weather from the U.S. and around the world.

Photo Credit: Scott Kelly / NASA]]>
<![CDATA[Life Ring Belonging to Missing Cargo Ship Found]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:27:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490832632.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard has found a life ring from a cargo ship that went missing during Hurricane Joaquin, searchers announced Saturday.

The Coast Guard said in a tweet that they have confirmed the life ring is from the El Faro, a 790-foot container ship that went missing Thursday with 33 people aboard — 28 of them Americans. 

The El Faro was last heard from Thursday around 7:20 a.m. when it sent a distress call indicating it had lost power and was taking on water. It left for San Juan in Puerto Rico Tuesday from Jacksonville, Florida.

Joaquin was a topical storm when the ship departed, but the storm quickly grew in intensity and became a Category 4 hurricane when it lashed the Bahamas on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Priest Points Gun at 8-Year-Old Boy]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 19:24:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/priest+kevin+carter+arrested.jpg

A New Jersey church priest pointed a musket at an 8-year-old child inside his church and threatened him with it over an apparent sports rivalry, prosecutors say. 

The 54-year-old priest at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry was arrested Friday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said. 

The priest allegedly approached the boy before Mass services at the church on Sunday, Sept. 13, and asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms, according to prosecutors. 

Once they were in the room, the priest allegedly had the boy stand against the wall, then retrieved a musket and pointed it at him, prosecutors said, citing several witnesses.

"As he raised his weapon and pointed it at the boy, he said, 'I'm going to shoot you,'" Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told NBC 4 New York Friday. 

The boy was not hurt, Molinelli said.

One of the parishioners who witnessed the incident contacted Newark Archdiocese officials on Sept. 25, and the Archdiocese in turn contacted the prosecutor's office on Sept. 28. 

The prosecutor's office began investigating along with Little Ferry police, and on Friday, interviewed the priest at the rectory. A search of the room turned up the weapon that was allegedly used -- a functioning Civil War-style musket -- as well as gunpowder, ammunition and other associated items for the gun, authorities said. 

Prosecutors said the priest, a Giants fan, was apparently unhappy because the boy planned to root for the Cowboys in a game against the Giants later that day. 

"The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that," said Molinelli. 

"There's no such thing as joking around with a weapon when you're dealing with an 8-year-old kid," he added. 

The Giants lost to the Cowboys 26-27 on Sept. 13. 

The priest, Kevin Carter, was jailed on $15,000 bail. He was still in custody at Little Ferry Police headquarters Friday night and could not be reached; it wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

The Archdiocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The prosecutor's office says Carter was ordained in Newark in November 1986 and has since worked at various Roman Catholic churches across the Archdiocese. He has been at St. Margaret of Cortona since February 2013. 

<![CDATA[CT Dunkin Donuts Wouldn't Serve Cop]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 17:15:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/West+Hartford+Dunkin+Donuts+1200.jpg

A Dunkin' Donuts employee is apologizing after telling a police officer waiting to buy coffee that a Connecticut location doesn't serve cops, police said.

A West Hartford police officer was waiting at the back of the line in the Dunkin' Donuts at 1234 Farmington Ave. to buy a cup of coffee at the coffee franchise when one of the employees said loudly before a room of several customers, "He didn't get the message. We don't serve cops here," police said.

The officer immediately left without another word from any workers. On his way to his cruiser, the franchise manager brought the employee outside to apologize to the officer for the comment. The employee told the policeman the statement was a joke, according to the police report.

The officer told the employee to apologize to the customers who appeared offended instead of to him, so the employee went inside with him and did so. The worker offered the officer a free cup of coffee to make up for it, but he declined and said he would get one elsewhere, police reported.

The manager apologized for her employee's behavior and notified the regional manager, telling the officer she would handle the situation. Dunkin' Donuts corporate office was also notified.

"We are aware of the situation at the Dunkin’ Donuts at 1234 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford," Michelle King, senior director of global public relations for Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. said in a statement released to NBC Connecticut. "The crew member exhibited poor judgment and apologized immediately to the police officer. The franchise owner, a long-time supporter of local police, has also reached out to apologize on behalf of the restaurant. Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees share a commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all guests."

<![CDATA[14-Year-Old Charged in 15 Robberies]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 23:05:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Teen-Armed-Robbery-Suspect.jpg

A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged in connection to 15 robberies near Drexel University in Philadelphia in August and September. 

During an incident on Sept. 29, a woman and another victim had just gotten into her car around 11:15 p.m on the 3900 block of Baring Street. The woman told police she tried several times to close her car door but believed it was stuck. She then heard the other victim repeatedly yell, “Mom,” police said. The woman told investigators she then looked up and saw the teen boy holding a gun. 

The boy then allegedly told her, “Get out of the car you f****** b****,” several times. The woman and second victim then fled into a nearby home while the boy entered their car, police said. After a few moments, the teen exited the car and fled in another direction.

While the boy didn’t take anything during that incident, during  other robberies the teen stole cellphones, cash, credit cards, house keys, and medication, police said. He also allegedly pistol whipped a victim during an incident on Sept. 18 on the 500 block of North 34th Street and punched a woman twice in the face during an incident on Sept. 30 on the 400 block of N. Preston Street.

On Sept. 30, detectives interviewed the victim of a robbery on the 400 block of N. Preston Street. Investigators told the woman, who is a student at Drexel, to log into her Discover Credit Card account to cancel her stolen card. While she was logging in the woman received an email stating that a suspicious transaction occurred at a business on the 700 block of N. 38th street around 7:24 a.m. that day, police said.

An investigator went to the business and recovered surveillance video of the teen suspect using the woman’s credit card at the ATM machine inside the store, according to police. Investigators then retrieved still images of the suspect.

On Friday police officers spotted the suspect riding a purple bicycle on 37th Street and Fairmount Avenue, investigators said. The officers noticed the teen looked like the suspect in the surveillance video and that he was riding a purple bicycle that was described in some of the previous robberies. The teen was taken in for questioning and officials obtained a search warrant for his home.

As they searched they found clothing he wore in previous robberies as well as other bicycles he used, police said.

The teen was arrested and charged with 15 counts of robbery and other related offenses. Police believe he used a BB gun during the robberies.

The robberies occurred at the following times at the following locations:

  • Sept. 30, 400 block of N. Preston Street
  • Sept. 29, 3900 block of Baring Street
  • Sept. 27, 400 block of N. 41st Street
  • Sept. 21, Preston Street and Powelton Avenue
  • Sept. 21, 4400 block of Sansom Street
  • Sept. 18, 32nd Street and Haverford Avenue
  • Sept. 18, 3100 block of Hamilton Street
  • Sept. 18, 500 block of N. 34th Street
  • Sept. 18, 600 block of N. 34th Street
  • Sept. 17, 600 block of N. 32nd Street
  • Sept. 10, 4000 block of Baring Street
  • Sept. 5, 4000 block of Spring Garden Street
  • Sept. 5, 34th Street and Mantua Avenue
  • Sept. 5, 3500 block of Hamilton Street
  • Aug. 30, 400 block of N. 35th Street

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police ]]>
<![CDATA[NY Explosion Kills 1, Injures 3]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 22:25:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pots-n-watts1.jpg

A gas stove is the suspected source of an explosion Saturday that killed a woman, injured three passersby and devastated a three-story building in Brooklyn, New York. 

The 1 p.m. blast tore the facade from the front of a building on 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park, fire officials said.

The explosion might have been sparked while a high-end stove was being disconnected from a gas line, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during a news conference with Mayor de Blasio. Investigators believe the blast occurred on the second floor, he said.

The woman who died was found in a stairwell near the second floor, the commissioner said. Her identity wasn't disclosed. Firefighters believe she was the only person in the building.

A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building, Nigro said. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.

Approximately 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which was quickly brought under control. Five firefighters sustained minor injuries, Nigro said.

It appears that the building is home to housewares store and several apartments. The building was severely damaged and could collapse, fire officials said.

"We will be doing a full investigation," said de Blasio.

The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.

"This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."

On March 26, a gas line exploded at a Sushi restaurant in the East Village. Two men were killed and 25 others were injured. Evidence indicated that someone had tampered with the gas lines or meters, investigators said at the time.

The East Village incident occurred one year after a similar blast killed eight people in an East Harlem building. Federal investigators released a a report a few months ago that blamed the explosion on poorly crafted pipe-joint and an old sewer line that cause a gas line to break.

<![CDATA[Cuomo Creates Scholarship for Slain Aide]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 13:57:33 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_963912915416.jpg


Gov. Cuomo has created a scholarship and fellowship honoring former aide Carey Gabay, who was fatally shot after being caught in gang crossfire.


The scholarship will be awarded annually to five students at State University of New York schools and will cover the full cost of attendance.

The fellowship is open to attorneys interested in public service. Winners will spend two years in the office of the counsel to the governor focusing on issues relating to violence and poverty.

To be eligible for the programs applicants must come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Gabay was shot in the head during a predawn party celebrating the West Indian Day Parade Sept. 7. He died Sept. 15. No arrests have been made.

The 43-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer served as first deputy general counsel at the Empire State Development Corp.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Arrest in Murder of Dallas Dentist]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 09:55:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/kendra+hatcher.JPG

Dallas police say they have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting a Dallas dentist last month at her Uptown apartment parking garage.

Kristopher Love, 31, is charged with capital murder and is being held on a $2.5 million bond, Dallas Police Maj. Max Geron announced in a Friday evening press conference.

Love also faces a federal charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Geron said when Love was arrested, he was allegedly in possession of the weapon believed to have been used in the murder.

Jail records did not list an attorney for Love Friday.

Geron said an alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Brenda Delgado, is wanted on a capital murder charge and is considered a fugitive.

Murder in Uptown Parking Garage Sept. 2

Kendra Hatcher, 35, was fatally shot Sept. 2 in the parking garage of her Uptown apartment complex.

Geron said investigators believe the motive in the deadly shooting was murder-for-hire. Delgado is suspected of having a role in the planning of the murder, Geron said.

Police said Hatcher pulled into the garage at her residence, the Gables Park 17 apartments on Cedar Springs Road, and parked her vehicle at about 7:45 p.m.

Sometime before Hatcher arrived home, the driver of a Jeep Cherokee followed another driver into the garage and parked, according to Geron, with the Dallas Police Department's Crimes Against Persons Division.

While Hatcher parked, Geron said, someone got out of the Cherokee and appeared to approach Hatcher. Police said witnesses then described hearing a gunshot and the person who exited the Cherokee then returned to the vehicle and drove away.

Hatcher was found deceased next to her car.

Woman Arrested on Capital Murder Charge

Dallas police said 23-year-old Crystal Cortes admitted her involvement in the murder.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Cortes told detectives she was behind the wheel of the Jeep Cherokee spotted by a witness on the the night Hatcher was shot and killed.

Cortes told detectives she was paid $500 to drive a man to that parking garage for a robbery. She also said that man she drove is the shooter, according to the affidavit.

According to an arrest affidavit, Love admitted to his role in the robbery which resulted in Hatcher's death.

Cortes was arrested Sept. 4 and also faces a capital murder charge.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Vatican Fires Gay Priest on Eve of Synod]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 12:35:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_412561681413.jpg

The Vatican on Saturday fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families.

The Vatican took action after Krzysztof Charamsa, a mid-level official in its doctrine office, came out in newspaper interviews in Italy and Poland saying he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and that he was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend.

"The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

As a result, Charamsa could no longer work at the Vatican or its pontifical universities, he said. Despite his dismissal, Charamsa remains a priest, although Lombardi hinted that his superiors could take further action.

Charamsa, 43, initially planned a press conference in front of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith's office, but moved it to central Rome after the Vatican action. He was joined by his companion, identified only as Eduard.

Charamsa told reporters that the timing of his disclosure was not related to the bishops meeting on the family, but said he hoped it might add "a Christian voice" to the synod that is expected to address how the Church can better minister to the homosexual faithful.

"I came out. This is a very personal, difficult and tough decision in the Catholic church's homophobic world," Charamsa said, and asked people to bear this in mind.

He said he has written a book in Italian and Polish to "lay bare" his experience "in front of all those who want to confront me."

Charamsa told the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that he was motivated to make his sexual orientation public by hate mail that he received after publicly criticizing a right-wing Polish priest who is strongly anti-gay in the Catholic weekly Tygodnik Powszechny.

"I have to say who I am. I am a gay priest. I am a happy and proud gay priest," he told Gazeta Wyborcza.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[LBJ's Immigration Act 50 Years Later]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 06:34:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/LBJ-Immigration-1965.jpg

It was considered a symbolic move — President Lyndon Johnson going to the Statue of Liberty and signing an immigration bill that gave people from every country in the world an equal chance to come to America.

The president himself described the legislation as less than revolutionary. "It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power," he said during the ceremony on Oct. 3, 1965.

But, he noted, the new law also would "strengthen us in a hundred unseen ways."

Fifty years later, there's been dramatic change as a result of the Hart-Celler Act that Johnson signed. A country that was almost entirely native-born in 1965 has a significant foreign-born population; demographic diversity has spread to every region, expanding a black-and-white racial paradigm into a multicolored one. Americans have gleefully adopted musical genres and foods that have immigrant origins, while remaining conflicted and uneasy politically over who's here, legally and not.

Facts about Hart-Celler, also known as the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965:


Pushed by the American families of European immigrants who wanted to bring relatives over, Congress decided to replace the nation's tightly controlled, country-of-origin immigration system with a process that divided visas equally between all countries, giving preference to immigrants with advanced skills and education, or family ties to U.S. citizens.

For some in Congress, the thought was that virtually nothing would change. At that time, many figured immigrants from European countries would be the main beneficiaries.

"Historic patterns of immigration had always been from Europe," said Erika Lee, a professor of immigration history at the University of Minnesota. "They were thinking this builds on those patterns."

However, immigrants from places like Asia and Latin America came to the U.S. as well. Once they were in, they also made use of the family preferences to bring over their parents, children and siblings. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 59 million people have come to the U.S. since 1965, just over half from Latin America and a quarter from Asia.


Immigration to the United States had been tightly controlled starting from the late 19th century, with outright bars on people from certain regions like Asia, and in 1924, an immigration law limiting the number of immigrants from a particular country at 2 percent of the population of that country already living in the United States in 1890. Restrictions loosened slightly over the middle 20th century, but it was still very difficult to enter from a non-favored nation.

As a result, America in the middle part of the 20th century was atypical compared to both the country's origins and where it is now, said Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Research Center.

In 1965, only 5 percent of people in the United States were foreign-born. He contrasted that to the period between 1860 and 1920, where it was between 13 and 15 percent and where we are now, at 14 percent.

"Today is more typical than 1970 in terms of the presence of immigrants in the population," he said.

The U.S. has gone from 84 percent white, 11 percent black, 4 percent Hispanic and 1 percent Asian in 1965, to 62 percent white, 11 percent black, 18 percent Hispanic and 6 percent Asian now, the Pew report said. By 2055, no one group is expected to have a majority.


The law also led to the contemporary issues of immigrants in the country without legal documentation, said Alan Kraut, history professor at American University.

Prior to 1965, countries in the Western Hemisphere didn't have quotas, so those in Mexico and Central America could come back and forth fairly regularly. Once the law was enacted, those countries had quotas as well, which were not high enough to meet the built-up demand.

The law was signed a year after the U.S. formally ended its bracero program, which had allowed temporary workers to come from Mexico for more than 20 years. "Both of these laws really shut the door to a generation of cross-border migration," Lee said.

Every country getting the same quota has also spurred huge backlogs for places like India, where demand is much higher than in other, less populous nations.


The larger U.S. culture has been greatly impacted by immigrants and the cultures they've brought with them, said Jeff Melnick, professor of American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. "You'd have to go really far to find an area of American life that's untouched by the realities of the '65 law," he said.

He pointed to hip-hop as a prime example, which has roots in the toasting, or chanting over beats, practiced by Jamaican and other Caribbean immigrants and brought with them to New York City.

Jim Bittner, president and general manager at Bittner-Singer Orchards north of Buffalo, New York, observed that, decades ago, the seasonal farmworkers were mostly Southern blacks who would leave an area when the work was done. Sometime in the 1980s that started to shift, with the workforce becoming increasingly immigrant, predominantly Hispanic.

But it hasn't been all smooth sailing. Issues of how well America is bringing together all the people who live here now abound in all spheres, from conversations about representation in media and entertainment, to heated political debates about fences and deportations.

"With one hand, the dominant culture of the U.S. is sort of taking their stuff and saying, 'This is delicious' or 'This is funky' or 'Wow, this is attractive,' while also saying, 'God, I wish those people wouldn't be taking our jobs,'" Melnick said.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Train Hero Avoided Oregon Rampage Due to TV Show]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 23:25:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/10-2-15-Alek_Skarlatos.JPG

One of the heroes credited with taking down a terrorist on a French train would have been attending a class at a community college in Oregon when a gunman opened fire in a mass shooting if he hadn't been at a rehearsal for "Dancing With the Stars."

Alek Skarlatos, 22, who was one of three Americans credited with stopping a terrorist attack on a train in August, bolted from the "Dancing With the Stars" set when he heard about the massacre and headed straight to Roseburg, Oregon, a community he calls home.

"It takes a special kind of person to live here," he said. "It's kind of a tough place to make a living and it's a really resilient community and the people who are here are here for a reason. It's definitely a setback, but it's not going to crush this community at all."

Skarlatos said he was going to take some classes Umpqua Community College if it hadn't been for the unexpected opportunity to appear on the hit reality TV show.

Skarlatos said he would have tried to take down Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer, 26, if he had been in the classroom when Harper-Mercer, an Army boot camp dropout who studied mass shootings, opened fire, killing nine people before he was shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Skarlatos said he was with "Dancing" partner Lindsay Arnold when he received a text from a friend about the shooting. He said he then looked up the news on the Internet to confirm it.

"I just sat down for a second and then hid in the bathroom so the cameras couldn't see me," he said.

As far as he knows, none of his friends were among the victims.

"My heart really goes out to the people who can't say the same," he said.

Skarlatos and two friends, U.S. Air Force Airman Spencer Stone, 23, and Anthony Sadler, 23, received worldwide acclaim when they tackled the gunman aboard a train while vacationing in Europe. The heroics earned Skarlatos his stint on "Dancing With the Stars."

The next installment of the competition airs on Monday. If he misses that show he would be eliminated under the rules.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[12 Doctors, 7 Patients Killed From U.S. Airstrike]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 20:10:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_698247290605.jpg

 Twelve Doctors Without Borders staff along with seven patients, including three children, were killed after an apparent U.S. airstrike hit the international charity's hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 others were injured in the strike: 19 staff members, including five in critical condition, and 18 patients and caretakers, according to Jason Cone, the executive director for Doctors Without Borders in the U.S. The organization didn't comment on the identities of the victims, but said all international staffers were alive and accounted for.

Coalition spokesman Col. Brian Tribus confirmed that a U.S. airstrike conducted at around 2:15 a.m. local time on Saturday (5:45 p.m. ET Friday) "may have caused collateral damage to a nearby health facility." The incident was being investigated, he added.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Multiple Bomb Blasts in Nigerian Capital Kill 15: Officials]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 04:33:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Nigeria-Bombings.jpg

Multiple bombs detonated in two locations of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, killing at least 15 people, the National Emergency Management Agency said Saturday.

The explosions Friday night were in Nyanya and Kuje, both satellite towns of Abuja, agency spokesman Sani Datti said in a statement. He said 13 people died in the blast in Kuje and two in Nyanya. At least 41 people were wounded, Datti said.

No group has claimed responsibility but the attack has attributes of others by Boko Haram, the home-grown Islamic extremist group. Boko Haram extremists have largely been carrying out attacks in the country's northeast but occasionally have attacked other towns.

Violence from Boko Haram's six-year insurgency has killed nearly 20,000 people and displaced 1.4 million from their homes. At least 1,000 people have been killed since President Muhammadu Buhari took office earlier this year with the promise of wiping out the insurgents.

Four suicide bombers killed at least 10 people Thursday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, the army said. No group claimed responsibility but Nigerian security forces blamed Boko Haram, which is based in the area.

At least 39 others were wounded in the attack in the Sareji neighborhood of Maiduguri, military spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman said.

Nigeria's military on Thursday also accused Boko Haram of poisoning water sources in the northeastern Nigeria.

"Credible information ... indicates that though no human life was lost as a result of the barbaric act of the terrorists. However, some cattle were killed after drinking water from some poisoned sources," Usman said.

In a separate incident, residents say five people were killed earlier Thursday by suspected Boko Haram militants in Kirchinga, a village in Adamawa state, which borders the Sambisa forest, a Boko Haram hideout.

Ahmad Musa, who fled the attack on his village, said militants shot indiscriminately at residents, forcing many to flee into nearby bushes to escape the onslaught.

Buhari said Thursday his leadership has taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities.

"That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets ... is indicative of their cowardice and desperation," he said.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[Farmer Finds Mammoth Bones on Michigan Farm]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:22:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/196*120/washtenaw-county-mammoth-find-hints-at-role-of-early-humans-pit-orig-20151002.jpg

A farmer and a property owner in Michigan were installing drainage pipe in a wheat field when they discovered a 3-foot-long bone that were later identified as a part of a mammoth pelvis, the University of Michigan said in a press release.

University of Michigan paleontologists worked in Lima Township, located about 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, to recover the skeleton of the animal, according to the release. They were able to retrieve the skull and two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs, the pelvis and both shoulder blades.

The bones came from an adult male mammoth that lived 11,700 to 15,000 years ago, paleontologist Daniel Fisher said. However, the remains have yet to be dated.

"We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it," Fisher said, according to the release.

The team said they believe the animal was placed in a pond for storage, explaining that two boulders found near the skeleton may have been used to anchor the carcass, the release said.
"We didn't know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a cow bone," property owner James Bristle said, according to the release.

Photo Credit: University of Michigan
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<![CDATA[California Would-Be Burglar Tries to Break Out of Store]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 00:14:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/193*120/10.02.15_Sprint-Store-Breakin-Pomona.JPG

Usually a burglar's goal is to break into a business, but that wasn’t the case in Pomona, California where an accused burglar tried desperately to break out of a mobile phone store.

The unusual circumstances were all caught on surveillance video, after the shop owner said a burglar broke in through the roof, and then got trapped inside the store.

Owner Miguel Cejas said the would-be thief broke into the Sprint store, 20/20 mobile, through the A/C vents.

But after falling to the floor, it appeared the accused burglar quickly realized that there was no merchandise in the locked cage where he’d landed.

It was empty because the store doesn't officially open until next week.

"He then just does a beeline to the exit here,” said Cejas, looking at the surveillance footage

And that’s where Cejas said the would-be burglar made a big mistake, because he just ran into a bandit trap.

"They're pretty well built,” Cejas said. “Nothing comes in and nothing comes out."

Cejas owns 16 mobile phone stores, and some his stores have been burglarized several times, so he turned this newest one into a mini fortress, with reinforced doors that automatically close behind you.

In the video, you can see the accused burglar kicking the doors repeatedly, trying desperately to get out. The alarms blared and at one point the man breaks down a door, but it just led into an empty room.

After 45 minutes of kicking, he stopped to drink water from a spigot and then finally gave up.

Cejas arrived later to unlock the doors so that police could arrest the man.

"Finally to catch somebody,” Cejas said. “It was delightful."

Soon after the break in, Cejas had his roof reinforced to prevent a break-in from happening again.

He said he now has this warning for criminals.

"Don't try to come into my store because you're not getting into my store 20/20 Mobile," he said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Miguel Cejas]]>
<![CDATA[Oregon Shooter's Note, 'Felt World Was Against Him': Police]]> Sat, 03 Oct 2015 05:57:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TLMD-oregon-atacante-chris-harper-mercer-2.jpg

The heavily armed gunman who slaughtered nine people at an Oregon college left a hate-filled note at the scene of his rampage and "felt the world was against him," law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

Two officials familiar with the contents of the note say 26-year-old Christopher Harper Mercer, who was killed in after an exchange of gunfire with police Thursday at Umpqua Community College, wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

He wrote that he was "in a bad way," one official said. "He was depressed, sullen."

The officials said Mercer lamented the fact that he did not have a girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding: "He felt the world was against him."

Photo Credit: Myspace.com via NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Bush on School Shooting Reaction: 'Stuff Happens']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 18:56:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_183581022528.jpg

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush drew a rebuke from the president for comments he made Friday about the university shooting that left nine people and a gunman dead in Oregon the day before.

Speaking at a campaign stop in South Carolina, Bush urged caution on the government's reaction to the Umpqua Community College shooting, using the phrase "stuff happens" in reference to crises.

"I resist the notion -- and I had this challenge as governor -- 'cause look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do," Bush said.

Bush called the shooting "heartbreaking," but was speaking about the larger issue of how to set rules in the face of tragedy. 

"We're taking people's rights away each time we do that and we're not necessarily focusing on the right challenge," he said.

He said "the best laws" are usually at the state level.

Bush's campaign addressed the outrage over his comments in statement:

“It is sad and beyond craven that liberal Democrats, aided and abetted by some in the national media, would dishonestly take Governor Bush’s comments out of context in a cheap attempt to advance their political agenda in the wake of a tragedy. Taking shameless advantage of a horrific tragedy is wrong and only serves to prey on people's emotions.”

President Barack Obama was asked to respond to Bush’s comments at a news conference Friday afternoon.

"I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgment based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And they can decide whether they consider that 'stuff happening,'" Obama said.

Bush, pressed by a reporter in Greenville about the phrase "stuff happens," said the choice of wording was not a mistake but about tragedies in general. He cited as an example an "impulse" to pass a law about fencing after a child drowns in a pool. 

Photo Credit: File - AP
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<![CDATA[4.6 Million Customers Exposed in Scottrade Brokerage Hack]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:35:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Internet+Cables1.jpg

Online discount broker Scottrade said Friday believes it was the victim of a data breach from late 2013 to early 2014 that targeted client names and addresses, NBC News reported.

The company is notifying an estimated 4.6 million clients whose information was stored on a compromised database, Scottrade said in a message on its website.

"Although Social Security numbers, email addresses and other sensitive data were contained in the system accessed, it appears that contact information was the focus of the incident," the company said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Vigil Held for Women Killed in Back of the Yards Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:55:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Yards-Vigil.png

Family and friends gathered Friday to remember two women gunned down in a shooting Monday night in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

A prayer circle set the stage of the vigil for Patricia Chew, 23, and Lolita Wells, 46, the women killed in the shooting. Chew's 11-month-old infant and two other men were also wounded in the shooting. 

The family was coming back from an outing when a barrage of bullets were shot in the 5300 block of South Aberdeen just after 7 p.m, police said. An 11-month-old suffered a gunshot wound in the shooting and was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition.

"Her son asks about her I don't have anything to say," Persha Chew, Patricia Chew's sister and Lolita Wells' daughter, said at the vigil.

Funerals for the two will be held on Wednesday. Meanwhile, family and activists are begging for anyone with information to speak up and "annihilate the code of silence in the streets."

<![CDATA[Portrait of Oregon Gunman Emerges; Family 'Shocked']]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 22:41:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/10.01.15-chris-harper-mercer.jpg

Family members of the man who went on a deadly shooting rampage at a rural Oregon college told NBC4 that they were in shock and were still trying to understand why he resorted to violence.

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, opened fire inside a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon Thursday, killing at least nine people before dying in a shootout with police, authorities said. One survivor said he demanded his victims state their religion before he started shooting.

"I don't know what to say," one family member said in an interview Thursday night from Tarzana, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. "I'm shaking right now. He was a nice guy. He put everyone before himself. It doesn't sound right because he wanted everyone to be happy."

His father, Ian Mercer, told reporters gathered outside his Tarzana home where he and his wife live, that he was "just as shocked as anybody else," but declined to answer questions.

Mercer's family asked for privacy as they dealt with the tragedy.

Former neighbors of the shooter who used to live in Torrance, about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, said they instantly recognized him from the photo he posted on social media posing with a weapon.

"Yeah, that's him," Derrick McClendon said. "Stayed in number 9, him and his mom."

They recall Mercer and his mom shared a downstairs unit, then moved to Oregon about four years ago.

"Everyday I'd come home from school," Bryan Clay said. "I'd see Chris, shaved head, combat boots, camo pants and a plain brown or white shirt. He kept to himself, really didn't say much.

"He would really just walk really fast, avoid anybody who came toward him."

Those who remember him said Mercer was mild-mannered and not known to own guns.

"It's just sad to see that people just go out and kill people for no reason," Paul Rogers said.

For much of his youth, Mercer lived with his parents in Tarzana.  

"He was just a kid who to me was a little shy ... a little stunted socially," said Eileen Sandlin, whose husband tutored Mercer in science.  

Sandlin recalled a conversation with Mercer after an earlier mass killing shooting rampage, and the then-teen found it "horrifying ... he was like, yeah, he can't imagine going to school and having that happen."

After the divorce of Mercer's parents a decade ago, he stayed with his mother in the South Bay.

Army records show he enlisted in 2008, and was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for basic training, but five weeks in was discharged for failing to meet minimum standards.

The Daily Breeze reported that the Mercer graduated from Switzer Learning Center in Torrance in 2009. The newspaper cited records indicating that he lived with his mother in a ground-floor apartment in Torrance from 2011 to 2013.

Mercer also was a student at El Camino College from 2010 to 2012. No incidents were registered with police during that time, school police said.

An online search of the suspect's name points to a MySpace account referencing Torrance and bearing a photo of a man with a shaved head, with what appears to be the barrel of a rifle visible alongside him.

Elsewhere on the account are images of masked gunmen and praise for the Irish Republican Army, the outlawed paramilitary group committed to overthrowing Northern Ireland and its links with Britain.

An online search using the terms "Chris Mercer Torrance" turns up a whitepages.com entry for Chris Harper-Mercer, showing a cellphone number with a 310 area code and a landline number with a 541 area code, which covers most of Oregon.

It also listed an address for an apartment in Winchester, Oregon, which is about four miles north of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, where the shooting took place about 10:30 a.m.

A neighbor in Oregon, Bronte Harte, told The Associated Press that Mercer "seemed really unfriendly" and would "sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light."

Harte said a woman she believed to be Mercer's mother also lived upstairs and was "crying her eyes out" Thursday.

The suspect was killed when police engaged him in a shootout, but it was unclear if he was fatally wounded by officers.

The shooting left seven other people wounded, according to authorities.

Authorities shed no light on his motive and said they were investigating.

Annette Arreola, Jorge Diaz, Kate Larsen, Patrick Healy and NBC4 wire services contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[13 Guns Recovered From Oregon College Shooting]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:44:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tiroteo-umpqua-colegio-comunitario-roseburg-oregon1.jpg

The gunman who killed nine people at an Oregon community college had body armor and was armed with six guns and five additional magazines, officials said.

ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Celine Nunez said six weapons were recovered at Umpqua Community College and an additional seven were found at the shooter's home.

All 13 firearms were purchased legally by the shooter or a family member in the last three years, Nunez said. 

Investigators also found a flak jacket next to a rifle at the school, which contained steel plates, she said.

"This is a hunting state and firearms are common in most households," Douglas County Sheriff John  Hanlin said at a press conference Friday, responding to the substantial number of weapons Mercer owned.

Hanlin said the medical examiner's office will officially release the shooter's name some time Friday, adding that no one from his department will use his name because “it will only glorify his horrific actions and will only serve to inspire future shooters."

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, had a 9mm Glock pistol and .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, according to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives incident report obtained by The Associated Press.

Mercer also had a .40-caliber Taurus pistol traced to someone in Portland and a .556-caliber Del-Ton.

The shooting Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, a former timber town 180 miles south of Portland, also wounded seven people. Mercer died after a shootout with police.

Mercer isn't believed to have a criminal history. Investigators believe he may have been a student there because a receipt found at the scene showed he purchased textbooks from the campus bookstore two days before the shooting.

Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Mercer left behind a multi-page document at the shooting scene espousing what one of them called "a philosophy of hate."

Two officials familiar with the contents say he wrote that he would be "welcomed in Hell and embraced by the devil."

The officials said he lamented the fact that he had no girlfriend. "He said he had no life," another official said, adding, "He felt the world was against him."

Mercer had enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina from Nov. 5 to Dec. 11, 2008, before being discharged for "failing to meet the minimum administrative standards to serve, Army officials said. 

The worst mass shooting in recent Oregon history was raising questions about security at the college with about 3,000 students.

"I suspect this is going to start a discussion across the country about how community colleges prepare themselves for events like this," former college president Joe Olson said.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday we must do more to prevent mass shooting around the country, but added that talk of gun policies should wait until after the victim’s families had time to grieve.

“This is a conversation we will have but today is not the day,” Brown said.

Senator Ron Wyden echoed Brown's comments, adding "it is clear that it does have to be about more than words if we want this carnage to end."

Roseburg is in Douglas County, a politically conservative region west of the Cascade Range where people like to hunt and fish.

Sheriff Hanlin has been vocal in opposing state and federal gun-control legislation. In 2013, Hanlin sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden after the shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, declaring that he and his deputies would refuse to enforce new gun-control restrictions "offending the constitutional rights of my citizens."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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<![CDATA[WATCH: 'Miracle Kitten' Uses Tiny Wheelchair]]> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:47:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CassidyPhotoCatKitten.jpg

Not only is Cassidy the "Miracle Kitten" thriving but he has a new set of legs, or should we say, wheels.

TinyKittens, a volunteer-run feline foster care facility in Fort Langley, Canada, shared an adorable video on Facebook of Cassidy taking his first steps using his new wheelchair this week.



Posted by Tinykittens on Saturday, September 26, 2015

When Cassidy was rescued from a feral colony in September, he had no back legs, weighed just one pound, was covered in fleas and had a life threatening infection, according to the TinyKittens Facebook page. His chances of survival were low.

Over the next month, TinyKittens founder Shelly Roche and her fellow volunteers nursed Cassidy back to health.

“He needed meds, fluids and syringe feeding every few hours around the clock for the first week," Roche told Buzzfeed. "I had to learn how to manually express his bladder because he couldn’t go to the bathroom by himself for the first few days."

To track the tiny survivor's recovery, Roche set up a livestream of the kitten, which soon gained a massive following. When she asked on Facebook for a "wheeled chair or sling to fit an adorable 600-700 gram 9 week old kitten" the response was overwhelming.

Not only did Handicapped Pets Canada offer to make Cassidy a tiny wheelchair but the kitten also received a handmade tiny wheelchair/kitten chariot from one fan and a 3D printed wheelchair made by two students at Walnut Grove Secondary School, in Langley.

The video shows Cassidy a bit hesitant about his new-found wheels, but he soon moves with the confidence of a four-legged feline.