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University of Utah shooting: Suspect dead after student shot, killed; victim identified

The man wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a University of Utah student has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said early Tuesday.

Police said Melvin Rowland, 37, was found dead early Tuesday at a Salt Lake City church.

University officials identified the student who was killed as Lauren McCluskey of Pullman, Washington.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:44 a.m. EDT Oct. 23: Mark Harlan, athletics director for the University of Utah, issued the following statement Tuesday morning about McCluskey, a member of the school’s track and field team:

“Last night, the University of Utah lost one of our own,” the statement began. “Senior track standout Lauren McCluskey was tragically killed in a senseless act. This news has shaken not only myself but our entire University of Utah athletics family to its core. We have university counselors and psychologists on standby to support Lauren’s teammates, coaches and friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and all of those dear to her.”

>> See the tweet here

Update 7:20 a.m. EDT Oct. 23: The University of Utah has identified the student who was shot and killed on campus Monday night.

Lauren McCluskey of Pullman, Washington, was a senior communication major and member of the school’s track and field team, university President Ruth V. Watkins said in a statement Tuesday morning.

A vigil will be held in her honor at 5 p.m. MDT Wednesday, the statement said.

Watkins also included the following details about the shooting:

“The police investigation is still underway, but here is a brief overview of what happened last night. Around 8:20 p.m., university police received a report of a possible abduction in a parking lot outside a residence hall. Police responded and as they searched the area, they discovered Lauren deceased in a parked car near the south tower of the Medical Plaza, a residential hall on campus.

“Police issued a secure-in-place order for campus as they searched for a suspect. That order remained in effect until just before midnight, after police determined the suspect had left the area. He was later found deceased at an off-campus location.”

Read the full statement here.

Update 4:26 a.m. EDT Oct. 23: Police said Melvin Rowland, the suspect in the shooting death of a University of Utah student, has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, KSL and KUTV are reporting.

Authorities said Rowland “forced entry to the Trinity AME Church on 600 S after a foot pursuit, then shot himself,” KUTV’s Bronagh Tumulty tweeted early Tuesday.

>> See the tweet here

Update 4:09 a.m. EDT Oct. 23: Police have located Melvin Rowland, the suspect in the shooting death of a University of Utah student, the school tweeted early Tuesday.

>> See the tweet here

Officials did not release any further details, but area news outlets reported a large police presence outside Trinity AME Church in Salt Lake City.

>> See a video from the scene here

Previous report: A homicide suspect is at large after a University of Utah student was shot and killed on campus, police said Monday night.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, university police received several reports of an argument followed by gunfire around 9 p.m. MDT. Once at the scene, authorities found a woman dead in a car.

Police identified the suspect as Melvin Rowland, 37, a 250-pound, 6-foot-3 black male wearing a white hoodie, black pants, white shoes and a gray beanie. Officials said Rowland, a convicted sex offender, fled the scene on foot.

>> See his photo here

The campus was placed on lockdown as police searched for Rowland, KSL reported. The university lifted the lockdown at 11:47 p.m. MDT Monday, tweeting that police believed Rowland had left the campus. The school also canceled all Tuesday classes.

>> See the tweet here

Read more here or here.

South Carolina police shooting: 2nd officer dies after Florence ambush

second law enforcement officer has died after an ambush in a Florence, South Carolina, neighborhood earlier this month that left five others wounded.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On WSOCTV.com: Man ambushed officers coming to question adult son, Florence authorities say

Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said Deputy Farrah B. Turner died Monday. She had been hospitalized since the attack.

Turner had been in critical condition at the hospital since she and six other law enforcement officers were ambushed while attempting to serve a warrant on Oct. 3.

WPDE reports that Turner was the one who filed the paperwork for the search warrant.

>> On WSOCTV.com: PHOTOS: Multiple officers shot in Florence, S.C.

Boone said in a statement that Turner "was the ultimate professional, excelling at everything she did. She dedicated her life to serving the victims of the worst crimes imaginable."

Authorities say Turner was among seven law enforcement officers shot by 74-year-old Frederick Hopkins. They say the decorated Vietnam War opened fire without warning when officers arrived at his home Oct. 5 to speak with his son about a sex assault investigation.

>> On WSOCTV.com: York County sheriff sends condolences to Florence officers

Three deputies and four Florence city police officers were shot.

Florence Police Officer Sgt. Terrence Carraway died at the scene.

Officer Scott Williamson remains in critical condition. Two deputies, Sarah Miller and Arie Davis, were released from the hospital over the weekend.

Frederick Hopkins Jr. is charged with one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. 

Officials have not yet said when those charges will be upgraded.

>> Read more trending news 

The sheriff said funeral arrangements for Turner are still being organized.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted Monday night that he and his wife are praying for Deputy Turner's family and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in her honor, beginning at dawn on Tuesday.

Couple accused of holding child captive in basement for months

A New Hampshire couple who reported their 15-year-old daughter missing in September is now charged with kidnapping and child endangerment.

>> Watch the news report here

According to investigators, the couple held a minor captive in the basement of their New Boston home for more than two months.

Police say Denise and Thomas Atkocaitis are the child's legal guardians and had been homeschooling her.

Investigators say the girl was kept inside an 8- by 8-foot room in the basement of the Atkocaitises' home on Helena Drive in a rural part of the state. They say the only lighting came from one window, which, according to police, was covered with wire mesh.

>> Read more trending news 

The husband and wife were arrested after a two-month-long investigation on charges of criminal restraint, kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

Police say the victim is the Atkocaitises' adopted child, but officials are not saying whether it's the same 15-year-old daughter they reported missing back in September. 

The child they had reported missing was found safe the next day.

The couple was released on personal recognizance and is already back home. While they said they did not want to discuss the case on camera with WFXT, Thomas greeted our crews in the driveway, repeatedly insisting that the accusations are not true.

The couple is set to appear in Hillsborough County Superior Court next Thursday, Nov. 1.

The child who was kept in the basement is now under the state's care.

Security guard shoots man trying to break into D.C. TV station, authorities say

A security guard at a Washington, D.C. television station shot and wounded a man trying to break into the facility Monday afternoon, news outlets reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The intruder made it into WTTG-TV after breaking through glass security doors.

The security guard first tried to subdue the suspect with pepper spray and, when that failed, she shot him in the torso, according to police.

Update 7:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 22: The suspect in the incident at WTTG-TV Monday has been identified as George Odemns of Washington, D.C., according to a reporter at the station.

It’s still unclear what provoked the suspect and why he allegedly tried to break into the station.

An investigation is underway.

Update 6:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 22: The suspect who allegedly smashed through glass security doors at WTTG-TV, a Fox News affiliate, before a security guard shot and wounded him, was known to police and station executives according to station reporter Evan Lambert.

Lambert said, in a post on social media, that the man had threatened Fox executives and law enforcement before.

It’s unclear whether the man directed threats against specific individuals, Lambert said.

Police told news outlets that the suspect is believed to suffer from mental health issues.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m. EDT Oct. 22: Surveillance video shows a suspect kicking out the glass in a front door of the lobby, then kicking out the glass in a door into the studio after 3 p.m. local time.

WTTG reporter Evan Lambert said on Twitter that, according to police, the man was not armed and that a female security officer shot him in the upper torso.

Original report:

A security guard at WTTG, a local Fox station in Washington, D.C., shot a man who attempted to enter the building Monday afternoon, according to authorities.

>> Read more trending news 

WRC reported that, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, the man broke out glass in two doors or two windows, allowing him to enter the building. Police said the security guard attempted to subdue the man with pepper spray, but shot him when he remained aggressive.

The 38-year-old man was shot in the lobby, police told WTTG. He was taken to an area hospital with an upper body wound and is expected to survive.

“Man was conscious as he was transported into ambulance a few minutes ago.” station reporter Lindsay Watts tweeted around 3:30 p.m. local time. “Surreal to be reporting on this.”

WTTG reported that employees at the station are safe.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Man uses pepper spray to rob armored car guard outside Chase bank in Houston

A man used pepper spray on an armored car driver and stole cash from the vehicle Monday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office told KHOU.

>> Read more trending news 

The armored car was parked outside a Chase Bank in Houston when it was robbed at 10:51 a.m., the Houston Chronicle reported.

The guard was at the bank door when the robber approached him wearing a reflector vest and a mask, deputies said.

The robber then used pepper spray on the guard and grabbed the bag of cash he was bringing into the bank, KHOU reported. It was unclear how much money was taken, the television station reported.

The robber fled the scene in a white 2005-2009 Kia, deputies said. He is described as a tall, thin black or Hispanic man between 25 and 35 years old.

Texas Christian football star suspended after arrest on assault charge

Texas Christian University suspended wide receiver KaVontae Turpin, who was arrested Sunday on an assault charge, coach Gary Patterson said in a Big 12 conference call Monday.

>> Read more trending news 

Turpin, who scored two touchdowns in the Horned Frogs’ 52-27 loss to Oklahoma, was charged with assault with bodily injury to a family member, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported.

Turpin, a senior, is TCU’s all-time leader in special teams touchdowns with six in his career, WFAA reported. He scored on a career-best 99-yard touchdown against Oklahoma.

“Texas Christian University is aware that one of its students was recently arrested for a reported domestic situation,” school officials told Star-Telegram in a statement. “The university takes these types of reports very seriously and is continuing to gather information to determine next steps. TCU expects its students to behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law.”

Patterson said Turpin was unlikely to play against Kansas on Saturday.

“Everybody knows how I handle things like this,” Patterson said on the conference call. “My track record usually speaks for itself if you go back through it. We’re gathering information, but at this point in time he probably won’t play against Kansas.

“We have not received anything as far as information, police report, anything else. At this point in time, he knows how that all goes. All of (the players) do.”

Turpin was released from Tarrant County Jail, a spokesman said. The assault charge is a class A misdemeanor, and Turpin could face up to a year in prison and up to a $4,000 fine if convicted, the Star-Telegram reported.

A Fort Worth police spokesman said the incident involved Turpin and a woman, the newspaper reported. The spokesman did not say how Turpin and the woman were related but said a dating relationship would fall under “family member” assault.

Girl’s classroom essay leads to prison for childhood rapist

An Ohio high school student’s class essay about overcoming obstacles ultimately led to a 20-year prison sentence for the man who raped her and her two sisters when they were children.

Anthony Knight, 43, of Fremont, pleaded guilty last week to three counts of felony rape, according to the Fremont News-Messenger. A Sandusky County judge handed down a 20-year sentence and ordered that Knight be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

>> Read more trending news

Ken Arp, a detective sergeant with the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office, praised the courage of the young women for moving forward with charges. They were initially reluctant to do so because they had not reported the abuse when it happened, the News-Messenger reported

“This happened years ago,” Arp told the newspaper in August, when Knight was arrested. “At least it came to light now.”

The allegations against Knight first came to light when one of the sisters, a student at Vanguard Tech Center, wrote about overcoming childhood sexual abuse. The News-Messenger reported that staff at Vanguard who read the essay alerted the sheriff’s office and child welfare workers, who began an investigation. 

Arp said in August that the abuse was addressed by Knight and the victims years ago, but no one reported the crimes to the authorities. Investigators sought charges after the sisters’ stories were corroborated by other interviews they conducted, the News-Messenger reported

NBC News reported that the youngest sister was 7 years old when she was first abused by Knight. All three sisters said they’d been raped, but reported different forms of sex abuse. 

Minnesota caretaker accused of causing burns to toddler's hands

A Minnesota woman faces a court hearing next month on two felony counts of assault and child endangerment after a 22-month-old child she was babysitting last month suffered severe burns on her hands, KSTP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Anike Tatiaramika Jiles, 22, was watching Leah Grant at her home in Burnsville on Sept. 23, according to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 1 in Dakota County. About 10 p.m., Burnsville police said a medical emergency brought them to a home, the television station reported. Records indicate officers found Jiles holding Leah, whose hands were severely burned. 

After speaking with investigators, Grant asked Jiles, "What did you do to my kid?" KSTP reported.

"She said, 'I didn't do nothing, Leah went to the bathroom and put her hands in water when I told her to wash her hands,'" Grant told the television station. 

Grant said she became angrier because her daughter was not tall enough to reach the sink without help, KSTP reported.

According to the criminal complaint, a doctor concluded that the child’s injuries "were consistent with a dipping type injury, meaning the hands were submerged into hot liquid or water."

Since then, Leah has had three surgeries, including a skin graft, and may need another operation, the television station reported.

"My daughter is really suffering," Grant told KSTP.

Jiles was charged with assault in the third degree and child endangerment, according to the criminal complaint. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison on each charge and up to $10,000 in fines, the complaint said.

Parents and workers at a different day care Leah often attended have started a GoFundMe account to help cover bills.

Man gets 12 years in prison for biting ex-girlfriend’s lip off, ‘leaving mark for next boyfriend’

A South Carolina man pleaded guilty Thursday to biting his ex-girlfriend’s lip off when she refused to get back together with him. 

Seth Aaron Fleury, 23, of Greenville, said “he was going to leave his mark for (her) next boyfriend,” his victim, Kayla Hayes, wrote in an extensive post on her Facebook page

A judge on Thursday sentenced Fleury to 12 years in prison on a charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. According to Walter Wilkins, solicitor for South Carolina’s 13th Judicial Circuit, Fleury will become eligible for parole after serving at least 85 percent of that sentence. 

Wilkins said in a news release that Fleury met with Hayes Oct. 21, 2017, to talk about their failed relationship. 

“Mr. Fleury became angry when Ms. Hayes refused to resume the relationship, and he attempted to kiss her,” Wilkins said in the release. “She pulled away and he bit down on her bottom lip with such force that her lip was amputated.”

Hayes, who shared graphic photos of her injury immediately after it happened and while she was in the hospital, underwent emergency plastic surgery, but the doctors were unable to reattach her lip. Extensive work was required to rebuild her mouth. 

“As a result of Mr. Fleury’s actions, Ms. Hayes has permanent, serious scarring and a permanent limited range of motion in her mouth,” Wilkins said

Click here to see Hayes’ entire post, which includes photos of her injury. Warning: The photos are graphic in nature. 

Hayes, 19, described the day of the attack as “the day a piece of (her) died.” She recalled feeling her lip being torn away by Fleury’s teeth and him yanking her out of her car so he could use it to flee. 

Terrified bystanders rushed to her aid, she said. She recalled a nurse at the hospital trying to lighten the mood by joking that she would no longer have to dress in costume for Halloween to scare people. 

“That was when it hit me. This was my new reality,” Hayes wrote. “What I just woke up from was no joke. Never a day in my life will I ever wake up living my ‘normal’ life again.”

>> Read more trending news

Fleury, like many victims of domestic violence, initially blamed herself for what happened. 

“But now I have finally realized that I am not at fault,” she wrote. “This happened because I chose not to get back together with someone that I knew didn’t deserve me, which he proved once again.”

Wilkins said he hoped Fleury’s sentence would send a message to abusers.

““This case demonstrates the unique circumstances under which domestic violence occurs, and how quickly these situations can escalate into violence,” Wilkins said. “Hopefully this prison sentence will make it clear to both this defendant and other abusers that domestic violence in any fashion will not be tolerated.”

Hayes, who is in a new relationship, has since established a Facebook group, Rise Above, to help other women recognize the signs of domestic violence. 

One of the mottos of the group is, “Wear your scars as wings.”

Florida man fatally shoots wife, then himself, at fast-food restaurant

A Florida man fatally shot his wife Sunday morning at a fast-food restaurant where she worked before turning the gun on himself, WLPG reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The shooting took place in the lobby of a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant in Doral, said Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Police Department.

Witnesses said the 53-year-old man arrived at the restaurant, asked for his wife and began arguing with the 51-year-old woman, the Miami Herald reported.

During the dispute, the man produced a firearm and began shooting at his wife, Miami-Dade police said.

“She was attempting to get away as she ran toward the back. He continued shooting her, striking her multiple times," Zabaleta said.

There were four employees inside the restaurant at the time, WSVN reported. Witnesses said one of them jumped through the drive-thru window to avoid getting shot.

The man then walked to the front of the lobby, WPLG reported.

“That’s when he turned the gun on himself,” Zabaleta said.

Both the husband and wife were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Investigators said the couple was in the process of divorcing.

A spokesman for Yum! Brands, the company that owns KFC, issued a statement later Sunday.

“We are shocked and saddened by this senseless tragedy, and out thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and co-workers of our team member,” the statement read. “The KFC family is grieving with them, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.”

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