On Tuesday afternoon, a man in Dale County, Alabama, near Midland City, got on a school bus, demanded a child be let off with him, then shot and killed the bus driver when he refused. The shooter, identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, then took the boy from the bus and is currently holed up with him in an underground bunker nearby.
Sometimes—like when they call themselves "space conquerors" after launching a satellite that broke almost immediately and tumbled out of orbit—it can be hard to take North Korea seriously. Other times—like when they threaten another test of their nuclear program at a highly delicate time for their neighbors, politically—it seems wiser to keep a close eye on them.
New to theaters this week: a cops-and-corruption thriller, Ah-nuld's return to his roots and a freaky-looking horror piece about—what else?—creepy kids. A little light on the comedy and family fare, perhaps, but an intriguing mix nonetheless.
Here's a look at some notable birthdays being celebrated today:
Robert Duvall Age: 82 Occupation: Actor and Director Known For: A career spanning more than 50 years that includes such legendary films as 'The Godfather,' 'Network,' 'The Great Santini,' 'Apocalypse Now' and the cult classic 'True Romance,' his Oscar-winning performance in 'Tender Mercies,' and being a rare Hollywood Republican
It's a busy time at the movies these days. Studios are trying to get all their releases in before the December 31 Oscar deadline, and they're also vying for your precious holiday dollar. This week's offerings include a few that came out on Christmas—Quentin Tarantino's latest, an adaptation of a much loved musical, a family comedy, and a documentary about the justice system—and the first collaboration between Matt Damon and Gus Van Sant since 'Good Will Hunting,' due out Friday.
UPDATE 4:07 p.m. EST: Authorities have identified the gunman as William Spengler, an ex-convict who spent 17 years in prison for murdering his 92-year-old grandmother in 1980.
Spengler was paroled for the crime in 1998.
Police also have not located Spengler's 67-year-old sister, who lived in the house with Spengler.
Authorities also report that a total of seven houses were destroyed in the blaze.
UPDATE 12:40 p.m. EST: Police chief Gerald Pickering says that the gunman, who was killed at the scene, either by police or from a self-inflicted wound, may have set a trap for first responders.
UPDATE 12:15 p.m. EST: The Associated Press is reporting that the gunman who killed the two firefighters is also dead. His body was found at the scene. The names of the two deceased firefighters, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, are Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the Webster Police Department’s public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka. The names of the wounded firefighters are Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.
Early Monday morning two firefighters were shot and killed when responding to a call in Webster, New York, just outside Rochester. After the firefighters arrived at 191 Lake Road, an unknown shooter fired at them as they left their truck, killing two of them and wounding two others. The wounded men are at a nearby hospital; one is in stable condition, the other is in guarded condition.
The National Rifle Association went quiet after last week's shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and many have been wondering what the gun-advocacy group would have to say. On Tuesday, the NRA released an official statement:
NOTE: This post will be continually updated as new information comes in. Video and photos are below. All times Eastern.
UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Originally it was thought that Adam Lanza, the gunman, shot his mother at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, where she was a teacher's aide. ABC has learned that, in fact, Nancy Lanza was killed at her home (by her son) prior to the massacre. He then drove to the school, where he killed 20 children and six adults, before killing himself.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, the Australian DJs whose prank call led to the suicide of a nurse at Kate Middleton's hospital last week, recently gave an interview to 'A Current Affair' in which they regretfully explained that they never meant for anything like that to happen.
Kate Middleton checked into King Edward VII hospital last week for acute morning sickness following the announcement of her pregnancy. While she was there, a pair of Australian radio DJs called the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The worker who took the call and patched it through to Middleton's private nurse was found dead Friday morning, possibly a result of suicide.
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