Nation roundup for October 8
Ala. officer fatally shoots student
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Classmates and friends are questioning why a police officer fatally shot a University of South Alabama freshman who was naked and had been banging on a window at police headquarters.
Campus officials didn’t give any indication that Gil Collar, 18, of Wetumpka had a weapon when he was shot. A university spokesman said he was fatally wounded about 1:30 a.m. Saturday after an officer heard a bang on a window and went outside to investigate.
A statement issued by university spokesman Keith Ayers said Collar, who wrestled at Wetumpka High School before enrolling at South Alabama, assumed a “fighting stance” and chased an officer before being shot. The officer tried to retreat numerous times to defuse the situation before opening fire, the school said.
But sophomore Tyler Kendrick said campus authorities haven’t provided any satisfying answers about why Collar was killed.
“Really, it just upsets me that there’s no other way to apprehend an unarmed student rather than shooting him. I don’t understand that,” Kendrick said.
Student Joshua Frye said it seemed the officer could have used something other than a firearm to stop Collar.
“What I feel is that a cop has more than a gun,” he said.
The officer was placed on paid leave, and an autopsy will determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.
Gunman kills 2, injures 3 in N.J.
CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — A masked man carrying a gun and a machete entered a parked car and opened fire on five young adults inside, killing the driver and a passenger and wounding the others, then pushed aside the driver’s body and drove off with four of the victims inside, authorities said, in a startling burst of violence even for a city consistently ranked as one of the nation’s most dangerous.
It was not clear whether the gunman knew anyone in the car or what sparked the shooting late Saturday, Camden County prosecutor’s spokesman Jason Laughlin said. The gunman eventually fled and remained at large Sunday, authorities said.
The car was parked in an alley when the masked man approached and got in on the driver’s side, Laughlin said. He fired several shots, killing the 18-year-old driver, Jewel Manire, and Khalil Gibson, 20, of Camden.
The spray of bullets wounded a 20-year-old woman in the face, a 16-year-old in the head and another 16-year-old in the arm, Laughlin said.
3 still hospitalized after bus accident
WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — Five people in critical condition after a tour bus accident in New Jersey were released from the hospital and three others were upgraded to fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday.
State police said 23 people were injured in Saturday morning’s crash in Wayne, including two young children. A spokeswoman at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center declined to provide further details Sunday about the three patients in fair condition or say when they might be released.
Authorities were still working Sunday to determine what caused the accident on an exit ramp off of eastbound Interstate 80.
Three injured as train slams truck
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — A commuter train carrying more than 200 passengers struck a semi that was stalled on the tracks in northern Los Angeles County, leaving three people with minor injuries, authorities said.
The crash involving Metrolink Train No. 271 and the truck hauling automobiles occurred about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the Newhall district Santa Clarita, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Dubin.
The semi driver was able to get out of the truck before the crash on Pine Street, just south of Newhall Avenue in Old Town Newhall.
Three of the train’s 220 passengers had minor injuries and were treated at a hospital, Dubin said. No one else was hurt.
A Metrolink passenger told KHTS-AM in Santa Clarita that he didn’t feel an impact, but the effect was as if the train’s driver suddenly slammed on the brakes.
“It was just kind of a hard stop,” the passenger said.
Officials weren’t sure how fast the train was going, but said the truck spilled diesel fuel and its cab was heavily damaged. The train did not derail but remained at the scene.
Calif. gas prices continue to climb
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California motorists faced another day of record-breaking gasoline prices Sunday, though relief appeared to be on the way.
In its latest update early Sunday, AAA reported that the statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $4.655. Saturday’s average of $4.6140 was the highest since June 19, 2008, when it was $4.6096.
The four-penny-per-gallon jump Sunday was less than Saturday’s increase, which was 12 cents.
Sunday’s price, like Saturday’s, was the highest in the nation, with the Golden State overtaking Hawaii as the state with the most expensive fuel due to a temporary reduction in supply.
Gov. Jerry Brown ordered state smog regulators Sunday to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to help drive prices down. Winter-blend gas typically isn’t sold until after October 31. Few refineries outside the state are currently making summer-blend gas, putting the pressure on already-taxed California manufacturers.
In some locations, fuming motorists paid $5 or more per gallon while station owners had to shut down pumps in others.
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