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Police Officer Shot During Standoff in #MountVernon, Suspect Now in Custody

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MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The suspect who shot a Mount Vernon police officer Thursday night is now in custody, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.

Mount Vernon Police officers initially responded to a domestic disturbance where a man was shot around 5:30 p.m. near Laventure Road and Fir Street, according to the State Patrol.

When they arrived they made contact with the suspected shooter, who then barricaded himself inside a home and began shooting at officers, said Sgt. Keith Leary.

A Mount Vernon police officer, 61, was shot in the head and taken to Skagit Valley Hospital. Sgt. Leary said the officer was conscious and alert . He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The officer underwent surgery and was said to be in serious, but stable condition early Friday morning. Officials said he is a 30-year veteran of the force.

[Read the developing story here, at KOMO]

Police and other law enforcement officers converged at the scene of the shooting, which has become a standoff with hostages. The suspect continued to fire shots at least as late as 10:00 p.m.

“There was bang ban bang. I had the kids go in the floor and don’t really see much,” said Maria Zendejas, who lives nearby. “I’m just shaken up with everything that’s going on. Poor officer is down. You wouldn’t think there’s something going on especially just three, four houses down from mine.”

Sgt. Leary said they believed there were several hostages being held by the gunman inside the home.

The first man who was shot went to a neighbor’s house for help and was taken to a hospital.

Police arrived, and the officer was shot. The officer was described as being conscious and alert at the scene before being taken to a hospital.

Hostage negotiators have made some kind of contact with the home. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] State Department Blames Criticism of U.S. Ransom Payment to Iran on…the Media 

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The State Department admitted Thursday that the US would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages — two weeks after President Obama insisted the payment was not a “ransom.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked at Thursday’s press briefing: “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”

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“That’s correct,” Kirby replied.

In an Aug. 4 press conference, President Obama said the opposite.

“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” the president told reporters, speaking of the Jan. 17 payment and hostage release.

Families “know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom. And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them ‘We don’t pay ransom,’ defies logic,” Obama added at the time. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: ‘Carnage At Concert Hall Has Ended’; Gunmen Killed, Arrests Reported

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DEVELOPING – Police were storming a Paris concert hall Friday night where up to 100 hostages were reportedly being executed one-by-one, after at least 40 people were killed elsewhere in coordinated terror attacks that rocked the French capital and prompted President Francois Hollande to order the entire nation’s borders closed.

“There are lots of dead people. It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.”

– Witness to attack on restaurant

The grim drama unfolded inside the music venue known as Bataclan, as word trickled out that an unknown number of gunmen were firing at horrified concert goers as French television broadcast the sound of shots being fired. Hundreds of police massed outside around midnight local time, then mounted an all-out assault on the building. Minutes later, a dozen or so shaken spectators were reportedly led out of the building, though it was not clear if the terrorists inside had been killed or subdued.

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[Read the full text here, at FoxNews.com]

The hostages were taken at the concert hall where the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal was scheduled to play. As the terrorist siege played out, a handful of spectators trickled out and told of the the horror taking place inside. Julien Pierce, a Europe 1 journalist who was inside the Bataclan, described what he saw to the BBC.

“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”

“Several armed men came into the concert,” he said. “Two or three men, not wearing masks, came in with what looked like Kalashnikovs and fired blindly on the crowd.

“It lasted between 10 and 15 minutes. It was extremely violent and there was panic. The attackers had enough time to reload at least three times. They were very young.”

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As many as six other attacks were believed to have involved shootings and at least two suicide bombers, including one who detonated near the city’s Stade de France, soccer stadium where the French and German national teams were playing in a match attended by Hollande. Simultaneous attacks are a trademark of terrorist operations.

“There are lots of dead people,” said a witness believed to have been at the bar of a restaurant that was the scene of one attack. “It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us.” Read the rest of this entry »


#FrenchLivesMatter

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[VIDEO] Military Operation of the Peshmerga and US Troops in Hawija 

US soldiers and ‎Peshmerga forces have freed 70 hostages in the ‎Kurdish region of North ‎Iraq.. The Pentagon says they were being held by ‎Daesh in a village near the city of Hawija. A spokesman says at least 20 Daesh(isis) militants were killed in the raid. One US soldier also died. It was the first American combat death since the US’ withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.

Read Jim Geraghty‘s item about this here, at The Corner