Film News Roundup: Bella Thorne’s Crime Drama ‘Southland’ Starts Shooting

In today’s film news roundup, a Bella Thorne crime drama is shooting, Cinepolis is expanding in the US and Bill Duke’s “The Killing Floor” is acquired. PRODUCTION START Bella Thorne’s crime drama “Southland” has begun production in Oklahoma with Joshua Caldwell directing from his own script. The story follows two young lovers who rob their […]

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Police Seek Nipsey Hussle’s Killer, Believe Shooting Was Gang-Related

Police are continuing to seek the killer of rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot outside his store in South Los Angeles in a burst of gunfire that injured two other people, officials told the Los Angeles Times. The Grammy-nominated rapper (legal name: Ermias Asghedom), whose business efforts in his native neighborhood made him a local […]

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97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Among 11 Killed in Synagogue Mass Shooting

Siblings, a husband and wife and a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor were among the 11 worshipers slain at a Saturday morning Shabbat service in a Pittsburgh synagogue, authorities said.

The victims’ identities were released by the medical examiner’s office after the next of kin for all 11 had been notified of their deaths, allegedly at the hands of Robert Bowers. Six others were wounded, including four responding police officers.

A few biographical details about the dead have also been released by authorities and are included where available.

This post will be updated as more is known about the slain victims, who are:

Joyce Feinberg, 75

Richard Godfried, 65

Rose Mallinger, 97, who survived Holocaust

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66

Cesil Rosenthal, 59, brother to victim David Rosenthal

David Rosenthal, 54, brother to victim Cesil Rosenthal

Bernice Simon, 84, wife to Sylvan Simon

Sylvan Simon, 86, husband to Bernice Simon

Daniel Stein, 71

Melvin Wax, 88

and Irving Yungner, 69

“We are going to get through this,” Police Chief Scott Schubert said Sunday. “We are going to continue on and show what Pittsburgh is made of.”

Suspect Bowers is accused of attacking the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood about 9:50 a.m. Saturday, according to prosecutors, who have said he was armed with three handguns and an assault rifle.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady told reporters on Sunday that during the rampage, Bowers allegedly talked about genocide and wanting to kill Jewish people.

The synagogue is used by three different congregations, all of whom were practicing there on Saturday.

Bowers has been charged with 29 federal crimes, most of which carry a maximum penalty of death, Brady said: He faces 11 counts of murdering victims exercising their religious beliefs and 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder as well as seven additional charges in connection with his alleged attack on the responding police officers at the scene, four of whom were wounded.

Bowers will make his first court appearance on Monday afternoon, according to authorities.

He remains in custody in the hospital following surgery after being wounded during the shootings.


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‘Firewall Zero Hour’ Aims to Bring Old-School ‘Rainbow Six’ Shooting to VR

First Contact Entertainment had one goal when developing “Firewall Zero Hour” for the PlayStation VR: To make a fun, multiplayer first-person shooter in virtual reality. And, at least played as a communicating group, it seems they’ve succeeded. “Firewall Zero Hour” is a team-based, tactical multiplayer shooter that takes eight players, splits them into defenders and […]

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Three Victims of Deadly Hostage Shooting at a California Veterans Home Identified

The names of the three female victims of Friday’s deadly shooting at a Veterans home in Napa County, California, have been released by the coroner’s office.

Christine Loeber, 48, Dr. Jennifer Golick, 42, and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, 29, were killed after an armed gunman entered a staff meeting at Yountville Veterans Home campus in Yountville — the largest veterans home in the country — and took hostages, CNN reported.

June Iljana, a spokesperson for the California Department of Veterans Affairs, confirmed to PEOPLE that all three women were staff of the Pathway Home, a non-profit at the Yountville Veterans Home. The facility provides mental health and case management services for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Iljana said.

Loeber was the Pathway Home’s executive director, while Golick and Gonzales were both psychologists — Golick a staff psychologist and Gonzales a clinical psychologist with the San Francisco Department of Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System, ABC-7 reported.

“These brave women were accomplished professionals who dedicated their careers to serving our nation’s veterans, working closely with those in the greatest need of attention after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan,” The Pathway Home said in a statement to ABC-7 reported. “All of us at The Pathway Home are devastated by today’s events. We stand with the families, friends, and colleagues who share in this terrible loss.”

The gunman, who has been identified at Albert Wong, 36, was a former patient who had been treated at the Pathway Home, USA Today reported.

Shots from a rifle were first fired at about 10:20 a.m. in the dining room of the veterans home where Pathway employees were having cake for a going-away party for their coworkers leaving the job, CNN reported. The gunman took several hostages into one room before letting all but three escape.

After an 8-hour long standoff with police, he killed himself and three hostages, KCRA reported. Law enforcement officials found the bodies of three women and the gunman in a room inside the property.

Days before the shooting, Wong been asked to leave the program for unknown reasons, State Sen. Bill Dodd told the San Francisco Chronicle.

California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Chris Childs told the Associated Press it was “too early to say if were chosen at random.”

According to Napa County Sheriff John Robertson, police had “tried numerous times” to reach the Wong via his personal cell phone and the phones within the facility but could not reach him, The Mercury News reported.

Larry Kamer told the wire that his wife, Devereaux Smith was at a staff party and said the gunman had entered the facility and allowed multiple people to leave before taking others hostage.

The Pathway Home has helped more than 450 veterans cope with the effects of their deployments since opening its doors in 2008, its website states. The facility has a staff of 18 people.

One of it’s graduates, Adam Schumann, was the subject of the book, Thank You For Your Service, according to the home’s website. It was turned into a 2017 film starring actor Miles Teller.

California Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement after the shootings, saying, “Anne and I are deeply saddened by the horrible violence at the Yountville Veterans Home, which tragically took the lives of three people dedicated to serving our veterans. Our hearts go out to their families and loved ones and the entire community of Yountville.”

He ordered flags at the capitol to be flown at half-staff in memory of the women, USA Today reported.


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Texas Church Shooting 911 Caller Describes How 8-Year-Old Girl Emerged Alive from the Rampage

Soon after Kathleen Curnow called 911 on Sunday morning to report the sound of gunfire at the church across from her house in Sutherland Springs, Texas, her husband went over to investigate amid the gathering first responders.

“I kept waiting for people to come out but no one was coming out. … My husband went to the doors of the church. He’s a strong man, but he said, ‘What I saw I was not prepared for,’ ” she tells PEOPLE.

And then from inside the First Baptist Church — the site of what would become the deadliest mass shooting in modern Texas history — came an 8-year-old girl, brought out by authorities.

Curnow, 43, says the child was “covered in blood and human flesh,” with “a bruise on her forehead.” Curnow tended to her as the details of the rampage became more apparent.

“We kept her on the porch because she was nodding her head and I didn’t want to take her inside and not be able to get her out,” Curnow says.

She continued: “She lost everybody but her stepfather. He came out and he was very stunned and dazed. He saw her and there was a sigh of relief. Her aunt was one of the ones coming late to church. We were able to get them together. I told them to stay as long as they want.

“After that, there were not a lot of people walking out. I was very thankful to learn that many of the people actually escaped from the side or the back. They got to safety at a convenience store close by. If they had stayed, I guarantee they wouldn’t have made it.”

As authorities later detailed, a gunman in all-black tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle began shooting on First Baptist from outside, shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday during a worship service, before walking into the church and continuing to fire.

At least 26 people were killed and 20 more injured.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

The shooter, identified as 26-year-old former Air Force member Devin Kelley, fled the scene after exchanging gunfire with a local resident outside the church. He died from a gunshot in a neighboring county, though it’s unclear how he received his wound.

No victims’ names have been confirmed or released as authorities continue to work the crime scene, Wilson County, Texas, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt said during a Sunday afternoon news conference.

Children were among the victims, who ranged in ages from 5 to 72, according to authorities.

• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.

That morning, as Curnow was with the young girl on her porch before her relatives also re-emerged, she says she offered her aid and comfort.

“We were in the shade, I got her apple juice, I was trying to clean her up,” Curnow says. “I asked her, ‘Sweetie what’s your name? Where do you go to school? Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you live close to here? Do you remember any phone numbers?’

“I told her, ‘You’re very very brave.’ “


PEOPLE.com

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Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

ANTALYA, Turkey — Aida Begic spent months working with aid groups and displaced Syrian families and orphans in preparing her portrait of the refugee crisis, as seen from the eyes of children in “Never Leave Me.” The subject is well-known to the Bosnian survivor of the Balkan War, whose films often focus on the youngest […]

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Ryan Murphy Says American Horror Story: Cult Mass Shooting Scene Edited After Las Vegas Tragedy

American Horror Story: CultApparently some things are too graphic for Ryan Murphy…
During the New Yorker Fest panel on Saturday, the American Horror Story producer, known for pushing boundaries with his grisly…

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’47 Meters Down’ Cast Faced Real Danger While Shooting The Shark Flick

Before “This Is Us” was even a thing, Mandy Moore joined fellow actor Claire Holt for a challenging project that would prove to be both fun and frightening.

In “47 Meters Down,” Moore and Holt play sisters who venture out on a shark diving trip during their tropical getaway to test their adventurous spirits. Thing is, the protective cage they’re in is pretty rusty, which is why it breaks off the boat and falls, well, 47 meters down into the open ocean. Did we mention their oxygen tanks are running low? Or that there are great white sharks feeding off the chum the crew tossed overboard? Well, get ready for a nauseating, anxiety-inducing ride. 

“Both Mandy and I had no diving experience before we did this film,” Holt told HuffPost during a Build Series interview. “We had a crash course for about a day and a half and then we got really thrown in the deep end. Pun intended,” she joked, adding, “There were some hairy situations we got into on a few occasions, but by the end of it, I think we just felt really proud of our accomplishment that we survived two months underwater.”

Those “hairy situations” could have been horror flicks themselves as Holt said she endured stretched lungs due to a malfunctioning oxygen tank and ear pain following an equalizing issue. 

“We really didn’t understand the toll it would take on our bodies … we were just so exhausted and we would crawl out of the tank at lunchtime and just pass out,” Holt said of the experience shooting. “I just didn’t know how I was going to make it through, and that was the scariest part for me because I knew I was looking down the barrel of another seven weeks or so of that. But we were really well taken care of ― we had wonderful safety divers and amazing professional divers, stunt divers who did some of the really tricky stuff for us, like when the cage drops. But the whole thing was pretty dang scary.” 

Holt, who many know from her role as Rebekah Mikaelson on “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals,” did add that it wasn’t all bad, though. She said being underwater was peaceful at times, and “a really zen experience.”

Although the exterior shots of the movie were filmed in the Dominican Republic, most of the shoot took place in a 20-foot-deep tank in London, where the ladies would spend hours underwater, filming while wearing scuba gear. Camera operators and various crew members would also be in the water with Moore and Holt, as well as safety divers who would make sure they were OK.  

“We had to learn how to act in a different way to be able to emote. And it’s all really in our eyes,” Holt shared. “Crying underwater with that mask on is a very strange experience. It’s quite technical, too. The camera crew was amazing and helped us a lot.”

Although pretending that you could be devoured by a great white shark at any moment was a hard task to accomplish ― especially when said shark was just a prop rock on set ― Holt said she knew she wanted to be in the thriller immediately after reading the script. 

“I read it and it was so compelling and I couldn’t stop turning the pages,” she said. “I knew how difficult it would be from my small amount of tank experience from the mermaid show I did many years ago [”H2O: Just Add Water”]. But both Mandy and I felt the same way: we were searching for a challenge. And it’s not often you get material that is so heavily dependent on just a few characters and so physically demanding ― it was exciting and frightening, but I’m so glad I agreed.” 

47 Meters Down” hits theaters Friday. Watch Claire Holt’s full Build interview below. 

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Bulls Bag Pro-Series Custom Shooting Rest

Bulls Bag Pro-Series Custom Shooting Rest


Combines higher elevation with easy portability, and features Bulls Bags’ “butterfly” hinge action that grips the rifle securely for less muzzle jump. Low-center-of gravity “H” design has a cradle height of approximately 8″ for use with longer detachable magazines and pistol-style grips, making this an excellent choice the AR-15 shooter. Pre-filled with dry media, the attractive, “tree” camouflage pattern 900 Denier polyester body has a 2 mil thick coating for UV protection. Black suede top provides an excellent gripping surface that won’t scratch the stock or barrel. Wide footprint increases shooting stability for increased accuracy wh Mfg: Bulls Bag
List Price: $ 129.99
Price: $ 129.99

Thomas and Friends TrackMaster Shooting Star Gordon Motorized Engine

Thomas and Friends TrackMaster Shooting Star Gordon Motorized Engine


Inspired by the Thomas and Friends DVD, “The Great Race”, Shooting Star Gordon brings all the fast-paced excitement of the movie to life! Featuring a cool, streamlined design and fun, motorized action, this racing-themed Gordon train shows the Number Four blue engine like you’ve never seen him before! Shooting Star Gordon also includes a streamlined coal tender and a cargo car. As Gordon races down the tracks, the flags on the cargo car sway back and forth. Create thrilling racing adventures as you send Gordon speeding around your TrackMaster motorized railway!

Price: $
Sold by Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Hello Kitty FU3069235 Shooting Stars Pink Molded Handle Umbrella

Hello Kitty FU3069235 Shooting Stars Pink Molded Handle Umbrella


Hello Kitty FU3069235 Shooting Stars Pink Molded Handle Umbrella Hello Kitty Molded Handle. Features Hello Kitty On Two Sides. Features Shooting Stars & Stars On Other Sides . Made of 100% Polyester. Based On Hello Kitty
List Price: $ 13.95
Price: $ 13.95

CBS Reveals Star Trek Shooting Location and Start Date

CBS has announced the upcoming Star Trek TV series will be shooting in Toronto this fall.

A tweet from the official CBS TV Studio account said: “This just in! The new #STARTREK TV series will set course for Toronto and begin filming this fall.”

The new Star Trek show was announced last year for CBS All Access, and it’ll be airing in early 2017 after the dust has settled from Star Trek Beyond.

Continue reading…

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Toxophilus -The School of Shooting (History of Archery Series)

Toxophilus -The School of Shooting (History of Archery Series)


Toxophilus -The School Of Shooting (History of Archery Series) Roger Ascham This work comprises of two books combined together: The First Book of the School of Shooting and The Second Book of the School of Shooting. They are written in the form of a dialogue between Toxophilus ‘A lover of the bow’ and Philogus ‘A lover of learning’. In the discussion Toxophilus justifies his love of archery as a pastime, puts forward his reasons for retaining the bow as a weapon of war instead of the newly favoured hand gun, and he gives practical instructions on the technique of shooting in the bow. Contents Include Chronicle of the life, Works, and Times of Roger Ascham Apologia The Royal Arms Dedication to the King Henry VIII To All Gentlemen and Yeoman of England The First Book Of The School Of Shooting The Second Book Of The School Of Shooting The Table Of Contents Of The First Book Of The School Of Shooting The Table Of The Second Book Of The School Of Shooting Glossary of Old Words Imprints of the first two editions of Toxophilus Originally published in 1544. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Obscure Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Price: $
Sold by Kobo (UK)

Larry Wilmore Takes Fox News To Task Over Charleston Church Shooting Coverage

Larry Wilmore isn’t too pleased with Fox News’ coverage of the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina. Then again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

This time, the late night talk show host, who initially declared he wouldn’t discuss the shooting on his comedy-based platform, later changed his mind and shared choice words about the network.

“I know we talk about race a lot on this show, but I think we can all agree this time that this is a racially motivated attack,” he said. “It couldn’t be clearer when it comes out of the killer’s mouth. But even with all of that evidence, on a day like today, Fox News just makes my f***king head explode.”

The host then played a series of clips from Fox News’ coverage which questioned whether Roof’s motives were targeted towards black people or Christians.

“I know you guys don’t want to admit that racial stuff isn’t going on, but how can there be any doubt when it came out of the gunman’s mouth? He told his victims, ‘I want to shoot black people,’” Wilmore said. “I think when he says black people, he means black people – and not Christians.”

Wilmore also highlighted presidential candidate Rick Santorum calling the shooting an “assault on religious liberty” and Santorum’s confusion of the shooter’s motives other than it being a “crime of hate.” The comedian-writer cited the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama as one similarly horrific incident that didn’t require anyone to wonder the killers’ intent.

“Let me give you an example,” Wilmore explained. “Four black girls were murdered in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Back then, no one pretended to wonder what the motivation was. If you tried to say it was about religion, even the perpetrators back then would have corrected you.”

Check out more of Larry Wilmore’s thoughts in the clip above.

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8 Rules for Shooting Naughty Videos With Your Partner

2015-05-29-1432920891-5260648-video_camera.jpg

Thinking of playing a little very candid camera with your other half? Engaging in your own sexual shoot, whether as the star or the director or both, can automatically make things more dramatic and theatrical, even if you end up keeping most of your clothes on or refuse to make any cliched “orgasm faces.” But, without thinking things through, the results can be unflattering, embarrassing, or even publicly humiliating (much more likely results than the empire born out of the butt of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape). So take heed:

  1. Only do it with someone you trust with your life. Or at least someone you have incriminating dirt on so you have something to bargain with should they threaten to release your video to the public.
  2. That said, you probably shouldn’t make a sex “tape” unless you’re okay with it ending up online. You just never know.
  3. You don’t have to look, sound, or act like a porn star or producer to whip out a camera during your next romp in the bedroom. So don’t stress about “dialogue” or dirty talk — just do your thing. The mere fact that you’re recording the act will feel dirty enough.
  4. You don’t have to include your full bodies in the shot. You don’t even have to show anything that dirty. Try a cool angle, like from the head of the bed (but remember, never from below lest you look like beached whales) or a close head-&-shoulders crop: the focus can be on your expressions, your sounds, and the intimacy of the moment. Or shoot everything but your faces.
  5. Along the same lines of less is more, if you have any body parts you’re self conscious about, then by all means use an item of clothing, a blanket, a pillow, dramatic chiaroscuro lighting, or your partner to hide them.
  6. If you’re video camera’s got one, turn on its night-vision feature — it obscures imperfections and creates a funky, sci-fi look. Plus, you can shoot entirely in the dark, which is a tequila-free method of loosening inhibitions.
  7. If your squeaky mattress gives the video a slapstick feel, then cut the sound and replace it with your favorite in-the-mood song. (A million Hollywood directors can’t be wrong.)
  8. To be on the safe side, consider erasing all incriminating evidence immediately afterwards. And no, that doesn’t defeat the purpose: Creating a naughty video together is more about the process than the end result. Plus, if you delete it immediately, there’s no chance that Aunt Mabel will accidentally stumble upon your “art” when she’s nosily scrolling through your camera at the family reunion.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

photo via flickr

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Brownells Shooting Buffalo Rifles Of The Old West

Brownells Shooting Buffalo Rifles Of The Old West


Mike Venturino. 278 pages. 8 1/2”” x 11””. Softbound. 100+ photos. Examines the history, use, and many models of buffalo rifles used in the Old West. Includes Trapdoor Springfields, Sharps, Remingtons, Ballards, Winchester Single Shots, and more. 94 pages are devoted to reloading discussion; learn black-powder-reloading tricks from yesterdays Frontiersmen and todays field experts. If you enjoy shooting your buffalo rifle, or just love the old west, youll want to add this highly-informative book to your library. Mfg: Brownells
List Price: $ 29.99
Price: $ 29.99

Shooting for Dollars

Shooting for Dollars


It’s a simple fact of selling on eBay: better product shots directly translate into higher bids and greater profits. Shooting for Dollars: Simple Photo Techniques for More Profitable eBay Auctions provides detailed, comprehensive, easy-to-understand advice, guidelines, and instruction that will assist both new and experienced eBayers through every step necessary to produce consistent, accurate, appealing and effective visual listings. Shooting for Dollars covers, in a logical fashion, everything eBayers will need to know about taking product shots and posting them in auction listings, including: * Buying the right digital camera appropriate for eBay photography * Assembling a shooting studio out of commonly available household items or inexpensive photographic equipment Getting the right exposure, focus and color without fuss * How and when to use a flatbed scanner instead of a digital camera * How to setup and shoot great shots of a wide range of typical products * Effective photographic lighting the easy way * Easily organizing, correcting, improving and perfecting your pictures with software * Preparing and posting photos of your products on eBay * Developing a workflow for quick, easy and efficient assembly line-type product photography This is a step-by-step, solutions-oriented book that gives online auction sellers all the information and confidence they will need for shooting great product shots. It covers everything essential to digital photography for eBay, including practical tips and tricks, shared experiences by successful eBayers, graphic before-and-after shots that demonstrate how and how not to take photos, and practical assistance in working with eBay’s photographic rules and procedures. Daniel Grotta andSally Wiener Grotta, two of the top experts of digital photography and ‘PC Magazine’s’ digital camera gurus, have been buying and selling on eBay since 1998. In addition, they teach eBay digital photography workshops at the renown traveling eBay.

Price: $
Sold by Rakuten Play.com

Edgewood Shooting Bags Edgewood Hand Rest

Edgewood Shooting Bags Edgewood Hand Rest


This Hand Rest Bag is excellent for resting your hand or wrist on if you shoot benchrest free recoil style. One end is sloped slightly, so this bag would work well as a rear bag for hunting or varmint rifle in the field. The Hand Bag is high quality grained leather with a stiff, double layer bottom so it sits flat and it has the new bottom pocket tabbed fill tube. Bag is seven and a half inches long, five inches wide and two and three fourths inches tall when filled full – height would be much less and the bag very soft if less sand were used. Note: Sand is required to fill this bag. Mfg: Edgewood Shooting Bags
List Price: $ 67.99
Price: $ 67.99

Asian Games Medalists in Shooting: Abdullah Al-Rashidi, Abhinav Bindra, Anjali Bhagwat, Annu Raj Singh, Asher Noria, Avneet Sidhu, Cai Yalin, Cao Yife

Asian Games Medalists in Shooting: Abdullah Al-Rashidi, Abhinav Bindra, Anjali Bhagwat, Annu Raj Singh, Asher Noria, Avneet Sidhu, Cai Yalin, Cao Yife


New – Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 38. Chapters: Abdullah Al-Rashidi, Abhinav Bindra, Anjali Bhagwat, Annu Raj Singh, Asher Noria, Avneet Sidhu, Cai Yalin, Cao Yifei, Cao Ying, Chen Ying (sport shooter), Chen Yongqiang, Dina Aspandiyarova, Elaheh Ahmadi, Eric Ang, Fehaid Al-Deehani, Gagan Narang, Gao E (sport shooter), Guo Wenjun, Heena Sidhu, Huang Shiping, Hu Binyuan, Imran Hassan Khan, Ja

Price: $
Sold by Alibris UK: books, movies

Stephen Collins, ‘7th Heaven’ Star, Still Alive After False Shooting Report On Twitter

Police responded to reports of a gunshot at the Los Angeles home of actor Stephen Collins on Tuesday night, but say reports the “7th Heaven” star had shot himself are untrue.

Collins had been in the news all day after he was reportedly heard on a recording obtained by TMZ confessing to child molestation and exposing himself.

He was then fired from his role on the film “Ted 2,” and resigned from the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild. In addition, the New York Police Department said it was investigating a complaint filed in 2012 over allegations of lewd conduct on an underage girl in 1972.

On Tuesday night, someone reported a gunshot at Collins’ home in the Tarzana neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department told Buzzfeed that officers responded, but didn’t find anything.

However, reports spread on social media that Collins had shot himself after former “Baywatch” actress Donna D’Errico, who lives in the same neighborhood, tweeted: “That guy from 7th Heaven lives right around the corner from me & just shot himself a few minutes ago…”

She later deleted the tweet, but it had already been retweeted numerous times — and, in a number of cases, the information was repeated without attribution.

D’Errico later deleted the tweet and apologized for spreading false rumors:

Her mea culpa led to the following responses from the LAPD’s social media coordinator:


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Why ‘Mentally-Ill Soldier’ Reporting On Fort Hood Shooting Was Sloppy Journalism

Why do people with mental health issues stay closeted, quiet, and in so many cases untreated? Well, for an answer, all you had to do was watch news coverage of the shooting Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, Texas.

As the chaotic not again, not here storyline began to recede into the background, and the could it be terror/second shooter reports (as many who remained cautiously restrained in the early going had predicted) were discounted, a familiar line of questioning and theorizing began to rise almost inevitably, weaving ever-so-quietly-yet-insistently into the on-air chatter:

The shooter, a soldier, was deranged.

When Lt. Gen. Mark Milley appeared before the cameras late Wednesday night, he shared a variety of facts about the suspect in the case: He was a soldier, he’d served four months in Iraq in 2011, and he was married with family in the Killeen, Texas area. Gen. Milley also revealed the shooter had been under evaluation at Fort Hood for possible PTSD, having complained of a traumatic brain injury. He also had received treatment for anxiety and depression — and was on medication (which has been reported today to be Ambien, a prescription sleeping medication).

Fair enough.

Had Gen. Milley added one more fact — say, that the suspect attended an off-post mosque — I assure you the conversation would have ramped up to ferocious speed along the lines of nexus to terrorism. That, of course, did not happen.

Here’s what did happen, though, resulting in a flurry of anger among advocates for the mentally ill, joined by many working to support veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lacking that small fact that could have provided a route into MH370-class conjecture on fundamentalism, terrorism and jihad, journalists jumped on the next most tempting morsel in the highly-limited fact pool: PTSD and mental health.

As early as 8:27 p.m., The New York Daily News was off and running, tweeting, “UPDATE: Mentally ill soldier kills 3, self, wounds 16 at Fort Hood.”

Factual? Perhaps. Fair? Not in the least.

Consider what that tweet might have looked like had the suspect been identified, as in the case of the previous Fort Hood shooter, as Muslim. Would the Daily News have tweeted — merely four hours after the shooting — “UPDATE: Muslim soldier kills 3?”

Again, factual, but clearly, that headline would have sent a subtle but unmistakeable message: Muslim. Terrorist. Now, as it turned out in the case of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, as the Daily News itself noted just this week, “The psychiatrist became a radicalized Muslim while he was serving in the military, unleashing his fury during a 2009 shooting rampage that left 13 dead and 32 injured.”

But that’s absolutely not what the early coverage of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting went. Reporters and editors, wary of accusations of hostility or insensitivity, included the key fact of the accused’s name, but never ran with it toward an explosive suggestion that hey, he’s Muslim, right, so could this shooting be terrorism?

NBC News, back in November of 2009, waited until the tenth paragraph of a story on the shooting to note, “The Associated Press, quoting federal law enforcement officials, said Hasan had come to their attention at least six months ago because of Internet postings that discussed suicide bombings and other threats. The officials said they were still trying to confirm that he was the author.”

The facts, important as we would later learn, are in the story. But they don’t sit in the lede. NBC included other possibly-significant facts, like reports the shooter had been upset over a workplace issue, which could also have proven to be the cause of the shooting spree. Jihad had no business — then — in the lede or the headline, which did not read, “Soldier Who Spoke of Suicide Bombings, Threats, Kills 12.” It was, “Gunman kills 12, wounds 31 at Fort Hood.”

If only the Daily News had been so careful.

The words we choose as journalists matter. So does the emphasis we use, and the significance we assign to facts. Simply knowing that an Army general or any other official shared a “fact” does not make it, in itself, important. If it were, then a headline like, “Chevy driving soldier kills 3” would make sense. Instead, it’s ridiculous. Driving a Chevy could be relevant — even turn out to be the most important fact, explaining what led to a horrific attack. But in the first few hours, when more often than not, most facts turn out to be irrelevant or wrong, it’s not worthy of inclusion in a headline or lede. And including the suspect’s treatment for depression and anxiety, but not his treatment for, say, digestive upset or his need for corrective lenses, serves only to reinforce the stigma of mental illness.

And by giving high prominence to the soldier’s being evaluated (not even diagnosed) for PTSD, it’s a huge disservice to the staggering numbers of American men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. The link, by the way, between PTSD and violence is at best shaky, and anyone who tells you a person being treated for depression and anxiety is prone to violence or mass shootings is an idiot. Simple as that.

And yet, the potentially stigma-reinforcing and possibly irrelevant correlation between the shooting and the suspect’s treatment for mental illness and perhaps PTSD wormed its way into cable news coverage and stories written about the killings at Fort Hood:

  • A soldier suffering from mental health issues killed three people and wounded 16 others at the Fort Hood U.S. Army base in central Texas on Wednesday before turning a gun on himself and committing suicide, the base’s commander said. (Reuters)
  • A soldier being treated for mental health issues opened fire Wednesday at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16 before fatally shooting himself at the same military base where 13 people died in a 2009 attack, authorities said. The gunman was being evaluated for PTSD, but a diagnosis had not been confirmed, said Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base. (Dallas Morning News)
  • A soldier being treated for mental health issues opened fire Wednesday with a semiautomatic weapon at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding several others before taking his own life as a military policewoman confronted him, officials said. (CBS News)
  • While the gunman’s motive is still unclear in Wednesday’s deadly incident at the Texas Army base, military officials say he had “mental-health issues.”(Daily Beast)
  • A soldier who was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder opened fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding 16 before killing himself, the authorities said. The shooting set off a huge police response and shut down the sprawling Army base, the same facility where a deadly rampage by an officer resulted in 13 deaths in 2009. (The New York Times)

Yes, the last link is to the venerable New York Times, prompting Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to tweet: “Correlation does not imply causation. The @NYTimes should know that. And everyone else should take note.”

These kinds of subtle connections, floated out in headlines, ledes and in repeated questions to experts in endless cable news coverage, result in reinforcement of stigma, and a lost opportunity to educate viewers and readers on what mental illness and PTSD really are.

At a recent forum at a forum on mental illness and violence held in Washington last month by the Institute of Medicine, doctors and researchers warned about the ways incidents of mass shooting magnify misunderstanding about mental illness.

“The recent wave of mass shootings, often attributed to individuals with mental illness, should be placed in perspective, said Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “Most people with mental illness are not violent, and most acts of violence are not committed by people with mental illness,” said Insel in his keynote address.

“People with untreated psychotic illness are at increased risk of irrational behavior, including violence, especially directed at family and friends. This usually happens at the onset of illness and before diagnosis or treatment. However, once treatment starts, these people have no higher risk of violence than the general population and are more often victims of crime.”

So yes, perhaps the shooter at Fort Hood did have PTSD. He may also have had any number of issues in his life that may or may not have led him to buy a gun, bring it to base, and kill. And yet news organizations including the Times thought there was enough reason to put a potential diagnosis of PTSD ahead of the facts of the shooting itself. What does that convey to readers?

Again, consider the alternate lede: “A soldier who attended a local mosque opened fire at Fort Hood on Wednesday.” That would never make the cut at the Times. But like the Daily News, mental illness does slip right into the first words of the first sentence, and it implies cause and effect.

That’s just plain sloppy journalism, and with millions of Americans facing mental health issues through the course of their lifetimes, and a generation of American men and women returning from wars suffering from these treatable illnesses and yet often resisting reaching out for help and ending their lives in suicide, we have a responsibility as journalists to be much more careful.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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