North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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December 17, 2012

NJN/am for Monday, December 17


Good Monday morning to you, as the nation mourns a senseless loss…

Weather: Storms today. The last part of the cold front moves through this morning, which means we will likely see some thunderstorms, perhaps even severe weather. Highs today will be in the middle 60s, with lows tonight around 40 as skies clear. Tuesday will be sunny, with highs in the middle to upper 60s.

An unspeakable horror. Investigators continue to put together the pieces of Friday’s massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Authorities say the 26 people — six adults and 20 children ages 6 and 7 — were gunned down by Adam Lanza, who then killed himself as first responders arrived at the school. Lanza also killed his mother, and then took some of her collection of guns; London’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that Nancy Lanza was a survivalist preparing for a breakdown in civilization. Adam Lanza has been described by his brother as having mental issues, including Asperger syndrome. President Obama spoke at a vigil Sunday night, pledging to “use whatever power” he has to keep such massacres from happening again. The tragedy has spurred calls for tighter gun-control laws from much the political left, while the National Rifle Association and gun-control opponents point out the gunman was turned down when he tried to purchase a gun, and stole the ones he used.

County schools tighten security. In the wake of the massacre, Jefferson County Schools and Sheriff Mike Hale announced that at least one deputy will be present at all schools through the beginning of the Christmas holidays. State Superintendent Tommy Bice has also asked all districts to review their security plans.

Deaths in central Alabama as well. Meanwhile, shootings made news in metro Birmingham and central Alabama over the weekend. Homewood police are seeking leads in the killing of a mother and her two young sons. The bodies were discovered by the boys’ father… A man was shot and killed by Birmingham Police at St. Vincent’s Hospital early Saturday morning. Jason Letts, 38, was killed after he shot and wounded a BPD officer. Details of the incident are still unclear… And in east Alabama, police shot and killed a man they say murdered three people and wounded a 2-year-old child near Heflin, then took them on a chase to Oxford. Romero Roberto Moya was killed after he shot and wounded a Heflin police officer, then carjacked a car to continue the chase.

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