Review Category : National News

Gun Used in Lafayette Louisiana Shooting Was Purchased Legally, Killer ‘Methodical’

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gun that was used to kill two people and wound nine others in the horrific movie theater shooting in Louisiana was purchased legally in Alabama, police said Friday.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said that John Houser, who died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound amid the carnage, methodically opened fire at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette Thursday night.

“It appears that the shooter actually took his time.. and was somewhat methodical as he shot folks from the top and the back of the theater,” Jindal said. Mayci Breaux, 21, of Franklin, Louisiana and Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, were killed. Five people remained hospitalized Friday night.

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Friday evening that the .40 caliber Hi-Point semiautomatic was legally purchased at a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama in February 2014.

Police did not immediately say who made the purchase.

The gun’s history was the latest in a series of developments Friday in the case.

Police said they found at least 13 shell casings at the scene.

They say Houser opened fire around 7:30 p.m., reportedly during a screening of Amy Schumer’s movie Trainwreck. Officials said 25 tickets to the movie were sold.

Witnesses said that he stood up and fired a single shot, which some moviegoers mistook as being part of the movie.

Then he began firing in a semi-circle, according to the witnesses, with the flashes from the gun lighting up the dark theater.

Moviegoers ran for their lives, officials said, leaving their belongings behind. Some sprang into action, helping to save others, including a teacher who shielded another from a bullet.

“One of the teachers jumped in front of her fellow teacher, probably saving her life,” Jindal said. “That bullet may have ended up hitting her in the head if she hadn’t done that. The second teacher was still shot in the leg, even though her friend jumped in front of her, was able to pull the fire alarm.”

After an initial round of gunfire, Houser tried to leave the theater through a side door, but spotted responding officers and went back inside, police said.

“He reentered the theater, fired some more rounds, we think three more rounds, and the fourth round he took his own life,” Craft said.

Authorities were still trying to piece together why Houser, who they described as a “drifter” living at a motel, opened fire.

Police said he was “intent on shooting and escaping” and kept wigs and disguises in a nearby motel.

Houser had applied for a pistol in Alabama in 2006, according to Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor. But he was denied because of an arson arrest and a report of domestic violence against him in 2005.

The domestic violence complaint was never prosecuted.

Houser allegedly threatened his family, who took out a temporary protective order against him in April 2008, according to court filings.

The protective order was lifted the next month.

He was also involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia and his wife said had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar disorder, according to court filings.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Houser was prolific in online message boards, and was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.'”

“At this time the family has no comment,” said a statement released on behalf of Houser’s estranged wife Kellie Houser and her family. “Our concern and our prayers are for the families of those who lost their lives or were wounded in LaFayette, LA. Please allow our family some privacy at this time.”

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Lafayette Theater Shooting Survivor Describes ‘Strange Calm’ After First Shot

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — Emily Mann had just finished laughing at a raunchy moment in the film Trainwreck Thursday evening when the mood in the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, changed dramatically.

About 20 minutes in, Mann said a man about five seats down from her stood up, wearing a jacket and hat, and fired a single shot.

“The first shot, I thought it was a firecracker,” Mann, 21, said.

The audience became silent.

“After that first shot … there was this very strange calm,” Mann, said. “Because everybody was just trying to make sure it wasn’t that … anything but that.”

After what Mann described as a long pause, the gunman, identified by police as John Russell Houser, then proceeded to fire in a semi-circle. The blasts from the gun produced flashes of light in the dark theater, she said.

By the time Houser’s pistol reached Mann’s direction, she was on her hands and knees, crawling through the aisle. She said she was waiting for a bullet to be fired into her back.

“There was no pushing each other. People were pulling each other out instead of trying to scramble on top of one another,” Mann said. “I think that that says a lot about the people here.”

“There was an immediate understanding that every single person in that room was going through the same thing and that we all needed to get out,” Mann said.

Mann escaped around a corner, helped by a woman who pulled her to safety.

“By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs a woman pulled me around. And I’d left my purse and my phone everything was there. A shoe,” she said.

“You could just see it in everybody’s face that it was very real,” she said.

Mann then ran with a crowd of people into the lobby.

“I didn’t really hear the screaming until we were out of the theater itself, out of 14 and running down the hall. I still didn’t say anything. I hadn’t screamed yet, it was just run. That’s what you’re supposed to do, you’re supposed to run,” Mann said.

One of the two women who died from the shooting was 21-year-old Mayci Breaux — who was the same age as Mann.

“She was 21,” Mann said. “She had things she wanted to do.”

With tears in her eyes, Mann admitted she feels a strange sense of guilt she survived.

“I think it could have been any of us,” she said. “They chose those seats.”

“I’ve replayed it a million times, just trying to figure out, you know, had he been a better shot, had he brought an automatic weapon…” Mann said. “All those things that could have gone worse, and it’s all those things that could have lined up to be there,” Mann said. “Had he chosen a different movie, maybe a kids movie?”

Mann also described the contrast between the comfort of the Lafayette community with the violence Houser brought to it.

“We’ve worked so hard to be known for something so much better,” she said. “We’re known for family and for food and for festivals and for comfort. That’s what you feel when you’re here.”

“I think Lafayette as a whole won’t think much of him because he wasn’t one of us,” she said.

ABC US News | World News

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Mass Shootings in US Increasingly Common and Deadly

Lafayette police guard the Grand Theatre on July 24, 2015 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Two people were killed and nine others wounded when a shooter identified as John Russell Houser, 59, opened fire in a movie theatre, killing himself after police arrived. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) — The shooting at a Louisiana movie theater that left two dead victims and nine others injured was a shock to many local residents and politicians but does not qualify as a mass shooting according to federal standards.

In 2013, President Obama signed a law qualifying a mass shooting as one where three or more victims die, meaning that Thursday night’s shooting would not count since the third death was that of the shooter.

The FBI has worked from a slightly higher count for more than a decade, as they consider a “serial murder” an incident where four or more victims were killed.

Based off the FBI’s definition, which was used by Mother Jones in a study of the frequency of mass murders in the United States, the most recent such incident was the shooting at a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Lafayette movie theater shooting took place exactly one week after the Chattanooga shooting, where five service members died.

The Chattanooga shooting came just shy of a month after the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting that left nine dead.

A much larger gap existed for mass shootings between the Charleston incident and its predecessor, which happened at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state in October. That gap marked a 236 day break between mass shootings.

As the regularity of mass shootings increases, the number of fatalities increases as well.

The figures for 2012 are particularly high because it includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children and six adult staff members were killed, as well as the Aurora movie theater shooting, where 12 people were killed and 70 others injured.

Mass shootings that occurred since 1982 tend to align somewhat with population centers, as many took place near the East Coast and along the West Coast.

Similarly, there is a notable gap in the upper Great Plains-Rocky Mountain area.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The shooting at a Louisiana movie theater that left two dead victims and nine others injured was a shock to many local residents and politicians but does not qualify as a mass shooting according to federal standards.

In 2013, President Obama signed a law qualifying a mass shooting as one where three or more victims die, meaning that Thursday night’s shooting would not count since the third death was that of the shooter.

The FBI has worked from a slightly higher count for more than a decade, as they consider a “serial murder” an incident where four or more victims were killed.

Based off the FBI’s definition, which was used by Mother Jones in a study of the frequency of mass murders in the United States, the most recent such incident was the shooting at a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Lafayette movie theater shooting took place exactly one week after the Chattanooga shooting, where five service members died.

The Chattanooga shooting came just shy of a month after the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting that left nine dead.

A much larger gap existed for mass shootings between the Charleston incident and its predecessor, which happened at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state in October. That gap marked a 236 day break between mass shootings.

As the regularity of mass shootings increases, the number of fatalities increases as well.

The figures for 2012 are particularly high because it includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children and six adult staff members were killed, as well as the Aurora movie theater shooting, where 12 people were killed and 70 others injured.

Mass shootings that occurred since 1982 tend to align somewhat with population centers, as many took place near the East Coast and along the West Coast.

Similarly, there is a notable gap in the upper Great Plains-Rocky Mountain area.

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Lafayette Louisiana Theater Gunman Threatened His Family, Was Involuntarily Committed, Documents Say

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Louisiana Thursday night allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago, according to documents filed in court.

Shooter John Russel Houser, whom police described as a drifter “who was intent on shooting and escaping,” died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being corned, authorities said. He was among three people who died at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, police said. Nine others were injured, one in critical condition, police said.

Houser, 59, was estranged from his family, police said, adding that authorities spoke to some of them overnight.

Houser and his wife were married and lived together from 1983 to 2012, according to court filings obtained by ABC News. The couple separated in December 2012, and she then filed for divorce in March 2015, the documents show.

They have adult children together, according to the court filings.

In April 2008, Houser’s family members filed a temporary protective order against him in Georgia, according to court filings.

The family members claimed that Houser didn’t want his daughter getting married and he exhibited “extreme erratic behavior” and “made ominous as well as disturbing statements” that the marriage wouldn’t occur, according to documents. Houser’s wife allegedly “became so worried about the Defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence,” according to documents.

Houser also allegedly threatened his wife’s aunt, the documents said.

Houser was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia, the documents said, and he allegedly threatened his wife that once he got out he would continue his erratic behavior and stop the marriage. He also allegedly harassed his daughter’s future in-laws, the documents said.

Houser’s wife said he had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar behavior, according to court filings. She said Houser took medication daily, but sometimes forgot to take it or would forget to eat, which affected his behavior, according to court filings.

The protection order was lifted May 8, 2009, the documents said.

Before that, when he lived in Alabama, Houser applied for a pistol permit in 2006, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Friday. But the permit was denied because he had been arrested in connection to an arson case in Georgia in 1989 or 1990, and there was a report of domestic violence against him in 2005, the sheriff said.

A 2005 domestic violence complaint against Houser was filed with the police in Alabama, Taylor said, but it was never prosecuted.

Police said Houser had no known connection to Lafayette.

He had likely been in Lafayette since early this month, staying at a motel, they said.

Wigs and glasses were found in Houser’s car – a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental – and motel room, according to police.

One weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, was recovered, police said. At least 13 rounds were fired, according to police.

Separately, Houser was described in a report Friday by a legal advocacy group as someone who was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.’”

He wrote dozens of comments on Internet message boards, expressing “interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Do not mistake yourselves for one minute, the enemy sees all posted on this website. I do not want to discourage the last hope for the best, but you must realize the power of the lone wolf, is the power that come forth in ALL situations,” Houser wrote on a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi political party, according to SPLC. “Look within yourselves.”

He also cited minimal political involvement and “hustling” among his interests, the law center wrote.

Houser has referenced Adolf Hitler many times online, saying, for instance, “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,” last January on another website, SPLC said.

But police emphasized that there is no known motive for the shooting.

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Lafayette Louisiana Theater Gunman Threatened His Family, Was Involuntarily Committed, Documents Say

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Louisiana Thursday night allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago, according to documents filed in court.

Shooter John Russel Houser, whom police described as a drifter “who was intent on shooting and escaping,” died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being corned, authorities said. He was among three people who died at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, police said. Nine others were injured, one in critical condition, police said.

Houser, 59, was estranged from his family, police said, adding that authorities spoke to some of them overnight.

Houser and his wife were married and lived together from 1983 to 2012, according to court filings obtained by ABC News. The couple separated in December 2012, and she then filed for divorce in March 2015, the documents show.

They have adult children together, according to the court filings.

In April 2008, Houser’s family members filed a temporary protective order against him in Georgia, according to court filings.

The family members claimed that Houser didn’t want his daughter getting married and he exhibited “extreme erratic behavior” and “made ominous as well as disturbing statements” that the marriage wouldn’t occur, according to documents. Houser’s wife allegedly “became so worried about the Defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence,” according to documents.

Houser also allegedly threatened his wife’s aunt, the documents said.

Houser was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia, the documents said, and he allegedly threatened his wife that once he got out he would continue his erratic behavior and stop the marriage. He also allegedly harassed his daughter’s future in-laws, the documents said.

Houser’s wife said he had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar behavior, according to court filings. She said Houser took medication daily, but sometimes forgot to take it or would forget to eat, which affected his behavior, according to court filings.

The protection order was lifted May 8, 2009, the documents said.

Before that, when he lived in Alabama, Houser applied for a pistol permit in 2006, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Friday. But the permit was denied because he had been arrested in connection to an arson case in Georgia in 1989 or 1990, and there was a report of domestic violence against him in 2005, the sheriff said.

A 2005 domestic violence complaint against Houser was filed with the police in Alabama, Taylor said, but it was never prosecuted.

Police said Houser had no known connection to Lafayette.

He had likely been in Lafayette since early this month, staying at a motel, they said.

Wigs and glasses were found in Houser’s car – a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental – and motel room, according to police.

One weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, was recovered, police said. At least 13 rounds were fired, according to police.

Separately, Houser was described in a report Friday by a legal advocacy group as someone who was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.’”

He wrote dozens of comments on Internet message boards, expressing “interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Do not mistake yourselves for one minute, the enemy sees all posted on this website. I do not want to discourage the last hope for the best, but you must realize the power of the lone wolf, is the power that come forth in ALL situations,” Houser wrote on a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi political party, according to SPLC. “Look within yourselves.”

He also cited minimal political involvement and “hustling” among his interests, the law center wrote.

Houser has referenced Adolf Hitler many times online, saying, for instance, “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,” last January on another website, SPLC said.

But police emphasized that there is no known motive for the shooting.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Firefighters Repay Waitress’ Act of Kindness

WPVI(DELRAN, N.J.) — One act of kindness led to another in New Jersey when a waitress’ decision to pay for some firefighters’ breakfast prompted strangers to help her.

Two firefighters stopped in a diner after an overnight shift containing a warehouse fire earlier this week and had breakfast at the Route 130 Diner in Delran, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI.

A waitress, Liz Woodward, overheard the firefighters, Tim Young and and Paul Higgins, talking about the fire. That’s when she decided to pay them back for their efforts, according to WPVI.

She wrote a note on the back of the check — complete with drawn fireman’s helmet and ax.

Young then shared a photo of the check, along with a call for his friends to visit the diner, and to “tip big” if they ever had Woodward as a waitress.

He didn’t stop there. He wrote another post highlighting a GoFundMe campaign that Woodward had started in December to pay for a wheelchair accessible van for her father.

“Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…” Young wrote.

Since then, Young and 185 other people — mostly strangers who had heard about her decision to pay for the firefighters’ meal — have donated.

The GoFundMe page was originally hoping to raise $17,000 — and has now collected more than $38,000.

Woodward posted a lengthy message on her own Facebook account, praising the work of firefighters and asking others to pay it forward.

“Look for those opportunities because they are everywhere. You can make a difference — it doesn’t always have to be an elaborate production or effort- it’s always the little things that have the greatest impact,” she wrote.

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Firefighters Repay Waitress’ Act of Kindness

WPVI(DELRAN, N.J.) — One act of kindness led to another in New Jersey when a waitress’ decision to pay for some firefighters’ breakfast prompted strangers to help her.

Two firefighters stopped in a diner after an overnight shift containing a warehouse fire earlier this week and had breakfast at the Route 130 Diner in Delran, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI.

A waitress, Liz Woodward, overheard the firefighters, Tim Young and and Paul Higgins, talking about the fire. That’s when she decided to pay them back for their efforts, according to WPVI.

She wrote a note on the back of the check — complete with drawn fireman’s helmet and ax.

Young then shared a photo of the check, along with a call for his friends to visit the diner, and to “tip big” if they ever had Woodward as a waitress.

He didn’t stop there. He wrote another post highlighting a GoFundMe campaign that Woodward had started in December to pay for a wheelchair accessible van for her father.

“Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…” Young wrote.

Since then, Young and 185 other people — mostly strangers who had heard about her decision to pay for the firefighters’ meal — have donated.

The GoFundMe page was originally hoping to raise $17,000 — and has now collected more than $38,000.

Woodward posted a lengthy message on her own Facebook account, praising the work of firefighters and asking others to pay it forward.

“Look for those opportunities because they are everywhere. You can make a difference — it doesn’t always have to be an elaborate production or effort- it’s always the little things that have the greatest impact,” she wrote.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Maryland Man Behind Bars After Years-Long Neighbor Dispute

ABC News(SILVER SPRING, Md.) — A Maryland man could spend two years behind bars after disputes with his neighbor that have simmered for half a decade.

Neighbors Socrates Kondilis and George Buckland live in Silver Spring, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Photographs taken by Buckland show Kondilis knocking down his neighbor’s fences, blocking the driveway and flashing his middle finger, according to a report by ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington.

Kondilis has hurled stones at Buckland and threatened to shoot him, according to Buckland’s attorney, Mark Emden. Buckland has also accused his neighbor of putting motor oil in his swimming pool, among other various offenses.

Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said Kondilis has brought frustration to the neighborhood.

“He’s violated the peace orders, he’s been arrested. Every time he’s been arrested he says he’s going to do better and then he’s right back out there bothering them again. It’s been a difficult couple of years,” Popkin said.

As a result of the dispute, the Bucklands sued Kondilis last fall for harassment and won. A judge ordered Kondilis to attend anger management courses — but he lied about taking the classes and was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, court records show.

Kondilis’ wife Maria blames Buckland for the neighborly dispute.

“This guy gives me heart problems — for me, for my husband and my kids,” Maria Kondilis said.

Kondilis is being held without bond before his sentencing in September.

ABC US News | World News

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The Complicated Relationship of NY Prison Escapees Richard Matt and David Sweat

New York State Police(MALONE, N.Y.) — Almost immediately after his capture, convicted murderer David Sweat bragged to police that the escape plan that led to a three-week-long nationwide manhunt for him and fellow convict Richard Matt was all his idea, according to authorities.

“Sweat seemed to be the mastermind, not only of the escape, but the leader, if you will, when he got out,” New York State Police Maj. Charles Guess told ABC News’ 20/20.

After he was captured, Sweat, sitting in a hospital bed in Albany recovering from gunshot wounds and a collapsed lung, began telling police the story of his and Matt’s June 6 escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, investigators say, and explained how they dodged the 1,600 members of law enforcement Guess had pulled from 11 different agencies all over the country to find them.

Their bond formed inside the maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York, where Sweat, 34, and Matt, 48, were close buddies.

Sweat ended up at the prison in 2003 after pleading guilty to killing Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Tarsia to avoid the death penalty, which was still in effect in New York at the time. A few years later, Matt, who had finally been brought to justice for killing 76-year-old William Rickerson, joined him.

Obtained by ABC News

The two murderers became friends and eventually had their request to become neighbors in Clinton Correctional Facility’s “honor block” approved.

“The inmate that was next to Matt at the time agreed to swap. And so the swap took place,” Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie told 20/20. “Who would have known that that may have been the start of this plan?”

Inmates on the honor block were allowed out of their cells for “the majority of the day,” Erik Jensen, a former inmate at Clinton Correctional Facility who served time with Matt and Sweat, told 20/20.

“They have what you call rec time on the flats, which is on the lower level, where they can get out, watch TV … they have cooking privileges,” former Clinton Correctional Facility guard Mark Drone told 20/20.

Obtained by ABC News

As they walked the prison yard, Matt and Sweat passed over a sort of speed bump that authorities said they later realized was the very pipe they needed to crawl through to get underneath the prison’s massive walls.

“So every day, they had this, you know, layout of their, you know, potential escape route that they were looking at,” said Wylie.

Plotting an escape plan would not have been unusual for Matt, who broke out of Erie County Correctional Facility in June 1986 by reportedly scaling the jail’s barbed wire fence. And Sweat, who meticulously planned his past crimes by making lists and maps, may have contributed these very skills to their escape plot, authorities said.

Matt also had the art of persuasion, which authorities said he used to talk their supervisor at the prison tailor shop, Joyce Mitchell, into helping them.

After months of planning and sawing their way to freedom, authorities said, Matt told Mitchell on June 5 they were finally going to make their escape that night and to meet him and Sweat at the power plant at midnight.

But after making their way through the holes they had carved into the pipes and emerging at the manhole by the power plant, Mitchell didn’t meet them with the getaway car.

“They had total faith that she was going to pick them up at the manhole at midnight, and when she got cold feet and didn’t show up, they had to regroup, they had no plan,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico told 20/20.

Mitchell, 51, has pleaded not guilty to promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitation. Prison officials had earlier investigated Mitchell for a suspected relationship with Sweat during the past year, but no action was taken against her at the time.

Mitchell’s lawyer said she consistently denied the allegations. She is expected to appear in front of a grand jury at the end of July.

Soon after Matt and Sweat escaped, people pulled up to a house on the block near the prison and asked them what they were doing on their yard. Matt started to freak out, but authorities said Sweat told them he stayed level-headed and convinced Matt to follow him into the woods.

Weeks after their escape, authorities found more evidence that Sweat was the more careful criminal while Matt was a dangerous and erratic one.

On June 20, just 20 miles outside of Dannemora near Owls Head, New York, cabin owner John Stockwell and his dog stopped by his unlocked hunting cabin and immediately saw signs of activity inside.

“He saw essentially a flash of what he presumed to be a human kind of step back out of view from this window pane,” Maj. Guess said. “Whoever was on the back deck fled down the back, and he could tell that because he could hear the crashing through the brush.”

Inside, Stockwell said he found more signs of activity, including a misplaced coffeepot, a missing shotgun and a map ripped off the wall, and alerted authorities.

Guess said Sweat later told them that Matt was prepared to take Stockwell hostage with the shotgun in the cabin, but Sweat was able to convince him to leave. However, in their rush to flee the scene, Matt left vital clues behind.

“Items of interest that we recovered fall out of Matt’s pack: toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, these kind of personal grooming items, which immediately were a hit on DNA within the next 24 hours,” said Guess. “It helped us sharpen our focus. And certainly boosted the morale of everyone involved.”

And authorities later learned that Sweat was getting fed up with the increasingly unstable Matt and decided to ditch him.

“Sweat knew that Matt was out of shape. Any of these cabins where he could find alcohol, he would drink and try to– and get drunk,” Guess said. “As his frustration level grew, he talked increasingly about harming members of the public or law enforcement, and Sweat really apparently wanted no part of that. He wanted to continue his odyssey and escape.”

After Sweat abandoned him, Matt moved on, but on June 26 he found himself surrounded by police in Owls Head. Hunkered down, he lay down in the woods and took aim at agents on patrol from the woods with a 20-gauge shotgun. But as he prepared to shoot, he coughed and betrayed his position to the border patrol national tactical team. When he refused to comply with border patrol agents, authorities said, Matt was shot three times and killed.

Sweat, despite appearing to be the mastermind of the escape plot, also made a mistake that led to his capture. After ditching Matt, Sweat later told authorities that he traveled at night, avoided locals and even shaved his face. It was when the crafty con became anxious and decided to move in the daylight that he was spotted by Sgt. Jay Cook, a local trooper who was supervising a team in the Constable, New York, area for Guess’ team.

After chasing Sweat through an alfalfa field, Cook shot at Sweat twice, hitting him in the back and upper torso. Sweat kept running after being hit by the first bullet, but after the second bullet, he dropped on the ground and was quickly taken into police custody.

Sweat was brought to Albany for treatment for a collapsed lung. On his way back to prison, authorities said Sweat continued to brag about the escape.

“I think he boasted a bit, no doubt about it,” D’Amico said.

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Slain Lafayette, Louisiana, Theater Shooting Victims ID’d as Jillian Johnson, Mayci Breaux

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — Two young women from Louisiana who were attending an evening movie died after a gunman opened fire inside a packed auditorium in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday night.

The victims were Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, who died at the hospital, and Mayci Breaux, 21, of Franklin, Louisiana, who died at the Grand 16 Theater, police said Friday. Franklin is about 50 miles southeast of Lafayette.

Nine others were injured, including one who was in critical condition, police said. Two of the nine injured have been released from the hospital.

The gunman tried to flee after the shooting but police forced him back into the theater where he shot himself to death, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said.

The shooting comes one week after James Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

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