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(CBS) – Arizona authorities investigate 9 freeway shootings

PHOENIX —Arizona Department of Public Safety officials were investigating two more car shootings Tuesday along Interstate 10 in Phoenix, but it’s unclear if they’re related to four other incidents of shots being fired at moving vehicles on the freeway since late last month.

DPS also is investigating three other shootings of bullets or projectiles at vehicles in recent days on the Loop 202 freeway, State Route 51 and another Phoenix-area highway, but details weren’t immediately released.

“This is a priority for our department,” DPS Director Frank Milstead said at a news conference. “Ten days, nine incidents. This is a real and continuing threat to Arizona motorists.”

The state Silent Witness program quadrupled the reward Tuesday to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters.

There’s been one reported injury — a 13-year-old girl who was cut by shattered glass. But Milstead said that if the incidents continue, “it’s just a matter of time before there is a tragedy.”

Authorities have been asking for the public’s help in tracking down suspects in the incidents.

“I don’t know if this is a copy-cat crime or multiple people partaking in this kind of insanity,” Milstead said.

The incidents began in the late morning of Aug. 29 when two vehicles were struck in a half-hour span on I-10 between 19th and 59th avenues and a third vehicle was hit on I-10 near 16th Street late that night. A fourth vehicle was shot on Aug. 31 around 4:25 a.m. near 14th Avenue and I-10. On Tuesday, a Phoenix police sergeant’s personal vehicle had a passenger window shattered while driving to work around 5:20 a.m. on eastbound I-10 between 35th and 43rd avenues, according to DPS officials who said the sergeant wasn’t injured. DPS didn’t immediately provide details on the other Tuesday incident, but Milstead said it occurred at about the same time in the same area.

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(Fox News)(NBC News) – 4 Marines and 1 Navy Officer Dead….Navy confirms shooting at Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga; ‘active shooter’ situation over  

(UPDATE) – The Navy said Saturday the sailor shot in Thursday’s attack at a military support center in Chattanooga, Tenn. has died.

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 24, was one of three people injured when a gunman opened fire at the center, killing four Marines. The shooting is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.

Fox News spoke to Smith’s step-grandmother Darlene Proxmire who confirmed he died early Saturday.

Smith was shot three times when a gunman opened fire at the Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Thursday morning. He was struck in the right arm, back and stomach, family members told a Kansas newspaper, the Salina Journal, according to the Chattanoogan.

(AP Photo)

Navy confirms shooting at Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga; ‘active shooter’ situation over Authorities in Chattanooga said Thursday that the ‘active shooter’ situation is over after gunfire at a Naval Reserve Center and a nearby recruiting facility, which prompted a heavy police response and local colleges a hospital to be placed on lockdown. The U.S. Navy said in a tweet that there was a shooting at a Navy recruiting building on Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga. A police officer was reportedly injured.Law enforcement officials told recruiters at a facility 7 miles away on Old Lee Highway that they were also attacked by a shooter in a car. The shooter stopped in front of the recruiting facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Lepley said the recruiting center on Old Lee Highway has recruiting services for all four branches of the military. The Army recruiters told Lepley they have evacuated and are safe. He has no information about recruiters for the other branches.Related ImageExpand / ContractJuly 16: Authorities work an active shooting scene on Amincola highway near the Naval Reserve Center, in Chattanooga, Tenn. (WRCB-TV via AP)A federal law enforcement official told Fox News that assets from FBI’s Knoxville field office are responding.The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that there is a heavy police presence at the scene along with five ambulances.”There has been several (shootings) at several different locations. It’s a fluid situation,” John Harmon, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, told Reuters. It is not known if the shootings are related. Lee University in Cleveland, which is about 30 minutes from the shooting, was also on lockdown The Federal Aviation Administration said it was holding departing flights at their gates in Chattanooga, with delays projected to last 15 minutes or less.Loretta Blevins, head server at the Track’s End Restaurant about a half-mile down the road from the shooting, says there are about 16 people huddled inside the restaurant. The Associated Press contributed to this report    Tiger Alert!!! Main Campus: Confirmed shooting. Stay away from Riverpark. Everyone stay inside, close doors.— Chattanooga State (@ChattStateCC) July 16, 2015″This is a very, very terrible situation,” Andy Berke, the city’s mayor told reporters. “I’m very concerned about what’s going on. We need to figure out how to handle it.” 

Source: Navy confirms shooting at Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga; ‘active shooter’ situation over | Fox News

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(NBC News) – Mistakes in Dylann Roof’s Background Check Fuel Gun Law Debate

The errors that led to accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof purchasing a gun even though he faced drug charges fueled both sides of the debate over stricter gun laws Friday.

On Wednesday, two days before the FBI said Roof should not have been allowed to buy the gun he allegedly used to gun down nine church parishioners, those victims’ families rallied on Capitol Hill for a bill that would expand background checks on would-be gun buyers.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said Friday that the bill, H.R. 1217, could have prevented the missteps, including a background check oversight, which allowed Roof to acquire the weapon.

“Dylann Roof’s arrest on a drug charge, combined with his admission of prior drug use, should have prevented him from buying a gun, and it’s a tragedy that is not what happened. This news underscores the urgency of the message that Charleston families and the Brady Campaign took to Capitol Hill this week,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign.

RELATED: Gun Purchase Background Checks: Casting a ‘Wide Net’ With Many Holes

One of the problems that led to Roof’s gun purchase was that a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) examiner couldn’t find the jurisdiction where Roof had been arrested on the drug charges.

Since the NICS system was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched in 1998, it has blocked more than 2.4 million illegal gun sales, according to the organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

But the Brady Campaign wants to see it do more, and they say H.R. 1217, which according to the bill would “ensure maximum coordination and automation of reporting of records,” can prevent even more illegal gun sales from taking place.

But Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research said “it’s hard to say whether H.R. 1217 could have prevented mistakes of this type” because the bill focuses more on documenting court records than arrest records.

“That said, there is a public safety interest in improving these records for background checks for gun sales,” Webster added.

H.R. 1217 would also expand background checks to cover gun sales made online and at gun shows, according to the Brady Center.

Regardless of the depth or scope of background checks, current gun sale laws only mandate a three-day period for the checks to be conducted. Roof was sold a gun after the NICS examiner couldn’t find the origin of his drug charges within those three days.

“The scary issue brought to light by this is just how faulty the 72-hour ‘default proceed’ is,” said Garrett McDonough, the Communications Director for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“Inefficiencies or lack of time and resources leads to criminals and other dangerous people being able to purchase guns and, in this case, kill innocent people,” McDonough said.

On the other side of the stricter gun laws argument, some don’t think the existing system needs improvement. After the FBI said Friday that Roof should not have been able to buy the .45-caliber Glock handgun in question, Sen Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that the failure didn’t stem from a lack of regulations.

“It’s disastrous that this bureaucratic mistake prevented existing laws from working and blocking an illegal gun sale,” Grassley said in a statement. “The facts undercut attempts to use the tragedy to enact unnecessary gun laws.”

Others who don’t want stricter gun laws might use Roof’s illegal purchase of a gun to argue that NICS doesn’t work and therefore shouldn’t be expanded, Webster said.

“But on an average day, 526 people are denied from purchasing firearms because of the laws,” he said. “The more comprehensive the system is in terms of covering all sales, the more types of records are checked abd … the more effective (it is) in keeping guns from dangerous people and saving lives.”

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