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Two dead, nine injured in Louisiana shooting

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, center, delivers a statement following a deadly shooting at the Grand Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana.  

A lone gunman unleashed mayhem in Lafayette, Louisiana when he opened fire at a movie theatre on Thursday evening, killing two women and injuring at least nine others before shooting himself.

The suspect, identified as John Houser (59), is said to be a “drifter” from Alabama who was “estranged from his family and appeared to have made getaway plans,” according to law enforcement officials who spoke to media on Friday.

The attack occurred coincidentally hours after U.S. President Barack Obama described his failure to get tighter gun control laws passed by Congress as “distressing… even in the face of repeated mass killings.”

“If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it's less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands,” said the President in an interview.

Chief Jim Craft of the Lafayette Police Department said that it was apparent that the attacker was intent on “shooting and then escaping,” and that a rapid response from police had “forced him back into the theatre, at which time he shot himself.”

Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, Col. Michael Edmonson added that it was too early to be able to attribute a motive to the rampage and there was no known connection between the gunman and any of the victims.

Bobby Jindal, Indian-American Governor of the state and Republican presidential hopeful for 2016, praised two teachers who were wounded in the shooting as heroes, saying they leapt to the defence of others and helped alert authorities to the unfolding terror.

The shootings raised the spectre of the deadly July 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado, when gunman James Holmes entered a packed movie premier event and opened fire on audience members killing 12 and injuring 55 people.

Similarly in August 2012 six people, including four Indian nationals were killed and dozens critically injured by gunman Wade Page, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, a Gurdwara.

Scarcely four months later, the country was rocked by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, in which Adam Lanza (20) fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members, prompting a surge in nationwide support for gun control legislation.

However, Mr. Obama’s efforts to push through gun control reform on Capitol Hill were thwarted the following year when Senators, mostly of the Republican Party, rejected a compromise bill on background checks for gun sales, despite polls suggesting that an overwhelming majority of Americans supported such legislation.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:21:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/two-dead-nine-injured-in-louisiana-shooting/article7461239.ece

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