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Three Dead as US ‘Shooting Spree’ Plague Spreads

A man shot dead two people in Texas before being killed by police as shooting sprees continue to plague the United States.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 7:41 AM

Shooting (illustrative)
Shooting (illustrative)
Israel News photo: Flash 90

Reuters - A man killed two people, including a law enforcement officer who was serving him an eviction notice at a home near Texas A&M University on Monday, before police fatally shot the suspect in a gun battle that lasted half an hour, officials said.

Four people also were injured in the shooting, which comes at a time of national concern over gun violence less than four weeks after a man opened fire in a crowded Colorado movie theater during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and wounded 58 others.

On Aug. 5, a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before committing suicide.

Police identified the Texas gunman as Thomas Caffall. It was unclear whether Caffall was renting the home or was being evicted for nonpayment of a mortgage.

Officials said the wounded included a 55-year-old woman, who underwent surgery, and College Station police officer Justin Oehlke, who was in stable condition after being shot in the leg.

"We had officers respond to a 'shots fired' call," Scott McCollum, assistant chief of the police department in College Station, said at a news conference. "Once the officers arrived, they began to trade fire. The officers defended themselves and called in additional officers."

A Facebook page listed as belonging to Caffall, which had a photo nearly identical to a driver's license picture released by authorities, included photographs of rifles he had said he had acquired, including a Czech vz 58 assault rifle.

The university issued a "code maroon" shortly after noon, warning students and employees that an "active shooter" was in the area west of campus and asking them to stay away.

A university spokesman said he was unaware if any of the victims were students.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Monday at a Miami news conference that there should be no change to current gun laws.

"We've now had apparently ... three of these tragedies in a row and I happen to believe this is not a matter of the weapon that is used," Romney said. "It's a matter of the individuals, the choices these people make and we have to understand those kinds of choices from being made."