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Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Hood, Texas, Killing at Least Four

Breaking News

04/02/2014 at 09:45 PM EDT

2fabfort hood 600 Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Hood, Texas, Killing at Least Four

III Corps Public Affairs/U.S. Army/Reuters/Landov

All-clear sirens have sounded at Fort Hood as the lockdown was lifted hours after a deadly shooting at the Texas Army post.

A gunman opened fire Wednesday there in an attack that left four dead, including the shooter, law enforcement officials said.

One of the officials, citing official internal U.S. Justice Department updates, said 14 others were hurt. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information by name.

A U.S. law enforcement official said reports circulating within the Justice Department indicate the shooter died of what appears to be a self-inflicted wound. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

The Texas Army base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in history.

Injured people were being treated at the post’s Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals on Wednesday.

Outside the base, some relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.

Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.

“The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.

Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he couldn’t even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.

“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said, explaining that she still doesn’t know how close the incident was to her husband.

“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.

The President Speaks

In Chicago, President Barack Obama vowed that investigators will get to the bottom of the shooting, seeking to reassure the nation whose sense of security once again has been shaken by mass violence

In a hastily arranged statement, Obama said he and his team were following the situation closely but that details about what happened at the sprawling Army post were still fluid. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.

Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made — including during multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,” Obama said. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.”

The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Hood, Texas, Killing at Least Four
Source: Gunman Opens Fire at Fort Hood, Texas, Killing at Least Four

Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone Hit the Recording Studio

04/02/2014 at 08:00 PM EDT

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Austin Mahone and Justin Bieber

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

They’re both young, talented and close with pop star Selena Gomez: It’s about time teen sensations Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone recorded a song together.

On Wednesday, Baby crooner Bieber, 20, posted a picture on Instagram with Mahone, 17. He simply captioned the photo, “New music.”

“Justin knew Austin had been in the studio working on his album,” a source tells PEOPLE. “And he had a song he thought could be really perfect to do with Austin.”

You might think the two would be competitors, but it seems Bieber gets on famously with Mahone, whose current single Mmm Yeah featuring Pitbull has been consistently climbing the charts and dominating the radio.

“Austin and Justin have met before and they really respect each other’s music,” the source continued. “They work with a lot of the same producers, so they got together in the studio.”

Mahone – whose die hard fans call themselves “mahomies” – will release his highly anticipated album later this year. And he’s not being shy about how he thinks fans will receive the new collaboration.

“What an amazing song last night,” he wrote with his own Instagram of Bieber’s photo. “The world isn’t ready!”

Related Video: Austin Mahone and Cody Simpson Slimed

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone Hit the Recording Studio
Source: Justin Bieber and Austin Mahone Hit the Recording Studio

Miranda Barbour’s Sister: She Is Lying About Murder

04/02/2014 at 07:00 PM EDT

a4b3miranda barbour 600 Miranda Barbours Sister: She Is Lying About Murder

Miranda Barbour

Mark Makela/Reuters/Landov

Miranda Barbour, the Pennsylvania woman who claims she’s a serial killer, is a liar, her sister says in a new interview with a local newspaper.

Barbour is a fan of Showtime’s now-defunct series Dexter, about a serial killer who kills serial killers, and is lifting her claims straight from the show, Ashley Dean told The Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa.

“If you listen to what she is saying, she is using descriptions from the show,” says Dean, 22, who lives in Alaska. “Miranda is just saying these things.”

Barbour, 19, and her husband, Elytte, 22, are charged with the Nov. 11 murder of Troy LeFerrara, 42. Authorities say they lured him to his death via Craiglist. Miranda appeared in court Tuesday for the case but didn’t say a word.

Barbour made the claims of murdering as many as 22 people to The Daily Item in February.

“She is a master at lying,” her sister told the same reporter this week. “She takes a lot of truths and puts the lie in the middle so when people talk to her they see all these truths and then they believe the lie.”

Her father, Sonny Dean, told The Daily Item similar things about his daughter in February, noting she had spent most of her life in and out of treatment for heroin addiction.

“Believe very little of what Miranda says,” he told the paper. “She has a long history of extreme manipulation and dishonesty.”

While he believes she is a satanist and may have participated in a murder in Alaska, he says he does not believe she’s a serial killer.

“I would be very surprised if any evidence was found concerning other victims in the states of Alaska, Texas, California and North Carolina,” he told the paper.

Authorities in those states say they are taking her claims seriously but so far have found no evidence to support her claims.

Both Sonny and Ashley have done few media interviews beyond the tiny Pennsylvania paper, trying to stay out of the limelight as much as possible.

“I’m just sad,” Ashley told the paper. “I really thought my sister was getting her stuff together.”

“She had a child, a job, a car she bought on her own and a whole life ahead of her,” she says. “It breaks my heart to see my baby sister in this.”

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Miranda Barbours Sister: She Is Lying About Murder
Source: Miranda Barbour’s Sister: She Is Lying About Murder

Chicago Fire Actor Jesse Spencer Helps Real Firefighters Save Tourists Trapped in Elevator

04/02/2014 at 06:00 PM EDT

As Chicago Fire Lt. Matt Casey, actor Jesse Spencer is used to playing the hero.

But he ended up being the one in need when he, his parents and a group of other people got trapped in an elevator while touring the Illinois State Capitol.

Still, he put his real-life skills to use: Spencer helped with the escape plan by prying open the doors enough to get a cell phone signal to dial 911. He also kept the group calm until real Springfield, Ill., firefighters came to the rescue.

The former House star, his parents visiting from Australia and 30 other tourists were stuck in the elevator for about 45 minutes.

Spencer, whose NBC show is filmed in its namesake city, got on the elevator on Sunday with his family to begin their tour of the 125-year-old domed building. But after the doors closed, something went wrong, trapping everyone inside.

“People started to freak out,” Spencer told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was getting so hot. It’s claustrophobic. One poor girl had a fear of being trapped in elevators.”

Cell phones weren’t getting any reception, so someone picked up the phone in the elevator, which connected to a security guard at the Capitol’s front desk. Following protocol, the guard called an elevator mechanic – a policy now under review – “but being a Sunday, that probably would have been a couple of hours,” Springfield Fire Capt. Trey McCormick told PEOPLE.

Spencer, who was wearing a baseball cap with a fire department logo on it, said that’s when he decided to take matters into his own hands, after some of his fellow passengers recognized him – and others thought he was a real firefighter.

“Eventually, I managed to get the doors open so we could get air in,” Spencer says. He opened them enough to stick a cell phone out of the elevator, which had ultimately settled about two feet below the basement level.

“It relieved the tension,” Spencer says. “I took turns getting people that were freaking out over near the door. I didn’t want them sticking their heads out in case the elevator took off again.” He also opened the elevator’s fire access panel to bring in more air.

McCormick says the actor did the right thing. “I think he knew that the fire department should be the one who should be called,” he says, noting that was his first elevator rescue from the Capitol in his 15 years on the job, though the department responds to several hundred similar calls a year throughout the city.

A rescue crew arrived soon after, opened the doors from the outside and helped everyone step up and out. Relieved, two women asked to have their picture taken – not with Spencer, but with the actual firefighters. Spencer did pose for photos later with passengers and the Springfield crew once they realized who he was.

McCormick then asked him if he was star-struck to meet a real truck captain. “He laughed,” firefighter Tyler Sexton says.

p 89EKCgBk8MZdE Chicago Fire Actor Jesse Spencer Helps Real Firefighters Save Tourists Trapped in Elevator
Source: Chicago Fire Actor Jesse Spencer Helps Real Firefighters Save Tourists Trapped in Elevator


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