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AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

National

AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT

Virginia victims had 150 years of combined service with city

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Four were engineers who worked to maintain streets and protect wetlands. Three were right-of-way agents who reviewed property lines. The others included an account clerk, a technician, an administrative assistant and a special projects coordinator. In all, they had served the city of Virginia Beach for more than 150 years.

These 11 city employees and one contractor were wiped out Friday when a fellow city worker opened fire inside a municipal building. A day after the shooting, city officials sought to honor them by sharing their job titles and years of service in a somber slideshow.

“They leave a void that we will never be able to fill,” said City Manager Dave Hansen, who had worked for years with many of the dead.

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Police Chief James Cervera identified the assailant as DeWayne Craddock, who had been employed for 15 years as an engineer with the city’s utilities department. He declined to comment on a motive for the rampage, which ended with the shooter’s death in a gun battle with officers. City officials uttered his name just once and said they would not mention it again.

Joseph Scott, an engineering technician with the utilities department, said he had worked with Craddock and had a brief interaction with him Friday, passing him in the men’s restroom about five minutes before the shooting.

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Virginia Beach shines light on victims, not mass shooter

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The victims of America‘s latest mass shooting had been dead for less than a day when police and city officials released a detailed presentation with their names, photos, job titles and the cities or towns in which they lived.

In all, 12 people — 11 of them city employees — were killed by the shooter who opened fire inside a municipal building.

Far less was revealed Saturday about the man who authorities say carried out the shootings. There was no photo. And authorities promised to utter his name only once: “DeWayne Craddock,” a 40-year-old engineer who worked in the city’s utilities department.

“We wanted to control that narrative,” Steve Cover, Virginia Beach‘s deputy city manager of public safety, said of the news conference officials held the day after Friday’s shooting. “We didn’t want it to leak out piece by piece through family and friends and so forth through the media. We felt it was kind of our obligation to get that message out.”

This sprawling city on Virginia‘s coast is employing an increasingly common public information strategy: Release more details about the victims of mass shootings than of the killers — at least initially — to limit the criminals’ exposure and prevent copycat shootings.

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Did ‘silencer’ make a difference in Virginia Beach carnage?

The shooter who killed 12 people in a government office building in Virginia Beach used a firearm equipped with a suppressor that muffles the sound of gunfire. It’s the nightmare scenario that gun-control advocates have warned about amid efforts in recent years to ease restrictions on the devices, which they say can help shooters escape detection and inflict more carnage.

But gun-rights advocates and most law enforcement experts say DeWayne Craddock’s use of a suppressor likely had no bearing on his ability to kill so many people in so little time Friday.

Virginia is among 42 states that allow residents to purchase and possess suppressors, though some cities and towns — including Virginia Beach — prohibit them.

Known colloquially as a “silencer,” a suppressor was attached to the .45-caliber handgun that police say the shooter used to kill a dozen people on three floors of the building where he worked before police closed in and, after a protracted gunbattle, fatally shot him.

That could at least partially explain why survivors of the attack said they were caught off guard and initially puzzled by what was happening. One described hearing something that sounded like a nail gun.

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D-Day’s 24 hours changed 20th century, and Europe, forever

ON OMAHA BEACH, France (AP) — All at once, Charles Shay tried to stanch the bleeding from a ripped-open stomach, dull the pain with morphine and soothe the mind of a dying fellow American army medic. It was a tall order for a 19-year-old who had just set foot on the European mainland for the first time.

But nothing could have prepared him for what happened on June 6, 1944, on five cold, forbidding beaches in northern France. It was D-Day, one of the most significant 24-hour periods of the 20th century, the horrifying tipping point in World War II that defined the future of Europe.

That morning, Shay could not yet fathom what the event would ultimately mean. He was more concerned with the bleeding soldiers, body parts and corpses strewn around him, and the machine-gun fire and shells that filled the air.

“You have to realize my vision of the beach was very small. I could only experience what I could see,” he told The Associated Press, speaking from the now-glimmering Omaha Beach, where he landed 75 years ago.

International leaders will gather again this week to honor the dwindling number of D-Day veterans. U.S. President Donald Trump is set to join a commemoration Wednesday on the southern English coast in Portsmouth before traveling to Normandy and the U.S. cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, which stands on a bluff overlooking the English Channel where some 160,000 made the perilous D-Day crossing.

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Singer missing as China cracks down on Tiananmen anniversary

BEIJING (AP) — It has been three months since Chinese rock musician Li Zhi disappeared from public view.

First, an upcoming tour was canceled and his social media accounts were taken down. Then his music was removed from all of China‘s major streaming sites — as if his career had never existed at all.

Li is an outspoken artist who performs folk rock. He sang pensive ballads about social ills, and unlike most entertainers in China, dared to broach the taboo subject of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests that ended in bloodshed on June 4, 1989.

“Now this square is my grave,” Li sang. “Everything is just a dream.”

China‘s ruling Communist Party has pushed people like Li into the shadows as it braces for Tuesday’s 30th anniversary of the military crackdown. Hundr, if not thousands, are estimated to have died on the night of June 3 and in the early hours of June 4.

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Private collectors key to boosting Russia‘s art market

MOSCOW (AP) — For Russian art collector Roman Babichev, a visit to an artist’s family living in a cramped St. Petersburg apartment yielded an unexpected sight.

In a cardboard folder under one of the b was a stash of paintings taken off their frames because they would have filled one of the two rooms the family of four lived in.

“They were just lying there, awaiting their destiny,” Babichev said.

He bought them, adding these works by landscape painter Alexander Vedernikov to his collection of Russian modernist art.

It’s just one example of how, at a time when sanctions and economic woes push the topic of culture down the Kremlin’s agenda, wealthy individuals are filling a gap by bringing much-needed cash to a struggling art market and supporting young Russian artists.

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With Biden absent, his rivals pounce at California gathering

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Democratic presidential hopefuls took rival Joe Biden’s absence at a California state party gathering Saturday as a chance to take subtle digs at the former vice president and craft themselves as better positioned to bring Democrats into the future.

“Some say if we all just calm down, the Republicans will come to their senses,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a clear reference to Biden’s that the GOP may have an “epiphany” after President Donald Trump is gone. “But our country is in a crisis. The time for small ideas is over.”

Warren was one of 14 presidential contenders in San Francisco for a three-day gathering of the California Democratic Party, featuring thousands of fervent activists. Biden was the only big-name candidate to skip the gathering, opting instead to campaign in Ohio. That allowed Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris and others a chance to grab the spotlight.

California has shifted its 2020 primary earlier on the calendar, to March 3, part of the Super Tuesday collection of contests, in hopes of giving the state more sway in choosing the party’s nominee. California will offer the largest delegate haul, but it is a notoriously difficult state to campaign in, given its massive size and expensive media markets.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has endorsed Harris, downplayed the importance of Biden’s absence.

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Legendary Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase, dies at 96

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans chef and civil rights icon Leah Chase, who created the city’s first white-tablecloth restaurant for black patrons, broke the city’s segregation laws by seating white and black customers and introduced countless tourists to Southern Louisiana Creole cooking, died Saturday. She was 96.

Chase’s family released a statement to news outlets Saturday night saying the “unwavering advocate for civil liberties” and “believer in the Spirit of New Orleans” died surrounded by family.

“Her daily joy was not simply cooking, but preparing meals to bring people together,” the statement read. “One of her most prized contributions was advocating for the Civil Rights Movement through feeding those on the front lines of the struggle for human dignity.”

Leah Chase transformed the Dooky Chase’s restaurant from a sandwich shop where black patrons bought lottery tickets to a refined restaurant where tourists, athletes, musicians and even presidents of all races dined on fare such as jambalaya and shrimp Clemenceau. The restaurant and Chase’s husband were both named after her father-in-law.

Chase’s determination propelled her from a small-town Louisiana upbringing to a celebrated chef who authored cookbooks, appeared on cooking shows and fed civil rights greats such as Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. Well into her 90s, Chase could be found daily at the restaurant, using a walker while greeting customers and supervising the kitchen. The power of food to transform a day and the desire to better her city drove her.

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In central US, levee breaches flood some communities

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Crews were making a “last ditch effort” on Saturday to save low-lying parts of a small Arkansas city from floodwaters pouring through a breached levee, and authorities downstream were warning people to leave a neighborhood that sits across the swollen river from the state capital.

Further north in Iowa, a flood barrier along the swollen Mississippi River failed Saturday, flooding four to six blocks of downtown Burlington, a city of about 25,000 people that is 170 miles (274 kilometers) southeast of Des Moines.

On Friday, the Arkansas River, which has been flooding communities for more than a week, tore a 40-foot (12-meter) hole in a levee in Dardanelle, a city of about 4,700 people roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) upstream from Little Rock.

Mayor Jimmy Witt said Saturday that officials don’t believe a temporary levee being constructed will stop the water from flooding the south side of Dardanelle, but he hopes it will buy time for residents of up to 800 threatened homes to prepare.

“We have started a last ditch effort to try and protect the southern borders of the city,” he said at a news conference.

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Bruins rout Blues 7-2, take 2-1 lead in Stanley Cup Final

ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Pastrnak flashed a wry smile, brimming with confidence.

No even-strength points through the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final for the first line put plenty of pressure on Boston’s best players to produce. Pastrnak shrugged it off, saying on scale of 1 to 10 they felt the pressure level was something around a 2.

Then they got on the ice and delivered.

The stars led Boston to a 7-2 rout of the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Defenseman Torey Krug scored a goal and had three assists, top-line center Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists, Pastrnak and Brad Marchand got on the scoresheet and the top power-play unit was a perfect 4 for 4 — on four shots.

“It’s about time we get going,” said Pastrnak, who scored his first goal in the final. “I still think we haven’t played our best. But we are up 2-1 and we need to meet tomorrow, look at the video and get even better. That’s our focus in this group, and we’ve got a lot of good players, so we know we can even elevate more.”