Police in St. Louis County are releasing more details of another police action shooting that has left one young black man dead and is sparking another round of protests this Christmas Eve.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says the police shooting of an 18-year-old theft suspect is a tragedy for everyone involved, but maintains the incident was justified. Police say they were approaching two people at a Mobil gas station in the suburb of Berkeley when one of them pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer late Tuesday night. Authorities say the officer feared for his life and fired several shots killing him. The officer is a six-year veteran of the Berkeley Police Department and Belmar says he believes three rounds were fired. The suspect died at the scene.
This latest shooting has sparked a fresh round of protests and Belmar said another officer was injured by a brick and several explosive devices were detonated at the gas station just a couple of miles from Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed Michael Brown was killed by an officer who was not indicted for the killing. Chief Belmar also confirmed that the officer who shot the African American suspect is a 34-year-old white male who had been assigned a body camera but, for whatever reason, was not using it at the time.
A former U.S. president has taken ill heading into Christmas. Former President George H.W. Bush is now resting up in a Houston hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. A Bush family spokesman said the former President was taken by ambulance to Methodist Hospital as a precaution Tuesday evening. The 90-year-old Bush family patriarch will be held for observation.
Pope Francis is honoring Christians in the Middle East on Christmas Eve. He penned a letter to Christians forced to flee or live under the oppressive hand of ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. The Pope urged them to remain in what he described as the land of Jesus, despite continuing hostilities. He also told Mideast Christians not to be ashamed or afraid because their relationship with Jesus will allow them to live generously among their fellow citizens, no matter what god they worship.
Here in Indy…A mother and her boyfriend are under arrest after their three-year-old son was hospitalized with severe injuries. Maria Calderon and Freddie Bailey took the boy to IU Health Methodist Hospital for head trauma. Child abuse detectives said the injuries are not accidental, and the boy is in critical condition.
Law enforcement is increasing their numbers across the Hoosier state. The Indiana State Police is getting 42 new officers. The recruits were given the oath of office Tuesday at the Statehouse. Their next step is to report to one of 14 posts across Indiana to work with field training officers for about three months. After that training, they’ll then be issued their own vehicles and will go on solo patrols.
A local movie theater will now show the controversial comedy “The Interview” beginning Christmas Day. You’ll remember Sony pulled the plug on the film earlier this month after hackers targeted the studio. Questionably, for the entire Indianapolis metro area, the film will be shown only at Georgetown 14 Cinemas on Lafayette Road. Officials report that smaller releases are allowing the film to avoid the national chains that dumped it after the North Korean hacking scandal and controversy broke. To see other theaters where the film is showing in the state and beyond, click HERE.
In Sports…Six Pacers finished in double-digits as Indiana hosted the New Orleans Pelicans 96-84 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday night. George Hill led the way with 15 points in 21 minutes for his first action of the season. David West and Solomon Hill each had 13 points and Roy Hibbert added 14 with seven blocks. The Pacers now stand at 10-and-19 on the season. They’re off on Christmas Day but head to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Friday.
Meanwhile in NFL action, the Colts are prepping to head to Tennessee to take on the Titans in the regular season finale. Barring any ties, the Colts will be the four seed in the upcoming AFC Playoffs. Indianapolis is 10-and-5 after Sunday’s miserable loss to the Cowboys. The Titans stand at 2-and-13 and have the distinction of being losers of nine straight games. Coach Chuck Pagano is planning on playing all of his healthy starters on Sunday.
In Indianapolis Weather…
Expect rain on this Christmas Eve…changing to snow later this afternoon which may hamper travel plans on the roadways and at the airport. (Call ahead.) Today’s high: 44 degrees.
Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and yours!!!
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