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Belgian police shoot dead suspected extremist accused of killing 2 Swedes in Brussels

Updated October 17, 20233:24 AM ET


The Associated Press

Sylvain Plazy/AP

BRUSSELS — Police in Belgium on Tuesday shot a suspected Tunisian extremist accused of killing two Swedish soccer fans in a brazen shooting on a Brussels street before disappearing into the night.

Hours after a manhunt began in the Belgian capital, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told broadcaster VRT: “We have the good news that we found the individual.” She said that the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered.

Amateur videos posted on social media of Monday’s attack showed a man wearing an orange fluorescent vest pull up on a scooter, take out a large weapon and open fire on passersby before chasing them into a building to gun them down.

“Last night, three people left for what was supposed to be a wonderful soccer party. Two of them lost their lives in a brutal terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a news conference just before dawn. “Their lives were cut short in full flight, cut down by extreme brutality.”

De Croo said his thoughts were with the victims’ families and that he had sent his condolences to the Swedish prime minister. Security has been beefed up in the capital, particularly around places linked to the Swedish community in the city.

“The attack that was launched yesterday was committed with total cowardice,” De Croo said.

Not far from the scene of the shooting, the Belgium-Sweden soccer match in the Belgian national stadium was suspended at halftime and the 35,000 fans held inside as a precaution while the attacker was at large.

Prosecutor Eric Van Duyse said “security measures were urgently taken to protect the Swedish supporters” in the stadium. More than two hours after the game was suspended, a message flashed on the big stadium screen saying, “Fans, you can leave the stadium calmly.” Stand after stand emptied onto streets filled with police as the search for the attacker continued.

“Frustrated, confused, scared. I think everyone was quite scared,” said Caroline Lochs, a fan from Antwerp.

De Croo said the assailant was a Tunisian man living illegally in Belgium who used a military weapon to kill the two Swedes and shoot a third, who is being treated for “severe injuries.”

Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw described how the suspect, a 45-year-old man who wasn’t identified, had posted a video online claiming to have killed three Swedish people.

The suspect is alleged to have said in the video that, for him, the Quran is “a red line for which he is ready to sacrifice himself.”

Sweden raised its terror alert to the second-highest level in August after a series of public Quran-burnings by an Iraqi refugee living in Sweden resulted in threats from Islamic militant groups.

Belgian prosecutors said overnight that nothing suggested the attack was linked to the latest war between Israel and Hamas.

Police overnight raided a building in the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek where the man was thought be staying but did not find him. Sweden’s foreign ministry sent out a text message to subscribers in Belgium asking them “to be vigilant and to carefully listen to instructions from the Belgian authorities.”

According to Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, the suspect was denied asylum in 2019. He was known to police and had been suspected of involvement of human trafficking, living illegally in Belgium and of being a risk to state security.

Information provided to the Belgian authorities by an unidentified foreign government suggested that the man had been radicalized and intended to travel abroad to fight in a holy war. But the Belgian authorities were not able to establish this, so he was never listed as dangerous.

The man was also suspected of threatening a person in an asylum center and a hearing on that incident had been due to take place on Tuesday, Van Quickenborne said.

Belgian Asylum State Secretary Nicole de Moor said the man disappeared after his asylum application was refused so the authorities were unable to locate him to organize his deportation.

A terror alert for Brussels was raised overnight to 4, the top of Belgian’s scale, indicating an extremely serious threat. It previously stood at 2, which means the threat was average. The alert level for the rest of the country was raised to 3.

De Croo said that Belgium would never submit to such attacks. “Moments like this are a heavy ordeal,” he told reporters, “but we are never going to let ourselves be intimidated by them.”

Shootings at Youth Football Games Leave Kids in Crossfire

Andy Berg, October 11, 2023

Panic and chaos ensued at a youth football game Sunday after gunfire erupted at Thornridge HIgh School in Chicago’s south suburbs.

The third quarter of a game between the Dolton Bears and the South Holland Jets when a man opened fire.

“The first thing that came to our mind was to tell the children to get down, you know, get covered,” parent Dedric Scales told CBS.

Witnesses say as many as 10 shots were fired around 2:45 when a man affiliated with the South Holland Jets had an altercation with a parent.

The man, who was seen shooting aimlessly into the air, was quickly apprehended. Even though Dolton Police managed to get everything under control at the scene and no injuries were reported, the damage was already done.

This is the second shooting in two weeks to happen at youth football game in the Chicago area. Last week a man was shot at Mandrake Park during a Chicago Hellcats game.

But this type of gun violence isn’t just happening in Chicago.

According to CBS 4, a 30-year-old St. Louis man was shot multiple times during a youth football practice on Tuesday.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the shooting at the park. The man was found in the northwest area of the park with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital, put in surgery and listed in critical, stable condition.

Police said two men got into an argument when one shot the other. The suspect, a 43-year-old man, later turned himself in at the North Patrol Division Station. First Alert 4 asked police if possible charges will be referred to prosecutors.

11-Year-Old Florida Youth Football Player Arrested After Allegedly Shooting 2 Teammates

11-Year-Old Florida Youth Football Player Arrested After Allegedly Shooting 2 Teammates


Tue, October 3, 2023

An 11-year-old Florida boy has been arrested after he was accused of shooting two 13-year-olds following their youth football practice.

As reported by NBC News, the incident occurred Monday night at the Northwest Recreation Complex in Apopka, Florida, which is about 30 miles northwest of Orlando.

On Tuesday, police released surveillance video of the incident. The 11-year-old was detained and charged with second-degree attempted murder.

According to law enforcement, the shooting, which took place around 8 p.m., stemmed from an argument and physical fight that took place between the three boys during practice.

The 11-year-old allegedly grabbed a gun out of his mother’s SUV, ran toward his teammates, and fired one shot, hitting one boy in the arm and another in the back. Both children were transported to the hospital, where one underwent surgery and is said to be in stable condition. They are each expected to make a full recovery.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Apopka Police Chief Mike McKinley expressed his disdain for the country’s sad reality when it comes to gun violence.

“We shouldn’t have 11-year-olds that have access to guns and think they can resolve a dispute with a firearm,” McKinley said.

He continued by urging “society” to “reflect on this.”

“We see this way too often in our society now of juveniles—young juveniles, and they’re getting younger every day—that have access to guns,” McKinley said. “But the more disturbing part is they believe that gun, that firearm, is a resolution to their problems—and it’s not a resolution to anybody’s problems.”

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