This is a good year to be a Cubs fan — at least, so far.
Image: APNam Y. Huh

Major League Baseball this season has been, in a word, weird. Casual fans tuning into the final throes of the 2016 regular season just might think they’re peering into a parallel world.

Welcome to a reality in which the Chicago Cubs are not only back in the playoff hunt, but at the top of the National League. A world where the Yankees bid a strange and sudden goodbye to Alex Rodriguez. A world where one of the Red Soxs most effective starting pitchers looks like the second coming of knuckleball legend Tim Wakefield.

The Dodgers, Nationals and Rangers are all this close to clinching their respective divisions, while the Red Sox nearly have the American League East wrapped up.

Meanwhile, all four wild card playoff slots are still up for grabs. In the National League, the Mets, Giants and Cardinals are duking it out, while the Blue Jays attempt to fend off the Orioles, Tigers and Astros over in the American League.

With the playoffs set to begin October 4, here are three fun storylines to follow.

1. The Cubs! Wait, the Cubs? Yes, the Cubs!

Anthony Rizzo, left, and Ben Zobrist celebrate another Cubs win.

Image: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Some believe its inextricably tied to luck, the yin and yang of a club that has crossed paths with a billy goat curse, a black cat curse and Steve Bartman. If you ask the Chicago Cubs, however, talent is the driving force behind their ascension through the NL Central this season.

Heading the rotation is a trifecta of power arms. First, there’s reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. Then there’s current Cy Young candidate Jon Lester, who himself endorsed a third Cubs starter, Kyle Hendricks, for the award on Wednesday. Together, the Cubs rotation not only ranks third-best among major league teams, but has rendered Chicago’s bullpen the most under-utilized in the league.

Back in June, Arrieta turned Wrigley Field into his personal command center, extending a win streak that dated back to July 2015 and holding opponents to three or fewer runs per game on his home turf. In September, hes been shakier on the mound, struggling to locate the strike zone and walking a disproportionate number of batters. But with Lester and Hendricks now in control of the pitching staff, having Arrieta as a third-best option is an enviable position for any major league club.

Mr. Bryant does it all.

Image: Morry Gash/AP

Let’s not dismiss the efforts of MVP candidate Kris Bryant, though. At 24 years old, the sophomore third baseman has already garnered comparisons to breakout stars like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. (Harper, we should mention, happens to be the reigning NL MVP.) In 2016, Bryant is the epitome of well-rounded, proving his prowess in six different defensive positions while slugging 38 home runs, the most by a Cubs player since Derrek Lee racked up 46 in 2005. (Editor’s note: All stats in this post are through Wednesday night’s games.)

Good luck finding a chink in Chicago’s royal blue armor. This year’s Cubs have it all: top-notch pitching, an electric offense, an airtight defense, home field advantage in theNational League Division Series, super-fan Ronnie Woo Woo Wickers and a favorable schedule during the final stretch of the regular season.

What they dont have is a World Series championship. If the Cubs are ever going to rewrite history and exorcise the demons of their various curses, now is the time to do it.

2. So. Many. Home. Runs.

Colorado’s Trevor Story is one of many players smacking the heck out of the ball this season.

Image: Nick Wass/AP

The fences havent been moved in, nor (do we think) this is a reprise of the Steroid Era.

Still, somethings in the air this season. Whether its doctored balls or simply an inexplicable surfeit of sluggers, home runs are up across the board in MLB way up.

In 2000, major league teams set a league-wide record for the most home runs hit in a single season, totaling a collective 5,693. This year, major league teams have already logged 5,309 dingers and counting. Leading the league in team home runs is the Orioles, whose 238 are already the most theyve registered since 1996.

Not only are clubs smacking home runs at an eyebrow-raising rate, but several individual players are making their marks in the record books as well.

David Ortiz is going out in style.

Image: Elise Amendola/AP

Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story’s 27 homers are already more than any National League shortstop has hit in his first career season. Likewise, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez became the fastest rookie to reach 19 home runs, needing only 45 games to do so. Even old man David Ortiz has gotten in on the fun: with 36 home runs so far in his farewell tour, hes edged out 1986 Athletics designated hitter (and noted scumbag) Dave Kingman for most homers hit in a final big-league season.

In short, there’s hardly been a better time to buy some bleacher seats, bring your glove and hope to catch a longball.

3. The Dodgers shockingly dominant rotation

No Kershaw, no problem?

Image: Brian Rothmuller/AP

Rarely does a team lose its ace halfway through the season and stay competitive down the stretch. Its even rarer when that ace happens to be the best pitcher in baseball.

Clayton Kershaw the same southpaw who decimated National League lineups this spring with six consecutive starts of 10-plus strikeouts, the same bundle of sheer willpower and deadly curveballs that struck out 150 batters while walking just nine broke down in June.

The diagnosis? A herniated disc in his back, not quite devastating enough to be a season-ending surgery, but not so mild that he could remain a staple of the L.A. rotation, even in a limited capacity.

The Dodgers should have fallen apart after Kershaw’s injury, but improbably haven’t done so at all.

Maeda has been an excellent import for L.A.

Image: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Japanese hurler Kenta Maeda, who signed with the club in January, has been dynamite with his consistency and precision. Nineteen-year-old phenom Julio Urias has been a revelation both as a starter and out of the bullpen. Hot prospect Jose De Leon arrived during roster expansion in September and promptly struck out nine batters in his big-league debut.

Meanwhile, the offense, headed by rookie Corey Seager, has already put up 294 runs in the second half, good enough to place him eighth among major league teams.

Rather than plummeting to the bottom of the NL West, where the Rockies and Padres swim with the fishes, the Dodgers have kept their heads above water since Kershaw’s injury. By mid-August, they’d overtaken their rival Giants for first place in the division. Then, with a postseason spot all but locked down, they brought back a familiar face.

Kershaw pitched three innings in his first rehab start at the beginning of September, holding the Marlins to two runs and striking out five. Hes still on the slow path to a full recovery, but the good news is the Dodgers can afford to rest their ace without compromising their position in the playoffs.

For a team that looked on the brink of failure just three months ago, its the best of both worlds. For the rest of Major League Baseball, it’s an ominous sign.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/24/major-league-baseball-stretch-run-storylines/


Just under a month after Colin Kaepernick chose to stay seated during the National Anthem before a pre-season game, the athlete brought his protest against police brutality to the high school football field.

The 49ers quarterback attended a football game at Castlemont High School in Oakland, California on Friday, kneeling during the National Anthem as members of the team laid on their backs with their hands raised. Their protest comes in the immediate wake of recent police shootings in Charlotte, North Carolina and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

ESPN analyst Kirk Morrison captured the moment on Twitter:

Over the past month, Kaepernick has chosen to sit or kneel during the anthem in protest of police violence against black people, a decision that’s garnered both criticism and support.

On Sept. 16, the Castlemont Knights knelt in solidarity before its game, prompting the 49ers player to pay a visit. He addressed the team before its Friday night game, telling the students: “You are important, you make a difference. This matters.”

See the speech filmed in pieces below:

[H/T: CBS Sports]

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/24/colin-kaepernick-high-school-protest/


A protester gestures while marching down Church Street with other demonstrators, to protest Tuesday’s fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Image: AP

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina Byron Davis moved to Charlotte from Chicago in 1979, and the first thing he noticed was just how clean the city looked.

Davis thought Charlotte was the cleanest city he’d ever been to. He still does. But he knows “clean” is far from the first word likely to come to mind if you’ve only known Charlotte through news coverage following the police shooting of a black man in the city.

Protests have rolled throughout the city for four days since Tuesday’s police shooting of Keith Scott, and footage of riot police, tear gas and smashed police cars has been splashed across TV screens throughout the nation.

Demonstrators burned piles of debris on a highway on Tuesday and were met with tear gas. Police shot clouds of tear gas at protesters again the following day after a shooting turned the demonstration into a chaotic frenzy. Thursday and Friday, however, saw determined but calm marches throughout the city that lasted throughout much of the night.

“When you just see this, you don’t see Charlotte,” Davis said.

Davis was out there protesting for a reason, but he and other residents of the city want the world to know about the city’s charms as well as its faults.

“One thing about this city, we’re city folks out in the country,” said Kendrick Steele, a lifelong resident of the Queen City. “Right now you see all these tall buildings, but 15 minutes from here you’ll see horses.”

His sister, Jackie Stewart, smiles when she’s asked about her favorite parts of the city.

The first thing that pops into her head is the Carolina Panthers, whom she loves to watch from the comfort of her home so she can yell at the TV all she wants.

Stewart called Charlotte a “peaceful city” and said that peaceful protests in years past didn’t generate anywhere near this kind of news coverage, making it easy for people beyond Charlotte to have a distorted view of their home.

But the siblings believe the unrest is necessary. Steele said the relationship between police and black residents of the city had simply boiled over.

In that boiling over, those who call Charlotte home are hoping to find a stronger core at the city’s center.

“This is not one of the better times,” Davis said. “But it may be the best time, because change may come from it.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/24/charlotte-charms-faults-tv/



Art has massive power to move people to social change.

By using their art as an innovative medium for awareness, artists become advocates, challenging the biggest issues of our time. Public art, then, capitalizes on the power of socially-aware works, reaching people in their everyday environments and confronting them with social injustice that is otherwise easily ignored.

From sculptures addressing systemic racism to murals celebrating Indigenous communities, public art is making a real-world social impact that deserves to be celebrated.

Though certainly not an exhaustive list, here are 15 recent, ongoing or upcoming public art projects working to advocate for human rights and improve communities.

1. Ethnicities

Image: Mario Tama/Getty

Created for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, this mural depicts five Indigenous people from five continents a concept based on the five Olympic rings. The bold, geometric mural created by Brazilian graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra is meant to show how “we are all connected,” according to the artist. It currently holds the Guinness World Record for largest mural created by one artist.

Kobra conceptualized the 623-foot mural, called Ethnicities, or Etnias in Portuguese. More than 493 gallons of paint and about 3,500 cans of spray paint were used to complete the mural, which took more than two months to create.

2. AIDS Memorial Quilt

Image: Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma/Getty

A traveling public art project, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was created in June 1987 at the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States. The ongoing project memorializes those who have died from HIV and AIDS through quilted panels, embellished with their names and symbolic imagery representing the person memorialized. Currently, the quilt is made up of more than 48,000 panels, with more added every year as more AIDS casualties are submitted to The NAMES Project Foundation.

The massive quilt is rarely displayed in its entirety, as it’s become too large to display in many public spaces. Upcoming displays of the quilt can be found here. You can also view the quilt virtually here.

3. Field of Vision: A Garden for Others

Image: Courtesy of Jenny Kendler

In December 2015, artist and environmental activist Jenny Kendler was commissioned to create a butterfly garden in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. In creating Field of Vision: A Garden for Others, Kendler used reclaimed wood, ultraviolet LED lights and milkweed to create a garden in Louisville that would draw people back to an often-overlooked river, while also supporting vulnerable butterfly populations.

Kendler first designed the garden for pollinators, creating the art to primarily attracted monarch butterflies to a space where they could feed and lay eggs. All the elements are meticulously intentional the milkweed attracts butterflies, for example, while blacklight replicates the far-superior sight butterflies have compared to humans.

4. Invisible Homeless

Image: Mark Simmons

Homeless populations are often ignored on the street. A British artist wanted to challenge this, creating a glass sculpture of a sleeping body resting on a bed of cardboard, to represent how homeless people struggle to be seen on city streets.

The glass figure, which was on display in Bristol, England, in late December 2015, was created in collaboration between artist Luke Jerram and UK-based youth homelessness charity 1625 Independent People.

5. Stop Telling Women To Smile

Image: Tatyana fazlaizadeh/facebook

These simple posters, created by New York City artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, carry a big message about a type of gender injustice women face regularly: street harassment. The series, called Stop Telling Women To Smile in reference to a common catcall, started in the fall of 2012 and is ongoing by the artist.

The publicly displayed posters feature the portraits of women, along with a quote relaying their experiences with street harassment. Fazlalizadeh hopes the captions speak directly to offenders by placing the posters outside in public spaces where harassment happens.

6. Untitled refugee life jacket installation

Image: Mehmet Kaman/Anadolu Agency/Getty

This art installation by noted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei showcased 14,000 used life jackets previously worn by refugees traveling from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. The artist, hoping to highlight the severity of the ongoing refugee crisis, tied the striking orange vests to pillars of the Konzerthaus Berlin to command the attention of the general public.

The installation was debuted in Berlin in February 2016 outside of the concert hall in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt square.

7. Breathing Lights

Concentrated in areas with high levels of vacancy in Upstate New York, Breathing Lights is meant to show society and communities that there is life still lurking in vacant properties. Artist Adam Frelin and architect Barbara Nelson conceived the temporary installation, which will illuminate windows of empty buildings with warm light that gently fades on and off to mimic breathing.

The art piece is meant to shed light on the ongoing divestment from low-income communities in the upstate region using bold imagery. Breathing Lights will premiere in Albany, Schenectady and Troy in October and November. The project received funding and support from Bloomberg Philanthropies in early 2016.

8. The Za’atari Project

Image: AptART / ACTED / UNICEF /Jose Artista

The Za’atari Project is an ongoing series of public art murals that engages Syrian refugees, especially children, in art to make refugee camps less sterile and more welcoming.

Through a partnership with several nonprofits, artist Joel Artista has traveled to the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan for the past four years to help bring life to the camp. Many of the murals hinge on social issues, like access to water and hygiene. Artista says the activity is one of few structured activities for refugee children, many of which are out of school since being displaced.

9. Bodypainting at the Library

Image: Courtesy of Substantia jones

In June 2015, photographer Substantia Jones and artist Andy Golub collaborated to confront tourists and locals with radical body positivity on the front steps of the New York Public Library. Gloub painted three self-identified fat women with green body paint and fluid black lines. Jones, a noted activist for the fat positive movement, photographed the women, also talking to passersby about body positivity, fat visibility and sizeism.

From navigating police officers questioning the legality of the project to men sexualizing participants, the two were up against a lot of hate.

But Jones said there was no doubt: “We made some people think.”

10. All Hands On Deck

Image: Getty Images

This project tackling racial justice, dubbed All Hands On Deck, was created by artist Damon Davis and activist Michael Skolnik in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown. The pair decided to tackle the issue of police violence through art, uplifting those on the frontlines of activism and calling impacted communities to action.

Davis took photos of activists involved in Ferguson protests, representing those “holding up” the current racial justice movement. Their hands were photographed in a “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture, a symbol that became iconic after the death of Michael Brown. The posters were pasted on boarded buildings around Ferguson during the protests following the acquittal of Darren Wilson in the death of Brown.

11. Stand Tall, Stand Loud

The sculpture, created by artist Aaron Bell, ties the history of current racial discrimination to historical roots of black oppression. The bold work features a noose-like head on a muscular body with a captivating windmill-like part in the heart of the piece. The base of the work reads, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter,” quoting Martin Luther King Jr.

Bell went through a lengthy fight to have the work publicly displayed in Riverside Park in New York City, as city officials were quoted to say the work was set to be “adjacent to an area regularly programmed with passive recreational activities such as yoga, Pilates and senior movement.” The piece, however, is currently on display.

12. Inflatable Refugee

Image: Dirk kinot

The title of this work says it all. This art project is a 20-foot inflatable refugee, hoping to focus the general public’s attention on the refugee crisis. Dubbed a nomadic art project, the inflatable refugee has set out around the world to spread awareness in places like Venice, Melbourne and Copenhagen.

The work, created by Belgian visual artist collective Schellekens & Peleman, is made from the same material used to make the inflatable boats many refugees use to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

13. Non-Violence

Image: JOKER/Erich Haefele/ullstein bild/Getty

This knotted gun, simply titled Non-Violence, was first created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswrd after the murder of John Lennon in 1980. Originally placed across the street from Lennon’s home in New York City, the sculpture was moved to the U.N. Headquarters, calling for peace and non-violence.

Since then, however, it has become a symbol of the ongoing struggle for non-violence and gun control worldwide, serving as the symbol of the The Non-Violence Project, a nonprofit advocating for social change through violence-prevention programming.

There are currently 16 copies of the statue on display around the world, most of which are in Sweden.

14. Songs for Thomas Piketty

This may look like a regular boombox and, truly, it is. But Dutch visual artist Dries Verhoeven took an innovative approach to throwback device, using it to advocate for homeless populations in the Netherlands.

The art project, Songs for Thomas Piketty, was created in response to the Netherlands implementing a ban on panhandling. The “begging boomboxes” play a song about unity and ask passersby for spare change, collecting money for those who can’t. The temporary installation was in the Netherlands in March 2016, with all money collected donated to charities for the homeless.

15. Untitled wall around Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star

Image: David Livingston/Getty

This wall, conceptualized and constructed by the artist known as Plastic Jesus, was placed around the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star of Donald Trump on July 20, 2016 the same day Trump was officially nominated as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

Complete with barbed wired and tiny “Keep Out” signs, the work played of Trump’s controversial statements about building a wall on the southern border of the U.S. as part of a plan for immigration reform. The artist, known for progressive messages on social inequality, used the work to oppose Trump’s comments.

“Personally, Ive got nothing against Donald Trump, Plastic Jesus told The Huffington Post. I have everything against his policies and the culture he’s trying to create in America.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/24/public-art-social-good/


Rahaf Khatib poses for Women’s Running
Image: Womens Running magazine//James Farrell

For its October issue, Women’s Running did something other U.S. fitness magazines have failed to do in the past: It put a Hijabi runner on its cover.

Rahaf Khatib, founder of Run Like a Hijabi, posed for the cover as part of the magazine’s feature story on women changing the sport.

Khatib is a runner from Farmington Hills, Michigan who discovered a love for running in 2012, going on to compete in races in the Detroit area. She tells the magazine that when she noticed a lack of Hijabis on the race course, she created her Instagram account to encourage other Muslim women who might feel self-conscious about running in a hijab.

Image: women’s running magazine/james farrell

Her passion for the sport has taken her to races around the world, from Paris to Berlin, and now she’s become the first Muslim Hijabi runner to pose for a U.S. fitness magazine.

“For thisstay-at-home mom of three,and an average (but persistent!)runner with goals, it means theworld to me,” Khatib told the publicationin a behind-the-scenes look at her cover shoot. “Itssomething I can show to my kidsin the future, my community andmost importantly my parents. Itmeans that my sweat, tears andtraining are worth it.”

Across the internet, people praised Khatib’s cover:

Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/09/24/rahaf-khatib-womens-running-cover/


Eric Dungey, the quarterback for the Syracuse football team, was getting ready for the opening game of the season against Colgate. He was in the zone to play some football, and to make his school proud.

He had no idea that he was about to get the surprise of a lifetime.

His brother, Matt, hadn’t been home since christmas of 2014. That’s just a few months shy of going two very long years without two brothers, who love each other, seeing each other.

Matt is an infantryman for the U.S. Army, and he’s been stationed in Germany. However, he managed to get a month off to come home and spend some time with his family. Eric, however, had no idea.

Just hours after landing, Matt made his way tot the stadium, dressed in a Syracuse shirt over his uniform. He wanted to show his brother how much he supports him and what he does, too. It’s a small gesture, but when Eric sees him standing there, wearing his school colors? He can’t even get a word out.

All he can do is bury his head in his brother’s shoulder, even though Eric has a good few inches over Matt. The tears start flowing, and Eric remains speechless as he gives his brother a hug to last a lifetime; he simply doesn’t want to let go while the cameras keep running for this video from The Post-Standard at Syracuse.

However, he does have to go play a game, and when he reluctantly walks away you can see him wiping his tears away. Now that’s true brotherly love.

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/eric-dungey-brother-reunion/


Perhaps most women will agree that there are few things more romantic than a man who loves his girlfriend so much, that his love for herbrings him to tears.

This was the scene at Keevis Tabb and Makaila Stevenson’s baby shower.

The pair have been together for over four years, and over the course of this time their love has grown more and more. They are expecting a baby in just a few months, and Keevis knew that this was the right time to show Makaila just how much he wants to share his life with her.

Keevis stood up for his speech, and started telling the story of how he first set eyes on Makaila. He knew right away that he had to be with her. He also knew that she had to be his wife.

He announces to the guests, almost in tears, “Fouryears and 24 days ago I asked you to be my girlfriend, and four years and 24 days later I’m asking you to be my wife.”

Then, Makaila can’t help but shed tears, too.

Luckily, the whole scene was caught on cameraby J.McCoy Photography!

Keevis Tabb and Makaila have been together for nearly five years, and are expecting their first child together.

Keevis wanted to find the perfect moment to let her know how he feels about her, and show he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.

And what better time to do so than at their baby shower?

In tears, he got down on one knee in front of their family and closest friends.

He told her in front ofthe crowd of guests, “Fouryears and 24 days ago I asked you to be my girlfriend, and four years and 24 days later I’m asking you to be my wife.”

Makaila couldn’t help but break down, too!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/baby-shower-emotional-proposal/


A suspect in a shooting that killed five people at a Washington state mall was arrested Saturday, authorities said. 

The Island County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was taken into custody in Oak Harbor nearly 24 hours after he murdered four women and one man at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash. The mall is about 30 miles east from where the suspect was captured. 

Local media identified the suspect as Arcan Cetin, 20, a native of Turkey who went to high school in Oak Harbor. A press conference was scheduled for 9:30 p.m. local time. 

A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, but the FBI said terrorism was not suspected.

Police said the victims were shot at around 7 p.m. local time Friday at the Macy’s makeup counter. The four female victims died in the store. The male victim died early Saturday as police finished sweeping the 434,000-square-foot building. 

Local media had identified three of the female victims as of late Saturday. One of them was 16-year-old Sarai Lara, a cancer survivor and high school student. Her mother, Evangelina, told the Seattle Times that through a translator that she was shopping with Sarai and her younger sister, but they split up.

She said Sarai went to Macy’s looking for pants. News of the shooting spread through the mall, and Lara tried to get to her daughter but was unable to do so.

KIRO-TV identified two more victims as Belinda Galde and her mother, 95-year-old Beatrice Dotson. 

“There are people waking up this morning, and their world has changed forever. The city of Burlington has probably changed forever, but I don’t think our way of life needs to change,” Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said Saturday at a news conference. “This was a senseless act. It was the world knocking on our doorstep, and it came into our little community.”

Surveillance video captured the suspect entering the mall unarmed and then recorded him about 10 minutes later entering the Macy’s with a “hunting type” rifle in his hand, Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said.

Authorities did not say how the suspect may have obtained the weapon — whether he retrieved it from outside or picked it up in the mall — but they believe he acted alone. The weapon was recovered at the scene.

“Probably one of the most difficult moments for us last night was knowing that there were family members wondering about their loved ones in there,” Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock said.

Burlington, a community of 8,600 people, is too far from Seattle to be a commuter town, but its population swells to 55,000 during the day because of a popular outlet mall, retail stores and other businesses. Burlington is the only major retail center within 30 miles in a region where agriculture is king, said Linda Jones, president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Residents gathered Saturday to comfort each other at a community gathering in a city park.

“It’s too scary. It’s too close to home,” said Maria Elena Vasquez, who attended the gathering with her husband and two young children.

Those who survived were still trying to process what happened as their community became the latest entry on a list of places known by the rest of world for mass shootings.

Joanne Burkholder, 19, of nearby Mount Vernon, was watching the movie “The Magnificent Seven” in the mall’s theater when security guards came in and told them to evacuate immediately. Dozens of panicked moviegoers gathered in the hallway, and Burkholder heard screaming as the officers escorted them to safety in a parking lot.

As she drove home later, she had to pull over because she was shaking so hard, she told The Associated Press.

“I’m just very thankful for my life this morning. I’ve never been so terrified in my life,” she said Saturday, trying to hold back tears as she attended the community vigil.

“You’d think it would happen in Everett or Seattle, but a small town of Burlington, I’d never dream something like this would happen.”

People who believed they may have lost loved ones were being sequestered at a church three blocks from the mall, where counselors and a golden retriever therapy dog were present.

Dozens of people attended a Saturday evening prayer service for the victims. The gathering was held at Central United Methodist Church in nearby Sedro-Woolley, Wash.

The Rev. Cody Natland lit five candles on a table in front of the church, one for each victim.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/24/suspect-in-washington-state-mall-shooting-in-custody.html


(CNN)One day after a shooting left five dead at a mall north of Seattle, the Washington State Patrol announced it has taken a suspect into custody. Authorities planned to hold a news conference at 12:30 a.m. ET regarding the suspect, Sgt. Mark Francis tweeted.

Four women and a man were killed Friday night at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, a small town about 65 miles north of Seattle.
    For much of Saturday, authorities searched the mall for evidence. A blurry surveillance photo of a rifle-toting man inside the mall offered a big lead that authorities relied upon in the hunt for the shooter.


    “The city of Burlington has probably changed forever,” Mayor Steve Sexton said. “This is a senseless act. It was the world knocking on our doorstep, and it came to our little community here.”

    Investigator: Suspect appeared to enter mall unarmed

    Authorities say they believe only one person fired the shots at the Macy’s in Cascade Mall.
    CNN Map
    The grainy security camera footage showed the suspect initially appearing to enter the mall unarmed and — about 10 minutes later — walking into Macy’s carrying a rifle.
    The suspect “fired multiple times, struck four females ranging in age from a teenager to seniors,” said Mount Vernon police Lt. Chris Cammock, commander of the Skagit County Multi-Agency Response Team.
    It’s unclear whether the suspect, who police said appears to be in his late teens or early 20s, knew his victims.
    “I don’t know what his motivation was,” Cammock said. “I don’t know what his motivation was to continue, I don’t know what his motivation was to stop, but I certainly intend to find out.”
    He said police recovered a rifle at the mall but would not disclose the type or caliber.
    A FBI official told reporters there was “no evidence at this time” of a link to terrorism.
    The FBI office in Seattle is helping with a review of intelligence. There’s no information to suggest additional attacks were planned in the state, it tweeted.
    The gunman vanished into the night Friday along Interstate 5 after the attack, said Francis, of the State Patrol.
    In a statement Friday on its Facebook page, Macy’s said: “We are devastated by the tragic events that occurred last night at Cascade Mall. Our hearts are with our Burlington store, the families and loved ones of the victims, and the entire community. We are working closely with local law enforcement authorities as the investigation continues to unfold.”

    Moviegoers asked to leave

    Witnesses described chaotic scenes and confusion when the shooting started about 7 p.m. Friday local time.
    Brandi Montreuil told CNN she was watching a movie at the mall when attendants suddenly told them to leave.
    “I didn’t know anything,” she said. “The theater attendant came in and apologized for stopping the movie and said they were asked to have everyone leave immediately.”



      Washington mall shooting: One suspect at large


    At first, she thought it was a drill.
    “But you immediately think about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, so you start moving faster,” she said, referring to the 2012 shooting at a movie theater that left 12 dead.
    When they got outside, they saw police vehicles but no officers in sight, Montreuil said.
    “We didn’t know if it was a fire so we were looking for smoke of some kind. Then a few officers started canvassing through the crowds, asking if anybody saw anything.”
    An officer “with a large gun started yelling for people to leave and fast,” she said.

    Chaos, confusion

    Armando Patino said he was working at a T-Mobile store near Macy’s when he heard the commotion.
    “Out of nowhere I just hear somebody yell and then after that, I turn around and just look at the Macy’s and I just hear shots,” Patino told CNN affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.
    “I hear one shot and then stand kinda still and like two, three other people start running out saying, ‘gun.’ “
    Some people dashed out of Macy’s, unsure of where to go.
    “I just moved them into the (T-Mobile) store,” Patino said.
    “We went in the back where we have a door … and we just stayed there until they told us to evacuate.”
    Officers using K-9 units searched the 434,000-square feet mall throughout the night, including in secure rooms, authorities said.

    ‘Stay close to friends and loved ones’

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said law enforcement officers had worked to locate the shooter, and urged residents to follow instructions.
    “Follow detour warnings, stay close to friends and loved ones as we await more information and, hopefully, news of the suspect’s capture,” he tweeted.
    Inslee sent his condolences to the families of the victims and prayers to those injured.
    Meanwhile, the mayor had urged residents with possible leads to come forward “to help get that son of a bitch who did this to our community.”
    The bodies were removed from the mall Saturday and are in the possession of the Skagit County Coroner’s Office, Washington State Patrol Public Information Officer Sgt. Keith Leary told CNN.
    The coroner’s office is in the process of identifying the victims and notifying their families before the names are released publicly, Leary says.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/24/us/washington-mall-shooting/index.html


    Washington state patrol say suspect in shooting deaths of five people at Cascade Mall in Burlington has been detained

    The suspect in a shooting at a Washington state mall that left five dead is in custody, authorities have said.

    The alleged gunman was captured by authorities on Saturday, said Sergeant Mark Francis on Twitter, a move confirmed by the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management.

    No other details were immediately available. A news conference was set for Saturday night.

    A gunman opened fire at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, on Friday night, killing four females and a male before fleeing. Law enforcement staged a massive search over more than 20 hours for the suspect, initially described by witnesses as a young Hispanic male wearing black.

    The first 911 call came in just before 7 pm at the Cascade mall: a man with a rifle was shooting at people in the Macys department store.

    When police arrived moments later, the carnage at the Macys makeup counter was complete. Four people were dead and the shooter was gone, last seen walking toward Interstate 5. A fifth victim, a man, died early on Saturday as police finished sweeping the building, which measures 434,000 square feet (40,300 sq meters).

    Burlingtons mayor, Steve Sexton, said on Saturday: There are people waking up this morning, and their world has changed forever. The city of Burlington has probably changed forever, but I dont think our way of life needs to change.

    This was a senseless act. It was the world knocking on our doorstep, and it came into our little community.

    As the small city absorbed the tragic news, critical questions remained, including the identity of the shooter and his motive. The FBI said terrorism was not suspected.

    Surveillance video captured the suspect entering the mall unarmed and then recorded him about 10 minutes later entering the Macys with a hunting type rifle in his hand, Mount Vernon police Lieutenant Chris Cammock said.

    Authorities did not say how the suspect might have obtained the weapon whether he retrieved it from outside or picked it up in the mall but they believe he acted alone. The weapon was recovered at the scene.

    The identities of the victims four women who ranged in age from a teenager to a senior citizen were withheld pending autopsies and notification of family. The identity of the man who was fatally shot was also withheld and may not be released until Monday.

    Probably one of the most difficult moments for us last night was knowing that there were family members wondering about their loved ones in there, Cammock said.

    Residents gathered on Saturday to comfort each other at a community gathering in a city park.

    Its too scary. Its too close to home, said Maria Elena Vasquez, who attended the gathering with her husband and two young children.

    Joanne Burkholder, 19, of nearby Mount Vernon, was watching the movie The Magnificent Seven in the malls theater when security guards came in and told them to evacuate immediately. Dozens of panicked moviegoers gathered in the hallway, and Burkholder heard screaming as the officers escorted them to safety in a parking lot.

    As she drove home later, she had to pull over because she was shaking so hard, she said.

    Im just very thankful for my life this morning. Ive never been so terrified in my life, she said on Saturday, trying to hold back tears as she attended the community vigil.

    Youd think it would happen in Everett or Seattle, but a small town of Burlington, Id never dream something like this would happen.

    People who believed they may have lost loved ones were being sequestered at a church three blocks from the mall, where counselors and a golden retriever therapy dog were present.

    Dozens of people attended a Saturday evening prayer service for the victims. The gathering was held at Central United Methodist church in nearby Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

    The Rev. Cody Natland lit five candles on a table in front of the church, one for each victim.

    The Cascade mall is an enclosed shopping mall that opened in 1990. It features JC Penney, TJ Maxx, and Macys stores, among other shops, restaurants and a movie theater.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/25/washington-mall-shooting-suspect-gunman-custody-police-say

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