‘Several’ killed in California backyard shooting

Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley speaks to reporters at the scene of a shooting at a backyard party Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in southeast Fresno, California (AP)
Updated 18 November 2019

‘Several’ killed in California backyard shooting

  • Dooley said police were looking for surveillance footage and witnesses to track the suspects

LOS ANGELES: Several people were shot dead while watching a football game at a central California home on Sunday, police said.

Police were called to the scene after at least two people snuck into the backyard of a home in Fresno, around 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, and opened fire.

“What we found were several individuals deceased in the backyard,” said Fresno police spokesman Bill Dooley.

Local media outlets reported that four people were killed. Police have not released a death toll but said nine people had been shot in the attack.

Dooley said police were looking for surveillance footage and witnesses to track the suspects.


Pakistan top court to hear appeal from Daniel Pearl’s family

Updated 8 min 51 sec ago

Pakistan top court to hear appeal from Daniel Pearl’s family

  • Family’s appeal was adjourned earlier this month amid cries of outrage from Pearl’s family and the US government
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court was scheduled to hear an appeal Monday by the family of slain American journalist Daniel Pearl challenging the acquittal of a British-born Pakistani in the gruesome 2002 beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter.
The family’s appeal was adjourned earlier this month amid cries of outrage from Pearl’s family and the US government to a lower court’s acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been on death row since his conviction in 2002. Sheikh has remained in custody since his acquittal.
A handwritten letter by Sheikh acknowledged his involvement in Pearl’s killing in the southern port city of Karachi, Faisal Siddiqi, a lawyer for Pearl’s family, said in a telephone interview late Sunday.
Pearl, 38, was kidnapped and killed while investigating the link between Pakistani militants and Richard C. Reid, dubbed the “shoe bomber” after trying to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes. Pearl disappeared on Jan. 23, 2002, and a videotape received by US diplomats in February 2002 confirmed his death.
The letter by Sheikh was entered into evidence in late 2019, Siddiqi said. However, it was not among the evidence heard by the lower court that in April acquitted Sheikh on a number of charges, including the most serious of the kidnapping for ransom that lead to Pearl’s slaying.
In the letter dated July 19, 2019, Sheikh said his involvement in Pearl’s death was “a relatively minor one.” Siddiqi said Sheikh implicates himself in Pearl’s murder by his admission.
The acquittal prompted outrage from the US and journalist organizations.
In the original trial in 2002, emails between Sheikh and Pearl were entered into evidence in which Sheikh gained Pearl’s confidence sharing their experiences as both waited for the birth of their first child. Pearl’s wife Marianne Pearl gave birth to a son, Adam, in May 2002.
Evidence entered into court accused Sheikh of luring Pearl to his death, giving the American journalist a false sense of security as he promised to introduce him to a cleric with militant links.
Pakistani police sought to locate Pearl for weeks until the video received by US diplomats showed his beheading.
An investigation by students of Georgetown University in Washington implicated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States in Pearl’s death. Mohammed has been in US custody on Guantanamo Bay since his arrest in Pakistan in March 2003.