10 things you need to know today: June 2, 2022
Gunman kills four in a Tulsa hospital, grand jury indicts Buffalo mass-shooting suspect on hate-crime, terrorism charges, and more
4 killed in mass shooting at Tulsa hospital
A gunman killed at least four people Wednesday at St. Francis Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa Police Department Captain Richard Meulenberg said the suspect is also dead. Officers went to the scene in response to a report of a man carrying a rifle, and the incident "turned into an active shooter situation," Tulsa police tweeted. The attack occurred in a building used for outpatient surgery and a breast health center. Police believe the shooter, who reportedly had a rifle and a handgun, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Meulenberg also said multiple people were wounded at the "catastrophic scene."
Buffalo mass-shooting suspect charged with hate crimes, terrorism
An Erie County, New York, grand jury on Wednesday indicted the self-avowed white supremacist accused of killing 10 people in a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo on murder and terrorism charges. The jury charged the suspect, Payton Gendron, with first-degree domestic terrorism motivated by hate. He also faces 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted second-degree murder as a hate-crime, and a weapons possession charge. Gendron, who allegedly scouted out the market in a predominantly Black neighborhood so he could kill as many Black people as possible, faces an automatic life sentence on the terrorism charge alone if convicted.
Uvalde schools police chief says he's cooperating with investigation
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District's police chief, Pete Arredondo, denied a report that he had stopped cooperating with the Texas Department of Public Safety investigation of last week's shooting at Robb Elementary School, CNN reported Wednesday. "I've been on the phone with them every day," Arredondo told CNN. Arredondo was the on-site commander during the school shooting. He and other police officials have faced intensifying criticism for not sending 19 law enforcement officers gathered in the hall to confront the shooter in adjoining classrooms, where he killed 19 students and two teachers in the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade. Students inside repeatedly called 911 for help during the wait.
California report details state role in discrimination, calls for reparations
A California task force released a report on Wednesday explaining the state's role in perpetuating historic discrimination against descendants of enslaved people. The task force said the state should pay reparations, and it plans to release a reparations plan in 2023. The 500-page report described harm Black Americans have endured due to discriminatory laws, and systemic bias in housing, education, employment practices, and the legal system. "From colonial times forward, governments at all levels adopted and enshrined white supremacy beliefs and passed laws in order to maintain slavery, a system of dehumanization and exploitation that stole the life, labor, liberty, and intellect of people of African descent," the task force said in a report to California lawmakers.
Judge confirms Hinckley will get full freedom
A federal judge said Wednesday that John Hinckley Jr., who shot then-President Ronald Reagan and three others 41 years ago, no longer poses any threat and will be released from all restrictions June 15. Defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed at a Wednesday hearing that Hinckley had successfully completed a nine-month observation period that U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman required in the written release order he issued in September. Friedman said Wednesday that Hinckley has been the "most scrutinized person" in the U.S. mental health system, and "should be ready to get on with his life" after "living under a microscope" for four decades. "I am confident Mr. Hinckley will do well in the years remaining to him," Friedman said.
Southern California drought rules take effect
California on Wednesday began imposing new water restrictions that will affect more than six million people in Southern California. The unprecedented push to conserve water came in response to a call for 35 percent cuts in water use issued by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The state had its driest January, February, and March on record. More than 97 percent of the state is under severe, extreme, or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The restrictions limit outside watering to two days a week, once a week in many jurisdictions. And the water district warns that if the situation doesn't improve by September, it could ban all landscape watering, which accounts for half of urban water use in California.
Biden administration forgives Corinthian Colleges student debt
The Education Department announced Wednesday it would cancel all remaining $5.8 billion in federal student loan debt of 560,000 people who attended for-profit schools owned or operated by Corinthian Colleges. The chain closed in April 2015 under pressure from investigations and lawsuits accusing it of defrauding students. Former Corinthian students won't have to apply. The debts will be wiped clean automatically. "For far too long, Corinthian engaged in the wholesale financial exploitation of students, misleading them into taking on more and more debt to pay for promises they would never keep," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg says she's stepping down
Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced Wednesday that she was leaving the company, which owns Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other apps. Sandberg said she would leave in the fall after 14 years, although she will continue to serve on the company's board. Sandberg, 52, has long been second in command at the social media giant, behind founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. She leaves as Facebook continues to confront a backlash over misinformation spread over the platform during and after the 2016 election campaign. "Have we gotten everything right? Absolutely not," Sandberg told The New York Times in an interview. "Have we learned and listened and grown and invested where we need to? This team has and will."
U.K. celebrates Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee
Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, with four days of events starting Thursday. The military will start things off with a parade, a Royal Air Force flyover, and a gun salute at the Tower of London. The queen, 96, has been in fragile health lately, forcing her to cancel public appearances, so her participation in the festivities is expected to be limited. The palace said she plans make an appearance with other members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Queen Elizabeth also plans to join her grandson Prince William to lead the lighting of the Platinum Jubilee Beacon on Thursday evening from Windsor Castle.
Jury finds Depp, Heard liable for defaming each other
Johnny Depp won his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, but the jury also found the Pirates of the Caribbean actor's former attorney defamed Heard when he called her claims of domestic abuse a "hoax." Depp sued Heard seeking $50 million over a Washington Post op-ed, in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, the maximum allowed under Virginia law. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages. CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson called the verdict a "tremendous" win for Depp, who said "the jury gave me my life back."