Shooting at Waffle House in Nashville Leaves Three Dead, Police Say


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The shooting happened around 3:25 a.m. at a Waffle House in southeast Nashville. A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle, the police said.

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Metro Nashville Police Department, via EPA, via Shutterstock

Three people were killed and four others were wounded in a shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday morning, the police said.

The gunman, who was naked, fled on foot and remained at large more than five hours later, the police said.

The shooting happened around 3:25 a.m. at a Waffle House at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike. A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said on Twitter.

The police said they had identified a vehicle registered to a 29-year-old Illinois man they described as a person of interest and said he was later seen wearing black pants and no shirt.

Waffle House said on Twitter: “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”

In a separate statement, the company said it had senior managers at the scene and a corporate team coming from its Atlanta offices.

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Sheriff’s Deputy Is Fired After Fatally Shooting Unarmed Man in Houston


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Danny Ray Thomas walking toward Cameron Brewer, then a Harris County Sheriff’s deputy, moments before Mr. Thomas was shot and killed in March. He was unarmed.

Credit
via Reuters

A sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed an unarmed black man who was acting erratically at a Houston intersection last month has been fired, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday.

The deputy, Cameron Brewer, who is also black, did not adhere to the department’s policy on use of force when he fatally shot Danny Ray Thomas, 34, on March 22, the agency said in a statement.

A video camera inside Mr. Brewer’s car captured part of the encounter: Mr. Thomas can be seen at an intersection with his pants around his ankles and in an altercation with another man as the deputy’s car pulls up. He can then be seen walking toward Deputy Brewer, who is yelling: “Get down, man! Get on the ground.”

The deputy was not wearing his newly issued body camera, so what happened next was not captured in the video released by the sheriff’s office. But the sound of a single gunshot could be heard, and Mr. Thomas was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Deputy Brewer, who joined the sheriff’s department in 2016, was placed on administrative duty after the shooting, pending an internal affairs investigation. In its statement on Friday, the department said that Mr. Thomas was “behaving erratically” but that he was unarmed. Although Deputy Brewer was carrying a Taser, he did not use it before shooting Mr. Thomas, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has said.

“The brave men and women of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office are called upon to make life-or-death decisions on a daily basis, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Sheriff Gonzalez said in the statement. “We hold the community’s trust as sacred, and we will continue to support our deputies with clear policies and the valuable training they need to protect the lives of all our residents.”

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2 Sheriff’s Deputies Are Killed While Eating at North Florida Restaurant


Two sheriff’s deputies in North Florida are dead after a gunman walked up to the window of a Chinese restaurant where they were eating on Thursday afternoon and shot them, the authorities said.

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Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, one of two sheriff’s deputies killed in Trenton, Fla.

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Gilchrist County Sheriffs Office

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. in Trenton, Fla., about 30 miles west of Gainesville. When additional deputies responded to the restaurant, Ace China, they found both the deputies dead inside it, and the suspect — John Hubert Highnote, 59, of nearby Bell — dead outside, according to the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office.

The office said that the suspect’s motive was unclear, and Sheriff Bobby Schultz declined at a Thursday night news conference to confirm whether he had killed himself. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

Sheriff Schultz identified the victims as Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 29, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25. Sergeant Ramirez was married with two young children, and Deputy Lindsey was unmarried but had a girlfriend.

“I made contact with the families, and as you’d expect, you can never be prepared for something like this,” Sheriff Schultz said. “But make no mistake, they’re proud of their families. They understood when their loved ones pinned on the badge and they strapped on the gun that this was a possibility.”

Trenton, the seat of rural Gilchrist County, is a small town of around 2,000 residents, but the killing of the deputies drew the attention and condolences of national officials.

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Manhattan Nanny Is Convicted in Murders of Two Children


As for the jurors, after sitting through nearly two months of testimony and reviewing graphic crime scene photos, the Krims’ pain had become theirs.

“As a father of two children myself, I can’t imagine — no parent should have to experience the loss of a child,” one juror, David Curtis, said during the news conference, with tears in his eyes. “This was a very difficult decision for us. There were some raised voices and a lot of tears.”

The case sent shock waves through the city and cast a spotlight on the decisions — often informed by word of mouth — that New Yorkers from all walks of life make every day when they leave their children in the care of others.

Ms. Ortega never disputed that she killed Leo Krim, 2, and his sister Lucia, 6, in the bathroom of their family’s Upper West Side apartment at 57 West 75th Street on Oct. 25, 2012.

The children’s mother, Marina Krim, with her middle child in tow, came home around 5:30 p.m. and discovered the two children lying lifeless in the tub, stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife, with Ms. Ortega standing near them. As Ms. Krim opened the bathroom door, Ms. Ortega stabbed herself in the neck.

Prosecutors argued that Ms. Ortega intended to kill the children, then commit suicide, because she was depressed and angry at Ms. Krim over her workload and schedule.

The defense, however, said that Ms. Ortega was severely mentally ill and heard voices, including Satan’s, telling her to kill the children. Her lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, presented evidence that Ms. Ortega had experienced delusions and hallucinations since she was a teenager in the Dominican Republic, but that her psychosis had gone untreated and undiagnosed until after her arrest.

Jurors heard from mental-health experts on both sides, who arrived at different conclusions about Ms. Ortega’s state of mind at the time of the killings.

When deliberations began, Mr. Curtis said, jurors were divided, but in the end, “it came down to proof. We could not find strongly, credible proof that the defendant was not aware.”

Two psychiatrists for the defense, Karen B. Rosenbaum and Phillip J. Resnick, said that Ms. Ortega was in the grip of a psychotic break so severe that she did not understand her actions or know they were wrong. After interviewing her family members and scouring her medical records, they came to the conclusion that she had been overcome by voices in her head in the weeks before the murders. She could not even remember the gruesome killings, they said.

But a forensic psychologist for the prosecution, Ali Khadivi, testified that while Ms. Ortega suffered from anxiety and depression, she was not psychotic. He determined that she was not experiencing paranoia, delusions or any break from reality the day of the killings. To buttress his conclusion, prosecutors showed a 2016 videotape on which Ms. Ortega repeatedly denied to Mr. Khadivi that she heard voices commanding her to kill the children, contradicting what she had told defense psychiatrists several months after the killings.

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Accused Nanny Questioned About Mental State

Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny accused of killing two children in her care in 2012, told a forensic psychologist in 2016 that she was not hearing voices telling her to kill the children on the day of the incident.


By MANHATTAN STATE SUPREME COURT on Publish Date April 18, 2018.


Photo by Manhattan State Supreme Court.

The prosecutors, Stuart Silberg and Courtney Groves, also focused on evidence suggesting that Ms. Ortega had planned the murders. That day, she had left a purse containing her valuables, identification cards and keepsakes for her son and an envelope of important personal documents for her sister Delci Ortega. She had also recently pleaded with Delci to take care of her teenage son and “raise him well.”

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance leaving New York State Supreme Court after the verdict was announced.

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Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Ms. Van Leer-Greenberg, however, noted that Ms. Ortega had expressed to several family members how much she loved the Krim children, and suggested to jurors that the only possible explanation for such an atrocity was severe mental illness.

Jurors heard six weeks of testimony from 53 witnesses, including the wrenching accounts of Ms. Krim, who described discovering the horrific scene in the bathroom, and Mr. Krim, who spoke of his deep anger that members of Ms. Ortega’s family had lied to him and his wife about Ms. Ortega’s qualifications and background. Both said they had noticed that Ms. Ortega was upset in the weeks before the murders but saw no indication she was losing her mind.

Before her arrest, Ms. Ortega had never been hospitalized for psychiatric problems; the only medical record regarding her mental health was one page of notes from a psychologist she visited three days before the crime. The therapist, Thomas Caffrey, said he saw no signs of delusional or psychotic thinking. He determined she was suffering from depression and anxiety. “She didn’t tell me about any concerns about voices or visions,” he testified.

Lacking medical records, the defense team relied on testimony from Ms. Ortega’s family members and friends to show that she had had two mental breakdowns in the Dominican Republic, one in 1978 after her young sister died and a second in 2008 after a close family friend committed suicide.

In both cases, she slipped into deep depression and refused to leave her family’s house, her sisters and friends said. In 1978, she received treatment from a doctor and recovered. During the second episode, witnesses said she started expressing irrational fears about people coming to get her and returned to New York City.

Ms. Ortega’s siblings and other family members also testified that she appeared to be unraveling in the six months before the killings, crying frequently, asking people to pray for her and speaking of “shadows” and a “black man” following her and attempting to split up her family.

Her mental turmoil started when one of her sisters, Miladys Garcia, asked her to move out of the family’s apartment in Hamilton Heights, the witnesses said. She moved to an apartment in the Bronx belonging to another relative and insisted her teenage son, Jesus Frias, be sent from the Dominican Republic to live with her. She had left Mr. Frias with Ms. Garcia when he was 4 years old and had not raised him herself, except for an 18-month period around 2008.

Three days before the murders, she woke up in the middle of the night and started throwing pots and pans around the kitchen, then claimed later not to remember it, her sister Delci said.

Just four hours before the killings, Ms. Ortega visited a neighbor’s apartment and, agitated and pacing up and down, told a teenage woman staying there, Jennifer Reynosa, that she saw a “black shadow” that spoke to her. In more than a dozen interviews in the months after the murders, Ms. Ortega told Dr. Rosenbaum that she had been hearing voices, including Satan’s, telling her to kill herself and her employers’ children.

Prosecutors, however, focused on the statements Ms. Ortega made to Dr. Caffrey, the therapist, three days before the killings and to Dr. Marc Dubin, a psychiatrist who spoke to her 11 days after the horrific event as she was recovering from her neck wound at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

In both interviews, Ms. Ortega complained about money trouble and expressed frustration with Ms. Krim about her schedule and workload, but did not mention hearing voices commanding her to kill.

She first reported hearing those voices over the next month as her health improved and her post-surgery delirium lifted. Her family members did not initially mention her psychotic symptoms to the police, but did so in later conversations with Dr. Rosenbaum and Dr. Resnick.

In closing arguments, the lead prosecutor, Stuart Silberg, suggested that Ms. Ortega had made up stories about hearing commands from the Devil to avoid a life sentence, and that her relatives had invented stories about her delusions for similar reasons.

But Ms. Van Leer-Greenberg said that Ms. Ortega and her family members at first hid the symptoms of her disease because of the stigma attached to mental illness in the Dominican Republic.

She suggested that Ms. Ortega had lost the battle with the demonic voices in her head, experienced a break with reality and did not know what she was doing.

“Her mind and her body separated,” she said.

About an hour after the verdict Marina Krim, who was not in court to hear the jury’s decision, posted a photo on Instagram from the Empire State Building, a landmark that Leo adored, and wrote: “You two never made it to the top, but I’m up here now for the first time, in peace, on top of the world, remembering another lifetime and thinking of you.”

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7 Inmates Killed in South Carolina Prison Riot


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Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., is a maximum-security prison. Seven inmates were killed there after fights broke out Sunday night.

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Andy McMillan for The New York Times

Seven inmates were killed and 17 others were injured in a large riot that broke out Sunday night at a maximum-security prison in South Carolina, the authorities said.

The fights started around 7:15 p.m. in three housing units at Lee Correctional Institution, which houses some of the state’s most violent and longest-serving offenders. Officers were unable to stop the fighting and secure the prison until around 2:55 a.m. on Monday.

The state’s Corrections Department described the fights as “multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations.” No police officers or prison employees were injured, the department said.

Lee Correctional Institution, which opened in 1993, houses about 1,500 male inmates. It is in Bishopville, S.C., about 40 miles east of Columbia, the capital.

State officials have pledged for years to make South Carolina’s prisons, particularly Lee Correctional Institution, safer after a series of deadly fights. Two officers were stabbed there in a 2015 fight. An inmate was killed in July during a fight, and another died in February during an altercation with another prisoners.

In 2013, Michael McCall, then the warden at Lee, said it was the most dangerous prison in South Carolina.

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A Black Teenager Asked for Directions. A Man Responded With Gunfire.


Brennan ran. The man followed briefly, walking out of his house and stepping off his porch, according to home security camera footage reviewed by the authorities. He fired a single shot with a 12-gauge shotgun, but Brennan was not hit. The teenager kept running. A few minutes later he encountered deputies — the woman at the home had called the authorities — and told his story.

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The authorities said Jeffery Zeigler, 53, fired his shotgun once at a teenager who asked for directions on Thursday.

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Oakland County Sheriff’s Office

“It’s disgusting, it’s disturbing and it’s unacceptable on every level,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County said. On Friday, the man, Jeffery Zeigler, 53, was charged with assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, the authorities said.

The security footage suggested that Mr. Zeigler was “not terribly weapons-competent,” Sheriff Bouchard added. “He was slower to discharge the weapon and as a result, allowed this young man, thankfully, to get farther away.”

The episode involving Brennan, who is black, called to mind instances in which black people have been killed by armed civilians or the police in recent years, like Stephon Clark, 22, who was fatally shot last month by Sacramento police officers, setting off widespread protests. Brennan’s story is similar to that of Renisha McBride, 19, who approached a stranger’s home in a Detroit suburb and was shot and killed in 2013.

Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, said she considered Rochester Hills, a Detroit suburb, a safe community but was only half-surprised that her son was threatened. “As a black person, I know it’s a possibility,” she said.

Ms. Wright was mindful of what has happened to other black teenagers, like Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old in Florida who was killed while wearing a hooded sweatshirt by a neighborhood watch volunteer. She said she had already had the talk with her son about all of the extra things he might have to do to keep himself safe: Don’t wear hoodies. Be open and approachable. Take your hands out of your pockets. She added that in the security footage she had seen, her son appeared to be doing everything right on Thursday morning.

“I just remember a huge shotgun being pointed and aimed at my son,” she said. “My son was running away.”

Mr. Zeigler, a retired firefighter, told a District Court judge on Friday that he was in bed on Thursday morning when his wife began “screaming and crying,” The Associated Press reported. “There’s a lot more to the story than what’s being told,” he added, “and I believe that will come out in court.”

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He Died 21 Years After Being Abused. Prosecutors Are Calling it Murder.


Beth Schmitt, who adopted Mr. Stuart in 1999 with her then-partner Lori Elei Stuart, said in an interview this week that he had led a fruitful life despite his limitations. For two decades, she watched him grow.

Mr. Stuart, she said, seemed to love music and would smile when he heard it. He grew a thin mustache that Ms. Schmitt did not like. He went to sporting events and played baseball in a league for children with disabilities; a friend would push his wheelchair around the bases.

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David Elei Stuart was adopted by Beth Schmitt and Lori Elei Stuart, left, around 1999. He enjoyed listening to music and spending time with his family. Ms. Schmitt said the years after he was adopted were a gift, because doctors did not expect him to live past age 6.

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Courtesy of Beth Schmitt

The years after Mr. Stuart’s abuse were often difficult, she said, because of recurring medical emergencies like breathing problems and bouts of pneumonia. But Ms. Schmitt said those years were also a gift, because doctors had told her he might not survive his sixth year.

“He was happy despite his challenges, despite the fact that he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t talk,” she said. “He would communicate to us by facial expressions and the noises he would make. He made people aware that life is very precious.”

Mr. David praised Ms. Schmitt, 44, and Ms. Stuart, 52, both psychologists in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. “They provided the best quality of life he could’ve hoped for under the circumstances,” he said.

Acknowledging the 21-year gap between the abuse and Mr. Stuart’s death, Mr. David said it was still legally possible to bring homicide charges because North Carolina has no statute of limitations on felonies. He added that it was not uncommon for a murder prosecution to follow an assault prosecution when victims die.

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to a request for information about the cause of Mr. Stuart’s death.

In North Carolina, a first-degree murder conviction can result in a death sentence or life in prison without parole. Lawyers for Ms. Noffsinger and Mr. Tripp did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The district attorney’s office said they were being held at the Brunswick County Jail on $1 million bail and are scheduled to appear in Brunswick County Superior Court on June 6.

Ms. Schmitt said that as she adjusted to life without Mr. Stuart, she wanted to focus on “the good memories, not just the abuse.”

“It was a lot of work,” she said of raising him. “But I would do it all over again.”

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He Died 21 Years After Being Abused. Prosecutors Are Calling it Murder.


Beth Schmitt, who adopted Mr. Stuart in 1999 with her then-partner Lori Elei Stuart, said in an interview this week that he had led a fruitful life despite his limitations. For two decades, she watched him grow.

Mr. Stuart, she said, seemed to love music and would smile when he heard it. He grew a thin mustache that Ms. Schmitt did not like. He went to sporting events and played baseball in a league for children with disabilities; a friend would push his wheelchair around the bases.

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David Elei Stuart was adopted by Beth Schmitt and Lori Elei Stuart, left, around 1999. He enjoyed listening to music and spending time with his family. Ms. Schmitt said the years after he was adopted were a gift, because doctors did not expect him to live past age 6.

Credit
Courtesy of Beth Schmitt

The years after Mr. Stuart’s abuse were often difficult, she said, because of recurring medical emergencies like breathing problems and bouts of pneumonia. But Ms. Schmitt said those years were also a gift, because doctors had told her he might not survive his sixth year.

“He was happy despite his challenges, despite the fact that he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t talk,” she said. “He would communicate to us by facial expressions and the noises he would make. He made people aware that life is very precious.”

Mr. David praised Ms. Schmitt, 44, and Ms. Stuart, 52, both psychologists in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. “They provided the best quality of life he could’ve hoped for under the circumstances,” he said.

Acknowledging the 21-year gap between the abuse and Mr. Stuart’s death, Mr. David said it was still legally possible to bring homicide charges because North Carolina has no statute of limitations on felonies. He added that it was not uncommon for a murder prosecution to follow an assault prosecution when victims die.

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to a request for information about the cause of Mr. Stuart’s death.

In North Carolina, a first-degree murder conviction can result in a death sentence or life in prison without parole. Lawyers for Ms. Noffsinger and Mr. Tripp did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The district attorney’s office said they were being held at the Brunswick County Jail on $1 million bail and are scheduled to appear in Brunswick County Superior Court on June 6.

Ms. Schmitt said that as she adjusted to life without Mr. Stuart, she wanted to focus on “the good memories, not just the abuse.”

“It was a lot of work,” she said of raising him. “But I would do it all over again.”

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Man Accused of Raping Michigan Teenager Is Now Charged With Killing Her


A lawyer for Mr. James did not return a telephone message seeking comment on Wednesday. Mr. Becker would not comment on the evidence in the case beyond what was stated in the affidavit.

Court documents allege that Mr. James sexually assaulted Mujey at Ridge Park Charter Academy, a charter school in Kentwood, Mich., last July. Mujey attended East Kentwood High School, about eight miles from Ridge Park.

Mr. James was employed as a grounds and maintenance crew member with Kentwood Public Schools — of which East Kentwood High is a part — until late last year, the district’s superintendent has said. The school district became aware of the alleged assault in mid-November, the superintendent said, noting that the district investigated the claim and subsequently fired Mr. James.

Mr. James was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, but was released in late November or early December on $100,000 bail, Mr. Becker said.

“It’s not an unsubstantial amount,” Mr. Becker said of the bond on Wednesday. “Most people don’t make that. At the time it was issued, that seemed to be a sufficient amount.”

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Quinn James, who is accused of raping and murdering Mujey Dumbuya, during a hearing last month in Kentwood District Court.

Credit
Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press, via Associated Press

Mujey had been expected to testify at Mr. James’s trial, which had been scheduled for April 9.

But early on the morning of Jan. 24, prosecutors say, Mujey left her home in Grand Rapids to catch a school bus.

“She never got on the bus, never went to school, and was never seen again,” prosecutors wrote in the statement of probable cause.

Four days later Mujey’s body was discovered in a wooded area of Kalamazoo, Mich., about 50 miles south of where she had boarded the bus. The Kalamazoo police initially reported Mujey as a possible runaway, but the authorities later labeled the death a homicide by suffocation and strangulation.

On Feb. 1, Mr. James was arrested in Wyoming, Mich., where he lives, in an unrelated case in which he is also accused of sexual offenses against a minor, according to court records. Jail records show that he was booked that day and has since been held at the Kent County jail with bail set at $500,000.

The Associated Press reported, and jail records appear to show, that the bond in the case involving Mujey has been increased to $250,000.

“When I set the $100,000 bond, Mujey was alive,” Kentwood District Judge William Kelly said last month, according to The A.P.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mujey’s mother, Fatmata Corneh, said she wanted to tell Mr. James: “You have no idea what you have put me and my family through. You broke us into pieces.”

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He Killed a Red Cross Worker: ‘I Will Go to Hell for What I Did’


“The relationship Lorena had with children was magic,” her colleagues wrote in a tribute later. “Whenever Lorena was around, the environment was radiant.”

Mr. Nasim’s attack put at risk a treasured institution run by the Red Cross for nearly three decades, serving thousands of the war wounded in northern Afghanistan. Not only was the orthopedic center closed for two months after the killing, but the agency is now looking to transfer it to another group if it can find one willing to take it over.

Mr. Nasim struggled to explain what he had done and why. First, he described it as an impulsive act. But he had brought the gun to Mazar-i-Sharif from his home in Baghlan Province two days before the shooting, which would have required smuggling it past numerous checkpoints along the way.

Then he claimed the Taliban had forced him to do it, threatening to kill his family if he did not. The Taliban vehemently denied that, praising the work the Red Cross does. In a separate interview, Mr. Nasim’s own father, Amin Jan, scoffed at his son’s claim and disowned him.

“I don’t know what made me do this,” Mr. Nasim said.

He is far from the only Afghan to have killed a foreigner with no apparent provocation. In 2014, a police officer killed an Associated Press photographer. Another killed three Americans at a hospital. Both told investigators they did not know why they had done it.

Neither had any known Taliban or insurgent connections; nor did Mr. Nasim.

While his motivations are murky, Mr. Nasim makes no effort to deny his guilt.




“I will go to hell for what I did,” he said. “I should just be killed.”

Mr. Nasim has yet to be tried on the murder and terrorism charges he faces. Afghanistan has the death penalty and often uses it.

He has already paid a price. Mr. Nasim shares a cell in the Mazar-i-Sharif prison with 40 others. One of his orthotic braces fell off during his arrest and was left behind, as was his wheelchair. In prison, his other brace broke.

“Now I am not able to walk any more,” he said. “I just go around on my hands.”

He said he would not ask the Red Cross to fix his braces or return his wheelchair.

“I am too ashamed,” he said. Another prisoner had to carry him on his back a short distance from his cell to the prison’s telephone office for the interview.

Mr. Nasim said he was less worried about his own condition than about the Red Cross center’s future.

“I would be ready to die to keep that center open now,” he said. “No one knows more than me how much we are helpless without them.”

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