MERCURY NEWS: LOS ANGELES — Police officers stood at the front of a crowded church on Tuesday night, offering what few answers they could to explain why a father would kill his wife and five children before turning the gun on himself. But residents of the suburban community of Wilmington have heard of such violence before. The Lupoe family, whose seven bodies were discovered shot to death Tuesday morning in their home, represents the fifth mass death of a Southern California family by murder or suicide in a year. This time, residents wanted more than updates to another murder investigation. They wanted solutions to the trend. Some of the 200 residents who crammed into the community meeting blamed the Lupoes’ deaths on a dismal local economy. They cited a suicide note left by Ervin Lupoe in which he describes the “horrendous ordeal” that he and his wife endured after being fired from their jobs as medical technicians at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles. “Their employer led them to this,” said Carmen Adame, who told city officials she believed Lupoe, like many in her community, was being forced to work under unreasonable conditions.”Employers are abusing this economy because people don’t want to lose their jobs,” she said. MORE
INQUIRER: Two violent incidents two hours apart yesterday in a depressed South Philadelphia neighborhood between Point Breeze and Grays Ferry left a police officer with serious injuries and a 9-year-old boy fighting for his life. The first incident occurred shortly before 6 p.m. near Tasker and Taney Streets. Initial reports were that a gunfight between rival gangs ended with an 18-year-old man being shot in the leg and hip, and the 9-year-old wounded in the chest and foot. Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said the boy was rushed in a police cruiser to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and immediately taken into surgery. His condition was described as “critical.” The young boy, identified as Cameron Pernell, who lives nearby in the 1500 block of Bailey Street, ran home leaving behind a small Nike sneaker with a bloodied bullet hole in the tongue and a pair of gloves. MORE
DAILY NEWS: Another chapter will be added today to the maddening urban whodunit tale, “Who shot Dwight Dixon?” Dixon, who contends he was shot in the hand in North Philadelphia last April 29 by National Football League star Marvin Harrison, will be in municipal court to face charges that he lied to police when he first spoke about the incident. Earlier this month, District Attorney Lynne Abraham announced she would not file criminal charges against Harrison because she couldn’t vouch for the credibility of statements made by Harrison, Dixon and three other witnesses. In an interview yesterday with the Daily News, Dixon and his two attorneys tried to set the record straight about his initial statement to police, and all three said they believed that Harrison, a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, had gotten a break because of his celebrity status. “I didn’t run down the street with two guns shooting at people,” said Dixon, 33. “I’m getting prosecuted for lying, but he [Harrison] is not getting prosecuted for what he did. Where’s the justice in that?” MORE
ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Massachusetts police chief who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a boy at a gun show has resigned. Pelham Chief Edward Fleury’s resignation was accepted by the Board of Selectmen on Monday, three months after 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj (bah-SEEL’) accidentally shot himself with an Uzi during a Westfield gun fair. Fleury’s company, COP Firearms & Training, sponsored the event. He has pleaded not guilty. The boy, from Ashford, Conn., was shot in the head Oct. 26 when the gun recoiled as he was firing at a pumpkin. Two men who brought the gun to the show were also indicted. MORE
THE BRADY CAMPAIGN: Looking ahead to 2009, we are optimistic about making significant progress in our fight for common sense gun laws to help make our families and communities safer. Reducing the toll of 100,000 Americans killed or wounded every year by gunfire – including 20,000 children and teens – is a concern of many of these new and returning officeholders. For the first time in decades, there is reason to hope that we can end the polarization in our politics that has kept us from enacting laws to reduce that terrible statistic, while also respecting Second Amendment rights as defined by the Supreme Court last summer. President-elect Obama’s statements were consistent – to gun owners, gun violence victims, and to all Americans – that he would uphold the Second Amendment and support common sense gun control laws that help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We have no doubt that he will keep his promise. MORE
WIKIPEDIA: James Scott “Jim” Brady (born August 29, 1940, Centralia, Illinois) [pictured, above, facing down] is a former Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan. After nearly being killed and becoming permanently disabled as a result of an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, Brady became an ardent supporter of gun control. Brady was among those shot during John Hinckley, Jr.‘s March 30, 1981, assassination attempt on Reagan, suffering a serious head wound. During the confusion that followed after the shooting, Dan Rather of CBS News and ABC News‘ Frank Reynolds erroneously reported that Brady had died. Later, when Reynolds was forced to retract that report, he angrily stated, on-air, to the off-air staff, “C’mon, let’s nail it down!” — resulting in Ted Koppel joining him after commercial. During the hours-long operation, surgeon Dr. Arthur Kobrine was informed of the media’s announcement of Brady’s death, to which he retorted, “No one has told me and the patient.” Although Brady survived, the wound left him partially paralyzed for life; he is a full-time wheelchair user. Brady subsequently led lobbying efforts for stricter handgun control and is in the leadership of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known simply as the Brady Bill, was named in his honor.