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The nation in brief

by Compiled Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | May 3, 2021 at 2:00 a.m.

Wisconsin casino gunman, 2 others slain

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Tribal leaders in northeastern Wisconsin said they were in shock Sunday, hours after a gunman opened fire at their casino complex, killing two people and wounding another in what witnesses described as a hailstorm of bullets.

Brown County sheriff's Lt. Kevin Pawlak said the shooting at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay on Saturday night didn't appear to be a random attack.

"He was targeting a specific victim who was not there, but he decided to still shoot some of the victim's friends or co-workers, it appears," Pawlak said at a news conference early Sunday. Police responding to the scene shot the gunman to death.

Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill told WLUK-TV on Sunday that he was in "disbelief" and called the shooting "scary." He said the tribe prohibits firearms on its properties but that "[mass shootings are] kind of a regular thing in this country."

Authorities have not released the identities of the gunman or his victims. The wounded person was being treated at a Milwaukee hospital, Pawlak said.

Texas Republicans in House seat runoff

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A runoff for a U.S. House seat in Texas is set between Republican Susan Wright, whose husband was the first member of Congress to die after being diagnosed with covid-19, and Republican Jake Ellzey.

Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez was narrowly locked out of the runoff in Texas' 6th Congressional District, which has long been GOP territory. With nearly all votes counted, Sanchez had trailed Ellzey by 354 votes. She said in a statement Sunday that her campaign "came up short."

"Democrats have come a long way toward competing in Texas, but we still have a long way to go," Sanchez said in a statement.

Ellzey is a state lawmaker who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the seat in 2018 and carried the backing of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Susan Wright had already been seen as a favorite in a crowded race to fill the seat of her late husband, who died in February after being diagnosed with covid-19. He was 67.

The date of the runoff has not yet been set.

Wright will enter the runoff with the backing of former President Donald Trump, who waited until just days before the election to endorse Wright.

Outdoor masks called habit for Biden

WILMINGTON, Del. -- One of President Joe Biden's top White House advisers suggested Sunday that he's still wearing a mask outdoors out of habit although the latest public health guidance says he doesn't need it.

Questioned about Biden's practice, senior adviser Anita Dunn told CNN's "State of the Union" that she realized that she was also still wearing her mask outdoors even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people like her and Biden can stop wearing masks outside when they're alone or not among strangers.

"I myself found that I was still wearing my mask outdoors this week, because it has become such a matter of habit," Dunn said. "I think the president takes the CDC guidelines very seriously. And he's always taken his role as sending a signal to follow the science very seriously, as well."

Biden wore a mask outdoors several times last week as he approached microphones to give speeches, including an appearance on the White House lawn last Tuesday to discuss the CDC's relaxed mask guidance.

Asked afterward about the message he was sending by wearing a mask outside as he stood alone, Biden replied: "By watching me take it off and not put it back on until I get inside."

Dunn said some extra precautions are taken with Biden since he is president. She urged people to follow CDC guidelines and to get fully vaccinated because that will mean they can go mask-free outside as summer approaches.

Suspected smuggling wreck's dead at 3

Three people were killed and more than two dozen others were hospitalized Sunday after a boat capsized and broke apart off the San Diego coast during a suspected human smuggling operation, authorities said.

Lifeguards, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies responded around 10 a.m. after reports of an overturned vessel near the rugged peninsula of Point Loma, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Seven people were pulled from the waves, including three who had drowned, said San Diego Lifeguard Services Lt. Rick Romero. One person was rescued from a cliff, and 22 others managed to make it to shore on their own, he said.

A total of 27 people were transported to hospitals with "a wide variety of injuries" including hypothermia, Romero said.

Officials said the group was overcrowded on a 40-foot cabin cruiser.

"Every indication from our perspective was this was a smuggling vessel," said Jeff Stephenson, a supervising agent with U.S. Border Patrol.

Agents were at hospitals preparing to interview survivors, including the boat's captain who Stephenson described as a "suspected smuggler." Smugglers typically face federal charges, and those being smuggled are usually deported.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

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