News Wrap: Washington mall shooting suspect gives confession

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Authorities are pictured at the Cascade Mall following reports of an active shooter in Burlington, Washington, U.S. September 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight - RTSP7FF

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JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the day’s other news:  The alleged gunman in a deadly attack at a Washington state shopping mall has confessed, but there’s no word on a motive.

That’s according to court documents filed today; 20-year-old Arcan Cetin appeared before a judge to face murder charges.  He allegedly gunned down five people at a Macy’s on Saturday.

GWEN IFILL:  A man opened fire at a Houston strip mall today, and wounded six people, one critically, before he died in a gun battle with police.  Afterward, officers canvassed a nearby condo complex where the shooter lived, and inspected a car, as neighbors told of their terror.

JENNIFER MOLLEDA, Witness:  I called 911 because the bullets didn’t stop.  They wouldn’t stop, and they were getting louder and louder.  As I was looking through the window to try to maybe help the police with the direction of who this person is, did you see him, where did he go, I could just hear the bullets whizzing through my — by my window.

GWEN IFILL:  Police say the gunman was a lawyer who’d had issues with his employer.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Authorities in Charlotte, North Carolina, have lifted a curfew after violence over a police shooting abated.  Weekend protests over the shooting of Keith Scott stayed peaceful.  Yesterday, demonstrators locked arms outside the stadium where the Carolina Panthers football team was playing.  Police made a handful of arrests.

GWEN IFILL:  Jury selection has begun in the federal trial of Dylann Roof in the killing of nine black worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

He’s accused of hate crimes and obstruction of religion, and he could get the death penalty if convicted.  Roof faces a separate trial of state murder charges.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  The number of murders across the United States rose 10 percent last year.  The FBI also reported today that overall violent crime increased nearly 4 percent.  Even so, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says 2015 was still the third-lowest year for violent crime in two decades.

GWEN IFILL:  There was no letup today in the ferocious assault on Syria’s largest city.  Russian planes laid waste to parts of Aleppo, and the Syrian military pressed a new offensive on the ground.

Today, and all through the weekend, Eastern Aleppo was hammered from the sky.  Russian planes dropped huge, bunker-busting bombs that reduced neighborhoods to piles of mangled debris.  Hospitals were overwhelmed, with at least 200 civilians killed.

The offensive began with the collapse last week of the U.S.-Russia-negotiated cease-fire.  But, today, Syria’s foreign minister blamed Washington.

WALID AL-MOALLEM, Foreign Minister, Syria (through translator):  If the United States had a real intention to find a solution, then it would have been able to do so already.  Do not tell me that the United States doesn’t have the ability to pressure the countries that follow it and say, enough is enough.

GWEN IFILL:  The Obama administration rejected that claim, and said Syria’s President Assad and his Russian allies bear the blame.

MARK TONER, State Department Spokesman:  It’s hard to talk about any kind of transition government or any kind of negotiating process when, you know, the moderate Syrian opposition and civilians in Aleppo are being bombed.

GWEN IFILL:  The diplomatic rift led to bitter exchanges at Sunday’s emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power:

SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. Ambassador to the UN:  What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counterterrorism.  It is barbarism, laying waste to what is left of an iconic Middle Eastern city.  These are people who have suffered horribly in the five-and-a-half years of war.

GWEN IFILL:  In turn, Moscow’s envoy pushed aside hopes for a renewed truce.

VITALY CHURKIN, UN Ambassador, Russia (through translator):  In Syria, hundreds of groups are being armed.  The territory of the country is being bombed indiscriminately, and bringing peace is almost an impossible task now.

GWEN IFILL:  Amid the destruction of Aleppo, a trickle of humanitarian aid is arriving elsewhere; 70 trucks reached four besieged towns yesterday in northwestern and southwestern Syria for the first time in nearly six months.  The assault on Aleppo means no aid is getting through to the 250,000 trapped civilian.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Back in this country, selling dominated Wall Street led by worries over Germany’s troubled Deutsche Bank and nervousness over tonight’s presidential debate.  The Dow Jones industrial average lost 166 points to close near 18095.  The Nasdaq fell 48 points and the S&P 500 slipped 18.

GWEN IFILL:  And the Washington Monument is closing to the public indefinitely.  The National Park Service said today the obelisk will be shut down until its elevator control system can be fixed.  The elevator has broken down repeatedly in the last two years.

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