Today’s Headlines: Club Q patron recalls wresting gun from shooter
Hello, it’s Tuesday, Nov. 22, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Heroes rose to stop the gunman who opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub
An Army veteran said he went into “combat mode” after a gunman opened fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo. Richard Fierro said in the attack Saturday at the LGBTQ nightclub, he grabbed a pistol away from the man and “started wailing” on him, calling for others to join in subduing the shooter.
Five people were killed and 18 injured in the attack. The suspect, identified by police as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is the grandson of California State Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee), an aide for the legislator told The Times on Monday.
Aldrich was arrested on preliminary counts of murder and bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, court records show.
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L.A. city voters sent conflicting messages
Los Angeles voters in this year’s municipal election were clearly unhappy with City Hall — ousting two incumbents and rejecting several other L.A. elected officials who had sought higher office. But the broader political message was more complicated, with candidates at different points on the political spectrum — and with differing political views — winning their respective contests.
At the same time, voters also delivered victories to a handful of more moderate candidates, who placed themselves at the city’s political center — and hewed more closely to the council’s current policies on homelessness and public safety.
- Both parties had high hopes for California in the midterms. Neither saw their dreams fully come true.
- Essay: By refusing to resign, Kevin de León gives anti-Blackness a pass, writes Jamil Smith.
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Behind the stunning exit of Disney CEO Bob Chapek
Five months ago, Bob Chapek seemed firmly in control. But on Sunday, Disney Co.’s directors abruptly ditched Chapek, reinstalling his widely admired predecessor, Bob Iger, which elicited cheers from Wall Street and Disney’s faithful. What happened?
Interviews with nearly a dozen Disney insiders suggested Chapek’s problems had been mounting almost since the day he took Disney’s reins in late February 2020.
Within weeks, the economic environment had profoundly shifted as COVID-19 pandemic health precautions closed businesses that had long buttressed the legendary Burbank company. He also tried to expand Disney’s reach in streaming, a costly bet. More debilitating, insiders said, was a series of miscalculations and missteps that undermined Chapek’s leadership and ultimately led to an unshakable loss of confidence.
The driver in the crash that hurt sheriff’s recruits fell asleep, his lawyer says
Challenging the claims of L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva that a crash last week that injured a group of recruits on a training run in South Whittier was intentional, the attorney for the 22-year-old driver called it “a tragic accident” that occurred when the man fell asleep at the wheel while on his way to work.
The driver, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez of Diamond Bar, was traveling in a Honda CR-V on Wednesday morning to his job as an electrical engineer for a solar panel company, his attorney, Alexandra Kazarian, said. Gutierrez, who wakes for work at 5 a.m., had not been up late the night before, she said.
In an interview with NewsNation last week, Villanueva said that investigators had “developed probable cause to believe [the crash] was intentional.” Villanueva later confirmed to The Times there was probable cause to arrest the driver on suspicion of attempted murder because of evidence he deliberately ran into the recruits.
Ukraine has revived a long-shot dream of retaking Crimea
Ukraine’s recapture this month of Kherson, a provincial capital to the north of Crimea, has revived longtime hopes of somehow regaining control of the peninsula, which the government in Kyiv — and most of the world — still considers part of Ukraine.
Long-range weaponry that Ukraine does not possess would be crucial to such an effort, and Moscow has tried to make clear that attacks on its forces in Crimea, including the key warm-water port of Sevastapol, amount to crossing an explosive tripwire. Even so, the fate of the peninsula, home to 2.4 million people, is increasingly part of the wartime discourse.
Even prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Crimea — a coveted prize for centuries, changing hands again and again — has been a lodestar for both sides in this war.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Biden is giving PG&E $1 billion to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open. The plant is currently scheduled to shut down in two phases. The federal money doesn’t guarantee Diablo Canyon will stay open longer, but it’s looking increasingly likely California will rely on the plant for at least a few additional years.
Prepare for a windy holiday in Southern California. Thanksgiving Day is shaping up to be the warmest and breeziest day of the week, with another in a series of Santa Ana winds expected to usher in wildfire concerns in Southern California.
L.A.’s famous mountain lion, P-22, killed a Chihuahua in the Hollywood Hills. The attack occurred near the Hollywood Reservoir, the National Park Service said in a statement. The 12-year-old P-22 is the oldest cat in the agency’s study. For years, P-22 has quietly eked out his existence in a nine-square-mile area of Griffith Park and nearby residential neighborhoods.
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Biden opened the holidays and pardoned turkeys Chocolate and Chip. The birds, each weighing nearly 50 pounds, were driven up from North Carolina. They were checked into a room at the Willard hotel, near the White House, to await their visit with the president and his declaration of their freedom.
At least 162 people were killed when an earthquake hit Indonesia’s Java island. A strong, shallow earthquake toppled buildings and collapsed walls on Indonesia’s densely populated main island, killing scores and injuring hundreds as residents rushed into the streets, some covered in blood and debris.
Ukraine said it would look into the video of an alleged shooting of Russian POWs. Moscow alleges that video footage shows Ukrainian forces killing Russian troops who may have been trying to surrender, after one of the men seemingly refused to lay down his weapon and opened fire. Ukrainian officials said they would investigate, though they remain skeptical of Russia’s claims.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
“Strange World” boasts a weird, vibrant world where fathers learn important lessons. Disney’s latest release, which hits theaters Wednesday, tackles father-son relationships and the idea of legacy with an ecological, environmentalist twist. The story follows familiar beats, but the mysteries of its world are a creative standout, writes reviewer Tracy Brown.
How Michael Imperioli nearly tanked his “White Lotus” Season 2 audition. At 56, Imperioli is no longer a mouthy, scrawny kid in “Goodfellas” or Christopher Moltisanti in “The Sopranos.” With HBO’s “The White Lotus,” he’s savoring one of his most high-profile projects in years, portraying a damaged character full of middle-aged weariness and disarming vulnerability.
Play Steven Spielberg in a film directed by Spielberg? No pressure. Newcomer Gabriel LaBelle has vaulted to the heart of awards season with his turn as a younger version of Steven Spielberg in the director’s autobiographical film “The Fabelmans.”
Sinbad is learning to walk again two years after he suffered a stroke in October 2020. The “Sinbad Show” star’s family gave fans health updates on a website titled “The Journey Forward”: “He continues to receive therapy, fighting for every inch. His progress is nothing short of remarkable.”
Noticing lots of security locks at drugstores? These stores lock up the most. Where once only expensive booze and electronics were locked up, now basic household items such as allergy medicine, shaving razors, infant formula and batteries are ending up in plexiglass cases or behind security devices. Getting those products requires the help of increasingly scarce retail workers.
Big rail unions are split on contract deal with railroads, raising the possibility of a strike. Railroad engineers accepted a deal, but conductors rejected their proposed agreement, casting doubt on whether the industry will be able to resolve the labor dispute before next month without the help of Congress. Even the threat of a work stoppage could tangle the nation’s supply chains.
Affirmative action challenges aren’t about ending discrimination. Their goal is white supremacy. The group behind two Supreme Court cases is deeply linked with prominent white nationalists. That shows the real agenda behind the legal push, writes Times columnist Jean Guerrero.
Negotiations can’t end the Russia-Ukraine war until one side has lost. At this stage, any negotiated solution to the war would require both sides to compromise land they consider to be theirs. Ukraine would be expected to give up its claims on Crimea and possibly the Donbas, Russia to retreat to pre-invasion lines.
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Can Trevor Bauer’s accuser sue him? He says no, but a judge leans toward yes. Fifteen months ago, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge declined to grant a restraining order to the San Diego woman who accused the Dodgers pitcher of sexual assault. Bauer is seeking to use the ruling to get the civil suit the accuser has filed against him thrown out of court.
ONLY IN L.A.
Twenty-six ways to volunteer locally during the holidays. Soup kitchens, animal shelters and outdoor cleanup crews stretch from Long Beach to Santa Clarita, and as toy drives and holiday dinners kick in, the need for volunteers soars. For some folks, it’s an annual tradition to give thanks and give back. We’ve compiled a list of nonprofits, mutual aid groups and service organizations that could use some extra hands this season, whether it’s preparing meals or cleaning up trash. Check out the full list here.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Fifty-three years ago this week, on Nov. 20, 1969, Native Americans and supporters seized Alcatraz Island. An article in The Times the next day said: “‘The Rock’ fell without resistance when five boatloads of 78 young demonstrators, representing more than 25 tribes, put ashore before dawn on the island in San Francisco Bay.”
The Indigenous occupiers established themselves on the island, according to the National Park Service: “Everyone on the island had a job: security, sanitation, day-care, school, housing, cooking, laundry, and all decisions were made by unanimous consent of the people.” In 2020, our colleague Carolina Miranda wrote about a ledger from the occupation holding thousands of entries written by the men, women and children who made their stand on the former prison island.
The occupation lasted 19 months and eventually fell into disarray due to various factors. But underlying goals had been accomplished, including “to awaken the American public to the reality of the plight of the first Americans.” After the action, the official U.S. government policy was changed from termination of Indian tribes to Indian self-determination.
Times staff writer Amy Hubbard contributed to this report.
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