Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Trump blames mass shootings on mentally ill, calls for more mental institutions

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he supports meaningful background checks for gun buyers, but he said that those responsible for recent mass shootings were mentally ill and the United States should build more mental institutions. Trump said he had been speaking with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans about the problem of gun violence, and "they don't want to have insane people, dangerous people, really bad people having guns."

Police clear packages that prompted evacuation of NYC transit hub

Two suspicious packages that prompted the evacuation of one of New York City's busiest transit hubs during the Friday morning rush hour were deemed to be safe, police said. The discovery of what appeared to be two pressure cookers caused authorities to clear passengers from Fulton Street station in Lower Manhattan, where there was a heavy police presence and emergency vehicles on the scene.

Body camera video shows Colorado police fatally shooting suspect in back

Body camera footage from two Colorado policemen who shot and killed a black man earlier this month shows the 19-year-old was shot multiple times in the back as he fled officers about to question him about an armed robbery. De’Von Bailey was fatally shot on Aug. 3 by officers of the Colorado Springs Police Department, who said the teenager was armed with a handgun. The video does not show Bailey brandishing a weapon at officers, but a handgun was found in his pants after the shooting.

'Hollywood Ripper' found guilty of murdering two women, including Ashton Kutcher's date

A jury found a man nicknamed the "Hollywood Ripper" guilty on Thursday of knifing to death two women, including actor Ashton Kutcher's date, and attempting to murder a third victim during a seven-year span. Michael Gargiulo, a 43-year-old former handyman and aspiring actor, sat impassively, leaning forward slightly in his chair, as the jury verdict was read.

U.S. federal death row inmate challenges January execution

Lawyers for one of five federal prisoners scheduled by President Donald Trump's administration for execution have launched a two-pronged legal effort to prevent the government from carrying out the lethal injection slated for January. The U.S. government has not carried out an execution since 2003 amid legal challenges to its lethal injection protocol, but Attorney General William Barr last month said it would resume capital punishment and scheduled the execution of five convicted murderers who were tried in federal rather than state courts.

Dayton gunman had cocaine, Xanax, alcohol in his system during attack

The gunman who killed nine people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, had cocaine, Xanax and alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting rampage, the county coroner said on Thursday. Dayton police announced the findings at a press conference and on Twitter and said that two victims of the massacre were struck by gunfire from law enforcement officers responding to the scene.

Democrat O'Rourke proposes domestic terrorism agencies to combat hate, gun massacres

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled a plan on Friday to classify white supremacist violence as an organized crime problem and to create federal domestic terrorism offices, in a bid to combat hate crimes and gun violence in the United States. O'Rourke hits the campaign trail again after nearly two weeks in his home city of El Paso, Texas, where a white gunman targeting Hispanics killed 22 people in a Walmart store on Aug. 3.

Tennessee executes man convicted of killing teenage girl, her mother in 1986

A man convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl and stabbing her and her mother to death in their home with a teenage accomplice more than 30 years ago was executed in Tennessee on Thursday, officials said. Stephen Michael West, 56, was put to death by electric chair and was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m. local time (2327 GMT) at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, the state Department of Correction said in a statement.

Trump rule targeting poor immigrants could harm children, health: advocates

A Trump administration plan to cut legal immigration by poor people will likely result in sicker children, more communicable diseases and greater homelessness in the United States, according to immigrant advocates and the federal government's own analysis. Under a rule unveiled this week, the administration can reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas if they fail to meet high enough income standards or if they receive public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.

Jeffrey Epstein autopsy report shows broken neck: sources

An autopsy of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, found his neck had been broken in several places, according to two law enforcement sources. Such injuries can occur to people who hang themselves or who are strangled.