Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Gunman's death in mass shooting at northern California food festival ruled suicide

An autopsy has found that the 19-year-old man who opened fire with an assault rifle at a weekend food festival in Northern California, killing three people, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County coroner said on Friday. The ruling of suicide contradicts the original account of police who said the gunman was shot dead by police officers who were on patrol at Sunday's Gilroy Garlic Festival and confronted the suspect when he began his rampage.

With Puerto Rico leader set to quit, successor still unknown

With only hours before Puerto Rico's disgraced governor was set to step down on Friday, the bankrupt U.S. territory still did not know who would succeed him. Over a week ago, Governor Ricardó Rossello bowed to 12 days of mass protests sparked by offensive chat messages and said he would resign at 5 p.m. on Friday.

No signs of trauma found on body of Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter

An autopsy conducted on the 22-year-old granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy found no trauma to her body, leaving the cause and manner of her death to be determined following toxicology tests, the local district attorney's office said on Friday. Saoirse Kennedy Hill was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts shortly after 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday after she was found unresponsive at the Kennedy family's compound in nearby Hyannis Port, the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office said in a written statement.

U.S. Navy pilot killed in California crash was 33-year-old lieutenant

The fighter pilot who perished in the crash of his fighter jet in Death Valley National Park in California was identified by the U.S. Navy on Friday as Lieutenant Charles Walker, who had served in the armed forces for the past 10 years. The 33-year-old Navy aviator was killed when his F/A-18E Super Hornet, a single-seat aircraft, went down on Wednesday during low-altitude training exercises in the Rainbow Canyon area of the park, about 130 miles (210 km) west of Las Vegas.

Singer R. Kelly makes first New York court appearance on sex trafficking charges

Singer R. Kelly is expected to plead not guilty in New York on Friday to charges that he ran a criminal scheme in which he recruited women and underage girls to have sex with him, isolating them and often controlling what they ate and when they went to the bathroom. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say that Kelly and his entourage invited women and girls backstage after concerts, kept them from friends and family and made them dependent on him financially.

Trump rule restricting asylum seekers struck down by court

A U.S. federal judge on Friday struck down one of President Donald Trump's initiatives to curtail asylum claims, ruling that the government could not reject migrants who had crossed the border illegally. A different federal judge had already put a temporary block on the policy, which would have rejected asylum claims from people who entered the United States between legal ports of entry. The ruling on Friday by U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington, D.C. went further by finding the Trump rule violated immigration law.

One killed, two hurt after cliff collapses onto California beach

One person was killed and two others hurt on Friday when a cliff overlooking a Southern California beach collapsed onto them, local officials said. First responders were at the scene of the incident, near a lifeguard tower, assisting in rescue efforts, the city of Encinitas said on Twitter. No further details were immediately available

NYC police officer who killed Eric Garner should be fired, police judge rules

A white New York City police officer who killed an unarmed black man with a banned chokehold in 2014 should be fired, a police judge recommended on Friday in a case that stoked the Black Lives Matter movement and reverberated in the U.S. presidential campaign. Officer Daniel Pantaleo had been on desk duty since widely viewed cellphone videos showed him using the chokehold on Eric Garner during an attempted arrest on a sidewalk in Staten Island, one of five boroughs in the most populous U.S. city. Police believed Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Philadelphia Phillies sue to keep their 'beloved' Phillie Phanatic

The Phillie Phanatic, one of the most recognizable mascots in American sports, is the subject of a lawsuit by the Philadelphia Phillies, trying to stop the mascot's creators from taking away the baseball team's bright green, fat, furry, long-beaked creature. In a federal complaint filed on Friday in Manhattan, the Phillies accused Harrison/Erickson Inc and its principals, Wayde Harrison and Bonnie Erickson, of reneging on a 1984 agreement to let the Phillies use the Phanatic "forever."

Exclusive: PES may report toxic chemical release in June refinery blast -sources

Philadelphia Energy Solutions was expected to report to government officials on Friday that the toxic chemical hydrofluoric acid may have been released from its refinery in June, when a series of blasts and fire damaged the plant, two sources familiar with the plan said. It was unclear how much of the chemical might have been released from the refinery or if the PES report would be made public, the sources said. PES officials were not immediately available for comment.