Around the Region


Taking a break from the festivities

DOUG FINGER/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 11:38 p.m.

Orange County deputy fatally shoots suspect

In town to see family members graduate from the College of Fine Arts during spring commencement, from left, L'Tanya Gilliam, with 5-month-old son Joshua, and Missy Dyke, with 11-month-old daughter Abby, take a break from the event Saturday in a hallway at the University Auditorium. The two mothers, Gilliam from Pittsburgh and Dyke from Michigan, said their children were being a bit disruptive during the ceremony, with all the clapping and everything, and they needed to leave to let their children unwind.
STATE
  • ORLANDO - A man was fatally shot by an Orange County sheriff's deputy after he tried to run over an officer during a stop, authorities said.
    Alexander Gonzales, 36, of Kissimmee, was killed late Friday after the car in which he was riding was pulled over as part of an investigation into gang activities, sheriff's spokesman Carlos Torres said.
    When deputies stopped the car in southwest Orange County, Gonzales pushed his wife out of the driver's seat, Torres said. The car then lunged forward, prompting Deputy Roberto Hernandez to open fire.
    A handgun was found inside the car, Torres said.
    Two passengers - Eden Rodriguez, 20, and Gregory Enegess, 17 - were taken into custody on warrants of home-invasion robbery, robbery with a firearm, kidnapping with a firearm, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
    Gonzales' wife, 41-year-old Blanca Gonzales, was not charged.
    Hernandez has been placed on administrative leave for two weeks, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the use of deadly force.

    Jetpacking shuttle fliers, pilot make hall of fame

  • CAPE CANAVERAL - The first man to fly freely and untethered in space, famously photographed alone in the cosmic blackness above a blue Earth, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday.
    Retired astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first so-called human satellite in 1984. The dramatic scene of McCandless flying with a hefty spacewalker's jetpack, but with his face invisible behind his helmet, remains one of the greatest space photos of all time.
    "For those of you who work here or have worked here at the Kennedy Space Center, I have a few words: thank you, thank you and thank you," McCandless, 67, told the hundreds gathered for the afternoon ceremony.
    His shuttle commander, former astronaut Vance Brand, said he was glued to the window as McCandless jetted around outside. "I knew I couldn't come back and tell Bernice that we'd lost Bruce," Brand said, referring to McCandless' wife of almost 45 years.
    McCandless helped develop the jetpack, known by NASA as the manned maneuvering unit, and was later part of the shuttle crew that delivered the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit 15 years ago this past week.
    Two other former shuttle astronauts were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday: Joseph Allen, 67, who used the jetpack later in 1984 to grab a pair of stranded satellites for salvaging, and Gordon Fullerton, 68, an early shuttle pilot who still flies research aircraft for NASA.
    The crowd included 18 astronauts already enshrined in the Hall of Fame, three of them moonwalkers.

    Estranged son accused of gunning down father

  • JACKSONVILLE - The estranged son of a former police officer allegedly shot his father to death after a family dispute.
    Timothy Coleman Jr., 21, turned himself in Friday shortly after authorities said his 42-year-old father, in some of his last words, named the eldest of his five children as his killer.
    Former Sheriff's Officer Timothy Coleman Sr. was shot by a rifle wielded by his son, authorities said. The shooting came after Coleman Sr. argued with his 17-year-old son, Brandon - Coleman Jr.'s brother.
    Roylene Coleman, one of Coleman Sr.'s former wives and Coleman Jr.'s stepmother, said the two hadn't spoken in at least two years.
    Coleman Jr. was jailed without bond. Coleman Sr.'s 14-year police career ended in 1997 when he resigned after numerous complaints to the Sheriff's Office's Internal Affairs unit and two domestic violence-related arrests. He was working as a truck driver when he died.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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