Briefs

? Two gunmen entered a San Diego Nordstrom Rack and held 14 employees hostage on Friday, Jan. 11. One person was stabbed in the neck, and the other was sexually assaulted. Los Angeles Police Department SWAT members arrived after receiving a 911 emergency call about two armed men entering the store. By 2 a.m., the SWAT team had surrounded the Nordstrom store and found the hostages in a storage area and restroom. Luckily, the victim who was stabbed did not have any serious repercussions. The hostages, who are suspected to have left in a sport utility vehicle, were not found in the store.

? Emergency winter homeless shelters were opened to accommodate the extremely cold temperatures in San Diego and aid the local homeless population. Opened on Friday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m., the emergency shelter was available for the past weekend. Having received financial support from the San Diego Housing Commission, the shelters had 166 beds for the four nights it was open. The shelters were run by Father Joe’s Villages and St. Vincent de Paul Village and were located at the Paul Mirabile Center dining room at the St. Vincent de Paul Village campus located at 1501 Imperial Ave.

? A Del Mar resident has collected over 750 signatures on a petition to ban gun shows from taking place in the city. The Del Mar Fairgrounds Board of Directors held an open forum last week for residents who were angered by the recent mass shootings like the Newtown massacre where 20 students and six staff members were killed by a gunman at an elementary school last month.

Some residents are angry about the relatively lax protocol for obtaining firearms at gun shows where restrictions on gun purchases are not as strict. The Fairgrounds Board is expected to make a decision on the gun shows at a later date.

? San Diego Police found a domestic violence suspect hiding in the Reading Cinemas movie theater in Escondido filled with movie goers on Saturday, Jan. 12. The suspect had a handgun. The police had been called to the parking lot of a shopping center on the 11100 block of Rancho Carmel Drive in response to a domestic violence call. The owner of a business next to the theater saw the man chasing his girlfriend in the parking lot and called the police. Witnesses saw the man run into the theater. The police searched the individual theater rooms until they found the 20-year-old suspect, Tom Billodeaux. An officer gave him verbal commands to see if he had weapons, and he put his hands up before quickly lowering them and grabbing a handgun. Billodeaux raised the gun and turned it to the officer. The officer responded by shooting Billodeaux in the arm and chest; Billodeaux was critically wounded and transported to the hospital. The officer’s actions were motivated by his duty to protect the patrons in the theater. Billodeaux will be booked into jail once he is released from the hospital.

? According to the Washington Post, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the stigma attached to treatment for the illness, played a large role in the suicide of San Diego Navy SEAL Robert Guzzo Jr. in November. Robert had been suffering from PTSD after his year of service in Iraq; when he returned to San Diego, Robert waited four months before seeing a psychiatrist for his PTSD, after being told by other officers in the military that seeking treatment could end his career in the Navy. He shot himself on Veterans Day in a state of high intoxication, leaving behind a family including his parents and young daughter.

? RIMAC is now open until 1 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday, according to Chair of Sports Facilities Advisory Board Samuel Chang. The change in hours occurred in response to a recent survey, in which more than half of the surveyed students asked for RIMAC to be open longer. The complete new hours for RIMAC are 5:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday through Thursday, 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.

“As a student majority board, we listen to YOUR needs,” Chang said in an email to A.S. councilmembers about RIMAC’s new hours. 

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