MIDLAND CITY, Ala.

Man who shot bus driver holed up in rural bunker

Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said.

The man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen told WBMA-TV. The driver later died of his wounds. His identity wasn’t released.

The shooter took the child, authorities said.

County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the overnight standoff continued early Wednesday with tactical units, negotiators and other officers at the scene near a church. He said the suspect was believed to be in an underground shelter on his property.

PHOENIX

Gunman flees after killing one at office complex

A gunman opened fire at a Phoenix office complex on Wednesday, killing one person, wounding two others and setting off a manhunt. Police warned the public that he was “armed and dangerous.”

Authorities identified the suspect as Arthur D. Harmon, who they said opened fire at the end of a mediation session. They identified a man who died hours after the Wednesday morning shooting as 48-year-old Steve Singer.

Police say a 43-year-old man was listed in critical condition and a 32-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“We believe the two men were the targets. It was not a random shooting,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Thompson said authorities believe Harmon acted alone and fled the scene in a car after the 10:30 a.m. shooting.

Police didn’t immediately release the names of the wounded. But a Phoenix law firm, Osborn Maledon, said one of its lawyers, Mark Hummels, was among the wounded. The firm said he “was representing a client in a mediation” when he was shot.

According to court documents, Harmon was scheduled to go to a law office in the same building where the shooting took place for a settlement conference in lawsuit he filed last April against Scottsdale-based Fusion Contact Centers LLC.

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga.

Storms, tornadoes pummel Southeast; at least 2 dead

A massive storm system raked the Southeast on Wednesday, spawning tornadoes and dangerous winds that overturned cars on a major Georgia interstate and demolished homes and businesses, killing at least two people.

In northwest Georgia, the storm system tossed vehicles on Interstate 75 onto their roofs.

WSB-TV in Atlanta aired footage showing an enormous funnel cloud bearing down on Adairsville, about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta, as the storm ripped through the city’s downtown area. The system flattened homes and wiped out parts of a large manufacturing plant.

One person was killed and nine were hospitalized for minor injuries, state emergency management officials said.

One other death was reported in Tennessee after an uprooted tree fell onto a storage shed where a man had taken shelter.

WASHINGTON

Lawmaker says plane travel was properly reported

Sen. Robert Menendez’s office said Wednesday that he traveled three times on a plane owned by a prominent Florida political donor but that the trips were paid for and reported appropriately. At the same time, Menendez’s office said unsubstantiated allegations the senator engaged in sex with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are false.

The FBI searched the West Palm Beach, Fla., office of the donor — eye doctor Salomon Melgen — on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, but it was unclear if the raid was related to Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat.

The Daily Caller website reported before the November election that Menendez traveled on Melgen’s private plane to the Dominican Republic to engage in sex with prostitutes.

Menendez’s office said that any accusations of engaging with prostitutes “are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

– From news service reports