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World/National News

October 21, 2012

In Brief

NATION

Dad, 4-year-old killed in Calif. shooting; 3 hurt

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Police searched for a gunman who wore a painter’s mask as he set fire to a home before going on a shooting spree early yesterday, killing a father and his 4-year-old son and injuring a woman and two other young children near Los Angeles.

The 30-year-old father was shielding two of his children when he was shot, Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta said.

Also, the 28-year-old woman — said to be the children’s mother — carried the wounded 4-year-old to a neighbor’s yard after the attack.

“This extraordinary rescue attempt by the mother occurred in spite of the fact that she had gunshot wounds to both legs,” a police department statement said.

A SWAT team has set up a perimeter and was using dogs to search for the attacker, who may have lived in a rear house on the property, Fronterotta said.

Police have no motive. But a neighbor, Judy Castellanos, told the Los Angeles Times that the suspect lived in one of three units on the property and described him as “really weird” and “dangerous.” She said he had not paid his rent for years and that a new property owner had been trying to evict him.

Earlier puberty seen in boys, just like in girls

CHICAGO — When it comes to the birds and the bees, some parents may want to have that talk with their boys a little sooner than they expected.

Researchers have found signs of puberty in American boys up to two years earlier than previously reported — age 9 on average for blacks, 10 for whites and Hispanics. Other studies have suggested that girls, too, are entering puberty younger.

Why is this happening? Theories range from higher levels of obesity and inactivity to chemicals in food and water, all of which might interfere with normal hormone production. But those are just theories, and they remain unproven.

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