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NYPD kills bystander during undercover gun sting

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Aug. 29, 2015 at 2:56 PM

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- New York City police fatally shot a 61-year-old bystander who happened to be standing behind a suspect during an undercover gun buy.

Felix Kumi was shot twice in the torso as police shot at a suspected illegal gun salesman about 1 a.m. Saturday. Kumi died at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, police said.

Police were investigating the sale of possible illegal guns "when things went awry," Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Terrance Raynor said. An undercover officer in street clothes was posing as a gun buyer when he met with an alleged seller in the Bronx. The two drove to Mount Vernon, where the deal went bad, police said.

"At that location, another male got into the car," said NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. "There was some discussion, and a gun was put to our undercover's head."

After the undercover officer handed over $2,400, he pulled out his own weapon and fired 11 rounds at the would-be robber, later identified as 37-year-old Alvin Smothers, hitting him in the shoulder and arm.

Police said Kumi happened to be standing there and was shot. The suspect who was driving the car, Jeff Aristy, 28, fled the scene.

Kumi, a father of two, drove a bus for the Mount Vernon school district, located about 20 miles outside New York City.

"We're doing the best we can for the type of situation this is," his daughter Rachel Kumi, 25, said. "It's a travesty that this happened."

© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Rare 'supermoon' will take over night sky Saturday

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Aug. 29, 2015 at 1:37 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- An exceptionally large and bright moon known as a "supermoon" will be visible around the world Saturday night as the moon makes a rare approach to Earth.

The moon will make its closest approach to Earth, known as perigee, at 222,631 miles away beginning sundown Saturday. It will appear about 14 percent larger than normal, experts said. On average, the moon is 238,855 miles away.

The supermoon is the first of three in the coming weeks, with the next two Sept. 27 and Oct. 27. The term "supermoon" was coined some 30 years ago by astrologer Richard Nolle. Before that, they were referred to as perigee full moons or perigee new moons.

The best view will be from the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, but sky watchers across the United States and the United Kingdom will be on alert.

With the rise and fall of tides connected to the gravitational pull of the moon, there has been some speculation the supermoon will usher in coastal flooding, especially in light of the tropical depression churning in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Coastal flooding and storm surge could be higher," Dan Kottlowski, a hurricane researcher for the Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather told the Palm Beach Post. "If Erika gets its act together and then you tack on what the tidal surge will be, it could impact the height of the water."

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© 2015 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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