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Police officer dies after shooting self in chest
MELBOURNE -- A city police officer facing charges of misconduct and battery fatally shot himself in the chest Saturday as fellow officers tried to arrest him.
Larry Simpson, 47, shot himself in his car after driving toward an intersection lined with officers waiting to catch him. Deputies who went to Simpson's home that morning to arrest him found him at a nearby residence, prompting him to flee in the car, Melbourne Police Deputy Chief Jim Reynolds said.
Simpson was flown to Holmes Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
The 14-year veteran was accused of attacking a man he arrested in April during a criminal traffic offense, Reynolds said. Simpson, who denied using excessive force, was charged with battery and official misconduct for filing a false report on the traffic incident, Reynolds said.
Simpson had agreed to turn himself in earlier this week but missed several appointments to do so, Brevard County Sheriff Phil Williams said.
Veterans usher in WWII vessel's namesake ship
PENSACOLA -- More than 1,000 veterans of the Battle of Iwo Jima arrived on a namesake ship a week before its scheduled commissioning as the Navy's newest amphibious assault vessel.
The eight-hour cruise from Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., where the new $1.2-billion USS Iwo Jima was built, ended at Pensacola Naval Air Station Saturday.
The 844-foot Iwo Jima, the second ship to be named after one of the bloodiest battles in World War II and U.S. military history, was open for public tours Sunday.
The veterans were from the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine divisions, which were on the front lines of the 1945 battle that cost the lives of more than 6,000 Americans and 20,000 Japanese.
The ship will officially join the Navy on Saturday and is due to arrive at Norfolk, Va., its home port, on July 13.
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From the Times state desk
From the state wire