Newly released dashboard camera video shows a shoplifting suspect pointing a gun at an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office deputy just before he took his own life on Tuesday.The video shows the final moments of the encounter between the deputy and Ronnie Spradlin, who shot himself in the head, an autopsy revealed.The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. Tuesday outside the Walmart on the corner of State Road 60 and 58th Avenue.Sheriff Deryl Loar says deputies were called to a shoplifting complaint.When they arrived, the 43-year-old suspect pulled out a gun and shot at them, before trying to carjack a family that was visiting from out of town.A mother and father, whose two children were in the back seat, were injured while trying to escape and were taken to a hospital. Both are expected to recover.Spradlin then carjacked another person and drove away. However, he came to a dead end while being followed by a deputy.The suspect then pointed a gun at the deputy, who fired several shots through his windshield.Autopsy results later revealed that Spradlin shot himself in the right temple. He died at the scene.“The video will clearly show you that the coward takes his own life,” Loar says.Investigators determined the suspect was an 88-time felon who had been wanted for burglary in Virginia.The three deputies were not injured, but are on paid leave, which is standard procedure in such cases.
On Saturday, the seventh annual Trojan Dance Marathon took place for 12 consecutive hours at the Ronald Tutor Center Ballroom.Dance for a cause · The Trojan Dance Marathon planning committee holds up the final fundraising total raised in the past year. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanTrojan DM serves as a fundraising campaign for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and has raised more than $100,000 since 2008. This year’s event set a record as the Trojan DM raised more than $59,000.The event was made possible by 14 committees that focus on different aspects of the planning such as community, performances and fundraising that serve to bring together the holistic DM experience.“We have Miracle Children that represent the hospital, and these are kids and their families who have long relationships with CHLA depending on an illness they’ve had or an accident they’ve been in,” said Crescent Cheng, the campus coordinator for Trojan DM. “These kids have had really positive experiences with CHLA and want to advocate for the hospital. It’s also a chance for USC students to see where all the hard work goes to while hanging out with the kids they’re helping and listening to them share their stories.”Without a single chair in the room, not even for the people registering participants, the TCC Ballroom was set up with tables to check in for wristbands and a complimentary shirt for those who had raised more than $15 prior to the event. Along the sides of the ballroom were various stations for arts and crafts.Those who donated were given raffle tickets that could be placed in a multitude of jars offering $150 Uber giftcards, various jewelry items and a gift card to Pressed Juicery.Even students who didn’t have the opportunity to raise money ahead of time were able to give back through the DM “jail.” They donated $5 to put someone in “jail” for one hour. The bail was set at $20.“I think the jail idea was really clever, because I wanted to give back after meeting the Miracle Kids, while having a good time with my friends,” said Claire Witzke, a freshman majoring in linguistics. “DM made it possible to see where all the effort and money was going, making the experience of giving back enjoyable.”Every two hours, the hosts of DM would introduce a new theme and DM members and the Miracle Children would dress accordingly. The themes included Princesses and Pirates, Candyland, Jungle, Country and Rave Power Hour. Each theme featured a different DJ.At the end of each hour, participants were taught small, one-minute dances by the DM morale captains. The dance was a series of popular songs mashed together. By the end of 12 hours, the crowd performed an effortless 12-minute long dance routine.“I decided to go simply as a study break, and I was shocked to see how amazing Dance Marathon is,” said Riyana Chakraborty, a freshman majoring in international relations (global business). “The people are incredibly passionate, the miracle children were all smiles and the overall experience was unforgettable.”Cheng spoke on the extensive preparation that goes into DM.“We start planning for the next Dance Marathon after this event is done, so it really is a yearlong process,” Cheng said. “In order to have as much of the student body as possible to come out and raise money, it takes months of organizing.”DM special events coordinator Sarah Loh discussed how awareness alone can be helpful.“Whether it’s a fundraiser to help raise money or just an awareness campaign, it can really help [the children and the hospital],” Loh said. “Just last week we had a photo campaign where we just had people take pictures with props or photos in front of Tommy Trojan that would raise awareness throughout campus by putting the photos on various social media.”DM reminded students that all the effort is “FTK: For The Kids.” Every hour participants would simultaneously respond to the question posed by the morale captains, “Why are you here?” with an enthusiastic “Trojan Dance Marathon, for the kids!”