Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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A shooter who entered a Nashville movie theater armed with a hatchet and gun was killed by a SWAT team on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. Three people have been treated for exposure to pepper spray, which the gunman unleashed in the theater, and one person suffered a superficial wound that may have been caused by the hatchet.

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Christopher Howard never thought he would see the inside of a jail cell.

Growing up in a “dysfunctional family” in Gainesville, Florida, with an alcoholic uncle, a drug-addicted mother, and a wheelchair-bound grandmother, Howard dreamed of moving to New York and making it in the film industry. After a few unsatisfying years at Gainesville’s Santa Fe Community College, he dropped out and moved to a town in New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

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