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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

This post has been updated.

It's not yet clear why a gunman opened fire on Thursday in a Louisiana movie theater, killing two before committing suicide, but the online footprint of the alleged shooter leave a few clues about the man's potential views.

Police on Friday identified the shooter as John Russel Houser, a 59-year-old white man from Phenix City, Ala. Police described Houser as a "drifter" who had been staying at a Motel 6 in Lafayette since early July.

Police have not yet found a motive for the shooting and have not given any indication that Houser carried out the shooting due to political beliefs, but online profiles that appear linked to Houser reveal a man who may have held racist and extreme beliefs.

Louisiana State Police Col. Michael Edmonson told reporters on Friday that police were aware of online messages that many have been posted by Houser and were working to "put those pieces together." But Edmonson also noted that, "just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true."

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said that police were "being very cautious with social media" as they try to sort fact from fiction.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) suspended his presidential campaign after a gunman killed two people and then himself in a Lafayette, La., movie theater on Thursday night, Fox News reported Friday morning.

Jindal confirmed that he suspended his campaign on "Fox and Friends," but he did not specify for how long he would suspend campaign events.

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This post has been updated.

Police in Lafayette, La., have identified the gunman who opened fire Thursday night in a local movie theater as John Russel Houser.

The shooter killed two people and injured nine before taking his own life.

Officials described Houser, a 59-year-old white male, as a "drifter." They said he had been living in Alabama, but was staying at a hotel in Louisiana since early July.

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said on Thursday that he regrets using the phrase "idiot inner city kids" while discussing education during a Monday radio interview, the Washington Post reported.

The senator joined 1310 WIBA–Milwaukee on Monday to discuss school choice, where he lamented that liberal politicians send their children to private school while pushing against school choice initiatives.

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After a local Border Patrol union in Laredo, Texas, pulled out of its Thursday tour of the U.S.-Mexico border with Donald Trump, the real estate mogul blamed the cancellation on "pressure at the national level."

"The National Border Patrol Council, Local 2455 in Laredo, Texas, invited Mr. Trump to be their guest and then they were silenced directly from superiors in Washington who do not want people to know how bad it is on the border — every bit as bad as Mr. Trump has been saying," Trump said in a statement released on Thursday morning.

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A Border Patrol union in Laredo, Texas, will no longer meet with Donald Trump during his Thursday visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a statement from the union released on Thursday morning.

"After careful consideration of all the factors involved in this event and communicating with members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) at the National level, it has been decided by Local 2455 to pull out of all events involving Donald Trump," Hector Gaza, the president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 in Laredo said in a statement.

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NASA announced this week that it will share news on Thursday from the Kepler Space Telescope project hinting that NASA may have found an earth-like planet.

"The first exoplanet orbiting another star like our sun was discovered in 1995. Exoplanets, especially small Earth-size worlds, belonged within the realm of science fiction just 21 years ago. Today, and thousands of discoveries later, astronomers are on the cusp of finding something people have dreamed about for thousands of years -- another Earth," a NASA press release about the Thursday news conference reads.

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