They came from all across America - from Connecticut to Florida to Illinois, and many points in between.
One had been in the Marines for nearly four and a half years, another for just a few months. Many served in Afghanistan, earning numerous honors before making it safely back home to the United States.
On Wednesday, the military released the names of the seven Marines killed Monday night during a training exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada.FULL STORY
The U.S. Marine Corps has released the identities of the seven Marines killed in Monday's explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. They are:
• Pfc. Joshua M. Martino, 19, Clearfield, Pennsylvania;
• Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, Polk City, Florida;
• Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr., 23, Fairfield, Connecticut;
• Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Taylor, 21, Marietta, Ohio;
• Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, Hickory, North Carolina;
• Lance Cpl. William T. Wild IV, 21, Anne Arundel, Maryland;
• Cpl. Aaron J. Ripperda, 26, Madison, Illinois.
The cause of the Monday night blast was a 60 mm round that detonated inside a mortar tube, Brig. Gen. James W. Lukeman, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division, told reporters.
The Marines said in a statement Tuesday evening that all 60 mm mortar rounds and tubes used to fire them are being pulled pending an investigation.FULL STORY
[Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET] The blast that killed seven U.S. Marines and injured eight others Monday night during a training exercise at Nevada's Hawthorne Army Depot was caused by a 60 mm round that detonated in a mortar tube, according to a military official.
[Posted at 9:22 a.m. ET] Seven U.S. Marines were killed and several others were injured during a training exercise Monday night at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Marines said.FULL STORY
Ammar Asim Faruq Harris, 26, the suspect in a shooting and crash that left three people dead last week in Las Vegas, has been arrested in Los Angeles, the FBI said Thursday.
FBI spokeswoman Lourdes Arocho said Harris was apprehended by the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department Fugitive Task Force at noon (3 p.m. ET) in the North Hollywood section of the city.
Harris, who police said has an extensive criminal history, was considered armed and dangerous.FULL STORY
Police are no longer looking for a woman in connection with a fatal shooting and crash that left three people dead on the Las Vegas Strip.
"Yenesis Alfonso, also known as Tineesha Howard, is no longer considered to be a missing person and is no longer a person of interest" in the homicide investigation, Las Vegas police said in a statement late Wednesday.
The 22-year-old was never named as a suspect, but detectives wanted to talk to her in connection with the case. The police statement says the investigation is ongoing.
Police didn't say why she was no longer considered a person of interest.FULL STORY
Police are on an "intense" and "extremely focused" nationwide manhunt for the occupants of a black Range Rover at the center of a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that claimed three lives.
The incident involved a Maserati that was shot at and subsequently crashed into a taxi, which caught fire.
The driver of the Maserati, whom family identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., died at a hospital. The taxi driver and a passenger also died.FULL STORY
[Updated at 5:36 p.m. ET] Police have just released what they believe led to this morning's shooting and fiery crash that left three people dead on the Las Vegas Strip.
It began with a dispute in the valet area of the Aria hotel, Sheriff Douglas Gillespie told reporters moments ago, citing witnesses.
After the altercation, the participants drove north on Las Vegas Boulevard in two vehicles – a black Range Rover Sport and a Maserati – and someone from the Range Rover fired into the Maserati, killing the driver and wounding a passenger.
The Maserati then continued into an intersection with Flamengo Road – near the Caesars Palace and Flamingo casinos – and struck a taxi, causing a chain of crashes that involved four other vehicles.
Two people inside the taxi died. Three other people in the crashes suffered minor injuries, Gillespie said. Check out the full story for more details.
[Posted at 12:58 p.m. ET] Three people are dead and at least three others wounded after a shooting and fiery car crash that shook the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning, police say.
The incident began about 4:20 a.m. when someone in an SUV – stopped at a stoplight on Las Vegas Boulevard near Caesars Palace and a number of other casinos – fired into a Maserati that also had stopped at the light, Las Vegas police said.
The Maserati moved into the intersection with Flamingo Road and collided with a taxi, starting a chain of crashes that involved four other vehicles, police said.FULL STORY
Authorities in Texas shot and killed an escaped prisoner early Saturday, several days after they say he stabbed a detective tasked with taking him across the country.
Alberto Morales, 42, was killed shortly after he was located in a wooded area in Grapevine, near Dallas, said Grapevine Police Department spokesman Sgt. Robert Eberling.
With the help of a helicopter, authorities found Morales not far from a home where someone stole jewelery and men's clothing.
"At this point, as far as the investigation is concerned, Mr. Morales was shot and is now deceased. This matter is still under investigation ... and we'll have more details at a later point," Eberling told reporters.FULL STORY
Joe Jackson, the Jackson family patriarch, suffered a stroke Thursday morning and is being treated in a Las Vegas hospital, a source close to the Jackson family said.
Jackson, 83, "is in very good spirits" and expects to be sent home from the hospital Friday, said the source, who asked not to be identified.
The "mild" stroke is similar to two others he suffered in the past five years, another source close to Jackson said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was discharged late Friday afternoon from a Las Vegas hospital hours after suffering rib and hip bruises in a vehicle collision on a Nevada highway, his office and a hospital spokeswoman said.
The vehicle that Reid was in, one of four vehicles in a caravan going north on Interstate 15, was involved in the multi-vehicle crash around 1 p.m. PT, Nevada Highway Patrol spokesmen Loy Hixson said.
Reid was discharged from University Medical Center shortly before around 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET), hospital spokeswoman Karen Gordon said. For more, check out this story from CNN.com's Political Ticker.
Brian Banks' professional football dream is one step closer to coming true.
A decade ago, Banks was a football standout at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in California and had been offered a scholarship to play at the University of Southern California.
Then he was accused of rape. Fearing a potentially long sentence, he followed the advice of his attorney and pleaded no contest to assaulting a classmate.
But he maintained his innocence throughout nearly six years of imprisonment, subsequent probation and registration as a sex offender.
And, according to the California Innocence Project, the woman later admitted that Banks had not kidnapped or raped her during a consensual encounter.
On Thursday, Banks, 26, had his first practice with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, a four-team minor league circuit. He hopes to be on the field Wednesday in the Locos home opener against the Virginia Destroyers.
“There was a point in my life where I literally had to put football aside to survive in prison. I came home in 2007, went to junior college, and then had to wear a GPS tracking device and I could not play football. But I never lost faith, and I never lost that passion for it,” Banks said at a press conference on Thursday.
Locomotives coach and general manager Jim Fassel says Banks, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound linebacker, has the character to excel at professional football.
A man carried a gun into a movie theater and accidentally shot himself with it, police in Sparks, Nevada, say.
According to an incident report, police received several calls Tuesday night reporting shots being fired inside the Sparks Century Theater downtown, where "The Bourne Legacy" was playing. Multiple police units and other emergency personnel rushed to the theater, but officers quickly determined that only one shot had been fired.
Witnesses told police the man's gun had gone off when he adjusted his position in his seat. They said he quickly got up, apologized to other patrons sitting near him and left the theater before police arrived.
Officers later found the man at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Reno with a gunshot wound to his buttocks. He told them his gun - for which he had a valid concealed-carry permit - fell out of his pocket and discharged when it hit the floor.
Many people watching the Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao fight believed the underdog stole the welterweight belt during the match, but the Nevada attorney general has said after a review that no crime occurred.
"Pacman," as Pacquiao is affectionately known by fans, appeared to dominate Bradley during the 12-round match at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but the judges decided otherwise. Two ruled the fight 115-113 for the American boxer, while the other judge gave the score 115-113 for the Filipino champion.
After the judges' scores were announced, many in the sold-out crowd voiced displeasure.
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said "there doesn't appear to be any facts or evidence to indicate that a criminal violation occurred" in a letter sent Wednesday to Top Rank fight promoter Bob Arum. Arum had asked for an investigation into the matter after the fight, which he said made him ashamed of boxing.
Last month, the World Boxing Organization had five international judges watch the video of the fight and rescore it. They all gave the match to Pacquiao, though the decision had no impact on changing the final outcome
Although in many ways the matter may be settled, that doesn't mean everyone is happy. Fans and sports blogs ripped the investigation, noting that although the attorney general's office spoke to the referee in the match, they never spoke to any of the three judges who scored the match.
But concerns about the fight were voiced long before that, beginning with Bradley posting on Twitter a photo of a rematch poster before the first fight even took place. Most fans griped that surely, if Pacquiao had won, there'd never be a need for a rematch.
Gonna be so nice we gonna do it twice. http://t.co/fllH0dGC—
Timothy Bradley Jr. (@Timbradleyjr) May 29, 2012
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
Nevada became the first to approve a license for "autonomous vehicles" on Monday, for search engine giant Google's self-driving cars project. A recent video spot features a 95% blind man in one of the cars, which Google says have driven 200,000 miles without incident. For the most part, our readers are very excited about this technology, but others are afraid that the cars could be susceptible to the same kinds of problems that desktop computer programs have.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it is given a ride out by an autonomous vehicle.
Polyglot64: "What I want to know is if, next to the GPS, if there is a button that says, 'I'm Feeling Lucky.' "
moviequotes: "I think that's what took them to the Las Vegas Strip. "
Computer programs "crash," so what about computer-driven cars? And what if Microsoft and Apple put out their own systems? The following commenter also cited an old joke about computer operating systems and airlines.
metalcrow: "Who gets the ticket if the car is speeding? How will police pull the autonomous vehicle over? If Microsoft get into this and puts a Windows OS in the vehicles, who will be responsible for all the crashes? Will MS always say it is the hardware that is the problem? will we need to buy an upgrade every few years? will most of the cars features not work after an upgrade and until a Service Pack is released? Will the car be forced to use Internet Exploder? Lots of questions."
sameeker: "If Microsoft gets into the picture, you will have to stop the car at least once a day, shut everything off, and sit there for 10 minutes before going on your way."
sadtosay: "If Apple gets into the show, you violate the warranty by driving on a street."
Many people are in favor.
halfthestory: "Initially I was against this idea. But every day that goes by in which I have to deal with terrible drivers on the road, I like this idea more and more."
Some are afraid. FULL POST
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
The story about an apparent heart attack suffered at Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas was naturally a talker for readers of Eatocracy, our food blog. This story presents a bit of a quandary for some readers.
People who have been to the restaurant shared their opinions.
Amanda: "I've been to this place once when it was in Chandler, Arizona, and you get fat by just walking in the door. This place is a novelty restaurant, so you know what your getting into when you go there. You reap what you sow, if your going to eat a 6,000 calorie burger by yourself. But as much as this article highlights the restaurant, it probably wasn't the burger that gave him the heart attack ... just saying ..."
Tr1Xen: "No joke ... this guy's probably been eating food like that his whole life."
Can a Triple Bypass burger really give you a heart attack right then and there? FULL POST
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is taking a drastic and admittedly desperate step in its effort to clear cold cases, some stretching back to 1970.
Law enforcement officials have long posted sketches or clay models - and more recently, digital reconstructions - of unidentified persons in hopes that a friend or loved one might recognize the deceased and help police identify them. Taking its lead from Las Vegas, Milwaukee County is taking it a step further and releasing actual photos of the deceased.
It sounds gruesome - and it is, if you peruse the Milwaukee medical examiner's unidentified persons site - but forensic investigator Michael Simley says that in the 17 cases featured, authorities have run out of options.
"They were born with a name, and they deserve to have that name in death," Simley said. "This is the best way to get that information out there to the public."
Just because bodies are found in Milwaukee County doesn't mean the deceased lived there. They may have been a homeless transient or perhaps a visitor, so Simley wanted to create a database anyone could search.
It's a twist on the U.S. Justice Department's NamUs system, which is a database of unidentified human remains. The database, which contains more than 8,000 cases, is searchable by sex, race, body features, dental information or other characteristics.
There are many systems like NamUs. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, South Carolina Coroner's Association, New York State Police, Texas Department of Public Safety and even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are among the law enforcement entities that post their John and Jane Does online, but they rely on reproductions of the deceased.
Firefighters in Nevada have fully contained a wildfire that engulfed dozens of homes and burned nearly 2,000 acres, an incident commander said Monday.
The Caughlin Fire in Reno burned 1,935 acres before firefighters contained the blaze, said Sierra Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, the incident commander.
The blaze has made 32 homes uninhabitable and damaged five, but is no longer a major threat to other structures, Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said Sunday.FULL STORY
A 22-year-old from Germany became poker's newest champion early Wednesday, outlasting eight other finalists and coming away with $8.72 million in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Pius Heinz of Cologne is the first German to win the event. His winnings are the third-highest in the history of the event, which began in 1970. He had only $83,000 in earnings before his Main Event victory.
Heinz, who entered the finals ranked seventh in chips, survived a six-hour final duel with Czech Martin Staszko, who still came away with $5.43 million as the runner-up.
Heinz won with an ace-high final hand. After the final card was revealed to give him the win, Heinz hugged cheering family and fans at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas like a football star who had just scored a touchdown. The fans chanted his name and raised a German flag. Watch the final hand on ESPN.com.
"It's gotta be the happiest day of my life, but I can't believe what happened. It's so unreal," Heinz said after he was presented with the gold and diamond winner's bracelet.
Also in the final nine at the Rio Hotel and Casino was American Ben Lamb, the World Series of Poker player of the year for 2011, but he fell out in third place, setting up the dramatic final face-off.
A political debate isn't a good one without a few awkward and fiery moments. Tuesday night's Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas was certainly no exception. The candidates clashed over all kinds of hot button issues like taxes and health care. In today's Gotta Watch, we wanted to feature some of our best political debate smackdowns, starting with arguably the most heated exchange from the Vegas debate between Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry.
Gloves come off – It's a really awkward exchange that includes a lot of yelling, bickering and even a condescending pat on the shoulder. Watch what ensues after Gov. Rick Perry accuses Mitt Romney of hiring illegal immigrants.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain enter Tuesday night's CNN/Western Republican debate as the leaders of the race for the GOP presidential nomination, according to national polls.
Romney, Cain and five other candidates will participate in the debate, moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper, starting at 8 p.m. ET at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The debate will be shown on CNN, the CNN mobile apps and CNN.com/Live.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, 26% of respondents said they are likely to support Romney, who is making his second bid for the White House. Cain was at 25%, and Romney's margin was well within the poll's sampling error. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was third, at 13%. Separately, a CNN poll of polls indicated that Romney was on top of the field at 23%, with Cain three points behind and Perry – who was a front-runner in the national polls from late August through much of September – at 14%.