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Man with assault rifle shot dead by police after Alabama triple murder

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - A man armed with an assault-style rifle and suspected of killing three men in a domestic dispute was shot dead by police after a car chase and shootout that left an officer wounded, marking a second incident of deadly gun violence in Alabama in two days, officials said on Sunday.

The two shootings on Saturday in Alabama came a day after 20 children and six adults were shot to death by a gunman who went on a rampage with a military-style rifle at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and then killed himself.

In Alabama, a gunman identified as Romero Roberto Moya, 33, was shot multiple times by police in the town of Oxford, east of Birmingham, as he stepped from a hijacked car that struck another vehicle on Saturday, police said.

A short distance away before he was killed, Moya had exchanged gunfire with other police after crashing his initial getaway car, leaving one officer critically injured, Oxford police Lieutenant L.G. Owens said.

The pursuit was triggered by a triple slaying Moya was suspected of committing at a trailer home earlier in the morning in Cleburne County, Alabama, near the Georgia state line, Owens said.

No details about the circumstances of the killings were immediately available. Owens said the three victims may have been Moya's brothers, and a child under the age of 2 who also was injured in the incident was taken to an Atlanta hospital.

Also on Saturday, a man distraught over his wife's hospital treatment walked into St. Vincent's Birmingham with a gun at 4 a.m. local time and opened fire as he was confronted by police, wounding one officer and two hospital employees, authorities said. The gunman was killed in the shootout.

(Reporting and writing by Verna Gates; Editing by Steve Gorman and Will Dunham)

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