Wednesday 17 July 2024

Vitamin Once Prescribed to Lower Heart Disease Risk May Actually Raise It, Study Finds

 High levels of niacin, a B vitamin that’s found in many foods and added to fortified cereals and breads, can raise the risk of heart disease, according to new research.  

The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, discovered that higher levels of niacin can trigger inflammationand damage blood vessels. For the study, researchers analyzed blood samples from 1,162 people who were evaluated for heart disease to look for common markers in their blood that could help identify new heart disease risk factors

The researchers found that 4PY, a substance that’s made when there is too much niacin in the body, was strongly linked with patients who have had a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiac event. The researchers also discovered that 4PY directly triggers vascular inflammation that damages blood vessels and can lead to atherosclerosis—the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls—over time.  

One in four study participants seemed to be getting too much niacin and had high levels of 4PY in their blood. But the researchers also pointed out in the study that they don’t know how much niacin is unhealthy. 

The study raises a lot of questions about niacin and its impact on heart health. Ahead, experts share what you need to know.  

What is niacin (vitamin B3)?

Niacin, a.k.a. vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Niacin is a micronutrient that we have to get from outside sources, such as supplements and food,” explains Scott Keatley, R.D., co-owner of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy

Niacin is added to flour, bread products, and fortified cereals to lower the risk of developing disease due to nutritional deficiency. It’s also found in foods like chicken and turkey breast, salmon, and sunflower seeds, per the NIH.

Niacin breaks down into NAD+, which plays a key role in energy metabolism, the breakdown of fatty acids, DNA repair, cell signaling, and antioxidant defense, Keatley says. “Niacin also breaks down into niacinamide, which has many functions to protect skin,” he adds. 

The recommended dietary allowance for adults is 16 milligrams of niacin for adult men and 14 milligrams for adult women.  

Does niacin affect heart health?

Niacin’s relationship with heart health is a little complicated. There are prescription medications like Niaspan and its generic equivalent niacin ER that deliver 500 to 1,000 milligrams of extended-release niacin that are used to treat high blood cholesterol levels, the NIH notes. But, the use of those medications has been questioned over the past few years after research didn’t support using them to lower cholesterol.

“Niacin is something critical to our health—we cannot make enough of it, so need to have it in our diets,” says study co-author Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., chairman for the Department of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Sciences at the Cleveland Clinic. “However, niacin is almost never used any longer as a prescriptive medication for cholesterol-lowering. That is because we have many alternative approaches to lower cholesterol that help lower cardiovascular disease risks much better.”

But the latest study takes things a step further, suggesting that niacin in the form of its breakdown metabolite 4PY actually raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

“This study will put another nail in the coffin for the use of niacin in heart disease,” says Cheng-Han Chen, M.D.,board-certified interventional cardiologist and medical director of the Structural Heart Program at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, CA.

Who should avoid niacin?

Dr. Chen stresses that more studies need to be done to understand the right dosage in the relationship between niacin and cardiovascular disease. “For now, I would caution against routine intake of niacin supplements in the average person,” he says.

Keatley stresses that the latest study findings don’t suggest that you’ll raise your risk of developing heart disease after having fortified bread or cereal. “The RDAs for niacin is 14 to 18 milligrams, and the research involved doses of 500 to 2,000 milligrams,” he points out. “To get 500 milligrams of niacin from enriched flour—one of our largest sources of niacin—one would have to eat about 30 lbs every day.”

Instead, Keatley says that people who should pay attention to this research are those who are currently taking large doses of niacin for cholesterol management.

“The main takeaway is not that we should cut out our entire intake of niacin—that’s not a realistic or healthy approach,” Dr. Hazen says. “Given these findings, a discussion over whether a continued mandate of flour and cereal fortification with niacin in the U.S. could be warranted.”

Are there any benefits of niacin? 

Niacin as a nutrient has several benefits, especially when it’s taken at low doses. “It is essential for energy metabolism, neurological function, and the maintenance of healthy skin,” Keatley says. 

At higher doses, niacin has been used to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, since it can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. “However, its use for these purposes should be closely monitored by a healthcare provider,” Keatley says. 

But Dr. Chen stresses that the use of niacin in high doses to treat high cholesterol is falling out of favor. 

Does niacin help with clogged arteries?

This is tricky. Some older research has shown that niacin was effective in reducing plaque buildup in arteries. Specifically, studies have found that niacin can help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which was thought to protect against heart disease. 

But more recent data, including an analysis of 35,760 patients from 17 clinical trials, show that niacin has not been helpful in preventing any serious heart-related events like heart attack, stroke, or dying from heart disease. Researchers have largely concluded that niacin may be helpful for controlling cholesterol in people who can’t take statins—common cholesterol-lowering medications—but it doesn’t help with overall cardiovascular disease risk. 

“There is a so-called niacin paradox stemming from past use of niacin as a therapeutic agent to treat [high cholesterol],” Dr. Hazen says. “The paradox arose from clinical trial findings that while niacin reduces LDL cholesterol, it does not reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and has even shown evidence of increasing overall mortality.”

If you’re currently taking niacin to lower your risk of heart disease, Dr. Chen says it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor—but don’t panic, and don’t stop taking your medication until you speak with your provider. “It is too early to make recommendations regarding avoiding niacin based on these results,” he says. “For now, I would recommend just holding off on taking extra niacin supplementation.”

“The science of nutrition, like all good science, is evolving as we learn more and our tools get better,” Keatley says. “Huge doses of a vital vitamin may not be as good as we once thought, so it’s always best to get your vitamins from food sources and try your best not to go to extremes.” 

Dr. Hazen agrees. “Patients should consult with their doctors before taking over-the-counter supplements and focus on a diet rich in fruit and vegetables while avoiding excess carbohydrates,” he says.

Ten Science-Backed Herbs and Supplements to Help Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally

Many research studies demonstrate that using herbs to regulate blood sugar levels offers a comprehensive approach with numerous advantages. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that pregnant or nursing individuals, as well as those using traditional medication, should consult a healthcare professional before incorporating these herbs into their routine. Here are ten herbs supported by research to demonstrate their effectiveness. 

1. Cinnamon

Herbal remedies and spices have long been used to manage blood sugar levels, with cinnamon particularly effective. Studies demonstrate that incorporating cinnamon into your diet can help regulate blood sugar by lowering insulin resistance. Research has revealed that cinnamon can remarkably reduce blood sugar levels by 24% (Hasanzade et al., 2013).

2. Chromium Picolinate

Research has shown that taking chromium picolinate supplements can significantly lower high blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Studies have found that daily supplementation with 200-1,000 mcg of chromium as chromium picolinate can improve blood glucose control. Chromium picolinate is the most effective chromium supplementation (Broadhurst & Domenico, 2006).

3. Berberine

Berberine is known for its glucose-lowering effect, making it an essential consideration for individuals with diabetes. Studies have indicated that treatment with berberine is generally safe and does not result in an increased incidence of adverse events or hypoglycemia (Xie et al., 2022). Beyond diabetes management, berberine is also commonly used to address high cholesterol or triglyceride levels and high blood pressure (Suadoni & Atherton, 2021).

4. Turmeric 

According to a review of studies conducted in 2021, it is suggested that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, has the potential to lower blood sugar levels and minimize complications related to diabetes. The researchers also indicated that curcumin may play a role in preventing diabetes (Marton et al., 2021).

5. Bitter Melon 

Bitter melon is understood to help lower blood sugar levels due to its insulin-like properties, facilitating glucose absorption into the cells for energy. Research indicates that bitter melon may promote glucose uptake by the cells, enabling the body to process and store it effectively in the liver, muscles, and fat (Kim et al., 2022).


6. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a naturally occurring compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant and uniquely functions as both an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. It plays a significant role in regulating insulin sensitivity and secretion, making it an essential factor in glucose metabolism. This comprehensive review aims to explore ALA's chemical composition and biological functions in glucose metabolism, specifically focusing on its antioxidant properties and its pivotal role in modulating insulin sensitivity and secretion (Capece et al., 2022).

7. Cayenne Pepper 

Capsaicin, the active component in chilli peppers, has been found to increase serum insulin levels and reduce blood glucose levels. This effect is credited to its capacity to enhance pancreatic function and stimulate insulin secretion (Panchal et al., 2018).

8. Sage

Sage leaves have a long history of being used as a natural treatment for diabetes. Research involving human and animal studies suggests that they have the potential to reduce blood sugar levels (Ben Khedher et al., 2018).

9. Ginseng 

In studies involving both humans and animals, it has been observed that taking ginseng 40 minutes before a glucose challenge resulted in notable decreases in blood sugar levels in individuals with type II diabetes mellitus. Clinical and animal research have demonstrated that ginseng root can potentially alleviate high blood sugar levels in diabetic conditions (Luo & Luo, 2000).

10. Rosemary 

Rosemary contains rosmarinic and carnosic acids and powerful polyphenols (micronutrients) with reported antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-hyperglycemic properties. These specific molecules have been found to function similarly to insulin, helping to reduce overall glucose levels. Additionally, rosmarinic and carnosic acids have been shown to offer protection against the development of hyperlipidemia in animals with type 2 diabetes (Naimi et al., 2017).

Top 10 Longevity Foods That People Eat

 Longevity food

A longevity food refers to a type of food that is believed to contribute to a longer and healthier life when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. These foods are typically rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that support overall health and may help prevent age-related diseases.

Olive Oil 
Olive Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil is a staple of the Mediterranean diet, known for its cardiovascular benefits

Fish: Particularly fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids that support heart health and brain function.

Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, and other nuts are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to heart health and overall longevity.

Leafy Greens 
Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support cellular health and reduce inflammation.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals that may help protect against age-related decline.

Whole Grains 
Whole Grains: Foods like quinoa, brown rice, and oats provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients that promote digestive health and stable energy levels.

Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants, supporting heart health and overall longevity.

Yogurt: Rich in probiotics (beneficial bacteria), yogurt promotes gut health, which is linked to immune function and overall well-being.

When nutritious food is too expensive, there’s help available


More than 140,000 people in Allegheny County live with food insecurity — a lack of access to adequate food that prevents individuals from leading a healthy life — according to a recent analysis by Feeding America. Not everyone who is food insecure qualifies for government benefits, though, with almost half of the county’s food-insecure population living above the threshold for SNAP benefits. This is why food assistance resources are essential in providing everyone with access to healthy and nutritious food. 

If you are experiencing temporary or long-term food insecurity, here are resources that can help you navigate that difficult circumstance.

Can you get SNAP benefits?

Sometimes known as food stamps, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] offers support for those in low-income households who need help accessing food. 

To be eligible for SNAP benefits in Pennsylvania, your bank account must not exceed a certain level relative to your household size. Analyze your yearly income in relation to the number of people in the household using this table. There is no bar on college students receiving SNAP, if they otherwise qualify.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, you can apply online at COMPASS, over the phone or in person at your closest county assistance office, which can be found on You need to provide your name, birthdate, address, Social Security number and gross income.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank can aid you in completing the application. 

“Our call center can also assist people in a variety of ways, including helping people find pantries and food resources near them, signing up for SNAP and connecting them with our partners who can help with some of the root causes of food insecurity,” like housing, employment, medical bills and childcare, wrote Christa Johnson, the food bank’s communications specialist, in response to PublicSource’s questions. Their call center number is 412-460-3663 ext. 655.

How can you access food resources?

Whether you’re experiencing a temporary emergency or long-term food assistance needs, there are resources for you. 

The food bank, which works with partners to service 11 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania, provides food through various services in the area in addition to running their own programs and events. 

“Depending on the area of the distribution, neighbors can drive up and select grocery items, or they can walk up and select items,” wrote Johnson. A schedule of these events is available on their website.

In addition to these events, the food bank has partners that can include domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, after school programs and food pantries, to which they provide food.

The food bank has a finder tool on their website which allows you to identify local resources to meet your specific needs. 

According to David Carrico, the food bank’s vice president of information technology, this tool is unique in its ability to search for both food locations near you, and resources that are catered to needs or time constraints. “For instance, if they can only make it to a pantry after 4 p.m., this allows them to search for resources that satisfy those requirements,” he said.

Seniors and children can also access support for their unique needs. For seniors, the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program provides healthy groceries to qualifying residents, which can be picked up at food distribution events. There are also options for children that can assist individuals both inside and outside of school settings.  

Johnson also points toward the food bank’s Get Help Guide, which outlines many key options for those who need assistance.

When attending a food pantry or distribution event, it’s best to bring identification and address information, but workarounds exist for those who don’t have access to documents. 

“We are required to have people fill out a self-declaration of need which is a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture requirement. That form requires an address but if someone doesn’t have an address, we can forgo it,” wrote Johnson. “For anyone who doesn’t have an ID, they can bring in a piece of mail with their address on it.” The food bank can also document visits by unhoused individuals.

Are there other ways to fight hunger in Pittsburgh?

According to Feeding America, 92 billion pounds of food is wasted annually in the United States, while 44 million individuals are still food insecure. In Pittsburgh, some organizations are working to attack this discrepancy and ensure food that would be otherwise wasted can go to those who have difficulty accessing it.

412 Food Rescue addresses food insecurity by redirecting nutritious food that would otherwise be wasted to the community partners.

In addition to providing food to those in need, Just Harvest is a local non-profit organization that focuses on ending regional hunger by addressing the root causes of food insecurity. From SNAP, to tax filing assistance, Just Harvest helps people navigate benefits and access a variety of programs for low-income individuals.

They also provide a list of resources outside of their own services.

What can you do to help out?

If you’re looking to get involved in helping the community combat food insecurity, there are plenty of avenues. 

Look to donate goods from the most needed items, but food banks are particularly in need of monetary support due to food price inflation, according to Johnson.

“We love physical donations of food, but a monetary donation allows us to stretch a dollar and buy in bulk, providing more food to our neighbors in need,” wrote Johnson.

Many organizations have volunteering opportunities for those who want to contribute their time to helping. 412 Food Rescue lists many ways that you can volunteer, by delivering food or spreading the word. You can help out in your neighborhood by contacting your local pantry, soup kitchen or community center to find out what they need. According to Johnson, the food bank also has “a strong need for volunteers at our onsite pantry,” and you can sign up through their activity finder.

For a full list of how you can help out at the food bank, their website details every way to get involved.

Many of these organizations advocate for better public policy regarding food and work to unite communities. 

The food bank has a neighborhood council including people who have experienced food insecurity and an advocacy group targeting lawmakers. “The last way people can help with addressing food insecurity,” wrote Johnson, “is to help advocate.” 

5 Science-backed health benefits of garlic

 Many savory dishes feature garlic, a flavorful superfood. According to scientific data, garlic offers many amazing health benefits, such as supporting optimal heart health and protecting against cancer.

Known scientifically as Allium sativum, garlic is a culinary staple and an impressive powerhouse of bioactive compounds with beneficial effects on human health.

Garlic is a great source of potassium, which helps with muscle contraction and heart function.

Garlic also contains selenium that your body uses for reproduction and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) production.

Additionally, garlic contains manganese, a mineral that is used by the body for building strong bones and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Here are five science-backed benefits of incorporating garlic into a balanced diet:

Supports optimal cardiovascular health

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings From the National Academy of Sciences, consuming garlic boosts the production of hydrogen sulfide.

This bioactive compound acts as a powerful antioxidant and assists with cellular signaling to increase circulation and relax blood vessels. This could explain why garlic has long been known as a natural treatment that can also prevent heart disease, which includes atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.

Helps reverse or treat metabolic syndrome

A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements revealed that consuming crushed raw garlic significantly improved fasting blood sugar, waist circumference, cholesterol levels (both by lowering triglyceride levels and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels) and blood pressure in those with metabolic syndrome. 

Metabolic syndrome is a deadly collection of comorbidities, including high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and excessive abdominal fat.

Helps protect against different types of cancer

According to a meta-analysis published in the journal Gastroenterology, consuming vegetables from the Allium family, which includes garlic, onions, leeks and chives, significantly reduces someone's risk of developing stomach cancer.

Several studies have also suggested that garlic consumption can reduce the risk of cancer in the brain, esophagus, lungs and prostate. 

Helps with diabetes management

A meta-analysis published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research evaluated nine randomized controlled trials looking at garlic consumption in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The results revealed that there were statistically significant improvements in blood sugar and other key diabetic biomarkers when the subjects took garlic supplements, which contained a compound called allicin, with daily amounts ranging from 0.05 to 1.5 grams.

Helps protect against osteoarthritis

A cross-sectional study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders revealed that women who regularly consume garlic and other Allium vegetables had a significantly reduced risk of hip osteoarthritis.

The authors suggested that this could be due to diallyl disulfide, a compound in garlic believed to repress enzymes that break down skeletal bone matrixes.

Additionally, diallyl disulfide is well-known due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, contributing to garlic’s ability to support optimal cardiovascular health and protect against various diseases.

Other reported benefits of garlic include a reduced risk of preterm delivery, alcohol-induced liver damage and the common cold.

How to incorporate garlic into your daily routine

Now that you know about the health benefits of garlic, how much garlic do you need to eat to reap these benefits?

The exact amount isn’t confirmed yet.

According to a study published in the journal Proceedings From the National Academy of Sciences, a concentration of garlic extract equivalent to about two medium-sized garlic cloves per day should be enough.

That may sound like a lot, but garlic is a versatile ingredient. You can easily add it to almost any meal, such as homemade salad dressings, hummus, chicken, fish, meat, poultry, stir-fry, omelets and more.

Here are more ways to add garlic to your regular diet:

Eat it raw

This isn't the most palatable way to consume garlic, but research, such as an August 2013 study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, suggests that garlic loses its powerful anti-inflammatory properties once it has been heated.

Know the right way to prepare garlic

If you are going to cook garlic, chop, slice, or smash the cloves for at least 10 minutes before putting it on the heat.

Preparing garlic this way initiates an enzymatic process that maximizes its health-boosting benefits.

Try an aged garlic extract

If you can't stomach the taste of fresh garlic or have trouble with it due to indigestion, try a high-quality aged garlic extract instead.

Make garlic bread at home

Follow the steps below to make garlic bread:

  1. Chop one clove of garlic.
  2. Mix the garlic with a teaspoon of your preferred oil.
  3. Toast a piece of whole-wheat bread.
  4. Spread the garlic and oil mixture on the toast while it is still warm.

Store garlic cloves in the pantry or a cupboard in your kitchen. Room-temperature places that remain cool and dark are the perfect places to store garlic.

If you're worried about having smelly "garlic breath," chew on raw mint. You can also try eating lettuce, fennel seeds, or apples after a garlicky lunch or dinner.

If you have a heart condition and are taking heart medications, keep in mind that garlic and garlic extracts may interact with certain drugs, such as blood thinners.

‘Blindsided’ Jack Black Axes Tour After Bandmate Cheers Trump Assassination Attempt

 Actor Jack Black released an official statement after receiving backlash for comments one of his bandmates made about the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

The 54-year-old actor was touring in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend with his band, Tenacious D, when the controversial remarks were made. Black presented bandmate Kyle Gass with an opportunity to make a birthday wish, to which Gass replied from the stage, “Don’t miss Trump next time.”

His comments have resulted in a backlash against the band and Black himself. Now the “School of Rock” actor is saying he didn’t know Gass would respond that way and that he was “blindsided” by the remarks. Black also said he would no longer tour with the band.

“I would never condone hate speech or encourage political violence in any form,” Black said in a statement, per USA Today. “After much reflection, I no longer feel it is appropriate to continue the Tenacious D tour, and all future creative plans are on hold. I am grateful to the fans for their support and understanding.”

The incident came just weeks after Black attended a fundraiser for President Joe Biden. 

“A few days ago, my manager called me and said George Clooney and Julia Roberts wanted me to help out the president, and speak here tonight, and I said, ‘I am in. When and where?’” the actor said at the time.

“And then they hit me with the big one. They said, ‘Jack, you can’t go. You have nothing to wear. Your good suit is in the cleaners.’ Well, were they wrong? Because I had this to wear, my kick-ass American flag overalls — most patriotic outfit of all times. And that shut ’em up.”

The Hollywood fundraiser led by Clooney was the same one at which the “Ocean’s 11” actor said he realized that Biden was not mentally fit to run for re-election. Shortly after Biden’s disastrous debate performance, Clooney published an op-ed in the New York Times which highlighted his desire for Biden to leave the race.

“The one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can,” Clooney wrote. “It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal‘ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Snipers Were Inside The Building Where Gunman Shot At Trump: Report

 A new report indicates that three snipers were stationed inside the very building the attempted assassin used to fire shots off at former President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday.

The attempted assassin, Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, managed to pierce Trump’s right ear, narrowly missing his head, before Secret Service killed the shooter. Tragically, one Trump supporter, a 50-year-old father of two named Corey Comparatore, was killed. Two other rally attendees were critically injured.

As part of the security precautions for the Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, three “counter-snipers” from Beaver County were stationed inside the building “looking out windows toward the Trump rally,” a CBS report said.

A local outlet called, citing law enforcement sources, said local law enforcement from three counties were tasked with securing the areas surrounding the Secret Service perimeter. Officials said they were short staffed and not prepared to handle such a big undertaking, and notably, no one was stationed on the roof of the building. 

The CBS report indicates that one of the snipers saw the would-be assassin looking up at the roof. The suspect then came back a second time and “sat down and looked at his phone,” the outlet reported. One of the snipers took a photo of him due to his suspicious actions. The suspected shooter left, and then came back a third time with a backpack and walked toward the back of the building.

It’s unclear how the shooter accessed the roof of the building, but some officers believe he used an air conditioning unit to help boost him up, the report said. Once on the roof, officers called for backup, but it was too late.

“Stunning new details from CBS News on how secret service snipers noticed the shooter before the Trump rally in Butler, PA on Saturday,” CBS News’ Olivia Rinaldi posted to X, Monday night. “There were three snipers stationed INSIDE the building the shooter was on, according to a local law enforcement officer with direct knowledge.”

“One of the snipers inside saw Crooks outside looking up at the roof observing the building and then disappeared, according to local law enforcement,” she continued. “Then Crooks came back, sat down and was looking on his phone and at that point one of the snipers took a picture of him.”

“Then Crooks took out a range finder and the sniper radio-ed to the command post.  Crooks disappeared again and then came back a third time with a backpack. The snipers called in with information that he had a backpack and said he was walking towards the back of the building,” Rinaldi detailed.

“Officers believe that Crooks might have used an air conditioning unit to get on top of the roof. By the time other officers came for backup he had climbed on top of the building and was positioned above and behind the snipers inside the building,” she reported.

“Two other officers who heard the sniper’s call came and tried to get onto the roof. State police started rushing to the scene. But that time a secret service sniper had already killed Crooks, according to the law enforcement officer,” Rinaldi said.

“The officer said also Crooks had an IED in his pocket in addition to the explosive materials in his car. Questions remain about HOW this was possible that several law enforcement officers had eyes on the shooter before and reported his behavior… yet this still happened,” the report added.