“Copycat” threats have been made at several South Florida schools in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said today.
“We will respond to every threat. Every threat we receive, we will not classify it as a copycat or prank call,” Israel said at a news conference. “We will respond in full and investigate it.”
But “any call that is made fictitiously, any fake call, any call that is made to take out resources at a time like this and place them in places where we don’t need to be, we will do the full power of the sheriff’s office. We’ll investigate this and charge anyone accordingly with the maximum charge we possibly could for doing something so horrific, so pathetic.”
“Everybody started running up the stairs,” student Kelsey Friend told “Good Morning America” today. “I was being shoved and then I started hearing gunshots.
“I had talked to my teacher and said, ‘I am scared,’ and then we heard gunshots and he unlocked the door and let us in,” she continued, referring to her teacher.
“When he opened the door, he had to re-lock it, so we can stay safe. And he didn’t get the chance to,” Friend said, noting that her teacher was lying on the floor.
Besides the 17 killed, more than a dozen others were injured, some critically.
Authorities arrested 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman over disciplinary problems, in the aftermath of what has become the deadliest school shooting since an attack on an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
He had been barred from carrying a backpack on campus before the expulsion, according to law enforcement sources.
Cruz — who took an Uber to the school on Valentine’s Day, according to Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie — slipped away from the campus by blending in with other students who were trying to escape, police said. He was later apprehended.
The FBI learned of a comment made on YouTube last year that said, “‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter,’” Robert Lasky, special agent in charge of the FBI Miami Division, said at today’s news conference.
Officials now believe Cruz was the source.
“No other information was included in that comment which would indicate a time, location, or the identity of the person who made the comment,” Lasky added. “The FBI conducted database reviews, checks, wasn’t able to further able to identify the person who made the comment.”
After the suspect stormed the school, smoke from the gunfire set off the fire alarm, according to the superintendent.
The suspect had an AR-15-style rifle that had apparently been legally purchased, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.
Jim Lewis, the attorney for the family that took Cruz in, said the family knew the suspect had an AR-15 but that it was “in a locked gun safe.”
This family took Cruz, who was good friends with their son, into their home after his mother died last November, Lewis said.
“They’re hurt and shocked,” Lewis said. “They’re just like everybody else, trying to make some sense of this and trying to figure out why.”
“There were many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed,” President Donald Trump tweeted this morning
Though the shooter had been expelled, the president said such behavior must be reported: “again and again.”
Cruz would often post videos on social media of his killing or harming animals, Mutchler said, adding that Cruz also once threatened a female friend of his.
Cruz was booked into the Broward County Jail and charged with 17 counts of pre-meditated murder. Cruz has been answering investigators’ questions, two law enforcement sources told. He will appear in court at 2 p.m. today.
Witnesses reported a barrage of gunfire around 2:40 p.m., near dismissal time. Video posted on social media showed students were fleeing from the shooting with their hands in the air. One student said he had to climb a fence to escape.
“My teacher thought it was a firecracker, but then a gunshot went off again, so I started running out of my class,” a student, who only gave his first name, Amar, said in a Instagrampost.
He said his teacher tried to usher him back into the classroom, but he was afraid of getting trapped in the building.
“I couldn’t. I had to go,” he said. “I jumped the gate as quick as I can.”
Students and parents were still close to the scene at the large high school several hours after the shooting, waiting for updates from police. Some were seen kneeling and crying while others held pictures of missing classmates. School football coach and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate Aaron Feis was among those dead, Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Ryan Mackman, who went to the school with Feis and graduated with him in 1999, called him a “hero.”
The school will be closed the rest of the week, and grief counselors will be made available for students beginning this morning, officials said.
The FBI has encouraged anyone with potentially useful pictures or videos of the incident to upload them online.
SACRAMENTO, California — A day after sexual harassment accusations against LA-area Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia became public, she said Friday morning she is taking a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence while the allegations are investigated.
In a statement, Garcia, a Democrat from Bell Gardens, again denied trying to grope a legislative aide and a lobbyist, the two men whose accusations were first reported Thursday by Politico.
“Upon reflection of the details alleged, I am certain I did not engage in the behavior I am accused of,” Garcia’s statement read. “However, as I’ve said before, any claims about sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard of accountability.
“Therefore, I am voluntarily taking an immediate unpaid leave from my position in the state Assembly, including any accompanying committee assignments, so as not to serve as a distraction or in any way influence the process of this investigation. I implore the Assembly Rules Committee to conduct a thorough and expeditious investigation, and I look forward to getting back to work on behalf of my constituents and for the betterment of California.”
Garcia, who has represented Assembly District 58 since 2013, has been a leading voice in the #MeToo movement in Sacramento and was one of the women who signed an open letter last year decrying sexual harassment of women by powerful men in California government.
MISSOURI(state) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) says that officers responded to almost 350 crashes in southeastern Missouri in less than 24 hours while winter weather conditions made roadways impossible to cross.
According to MSHP, between noon on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday, troopers responded to 348 crashes and 534 calls for service. These crashes left two people dead and more than 50 injured.
MSHP says that the actual number of crashes was likely much higher because the 348 figures only included counties within Troop D, which does not include Rolla.
The worst of the crashes occurred on I-44 in Marshfield. Police say that between 50 and 100 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash that happened near mile marker 106. A 55-year-old California-based truck driver was killed in the crash. Though the interstate was shut down for about 12 hours for cleanup and recovery, transportation officials were able to reopen I-44 around 5 a.m. today.
Another twelve-vehicle pileup on I-44 at mile marker 138.2 around 3 p.m. claimed the life of 63-year-old motorist Deborah Anderson. Four tractor-trailers were involved in this crash.
Approximately 30 vehicles piled up on eastbound I-44 at mile marker 186 in Rolla, according to Missouri troopers.
LOS ANGELES, California — An earthquake occurred in Southern California. Officials say there have been no reports of damage or injury. The United States Geological Survey reports that the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.0 occurred just after 2 a.m. Thursday. It was centered about eight miles northeast of Trabuco Canyon, California, which is located 31 miles southeast of Anaheim. The depth on the quake was about 6 miles.
The shallow depth could be why mine worker Jesse Valdez thought it was initially a landslide.
“I felt the ground shake, a sound like an explosion, felt a rumble, and next thing I know everything was shaking all over the place,” Valdez said, as he ate breakfast at Corky’s Kitchen and Bakery in Rancho Cucamonga.
The quake was reportedly felt as far north as Santa Clarita and as far south as San Diego.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tells that there have been no reports of damage or injury.
Still, hundreds of people who were jarred awake tweeted on Twitter to discuss the earthquake.
The Southern California earthquake comes two days after a magnitude 7.9 quake in the Gulf of Alaska triggered a tsunami warning for Alaska’s coastal communities.
BENTON, Kentucky — Authorities say at least five people were shot Tuesday morning at a southwestern Kentucky High School. According to officials with Marshall County Emergency Management, the suspect in the incident at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, has been arrested.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted soon after the incident that at least one of the victims died because of the shooting but said there is “much yet unknown” as first responders continue to operate at the school. Kentucky State Police have confirmed one dead.
Kentucky Rep. James Comer told that the shooter in custody is a student.
Authorities say seven people have been taken to hospitals. Darlene Lynn of Marshall County Emergency Management tells that some of the wounded were flown by helicopter for medical treatment. Four patients were transported by medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Life Flight spokesperson Jerry Jones told. Their ages and extent of their injuries were unknown.
Nearly 100 children ran out of Marshall County High School seeking safety, said Mitchell Garland, who rushed outside of his business when he heard about the shooting.
A half-dozen ambulances and numerous police cars converged on the school. Officers in black fatigues carrying assault rifles showed up as well. Federal authorities also responded, and Gov. Matt Bevin ran out of the Capitol to rush to the school. Parents left their cars on both sides of an adjacent road, desperately trying to find their children.
Kentucky State Police Detective Jody Cash said during a phone interview that the “situation is secure and is no longer active.” Authorities have no reason to think there are any other suspects.
A Marshall County deputy arrested the shooter, according to state police. The FBI is en route to the scene.
The Marshall County Tribune-Courier reports students were being bused late Tuesday morning to nearby North Marshall Middle School, where parents could pick them up.
A Marshall County Schools staffer reached by phone told the school’s superintendent is expected to release a statement shortly.
“This is a tremendous tragedy and speaks to the heartbreak present in our communities,” Bevin said in a statement released on Twitter.
Marshall County High School is about 30 minutes from Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, where a 1997 mass shooting killed three and injured five.
At least eight people were killed Tuesday when a rainstorm sent mud and debris coursing through Montecito neighborhoods. It left crews to scramble through clogged roadways and downed trees to search for victims.
The flood that washed over Santa Barbara County early Tuesday was worst-case for a community that was destroyed by the Thomas fire only a few weeks earlier. In just a matter of minutes, pounding rain overwhelmed the south-facing slopes above Montecito and flooded a creek that leads to the ocean, sending mud and massive boulders rolling into residential neighborhoods, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason
“It’s going to be worse than anyone imagined for our area,” he said. “Following our fire, this is the worst-case scenario.”
According to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, eight people were killed and at least twenty-five were injured after a heavy band of rain struck around 2:30 a.m. causing “waist-high” mudflows, said Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. She could not offer any specifics about the deceased, except that all eight had died in Montecito.
Rescue personnel has yet to even make it north of Highway 192, which is closer to soil scorched by last month’s wildfire. Burned areas are less capable of absorbing water, making them even more susceptible to flooding and mudslides.
There are no estimates on how many people were trapped or how many homes were damaged. The search for survivors was still underway Tuesday afternoon, with many places inaccessible.
The U.S. Coast Guard also sent rescue helicopters into the area Tuesday morning, lifting several people from collapsed homes or rooftops that stood above swirling mud and water.
The 101 Freeway was shut down in both directions for more than 30 miles in the Thomas fire burn area because of the flooding, spanning an area from Santa Barbara to Ventura, according to the California Highway Patrol. Sections of Routes 33 and 150 were also closed in Ventura County, according to the Sheriff’s Department. There was no estimate for when the roadway might reopen, a Caltrans spokesman said Tuesday afternoon.
NORTH HILLS, Los Angeles – A shooting in North Hills left an off-duty officer injured, and a suspect wounded in an officer-involved shooting this morning. The second such incident took place in hours for the San Fernando Valley community.
A call came in at 1:01 a.m. about an off-duty officer needing help around the same time officers received reports of someone being shot, according to Sgt. Andrew Kukla of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mission Division.
Responding officers located the off-duty officer and the wounded suspect who was believed to have been shot by the officer at 8923 Orion Ave., Kukla said.
Both the officer and the suspect were taken to hospitals and were in stable condition, according to Kukla. Information about the officer’s injuries was not immediately reported.
It was not immediately clear what led up to the conflict between the off-duty officer and the suspect.
The shooting occurred nearly two hours after another officer-involved shooting about a mile away. That no-hit shooting occurred when officers went about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday to the Palm Tree Inn Motel at 8424 Sepulveda Blvd. in response to a report of a man shooting a gun off in the motel’s courtyard.
Officers shot at the man, but he was not struck, Kukla said. The suspect gave in and was taken into custody.
The danger zone is expanded around the erupting volcano on Monday, Say Indonesian officials. The volcano is hurling ash 9,800 feet into the atmosphere, and its explosions could be heard over seven miles away.
The lava is welling up in the crater as there are reflections of a reddish-yellow glow in the ash plumes, experts say. Early Monday the volcano’s alert has been raised to the highest level and expanded the danger zone to six miles. It said that a larger eruption is possible.
Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference in Jakarta that the extension of the danger zone affects 22 villages and about 90,000 to 100,000 people. He said about 40,000 people have evacuated but others have not left because they feel safe or don’t want to abandon their livestock.
“Authorities will comb the area to persuade them,” he said. “If needed we will forcibly evacuate them.” About 25,000 people were already living in evacuation centers after an increase in tremors from the mountain in September sparked an evacuation.
Lava rising in the crater “will certainly spill over to the slopes,” Sutopo said.
The volcano’s last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.
The Indonesian disaster agency called on 100,000 to evacuate and expanded the danger zone after the eruption of Mount Agung.
Authorities raised the alert to the highest level on Monday following the increased activity over the weekend. The move to close the airport came after tests showed the volcano’s ash had reached its airspace, making it dangerous to fly.
The eruption closed Bali’s main airport. Hundreds of flights were canceled, leaving about 59,000 tourists stranded on the Island. The closure will continue until Tuesday, but officials said they are closely monitoring the situation and will determine every six hours whether the airport should remain closed.
“We now have to find a hotel and spend more of our money that they’re not going to cover us for when we get home, unfortunately,” said Canadian tourist Brandon Olsen.
Officials at the Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement Monday that a volcanic eruption is “imminent” though the exact scale remains unclear.
“Continuing plumes of smoke are occasionally accompanied by explosive eruptions and the sound of weak blasts that can be heard up to 12 km (seven miles) from the peak,” the statement read.
“Rays of fire are increasingly visible from night to the following day. This indicates the potential for a larger eruption is imminent,” it added.
TEHAMA COUNTY, California — At least five people, including a gunman, were killed in a shooting Tuesday morning which started at a home and moved to an elementary school in Tehama County, the sheriff’s department said.
Multiple shots were fired at about 8 a.m. at Rancho Tehama School on Stagecoach Road on the outskirts of Corning, northwest of Chico, Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.
One student was shot at the school and taken to a hospital. But there are no children killed. A second child and a woman were also shot inside a truck as they drove past the gunman, Johnston said.
The child inside the truck suffered non-life-threatening wounds, and the woman had serious, life-threatening injuries, Johnston said. There is no word on the condition of the boy shot inside the school.
Ten injured were being treated at area hospitals. Five people — at least three children — were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico. Three of those patients have been treated and released, hospital officials said.
The extent of the victims’ injuries has not been released.
Multiple 911 calls came in to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department at 7:52 a.m. of shots fired with a dead man in a neighborhood on Bobcat Lane near Fawn Lane in upper Rancho Tehama Reserve.
Soon after, multiple 911 calls indicated number of shots were fired at several locations, including Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
The gunman, whose name has not been released, stole a white Ford F-150 where he initially began firing and went on a “shooting rampage throughout the community.”
He crashed that truck and carjacked a driver for his small sedan. The suspect drove away in the car, and at some point, drove past a woman taking her children to school and fired gunshots “without provocation” into their truck, according to Johnston.
The woman suffered life-threatening injuries, and a boy inside the truck was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
He was “randomly picking targets” as he shot at 7 shooting scenes in the area, Johnston said.
“The shooter targeted the school from outside the school and shot inside the school with multiple rounds,” Johnston said.
While the gunman was in the second stolen vehicle, he shot at two officers near the school, who returned fire and killed the suspect, according to Johnston.
Officers found a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns that were with the gunman, Johnston said.
More than 100 law officers are looking through the shooting.
“People died here today, folks,” Johnston said. “This is a very tragic event for all of us. There are children involved, it is an emotional thing. I am personally grateful to the men who engaged the suspect.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Uber has partnered with NASA to help it develop air traffic management systems for its flying taxi initiatives, chief product officer Jeff Holden said on Wednesday. Holden made the announcement at Web Summit, a technology conference in Lisbon.
A rendering of an UberAir vehicle is shown in an image provided to CNN by Uber.
Uber previously unveiled its plans to introduce flying taxi fleets, known as UberAir, in April.
The four-person ridesharing flights will not become a reality anytime soon, but Holden said there are plans for demonstrations of the flying car network in Los Angeles, in addition to previously announced cities, Dallas and Dubai, in 2020.
The tech firm has agreements to work with other aviation companies, but this is the first time it has formally partnered with a federal U.S. agency. Uber’s partnership is part of NASA’s Space Act Agreement, a consortium of industry players working to ensure “safe and efficient operations” of its taxis and other small unmanned aerial systems flying at low altitudes.
“These are exactly the kind of partners we need to make UberAir a reality,” Holden said of NASA.
NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the project.
Los Angeles will make for an interesting test bed for the flying vehicles, known for its unmanageable traffic.
Uber plans that trips from the Los Angeles airport to the Staples Center during rush hour will take less than 30 minutes — down from 1 hour 20 minutes by car. It is predicted to offer rides in the flying taxis for prices comparable to its UberX service.
The goal is to make transportation fast, and inexpensive. It hopes the service will be ready for commercial activities “several years ahead” of the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
"Copycat" threats have been made at several South Florida schools in the wake of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said today. "We will respond to every thr...Read More
SACRAMENTO, California -- A day after sexual harassment accusations against LA-area Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia became public, she said Friday morning she is taking a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence while the allegations are investigated. &nb...Read More
MISSOURI(state) -- The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) says that officers responded to almost 350 crashes in southeastern Missouri in less than 24 hours while winter weather conditions made roadways impossible to cross.
LOS ANGELES, California -- An earthquake occurred in Southern California. Officials say there have been no reports of damage or injury. The United States Geological Survey reports that the quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.0 occurred just after...Read More
BENTON, Kentucky -- Authorities say at least five people were shot Tuesday morning at a southwestern Kentucky High School. According to officials with Marshall County Emergency Management, the suspect in the incident at Marshall County High School in...Read More