TORONTO, CANADA — 9 people are dead and 16 are injured after the driver of a van plowed into multiple pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, Acting Police Chief Peter Yuen said.
At approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, a van mounted the sidewalk on Toronto’s Yonge St., just south of Finch Ave. The van, which appeared to belong to the rental company Ryder, continued southbound until just south of Sheppard Ave. Witnesses describe seeing it hit multiple pedestrians.Were people killed or injured?
The driver, who authorities said hit pedestrians on a busy street north of downtown Toronto, was in custody after leaving a trail of destruction stretching up to a mile, officials said. The van has been located, Toronto Police media representative Gary Long said.
The incident happened in the North York area at the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, police said.
The suspect covered between a half-mile and a mile in the vehicle, said Stephen Powell, district chief for Toronto Fire.What we know so far after a van struck pedestrians in Toronto:
What happened to the suspect?
The alleged driver was apprehended by police on Poyntz Ave., which is just south of Sheppard. He is currently in police custody.
Who is the suspect?
The suspect’s identity remains unknown. Witnesses describe seeing police arrest a bald man with a light complexion — a description that has been corroborated with footage from the scene.
Was this terrorism?
Police have not commented. Both Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have separately stated that more information is needed to determine if this was an act of terrorism.
A Pennsylvania couple is charged with first-degree murder after they allegedly beat a 4-year-old boy to death for spilling his breakfast cereal.
Murder charges are filed against Lisa Smith, 19, and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Keiff King, after an autopsy on Smith’s son, Tahjir. The child died from multiple blunt-force injuries, thermal injuries and shock.
Tahjir, 4, died on January 22 after Smith and King inflicted a “violent, sustained beating” on the young child to punish him for spilling his food, according to District Attorney Kevin Steele.
The boy’s mother confessed that she and King “laid the boy on the bed with his pants and underwear removed, grabbed a blue Levi’s sandal and repeatedly struck him.”
Smith admitted that King “punched Tahjir in the back of the head” during the brutal beating and, when the child became unresponsive, placed him in a scalding hot shower to try and wake him up.
Eventually, Smith, who was 6-months pregnant at the time, called the police. Responding paramedics rushed Tahjir to a nearby hospital where he was tragically pronounced dead.
Both King and Smith are currently being held without bail. They are scheduled to appear in court on April 18 where they will enter their pleas.
HOUSTON, Texas — A man who broke into a truck is dead after being shot by a resident in northeast Houston, police say.
This happened in the driveway of a home on Langley near Lera just after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities say people in the home heard what sounded like someone breaking into a pickup truck in the driveway.
That’s when someone grabbed a gun and went outside to see what was going on.
Police say that person saw the suspect breaking into his truck and confronted him. He then allegedly shot and killed the suspect.
Officials questioned the homeowners.
Speaking briefly to the police, they said that they did not know the person breaking into the truck.
The case will now go to the district attorney to determine if this is a justifiable homicide or if charges should be filed.
NEW YORK City — Five people were killed when a private helicopter with six people on board crashed into the East River in New York City on Sunday, officials said.
Three people transported to area hospitals after the crash later died, New York Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said. Two others were pronounced dead at the scene.
The pilot freed himself and was taken to a hospital in “OK” condition, New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigron told reporters Sunday night. The pilot was later named 33-year-old Richard Vance.
The cause of the crash, which occurred at about 7 p.m. north of Roosevelt Island between Queens and Manhattan, remained unclear.
The chopper, which was operated by Liberty Helicopters, was being used for a photo shoot, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said. A message left with the New York City-based company seeking comment was not immediately returned.
The video captured the incident when the chopper landing in the water with its rotor blades still spinning. Moments later, the aircraft had turned sideways.
Nigron described removing the passengers from the chopper as “one of the most difficult parts” of the search and rescue operation.
Everyone but the pilot was “tightly harnessed,” he said. “These harnesses had to be cut and removed to get them off this helicopter, which was upside down at the time and completely submerged.”
That water was 50 feet deep, below 40 degrees and moving at 4 mph, he added.
“It took a while for the divers to get the people out,” Nigron said.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan — Two people were fatally shot Friday after a gunman opened fire at Campbell Hall dormitory at Central Michigan University, campus police said. Campus police identified James Eric Davis Jr. as a suspect in the shootings.
Last seen wearing mustard yellow jeans and a blue hoodie, the 19-year-old man is still at large and considered armed and dangerous, according to police.
The shooting happened Friday morning on the dorm’s fourth floor.
The deceased are not students, and campus police said they believe the shootings rose from a domestic dispute. There were no other injuries.
Officials at McLaren Central Michigan hospital said the school was on lockdown.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said on Twitter that the “priority right now is the safety of those still on campus.”
The Mount Pleasant police and Isabella County Sheriff’s Department are assisting university police, officials said.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are a route to assist in the investigation, according to a tweet.
The university, which has roughly 20,000 students, is about two hours northwest of Detroit.
The shooting is the 12th school shooting this year after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
“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.
TORONTO, CANADA -- 9 people are dead and 16 are injured after the driver of a van plowed into multiple pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, Acting Police Chief Peter Yuen said. At approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, a van mounted the sidewalk o...Read More
A Pennsylvania couple is charged with first-degree murder after they allegedly beat a 4-year-old boy to death for spilling his breakfast cereal. Murder charges are filed against Lisa Smith, 19, and her boyfriend, 26-year-old Keiff King, ...Read More
HOUSTON, Texas -- A man who broke into a truck is dead after being shot by a resident in northeast Houston, police say. This happened in the driveway of a home on Langley near Lera just after 11 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities say people in the home ...Read More
NEW YORK City -- Five people were killed when a private helicopter with six people on board crashed into the East River in New York City on Sunday, officials said. Three people transported to area hospitals after the crash later died, Ne...Read More
MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan -- Two people were fatally shot Friday after a gunman opened fire at Campbell Hall dormitory at Central Michigan University, campus police said. Campus police identified James Eric Davis Jr. as a suspect in the shootings. ...Read More