Review Category : National News

Father of Santa Barbara Shooting Victim Sobs, Rails Against Son’s Death

Alex Stone/ABC News(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — The father of a student gunned down in the Santa Barbara rampage raged through tears at the “insanity” that left six students dead along with the gunman.

Richard Martinez’s outburst came outside a sheriff’s department after his son Chris, 20, was confirmed to be among the shooting victims.

“Our family has a message for every family out there. You don’t think it will happen to your child, until it does,” Martinez said. Choking on tears, he added, “His death has left our family lost and broken.”

“Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say stop this madness,” Martinez said.

“We should say to ourselves, not one more,” he said before collapsing in tears and walking off.

Martinez says he talked to his son just 45 minutes before he was shot and killed inside the I V Mart.

He said his son’s roommate tried to revive him, but he died at the scene.

Elliot Rodger, a lonely student who posted YouTube videos detailing his inability to get a girlfriend, is the suspect in the shooting. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.

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Oldest American Turned 115 on Saturday

ABC News(DETROIT) — America’s oldest citizen, Jeralean Talley, turned 115 on Saturday.

Talley is considered a “supercentenarian” by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks some of the oldest people in the world. She is officially believed to be the second oldest person in the world, after another woman in Japan.

Talley was born in 1899 and says she still is able to care for herself and get around on her own, as long as she has a walker. She lives with her 76-year-old daughter in the same house she has lived in since the 1960s. According to the Detroit Free Press, Talley has been active in her old age, even going fishing on her birthday Saturday, and only gave up bowling at the age of 104.

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Oldest American Turned 115 on Saturday

ABC News(DETROIT) — America’s oldest citizen, Jeralean Talley, turned 115 on Saturday.

Talley is considered a “supercentenarian” by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks some of the oldest people in the world. She is officially believed to be the second oldest person in the world, after another woman in Japan.

Talley was born in 1899 and says she still is able to care for herself and get around on her own, as long as she has a walker. She lives with her 76-year-old daughter in the same house she has lived in since the 1960s. According to the Detroit Free Press, Talley has been active in her old age, even going fishing on her birthday Saturday, and only gave up bowling at the age of 104.

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Possible Santa Barbara Shooter Called Loneliness ‘Darkest Hell’

Alex Stone/ABC News(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — The California college student whose family believes he is the Santa Barbara gunman described himself as the “ultimate gentleman,” but was baffled – and angry – why the “many beautiful girls here… are so repulsed by me.”

Elliot Rodger, who was identified by his family’s lawyer as the man who they believe killed six and wounded seven in a furious shooting spree Friday, said in a blog that his loneliness was the “darkest hell.”

Rodger, 22, clearly identifies himself on several YouTube videos and a blog lamenting his lonely life.

“I’ve been alone for a very long time. I’ve been attending college in Santa Barbara for 2 and half years now. And in those 2.5 years I’ve experienced nothing but loneliness and misery,” he said in a YouTube video.

“It doesn’t make sense. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you,” Rodger said in a message to women in general. “I dress nice. I’m sophisticated. I’m magnificent. I have a nice car… I’m the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls you never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”

Alan Schifman, the lawyer for the Rodger family, said he was being treated by several therapists and recently his parents and a social worker had become so alarmed by his behavior and his videos that they had reported him to police.

His loneliness was agony for the young student.

“I see so many beautiful, blonde haired girls. So many beautiful blonde-haired girls walking around everywhere. In your revealing shorts. Your cascading blonde hair. Your pretty faces. And I want one for a girlfriend… I’m 22 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’m still a virgin. I’ve never had the pleasure of having sex with a girl. Sleeping with a girl. Kissing a girl. I’ve never even held a girl’s hand,” he said in a video.

Rodger’s most ominous video made shortly before Friday’s shooting spree was titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.”

“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me,” he says. He added that it was to be his last video.

While Rodger struggled with loneliness, his father Peter Rodger moved among the glamor of Hollywood. Peter Rodger was an assistant director on one of the Hunger Games movies.

His son recounts his efforts to fit in.

“I put a lot of effort into dressing nice. These sunglasses here, were $300. Giorgio Armani,” he said in a video.

He recalled how “unfair” it was during a recent shopping trip to Trader Joe’s when a “disgusting loser” entered the store “with these two beautiful blonde girls at his side.”

“I was of course all alone as I always am,” he said.

Rodger also wrote a blog post in April titled “Lonely in Santa Barbara.”

“Being lonely in a beautiful place like Santa Barbara is truly a horrible experience,” it read. “As I’ve said many times, a beautiful environment can be the darkest hell if you have to experience it all alone, especially while having to watch other men walking around with their girlfriends. I wish girls were attracted to me. I don’t know why they aren’t.”

Police haven’t confirmed whether the person who posted the videos or the man in them is the suspect in the Santa Barbara shooting. Schifman said the family contacted police about the videos, which led to an investigation.

Schifman said Rodger was diagnosed as being a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome and had faced bullying through much of his life as he had trouble making friends.

Police haven’t released the identities of the victims. Seven others were injured in the shootings.

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Severe Weather Alerts in Central, Western US

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Severe weather alerts are in effect over much of the central part of the United States on Saturday, with four states at risk of severe thunderstorms and/or flooding.

According to the National Weather Service, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Texas are all are risk of severe weather on Saturday. Heavy rain in Texas and New Mexico could be good news for areas that had been suffering from a drought. The four inches that some parts of western Texas is projected to receive is more than the region has seen in nearly a year. In Roswell, N.M., the NWS is reporting three times as much rain in the last 24 hours as during the previous year.

Hail and tornadoes are also possible in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, at least through 10 p.m. CDT.

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Man Shot in Parking Lot Outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) — A 25-year-old man was fatally shot in a parking lot near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, the day before the Indianapolis 500.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Max Levine of Kokomo, Ind., was found unresponsive after having suffered at least one gunshot wound in the Coke Lot 1 C outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Speedway Police say that they have a suspect in custody, but that an investigation remains ongoing.

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Hawaii Becomes Third State to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

Purestock/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) — The governor of Hawaii on Friday signed a bill that will incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 within the next four years.

The legislation will also increase the tip credit within the next two years, “providing our lowest paid workers with the economic stability and security they deserve,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. The bill will bring the minimum wage in Hawaii to the same rate that President Obama raised all federal contract workers to earlier this year.

The current minimum wage in Hawaii is $7.25 per hour, which will increase to $7.75 per hour by Jan. 1, 2015. The rate will increase by 75 cents for each of the following two years and hit $10.10 by Jan. 1, 2018.

Any employee who receives $7 more than the applicable minimum wage in combined wages and tips will see their tip credit increase to 50 cents in 2015 and 75 cents in 2016.

Hawaii is the third state to match President Obama’s $10.10 minimum wage, following Connecticut and Maryland.

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At Least Seven Dead in Shooting Near University of California, Santa Barbara

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — At least seven people, including the shooter, were killed in a Friday night shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

An additional seven people in the Isla Vista neighborhood were injured at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. Brown says police have evidence that suggests the shooting was a “premeditated mass murder.”

The shooter is believed to have fired the weapon from a black BMW which later crashed. Sheriff’s deputies found the suspect dead of a gunshot wound to the head, but were unable to determine immediately whether the shooter had been killed by police or if the gunshot was self-inflicted.

Brown said that authorities were not looking for additional suspects, as they believe the shooter acted alone.

Brown said that a YouTube video titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” appeared to be linked to the shooting.

In the video, a young man, who identified himself as Elliot Rodger, sits in the driver’s seat of a car as he promises “retribution” and discusses his “loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires.”

“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me,” he says. He adds that it’ll be his last video.

Police haven’t confirmed whether the person who posted the video or man in it is the suspect.

“We’re investigating that as evidence that we believe is connected to this crime,” said Brown.

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Salinas Police Release Video of Controversial Officer-Involved Shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(SALINAS, Calif.) — Police have released videos of a controversial shooting that has caused an uproar in a California community after cell phone footage of the incident was posted to YouTube earlier this week.

The Salinas Police Department published two videos on Thursday, one of the cell phone footage and another from an overhead surveillance camera, which show the deadly shooting of 44-year-old Carlos Mejia by police officers on Tuesday.

Police said Mejia was threatening a woman with garden shears, and refused to comply with officers when they asked him to drop the shears.

“The officers followed Mr. Mejia, continuing to order him to drop the weapon. As he neared the corner of Del Monte and Sanborn, he planted a foot, turned, and lunged at the nearest officer, with the shears raised,” police said in a statement Thursday.

Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin told ABC News on Friday that he believes the second overhead view provides more context to the incident.

“Much of the video out there is bad, bad quality,” he said, referring to the cell phone video. “At the end, you don’t actually see the moment of the shooting.”

The release of the videos follows a week of protests and unrest in Salinas. The incident marks the third officer-involved shooting of the year, and all three people who were shot have been Hispanic.

The tensions boiled over on Wednesday, when a large crowd gathered near the scene of the latest incident to demonstrate what protesters said was police brutality. Some demonstrators threw bottles and other objects at police, according to ABC San Francisco affiliate KGO.

Protester Ricardo Salinas questioned the actions of police in the Tuesday shooting.

“The man was obviously drunk. Why couldn’t they knock him over? Why couldn’t they baton him? If every officer has a Taser, if one misfires the other should be ready with the next one,” he told KGO, referring to the fact that one officer’s Taser apparently malfunctions in the cell phone video.

Mejia’s family could not be reached by ABC News for comment.

A review of the incident will be sent to a county commission and the FBI, McMillin said.

In the meantime, while McMillin acknowledged “there is work to be done” in police-community relations, he expressed hope that upcoming meetings and reviews would strengthen bonds between law enforcement and the community.

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Front Yard Chopper Pad Whips Up Neighbors

iStock/Thinkstock(VALRICO, Fla.) — A quiet residential community in Valrico, Florida, is fed up with a helicopter taking off at all hours of the day – not from an airport, but from a neighbor’s front yard.

“The helicopter has been going on for about two or three weeks now. He’s been doing fly-over’s, buzzing the tree tops,” Michael Sullivan tells ABC Tampa affiliate WFTV.

“The convenience of having a helicopter is not worth the inconvenience it’s causing to all us neighbors,” Dan Ferguson tells WFTV.

Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation tell ABC News they have located the owner and have taken action, though they declined to identify the individual.

“We have prepared a cease and desist order,” Aviation Operations Administrator David Roberts said.

The order requires the owner of the property to seek zoning approval from the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.

“We conducted inspection today. Unfortunately the helicopter was not on site so we weren’t able to view it,” Division Director John Blinck tells ABC News. “But, we did leave a notice at the residence. So this is going to be an ongoing investigation.”

Blinck says they plan on returning next week and interview residents.

The FAA told WFTV it has no private helicopter landing area registered to the address.

A landing pad on private property is required to be at least 500 feet from a dwelling or property zoned in a residential area, according to zoning records. It also requires special approval from the board of county commissioners.

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