Review Category : National News

‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Became Our National Anthem 85 Years Ago

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — President Herbert Hoover likely had no clue what havoc he would wreak when he signed a congressional act 85 years ago on Thursday making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States.

In essence, he gave formal license to all of us to have our way with the song, as comedian Roseanne Barr once did. So, over the years, it has been butchered enough times to raise questions about the sanity of all but those blessed with the truest voices and sharpest memories, like the late Whitney Houston, who dare risk the public shame and humiliation.

But that hasn’t stopped them, and even the most accomplished of performers like Steven Tyler have fallen painfully short.

Mangled lyrics and cracked voices aside, “The Star-Spangled Banner” — written in Baltimore on Sept. 14, 1814, as poem “Defense of Fort M’Henry,” by lawyer Francis Scott Key — has been the national anthem since March 3, 1931.

That’s more than enough time, unintentionally or otherwise, to trample all over its majesty.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Security Camera Footage Shows Gang Looting Gun Store

Houston Police Department(HOUSTON) — Three people have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a gun store in Houston, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Security camera footage from inside the store shows the hooded and masked gang, made up of about 10 people, use a chain attached to a pickup truck to rip the steel-clad door from its hinges.

Bursting inside, armed with hammers to smash counters, the gang included a suspect who bagged at least 18 handguns in 30 seconds.

The crooks even appear to make several trips back to their escape vehicles to unload the loot, with one in such a desperate hurry he almost falls.

“What it potentially means is that you have got that many people distributing firearms in the streets of Houston,” Robert Elder, special agent in charge in the Houston office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said.

Police say it took less than two minutes for the robbers to get away with almost 50 weapons.

The suspects changed to getaway vehicles about a block away, according to police.

Authorities say some of the stolen guns have been recovered, but they are still concerned about the possible crimes that might be committed with the unrecovered weapons.

Thursday morning, authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to their arrest.

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ABC News Exclusive: Inside the Prison Assault on Aurora Theater Shooter James Holmes

RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images(CANON CITY, Colo.) — Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes was not supposed to interact with other prisoners, but after a security gate was left open at just the wrong time, another inmate snatched an opportunity to attack the mass killer in the state penitentiary, even throwing punches as guards tried to pull the two apart, according to documents and a top prison official who spoke exclusively to ABC News.

Though officials insisted it was a minor incident, prison higher-ups said the episode proved Holmes was in so much jeopardy that he had to be secretly transferred out of state to an undisclosed location in what one critic called a highly unusual move.

“We had not allowed Holmes at that time to come into daily contact with other offenders,” Colorado Prisons Director Steve Hager said in an exclusive interview in February. “That was not part of the management plan of him.”

Hager explained that “the attack was part of the reason for moving him. There were many concerns; the attack was part of the concern.”

Colorado Dept. of Corrections

Documents obtained by ABC News show that Holmes, 28, was not supposed to cross paths with anyone but prison staff while housed in the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. But as Holmes exited the office of his case manager on Oct. 8, a prison staffer opened a sliding gate without realizing he was putting Holmes in close proximity with another inmate, convicted car thief Mark “Slim” Daniels. The officer escorting Holmes was unable to radio the officer controlling the gate “as his battery had gone dead,” according to a so-called “intelligence assessment” drafted after the incident occurred.

With the sliding gate opened and Holmes within striking distance, Daniels, according to the reports, “ran through the slider, squeezing through as it was closing toward offender Holmes … Offender Daniels began hitting offender Holmes, in an around his head, with his fist.”

The documents paint a picture of a brief but frenzied incident with officers shouting, “No. Don’t do it,” while “Daniels kept swinging over the top of [one officer’s] head, still hitting offender Holmes.” The officer escorting Holmes wrote that Daniels “landed at least two blows to offender Holmes before I was able to get behind” him.

Officers struggled to pull Daniels off Holmes but eventually got him to the ground. In the process, Daniels hit a female staffer “on the left side of her face below the eye and on the top of her head,” the records say.

In a letter to Denver’s Westword newspaper in December, Daniels said he regretted not doing more harm to the mass murderer.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t wipe him out and sent [sic] him packing to Satan’s lake of fire,” wrote Daniels, who is serving time for a series of crimes, including auto theft, menacing and forgery. “It was just impossible to do by myself with so many cops. I did get him six or seven good ones… He was very scared.”

Hager, the prisons director, agreed to answer questions after ABC News obtained internal records detailing the assault through a formal request from the Colorado Department of Corrections. Even as he acknowledged shortcomings at his facility, Hager insisted that staffers did not make any mistakes or violate department procedures or protocols. No one has been disciplined because of the assault, he said, and no one would be.

Despite Holmes’ infamy and the fact he had been housed at the prison more than five weeks, corrections staff still had not determined whether he would be kept in “protective custody” and separate from all other inmates at all times, Hager explained. But he was being held alone in the facility’s Management Control Unit. “At that time, they were trying to find the best placement for him,” Hager said.

Hager told ABC News that he did not review the closed-circuit video of the incident, though, he said, “I am sure that it has been monitored by the facility and the facility warden.” When ABC News requested copies of it, the state’s first assistant attorney general, James Quinn, offered a different response, saying “there are no stills and no video.”

When the assault occurred, it had been two full months since Holmes had been convicted on Aug. 7 for killing 12 and injuring 70 others when he shot up the Century Aurora 16 cinema in 2012. He was sentenced in late August to serve multiple life sentences behind bars.

After word got out that Daniels assaulted Holmes, strangers sent Daniels money and letters of support. Prison officials said his commissary account received $75 and someone was trying to “start a website called ‘James’ Jailhouse Justice.’” Daniels’ mother also established a GoFundMe site to help pay for bills Daniels’ family said are associated with the assault.

Because of the incident, Daniels was punished with 60 days in segregation, 45 days loss of privileges and up to 12 months in restrictive housing, Hager said. He has also been moved to Sterling Correctional Facility near the Nebraska border. He’s eligible for parole in January.

But the most significant result of the incident was Holmes’ secret move to an undisclosed prison.

When asked about Holmes’ location, Corrections Department spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson first said it was public record, though she refused to answer the question. Jacobson later changed her explanation, saying the agreement that allows for the interstate transport of prisoners being held in state custody requires confidentiality. When pressed by ABC News to justify the new secrecy, Jacobson, Hager and other prison officials said the location is being kept a secret, citing only non-specific “security” needs of Holmes, other inmates and staffers.

Other states who participate in the interstate-prisoner system as well as the federal government routinely release information concerning the whereabouts of prisoners. For instance, the locations of the five accused of planning the 9/11 attacks and notorious California killer Charles Manson are public record.

Local District Attorney George Brauchler, who prosecuted Holmes, said he is disturbed that the killer is being hidden by Colorado authorities, regardless of what transpired inside the penitentiary.

“You can Google the federal inmate locator and look up any federal inmate you’ve ever heard of and find where they’re located right at this moment,” Brauchler told ABC News. “Isn’t that a tacit admission that the state system is less safe than the federal system? As a Colorado taxpayer and a Coloradoan who had to bear the impact of his mass murder, this guy should be serving a sentence in Colorado. And if not, we should know why and where he is.”

Bob Hood, a longtime corrections official who used to run the federal government’s highest-security prison, took issue with the explanations and actions of those in charge of Holmes and the Colorado prison system.

“It’s not debatable: Errors were made,” said Hood, a Colorado resident who used to be the warden of the federal Supermax penitentiary in Florence, Colo. “Clearly someone dropped the ball. [The inmates] should never have made contact. At a minimum, it’s a failure of systems — a very serious breach of security.”

Hood said the assault was “simple” and should not have led to the extreme measure of Holmes being transferred to an undisclosed location.

“It’s called a ‘dump job,’” Hood said. “Moving him on to another warden. He’s always going to be a target. The [Colorado] Department of Corrections could easily have placed him in a secure setting. It’s ironic to me that they transfer him out of state for such a simple assault. The Department of Corrections dropped the ball. The inmate was assaulted. The system broke down.”

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Scott Kelly Reunites with Family After Year in Space Mission

Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images(HOUSTON) — Astronaut Scott Kelly arrived in Houston early Thursday morning where he was reunited with his family after a whirlwind year-long mission in space.

Waiting for Kelly, 52, in Houston were his two daughters and girlfriend, along with his identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, and his sister-in-law, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Jill Biden was on hand to welcome Kelly home after his historic year in space.

Kelly spoke briefly after arriving, “It’s great to be back in Texas, on U.S. soil. It’s just an unbelievable feeling to be back here on planet earth, back in our great country, and back with all my family and friends.”

He also paid tribute to his crew and colleagues, “I also want to say this was not my flight. They’ve talked about my year in space, it’s not my achievement, it’s NASA’s achievement and it’s our country’s achievement,” he said.

Back to #Earth last night. Today I head back home! Stretching my space legs on my first refuel stop. #YearInSpace pic.twitter.com/pCJea2LfeR

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) March 2, 2016

Jill Biden also took time to welcome Scott back, “On behalf of President Obama, our First Lady Michelle Obama, our Vice President my husband and all Americans, I want to congratulate you on your year in space and you truly are an inspiration to all of us.”

She finished her remarks by noting she had bought him some welcome back gifts, “I brought you some beer and apple pie, nothing’s more American than that…The beer is from the president actually. And the apple pie is just from all Americans. So we hold you in our hearts. Welcome home.”

During his final news conference from space last week, Kelly said NASA will put him through a battery of tests as soon as he returns to measure any changes in his health.

The tests conducted include a vision check, since a micro-gravity environment can put pressure on an astronaut’s optic nerves. NASA will also look at Kelly’s physical health, including his bone density, muscles and cardiovascular system. He’ll also be asked to complete tasks testing his motor skills and assessing his psychological state.

The one-year mission was designed to help NASA better understand what happens to an astronaut’s physical and mental health during a prolonged stay in a micro-gravity environment. Kelly’s results will be compared with those of his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who served as the control subject on Earth.

After Kelly’s initial testing is complete, he told reporters last week the one thing he wanted to do most back on Earth.

“I’m going to go home and jump in my pool,” he said.

Welcome back to Earth, @StationCDRKelly! Your year in space is vital to the future of American space travel. Hope gravity isn’t a drag!

— President Obama (@POTUS) March 2, 2016

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Accusers in Alleged Racial Incident at UAlbany Charged With Assault

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(ALBANY, N.Y.) — Three black women attending the University of Albany who say they were the victims of a “racially fueled” on-campus attack in January by fellow white students now stand accused of assault in connection with the incident.

Asha Burwell, 20, of Huntington Station, N.Y.; Ariel Agudio, 20, of Huntington, N.Y.; and Alexis Briggs, 20, of Elmira Heights, N.Y., each face a charge of assault in the third degree, a crime punishable by up to a year in jail. Burwell and Agudio also face other charges including falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

Each woman pleaded not guilty Monday during their arraignments in Albany City Criminal Court.

“We understand and believe that there is an enormous amount of community support for getting to the truth and that’s where the defense team is headed,” Burwell’s lawyer Frederick Brewington said.

Around 1 a.m. Jan. 30, Agudio and Burwell made separate calls to 911, reporting that they’d been attacked while riding the Capital District Transportation Authority’s No. 12 bus from downtown Albany, N.Y., to the university’s campus.

In 911 calls, Agudio said one of her friends had asked a group of white students on the bus to be quiet because they were being too loud.

“I just got jumped on the bus and no one did anything. … It was a racial crime. They were calling us ni—- and all this stuff. … It was ridiculous. … They ripped out all of our hair and everything. … Boys were hitting us. … It happened on the 12 bus,” Agudio told a 911 dispatcher. “No one called the cops. … No one cared. … It was a racially fueled crime. Three black girls shoved by, like, 20 white people.”

In a separate call, Burwell said: “The bus driver didn’t do anything about it until we got to campus and he stopped on the bus and still the guys continued to hit us in the face.”

Later that day, university president Robert J. Jones released a statement stating that he was concerned and saddened by the news that a group of 10 to 12 white males and females had used racial slurs toward three black women.

“There is no place in the UAlbany community for violence, no place for racial intolerance and no place for gender violence,” he said in a statement.

And on Feb. 1, students gathered at a rally to show support for the three women, who also attended. The hashtag #DefendBlackGirlsUAlbany was circulated on Twitter, catching the attention of those inside and outside of Albany. Even former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton tweeted about the incident.

There’s no excuse for racism and violence on a college campus. https://t.co/ADVghl4iEv -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 4, 2016

By Feb. 25, however, the University of Albany’s police department had released a statement, saying that Burwell, Agudio and Briggs would be arrested and charged in the Jan. 30 incident.

According to the district attorney, Agudio, Burwell and Brigg had caused physical injury to a 19-year-old female passenger by “repeatedly striking her”; Burwell had made physical contact with an 18-year-old female passenger; and Agudio had attempted to cause physical injury to a 19-year-old male passenger and had physical contact with two other females on the bus, ages 18 and 20.

Police said a three-week-long probe included interviews of 35 passengers on the bus as well as the review of various videos and audio recordings from bus security cameras and passengers’ cellphones. Police said that evidence demonstrated that the three women had not been struck by a male and were in fact “the aggressors in the physical altercation” against the 19-year-old female passenger.

The false reporting charge stemmed from initial complaints made by Burwell and Agudio during the 911 calls that they’d been victimized, authorities said. Police called those allegations “false.”

“The evidence shows that, contrary to how the defendants originally portrayed things, these three individuals were not the victims of a crime. Rather, we allege that they are the perpetrators,” police Chief J. Frank Wiley said in a statement. “I especially want to point out that what happened on the bus was not a ‘hate crime.’ We spent a great deal of time carefully reviewing the audio recordings to determine whether any racial slurs were used. The only person we heard uttering racial epithets was one of the defendants. And it is important to note that no witness reported hearing any racial slurs directed at the defendants. And those witnesses were people from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.”

In court Monday, Judge Rachel Kretser said the charges “will have a profound impact on our community and, in fact if proven, are shameful,” according to the Times Union.

In an updated statement posted on the school’s website Feb. 26, university president Jones said: “Our job as a University is to focus on learning from this incident. And our work now is to recommit to our principles of diversity and inclusivity — which means including all people and treating all people fairly. The last month has been a challenging time for this University — but I am very proud of how our campus community responded. On the first day, I asked you to show the world what the University at Albany truly stands for, and to reaffirm our values. And you have done that.”

Agudio’s lawyer, Mark Mishler, called the charges “unwarranted.”

“It is unfortunate that the University at Albany Police Department decided to charge Ms. Agudio. We believe these charges are unwarranted. It is also unfortunate that some in the media and public appear to have reached a conclusion as to what occurred in this incident without actually having the information needed in order to reach such a conclusion. Ms. Agudio, an exemplary young woman and an excellent student who has never previously been in legal trouble, asks that people not rush to judgment in this matter. We appreciate those who have spoken out in support of Ms. Agudio. This case will now play out in the court system. We trust, in the end, that Ms. Agudio will be vindicated,” Mishler said in a previously released statement.

“I would ask people not to rush to judgment. There is a lot that has not been told in the media here. We plan on vigorously defending the allegations against Ms. Briggs, and I think in the end the truth will come out,” Briggs’ lawyer, Will Little, said.

The three charged women are still enrolled at the University of Albany, according to the university.

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Florida Man Finds 9-Foot Alligator in Backyard Swimming Pool

Laura Lear(LAKELAND, Fla.)­ — When a Florida man walked into his backyard Tuesday afternoon to see if a stray golf ball had found its way into his swimming pool, he found something much larger — a 9-foot alligator lying at the bottom of the pool.

Lakeland resident Craig Lear, 38, lives on a golf course and assumed the bubbles he saw in his pool were from a ball that had been hit into it. “He thought, ‘Why are there bubbles in the pool?'” his 37-year-old wife, Laura, told ABC News Wednesday.

At first, the stay-at-home dad couldn’t make out exactly what the large mass at the bottom was, since the water was grainy due to the pool’s pebble-stone floor. When he got closer, however, he found a nearly 300-pound alligator submerged in the deep end, Laura said.

“I hear stories about gators, but never at my house,” she added.

After making sure their son and three cats were accounted for, Craig called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who connected him with 13-year veteran alligator trapper Scott Barbon, Laura said.

The gator laid low in the pool until Barbon arrived, but once he placed a lasso around its neck, it began “thrashing around” so much that it caused giant waves to splash onto the concrete floor surrounding the pool, Laura said.

“We didn’t know what the gator would do,” she said, calling the situation “nerve-wracking.”

It took about an hour for Barbon to drag the gator out of the pool, he told ABC News. “They’re pretty tough animals,” Barbon said.

The alligator was ultimately euthanized and processed for its meat and hide, Barbon said, adding that Florida is home to millions of gators.

Barbon, who was seen in photos trapping the gator sans shoes, said his bare feet are the “best pair of shoes” he has when on the job.

“I don’t wear shoes because my feet get wet and my shoes get wet,” he said. “So, I stopped wearing them.”

Craig and Laura, who moved to Florida from Chicago five years ago, said they’re not scared about a similar incident happening in the future.

“I don’t know what Mother Nature will do,” Laura said. “But I’m not scared. What are the odds?”

The Lears hope they only time they see an alligator from now on is on television, Laura said.

“This is what I see on the TV,” she added, “not in my pool.”

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Pelosi, House Democrats to Travel to Flint on Fact-Finding Mission

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(FLINT, Mich.) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and about two dozen House Democrats will travel to Flint, Michigan, later this week to meet with victims of the city’s ongoing water crisis.

The visit comes ahead of the Democratic presidential debate in Flint on Sunday between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the latter of whom has made the plight of Flint’s residents a focus of her primary campaign.

“We’re going to continue to beat the drums to bring awareness to this,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Michigan, of the Democrats’ focus on the crisis.

The trip, which will include members of the Congressional Black and Progressive Caucuses and the Michigan delegation, will help with the ongoing debate in Congress over federal funding proposals to address problems with the city’s infrastructure.

Pelosi and the House Democrats will hold a town hall with Flint residents, marking their first time meeting with a large group of members of Congress.

“Our focus is the people of Flint,” said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Our focus is to listen to these folks, to hear what they have to tell us, and use this information to formulate the best proposal to help them.”

Some Democrats are calling on Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, to resign over the water crisis. Snyder will appear in Washington later this month to testify on the state’s response to the crisis.

But Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, said it’s “more important that we fix the water than go backwards and assign the blame.”

While Senate leaders have reached an agreement on a bipartisan deal that would help Flint and other cities replace lead pipes that have put local populations at risk, the Senate has not yet voted on the proposal.

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School Police Officer Caught on Video Slapping, Kicking ‘Young Man’

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — An investigation is underway after video surfaced showing a school police officer slapping, kicking and yelling at a “young man” at a high school in Baltimore while another school police officer looks on, according to Baltimore City Public Schools officials.

The incident, which was recorded on a cell phone, happened Tuesday morning when a “young man entered The Reach! Partnership School and an encounter with a school police officer resulted,” school officials told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. “The young man was not a student at the school.”

The officials added: “City Schools is working closely with the Baltimore Police Department and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office on the investigation.”

The two officers in the video and the chief of Baltimore City Schools Police Force have since been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, according to Akil Hamm, acting chief for the school system’s police force.

“There is no reason that such behavior should ever take place either publicly or privately,” Hamm said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “We’re taking this very seriously.”

Investigators are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the person who recorded the video and the young man “who is the victim in this case,” Hamm said. He added that investigators have been able to determine that both young people are not students at Reach! Partnership, though it was unclear if they are students at another school in the district.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described the video as “appalling” at a news conference Wednesday morning.

“Anytime there is a law enforcement officer with that level of authority that seems to be abusing that authority, it impacts all of us across the country,” she said. “It certainly is not helpful as we work to build bridges of trust to see that level of mistreatment.”

Rawlings-Blake added that “you never want to see anyone treated like that” and that she was supportive of how Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Gregory Thornton is handling the ongoing investigation.

“I am completely appalled and disappointed by what is depicted in the video,” Thornton told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. “Our school police officers are entrusted with ensuring the safety of our students and staff, and I know that most of them take this job seriously while maintaining a high level of professionalism.”

He added that the “behavior in the video is completely unacceptable” and that school and city officials “are confident that the process required by the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights will lead to a thorough review of the conduct.”

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Jesse Matthew Pleads Guilty to Murdering Two Virginia Students

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — The parents of two Virginia college students who were abducted and murdered years apart spoke out after their daughters’ killer accepted a guilty plea in court Wednesday.

Jesse Matthew, 34, was charged with the abduction and murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009 and of Hannah Graham in 2014. The two cases were linked by investigators after Graham’s body was found in October 2014, more than a month after the then-sophomore at the University of Virginia disappeared.

“It has been a long, very long journey to this point,” Gil Harrington, Morgan’s mother, said outside of court Wednesday morning. “And it has been a hard road, and there have been mistakes along the way but the mistake not made by anybody — no one — was giving up. No one gave up.”

Matthew accepted a plea deal offered by the county attorney that the girls’ parents agreed to, forcing him to be jailed for four consecutive life sentences with no prospect of parole.

John Graham, Hannah’s father, said that the families agreed to this plea in part to avoid the “re-traumatization” of a multi-week trial.

“Our over-riding priority was that Matthew would never be able again to be able to inflict his depravity on young women,” Graham said outside the courthouse in Virginia Wednesday.

“We draw considerable pride in all that Hannah achieved in her short life mercilessly cut short by Jesse Matthew,” Graham added. “His evil deprived the world of a great talent but Hannah’s enduring gift to us all is she enabled this wicked man to be apprehended and convicted. She did change the world but at a terrible price.”

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Girl Whose Heart Stopped After Kalamazoo Shooting Opens Eyes

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) — A teenager critically injured in last month’s Kalamazoo shooting has been able to open her eyes and look at her parents, her family said Wednesday.

Abigail Kopf, 14, was one of eight people in a series of shootings in Kalamazoo that left six dead. Suspected shooter Jason Dalton, an Uber driver, was arrested and charged with the murders.

Abigail was gravely injured in the shootings and her heart stopped temporarily due to her injuries, according to officials from Bronson Methodist Hospital. The hospital confirmed on Tuesday that Abigail was doing better and had been upgraded to fair condition.

Her family posted a statement today about the teen on an online fundraising site.

“She looked at us tonight [Tuesday night],” her parents wrote. “Her right eye is too swollen yet, but she managed to open her eyes and recognized us.”

The family also said that doctors are hopeful that she’ll soon be able to go to a rehab facility as soon as next week, while she continues to recover.

“Doctors are saying Abbie may be moving to Grand Rapids for rehabilitation possibly next week!” the family said online. “It seems unbelievable to receive such wonderful news.”

Abigail’s injuries were at first so severe that her doctors at Bronson Children’s Hospital were concerned she was at risk of becoming brain dead.

“Following restoration of her heartbeat, our team shared with her parents the grave nature of her life-threatening injuries,” Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies, medical director at Bronson Children’s Hospital, said in the statement last week. “Due to both the nature of her injuries and efforts required to sustain her life, our team discussed the possibility that she could become brain dead.”

The girl’s injuries were so severe that Gift of Life, an organ and tissue donor organization, was contacted with the permission of Abigail’s parents, but Abigail was never declared medically brain dead, according to the doctor.

The teen had been at a concert with her family when she was injured. Her grandmother was killed in the shooting, authorities said. A judge has denied bail for Dalton, 45. Kalamazoo police Det. Cory Ghiringhelli told the court that Dalton admitted to investigators “that he took people’s lives.”

“Abigail, her parents and our team continue to fight hard for her life,” Lane-Davies said last week, before the teen’s condition was upgraded. “In spite of the seriousness of her injuries, we are encouraged by the relative stability over the last few days and her responsiveness to her parents and our team.”

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