Review Category : National News

Arizona Freeway Shootings: Two People Questioned, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Authorities in Arizona say they have detained two people of interest for questioning in connection with a spate of shootings that has targeted the heavily-traveled Interstate 10 freeway that runs through Phoenix, leaving commuters terrified for days.

According to ABC News affiliate, officers with the state’s Department of Public Safety surrounded a Chevy Tahoe in a parking lot and then took two individuals into custody.

Investigators said Thursday that they were investigating at least 11 separate shooting incidents along I-10, after they confirmed a bullet hole found in the side of a truck Friday.

Col. Frank Milstead, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, told ABC News on Wednesday that it was unclear whether all of the incidents are related and also unclear whether all incidents involved bullets.

He classified the incidents as “domestic terrorism,” calling the person or people responsible cowards who are putting innocent lives at risk.

“What I say ‘domestic terrorism,’ I don’t know what else you would call it. When you’re, you know, inflicting terror on a community, what else is it?” he said recently. “These are bad people trying to do harm to good people.”

The department said that the incidents dated back to Aug. 29, 2015 and that every shooting had happened along a short eight-mile stretch of road.

“We have a hard crime to solve because it’s such a large area and there so many different vantage points for someone who wants to do something wrong,” Milstead said.

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Brothers Who Allegedly Tried to Kill Their Parents Due in Court

Gwinnett County Sheriff(SNELLVILLE, Ga.) — The two brothers who allegedly tried to kill their parents in their upscale Atlanta-area home over the weekend will be making their first court appearance Friday afternoon.

Christopher and Cameron Ervin will be in Gwinnett County Court Friday for a preliminary hearing in their case.

Christopher, 22, and Cameron, 17, were arrested and each charged with aggravated assault and arson after their mother and her husband were found bleeding and badly beaten Saturday in the family house in Snellville, Georgia, according to police.

Investigators have since stated that they believe the attack was premeditated.

“It is apparent that the brothers launched a plot to kill both of their parents,” the Gwinnett County Police Department said in a press release.

Officers found Christopher Ervin in a second-floor bathroom and Cameron Ervin was arrested as he left the garage, according to a police report, which also noted that Cameron Ervin allegedly told an officer, “I tried to kill my f****** parents. Who does that?”

Their mother Yvonne Ervin’s 911 call has already been released and she said that she did not know why the brothers allegedly turned on her and her husband.

“I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know why they’ve done this. I really don’t,” she said.

Both parents have been treated and released from the hospital for unspecified injuries.

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Shooting Incident Reported at Washington’s Union Station

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A shooting incident has taken place at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

A source with knowledge of the incident tells ABC News initial indications are that a man stabbed a woman at Union Station, the main train hub in the nation’s capital. Police then shot the suspect.

The suspect is still alive, and the woman attacked is described as “OK.”

The incident comes amid a day of heightened security as Friday marks the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Park Police says the station has re-opened.

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FBI Warns of ISIS-Inspired Cyber Attacks on 9/11 Anniversary

MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is warning that an ISIS-inspired group of hackers is threatening to mark Friday’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with a new cyber-assault against U.S. government-related websites.

Twitter users claiming to be associated with the group, branding themselves with the “hashtag” moniker #AmericaUnderHacks, have already been posting online what they say is sensitive information about U.S. government personnel. But the information is available through basic Internet searches and is “recycled” from several years ago, sources told ABC News.

Nevertheless, the FBI wants companies doing business with the U.S. government to be able to defend their networks should hackers try to “commemorate the anniversary of the terrorist attacks” with more serious action, according to a “private industry notification” issued Thursday citing the recent threats.

“Will penetrate … governmental sites in September 11 to commemorate the destroyed skyscrapers,” threatened one recent tweet from the ISIS-inspired group of hackers, who call themselves the “Islamic Cyber Army.”

It’s unclear how credible such threats are, and in its notice Thursday, the FBI characterized the threats only as “possible.”

But in its notice, the FBI says the group (ICA) has successfully “hacked and defaced” certain governmental websites, and similar campaigns by “extremist cyber actors” have targeted networks associated with the U.S. government and banking industry.

“ICA would most likely seek to attack targets of opportunity based on technical vulnerabilities and a perceived connection to the United States or other Western countries,” the FBI says in its notice to private companies. “Web site defacements and/or any possible unauthorized releases … of personally identifiable information (PII) by ICA likely would be accompanied by messages expressing support for ISIL, and possibly language threatening additional cyber or physical terrorist attacks.”

The notice also predicts ICA “is likely to make claims of responsibility” for any successful hacking activity online by other groups.

The FBI describes ICA as an “ISI[S]-sympathetic hacking group,” comprised of members of like-minded hackers from the “Elite Islamic State Hackers” and others.

In its notice Thursday, the FBI suggests several “precautionary measures” companies can take “to mitigate a range of potential hacktivism threats by this group.”

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Armed Suspect Shot, Killed After Chase and Standoff in California

Fuse/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — An armed suspect was shot and killed Thursday after leading deputies on a high-speed, multi-city chase in California that turned into a hostage standoff, authorities said.

The suspect — whose name has not been released — allegedly carjacked two vehicles through the streets of Los Angeles County. The man was seen weaving in and out of traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and barreling through intersections, nearly crashing into several oncoming cars.

Deputies deployed a PIT maneuver, or precision immobilization technique, which is a pursuit tactic used to send a car sideways.

The suspect emerged from the vehicle, firing his gun in the air and running into a nearby restaurant, Chris’ and Pitt’s barbecue restaurant in Downey.

Steve Switzer was standing nearby when the man entered the restaurant.

“He’s running, no more than 10 feet from me, pistol in the air, shooting,” Switzer said. “I thought he shot someone.”

Dozens of employees and patrons flocked out of the restaurant, hands in the air, as officers surrounded the building. A standoff ensued, with the suspect holding at least four hostages in the restaurant, authorities said.

SWAT teams fired flash-bang equipment before making their move and shooting the man. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. No one else was hurt.

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Nation Marks 14 Years Since 9/11 Attacks

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Solemn ceremonies will be held across the U.S. on Friday to mark 14 years since the 9/11 attacks.

In New York City, bells will ring followed by moments of silence to mark the exact times when al Qaeda hijackers flew two planes into the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. As has been done every year since Sept. 11, 2001, the names of the dead will be read.

Over in Washington, President Obama will observe a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House alongside first lady Michelle Obama and White House staff. The president will later travel to Fort Meade in Maryland, where he will hold a town hall with service members.

In all, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks. Hijackers also flew a plane into the Pentagon building in Washington that day. A fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers and crew rushed the cockpit.

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Ex-Cop Remains in Custody in Walter Scott Murder Case for Now

City of North Charleston Police Department(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) — The former policeman accused of murdering an unarmed man as he ran away remains in jail while a judge considers his request to be released on bond.

Former police officer Michael Slager, 33, fatally shot Walter Scott, 50, after a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, in April. He was arrested and charged with murder on April 7, three days after he shot Scott.

During Slager’s bond hearing Thursday, his attorney asked for house arrest. The judge said he took the request under advisement and will rule on the motion later.

Slager faces a possible 30 years to life without parole if convicted. Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson has declined comment on the case outside of the courtroom.

The former North Charleston police officer’s attorney, Andy Savage, said his client should be released on bond in alignment with similar cases in South Carolina. A motion filed Tuesday by attorneys for Slager included court documents showing other defendants in Charleston County who have been charged with murder but released on bond. Savage said this was an on-the-job incident, and Slager has no prior incidents, which gives him another advantage towards bond.

Savage told ABC News Wednesday enhanced video shows a fight between the two men. Savage alleges that at one point during the altercation, Scott was in possession of Slager’s Taser. The enhanced video, obtained by ABC News, lasts four seconds and makes it difficult to tell exactly what happened leading up to the shooting.

The release of cellphone footage shot by an eyewitness had a direct effect on Slager’s arrest, police said immediately after. It showed Scott’s running away from the officer when he was shot multiple times.

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4-Year-Old Girl Sparks ‘Girl Cops Are Awesome’ Movement

ABC News(CAMAS, Wash.) — A 4-year-old Washington girl’s disappointment that a police officer costume was labeled as a costume for boys has sparked a movement, with police officers around the world contacting her to say that “girl cops are awesome.”

Kinley Goertler of Camas, Washington, was shopping with her mom, Chelsy Goertler, earlier this month when she found a SWAT police uniform and picked it out as her Halloween costume.

As Goertler was purchasing the costume, Kinley noticed that it was labeled as a costume for boys on the tag and thought that meant it was not for her.

“I got it for her anyways and told her that cops could be girls, too,” Goertler told ABC News. “I could tell she was still bothered and it bothered me as a mom, so I posted about it on Facebook as just a ‘mom rant’ for our family and friends.”

Goertler’s Facebook post caught the eyes of female police officers in Portland, Oregon, who posed for a photo with a sign that read, “Kinley, girl cops are awesome!,” and shared it on Facebook.

Since then, Goertler says her police-loving daughter has heard from female police officers around the world, all with the rallying cry that “girl cops are awesome.”

“We’ve heard from or gotten patches or pictures from police officers in all 50 states and five countries too,” Goertler said. “It’s been pretty crazy, but really neat.”

Kinley has been receiving the patches and letters while wearing her SWAT costume, which was originally supposed to be put away until Halloween.

“I just ended up giving her free rein because she’s so excited, so I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of it,” Goertler said. “She told me the other day that her favorite part of this has been getting the patches.”

Kinley was joined by dozens of other kids Wednesday at a “Girl Cops Are Awesome” event held by the police department in nearby Vancouver, Washington.

The Vancouver Police Department organized the event after hearing about Kinley through social media and their fellow officers.

“After hearing about Kinley’s experience, the Vancouver Police Department decided there might be other girls like Kinley who might want to meet some awesome girl cops too,” the department wrote on its website. “The Girls Cops are Awesome event is open to girls of all ages who want to meet some awesome girl cops and learn more about a career opportunities in law enforcement.”

Kinley and other attendees got to tour the precinct, meet police officers and see police cars up close.

“I think there were really two good messages,” Goertler said. “First, that girls can do anything, and she absolutely falls into that category.

“The other thing is positivity for police officers,” she said. “I don’t want Kinley to grow up thinking they’re scary. I want her to know that she can trust them.”

As for what Kinley’s future holds, right now, according to her mom, her future career as a police officer is already chosen.

“She has no doubts about it whatsoever right now,” Goertler said. “I don’t think she remembers that it [the boy label] ever bothered her at all because of all the positivity.”

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Marine Dead After Vehicle Rolls Over During Training at Camp Pendleton

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A Marine is dead and 18 injured after a rollover crash at Camp Pendleton on Thursday.

According to ABC News affiliate KGTV, the Marine who was killed was assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

There were no immediate details of the crash including who was killed and injured.

Officials are investigating according to KGTV.

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FBI Arrests Florida Man for Allegedly Urging Attack With Rat Poison Bomb

iStock/Thinkstock(ORANGE PARK, Fla.) — A Florida man who claims credit for inspiring the attempted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, four months ago was arrested by the FBI on Thursday for allegedly urging an attack in Kansas City during a commemoration of the 9/11 attacks using a bomb with rat poison-laced shrapnel, according to the FBI.

The arrest came just hours before the head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division issued a notice to agents across the country, urging them “to exercise vigilance” even though “there are no specific threats” against the United States at home or abroad tied to the 14th anniversary of the tragedy.

“[I] would like to remind offices of the role social media can play in furthering terrorist rhetoric and inciting violence,” Assistant Director Michael Steinbach wrote in his message. “Individuals inspired by this messaging can rapidly mobilize to violence.”

Earlier Thursday, 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg was arrested at his home in Orange Park, Florida.

In late July, the FBI directed a confidential source to make contact with him after he posted extremist messages online posing as a Lebanese refugee living in Australia, according to charging documents.

By mid-August, Goldberg was expressing his hope that “there will be some jihad on the anniversary of 9/11,” the charging documents say.

Within days, Goldberg sent the source links to instructions that he could use to launch his own bombing attack, according to the FBI.

“We could make pipe bombs and detonate them at a large public event,” Goldberg allegedly wrote. “It needs to be big.”

Goldberg allegedly said that a pressure cooker should be filled with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison “in order to inflict more casualties,” the complaint says.

“Dipping the items in rat poison increases the chances of killing those impacted by the nails, glass and metal by possibly preventing any resulting wounds from clotting,” the documents say.

Authorities said Goldberg then told the source he found “the perfect place” to put a pressure-cooker bomb: the Kansas City 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb, when firefighters and others honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with what the event calls “a day of extreme physical challenge and intense reflection.”

“Shrapnel, blood, and panicking kuffar [non-believers] will be everywhere,” Goldberg allegedly wrote the source on Aug. 28.

Goldberg has been charged with distributing information relating to explosives and weapons of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.

In June, Goldberg allegedly boasted online that before the foiled Garland, Texas, attack, he put a message online calling for attacks on the Muhammad art exhibit being held there.

The FBI says that the morning of the Texas attack, one of the shooters, Elton Simpson, re-posted a Twitter message from Goldberg calling for “kuffar” to “die in your rage!”

Simpson and another man were killed by police after they opened fire on the officer and another security guard at the event.

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