Review Category : National News

Hikers on First Date Rescued by Helicopter After Getting Lost in Angeles National Forest

kapulya/iStock/ThinkStock(LOS ANGELES) — A first date went from adventurous to dangerous when the young pair got lost in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California.

The hikers had a map and a phone with them Friday but got lost in the trails, said the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. But they were able to find cell phone service and called the Altadena Sheriff’s station, which sent a rescue crew to airlift them.

There was no indication the hikers were injured, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday.

The pair was described as “young” but their ages weren’t released.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal Orders Flags to Be at Flown Half-Staff After Theater Shooting

Cheryl Gerber/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered flags to fly at half staff at all state government buildings until the end of the month in a show of respect for the Lafayete theater shooting victims.

Alleged gunman John Russell Houser killed two women and injured nine other moviegoers before killing himself on Thursday night.

The governor, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, has suspended his campaign temporarily and says this is not the time to talk about gun control.

In a press release on Saturday, the governor issued an Executive Order instructing law enforcement to enforce the law and maintain peace during the funeral services of the two victims.

The order comes after reports emerged that groups intended to protest the funerals of the two victims.

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Brother of John Houser ‘Never Thought Anything Like This Would Happen’

John Roman/iStock/ThinkStock(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The brother of the gunman who killed two women and wounded nine other people in a movie theater shooting in Louisiana said he “never thought anything like this would happen.”

Rem Houser said he was shocked by his brother John’s alleged actions. Police say John Houser, 59, opened fire inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday, before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“I never thought anything like this would happen,” Rem Houser told ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta. “We’re just in shock about the whole thing.”

Houser declined to talk about his brother’s past. Court documents show John Houser allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago.

Rem Houser offered thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims.

“We just pray for them and we’re thinking about them,” he said.

Authorities were still trying to piece together why Houser, who they described as a “drifter” living at a motel, opened fire.

Police said he was “intent on shooting and escaping” and kept wigs and disguises in a nearby motel room. The handgun he used in the shooting was legally purchased at a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama, last year, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Friday.

Houser had applied for a pistol in Alabama in 2006, according to Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor. But he was denied because of an arson arrest and a report of domestic violence against him in 2005.

The domestic violence complaint was never prosecuted.

Houser allegedly threatened his family, who took out a temporary protective order against him in April 2008, according to court filings. The protective order was lifted the next month.

He was also involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia and his wife said had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar disorder, according to court filings.

Houser and his wife were married and lived together from 1983 to 2012, according to court filings obtained by ABC News. The couple separated in December 2012 and she then filed for divorce in March 2015, the documents show. The divorce is not yet final.

His estranged wife and her family have declined comment on the shooting.

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One Person Shot In Possible North Carolina Road Rage Incident

John Roman/iStock/Thinkstock(HICKORY, N.C.) — A possible road rage incident on Highway 127 Thursday night led to the shooting of one man at a Rite Aid parking lot in Hickory, North Carolina, according to the Hickory Police Department’s Facebook page.

Police identified the victim to be Kambiz Saleh Tehrani, 39, who followed a vehicle, flashed his lights, and honked his horn at the driver attempting to get the car to stop.

The other vehicle drove into the parking lot as Tehrani followed eventually stopping, exiting his vehicle and approaching the subject’s vehicle, then an altercation began, police said.

The Rite Aid was closed for business at the time.

Authorities are currently looking to question the white female driver and the black male passenger in connection to the shooting.

Tehrani was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center and then later to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

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One Person Shot In Possible North Carolina Road Rage Incident

John Roman/iStock/Thinkstock(HICKORY, N.C.) — A possible road rage incident on Highway 127 Thursday night led to the shooting of one man at a Rite Aid parking lot in Hickory, North Carolina, according to the Hickory Police Department’s Facebook page.

Police identified the victim to be Kambiz Saleh Tehrani, 39, who followed a vehicle, flashed his lights, and honked his horn at the driver attempting to get the car to stop.

The other vehicle drove into the parking lot as Tehrani followed eventually stopping, exiting his vehicle and approaching the subject’s vehicle, then an altercation began, police said.

The Rite Aid was closed for business at the time.

Authorities are currently looking to question the white female driver and the black male passenger in connection to the shooting.

Tehrani was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center and then later to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

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Gun Used in Lafayette Louisiana Shooting Was Purchased Legally, Killer ‘Methodical’

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gun that was used to kill two people and wound nine others in the horrific movie theater shooting in Louisiana was purchased legally in Alabama, police said Friday.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said that John Houser, who died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound amid the carnage, methodically opened fire at the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette Thursday night.

“It appears that the shooter actually took his time.. and was somewhat methodical as he shot folks from the top and the back of the theater,” Jindal said. Mayci Breaux, 21, of Franklin, Louisiana and Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, were killed. Five people remained hospitalized Friday night.

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Friday evening that the .40 caliber Hi-Point semiautomatic was legally purchased at a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama in February 2014.

Police did not immediately say who made the purchase.

The gun’s history was the latest in a series of developments Friday in the case.

Police said they found at least 13 shell casings at the scene.

They say Houser opened fire around 7:30 p.m., reportedly during a screening of Amy Schumer’s movie Trainwreck. Officials said 25 tickets to the movie were sold.

Witnesses said that he stood up and fired a single shot, which some moviegoers mistook as being part of the movie.

Then he began firing in a semi-circle, according to the witnesses, with the flashes from the gun lighting up the dark theater.

Moviegoers ran for their lives, officials said, leaving their belongings behind. Some sprang into action, helping to save others, including a teacher who shielded another from a bullet.

“One of the teachers jumped in front of her fellow teacher, probably saving her life,” Jindal said. “That bullet may have ended up hitting her in the head if she hadn’t done that. The second teacher was still shot in the leg, even though her friend jumped in front of her, was able to pull the fire alarm.”

After an initial round of gunfire, Houser tried to leave the theater through a side door, but spotted responding officers and went back inside, police said.

“He reentered the theater, fired some more rounds, we think three more rounds, and the fourth round he took his own life,” Craft said.

Authorities were still trying to piece together why Houser, who they described as a “drifter” living at a motel, opened fire.

Police said he was “intent on shooting and escaping” and kept wigs and disguises in a nearby motel.

Houser had applied for a pistol in Alabama in 2006, according to Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor. But he was denied because of an arson arrest and a report of domestic violence against him in 2005.

The domestic violence complaint was never prosecuted.

Houser allegedly threatened his family, who took out a temporary protective order against him in April 2008, according to court filings.

The protective order was lifted the next month.

He was also involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia and his wife said had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar disorder, according to court filings.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Houser was prolific in online message boards, and was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.'”

“At this time the family has no comment,” said a statement released on behalf of Houser’s estranged wife Kellie Houser and her family. “Our concern and our prayers are for the families of those who lost their lives or were wounded in LaFayette, LA. Please allow our family some privacy at this time.”

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Lafayette Theater Shooting Survivor Describes ‘Strange Calm’ After First Shot

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — Emily Mann had just finished laughing at a raunchy moment in the film Trainwreck Thursday evening when the mood in the Grand 16 Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, changed dramatically.

About 20 minutes in, Mann said a man about five seats down from her stood up, wearing a jacket and hat, and fired a single shot.

“The first shot, I thought it was a firecracker,” Mann, 21, said.

The audience became silent.

“After that first shot … there was this very strange calm,” Mann, said. “Because everybody was just trying to make sure it wasn’t that … anything but that.”

After what Mann described as a long pause, the gunman, identified by police as John Russell Houser, then proceeded to fire in a semi-circle. The blasts from the gun produced flashes of light in the dark theater, she said.

By the time Houser’s pistol reached Mann’s direction, she was on her hands and knees, crawling through the aisle. She said she was waiting for a bullet to be fired into her back.

“There was no pushing each other. People were pulling each other out instead of trying to scramble on top of one another,” Mann said. “I think that that says a lot about the people here.”

“There was an immediate understanding that every single person in that room was going through the same thing and that we all needed to get out,” Mann said.

Mann escaped around a corner, helped by a woman who pulled her to safety.

“By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs a woman pulled me around. And I’d left my purse and my phone everything was there. A shoe,” she said.

“You could just see it in everybody’s face that it was very real,” she said.

Mann then ran with a crowd of people into the lobby.

“I didn’t really hear the screaming until we were out of the theater itself, out of 14 and running down the hall. I still didn’t say anything. I hadn’t screamed yet, it was just run. That’s what you’re supposed to do, you’re supposed to run,” Mann said.

One of the two women who died from the shooting was 21-year-old Mayci Breaux — who was the same age as Mann.

“She was 21,” Mann said. “She had things she wanted to do.”

With tears in her eyes, Mann admitted she feels a strange sense of guilt she survived.

“I think it could have been any of us,” she said. “They chose those seats.”

“I’ve replayed it a million times, just trying to figure out, you know, had he been a better shot, had he brought an automatic weapon…” Mann said. “All those things that could have gone worse, and it’s all those things that could have lined up to be there,” Mann said. “Had he chosen a different movie, maybe a kids movie?”

Mann also described the contrast between the comfort of the Lafayette community with the violence Houser brought to it.

“We’ve worked so hard to be known for something so much better,” she said. “We’re known for family and for food and for festivals and for comfort. That’s what you feel when you’re here.”

“I think Lafayette as a whole won’t think much of him because he wasn’t one of us,” she said.

ABC US News | World News

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Mass Shootings in US Increasingly Common and Deadly

Lafayette police guard the Grand Theatre on July 24, 2015 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Two people were killed and nine others wounded when a shooter identified as John Russell Houser, 59, opened fire in a movie theatre, killing himself after police arrived. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) — The shooting at a Louisiana movie theater that left two dead victims and nine others injured was a shock to many local residents and politicians but does not qualify as a mass shooting according to federal standards.

In 2013, President Obama signed a law qualifying a mass shooting as one where three or more victims die, meaning that Thursday night’s shooting would not count since the third death was that of the shooter.

The FBI has worked from a slightly higher count for more than a decade, as they consider a “serial murder” an incident where four or more victims were killed.

Based off the FBI’s definition, which was used by Mother Jones in a study of the frequency of mass murders in the United States, the most recent such incident was the shooting at a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Lafayette movie theater shooting took place exactly one week after the Chattanooga shooting, where five service members died.

The Chattanooga shooting came just shy of a month after the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting that left nine dead.

A much larger gap existed for mass shootings between the Charleston incident and its predecessor, which happened at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state in October. That gap marked a 236 day break between mass shootings.

As the regularity of mass shootings increases, the number of fatalities increases as well.

The figures for 2012 are particularly high because it includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children and six adult staff members were killed, as well as the Aurora movie theater shooting, where 12 people were killed and 70 others injured.

Mass shootings that occurred since 1982 tend to align somewhat with population centers, as many took place near the East Coast and along the West Coast.

Similarly, there is a notable gap in the upper Great Plains-Rocky Mountain area.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The shooting at a Louisiana movie theater that left two dead victims and nine others injured was a shock to many local residents and politicians but does not qualify as a mass shooting according to federal standards.

In 2013, President Obama signed a law qualifying a mass shooting as one where three or more victims die, meaning that Thursday night’s shooting would not count since the third death was that of the shooter.

The FBI has worked from a slightly higher count for more than a decade, as they consider a “serial murder” an incident where four or more victims were killed.

Based off the FBI’s definition, which was used by Mother Jones in a study of the frequency of mass murders in the United States, the most recent such incident was the shooting at a military recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Lafayette movie theater shooting took place exactly one week after the Chattanooga shooting, where five service members died.

The Chattanooga shooting came just shy of a month after the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting that left nine dead.

A much larger gap existed for mass shootings between the Charleston incident and its predecessor, which happened at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state in October. That gap marked a 236 day break between mass shootings.

As the regularity of mass shootings increases, the number of fatalities increases as well.

The figures for 2012 are particularly high because it includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children and six adult staff members were killed, as well as the Aurora movie theater shooting, where 12 people were killed and 70 others injured.

Mass shootings that occurred since 1982 tend to align somewhat with population centers, as many took place near the East Coast and along the West Coast.

Similarly, there is a notable gap in the upper Great Plains-Rocky Mountain area.

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Lafayette Louisiana Theater Gunman Threatened His Family, Was Involuntarily Committed, Documents Say

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Louisiana Thursday night allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago, according to documents filed in court.

Shooter John Russel Houser, whom police described as a drifter “who was intent on shooting and escaping,” died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being corned, authorities said. He was among three people who died at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, police said. Nine others were injured, one in critical condition, police said.

Houser, 59, was estranged from his family, police said, adding that authorities spoke to some of them overnight.

Houser and his wife were married and lived together from 1983 to 2012, according to court filings obtained by ABC News. The couple separated in December 2012, and she then filed for divorce in March 2015, the documents show.

They have adult children together, according to the court filings.

In April 2008, Houser’s family members filed a temporary protective order against him in Georgia, according to court filings.

The family members claimed that Houser didn’t want his daughter getting married and he exhibited “extreme erratic behavior” and “made ominous as well as disturbing statements” that the marriage wouldn’t occur, according to documents. Houser’s wife allegedly “became so worried about the Defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence,” according to documents.

Houser also allegedly threatened his wife’s aunt, the documents said.

Houser was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia, the documents said, and he allegedly threatened his wife that once he got out he would continue his erratic behavior and stop the marriage. He also allegedly harassed his daughter’s future in-laws, the documents said.

Houser’s wife said he had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar behavior, according to court filings. She said Houser took medication daily, but sometimes forgot to take it or would forget to eat, which affected his behavior, according to court filings.

The protection order was lifted May 8, 2009, the documents said.

Before that, when he lived in Alabama, Houser applied for a pistol permit in 2006, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Friday. But the permit was denied because he had been arrested in connection to an arson case in Georgia in 1989 or 1990, and there was a report of domestic violence against him in 2005, the sheriff said.

A 2005 domestic violence complaint against Houser was filed with the police in Alabama, Taylor said, but it was never prosecuted.

Police said Houser had no known connection to Lafayette.

He had likely been in Lafayette since early this month, staying at a motel, they said.

Wigs and glasses were found in Houser’s car – a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental – and motel room, according to police.

One weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, was recovered, police said. At least 13 rounds were fired, according to police.

Separately, Houser was described in a report Friday by a legal advocacy group as someone who was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.’”

He wrote dozens of comments on Internet message boards, expressing “interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Do not mistake yourselves for one minute, the enemy sees all posted on this website. I do not want to discourage the last hope for the best, but you must realize the power of the lone wolf, is the power that come forth in ALL situations,” Houser wrote on a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi political party, according to SPLC. “Look within yourselves.”

He also cited minimal political involvement and “hustling” among his interests, the law center wrote.

Houser has referenced Adolf Hitler many times online, saying, for instance, “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,” last January on another website, SPLC said.

But police emphasized that there is no known motive for the shooting.

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Lafayette Louisiana Theater Gunman Threatened His Family, Was Involuntarily Committed, Documents Say

ABC News(LAFAYETTE, La.) — The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Louisiana Thursday night allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago, according to documents filed in court.

Shooter John Russel Houser, whom police described as a drifter “who was intent on shooting and escaping,” died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being corned, authorities said. He was among three people who died at the Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, police said. Nine others were injured, one in critical condition, police said.

Houser, 59, was estranged from his family, police said, adding that authorities spoke to some of them overnight.

Houser and his wife were married and lived together from 1983 to 2012, according to court filings obtained by ABC News. The couple separated in December 2012, and she then filed for divorce in March 2015, the documents show.

They have adult children together, according to the court filings.

In April 2008, Houser’s family members filed a temporary protective order against him in Georgia, according to court filings.

The family members claimed that Houser didn’t want his daughter getting married and he exhibited “extreme erratic behavior” and “made ominous as well as disturbing statements” that the marriage wouldn’t occur, according to documents. Houser’s wife allegedly “became so worried about the Defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence,” according to documents.

Houser also allegedly threatened his wife’s aunt, the documents said.

Houser was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia, the documents said, and he allegedly threatened his wife that once he got out he would continue his erratic behavior and stop the marriage. He also allegedly harassed his daughter’s future in-laws, the documents said.

Houser’s wife said he had a history of mental illness, including manic depression and bi-polar behavior, according to court filings. She said Houser took medication daily, but sometimes forgot to take it or would forget to eat, which affected his behavior, according to court filings.

The protection order was lifted May 8, 2009, the documents said.

Before that, when he lived in Alabama, Houser applied for a pistol permit in 2006, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said Friday. But the permit was denied because he had been arrested in connection to an arson case in Georgia in 1989 or 1990, and there was a report of domestic violence against him in 2005, the sheriff said.

A 2005 domestic violence complaint against Houser was filed with the police in Alabama, Taylor said, but it was never prosecuted.

Police said Houser had no known connection to Lafayette.

He had likely been in Lafayette since early this month, staying at a motel, they said.

Wigs and glasses were found in Houser’s car – a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental – and motel room, according to police.

One weapon, a .40-caliber handgun, was recovered, police said. At least 13 rounds were fired, according to police.

Separately, Houser was described in a report Friday by a legal advocacy group as someone who was “caught up with a number of far-right ideas and fascinated about ‘the power of the lone wolf.’”

He wrote dozens of comments on Internet message boards, expressing “interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas, the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Do not mistake yourselves for one minute, the enemy sees all posted on this website. I do not want to discourage the last hope for the best, but you must realize the power of the lone wolf, is the power that come forth in ALL situations,” Houser wrote on a forum dedicated to the New York chapter of Golden Dawn, Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi political party, according to SPLC. “Look within yourselves.”

He also cited minimal political involvement and “hustling” among his interests, the law center wrote.

Houser has referenced Adolf Hitler many times online, saying, for instance, “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,” last January on another website, SPLC said.

But police emphasized that there is no known motive for the shooting.

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