Review Category : National News

Louisiana Movie Theater Gunman ID’d as John Russel Houser

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(LAFAYETTE, Louisiana) — The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday night, was John Russel Houser, police said at a news conference Friday morning.

Houser, 59, who killed himself, is among three people who died, police said. The other two were Mayci Breaux, 21, of Franklin, Louisiana, who died at the theater, and Jillian Johnson, 33, of Lafayette, who died at the hospital.

Nine others were injured, including one who was in critical condition, police said.

Houser is from Phenix City, Alabama, and has no known connection to Lafayette, police said. Houser was described as a drifter by police, who said he had likely been in Lafayette since early July, staying at a motel.

“It is apparent he was intent on shooting and escaping” before police forced him back into the theater where he shot himself to death, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said at the news conference, explaining that his 1995 blue Lincoln Continental was positioned near the exit.

Police found wigs and glasses in his car and motel room, Craft said.

The shooting occurred at the Grand 16 Theater on Johnston Street where a screening of Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck was playing. Conditions of those injured range from non-life-threatening to critical and their ages ranged from the late teens to their 60s, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said at a news conference.

The shooting comes one week after James Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Two people were released from the hospital as of early Friday morning, police said.

Gunfire broke out around 7:30 p.m. in one of the movie theater’s auditoriums, Lafayette Police told ABC News. More than 100 people were in the theater, according to Louisiana State Police.

The motive for the shooting remained unclear.

Authorities checked suspicious packages inside the shooter’s car and the movie theater, but no explosive devices were found, Craft said.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, who arrived in Lafayette late Thursday, called the shooting a seemingly random act of violence at a news conference.

“Whenever we see these or hear about these senseless acts of violence, it makes us both furious and sad at the same time,” Jindal said.

“Lafayette is a strong community,” Jindal said. “We will get through this, we’re a resilient community. This is an awful night for Lafayette, this is an awful night for Louisiana, this is an awful night for the United States.”

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy also tweeted, expressing his condolences for those shot.

The FBI said in a statement: “The FBI New Orleans Division is aware of a shooting incident that occurred at a Lafayette area movie theater in which FBI Agents, along with state and local law enforcement have responded. Presently a joint law enforcement coordination is under way and further details will be shared once the information becomes available.”

The theater and its parent company, the Southern Theatres, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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EXCLUSIVE: Look Inside the Cabin Where NY Escaped Convict Hid

ABC News’ “20/20″ was given exclusive access to this hunting cabin that authorities say Richard Matt used. (ABC News)(MALONE, N.Y.) — While escaped prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat were on the run in upstate New York, they found several places to hide in the Adirondack wilderness.

This hunting cabin, the inside of which is being revealed for the first time, is where authorities said Matt spent some time after separating from Sweat.

ABC News’ 20/20 was given exclusive access inside the cabin in Malone, New York, to show what it was like when Matt used it to hid from law enforcement.

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 TONIGHT at 10 ET

On June 20, six days prior to when authorities say Matt was at the cabin, police confirmed a tip that a resident in Mountain View, New York, 22 miles away from Malone, had caught sight of Matt and Sweat running out of a different hunting cabin, and law enforcement narrowed their search. Police suspect the murderers may have actually broken into additional cabins along their way to gather supplies and to rest.

Then, on June 26, a resident in Malone was checking on his own hunting cabin — the one featured here — when he noticed something was out of place.

“He noticed a bottle of grape gin sitting here on the counter and some of was actually spilled,” said New York State police Maj. Charles Guess, who was leading the search. “[He] confirmed nobody touched the gin; probably time to call the state police.”

As investigators searched the second cabin, they heard shots ring out nearby. Police said Matt had fired shots at a passing vehicle less than a quarter-mile away in an attempt to carjack it. A full alert was sounded and law enforcement descended on the area.

Matt was shot and killed by authorities three hours later, less than a half-mile from the cabin. Sweat was captured alive on June 28 in Constable, New York, about 40 miles away from the prison. He is currently being held at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York.

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EXCLUSIVE: Look Inside the Cabin Where NY Escaped Convict Hid

ABC News’ “20/20″ was given exclusive access to this hunting cabin that authorities say Richard Matt used. (ABC News)(MALONE, N.Y.) — While escaped prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat were on the run in upstate New York, they found several places to hide in the Adirondack wilderness.

This hunting cabin, the inside of which is being revealed for the first time, is where authorities said Matt spent some time after separating from Sweat.

ABC News’ 20/20 was given exclusive access inside the cabin in Malone, New York, to show what it was like when Matt used it to hid from law enforcement.

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 TONIGHT at 10 ET

On June 20, six days prior to when authorities say Matt was at the cabin, police confirmed a tip that a resident in Mountain View, New York, 22 miles away from Malone, had caught sight of Matt and Sweat running out of a different hunting cabin, and law enforcement narrowed their search. Police suspect the murderers may have actually broken into additional cabins along their way to gather supplies and to rest.

Then, on June 26, a resident in Malone was checking on his own hunting cabin — the one featured here — when he noticed something was out of place.

“He noticed a bottle of grape gin sitting here on the counter and some of was actually spilled,” said New York State police Maj. Charles Guess, who was leading the search. “[He] confirmed nobody touched the gin; probably time to call the state police.”

As investigators searched the second cabin, they heard shots ring out nearby. Police said Matt had fired shots at a passing vehicle less than a quarter-mile away in an attempt to carjack it. A full alert was sounded and law enforcement descended on the area.

Matt was shot and killed by authorities three hours later, less than a half-mile from the cabin. Sweat was captured alive on June 28 in Constable, New York, about 40 miles away from the prison. He is currently being held at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York.

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Sharks Spotted Swimming Just 15 Feet From Long Island Coast, Beach Briefly Closed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A pair of sharks was spotted swimming off a beach in Long Island, prompting authorities to clear the water.

The incident is the latest in a string of shark sightings and attacks on the East Coast. It also comes just weeks after another shark was reportedly sighted nearby off Overlook Beach, according to WABC-TV.

A lifeguard at Tobay Beach called 911 after spotting the fish swimming off of the beach, near Massapequa, just before 11:50 a.m

A Nassau County Police helicopter then spotted two 6-foot sharks swimming about 15 feet off the shore.

The waters were deemed unsafe and nearby Cedar and Overlook beaches were also alerted because the sharks were swimming in their direction.

Beachgoers were allowed back in the water around 3 p.m.

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Hero Teacher Jumped in Front of Coworker During Louisiana Movie Theater Shooting, Gov. Says

iStock/Thinkstock(LAFAYETTE, La.) — A school teacher heroically jumped in front of a colleague to shield her during a deadly shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana Thursday night, and one of the teachers was able to pull the fire alarm to alert authorities despite being wounded, according to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

“Her friend literally jumped over her, and in her account actually saved her life,” Jindal said at a press conference, after he visited with victims at a hospital. “If she hadn’t done that … that bullet, she believed it would have hit her in the head.”

The account of heroism comes in the wake of the shooting at the Grand 16 Theater, which left three people, including the gunman dead and nine others wounded. Conditions and ages of those injured varied dramatically.

While both teachers were shot, one of them was able to pull the fire alarm to alert authorities, the governor said.

“Even though she was shot in the leg, she had the presence of mind to pull the fire alarm to help save other lives,” Jindal said.

One of the teachers remained in the hospital Thursday night and the other was released, said Jindal.

The teachers had been enjoying a night out before the new school year, Jindal said, and never expected to encounter a random act of violence.

“Today is a day that not only angers but saddens all of us,” Jindal said. “This is an awful night that brings us together as a community.”

According to ABC television affiliate KATC, witness Tanya Clark said she was buying popcorn when a group of people ran over, telling everyone to run for their life. Clark first thought it was a prank, according to KATC, but when she saw a woman with blood on her leg, she grabbed her child and ran.

Victims’ ages range from late teens to early 60s, police said.

The gunman died from a self-inflicted wound, official said. The identity of the shooter is known but is not being released, police said. The motive for the shooting remained unclear.

More than 100 people were in the theater at the time of the shooting, according to Louisiana State Police.

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Video Shows Undocumented Immigrant Taken Into Custody at US Border, Officials Say

United States Border Patrol officers arrest two men at the border between Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on July 23, 2015. ABC News(LAREDO, Texas) — Two undocumented immigrants were taken into custody today by American officials after being spotted running in a border town — an event that was captured on ABC News video.

That’s the scene that unfolded behind ABC News correspondent Tom Llamas early Thursday morning as he was setting up for his live shot for Good Morning America in Laredo, Texas. The incident also came just hours before GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump made a campaign stop in the town.

The video shows one man stumbling just before a U.S. Border Patrol officer rushed in and took him down.

A Border Patrol official confirmed to ABC News that the men were undocumented.

According to the Border Patrol, agents regularly survey the area, which is near the Rio Grande. The men were spotted darting across a parking lot after crossing the river into the United States from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the official told ABC News.

An official said the men were trying to blend into the neighborhood and that stops like these were a common occurrence.

It was not clear if the men were charged.

“The apprehension is representative of the work our personnel perform daily,” the Border Patrol official told ABC News.

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Two Teens in Custody, Five Dead in Oklahoma Stabbing

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) — Two teens are in police custody after five people were found dead in an Oklahoma home on Wednesday night.

According to the Broken Arrow Police Department, officers were dispatched to the home for a 911 call with an unknown problem. Upon arrival, officers found two dead adults and three dead juveniles, all stabbed to death.

One injured minor was taken to a Tulsa-area hospital in critical condition, and another minor was found unharmed and placed in protective custody.

Police said that two teens were taken into custody, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. The teens were located in an area behind the residence. The suspects and victims are believed to have been family and may have lived in the home together.

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Southwest Pilot’s Failure Contributed to Hard Landing in 2013, Says NTSB

Angel Di Bilio/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight that landed nose-first at LaGuardia Airport in 2013 took control of the aircraft just 27 feet above the ground after an “unstabilized descent” by the co-pilot, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday.

The Boeing 737 slammed into the runway nose-first, driving the nose gear into the belly of the aircraft and injuring eight passengers. Instead of landing, officials said the pilot should have pulled up.

The pilot –- who allegedly took control after the first officer had already begun what turned out to be an unstabilized descent –- failed to comply with standard operating procedure, which likely contributed to the hard landing, according to the NTSB.

“The captain’s failed attempt to recover from an unstabilized approach by transferring airplane control at low altitude instead of performing a go-around, caused a hard landing,” the NTSB said in a statement. “Contributing to the accident was the captain’s failure to comply with standard operating procedures during the approach.”

Instead of trying to “salvage the landing,” the captain should have gained altitude and attempted the landing a second time, according to Southwest rules.

Following an internal investigation by Southwest, the captain, who had flown with the airline for 13 years, was terminated in September 2013, and the first officer received additional training before resuming flight duty.

“We fully cooperated with the NTSB investigation and since the event, our Flight Operations policies and training programs have been thoroughly reviewed to ensure required procedures are clear, comprehensive and support a safe operation,” Southwest said in a statement today to ABC.

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Sandra Bland’s Death Deemed a Suicide, According to Autopsy

Sandra Bland/Facebook(HEMPSTEAD, Texas) — Details from an autopsy released Thursday indicated that Sandra Bland died as a result of suicide and that there were no signs of struggle that would be consistent with a violent death.

Warren Diepraam, the first assistant district attorney in Waller County, read details from the toxicology and autopsy reports that were conducted by the Harris County medical examiner, detailing how there were no injuries noted on Bland’s face or hands that someone would typically sustain during a violent struggle.

He did note that Bland had roughly 30 marks on her wrist that were in a “state of healing” which Diepraam said would indicate “that they may have been placed on her body roughly two to four weeks prior to incarceration.”

Jail intake forms indicated that Bland attempted suicide either in 2014 or 2015 after losing a baby. But they indicated that Bland was not feeling suicidal on the day she was jailed following a heated traffic stop on July 10.

She was found hanging by a plastic bag in her cell three days later. Jail officials have said that she told an officer she was “fine” just hours before her death.

The autopsy found “no bite marks or other injuries on her face, on her lips, on her tongue which would be consistent with a violent struggle,” Diepraam said.

It also found no petechiae, or bleeding under the skin, that would indicate strangulation.

They did find scabs on Bland’s back that were healing at the time of her death, which were consistent with someone applying force on her back. Bland can be heard on dash cam video saying that an officer had a knee on her back.

But it was not clear if the injuries were caused by another person or her slamming herself against something or someone.

Diepraam confirmed that she had ingested marijuana though it is not clear when or where she could have taken the drug.

“There’s nothing about this case that’s standard,” Diepraam said.

An independent autopsy has been conducted but the results have not been released.

Bland’s sister, Sharon Cooper, said that there was “Deep tissue bruising to her back which is consistent with the officer having his knee in her back.”

Her family has also called for an investigation by the Department of Justice.

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Human Remains Pulled from North Carolina Lake Could Be Man Reported Missing in 1972

iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A 43-year-old mystery may be one step closer to being solved.

Police pulled a 1968 Pontiac from Lake Rhodhiss in North Carolina on July 21 and believe the human remains inside belong to Amos Shook, a man reported missing in 1972, according to ABC News affiliate WSOC.

An autopsy will hopefully confirm the retired Air Force member’s identity after more than four decades of questions surrounding his disappearance.

“It put some closure on something [the family’s] been looking forward to for a long time,” Sheriff Alan Jones told WSOC.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department investigators used sonar technology to locate Shook’s car in the 30-foot deep water at the lake about 75 miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina.

No specific tip led them to Lake Rhodhiss, however, Shook’s daughter asked the department to look at her father’s case again just last month, WSOC reported.

Alongside the mud, rust and water in the car, investigators said they found Shook’s wallet.

The North Carolina Chief Medical Examiner’s office does not have an expected date they will finish the autopsy and identification process, a spokeswoman told ABC News Thursday.

If the remains are confirmed to be Shook, police are expected to close the case because they don’t suspect suicide or foul play.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment.

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