Review Category : National News

Passerby Shoots Suspect Who Had ‘Ambushed’ Arizona State Trooper

Thinkstock/iStock(TONOPAH, Ariz.) — The Arizona Department of Public Safety said one of its troopers was “ambushed and shot” while responding to a call Thursday morning.

State troopers responded to reports of shots fired along the westbound roadway of I-10 near Tonopah around 4 a.m. local time. One of the troopers, a 27-year veteran, came upon a car accident near milepost 89 and saw an injured woman who had been ejected from a vehicle that rolled over, according to state officials. The trooper had started blocking off lanes when he was unexpectedly attacked, officials said.

“Our trooper was ambushed and shot by a suspect in the immediate area,” the department stated in a press release. “A physical fight ensued and as a result the suspect was shot and killed.”

At a press conference later Thursday, Col. Frank Milstead said a citizen had called to report that someone had shot at their vehicle near milepost 81 on I-10. It’s unclear if the person who fired at the vehicle is the suspect who shot the trooper.

Milstead told reporters the gunman shot the trooper in the chest and fought the law enforcement official to the ground. A person driving by saw the altercation and stopped to help the trooper. The person then retrieved a gun from his car and fatally shot the suspect, Milstead said.

The wounded trooper, whose name has not been released, was transported to a hospital where he is in stable condition and is awaiting surgery. The woman who had been found ejected from the rolled-over vehicle was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, according to Milstead.

The colonel said he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to speak to the passerby but wanted to tell the man “thank you.”

“Because I don’t know if my trooper would be alive today without your assistance,” Milstead told reporters.

Officials have not yet confirmed the suspect’s identity or the deceased occupant of the vehicle, Milstead added.

Officials are investigating the incident, the Arizona Department of Public Safety stated in the press release.

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Bodies of Five Children Recovered at Baltimore House Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — The bodies of five children were recovered and one child is missing after a fire tore through a family’s home in Baltimore, Maryland, early Thursday morning, officials said.

The blaze started at the three-story home in northeast Baltimore just after midnight, with a mother and her nine young children inside, said Roman Clark of the Baltimore City Fire Department.

An 8-year-old girl helped her mother and two of her younger siblings — 4- and 5-year-old boys — escape the house, fire officials said. The four of them were out of the home by the time the fire department arrived.

While the 8-year-old is in good condition and could be released from the hospital shortly, the mother, the 4-year-old and the 5-year-old are in critical condition, fire officials said Thursday.

Six children did not escape the house. Fire officials said Thursday afternoon that the bodies of five children were recovered.

The six children who did not escape the house are a 9-month-old boy, a 2-year-old boy, two 3-year-old twin girls, a 10-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said the children’s father was at work at the time of the fire.

Fire officials did not identify the woman, but Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said the fire involved one of his staff members, Katie Malone, and “her young family.”

“I am asking that our entire community pray for my staff member, Katie Malone, and her young family. Katie has worked as a Special Assistant in my Catonsville office for nearly 11 years where she dutifully serves my constituents in the areas of immigration, postal services, and the military, including Service Academy nominations,” Cummings said in a statement. “My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all.”

Cummings told reporters Thursday morning that he talked to Malone’s husband “at length today.”

“Katie is going to be okay. … Three of her nine children, her husband thinks they will be okay, also,” Cummings said. “Our office will do every single thing in our power to embrace them in this very, very difficult time.”

The home’s third floor collapsed into the second floor, making the search for the children difficult, Clark said. He called the collapse “horrendous.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation, the fire department said.

Pugh asked citizens of Baltimore to pray for the family, saying, “Any loss is painful, but the loss of children pains you even more deeply.”

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Oregon Man Finds Forgotten Lotto Ticket, Wins $1 Million

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT, Ore.) — An Oregon man recently discovered a year-old winning lotto ticket in his home office that he was cleaning, according to the Oregon Lottery.

The man — Joemel Panisa — found the ticket just eight days before it expired, the Oregon Lottery said in a news release on Wednesday. The ticket was worth $1 million.

Panisa was able to claim the ticket just in the nick of time, and he is officially now the fourth Mega Millions $1 million winner since the game was offered in Oregon in 2010, the Oregon State Lottery said.

Panisa purchased the winning ticket last year on Jan. 15, 2016, at a mini market along a highway in the city of Newport, Oregon, the state’s lottery agency said.

Panisa then placed the ticket in an envelope and put it in his home office, where it was left forgotten for a whole year, the Oregon Lottery added.

But “thanks to the snow and ice storm” that recently hit the state, Panisa was motivated to clean the office and stumbled upon the ticket again this past Monday, Jan. 9, the Oregon Lottery said. Panisa claimed it the same day, just before the ticket was set to expire on Jan. 17, 2017.

The mini market that sold the winning ticket will receive a 1 percent bonus, or $10,000, the Oregon State Lottery said.

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DOJ, Baltimore Reach Consent Decree on Police Reforms

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — After months of negotiation, the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Baltimore have reached an agreement on a consent decree that mandates reforms of the city’s police department, federal and city officials announced on Thursday.

“In Baltimore, in many ways, this is a great day,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said during a news conference. “There is much more to be done.”

The court-enforceable, independently monitored consent decree was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and will be reviewed by a judge. Under the consent decree, if approved by the judge, the city of Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department will implement comprehensive reforms, including how its officers conduct stops and interact with people in the city.

“The future of Baltimore belongs to the people of this great city,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at the news conference. “Through this agreement, we are moving forward together to work to heal tension and the relationship between BPD and the community.”

The requirements of the consent decree, according to the Justice Department, focus on “building community trust, creating a culture of community and problem-oriented policing, prohibiting unlawful stops and arrests, preventing discriminatory policing and excessive force, ensuring public and officer safety, enhancing officer accountability and making needed technological upgrades.”

An independent monitor jointly recommended to the court by both parties will assess whether the reforms are being implemented and will report publicly on the Baltimore Police Department’s efforts on a regular basis. The monitor has yet to be announced.

The agreement comes nearly two years after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was killed in police custody in Baltimore in April 2015. Six police officers were charged but none were convicted in the arrest and death of Gray, who suffered a serious spinal injury while he was in the back of a police van. The incident prompted the Justice Department to open a formal investigation of the Baltimore Police Department’s patterns and practices.

In a report released in August, the Justice Department concluded that the city’s police department engaged in a “pattern or practice of conduct that violates the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination law.”

The report identified a litany of widespread and systematic problems in Baltimore policing, including: ”making unconstitutional stops, searches, and arrests, and using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches, and arrests of African Americans … using excessive force; and retaliating against people engaging in constitutionally-protected expression.”

The federal investigation, which reviewed the conduct of the Baltimore Police Department’s officers going back to 2010, found that Baltimore’s black residents suffered unfairly under a “zero tolerance” policing philosophy that routinely uses “overly aggressive tactics that unnecessarily escalate encounters.”

The report also stated that “African Americans accounted for 86 percent of all criminal offenses charged by BPD officers despite making up only 63 percent of Baltimore residents.”

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One Body Recovered in Search for Missing Children at Baltimore House Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — One body has been recovered and five children are missing after a fire tore through a home in Baltimore, Maryland, early Thursday morning, officials said.

The blaze started at the three-story home in northeast Baltimore just after midnight, Roman Clark of the Baltimore City Fire Department told ABC News.

Three children and their mother managed to escape the blaze and are in the hospital.

Clark initially said six children were missing, and later said one body had been recovered, as rescue crews scoured the scene Thursday morning.

The search for the others was temporarily stopped until the medical examiner arrives to recover the remains. Then, the search will resume, Clark said. The home’s third floor collapsed into the second floor, making the search difficult, Clark said.

Of the four people who escaped the home, the mother and two of the children are in the hospital in critical condition, Clark said. The third child is in good condition, Clark said.

The ages of the missing and hospitalized children range from 8 months to 11, Clark said.

Authorities did not identify the woman, but Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said the fire involved one of his staff members, Katie Malone, “and her young family.”

“I am asking that our entire community pray for my staff member, Katie Malone, and her young family. Katie has worked as a Special Assistant in my Catonsville office for nearly 11 years where she dutifully serves my constituents in the areas of immigration, postal services, and the military, including Service Academy nominations,” Cummings said in a statement. “My staff is a family and this unimaginable tragedy is shocking and heartbreaking to us all.”

Authorities said the rescued woman is believed to be the mother of all nine children.

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POLL: Sixty-Eight Percent of Cops Think Protests After Police Shootings Show Bias

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A new survey indicates that more than two-thirds of police officers believe that protests that typically follow high-profile police shootings are “motivated to a great extent by anti-police bias” — one of several findings that appear to highlight deep divisions between law enforcement and the citizens they protect.

The survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform and published by the Pew Research Center, polled nearly 8,000 police officers from 54 police and sheriff’s departments across the United States.

Because of the way the survey was conducted, margins of error varied from question.

Some 68 percent of officers say protests after fatal police shootings of black citizens, like the ones that dominated headlines this July following the fatal police shootings of Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, reflect anti-police bias.

By contrast, the survey indicates that only 10 percent of the officers believe that protesters were motivated “a great deal” by the desire to hold officers accountable for their actions.

Some 86 percent say that high-profile incidents between police and African-Americans have made police work harder, and seven in 10 say they’ve made officers in their department less willing to stop and question “suspicious persons,” the data show.

And, perhaps most notably, while six in 10 Americans see these incidents as signs of broader problems between the police and the black community, according to a separate Pew research study, fewer than a third of police officers agree with their assessment.

The Pew study also highlights apparent racial divisions within the ranks of the police officers themselves.

Only about a quarter of white officers, but close to seven-in-ten of their black colleagues, believe that the protests that followed fatal encounters between police and black citizens were sincere attempts to make police more accountable, the survey said.

Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of white officers (92 percent) but less than a third of their black colleagues say that the country has made the changes needed to assure equal rights for black citizens, according to the data.

The survey also has some potentially bad news for advocates of police reform.

More than half of the officers surveyed said that “in some neighborhoods” being aggressive is a more effective approach than demonstrating courtesy and 44 percent agree or strongly agree that “hard, physical tactics” are needed to deal with certain people.

But there are areas of agreement between the police and the public, according to the survey.

Large majorities of both believe anti-police bias is part of why police protests occur, the appear to agree on the need for body cameras as well as tracking gun sales federally and making private gun shows subject to background checks.

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Six Children Missing in Baltimore House Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — Six children are missing and four people are in the hospital after a fire tore through a home in Baltimore, Maryland, early Thursday morning, officials said.

The blaze started at the three-story home in northeast Baltimore just after midnight, Roman Clark of the Baltimore City Fire Department told ABC News.

Three children and a woman escaped the blaze; the woman and two of the children were hospitalized in critical condition and the third child was hospitalized in serious condition, Clark said.

Six other children are missing. The home’s third floor collapsed into the second floor, making the search difficult, Clark said.

The ages of the missing and hospitalized children range from 8 months to 11, Clark said.

The rescued woman is believed to be the mother of all nine children, Clark said.

The rescue operation is ongoing; an excavator is at the scene to remove some of the heavy debris so crews can more easily search for the missing children, Clark said.

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Georgia Deputy in Dramatic Shootout Caught on Dashcam

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A Georgia sheriff’s deputy is thankful for his life after exchanging fire with a suspect while on a welfare call at a private residence in rural Troup County.

The officer’s dashcam captured dramatic video of the shootout, which took place on Monday.

Deputy Michael Hockett was dispatched to the residence to check on an individual whose father called police to report a mental health episode, ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported.

In the video, Hockett is heard yelling at the suspect, “Drop the gun now!”

Moments later he’s seen running away as the armed suspect chases him. Hockett jumps a fence and the suspect begins firing at him.

Hockett returns fire, hitting the suspect in the shoulder. Hockett was also hit in his forehead, elbow and waist by pellets from a shotgun blast during the shootout.

The suspect, identified as Matthew Edmondson, then engaged several local and state law enforcement agencies in a standoff that lasted more than six hours.

“I’m thankful that the Lord seen me through it. I’ve replayed it in my head and I know in my heart that I did everything I could to do the best I could with the situation I’d been placed in,” Hockett told WSB-TV.

Edmondson’s mother witnessed part of the shootout and frantically called 911.

“I need an ambulance. Please hurry. My son’s been shot,” she said. “There was a deputy here we had just came in. and I don’t know if the deputy was shot or not. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m scared to death.”

Edmondson eventually surrendered and is now facing several charges, including attempted murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

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NTSB: Lake Erie Plane Crash Caught on Cockpit Voice Recorder

Thinkstock/iStock(CLEVELAND) — The final moments of a small plane that crashed into Lake Erie last month, killing six, were captured on the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed Wednesday.

Following a long search, divers located and began to recover the wreckage on Friday after receiving reports from the Cessna 525 Citation’s emergency transmitting beacon, officials confirmed. The cockpit voice recorder was still inside the fuselage.

According to officials, the plane, which took off from Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, was en route to Columbus, after its pilot and the passengers had attended a Cleveland Cavaliers game earlier on Dec. 29.

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Dog Back Home After Getting Stuck on Utah Cliff

Utah County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue(Utah County, Utah) — Mary, an American foxhound, is back home, safe and sound, after surviving several nights perched on the side of a cliff this past weekend in Provo, Utah, according to rescuers.

Armed with a camera, supplies and treats, of course, volunteer Shaun Roundy and members of the Utah County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team set out last Friday, hiking half a mile up steep terrain, to remove the 3-year-old canine from the mountainside.

It was not clear how Mary had made it to the cliff with the 60-foot drop. Rescuers said he’d been there since last Thursday.

“We’ve got a dog harness. We’re going to propel down, put that on [Mary and] bring [her] back down to safety,” Roundy said in a video posted on YouTube by the Utah rescue team.

Roundy and his team, however, quickly learned that would not be the case with Mary the stubborn beagle.

Despite Roundy feeding her treats and trying to coax her to him, the dog refused to let the rescuer put the harness on or even touch her.

“We thought this dog’s been [here], overnight, on the coldest night of the year. It’s going to be hungry. It’s going to be happy to see us,” Roundy told ABC affiliate Good4Utah.com.

In the more than 21 minute video posted by the team, Roundy’s camera captured his harrowing attempts to rescue the beagle from a perch.

“Don’t go jumping off any cliffs now. Come here, Mary,” Roundy could be heard saying on the video. “OK, Mary. Hang on, girl. Good girl. Got some treats for you.”

Roundy said he fed Mary dog treats and even had the owner speak to the canine on a walkie-talkie, but to no avail. The team spent two hours trying to rescue Mary, until the sun set and the temperatures started dropping.

“I thought if I take one more step closer, it’s going to fall off,” Roundy said.

In the YouTube video, the team said that before abandoning efforts for the night, it fed Mary jerky, sardines and a granola bar and even left her a bag with hand warmers inside to sit on.

The team said it planned to try again Saturday, but this time with a net. When they returned, however, Mary was gone.

“The owner did return the following morning and coaxed her down,” John Luke, a Utah County spokesman, said Wednesday. “She had some scrapes and minor cuts but was otherwise OK.”
The owners did not want to be identified.

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