Review Category : Top Stories

Protesters Gather After Black Man Shot and Killed by Police in California

ABC News(EL CAJON) — Protesters gathered in El Cajon, California after police shot and killed an unidentified black man Tuesday afternoon.

Police said they received calls of a man “not acting like himself,” walking in traffic and endangering himself and motorists.

Two officers approached the man and instructed him to take his hand out of his pants pocket, police said. The man did not respond to the instructions and at one point “rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance,” police said.

At that point, one officer discharged a taser while the other officer shot the man several times with his firearm. The man was transported to a hospital where he later died.

A witness to the shooting provided police with cellphone video that police say supports their version of events. The video has not yet been released.

Dozens of protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting, according to KGTV, a local ABC affiliate.

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Charlotte Police Find Suspicious Package at Headquarters

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — A suspicious package was found at the headquarters of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Tuesday — days after a black man was killed by police, sparking violent protests.

Police said an employee in the mail room noticed the package and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in to investigate.

According to Capt. Mike Campagna, the bomb squad removed the package using a robot and was trying to determine if it was dangerous.

No threat accompanied the package.

Further information was not immediately available.

Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by police at an apartment complex on Sept. 20.

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8-Year-Old Writes Hilarious Guide to Third Grade

Courtesy Melissa Barvels(NEW YORK) — One 8-year-old has penned a hilarious, and brutally honest, how-to-guide for surviving third grade.

Christopher Bannon, of Staten Island, New York, wrote the guide, simply titled “How to Survive 3rd Grade,” for a school assignment, according to his mom, Melissa Barvels.

Christopher and his third grade classmates were assigned to write their own survival guides after reading “Amelia’s School Survival Guide” by Marissa Moss.

Christopher’s tips for third graders include everything from the obvious – “Always work quietly or else” and “Do not forget your homework” – to the very specific.

“Do not lay down in the meeting area,” Christopher wrote. “Trust me I have tried it is not as comfortable as it looks.”

When Christopher brought his survival guide home, his mom found it so funny she shared it on Facebook. Christopher told his mom he got a similar reaction from his classmates and teachers.

“He said when he read it aloud his teachers and friends were laughing,” Barvels told ABC News. “He really wanted me to read it and he was really proud of it.”

Barvels, who described her son as “very witty,” said she was particularly impressed by how spot-on the tips were, especially coming from an 8-year-old.

“Look good on picture day because if you do not it is not going to look so good as a magnet on your refrigerator door,” Christopher wrote.

Another spot-on tip?

“Pick your groups wisely because there is no turning back once you get a paper,” he wrote.

“I guess he has to deal with that all the time,” Barvels said.

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Cause of Ohio HS Football Player’s Death Determined as Video Released

ABC News(EUCLID, Ohio) — The Ohio high school football player whose death came two days after he suffered a game-related injury died of peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal cavity lining, which resulted from a small-bowel laceration caused by blunt impact to his abdomen, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said.

Andre Jackson’s autopsy was performed Tuesday, as video emerged showing his collision with an opposing team member in a game last week.

In the video, Jackson, visible by his No. 48 jersey, can be seen attempting to retrieve the ball before he appears to be unintentionally kicked in his abdomen by a member of the Solon High School football team. The opposing player tumbles forward after coming into contact with Jackson.

Jackson, 17, died Sunday, two days after being injured during Friday night’s game against Solon High School, district officials announced that day. His head football coach, Jeff Rotsky, told ABC Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV that Jackson was injured during a “pooch kick” when both he and another player were going for the ball.

Rotsky said he thinks Jackson either got “kicked or kneed” during the “pooch kick,” a low, short kickoff that tends to bounce on the ground before the receiving team picks it up. He called the special teams play “completely normal.”

After Jackson was injured in the play, he went to the hospital and was later released, the Solon City School District confirmed with ABC News. That district released the game video.

Jackson, a junior at Euclid High School, played fullback and outside linebacker for the school, according to WEWS-TV.

In a statement, Euclid High School called Jackson a “hardworking student athlete” who “brought smiles to all those with whom he came in contact.”

Rotsky said that Jackson “deserved so much more, adding that “a day won’t go by” that he won’t think about his smile.

“He was what you want to see out of a young man who wanted more out of life,” Rotsky said.

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Firefighter Killed, Multiple Injured After Explosion at Bronx Home With Possible Drug Lab, FDNY Says

Courtesy Dylan Ryder(NEW YORK) — A veteran firefighter was killed and multiple people were injured in an explosion and fire at a house in New York City Tuesday that contained evidence of a possible drug lab inside, according to the New York City Fire Department.

FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy and other local authorities originally responded to the home early this morning after a caller reported a gas odor, Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said at a news conference Tuesday.

When fire officials and police knocked on the door of the home, someone exited the single-family house, which then exploded and subsequently caught on fire, a law enforcement source briefed on the case told ABC News Tuesday.

A large piece of debris from the house’s roof struck Fahy in the head, and more than a dozen other people on the street were injured, Nigro said. Fahy and those injured were transported to a local New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where Fahy succumbed to his injuries and died.

“We lost a hero today and our members are all saddened,” Nigro said Tuesday. He added that Fahy and responders were able to evacuate the surrounding area before the explosion.

The New York City Police Department had been in the initial stages of investigating the home as a possible marijuana grow house at the time of the explosion, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at the news conference.

Trained eyes saw remnants of the alleged marijuana growing operation in the wreckage Tuesday, and the house was most likely being rented by a local area distribution crew, according to the law enforcement source briefed on the case.

The source added that ConEd had turned off gas to the home when officials initially responded to the report of odor.

Investigators are now apparently looking at possible alternate gas sources, including butane hash oil production, as they also search for the person who exited the home prior to the explosion, the law enforcement source said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that it is investigating, alongside local New York City authorities, to determine whether the blast was possibly connected to the alleged marijuana growing operation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags in the city to fly at half-staff Tuesday in memory of Fahy, a 17-year veteran of the FDNY and a father of three.

Tuesday was “a very sad day for our city,” de Blasio said at the news conference.

The mayor added that Fahy “made the ultimate sacrifice to this city,” and that his loss was “a reminder of the dangers that our first responders face every day, the dangers that the men and women of the FDNY face and the bravery with which they do their job.”

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Hundreds Evacuated as Loma Fire Tears Through California Mountains

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) — Evacuations remained underway for hundreds of residents near California’s Santa Cruz Mountains Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle the fast-moving Loma blaze.

The fire, which started Monday around 3 p.m., had scorched at least 1,000 acres and was 5 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit earlier Tuesday.

Record-breaking, triple-digit heat in addition to California’s drought helped fuel the blaze, driving the flames from just a spark to more than 3 square miles Monday. More than 500 firefighters were working around the clock, with more on the way.

“After dark, as we’re fighting fire in unfamiliar terrain — with obviously dangers of the fire itself and the movement of the fire — it definitely presents a considerable amount of danger to us, you know, besides just that firefighting aspect,” Capt. Christopher Salcido told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Mandatory evacuation orders were announced for Little Uvas and Croy roads, according to KGO-TV. Cal Fire said that 300 structures were threatened. The National Weather Service radar station was forced to shutter after flames started lapping near the building.

One firefighter was reportedly injured and Cal Fire said that two homes had been destroyed.

“I’m a little nervous,” Mary Lindsay told SFGate.com. “I can see all the smoke billowing up from the fire.”

The fire’s cause remained under investigation.

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Tearful Young Girl Laments ‘Shame’ of Charlotte Shooting

Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Peaceful protesters crowded Charlotte, North Carolina’s first city council meeting since the cop shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, with over 50 people speaking out against police violence.

But none of them stood out Monday quite as much as a young girl.

Zianna Oliphant, her hair done up in braids and tears streaking her face, brought into focus the stress police shootings place on children, as well as the pain the black community of Charlotte has suffered in the wake of Scott’s death last week.

“I’ve been born and raised in Charlotte. And I never felt this way until now and I can’t stand how we’re treated,” the grade-school girl said, wiping away tears.

She expressed the hardship that children face when a parent dies. Scott himself, who was African-American, had seven children.

“It’s a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears. We shouldn’t have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side,” she said.

Zianna, as well as the protesters in the room who chanted “no justice, no peace” after she spoke, helped to underscore the degree to which communal wounds have been slow to heal in North Carolina’s most populous city since the shooting.

Protests started on the streets of Charlotte after news of Scott’s shooting broke last Tuesday and, occasionally, became violent as they continued deeper into the week.

The scene grew especially tense Wednesday night when police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Some people in the crowds threw bottles and rocks at officers and passing cars, blocked an interstate highway, surrounded and jumped on vehicles, looted businesses and stormed the entrance of a Hyatt hotel, injuring two of its employees.

At the city council meeting, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts called for decorum at several points during public remarks. At several points, protesters yelled criticism of her and Police Chief Kerr Putney.

After the meeting wrapped up, The Charlotte Observer reported, more than 20 protesters moved to the lobby of the Government Center.

“Release. Release. The whole damn tape,” the protesters chanted, according to the newspaper.

Ray Dotch, Scott’s brother-in-law, on Monday called for the release of the entire video of his shooting in an interview with ABC News.

Chief Putney has released body and dashboard camera videos of the fatal police shooting of Scott, answering to demands made by community leaders, protesters and politicians. But it is not entirely clear from those videos or from the one taken by Scott’s wife, Rakeiya Scott, that the victim had a gun on his person, as the police allege. It is also not entirely clear that he brandished it in such a way that would have posed a threat to the officers who approached him.

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FDNY: One Dead, Multiple Injured After Explosion at Home

Courtesy Dylan Ryder(NEW YORK) — A firefighter was killed and multiple people were injured in an explosion and fire in a house in New York City Tuesday that contained evidence of a possible drug lab inside, according to the New York City Fire Department.

The explosion and fire happened around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after the FDNY initially responded to follow up on a call reporting a gas leak, the FDNY told ABC News.

A firefighter died after being hit by debris from the explosion, the FDNY said. At least five other people were reported injured.

After finding evidence of what may have been a drug lab in the home, the New York City Police Department has also been called in to investigate, the FDNY said.

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Boater Rescued After 8 Days at Sea Arrives in Boston as His Mother Remains Missing

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A boater who was recently rescued after spending eight days at sea in a life raft has finally arrived back on land in Boston, where he is expected to be reunited with family and friends and interviewed by the Coast Guard. His 54-year-old mother, Linda Carman, remains missing.

Nathan Carman, 22, was dropped off in Boston’s harbor Tuesday morning by a Chinese freighter called the Orient Lucky.

The freighter had been carrying Nathan Carman since Sunday, when he was found more than 100 nautical miles from Martha’s Vineyard, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll.

It had been more than a week since the 22-year-old and his mother were reported missing by family and friends, Groll told ABC News.

Nathan Carman was found in a life raft with food and water. Linda Carman, however, was not in the raft and has been presumed dead, Groll said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The Carmans, who are from Middletown, Connecticut, had originally set out on a fishing trip from Point Judith, Rhode Island, on Saturday, Sept. 17, and were reported missing the following day after failing to return, Groll said.

The Coast Guard performed an exhaustive search for the Carmans for six days, covering an area larger than Georgia, according to Groll. The search was suspended on Friday, Sept. 23, after the Guard failed to locate them, though a freighter located Nathan two days later.

After being rescued, Nathan Carman told Coast Guard officials that his 32-foot aluminum center console boat had taken in water sometime on Sept. 18, Groll said.

He also explained to officials that when he went to escape in the vessel’s life raft, he could not find his mother.

The Carmans’ boat sank near Block Canyon off the coast of New York, Groll said. She added that no mayday call had been made from the boat, though it was unclear if the vessel had a radio.

Coast Guard officials are hoping to get a “clearer understanding” of what happened to the boat Tuesday.

On Monday, family and friends hung yellow ribbons and signs on the Carmans’ home, ABC television affiliate WTNH reported.

Family friend Sharon Hartstein told WTNH that Linda Carman was a “momma bird” who would protect her son “at all costs.”

“I was thrilled that they found [Nathan], and then I was devastated that Linda wasn’t with him,” Hartstein said, adding that she and the family still hope Linda will be found.

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Thousands Evacuated, National Guard Deployed as Iowa Braces for Major Flooding

iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) — Residents of Cedar Rapids, Iowa watched warily Tuesday as floodwaters continued to rise to levels not seen since record flooding in 2008 that caused some $10 billion of damages and claimed one life.

The Cedar River approached 22 ft. in the city Tuesday morning, on its way to a crest of 23 ft later in the day, according to National Weather Service predictions. The water was causing major flooding already, with a growing list of streets and highways being shut down

The city laid some 250,000 sandbags in preparation of Tuesday’s crest, constructing 10 miles of temporary levees around low-lying areas of the city.

“Residents are reminded that 16 feet is considered major flooding, and the river is predicted to crest at 23 feet,” city officials warned. “Temporary flood control measures have been constructed over the last 2-3 days in an effort to contain rising water, but are no guarantee of safety.”

“We have seen the system working,” mayor Ron Corbett told KCRG, a local ABC affiliate. “We built this [barrier] to 26 feet… so it isn’t an issue of the water going over the temporary system. It’s really more of pressure over a 48-hour period that we’re worried about a breach or a compromise in the system.”

Even as the mayor praised the city’s preparations, he warned about the lingering danger of the floodwaters.

About 1,400 homes and 400 business could be inundated if the temporary flood wall fails, the Des Moines Register reported. A breach in the barrier could send a dangerous surge of water streaming into the city.

“The crest is the peak but the river is going to fall slower than it has risen,” Corbett said. “So really we have this critical period now. If we can get through this, if the system works, we will have saved Cedar Rapids from the second largest disaster in our community’s history.”

Members of Iowa’s National Guard arrived in the city on Monday to assist in the flood preparations, KCRG reported. Guardsmen helped police patrol evacuated areas, and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew.

Col. Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard told KCRG the hard lessons from 2008’s disaster helped bring about a higher level of preparedness.

“2016 is a totally different year,” he said. “The water is not nearly as high. The city of Cedar Rapids has done an amazing job preparing for it. They are so far ahead of this particular flood than 2008, when they were trying to play catch up.”

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