Review Category : Top Stories

‘Hero’ in Kansas triple shooting honored with $100,000

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — An organization representing the Indian-American community of Houston honored the man who was shot last month while trying to protect two Indian men who were targeted in a suspected hate crime.

India House Houston, a non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas, called Ian Grillot a “genuine hero” and awarded him with $100,000 on Saturday for intervening in a deadly shooting at a bar in Kansas.

“It is not always that we get an opportunity to meet a genuine hero — a person who risks his life for another, a person who takes a bullet for a complete stranger, a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness. Ian Grillot is such a man,” the organization said in a video posted on its Facebook page on Monday.

The organization honored Grillot during its 14th Annual Gala on Saturday. India House Houston said the money would help him to buy a house.

Grillot, 24, was shot while trying to stop a gunman who witnesses said yelled “get out of my country” before shooting two Indian men at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, last month, killing one.

Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old Navy veteran and former air traffic controller, is being charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting that killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded Alok Madasani, both 32-year-old employees of the technology company Garmin.

Authorities are investigating if the shooting was a hate crime.

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Suspect identified in fatal Las Vegas bus shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) — The suspect in a shooting that left one person dead and another wounded on a bus in Las Vegas has been identified as Rolando Cardenas.

Cardenas, 55, was booked at Clark County Detention Center on four charges including murder, burglary, and discharging a gun within a vehicle.

The armed suspect was involved in a tense standoff with police on Saturday when he barricaded himself inside the bus.

The suspect surrendered peacefully after several hours, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said.

Police said it is unknown what provoked the shooting, but there was no evidence to suggest that the incident was related to a robbery overnight at Bellagio Resort & Casino.

According to a tweet from the LVMPD, part of the Las Vegas Strip was shut down after the gunman barricaded himself inside a bus. The area that was shut down, between Flamingo and Harmon streets, is where several large hotels are, including Planet Hollywood, Bellagio and the Cosmopolitan.

S. Las Vegas Blvd. between Flamingo & Harmon remains closed due to a barricade subject on bus. Please avoid the area. #LVMPDnews

— LVMPD (@LVMPD) March 25, 2017

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Investigators look for answers in a deadly small plane crash in Alabama

iStock/Thinkstock(HAYDEN, Ala.) — A family of four was killed in a small plane crash in Hayden, Alabama, after flying home from a vacation.

The parents, Joseph and Jennifer Crenshaw, and their two teenaged children were traveling from Florida to Tennessee when witnesses said the plane was ripped apart in mid-air, creating five debris sites scattered over a mile.

Authorities are investigating what caused the deadly plane crash. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were at the scene on Sunday.

Family members of the Crenshaws told ABC News that both husband and wife were experienced flyers.

Officials said Saturday that a band of wind and rain came through at the time of the crash.

“Right now weather does not seem to be the most likely cause, but it does seem to be a contributing factor in some way,” ABC News contributor and aviation consultant Stephen Ganyard said.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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New York City sanitation workers retrieve a woman’s wedding rings against the odds

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — A New York City woman said she felt “helpless” after losing her wedding ring and band in the trash, but thanks to the city’s sanitation department, the items were returned to her.

“I had just cleaned them and I had them in a paper towel. I think I got distracted with the kids, it’s hard to figure out, and I think I just crumpled it up, and I didn’t feel the weight of them and I threw them out,” Shannon Lombardo told ABC station WABC-TV about her missing rings.

The crisis was put to rest when New York City sanitation workers went above and beyond the call of duty to locate Lombardo’s rings, sorting through the unimaginable horrors of a massive garbage heap to get it back to her.

New York City generates more than 14 million tons of trash per year, according to the city, putting it among the largest trash producers in the world.

Still, however, the workers are trained to locate small items in emergencies, and succeeded in getting Lombardo’s rings back to her safe and sound.

“Seeing the happiness on their face, and I said that it’s a great time for them to renew their vows and stuff. As long as they felt good, I felt good,” said Sekou Callender, a Sanitation worker who helped find the ring, told WABC-TV.

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Police: Cincinnati nightclub shooting that killed 1, injured 15 started as a dispute

Cincinnati Police Department(CINCINNATI) — Cincinnati police have yet to make arrests in a nightclub shooting early Sunday morning that killed one person and wounded at least 15.

Police said the violence started as a dispute between “local men” who were caught up in an argument.

The victim who died was identified by authorities Sunday as 27-year-old Obryan Spikes. Another victim is in critical condition, police said.

The shooting at around 1:30 a.m. at Cameo Nightclub created an atmosphere of “chaos,” said police, who described the 21-and-over nightspot as one frequented primarily by young people.

“The bar was very crowded” at the time, with hundreds of people inside, police said.

“People were going to have a good time and ended up being shot. That is unacceptable,” the city’s mayor, John Cranley, said at a press conference Sunday.

Police early on in their investigation ruled out terrorism as being behind the attack, but Cranley said that didn’t diminish the tragedy.

“To the victims, what difference does it make?” the mayor said.

Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate initially tweeted that only one person was responsible for the violence.

But at the press conference later in the day, police said more than one shooter was likely involved.

Police Sgt. Eric Franz told ABC News that investigators are working through “a large and complicated homicide scene,” and that “at this point we have multiple witnesses we’re interviewing and we have nobody in custody.”

Police said Cameo has had violent incidents in the past, and that despite efforts by the club to bolster security, several firearms were brought into the club prior to the shooting.

Mayor Cranley asked that members of the public “come forward and help us solve this crime. We must bring the shooters to justice.”

Gov. John Kasich tweeted that he was “saddened” to learn about the shooting.

Kelly Martin, a spokeswoman for University of Cincinnati Medical Center, told ABC News early Sunday that it admitted eigh people early this morning, three of them in serious condition and 1 in critical condition.

A spokesman for Bethesda North Hospital told ABC News it admitted two patients related to the shooting, but did not provide their conditions.

At Christ Hospital, a spokeswoman told ABC News it admitted two individuals with minor injuries from the shooting.

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Frenchmen traveling across U.S. in jeep in honor of Pulse nightclub victims visit Tampa Pride

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Manuel Frederic and Alex Tisba lost friends in the November 2015 terror attack at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, and because of this, the Frenchmen have felt a kinship with those affected by the massacre last June at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.

So the pair decided to visit the U.S. and travel across the country in a Jeep, armed with a message of peace and unity, in honor of the 49 people murdered by gunman Omar Mateen at the LGBT nightclub, reports ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa.

On Saturday, they stopped at Tampa’s Pride parade, about 85 miles west of Orlando.

And they’ve already visited Orlando, where they put the initials of the Pulse victims on the Jeep. Survivors of the attack — the largest massacre in modern U.S. history — signed the Jeep, while friends and family members placed their handprints on the vehicle.

They’ve also visited Washington, D.C., where they scored signatures from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“We’re just people, citizens of the world, and we should all be united as one,” Frederic told WFTS. “We started here because this is the United States. People from all over the world living together in peace, or should be living together peacefully and that’s what we’re trying to reconnect here.”

So far the Jeep has visited 25 states, but the duo are planning to take it to all 50 states. They are also keen on getting former president Barack Obama’s signature on the vehicle, since he was in the Oval Office when the shooting rampage occurred.

Frederic and Tisba’s long-term goal is to return the Jeep to Orlando so it can be part of the Pulse memorial.

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Emails between allegedly kidnapped teen and former teacher reveal ‘romantic interest,’ says DA

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(NEW YORK) — As law enforcement officers across the country continue to hunt for Tennessee teen Elizabeth Thomas and her former teacher Tad Cummins — who allegedly kidnapped the 15-year-old — investigators have shed light on their relationship, revealing that emails between the pair have uncovered a “romantic interest in each other.”

Thomas and Cummins wrote emails to each other but did not send them — instead they would save the email in the drafts folder of 40-year-old Cummins’ school email account, the Maury County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office revealed Friday.

“They would write the message and let it save as a draft,” Maury County District Attorney Brent Cooper explained to ABC affiliate WAAY in Huntsville, Alabama. “The other person would log in, read the message and then delete it and then write another message that was saved as a draft.”

NEW PICTURE: Here’s Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas at school in January, days before his alleged inappropriate contact with her. pic.twitter.com/BzyIz8KPpY

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 21, 2017

Investigators said the pair wrote inappropriate messages to each other, but Cooper declined to elaborate.

“If you read them you would immediately recognize you are reading messages between two people who have a romantic interest in each other,” Cooper said.

The lead investigator on the case shared one of the emails with WAAY.

“‘I saw you standing next to you backpack this morning’ and [Cummins] makes a reference to a body part of hers and how nice that looked,” said Marcus Alright with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department.

UPDATE: We have determined the purchase of hair dye by Tad Cummins was not part of his intended plan for #ElizabethThomas. #TNAMBERAlert pic.twitter.com/mzrPlhvOhQ

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) March 21, 2017

Meanwhile, a former coworker of Cummins is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Chandler Anderson, a nurse practitioner in Columbia, Tennessee, first met Cummins in 1998. Prior to being a teacher he was a respiratory therapist.

Anderson says he’s worried about Thomas.

“You’ve got to do something to motivate people to be more vigilant about trying to find this young girl, because this is not going to end well if we don’t get her home, and get her home soon,” he said.

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1 dead, 14 injured in shooting incident at Cincinnati nightclub

Cincinnati Police Department(CINCINNATI) — One person is dead and 14 injured, following a shooting incident at a Cincinnati nightclub early Sunday morning, police said.

“There was a shooting here this morning around one o’clock in the morning,” Cincinnati Police Department Sgt. Eric Franz told ABC News of the incident at Cameo Nightclub. “It’s a large and complicated homicide scene.”

Sgt. Franz added, “At this point we have multiple witnesses we’re interviewing and we have nobody in custody.”

Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate tweeted that as far as officials know, there was only one shooter. At an earlier press conference, though, Capt. Kimberly Williams had said there was multiple shooters. Neudigate also said the motive remains unknown, but “there are no indications this incident is terrorism related.”

Update: Motive is still unclear but there are no indications this incident is terrorism related.

— LtC. Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) March 26, 2017

Cameos Update: Only one reported shooter at this time, still investigating if others involved.

— LtC. Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) March 26, 2017

Ref Cameo incident, confirming 15 total victims at this time, one of which is deceased. Continuing to investigate, no current updates.

— LtC. Paul Neudigate (@PaulNeudigate) March 26, 2017

At the press conference, Capt. Williams said of a possible motive, “I don’t want to make speculations on what happened, but just keep an eye on your young people … I don’t know if this had to do with an argument or neighborhood issues or what. Just, I’m asking parents … know what your young people are doing.”

Capt. Williams said the shooting occurred inside Cameo, and that “chaos” ensued as people fled from the venue.

“We’ve got a really large scene at multiple hospitals,” Sgt. Franz said of the victims.

Kelly Martin, a spokeswoman for University of Cincinnati Medical Center, told ABC News that it admitted 8 people early this morning: 4 in stable condition, 3 in serious condition and 1 in critical condition.

A spokesman for Bethesda North Hospital told ABC News it admitted two patients related to the shooting, but did not provide their conditions.

At Christ Hospital, a spokeswoman told ABC News it admitted two individuals with minor injuries from the shooting.

On its Facebook page, Cameo says it provides “excitement and entertainment to the tri-state,” adding that Saturdays at the venue are “grown and sexy night.”

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NY officer’s body camera reveals horrific crime scene in murder-for-hire plot aftermath

Courtesy Collene Rose(NEW YORK) — Two police officers in Steuben County, New York, responded to a frantic 911 call just after midnight in September 2015 and ended up walking through a grisly crime scene.

One of the officers wearing a body camera captured something that seemed too horrific to be real. The victim was 35-year-old Kelley Clayton, a beautiful wife and loving mother of two small children. She had been bludgeoned to death in her own home.

“She’s been beat to death,” Deputy Dean Swan said. “I got a body cam on to show where we went … it is extremely bloody.”

Kelley Clayton’s husband, Thomas Clayton, was the one who had called 911 after he said he had returned home from a poker game and found her body on the kitchen floor.

Investigators began piecing together what happened and trying to make sense of a seemingly senseless murder that rocked the small town in upstate New York.

Kelley Clayton was born and raised in Elmira, New York, and was always under the watchful eye of her older sister, Kim Bourgeois.

“We are 10 years apart. So she was kind of my baby. I am protective of her,” Bourgeois said. “[Kelley was] very brave to me, bold, sassy. … She liked to dance, she was pretty. … She could model, and I just think that’s what she wanted to do.”

Kelley Clayton’s big personality and dreams took her to Las Vegas, where she traded in a teaching job to work as a cocktail waitress for a time.

“She absolutely loved it,” Bourgeois said. “One time, she had worn a big, 30-pound feather headdress and she just loved it.”

But it was Kelley Clayton’s attraction to an Elmira sports star that brought her back home. Thomas Clayton was a hockey player for the semi-pro Elmira Jackals and seemed to have a reputation for fighting on the ice and flirting off it.

“People were very much in awe of him because he was cute and he was an instigator and he would start fights,” Bourgeois added. “People got very caught up in that.”

Kelley Clayton moved back home and she and Tom Clayton got married. They had two children, a girl named Charlie, now 8, and a boy named Cullen, now 5.

On the night she was killed, Bourgeois and her mother arrived at the Clayton house less than an hour after police.

“My mother and I were wailing,” Bourgeois said. “I was throwing up on the side of the road. I can’t even explain to you that feeling.”

Back inside the house, authorities started collecting evidence. The police officer’s body camera captured the savage brutality that shocked even the first responders.

“This was an extremely brutal attack, a very gruesome situation,” said Donald Lewis, an investigator for the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office who was on the scene that night.

“[It was] some sort of attack in the upstairs area down the hallways,” he continued. “Down the stairs, there was a hole in the sheetrock at the bottom of the stairs and a blood trail that ended at Mrs. Clayton’s body in the kitchen area.”

Lewis said Kelley Clayton had died of blunt force trauma after being beaten with a fiberglass maul handle. Investigators’ suspicion quickly turned toward her husband.

“There was a lot of things that kind of raised some flags,” Lewis said.

One major flag: There were no signs of forced entry or robbery. Despite witnesses seeing Tom Clayton at his friend’s poker game that night, and his GPS placing him there, police took him into custody.

While looking into Tom Clayton’s alibi, police learned that a woman at the poker game said he asked to borrow her cellphone to make a call just 90 minutes before he got home to find his wife’s body.

Then, a new person of interest emerged: a man named Michael Beard, a former employee at one of Tom Clayton’s companies who had recently been fired.

Police said the two had been in contact. Phone records showed there were frequent phone calls and texts between them, including the call Tom Clayton made to Beard from the poker game. It was a smoking gun revealing what investigators believed was a sinister murder-for-hire plot.

Beard confessed to being hired by Tom Clayton to murder Kelley Clayton,” Lewis said. “From what we were able to gather was [for] $10,000 cash.”

Questions arose as to why Tom Clayton would want to murder his wife. Kelley Clayton’s sister said she believes he wanted his freedom.

Other red flags for investigators were that a year earlier Tom Clayton had doubled his wife’s life insurance policy. Authorities also alleged that Tom Clayton was romantically involved with other women and wanted out of the marriage, but he didn’t think divorce was an option.

“He had made comments to some of these women … that if he was to divorce Kelley, ‘she would take everything from me,’” Lewis said.

Tom Clayton and Beard were each charged with first-degree murder and tried separately.

Beard, who had confessed to the crime, then changed his story and pleaded not guilty, claiming Tom Clayton hired him to burn down his house for insurance money. He said he never went through with it. Beard was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Tom Clayton also pleaded not guilty. His defense said all of the evidence is circumstantial.

“This is probably by far the most interesting and the most complicated case that I’ve ever been part of,” Lewis said. “Everything was circumstantial when it came to Thomas Clayton… You could explain away a lot of them calls and a lot of the circumstances but you couldn’t explain all of it away.”

Tom Clayton was also found guilty. His lawyers told ABC News they plan to appeal after sentencing.

Kelley Clayton’s family is trying to move forward the best they can. Since her murder, the children have been living with Bourgeois and her husband.

“I thank God that I have Charlie and Cullen,” Bourgeois said. “Those kids, that’s what gets me up every day. … I have got to keep going.”

Earlier this month, Tom Clayton’s former team the Elmira Jackals hosted a Domestic Violence Awareness Night in memory of Kelley Clayton. All ticket proceeds went to support her children, who were there to drop the first puck.

Bourgeois said she’s grateful to have her sister’s children because they help her stay present, but if there was one thing she could say to their father, it would be that she will make sure Kelley Clayton’s memory lives on.

“I also would say, “You took her life, not her light, and her light will shine forever, through Charlie, through Cullen, through me, through my brother, through my mother, forever, and we’ll be OK.’”

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Suspect in custody after fatal Las Vegas bus shooting

iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) — The suspect in a shooting that left one person dead and another wounded on a bus in Las Vegas is in custody after a tense standoff in which the suspect barricaded himself inside the, police said.

After a lengthy standoff, the armed suspect surrendered, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said.

Police said it is unknown what provoked the shooting, but there was no evidence to suggest that the incident was related to a robbery overnight at Bellagio Resort & Casino.

According to a tweet from the LVMPD, part of the Las Vegas Strip was shut down after the gunman barricaded himself inside a bus. The area that was shut down, between Flamingo and Harmon streets, is where several large hotels are, including Planet Hollywood, Bellagio and the Cosmopolitan.

S. Las Vegas Blvd. between Flamingo & Harmon remains closed due to a barricade subject on bus. Please avoid the area. #LVMPDnews

— LVMPD (@LVMPD) March 25, 2017

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