iStock/Thinkstock(AMERICUS, Ga.) — One police officer is dead and another officer is in critical condition after a shooting near Georgia Southwestern State University Wednesday.

The officers — one with the local police department and one with the school — were called to a domestic dispute off campus at 9:30 a.m. when they encountered the suspect, said Americus Police Chief Mark Scott. Both officers were shot on the scene.

The officer who died is with the Americus Police Department, police said. A Georgia Southwestern State University public safety officer was in critical condition.

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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images(NEW ORLEANS) — A friend of slain New Orleans Saints star Will Smith — and witness to his fatal shooting — took the stand Wednesday at the trial of his alleged killer, Cardell Hayes. She said Hayes did not seem to show remorse.

“Mr. Hayes was walking toward Will with a gun pointing at him. And I heard shots fired,” Rebecca Dooley, who was in the car with the Smiths the night of the shooting, said on the stand Wednesday morning.

After the shooting, Hayes appeared to have “no remorse,” Dooley said.

Smith, 34, was killed in an apparent road-rage shooting in New Orleans on April 9 of this year. Smith’s wife, Racquel Smith, was wounded.

Hayes, a former semi-professional football player, was charged with second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Hayes is also charged with attempted second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and injuring Smith’s wife in the incident.

Dooley said on the stand that she and her husband, Richard Hernandez, were in the SUV with the Smiths. Will Smith was driving and Hernandez was next to him, according to her testimony, which ABC affiliate WGNO-TV in New Orleans reported as follows:

She testified that an orange Hummer in front of them slammed on its brakes and then Will Smith slammed on his in response.

“There was no impact,” Dooley said.

They continued driving and she noticed headlights approaching the SUV very quickly. She said she saw the Hummer following them.

Dooley said an impact followed, during which the SUV glass shattered.

She testified that she and Racquel Smith got out of the car and saw Will Smith and Hayes arguing over who was responsible for the collision. “They both seemed angry,” she said.

Racquel Smith got in between Will Smith and Hayes and tried to diffuse the situation, Dooley continued in her testimony.

After that, Dooley said she saw Hayes walking towards Will Smith with a gun.

She cried on the stand describing the aftermath of the shooting:

Will Smith fell into the car, not moving, after he was shot, she said.

Dooley testified that then Hayes said over the ex-NFL star’s body, “Look at you now, you were showing off.”

She said that she and her husband took shelter behind some bushes and she heard Hayes say, “Where’s that white boy at?”

Dooley said she pleaded with her husband not to go over there.

Hayes’ attorney, John Fuller, has said in the past that Hayes felt threatened and was the victim of a hit-and-run just moments before he crashed into Smith’s car. He said Hayes was chasing them to get license plate numbers and that Hayes had called 911 to report the hit-and-run before the accident with Smith.

On Tuesday, Smith’s widow, Racquel Smith, testified and broke down on the witness stand saying “my worst nightmare happened for no reason.”

“I don’t want sympathy, I want justice,” she said on the stand. “He is not here today, so I am his voice.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and former Saints player Steve Gleason were also among those gathered at the courthouse Tuesday to lend support on the first day of the trial.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Residents in North Dakota are still digging themselves out of their homes after a severe blizzard swept through the state earlier this week.

Authorities in Minot, North Dakota, issued a travel advisory to community members because of the treacherous weather conditions. The Minot International Airport reopened Wednesday morning after closing for nearly 12 hours because of snow and strong winds, the airport’s director Rick Feltner told ABC News.

Videos of the airport’s runway conditions were posted on Facebook.

“We had a blizzard warning in effect starting Sunday night … and this was on top of about 17 inches of snow we got last week. While the storm didn’t produce a great deal of new snow, the temperatures plummeted and the wind picked up 30-35 miles per hour. In those conditions, visibility is greatly reduced,” said Feltner.

“It was an unusual situation for us to close the airport. We’re usually pretty good at keeping things open here but it was more than we could keep up with this time,” he added.

Roommates Lauren Otradovec and Natasha Harvey live 20 miles north of Minot in Glenburn. On Tuesday morning, they opened the front door to their house to find a second door … of snow.

“I honestly felt claustrophobic. I didn’t want to feel like there was no way out,” Harvey told ABC News. So she attempted to shovel her way out.

“We shoveled our side door and within an hour all the snow had blown back in. We’re at the same point today,” she added.

“There are hardly any trees here and we live in a really small town so the wind is pushing everything to our direction. The first layer on our house is pretty much ice and the snow that keeps blowing is just freezing to that,” she explained.

Harvey hasn’t been able to make it to work for the past two days. “I’m used to this weather but this is crazy,” Harvey said.

The National Weather Service’s wind chill advisory is in effect for most of western North Dakota. The temperature in some areas is expected to feel like 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill.

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ABC News(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The rigorous search for bodies in the rubble of a fatal warehouse fire in Oakland, California, concluded Wednesday, with the death toll remaining at 36, police said.

Authorities will begin reopening the street on which the charred structure is located around 3:30 p.m. local time, according to the Oakland Police Department.

Officials found 36 victims inside the large warehouse and most were in their 20s and 30s. So far, 35 of them have been identified and 30 families have been notified. A 17-year-old’s name will not be released, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau.

Although crews have finished their search for victims, investigators are still working to find the cause of the horrific blaze that broke out on Dec. 2. An official briefed on the investigation told ABC News that a refrigerator is being eyed as the “possible” point of origin.

Investigators are also working to determine if there was criminal liability for the fire and, if so, who was responsible, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

As many as 100 people were at the warehouse for a concert party when what authorities described as an “electrical fire” broke out just before midnight on Nov. 2. The venue, known as the “Ghost Ship,” ultimately became a grave for dozens of the young party-goers.

The Oakland Fire Department first responded to reports of a structure fire at the warehouse on 31st Avenue in the East Bay area at around 11:32 p.m. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said the warehouse appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists’ studio, as well as parties like the one that took place that night. Most of the bodies were found on the second floor, which was accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Reed.

Darin Ranelletti, the interim director of the city’s planning and building department, told reporters that the party at the Ghost Ship required a permit, which he said was not obtained. The property is under investigation to determine whether it was used to house people illegally, Ranelletti said.

The power went out inside the building when the fire started and the flames blocked the building’s only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, an official briefed on the ongoing investigation told ABC News.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said some of those trapped upstairs had just enough time to send final text messages to loved ones. Some of these messages read “I’m going to die” and “I love you,” Kelly said.

Survivors of the inferno who spoke to ABC News recalled waking up to “smoke and an entire wall of fire” that was so powerful it opened a window, letting in oxygen that apparently intensified the flames.

The Ghost Ship is purportedly run by a married couple, Derick Ion Almena and Micah Allison, but the building is owned by Chor Nar Siu Ng, a woman who appeared to have little involvement with its use for artists’ studios and as a performance space for musicians.

“They’re my children. They’re my friends. They’re my family. They’re my loves. They’re my future. What else do I have to say?” Almena told ABC affiliate KGO on Sunday.

Almena also appeared to address the fire in a Facebook post early Saturday morning by saying that what he worked for was destroyed, but he failed to elaborate on what work he put into the warehouse prior to the tragedy.

“Confirmed. Everything I worked so hard for is gone. Blessed that my children and Micah were at a hotel safe and sound … it’s as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope … to be standing now in poverty of self worth,” Almena wrote.

On Tuesday night, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf declared a local state of emergency to facilitate state and federal aid. City officials also released records on the building’s reported complaints.

The most recent city record on the property is dated just days before the deadly fire. The Nov. 14 notice shows an “investigation pending” for “illegal interior building structure,” an apparent reference to the illegal living spaces constructed inside the warehouse. A day prior to that, the building’s owner was notified of a code violation. The records say “a ton of garbage [is] piling up on the property,” including “hazardous” trash.

Oakland police said that they have responded to numerous calls about the warehouse in the past, but it is unclear how many. It is also unknown whether authorities will hold Almena, Allison or Ng accountable for the deaths in the fire.

The last permitted use of the building was as a warehouse, according to a press release from the City of Oakland. The city said it received complaints of blight and unpermitted interior construction at the building this year on Nov. 13. Days later, a city building inspector visited the property on Nov. 17 and verified the blight complaint, but could not gain access to the building to confirm the other complaint regarding unpermitted construction.

The investigation is ongoing, the city said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A mistrial was declared Monday in the murder trial of a former South Carolina police officer who was accused in the shooting death of an unarmed black man — the latest in a string of officer-involved deaths that did not result in convictions.

The reason for lack of convictions in office-involved deaths could lie with the jurors, who are often reluctant to convict police officers, according to experts interviewed by ABC News.

“What we see time and time again is that jurors are very reluctant to second-guess the split-second life-or-death decisions that a police officer makes,” said Philip Stinson, a former police officer and criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University who researches police-involved incidents and crimes.

Jurors are “unwilling to conclude that an on-duty police officer could be a murderer,” Stinson said.

The law is “pretty clear” that police officers are to be judged by “different standards,” said Sunny Hostin, senior legal correspondent and analyst for ABC News. Officers are judged, not in hindsight, but by “what a reasonable officer at the scene would have done,” she said.

“I think [the jurors] sometimes give that police officer the benefit of the doubt” because they are “trained to shoot if they are in danger,” Hostin said.

“Jurors understand that police officers have a very difficult job,” she said. “They put their lives on the line every day to protect us. They have a hard time convicting someone whose job is to protect and serve.”

Somewhere between 900 and 1,100 people are shot and killed by an on-duty police officer every year, Stinson said, and additional people are killed in a manner not involving a gun.

“The vast majority of office-involved deaths are done by shooting,” most of which are found to be legally justified, which means that “the officer had a reasonable apprehension of an imminent threat of serious or bodily injury or deadly force being used against the officer or someone else,” Stinson said.

Since 2005, when Stinson began studying police-involved incidents, a total of 78 state and local police officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter resulting from an on-duty shooting, he said. Of those cases, 27 officers have been convicted to date — 14 by jury trial and 13 by guilty plea, Stinson said. Of those convictions, only one officer was convicted of murder: James Ashby of the Rocky Ford (Colorado) Police Department, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

There has also been a recent uptick in police being charged in officer-involved deaths due to the abundance of video evidence provided by cellphone, surveillance and police dash-cam and body-cam, Stinson said. In 2015, 18 officers were charged with murder or manslaughter resulting from an on-duty shooting. In 2016 so far, 12 officers have been charged. In comparison, in the decade preceding 2015, from 2005 to 2014, 48 officers were charged — an average of fewer than five officers a year.

“Many, if not all of those officers would not have been charged had it not been for the video evidence,” Stinson said.

“In the past, police have owned the narrative in these cases,” he added. “What they say happened is what gets put into the official record. What we’re seeing with video evidence is the initial statement is inconsistent with the video evidence. Either their recollections are faulty or they’re lying.”

But even the most compelling video evidence often isn’t enough to convict the officer.

“Although those cases being brought are on the upswing, in large part due to ubiquitous cellphone video, we’re still not getting a significant conviction rate as prosecutors,” Hostin said.

Police officers are “entitled to receive the same due process and the same presumption of innocence that any other American citizen enjoys,” said Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police. “The right to a fair trial is an integral piece of that equation.”

“Every case is judged on its own merits and is unique in and of itself,” Pasco said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) — North Carolina’s Democratic governor-elect, Roy Cooper, may be powerless to repeal a controversial law that restricted the right of transgender people in the state to use a public bathroom of their choosing even though he called for scrapping the law during his campaign, according to some experts who spoke with ABC News.

The state’s outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure, known as House Bill 2, into law. On Monday, McCrory conceded the gubernatorial race to Cooper, the state’s attorney general.

Cooper has called House Bill 2 “one of the most discriminatory laws in the country.”

In exit poll results from Election Day, a vast majority of North Carolina voters — 66 percent — said they opposed the bathroom law, while 29 percent supported it.

But legal experts told ABC News repealing the law could be difficult for the incoming governor.

Cooper’s Hands May Be Tied

Republicans still hold a majority in the state’s General Assembly after this November’s election, and they are unlikely to introduce legislation to repeal it, said Bill Marshall, a professor of law at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“I think the voters sent a pretty clear message in North Carolina that they were dissatisfied with HB2, but we have yet to see if the legislature will understand what the votes of this past election mean,” Marshall told ABC News in an interview last month.

“They certainly haven’t shown any sign that they are willing to do this thus far,” University of North Carolina law professor Maxine Eichner said in an interview with ABC News.

Shannon Gilreath, a professor of law at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, agreed.

“Even though Cooper has been a vocal opponent of this law, its repeal still requires the Republican-dominated legislature to acquiesce,” Gilreath told ABC News in an interview last month. The governor, he added, “does not have the power to override the legislative process.”

Cooper’s Options

A repeal proposal seems unlikely unless “Cooper is able to put enough pressure on the legislature,” according to Gilreath.

Cooper “could try to appeal to the public by talking about how much HB2 has cost the state,” he said. “We’ve lost millions of dollars in potential revenue because of business we’ve lost over the bill.”

“I expect there are ways that Governor-elect Cooper could use political appointments and other executive orders to send a message more welcoming to the LGBT community, but he can’t do that in a way that violates HB2,” Eichner said.

Where Does Trump Stand?

On Election Day, North Carolina voted for Donald Trump.

When Trump was campaigning for president, he initially voiced his opposition to the “bathroom” bill in an interview with NBC, pointing to the “economic punishment” the state has faced for implementing the bill. McCrory signed the bill in March.

“Leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble,” Trump said on NBC’s Today show in April.

But in an interview with The News & Observer in July, Trump said he spoke with McCrory and he was “going with the state.”

“The state, they know what’s going on, they see what’s happening, and generally speaking I’m with the state on things like this. I’ve spoken with your governor, I’ve spoken with a lot of different people, and I’m going with the state,” Trump said at the time.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — As the federal death penalty trial got underway this morning for 22-year-old Dylann Roof, who authorities say is responsible for killing nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June 2015, the prosecution said in its opening statements that Roof stood over his victims, shooting them over and over again, according to ABC television affiliate WCIV in Charleston.

As the victims ran for cover, one parishioner tried to protect Rev. Clementa Pinckney — a church pastor and a member of the South Carolina Senate — said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson, but Roof continued to shoot, killing Pinckney, WCIV reported.

Roof, who is white, is accused of fatally shooting nine black parishioners during a Bible study at the predominantly black Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. Roof, who was 21 at the time, entered the Emanuel AME Church armed and “with the intent of killing African-Americans engaged in the exercise of their religious beliefs,” according to the federal indictment against him. The parishioners welcomed Roof into their Bible study group, according to the indictment, after which Roof drew his pistol and opened fire, killing nine and wounding three.

Richardson said Wednesday morning that when the 12 parishioners stood to pray, Roof started shooting victim after victim, WCIV reported.

Richardson said that survivor Polly Sheppard later recounted seeing Roof’s boots move closer and closer to her, and when Roof found her praying aloud, he told her to shut up and asked if she was wounded, WCIV reported.

She said she wasn’t, and Roof allegedly told her she would live so she could tell what happened, Richardson said, according to WCIV.

Victim Tywanza Sanders stood up to Roof when he was wounded, Richardson said, allegedly telling Roof, “We mean you no harm,” WCIV reported.

Richardson said Roof allegedly said, “Y’all are raping our white women. Y’all are taking over the world,” WCIV reported. Then Roof shot Sanders repeatedly, Richardson said, according to WCIV.

Survivor Felicia Sanders and her granddaughter were not hit but played dead “on the blood-soaked floor,” Richardson said, according to WCIV. Once the rampage was over, Roof walked out of the church, got in his car and drove away, Richardson said, WCIV reported.

In the months before the shooting, Roof “decided to attack African-Americans because of their race,” and he selected black worshippers at a predominantly black church “to make his attack more notorious,” according to the federal indictment.

Roof hoped the attack would “increase racial tensions across the Nation” and bring “retribution for perceived wrongs he believed African-Americans had committed against white people,” the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Roof maintained a website on which he posted “a manuscript and photographs expressing his racist beliefs.” In the manuscript, he used racial slurs and decried integration, the indictment states. The photos include one of Roof holding a confederate flag, according to the indictment.

The 33 federal counts against him include hate crimes resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religion resulting in death.

Roof has pleaded not guilty.

He also faces a state trial, set for early next year, in which he may also face the death penalty.

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Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Surgery will likely keep New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul off the field for the rest of the season, a source told ESPN.

Pierre-Paul had surgery Wednesday morning to repair a hernia and injured groin, and his recovery time will be at least six weeks, according to the source. That will keep him out of the game up to the conference championship. He injured his groin Sunday during the Giants’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pierre-Paul had returned this season after a Fourth of July fireworks accident in 2015 left him without his right index finger and missing parts of others.

After his surgery Wednesday, Pierre-Paul posted to his social media accounts that the surgery was successful.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Obama ordered flags at the White House to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The attack at the naval base happened on Dec. 7, 1941, when the U.S. Navy came under attack by Japan. The sudden strike that catapulted the United States into WWII.

In all, more than 2,400 American lives were lost, along with numerous battleships and aircraft.

“Today, Michelle and I join the American people in remembering those who gave their lives at Pearl Harbor—many of them not much older than boys—and in honoring their families—spouses, siblings, sons and daughters who still carry the memories of their loved ones in their hearts,” the president said in a statement Wednesday.

“We give thanks to the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who faced down fear itself, met infamy with intrepidity, freed captive peoples from fascism and whose example inspires us still,” he added.

You can read Obama’s full statement here.

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Allen Kee / ESPN Images(CHICAGO) — It appears the Chicago Cubs are close to landing Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis.

ESPN reports the Cubs “moved to the verge of a deal” for Davis Tuesday night. Sources, however, told ESPN the move has not yet been finalized and both clubs still need to approve medical information.

While details of the proposed trade were not made available, a source told ESPN should it go through, Chicago may give up outfielder Jorge Soler in exchange.

Davis, 31, has a career 3.53 ERA with 47 saves and 689 strikeouts. This past season, he had a 1.87 ERA, 27 saves and 47 strikeouts.

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