ABCNews.com(SAN ANTONIO) — Eight people were found dead and about 30 others injured inside a brutally hot semitrailer parked in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities are calling “a horrific scene.”

One of the injured later died, officials said, bringing the death toll to 10 in what police described as an apparent “human trafficking crime.”

Authorities became aware of the truck overnight after a Walmart employee, who had been approached by someone who had been in the truck asking for water, notified police of the interaction, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Sunday morning at a press conference, alongside other officials from the city.

Inside the semitrailer, authorities found eight dead bodies, as well as 20 other people who were in “extremely critical condition or very serious condition,” and eight others suffering lesser injuries like heat stroke and dehydration, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told the press Sunday morning.

There were 38 people inside the truck in total, McManus said, and Hood added that at least two of them were “school-age” children.

The truck had no working air-conditioning system, and temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Hood said. McManus added that the truck’s pass lacked access to water.

“They were very hot to the touch,” Hood said of the people found inside.

The driver of the truck was arrested and could face federal and state charges, according to police. The driver’s name was not given at Sunday morning’s press conference.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime here,” McManus said.

Meanwhile, surveillance video from the store showed that a number of vehicles entered the parking lot and “picked up lots of folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip,” McManus said.

Some of the people who had been in the truck also ran into the woods, he said. The area was searched, and another attempt will be made in the morning, the officials said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also been called in to help investigate the incident, officials said.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, who stood alongside McManus at the press conference, said firefighters arrived on the scene at 12:26 a.m. local time, and began pulling the people out of the truck. The injured were taken to different hospitals, some by helicopter, he said.

Authorities said they still don’t know the origin of the truck, or how long it had been parked at the Walmart, and that the search for such details are part of an active investigation currently underway.

The officials said more details about the victims, including their genders and ages, would be released in a future briefing.

While he called it a “horrific tragedy,” the police chief said the discovery “is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently … fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time,” he said.

Thomas Homan, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), weighed in on the incident, calling it a “horrific crime.”

“By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished,” Homan said in a statement. “These networks have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle.”

U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. of the Western District of Texas described what emergency workers found as “a horrific scene.”

“All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” Durbin said. “The South Texas heat is punishing this time of year. These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters. Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus degree heat.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABCNews.com(SAN ANTONIO) — Eight people were found dead and about 30 others injured inside a brutally hot semitrailer parked in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, in what authorities are calling “a horrific scene.”

Two of the injured later died, officials said, bringing the death toll to 10 in what police described as an apparent “human trafficking crime.”

Authorities became aware of the truck overnight after a Walmart employee, who had been approached by someone who had been in the truck asking for water, notified police of the interaction, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Sunday morning at a press conference, alongside other officials from the city.

Inside the semitrailer, authorities found eight dead bodies, as well as 20 other people who were in “extremely critical condition or very serious condition,” and eight others suffering lesser injuries like heat stroke and dehydration, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told the press Sunday morning.

There were 38 people inside the truck in total, McManus said, and Hood added that at least two of them were “school-age” children.

The truck had no working air-conditioning system, and temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Hood said. McManus added that the truck’s pass lacked access to water.

“They were very hot to the touch,” Hood said of the people found inside.

The driver of the truck was arrested and could face federal and state charges, according to police. The driver’s name was not given at Sunday morning’s press conference.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime here,” McManus said.

Meanwhile, surveillance video from the store showed that a number of vehicles entered the parking lot and “picked up lots of folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip,” McManus said.

Some of the people who had been in the truck also ran into the woods, he said. The area was searched, and another attempt will be made in the morning, the officials said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also been called in to help investigate the incident, officials said.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, who stood alongside McManus at the press conference, said firefighters arrived on the scene at 12:26 a.m. local time, and began pulling the people out of the truck. The injured were taken to different hospitals, some by helicopter, he said.

Authorities said they still don’t know the origin of the truck, or how long it had been parked at the Walmart, and that the search for such details are part of an active investigation currently underway.

The officials said more details about the victims, including their genders and ages, would be released in a future briefing.

While he called it a “horrific tragedy,” the police chief said the discovery “is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently … fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time,” he said.

Thomas Homan, acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), weighed in on the incident, calling it a “horrific crime.”

“By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished,” Homan said in a statement. “These networks have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle.”

U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin Jr. of the Western District of Texas described what emergency workers found as “a horrific scene.”

“All were victims of ruthless human smugglers indifferent to the well-being of their fragile cargo,” Durbin said. “The South Texas heat is punishing this time of year. These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters. Imagine their suffering, trapped in a stifling trailer in 100-plus degree heat.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABCNews.com(SAN ANTONIO) — Eight people were found dead and close to 30 others injured inside a brutally-hot semitrailer parked in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas.

Police described the incident as an apparent “human trafficking crime.”

Authorities became aware of the truck overnight after a Walmart employee, who had been approached by someone who had been in the truck asking for water, notified police of the interaction, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Sunday morning at a press conference, alongside other officials from the city.

Inside the semitrailer, authorities found eight dead bodies, as well as 20 other people who were in “extremely critical condition or very serious condition,” and eight others suffering lesser injuries like heat stroke and dehydration, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told the press Sunday morning.

There were 38 people inside the truck in total, McManus said, and Hood added that at least two of them were “school-age” children.

The truck had no working air-conditioning system, and temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Hood said. McManus added that the truck’s pass lacked access to water.

“They were very hot to the touch,” Hood said of the people found inside.

The driver of the truck was arrested and could face federal and state charges, according to police. The driver’s name was not given at Sunday morning’s press conference.

“We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime here,” McManus said.

Meanwhile, surveillance video from the store showed that a number of vehicles entered the parking lot and “picked up lots of folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip,” McManus said.

Some of the people who had been in the truck also ran into the woods, he said. The area was searched, and another attempt will be made in the morning, the officials said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also been called in to help investigate the incident, officials said.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, who stood alongside McManus at the press conference, said firefighters arrived on the scene at 12:26 a.m. local time, and began pulling the people out of the truck. The injured were taken to different hospitals, some by helicopter, he said.

Authorities said they still don’t know the origin of the truck, or how long it had been parked at the Walmart, and that the search for such details are part of an active investigation currently underway.

The officials said more details about the victims, including their genders and ages, would be released in a future briefing.

While he called it a “horrific tragedy,” the police chief said the discovery “is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently … fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time,” he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABCNews.com(CARSON CITY, Nev.) — The countdown is on for O.J. Simpson’s release from Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center, which could come as early as Oct. 1.

So how is the former football star’s state of mind?

“Mr. Simpson is on cloud nine,” his lawyer, Malcolm LaVergne, told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro during an interview Saturday night. “He obviously likes the outcome … Everything is hung from the moon at this point.”

A group of four commissioners from the Nevada parole board on Thursday granted parole to Simpson after he served the minimum nine years of his 33-year sentence for a 2007 kidnapping and armed robbery incident in Las Vegas. Simpson was sentenced to prison after he allegedly led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint; he contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him, and he denied ever holding a gun or threatening the robbery victims.

Following the parole board’s decision, Simpson is now in protective custody, having been moved to a separate part of the prison and removed from the general population, according to Nevada Department of Corrections spokesperson Brooke Keast.

But that’s not sitting well with Simpson, according to LaVergne.

“The only thing that’s kind of a little bit disheartening for him is that he’s had a change of custody status, and they are going to kind of change that for the next couple of months until he’s released,” LaVergne said. “He’s had to move his cell to an area where he is a bit more protected. There’s good reason for that. One of them is for his own safety and basically not to rile things up … There is a legitimate concern about threats.”

As for his post-prison life, LaVergne said, “Florida has obviously been mentioned. California is another option. He is looking forward to spending a lot of time with his family. There were loved ones who have passed away, who he wants to honor them at their graves. He wants to live a quiet life.”

And contrary to reports and Internet speculation, LaVergne said Simpson is not currently negotiating any deals, such as starring in a reality show.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABCNews.com(SAN ANTONIO) — Eight people were found dead and 30 others injured, inside a semitrailer overnight in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, in what officials are describing as a “human trafficking crime.”

At a press conference at the scene early Sunday morning, local police and fire officials said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also been called in to help investigate.

In addition to the dead, authorities said 17 people in the truck were taken to area hospitals in serious condition, and another 13 were transported with less severe injuries. Many suffered from heat stroke and dehydration. The group in the truck included adults in their 20s and 30s, and at least two young children.

The driver of the truck, who was not identified, was arrested and could federal and state charges.

Speaking to reporters, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said authorities were notified after midnight by a Walmart employee, who had been approached by someone who had been in the truck, asking for water.

“We’re looking at a human trafficking crime here,” McManus said.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, who stood alongside McManus at the press conference, said firefighters arrived on the scene at 12:26 a.m., and began pulling the people out of the truck, which had no working air conditioning. In a phone interview with CNN later in the morning, Hood said all of the dead were adult males and that some may have suffered brain damage from the intense heat conditions inside the truck.

Authorities said they are investigating where the truck arrived from, and said they don’t yet know how long it had been parked. But surveillance video from the store showed that a number of vehicles entered the parking lot and “picked up lots of folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip,” McManus said.

Some of the people who had been in the truck ran into the woods, he said. The area was searched, and another attempt will be made in the morning.

While he called it a “horrific tragedy,” the police chief said the discovery “is not an isolated incident. This happens quite frequently … fortunately there are people who survived, but this happens all the time,” he said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A sheriff’s deputy in Texas was fired Friday for her alleged involvement in a deadly fight outside a Houston-area Denny’s restaurant in May.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release Friday that it has concluded its internal investigation of the violent altercation in a parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant on May 28 that left 24-year-old John Hernandez dead. As a result, Deputy Chauna Thompson, who faces charges in the man’s death, has been terminated.

“I have strong confidence in the leadership of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the rank-and-file deputies who put their lives on the line every day to protect our community,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a statement Friday afternoon. “However, we will learn from the tragic death of John Hernandez.”

Four other unnamed employees — three sergeants and one deputy — received disciplinary action for their involvement in the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

“It was great news to us. We feel like it should have happened since day one, but it’s a step in the right direction and we’re pleased with the outcome,” Melissa Hernandez, a cousin of the victim, told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston.

Chauna Thompson’s attorney, Greg Cagle, told KTRK-TV she was fired for “inaction.”

“They called her in, wouldn’t tell her what the meeting was about, and told her she was fired,” Cagle said.

Chauna Thompson had been put on administrative leave without pay on June 6.

A Harris County grand jury on June 8 indicted the deputy and her husband, Terry Thompson, on murder charges in the choking death of Hernandez, whom the couple encountered outside the Denny’s restaurant near Sheldon, about 17 miles from downtown Houston. Chauna Thompson was off-duty at the time, the sheriff’s office said.

According to the initial incident report, the confrontation occurred on May 28 around 11:40 p.m. after Terry Thompson pulled into the Denny’s parking lot with his children where he saw Hernandez urinating outside the restaurant. Terry Thompson approached the man, which led to the physical altercation.

Chauna Thompson arrived in a separate car to join her family at the restaurant and called authorities for assistance. The off-duty deputy then helped her husband restrain Hernandez, and they then realized the man had stopped breathing. Chauna Thompson “immediately” performed CPR on him until medics arrived and transported him to a local hospital, according to the incident report.

Hernandez later died by asphyxiation, the sheriff’s office said.

Chauna Thompson’s attorney said she and her husband had no intention of causing harm and as soon as the then-deputy saw Hernandez needed help, she rendered aid.

“She was there for under a minute and at the very moment she realized he was having a medical issue, she told her husband to get off and then she performed CPR,” Cagle told KTRK-TV.

According to KTRK-TV, cellphone video of the incident taken by a witness shows Chauna Thompson yelling at Hernandez to stay on the ground, cursing at him and pushing her right knee into his side. The footage also shows her husband on top of Hernandez with his arm around the man’s throat.

Scot Courtney, the attorney for Terry Thompson, said the cellphone video does not show everything that occurred.

“They certainly don’t show the beginning where Mr. Hernandez attacked my client. He was the initial aggressor,” Courtney said in a June 5 statement, according to KTRK-TV.

The Harris County sheriff said the internal investigation found “no evidence of nefarious actions on the part of our on-duty personnel” who responded to the incident.

“We did find areas in which we must improve as a department,” Gonzalez added in his statement Friday. “I will continue reviewing best practices to implement changes aimed at improving scene management and other aspects of our operation.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Janet Weinstein/ABC News (NORFOLK, Va.) — President Trump at the commissioning of the Navy’s first new aircraft carrier in 40 years declared that the massive ship ensures that “if a fight does come … we will win.”

The president made his remarks aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, which was unveiled at a commissioning ceremony on Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia.

The massive ship — which displaces 100,000 tons of water and is about twice as long as the Washington Monument would be on its side — cost nearly $13 billion to build, making it the Navy’s most expensive aircraft carrier ever.

Navy officials say the ship is state-of-the-art, from its voyage-management system to the design of its sleeping quarters for sailors.

The president said the aircraft carrier sends a message to the world that “American might is second to none.”

“This ship also ensures that if a fight does come, it will always end the same way,” Trump said. “We will win, win, win. We will never lose.”

The president also touted securing $20 billion dollars for the defense budget and took a subtle swipe at previous administrations for what he said was unpredictable military funding.

“For years our government has subjected the military to unpredictable funding … This has led to deferred maintenance, a lack of investment in new equipment and technology.”

Navy officials said the USS Gerald R. Ford is the first of a class that will replace Nimitz-class carriers as the next generation of ships.

“This is the first new design of an aircraft carrier in more than 40 years, and it really is a state-of-the-art ship,” U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dave Hecht told ABC News. “The USS Gerald R. Ford is really a quantum leap into the 21st century.”

ABC News and other media were invited on a tour of the carrier 12 days before its commissioning on Saturday. Officers brought the press around for a quick look at the flight deck, crew quarters, navigation room, and other spaces that represent advancements from earlier classes of carriers.

“Our voyage-management system is the only one of its kind. Our steering gear-control system, only one of its kind,” Petty Officer 1st Class Jose Triana said. “You really can’t compare it to anything else.’

On the flight deck, planes will use a new electromagnetic system to launch as opposed to the old steam-driven catapult.

The redesign extends to the sleeping areas. Before, 100 sailors would be crammed together at night. Now, only 25 to 30 will sleep in each area.

The massive 1,100-foot warship won’t be sent into combat for at least four more years, as it still needs to undergo more testing. Around 2,600 sailors will work and call the ship home once it’s fully operational.

Despite the delays and big price tag, the U.S. Navy says the Ford-class carriers will be $4 billion cheaper to construct compared to older ships.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.) — Minnesota officials have identified and located a key witness to the officer-involved shooting that killed an Australian bride-to-be in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced in a press release Friday night that its agents interviewed the witness, who was seen riding a bike in the area immediately before the shooting and stopped at the scene to watch as two Minneapolis police officers provided medical assistance to Justine Ruszczyk.

“The individual has been cooperative and provided an interview today,” the agency said in the Friday-night press release, without naming the individual.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is conducting the investigation into the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department, is urging anyone who may have also witnessed the shooting to contact them at 651-793-7000.

Ruszczyk, a 40-year-old Australian native, called 911 on the night of July 15 to report what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood. Two officers from the Minneapolis Police Department, identified by authorities as Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor, responded to Ruszczyk’s call.

Harrity was driving the squad car, while Noor was in the passenger seat, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. As they neared Ruszczyk’s home, Harrity indicated that he was startled by a loud sound near the car, after which Ruszczyk immediately approached the driver’s side, authorities said.

Noor then fired his weapon, striking Ruszczyk through the driver’s side window, which was open. The officers provided medical assistance to Ruszczyk until medics arrived, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that Ruszczyk died of a single gunshot wound to her abdomen.

Both officers have been placed on standard paid administrative leave pending the investigation. Ruszczyk’s death has been ruled a homicide.

The Minneapolis Police Department has launched an internal affairs review of the officers’ use of force.

Harrity’s attorney, Fred Bruno, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that it was “certainly reasonable” for the police officers to assume they could be the target of an ambush.

Noor has not provided any statements regarding the incident and has declined to be interviewed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency said. Noor’s attorney has not provided an update on when, if ever, an interview would be possible. The agency said it cannot by law compel the officer to give a testimony.

On Friday, the city’s police chief, Janeé Harteau, resigned after Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she “lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead.” Hodges also announced she has nominated Assistant Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo to lead the police department.

Ruszczyk, who went by her fiancé’s last name, Damond, was a yoga instructor, a personal health and life coach, and a “meditation teacher, embracing and teaching the neuro-scientific benefits of meditation,” according to her personal website.

Ruszczyk’s family — most of whom are located in her native country of Australia — said they have been in close touch with U.S. and Australian officials in reference to the ongoing investigation of her death.

“We are in constant contact with the Australian government and representatives of the U.S. government and Minnesota state authorities,” the family said in a statement Thursday. “We want to see the investigation come to a conclusion as soon as possible, so we have some resolution to the tragedy.”

Robert Bennett, the attorney representing both Ruszczyk’s fiancé and her family, told ABC News on Friday that they want “justice in its largest sense.”

“I think Justine is the last person you’d expect to be killed by police,” said Bennett, who represented the family of Philando Castile, a black man who was fatally shot by Minnesota police in July 2016.

“Of the cases that I’ve been involved in over the years, she doesn’t fit any of the patterns,” Bennett added. “Her life’s intersection with the police is totally bizarre.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — Chaos erupted at a Minneapolis press conference Friday night as the city’s mayor nominated a new police chief amid citywide anger in the wake of the officer-involved shooting of an Australian bride-to-be.

Minneapolis residents and demonstrators attended the news conference, and one man began shouting down Mayor Betsy Hodges, yelling, “We do not want you as mayor,” to applause from those gathered. As Hodges left the room, the demonstrators chanted “Bye-bye, Betsy!”

About an hour later, Hodges returned to speak to the gathered press and take questions. The mayor had asked for Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau’s resignation after she “lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead.” She announced that she has nominated Assistant Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo to lead the department.

Earlier Friday night, Harteau had announced that she is resigning in the wake of the deadly shooting last weekend.

“[L]ast Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection,” Harteau said in part in a statement posted on the police department’s Facebook page.

She continued: “The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a Department. Despite the MPD’s many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the City, I have to put the communities we serve first. I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be.”

Justine Ruszczyk, 40, who went by her fiancé Don Damond’s last name, was killed by a police officer on July 15 after she called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home.

Authorities said officers Matthew Harrity and Mohammed Noor responded to Ruszczyk’s 911 call, but never found a suspect. They were startled by a loud noise and then Ruszczyk approached the driver’s side of the car and Noor, who was on the passenger side, fired his gun through the open driver’s side window, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Harrity’s attorney, Fred Bruno, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that it was “certainly reasonable” for the police officers to assume they could be the target of an ambush.

Noor has not made any statements to investigators and has declined to be interviewed, according to Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Both officers have been placed on standard paid administrative leave pending the investigation. Ruszczyk’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Police have launched an internal affairs review of the officers’ use of force.

Harteau faced criticism for her notable absence in the days following Ruszczyk’s death, but she told reporters Thursday that she was in a remote area, “backpacking in the mountains,” which made it difficult for her to return. She was scheduled to return on Aug. 1, she said.

Hodges said in a statement that she asked for Harteau’s resignation.

“I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well,” Hodges said. “In conversation with the chief today, she and I agreed that she would step aside to make way for new leadership. I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it, and I have accepted it.”

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Police Department released transcripts from Ruszczyk’s Saturday’s 911 call, detailing what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood.

“I can hear someone out the back and I — I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Ruszczyk tells the 911 operator, according to the transcript released by police.

Robert Bennett, the attorney representing both Damond and family of Ruszczyk, told ABC News this week “the family wants justice in its largest sense.”

“I think Justine is the last person you’d expect to be killed by police,” Bennett said.

Bennett said the idea that Justine Damond could have been thought of as a threat is “patently, utterly, ridiculous.”

“If that’s the excuse they want to use to shoot people, I guess they can use any excuse they want, we’re all in danger,” the attorney said.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Friday that a witness to the shooting has been identified and interviewed, though the agency did not disclose what the witness, a bicyclist, said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

EJ Hersom/Department of Defense(WASHINGTON) — Hundreds of service members lined the halls of the Pentagon on Friday to welcome three of the five remaining survivors from the USS Arizona, 75 years after their ship was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor.

Lauren Bruner (Fire Controlman), Donald Stratton (Seaman First Class), and Ken Potts (Coxswain) traveled to Washington, D.C. to posthumously honor a fellow sailor who saved their lives — and those of four others — that fateful day.

During the attack, Bruner and Stratton, trapped on the burning Arizona, caught the attention of a man named Joe George, who was on a neighboring Navy vessel. George helped secure a line to the Arizona, which the men climbed some 70 or 80 feet to safety, 95-year-old Stratton said.

“And we finally got all six of us over there, and Joe George coaxing us saying, ‘Come on sailor, you can make it, you can make it,'” Stratton told ABC News.

Potts, uninjured in the attack, assisted in the recovery of his shipmate’s bodies. Over 1,000 Americans died on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.

After the grand welcome to the Pentagon, the men and their wives met with Defense Secretary James Mattis, followed by a lunch with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Steven Giordano, as well as enlisted sailors.

They then headed to the White House to visit with President Trump, who delivered remarks in the Oval Office.

“For these three World War II veterans, Dec. 7, 1941, the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor, is forever seared into their memories,” Trump said. “It’s also seared into America’s memory, because on that grim day this mighty nation was roused to defend freedom itself.”

“There are many remarkable things that I witness as president, but nothing can take the place of meeting heroes like those with us today,” he added. “In them we see the strength of our nation, the courage of our men and women in uniform, the resolve to never accept failure, and the belief that justice will always triumph.”

Stratton told Trump that the country was “coming together again.”

“All the people we met today, and all the people that were lined along as we went along, you can tell with the military and everything that this country’s coming together again, and we’re going to be there,” he said.

USS Arizona survivor Donald Stratton’s emotional comments during WH visit: “This country’s coming together again” https://t.co/HCWaCN5oK1 pic.twitter.com/EGpcWDFeTS

— ABC News (@ABC) July 21, 2017

Mattis told reporters later that the sailors are a reminder of those who have endured so much during their time in military service.

“It’s a reminder why you need physical fitness standards in the military,” Mattis added. “Only way they saved themselves going from one ship to another.”

Stratton and Bruner, while severely injured during the Pearl Harbor attack, later returned to military service and deployed to the Pacific to fight in World War II.

“So we started the war and we finished it,” Stratton said.

For these men, the visit to the nation’s capital was an important way to finally honor George.

“We’re not heroes, we just got lucky and with the help of God and the good Lord we’re here today,” Stratton said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →