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Relative of victim killed by woman on alleged crime spree ‘afraid’ she’ll kill again

first_imgLee County Sheriffs Office(NEW YORK) — The ex-stepdaughter of a Florida woman shot dead — allegedly by a woman seeking to steal her identity — said she was “in total shock” to learn what happened to her beloved family member.Lois Riess, 56, is wanted for allegedly fatally shooting her husband in Minnesota and then killing and stealing the identity of 59-year-old Pamela Hutchinson in Florida.With Riess still on the run, Hutchinson’s former stepdaughter, Robin Barry, told ABC News she feels very nervous.“I’m just afraid she’s gonna get desperate,” she said of Riess. “Because she might feel the need for another person’s identification … and hurt someone else, somebody else’s family or loved one.”Barry said Hutchinson and her father had been married for 20 years. They divorced two years ago, she said, but “my dad never stopped loving her.”Barry was about 25 years old when Hutchinson came into her life, she said. She remembers Hutchinson “as a loving, caring, vibrant person,” with a memorable laughter and smile.“She was so good to my girls,” Barry said of Hutchinson’s relationship with her daughters, now ages 21 and 19.Hutchinson had “been around since the day they were born,” Barry said. “She was just fabulous and loved my girls to pieces.”Barry said Hutchinson had moved from Virginia to Florida a year ago after the divorce.“She really liked doing a lot for charity work,” Barry said. “Trying to make things better in the world.”After Riess allegedly killed her husband in Minnesota, she allegedly stole his money and then drove to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, authorities said. There, Riess met Hutchinson and then allegedly killed her and stole her ID, credit cards and car, said the Lee County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office.Barry said she’s now constantly checking her phone “looking for an update, hoping she’s been caught.”“I don’t understand why somebody who’s not a professional can evade the law for this amount of time,” she said. “It’s just mind-blowing.”After allegedly killing Hutchinson, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Riess used her victim’s ID to withdraw $5,000. On April 6, Riess arrived at a Hilton hotel in the Ocala, Florida, area, where authorities claim she used a stolen credit card to pay for her room, the sheriff’s office said.Riess was later spotted in Louisiana and the Corpus Christi, Texas, area, but remains at large, the sheriff’s office said.She is expected to continue targeting other women who look like her to steal their identities, authorities said.The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Mexican authorities and border patrol are on “full alert” that Lois Riess may try to get into Mexico.Lois Riess is described as having brown eyes and light blonde hair. She is 5-foot-5 and weighs 165 pounds.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Southwest passengers on flight with deadly engine failure get money, travel vouchers

first_imgScott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Some passengers on the Southwest Airlines flight that experienced a deadly engine failure this week told ABC News they received money and the promise of a travel voucher from the airline.Southwest Flight 1380 experienced engine failure about 20 minutes after takeoff Tuesday from New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport en route to Dallas Love Field. A woman who was partially sucked out of a window on the jet near the failed engine later died. In a letter to passengers obtained by ABC News, the airline offered sincere apologies as well as a $5,000 check and the promise of a $1,000 travel voucher. The letter also states that the airline’s primary focus now is to assist the passengers who were aboard the flight in every way possible.A Southwest Airlines official confirmed to ABC News that the letters were sent by the airline, but would not comment on the monetary gift. “Ours is a company and culture built on relationships,” the company said in a statement. “Many of the customers on that flight have flown with us before.”The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating Tuesday’s incident. Boeing said it is providing technical help to the investigation, with which Southwest Airlines is cooperating. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

11-year-old girl killed by falling tree as severe thunderstorms batter Northeast

first_imgABC News (NEW YORK) — Two people are dead and nearly half a million customers in the Northeast are without power due to severe weather that includes thunderstorms, flash flooding, hail, winds up to 80 mph and possibly tornadoes.An 11-year-old girl was killed in Newburgh, New York, by a falling tree, while her mother suffered minor injuries. In Danbury, Connecticut, one person died after a tree fell on his truck.As of 8 p.m. ET, 496,777 customers in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had lost electricity.The National Weather Service had received more than 100 severe storm reports shortly after 6 p.m., including reports of baseball-size hail and wind gusts up to 80 mph.Although the storm is moving quickly east, severe thunderstorm watches remain in effect from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia and New York City to Boston. New flash flood watches have also been issued for the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas.Service on one of the busiest train lines in the Northeast has been suspended due to the weather.All of the Metro North lines have been suspended due to downed trees, leading to a frenzy at Grand Central Station in New York City during rush hour on Tuesday. Thousands of people were stranded at the station, ABC New York station WABC reported.Amtrak service in the Northeast has also been canceled due to the storm, according to WABC-TV.Conditions were so bad in Newburgh that the city decided to close all roads due to the damage to trees and electrical infrastructure. Brookfield, Connecticut, declared a “town disaster” in response to the weather, urging people to remain indoors until officials can assess the damage.A tornado watch was issued this afternoon for upstate New York, the Hudson Valley, northeast Pennsylvania, western Connecticut, Massachusetts and southern Vermont. Winds up to 80 mph and large hail are also threats in those areas.The severe threat will likely pass by about 9 p.m.The Southeast is also expected to see heavy rain over the next several days. Flash flooding is possible throughout the week. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Santa Fe teen says best friend saved her life, sacrificed his own by shoving her into closet: ‘He’s a hero’

first_imgScott Olson/Getty Images(SANTA FE, Texas) — Speaking to ABC News, 15-year-old Courtney Marshall clutched her cellphone, watching videos of her art classmates just a few weeks ago laughing and joking and primping for the camera.Now, half of them are dead or recovering from gunshot wounds, Courtney included, after Friday’s mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.“We couldn’t get the back door open and we tried to break through the glass windows in the back of the class but couldn’t,” she told ABC News.Courtney’s best friend, Christian Garcia, “grabbed me and my teacher and got us into the closet,” she said. “[The gunman] just shot into the closet. I saw my teacher just die in front of me and I just saw my best friend die in front of me.”She said the suspected gunman, 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, looked her right in the eye and kept firing.In the frenzy, Courtney managed to call her mother, who told her to run. As her teacher and friends died around her, Courtney said she bolted for the door while the gunman reloaded.“When I saw the door open and he was reloading, I just ran. I fell down outside and another boy came and helped me up and we just ran and ran,” she said. “He was just firing at us. I didn’t even know that I had been hit until I reached my uncle’s truck.”Ten people were killed and 13 others wounded in the two art rooms.Those remaining art students are in a group chat trying to figure out how to handle the carnage they saw, Courtney said.She said they want to return to the art rooms for closure on Wednesday.Courtney said she is speaking out so her friend Christian’s parents know he saved her life and that he tried to save their teacher’s life too by pulling them into the closet.“Christian saved my life — he’s a hero,” she said.Courtney’s mother, Candy Marshall, said she doesn’t know what the answer is to the school violence, but she knows she’ll never forget her daughter’s phone call and the line going dead.When Courtney had reached the hallway, her call to her mother dropped, leaving Marshall in an agonizing wait to know if Courtney made it out of school alive.“It’s a call I will never forget,” Marshall said. “All I can do is think about those parents whose kids didn’t make it out.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Three-year-old dies after spending more than three hours in scorching bus

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A 3-year-old boy left unattended in a blistering-hot daycare bus for more than three hours has died.The child was unresponsive when discovered inside the vehicle by police, who said the temperature inside the vehicle at the time was 113 degrees. The bus was parked outside a daycare facility following a field trip, according to a statement from the Harris County Constable’s Office.Twenty-eight students from the Discovering Me Academy went to a local park earlier in the day and returned between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., according to the statement. The boy who was left in the van wasn’t discovered until his father arrived around 6:30 p.m. to pick him up.“It’s just tragic,” Constable Alan Rosen said.Authorities were interviewing the bus driver and a chaperone from the field trip, according to the statement. The boy who died was listed as accounted for on a roll sheet for students who returned to the daycare.The Houston Police Department said it will be investigating the case, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether to file criminal charges.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Alleged dragging, shoving of children in migrant centers under investigation: Sheriff’s department

first_imgJohn Moore/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department is investigating footage of unaccompanied children allegedly being dragged and shoved inside a shelter in Arizona.The videos, first published by The Arizona Republic, appear to show the alleged mistreatment taking place in a Southwest Key shelter in Youngtown.Southwest Key shelters, which are located in several states, drew national attention this summer because some of its facilities that were tasked with housing children who were separated from their parents after immigrating to the U.S.The sheriff’s department investigated “several allegations of child abuse and assault on minors occurring on September 14th, 17th, and the 21st of 2018,” according to a statement from their office.“After the initial response by patrol deputies, detectives conducted a thorough investigation of all three incidents, including interviewing all involved parties and witnesses, and conducting forensic interviews with the child victims,” the sheriff’s department statement said, adding that its investigators reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance camera footage.“Based upon the evidence gathered during this thorough investigation, [Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office] executive command has made the decision to submit the case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for its review and determination of criminal charges,” the statement reports.The incidents allegedly took place at the Youngtown shelter, called Hacienda Del Sol, which the company closed in October.In response to ABC News’ request for comment on the evolving nature of the case, Southwest Key’s spokesman Jeff Eller responded with a statement that the company released in October.“We wholeheartedly welcomed the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s decision to suspend operations at Hacienda Del Sol and are working to thoroughly retrain our staff. We are simultaneously engaging the Child Welfare Consulting Partnership to do an independent, top-to-bottom review of our processes, procedures, hiring and training in our Arizona shelters,” Eller said in the October statement, which he forwarded to ABC News Monday.The Arizona Republic blurred the videos in question so the faces of both the children and staff are not visible. A staff member appears to shove a young boy, while another seems to shows different staff members dragging other children.Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement to The Arizona Republic on Friday that “the investigation determined that while physical force and restraint techniques were used against these minor children, these actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges.”Still, the case is being submitted Friday to the County Attorney.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

South braces for tornadoes, severe weather

first_imgABC News(OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma) — A potent storm developing in the central U.S. will bring the next round of severe weather to parts of the South on Saturday. Much like last weekend’s deadly storms, the primary concern is the risk of severe weather, including possible tornadoes. Meanwhile, to the north, blizzard conditions are possible. Storms had already produced wind gusts approaching 80 mph in western Texas early Saturday morning with at least 23 reports of damage.A severe thunderstorm watch was issued for parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas through 10 a.m. local time and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued through 11 a.m. for southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, including the Dallas metropolitan area. These severe weather watches are just some of the many alerts, including wind advisories and winter weather alerts, across a good portion of the central U.S.New winter weather advisories have been issued for parts of the Northeast as well. Heavy snow will move through the Dakotas during the morning hours on Saturday and will reach into Minnesota and Iowa during the day. Snowfall rates will reach 1 to 2 per hour locally, with gusty winds.Additionally, severe weather will quickly intensify and organize Saturday morning through parts of the South with rather robust cells forming mainly in Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri. Strong damaging winds, hail and a possible tornado are all possible. However, as the front moves into parts of Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky during the day, there is a possibility for tornadoes during the middle of the day and early afternoon. If tornadoes develop, some could be strong. The threat is highest in the enhanced risk region from western Alabama to southern Illinois. Meanwhile, heavy snow will spread farther into the Upper Midwest Saturday night, including parts of Wisconsin. heavy rain will develop from Chicago to Cincinnati as the storm slides east. The severe weather threat in the South will diminish substantially during the Saturday evening hours.On Sunday morning, precipitation will be moving toward the Northeast. It could initially start out as a burst of snow before sunrise with snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour from Minnesota to New England. Warmer air should quickly move in and change the snow to rain across much of Northeast. Accumulations should remain pretty limited from New York to Boston. However, there could be a couple of spots inland from Hartford, Connecticut, to Springfield, Massachusetts, to Albany, New York, that have a decent chance of picking up 2 to 4 inches of snow. In some of the more rural and elevated parts of New England 6 inches could quickly accumulate Sunday. Meanwhile, snowfall totals in parts of Minnesota could exceed a foot of snow locally. The storm is also pulling up warmer air from the tropics into parts of the southern U.S. Temperatures will briefly be at least 10 degrees above average ahead of the cold front Saturday in the South and then locally 10 to 20 degrees above average in parts of the Southeast on Sunday.The brutal cold air does not make a strong return in the wake of this storm in the coming week. Another fairly potent storm, with another severe weather threat, looks to develop for the middle of the week and will likely bring a similar temperature set up to much of the central and eastern U.S. All of this a sign that the atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere is responding to more direct sunlight as we head toward the official start of spring.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

12 dead, including suspect, in Virginia Beach shooting: Police

first_imgACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION-municipal center, building 2. Multiple injuries. At this time it is believed that only 1 shooter, and they have been taken into custody. More to follow— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) May 31, 2019This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. iStock/aijohn784(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) –Twelve people are dead, including the suspected gunman, after a shooting occurred at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on Friday afternoon, according to police.Six additional victims were taken to the hospital with injuries, police said. An emergency services spokesperson would not comment on the condition of the injured victims.It’s unclear how many total victims there were. However, five patients were transported to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and one victim is currently being transported to its Level I Trauma Center, according to Dale Gauding, senior communications advisor for brand engagement at Senatara Healthcare.The suspected shooter is in custody, according to the Virginia Beach Police Department.Authorities are asking people to avoid the Municipal Center area.Both the FBI and ATF have sent agents to the scene.last_img read more

Phoenix couple in viral-video arrest confront mayor: ‘It just makes me sick to my stomach’

first_imgObtained by ABC News(PHOENIX) — A Phoenix couple at the center of a viral-video confronted the city’s mayor and police chief at a community meeting Tuesday night about why police officers who pulled guns on them and their children last month and threatened to shoot them weren’t fired.The event gave Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, who is six months pregnant, a chance to vent face-to-face with city leaders over the way they were treated during the now-viral encounter with police on May 27. Both Ames and Harper said they feared they were going to be shot during the encounter. “It just makes me sick to my stomach. I have nightmares of barrels being pointed in my face and all I could think was, ‘How can I save my daughter?’”Ames told city officials at the meeting. “No kid should ever see that, nor should she see terror like that.”Mayor Kate Gallego ordered the community meeting, held at the the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Phoenix, after cellphone videos surfaced last week showing officers screaming profanities at Ames and Harper, manhandling both of them and pointing guns at them and their children, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old, after they were accused of shoplifting at a Family Dollar store. The names of the officers were not released.“Police were trying to hurt us because she took a doll,” Ames said. “It hurts to see that this is what happens when someone’s shoplifting. If you think it’s about stealing or whatever … mass murderers get walked down and without a scratch.”Civil rights activists and community organizers urged victims who had been shot by Phoenix police officers and families that had lost loved ones to officer-involved shootings and/or police brutality to attend the meeting.“We owe it to our residents to give them an open forum to discuss their concerns with us and to propose solutions,” Gallego said in a statement.Among the attendees were Edward Brown, 35, who was paralyzed on Aug. 5, 2018, when he was shot in the back by a Phoenix police officer investigating drug activity in an alley; the family of Jacob Harris, a 19-year-old shot to death by an officer on Jan. 11 after he was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery; and relatives of Michelle Cusseaux, 50, who was fatally shot by a police officer sent to her apartment as part of a court-ordered mental health pick-up in 2014.One resident, Dante Patterson, said he had a dangerous encounter in January 2018 with one of the same officers allegedly involved in the couple’s apprehension last week.“I tried twice to file a complaint through the Professional Standards Bureau so he does not do that conduct again and you guys ignored me and look what happened,” Patterson said, addressing the police chief directly. “You guys didn’t listen to me, and just know that I’m not going to stop until something is done.”At a Monday press conference, Ames and Haper said they rejected apologies from Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams.“We’ve been aware of apologies from the mayor and the chief and, honestly, it hasn’t done anything to help us because it feels like a half apology. The officers are still working. It feels like a slap in the face. It’s like putting some lemon juice on an open wound,” Ames said.A day earlier, Williams said in an interview with ABC affiliate station KNXV-TV in Phoenix that she has “apologized to the family. I’ve apologized to the community.”Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Britt London released a statement Monday asking the community to be patient until all the facts of an investigation come out.“On occasion, an interaction receives intense scrutiny by the public, the media, the city, and the department,” London said. “That is as it should be — as police officers, each of us must be held accountable under the law. However, accountability first requires the completion of a thorough, fact-based investigation. To hold court using only emotion, without obtaining facts, or ignoring facts, does not benefit our community.”Hours after the couple’s press conference on Monday, Phoenix police released new surveillance video from inside a Family Dollar store in Phoenix purportedly showing Ames shoplifting a pair of socks and his 4-year-old daughter walking out of the store with a box containing a doll.The video also shows an unnamed woman at the store with Ames, Harper and their two children tossing items back on a shelf before walking out with the young girl holding the doll.Attorney Sandra Slaton, who is representing the couple along with former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said Monday that even if allegations of shoplifting were true, “it still would not justify the horrific, barbaric action of this police department.”No charges were filed against the couple, and a $10 million notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, was sent to the city of Phoenix by attorneys for the couple.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Hurricane watch issued as Tropical Storm Dorian nears Puerto Rico

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Dorian is moving west over the Caribbean as residents in Puerto Rico prepare for a possible impact. Dorian was even weaker Tuesday than it was Monday.The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a hurricane watch for the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico though the storm may not be strong enough to become a hurricane.Dorian is expected to pass between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning with winds approaching 70 mph.Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez has signed an order declaring a state of emergency as she warned residents to prepare. “Hurricane Maria was a lesson for us and nearly two years after its devastating passage, today we can say that we are better prepared,” Vazquez said Monday.More than 7,400 generators and three mega generators are already on the island, according to the governor.  At least 360 shelters will open with a capacity of holding 48,500 people. By the end of Tuesday, radios and satellite phones will be delivered to mayors and police departments throughout the island at all municipalities, officials said.Vazquez added that she is in communication with the White House and there is a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representative on the island assisting in response coordination. If the storm survives landfall, it’ll reemerge over the Bahamas early Friday. The storm may then move over the Bahamas and come close to Florida by the weekend. But the system will be fighting a lot of wind shear that will keep it from strengthening. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. read more