Broward County Public Schools superintendent Robert Runcie arrested on perjury charge

WSVN Miami - 2 hours 48 min ago

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie has been arrested.

On Wednesday, the charge he faces has been listed as perjury in an official proceeding.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was the arresting agency.

Runcie has since bonded out of jail as of 10:40 a.m.

Please check back on WSVN.com and 7News for more details on this developing story.

 

1 in custody, 1 transported after reports of an active shooter near Philadelphia

WSVN Miami - 3 hours 31 min ago

NEAR ALLENTOWN, PA. (WSVN) — One person is in police custody after reports of an active shooter just north of Philadelphia.

Police responded to a Wawa gas station at around 5 a.m., Wednesday.

A second area near a local daycare was blocked off by crime scene tape. This is where a person was believed to be taken into custody.

At least one other person was taken to the hospital.

Reports are that the coroner was also called to the scene.

Please check back on WSVN.com for more details on this developing story.

Here’s what’s next for Derek Chauvin after being found guilty of George Floyd’s murder

WSVN Miami - 3 hours 42 min ago

(CNN) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday, a verdict that sent waves of celebration across the United States after years of protests against police brutality.

So, what happens to Chauvin now?

Sentencing will be in 8 weeks

It will be another eight weeks before he is sentenced, Judge Peter Cahill said Tuesday. And while Chauvin had been out on bail since October, Cahill revoked Chauvin’s bail after the verdict, so he will now await sentencing in jail.

Chauvin was transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, according to Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson Sarah Fitzgerald. The correctional facility is in Stillwater, about 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis.

He is there through an agreement between the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Fitzgerald told CNN.

The judge will consider these factors

Cahill will consider factors such as Floyd’s murder taking place in front of a child, and the power dynamic between the officers and civilians, in determining Chauvin’s sentence.

Chauvin could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.

Minnesota’s sentencing guidelines recommend about 12.5 years in prison for each murder charge and about four years for the manslaughter charge. In this case, the state has asked for a tougher sentence than the recommendations provide.

What about the other officers charged?

The three other officers facing charges in Floyd’s death are expected to be tried together in August. Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng are all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Man in police custody after jumping over fence onto Miami International Airport tarmac

WSVN Miami - 4 hours 22 sec ago

A heavy police presence is currently at Miami International Airport.

7SkyForce hovered over the scene, just after 8:30 a.m., Wednesday.

According to Miami-Dade Police, a man wearing a hospital gown jumped the perimeter fence along the tarmac near Gate E6 next to an American Airlines heavy jet.

The man was immediately taken into custody.

No flights were impacted by the incident.

It remains unclear what charges the man will face.

Please check back on WSVN.com for more details on this developing story.

Broward Health celebrates milestone of distributing 100,000 vaccine doses

WSVN Miami - 4 hours 18 min ago

Broward Health has reached a major milestone in the pandemic.

On Tuesday, they administered their 100,000 vaccine dose in Fort Lauderdale.

Meanwhile, the vaccination sites at Hard Rock Stadium and Miami-Dade College’s North Campus are now administering the first and second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials urge members of the public to keep in mind it does not matter where they get vaccinated, as all sites welcome Florida residents.

No appointments are necessary at FEMA-supported sites.

Appointments are also not needed at the vaccination site at Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale.

Anyone 16 years and older can receive their vaccine at MDC’s North Campus.

For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here. To pre-register for the Hard Rock Stadium site, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

Jury’s swift verdict for Chauvin in Floyd death: Guilty

WSVN Miami - 4 hours 30 min ago

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After three weeks of testimony, the trial of the former police officer charged with killing George Floyd ended swiftly: barely over a day of jury deliberations, then just minutes for the verdicts to be read — guilty, guilty and guilty — and Derek Chauvin was handcuffed and taken away to prison.

Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades when he is sentenced in about two months in a case that triggered worldwide protests, violence and a furious reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S.

The verdict set off jubilation mixed with sorrow across the city and around the nation. Hundreds of people poured into the streets of Minneapolis, some running through traffic with banners. Drivers blared their horns in celebration.

“Today, we are able to breathe again,” Floyd’s younger brother Philonise said at a joyous family news conference where tears streamed down his face as he likened Floyd to the 1955 Mississippi lynching victim Emmett Till, except that this time there were cameras around to show the world what happened.

On Wednesday, Philonise Floyd described his thoughts while watching Chauvin being handcuffed. He recalled to ABC’s “Good Morning America” how it appeared “a lot easier” on Chauvin than when his brother was handcuffed before his death, but said it still represented “accountability.”

“It makes us happier knowing that his life, it mattered, and he didn’t die in vain,” he said.

The jury of six whites and six Black or multiracial people came back with its verdict after about 10 hours of deliberations over two days. The now-fired white officer was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin’s face was obscured by a COVID-19 mask, and little reaction could be seen beyond his eyes darting around the courtroom. His bail was immediately revoked. Sentencing will be in two months; the most serious charge carries up to 40 years in prison.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson followed Chauvin out of the courtroom without comment.

President Joe Biden welcomed the verdict, saying Floyd’s death was “a murder in full light of day, and it ripped the blinders off for the whole world” to see systemic racism.

But he warned: “It’s not enough. We can’t stop here. We’re going to deliver real change and reform. We can and we must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”

The jury’s decision was hailed around the country as justice by other political and civic leaders and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a white man, who said on Twitter that Floyd “would still be alive if he looked like me. That must change.”

At a park next to the Minneapolis courthouse, a hush fell over a crowd of about 300 as they listened to the verdict on their cellphones. Then a great roar went up, with many people hugging, some shedding tears.

At the intersection where Floyd was pinned down, a crowd chanted, “One down, three to go!” — a reference to the three other fired Minneapolis officers facing trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death.

Janay Henry, who lives nearby, said she felt grateful and relieved.

“I feel grounded. I can feel my feet on the concrete,” she said, adding that she was looking forward to the “next case with joy and optimism and strength.”

Jamee Haggard, who brought her biracial 4-year-old daughter to the intersection, said: “There’s some form of justice that’s coming.”

The verdict was read in a courthouse ringed with concrete barriers and razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops, in a city on edge against another round of unrest — not just because of the Chauvin case but because of the deadly police shooting of a young Black man, Daunte Wright, in a Minneapolis suburb April 11.

The jurors’ identities were kept secret and will not be released until the judge decides it is safe to do so.

It is unusual for police officers to be prosecuted for killing someone on the job. And convictions are extraordinarily rare.

Out of the thousands of deadly police shootings in the U.S. since 2005, fewer than 140 officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter, according to data maintained by Phil Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University. Before Tuesday, only seven were convicted of murder.

Juries often give police officers the benefit of the doubt when they claim they had to make split-second, life-or-death decisions. But that was not an argument Chauvin could easily make.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after being arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes at a corner market. He panicked, pleaded that he was claustrophobic and struggled with police when they tried to put him in a squad car. They put him on the ground instead.

The centerpiece of the case was the excruciating bystander video of Floyd gasping repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” and onlookers yelling at Chauvin to stop as the officer pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what authorities say was 9 1/2 minutes, including several minutes after Floyd’s breathing had stopped and he had no pulse.

Prosecutors played the footage at the earliest opportunity, during opening statements, and told the jury: “Believe your eyes.” From there it was shown over and over, analyzed one frame at a time by witnesses on both sides.

In the wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations and scattered violence broke out in Minneapolis, around the country and beyond. The furor also led to the removal of Confederate statues and other offensive symbols such as Aunt Jemima.

In the months that followed, numerous states and cities restricted the use of force by police, revamped disciplinary systems or subjected police departments to closer oversight.

The narrative of Floyd’s death began with a late-night Minneapolis police news release that said Floyd “appeared to be suffering medical distress” after he resisted arrest and was handcuffed. Once teenager Darnella Frazier’s bystander video surfaced, a department spokesman said it became clear the statement was inaccurate, and the “Blue Wall of Silence” that often protects police accused of wrongdoing rapidly crumbled.

The Minneapolis police chief quickly called it “murder” and fired all four officers, and the city reached a staggering $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family as jury selection was underway.

Police-procedure experts and law enforcement veterans inside and outside the Minneapolis department, including the chief, testified for the prosecution that Chauvin used excessive force and went against his training.

Medical experts for the prosecution said Floyd died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, because his breathing was constricted by the way he was held down on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind him, a knee on his neck and his face jammed against the ground.

Chauvin’s attorney called a police use-of-force expert and a forensic pathologist to try to make the case that Chauvin acted reasonably against a struggling suspect and that Floyd died because of a heart condition and his illegal drug use. Floyd had high blood pressure and narrowed arteries, and fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his system.

Under the law, police have certain leeway to use force and are judged according to whether their actions were “reasonable” under the circumstances.

The defense also tried to make the case that Chauvin and the other officers were hindered in their duties by what they perceived as a growing, hostile crowd.

Chauvin did not testify, and all that the jury or the public ever heard by way of an explanation from him came from a police body-camera video after an ambulance had taken the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Floyd away. Chauvin told a bystander: “We gotta control this guy ’cause he’s a sizable guy … and it looks like he’s probably on something.”

The prosecution’s case also included tearful testimony from onlookers who said the police kept them back when they protested what was happening.

Frazier, who shot the crucial video, said Chauvin gave the bystanders a “cold” and “heartless” stare. She and others said they felt a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt from witnessing Floyd’s slow-motion death.

“It’s been nights I stayed up, apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more, and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” she testified.

Ellen Pao: Meritocracy in tech is a myth

CNN - 4 hours 51 min ago
The "biggest myth" about working in the tech industry is that it's based on a meritocracy.

Goldman Sachs employs just 49 Black people in top US jobs

CNN - 5 hours 11 min ago
Goldman Sachs has just 49 Black executives and senior managers in its US workforce, accounting for about 3% of the total.

Man transported after accidentally shooting himself in Coral Springs

WSVN Miami - 5 hours 14 min ago

A man has been transported to the hospital after, police said, he accidentally shot himself in Coral Springs.

Coral Springs Police responded to a shooting near Coral Springs Drive and Westview Drive at around 7:30 a.m., Wednesday.

The victim was shot in the leg and transported to the hospital in unknown condition.

Police set up a perimeter with K-9 units in the area after the man told authorities he was accosted outside his home.

Officials said no evidence of a shooting outside was found, but blood was found inside of the home.

Detectives concluded he accidentally shot himself inside of the home while playing with the gun.

7SkyForce hovered over another active scene nearby but authorities said they are not related.

The parent company of Old Country Buffet filed for bankruptcy

CNN - 5 hours 15 min ago
Fresh Acquisitions, the parent company of a restaurant chain that owns several buffet-style concepts, including Old Country Buffet, filed for bankruptcy.

North Miami Beach Police search for family of young girl found in apartment lobby

WSVN Miami - 5 hours 56 min ago

North Miami Beach Police is seeking the public’s help to find the family of a young girl who was found alone.

Officers said she was found in the lobby of an apartment building on Northeast 169th Street and 22nd Avenue.

If you know who the young girl is or where she is supposed to be, call Miami Beach Police at 305-673-7900.

Please check back on WSVN.com for more details on this developing story.

1 dead, 2 transported after drive-by shooting in Miami

WSVN Miami - 6 hours 48 min ago

One person has died after a drive-by shooting in Miami.

City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue crews responded to a ShotSpotter alert along Northwest Eighth Avenue and Flagler Street, just after 3:30 a.m., Wednesday.

When first responders arrived on the scene, officers said they found three men suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

Two victims were rushed to the hospital in stable condition. The third victim was pronounced dead on the scene.

Please check back on WSVN.com for more details on this developing story.

Queen Elizabeth marking 95th birthday in low-key fashion

WSVN Miami - 6 hours 58 min ago

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 95th birthday in a low-key fashion at Windsor Castle, just days after the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip.

Some members of the royal family are expected to be with the queen on Wednesday. Her birthday falls within the two-week royal mourning period for Philip that is being observed until Friday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of many people who sent best wishes to the monarch.

“I have always had the highest admiration for Her Majesty and her service to this country and the Commonwealth,” Johnson said on Twitter. “I am proud to serve as her prime minister.”

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9 at age 99. Family and friends gathered for his funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday to say their final farewells.

His death came a few months before his 100th birthday, which was due to be the focus of royal celebrations this year, while the queen’s 95th was always set to be a more low-key event.

Columbus police officer fatally shoots 15-year-old girl swinging knife

WSVN Miami - 7 hours 23 sec ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Columbus police shot and killed a teenage girl who swung at two other people with a knife Tuesday, according to bodycam footage from the officer who fired the shots just minutes before the verdict in George Floyd’s killing was read.

Officials with the Columbus Division of Police showed a segment of the footage Tuesday night just hours after the shooting took place in a neighborhood on the city’s east side. The decision to swiftly release the video was a departure from protocol as the force faces immense scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings that have led to clashes.

The 10-second clip begins with the officer getting out of his car at a house where police had been dispatched after someone called 911 saying they were being physically threatened, Interim Police Chief Michael Woods said at the news conference. The officer takes a few steps toward a group of people in the driveway when the girl, who was Black, starts swinging a knife wildly at another girl or woman, who falls backward. The officer shouts several times to get down.

The girl with the knife then charges at another girl or woman who is pinned against a car.

From a few feet away, with people on either side of him, the officer fires four shots, and the teen slumps to the ground. A black-handled blade similar to a kitchen knife or steak knife lies on the sidewalk next to her.

A man immediately yells at the officer, “You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!”

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

The race of the officer wasn’t clear.

The girl was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. It remains unclear if anyone else was injured.

Police did not identify the girl or her age Tuesday. One family member said she was 15, while another said she was 16.

The shooting happened minutes before the verdict in the killing of George Floyd was announced. Protesters who had gathered peacefully after that verdict to call for police reform and accountability quickly shifted their focus to the killing of the girl. The crowd of about 100 could be heard chanting outside police headquarters as city officials offered their condolences to the family and acknowledged the rarity of showing bodycam footage so soon after a police shooting.

Woods said state law allows police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others, and investigators will determine whether this shooting was such an instance.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther mourned the loss of the young victim but defended the officer’s use of deadly force.

“We know based on this footage the officer took action to protect another young girl in our community,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, outside the briefing, hundreds of protesters pushed past barriers outside police headquarters and approached officers as city officials were showing the bodycam video inside. Many chanted, “Say her name!” While others signified the victim’s age by yelling, “she was just a kid!” Officers with bicycles pushed protesters back and threatened to deploy pepper spray on the crowd.

The shooting happened about 25 minutes before a judge read the verdict convicting former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd. It also took place less than 5 miles from where the funeral for Andre Hill, who was killed by another Columbus police officer in December, was held earlier this year. The officer in Hill’s case, Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is now facing trial for murder, with the next hearing scheduled for April 28.

Less than three weeks before Hill was killed, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus. The case remains under federal investigation.

Last week, Columbus police shot and killed a man who was in a hospital emergency room with a gun on him. Officials are continuing an investigation into that shooting.

Kimberly Shepherd, 50, who has lived in the neighborhood where Tuesday’s shooting took place for 17 years, said she knew the teenage victim.

“The neighborhood has definitely went through its changes, but nothing like this,” Shepherd said of the shooting. “This is the worst thing that has ever happened out here and unfortunately it is at the hands of police.”

Shepherd and her neighbor Jayme Jones, 51, had celebrated the guilty verdict of Chauvin. But things changed quickly, she said.

“We were happy about the verdict. But you couldn’t even enjoy that,” Shepherd said. “Because as you’re getting one phone call that he was guilty, I’m getting the next phone call that this is happening in my neighborhood.”

Floyd verdict gives hope, if only fleeting, to Black America

WSVN Miami - 7 hours 6 min ago

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Relief, even if fleeting and momentary, is a feeling that Black Americans have rarely known in America: From slavery to Jim Crow segregation to enduring punishments for living while Black, a breath of fresh air untainted by oppression has long been hard to come by.

Nonetheless, the conviction of ex-cop Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd nearly a year ago allowed many across this city and the nation to exhale pent-up anxiety — and to inhale a sense of hope.

But what might they feel hope for?

The fate of Chauvin — found guilty of murder and manslaughter for holding a knee to Floyd’s neck, choking off his breathing until he went limp last May — showed Black Americans and their compatriots once again that the legal system is capable of valuing Black lives.

Or at least it can hold one white police officer in Minnesota accountable for what many declared an unambiguous act of murder months ago.

“This may be the beginning of the restoration of believing that a justice system can work,” said civil rights leader Martin Luther King III, echoing a sentiment that many expressed Tuesday.

“But we have to constantly stay on the battlefield in a peaceful and nonviolent way and make demands,” he said. “This has been going on for years and one case, one verdict, does not change how systematic racism has worked in our system.”

Alexandria De La Cruz, a Minneapolis mother, brought her 7-year-old daughter to the intersection near where Floyd was murdered, now dubbed George Floyd Square. Along with the hundreds who gathered there — Black, white and otherwise — De La Cruz erupted in cheers after it was announced Chauvin was guilty on all three counts.

“I feel relief that the justice system is working — it’s working today,” De La Cruz said.

Her daughter, Jazelle, sported a hooded sweatshirt that read, “Stop killing Black people.” Perhaps that’s a reminder, her mom said, that there’s still work to do to ensure the feeling of relief isn’t so fleeting this time.

“It’s important to bring her (to the square), so she can see what’s happening to our people, so that she can see what this country really is,” De La Cruz said.

Black Americans have seen similar moments before. In recent years, they followed the convictions of the officers who killed Oscar Grant, Laquan McDonald and Walter Scott. Still, some of these victims’ families continue to press for broader accountability from a policing culture they say has never proved it is meaningfully changed or reformed after the convictions of police officers.

And even as the Chauvin trial moved into its final days, the Twin Cities region and the nation were rocked by yet another police killing of an unarmed Black man. This time it was 20-year-old Daunte Wright, in Brooklyn Center, roughly 10 miles north of Minneapolis.

Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s first Black attorney general, said the jury’s decision was a reminder of how difficult it has been to enact enduring change and prevent the kind of upheaval and civil unrest that ignited the nation and the world last summer.

Furthermore, Ellison pointed out, America has known about and largely ignored the root causes of the upheaval and uneasiness in Black communities. More than a half-century ago, the Kerner and McComb commissions empaneled to study racial unrest warned of the dangers of doing just that.

“Here we are in 2021 still addressing the same problem,” Ellison said. “This has to end. We need true justice. That’s not one case. That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law, and no one is above it.”

Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, an online racial justice group, echoed the attorney general.

“We cannot, every single time, have uprisings to deliver justice nor should we have to be in a conversation about holding police officers accountable when they go around killing us,” Robinson said.

So again, what might Black Americans hope for after the outcome of Chauvin’s trial?

It can’t be about simply getting more police in front of a judge and jury, or about locking more of them up, said Miski Noor, an activist with the Twin Cities-based Black Visions Collective.

“That doesn’t actually stop the murders of Black people,” said Noor. “We’re trying to get into a world where lives are not lost, when Black people actually get to live.”

That’s the hope.

As relieved as Floyd’s family members are by the guilty verdicts, none see this as a bookend to the pursuit for justice. And three other former Minneapolis police officers face trial for the role they played in the case.

Brandon Williams, a nephew of Floyd’s, called the verdicts a “pivotal moment for America.”

“It’s something this country has needed for a long time now,” he said. “We need each and every officer to be held accountable. And until then, it’s still scary to be a Black man and woman in America encountering police.”

Coast Guard seizes 5,000 pounds of cocaine in Miami

WSVN Miami - Tue, 2021-04-20 23:47

The Coast Guard offloading more than 5,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $94 million dollars in Miami.

Crews stopped the vessel carrying the drugs earlier this month off the coast of Colombia.

Three people on that boat were detained.

Coast Guard rescues capsized kayaker in Key Largo

WSVN Miami - Tue, 2021-04-20 23:43

The Coast Guard has rescued a capsized kayaker.

This video from the helicopter shows a bird’s eye view of the rescue near Key Largo.

The kayaker called for help himself while he was in the water.

A coast guard crew hoisted the 34-year-old up in a basket.

He was not hurt.

Humane Society of Broward County, Greater Good Charities rescue 39 dogs from overcrowded shelters in Louisiana

WSVN Miami - Tue, 2021-04-20 23:40

The Humane Society of Broward County and Greater Good Charities have rescued dozens of dogs from overcrowded shelters. Now they’re getting some much-needed canine care before finding their forever homes.

The plane that arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport carried 39 dogs that were rescued from Louisiana.

“Harry Potter is just a tiny little sweetheart who found himself homeless at a rural shelter in Louisiana,” said a volunteer.

Harry Potter is heartworm positive, and his rescue was a matter of life and death.

“That shelter, is they test them and they’re positive, they won’t treat them. They euthanize them,” said Erin Robbins, director of transport for Greater Good Charities.

Greater Good Charities teamed up with the Humane Society of Broward County to save and take in the rescues.

“This is our third flight in two days and it’s the launch of our Save A Heart program, and our initiative is to transport out 2,000 highly adoptable pets to our shelter partners, 1,000 of which will be heartworm positive,” Robbins said.

They’ve already been treated and will have to continue treatment.

“They start them on doxycycline for two weeks to start reducing the load and begin the treatment. And then they come here and these wonderful people finish the treatment,” Robbins said.

The dogs were loaded up and taken to their next stop, the Humane Society in Dania Beach. They were happy to be out of their crate and will soon be in their forever homes.

The heartworm-positive dogs will need to take it easy for at least six months, but they’ll make amazing new friends.

“The home that needs to adopt a dog like this needs to be somebody that’s OK with daily medications to begin with, OK with keeping the dog calm, leash walks, but it’s a great time to bond and really get to know your pet, and we’re truly saving a life,” said Mary Steffans, senior director of operations at Humane Society of Broward County.

The dogs will be getting their check-ups and will be available for adoption within the next 48 hours.

 

Wheelchair-bound man transported for smoke inhalation after apartment fire in Fort Lauderdale

WSVN Miami - Tue, 2021-04-20 23:01

Firefighters have rescued two men in wheelchairs from an apartment fire in Fort Lauderdale, but one of them had to be transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene along Northeast 18th Avenue, at around 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, after receiving a call about the fire ripping through the complex.

The two wheelchair-bound men were rescued from different apartments, but crews had to transport one of them to get checked out.

“Where the fire originated is the victim we located and transported,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Michael Hicks.

About 26 firefighters helped the families who live in the apartment community.

The fire started in a home on the first floor. Raymond Freeman lives on the second floor, and he knew better than to ignore the alarm going off in the building.

“At first I went back to sleep. Then I’m like, ‘No, you better get up,'” he said. “I got up and saw smoke over here, smoke over there.”

Footage from 7SkyForce showed firefighters helping out the families.

Ray Bennett hopes he can go home soon.

“There was a fire next door,” he said.

Bennett was the second man rescued.

“They dragged me through the house,” Bennett said.

Firefighters are still investigating what caused the fire.

The Red Cross is expected to help 10 people who were displaced by the fire.

Coast Guard repatriates 23 Cuban migrants after 3 ship sightings in Florida Keys

WSVN Miami - Tue, 2021-04-20 22:54

U.S. Coast Guard members have repatriated 23 Cuban migrants after three different sightings at sea.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers reported the first group near Key Largo last Wednesday.

A Coast Guard plane spotted another 15-foot vessel southeast of Marathon, Friday.

A third boat was spotted by a good Samaritan 70 miles south of Key West.