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Ex-NFL player Phillip Adams suspected of killing 5 in South Carolina, official says. Coroner says he took his own life

Thu, 2021-04-08 14:10

(CNN) — Investigators believe former NFL player Phillip Adams shot and killed five people — including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two young grandchildren — at a South Carolina home on Wednesday evening, a South Carolina state official confirmed to CNN Thursday.

Adams, 32, was later found dead in a nearby home outside the city of Rock Hill of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff with police, the York County coroner’s office said.

Sheriff’s officials said someone shot six people at the first home Wednesday afternoon, leaving five dead and one seriously injured.

Killed were Dr. Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara Lesslie; their two grandchildren; and James Lewis, of Gastonia, North Carolina, the York County sheriff’s office said.

The slain grandchildren were ages 5 and 9, the county coroner’s office said.

Sometime later, authorities found a suspect in the suspect’s home on the same road, York County sheriff’s officials said early Thursday without elaborating.

Sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris did not immediately name the suspect, nor did he answer reporters’ questions early Thursday about whether that person was in custody or even alive.

Investigators believe the suspect was the only assailant, and are trying to figure out what led to the shooting, Faris said.

“This is a tragic, tragic situation. … None of us can figure out why” it happened, Faris told reporters early Thursday in a news conference recorded by CNN affiliate WBTV.

Adams played in the NFL as a defensive back from 2010 to 2015 for teams including the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons.

He played at South Carolina State University before that. His SCSU biography page lists his hometown as Rock Hill.

The sheriff’s office has said it will have a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

The shooting

Authorities were called around 4:45 p.m. to a home just south of Rock Hill, a city of about 73,000 people on the other side of the state line from Charlotte, North Carolina, authorities said.

Officers found the six people shot. Lewis was working at the home, authorities said, without elaborating.

A sixth person was taken to a hospital with “serious gunshot wounds,” Faris said. The person’s name and condition information weren’t released.

After learning a suspect may be nearby, officers found a suspect in a home on the same road, Faris said.

Doctor had been practicing in area since 1981

The sheriff’s spokesman said he knew Lesslie, and that “Dr. Lesslie was my doctor growing up.”

“Dr. Lesslie has been one of those people that everybody knows. He started Riverview Medical Center in Rock Hill and it has been a staple in Rock Hill for years,” Faris said.

“If you are from Rock Hill and you are from around this area, the people who are involved are very prominent and very well known in York County,” Faris said.

Lesslie was the founder of Riverview House Calls and Riverview Hospice and Palliative Care, according to the services’ joint website, and had been practicing in Rock Hill since 1981. In a personal bio page, Lesslie says he and his wife had been married for 40 years, raised four children and had nine grandchildren.

“In my spare time, I enjoy ​writing, golf, hunting, growing fruit and hops, and bagpiping,” the bio page says.

His website lists several books he authored, including 2008’s “Angels in the ER,” a book about faith in God and the work of nurses, doctors and others during trying circumstances during his years working in an emergency room.

“I’ve been an observer of human condition as well as a physician. There’s no better place to be an observer than the ER,” he told The Herald of Rock Hill about the book in 2008. “You find out what people are about. Everybody has something to teach us. I wanted to do this from a spiritual perspective. Once that became clear to me, it wrote itself.”

DeSantis announces lawsuits against CDC, Biden administration to allow cruises to resume sailing out of Florida

Thu, 2021-04-08 12:57

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he will be taking legal action against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Biden administration in an effort to get cruises back up and running again.

DeSantis made the announcement during a media conference at PortMiami, Thursday afternoon.

The governor said he is filing the lawsuits because, for more than a year, cruise ships have not been sailing in or out of the state of Florida.

The state has the largest cruise ports in the world.

The administration in Florida said their biggest concern is that the cruise companies will leave and cruise out of other countries that have allowed cruises to resume.

This would then lead to a potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the state.

DeSantis said once the CDC released guidelines for cruise sailing, but did not set dates for when it could resume, he decided it was time to go to court.

“People can make the decision that they want to make, people are going to cruise one way or another, the question is, are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations,” said DeSantis. “I think that the answer to that question should be obvious for Floridians. We want our folks to be able to go back to work, we want to be able to stand up to them and their families and so today we’re doing that.”

DeSantis previously signed an executive order that stated vaccine passports will not be allowed.

He addressed the matter during the conference and said even if the cruise lines want the passports to resume cruising, he will not allow there to be any need for proof of vaccination from a traveler to board a cruise ship.

Expert says Floyd died from a lack of oxygen

Thu, 2021-04-08 12:07

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from being pinned facedown on the pavement with his hands cuffed behind him, a medical expert testified Thursday at former Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial.

Floyd’s breathing while he was being held down by Chauvin and other officers was too shallow to take in enough oxygen, which in turn damaged his brain and caused an abnormal heart rhythm that made his heart stop, said Dr. Martin Tobin, a lung and critical care specialist at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and Loyola University’s medical school in Chicago.

He took the stand as part of an effort by prosecutors to establish that it was Chauvin’s actions — not Floyd’s illegal drug use and underlying health conditions, as the defense contends — that killed the 46-year-old Black man last May.

Tobin, analyzing a graphic presentation of the three officers pinning Floyd for what prosecutors say was almost 9 1/2 minutes, said Chauvin’s knee was “virtually on the neck for the vast majority of time.” He said it was “more than 90% of the time in my calculations.”

He said it appeared that Floyd was getting enough oxygen for about the first five minutes to keep his brain alive because he was still speaking.

But Tobin explained to jurors what happens as the space in the airway narrows, saying breathing then becomes “enormously more difficult,” adding that it would be worse than “breathing through a drinking straw.”

Tobin testified that if the hypopharynx – the bottom part of the throat — becomes totally obstructed, it takes just seconds to reduce the level of oxygen to where it would result “in either a seizure or a heart attack.”

Prosecutors showed images of Floyd side by side, one with the front of his face smashed against the pavement and another with his head turned. Tobin said that when Floyd’s head was facedown, a ligament at the back of his neck would have protected his airway. But with his head turned, Chauvin’s weight would have compressed the hypopharynx.

The expert calculated that at times when Chauvin was in a near-vertical position, with his toes off the ground, half of Chauvin’s body weight — 91.5 pounds — was directly on Floyd’s neck.

Tobin said other factors worsened the effect on Floyd: He pointed out that Officer J. Kueng held Floyd’s left hand upward, and Chauvin’s right knee compressed Floyd’s side, meaning “the ability to expand his left side is enormously impaired.” The handcuffs and the hard surface also interfered with Floyd’s ability to breathe, Tobin said.

Tobin used simple language, with terms like “pump handle” and “bucket handle” to describe the act of breathing for jurors. At one point, he invited them to “examine your own necks, all of you in the jury right now” to better understand the effect of a knee on a person’s neck. Most of the jurors felt their necks as Tobin instructed, though the judge later told them they didn’t have to do so.

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death May 25. Floyd was arrested outside a neighborhood market after being accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A panicky-sounding Floyd struggled and claimed to be claustrophobic as police tried to put him in a squad car, and they pinned him to the pavement.

Bystander video of Floyd crying that he couldn’t breathe as onlookers yelled at Chauvin to get off him sparked protests and scattered violence around the U.S.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson has argued that the now-fired white officer “did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career,” and he has disputed that Chauvin’s actions were what killed Floyd. Fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in Floyd’s system.

Tobin’s testimony comes a day after a use-of-force expert testified that Chauvin bore down with most of his weight on Floyd’s neck or neck area and his back the entire 9 1/2 minutes.

Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant serving as a prosecution witness, said Wednesday that based on his review of video evidence, Chauvin applied pressure to Floyd’s neck or neck area from the time officers began pinning Floyd to the ground until paramedics began to move him to a stretcher.

“That particular force did not change during the entire restraint period?” prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked as he showed the jury a composite of five still images.

“Correct,” replied Stiger, who on Tuesday testified Chauvin used excessive force against Floyd.

Nelson countered by pointing out what he said were moments in the video footage when Chauvin’s knee did not appear to be on Floyd’s neck but on his shoulder blade area or the base of his neck.

Stiger did not give much ground, saying the officer’s knee in some of the contested images still seemed to be near Floyd’s neck, though he agreed his weight might have shifted at times.

In other testimony Tuesday, the lead Minnesota state investigator on the case, James Reyerson, initially agreed with Nelson that Floyd seemed to say in a police body-camera video of his arrest, “I ate too many drugs.”

But when a prosecutor played a longer clip of the video, Reyerson said he believed what Floyd really said was “I ain’t do no drugs.”

Best Buy launches a new $200 membership program to fight Amazon

Thu, 2021-04-08 10:45

(CNN) — Best Buy has a new plan to hold on to shoppers in the crowded electronics market.

The retailer said Wednesday that it was piloting a $199.99 annual membership program with free device installations, a concierge service for tech support and other perks. The program, Best Buy Beta, will be available at around 60 Best Buy stores in six states by the end of this month. It also includes free shipping without order minimums, extended return windows and exclusive sales.

Best Buy has adapted to competition from online players like Amazon by beefing up customer service and positioning itself as the expert in TVs, computers and other electronics. This membership offering is the latest example of the company’s approach to win customers, said Michael Baker, a retail analyst at Davidson & Co.

With the new membership, he said, Best Buy is targeting customers who “have more devices and technology in their home, but have trouble understanding it all and need help.”

Best Buy is also looking for ways to add new revenue streams other than product sales. A membership is appealing because it can generate recurring fees from customers.

Amazon has popularized the membership model in retail with Prime, which currently costs $120 a year, and other retailers have followed its example. Walmart last year debuted Walmart+, a $98-a-year plan that includes free shipping on items $35 and over and same-day grocery delivery.

Best Buy currently has another, more limited membership program, Total Tech Support, that it launched in 2018. The new membership program will replace Total Tech Support in the the six states where it’s launching, and Baker expects to one day fully replace the prior concept.

“You need to keep making these subscription offerings more attractive to customers,” said Baker.

Best Buy is launching the membership after a strong year in the pandemic. The retailer saw a surge in sales of items from laptops to kitchen appliances as more Americans worked and cooked at home. During its latest quarter ending Jan. 30, comparable sales, or those at stores open for at least one year, increased 12.6% compared with the year prior.

Best Buy expects demand to slow this year, however. It estimates comparable sales growth to be anywhere from down 2% to up 1% in 2021.

Forecasters expect another overactive hurricane season with 17 named storms

Thu, 2021-04-08 10:41

(CNN) — After last year’s record-breaking hurricane season, forecasters are expecting another overactive season.

Colorado State University (CSU) released its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on Thursday morning and is predicting another above-average season this year.

https://twitter.com/wsvn/status/1380174237168730114

CSU is calling for 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Each of these numbers is above the typical season average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

However, seasonal averages are in the process of being updated, according to Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

“We will have those new averages going into the season. In fact, over the next couple of weeks we are going to release that information,” Graham says.

CSU is one of many academic institutions, government agencies and private forecasting companies putting out seasonal projections.

Even though the official forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) won’t come until the end of May, there is already a strong consensus that the Atlantic is headed for yet another active season.

Factors that increase hurricane activity

There is considerable warmth across much of the eastern Atlantic where the ocean’s surface temperature is 1-3 degrees Celsius above normal for early April.

“The primary reasons why we’re going above average is the low likelihood of a significant El Niño event and the relative warmth in the tropical (Atlantic) but especially the subtropical eastern Atlantic,” said Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at CSU.

Sea surface temperatures are one of the ingredients needed to fuel hurricanes, so it makes sense that there would be a correlation between those temperatures and an active season.

Another big factor is El Niño, or the lack thereof. When El Niño is present, it reduces Atlantic hurricane activity due to increased vertical wind shear — changes in wind speed and direction that prevent hurricanes from forming.

Most dynamical and statistical models are currently indicating low chances of El Niño developing between August and October.

“The current odds of El Niño from NOAA are quite low for August-October (10%),” according to Klotzbach.

Average conditions or even La Niña conditions create a more favorable environment for tropical storm development. While we are coming off an active La Niña pattern, according to NOAA it is not entirely over yet.

So, for the moment, El Niño’s calming effect on Atlantic hurricane season does not seem likely for 2021.

Changes to hurricane season are coming

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season finished with a total of 30 named storms — the most in any year on record. People along the coastline from Texas to Maine were affected by at least one named storm that season. But the post-season brought about some significant changes, including the retirement of three individual storm names, as well as the entire list of back up names.

The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee held its annual meeting last month to discuss past hurricane seasons and update its operational plans.

Before 2021, if the hurricane season used up all the names on the predetermined alphabetical list, the next plan of action was to use the Greek alphabet.

“The Greek alphabet will not be used in the future because it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing,” the WMO announced in March.

It was decided that a separate list of names would be used as a backup.

The Greek alphabet will be replaced by a supplemental list of names using the same rules as the main Atlantic hurricane season naming list — a list of names A-Z, but excluding the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z — for if and when the initial list of names has been exhausted.

This will allow for the supplemental list of names to be more easily retired and replaced when the need arises.

Hurricane preparedness begins now

Climatologically, about 30% of all Atlantic hurricanes make US landfall. However, you don’t need to have all of the 17 forecast storms make landfall in the US for it to be an impactful season.

“It doesn’t matter if there’s 30 storms or one … if it impacts you, it’s a busy season,” Graham says.

This is why it’s important to start preparing now by reviewing your evacuation plans and ensuring your evacuation kit is in order and up to date.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is already beginning its preparations for this year’s season. This year, the center will be releasing their Atlantic outlook products beginning May 15 as opposed to June 1, in order to better serve the communities impacted by early-season tropical systems.

Seven out of the last 10 years have seen tropical systems form prior to the official start of hurricane season, which is June 1.

In the off-season, the NHC has also improved its storm surge modeling.

“We have some new storm surge modeling that we’re really excited about,” says Graham. “I think it’s really going to improve our ability to get that information out for evacuations based on storm surge, even earlier than ever.”

This is very important because Graham points out that historically storm surge is the deadliest part of tropical systems. In addition, storm surge forecasts tend to be the main driver for evacuation plans along the coast.

“The best part, in some cases where we’re real confident, we’re going to go from 48 hours getting that information out, which we do now, we’re going to expand that out to 60 hours,” Graham said. “That is a big deal for decision-makers in helping them make those really tough decisions whether to evacuate or not.”

The NHC’s official hurricane forecast will be released in May and “It looks like we’re trending toward an average to above-average once again,” says Graham.

Philippines man dies after being forced to do 300 squats for breaking Covid-19 curfew

Thu, 2021-04-08 07:41

(CNN) — A man in the Philippines has died after being forced to do 300 squats for breaching Covid curfews, making him the latest victim of the country’s often brutal approach to enforcing restrictions.

On April 1, Darren Manaog Peñaredondo, 28, left his home in General Trias, a city in Cavite province, which is under lockdown due to rising Covid-19 cases, to buy water, his family said, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.

But he was stopped by police and told to do “pumping exercises” 100 times, according to the report. Police made him repeat the exercises, meaning he ultimately did about 300 repetitions.

“He started to convulse on Saturday, but we were able to revive him at home. Then his body failed so we revived him again, but he was already comatose,” his family said, according to the report. Peñaredondo died at 10 p.m., the family said.

The Philippines has one of the highest reported Covid-19 caseloads of any country in Asia — it has recorded more than 819,000 infections and 14,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last month, cases in the country rose sharply, prompting authorities to order more than 25 million people into lockdown — including those in Cavite province.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the mayor of General Trias city have ordered an investigation into Peñaredondo’s death, according to the report.

“All police officers who will be proven to have violated the law will be prosecuted and meted with appropriate (administrative) and criminal penalties,” the department’s undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a text message to CNN Philippines.

Peñaredondo’s death follows a string of incidents involving brutal policing techniques.

In a statement last month, non-profit organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) pointed to reports that officials had locked five youths inside a dog cage for violating quarantine. They also reportedly forced people to sit in the midday sun as punishment for breaching a curfew.

Jose Manuel Diokno, a lawyer and founder of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), said it was not legal to lock people up in cages or make people squat 300 times. “The only penalties that can be imposed by law enforcers for any kind of violations are those found in local law and national law, and we don’t have any laws that allow people to be put in dog cages or be made to exercise for long periods of time,” he said.

 

A tough approach to Covid restrictions

 

The Philippines has taken a tough approach to containing coronavirus.

President Rodrigo Duterte has applied his traditional strongman tactics, saying in April last year that police would shoot dead anyone who violated virus restrictions. “I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead,” Duterte said during a speech.

Huge numbers of people have been detained for breaching restrictions in the past 12 months. Between March and August last year, nearly 290,000 people were warned, fined or charged for violating quarantine rules, CNN Philippines reported. Since Duterte put the main Philippine island of Luzon in lockdown on March 16 this year, hundreds of people had been arrested in Manila, HRW said in March.

Philippine authorities argue the tough approach is needed to control the country’s outbreak. But Carlos Conde, a senior researcher at HRW, who is based in the Philippines, argues that surging cases show the measures haven’t worked. Instead, he said the decision to arrest people en masse has likely seen people “packed like sardines” into crowded jails, with no social distancing.

Lockdown orders had also harmed people who need to leave their homes to work, he said, adding the measures were “very anti-poor.”

In its annual report released this week, Amnesty International criticized the Philippines’ approach, noting that “measures taken by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19 led to numerous abuses of human rights.”

Last month, Duterte defended using former military officers in the fight against Covid-19, saying, “You need not be a doctor here,” according to a CNN Philippines report. CNN has reached out to the official Philippine Information Agency for comment.

 

Decline in freedoms

 

Brutal policing methods have been an issue for years in the Philippines. Since Duterte came to power in 2016, thousands have died in the “war on drugs” after the president ordered police to kill anyone they believed to be connected to the drugs trade.

But activists say the pandemic has further degraded freedoms and human rights.

According to Conde, the key problem is the government is treating Covid-19 as a public safety issue — not a health concern. The outsized roles given to military and police had only increased the prevalence of aggressive policing tactics, he said.

“I think the police, the military and the local government, they have been emboldened to commit human rights violations even more during the pandemic,” he said.

Diokno, the lawyer, said authorities had “just taken a cue from their leader,” referring to Duterte.

There have been impacts beyond those who were arrested for breaching quarantine. According to HRW, there was a 50% increase in people killed in the “war on drugs” from April to July 2020 compared with the previous four-month period.

Diokno said human rights had “very clearly” been degraded over the pandemic. “Aside from the lives that have been lost, the first victims of the pandemic were democratic rights and freedoms,” he said.

2 FEMA-supported vaccination sites reopen in Miami on Thursday

Thu, 2021-04-08 07:39

Two Federal Emergency Management Agency pop-up sites are reopening on Thursday morning.

Charles Hadley Park in Miami and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay will only administer second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Residents do not need an appointment, but can just show up and wait in line.

Both sites reopen at 9 a.m.

19-year-old from Pembroke Pines dies in Orlando hit-and-run

Thu, 2021-04-08 07:38

A South Florida teen traveling from Tallahassee to his home in South Florida lost his life along the way.

Officials said 19-year-old Anthony Mejias was the victim of a hit-and-run in Orlando.

His mother said he took a bus last week from Tallahassee to Pembroke Pines, and during a layover at an Orlando station, he lost his phone and identification and couldn’t get on the next bus.

She said she believes he tried looking for another ride.

Florida Highway Patrol officials said a deputy found his body a mile and a half away from the station on Saturday.

The teen was originally reported missing by his mother until he was identified on Wednesday.

“We did not know that this person who was unidentified the night of the crash was somebody’s son, that they were frantically looking for a missing person,” said FHP Lt. Kim Montes.

Police are now searching for the driver and combing through surveillance video from that night.

Customs officials have seized over 20 million counterfeit masks since the beginning of the year

Thu, 2021-04-08 07:36

(CNN) — Millions of counterfeit masks have been seized by Customers and Border Protection (CBP) officials since the start of the pandemic. But the last few months have seen an “exponential increase” in counterfeit mask seizures, a CBP official told CNN.

Since the start of the pandemic, CBP has seized more than 34 million counterfeit masks, most of them modeled to resemble N95 or KN95 masks. Around 20 million of those masks were caught in 2021, said John Leonard, acting executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Trade.

“The mask is really the most visible symbol of this pandemic,” Leonard told CNN. “[Counterfeiters] look into taking advantage of this situation.”

The counterfeit masks resemble N95 respirators, considered the most effective mask in preventing coronavirus transmission, but don’t offer the same level of protection, Leonard said. They might be missing some of the components that make N95 masks so effective, such as headbands to maintain a sealed fit.

CNN reported in February that the agency had seized 14 million counterfeit masks from the beginning of the pandemic to the end of 2020. That month, the amount of masks officials were seizing “blew up again,” Leonard said.

Officials made two notable seizures recently: In February, more than 108,000 fake N95 masks — marketed using 3M’s branding — were seized in Cincinnati. The next month, CBP found 65,000 fake respirators at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, also bearing 3M’s logo.

Counterfeit masks make up most of the seizures, but CBP officers have also seized around 180,000 unauthorized Covid-19 tests. Nearly 39,000 chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine tablets were seized, a measure the agency takes when drugs are imported into the US without FDA approval. CBP provided no details on these tablets.

If consumers don’t know the products are ineffective, they could give users a “false sense of security,” which could further coronavirus transmission, CBP said in a report.

Leonard attributes the uptick in counterfeit seizures to the ongoing demand for masks as the pandemic endures. It’s possible, as more of the US population is vaccinated, that the amount of counterfeit masks attempting to enter the US will fall, Leonard said, based on consumer demand.

Masks will still be a part of American life, even as millions more people are vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people who’ve been vaccinated to continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing when they’re in public. The agency is waiting to learn more about whether fully vaccinated people can still transmit coronavirus to others who aren’t vaccinated.

 

How to separate real masks from the imitators

 

There are ways to delineate the real thing from imitators.

Fake masks may have the following, according to the CDC and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

 

  • No NIOSH approval. NIOSH only certifies facepiece respirators like N95 masks if they filter at least 95% of particles. Without NIOSH approval, you can’t be sure your mask is equally protective.
  • Ear loops. A true N95 mask has headbands instead of ear loops, which help the mask form a seal against your face.
  • Sequins or other appliques. Per NIOSH, altering an N95 mask in any way could make it less effective, and NIOSH doesn’t approve a mask that’s been changed or decorated.
  • Other tells: Look for typos in product descriptions or on packaging. Unbelievably low prices may be too good to be true. And if the seller says the mask is approved for children, it’s not — NIOSH doesn’t approve N95 masks for kids.

 

The full list of NIOSH-approved N95 masks is available through the CDC.

Search for gunman underway in Hollywood neighborhood

Thu, 2021-04-08 07:14

Police are actively searching for a shooter in a Hollywood neighborhood.

Hollywood Police set up a perimeter along the 5600 and 5700 blocks of Flagler Street, early Thursday morning.

Officials said they are looking for a young man wearing all black.

7SkyForce hovered over the scene where police were seen escorting an injured man to an ambulance.

Two other people were seen handcuffed and put in the back of police cruisers.

Residents who live in the area are advised to stay inside their homes and lock their windows and doors as detectives search for a shooter.

Those who see anyone suspicious are advised to call the police.

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

Restaurant owner offers a job to the burglar who broke into his business

Thu, 2021-04-08 06:34

(CNN) — After someone broke into an Augusta, Georgia, restaurant over the weekend, the owner of the business responded in an unusual way: He offered the suspect a job.

“No police, no questions. Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you’re on,” Carl Wallace wrote in a Facebook post, which included an image of the smashed door.

Wallace has owned Diablo’s Southwest Grill for about eight years. He said someone broke in around 4 a.m. Saturday, took off with an empty register and was out within 45 seconds as the restaurant’s alarm went off.

Wallace told CNN his initial reaction was “anger” and “frustration,” but then he felt sorry for the person.

“You feel sorry that this is their chosen path in life. You also think about the dangers that this person is putting themself in every single time they do this.”

Wallace said he thinks the same person recently targeted at least two other nearby businesses. He said the owners told him they were also the victims of an attempted robbery and that their surveillance footage matched his.

With the break-in happening Easter weekend, Wallace said responding with forgiveness seemed like the right thing to do.

“It was about just trying to be a mentor to somebody that’s clearly on the wrong path in life,” Wallace said.

3 teens shot, 1 dead in drive-by shooting in SW Miami-Dade

Wed, 2021-04-07 22:12

Two teens were injured and another killed in a drive-by shooting in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the shooting in the area of Southwest 115th Avenue in the Goulds neighborhood, just after 8:30 p.m., Wednesday.

One teen died on the scene, while the other two were transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center by air ambulance in unknown condition.

Police are investigating the shooting.

If you have any information regarding the incident, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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

2 women driven to hospital after shots fired at Miami park

Wed, 2021-04-07 22:10

Two women had to be driven to the hospital after they were injured when shots rang out at a Miami park.

About 20 rounds were heard blasting through the neighborhood at West Buena Vista Park, near Northwest 45th Street and 11th Place, Wednesday night.

City of Miami Police said one young woman is in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital after she was shot. Another woman was grazed by a bullet and was also driven to the hospital. Police said both victims were taken to the hospital by friends.

Surveillance video captured people speeding off for their lives as bullets whizzed through the air.

The bullets popped off feet from single family homes in every direction that surround the park. One terrified driver cut across the grass to get away from the bullets.

People could be heard yelling and arguing before the shots were fired, the video shows. Witnesses said they watched the bullets fly from a black car.

Piercing screams and cries followed, along with the sound of cars peeling out of the area.

Moments later, police showed up and flooded the area in response to the gunshots.

Cameras spotted one woman outside Jackson Memorial Hospital conversing with officers, and the car that fled across the field also appeared to be at the hospital, as it was loaded up onto a flatbed tow truck.

Loved ones have since arrived at the hospital, as officers begin their investigation into the shooting.

No arrests have been made as of Wednesday night.

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

North Lauderdale cat dies after swallowing toxic substance

Wed, 2021-04-07 20:20

A cat has died after swallowing a toxic substance in North Lauderdale.

Sprout passed away at Plantation Midtown Animal Hospital at around 9:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Sprout was found at a construction area behind a North Lauderdale home splayed out on her belly after suffering a possible attack.

She was then rushed to an emergency vet clinic by a Good Karma Pet Rescue volunteer.

The emergency hospital report said she ingested a chemical found in antifreeze, which led veterinarians to wonder if it was intentional.

Volunteers also found Sprout’s four three-week-old kittens, which will be put up for adoption.

If you know of any case of animal cruelty in Sprout’s case or others, call police.

Samuel Adams says they will buy a beer for those who get COVID vaccine

Wed, 2021-04-07 19:01

Drinks are on Samuel Adams!

Adding to the list of businesses giving away free items for those who get vaccinated, Samuel Adams has announced they will buy a beer for anyone who gets their COVID-19 vaccine.

https://twitter.com/SamuelAdamsBeer/status/1379803326242562054

The company said from April 12 through May 15, they will send $7 for a beer through CashApp to people who post a photo of their vaccination sticker or bandage on Instagram or Twitter. The post must also have the hashtag #shotforsam and the poster must also tag @samueladamsbeer.

Posters must be 21 years old and older.

For more information, click here.

James S. Rickards Middle School students to finish school year at Broward College North

Wed, 2021-04-07 18:47

Students who attend a Fort Lauderdale school will switch to a different campus after a roof on campus collapsed.

Starting Wednesday, students from James S. Rickards Middle School will finish the rest of the school year at Broward College’s North Campus.

In March, the roof caved in at the school’s media center.

Fortunately, no one was in the building at the time, but those who were on campus said they were shaken up and evacuated with no injuries.

Some students had been learning remotely due to COVID-19 concerns.

Miami Gardens family woken up when police serve warrant at their home

Wed, 2021-04-07 18:37

A Miami Gardens family said they were frightened and spooked out of their sleep when police served a warrant at their home.

Miami-Dade Police’s Special Response Team arrived outside of the Allen family’s apartment, off Northwest Fifth Avenue, Wednesday morning.

“All of the sudden, I hear the people hitting at the door and knock the door down,” Nyree Allen said. “I’m terrified because I don’t know what’s going on. You got guns pointed at me and my kids. You got tank trucks out here.”

Allen said her front door was bashed, and the heavily-armed, tactically-clad officers busted into the apartment where she and her children were sleeping.

“Got guns pointed at my babies, my kids and everything,” Allen said. “My baby was screaming and hollering. Like, my baby was terrified. All he could do was just keep hollering. They didn’t even show me a search warrant.”

“I just see beams at my face and stuff,” Allen’s son said. “I was scared. I thought I was going to lose my life last night.”

Police, in response to a 7News inquiry, said they were at the apartment to serve a warrant involving an ongoing investigation.

“They didn’t even tell me who they was looking for,” Allen said.

The family believes the warrant is possibly tied to a homicide from several years ago involving a family member, but it happened at a different location. They added the police may have been looking for someone who does not live at the apartment.

Allen said once officers were inside of the unit, they broke her bedroom set and closet, and the family’s clothes were thrown onto the floor. She and her young son and daughter, meanwhile, were forced outside in their underwear, along with other family members.

“I asked them, ‘What’s going on?’ ‘We can’t tell you. You got to wait until we’re finished,'” Allen said. “That’s not a way to come into somebody’s house.”

The family said no arrests were made, and no items were taken from the apartment once the search concluded.

Body cam video shows Florida deputies wrangling gator that hid under car

Wed, 2021-04-07 18:07

Another day, another alligator.

Alligators are nothing new to Floridians. However, they can still be a bit of a surprise, especially if they are found under your car.

That’s exactly what happened to a Tampa resident who found a gator measuring over 10-feet under their car on March 31.

The car owner called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, who then wrangled up the gator.

Video of the incident was captured on body camera and was recently released by the sheriff’s office.

Ultimately, the massive gator was captured, thanks in part to a trapper with Florida Fish and Wildlife and taken to an alligator farm.

Neither the gator or anyone involved in the incident was injured.

Officials also used the incident to remind residents that if they ever encounter a gator:

  • Keep your distance
  • Keep your pets away from the water’s edge
  • Never feed the animal
  • Only swim in designated swimming areas during the daytime, since gators are most active during dawn and dusk.

Alcee Hastings’ passing heats up competition over vacant state congressional seat

Wed, 2021-04-07 17:43

While South Florida mourns the loss of a leader, discussion over longtime Congressman Alcee Hastings’ seat is heating up.

Hastings spent nearly three decades in Congress serving South Florida’s 23rd and then 20th district.

He spent his life fighting for equal rights and making sure everyone had a fair shot.

With his passing this week, there’s a void that will simply never be filled.

“This is going to be difficult to fill the shoes of such a giant in the house and here in Florida,” said former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsell-Powell.

Mucarsell-Powell said all eyes will be on Congressman Hastings’ seat.

She’s confident Democrats will hold onto it, but with Florida Republicans in charge of drawing the new congressional maps, she said it is possible whoever runs for the office in 2022 will have a more competitive race than in years past.

It’s up to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to call for a special election.

The congresswoman said he should do so before the new congressional map is finalized this fall.

“The people, the constituents of Alcee Hastings’ district, they deserve proper representation in the house,” Mucarsell-Powell said.

Hastings’ death now leaves Democrats with a mere six vote advantage over Republicans in the House of Representatives.

According to the Miami Herald, there are already more than a half dozen names being floated around for a possible replacement.

They include Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, State Senator Perry Thurston, State Senator Shevrin Jones, former State Senator Chris Smith, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam.

Mucarsell-Powell’s advice to anyone looking to fill the seat…

“Campaign from your heart. Do it because you want to be a true public servant the way that Alcee campaigned, the way that Alcee served,” she said.

1 in custody after police follow suspected stolen car into Miami

Wed, 2021-04-07 17:29

A subject has been taken into custody after police followed a suspected stolen car into Miami, where the subject bailed out.

According to Miami-Dade Police, their aviation units started following a stolen vehicle from the area of Northeast 203rd Street and Highland Lakes Boulevard, Wednesday afternoon. Police added the vehicle was said to be taken during a robbery.

The subject would ultimately bail out in the area of Northwest 66th Street and 12th Avenue, where he would be taken into custody.

It remains unknown what charges the subject will face in connection to the incident.

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