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Shooting at Colorado Walmart, 'multiple parties down,' police say

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By Louis Milman

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(THORNTON, Colo.) — A shooting took place at a Walmart in Colorado, police said Wednesday evening.

“Shooting just occurred at Walmart, 9900 Grant St, multiple parties down. Please stay away from the area,” tweeted the Thornton Police Department at 6:27 Mountain Time.

Police said shortly afterwards that there was no active shooter, but that there was an active crime scene.

This story is breaking. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Doctor testifying in defense of Bergdahl says he suffers from PTSD, personality disorder

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By Louis Milman

Vladstudioraw/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Former Taliban captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has symptoms similar to schizophrenia and is suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a forensic psychiatrist who testified in the soldier’s trial on Wednesday.

Bergdahl’s lawyers called upon forensic psychiatrist and professor Dr. Charles Morgan, who specializes in working with prisoners of war and examined Bergdahl in 2016, in the trial’s third day of witness testimony.

Bergdahl, 31, faces up to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for abandoning his Army post in Afghanistan in June 2009.

The closing arguments in the trial could occur as soon as Thursday, military judge Army Col. Jeffery Nance said today. The emotional six day sentencing phase of the trial has included testimony from Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers who were injured or killed in the aftermath of his disappearance.

Bergdahl’s lawyers hope that the accounts of their witnesses will help reduce his punishment.

Morgan’s diagnosis of Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years before being freed by the group in 2014, included “schizotypal personality disorder,” which has similar symptoms to a lesser degree of schizophrenia.

Morgan testified that Bergdahl does not hear voices or have hallucinations, but experiences an ongoing commentary in his mind. He described the former prisoner as odd, eccentric, and preoccupied with a fantasy life.

“His view of the world is pretty bleak,” Morgan told the judge in a Fort Bragg courtroom.

According to Morgan, Bergdahl’s PTSD stemmed from his abusive childhood home life that included corporal punishment. The PTSD was only exacerbated from his treatment as a prisoner of war.

Morgan’s diagnosis of Bergdahl also included “social phobia,” a form of anxiety disorder where he fears being thought of as silly or incompetent by others. Bergdahl has a negative image of himself, Morgan said, adding that the soldier is detached, socially awkward, and doesn’t form intimate relationships with others.

The doctor also provided insights into Bergdahl’s way of thinking, saying that while he’s intelligent, he is also “naive.”

Morgan compared Bergdahl to a child who jumps into things without thinking about the consequences. Bergdahl wants to do the right thing but doesn’t always know the right way to go about it, Morgan said.

“Once [Bergdahl] gets an idea that makes sense, he wants to do it,” Morgan said, adding later that Bergdahl knew walking off of his Army post “would get him in trouble.”

During his examination, Morgan administered five separate tests on Bergdahl to determine if the soldier was trying to fake a mental illness.

Bergdahl passed every test but one, which Morgan said is designed for civilians — not prisoners of war — and could explain why Bergdahl tested so highly on the probability for malingering, or faking an illness.

“The fact that they don’t see something wrong doesn’t mean there’s not something wrong,” Morgan said.

“People with mental health illness are not dumb,” he added.

When pushed by the prosecution why Bergdahl had told people he faked an anxiety attack while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard that led to his release from duty, Morgan replied that Bergdahl was too embarrassed to admit he was having mental health issues.

The defense’s second witness on Wednesday was an unnamed medical doctor who testified by phone. The woman, who runs a nonprofit animal rescue, met Bergdahl after he contacted her about a feral cat for which he had been caring.

She told the judge that Bergdahl had been able to capture 24 feral cats in San Antonio and brought each of them to her sanctuary. His efforts were so impressive, she said, that she offered Bergdahl a job as a caretaker at the sanctuary — an offer that still stands, she added.

The woman said the cats, who would normally run away from humans, would surround Bergdahl. He’s “the cat whisperer,” she said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Man killed in school hostage standoff was father of student; unclear if armed

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By Louis Milman

aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — For more than six hours on Halloween, first grade teacher Linda Montgomery was held hostage at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside, California.

Police say Luvelle Kennon, whose daughter is in Montgomery’s class, barricaded himself inside a classroom with her and engaged them in a standoff that lasted into the evening, when SWAT team members launched flash-bang grenades, stormed the classroom and shot Kennon dead.

Police have not yet said whether the 27-year-old was armed, but his uncle told reporters he was harmless.

The incident began shortly after 11 a.m., when police say Kennon sought out Montgomery, allegedly grabbing the 70 year-old, and hauling her into a classroom.

When another male teacher attempted to intercede – trying to push his way into the barricaded room, he was beaten, suffering a broken nose, say police and eyewitnesses.

For hours hostage negotiators attempted to talk him down.

Carl Jackson, who spoke to ABC News affiliate KABC as the standoff was still unfolding, identified himself as Kennon’s uncle and explained that his nephew suffered from mental issues but was harmless.

Kennon was carrying at least one backpack, police and witnesses said, but it isn’t clear if he was armed.

“He doesn’t have no access to no weapons,” Jackson said, before the rescue was initiated.

The uncle also explained that his nephew was “not a bad guy, never been in trouble” and was merely experiencing a “breakdown.”

“He’s a good kid, [he’s] just having an emotional breakdown,” he said.

There was some initial concern that Kennon may have been armed with some kind of incendiary device when police said they spotted smoke emitting from the classroom.

“It was coming from the room but it was not toxic and it dissipated,” officer Ryan Railsback of the Riverside Police Department told ABC News.

Jackson said that if a relative could only talk to Kennon, they might have been able to get him to surrender.

“It’s just a matter of getting in there and talking to him, because we can talk to him,” he said. “He’ll come out for us if the police let us, before anything bad happen [sic] to him.”

Railsback told ABC News that Kennon’s family was involved in trying to get him to cooperate with police.

“Our emergency negotiators were working with family members to help try to convince the suspect to surrender,” he said. “He just wouldn’t comply with the demands … It’s a very unfortunate and tragic that the situation escalated to this and led to this,” he said.

Kennon communicated with Riverside police when they used loudspeakers, a PA system and cell phone calls to speak with him.

But Railsback said Kennon “was barricaded in there pretty good” which limited the visuals, and he often went quiet for long spells.

“The suspect was talking but still refusing to come out and refusing to surrender,” he said.

Most troubling was that Kennon allegedly never communicated the hostage’s condition to police.

“We had our SWAT team out there ready to act if the surrender was to happen,” he said. “But we also had an elderly female teacher in there that we started to not know her condition.

“Had she had any food [or] water? Was she assaulted? … It became enough that the decision was made that our SWAT team would go in and rescue her.”

Pressed about whether Kennon was armed, Railsback said that the details were still being investigated.

“We’re specifically speaking to the officers involved and the victim,” he said.

Afterward, the tactical team carried Kennon away on a stretcher where he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Kennon often posted selfies online and quoted Bob Marley and sometimes posted thoughts about life and death.

Among pictures of a young baby girl, multiple times last year he posted the same black-and-white image depicting a forest with white letters read: “You weren’t born to just pay bills and die.”

In another selfie, Kennon appeared in shades, a sheer green jacket and straw hat. He captioned the photo: “That’s the way to go fam only one life to live”

In another post last summer, Kennon expressed gratitude.

“Blessed to be getting a house soon. never had an apartment and never wanted one,” he wrote.

He went on: “lonely at the top. its love at the bottom.”

Montgomery managed to escape almost unscathed with only minor injuries, police and her family said.

“She’s been a teacher at this school since I was in kindergarten — 27 years,” Montgomery’s daughter Michelle told KABC.

She said she learned about her mom’s hostage crisis in a phone call and that she wasn’t certain it was actually her.

“We weren’t sure if it was my mom or not,” she initially said, until she later confirmed the troubling news.

She said her mom was “a little worried and scared and wondering why this is going on” but that despite surviving the hostage situation, she won’t quit.

“She loves teaching, she’s still teaching.”

As for the injured teacher who suffered the broken nose, he is being hailed as a hero.

“This person is a also a hero,” Railsback said. “He did everything he could to try to prevent the suspect from taking the teacher into the classroom and being held hostage, to the point where he got hit in the face pretty good.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

We know they can sing, but can they cook? CMA hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood stop by ABC's "GMA" and "The Chew"

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By Music News Group

CMA/ABCBrad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are gearing up for the 51st Annual CMA Awards in a big way on Thursday.

They’ll begin the day with an appearance on Good Morning America, which starts at 7 a.m. on ABC. Then, the soon-to-be 10-year CMA hosts dip their toes into the culinary world, as they stick around to guest on The Chew, starting at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

The countdown is on to the 2017 edition of country music’s most prestigious awards show. Brad and Carrie’s antics begin next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, as the CMA Awards air live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Country Music News

      

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