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Manhunt underway for sniper who shot Los Angeles sheriff's deputy

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KABC(LOS ANGELES) — A sniper located in an apartment building in Los Angeles County opened fire on a sheriff’s deputy just outside his station house on Wednesday afternoon.

The deputy, identified as 21-year-old Angel Reinosa, was shot in his bulletproof vest in the parking lot of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lancaster station by someone in the apartment building across the street, which is a government-subsidized facility.

The shooting took place in Lancaster, about an hour north of downtown Los Angeles, at about 2:45 p.m. local time.

“Think about what happened here — a sniper took out one of our deputies,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said at a press conference. “And the only reason that deputy is alive is because he had his vest on.”

“He was getting ready to take that vest off,” he added. “Had he done so, it would’ve been a much more tragic situation.”

The suspect is still on the loose, authorities said early Thursday. Sheriff’s deputies cleared the apartment building overnight and did not find the person. The suspect has not been named, and it is unclear if they are a resident of the building.

Reinosa has been treated and released from the hospital and there was no puncture wound.

He has been with the sheriff’s office for about a year and at the Lancaster station for just three months, authorities said.

Sgt. Benjamin Grubb, in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau, called the shooting a “contemptible assault.”

Parris was critical of a mental health facility, Mental Health America of Los Angeles, that shares a parking lot with the apartment building, however, the apartments provide housing for a variety of low- and middle-income residents and those who were formerly homeless, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s not just a four-story apartment building, it’s a four-story apartment building that is government subsidized for mentally ill people,” Parris said. “I mean, let’s call it what it is. Why do you put mentally ill people in a four-story apartment building across from the sheriff’s department?”

A spokesperson for the facility told Los Angeles ABC station KABC that the mental health facility is in the same complex, but separate from the apartments, which are not specifically for patients.

“They let people live in our apartment complex who have mental illness,” Terrisa McGhee, who lives in the apartment complex, told KABC. “It’s kind of scary because there’s no security onsite 24 hours. Management is never here when things happen. The cops are in there constantly. So it’s not a surprise.”

It is unknown whether the suspect is a patient.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Strong storms set to batter Midwest and East, high fire danger in the West

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — A large area of the country will see strong storms continuing Thursday with possible flash flooding in areas all the way from Oklahoma to Maine.

Flash flood watches are currently in effect for four states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois Thursday morning where some areas have already seen up to 5 inches of rain.

Later Thursday afternoon and evening the cold front that has been the catalyst for the storms in the Plains will move to the East Coast with strong storms and damaging winds from Maine to the Carolinas including Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh.

Strong storms are also possible in the Ohio Valley Thursday where some areas could see heavy rain and possible flash flooding.

Heavy rainfall totals are expected from Arkansas to the Carolinas for the next 48 hours with some areas expecting more than 4 inches of rain.

The heat wave in the South is finally going to subside Thursday due to the cooling thunderstorms that are forecast for Thursday afternoon. All heat alerts across the region have been dropped.

The only heat alerts left in the East are in New York City and New Jersey where the heat index could reach the mid-90s by this afternoon.

In the West, several cities reached record highs yesterday including 114 Fahrenheit in Phoenix and 110 in Tucson.

The record heat, dry conditions and lightning helped to spark severe brush fires in Arizona and forced the closure of Interstate 17.

But the record heat will subside a bit in most of Arizona today while further north the National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for high fire danger in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado due to gusty winds.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Guns, tactical gear seized from home of cook who threatened mass shooting at Calif. Marriott

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Long Beach Police Department(LONG BEACH, Calif.) — Police seized multiple guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear from the home of a 37-year-old California man who allegedly threatened coworkers and guests at the hotel where he worked as a cook.

A Long Beach Marriott colleague of Rodolfo Montoya’s contacted the Long Beach Police Department on Monday after Montoya threatened to carry out a mass shooting there.

A search of Montoya’s Huntington Beach home on Tuesday revealed the weapons cache, which included high-capacity magazines and assault rifles, all of which are illegal to possess in California.

Montoya has been charged with manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and making a criminal threat, the LBPD said in a statement on Wednesday. He’s being held on $500,000 bail at the city jail in Long Beach.

“In recent months, we have seen several tragic incidents that have resulted in many lives lost,” Police Chief Robert G. Luna said in the statement. “The witnesses who came forward and the diligence of our employees involved in this investigation very likely prevented a threat of violence and saved many lives.”

Luna thanked the hotel employee for coming forward with the information.

“This incident,” Luna added, “is excellent example of the ‘See Something, Say Something’ philosophy and how critical it is to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tennessee man arrested for threatening to 'shoot up' a Planned Parenthood in Washington, DC

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Philip Rozenski/iStock(WASHINGTON) — A 20-year-old Tennessee man was arrested on Wednesday for making threats online to “shoot up” a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington, D.C.

Jacob Cooper, of Clarksville, Tenn., was charged with transmitting “a communication containing a threat to injure another” and could face up to five years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Cooper appeared in court Wednesday and is scheduled for another hearing on Aug. 26.

According to the criminal complaint, Cooper called himself “Jacco” on iFunny, a social media site, and on Aug. 13 responded to another user’s post by writing: “Make sure you tell them about how I plan to shoot up a planned parenthood facility in Washington D.C., on August 19th at 3pm.”

Cooper, according to the DOJ statement, also posted on Aug. 13: “If you are a member of the FBI, CIA, whatever, and are on my profile I will trace your IP address and kill you if the opportunity arises. And I am dead serious about this. I’ll do it with ricin, a bomb, or .308. Whatever it takes, then [sic] end result will be the same. I am serious about this. If I am personally contacted by any federal agents, I will do this. I will kill you. Again, I am serious. Sic semper tyrannis.”

“Sic semper tyrannis,” when translated from Latin, loosely means, “Death to tyrants.”

It’s what John Wilkes Booth shouted after shooting Abraham Lincoln.

Cooper is the second person arrested within a week for threatening a women’s health clinic on iFunny. A 19-year-old Chicago man was apprehended Aug. 16 for posting, in part, that he would “proceed to slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor I see in the area.”

President Donald Trump, after he said, “We have to have to have very meaningful background checks,” following mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, appeared to walk back those remarks on Tuesday, the same day he had a phone call with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.

“We have strong background checks right now,” he said from the Oval Office. “It’s a mental problem. I’ve said it 100 times, it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person that pulls the trigger.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Investigation of Eric Garner death ends with NYPD sergeant getting docked vacation days

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Onnes/iStock(NEW YORK) — An NYPD sergeant who supervised an officer fired this week for causing the death of Eric Garner will not face a departmental disciplinary trial and officials said all disciplinary actions stemming from the incident have now been concluded.

Sgt. Kezzy Adonis, however, will be docked 20 vacation days for failure to properly supervise former officer Daniel Pantaleo, who according to a disciplinary judge put Garner in a department-banned chokehold, which contributed to his death.

“This disciplinary case was adjudicated,” NYPD Assistant Commissioner Devora Kaye said in a statement on Wednesday.

Adonis had pleaded guilty to departmental charges and accepted the loss of her vacation days, eliminating the need for a departmental trial, officials said.

She remains a sergeant on full duty, officials said.

Kaye said that at the time of the confrontation with Garner on July 17, 2014 — when he was accused of selling untaxed cigarettes in the city’s Staten Island borough — Adonis was a newly-promoted sergeant, had no prior disciplinary history and had received positive evaluations on her prior and current assignments.

“The Police Commissioner evaluated Sergeant Adonis’s supervision of officers under her command that day, and found that it was lacking in certain areas,” Kaye said in the statement without elaborating. “That analysis concluded by noting that nothing about her actions on that day either caused the use of the banned chokehold or delayed the arrival of medical attention for Mr. Garner.”

The decision came two days after NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill fired Pantaleo, saying it was “an extremely difficult decision.”

“If I was still a cop, I’d probably be mad at me … [but] it’s my responsibility as police commissioner to look out for the city,” O’Neill said.

Pantaleo’s dismissal followed his disciplinary trial in May and June this year. No criminal charges were ever filed in the case.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Judge Rosemarie Maldonado recommended that O’Neill remove Pantaleo from the force after holding a disciplinary hearing in May and June this year.

O’Neill said Pantaleo initially used justifiable force when Garner resisted arrest but erred when he kept Garner in the chokehold once the two men tumbled to the ground.

The incident was captured on video, showing Garner repeatedly crying, “I can’t breathe,” which became a rallying cry at subsequent protests.

The administrative judge found the chokehold contributed to an asthma attack that led to Garner’s death, a consequence that O’Neill said required accountability.

Prior to his termination, Pantaleo, 35, of Staten Island, had been on desk duty while collecting an annual salary of more than $97,000, according to public records.

There was no immediate comment from Garner’s family on the outcome of Adonis’ case, but the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader who has supported Garner’s loved ones in their five-year pursuit of justice, said the decision is “too little too late.”

“In fact, the loss of vacation days is akin to no penalty at all,” Sharpton said in a statement. “If the penalty for not doing your job is that you can keep doing your job, it is an injustice to the family of Eric Garner and the residents of New York City.”

He said the Garner family wants “all of the officers involved in Eric’s case to be brought to justice,” including a lieutenant, NYPD Lt. Christopher Bannon, who texted another officer that Garner’s death was “not a big deal.”

“We will continue to press for justice on all avenues,” said Sharpton.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the committee will hold hearings in the fall to “strengthen police-community relations.”

“We must continue to work at every level of government, within our local police departments and on the ground in our communities to ensure positive change,” he said in a statement.

O’Neill’s decision to fire Pantaleo elicited a swift rebuke from Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, who said the commissioner “has chosen politics and his own self-interest over the police officers he claims to lead.”

Lynch also prompted concerns that there could be a work slowdown by rank-and-file members of the department after he said, “We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job.”

“We will uphold our oath, but we cannot and will not do so by needlessly jeopardizing our careers or personal safety,” Lynch said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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