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Woman kills retired Illinois State trooper, injures 2 others in Chicago-area cigar lounge shooting

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iStock(CHICAGO) — A retired Illinois state trooper was killed and two other troopers, one current and one retired, were injured in a shooting at a Chicago-area cigar lounge Friday night, authorities said.

The woman who police identified as the shooter, Lisa V. McMullan, of Chicago, eventually turned the gun on herself and died at the scene, according to a statement from the Lisle Police Department.

The incident took place at the Humidor Cigar Lounge in Lisle, located about 25 miles west of Chicago.

Surveillance video captured the shooting and showed several people sitting in a room watching television, according to police.

Around 10:13 p.m., McMullan, 51, is seen standing up “without apparent provocation,” drawing a handgun and shooting a man in the back of the head, police said.

She then fires several other rounds at two other men before fatally shooting herself, according to police.

The man shot in the back of the head was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Illinois State Police identified him as Gregory Rieves, a 51-year-old retired trooper. He had retired about a year ago and was with the department for 22 years, ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly said.

“Many people thought very fondly of him and many people are very saddened by this terrible violence,” Kelly said at a news conference.

The two injured victims were identified as Kaiton Bullock, a 22-year-veteran of the department who was off duty at the time, and Lloyd Graham, a 55-year-old retired trooper.

Both of those officers remain hospitalized in stable condition, according to state police. They are expected to recover.

Kelly said that ISP is not involved in the investigation, meaning that it does not appear the shooting was related to their duties or conduct. Any relationship McMullan may have had to the victims will be investigated by the Lisle Police Department, which is taking lead, according to Kelly.

“This is certainly a painful moment for everyone in the Illinois State Police family,” Kelly said.

The Humidor said in a statement on Facebook, “We look at all our customers as family and we ask you to pray for the victim and the speedy healing of the injured.” The Lisle location will be closed Saturday, the shop said.

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NYPD cop and fiancee allegedly froze 8-year-old boy with autism to death, police said

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iStock(NEW YORK) — An 8-year-old boy with autism died of hypothermia last week after his NYPD cop dad allegedly placed him inside a freezing cold garage as temperatures dropped well below zero, officials said.

Suffolk County police arrested 40-year-old Michael Valva and his 42-year-old fiancée, Angela Pollina, on Friday for the second-degree murder of Thomas Valva.

Valva called the police on Jan. 17 to report that Thomas fell in the driveway of their home around 9:30 a.m. in Center Morchices, New York, while waiting for the school bus.

The child was taken to Long Island Community Hospital where his “body temperature was at 76 degrees,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said at a press conference on Friday.

“Thomas Valva was subjected to freezing temperatures in the homes, unheated garage, overnight when the outside temperature was 19 degrees,” said Hart.

As police investigated Thomas’ death, Valva launched an online fundraiser to cover the cost of his son’s funeral expenses. The community’s donations to the now-defunct fundraiser surpassed Valva’s requested $10,000 goal.

Police found that the injuries to Thomas’ head and face were inconsistent with Valva’s description on the 911 call and there was a history of reports to child protective services.

“Not only did they fail to render any type of meaningful aid, they lied to the police officers, they lied to the EMTs,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini told reporters on Friday. “This is one of the worse crimes…he died right in front of their eyes.”

Suffolk County Judge Edward J. Hennessey ordered both Valva and Pollina held without bail. Their case will be presented to a grand jury and the next court date is on Jan. 29.

Thomas’ mother, Justyna Zubko Valva, told News12 Long Island that she begged a family court judge to remove their children from her ex’s custody or they were “going to die.”

“Every time I kept telling the judge, ‘if you’re not going to remove the children, they are going to die under his care and custody,'” said Zubko Valva to the station. “There was evidence, hard evidence. Reports filed. Children were telling me too about the abuse.”

Valva has two other sons, ages 6 and 10, while Pollina has twin 11-year-old daughters and a 6-year-old daughter.

Sini said the 10-year-old and 8-year-old boys were both on the autism spectrum and were “at times forced to sleep in the garage.”

Valva joined the NYPD in 2005 and, according to online records, he earned $100,000 in 2019. The transit cop has been suspended without pay, the police department said.

If convicted, the couple faces 25 years to life in prison.

The community is expected to hold a vigil for Thomas at Kalers Pond on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Friend recounts victim's last moments before Houston explosion

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iStock(HOUSTON) — A deadly explosion that left two people dead and sent shock waves throughout the city was felt by one of the victim’s friends, just after they spoke on the phone.

Bobbie, a friend of one of the victims, told ABC Houston station KTRK-TV that the two were on the phone when the victim arrived at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing just before 4:30 a.m. Friday, when the blast occurred.

“He goes, ‘Hey, something is not right.’ I’m like why? And he’s like, ‘I’m here in the parking lot at my job and I just smell something really, really funny’. He goes, ‘It smells like gas,'” Bobbie told the station.

She said he then told her another co-worker arrived and the two were going to check out the issue.

“He said, ‘I can hear a very loud hissing sound,'” Bobbie said.

Not long after, she said she felt the explosion from her home about five miles away.

Bobbie said she hasn’t been able to reach her friend since. She did not name which of the victims was her friend.

Authorities identified the two victims who were killed as Gerardo Castorena and Frank Flores, both employees at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing.

The manufacturing company issued a statement expressing its condolences to the families of the victims, but did not name the two employees who were killed.

“Our hearts go out to the families and businesses impacted by this incident and to our community,” the statement read. “At this time, our immediate concern is the safety and well-being of everyone in the area and our employees.”

The company was “working diligently” with federal, state and local authorities to investigate the accident, according to the statement.

It was not yet clear exactly what caused the explosion, but Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena noted there was a leak coming from a 2,000-gallon tank of propylene.

Multiple homes and a nearby strip mall also sustained “significant damage” in the blast, which happened around 4:30 a.m. local time on Friday, Pena said at a press conference.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said a multi-agency arson investigation has been launched. He made a point to note that there is no reason to believe it was terror-related or an intentional act.

It is protocol to conduct an investigation and it will look into whether all regulations had been properly followed prior to the explosion, according to Acevedo.

A temporary shelter was set up at 4703 Shadowdale Drive and at least 48 people were sheltering there, according to KTRK-TV.

Acevedo asked for the public to consider offering help and donating to the families who had been affected.

“This is an area where it isn’t the most affluent, so my thoughts are with all the individuals, whether they rent or own, that will be potentially displaced,” Acevedo said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Storm system brings snow from Midwest to Great Lakes

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ABC News (NEW YORK) — A storm system is bringing snow this morning to parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes, as well as very heavy rain to much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Snowfall rates of near 1 inch per hour will be possible in parts of Illinois and Wisconsin this morning. Snowfall could pile up locally 3 to 6 inches through the morning.

As the storm moves east, some of the precipitation moving into the Northeast is changing from rain to an icy mix. Therefore winter weather advisories have been issued from parts of Eastern Pennsylvania to Maine.

While accumulations should remain light due to the rather relatively mild air, some slick spots could be possible this morning and through parts of the weekend — especially in the higher elevations of the Poconos and Catskills this morning.

Some of the rain is falling at 1 to 2 inches per hour across parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Localized flash flooding will be possible this morning. Further south, there is an isolated potential for a strong to severe storm in parts of eastern North Carolina this morning. This line of heavy rain will move through the entire I-95 corridor.

By mid-day and afternoon, torrential rainfall will be possible, with localized flash flooding. Urban flooding with rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are possible today in Philadelphia, New York, Hartford and Boston. A couple of rumbles of thunder will be possible as well.

This storm system clears out on Sunday with only a few snow showers possible near the Great Lakes and in part of the Appalachians.

The Pacific Northwest will also be seeing a series of storms over the next several days. Locally over 5 inches of heavy rain will be possible along the coast from Northern California to Washington. In the higher elevations of the Cascades, up to 2 feet of snow is expected this weekend.

As has been the case much of this winter, there is a lack of prolonged sustained cold air in the forecast. Much of the country is expected to trend near to above average this weekend. Looking ahead into the first days of February, much of the U.S. is looking like it will be trending mild.

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Gold-seated toilet among Frank Sinatra items up for auction

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iStock/ChoochartSansong(REPAUPO, N.J.) — Frank Sinatra fans itching to redecorate may be in luck.

On Sunday, multiple items, including a gold-seated toilet, will go up for auction from the legendary singer’s Chairman Executive Suite at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The toilet has an estimated selling price of $1,500 to $2,000.

A tower clock, expected to go for $25,000 to $50,000, and a Yamaha Grand piano, expected to go for $10,000 to $20,000, also are among the nearly 200 household items.

Some of the more modestly priced pieces are a trash can ($30 to $50), an ice bucket ($60 to $120) and 10 miniature swords ($100 to $300).

Live bidding begins Sunday at 10 a.m. and will conclude at 1 p.m. The auction will be held at S7S Auction, located at 62 Repaupo Station Road in Repaupo, New Jersey.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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