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Takeoff murder suspect charged following fatal shooting of Migos rapper

Jeff Hahne/Getty Images, FILE

(HOUSTON) -- A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff, Houston police said Friday.

Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, was arrested Thursday evening in Houston and "charged with the murder of Takeoff," Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a press briefing.

Takeoff, whose real name is Kirshnik Khari Ball, was shot and killed outside the 810 Billiards & Bowling in downtown Houston around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 1 following a private event, police said. He was 28.

A 23-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman also suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting, police said.

Police said at the time that an argument between some of the party guests "led to multiple unknown males firing pistols at each other."

There was a "lucrative dice game" during the event, followed by an argument outside the venue, Houston Police Sgt. Michael Burrow said during the briefing.

"I can tell you Takeoff was not involved in playing the dice game, he was not involved in the argument that happened outside, he was not armed," Burrow said. "He was an innocent bystander."

Investigators were able to determine that Clark was the alleged shooter of Takeoff through shooting reconstruction and ballistics evidence, Burrow said. Police have also obtained cellphone and surveillance footage that has "surfaced over time," he said.

Police have urged the public to come forward with tips in the days and weeks since.

Around 30 people were at the scene went the shooting happened, and police are still looking to speak with those who were there, Burrow said.

"Literally every one of those people left the scene without leaving a statement," Burrow said. "It's important that those people come forward."

Amid the investigation into the shooting, a man was recently charged with two counts of felon in possession of a weapon for allegedly having a gun at the time Takeoff was fatally shot, ABC Houston station KTRK reported.

Takeoff was part of the Grammy-nominated hip-hop trio Migos, which formed in 2008 in suburban Atlanta and gained mainstream recognition and rose to stardom in 2013 with their song "Versace." His uncle Quavo, who was present when the shooting took place but unharmed, and his cousin Offset were also part of the trio.

ABC News' Deena Zaru contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Federal judge to decide if DeSantis unlawfully suspended 'woke' prosecutor

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A federal judge on Thursday pressed attorneys for Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis to explain why the governor's recent suspension of a state prosecutor he viewed as "woke" wasn't an unlawful and politically motivated overreach of executive authority.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said he would rule in the coming weeks on whether the governor was within his rights to suspend Andrew Warren, a Democrat who was reelected last year as the top state prosecutor in Tampa and surrounding Hillsborough County after running on a platform of criminal justice reform.

"This whole thing is chock-full of animus toward [reform-minded] prosecutors," Hinkle said on the last day of a three-day trial in Tallahassee. "Florida law does not allow a governor to remove a state attorney because the governor disagrees with a state attorney's general approach."

But attorneys for DeSantis insisted in court that was not why the governor suspended Warren, who was first elected to his position in 2016.

"We have someone here who was not going to enforce the law, based on his own statements," DeSantis attorney George Levesque told the judge.

According to the executive order suspending Warren in August, the state attorney demonstrated "incompetence and willful defiance of his duties" by implementing certain "policies of presumptive non-enforcement" and by co-signing a left-leaning advocacy group's public statements about state laws criminalizing gender-affirming care and abortions.

"[We] commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide, or support abortions," said a statement signed by more than 80 local, elected prosecutors from around the country on June 24, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, leaving the question of abortion rights to the states.

After his suspension, Warren filed a federal lawsuit in August, asking a judge to have him reinstated as state attorney. Hinkle, a Clinton appointee, is deciding the case without a jury.

During trial this week, Hinkle said the outcome of the case hinges on the "real reason" for Warren's suspension: Was it about Warren's conduct -- a lawful basis -- or was it really about his speech, which would violate Warren's First Amendment rights?

Hinkle suggested the curated text of the executive order alone may not "tell the whole story" of what truly motivated Warren's suspension.

An attorney for Warren, David O'Neil, told Hinkle that Warren's suspension was a "political hit job," targeting his rights to free speech.

"Mr. Warren was suspended from his office because of what he said and what he believed," O'Neil said.

The statements Warren signed -- which were also supported by dozens of prosecutors from other parts of the country -- were "purely symbolic, purely an expression of values," O'Neil said.

According to three days of witness testimony, DeSantis' so-called "public safety czar," Larry Keefe, asked people he knew in the law enforcement community if there were any state prosecutors refusing to enforce the law.

"All roads were leading to Mr. Warren," Keefe testified.

A Republican sheriff in Warren's own county even sent Keefe a packet flagging two of Warren's policies that he found worrisome, including one policy -- issued in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic -- telling prosecutors to only bring low-level charges like trespassing or public intoxication under certain circumstances.

In testimony, Keefe conceded that, of those whose party affiliations he knew, all but one of the people he spoke with early on about Warren were Republican.

Then, months later, as the Supreme Court was overturning Roe v. Wade, Warren signed the abortion-related statement from the group Fair and Just Prosecution.

In pressing DeSantis' attorneys, Hinkle said "a possible view of the facts" is that DeSantis was "genuinely opposed" to "more lenient," liberal-minded prosecutors, and "it would be good politics to take one down," so he mentioned that to Keefe, who went "out looking for" them.

"He finds one," Hinkle said. "He conducts a very one-sided inquiry ... [and then] incidentally, he finds the abortion statement. Bingo."

But at least one senior lawyer in DeSantis' office who helped formulate Warren's suspension testified that the abortion-related statement and the other Fair and Just Prosecution statement relating to transgender issues, would not by themselves have led him to recommend Warren's suspension.

A key point of contention throughout the trial was whether Warren's signature -- and official title -- on the Fair and Just Prosecution statements amounted to official policy.

Signing the abortion-related statement "was an announcement we were not going to prosecute cases under the law," and it told prosecutors in Hillsborough County "what Mr. Warren wanted from them," Warren's former chief of staff, Gary Weisman, testified in court.

The top lawyer in the governor's office, general counsel Ryan Newman, agreed, saying any "reasonable person" would view the statements Warren signed as "a pledge," making Warren's suspension not only warranted but lawful under Florida state law.

Warren himself disputed that the statements reflected any type of policy or pledge, testifying that he signed them because he "agreed with the general idea" behind them.

To emphasize that point, O'Neil noted that Warren never disseminated the statements he signed -- as he would with an official policy -- and that the statements never impacted "a single" case because no abortion-related case was ever referred to Warren's office for prosecution, and the state of Florida doesn't even have a law relating to gender-affirming health care.

When DeSantis announced Warren's suspension in August, he accused Warren of promoting an agenda that is "basically 'woke,'" elevating his "own personal conception of, quote, 'social justice' over what the law requires of you."

During his testimony this week, Warren defended his time in office, saying the policies he implemented were about efficiency and "fairness" in the criminal justice system, and about trying "to steer low-level offenders away from the downward spiral of the system."

Warren's attorney told the judge that upholding Warren's suspension would have a "chilling" effect on the free speech of other elected officials.

"What other state attorney is going to speak out on policy issues the defendant disagrees with?" he asked.

Prosecutors, however, said Warren's actions made him unlike other elected prosecutors in Florida.

"It's not as though every [reform-minded] attorney is somehow on the chopping block," Newman said.

DeSantis declined to testify in his own defense, which Hinkle said left "a massive hole in the center of [the governor's] case."

The judge also expressed concern that no one affiliated with DeSantis contacted Warren or any of his staffers to inquire about his office's practices and policies.

"You do understand he's not getting paid -- they've taken his job," the judge told Newman while he was on the stand. "Didn't you think you owed [Warren] any due process before you suspended him for months?... At least pick up the phone and call him?"

Nevertheless, Hinkle made clear that -- even if he's critical of how it transpired -- he hasn't decided whether the suspension was unlawful.

"I don't know who's going to win," the judge said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Increased drought forces California to deliver less water to cities

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- California's ongoing drought and a poor forecast is forcing the state's water management agency to cut back on its fresh water supply to nearly 27 million residents.

The state's Department of Water Resources announced Thursday an initial allocation of 5% of requested supplies for 2023 for 29 local water agencies across California.

DWR Director Karla Nemeth said in a statement that the state is already preparing for a fourth dry year and more extreme drought conditions. Lake Oroville, the State Water Project’s largest reservoir, remains at 55% of its average for this time of the year, according to the agency.

"This early in California’s traditional wet season, water allocations are typically low due to uncertainty in hydrologic forecasting, but the degree to which hotter and drier conditions are reducing runoff into rivers, streams and reservoirs means we have to be prepared for all possible outcomes," Nemeth said in a statement.

DWR said it will "assess requests for additional water that may be necessary for health and safety including minimum domestic, sanitation, and fire suppression needs."

The agency said it will reevaluate requests depending on the precipitation during the winter and spring months. California typically receives half of its rain and snow totals by the end of January, according to DWR.

Most of California has seen less than its average precipitation levels over the last 60 days, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System. Most of the state is under severe to exceptional drought warnings, the data showed.

"We are in the dawn of a new era of State Water Project management as a changing climate disrupts the timing of California’s hydrology, and hotter and drier conditions absorb more water into the atmosphere and ground. We all need to adapt and redouble our efforts to conserve this precious resource," Nemeth said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


As new B-21 stealth bomber is unveiled, what will we actually see?

Courtesy of Northrop Grumman

(WASHINGTON) -- The time for the big reveal of the new B-21 Raider stealth bomber has finally come, but what will we see when the Air Force's newest long-range bomber is unveiled Friday after being shrouded in secrecy?

All that is known for sure is that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be there in person as the B-21 Raider rolls out of Northrop Grumman’s Plant 42 in Palmdale, California.

There will be a live video broadcast of the unveiling presented by the U.S. Air Force and the plane’s manufacturer, Northrup Grumman, but it's unclear how much of the aircraft will actually be shown as it's made public for the first time.

The mystery surrounding the Air Force’s sixth-generation stealth fighter is in keeping with the scant details provided over the last decade during the development of the bomber -- intended to replace the B-2 Spirit and the B-1 Lancet bombers.

Throughout that time, the goal has been to reveal as little as possible of what it might look like in order to avoided providing any hints of how it can remain undetectable to advanced radars.

And it has literally been cloaked in secrecy.

The first glimpse of what the new aircraft might look like came in the final seconds of a Northrup Grumman Super Bowl ad in 2015 that showed only the plane’s general wing-shaped contours because it was covered by a shroud.

Since then, Northrup Grumman has released only artist renderings of a wing-shaped aircraft in flight that looks a lot like the B-2 bomber.

Like the B-2, the new long-range aircraft is designed to deliver both conventional and nuclear weapons while flying undetectable to advanced radars and air defense systems anywhere in the world.

The B-2 does that through its unique flying-wing shape and the materials and coatings on the plane's fuselage that reduce its radar footprint. It's assumed the new B-21 will improve on a 30-year-old technology.

The aircraft unveiled on Friday will begin initial flight testing at Edwards AFB in California with its first flight forecast to take place in mid-2023. For now, the are six B-21 aircraft in various stages of production and the Air Force plans to to acquire at least 100 of the new bombers, with the first one entering service in the mid-2020s.

As they enter into service, they will eventually replace the B-1 and B-2 bomber fleets, joining the venerable B-52 as the U.S. Air Force's long-range strategic bomber.

Overall, it is estimated that the fleet of a hundred B-21s will cost $203 billion to develop and operate over the next 30 years, according to Bloomberg.

Unless they are temporarily deployed overseas, the B-2 fleet is housed at Whiteman AFB in Missouri. The Air Force plans for the new B-21 to operate from Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, although Dyess AFB in Texas could be an alternate location.

In 2016, the Air Force announced that the new bomber would be known as the Raider to honor the famous Doolittle Raiders who flew the surprise bombing run on Tokyo on April 18, 1942.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Carnival cruise passenger who went overboard was 'dead set' on surviving

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

(LA FAYETTE, Ala.) -- James Michael Grimes is speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview with ABC News after going overboard on a Carnival cruise ship after being missing for almost 20 hours.

The 28-year-old man said he was determined to make it out of the Gulf of Mexico alive, calling it the experience of a lifetime.

Grimes said he treaded water for nearly 20 hours after falling overboard on Thanksgiving Eve -- battling jelly fish, rip currents and shark-infested waters before being airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard on Nov. 24. shortly after 8 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard told ABC News.

"Good Morning America" will have an exclusive interview with James Michael Grimes that will air Friday at 7 a.m. ET.

Grimes had only been aboard the Carnival Valor for a day before his sister reported him missing. The two were last seen together at a restaurant where Grimes had won an air guitar contest before going to the bathroom.

That is the last thing he remembers. Grimes said he believes the fall overboard knocked him unconscious.

"The next thing I know... I regained consciousness. I was in the water with no boat in sight," he said.

Alone in solid darkness, and the light from the stars and the moon, Grimes decided in that moment he would make it out of the water.

"I felt like I was given a chance right then... you're alive for a reason... that [fall] could've killed me, but I felt like from that moment on, I was trying to stay positive. And, you know when you're here, you're still alive for a reason. So, all you got to do now is swim and survive. I was hoping... they will start looking for me... they will find me eventually," Grimes said.

Grimes was aboard the five-day cruise with 18 of his family members for Thanksgiving. When he didn't return to his cabin that night, his sister reported him missing.

The ship was on its way to Cozumel, a Mexican island in the Caribbean, and was released by the Coast Guard to continue to its destination after the rescue was made.

"The Jayhawk aircrew hoisted the man onto the helicopter and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport," a statement from the Coast Guard read.

"We are beyond grateful that this case ended with a positive outcome," said Lt. Seth Gross, a Coast Guard Sector New Orleans search-and-rescue mission coordinator.

"We greatly appreciate the efforts of all, most especially the U.S. Coast Guard and the mariner who spotted the guest in the water," the Coast Guard said in a statement Thursday to ABC News. "Cruise ships have safety barriers in all public areas that are regulated by U.S. Coast Guard standards that prevent a guest from falling off. Guests should never ever climb up on the rails. The only way to go overboard is to purposefully climb up and over the safety barriers."

Carnival Valor had said in a statement to ABC News that it conducted a search-and-rescue operation after Grimes went missing.

"Carnival Valor retraced its route to support the search and rescue, but the ship has now been released by the U.S. Coast Guard, and will continue on its way to Cozumel. Carnival's Care Team is providing support to the family members of the missing guest who were sailing with him and remain on board," the statement at the time said.

Against all odds, Grimes said he kept a positive attitude and "just kept swimming."

In addition to his attitude, he said it was his will to see his family again that kept him afloat.

"I wanted to see my family and I was dead set on making it out of there. I was never accepting that this is it, this is going to be the end of my life. I'm 28 years old. I'm too young. This is not going to be it," Grimes said.

"I always thought there's a greater purpose for my life. Now, I know for sure I'm meant to do something on this Earth. And, you know, I don't know. It was just the Lord was out there helping me, giving me strength and helping me stay afloat," he added.

ABC News' Victoria J. Arancio contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Grand jury indicts former San Antonio police officer accused of shooting unarmed teen

Jason Marz/Getty Images

(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- A grand jury has indicted former San Antonio Police officer James Brennand on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of attempted murder after he allegedly shot at unarmed 17-year-old Erik Cantu in a McDonald's parking lot.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced the indictment at a Thursday press conference.

He said his office's civil rights division will now proceed with the prosecution in the case, including a possible trial, in order to attempt to convict Brennand.

Police body camera video of the Oct. 22 incident shows Brennand opening Cantu's car door and demanding he exit the vehicle in a McDonald's parking lot. Cantu, who was eating a burger at the time, proceeded to back up and drive off while Brennand fired his gun several times.

Cantu suffered injuries to his stomach, diaphragm, lungs, liver, bicep, and forearm, spending weeks on life support. He was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving week.

Brennand was fired from the San Antonio Police Department just a few days after the shooting. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus confirmed his actions violated department tactics, training and procedures.

Brennand was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant and one attempted murder count. He could face a life sentence.

Gonzales said his office will seek the "maximum punishment" for Brennand, saying it "appears to be appropriate."

"Justice means prosecuting the individual for misconduct. Justice means obtaining a conviction. Justice means making sure that man never works as a member of law enforcement, making sure that that man never has a gun and a badge," Gonzales said. "Justice means seeking appropriate punishment."

"I hope that by vigorously investigating and prosecuting this case, we can help to decrease the pain in our system, even if we can never bear all the pain and suffering that Eric and his family have experienced," he added.

Cantu's attorney Ben Crump said in a statement that the announcement of the indictment was a "relief" for Cantu and his family.

"The grand jury's decision to indict on an attempted murder charge and two counts of aggravated assault is a significant step toward justice -- but there is still a long road ahead," Crump said. "We will continue to fight for accountability and transparency through the legal process."

Nico LaHood, whose firm LaHood & Norton Law Group represents Brennand, told ABC News the attempted murder by a public servant charge was atypical and rarely used because prosecutors must prove not just use of deadly force but "intent to kill."

LaHood, a former Criminal District Attorney of Bexar County himself, maintains Brennand's actions were "legally justified" and that further information revealed during legal proceedings will demonstrate that.

"Until this day, James Brennand has been tried in the court of public opinion, without the benefit of his side of the story being known," LaHood said. "Already we have seen that the initial reports by rush to judgment attitude, have been contradicted by subsequent reporting that has examined the facts. We anticipate more information will be revealed that will further shed light on this incident."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Names, personal information of 6,000 noncitizens posted on ICE website 'erroneously,' ICE says

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(WASHINGTON) -- The names and personal information of more than 6,000 noncitizens were posted on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website erroneously, an ICE spokesperson told ABC News on Thursday.

The data breach occurred on Monday, according to an agency spokesperson.

“On November 28, 2022, while performing routine updates, a document was erroneously posted to ICE.gov for approximately five hours that included names and other personally identifiable information, along with immigration information, of approximately 6,000 noncitizens in ICE custody," an ICE spokesperson told ABC News in a statement.

"Upon notification, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took swift action to immediately rectify the error. Though unintentional, this release of information is a breach of policy, and the agency is investigating the incident and taking all corrective actions necessary. ICE is notifying noncitizens impacted by the disclosure.”

The LA Times was first to report the news.

At 9:45 a.m. on Monday, an Excel spreadsheet was uploaded to ICE.gov that included the names and A-numbers of 6,252 noncitizens seeking protection, according to a source familiar with the situation. The Human Rights First immigration organization then alerted ICE to the issue at 1:53 p.m. and at 2:04 p.m ICE deleted the personally identifiable information tab from ICE.gov.

ICE is notifying the impacted noncitizens directly or their attorneys-of-record of the improper disclosure, according to a source familiar with the situation. This will allow noncitizens or their attorneys-of-record to determine whether the disclosure may impact the merits of their protection claim, according to the source.

As a routine part of an investigation into a data disclosure, ICE will identify through IP addresses entities that accessed the information and the official says ICE is monitoring the internet for any reposting of the data.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Yellowstone supervolcano has a lot more magma than previously thought: Scientists

Marie-Louise Mandl / EyeEm/Getty Images

(YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.) -- The supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park has substantially more magma reservoir under the caldera than scientists previously thought, according to new research.

In addition, the newly found lava is flowing at shallow depths that fueled prior eruptions, according to a paper published Thursday in Science.

Researchers mapped the seismic wave speed below the Yellowstone volcano using a technique called seismic tomography. This 3D modeling of seismic waveforms measures the volume of the melt and makes assumptions of the distribution of how the melt is spread in the subsurface in Yellowstone's magma reservoir, Ross Maguire, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's department of geology and author of the study, told ABC News.

"We found that it's likely that Yellowstone's crustal magma reservoir holds more melt than previously was thought," Maguire said, adding that there is up to 20% melt at shallow depths.

Previous studies have suggested the partial melt fraction was between 5% and 15%, Maguire said.

The Yellowstone magma reservoir is not so much "a big tank of magma," with accumulation all in one body, Maguire said, but rather, more like a "snow cone," in which there is a solid component and a liquid component, Kari M. Cooper, professor and chair at the University of California Davis's department of earth and planetary sciences, told ABC News.

The findings show it's possible there are some relatively small to moderate-size bodies of magma that are below Yellowstone that could be mobilized and expelled, Cooper said. Yellowstone tends to garner a lot of attention because of the potential for "catastrophic, explosive eruptions," Maguire said, but that's not the most common type of eruption in the park.

"They would be of a similar size to what's happened in the very recent Yellowstone history that's produced a series of lava flows that filled the most recent caldera after the most recent really large eruption," she said.

Despite the new discovery, the research does not indicate that an eruption will happen any time soon, the scientists said. There are no signs of "increased volcanic unrest" at Yellowstone, Maguire said.

"This really does not change the hazard assessment at all, because we already knew that. We already knew this was the recent activity," Cooper said. "We already knew that was the most likely sort of activity to happen next."

However, a key issue for assessing the hazards of volcanic eruption is to ascertain how much magma is below the surface and where, and continued monitoring of the subsurface is important to provide a clear picture if the situation begins to dramatically change, the researchers said.

In addition, Yellowstone is thoroughly monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Cooper said.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Idaho murders: What we know and what's still a mystery

Heather Roberts/ABC News

(MOSCOW, Idaho) -- From motive, to how two roommates survived, many questions remain unanswered in the mysterious murders of four University of Idaho students.

"Everyone wants answers... we want to give those answers as soon as we can," Moscow Police Chief James Fry told ABC News on Wednesday, adding that some details must be withheld to protect the investigation.

Here's what we know and what's still unclear:

The crime

Kaylee Goncalves, 21, her roommate and lifelong best friend, Madison Mogen, 21, another roommate Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kernodle's boyfriend Ethan Chapin, 20, were stabbed to death in the girls' off-campus house in the early hours of Nov. 13.

No suspects have been identified.

The murder weapon -- which police believe was a fixed-blade knife -- is still missing.

Were killings targeted?

Chief Fry told ABC News on Wednesday that police "believe this is a targeted attack," but he wouldn't reveal why police think that. Fry would not say if a person or the house was a target.

But the Moscow Police Department contradicted that in a statement released just hours later.

The statement said: "The Latah County Prosecutor’s Office stated the suspect(s) specifically looked at this residence, and that one or more of the occupants were undoubtedly targeted. We have spoken with the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office and identified this was a miscommunication. Detectives do not currently know if the residence or any occupants were specifically targeted but continue to investigate."

As to whether the killings were targeted, former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett said Thursday, "I don't think they [law enforcement] really know. I think they have theories, and maybe they're good theories about what happened. ... It certainly feels like, without knowing of course, that they don't know what they have."

Garrett isn’t involved in the investigation.

This wasn't the first miscommunication by local leaders.

Initially after the shocking murders, Moscow police said they believed there was "no imminent threat to the community," but later walked that back. Fry told ABC News Wednesday, "I own the messaging problem at the very beginning. We should've done a little better than that. ... we needed to correct that."

Garrett said high-profile cases put a lot of pressure on officials and it's "not uncommon" to see uncoordinated responses among the different agencies.

Profile of the killer

Police have not released a motive or potential profile of the killer.

Garrett said his guess is the attacker "really wanted to kill all four of them -- motive unknown and relationship to the victims unknown."

"Why would you go to the trouble to kill four people if in fact you're upset, angry or have revenge against one of them?" he said.

While Garrett doesn't know the motive, he said he believes the killer "likes to do these type of things and maybe has done it before."

He thinks the suspect is probably not in their late teens or early 20s because it's unlikely they could "methodically think through" four murders.

"Because of the time it would take, the energy it would take, and the focus that would take, it's a lot to ask of an 18-year-old," he said.

The surviving roommates

Two other roommates were in the house at the time and survived, likely sleeping through the attacks, according to police. The roommates are not considered suspects, police said.

The murders likely took place around 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., according to officials. In the morning, the two roommates called friends over because they thought one of the victims on the second floor had passed out and wasn't waking up, police said.

At 11:58 a.m., a 911 call from one of the roommate's phones requested help for an unconscious person, police said. The 911 caller's identity has not been released but police said "multiple people talked with the 911 dispatcher."

Responding officers found the four victims on the second and third floors, police said.

Police said they do not believe anyone at the house at the time of the 911 call was involved.

As to how the surviving roommates could have slept through the murders, Garrett said the killer had the advantage of surprise, since the victims were likely asleep when he approached them. And the four victims "may have been killed in such a way it was difficult for them to scream," he said.

Police said all four victims were stabbed multiple times and were probably asleep when attacked.

Community must help 'get this person off the street'

As local, state and federal agencies continue to investigate, Garrett recommends they examine the "existing leads and go back over them regularly to see what you have missed."

"You then also have to expand this case -- and it sounds like they've done some of this -- because if you're dealing with a person who is a serial offender, then he has committed some version of this before," Garrett said. "Are there other stabbings of a similar nature? Maybe in a house at night?"

Garrett added, "You also have to keep the case in the public's eye, because you're always looking for new leads" and want to encourage people to submit tips.

Sometimes community members are reluctant to come forward with information "because they've had bad experiences with police or they're not sure what they know is really relevant," Garrett said.

"I would push the heinous nature of this crime," Garrett said, and stress that police need the community's help to "get this person off the street."

Students on edge

The University of Idaho community is on edge in the wake of the slayings, and the police department said it's received an influx of 911 calls.

Garrett said he would tell concerned students: "What happened on your campus is extremely rare. The odds of you being in harm's way is, relatively speaking, low."

But he urges them to stay aware of their surroundings.

"Don't walk alone," he said. "Super-secure everything: the windows, the doors."

The police chief promised to ABC News on Wednesday that the department won't allow the case to go cold.

"We're going to work continuously. And we're going to provide as many answers as we can, and we're going to do the best job we can," he said.

Police urge anyone with information to upload digital media to fbi.gov/moscowidaho or contact the tip line at tipline@ci.moscow.id.us or 208-883-7180.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Avalanche warnings issued in 4 states as snow wallops western US

ilbusca/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Severe winter weather out West prompted avalanche warnings in four states on Thursday.

The National Weather Service and the U.S. Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for Colorado, California, Idaho and Montana following heavy snowfall in parts of each state.

In Colorado, extremely dangerous avalanche conditions are expected to form early on Friday and throughout Saturday, the NWS said.

According to the NWS, both natural and human-trigger avalanches are likely to happen.

Many people are expected to go skiing this weekend, as several ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains have just opened, officials said.

The U.S. Forest Service Sierra Avalanche Center issued an avalanche warning from Thursday morning to Friday morning in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is in California.

According to the Avalanche Center, additional snow and strong winds will place an extra burden on an already weak snowpack.

"Avalanche activity could be widespread and some avalanches could be large and destructive," the Avalanche Center said.

According to the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, a research field station focusing on snow, the area received 5.7 inches of snow overnight and is expecting another 20 to 30 inches of snow on Thursday.

A major storm, bringing heavy snow, coastal rain and high winds, is impacting 16 states as it moves across the West.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Families of victims dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in Mexico Airbnb warn against short-term rentals

Courtesy Family of Jordan Marshall | Courtesy Family of Kandace Florence

(NEW YORK) -- The families of American tourists who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while staying in an Airbnb in Mexico are warning those who plan to travel during the busy holiday season of the potential dangers that could arise while vacationing abroad.

The victims -- Jordan Marshall and Courtez Hall, both schoolteachers from New Orleans, and Kandace Florence, a business owner in Virginia Beach, Virginia -- were found dead in a Mexico City apartment they booked on Airbnb in October, according to the Attorney General's Office of Mexico City.

The three friends had traveled to Mexico to partake in the Day of the Dead festivities when Florence called her boyfriend and said she wasn't feeling well, her family told said during a news conference on Thursday. She described being dizzy and her legs feeling wobbly, her mother said.

The victims were found after security guards at the apartment complex detected an intense gas smell, authorities said. Blood tests later determined that they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Now, the mothers of the victims are speaking out about losing their children in what their lawyers described as a preventable tragedy.

Jennifer Marshall, the mother of Jordan Marshall, said the families are infuriated that their children "could have been saved by a $30 carbon monoxide detector."

"It is unfortunate and it also infuriates us that we will never have the opportunity to talk to, laugh with or comfort our children," she said.

Ceola Hall, Courtez Hall's mother, said she does not want any parent to go through what she went through.

"You want to get as much detail from your children as you can when they are leaving, because you don't never know that might be your last time seeing them," Ceola Hall said.

Freida Florence, Kandace Florence's mother, cried as she addressed reporters, saying that the holiday season was her daughter's favorite time of year. She wants her daughter's untimely death to have meaning, she said.

"She had a prophecy: 'I'm going to change the world. I'm going to show people how to keep going in spite of controversy,'" Freida Florence said.

The attorneys for the families are now demanding that Airbnb mandates carbon monoxide detectors in every listing it has, describing the victims' deaths as "inexcusable."

Family attorney L. Chris Stewart said what happened to Jordan Marshall, Courtez Hall and Kandace Florence could happen to anyone, adding that "more people are going to die if this is not fixed."

"Nobody travels around with a smoke detector in one hand, a carbon monoxide detector in the other," he said. "We just trust companies to do the right thing, and it didn't happen."

Attorney Michael Haggard said those considering booking a short-term rental should book a reputable hotel or resort for their next vacation instead.

"We know that if you check, you stay in a Marriott, Hilton, wherever it is, they're gonna have carbon monoxide detectors," he said.

"This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones as they grieve such an unimaginable loss," Airbnb said in a statement to ABC News. "Our priority right now is supporting those impacted as the authorities investigate what happened, and we stand ready to assist with their inquiries however we can,"

A failure in the apartment's gas boiler released a gas smell, as well as carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas, a spokesperson for the Mexico attorney general's office told ABC News.

Investigators believe one of the victims attempting to take a shower could have activated the boiler.

In a statement to ABC News in October, Airbnb described the deaths as "a terrible tragedy."

"Our priority now is to provide support to those affected while the authorities investigate what happened and we are available to cooperate with the investigation in any way we can," a spokesperson for the short-term rental website said.

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Lion cubs abandoned in Ukraine find new home in Minnesota

Holly-marie Cato/IFAW

(SANDSTONE, Minn.) -- Four furry refugees have added pride to a Minnesota animal sanctuary after being abandoned in Ukraine.

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota, welcomed four lion cubs, Taras, Stefania, Lesya and Prada, on Wednesday just months after they were found in a Kyiv breeding center in the war-torn country, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said.

The cubs, roughly five months old, survived drone attacks and bombings and were transported to Poland in October to escape the dangers, according to the IFAW.

They were flown to the U.S. in wooden crates explicitly designed for them, driven eight hours to the sanctuary and immediately unloaded into a warm indoor enclosure with plenty of food, water and toys, according to the non-profit.

"These cubs have endured more in their short lives than any animal should," Meredith Whitney, the wildlife rescue program manager at the IFAW, said in a statement.

At the time of their rescue, zoos and sanctuaries in Europe didn't have the capacity to take the cubs in, the IFAW said.

Dr. Andrew Kushnir, a veterinarian working with IFAW, has been taking care of the cubs since they arrived in Poland and accompanied them on their flight to the United States.

"During several drone attacks and airstrikes, he prepared their specialized milk formula every three hours, cleaned up their enclosure and made sure they had a warm place to sleep. On nights when the power went out, he even used his arms and legs to warm their milk bottles," the IFAW said in a statement.

Administrators at the Wildcat Sanctuary said their habitat is specially designed for the cubs and other big cats to live and thrive.

"They have a custom, open space to explore and soft grass or hay to rest their tired bodies on," Tammy Thies, the founder and executive director of the Wildcat Sanctuary, said in a statement.

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Prosecutors in Trump Organization tax fraud trial claim Trump knew 'exactly what was going on'

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(NEW YORK) -- Former President Donald Trump "knew exactly what was going on with his top executives," a prosecutor claimed Thursday during closing statements in the criminal tax fraud trial of Trump's namesake real estate company.

Two entities of the Trump Organization -- the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation -- are on trial for paying the personal expenses of some executives without reporting them as income and for compensating them as independent contractors instead of full-time employees.

Prosecutor Josh Steinglass' assertion about the former president prompted defense attorney Alan Futerfas to raise a concern outside the jury's presence, saying jurors had been told from the outset that the criminal trial did not involve Trump personally.

But Steinglass said defense attorneys Susan Necheles and Michael van der Veen had "opened the door" by saying during their closing statements that Trump did not know about the tax fraud his company allegedly committed.

"You have heard no evidence in this case that Mr. Trump or any of his children were aware of anything improper," van der Veen said during his closing argument.

Judge Juan Merchan sided with Steinglass, saying, "I took note of the efforts both Ms. Necheles and Mr. van der Veen went to distance Mr. Trump from the case" -- and that it was only fair to allow prosecutors to argue otherwise.

Steinglass, meanwhile, pushed back on the defense narrative that former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg had only his own self-interests in mind when he hatched a scheme to evade taxes by having the company pay millions in personal expenses that he failed to declare on his income taxes. Steinglass conceded Weisselberg was "primarily motivated by his own greed" -- but he insisted "there is a tremendous amount of evidence here, completely ignored by the defense in their summations, that he intended to benefit the defendants."

Prosecutors believe the Trump Organization is culpable because Weisselberg's conduct benefitted the company and because his position as CFO means he was entrusted to act on the company's behalf.

The prosecutor urged the jury to focus on a single question: "Are the corporations liable for the conduct of its employees?"

Both the off-the-books perks and the independent contractor payments ended once Trump became president, said Steinglass.

They cleaned it up because "they were worried about getting caught," Steinglass said.

Earlier Thursday, Necheles' closing statement pinned the scheme solely on Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in August to a 15-count indictment, and said the company is not liable for his criminal conduct.

"The prosecution's case rests on one thing: trying to convince you, the jurors, that Mr. Weisselberg's actions were done in behalf of the company," Necheles said. "They were not. They were done solely to benefit himself. And that is the critical issue in this case."

Weisselberg testified at trial that he reduced his reported salary by the total amount of the personal expenses that the company covered, and that the company benefitted by paying less in payroll taxes. He also testified that his primary motive was greed.

The longtime CFO, who agreed to testify as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, said his primary goal in arranging the perks was to "save pretax dollars."

Weisselberg "testified that Allen Weisselberg committed these crimes solely to benefit himself -- solely to benefit himself," Necheles said. "In other words, no intent to benefit the corporation."

"This case is about greed. But only the greed of Allen Weisselberg," said van der Veen, who represents the Trump Payroll Corporation. "There's not any dispute about what Allen Weisselberg did. The real question is, 'Who did he do it in behalf of?'"

Van der Veen suggested that the real crime was not the company's decision to pay Weisselberg's rent, the lease on his Mercedes Benz, or his grandchildren's school tuition -- but Weisselberg's failure to report those perks on his income taxes. The attorney questioned why the Manhattan district attorney's office charged the company.

"They wanted something with the Trumps attached to it," van der Veen said, drawing an objection from prosecutor Josh Steinglass that the judge overruled.

The defense also tried to convince the jury the Trump Organization's outside accountant, Donald Bender of Mazars USA, should be blamed for failing to flag the company to fraud or other criminal conduct.

"Bender never told the owner of the Trump Corporation, President Trump, that there was anything wrong," defense attorney Susan Necheles said. "There can be no claim that President Trump had any knowledge or belief that the fringe benefits were illegal."

But Steinglass pushed back on the idea that Mazars was to blame for failing to flag criminal conduct, accusing the company of "deliberately concealing their wrongdoing from the accountants and then scapegoating the accountants for not sniffing out their malfeasance."

"If you want to keep committing tax fraud you don't ask your accountant for his blessing," Steinglass said.

As part of its closing statement, the defense prepared a scorecard for the jury that listed elements of the scheme and boxes to check "yes" or "no" regarding whether there was an intent to benefit the Trump Organization. Necheles paired it with transcripts of select testimony in which witnesses said the sole beneficiary was Weisselberg.

But some of the transcript pages displayed for the jury included answers to questions that had been successfully objected to, which caused a delay while the pages were reviewed and prosecutors sought corrections.

"It's your responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen again," Judge Juan Merchan told the defense. "I don't fault the People for being upset."

The outcome of the case could turn on the vagaries and nuances of a part of New York criminal law that even the judge has called "confusing." Judge Merchan said Wednesday he would allow defense attorneys to argue in their closing statements that prosecutors failed to show Weisselberg acted "in behalf of" the company.

The confusing part, the judge said, is that the New York state legislators who drafted the relevant statute did not define exactly what "in behalf of" means in that context.

The judge said he would not allow the defense to "overstate what that intent was."

If convicted, the company faces fines of up to $1.7 million. Potentially more significant could be collateral consequences if banks call in loans or partners cancel contracts.

The trial also revealed that Trump reported nearly $1 billion in operating losses over a two-year period about a decade ago, spilling into public view tax information that the former president had tried repeatedly to keep private.

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City of Uvalde files lawsuit in attempt to force DA to turn over investigative materials from shooting

Jason Marz/Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The City of Uvalde added to a flurry of lawsuits filed this week surrounding the Robb Elementary School shooting. The city submitted a petition Thursday against Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell, attempting to force her to turn over her investigative materials related to the Robb Elementary School shooting.

This is the third suit filed in relation to the massacre this week alone, and the city is a defendant in the other two.

The petition, submitted in Uvalde district court, argues that the city needs access to Mitchell's investigative materials, such as body camera footage and incident reports from the day of the shooting. The city has contracted its own investigator, Jesse Prado, to complete an internal affairs review of the Uvalde police department. His ability to do so has been hindered by a lack of evidence, according to the petition.

"We hope this lawsuit will allow the City's investigation into the conduct of its officers to be completed so as to give the community and families the answers they deserve," said a city spokesperson in a news release.

The city announced its own investigation into its police department's conduct this past summer amidst outcry for police accountability following a delayed 77-minute police response that has been widely criticized.

The petition by the city says that Mitchell has not shared vital evidence from that day, while providing it to other agencies. The suit asks the court to immediately force her to turn those materials over for Prado's eyes only instead of withholding them until after she completes her investigation.

According to the Uvalde Leader News, Mitchell's investigation will last into Spring 2023. Mitchell did not respond to an email asking about the city's complaint.

"The Uvalde community has waited entirely too long for answers and transparency with regard to the Robb Elementary shooting incident," read the city's statement.

Earlier this week, the city was named as a defendant in two other lawsuits. A class action filed this week is seeking $27 billion dollars for more than 25 shooting survivors.

The survivors are suing Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, along with the city, for psychological damages incurred during the massacre.

The other defendants in the $27 billion lawsuit include local lawmakers and top law enforcement officers, many of whom are already facing federal suits from other survivors of the shooting and one victim's mother. This is the first suit to name McCraw and Texas DPS Regional Director Victor Escalon for their role in the police response during the massacre that took 21 lives.

"People are hurting, their children are hurting," said Charles Bonner, the lead attorney on the case in a news conference Wednesday. "They don't know what to do and there's no one helping them."

The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Del Rio, Texas, is the first class action to arise in the aftermath of the massacre and the first to ask for a specific amount in damages. It is the third federal lawsuit that has spawned from the tragedy and the second filed by a group of survivors. The plaintiffs were students, teachers, and school bus drivers at Robb Elementary on the day of the shooting. Lawyers say they are looking to add more plaintiffs to the complaint as well.

"This $27 Billion lawsuit is to let them know that we value our children's lives," said Bonner. "We have to have enough money to get their attention."

Families of the victims confronted McCraw at an October public safety hearing in Austin, calling on him to resign.

"If you're a man of your word, you'll resign," said Brett Cross, father of 10-year-old Robb Elementary School victim Uziyah Garcia.

McCraw said that DPS as an institution had not failed during the shooting. DPS did not respond to requests for comment on this lawsuit.

Bonner said that he met with many of the surviving families earlier this week at a church in Uvalde and heard their stories.

Many kids who witnessed the shooting unfold are still dealing with the psychological consequences, he said. Some have had trouble sleeping, others started wetting their pants and many can't be alone anymore.

Teachers who sheltered students in classrooms and closets have been traumatized too, he added.

"Their brains are now permanently injured," said Bonner. "The brain is a physical organ just like the leg or the knee and it's now permanently injured."

The mother of a girl killed during the massacre also filed a lawsuit Monday against gun distributors, local governments and 16 law enforcement officers on the scene during the shooting -- claiming their negligence led to her daughter's death.

"Eliahna loved her family, and she knew how much we loved her," Sandra Torres, the mother of 10-year-old Eliahna Torres, said in a news release.

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Family members, including a 4-year-old, found dead in Illinois home

ABC News

(BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.) -- Five people, including two children, were found dead in an Illinois home in what police say was a domestic-related incident.

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified the victims as 4-year-old Ameila Kislak; 6-year-old Vivian Kisliak; 36-year-old Vera Kisliak; 39-year-old Andre Kisliak; and 67-year-old Lilia Kisliak.

Police also found one animal dead, according to Brian Budds, Buffalo Grove's police chief.

Banek said her office completed autopsies on four of the victims. All appeared to have died of sharp force injuries, she said.

Police said they were dispatched to a single-family residence in Buffalo Grove on Wednesday to conduct a well-being check on an adult female. They were unable to make contact with anyone in the home and entered the home by force, officials said. Upon entry, officers conducted a sweep inside the home and found five people dead.

The well-being check was called in by a coworker of a female resident, according to Budds.

Budds said there is no threat to the public.

The Lake County Major Crime Task Force is also assisting with the ongoing investigation.

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