North Texas Shooter Kills 2, Wounds 3 Officers, Takes Own Life


HALTOM CITY, Texas—A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life in a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said Sunday.

Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said none of those wounded in the shooting Saturday evening in a residential neighborhood have life-threatening injuries.

Spillane said the officers returned fire after being shot at while responding to a report of gunshots at the home around 6:45 p.m. One officer was hit in both legs, and the other two were shot in the arm. The suspect died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He said the Texas Rangers—the state’s elite police force—would take over the investigation. A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. Authorities have not released the names of any of the people involved in the attack.

“The main focus is on how and why this happened,” Spillane told The Associated Press.

A woman was found dead inside a house and a man was found dead outside, Sgt. Rick Alexander said , speaking at a news conference late Saturday. A woman who called 911 was also wounded, he said.

The suspect was found with a “military-style rifle” and a handgun, Alexander said.

The incident is one of several in recent days in which law enforcement officers were fired upon while responding to calls.

Three officers were shot dead in eastern Kentucky while trying to serve a warrant. Police took a 49-year-old man into custody late Thursday night after an hours-long standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia. He remains jailed on a $10 million bond charged with two counts of murder of a police officer.

In Chicago, a police officer was hospitalized in serious condition after being shot repeatedly in a Friday morning ambush while answering a domestic disturbance report, police Superintendent David Brown said. A suspect was hospitalized awaiting a psychiatric evaluation and is being held on a $2 million bond.

Follow



Source link

Texas Supreme Court Blocks Order That Resumed Abortions

The Texas Supreme Court blocked a lower court order late Friday night that said clinics could continue performing abortions, just days after some doctors had resumed seeing patients after the fall of Roe v. Wade.

It was not immediately clear whether Texas clinics that had resumed seeing patients this week would halt services again. A hearing is scheduled for later this month.

The whiplash of Texas clinics turning away patients, rescheduling them, and now potentially canceling appointments again — all in the span of a week — illustrated the confusion and scrambling taking place across the country since Roe was overturned.

An order by a Houston judge earlier this week had reassured some clinics they could temporarily resume abortions up to six weeks into pregnancy. That was quickly followed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asking the state’s highest court, which is stocked with nine Republican justices, to temporarily put the order on hold.

“These laws are confusing, unnecessary, and cruel,” said Marc Hearron, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, after the order was issued Friday night.

Clinics in Texas had stopped performing abortions in the state of nearly 30 million people after the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the constitutional right to abortion. Texas had technically left an abortion ban on the books for the past 50 years while Roe was in place.

A copy of Friday’s order was provided by attorneys for Texas clinics. It could not immediately be found on the court’s website.

Abortion providers and patients across the country have been struggling to navigate the evolving legal landscape around abortion laws and access.

In Florida, a law banning abortions after 15 weeks went into effect Friday, the day after a judge called it a violation of the state constitution and said he would sign an order temporarily blocking the law next week. The ban could have broader implications in the South, where Florida has wider access to the procedure than its neighbors.

Abortion rights have been lost and regained in the span of a few days in Kentucky. A so-called trigger law imposing a near-total ban on the procedure took effect last Friday, but a judge blocked the law Thursday, meaning the state’s only two abortion providers can resume seeing patients — for now.

The legal wrangling is almost certain to continue to cause chaos for Americans seeking abortions in the near future, with court rulings able to upend access at a moment’s notice and an influx of new patients from out of state overwhelming providers.

Even when women travel outside states with abortion bans in place, they may have fewer options to end their pregnancies as the prospect of prosecution follows them.

Planned Parenthood of Montana this week stopped providing medication abortions to patients who live in states with bans “to minimize potential risk for providers, health center staff, and patients in the face of a rapidly changing landscape.”

Planned Parenthood North Central States, which offers the procedure in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, is telling its patients that they must take both pills in the regimen in a state that allows abortions.

The use of abortion pills has been the most common method to end a pregnancy since 2000, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone — the main drug used in medication abortions. Taken with misoprostol, a drug that causes cramping that empties the womb, it constitutes the abortion pill.

“There’s a lot of confusion and concern that the providers may be at risk, and they are trying to limit their liability so they can provide care to people who need it,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, who directs the research group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California San Francisco.

Emily Bisek, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood North Central States, said that in an “unknown and murky” legal environment, they decided to tell patients they must be in a state where it is legal to complete the medication abortion — which requires taking two drugs 24 to 48 hours apart. She said most patients from states with bans are expected to opt for surgical abortions.

Access to the pills has become a key battle in abortion rights, with the Biden administration preparing to argue states can’t ban a medication that has received FDA approval.

Kim Floren, who operates an abortion fund in South Dakota called Justice Empowerment Network, said the development would further limit women’s choices.

“The purpose of these laws anyways is to scare people,” Floren said of states’ bans on abortions and telemedicine consultations for medication abortions. “The logistics to actually enforcing these is a nightmare, but they rely on the fact that people are going to be scared.”

A South Dakota law took effect Friday that threatens a felony punishment for anyone who prescribes medication for an abortion without a license from the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.

In Alabama, Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office said it is reviewing whether people or groups could face prosecution for helping women fund and travel to out-of-state abortion appointments.

Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based group that helps low-income women cover abortion and travel costs, said it is pausing operation for two weeks because of the lack of clarity under state law.

“This is a temporary pause, and we’re going to figure out how we can legally get you money and resources and what that looks like,” said Kelsea McLain, Yellowhammer’s health care access director.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said staff members at its clinics have seen women driving from as far as Texas without stopping — or making an appointment. Women who are past 15 weeks were being asked to leave their information and promised a call back if a judge signs the order temporarily blocking the restriction, she said.

Still, there is concern that the order may be only temporary and the law may again go into effect later, creating additional confusion.

“It’s terrible for patients,” she said. “We are really nervous about what is going to happen.”


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link

Uvalde Schools’ Police Chief Pete Arrendondo Resigns From City Council

The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Chief Pete Arrendondo told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday has decided to step down for the good of the city administration. He was elected to the District 3 council position May 7 and was sworn in — in a closed-door ceremony — on May 31, just a week after the massacre.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arrendondo said.

Arrendondo, who has been on administrative leave from the school district since June 22, has declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment Saturday.

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing last month that Arrendondo — the on-site commander — made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded May 24 , and the police response was an “abject failure.”

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, sufficient armed law enforcement were on scene to stop the gunman, McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles stood and waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there is no indication officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said.

McCraw has said parents begged police outside the school to move in and students inside the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help while more than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from other agencies urged Arrendondo to let them move in because children were in danger.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said.

Arrendondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios but that he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It is still not clear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other during the attack, and what their body cameras show.

Officials have declined to release more details, citing the investigation.

Arrendondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in the city.


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link

2 Teenagers Killed, 1 Man Wounded in Houston-Area Shooting


HOUSTON—Two teenagers were killed and one man was injured in a shooting at Houston-area apartment complex, authorities said Saturday.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter that deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of the complex in north Harris County, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of downtown Houston, at 10:40 p.m. Friday. They discovered three males had been shot.

Two teenagers were pronounced dead at a hospital and a 20-year-old man who was shot twice is expected to survive, Gonzalez said.

Multiple people were detained, and the sheriff’s office was looking through surveillance camera footage to piece together what happened.

Sgt. Dennis Wolfford with Houston County Sheriff’s Office Homicide said the confrontation may have started at a pool party and multiple people had discharged weapons.

“We do not know who was shooting first, we do have possible shooters detained, we are still working to figure out, who exactly fired the shots,” Wolfford said. “We will be interviewing them and reviewing surveillance video to determine how this went down.”

Gonzalez said both teens killed were 17, but Wolfford said one was 17 and the other was 18.

Follow



Source link

Prosecutor Won’t Sue Texas AG Paxton Over Jan. 6 Records

A prosecutor’s office said Friday that it won’t move forward with a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over his refusal to release his communications relating to his appearance at a pro-Donald Trump rally that preceded the breach  at the U.S. Capitol last year.

The Austin-based Travis County district attorney’s office said in a letter that it wouldn’t sue because journalists who had requested Paxton’s records didn’t want to testify in court; they were concerned they might have to reveal their sources, The Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle reported.

The district attorney’s office told Paxton in January that he had violated the state’s open record laws and that he must remedy the issue or face a lawsuit. Paxton’s office denied any violations and rejected the demand.

The district attorney’s office launched its investigation after editors at Texas’ largest newspapers filed a complaint.

Paxton appeared at a Jan. 6, 2021, event in Washington, D.C., where he gave a speech touting efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election because of widespread voter fraud.

Paxton, a Republican, faces multiple legal challenges as he runs for reelection this year. Among them, the Texas bar association is seeking to punish him for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

In May, Paxton defeated Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a Republican runoff election. That victory sets him up for a general election contest with Rochelle Garza, a South Texas Democrat and civil rights lawyer.


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link

Suspected Truck Driver in Texas Migrant Deaths Was on Meth, Lawmaker Says

The suspected driver of a truck packed with dozens of migrants who died in blazing heat during a Texas smuggling attempt was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when police encountered him, a U.S. lawmaker told Reuters, citing information from law enforcement.

San Antonio police officers found Homero Zamorano Jr, a Texas native, hiding in brush near the abandoned tractor-trailer on Monday, according to documents filed in federal court on Thursday. Fifty-three migrants lost their lives, making it the deadliest such trafficking incident on record in the United States.

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat whose district includes the eastern part of San Antonio, told Reuters on Thursday that Zamorano was found to have had methamphetamine, a powerful synthetic drug, in his system.

Cuellar said he was briefed on the matter by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) but did not know how authorities made that determination. A CBP official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, separately told Reuters that Zamorano had methamphetamine in his system.

Reuters was not immediately able to independently confirm the accounts of the alleged drug use.

Zamorano, 45, appeared in a federal court in San Antonio on Thursday where human trafficking charges against him were read. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty and up to a $250,000 fine, he was told.

He was accompanied by public defender Jose Gonzalez-Falla, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Chestney said Zamorano would be held in custody until his next hearing, on July 6.

Officials described finding the trailer’s rear door ajar with bodies stacked inside that were hot to the touch. In nearby brush, officers discovered other victims, some deceased. They found Zamorano hiding near the victims and escorted him to a local hospital for medical evaluation, prosecutors said. Mexican officials said he had tried to pass himself off as one of the survivors.

It was not immediately clear what hospital had evaluated Zamorano.

‘WHERE YOU AT?’

The truck had been carrying migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and was found in a desolate, industrial area near a highway on the outskirts of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Temperatures in the area that day had soared as high as 103 Fahrenheit (39.4 Celsius), and authorities called to the scene found no water supplies or signs of working air-conditioning inside the cargo trailer.

Prosecutors allege Zamorano conspired with Christian Martinez, 28, who was also charged with a human trafficking offense. Martinez on Monday sent a photo of a truck load manifest to Zamorano, who responded by saying, “I go to the same spot,” a federal investigator wrote in a court filing Wednesday.

Martinez repeatedly messaged Zamorano in the hours after but received no reply, wrote Nestor Canales, a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) investigations division. Martinez sent messages including “Call me bro” and “Wya bro,” meaning “where you at,” Canales wrote.

A confidential informant for ICE and the Texas police spoke with Martinez after the incident, Canales wrote. Martinez told the informant “the driver was unaware the air conditioning unit stopped working and was the reason why the individuals died,” Canales added.

Reuters was unable to reach Martinez for comment. Martinez, who is in official custody, made an initial appearance in a court in the Eastern District of Texas on Wednesday.

‘STASH HOUSE’

Mexicans accounted for about half of those who perished. Eleven people – including minors – remain hospitalized. In addition to 27 Mexicans, the victims included 14 Hondurans, seven Guatemalans and two Salvadorans, Mexico’s government said.

Among the dead were Pascual Melvin Guachiac, 13, and Juan Wilmer Tulul, 14, both from Guatemala, the country’s foreign ministry wrote on Twitter.

The two were cousins who left home two weeks ago to escape poverty, Guachiac’s mother was quoted as saying by Guatemalan media. The boys had told the family on Monday they were headed to San Antonio, local media reported.

Among the victims was Yazmin Nayarith Bueso, who left Honduras nearly a month ago. Her brother said she had gone a year without a job. “She looked and looked and couldn’t find anything, and became desperate,” Alejandro Bueso told a Honduran television program on Thursday.

Officials believe the migrants boarded the truck on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico.

Surveillance photographs captured the truck passing through a border checkpoint at Laredo, Texas, at 2:50 p.m. CT (1950 GMT) on Monday, before the migrant passengers are believed to have boarded.

Cuellar, the Texas lawmaker, said the migrants had likely crossed the border and gone to a “stash house” before being picked up by the trailer and passing the Encinal checkpoint.

They likely then went into San Antonio and experienced mechanical issues that left them in the back of the truck without air conditioning or ventilation, Cuellar said.

Two other men suspected of involvement in the incident, Mexican nationals Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, were charged on Tuesday in U.S. federal court with possessing firearms while residing in the country illegally. A preliminary hearing for the pair is set for Friday.

D’Luna-Mendez’s attorney, Michael McCrum, said his client is a 21-year-old carpenter who has been in the U.S. since childhood and had “nothing to do with” the tragedy. McCrum said he believed the other man charged was his client’s father.

Charging documents in the case said the truck’s registration was tracked to the men’s address. “They are arresting anyone they can,” McCrum said.


© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.



Source link

Texas Woman Accused in Cyclist Death Arrested in Costa Rica


A Texas woman suspected in the fatal shooting of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson at an Austin home has been arrested in Costa Rica, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, was arrested Wednesday at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, the Marshals Service said in a statement. Armstrong was expected to be returned to the United States, where she faces a murder charge, the agency said.

“The Marshals Service elevated the Kaitlin Armstrong investigation to major case status early in this investigation, which likely played a key role in her capture after a 43-day run,” said U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Texas Susan Pamerleau.

Wilson, 25, was found dead May 11, and Austin police on May 19 issued a murder warrant for Armstrong.

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong. (U.S. Marshals Service)

Authorities said Armstrong sold her vehicle May 13, then flew from Austin to Houston shortly after being questioned that day by authorities about Wilson’s death. She then flew to New York before using a fraudulent passport to fly from Newark, New Jersey, to San Jose, Costa Rica, on May 18, the service said.

Wilson, a competitive gravel and mountain bike racer and Vermont native known as “Mo,” had been in Austin for a cycling event. According to an affidavit, Wilson had previously dated Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who has cooperated with investigators and is not a suspect.

According to the affidavit, Armstrong’s SUV was seen on surveillance video outside the home where Wilson was found shot to death.

The Associated Press

Follow



Source link

Supreme Court Allows Biden Administration to End Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Policy


The Supreme Court gave the Biden administration a green light this morning to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy that requires non-Mexican asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border to wait in Mexico for processing.

The decision to nix the program did not violate a 1996 migrant detention law, the court held, adding that the administration’s memorandum rescinding the program should have been examined by the lower courts.

The 5–4 opinion (pdf) in Biden v. Texas, court file 21-954, was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, and comes as record numbers of illegal aliens are streaming across the border with Mexico, overwhelming the capacity of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process them.

Roberts’s opinion was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett Kavanaugh. Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett both filed separate dissenting opinions.

Texas and Missouri had argued that President Joe Biden broke the law by ending the program.

Upon taking office, Biden cut off enrollments in the program, part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) created by Congress when Bill Clinton was president. The Trump administration had announced in 2018 that it would enforce the program in an effort to crack down on the practice known as catch-and-release, in which individuals would make fraudulent asylum claims knowing they would be let into the United States and be able to stay for years before their court appearance.

Under Biden, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum providing that as of Jan. 21, 2021, it would “suspend new enrollments in the [MPP] pending further review of the program. Aliens who aren’t already enrolled in MPP should be processed under other existing legal authorities.”

Days later, Biden signed three new executive orders aimed at undoing Trump-era immigration policies. One of them, Biden said, “orders a full review of the previous administration’s harmful and counterproductive immigration policies, basically across the board.”

But in August 2021, at the urging of the two states, Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ordered the government to enforce the MPP policy until “lawfully rescinded.” The Biden administration had failed to properly justify ending the policy and failed to uphold a 1996 law requiring the detention of certain migrants, the judge held. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed Kacsmaryk’s ruling.

In his opinion, Roberts wrote that “the Government’s rescission of MPP did not violate” section 1225 of the Immigration and National Act,” and reversed the decision of the lower court and remanded the case “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Follow

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert in left-wing activism.



Source link

Justices Say Vet Who Lost Job as Texas Trooper Can Sue State

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a former state trooper to sue Texas over his claim that he was forced out of his job when he returned from Army service in Iraq.

The justices ruled for Army veteran Le Roy Torres under a federal law enacted in 1994 in the wake of the Persian Gulf war to strengthen job protections for returning service members.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court rejected Texas’ claim that it is shielded from such lawsuits. “Text, history, and precedent show that the States, in coming together to form a Union, agreed to sacrifice their sovereign immunity for the good of the common defense,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court.

Torres says he suffered lung damage from exposure to open burn pits on his base in Iraq.

He spent a year in Iraq and was discharged as a captain after nearly 19 years in the U.S. Army Reserve.

The state and Torres dispute what happened when he returned to Texas, unable to resume his job as a state trooper because of the damage to his lungs. He eventually resigned and later filed his lawsuit. A state appellate court dismissed it, and the justices stepped in.

Congress first allowed returning service members to sue states to keep their jobs in 1974, recognizing discrimination because of opposition to the Vietnam War.

In March, the court allowed the Navy to take account of sailors’ vaccination status in deciding on deployments, narrowing a lower court order. Three justices, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, dissented from the high court’s order.

They also dissented Wednesday, joined by Justice Amy Coney Barrett.


© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link

Texas Man, 19, Arrested for Threat to Carry out Mass Shooting


A 19-year-old Texas man who reportedly has mental health issues was arrested after telling a coworker that he wanted to carry out a mass shooting.

Rodolfo Valdivia Aceves was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning and charged with the third degree felony of making terroristic threats, according to Bexar County police records. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.

San Antonia outlet KSAT reported that a female coworker alerted her superiors about Aceves after he shared with her his thoughts about carrying out a mass shooting on June 24 while they were evacuating work because of a fire alarm.

According to the coworker, Aceves told her that pulling a fire alarm would be a good way to carry out a mass shooting and that because he had previously told her he was “tired of living” and owned a gun, she believed him capable of following through with his threat.

Aceves’s coworker was also reportedly afraid because Aceves knew where her children attended school. She also reportedly told police that the 19-year-old considered the Uvalde school shooter “an idol.”

The coworker reportedly didn’t tell anyone about Aceves’s threat on the Friday because she was afraid of retaliation but did so on Monday, when police were called to the Amazon delivery facility where they worked and arrested him, according to KSAT.

Credible Threat

A San Antonio police officer told Yahoo News in a statement that the threat was credible.

“Based on information gathered, an employee of the location heard the suspect claiming he was going to do a mass shooting at this place of business,” said San Antonio Police Officer Ricardo Guzman.

“Credible information to support the threat was developed during the investigation by homicide detectives.”

The suspect’s father reportedly told police during questioning that Aceves had been committed to a mental health facility twice when he was 16 and that his purchase of a rifle made his relatives afraid based on his past behavior, according to KSAT.

Police records show that Aceves was processed into custody on Monday afternoon after being arrested at 2:13 a.m.

A person found guilty of a third-degree felony faces a penalty of between 2 and 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 under the Texas penal code.

The Epoch Times contacted San Antonio Police Department for further comment.

Follow

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. He has a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au



Source link