PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona teenager suspected of killing one person and injuring a dozen others during a 90-minute string of drive-by shootings in metropolitan Phoenix told police he believed people were after him because of his involvement in another shooting, according to court documents released Friday.
Ashin Tricarico, 19, is accused of opening fire on vehicles and pedestrians from a white SUV on Thursday in at least eight separate shootings in three cities that stoked fear throughout the region. Four people were shot, including a man whose pickup truck careened into a canal alongside a freeway.
A witness told police he saw the suspect drive up behind the truck and swerve into the lane beside it and then he heard a gunshot. Police later found the man's body inside the truck with a gunshot wound to the neck and his head, face and body covered in blood, the court documents state.
Police said Tricarico admitted to some of the shootings and declined to talk about others but denied firing at a woman or killing the man, whom police haven't identified. Tricarico told police he was involved in another shooting a month ago in Phoenix while he was a security guard and believed people have been following him because of it, according to the court documents.
“Ashin thinks every vehicle and person he drives past is pointing a gun at him," police wrote.
Tricarico was working as a licensed, armed security guard at a restaurant in north Phoenix on May 5 when he shot a male customer outside who was reported intoxicated, causing a disturbance and charging at Tricarico. Phoenix police said in a statement Friday night.
Police said the man was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, and Tricarico remained at the restaurant and cooperated with investigators. The case is still being investigated, and Tricarico told police he shot the man in self-defense. The gun he used was impounded and has remained in police custody.
Tricarico, who was arrested Thursday, appeared remotely for a court hearing Friday and was directed to contact a public defender. The Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender did not have a specific attorney assigned to Tricarico, whose next court hearing is scheduled for June 24. He faces charges of first-degree murder, shooting from a vehicle, aggravated assault and endangerment.
There was no immediate response to a message left at a number listed for a relative of Tricarico.
Documents police filed in Maricopa County Superior Court allege Tricarico fired at more than a dozen people, seemingly at random. In some cases, he pulled up beside vehicles and placed the barrel of an assault rifle through his window and fired multiple shots, police said.
A 3-year-old child was in one vehicle with her mother when the front windshield and driver's side door were hit, but wasn't harmed. The mother told police she heard three gunshots while driving and immediately felt pain in her arm, stomach and head. She was covered in blood and screaming “oh my god,” according to witness statements.
Others were injured as bullets hit or shattered glass. Authorities said the injured ranged in age from 19 to 56.
Police said Tricarico left his house in the city of Surprise with an AR-15 rifle and later bought four boxes of ammunition, filling two 30-round magazines. Matching shell casings were found at some of the shooting scenes, police said.
Richard Valencia, 34, said he spent Thursday afternoon in the hospital after being shot in the shoulder as he walked from a convenience store in Surprise. He told Phoenix news station KSAZ-TV that he fired back three times with his own weapon.
“I don’t even know the guy,” he said. “It was completely random.”
Victims and witnesses were able to give authorities a description of the suspect's vehicle — a white Volkswagen SUV — and the license plate number. A local fire department spotted the vehicle and called police, who swarmed a shopping center that includes restaurants, a nail salon and a Walgreens.
Neil Betrue, a pastor in Surprise, was alone in his church’s office when he noticed a few police officers and heard a helicopter buzzing overhead. He peered out the door and saw even more officers surrounding the suspect’s car and started recording the commotion on his cellphone.
“I did not know at the time it was a shooting spree happening,” Betrue told The Associated Press on Friday. “I just thought maybe there must have been a car chase or something.”
As officers drew their weapons, the suspect, wearing a black jacket, black pants and white shoes, raised his hands in the air. He then was cuffed without incident, Betrue's video shows.
“I'm just thankful that he didn't try to put the officers or any of the business or anyone else in harm's way here,” Betrue said.
Police don't believe anyone else was involved in the attacks.
Tricarico also was accused of pointing an assault rifle at a man in the parking lot of a convenience store Wednesday evening as the two were sitting in their vehicles, according to the court documents. Tricarico later followed the man, who ducked when he heard a gunshot but wasn't harmed, police said. Tricarico, however, claimed not to have left his house that day.
Police said they won't release any further information until Monday, saying the investigation is complex.
The Phoenix metropolitan area has seen other deadly drive-by shootings.
In 2005 and 2006, the area was terrorized by a pair of serial shooters who drove around and shot at random targets, killing six people and wounding 19 others. After they were finally arrested, airport janitor Dale Hausner and his roommate Sam Dietman, a petty criminal, were given life sentences. Hausner killed himself in prison by overdosing in 2013.
A decade later, a similar string of drive-by shootings started. In 2015 and 2016, nine people were killed and two injured in what police called the “Serial Street Shootings.” Police in 2017 arrested Aaron Saucedo, then 23, alleging he randomly gunned down the people, often at night, while they were returning home from work or in their front yards. He has pleaded not guilty to numerous charges and is awaiting trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Fonseca reported from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Searchers combed a North Carolina river Friday for two missing tubers after a family on a recreational float went over a dam, resulting in three deaths and the rescue of four people from the water.
The group of nine, all believed to be part of the same family, was floating down the Dan River on inflatable tubes and went over a dam that's about 8 feet (2.5 meters) high next to a Duke Energy plant Wednesday night, Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates told reporters.
A Duke Energy employee who saw some of the tubers called the situation in to 911 on Thursday afternoon, and four were rescued that day. Three tubers' bodies were also found Thursday.
Cates said that the rescued tubers spent the night floating in the water near the dam before they were found clinging to the tubes. He said they managed to stay afloat for approximately 19 hours, describing them as “very, very fatigued” when they were found. The four were taken to a hospital and were expected to survive.
Cates said the search for the two still missing was suspended late Friday afternoon and would resume Saturday. He said he was still optimistic the two missing tubers could be found alive. Earlier in the day, rescue personnel were seen hauling rafts toward the water Friday at a staging area in Eden, north of Greensboro near the Virginia state line.
“We’re still positive and optimistic, but we’ll see how things go tomorrow,” Cates told reporters.
Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page identified those rescued as Reuben Villano, 35; and children Eric, 14, and Irene, 18, all of Eden. Also rescued were Karlos Villano of LaPorte, Indiana. A news release from the sheriff's office didn't indicate how Karlos Villano was related to the others, except to say he was a visiting relative.
The sheriff's office identified the victims as Bridish Crawford, 27, and Antonio Ramon, 30, of Eden; and Sophie Wilson, 14, also of LaPorte, Indiana.
Still missing are Teresa Villano, 35, and Isiah Crawford, 7, both from Eden, the sheriff's office said.
First responders indicated the survivors were caught in fast-moving water near the dam when they were found, according to recordings of scanner traffic on broadcastify.com.
First responders could be heard over public safety radio ordering boats and other swift water rescue equipment to the area shortly after the 911 call came in around 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
“We’re taking a call on the Dan River at the dam near the Duke Energy plant. Caller is advising five tubers … went over the dam,” one person says.
A rescuer says on the recording that some of the tubers were stuck near the dam because of the pull of water flowing over it.
“They’re on that side … at the abutment for the dam. And they’re all caught in the pull. If you can come over … we can probably pull them out pretty good, hopefully,” the rescuer can be heard saying.
Cates told reporters Friday that debris and rocks in the river can puncture tubes or rafts, so it's important for people to wear life preservers. He said it wasn't clear if any of the nine were using life preservers.
“The current of the river makes it very hard to navigate, even for the most experienced swimmers. So we strongly encourage people to wear some type of personal floatation device in addition to the tube they’re in,” he said.
He said it's not unusual for people to float the river on tubes or rafts in the area, but most get out and walk around the dam, which is marked by a sign.
Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said the employee who called 911 to report the tubers wasn't available for an interview.
Associated Press writers Jonathan Drew in Durham and Tom Foreman Jr. in Winston-Salem contributed to this report.
COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) — Police searched Friday for a suspect believed to have killed three people in wave of violence that included a hit-and-run crash and a shooting at a pot shop in a small Oregon city.
The first person found dead was struck by a pickup truck at an RV park in the coastal city of North Bend, about 220 miles (354 kilometers) southwest of Portland, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. A woman also was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital, where she was in critical condition, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said at a news conference.
A few minutes after the wreck, police received reports of gunshots at a cannabis shop, where one person was killed. Officials believe the same suspect is responsible for the shooting and the hit-and-run crash.
After the shooting, Frasier said the suspect went to a nearby sporting goods store and bought more ammunition.
Meanwhile, police had gone back to the RV park to search a trailer that was registered to the same person as the truck and found a body believed to belong to the owner of both, Frasier said. The prosecutor did not say how that victim died but that “there is no question in my mind this person died of homicidal violence.”
None of the victims has been identified, and Frasier said it was unclear what, if any, connection they had to the suspect.
Police began searching for a white 2019 Dodge 3500 pickup, which was later found on a highway north of where the killings took place. The truck had crashed and been set on fire, Frasier said.
A witness told investigators that the driver appeared to be armed with a handgun at the time of the crash and had run into the woods. Law enforcement agencies were conducting a manhunt in the woods, Frasier said.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man arrested after he allegedly stabbed a 94-year-old Asian American woman in San Francisco in an unprovoked attack has been charged with attempted murder, the city’s top prosecutor announced Friday.
Daniel Cauich, 35, was also charged with battery causing serious bodily injury and elder abuse, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said.
Cauich’s arraignment was scheduled for Friday. It wasn’t immediately known if has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
Ahn “Peng” Taylor was on her daily walk near her downtown apartment Wednesday when Cauich allegedly hit her in the head and stabbed her on the forearm, hip and torso. He then continued walking and threw away the knife, Boudin said.
Police officers who responded to a report of a stabbing found a knife near the crime scene and obtained a photo of Cauich and circulated it to all officers. Police arrested him two hours after the attack.
Taylor was taken to a local hospital, where she is recovering, Boudin said.
The attack comes amid a wave of assaults against Asian Americans in San Francisco and across the country since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S.
“We are devastated by this recent, horrific attack. We stand with the AAPI community and the vulnerable elderly community which, around the nation, have faced too many tragic incidents like this one over the past year,” Boudin said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Cauich was convicted of three separate felony burglary charges and sentenced to jail time and probation, along with other conditions. He was again arrested in May for burglary, and prosecutors filed new felony charges and sought his detention, Boudin said.
"The District Attorney’s request to detain Mr. Cauich was denied by the court and he was released on an ankle monitor," he said.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A $2.75 billion project aimed at protecting Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota, from chronic flooding gained ground Friday with the acceptance of a massive federal loan and the pick of a international consortium to build a key piece.
The public-private partnership that will build a channel to divert Red River floodwaters around the region is a first for the U.S. Corps of Engineers and could be a model for big infrastructure projects elsewhere, local officials said in announcing the consortium, called the Red River Valley Alliance. It consists of Spain-based Corporacion Acciona Infraestruras S.L., Israel-based Shikun & Binui Ltd., and Canada-based North American Construction Group Ltd.
Officials also said the Environmental Protection Agency will provide a $569 million low-interest loan for the flood-control project, which also includes levees and other structures to control water levels.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney called the announcements important milestones in protecting North Dakota’s largest city, which has dealt with chronic flooding for decades due to the area's flat topography.
“It’s the last piece needed to provide once and for all permanent flood protection,” Mahoney said.
The idea for the 30-mile (50-kilometer) diversion channel gained momentum after a record-setting 2009 flood that destroyed about 100 structures and caused millions of dollars in damage. Fargo — a city of 122,000 that sits lower than Moorhead and just across the Red River from the Minnesota city of 43,000 — was saved only by an effort involving 7 million sandbags and 100,000 volunteers. Fargo’s hopes for one day shutting down its so-called Sandbag Central for good depend on the diversion channel.
The consortium will provide $560 million in up-front capital, and ultimately will be reimbursed for the diversion project's total cost of about $870 million, said Joel Paulsen, the executive director of the diversion project. The alliance also will be paid $32 million for 30 years to operate and maintain the channel, he said.
Other major funding sources for the overall project include $750 million from the Corps and a $435.5 million bonding bill approved by the Legislature this year. A Fargo sales tax will raise about $45 million annually.
Mahoney said the partnership expedites construction on the diversion channel, which has already begun on two inlet structures south of Fargo. It also frees up federal dollars for other infrastructure projects nationwide and will spur economic development because companies can be assured the area is protected, he said.
“With these measures in place, it will make us boom even more,” Mahoney said in an interview.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum said the project, when completed in 2027, would protect some $20 billion in property.
Howe Lim, a civil engineering professor at the University of North Dakota, said four of his former students have worked on the project. While an engineering challenge, Lim said a bigger hurdle may have been overcoming initial opposition and finding funding.
“The object is to mitigate a flood,” Lim said. “If this is successful, it will be a good model for others to look at.”
NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors asked a judge Friday to limit what jurors can hear of the psychological history of victims in a forced labor case, saying they were manipulated by a man who posed as a mental health expert and was sometimes there before or after many of them attempted suicide.
The request came in the case against Lawrence Ray, 61, who was arrested in February 2020.
Ray has pleaded not guilty to charges that he forced vulnerable college students into prostitution or unpaid labor over the span of a decade starting in 2010, when he moved into his daughter’s residence at Sarah Lawrence College.
Prosecutors say he befriended her classmates and became a patriarchal figure who exerted a manipulative influence over their lives.
Ray used physical, sexual and psychological abuse to extort nearly $1 million from victims, including five students, prosecutors said. One victim was forced into prostitution, the government has said.
A message seeking comment was sent to Ray's attorneys.
In papers filed Friday in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors revealed more about their case, saying Ray knew his victims had a history of mental health issues and sought to build trust by presenting himself in the role of a mentor or therapist after describing his experience in medicine and mental health treatment.
They said he was present before or after some of them attempted suicide and were hospitalized and tried to insert himself into their treatment by making statements to their physicians and by interfering with the involvement of the victims’ family members as the victims tried to recover.
Prosecutors said Ray often acted as if he was diagnosing particular mental health conditions, such as borderline personality, before asserting control over their mental health treatment by receiving updates from the women about sessions with therapists or by participating in therapy sessions.
Prosecutors said they wanted to ensure that lawyers for Ray do not try to elicit information that victims shared with therapists and expose the victims to questions about information that is protected by privacy laws.
A Connecticut aquarium plans to auction off the chance to name three of its five recently arrived beluga whales to raise money for their care and to offset the cost of transporting them from Canada.
President and CEO Stephen Coan said the Sea Research Foundation has teamed with the New York-based auction house Guernsey’s to hold a fundraising auction on Aug. 19 at the Mystic Aquarium, which it operates.
“The three whales will get what we refer to as stage names, and they would be referred to by those names going forward,” he said. “We've named other animals in the past and people get very excited about the opportunity. It really makes the animals part of the community and the community feels they are part of the experience of welcoming the new animals.”
The aquarium hopes to raise $4 million at the auction, which will also include donated art, perhaps a boat or vintage car and some unique experiences — such as educational dive trips with scientists to places such as the undersea Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, Coan said.
It will cost the aquarium about $5 million a year to care for the belugas, he said. That includes about $250,000 a year to pay for food and veterinary care for each animal, as well as costs associated with running the habitat and research.
The foundation also spent millions of dollars last month transporting the whales from their previous home at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, using custom-made stretchers and special tanks inside a C-130 cargo plane, Coan said.
Mystic Aquarium, which specializes in beluga research, spent months securing the needed approvals from both nations and overcoming challenges from some animal rights groups, which had opposed the move.
The auction announcement comes the same day the whales were fully integrated into the main part of the aquarium's 750,000-gallon beluga habitat with its three existing whales — Kela, Juno and Natasha.
Coan said all of the whales are acclimating well and in excellent health, though one did need to be treated for a preexisting gastrointestinal issue.
Juno has been communicating with them for the past five weeks through the barrier that kept them separated and has been very welcoming, Coan said. Natasha seemed to be oblivious to the new arrivals and was a bit startled by the integration and Kelo seemed “a little bit aggrieved at first” to be sharing her space.
“They are getting to know each other now, so it's quite a sight,” he said.
The new arrivals will soon begin training through positive reinforcement — a fish, a tongue rub or a fun toy to play with — to voluntarily assist in research. They will be used as a baseline to compare against wild belugas in studying things like their health and immune systems.
Coan said there are guidelines on what the aquarium will allow the whales to be named. Corporate or offensive names, for example, are off limits.
The other two whales will get their names from the general public through contests the aquarium plans to run starting in August, including one that will be part of an educational program for schoolchildren in the state, Coan said.
ATLANTA (AP) — A seventh person is now wanted in the April death of a Georgia taxi driver found slain far from her home.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Friday that it has obtained a murder warrant for 28-year-old Maria Katherine Chavez Encarnacion of Marietta. Investigators say Encarnacion was last known to be in Mexico.
Encarnacion is accused in the death of 37-year-old Rosanna Delgado.
Delgado was a Venezuelan immigrant who lived in Bethlehem, northeast of Atlanta. She went missing on April 16 after telling her husband she was going to pick up a fare in the Atlanta suburb of Chamblee. Family and friends say her husband tried to trace her whereabouts via his wife’s cell phone, but only found a bloody mask. The mother of two was found dead on April 20 at a rental cabin in Cherry Log in northern Georgia's mountains, far from her home and last known whereabouts.
Three suspects in the case were arrested in May in Mexico and returned to the United States. They are 30-year-old Megan Alyssa Colone of Stone Mountain; 26-year-old Oscar Manuel Garcia of Austell and 25-year-old Juan Antonio Vega. Stone Mountain and Austell are two Atlanta suburbs.
GBI has not commented on a motive for the killing, nor disclosed how Delgado was killed.
Police said they are still seeking Encarnacion, 25-year-old Juan Ayala-Rodriguez of Gainesville, 29-year-old Mario Alberto Barbosa-Juarez of Oklahoma City and 28-year-old Carolina Jazmin Rodriguez-Ramirez of Oklahoma.
Authorities said a man in Covington, east of Atlanta, was arrested earlier on charges of tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property in the case. Investigators recovered Delgado's Ford Focus along with two vehicles that belonged to two of the murder suspects.
BRYAN, Texas (AP) — A Texas man has been indicted on a charges of murder and assault for allegedly opening fire at a cabinet-making company where he worked, killing one man and wounding five other employees.
A Brazos County grand jury handed up the murder charge against Larry Bollin on Thursday, along with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, said Jessica Escue, a spokeswoman for the local district attorney's office.
The charges stem from an April shooting at Kent Moore Cabinets in Bryan, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Houston.
Bollin, 27, is accused shooting his colleagues, fleeing and then shooting and wounding a state trooper in a neighboring county as authorities searched for him. He was being held Friday in a Brazos County jail on a $3.2 million bond.
Bollin's attorney, Craig Greaves, declined to comment on the indictment. He previously said harassments from his client’s colleagues may have motivated the shooting.
Bollin is also charged with attempted capital murder in Grimes County for the shooting of the state trooper.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The mother of a 4-year-old girl whose remains were found at a North Carolina home last month forced her 13-year-old daughter to help bury her sister in the backyard, according to a search warrant.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged Malikah Bennett, 31, with first-degree murder, felony child abuse, inflicting physical injury and felony concealing a death, The Charlotte Observer reported. Bennett also has three pending misdemeanor child abuse charges from February 2020, according to a search of public records.
Police also arrested and charged Bennett’s mother, Tammy Taylor Moffett, 53, with concealing a death and accessory to murder after the fact, her arrest warrant said.
Officers found the body of Miegellic “Jelli” Young buried outside her mother’s home in Charlotte. The warrant accuses Miegellic’s mother of forcing her to stand in a laundry room for three days as punishment for soiling her pants. She eventually became too weak to stand, fell out the back door and hit her head, the 13-year-old sister told police. The girl told police that Bennett performed CPR on the child, but she died.
Bennett placed Miegellic's body in two black plastic trash bags in the trunk of an SUV, where she remained for five days until the smell became bad, the warrant said. Bennett then drove the SUV to go buy a shovel, and after digging the hole, made the 13-year-old pick up her sister’s body, place it in the ground and cover it with dirt, the search warrant said.
NEW YORK (AP) — The conversation between Brian Roy and Brian Webb felt, at first, like a blind date. In the same way, the people who brought them together hope that it's the start of something.
They were participants in an effort backed by the media company Gannett to get people with opposing political views to talk with each other, part of a “National Week of Conversation” sponsored by democracy-oriented groups that is ending this weekend.
The idea in these polarizing times is that if enough people start talking, they'll find common ground or at least realize that they don't need to be in warring camps because they vote for different people, said Mizell Stewart, Gannett's vice president of news performance, talent and partnerships.
A month ago, Gannett embedded a survey in news stories that appeared on the websites for USA Today and 250 company-owned local news sites in 46 states, seeking participants.
Conversations via video conference with more than 1,200 volunteers took place, which Stewart admits was disappointingly low. But he said none went off the rails, and is heartened that most everyone said they would do it again.
“This is just the beginning,” he said.
The talk between Roy, from Benton, Kentucky, and Webb, from Sheridan, Wyoming, was pleasant — even when they brought up potential third-rail topics like religion, gun restrictions and presidential politics. They found things to agree upon, and things to laugh about.
“It was really good to know that I could talk to him and disagree,” said Roy, a former county sheriff, in a later interview. “I thought it might help me figure out how to have a conversation locally with friends that I have lost over politics.”
Something you notice during his chat session about Roy, who worked in law enforcement and communications: he loves to talk and is upset to have fewer opportunities around him. He blames social media for hardening attitudes, and the contention of the Trump years. He bemoaned how wearing a mask against COVID-19 became a political act, he said, recalling the time at a gas station when a stranger called him an “idiot” for doing so.
Many Trump supporters that he knows don't want anything to do with people who don't feel the same way, he said. And as a Democrat who changed his registration to independent, Roy said it's harder for him to find like-minded people in Kentucky.
“It's not the only hope,” he said. “It's a small hope that somebody besides me thinks we need to communicate with the opposing side to find out if our differences are real or make believe.”
Stewart said it's human nature for people to want to spend time with those who are similar and, increasingly, the media offers greater opportunity to do so.
“There's almost an echo chamber industry that's been erected to provide people with the chance to be with people who think the way they do,” he said.
Stewart, a Black man from Cleveland, signed up for his own conversation, with a white evangelical woman who lives in Texas. Their common ground was the importance of religion in their lives, although each has had different experiences.
“We've learned a great deal and look forward to applying these lessons in the future,” he said.
SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A shark bit a Florida man who was swimming near a fishing line 40 yards from the shore.
The South Walton Fire District said in a news release posted on Facebook that the man had visible wounds to the upper body and chest area and was taken to a local hospital, where he is expected to recover.
Firefighters said the shark was apparently heading for the fishing line Thursday off Santa Rosa Beach, and possibly mistook the man for bait.
The fire district flew double red flags to warn other swimmers in the area. The shark is believed to be of 7 to 8 feet (2 meters) in length.
June 11 – 17, 2021
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EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Three people are dead and two remain missing after a group floating down a North Carolina river on inflatable tubes went over a dam, authorities said Thursday.
Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates told reporters that a group of nine people tubing on the Dan River went over the Duke Energy dam in Eden around sunset on Wednesday. A Duke Energy employee who saw some of the tubers called the situation in to 911 Thursday afternoon, Cates said.
Cates did not release the identities of the three people who died.
Four other people were rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that Cates said were not life-threatening. Two more remained missing Thursday night.
Boats and helicopters were used in the search in the county north of Greensboro along the Virginia state line.
Cates said it's not immediately clear why the tubers didn't contact authorities sooner, but he said it may have been because they didn't have phones with them.
He said it's not unusual for people to float the river on tubes or rafts in the area but most get out and walk around the dam, which is marked by signs. The dam is approximately 8 feet (2.5 meters) tall, he said.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — One person was killed and 12 others injured in reported drive-by shootings over a 90-minute span Thursday in three cities west of Phoenix, authorities said.
A suspect was in custody and authorities said a weapon was found in his vehicle. But it remained unclear if the man was responsible for all of the shootings.
The suspect’s name wasn’t immediately released. Authorities believe he acted alone, although a motive wasn’t immediately known.
Police departments in Peoria, Surprise and Glendale were investigating shootings in their cities, along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the FBI.
Authorities were combing through at least eight separate shooting scenes, Peoria police spokesman Brandon Sheffert said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Four people suffered gunshot wounds, and one of those victims died, he said. That person was found dead in a vehicle along a Peoria freeway.
The other victims had a range of injuries such as shrapnel from broken glass or injuries related to a car crash, Sheffert said.
Officials at Banner Health said they received nine patients at three of their hospitals. But the extent of the victims’ injuries and their conditions were not immediately released.
Peoria police got the initial call about a shooting shortly after 11 a.m., and eight more incidents were reported in the following 90 minutes, Sheffert said.
Witnesses provided authorities with a description of the getaway vehicle, and the suspect was detained after a traffic stop in Surprise.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges, but the man left the courthouse defiantly pledging to “do it again” if faced with the same circumstances.
Patricia McCloskey pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree assault and was fined $750. They also agreed to give up the weapons they used during the confrontation.
When several hundred demonstrators marched past their home in June of 2020, the couple waved weapons at them. They claimed the protesters were trespassing and that they feared for their safety.
The McCloskeys, both of them lawyers in their 60s, wore blue blazers and spoke calmly in answering questions from Judge David Mason during Thursday’s hearing. Mason asked Mark McCloskey if he acknowledged that his actions put people at risk of personal injury. He replied, “I sure did your honor.”
Mark McCloskey, who announced in May that he was running for a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri, was unapologetic after the hearing.
“I’d do it again," he said from the courthouse steps in downtown St. Louis. "Any time the mob approaches me, I’ll do what I can to put them in imminent threat of physical injury because that’s what kept them from destroying my house and my family.”
The McCloskeys' defense lawyer, Joel Schwartz, said after the hearing the couple had hoped to raise money by donating Mark’s rifle to charity, but acknowledged that it was an unusual request.
Because the charges are misdemeanors, the McCloskeys do not face the possibility of losing their law licenses and can continue to own firearms.
On the courthouse steps after the hearing, special prosecutor Richard Callahan said the misdemeanor plea was reasonable noting the McCloskeys called the police, no shots were fired and no one was hurt.
“But I think that their conduct was a little unreasonable in the end,” he said. "I don’t think people should view this case as some type of betrayal or assault on the Second Amendment. We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”
The June 28, 2020, protests came weeks after George Floyd's death under a Minneapolis police officer's knee. Mark McCloskey emerged with an AR-15-style rifle, and Patricia McCloskey waved a semiautomatic pistol, according to the indictment. Cellphone video captured the confrontation. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.
The McCloskeys were indicted by a grand jury in October on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering. Callahan later amended the charges to give jurors the alternative of convictions of misdemeanor harassment instead of the weapons charge. Under that alternative, the evidence tampering count would be dropped.
An investigation by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office led to the initial indictments — and harsh backlash from several Republican leaders. Then-President Donald Trump spoke out in defense of the couple, whose newfound celebrity earned them an appearance via video at the Republican National Convention.
Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has said that if the McCloskeys are convicted, he’d pardon them. A spokeswoman for Parson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment after the hearing.
Callahan, a longtime judge and former U.S. attorney, was appointed special prosecutor after a judge in December ruled that Gardner created an appearance of impropriety by mentioning the McCloskey case in fundraising emails before the August Democratic primary. Gardner went on to win reelection.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man charged with killing a 6-year-old boy in a road rage incident last month told police he pulled out a gun and fired at a car on the freeway after he got angry with a driver who made a rude gesture, prosecutors said.
Orange County prosecutors wrote in a court document filed Wednesday that murder suspect Marcus Eriz, 24, told police on June 6 that he grabbed the loaded gun, rolled down the window and shot at the car driven by a woman who gestured toward him on a freeway while he was on his way to work on May 21.
The shot killed 6-year-old Aiden Leos while he sat in a booster seat in the back of his mother's car on his way to kindergarten, prosecutors have said.
Days later, a co-worker told Eriz that authorities were looking for a car similar to the one he used with his girlfriend, Wynne Lee, 23, who since has been charged with being an accessory after the fact, the court filing said.
Eriz then hid the car in a relative's garage and instead started using a red truck, shaved his beard and began pulling back his hair, prosecutors said in the document, while calling Eriz an “extreme danger” and asking the court to deny him bail.
Eriz and Lee are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in the case that has drawn outrage in the county of 3 million people, where many people, like Leos, rely on freeways to get to work and school.
The pair were arrested outside of their Costa Mesa apartment on June 6. Eriz was charged with murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle and with enhancements and has been held on $2 million bail. Lee faces the accessory charge and a charge of illegally carrying a concealed firearm and is being held on $500,000 bail.
Eriz's attorney, Randall Bethune, and Lee's attorney, Tom Nocella, declined to comment before the arraignment.
In the court document, prosecutors said Leos' mother was driving on the freeway May 21 when she was cut off by a car driven by Lee and Eriz, to which she responded by holding up her finger rudely. She then heard a loud bang and her son say “ow” and she pulled over and saw he was bleeding from his chest, the document said.
Days later, prosecutors said Eriz brandished a gun at another driver on the freeway.
“This brazen act of threatening other commuters with a loaded firearm shows this Court that the Defendant cannot control his emotions and the smallest event can set him into a deathly rage,” prosecutor Whitney Bokosky wrote in the filing.
Prosecutors said Lee is also a flight risk and suggested that her bail remain at $500,000.
In the weeks after Leos’ death, authorities offered a reward for tips leading to an arrest and said they received hundreds from the community.
They said the couple’s car, a white Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, was relatively rare and that helped investigators track it down through surveillance footage.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A St. Paul man accused of killing a woman in Minneapolis by driving into protesters while he was drunk will be examined to determine if he is competent for trial.
Nicholas Kraus, 35, made his initial court appearance Thursday on a charge of intentional murder. The hearing was held over Zoom and Kraus appeared on video from the Hennepin County jail wearing a surgical mask and a green, sleeveless vest that appeared to be padded. Kraus did not enter a plea.
Prosecutors say Kraus was visibly intoxicated Sunday night when he sped up and tried to “jump” a car that protesters were using as a barricade in the Uptown neighborhood. Thirty-one-year-old Deona Knajdek, also known as Deona Erickson, was killed.
Results from a blood test after the crash are pending.
There’s nothing in the criminal complaint to suggest Kraus’ actions were motivated by political views or anger at protesters. In addition to second-degree intentional murder, he's also charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, for injuring two other protesters.
Kraus has five convictions for driving while impaired dating back to 2007 and had no license at the time of the latest crash.
Hennepin County Judge Kerry Meyer said a doctor from the courts would talk to Kraus and if he is found competent, his next hearing will be in August.
According to the criminal complaint, Kraus told officers he believed he needed to jump over a car that protesters were using as a barricade, and though he saw people in the area, he accelerated and did not try to brake. It also says he admitted that he thought he might have hit someone.
Protests have been ongoing in Uptown since members of a U.S. Marshals Service task force fatally shot Winston Boogie Smith Jr., a 32-year-old Black father of three, on June 3. Authorities said they were trying to arrest Smith on a warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm when he displayed a handgun from inside a parked SUV. Authorities also say evidence shows Smith fired his gun from inside the SUV, but a female passenger has said she never saw him with a gun.
Minneapolis has been on edge since the death of George Floyd, who died last year after an officer used his knee to pin Floyd’s neck to the ground, and the fatal police shooting of another Black man, Daunte Wright, in a nearby suburb.
CHICAGO (AP) — A mass shooting that left four people dead and four others wounded at a house on Chicago's South Side was believed to have been carried out by two people who shot all but one of the victims in the head, according to a police report.
No arrests have been made in the Tuesday morning shooting, police said Thursday. The killings were among recent massing shootings in Chicago and elsewhere in the country that have prompted fears about a spike in U.S. gun violence heading into the summer.
Police received a call about shots fired from people on the second floor of the house at about 5:45 a.m., and when they arrived they found four people dead in various rooms, according to a report based on preliminary information.
All had been shot in the head, as had three of the victims who survived, and the other surviving victim was shot in the back. According to the report, several .45-caliber and 9 mm shells were found throughout the house.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office on Thursday released the names of two of the dead: Denise Mathis, 32, of suburban Burnham, and Blake Lee, 36, of Chicago. The office earlier identified the other two killed as Shermetria Williams, 19, and Ratanya Aryiel Rogers, 28.
Police spokesman Steve Rusanov told the Chicago Sun-Times that the suspects had broken into the home. Earlier in the week, police Superintendent David Brown said that there were no signs of forced entry and that police believed the shooting stemmed from an argument.
A police spokesman did not immediately respond to a call from The Associated Press about whether detectives still believe the shooting occurred after an argument.
A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks mass killings — defined as four or more dead, not including the perpetrator — showed that Tuesday’s shooting in Chicago was the 18th mass killing, of which 17 were shootings, this year in the U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Newly filed court documents detail gun evidence recovered from the scene of a fatal shooting of a driver during an arrest attempt by members of a federal task force in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has said evidence indicates Winston Boogie Smith Jr., who was Black, fired his gun before he was killed June 3 in a parking ramp in the city's Uptown neighborhood by members of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force. Authorities have said Smith was wanted on a warrant for being a felon in possession of a gun.
Search warrant affidavits filed this week in Hennepin County District Court show that 14 cartridge casings from police firearms were found outside of the car in which Smith was sitting and six cartridge casings from another gun were found inside, the Star Tribune reported.
According to one affidavit, a Smith and Wesson M&P 380 pistol was also recovered from the driver’s side of the car and the six casings found inside the car matched the pistol. Following the shooting, the BCA said a handgun and spent cartridge cases were found inside the driver’s area.
Attorneys for an unidentified woman who was in the car with Smith said last week that she never saw him with a weapon.
Smith's death happened in a city that has been on edge since the death of George Floyd just over a year ago and the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by an officer in nearby Brooklyn Center in April.
Smith’s shooting sparked days of protests in the neighborhood as his family members and community members have demanded transparency. Authorities have said there is no body camera or police vehicle camera footage of the shooting.