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Thursday
Feb222018

Police arrest suspect linked to murder of two-year-old in Chicago

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Authorities late Wednesday night arrested a person of interest linked to the murder of a 2-year-old boy found in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood earlier that day.

The suspect was apprehended in Kankakee County during a traffic stop by police and FBI agents and will be returned to Chicago for questioning, said Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

Police were called to an apartment building around 2 p.m. and found the toddler unresponsive when they went inside an upper residence.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering severe trauma from lacerations and stab wounds, police said.

A source told ABC affiliate WLS-TV the boy may have been found in a bag.

The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Mateo Garcia.

"It's very hard to see this kind of situation around this neighborhood. It's very hard," said Rafael Abrago, who lives nearby.

"To hear something like this, to come outside and see all the cars, and the family across the street, it's kinda sad," Quen Shoda Howard, another neighbor, added.

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Wednesday
Feb212018

Christian evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99

Ron Galella Ltd./WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world's most famous Christian evangelists, has died, a family spokesman said Wednesday. He was 99.

Graham died at his North Carolina home Wednesday morning, spokesman Mark DeMoss said.

At a press briefing Wednesday night, DeMoss said Graham -- whose body he said is currently at Morris Funeral Home in Asheville, North Carolina -- was not in the company of any family members when he died. DeMoss said Graham died in his sleep, and that an attendant nurse would have been the only person with him.

DeMoss said Graham's body is slated to move Thursday afternoon to the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville. A private family prayer service will be held Saturday morning. Beginning Monday, for at least two days, Graham's body will lie in repose at the Graham family home.

Then next Friday, a 90-minute funeral will be held at which his son Franklin Graham will speak, in addition to his other children. The hymns chosen for the funeral are some of Graham's favorite. In fact, he personally approved the details of the service years ago.

After the funeral, Graham's body will be buried at a cross-shaped brick walkway in the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library, next to his wife Ruth, who was buried in 2007. The interment will be private and family-only. Casket was made by inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary prison in Angola.

Invitations have been extended to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as living ex-presidents, DeMoss said.

Known as "America's pastor," Graham was a key figure in the revival of the U.S. evangelical Christian movement. The preacher began holding revival meetings in the 1940s and went on to become an adviser to several U.S. presidents.

He had been in poor health in recent years, and had turned his international ministry over to son Franklin Graham. Graham did not have cancer, despite reports claiming otherwise, his spokesman said.

Despite numerous hospitalizations in recent years, Graham's work remained in the public eye late into his life. In 2011, around his 93rd birthday, he released what The Associated Press said was his 30th book, "Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well," on the subject of aging. Also in 2011, audio files documenting six decades of his ministry were put online in a searchable database.

Graham brought evangelical Christianity into the mainstream. As a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents, he had great access to the White House.

"Each one I've known long before they ever became president, been in their homes many times; always called them by their first names, until they became president," Graham said of several former presidents.

He was especially close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.

Bill Clinton turned to him after his much publicized sex scandal, and George W. Bush credited Graham with helping him to quit drinking alcohol.

When asked how his life would be different if it were not for Billy Graham, George W. Bush said simply, "I wouldn't be president."

Donald and Melania Trump met Graham at the preacher's 95th birthday party in 2013, but they never met after Trump took office as president.

The evangelist brought his "Billy Graham Crusades" around the world, preaching to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories. His largest such gathering drew 1 million people in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1970s.

As Graham prepared at age 86 for what he called his final U.S. crusade, a three-day event in New York City the weekend of June 25, 2005, he pondered his own mortality.

"Do I fear death?" he asked at a news conference. "No. I look forward to death with great anticipation. I'm looking forward to seeing God face to face, and that could happen any day."

Graham was met with criticism in February 2002, when audiotapes released by the National Archives revealed a 1972 conversation with Nixon at the White House in which Graham said Jewish people had a "stranglehold" on the media.

He later apologized and said his work with Jewish people over the years belied that remark.

Billy Graham had been admitted numerous times in recent years to Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, for a pulmonary condition. Upon being admitted Nov. 30, 2011, he was seen "alert, smiling and waving at hospital staff," his family said in a statement at the time.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1989. He also suffered from prostate cancer and hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain, according to The Associated Press. In January 2004, he fell and fractured his left hip, and afterward used a walker to move about.

A born preacher

Graham was born Nov. 7, 1918, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and raised on a dairy farm in nearby Montreat. The eldest of four children in a strict Presbyterian family, he was known as "Billy Frank" in his teenage years.

His life began to change at age 16 when he heard the fiery sermon of a traveling evangelist named Mordecai Ham, who persuaded him to give his life to Christ during a spiritual revival. He attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, but left after one semester, saying the religious school was too strict.

He went on to Florida Bible Institute, now called Trinity College, near Tampa and was ordained a Southern Baptist minister in 1939.

At Wheaton College in Illinois, he majored in anthropology. In 1943, he married fellow Wheaton student Ruth McCue Bell, daughter of a missionary doctor. They remained married until her death in 2007.

From 1947 to 1952, Graham served as president of Northwestern College in Minneapolis. It was during this period that he began holding revival meetings with singer George Beverly Shea and song leader Cliff Barrows.

By 1949, his career was taking off as some 10,000 people were turning out to hear Graham's preaching on a regular basis. A New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957 ran nightly for 16 weeks.

Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950, running it for 50 years before retiring and handing it over to his son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, in November 2000.

Graham began preaching overseas in 1954 with a visit to Great Britain, where more than 2 million people attended his rallies. He held hundreds of rallies around the world, including South Africa, South Korea, Poland and Romania. In 1990, he toured China, something he would later call the "greatest crusade of my life."

Graham's autobiography, "Just As I Am," was published in 1997.

Family business

After Franklin Graham took over as CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, the elder Graham continued to serve as chairman of the board. Franklin Graham also ran his own ministry, the Samaritan's Purse international relief organization.

The other four Graham children also got into the family business, either through their own ministries or evangelical speaking.

Graham is survived by three daughters, two sons, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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Wednesday
Feb212018

Florida student mistaken for gunman: 'I knew any move I made would be the end of my life'

ABCNews.com(TALLAHASSE, Fla.) -- As gunshots and screams echoed through his school, Lorenzo Prado said he locked himself in the sound booth at the auditorium at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and prepared to die.

But moments after the gunfire subsided and he thought he was safe, he said he was confronted by six officers pointing guns in his face.

"On the day of the Douglas massacre, I was a victim like everyone else," Prado, 17, said during an emotional news conference Wednesday in Tallahasse, the Florida state capital. "But my case was different than all the others because on that day, I was a suspected school shooter."

The 19-year-old Cruz, a former student at the school, was later arrested off campus after he allegedly killed 14 of Prado's fellow students and three school staffers, including his swimming coach, Hixon.

"I was just hiding up there. I had no idea what was going on and then the door started to rattle," Prado said. "And, at first, the only thing that came to my mind was, 'I'm going to die, the shooter is going to kill me.'"

He said that when the door burst open, he saw the officers and initially thought he was rescued. But he quickly learned, "They thought it was me that killed 17 people."

"I go down the stairs and they tell me to put my hands up and I, being the fool that I am, tried putting my phone back in my pocket," he said. "They demanded again, and I, not trying to be one of those news stories of someone dying wrongfully because they refused to put their hands up, I just dropped my phone at that moment and kept going."

When he went out the door, he said, "I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me."

Prado said he was tossed to the ground, handcuffed and held at gunpoint "for the degrading and depreciating action of the disturbed individual Nikolas Cruz."

He said he was put in a corner with a police officer guarding him.

"I knew any move I made would be the end of my life," he said. "Throughout the entire event, I only felt two things: I felt fear, as I did not know my future. I did not know if I was going to be let go. I did not know where the terrorist was. ... The second thing was guilt.

"I felt guilty for closing the door behind me," he continued. "I felt guilty for startling the audience. I felt guilty for the SWAT members who had to pursue me instead of pursuing the murderer. I felt guilty for not contacting my mother. I felt guilty for Coach Hixon, whose life I thought I saved when he walked inside the auditorium but whose life was ended when he walked out again."

Prado joined his fellow survivors in Tallahassee Wednesday to meet with legislators to tell their stories of unimaginable horror in the hopes the politicians will take their words to heart and pass laws to make schools safe and ban assault weapons like the one Cruz allegedly used in the attack.

"If I have to drop everything else in my life just to make these changes happen, I will," Prado said. "To me, to let these victims' lives be taken and without any change in return is an act of treason to our great country."


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Wednesday
Feb212018

After deadly Parkland shooting, deputies will now carry AR-15 rifles on school grounds, sheriff says

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) --  Broward County sheriff's deputies will now carry AR-15 rifles while on school campuses following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week, Sheriff Scott Israel announced today.

The new policy was implemented Wednesday morning. In lieu of gun lockers, the only time deputies will not be "slinging a rifle" is when the firearm is locked in police vehicles, Israel said.

The rifles will not be fully automatic and will only be handled by deputies who are "trained and qualified" to operate them, Israel said.

The suspect in the shooting, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, allegedly used a variant of the AR-15 to carry out the deadly attack, which killed 17 people, authorities said.

When asked by a reporter what the motive in the shooting was, Israel responded, "Pure evil."

Israel suggested a "three-pronged approach" to better secure schools, which includes fortifying the buildings, evaluating how many school resource deputies are needed at each school and sensible gun control.

"There are some people in this country that shouldn't be allowed to have a gun," Israel said.

At least one armed school resource deputy was on campus at the time of the shooting, and his response and actions will be "looked at and scrutinized," Israel said.

"You're darn right he was prepared to do something about it," Israel said of the school resource deputy.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump held a listening session with students and parents affected by school shootings. In addition, lawmakers in Florida are facing political pressure following the Parkland shooting.

Israel thanked the numerous law enforcement agencies that assisted in the shooting response and commended the students who traveled to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., to speak out about gun control.

The sheriff vowed to remain transparent throughout the investigation and keep the public informed as important information comes to light.

Cruz was arrested in a residential neighborhood near his former high school more than an hour after the shooting began. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is being held in a Broward County jail.



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Wednesday
Feb212018

Survivors of Florida high school shooting seek 'middle ground' on gun control debate

Don Juan Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Florida high school students who survived last week's deadly shooting are demanding gun control say they aren't fighting to get rid of firearms completely, but lawmakers on both sides of the debate must find a "middle ground" to put an end to the violence.

Kyle Kashuv, Kai Koerber and Olivia Feller were among dozens of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland who traveled to Florida's capital city Wednesday to demand gun restrictions, one week after 17 of their classmates and teachers were gunned down. The three students, who appeared on "The View" via satellite from Tallahassee, said they understand the concerns of Americans who firmly support the Second Amendment, which protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms."

"I totally understand the concern and some aspects I really agree with it," Kashuv, 16, said on "The View" Wednesday. "We have to make sure we get the middle ground. ... Congress has to make sure that they enact laws that distinctly make sure that this can't spiral out of control."

"That's why this has become a bipartisan issue," he continued. "We really want to see reform, and the subject isn't taking away all guns; it's making sure atrocities such as these never happen again."

For instance, the students said the age to purchase an AR-15-style rifle, the weapon used in the Feb. 14 massacre, shouldn't be younger than the age requirement to purchase a handgun.

"There should be no distinguishing," said Koerber, 16. "It should be one age per all guns across the board."

The Florida state House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected a bill to ban purchases of many assault rifles, like the one 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly used to open fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last week. The bill would have also barred purchases of large-capacity magazines statewide.

The 71-36 vote in the Republican-controlled body shocked students who were sitting in the gallery of the Capitol building.

"Obviously it was a disappointment, but I don't think that this procedural issue should affect the resolve of our movement," Koerber said on "The View" Wednesday. "At the end of the day, our mission is to get people talking. We don't expect to achieve immediate results."

Kashuv, Koerber and Feller rallied alongside scores of their classmates as well as hundreds of students from other schools at the state Capitol in Tallahassee this afternoon, calling for legislative action in the wake of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Survivors of the Valentine's Day shooting also are planning a "March For Our Lives" in Washington, D.C., on March 24.

"We are definitely going to make sure that this movement continues and our voices continue to be heard and that no one is able to forget this event in order to prevent mass shootings from happening in the future," Feller, 16, said on "The View" today.

She added, "It’s not about a political debate between the two parties, it’s about saving lives."

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Wednesday
Feb212018

Missing Wichita boy's stepmom charged with child endangerment

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The stepmother of a 5-year-old boy who's been missing since Saturday has been arrested, officials announced Wednesday.

Wichita police said 26-year old Emily Glass was arrested for child endangerment as they continue to look for Lucas Hernandez.

Sedgwick County jail records indicate Glass was booked at 3:27 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on two counts of child endangerment. Police confirmed that Lucas and another child were involved, but did not identify the other child.

Lucas disappeared from his Wichita, Kansas, home around 3 p.m. on Saturday, police said. According to police, Glass told investigators she last saw him in his bedroom just before she took a shower and fell asleep.

Police were called to the home about three hours later and have been searching for Lucas ever since.

 Lucas' great-aunt Sally Rasmussen told ABC News that she reported possible child abuse to Kansas Child Protective Services in May after seeing a picture of Lucas where it appeared he had marks on his arms and cheeks.

Rasmussen did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on the arrest of Glass.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families, of which Child Protective Services is a part, said it couldn't share any information on its cases either but expressed worry for Lucas.

“We share the public’s concern regarding Lucas Hernandez," Theresa Freed, communications director for Kansas DCF, said in a statement to ABC News. "In the event the agency has information, we will share it with law enforcement, assisting them as requested.”

Lucas has not been located yet, but officers expressed hope he will be found alive in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.


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Wednesday
Feb212018

Slain homeless man's daughter says she can finally breathe now that a suspect is in custody

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police(LAS VEGAS) -- The daughter of a homeless man who was killed in Las Vegas said she can finally breathe now that a suspect is behind bars.

Oneida Lewis Baker's father, James Lewis, was shot and killed on Feb. 2 while he was sleeping under a bridge, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the coroner's office. The killing was caught on graphic surveillance video.

Three other shootings -- including one other fatal one -- were carried out on Jan. 29. Police said all four shootings were from the same gun.

Three of the four victims were homeless; authorities said it appeared the gunman was targeting homeless people.

After weeks of investigating, an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Joshua Castellon, 26, in connection with all four shootings, police said. Castellon had already been arrested Feb. 16 on a federal weapons charge, police said.

"This case would not have been solved if it weren't for a viewer who provided us with a key tip that helped us identify Castellon," Capt. Robert Plummer of the Las Vegas Police said Tuesday.

"I am so relieved," Baker told ABC News Wednesday. "Last night was the first night since I heard about this I actually got sleep."

Now that she knows a suspect is behind bars she said she can "actually breathe."

"Because for weeks on end I actually felt like I had asthma and couldn't breathe," Baker said.

 Before Lewis died, Baker had been searching for him. She said she wonders why her father was homeless "when he has kids and grandkids, a mom and dad still alive, brothers and nieces and nephews and cousins. Why? We absolutely love you and adore you."

"As much as I did to try to find him and I didn't come up with anything," she said, "he still should be" alive.

Baker said this past Saturday was especially difficult because she selected her father's funeral suit, ironed it and took it to the funeral home.

"I was just sitting there thinking I couldn't find my dad after all the efforts that I made," she said. "This is final, and doing something for him for the last time ... was very hard for me. The tears started coming and I knew I can't cry right now because I have to finish this for my dad so he can have a nice home going service."

Earlier this month, before a suspect was identified, Baker told ABC News she wanted to have her chance in court to ask her father's killer: "Why?"

The homeless are "sweet, loving. They're humans just like you and I," Baker said. "Their life is still precious. In fact, I think their life is more precious because they have to fight harder to survive on a day-to-day basis. The little things we take for granted, they don't."

Castellon is facing two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, police said. He will be booked into the Clark County Detention Center after the federal case is resolved, police said

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Wednesday
Feb212018

School shooting suspect could lose public defender after reports of $800K inheritance

Mike Stocker-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz may have been left a large inheritance by his late parents, meaning he could potentially afford to hire private counsel and may not be allowed to use a court-appointed defender.

Howard Finkelstein, the public defender of Broward County, Florida, filed a motion on Tuesday asking a judge to conduct an "indigency determination" on the 19-year-old suspect after reports surfaced that he could stand to inherit $800,000 from his parents.

"It could result in us being removed from the case," Finkelstein told ABC News in a telephone interview this morning. "The question here is, are there enough resources to pay for a lawyer?"

Finkelstein said his office was assigned by the court to defend Cruz after he filled out an application for criminal indigent status the day after he was arrested in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

Cruz's 68-year-old adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, died unexpectedly on Nov. 1 after contracting pneumonia, according to documents filed in the Broward County Probate Court and obtained by ABC News. His adoptive father, Roger Cruz, died in August 2004 at the age of 67, according to court records.

Each died without leaving a will.

But according to the court motion filed by Finkelstein's office, Lynda Cruz's attorney, William Bromley, petitioned the probate court on Dec. 14, 2016 -- before her death -- "to reopen and continue the administration of an estate wherein Nikolas Cruz may be a beneficiary."

The estate in question was that of Nikolas Cruz's father and Lynda Cruz was seeking to transfer the family's home into her name to sell it, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. "[Lynda Cruz] is actively pursuing loss mitigation in regards to the ... property, and has a contract in place to short sell the property," the petition states. Property records show she sold the home a month later for $575,000.

Following his mother's death last November, Nikolas Cruz and his younger brother, then 17, went to live with a family friend, identified in court records as Rocxanne Deschamps.

Nikolas Cruz briefly lived with Deschamps, but moved out around Thanksgiving and went to live with James and Kimberly Snead, the parents of a friend.

The Sneads claimed that Nikolas Cruz told them he stood to inherit in a few years at least $800,000 from his deceased parents' estates, the couple's attorney, Jim Lewis, told ABC News.

In documents filed in probate court the day after the mass shooting, Deschamps' attorney, Audra Simovitch, petitioned to have Deschamps appointed a personal representative of Lynda Cruz's estate, claiming an interest in the estate "as a family friend ... who is caring for a 50% minor beneficiary," meaning Cruz's younger brother.

Simovitch declined to comment on the probate motion, but confirmed to ABC News that she was retained by Deschamps prior to the high school shooting to assert Deschamps' interest in the estate on behalf of Lynda Cruz's younger son.

Bromley did not return calls from ABC News seeking comment.

The public defender, Finkelstein, told ABC News his office has never had a case in which it has had to go to probate court to explore the financial background of a client.

"We are never involved in probate matters," Finkelstein said. "In the public defender's office, nobody has ever come up to me and said, 'Hey Howard, our client may be worth $800,000.'"

Finkelstein has previously said he is willing to have Cruz plead guilty in the mass shooting if prosecutors agree not to pursue the death penalty in the multiple murder case. But Broward County state attorney Michael Satz issued a statement in response to the public defender's remarks, saying: "This is certainly the type of case the death penalty was designed for."

"It will be up to the court," Finkelstein said of whether his office will continue to represent Cruz, depending on the outcome of the probate court issue. "The court will determine if he has resources to afford an attorney."

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Wednesday
Feb212018

Sheriff: 'Disgruntled student' allegedly overheard threatening to shoot at school

iStock/Thinkstock(WHITTIER, Calif.) -- Two AR-15s and 90 high-capacity magazines were found at the home of a "disgruntled" teenager who was allegedly overheard threatening a school shooting, the Los Angeles County Sheriff said.

On Feb. 16, two days after the Florida high school massacre, the 17-year-old boy allegedly said "he was going to shoot up the school some time in the next three weeks," Sheriff Jim McDonnell said at a news conference Wednesday.

The alleged threat was overheard by a school security officer at El Camino High School, located in Whittier, California.

Authorities found two AR-15s, two handguns and 90 high-capacity magazines at the teen's home, but the boy's older brother, an Army veteran, claimed the guns belonged to him, according to McDonnell.

One AR-15 was registered to the older brother and the other was not registered, officials said.

The teenager was arrested for making criminal threats while the older brother was arrested on charges including possession of an assault weapon and failure to register a handgun, McDonnell said.

The school security officer who allegedly overheard the teen told reporters Wednesday, "I'm not a hero. I'm just doing my job."

The teen had an extensive disciplinary history at the school, McDonnell added.

McDonnell said that was the second serious threat at El Camino High School that week. On Feb. 15, a student who had been suspended told his mother he wanted a school administrator dead, the sheriff said. The mother reported her son, saying she did not know what he was capable of, the sheriff said.

On Feb. 14, 17 people were gunned down at a Florida high school, allegedly by a former student.

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Wednesday
Feb212018

Newly released video shows officers open fire as suspect in pickup truck charges at them

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) --   Sirens blaring, squad cars charged down a rural dirt road in Michigan, on the heels of a man on the run in a Chevy pickup truck who'd allegedly threatened gun violence.

Newly released footage captured the Nov. 28 incident, which ended with officers fatally shooting the suspect, 64-year old Robert Smith. The footage is compiled from dash- and bodycam videos first obtained by The Lansing State Journal and confirmed by ABC News.

When the suspect finally slows down, an Eaton County sheriff's deputy jumps out of his car and yells, “Shut the car off! Shut the car off!” the footage shows. The man shouts back, "Shoot my ass!" then is seen whipping his truck around and accelerating toward the deputy's vehicle, as well as another official car parked behind it.

The deputy opens fire as the truck hits his car, the footage shows.

“Shots fired! Shots fired! He hit my patrol car. He’s been struck,” the deputy yells as the suspect slams into the officer’s vehicle.

Altogether, 16 shots were fired, according to prosecutors, from the deputy and another detective on the scene. The detective was struck by his own vehicle in the melee and crawled to safety near the deputy.

An autopsy would later determine that the suspect was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head.

The incident began when officers from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office arrived at Smith’s home in Charlotte, Michigan, to serve an arrest warrant and search the residence, the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office said.

Two days earlier, Smith had been arrested by Michigan Department of Natural Resources officers for allegedly driving while intoxicated. During the arrest, officers recovered a gun and Smith told officers he would not be afraid to commit gun violence and that he had nothing to lose, according to the prosecutor's office.

While deputies were surveying Smith’s home prior to serving the warrant, they saw Smith leave the house in his pickup truck, the prosecutor's office said.

They tried to stop the vehicle during that pursuit down rural dirt roads, but Smith refused to pull over, according to the prosecutor's office, leading to the scene that unfolded on cameras rolling from the squad car’s dash and an officer’s lapel.

The autopsy also found that Smith had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit in the state of Michigan. The autopsy also found marijuana and prescription anti-depressants in Smith's body at the time of his death.

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon, who was appointed special prosecutor in the case, announced earlier this month that no criminal charges would be filed against either officer involved in the fatal shooting.

“All persons have the right to use force to protect themselves and others from violence,” Siemon said in a statement. “A review of the body camera footage clearly shows that these deputies were under direct assault and used reasonable force under those circumstances.”

An internal review of the incident is still underway by the Eaton County Sheriff's Office, according to The Lansing State Journal.

The Eaton County Sheriff's office, Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Natural Resources referred all queries to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

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