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Sunday
Nov112018

Thousand Oaks suspect died from self-inflicted wound: Officials

ABC News(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) -- The veteran suspected of opening fire at a Thousand Oaks, California, bar, killing 12, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, an official from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office told ABC News.

Ian David Long, 28, an ex-Marine, fatally shot 11 people at the Borderline Bar and Grill, as well as a police officer who responded just before midnight Wednesday.

Preliminary information indicates that Long walked into the bar, immediately shot a group of security guards and employees standing near the entrance to the bar and then paused to text or post to social media, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

"It's too bad I won't get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it," he wrote at 11:24 p.m., according to documents obtained by ABC News. "Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just thought... life is boring so why not?"

Three minutes later, he posted, "Yeah... I'm insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is 'hopes and prayers' ... or 'keep you in my thoughts' ... every time... and wonder why these keep happening."

Long's social media were taken down at the request of law enforcement.

Long, a former U.S. Marine, showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, authorities said, but there's little information available yet on what prompted the attack late Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill. Long was found dead inside the bar.

"He was somewhat irate. Acting a little irrationally," Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said at a press conference. "They felt he might be suffering from PTSD, the fact he was a veteran."

Long, 28, lived near the bar with his mother, neighbors told police, describing the suspect as a troubled man who battled fits of rage.

"I think I do recall some times when he was struggling with some issues internally," said Todd Stratton, a friend of Long's. "I didn't know [about] PTSD, but his girlfriend would kind of ask him about things going on with him, because he'd get really upset sometimes and kind of shut down and he wouldn't want to talk about it to people. He'd just kind of close himself up, and I think he had a really hard time reaching out for help because of his personality."

FBI officials have swarmed the house, desperate to find the motive behind his alleged shooting rampage.

One neighbor told ABC News she called the police on Long once after he allegedly got into a fight with his mother. Another neighbor said Long rarely left home and that his mother told her that he was getting violent.

Dean said Long had several previous run-ins with police, including an incident in April where deputies were called to his home in Newbury Park because he was reportedly behaving erratically.

"They went to the house, they talked to him. He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally," Dean said. "They called out our crisis intervention team, our mental health specialist, who met with him, talked to him and cleared him."

"It's difficult, because I've been doing this for 41 years, and you don't leave things unfinished," Dean, who'd been considering retirement, told ABC News' David Muir.

Dean was a close friend of one of the shooting victims, Sgt. Ron Helus, who died in the line of duty.

"I think we try to look at the core and try to understand what happened and see if there's a way that we can stop it. We all try to make sense of the senseless."

Authorities said hundreds were inside when the suspect walked in to the country-western bar with a gun and opened fire. The weapon was equipped with a an extended-ammunition magazine, allowing it to hold more than the normal 10 bullets, so it's unclear how many total rounds he may have had, police said.

Zach Frye and Tyler Odenkirk told ABC News that two of their friends who worked as security guards at Borderline were among the dead. A Borderline bouncer said they were surely among the heroes.

"I know they did everything they could in their final moments," the unnamed bouncer said. "We were told one of them went out a hero. He went out fighting the shooter."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Nov112018

Fatal infernos: 23 dead as Northern California's Camp Fire blaze grows, officials say

iStock/Thinkstock(PARADISE, Calif.) -- At least 23 people have been killed this week as flames from a raging wildfire engulfed their vehicles, homes and neighborhoods in Northern California, authorities said.

Fourteen additional bodies were discovered on Saturday, in addition to the nine bodies recovered on Friday, according to California fire officials.

Four of those victims were found dead in or near torched vehicles in the bucolic town of Paradise, which has been almost entirely decimated by the Camp Fire. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the circumstances of the deaths and to identify the individuals, but investigators believe their cars were "overcome" by the flames, according to a statement from the Butte County Sheriff's Office on Friday night.

Three more bodies were discovered outside of residences and a fourth inside a home where the wildfire was burning, the sheriff's office said.

On Saturday, officials said that four more bodies were discovered in the Concow area -- two in cars and two inside homes -- and 10 more bodies from the Paradise area.

There were more 100 people missing in the region, though officials were working to track them down. At least 70 people reported missing were located on Saturday and are now safe, officials said.

Authorities have received reports of additional fatalities due to the blaze, which investigators are working to confirm. Rescuers had responded to at least 588 calls for people needing assistance as of Friday night, according to the sheriff's office.

"The task is difficult due to the fact that the fire is still active and there are many hazards in areas where fatalities have been reported," the sheriff's office said in the statement.

The Camp Fire ignited Thursday morning in Pulga, a tiny community in Butte County nestled in the Plumas National Forest, and strong winds fanned the flames overnight, sending thousands of residents fleeing for their lives.

The blaze raced southwest that night through the small community of Concow and then Paradise, which was largely destroyed, according to Scott McClean, public information officer of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The flames enveloped Feather River Hospital in Paradise, forcing staff to evacuate patients from the 101-bed acute care facility, McClean told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

The fire was also burning to the northwest into Magalia and toward Stirling City.

By Saturday evening, the Camp Fire was burning an area of about 105,000 acres in Butte County and was 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. At least three of the 4,050 firefighters in the field have been treated for injuries.

Officials estimate that more than 6,700 structures in the effected area have already been destroyed, which would make the Camp Fire the most destructive blaze in California's modern history.

Some 52,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Pulga, Concow, Magalia, Stirling City and the entire town of Paradise were among the areas that were under mandatory evacuation orders, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

No evacuation orders have been lifted.

The governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, on Thursday issued an emergency proclamation for Butte County due to the Camp Fire.

The fire threat isn't expected to alleviate anytime soon, as gusty weather ramps back up over the weekend. Red flag warnings and fire weather watches have been issued for parts of Northern California, including the areas surrounding Sacramento and San Jose.

Beginning Saturday night and continuing into Monday, wind gusts could reach 50 mph across the eastern foothills and western slopes of the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range, as well as part of the Sacramento Valley.

Despite varying wind speeds, the region will remain bone-dry over the coming days. Critical fire conditions Sunday are expected from San Jose to Redding, including Sacramento.

Late on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for California, freeing up federal resources to supplement local response efforts to combat three major wildfires blazing across the state. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, provide support for emergency measures and free up federal resources.

But on Saturday morning, Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California wildfires if the state didn't "remedy" the situation.

Meanwhile, two fast-moving wildfires -- the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire -- tore through Southern California.

One of the blazes jumped the 101 Freeway on Friday morning and continued burning toward Malibu, prompting officials to order the entire city to evacuate. The other fire could spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean, authorities said.

Two people were also found dead in Malibu from the Woolsey Fire, Cal Fire said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov102018

Mayor with terminally ill dog captures hearts on cross-country road trip: 'I tried to give you the best life I could'

Courtesy Paul Heroux(NEW YORK) -- Mayor Paul Heroux of Attleboro, Massachusetts held his dog Mura for the first time when she was just 8 weeks old.

“We looked at each other when she was in a crate. I was like, this is my little girl,” Heroux told ABC News about the moment he decided to give her a home.

It’s a moment that Heroux described with heavy emotion knowing on his first day with Mura that one day it would be his last. In September Mura was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma: an aggressive terminal blood cancer.

Mura’s illness came swiftly. On a Friday morning, Heroux and Mura visited a local senior home, a monthly ritual for the pair. But this time, after arriving back at the mayor’s office, Mura walked over to Heroux with her back hunched over, visibly in pain. Heroux would later find out that Mura’s spleen had ruptured and she was bleeding internally.

Mura needed emergency surgery and veterinarians said there was 50 percent chance she wouldn’t make it through the night. She survived.

Then, merely a week later, she received the tragic diagnosis.

“It was heartbreaking. I picked her up and said, you’re going to die little girl and you don’t even know it,” Heroux said.

Mura isn’t an average dog. She has lived a mayoral life, spending her days collecting signatures when Heroux ran for state representative, knocking on doors during his campaign for mayor, reading to school children and being the star in hometown parades.

She is a member of the community, Heroux said, so when he received her cancer diagnosis, he posted about it on his public Facebook page.

There was an outpouring of love with community members sharing their personal stories and sending words of hope, Heroux said. But it was the cross-country road trip that he took with his best friend that would inspire the country.

“She is the most precious thing in the world. She is my family. She’s a little person trapped in an animal body. We have a bond. We’re partners,” Heroux said.

Mura only has months to live, yet they could be among the most adventurous months any dog-and-human duo could ask for. It began as a trip to Vancouver Island, Canada, to meet the Mura’s breeder, but it turned into an epic journey.

Each day, Heroux published a series of pictures and Facebook posts. The two-week ride started on Oct. 28 with the first stop at Niagara Falls, New York. From there they went to Michigan, Chicago, Wisconsin and all the way to California.

 topping to take a photo to commemorate each moment. Mura posed in front of landmark locations such as Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, capturing the attention of friends and making new ones along the way.

“It wasn’t goodbye,” Heroux said. “We went for a ride. A 8,500-mile ride.”

When asked if there was one last thing he’d tell her, Heroux said, “Mura, I tried to give you the best life I could.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov102018

North Carolina offers $5,000 additional reward in search for kidnapped 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar

Lumberton Police Department(NEW YORK) -- The state of North Carolina is offering up to a $5,000 reward in the desperate search for kidnapped 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the additional reward Thursday afternoon, asking for information that leads investigators to Hania's location.

The FBI is offering a reward up to $20,000.

Hania was kidnapped just before 7 a.m. local time Monday outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, North Carolina, according to police.

Hania had grabbed her aunt's car keys that morning so she could turn on the vehicle before school. That's when a witness saw a man clad in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face approach the girl and force her into the green, 2003 Ford Expedition, police said.

The suspect then drove away in the family's SUV with Hania inside, police said. The stolen vehicle was located several miles away on Quincey Drive three days later, but Hania was nowhere to be found.

So far, there is no indication Hania was targeted, according to police.

"It breaks my heart to stand here before you five days after Hania has been missing and kidnapped and not have her back yet," Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill told reporters at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Investigators are trying to track down a man who is seen in surveillance footage walking in the neighborhood Monday morning, around the time Hania was abducted. The three videos, which the FBI released earlier this week, show the unidentified man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie.

The man is not considered a suspect or person of interest at this time. Rather, he's someone authorities "want to speak with" who may be able to help investigators narrow down a timeline of Hania's kidnapping, according to FBI Supervisor Andy de la Rocha.

Authorities are seeking additional surveillance footage from anyone who lives or owns a business on or around Quincey Drive.

Investigators are also going "door-to-door" to speak to people in the neighborhood, according to the Lumberton police chief.

"We urgently need the public's help," McNeill told reporters at a press conference Thursday. "We need them more now than ever to find Hania and bring her back."

Hania's mother, Elsa Hernandez, said she is distraught over her daughter's kidnapping but has faith she will be found safe.

"I don't have words to describe how I feel," Hernandez said, speaking in Spanish in an interview with ABC Durham, North Carolina, station WTVD. "She's a good, sweet girl."

Hania is described as a Hispanic girl who is 5 feet tall and weighs about 125 pounds, according to the FBI. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans.

Authorities have set up a special tip line that anyone can call if they have information to help investigators find Hania: (910) 272-5871.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov102018

Entire city of Malibu evacuated as fires race through Southern California, jump 101 Freeway

Ventura County Fire Department(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) -- Two fast-moving wildfires that exploded in the hills of Southern California have forced thousands of evacuations, including the entire city of Malibu and a sprawling naval base.

The largest of the two blazes, the Woolsey Fire, grew to more than 70,000 acres on Saturday after spreading south from Simi Valley in Ventura County to Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County, where the flames jumped the 101 Freeway and continued burning toward the Malibu area. That stretch of the freeway was shut down in both directions on Friday.

The massive blaze was still zero percent contained Saturday morning, though hundreds of firefighters were working around the clock to quell the flames, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

Two people have been found dead in an area of Los Angeles County where the Woolsey Fire is burning. Autopsies will determine whether the circumstances of the deaths were fire-related, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Late on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for California, freeing up federal resources to supplement local response efforts to combat three major wildfires blazing across the state. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, provide support for emergency measures and free up federal resources.

But on Saturday morning, Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California wildfires if the state didn't "remedy" the situation.

About 250,000 residents in Ventura and Los Angeles counties have evacuated or are in the process of evacuating, including a mandatory evacuation for all of Malibu, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. No evacuation orders have been lifted.

Pepperdine University in Malibu ordered its students and faculty to shelter in place Friday night, while the rest of the city was evacuating. The school lifted the shelter-in-place order Saturday morning but closed its offices and cancelled all classes and events on its Malibu and Calabasas campuses through Tuesday.

Andrew Benton, the president of Pepperdine University, later explained that the school, in cooperation with the fire department, has planned to shelter in place during these situations since 1993, after dangerous brush fires threatened its Malibu campus in 1985.

The Woolsey Fire has damaged or destroyed a number of structures, including celebrity homes and a legendary Hollywood film set.

Caitlyn Jenner posted an Instagram video on Friday, saying she had evacuated to a safe house but wasn't sure what had become of her residence in the Malibu hills.

Lady Gaga, Mark Hammill, Kim Kardashian West and her sister Kourntey Kardashian also reported via social media they they have fled their homes due to the wildfires.

Meanwhile, the Woolsey Fire burned down a portion of Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills known as "Western Town," where hundreds of movies and television shows, including HBO's "Westworld," have been filmed, dating back to the 1920s.

Authorities have described the blaze as a very dangerous, wind-driven inferno.

Conditions were only expected to worsen over the weekend, with extremely critical fire danger warnings issues for the hills around Los Angeles. Wind gusts could reach 60 mph and relative humidity could be as low as 3 percent in Southern California, creating an environment for the flames to rapidly spread.

The Woolsey Fire ignited Thursday afternoon in Simi Valley, northeast of Thousand Oaks, not far from where a mass shooting claimed at least 12 lives late Wednesday night.

A smaller blaze, the Hill Fire, ignited around the same time Thursday in the Santa Rosa Valley area of Ventura County, northwest of Thousand Oaks. The fire was burning an area of about 4,500 acres on Saturday morning, as firefighters increased the containment level to 25 percent.

Several areas were under mandatory evacuation orders, including the Naval Base Ventura County's facility in Point Mugu, located near Oxnard, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. Authorities had warned the flames could potentially spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, on Friday issued an emergency proclamation for Ventura and Los Angeles counties due to the Woolsey and Hill fires.

Meanwhile, a wildfire has laid waste to entire neighborhoods in Northern California.

Several people were found dead Thursday in the torched town of Paradise, which has been almost entirely decimated by the Hill Fire, authorities said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov102018

'Paradise' lost: 9 dead after Northern California wildfire engulfs entire town, officials say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least nine people were killed when flames from a raging wildfire engulfed their vehicles, homes and neighborhoods in Northern California, authorities said.

Four of those victims were found dead in or near torched vehicles in the bucolic town of Paradise, which has been almost entirely decimated by the Camp Fire. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the circumstances of the deaths and to identify the individuals, but investigators believe their cars were "overcome" by the flames, according to a statement from the Butte County Sheriff's Office on Friday night.

Three more bodies were discovered outside of residences and a fourth inside a home where the wildfire was burning, the sheriff's office said.

Authorities have received reports of additional fatalities due to the blaze, which investigators are working to confirm. Rescuers had responded to at least 588 calls for people needing assistance as of Friday night, according to the sheriff's office.

"The task is difficult due to the fact that the fire is still active and there are many hazards in areas where fatalities have been reported," the sheriff's office said in the statement.

The Camp Fire ignited Thursday morning in Pulga, a tiny community in Butte County nestled in the Plumas National Forest, and strong winds fanned the flames overnight, sending thousands of residents fleeing for their lives.

The blaze raced southwest that night through the small community of Concow and then Paradise, which was largely destroyed, according to Scott McClean, public information officer of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The flames enveloped Feather River Hospital in Paradise, forcing staff to evacuate patients from the 101-bed acute care facility, McClean told reporters at a press conference Thursday.

The fire was also burning to the northwest into Magalia and toward Stirling City.

By Saturday morning, the Camp Fire was burning an area of about 100,000 acres in Butte County and was 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. At least three of the 3,223 firefighters in the field have been treated for injuries.

Officials estimate that more than 6,700 structures in the affected area have already been destroyed, which would make the Camp Fire the most destructive blaze in California's modern history.

Some 52,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Pulga, Concow, Magalia, Stirling City and the entire town of Paradise were among the areas that were under mandatory evacuation orders, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

No evacuation orders have been lifted.

The governor-elect of California, Gavin Newsom, on Thursday issued an emergency proclamation for Butte County due to the Camp Fire.

The fire threat isn't expected to alleviate anytime soon, as gusty weather ramps back up over the weekend. Red flag warnings and fire weather watches have been issued for parts of Northern California, including the areas surrounding Sacramento and San Jose.

Beginning Saturday night and continuing into Monday, wind gusts could reach 50 mph across the eastern foothills and western slopes of the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range, as well as part of the Sacramento Valley.

Despite varying wind speeds, the region will remain bone-dry over the coming days.

Late on Friday, President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for California, freeing up federal resources to supplement local response efforts to combat three major wildfires blazing across the state. The declaration allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts to help alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, provide support for emergency measures and free up federal resources.

But on Saturday morning, Trump threatened to pull federal funding for California wildfires if the state didn't "remedy" the situation.

Meanwhile, two fast-moving wildfires tore through Southern California.

One of the blazes jumped the 101 Freeway on Friday morning and continued burning toward Malibu, prompting officials to order the entire city to evacuate. The other fire could spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean, authorities said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Nov102018

Lake effect snow, cold blast moves in Midwest, Northeast over weekend

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- A storm brought heavy rain and some snow to parts of the Northeast on Friday.

Meanwhile, colder air is bringing some snow to parts of the interior Northeast with snowfall reports of 3 to 4 inches in some of the elevated areas north and west of Albany, New York.

As the storm departs Saturday morning, winds will strengthen behind it and move toward the Northeast. Winds could be particular gusty in parts of New York and New England, up to 50 mph in northern New York and Massachusetts, including Boston and Cape Cod.

The strong winds moving over the relatively warm Great Lakes are bringing lake effect snow to parts of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York on Saturday morning. Most accumulation should remain rather light. However, the heaviest snow bands are expected in northwest Pennsylvania and extreme southwest New York. Locally, 6 inches or more could fall in a region from Erie, Pennsylvania, to the southern suburbs of Buffalo, New York.

Ongoing lake effect snow squalls could cause drastic drops in visibility, with gusty winds of 30 to 40 mph.

Behind these storms is a blast of cold air. It will feel like winter across the central U.S., and into parts of the Northeast. Wind chills will be in the single digits for parts of the upper Midwest Saturday morning, including Chicago, with a wind chill of 9 degrees.

Some of this cold air expands into the Northeast on Sunday morning with wind chills in the 20s for the major I-95 cities, and in the teens for the interior Northeast.

And another cold blast looks to be in the forecast in the upcoming week.



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Friday
Nov092018

Police plead for help finding man seen near home of abducted 13-year-old

Lumberton Police(LUMBERTON, N.C.) -- Investigators in North Carolina have released new surveillance footage showing a man they'd like to speak to in connection with the search for kidnapped 13-year-old Hania Noleia Aguilar.

Surveillance video released Thursday shows a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie walking south on Lambath Road before making a left on Highway 41 toward the trailer park Monday morning, FBI Supervisor Andy de la Rocha told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Two more videos were released by authorities on Friday showing separate camera views.

The man was the only person seen walking in the neighborhood in that part of the day, De la Rocha said.

Several cars were seen in the video driving past the man, De la Rocha said, asking anyone who may have seen the man to call the tip line.

The man in the footage is not considered a suspect or person of interest at this time, De la Rocha said. Rather, he's someone they "want to speak with" who may be able to help investigators narrow down a timeline.

Hania was kidnapped just before 7 a.m. Monday outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, North Carolina, according to Lumberton Police.

Hania had grabbed her aunt's keys that morning so she could go turn on the car before school when a witness saw a man -- dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face -- approach the girl and force her into the car, police said.

The suspect then stole the car and drove away with Hania, police said.

As the search for Hania continues, the police department asks anyone who lives or owns a business on or around Quincey Road and has a video surveillance camera system to call the tip line at 910-272-5871.

Investigators are also going "door-to-door" to talk to anyone who lives nearby, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said in Thursday's press conference.

"We urgently need the public's help," McNeill said. "We need them more now than ever to find Hania and bring her back."

When Hania was abducted, her relative ran to a neighbor for help, and at 6:54 a.m., they dialed 911, the FBI said.

"We were going to school," the caller said frantically, when a “man came and took the girl and the truck.”

The caller spoke in Spanish and the dispatcher incorporated a translator into the conversation, the FBI said.

There is no indication Hania was targeted, officials said.

Hania is described as a Hispanic girl who is 5 feet tall and weighs about 126 pounds, the FBI said. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans.

The FBI is offering a reward up to $15,000.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov092018

Airline employee that stole Horizon Air passenger plane acted alone: FBI

George Rose/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- The FBI has concluded that an airline employee who stole an empty passenger plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in early August and performed dangerous maneuvers in the sky before slamming into a nearby island and was killed acted alone and intentionally crashed the aircraft.

The man was later identified as Richard Russell, a 28-year old Horizon Air ground service worker and a resident of Pierce County in Washington state.

The FBI will not be pursuing federal charges.

As part of the investigation, the FBI considered information from the National Transportation Safety Board’s review of the aircraft’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. Interviews with work colleagues, friends, and family and a review of text messages exchanged with Russell during the incident, did not identify any information that would suggest the theft of the aircraft was related to wider criminal activity or an act terrorism.

Information obtained from the flight data recorder indicates that Russell maintained control of the aircraft, and the final descent to the ground appears to have been intentional, "if the pilot had wanted to avoid impact with the ground he had time and energy to pull the column back, raise the nose, and initiate a climb" according to a statement from the FBI, "instead, the column remained in a position forward of neutral and moved further forward about six seconds prior to the end of the FDR data."

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the human remains found among aircraft materials from the crash site on Ketron Island as belonging to Russell, and lists the cause of death as multiple traumatic injuries due to airplane crash and the manner of death as suicide.

The Transportation Security Administration said they take their responsibility to enforce security-related regulations and requirements to protect the nation's transportation systems "very seriously" and as such, conducted a civil investigation pertaining to the Horizon Air incident at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in parallel to the FBI's criminal investigation.

The TSA investigation concluded that both Horizon Air and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are in compliance with all security requirements - but to further enhance security the TSA is working with industry partners and the Aviation Security Advisory Committee "to look at ways to collectively strengthen security in all aspects of the airport environment.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Nov092018

78-year-old man comes face-to-face with a bear, punches it in the face

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- We may not punch ballots on Election Day anymore, but for one 78-year-old man, he was punching something: a big black bear.

Sonny Pumphrey was cleaning up fall leaves in his driveway in White Oak, North Carolina, on Nov. 6 when he came face to face with a mother bear and her two cubs.

He said that the cubs ran away when he saw them, but that the mother stayed behind, leaving him with no choice but to confront her.

"I had nowhere to run. I could not go right and I couldn't go left," Pumphrey told ABC News. "I guess I just went with my natural instinct and just tried to protect myself."

Pumphrey said the bear immediately ran toward him to attack, and that his reaction was to punch her in the face.

"I had nothing in my hands, so... I just started slugging at the bear as hard as I could," he said.

Pumphrey said he was able to land a few hits, however, the bear eventually bit him and began shaking him like a "rag doll."

Pumphrey's wife, Betty Pumphrey, said that she heard the commotion from inside the house.

"I was scared to death that she was going to kill my husband," Betty Pumphrey said. "He was fighting for his life."

She said that she ran outside with her dog to try to scare the bear away.

"The door was open and... I saw the bear attacking him," Betty Pumphrey, 72, said. "I didn't hesitate, I just went through the door and screamed, and then with the little dog barking, we tried to, you know, get [the bear] away from him."

“I guess with all the commotion, it startled her and she turned and ran," she added.

With the bear gone, Betty Pumphrey called 911, and an ambulance took Sonny Pumphrey to the hospital, where he received rabies shots for his bitten and bruised hip.

“I'm sore all over; my body hurts,” he said.

Sonny Pumphrey said he was at home recovering on Friday.

He said that he was lucky to be alive after the ordeal and that from now, on he wouldn't be leaving home without his gun.

“I got lucky,” he said. “I am one lucky individual to be alive today.”

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