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U.S. firearm production, imports ramp up in recent decades: Report

U.S. firearm production, imports ramp up in recent decades: Report

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The production of firearms in the U.S. has ramped up exponentially in recent decades with domestic manufacturing more than doubling and imports more than quadrupling, according to a new study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The increases between the years 2000 and 2020 were fueled by the… ... Continue Reading
Suspect in Dave Chappelle attack charged with attempted murder in separate incident

Suspect in Dave Chappelle attack charged with attempted murder in separate incident

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The suspect who allegedly rushed and tackled comedian Dave Chappelle on stage last month has been charged with attempted murder in a separate incident after the victim identified the man from media coverage surrounding the Chappelle case, prosecutors said. Isaiah Lee, 23, faces one count of attempted murder, a felony, for… ... Continue Reading
Family of former suspect in disappearance of Brittanee Drexel 'devastated' by investigation

Family of former suspect in disappearance of Brittanee Drexel 'devastated' by investigation

Georgetown County Sheriff's Office(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- The family of the man who had previously been named a suspect in the 2009 disappearance of 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said the investigation had ruined their lives for years. Timothy Taylor was named by the FBI as a suspect in Drexel's disappearance in 2016,… ... Continue Reading
Oklahoma Legislature passes bill that would ban nearly all abortions

Oklahoma Legislature passes bill that would ban nearly all abortions

yorkfoto/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion at conception, making it the most restrictive abortion ban in the country if it goes into effect. There are exceptions in cases of saving the life of the mother, rape or incest. The bill, HB 4327, which would go into effect immediately… ... Continue Reading
911 dispatcher may be fired over hanging up on Buffalo shooting caller: Official

911 dispatcher may be fired over hanging up on Buffalo shooting caller: Official

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An Erie County, New York, 911 dispatcher could be fired after an employee at the Tops supermarket said the dispatcher hung up on her during Saturday's attack that killed 10 people. Latisha Rogers, an assistant store manager, told The Buffalo News that the dispatcher "was yelling at me" during those terrifying… ... Continue Reading
Brandon Woodruff, convicted of killing parents in 2009, fighting for his freedom

Brandon Woodruff, convicted of killing parents in 2009, fighting for his freedom

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Brandon Woodruff had appeared to live the normal life of a 19-year-old, small-town Texas kid - but that changed in 2005, when both of his parents were brutally murdered. After an investigation, Woodruff was charged with capital murder, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Now, Woodruff has served 13 years of… ... Continue Reading
Two national forests in New Mexico now closed to public due to extreme fire danger

Two national forests in New Mexico now closed to public due to extreme fire danger

FILE - David McNew/Getty Images(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- Two national forests in New Mexico are fully closed to the public due to extreme fire danger as several wildfires, including the largest in the state's history, also burn. The Carson National Forest and the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico are barring visitors, effective… ... Continue Reading
Buffalo mass shooting suspect called 'coward' while exiting court hearing

Buffalo mass shooting suspect called 'coward' while exiting court hearing

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- As loved ones of the victims looked on, an 18-year-old suspect accused of fatally shooting 10 people in what authorities described as a racially motivated rampage, appeared in court Thursday and was called a "coward" by someone at the hearing.

The suspect, Payton Gendron, entered the Buffalo, New York, City Court wearing an orange jumpsuit, a white face mask and chains on his legs and hands and surrounded by numerous court officers.

Prosecutors said a grand jury had indicted him on first-degree murder, but all the charges remain under seal.

Judge Craig D. Hannah adjourned Thursday's one-minute hearing. The hearing was scheduled to be a felony hearing, but because Gendron has been indicted, the judge scheduled his next hearing for June 9, when he is expected to be arraigned on charges in the grand jury indictment.

Gendron was represented at the hearing by three court-appointed attorneys.

Erie County Assistant District Attorney Gary Hackbush informed the judge that the grand jury indictment of Gendron was handed up on Wednesday.

Relatives and family members of victims killed in the shooting at a grocery store Saturday crowded into the courtroom to watch. Gendron entered and left under heavy guard.

A woman in sitting in the courtroom gallery was overheard yelling, "Payton, you're a coward" as he exited the courtroom.

"The defendant continues to remain held without bail. There will be no further comment from our office until there is a report following an investigation by the Grand Jury," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a statement. "As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."

No additional charges have been made public.

Gendron made no comments in court.

Gendron was initially charged with one count of murder following Saturday afternoon's massacre at a Tops Friendly Market in which police officials alleged he intentionally targeted Black people in the attack he planned for months. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be held without bail.

Three additional people, including two white victims, were wounded in the shooting, police said.

Gendron is expected to face additional murder and attempted murder counts and state hate crime charges. The FBI is also conducting a parallel investigation, which the Department of Justice said could lead to federal hate crime and terrorism charges.

During a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the mass shooting an act of "domestic terrorism."

All 10 of the people killed in the attack were Black, six women and four men. Three other people were wounded in the shooting, including one Black victim and two white victims.

Investigators said Gendron drove three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, and alleged he spent Friday conducting a final reconnaissance on the store before committing the mass shooting Saturday afternoon.

Authorities allege Gendron was wielding an AR-15-style rifle, dressed in military fatigues, body armor and wearing a tactical helmet with a camera attached when he stormed the store around 2:30 p.m., shooting four people outside the business and nine others inside. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the suspect fired a barrage of 50 shots during the rampage.

Police said Gendron allegedly livestreamed the attack on the gaming website Twitch before the company took down the live feed two minutes into the shooting.

Among those killed was 55-year-old Aaron Salter Jr., a retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard at the supermarket. Authorities said Salter fired at the gunman, but the bullets had no effect due to the bulletproof vest the suspect wore.

Buffalo police officers arrived at the store one minute after getting the first calls of an active shooter and confronted the suspect, who responded by placing the barrel of the rifle to his chin and threatening to kill himself, according to Gramaglia. He said the officers de-escalated the situation and talked Gendron into surrendering.

Meanwhile, Tops Friendly Markets announced Thursday that it plans to reopen the store where the massacre occurred.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced that the evidence collection phase of the investigation has been completed and the store is being turned back over to Tops.

Tops President John Persons, who attended the news conference, said the store will not reopen until the company can assess what repairs and renovations will be needed to "open it in a respectful manner for our associates, our employees and for the community at large."

Persons said the renovations will include some way to memorialize the victims of the shooting.

"We have been committed to the city of Buffalo since our founding 60 years ago and this event doesn't stop that commitment," Persons said. "We will be here. We will be in this store."

Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo field office, said that during the evidence collection phase, the FBI used state-of-the-art scene-scanning tools, spherical and drone photography, conducted a bullet trajectory analysis of the shooting and reconstructed the crime. He said the evidence will allow the FBI to produce sophisticated digital 3D and physical recreation of the incident.

"We are determined to hold the person responsible for this horrific attack accountable," Belongia said. "Our work to collect evidence is a critical part of that effort."

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Federal hate crime charges announced against man accused of plotting racist shooting in Georgia

Federal hate crime charges announced against man accused of plotting racist shooting in Georgia

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images(JONESBORO, Ga.) -- Hate crime charges have been announced against a man accused of planning to fatally shoot customers and employees of two Jonesboro, Georgia, convenience stores. Larry Edward Foxworth allegedly fired a gun repeatedly into two convenience stores at 2:30 a.m. on July 30, 2021. Both stores were open for business. The… ... Continue Reading
Alleged teen gunman in Buffalo mass shooting set to appear in court

Alleged teen gunman in Buffalo mass shooting set to appear in court

Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- The 18-year-old suspect accused of shooting 13 people, 10 fatally, in what authorities described as a racially-motivated rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a felony hearing.

The suspect, Payton Gendron, was initially charged with one count of murder following Saturday afternoon's massacre at a Tops Friendly Market in which police officials alleged he intentionally targeted Black people in the attack he planned for months. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be held without bail.

Gendron is expected to face additional murder and attempted murder counts and state hate crime charges as early as Thursday. The FBI is also conducting a parallel investigation, which the Department of Justice said could lead to federal hate crime charges.

During a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the mass shooting an act of "domestic terrorism."

All 10 of the people killed in the attack were Black, six women and four men. Three other people were wounded in the shooting, including one Black victim and two white victims.

Gendron is scheduled to appear in Buffalo City Court at 9:30 a.m. EST.

Investigators said Gendron drove three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, and alleged he spent Friday conducting a final reconnaissance on the store before committing the mass shooting Saturday afternoon.

Authorities allege Gendron was wielding an AR-15-style rifle, dressed in military fatigues, body armor and wearing a tactical helmet with a camera attached when he stormed the store around 2:30 p.m., shooting four people outside the business and nine others inside. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the suspect fired a barrage of 50 shots during the rampage.

Police said Gendron allegedly livestreamed the attack on the gaming website Twitch before the company took down the live feed two minutes into the shooting.

Among those killed was 55-year-old Aaron Salter Jr., a retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard at the supermarket. Authorities said Salter fired at the gunman, but the bullets had no effect due to the bulletproof vest the suspect wore.

Buffalo police officers arrived at the store one minute after getting the first calls of an active shooter and confronted the suspect, who responded by placing the barrel of the rifle to his chin and threatening to kill himself, according to Gramaglia. He said the officers de-escalated the situation and talked Gendron into surrendering.

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DOJ accuses casino mogul Steve Wynn of lobbying on behalf of China

DOJ accuses casino mogul Steve Wynn of lobbying on behalf of China

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department is suing Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn to compel him to register as a foreign agent for the People's Republic of China because of alleged lobbying he did on behalf of the Chinese government during the Trump administration. The civil lawsuit targeting Wynn outlines his alleged efforts in… ... Continue Reading
Buffalo supermarket at center of deadly shooting a community lifeline

Buffalo supermarket at center of deadly shooting a community lifeline

Libby March for The Washington Post via Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- On the east side of Buffalo, New York, community is the neighborhood's greatest asset and the local Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Ave. serves as a vital hub, according to area leaders. In this predominantly Black community, which has struggled to thrive after years… ... Continue Reading
Texas authorities share more details on inmate's escape from bus

Texas authorities share more details on inmate's escape from bus

kali9/Getty Images(LEON COUNTY, Texas) -- An inmate serving a life sentence for murder managed to free himself of restraints and cut through a caged area of a bus transporting him before overpowering a bus driver and escaping, Texas authorities said as the search for the inmate continued. Gonzalo Lopez, 46, was on a transport bus… ... Continue Reading
Did the fentanyl crisis thrive because the US ignored opioid abuse?

Did the fentanyl crisis thrive because the US ignored opioid abuse?

Icy Macload/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the fentanyl crisis continues to sweep across the United States, lawmakers are focused on trying to stop the flow of fentanyl into their communities, but many are saying that curbing the supply from dealers is only part of the larger problem. There’s demand. After five decades since the start… ... Continue Reading
Interstate highway shootings surged during pandemic, ABC News analysis shows

Interstate highway shootings surged during pandemic, ABC News analysis shows

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As the nation continues to grapple with mass shootings in New York and California this past weekend, a new analysis by ABC News and ABC's owned stations shows a startling rise in gun violence along interstate highways across the country over the last few years. The analysis, which examined nearly 3,000… ... Continue Reading
One dead, 1 rescued after sand collapses at Jersey Shore beach: Police

One dead, 1 rescued after sand collapses at Jersey Shore beach: Police

WPVI

(TOMS RIVER, N.J.) -- One person is dead and another has been rescued after two siblings became trapped under sand while digging at a Jersey Shore beach, authorities said.

Police and emergency medical services responded to a barrier island beach in Toms River, New Jersey, shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday "for reports of juveniles trapped in the sand as it collapsed around them while digging," the Toms River Police Department said on Facebook.

First responders were able to rescue a 17-year-old girl, who was treated at the scene, but her brother, 18, died, police said.

The victim was identified by police as Levi Caverly of Maine.

The teen was visiting the region with his family, police said.

His father, Todd Caverly, described his son as a "tech nut" who loved to program, played the drums in a young adult worship band and was involved in his church's worship team.

"Levi was himself. He was odd. He was quirky. He was not real concerned with what others thought," Todd Caverly said in a statement.

Police urged people not to respond to the area while the rescue was in progress.

Live footage from the scene Tuesday evening showed more than a dozen first responders near the shoreline. Emergency crews from several neighboring towns aided in the rescue effort.

A 911 caller told a dispatcher that the two siblings had dug about 6 feet down when the sand collapsed on top of them, according to audio of the call obtained by WABC-TV. Bystanders were working to help dig them out until first responders arrived. The girl's head was above the sand, but they couldn't see her brother, the 911 caller said.

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Mars lander losing power because of dust on solar panels

Mars lander losing power because of dust on solar panels

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- NASA's Mars lander, called Insight, is slowly losing power because its two solar panels are covered in dust and it will need to mostly shut down by the end of May.
NASA is being forced to end its Mars lander mission early because of dust.Officials announced Tuesday the InSight spacecraft is slowly losing power because its two solar panels are covered in dust.Morever, the dust levels in the atmosphere are only increasing and sunlight is decreasing as Mars enters winter, which is speeding up the loss of power.

Power levels will likely die out in July -- effectively ending operations -- and, by the end of the year, project leaders expect InSight will be "inoperative."

"People can obviously relate to, in their own homes, they have to dust because dust settles," Chuck Scott, InSight’s project manager, told ABC News. "It's the same sort of thing with these solar panels. We have dust in the Mars atmosphere that gets kicked up because of the local weather ... storms where you get the dust kicked up because you have lot of wind."

"Since Mars's atmosphere is thinner, it goes up into the upper atmosphere and it can get distributed more widely than it would on Earth and it'll deposit back down on whatever's below including our spacecraft and the solar panels," he added.

InSight is currently generating about one-tenth of the power it was when it landed on Mars in November 2018.

When the spacecraft first landed, the solar panels were producing 5,000 watt-hour for each Martian day, enough to power an electric oven for an hour and 40 minutes, NASA said. Currently, the panels are producing 500 watt-hour per Martian day, only enough to power an electric oven for 10 minutes.

Project leaders had expected the gradual dust buildup on the solar panels, but had hoped passing whirlwinds on Mars might have cleaned some of it off, but none have so far.

"Two rovers we sent back in 2003, they both experienced what we would call 'natural cleaning' or 'dust cleaning events,'" Scott said. "Those winds went over the vehicles and cleared a lot fo the dust off the solar panels of those vehicles. We were were kind of hoping this would occur with a stationary lander."

Due to the lower power, the team will put InSight's robotic arm in a resting position known as "retirement pose" later this month. Then, by the end of the summer, the lander's seismometer will only be turned on at certain times, such as night when winds are not as high.

Because energy is being preserved for the seismometer, NASA said non-seismic instruments "will rarely be turned on" starting next month.

InSight has detected more than 1,300 quakes since its landing, the most recent of which occurred on May 4. The data gathered from the marsquakes have helped scientists understand the composition of Mars's deep interior, including the planet's crust, mantle and core.

NASA said the lander had completed its primary goals during its first two years on Mars and was currently on an extended mission.

"There wasn't really anything known about the interior of Mars," Scott said. "Why that's important is NASA had been looking at how our own planets formed in the Solar System. especially the rocky ones like Venus, Earth, Mars and even our own Moon."

This is not the first time NASA has ended a Mars lander due to dust.

Opportunity, a robotic rover, landed on the planet in 2004 and was in operation until June 2018, when a global dust storm completely covered its solar panels, which ended communications with project leaders.

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Mother charged after loaded gun goes off in student's backpack

Mother charged after loaded gun goes off in student's backpack

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, FILE(CHICAGO) -- The mother of a Chicago student faces child endangerment charges after the student brought a loaded gun to school in a backpack and the weapon accidentally discharged, police said. The incident occurred at Walt Disney Magnet School on the city’s North Side shortly before 10… ... Continue Reading
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveils new gun law proposals in wake of Buffalo shooting

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveils new gun law proposals in wake of Buffalo shooting

Steve Prezant/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul unveiled proposals Wednesday afternoon to strengthen the state's gun laws and close "loopholes" in the wake of the deadly Buffalo mass shooting over the weekend. The announcement was planned before the weekend shooting, and was delayed by President Joe Biden's Tuesday visit to Buffalo, Hochul's… ... Continue Reading
Former police officer Thomas Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in killing of George Floyd

Former police officer Thomas Lane pleads guilty to manslaughter in killing of George Floyd

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Thomas Lane, one of the former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's killing, has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, according to the Minnesota attorney general.

State Attorney General Keith Ellison said the plea agreement reached with Lane represents an "important step toward healing the wounds of the Floyd family, our community, and the nation."

Lane, 39, had been scheduled to go to trial next month in state court along with his former Minneapolis police colleagues J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao.

Lane pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the top charge against him of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder.

"No one -- including my attorney, any police officer, prosecutor, judge, or any other person -- has threatened me, any member of my family, my friends or other persons, to obtain a plea of guilty from me," Lane said in the plea agreement.

Under the agreement, prosecutors and Lane's attorneys will jointly recommend a sentence of 36 months, or three years, in prison. Had he gone to trial and been convicted on all charges, he faced a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, according to the plea agreement.

"My attorney has told me and I understand that a judge will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent," Lane said in the agreement. "I now make no claim that I am innocent."

All three defendants were convicted in February by a federal jury on charges of violating George Floyd's civil rights by failing to intervene or provide medical aid as their senior officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on the back of the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man's neck for more than nine minutes in the May 25, 2020, incident.

Chauvin was convicted in state court last year of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison.

Chauvin also pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd's civil rights and is awaiting sentencing after a judge accepted his plea earlier this month.

"Today, my thoughts are once again with the victims, George Floyd and his family," Ellison said in a statement Wednesday announcing Lane's plea. "Nothing will bring Floyd back. He should still be with us today."

Ellison said he was "pleased" that Lane has accepted responsibility for his role in Floyd's death.

"While accountability is not justice, this is a significant moment in this case and a necessary resolution on our continued journey to justice," Ellison said.

There was no word on whether similar plea agreements are under consideration by Kueng and Thao, who are still scheduled to go on trial in state court on June 13.

The attorneys for the Floyd family -- Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci and Jeff Storms -- released a joint statement, saying Lane's guilty plea "brings the Floyd family another step towards closure for the horrific and historic murder of George Floyd."

"While this plea reflects a certain level of accountability, it comes only after Mr. Lane was already convicted by a federal jury on a related charge," the family's attorneys said.

The lawyers praised Ellison and his team, federal prosecutors for securing federal convictions against Lane, Kueng and Thao and the state conviction against Chauvin.

"Hopefully, this plea helps usher in a new era where officers understand that juries will hold them accountable, just as they would any other citizen," the lawyers said. "Perhaps soon, officers will not require families to endure the pain of lengthy court proceedings where their criminal acts are obvious and apparent. It is equally critical that the municipalities who are responsible for employing, training, and supervising their officers take their duties to the community to heart, and hold their own officers accountable before a criminal court is required to do so."

During their federal trial, Lane, Kueng and Thao all took the witness stand and each attempted to shift the blame to Chauvin, who was a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Lane told the jury that Chauvin "deflected" all his suggestions to help Floyd and Kueng testified that Chauvin "was my senior officer and I trusted his advice." Thao testified, "I would trust a 19-year veteran to figure it out."

After deliberating roughly 13 hours, a federal jury convicted Lane; Kueng, 28; and Thao, 35, of using the "color of the law," or their positions as police officers, to deprive Floyd of his civil rights by willfully being indifferent to his serious medical needs.

Thao and Kueng were also convicted of violating Floyd's right to be free of unreasonable seizure by willfully failing to intervene to prevent Chauvin from applying bodily injury to Floyd.

Federal sentencing for all three men is pending, with a date yet to be announced. They each face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

ABC News' Stephanie Wash and Whitney Lloyd contributed to this report.

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