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Russell County Sheriff's Office(ATLANTA) -- The man accused of shooting a Harris County, Georgia, deputy at a traffic stop turned himself in after he allegedly "told his mom he had killed a deputy," Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley told ABC News.

After the shooting in Georgia Saturday evening that left Harris County Deputy Jamie White in the hospital, the suspected gunman, Joe Lee Garrett, drove home to Alabama, where he allegedly confessed to his parents and his girlfriend, Jolley said. Jolley said Garrett thought he had killed the deputy.

Garrett, 24, then turned himself in to the Phoenix City Police in Alabama, according to Jolley and Sheriff Heath Taylor in Russell County, Alabama.

The shooting happened at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday when White pulled Garrett over for speeding, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Garrett was driving with two passengers in the car, according to the sheriff's office.

White was holding Garrett's license and had been talking to him for about seven minutes when Garrett allegedly pulled a pistol and shot White, according to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

White had been bent down talking to Garrett at the time of the shooting, Jolley said.

Garrett then took his driver's license back and drove away, the sheriff's office said.

Jolley, who told ABC News he visited White in the hospital Sunday, said White is not in life-threatening condition, but, "we're being told he'll lose his left eye."

For White, a married father of two, law enforcement runs in the family -- his dad is a retired officer, Jolley said.

White "always wanted to be a law enforcement officer because his father was in it," Jolley said. "Now, of course, his future is a little undecided."

The sheriff's office reported that Garrett admitted to the shooting in police interviews but refused to identify the passengers in the car.

Garrett is being held at the Russell County Sheriff's Office jail. After a court hearing Monday, he will be transported to Harris County where he will be charged with aggravated assault on a police officer; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; obstruction; possession of a firearm during a felony; and fleeing and attempting to elude, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

A woman, Lytishia Horace, was also taken into custody in connection with the case, both sheriffs said, though her involvement was not immediately clear.

Jolley said he's glad Garrett turned himself in.

"If he still had the weapon and law enforcement had gone to arrest him, he could have injured other law enforcement officers, other citizens or himself," Jolley said.

"The deputy was doing his job by making a traffic stop for speeding. He was saving Garrett's life by slowing him [down]," Jolley said. "Garrett pulled a weapon and shot him in the face for doing what all law enforcement do every day."

Sheriff Heath Taylor of Russell County, Alabama, where Garrett is being held and is scheduled to appear in court Monday, said he does not know if Garrett has an attorney.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- One person was killed and five others, including two police officers, were wounded in Houston Sunday after a shooting involving what officials said were high-powered weapons.

One of the suspects was killed, though it was not yet clear who shot him, and a second was wounded after a SWAT team responded, police said.

"One of the suspects was shot and he has expired. We believe he was shot by the other suspect, and the other suspect was eventually shot by one of the SWAT officers when a SWAT team responded," Houston Interim Police Chief Martha Montalvo said.

"The suspect had high-powered weapons, AR-15s that they were using, that they were able to actually shoot at a helicopter," she said.

But police said they still weren't clear on what happened, and whether the shooting of police and civilians was carried out by one or both of the armed men.

"The second male who was armed, we're trying to figure out what his role in this was. Was he a suspect or someone who just happened to be armed with a gun," Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon said. "Until further notice we'll say suspect because he had a gun, OK, but what his role was we don't know."

Police received a call about an active shooter at 10:15 a.m., and when the first officer arrived, he was met by a gunman shooting at his vehicle, Montalvo said.

"A suspect shot at the responding officer several times on his windshield," Montalvo said. "By the grace, you know, of God, he did not sustain any injuries."

With the suspects shooting at responding officers and even at a police helicopter overhead, a SWAT team was quickly called in, and the area was cordoned off.

"We do not have a motive at this time," the police chief said. "This is still ongoing, and we’re trying to ask the same thing — what happened."

She said investigators were in the process of identifying the suspects, whom she described as white or Hispanic males.

"We don’t know what started this, but what we do know is they were shooting randomly ... just at whoever came upon the scene," she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden(CINCINNATI) -- A witness present at the Cincinnati Zoo says the 450-pound gorilla that was shot and killed after a 4-year-old boy fell into his enclosure was not "hurting" the boy, but instead seemed to be "protecting him."

"The little boy, once he fell, I don't think the gorilla even knew that he was in there until he heard him splashing in the water," Brittany Nicely told ABC News on Sunday, explaining that zoogoers' screams drew more attention to the Saturday afternoon incident.

"The gorilla rushed the boy, but did not hit the boy," Nicely said. "He almost was guarding the boy, was protecting him."

Video obtained by ABC News shows the gorilla dragging the small boy through the water in the enclosure, and the zoo said that the fire department reported that "the gorilla was violently dragging and throwing the child."

The boy was hospitalized and released Saturday, zoo officials said Sunday. The boy's family said in a statement Sunday that the boy "is home and doing just fine."

Zoo officials said after the boy crawled through a public barrier at Gorilla World at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, he fell about 15 feet into a moat that contained about 1 foot of water. He was then picked up and carried around by the male gorilla, named Harambe.

Nicely said the gorilla was "hovering over him... Like he was his own."

"The gorilla wasn't hitting him, wasn't hurting him. He was curious. He was checking him out, looking at his hands," she said. "The gorilla was not, in my eyes being harmful. However, it is a 400-pound gorilla ... so his intentions of not harming him still may have because of the size difference."

A Cincinnati Zoo employee shot the gorilla with a rifle when the child was in between his legs, and zoo employees then unlocked the gate and firefighters quickly retrieved the child.

"We are heartbroken about losing Harambe, but a child’s life was in danger and a quick decision had to be made by our Dangerous Animal Response Team," Zoo Director Thane Maynard said in a statement Sunday.

"With the child still in the exhibit, tranquilizing the 450-pound gorilla was not an option," Maynard said. "Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

The boy's family said in a statement Sunday: "We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/THinkstock(ROSENBERG, Texas) --  A second Texas city will force residents to evacuate their homes on Sunday, as rising flood waters from the Brazos River turned deadly over the weekend.

Surging water levels prompted officials in Rosenberg, a town in Fort Bend county, approximately 35 miles south of Houston, to issue a mandatory evacuation starting today at 2 p.m. local time. According to the 2010 census, 31,676 people live in the area.

Mayor Cynthia McConathy signed orders declaring a state of disaster for the city of Rosenberg on Saturday, according to the evacuation notice on the city's website.

A shelter is being set up for residents on the grounds of a church located in the nearby city of Richmond, Texas.

State authorities announced Saturday evening that four people had died in the flooding, which stemmed from heavy rains that started on Thursday, and have persisted throughout Memorial Day weekend.

Another town in the state, Simonton, which is home to fewer than 1,000 people, also ordered a mandatory evacuation on Saturday at 10 a.m. due to the heavy rains. The Brazos River was expected to reach record levels and crest at more than 53 feet by Tuesday, officials said, who predicted the flooding would break records.

On Saturday, NASA astronaut Terry Virts tweeted a photo of the Brazos River from space.


Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Joy Lin/ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Mary Alice Horrigan stood in a knee-deep sea of 10,000 U.S. flags planted on the National Mall -- each one representing 100 American soldiers killed in action -- a total of over one million fallen heroes since the founding of the United States.

Among them was her son, Army Master Sgt. Robert M. Horrigan, who was killed by hostile fire in Iraq on June 17, 2005 at the age of 40, just a few weeks shy of his return date and already in the process of retirement after 20 years of military service.

"Robert volunteered for the mission that he died in," his mother told ABC News on Friday. "His team said, 'Don't go, you don't want to go, you don't need to go.' And he said, 'I'm not only going, I'm leading it.'"

Mary expected her son to come back, as the Delta Force commando had done so many times before, having been sent on multiple missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this time, he was the first to enter a room where, she says, “the people who they were trying to apprehend knew they were coming.”

Robert was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit Medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and the Purple Heart.

Master Sgt. Horrigan's ultimate sacrifice inspired the founding of the Austin-based non-profit Operation Honor Our Heroes, which has been shepherded by a small group of volunteers. Memorial Day weekend marks the first time they are planting flags in the nation's capital, many of them bearing photos of the recently fallen.

"We wanted people to see the human face of war, not just a flag, but the face of a person who died in that war," said Mary, whose friend Nancy Glass founded the organization and has helped her work through her grief.

Gazing out over the tidy rows of red, white, and blue flags, located just south of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Memorial, Mary ruminated over the totality of all that has been lost.

"Some of them would come back and be lawyers, doctors, maybe discover a cure for cancer, or go to the moon, and they were cut down before they could do that," she said, of the fallen soldiers. "I mean, my son served 20 years, yes, but some of those kids didn't serve six months."

"People will forget because it isn't their family, their husband, their brother, their son," she said. "But Gold Star families will never forget, and what we hope to do is just show them the human face of war."

To find out how you can get involved with Operation Honor Our Heroes, visit www.honorheroes.org.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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