• iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) — On June 12, 2016, gunman Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured dozens more during a three-hour standoff at the popular Orlando LGBT venue, Pulse Nightclub.Mateen -- a radicalized U.S.-born Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS during the massacre -- was shot and killed by police.Now, as the one-year anniversary approaches, city and county officials in Orlando have laid out their plans to commemorate the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history.June 12 will be dedicated as "Orlando United Day -- A Day of Love and Kindness," the city of Orlando and Orange County, in conjunction with Pulse, announced in a press release."This announcement formally dedicates June 12 to the memory and honor of the 49 innocent lives taken at Pulse, reaffirms the community’s commitment to survivors and loved ones, as well as recognizes the global compassion and love displayed in the wake of the tragedy," reads the release.A series of events are planned for June 12, including a memorial service at the site of the former nightclub. Another memorial service will be held at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.An exhibit of artwork from memorials across Orlando will be on display at the Orange County History Center, as well.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SPUR, Texas) — Three storm chasers died in a car crash in Texas, according to authorities.Around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a black Chevy Suburban was traveling northbound on Farm to Market Road 1081 before it disregarded a stop sign and collided with a black Jeep that was traveling westbound on Farm to Market Road 2794, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a press release.The two-car crash occurred about five miles west of the city of Spur, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.Both drivers and one passenger were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said, adding that all three people were storm chasers.The driver of the Suburban was identified by police as Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri. Police said he was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The passenger in the Suburban, Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville, was wearing his seatbelt, police said."This afternoon we learned that three people died in a car accident in Texas, including two contractors for the Weather Channel, Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall," the Weather Channel said in a statement. "Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved."The driver of the Jeep was identified as Corbin Lee Jaegar, 25, of Peoria, Arizona. He was wearing a seatbelt at the time, police said.The location of the crash was either in or near an area under a tornado warning, ABC News Lubbock affiliate KAMC reported. A tornado watch is in effect for Dickens County until 11 p.m.Authorities are continuing to investigate.A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for from Del Rio to Amarillo until about 9 p.m. Tuesday, with large hail and tornadoes possible. Fourteen million Americans from Texas to Oklahoma may be affected by possible storms overnight. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • WTVD(HOKE COUNTY, N.C.) — A North Carolina mother says her 5-year-old daughter was suspended from school after she was found playing with a stick that resembled a gun.Brandy Miller said her daughter Caitlin was suspended for one day on Friday after she and her two friends were playing "King and Queen" at her school in Hoke County, North Carolina, ABC affiliate WTVD reported Tuesday.In the game, Caitlin played a guard, protecting the royals, and picked up the "stick gun" to imitate shooting an intruder into the kingdom.
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  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- As the manhunt intensifies for a 15-year-old Tennessee student and her former teacher who allegedly kidnapped her, authorities say it's possible the two are in Mexico.There have been no credible sightings of 50-year-old Tad Cummins and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas in the two weeks they've been missing, officials said Tuesday.Cummins, who is accused of kidnapping Elizabeth on March 13, is wanted on allegations of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor. An Amber Alert has been issued for Elizabeth.Tuesday morning, Brent Cooper, district attorney for Maury County, Tennessee, asked members of the public to share the Amber Alert with friends and family in Mexico and Central America, adding that Mexican law enforcement was notified of the Amber Alert and "it's possible that's where they are."Cooper said Cummins "planned this in such a way that he had a 24-hour head start ... easily enough time for him to make it to Mexico."Cooper also called Cummins a "religious man" and said "it's possible that he's playing the role of a missionary in that area."After the news conference, Cooper told ABC News that Cummins is "familiar with missionary work ... he could easily blend into that kind of culture."Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, called the relationship between Cummins and Elizabeth a manipulation -- not a "romance.""Some have characterized this relationship as a romance. But this morning I want to caution the public to avoid anything that might look or sound like victim blaming," Gwyn said. "This is not a fairy tale -- this is a case of kidnapping."Cooper told reporters he apologized for using the term "romantic interest" and said he should have used the term "grooming."Cooper told ABC News that Cummins "had a fictional past that he told his students about. His students believed that he was former FBI, former CIA, and that he had this mysterious past.""He was kind of brainwashing all the kids into thinking he was something he wasn't," Cooper said. "I'm sure all that played into Elizabeth's feelings toward him. It was a complete deception.""She may not realize she's in danger. She may not realize she's been taken against her will," he continued. "If you see them and they look happy, that doesn't matter. This is a serious crime."The TBI said that Cummins, who was fired one day after the alleged kidnapping, "may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom [Thomas] ... in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her."Cummins, a married father and grandfather, researched teen marriage online, specifically the age of consent, according to law enforcement officials.Investigators have uncovered email draft messages between Thomas and Cummins, which authorities said show a romantic relationship between the two. According to authorities, after one of them would write a message, he or she would save the message as a draft, and the other person would log on, read the message and delete it.One of Elizabeth's schoolmates reported seeing her and Cummins kiss in his classroom on Jan. 23, according to a school district investigative report, but both denied the claim. A school report from January reads that neither one "admitted to behaving inappropriately towards the other."An attorney for the Thomas family, Jason Whatley, told ABC News last week that Cummins "preyed on her.""She is under his spell, and she is being controlled by him, and that is what is so scary," Whatley said.Authorities have received 1,100 tips from across the country and 167 of those tips remain open, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said today. He said the TBI is "optimistic" about the outcome, saying it only takes one lead "to turn this thing around."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(OOLAGAH, Okla.) -- Three teen burglary suspects were shot and killed Monday by a homeowner's son armed with an assault rifle in Oklahoma -- which has a "stand your ground" law -- and the alleged getaway driver in the case was arrested on felony murder and other charges, authorities said.Authorities said they had not determined if the shooter, who was armed with an AR-15, would face charges. Oklahoma law presumes homeowners have a fear that justifies use of defensive force just by virtue of someone breaking into a home.A decision on charges for the shooter as well as formal charges for the alleged getaway driver, would be determined in the coming days, prosecutors said.“And at that time, there’ll be a final decision -- I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding Stand Your Ground law as well as the application of the felony murder rule," said first assistant district attorney Jack Thorpe. "We hope to be able to answer those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”According to Deputy Nick Mahoney of the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office, deputies got a call around 12:30 p.m. Monday about a possible home invasion with shots fired.On Tuesday, Chief Deputy Les Young identified the 911 caller as Zach Peters, the son of the homeowner. They said he told the dispatcher that people had entered his home and that he'd discharged his weapon.Mahoney said that when police arrived, they found three deceased male teenagers, ranging in age from 16-18.Two were in the kitchen area of the house, Mahoney said; one appeared to have run from the home after being shot but had died in the driveway."These three individuals came to this residence, which we believe, with the intent to break in, to burglarize the home," he said.Hearing of retired cop who shot moviegoer puts Florida's controversial 'stand your ground' law back in the spotlightMahoney said the males were dressed in black, wearing masks and gloves, when they allegedly forced their way through a glass backdoor. He said, there, the three allegedly encountered Peters, who was armed with a rifle. Police said Tuesday that multiple shots were fired.Mahoney said Peters and his father, the homeowner, were in the home at the time but were not hurt. Police said Peters went to the Sheriff's Office and was interviewed by investigators.Mahoney said two of the deceased were considered armed. One had brass knuckles, he said. Another had a knife. Mahoney said the third suspect had not yet been searched by police.Police with the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday they'd arrested an alleged getaway driver who they identified as Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez.Mahoney said that Rodriguez, 21, had turned herself in to authorities after the shooting, allegedly saying that she had information about the incident. He said she was interviewed and taken into custody. Police said Tuesday that Rodriguez had identified the three dead males in the house.Rodriguez was arrested on three counts of felony first degree murder (for deaths that occur during the commission of a felony), one count of first degree burglary and one count of second degree burglary. Police said the last count was because the four had allegedly gone to the same home earlier in the day and then returned. She has yet to be formally charged.Mahoney said he did not know whether Rodriguez had dropped the suspects off at the home or had planned to pick them up. Police said that the investigation was ongoing and that they did not know whether the burglary was random. They would not release the names of the three killed until they contacted relatives.Rodriguez was scheduled to appear in court April 5.
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  • California Highway Patrol(LOS ANGELES) -- Police are looking for a man spotted "car surfing" on a California highway.In a video provided to local ABC-owned station KABC-TV, the man appears to dance while hanging off the passenger side of a dark-colored pickup truck for several seconds before he re-enters the car through a window.The California Highway Patrol told ABC News that the agency is looking for the unknown man. Police stressed the danger of such a stunt, noting that the man could have fallen off the vehicle and into traffic.Further details on the incident were not immediately available.
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