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3 Houston police officers 3 Houston police officers shot, suspect barricaded in homeshot, suspect on the run

KTRK-TV

(HOUSTON) -- Three Houston police officers were shot Thursday afternoon by a suspect who fled, carjacked a white Mercedes and is currently holed up in a home in a standoff with authorities.

Houston police said that the officers are all in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. They are being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The incident took place around 2:40 p.m. local time when officers responded to a domestic call, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner told reporters at an evening news conference outside the hospital. The suspect spotted the officers and fled the scene in a car, with officers giving chase, Finner said.

The suspect crashed into a parking lot gate and then opened fire at the officers with an automatic weapon, according to Finner. The officers returned fire but the suspect escaped, carjacked the Mercedes and continued his flight, the chief said.

One officer was hit in the arm, another was hit in the leg and the third officer was shot in the foot, the police said.

The suspect entered a house in the Fifth Ward and fired on officers who were outside, Finner said. No officer was hurt in this shootout, according to police.

"He is still in the home and we're treating it as barricaded suspect," Finner said at 6 p.m. local time.

It was unknown if the suspect was wounded in either shootout, Finner added.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he visited each of the officers in the hospital.

"All three officers are in good spirits, all were talkative and we expressed our support of them," he said.

This is the second incident this week in which a law enforcement officer was shot in Houston. Cpl. Charles Galloway of Harris County Constable Precinct 5 was shot and killed on Sunday when the deputy pulled over a car in southwest Houston.

Oscar Rosales, 51, who was arrested on Wednesday after fleeing to Mexico, has been charged with capital murder in that shooting.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


4 people in custody over possible connection to Milwaukee sextuple homicide

WISN-TV

(MILWAUKEE, Wis.) -- Multiple persons of interest are in custody in connection with a sextuple homicide in Wisconsin that police believe was a targeted attack.

Six people were found dead inside a Milwaukee home after officers conducted a welfare check at the residence Sunday, police said. All victims -- five men and one woman -- had been shot, police said.

Four persons of interest are now in custody, though no one has been charged yet, Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said during a press briefing Thursday.

"We are still trying to determine what their involvement was, if any, in this homicide," Norman said.

Police believe there were "multiple suspects" involved in the incident. Evidence suggests that the shooting was targeted, and it does not appear to have been a murder-suicide, according to the chief, who said there is no threat to the public at this time.

The motive, exact time of the shooting and exact number of guns used in the shooting are still being determined, Norman said.

ABC Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported that it obtained court records that show that three of the six victims' names appear on a witness list for a pending homicide case in Milwaukee County Court.

When asked if that could be a reason why the victims were targeted, Norman told reporters that he believes it is unrelated to the incident, but that authorities are "looking into all angles."

"Obviously, you never want to use one explanation for a particular incident and stick to that," Norman said. "At this time, we're pretty sure that that is not relative to this particular incident, but we never want to take away any particular explanation for what we're finding in this investigation."

During their investigation, authorities discovered that a woman who claimed she was a victim of a shooting called 911 about 12 hours before the victims were discovered. Police do not believe that she was a victim of this shooting, and her possible connection to the incident remains under investigation.

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson urged anyone with information in the case to come forward.

"It's time for that person to step forward, to come up, say something," he said during the briefing. "We can't have a city where somebody can go and pull the trigger and kill somebody, and then go sit on somebody's couch. We can't have that."

ABC News' Abigail Bowen contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


COVID-19 live updates: US cases dropped by 18% over last 2 weeks

John Moore/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.6 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 876,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jan 27, 3:54 pm
San Francisco dropping masks in 'stable cohorts'

San Francisco officials are ending indoor mask mandates for “stable cohorts” where everyone is up to date on vaccinations, like people in an office or gym setting.

The city's health officer Dr. Susan Philip called this change, which begins Feb. 1, doable due to San Francisco's highly vaccinated and boosted population.

"Other COVID-19 safety guidelines in these settings remain in effect and include a means for others who do not or cannot meet the vaccination requirements to join the group with the added safety of showing a negative test and wearing a mask," San Francisco's health department said.

-ABC News' Matt Fuhrman

Jan 27, 12:34 pm
Cases decreasing or at plateau in most states

The U.S. is now reporting an average of 627,000 new COVID-19 cases per day -- an 18% drop over the last two weeks, according to federal data.

Most states are seeing cases decreasing or at a plateau, according to federal data. Just 10 states are seeing at least a 10% increase in cases: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Despite this positive news, cases in the U.S. are still extremely high. Since the beginning of January, more than 17.4 million new cases have been reported -- that's nearly three times the number of cases reported in every other month of the pandemic.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 27, 8:01 am
New Hampshire to sell rapid COVID-19 tests at liquor stores

Rapid at-home COVID-19 testing kits will soon be on sale at liquor stores across New Hampshire, according to Gov. Chris Sununu.

Sununu announced Wednesday that the New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously approved a request by the state's Department of Health and Human Services to use federal funds from the American Rescue Plan to secure 1 million over-the-counter antigen test kits for liquor store customers. The tests are expected to hit shelves within the next two weeks.

"In addition to tax-free liquor and lottery tickets, you’ll be able to grab a tax-free test," the governor wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

Sununu said the test kits will be sold "at cost" for about $13, which can be reimbursed through health insurance, though that will vary from company to company.

Jan 26, 6:36 pm
1st participant dosed in Moderna's omicron-specific vaccine

Moderna announced Wednesday that the first participant has been dosed in the phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate, in case it becomes necessary.

Moderna's trials will include people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and a Moderna booster shot.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it's initiated clinical studies to evaluate an omicron-based vaccine for adults.

Jan 26, 5:00 pm
NIH trial finds mixing and matching boosters is safe and effective

A study from the National Institutes of Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mixing and matching boosters are safe and create a similar immune response to sticking with your initial vaccine.

An earlier version of this study, with more preliminary findings, helped guide the CDC's decision to allow mix-and-match.

The study authors make no claims about specific combinations being more or less effective. The study did find that people who got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and then received the Johnson & Johnson booster had a significant increase in T-cell response, a part of immunity.

The trial looked at 458 participants who received a vaccine with no prior COVID-19 infection. This data is only for the first 29 days after receiving the booster; researchers plan to follow the participants for one year, allowing for more data.

-ABC News' Vanya Jain, Sony Salzman, Eric Strauss, Dr. Alexis Carrington

Jan 26, 4:47 pm
Unvaccinated child dies in Mississippi

An unvaccinated child has died in Mississippi from COVID-19, according to the state's health department.

The department confirmed to ABC News that the child was between the ages of 11 and 17, an age bracket that is eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This marked the 10th child -- including an infant -- to die in Mississippi from COVID-19. None of the 10 children were vaccinated, according to the health department.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


East Coast braces for snow storm: Latest path

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A snow storm is bearing down on the East Coast, with snow even expected to reach as far south as coastal North Carolina.

The brunt of the storm will hit from eastern Long Island to coastal Massachusetts, with moderate to major impacts for the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to New York City to Boston.

The storm will begin in the overnight hours early Saturday for Philadelphia and New York City.

By 7 a.m. it'll be snowing heavily across much of the I-95 corridor. By early Saturday afternoon, the storm will clear out for most of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, focusing on Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Boston and Maine.

High winds and coastal flooding are a major threat. Wind gusts up to 65 mph are possible along the coast from Delaware to New Jersey to Long Island to Nantucket.

Whiteout conditions are possible from eastern Long Island to Cape Cod to Maine.

Eastern Long Island to Boston and Cape Cod are expected to get the brunt of the heaviest snow, with over 1 foot possible in some places.

New Jersey, Connecticut and New York City are forecast to see 4 to 10 inches of snow, with the higher totals closer to the coast.

North Carolina could get up to 4 inches.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency. He warned residents to be mindful of heavy snow and high winds as well as the possibility of tidal flooding and power outages.

Ahead of the storm is a deep freeze. Bitter cold hit the East Coast Thursday morning with a wind chill -- what temperature it feels like -- at about 8 degrees in New York, 2 degrees in Boston, 15 in Raleigh and 24 in Atlanta.

And behind the snow storm will be the coldest temperatures in years for Florida. Sunday morning the wind chill could plunge to 23 degrees in Orlando and 29 degrees in Miami.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Alleged Oxford High School shooter, Ethan Crumbley, to claim insanity defense

Will McDuffie, ABC News

(OXFORD, Mich.) -- Ethan Crumbley, the alleged Oxford High School shooter, will plead insanity, his lawyers said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Crumbley was charged last month with multiple felony charges, including terrorism, in connection with the rampage that killed four students and injured several others on Nov. 30. The 15-year-old was charged as an adult.

"As expected, Ethan Crumbley's attorney has requested an evaluation of his criminal responsibility. This is standard procedure. The defendant will be evaluated by a doctor from the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, who will then prepare a written report," David Williams, Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Oakland County told ABC News in a statement Thursday.

According to McDonald, Crumbley opened fire on students and staff just hours after meeting with school counselors over disturbing drawings depicting a gun and the words, "The thoughts won't stop," "help me," and "blood everywhere." Crumbley's parents were called in for a meeting but left without taking their son with them or asking him if he'd brought a weapon to school, according to the prosecutor.

The parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, face charges of their own, accused of involuntary manslaughter, after allegedly neglecting or failing to notice warning signs about their son in the months before the shooting.

James Crumbley bought the gun used in the rampage just days prior, said prosecutors, who say a social media post of Jennifer's suggests the weapon was purchased for their son. The parents allegedly stored the gun in a place to which Ethan had access.

On Thursday, the families of four Oxford students -- including Tate Myre, one of the students killed -- filed a lawsuit accusing school staff and the Crumbley parents of negligence. It was the second lawsuit to be filed against employees of the high school.

Jennifer and James Crumbley are next due in court on Feb. 8. Their son will appear on Feb. 22.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Police catch teen murder convict who escaped Washington detention center

KOMO-TV

(SNOQUALMIE, Wash.) -- Police apprehended a teenager convicted of murder just hours after he and four other detainees escaped a Washington state juvenile detention center Thursday.

The other unidentified detainees are still on the lam, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

Around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, a 15-year-old and the quartet of detainees, aged 14 to 17, escaped the Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie, Washington, police said.

The escapees fled in a 2018 gray Ford Fusion with Washington license plate number 27545E, according to the sheriff's office.

The teen was convicted last year on first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm charges stemming from a 2020 homicide in southwest King County, the sheriff's office said. The identities and criminal histories of the other escapees were not immediately released.

Around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, police caught the 15-year-old, they said. The whereabouts of the other detainees and the Ford Fusion were still unknown.

Investigators were still trying to determine how he and the others escaped and if they had any assistance, according to a police spokesperson.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Modern-day lynching': Man found shot dead during trip with co-worker

Carmela King via Courtesy of Paul Jubas

(VENANGO COUNTY, Pa.) -- The family of a Jamaican immigrant is calling his death a "modern-day lynching" after he was found shot to death on the front lawn of a rural Pennsylvania cabin.

Peter Bernardo Spencer, 29, was invited by a co-worker to join him at a cabin in Rockland Township, Pennsylvania, on Dec. 11, according to his family.

On Dec. 12, just a few hours later, Spencer was found with nine bullet wounds: one to the mouth, two in his buttocks and six in his abdomen or chest, according to the Venango County Coroner.

"They are trying to sweep this under the rug," Spencer's sister, Tehilah, wrote on a GoFundMe page. "We will not let them ... He was slaughtered and killed in what I consider an act of modern-day lynching!"

Paul Jubas, the family's lawyer, released autopsy photos of Spencer on his social media accounts at the family's request. Jubas said the coroner's assertion that he was shot in the chest and abdomen is a "misrepresentation" and that the photos indicate at least four of the shots were to Spencer's back.

Pennsylvania State Police were called to the home around 2:30 a.m. and found Spencer dead on the front lawn with multiple gunshot wounds. Police say they found multiple firearms, "ballistic evidence" and controlled substances at the home.

Four suspects at the home were detained and questioned but were released after consultation with the Venango County District Attorney's Office, according to officials. Pennsylvania State Police officials said they are investigating this as a homicide and the investigation involving the district attorney's office is ongoing.

Spencer is Black. The former co-worker, as well as the other people at the cabin, were all white, according to the family. The people at the cabin during Spencer's time of death have not been identified by police.

The district attorney's office told ABC News that it will not comment on the ongoing investigation "out of concern for the impact that may have on a case and any potential charges."

"Further disclosure of information may hinder or interfere with the investigation moving forward," the district attorney's office said in a statement to ABC News. "This office takes seriously any possibility that a crime may be fueled by hatred toward a person because of their race, color, religion or national origin. Rest assured, the Venango County District Attorney's office will take every measure to ensure that justice is sought wherever it may be found."

"The Franklin state troopers office will not give Peter's family nor myself any information regarding this incident," Carmela King, Spencer's pregnant fiancee, wrote in a GoFundMe post. "We have been turned away several times while trying to reach out for information regarding what happened."

The Pennsylvania State Police did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

No one has been charged with a crime, and Spencer's family is demanding answers, according to a statement from Jubas.

The family is demanding that the Venango County coroner must immediately turn over all photos and other pertinent information; the FBI or Department of Justice gets involved in this investigation and provides transparency for Spencer's family; and the Venango County district attorney refers the case to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Spencer loved the outdoors and hunting, according to his family. Several groups, including Hunters of Color, Brown Girl Outdoor World and Outdoor Alliance, have joined forces to demand justice in the murder of Spencer.

A petition from more than 30 groups is urging the county district attorney, state officials and the U.S. attorney general to take action in setting "a precedent so that all future hunters, outdoor recreationists, and people of color know that justice is on their side, and that the outdoors are truly for everyone."

The petition has gotten more than 15,000 signatures online.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


North Carolina mother, young daughter found safely after going missing in 2016

Oliver Helbig/Getty Images

(BUNNLEVEL, N.C.) -- A North Carolina mother who went missing with her young daughter in 2016 have been found safe, according to authorities.

Amber Renaye Weber, then 21 years old and her 1-year-old daughter, Miracle Smith, were last seen on Dec. 4, 2016, in Fayetteville, according to the Fayetteville Police Department. They were reported missing on Jan. 31, 2017, but leads in the case eventually went cold, police said.

The pair were found Tuesday in a home in Bunnlevel, North Carolina, about 20 miles north of Fayetteville. In 2018, they were believed to be nearby in Harnett County after Weber received medical treatment there, but her family was not able to contact her, Raleigh-Durham CBS affiliate WNCN reported.

U.S. Marshals, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and deputies from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office found Amber Weber and Miracle Smith at a home on Lemon Lane in Bunnlevel, Raleigh-Durham ABC affiliate WTVD reported. Four firearms were seized from the home, and Joe Smith, 59, was taken into custody, according to the U.S. Marshals. He had previously been arrested on Jan. 19 on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, authorities said.

The case was reignited in 2021 after Fayetteville police investigative assistant Sonia Roldan partnered with the U.S. Marshalls to seek new leads for Weber and Miracle, police said. Information led investigators to believe Weber and Miracle had an association with Smith in Bunnlevel, authorities said.

Police did not disclose the nature of Smith's relationship with Weber and her daughter.

The search "brought some closure and relief to family and friends of the missing person" as well as removed guns from the hands of a convicted felon, ATF Special Agent in Charge Vince Pallozzi said in a statement.

"The culmination of years of following leads and tips resulted in the outcome that we had all hoped for today; the successful recovery of a child who had been missing since December 2016," Michael East, U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in a statement. "The U.S. Marshals Service and our investigative partners will not quit, nor be deterred until these children are rescued."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Laser temporarily blinds medical helicopter crew member

EThamPhoto/Getty Images

(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A paramedic was temporarily blinded after their helicopter was affected by a laser strike earlier this month.

A Utah AirMed helicopter was struck while transporting a patient to the University of Utah hospital. A crew member aboard the flight experienced temporary blindness and blurred vision from the laser.

"They were able to safely land in our hospital, and once they were able to transfer the patient, the crew member was seen in the emergency room," Nathan Morreale, chief flight paramedic for Utah AirMed told ABC News.

The crew member is back on the job but has experienced lingering blindness in his peripheral vision, Morreale said.

"The safety of our patients and our crews are at the forefront of everything we do," Morreale said. "Even though our crews are highly trained for circumstances and scenarios, there's no amount of training that can prepare you for what happens when a laser hits your eye and causes temporary blindness."

The Federal Aviation Administration said its Flight Standards District Office is looking into the incident.

Laser incidents have been on the rise in recent years, according to the agency. The FAA reported 6,852 laser incidents in 2020, up from 6,136 in 2019. It's the highest reported number of incidents since 2016.

Intentionally aiming lasers at aircraft violates federal law. Individuals may face up to $11,000 in civil penalties per violation and up to $30,800 for multiple incidents.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Letter from Holocaust survivor found from flea market vendor decades later

Courtesy Chelsey Brown

(NEW YORK) -- Thrift stores, antique fairs and flea markets in New York City are prime spots for finding valuable, hidden family heirlooms. When Chelsey Brown, an avid thrifter, was shown a letter written more than 75 years ago at the end of the Holocaust by a survivor, she knew where it belonged.

"The second that I had it transcribed, I just knew it had to go back to the right family," Brown said. She found the note in late 2021.

The letter was written by Ilse Loewenberg, a woman who jumped out of a moving train that was headed to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. She was part of an underground Nazi resistance group called Gemeinschaft für Frieden und Aufbau, or the Association for Peace and Development.

According to later documentation from her sister, Loewenberg walked a three-day-long journey back to Berlin after escaping.

In 1944, she was recaptured and put in solitary confinement in Berlin until she was liberated by Russian troops in July 1945.

Loewenberg lost her mother, father, two sisters and husband in the Holocaust.

After she was freed, she wrote a letter to her living sister, Carla, who had immigrated to England prior to the war. Carla was the only sister and family member of Loewenberg’s to survive the tragedy.

"Through the kindness of our liberators, I am able to give you a sign of life from me after so many years," Loewenberg wrote in German. "Dad, Mom, Grete, Lottchen and Hermann: no one is alive anymore. My pain is unspeakably big. My husband, whom I married 3.5 years ago, was also taken from me! … When there will be a regular mail connection, I will tell you everything in detail."

That's the letter that Brown bought from a flea market vendor.

Brown discovered the details of the family tree through MyHeritage.com, a global family history platform that retains historical records.

She discovered that both Loewenberg and Carla immigrated to the United States and settled in Forest Hills, New York, in 1948. Neither Loewenberg or Carla had children, but they did have extended families via their husbands.

Brown found Jill Butler, the daughter of Loewenberg’s brother-in-law’s brother. Butler and Loewenberg, who used to live near each other, were close before Loewenberg died in 2001.

When Brown sent Butler the letter, Butler and her family were moved.

"My whole family is truly in awe of all you have done for us," Butler said in a letter back to Brown. "We all loved our Great-Aunt Ilse and are thrilled beyond words to read her thoughts in her own handwriting after she emerged from the depths of the European inferno."

She added, "May God bless your noble work, and may you receive many blessings in return for all you do for families like mine."

Brown, whose family also lost members in the Holocaust, now feels a deep connection to Loewenberg and said her story has inspired her.

"She's a bit of inspiration for everyone to be better in life. After the war, Ilse actually sent supplies to the family that helped hide her in Berlin," she said. "She really is an example of doing good in a world or being kind in a world that isn't."

Brown, who has done hundreds of heirloom returns, has said the stories have taught her a lot about life and relationships and that she wishes more people could be reconnected with family heirlooms.

"It does break my heart, because I'm sure that there's a ton of items I could help reunite with her rightful families," Brown said. "We shouldn't be selling these items. It should be illegal. They should be going back to their families."

She added, "The reason why people connected with my heirloom returns on social media is because it shows that there is magic in the lives of average people," Brown said. "We each have our own unique ancestry and story, and I think that's what our world and generation needs right now."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


COVID-19 live updates: US deaths increasing to highest point in nearly 1 year

Go Nakamura/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.6 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 872,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63.5% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here's how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jan 26, 6:36 pm
1st participant dosed in Moderna's omicron-specific vaccine

Moderna announced Wednesday that the first participant has been dosed in the phase 2 study of its omicron-specific booster candidate, in case it becomes necessary.

Moderna's trials will include people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and people who received two doses of the original Moderna vaccine and a Moderna booster shot.

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it's initiated clinical studies to evaluate an omicron-based vaccine for adults.

Jan 26, 5:00 pm
NIH trial finds mixing and matching boosters is safe and effective

A study from the National Institutes of Health published in the New England Journal of Medicine found mixing and matching boosters are safe and create a similar immune response to sticking with your initial vaccine.

An earlier version of this study, with more preliminary findings, helped guide the CDC's decision to allow mix-and-match.

The study authors make no claims about specific combinations being more or less effective. The study did find that people who got an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) and then received the Johnson & Johnson booster had a significant increase in T-cell response, a part of immunity.

The trial looked at 458 participants who received a vaccine with no prior COVID-19 infection. This data is only for the first 29 days after receiving the booster; researchers plan to follow the participants for one year, allowing for more data.

-ABC News' Vanya Jain, Sony Salzman, Eric Strauss, Dr. Alexis Carrington

Jan 26, 4:47 pm
Unvaccinated child dies in Mississippi

An unvaccinated child has died in Mississippi from COVID-19, according to the state's health department.

The department confirmed to ABC News that the child was between the ages of 11 and 17, an age bracket that is eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

This marked the 10th child -- including an infant -- to die in Mississippi from COVID-19. None of the 10 children were vaccinated, according to the health department.

-ABC News' Josh Hoyos

Jan 26, 10:40 am
US hospital admissions projected to fall for 1st time in months

COVID-19-related hospital admissions in the U.S. are expected to fall in the weeks to come, the first time the nation would see a decline in months, according to forecast models used by the CDC.

Estimates suggest between 4,900 and 27,800 Americans could be admitted to the hospital each day by Feb. 18.

Deaths from COVID-19 are expected to remain stable or have an uncertain trend. Estimates suggest about 33,000 more Americans could die from COVID-19 over the next two weeks.

-ABC News' Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 25, 6:06 pm
All Super Bowl attendees to get KN95 mask

Every attendee of next month's Super Bowl in Los Angeles will receive a KN95 mask, health officials said Tuesday.

Additionally, "safety team members" will remind fans to keep their masks on unless they are eating or drinking, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a county Board of Supervisors meeting.

Attendees at the Super Bowl Experience will also receive a free at-home rapid test kit, Ferrer said, with messaging to test before the big game on Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium.

The county expects to distribute over 60,000 take-home kits during the Super Bowl Experience, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12.

-ABC News' Jennifer Watts

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


100 bags of fentanyl found in bedroom of 13-year-old who died from overdose

WABC-TV

(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Investigators say they discovered over 100 bags of fentanyl in the bedroom of a Connecticut teen who overdosed and died earlier this month and are seeking any information on the person who provided the drugs.

The Hartford Police Department said Wednesday that the bags recovered from the room matched 60 bags found at the Sports and Medical Science Academy, a magnet school in Hartford where the unidentified 13-year-old overdosed on Jan. 13. He died the following Saturday, police said.

"This fentanyl was packaged in the same manner as the bags located at the school, had the same identifying stamp, and tested at an even higher purity level (60% purity)," the Hartford police said in a statement.

Fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug used to treat patients suffering from severe pain after surgery, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the institute.

The rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, such as fentanyl, increased 56%, from 11.4 per 100,000 in 2019 to 17.8 per 100,000 in 2020, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two other students at the public school were sickened after apparently being exposed to the drug, but both recovered, investigators said.

The police said there is no evidence that anyone other than the 13-year-old brought the drugs to the school, police said.

An "individual who has history at the residence" and narcotics history is a person of interest but hasn't been labeled a suspect, according to the police. Investigators have also interviewed the teen's mother, who they say has been cooperating.

"At this time, we have no evidence to support her having any prior knowledge of her son's possession of the fentanyl," the police said in a statement.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Man arrested for allegedly selling gun used in hostage incident at Texas synagogue

Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

(COLLEYVILLE, Texas) -- A man faces a federal charge for allegedly selling the gun used in the Texas synagogue hostage situation earlier this month, authorities said.

Henry Williams, 32, faces one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville on Jan. 15.

The armed suspect, identified by authorities as 44-year-old British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, died in the incident when an FBI hostage rescue team breached the synagogue after an 11-hour standoff.

Investigators allege Williams sold Akram a Taurus G2C pistol on Jan. 13, two days before the hostage incident.

The FBI said it discovered Williams' alleged ties to Akram through an analysis of Akram's phone records after his death.

Agents first interviewed Williams on Jan. 16, during which he allegedly said he recalled meeting "a man with a British accent," the Department of Justice said.

Agents interviewed Williams again after his arrest on an outstanding state warrant on Monday, during which he allegedly confirmed he sold Akram the handgun at an intersection in South Dallas after viewing a photo of the suspect, according to the Justice Department.

"Williams allegedly admitted to officers that Mr. Akram told him the gun was going to be used for 'intimidation' to get money from someone with an outstanding debt," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Cellphone records for both men also show their phones were in close proximity on Jan. 13, according to prosecutors.

Williams was arrested Tuesday on the firearm charge and made his first appearance before a magistrate judge Wednesday afternoon. According to the Department of Justice, Williams was previously convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance.

"Federal firearm laws are designed to keep guns from falling into dangerous hands. As a convicted felon, Mr. Williams was prohibited from carrying, acquiring, or selling firearms," U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad Meacham said in a statement. "Whether or not he knew of his buyer's nefarious intent is largely irrelevant -- felons cannot have guns, period, and the Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those who do."

A detention hearing has been scheduled for Monday. ABC News has reached out to Williams' attorney for comment.

A rabbi and three members of the synagogue were taken hostage during the incident. All four managed to escape unharmed.

FBI agents said the suspect was demanding the release of a convicted terrorist and believe the location was intentionally targeted because it was the closest synagogue to Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, where the prisoner is being held.

Multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News the suspect was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted of assault and attempted murder of a U.S. soldier in 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.

In the weeks since the incident, investigators have been digging into the suspect's social media and personal devices to try and find out more about his travel and associates.

Four men have also been arrested in England within the past week as part of the probe, British authorities said.

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$110,000 reward offered for information on death of 16-year-old girl

California Highway Patrol

(LOS ANGELES) -- The Los Angeles County district attorney called for the community's help to identify the people responsible for the death of 16-year-old Tioni Theus and announced a $110,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Tioni was last seen Jan. 7, when she reportedly told her father that she was meeting a friend to go to a party, District Attorney George Gascón said at a press conference Wednesday.

On the morning of Jan. 8, she was found dead on the southbound side of the 110 Freeway. According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, she died from a gunshot wound to her neck.

Tioni lived in Compton, California, and was a student at Centennial High School, according to a motion to offer a reward for information about her death. She was living with her father as her mother recovered from a serious hit-and-run, the motion said.

Her family said Tioni was a straight-A student and enjoyed dance and golf.

"She was thrown on the side of the freeway like trash, and she's a child. She meant something to her family," her cousin Lakesia Barrett told ABC Los Angeles station KABC at a vigil held for Tioni on Jan. 19. "She meant something to her mother that can't be here. She meant something to her cousins that are here."

The Major Crimes Unit of the California Highway Patrol is taking the lead on the investigation.

"This incident occurred on a Saturday morning," California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Jesus Holguin said at the press conference. "So there has to be -- there's people that were driving by. There has to be individuals out there that eyewitnessed at least a portion, if not the entirety of this case, and we need your support."

Gascón said his office had received evidence that Tioni may have been a victim of human trafficking.

Tiffiny Blacknell, an attorney from the district attorney's office, said court documents indicate that she was a child victim of sexual exploitation.

"Being a victim of human trafficking is not a moral failure," Blacknell said. "Children cannot consent to sex work. Any characterization of Tioni as a prostitute or a sex worker is disgusting. She was a child. Her life mattered."

Tioni's cousin Rashida Kincy told KABC that Tioni was a "young, vibrant young lady who was just cut from so much that was ahead of her."

She added, "This has been a tragedy to my family, to the community, to anyone that has a child, that's a cousin, that's a friend."

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, who helped to secure $10,000 from the county for the reward, said at the press conference that the reward was an "incentive to those in the community and beyond to speak up and provide information about what occurred."

The city of Los Angeles is providing $50,000 for the reward, and the state of California is providing an additional $50,000.

People who believe they have information can anonymously call the tipline at 888-412-7463 or reach the Major Crimes unit directly at 323-644-9550.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Man suspected of killing Texas deputy arrested in Mexico

Ted Heap, Harris County Constable Precinct 5 via Facebook

(HOUSTON) -- A fugitive suspected of ambushing and gunning down a Texas deputy constable during a traffic stop over the weekend in Houston has been taken into custody in Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.

Oscar Rosales, 51, has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of Cpl. Charles Galloway of Harris County Constable Precinct 5.

His arrest comes amid a string of shootings of law enforcement officers across the country in the past few days, including two New York City police officers who were killed while answering a domestic violence call Friday and a sheriff's deputy in Milwaukee who was shot multiple times following a traffic stop early Wednesday morning.

Rosales was the subject of a nationwide manhunt until he was taken into custody at a hotel in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, a border city about 575 miles west of Houston, U.S. Marshal Deputy Cameron Welch told ABC station KTRK in Houston.

His capture was coordinated by the U.S. Marshals' Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and its Fugitive Task Force in conjunction with Mexican authorities, officials said. U.S. Marshals are working to extradite him back to Harris County.

On Monday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner identified Rosales as the suspect who allegedly gunned down Galloway early Sunday when the deputy pulled over a white Toyota Avalon in a residential neighborhood of southwest Houston.

Finner said investigators obtained video of Rosales getting out of the car with an "assault-type weapon" and opening fire on Galloway without warning as the deputy was still seated in his patrol vehicle. He said Galloway, who was shot multiple times, did not have an opportunity to defend himself.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Rosales' wife, Reina Marquez, and her brother, Henri Mauricio Pereira Marquez, have both been arrested on charges of tampering with evidence.

Finner said Reina Marquez and her brother are alleged to have tampered with the Toyota Avalon, which has since been recovered by police.

Galloway's death comes about three months after Harris County Constable Precinct 4 Deputy Kareem Atkins, 30, was shot to death in an ambush outside a Houston sports bar that also left Atkins' partner wounded. A 19-year-old suspect was arrested in December and charged with capital murder.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin police are searching for a suspect who shot a 26-year-old Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputy around 2 a.m on Wednesday when the deputy pulled a car over for a registration violation, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas said at a news conference.

Lucas said one of the vehicle's occupants got out and ran, and the deputy was shot multiple times while chasing the man. A second occupant of the car was arrested, officials said.

The deputy, a member of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office for 18 months, was shot in both arms and his torso, Lucas said. He said the deputy was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

On Friday night, 22-year-old rookie New York City police officer Jason Rivera and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, were shot when they responded to a domestic incident in Harlem. Rivera died at a hospital shortly after the incident, and Mora died on Tuesday. The suspect was fatally shot in the episode.

On Dec. 29, Bradley, Illinois, Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, 49, was fatally shot and her partner was wounded when they responded to a barking dog complaint at a hotel. Two people were arrested in the case, including one who allegedly shot Rittmanic with her own gun, and are facing the death penalty if convicted.

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