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Coyotes in Idaho chasing skiers, 1 woman bitten: Officials

Stu Smith/500px/Getty Images

(SANDPOINT, Idaho) -- Idaho Fish and Game officials are hunting for answers about why coyotes have been chasing skiers at a resort, even biting one person.

Officials received reports this month that coyotes seen on Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort in North Idaho were chasing skiers as they skied down the slopes in what they describe as “highly unusual coyote behavior.”

One woman suffered minor injuries after a coyote bit her, officials said.

Workers from Idaho Fish and Game and resort staff are working together on a plan to trap and kill the coyotes in the interest of public safety.

Officials said the coyotes are exhibiting unusual behavior because they appear during the day, with two being spotted wandering a business district near downtown Sandpoint, located nearly 500 miles north of Boise.

Officials said that one of the coyotes was captured and killed, while the other remains on the loose.

Coyotes are nocturnal animals and are not usually comfortable around people, making recent incidents unusual, Idaho Fish and Game said.

While an official cause of their behavior is unknown, officials said that it’s unlikely the coyotes have rabies and are most likely acting peculiarly because humans are feeding them.

“When wild animals become habituated to human presence or food sources, they can behave uncharacteristically and become dangerous to people,” Idaho Fish and Game said on its website.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Timeline: String of suspicious incidents under investigation at Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

(DALLAS) -- Missing monkeys. Damaged enclosures. An "unusual" death.

The Dallas Zoo has been struck by a string of suspicious incidents in recent weeks that are under criminal investigation.

Here's a look at what's unfolded so far:

Jan. 13

A clouded leopard named Nova escaped from its enclosure after its fence was "intentionally cut," zoo officials said.

The zoo announced that morning it was closed due to a "code blue" -- meaning a non-dangerous animal was out of its habitat.

The Dallas Police Department was on-site assisting with the search efforts, and the leopard was eventually located around 4:40 p.m. local time on the zoo grounds near the original habitat.

Amid the search, police and zoo officials said they found a "suspicious opening" in the habitat wall at the front of the exhibit and determined the fence around the animal's enclosure had been "intentionally cut."

That same day, investigators discovered a second fence had been similarly cut at a habitat for langur monkeys, police said. No langurs escaped or appeared to be harmed, police said.

Police are investigating both incidents. It is unknown if they are related.

Jan. 21

Zoo officials discovered an endangered vulture dead inside its habitat. The death of the beloved animal -- a lappet-faced vulture named Pin -- was "unusual" and did not appear to be from natural causes, the zoo said.

A gross necropsy determined that the bird, which was at least 35 years old, suffered from a wound, said zoo officials. Dallas police were notified of the latest "suspicious" incident and are investigating, officials said.

Jan. 23

Dallas Zoo president and CEO Gregg Hudson announced the zoo is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment "with these issues" during a press briefing on Pin's death.

Hudson also revealed that since the leopard's escape, the zoo has "substantially increased" its security camera coverage and more than doubled its security presence overnight.

Jan. 30

Two of the zoo's emperor tamarin monkeys were discovered missing from their habitat, which had been "intentionally compromised," the zoo said. Zoo officials alerted law enforcement officials about the missing monkeys.

"Based on the Dallas Police Department's initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken," the zoo said.

An "intentional cut" was made into the monkey enclosure, said Dallas Police, which is investigating.

Jan. 31

Dallas Police released a photo of an unidentified man they are looking to speak to about the missing tamarin monkeys.

The zoo announced several hours later that Dallas Police had located the monkeys that evening. Dallas Police received a tip that the monkeys may be at an abandoned home in Lancaster, a city in the Dallas area, and responding officers found the animals in a closet in the home shortly before 5 p.m. local time, police said.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

The monkeys have been returned to the zoo and will be evaluated by veterinarians. An update will be shared on Feb. 1, zoo officials said.

ABC News' Teddy Grant, Jon Haworth and Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Missing pair of monkeys from Dallas Zoo have been found: Officials

Dallas police released an image of a person they are looking to interview in relation to two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo. - Dallas Police Department

(DALLAS) -- Authorities in Dallas are asking for help in locating two missing tamarin monkeys from the Dallas Zoo
Two monkeys that were reported missing from the Dallas Zoo on Monday have been found, zoo officials announced. The Dallas Police Department found the emperor tamarin monkeys on Tuesday and alerted zoo officials.

The zoo’s veterinarians will evaluate the monkeys, according to the zoo.

The missing monkeys was the latest in a series of animal incidents to rock the Dallas Zoo this month, resulting in police seeking the public’s help.

Members of the zoo's animal care team discovered two emperor tamarin monkeys missing from their habitats, which was "intentionally compromised," the Dallas Zoo told ABC News in a statement.

Zoo officials alerted law enforcement officials about the missing monkeys, which have yet to be found.

Dallas police issued an image of a person on Tuesday, saying, "Detectives are looking to speak with the man in regard to the two tamarin monkeys missing from the Dallas Zoo."

"Emperor tamarin monkeys would likely stay close to home -- the zoo searched near their habitat and across zoo grounds, and did not locate them," the Dallas Zoo tweeted Monday. "Based on the Dallas Police Department's initial assessment, they have reason to believe the tamarins were taken."

The Dallas Police Department is investigating the incident and said it believes "the animals were intentionally taken from the enclosure."

"Officers responded and the preliminary investigation determined an intentional cut was made into a tamarin monkey enclosure at the zoo," the department said in a Monday statement.

This is the second time animals have gone missing from the zoo in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure after her fence was "intentionally cut," officials said at the time. According to zoo officials, the female leopard, named Nova, was found the same day it went missing. Dallas police launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

In a similar incident this month, the Dallas Police Department opened a criminal investigation after finding a second fence cut inside the langur monkey habitat at the Dallas Zoo.

Despite the cut fence, no langurs escaped their habitat or appeared to be in danger or harmed, Dallas PD said in a press release.

On Jan. 21, zoo workers found a rare and endangered vulture dead in its enclosure, describing its death as "unusual." Both police and zoo officials said the vulture, named Pin, did not appear to die from natural causes.

The Dallas Zoo confirmed that it had increased its security measures after the vulture's death and the leopard's escape.

"In the past week, we have added additional cameras throughout the zoo and increased onsite security patrols during the overnight hours," the statement from the zoo read. "We will continue to implement and expand our safety and security measures to whatever level necessary to keep our animals and staff safe."

It's unclear if the incidents with the clouded leopard, dead vulture and missing monkeys are related.

ABC News' Meredith Deliso, Jon Haworth and Mark Osborne and contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Former Ferguson police chief reflects on police reform following Tyre Nichols killing

ABC News

(APEX, N.C.) -- Following the death of Tyre Nichols after his encounter with Memphis police officers, law enforcement officials across the country have been reflecting on how officers' tactics and policies can be improved.

Apex, North Carolina, Police Chief Jason Armstrong, who took over as police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, following the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, spoke with ABC News Live Monday to share his thoughts on police reform.

ABC NEWS LIVE: We've heard a lot about the need for reform in training and police departments. From what you saw on the video, would additional training have prevented the brutal attack on Tyre Nichols?

CHIEF JASON ARMSTRONG: I'm not certain because the officers in that video, that were involved in that incident, clearly had been through departmental training beforehand. It's mandatory when you get into the profession.

One thing I noticed, those individuals seemed to be intent on violence that evening, which is unfortunate.

ABC NEWS LIVE: We just heard in Stephanie Ramos' report that a sixth officer who tased Nichols has not been charged or even fired. As you see there, he's a white male. Some people are saying that that's a form of racism. Do you feel that that creates the appearance of bias?

ARMSTRONG: No, no. There are two separate incidents from watching the video. This officer was involved in the first part of the incident where they got Mr. Nichols out of the vehicle and they were trying to take him into custody. And so there was a struggle there. This officer deployed his taser. [It] didn't appear to have the taser was effective and Mr. Nichols was able to run away from the incident. And so as far as the assault on Mr. Nichols that we saw…this officer was not a part of that assault. And so an attempt to tase them does not equal the violent assault or kicking somebody in the head and punching somebody when they're defenseless in the face with all your might and all your power. And so I see these as two separate components of that incident and not a race issue as far as Black officers being charged and a white officer not being charged. I didn't see that white officer on that video kicking and punching Mr. Nichols in the head.

ABC NEWS LIVE: Ben Crump, the Nichols family attorney, has said that regardless of race, all police in this country have an implicit culture of bias against people of color. Do you agree with that?

ARMSTRONG: No, I don't agree with it, no. I understand where he's coming from and how people feel when we see these videos come out and the incidents that we see broadcast all over social media. But I work with these men and women every day, and I see the things that happen every day. And we don't see this type of activity in these actions happening every day in our communities. And so, I understand the image that he's trying to paint, but I disagree with that.

Now, one of the things that I will say and we can't escape it is just as inherent in our culture and this society that we know that there are racial biases that exist. But that's not just for police officers. That's not just specific to the policing profession. You look at real estate, housing, and our health care system, all of those systems point to inequities.

But we have to be careful with painting everybody with that broad brush. We all have issues and biases that we deal with. But that doesn't mean that individuals are out there trying to harm people.

ABC NEWS LIVE: You were in Ferguson when the U.S. Justice Department scrutinized that department's conduct. What does it take to do a deep dive into an organization's culture and root out the kind of violent behavior that we saw in Memphis?

ARMSTRONG: Well, the first step in that is looking at the policies and practices that you have in place. But then the second part is looking at how you apply those policies and practices. At the end of the day, a policy is just words on a piece of paper or words on a screen that an individual is reading. Where the true test comes into play is how are we holding individuals accountable to the words that we have and our policies and actions that we say we're going to do.

And that's where we see the reforms coming in to make sure that we build in that level of accountability so we can do a better job of holding ourselves accountable and catching problematic individuals and problematic behavior before we see something like this happen, what we saw in Memphis.

ABC NEWS LIVE: And this may be really kind of the same answer, but I know that specifically you've been addressing the issue of police bias, where you are now in Apex, North Carolina. What are you doing there specifically? How's it going?

ARMSTRONG: So it's going pretty good. And when it comes to addressing bias issues, a lot of that is just really doing a deep dive into the conversation with the individuals that you have to work with. Too often when we talk about bias, people automatically assume that we're talking about racism, and that's not necessarily the case.

We all have biases. And so [if] somebody stands up to say that they have zero biases in them, that's not accurate because we all have some form of bias in us. And so when we talk about addressing bias issues, it's really working with individuals and talking through examples and life experiences and things that contribute to those biases to help people better understand and recognize how we're processing information and how our biases work within us so we can do a better job of overcoming our biases and working within them to where we're not seeing people being negatively impacted by somebody else's bias.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Manhunt underway for Oregon man accused of torturing woman: Police

Grants Pass Police Department

(GRANTS PASS, Ore.) -- A manhunt is underway in Oregon for a man accused of torturing a woman who authorities believe uses dating apps to find victims or people to help him evade police.

Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, is wanted by the Grants Pass Police Department for attempted murder, kidnapping and assault. He is an "extremely dangerous suspect" who "remains on the run," the department warned in an update on Sunday.

A man police believe to be Foster was spotted walking a small dog in the Grants Pass area Tuesday morning, the department said in a new update.

"It's essentially an all-hands-on-deck operation," Grants Pass Police Chief Warren Hensman told ABC News. "We are laser-focused."

Police began looking for Foster on Jan. 24, after responding to a home in Grants Pass for an assault. At the home, officers found a woman in critical condition who had been "bound and severely beaten into unconsciousness," police said.

The suspect had already fled the scene before officers arrived but was identified as Foster, of Wolf Creek, police said.

"The scene was horrific," Hensman told ABC News. "This is a bad man that needs to be captured."

Hensman told reporters during a press briefing on Jan. 26 that they are still working on a timeline, but said the assault is believed to have occurred over a "protracted period of time." He would not elaborate on the nature of the suspect's relationship with the victim.

Amid the manhunt, authorities located Foster's car and executed a search warrant in a home in Wolf Creek last week. The suspect "evaded capture and likely received assistance in fleeing the area," police said.

"The investigation has revealed that the suspect is actively using online dating applications to contact unsuspecting individuals who may be lured into assisting with the suspect's escape or potentially as additional victims," police said.

During the search of the home, a 68-year-old woman, Tina Marie Jones, was arrested for allegedly hindering prosecution. She remains in custody at the Josephine County Jail.

The victim, identified by her family as Justine Siemens, was transported to an area hospital and remains on life support.

"She will survive this and as her family, we implore the nation to help bring her attacker to justice," her family said in a statement.

Foster has been convicted on domestic violence charges for two assaults that occurred within the past five years in Las Vegas, court records show.

In 2019, he was accused of holding his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks, according to an arrest report obtained at the time by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was charged with four counts of battery and two counts of assault, though in August 2021 he pleaded guilty to two of the battery charges as part of a plea deal, online court records show. A judge sentenced him to up to 1.5 years in prison, with credit for the 729 days he had already spent in jail awaiting trial, according to court records.

In August 2021, he reached another plea deal in a 2018 domestic violence case and was sentenced to credit for time served for a misdemeanor battery charge, court records show.

"Am I troubled by what I know already? The answer is yes," Hensman told reporters when asked about the prior Las Vegas cases. "We're laser-focused on capturing this man and bringing him to justice."

The Grants Pass Police Department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Foster in the attempted murder case.

Police described Foster as a 6-foot-tall white man weighing approximately 180 pounds with brown hair, possibly worn in a bun, and blue eyes. Police shared recent photographs of Foster with a beard, though they said he may attempt to change his appearance by shaving his beard and hair or changing his hair color.

"The Grants Pass Police Department asks the public to pay particular attention to Foster's facial structure and eyes since those features are very difficult to change," the department said.

Tips for sightings of the suspect "continue to flood into the department, and we are confident this dangerous criminal will soon be captured with the assistance of a concerned citizen," the department said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Grants Pass Police tip line at 541-237-5607.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Rare, green comet to pass by Earth Wednesday


(NEW YORK) -- If you're looking at the night skies Wednesday and make out a tiny green light in the sky, don't panic, aliens haven't landed.

A rare green comet that has been traveling through our solar system for the last month is expected to make its closest pass to Earth between Wednesday and Thursday, according to NASA and astronomers. During that time, the comet will be 26 million miles away from the planet, according to astronomers.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered last March when it was already inside the orbit of Jupiter. It is distinguishable by its green glow.

NASA scientists said the comet made its closest approach to the sun, or perihelion, on Jan. 12. The comet was first visible to stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere at the beginning of the month followed by the other half of the planet a few weeks later.

"The comet is now visible all night long from northern latitudes but will surely fade from easy observation during the next few weeks," NASA wrote on its site Tuesday.

The last time the comet passed by Earth was 50,000 years ago, according to NASA.

The comet will be close to Mars roughly a week later, according to astronomy charts.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Rust' timeline: Key events in the Alec Baldwin on-set shooting

Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic

(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- The accidental shooting on the New Mexico film set of "Rust" spawned a yearlong criminal investigation, multiple lawsuits and heartfelt remembrances of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was tragically killed when a prop gun fired.

Multiple people, including star Alec Baldwin, now face charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Here's a look at key events in the incident, which sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry:

Oct. 6, 2021: Production in progress

The New Mexico Film Office announced that "Rust" was currently in production in Santa Fe, with filming scheduled to go until early November 2021.

Oct. 21, 2021: On-set shooting

While on the set of the Western at Bonanza Creek Ranch, Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed by Baldwin while he was practicing using a Colt .45 revolver. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.

First assistant director David Halls had handed the gun to Baldwin while proclaiming "cold gun," to let the crew know a gun with no live rounds was being used, according to a search warrant affidavit. However, Hutchins was killed by a live round inside the gun, authorities said.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating the incident.

Nov. 17, 2021: Script supervisor files lawsuit

The film's script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell, announced she has filed a civil suit accusing Baldwin of "playing Russian roulette" by pointing a Colt .45 revolver at Hutchins.

Dec. 2, 2021: Baldwin speaks out in first interview

In his first interview following the shooting, Baldwin told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he had "no idea" how a live bullet got onto the set of his film, but that he "didn't pull the trigger" on the firearm. He also said he didn't believe he would face criminal charges for the tragedy.

Jan. 12, 2022: Armorer files lawsuit

The film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed a lawsuit alleging that the ammunition boxes supplied by the prop provider "failed to state" that "the contents contained both dummy and live ammunition."

Feb. 15, 2022: Hutchins family files wrongful death lawsuit
The family of Hutchins filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging reckless behavior and cost-cutting by Baldwin and others led to Hutchins' death.

April 20, 2022: 'Rust' production company fined

The New Mexico Environment Department's Occupational Health and Safety Bureau issued Rust Movie Productions a "willful" citation, including a $136,793 penalty, for failures that led to Hutchins' "avoidable death." This is the highest level of citation and maximum fine allowable by state law in New Mexico.

Oct. 5, 2022: Hutchins family announces settlement reached

The family of Hutchins announced they had reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against the film's producers.

As part of the settlement, Matthew Hutchins, Halyna's husband, took over as executive producer of the film and it was announced the principal actors and director would restart filming in January 2023.

Oct. 27, 2022: Sheriff's investigation handed over to DA

Santa Fe County sheriff investigators confirmed they had turned over their report to Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies, who will decide whether to press criminal charges against anyone involved in the shooting.

Nov. 11, 2022: Baldwin files lawsuit

Baldwin filed a lawsuit over the fatal shooting, alleging negligence of several of the film's crew members. The cross-complaint, which named the Western's first assistant director, armorer, ammunitions supplier and prop master as defendants, follows the lawsuit filed last year by the film's script supervisor.

Nov. 18, 2022: Sheriff releases investigative report

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office released its 550-page report into the fatal shooting.

Jan. 19, 2023: Charges announced

Prosecutors announced that Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed will each be charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Halls already agreed to plead no contest to the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.

No charges will be filed in the shooting of Souza, the district attorney's office said.

Jan. 31, 2023: Charges formally filed

Carmack-Altwies formally filed involuntary manslaughter charges in the shooting. Halls' plea agreement is pending a judge's approval, prosecutors said, noting there is no set timeline for approval.

The filings claimed that Baldwin and Guiterrez-Reed failed to correct reckless safety violations in their roles as producer and armorer, respectively, and that Baldwin had his finger inside the trigger and the trigger was pulled -- contradicting his statements saying he never pulled the trigger.

Each defendant will be issued a summons for their first court appearance, which can be done virtually or waived, prosecutors said. During a preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. Preliminary hearings are typically scheduled within 60 days of charges being filed, according to the district attorney's office.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Man dies after apparently falling off cliff in Puerto Rico: Coast Guard

Ricardo Castrodad via U.S. Coast Guard

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search for a man who fell off a 70-foot cliff in Puerto Rico after a dive team recovered his body on Monday, according to Coast Guard officials.

The Puerto Rico Emergency Bureau dive unit recovered the body of Edgar Garay, 27, an Indiana man who was on a day trip to the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico, the Coast Guard said.

“We express our most heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Edgar Garay and pray they find closure and strength during this most difficult time,” Coast Guard Sector San Juan commander Capt. José E. Díaz said in a statement.

According to officials, Garay was last seen alive shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

USCG said that a 911 emergency operator called Coast Guard personnel at 6:50 p.m. on Sunday to report the incident.

A witness told the USCG that they saw Garay “stumble toward the edge of the cliff,” the USCG said in a statement.

After conducting multiple searches for Garay via helicopter, the Coast Guard called the search off after his body was discovered.

“We appreciate the efforts of all the Coast Guard, Puerto Rico Police and partner agency emergency responders, especially the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau dive unit, who was able to locate Mr. Garay’s body in such a highly inaccessible and challenging environment,” Díaz said.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

ATF Director Steve Dettelbach talks about enforcing gun laws amid surge in mass shootings

ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- Mass shootings have hit a record pace so far this year, with 49 in January alone, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Over the weekend, three women were fatally shot, and four others were injured near Beverly Hills. It was the sixth mass shooting in California alone, following tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.

With an estimated 393 million guns, there are more firearms than people in the U.S, and the problem is continuing to get worse. Steve Dettelbach, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, spoke with ABC News’ Linsey Davis about the surge in mass shootings and how his agency plans to combat gun violence in America.

DAVIS: Director, welcome to the show. I'd like to start with a fundamental question: What needs to happen in order to slow the scourge of gun violence in this country?

DETTELBACH: Well, thanks for having me. And the short answer is — a lot. I mean, as your introduction correctly points out, the amount and nature of firearms violence that we're seeing now in this country is wholly unacceptable. I think one of the most important things we can start with is calling that out. One of my biggest fears is that people will somehow come to accept or be callous to the idea that this level of firearm violence is somehow just something that's part of being in our country, part of being an American.

It is not. It is wholly unacceptable. Bluntly, it's un-American. It's not part of our story. It's not who we are as a people. We at ATF don't accept that. I think the men and women of law enforcement don't accept it. You don't accept it, and the American people shouldn't accept it. That's the first thing. But there's a lot more to do beyond that to try and work shoulder to shoulder with state and local law enforcement, which we do at ATF, to see what we can do to both catch dangerous people who have committed gun crime and also do what we can do to stop them from killing again, to try and get ahead of this problem a little bit better.

DAVIS: What is the overarching issue? Is it just that we have too many guns already? Because when you look at other countries, they just don't have this problem. And so, what are they doing better or we're not doing enough of?

DETTELBACH: Look, it's obviously a discussion that is happening all over the country. The president has talked a lot about it. The attorney general has talked a lot about it and others have opinions. But at ATF, our job is to take the rules and laws that Congress has passed, the tools that we have, and to do everything in our power to enforce them, to protect the community. Look, everything we do at ATF begins and ends with public safety. And so, there's a lot that has gone on and there's a lot more that needs to happen.

So, for instance, in August, in order to make sure we're implementing the Gun Control Act, a law that's been on the books for many, many years, we passed a rule that said that privately made firearms or ghost guns, which are unserialized, untraceable firearms, but they shoot and they can kill if they're misused, just like other guns, are subject to the same provisions as traditional firearms under the Gun Control Act.

And ATF is going to do everything we can to make sure we're enforcing the laws on the books by getting ahead of people who are misusing technology. There's a lot going on, but there's a lot more that needs to happen, because this threat is increasing.

DAVIS: You suggested that you would like to have more people in uniform for the ATF. What would you need to do in order to make that happen?

DETTELBACH: Well, that's up to others, right? The president submitted a budget that called for ATF growth last year, and we're gratified that we were able to get some additional money to do some additional hiring. We're going to do the best with whatever the policymakers give us, and we're going to take every single dollar and every single uniform and badge and firearm on the street that we have. We're going to use our other intelligence and we're going to just keep moving forward. Look, you know, we live in the world at ATF of the pounding, relentless threat of violent crime in our community.

DAVIS: Is this something that you feel that the president should discuss or at least broach during the State of the Union address next week?

DETTELBACH: I think the president has discussed the problem of gun violence in this country repeatedly. The attorney general has discussed it repeatedly. And I think we all should be conscious of discussing it repeatedly. Look, this last week, as you pointed out, I mean, there are weeks and there are weeks. This was a week where this was in the public eye more than normal.

But I have to tell you something. At ATF, it's not just the cases that get on the news. It's not just the cases that even get on the little crawl that goes below the news. It's the 109 people every single day in this country who die from firearms violence that we're focused on. Whether or not the case gets on the news, ATF is out there working not just mass shootings, but gang violence, cases involving firearms trafficking, people who are straw purchasing, who are breaking the law to get firearms to dangerous folks.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ice storm slams Texas, crippling roads and closing schools

ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- An ice storm slamming Texas this week is crippling roads, closing schools and canceling flights.

The freezing rain began Monday and is expected to last through Thursday morning. The ice will stretch from Texas through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and into Kentucky.

Some areas have already seen 1 to 2 inches of sleet on top of a glaze of ice, creating a traffic nightmare.

By Tuesday evening, the ice will be falling in Austin and Dallas as well as Little Rock, Arkansas; and Memphis and near Nashville, Tennessee.

On Wednesday morning, the heaviest ice will be in Texas from Midland to Austin and into Dallas.

Ice accumulation could near 1 inch in some spots, covering power lines, roads and sidewalks.

The ice could weigh down power lines and trees, so officials are urging Texans to be prepared for power outages and be mindful of the possibility of trees falling onto cars and homes.

The National Weather Service is urging people to avoid driving if possible. Many Dallas-area schools closed for Monday and Tuesday.

In Arlington, Texas, near Dallas, the police department said it's responded to multiple accidents, including a deadly rollover crash.

In Austin, firefighters said they've responded to over 90 accidents, including one with a fatality.

The Austin Fire Department also said there have been two fires caused by space heaters.

"Please, STAY HOME AND OFF THE ROADS, give space heaters plenty of space, never use your oven to stay warm, and keep generators outside," the fire department tweeted.

More than 1,700 flights have been canceled in the U.S. as of Tuesday afternoon. Airports in Dallas, Austin, Nashville and Denver have been hit the hardest.

A devastating ice storm in February 2021 crippled the state's power grid and left millions without power or running water for days in freezing weather.

Meanwhile, the Midwest is facing dangerously cold temperatures.

On Tuesday morning, the wind chill -- what temperature it feels like -- plunged to minus 23 degrees in Minneapolis and minus 11 in Chicago.

In Peter Sinks, Utah, the temperature fell to minus 62 degrees on Monday, marking the coldest day in the state this century.

For the Northeast, the coldest air of the season is on its way. On Saturday morning, wind chills are forecast to drop to minus 11 degrees in New York and minus 35 degrees in Boston.

Parts of Maine could see wind chills at minus 50 degrees, which would be the coldest seen there since the 1980s.

Despite the bitter temperatures, this month still marks the warmest January on record for dozens of cities, including in the Upper Midwest and Northeast.

ABC News' Sam Sweeney contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

11 people hurt in mass shooting in Florida: Police

Sheila Paras/Getty Images

(LAKELAND, Fla.) -- A mass shooting in Lakeland, Florida on Monday has left 11 people wounded, the Lakeland Police Department announced.

According to police, two victims are critically injured and nine face non-life-threatening injuries.

"One is in surgery and the other is either in surgery or headed to surgery," Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said Monday of the two victims in critical condition.

No suspects have been publicly identified and no one is in custody, however "we have people we are very interested in," Taylor said at a Tuesday morning press conference.

Police believe they have found the blue Nissan Altima the suspects were in when they began firing, Taylor said Tuesday.

Taylor said they are "pretty confident" there are at least four suspects and at least two of them were firing from the vehicle.

Police responded to calls of a shooting at a location near Iowa Avenue North and Plum Street at 3:43 p.m.

All the victims were adult men between 20 and 35 years old, according to Taylor.

Police said the shooting wasn't random and the victims were targeted.

"We don’t believe there’s any reason that the public would need to be concerned right now,” Taylor said. “We think that the individuals in the car shot at and shot who they wanted to shoot.”

Authorities added that they located marijuana at the scene, hinting that marijuana was being sold at the time of the incident, but there is no information on whether the suspected sale of marijuana and the shooting are linked.

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Involuntary manslaughter charges formally filed against Alec Baldwin in 'Rust' shooting

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala

(SANTA FE, N.M.) -- Involuntary manslaughter charges were formally filed Tuesday against actor Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting on the New Mexico set of the film "Rust."

Both Baldwin and the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, have been charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter over the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in October 2021.

First assistant director David Halls has already agreed to plead no contest for the charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon. The plea agreement is pending a judge's approval, prosecutors said Tuesday, noting there is no set timeline for approval.

The filing detailed several reasons for the charges, including prosecutors saying that Baldwin's interviews with media and law enforcement were inconsistent.

"Many media interviews and law enforcement interviews were conducted by Baldwin, and he displayed very inconsistent accounts of what happened during the incident when firing the gun that killed Hutchins," investigator Robert Shilling wrote in the statement of probable cause.

For one, evidence showed that Baldwin had his finger inside the trigger, and that the trigger was pulled -- contradicting his statements saying he never pulled the trigger -- according to Shilling. Baldwin had told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in December 2021 that he would "never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger."

Photos and video "clearly show Baldwin, multiple times, with his finger inside of the trigger guard and on the trigger, while manipulating the hammer and while drawing, pointing, and holstering the revolver," Shilling wrote.

Shilling also stated that Baldwin had limited firearms training on the set and that no safety meeting was conducted on the day of the fatal shooting, based on statements and evidence.

As a producer, Shilling stated that Baldwin knew the production company hired Guiterrez-Reed as lead armorer despite evidence that she was unqualified, including having "no certification or certifiable training, or union 'card' for this practice." With Guiterrez-Reed also assigned to be an assistant prop master -- and thus not focused on her primary responsibility as armorer -- Baldwin "violated industry standards and practices by allowing this reckless and generally prohibited practice, resulting in reckless action(s) taking place prior to and on the day of the shooting," Shilling wrote.

Baldwin, who was listed as the primary producer of "Rust," "failed to act to mitigate or correct the reckless safety violations, neither in his capacity as actor nor producer," Shilling wrote.

In Gutierrez-Reed's charging document, Shilling claimed that the armorer's "deviation from known standards, practice and protocol directly caused the fatal death of Hutchins." That included failing to insist that Baldwin have proper firearm training nor correct him on "dangerous" safety violations such as pointing the weapon at people and having his finger on the trigger, not ensuring that a fake gun was used in a rehearsal scene and leaving the set before the fatal shooting, according to Shilling.

"Her absence from the set allowed the reckless behavior to happen and continue, resulting in the fatal shooting," Shilling wrote.

In addition to the spent casing of the live round that killed Hutchins, five unspent live rounds were seized from the set, according to the charging document. Gutierrez-Reed "should have caught this live ammunition on set but put everyone on the Rust set in danger by failing to do her job," Shilling wrote.

Santa Fe First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies and special prosecutor Andrea Reeb announced their decision to file charges on Jan. 19, nearly three months after receiving the local sheriff's investigation into the shooting.

Carmack-Altwies said Tuesday that her office has "taken another important step in securing justice for Halyna Hutchins."

“In New Mexico, no one is above the law and justice will be served," she said in a statement.

Now that charges have been filed, each defendant will be issued a summons for their first court appearance, which can be done virtually or waived, prosecutors said. During a preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether there is probable cause to move forward with a trial. Preliminary hearings are typically scheduled within 60 days of charges being filed, according to the district attorney's office.

Should the case go to trial, a jury would have to decide under which definition of involuntary manslaughter Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed were guilty. For the first count of involuntary manslaughter, prosecutors must prove "underlying negligence," while the second count, involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act, "requires proof that there was more than simple negligence involved in a death," the district attorney's office said.

Both counts are fourth-degree felonies punishable by up to 18 months in jail, however, a firearm enhancement on the second charge could carry a mandatory sentence of five years in prison, prosecutors said.

Baldwin's lawyer, Luke Nikas, called the charging decision "a terrible miscarriage of justice" and vowed to fight the charges.

"Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun -- or anywhere on the movie set," Nikas said in a statement following the announcement of charges. "He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds."

Gutierrez-Reed's attorney, Jason Bowles, also pushed back against the charges and called the investigation "flawed."

"Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident," Bowles said in a statement following the announcement of charges. "But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter. These charges are the result of a very flawed investigation, and an inaccurate understanding of the full facts. We intend to bring the full truth to light, and believe Hannah will be exonerated of wrongdoing by a jury."

Lisa Torraco, attorney for Halls, told ABC News he signed his plea agreement on Jan. 18 and that they both were "disappointed" that he was charged at all.

"We believe that criminally he should have been completely exonerated," Torraco said following the district attorney's announcement. "But we are happy with the resolution that she did propose, and that is the petty misdemeanor negligent use of a weapon."

Hutchins, 42, was working as a cinematographer on the Western when she was shot and killed by the film's star, Baldwin, during an accident while he was practicing using a Colt .45 revolver on set. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.

No charges will be filed in the shooting of Souza, the district attorney's office said.

Hutchins' family settled its wrongful death lawsuit against the film's producers, including Baldwin and Rust Movie Productions, LLC, in October.

ABC News' Alyssa Pone, Lissette Rodriguez and Vera Drymon contributed to this report.

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Man who fatally shot 13-year-old for allegedly breaking into cars arrested for murder

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(WASHINGTON) -- Jason Lewis, the man accused of shooting 13-year-old Karon Blake outside his Washington, D.C., home earlier this month, has been charged with second-degree murder while armed, according to police.

Blake was shot and killed after an alleged interaction with Lewis, who said he saw Blake appear to be "tampering with" with cars shortly before 4 a.m. on Jan. 7.

According to police, some of Blake's last words were: "I'm a kid, I'm a kid," and "Please don't, I'm sorry."

Lewis, 41, pleaded not guilty to the charge during a Tuesday afternoon court appearance. He will be held until his next court date on Feb. 13.

The family of Blake had been calling for criminal charges in the case.

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said Tuesday that Lewis' initial remarks to law enforcement left out key details.

Police said Lewis initially told authorities that he went out of his home and fired a shot at a parked, stolen vehicle. After that shot was fired, Blake and an unidentified person ran toward Lewis, who was standing outside of his door on his property, Contee said, and Blake was then shot.

However, Contee told reporters Tuesday it appeared that Blake was actually trying to run back to the car and the other individuals who were with Blake then tried to drive away before crashing.

"The biggest grievance is that the first shot that was fired was actually fired and someone who was sitting in the vehicle was not an immediate threat to the person who fired the shot. So that in itself raises issues, right?" the chief said.

Prosecutors alleged in court Tuesday that Lewis shot at the two individuals with Blake, who went back to the stolen vehicle, which was not on Lewis' property, nearly striking one of the men. Moments later, Blake would be fatally struck.

In a video obtained by police, the individuals with Blake -- also believed to be teenagers -- were seen breaking into cars. It is now up to the U.S. Attorney's Office to decide what evidence will be released to the public.

"It appears that the young men that got out of the vehicle, they had flashlights," Contee said, and "they were peering into cars" on the block where Lewis lives.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in the days following the shooting that Lewis was a D.C. government employee, but did not specify what department.

Bowser said that despite being mayor since 2015, she did not know the man personally. She said he was a long-time government employee. During her remarks, she noted that the body-worn camera from the police officer's response would not be released as the investigation continues.

"It's a horrible situation," Bowser said on Jan. 11. "And we had a 13-year-old that died and we don't have all the facts and the people who are responsible for gathering the facts [and] make charging decisions are doing it just as fast as possible. And so that is a very uncomfortable place we're at but it is also the necessary place to get to just decisions."

Sean Long, Blake's grandfather, told ABC News on Jan. 13 that the shooter should have called police instead of taking the law into his own hands.

"Everybody sneaks outside. Everybody go outside. Everybody do bad things," Long said. "But that don't mean that you're supposed to be killed. They don't mean that somebody supposed to put a gun on you. That don't mean cause you touch a car someone look out their window and shoot you."

Lewis' gun was registered, according to police.

If convicted, the commission of second-degree murder while armed with a gun includes a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence in addition to the penalty for second-degree murder.

The police chief appealed to the individuals with Blake that night to come forward and provide more details on the case.

ABC News' Teddy Grant contributed to this report.

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Vice President Kamala Harris to attend Tyre Nichols' funeral

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(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend Tyre Nichols' funeral on Wednesday.

Nichols family attorney Ben Crump said Nichols' parents spoke with Harris on the phone for over 30 minutes.

Harris and Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, "spoke exclusively, and during this emotional time, the Vice President was able to console Ms. Wells and even help her smile," Crump said in a statement.

"Tyre's parents invited Vice President Harris to the funeral tomorrow, and were pleased that she accepted their invitation," Crump said.

Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, and George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, will also be in attendance.

Nichols, 29, died on Jan, 10, three days after he was beaten by Memphis police officers at a traffic stop.

The graphic footage was caught on officers' body cameras. The video was released to the public on Friday and sparked nationwide outrage. 

Five officers involved in the Jan. 7 traffic stop have been fired and arrested on charges including second-degree murder.

The service begins at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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Providence establishes reparations program to praise and criticism

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(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Many U.S. cities are attempting to establish a reparations program in an effort to rectify economic disparity borne of slavery, and Providence, Rhode Island, is among the places moving forward with a plan.

But the city's plan has drawn criticism over the extent to which the initiative benefits historically marginalized residents, including descendants of enslaved people.

Last year, then-Mayor Jorge Elorza signed a $10 million reparations budget into law, using re-appropriated federal COVID-19 response money as the funding source. Federal guidelines require the program to be “race neutral” — white residents and non-descendants of slavery under a certain income threshold can also apply and benefit from the program.

“The federal guidelines basically forced us to have to look at census tracts. And one of those impacted communities were those who were economically disadvantaged,” Rodney Davis, chair of Providence’s reparations commission, told ABC News.

Elorza said that making the program “race based” could have opened up the city to getting sued, resulting in government officials being “locked in litigation for two or three years.”

Supporters have spent decades fighting for financial compensation for descendants of enslaved people. At one point, Rhode Island was the slave trade capitol of the colonial U.S., with more than 1,000 slave ships coming in from Africa by the end of the 18th century.

Hundreds of years later, the residue remains — much of it memorialized in Stages of Freedom, a Providence museum filled with Black art, books and exhibits. It’s curated by local historian Ray Rickman, a former state representative, who says the impact of slavery is still being felt by Rhode Island's Black population.

While the institution of slavery has been abolished, the remnants of an unequal system are still evident. In Rhode Island alone, white households earned 50-70% more than Black, Hispanic and American Indian households, according to a report from the Rhode Island Foundation.

Rather than direct payments to citizens, reparations in Providence are distributed through investments into small businesses and programs, including workforce training and financial literacy.

The Rhode Island Black Business Association received $150,000 after applying for the program. President and CEO Lisa Ranglin started the organization to help other aspiring Black business professionals to get their start.

"I think it's easy to give a check out to somebody for $200, $500. When we think about really building sustainability, $500 is not going to move the dial in any meaningful way," Ranglin said.

The struggle to determine the best forms of reparations has been just as divisive as the topic itself.

Of those who support reparations, the majority believe financial assistance for education, businesses and homes would be the most helpful forms of repayment, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

Some believe that Providence’s program misses the mark; among them is former Brown University student and activist Justice Gaines.

“It’s not reparations. What this policy is, it is city funds from COVID-19 to fund an anti-poverty program. That’s not what reparations is. Reparations is the work to repair the harm that has been done to Black people in this country,” Gaines told ABC News.

The reparations committee claims the indigenous community was involved in the program's planning, but Rhode Island’s only federally recognized tribe, the Narragansett Indians, told ABC News that neither Elorza’s office nor the reparations commission reached out.

Elorza’s office has declined to comment.

“That $10 million that the mayor did, it was great, but $10 million is a drop in a pool, not even a bucket, because if we really wanted to repair the harm, it's going to be hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars,” Davis said.

ABC News contacted the newly elected mayor, Brett Smiley, to inquire about his plans for the program, but has not received a response.

Supporters of the reparations program admit it isn’t perfect, but say it’s a promising start.

"We must elevate the communities that we serve, especially those communities that have been left behind way, way too long. I don't believe in handouts, but rather, we got to be there to be a hand up and support people in an intentional way," Ranglin said.

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