Details emerge about accused Parkland shooter's texts 

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 5:13 AM

Who Is Nicolas De Jesus Cruz, Alleged Gunman In Florida School Shooting?

The lawyer for a South Florida family that took in accused Parkland mass shooter Nikolas Cruz provided The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday with chilling details about texts between Cruz and the family’s teenage son in the minutes before Cruz opened fire.

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Attorney Jim Lewis’ comments came on the day a grand jury formally indicted Cruz on 34 counts, including 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder in the injuries to 17 others.

Cruz’s lawyers said he confessed to the shootings at the school.

Cruz was living with the Snead family in Parkland when he killed the 14 students and three adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Snead family attorney Jim Lewis told The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday: 

• Cruz texted the Sneads' teenage son, who was in class at Douglas, around 2 p.m., about 20 minutes before the shooting began. Cruz asked what class the son was in and who the teacher was. The son said the teacher was one of the coaches. Cruz texted the son to ask the coach if he remembered Cruz. The coach was not one of the people Cruz shot.

• Minutes later, Cruz texted to say he was going to a movie. Lewis said he then "made some kind of comment that, 'I've got something big to tell you.'" When the son pressed him, Cruz texted, "no big deal. Nothing bad." 

• Lewis said the texting stopped at 2:18 p.m. The last text was a single word: "Yo." The Snead teen texted back several times without a response. Then, the shooting started. 

>> Grand jury indicts Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz on 34 counts

Lewis said in the days before the shooting, "There was nothing to give any clue that this was about to happen.

“No bad feelings about anybody's school. No bad feelings about Douglas in general." 

Authorities have said that, after the November pneumonia death of Cruz’s mother left Cruz and his younger brother, Zachary, orphaned, the two moved to the suburban Lantana home of family friend Roxanne Deschamps.

When Deschamps told Cruz he could stay only if he got rid of his guns, Cruz moved in with the Sneads in late November.

Six weeks before the shooting, Lewis said, James Snead had asked Douglas officials if Cruz, who had been expelled, could re-enroll. They said no. 

It was James Snead who got a text minutes into the rampage from his son, saying there'd been a shooting at the school. The father was on the way to school to pick up the teen. The son "called back and said people were saying it was Nik. That's when the father freaked out," Lewis said. 

Around that time, Lewis said, a Broward County Sheriff's Office commander called James Snead to ask if he had a son named Nik.

Snead explained Cruz wasn't related, but was living at the house.

A short time later, Snead called the commander back to say he was worried because his wife, who's a night nurse, was asleep at the home on Loxahatchee Road. Soon deputies were swarming the home. Snead’s wife was unharmed.

Lewis said Cruz had no contact with the family after that last text message, "Yo," until the family saw him later that night. They'd come down to make a statement to Broward County sheriff’s investigators and saw Cruz through a window. 

"That's when Nik mouthed the words to them; 'I'm sorry.'"



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Winter Weather Advisory in effect; slick roads likely

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:24 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Icy conditions expected for early St. Patrick's Day.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through noon. Mixed precipitation with ice accumulation up to one-tenth of an inch is expected. Be prepared for slippery roads.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


    • Increasing clouds, freezing rain and sleet develop after midnight
    • Icy early St. Patrick’s Day
    • Clearing, milder to end the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast


Overnight: Expect freezing rain/sleet to become widespread after 3 or 4 a.m. with slick spots developing. Up to one-tenth inch of ice accumulation is possible by morning, creating for slippery travel conditions. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Saturday: A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet will be likely in the morning. As temperatures climb, precipitation will change to just rain showers by late morning with improving conditions in the afternoon. It will remain mostly cloudy as we dry out late in the day. Highs will reach back into the lower 40s.

Sunday: Sunny skies will end the weekend with milder temperatures reaching into the lower 50s.

>>Look for Venus, Mercury in the March evening sky

Monday: Clouds will be on the increase. There will be the chance for a few showers toward late evening or into the night. It will become breezy with highs in the lower 50s.

Tuesday: Cloudy skies are expected with rain showers during the day mixing with or changing to snow showers late in the day or evening. Highs will be in the lower 40s but fall into the 30s with blustery conditions.

Wednesday: Snow showers will be around, possibly mixed with rain. Highs will be in the upper 30s.

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Amber Alert: Boy 4, found safe in Monroe thanks to vigilant motorist

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 8:26 PM
Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:30 PM

A vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old boy who was abducted hours earlier from his home in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

Police there said Jennifer Hemcheck forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemcheck from a vehicle and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.

Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued tonight that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchecks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

Jennifer Hemcheck was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car on southbound Interstate 75 in Monroe in Warren County. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.

Jennifer Hemcheck’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.

As for D’Quai, he has been taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.


An Amber Alert is in effect across Ohio after a 4-year-old boy was abducted Friday afternoon in Sandusky.

D’Quai Hemchak was “forcibly removed from a vehicle by Jennifer Ann Hemchack, a non-custodial parent.” The suspect then sped away in her car heading east, and the young boy is believed to be in “imminent danger.”

They are believed to be riding in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plate IWU-M23 and police say she could be headed to Florida.

D’Qai is described as 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 35 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911.

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Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe fired two days before retirement

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:10 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13:  Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during a news conference to announce significant law enforcement actions July 13, 2017 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held the news conference to announce the 2017 health care fraud takedown.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 13: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during a news conference to announce significant law enforcement actions July 13, 2017 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held the news conference to announce the 2017 health care fraud takedown. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has fired former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, two days before McCabe was set to retire, according to news reports.

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Sessions said in a statement released Friday night McCabe that McCabe was less than truthful while under oath several times, according to The New York Times.

“The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability,” he said. “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”

In a statement Friday night, McCabe said his firing was politcally motivated.

"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and the intelligence professionals," McCabe said.

>> Related: Who is Andrew G. McCabe, former Deputy Director of the FBI?

In an earlier interview, McCabe rejected the allegations that he was untruthful during internal hearings, the Times reported.

>> Related: Rex Tillerson out as Secretary of State, replaced by Mike Pompeo

“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” he said.

“This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”

McCabe is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

>> Related: Who are key players in the Russia/Trump saga?

McCabe, who had been with the FBI for 22 years, resigned his position in late January, but stayed on at the agency’s until he was eligible to retire on Sunday.

Andrew McCabe Steps Down As FBI Deputy Director(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Car overturns in 3-vehicle crash in Trotwood

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 10:52 PM

Car overturns in 3-vehicle crash in Trotwood

One car landed on its top in a three-vehicle crash tonight on Olive Road at Bradfield Drive.

The crash was reported at 10 p.m.

The overturned vehicle was headed south on Olive Road when the driver hit other vehicles. In the overturned vehicle, one of the two occupants was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, Trotwood police said.

The crash remains under investigation.

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