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Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 7:09 PM
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — A friend of the suspected Parkland high school shooter said Nikolas Cruz's demeanor changed after his father's death in 2005, but he had no one to turn to for help.
“We couldn't help him at all. No one had ever been a friend to him,” Ethan Trieu said. “I've known him since sixth grade, I want to start out by saying I'm not rationalizing or justifying what he did. It was completely wrong and horrible and disgusting.”
Trieu said he had no idea that Cruz could commit such a horrific act and kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
“From when I've known him, he was one of the nicest people I've known in my entire life,” Trieu said.
But after Cruz’s father's death, something changed.
“Eventually after a couple of months, he started talking again, but he couldn't fit back in correctly, and he met the wrong people. They encouraged him and motivated him to do all this wrong stuff, like throw pencils at the teacher and stuff,” Trieu said.
Trieu said as years passed, Cruz became more of an outcast, was bullied, started speaking of violence to the point that in just January, the FBI missed the opportunity to follow up on a warning about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts and the potential that he could conduct a school shooting.
Trieu said the last time he saw Cruz was moments after the shooting as students evacuated.
“I remember noticing him walking past us and I remember him blending in wearing a t-shirt that's from the school. He blended in very well and apparently some people greeted him and he greeted back,” Trieu said.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:48 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:48 AM
AUSTIN, Texas — A suspect in the deadly package bombings in Austin, Texas, is dead, law enforcement sources told the Austin American-Statesman.
>> READ MORE: Trump says 'it's not easy to find' culprit in first public comment on Austin bombings | 'Hold your leaders accountable': Chance the Rapper tweets about Austin bombings | Photos: Austin police investigate explosions | For investigators, a race to decode hidden message in Austin bombings | Map shows location of 4 Austin bombs | Austin explosions: 2 men hurt in fourth blast this month | Officials increase reward to $115,000 for information on Austin bombings | Man held in SXSW threat ruled out as bomb suspect, police say | Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say | The Roots' SXSW show canceled after bomb threat; man arrested | Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House| MORE
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:47 AM
LOS ANGELES — Former Playboy model Karen McDougal is suing to break a 2016 contract that reportedly requires her to keep silent about an affair with Donald Trump years before he became president.
In the complaint — which was obtained by The New York Times — McDougal’s lawyers allege that she had a “10-month relationship with Mr. Trump” in 2006. They say McDougal decided to pursue a lawsuit because “she has become aware of the broad effort to silence and intimidate her and others.”
The former Playmate is suing in the Los Angeles Superior court, and she’s charging American Media Inc. with paying her $150,000 for her story, then killing it. American Media Inc. owns the National Enquirer, which has been friendly to Trump during his candidacy and tenure in the White House.
McDougal also claims that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was involved in the deal and that she was misled in the proceedings.
She is the second woman to accuse the president’s personal lawyer of paying her to keep silent about an extramarital relationship with Trump. McDougal says she was paid $150,000 for her silence — earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal outlined payments Cohen made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Both women claim that their affairs with Trump occurred in 2006, after he married Melania Trump.
Daniels is currently being sued by Cohen, who claims that she violated the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2016. Daniels' story doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, as she’s lined up for an interview with “60 Minutes.”
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:03 AM
SNOQUALMIE NATIONAL FOREST, Wash. — A Mill Creek, Washington, man is facing charges after a treehouse was found in the Snoqualmie National Forest with child pornography hanging on the walls inside.
KIRO-TV first reported on the discovery off the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in February. The unauthorized treehouse was reported by an employee of the Department of Natural Resources, according to court documents. A DNR worker took a couple of the photographs off the wall to show law enforcement and called the King County Sheriff's Office.
The DNR employee took a detective to the treehouse, which was described in court documents as "an elaborate tree house that resembled a fairy or gingerbread house." The treehouse was about 8 feet off the ground with a porch surrounding it.
Investigators say that inside the treehouse they found photographs of naked young girls framed on the walls. There was also a bed, food, supplies, a book and an electronic keyboard.
They found an envelope with more pornographic images.
The King County Sheriff's Office handed the case over to the FBI to investigate. The FBI sent KIRO-TV new photos of the house on Monday.
The FBI searched the cabin in April 2017 and collected items to test for fingerprints and DNA to find out who built the cabin.
They took construction photos, smoking material, bedding, glasses, photos of girls, bags of batteries and glass from the photograph frames.
They sent the items to the FBI laboratory in Quantico.
Federal investigators said they also talked to a Search and Rescue volunteer who said he had seen an SUV near the cabin on multiple occasions, and he had the license plate information. Investigators tracked down the owner of the vehicle and watched him.
Investigators said they took a swab from the handle of his motorcycle and later got a paper drinking cup he discarded. Those items were also sent to the lab in Quantico.
According to court documents, the items tested at Quantico positively identified the 56-year-old Mill Creek man. Court records show Daniel Wood, of Mill Creek, has been charged with two counts of child pornography possession.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:31 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that could have parents footing the bill if their child bullies another kid at school.
It started out as a rule in Sharpsburg.
WPXI checked with the police officer who enforces the law and he said it is working as a deterrent.
He also said it's raised awareness of how serious bullying is, and the potential consequences.
After Brentwood and Sharpsburg passed local anti-bullying ordinances that fine parents of bullies, a state lawmaker is proposing more encompassing legislation.
State Rep. Frank Burns' bill gives parents three strikes. He's from Cambria County.
The first time a child bullies someone, the school is required to inform his or her parents how it handled the situation. If it happens a second time, parents would have to take a class on bullying and attend a bullying resolution conference.
The third time, parents would receive a court citation and pay up to a $500 fine.
Punishing parents for the actions of their kids —> Pa lawmaker proposes fining parents $500 for child's bullying. http://on.wpxi.com/2p8XrPLPosted by WPXI Courtney Brennan on Tuesday, March 13, 2018
In a statement issued last week, the Democrat said bullying can lead to physical assaults and suicide.
He said holding students, parents and officials accountable "is the only way to put an end to this scourge."
The proposal also includes an anonymous bullying reporting system requiring the state education department to track bullying incidents and file monthly reports.
Sharpsburg police have yet to file any citations against parents.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.