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Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 12:24 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 2:01 PM
LANTANA, Fla. — UPDATE 2 p.m. 2/9: 32-year-old Boynton Beach man was Hugo Steven Selva’s first victim in the 24-hour crime spree that ended with a deputy killing the 22-year-old on Interstate 95 near Lantana Road.
Charles Brown Jr. was shot Tuesday afternoon on South Dixie Highway, near the Dutchman Motor Lodge south of Forest Hill Boulevard. He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach with non-life threatening injuries.
Police said at the time that Brown likely knew his shooter. Authorities have since linked Selva to that shooting, as well as one early Wednesday in Boynton Beach and his girlfriend’s later that morning in front of a Lake Worth grocery store. Anthony Fonti, 21, is expected to survive his wounds in the Boynton Beach shooting.
UPDATE 1 p.m. 2/8 : A friend of Hugo Steven Selva’s family told The Post that the man shot to death Wednesday by a Palm Beach County deputy sheriff said “had much better days” before he became involved with Nicole Novak.
"I can't elaborate on how he changed. I want to remain positive,” Robert Cecere told The Post. “He was a new dad and there are a lot of stresses when you're a young and new dad."
Cecere, a massage therapist who lived in Lantana from 1993 to 2006 before moving to Ohio, said Selva had a normal childhood full of laughter and dirt bikes.
"He was always the funny guy. Good for a laugh. Loved my massage work and always made sure to get a treatment if I was in town,” Cecere said in Facebook conversation. He said he last recalled speaking with Selva last fall.
Cecere said he spoke Wednesday night with Selva’s mother last night and that she was “beyond devastated.”
“She just cried,” he said.
UPDATE 12:25 p.m. 2/8: Hugo Steven Selva’s grandmother asked a Palm Beach County court for a restraining order against her grandson in December 2016 after repeated death threats.
In a court petition, Marilyn Selva wrote that Hugo “has threatened to kill me and (Selva’s sister) on multiple occasions.”
Marilyn Selva said her grandson and Nicole Novak come to her home “usually when I’m alone and they threaten me.”
The court granted her petition on that same month.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Selva shot and killed Novak outside a Lake Worth convenience store on Wednesday. Selva was later shot and killed by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy.
In January 2016, Selva allegedly armed himself with a butcher knife and threatened to kill his grandmother, his sister and then himself, according to the petition.
Marilyn Selva said Hugo Selva took her phone several times in order to monitor who she was communicating with.
“I am in fear for my life as I am 77 years old and have health issues,” Marilyn Selva wrote. “Hugo’s behavior and threats are escalating. He has become more demanding and forceful.”
Marilyn Selva says in the petition that her grandson has alcohol and drug problems and that Novak is “on parole for drug trafficking.”
Marilyn Selva ends her comments on the petition saying that Hugo Selva and Novak “are draining me physically, emotionally and financially.”
“He gets up close to my face and shouts at me, calls me satan (expletive).”
Original story: Authorities have revealed the name of the woman they say was shot Wednesday by a man who later drove the wrong way on Interstate 95 and caused multicar crashes. They’ve also identified the man who they say was shot and killed by a Palm Beach County deputy.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman as Nicole M. Novak, 26. And the man is identified as Hugo Steven Selva, 22.
Facebook pages for the two say they had a relationship and a child together.
The sheriff’s office did not provide hometowns or other information. But a birth announcement says Selva was born in Boynton Beach. And a Facebook page for Selva says he had attended Park Vista High School in suburban Boynton Beach.
A woman who answered a phone listed for Selva’s mother said, “She’s an elderly woman. She had nothing to do with this,” and told a reporter if he had other questions he should talk to police.
Authorities say Wednesday’s day of mayhem began when Selva shot Novak in the head at a shopping center on the 1600 block of South Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, just north of Lantana. When Fire-Rescue workers arrived, the woman was gone; people told them she had been driven to a hospital. But she was in the car with the man who shot her.
About 15 minutes later, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Wednesday, agencies began getting calls that a black SUV was racing south in the breakdown lane of northbound Interstate 95. His car then got into three crashes with six to eight other vehicles, some of them head-on, near Lantana Road.
As it came to a stop, deputies and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper confronted Selva. A trooper deployed a Taser but it either didn’t work or had no effect. The deputy then shot Selva.
Bradshaw said Wednesday the deputy who shot the man “said he was in fear of his life and the life of the trooper and opened fire.”
Deputies pulled Novak from the burning car, but she was dead, the sheriff’s office has said.
The sheriff’s office said Thursday it has turned the review of the deputy-involved shooting over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Authorities initially blocked both directions of I-95, then reopened southbound lanes, but said northbound lanes would stay closed through the afternoon. They later extended the closed stretch south from Lantana Road all the way to Gateway to relieve bottlenecks from motorists getting off the expressway. Adding to the misery: A separate rollover crash at about 1 p.m. blocked I-95 two more exits south at Woolbright Road.
The deputy is on paid administrative leave, which is standard following shootings. The sheriff’s office said Thursday no other deputy fired a weapon.
Boynton Beach police have identified that victim as Anthony Fonti, 21, of Boynton Beach. A spokeswoman said Boynton Beach police suspect a link but are not “100 percent sure.”
Authorities Thursday had yet to divulge numerous other facts. The Sheriff’s Office said Thursday some of these questions are part of the ongoing investigation and won’t be immediately answered.
Among them: The identities of the deputy who shot the driver and the FHP trooper who deployed his Taser.
Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A survivor of Wednesday's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, slammed President Donald Trump, lawmakers and the National Rifle Association in a scathing speech Saturday at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale.
"Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving," said Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "But instead, we are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the founding fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed, but our laws have not."
Gonzalez called out one of Trump's tweets following the shooting that left 17 people dead.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" Trump wrote Thursday morning.
Gonzalez said Saturday: "We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid, OK? We did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife."
She added: "If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association."
She went on to criticize him and other lawmakers.
"To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!" she said, prompting the crowd to chant, "Shame on you" in response.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 7:34 AM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 7:34 AM
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 5:52 AM
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An 11-year-old Orange County, Florida, girl was found Sunday afternoon at a Georgia hotel room with a 24-year-old Illinois man who had abducted her, Georgia's Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said.
PLEASE RETWEET!— FDLE (@fdlepio) February 18, 2018
FLORIDA MISSING CHILD ALERT issued for Alice Johnson, W/F, 11yo, 5'5", 140lbs, blue eyes, last seen 9000 block of Eastport Terrace, Orlando. Short blue & brown hair, blue & white striped backpack. Have info? Contact Orange County SO at 407-836-4357 OR 911. pic.twitter.com/EDK2jFkc7n
UPDATE: The MISSING CHILD Alert for Alice Johnson has been resolved. The child has been found safe. Thank you for sharing!— FDLE (@fdlepio) February 18, 2018
Alice Amelia Johnson was reported missing at about 9 a.m. Sunday from a subdivision near University Boulevard and North Econlockhatchee Trail in Orange County, deputies said.
Investigators said they tracked Alice's cellphone while she was traveling with John Peter Byrns, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
At about 2 p.m. Sunday, Orange County deputies contacted Bibb County deputies, who were contacted by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent two hours later, officials said.
Byrns and Alice were found shortly before 6 p.m. in a room at a Holiday Inn Express and Suites near Macon, deputies said.
Investigators said charges are pending against Byrns, who is being held at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:32 AM
ATLANTA — A 30-year-old man died of injuries after a shooting in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood that police believe involved an Uber Eats driver.
Police say Ryan Thornton, 30, ordered food from the app to be delivered to the Concorde Condominium on Pharr Court South late Saturday.
At 11:30 p.m., Thornton walked away from the delivery car with his order.
Police said words may have been exchanged, and that's when shots were fired from the delivery car. The driver took off in a white Volkswagen.
One of the people WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen spoke with lives close to where the incident happened. The person, who didn't want to be identified, said he heard five gunshots go off outside his apartment.
Thorton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.
If you’ve never heard of Uber Eats, it’s a smartphone app that many people use to order take-out. Uber told WSB-TV that it has a "no weapons" policy for its drivers.
As the search for the driver continues, this shooting has those who use the app a little hesitant to continue to do so.
"Something needs to be done to further the safety of Uber Eats and make us feel safe,” said the man who lives near the scene.
Uber said a statement that it is shocked and saddened by the news and is working with the Atlanta Police Department.
I am trying to learn more about the victim in the @UberEats incident, 30 year old Ryan Thornton from Atlanta. @Atlanta_Police are still looking for the driver. They tell me the driver drives a white Volkswagen.— Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) February 18, 2018