Survivors recount horror of Texas church shooting: 'He shot anyone who got in the way'

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:17 AM

WATCH: Texas Church Shooting Survivor Said, ‘I Knew I Was Going to Die’

Joaquin Ramirez and Rosanne Solis walked into First Baptist Church on Sunday just minutes before the shots began to ring out.

Victims Of Texas Church Shooting

Ramirez, 50, and Solis, 57, a longtime couple who live in First Baptist’s neighborhood, were sitting in their usual spot — fourth row on the left side — at the small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were killed Sunday morning and another 20 were injured.

>> Texas church shooting: 8 relatives, pastor's daughter among victims of shooting

The couple had arrived around 11 a.m., when the service began. The church band had played at least one worship song, and church members were beginning weekly announcements. People were still greeting each other, hugging and waving toward one another.

Then Solis and Ramirez heard what sounded like firecrackers.

“That’s when the shots started,” Solis said. “Everybody started running and screaming.”

>> Devin Patrick Kelley: What we know about Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooter

The first shots appeared to be coming from the roof, Solis and Ramirez said.

Suddenly, Ramirez felt heat rush up his left ankle. Solis felt the same, but on her left arm. They both dropped to the ground. Ramirez draped his body on top of Solis.

A second round of shots banged from above, then Ramirez and Solis heard First Baptist’s front doors open. The shooter, now identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, was inside.

>> Texas church shooting: Gunman previously escaped mental health center

He yelled that everyone was going to die, Solis said, and started shooting again.

“I could see his feet moving,” Solis said. “He shot anyone who got in the way. Even babies. It didn’t matter.”

Kelley moved down the middle aisle of the two rows of seating at the church, picking off person by person.

He approached the stage and shot there, too, Ramirez said. At that moment, Ramirez crawled toward the front doors and escaped. He ran to find police.

>> Texas church shooting: Air Force admits it failed to report Devin Kelley's past crimes

Inside, Solis tried to play dead underneath one of the church pews. She opened her eyes briefly and saw blood around her.

After Kelley had shot everyone at the stage, he appeared to move back toward the church doors, Solis said. He continued to fire.

After a few minutes, he appeared to run out of ammunition, Solis said. He dropped two rifles on the ground, she said, and ran out.

Solis was too afraid to move.

“I heard silence,” she said. “Then I heard screaming. Children were screaming. People were screaming.”

>> On Statesman.com: Complete coverage of the Texas church shooting

Solis slowly rose. She looked to her left and saw a young boy on his stomach. He wasn’t moving. She looked behind her and saw a man splattered with blood, his arms waved behind him and his head tilted back. In front of her, a man holding a little girl screamed through tears.

Dozens of people lay on the ground.

“I thought Joaquin was dead,” Solis said.

She picked up her shoes, which had fallen off, slipped them on and walked outside. Police and medical personnel would soon arrive. It had only been about half an hour since service began.

Solis could hardly think straight.

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Later, as she was getting treated for the shot that pierced her left arm, she saw Ramirez approaching her.

Both couldn’t believe that each other had survived.

“We felt nothing but joy,” Ramirez said. “We were alive.”

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Manhattan nanny guilty in brutal stabbing deaths of 2 young children

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 4:01 PM

New York Nanny Guilty Of Murdering Two Young Children

A Manhattan nanny accused of stabbing to death the two young children in her care more than five years ago has been convicted of murder after jurors rejected her claim that she was too mentally ill to know what she was doing.

Yoselyn Ortega, 55, will be sentenced May 14 for first-degree murder and second-degree murder in the deaths of Leo Krim, 2, and his sister, Lucia “Lulu” Krim, 6according to The New York Times. The guilty verdict was announced Wednesday after two days of jury deliberation. 

Ortega, who was silent as the verdict was read, faces life in prison. 

>> Related story: ‘You’re evil!’ Mother of slain children screams at nanny on trial in grisly deaths

The children’s father, Kevin Krim, sat in the front row for the verdict, holding hands with two alternate jurors who were released from duty before deliberation began, the Times reported. He wept and rocked back and forth when the verdict was read.

One of the jurors took his glasses off, wiping away his own tears. 

In a Facebook post following the verdict, Krim thanked the judge and jurors, as well as prosecutors and police investigators, for their dedication to seeing justice done. 

“This process has been very challenging for us, but it has also reaffirmed our love of New York: a city that Lulu and Leo loved dearly,” Krim wrote. “We got through this trial because of our family, our friends, our fellow New Yorkers and the loving memory of Lulu and Leo’s lives.”

Krim also said that he and his wife, Marina Krim, are supporting state legislation that would make it a crime to falsify the job application and references of someone working in child care. He accused Ortega’s family of deceiving them about her qualifications, saying they “remain wholly unaccountable for their role in the murders of (the Krim) children.”

Ortega’s six-week murder trial was fraught with emotion from the very first witness. Marina Krim took the stand first, testifying about finding her children’s bloody, lifeless bodies in a bathtub Oct. 25, 2012, at the family’s Upper West Side apartment. 

She had taken the couple’s younger daughter, 3-year-old Nessie, to a swimming lesson and the pair then went to Lulu’s dance studio to pick the little girl up. When the frantic mother realized Lulu never showed up, she rushed home. 

She searched room to room, finding no sign of her children until she reached a bathroom. 

“I go down, I walk down the hall and I see the light on under the back of the door, and I’m like, ‘Oh God, it’s so quiet in here, oh God. Why is it so … quiet?’ And I open the door … and I open the door, oh God,” Marina Krim said, weeping, The Associated Press reported at the start of the trial. 

Inside the bathroom, she found Lulu and Leo in the bathtub, both covered with blood. Krim testified that she knew immediately that Lulu was dead because her eyes were open and fixed. 

Ortega stabbed herself in the neck as Marina Krim walked into the room. 

Lulu suffered at least 30 stab wounds and her brother, who could not defend himself, suffered five, prosecutors said. Both children’s throats were slashed so deeply that first responders initially thought they had been decapitated. 

In this still image from an undated video, Leo Krim, left, and his sister Lulu Krim, who prosecutors say were stabbed to death by their nanny in 2012, appear in a video message about the fund. The children's parents, who established the Lulu & Leo Fund in their names, are asking the public to try to think positive as the criminal case finally goes to trial.(Lulu & Leo Fund via AP)

Kevin Krim testified about coming home from a business trip and seeing his children’s bodies at a hospital, CBS News reported

“They still had this perfect skin and these long eyelashes,” Kevin Krim said. “They had, like, sandy brown hair. You could see they tried really hard to wash all the blood out, but there was still kind of an auburn tint to it that I remember to this day.”

Weeping could be heard throughout the courtroom, including from the jury box, CBS News said.

“It’s worse than you’d imagine,” Krim testified. “It’s worse.”

At a news conference following the verdict, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. praised the jurors for their “diligence throughout this incredibly difficult and heartbreaking trial,” the Times reported

Vance said that the Krims lived every parent’s worst nightmare. Jurors seemed to agree.

“As a father of two children myself, I can’t imagine. No parent should have to experience the loss of a child,” a teary-eyed juror, David Curtis, said. “This was a very difficult decision for us. There were some raised voices and a lot of tears.”

The Times reported that Ortega’s defense painted a portrait of a mentally ill woman who had been suffering from delusions and hallucinations since her teen years in the Dominican Republic. Her lawyers argued that she heard voices, including that of Satan, telling her to kill the children.

Two defense psychiatrists testified that Ortega was having a severe psychotic break when she stabbed Lulu and Leo and could not remember killing them.

>> Read more trending news

A prosecution expert testified, however, that Ortega suffered from anxiety and depression, but was not paranoid or delusional when she committed the crime, the Times said. The forensic psychologist played for jurors a 2016 interview he had with Ortega in which she denied hearing voices.

It was not until months later that she claimed the devil made her kill the children, the newspaper reported. 

Prosecutors argued that Ortega, who was jealous of Marina Krim’s life and wealth, planned the murders. They pointed to the fact that she left a purse holding valuables, ID cards and keepsakes for her own teenage son with her sister.

She had also recently pleaded with her sister to take care of her son and “raise him well,” the state argued. 

In this Oct. 27, 2012, file photo, photographs of 6-year-old Lulu Krim and her 2-year-old brother, Leo, are displayed alongside balloons and stuffed animals at a memorial outside the apartment building where they lived in Manhattan. Yoselyn Ortega, the nanny charged with murder in the Oct. 25, 2012, stabbing deaths of the children, was convicted of the crime Wednesday, April 18, 2018.
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Ortega’s son had arrived in the U.S. to finish high school in the months before the murders, putting added financial pressure on his mother, who enrolled him in a private school. 

Despite witness testimony from Ortega’s family and friends about a series of mental breakdowns over the years, the only written documentation of mental issues came from a therapist Ortega visited three days before the murders, the Times reported. The therapist testified that he saw no signs of delusional thinking and that Ortega said nothing about hearing voices. 

Instead, she talked about stress and feelings of failure in her relationship with her son, who she left with family in the Dominican Republic when he was 4 years old. 

Marina Krim testified that, in the past, she and her husband had bought Ortega plane tickets to visit her family back home and even made the trip themselves to meet her loved ones. 

Ortega also told police investigators immediately after the killings that she hurt the children because she had money problems and was angry at the Krims, the AP reported. She complained about a shifting schedule and having to work as a cleaning woman when she did not want to. 

ABC News reported that some of those extra cleaning jobs were efforts by Krim to help Ortega make more money to better support her son.

CBS News reported that, although Ortega showed little to no emotion throughout the trial, she forcefully shook her head and mouthed the word “no” during some testimony -- when it was said that her employers treated her well. 

The Krims, who started the Lulu & Leo Fund following their children’s slayings, have since had two more sons, Felix in 2013 and Linus in 2016. 

The Lulu & Leo Fund provides funds for Choose Creativity, which the fund’s Facebook page describes as a curriculum-based initiative that centers on 10 principles of creativity. Working with schools and community organizations, the program brings the initiative to children and families in underserved communities. 

As of November, the curriculum was being taught in more than 20 schools and community centers, impacting more than 2,000 students, the page states. 

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NYC police: Missing man may be in Dayton

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:54 PM

Alan Profitt
Alan Profitt

The New York City Police Department is asking for help to find a missing man who may be in the Dayton area.

Alan Profitt, 51, has been missing since September 2017 from Queens, N.Y., and police there believe he may have returned to Dayton.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers, 937-222-STOP(7867) or NYPD detective Frank Acosta at 212-694-7781.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Ex-Kettering sub teacher sentenced for sex crimes: ‘I cannot express how sorry I am’

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:31 PM

Ex-Kettering sub teacher sentenced for sex crimes

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.:

Madeline Marx, the former Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher who pleaded guilty to sex charges involving students, was sentenced to five years of community control sanctions for each of two convictions of sexual battery, but will avoid prison. 

Marx was also labeled as a Tier III sex offender, requiring her to register her address every 90 days for the rest of her life.

Marx was ordered to undergo sexual offender counseling, and is not to have contact with any of the victims.

Marx is also not to enter into any Kettering City Schools facilities. 

“I cannot express how sorry I am,” Marx said, tearfully apologizing to the victims and their families. “I just can’t express the remorse that I have.”

FIRST REPORT

Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher Madeline J. Marx is scheduled to be sentenced today on sexual battery charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Marx, 24, pleaded and was found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with two students and was arrested last November. She is to appear today in front of Judge Steven Dankof.

RELATED: Miamisburg school worried ex-teacher flirted a year before sex charges

A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to the complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in court.

A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.

Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.

RELATED: Substitute teacher accused of sex with two students seeks insanity plea

An affidavit said Marx also confessed to sending several nude pictures via Snapchat and Instagram.

A prosecutor’s office press release indicated Marx also substitute taught in Oakwood. School officials in Oakwood sent parents a letter saying that they did not know of any victims in their school district.

State records indicated Marx has a four-year teaching license as a K-12 education intervention specialist.

RELATED: What we’ve learned about Madeline Marx

Marx graduated in 2012 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in education, according to CJ and UD officials.

According to her UD transcript included in her personnel file, Marx withdrew from a fall 2013 class on sexual ethics.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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Police: Mother faces charges after Urbana elementary student has cocaine in system at school

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

A 7-year-old student came to school high on cocaine Monday morning. The mother of that student is now in custody.

A 7-year-old Urbana student came to school high on cocaine on Monday, police said.

The child is a student at North Elementary, one of the district’s kindergarten and first-grade schools, and was acting very unusual in the late morning, according to police and school officials.

“The student was drowsy, groggy and they thought there might be a blood sugar question,” Urbana Superintendent Charles Thiel said.

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Thiel said the student’s classroom was quarantined and administrators called 9-1-1.

The student was taken to Urbana Mercy Health Hospital, where it was determined the substance in the student’s system was cocaine.

The child received treatment and was later released, but it’s not known whether the student has returned to school after the incident.

“It’s a terrible situation for one of our youngest students to have to be in an environment in which the ingestion of an illegal substance occurs,” Thiel said.

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The mother of the child appeared to be under the influence of multiple drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl, when she showed up at the hospital, according to police.

Police say it’s likely the student inhaled the drug prior to the start of the school day while staying at a Springfield home.

The mother is currently being held at Tri-County Jail and is facing multiple felony drug abuse charges, police said.

Thiel said an all-call went out to parents on Monday evening explaining what happened, and he’s grateful for the experienced nursing staff the district had on hand and their quick actions.

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