Florida school shooting: Football coach shot, killed while protecting students hailed as hero

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 2:48 AM

Assistant Football Coach Died Protecting Students During Florida High School Shooting

UPDATE, 5:19 a.m. EST Thursday: Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has died after being wounded in a deadly mass shooting Wednesday, the team tweeted early Thursday.

“It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the team wrote. “He was our assistant football coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”

>> See the tweet here

ORIGINAL STORY: An assistant football coach reportedly was shot while protecting students during a deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Aaron Feis is being celebrated as a hero, according to the Miami Herald, citing tributes to the coach and reports on social media.

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Seventeen were killed and many more were injured in Wednesday's shooting. A gunman, whom police identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, opened fire on students in the afternoon.

When the shooting started, Feis – a school security guard, as well – reportedly stepped between the shooter and students, taking bullets in the act. He was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.

Douglas football player Charlie Rothkopf tweeted that his coach “took [several] bullets covering other students at Douglas.”

The Miami Herald reported that Feis is a 1999 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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“He is a friend to all students that know him,” wrote Angelica Losada, who identified herself as a former student at the school. “Please, take a moment to send healing prayers for him.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said “a football coach” had died in the shooting. It is not clear if Israel was referring to Feis.

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Police make arrest in 1986 child murder

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:58 PM

Arrest Made in 1986 Child Murder

suspect was arrested Wednesday in the 1986 child murder case of Michella Welch.

Gary Charles Hartman, 66, was booked into the Pierce County Jail. He's expected to have a bail hearing Thursday, and KIRO 7 will be there. 

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Welch was 12 years old when she disappeared after she and her younger sisters visited Tacoma’s Puget Park on March 26, 1986.

Her body was found in a gulch after police conducted a search. 

In 2016, using technology called DNA phenotyping, Tacoma police and the Virginia-based company Parabon Nanolabs produced computer-generated composites using evidence found after the murders of Welch and 13-year-old Jennifer Bastian.

Welch was found in Tacoma's Puget Park in March 1986, Bastian five months later in Point Defiance Park. Both had been raped and murdered. 

At first, police thought both murders were the work of the same man, until 2013, when a re-examination of evidence proved there were actually two different killers. 

Earlier this year, Jennifer Bastian's suspected killer was also arrested.

That suspect was detained out of state and taken to Washington for prosecution. Officials with the Illinois State Police said they helped apprehend the suspect in Bastian's killing, identified as Robert Washburn.

In court documents, Pierce County prosecuting attorney Jared Ausserer said Washburn first became a suspect when he called police in May of 1986 about a composite sketch released of a suspect in the murder of Welch.

Washburn called police after the suspect sketch was released, saying he saw a similar-looking man while jogging in Point Defiance Park. 

He told police he jogged in the park as often as twice a day, Ausserer said. 

In 1986, a special task force was formed to investigate the murders of Welch and Bastian.

"There are remarkable similarities (in the murders of Welch and Bastian)," KIRO 7 reporter Karen O'Leary said on-air that year. "She and Jennifer were about the same age. Both were riding bikes when they disappeared. Both were found in north Tacoma parks."

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Lawsuit: Mistaken identity lands woman in Georgia jail for 2 days

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 8:49 AM

Jessica Ellison has filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County, after she claims she was jailed for two days in a case of mistaken identity. 
David McNew, Getty Images
Jessica Ellison has filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County, after she claims she was jailed for two days in a case of mistaken identity. (David McNew, Getty Images)

Jessica Ellison’s nightmare began with a broken taillight and a case of mistaken identity.

It ended with two days in jail, a worried family and a lost job -- and now a lawsuit, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“This reads as the script for some kind of dark comedy, where your protagonist cannot get anything to go right,” Ellison’s attorney, Nathan Lock, said.

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Lock filed a lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Ellison’s behalf. Among the named defendants are Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway, Corizon Health, which at the time of the incident provided health care services at the jail, and Gwinnett County police Officer Mark Ferrell.

It accuses each defendant of negligence.

The sheriff’s office and police department both declined to comment on the case. In the lawsuit, Lock describes the incident as follows.

Ellison, a property manager from Jonesboro, Georgia, was driving through Gwinnett County on the afternoon of June 21, 2016, when she got stopped near Duluth by GCPD Officer Mark Ferrell. Ferrell told her she had a taillight out and he was going to give her a warning, but he needed to run her license.

According to Ferrell’s incident report, he subsequently found a warrant out of Bartow County for a woman named Jessica Ellison. The birthdates matched, and dispatch verified the warrant -- for failure to appear on a then-three-year-old shoplifting charge -- was still active.

Ellison was taken to jail.

There was one problem. She and her lawyer now say the warrant was for a Jessica Ellis, not “Ellison.”

Upon arriving at the jail, Ellison was fingerprinted and, despite her “repeated” pleas about the arrest being a mistake, those fingerprints were never compared to those of the wanted woman, the lawsuit claims.

“There’s a lot of different things that could’ve been verified that would’ve distinguished the two,” Lock said.

Ellison spent the next two days in jail waiting for authorities to pick her up. During that time, the lawsuit claims, she was not allowed a phone call -- leaving her family and her job to wonder where she was -- and never saw a nurse despite repeated requests.

Ellison takes supplements to prevent seizures.

She didn’t have one in jail, Lock said, but did shortly after arriving home — which was only possible after the Bartow County deputy that arrived to transport her double-checked her information and was “immediately able to verify” she was the wrong woman.

Lock said the seizure came while she was cleaning up feces and urine from her dog, who was alone and unfed the entire time she was incarcerated.

Ellison also lost her job, according to the suit, which asks for unspecified compensation.

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Gulf grows between Trump and Congress on trade

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:15 AM

As President Donald Trump this week threatened $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, and then warned Europe that he would slap a 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles, members of both parties Congress accused the administration of starting a trade war which could cause collateral economic damage across the United States.

The differences were on display at a hearing Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who took a bipartisan tongue lashing on a recent round of tariffs levied on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and Europe.

“We’re picking winners and losers,” argued Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said those tariffs were already hurting businesses in his home state.

“Probably resulting – in my view – in far more jobs being lost than being gained,” Toomey told Ross, citing a very well-known Pennsylvania company that could find it less expensive to move jobs from the U.S. to Canada.

Almost every Senator on the panel had a story of a small business that was feeling the pinch due to Trump Administration tariffs, impacting all sorts of agricultural products, as well as manufacturing, big and small.

“Do you think we’re in a trade war right now?” asked Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “Because I do,” as Cantwell rattled off farm products that were losing markets because of retaliatory tariff measures.

Ross downplayed the cost of higher imported steel and aluminum, basically making the case that economic hardships were being overplayed.

“It’s a fraction of a penny on a can of Campbell’s soup, it’s a fraction on a can of Budweiser, it’s a fraction on a can of Coke,” Ross said.

That did not please the Senator from the state of Coca-Cola.

“Although a couple of pennies on a can is not much, a couple pennies times a billion is lots,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

“We’re hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), warning the Trump Administration against tariffs on imported automobiles, as GOP Senators labeled such actions a tax on consumers.

“Steel prices are going up – not just for foreign steel subject to tariffs, but also for U.S. steel,” complained Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

“Mexico’s buying their wheat from Argentina and their corn from Brazil,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), as he told Ross that Kansas wheat exports were encountering troubles because of new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, bringing bad economic news on the farm report.

Ross simply told Senators if other countries put new tariffs on U.S. exports, that was out of his control.

“We have no control over what another country does in retaliation,” Ross said.

The bipartisan complaints clearly had no impact, as by Friday, President Trump was on Twitter, issuing new threats against European auto imports.

As Democrats registered their opposition, they also couldn’t help but note the oddity of a Republican President going against what’s been a bedrock belief of the GOP.

“I feel like I’ve gone down a rabbit hole,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who said she found it hard to believe the party of free trade now had a President in office who was doing the exact opposite.

“In a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you’re picking winners and losers,” McCaskill told Ross.

But for the President, this is about re-setting trade deals, which he says were tilted against the United States.

“As far as trade is concerned with other countries, we want fair and reciprocal trade, we don’t want stupid trade like we had for so long,” the President said at a rally in Minnesota.

“Remember the world reciprocal,” Mr. Trump said. “We have been ripped off by almost every country on Earth, our friends and our enemies.”

“But those days are over,” the President said to cheers from the crowd.

But while they’re cheering Mr. Trump on the stump, at the U.S. Capitol, they’re worried about a trade war.

“We’re getting into a war that’s going to cost lots of billions of dollars,” Isakson warned.

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Superman trades cape for badge: Dean Cain sworn in as reserve police officer in Idaho

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:02 AM

Actor Dean Cain was sworn in as a reserve police officer in Idaho.
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety
Actor Dean Cain was sworn in as a reserve police officer in Idaho.(Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

Superman has changed uniforms.

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Actor Dean Cain, who played the Man of Steel in the show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” was recently sworn in as a reserve officer in Idaho, Fox News reported.

Cain, 51, was sworn in as a reserve for the St. Anthony Police Department, Fox News reported. The Idaho State Police tweeted the news Tuesday, showing a series of photos of the swearing-in ceremony.

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