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New Jersey arts festival shooting: Suspect dead, 22 hurt, police say

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 7:50 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

New Jersey Arts Festival Shooting

One suspect is dead and 22 people were hurt early Sunday after gunfire rang out at an arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey, authorities said.

 

According to The Associated Press, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said two suspects began firing their weapons at the Art All Night festival about 3 a.m. EDT Sunday. Authorities originally said four of the victims were injured critically, and 17 of the victims suffered gunshot wounds, the AP reported. A 13-year-old teen who was in critical condition was upgraded Sunday night to stable condition, The Trentonian reported

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UPDATE, June 18, 2018, 8:53 a.m. EDT: Police said Tahaij Wells, 32, died at the hospital after suffering gunshot wounds during the melee, The Trentonian reported. Police said he was one of the suspects who were shooting inside the warehouse. 

Police identified another shooter as Amir Armstrong, 23, who was listed in stable condition at a hospital, the Trentonian reported. Prosecutors said Armstrong was charged with a weapons offense. Police said there was a third suspected gunman who was in critical condition but did not identify him, the newspaper reported.

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 2:59 p.m.: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy spoke at the Galilee Baptist Church in Trenton. “Art All Night is a time when we call come together. We cannot let gun violence tear us apart,” he said. “These are not inappropriate times to talk about gun policy. These are the most important times to talk about gun policy.” 

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 2:40 p.m.: The Trentonian reported that “law enforcement sources” believed a fight that sparked the shooting was the result of an ongoing conflict between two rival groups. A social media post 15 hours before the shooting suggested that there would be gunfire at the event. A Facebook post by Danielle Grady pleaded for people to “Please, please, do not got to Art All Night! They will be shooting it up!” 

The post has since been taken down, but the Trentonian ran a screen shot of the Facebook post.

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 11:00 a.m.  EDT: Officials said 22 people were injured during the incident, 17 by gunfire. Of the four people injured critically, one was a 13-year-old boy who was in “extreme critical condition,” police said.

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 9:25 a.m. EDT: What Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said the festival does not appear to have been the target of the shooting, NJ.com reported.

"All indications are that this was a dispute between individuals that occurred at Art All Night," Onofri said.

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 9:08 a.m. EDT: At a news conference Sunday morning, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson called the shooting “truly a tragedy” for the city. 

“All shootings, whether large or small, are a crisis. It’s a fact that our cities, as well as our suburbs, throughout America are experiencing an increase in public shootings and public unrest,” Jackson said. “This isn’t some random act of violence; this is a public health issue. We are working cooperatively and collaboratively to end this violence in the city of Trenton.”

UPDATE: June 17, 2018, 8:53 a.m. EDT: Art festival officials announced on Facebook “with great regret” that the remainder of the festival had been canceled.

“We’re still processing much of this and we don’t have many answers at this time,” officials wrote in the Facebook post.

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Trump says Russia no longer targeting US, contradicting intelligence officials

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 2:13 PM

President Trump Accepts Russia Meddling In 2016 Election

President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that Russia is no longer targeting the United States, just days after his director of National Intelligence issued a statement warning of the country’s “ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”

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“Thank you very much. No,” Trump answered after a reporter asked during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday if Russia was still targeting the U.S.

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“We are doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia,” Trump said. “There's been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia.”

Trump’s comment came just days after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said in a statement that intelligence officials “have been clear in our assessments of Russia meddling in the 2016 election” and the ongoing efforts to interfere in American politics.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump again contradicts U.S. Intelligence on Russia

Wednesday’s comments marked the second time in less than a week that the president has contradicted his intelligence officials while talking about Russia. He told reporters on Tuesday that he “misspoke” one day earlier when, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he said that he didn’t see why Russia would have meddled in the election.

“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ ... I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

However, he added, it “could be other people also.”

>> Trump says he accepts that Russia meddled in 2016 election

The president reiterated that his campaign had no involvement in the election meddling.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was tasked in May 2017 with investigating Russian election interference and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials. The special counsel investigation of Russian meddling has led to charges against 32 people accused of crimes ranging from money laundering and falsifying income tax returns to lying to FBI investigators. 

>> More on Robert Mueller's investigation

Five people, including former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty to charges in the investigation. The investigation is ongoing.

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Trump announces changes to new, $3.9B Air Force One

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 11:07 AM

President Trump Announces Updates To Air Force One

President Donald Trump has confirmed reports of major updates to Air Force One.

In an interview with CBS News Tuesday, he said the plane will have changes inside and out, including a bolder paint scheme.

“Boeing gave us a good deal. And we were able to take that,” Trump said. “But I said, ‘I wonder if we should use the same baby blue colors?’ And we’re not. Red, white and blue.”

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the $3.9 billion contract with Seattle-based The Boeing Company for the manufacturing and engineering of two aircraft.

“Air Force One is going to be incredible,” Trump said. “It’s gonna be the top of the line. The top in the world and it’s gonna be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”

Trump added that the contract was a good deal, saying he saved $1.5 billion.

The Associated Press reported in February that the price includes work to modify two 747-800 commercial planes with equipment needed for the presidential aircraft, such as a secure communications suite, self-defense system, medical facility and electrical power upgrades. It will also include work to build and develop the two planes.

“Boeing is proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers,” the company said in a statement Feb. 27. “President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people.”

Work on the aircraft will be performed in San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be completed by December 2024.

“I hate to say this, it’s gonna be a long time,” Trump told CBS News. “It’s a very complex project. But by the time it gets built, you're gonna have many presidents, hopefully, use it and enjoy it.”

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Police: Man shoots suspected burglar holding his wife at gunpoint

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 11:22 AM

Man Shoots Suspected Burglar Holding His Wife at Gunpoint, Police Say

A man opened fire Tuesday night when a pair of would-be home invaders attempted to force his wife into their Houston home at gunpoint, leaving one man injured, according to police and news reports.

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The incident started around 10:30 p.m., when the two men stole the woman’s purse while she was in the driveway of her home in South Houston, KPRC reported.

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Police said the men tried to force the woman into her house while her husband was inside. The husband heard noises coming from outside the home and looked out a window to see that the men had grabbed his wife, according to KTRK.

He grabbed a pistol and confronted the men, exchanging gunshots with the suspects and injuring one of them, KTRK reported.

Police Lt. Larry Crowson told the Houston Chronicle that the injured man was shot in the head. He was last listed at a hospital in serious condition, the Chronicle reported

The other man ran from the scene, KRIV reported.

Neither of the victims were injured in the attack, according to KHOU.

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Trump again contradicts U.S. Intelligence on Russia

Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 1:14 PM

For the second time this week, President Donald Trump publicly went against the findings of the U.S. Intelligence Community with respect to Russian efforts to undermine election activities in the United States, as the President shot down a question about whether Russia was still engaged in activities like their 2016 interference in the U.S. elections.

“Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” a reporter asked, as the President wrapped up a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

“Thank you very much. No,” President Trump said firmly as he shook his head, giving an answer that again runs counter to what American intelligence agencies have been warning for months, that Russia is looking for a repeat of their 2016 interference efforts.

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In brief remarks to reporters, the President said several times that he has been tough on Russia.

“There’s never been a President as tough on Russia as I have been,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “And I think President Putin knows that better than anybody, especially the media.”

On Monday, after Mr. Trump had seemingly sided with the denial of Vladimir Putin at a joint news conference in Finland, the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, quickly issued a statement reiterating that the U.S. firmly believes Russia meddled in the 2016 election, noting “their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”

Mr. Trump then clarified his comments on Tuesday, in a statement read to reporters – but Wednesday’s remarks seemed to take him back to square one – where the President argues that the Russians are not coming after the U.S.

The President’s answer puts him squarely at odds as well with many in both parties in the Congress, who fully believe that Russia is still actively engaged in efforts to meddle with the 2018 and 2020 elections in the United States.

“OMG. OMG. OMG,” wrote Michael Hayden on Twitter, a former Director of the CIA and National Security Agency.

“Mr. President. Walk this back too,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.

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