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Reports: Police moved past deputies to enter Florida school

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 5:37 PM
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 5:35 PM


            FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. Newly released reports are providing more details about the law enforcement response to the massacre of 17 people at the high school. The Coral Springs police released reports on Monday, April 16, from several of its officers. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018 file photo, students hold their hands in the air as they are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a shooter opened fire on the campus. Newly released reports are providing more details about the law enforcement response to the massacre of 17 people at the high school. The Coral Springs police released reports on Monday, April 16, from several of its officers. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

When Coral Springs police officer Gil Monzon arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School minutes after a gunman unleashed a massacre that killed 17, he says he found two Broward County sheriff's deputies in the parking lot.

He asked for the shooter's location, and was told they didn't know, but he could see a body next to the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and bullet marks in its third-floor windows. He said in reports released Monday that he and three other Coral Springs officers immediately went to the building, checked the body and then entered, where they immediately found a victim standing against a wall and then falling to the floor.

The four pages written by three officers detail what they found when they arrived at the Feb. 14 shooting that also left 17 wounded. They corroborate earlier reports that the first Broward deputies at the scene failed to enter the building to confront the gunman and assist the wounded.

Officer Tim Burton, the first on-duty Coral Springs officer to arrive, grabbed his rifle and was directed toward the freshman building, where he found Deputy Scot Peterson, the school's security officer, taking cover behind a concrete column.

He said Peterson told him he had not heard any shots for several minutes, but to watch his back, that the shooter might be in the parking lot.

Peterson would soon retire from his deputy job under criticism from Sheriff Scott Israel, who said he should have immediately entered the building to find the killer. Parents, meanwhile, speculated that victims on the third floor could have survived had first responders reached them more quickly: Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina died in the attack, tweeted over the weekend, "6 on the 3rd may have lived if anyone had gone in."

Monzon said that after dragging the victim who collapsed out of the building, he and three other officers went back inside.

"The hallway was quiet and full of thick smoke from gunfire," he wrote. They found a female hiding in an office and led her outside.

By then, another team of Coral Springs officers entered the building from the other side, so to avoid accidentally firing at each other, Monzon and his team moved to the second floor, where they found students and teachers hiding in classrooms. Still unsure if the gunman was in the building, they left survivors locked in classrooms and moved to the third floor, where Monzon said he "encountered several deceased students throughout the hall." He was then sent to help clear a nearby building.

On Friday, the Broward Sheriff's Office released its own reports from deputies, including one who sped four miles from another school and joined Coral Springs officers searching the freshman building. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also is preparing a report on the overall law enforcement response.

Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former Stoneman Douglas student, committed the mass shooting and then fled the building after his gun jammed. They say he joined students as they ran to the street and he was captured an hour later about a mile away. His attorneys have said he would plead guilty to 17 counts of murder in exchange for life without parole. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

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Melania Trump poses with Bushes, Clintons and Obamas at Barbara Bush funeral

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 5:44 PM

First Families Pose Together At Barbara Bush Funeral

The current first lady posed for a picture with former first ladies and past presidents Saturday at Barbara Bush’s funeral.

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First Lady Melania Trump is seen in the image, taken by photographer Paul Morse, with the Bushes, Clintons and Obamas.

Trump, who attended the funeral without her husband, is seen standing alongside Michelle Obama.

“It was my honor to travel to Houston to give my respects to Barbara Bush and the remarkable life she led as a mother, wife, and fearless First Lady,” she said in a statement. “My sincerest thoughts and prayers continue to be with George H.W., and the entire Bush family.”

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Royal baby: New addition to the royal family will be fifth in line for the throne

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 8:51 AM

7 Interesting Facts about the Royal Family

A new British prince was born on Monday and that means a new line of succession to the British throne.

Move over, Prince Harry, your new nephew will bump you one step down the line, and shake up everyone who follows you.

The British line of succession was established in the 17th century after James II left the country and the throne in 1688. By 1701, the Act of Settlement established that the country’s Parliament could determine who would rule the country.

The act said that only Protestants could rule – no Roman Catholics could be considered and those in line for the throne could not marry a Catholic. In 2013, the Succession to the Crown Act ended the provision against marrying a Catholic. However, a Roman Catholic may not rule the country.

The law also stated that male heirs, no matter where they fell in the birth order, would displace female heirs in the line of succession. In other words, a younger brother would jump over an older sister in the succession line.

The Succession to the Crown Act amended that portion of the Act of Settlement by ending the practice of moving sons to the front of the line – called male primogeniture. The act applies to those born after Oct. 28, 2011. Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Prince William, is the first female in the line of succession who will not be skipped over by a younger sibling.

Here is the line of succession as stands after the birth of the new prince:

The line of Succession

Queen Elizabeth

1. The Prince of Wales – Prince Charles (Elizabeth’s first child)
2. The Duke of Cambridge – Prince William (Prince Charles’ son)
3. Prince George of Cambridge – William’s son
4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge - William’s daughter
5. The new royal baby – brother to George and Charlotte
6. Prince Henry of Wales – Prince Harry (William’s brother; Charles second child)
8. The Duke of York – Prince Andrew (Elizabeth’s third child)
7. Princess Beatrice of York – Andrew’s daughter
8. Princess Eugenie of York – Andrew’s daughter
9. The Earl of Wessex – Prince Edward (brother of Prince Charles; Elizabeth’s fourth child)
10. James, Viscount Severn – (Prince Edward’s son)
11. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor – (Prince Edward’s daughter)
12. The Princess Royal – Princess Anne (daughter of Queen Elizabeth; her second child)
13. Peter Phillips – son of Princess Anne
14. Savannah Phillips – daughter of Peter Phillips
15. Isla Phillips – daughter of Peter Phillips
16. Zara Tindall – daughter of Princess Anne

VICTORIA, BC - SEPTEMBER 24: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge arrive at the Victoria Airport on September 24, 2016 in Victoria, Canada. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte are visiting Canada as part of an eight day visit to the country taking in areas such as Bella Bella, Whitehorse and Kelowna. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

 

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California couple tortured, burned Vietnam veteran as children watched, police say

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 10:09 PM

Couple Accused of Torturing, Killing Vietnam Veteran

A couple tortured a Vietnam War veteran in order to gain access to his financial and personal information and then took their children with them when they burned his body in a rural field, police said. 

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Kenneth Coyle, 70, a Vietnam War veteran and contractor at Naval Air Station Lemoore, became friends with Stacie Mendoza, a restaurant server who befriended him and later killed him with her husband, Jose Mendoza, according to Hanford police

"We think she manipulated that relationship to gain his trust and defraud him of money," Cpt. Karl Anderson, of the Hanford Police Department, said at a press conference. "As this relationship grew, we know that Ms. Mendoza started getting access to his bank account information and started getting money from him."

Police said Stacie Mendoza began defrauding Coyle a couple of weeks ago, but escalated the grift on April 5 and April 6, when she and her husband restrained Coyle to a bed and beat him in order to get his bank account information, passwords and other personal information, police said. 

Days later, the Mendozas loaded Coyle’s body into their car and burned it in a field as their children watched, police said. 

The Mendozas returned to Coyle’s house last week to steal more items and were questioned by property management employees. The employees were suspicious of the couple, who said the veteran had been injured and was recovering at a care home, investigators said. 

Police arrested Stacie and Jose Mendoza at a Denny’s restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport. Jose Mendoza had Coyle’s credit card and a ticket to El Salvador in his possession, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The couple was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. They are being held without bail. Their children were put in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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Police officer takes 84-year-old man to hospital to visit sick wife

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 7:48 AM

FILE PHOTO
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A police officer in Pennsylvania has the serve portion of “to protect and serve” perfected.

Roger Baker, 84, had to get to his local hospital after his wife had a medical emergency. No friends or family could take him, so he called police for help, WHP reported.

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Deputy Chief Bentley from Montoursville Police Department responded, taking Baker to the medical facility, and escorted him to the building, WHP reported

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

In the police department’s Facebook post, which has been shared more than a thousand times, the department said that Bentley held Baker’s hand, walking him to the building until hospital workers brought a wheelchair out for Baker and took him to his wife in the emergency room.

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