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Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 11:58 AM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A 17-year-old student has been taken into custody in connection with a Wednesday afternoon shooting at an Alabama high school that left one girl dead.
Birmingham police officials have not named the student, but they issued a statement Thursday morning that gave scant information on the investigation into the shooting at Huffman High School that left Courtlin La’shawn Arrington, also 17, dead.
“Detectives of the Birmingham Police Department have been working through the night reviewing evidence, video and statements on the tragic incident that took place at Huffman High School yesterday,” read the statement, obtained by AL.com. “Due to their diligent work, a person of interest has been taken into custody.”
The shooting took place around 3:45 p.m., during afternoon dismissal. Arrington, who AL.com reported received CPR at the scene, was taken to UAB Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.
Charges are pending a review by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, the statement read. Because no charges have been filed, the department will not release information on the person in custody.
AL.com reported that, although police officials initially reported that the shooting appeared to be accidental, that classification came into question when it was discovered that the shooting was caught on video.
The video led investigators to pursue charges against the student, a boy who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg in the incident, AL.com said. He was treated and released from an emergency room before being taken in for questioning.
Arrington, who was due to graduate in two months, planned to study nursing. Her Facebook page includes an introduction that reads, “SEN18R. Dream come true, gotta chase it. Future RN.”
Her last photo that she posted of herself appeared to be taken in the hallway of the school. It was posted the day before she was killed.
Her photos also include images of her wearing scrubs.
During a news conference held inside the school Wednesday night, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin spoke of the grief of losing a girl with a bright future.
“I know that there’s an active investigation going on, but I just want to remind all of us we lost a person today, and not just a person, a student,” Woodfin said. “But I’m quickly reminded this is not just a student, this is someone’s daughter. Someone’s niece. Someone’s best friend. Someone’s granddaughter we lost.
“This is a 17-year-old who, 30 days from now, would be 18. A graduating senior who had been accepted into college already, who had aspirations and dreams to be a nurse. So, we’re not just talking about some person. We’re talking about losing a part of our future. And our hearts are heavy.”
Birmingham police Chief Orlando Wilson offered condolences to the families of both teens, who at the time of the news conference were both classified as victims.
“We have an ongoing investigation. With that investigation, we are going to sort out the information as it comes,” Wilson said. “Wherever (that information) takes us, then we’ll act accordingly. Right now, we have a lot of unanswered questions.”
Wilson choked up when asked about the task of telling a parent that their child was killed at school, where students are supposed to be safe.
“The best I can say is that’s a hard one, and we had to do it,” Wilson said after pausing to collect his thoughts. “It has been done. That parent now knows what happened to their child.”
He paused again before shaking his head.
“I don’t know how you tell a parent,” Wilson said.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring spoke about losing two of the city’s students, Arrington to her wounds and the other teen to the consequences of the shooting.
“Our goal is to reassure our parents that, as much as we can, we’ll work to keep our schools safe,” Herring said. “But our hearts and our minds are on the families tonight.”
Herring questioned how school district officials can reassure parents, faculty and students that a school is safe following a shooting inside its walls, but said she and her staff would work to do so every day, including heightening security at Huffman and the city’s other 40-plus public schools.
She also praised the response of Huffman’s administrators, faculty and staff.
“Our principal and the staff here at Huffman High School, for as much as they have been able to tackle a very difficult day, have done an exceptional job of trying to provide care and concern for those who were in the building and those who exited out,” Herring said.
Though Herring initially said that the school would be open Thursday, and that a crisis team would be on hand to help students and staff through the day, district officials announced just before midnight that the school would be closed instead.
“The magnitude of this event causes us to pause. I have decided to close Huffman High School tomorrow for students and staff,” Herring said in a statement. “This delay will provide us an opportunity to provide a thorough safety sweep of the school. This will also allow us to coordinate with organizations in the community to provide counseling support to both students and staff.
“During this time, we will continue to collaborate with the chief of police and the Birmingham Police Department to implement additional safety precautions and provide additional police presence at the school when students return. We want to assure our parents, students, staff and community that safety and security are a top priority for Birmingham City Schools.”
Woodfin also ordered the flags at city facilities be flown at half-staff in mourning.
The mayor said during Wednesday night’s news conference that it is important the public mourn with Arrington’s family and wrap its collective arms around the Huffman High School community.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:06 PM
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is headed to Minneapolis.
Yates has been hired by the city of Minneapolis to lead the investigation into whether the Minneapolis Police Department encouraged Hennepin County medical responders to sedate people with the powerful drug ketamine.
A city report obtained by KARE 11 found that in several cases, patients had to be revived after receiving the drug. The Office of Police Conduct Review found 62 recorded ketamine injections in response to Minneapolis police calls in 2017. In 2012, the recorded number of ketamine injections was three, KARE 11 reported.
Yates will conduct an independent review, focusing on the communication between the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County medical responders, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced in a news release.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:56 PM
FORT SMITH, Ark. — A dog who survived three gunshots to the face has found a new home with an Arkansas park ranger.
Hope, a 4-year-old mixed breed dog, was tied to a pole and shot in the face three times this March, according to KFSM.
Hope has scars on her face from where the bullets entered and will need possible mouth surgery in the future, but otherwise her health is back to normal.
Amber Neal, shelter manager of the Hope Humane Society, told WGHP that she was by Hope’s side while she healed, but realized it was time for the dog to find a forever home.
“She's one amazing dog and she deserves the most amazing home,” Neal said. “With me having such a busy work schedule, with all the other babies that I am trying to save, she needs to be somebody's constant companion and that would make her the happiest dog in the world.”
Hope was brought to the Fort Smith Nature Center on Wednesday, where she met Arkansas park ranger Levi Koch.
Koch said he was so moved by Hope’s story that he knew he had to adopt her.
“I would like someone to travel with me and see some neat places, do a lot of hiking and outdoor adventures,” Koch said.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:24 PM
BARDSTOWN, Ky. — A building collapse at the Barton 1792 distillery in Kentucky Friday morning caused thousands of barrels of bourbon to crash to the ground.
Emergency officials told WLKY that approximately 9,000 barrels of bourbon were affected. The building houses about 20,000 barrels.
There were no injuries, The Courier-Journal in Louisville reported.
Officials were assessing the damage and attempting to determine whether any of the bourbon leaked into the ground or nearby water sources, WLKY reported. Officials have not determined a cause for the collapse. Crews worked to secure the building to prevent further damage.
A barrel can hold 53 gallons of bourbon and weigh about 550 pounds, WLKY noted.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:02 PM
FLOWOOD, Miss. — A Mississippi woman was able to walk away Thursday after she lost control of her car, sending it airborne and crashing into a gas station, narrowly missing the gas pumps.
The woman was not able to avoid the law, however.
Shelby Lynne May was behind the wheel, the Rankin County Sheriff's Office told Mississippi News Now. A surveillance camera at the Marathon gas station in Flowood recorded the dramatic accident, which shows the car barreling off the road toward the gas station, running into a sign, going airborne and then flipping around to land against a gas pump.MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS
The surveillance video posted by Mississippi News Now shows May walking away from the car, with a bystander steadying her by the arm.
The Sheriff's Office told Mississippi News Now that May was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.