(CNN)In a heated interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said he predicted the recent police shootings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that killed three law enforcement officers and wounded three others.

Baton Rouge shooting: 3 officers dead; shooter was Missouri man, sources say
Sheriff and Don Lemon get heated over police shootings

Sheriff and Don Lemon get heated over police shootings 05:00
“I’ve been watching this for two years. I’ve predicted this,” Clarke said. “This anti-police rhetoric sweeping the country has turned out some hateful things inside of people that are now playing themselves out on the American police officer.”
When police are shot, America is the target
Clarke blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for inspiring violent crimes against law enforcement officers, calling the group “purveyors of hate.” Clarke argued that their ideology was false, saying there is no data that proves law enforcement officers treat black males more aggressively than white males.
“This anti-cop sentiment from this hateful ideology called Black Lives Matter has fueled this rage against the American police officer,” Clarke said.
The high spirited interview garnered a lot of feedback on social media. Some of those reactions are listed below:


Four days after the police-involved shooting of Alton Sterling turned his city upside down, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Police officer Montrell Jackson issued a plea to the embattled community and vowed to do his part to help it heal.

“These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. This city MUST and WILL get better,” the 32-year-old officer wrote in a July 8 Facebook post.
And, to all the protesters, officers, friends, family and neighbors in need of a hug or a prayer in Baton Rouge, he offered a promise: “I got you.”
One week later, on Sunday, Jackson’s life was cut short in a shootout that left three officers dead and three more injured, law enforcement said.
Jackson’s aunt revealed his identity to CNN, simply saying “Today isn’t going too well.”
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office identified the other deceased as Officer Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola. Of the other officers involved in the shooting, Nicholas Tullier of the Uniform Patrol Traffic division was shot and is in critical condition. Bruce Simmons, who also worked in the traffic division, sustained non-life threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s office reported.
The deadly standoff was the latest blow to a city plagued by tensions in the wake of Sterling’s death. His July 5 death, followed by another police-involved shooting the same week in Minnesota, touched off demonstrations nationwide that have led to arrests and roadway closures.
‘No place for more violence’
As Baton Rouge reels from the events that sent tremors throughout their community, city officials expressed their condolences, and made a call for peace.
“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday. “Obviously our community is hurting, and only through peace can we heal, and that’s going to take meaningful dialogue. There simply is no place for more violence.”
“We are going to get through this and we are going to get through this together,” Baton Rouge Chief of Police Carl Dabadie said at the same press conference. “This is not going to tarnish this city or this department. We are going to move forward.”
Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of one of Sterling’s son, Cameron, condemned the shootings.
“We reject violence of any kind directed at members of law enforcement or citizens.” she said in a statement. “My hope is that one day soon we can come together and find solutions to the very important issues facing our nation rather than continuing to hurt one another.”
Montrell Jackson
Montrell Jackson, 32, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
Montrell Jackson, 32, of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Jackson, who leaves behind a wife and four-month old son, had been with the department for 10 years, his uncle Charles Cavalier told CNN affiliate WAFB.
“He just had his first born son, he always wanted to become a father” Jackson’s brother, Kedrick Pitts, told NPR. It devastated him that his nephew will never get the chance to know the great man his father was, Pitts said.
He loved the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans almost as much as he loved his family, his community and his job, Cavalier said.
He was “one of the best guys you’d ever want to know,” Cavalier said.
To those who shared Jackson’s Facebook post after it surfaced on social media, the missive spoke volumes about his character.

It also offered rare, candid insight into the impact of Sterling’s death on officers in the community.
“I’m tired physically and emotionally,” the post starts, “Disappointed in some family, friends, and officers for some reckless comments but hey, what’s in your heart is in your heart. I still love you all because hate it takes too much energy, but I definitely won’t be looking at you the same.”
Kristi Vick Godal, Jackson’s neighbor, told NBC News that Jackson was pained by the events surrounding Sterling’s death, including the protests that followed.
“He loved his city,” Godal said. “It is an absolute tragedy. He was a police officer but he was also a proud black man.”
What Jackson wanted most was for “everyone to respect everyone,” his brother said. He wanted justice for Sterling’s family, but peace amongst all.
“I believe he would want this world to be a better place, to put an end to all this madness and come together,” Pitts said.
The married father described the tension between his identity as a police officer and as a black man.
“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat,” he wrote.
“I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core. When people you know begin to question your integrity you realize they don’t know you at all,” he wrote.
To anyone who doubted his integrity he made one request: “Look at my actions, they speak LOUD and CLEAR.”
Matthew Gerald
Matthew Gerald, 41, of Denham Springs.
Matthew Gerald, 41, of Denham Springs.
Officer Matthew Gerald of Denham Springs leaves behind a wife and two kids, according to WAFB.
He graduated from Baton Rouge Police Academy in March and had just been released to work on his own on July 5, his wife told WAFB.
He was a former Marine and Black Hawk crew chief in the Army who “lived to be a patriot,” his friend Nick Lambert said. The two served together as Black Hawk crew chiefs, he said.
Despite his short stature, his Louisiana drawl and larger than life personality made him stand out in a crowd, Lambert said.
“He was one of the true Americans that lived to be a patriot,” Lambert said.
After serving in both the Marines and the Army, and after three tours to Iraq, Gerald wasn’t ready to call it quits, his friend and fellow police officer Ryan Cabral, who lives in Texas, told CNN.
“Instead of slowing down at 40 years old, he said ‘hell no, give me more,'” Cabral said. “Matt was born to protect those who needed protection,” he said.
Less than a week prior to the fatal shootout, the two police officers spoke on the phone. They discussed the tumultuous climate in Baton Rouge, said their goodbyes, and “told each other to be safe,” Cabral told CNN.
Brad Garafola
Officer Brad Garafola, 45, of East Baton Rouge.
Officer Brad Garafola, 45, of East Baton Rouge.
Deputy Brad Garafola, a married father of four, had been with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office for 24 years, according to WAFB.
He was selected as the Civil Deputy of the Month in January 2013.
His brother Brett Garafola confirmed his death in a Facebook post, according to WAFB.
“Brad, I love you very much my brother. I respect and appreciate everything you did for us, this city, and your job to protect and serve,” he wrote.


Two bailiffs, shooter killed at Western Michigan courthouse
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An inmate snatched a deputy’s gun inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse and killed two bailiffs while he was handcuffed, investigators said Tuesday giving new details into the shooting.

Officers killed the inmate, 45-year-old Larry Gordon, soon afterwards, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told reporters. He said Gordon got into a fight with the deputy while being escorted from a cell for a courtroom appearance at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph.

The deputy who was escorting Gordon is recovering in a hospital with injuries that aren’t life-threatening. A woman was also injured. Her name and condition weren’t immediately provided.

Two court bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff shot Monday inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse when an inmate broke loose and got his hands on an officer’s gun, officials said.

During the incident, Bailey said Gordon took hostages for a short period of time before trying to leave through another door.

The sheriff said he faced multiple felony charges but did not specify what they were.
Bailey said authorities had “no warning signs” that the suspect would be violent. Contrary to reports Monday, he said Gordon was in handcuffs.

The inmate shot a sheriff’s deputy, killed the bailiffs and then shot a civilian in the arm in a public area, the sheriff said.

During the incident, Bailey said Gordon took hostages for a short period before trying to leave through another door. The inmate then was fatally shot “by two other bailiffs who came to render aid, along with several other officers,” Bailey said.

“He was trying to escape,” the sheriff said.

Bailey identified the bailiffs killed as Joseph Zangaro, 61, and Ronald Kienzle, 63. He said the longtime law enforcement officers were close friends of his who became court officers after retiring from their departments.

Zangaro was head of court security. He retired from the Michigan State Police as commander of the Bridgman Post in Berrien County. Kienzle retired as a sergeant of the Benton Township police department after serving in the U.S. Army.

Both had been employed by the court for more than a decade.

The injuries suffered by the deputy and the civilian weren’t considered life-threatening. Bailey said the deputy, 41-year-old James Atterberry Jr., had surgery on his arm and is “doing fine.” He said the civilian was a woman who also suffered an arm injury. He did not identify her.

“We need prayers and the families need your prayers especially,” he told reporters.

The incident occurred just days after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper, and amid a wave of violence and threats against law enforcement officers around the country.

An official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told Fox News that agents from the agency’s Detroit Division are en route to the shooting scene at the courthouse.

Another law enforcement official told Fox News the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Detroit field office is monitoring the situation in Berrien County, and that FBI has offered its assistance to local officials but is not involved at this time.

The courthouse is located about 50 miles west of Kalamazoo, where an Uber driver killed six people in a shooting spree earlier this year.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced on Twitter that the Michigan State Police has secured the scene, and is beginning its investigation into the shooting.

Synder called the shooting “a terrible event” in an afternoon press conference, and called for the public to “rally together” to support one another.

“This is a particularly tough time for law enforcement,” he said.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, who is from St. Joseph, described Monday’s shooting as a “horrific situation.”

“What occurred today in my hometown breaks my heart. My thoughts are with our entire community – our friends and neighbors,” he said in a statement. “This tragic event reminds us all too well that our law enforcement officers have their lives on the line every day not knowing what that day will bring. We have lost two very able public servants and we all grieve for them and their families.”

Bailey said the courthouse would be closed on Tuesday.


(CNN)Five officers in Dallas have been shot dead during a street protest against police violence on Thursday night. Here’s the latest:

3 alleged suspects are in custody
Fourth suspect dead after standoff
One suspect claimed bombs were planted downtown
2 suspects were snipers, shot from “elevated position”
Obama: “Wretched reminder of sacrifice police make”
Eyewitness: It looked like an execution
Follow our live updates below.
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Hilary WhitemanJuly 8, 2016 1:19am

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CNN International
July 8, 2016 1:23am


Protests broke out Tuesday following the death of a black man in an officer-involved shooting outside a Baton Rouge, La., convenience store.

Residents protested on and off throughout the day after Alton Sterling, 37, who was selling CDs, died in a confrontation with police, as video circulated on social media capturing the deadly encounter. Demonstrators chanted, “hands up, don’t shoot” and “black lives matter.”

Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana called for the Department of Justice to investigate Sterling’s death.

“The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community,” Richmond said in a statement. “I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice.”

An autopsy shows Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark said.
Demonstrators blocked the intersection near the convenience store before 10 p.m. CT Tuesday night. They eventually cleared the streets and moved to the sidewalks. They told drivers to anticipate another gathering at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning in front of City Hall.

Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller suggested a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.

Two officers responded and had some type of altercation with the man and one officer fatally shot the suspect, McKneely said. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard department policy, he said.

The officers have not been identified.

Cellphone footage circulated on social media purporting to capture the deadly police encounter: In it, an officer tells Sterling to get on the ground. Seconds later, a second officer tackles him to the ground.

One officer holds down Sterling’s left arm, while his second arm was out of view. At one point, an officer yells, “He’s got a gun! Gun!” He pulls his service weapon and fires at Sterling.

The convenience store’s owner, Abdul Muflahi, told WAFB-TV the first officer used a Taser on Sterling and the second officer tackled the man. Muflahi said as Sterling fought to get the officer off of him, the first officer shot him “four to six times.”

The owner said he saw officers remove a gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting, but that Sterling did not have a gun in his hand at the time.

State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, who was briefed by the police chief, told WAFB-TV that the officers were wearing body cameras but the cameras fell off during the struggle and did not capture the shooting.

Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Step Solis on Twitter: @stephmsolis


A stroll with friends through New York’s Central Park ended in a horrific accident, with a University of Miami student severely injuring himself.

Shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday, Connor Golden, 18, and two friends jumped off a rock in the park, setting off an explosion that nearly blew off Golden’s leg. The three landed on an explosive device that had been left in the park. The other two were uninjured.
Police are trying to figure out how the explosive device got in the park. They have said they do not believe the three men played any role in the construction of the device that went off.
Roberta Elizabeth Golden, the Virginia teen’s grandmother, told CNN affiliate WJLA-TV that he had undergone an operation and his parents were at his side. “The surgery was to remove his foot. And he will have a second surgery to remove farther up his leg, as I understand it, under his knee, and that will be done, as I understand it in a few days,” she said.
She described her grandson as an active, ambitious young man. “Some people say, ‘Well, they’ll have prosthetics,’ and you know he’s eager for everything else, but his life will never be the same,” she told the TV station in Washington.
Responding to the explosion, the student’s school issued a statement Monday identifying Golden: “The University of Miami’s thoughts and prayers are with Connor Golden as he recovers from this horrific accident that took place in Central Park Sunday morning. We will provide Connor and his family with complete support through his recovery and rehabilitation.”
A preliminary investigation suggests the explosion was an “experiment with fireworks or homemade explosives,” Deputy Chief John O’Connell said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
“We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial-grade fireworks,” he said. “There are no specific, credible threats directed at New York or the July Fourth celebrations.”
He said it wasn’t unusual for people to try and make homemade fireworks around the Fourth of July, but he cautioned that such activity is “completely unadvisable.”
Witnesses said the sound of the blast rippled through the park like a “cannon,” scaring birds off trees. Some assumed it was a firework given the holiday weekend.
Nonetheless, the blast rattled New Yorkers, especially in the wake of recent acts of terror in the United States and elsewhere.
Evidence suggested the work of amateur hobbyists possibly experimenting with explosives during the July Fourth holiday, bomb squad commanding officer Lt. Mark Torre said.
He estimated that the explosive had been in the park for more than a day.
Torre said someone may have tried to set the device off earlier and left it behind when it didn’t appear to work.
“Clearly, I would say that this is somebody that had knowledge of chemistry. But you don’t have to be anything more than good with computers to get enough knowledge of chemistry to be able to create something of this type … from readily available materials, unfortunately,” he said.
He added that “there’s nothing to indicate that this was an explosive device that was placed or put in this area with a specific intent to harm any individuals.”


An alligator grabbed a 2-year-old boy and dragged him into a lagoon Tuesday night at a Disney hotel near Orlando as his father desperately tried to save him.

A frantic overnight search to find the boy was unsuccessful, authorities said Wednesday morning, but search efforts will continue with “fresh eyes.”
“This is still a search and rescue operation,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “We are very hopeful. We are hoping for the best.”
Hours after the Tuesday night attack, the toddler was still missing despite a frantic overnight search to find him.
The child was “wading just in the water along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
Parents rush into water to save son
The family of four — parents, the boy and his 4-year-old sister — is on vacation from Nebraska, Demings said. They arrived Sunday.
They watched as the alligator attacked the toddler at the Seven Seas Lagoon.
“The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” he said. The father suffered minor scratches on his hand, but was unsuccessful in getting his son back.
The mother also went into the water, trying to find her child, he said.
“The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours and we’re not likely going to recover a live body,” Demings said.
He said there is no record of similar incidents in this particular area.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,” said Jacquee Wahler, the vice president of the Walt Disney World Resort .
“Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”
Demings said no reports of nuisance alligators have come in the region recently. The alligator is between 4 and 7 feet long, Demings said, adding he’s unsure of its exact size.

Baby pen was near water
The Reedy Creek Emergency Services call center first received a report about the attack at 9:16 p.m. ET.
The incident occurred on a sandy waterfront area outside the hotel near the Seven Seas Lagoon on the property.

Disney Grand Floridian Hotel

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1000 ft

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Witnesses said the family was on the beach and the boy’s 4-year-old sister was in a play pen about 20 to 30 yards from the water on the sand, according to Demings. The toddler was wading in the water nearby.
There are “No Swimming” signs at the lagoon and no one else was in the water at the time of the attack besides the child, Demings said.
This body of water is not for recreational swimming “likely for that very reason,” the reason being alligators.
“This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” he said.
Declan Salcido, who’s on vacation with relatives from San Jose, California, was coming back from the animal kingdom when the first ambulance arrived just after 9:15 p.m. ET.
He said there are many “No Swimming” signs near the lagoon visible “from any vantage point.”
The search
Authorities have searched for the child for hours and do not plan to stop until he is found or recovered.
Helicopters, sonar, marine units and an alligator trapper are being used in the rescue effort. Divers are on standby.
“We’re not leaving until we recover the child,” Demings said.
A handful of people witnessed the incident and supplied police with information. At least 10 emergency vehicles were on the scene, and the beach had been cordoned off.
Salcido said he saw seven or eight boats searching the waters, including two Disney security boats and pontoons owned by the company to take guests out on the water for fireworks.

When he first arrived, there was only one boat searching near the shore. But more boats rapidly came to assist and have now moved much further away, searching a “wider pattern.”
The Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a parallel investigation and is participating in the search. It has deployed an alligator trapper, officer Chad Weber said.
“We’re putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator,” he said. “We’ll be here with them until there’s a resolution.”
A witness told CNN a movie was being screened on the beach that evening.
However, Salcido said that the movie started earlier in the evening and would have been finished by the time the incident occurred.
A helicopter with a search light scoured the lagoon as a handful of Disney employees ushered people away from the sidewalks overlooking the beach.


At Least 50 Dead in Orlando Gay Club Shooting, Suspect Pledged Allegiance to ISIS, Officials Say
Jun 12, 2016, 11:54 PM ET
PHOTO: Investigators from the office of the medical examiner investigate on the west side of Pulse nightclub where a gunman opened fire on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.Doug Clifford/The Tampa Bay Times via AP
WATCH Timeline of the Worst Mass Shooting in US History
The massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub early this morning has been described as a “domestic terror incident,” with at least 50 dead and 53 injured, officials said, making it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, a U.S.-born citizen with Afghani parents. After the shooting began, he called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, according to law enforcement officials.

ISIS supporters have cheered the massacre online and an ISIS communique referred to the shooter as an ISIS “fighter,” but there’s no evidence that ISIS directed or had prior knowledge of the attack, terrorism observers told ABC News.

SLIDESHOW: Orlando Nightclub Massacre
Orlando LGBT Community Struggles to Comprehend Shooting That Left at Least 50 Dead
Suspect Pledged Allegiance to ISIS, Officials Say
Officials announced at a morning news conference that the death toll of the attack had risen to 50 dead, more than doubling what had been reported earlier. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called today “the most difficult day in the history of Orlando” at news conference this afternoon.

“At this time we’re looking at all angles right now,” an FBI official said. “We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around.”

The FBI also said Mateen “was organized and well-prepared,” adding “he is not from this area.”

Mateen’s parents were born in Afghanistan, and he was “on the radar” of U.S. officials for some time, but was not the target of a specific investigation, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

A police officer working at the club exchanged fire with Mateen outside of the club at 2:02 a.m., officials said at the news conference. Mateen then entered the club.

It turned into a hostage situation shortly thereafter, when Mateen took hostages. He was armed with an assault rifle, handgun and “some kind of device on him,” officials said.

At approximately 5 a.m., the SWAT team made the decision to rescue the hostages, officials said. The shooter was killed in a gunfight with those officers. Eleven Orlando Police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter, according to an FBI spokesman.

There were about 320 people inside the club at the time of the shootings, officials said.

Then at 5:53 a.m. Orlando police tweeted, “The shooter inside the nightclub is dead,” referring to Pulse Nightclub, which bills itself on its website as “Orlando’s Premier Gay Night Club.”

“This can be classified as a domestic terror incident,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the news conference.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating this morning’s shooting as “an act of terrorism.” It said it will determine whether it is “domestic or international” terrorism.

In a statement issued around 9 a.m., the White House said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. The President asked to receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information, and directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.”

PHOTO: Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.more +
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at a news conference earlier in the day that “many lives were lost.” Orlando Chief of Police John Mina added that “approximately” 20 people we killed, and “at least 42 people” were transported to various hospitals. In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos following the news conference, Dyer clarified the initial figure, saying the number of dead was “probably in excess of 20 dead.”

Orlando Regional Medical Center, located near the nightclub, said it received “several gunshot victims,” in a statement released at 5 a.m.

The statement read, “Orlando Regional Medical Center was placed on lockdown around 2:00 a.m. after receiving several gunshot victims. Only essential workers are being allowed access into the building. Out of an abundance of caution, Arnold Palmer Hospital and Winnie Palmer Hospital have also been placed on lockdown.”

The hospital, as well as two other area hospitals remained in lockdown, as of 8 a.m. Sunday.

PHOTO: Emergency personnel wait with stretchers at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital for the arrival of patients from the scene of a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Emergency personnel wait with stretchers at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital for the arrival of patients from the scene of a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. more +
Word of the situation spread shortly after 2 a.m., when Pulse Nightclub posted on its Facebook page, “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”

Police followed up by tweeting, “Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area.”
Orlando Police tweeted around 4:30 a.m., “This is a fluid scene and we are working on getting you an update.”

The next significant update was at 5:48 a.m., five minutes before announcing the shooter’s death, when police tweeted, “We can confirm this is a mass casualty situation. Support from local/state/federal agencies.”

The FBI was among the agencies at the crime scene, as was the Orlando Fire Department’s bomb squad and hazardous material team.
There was a controlled explosion near the shooting scene, but police said it was caused by a device intended to distract the shooter. Police also said the shooting was not connected to Friday’s fatal shooting, also in Orlando, of “The Voice” singer Christina Grimmie.

Rep. Alan Grayson, of Florida’s 9th District, said during a news conference this morning that the attack was ideologically motivated.

“It’s no coincidence the attack took place where it did and when it did,” he said in reference to the fact that Pulse was a gay nightclub.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke at a news conference this afternoon and asserted that “this is clearly an act of terror” and added that he has declared a state of emergency in Orange County, Florida. The state of emergency ensures the resources that are needed by the city from the state would be made available immediately, the governor said.

Later in the day, President Obama called the Pulse massacre “an act of terror and an act of hate.” He called Mateen “a person filled with hatred.”

He also stressed the resilience of the people in his state. “We’re going to do everything we can to help bring the community together,” he said.

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News interviewed Christine Leinonen, the mother of Christopher Leinonen, a young man who went missing inside of the club at the time of the attack.

“Please, let’s all try to get rid of the hatred and the violence,” she said, sobbing. Leinonen later confirmed to ABC News that her son was among the dead.


COOPER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Five bicyclists were killed and four more were hurt Tuesday evening when they were hit by a pickup truck north of Kalamazoo.

The crash happened around 6:35 p.m. in the 5500 block of N. Westnedge Avenue south of F Avenue in Cooper Township. That’s near Markin Glen Park.

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo said Tuesday night it was treating two of the victims, but did not release any further details about those patients. Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo also said it was treating two patients. One was listed in critical condition and the other in fair condition Tuesday night.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said at a press conference about four hours after the crash that all of the victims were adults and that the survivors all sustained serious injuries. Authorities would not release any further information about any of the victims Tuesday night pending the notification of their family members.

A witness said the bicyclists appeared to be a group that often rides together in the area, but Getting wouldn’t comment on that.

Bicyclists killed in crash in Cooper Township – June 7, 2016View as list Open Gallery
NOT SIZED Cooper Township Westnedge Avenue fatal bicycle crash 060716

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The scene after five bicyclists were killed after being struck b y a pickup truck along Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township. (June 7, 2016)
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The group of bicyclists was struck by a blue Chevrolet pickup truck as they rode along Westnedge. Witnesses said the truck was driving erratically.

Markus Eberhard said he was leaving Markin Glen Park after fishing when someone shouted at him to watch out. He said the pickup nearly ran over his foot. He said before he could “tell the bikers to move or watch out,” the pickup hit them.

“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” Eberhard said.

“All I heard was a pop and a really big crash noise,” another witness, Arika Kruger, said.

Prosecutor Getting said emergency responders were on scene in about two minutes. Five of the bicyclists were pronounced dead at the scene.

Kruger said she saw four ambulances leave the scene; three had lights on, one had lights and sirens running.

“We didn’t see anybody walk away,” she said. “I pray for these families, I really do, because this is really tragic.”

The pickup was disabled in the crash, Getting said. Kruger, the witness, said its front end sustained heavy damage.

A driver fled on foot after the crash, then was found a short distance away and taken into custody, Getting said. He was described only as a 50-year-old man from West Michigan Tuesday night.

Multiple police and fire agencies remained on the scene for hours after the crash. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation while the Michigan State Police are handling crash reconstruction.

In the about 30 minutes before the crash, calls came in to the City of Kalamazoo police (at 6:08 p.m.), the sheriff’s department (6:13 p.m.) and Kalamazoo Township police (6:21 p.m.) with concerns about a blue pickup truck, Getting said. Officers were looking for that vehicle, but they had not yet spotted it and were not pursuing it at the time of the crash. The first 911 call about the crash came in at 6:36 p.m.

Getting said he didn’t expect to review the investigation into the crash until Thursday, after which he would determine what, if any, charges were appropriate.


Hillary Clinton declares victory, and takes California too
Jun 8th 2016, 8:35 BY V.V.B.

“WE ARE all standing under a glass ceiling right now,” said Hillary Clinton in her victory speech on June 7th at a rally in Brooklyn. “Thanks to you, we have reached a milestone.” Clad in bridal white, she took to the stage shortly after the announcement of her commanding win in the primary election in New Jersey, where she won 63% of the vote compared with 37% for Bernie Sanders, her rival. “Tonight’s victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.”
As California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, and North and South Dakotas went to the polls in the last stretch of the primary-election season, Ms Clinton was finally able to declare herself the first woman to become one of the two major party’s nominee for the presidential election. Later in the evening she won New Mexico, South Dakota and California. She lost North Dakota, a sparsely populated state in the Midwest where Mr Sanders received 64% of the vote, and Montana, where Mr Sanders got 51% of the vote. She graciously congratulated Mr Sanders for generating so much excitement with his campaign and especially for his success with the young. The vigorous debate (between her and Mr Sanders) has been very good for the Democratic Party and for America, she said.

Though New Jersey was the second-most populous state to vote on June 7th, all eyes were still fixed on California, America’s most populous state, with 475 pledged delegates at stake for the Democrats and 175 for the Republican Party. Polling stations had not yet closed in the Golden State when Mrs Clinton gave her victory speech; through a mix of pledged delegates and so-called super-delegates (office bearers), who have come out as her backers, she already had reached the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without counting a single Californian delegate. A few hours later she would be even more confident in celebrating her designation as her party’s presumptive nominee. Mrs Clinton won California with a convincing 57% of the vote, compared with 42% for Mr Sanders.

California mattered hugely for both of the Democrats. Until the very last moment Mr Sanders was hoping for an upset, though he had been trailing Mrs Clinton for months; in recent weeks he had caught up, enough to make it look something like a neck-and-neck race. Had he won in California he would have continued to hurt Mrs Clinton by refusing to drop out and diverting her attention from Donald Trump, the Republicans’ apparent nominee, all the way to their party’s convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. With Mr Sanders’s resounding defeats in New Jersey and California, however, he no longer stands any chance of winning the nomination. Still he is not giving up just yet. In his speech in California, which he held in front of a raucous crowd before the state’s results were official, Mr Sanders thanked his supporters for “being part of a political revolution”. He declared that “we will not allow Donald Trump to be president” before launching into familiar themes such as inequality and the “corrupt” campaign-financing system. There wasn’t a hint of conceding defeat: he vowed to soldier on to the next primary, on June 14th in Washington, DC, and to the convention in Philadelphia.

The evening seemed at times like the unofficial kick-off of the general election. In her victory speech, Mrs Clinton said this election was different—and not about the same old fights between Republicans and Democrats. “We are better than this,” she said. “We won’t let this happen to America.” She then launched some robust broadsides against Mr Trump. “Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president,” she proclaimed. “He’s not just trying to build a wall between America and Mexico, he’s trying to wall off Americans from each other,” she said. “When he says ‘Let’s make America great again’, that is code for ‘Let’s take America backwards’.”

Mr Trump, who is the only candidate still in the race for his party, won all five states where Republicans voted (they weren’t voting in North Dakota) but his victory speech at a golf club in Briarcliff Manor, New York was uncharacteristically subdued. He has been under fire for days from senior Republicans, including Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, after claiming that a Mexican-American judge in a lawsuit involving Trump University was biased against him because of his heritage—and that a Muslim judge might be similarly partial. Mr Ryan called Mr Trump’s remarks “racist”; Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois, said that he cannot support Mr Trump because he doesn’t have the “temperament” to assume the greatest office in the world. Other senators indicated they may follow Mr Kirk’s lead.

Flanked by his decorative daughter and wife, and reading from a teleprompter, Mr Trump didn’t apologise for his most recent mega-gaffe, but focused on attacking Mrs Clinton. He said she had “turned the State Department into her private hedge fund” and claimed “the Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves”. He then tried to reach out to the disappointed supporters of the other insurgent candidate, Mr Sanders, deploring how Sandernistas have been “left out in the cold by a rigged system”.

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that around three-quarters of Sanders voters would vote for Mrs Clinton in the general election. Judging by how quickly many Republicans have lined up behind Mr Trump once he clinched the nomination, the eventual number might be even higher. Mrs Clinton will need all the support the Sanders fans can give her. The Quinnipiac poll also found that voters by now dislike Mrs Clinton almost as much as they dislike Mr Trump. Those surveyed gave Mrs Clinton a 57% unfavourable rating, with 37% favourable, whereas Mr Trump got only slightly worse ratings, with 59% unfavourable and just 34% favourable.

President Barack Obama called Mrs Clinton on June 7th to congratulate her; he also called Mr Sanders. He will meet Mr Sanders on June 9th, presumably to add his voice to those of the Democratic Party bigwigs who for weeks have been leaning on Mr Sanders to bow out for the sake of party unity. It may be a few days—or much longer. In 2008 Mrs Clinton took four days to suspend her campaign after Mr Obama had been declared the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee.