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ABC News(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago police officer who had just finished his shift was shot and killed early Saturday in an apparently random attack, officials said.

The off-duty officer and another victim were ambushed and shot about 3:30 a.m. local time while sitting in a vehicle in the Downtown section of the city, police brass said in a news conference Saturday morning. The two shooting victims and two other people, including another off-duty police officer, had just left a nightclub, officials said.

The other victim who was shot, an unidentified man who is not a police officer, was in critical condition and in surgery, officials said. He is expected to survive, police said.

The two police officers, who had just finished a "tour of duty," and the two other people had left the club and returned to their vehicle, officials said. That's when two men approached them, said First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio.

"One of them pulled a gun and fired," he said during the news conference.

Riccio said there were no words exchanged.

"It does appear to be random. They did not have any confrontations with anybody," he added, referring to the police officers.

Nothing was taken from the car, either, Riccio added.

The shooter is still at large, officials said, but detectives are interviewing a "person of interest."

Detectives were looking for cameras that may have captured the shooting, Riccio said.

"There's an abundance of video," he said. "Detectives are combing through that video."

The officer who died was 23 years old and would have made two years on the job in May, Riccio said.

He had handled paperwork on a killing that occurred Friday night, he added.

The Chicago Police Department tweeted photos showing a procession of police vehicles transferring the officer's body to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

A spokesman for the police department, Anthony Guglielmi, called the shooting a "devastating incident."

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ABC News(KANSAS CITY, Missouri) -- The Missouri River and Mississippi River continue to wreak havoc on parts of the Plains and Midwest as record river flooding continues to pose a threat to communities.

Parts of the Missouri River near St. Joseph, Missouri; Atchison, Kansas; Leavenworth, Kansas; and Parkville, Missouri, are seeing river flooding currently at -- or expected to rise to -- moderate and major flood stage. The Missouri River is receding below notable flood stage in Omaha.

However, the Missouri River is expected to flood downstream near Plattsmouth, Nebraska, through next week. The flooding will continue to cause stress on levees along the Missouri River.

There is also river flooding on the Mississippi River along the borders of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. The river will likely remain high through the weekend.

In Minnesota and Wisconsin, gradual snow melt will cause rising river levels into next week. Flooding could occur due to ice jams as well.

Rainfall is expected to move into this area on Saturday, with a storm developing and moving across the Plains. Locally, a half inch or more of rain is possible in this region through this weekend.

The rain should not have a major influence on area rivers, but there is potential for some local exacerbation of ongoing river flooding.

The storm entering the Plains was responsible for three reported tornadoes on Friday in parts of Texas and Colorado and hail over 2 inches in diameter across parts of Texas.

The storm will move fairly quickly and not strengthen tremendously, therefore impacts should be marginal across the Plains this weekend. Some rain will move across Plains into Sunday morning. A few strong thunderstorms will move across Oklahoma and Arkansas, however, the threat should remain marginal, with gusty winds and some hail being the concern.

Northeast feels chill on Saturday, spring on Sunday

A coastal storm that brought rain and some coastal flooding to the Interstate 95 corridor is moving out of the area Saturday morning.

Parts of the interior Northeast, especially in the higher elevations west of Albany, New York, reported nearly 4 inches of snow on Friday. Overnight, there were reports of over 10 inches across the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Northeast feels chill on Saturday, spring on Sunday

A coastal storm that brought rain and some coastal flooding to the Interstate 95 corridor is moving out of the area Saturday morning.

Parts of the interior Northeast, especially in the higher elevations west of Albany, New York, reported nearly 4 inches of snow on Friday. Overnight, there were reports of over 10 inches across the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire.

A couple of snow showers will be in the region Saturday, along with gusty winds at time approaching 45 mph. It will feel quite cold in the Northeast for late March with wind chills in the 20s and teens for a large part of the region.

Relief will come as early as Saturday afternoon, with Sunday temperatures much more seasonable. Temperatures will rise into the 50s, and evens some 60s, across the I-95 corridor.

Another March chill will arrive on the East Coast early next week.

Weak storms impacting West Coast

A storm is arriving Saturday in the western U.S. and bringing some heavy rain to parts of California and some mountain snow to parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Locally, up to 1 foot of snow is expected in the Sierra Nevada Mountains this weekend.

Another storm will arrive in the region on Sunday night and early Monday with heavy rain mainly concentrated in Northern California.

A more-potent storm will arrive in the middle of the upcoming week that could have significant impacts across parts of the region.

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ABC News(DALLAS) -- While the governor of the country’s most populous state halted death penalty executions, that decision may not have a national impact.

Within two southern states, Texas and Oklahoma, five counties are responsible for one in five executions since the death penalty was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, according to data from the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).

Those counties – Harris, Dallas, Bexar and Tarrant Counties in Texas and in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma – are responsible for 315 out of the 1,493 executions that have taken place in those 43 years.

Prior to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moratorium on executions, his state performed 13 executions during the same time frame. Data from the DPIC show there are 11 individual counties across the country that had the same number or more executions themselves during that time period.

"It doesn’t really make sense to talk about the death penalty in the United States. The death penalty is exclusively a Southern phenomenon," said Evan Mandery, a professor at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice.

There are 30 states that have the death penalty in the U.S., though four of those states – now including California – have governors who have issued suspensions on executions.

New Hampshire has the death penalty, but hasn't executed anyone since 1939.

Since the 1976 ruling, there have been 56 executions in Ohio, seven in Utah, four in South Dakota, three in Montana and one in Utah, according to data from the DPIC. By comparison, there were 72 executions in Georgia, 97 executions in Florida, 112 executions in Oklahoma, and 113 executions in Virginia, the data shows.

To date, the largest amount of death penalty executions occurs in Texas, where there have been 560. That represents 37.5 percent of the total 1,493 executions in the United States since 1976.

"Texas is an outlier among outliers," Mandery said.

Mandery said that in spite of its prevalence in certain counties, the death penalty on the whole is "an extraordinarily rare event – many, many things have to go wrong for someone to be executed in the United States."

"No rich white murderer has ever been sentenced to die, so you need to be almost certainly a person of color, probably killed a white person who did it in a state with the death penalty, who did it in a county within that state where the prosecutor aggressively supports the death penalty and where that prosecutor isn’t replaced in office during the time you're on death row by someone who either opposes the death penalty or takes seriously the appellate process," Mandery said.

The role of individual lawyers and prosecutors

There are murderers in every state and crimes committed in every county, but experts suggest that key individuals not connected to the crime itself are the ones, who could ultimately be deciding factors in whether or not a criminal is executed.

Jennifer Laurin, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, was the chair of the task force assembled by the American Bar Association that worked on their 2013 assessment on Texas' use of the death penalty. The group’s report found that "the state’s death penalty system falls far short."

Laurin told ABC News that "there are features of Texas's system that we could potentially explain why it is Texas produces so many more death sentences and executions."

One such factor, Laurin said, was that "up until about 1995, Texas had ultimately a sort of notoriously deficient system for providing lawyers to poor defendants including poor defendants facing the death penalty."

"In Texas there was very, very, very low quality of defense lawyering provided at every stage from trial through to execution. Texas has made some significant progress but it remains, as compared to other jurisdictions, a place where the provision of council to individuals facing the death penalty is much less consistent in terms of resources and quality as compared to other states, and across cases in Texas," she said.

Beyond the quality of the defendant’s representation, another factor is how determined the lawyer on the other side of the courtroom was to get a death penalty sentence.

"The death penalty is really driven by individual aggressive prosecutors and there's some sense of it that it almost feels like vigilante justice," Madery said.

That sentiment could be seen by some previously in the Harris County District Attorney’s office – the prosecuting office for the county with the highest number of executions in the country, with 128 deaths.

Patrick McCann, a lawyer in Harris County who has worked on more than 50 death penalty cases, said that "the corporate culture inside the DA's office among the senior people [was that] you were promoted and achieved respect within the office by how many people you sent to death row."

McCann said that one major change came in 2005 when Texas introduced the sentencing option of life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice publication, Texas was one of only four states that did not have that sentencing option when they made the switch.

"Since then there's been a gradual decline in the trials they have for death [penalty] in this county, but the prior years means there is still a long line for Harris County folks to get executed,” said McCann.

McCann thinks that the aforementioned culture in a number of key prosecutors’ offices across Texas have “undergone a sea change," including the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

In 2016, Harris County voters, for the first time in nearly four decades, elected a Democratic district attorney. Kim Ogg, who took office in January 2017, was public about how she had previously opposed the death penalty but, came around to allowing it only in the most extreme circumstances.

Ogg told The Houston Observer in June of that year that she doesn't view the death penalty as "a deterrent," saying "it's just pure retribution."

"I’m a human being, and my views have changed before. It’s possible they could change again. But while I ran, I left the death penalty on the table. I said I believed in it at the time. I still do," she told the magazine.

There has been something of a slowdown in the rate of executions in Harris County in recent years, both before and during Ogg’s administration.

In 1997, Harris County executed 11 people, and in the mid-2000s, there were two consecutive years where nine people were executed. But since 2010, there have been three or fewer people executed each year in the county.

"District Attorney Ogg has said that among the most serious actions a government can take is to take a person's life and that the death penalty must only be used for the worst of the worst and most only be done in accordance with the Constitution," Ogg’s spokesman Dane Schiller told ABC News.

"While under Texas law, defendants convicted of capital murder face a penalty of life in prison or death, under this administration, zero defendants have been given death sentences by Harris County juries," Schiller said, though he noted that there was one death sentence issued in 2018, but that case was handled by a special prosecutor after the district attorney’s office was recused over a conflict of interest.
Not overly optimistic

The decrease in executions in Texas may indicate a slow change in attitudes in the state – as well as the qualms that jurors may now have as science advances as well as reporting of wrongful convictions continue – but experts still point to racism at the root of the use of capital punishment as something that would need to be addressed in conjunction with any major changes.

"One idea is that [the use of the death penalty is] tied to the culture of lynching in the South and that the dehumanization of prisoners is an artefact of the commodification of people, and there's clearly something to that," Mandery said.

McCann echoed that – while not unique to Texas – the origin and use of the death penalty are tied to "mostly racism and corruption, but that’s my personal view."

"I think the more difficult problem in every state – and this goes from Pennsylvania and Philadelphia to Houston to Los Angeles – is that we as a people don’t want to acknowledge the vast problems we have in overcoming a legacy of racism that still infects the death penalty," McCann said.

As for Texas specifically, McCann said that capital punishment is "deeply ingrained in the culture here."

McCann said that while the rate of executions "may slow, I don’t see it stopping, short of a national decision by someone like the Supreme Court, that we are simply incapable of doing this properly," he said.

Mandery agreed, and handicapped the odds of such a ruling happening with the current bench of justices unlikely.

"The only mechanism that would end the death penalty in Texas is Supreme Court action. Five years ago, I would have said that was unlikely but possible [that such an action be handed down]. Now it seems quite unlikely," Mandery said.

"The fate of the death penalty rests with the balance of power on the Supreme Court, and that's hanging by a thread," he said.

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Tina Richardson(CONCORD, N.C.) -- A North Carolina woman has filed a $25,000 lawsuit against a Subway sandwich shop franchisee after he allegedly slapped her during a dispute over a sandwich.

Elizabeth Hinson, who goes by the name Tina Richardson, went to a Subway owned by Kenneth Lancaster in Concord, North Carolina, on March 8 to get a Sesame-Ginger Glazed Chicken Wrap for an elderly woman when an argument ensued, according to the lawsuit filed in Rowan County on March 18.

The elderly woman told Richardson the wrap did not appear like the picture on the flyer advertisement, nor tasted like ginger. Richardson returned to the Subway and asked for a refund, which the employee refused, according to the complaint.

That’s when Lancaster appeared from the back and yelled expletives at her and told her to leave the store. Almost immediately after Richardson began recording the dispute with her cellphone, Lancaster approached Richardson and hit her, according to the complaint.

Richardson shared the video on her Facebook page, and the post has garnered 2 million views, Bo Caudill, Richardson’s attorney, told ABC News.

“When she did not get the wrap that she ordered, Ms. Richardson returned to Subway expecting a simple refund. Instead, she received a slap in the face,” Caudill told ABC News in a statement. “The violent conduct depicted in the video is disgraceful and deplorable, and should greatly concern everyone who eats at Subway and expects Subway stores and their owners to provide a safe, family-friendly environment, free of sexist discrimination and violence.”

Subway, on behalf of Lancaster, released a statement expressing regret for the incident, and saying it does not meet the company's standards.

"Providing an excellent guest experience is important to us and our expectation is that everyone is treated with respect," Subway said in a statement to Charlotte ABC affiliate WSOC earlier this month. "The local team has reached out to the guest to apologize on behalf of the restaurant as this incident is inconsistent with the high standards Subway restaurants requires of its Franchise Owners. The Franchise Owner expressed his regrets for how he handled the situation."

Caudill disputed that the company had reached out to Richardson directly.

Richardson is seeking compensation for physical and emotional harm.

"He doesn't get to treat anybody like that. ... Get somebody into Subway to treat people with respect and fix problems when you're wrong," Richardson told WSOC. "That's what you're supposed to do."

ABC News' efforts to reach Lancaster for comment were unsuccessful.

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iStock_dkfielding(WASHINGTON) -- A flight attendant detained by immigration authorities for more than a month after traveling to Mexico for work was set for release Friday, her lawyer and husband said.

Selene Saavedra Roman was living in the U.S. under the Obama-era program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA is a program that allows young immigrants brought to the country as children to stay and work legally.

Roman, who is 28 years old, came to the U.S. from Peru as a 3-year-old.

When President Donald Trump ended DACA enrollment for new applicants in 2017, he also prevented those currently in the program from leaving the country with the promise of legal reentry.

“It’s been extremely difficult,” Roman’s husband said on a call with reporters. “I could only visit her once a week through two inches of glass.”

The online travel site “The Points Guy” first reported on her detainment Thursday.

Thousands reacted to the news calling for her release including members of the flight attendants’ association as well as immigration activists. It even prompted a response from 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“This is an awful story,” Clinton tweeted Friday. She encouraged her followers to sign an online petition calling for the flight attendant’s release.

“What happened to Selene reminds us that our DACA positions are not stable,” said Damaris Gonzalez, a DACA recipient and immigration activist.

Roman’s lawyer said she had informed her employer of her situation and they assured she would not have an issue returning to the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, which administers DACA, would not comment on the specifics of Roman’s immigration status.

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iStock/Graffizone(NEW YORK) --  A former New York City police officer was indicted for attempting to cover up a crime scene after shooting a man in the face, multiple sources confirmed to ABC News.

Ritchard Blake turned himself in to the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office on Friday and is expected to get arraigned on two counts of tampering with physical evidence charges, sources said.

Blake, 41, is alleged to have gotten into an altercation with Thavone Santana during the pre-dawn hours of Aug. 2, 2018 and fired one shot at the man, according to police officials. The bullet struck Santana in the mouth.

It lodged in his neck, where it remains, according to a civil lawsuit Santana filed in Brooklyn federal court in January.

After the shooting, Blake allegedly told 911 he opened fired in self-defense because he was being robbed. Blake was fired from the force in August, following an internal NYPD investigation.

Based on video surveillance, the grand jury determined that the shooting was justified because the victim had his hand in his pocket and had previously motioned as if he had a weapon, sources told ABC News.

Blake is not charged in the shooting itself but in the cover-up -- after police, citing the video surveillance, said he hovered over Santana and removed a knife from his own back pocket and dropped it on the ground next to Santana.

After noticed the security cameras on a lamppost, Blake "picked the knife back up and put it back into the same back...pocket," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a press release.

According to the lawsuit, Blake has a history of violence.

"Sgt. Blake has a prominent and long history of violence, assaults and was the subject of Internal Affairs investigations of his actions in 2010, 2011 and 2016 and was disciplined for his violations of NYPD Policies."

Blake's attorney, Abe George, previously told ABC News that his client acted in self-defense and that Santana was the aggressor.

"Mr. Blake is relieved that the grand jury has finally exonerated him with any wrongdoing related to the shooting," said George, who said Blake did not testify in the grand jury. "We are confident when a trial jury hears Mr. Blake's version of what happened on that night, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing pertaining to the incident."

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said in a press release that the charges filed against Blake should be a warning to fellow officers.

“By swiftly moving to terminate former Sergeant Ritchard Blake in August of 2018, the department sends a clear and unambiguous message that criminal conduct will not be tolerated within the ranks of the NYPD.”

 
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Mario Tama/Getty Images(SAN YSIDRO, Calif) -- Federal officials at the Mexico border detained a 9-year-old U.S. citizen for 32 hours without her parents in order “to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship,” according to a statement released Friday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The girl’s mother told NBC San Diego that her daughter and son cross the San Ysidro checkpoint daily to attend school. With traffic backed up, a family friend driving the siblings allowed them to walk so they wouldn’t be late, the mother said.

ABC News was unable to reach the family for comment.

Both children carried passport cards, but only the teenage boy was allowed entry into the U.S. while the girl was taken into custody, according to CBP. The agency said the 9-year-old had provided "inconsistent information during her inspection." She was taken into custody at 10:15 a.m. Monday and released to her mother on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s important that CBP officials positively confirm the identity of a child traveling without a parent or legal guardian,” the CBP stated.

Border officials have come under intense scrutiny especially in San Diego, which has been used as a testing ground for the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy. First implemented at the San Ysidro port of entry, the new plan requires asylum applicants to return to Mexico while they wait for a court date.

The policy is designed to address the recent influx of Central American asylum seekers at the southern border. It does not apply to Mexican citizens who are allowed to wait in the U.S. while they make their case.

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WBRZ(NEW ORLEANS) -- Three people testified that he was asleep at home when the rape occurred.

The fingerprints at the scene were not a match.

He is several inches shorter than the sole witness's description of the suspect and the witness didn't point to him as the suspect in two photo line ups.

But he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a 1982 rape and stabbing.

Thirty six years later, Archie Williams had his wrongful conviction vacated, as the Innocence Project detailed in a statement.

"Being innocent is a thing where you never give up on yourself, you always fight for your freedom no matter what," Williams said in a video from outside a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, courthouse shared by The Advocate, a New Orleans newspaper.

He left the 19th Judicial District courthouse on Thursday joined by relatives including his aunt, who said his mother and father died while their son was in prison.

"There is no way to quantify the loss and pain he has endured," Vanessa Potkin, the director of post-conviction litigation at the Innocence Project, which worked on Williams' case since he reached out to them in 1995, said in a statement. "The Innocence Project fought alongside Mr. Williams for close to two and a half decades to be able to utilize advancements in forensic testing to prove his innocence," Potkin said in a statement.

Williams, who was 22 years old at the time of the rape he was charged with, is now 58 years old.

The decades-long gap between his conviction and his charge being vacated included a series of problems complicated by the absence of certain legal rights.

For instance, when the Innocence Project took on his case, they requested DNA testing for Williams, but their statement notes it took over a decade for that to happen because Louisiana didn't have a law allowing convicted prisoners to access DNA testing after trials.

There were also legal hurdles surrounding the testing of fingerprints, and as the technology progressed, that led to the key to Williams' release.

Next Generation Identification, a new type of fingerprint testing system, began being used in 2014, but it wasn't used in Williams' case until last week, the Innocence Project states.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III told The Advocate outside court Thursday that the system for "matching latent fingerprints changed significantly."

"These prints have been run before with no match, and then run again with no match," Moore said, "and now it's run this time and the system has been a lot better, and so now these prints come back to a different person."

The testing of nine prints from the crime scene, which were selected by fingerprint experts based on their viability, led to the identification of a different man -- Stephen Forbes, a man with a history of committing similar assaults in the same neighborhood -- as the attacker.

The Innocence Project reports that Forbes was arrested in 1986, confessed to four other rapes -- not including the one Williams was convicted for -- and died in prison in 1996.

"This decision today ... was the right, honest, ethical and, now, factual thing to do. We believe that this was a wrongful conviction based on technology processes that were in place then; things have truly changed since," Moore said in the video shared by The Advocate.

Williams thanked God for carrying him through, saying, "I just fought for this moment here; I never gave up because he wouldn't let me give up."

Though he's happy for his own freedom, he told The Advocate, he's "not completely happy" because he can't forget the people he's leaving behind at the Angola prison who may also have had wrongful convictions.

"I'm not free until they're free," Williams said.

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Google Maps Street View(KINGSTON, N.Y.) --  A former employee of Kingston, New York, a family-owned health food store was arrested on Friday for repeatedly harassing a Jewish co-worker, including an incident where he allegedly shut off the lights and told her "You're in the gas chamber."

William Sullivan was working in the produce department of Mother Earth's Storehouse earlier this month when the alleged anti-semitic verbal attacks began against Sarah Shabanowitz, a Jewish woman, who was working in the same section.

"Last week, on March 11, I was in the cooler getting items to stock on the floor. One of my colleagues, Will Sullivan, was standing outside the cooler. He said to me: 'now we’re going to put you in the gas chamber,' and turned off the light," Shabanowitz wrote in a statement issued on Friday. "I was horrified. When he saw my look of shock, he said: 'yeah, you f—ing Jew.'”

The 18-year-old college student reported Sullivan to her manager, but after Sullivan remained at the Kings Mall Court location for the rest of his shift, Shabanowitz didn't "feel safe," she wrote.

The following day, Shabanowitz was moved to another department, but the harassment didn't stop.

"Will then found me and started yelling at me for making him look bad. I reported to management that Will was harassing and retaliating against me for making a complaint. I was so upset that I left work early," she wrote.

Shabanowitz said her store manager turned on her and allegedly admitted to dismissing Sullivan's statements as "a joke" and was told to "either quit your job or do the register."

"Mother Earth’s response was a perfect example of how not to respond to a complaint of workplace harassment," said Ilann M. Maazel, an attorney for Shabanowitz, in a statement to ABC News on Friday. "They did nothing to keep Sarah safe. They belittled anti-Semitism in the workplace and told Sarah to keep quiet. The problem at Mother Earth is not just the employee; it is management."

After leaving the store in tears, Shabanowitz told her mother, who posted about the her daughter's situation on Facebook on March 15.

A representative from Mother Earth's issued a statement on their Facebook page announcing that Sullivan was fired on March 16 and denounced the hate speech. On Monday, the company also announced revamping their company's practices and hiring a human resources company "to help us with any future situation that could occur."

Sullivan, 21, of Saugerties, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated harassment, part of what Acting State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett called “a disturbing trend of increase in hate crimes.”

Gov. Cuomo echoed the sentiment.

“This is not an isolated situation,” Cuomo said. “We have been seeing a growing number of anti-Semitic activities. This is something everyone must be concerned about.”

Sullivan was issued an appearance ticket and released. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 26.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(PARKLAND, Fla.) --  A former high school student who survived last year's Parkland, Florida high school shooting massacre has died from an apparent suicide, according to officials.

Sydney Aiello, 19, died on Sunday at her home in Coconut Creek, Florida, from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Broward County medical examiner's office.

Aiello graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, months after a shooting at the school left 17 students and staff dead.

Her mother, Cara Stein-Aiello, told CBS's Miami station that her daughter struggled with survivor's guilt and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Efforts by ABC News to reach Stein-Aiello were not immediately successful.

Aiello was a friend of 18-year-old Parkland massacre victim Meadow Pollack, said Pollack's brother, Hunter Pollack.

"Beautiful Sydney with such a bright future was taken from us way too soon," he tweeted Wednesday. "My friend’s sister and someone dear to Meadow."

Aiello was "a beloved daughter, sister and friend to many," according to a GoFundMe page created to raise money for Aiello's family. "She lit up every room she entered. She filled her days cheerleading, doing yoga, and brightening up the days of others. Sydney aspired to work in the medical field helping others in need."

In June 2018, Aiello shared on Facebook a post about Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain -- all of whom took their own lives in recent years. The post said, "sometimes you need to check on those who seem the strongest."

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

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ogolne/iStock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- A 17-year-old male was arrested over race-based threats against the Charlottesville school system, local police say.

The Virginia city's public schools were closed for two days -- Thursday and Friday -- in light of the threats that were made online.

 Charlottesville police announced Friday they had arrested a juvenile in connection to the online threats. He is being charged with one felony and one misdemeanor.

The police gave few details about the threats in question, announcing only that they were alerted to the "biased-based language targeting specific ethnic groups" at the public high school on Wednesday afternoon.

At a subsequent news conference, Charlottesville City Schools superintendent Rosa Atkins said that the teen was not a student at the school.

She said that the individual was "a person who is not a part of the Charlottesville school system and community" and added that he made the "hateful threat... under the guise of being a Charlottesville high school student."

Rashall Brackney, the chief of the Charlottesville Police Department, said at the news conference that the threats "referenced ethnic cleansing."

The entire public school system -- which includes seven elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one education program for young patients at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital -- was closed on Thursday and Friday.

"We do not tolerate hate or racism. The entire staff and School Board stand in solidarity with our students of color — and with people who have been singled out for reasons such as religion or ethnicity or sexual identity in other vile threats made across the country or around the world. We are in this together, and a threat against one is a threat against all," the school board said in a statement announcing the closure.

 This is not the city's first brush with race-based issues. Charlottesville was the site of the deadly Unite the Right rally in 2017 where groups of white supremacists and counter protesters clashed on the streets.

Atkins said that the schools will be open on Monday.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- At least 12 levees have been breached on the Missouri River in the last week as record flooding continues in the Plains and the Midwest.

Thousands of people have had to evacuate, including the entire towns of Craig, Nebraska, and Elwood, Kansas.

The Missouri River continues to rise north of Kansas City, where several towns are bracing for a near-record crest late Friday into Saturday morning. In addition, ice jams in Minnesota and Wisconsin are causing local rivers to suffer major flooding.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came out with an updated spring flood outlook on Thursday, and said moderate to major flooding will continue into May for the central U.S. This potentially unprecedented level of flooding could impact more than 200 million people through spring.

There is some rain in the forecast for the central U.S., but the models keep the heaviest precipitation south of the flooded zone. Locally, half an inch to 1 inch of rain is possible for the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

Nor'easter departs

The coastal storm brought more than 2 inches of rain to Washington’s Dulles Airport, enough to make it the wettest March day ever.

In western Virginia, some areas got up to 8 inches of heavy, wet snow, shutting down roads and stranding motorists.

The heaviest rain has lifted into coastal New England on Friday morning with heavy snow falling in northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The storm lifts into Maine and southern Canada Friday night with strong winds behind it. Gusts could exceed 40 mph in some parts of the Northeast.

Additional snowfall forecast in the New England mountains could reach 6 to 12 inches.

Behind the storm system, wind chills could reach the teens and 20s in the Northeast from Friday night into Saturday morning.

Saturday will not feel like spring in the Northeast.

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Jack Harold Jones (L) and Ronald Henry Stewart (R) in undated photos. (Arkansas Department of Corrections/Florida Department of Corrections) (FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) -- Prosecutors in Florida are asking for a dead man’s murder conviction to be vacated after DNA testing showed he was wrongly convicted.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office filed a motion to exonerate Ronald Stewart for the murder of Regina Harrison, it said in a statement released on Thursday. Harrison was killed on May 2, 1983, just two days after her 20th birthday. Stewart, who had previously been sentenced to three concurrent 50-year prison terms for other crimes, including rape and burglary, pled no contest to the murder and was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to court records.

Stewart died while incarcerated on Sept. 11, 2008.

Ten years later, the reinvestigation into Harrison's murder began when a written confession was handed over to law enforcement by the sister of Jack Harold Jones, a convicted murderer and rapist who was executed a year earlier by the state of Arkansas for the 1995 killing of Mary Phillips, 34.

Jones' sister said he had instructed her not to open the letter, which was written in 2006 or 2007, until one year after his execution.

In the letter, a copy of which has been obtained by ABC News, Jones appears to confess to the murder of a young woman who meets the description of Harrison in detail.

“I met her riding bikes,” the letter said. “We went to the beach, rode around down there, and came back up Sheridan and into the park. That’s where it happened.”

The letter prompted the Broward Sheriff’s Office to run the DNA collected from Harrison’s body in the national DNA database. The test revealed the DNA collected from Harrison’s body originated not from Stewart but from Jones, according to the motion.

DNA testing, which was not available in 1983 when Harrison was murdered, has exonerated more than 350 innocent people in the United States, according to the Innocence Project, an organization that uses DNA testing to help exonerate wrongly convicted people.

“Ronald Stewart would not have been charged with murder if DNA testing had been available at the time and he would not have been prosecuted for the murder if DNA testing had been available at the time,” the Broward State Attorney’s Office statement reads.

For Harrison’s family, though, the news of his wrongful conviction came too late and it has forced them to relive the pain of their lost loved one.

“In a practical sense, this doesn’t affect anybody that’s alive today. We got two bad guys and they’re both dead,” brother Richard Harrison, 58, told ABC News. “Though Stewart didn’t murder my sister, that didn’t make him any less evil, and that doesn’t make Jones any less dead.”

But Richard Harrison, who is an attorney in Florida, also said that he supports the state’s attorney’s effort to correct the record because it helps build trust with the community. He said that he has explained the news to his parents, both of whom are approaching 90 and have health issues.

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Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(BERKELEY, W.Va.) -- Authorities in West Virginia have released dash-cam video showing police officers allegedly beating a 16-year-old who crashed a car after a high-speed chase.

The video, which was taken on Nov. 19, 2018 and released by the Berkeley County Prosecutor's Office, shows the teen's car driving ahead of the police before appearing to hit the brakes and crash into an electric pole in Martinsburg.

After the crash, the officers stop their vehicles nearby and subsequently pull him from the broken driver's side window in the smoking vehicle. Several officers can be seen then punching and kicking the suspect who is lying on the ground. One officer can even be seen putting a knee to the teen's neck.

In the video, which has no sound, the teen's face is blurred. At least five officers can be seen in the dashcam footage. At one point, with the teen's hands cuffed behind his back, an officer picks him up by the neck and throws him on the ground.

According to ABC News affiliate WCHS-TV, which obtained the footage, the prosecutor's office said the entire footage from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office patrol car was 8 minutes, 26 seconds long.

One of the responding officers appeared to have gotten injured in the chase.

In January, two West Virginia state troopers involved in the incident were fired after the incident, according to authorities.

One of those troopers has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly using excessive force that resulted in bodily injury, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia said on Wednesday.

He faces a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law, WCHS-TV said.

A second state trooper involved in the incident was also fired, according to WCHS-TV.

Two deputies with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office were also reportedly fired.

In December, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the officers' actions were "plain ridiculous" and "inexcusable."

"I stand rock-solid with our police force in every way, shape, form or fashion but I'm not gonna stand rock-solid when something's wrong," he said.

The Berkeley Prosecutor's Office said in December the FBI was also investigating the case, along with local authorities.

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wrangel/iStock(NEW YORK) -- An illegal shark trafficker was caught in the jaws of law enforcement this week.

The New York State Attorney General's Office, inconjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation, announced it arrested Joshua Seguine on possession of seven sharks wih the intent to sell.

The sharks, all sandbar sharks, are a protected species under New York law, according to the attorney general.

Sandbar sharks cost about $11,500 to acquire legally, the attorney general's office said in a release.

The 38-year-old from LaGrangeville, New York, just outside Poughkeepsie, was officially charged with Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Wildlife.

"Harboring and selling protected species for one’s personal financial gain is not only illegal, it’s immoral. I applaud the work of DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes, Environmental Conservation Police Officers, and Division of Marine Resources for the investigation that brought these crimes to light and the work of the Attorney General’s office that is bringing this individual to justice," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.

Seguine has been on DEC's radar for years, according to the attorney general's office.

He was stopped by authorities in July 2017, when five sharks were found in a tank in the back of his truck. He admitted he was selling the animals to DEC officials.

Seguine was allegedly selling the sharks on MonsterFishKeepers.com, a forum for large and rare fish. The site's marketplace does have a section outlining fish banned for sale in different states.

The DEC obtained a search warrant in 2017 and found the sharks in an 18-foot pool at his home. Officials also found a number of dead sharks, including two dead leopard sharks and a dead hammerhead shark.

Though the sharks were discovered almost two years ago, Seguine wasn't arraigned until Tuesday. His next court date is April 16.

The seven sandbar sharks are currently being taken care of at the New York Aquarium in Coney Island.

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