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Chattanooga Police Chief Praises Officers


Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher choked up Friday during a press conference where he lauded the bravery of the men on his force who sprang into action when a shooter opened fire at military facilities there.

"They are my heroes," Fletcher said about the men on his force.   

The Chattanooga officers, he said, dragged a wounded colleague to safety during a gunfight with the alleged shooter, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and likely prevented more bloodshed.

On Thursday morning Abdulazeez killed four Marines and wounded a police officer and several others when he assaulted two separate military facilities in Chattanooga. He was killed in a fire fight with authorities, and his rampage is being investigated as an act of terrorism. 

FBI agent, Ed Reinhold, confirmed that Abdulazeez was not wearing body armor but he was wearing a load-bearing vest to carry magazines of ammunition while moving on foot.

A law enforcement official said the three weapons that Abdulazeez had were an AK-47-type assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a 9 mm pistol.

Fletcher said if not for the action from his team, things could have been worse. 

"No doubt officers in Chattanooga prevented loss of lives yesterday," Fletcher said in a press conference with FBI officials on Friday. 

Marine Corps. Captain Ty Balzer also expressed gratitiude for the police officers.

"The U.S. Marine Corps thanks the law enforcement and emergency personnel here in Chattanooga," Balzer said Friday. 

Manchester Police Search for Armed Suspect


Manchester police are searching for a man they believe may be armed and dangerous.

Police say Luis Rolon, 31, of 189 Eldridge St. in Manchester was involved in an incident around 3 p.m. Friday. Rolon fled and is in possession of a handgun. Police are actively searching for Rolon. More information about the incident was not immediately available.

Police say residents should not approach Rolon and anyone with information should contact police at 860 645 5500.

The search is ongoing in the area of Spring Street, near Route 83. A command center has been established at the Water and Sewer department at 125 Spring Street. Residents in the area have been warned of the situation, according to Manchester Police Captain Christopher Davis. 

Several departments, including Connecticut State Police - Trooper 1, the Captial Region Emergency Services Team, and Metro Traffic Services are all assisting. 

 Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Manchester Police Department

Ku Klux Klan Prepares For South Carolina Rally


Ku Klux Klan leader says she "she could support other murders", but not the recent Charleston massacre, as her group prepares to march on South Carolina State House. WIS' Chad Mills reports.

Second Major Brush Fire Hits SoCal


Some campers, including 90 Girl Scouts, in the Angeles National Forest are being evacuated Friday night because of a brush fire that is threatening some structures.

The Mount Kare campground is being evacuated because of the so-called Pine Fire, which erupted around 10 p.m. 

Additionally, 90 Girl Scouts are being evacuated from Taple Top Mount campground, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Another two to three hundred campers are also being evacuated from Lion's campground on Big Pines Highway.

A separate Southern California brush fire played havoc with the Friday afternoon commute when it jumped a freeway in the Cajon Pass. The 3,500-acre North Fire infrerno stranded, then consumed, cars on the I-15 Freeway; burned homes and prompted other evacuations.

This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.

Crews Search Lake After Report of Missing Swimmer


Police and medical personnel searched Lake Mohegan in Fairfield after someone reported seeing a swimmer go under the water.

Fairfield police spokesman Lt. Jim Perez said authorities received the report of a 10-year-old boy who went into the water late Friday afternoon and did not resurface.

The lake is private and swimmers must scan in with an ID while on the grounds.  Everyone who scanned in on Friday is accounted for, according to fire officials.

Divers searched the lake as a precaution.  The search ended just before 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Berlin Teen Shot With Pellet Gun Dies 4 Days Later


Berlin residents are mourning the death of a 15-year-old who police say was shot with a pellet gun in what appears to be a tragic accident.

Police said a 17-year-old shot the victim Sunday. The 15-year-old died four days later. Authorities have not publicly identified the teens other than to say they are related.

Close friends said the victim attended Berlin High School and lived on Division Street, where the shooting took place. Neighbors have blocked off part of the street out of respect for the family's privacy.

It's not clear what led up to the shooting, but police said Friday it appears to have been an accident.

"I'm sorry for the family because it's very difficult for the parents," said Edmund Karwowski, a pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, where the victim attended services and helped with summer camp. "It's hard to lose... He's a young boy, and especially a good boy."

The church plans to hold memorial services at 8 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Police said they're investigating the case.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Tabloid 'Exploited' Young Queen's Nazi Salute: Royal Official


Royal officials in Britain expressed anger Saturday that archive film showing Queen Elizabeth performing a Nazi salute as a young girl in the 1930s had been "exploited" by Rupert Murdoch tabloid The Sun, NBC News reported

The nearly 80-year-old video shows the princess, aged about six, joining her uncle, Prince Edward, in raising an arm. Hitler was only just rising to power at the time.

Prince Edward faced accusations of being a Nazi sympathizer, and later abdicated the British throne to marry an American socialite.

The Sun defended its decision to publish the film, saying it was of "immense interest to historians" and would be seen in the context of the period.

But a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman criticized it: "It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from Her Majesty's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner."

Photo Credit: UK Press via Getty Images

Willimantic Swat Team Called for Barricaded Man


The Willimantic Swat team was called after a man barricaded himself in his home early Saturday morning.

According to Willimantic Corporal Stan Parizo, the swat team was called to Emerald Ave. around 4 a.m. after it was reported that a man had barricaded himself inside his home and was threatening to harm himself.

Police ordered a shelter in place for residents in the area while they worked to diffuse the situation.

Corporal Parizo says the situation was over in about two hours, after the Swat Team was able to make entrance into the home and take the man to Windham Hospital for treatment,

The shelter in place was cancelled for residents in the area at 6:15 a.m.

Parizo says that he is "thankful for the great outcome" and the hard work of all officers involved.

Rain Showers Expected Today, Thunderstorms Possible


A few rain showers are expected early today followed by possible thunderstorms this afternoon.

Fairfield and New Haven counties can expect showers earlier in the day.

This afternoon, there is a risk for thunderstorms, mainly in the northern and western parts of the state.

The storms are expected around dinner time, winding down as the night goes on.

The storms come before what could be the start of a heat wave this week. Temperatures are expected to be in the 90's for the next few days accompanied by high humidity. 

Car Crashes into Building in Hartford


A Hartford mosque was left with serious damage after a driver lost control and crashed into the building.

Early Saturday morning, Hartford police observed a car travelling at a high rate of speed in the area of Main St. and Mahl Ave.

The driver lost control of the vehicle and it began to spin then crashed into the Masjid Umar Ibn Al Khattab Mosque at 2017 Main St.

The driver of the car had to be extricated from the vehicle by the Hartford Fire Department and transported to Hartford Hospital.

The accident is under investigation.

Eric Garner Death Protests


Several hundred people rallied outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn Saturday to demand justice in the death of Eric Garner -- the Staten Island man whose death in police custody sparked protests nationwide.

It was the second day of protests to mark the anniversary of Garner's death on July 17, 2014. Activists at the courthouse called on federal prosecutors to indict the police officer who put Garner in a fatal chokehold.

About two dozen protesters were arrested Friday during several demonstrations, New York City police officials said.

Hundreds of people rallied near Columbus Circle Friday evening. Several people were arrested outside Central Park as protesters chanted, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" News 4 New York video of one arrest shows a man being handcuffed and taken away by police as protesters surround them.

"The one's responsible for Eric Garner's death are free, walking the streets, and there was the non-indictment," one protester said. "That is wrong."

Friday's demonstrations began with Garner's youngest daughter, Legacy Miller, and her mother, Jewel Miller, releasing doves in front of the Tompkinsville store where Garner had his fatal confrontation with officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17, 2014. Video of the altercation showed the heavyset Garner shouting "I can't breathe!" repeatedly after being brought to the ground in front of the store. He lost consciousness and was pronounced dead a short time later.

One group rode the Staten Island Ferry to mark the anniversary, while another announced plans to block off traffic in Columbus Circle -- a common practice across the city during the intense protests in the days following a grand jury's decision in December not to charge Pantaleo with a crime in Garner's death. Pantaleo had no comment Friday.

The anniversary comes days after New York City settled a civil suit filed by Garner's family for nearly $6 million. Garner's family said that the civil agreement wasn't a victory and they will continue pressing for federal civil rights charges.

The U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn are investigating whether there is evidence to warrant charges that the officer deliberately violated Garner's civil rights. Such cases are rare after grand jury inaction or acquittal at state level.

Pantaleo, meanwhile, has not been on active duty in the year since Garner's death and remains under an internal affairs review. The NYPD is refraining from making any decisions on Pantaleo's future with the department until after the federal probe has been completed.

Pantaleo's attorney declined to comment on the anniversary.

'Take Action': Nelson Mandela Day Celebrated Worldwide


On what would have been Nelson Mandela's 97th birthday, people around the world Saturday are honoring the legendary South African leader's legacy with charitable acts.

Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, held a lunch for elderly and poorer women at the Mandela family restaurant near the family's home in Soweto and handed out blankets, according to The Associated Press. At the University of Johannesburg, his widow, Graca Machel, gave out food parcels.

Others are honoring Mandela on social media using the hashtag #MandelaDay and #Time2Serve.

Nelson Mandela International Day, or Mandela Day, was adopted by the United Nations in 2009, and asks those who want to follow in his footsteps to "Take Action. Inspire Change." 

He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Vernon Man Seriously Injured in NH Motorcycle Crash


A Connecticut man seriously injured his leg in a motorcycle crash Saturday in Salem, New Hampshire, police say.

Police responded just before noon to a report that two motorcycles on North Broadway were driving erratically. Minutes later, they received several calls about a crash on Shadow Lake Road involving the two bikes.

Twenty-five-year-old George Stanley of Vernon was trying to turn onto Harris Avenue and lost control. Callers told police that he may have severed his foot.

Stanley was taken to Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts before being scheduled to be airlifted to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. His condition was not immediately known to officials.

Police did not say what happened to the other motorcycle or its operator.

Salem Police are investigating the cause of the crash. Shadow Lake Road was expected to be closed for several hours Saturday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Salem Police

State Police Investigate Armed Robbery in Franklin


State police are asking for the public’s help in finding an armed suspect who robbed a gas station in Franklin Friday night.

Police say the robbery occurred at the Mobil Station at 62 Route 32 at 9:30 p.m. It was reported that a male suspect robbed the clerk at gunpoint then fled the store on foot, heading north on Route 87.

Police describe the suspect as wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt, a dark colored coat, a dark colored mask, blue jeans and white gloves, approximately 5’10” tall and weighing around 170 pounds.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Bennett of Troop K at 860 537 5456.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Fatal Hit and Run in Hartford


Hartford Police are searching for a driver that fled the scene after fatally striking a pedestrian Saturday morning.

According to police, the vehicle struck the male pedestrian at the intersection of Bond Street and Maple Avenue around 3 a.m.

The victim, who appears to be in his 20s, was transported to Hartford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police are searching for the vehicle which is described as a grey, two-door Infinity sedan. The car has dark tints and heavy front end damage from the accident.

If you have any information, please call Hartford police.

Drones Delayed Calif. Fire Help


Drones forced the landing of planes deployed to fight the so-called North Fire in southern California that burned cars and homes along the 15 Freeway Friday, delaying response to the frightening blaze, officials said.

All air units not only pulled back from the fire because of the drones, but all five were forced to touch back down at the airport in San Bernardino after jettisoning their loads, John Miller of the U.S. Forest Service said.

The drones can pose a hazard to the planes, so the airspace must be closed to fixed-wing aircraft if they are seen in the air.

"It can kill our firefighters in the air ... They can strike one of these things and one of our aircraft could go down, killing the firefighters in the air. This is serious to us. It is a serious, not only life threat, not only to our firefighters in the air, but when we look at the vehicles that were overrun by fire, it was definitely a life-safety threat to the motorists on Interstate 15," said John Miller of U.S. Forest Service, 

Five drones were initially spotted over the fire, which consumed five homes and more than a dozen cars as motorists frantically fled on foot through the Cajon Pass.

Two drones actually gave chase to air units, and the incident delayed response by about 15 to 20 minutes, according to Battalion Chief Marc Peebles of San Bernardino County Fire Department.

When asked if the delay contributed to the fire jumping the 15 Freeway, Peebles said “It definitely contributed to it.”

Drones appearing overhead have become a growing concern as fire crews try to battle wildfires during the busy season across Southern California.

Similar incidents occurred during the fight to contain the massive Lake Fire and others.

As of 10:30 p.m., the fire, near Phelan, had grown to 3,500 acres and was just 5 percent contained.

Hartford Police Investigate Shooting


Hartford police are investigating an shooting on Main Street.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday at 2006 Main Street.

“We had officers in the area of 2006 Main Street. The officers heard roughly seven to eight shots being fired across the street. They immediately ran over,” said Hartford Police Sgt. Paul Cicero.

They entered the building and found a male victim in the hallway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital, where he is in serious but stable condition. The victim has not been publicly identified.

Police are not sure what led to the shooting or how many people were involved. They have no suspect descriptions at this time.

Anyone with information should contact Hartford police. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Shelling in East Ukraine Amid Ceasefire


Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels accused each other of shelling residentital areas despite a ceasefire, reporting civilians and one soldier were killed following a week of the deadliest fighting in over a month, Reuters reported.

More than 6,500 people have been killed since the conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in April last year. Attacks have lessened since a peace agreement was brokered in Belarus five months ago, but both sides accuse each other of violations.

"The vast majority of shelling and armed attacks by the rebels take place at night to avoid attracting the attention of international observers," Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.

Truck Hits Limo 4 Dead, 4 Injured


Four members of a bridal party were killed and four others injured Saturday afternoon on Long Island after the limo they were riding in was hit by a truck as they returned from a vineyard, police said.

The limo's driver was attempting to make a U-turn near Depot Lane on Route 48 in Cutchogue around  5 p.m. when it was hit by a red truck with an alleged drunk driver behind the wheel, according to police.

"It looks like they were just thrown from one side of the vehicle out the windows," Lynne Van Z Lulfs, who witnessed the aftermath from her car, said.

Three of the people in the limo died at the scene and a fourth person from the limo was pronounced dead at Peconic Bay Medical Center, according to police.

Four other people in the limo who were injured were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital. They were listed in serious but stable condition Saturday night.

The crash left the limo crippled, with one side of it completely destroyed by the truck, which was rammed up against its right side. Debris was scattered over the roadway.

"I wish I didn't look, to be honest with you," Lulfs said. "It's something you don't forget." 

DWI charges are pending against the driver of the truck, police said. The investigation is ongoing and the identities of the victims have not been released.

Cutchogue is located on the North Fork of Long Island in an area known for its vineyards.

This is a developing story. Check back here for details.

Photo Credit: Roy Garipian
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Man's Car Torched After Crash


A man's car caught on fire and rolled over after hitting a sign post in Plymouth, Massachusetts, causing the driver to be airlifted from the scene, police say. 

The driver was heading west on U.S. 44 when police say he went into the median. The car rolled over several times when he hit the post.

Police say some passersby got him out of the car after it caught fire, eventually becoming fully engulfed.

The man was seriously injured. He was taken by MedFlight to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The eastbound side of the road remained closed after the crash.

Stay with necn as this story develops.

Photo Credit: Tom Kmetz via David Curran
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