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22-Pound Lobster to Be Released into Wild


When Deirdre Mears was ordering lobsters for her restaurant, Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn., she heard there was a 22-pounder for sale and quickly scooped it up.

“The customers love to see those, and I have a Calico and a Blue. We'll take them all for show and tell,” said Deirdre Mears.

The large crustacean has been quite the attraction at Abbott's, with kids coming to pet it and adults amazed at both its size and its hefty $200 price tag.

“He was for sale at the restaurant. People will come in with groups of six or eight and say, 'Wow, we can have one big lobster.'  It looks great on the table and they have a great time," said Mears. "The meat is just as tender as it is as a pound-and-a-quarter when it's steamed."

For those who couldn't bear to eat the huge shellfish, Mears was also offering to sell the lobster so it could be returned to sea. In the end, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I've decided that I'm going to release it myself tomorrow with a local fisherman,” said Mears. “We're going to take him out to Race Rock where it's deeper water and colder water and let him go, and hopefully he'll do well.”

The decision is getting mixed reviews from customers at Abbott's, who travel to Noank just to get a bite of the large lobsters the restaurant carries.

“I think if you're going to buy a 22-pound lobster, you should eat the 22-pound lobster, because it's probably a meal for an entire family, so why let it go?” asked Lorraine Esposito, who is finishing up a New England lobster tour.

“I think I disagree with her because I could see it's an older lobster,” said her husband, Greg Esposito.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Milford Residents Outraged Over Klan Flyers


Some residents in Milford are outraged after finding flyers on their properties from the United Klans of America organization on Monday.

The flyer with letterhead, United Klans of America or UKA read:

Neighborhood watch.
You can sleep well tonight
knowing the UKA is awake.

Andrea Cashman said she immediately researched the Alabama-based organization after getting the flyer and was disturbed.

"Racist information, and talking about getting up and fighting and having guns," Cashman said.

The notes came folded, inside small plastic packages that were weighted down with white rocks.

Chester Ignatowski said he also found a letter on his property on Monday morning.

"Somebody got to be stupid," Ignatowski said.

Many of the residents told NBC Connecticut they never saw the person who dropped off the packages.

They also said they have no interest in a UKA Neighborhood Watch.

"We want them out of the neighborhood, no way," Cashman said.

Scot Esdaile of the Connecticut NAACP said he found the notes upsetting, but not surprising.

"We've had many situations with the white wolves, the skinheads and the KKK in the particular areas of Milford and Stratford," said Esdaile.

The United Klans of America organization did not return NBC Connecticut's calls for comment on Tuesday morning.

Mildford police said they are aware of the situation and will monitor any activities in the areas of Wheelers Farms Road, Herbert Street and Coram Lane.

Police also said the UKA neighborhood watch is not a legitimate program.

Milford police asked anyone with information about the person distributing the flyers to give the department a call at 203-878-6551.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Storms Dump Heavy Rain in State


Severe thunderstorm warnings issued earlier for parts of New Haven and Fairfield counties have expired, as has a flash flood for New Haven County.

Storms dumped heavy rain across areas from Chesire to Wallingford and Durham.  Cheshire saw some flash flooding in the area of Route 10 at Route 42, according to police.  The waters receeded around 3:30 p.m. police said.

In Meriden, 1.38 inches of rain fell in just 35 minutes and almost an inch fell in just 17 minutes.

Connecticut Light & Power was reporting around 1,100 power outages as of 2:30 p.m. Most are in East Haddam and Salem.

Firefighters have responded to a fire on Hanover Road that police said could be the result of a lightning strike.

The storms are affecting business at Lyman Orchards. They have closed the pick your own part of the orchard because of thunderstorms.

According to the National Weather Service, a flood advisory remained in efffect for areas of New Haven and Fairfield counties until 5:30 p.m.

You can track storms on our interactive radar here.

If you take flooding photos, send them to photos@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: alphawolf144

Part of European Rocket Discovered in the Florida Keys


A part of a rocket weighing several hundred pounds washed up in the Florida Keys and was found floating by shark researchers, said Arianespace, the European consortium that launches commercial satellites.

The part is believed to have been from a mission conducted sometime in the past two years, the Miami Herald reported.

When the rockets are launched, they are supposed to break apart and sink in the Atlantic Ocean, but this piece remained intact, traveling hundreds of miles to an area about 70 miles west of Key West, according to the report.

"Ordinarily the fairing sinks to the ocean floor, becoming an artificial reef. From time to time, a strong ocean current washes one ashore," said Aaron Lewis, communications director for Arianespace Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Wes and Theo Pratt found the piece on July 4th after they had kayaked the half-mile from Garden Key in Key West in hopes of studying sharks, the report said.

But after finding the rocket part in the sand, they shifted their focus. They asked for help from a ranger at Dry Tortugas National Park, but were still unable to get the piece out of the water, according to the report.

Instead, they tied a light to the large object and waited for the high tide. The piece floated and they were finally able to tow it out of the water, the report said.

They took pictures and the park manager researched the origins of the piece. That’s when they realized they had found a piece of a European rocket, according to the report.

"It is part of the fairing, or 'nose cone,' of an Ariane 5 launch vehicle," Lewis said. "The Ariane 5 — which is manufactured in Europe — is launched from a state of the art facility in Kourou, French Guiana in South America."

The piece will be temporarily on display in Garden Key before the park figures out how to dispose of it, the report said.

More South Florida Stories:


Photo Credit: Glenn Simpson/National Park Service

Skate Park Graffiti in Hartford


There’s a thin line between freedom of speech and defamation.

The walls at Heaven Skate Park are covered with self-expression. And police say people are allowed to spray paint within the park. But when someone in the neighboring office buildings saw the latest addition to Heaven Skate Park off Main Street, police took action.

They arrested Matthew McLaughlin, 28, of Hartford for spray painting a guillotine with blood dripping from an angled blade. Above it in all capital letters reads, “DE-VITALIZE DOWNTOWN.” Officials say he was arrested before finishing the painting but planned to list names of political groups and figures – including Mayor Pedro Segarra.

“People need to have ways to express their distaste with what’s going on,” said downtown resident Danielle Cote. “But at the same time I’m against violence.”

Cote was dining at Salute restaurant in downtown with her friend Kevin Ward, who also lives downtown. Ward said he read about plans for changes to the park earlier in the day.

“I think it’s a little intense, but freedom of speech – go for it,” said Ward, who added that he only finds a problem with political speech if it’s threatening. Police say there was no direct threat to anyone.

“Graffiti is tolerated,” said Lt. Brian Foley with the Hartford Police Department. “But certainly anything that is violent or offensive, they’re going to take action.” McLaughlin has been charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief.

“I also agree with that sort of philosophy of not allowing violent graffiti,” said Cote.

City officials are considering plans to limit graffiti in the park only to two walls. They want to clean up the rest of the graffiti and turn it into an official skate park.

But residents, like Kevin Ward, say they don’t see a problem with the way it is right now. “If that’s an outlet for ppl to express themselves and they keep it to the park and they’re not tagging buildings, that’s a great spot for it,” he said.

Police say the guillotine will be evaluated Wednesday by downtown officials, and they’ll decide how to go about removing it.

Young Hit and Run Victim Recounts Crash


6-year-old Diamond Battle has been released from the hospital, two months after she was badly injured in a hit and run crash. It's a night Battle only recalls part of.

All she remembers is that she was headed back to her aunt's house the night she was hit, but not much else.When asked how she is doing, she said, "Good."

Battle feels good to be out of Yale-New Haven Hospital after nearly 40 days there.

Now she's back in Bridgeport, "I feel at home."

It's a home her mom Yvette Lyons was worried Diamond would never see again but to have her back, "has fulfilled my heart but at the same time, it’s putting the pieces back together again that’s been rough."

It's been a rough five weeks. Diamond still has intestinal problems, collapsed lungs and kidney troubles. Lyons is angry but says part of her wants to forgive.

"I wish he would step forward...he, she, whoever," Lyons says. "Step forward and take ownership to give her some closure and knowing what that person has done to my family."

This is one family the city of Bridgeport is trying to help with a new traffic calming initiative: to make the city more pedestrian friendly.

"So when will it stop, I do hope police enforcement do take some caution and do something about it. That’s my prayer," Lyons added.

Lyons also prays she and her family never have to relive that night. Diamond's brother Deon was there with his aunt and his cousin Crystal.

"I just saw crystal’s face and I saw my life flash before my eyes," said Deon, adding that he remembers calling for help while seeing the silver car fly by the intersection.

Deon is now grateful his sister is home.

"It's a pleasure even though she annoys me on Saturdays," he said.

Diamond's mom says she's hopeful her daughter can go back to school in the fall. As for Diamond's aunt, the family says she too is out of the hospital.

Police are still looking for a light or silver colored SUV.

If you have any information, call Bridgeport Police.

Pet Store Ban Passed in San Diego


San Diego City Council voted unanimously to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores throughout the city on Tuesday.

Local animal welfare groups partnered with Council Member Lori Zapf for the ordinance that bans the commercial sale of specific animals in San Diego.

The measure requires pet retailers to get their puppies, kittens and rabbits from city or county animal shelters, human societies and nonprofit rescue groups. The ban goes into effect in 30 days.

It was a packed house at the council meeting — and when the decision was reached there was a lot of applause from the crowd, and disappointment too.

The San Diego Humane Society and the SPCA are legal sources for pet retailer shops, and they say they're being targeted unfairly by this measure.

Retailers said it would only penalize well-run, regulated shops that sell properly registered animals, and end up benefiting those on the black market.

"This has got to stop. This movement of accusing every single breeder having pet stores as puppy mills is absolutely ridiculous," said David Salinas of San Diego Puppy Inc.

But residents concerned about so called puppy mills that they say simply mass produce animals --- and use them as a money making commodity.

"These animals live their entire lives in small cages. They never touch the ground, they never have a name never have a toy," said Sydney Cicourel of the Companion Animal Protection Society.

Similar measures have been adopted in Los Angeles and a number of other Southern California cities including Chula Vista.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Three Arrested In Fake Kidnapping In Plainfield


Three people have been accused of staging a fake kidnapping in Plainfield.
Police said they tied a girl up with duct tape, and threw her in a car right in front of a convenience store.
We spoke with some of the suspects after they bonded out of jail, they told us they had been joking around with duct tape, and this was a misunderstanding.
“The word kidnapping never came up,” Danny Vinal explained. Staging a kidnapping was exactly what he and his two friends were accused of doing. “Never the intention of anything like this whatsoever,” Harley  Jane Davidson added.
Danny Vinal, Mark Reasoner, and Harley Jane Davidson were arrested just after 7 o’clock Tuesday morning.  
Plainfield Police said they went through with an elaborate hoax at this Cumberland Farms on South Main Street in Moosup. A hoax the suspects denied. “We wanted to have fun that was it. It was all about fun,” Davidson admitted.
Several people called 911, and said they saw Vinal and Reasoner in the parking lot.
The witnesses claimed they allegedly tied up Davidson with duct tape, then threw her in the trunk of a car and took off. Police found all three of them at a home less than a mile away.
“They said they had nothing going on there was nothing to do they thought this would be a funny prank to pull,” said Police Chief Michael Surprenant.  For him, the prank was not funny.  
Many of his exhausted officers rushed here from an overnight standoff with a man barricaded in his home. “It spread us very thin.  
We were already working another major crime at the time when this came in we thought we had a female victim inside the trunk,” Chief Surprenant added.
There was no victim in the trunk, and taxpayers who fronted the bill for possible police overtime weren’t amused either. “Definitely disappointing that police had to come out waste their time,” said Nate Collello.
According to the group of friends, they had been joking around, and duct taped each other out of boredom.
They claimed a prank was never the plan. “Definitely not, I was hoping it wasn't going to turn out like that,” Danny Vinal added.
All three suspects were charged with breach of peace.  They will face a judge in a few weeks. 

Smithsonian Raises $170K for Yoga Exhibit


The Smithsonian exceeded its crowd-funding goal of $125,000 for a yoga exhibit.

The Smithsonian wants to highlight the history of yoga with a special exhibit opening in October at the Freer and Sackler galleries, and it sought ordinary citizens' help to fund the unique exhibit.

The Smithsonian raised more than $170,000 for the exhibit, receiving money from more than 600 donors, including a $70,000 donation from Whole Foods.

The many forms of yoga have influenced many cultures for thousands of years. In America, it's moved from edgy to mainstream with millions of practitioners for both mental and physical health. Exhibit Curator Debra Diamond told News4 whole societies have risen and fallen with the power and mystical aspects of yoga.

The exhibit is the first to depend on a unique online fundraising campaign, which began May 29.

“I thought yoga was a natural because community has been part of it for centuries,” Diamond said.

Supporters can learn more, donate and download campaign materials beginning later this month at asia.si.edu/yoga or by emailing yoga@si.edu.

Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Bridgeport Teen Sisters Reported Missing


Police have issued a Silver Alert for two sisters from Bridgeport.

Carmen Cotto, 16, and Angelica Cotto, 14,  were last seen together at the Marshalls store in Fairfield on July 9.

Carmen Cotto has hazel eyes, brown hair with red bangs and a scar on her right arm from a burn, according to the Silver Alert.

She is 5-feet-5 and weighs 165 pounds.

When she was last seen, she was wearing a blue dress with a black silk-like jacket.

Angelica Cotto has brown eyes and black hair with a red stripe down the back.

She is 5-feet tall and weighs 125 pounds.

She was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and a black belly shirt.

Anyone who spots the sisters or has information on where they might be is asked to call Fairfield Police at 203-254-4800. 

Photo Credit: Fairfield Police

16 Charged in Major Federal Drug Bust


Sixteen Connecticut residents were indicted by a Hartford grand jury and charged with federal narcotics offenses, according to the U.S. States Attorney's Office.

The indictment was announced Tuesday after investigators unveiled a major Connecticut drug trafficking operation reportedly headed by Luther Nance, also known as “Papers” and “Cash,” officials said.

Officials identified 15 of Nash's alleged associates, all of whom are accused of selling crack cocaine across several Connecticut communities.

Authorities said they also uncovered narcotics operation on Carroll Road in East Hartford, Valley Street in Willimantic and at tje Sheldon Charter Oak Apartments in Hartford.

The 16 have been charged on a total of 51 counts. The charges are as follows:

  • Luther “Papers” and “Cash” Nance, 27, of Willimantic and Windsor
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Antoine “Slim” Armour, 22, of East Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Fabian “J” and “Fabe” Augustine, 23, of East Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • James “Decky” Brown, 23, of East Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine
  • Morgan “Teck” Gill, 23, of Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Alonzo “Al” Hamilton Jr., 20, of Manchester
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Wanda Soto, 25, of Willimantic
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Tykwell “Money” Walton, 20, of Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Michael Glenn, 29, of Wethersfield
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession: intent to distribute narcotics
  • Kaloni “Scrap” Goodley, 22, of Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Leesa Grant, 21, of Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Jahmell Harding, 27, of Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a narcotics trafficking crime, possession of an unregistered short-barrel 12-gauge shotgun
  • Anthony “Tone” Harrington, 28, of Bloomfield
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Montrell Huff, 35, of Unionville
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • Rayshequia Wells, 20, of East Hartford
    • Conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute narcotics
  • David Lyn, 32, of Hartford
    • Five counts of possession with intent to distribute and distribution of crack cocaine

Lyn was indicted separately.

All 16 have been arrested or are currently in state custody. Nance has been held since his Feb. 13 arrest.

The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service and five Connecticut police departments.

If convicted, the defendants will face sentences ranging from five years to life in prison.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Drug Investigation Underway in Hartford


Police responded to 123-125 South Street in Hartford this morning to execute a drug search warrant, police said.

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Shot During Carjacking: Police


Bridgeport police are investigating an apparent carjacking and shooting.

A 22-year old woman who had been shot in the leg was found shortly before 11 p.m. on Tuesday, near Beardsley Park, according to police.

Police said the victim told detectives she was carjacked, then taken to the park, where she was assaulted and shot.

The victim was treated for her injuries at a nearby hospital.

Bridgeport and state police are investigating.

There is no description of the assailant and no one has been taken into custody.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Looking for Witnesses to Branford Crash


Branford police are looking for witnesses to a crash that injured a woman in a wheelchair and the woman who was helping her this morning.

Police said Lura Ellsworth, 87, of Branford, was driving in the parking lot at 1075 West Main Street, toward the exit near Short Beach Road around 11 a.m. when her vehicle struck Christin Langlois, 37, of Branford, who was in a wheelchair, and Kendra Geraci, 32, also of Branford, who was assisting Langlois.

Paramedics treated both victims, who were transported immediately to an area hospital.

“One of the victims sustained major injuries,” Lt. Kris Hormuth, who is supervising the investigation, said in a statement. 

No charges have been filed.

The department’s accident reconstruction officers are going through evidence and statements to determine what happened.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information should call Officer Jay Kaufman or Bret Johnson at the Branford Police Department immediately at 203-481-4241.

Photo Credit: Branford Police

SFPD Chief: Passenger Struck by Fire Truck at Crash Site


San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr confirmed Friday that one of the two victims killed in Saturday’s Asiana plane crash at SFO was hit by a fire truck at the scene.

Suhr said investigators are still waiting for more information from the Coroner’s office to determine whether or not it played a role in her death.

Right now, it isn't clear whether Ye Meng Yuan, 16, was already dead or whether she was alive after Saturday's crash.
San Mateo County coroner Robert Foucrault said his initial results would likely be released sometime next week and would not comment on the police investigation.

Asiana Flight 214 collided with a rocky seawall just short of its intended airport runway on Saturday. Two people were killed and dozens of others injured although most suffered minor injuries.
Investigators have said the plane came in too low and slow.

Meng Yuan is on the left in the above photo in a picture that also shows the second victim who died in Saturday's crash landing.

Police spokesman Albie Esparza said the truck's driver did not see Meng Yuan because the area was covered in foam.

Esparza said the driver hit her as he moved over to reposition the truck to better battle the flames, adding that the passenger victim was found in tire tracks.

"Without a doubt a fire truck went over the victim," Esparza said.

San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the fire department is still conducting its own internal investigation, but acknowledged that police have confirmed that a fire truck ran over the girl.

Talmadge said fire officials are waiting for the coroner's report  before releasing any details about the case. "Nonetheless it's distressing," she said.

The girl's family arrived in the Bay Area Monday.

A representative from the San Mateo County coroner's office met with them this week and told them that authorities were trying to determine whether the 16-year-old was struck and possibly killed by an emergency vehicle.

Ye and the other girl killed, 16-year-old Wang Lin Jia, were part of a group of Chinese students slated to attend a Southern California school with a group of 35 students in an exchange program.

The program was cancelled following the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which in addition to killing the two girls sent 180 of the plane's passengers to Bay Area hospitals.


View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.


Woman Charged With Prostitution Twice in 24 Hours


Police arrested a 44-year-old Norwich woman on prostitution charges twice in 24 hours.

Beth Sikorski was arrested on a prostitution charge on Thursday and was out on bond when police arrested her on the same charge on Friday, police said.

Patrol officers saw her loitering in the Greenville section of Norwich early Friday morning area trying to gain the attention of drivers, police said.

An undercover officer was sent to investigate and approached Sikorski, who has been convicted for prostitution in the past, police said.

They made an arrangement for sexual favors, including intercourse, and Sikorski was arrested at Boswell Avenue and Eleventh Street, according to police.

She was held in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond pending her arraignment at Norwich Superior Court on Friday.

Police arrested Mariah Freehart, 20, soon after at Broad Street and Boswell Avenue on prostitution charges as well when an undercover officer approached her and they made an agreement to exchange money for sexual favors.

Police said Freehart has previously been arrested on prostitution charges.

She was held in lieu of $10,000 cash bond and arraigned at Norwich Superior Court today.

Petit Foundation Road Race This Weekend


The sixth annual GE 5k Road Race to benefit the Petit Family Foundation will take place on Sunday, July 14, starting at Route 10 and East Street in Plainville. 

There will also be a quarter-mile kids fun run and a 1.3 mile fitness walk for non-runners.

The race is a fund raiser for the Petit Family Foundation that was created in memory of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit. 

The money the foundation raises goes to support education, women in the sciences and protection for those affected by violence against women.

Registration will be held from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., followed by the kids fun run at 8:30 a.m.  The 5k and fitness walk will start at 9 a.m. 

After the race, there will be an appearance by the Rock Cat’s Mascott “Rocky,” a massage tent, raffles, refreshments, and more.

The fun will start on Saturday, July 13 with a pasta dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the GE grounds.  There will be a photo booth, carnival-style games, a magician, and a performance by The Key West Trio Band. Tickets are $5 and children 12 and under are free.

For those who have pre-registered, racing bibs and T-shirts can be picked up on Saturday  from noon to 4:30 p.m. in front of GE’s Plainville facility.

NBC Connecticut’s Brad Drazen will appear on Sunday.

For more information, visit the Petit Road Race site.

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Half Brother to Be Charged in Boy's Killing


The 16-year-old half brother of a boy who went missing in semirural Menifee, Calif., will be charged with his younger sibling's murder, authorities said Friday.

The Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced Friday that it "made the decision to file a murder charge" against Skylor Atilano, 16, in the death of Terry Smith Jr.

The four-day search for 11-year-old Terry generated a massive effort involving many volunteers who were devastated when a body was found in a shallow grave early Wednesday. Terry had been reported missing Sunday, July 7, by his mother, who said he had autism.

TERRY SMITH CASE: Complete Coverage | Timeline | Map | Images

Atilano, who had not previously been identified, will not appear in juvenile court until Monday, the DA's office said. Unless a judge prohibits it, the initial detention hearing will be open to the media and public because of the murder charge.

The DA’s Office said it was requesting a hearing to determine whether the case should be handled in juvenile court or in adult court.

Hundreds volunteered to search for the boy amid scorching heat around the Smith home about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

On Tuesday night, an Orange County woman who describes herself as an “intuitive” went to the scene of the search after having a vision of Terry under a tree. In the family home’s backyard, she found a decaying head sticking out of the raw dirt, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

A body was unearthed on Wednesday, and Capt. John Hill, Menifee’s acting police chief, said it matched the description of Terry. Coroner’s officials still had not confirmed the identity of the body by Friday morning, but the DA's news release about the pending charge against Atilano said "body of Terry Smith Jr. was found" on Smith family property.

Hill announced Wednesday that the occupants of the home – previously said to include Terry’s mother Shawna Smith, her partner, and a 16-year-old half brother – had been questioned at the police station. A 16-year-old “family member,” Hill said, was arrested for murder.

An NBC4 source had confirmed that the suspect as Terry’s half brother.

A vigil for Terry Smith was planned for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wheatfield Park in Menifee, according to the website Menifee 24/7.

More Southern California Stories:


Waitress Gets $500 Tip As Family Fulfills Relative's Last Request


This was no ordinary tip.

After a slow night at Pequod’s Pizza in Chicago's Lincoln Park Thursday, a waitress was given a shocking surprise when a man handed her a $500 tip, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“She was shocked, she was shaking,” said Sean Asbra, general manager at Pequod’s Pizza. “It was a total surprise.”

Asbra said the Lincoln Park pizza restaurant was nearly as surprised as the server to learn of the tip.

“You try to take care of everybody when they come in no matter who they are,” he said. “Out of all the places they could have gone they picked us.”

But Vanessa Goldschmidt wasn’t the only waitress to be graced with the random act. In fact, she’s the latest in a string of servers being given the $500 tip in honor of Aaron Collins.

Aaron Collins reportedly committed suicide on July 7, 2012, but not before leaving behind a will requesting that his family go out to eat and leave an “awesome tip” like $500 for a pizza.

“The small things people did for [Aaron] are what touched him the most,” a website for Aaron’s Last Wish reads. “He was generous with the limited means he had, and his last wishes were that any money he had be given freely in ways that would impact those who received it.”

The first tip given was recorded by Collins’ brother Seth Collins and went viral on YouTube . The post resulted in a stream of donations to continue completing “Aaron’s Last Wish.”

The flood of support led Seth Collins to embark on a road trip, offering $500 tips across the country.

“That first video created a tidal wave of giving,” Seth Collins wrote on his indiegogo fundraising page. “Now I want to spread those $500 tips to every state in the country.”

The next stops scheduled in the midwest are Milwaukee, St. Paul and Des Moines.

“I want to make as many people as possible part of this journey,” Seth Collins wrote on the fundraising page.

Donate to Aaron's Last Wish here.

Photo Credit: Aaron's Last Wish

2 Dead, 1 in Custody in SF Shooting


Two women are dead, a man is in critical condition and a suspect is in police custody following a Friday afternoon jewelry store shooting in downtown San Francisco.

Late Friday, none of the victims nor the suspect had been identified.

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said his officers encountered the suspect, covered in blood, as they responded to a report of shots fired just after 2 p.m. at Victoga, a store in the Jewelry Mart at 888 Brannan near 7th Street in the South of Market area.

Suhr said as the officers approached the man he fired multiple shots at them. The suspect then ran into a restaurant. More officers arrived and entered the restaurant where the man fire more shots, according to police.

Suhr said the suspect ran out of bullets and then laid on the ground to surrender. The firearm, a revolver, and the edged weapon, a knife, were both recovered.

Surh said officers never returned fire.

The suspect was taken into police custody and is being treated for superficial wounds to his hands.

Suhr did not talk about a motive but said it was not the first time the suspect was in the Jewelry Mart building.

Suhr said officers evacuated the Jewelry Mart and put nearby buildings under lock down out of an abundance of caution as they conducted a search with SWAT and K-9 teams.

Some well-known tech companies are located in the area and were under the lock down. Pinterest and Zynga were among the companies that were shut down during the investigation.

Suhr said police do not believe there is an additional suspect at large, despite their continued search of the building.  By 6:30 police declared the area clear and said the gunman had acted alone.

Suhr said his officers did not return fire because their guns were in their holsters. He said protocol is to take cover first in that situation, adding that his officers did not have a clean line of fire to hit the suspect.

Police said two female victims were pronounced deceased at the jewelry store. A third male victim was located with multiple injuries and transported to San Francisco General Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Police said one of the female victim suffered gun shot wounds. The second female victim suffered wounds from some type of edged weapon. The male victim suffered both gun shot wounds and wounds from an edged weapon, police said.

The Jewelry Mart is a multi-story wholesale retail complex in the South of Market District. It is not open to the public. Customers need to be on a list in order to get into the store area and are checked through by a security guard.

Once you have access through the guard you have access to all of the stores through a hallway that loops around in a circular pattern.Most of the stores sell jewelry.

According to its website, Victoga has been in the jewelry business over 26 years and specializes in gold chains, gold earrings, gold pendants, and gold bracelets. It said it also offers gold buying for customers who want to sell their unwanted, old, or broken gold jewelry.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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