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Standoff in Killingly Over


A standoff in Killingly on Monday morning has ended with a man being taken to an area hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, according to state police.

Police were sent to a home on Hartford Turnpike at 1:58 a.m. for a medical assist of a 37-year-old man, according to a news release from state police.

When troopers arrived, the man's family said he was having suicidal thoughts and has several guns.

Police said the standoff ended in about an hour.

Troopers took the man into custody and an ambulance brought him to Day Kimball Hospital for evaluation. 

Criminal charges are pending.

The man's name has not been released.

Photo Credit: Audrey Wahington, NBC Connecticut

Newtown to Decide Fate of Sandy Hook Building


Almost one month after a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 people, including 20 students, Newtown is trying to decide what should be done with that school building.

Students and staff from Sandy Hook haven’t returned since the tragic shooting on Dec. 14; they’ve been relocated to a school in nearby Monroe, Conn.

On Sunday afternoon, about 200 people packed the auditorium at Newtown High School to discuss whether Sandy Hook elementary should ever re-open.

"The children, the students, or the teachers of the school need to stay together," the mother of a Sandy Hook student said.

"It’s hard to even imagine my child walking back into the building," another parent said.

Many believe the school should be remodeled in honor of the 26 victims.

"[It shouldn’t be] kept as it is. I think too many hard memories [are there] … but, definitely rebuild it. … Maybe have a memorial there," Danielle Fredericks said.

However, others believe the site should be demolished.

"I don’t think any kid should ever have to go back there and tie those feelings back with the school again," said Christina Gorham.

"The building should be [torn] down," said Tara Nicholson.

With such a divided public, another meeting will be held on Friday to hear what other community members have to say.

Town leaders hope to make a decision on the future of Sandy Hook Elementary by this spring.

Victim's Family Sends Reform Proposals to White House


The family of Sandy Hook shooting victim Noah Pozner sent recommendations to the White House on how to prevent school shootings in the future.

Members of Pozner's maternal family created a multi-point memorandum dated Jan. 13. The memorandum begins with an introduction about Noah and the details of his death inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"Noah's young life ended in his first grade classroom when he was shot 11 times at close range," the memorandum states. "It is impossible to describe how devastated we all are by Noah's death. The violent death of a young child is a suffering that no family should have to bear. To know that the same intense pain is being felt by all of the other victims' families only makes it much worse."

Veronique Pozner, Noah's mother, expressed disappointment last week after she or other families had not been contacted to take part in the discussions being held by the White House Task Force on Gun Violence headed by Vice President Joe Biden. The memorandum is Pozner's contribution to the debate.

According to the memorandum, the family believes their ideas have not yet been discussed on the national level. The proposals include changes to criminal laws, school safety reforms and emergency grief counseling reforms.


Among the changes to criminal statues, the Pozner family proposes making it a crime for anyone who has knowledge of a threat of physical harm or death made by another individual and if that person knows the individual owns or possesses, or has access to a firearm or explosive device. Failure to report the threat would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.

The family is also seeking better protection to keep firearms secure, especially from people suffering from mental illness.

"The mentally-deranged gunman who shot Noah and 25 other victims used a firearm that had been purchased by his mother. The proposed statute - seeks to criminalize his mother's conduct," the family stated in the memorandum. "If the shooter's mother had survived, we believe that she should have been subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability."

A proposal on school safety includes include federal grants to review and upgrade security at schools nationwide. According to the Pozner family, changes in security could include trained school resource officers, security cameras in halls and classrooms, gunshot sensors, bullet-proof windows, doors and locks, metal detectors, changes in the physical design of schools a structured, anonymous threat reporting system, random sweeps for firearms and other weapons, panic buttons and other measures.

Recalling their own experiences in the hours and days after the shooting, the Pozners want an emergency response team of mental health to help grieving families immediately. According to the memorandum, the Pozner family waited an extended period of time without any mental health assistance. They finally spoke to a psychiatrist who voluntarily drove from another state to help families after hearing the news of the tragedy.

The family asks for an explanation from the task force if the proposals are not followed.

Photo Credit: AP/Family Photo

Coca-Cola Tackles Obesity With New Advertisement


Many fast food restaurants are making changes to become a healthier option, but now, one beverage giant is jumping on the bandwagon to fight obesity.

In a two-minute advertisement posted on Coca-Cola’s website, a spokesperson says, “We’d like people to come together on something that concerns all of us – obesity … As the nation’s leading beverage company, we can play an important role.”

The commercial starts airing on Monday, most likely intensifying the debate over sodas and public health.

“We see a rise in type 2 diabetes which we associate with adults,” Clinical Dietician Coordinator Emily Wong-Swartz told NBC 6. “I think it's great Coke is taking initiative.”

For over 126 years, Coke has created more than 650 beverages. A total of 180 of them have low and no calorie choices. For some, average calories per serving have been reduced, there are smaller portion sizes, and the calories are labeled right there on the front of each can. According to their new ad, the company has also made some changes in schools.

Soda Vending Machines to Show Calories

“For elementary, middle, and high schools our industry has voluntarily changed its offerings to waters, juices, and low or no calorie options. This has helped the calories to 90% since 2004.”

At Memorial Hospital Miramar, Wong-Swartz added, “Often we blame soda intake on obesity, however, schools have a role to play also in providing nutritional education to students.”

The beverage company said the ad isn’t a reaction to negative feelings, but instead, it’s to raise awareness about what the company has done and the work it plans to do in coming months regarding obesity.

The ad closes with, “All calories count, no matter where they come from – including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories.”

Wonder Bread Lives, Twinkies May Be Saved Soon

A Month Later, Family Struggles With Loss Every Day


For the first time since the Sandy Hook Shootings, NBC sat down with the family of Dylan Hockely just a month after the six year old was killed in the tragic school shooing.

Dylan's parents Nicole and Ian have spent the past few weeks trying to somehow adjust to life without their beloved Dylan.
“Sometimes we have good minutes, hours and days...sometimes we have very bad moments,” admitted Nicole Hockley,  “We're focused on getting up every day...getting showered and getting dressed."
Their family of four was torn apart a month ago, when Dylan was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“He was autistic. He was introverted, but he knew how to be happy,” Ian Hockley said. 
Those happy moments have helped the family deal with the heartbreak, especially Dylan’s 8 year old brother.
“Dylan was his best friend, not just a little brother," Nicole Hockley said. "They did everything together."
They do not want anyone else going through a tragedy like this in the future and are demanding change.
“It’s too heartbreaking to think it could happen again and someone else will be here telling their story,” Nicole Hockley said.
The Hockley’s and other victims’ families just announced their new organization called Sandy Hook Promise.  They said the goal is to find common sense solutions to gun control, mental health issues and school safety.  
“Energize the entire country and whole world," Ian Hockley said. "All bets are off, everyone should enter in the debate."
Their other objective was to find a way for Newtown to rebuild.
"This is a beautiful place and a beautiful community and one event can’t undo all that is fantastic about this place,” Nicole Hockley said.
The Hockley’s went onto say that being a part of the organization would help them heal as well. 
They also made progress after meeting with victims’ families from the shootings at Columbine, the Aurora movie theater and Virginia Tech University.
On Monday, there were no specifics on what Sandy Hook Promise would focus on. They said they would start by hearing conversations on both sides of the issue and hope that would lead to change in the future.

East Haven Names New Police Chief


After a nationwide search, the next full-time police chief in East Haven is Brent Larrabee, who has served as acting chief since the retirement of Leonard Gallo last February.

Gallo retired following the arrest of four East Haven officers amidst two federal probes that looked into discrimination within the department.

The federal probe began in 2009 following the arrest of a New Haven priest, Fr. James Manship.

Manship was arrested after videotaping two East Haven police officers allegedly harassing Latino employees at a local store.

Fr. Manship, of St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, said this is another step in the right direction, but the issues within the department go further than personnel.

“This is about a change of culture within the police department,” he said from his Blatchley Avenue office. “That’s what we continue to hope for and work for.”

Larrabee came to East Haven from Stamford and has been credited by many in this town with bringing stability to a department in turmoil.

“I’m glad everything is over,” said Biegio Martinelli, a 17-year resident of East Haven. “The town has come together and the chief, the mayor, have done a good job.”

The nationwide search narrowed down to five finalists, including Larrabee and prospects from New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Bridgeport.

Mayor Joseph Maturo made the official announcement on Tuesday morning.

Maturo said Larrabee demonstrated a clear vision of the steps necessary to make East Haven's police department one of the best in the nation.

A swearing-in ceremony will be held at a later date.

Photo Credit: Todd Piro, NBC Connecticut

Pedestrian Hit and Killed Manchester


A pedestrian was struck and killed at the intersection of West Middle Turnpike and Adams Street in Manchester on Tuesday morning.

According to police, Ronald Grayson, 70, of Manchester,  was crossing West Middle Turnpike just after 6 a.m. when he was hit by a vehicle in the eastbound lane.

Medics tried to intubate Grayson at the scene and rushed him to Hartford Hospital.  He was pronounced dead a short time later.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene, police said. An accident reconstruction scene is investigating.


Photo Credit: Liz Dahlem, NBC Connecticut

Two Crashes Slow Commute on Route 15, Hamden


Crashes on both sides of Route 15 in Hamden are slowing the commute on Tuesday morning.

The right lane of Route 15 South is closed because of a rollover before exit 59.

There is also a crash on the northbound side of the road at exit 60.

Airplane Hoaxster Must Write Apologies to Passengers


The Philadelphia man who admitted to calling in a fake report about explosives on a Dallas-Fort Worth-bound airplane that caused the plane to be diverted back to Philadelphia International Airport will write an apology letter to every person on that plane.

Kenneth Smith Jr., 26, pleaded guilty Monday to malicious false information about an explosive, and false information and hoaxes, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District of Pennsylvania Office.

Smith admitted he made the call to Philly Airport Police on the morning of Sept. 6 knowing that the information about Christopher Shell boarding a plane for Dallas with liquid explosives on him was false.

Smith, a pizza cook, faces up to 15 years in prison, up to $500,000 in fines and restitution when he is sentenced April 16. He already agreed to pay restitution and write an apology letter to every passenger who was on Flight 1267 when it was delayed. He also agreed to reimburse the emergency response costs, prosecutors said.

Flight 1267 was turned around shortly after taking off from Philadelphia International Airport. Sixty-nine passengers and five crew members were on the plane. In a strange twist, the incident happened on Shell's 29th birthday.

Smith’s reasoning for the hoax, according to federal prosecutors, was to “avenge” a woman who was at the time identified as Shell’s ex-girlfriend and Smith’s current girlfriend. Reportedly Shell had posted a compromising photo of the woman on Facebook.

Shell was removed from the airplane in handcuffs. He later wound up making it to Dallas where we was arrested on two outstanding warrants, police said. NBC Dallas spoke to Shell in October about the plane hoax and how it derailed his career.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia

NYC Subway Train Operators Told to Slow Down After Push Deaths


New York City subway trains are entering stations more slowly after the transit workers union put out advisory signs instructing drivers to take greater caution — but the transit authority says the move throws off subway schedules and is counterproductive to straphanger safety.

The union says having trains enter stations more slowly helps train operators stop if someone suddenly jumps or gets pushed onto the tracks. 

According to the union, the normal speed for trains to enter the station is 30 or 40 miles per hour. But after the union released advisories over the weekend, trains are entering stations closer to 10 miles per hour. 

The safety initiative comes in the wake of two recent incidents in which people were killed by trains after being pushed onto the tracks — one in Queens, in what is being investigated as a hate crime, and another in midtown Manhattan.

"They should come in slowly, at least tap on the brakes and ease their way in," said one straphanger. "Coming into the station, it's safety first." 

But the city's Metropolitan Transit Authority doesn't approve of the slowdown, saying it throws off the existing schedules and that there are other ways to make the system safer. 

"Some of the actions they are recommending, if implemented, could result in even more hazardous conditions due to overcrowding on platforms and on board trains," an MTA spokesman said in a statement.

When it comes to affecting their own schedules, straphangers seem reluctant to support the union's initiative.

"I think they should get me to work on time. So if you slow down and I'm late, I've got a problem with that," said another subway rider. 

Optimism Remains Hard to Find Around Jets


The search for a new Jets general manager has moved into its third week and it's only becoming more clear that it isn't a job that people are clamoring to accept. 

Monday brought a report that David Caldwell turned down an offer that included $1 million in a housing allowance on top of his other salary so that he could take the G.M. job in Jacksonville. While it's true that $1 million doesn't go all that far in terms of housing in these parts, it's a pretty good sign that the Jets will have to go above and beyond other teams to bring in quality talent. 

Since Caldwell has been in Jacksonville, he has fired coach Mike Mularkey and made it clear that Tim Tebow won't be coming back to town unless he's visiting his folks. Whoever winds up becoming the Jets' G.M. isn't going to have the same freedom, since Woody Johnson is requiring him to keep Rex Ryan as the coach and since it was clear last season that Tebow came at the exclusive whim of the owner with no thought to the impact on the football team. They probably won't have the chance to dump Mark Sanchez either as the massive cap hit incurred for moving on would make it hard to build the rest of the team. 

It's a topic that caught the eye of the New Yorker, where the Jets are used as a case study in the dangers of letting sunk costs determine decision making. The Jets' investment of time and money into Sanchez makes it more likely that they'll give him another chance even though giving him that chance makes another season much more likely. 

One way to remedy that would be by making a smart hire at offensive coordinator, a process the Jets have started even though they still don't have a general manager in place. The relative merits of reported candidates like Cam Cameron, Pat Shurmur, Pep Hamilton and Marty Mornhinweg could be debated for quite some time, but the guy who winds up with the job is going to be the guy with the least other options. 

He'd be choosing to come to a team with almost no offensive talent and a head coach who may just be biding his time before getting fired next year, two things that don't do much for job security or the prospect of advancement. And if you throw having Sanchez forced upon you on top of all the rest of that, the job just becomes that much less appealing.

They say that things are darkest before the dawn, which may be the one piece of hope to cling to when it comes to the Jets. It's just a question of whether or not the Jets have actually reached total darkness yet.   

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

“Over the Rainbow’


Over the last week, 21 students from Newtown have been working on a project called “A Song From Sandy Hook" and performing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to benefit their community. 

The students performed at the Fairfield home of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, of the Talking Heads as a tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to the Web site of musician Ingrid Michaelson, who performs with them. 

The song is on sale on Amazon, as well as on iTunes, and proceeds will be donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut as well as the Newtown Youth Academy.

According to Rolling Stone, owner of CBGB Tim Hayes is the producer of the project.

“The children were beautiful. The song was spiritual. What a beautiful way to honor those children and teachers. I hope this gives the families comfort as they cope with their grief,” one review on Amazon said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Tim Hayes

Shot Grandmother Not Angry at Gunman

Gloria Johnson, the 90-year-old grandmother who was struck twice on the street during a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn last week, says she's not angry at the person who pulled the trigger. NBC 4 New York's John Noel reports.

Restaurant Employee Charged With Voyeurism


Police have charged an employee of a Dutchess Restaurant in Milford with voyeurism after a female customer reported finding a camera phone recording in the ladies’ restroom.

Police said the customer found the phone in a paper towel dispenser at the Dutchess at 344 Old Gate Lane on Jan. 3, removed it and found that it had been recording, according to police.

The police investigation led to an employee, Tiago Dominguez, 24, of Bridgeport, according to a news release from police.

Police said they seized the cell phone and are reviewing images to determine if there are additional victims.

Dominguez was charged with voyeurism and breach of peace in the second degree. He was released on a $25,000 bond and is due in court on Feb. 5.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF

Residents Injured Jumping from Burning Building


Thirteen residents and firefighters were hurt during a three-alarm fire at Gateway Estates, a complex on Ellington Road in East Hartford and firefighters are treating the blaze as suspicious.

When firefighters arrived, children and adults who were trapped on the second floor were jumping from windows.

This building has been a problem spot in the past with at least five intentionally set fires since the summer.

"It's disappointing. I mean you look at the number of people in the building, you look at the number of occupants, you look at the risk to them, you look at the risk to the firefighters. Now, as far as I know, we've transported nine residents, three firefighters, and a police officer. That's by my math, that's about 13 people too many," Chief John Oates, of the East Hartford Fire Department, said.

The fire on Tuesday started just before 4 a.m. on the second floor of a unit, officials said and fire crews were searching to ensure everyone made it out of the building.

William Perez, assistant chief of the fire department, said one person suffered serious injuries.

Forty units, housing an estimated 100 residents, were evacuated and several residents’ apartments were ruined by the smoke and fire.

All the residents who have been displaced are asked to go to the North End Senior Center at 40 Remington Road. Check in with the center staff so appropriate services can be provided.

On Jan. 7, firefighters responded to the building when about a dozen small fires were set in front of apartment doors and in the laundry room.

Officials from the East Hartford Fire Department said there have been four suspicious fires at Gateway Estates in the last few years.

On Dec. 15, police responded to fires in a stairwell and in the lower laundry room. Firefighters also responded to fires at 12:29 a.m. on Oct. 31, at 4:02 a.m. on March 26, 2012 and at 8:25 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2009.

It’s too early to say if the Tuesday morning fire is suspicious.

The fire marshal is investigating. 

Photo Credit: Liz Dahlem, NBC Connecticut

Fire at Catholic School in Baltic


Firefighters are responding to Academy of the Holy Family in Baltic for reports of a fire.

Academy of the Holy Family is a Catholic day and boarding high school located at 54 West Main Street.

Firefighters from Franklin have been called in to help.

An NBC Connecticut crew is heading to the scene.


Photo Credit: Zoë Robb student at the Academy of the Holy Family

Zuckerberg Unveils "Graph Search" on Facebook


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday unveiled a new type of search that allows users to easily find information from within their friends' news feeds.

The new feature, called "graph search," will allow users to easily find things like which of their friends like a particular TV show, restaurant or band — or combinations of both. So you can find out which of your friends lives in San Jose and likes "Downton Abbey." Or find photos of your friends hiking.

The search finds information from within Facebook's "open graph," meaning it searches the Facebook news feeds of your friends and others who have their settings set to public. It doesn't search the broader web like Google. But near the end of the media-only event in Menlo Park, Zuckerberg did say that Facebook is partnering with Microsoft's Bing to bring in web search results.

During a question and answer period, Zuckerberg was asked about why Facebook isn't partnering with Google on this project.

"We would love to work with Google," he said. "We just wanted to incorporate search, and as long as the companies are willing to honor the privacy of folks sharing content on Facebook, we'll work with them. We just haven't gotten it worked out with Google yet."

He added: "We don't think people will be coming to us exclusively for web search. But we wanted to provide good search results in graph search."

The new search method, Zuckerberg said, is designed to give you the answer, "not give you links that lead to the answer."

He also said that Facebook is working with Microsoft to incorporate "social signals" into the search. And he added that at this point there wasn't any business model out there to make money off this venture.

Facebook shares went down 2.6 percent , or 50 cents, on Tuesday, to $30.45.

Several analysts, however, seemed to like the new function. Danny Sullivan, considered the "search engine guru," told NBC Bay Area that this was something that Facebook had long been missing. He liked the idea that you could search for things among your friends and people you know, and theoretically, trust.

Zuckerberg kicked off the mysterious event by telling reporters: "Our mission is to make the world more open and connected."

The event was not open to cameras, but several media outlets, including the Mercury News and  engadget.com, liveblogged the affair, held at Facebook headquarters.

Zuckerberg talked about the "three pillars" to the Facebook system, the news feed, the timeline and the "Graph Search." It's not a web search, but a graph search, he said, which already has 1 billion people, 240 billion photos and 1 trillion connections.

The rollout began on Tuesday, perhaps to hundreds or thousands of users, but getting everyone on board will depend on the beta testing.

"You really need to just ask, 'Who are my friends in San Francisco?'" Zuckerberg said, "And get the answer quickly." Then Zuckerberg gave a demonstration, by searching for a "small Dothraki party," by searching for friends in Palo Alto who also like "Game of Thrones."

The search technique has very real implications, according to the Facebook folks.

Facebook’s Lars Rasmussen had a toothache a few months ago and needed to find a dentist. He typed "Dentists liked by my friends" in Graph Search and said he immediately found a dentist who was liked by 17 of his friends, including one friend who does not like pain.

As to privacy issues, if a person shares a profile with friends, that wouldn't show up in a search — unless you are a friend.

New Facebook privacy settings allow users to see all of their activity in one place, including photos on friends’ Facebook pages users are tagged in. The new settings allow Facebook users to see all non-public photos of themselves, untag themselves and then send their friends’ messages asking them to take the photos down.

Zuckerberg showed the crowd how he hid three photos of himself in a sumo fat suit, and then he gave a demonstration on how to remove those pictures. The pictures were taken by another user, and the system sends a note requesting them to remove the photos.


The creators of graph search, Rasmussen and Tom Stocky, wrote a piece on how "Graph Search" and web search is very different. Web search, for example, will take the key word "hip-hop" and provide the best possible result. In graph search, users can type in "my friends in New York who like Jay-Z," to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that's been shared on Facebook. For now, the search, which is in beta form, is focusing on four main areas: people, photos, places and interests.

Here they are: 

  • People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing," "people who like things I like," "people who like tennis and live nearby"
  • Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” "photos of my friends taken in New York," “photos of the Eiffel Tower” 
  • Places: “restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” "Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India," “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs," "countries my friends have visited"
  • Interests: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” "languages my friends speak," “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” "movies liked by people who are film directors," "books read by CEOs"

NBC Bay Area's Scott Budman contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Man Who Kept Sandy Hook Students Safe Getting Harassed: Report


The Newtown man who took six survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting into his home on the tragic morning of Dec. 14 is being harassed by conspiracy theorists, according to Salon.com.

Gene Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist who lives across the street from Sandy Hook Elementary School, told Salon that he is getting phone calls and emails accusing him of lying when he shared his story of taking four girls and two boys into his home after the shooting.

As he was leaving his house on the morning of Dec. 14, he saw the children from Victoria Soto’s class sitting at the end of his driveway. They had just run from the school to escape Adam Lanza, who shot and killed 20 first graders and six staff members, including their teacher. 

He took them in, gave them toys, listened to their stories and called their frantic parents, using cellphone numbers obtained from the school bus company.

He said he decided to talk to the media in the days after the shooting to tell stories of the children’s bravery and to help himself get through the tragedy, he told Salon.

After those interviews, people with the so-called “Sandy Hook Truther movement” began harassing him and setting up fake accounts in his name, according to Salon.

“I don’t know what to do,” Rosen told Salon. “I’m getting hang up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’”

Rosen told Salon he is not sure what recourse he has, but there is a sense of rage when he hears the allegations of lies or hears someone mention a conspiracy.

But, then there are the well-wishers who praise what he did for the children, and he hopes that they “continue to be the majority.” 


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Photo Credit: AP

Jury Indicts Suspect in Newtown Shooting Charity Scam


A federal grand jury has indicted a New York City woman accused of lying about her connection to a victim of the Newtown school shooting to collect donations from people hungry to make donations.

The FBI arrested Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronx, last month and a federal grand jury returned an indictment on Tuesday charging her with making false statements to FBI agents. 

NBC’s Jeff Rossen reported that Alba posted a solicitation on Facebook within hours of the shooting, identifying herself as an aunt of Noah Pozner, one of the 20 children shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Dec. 14.

"My heart is entirely destroyed knowing my little man is gone," she posted on Dec. 14, according to the indictment.

As families were grieving and the nation was looking for any and every way to help the victims’ families, she asked for funds to pay for the funeral, Rossen reported. 

"We've set up a funeral fund for my bother and families," she posted on Dec. 15, according to the indictment.

At Alba's instruction on the Facebook page owned by "Victorian Glam Fairys," donors sent money to a PayPal account that Alba controlled and accessed, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The indictment alleges that Alba falsely told FBI Special Agents investigating fundraising and charity scams related to the Newtown school shooting that she did not post information related to Newtown on her Facebook account, have contact with anyone about such postings, or recently access her PayPal account.

In one text to a donor, Alba wrote about being in Newtown when President Barack Obama was in town to meet with the families and of how he hugged and cried with the families, according to the complaint.

The donor asked Alba if she was watching the president's speech in person.

According to the complaint, she responded: "No im sitting in my car. Emotionally I cant (sic) deal.with it right now ..tomorrow ill see (redacted) in a casket and that will be hard enough to handle."

She also claimed in a phone conversation to the same donor that she had entered the crime scene to identify her nephew's body after the shooting, according to the complaint. Family members and next of kin, however, were barred from entering the crime scene at Sandy Hook.


Alexis Haller, the uncle of Noah Pozner, told Rosen that Alba is not related to the family and never gave the family any of the funds raised.

“This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to profit from this tragedy by contriving fraudulent schemes that exploit the many victims, their families and individuals who sincerely want to help,” stated U.S. Attorney David Fein.  “Investigators continue to monitor the Internet to uncover other fundraising scams arising from this tragedy, and the individuals operating them face federal or state prosecution to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

Alba was charged with lying to FBI agents and released on a $50,000 bond.

“Investigators continue to monitor the Internet to uncover other fundraising scams arising from this tragedy, and any individuals who attempt to profit through these schemes will be prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney David Fein said in a statement.

Attorney General George Jepsen is advising people to be careful and avoid phone and e-mail solicitations, as well as those posted on Facebook.

On Dec. 19, and state Department of Consumer Protection  Commissioner William Rubenstein issued a warning for residents to beware of potential scams and urging only to donate to well-known, established charities.  

“This is a time of mourning for the people of Newtown and for our entire state,” Jepsen said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it’s also a time when bad actors may seek to exploit those coping with this tragedy. We are very thankful for all of the offers to help and urge those looking for ways to help to take some simple precautions to ensure that their donations will find their way to those in need.”

Jepsen and Rubenstein warned that social media sites could perpetuate scams and residents should not blindly donate to through them.

“As with any charity, investigate the groups behind such pleas to ensure that they come from a legitimate organization,” they warn.

Individuals with knowledge of Newtown-related fundraising schemes are encouraged to call the FBI in Connecticut at 203-777-6311.

Fein said potential federal charges associated with fraudulent fundraising and charity schemes include wire fraud, access device fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Photo Credit: Today Show

Man in Monkey Mask Robs Subway


In the early hours of Tuesday morning, an armed man wearing a monkey mask robbed the Subway restaurant in Windsor Locks.

Police received a 911 call at 12:04 a.m. reporting an armed robbery at the Subway Restaurant at 4 National Drive, police said.

The masked man showed a handgun, demanded money and ran off with cash, police said. No injuries were reported.

Police are looking for a man who is around 6-feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds.

In addition to the mask, he was wearing dark color pants and a black jacket with a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Windsor Locks Police Department at 860-627- 1461. 

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