US

Bail set at $2 million for suspect identified in Trader Joe's standoff

Bail set at $2 million for suspect identified in Trader Joe's standoff

(CNN) - [Breaking news update at 2:35 p.m. ET]

Los Angeles police have identified the suspect in Saturday's standoff at a Trader Joe's grocery store as 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins.

Atkins is being held on one count of murder and other charges soon to be determined, Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison told CNN on Sunday. Bail is set at $2 million.

[Last update at 11:44 a.m.]

A Trader Joe's employee is dead and a wounded suspect is in custody after a standoff in Los Angeles stretched over several tense hours Saturday before the gunman's surrender.

About 40 people were inside the grocery store on Hyperion Avenue in the Silver Lake neighborhood when an armed man ran in, according to police. He had crashed a car he was driving nearby after firing multiple rounds at officers pursuing him, police said.

The man was fleeing police after a shooting in which an elderly woman and a young woman were victims, Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez told CNN. Their conditions were not given.

Police said the older woman was the suspect's grandmother, and he was driving her car when he wrecked it near the Trader Joe's.

Customers ran out of the store when the armed man burst in and police surrounded the building. During the three-hour standoff, several people walked out of the store with their hands up. Some employees climbed out a back window on a chain ladder.

At a news conference afterward, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said a woman inside Trader Joe's had been killed. He did not identify her or say how she died. The suspect was wounded in his left arm after exchanging shots with police, Garcetti told reporters once the standoff had ended.

After talking with hostage negotiators, the man, 28, eventually handcuffed himself and surrendered, police said.

The woman killed was Melyda Eldorado, according to her brother, Albert Corado. He said she had worked at Trader Joe's for four to five years.

"She was the person I loved the most in the world. She was never anyone but herself for better or worse, she was herself," Corado said.

Melyda Eldorado was a store manager, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Public safety agencies had responded to the standoff, with an armored police vehicle parked outside the store and ambulances and dozens of law enforcement vehicles arriving on the scene.

Six people ranging in age from 12 to 81 were taken to the hospital afterward, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. All were in fair condition, with no life-threatening injuries, spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.

Among the injured was a 20-year-old woman, who was removed from a vehicle, Stewart said. It was not immediately known whether that woman was part of the original shooting.

Police Chief Michael Moore earlier said the man shot his grandmother seven times and she had undergone a series of surgeries at a local hospital.

'Boom, boom, boom, boom'

Don Kohles, 91, told CNN he saw the car crash into a fire hydrant or a utility pole in front of the Trader Joe's.

"Then this guy comes out of the car and starts running toward TJs," Kohles said, referring to the grocery store. "I look behind me and there were two police guys coming with heavy guns, then boom, boom, boom, boom, so I go into TJ's and I see this guy and he comes in.

"And I see the two front-glass doors shot out. I look around and I see a TJ's employee laying on the ground, then all the help was laying on the ground," he said. The employee did not appear to be hurt, Kohles said.

"We all laid there for about a half an hour until LAPD came and got us out. They helped carry me across the parking lot, and they sort of tossed me over a wall," Kohles said.

Witness Devin Field said it appeared traffic prevented the suspect from escaping police when he crashed in front of the store.

The suspect had a pistol in his hand and "just started opening fire on the police behind him," Field said. When police returned fire, Field and others got down on the ground, he said.

"After he was inside the store for a little while, they had me crawl away from the scene and run away around the corner," Field said.

Another witness, Miguel Trujillo, said, "He was very focused in getting out of the cops' vision. The exchange of bullets were all in an instant."

NYPD files formal departmental charges against officers in Eric Garner case

NYPD files formal departmental charges against officers in Eric Garner case

(CNN) - The New York police officer who choked Eric Garner in 2014 has been formally served with departmental charges, an NYPD spokesman said Saturday.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who wrapped his arm around Garner's neck before the man complained he couldn't breathe, was served with the charges Friday night, according to city officials.

Pantaleo is seen in video from the scene tackling Garner from behind using a department-banned chokehold. He now faces two separate charges -- for use of a chokehold and for restricting the man's breathing, said an NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation.

An asthmatic, Garner was later pronounced dead. His death, which became emblematic of long-standing tensions between police and minority communities, was ruled a homicide.

Pantaleo, who has remained on the NYPD payroll, faces punishment ranging from loss of vacation days to termination, officials said.

Stuart London, Pantaleo's attorney, declined comment Saturday. He said his client was "looking forward to being vindicated" after the NYPD confirmed Thursday that it was initiating the disciplinary process.

Another officer, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, a supervisor and one of the first officers to respond, also faces departmental charges for alleged procedural infractions, city officials said. Her attorney also declined comment.

Pantaleo's case will be prosecuted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency tasked with oversight of the police department, officials said. The CCRB substantiated allegations of misconduct against Pantaleo, police officials said.

An NYPD official will lead the administrative case against Adonis.

The disciplinary hearings likely will take place in early 2019, according to an NYPD official. That will allow the officers' attorneys adequate time to prepare, said Lawrence Byrne, the deputy commissioner for legal matters.

Family wants officers held accountable

On Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of Garner's death, his mother, Gwen Carr, stood on the steps of City Hall and demanded action from authorities, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The de Blasio administration should never have waited for four years," Carr said in a statement, adding that she wanted all the officers seen in the video to be disciplined -- not just Pantaleo and Adonis.

Garner died in 2014 after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling cigarettes illegally in Staten Island.

Garner's sister, Ellisha Flagg, said the video was clear-cut and the officers should be fired.

"Eric lost his life. What gives him the right to keep his job?" Flagg, 42, said. "I'll be a little satisfied when someone is actually held accountable. It won't bring him back but at least we know we didn't let it go."

Police union calls for fair process

Tuesday, the US Justice Department released a statement saying it informed the NYPD in the spring that the department was to pursue disciplinary proceedings. City officials have denied the claim.

De Blasio, who said he was surprised by Tuesday's statement, asked NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill to speak directly to top DOJ officials.

"We wanted to hear it from a ranking official of DOJ," de Blasio said. "That was done in the last 24 hours. It was specifically confirmed. That makes it abundantly clear to all of us. It's time to move forward."

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the union that represents Pantaleo and other rank-and-file members, called for a fair and not political process.

"We hope that the NYPD's eagerness to start the disciplinary process does not mean the outcome has already been decided, without even the pretense of due process," said PBA President Patrick Lynch in a statement. "P.O. Pantaleo is entitled to a complete and impartial review of the facts. We are confident that he will be vindicated by such a review, unless the mayor and the NYPD leadership have already decided to prioritize politics over fairness."

Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold dies at 57

Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold dies at 57

(CNN) - Los Angeles Times and Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has died at 57.He became the first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer for criticism in 2007.Gold died of pa ... Continue Reading
Woman killed inside Trader Joe's during standoff, Los Angeles mayor says

Woman killed inside Trader Joe's during standoff, Los Angeles mayor says

(CNN) - Los Angeles police arrested a man outside a Trader Joe's on Saturday evening, bringing an apparent end to an incident in which a man barricaded himself inside the grocery store for hours afte ... Continue Reading
Duck boat accident survivor mourns her 9 relatives who drowned

Duck boat accident survivor mourns her 9 relatives who drowned

(CNN) - Tia Coleman's thoughts as she struggled to swim to the surface of the lake were focused on her family.

She and 10 of her relatives were on a family vacation from Indiana, taking a tour Thursday of Table Rock Lake near the Missouri tourist hotspot of Branson.

A treacherous squall sank the boat, sending Coleman down into cold, deep water.

She knew she had to go up to get to safety and to help her children.

"I said, 'Lord, please, I've got to get to my babies. I've got to get to my babies," she said Saturday at a news conference at Cox Medical Center Branson, where she has been hospitalized since the incident that took 17 lives, including her husband, three children and five other members of her family.

Coleman wept at times as she described trying to help her family and save herself. At other times she proudly talked about her kin, describing her memories of them.

Her children have always loved to swim, Coleman said. They had taken vacations to other lakes and to beaches.

"In our family, my oldest son is autistic so a lot of things normal families do, we don't always do," she said.

They went on the duck boat because her eldest could be himself on the boat, she said.

Passengers were told there was a storm coming before they went out on the water, Coleman said. The captain mentioned life jackets before they went onto the lake, she added, but he said, "you won't need them so we didn't grab them."

Coleman said she thinks if she had been able to get a life jacket to her children -- she had a son sitting next to her -- she could have saved them.

"I felt like, if I was able to get a life jacket I could have saved my babies because they could have at least floated up to the top and somebody could have grabbed them. And I wasn't able to do that," she said.

Coleman told reporters that she hit her head as she tried to exit the boat, possibly butting up against the canopy.

"The harder I was kicking to the top, I was pulled down," she said.

As she lost hope of surviving, Coleman just let go and started floating. She felt warmer water closer to the surface and reached out her hand.

When her head emerged from the lake, she looked around and saw a big riverboat docked nearby, but she didn't see anyone from her family.

All of them but a nephew had perished.

Coleman felt hands reaching down for her and then she realized she was being pulled out of the water.

When asked whether she is happy she made it out alive, Coleman said she doesn't know yet and only time will tell. But she thinks there is a reason she survived.

"God must have something for me because there's no way I should be here," she said.

Duck boat changed route on day of tragedy, Missouri attorney general says

Duck boat changed route on day of tragedy, Missouri attorney general says

BRANSON, Missouri (CNN) - State investigators looking into the sinking of a duck boat in southwestern Missouri that killed 17 people -- including nine from one family -- want to know why the vessel ch ... Continue Reading
URGENT -

URGENT -

(CNN) -- Los Angeles police handcuffed a man outside a Trader Joe's, bringing an apparent end to an incident in which a man barricaded himself inside the grocery store for hours after running from police. "We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident," Los Angeles police said on Twitter.
All 13 passengers survive WWII-era plane crash in Texas

All 13 passengers survive WWII-era plane crash in Texas

(CNN) - A World War II-era military aircraft carrying 13 passengers crashed and caught fire shortly after takeoff in central Texas on Saturday.All passengers on board the cargo plane survived and ... Continue Reading
A group of women traveling on a train say they were called porn stars for going to the bathroom together

A group of women traveling on a train say they were called porn stars for going to the bathroom together

(CNN) - They went to the bathroom together as women often do, only to have a train employee allegedly call them porn stars.Five young women say they were horrified when an operator on a commuter t ... Continue Reading
Dallas police officer killed by suspected drunk driver during funeral procession for another officer

Dallas police officer killed by suspected drunk driver during funeral procession for another officer

(CNN) - A Dallas Police Department motorcycle officer was killed Saturday when a suspected drunk driver ran into him during a funeral procession for another police officer, the police department said.

Senior Cpl. Earl "Jamie" Givens had positioned himself to block traffic to the eastbound entrance ramp to Interstate 20 at Bonnie View Road around 5:30 a.m., the police department said in a news release.

Givens was stationary on his motorcycle with his emergency lights on when the driver of a Kia Sportage struck the officer at a high rate of speed, the release said. The vehicle struck a concrete divider and the driver remained at the scene until he was arrested, police said.

Givens, a 32-year veteran of the department, was transported to Baylor Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the car was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired. Dallas police say the driver is a 25-year-old male but they have not identified him.

"Please keep Senior Corporal Givens' family and friends in your thoughts and prayers," the police department said in a statement.

When the incident occurred, Dallas motorcycle officers were escorting the body of Senior Cpl. Tyrone Andrews to a location in East Texas. Andrews died July 14 of cancer, The Dallas Morning News said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings posted on Twitter, "Our hearts are broken once again. Please pray for the Givens family and for the brave @DallasPD officers who protect us every day."

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office issued a statement saying, "The facts surrounding this crash are still under investigation. However, any charges referred to our office in this matter will be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law."

Duck boat victims: 9 family members among 17 who died

Duck boat victims: 9 family members among 17 who died

(CNN) - The youngest was a year old. The oldest was 76. Nine were members of one family. Friends and family are mourning the deaths of 17 people who were killed when a duck boat sank Thursday near Branson, Missouri, during a storm.

The amphibious vehicle went down in about 40 feet of water in rough weather at Table Rock Lake.

The Stone County, Missouri, Sheriff's Office released the names of all victims early Saturday.

Here's what we know:

Coleman family hit hard

The sheriff's office listed nine victims with the surname Coleman, from Indiana. The list included four children, the youngest just 1.

They were Angela, 45; Arya, 1; Belinda, 69; Ervin, 76; Evan, 7; Glenn, 40; Horace, 70; Maxwell, 2; and Reece, 9.

Two other members of the family survived: Tia Coleman and her 13-year-old nephew.

Coleman told CNN affiliate KOLR that when she was in the water, she couldn't see or hear anyone. She said she yelled, screamed and then let go.

"And I started floating ... to the top. I felt the water temperature rise to warm ... and I saw the big boat that sits up there," she told KOLR from a hospital bed, referring to a riverboat docked nearby. "And when I saw they were throwing out life jackets to people and I said, 'Jesus keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children. Keep me, Lord.' "

Speaking to CNN on Friday afternoon, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said, "I had a chance to talk to her (Tia Coleman), and it's difficult to find the right words to say other than (our) thoughts and prayers are with her."

Gary and Carolyn Coleman of Riverdale, Georgia, told CNN affiliate WSB that their loved ones were on an annual family trip and that all the victims lived in Indianapolis.

"I'm just lost," Gary Coleman told WSB. "I don't know. I can't place it. I can't imagine it. We've had a death in the family. One or two, (but) not a whole family at one time."

Steve and Lance Smith

Steve Smith, a vacationing retired teacher from Osceola, Arkansas, and his teenage son, Lance, died in the lake, said Glenn Oakes, a church elder at the Osceola Church of Christ.

Oakes said he learned of the deaths through relatives of the Smiths. Oakes said the elder Smith was a church deacon in their 35-member congregation. "It was a great loss for the church," Oakes said.

Smith's daughter, Loren, reportedly suffered a concussion but was rescued and taken to a local hospital. Pam Smith, the girl's mother, was on shore at the time of the accident. Lance Smith was 15, and his father was 53, police said.

Robert 'Bob' Williams

Williams, 73, was the driver on the duck boat.

"He'd talk to anybody," his widow, Judy Williams, said Friday in a phone interview. "He made an effect on many lives. He would give up his life for somebody. That's the kind of man Robert was, is."

His grandson, Victor Richardson, told CNN: "He was a God-fearing man; he was very humble. He was the calmest spirit you could ever meet."

Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived in Branson, Richardson said.

The USA Veterans Hope Center in Springfield, Missouri, mourned the death of Bob Williams, who was a board member.

"We love Bob. Bob was more than a Board member; he was a friend, mentor, and father and grandfather to our family," Almer Jackson, the center's founder & CEO, said in a statement on its website.

William and Janice Bright

The Brights, a husband and wife from the small town of Higginsville, Missouri, east of Kansas City, died in the accident, Karen Abbott, William Bright's sister, told CNN affiliate WDAF.

The couple had been married for 45 years and had three children, Abbott said. "My great-nieces and nephews now have no grandparents."

Police said Janice Bright was 63 and her husband was 65.

William Asher and Rosemarie Hamann

Friends of William Asher said he and his partner, Rosemarie Hamann, were inseparable and heavily involved in the community.

"They were a cute little couple; they were always doing things together; they deserved each other, you could tell that," neighbor Scott Eaton told CNN affiliate KTVI in St. Louis.

Denny Eads, Asher's friend for nearly a decade, told CNN affiliate KMOV that the couple loved to listen to oldies music together.

"He was just a fun-loving, partygoing, and Rosie was the same way," Eads said.

Asher was from Missouri and was 69, the sheriff's office said.

Hamann was 68 and also from Missouri, it said

Jim Roepke, a neighbor for more than 20 years, told KMOV that Asher had the energy of a 40-year-old.

Leslie Dennison

Leslie Dennison is being remembered as a hero for saving her granddaughter's life.

Her son, Todd Dennison, of Sherrard, Illinois, told The Kansas City Star that his mother had taken his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, to Branson for a trip. His daughter survived and is in the hospital, the paper reported.

Dennison said his daughter told him that after the boat submerged, she felt her grandmother below her, pushing her upward.

"She said her grandmother saved her," Dennison told the paper.

Leslie Dennison was 64 and also from Illinois, the sheriff's office said.

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Man accused of carrying out shooting at Maryland newspaper indicted

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As investigation into deadly duck boat incident begins, survivor describes almost drowning

As investigation into deadly duck boat incident begins, survivor describes almost drowning

(CNN) - Tia Coleman was one of 31 people riding on a Ride the Ducks Branson amphibious vessel when the craft began to sink in the rough lake water whipped up by a fast-moving thunderstorm.

Coleman, one of 14 people who survived after the boat went under the water, told CNN affiliate KOLR she was shouting but couldn't hear or see anyone else. She had been on board with 10 members of her family, according to KOLR.

"And I was yelling, I was screaming, and finally I said, 'Lord, just let me die, let me die,' I said. 'I can't keep drowning, I just can't keep drowning,'" she told KOLR.

"And then I just let go and I started floating. And I was floating up to the top. I felt the water temperature raise to warm," she said. "And then I felt the temperature raise, I jumped up and I saw the big boat that sits out there," she of spotting a riverboat that was docked nearby.

People were throwing out life jackets.

Water conditions on Table Rock Lake near the Missouri tourist mecca of Branson has deteriorated rapidly after a storm that had raced across the Midwest earlier Thursday rolling in with strong gusts.

Another Ride the Ducks boat was nearby but made it to shore, ahead of the one Coleman was on.

"We got out of it and made it to the ramp. And I turned around and watched the other boat nose-dive, and my heart dropped," passenger Kourtney Parker said.

Onlookers desperately tried to help as the duck boat began to sink in 40 feet of water. One group pulled an unconscious woman out of the water. An off-duty law enforcement officer dove into the choppy waters.

There were life jackets on the boat, but Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said he doesn't know whether people were wearing them.

Early Saturday, the Stone County Sheriff's Office released the names of all 17 people who died.

Nine victims had the surname Coleman, including four children -- the youngest just 1 year old. According to KOLR, Tia Coleman was one of just two members of her family who survived.

Seventeen people, ranging in age from 1 to 70 years old, died.

Investigators are now looking into questions about the accident, including ones about the weather, the life jacket situation, the boat and the actions of the crew, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and Coast Guard said.

By late Friday morning, all 17 bodies had been recovered, US Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Tasha Sadowicz said.

The Coast Guard will conduct an investigation, said Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is assisting. A team from the NTSB traveled to the scene Friday.

The NTSB, on Twitter, sought the public's help for photos or video of the sinking.

Severe storm hit Branson area

Jim Pattison Jr., president of the company that owns the duck boat tours, Ripley Entertainment Inc., said the ferocious squall "came out of nowhere."

According to weather data, the storm traveled hundreds of miles at 55 mph before it hit the lake.

The area around Branson was placed under a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET), about half an hour before the boat sank.

Radar shows the first wind gusts arriving at the lake ahead of the storm, at 6:59 p.m.

There were reports of damage throughout Stone County, including trees down and structural damage, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said. The highest wind gust reported in the area was 63 mph.

The storm was part of the same upper-level weather system that spawned destructive tornadoes Thursday in Iowa, Missouri's northern neighbor.

Authorities received the first 911 call about the sinking at 7:09 p.m., the sheriff said.

In July, the company operates tours that depart every 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. A tour lasts about 70 minutes, with about half on land and half on water, the company's website says.

A mechanical problem on another boat possibly led to a delay in the ill-fated craft beginning its tour.

'Those poor people, oh no!'

Jennie Phillips-Hudson Carr, was on the nearby Showboat Branson Belle, a riverboat docked near the sinking ship.

Video she recorded shows at least three vessels on the lake, including the two Ride the Ducks boats rocking and tilting to the side as ripples turned into massive waves.

Strong winds whipped waves head-on onto the boats.

"Oh my God, those poor people, oh no!" someone says on the video as the water crashes into the smaller boats, and the one starts sinking.

"If there's kids on there, those poor babies," a female voice says.

The boat sank, wheels down, 40 feet down, and then rolled to an area 80 feet deep, Rader said.

Among those killed was the driver, Robert "Bob" Williams, said his widow, Judy Williams.

A second crew member -- the boat's captain, whose name wasn't immediately released -- was among the survivors and was taken to a hospital, Pattison said.

'This should never end this way'

Ripley Entertainment said it recently acquired the boat company. The boat had a captain and a driver with a commercial license, he said.

"Obviously, we shouldn't be out there in severe weather," Pattison said. The company has been in operation for 47 years without any incident such as this, he said.

Asked whether the passengers and two crew members had time to put on life jackets, Pattison said, "We don't know that yet."

"People are supposed to be able to go out for an outing and have a good time. This should never end this way -- there's not much more you can say," he said when asked whether he had a message for relatives of those who were aboard.

Showboat crew and passengers scrambled to help

Two passengers on the Showboat Branson Belle, Trent Behr and his girlfriend, Allison Lester, described what they saw when they appeared Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Lester said the weather had been nice Thursday. But as she and Behr boarded the dinner boat cruise, "the wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere," she said.

As they toured the dinner boat, the couple looked out the window and saw the duck boats struggling in the water.

"It was maybe two minutes later, and we actually heard the captain say that the boat flipped or the boat is sinking," Behr said.

Behr said that at one point, he and other passengers on the dinner boat helped pull an unconscious woman from the water. EMTs arrived before he could administer CPR, he said.

Among the rescuers was an off-duty sheriff's deputy on the Branson Belle who "jumped in and helped," said Rader, the Stone County sheriff.

Nearby passenger: Everything happened fast

Duck boats are amphibious vessels that travel on both land and water, and are popular among tourists in major cities. The boats' history dates to World War II, when such vessels were a common sight due to their versatility.

In Branson, they are driven along city streets for part of the tour before the driver uses a ramp to enter the lake.

Pattison said he didn't know when the doomed boat -- or the one just in front of it -- started the tour or entered the water.

Parker, who was on the duck boat in front, told CNN that both vessels had delayed their entry into the lake.

"We got toward the lake ramp, but our propeller quit working. So we had to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a backup bus, which set us back and that (other) boat, because we were in front of them, and they had to wait for us," Parker said.

After the boats entered the water, she said, they "got about halfway across the lake, and then, bam, everything all happened so fast," she said. "We were literally under water a couple times."

Pattison said he believes it was calm when the boats went into the water.

"Partway through coming back is when ... the waves picked up and then obviously swamped the boat," he said Friday morning.

Driver was 'the calmest spirit you could ever meet'

Williams, the driver, was a caring man who was friendly to everybody, his widow told CNN.

"He'd talk to anybody. He made an effect on many lives. He would give up his life for somebody," she said in an emotional phone interview Friday. "That's the kind of man Robert was, is."

His grandson, Victor Richardson, told CNN: "He was a God-fearing man; he was very humble. He was the calmest spirit you could ever meet."

Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived in Branson, according to the grandson.

'Our hearts are breaking'

Ride the Ducks Branson said it was deeply saddened and that the business would be closed "while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community."

"Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking," it said in a statement on its website. "We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue."

Branson, a popular family vacation destination, is about 200 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

Missouri duck boat accident among deadliest in nearly 20 years

Missouri duck boat accident among deadliest in nearly 20 years

(CNN) - Thursday's sinking of a duck boat in Missouri isn't the first time trouble with the tour vessel turned fatal. At least 39 people have died in duck boat accidents in the past 20 years.

The amphibious vehicles travel on both land and water and are popular tourist attractions in many US cities, but accidents in and out of the water have marred their popularity and forced some companies to shut down their businesses.

Jeffrey Goodman, who has represented people injured in past duck boat accidents, said the vessels should be banned.

"They are dangerous on land and on water. They are death traps and sinking coffins," he told CNN in an email.

The National Transportation Safety Board and multiple duck boat companies, including Ride The Ducks of Seattle, declined to comment for this article. Ride The Ducks Branson is closed while officials investigate the accident on one of its boats.

Here's a brief look at fatal accidents involving the amphibious vehicles:

Branson, Missouri, 2018

Seventeen people are confirmed dead after a duck boat carrying 31 people capsized and sank during a severe thunderstorm on Table Rock Lake.

The "Ride The Ducks" boat embarked on its trip when the weather was calm, the president of the businesses' parent company said, and was making its way back to land when it was overcome by massive waves and strong winds that had picked up due to the weather.

The bodies of all the missing people have now been accounted for and recovered.

Boston, 2016

A 28-year-old woman died after she was struck by a duck boat while riding a motor scooter, according to CNN affiliate WBZ.

Her death led to changes in local duck boat safety laws. Blind spot cameras and proximity sensors are now required on all duck boats, and duck boat operators have to separate the responsibilities of driver and tour guide.

Seattle, 2015

Five international college students were killed when a tour bus and a "Ride The Ducks" boat collided. At least 44 people were injured in the accident, which took place on the Aurora Bridge. All the people who died were bus passengers, police said.

The NTSB concluded that the crash was caused by a the improper manufacturing and inadequate maintenance of a boat part that stopped working, which led to a loss of control of the vehicle. The group had several recommendations, including issuing a recall for the part and for Ride The Ducks Seattle to up its inspection process.

Philadelphia, 2015

A Texas woman was struck and killed by a duck boat while crossing the street, according to CNN affiliate WPVI. Witnesses told police the victim crossed against a red light and was looking down at a mobile device while walking and could have been distracted.

Philadelphia, 2010

Two Hungarian student tourists died when a 250-foot sludge barge towed by a tugboat overran the disabled 33-foot "Ride The Ducks" tour boat on the Delaware River, plunging the amphibious vessel and its 35 passengers and two crew members underwater. The sightseeing "duck boat" was anchored in the shipping channel after being shut down because the boat's operator saw smoke and feared an onboard fire.

The tugboat pilot admitted that he was distracted by his cell phone and laptop for an extended period of time before the collision, that he piloted the boat from the lower wheelhouse -- where he had significantly reduced visibility -- and that he did not maintain a proper lookout or comply with other essential rules of seamanship, according to federal prosecutors. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for his role in the incident.

Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1999

Thirteen people died when a duck boat took on water and sank. Of the 21 people on board, seven passengers and the operator managed to escape, the NTSB said.

The NTSB determined that the vehicle took on water through a loose rubber boot and sank because it didn't have reserve buoyancy, meaning there was nothing to help it float. The agency said that the boat's canopy was a major impediment to the passengers' survival.

Of the seven people found dead inside the vehicle, four were found trapped in the canopy.

One survivor said, "If you had the cover off, everybody would have had a chance," the NTSB report says.

The NTSB recommended that built-in flotation or other measures be mandated for all amphibious vehicles. It also recommended that if a boat has inadequate reserve buoyancy, passengers should be required to wear life jackets and the canopy should be removed.

On Friday, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who has been in Washington since 2007, said the recommendations were never enacted into law. She said she and her colleagues would take a look at possible legislation, possibly as early as next week.

"I'm not going to rest until we get something in the law on a national basis that does a better job of regulating the safety of amphibious vehicles," she said.

NYPD officers in Eric Garner case will face internal trial

NYPD officers in Eric Garner case will face internal trial

(CNN) - The NYPD will immediately begin the disciplinary process regarding two officers involved in the Eric Garner case, city and law enforcement officials confirmed to CNN.

The proceedings involving Officer Daniel Pantaleo and Sgt. Kizzy Adonis will commence in the coming days, an NYPD department spokesman confirmed Thursday, adding that the US Justice Department confirmed to the NYPD on Wednesday that there was no objection to moving forward.

"They (NYPD) first have to serve my client with departmental charges and that hasn't happened yet," Stuart London, Pantaleo's attorney told CNN.

He expects his client to be served within the next two weeks, and said the next steps will be the scheduling of discovery and then the selection of a trial date. Pantaleo is "looking forward to being vindicated," London said.

CNN is seeking comment from Adonis' legal representatives.

Pantaleo's case will be prosecuted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency tasked with oversight of the police department, officials said. The CCRB substantiated allegations of misconduct only against Pantaleo, police officials said. An NYPD official will lead the administrative case against Adonis, who was a supervisor and one of the first people at the scene.

An NYPD official told CNN that the disciplinary hearings likely will take place in early 2019. That will allow for the officers' attorneys to have adequate time to prepare, said Deputy Commissioner for Legal Matters Lawrence Byrne.

This will allow for them to review discovery materials and have due process. "For a case of this complexity it's going to take some time to do that," said Byrne.

Family wants officers to be held accountable

On the fourth anniversary of Eric Garner's death Tuesday, his mother, Gwen Carr, stood on the steps of City Hall and demanded action from authorities, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The de Blasio administration should never have waited for four years or until September because the idea that NYPD couldn't have acted before DOJ has always been a lie," Carr said in a statement, adding that she wanted all the officers seen in the video to be disciplined -- not just Pantaleo and Adonis.

Garner died in 2014 after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally in Staten Island.

Video shows Pantaleo tackling Garner from behind using a department-banned chokehold. Pantaleo has remained on the NYPD's payroll.

Garner's sister, Ellisha Garner, said the video was clear-cut and the officers should be fired.

"Eric lost his life. What gives him the right to keep his job," Garner, 42, said. "I'll be a little satisfied when someone is actually held accountable. It won't bring him back but at least we know we didn't let it go."

Police union calls for fair process

On Tuesday, the DOJ released a statement saying they told the NYPD in the spring that they were free to pursue disciplinary proceedings. City officials have denied the claim.

Mayor de Blasio, who said he was surprised by Tuesday's statement, asked NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill to speak directly to top DOJ officials and hear it directly from them.

"We wanted to hear it from a ranking official of DOJ," de Blasio said. "That was done in the last 24 hours. It was specifically confirmed. That makes it abundantly clear to all of us. It's time to move forward."

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association officials, the union that represents Pantaleo and other rank and file members, said they hope the process is fair and not political.

"We hope that the NYPD's eagerness to start the disciplinary process does not mean the outcome has already been decided, without even the pretense of due process," said PBA President Patrick J. Lynch in a statement. " P.O. Pantaleo is entitled to a complete an impartial review of the facts. We are confident that he will be vindicated by such a review, unless the Mayor and the NYPD leadership have already decided to prioritize politics over fairness."

Undocumented immigrant pleads guilty in death of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson

Undocumented immigrant pleads guilty in death of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson

(CNN) - The man accused of hitting and killing NFL linebacker Edwin Jackson and his ride-share driver with a truck in February agreed to a plea agreement Friday.

Manuel Orrego-Savala pleaded guilty to two counts of causing the death of a person while driving under the influence of alcohol. He faces 10-16 years in prison when he's sentenced in September, according to the Marion County, Indiana, prosecutor's office.

Orrego-Savala, 37, is a Guatemalan citizen who entered the United States illegally in July 2004, according to detectives, and was deported twice, in 2007 and 2009. His last name is spelled Orrego-Zavala on some court documents.

Defense attorney John L. Tompkins says his client is extremely remorseful. Orrego-Savala was originally charged with four counts, but agreed to plead guilty to two counts if the other two counts were dropped. Tompkins also is representing Orrego-Savala in a federal criminal case alleging illegal entry into United States. Tompkins said that hearing has not been scheduled yet.

Fatal crash details

The crash happened the morning of February 4. Authorities said Jackson, who played for the Indianapolis Colts, was the passenger for a ride-sharing operator, identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe of Avon, Indiana.

Monroe had pulled his 2018 Lincoln to the side of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis because Jackson had become ill, according to state police. Monroe was believed to have stepped out of the car to help Jackson, police said.

Both men were standing outside the car when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them and the back of the car. One of the men was thrown into the center lane. A state trooper spotted the wreckage and as he slowed to stop for the crash, he struck the body in the center lane, officials said.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County coroner's office.

Police said Orrego-Savala was the driver of the F-150. Police said he gave them an alias at the scene and attempted to flee on foot. ICE said it placed an immigration detainer on Orrego-Savala at the Marion County Jail.

A man listed as Alex Cabrera Gonsales -- the alias officials say Orrego-Savala used -- was arrested in March 2017 in Whitestown, Indiana, after a driving infraction, according to a Whitestown police report. Whitestown police confirmed that Cabrera Gonsales and Orrego-Savala are the same person.

Orrego-Savala was also convicted of driving under the influence in Redwood City, California, in 2005, ICE said.

Reactions to Jackson's death

Jackson was from Atlanta, but made a home for himself with the Colts. The inside linebacker started eight games in 2016 for the Colts but did not play this past season due to an injury.

"Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization," the team said. "We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hardworking mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization."

Colts owner Jim Irsay also took to Twitter after Jackson's death saying: "Our hearts and prayers are with Edwin Jackson's family. Terrific young man, respected and liked by all. Rest In Peace, Edwin."

President Donald Trump referenced Orrego-Savala's immigration status in a tweet in February, saying it was "disgraceful that a person illegally in our country" killed Jackson. He also called on Democrats to "get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!"

Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, tweeted also about Jackson's death, describing it as "a senseless & avoidable tragedy."

Jackson was an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern in 2015. The team's head football coach, Chad Lunsford, said in a statement that Jackson represented "how a young man should live his life. He earned everything that he was given and left this world way too soon."

Heart doctor for former President George H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

Heart doctor for former President George H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

(CNN) - A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting near Texas Medical Center in Houston, authorities said.

Dr. Mark Hausknecht and the shooter were both riding bikes on South Main Street, near Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, shortly before 9 a.m. local time, Executive Assistant Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference.

Hausknecht, 65, was biking north when he passed the shooter going in the other direction, Finner said. The shooter turned, fired two shots at Hausknecht and rode away on his bike, Finner said.

Hausknecht was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Finner said.

Finner said investigators didn't know if the shooting was targeted, random or caused by road rage. He said a few people witnessed the shooting and video may become available.

In an updated description, the suspect is said to be a white or Hispanic male, about 30 years old, wearing a tan baseball cap, gray warmup jacket, khaki shorts and riding a light-colored mountain bike bicycle.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for the 94-year-old former President, issued this statement: "President George HW Bush was deeply saddened by the tragic circumstances surrounding the untimely passing of Dr. Mark Hausknecht, and 41 sends his most sincere condolences to the Hausknecht family, his colleagues at Houston Methodist, and his friends."

"Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man," President Bush said in the statement. "I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers."

In a statement, Houston Methodist Hospital said:

"I'm very sorry to inform you that Dr. Mark Hausknecht, a cardiologist who was an important member of the Houston Methodist staff and the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, was tragically shot and killed this morning while riding his bicycle to work. Mark was a leader in the Houston Cardiovascular Associates and specialized in cardiovascular disease. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship at The John Hopkins Hospital. He is a longtime Houston Methodist-affiliated physician and has been in practice for almost four decades."

The shooting prompted authorities to urge people inside the Bioscience Research Collaborative Center to shelter in place, CNN affiliate KTRK reported.

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