(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) -- A North Carolina judge has been charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly almost hitting Black Lives Matter protesters with his car.
In a video of the May 7 incident released by police, an SUV reportedly driven by North Carolina Appeals Court Judge John M. Tyson appears to drive around a traffic circle past protesters, then move into the innermost lane of the circle near where protesters are standing and drive past them again.
The inner lane is painted with a mural that reads “Black Lives Do Matter. End Racism Now.” The lane is not open for traffic, according to local law enforcement officials.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, Myah Warren, a demonstrator at the scene, swore before a Cumberland County magistrate that Tyson nearly hit protesters with his car.
A court summons has been issued, the court confirmed, and court records show Tyson’s court date is June 21. He’ll need to appear in court to answer to the charge.
Tyson told the local newspaper that he called 911 to report people blocking traffic, claiming that protesters were gathering around his car.
The surveillance footage does not appear to show exactly how close the SUV came to protesters or any demonstrators surrounding Tyson's car.
Several states have implemented or introduced bills that protect some drivers who hit protesters with their cars. Protesters often block roadways and stop traffic during demonstrations. Following 2020's summer-long protests against police brutality, legislators in Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah proposed increased penalties for demonstrators who halt traffic and would grant immunity for drivers who hit them. North Carolina does not have this kind of law.
Tyson has been a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals for almost 14 years total and has taught law at Campbell University since 1987, according to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.
Tyson and his lawyer, David T. Courie Sr., did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment, but Courie told The Fayetteville Observer that he had seen the surveillance footage and it will be “labeled Defense Exhibit #1.”
(ELIZABETH CITY, N.C.) -- No charges will be filed against North Carolina sheriff's deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man whose family claims he was "executed" as he sat in his car.
Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said at a news conference Tuesday morning that the three deputies who opened fire on Brown, a father of seven, were justified in their use of deadly force because Brown drove his vehicle toward them and allegedly made contact with one deputy twice before officers fired their weapons.
Womble said he made his decision based on the results of an investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
"Mr. Brown's death, while tragic, was justified, because Mr. Brown's actions caused three deputies with the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others," Womble said.
The shooting unfolded at about 8:30 a.m. on April 21 when deputies from Pasquotank and Dare Counties went to Brown's home to attempt to serve two arrest warrants on Brown and a search warrant for Brown's home in connection with a felony drug investigation, officials said.
Womble said an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office showed Brown was shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the back of the head.
Brown's family and their attorneys commissioned an independent autopsy they say shows he was shot five times, including once in the back of the head.
Seven Pasquotank deputies involved in the episode were initially placed on administrative leave, but four of them were allowed to return to duty after it was determined they did not fire shots at Brown, officials said.
The three deputies who opened fire on Brown were identified by Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten as Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn. Meads and Morgan have each been with the sheriff's office for more than five years, and Lewellyn has served over two years.
Womble said the officers fired a total of 14 shots from two Glock 17 handguns and an AR-15 223 rifle after Brown allegedly used his car as a deadly weapon. He said Meads fired the first shot through the front windshield of Brown's car, and that other bullets penetrated the passenger side front door, the rear window and trunk.
The district attorney released four body camera videos of the shooting that showed deputies arriving at Brown's home in a marked sheriff's office pickup truck, quickly surrounding Brown's BMW and ordering him to show his hands. The videos showed Brown's car go in reverse and then move forward toward deputies in front of the vehicle.
The footage showed Brown's car continue across a grassy vacant lot as deputies fired at the rear and side of the vehicle. Brown's car came to a stop when it crashed into a tree.
Womble said deputies immediately removed Brown from the vehicle and began performing first aid while at the same time calling for paramedics.
He said that during the autopsy by the state medical examiner, a plastic baggie the size of a 50-cent piece was found inside Brown's mouth that contained a substance consistent with crystal methamphetamine.
"The facts of this case clearly illustrate the officers who used deadly force on Andrew Brown Jr. did so reasonably and only when a violent felon used a deadly weapon to place their lives in danger," Womble said.
On April 26, Brown's family, including one of his sons, Khalil Ferebee, and one of the family's attorneys, were shown a 20-second clip from the body camera of one of the deputies involved in executing the search warrant. Ferebee said the footage shows his father, who did not have a weapon on him, being "executed" as he attempted to drive away to save his own life.
Ferebee and his relatives were shown another 18 minutes of body camera video of the shooting last week and said it did not change their opinion that Brown's death was not justified.
"In describing the legal analysis and the basis for the decision in this case, I find myself, unfortunately, in the position of correcting misinformation that has been shared both on social media and in the news media," Womble said.
Without naming anyone, Womble said, "People made claims on camera that were knowing falsehoods that were directly refuted by the body-camera video."
There was no immediate comment from Brown's family or their attorneys.
Brown's shooting prompted days of protests in Elizabeth City calling for the deputies to be criminally charged.
The FBI launched a civil rights probe on April 27 into Brown's death. It is ongoing. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has also called for a special prosecutor to handle the case "in the interest of justice and confidence in the judicial system."
The shooting came a day after a jury in Minneapolis convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man.
(NEW YORK) -- From the friendly skies to the unruly ones -- the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is continuing its crackdown on disruptive passengers as the agency continues to see more incidents than years prior.
On Monday, the FAA proposed its largest fine to a passenger this year, a whopping $52,500, for a man who punched a flight attendant in the face and tried to open the cockpit door. The agency has proposed almost $350,000 in total fines to unruly passengers since January.
"We have seen an alarming increase in the rate over the last few months, and it's something that we need to get under control," FAA Administrator Steve Dickson told ABC News' Transportation Correspondent Gio Benitez. "This is something that we should all be concerned about."
Airlines have referred more than 1,300 cases of unruly passengers reports to the FAA. The agency has identified violations in 350 of those cases.
"In a typical year the agency will end up taking this type of enforcement action in about 100 to 160 enforcement cases so it's nothing new," Dickson explained. "What really is new is the volume that we're seeing right now."
The cases range from passengers bringing their own alcohol on board, berating the flight attendants, not wearing a face covering and, in some cases, physically assaulting the cabin crew.
In response to the increase in flight disturbances surrounding the Capitol insurrection, Dickson signed an order in January directing the agency to take a "zero-tolerance policy" in unruly passenger cases -- handing down stricter punishments without a warning, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment.
"Have you seen a decrease in incidents since you announced that these fines would be in place?" Benitez asked the administrator.
"We saw a big increase earlier in the year, and we continue to track the rate," Dickson replied. "But it's still not where it needs to be."
The agency extended its zero-tolerance policy in March.
Passengers have 30 days to respond after receiving the FAA's enforcement letter. From there they have the option of paying the fine, contesting the facts or even telling the agency that they cannot afford it.
When asked if any unruly passenger has paid the FAA's proposed fine Dickson said they are still in the "very early stages."
"The first few cases are still, still in process," Dickson said. "So we're not quite to that point yet."
The FAA's zero-tolerance policy is in place until September, but it could be extended.
"We'll go wherever the data tells us to go," he said.
(NEW YORK) -- Customs and Border Protection seized more fentanyl so far in 2021 than all of 2020.
As of April, 6,494 pounds of fentanyl were seized by authorities at the border, compared to 4,776 pounds in all of 2020. In fact, fentanyl seizures have been increasing since 2018.
Fentanyl is an incredibly potent opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, according to Dr. Darien Sutton, an emergency medicine physician based in Los Angeles and ABC News contributor.
"People don't realize how dangerous it is," he said.
As a physician, Sutton administers fentanyl in micrograms and said that the more than 6,000 pounds seized by the CBP is incomprehensible.
"When you talk about that amount, how many communities and people that will affect and how many deaths that will be associated with (more than 6,000 pounds of fentanyl) you can't even comprehend it just because it's not fathomable," he said.
Methamphetamine seizures are more slowly approaching 2020 levels, according to CBP. So far this year, 105,032 pounds of methamphetamine have been seized. In all of 2020, there were just over 177,000 pounds of meth seized.
"CBP's Office of Field Operations has seen a slight increase in narcotic seizures at its southern border ports of entry in fiscal year 2021," a spokesman for CBP said in a statement to ABC News. "As cross-border travel shifted to essential-travel only, criminal organizations shifted their operations as well. CBP has seen an increase in seizures amongst U.S. citizens and in the commercial environment as both demographics are exempt from the travel restrictions."
Marijuana seizures continue to be the highest amount of drugs per weight seized, as has been in the case in years past.
(NEW YORK) — Two detention center deputies were fired Monday as investigators probe the January death of a Black inmate who had mental health issues.
Body camera footage of the Jan. 5 incident at the Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston, South Carolina, shows that deputies use a stun gun on Jamal Sutherland and kneeled on his back before he stopped moving. An hour later, the 31-year-old who his family said suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was pronounced dead.
Charleston County Sherriff Kristen Graziano announced that as part of the internal investigation, Detention Sergeant Lindsay Fickett and Detention Deputy Brian Houle were fired.
"I must weigh the interest of public safety for the community against any incident that creates even the perception of an impairment to the operation of the Detention Center for the safety of all residents, staff and our community," she said in a statement.
Sutherland was booked on Jan. 4 and charged with third-degree assault and battery in connection with an alleged fight that broke out at Palmetto Behavioral Health, a mental health and substance abuse center.
Amy Sutherland, Jamal Sutherland's mother, dropped him off at the center on New Year's Eve, according to family attorney Mark Peper. Amy Sutherland said at a news conference last week that the family found out about his death four hours after it took place and they were never informed that he was transferred to jail.
"We got no information from anybody," she said.
Graziano said a mental health professional is assigned to the Al Cannon Detention Center, but she was not sure whether that person was on duty on Jan. 5.
In the body camera video, which was released with permission of the Sutherland family, the deputies are seen taking the inmate out of his cell for a bond court appearance. Sutherland refuses the deputies' orders to come to the door and be handcuffed, and after a few attempts, the deputies use pepper spray on him.
The deputies then proceed to put him in handcuffs and deploy stun guns, the footage shows.
Sutherland can be heard saying, "I'm not resisting, officer," in the video. One deputy is seen in the video putting their leg on the inmate's back for more than two minutes as he said, "I can't breathe."
Officials are seen in the footage trying to perform CPR on Sutherland after he went limp.
One deputy is later seen in the video saying, "He got tased probably about six to eight times, at least."
The Sutherland family called for the deputies' firings last week.
Graziano said she is "still horrified" from the body camera videos, but promised there will be a full investigation and changes to the department and its handling of mental health cases.
"In my career as a law enforcement professional, I have seen my fellow officers take on mental health responsibilities that they are not equipped to handle. This must be changed, and I am committed to implementing that change," she said in a statement.
ABC News' Josh Margolin contributed to this report.
(NEW YORK) — The murder trial of a Mexican farmworker accused of fatally stabbing 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who was attacked while out for an evening jog in 2018, began on Monday with jury selection.
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, 26, is charged with first-degree murder in the case that garnered national attention and prompted former President Donald Trump to make Bahena Rivera, an undocumented worker, an example of what he called a broken U.S. immigration system.
Jury selection in the case is expected to take two days. Opening arguments are scheduled to start Wednesday at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa.
Bahena Rivera has pleaded not guilty.
A potential jury pool of more than 170 people will be pared down to 12 jurors and three alternates.
Finding a fair and impartial panel to hear the case will be the first hurdle prosecutors and defense attorneys face.
Nine of the first 12 would-be jurors questioned on Monday said they have some familiarity with the case, and five said they had already formed an opinion, the Des Moines Register newspaper reported.
The trial was moved to Scott County from Poweshiek County, where the slaying occurred, after Bahena Rivera's attorney requested a change of venue due to pretrial publicity. Prosecutors agreed with the move, writing in a motion that a "fair and impartial jury cannot reasonably be selected in Poweshiek County.”
Prosecutor Scott Brown warned prospective jurors on Monday that some of the evidence expected to be presented will be hard to stomach.
"We're going to talk about the violent death of a young girl, Mollie Tibbetts," Brown said. "It's not going to be pleasant.”
Tibbetts, a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying psychology, disappeared on July 18, 2018, while out for an evening jog in the rural farming town of Brooklyn, a close-knit community of about 1,500 residents 68 miles east of Des Moines.
A massive search involving hundreds of law enforcement officers was launched and approximately $400,000 was raised as a reward for information leading to Tibbetts' safe return. Celebrities with ties to Iowa, such as NBA player Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings and actor Tom Arnold, took to social media to comment on the case.
A critical break in the case came when police discovered security camera footage of Tibbetts out jogging and noticed she was being followed by a Chevrolet Malibu that was linked to Bahena Rivera, who worked at a nearby dairy.
When investigators interviewed Bahena Rivera, he allegedly told authorities that he saw Tibbetts running, got out of his car and ran alongside of her, according to an arrest affidavit.
Bahena Rivera claimed Tibbetts grabbed her phone and said, "I'm gonna call the police," according to the affidavit.
Bahena Rivera allegedly told authorities he got angry, killed Tibbetts in a panic and "blocked" his "memory," according to the affidavit. Authorities say he told investigators he didn't remember anything about the incident until he got back in his car, drove to an intersection, noticed Tibbetts' earpiece from her headphones in his lap and realized he had put her body in his trunk, according to the affidavit.
Rivera reportedly said he then drove to a cornfield and dumped Tibbetts' body, the affidavit reads. Police said that on Aug. 21, 2018, Bahena Rivera led investigators to the cornfield, where Tibbetts' body was found covered in leaves.
Following an autopsy, the Iowa State Medical Examiner ruled Tibbetts' death a "homicide resulting from multiple sharp force injuries."
ABC News' Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.
(LOS ANGELES) — A wildfire is currently blazing through the mountains of Southern California ahead of the area's typical fire season. While authorities suspect the Pacific Palisades Fire may have been ignited by an arsonist, the fire, which has currently spread to over 1,300 acres, offers more evidence that climate change is affecting the behavior of fires in the West, experts say.
Now that fire season has extended to at least 84 days since the 1970s -- beginning in May and lasting through September -- the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has declared that the dry season essentially lasts all year.
While the warm, dry climate that serves as fuel for wildfires has always been the norm for much of the West, hotter overall temperatures on Earth are exacerbating typical environmental conditions all over the world. And the drought isn't going anywhere, according to the Climate Prediction Center's forecast for the summer, which shows much of the U.S. suffering from drought through July 31.
The dry season on the West Coast is getting hotter and longer, leading to less snowfall during the wet season and later, less moisture on the ground to detract wildfires when the dry season is back again.
The hot, dry air also absorbs water from everything, including plants, soil, lakes and rivers. As it gets hotter, the amount of moisture the atmosphere can absorb increases exponentially. California has warmed 3 degrees since the 19th century, which results in a massive difference in the way soil and vegetation dries out and can help explain the record-breaking wildfires year after year.
Drought conditions from California to Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico have been so bad that officials began preparing for the fire season in April. For some states, the staggering drought could be the worst in centuries.
The acreage burned so far in California is three times the five-year average for early May, according to CalFire.
Earlier this month, the National Weather Service in California released an update stating that northeast California and northwest Nevada will likely experience the worst second sequential year of drought in more than 30 years. There was also very little-to-no moisture in the U.S. Southwest. Places like Phoenix saw less than a third of what they should have over the winter.
In addition, large patches of wildfire-resistant trees, such as conifers, are gone and take decades to reforest. They have been replaced by flammable groundcover and grasses that can burn quickly.
The current Live Fuel Moisture, which measures the moisture content within living vegetation, is comparable to early July conditions due to a very dry rainy season. Tucson had its second-driest monsoon season on record.
This year's fire season is expected to be extremely dangerous, especially considering the fire behavior of the blaze burning in the Pacific Palisades in Southern California, Curt Kaplan, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, told ABC News.
Four of California's top five largest fires all occurred in 2020, with 4,257,863 acres burned -- more than twice the record acreage set in 2018.
Most fires are human-caused, and forest management choices and an increasing urban-wildlife interface are also to blame for the current wildfire threat. But, the behavior of the fires after they start and how they spread can largely be attributed to climate change.
"What we’re seeing with the fire activity really is climate change, and it really is climate change smacking us in the face," Dr. Phillip Duffy, climate scientist and president and executive director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center, told ABC News in September following a particularly active fire season in which dozens of major wildfires were burning at ounce.
ABC News' Max Golembo, Daniel Manzo and Samantha Wnek contributed to this report.
(WASHINGTON) -- An unruly passenger on a Delta flight in December is now facing the largest proposed fine from the Federal Aviation Administration this year -- a whopping $52,500.
According to the agency, the passenger tried to open the cockpit door on the flight from Honolulu to Seattle before striking a flight attendant in the face and pushing them to the floor.
Flight attendants and another passenger on the flight managed to place plastic handcuffs on the unruly passenger, but he later freed himself and managed to hit the flight attendant in the face a second time.
The FAA said police boarded the plane after it landed in Seattle and took the passenger into custody.
"Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft," the agency said.
The FAA said there have been more than 1,300 unruly passenger cases since Feb. 1. The agency initiated approximately 20 enforcement cases.
"The number of incidents and rate of incidents per 100,000 passengers is up sharply since the beginning of December 2020," the FAA said in a statement to ABC News last month.
FAA Chief Steve Dickson, in January, first signed the order directing the agency to take a "zero-tolerance policy" in unruly passenger cases -- handing down stricter punishments without a warning, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment.
Dickson extended the FAA's unruly-passenger zero-tolerance policy in March.
"The number of cases we’re seeing is still far too high and it tells us urgent action continues to be required," Dickson said.
A passenger who faces a civil penalty for unruly behavior has a number of options, according to the FAA, including paying the full penalty or contesting it.
(LOS ANGELES) -- An arrest has been made in a raging Southern California wildfire that authorities suspect was started by an arsonist remained out-of-control on Monday, fueled by drought-parched trees and brush that have not burned in about 75 years authorities said on Monday.
The so-called Palisades Fire in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County nearly doubled in size overnight to 1,325 acres and was 0% contained, according to fire officials. At least 1,000 people are under mandatory evacuation.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas announced at a news conference Monday that one person has been arrested in connection with the blaze.
"We feel we have the right person," Terrazas said.
Citing an ongoing investigation, Terrazas declined to release details about the suspect or say what led to his arrest. He said the suspect, who was detained for questioning on Saturday and placed under arrest Monday, is being treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.
He said a second person was also questioned about the fire, but was released and is not a suspect.
About 540 firefighters are battling flames in rugged, steep terrain on the ground and from the air, but have struggle to get a handle on the blaze threatening 500 homes, many of them multimillion-dollar residences.
Air-tankers and helicopters have been used to drop water and fire retardant in remote areas inaccessible to firefighters on the ground, officials said. But Terrazas said the air-tankers were grounded Monday morning due to low clouds.
Terrazas said the air-tankers are not cleared to fly until the cloud ceiling lifts to 4,000 feet. He said the cloud ceiling over the fire area was at 2,500 feet on Monday morning.
LAFD Battalion Chief Al Ward told reporters during a news conference on Sunday that firefighters are focusing on the northeast flank of the fire, trying to prevent it from jumping a road and spreading into the more densely populated area of Topanga Canyon.
About 500 homes in the Topanga Canyon area are under mandatory evacuation.
Terrazas said no injuries have been reported and that no homes or structures have been destroyed by the blaze.
Ward said that on Saturday afternoon the fire was contained to about 100 acres, but south-southwest gusts of 15-25 mph caused the fire to flare up and quickly spread. He said fire grew from 100 acres to 750 acres in about an hour on Saturday and has been growing ever since.
The fire was first reported about 10 p.m. Friday behind a residential area and near a trail leading to Topanga State Park, officials said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said a police helicopter crew spotted what appeared to be a person setting fires in the area on Friday night.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Air Rescue 5 said on Twitter late Saturday night that a team was inserted into the "Topanga area in search of arson suspect setting fires."
The fire comes amid a early and potentially dangerous fire season in California. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, said last week that California has already seen nearly 14,000 acres burn in more than 2,000 wildfires since the start of 2021, an increase of 700% over fire activity in 2020.
California is coming off a record year for wildfires in 2020, in which nearly 10,000 fires burned more than 4 million acres, destroyed more than 8,200 structures and killed 33 people, according to Cal Fire.
(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The former police officer who killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on Monday at 1:30 p.m. Former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter is charged with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Wright.
The prosecution informed the judge that the state has filed for and will seek to allow media recordings of Potter's trial. The defense indicated they will oppose that motion.
Potter shot and killed Wright on April 11 during a traffic stop in Minnesota. Police say they pulled Wright over for expired registration tags but arrested him after discovering an outstanding warrant for his failures to appear in court on prior charges.
Body camera footage shows officers trying to arrest Wright but the 20-year-old frees himself and re-enters his car. The officers and Wright appeared to scuffle as the cops attempt to pull Wright from the car. In the footage, Potter repeatedly yells “Taser” before shooting a single shot in Wright's chest with her firearm. Wright drove away, and the car drove several blocks before crashing.
At an April 12 press conference, then-Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said he believes Potter meant to deploy her stun gun when she shot Wright. Gannon said the department trains officers to carry their handguns on the side of their dominant hand and to carry the stun gun on the “weak” side.
Wright’s death was ruled a homicide in a preliminary report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Potter and Gannon resigned from their positions at the police department shortly after the shooting. Potter could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Benjamin Crump, the Wright family attorney, rejected the belief that the shooting was an accident in a April 13 news conference.
"After 26 years, you would think that you know what side your gun is on and what side your Taser is on," Crump said. "You know the weight of your gun, and you know the weight of the Taser."
The incident was followed by days of unrest and protests. Tensions were stoked by the Derek Chauvin murder trial, which was happening in the same region, at the same time. The former Minneapolis police officer has since been convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd.
Since Wright’s death, the Brooklyn Center City Council approved a proposal from Mayor Mike Elliott that would create a new Community Response Department and Civilian Traffic Enforcement Department. These departments would allow civilian employees to respond to non-moving traffic violations and mental health crises. The new divisions would be composed of medical and mental health professionals, as well as social workers.
"This is just the first step in a long road ahead -- but that is work that we as a city are ready to do with our community," Elliott tweeted. "There will be lots of questions to answer, lots of learning, and lots of opportunity for the community to be at the center of this change."
(SIBLEY, Iowa) -- A freight train hauling fertilizer derailed and caught fire in Iowa Sunday afternoon sending plumes of smoke into the air.
The incident took place around 2 p.m. CT near Sibley, Iowa, according to Glenn Anderson, the Sibley city administrator.
Anderson told ABC News that there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths but dozens of nearby residents were evacuated as crews scrambled to put out the flames.
"Osceola County emergency management has reported approximately 80 people were evacuated from the town of Sibley as the result of a train derailment and fire," Lucinda Parker, with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, told ABC in an email Sunday night.
Anderson said it appears the train's fuel caught fire during the derailment.
"At around 2 p.m. CT, May 16, a Union Pacific train derailed approximately 47 rail cars near Sibley, Iowa," Union Pacific Railroad Company said in a statement Sunday night. "There were no injuries to the crew. Union Pacific is working with local first responders at the scene. Cause of the derailment is under investigation."
The Osceola County Sheriff's Office told ABC News that hazmat equipment was on the scene, although they could not say whether it was being used.
After the incident, the Red Cross in Iowa wrote on Facebook that they opened a reception center for displaced families.
"Individuals and families displaced from their home are welcome at the center where volunteers are on hand to assist those impacted. At this time, overnight accommodations are not being provided, but the Red Cross is monitoring the situation and is prepared to provide lodging, if the need arises," they wrote.
(NEW YORK) -- A South Carolina school bus driver who kept his cool during an armed hijacking hailed all 18 children the real heroes of the high-pressure encounter.
Kenneth Corbin spoke exclusively to ABC News' Good Morning America Monday about how he was able to hold off the gunman and what the students said to the man that helped keep them safe for six minutes.
"The kids were the ones that actually got the gentleman off of the bus and they pretty much had my back as much as my concerns were with them," Corbin explained. "At the end when they started questioning him, it seemed to have frustrated him because his main objective were to get to the next town, but I think we were only on the road about four miles and he just got frustrated with the questions and just told me to stop the bus and get off. All y'all get off now."
Police believe Jovan Collazo, the 23-year-old trainee from New Jersey in his third week at Fort Jackson, appeared to be trying to get home. He remains in custody facing two dozen charges, including 19 counts of kidnapping.
"As we were traveling, I guess he realized there were several students on the bus -- kind of scattered throughout," Corbin said. "He decided to move all the students up front so he could keep us all in close proximity, and when he did that, especially some of my kindergarteners, they started asking questions."
The students, according to Corbin, asked if the man was a soldier to which he "hesitantly answered -- 'yes.'"
"They asked him, 'why are you doing this?' He never did have an answer for this one. They asked, was he going to hurt them? He said 'no.' They asked, 'are you going to hurt our bus driver?' He said, 'no. I'm going to put you off the bus,'" Corbin recalled. "He sensed more questions coming and I guess something clicked in his mind and he said, 'enough is enough already,' and he told me to 'stop the bus, and just get off.'"
Corbin, who was trained to handle a hostage situation, said he initially pushed his hands out to signify to the man that he was not allowed on the bus.
"I had to tell him that twice, and when I told him that, that's when he presented his weapon and told me to close the door and move and drive," Corbin said. "It was just a matter of staying calm and following his instructions and thinking about the kids, because I didn't want to do anything that would, you know, rile him to cause him to do something that would bring harm to the kids."
Corbin said the man's "main objective was to get to the next town" and repeatedly asked the driver how long it would take, how much further, etc.
"He told me to speed up and don't let the red light catch me," Corbin said, "that's when he moved the kids up front and then he wanted to know, again, 'how far,' and all I could say was '20 miles because we haven't gone that far.'"
At that point Corbin told Collazo they would have to go to Kershaw County to get to another town, but only made it four miles when "the kids got him frustrated" and they all got off the bus.
Corbin said "it was so evident that they were precious cargo and I pretty much just had to just do whatever -- to get them off the bus safe and sound."
"It seemed like they were going to do the same thing by me, and that's why I refer to them as my heroes," the bus driver said.
(CHICAGO) -- A violent weekend in Chicago left at least 48 people shot in separate incidents, including two police officers who were wounded on Sunday morning when they responded to a ShotSpotter detection alert, authorities said.
At least five people were killed in the rash of shootings between Friday and Sunday morning, according to Chicago Police Department incident reports reviewed by ABC News.
Police said six children under the age of 17 were among the victims wounded, including a 2-year-old girl who was sitting in the back seat of a car when she was hit by a bullet fired from another vehicle. Two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old were also shot and wounded in separate incidents, according to the reports.
"Let's pray for peace in our city," Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Sunday morning. "We've got to put these guns down. We've got to stop the flow of illegal guns into our city."
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown appeared with Lightfoot at the news conference to release details on a shooting around 7:19 a.m. Sunday that sent two police officers to the hospital with gunshot wounds.
One of the wounded officers was hit in the shoulder, just above his bulletproof vest, and the other officer was shot in the hand, Brown said. He said both officers were being treated at Mount Sinai Hospital and were listed in good condition.
Brown said that when the officers arrived in the Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago's West Side, they spotted a person in an alley. As the officers approached the person, the individual turned around and opened fire without warning, prompting a gunfight.
The superintendent said the shooter, whose name was not immediately released, was shot in their lower extremities and was being treated at a different hospital.
"It just underscores the danger our men and women in the police department face every single day," Lightfoot said. "They run to danger to protect us, and we can't ever forget that."
Brown said the shooting marked the 29th time this year that Chicago police officers have been shot at. He said six officers have been wounded by gunfire in the first four-and-a-half months of the year.
In the past 15 months, he said 16 Chicago police officers have been wounded and another 92 were shot at.
The police department's latest computer statistics on crime, or CompStat, report released May 2 shows there were 865 shootings in the city during the first three months of 2021, a 33% increase over the same time span in 2020. The CompStat report shows 195 murders were committed in the city during the first three months of 2021, a jump of 22% from the same time period in 2020.
Sunday's episode came amid shootings that erupted across the city over the weekend. Shortly after the two officers were wounded, a 13-year-old boy was shot in the head and neck in the McKinley Park area of southwest Chicago, according to a police report. Police said the boy, who was taken to a hospital in critical condition, was standing on a sidewalk when a car pulled up and one of its occupants opened fire.
No arrests have been made in the boy's shooting.
The child's shooting came after a 2-year-old girl was shot while riding in the rear seat of car in the Little Village neighborhood on Chicago's West Side. Police said the shots were fired from another vehicle. No arrests have been made in the incident.
The girl was treated at Mount Sinai Hospital and was listed in good condition, police said.
Two men were killed and three were wounded in a shooting that broke out at a party just after 3 a.m. on Saturday in the Gresham neighborhood of Chicago's South Side, police said.
About an hour after the double-homicide, police found an unidentified victim who had been shot in the chest in a gas station parking lot in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the city's West Side. The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Also killed over the weekend was a 32-year-old man who was shot in the head just before midnight on Friday in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of northwest Chicago. Officers nearby heard the gunshots, responded quickly to the scene, and arrested an 18-year-old suspect they saw attempting to flee the area with a rifle, according to a police report.
Around 2:17 p.m. on Friday, a 19-year-old man died after being shot in the back during a drive-by shooting on the South Side of Chicago. No arrests were made in the homicide.
(LOS ANGELES) — A suspected arsonist was on the loose Sunday morning after igniting a brush fire in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles County that has spread to more than 700 acres and is threatening homes and prompting mandatory evacuations in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the region.
The so-called Palisades Fire in the Santa Monica Mountains was 0% contained on Sunday as firefighters battled wind-whipped flames mowing through rugged, steep and extremely dry terrain from the ground and the air, officials said.
Residents of at least 500 homes, many of them multimillion-dollar residences, in nearby Topanga Canyon were ordered to evacuate on Saturday evening, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Some of the homes included ranches with livestock that was being moved to an emergency animal shelter established at Pierce College about eight miles away.
The fire was first reported about 10 p.m. Friday behind a residential area and near a trail leading to Topanga State Park, officials said. The blaze was initially reported as a 15-acre brush fire that firefighters battled into Saturday to bring under control, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
But around 4 p.m. on Saturday, firefighters were confronted by a major flare-up that was fueled by winds and quickly spread, officials said. Helicopters and air-tankers were called on to drop fire retardant and water on flames in areas hard for firefighters on the ground to reach, officials said.
"Much of the area remains inaccessible. This is primarily an air-based operation with both fixed wing and rotary working together," Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart said Saturday evening.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, sent crews to help fight the wildland blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. But the Los Angeles Police Department said a police helicopter crew spotted what appeared to be a person setting fires in the area on Friday night.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Air Rescue 5 said on Twitter late Saturday night that a team was inserted into the "Topanga area in search of arson suspect setting fires.”
The sheriff's department posted photos on Twitter of deputies dressed in paramilitary gear rappelling from a helicopter into a burning wooded area.
David Ortiz, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said the Palisades Fire is burning in an extremely parched area that has seen little rain over the last 10 years, and that dry vegetation was fueling the rapid spread of the fire.