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Sandra Torres, mother of Uvalde shooting victim Eliahna, files lawsuit claiming negligence

MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

(UVALDE, Texas) -- The mother of a girl killed during the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, last May, filed a lawsuit Monday against gun distributors, local governments and 16 law enforcement officers on the scene during the shooting -- claiming their negligence led to her daughter's death.

"Eliahna loved her family, and she knew how much we loved her," Sandra Torres, the mother of 10-year-old Eliahna Torres, said in a news release. "I miss her every moment of every day. I've brought this lawsuit to seek accountability. No parent should ever go through what I have."

Filed Monday in Del Rio, Texas, the lawsuit is the first submitted by the family of one of the children killed during the mass shooting.

Eliahna was among 19 students and two teachers killed on May 24 at Robb Elementary School in the small south Texas community.

Some of the defendants in the case, including then-school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, former acting Uvalde Police Chief Mariano Pargas and gun manufacturer Daniel Defense, are already facing separate cases filed in federal court back in September by families of some who survived the shooting.

The Torres family is seeking unspecified punitive damages.

In an August interview with ABC News, Sandra Torres described how hard it has been processing her daughter's death.

"It's like sometimes it feels unreal like you know, it's just a bad dream," the mother said. "You know, she's going to appear one day and then reality hits and my baby's never coming back."

Eliahna was known by her friends and family for her love of softball, according to the complaint, but she never made it to her final game of the season, which was scheduled for the night of the massacre.

"She hated sweating (despite the Uvalde heat), but she had fallen in love with playing softball and was a promising young infielder," read the complaint.

The officers listed in the lawsuit work for the Uvalde Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Uvalde school district police force.

A special investigative committee of the Texas House of Representatives released a report in July concluding that the police response to the shooting was riddled with failures, allowing the shooter to remain in the classroom for 77 minutes even though 300 officers had arrived at the scene. The lawsuit argues that that delay is evidence of negligence.

Arredondo, the school district police chief who was later fired because of the response, has said he took all "reasonable actions" on the day of the shooting. He did not respond to questions about this lawsuit. Pargas, a Uvalde police lieutenant who was in charge of the city's police force on the day of the shooting, also did not respond to requests for comment. Pargas quit two weeks ago, after the city's leaders announced they planned to fire him.

The Torres family is also suing the city of Uvalde, the county of Uvalde, the Uvalde School District, the gun shop where the shooter purchased his firearms and gun manufacturer Daniel Defense.

The city, county, school district and Daniel Defense did not respond to requests for comment.

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Trial begins for officer charged in fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

(DALLAS) -- The trial of now-former police officer Aaron Dean in the 2019 fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson began Monday after several delays.

Jury selection began Monday with Judge George Gallagher saying he hoped 12 jurors and two alternates would be in place by Friday.

There were concerns the trial would be delayed again after Dean’s lead attorney, Jim Lane, reportedly died Sunday morning, according to Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV, just one day before the jury selection in the case was set to begin. Lane had been ill and two other lawyers took over as lead attorneys in May, according to WFAA.

Dean is charged with murder in the death of Jefferson, a Black woman who was allegedly fatally shot by Dean inside her Fort Worth, Texas, home on Oct. 12.

The department said that police received a call just before 2:30 a.m. to respond to her home on East Allen Avenue.

Two officers arrived at the house shortly after and parked near Jefferson's home, but not in front of the residence, according to officials.

The front door appears open in the body-camera footage, but a screen door looks to be closed in front of it. The officer doesn't appear to knock.

Officials said the officers walked around the back of the house and that one of the officers observed a person through the rear window of the home and opened fire.

Fort Worth Police Lt. Brandon O'Neil said the officer who opened fire on Jefferson never identified himself as a police officer.

Body camera footage released by the department shows the officer approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," and fires one shot.

The video seems to confirm the officer never identified himself as police before he opened fire.

Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew, who witnessed his aunt being fatally shot that morning, told investigators she had retrieved a handgun from her purse and pointed it toward a window when she was killed, according to an arrest warrant issued for the officer.

Police officials said Jefferson was within her rights to protect herself and her nephew when she heard noises in her backyard and went to the window to investigate. Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when she went to investigate the noise, according to the arrest warrant.

Dean's lawyers asked the judge to move the location of the trial Monday due to its high-profile nature, but Gallagher said he would not yet rule on the motion.

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About 100 fishermen rescued after large chunk of ice breaks off in Minnesota lake

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office

(NEW YORK) -- About 100 people fishing on a frozen lake in Minnesota were rescued after a large chunk of the ice broke off, leaving them stranded.

Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call just after 11:30 a.m. Monday from people who were fishing on Upper Red Lake in northern Beltrami County, according to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. The callers stated that a large chunk of ice broke free from the main shoreline, stranding about 100 individuals, authorities said.

Once first responders arrived, they estimated the fishermen had drifted up to 30 yards into open water following the breakage, according to the sheriff's office.

Several water rescue agencies and vehicles were dispatched to the scene and assessed the extent of the open water with visual and drone operations. Authorities found a narrow spot of the separation to deploy a temporary bridge to evacuate the stranded fishermen.

On Facebook, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office advised those who needed to evacuate to head toward the access point at JR's Corner.

A fisherman named Shane from North Woods Fish Houses in Beltrami County said in a video posted to Facebook that "a pretty big crack" opened up from east to west.

"We have some people on the other side of the water line," he said. "We are going to get to you."

The upper Midwest has had a very warm fall season, with temperatures near 70 degrees in early November after above-average temperatures in October and September.

Northern Minnesota had a cold snap before the Thanksgiving holiday, when many lakes produced ice cover. But after the holiday, temperatures reached close to 50 degrees, forecasts show, resulting in the thawing and melting of ice.

Gusty southeast winds on Monday likely loosened the ice up even more.

Much colder weather is on the way for the upper Midwest over the next few days and more ice will be forming.

Due to the urgent nature of getting people off the ice and the likelihood that several groups were unaware of the separation, the first responders sent out a wireless emergency alert, according to the sheriff's office. Just after 2:30 p.m., officials announced that everyone -- an estimated 100 people -- had been evacuated from the ice.

Authorities warned those who plan on ice fishing to remain cautious and vigilant.

"The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office reminds those who are thinking of heading on the ice that early season ice is very unpredictable," authorities said. "Extreme caution should be used when heading on the ice and to check the thickness frequently to ensure an adequate amount of ice."

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Boy, 9, missing after falling off pontoon boat, being hit by propeller

Facebook / Polk County Sheriff's Office

(NEW YORK) -- A 9-year-old boy has been missing since Saturday after he was last seen falling off of a pontoon boat in a lake and being struck by the vessel’s propeller.

The incident occurred at approximately 2:39 p.m. on Saturday when authorities from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida were called to Lake Annie -- about 60 miles east of Tampa and 50 miles south of Orlando -- regarding a 9-year-old boy from Port St. Lucie who fell off the front of a pontoon boat that he was sailing on with his father and two brothers, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

“The boy and his two brothers were on his father’s pontoon Saturday,” authorities said in a statement released on Monday. “The victim fell over the front and was struck by the boat's propeller. The father immediately jumped into the water to look for his son, while one of the other boys called 911 for help.”

The young boy was not wearing a personal flotation device when he fell into the water, but was not required to wear one by law.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has deployed its Marine Unit, the Underwater Search and Recovery Team (USART), the Aviation Unit and Drone Units in the search effort to find the 9-year-old boy. Polk County Fire Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office have also been involved in the search and recovery efforts, according to authorities.

“It’s a tragedy, and an unimaginable nightmare for the family of the boy,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in a statement. “We are using extensive resources to find him. We’re working in a large lake with depths up to about 16-feet, with poor visibility, but we’ve been out there 24-hours a day, and will continue to be there until we find him.”

The boy’s shirt was found wrapped around the boat’s propeller following the accident but the boy has still not been found.

“We have searched nonstop since Saturday afternoon and we still have not recovered this beautiful little boy. But we won’t give up,” Sheriff Judd said.

The investigation and search are ongoing.

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Northwest US to see heavy snowfall, South facing string of tornadoes

David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Parts of the Northwest could get up to two feet of snow on Monday and Tuesday, as a cross-country storm will bring snow and tornadoes in parts of the U.S.

A winter storm watch has been issued for Spokane, Washington late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, with heavy snowfall expected, the National Weather Service Spokane office tweeted.

A cross-country storm moving east is expected to bring heavy snow from Nebraska to Michigan on Monday night into Tuesday morning. Eighteen states are on alert for snow and strong winds due to the incoming storm.

Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; and Casper, Wyoming, are expected to get between 6 and 12 inches of snow in the next two days.

Warm moist air could help produce tornadoes in parts of the South Tuesday afternoon into the evening.

The storm system could also bring strong, long-tracked tornadoes Tuesday evening to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; Greenville and Jackson, Mississippi; and Monroe, Louisiana.

In addition to tornadoes, damaging winds of more than 60 mph and large hail are also possible for the lower Mississippi River Valley and the Gulf Coast states.

Around 15 million Americans in the South will remain on alert as New Orleans to Nashville could see severe storms on Tuesday night.

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Hawaii's Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano in the world, begins erupting

Steve Prorak / EyeEm/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Ash and lava have begun spewing out of the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii's Big Island -- the largest active volcano in the world.

The activity, which began Sunday around 11:30 p.m. and continued into Monday, is the first eruption from Mauna Loa in nearly 40 years.

The lava was contained to the summit, and there are currently no threats to populated areas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

However, the eruption has migrated from the summit to the northeast rift zone, where fissures are feeding several lava flows, according to the USGS, which advised residents at possible risk from Mauna Loa lava flows to review preparedness and refer to Hawaii County Civil Defense information for further guidance.

Lava flows are significant enough to be visible from Kona, dozens of miles away.

Mauna Loa is so large it takes up more than half of the Big Island. The last time it erupted was in March and April 1984.

The volcano has erupted dozens of times since the 1880s, allowing volcanologists to get to know its "personality," Michael Poland, research geophysicist for the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, told ABC News. This means that scientists are predicting that the flow will likely abate now because the initial eruptions are typically the heaviest.

Since the eruption is occurring to the northeast, where the peak's slope seaward is more gentle, it would take weeks of a continuous eruption for it to reach Hilo, Poland said.

Gov. David Ige told ABC News Live that he was not yet worried about any impact on Hawaiians.

"I think right now we're not that concerned," Ige said. "The eruptions and the fissures are very high up. ... In fact, there really is no communities or no structures anywhere close to the fissures that are erupting right now."

"It will take weeks, if not longer, of eruptions occurring in order for the Northeast Rift Zone eruption to reach any kind of community or get close to any infrastructure," the governor added.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed the Mauna Loa Summit Area to visitors as a precaution

Video posted to Twitter by the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory shows thermal footage of the lava flowing out of the volcano's summit.

In conjunction with the lava flow, there were more than a dozen earthquakes in the region of more than 2.5 magnitude early Monday morning, according to the USGS.

Lava was still erupting from the summit and was overflowing from the caldera Monday, according to USGS Volcanoes. The National Weather Service issued an ashfall advisory for depositing ash and debris, as well as light accumulation of ash on vessels, until 6 a.m. along the Alenuihaha Channel, Big Island windward waters, Big Island leeward waters and Big Island southeast waters.

The NWS advised that vessels should remain at port or avoid advisory areas, and those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precautions to minimize exposure.

Falling volcanic ash and debris can also render engines or electronics inoperative, according to the NWS.

Hawaii is home to several active volcanos, including the Kīlauea volcano on the Big Island, one of the most active in the world.

Volcano activity has been recorded all around the globe over the past year.

Major eruptions could be underway from two volcanoes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula after clouds of ash and lava began spewing on Nov. 20.

In July, an eruption at the Sakurajima volcano in Japan prompted evacuation orders for residents nearby in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima.

And last week, marine geologists announced that the underwater volcano eruption that occurred on Jan. 15 in the Tongan archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean is the largest ever recorded.

ABC News' Max Golembo, Matt Gutman and Bonnie Mclean contributed to this report.

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5 Connecticut cops charged over incident that left Black man paralyzed

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(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Five New Haven police officers were arrested and charged over their alleged involvement in an incident that left a Black man paralyzed earlier this year while in police custody, prosecutors announced Monday.

Officers Oscar Diaz, Jocelyn Lavandier, Ronald Pressley, Luis Rivera and Sgt. Betsy Segui were charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree and cruelty to persons, according to New Haven's state attorney John P. Doyle, Jr.

Both charges are misdemeanors and the officers were each released on a $25,000 bond.

The charges stem from an alleged incident involving a New Haven, Connecticut man, Randy Cox, 36, on June 19. Officers had arrested Cox for criminal possession of a firearm and breach of peace and were transporting him in a van when Cox sustained injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

In October, all charges against Cox were dropped, according to the New Haven Superior Court clerk's office.

"While today’s news that these officers will face some accountability is an important first step towards justice for Randy, we know there is more work to be done on his behalf. We will continue to fight for him throughout this process, and stand beside him as he navigates the long road toward recovery," civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, said in a statement.

Surveillance video of Cox's arrest showed officers placing him in the back of a police van that didn't have any seatbelts.

During an abrupt stop, Cox was thrown head-first into the back wall of the van, his lawyers said in June, and the video shows.

According to an arrest affidavit for the officers, which detailed parts of a conversation between Cox and Diaz immediately after the stop, Cox repeatedly asked for help, saying he couldn't move and thought his neck was broken.

According to New Haven police, Cox did not receive immediate medical attention at the time of the incident.

Cox filed a $100 million federal lawsuit against the city of New Haven and New Haven Police Department officers in September.

ABC News was not able to reach attorneys for the officers for comment.

"I'm not gonna say what those officers felt, but it seems like they thought he was intoxicated. So they weren't taking his claims as legitimate," New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said in an interview with ABC News in September when the lawsuit was filed. "We as a police department, especially [with] someone in custody, need to take everybody's claims legitimately, and build that legitimacy with the community."

Cox's family and his attorneys said the injuries sustained in the police vehicle and the alleged neglect from other officers have left him unable to care for himself and leave him with little opportunity to earn a living for the rest of his life.

"We think that there is no value that can replace the damages and the hurt and the harm and the mental anguish and the torture that he's endured every day, every hour, every minute, every second, every second of his life," Crump said in a news conference in September announcing the lawsuit. "We did not have to file this lawsuit to tell you why the city needs to do the right thing."

The U.S. Department of Justice said in July that it's closely watching the investigation into the incident with Cox.

"All suspects taken into police custody must be afforded timely and appropriate medical care in the event of an emergency," said U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery in a statement. "If federal action is warranted, the Justice Department will pursue every available avenue to the full extent of the law."

The case has prompted reform promises from New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker and Jacobson, including new policies aimed at enhancing safety protocols during the transportation and detention of people, particularly those in need of medical attention.

ABC News' Kiara Alfonseca, Kendall Ross and Amanda Su contributed to this report.

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Former police officer allegedly catfishes teen girl online, kills her family

KABC-TV

(LOS ANGELES) -- A former Virginia police officer allegedly "catfished" a teenage girl online before traveling to Riverside, California, and killing her family, according to police.

The murders were discovered on Friday after authorities received a report of a girl "who appeared distressed" while getting into a car with a man, Riverside police said.

As officers responded to that report, they received calls of a fire at a nearby house.

Police said three family members were found dead in the house from apparent homicides: 69-year-old Mark Winek; his wife, 65-year-old Sharie Winek; and their daughter, 38-year-old Brooke Winek.

The fire appears to have been intentionally set, police said, adding that the causes of death were still pending.

Authorities said they determined that the teenage girl seen getting into the car lived at that house and the victims killed were her mother and grandparents.

The man getting in the car with the teen was identified as 28-year-old Austin Lee Edwards of Virginia, according to police.

Several hours after the three bodies were found, authorities said they spotted Edwards driving with the teen.

Edwards -- who had worked for the Virginia State Police -- allegedly led deputies on a chase and fired shots at them, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office said. Edwards lost control of his car and drove off the road, pointing a gun at a sheriff's helicopter, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies then fired at Edwards who was declared dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

The teen was rescued and wasn't hurt, according to police.

Riverside police said they determined Edwards met the teen online through "'catfishing,' where someone pretends to be a different person than they actually are."

After Edwards developed a relationship with the girl online, police said they believe he drove to Riverside, parked in a neighbor's driveway, went to the girl's home and killed her family. Edwards then allegedly took the teen and drove away, according to police.

Edwards was hired by the Virginia State Police in July 2021 and quit on Oct. 28, 2022, the agency said.

Edwards passed the state’s background check, state police said.

"As a probationary employee, Edwards was also given monthly performance evaluations, in accordance with department policy. During Edwards' short tenure with the department, he never exhibited any behaviors to trigger any internal administrative or criminal investigations," the state police said in a statement.

Edwards was hired by the Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office on Nov. 16, 2022, and had started orientation with the department, according to the sheriff's office.

"Past employers and the Virginia State Police were contacted during the hiring processing; however, no employers disclosed any troubles, reprimands, or internal investigations pertaining to Edwards," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Washington County Sheriff Blake Andis added in a statement: "It is shocking and sad to the entire law enforcement community that such an evil and wicked person could infiltrate law enforcement while concealing his true identity as a computer predator and murderer. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winek family, their friends, officers, and all of those affected by this heinous crime."

ABC News' Beatrice Peterson and Jenna Harrison contributed to this report.

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Buffalo supermarket shooter pleads guilty to terrorism and murder charges

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Payton Gendron pleaded guilty Monday to state charges stemming from the May shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

Gendron pleaded guilty to 15 charges in all, including domestic terrorism motivated by hate, murder and attempted murder. He still faces more than two dozen federal charges, some of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2023. Domestic terrorism motivated by hate carries a mandatory life sentence.

His parents, Paul and Pamela Gendron, released a statement following the hearing: "We remain shocked and shattered to learn that our son was responsible for the hideous attack at the Tops Grocery Store on May 14, 2022. With today's plea of guilty, he will be held accountable for his actions. Our hearts are broken over the devastation he caused to the innocent victims he killed and wounded, their families, and the African-American community in Buffalo and beyond."

Gendron fatally shot 10 Black people "because of the perceived race and/or color" of the victims, according to the indictment by the Erie County district attorney.

"Thank God the families and the victims who survived this and this community don't have to endure a long, protracted trial," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said following the hearing. "Nothing will ever bring back the 10 beautiful people who lost their lives on that day. This past Thursday on Thanksgiving, there were 10 empty chairs at the Thanksgiving dinner ... I can never provide full closure. There's never going to be full closure for the families."

He was charged with carrying out a "domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate" along with 10 counts of murder in the first degree, 10 counts of murder in the second degree as a hate crime, three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.

Flynn said Gendron illegally modified his gun, practiced shooting at state parks in Broome County and wrote 180 pages of racist screed that also contained the names of past mass shooters he admired.

White supremacist rhetoric online, including the promotion of racist conspiracy theories, has been linked to Gendron and his motive behind the Buffalo attack, ABC News has previously reported. Gendron traveled from his home near Binghamton, New York, to carry out the shooting, according to officials.

A document of Gendron's uncovered by investigators outlined "the goals behind the attack which were to kill as many African Americans as possible, avoid dying and spread ideals," Flynn said. "The document also detailed the defendant's hateful beliefs, specifically his hatred for African Americans, Jewish people, immigrants, and other minorities."

Gendron is the first to be charged with domestic terrorism motivated by hate in New York under a 2020 statute, which was implemented following an El Paso, Texas, shooting targeting Latinos in 2019.

He has been charged by federal prosecutors with a total of 26 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death and a hate crime involving bodily injury. He's also charged with using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence. In July, Gendron's public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

"His decision to plead guilty will deliver the families some justice, but it will not end the racism that drove him to kill in the first place," said Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and president of civil rights group National Action Network. "That horrific day was the byproduct of a white supremacy so blatant that its followers don't hide under a hood — they livestream their hate for everyone to see," referring to the livestream of the shooting captured by a camera on Gendron's helmet during the attack.

The families of Buffalo victims are expected to speak following the hearing.

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Oxford school shooting: Whistleblowers say district failed to implement its threat assessment policy

Scott Olson/Getty Images

(OXFORD, Mich.) -- Two resigned Oxford, Michigan, school board members claim the district failed to implement its threat assessment playbook that they say could've prevented last year's mass shooting at Oxford High School.

"This board had been told over and over that the school had all the policies in place and that our team did everything right," former school board treasurer Korey Bailey said -- but he claims that's not true.

The whistleblowers' Monday news conference came just two days before the one-year anniversary of the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting that was carried out by a student and left four students dead and several injured.

Former school board president Tom Donnelly said, in August, Bailey started looking into the threat assessment policies and guidelines, and he came across a Homeland Security protocol referenced in their policies.

Donnelly said this document "changed everything from my perspective."

The document showed the playbook for preventing school violence, which "clearly defines every step" of identifying and preventing threats, Bailey said at the news conference. The playbook was most recently updated in June 2021, just months before the shooting, he said.

Donnelly said the protocol is to address a threat preemptively, and assumes that trained counselors, resource officers and other staffers collect "markers" to help stop an incident before it happens. "Markers" include: changes in grades, changes in attendance, and students showing violent tendencies, Donnelly said.

The document "clearly states that the threshold for pulling a team together [to investigate] should be low," Donnelly said. "It's the team's job to decide whether you have a low or a medium or a high-risk factor."

"The district certainly didn't use [the playbook] as designed in the months leading up to the shooting," Donnelly said. "There's no evidence that we've ever used it as designed -- even though, since 2011, the policies and guidelines have been in our system."

Bailey said a report completed by Secure Education Consultants "praised our team" for developing and executing comprehensive security protocols. But Bailey said this report "was not based on a complete investigation -- it only focused on if we had the policies. It never touched on if we ever implemented or trained people to carry out these policies."

Bailey said he later learned no schools put this playbook into practice. He said he learned that those responsible for safety had raised concerns over the lack of training, and those concerns were ignored.

"Oxford neglected to train," Bailey said, and "the results were fatal."

Donnelly said district counsel disagreed with his and Bailey's assessment.

"I couldn't in good conscience stay on the board," Donnelly said.

"Our options became clear that we could either ... go along and stay silent, or we could move along and be a voice for change," Bailey added. "Remaining silent was not being honest or transparent."

Days before the 2021 shooting, a teacher allegedly saw 15-year-old shooter Ethan Crumbley researching ammunition in class; school officials contacted his parents but they didn't respond, according to prosecutors. His mother texted her son, writing, "lol, I'm not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught," according to prosecutors.

Bailey said, if the school "actually trained on threat assessment, the situation would've ended" there.

Hours before the shooting, according to prosecutors, a teacher saw a note on Crumbley's desk that was "a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, 'The thoughts won't stop, help me.' In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet, 'Blood everywhere.'"

Crumbley’s parents were called to the school over the incident and said they'd get their son counseling, but they did not take him home.

Crumbley pleaded guilty last month to all charges against him, including terrorism and murder. The teen's parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly making the gun accessible and failing to recognize warning signs about their son before the shooting. They have pleaded not guilty.

Secure Education Consultants said in a statement to ABC News that it "conducted a safety and security assessment" after the shooting at the request of the school district.

"Our role was not to review the shooting but to assess the district’s facilities, technology, policies, procedures and training protocols through the lens of evaluating and enhancing security," the statement said. "As part of our assessment, we recommended ways the district could improve its overall security through investments in detection and alarm devices, strengthened communications and increased security presence. We also recommended and provided trainings to district staff."

The Oxford school district did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

ABC News' Alex Faul contributed to this report.

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Bones found in landfill belong to missing Savannah toddler: FBI

Chatham County Police Department

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) -- Bones found in a Georgia landfill are confirmed to belong to missing Savannah, Georgia, toddler Quinton Simon, the FBI announced Monday.

The search for 20-month-old Quinton began on Oct. 5 when his mother, 22-year-old Leilani Simon, reported him missing. One week later, Chatham County police said they believed Quinton was dead and authorities named the boy's mother as the primary suspect.

On Oct. 18, police said they believed Quinton had been left in a dumpster, and authorities said a search was underway for his body in the local landfill.

Searchers spent 30 days scouring 1.2 million pounds of trash, police said.

On Nov. 21, police said remains had been recovered in the landfill and testing was underway to determine whether they belonged to Quinton.

Police also announced last week that Simon had been charged with malice murder, concealing the death of another person, false reporting and making false statements.

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Houston under water boil notice after power failure

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(HOUSTON) -- Over two million Houston residents are under a water boil notice after a power outage Sunday affected a water treatment plant, officials said.

The water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to the agency. Houston schools were closed Monday because of the order.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the water was safe and that the boil order was done to comply with regulations. He tweeted that the city submitted its plan to TCEQ to lift the notice Sunday night.

"Water samples will subsequently follow and hopefully we will get the all clear from TCEQ. The City has to wait 24 hours from that point before the boil water notice is suspended. The earliest would be tomorrow night or very early Tuesday morning," Turner tweeted Sunday night.

Yvonne Williams Forrest, Houston's water director, told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV Sunday night that the order the city's pressure system was never at zero, just below the regulatory limit. That pressure is important because it prevents anything from infiltrating the water system, she said.

"There are a number of steps in the regulatory process before you issue a boil water notice and we didn't want to unnecessarily alert the city if we did not have to issue a boil water notice," she told KTRK.

Turner said Monday morning the power outage was caused by two transformers that malfunctioned. Power was restored around 12:15 p.m. local time, he said.

The mayor said 16 sensors fell below 20 PSI for two minutes which triggered the emergency, and full water pressure restored above 20 PSI at 14 of the 16 locations by 3 p.m.

The water samples that were sent to TCEQ have to sit and wait for 18 hours for the city to get the all-clear, according to Turner. He said the earliest the boil notice will be rescinded is early Tuesday morning.

Turner said the incident will be investigated and apologized to the city, schools and kids and parents for the cancellations.

"I can't tell you why it failed, stuff does happen and it's unfortunate," he said.

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Idaho murders: Police seeing influx of 911 calls from fearful community

Heather Roberts/ABC News

(MOSCOW, Idaho) -- Authorities are receiving an influx of 911 calls from the fearful University of Idaho community weeks after four students were stabbed to death in an off-campus house.

The students -- Ethan Chapin, 20; Madison Mogen, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21 -- were killed in the early hours of Nov. 13. No arrests have been made.

Kernodle, Mogen and Goncalves were roommates. Chapin was sleeping over with Kernodle, his girlfriend.

Moscow police said Sunday that, since the killings, they've received 78 "unusual circumstances" calls and 36 welfare check requests -- up from 70 calls and 18 requests, respectively, for all of October.

Police, who have been asking the community for help, also noted that residents have uploaded over 488 digital media submissions to the case's FBI page.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little has directed up to $1 million in emergency funds for the ongoing investigation, according to police.

Idaho State Police spokesman Aaron Snell told ABC News on Sunday that concerns from the victims' families over the case going cold are "legitimate," but he added, “our concern is a successful prosecution."

"Justice is the end result -- we have to do what we are doing [out of public view]," Snell said.

Two other roommates were in the house at the time of the murders and survived, appearing to have slept through the crimes, according to police. The surviving roommates are not considered suspects, police said.

As students return to campus following the Thanksgiving break, the university is gearing up for a candlelight vigil for the four victims, set for Wednesday.

Anyone with information can upload digital media to fbi.gov/moscowidaho or contact the tip line at tipline@ci.moscow.id.us or 208-883-7180.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Two rescued from small plane after striking high-tension power lines

Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md.) -- Two people have been rescued from a small private plane after it struck and got lodged in a high-tension power line tower in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Goldstein confirmed both the pilot and passenger were transported to local area trauma centers with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

"There's some hypothermia issues," Goldstein said. "They've been out there very anxious, but very happy to be down. They were communicating with us the entire time."

The plane struck the tower at about 5:30 Sunday evening, Goldstein said.

However, rescue work was being delayed until the plane could be secured to the tower and the tower was confirmed to be grounded, according to Goldstein.

The plane, which was stuck about 100 feet off the ground, is "not going to be stable until it's chained and strapped in place," said Goldstein, adding that heavy fog in the area could make the task difficult.

About 85,000 Montgomery County customers were without power as a result of the crash, officials with the local power company said on Twitter.

Goldstein said that most of the power in the county has been restored by Pepco.

FAA officials said the plane had departed from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board said they will investigate the incident.

Montgomery County Public Schools announced earlier that MCPS schools and offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 28 "due to a widespread power outage and its impact on safety and school operations." There has been no update since most of the power has been restored.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Gaslighting' named 2022 Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster

Merriam-Webster

(NEW YORK) -- Merriam-Webster defines gaslighting as "the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one's own advantage."

Now, the term has been dubbed the 2022 Word of the Year, the oldest U.S. dictionary publisher announced Monday.

"The increase in dictionary lookups for gaslighting is striking," Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large, said in a statement. "In our age of misinformation -- 'fake news,' conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes -- gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time. From politics to pop culture to relationships, it has become a favored word for the perception of deception."

The word has been used in a wide range of contexts from the Jan. 6 committee hearings to reality TV drama on Bachelor in Paradise.

Lookups for "gaslighting" on Merriam-Webster.com increased 1,740% this year.

"On the subject of gaslighting, we do hope you'll trust us," Sokolowski said.

Merriam-Webster shares most searched words of 2022

Merriam-Webster shared other standout words that shed light on experiences that shaped this year.

"As always, our dictionary lookups provide a window into the world, and into the topics and ideas that consumed our attention and defined the year," Sokolowski said.

"Cancel culture" and the related term "woke" were top lookups, "especially in January, when Pope Francis used the term in his yearly address to diplomats from around the world," Sokolowski stated.

"Omicron" spiked in searches in January when cases of the COVID-19 variant, which was named for the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, surged. According to Merriam-Webster, it saw another increase in lookups in November when "studies found that the omicron booster was not significantly more effective than the older vaccines."

In March, "oligarch" was of interest as the "U.S. began placing sanctions on a list of powerful Russian businessmen and their families."

"Codify" saw a spike in May "leading up to and following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade."

According to the dictionary publisher, during Pride Month in June the acronym "LGBTQIA" peaked, while later that month "sentient" became a top lookup after "a Google engineer claimed the company's AI chatbot had developed a human-like consciousness."

"Loamy," which is a type of soil according to Merriam-Webster, appeared as a Quordle answer in August, sparking a 4.5 million percent increase in searches.

When the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in August, the word "raid" was a top lookup.

"Queen consort" was among the top words and phrases searched after Queen Elizabeth II's death in September. Camilla, the queen consort, who is married to now-King Charles III, the late queen's eldest child, currently holds that title.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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