Officials in Texas announced on Thursday that State Troopers would no longer be allowed to open fire on suspects from helicopters after the recent killing of two immigrants.
While announcing the new policy, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw insisted that the ban on aerial shootings had nothing to do with the October 2012 death of two Guatemalan immigrants, who were gunned down by troopers in helicopter while they were hiding in the back of a speeding pickup truck near La Joya.
“I’m convinced that now, from a helicopter platform, that we shouldn’t shoot unless being shot at, or unless someone is being shot at,” McCraw told the state House Committee on Appropriations. “Last Friday, after a review of the policy and looking at all of the different things, and this is not a reflection of what happened there, I’m a firm believer they did exactly what they thought they needed to do.”
A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children’s Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural central Pennsylvania township Friday before he was fatally shot in a gunfight with state troopers.
The shootings began in Frankstown Township at about 9 a.m. and investigators were processing five crime scenes within about a 1.5-mile radius, authorities said at a news briefing Friday afternoon. The troopers were responding to a 911 call of a shooting in the township when they heard calls reporting at least one other shooting elsewhere, state police spokeswoman Maria Finn said.
“It’s going to take us some time to put this all together… and know exactly what occurred,” Lt. Col. George Biven’s, deputy state police commissioner, said at a news briefing.
Family members of the victims said they were told the woman at the church was the first victim shot, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The gunman then shot two men in the driveway of a home after a confrontation at a stop sign, authorities said.
Why would a 53-year-old woman be carrying around recipes for homemade explosives and information on the deadly poison ricin?
Federal authorities in Alaska say they aren’t sure. And they don’t know where Mary Ann Morgan was heading when she was arrested in late October as she attempted to enter Canada, possibly en route to the lower 48 states.
Morgan, a resident of Kenai and secretary of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, was found in possession of a Baretta .32-caliber pistol, which she can’t legally possess because she has a prior felony conviction.
In her truck, authorities also found a “horde of documents,” including information on ricin and other poisons, firearms, close combat training, pipe bombs and explosives, a court document says.
“Her vehicle was loaded with a large amount of documents and little to no personal effects,” the document says.
Morgan is the fifth person arrested as part of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into the alleged “241” plot to kill state troopers and a judge in Alaska. Francis Schaeffer Cox, the 27-year-old leader of the Peacemakers, is at the center of the unfolding investigation. He is currently in jail without bail awaiting trial on a variety of federal weapons charges.
As the terrorism task force looks for answers about Morgan’s involvement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki says he is certain about one thing: She is a “danger to the community, a flight risk and is totally incapable of abiding by any (release) conditions issued by this court.”
The federal prosecutor will ask that she be detained without bond at a bail hearing now set for Wednesday.
The case dates back to April 2010 when Huff, carrying a Colt .45 and an AK-47, made his way to a Tennessee courthouse to conduct citizens’ arrests on officials. Huff was responding to a call for help from supporters of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, a leader of the birther and Patriot group American Grand Jury, who was arrested for trying to perform a citizen’s arrest on a Grand Jury foreman. Fitzpatrick was angry that court officials didn’t let him pursue a Grand Jury trial against ‘illegal alien, infiltrator and impostor’ President Obama, and other ‘domestic enemies.’
Huff was stopped by State Troopers on his way to the courthouse, and said he would not resort to violence unless provoked, but he was ready to die for his rights and what he believed in. The State Troopers let him through, but he was arrested soon after.
Huff was charged with knowingly carrying a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disorder and using a firearm in relation to another felony.
Georgia birther and Oathkeeper Darren Huff was convicted Tuesday of attempting to take over a Tennessee courthouse and conduct citizen’s arrests on officials.
After a week-long trial, a jury convicted Huff of knowingly carrying a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disorder, but acquitted him of using a firearm in relation to another felony, CBS News reports.
The decision came after the jury announced last night that it was hung.
Huff will be sentenced in February. He faces up to five years in prison.