<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - National & International News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:24:01 -0500 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:24:01 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[What You Need to Know About the Boston Bombing Trial ]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:56:41 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TLMD-tsarnaev-maraton-boston-sketch-jane-collins.JPG

Nearly two years after bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260 others, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is going on trial in the city, accused of making the bombs with his brother and detonating them in a crowd of spectators cheering on the runners.

Tsarnaev, who has pleaded not guilty, faces the death penalty if found guilty of some of the charges.

Who is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?
Tsarnaev, 21, is an ethnic Chechen who came to the United States about a decade ago. His family, parents Anzor and Zubeidat, his brother, Tamerlan, and two sisters settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He was well liked at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, where he was captain of the wrestling team and took honors classes, and he was enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after the bombings during a shootout with police, after he received gunshot wounds and was apparently run over by his brother.

The charges he faces

Tsarnaev faces a 30-count indictment that includes 17 charges that carry the death penalty. He is accused of improvising bombs from pressure cookers, explosive power and shrapnel, and detonating them at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Among the charges: conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, possession and use of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence resulting in death and malicious destruction of property resulting in personal injury and death.

Dodging the death penalty?

A prominent addition to Tsarnaev’s defense lawyer is Judy Clarke, a defense attorney noted for keeping her clients off death row.

Her infamous clients have included Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber; Susan Smith, the mother who drowned her two children; Jared Loughner, responsible for killing six people and injuring then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords; and Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber. All received life sentences.

Clark, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, knew at a young age that she wanted to be a lawyer, according to a profile by The Associated Press. She told an audience at Loyola Law School in 2013 that many people charged with capital crimes have suffered severe trauma.

"They're looking into the lens of life in prison in a box," she said. "Our job is to provide them with a reason to live."

Courthouse protests

Supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could be outside the federal courthouse in Boston protesting throughout the trial — over the objections of his lawyers. Tsarnaev’s defense team had argued that he would be unfairly associated with their outrageous conspiracy theories and wanted them kept a reasonable distance away.

“Survivors, jurors, witnesses, and members of the public must be able to attend court without being assaulted by inflammatory accusations from any source,” the lawyers wrote. “If they cannot, the fairness of the defendant’s trial is likely to be gravely harmed.’’

But U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. ruled against them, though he gave no written explanation for his decision.

Tsarnaev's supporters include the mother-in-law of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan, who was shot and killed in Florida while being questioned by law enforcement officials. Elena Teyer traveled to Boston in December to shout encouragement to Tsarnaev during one of his court appearances.

Some of the protestors insist that the bombings were the result of a government conspiracy, and that Tsarnaev was framed with flimsy evidence.

Unhappy in Boston

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have tried repeatedly to move the trial out of Boston, arguing that it would be impossible to find an impartial jury in a city so affected by the bombings, but O’Toole has rejected all of their requests.

The lawyers appealed to a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, but on Feb. 28, a divided panel rejected their petition.

The majority wrote that Tsarnaev had not met the well-established standards for the court to intervene. The dissenting judge wrote that the media coverage had been unparalleled in American legal history, making the idea that Tsarnaev would receive a fair and impartial trial absurd.

<![CDATA[911 Butt-Dial Prompts Drug Arrests]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:04:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Marijuana+Generic1.jpg

Scores of pot plants were seized and three people were arrested after one of them accidentally "butt-dialed" 911 and a dispatcher overheard their incriminating conversation about drugs, sheriff’s officials say.

The call came in at about 11:30 p.m. Monday when a deputy pulled over to have lunch in his marked patrol car close to an Alpine house.

When three men inside noticed the car, they started talking about drugs, about items needed to make butane honey oil and about wanting to hurt the deputy.

Unbeknownst to them, one of the three had accidentally “butt dialed” 911, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell. A dispatcher, trying to find out if there was an emergency, overheard their whole conversation.

Deputies found out where the call was coming from and searched the home, where they discovered 93 marijuana plants.

They arrested 35-year-old Mark Stuhr, 32-year-old Kristopher Kondly and 38-year-old Christian Feugere on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and possession, possession of a controlled substance and probation violation.

Photo Credit: File - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Coach After NJ Hazing Scandal]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:08:47 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/sayreville+high+school+football+team+coach1.jpg

The Sayreville, New Jersey, board of education has moved to put its troubled 2014 high school football season behind it Tuesday night by naming a new head football coach to replace George Najjar, who last week was demoted to teaching phys ed classes at an elementary school.

Christopher Beagan, currently the head coach at Monroe New Jersey High School for the past nine years, will be paid a salary of $82,553 a year as a phys ed and health teacher, a stipend of $12,051 as coach, and a stipend of $5,573 as strength and conditioning coach.

Superintendent Dr. Richard Labbe said at the meeting Tuesday the board has found "the absolute best candidate" out of 45 candidates to lead the Sayreville Bombers next season. 

Najjar lost his two decades-long job as head coach after a hazing and sexual assault scandal last fall abruptly ended the football season.

Seven students were arrested and faced juvenile charges for sexual acts against other players in the unsupervised locker room.

After Labbe announced earlier this year that he would allow the championship football program to resume next fall, he began an immediate search for a replacement for Najjar, who was first suspended before being reassigned to Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School.

<![CDATA[Teen: Teacher Called Me "Rag Head"]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:39:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/030315+rag+head+taliban+wardani.jpg

The father of a South Florida high school student is demanding the firing of a teacher who he says called his Muslim son a "rag head Taliban."

Youssef Wardani, the father of 14-year-old Deyab-Houssein Wardani, appeared before the Broward School board Tuesday to demand the firing of Maria Valdes, his son's teacher at Cypress Bay High School.

"As a parent, I should not have to deal with this," Wardani said. "I should not have to spend my time in front of them and what should have been done from day one," he said.

Wardani said his son walked into Valdes' French class on Feb. 2 wearing a hoodie after gym class. "Here comes the rag head Taliban," Valdes said, according to Wardani.

"My teacher called me a rag head Taliban," the teen told NBC 6 Tuesday. "I was a bit shocked and disappointed she called me that. But first off, she was my favorite teacher, and I would never have expected that from her."

The family is Muslim. After he found out about it a few days later, Wardani reported it to the school's principal.

Broward County Public Schools spokesperson released a statement saying the incident is under investigation.

"Broward County Public Schools respects and values the diversity of our students, families and communities," the statement read. "This situation is being taken seriously; the District launched an immediate investigation into the matter and will be bringing forward, to the next School Board in March, a recommendation for disciplinary action regarding this situation."

The teen said it has affected him in class.

"Class has been very awkward. I feel I always get a bad vibe from her as if she doesn't want me to be there anymore," he said.

"I can assure you we take it very seriously," Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said. "I wake up every day thinking about this, it is a priority item I have to resolve."

Wardani has started a Facebook page called "Our son is NOT a "Rag Head Taliban" which has received hundreds of likes.

<![CDATA["Sniper" Killer Wants New Trial]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:27:13 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Eddie-Ray-Routh.jpg

Attorneys for Eddie Ray Routh filed a motion, on Tuesday, for a new trial after Routh was found guilty in the murders of "American Sniper" author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.

Routh's attorney Wendy St. John also filed an appeal to overturn his conviction on Feb. 24.

No date has been set to hear either motion filed Tuesday.

Because the state did not seek the death penalty, Routh, 27, received an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Routh’s defense claimed he was insane at the time of the crime and unable to tell right from wrong. Experts testifying for the state said former US Marine Routh did not have post-traumatic stress as he claimed in the past because they never saw combat and did not have suffer serious trauma.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Little League Whistleblower Arrest]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:45:37 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/chris+janes.jpg

The rival Little League coach whose accusations cost Chicago's Jackie Robinson West their U.S. championship title was arrested early Tuesday after police say he chased a stranger into her home.

Chris Janes, the vice president of the Evergreen Park Athletic Association, told NBC Chicago he "doesn't remember" what happened but thinks he simply went to the wrong home after having a few too many drinks.

"I did something really stupid, and I feel awful," he said.

Police say Janes chased the woman, who said she had never met him, into her home and began banging on her door after she pulled into her driveway, police said.

The woman said Janes shouted into the home asking for her husband to come out and fight him, then ran down the street, Capt. Peter Donovan said.

Janes was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, assault and resisting and obstructing a police officer. He was ticketed for public intoxication and using vulgar and threatening language.

His car was located on the woman’s block, police said, but he denied using it.

Janes was thrust into the spotlight of the Jackie Robinson West controversy after he filed the initial complaint that the team violated residency rules and alleged they used top suburban players to boost their roster.

Earlier this year, the team was stripped of their U.S. Champtionship Title following an investigation from Little League International. Janes later became the target of criticism, even saying he received death threats from upset fans.

"It was evident to us that there was some wrongdoing and there's rules in place," Janes said. "As tough as it must have been for Little League, they needed to hold these guys accountable for breaking the rules."

Photo Credit: Evergreen Park Police]]>
<![CDATA[Top News Photos of the Week]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:57:34 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Clinton-Portrait-Lewinsky-Dress-2.jpg View weekly updates on the very best photos in domestic and foreign news.

<![CDATA[Shots Fired Near NSA Headquarters]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:21:55 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_nsa_central.png

U.S. Park Police are investigating a report of shots fired near the National Security Agency's headquarters Tuesday evening.

A spokesperson for the police said the NSA is investigating damage to one of its buildings that appeared to be from gunshots. No one was injured.

The incident unfolded along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32 in Fort Meade, Maryland. The NSA is located nearby.

Throughout the evening, Park Police closed down sections of BW Parkway for their investigation.

The shooting comes just a couple hours after someone fired shots along the Maryland Intercounty Connector (ICC) near Interstate 95 in Prince George's County, Maryland, just 8 miles from the NSA. Two men suffered minor injuries in that shooting, and no arrest has been made.

Multiple police agencies, including the FBI, are investigating whether the incident near the ICC is related to the NSA incident.

WBAL-TV in Baltimore confirmed police in Maryland are determining whether Tuesday's shootings are related to three other shootings in the state during the past week; a man was grazed by a bullet in Hanover, a shooting was reported at a Laurel Wal-Mart and another was reported at an AMC Theater in Columbia. 

Photo Credit: EFE/File Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Identity Thief Filled Out Tax Return Before Me, Victim Says]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:58:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/484588011.jpg

Virginia mom of three Brooke Taheri opted to spend her Valentine’s Day working on her taxes, never imagining the holiday could get any less romantic.

Then she discovered her identity had been stolen.

“You get that sinking feeling in your stomach,” said Taheri, 37, of Fairfax County, describing the moment she realized something was wrong.

Tax-related identity theft is a growing concern, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which named it as one of its “dirty dozen” tax scams of 2015.

“Preventing and detecting identity theft and refund fraud remains a top priority for the IRS," the government agency said in a statement. "We have added and strengthened protections in our systems, and we continue to make important progress in stoping identity theft and other fradulent refunds."

Last year, the IRS initiated 1,063 identity theft-related investigations and the Federal Trade Commission reported receiving 109,063 complaints about tax-related identity theft, according to the IRS website.

Taheri found out she was a victim when she tried to e-file her taxes and got a notice saying the IRS already received her forms.

“I was livid and completely frustrated,” Taheri said.

Yet submitting your tax return is the only way to uncover the distressing news before the tax season's deadline hits.

Credit card companies continually monitor customers’ behavior, making it easier for them to pick up on any unusual activity. The IRS, however, only connects with taxpayers once a year. Fraudsters typically file early, beating taxpayers to the punch and making it difficult for the IRS to detect discrepancies against employers’ information, which the government agency receives in late spring.

Since many Americans have yet to file their returns this tax season, it is too early to tell how many others are victims of tax-related identity theft although the majority should not be affected.

About 1.5 million taxpayers received Identity Protection PINs, a six-digit unique number, by the IRS last year as part of a pilot program. The agency provided them with the extra security measure to all identity theft victims, including those whose data was compromised in schemes unrelated to their taxes.

The IRS also offered the PINs to another 1.7 million taxpayers whose accounts signaled they could be victims.

Filing early is one recommendation, but that didn’t prevent Taheri from experiencing a “very labor intensive” aftermath.

“Thus far I’ve spent over four hours on music hold with different federal and local government agencies and then once I talk to people it’s been another hour and a half,” she said.

Taheri filed a police report, contacted the IRS and the FTC, and checked with the Social Security Administration and other agencies to determine if her information had been used illegally, she said. And she still had to file her taxes, but now she must submit a paper copy along with an identity theft affidavit so the IRS can conduct its investigation, she said.

Updating your passwords and usernames regularly, and monitoring your credit report are a few other steps taxpayers should take to avoid identity theft, according to resources available on the FTC and IRS websites. Another suggestion: Don’t give your personal information when it is not required of you or through unsecure channels.

Taheri, who works in finance, admonished herself for failing to set up identity theft protection earlier.  She said she has now signed up for it. Taheri is also keeping a close eye on her credit reports and planning how she’ll avoid this in the future.

“As soon as I get my W-2s and tax information, I will be filing as early as I physically can,” she said. “I will be the first to file.”

And after a headache-filled Valentine's day, Taheri — who wasn't expecting a big hoopla — was finally able to celebrate with her family.

"By the time I got off all the phone calls, I think we got carry-out."

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Confession Out in Teacher Killing]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 22:09:42 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/tlmd_chism_maestra_colleen_ritze.jpg

A judge on Tuesday granted a defense motion suppressing some of the evidence in the case of a Massachusetts teenager charged with raping and killing his high school math teacher in 2013.

Among that evidence is an alleged confession Philip Chism gave to Danvers Police after the killing, as well as certain cell phone evidence police had gathered as a result of that interview.

Additional motions seeking to suppress statements made to Topsfield Police as well as evidence seized at Danvers High School and from Chism's pockets and backpack were denied by the judge.

Chism, now 16, is charged with murder as an adult in the October 2013 slaying of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer. Chism was 14 at the time.

Superior Court Judge David Lowy said in his ruling that the videotape of the Danvers interview makes it "readily apparent" that Chism's mother wanted an attorney present with her son during questioning.

"Despite this desire, the officers persisted in initiating a conversation and reminded her of a previous desire to find out what happened that night," Lowy said in his ruling. 

The judge said he isn't convinced beyond a resonable doubt that Chism was paying attention to the Miranda warnings to the extent that he could have waived his Miranda rights. While Chism's statements were made voluntarily, Lowy said they must be suppressed because she cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that Chism "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights."

Lowy also ruled that Chism's cell phone and the victim's cell phone, which were found by police outside Hollywood Hits, should not be allowed at trial because they were discovered as a result of the police interview with Chism conducted at the Danvers police station.

"The police were only made aware of the location of the cell phones from their interview of the defendant," the judge wrote. "Since the defendant's statements during the interview at the Danvers interview must be suppressed and the Commonwealth has not argued an alternative theory of admissibility, the cell phones must be suppressed."

The family of Ritzer released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying in part, "We respect the court ruling and we are confident that law enforcement acted responsibly and lawfully. We are also confident in the ability of the District Attorney's Office to successfully prosecute the individual charged with this horrific crime so that justice is served for Colleen and our family."

Necn legal analyst Randy Chapman says tossing some evidence won't make or break the case. 

“There’s still substantial evidence about his culpability. They have videotape, they have him in possession of the murder weapon,” Chapman explained. “It’s not going to result in the case being crippled."

Photo Credit: FILE]]>
<![CDATA[LA Protesters March on Police HQ]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:01:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/03-03-2015-skid-row-99+%283%29.jpg

Protesters gathered Tuesday morning at the site where officers shot and killed a homeless man on Skid Row, then marched to the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters for a police commission meeting attended by Chief Charlie Beck.

A rally involving LA Community Action Network and Skid Row community members began at about 8 a.m. near Sixth and San Pedro streets, where flowers, notes and other items were left at a memorial for the slain man, known to others on Skid Row as "Africa." Protesters carried signs that read, "Stop Modern Day Lynchings," "End the Police State" and "End the Safer Cities Initiative," a community policing program.

Another sign read, "Body Cameras Won't Stop Police Murders," referring to the body cameras worn by two officers involved in Sunday's fatal confrontation.

The crowd of more than 150 people gathered on the plaza in front of police headquarters before similar sentiments were expressed during nearly two hours of public comments at a regularly scheduled police commission meeting.  Speakers included community activists, a flag-draped man in a Batman mask and people living on Skid Row.

One speaker repeatedly blew a whistle and demanded the commission, "Wake up! Wake up!"

At a news conference after the commission meeting, Beck acknowledged the anger among those who spoke at Tuesday's commission meeting.

"The group today was pretty irate," Beck said.

The protests are part of the backlash after Sunday's fatal shooting of a man who had been staying in a tent in the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood. The man, who was the subject of a 911 call robbery report, tried to reach for an officer's holstered weapon during a struggle that began after he refused to comply with police commands, Chief Beck said.

"Don't take an officer's gun," one speaker said at the commission meeting. "If a person attempts to take a police officer's gun, it will not end up well. My condolences go out to the family of Africa, but let this investigation take its course."

Beck said Tuesday morning that investigators are still looking to speak with more witnesses. He refused to confirm the identity of the man who was killed and said that information would come from the coroner's office.

At a Monday news conference, Beck cited several screengrabs obtained from witness videos that he said show the man attempting to "forcibly grab" one of the officer's guns. He also said an officer in the video said "He has my gun" several times before three other officers opened fire in what the chief described as an "extreme tragedy."

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in Sunday's altercation that led to the fatal shooting were wearing body cameras, providing police with another video for review in the department investigation, Beck said Monday. Investigators also plan to review video from the camera system at the Mission,  where officers responding to the robbery report encountered the man in 500 block of South San Pedro Street.

The man can be seen on a bystander's video recording swinging his arms as officers approach. The man repeatedly refused to comply with officers' commands and a stun gun had "little effect," Beck said.

"While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer's handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred," the LAPD said in a statement.

At least five rounds were fired, police said.

The subject died at the scene. Two officers suffered minor injuries.

Some people who live in the area said they believe police are at least partially responsible for what transpired.

"You can't tell me five officers can't take down one man. What about police training?" One homeless man told NBC4 Monday. "I think they treated him like they normally treat homeless people on Skid Row, with disrespect, with harassment."

Chief Beck said Monday the officer's involved in the Skid Row shooting are well trained.

Photo Credit: Toni Guinyard, KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Isla Vista Families Sue Sheriff]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:23:56 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/vigils+isla+vista+493689285_10+%289%29.jpg

The families of three young men stabbed to death in last year's Isla Vista massacre are suing the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and the apartment housing company, saying they never fully investigated gunman Elliot Rodger as a threat despite a slew of red flags.

Rodger killed UC Santa Barbara students David Wang, 20, James Hong, 20, and George Chen, 19, in the apartment he shared with two of them, before he began a rampage that left three other students dead and over a dozen hurt across the seaside town of Isla Vista on May 23, 2014. All three went to high schools in either Fremont or San Jose in the Bay Area.

"Deliberate killing of innocent life is the lowest of all lows and the darkest of all evils," Wang's mother Kelly said Tuesday. "It should be crushed with no excuse."

The victims' families are suing the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department for negligence and violation of due process over several incidents, including when deputies didn't search Rodger's apartment during an April 30, 2014, wellness check after being flagged by a health worker about a series of disturbing videos he posted on YouTube.

At the time deputies showed up to the apartment, Rodger had a cache of weapons and ammunition in his room, according to the suit. After the wellness check, Rodger wrote in a manifesto that if deputies had searched his room, "that would have ended everything," the lawsuit says.

The department previously admitted last year that deputies had known about Rodger's YouTube videos but had not watched them. Deputies who responded to the check found him "shy, timid and polite" and had him call his mother to tell her he was OK before leaving him.

Deputies asked Rodger about the disturbing videos he had posted online, which Rodger said were a way for him to express himself after having trouble "fitting in socially in Isla Vista," but they did not, view the videos.

"There (were) many stages along the way that this could've been prevented," Wang's attorney Todd Becker said.

The sheriff's department said Tuesday it would not comment on the pending litigation.

The lawsuit also claims that Capri Apartments, which primarily houses UCSB and Santa Barbara Community College students, failed to warn the roommates of Rodger's dangerous tendencies, especially given that he had earlier conflicts with several others who lived with him in the complex.

The suit says that after all the "bizarre behavior," Capri didn't investigate Rodger or do a background check before assigning Hong and Wang to live with him.

"Virtually all of the content Rodger had posted online was easily discoverable with simple Google searches of his name," the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, in August 2011, Rodger confronted his two Hispanic then-roommates, whom he "considered 'rowdy, inferior, pig-faced thugs,'" insulting them and telling them he was superior. Rodger went to the leasing manager and "explained everything that happened," and he later sign a lease for another, larger apartment, the suit says.

The next month, Rodger moved in with a new roommate, with whom he eventually developed a "hostile" relationship, according to the lawsuit.

In September 2012, Capri management heard Rodger throwing a "wild tantrum" and thrashing furniture with a "wooden practice sword," and the complex later assigned new roommates to live with him, according to the lawsuit.

During the time Rodger lived at the complex, he purchased weapons under his own name and posted threatening rants on the Internet, as well as complained to a Capri neighbor that he "was going to kill" himself and a group of students who upset him at a party, according to the lawsuit.

Capri declined to comment to NBC4.

On May 23, 2014, Rodger emailed his family and therapist his manifesto, and uploaded a video to YouTube titled "Elliot Rodger's Retribution" that outlined his attack plan.

Rodger then stabbed to death his two roommates and their friend, then opened fire on the busy college town of Isla Vista where he killed three more students and himself.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Found Hiding in JetBlue Cockpit]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 21:26:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/jetblue+generic1.jpg

A flight passenger was found hiding inside the cockpit of a JetBlue airplane that landed in New York from the Dominican Republic early Tuesday after everyone else had gotten off the plane, authorities say.

The JetBlue ground crew found the 26-year-old New Jersey man hiding in the cockpit after the flight landed just before 2 a.m., according to the Port Authority. He was sitting by the window in the cockpit. 

The man was a passenger who failed to exit the plane after it landed, according to JetBlue. 

While he was being taken off the plane, the man opened an alarm door but he never made it through or got away from the airline workers escorting him off, authorities said. 

He was taken to Jamaica Hospital for observation, then arrested and charged with trespassing. 

It wasn't clear how the man, who lives in Atlantic City, got into the cockpit unnoticed. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Engineer in Los Angeles Train-Truck Collision Dies]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:12:25 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/3-3-15-Glenn+Steele+Metrolink+Engineer.jpg

A train engineer who was hospitalized after a Southern California commuter train derailed when it slammed into a truck on the tracks has died in the hospital, police said Tuesday.

The death of train engineer Glenn William Steele, 62, marks the first fatality in the Feb. 24 crash in which a Metrolink train struck a Ford F-450 truck, towing a trailer, on the Ventura County Line tracks and derailed, injuring 28.

"We are deeply saddened by the news," Oxnard Police Cmdr. Marty Meyer said in a statement. "And, we are concerned for those still recovering from this collision and their families."

The Metrolink train bound for Los Angeles struck the heavy duty pickup truck and trailer as it straddled the tracks. Three of the train's five cars toppled over.

Metrolink said in a statement that Steele, who was an employee of Amtrak, worked in the rail industry for over 40 years and was the longest tenured engineer among Metrolink operators.

"The entire Metrolink family is deeply saddened by the loss of this dedicated and hardworking railroader," said Sam Joumblat, Metrolink's interim CEO. "Everyone associated with Metrolink extends our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and co-workers. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all."

The driver who abandoned the pickup truck before it was hit by the train, 54-year-old Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, will not face charges in the crash at this time, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's office.

His attorney said Sanchez-Ramirez accidentally drove onto the tracks and made the situation worse by continuing forward in an attempt to gather enough momentum to get the wide pickup over the rails. He also used his high-beam headlights in an effort to warn the oncoming Metrolink train.

Sanchez-Ramirez could not back up because his truck was towing a trailer, attorney Ron Bamieh said. When his efforts to move the truck failed, he ran for help, Bamieh said.

But federal investigators who arrived in Oxnard last week said the truck was not stuck on the tracks in the sense that it had bottomed out at the crossing. Investigators have not ruled out that the truck was somehow stranded and will attempt to determine why it traveled 80 feet down the tracks and remained there with its parking brake engaged.

A commuter train's onboard camera captured the fiery crash and might help investigators with effort to piece together the events that led to the derailment.

The video, taken from the outward-facing camera on the front car of the Metrolink train, was sent back to the Washington home of the National Transportation Safety Board for analysis, board member Robert Sumwalt said.

Editor's Note: Police identified the engineer as Glen Steele. The LA County Coroner's Office and DMV said the correct spelling is Glenn Steele.

Photo Credit: California DMV]]>
<![CDATA[Netanyahu: Iran, ISIS in a "Game of Thrones"]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:20:54 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000009659430_1200x675_407480899661.jpg Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during an address to Congress that Iran and ISIS are competing for "the crown of militant Islam," in what he called a "deadly game of thrones." ]]> <![CDATA[Men in Ski Masks Shoot at Police Officers in South LA]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 11:54:56 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/192*120/3-3-2015-SkiMasks2.JPG

Three men in ski masks shot at police officers in South Los Angeles early Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police department said.

At least one of the gunmen fired at the officers on West Florence Avenue in the South Los Angeles Vermont-Slauson District at 5:50 a.m. No one was struck by the gunfire and officers did not return fire, police said.

At least one of the men was armed, and a perimeter was set up between Van Ness and Normandy avenues. Three people were taken into custody, but officers have yet to recover a weapon.

<![CDATA[Fishermen Catch Great White in Panama City]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:38:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_greatwhite0303001_1500x845.jpg Fishermen reel in Great White shark just off Panama City Beach, just as Spring Break is kicking off.]]> <![CDATA[NY Teen Kidnapped, Raped in Calif.]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 10:20:49 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Buck-Wylde-Murphy-Arrest-0303.jpg

A former son-in-law of screen legends John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands has been arrested in California, accused of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old New York City girl, authorities say.

Buck Wylde Murphy, the 49-year-old ex-husband of actress Xan Cassavetes, was arrested in a San Bernardino trailer last week after allegedly forcing the girl to fly across the country, then keeping her captive for five days, from Feb. 22 through Feb. 26, according to a criminal complaint and the private investigator who worked on the case. 

The Staten Island girl's mother reported her missing to police last Monday and hired a private investigator, Sean Crowley, to track her daughter down, Crowley told NBC 4 New York. 

The girl had been talking online with Murphy, who Crowley said reached out to her on social media. The complaint stated that Murphy stalked her since September 2014.

"She was in the chat rooms that many kids today use, and this individual began to befriend her as a 19-year-old," said Crowley.

Murphy allegedly sent the teen romantic song lyrics in an email that contained a virus that gathered information on the victim and her family, Crowley said. 

Murphy used that information to threaten to kill the girl and her family when she initially refused to fly to California, Crowley said. The girl then secretly flew to California on Sunday using a ticket he purchased for her. 

"He gave her very specific information about her family, that he would cause harm to them and kill them if she didn't get on that plane," said Crowley. 

The victim's mother contacted Crowley when she felt police didn't take her report seriously. Crowley told NBC 4 New York he conducted an intensive investigation into the teen's phone records and tracked her to San Bernardino.

Crowley contacted authorities there, and police moved in to raid Murphy's trailer in Apple Valley and arrest him Thursday night after the girl had been captive five days. The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said he'd sexually assaulted the girl over the course of several days.

The teen was rescued and flown back to New York City. She's back home with her mother on Staten Island, according to Crowley.

Murphy is being held in San Bernardino on felony charges of kidnapping, rape and other sex assault of a child over 14 years, showing child porn to a minor, criminal threats and stalking. 

Bail has been set at $1 million; it's not clear if has an attorney. Arraignment has been rescheduled from Monday to Tuesday. 

Murphy was married to Xan Cassavetes for several years in the 1990s. Her father John Cassavetes starred in "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Dirty Dozen," and her mother Gena Rowlands in "Gloria," "A Woman Under the Influence" and "The Notebook." 

-- Gus Rosendale contributed to this report 

<![CDATA[Boy Leaves Expletive-Laden Message for Paper's Editor]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 13:26:04 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/2539517.jpg

Hell hath no fury like a child kept from his comic strips.

The editor of the Bloomington Herald Times on Monday published audio of a voice message left by a young boy who was very upset that several of his favorite comic strips had been cut from the paper.

"I want back these comics now," the boy demanded before ratting off a list of his favorites, including "Garfield," "Peanuts," and "For Better or For Worse."

"I'll give you all my money if you just give us these back," the boy continued before lobbing some colorful descriptors at those who would get his message: "idiots, jerks, [expletive]"

Editor Bob Zaltsberg told industry scribe Jim Romenesko he found the message "very funny" but said, "an eight-year-old calling me a [expletive] isn’t that pleasant."

Listen to the full audio on HeraldTimesOnline.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Tsarnaev's 4th Venue Change Motion]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:13:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/TLMD-tsarnaev-maraton-boston-2.JPG

The United States District Court denied the fourth change of venue motion filed Monday by lawyers for the surviving accused Boston Marathon bomber, just days before opening statements are slated to begin in the trial.

In addition, the court denied the defense motion to dismiss Tsarnaev's indictment. 

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers argue in this motion and earlier motions have argued it isn't possible for their client to receive a fair trial in Boston. In this latest filing, they say that the voir dire of prospective jurors hasn't cured any presumptive prejudice in the case.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to planting two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shooting between authorities days later in nearby Watertown.

Opening statements are slated to begin Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

Photo Credit: Art Lien]]>
<![CDATA[TX Pol Backs Legal Pot, Citing God]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:15:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/marijuana-plants-generic.jpg

A state lawmaker from East Texas says God didn't create marijuana by mistake and is pushing to remove all offenses related to the plant from Texas statutes.

Texas State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) filed a bill Monday that would repeal the state's ban on growing, possessing and selling marijuana.

"I don't believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix," Simpson wrote in an editorial on Trib Talk. "Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor."

Under Simpson's bill, the government would not regulate the drug and all penalties currently in place would be removed beginning Sept. 1.

In addition to religion, Simpson said the "well-intended" war on drugs has only created a culture of "no-knock warrants," "stop-and-frisk" and "billionaire drug lords" and that existing drug laws are as big a failure as prohibition.

"You would think that our country's history with alcohol prohibition — an era marked by bootlegging, organized crime, government corruption and a rise in crime in general — would have prevented us from making the same mistake again," Simpson wrote. "The time has come for a thoughtful discussion on the prudence of the prohibition approach to drug abuse."

Four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington; 23 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, medical or otherwise.

Full House Bill No. 2165:

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Final Jury Chosen in Boston Bombing Trial]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 17:50:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP893081903628.jpg

There was palpable relief Tuesday for dozens of jurors excused from serving on the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

"Because I can go back and do my job and not worry about my job," dismissed juror Nancy Cederholm said.

"Personally I'm relieved because I don't have to be here for the next four months," said Hazel Grenham, another dismissed juror.

Twelve jurors and six alternates were seated after two months of jury selection; among them are are eight men and 10 women. It's a jury that will not only decide whether accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty, since if he's convicted, they will have to vote on whether he should be put to death.

"I wouldn't want to pass judgment on somebody else, so I'm glad I didn't have to do that," dismissed juror Jim Frias said.

During initial questioning, three jurors seated said they believed 21-year-old Tsarnaev was guilty, while a fourth juror said "obviously he was involved in something" and a fifth juror said "my impression was he was certainly present that day, was part and parcel of it."

However, all have said they will keep an open mind.

Two jurors said they lean toward the death penalty, while two said they lean toward a life sentence, but all said they are open to either sentence.

Jurors who were excused weighed in on whether they thought Tsarnaev would be able to get a fair trial here in Boston.

"I don't know that a fair trial could have been held anywhere, perhaps the fairest trial would be here," Grenham said.

Opening statements are scheduled to start Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges against him. He's accused of planting two bombs near the finish line in April 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260. He's also charged in the killing of MIT police officer Sean Collier days after the attack.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Not Guilty Verdict in Pot Trial]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 23:34:43 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/030215+jesse+teplicki.jpg

A South Florida man charged with growing marijuana he claims he needs for a medical condition was found not guilty Monday.

Jesse Teplicki, 50, had been charged with manufacturing cannabis and was facing up to five years behind bars.

"This case is about medical marijuana and for the hundreds of thousands of patients who can use this medicine as an alternative," Teplicki said.

It took jurors just 30 minutes to return the verdict.

"A lot of suffering. I really felt here was somebody with a lot of issues, with a lot of suffering since he was nine years old," juror Mark Munzer said. "Everything was justified."

Teplicki suffers from a severe case of anorexia which suppresses his appetite and makes him nauseous. Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested him last year for the cultivation and possession of 46 marijuana plants.

Prosecutors had called into question the amount of pot plants for just one person, but jurors said it was a case about compassion.

"This was a groundbreaking case and we are very pleased that the jury acquitted Mr. Teplicki on all charges," said Michael Minardi, Teplicki's attorney. "The evidence showed he was using cannabis to help him manage a serious and painful medical condition which he has endured for years."

Teplicki is the first person in Florida to have a jury of his peers decide if he’s guilty or not of using marijuana as a medicine.

"I hope this invigorates the State of Florida and all people who are being charged with cannabis to fight," Teplicki said. "That's the only way you make change."

Teplicki said he will resume life as he knows it.

"I go home this evening, I have a meal with my wife and smoke a fat one before it and that's it," he said.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Sheet Metal Plant Blaze]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:08:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/philly-fire-3.gif

Heavy flames and plumes of black smoke could be seen for miles Monday as firefighters battled a massive, explosive fire at a Montgomery County sheet metal plant.

The five-alarm fire began at Trico Metal Products, a sheet metal fabricator business on the 2300 block of Wyandotte Road in Upper Moreland around 5:20 p.m. Officials said there were reports of an explosion prior to the blaze.

A front wall and back wall of the facility collapsed as numerous explosions from overheated compressed gas cylinders inside the plant put responding firefighters at risk.

"There are no hazardous materials or anything that affected the community," said Willow Grove Fire Chief Brian Focht. "However, as a danger to firefighters there were multiple explosions and a building collapse."

The entire building as well as surrounding businesses and homes were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were finally able to bring the flames under control around 8 p.m. The business, which stood for more than 50 years providing sheet metal to manufacturers, was gutted after the fire consumed the roof and all of the first floor. 

The plant is located next to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and caused major backup as well as delays on I-276 in all directions between Exit 339 - PA 309 and Exit 343 - PA 611.

"The Turnpike eastbound is running very slowly between Welsh Road and 611," said NBC10 Photo Journalist Jim Friedman, who was at the scene of the fire. "When I got off the 611 Interchange there were just cars everywhere. There are detours set up all over the place." 

Friedman told NBC10 one of the hydrants was frozen during the fire, making it difficult for firefighters to fight the massive flames. Friedman also took photos of two aerial nozzles, one of which was not working.

Around 900 PECO customers in the area were without power due to the fire. Power was restored to all but 42 of the customers as of 8:45 p.m.

The Montgomery County Fire Marshal is investigating but has not yet been able to access the building to determine a cause.


Photo Credit: NBC Philadelphia]]>
<![CDATA[Hail Blankets SoCal Beach Shoreline]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:46:48 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/HuntingtonBeach_sm.jpg

The white stuff blanketing Southern California’s Huntington Beach on Monday was not powdery sand.

It was hail.

People of all shapes and sizes flocked to the beach to snap images of the white stuff covering the Orange County shoreline.

But Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said despite the Twitter frenzy of photos, this is not all that unusual.

“Any time a thunderstorm moves over and there’s a little bit of ice,” this phenomenon happens, he said. “For once, we’re having a normal winter precipitation.” He also insisted that it was hail dotting the beach, not snow.

Other parts of California saw weird weather over the weekend as well. In the Bay Area, it hailed in San Jose on Sunday, and even snowed a bit on the hillsides.

Boldt said that weather conditions should warm up by Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Sam Archaga, @SamArchaga
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[2 Killed in Fla. Small Plane Crash]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 12:31:23 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/planecrashpbc.jpg

Two people were killed when their small plane crashed in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County Monday, officials said.

The single-engine plane went down just before 1 p.m. in a marsh area near Lee Road and State Road 7 in Boynton Beach, and sheriff's officials responded, fire officials said.

The plane had taken off from Palm Beach County Park/Lantana Airport with two people on board, FAA officials said.

Footage showed firefighters at the scene spraying water on the wreckage. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials were also at the scene.

Two bodies were found at the crash scene, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue later confirmed in a tweet. The victims have been identified as David Whitney, 64, of Lake Worth, and William Mahn, 66, of Jupiter.

The FAA and NTSB are continuing to investigate.

<![CDATA[Chicago Man Delivers Baby on Road]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:57:17 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Eisenhower_Baby_Camila_3_2_15_B.jpg

A Chicago man rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital delivered their 8-pound, 1-ounce baby girl on the side of the road after Mom suddenly went into labor in the car en route Monday morning.

Javier Sanchez was headed to McNeil Hospital in Berwyn overnight after his wife started having contractions around 3 a.m. But on his way to the hospital, Sanchez said the family had to exit the Eisenhower Expressway at South Austin Boulevard when the contractions grew faster.

He pulled over in the 800 block of South Austin Boulevard and delivered his baby girl.

"I'm on the highway, so I come out," Sanchez said. "I tried to make it to the hospital, but I can't. The baby's come out."

An ambulance met them and took the mother and baby girl to West Suburban Medical Center.

"The call was that mom delivered in the car, she was not finished with the afterbirth process," said Donald Reese, a doctor at West Suburban Medical Center.

Reese said his biggest concern was the newborn's possible exposure to cold during the frigid March morning.

"The baby was only a little cold," he said. "Mom did a wonderful job of keeping her warm."

Camila Sanchez weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce. Officials say she and her mother are both in good condition.

Photo Credit: West Suburban Medical Center and Westlake Hospital]]>
<![CDATA[Mechanic Dies in DFW Airport Mishap]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 23:52:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AA-OSTANG.jpg

A mechanic who had worked for American Airlines for 30 years died Monday after falling from a jet bridge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

NBC 5 has learned the mechanic was closing and locking the door on a Boeing 767 at about 10:30 a.m. when he somehow slipped and fell about 14 feet from the jet bridge to the ground below.

The plane, sources said, had just been moved from a maintenance hangar to Gate D30.

Emergency responders with the airport treated and transported the man to a hospital, airport officials said.

Transport Workers Union Local 591 identified the man as aircraft maintenance technician Dave Ostang and asked for thoughts and prayers for his family.

American Airlines has confirmed the employee's death, but did not confirm his name or specifics about the incident in a statement released to the media Monday.

"We extend our deepest sympathies to our co-worker's family and friends, and our hearts go out to our entire team of DFW airport and maintenance colleagues. Our focus is on taking care of his family and friends during this difficult time,” the airline said in a statement.

A jet bridge is the elevated gangway used by passengers to walk from the terminal to an airplane.

Ostang was remembered by friends Monday night at a Knights of Columbus meeting he likely would have attended.

“We all have this hole in our heart, this sadness of loss,” said Eric McKuzes, Grand Knight and friend.

Ostang, a father and veteran, was a member of the group for years.

“I just couldn't believe it. I didn't believe it when they told me,” said McKuzes. “As the day goes on, you find out the facts, it’s just sad he’s not here.”

The Knight of Columbus are known for supporting the church and families in need. Now, one of their own families is in need of support.

“That’s what we'll be doing, looking at ways so that we can help his family get through this,” said McKuzes.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Katy Blakey contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: www.local591.com]]>
<![CDATA[LAPD Body Cam Shooting Video Probed]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:56:35 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/150301-downtown-la-ois-skid-row.jpg

A man shot dead by Los Angeles police had "forcibly" tried to grab for one officer's holstered weapon during the fatal Skid Row struggle captured on body cam video, Los Angeles' police chief said Monday.

A screengrab from one of several witness videos shows that the man, the subject of a 911 call to report a robbery, reached for an officer's waist where his holstered weapon was located Sunday during the altercation before officers shot and killed him, Chief Charlie Beck said at a Monday morning news conference.

The slide of the officer's gun was partly engaged, and its magazine was dislodged, indicating it was part of struggle, Beck said as he displayed pictures of the weapon.

He also said an officer in the video said "He has my gun" several times before three other officers opened fire in what the chief described as a tragedy.

"He forcibly grabbed one of the officers' holstered pistols," Beck said, adding that a round had been partially ejected from the gun's chamber. "This is indicative of a struggle over the weapon.

"This is an extreme tragedy. We feel great compassion in the LAPD for people who live in conditions of homelessness and, often, mental illness with no treatment. We prepare our officers to deal as best we can with them, but the reality is this much more than a problem that police along can solve."

Mayor Eric Garcetti was expected to discuss the case at a 1 p.m. meeting with staff members.

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers involved in Sunday's altercation that led to the fatal shooting were wearing a body cameras, providing police with another video for review in the department investigation, Beck said Monday.

Video from the camera was being obtained Sunday night by the LAPD's special Force Investigative Division, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said Monday morning.

Several witness videos also show the midday shooting that occurred after the victim of the robbery report pointed officers to the man on Skid Row. Officers responding to the robbery report encountered the man in 500 block of South San Pedro Street, outside of the Union Rescue Mission.

The man can be seen on a bystander's video recording swinging his arms as officers approach. The man repeatedly refused to comply with officers' commands and a stun gun had "little effect," Beck said.

"While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer's handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred," the LAPD said in a statement.

Officers first used a stun gun on the man, whose identity was not released early Monday. At least five rounds were fired, police said.

"They struggled with him, they tried to Tase him a couple of times," said Smith. "That was ineffective. Eventually, the struggle occurred where the officers were struggling with the individual over the officer's weapon."

The subject died at the scene. Two officers suffered minor injuries.

Video from the Rescue Mission's security camera reveals the man was involved in an earlier altercation with another person some 40 minutes before police arrived.

However vagrants who live in the area believe the police are at least partially responsible for what transpired.

"You can't tell me five officers can't take down one man. What about police training?" One homeless man said,"I think they treated him like they normally treat homeless people on Skid Row, with disrespect, with harassment."

It was not immediately clear whether the body camera video would be released. In December, the city announced it would purchase 7,000 of the cameras, worn on the front of an officer's uniform. The announcement was an expansion to the existing pilot program that provided 600 body cameras through private donations.

Police also plan to interview witnesses and have asked others with video to come forward. LAPD also has contacted Union Rescue Mission to determine whether its camera system captured the shooting.

President Barack Obama announced late last year that he wants $263 million in federal funds to go toward training police officers and buying body cameras. The request came in the wake of protests over a grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC/KVEA]]>