Thursday, March 5, 2015

3/5/15 - Officer Died Following Shooting Inside North Phila Game Stop

Officer Died Following Shooting Inside North Phila Game Stop

NORTH PHILA –Philadelphia Police Officer, Robert Wilson III, died following attempted robbery around 4:40pm on Thursday inside of Game Stop located on the 2100 block of Lehigh St.

Officer Damian Stephenson from the 22nd District were inside the store checking in when two male suspects announced they were going to rob the store. 

The officers engaged the suspects who continued to fire at them. Officer Wilson continued to fire until he was fatally struck in the head.

He was rushed Temple University Hospital's trauma unit by fellow officers. 

A suspect was also wounded from gunfire and taken to Einstein Hospital.

Two suspects are now in custody. A source tells us witnesses are also being questioned by police at the Homicide Unit. Responding officers recovered two weapons from the scene. 
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter stated, “Too many times individuals engage in aggressive activity with people who already put their lives on the line each and every day."

The Philadelphia Police Department tweeted about the incident late Thursday afternoon saying, "Prayers for our officer - Philadelphia's officer - who was shot while protecting all of us."

Officer Wilson leaves behind a family with a one year old child and a nine year old child. 

"He was a brave individual," said  Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. "Say a prayer for Officer Wilson's family."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced legislation (S. 665) that will create a nationwide alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers or who have made an imminent or credible threat to the cause serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer.  Blue Alerts also could be issued when a suspect is wanted in connection with a law enforcement officer who has gone missing in connection with his or her official duties. Based on the success of the Amber Alerts for missing children, a nationwide Blue Alert system would be used to disseminate critical information to law enforcement agencies, the public and the media.

Each day, more than 900,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. Tragically, sometimes the unthinkable happens and a police officer is seriously injured, killed, or goes missing in the line of duty. In such instances, the rapid dissemination of important critical, time-sensitive information about suspected criminals is essential to keeping our communities safe.

“I want every law enforcement officer in Maryland and across the nation to know that we value their daily courage and sacrifice. If someone is brazen enough to attack one of our law enforcement officers, for the safety of other officers and the community at-large, we need every tool at our disposal to apprehend the individual responsible – even if they cross state lines. Seamless integration across the broadest audiences can reduce the risk of additional victims,” said Senator Cardin.  “I am proud that Maryland has been a leader in the use of the Blue Alert System because it works. We should no longer delay putting in place a national alert system that will ensure the speedy apprehension of violent criminals who have injured or killed law enforcement officers.”

“While almost half the states have implemented some form of a Blue Alert system, there is currently no Federal national Blue Alert system to coordinate alerts across multiple states,” said Senator Graham.  “There also is not a federal official designated to coordinate the Blue Alert system and share best practices with the states.  Our bipartisan legislation enhances and integrates the Blue Alert plan throughout the United States.  It will help rapidly disseminate information and notify law enforcement, media, and the public about dangerous criminal suspects.  I hope it can soon be passed into law.”

The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named in honor of two New York City Police Officers who were assassinated while sitting in their police patrol car in December 2014. U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Wash.-08) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.-06) have introduced companion legislation in the House. Similar legislation has been introduced in previous Congresses, passing the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee, with bipartisan support.

In 2008, Florida was the first state to implement a Blue Alert System and since then a total of 20 states have created similar alerts programs, but there is no national coordination for this voluntary program. In June 2010, Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown was murdered outside a restaurant in Forestville, MD. Shortly after, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order creating the Maryland Blue Alert System.  South Carolina’s Blue Alert Program was signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley in February 2012. Arizona become the 20th State to sign the Blue Alert into law by then, Governor Jan Brewer in July 2014 with the Founder of the National Blue Alert System, Disabled, U.S. Army Veteran, Tom Berry, (74-95) 31B/MP & 31Z/Signal Corp.

S. 665, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, is strongly supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department, and many other organizations.

The bipartisan, bicameral legislation being introduced directs the Attorney General to establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Justice Department to issue Blue Alerts through the initiation, facilitation, and promotion of Blue Alert plans at the federal, state, and local levels.

Blue Alerts can be issued in cases where the suspect is wanted, not yet apprehended, and there is sufficient descriptive information of the suspect involved and any relevant vehicle and tag numbers. 

Blue Alerts can be issued in the event of:

  • an attack on a law enforcement officers leading to his / her death or serious injury;
  • a conclusion a law enforcement office is missing in the line of duty; or
  • a confirmation by a law enforcement agency that an imminent and credible threat exists to kill or seriously injure one of its officers.

The legislation would assign an existing DOJ officer to act as the national coordinator of the Blue Alert communications network. This Coordinator will, among other things:

  • Provide assistance to State and local governments that are using Blue Alert plans.
  • Establish voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans.
  • Develop protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects, including the use of public safety communications and command center operations.
  • Work with states to ensure appropriate regional coordination of the network.
  • Establish an advisory group to assist all entities involved in the network with the facilitation, promotion, and implementation of Blue Alert plans.
  • Act as the nationwide point of contact for the development of the network and the regional coordination of Blue Alerts through the network.
  • Determine what procedures and practices are in use for notifying law enforcement and the public of Blue Alerts, and which of the procedures and practices are effective and do not require the expenditure of additional resources to implement.
  • Establish guidelines that provide mechanisms to ensure that Blue Alerts comply with all applicable privacy laws and regulations.
  • Direct the Coordinator to submit an annual report to Congress on the Coordinator's activities and the effectiveness and status of the Blue Alert plans that are in effect or being developed.

3/4/15 - Augusta, ME - Senator Scott Cyrway Blue Alert Program Receives Unanimous Committee Approval

Augusta – Senator Scott Cyrway (R-Kennebec) today presented
his bill, LD 375, “An Act to Create a Blue Alert Program in Maine,” to the
Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Following his
presentation, the committee voted unanimously in favor of the legislation.

Senator Cyrway, a longtime law enforcement officer,
introduced the legislation as a way to expedite the capture of a suspect and
increase the safety of the public in the event of a violent attack on a law
enforcement officer.

“Because of the dangers law enforcement officers face every
day, we need to be proactive in implementing the Blue Alert program,” said
Senator Cyrway. “We all pray that such programs will never be used, but we
still must be prepared in the unfortunate event that such a need arises.”

Similar to the currently used Amber Alert, the Blue Alert
program would establish a quick response system designed to issue alerts
following a violent attack on a law enforcement officer.  The Blue Alert program will provide immediate
information to all first responders throughout Maine in order to aid in the
apprehension of the suspect in the attack. 
The Blue Alert program would also provide information to the public in
order to help keep the public safe when there is a suspect still at large. 

The notification would only go out if the Department of
Public Safety determined that public notification would be useful to protect
the public, to apprehend a suspect, or to locate a missing law enforcement

Currently, 21 other states have a Blue Alert program in
place and another 10 states are considering implementing similar programs. 

The bill now heads to the full Senate and House for consideration. 

3/4/12 - Fulton County police officer killed in shooting

Fulton County police officer killed in shooting

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A Fulton County police officer has died after being shot in the head by a suspect.
According to Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary Stiles, the shooting took place on Parks Trail in the Cedar Grove subdivision near Fairburn.
Police responded to a shots fired call at 12:43 a.m. Wednesday. They were told the suspect was possibly intoxicated. Neighbors said the man was going from house to house, banging on doors and firing a long barrel gun.

The suspect then began shooting at the officers, striking one in the head.
Stiles described the situation as an ambush in the dark and foggy weather conditions, saying the officers "were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting. And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning."
The injured officer's ambulance was given a police escort to Grady Memorial Hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after 4:30 a.m. His name has not yet been released, but Stiles said he was a veteran officer with 22 years of service.
"This is not the first officer we have lost, and the men and women who work for this department are going to be heartbroken," Stiles said.
Fulton County Police Chief Cassandra Jones echoed Stiles' statement, saying the officer was well-liked among his colleagues.
"You can never prepare for something like this," Jones added. "We're not handling it very well."
The officers returned fire and hit the suspect, who is being treated while in custody at Grady Memorial Hospital. His condition is unknown.
Stiles said police do not believe there are additional suspects in this case. Dozens of police officers continue to investigate in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred.
Alfred Printup, who lives in the subdivision, said he was at work when the shots rang out. He was on the phone with his wife and could hear the gunshots.
"I just want to thank that police officer who gave his life to keep my family safe," Printup said.
The weapon used to shoot and kill the officer has been recovered. Stiles described it as a long gun, but did not immediately known the caliber.
According to the Fulton County Police Department's website, Wednesday's victim was its first officer killed in the line of duty since April 2003, and the fourth officer killed since the department was formed on July 1, 1975.
Atlanta Alive has multiple crews following this story to help provide updates all morning long.

3/4/12 - Two Lake Wales Police officers shot after being lured to scene

Two Lake Wales Police officers shot after being lured to scene


Two Lake Wales police officers were shot near 743 Hillside Ave. Both officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were released from the hospital early Wednesday morning.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the incident happened around 5:55 p.m. when Lake Wales resident, 59-year-old John Goepferich, called police and said he needed assistance.

When officers arrived on scene, Goepferich shot at them immediately, deputies say. Officers returned fire and a gunfight ensued. 
All available Lake Wales officers and Polk County deputies responded to the active shooter scene.

The two Lake Wales officers shot during the gun battle are K-9 handler John Schwarze, 45, and Benjamin Metz, 38. Swhwarze has been with the department for 5 years. Metz has been with the department for the last 11 months but previously served the LWPD for more than 11 years.
"By the grace of God, these officers are alive," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The suspect, Goepferich, was also shot. His injuries are also non-life threatening.
Neighbors said they heard gunfire and saw officers running with guns drawn. 

Jennifer Barrs just moved into the neighborhood a few days ago, and ushered her kids - including a baby under a year old - into a closet.

"We stayed in the closet about half an hour til I decided, got brave enough to open it up," she said.

Alex Snyder said his neighbor had seemed docile in the past.

"He comes out and drives his little RC car down the road," Snyder said. "He loves his dogs and his children and I've never seen him in a foul mood."
But on Tuesday, Snyder said he saw his neighbor in a bush, firing at officers.

The suspect and both officers were taken to local hospitals.

Investigators were on scene late into the evening, with a forensic unit on site and crime scene tape around the house. 

3/4/12 - Harris County Pct. 1 deputy involved in car crash in north Houston

Harris County Pct. 1 deputy involved in car crash in north Houston

Four people are in the hospital, including a Harris County Precinct 1 deputy constable, after a chase ended in a crash in north Houston.

The collision was reported around 7:40pm off Fulton Street and Fichter Avenue. 

A second constable was chasing a Buick Roadmaster that was driving over 100 MPH eastbound on Burress Street. The driver ran the stop sign at Fulton and collided with a second Deputy 1 Constable who was trying to pull over another driver for a traffic violation traveling northbound on Fulton.

The collision ejected two teenage boys from the Buick Roadmaster. There was a third passenger in the Buick Roadmaster who was also taken to the hospital.

The deputy constable who was struck was also transported to the hospital with two broken shoulder blades and other injuries. The other deputy was not injured.

The fourth vehicle that was northbound on Fulton being followed by the second Precinct 1 Deputy Constable never stopped.

The accident is still under investigation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3/3/15 - Tempe police officer, 2 others injured in incident

Tempe police officer, 2 others injured in incident

Tempe police said that one officer and two other people were injured when a domestic-violence call escalated into a stabbing and a police shooting at an apartment complex north of Loop 202 early Tuesday afternoon.
Police were responding to call regarding a domestic violence situation at a complex near College Avenue and Curry Road around 12:35 p.m., police said.
Tempe police officers arrived at the front door of the residence, heard screaming, and made an emergency entry to assist the victim, according to police.
Upon assisting the victim, a female Tempe police officer was stabbed by a man with a knife, investigators said.
The man had also stabbed another person and as a a result another Tempe police officer at the scene shot the knife-wielding man multiple times, said Molly Enright, a Tempe police spokesman.
The three patients were seriously injured and were taken to trauma centers, according a Tempe fire department spokesman.
The female officer that was stabbed has been with the department for at least 15 years, according to officials. The officer's injuries are not life threatening but she will be in the hospital for some time, said Lt. Michael Pooley, a Tempe police spokesman.
The man accused of stabbing the officer and the other person is in critical condition, police said.
Police could not immediately confirm the extent of the injuries to other person involved.
Residents in the area were being prohibited from driving east on Weber Drive from College Avenue while investigators were in the area.