Monday, March 25, 2013

Wrightsville Man Charged with Killing Johnson County Deputy - 41NBC

Wrightsville Man Charged with Killing Johnson County Deputy - 41NBC

EAST DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Wrightsville man is charged with the murder of a Johnson County deputy who was found dead Friday night in rural Laurens County.
Laurens County Sheriff Bill Harrell identified the victim as 23-year-old Khristal Wright (pictured bottom). Wright has been with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office since October 2009, but transferred to be a school resource officer at Johnson County High School in December 2012. Wright was off duty at the time.
Harrell tells 41NBC Wright was found shot to death on Lovett Scott Road. A motorist called 911 after finding a body lying in the road. Harrell says Wright died at the scene.
DCP 0136A joint investigation by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office, the GBI, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, and the Wrightsville Police Department lead to the arrest of 21-year-old Davoris Demez Hodges (pictured top).
According to GBI Special Agent Eve Rodgers, Wright and Hodges knew eachother, and were riding to Laurens county in the same vehicle to visit a friend. Rogers says evidence at the scene suggests it was an armed robbery that led to Wright's death, but Rogers wouldn't elaborate on what evidence might be.
Hodges is currently booked in the Laurens County jail. He's charged with murder and armed robbery. He will be arrainged in Laurens county Tuesday morning.
Stay with 41NBC and for updates on this developing story.

Off-Duty NYPD Officer Killed in Early Morning LIE Crash | NBC New York

Off-Duty NYPD Officer Killed in Early Morning LIE Crash | NBC New York

An off-duty NYPD officer was killed in an early morning crash on the Long Island Expressway, Suffolk County police said Monday.
NYPD Officer Joseph Pritchard was pronounced dead on the scene after his 2008 Dodge pickup truck was struck by a 2001 International box truck, police said. Pritchard's truck was stopped in the westbound right lane of the LIE near Exit 51 at 2:23 a.m., Suffolk police said.  
Suffolk police said it is unknown why the truck driven by Pritchard, 30, of North Babylon, was stopped in the right lane.  The truck that struck his vehicle was owned by Barakat Trucking and driven by Eduardo Garcia.  Both vehicles caught fire after impact.
Garcia, 34, of the Bronx, was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
The fatal accident is under investigation and detectives ask anyone with information to call (631) 854-8252 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 220-TIPS.

CDCR Officer and K-9 Killed in Car Crash | Inside CDCR

CDCR Officer and K-9 Killed in Car Crash | Inside CDCR

Correctional Officer Gilbert Cortez and his K-9 Mattie died this morning when their car rolled off the road. They and four other K-9 teams in separate cars were driving south on State Highway 79 in San Diego County on their way to conduct a search of La Cima Fire Camp.
The cause of the accident is under investigation. No other vehicles were involved; Cortez’s vehicle was ahead of the others.
“All of us at CDCR mourn the tragic death of Officer Gilbert Cortez,” said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Secretary Jeff Beard. “He was a valued member of our department and his untimely passing, in the line of duty, is a huge loss to all who worked with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gil’s family, friends and colleagues. We are also deeply saddened by the death of Gil’s K-9 partner, Mattie.”
Cortez, 46, worked at California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) and was part of the Southern Regional K-9 Unit. He started his career at CDCR in 1990 at the California Institution for Men.
The next year, he transferred to Calipatria State Prison where he was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit and promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In 2001, Cortez was transferred to CRC where he subsequently completed K-9 training.
Officer Cortez is survived by his wife, their two children and his parents.
His K-9 partner Mattie was a Belgian Malinois, donated by a private citizen in the San Diego area. She started service with Officer Cortez in August 2011 and was certified to search for contraband and narcotics.
CDCR’s K-9 program uses dogs and skilled handlers to detect cell phones and drugs in prisons.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

State trooper shot and killed near Richmond ID'd

Trooper Junius A. Walker
State trooper shot and killed near Richmond ID'd | |

A Virginia State Police trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop off Interstate 85 on Thursday and a suspect was arrested after exchanging fire with another trooper, authorities said.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, 63, was shot multiple times.
Walker, who was patrolling alone as most troopers do, called for backup after being fired upon just before 1:30 p.m. The second trooper arrived within two minutes and saw a male firing into Walker's marked police vehicle, which was down an embankment off the southbound lanes of the interstate near the woods, Geller said.
The second trooper fired at the suspect, who fled into the woods. He was found nearby and was arrested before 2 p.m. The suspect was not immediately identified. Charges were pending.
"We're trying to determine if there was a second individual involved," Geller said near the scene in Dinwiddie County, just south of Richmond.
Geller said authorities found a weapon and were trying to determine if it was the one used in the shooting.
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Walker was a 35-year veteran of the state police.
"Virginia's public safety professionals are on the front lines every day protecting their fellow citizens from harm and pursuing those individuals whose actions put others in danger," McDonnell said. "These men and women are heroes who place their lives on the line to protect their fellow Virginians."
McDonnell expressed condolences to Walker's wife, two daughters and the rest of his family, friends and colleagues.
"Virginia has lost a brave public servant and hero," McDonnell said.
Authorities shut down a section of Interstate 85 near the 45-mile marker where the shooting occurred.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Funeral for St. Lucie deputy killed in traffic stop

                            Sgt. Gary Morales
Funeral for St. Lucie deputy killed in traffic stop

Loved ones and colleagues took the altar at Westside Baptist Church and shared emotional goodbyes as a gathering of about 4,000 attended the funeral of a fallen St. Lucie County deputy.
    Sgt. Gary Morales, the first St. Lucie County deputy to die in the line of duty in nearly 100 years, was shot to death Thursday during a traffic stop.

"To Brooklyn and Jordan, every day, your dad told us how much he loved you," St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said a the funeral service.Morales, 35, was a decorated deputy who was remembered as a loving husband and doting father of two young girls named Brooklyn and Jordan, as well as a community-minded hero who gave his time to local students.
Mascara spoke glowingly of Morales' 13-year career with the force, pausing for a moment during the ovation he received after announcing the department's training facility will be renamed the Gary Morales Training Complex.
Deputy's funeral"The color of the uniform doesn't matter, nor does the venue of the service, because (law-enforcement heroes) are all true heroes," Mascara said. "They protect us from evil, they face danger every day to keep us safe. With Gary's loss, we have lost a true hero."
A public viewing began at 10 a.m. before the funeral service started at noon. The ceremony lasted at least 90 minutes before hundreds of law-enforcement vehicles began to lead the 20-plus-mile journey to Palm City.
The internment ended shortly before 5 p.m., following a 21-gun salute, a rendition of "Taps" and a flyover by six sheriff's helicopters.
All this happened Monday as Eriese Tisdale sat in jail without bond, accused of shooting the deputy three times during a traffic stop in Fort Pierce on Thursday. Tisdale said he shot Morales in self-defense, but another deputy said that when he arrived as backup, Tisdale was firing at Morales, who still hadn't even gotten out of his cruiser.