<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Breaking News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 26 May 2015 00:43:53 -0500 Tue, 26 May 2015 00:43:53 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[DeSoto Teen, Dog, Found Dead in Storm Drain]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 23:12:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police-line-generic722.jpg

A DeSoto boy who went missing Sunday afternoon has been found deceased in a storm drain.

Damien Blade, 14, was last seen at about 4 p.m. with his two dogs. When one of his dogs returned home wet and extremely muddy, his family called police.

Officers searched throughout the night, but were unable to find the teenager.

Blade was known to like to explore area culverts and storm drains. On Monday morning, with the assistance of a rescue team and a K-9 unit, the boy and his dog were found deceased inside a strom drain near the 800 block of Terrace Drive.

Police said it is believed that Blade drowned, but his official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.

The investigation into his death is ongoing.

Photo Credit: NBC ]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco Police Clear Dr Pepper Arena After Lockdown]]> Fri, 15 May 2015 17:32:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/frisco-pd-garage-dr-pepper.jpg

Frisco police have given the all clear at the Dr Pepper Arena Friday afternoon after a daylong search for three people believed to be involved in the robbery of a nearby family-owned jewelry store.

Police said just before noon that three armed men entered Markham Fine Jewelers at 8355 Gaylord Parkway at about 10 a.m. and held the employees at gunpoint as they robbed the store.

After the robbery, the men escaped in a car that was soon spotted by a Frisco police officer. The officer followed the car to one of the two 1000-space parking garages at the nearby Dr Pepper Arena.

A perimeter was set up by Frisco police and SWAT and the facility was locked down.

From Chopper 5, several officers armed with long guns were seen positioned outside of the arena and on nearby rooftops. A short time later, an armored SWAT vehicle arrived and several heavily armed officers wearing body armor were seen entering the building.

Officers, including SWAT and K-9 officers, began searching the arena and parking garage for the three people

During a news conference at about 4:15 p.m., Frisco police said an exhaustive search of the arena and parking structures were conducted, but the three men were not found. Police said how the men escaped is under investigation and that they hope camera footage will provide some clues.

The getaway car, which police said they located in the parking garage, turned out to be stolen.

The arena contains the executive offices for the NHL's Dallas Stars, which was part of the evacuation after it was initially locked down. The Dallas Morning News' Stars blogger Mike Heika tweeted players Jamie Benn, Jason Demers and Ales Hemsky were in the building during the lock down but were eventually allowed to leave with the rest of the staff.

Roads around the facility that were closed to traffic during the lock down have been reopened. Additionally, all events at nearby facilities and affected business have resumed normal operations, police said.

Police said they do not have a description of the people being sought in connection with the robbery.

The Dr Pepper Arena is a multipurpose sports and entertainment facility that, in addition to housing the offices for the Stars, is also the team's home practice facility. It is also the home of the Texas Legends Basketball Team -- the Dallas Mavericks D-League team. The 6,000-seat arena hosts concerts, shows and many other events as well as hockey and basketball.

NBC 5's Catherine Ross and Katy Blakey contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[3 Killed in Oak Cliff SUV, House Crash]]> Thu, 14 May 2015 13:07:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/car-house-young-01.jpg

Three people in an SUV were killed Wednesday when the speeding vehicle crashed into a parked car, sending both vehicles careening into the entry way of a multifamily Oak Cliff home.

Dallas police confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the driver of a blue SUV was speeding northbound on S. Waverly Drive when they struck a car parked in front of a home on the 1800 block of W. 10th Street.

The force from the collision carried both vehicles across the front yard and into the home. The SUV came to rest upright on the porch, with part of the vehicle having crashed into the second floor.

Dallas police said there were three adult occupants of the SUV and that there were no survivors. 

On Thursday, they were identified as 56-year-old Lucinda Rosas De Esparza, the driver, 66-year-old Evelina Maltos and 93-year-old Paul Maltos, a married couple.

Driver's Family Struggles to Understand Crash

Ernesto Esparza, who lives just two blocks from the crash scene, told NBC 5 the SUV belonged to his mother Lucinda.

"It's like a dream," Esparza said, about dealing with his mother's death. "My mom told me she loved me before I left to work in the morning, so I can be at peace with that. But I know tonight, and the next couple days is gonna be the hardest thing ever."

Esparza said he recognized his mother's vehicle from television news coverage of the crash and that he soon learned his mother was not home.

Esparza went to the scene of the crash, but said he received no solid information from Dallas police officers on scene.

Soon after, however, Esparza said he returned to the family home and two police detectives showed up asking him to confirm his mother's identity.

Esparza said he does not yet know who was driving his mother's SUV or what could have caused the crash.

"My mom does not drive fast, so it had to be a heart attack. It had to be she blacked out or something [if she was at the wheel]," Esparza said. "But it's just speculation because we don't know."

According to Esparza, he did not recognize the names of the other two people in his mother's vehicle. But he suspects that they are church friends of hers, because she was planning to attend a CPR class at her church on Wednesday.

Home Inspected Following Deadly Crash

Dallas Fire-Rescue said removing the SUV from the home, and ensuring the home was stable, was an extremely difficult process and required a larger contingent of firefighters. Two of the three deceased people were able to be removed from the vehicle while it was upright, but the third could only be removed after the SUV was freed from the home and back on the ground.

A resident of the multifamily residence home at the time of the crash escaped injury, but has since been evacuated due to fuel spilled from the crash seeping into the basement. Additionally, Dallas Code Enforcement is inspecting the home to be sure it isn't in danger of collapsing.

The owner of the building, Michaella Ramler, told NBC 5 she and her husband are eager to get to work and fix the damage.

"We're taking care of our tenants first. We have a place to stay, we have family close. But a lot of our tenants, one of our tenants has a baby. Just making sure they are taken care of, that's the next step," Ramler said.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help one of the tenants in particular – the one who owns the parked car that the SUV crashed into, who also lives in the apartment into which both vehicles crashed.

Witnesses Describe Seeing, Hearing Fatal Crash

Steve Horton, who witnessed the crash from his front porch on Waverly Drive, told NBC 5 that he saw the blue SUV speed up his street and crash into the parked car.

"We saw a blue SUV at a high rate of speed coming down our street Waverly — and just flew through the intersection, hit the white car that was parked there, flew up into the air, pushed the white car into the building. A tremendous explosion. I'm still shook up," Horton said.

Horton ran to the home to try to assist the driver, but he said the driver was killed in the crash. Horton added that the person who lived in the home was uninjured, but very shaken up afterward.

Another nearby resident reported hearing what he described as an explosion when the crash occurred.

"I live down the street on Brighton, and I was laying down — my wife had just left and I was laying down and I heard it. It ricocheted the whole house. I mean it was like an explosion. And I came outside and I had a couple of neighbors who were out looking too, and he didn't know what happened. I called my wife and she was just coming around the corner, she said, 'Oh my God I seen two cars just crash,' and I was like, 'Wow,' so I came over here and I saw this," said Carlos Leja.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff, Ben Russell, Holley Ford and Kevin Young contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Kevin Young, NBC 5News
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<![CDATA[2 Multi-Vortex Tornadoes Touched Down Thursday: NWS]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 16:16:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/wise-co-damage.jpg

The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down in North Texas Thursday night, both EF-1 with winds up to 110 mph.

The tornadoes, the NWS said, were both multiple vortex tornadoes which produced non-continuous damage for several Miles across portions of Wise and Denton counties.

Tornado Number 1

Rating: EF-1
Estimated Peak Wind: 100-105 MPH
Path Length /Statute/: 3.4 Miles
Path Width /Maximum/: 200 Yards
Fatalities: 0
Injuries: N/A
Start Date: MAY 7 2015
Start Time: 6:45 PM CDT
Start Location: 7N Rhome / Wise County / TX
Start LAT/LON: 33.148 / -97.468|
End Date: MAY 7 2015
End Time: 6:51 PM CDT
End Location: 10N Rhome / Wise County / TX
END_LAT/LON: 33.190 / -97.445

Tornado Number 2

Rating:  EF-1
Estimated Peak Wind: 105-110 MPH
Path Length /Statute/: 13.1 Miles
Path Width /Maximum/: 500 Yards
Fatalities: 0
Injuries: 0
Start Date: MAY 07 2015
Start Time: 7:45 PM CDT
Start Location: 9W Krum / Denton County / TX
Start LAT/LON: 33.255 / -97.388
End Date: MAY 07 2015
End Time: 7:57 PM CDT
End Location: 6NW Sanger / Denton County / TX
End LAT/LON: 33.408 / -97.265

EF Scale: THe Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies torndadoes into the following categories.

EF0...Weak......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...Weak......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...Strong....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...Strong....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...Violent...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...Violent...>200 MPH

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Teen's Great Uncle Gets Life for Her Murder]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 16:40:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/aliciamooremichaelmooremugshotuncle002050713.jpg

The great-uncle of a Greenville teen found dead in a trunk several days after she disappeared in 2012 has been found guilty and sentenced to life without parole.

Michael Vincent Moore was indicted on capital murder charges in the 16-year-old's death in July 2013.

A jury found Moore guilty on Friday. Since prosecutors were not pursuing the death penalty in the case, Moore was automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Alicia Moore was last seen getting off her school bus near her home on Nov. 2. Her body was found four days later in a tool trunk along a highway in rural Van Zandt County.

Police said DNA found on the girls' body matched her uncle's, leading to his arrest.

Members of the Moore family were shocked to learn of his arrest and said he was with the family who went to view the teen's body before the memorial.

"It's not like he's been a distant uncle, never been there for her," said Jessica Byrd, the girl's aunt, in 2013. "He's been there since she was little."

Byrd said in 2013 she was still not convinced her uncle killed her niece. But she said that if he did, he is still a part of the family.

"I love him, and I'm not the one to judge him," she said. "He'll have to deal with the man upstairs for that."

<![CDATA[George W. Bush Library Evacuated]]> Fri, 08 May 2015 13:25:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP378843275839.jpg

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum was evacuated Friday afternoon.

Officials with the Southern Methodist University communications office confirmed the library was evactuated for about an hour and that everyone was allowed back in at about 12:30 p.m.

According to a library spokesperson, a staff member found a bomb threat written on the wall of a bathroom.  The building was evacuated and SMU and University Park police were notified.

The building was searched and given the all clear.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Was Aware Shooter Was Interested in Garland Event]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 20:48:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/193*120/ataque-garland.jpg

The FBI sent a bulletin to the Garland Police Department about suspected shooter Elton Simpson three hours before the start of Sunday's Draw Muhammad art contest at the Curtis Culwell Center, NBC News' Pete Williams has learned.

The FBI, according to NBC News, said Simpson was "interested in the event" but that FBI Director James Comey said they had no reason to believe he intended to attack the event and didn't know he was on his way to Garland.

Comey also said he did not believe the officer who shot Simpson and Soofi Nadir, originally known and published as Nadir Soofi, was aware of the FBI bulletin.

Comey said the FBI investigation into Simpson and Nadir is ongoing.

According to Comey, the Texas plot is a dramatic example of the changing nature of terror threats and the FBI now has hundreds of investigations of potential home grown extremists under way, with cases open in every state.

"I know there are other Elton Simpsons out there," Comey said. "Only a few years ago ... if someone wanted jihadist propaganda, they would have to go find it on the Internet. So we focused on the places they'd go."

Messages from terrorist groups such as ISIS are now pushed into the pockets of people who are interested in it through social media.

"Its recruiting and tasking at the same time. The old distinction between inspiration and direction is no longer relevant," Comey said, adding that hundreds of people in the US - maybe thousands - "are consuming this poison."

While Comey said investigators can follow messages that are posted on public twitter accounts, ISIS recruiters are steering people off Twitter into encrypted forums, which the government cannot see.

Comey said finding other Elton Simpsons in the US is a "very hard task."

"We have hundreds working on it around the clock. But in almost every case of violence," he said, "Someone saw something. A friend, a family member. Its more important than ever for people to speak up."

<![CDATA[SB I-35 Reopened After Fatal Crash]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 13:28:59 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/denton+ax.jpg

A fatal crash has closed part of southbound Interstate 35 north of Denton Thursday.

According to police, the driver of a red Hummer H2 lost control of his vehicle near Ganzer Road and crashed into a concrete barrier between the highway and Frontage Road.

The male driver was taken to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton; a female passenger in the vehicle died at the scene.

Officials in Denton are investigating the crash.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Silver Alert Discontinued for Missing Man, 74]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 14:16:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/silver-alert-wilbert-bennett.jpg

The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office has discontinued a Silver Alert for a missing 74-year-old man with cognitive impairment.

Wilbert Bennett was reported missing after last being seen at about 4 a.m in Hunt County driving a silver 2007 Toyota Camry with Texas license plate DVR-3036. 

Law enforcement officials believed Bennett's disappearance poses a credible threat to his own health and safety. A Silver Alert was issued in North Texas, Houston, Galveston, Shreveport, Louisiana and Norman, Oklahoma as authorities searched for the man.

At about 2 p.m., NBC 5 learned that alert had been discontinued.

Further details were not immediately released.

Photo Credit: Fannin County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Stuck Window Washer Rescued in Fort Worth]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 17:45:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/window+washer+rescued.jpg

Fort Worth firefighters had to rescue a man after he became stuck on the side of a building washing window.

Hanging from outside the fourth floor of a Fort Worth building, one window washer was left wondering if he would make it down safely.

“The young man was hanging about 40 minutes before somebody noticed and a phone call was made,” said Battalion Chief Roger Woodard with the Fort Worth Fire Department.

The washer was cleaning outside the American Airlines Credit Union when his equipment became stuck. The man left dangling about 50 feet in the air. His harness being the only line of defense from him plunging to the ground.

“It kept him from falling,” said Woodard. “But he was not able to climb up or lower himself.”

A harness was lowered to the stranded window washer. Then three fire fighters pulled him 10 feet up to the roof.

“It's a lot of weight to pull in that angle, especially when you don't have a lift system,” said Woodard.

The man finally was brought to solid ground, but exhausted after an unusual workday.

“If you were hanging there by a harness for 30-40 minutes, you might be a little exhausted too,” said Woodard.

MedStar checked out the window washer on the scene and he is said to be doing OK.

But it's still not clear why his equipment became stuck.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Pilot Makes Emergency Landing in Muddy Field]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:06:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/plane-in-mud-2-043015.jpg

The pilot of small, single-engine Cessna 152 made an emergency landing in a muddy field near Pilot Point late Thursday morning.

Initial reports indicated an aircraft near Pilot Point was experiencing engine trouble and made an emergency landing.

The pilot brought the plane down in a muddy field near the 11000 block of Strittmatter Road.  The plane came to rest with it's nose stuck in the mud and it's tail up in the air.

The plane is registered to a Denton flight school and is believed to have been flown by a pilot and student.

There were no injuries reported, according to Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Lunsford said the FAA is investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: Chopper 5
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<![CDATA[Dallas Officers Cleared in Screwdriver Shooting]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:20:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/harrison-surv-video.jpg

A Dallas County grand jury has declined to indict two Dallas police officers who fatally shot 39-year-old Jason Harrison, a mentally ill man holding a screwdriver.

The grand jury no billed the officers during a hearing Thursday.

"We appreciate the grand jury's consideration of all the evidence in the matter. The City is currently defending the civil lawsuit. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those struggling with mental illness," said Chris Livingston, an attorney for both officers.

Harrison's family is disappointed and frustrated. Harrison's brother says the family hopes this case will initiate change in the way deadly officer-involved shootings are handled.

"We're not headed in the right direction for change – to try to taper off the activities these guys are doing and getting away with," said Sean Harrison. "This is not the way to correct it."

In March the attorney for Harrison's family released video of the June 2014 shooting to the media and said it raised questions about the use of force by Dallas police officers John Rodgers and Andrew Hutchins.

The video shows an officer knocking on the front door of a home in the 200 block of Glencairn Drive. Harrison's mother opens the door and calmly walks outside, inaudibly telling officers something then saying her son was schizophrenic and bipolar.

When Harrison appears in the doorway holding a screwdriver in his hand, Rodgers and Hutchins instruct him to drop the screwdriver. According to the officers, Harrison then made an aggressive or threatening move, reportedly lunging toward an officer, before they opened fire.

Harrison's mother Shirley spoke exclusively to NBC 5 and said she called 911 that day after her son stopped taking his medication and made violent threats.

“We maintain the footage shows him not stabbing, not thrusting, not lunging in a way that would jeopardize the lives of these officer,” said the family's attorney, Geoff Henley. “He never leaves the front porch and he’s gunned down.”

Attorney Chris Livingston, who represents the officers involved, said once the video is slowed it shows Jason Harrison move toward officers and his arm rotate down into a stabbing motion as the first shots are fired.

The family says a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in October will go forward.

"This is not the end, this is the beginning," Harrison said, "And, we will fight to get people in place in office that we need – we need people to address these issues and make the accountability be there so we can have a great city."

After the Dallas Police Department completed their investigation, the officers were placed back on duty as the case was handed over to the Dallas County district attorney for referral to the grand jury.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood, Johnny Archer and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Gas Leak Prompts Charter School Evacuation]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:37:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_1318124124.jpg

Teachers and students were evacuated from a Cockrell Hill charter school due to a nearby gas leak Thursday, fire officials say.

The Cockrell Hill Fire Department confirmed to NBC 5 that the Golden Rule charter school was evacuated at about 11 a.m. after gas was detected coming from a nearby manhole.

The school is located on the 600 block of Sunnyside Avenue in Dallas. According to their website, the Cockrell Hill campus has six teachers and 145 students grades Pre-K to 2nd.

Atmos Energy dispatched crews to the scene to address the gas leak.

At 12:30 p.m., Cockrell Hill officials said the scene was cleared and school was back in session.

No injuries were reported.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Mesquite Officers Pull Man From Burning Car]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:04:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mesquite-Rescue-Fire-Car-One.jpg

Two Mesquite, Texas, police officers are being credited with saving the life of an unconscious driver trapped in a burning car Sunday morning.

Officers Ryan Nielson and Autumn Soto responded to a single-vehicle crash near Interstate 30 and Edgebrook Drive at about 4 a.m. where they found the driver of the burning SUV unconscious with his clothes on fire, police said.

“It was pretty intense. I’m just so thankful for him that we were that close, because he had seconds — seconds — left,” Officer Soto told NBC 5.

The officers worked together to pull the driver, 25-year-old Hector Valles, from the burning vehicle and carry him to safety.

“We just relied on our training at that point. We jumped out of the cars, we took off and did what needed to be done to try and save a life,” Soto said.

In a video recording of the rescue the officers can be heard telling the man to "stay with us" as they dragged him to safety. After he regained consciousness, the driver can be heard saying he was the only person in the car.

“Anybody at this police department would do the same exact thing,” Officer Nielson said about his and Soto’s actions. “Officers all across the country do this every single day. It’s not on video. It doesn’t get recognition. But they still go home with that satisfaction that they saved a life.”

Valles was transported by the Mesquite Fire Department to Baylor Medical Center of Dallas with burns and internal injuries. Valles is currently in critical condition.

Valles’ mother, Olivia, released a statement via Baylor Hospital Dallas:

"We would like to thank the Mesquite police officers and witnesses whose heroic efforts saved our son. Hector is strong. He is a fighter. We are thankful to the Lord that he is here, he is recovering and is in good hands."

Investigators determined the driver was headed east on I-30 when he left the roadway and hit a steel pillar that supported a highway sign.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood and Ben Russell contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Most Wanted Sex Offender Arrested at WinStar]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:33:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sprague-Captured.jpg

A 'violent sexual predator' on Texas' 10 Most Wanted Sex Offender List was arrested Friday morning at the WinStar Casino and Hotel in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Sgt. Lonny Haschel with The Texas Department of Public Safety said 44-year-old Charles Sprague, who removed an electronic tracking device and left a Fort Worth halfway house Wednesday morning, was apprehended at about 9:45 a.m.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, Sprague was taken into custody without incident as he exited his hotel room at the casino. Law enforcement searching for Sprague got a tip earlier in the morning that he'd checked into the hotel.

Those assisting in the arrest were Texas DPS CID Agents, US Marshals, the Lighthorse Police Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Sprague is currently in the Love County Jail and extradition paperwork is being prepared to bring him back to Tarrant County.  He is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

Sheriff Joe Russell said Sprague was very cooperative when he was brought in.

Sprague left a Fort Worth halfway house in the 600 block of North Henderson Street about 5 a.m. Wednesday and cut off the 24-hour electronic tracking device he is required by law to wear at all times, according to the DPS.

Before his arrest Friday, the last confirmed sighting of the wanted man was at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Austin Street Shelter near Fair Park in Dallas. Sprague was seen driving an early 2000 model white Honda Accord with a black rear bumper.

Sprague has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping causing bodily injury/sexual abuse, police said.

NBC 5's Scott Gordon and NBC 5 staff contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Missing Woman Found, Now at Terrell State Hospital]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:52:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/walmart-body.jpg

The woman at the center of a missing persons case in Fort Worth has been found alive, but injured, in East Texas.

On Thursday afternoon, 24-year-old My Bui was located near her vehicle, which was found unoccupied at a Dallas Walmart parking lot in the 7400 block of Samuell Boulevard.

She is currently at Terrell State Hospital with apparent self-inflicted wounds.

Bui was first reported missing on April 7.

First reports indicated there was possibly a body inside the vehicle, but the car was unoccupied.

NBC 5 will update this story with more information as soon as it's available. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Ellis Co. Fire Chief, Asst. Arrested, Suspended]]> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 22:55:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Satterfield-Getzendaner1.jpg

At an emergency meeting Thursday night, board members who oversee the Ellis County Emergency Services District No. 6 Volunteer Fire Department voted unanimously to suspend the fire chief and assistant fire chief from duty.

The meeting was called after Fire Chief Gavin Satterfield, 31, and Assistant Fire Chief William Getzendaner, 34, were arrested after being implicated in a recorded sexual assault that took place in a fire station earlier this year.

They face charges of tampering with a witness — a first degree felony.

“We are very, very saddened by the fact that people that we have relied, this board has relied on, the people of this county and this district have relied on have been accused of something so heinous as what has happened,” said Clay Hinds, an attorney who represents the ESD board.

In addition to the suspensions, board members voted to ask the Ellis County Fire Marshal to step in and help determine how to best handle the department moving forward.

A man — whose identity was not released because he is a sexual assault victim — filed a complaint March 31 stating that on Jan. 20 five fellow firefighters held him down at the Emergency Service District No. 6 fire station, pulled his pants down and, while laughing and yelling, sexually assaulted him multiple times chorizo and a broom stick.

• WARNING: Graphic Account of Firefighter's Sexual Assault

Earlier this week, 26-year-old Keith Wisakowsky, 30-year-old Casey Stafford, 19-year-old Preston Peyrot, 28-year-old Alec Miller and 19-year-old Blake Tucker were arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault in connection with the incident.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Satterfield and Getzendaner held a closed-door meeting with the victim and his fellow firefighters. In the meeting, Getzendaner admitted to having seen the recording of the assault and, in more colorful language, said it was funny but that they shouldn't have done it. (Read the arrest warrant below.)

• WARNING: Fire Chief, Asst. Chief Arrest Warrant & Graphic Account of Sexual Assault

Getzendaner then, according to the victim's testimony in the affidavit, informed the firefighters that the victim could take action against them.  He then looked at the victim and said, "But you're not going to."

Getzendaner then told the firefighters the incident could be a sexual assault and that they should "keep the knowledge of the sexual assault in-house, delete the video and keep their mouths shut" or face the legal consequences.

The victim realized at that point that no disciplinary action would be taken by the chief or assistant chief.

Satterfield's attorney says the affidavit correctly states that Satterfield did not participate in any manner with the assault that is alleged to have occurred at ESD#6.

"Further, you cannot find any factual allegations contained within the arrest affidavit that would legally support the arrest of my client for any other crime. I would encourage anyone interested to read the affidavit for themselves," said attorney Joseph R. Gallo. "When criminal cases become high profile, innocent people are often wrongfully caught up in the process. I now look forward to working with the Ellis County District Attorney’s Office to clear his name."

A sixth person, 23-year-old Brittany Leanne Parten, recorded the incident and was arrested for improper photography, according to Haschel.

The arrests of Satterfield and Getzendaner bring the total number of arrests in the case to eight.

No additional information in the investigation has been released.

At a meeting scheduled for Monday, board members are expected to entertain the idea that the best course of action may be to temporarily shut down the entire volunteer fire department for the foreseeable future.

“We aren’t ruling anything out,” Hinds said Thursday.

NBC 5's Ben Russell, Ellen Bryan, Jocelyn Lockwood and Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Ellis County Sheriff's Office
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<![CDATA[Silver Alert Issued for Man Last Seen in Ennis]]> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 16:20:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/charles-carr-inset-car.jpg

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing 74-year-old man last seen in Ennis.

Charles Carr, diagnosed with cognitive impairment, is black, stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds. He has gray hair, though he is balding.

Carr was last seen wearing bluejeans and a black Polo shirt with white triangles on the breast pocket.

The senior was last seen in Ennis driving a gray 2002 Toyota 4Runner with Texas license plate STP-138.

Law enforcement officials believe this senior citizen’s disappearance poses a credible threat to his own health and safety.

If you have any information regarding this missing senior citizen, contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-755-7427.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Texas Department of Public Safety]]>
<![CDATA[Crane Topples Onto Dallas Museum of Art]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 16:30:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dma-crane-topple-%2810%29.jpg

A truck-mounted crane fell backward onto the roof of the Dallas Museum of Art Friday morning, injuring the crane operator and narrowly missing sculptor Mark di Suvero's red "Ave" steel sculpture in the garden.

Jennifer Caveness was working across the street, happened to look out the window, and saw it come topple over.

“I could not have seen that coming,” said Caveness.

The crane came to rest on top of the museum, damaging part of the roof. The crane left the truck with only the back of the vehicle touching the ground as the cab of the truck faced skyward at 45 degrees.

The crane operator was injured in the incident and hospitalized in an unknown condition, according to Dallas Museum of Art Operations Manager John Young. 

Young said the tent was being installed for Art Ball 50, on April11, and was to take about a week to build.

Though the south end of the museum is closed due to the incident, the Dallas Museum of Art remains open to guests.

Jill Bernstein, director of communications for the museum, said no works of art were damaged, though the museum's primary concern is for the well-being of the injured crane operator.

The companies involved in the incident are Crocker Crane and McIntire Crane, according to Juan Rodriquez of the U.S. Department of Labor. 

There is no immediate word on what caused the crane to topple. OSHA is now investigating.

“Cranes are working at a very high level, lifting in this case an armature of the tent, and apparently they hadn’t sufficiently calculated what is necessary for that,” said Maxwell Anderson, the director of the Dallas Museum of Art

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hurt in Texas Plane Crash]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:53:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Stephenville+Plane+Crash.jpg

A professional rodeo cowboy crashed his plane while making an emergency landing Friday morning, injuring himself, his girlfriend and their two dogs.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirms 32-year-old pilot York Gill and 30-year-old Christy Stransky had engine trouble moments after taking off from Clark Field Municipal Airport in Stephenville at about 10 a.m.

Jaci Harris lives along the highway and said she looked out her back window just seconds before the plane crashed.

“I happened to kinda glance out the window and I saw the plane just hit the ground on its belly and then it slid down the road and across the highway,” she said. “By the time I made it to the front door it was already flipped over.”

Harris said it appeared as if Gill was trying to land the plane in her field and she’s grateful he didn’t hit her house.

“If he was just a few a football field lengths closer to my house, it would’ve been, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to your right now,” she said.

Gill, a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, tried to land the plane on U.S. Highway 67 but due to traffic ended up off the road and in a ditch where the single-engine Piper PA-32R flipped over.

The DPS said Gill and Stransky, who were coherent when flown to Fort Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital, said they were on the way to a wedding in Wharton.

The hospital said Friday evening Gill was in serious condition and Stansky was in fair condition with injuries that are not life threatening. They will spend at least one night in the hospital.

DPS officials said the dogs were taken to a local vet where one was believed to be in serious condition.

“You know, it’s a sad deal. And we wish him the best,” said Billy Huckaby, announcer for the Stockyards Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth.

Huckaby told NBC 5 Gill has competed several times at the Stockyards over the years, and that he is well-respected in the industry.

“He’s a great guy. He’s a rodeo cowboy. He’s one of the top Team Ropers in the world. Unfortunate accident earlier today,” Huckaby said.

NBC 5 has learned the plane's registration with the Federal Aviation Administration shows Gill as the owner and that he has a pilot's license.

Officials with the FAA and DPS are investigating the crash.

NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Autumn Owens/Stephenville Empire-Tribune
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<![CDATA[Missing Mother, Son Believed to be OK in Mexico]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:32:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/martinez-trejo-gomez.jpg

Dallas police are reclassifying the critical missing case of Heidi Martinez-Trejo and her son Carlos Gomez as a missing persons case.

Police said Trejo, 28, intentionally took her 1-year-old son to Mexico on March 14 and that they do not appear to be in danger. Police now only want to confirm that she and the boy are safe, but have been unsuccessful in reaching out to her or relatives.

Maj. Robert Sherwin with the Dallas Police Department, held a news conference Thursday where he said a witness came forward and told police he drove Trejo and Gomez to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on March 14 after she said her mother was ill and that she needed to get there quickly.

Photographs and video from the Department of Homeland Security show the unnamed witness, Trejo and Gomez crossing the border at about 3:45 a.m. March 15. The witness crossed back into Texas at about 11 a.m. the same day, alone.

Police said the witness allowed police to search his vehicle and that there was no sign of foul play.

Sherwin said Trejo reported a burglary Friday March 13 at about 10:45 p.m. saying two unknown Hispanic men knocked on her door and told her to get out of her apartment. Police said they have not been able to contact Trejo to follow up on the report.

After her disappearance was reported Saturday, police searched Trejo's apartment and found her TV on, furniture and property inside and no damage. Her car was in the parking lot, but the car seat was missing.

Financial records indicated Trejo visited a Walmart at about 6 p.m. Saturday, after she had been reported missing. Video from the store shows Trejo and Gomez, alone, shopping for a few items, presumably before making the trip to the border.

Police added that a note, apparently written by a female, was delivered to the boy's grandmother by an unknown Hispanic man. The note was apparently written by Trejo, to her husband, and said that by the time he read the note she and Carlos would be dead.

Based on the contents of the note, the Dallas Police Department began investigating the disappearance as a critical missing case. Knowing she is now in Mexico intentionally, and apparently safe, the case was downgraded to a missing persons case.

Photo Credit: Dallas Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Child Rescued From Locked Car in Mesquite]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 23:01:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/leroy-price.jpg

A 2-year-old child was rescued Tuesday after being locked inside a car parked outside a movie theater, police say.

Mesquite police confirm they were called to the theater after someone spotted the young child locked inside a white Chrysler 300 sedan parked outside the AMC Mesquite 30 theater.

"We received a call from someone coming to the movies here at the AMC 30 at about 11:32 this morning saying there was a white colored Chrysler parked in the handicapped spot that had a child in it," said Mesquite police Lt. Brian Parrish.

Police said an announcement was made inside the theater for the owner of the car to come out, but that the car's owner didn't come out for some time.

Meanwhile, police arrived within minutes and a short time later firefighters were breaking out the front passenger window to free the little child. The girl, police said, was in good condition after being rescued.

"The child was not in distress, wasn't crying, was just staring at the officers," said Parrish.

A man, later identified by police as 46-year-old Leroy Price, was arrested at the scene on outstanding warrants for traffic tickets.  

Police believe the little girl was in the car for hours.

Police said Price told them the girl was in the car this morning when he dropped his other child off at preschool. Price then told investigators he went home and took a nap and later headed to the movie.

Police said Price is now charged with abandoning or endangering a child with intent to return. The charge is a felony.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Deaths of Mom, Child Found Naked Ruled Accidental]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:30:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/199*120/lindsay-groce-scene.jpg

Investigators say they now know what killed a young mother and her infant child whose bodies were found naked in a Tarrant County field in January.

The unclothed bodies of 27-year-old Lindsay Groce and her daughter, 13-month-old Hailey Gardner, were found Jan. 13. Clothing belonging to the mother and child was found near their bodies; their crashed sedan was located about 100 yards away, near a grove of trees off Altamesa Boulevard.

At the time, homicide detectives said there were no obvious signs of trauma and that it would be up to the medical examiner to determine their causes of death.

On Thursday, the Tarrant County medical examiner declared both deaths an accident and said the child died of hypothermia and that her mother died of hypothermia with paradoxical undressing.

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees, which can lead to heart and respiratory failure and eventually death.

Studies have indicated that as the core body temperature falls to a critical level, constricted blood vessels that retain body heat expand and give off an exaggerated sensation of being hot, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

In cases of paradoxical undressing, the hypothermia victim, feeling hot but in the cold, then irrationally begins to undress in an attempt to stay cool.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, in a recent study of hypothermia victims, 30 percent involved cases of paradoxical undressing.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dead Owl to Blame for Elevated CO Levels at School]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 23:47:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lakewood-gas-01a.jpg

A dead animal is to blame for elevated levels of carbon monoxide at a school in the Dallas Independent School District, officials say.

"We determined that the cause of the carbon monoxide elevated levels was a dead owl that was trapped in the ventilation system of the school," said DISD spokesperson Andre Riley. "We don’t know how long that dead owl has been there, but apparently was the primary contributed to the elevated levels of carbon monoxide. So, we’ve removed that dead owl from the ventilation system and right now the air quality in the building is testing at normal levels and we anticipate we will have school tomorrow."

The parent of a Lakewood Elementary School student says her child, and several others, reported headaches and vomiting a day before the Dallas school was evacuated over dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas.

Riley said Lakewood was evacuated as a precaution Tuesday morning after a contractor detected elevated levels of the poisonous gas in the school.

Officials said 911 was called and that Dallas ISD police and emergency operations teams were dispatched to the school. Meanwhile, more than 800 students and staff were evacuated and walked to nearby Lake Hill Preparatory Academy.

Dallas-Fire Rescue tweeted the elevated carbon monoxide alert at 10:22 a.m. and later said they determined the source of the leak was a furnace in the basement. DFR added that Atmos Energy had been called to the scene and was addressing the leak.

Riley also confirmed that 11 students went to the nurse Monday, and 50 reported they were not feeling well. Mackenie Toll, a student in the 5th grade, went home after throwing up several times.

“It was just so bad you could not eat. It was horrible,” she said.

Toll's mother and several other parents wanted to know why school was in session Tuesday with so many kids not feeling well.

“For them to have school this morning with not really knowing what the issue was, we Googled carbon monoxide ourselves, and we are like, these symptoms are dead on with them,” said parent Stephanie Kuhlman.

Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas produced when fossil fuels are burned, can bring about sudden illness or even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Headaches and vomiting are early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. People who have been exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide should immediately seek fresh air and be evaluated by a doctor.

Dr. Seema Yasmin, medical expert for The Dallas Morning News, said carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 400 Americans every year, but that people can be easily protected by purchasing a carbon monoxide detector for their home.

By 11:30 a.m., with the school cleared of students and staff, all DFR hazmat teams had left the school.

NBC 5's Katy Blakey, Julie Fine and Holley Ford contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[AA Mechanic Killed in Accident at DFW Airport]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 23:52:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.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[Plane Runs Off Taxiway at DFW Airport]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 23:55:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/B-k7_1FUEAA6m2D.jpg

An American Airlines plane taxiing to Terminal A at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport slid off the taxiway and got stuck in the grass Monday night.

Lynn Lunsford, with the Federal Aviation Administration, confirmed to NBC 5 the front nose gear slipped off the taxiway as the airplane turned a corner and became stuck in the grass.

Airline officials said there were 63 passengers and a crew of five onboard Flight 296 from San Antonio. All of the passengers were deplaned safely and taken by bus to the terminal.  The plane, an MD-80, had to be dislodged and towed.

No injuries have been reported.

"As soon as we hit the ground, we slid to the left," said passenger Danelle Canales, of Dallas.

Canales said she was reading a book and didn't at first realize what had happened. Then the pilot came on over the public address speaker, explained the situation and said, "We tested the brakes and they were fine, but when we landed, we had no control over the brakes."

Canales said another passengers told her they could see the front wheel turned to the side.

Airline officials have not confirmed what caused the plane to slip off the taxiway, however, up to an inch of sleet fell on North Texas overnight Monday, covering much of the Metroplex in ice.  Since that time, DFW Airport's Airfield Operations crew has been working to keep runways open and taxiways clear of ice.

The airline canceled more than 1,000 flights Monday due to weather.

A man who said his friend was a passsnger on the flight tweeted a photo of passengers exiting the aircraft through the emergency exit at the back of the plane.

We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: Braxton Bragg/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Multivehicle Crash Reported on SE Loop 820]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:27:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/crash-820-20.jpg

Drivers are being urged to avoid Southeast Loop 820 in Fort Worth after a multivehicle crash Wednesday.

From Chopper 5 it appears between four and six vehicles were involved in the crash, including three driven off of the road into a large median.

The crash took place on southbound East Loop 820 on the ramp to eastdbound Interstate 20.

One lane of the ramp is passing the scene of the crash, causing a backup beyond U.S. Highway 287.

Details about what caused the crash and the severity of any injuries has not yet been confirmed.

We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[High School Evacuated Over Homemade Fireworks]]> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:57:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police-lights-shutterstock_1318124123.jpg

Springtown High School was evacuated Tuesday after homemade fireworks were found in a bathroom.

Officials with the Springtown Independent School District said the object was found by a student and the building was soon evacuated as a precaution.

The device, district officials said, appeared to have been homemade and to have been constructed with a toilet paper roll.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called in to search the building with dogs; no other devices were found.

Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley confirmed Tuesday afternoon they have identified the student who brought the fireworks on campus and will work with law enforcement to take action against that student for disrupting the school day and putting people in danger.

Students were allowed to return to the building at about 1:30 p.m.

More information is expected to be released Tuesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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<![CDATA[Man Wanted After Downtown Bank Robbery]]> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:54:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/frost-bank-scene-inset.jpg

An armed man robbed a bank in downtown Fort Worth Thursday afternoon and triggered a police manhunt.

A man walked into the Frost Bank on the ground floor of the 40-story 777 Main Building, at Main and 7th streets, just after 1 p.m., pulled out a gun and demanded cash from a teller, police were told.

The teller handed over the cash, and the man ordered all the tellers down the hall and into a bathroom.

The man then left the building, according to surveillance video obtained by Fort Worth police.

No injuries were reported.

The holdup alarm was triggered just after the robbery. Police responding to the alarm call restricted access to the building while searching for the man, until it was confirmed on video he had left the bank.

SWAT officers searched part of the building and several neighboring buildings that are connected by sky-bridges.

"It presents a whole different sort of problems, but fortunately we have an exceptionally good tactical team our SWAT people and our ZT (zero tolerance) teams, and they were able to search it and be comfortable in the fact that the suspect was not inside any longer," said Sgt. Steve Enright, Fort Worth police public information officer.

Fort Worth police officers in SWAT uniforms surrounded the building until about 2:15 p.m., when they cleared the scene. Traffic on surrounding streets was not impacted by the police activity.

Office workers who were out at lunch had to wait on the street for the building to be cleared. Employees inside the office building were informed via email instructions from supervisors and blue flashing lights at elevators warning them that something had happened in the bank.

"Everybody could look out their window and see the police circling, lots of police cars, SWAT team, we had people who had gone to lunch and didn't get back in time and they were stuck out here," said Amber Lee, an office worker.

Lee said it was a bit unnerving at times, but that the search was understandable.

"To see the magnitude of the police force to come out and find him, but you know it's a big building, lots of places to look," Lee said. "They circled the building and made sure that no door or whatever was left uncovered."

The search for the man in the photo is ongoing. If you know who he is, you're asked to contact the Fort Worth Police Department.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Evacuated Balch Springs Middle School Students Return to Class]]> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 15:37:51 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/balch-springs-ms.jpg

Students at Balch Springs Middle School have returned to class, after the school was evacuated while Dallas-Fire Rescue investigated an odor of gas at the school.

The school is located at 700 Cheyenne Road in Dallas.

After crews checked out the school as a precaution, nothing was found and students were allowed back in the building.

No injuries have been reported.

NBC 5 will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Man Shot at Barbershop Warned Not to Return]]> Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:04:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/barber-shop-shooting1.jpg

A person warned against trespassing at a Fort Worth barber shop was shot Tuesday when he returned and got into an argument, police say.

According to the Fort Worth police, the man had been issued a criminal trespass warning after a previous visit to LT'z Barber and Braids Shop on the 3500 block of Altamesa Boulevard and was asked not to return. The owner of the store said he was a former employee who was let go.

On Tuesday, the man returned and got into a verbal spat with someone working at the barber shop, police said. At some point things escalated, a gun was pulled out and the man who had been warned not to return was shot. Monte Wayne, a customer, said he tried to break the two men up, and did at one point, before hearing gunshots.

“It went real quick. It really did. It was like you think they are talking and then they break out fighting. Like I said, it escalated real fast,” said Wayne.

The injured man was placed into an ambulance and was receiving care for wounds that were not considered life threatening, police said.

The barber shop employee was in the custody of the police, along with the weapon used in the shooting.

Police said they have not yet determined how many shots were fired and they have not said if the shooter will face any charges.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Family Says Man Killed in DPD Shooting Was Robbed]]> Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:49:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flying-j-2.jpg

Dallas police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that left one person dead Monday afternoon on the city's south side.

The shooting was first reported at about 1:30 p.m. near a Flying J truck stop along the 7400 block of Bonnie View Road.

A uniformed off-duty officer working at the truck stop was investigating reports of  gunfire nearby at the corner of Riverside Road and Bonnie View Road when, according to Dallas police, the officer noticed someone running in his direction and placed that person in custody.

A Dodge pickup truck then jumped the curb and drove toward the pair at a high rate of speed, according to  Maj. Jeff Cotner.

"The officer perceived the speed and direction of travel of the vehicle as a threat to himself and his detainee, so he discharged his weapon, striking the driver," said Cotner.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Dallas police confirmed the man driving the pickup was pronounced dead at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.

Dallas police said the officer involved in the shooting, Officer Aaron Tolerton, was not injured.

The family of the man who was shot and killed identified him as 45-year-old Desmond Luster and said he was only defending his home.

The family told NBC 5 three people had robbed Luster's home, which is in the neighborhood behind the Flying J, and Luster was chasing the robbers in his pickup truck, driving at a high rate of speed.

Luster did have a gun on him, and he did fire his weapon at the robbers, the family said, but he was licensed to carry.

His family said Luster was a working man who helped serve warrants throughout Texas, and they said this was all a horrible mistake.

"I can tell you that our officer is very distraught and upset by the circumstances of this incident," Cotner said.

Tolerton was placed on administrative leave per departmental policy.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood and Johnny Archer contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Passenger in Stolen Car Chase Calls 911]]> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 20:09:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chase-ends.jpg

A chase between the driver of a suspected stolen car and Dallas County deputies ended with a crash Wednesday, the sheriff's department says.

The chase started when auto theft units attempted to stop a driver of a black GMC Terrain near Loop 12 and Keeneland Parkway after the vehicle was stolen at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Sheriff's deputies and the Dallas police followed the driver through North Oak Cliff and into Oak Lawn before he crashed near Northwest Highway and Community Drive.

The driver, three men and a woman were taken into custody a short time later.

The female passenger, identified by police as Tiffany Rankin, was released after police said she called 911 from the stolen car and said that the men refused to stop and let her out.

The names of the driver and his expected charges have not yet been released.

Dallas police assisted in the pursuit.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[2 Frisco Homes Evacuated Over Small Gas Leak]]> Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:01:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/209*120/Gas+Meter+Resize.jpg

Two homes in Frisco have been evacuated Monday due to two small gas leaks in the Preston Vineyards neighborhood.

Firefighters said a construction crew working to install fiber optic lines hit the two-inch gas line on the 10000 block of Preston Vineyards Drive at about noon Monday. Just before 2 p.m., the crew hit another line on the 10000 block of Burgundy Drive.

In both cases, firefighters arrived within minutes.

City officials said the homes on the 10000 block of Concord Drive were evacuated as a precaution.

"Atmos utility crews are on-site and estimate it could take at least an hour to stop the leak on Burgundy; utility crews add, it could be several hours before gas is ‘shut off’ to the Preston Vineyard line break, adding it may be 6 p.m. before line repairs can begin," city officials said in a news release Monday afternoon.

Atmos crews are on-site, working to stop the gas leaks without interrupting service to the entire neighborhood, city officials said.  Meanwhile, Frisco firefighters are monitoring gas levels inside nearby homes and throughout the neighborhood.

We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.

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<![CDATA[Hourslong Standoff in Mansfield Ends in Arrest]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:51:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/215*120/mansfieldstandoff012915.JPG

A standoff that lasted much of the day Thursday at a Mansfield apartment has ended with the suspect's arrest just after 7 p.m., police say.

Deputies with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department and police officers from Arlington and Mansfield were involved in the standoff with the wanted man, identified as 49-year-old Mark Mercer.

NBC 5 first learned of the standoff just after 10 a.m. Thursday after several residents of The Landing at Mansfield apartments said they were being evacuated and not allowed to return to their homes. The residents said someone pulled a gun on deputies serving a warrant and that the man refused to come out of his apartment near the 1700 block of Towne Crossing Boulevard.

An armored SWAT vehicle was called to the scene before noon and firefighters were dispatched to the area should there be any injuries.

Juan Valdez, a bounty hunter with the EJR Agency, told NBC 5 he was also looking for Mercer after he said he missed a court date and jumped a $46,000 bail posted by a bondsman on a pending domestic violence charge. Valdez said Mercer has a prior conviction out of Waco and has served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Mercer was arrested by SWAT officers with the assistance of a police K-9 team.

Residents of the community told NBC 5 they were content to wait out the standoff outside of their apartments until their homes were made safe.

"The extent of our information is he's barricaded in there with guns and they're trying to get him out. That's it," said Darin Morgan, resident.

The entrance to the apartments was being guarded, but what appear to be civilian vehicles were seen leaving the property.

Due to the police activity, the Mansfield Independent School District said afternoon bus service to three apartment complexes, The Landing, Cedar Point and Towne Crossing, was suspended and that parents who live in those communities needed to make other arrangements to pick up their children.

No injuries were reported in the standoff or the suspect's arrest.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[SWAT Ends Standoff With Driver in Dallas]]> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:18:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/standoff-dpd-012815.jpg

Dallas SWAT ended a standoff with a driver stopped on a felony warrant in Dallas Wednesday.

Officers stopped the driver of a Ford Mustang in a warehouse parking lot near Duncanville Road and Kiest Boulevard, police said, because he was a felony suspect.

At some point the driver, who police have not named, was said to have pointed a weapon at officers and refused to exit the vehicle.

For more than an hour, officers surrounded the vehicle with guns drawn, while the man held his arms out of the vehicle. At times, he would wave or make motions as he negotiated with police.

Just after 1 p.m., as SWAT officers and an armored vehicle closed in, the man exited the vehicle, lifted up his shirt to show he was not armed and then surrendered.

Police said Wednesday afternoon the man never pointed a weapon at police, though they declined to say if weapons were found in the car.

Traffic to northbound Duncanville road was diverted while the standoff was underway; the road has since been reopened to traffic.

No injuries were reported and there were no reports of any shots fired.

NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Irving Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Apartment Fire]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:14:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/irving-apt-fire-012615-01.jpg

Irving firefighters were called to a 2-alarm fire at the Villas of Valley Ranch Apartments Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the complex on the 500 block of Ranch Trail at about 1:45 p.m.

When Chopper 5 arrived, no flames were visible but several skylights had been shattered. No other sign of obvious damage was visible.

No injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is not known.

We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Intentionally Drowned by Teen Relative: Dallas PD]]> Tue, 27 Jan 2015 08:00:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dpd-drowning.jpg

A 14-year-old girl will be charged with capital murder after police say she intentionally drowned a 2-month-old baby in a Dallas apartment Monday morning.

Police said they took the girl into custody after they found the baby drowned at the Rosemont at Hickory Trace apartments in the 8400 block of South Westmoreland Road on Monday morning.

They responded to a person in danger call at the complex at about 6:20 a.m., and when they arrived, Dallas Fire-Rescue told police that 2-month-old Justice Hull was dead. Later Monday afternoon, Dallas police revealed that the juvenile they had in custody intentionally drowned the infant and will be charged with capital murder.

Investigators said the baby's mother was at work at the time. One other teen was also in the home.

"It’s tough," Mitchell said. "It breaks my heart anytime you respond to a call and someone so innocent... There is no one more innocent than an infant child, and [to] try to ascertain what would be going through anyone’s mind that [they] would cause the death of an infant child -- so my heart goes out to the family.”

NBC 5's news partners at The Dallas Morning News reported that authorities believe the suspect and the child were not related.

Officers said the victim, Hull, had been placed at the home by Child Protective Services because her biological mother is in jail.

NBC 5 reached out to officials at Rosemont at Hickory Trace Apartments. They released the following statement: 

“The well-being of our residents is of utmost importance. On behalf of the Rosemont at Hickory Trace Apartments, we express our concern and condolences for this loss of life. We are cooperating fully with authorities during their ongoing investigation.”

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely and Holley Ford contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[AA Flight to Palm Springs Returns to DFW]]> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:21:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/aa-md-80-flight.jpg

An American Airlines flight from DFW to Palm Springs was redirected back to the airport Friday morning due to a possible mechanical issue, the airline says.

Flight 1003 from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Palm Springs Municipal Airport departed at 10:15 a.m. but had to turn around shortly after takeoff.

The flight landed back at DFW at about 11:20 a.m. and taxied back to the gate without incident.

There have been no reports of any injuries to the 130 passengers or crew of five onboard the MD-82 aircraft.

American Airlines said the passengers will be placed on other flights, but the flight board shows Flight 1003 will now depart DFW at 12:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[DFR Battles 1-Alarm House Fire in Oak Cliff]]> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:15:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/199*120/dfr-fire-shoreline.jpg

Dallas firefighters are working a 1-alarm house fire on Shoreline Drive in Oak Cliff.

Firefighters were called to the home at 10:32 a.m. When they arrived, they reported flames visible through the roof of the 2-story home.

When Chopper 5 arrived at about 11 a.m., DFR had the fire under control but was still actively working the scene.

At this time no injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

We will update this story with more information as soon as it's available.  As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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