<![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, 21 Apr 2015 18:44:00 -0500 Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:44:00 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![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.



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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.



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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



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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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.



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<![CDATA[Gas Leak Under Control in Farmers Branch]]> Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:15:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/gas+leak4.jpg

Several businesses straddling the Addison-Farmers Branch city line were evacuated after a gas line ruptured Wednesday afternoon at approximately 4 p.m.

According to the Addison Fire Department, a gas line on the 14500 block of Midway Road was ruptured when the line was struck by an underground boring machine being used by a contractor.

Atmos Energy crews worked on the leak and had it under control about an hour later.

Firefighters evacuated several businesses in a nearby strip shopping center in Farmers Branch and closed the northbound lane of Midway as a precaution.

The lane has since reopened

Fire officials said wind is dissipated the gas quickly.




Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Meteorologist Shot Outside TV Station Speaks]]> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 12:02:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Patrick+Crawford.jpg

A meteorologist shot outside a Waco-area TV station last week spoke to the public Monday afternoon at Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where he continues to recover.

Patrick Crawford, the morning meteorologist for KCEN-TV, said he is “slowly getting better” after the Dec. 17 shooting.

“My main focus is just to get better, to get healthy and to get home for me and my family,” he said.

Crawford said he did not know his attacker and there was "no interaction" before the shooting. But he said he hopes that the description he provided to police will help them track him down.

“The man that shot me didn’t say any words to me,” he said. “There wasn’t any interaction.”

Crawford was shot in the abdomen and arm in the station's parking lot. He underwent surgery at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, and a surgeon who appeared with Crawford at Monday's press conference said he has been an "ideal patient" and is "doing very well."

No arrests have been made in the shooting, and Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson said Saturday that they have no credible leads on the gunman or a motive in the shooting.

The Falls County Crime Stoppers is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the gunman. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 254-883-3104.

The law enforcement tip line is 1-800-863-8558.



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<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into South Dallas Business]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:16:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/car-building-hampton-road.jpg

A driver crashed a car into a strip shopping center on the 5500 block of South Hampton Road Wednesday morning.

The location appears to be L.J.'s Hair Design, located not far from U.S. Highway 67/Marvin D. Love Freeway on Hampton Road, adjacent to Dallas Executive Airport.

Officials have not said what led the driver to crash into the business.

No injuries have been reported.



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<![CDATA[Jury Sentences Eric Williams to Death]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:44:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Eric-Williams-112014.jpg

A North Texas jury sentenced former justice of the peace and convicted killer Eric Williams to death Wednesday for killing a district attorney's wife in a revenge plot that left three dead.

Williams was convicted Dec. 4 in the murder of Cynthia McLelland and has also been charged, but has not yet been tried, in the deaths of her husband, DA Mike McLelland, and Assistant DA Mark Hasse.

While reading the jury's sentence Wednesday, Judge Mike Snipes compared Williams to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and convicted murderer Charles Manson.

Afterward, the McLelland and Hasse families hugged prosecutors in the courtroom. Moments later, the families of the victims read several emotional victim impact statements directly to Williams before he was allowed to leave the courtroom.

The jury's decision comes a day after Williams' wife delivered shocking and emotional testimony about how he began plotting the McLelland and Hasse murders soon after they convicted him of theft.

Before the trial began Tuesday, the lawyer for the defendant's estranged wife, Kim Williams, said she wanted to testify. What came next was a string of statements that shed light into the days leading up to the murders of the Hasse and the McLellands and may make it more difficult for the defendants attorneys to keep their client off death row.

Kim Williams took the stand as a state witness and said her husband shot and killed the McLellands and Hasse and that she was a "willing participant" in his revenge killings. She also testified Tuesday that she was addicted to pain killers and drugged when she drove the getaway car.

At one point during her testimony, Kim Williams described the day she and her husband left to kill Hasse saying, "It was a cold day, there was excitement in the air" and, though she could not watch Williams kill Hasse, they were both happy afterward.

"His anger was my anger," Kim Williams said.

Kim Williams went on to testify that they planned to kill Mike McLelland at his home over a holiday when he wouldn't have protection and said the slaying of Cynthia McLelland was "collateral damage."

She said her husband told her he had to shoot Cynthia an extra time because she was still moaning.

After the McLelland slayings, Kim Williams said the couple went and had barbecue before throwing the guns used in the murders in a lake.

In addition to the details about the Hasse and McLelland murders, Kim Williams detailed how her husband planned to kill Judge Glen Ashworth as well.

The victims' family members present in court were shocked listening to the coldblooded descriptions of the killings, for which each one Kim Williams claims to have been present.

Kim Williams said she offered her testimony without a plea deal from prosecutors, though she expects some consideration in her trial. She said she wanted to talk because the families of the victims had suffered a terrible, terrible loss.

NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff is tweeting live from the hearing. Stay up-to-date by following him on Twitter or reading below.



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<![CDATA[Car Crashes Into T Bus, 4 Injured]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 08:24:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_medstar2.jpg

The Fort Worth Fire Department says four people were injured when a car crashed into a city bus Tuesday morning.

According to officals, a car rear-ended a T bus shortly before 7 a.m. near Camp Bowie Boulevard and Bryant Irvin Road.

Four of the passengers on board suffered minor injuries, MedStar ambulance said, and were transported to an area hospital.

The condition of the driver of the car is not yet known.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update.

]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Slashed, Shoots Suspected Shoplifter]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:59:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-walmart-shooting-05.jpg

An off-duty Dallas police officer shot a suspected shoplifter overnight Tuesday after a struggle where the officer was stabbed in the hand.

The Dallas officer was in uniform working an off-duty security job at the Walmart on 6185 Retail Road when he was told by the store's loss prevention officer at about midnight that a man was shoplifting.

Officer Larry Moody spotted the man, later identified by police as 33-year-old Jonathan Puckett, near the parking area and asked him to come back inside the store.

As they made their way back into the store, Puckett tried to run away. Moody reached out and grabbed him and the two scuffled. As they struggled, the suspected shoplifter pulled out a knife and cut the officer on his hand, police said.

Though he was cut, Dallas police said Moody then ordered Puckett to drop the knife. When the man refused, the officer shot him in the leg.

Puckett, who was arrested and found to be carrying four knives, was transported to Presbyterian Hospital and is said to be in stable condition. He has been charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and has a parole violation out of Kentucky, police said.

Moody was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas and is also in stable condition.

Deputy Chief Gil Garza with the Dallas Police Department said video from inside and outside of the store is being reviewed as the police investigate the shooting.

Police did not say what the suspected shoplifter was believed to have stolen.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Three Killed in Thanksgiving Tower Fire]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:51:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dfr-thanksgiving-tower-fire-10.jpg

A three-alarm fire erupted in a Dallas high rise Thursday morning, killing three workers, injuring three other people and forcing the evacuation of 2,800 office workers, fire officials say.

The three subcontractors killed in the fire were working in a thermal storage tank that is part of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit in the basement of the building, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said during a Thursday afternoon news conference.

The victims were identified as 60-year-old Nicacio Carrillo, his nephew, 43-year-old Luis Carrillo and 36-year-old Oscar Esparza-Romo.

“I love the guys. The guys are good guys. I know he tried to (have a) better life every day,” said the Carrillos' heartbroken relative Gabriel Carrillo.

He said his wife called him earlier in the day to tell him their two loved ones were trapped inside a fire under the tower.

Three other people were sent to the hospital and treated for injuries that were not life threatening, though it's not yet known where they were in the building when the fire started.

Evans said they thought there might be workers close to where the fire was located but that heat and visibility kept them from reaching the area more quickly. He added that thick smoke and flames adjacent to an electrical facility near the storage tank led them to believe the fire was electrical, but that now they aren't sure where the fire began or how.

Because DFR initially believed the fire to be electrical, firefighters had to wait for the power to be disconnected before attacking the flames or risk being shocked or electrocuted.

Once the fire was out and the smoke was cleared, the bodies of the three men were found inside the 35-foot storage tank, fire officials said. According to officials, the men, who were subcontractors for Best Mechanical.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go with these families, especially this time of year,” said Cheri Torres, with Best Mechanical.

Torres said the men did have safety equipment and that there were evacuation procedures. Somehow, the men did not make it out.

“It was just a very, very tragic accident,” she said.

At this time officials have not said what killed the three men. Their bodies will be transported to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office who will determine their causes of death.

Questions Raised About Safety Permits

Our colleagues at The Dallas Morning News are reporting that Assistant Fire Chief Ted Padgett said the tower's permit for welding, cutting and hot works expired in March and that the contractor doing business at the tower hasn't had a valid permit for that kind of work since December 2009.

Officials have not confirmed if the men in the tank were doing work that would have required such a permit.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Joel Lavender said Friday that investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire, including if cutting or welding inside the tank led to the fire.

Fire Reported at Dallas High Rise

At about 10 a.m. Thursday initial reports indicated smoke was coming from the B2 level garage of the 50-story Thanksgiving Tower.

For more than an hour more than a dozen DFR apparatus and what appeared to be hundreds of firefighters were seen in the streets adjacent to the building.

A belief that the fire was electrical in nature delayed firefighters from being able to attack the flames until the power was cut off to the area.

At about 11:20 a.m. officials said the fire had been extinguished, though it took some time before large fans could clear the garage of dangerous smoke.

High Rise Evacuated After Report of Fire

A worker at the building confirmed to NBC 5 that the entire building had been evacuated with hundreds of people climbing down the tower in stairwells. Another caller said evacuated workers who drove to the building were unable to leave since their cars were parked in the garage and were inaccessible.

For those taking mass transit, DART reported only slight delays to bus traffic in the area due to closed roads; light rail remained on schedule.

About the Tower

Thanksgiving Tower, at 1601 Elm Street, is a 50-story, 600-foot high rise at the edge of the Arts District overlooking Thanksgiving Square.

It is among the tallest buildings in downtown and is bound by Elm Street, Ervay Street and Pacific Avenue in Downtown Dallas.

The tower has recently been undergoing a major $18 million renovation that was to be completed in late 2015, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

NBC 5's Jocelyn Lockwood and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.



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<![CDATA[Amber Alert for Galveston Infant a Hoax]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:53:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/199*120/Mikeshia-Taylor-mug-inset.jpg

A statewide Amber Alert issued for a Galveston infant Friday morning was a hoax perpetrated by a woman who loaned out her car and wanted it returned, Galveston police say.

According to the Galveston Police Department, 27-year-old Mikeshia Taylor told police she was baby-sitting a 6-month-old child named Jerome who was taken, along with her car and phone, by two women who were spending the night at her apartment.

Police began searching for the missing boy and issued a statewide Amber Alert while reviewing surveillance video and reaching out to the boy's family.

During an interview with Taylor, police noticed inconsistencies with her story and evidence contradictory to her account.

Police said the two women identified by Taylor has having taken the child, Valisa Allen and Christina Barrientos, then called the police to say they were not in possession of any child and that Taylor had let them borrow her car.

Taylor then confessed to police that Jerome and his mother did not exist and that she fabricated the abduction to get her car back.

Taylor has been arrested and charged with filing a false report, a state jail felony due to the fact that several other agencies were involved in the search for the missing boy. Taylor is being held in the Galveston County Jail on $80,000 bond.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News/Galveston Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Overturns, Spills Load in Corinth]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:48:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/swisher-rd-lake-dallas.jpg

A rock hauler overturned and spilled its load on underneath Interstate 35E in Corinth Thursday.

The truck, which was apparently carrying garbage, toppled over along Swisher Road and the southbound service road to I-35E.

The crash is having minimal to no impact on traffic along I-35E.

No injuries have been reported.

Officials have not said how long they expect it to take to clear the debris.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Police Chief Announces Retirement]]> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:32:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jeffrey-halstead-newser.jpg

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead announced Tuesday he is retiring after six years leading the police department of the nation's 17th largest city.

Halstead's retirement was first announced by City Manager David Cooke, who heaped praise on the chief during a pre-council meeting Tuesday. Cooke then introduced Halstead who promptly gave much of the credit of his success in reducing the city's crime rate for six straight years to the department's employees, both sworn and civilian.

"I had the pride and the privilege of serving the most dedicated employees I have ever seen in my life. They're amazing," Halstead said. "I give all my thanks to my faith, my family. I have to say the employees of this organization they are a class act and I stand here with pride because of what they accomplish. It is an absolute honor to stand in this position, wearing this badge and I love this community for it. Thank you very much."

Of the community, Halstead said that while he is retiring he and his family are not leaving Fort Worth.

"Your community in Fort Worth is the most supportive of the law enforcement profession I've seen in 26 years of this business.  The residents of this city are truly amazing," Halstead said. "This is our home. My wife is a native Texan, I know if I want another 27 years of happy marriage I better stay in Texas."

Halstead's departure will not be immediate, he will continue to lead the department and assist in the transition to a new chief until Jan. 9, 2015.

"We congratulate Chief Halstead on his retirement,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said Tuesday. “It’s a tough job, being the police chief for a major American city. But he can be proud of his legacy. You can’t argue the fact that crime is down, and we remain among the safest large city in the nation. Now the job falls to our City Manager to find a suitable replacement. I’m confident in David [Cooke]’s ability to outline a process to do just that "

In previous interviews Halstead has said he's tried to maintain a commitment to preserving the public's trust in the Fort Worth Police Department. Meanwhile, in his six years leading the department, he has faced both calls for his resignation and claims of ineffective leadership while others heaped praise on the chief for positive, and sometimes controversial, changes he's made within the department.

Drop in Crime Rate

During Halstead's six years as chief, the crime rate dropped every year. According to National Incident-Based Reporting System records, the city saw a 21.4 percent decrease in all reportable crimes between 2008 and 2013.

“I want to thank Chief Halstead for his service to Fort Worth and for his many years of service to the police profession,” City Manager David Cooke said. “Fort Worth now enjoys a declining crime rate, and much of the credit goes to Chief Halstead and his leadership over the last six years. He is the ultimate professional, and we salute him for never losing sight of our goal to make Fort Worth the safest large city in the nation.”

In a statement following the chief's announcement, Cooke released a statement highting some of Halstead's other accomplishments.

"Numerous new police facilities were opened during Halstead’s tenure, including a new crime lab, Nashville Sector Headquarters, a new Hemphill Division and a Meacham Patrol Division. A state-of-the-art Public Safety Training System is under construction, and a sixth patrol division, in far north Fort Worth, is in the planning stages," the statement read.

Though there were many highlights, Halstead's tenure as chief also faced many challenges that he described Tuesday as some of his "darkest moments."

"I had absolutely no idea that that first year would have been that challenging. My wife never ever lost support for me. She saw me at the darkest moments of this position and prayed, prayed daily in a journal, and would show me months later how her prayers made me successful," Halstead said Tuesday."

Rainbow Lounge Raid

In 2009, after just six months on the job, Halstead mended relations between the department and members of the city's gay community following a controversial raid of the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar, on the 40th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the gay rights movement.

Relations between the department and members of the gay community were strained after several Fort Worth police officers and two agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the bar and arrested five patrons on suspicion of public intoxication. Customers complained the officers were rude and used excessive force that led to a severe head injury for one of the patrons.

Two state agents were fired and several police officers were disciplined after internal investigations faulted the way the raid was conducted. Halstead apologized for the raid and appointed an openly lesbian officer to serve as liaison to the gay community.  The city, meanwhile, ended up paying several settlements while adding diversity training for officers.

Shooting of Charal Thomas

In 2011, several community leaders called for Halstead's resignation after the controversial officer-involved shooting of Charal Thomas, a man shot and killed by police at a traffic stop in front of his three children.

When the driver, Thomas, refused to exit the vehicle, the officer reached inside the car to open the door. The driver rolled up the window, trapping the officer, and began to pull away, police said. The officer then shot fatally shot the man.

At a town meeting, Halstead told an assembled crowd that the department didn't have an exact protocol on what to do if a child is in the car when deadly force might be used and asked for patience while the department investigated the shooting. The chief's statement's didn't pacify the crowd, many of whom called for his resignation.

Halstead continued to call on the community to keep an open dialogue as the department evaluated their protocol for using deadly force in the presence of children,  as well as whether officers should reach into open windows during traffic stops.

Fort Worth Police Ban Typing While Driving

In 2013, in response to an NBC 5 investigative series on distracted driving, Halstead implemented a tough policy aimed at reducing officer-related crashes by forbidding officers from using their mobile computers while driving. NBC 5 Investigates learned that in three years 15 officer-involved crashes were caused by distractions inside of police cars.

Halstead's new distracted driving policy gave officers some flexibility, such as using a one-touch response showing that they are in route to a call, arriving on the scene or have an emergency. But if they need to type anything more than that, they have to pull over and stop the vehicle.

Zero Tolerance Policy for Drinking and Driving

Later that year Halstead implemented a zero-tolerance policy for officers caught drinking and driving after more than a half dozen high-profile arrests of department personnel, including a member of his executive staff, since 2009.

Since the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy, Halstead has kept a running tally of the days passed without an arrest outside of his office. That tally reached one year over the summer and the department has reported no arrests of officers suspected of driving while intoxicated since the policy was put in force.

Fort Worth Police Receive Body Cameras

In 2013, Halstead was credited with outfitting more than 600 officers with body cameras in an effort to provide the public with greater transparency regarding the day-to-day interactions between the public and police officers. 

Halstead said the cameras will also help answer questions during controversial incidents involving police officers.

Allegation of Discrimination, Harassment Inside the FWPD

In September 2014, Halstead received a vote of confidence from the Fort Worth city council and city manager that he could bring about further changes to improve the department following complaints by some officers of racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation within the police department.

An investigation of the complaints, referred to as the Coleman Report, was released Aug. 22 and looked into complaints filed by three black officers.

The city council created a 21-point action plan for the chief to adhere to regarding police encounters with citizens, responses to critical police incidents and a plan "for increasing and respecting diversity within the department."

"I have a lot of work to do. I have staff that has a lot of work to do on this," Halstead told NBC 5 in September. "And we will do better."

The action plan requires that the chief update the council starting in December 2014 and throughout 2015 and that the city manager's office would be directly involved in monitoring the progress of the plan.  During Tuesday's pre-council meeting, Price said the action plan would be tabled until a new chief is hired.

Halstead was named the Fort Worth Police Department's 24th chief in December 2008. Before leading approximately 1,500 officers in the Fort Worth Police Department, Halstead served in a variety of capacities with the Phoenix Police Department including the bomb squad, internal affairs, professional standards, traffic and other intra-agency task forces, according to his biography on the Fort Worth Police Department's web page.

Halstead has a Bachelor of Arts in Law Enforcement Administration from Ottawa University and a Master of Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Man's Body Recovered From Dallas' Turtle Creek]]> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:46:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_dallas_police_car11.jpg

Dallas police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in Turtle Creek Monday morning.

The man's body was reported to have been found in the creek just before 11 a.m. near the 2800 block of Turtle Creek Boulevard.

At this time, police have released no information on the man's identity or said if his death is being investigated as a homicide.

The body is the second found in the creek near Reverchon Park this year. In January, the body of 36-year-old Jose Hernandez Flores was found with no visible signs of trauma.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest information.


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<![CDATA[DFR Battles Raging Duplex Fire]]> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:51:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dallas-house-fire-image.jpg

More than three dozen firefighters battled a fast-moving 2-alarm fire at a duplex in old North Dallas Monday,

Dallas Fire-Rescue said when firefighters arrived just after noon they reported seeing smoke coming from the roof of the home. Firefighters attacked the flames, but the fire quickly spread through the attic spaceand began moving toward the front of the residence.

Before firefighters could contain the fire it had consumed the roof, causing it to collapse, fire officials said.

Large flames could then be seen erupting from the top of the structure on the 10500 block of Barrywood Drive.

DFR said that four people were in the residence at the time, but that all escaped without injury.  Fire officials also said that while one family cat made it out of the fire, one remains unaccounted for.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but officials did say it started in the garage.

The home appears to be a total loss, though a damage estimate has not yet been confirmed by officials.

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<![CDATA[Swarm of Bees Stings 22 Saginaw Students]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:51:19 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ambulance-kids-bees.jpg

School officials confirm 22 students were stung by a swarm of bees outside Saginaw's Highland Middle School Tuesday morning during PE class.

Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District spokeswoman Kristin Courtney said a group of sixth-grade students, 21 boys and four girls, were outside the school in the 1000 block of Bailey Boswell Road in Fort Worth when they were attacked while playing soccer.

Courtney said the bees had built a hive inside an underground irrigation valve box, which was disturbed when one of the students stepped on the box cover.

Officials told NBC 5 the 22 children were stung at least once, some as many as 12 times. MedStar officials said they transported four children to Cook Children's Medical Center, including one who had a severe reaction to the sting.

All of those hospitalized were released Tuesday night.

One student, Isaac Armendariz, was stung on the ear and his arm.

"It was pretty weird.  Just a whole bunch of people started running, chasing, the coaches were like, super calm and everything. They were trying to get us all situated and trying to get us away from the bee hive," Armendariz said.

According to Courtney, the district's integrated pest management coordinator euthanized the remainder of the hive. Officials will continue to monitor the area for bees before declaring it safe for students.

Animal control officers are awaiting tests on the bees to see if they were Africanized killer bees, but the pest management coordinator said that based on the bee's behavior they do not appear to be killer bees.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>