<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Breaking News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/breaking http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth https://www.nbcdfw.comen-usThu, 18 Jan 2018 12:09:24 -0600Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:09:24 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Ricci Bradden Found Guilty in Good Samaritan Murder]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:39:22 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ricci-chambless-bradden-mug-inset.jpg

A soldier could spend life behind bars after being found guilty Wednesday of fatally shooting a father of three as he tried to stop him from leaving the scene of a shooting in May 2015.

Judge Louis Sturns found 24-year-old Ricci Chambless Bradden guilty of murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting of 35-year-old Marine and father of three Anthony "TJ" Antell Jr. Bradden faces up to life behind bars; the punishment phase of the trial begins Thursday morning.

Bradden's attorney, Pete Schulte, said on Twitter he plans to appeal Sturns' verdict.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, on May 2, 2016, Bradden went to see his wife where she worked at a southeast Arlington Walgreens. The pair got into an argument and police said Bradden shot his wife in the ankle.

Antell, who witnessed the confrontation between Bradden and his then-wife, called his wife who was outside in their car to warn her of the shooting. Moments later, Antell was in the parking lot where he grabbed the gun out of his family's vehicle so that he could try to stop Bradden from leaving the scene.

Police said that's when Bradden got out of his car and fatally shot Antell. Antell's wife, Crystal, ran to his side and called out for help as he took his final breaths.

In court Tuesday, through tears she described the moments after her husband was shot.

"I ran out of the car and I ran to him. And I was on top of him and I was trying to hold him and I was yelling for help and no one would help me and I was just screaming for someone to help me," Crystal Antell said.

"When the man got out of the car, he was eerily calm. He was so calm that I questioned myself. And the minute his arm started moving, the shots were fired. TJ didn't have a chance," Antell said. "And then the guy got in the car, slammed the door and peeled off, like it didn't matter."

Bradden later surrendered at a Texas Department of Public Safety office in Hillsboro while on his way back to Fort Hood. According to the affidavit, Bradden's commanding officers urged him to surrender to civilian authorities.

Since his arrest, Bradden has been held at the Tarrant County Jail on $500,000 bail.

NBC 5's Don Peritz contributed to this report.

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<![CDATA[Jury Handed Zoe Hastings Murder Case]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:03:52 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zoe-hastings-inset-scene1.jpg

Deliberations will resume Thursday in the state's case against Antonio Cochran, the man accused of abducting, assaulting and fatally stabbing 18-year-old Zoe Hastings in 2015.

A Dallas County jury of eight women and four men began deliberations in the capital murder case Wednesday afternoon before ending the day at about 4 p.m.

Cochran's murder trial began last Thursday with the victim’s mother taking the stand where she talked about the night her daughter disappeared. She said family members used the Zoe's laptop and "Find My Phone" technology to find the location of the missing teenager. When she and her husband arrived at that location they were met by police and instantly knew that something was not right. [[337599961, R,250,300]]

Prosecutors allege Cochran kidnapped Hastings in October 2015 when, while on the way to church, she made a quick stop at a Lake Highlands Walgreens to return a rented movie. Hastings never showed up at church; the next day her body was found outside of her family's minivan which had crashed into a creek bed. Police said her throat had been cut and she was only partially clothed.


Cochran has a long rap sheet with arrests and convictions dating back 15 years for crimes that include assault, theft and burglary. As recently as February 2014, he was arrested in Bowie County, Texas after being accused of raping a teenage girl in a car. The District Clerk’s Office confirms that the case went all the way to a jury trial in January 2015 where Cochran was acquitted.

If Cochran is found guilty of capital murder, he will automatically be sentenced to life in prison as prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty in the case.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Woman Recounts Alleged 'Sex Abuse' by Fmr. Health Director]]> Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:30:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/meredith-interview.jpg

An unnamed Dallas County employee alleges recently terminated Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson engaged in a "pattern of coerced sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation" inside the county office that lasted for four years.

The woman spoke with NBC 5 Friday morning on the condition that we not show her face or reveal her name as to protect her family and colleagues by remaining private.

She told NBC 5 Friday she was hired in 2012 and that the "sexual abuse" began not long after that while at a conference with members of the health department. She said when she and Thompson were alone, light conversation turned into unwanted touching, an advance she said caught her off guard.

"I was just shocked. I was shocked and I just kind of pushed away -- asked to stop, to leave," she told NBC 5.[[469051993,R,400,225]]

After the initial advance, the woman said Thompson acted like nothing had happened until, back in Dallas, he propositioned her again -- this time inside the office of the county health department.

While the woman didn't provide any specifics of what took place in Thompson's office, she told NBC 5 that it was unwanted sexual contact that she described as "sexual abuse."

"It wasn't an everyday occurrence. It wasn't an every week occurrence. It was every now and then, intermittent. He would call me some days and just ask, 'How's it going? How's the job? What's happening?' I guess, just to keep updated on how the position was going. Just normal conversation -- just acted like nothing happened."

And then, the woman said, there were other conversations that would occur late at the office.

"He would make it a habit to come to my office after hours, when he knew everyone had left -- 5:30, 6 o'clock, everyone was gone at that point. He would call and ask, 'Is anybody down there? What are you doing?'," she said.

If she said she was busy or had to spend time with her family, she said Thompson would get upset and that she felt intimidated by his position as her boss.

"It wasn't like, grabbing and throwing me down. It wasn’t that kind of force. But it was approaching me, the touching, the acts and -- it was horrible," she said.


She claimed she told Thompson "stop" and "no" many times and even cried during some of the sexual acts.

"Then I would just leave, pack my things, go home and be natural like nothing happened. And I did that for so long," she said.

The woman didn't share with NBC 5 the graphic details of what took place in Thompson's office over the course of two years, but she did say she put all of the details in a grievance she filed with the county in December 2017.

The woman's attorneys, the Spencer Scott Law Firm, released a statement Friday where the woman said she became depressed and even suicidal over the alleged abuse.

"I became depressed and, on a few dark days, suicidal," she said. "I sought the services of a mental health counselor, had periods where it was hard to sleep or eat, and cried on my way to work on many occasions."

"I endured the abuse because I was fearful of losing my job if I refused his approaches. He had made it clear on multiple occasions with comments such as, 'You do like your job, right?' and 'Where do you think you’ll go where you can make as much money as you make here?' and 'I’m your boss.'"

"I needed my job, and I loved the work itself," she said.

The woman said after two years of harassment and abuse, the encounters suddenly stopped in 2015.


"While thankful, I can only guess as to the reasons: I began intentionally avoiding him, especially at the end of the day; making excuses as to why I couldn’t work in evenings; ensuring to walk with other colleagues to the parking lot; and not working late when his car was there. Plus in 2015-2016, HHS faced a high-profile lawsuit that took his attention and angered him."

The woman said it was then that Thompson began two years of retaliatory acts, "including changing my job title, my work hours and even my parking location."

The woman told NBC 5 Friday that Thompson initially insisted she park in the front of the building where it was safer, but that after their encounters came to an end he said she was asked to park in the back parking lot.

"He was increasingly verbally critical and curt. He filed six written grievances related to my job performance this past year, severely increasing my fear and anxiety over losing my job," she said."

She filed her first grievance, about the feedback on her performance on Aug. 7, 2017, but was told by human resources that she missed a deadline to file that grievance even though she was away for an out-of-state funeral.

She filed her final grievance, on the sexual assault allegations, on Dec. 5, 2017 -- however the woman's lawyers have refused to release a copy of that grievance publicly.


The woman told NBC 5 that the human resources department mishandled that and violated her further by holding sensitive conversations with open doors, within earshot of other employees, and by shifting blame to her instead of the accused.

She said an HR representative asked her on the telephone if her grievance was in response to her performance feedback or, "Is it just that you like men in power?"

She added that the human resources representative also reminded her that they sometimes ask people to take polygraph tests -- which she said she would happily do.

"While he asked if I wanted to report to somebody else, he then asked if I could just 'hold out' for another month or two until Mr. Thompson retires," she said.

She said she agreed to report to someone else, but that she never heard back from human resources until Dec. 12, 2017, "when they called to ensure I was keeping my work performance up as Mr. Thompson planned to submit another write-up for some unknown reason."

The woman said the county offered to remove the write-ups from her file if she agreed to dismiss her grievance -- which she refused to do.

"At that time I obtained legal counsel to represent me and confront the inadequate policies and practices of Dallas County’s HR Department related to the handling of sexual abuse and harassment claims from employees. Only after I obtained legal counsel did Dallas County enact its first step toward remedy with the termination of Mr. Thompson in January."

After the woman's interview Friday, NBC 5 reached out to the county's human resources department with a list of questions but we've not yet received the county's answers to those questions.

Following the release of this report Friday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Saturday released the following statement: "Dallas County wants a safe healthy workplace free of harassment for everyone. The complianant and her attorney have raised serious allegations requiring thorough investigation. We are bringing in outside investigators and all involved will be expected to cooperate fully."

Jenkins said last week the woman's allegations were discussed during an executive session of the Dallas County Commissioner's Court and in another meeting with Dallas County Human Resources Director Urmit Graham, Commissioners Court Administrator Darryl Martin and county attorneys.

"We discussed the concern that there did not appear to be cooperation from Mr. Thompson in that he reportedly would not discuss the allegations made against him when asked by Court Administration," Jenkins said in his statement.

Jenkins said Martin sent Thompson a text asking him to categorically deny the allegation and that Thompson declined to do so. Martin spoke to Thompson on the telephone and informed him that he would receive a termination letter effective that day, Jan. 3.

While Jenkins confirmed the director's termination last week, he didn't say specifically why the county fired the director, only that the decision to terminate came after he refused to deny the allegation.

Thompson's attorney, Anthony Lyons, told NBC 5 that Thompson had been out of the office in December, using earned compensation time that was to carry through his planned Jan. 31 retirement.

Thompson served as deputy director of DCHHS for eight years before being named director in 2004. As director of the Dallas County Health Department, Thompson, along with Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, was twice cast into the national spotlight due to health scares in Dallas County. Together, the trio led the county's fight against West Nile virus in 2012 that sickened hundreds and killed 13 as well as the clampdown of Ebola in 2014 after a Liberian traveler tested positive for the deadly virus while visiting Dallas.

According to his bio with the Dallas County Community College District, Thompson earned an associate degree from El Centro College before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington where he obtained a bachelor's in social work. He went on to earn a master's from Amber University. Thompson's bio also said he is an adjunct professor at DCCC's Eastfield College. The college said last week that Thompson is not currently teaching any classes.

Spencer Scott Law Firm Statement


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Dallas County Employee Claims Thompson Sexually Harassed Her]]> Sat, 06 Jan 2018 11:08:16 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Zachary+Thompson+02.jpg

A law firm representing an unnamed Dallas County employee says former Health Director Zachary Thompson engaged in a pattern of "sexual abuse, harassment, intimidation and retaliation" inside the county health department.

Thompson was fired Jan. 3 and an interim director was named. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins confirmed the director's termination Thursday, but initially declined to elaborate on what led to the firing.

In a statement released late Friday afternoon, Jenkins said the accusations were first brought to Dallas County human resources in December 2017 and later in an email to Jenkins on Dec. 22.

Jenkins said the matter was forwarded to the District Attorney's office and placed on the Jan. 2 agenda for the Dallas County Commissioner's Court to be discussed in depth during the executive session. Following that meeting, Jenkins had another meeting with Dallas County Human Resources Director Urmit Graham, Commissioners Court Administrator Darryl Martin and county attorneys.

"We discussed the concern that there did not appear to be cooperation from Mr. Thompson in that he reportedly would not discuss the allegations made against him when asked by Court Administration," Jenkins said in his statement.


Jenkins said Martin sent Thompson a text asking him to categorically deny the allegation and that Thompson declined to do so. Martin spoke to Thompson on the telephone Wednesday and informed him that he would receive a termination letter effective that day, Jan. 3.

The firm representing the county employee said Dallas County officials failed to take adequate steps to rectify the situation and protect the victim.

"Our client has alleged a pattern and practice of sexual abuse, harassment, intimidation, and retaliation by Mr. Thompson," The Spencer Scott Law Firm said in a news release Friday afternoon. "We look forward to working with Dallas County officials to ensure safety, closure, and justice for this employee and to ensure additional employees do not fall victim to the same harassment our client experienced."

The woman's lawyers said to protect her privacy they will not reveal her name and she will not participate in any interviews.

"The termination of Mr. Thompson this week is a step forward for our client and a sign as to the serious nature and validity of her claim. She is eager to work in an environment without the constant mental anguish and fear of when the next instance of harassment or retaliation might occur," the firm said.

Thompson has been out of the office since late December and was to retire Jan. 31. According to the health department, he was no longer with the agency effective Dec. 29, 2017.

Thompson's attorney, Anthony Lyons, told NBC 5 Friday his client had no comment and still had received no written notice of this termination as of Friday morning.  Lyons said Thompson learned of his termination in media reports Thursday afternoon. He said Thompson had been out of the office, using earned compensation time that was to carry through his planned Jan. 31 retirement.

Thompson served as deputy director of DCHHS for eight years before being named director in 2004.

As director of the Dallas County Health Department, Thompson, along with Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, was twice cast into the national spotlight due to health scares in Dallas County.

Together, the trio led the county's fight against West Nile virus in 2012 that sickened hundreds and killed 13 as well as the clampdown of Ebola in 2014 after a Liberian traveler tested positive for the deadly virus while visiting Dallas.

According to his bio with the Dallas County Community College District, Thompson earned an associate degree from El Centro College before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington where he obtained a bachelor's in social work. He went on to earn a master's from Amber University.

Thompson's bio also said he is an adjunct professor at DCCC's Eastfield College. The college said Friday that Thompson is not currently teaching any classes.

The news of Thompson's ouster comes as DCHHS confirmed on Thursday the county's seventh, eighth and ninth flu deaths amid a worsening flu season.

The Spencer Scott Law Firm Statement


Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Statement Friday


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[County Health Director Didn't Know He'd Been Fired: Attorney]]> Fri, 05 Jan 2018 13:28:38 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/zachary-thompson.jpg

NBC 5 learned Thursday Zachary Thompson was forced out of his position as director of Dallas County Health and Human Services after being accused of harassment. Thompson's attorney, Anthony Lyons, told NBC 5 his client had no comment on the allegation but was unaware he'd been fired.

Sources familiar with the situation confirmed to NBC 5 that Thompson was ordered out of the building.

The health department said in a tweet that as of Dec. 29 Thompson was no longer with the agency and that an interim director had been appointed. Earlier in the day, the agency told NBC 5 that Thompson was retiring effective Jan. 31.

Late Thursday afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins released a statement saying Thompson gave notice of his retirement in 2017 to be effective Jan. 31, 2018. However, on Jan. 3, he was terminated and an interim director was named.


Further details regarding Thompson's termination have not been confirmed and all inquiries are being directed to Jenkins.

Thompson's attorney said in a statement released to NBC 5 late Thursday that his client has not received official notification from the county that he's been fired.

Lyons said Thompson has been off since the end of last year, using earned compensation time, and was not expected to be back with the county before his retirement. He also disputed reporting that Thompson had been escorted from his office.


Lyons said he hopes to find out more Friday, but until then he said his client won't comment.

Thompson served as deputy director of DCHHS for eight years before being named director in 2004.[[468069503,R,225,300]]

Ganesh Shivaramaiyer has been named interim director. He started with the county auditor's office in 1991 and assumed the role of assistant director of finance, budget and contracts at DCHHS in 2001 before being named interim director.

As director of the Dallas County Health Department, Thompson, along with Jenkins and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, was twice cast into the national spotlight due to health scares in Dallas County.

Together, the trio led the county's fight against West Nile virus in 2012 that sickened hundreds and killed 13 as well as the clampdown of Ebola in 2014  after a Liberian traveler tested positive for the deadly virus while visiting Dallas.

According to his bio with the Dallas County Community College District, Thompson earned an associate degree from El Centro College before transferring to the University of Texas at Arlington where he obtained a bachelor's in social work. He went on to earn a master's from Amber University.

Thompson's bio also said he is an adjunct professor at DCCC's Eastfield College.

The news of Thompson's ouster comes as DCHHS confirmed on Thursday the county's seventh, eighth and ninth flu deaths amid a worsening flu season.


NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff, Cory Smith, Scott Friedman, Diana Zoga and Don Peritz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Audio From Amtrak Train Derailment Released]]> Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:34:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TRAIN+DERAILMENT+THUMB.jpg

Radio transmissions between the conductor of the derailed Amtrak train and dispatchers was released Monday. In a transmission immediately after the accident, the conductor can be heard saying the train was coming around a corner and was crossing a bridge that passed over Interstate 5 when it derailed.

<![CDATA[Trump Endorses Roy Moore in Campaign-Style Rally]]> Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:42:15 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TRUMP+PENSACOLA+THUMB.jpg

President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, Florida, where he endorsed GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore just days before the election.

<![CDATA[Dramatic Video Shows N. Korean Soldier’s Sprint to Freedom]]> Wed, 22 Nov 2017 08:13:56 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+NK+DEFECTOR+THUMB.jpg

A North Korean soldier made a desperate dash to freedom and was rescued by South Korean soldiers, according to dramatic video released by the U.S.-led U.N. command Wednesday.

<![CDATA[Trump on Ala. Senate Race: ‘We Don’t Need a Liberal’]]> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:14:07 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_TRUMP_DEPARTS_112117-151129768438000002.jpg

As President Donald Trump departed the White House Tuesday, he stopped to speak with reporters about the ongoing Roy Moore controversy.

<![CDATA[Officer Shoots Man in Stolen Car After Being Hit: Police]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:22:11 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/arlington-shooting-baymont-inn-ground.JPG

An Arlington police officer shot a man who hit him with a car while trying to elude police in a stolen vehicle Friday morning.[[458256753,R]]

Arlington police said they were called at about 10 a.m. to investigate three suspicious people outside the Baymont Inn. According to the caller, at least one of the three people had been hiding in the bushes outside of the hotel the day before and they'd also said they were there looking for something.

While en route to the hotel, officers learned the car reported by the caller had been reported stolen in Dallas.

Four officers arrived, surrounded the vehicle and ordered a man and woman inside the car to exit, but they refused. After officers pulled the female passenger from the vehicle, the driver, later identified by police as 39-year-old Shaun Veloz, began to try to pull away and hit both officers with the vehicle, brushing aganist one's knee while knocking another to the ground.

With the car still reversing, the officer who had been knocked to the ground then shot Veloz, police said.


The car came to rest on a curb, with the back end toward the hotel. A large amount of blood was visible on the pavement where the driver exited the vehicle.

Veloz was taken to a nearby hospital. While his condition is not known, police said his injuries are not considered life threatening. The officer knocked to the ground was also hospitalized with injuries not considered life threatening.

The third person mentioned on the 911 call was found inside the hotel and was interviewed by police. That person and the woman pulled from the passenger side of the vehicle were both released at the scene, police said.

Veloz, meanwhile, will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one felony count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, police said.

NBC 5's Alice Barr contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore Holds News Conference After Two New Accusers Emerge]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:25:12 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ROY_MOORE_PRESSER_111617-151086703980900002.jpg

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore held a news conference surrounded by religious leaders Thursday after two more women accused him of pursuing them when they were teenagers.

<![CDATA[Sini Mathews Arraigned on Child Endangerment Charge]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:31:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sini+mathews+dallas+mug.jpg

The mother of a North Texas toddler whose body was recovered last month from a drainage culvert weeks after she was reported missing was arrested Thursday on a charge of child endangerment.

Police said she and her husband left their 3-year-old adopted child, Sherin Mathews, home alone while they went to dinner just hours before they claimed she had disappeared.

Sini Ann Mathews, who has maintained her innocence in the death of Sherin, surrendered to Richardson police Thursday and is being held on $250,000 bond on the state jail felony charge.

She was arraigned Friday morning and did not respond to reporters questions when she was transferred to the Dallas County Jail Friday afternoon.


In a statement Thursday, Richardson police said detectives learned Sini Mathews, 35, and Wesley Mathews took their 3-year-old biological daughter to dinner and left Sherin alone at home, placing her in "imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment."

"The time that they left, she was not under the care of any other adult or of any other person, she was left home alone by herself and it's for that reason that you see this particular charge," said Kevin Perlich, with the Richardson Police Department. "It's not necessarily related to her death, it's related to her care that she was being given while she was in that home."


According to an arrest warrant affidavit, detectives used cell phone records to show Wesley and Sini went to a North Garland restaurant on the evening of Oct. 6. The theory is supported by a receipt obtained by police that showed the couple purchased only one child's meal in addition to their individual meals as well as the testimony of a waiter who said only one child was present at the table.

During an interview with detectives, Wesley Mathews, 37, admitted to leaving Sherin home alone after growing frustrated she wouldn't drink her milk and said they returned home about 90 minutes later and found her where they left her, in the kitchen.

Both Sini and Wesley told police the child was alive when they returned home from dinner, though police have not confirmed that information.


Hours later, on the morning of Oct. 7, Wesley Mathews called police and reported Sherin missing. In a story he would later change, Wesley originally told police Sherin disappeared overnight after he ordered her to stand outside at about 3 a.m. for not drinking her milk. When he returned, Wesley said she had disappeared and that her location was unknown.

Weeks later, Wesley Mathews changed his story and said he "physically assisted" her in drinking her milk and that she choked and died at the home. He said he then moved the girl's body and later called police to report her missing.


The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office is still working to determine what killed Sherin Mathews.

Sini Mathews said she was sleeping when Sherin disappeared and was unaware of what took place overnight between the child and her father.

Meanwhile, Wesley Mathews remains jailed on a charge of felony injury to a child and is being held on a $1 million bond.

Sini Mathews' attorney has maintained throughout the investigation she had nothing to do with her daughter's death and that she was distraught during her daughter's disappearance.

NBC 5 confirmed Friday that at some point in the last month Sini Mathews was terminated from her job at Children's Medical Center in Dallas where she worked as a case manager.


On Thursday, her attorney Mitchell Nolte thanked Richardson police for allowing his client to surrender.

"We learned this morning that the Richardson Police Department had obtained an arrest warrant for Sini Mathews for the offense of Abandoning/Endangering a Child. The police were professional and courteous and allowed us to bring Mrs. Mathews to the Police Department and surrender herself into custody," Nolte said in a statement.


Earlier this week, Wesley Mathews' attorney, David Kleckner, said his client loves his children and wife and that he's a good family man who wants custody of their surviving daughter to be returned to her mother.

Sini Mathews was in court as recently as Monday asking for custody of the couple's child to be returned to her, but that hearing was rescheduled 1 p.m. Nov. 29. The couple's surviving child has been in foster care since shortly after her sister's disappearance. The child was expected to be placed in the care of family in the Houston area following Monday's hearing.

Sini Mathews Arrest Warrant Affidavit


NBC 5's Diana Zoga and Maria Guerrero contributed to this report. Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 / Dallas Co. Jail]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens Treated After Bunsen Burner Fills Class With Gas]]> Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:11:15 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/203*120/BETTER+CEDAR+HILL+KIDS.JPG

More than two dozen students and faculty at Cedar Hill Collegiate High School required medical treatment Wednesday after being "overcome" by natural gas flowing from an open Bunsen burner, officials say.[[457788983,R]]

Cedar Hill officials confirmed 25 students and three staff members were affected by the gas at about 1:12 p.m. Seven of those, six students and one adult, were transported to Methodist Charlton Medical Center for treatment.

The school, which is located on the 1500 block of High Pointe Lane, was evacuated a short time after the initial call.

Officials said the classroom filled with gas when a valve on a Bunsen burner on a teacher's desk was accidentally left open. The gas is used to heat the burner for science experiments.

Atmos Energy is inspecting the entire school as a precaution to verify there is no other open source of natural gas.

The campus is home to both Cedar Hill Collegiate High School and Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy. CHCHS opened in 2008 and is home to 406 students in grades 9 through 12. Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy has 207 students enrolled in grades 6 and 7. Through a partnership with Cedar Valley Community College, students at CHCHS are able to complete 60 hours of college credit tuition-free and earn an associate degree prior to high school graduation.

NBC 5's Diana Zoga and Cody Lillich contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Senate Candidate Roy Moore Speaks at Baptist Church Amid Ongoing Scandal]]> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:25:29 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ROY_MOORE_2-151071877962400002.jpg

The GOP Senate nominee from Alabama, Roy Moore, spoke for crowds at a Baptist church revival service Tuesday in Jackson, Alabama. Moore held the campaign event amid public allegations of sexual abuse from multiple women.

<![CDATA[Deadly Shooting Spree Ends Near NorCal Elementary School]]> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:51:53 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TEHAMA+SHOOTING+THUMB.jpg

At least five people, including the alleged gunman, have been killed following a shooting spree in Northern California that ended near an elementary school. Two children were wounded and have been transported to local area hospitals.

<![CDATA[Children Treated, Released After School Bus Crash]]> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:32:18 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mckinney-isd-bus-crash-m-okeefe-photog.jpg

A school bus driver and six elementary students were hospitalized Tuesday after the driver had a medical emergency and drove into a ditch.[[457455093,R]]

The McKinney Independent School District bus was headed southbound on U.S. Highway 75 to Lawson Elementary when the driver exited the freeway at about 7:26 a.m. due to the unspecified medical emergency.

"He steered that bus into this long field and made a slow roll, ending up in that ditch," said Carla Marion Peritz, Media Relations Specialist and Public Information Officer for the McKinney Police Department.

No major injures were reported, only bumps and bruises. Six out of the eight children on board were transported to Medical Center of McKinney as a precaution and were later released.


The driver was also transported for evaluation or treatment. Officials confirmed he was alert at the time. His current condition is not known.

A tow truck at the scene pulled the damaged bus from the ditch.

Durham School Services provides bus transportation for the McKinney ISD.


Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: Michael O’Keefe, First Response Photography
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<![CDATA[Transgender Woman Makes History With Virginia House Win]]> Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:52:02 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+DANICA+ROEM+THUMB.jpg

Democrat Danica Roem made history Tuesday with her win for Virginia’s 13th District House of Delegates seat. She will be the 1st out transgender member of the House of Delegates and the 1st out transgender person to win and serve in a state legislature. Roem defeated long-serving GOP incumbent Bob Marshall, who refused to debate Roem during the campaign.

<![CDATA[Former MLB Star Roy Halladay Dies in Florida Plane Crash]]> Tue, 07 Nov 2017 17:55:09 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_04_02.Still002.jpg

Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay died when his plane crashed on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa, Florida. He was 40.

<![CDATA[Texas Officials: Church Shooter Had 'Mission and Purpose']]> Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:30:33 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+SHOOTING+PRESSER+THUMB.jpg

The gunman who killed 26 at a Texas church had a “mission” and a “purpose,” law enforcement officials said. The gunman was shot twice before shooting himself in the head, officials said.

<![CDATA[Mom Had Planned to Kill Daughters, Husband for Weeks: PD]]> Fri, 03 Nov 2017 12:35:04 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sarah-Nicole-Henderson-inset-daughters.jpg

A 29-year-old Henderson County woman is on suicide watch after being arrested and accused of fatally shooting her two young daughters early Thursday morning.

Sarah Nicole Henderson is in the Henderson County Jail, charged with the capital murder of her children, 7-year-old Kaylee and her 5-year-old half-sister Kenlie.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said Henderson showed no remorse or "much emotion" when she confessed to the murders and was "just matter-of-fact" during her interview with police following her arrest. He added detectives learned she'd been planning the crime for a couple of weeks and had also intended to kill her husband.

"Over the last 24 hours, the investigation shows that she planned these murders for at least the last two weeks," Hillhouse said. "It appears she also intended to kill her husband, but the entire crime did not go as planned."

According to the sheriff, Henderson's husband called 911 at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that she was suicidal. A second call was made minutes later to cancel the request, which canceled the EMS response, but sheriff's deputies still went to the residence.

Deputies arrived at about 11:45 p.m. but left after the couple said they were fine and no one was in danger.

Hillhouse said Henderson's husband called 911 nearly three hours later, at about 2:24 a.m., to report that his wife had shot both of her children.

In the 911 call, the husband said he was asleep in the bedroom and the victims were sleeping in the living room. He said he woke up to his wife telling him she' shot both of the children.

"I didn't want to believe it and went in there and they were dead," he said in the recording.

When police arrived, both of the children were deceased.

"It's a life-changing event for everyone — not only the family, but all the first responders — that responded to the call. It's something that you don't ever forget," Hillhouse said.

Detectives arrested Henderson, who the sheriff confirmed was the subject of the original call to the home, and transported her to the Henderson County Jail where she is being kept under suicide watch.

Hillhouse confirmed that Henderson's husband is not suspected of any wrongdoing. He also confirmed the man is not the father of either of the victims.

A motive for the slayings has not been confirmed, and the investigation into the shootings is ongoing.

Neighbors spent Thursday trying to wrap their heads around the violent incident.

"I've never had a conversation with her, but the little girls would come over here and ride their little bikes around the circle driveway. They would draw pictures and put them in the mailbox for us," said Jaylyne Palmer, who's lived across the street from the Hendersons for much of the last decade.

Deputies with the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, along with the Texas Rangers and Child Protective Services, are handling the investigation.

Henderson is being held on $2 million bond on one charge of capital murder of a child under the age of 10. A second capital murder charge is pending. In Texas, the murder of a person under the age of 10 is an immediate capital offense punishable by death or life in prison without parole.

It's not clear if Henderson has obtained an attorney.

NBC 5's Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Family Photo/Henderson County Jail]]>
<![CDATA[President Trump Calls Terrorism Suspect an 'Animal']]> Wed, 01 Nov 2017 13:50:33 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+TRUMP+REAX+THUMB.jpg

During a cabinet meeting Wednesday, President Trump referred to terrorism suspect Sayfullo Saipov as an "animal," and called for "swift justice" instead of regular due process.

<![CDATA[‘Cowardly Act of Terror’: 8 Dead After Truck Rams Crowded NYC Bike Path]]> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:33:20 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NYC+INCIDENT+103117+THUMB.jpg

At least eight people were killed and at least a dozen were injured after a truck driver deliberately mowed down pedestrians, cyclists and a school bus in lower Manhattan Tuesday in what authorities called a "cowardly act of terror."

<![CDATA[Woman Arriving Home Gunned Down in Yard; Reward Offered]]> Tue, 24 Oct 2017 11:10:55 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jocelyn-Sarabia-Marlon.jpg

Garland police are looking for sedan after a young woman was shot and killed in front of her parent's home as she arrived home from her job at a convenience store early Friday morning.

Homicide detectives with the Garland Police Department said 20-year-old Jocelyn Sarabia-Marlon arrived at her family's home in the 900 block of East Linda Drive at about 1:30 a.m. and was quickly approached by two men who fatally shot her.

Surveillance video released Friday night shows two men walking alongside a sedan with another person driving it. The edited video then shows the car backed into a driveway drive off. Another angle shows one of the man wearing a shirt with a reflective sleeve.

According to the victim's step-sister, Alexia Guerrero, their mother woke up and heard the victim saying, "Oh my God, oh my God," followed by gunfire.

The gunshots woke up the entire family, who went out front to find Jocelyn unresponsive and bleeding on the front lawn.

The family called police and first responders arrived moments later. Jocelyn was taken to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas where she was later pronounced dead.

"It just took one bullet for her to pass. It went straight to her heart and out the other way," Guerrero said. "In front of her yard, in front of her parents. It was hard for them ... your daughter gets killed in front of your house."

Guerrero said the family is struggling to understand what's happened and said her step-sister was not physically assaulted or robbed before being shot.

"They didn't rob her, they didn't take no belongings. They just came, did what they did and just left," Guerrero said.

A makeshift memorial is growing in the front yard of the home.

Police said the investigation is in the early stages and that and detectives are working to determine a motive.

They say they are unable to get a good description of the men in the video. Police say the sedan may be a Nissan Altima.

So far, no arrests have been made. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact the Garland Police Department at 972-485-4840. A reward of up to $5,000 has been offered by Garland Crimes Stoppers for information leading to an arrest or grand jury indictment.s

Tips may also be submitted anonymously to Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477 (TIPS), or garlandcrimestoppers.org.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[American-Canadian Family Out of Captivity After 5 Years]]> Thu, 12 Oct 2017 09:35:45 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+US+HOSTAGES+FREE+THUMB.jpg

American Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children have been released by a Taliban-linked group after being held captive for five years. The couple was captured while hiking near Kabul, Afghanistan in 2012 and held by the Haqqani network. Coleman was pregnant at the time and gave birth to three children while in captivity.

<![CDATA[Video Captures Dramatic Moment During Mexico Quake]]> Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:02:25 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+MEXICO+EARTHQUAKE+SB.jpg

Ana Paula Hernandez captured the moment a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico as she attempted to hide under her office desk.

<![CDATA[Deadly 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:26:47 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_MEXICO_EARTHQUAKE_091917_1-150585103631000002.jpg

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico Tuesday in the state of Puebla, which is about 80 miles southeast of Mexico City. This latest quake comes less than two weeks after an 8.1 earthquake hit the country, killing nearly 100 people.

<![CDATA[Japan Reacts to North Korean Missile Fired Over Country]]> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:26:03 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+JAPAN+REAX+NK+MISSILE+THUMB.jpg

North Korea fired another missile over Japan Friday. The missile flew over the island of Hakkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Experts estimate the ballistic missile flew over 2,300 miles, which would mean it is capable of reaching Guam.

<![CDATA[Victims of Plano Mass Shooting Identified]]> Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:50:54 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/plano-mass-shooting-eight-victims.jpg

Plano police have confirmed the name of the man they say killed his estranged wife and seven others during a Dallas Cowboys watch party as 32-year-old Spencer Hight.

Investigators said the gunman arrived at his former home Sunday at about 8 p.m., armed with multiple weapons. The man then went on a rampage, shooting nine people, seven fatally, inside the home and in the back yard, before being fatally shot by a Plano police officer.

One of the two people injured in the shooting later died at an area hospital. On Wednesday night, the family of the lone survivor released her name, Carly Shockey, and a statement about the shooting.

We would like to thank everyone for their concern and prayers for our loved one, Carly. Our hearts are heavy for the families affected by this senseless tragedy.

Carly is in stable, but serious condition. This is the beginning of a very long recovery journey for both Carly and our family. We ask that you please respect our privacy as we focus all of our family’s energy on helping Carly recover.

At this time, please join us in supporting all the families and friends who have been impacted, and honoring the memory of these young lives that were tragically taken away.

Investigators confirmed the identities of the eight victims as: 27-year-old Meredith Emily Hight, the estranged wife of the suspect; 33-year-old Anthony "Tony" Michael Cross; 24-year-old Olivia Nicole Deffner; 29-year-old James Richard Dunlop; 22-year-old Darryl William Hawkins; 31-year-old Rion Christopher Morgan; 28-year-old Myah Sade Bass and 25-year-old Caleb Seth Edwards.


"It's kind of like losing a child," said Kenda Grand, who walked up to a growing memorial on Tuesday with flowers in honor of Tony Cross. "My son said, 'He was my first friend and still is my best friend. He was an awesome guy. He was a great kid, very articulate. Everywhere we went, we took Tony.'"

The family of Tony Cross released a statement to NBC 5:

"Times like this often serve as a reminder to live each day to its fullest and to always make time for the important people in your life, but that's just how Tony lived. He didn't need a reminder to pursue his passions or to spend time with the ones he loved. He lived and loved the way we all should."

Rion Morgan's aunt in the Houston area told NBC 5 that Morgan had been a groomsman in Hight's wedding.

"He was a kindhearted, good person," said Carol Greer. "He was very lovable to everybody. Everybody he met was his friend and stayed his friend."


Greer said Morgan was a UT-Dallas graduate and worked on campus. He loved to travel and loved his nieces.

"I just wish that everybody would just step back and take a look at themselves and learn how to love each other, because this world is beginning to get very sick," she said.

Friends of the victims talked with NBC 5 outside of the home, not far from where the victims' cars remained parked outside.

Zully Romo lifted her hand in prayer for her friend and co-worker, Darryl Hawkins.


She confirmed he was among the victims when she saw his BMW still parked by the house.

"Your hear it, but you don't believe it," Romo said. "And you still don't believe it, but you see his car there, and all you want to do is wrap yourself around it and see him walk up and say, 'Hey, let's go.'"

The parents of Meredith Hight told NBC 5 Monday that their daughter was getting a divorce and that she was hosting a football watch party at the couple's former home a day before what would have been their wedding anniversary.

A friend of Spencer Hight, who asked to remain anonymous, said he saw Spencer at a nearby bar before the shooting and that he seemed upset. No further details were shared.

The Dallas Morning News reports that those killed on Sunday night in Plano included the man who had stood by 32-year-old Spencer Hight when he said "I do" to Meredith Hight. Spencer Hight's father, Chester Hight, told the newspaper that that the family is living a "nightmare."

A motive for the shooting has not been confirmed.

Brave Plano Officer Enters Home, Ends Massacre

Plano Police Officer David Tilley said during a news conference Monday that officers were called to a home on the 1700 block of West Spring Creek Parkway just after 8 p.m. after several people called 911 reporting active gunshots.

Plano Chief of Police Gregory Rushin said during a news conference Monday afternoon that the first officer arrived at the home within two minutes of being dispatched.


Rushin said the officer approached the home from the rear and heard gunshots inside as well as several shooting victims "down" in the back yard. Rushin said the officer then made the brave decision to enter the home without waiting for backup.

"The first thing he heard was shots being fired. He saw people in the back yard, down, that were shot. So he instantly knew what was going on. He went into the house on his own, made that decision that he couldn't wait for a backup from another partner, as we were trained, and go in and to stop the shooter. And that's exactly what he did, he actually found the shooter inside and ended his shooting spree," Rushin said. "This officer went directly into fire, where fire was taking place, and stopped the shooter's ability to continue to kill people. I think the officer showed great bravery."

Inside the home, officers found two survivors, both critically injured with apparent gunshot wounds, and the bodies of seven adults. At a news conference Monday afternoon, police said one of the two survivors died at the hospital, while the condition of the other was not known.

The investigation into the deaths of the eight victims is being handled by the Plano Police Department. The officer who fatally shot the suspected gunman is on administrative leave with pay and the shooting is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, which is normal in officer-involved shootings.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Hurricane Irma’s Path of Destruction]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:53:16 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+Hurricane+Irma+THUMB2.jpg

Hurricane Irma has cut a huge path of destruction through several Caribbean islands on its path toward the United States. See what the aftermath looked like as some of those islands began to recover.

<![CDATA[Ahead of Irma, Florida’s Key Largo Is a Ghost Town]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:25:05 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+IRMA+KEY+LARGO+THUMB.jpg

A time-lapse video of the drive north on US-1 from Key Largo shows near-empty roads after Floridians evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma. The storm is expected to slam into the area early Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm.

<![CDATA[Cellphone Video of Hurricane Irma Over Turks And Caicos]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:33:08 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+HURRICANE+IRMA+TURKS+CAICOS+THUMB.jpg

Dramatic cellphone video captures Hurricane Irma as it approached Turks and Caicos. The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths and is expected to hit Miami early Sunday morning.

<![CDATA[Photos: Deadly Terrorist Attacks in Barcelona, Cambrils]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 07:14:03 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-833993788.jpg At least 14 people were killed and many more injured in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, after a white van jumped a curb and slammed into people on a busy sidewalk, police said. The alleged driver fled the scene of the crash. South of Barcelona in Cambrils, police killed five suspects after authorities said they also drove a car into people, injuring six, in a linked attack. Those suspects wore fake bombs.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Country Music Artist Glen Campbell Dies at 81]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:49:31 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+GLEN+CAMPBELL+DEATH+THUMB.jpg

Country music legend Glen Campbell died Tuesday following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The musician was 81. During his recording career, Campbell released more than 70 albums and sold more than 45 million records, including the popular hits “Gentle on My Mind” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

<![CDATA[Explosion at Minneapolis School]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:15:24 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_MINNEAPOLIS_SCHOOL_EXPLOSION_080217-150169756219600001.jpg

One person has been found dead and another is still unaccounted for after an explosion Wednesday morning caused the partial collapse of a Minneapolis college prep school. Authorities say it was a natural gas explosion.

<![CDATA[Dallas Names U. Renee Hall as Next Chief of Police]]> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:29:43 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/RH-DPD.jpg

The City of Dallas named U. Renee Hall the next chief of the Dallas Police Department Wednesday. Hall, the daughter of a murdered Detroit police officer, is the first woman to hold the position in the department's 136-year history.

"I am honored to be chosen to lead the Dallas Police Department at this critical time in its history,” Hall said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to building on the successes of the past, preserving community trust and ensuring the safety of our officers and the entire Dallas community."

Her appointment means women of color now hold the top three law enforcement positions in Dallas County. Hall joins Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the first openly gay Latina to be elected Dallas County sheriff, and District Attorney Faith Johnson, the first black woman appointed to the position.

[[435474783, C]]

Before coming to Dallas, Hall spent more than two decades with the Detroit Police Department, most recently as deputy chief. Under Hall's leadership in Michigan, the city of Detroit experienced a 40-year low in homicides and double-digit reductions in violent crime for three consecutive years.

She is expected to begin work in Dallas on Sept. 5.

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said Wednesday Hall is a proven leader with a stellar background and a passion for public service.

"My belief is Renee Hall will be a dynamic chief and do great things in this community," Broadnax said. "She's going to have a great impact, not just on the police department, but the entire city."


City officials said that while Hall was in Detroit she "developed and implemented comprehensive community policing and mentor programs, forged partnerships and established trust within minority communities while also building strong relationships between officers of all ranks and community stakeholders." 

In an exclusive interview with NBC 5 Investigative reporter Scott Friedman, Hall said she will work to implement these same types of programs in Dallas. Among her objectives, she said, is having officers more involved in the community, doing service projects, feeding the homeless and working with teens, because "officers can't police a community they don't understand."

"What I've learned from being in the city of Detroit, as you know the city of Detroit went through bankruptcy, we went through pension reform, pay cuts for the officers — they even had holidays taken away, and morale was very low. We did have mass exodus, much like Dallas had, but when we got down to talking to the officers, officers don't necessarily leave just about money. It's not always monetary. They just need to have an environment where they have unwavering support from their leaders, creating an environment of excitement," Hall said.


Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings welcomed Hall to the city in a series of tweets where he said, "I knew we would get many great candidates, and we did because of the great opportunity. We needed an excellent leader and we got a proven one. I'm pleased with our choice."


"We’ve done our homework on her. We were told that she was very strong in the community that even as a chief level officer in the city of Detroit she gets out and engages the community and actually gets involved in police incidents and maintains a presence in the community,” said Thomas Glover, president of the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas.

The city launched a nationwide search for a new police chief last fall after Chief David O. Brown abruptly announced his retirement. Brown, who grew up in Dallas and attended UT, had led the department for six years, but had spent decades on the force. His departure came only a few months after five law enforcement officers were ambushed and gunned down in downtown Dallas near the end of a peaceful protest.

Since Brown's departure on Oct. 22, the department has been led by interim Chief of Police David Pughes who said early on that he was not seeking to fill the position permanently.


During an event earlier this month in Dallas, Hall joined seven other finalists at City Hall to meet with stakeholders and greet the public. She said then she recognized the city's need to heal after the ambush attack last summer and that she could help do that.

"This job is about skill. It's about the ability to lead, boost morale and fight crime," Hall said. "To bring a city that needs to heal together as a whole. I bring that."


Hall, who was promoted to deputy chief in Detroit in May 2014, was one of two black women among the eight finalists for the job. She edged out five local finalists, four from within the Dallas Police Department, including Dallas Assistant Chief of Police Gary Tittle; Dallas Deputy Chief Malik Aziz; Dallas Deputy Chief Rick Watson and Grand Prairie Chief of Police Steve Dye.

Both Johnson and Valdez released statements of support following Wednesday's announcement.

“I want to welcome our new Chief of Police, Ulysha Renee Hall to Dallas ... it’s exciting that she will serve as the first female chief at the Dallas Police Department. I am proud that she is joining me and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez on the growing list of females in top law enforcement positions in Dallas County," Johnson said. "There is much work to be done building bridges between law enforcement and our communities, and I am looking forward to all of us working together to ensure success."

"The Sheriff’s Department congratulates Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax on the selection of Dallas Police’s new chief.  It was a tough decision because any one of the seven candidates would have made an excellent chief. We welcome Chief U. Renee Hall and look forward to working with her. I am personally aware of the challenges that the first female chief will face. My staff and I stand ready to help in any way that we can," said Valdez.


Hall has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling State University and Master’s degrees in Security Administration and Intelligence Analysis from the University of Detroit Mercy. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, she also completed the Police Executive Leadership Institute and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Hall was 6 months old when her 27-year-old father was gunned down while working a prostitution and gambling case. After failing to report in for 12 hours, his body was discovered only after a man reported finding a person had been shot in the chest. To date, his murder remains unsolved.

"I know what it's like to grow up without a parent who died at the hands of a violent crime. And I know what the citizens feel when their loved one has been taken away from them," she told NBC 5. "So it's important for me to make sure that those individual are brought to justice so there's closure in their lives. Because I never received that closure," she said.

She told The Dallas Morning News that closure was important to her family and that she believed she was finishing what her father started.


During a lighter moment with the media, Hall was asked Wednesday if she'd continue to support the Detroit Lions after moving to Dallas. She said though she was a lifelong Lions fan, she'd be wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat on Sundays -- except for when the Cowboys play the Lions. There will be no conflict this year unless the team's meet in the postseason -- the Cowboys and Lions are not scheduled to play in the 2017 season.

Hall is expected to begin work in Dallas on Sept. 5.

NBC 5's Ashleigh Barry, Ken Kalthoff, Scott Friedman and Eva Parks contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Detroit PD/NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Bomb Hoax Prompts Evacuation at UT Dallas]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:06:06 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/utdallasthreat10.jpg

The University of Texas at Dallas ordered a campus-wide evacuation Tuesday afternoon after receiving a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax.

The school ordered all students, faculty, visitors and employees to evacuate all buildings at about 2:40 p.m.


The school followed up tweets calling for the evacuation with another saying they'd received a bomb threat and that they were working with the University of Texas at Dallas Police Department to make sure the campus is safe.


The all clear was given at about 3:20 p.m. and students, teachers and others were seen headed back inside.

Officials did not say how the threat was received and no other information has been confirmed.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Daughter of Civic Leader Killed in Fort Worth Shooting]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 03:03:46 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fort-worth-shooting-metro.jpg

Two were killed and five others were hospitalized after a shooting in Fort Worth late Friday night.

A witness, Ethel Love, reported hearing dozens of shots from multiple guns on Davis Avenue, near New York Avenue in Fort Worth, close to I-35W.

Gunfire in this area is "a regular thing," said Love. "I've been staying on Davis street since 1972 and seven people have passed away and I'm just... really tired of it."

The deceased have since been identified as Ramsez Hall and Shemeka Rodriguez - the daughter of East Fort Worth Neighborhood Coalition President Melinda Hamilton.

Two of the injured were taken by ambulance, and the other three taken by private vehicles, to nearby hospitals early Saturday morning.

Fort Worth's gang units were on scene investigating, but the cause of the shooting is still unclear and the department is urging anyone with more information to contact them.

This story will be updated as more details are released.

Photo Credit: Metro]]>
<![CDATA[May: UK Threat Level Raised to Critical]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 16:20:48 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TheresaMay-149557577419400001.jpg

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the United Kingdom's threat level has been raised from severe to critical, its highest level, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, a day after a suicide bombing in Manchester left 22 dead and 59 wounded.

<![CDATA[Trump Denies Asking Comey to Close Flynn Probe]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 15:53:13 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT+TRUMP+PRESSER+051817THUMB.jpg

President Donald Trump responded to questions about the Russia investigation at a news conference Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Trump denied the allegation that he urged former FBI Director James Comey to back off his investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

<![CDATA[Man Who Caused Hulen Mall Lockdown Saturday Identified]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:19:10 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/Vernon-Hassell-Hulen-Mall2.jpg

An armed robber on the run was arrested at Hulen Mall, but not before forcing police to shut the mall down Saturday morning, according to Fort Worth Police.

Police say an armed man with a beard, glasses and a purple hoodie robbed a store along Camp Bowie Boulevard at about 10:30 a.m. The man then carjacked a 2017 pickup truck.

Thanks to a tracker on the pickup, police followed the truck to Hulen Mall where the alleged robber ran from officers and went into the mall.

The mall was then locked down and officers searched for the man. Some inside were told to shelter in place and others were evacuated.

At 11:30 a.m. Fort Worth police tweeted a warning to the public to stay away from the mall.

At 11:40 a.m. Fort Worth Police reported the suspect was in custody. Police later said he was found in the boiler room of the Macy's.

Fort Worth Police tweeted just before 12:15 p.m. that the mall was still closed as police searched for evidence only. No other suspects were being pursued.

Just before 12:45 p.m. Fort Worth police tweeted that the mall was once again open to the public.

Police said 40-year-old Vernon Hassell was charged with five counts of aggravated robbery. He's being held on $50,000 bond. No word on if Hassell has been appointed an attorney.

Photo Credit: Texas Sky Ranger/Fort Worth Police Department
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<![CDATA[Fisherman Missing on Lake Ray Hubbard]]> Fri, 17 Mar 2017 07:47:42 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/boat-missing-fisherman.jpg

The search for a fisherman who's been missing since Wednesday on Lake Ray Hubbard resumed Friday morning.[[416354523,R]]

Officials have identified the man as Mark Jordan of Rockwall County.

Due to extremely windy conditions on Thursday, crews called off the search at sundown and were set to resume Friday morning.

Jordan's pickup and trailer were located at the boat ramp along Texas Highway 66; his capsized boat was found by the Dallas Police Department's helicopter Air 1 about a half mile south of the Highway 66 bridge.

DFR's Marine 1 investigated the boat and said it was empty.

Jason Evans, with Dallas Fire-Rescue, said they were told Jordan typically fished in a certain area and never stayed on the water too long.

The Texas Game Warden and other local agencies are assisting in the search.


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Flower Mound Orders Controlled Burn of Namesake Flower Mound]]> Fri, 03 Mar 2017 04:51:04 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/flower-mound-controlled-burn.jpg

For the first time ever, the Flower Mound Fire Department conducted a prescribed burn of the town's namesake flower mound.

City officials said invasive plants have overtaken the flower mound, choking out native wildflowers and prairie grasses.

The overgrowth is also a wildfire hazard, officials said, which could threaten neighboring homes and businesses.


Mix the large supply of vegetation/wildfire fuel with Texas' current elevated risk of wildfires and it's a recipe for disaster.

To curtail the risk of wildfire and remove the invasive species, officials ordered a controlled burn of the area. On Thursday, approximately eight acres, or two-thirds of the mound, were burned.

The remaining four acres, which are surrounded by residential property, will be done sometime next year.


Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Silver Alert: Missing Senior May Pose a Threat to Himself]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:17:22 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/earl-dee-elliott-inset.jpg

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is searching for Earl Dee Elliot, an 87-year-old white man diagnosed with a cognitive impairment who police believe poses a threat to his own health and safety.

Elliott is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a green jack with a green or grey shirt and black shoes.

He was last seen at about 7 a.m. Tuesday near 5512 Burleson Oaks in Burleson driving a maroon 1996 Chevrolet 1500L pickup truck with Texas license plate BV1 9568.

Anyone with information about Elliot's location is asked to contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 817-556-6060.

<![CDATA[Mesquite Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Apartment Fire]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:01:44 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/churchill-crossing-fire-02.jpg

Mesquite firefighters knocked down a 2-alarm fire at the Churchill Crossing Apartments on the 3700 block of Gus Thomasson Road late Tuesday morning.[[413729123,R]]

Fire officials confirmed fire at about 11:30 a.m. smoke and fire were visible on the third floor.

By noon, firefighters apparently had the fire under control.

At this time no injuries have been reported and the cause of the fire is unknown.

Check back and refresh this page for the latest update. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[3 in Custody After Burglary, Chase in Cedar Hill]]> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 15:20:20 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Cedar-Hill-Police-Badge.jpg

Three people wanted in connection with a home burglary in Cedar Hill are in custody, police say.

Cedar Hill police said after a burglary was reported Wednesday afternoon officers made a traffic stop. During that stop, three people exited the vehicle and tried to run away.

One of the occupants was arrested, but two were able to escape after running toward a nearby apartment complex.

While officers searched the area, two nearby schools, Trinity Christian School and Besse Coleman Middle School, were placed on lock down.

Just after 3 p.m., police said the other two suspected burglars had been taken into custody and the lock downs were lifted.

No further information has been confirmed by police.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[2 Window Washers Rescued after Dangling 15 Stories]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 04:00:21 -0600 https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/giphy3.gif

Firefighters with Dallas Fire-Rescue pulled two stranded window washers off a high-rise building in North Dallas Wednesday afternoon.

The window washers were in distress and dangling from the Prosperity Bank building at 9330 LBJ Freeway near Abrams after their scaffolding apparently failed and fell to one side just before 2 p.m.

From NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Chopper 5, the scaffolding could be seen hanging vertically with only one set of support wires to the roof intact. It is not yet known what caused the scaffolding to fail.

After raising one of the workers to the roof, a member of the Dallas Fire-Rescue Urban Search and Rescue Team rappelled down the building and secured the second worker to another line before lowering him to the ground at about 2:50 p.m.

Attempts to raise the second man to the roof apparently failed.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans told NBC 5 it appears safety equipment worn by the men worked as it should and kept them safe after the scaffolding failed.

Neither of the men were believed to be seriously injured, though the second man rescued was transported to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas for an evaluation.

NBC 5 Meteorologist Rick Mitchell estimated winds of 10-15 mph. Mitchell noted that the wind was not severe enough to move the stranded worker or disturb the scaffolding.

Fire departments in cities with taller buildings, such as Dallas and Fort Worth, train for what happened Wednesday afternoon. 

"We were lucky to have the window washer prop so we can practice the window washer rescue," said Fort Worth Fire Capt. Robert Webb. "Like today, they had one in Dallas today. So it happens."

The Fort Worth Fire Department showed NBC 5 how firefighters train for such situations. They dangled a dummy from a window washing platform on the fifth floor of their training facility. 

"If any of his equipment fails before we get to him, obviously that's the most dangerous part," said firefighter Chris Torrez, as he dangled outside a fifth floor window, making the practice rescue. "Just taking care of business, going down there and helping whoever we need to help."

Torrez said he hasn't had to rescue anyone off the side of a building in real life, but training for it makes him ready for anything.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>