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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- The principal of the Florida high school where 17 were killed last Wednesday said the school is aiming to start classes up again on Feb. 27.Marjory Stoneman Douglas High principal Ty Thompson made the announcement in a recorded call, which was obtained by ABC News."We will begin by inviting all students and parents to a voluntary campus orientation event on Sunday, Feb. 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.," Thompson says in the call. "A variety of support services will be available on campus for those in need."He later adds: "Our goal was to resume classes on a modified schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 27.""We are MSD Strong," he concludes.Trump needs to 'talk to these kids' who survived Florida school-shooting massacre: Democratic representativeNikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day massacre.Authorities believe Cruz had access to 10 firearms, all long guns, law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told ABC News.A law enforcement source said Cruz is believed to have purchased seven of the long guns himself. The other three firearms were weapons authorities believe Cruz had access to but did not purchase, the source said.In addition to the AR-15 variant Cruz allegedly used in the school shooting, he also purchased an AK-47 variant, one law enforcement official said.All appear to be legal purchases, sources said. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Third-graders in Missouri have sparked a firestorm by selling AR-15 raffle tickets in order to fund their baseball team.The fundraiser attracted backlash online in the wake of last week's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where an AR-15-style rifle was used to kill 17 people.But the baseball team's coach thinks too much has been made of the issue. When ABC News reached Coach Levi Patterson, he said "this has been blown out of proportion.""My heart breaks for those victims in [Florida.] I simply ask that you pray for them,” the Neosho-based coach said.The raffle, which was launched before last week's bloodshed to boost support for the young baseball players, was promoted online, accompanied by the South Elementary School's Wildcat mascot. According to The Kansas City Star, the baseball team is not affiliated with the school district.However, in the hours after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, South Elementary School principal Lee Woodward plugged the raffle on her own Facebook page, pushing for support of the “9u Neosho baseball players, coaches, and parents," according to the Star.The mascot can be used in connection with non-school functions, a school district official told ABC News. However, approval must be secured beforehand, which it wasn't in this case, the official said."Community little league teams in our town have been given permission to use our logos with district approval prior to usage," the Neosho School District said in part in a statement. "The use of our logo on the raffle flyer was not approved but we do not believe it was an action done in ill will. The team removed our logo from the flyer as soon as they were made aware of the situation."Woodward, the principal, is also a mother of one of the players on Patterson's team and was acting as a concerned mother and not as school principal by supporting the raffle, the official added.In a statement, Woodward said: "As the mother of a community league baseball player and a school principal, I am truly sorry to any who were offended or concerned by the team's raffle. It was never my intention to offend anyone but to simply support my son and his teammates."My family is no longer participating in the fundraiser and because of death threats and other violence toward my family from across the nation, I have chosen not to comment further on this topic."According to its website, the school prides itself on its stewardship."The Vision of South Elementary School is to instill positive character traits in our students so they will become both academically and socially productive citizens in society."In the wake of the attacks, Patterson, who is not an employee of the school district, told the Star he feels he's been pilloried."One of the people from the hate group turned in [a Facebook post about the raffle] for I don't know what," he said.He dismissed the notion that the AR-15 is a "killing machine" and defended his decision to carry on with the raffle in a Facebook post Wednesday."We appreciate your 'concern' but please understand, we are not, have not, and will not force one of our boys to sell raffle tickets for the Black Rain AR15 Spec 15, if they are uncomfortable doing so," he wrote, according to the Star. The winner must pass a background check to score the weapon.“Are you all tone deaf?” wrote one person in a comment on Patterson’s page, according to the Star.Patterson later amended his "hate group" remark to the Star, suggesting instead that critics are merely misguided in their attacks."I just think they have feelings to this specific type of gun [that are] different than people around here do," he told the Star.The coach added that many have come to his defense as well. Patterson said he's had people from other states come forward over Facebook offering to purchase raffle tickets.One of the players' fathers, according to the Star, co-founded Black Rain Ordnance, the ma
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In the days since the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, student survivors have taken the baton from adults to demand justice for their dead friends and teachers, and protection for themselves in the classroom."It's incredibly unprecedented. And my initial response is these folks are too young to be cynical and they don't really care about the politics in D.C., and they're going forward and it's exciting," said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence."These young people are showing it's a different world," said Horwitz, who has been an advocate for gun control laws for three decades. "They have an authentic voice. It's hard to hear their pleas and be immune to that."At gun control rallies and in countless interviews, student survivors of the shooting have clearly articulated their opinions that adults have failed to protect them and that politics should not play a role in their safety."What I wish people would know is that this is something that people cannot get used to,” student David Hogg, 17, told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America” a day after the shooting left 17 dead at his Parkland, Florida, school on Feb. 14.“This is something we can't let keep happening," he said. "Because if we do and we get used to it, it’s going to happen again. This is a time for our country to take a look in the mirror and realize there is a serious issue here."Like Hogg, fellow students at Stoneman Douglas have organized protests and seized opportunities to speak out.Emma Gonzalez, 18, a senior at Stoneman Douglas, prompted rousing applause when she spoke at a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday, and called out lawmakers, including President Donald Trump, who take money from the National Rifle Association."We are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see," Gonzalez told the crowd.Student Jaclyn Corin, 17, a junior at the school, and about 100 of her classmates plan to board buses on Tuesday and travel to the state capitol in Tallahassee as part of the “Never Again” movement spawned by the mass killing and spreading across the country via social media. The students plan to meet with legislators to demand stronger gun laws and bolstered school security."It shows that we are mature enough," Corin told ABC News. "We will come at them and do whatever it takes to change the way our state runs and the nation [operates]."The students have also organized an event for March 14, in which they plan to walk out of class for 17 minutes in honor of those who died.Kim Russell, executive adviser of Women's March, told ABC News that her organization's youth empowerment group, comprised of young people 15 to 20, has been helping organize the March 14 event and that students at schools across the country have vowed to participate.Ten days after the walkout, a "March for Our Lives" is planned for Washington, D.C. A group of Stoneman Douglas students made the announcement this weekend they will march on Washington next month to demand action on gun control."People are saying that it's not time to talk about gun control. And we can respect that," Cameron Kasky, an 11th grader at Stoneman Douglas, told ABC News' Martha Raddatz on "This Week." "Here's a time: March 24 in every single city. We are going to be marching together as students begging for our lives."The students say they hope the march transcends politics, with Kasky saying "this isn't about the GOP. This isn't about Democrats. This is about the adults."Students are also planning a nationwide class walkout for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre that left 15 dead, including the gunmen, in Littleton, Colorado. As of Monday evening, more than 66,000 students and teachers across the country had
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Joshua Thiede has been missing for over a week and his family is concerned for his safety.The 29-year-old was last seen at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 11 in downtown Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. His family hasn't heard from him since."This doesn't feel right," said Yokeena Jamar, Thiede's friend, to ABC station KABC in Los Angeles. "Honestly, it didn't really feel real to me until after the news stations started calling."An investigation into Thiede's disappearance is ongoing and active, according to police.Thiede was an Uber and Lyft driver, according to police. He drove a 2014 black Nissan Altima with license plate No. 7CSD450, police said. His car was located on Monday afternoon just east of Hollywood.Police describe Thiede as white with brown hair, blue eyes, 6 feet tall and weighing around 170 pounds.Janet Thiede, his mother, said on Twitter that her son, or someone using his phone, called 911 on Feb. 12 and then hung up."The 911 phone call was made on Monday at 2:30 p.m. We're not sure why he made that phone call," Jamar told KABC. "There was no transcript of that phone call because they did not record it. It was a hang-up call."Thiede was using Uber and Lyft to make money while preparing to start his own footwear line to benefit homelessness, according to KABC."We are aware of the situation and have been working with the LAPD. We certainly hope Joshua is found safe and urge anyone who can help to call police," said a spokesman for Uber in a statement to ABC News.Lyft has not immediately responded to ABC News' request for comment, but according to KABC, issued a statement saying, "Our concern is with Mr. Thiede's safety and wellbeing. We have been in touch with his family and law enforcement and will continue to assist in whatever way we can."Anyone with information is urged to contact the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (213) 996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As investigators dig into Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz's background, more and more instances have emerged in which state and federal officials apparently missed opportunities to stop his runaway obsession to, as the alleged killer purportedly stated in a 6-month-old comment on a YouTube video, "be a professional school shooter.""This kid, in his own way, was screaming out in every way the mind knows how to scream out. He did everything, including saying, 'I want to go and shoot people in school,'" Cruz's attorney Howard Finkelstein told ABC News. "I don't know what you can do more than that to get somebody's attention."Among the growing list of warning signs either detailed by public statements from officials or public records are:-- An admission by the FBI that it was given two tips on Cruz's potential for violence, including the September comment on the YouTube video, which the FBI said it investigated but could not verify who posted it. The bureau also said on Friday that a Jan. 5 tip that came across its Public Access Line, warning that Cruz might be planning a "school shooting" and detailing his guns, was not passed on to its Miami field office and was never investigated.-- A report in August 2016 by the Florida Department of Children and Family that shows the agency investigated a Snapchat post showing Cruz cutting his arms and was told by Cruz that he "plans to go out and buy a gun." The agency determined Cruz "to be stable enough not to be hospitalized," according to the DCF report obtained by The Associated Press.-- Investigators dissecting Cruz's social media accounts since the mass shooting have found posts that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel described to ABC News as "very, very disturbing."-- Broward County School District officials saying Cruz was reprimanded regularly while a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and eventually expelled. Jim Gard, a math teacher at the school, told ABC News he believes Cruz had been banned from bringing a backpack to school when he was a student there.-- At least 20 calls for service in the last few years regarding Cruz for a variety of disturbance complaints, including fighting with his mother, who died in November after contracting pneumonia, authorities said. In a police report from Sept. 28, 2016, a therapist who went on one of the calls cleared Cruz, concluding he was “no threat to anyone or himself.”-- One of Cruz's classmates told ABC News that about a year ago, Cruz told him, "I swear to God I'll shoot up this school." But the student did not report the threat to school officials after Cruz apologized for making it, the student said.During a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, Emma Gonzalez, a student at Stoneman Douglas, told a crowd that students had reported Cruz numerous times for his behavior."We did, time and time again since he was in middle school," Emma said. "It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear he was the shooter."Robert Runcie, the Broward County School District superintendent, declined to comment on Cruz specifically, but told ABC News in an interview on Sunday, that the district follows up on all complaints about students."They are disciplined, they are reviewed," Runcie said. "In schools, we provide counseling and support to the greatest extent possible."But there are limitations for what we can do at a legal standpoint right now," Runcie said. "If a student has serious issues, we collaborate when appropriate with law enforcement agencies on when to take action. But the big challenge, I believe, is that we have various agencies, including the school system, that are working really hard but in silos."Runcie said there isn't a system available in which the schools, law enforcement, social service agencies and mental health agencies share information that could possibly connect the dots about a particular student."We're gonna certainly review this and all of us
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WICHITA, Kan.) -- Wichita police are continuing their frantic search for a missing 5-year-old boy who was last seen over the weekend.Lucas Hernandez disappeared around 3 p.m. on Saturday, police said. His 26-year-old stepmother told police she saw him in his bedroom just before she took a shower and fell asleep. Police were called to the home about three hours later.Officer Charley Davidson said at a press conference Monday that police had searched the family’s home in southeast Wichita and are using K-9 units as well as going door to door in an effort to find the young boy.Davidson said that information from a tip line led police to nearby Chisholm Creek Park. Police are also searching Grove Park but would not elaborate further on the tip."We are going to be there as long as it takes," Davidson said. “Our focus right now is finding Lucas.”Lucas has brown hair and brown eyes, weighs about 60 pounds, and is 4 feet tall. He was last known to be wearing black sweats, white socks and a gray shirt with a bear on it.A family member who spoke to ABC affiliate KAKE said they are distraught.“We are in shock; he is a sweet little boy and we are concerned for his safety," said Lucas' cousin Kristin Edson."It was devastating. You're hollering his name up and down the street. Telling him it's OK to come out. It's very hard to do. You never think it would happen to you until it happens and you just pray it never does,” Edson said.Authorities said that an Amber Alert has not been issued because there is no evidence that the child was abducted.“We ask that community members share any information they may have on their Facebook pages or call us with any information,” Davidson added Monday.The Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent its Child Action Rapid Deployment team to assist in the search, and the Wichita Police Department has activated its Emergency Operation Command Center.Police ask if anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Lucas to please call 316-383-4661 immediately.
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