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ABC News(CHICAGO) -- When news broke of the alleged racist attack on a star from one of the most popular shows on television, it riveted everyone, drawing the nation into a heated discussion about race, politics and celebrity. But as the investigation continued, growing skepticism about Smollett's story added enormous pressure on Chicago investigators to get to the bottom of what really happened that night. Here is a timeline of the Jussie Smollett case as it unfolded over the past several weeks.

Jan. 22: Smollett reports to police receiving a threatening letter sent to the Fox studio where ‘Empire’ is filmed, containing threatening language and laced with a powdery substance investigators believe was likely crushed-up Tylenol.

Jan. 29: Smollett is allegedly attacked at 2 a.m. near his apartment in Chicago. Two masked assailants poured ‘an unknown chemical substance’ on him, possibly bleach, and wrapped a rope around his neck, he told police. In a follow-up interview with police, Smollett alleges that the attackers yelled “MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan.

Jan. 30: Chicago police announce in a tweet that they are seeking two “persons of interest” who were captured on surveillance video near the scene and around the time of the alleged attack.

Jan. 31: Smollett's family releases and emotional statement describing the alleged attack as a hate crime. "In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime," the family wrote in the statement to ABC News. "Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice."

Feb. 1: Smollett releases a new statement thanking his fans and reiterating that his account of the alleged attack has remained consistent. "I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level," he said in the statement. "Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

Feb. 2: Smollett makes his first appearance on stage since the alleged attack, performing at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. "Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love," Jussie Smollett said, tearing up before beginning his set. "We hope that you all stand with us."

Feb. 4: Chicago police release the initial incident report about the alleged attack on Smollett. The report reveals that Smollett was apparently reluctant to report the attack, and that when police arrived at his home to interview him, he was still wearing the rope around his neck. The report states that a 60-year-old friend of Smollett called the police on his behalf and said the actor "did not want to report offense however he believed it to be in the best interest to."

Smollett said the attack happened at around 2 a.m. as he was leaving a Subway restaurant. He told police that two attackers gained his attention by yelling racial and homophobic slurs and began to beat him "about the face with their hands," the report said. "The primary aggressor was wearing a black mask concealing any facial features and both offenders were dressed in black," according to the report. "The victim does not remember any other distinguishing features of the offenders, or in which direction they fled," it added.
Ten days passed without any developments in the investigation into the alleged attack, prompting growing skepticism about Smollett's account on social media.

Feb. 13: Unbeknownst to the public, Chicago police investigators had been "tracking the two 'persons of interest' and were aware of who they were "for awhile," a law enforcement source subsequently told ABC News. Investigators learned that these two individuals were returning to Chicago on Feb. 13 from Nigeria and moved in. The pair were detained at the airport, placed under arrest and taken in for questioning.

Feb. 14: In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, Smollett said he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned the details of his story. He defended himself against skeptics who pointed out that it wasn't until a follow-up interview with the police that he mentioned that the assailants were wearing red "MAGA" hats.

"For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing," Smollett said. "I didn't need to add anything like that. They called me a f----, they called me a n----. There's no which way you cut it. I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae."

The same day, Smollett is re-interviewed by Chicago police investigators. By evening, police sources confirm that they obtained search warrants and raided the homes of the two individuals, recovering bleach, shoes, electronics and other items.

Feb. 15: Chicago police announce that they have identified and are questioning the two "persons of interest" captured on a surveillance video.

By midday, a CPD spokesman tells ABC News that the two 'persons of interest' are, in fact, under arrest, and acknowledge that the pair has "a relationship with" Smollett. In an unusual move for an ongoing investigation, police officials who had originally described the two as 'persons of interest' begin describing the two men as "potential suspects." But by late that evening, investigators changed course, and announced that the two men have been released without charges.

Feb. 16: Chicago police identify the two men they arrested and later releases as brothers -- Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo -- both U.S. citizens of Nigerian descent.

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iStock/Bogdan Khmelnytskyi(ORLANDO) -- Chaos erupted at Orlando International Airport Saturday after a man tried to breach a security checkpoint and travelers yelled out that the suspect had a gun, police said.

The man, Ryan Scott Mills, 38, was unarmed, Orlando Police said in a statement, adding that there was no gun involved in the incident and that “no shots were ever fired.”

Mills was attempting to cross the airport’s west checkpoint around noon on Saturday when he was stopped by TSA agents, who called police for assistance, authorities said. When police attempted to arrest him, he reached into his pocket, and that’s when “unknown persons in the screening area yelled that he had a gun,” police said.

“The commotion caused a panic and persons in the screening area fled,” the police statement said. “Some of them ran past the checkpoints, which caused TSA to immediately suspend screening operations. Several travelers were injured due to the panic (pushing from the crowd) but all were minor in nature.”

Video from the incident shows people becoming increasingly panicked as they ran away from the screening area. With alarms blaring, children can be seen crying and rope barriers are strewn across the floors.

The person who took the video can be heard saying that the suspect had “a grenade or something in his hand” as he runs through the hallways of the airport.

Caroline Fennell, senior director of public affairs at the airport, said in a statement that the incident happened during one of the busiest times for security screening at the airport but that operations have resumed.

Orlando International Airport also tweeted that the checkpoint was “fully operational” but “delays continue.” Passengers scheduled for flights Saturday afternoon should check for status updates, according to the tweet.

Mills was taken into involuntary protective custody and he will be charged with disorderly conduct and resisting officer without violence, according to the police statement.

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ABC News(CHICAGO) --  After interrogating and releasing two men seen in surveillance video near the scene of the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Chicago police are saying that the new information they have “could change the story entirely.”

The two men, confirmed by police as those seen in surveillance images from the night of the alleged incident, were arrested on Wednesday night and interviewed by detectives in the following days.

Initially, the two men were considered potential suspects because they admitted to police that they were at the scene, that they were the men in the images and because police had probable cause they could be the attackers. Based on the video evidence that police discovered, it did not indicate anyone else was there at the scene of the alleged incident, police say.

But on Saturday, after their release the night before, police were only considering them to be persons of interest, saying that they may still have information that is helpful to the investigation.

In the early morning hours of Jan. 29, Smollett reported that he was walking outside when he was attacked by two men. The attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs before hitting him, pouring “an unknown chemical substance” on him — possibly bleach — and wrapping a rope around his neck, he told detectives.

Police confirmed phone records show that during the attack, Smollett was on the phone with Brandon Moore, his music manager. Both claim that the alleged attackers yelled "MAGA country."

While police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Saturday that he could not speak on what the new information was, he said that the break from detectives has “shifted the trajectory” of the investigation. Though he did not say whether Smollett spoke to the men that night — one of them had previously appeared on “Empire” — he said it will also be central to the investigation whether they spoke to or saw Smollett.

Police raided the home of the two men on Wednesday night to search for possible evidence and retrieved shoes, electronic devices, bleach and a red hat, among other items, according to photos of an inventory log confirmed to ABC News. The inventory log, first reported by a local CBS station, also contained a description for an item saying "Script-Empire."

It’s unclear whether forensic results have come back on any of the seized items on the inventory log.

Police could not confirm that the two men, U.S. citizens of Nigerian descent, are brothers, but told ABC News that they believed as much. They also said that the two “have a relationship with [Jussie].”

They did not name the men, saying they're not doing so because they weren’t being criminally charged.

On Friday, as interviews with the two men continued, Guglielmi said that “the alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect.” He also said that there was “no evidence to say that this is a hoax.”

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ABC News(AURORA, Illinois) -- A "disgruntled" worker of an Illinois factory opened fire after being called into a meeting to terminate his employment, killing five co-workers and wounding five police officers before he was shot dead in a gunfight, officials said Saturday.

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the suspect, Gary Martin, 45, committed Friday's massacre at the sprawling Henry Pratt Company in Aurora with a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he should have never been able to possess because of 1995 felony conviction.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Pope Francis officially defrocked the disgraced former cardinal of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick on Friday, following a secret Vatican tribunal into allegations that he molested a 16-year-old boy decades ago.

"On 11 January 2019, the Congress of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Theodore Edgar McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC, Guilty of the Following Delicacies while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, with the aggravating factor of the use of power," a statement from the Vatican on Saturday said. "The Congress imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state.

"On 13 February 2019, the Ordinary Session (Feria IV) of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith considered the recourse and presented against this decision," the Vatican's statement continued. "Having examined the arguments in the recourse, the Ordinary Session confirmed the decree of the Congress. This decision was sent to Theodore McCarrick on 15 February 2019. The Holy Father has recognized the definitive nature of this decision, made in accord with law, rendering it a res iudicata (ie, admitting of no further recourse)."

McCarrick, 88, resigned from the College of Cardinals last summer at the pope's insistence, but only after an accusation that he molested a 16-year-old altar boy while serving at the Archdiocese of New York was found credible by the church. A July 2018 report from The New York Times alleged that McCarrick coerced seminarians into sexual relationships.

By announcing the sanctions against McCarrick, the church had hoped to send a strong message ahead of next week’s unprecedented global summit on the protection of minors.

But it’s unlikely that many critics will be satisfied.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and others say church leaders have known for years about allegations that McCarrick was a well-known abuser of seminarians and priests, but chose to turn a blind eye. In a bombshell open letter last August, Viganó even called on Pope Francis to resign.

“Laicization,” the term the church uses for revoking a priest’s ordination, is considered the most severe penalty possible under the circumstances. McCarrick was already the first cardinal in a century to forfeit his red hat. Pope Francis demoted McCarrick last summer after investigators for the Archdiocese of New York determined the charges against him were credible.

McCarrick is reported to be living a life of penance and seclusion at the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kansas. The friary is one block away from an elementary school, a decision some survivors of sexual abuse have called “reckless.”

The Bishop of Kansas City Gerald Vincke told the Kansas City Star the disgraced ex-cardinal posed no threat to the school.

“McCarrick is not allowed to make any public appearances or visit the school or do any ministry,” he said.

Next week, Pope Francis convenes a worldwide summit to address the issue of protecting minors from sexual abuse. New waves of the scandal have called attention to the church’s failure to be fully transparent or to police bishops accused of covering up past abuses.

Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have recently adopted a more aggressive stance on the issue after last summer when a grand jury in Pennsylvania disclosed the names of more than 300 alleged predator priests going back decades.

The scandal prompted the resignation of McCarrick’s successor in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was Bishop of Pittsburgh during some of the period covered in the grand jury report.

Now, other jurisdictions are following suit. Lawmakers in New York recently voted to extend the statute of limitations for child victims in civil and criminal cases despite objections from church officials. In Texas, law enforcement recently raided the office of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who will represent the U.S. at next week’s Vatican summit.

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Customs and Border Protection(LOS ANGELES) -- Federal authorities seized two massive shipments of cocaine at the same California port of entry in late January. The total for the two shipments was 221 pounds -- the largest at that port in 25 years, according to officials.

The busts, which were announced on Friday, were both found aboard ships at Port Hueneme in Ventura County, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, coming from Central and South America. The first shipment, which was 204.2 pounds, was seized on Jan. 22 on a cargo ship from Ecuador.

Six days later, the same authorities found a seven-bundle, 17.5-pound shipment of cocaine on a ship from Guatemala.

Both deliveries were concealed beneath the floorboards of the ships.

Customs and Border Protection, Home Security Investigations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the drugs in a joint operation.

"CBP plays a critical role in the effort to keep dangerous drugs from illegally entering the country. Specifically, by leveraging a comprehensive, multi-layered, intelligence driven, and threat-based approach to enhance the security of our seaports, we can diminish the effectiveness of transnational criminal organizations drug operations," Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

The seizures came just days after a joint drug bust between Australian and U.S. authorities on Jan. 11 resulted in a record 1.7 tons of methamphetamine being found at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

The location of the bust announced Friday is only about 90 minutes northwest of Long Beach seaport.

That shipment included a record 3,810 pounds of meth, 55.9 pounds of cocaine and 11.5 pounds of heroin. Australian officials said the total street value of the haul was $1.29 billion.

Officials said the seizure announced Friday was the largest bust at Port Hueneme "in the last quarter century."

No one has been arrested in the drug bust, according to CBP, but an investigation into the shipment is ongoing.

CBP seizes an average of 5,863 pounds of narcotics every day, according to government statistics.

CBP's Office of Field Operations, which monitors 328 ports of entry, seized 62,331 pounds of cocaine for fiscal year 2017, the last year for which full statistics are available. Another 9,346 pounds of cocaine were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.

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Chicago Police Department(CHICAGO) -- Two men arrested by Chicago police police earlier this week in the alleged racial attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett were released on Friday night.

Police clarified that the two men were placed under arrest Wednesday night after police met them at the airport.

But in a statement issued Friday night, Chicago Police Department officials said that "due to new evidence as a result of today's interrogations, the individuals questions by police in the Empire case have now been released without charg[es], and detectives have additional investigative work to complete."

The two are no longer being classified as suspects.

The release of the two men followed hours after police told ABC News they were classifying them as potential suspects.

They also shut down any reports that there was evidence to classify the alleged attack as a hoax.

"While we haven't found any video documenting the alleged attack, there is also no evidence to say that this is a hoax," police added. "The alleged victim is being cooperative at this time and continues to be treated as a victim, not a suspect."

Chicago PD had confirmed Thursday that they identified and were questioning the two "persons of interest" in the alleged racial attack. One of them has previously appeared on "Empire," according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation.

Police say they were tracking the two suspects and were aware of who they were "for a while," and that investigators learned that the two individuals were returning to Chicago on Wednesday from Nigeria.

The two suspects are U.S. citizens of Nigerian descent, they added.

Detectives also questioned Smollett Thursday, the official said.

Attorney Gloria Schmidt, who is representing the two persons of interest, told Chicago CBS station WBBM that her clients were detained at O'Hare Airport Wednesday evening and were unaware of the attack on Smollett.

"When they first learned what happened to him, they were horrified," Schmidt said. "This is someone that they know, this is someone that they work with, so they don't want to see somebody go through that. ... They really don’t understand how [police] even got information that linked them to this horrific crime, but they’re not guilty of it."

Late last month, Smollett, who portrays a gay musician on Fox's "Empire," told police he was brutally attacked in what authorities are calling a suspected hate crime.

He said the attackers put a noose around his neck, poured an unknown substance, likely bleach, on him and used their hands, feet and teeth as weapons in the assault, according to police. Smollett said the attackers also yelled "This is MAGA country" during the attack.

He was subsequently hospitalized and released, local authorities said.
Jussie Smollett heartbroken over criticism after attack: 'You don't even want to see the truth'

In his first interview since police say he was attacked last month, the singer and actor said on "Good Morning America" that he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned the details of his story.

"I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more," Smollett, 36, told ABC News' Robin Roberts. "And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now."

Prior to the police identifying and interviewing the two persons of interest, Smollett said he believes the two men in the photo released by police in the days after the attack are the perpetrators.

"I don't have any doubt in my mind that that's them," Smollett said. "Never did."

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Woodland Park Police Department(DENVER) -- Missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth’s parents —- who are suing son-in-law Patrick Frazee for the wrongful death of their daughter —- allege in new court documents that Frazee murdered his fiancée because she refused to give him full custody of their one-year-old daughter Kaylee.

“Upon information and belief, Frazee had motive to kill Kelsey in that he wanted full custody of [Kaylee Berreth] and/or Kelsey to leave [Kaylee Berreth] with him and Kelsey would not agree,” the parents' attorney, Angela Jones, wrote in an amended civil complaint filed Friday in federal court on behalf of plaintiffs Cheryl and Darrell Berreth.

The lawsuit claims Frazee told Cheryl Berreth a series of lies “knowing that Kelsey was dead because he had killed her, or caused her to be killed, on November 22, 2018.”

On December 2, the plaintiffs claim, Cheryl Berreth called Frazee and asked him if everything was “okay”.

Frazee allegedly told Cheryl that he and Kelsey had broken up on Thanksgiving Day and agreed to split custody of their daughter. That same day, Kelsey left Kaylee with Frazee while she “figured out what she was going to do”," according to the phone call documented in the amended complaint.

Kelsey also allegedly asked Frazee "for her things back, so he gave Kelsey her keys and her gun," according to the complaint.

According to Cheryl, Frazee told her that he and Kelsey had plans for November 25, three days after she was last seen shopping at a local supermarket in Woodland Park, Colorado.

"When he later sent a text and she didn’t respond, he figured she had put her phone on do-not-disturb so that she could study, which is something he said that she often did when she was studying or [Kaylee] was napping," the court documents detail.

Frazee allegedly also told Cheryl that despite the relationship starting off well, it eventually turned sour. He had "had enough and wasn’t going to deal with things anymore," because Kelsey was always criticizing him or "putting him down" in front of the baby.

In explaining one possible reason for her disappearance, Frazee allegedly suggested to Cheryl that Kelsey may have disappeared with a friend or co-worker because "Kelsey didn’t always return home directly after she got off of work and that she had gone out to dinner with some co-workers," according to the court documents.

Frazee allegedly also told Cheryl that despite the relationship starting off well, it eventually turned sour. He had "had enough and wasn’t going to deal with things anymore," because Kelsey was always criticizing him or "putting him down" in front of the baby.

In explaining one possible reason for her disappearance, Frazee allegedly suggested to Cheryl that Kelsey may have disappeared with a friend or co-worker because "Kelsey didn’t always return home directly after she got off of work and that she had gone out to dinner with some co-workers," according to the court documents.

On December 3, "Frazee called Cheryl-Lee Berreth and told her he hadn’t been able to access Kelsey’s phone records online. He stated that she had set up the online access when she was working in Grand Junction and he didn’t know the answers to the access questions like ‘where did you meet your spouse?’"

Frazee also stated that he thought that Kelsey may have opened her own phone plan and changed her phone number. He told Cheryl-Lee Berreth: ‘I love your daughter.’ He said that Woodland Park is a safe place and the Berreths didn’t need to worry about foul play," according to the documents.

The documents also allege that Frazee encouraged false reports about Kelsey, including that the couple were not engaged, that Kelsey was not Kaylee's primary caregiver, that Kelsey had gone to rehab, that she had run off before, that she had abandoned the baby in Frazee's care and that she "had 'issues' that would warrant Frazee “getting full custody."

Kelsey Berreth was last seen in public Thanksgiving Day. Police arrested Frazee December 21. Even though her body has not been found, Frazee has been charged with her murder. He has not entered a plea.

On February 8, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney pleaded guilty to helping Frazee dispose of Berreth’s cell phone. She is cooperating with the investigation and is required to testify against Frazee as part of her plea deal with prosecutors.

Cheryl and Darryl's newly amended complaint even go as far as to venture a guess as to how Frazee may have allegedly murdered their daughter.

"Frazee had an opportunity to kill Kelsey or have Kelsey killed in that he had her keys and, because he had her gun, she was vulnerable to an attack," the documents stated.

Calls to the attorneys representing Patrick Frazee in the civil lawsuit have not been returned.

Last month, a judge granted temporary custody of Kaylee to Berreth's parents, Cheryl and Darrell Berreth. The couple also has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Frazee.

Frazee is due back in court Feb. 19.

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Courtesy Cheri Stoneburner(NEW YORK) --  She's a junior ranger that's older than the national park itself.

Rose Torphy was on a vacation at Grand Canyon National Park when she stopped in the park store.

"I started talking to people about the junior ranger program because it teaches kids to protect the Canyon," she told "Good Morning America." "My parents taught me to care for the land but not all kids have that."

On Feb. 26, 2019, the Grand Canyon celebrates 100 years since it's designation as a national park.

The trip to the Grand Canyon was Torphy's second. The first was in 1985, she said, "when she was able to walk around." This time, she took in the sites in her wheelchair and was able to "go to the edge."

The junior ranger program at Grand Canyon National Park is "education programming," said Alysa Ojeda, marketing and public relations manager for Grand Canyon Conservancy, which funds the junior ranger program.

Ojeda told "GMA" the Conservancy had to "get creative" with programming during the partial government shutdown which was going on during Torphy's visit in mid-January.

Store staff was trained to teach junior ranger hopefuls something new about the Grand Canyon and help them complete an activity book about the national park, Ojeda said. The junior rangers then promise to protect the Grand Canyon and become park stewards.

"I'm happy to protect it for my great-children to visit one day," said Torphy, who's a mom of three, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of 18 and great-great grandmother of 10.

Cheri Stoneburner, Torphy's daughter, was with her on the visit and told "GMA" her mom has been wearing her junior ranger pin on her coat since they got back from the trip.

"I was very impressed with the wheelchair access and ramps," Stoneburner said. "We were able to get to an edge where she had taken a photo with my dad on their visit in 1985," she said.

"She's a spokesperson for the park now. Everywhere we go, people ask her about her junior ranger pin and she says 'you're never too old to see the Grand Canyon!" Stoneburner added.

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Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- An armed security guard at a Los Angeles synagogue was arrested after allegedly shooting a person recording video of the building in the leg.

Edduin Zelayagrunfeld, 44, was arrested on a felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon with a firearm, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department. He worked at the Etz Jacob Congregation/Ohel Chana High School near the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Stanley Avenue.

When police arrived on the scene at around 12 p.m., they found an "individual suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg," according to the LAPD statement. The victim of the shooting was transferred to the hospital with a non-life-threatening injury.

The alleged victim was live-streaming the school and the ensuing incident on YouTube. The LAPD confirmed that Zelayagrunfeld is the security guard in the video and can be seen pointing the gun down as the cameraperson zooms in and out on the weapon.

"This guard just pulled a gun out on me, everybody," the person holding the camera says in the video.

Zelayagrunfeld can be heard saying, "Why are you recording us? Why are you recording me? Why are you recording this institution? You cannot answer?"

“He said he was going to shoot me dead if I moved," the cameraperson says shortly after.

A single shot is fired just over a minute later, and the cameraperson immediately retreats. They can be heard yelling that they had been shot in the leg, while Zelayagrunfeld tells them to "get away" and that it was a "warning shot" and they "are nothing."

Zelayagrunfeld was released from jail Friday on $50,000 bond. He's scheduled to appear in court on March 15.

The LAPD did not disclose the name of the victim.

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guvendemir/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Family housing for service members in Wisconsin and South Korea, schools on military bases in Germany, and upgrades to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Air Force bases in Alaska could be on the chopping block with President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration to use billions in military construction money to build a border wall.

The president declared a national emergency from the White House Rose Garden Friday after signing the declaration, a move administration officials argued would free up funds appropriated by Congress for military construction to help build the wall, and allow Trump to deliver on his campaign pledge after congressional Democrats repeatedly rejected his demands.

Under the terms of the declaration, the administration would have access to $3.5 billion from the Pentagon's military construction budget, along with $2.5 billion from the Pentagon's drug interdiction program and $600 million from the Treasury Department's drug forfeiture fund.

The $3.5 billion in military construction funds could be taken from a wide range of projects, including landing pads and maintenance facilities for the new F-35 fighter jet in California; waste management facilities at Guantanamo Bay; a high school for military children in Japan; and special operations forces training facilities in North Carolina, according to a list of projects provided to ABC News by a congressional aide.

When asked whether the decision could harm morale in the military and among military families, Trump claimed Friday that military officials told him they felt the border wall was more important than the projects that could be canceled or delayed.

"Some of them haven't been allocated yet and some of the generals think that this is more important. I was speaking to a couple of them. They think this is far more important than what they were going to use it for. I said: 'What were you going to use it for?' and I won't go into details, but didn't sound too important to me," Trump said.

A senior administration official said lower priority military construction projects, such as repairs that could wait until next year, would be targeted. The official insisted nothing that impacts lethality or readiness would be impacted.

While it's still unclear exactly which projects will be targeted, some projects on the list of vulnerable projects include special operations forces training centers and operations facilities for Navy SEAL training. Delay of construction of these types of projects could directly affect readiness, ABC News contributor Col. Steve Ganyard, a former Marine Corps pilot, said.

"While some things can afford to slide a year, there are construction plans that go for 10 years. Any time you disrupt long term planning budgets, it has second or third order effects. It's not as simple as sliding everything one year. It could disrupt a lot of things," Ganyard said.

And experts also warn about the potential consequences of reallocating $2.5 billion from the Pentagon's drug interdiction program.

Those funds are usually used to fund federal, state, and local law enforcement investigations into drug traffickers and violent gangs, according to ABC News Contributor John Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary.

"The Department of Defense interdiction monies are used to pay for intelligence-gathering, are used to fly airplanes and to support ships that are in the ocean that are actually interdicting loads of drugs en route United States," Cohen told ABC News' Devin Dwyer.

"In a sense, we're taking money from effective operational programs and putting them to support a wall which will have at best a marginal impact on drugs flying into the country," Cohen said.

The plan is also being met with resistance even from Republican senators on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. James Risch said: "If it has to be that way ... leave MilCon alone."

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Chalabala/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Five victims were killed and at least five police officers were injured by gunfire in Aurora, Illinois when a gunman opened fire in an industrial warehouse, according to authorities.

The gunman, identified as Gary Martin, 45, was killed by responding police officers, according to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.

The shooting unfolded at the Henry Pratt Company, a warehouse in Aurora, a town about 40 miles west of Chicago.

The first 911 calls came in at 1:24 p.m. local time, according to Ziman. She said that Aurora police officers were on scene within four minutes "and were fired upon immediately."

SWAT teams entered the 29,000 square foot warehouse to locate Martin, Ziman said. When they found him, they engaged him in gunfire, ultimately killing him.

Law enforcement sources told ABC Chicago affiliate WLS late Friday night that Martin was told Friday he was being fired from the company where he had worked for about 15 years as an assembler, and that it was during his termination meeting that he produced his gun and began firing, then went out into the plant at large and continued shooting.

People who escaped the building when the shooting began described the chaos inside.

John Probst, a Henry Pratt employee who escaped, described to WLS seeing a man holding a pistol equipped with a laser sight, shooting indiscriminately. Probst told WLS he recognized the shooter as a coworker, though authorities have not confirmed whether Martin was employed there.

There would have been approximately 30 people in the building at the time of the shooting, Probst said.

Another witness who escaped the building with Probst and later ended up hiding out in a nearby home, described the chaos and confusion inside, and his split-second decision to flee.

“We got out of the back door as soon as we heard shots,” Howard Sebby told ABC News. “We saw one guy get shot, he was a co-worker, he was shot in the arm and back, I think they took him to the hospital.”

Sebby also said he saw the shooter "running," though it was unclear where the gunman may have been going.

Little information about Martin was immediately available. It was not immediately clear whether he has a criminal record in Illinois. WLS reported that Martin was convicted of felony aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995.

EMERGENCY UPDATE | 3 p.m.

THE SHOOTER HAS BEEN APPREHENDED! The area is still on lock down!

More information will be provided soon.

— City of Aurora, IL (@CityofAuroraIL) February 15, 2019

Aurora police noted that the location has been "secured" but a "continued police presence will remain as investigation [sic] continues."

Active Shooter Incident has been secured. Shooter is no longer a threat to the area. Continued police presence will remain as investigation continues. Parents please contact your local school districts for dismissal plan https://t.co/P4y7X7K4og

— Aurora (IL) Police (@AuroraPoliceIL) February 15, 2019

Nearby hospital, Rush-Copley Medical Center, tweeted that they have received two patients who are being treated for non-life threatening injuries connected to the shooting.

Rush Copley is assisting those involved in the active shooter incident in Aurora. The hospital has received two patients who are being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

— Rush Copley (@rushcopley) February 15, 2019

The Chicago field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had announced earlier that it responded to the scene.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, thanked the "brave" first responders, and called it "a scary, sad day for all Illinoisans and Americans."

"I am monitoring the situation in Aurora, Illinois. This is a scary, sad day for all Illinoisans and Americans. Thank you to the brave first responders who risked their lives this afternoon and apprehended the shooter," she wrote on Twitter.

I am monitoring the situation in Aurora, Illinois. This is a scary, sad day for all Illinoisans and Americans. Thank you to the brave first responders who risked their lives this afternoon and apprehended the shooter.

— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) February 15, 2019

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement hailing the heroism of the responding officers.

"Every police officer dreads days like this one, yet these four courageous Aurora officers and their colleagues did not hesitate to literally put their lives on the line today to stop further bloodshed," the statement said. "These four heroes willingly ran into harm’s way to protect their fellow citizens and very nearly paid the ultimate price."


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Piotrekswat/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A Florida man who reported $18,497 in wages is in trouble after he received a $980,000 tax refund based on a false tax return that he filed, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida.

The complaint, which was filed Jan. 18, said the tax refund came after Ramon Christopher Blanchett reported $1,000,000 in federal income tax withheld on one of his forms.

Blanchett, according to the complaint, had reported wages from two employers on his 2016 Federal Income Tax Return form, which he self-prepared and filed on Feb. 21, 2017.

The complaint said Blanchett described himself as a "free-lancer." On one form, Blanchett listed his employer as Bridges Nursing and Rehabilitation and said he was paid $17,098, with $1,000,000 of federal income tax withheld. The complaint said Blanchett was actually paid $2,098 in wages, with no income tax withheld.

"Based on Blanchett’s submission of the Form 1040, falsely representing that $1,000,000 in taxes had been withheld, the U.S. Treasury issued check number 403808854305, made payable to Blanchett, for $980,000," the complaint said.

Blanchett’s other form listed his employer as Sizzling Platter, LLC. in Murray, Utah and reported $1,399 in wages with no federal income tax withheld, which the complaint said was accurate.

The complaint said Blanchett deposited the money into two SunTrust accounts, then was given a cashier’s check for the $980,000 after his funds were frozen for suspected fraud in May 2018. He then opened a Grow Financial Money Market account in July by depositing the cashier’s check, claiming the money was from "the estate of his deceased father," according to the complaint.

The complaint said IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) seized $919,251.94 from three Grow Financial Credit Union accounts in Blanchett’s name, as well as a 2016 Lexus RC 350 that he purchased with the money. Blanchett also had $809.94 in a Grow Financial Credit Union account, which the complaint said came from a refund from Progressive Insurance when he canceled his car insurance.

There was no attorney listed for Blanchett.

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Karen Ducey/Getty Images(PORTLAND) -- An investigation is underway into text messages that a police lieutenant exchanged with the leader of a right-wing group amid violent protests in Portland, Oregon.

Portions of the text messages, obtained by local newspaper The Willamette Week, show conversations between Portland Police Lt. Jeff Niiya and Joey Gibson, the leader of a group called Patriot Prayer.

The Willamette Week reported that some of the text messages, which were obtained through a public records request, shows Niiya warning Gibson that one of his associates who may have had a warrant out for his arrest should avoid doing "anything which may draw our attention."

In others, Gibson acknowledges that the fact that he was running for Senate -- a bid he ultimately lost -- would likely draw more attention to the protests in 2018.

"I will be using Portland and Seattle protesters as a part of the campaign so it will impact you guys unfortunately, so I appologize [sic] now ahead of time," Gibson reportedly wrote in one of the texts to Niiya.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler described the text messages as "disturbing" and has called for a "thorough investigation of this matter."

"It is imperative for law enforcement to remain objective and professional, and in my opinion, these text messages appear to cross several boundaries," Wheeler said in a statement released Thursday.

For his part, Gibson believes the issue is being overblown and he believes the texts show he and Niiya simply being respectful of one another.

"I do this with police officers all over the country wherever I go, [I] just like to have some open communication," Gibson said in a video he posted to Facebook on Thursday in response to the Willamette Weekly story.

"Now most of the police officers that I talk to are very respectful. That doesn't mean they like me it doesnt mean that they back me, but they're very professional and they want to basically do everything they can to de-escalate things whenever possible. It's just common sense when you have potential violence that's going to erupt ... it's very important to have open communication with the police so that we know what to expect from one another," Gibson said in the Facebook video."

Gibson added that Niiya "truly did not want violence."

"That's what I saw. He did not want conflict, he did not want groups clashing with one another," he said.

The Portland Police Bureau shared a statement with ABC News confirming that the department “continues to look into the public records that have been released this week.”

“There is an on-going investigation and the Bureau cannot comment further on details involving personnel matters. While this investigation proceeds, direction has been given to Lieutenant Niiya to cease any further conversation with any event organizers. Additionally, Lieutenant Niiya is not participating in Rapid Response Team (RRT)-related activities until an investigation can be completed,” the Portland Police Bureau said in a statement.

Police chief Danielle Outlaw said in the statement that it is “imperative that we come together to hear people’s concerns and ideas.”

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A border patrol officer has been accused of unlawfully stopping two women for speaking Spanish at a Montana convenience store, according to a law filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Video of the incident, which occurred in May, went viral at the time.

“Ma’am the reason I asked you for your ID is because you came in here and I saw you were speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of out here,” the officer tells one of the women in a video first released last year.

When the incident was first reported, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Andrew Meehan said speaking Spanish alone "is not enough" to pull someone over or ask for ID.

He added, however, that it's possible the agent "very well could have been following procedure."

“[The] agent used a poor choice of words, for sure,” Meehan said in May.

The women said the officer first asked where they were born, then asked to see their ID’s. Responding to questions from the women, the officer in the video maintains they were not racially profiled.

The incident took place in Harve, a small town in northern Montana less than an hour drive from the Canadian border.

A spokesperson said in a statement that CBP does not typically comment on pending litigation.

The ACLU said the incident is consistent with the agency that is "out of control."

“More broadly, this kind of abusive CBP activity reflects an out-of-control agency emboldened by a vehemently anti-immigrant administration,” the ACLU said in a post explaining the Montana incident.

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