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(NEW YORK) -- One of five people shot over the weekend on Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter was identified on Monday as one of two suspects in a gunfight that sparked panic in the popular tourist destination, police said.

New Orleans Police Chief Shaun Ferguson made the announcement at a news conference Monday in which he called an eruption of weekend gun violence "very disturbing, very alarming."

He said police are searching for a second man suspected of being involved in the shooting. He released a grainy security camera image of the suspect and asked anyone with information about his identity to contact the police immediately.

The shooting broke out just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Bourbon Street and Orleans Avenue about two blocks from Jackson Square and around the corner from the famed Preservation Hall, according to police.

Ferguson said a city security camera captured the shooting giving police clear images of the two men involved.

Meanwhile, an EarthCam video camera mounted on Cat's Meow Karaoke Bar, which normally provides a live feed of the party scene on Bourbon Street, captured the sound of multiple gunshots followed by chaos with panicked people running for cover in all directions. Several people narrowly avoided being hit by cars crossing Bourbon Street.

“One of the victims we do believe was a shooter in this incident," Ferguson said. "We do believe there was an exchange of gunfire between two individuals."

The chief did not release the wounded suspect's name.

"His involvement is still under investigation. That is why we have not made a formal arrest," Ferguson said.

He described the second suspect as a heavyset Black man, in his 30s, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7, with short dreadlocks or curly long twists.

Ferguson said a motive for the shooting remains under investigation.

About two-and-a-half hours after the Bourbon Street shooting, four people were shot in the adjacent Iberville neighborhood just northeast of the French Quarter. Ferguson said a 15-year-old boy was killed in the incident and another 15-year-old boy was arrested in the homicide after his mother turned him in, police said.

''It was the parent of this 15-year-old suspect that turned him in to ensure that that family has closure," Ferguson said. "I have spoken to the mother of this 15-year-old suspect and, understandably so, she is very shaken up. She’s upset, she was very emotional. She had to make a difficult but courageous and the right decision."

He said a motive for the shooting is under investigation, but that the suspect's mother told him her son and the victim were once friends.

Ferguson said Sunday's gun violence came after the city saw homicides fall to 23 in July compared to 25 in June.

New Orleans has recorded more than 250 shootings and more than 100 homicides already this year. In 2020, New Orleans police investigated 195 homicides, a 63% increase from 2019, according to police department crime statistics.

"Overall crime was down last week compared to the previous week," Ferguson said. “This weekend just put a black eye and dampened the spirit of what we’ve been actually accomplishing over the last few weeks."

 

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(NEW YORK) -- The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.

More than 613,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.1 million people have died worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 58.1% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC last week, citing new science on the transmissibility of the delta variant, changed its mask guidance to now recommend everyone in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission -- vaccinated or not -- wear a face covering in public, indoor settings.

Here's how the news is developing Monday. All times Eastern:

Aug 02, 3:42 pm

Nearly 60% of counties reporting high community transmission

In the U.S., 59.72% of counties are reporting high community transmission. Five weeks ago, only 8% of counties were reporting high transmission, according to federal data.

Louisiana now has the highest case rate in the country with more than 600 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to federal data.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday reinstated a statewide indoor mask mandate for everyone ages 5 and above.

Louisiana is followed by Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi with 500, 400 and 300 new cases per 100,000 residents respectively.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Aug 02, 3:09 pm

Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is vaccinated, said he’s tested positive for COVID-19.

"I started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night and went to the doctor this morning," the Republican senator tweeted Monday. "I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms."

Graham continued, "I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.”

Aug 02, 2:14 pm

Louisiana respiratory therapist: ‘We see families destroyed’

In Louisiana, which has the nation's highest case rate per 100,000 residents, COVID-19 hospitalizations are reaching peak levels, with more than 1,700 patients now receiving care.

"We're seeing people that are way too young to be so sick," David Wrightson, a respiratory therapist and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) specialist for the Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana, told ABC News. "We see families destroyed. We see children without one or more parent because of this virus. We see a new mom who will never go home to see her newborn, will never see her child grow up."

He went on, "When you see someone that's 30 years old with no medical problems at all, nobody knew anything was wrong, and we have this person literally on death's doorstep, doing everything in our power to turn them around and return them to their family. The vaccine is something worth getting."

More people need to see and understand the reality of this disease, he said.

"I wish I could show them a few steps in our day to see what we see and to see what we have to do, and to go home at night and, and have nightmares about those things, and sometimes cry yourself to sleep," he said.

-ABC News’ Erica Baumgart and Arielle Mitropoulos

Aug 02, 1:48 pm

Denver mandates vaccinations for workers in high-risk settings

Denver is mandating vaccinations for city employees and those in high-risk jobs like first responders, correctional workers and school personnel. The mandate also applies to staff at long-term care facilities, shelters and hospitals.

Aug 02, 12:46 pm

70% of adults in US have now had at least 1 vaccine dose

Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. have now had at least one vaccine dose, the White House announced Monday, nearly one month after President Joe Biden hoped to reach the milestone.

Biden said in May, "Our goal by July 4th is to have 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated." When that date finally rolled out, the White House touted that 70% of Americans ages 27 and up met the goal, but low vaccination rates among young people kept the country from fully meeting the target.

Biden is scheduled to give remarks on vaccination progress on Tuesday.

-ABC News’ Sarah Kolinovsky

Aug 02, 11:50 am

Nearly 60% of counties reporting high community transmission

In the U.S., 59.72% of counties are reporting high community transmission. Five weeks ago, only 8% of counties were reporting high transmission, according to federal data.

Louisiana now has the highest case rate in the country with more than 600 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to federal data. Florida, Arkansas and Mississippi follow behind with 500, 400 and 300 new cases per 100,000 residents respectively.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Aug 02, 10:59 am

At least 1 patient checked in every hour at Louisiana hospital

At least one COVID-19 patient was checked in every hour Monday morning at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hospital officials told ABC Baton Rouge affiliate WBRZ.

The hospital said Monday it has 301 unvaccinated COVID-19 patients and 52 vaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Our Lady of the Lake Hospital is among 45 hospitals in the state requesting extra staff, reported WBRZ.

Louisiana is recording a "remarkable increase in the number of newly vaccinated people," White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar tweeted Monday.

Aug 02, 10:42 am

Masks strongly recommended indoors for the vaccinated, NYC mayor says

Masks are now strongly recommended in public, indoor settings in New York City, even for those who are vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

The mayor also announced that all new city hires must be vaccinated.

De Blasio noted that this week is the last week to get all children ages 12 and above fully vaccinated by the first week of school.

Aug 02, 10:09 am

New vaccine policy for NY transit workers

New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports, have adopted the same policy the state has for its public sector employees in requiring either a vaccine or a weekly proof of a negative test. Subway, airport and bus and commuter rail workers must be vaccinated starting Labor Day or face a weekly test, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The number of COVID-19 cases in New York state has increased four-fold in the last month while hospitalizations have doubled.

Cuomo last week mandated vaccines for public-facing workers in state-run hospitals. If cases continue to rise, Cuomo said he would consider mandatory vaccines for teachers and nursing home employees.

Cuomo also said he is encouraging restaurants, bars and other business owners to adopt a vaccine-only policy.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky

Aug 02, 9:44 am
Tokyo COVID-19 cases up 200% in 1 week

There are 2,195 new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, a 206.9% increase since last Monday, according to the Tokyo Media Center.

At the Olympics, there are 281 new COVID-19 cases, an increase of 17 cases in the last 24 hours, according to Tokyo 2020 organizers. None of these cases are athletes; they are all contractors, personnel or media.

Aug 02, 8:56 am
At least 1 patient checked in every hour at Louisiana hospital

At least one COVID-19 patient was checked in every hour Monday morning at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hospital officials told ABC Baton Rouge affiliate WBRZ.

Our Lady of the Lake Hospital is among 45 hospitals in the state requesting extra staff, reported WBRZ.

Aug 02, 8:19 am
TSA screens highest number of people since start of pandemic

The Transportation Security Administration screened 2,238,462 people at U.S. airports on Sunday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, the agency said. The continued spread of the highly contagious delta variant has not stopped travelers this summer and the TSA put out a tweet reminding fliers to mask up and socially distance.

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(BOSTON) — Former President Barack Obama will host hundreds of guests at his 60th birthday party this coming weekend on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts amid concerns about spreading the delta variant of COVID-19, according to a source familiar with the plans.

A COVID coordinator will ensure all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local guidelines are followed at the party, the source said about the affair, which will be held outdoors.

Guests will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test to the coordinator before attending the party, the source said.

Martha's Vineyard, an island in Dukes County, Massachusetts, is currently considered at a "moderate" level of transmission risk, according to CDC data.

Axios first reported on details of the party.

Despite the planned effort to ensure a safe event, the party comes after a major breakout of COVID-19 cases abut 100 miles away in Provincetown, Massachusetts, which left more than 800 people infected, resulting in at least 7 hospitalizations.

Officials said 74% of those in the infected Provincetown cluster were vaccinated.

President Joe Biden is not planning to attend the gathering, according to a White House official.

"While President Biden is unable to attend this weekend, he looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcoming him into the over sixty club," the administration official said. Biden is scheduled to spend the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

President Joe Biden is not planning to attend the gathering, according to a White House official.

"While President Biden is unable to attend this weekend, he looks forward to catching up with former President Obama soon and properly welcoming him into the over 60 club," the administration official said. Biden is scheduled to spend the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

"I would note first that former President Obama has been a huge advocate of individuals getting vaccinated," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

She noted the CDC's current guidance on masking pertains only to indoor settings in high or substantial transmission risk zones.

"In addition, there is testing requirements and other steps they're taking," Psaki added.

The Obamas have identified various charities for guests to consider supporting, rather than giving birthday gifts, including My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Girls Opportunity Alliance, and the Obama Foundation’s Global Leadership programs.

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(NEW YORK) -- An Iowa judge has rejected a motion for a new trial for the man convicted of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

Poweshiek County District Court Judge Joel Yates issued a written ruling on Monday denying Cristhian Bahena Rivera's bid for a new trial after he and his attorney's claimed he was framed for Tibbetts' 2018 slaying by the real killers.

In his ruling, Yates noted the Bahena Rivera's "trial strategy included casting doubt onto other individuals," including Tibbetts' boyfriend, Dalton Jack.

"It is doubtful that adding another possible suspect, one with no apparent ties besides being in the same county as Mollie, would have a reasonable probability [to] change the result of [the] trial," Yates wrote, adding that Bahena Rivera led law enforcement investigators to a cornfield where he admitted hiding Tibbetts' body and that her blood was found in the trunk of his car.

"Providing an alternative suspect is only a useful strategy when it is believable that the alternative suspect could have committed the offense," Yates said.

Yates had delayed Bahena Rivera's sentencing to give his attorneys an opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence to support their last-ditch claim that the 27-year-old did not kill the 20-year-old student.

Bahena Rivera, an undocumented farmworker from Mexico, now faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Yates scheduled Bahena River's sentencing hearing for Aug. 30.

On May 28, a jury convicted Bahena Rivera of first-degree murder after seven hours of deliberations over two days.

The case made national headlines as Tibbetts' disappearance sparked a month-long search. Her badly decomposed body was recovered from a Poweshiek County cornfield that Bahena Rivera directed investigators to on Aug. 21, 2018.

During the trial, the jury heard two wildly contrasting theories of what happened to Tibbetts.

Iowa police investigators testified that they questioned Bahena Rivera after his car, a black Chevrolet Malibu, was captured on surveillance video circling the neighborhood in Brooklyn, Iowa, at the time Tibbetts was last seen alive jogging in the area.

During a lengthy interview, investigators testified that Bahena Rivera allegedly told them he saw Tibbetts jogging and thought she was "hot." They said he claimed to have followed Tibbetts, got out of his car and jogged alongside her but she rejected his advance and threatened to call the police.

Investigators said Tibbetts was stabbed repeatedly but that Rivera told them he blacked out and did not recall attacking her. He said he later remembered putting Tibbetts' body in the trunk of his car when he noticed her earbuds in his lap while he was driving. He claimed, according to investigators, that he drove to the cornfield and buried Tibbetts body under leaves.

In a stunning twist, Bahena Rivera, who speaks little English, testified in his own defense at his trial, claiming he was kidnapped by two masked and armed men, who forced him to drive to where Tibbetts was jogging and one of them killed her and put her body in his car's trunk. He claimed he put Tibbetts' body in the cornfield, but did not go to the police because the kidnappers threatened to harm his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his young daughter, if he spoke to authorities.

Following Bahena Rivera's conviction, his attorneys received word from prosecutors that two independent witnesses came forward at the end of the trial claiming the same man told them that he killed Tibbetts after she had been abducted and taken to a sex-trafficking "trap house" in Sharon, Iowa.

The witnesses, including a prison inmate, claimed the man told them he killed Tibbetts on orders from a sex trafficker who feared police searching for Tibbetts were getting too close after they interviewed a resident next door to his trap house.

During Bahena Rivera's hearing for a new trial on July 27, prosecutors said the man the witnesses spoke of was in a rehab facility under court supervision at the time Tibbetts disappeared.

"The addition of evidence of an unrelated investigation alongside a dubious and divergent alleged confession would likely have confused the issues for the jury," Yates wrote. "The Court finds there is no reasonable probability of a different outcome at trial had the information been disclosed to the defense."

Last month, Yates rejected the motion to allow Bahena Rivera's attorneys an opportunity to review evidence in ongoing sex trafficking investigations in Poweshiek County and in the case of a missing 11-year-old boy, Xavior Harrelson, who vanished in May from his home in Poweshiek County. The defense attorneys suggested that the man who they allege operated the sex trafficking trap house once had been the boyfriend of Harrelson's mother.

 

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(DAYTON, Ohio) -- Loved ones of those killed in a 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit against the maker of a 100-round, double-drum ammunition magazine the gunman used in the massacre.

The lawsuit was filed in Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, where the bullet magazine manufacturer, Kyung Chang Industry USA, INC., is located.

"I want to make sure that the actions of all those that were responsible for that day don't go unanswered for my grandchildren," Lashandra James, whose daughter, Lois Oglesby, was killed in the rampage, said at a virtual news conference on Monday.

James is now the guardian of her daughter's two young children.

The lawsuit accuses Kyung Chang Industry USA of "reckless conduct" for continuing to manufacture the high-capacity magazine, which the lawsuit says allowed 24-year-old Connor Betts to kill nine people and wound 17 in just 32 seconds on Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton's Oregon District, an area filled with bars and restaurants.

"If the Dayton shooter did not have such a large capacity magazine, he would not have been able to inflict the damage that he did," said Ben Cooper, the attorney representing the families of five of the nine people killed. "No civilian needs a 100-round magazine. It's only useful for the military or mass shootings."

A spokesman for Kyung Chang Industry USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News on the litigation.

Cooper said high-capacity magazines have been used in nearly 60% of mass shootings in recent history, including the July 20, 2012, rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, that killed 20 children and six adults; the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas that killed 60 people; and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17.

Jonathan E. Lowy, the chief counsel for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said he believes this is the first lawsuit "focused solely on the contribution of large-capacity ammunition magazines for gun violence."

"Until you have companies that supply instruments of mass slaughter change the way they do business, they will continue to supply their weapons of war, and we will see more and more places in this country turned into war zones," Lowy, a co-counsel in the lawsuit, said at Monday's news conference.

The lawsuit accuses Kyung Chang Industry USA, a subsidiary of the South Korean company Kyung Change Industry Company, of knowingly providing "this instrument of slaughter to the general public, and sold it in a way that made it easy for the Shooter to obtain it."

Investigators said Ethan Kollie, a friend of Betts, purchased the 100-round magazine Betts used with an AR-15-style pistol to commit the mass shooting. Investigators also said Kollie also told them he purchased the body armor Betts was wearing when he committed the shooting. In February 2020, Kollie was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to lying on a federal firearms form and to possessing a gun while using illegal drugs.

Betts was killed by a police officer in front of the bar that he was trying to get into during the rampage.

The shooting occurred a day after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and a week after a shooter killed three people and injured 17 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

 

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(SAN FRANCISCO) — Fire conditions in the West are worsening this week, increasing the possibility of more blazes.

Currently, 90 large wildfires are burning in 12 states in the West -- at least 35 of which ignited over the weekend due to lightning strikes.

Another heat wave is blanketing the region as moisture from the monsoons in the Southwest move away, leaving behind a dry atmosphere and tinderbox conditions. Heat advisories and excessive heat watches have been issued from Oregon to Arizona, with temperatures expected to surpass 100 degrees again.

The McFarland Fire in Wildwood, California, has prompted evacuations in the area after it grew to more than 2,100 acres and remains just 5% contained.

The Dixie Fire near the Feather River Canyon in Northern California, the largest in the state so far this year, is now at 248,000 acres. Firefighters were able to halt the blaze's progression, which is now 33% contained, but some evacuation orders remain in place.

Firefighters in Oregon have made progress against the Bootleg Fire, the largest in the country, with 84% containment after it grew to nearly 414,000 acres, the third-largest wildfire in state history.

However, red flag warnings have been issued in Southern Oregon over the possibility that more fires will spark due to dry lightning. Hot, breezy conditions are expected to persist this week.

Above-normal significant fire potential is expected to continue in the Northwest, northern Rockies and northern portions of the Great Basin, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center's National Fire Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for August through November.

Despite monsoon conditions in the Southwest last week, "exceptional drought" conditions are persisting across Northern California and the Northwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

ABC News' Melissa Griffin and Max Golembo contributed to this report.

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(NEW YORK) -- The nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization is stepping up efforts to address the scourge of recent shootings across the country as part of a new initiative unveiled exclusively by ABC News on Monday.

Everytown for Gun Safety is delivering millions of dollars in grants and providing support to local organizations that aim to reduce gun crimes by tapping into communities most impacted by firearms. The new initiative, known as the Everytown Community Safety Fund, is dedicating $25 million over five years to gun violence prevention programs. The first million is set to be distributed across organizations next month.

"It's an urgent moment," said Michael-Sean Spence, Everytown's director of community safety initiatives who is leading the rollout of the new initiative. "We're in the middle of a public health crisis -- one that has been brewing for a number of years and has really taken off over the last year, year and a half.”

The rate of homicides with a firearm is nearly 25 times higher in the U.S. compared to similar economically developed countries, according to a 2015 study published in the journal of Preventive Medicine. More recently, 2020 marked the highest number of firearm deaths in at least 20 years, according to Britannica, the group behind the famed encyclopedia, and the Gun Violence Archive.

On a recent week in July, a joint analysis by GVA and ABC News found that 2.4 people were killed and 5.5 people were wounded every hour.

"The trends we're seeing today don't approach the '90s levels of gun homicides that we fortunately were able to reverse,” Spence told ABC News. “But they are some of the highest numbers we have seen since the early 2000s, and we've also seen a prolonged, persistent spike."

The funds from Everytown will support 100 local intervention programs, building on its original list of 60 programs funded by the organization over the past two years.

"There are a number of factors that drive gun violence. One is the lack of opportunity,” Spence said. “Many of these programs, once they've identified individuals, can put them into workforce development programs and connect them with other opportunities to change their life."

One of the groups set to receive funding is No More Red Dots, which runs a handful of gun violence prevention programs in Louisville, Kentucky. The organization maintains a database of high-risk individuals in the area and works to prevent them from engaging in future shootings.

Led by Dr. Eddie Woods, who has more than 20 years of experience in community safety, No More Red Dots has deep roots in Louisville. Some of the organization's programs include an artist’s workshop and basketball league that are designed to build the skills and interests of at-risk youth and provide them with mentorship opportunities.

“We've been around forever, so a lot of the young people's parents, and maybe in some cases grandparents, were in our group sessions back in the day,” Woods told ABC News. “So we kind of got a feel for the culture in some families -- the personalities of some families.”

The hyper-local formula appears to be moving the community in a positive direction. Thousands of kids have gone through the program, Woods said, and more than 115 have gone from engaging in dangerous activity in the streets to obtaining a college education.

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(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Students at a historically Black college received a huge parting gift from their school during commencement ceremonies Saturday.

Larry Robinson, the president of Florida A&M University, announced the school spent over $16 million to cover fees, tuition and unpaid student account balances during the 2020-2021 school year.

"This is an indication of our commitment to student success and our hope that your time on the 'Hill' has been transformative as you take on the challenges of the day, go out and make a difference," he told the graduates.

The university was able to use money from the federal Cares Act, which provides COVID-19 relief to organizations, to pay for the students' costs.

FAMU Vice President for Student Affairs William E. Hudson, Jr told students the school wanted to give them some assistance given the struggles caused by the pandemic.

"Clearing student account balances from the previous school year was a way of practicing our motto of “Excellence with Caring” by supporting students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said in a statement.

Florida A&M University is the latest HBCU to pay off their students' debts and costs with the federal relief money.

Other schools that have announced similar plans include Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, South Carolina State University and Spelman College.

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New York Police Department via Twitter

(NEW YORK) -- A pair of masked men unleashed a fusillade of gunfire on a crowded street in a New York City neighborhood Saturday night, wounding 10 people before getting on mopeds and speeding away, police said.

New York Police Department investigators said the episode appeared to be tied to gang violence, but that seven of the shooting victims were innocent bystanders, including a 72-year-old man.

"This was, as I can most accurately describe it, a brazen, coordinated attack," NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a news conference on Sunday.

No arrests have been made.

The shooting occurred about 10:38 p.m. outside a barbershop and a restaurant in the city's Queens borough.

The NYPD released a chilling surveillance video showing two men wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts walking east on 37th Avenue near 97th Street in Corona, Queens, both with their arms extended and firing handguns.

The video shows the pair of gunmen being trailed on the sidewalk by two other masked men, also wearing hooded sweatshirts, driving mopeds. Following the shooting, the gunmen calmly climbed onto the back of the mopeds and sped away.

At least 37 bullet shell casings were recovered, but Essig said police were combing the crime scene for evidence and suspect more shots were fired.

He said three of the people shot are members of the Trinitarios street gang and are believed to have been the intended targets of the shooting.

Essig said the shooting followed "reoccurring themes" police have recently noticed as the city has seen an alarming surge in gun violence.

"That's gang members, that's guns, multiple guns on the scene, scooters being used, masks and, lastly, unintended targets getting hit," Essig said. "This is unacceptable in our streets in New York City, and it has to stop."

He said the seven innocent bystanders left with non-life-threatening wounds ranged from age 19 to 72 and included two women.

He said the gunmen appeared initially to open fire on a group of people standing in front of a barbershop, but other people wounded were attending a party at a restaurant a few doors away.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes pleaded with the public to help police catch the gunmen and their getaway drivers.

"We need the community's help on this one," Holmes said.

She asked people to closely review the security video of the shooting that showed both gunmen wearing dark masks and dark hooded sweatshirts. One gunman was wearing white pants and Nike sneakers, while the other was wearing dark pants and dark sneakers.

One of the moped drivers was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and white pants, while the other driver had on what appeared to be a gray sweatshirt with a white hood and an American flag on the chest emblazoned with the letters "USA."

"They know the area. That's why they were wearing masks," Holmes said. "They know the area, they come over here. Someone's going to see that video, they're going to see those still photos, they're going to say, 'Oh, I know that clothing ... I know so-and-so walks that way.' And that is why we are really, really appealing to the public. Our biggest asset is the public when it comes to solving crimes like this."

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(NEW ORLEANS) — A barrage of gunfire erupted in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter early Sunday leaving at least five people wounded and a panicked crowd running for cover.The shooting broke out about 3 a.m. on Bourbon Street at Orleans Avenue, about two blocks from Jackson Square and around the corner from the famed Preservation Hall, according to police.

The New Orleans Police Department said one person was detained and was being questioned about the shooting, but released no further details.

"The investigation remains active and ongoing," police said in a statement on Twitter.

An EarthCam video camera mounted on Cat's Meow Karaoke Bar, which normally provides a live feed of the party scene on Bourbon Street, captured the sound of multiple gunshots followed by chaos with panicked people running for cover in all directions. Several people narrowly avoided being hit by cars crossing Bourbon Street.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Superintendent Shaun Ferguson of the New Orleans Police Department both went to the scene of the shooting but did not make any public comments.

Around 4:40 a.m. Sunday, New Orleans police responded to another shooting scene in the adjacent Iberville neighborhood just northeast of the French Quarter in which at least four people were shot, including a juvenile who was killed, authorities said. No other information was available on the Iberville incident.

Like other major cities across the country, New Orleans has seen a surge in shootings and homicides in the first seven months of 2021.

New Orleans has recorded more than 250 shootings and more than 100 homicides already this year. In all of 2020, New Orleans police investigated 195 homicides, a 63% increase from 2019.

In April, Cantrell announced the city was creating the Office of Gun Violence Prevention to focus on ways to intervene and mediate conflicts before they result in shootings. The program also focuses on providing jobs and job training programs for young people in the city.

“Nothing stops a bullet like a job," Cantrell said at the time.

The weekend gun violence in New Orleans came as the Grant Parish Sheriff's Office in Colfax, about 200 miles north of New Orleans, continue to investigate a shooting that occurred on Friday at the Louisiana Mud Fest music festival. Chris Ardon, a Zydeco accordionist and singer, was shot and wounded on stage as his group was performing, according to ABC affiliate station WGNO-TV in New Orleans.

Ardon and a 14-year-old child in the crowd suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

In the aftermath of the shooting, thousands of people attending the music festival immediately began diving for cover and running for the exits, detectives told WGNO.

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(NEW YORK) -- The United States is facing a COVID-19 surge this summer as the more contagious delta variant spreads.

More than 612,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and over 4.1 million people have died worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Just 57.7% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC on Tuesday, citing new science on the transmissibility of the delta variant, changed its mask guidance to now recommend everyone in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission -- vaccinated or not -- wear a face covering in public, indoor settings.

Here's how the news is developing Sunday. All times Eastern:

Aug 01, 2:07 pm

'Steady increase' in vaccines in past month, White House says

The number of vaccinations has been increasing since the week of July 5, White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar announced Sunday.

Aug 01, 12:52 pm

'Things are going to get worse' with COVID, Fauci warns

The nation's top infectious disease expert is warning that "things will get worse" in the pandemic as the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to surge.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview on “This Week” that while he does not believe the pandemic is worsening to the point where lockdowns will be necessary again, "We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated," based on the seven-day average, which "has gone up substantially.”

"From the standpoint of illness, hospitalization, suffering and death, the unvaccinated are much more vulnerable because the vaccinated are protected from severe illness, for the most part, but when you look at the country as a whole. And getting us back to normal, the unvaccinated, by not being vaccinated, are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which ultimately impacts everybody," Fauci said.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Aug 01, 8:20 am

Israel to offer 3rd COVID-19 booster shot to older citizens: Reports

Israel's ministry of health has instructed that a third dose of vaccine should be administered to those over 60, beginning Sunday, Aug. 1, Israeli media is reporting.

The third jab will be given to those who have received the second dose at least five months ago. People who have recovered from COVID-19 will not be given the third dose.

Israel's prime minister and the minister of health are expected to speak on this Sunday morning.

ABC News' Bruno Nota

Jul 31, 5:38 pm

US reports another huge single-day increase in cases

The United States has reported over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 101,171 new COVID-19 cases reported to the CDC on July 30.

The last time the U.S. saw over 100,000 cases reported in a single day was nearly six months ago on Feb. 6.

On Friday, the CDC reported that the U.S. saw 86,000 cases in the previous 24 hours. That total had been the largest since Feb. 12, as the country began to come out of the surge seen in late December 2020 and early January.

Officials have said the delta variant is driving the increase in cases and continue to push the unvaccinated to get the shot.

Jul 31, 4:58 pm

Florida sees largest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases ever

Florida reported its largest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic on Saturday.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21,683 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Cases have risen sharply in the past month in Florida, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant. On Friday, the state reported over 110,000 new COVID-19 in the past week -- the highest weekly increase since the start of the year.

Jul 31, 4:37 pm

Austin, Texas, has just 9 ICU beds left

Austin, Texas, has just nine ICU beds available for its population of 2.3 million, as of Saturday, according to the state’s coronavirus tracker.

The Austin area is currently treating 400 COVID-19 patients in hospitals. The 7-day moving average for hospitalizations in a week has increased over 47% from 34 to 50 new admissions on July 30, according to an Austin Public Health news release.

“We are running out of time and our community must act now,” Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said on the crisis. “Our ICU capacity is reaching a critical point where the level of risk to the entire community has significantly increased, and not just to those who are needing treatment for COVID. If we fail to come together as a community now, we jeopardize the lives of loved ones who might need critical care.”

Jul 31, 2:16 pm

New Orleans runs out of capacity to respond to 911 calls 

New Orleans’ EMS department has become so hard hit by the pandemic and the rampant delta variant, it does not have the capacity to respond to 911 calls, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Friday.

“One of our primary and premiere public safety agencies, EMS, was hit very hard with COVID, we’re experiencing that this week, today, right now,” Cantrell said.

The crisis prompted Cantrell to issue an emergency contract to increase the city’s capacity on the ground, “because we currently do not have the capacity to respond to 911 calls that come from our community right now,” she said.

On Friday Cantrell enacted an indoor mask mandate, which requires all people regardless of vaccination status to wear a mask indoors. The mayor also announced that all city employees will be required to be vaccinated, hoping the decision will prompt private businesses to issue similar orders for their workers.

“Our children are dying,” she said. “From 2 weeks old to 2 years old to 4 years old, you cannot make it up.”

She cited that the city has recorded over 1,000 new cases just over this past week.

At the press briefing when Cantrell was asked whether she worries about losing employees who don't want to get a shot, she said, “Well I'm worried about city employees as it relates to death due to this virus."

-ABC News’ Joshua Hoyos and Will McDuffie.

Jul 31, 1:08 pm

White House says about 3 million received 1st COVID-19 shot in the past week

The White House offered a glimmer of hope in the COVID-19 crisis Saturday as the nation continues to grapple with the delta variant.

For the first time “in a long stretch” the U.S. recorded four days in a row where over 700,000 COVID-19 vaccines were given out, White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain tweeted Saturday.

Overall, about 3 million people got their first vaccine shot over the past seven days, Klain said.

Jul 31, 9:28 am

CDC director says ‘no federal vaccine mandate’

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky caused a stir on Fox News on Friday when asked, “Are you for mandating a vaccine on a federal level?” to which she replied, “That’s something that I think the administration is looking into.”

Walensky later clarified her comments on Twitter saying: “There will be no nationwide mandate. I was referring to mandates by private institutions and portions of the federal government. There will be no federal mandate.”

Jul 31, 4:23 am

4,058 new cases reported in Tokyo, a 217% increase since last week

At lest 4,058 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday in Tokyo, according to the city's coronavirus information website.

Of those cases, 95 are severe and three have resulted in death.

The new figure marks a 217% increase in cases since last Saturday.

Jul 30, 7:09 pm
New Orleans to mandate indoor masking, city employee vaccinations  

New Orleans officials reissued a mask mandate Friday, requiring that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors in public spaces due to rising COVID-19 cases.

"Thanks to the delta variant, the COVID pandemic is once again raging out of control," Mayor LaToya Cantrell said during a press briefing, noting the daily average of new COVID-19 cases increased from 104 last week to 272 this week. "This is a very dangerous number. We have been here before. ... And what was once unpreventable, today is preventable, and is through our people getting vaccinated."

The mayor also announced that city employees and contractors will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 71% of city employees are vaccinated, "but that is not good enough," the mayor said. "We want to get to 100%."

Jul 30, 7:02 pm
Austin facing 'dire' ICU bed shortage

In Austin, Texas, intensive care unit capacity has reached a "dire" point, the city's health department said Friday, with only 16 staffed beds available for over 2.3 million residents.

"We are running out of time and our community must act now," Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a statement. "Our ICU capacity is reaching a critical point where the level of risk to the entire community has significantly increased, and not just to those who are needing treatment for COVID. If we fail to come together as a community now, we jeopardize the lives of loved ones who might need critical care."

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(WASHINGTON) — As the country grapples with a surge in the delta variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that lockdowns the country saw last year are likely to not return, though he warned "things will get worse" during an interview on ABC's "This Week."

"I don't think we're gonna see lockdowns. I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country -- not enough to crush the outbreak -- but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter. But things are going to get worse," the nation's top infectious disease expert told "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl on Sunday.

"If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. You know what we really need to do, Jon, we say it over and over again and it's the truth -- we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated. We are seeing an outbreak of the unvaccinated," he added.

"From the standpoint of illness, hospitalization, suffering and death, the unvaccinated are much more vulnerable because the vaccinated are protected from severe illness, for the most part, but when you look at the country as a whole. And getting us back to normal, the unvaccinated, by not being vaccinated, are allowing the propagation and the spread of the outbreak which ultimately impacts everybody," Fauci said.

Concerns over the coronavirus resurged this week, as research about the outbreak of the virus in Provincetown, Massachusetts, indicated that the now-dominant delta variant may be able to spread among fully vaccinated people.

During an investigation of the outbreak, researchers learned that the amount of virus in the noses of vaccinated people experiencing a breakthrough infection was the same as in an unvaccinated person -- a concerning sign that vaccinated people can also spread the virus.

The data helped the CDC make its decision to bring mask guidelines back for vaccinated individuals in areas of high or substantial spread of the virus -- despite the fact that breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals are overwhelmingly mild and do not result in hospitalization or death.

"That has much more to do with transmission," Fauci said of the new guidelines.

"You want them to wear a mask, so that if in fact they do get infected, they don't spread it to vulnerable people, perhaps in their own household, children or people with underlying conditions," Fauci said of the new guidance for the vaccinated.

President Joe Biden on Thursday also announced a new vaccine policy for all federal workers and onsite contractors, requiring them to "attest to their vaccination status," and will require anyone not fully vaccinated to wear a mask at work, regardless of where they are located, social distance and get tested once or twice a week.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who also spoke with Karl Sunday morning, pushed back on criticism from some unions representing those workers, who argue the new requirement is a violation of civil liberties.

"Well, this is about protecting lives. This is about setting a good example. And to be clear, employees have a choice," Buttigieg said in a separate interview on "This Week."

"Look, we have so many obligations in so many dimensions of employee safety, to make sure that this is a safe workplace. This is part of that. But it's also important, I think, for our federal workforce to lead by example because we're asking the whole country to do what it takes to make sure that we get beyond this pandemic. And this is a very important part of how to do it," he added.

But the new guidance and the president's acknowledgement Friday that "in all probability," the country could see new guidance and restrictions due to the surge has drawn the continued ire of some Republican governors, including Arizona's Doug Ducey, and Florida's Ron DeSantis, who argue that individuals should be able to make decisions about masking and vaccines for themselves.

"What is your answer to these ... Republican governors in some of the largest states in our country?" Karl asked Fauci.

"I respectfully disagree with them," Fauci said. "The fact is, there are things that are individual responsibilities that one has. And there are things that have to do with you individually, which also impact others and get the spread of infection that we're seeing now -- the surge in cases, Jon, is impacting everyone in the country."

"So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights because you're making them vulnerable. So you could argue that situation both ways," he added.

ABC News' Sony Salzman contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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(NEW YORK) —Protesters gathered outside an Oklahoma cemetery on Friday to decry the reburial of remains exhumed earlier this summer that could be linked to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The remains of 19 people exhumed from Oaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa were reinterred Friday in the same place they were found. The remains were exhumed as a part of a city effort to find unmarked burials from the violent event -- which happened 100 years ago -- when a white mob stormed the Greenwood District of Tulsa, a predominantly Black area dubbed "Black Wall Street" on May 31, 1921. The mob destroyed and burned 35 city blocks of the thriving Black neighborhood to the ground.

Oklahoma originally recorded 36 deaths in the brazen attack, but a 2001 commission reported the number was as high as 300.

However, dozens of protesters had gathered to denounce the Friday reburial without a proper funeral ceremony. The burial process was closed to the public.

"It's disgusting and disrespectful that these are our family members and we are outside of the gate and they are inside of the gate where they are," Bobby Eaten, a descendant of a massacre victim, said to ABC Tulsa affiliate KTUL.

The city of Tulsa told ABC News that the reburial went on as planned based on a proposal presented to a public oversight committee that was approved in March, "as on-site forensic analysis, documentation and DNA sampling were complete."

Further, the city had to abide by permit requirements filed with the state's Department of Health and the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office, which required the remains be temporarily interred at Oaklawn Cemetery. An internment plan was required before moving forward with the excavation.

City spokeswoman Michelle Brooks told ABC News that the city remains "committed to transparency during this investigation" and research experts will report their findings from the excavation this fall as well as recommendations for next steps.

All public oversight committee members, the physical investigation team and North Tulsa clergy involved with the exhumation were invited to the reburial, Brooks said.

Brooks said analysis will be done on the remains to determine if they are massacre victims.

"If they are, then we will want to try to match DNA with descendants and let descendants decide where they want them to be buried. If they can't be identified, we would work to establish a permanent memorial," Brooks said.

While on-site forensic analysis and DNA sampling from the remains are complete, she noted DNA matching with potential descendants could take years.

There are two more sites the city is looking at for possible massacre victim remains, KTUL reported.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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WSB-TV

(ATLANTA) -- A woman and her dog were brutally stabbed to death early Wednesday at Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in what police described as a “gruesome” scene.

Katherine Janness, 40, was found dead at the park around 1 a.m., along with her slain dog Bowie. Police said that Janness had been stabbed multiple times.

Janess’ parter of seven years Emma Clark said that Janness went to walk Bowie after dinner but never returned, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When she didn't come home, Clark tracked her phone's location and went to the park, where she discovered her girlfriend dead.

The FBI confirmed with ABC News it is now joining the Atlanta Police Department’s investigation into her death, So far, no arrests have been made in the case.

Police have shared a surveillance image showing Janness crossing a street near the park before she was found dead.

On Thursday more than 100 people attended a vigil for Janness at the park, where her partner’s father described the killer as a “monster.”

“What they did to her is ridiculous. There is a monster on the loose in the city of Atlanta,” Joe Clark said according to ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.

“It’s a gruesome scene,” deputy police Chief Charles Hampton said to the outlet on the murder.

Police have since added five mounted patrol units to the park, a popular area for locals and dog walkers. Police have combed the area this week and divers went in and out of the lake for hours Wednesday searching for potential evidence.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that could help lead to an arrest.

If you can help, please call the Atlanta Police Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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(NEWARK, N.J.) -- It's the most populous city in New Jersey with over 280,000 residents and regarded as one of its most dangerous. Crime has plagued the city for decades and in 1986, there were more than 40,000 index crimes, a trend that would continue into the 1990s. Meanwhile, through the early to mid-90s, each year, about 10,000 of those crimes were violent, according to New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reports. But Newark is trending downward, in a positive way, about 30 years later following those peak numbers.

Ras Baraka was elected as Newark's mayor in 2014 and taking over at a time when the city saw 112 murders the previous year, the most in 24 years. In addition to an increasing murder rate, the U.S. Justice Department issued a 49-page report of an investigation that began in May 2011, into abuse and misconduct within the Newark Police Department, just weeks after Baraka took office.

A DOJ press release stated that "NPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests, use of excessive force and theft by officers in violation of the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments." The DOJ said the practices of officers in Newark also "had a disparate impact on minorities in Newark."

Perhaps the most infamous case of civil unrest fueled by racial disparities in policing came in 1967. There were five days of unrest, known as the "Newark rebellion," after police pulled over John William Smith, a black cab driver, removed him from his car, beat him and then arrested him. As a result, more than two dozen people were killed, thousands were either injured or arrested, and millions of dollars were tallied in property damage.

Almost half a century later, in 2016, the city of Newark and the DOJ came to a consent decree to reform its police department. With the agreement, comprehensive reforms were expected to include the use of in-car and body-worn cameras, de-escalation techniques and a civilian oversight entity to help address the concerns of residents, among other areas.

Before the agreement with the DOJ, however, Baraka had already begun taking steps to help improve the city's issues through a community outreach strategy, dubbed the Newark Community Street Team. Aqeela Sherrills, a Los Angeles native, was tasked with leading the new program due to his work in his own community.

"He knew about the work that we had done in L.A. and also in other cities across the country," Sherrill told ABC News. "He tapped me to come and build out the infrastructure for his community-based public safety initiative." In 1992, Sherrills helped organize a peace treaty between Blood and Crip gang members in the Watts neighborhood of L.A.

The NCST is primarily funded through grants, funds from the city, and with the help from investors like the Victoria Foundation.

In 2016, Baraka created the Department of Public Safety by merging Police, Fire and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, in an effort to simplify operations and reduce costs. Anthony Ambrose, a former Newark police officer before rising through the ranks to chief of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutors Office, was appointed the director of the newly created department before his retirement in March. Brian O'Hara, who previously served as Newark's deputy police chief, took over following Ambrose's retirement.

"Baraka came in… with a reformed mentality. He understood violence as a public health issue," Sherrills said. "When he was on the city council, he advanced that framework, and so when he became mayor… folks knew that he would be coming in to clean house."

"The sacred Rural Council was a body that he commissioned to basically coordinate public safety strategies in the city, that not only just with law enforcement at the table, but also with faith community-based organizations…other municipal agencies, because he understood that it was an ecosystem of services that actually reduce violence and crime, as opposed to just law enforcement," Sherrills continued.

Since the city saw over 3,200 violent crimes in 2015, Newark has seen those numbers decrease every year since, to a low of less than 1,500 violent incidents in 2020. Due to police reforms stemming from the consent decree, not a single gunshot was fired by police officers in Newark last year. Overall crime has also dipped every year since 2016, nearly 500 guns were taken off the streets of Newark in 2020, and more than 270 recovered to-date in 2021, according to local officials.

"I think that is one of the factors that provided a vehicle to try and, you know, move some of these reforms forward that had been happening, at least begun to happen on a community level and begun through our mayor in the city. And just provided like sort of like the backing to ensure that the appropriate investments were made in these areas to focus around reform," O'Hara told ABC News. "There was significant efforts around community engagement that had been going on here in the last few years."

In 2019, rape was down 13%, shooting victims down 14%, and homicides were down 26%, seeing its lowest number of murders since 1961. Baraka praised these numbers at the time, while ensuring the troubled areas are also being policed effectively, "There's always this idea that the police are not working in those areas and allowing things to happen, they only protect downtown. Well, these numbers prove that to be false."

However, Sherrills said it's important to remember the role that the NCST has played in crime reduction. The trained outreach workers are members of the community who provide mentoring for people aged 14-30 years old, life management skills, as well as a high-risk intervention team to help those people avoid incarceration by connecting them with counseling and more.

"I can't discount man, the community-based effort, pulling public safety out of the abstract and putting it into the hands of the people," Sherrills told ABC News.

The NCST also provides what's called "Safe Passage," deploying its outreach workers to schools where violence is considered more common, and step-in if they see a conflict brewing. This also allows the outreach workers to build up a rapport with kids and their parents.

While Public Safety Director Brian O'Hara agrees with Sherrills, he also believes the work isn't done, "I would not be talking about 2020. That's ancient history at this point." O'Hara would go on to tell ABC News, " We need to invest in certain communities, where there's concentrated poverty, we need to invest in education, we need to invest in folks with jobs and invest in social services, invest in different ways of addressing cycles of retaliatory violence, social workers and those types of things."

This story is part of the series Gun Violence in America by ABC News Radio. Each day this week we're exploring a different topic, from what we mean when we say "gun violence" – it's not just mass shootings – to what can be done about it. You can hear an extended version of each report as an episode of the ABC News Radio Specials podcast. Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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JET

2007-2009

"Always in our Heart! "