Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies Hunt a Woman in Colorado Believed to be a Credible Threat to Schools
EDM Wednesday Briefing: Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies Hunt a Woman in Colorado Believed to be a Credible Threat to Schools

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies Hunt a Woman in Colorado Believed to be a Credible Threat to Schools


Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 17, 2019: A vehicle attack in Philadelphia injured six people; a lawsuit filed against the New York City Department of Health alleges the city overstepped its authority in mandating vaccinations due to a measles outbreak; a recall has been issued for Chips Ahoy Chewy cookies due to an unexpected solidified ingredient; an apparent random shooting at a mall in Tennessee leaves 2 people dead and one injured; critical infrastructure services, including hospitals and airports in Portugal, reached critical fuel levels amid a strike by tanker-truck drivers across the nation; the WHO says measles cases are up 300 percent in 2019 compared to the same time last year; numerous school districts in Colorado are on lockout as multiple law enforcement agencies hunt an armed and dangerous woman they consider a credible threat to schools; and another multi-day, multi-state severe weather threat begins today in areas already devastated by severe weather over the past weekend.

1) Multiple people were injured and one is in critical condition after a man plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon. A total of six people were injured during the incident, which occurred at around 3:45 p.m. following an altercation in which the man was involved. The ages of those injured during the attack range from 19 to 44 years old, and victims' injuries included head, neck, shoulder, arm, and leg injuries, along with body trauma.

2) The health department of the City of New York is facing a lawsuit over its mandatory vaccination order after a measles outbreak swept through one community. The lawsuit was filed by five parents and states that the health department grossly overstepped its authority for issuing the mandatory order, as there are fewer than 250 active cases -- which they claim does not constitute an epidemic. In a similar situation in Rockland County, New York, a Supreme Court judge halted an order that prohibited unvaccinated children from entering public spaces and schools, noting that the 166 cases did not constitute a disaster or rise to the epidemic level.

3) A recall has been issued by Mondelēz Global LLC for a select batch of Chips Ahoy Chewy cookies due to the presence of an unexpected solidified ingredient, which has reportedly had potentially adverse health effects. The 'best when used by dates' included in the recall are limited to four days -- September 7, 8, 14, and 15 of 2019 -- and have the UPC number 0 44000 03223 4. The company -- who noted that cornstarch used in the cookies allegedly did not mix properly, then solidified in the baking process -- advises consumers to avoid consumption of the recalled product.

4) An apparent random shooting at a mall in Tennessee has left two people dead and one man injured. The gunman opened fire outside the Tangers Outlet mall on the outskirts of Pigeon Forge, shooting and killing a woman, Olivia Katel Cunningham, 24, from Pennsylvania, and wounding John Marr, 75, from Massachusetts. Police arrived and locked down the mall. The lockdown was lifted after authorities determined the man, who died at the scene from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound, was the only shooter.

5) Critical levels of fuel reserves were reached at hospitals and airports in Portugal on Tuesday, due to striking fuel-tank drivers. The strike has forced Portugal to declare an energy emergency and order drivers to get back on the road to supply fuel to critical infrastructure services -- prompting an agreement with the National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers to provide minimum services during the strike. An agreement was reached for union drivers to deliver 40 percent of the supply of gas, but to ensure that fuel reached critical infrastructure services, state agencies also chartered commercial trucks and had soldiers standing by to drive fuel trucks.

6) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), preliminary information shows that measles cases are up by at least 300 percent across the globe so far in 2019, compared to the same three months in 2018. Health officials are pointing to a rise in vaccine hesitancy as a likely culprit of current outbreaks in countries where the disease was thought to be eradicated: the United States, Israel, Thailand and Tunisia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there has been a reported 555 measles cases so far in the United States in 2019. The current outbreaks are likely due to people traveling to countries with significant outbreaks, such as the Philippines and Ukraine, then returning to the United States.

7) Public schools in Jefferson County and other nearby districts in Colorado were closed Wednesday as authorities hunt a woman they considered to be "infatuated" with Columbine. Information reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law enforcement agencies indicates that a woman, Sol Pais, 18, and a resident of Surfside, Florida, made threats Monday night and then flew from Miami to Denver on Tuesday. Pais bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition in Denver and has been declared armed and extremely dangerous. Columbine High School is located in Jefferson County, and this week marks the anniversary of the deadly shooting that occurred at the school in 1999.

8) A multi-day, multi-state severe weather threat begins Wednesday, as severe thunderstorms and heavy rains begin in the Plains and parts of the Midwest and South before moving towards the east Thursday and Friday. The official forecast shows that the expanse of the severe weather extends from Texas to Wisconsin, with high winds, heavy rainfall, strong thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. Central Oklahoma and areas in north and central Texas are at risk for large -- baseball-sized or larger -- hail, tornadoes and damaging winds, which is likely to impact many of the areas that suffered damages from severe weather, including tornadoes, this past weekend.


Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.