Home Emergency Management News EDM Wednesday Briefing: Gunman Opens Fire in Fresno, New York National Guard Holds WMD Exercise

EDM Wednesday Briefing: Gunman Opens Fire in Fresno, New York National Guard Holds WMD Exercise


Emergency and disaster management briefing for April 19, 2017: Murder suspect Steve Stephens allegedly commits suicide following police chase, a gunman opens fire in downtown Fresno, killing three people, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Peru, I-20 in Atlanta reopened early following pavement buckling on Monday, homeless man accused of starting fire that caused I-85 bridge collapse is granted bond, Malaysia Airlines inks deal as first carrier to track its fleet by satellite, the death toll rises in Peru floods and mudslides, and the New York National Guard conducted a successful WMD training exercise at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

  1. On Tuesday, a gunman opened fire near a Catholic charities facility in the downtown Fresno area of California, killing three people during his rampage. The gunman, Kori Ali Muhammad, 39-years-old, was identified only hours earlier as allegedly being the same individual who shot and killed a security guard at a Motel 6 last week. Police were able to apprehend the suspect as he was running down the street and authorities have labeled the random shootings as possible hate crimes against whites.
  2. The manhunt for alleged killer, Steve Stephens, who posted a video of the murder on Facebook, ended on Monday when the suspect shot himself after a brief police chase and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police received a tip that Stephens was in an Erie, Pa suburb known as Harborcreek Township and were able to stop the vehicle after a short police chase. Before police could approach the vehicle, Stephens reportedly shot himself in the head, committing suicide. Stephens allegedly gunned down Robert Godwin, Sr. on Easter Sunday in a supposed random shooting while driving down East 93rd Street in Cleveland, Ohio, then posted the video of the murder on Facebook. 
  3. An earthquake that registered a magnitude of 6.0 struck a sparsely populated Amazon region of Peru, northeast of the city of Iquitos. The quake was felt as far away as Ecuador and Colombia, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damages. The earthquake sent people in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador out of buildings and into the streets and plazas as yesterday's tremors rumbled through the area.
  4. Interstate 20 in Atlanta, Georgia was reopened ahead of schedule Tuesday morning after it buckled on Monday and seriously injured a motorcyclist who was catapulted through the air by the damage. Contractors were using concrete to seal an old gas line that ran underneath I-20 when it built up pressure and buckled the pavement on the interstate, snarling traffic even further for the major metropolis. Crews worked through the night Monday into Tuesday to complete the repairs, opening all lanes on the interstate just as rush hour traffic began ramping up on Tuesday. 
  5. The homeless man accused of starting the fire that caused the I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta, Georgia, Basil Eleby, appeared in court on Tuesday and was granted bond after waiving arraignment and left the courthouse with a substance abuse counselor.  The suspect allegedly set fire to an upholstered chair after going under the bridge to smoke crack cocaine. The fire ignited materials being stored under the bridge and structural damage from the fire caused a section of the bridge to collapse, closing the freeway in both directions. Repairs on the bridge are now expected to be completed by mid-June since the project has received special waivers and incentives.
  6. Malaysia Airlines will be the first carrier to track its fleet by satellite the company announced, noting that it will use a a new satellite network that is soon-to-be launched. The company struck the deal following the wake of its famed MH370 Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight that disappeared over the Indian Ocean in 2014 after its on-board transmitter signal was lost. The new satellite-based system will allow the company to track the heading, speed, and altitude of its entire fleet, quickly alerting the company to any alterations or exceptions.  
  7. The death toll from the Peru floods and mudslides has now risen to more than 113 people. The National Center for Emergency Operations in Peru also reports that at least 178,000 people are now homeless, more than one million homes are at least partially damaged, and over 1,500 miles of roads have been completely destroyed. Authorities estimate that approximately $9 billion will be needed to rebuild areas impacted by the "coastal El Niño" that has warmed ocean waters off South America and caused unrelenting heavy rains that have plagued the nation since the beginning of 2017.  
  8. The New York National Guard completed a mock HAZMAT exercise on April 12 that focused on locating, identifying, and containing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including chemical, biological, and radiological agents, at a popular sports arena - the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. The training exercise included about two dozen members from the 2nd Civil Support Team. Participants searching for the WMDs used a variety of methods to detect and identify hazardous materials, including pH paper and electronic devices, and worked with local security personnel to ensure familiarity and coordinated preparedness.

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.