EDM Wednesday Briefing: Orlando Shooting, Alligator Attack, Baltimore 911 System, Walmart Worker Violence
Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 15, 2016: The wife of the Orlando mass shooting gunman may face charges, names of all 49 victims are released from the Orlando shooting, a memorial service in California turns deadly, a boy goes missing after an alligator attack in Florida, Baltimore has a 911 outage, and a study points to climate change to explain recent flooding in Europe.
- In Orlando on Tuesday, prosecutors indicated that they are seeking to charge Omar Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, as an accessory to 49 counts of murder and 53 counts of attempted murder following the mass shooting that occurred early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub. She is also likely to be charged with failure to notify law enforcement about a pending attack. Officials believe she had previous knowledge of the planned attack and was said to have driven him to the club once to check it out and was with him when he bought ammunition.
- The names of all 49 victims from the worst mass shooting ever to occur in the United States have been released and include a bartender from the club, a recent high school graduate, and a travel agent. Survivors of the shooting struggle to deal with the trauma from that night, and some are suffering from survivor’s guilt. Of the 53 wounded, 30 were still hospitalized on Tuesday, with six people listed in critical condition.
- Four people were shot on Tuesday evening in Oakland, CA during a memorial service for two teens who drowned in a Stanislaus County reservoir in May. The service, which was attended by approximately 3,000 people, spilled out into the street. About one block away, an altercation occurred and two gunmen fired into a crowd. A 16-year-old girl named Reggina Jefferies died a short time later from her injuries at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The three other victims are listed in stable condition.
- A family of five visiting Walt Disney World was relaxing along the Seven Seas Lagoon Tuesday night near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort when an alligator attacked a 2-year-old boy. The alligator reportedly dragged the boy to the water, and the father unsuccessfully attempted to pry the boy from the gator's mouth. According to officials, the alligator is between four and seven feet long. More than 50 people made up of rescue crews and law enforcement personnel from Reedy Creek, Orange County and Florida Fish and Wildlife, searched all night Tuesday into Wednesday using SONAR and helicopters equipped with searchlights, but have yet to locate the boy or the alligator.
- Around 8:20 p.m. on Tuesday night, the 911 system in Baltimore, MD suffered an outage that lasted about two hours. An alert via the IPAWS System was issued at around 9 p.m. and told residents to call 311 instead for any emergencies. A suspected issue with Verizon, which maintains city equipment and networks, was likely the culprit, but it was unclear where the problem actually occurred. Anyone calling 911 immediately heard a recording indicating that all operators were busy, and to not hang up. The 911 center in Baltimore is the state's busiest, and has experienced issues in the past with dropped calls and busy signals. To resolve the issue, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake put fire and police departments in charge of the system.
- A recent bout of torrential rain over Europe caused heavy flooding first in the Bavarian Region of Germany, then central and northeastern France, Romania, and Belgium. Researchers sought to determine if climate change played a part in these extreme weather events. The analysis, conducted by World Weather Attribution -- a conglomerate of climate change institutions and universities, including Oxford University, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the University of Melbourne, and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre -- believes that global warming did indeed likely play a role in this weather event.
- A gunman who took hostages at a Wal-Mart in Amarillo, TX was shot and killed by a SWAT team on Tuesday afternoon according to reports. All the hostages are safe, and police have identified the gunman as a store employee, Mohammad Moghaddam. One of the hostages reportedly was the store manager, and police are now considering it an act of work-place violence.
- A man from Indiana who was bound for the L.A. Pride festival and carrying 25-pounds of a two-chemical compound that becomes explosive when mixed named "Shoc-shot," an assault-style weapon, two other guns, and extra ammunition, has been charged in Los Angeles County. The suspect, James Wesley Howell, admits to fleeing Indiana to avoid possible criminal charges in the state. His arrest on Sunday initially caused some concern when the Santa Monica Police Chief sent a tweet that noted Howell intended to cause harm to the L.A. Pride Festival, which was later said to be tweeted in error. Police have ruled out any connection to the Orlando mass shootings that occurred early Sunday morning.
— Cheryl Hurd (@hurd_hurd) June 15, 2016
Alligator takes 2-year-old boy at Disney Grand Floridian Resort, & Spa. Sheriff searching Seven Seas Lagoon https://t.co/5iDPaL5Paa
— Joe McKinley (@bartmckinley) June 15, 2016