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Latest from Sarah Thompson

    A Jacksonville Beach man is facing a new stalking charge, after investigators say he approached 3 separate women in the last few weeks.  According to the incident report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Klaid Karpuzi, 40, is accused of approaching a woman both inside and outside the Publix at Marsh Landing last Friday.  The report says he told the woman he was new to the area and was looking to meet friends. She told investigators he made her feel uncomfortable and ended the conversation.  But he is accused of approaching her two more times and inviting her to go with him to the women's restroom at Publix. The report states that Karpuzi told investigators that she was 'giving him queues' that she wanted to go into the bathroom together and perform sexual acts.  The incident report says the woman later spotted Karpuzi approach another woman in that same shopping center parking lot.  In the report, officers say Karpuzi matched the description of a man arrested a few weeks ago for stalking another woman in Jax Beach. During that incident, he approached a woman who was walking her dog and asked her if he could give her a ride home. She refused and left the area.  Karpuzi allegedly told investigators that he approaches random women because other methods of meeting women---including online dating---have not worked for him in the past.
  • It's a scenario no one wants to imagine, but with the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on everyone's minds, we're hearing directly from a trauma expert about what you should do in an active shooter situation.  Brian Yorkgitis, Assistant Professor of Surgery, with the University of Florida- College of Medicine, Jacksonville, says the very first thing you need to do is make sure you're safe to avoid adding more victims.  From there, whether it's treating your own gunshot wounds or someone else's, it's important to stop or slow bleeding as much as you can.  'The methods are direct pressure. If you see any injury that's life threatening--that means a lot of blood, like blood that's squirting-- is really to put direct pressure there. The next is if you have a commercially available tourniquet---meaning manufactured-- not an improvised [tourniquet], not your shoestrings or your belt, is to apply a tourniquet above the injury, about 2 or 3 inches and cinch it down as tight as your can until the bleeding stops,' explains Yorkgitis.  Despite what you may see in the movies, Yorkgitis says using a belt as a makeshift tourniquet can actually do more harm than good.  'Often it can cause more bleeding, because it's not tight enough. It's really hard to get them tight enough to stop arterial bleeding and that's the life-threatening bleeding. It can actually make it worse,' says Yorkgitis. In addition, he says you may end up causing nerve or artery damage.  He says it's also essential that you call for help. Yorkgitis says in these mass casualty incidents, people often think that someone else called for help already, but it's possible that no one actually did.  One easy way to remember everything is the ABCs.  'A is for alert. That's call 911. B is bleeding. Find the source of bleeding. Leg or arm, maybe the torso. C is compress. That's that direct pressure, holding steady direct pressure and not letting go until help gets there, or if you have a commercially-made tourniquet is to apply a tourniquet,' says Yorkgitis.  Outside of gunshot related injuries, if you or someone has shrapnel, glass, or anything else embedded, do not remove it, as removing it could start very heavy bleeding. To learn more about how to 'Stop the Bleed', click HERE. Classes about what to do in mass casualty situations are also available.
  • Following the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting on Wednesday that claimed 17 lives and injured more than a dozen others, Northeast Florida school districts want parents to know they're making safety a top priority. DUVAL COUNTY The Duval County Public School district held a news conference Thursday afternoon to address the shooting and offer their thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.  During that conference, Interim Superintendent Patricia Willis also wanted to reassure parents, safety is the top priority. She says that their very first meeting of the day on Thursday was to review safety and security policies.  She says there no major areas they identified that needed any changes. 'We want our Duval County families to know that safety is paramount for our school district, with the extensive emergency procedures that our in place. Our staff and our students rehearse those procedures regularly, on regular basis, under the direction of our police department, so that we ensure that procedures and drills are done properly in response to these kinds of threats,' says Willis.  Willis went on to say if students, parents, or staff see suspicious or threatening behavior it needs to be brought to the district's or school's attention or even law enforcement, like JSO.  CLAY COUNTY  In a statement released Thursday by Clay County District Schools, Superintendent Addison Davis says their schools will continue to have a law enforcement presence both in and around the schools.  He says he has also called on all employees to continuously work together and be mindful of their best practices when it comes to school safety. That includes reviewing all emergency plans, drills, and protocols.  Read the complete statement from Davis below:  'Clay County District Schools extends its sincere condolences and prayers to all students, teachers, administrators, school community, families and loved ones affected by the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. No student, teacher or staff member should experience this horrific act within our schools.  As the leader of Clay County Schools, I want to reassure everyone that safety will always be our greatest priority. It is essential that each school and workplace be a safe and respectful environment in which students can learn, teachers can teach, and employees can work together to support our students intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Our leadership will continue to focus on strengthening an environment that is positive and aligned with a violence prevention focus.  Since yesterday’s event, I have reminded all employees to continuously work together and be mindful of best practices linked to school safety. This includes reviewing emergency plans, drills, and protocols throughout all schools. As a district, we will continue to review our procedures and policies in order to provide safeguards to all students and employees at all times.  Today, in keeping with our daily priorities, law enforcement will continue to be in and around our schools. Over the past year, we have been more diligent in our efforts to collaborate with our local law enforcement agencies to ensure best practices for school safety. We will continue to work together and remain Clay Strong.'  ST. JOHNS COUNTY  St. Johns County Schools Superintendent Tim Forson left a voicemail with all families in the district, saying he has been in contact with St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar to reaffirm their commitment to school safety. He also announced resources online and on-campus to help any students and parents that may be in need.  Read the full voicemail below:  'Good afternoon, this is Tim Forson, superintendent of St. Johns County Schools. Today, our hearts go out to the families impacted by the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Unfortunately, these events serve as a reminder of why it is so important that we continue to review and evaluate the safety of our schools.  I've been in contact with Sheriff Shoar, together, we are committed to continuing our work to ensure the highest level of safety for our schools. Please know that school safety is an integral part of the daily operations.  We've placed on our school district website, resources that may be useful when talking to your children about this type of event. Our schools are also prepared to assist students that may need support and our school guidance counselors are able to speak with any student or parent in need.  In closing, we ask that you and your children focus on situational awareness. When children or adults are faced with the decision on whether or not to tell law enforcement about something that seems suspicious, it's imperative that we always face think about our safety and the safety of others first. Thank you very much for your continued support of our schools.
  • If you have seasonal allergies, you're probably well aware--- tree pollen season is here. Jacksonville doctor and allergist Sunil Joshi says if you're experiencing itchy eyes, runny nose, and other common allergy symptoms, there are over the counter medications that can help, but another key component is limiting your exposure to the pollen, as much as possible.  'Minimizing outdoor activities during this time of the year can be helpful, keeping the windows closed inside of your house, keeping the windows up inside of your car, keeping the AC on, those types of things to minimize the pollen from entering into the home, can also be very, very helpful,' explains Joshi.  He says telling the difference between allergies, a cold, and other infections can be difficult at times.  Joshi says when it's just allergies you will NOT have a fever. Instead, you may experience itchy eyes, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, and maybe even itchy skin. But, if you have some sort of an infection, you'll experience more nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, headaches, and low-grade fevers. If you're unsure, he recommends seeing your doctor, just in case.  Joshi also recommends seeing your doctor if your symptoms don't see to improve, as this is the time of year when people often mistake major sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia for allergies.
  • He was last seen in Florida and may still be here.  The FBI is asking you to keep an eye out for a fugitive wanted out of Los Angeles, California.  According to the FBI, Greg Carlson, 46, was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department back in September on a charge of assault with the intent to commit rape, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon. He's since been charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, after he allegedly fled the state, shortly after posting bond.  Investigators believe Carlson initially fled to a family home in South Carolina, where he acquired a stolen handgun, a rental car, and a significant amount of cash.  From there, Carlson was spotted in Alabama and led police on a high-speed chase, which ultimately had to be terminated due to the danger to the public. The FBI says he was most recently seen in Jacksonville on November 28, 2017 and then in Daytona Beach on November 30, 2017.  The FBI warns that Carlson should be considered armed and dangerous.  He's described as having brown hair and green eyes, and is around 5'11' tall and 170 pounds. We're told he may be traveling in a stolen white, four-door 2017 Hyundai Accent rental car with the South Carolina license plate NKI-770.
  • More than a week after a body was pulled out of the St. Johns River, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is updating the investigation. Police are now identifying the body as Atakorah Padmore, 34. We're told he was an employee at the North Florida Shipyard and was last seen falling into the river from a bulkhead at the shipyard on Sunday, January 21st.  Both a marine search and an air search of the area were carried out, but turned up empty.  Padmore's body was later spotted in the 1900 block of Talleyrand Avenue on February 2nd.  JSO says this continues to be an active investigation, but they do not suspect foul play.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash involving life-threatening injuries to a young child. We’re told a toddler fell out of a moving Chevrolet Tahoe SUV around Arlington Road and Lillian Road Monday afternoon, after the left rear door apparently opened during a turn. The toddler was then hit by a Chevrolet Silverado that was traveling directly behind them. JSO is still investigating exactly how the 1-year-old fell out of the car as a 25-year-old woman was driving, but investigators say they’ve been told he’s “been known to open the back door.” JSO says the toddler was among four children who were in the vehicle--- the driver’s four-year-old daughter was in the front seat, and her two nephews were with her son in the back seat. We’re told all of the children were wearing seatbelts, but none were in car seats. All are said to be 4-years-old or younger. Both drivers involved are cooperating, according to JSO. At this point, they say there are no indications of alcohol or drug use by either driver.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is asking you to keep an eye out for this, if you're on the road.  Police are currently searching for a 2006 silver Honda Odyssey Van, with the Florida tag NIS5N, after it was reported stolen in Arlington late Monday morning, at the intersection of Regency Square Boulevard and Gilmore Heights Road.  According to the incident report, the vehicle was left running outside Affordable Cremation Solutions, as the driver ran inside to drop off some paperwork.  When he came back outside, the van was already driving off.   The driver told police he didn’t see who was inside, but the report says he saw a white male and white female walking in the area, shortly before it was stolen. We're told the vehicle was transporting a body for work purposes, when it was taken.  The van itself does not have any business name or markings on it.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating, after a small, suspicious item was found very close to a JSO substation Friday evening.  JSO says some of their officers spotted the item, just before 6:30 pm at the substation on Blanding Boulevard, prompting them to call the bomb squad in.  Police are not yet providing any details about exactly what the item is, as they are not entirely sure yet, but they do tell us it’s NOT thought to be explosive.  JSO says it will be transported to a separate location to be assessed. 
  • Nearly three years after a body was found in a marsh area, west of the San Sebastian Bridge, the St. Augustine Police Department is turning to the public for help identifying the man. According to an osteological examination conducted by the University of Florida, it's believed the body belongs to a black man, who was about 5'11'' tall, and over the age of 50. He also likely had a pronounced under bite and was nearly or completely toothless.  Police believe he may have been a transient that often spent time in the downtown area.  Investigators believe he died a year before his body was discovered, which was found in March 2015. Foul play is not suspected. If you have any information, you're urged to contact Detective Jeffrey Collins at (904) 209-3486.
  • Sarah Thompson

    Sarah Thompson is the Afternoon Producer and Evening Anchor for WOKV and has been with the team since October 2013. She's a University of Florida graduate and a Jacksonville-native.

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  • Months before authorities said he walked into a Florida high school and killed 17 people, Nikolas Cruz was reportedly filmed shooting what appears to be a BB gun in his backyard. >> See the video here According to CNN, the video appears to show Cruz, the 19-year-old police say was behind Wednesday's deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, pointing a BB gun outside his house. The person in the video waves the replica weapon around, aims and shoots toward the fence surrounding the house. >> VIDEO: Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz shown fighting students in 2016 The footage is thought to have been taken by a neighbor in October 2017. >> Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral Cruz reportedly has a history of disturbing behavior. According to police reports obtained by CNN, Cruz was accused of being violent toward his late adoptive mother, who once told Broward County sheriff’s deputies that Cruz had expressed an interest in obtaining a gun and cut his arms 'for attention.' Classmates also said Cruz was abusive toward his ex-girlfriend, the New York Post reported. >> Read more trending news  The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously alerted to Cruz and threats he allegedly made online, including one about wanting to carry out a school shooting. Read more here.
  • An Uber Eats driver who police said shot and killed a customer in Atlanta turned himself in Monday afternoon and claims he acted in self-defense, his attorney said. >> Watch the news report here Only WSB-TV's Tom Jones was there when Robert Bivines, 37, arrived at the jail with his attorney. The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit secured an arrest warrant for felony murder on Monday. The shooting happened at a condominium on Pharr Road in Buckhead on Saturday night. Police said Ryan Thornton ordered food from Uber Eats, and the driver delivered the food around 11:30 p.m. Authorities said words were exchanged between Thornton and the driver. >> PREVIOUS STORY: Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer turns himself in The Uber Eats driver then shot the 30-year-old, police said. Thornton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Bivines' attorney, Jackie Patterson, calls this a case of self-defense. 'This is a case where my client had no choice but to defend himself,' he said. Patterson said Thornton was irate about the amount of time it took for his food to arrive. He said Thornton was aggressive, and as Bivines walked away, Thornton made a threatening move.  'He turned around, put his hand in his pocket and said, 'I'm going to [expletive] you up,'' Patterson said. Patterson said Bivines was afraid to wait to see what Thornton had in his pocket, so he said he defended himself. Jones asked Patterson why his client, who had only been on the job less than a week, didn't just drive away. >> Read more trending news  'You can't drive away when someone is coming at you with your window down,' Patterson said. Bivines will be taken to the Fulton County Jail. He will have a first appearance before a judge Tuesday. Uber sent WSB-TV a statement Monday saying Bivens no longer has access to the app: “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to Ryan’s friends and family. We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app” A spokesperson for Uber told WSB-TV that Bivens passed a background check. Bivens was an Uber Eats delivery partner only and did not drive passengers. Uber is working with the Atlanta Police Department on this investigation. Morehouse College sent the following statement:  'The Morehouse College community is mourning the passing of Ryan Thornton who was was shot Saturday in Atlanta after ordering a late dinner from UberEATS, according to police reports. 'Thornton, 30, was a recent graduate of Morehouse College. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2017, and had started a new job. 'Morehouse faculty, staff, and administrators on Monday were shocked and saddened by the news of Thornton’s death. Employees in Morehouse College’s admissions office said they worked closely with Thornton and described him as being friendly, hard-working, and determined to become a Morehouse Man.  'President David A. Thomas said that the Morehouse community stands at the ready to support Thornton’s family during this difficult time. “ ‘The loss of another young life to gun violence is tragic,' Thomas said. 'Ryan was an ambitious student with so much promise. He was well-respected by his peers and highly regarded by his professors. We at Morehouse College will keep Ryan's family in our thoughts and prayers.’ ”
  • Years before he was accused of killing one of his Uber Eats customers in Atlanta this past weekend, Robert Bivines had been arrested on aggravated assault charges in DeKalb County, Georgia, according to jail records.  >> Uber Eats driver accused of shooting, killing customer claims self-defense, attorney says But the nearly decade-old offense wouldn’t have been flagged by Uber’s driver pre-screening process because it only tracks criminal records as far back as seven years, according to the company’s website. Potential employees are subject to a driving history screening and, if cleared, undergo a criminal background check in national, state and local databases, according to the Uber website. The company said Bivines passed a background check and had been with the delivery company for only a week before the deadly shooting.  >> On MyAJC.com: Court upholds young mother’s conviction for killing newborn “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to (Ryan Thornton’s) friends and family,” Uber Eats said in a statement. “We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app.” Details of the 2009 assault case were not immediately available Monday, but Bivines pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of battery in May 2010, according to court records.  >> On MyAJC.com: R. Kelly evicted from N. Fulton homes, owes $30K, court documents show He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to have no contact with his victim. Bivines was also banned from the five-county metropolitan area. Online court records do not indicate how long the ban was enforced.  Bivines, 36, turned himself in Monday afternoon, two days after Atlanta police say he shot and killed Thornton, a recent Morehouse College graduate, after delivering food to the 30-year-old’s Pharr Court South condominium. The shooting was caught on surveillance video.  About 10:45 p.m. Saturday, Thornton placed an order with Tin Lizzy’s on Piedmont Road through the Uber Eats app, according to an Atlanta police report. Bivines was listed as the delivery driver.  “The victim went down to meet the driver, received his order and began walking away from the vehicle,” Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said in a statement. “As the victim was walking away, it appears words may have been exchanged between he and the delivery driver.”  Thornton went back to Bivines’ car, and that’s when things turned deadly.  Atlanta police said four shots were fired through the passenger-side window. Bullets landed in Thornton’s torso.  >> Uber Eats driver accused of killing customer turns himself in As Thornton fell to the ground, Bivines drove away in his white Volkswagen, police said. Thornton called his girlfriend, who administered aid. He was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Thornton graduated from Morehouse in May 2017 with a political science degree and had recently started a new job, a spokeswoman for the school, D. Aileen Dodd, said in a statement. While there, he worked closely with those in the admission’s office, who described him as “friendly, hard-working and determined to become a Morehouse Man.”  Morehouse President David A. Thomas said the college “stands at the ready to support Thornton’s family during this difficult time.” “Ryan was an ambitious student with so much promise. He was well-respected by his peers and highly regarded by his professors,” Thomas said. “We at Morehouse College will keep Ryan's family in our thoughts and prayers.” >> Read more trending news  Bivines’ attorney, Jackie Patterson, said the surveillance video doesn’t tell the full story.  Patterson told WSB-TV that Thornton — upset about the delivery time — threatened his client and motioned toward his pockets: “My client had no choice but to defend himself.”  Bivines is due in court at 11 a.m. Tuesday. 
  • An Uber Eats driver who police said shot and killed a customer turned himself in Monday afternoon. >> Read more trending news According to WSB-TV, Robert Bivens, 37, arrived at the jail with his attorney. The Atlanta Police Department's Homicide Unit secured an arrest warrant for felony murder Monday. The shooting happened Saturday night at a condominium on Pharr Road in Buckhead, Georgia. Police said Ryan Thornton ordered food from Uber Eats and the driver delivered the food around 11:30 p.m. At some point, authorities said words were exchanged between Thornton and the driver. The Uber Eats driver then shot the 30-year-old, police said. Thornton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Uber said in a statement on Monday, saying Bivens no longer has access to the app: “We are shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence and our hearts go out to Ryan’s friends and family. We have been working with the Atlanta Police Department, and the driver can no longer access the app.” A spokesperson for Uber told WSB-TV Bivens passed a background check and had only been an Uber Eats driver for about a week. Bivens was an Uber Eats delivery partner only and did not drive passengers. Uber is working closely with the Atlanta Police Department on this investigation.
  • The man allegedly behind the fatal Florida high school shooting apparently has a disturbing past that is coming to light. A school fight that was captured on camera a little more than a year ago is the latest development. >> Click here to watch Authorities said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz was formerly a member of the school’s JROTC program before being expelled. >> Florida school shooting: Teacher of the year's emotional Facebook post goes viral A September 2016 video shared by ABC News shows Cruz wearing a white shirt and khakis while fighting with other students. Cruz was reportedly handed a two-day suspension following the incident. >> Family who took in Nikolas Cruz: 'We just didn't know' According to ABC, the fight was one of five documented incidents that caused school administrators to expel Cruz, mandating his transfer to another high school in February 2017. >> WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez slams politicians, NRA in emotional speech Another incident that reportedly contributed to Cruz’s expulsion was his alleged fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. Cruz was allegedly abusive toward her before they broke up. >> Read more trending news  The massacre at the high school marked the 25th U.S. school shooting in which someone was killed since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

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