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    Florida Governor Rick Scott will be busy Tuesday taking part in a series of workshops focused on safety in schools. He’ll meet with state education leaders, local and state law enforcement and child welfare advocates and behavioral health leaders.  Governor Scott has vowed to meet with state leaders and lawmakers to discuss how to protect students following the Parkland school shooting on Valentine’s Day. “I have spent the last week in Parkland talking to members of the community, students and families of the victims who are suffering following this horrific shooting. While there are only three weeks left of the legislative session, we must make changes to keep students safe. A tragedy like what occurred in Broward County must never happen again and swift action is needed now. I am bringing local and state leaders together to find solutions on how to prevent violence in our schools and keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill individuals. This is an urgent matter that we must address quickly,” says Scott. A workshop with educational officials at the Florida Department of Education will focus on improving school safety and updating school security protocols and emergency plans. The workshop with law enforcement takes place at the Florida Sheriffs Association. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally impaired will be discussed. Potential safety improvements for firearm policies will also be reviewed. The mental health and child welfare workshop will focus on ways to expand mental health services for Floridians- especially students- and better coordinate between state, local and private behavioral health partners. A roundtable featuring Governor Scott and leadership from the workshops will follow at 5 PM at the Florida State Capitol. The workshops are not open to the public, but can be live-streamed here 
  • Donald Smith is just days away from learning if he’ll be sentenced to life in prison, or to the death penalty. It took a jury less than 15 minutes to convict Smith last week for the 2013 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle. That same panel of jurors will now hear testimony from both sides, as prosecutors air out Smith’s prior criminal history, and the defense tries to show mitigating factors.  Smith’s defense didn’t call any witnesses or deliver a closing argument. They conducted limited cross examination, as the State called 19 witnesses, including emotional testimony from the Medical Examiner and Cherish’s mother. FULL COVERAGE: The trial of Donald Smith A court filing from the defense shows they intend to call several witnesses, including former members of JSO and Smith’s own son. They may also introduce mental health records, medical scans, and details of a “neuropsychological assessment” done of Smith. The State is expected to talk about Smith’s status as a sex offender and prior criminal history.  This is the first death penalty case in this circuit since Florida’s death penalty sentencing law was overhauled because of rulings first from the Supreme Court and then the Florida Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court first help that Florida’s sentencing scheme was unconstitutional, because jurors served to advise, but not impose the sentence. The Florida Supreme Court later ruled the jury must also be unanimous in sentencing a person to death.  WOKV and Action News Jax will have full coverage of the penalty phase. Stay with us for continuing coverage.
  • The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has rescued at least one man who was dangling on the side of a Downtown high-rise building. This happened at the BB&T building on Forsyth. It appears scaffolding that the workers were on gave way, leading them to hang from their harnesses. JFRD dispatch initially reported this as involving one person, but our reporter on the scene saw two workers on the side of the building, and we are working to confirm the details. JFRD’s special operations team conducted the rescue from the roof, reaching the dangling man around the 17th floor. This is a developing story that will be updated in to the evening.
  • 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.
  • Less than a day after a 7-year-old was fatally shot outside a home in Durkeeville, there’s an intense push for anyone in the community to come forward with information. Sheriff Mike Williams announced Crime Stoppers is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case. You can submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-866-845-TIPS.  “Police can’t solve all these crimes alone, they need help. They need help from the community,” says First Coast Crime Stoppers Executive Director Wyllie Hodges. “There’s no excuse whatsoever for someone not to come forward in one fashion or the other.” Share this post on Facebook to help spread the word: JSO now says there were about six people in the yard outside of a home on Mt. Herman Street last night, drinking and smoking marijuana. Among the crowd, according to Williams, were multiple convicted felons, a convicted drug dealer, at least one person with known gang ties, and 7-year-old Tashawn Gallon. JSO says a small or medium sized SUV stopped in front of the home, and at least one person inside started shooting. One person in the yard told JSO he picked up a nearby gun and started firing back, according to Williams. Gallon was in the crossfire. “At the end of the day, we’re not talking about somebody firing a gun up in the air, we’re talking about the death of a seven-year-old little boy. If you can’t get behind that, then something’s wrong with you,” Williams says. An adult man was also injured in the shooting and fled the scene, bringing himself to the hospital. JSO says he is not cooperating with the investigation, and has actually been arrested on an unrelated, outstanding weapons charge. JSO says many of the other people in the yard are not cooperating either, but Williams promised to pursue charges against anyone who is openly obstructing the investigation or giving them false information. “We’re going to solve this case, we’re going to bring this person to justice, I promise you that,” Williams says. While those immediately involved are not being helpful, Williams says they have been getting tips from the community already- but they need more. At this time, the motive is unknown- including whether the shooting could be gang related- and police are still investigating who the actual intended target was as well. “But here’s what I know right now. There is someone on the street today that is responsible for the shooting death of a 7-year-old little boy. And I can promise you that we are going to move heaven and Earth, and kick in a few doors, until we bring that person to justice,” Williams says. You can also submit information directly to JSO by calling 904-630-0500 or emailing JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. This is the fifth juvenile shot in Jacksonville in less than two weeks, and Williams and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry say they continue to focus on a two-pronged approach for cutting back this violence.  The first part- addressing the most immediate concerns- comes with enforcement. Williams says they have more officers going through training to hit the streets and increase the size of the force. They’re also leveraging new initiatives like ShotSpotter and a ballistics tracking system, as well as partnerships with state and federal law enforcement. With treating the immediate “symptoms”, though, Williams and Curry says they also strategically invest in the future. The most recent project is the reorganized network of groups and resources aimed at at-risk youth, known as the Kids Hope Alliance. “It’s an investment that’s long term. We need to make sure that our elected officials in the future and the ones that sit here today remain committed to these programs, regardless of how hard the work is or how long it takes, because it does change lives,” Curry says. Williams says he’s also open to other options, like gun buyback events that are being considered by at least one City Councilwoman, who represents the area. He says, in his experience, those events don’t directly intercept the guns used in crimes like this, but it could prevent the theft of some guns, while also getting the community talking and engaged. All parties again emphasized that Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. While Williams acknowledged that some people don’t come forward because they fear the violence and retaliation, he urged anyone thinking that to reconsider, because your identity will not be known through Crime Stoppers. Additionally, he said they’re looking for tips not only from people who were in the area last night, but anyone who may have heard conversations or information before or after the shooting.
  • More than 80 Jacksonville-area alumni of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are joining together to help current students. The regional alumni association leaders told Action News Jax they also want to make sure the public can get involved and help the children heal following last week's mass shooting at the Parkland school that left 17 people dead and several wounded.  MORE: Former Clay County girl in intensive care recovers after Parkland shooting | Brunswick man remembers hero coach killed in Parkland school shooting | Parkland shooting prompts conversation over mental illnesses One Jacksonville Stoneman Douglas graduate is hosting a fundraiser at Super Food and Brew on 11 E. Forsyth St. on Thursday from 5-10 p.m. Owner Randal Gonzalez said 100 percent of the sales will be donated the shooting victims’ families and survivors. If you don’t have time for dinner but want to swing by, there will also be donation buckets at the restaurant. Mandarin couple Paul and Natalie Cordova started holding hands when they were students at Stoneman Douglas; these days, they’re holding on a little tighter. #Jacksonville couple Paul & Natalie Cordova started holding hands at #MarjoryStonemanDouglas HS. These days, they're holding on a little tighter. How they're helping victims of last week's shooting and how YOU can help too, live at 5 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/1CnWGm9KNU — Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) February 19, 2018  “Within 10 minutes of the first shells hitting the ground, my phone was on fire,” said Paul Cordova. “I think as members of the founding class, we are taking this extra personally. And, as parents, we are taking this extra personally,” said Natalie Cordova. The Cordovas have become the regional leaders of the national Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumni association, bringing together more than 80 local alumni in less than a week. “Within 10 minutes of the first shells hitting the ground, my phone was on fire.” This #Jacksonville couple met at #MarjoryStonemanDouglas HS. Now they're mobilizing a group of 80+ other local alumni to help victims of last week's shooting. Live at 5 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/vG02ZXPU9R — Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) February 19, 2018 “I am very proud of my alumni, but I am most proud of these students who are dealing with it right now and they are already taking action. So we kind of have to follow their lead,” said Natalie Cordova. “I think these kids are going to save the world. I really do,” said Paul Cordova. “I think a lot of us come from different backgrounds and probably don’t all have the same opinion of how to best move forward, but I think with the fact that we’re all Stoneman Douglas Eagles, we are putting a lot of those other things aside and committing to one another and have that discussion.” 80+ #Jacksonville-area alumni of #MarjoryStonemanDouglas HS join together to help school shooting victims. How you can help too: https://t.co/QS48tPTo2Z @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Js7vbibOiO — Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) February 19, 2018
  • St. Johns County deputies arrested a suspect, Charles Edward Price, 60, after a deadly double shooting Monday, deputies said. One man is dead and a second is hurt after the shooting on Margarita Road in East Palatka, according to Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach. DeLoach said the sheriff's office got several 911 calls after the victims were shot in the road. He said St. Johns County deputies saw someone matching the description of the shooter and took them into custody in St. Johns County, deputies said. Deputies have not yet identified the suspect or victims. DeLoach said Price lived at the home on Margarita Road and knew the victims, but it's unclear what their relationship entailed. He said he believes the Price opened fire on the victim with a shotgun. Action News Jax has a crew en route to the scene and will have an update on CBS47 at 10.
  • Hours after a 7-year-old boy died from injuries in a shooting in the Durkeeville area, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called for the community to come together and stop senseless violence.  Curry sent a series of tweets before sunrise, saying we have to break through to these young people, intimating that the suspect was young.   The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not released a description of the suspect.  Detectives say a dark-colored SUV pulled up to a home on Mt. Herman Street after dark on Sunday night and someone inside started shooting.  7-year-old Tayshawn Gallon died from his injuries at the hospital.  A 23-year-old man who was also in the front yard of the home had non-life threatening injuries.   This is the fourth child-involved shooting in the past two weeks, according to JSO.  
  • Detectives with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are interviewing witnesses as they investigate a double shooting that took the life of a 7-year-old boy.  The shooting happened late Sunday night in the Durkeeville neighborhood on Mt Herman Street. Police say the child and a 23-year-old man were in the front yard when they were shot. Both were taken to a local hospital, the child was pronounced dead and the other victim has non-life-threatening injuries.  “Shootings are unacceptable, but when you have children that can’t play in their front yard, it’s unbelievable to me. So please come forward with any information that you have,” says Assistant Chief Scott Dingee. Police say it’s still early in their investigation, but they believe the suspect vehicle is a gray SUV and could be a Toyota model. JSO says there were at least two people inside the suspect vehicle, but their identities are unknown at this time.  “This is the fifth juvenile that has been shot in less than two weeks, now the first murder attached to that.” If you have any information about the shooting, you are asked to call JSO at 904.350.0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1.866.845.TIPS.
  • Update: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says the reported missing man, Steven Haramia, has been found safe. Deputies say he is home and with his family.  Original Story: The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help in trying to find Steven Christofer Haramia who deputies say left his residence early Saturday morning, possibly around 3am. Deputies say Haramia has several medical conditions which require continued medication. The sheriff’s office says Haramia was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and a camouflage jacket, with black Nike shoes. Deputies describe him as 5’9, 155 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes.  The sheriff’s office said they were searching for Haramia Sunday with their helicopter near the Heritage Park community in St. Augustine.  Deputies say if you know where Haramia is you can call the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304.

The Latest News Headlines

  • 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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