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The Latest: Australian PM worried IS may regroup in Syria
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The Latest: Australian PM worried IS may regroup in Syria

The Latest: Australian PM worried IS may regroup in Syria
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from a fire inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. Turkey launched a military operation Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria after U.S. forces pulled back from the area, with a series of airstrikes hitting a town on Syria's northern border.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The Latest: Australian PM worried IS may regroup in Syria

The latest developments on Turkish offensive in Syria (all times local):

6 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he's worried Turkey's campaign in Syria will lead to the resurgence of the Islamic State group.

He told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday that he was "deeply concerned" about Turkey's actions and has expressed to the Turkish and U.S. governments his concerns about the safety of civilians and the Kurdish people.

Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery and began a ground offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday after U.S. troops pulled back from the area.

Morrison said he would not offer commentary on President Donald Trump's decision to essentially abandon the Kurdish fighters who were America's only allies in Syria fighting IS militants.

The Australian leader said Trump's move was "a U.S. matter" and that it was Turkey's actions to cross the border and deploy in another nation that were Australia's concerns.

___

2:15 a.m.

U.S. officials say two captive British militants believed to be part of an Islamic State group that beheaded hostages have been taken into American custody and moved out of Syria.

President Donald Trump said earlier Wednesday that the U.S. had transferred some Islamic State prisoners amid fears they could escape custody as Turkish troops invade northeastern Syria.

Officials say they took El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey out of Syria to an undisclosed location.

The two men and other British jihadis who made up the alleged IS cell that beheaded prisoners were nicknamed "The Beatles" by surviving captives because of their English accents. The cell beheaded seven American, British and Japanese journalists and aid workers and a group of Syrian soldiers in 2014 and 2015, boasting of the butchery in videos released to the world.

___

12:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. has moved some of the most dangerous Islamic State fighters detained in Syria to an unknown location where they can be watched during the Turkish military incursion into Syria.

Turkish troops invaded northern Syria on Wednesday to push back Kurdish fighters it views as terrorists. The Kurds have been backed by the United States and they captured the last of IS-controlled territory in Syria in March.

The Kurds also hold thousands of IS fighters in detention centers. There was concern the detainees could gain freedom if the Kurdish forces left their guard posts to battle Turkish forces.

Trump says some "really bad" detained IS fighters have been moved, but he is not saying how many where moved or where or when they were relocated.

___

12:05 a.m.

Turkey has begun cracking down on social media posts critical of the Turkish army's offensive into northern Syria.

A statement from Turkey's police directorate said Wednesday that it had initiated "necessary legal procedures" against 78 people it alleges "engaged in dark propaganda" against the military operation.

It also accuses the 78 of inciting hatred and making false claims "to undermine the reputation of our security forces."

The statement adds: "We will continue our fight against crime and criminals in the virtual world as we do in every other field."

___

11:35 p.m.

The European's Union foreign policy chief is calling on Turkey to cease its military action in northeast Syria.

Federica Mogherini said in a written statement Wednesday that "renewed armed hostilities in the north-east will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements."

The EU says Turkey's "unilateral action" threatens the progress of the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State extremist group.

The bloc also is urging all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and humanitarian access throughout Syria.

Mogherini says the EU maintains its position that Syrian refugees must return to their places of origin when the conditions are met. She warns that "any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable."

___

11:20 p.m.

A security official says Turkey's ground forces and Turkish-allied Syrian opposition forces have crossed into an area of northern Syria in a four-pronged offensive.

The security official based near Turkey's border with Syria would not say how many troops are involved in the ground operation that began Wednesday hours after Turkish jets and artillery pounded Syrian Kurdish targets in the region.

The official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

—By Suzan Fraser.

___

10:55 p.m.

The Arab League says foreign ministers from around the region will meet to discuss Turkey's military operation in northern Syria.

Hossam Zaki, deputy secretary general of the pan-Arab organization, says Wednesday the meeting will take place in Cairo on Saturday.

The meeting comes after Egypt called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss Turkey's "blatant aggression" against Syria's sovereignty.

___

10:45 p.m.

Turkey's Defense Ministry says Turkish ground forces have moved across the border to fight against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria, hours after Turkish jets and artillery pounded areas in Syria's northern border.

The ministry said Turkish troops, joined by allied Syrian opposition forces, moved into Syria on Wednesday. It did not provide further details.

Turkey's offensive — named Operation Peace Spring —came after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to withdraw American troops from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States.

Turkey aims to create a so-called "safe zone" that would be cleared of Kurdish fighters — that Ankara considers to be terrorists and an extention of Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey — and eventually allow for the return of refugees.

___

10:35 p.m.

A Syrian war monitor and an activist collective in Kurdish-held areas say at least seven civilians have been killed in Turkish strikes in northeastern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at eight, including two Christian Assyrians in the city of Qamishli, a husband and wife and their child as well as another man in a village outside of the town of Tal Abyad, and a child in a village west of Qamishli. Also killed was a man in Ras al-Ayn, it said.

The Rojava Information Center, an activist collective in northeast Syria, counted seven killed.

The Observatory said at least seven fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the fighting. The Rojava center put the death toll at three.

Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters Wednesday targeting areas in northeast Syria with airstrikes and artillery shelling.

___

9:20 p.m.

U.N. diplomats say the Security Council will hold a closed meeting Thursday on Turkey's military action in northeast Syria.

The five European nations on the council — France, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Poland — requested the meeting on Wednesday, the diplomats said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions were private.

The meeting will take place after Thursday morning's scheduled meeting on Colombia, the diplomats said.

— By Edith M. Lederer

___

8:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. does not endorse Turkey's assault on northern Syria and has made it clear to Ankara that its incursion against Kurdish fighters who helped the U.S. battle the Islamic State is a "bad idea."

In a statement Wednesday, Trump said no American soldiers are in the area being invaded. Earlier, Trump ordered U.S. forces out of the area, prompting criticism that he was abandoning an American ally.

Trump says he does not want the U.S. to fight "these endless, senseless wars."

He says he will hold Turkey to its commitment to protect civilians and religious minorities, including Christians, and ensure the invasion does not create a humanitarian crisis. He also says Turkey must make sure that IS fighters held captive in Syria remain detained.

___

8:05 p.m.

A U.S. defense official and a Kurdish official in Syria say the American-backed Syrian militia being attacked by Turkish forces has suspended operations against the Islamic State group.

The militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, has been moving into position to contest the Turkish onslaught, which so far includes airstrikes and artillery barrages.

The officials who confirmed the SDF suspension of operations against the Islamic State were not authorized to provide details on the unfolding situation and so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. defense official said an incursion by Turkish ground forces had not yet begun but was expected soon.

— By Robert Burns

___

7:25 p.m.

Egypt has condemned Turkey's military operation into northern Syria, calling it an "aggression" against Syria's sovereignty.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry in a statement Wednesday condemned "in the strongest words" the offensive and called for the U.N. Security Council to halt "any attempts to occupy Syrian territories . or change the demographics in northern Syria."

The statement says Turkey's attack is a "blatant aggression" against Syria's sovereignty. It also calls for an emergency meeting of the Arab League.

____

7:05 p.m.

A Syrian war monitor and a Kurdish activist collective say Turkish bombardment of northern Syria has killed at least one member of the Kurdish-led force.

The Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights said one fighter of the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces was killed and six others were wounded.

The Rojava Information center, an activist collective in northeast Syria confirmed that an SDF fighter was killed in the border Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn.

Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters Wednesday targeting areas in northeast Syria with airstrikes and artillery shelling.

The SDF said in a statement that the Turkish airstrikes reached as deep as 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border. It said 16 SDF positions were targeted.

___

6:20 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister is condemning Turkey's offensive in northern Syria and called on Ankara to end the military action, saying it threatened "a further humanitarian catastrophe and further displacement of persons."

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement Wednesday that "we condemn the Turkish offensive in the northeast of Syria in the strongest possible terms. "

He said Turkey was running the risk that it would "further destabilize the region and strengthen IS," referring to the so-called Islamic State group.

Maas said that Syria needed stability after eight years of war and that the first step should be to summon a constitutional committee in the near future: "We call on Turkey to end its offensive and to pursue its security interests in a peaceful manner. "

____

6:15 p.m.

The secretary-general of NATO is urging Turkey not to "further destabilize the region" through its military action in northern Syria.

Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in Rome that Turkey, a NATO ally, "has legitimate security concerns," having suffered "horrendous terrorist attacks" and hosting thousands of refugees.

He said NATO has been informed about Turkey's ongoing operation in northern Syria. And he added "it is important to avoid actions that may further destabilize the region, escalate tensions and cause more human suffering."

He said Turkey should act with "restraint" and any action should be "proportionate."

Stoltenberg will discuss the military action with Turkey's leader on Friday in Istanbul.

___

6 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says two mortar shells have been fired into a Turkish town, on the border with Syria. No one was hurt in the attack.

Anadolu Agency said shells hit the town of Ceylanpinar on Wednesday.

They were fired from the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ayn, Anadolu reported, shortly after Turkey launched a military operation aiming to drive Syrian Kurdish forces away from Turkey's border.

Meanwhile, Turkish authorities declared an area along the Turkish-Syrian border off-limits to civilians.

___

5:35 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish artillery units are shelling suspected Syrian Kurdish forces targets across the border in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

Anadolu Agency said howitzers pounded the town Wednesday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of a Turkish military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. Turkey's Defense Ministry said the offensive started at 4 p.m. (1300 GMT).

Earlier, Turkish television reports said Turkish jets were carrying out airstrikes on Syrian Kurdish positions in the town of Tal Abyad and showed smoke billowing from the targeted areas.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said ambassadors of the United Nations Security Council's five permanent members, including U.S. ambassador David Satterfield, were being briefed on the operation.

___

5:25 p.m.

A top European Union official is calling on Turkey to halt its military operation in northern Syria and is warning that the EU will not be paying to help Ankara set up any safe zone there.

Speaking to EU lawmakers Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "I call on Turkey as well as on the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, underway."

While acknowledging that Turkey has security concerns on its border with Syria, Juncker says that "if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don't expect the European Union to pay for any of it."

The EU is paying Turkey 6 billion euros ($6.6 billion) to help the country cope with almost 4 million Syrian refugees on its territory in exchange for stopping migrants leaving for Europe. But Ankara is seeking more money amid concerns that thousands of Syrians could soon cross its border

___

4:35 p.m.

A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led force in northern Syria says Turkish warplanes have started targeting "civilian areas" in northern Syria.

Mustafa Bali of the Syrian Democratic Forces says the airstrikes have caused "a huge panic among people of the region."

Bali's tweet on Wednesday afternoon came shortly after Turkish President Erdogan announced in a tweet that a Turkish military offensive into northeast Syria has started.

Turkey has been massing troops for days in preparation for an attack against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria that Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

___

4:30 p.m.

A U.S. official says the Turkish airstrikes in northeastern Syria are not coordinated with the U.S. military and are considered dangerous for the coalition forces and civilians in the area.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Turkey's President Erdogan announced airstrikes began in Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria on Wednesday.

— By Sarah El Deeb.

___

4:25 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that a Turkish military operation into Syria has started.

Erdogan said on his official Twitter account Wednesday that the operation, named "Peace Spring," has begun. He said the operation aims to eradicate "the threat of terror" against Turkey.

Earlier, Turkish television reports said Turkish jets had bombed Syrian Kurdish positions across the border from Turkey.

Turkey had long threatened an attack on the Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers to terrorists and an extention of

Trump agreed to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and hand control to Turkey

___

4:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to pull back U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, citing a focus on the "BIG PICTURE!"

Trump tweets Wednesday that "GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!"

Trump says "stupid endless wars, for us, are ending!" and he is "slowly & carefully" bringing U.S. troops home.

But the decision to leave Syrian Kurds — who supported the U.S. in the fight against Islamic State militants — vulnerable to a military onslaught from Turkey has been condemned by some of Trump's staunchest Republican allies.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday that such a move would be Trump's "biggest mistake" as president.

___

3:35 p.m.

The U.S-backed Syrian Kurdish group is calling on Moscow to broker talks with the Syrian government in Damascus, in light of Turkey's planned military invasion in northeastern Syria.

The Syrian Kurdish-led administration says in a statement on Wednesday that it's responding positively to calls from Moscow encouraging the Kurds and the Syrian government to settle their difference through talks.

A Syrian Kurdish official also says they have reached out to Damascus "and other parties" ahead of the anticipated Turkish operation.

The official declined to provide details and said no agreement has been reached yet. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters.

The call for talks with Damascus reflect the Kurdish forces' desperate outreach after a partial U.S. pullback, leaving them exposed to Turkish attack.

—Sarah El Deeb in Beirut;

___

3:05 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has discussed his plans for an incursion into northeastern Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erdogan's office said the Turkish leader told his Russian counterpart in a phone call on Wednesday that Ankara's planned military action in the region east of the Euphrates River "will contribute to the peace and stability" and also "pave the way for a political process" in Syria.

Erdogan added that Ankara attached importance to the protection of rights and interests of the Syrian people and that Turkey "appreciated the constructive attitude" of Russia in the matter.

___

2:40 p.m.

Syria's Foreign Ministry has condemned plans by Turkey to invade northeastern Syria, calling it a "blatant violation" of international law and vowing to repel the incursion with all means.

The ministry's statement on Wednesday blamed some Kurdish groups for what is happening, saying they were used as a tool to help an alleged "American project."

It said that Syria is ready to welcome back its "stray sons if they return to their senses," referring to the pro-U.S. Kurdish fighters

The ministry says the announcements surrounding the planned invasion reflect Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "hostile behavior" and Ankara's expansionist ambitions in Syria.

Turkey has been massing troops along its border with Syria ahead of an imminent military operation against the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

___

2:30 p.m.

Turkey's foreign minister says his country will inform Syria, the United Nations and others about an expected Turkish incursion into northern Syria.

Mevlut Cavusoglu claims the planned foray into the region is in line with international laws concerning Turkey's right to defend itself. He spoke during a visit to Algeria on Wednesday.

Cavusoglu says that Ankara "will provide information to the United States and other countries, including Syria, in line with international laws."

He added that Turkey's "only target are terrorists" in northeast Syria and that the incursion would be Ankara's way to "contribute to Syria's border integrity."

Expectations of a Turkish invasion rose after President Donald Trump on Sunday abruptly announced that American troops would step aside ahead of a Turkish push.

___

2:25 p.m.

A spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish-led fighters says "all options are open" if Turkey invades northeastern Syria.

Kino Gabriel, a spokesman for the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, said on Wednesday that the Kurdish-led fighters will use all their capabilities to fight back.

He says the Kurdish forces are also leaving the door open for cooperation with the Syrian government or other regional powers to defend the area. He didn't elaborate.

Gabriel says that the Syrian Kurdish-led forces control about 30% of Syria. He says there are currently no contacts with the government side.

Syrian troops, backed by Russia and Iran, have presence to the south and west of the Kurdish-held territories.

___

1 p.m.

The head of the Arab League says he is alarmed at Turkey's planned military offensive into northeastern Syria, against the Syrian Kurdish fighters there.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement on Wednesday that such an invasion would be a "blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty and threatens Syria's integrity."

He added that Turkey's planned incursion also threatens to inflame further conflicts in eastern and northern Syria, and "could allow for the revival" of the Islamic State group.

Turkey has been preparing for an attack on the Kurdish fighters in Syria whom Ankara considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

This came after President Donald Trump said earlier this week the U.S. would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years.

___

12:30 p.m.

Turkey's defense minister says preparations for an expected Turkish incursion into Syria are continuing.

Hulusi Akar made the comments on Wednesday, days after President Donald Trump abruptly announced that American troops would step aside to allow for a Turkish push into northeastern Syria.

Turkey has long threatened an attack on the Kurdish fighters in Syria whom Ankara considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey

Akar told state-run Anadolu Agency: "Our efforts concerning the offensive are continuing, the deployment, the preparations are continuing."

___

11:20 a.m.

Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic has launched a surprise military drill with army special operations forces near the country's border with Turkey.

The exercise comes amid Iran's opposition to Turkey's planned invasion of northern Syria against Syrian Kurdish fighters there. The Syrian Kurds were U.S. allies in the war against the Islamic State group.

The sudden Iranian drill was announced on Wednesday. The TV report says it's overseen by Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, chief of Iran's army.

However, the state TV didn't mention the expected Turkish operation nor elaborate on the number of troops taking part in the drill in Qushchi in Iran's Western Azerbaijan province. The area is about 620 kilometers, or 385 miles, northwest of Tehran.

Iran and Russia are both key allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad's long-embattled government. Both have troops on the ground in Syria. While they may publicly oppose a Turkish incursion into Syria, they probably don't mind an operation that diminishes the Kurdish forces.

___

11:10 a.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is accusing the United States of playing "very dangerous games" with the Syrian Kurds, whose fighters were top U.S. allies in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Lavrov said during a visit to Kazakhstan on Wednesday that the U.S. first propped up the Syrian Kurdish "quasi state" in northeastern Syria and is now withdrawing its support.

He says that "such reckless attitude to this highly sensitive subject can set fire to the entire region, and we have to avoid it at any cost." Russian news agencies carried Lavrov's comments and reported that Moscow has communicated that position Washington.

Lavrov didn't directly address the issue of Turkey's anticipated invasion into northeastern Syria but said that Moscow is encouraging the Kurds and the Syrian government to settle their difference through talks.

The top Russian diplomat stressed that both Damascus and the Syrian Kurds have said they are "open to dialogue, and we will do our best to help launch talks on this subject."

___

10:30 a.m.

The Kurdish-led civilian administration in northeastern Syria has issued a "general mobilization" call along the border with Turkey, as Ankara masses troops ahead of an imminent invasion.

The local authority, known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, says: "We call upon our people, of all ethnic groups, to move toward areas close to the border with Turkey to carry out acts of resistance during this sensitive historical time."

It also called on the international community to live up to its responsibilities as "a humanitarian catastrophe might befall our people" in northeastern Syria.

Turkey has been preparing for an attack on the Kurdish fighters in Syria whom Ankara considers terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

President Donald Trump on Sunday abruptly announced American troops would step aside ahead of the Turkish push — a shift in U.S. policy that essentially abandoned the Syrian Kurds, longtime U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

___

9:40 a.m.

A top Turkish official says Turkey's military will "shortly" cross into Syria together with allied Syrian rebel forces after President Donald Trump announced U.S. troops would withdraw from the area.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidency's communications director, called on the international community in a Washington Post op-ed on Wednesday "to rally" behind Ankara.

Altun says Turkey seeks to "neutralize" Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria and to "liberate the local population from the yoke of the armed thugs."

He wrote: "The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly."

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters, allied with American forces in the fight against IS, as terrorists linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels within Turkey.

___

9:30 a.m.

A U.S.-backed force and two Syrian activist groups say Islamic State militants have carried out an attack in the city of Raqqa in northern Syria.

The early Wednesday attack targeted a post of the U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa, which was once the extremists' de facto capital.

The attack comes as Turkey is expected to launch an offensive against the Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria.

The Kurdish fighters say IS launched three suicide attacks against its positions in Raqqa. There was no word on casualties.

Raqqa is being Silently Slaughtered, an activist collective, reported an exchange of fire and a blast.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, says the attack involved two IS fighters who engaged in a shootout before blowing themselves up.

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  • A 13-month-old Georgia girl is recovering after a man in a fit of rage over a fender-bender fired at a car and shot her in the hand last week, the child's mother said.  >> Read more trending news  Raylah was in her car seat Oct. 6 when her mother's friend got in a minor accident while the toddler was in the back seat. The man whose car she hit started shooting, injuring Raylah, police said. Police said they're still looking for the shooter.  WSB-TV's Christian Jennings talked to the toddler's mother about what led to the shooting. For their safety, she requested that Jennings only use her and her daughter's first names.  Natika told Jennings that her friend was driving that afternoon. When they got in the area of Fletcher and Ira streets, her friend accidentally hit an SUV.  'The mirror fell out of it, and I'm, like, 'You just hit someone's car,'' Natika said.  Natika said a man in a nearby house came running outside with a gun and demanded money. 'He's, like, 'That's going to be $300.' My friend is, like, 'I'm not going to be able to give you $300. Can we exchange insurance information?'' Things escalated from there, she said. 'He was getting irate, and I asked him before everything was over, I was like, 'Don't shoot.' Because I saw him clutching for his gun in his satchel,' Natika said. 'I said, 'Don't shoot, my baby's in the car.' Her pleas didn't work: Police said the man started firing.  'All I could hear was gunshots coming from everywhere,' Natika said.  She said she quickly realized her baby had been shot.  'My baby's full of blood, so I don't know if she's hit in the chest, but she's still not crying, so I didn't know if she was alive,' Natika said.  Raylah had been shot in the hand, her mother said. The child's finger was broken. Natika and her friend headed for the hospital, but didn't make it, she said.  'She feels the tires going out, because at this point the tires are shot out,' Natika said. 'It took us right off Fulton Street and it completely stopped as we were getting out. It actually caught fire.' Natika said they flagged down another driver and finally made it to a hospital.  Raylah is going to fully recover from her injuries.  Natika said the man who shot her daughter doesn't deserve to be out on the streets.  'I hope and pray he can at least turn himself in, or the police can do their job, stay on top of it and find him, because he clearly is a ticking time bomb,' Natika said.  Police have not released a description of the suspect but said they do have leads. 
  • Authorities said a Florida man stole more than $10,000 from customers while working as a server at several restaurants in Brevard County. >> Read more trending news  The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said Kevin Harris stole 25 customers' credit cards by taking photos of the card's numbers when he processed their bills. Deputies said he used the credit cards to make online purchases exceeding $10,000. The Sheriff's Office said Harris also would use the credit card numbers to purchase gift cards to pay the bills of customers who paid in cash. Investigators said Harris also stole from 10 retail businesses in Brevard County. They said he would take the stolen items to local pawn shops to pawn the items for cash, making more than $6,000. Harris was arrested and taken to the Brevard County Jail, where he is held on no bail status.
  • A woman who shot and killed a popular street performer outside the H.E. Holmes MARTA station three years ago is headed to prison.  >> Read more trending news  Lucianna Fox, 44, fatally shot 54-year-old Leroy Midyette in Nov. 5, 2016, after running over the homeless man’s shopping cart twice. Midyette, who performed outside the train station, was affectionately known as “Tin Man” because of the silver paint he wore when he danced, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Friday in a news release. The night of the shooting, Fox got mad at Midyette as he pushed his belongings across an access road that led into the parking lot of the Holmes station, authorities said. Fox told him to move his cart out of the road and Midyette motioned for the woman to drive around.Instead, Fox slammed into Midyette’s cart, threw her car in reverse and rammed it again before driving off. Upset, Midyette ran toward Fox’s car as she waited at a nearby stop sign and confronted her. Fox then got out of her car, drew a silver handgun and shot the homeless man in the chest from about 2 feet away, prosecutors said. She then set her weapon on the hood of her car and waited for police to arrive as Midyette died in the street. The entire incident was captured on MARTA’s surveillance cameras, and Fox was arrested at the scene, authorities said. She was convicted of murder and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony and sentenced to life in prison plus five years. 
  • Court documents filed against an Indianapolis man accused of violently assaulting his mother with a cast iron frying pan last month give gruesome details of how badly the woman was beaten. Bobby Wayne Gibson Jr., 44, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, strangulation and auto theft, according to Marion County court records. A judge last week ordered him held in lieu of a $90,000 surety bond. Gibson was also ordered to stay away from his mother, for whom an order of protection was granted, court records show. >> Read more trending news  Gibson was arrested Sept. 25 after an anonymous tip led police to a vacant home, where he told officers his mother had given him her car, a silver Chevy Malibu, to sell for drugs, WRTV in Indianapolis reported. Fox 59 reported that a SWAT standoff earlier in the day, which included tear gas and flash grenades, had failed to turn up the fugitive. Gibson had been on the run since the day before, when police officers went to his mother’s home and found her unresponsive and covered in blood, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WRTV. The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. According to the affidavit, her injuries included “multiple skull and facial fractures, three lacerations in the head that penetrated to the skull, exposed brain matter due to a hole in the skull, four deep lacerations to the chest and a collapsed lung.” Her condition was not immediately available Friday afternoon. Detectives who went to her home found blood spattered throughout the kitchen and living room, along with “broken glass, broken kitchen utensils and a bloody cast-iron frying pan with a broken handle,” the document said. Blood was on the carpet, the telephone and the walls in both rooms. Gibson’s mother, who was able to speak to detectives at the hospital, told them an argument began when she spotted a bottle of vodka in her son’s pocket and told him he was not allowed to drink in her home, WRTV reported. She told police she poured the vodka out and told her son, who has a criminal record, “The court needs to do something with you.” “You wanna lock me up? I’m gonna give you something to lock me up,” she said Gibson responded, according to the affidavit. The victim told detectives Gibson attacked her, choking her until she lost consciousness. When she came to, he was beating and kicking her and hitting her with pots and pans from the kitchen, the news station reported. Gibson demanded her purse, so she told him where it was, and he left in her car, WRTV reported. A silver car could be seen in photos taken by a Fox 59 reporter during the Sept. 25 SWAT situation on the city’s south side. Authorities at the scene told the news station Gibson had forced his way into the home, where his wife was staying. She fled the house and called 911, Fox 59 reported. When the tear gas and flash grenades failed to get anyone to come outside, officers went in and found the house empty, the news station said. Gibson was taken into custody a few hours later.

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