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Tag: Florida

FBI, ATF Agents Search Baltimore Home After Sunday’s Mass Shooting in Florida

The shooter, David Katz, (right) was 24 years old. Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Heavily armed FBI and ATF agents wearing bulletproof vests searched the Baltimore home Sunday night of the father of the man who opened fire at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., leaving three dead and 11 others injured.

Authorities identified the shooter as 24-year-old Baltimore resident David Katz, who killed himself. According to investigators, Katz was in Jacksonville, participating in a football video game when he opened fire shortly after 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

ATF and FBI agents arrived at the townhouse of Katz’s father around 6 p.m. and searched the home for about four hours, the ATF said at a press conference.

Authorities were tight-lipped about what, if anything, they found at the home on the 1200 block of Harbor Island Walk.

Venezuelan President Who Accuses U.S. of Overthrow Attempts Seeks Help from FBI

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Venezuelan president who routinely suspects the U.S. is trying to overthrow him is now turning to America – more specifically, the FBI – for help investigating an assassination attempt.

President Nicolás Maduro said he believes the suspects led to Floria, Peru and Columbia, BBC reports

The U.S. said it would cooperate but has yet to indicate whether the FBI would pay a visit with a country that has a tense relationship.

The U.S. increased sanctions on Venezuela after accusing the country of rigging the  presidential election so Maduro would win a second term.

On Saturday, the president shocked many by saying he would work with the U.S. if it agreed to help track down the would-be assassins.

“If the US government offered, or confirmed its offer, of FBI cooperation to investigate, I would accept it,” he said.

Maduro alleges the mastermind behind the attack came from “terrorist” cells in Florida.

Two drones laden with explosives detonated near where the president was delivering a speech on Aug. 4.

The president was unscathed, but seven soldiers were injured.

Retired Secret Service Agent Warned Florida School of Vulnerabilities 2 Months Before Shooting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s some disturbing news.

Two months before the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, a retired Secret Service agent warned administrators that the school could be vulnerable to a gunman, the Sun Sentinel reports:

Gates were unlocked. Students did not wear identification badges. A fire alarm could send students streaming into the halls. Active-shooter drills were inadequate, he said.

The retired agent, Steve Wexler, said he made his point by strolling through the school with Post-it notes, attaching them to places his bullets or knife would land if he were an intruder. No one stopped him, he said.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Wexler said he was invited to analyze the school’s security and presented his recommendations to four staff members.

“I said, ‘This stuff is blatantly obvious. You’ve got to fix this,’” Wexler said.

He never heard another word from the district, he said.

FBI Tracked Record 30 Mass Shootings in 2017

Gun seized in Las Vegas as part of operation/dea photo

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI reported 30 active shootings in 2017, more than any year on record, according to a recently released report by the bureau. 

The 30 reported active shootings are an increase over the 20 reported in 2016.

Between 2016 and 2017, 221 people were killed and 722 people injured.

Most active shootings took place in Florida, California and Texas.

Those years also saw the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. The Las Vegas music festival shooting left 58 people dead and 489 injured in 2017.

In 2016, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orland, Fla., killed 49 people and wounded another 53.

The combined 50 shootings in 2016 and 2017 came at the hands of men acting by themselves.

Secret Service Investigating Vandalism at Trump International Golf Club

Vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigative the vandalism of an entrance sign at the Trump International Golf Club near the president’s Florida estate Mar-a-Lago resort over the weekend.

Red plant was splattered onto the entrance of the club at West Balm Beach, Fla. on Saturday night, and authorities found a can of paint nearby, ABC News reports

Images online show paint covering some of the letters on the polished stone structure.

The Secret Service declined to comment.

The golf club is about 5 miles from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump was spotted at the golf club this weekend.

Orlando Shooter’s Father Was FBI Informant, But Judge Won’t Dismiss Case Against Widow

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The discovery that the father of the man who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in 2016 was an FBI informant was an insufficient reason to reject the case against the widow of the mass shooter, a judge said Monday.

Lawyers for Noor Salman urged a judge to throw out the case because prosecutors withheld information that Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, worked as a confidential FBI informant at various times between January 2005 and June 2016.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Byron rejected a motion to dismiss or declare a mistrial, saying Seddique Mateen’s role as a former informant “does not change the dynamic of whether Noor Salman aided and abetted,” NBC News reports

Salman is on trial on charges of aiding and abetting her husband’s June 2016 attack on Pulse, a popular gay club in Orlando, and obstructing law enforcement’s investigation by falsely denying her role in the attack, which was one of the deadliest mass shootings on U.S. soil.

Omar Mateen told police before he was killed that he shooting was done in the name of ISIS. 

Lawmakers: FBI Lacks Strategy to Handle Tips After Blunder over Fla. School Shooter

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Acting FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich acknowledged to members of Congress on Tuesday that the bureau failed to properly follow up on two warning calls about the former student who gunned down 17 students and teachers at a Florida school on Valentine’s Day.

Lawmakers left the private briefing feeling frustrated and disappointed, saying the bureau’s response offered little to no new information, and the FBI still has no strategy or plan to correct future mistakes.

Nikolas Cruz via instagram

The meeting “raised more questions than it answered,” U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., tweeted after the closed-door briefing in Washington. “We should have more answers 20 days after the shooting. This was clearly a major failure and Americans deserve swift accountability and reform.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., said the lack 0f new information makes it difficult for lawmakers to understand what went wrong and how the bureau could avoid similar blunders.

“A very specific lead was given to the FBI, and they just botched it,” Krishnamoorthi said upon leaving the meeting, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. “Right now we have to find out why that happened. Most important for me is: How do we prevent this from happening again, and how do we actively figure out who is on the verge of committing a similar school shooting or any other act of terror like this?”

The first tip came in September from a Mississippi man, who alerted the FBI to a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” – the same name as the school shooter. The tipster boasted, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In early January, a caller who said he was close to Cruz warned that “He’s going to explode” and appeared on the verge of violence.

The FBI never forwarded the information to the FBI’s Miami field office, so the tip was never investigated.

Some Republicans are calling for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray, while some Democrats say such a move would be premature.

Secret Service Denies Blocking Journalists from Filming Trump Golfing

White truck obscured CNN cameras outside President Trump’s Florida golf course. Via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service denied trying to obscure CNN cameras from recording President Trump while he was playing golf at his course in West Palm Beach, Fla.

CNN reported that a large white truck was parked on public property in an effort to block nearby journalists from filming the president. 

The Secret Service responded that the agency “is in the business of protection and investigations not in commissioning vehicles to block the media’s view of the President’s golf swing.”

While a CNN film crew set up on a public sidewalk outside the golf course, “a white box truck drove up and obscured the view of the course through the trees,” the network claimed.

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