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Man charged with $1.5 million fraud for allegedly filing false damage claims on items shipped through USPS

iStock(MIAMI) -- A Florida man has been federally charged with running a $1.5 million fraud for allegedly filing false claims on merchandise he sold through his online company.

Miami resident Edwin Jim Garcia-Albarracin, 45, allegedly filed fraudulent claims for "purportedly damaged packages" sold through his online business, Rambos Market, stating that they were damaged when they were shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Florida earlier this month.

Garcia-Albarracin sold a variety of products through online marketplaces such as Listia and eBay, according to the court documents. He would then purchase insurance through USPS and allegedly later file a claim stating that the contents of the packages had been damaged.

To file a claim, a customer is required to provide a name, address, product tracking number, proof of value and proof of claim. The customer is also required to certify that all information is "accurate, truthful and complete."

As proof, Garcia-Albarracin would allegedly provide fake photos that "purportedly depicted damage to the products," authorities said. He received compensation from USPS via check, the court documents show.

He would then allegedly wire funds from one bank account to another, with the transactions designed "to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of the specified unlawful activity," according to the charging documents.

Garcia-Albarracin allegedly carried out his crimes between July 2016 and November 2019, according to the indictment.

Part of the money he made in the scheme was allegedly used to buy a home in Miami's Kendall neighborhood, which is now subject to forfeiture, authorities said.

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom Miami townhouse is listed in Garcia-Albarracin's name and sold in October 2019 for $380,000, online property records show.

He was arrested last week and charged with 10 counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of money laundering.

A representative for the Miami Dade Public Defenders Office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Garcia-Albarracin is expected to appear in court on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and up to $750,000 in fines.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Shooting reclassified to homicide after Chicago man dies 9 years later from wounds

iStock(CHICAGO) -- Chicago police reclassified a 9-year-old shooting case as a homicide Monday after a man succumbed to his gunshot wounds last week.

Marco Rainge, 41, was shot multiple times in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood back on Oct. 12, 2010, according to the Cook County Medical examiner's office. Although he was in critical condition following the incident, he survived shots to the arm, chest and hip, according to the police.

Rainge was allegedly uncooperative with officers and no arrests were made, a police spokesman said in a statement. Rainge died on Jan. 14 from those injuries, according to the Medical Examiner's Office, which conducted an autopsy Sunday.

Chicago police said they were now investigating the incident as a homicide instead of an aggravated battery case. As of Monday afternoon, they had made no arrests or named any suspects.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Meet Hansel, the 1st pit bull arson detection K-9 in the US

iStock/dageldog(MILLVILLE, N.J.) -- A pit bull rescued from a dogfighting ring in Canada is ready to protect and serve as the newest K-9 arson detection officer and the first of his kind in the U.S.

Tyler VanLeer, a New Jersey firefighter, had a stroke of genius when he suggested the addition of an arson detection K-9 unit at his local firehouse. The dog, named Hansel, is the first of its breed to hold the title in the country.

VanLeer, who has been with the Millville Fire Department for eight years, told ABC News the plan came together with the support of his fire chief, a local police officer and the Throw Away Dogs Project.

"It was like an instant bond -- his little head poked around the corner and it was like an instant connection. You could feel it," VanLeer said about his first meeting with Hansel at the firehouse.

"Hansel and I started a 16-week academy on Sept. 30 with the New Jersey Police K-9 Association and we did all scent work to become a single purpose arson detection K-9," VanLeer said. "He was trained, or imprinted, on 14 different ignitable liquids and graduated on Jan. 18."

VanLeer said Sunday was Hansel's first official day on the job in the firehouse, but the 4-year-old pup was already well adjusted to his environment.

"The firehouse is no strange place to him. He was there with me prior to the academy, getting used to the bells and whistles going off and everything," he said. "He's extremely sociable, everybody loves him and there are no problems whatsoever."

The newly graduated K-9 officer was first rescued by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) in 2015 and was later rehabilitated by Throw Away Dogs Project in 2018. Hansel stayed with the rescue organization for one year before being sent to the Millville Fire Department.

"This step is so important for this misunderstood breed as I don’t think there is any other pit bull arson detection K9s in whole country," Throw Away Dogs Project founder Carol Skaziak told ABC News.

Skaziak said she has trained and placed three other dogs from the dog-fighting ring in Ontario and they too are now K-9 officers.

"The journey has been really fun and it's just going up from here," VanLeer said.

VanLeer said Hansel lives with his family at their home and has everything he needs in the firehouse including an outdoor kennel, heaters and plenty of dog food.

"Chief Michael Lippincott has been extremely helpful, he made sure everything I needed was already there," VanLeer said. "When he met Hansel, the same day as I did, he automatically knew it was gonna be a great idea too."

VanLeer also hailed Millville-based K-9 patrolmen officer John Butschky for his help as "the middle man" who got things off the ground and answered all of his K-9 related questions.

"He was a huge asset on getting me in contact with Carol (Skaziak) and getting the ball rolling. He has 20 plus years of K-9 experience and a lot of connections in the K-9 officer world," he said.

Hansel's transition from rescue to officer was "really smooth" with everyone involved, Van Leer said.

Throw Away Dogs Project, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, is known for taking in misunderstood dogs, training them to become police dogs, finding them jobs around the country and donating them free of charge.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Armed protesters march through Richmond decrying proposed gun control bills

traveler1116/iStock(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Armed with rifles, tactical gear and homemade posters, thousands of gun rights activists hit the streets of Richmond, Va., Monday to protest the state’s proposed gun control laws.

Lobby Day went off with no major violent incidents in the morning despite threats from armed militias and white supremacist groups that led Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a state of emergency and ban weapons from Capitol Square.

Gun rights groups, such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America, spoke out against the proposed ban on assault rifles, a "red flag" law, which would give officials the power to confiscate weapons from an individual who poses a threat, and other gun control measures that the newly Democratic-led state legislature introduced.

“We will not comply,” protesters shouted.

The armed activists stayed outside of the Capitol grounds, where all weapons are banned until Tuesday night, while their unarmed members held their rally outside of the legislative building. On Monday, police will not be separating counter-protesters within the fenced area in Capitol Square, officers told ABC News.

On Wednesday, Northam issued a state of emergency and banned all weapons from Capitol grounds from Friday until Tuesday night. Northam said he had received credible intelligence that hate groups and militias were planning violent attacks in Capitol Square that mirrored the ones seen before the 2017 Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally where three people were killed.

"They are not coming to peacefully protest, they are coming to intimidate and to cause harm," the governor said at a news conference.

Gun rights supporters tried to block the state of emergency, arguing that it infringed on their right to rally; however, a judge denied their motion and their subsequent appeal before the ban went into effect Friday evening.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League has asked its members to obey the state of emergency. But the group said those who plan to attend Lobby Day and protest outside the protected areas should come armed.

"For every one gun owner on the Capitol grounds, we need another two to five people outside," the league said in a statement.

President Trump showed his support for the activists on Twitter, writing in a tweet Monday morning, "The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020." He also retweeted a video of the gun rights activists singing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Virginia's House Republican leader, however, called for calm and urged all groups attending Monday's Lobby Day to be peaceful.

"Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn't welcome here," he said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Recent FBI activity highlighted the threats facing Lobby Day. On Thursday, the agency arrested three reputed members of a white supremacy group who were allegedly armed with several weapons and traveling to Richmond "in anticipation of a possible race war," law enforcement sources told ABC News.

A spokesperson for the FBI's Richmond field office on Sunday told ABC News in a statement: “In response to a request for assistance from the Virginia Division of Capitol Police, FBI Richmond has been working with our local and state law enforcement partners in relation to threats of violence at the rally on January 20, 2020. We will provide assistance as deemed appropriate to ensure public safety.”

State, Capitol and Richmond police said they will have a strong presence in Capitol Square and will set up checkpoints to ensure the weapons ban is enforced and everyone is safe.

The emergency order is slated to end Tuesday evening, but the gun control debate will continue over the next few months.

Northam and Democratic state leaders said they remain committed to enacting new laws that would curtail gun violence in the state. Several Virginia towns, however, have made resolutions declaring themselves "Second Amendment Sanctuaries" and passed resolutions that disavow any state or national gun control measures.

Moms Demand Action, the gun control activist group, spent Monday calling Virginians and volunteering throughout the state to bolster support for the bills.

"Activism will always supersede extremism," Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, tweeted.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Activity from Alaska volcano triggers aviation warnings after spewing ash, lava

FILE - Kalistratova/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- Activity from one of Alaska's 80 volcanoes triggered aviation warnings after it began to spew ash and lava over the weekend.

The Shishaldin Volcano sits near an Aleutian village on an archipelago in southwest Alaska about 700 miles west of Anchorage. It began to resume activity early Saturday morning with visible lava flows and ash shot thousands of feet into the air, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

At some points, the ash reached about 28,000 feet, officials said. Trace amounts of the ash landed on False Pass, about 23 miles east of the volcano, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The National Weather Service issued a warning to pilots in the area due to the activity.

The ash stopped around 8:30 p.m. local time Sunday, according to the observatory. The volcano has been erupting periodically since the summer, with the most recent activity reported earlier this month.

Shishaldin is among the most active volcanoes in the area, with about 24 confirmed eruptions have occurred since 1775, according to the local newspaper.

The observatory current has the volcano listed at a Code Orange alert level, indicating that the volcano is "exhibiting heightened or or escalating unrest with increased potential for eruption."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

At least two dead, 15 injured in Kansas City shooting

Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- At least two people are dead and 15 people have been injured in a shooting in Kansas City, Missouri, according to the Kansas City Police.

Officers were dispatched to the 4800 block of Noland Road in the southeastern part of the city at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday when they received reports of a shooting. They arrived to a chaotic scene outside of a crowded bar where they say one adult female was shot and killed in the parking lot.

No shots were fired by any of the responding officers.

Up to 15 people self-transported to area hospitals and three of them are currently in critical condition.

According to police, a line had formed to get into the bar when the suspect started shooting into the line of people. Police say they do not know why the suspect did this and are currently investigating what started the incident.

Police believe the shooter is also dead after engaging with an armed security guard from the bar stopped the shooter.

Authorities said Monday morning in a statement that there is no more information about the case at this time and no additional media briefings planned at this time.

"The next anticipated information release will most likely be the ID of deceased victims once the next of kin have been notified," said the Kansas City Police Department.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted a statement thanking security as well as responding officers for their quick actions.

"Our greatest challenges remain even this morning in our community. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or impacted by last night's mass shooting," he said in a social media statement posted online. "Thankful security appears to have kept the situation from being even worse."

Our greatest challenges remain even this morning in our community. My thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives were lost or impacted by last night’s mass shooting. Thankful security appears to have kept the situation from being even worse. https://t.co/vF4C2W4dCl

— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) January 20, 2020

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Two officers dead, three people unaccounted for in shooting in Honolulu: Officials

Honolulu Police Department(HONOLULU) -- Two officers have died after a shooting on Sunday near one of Hawaii's most scenic spots, Diamond Head, where several homes were also set ablaze, officials said.

The incident unfolded at a home near the Honolulu tourist destination when authorities were responding to a domestic violence call, officials said.

Honolulu police responded to reports of a woman who was stabbed in Waikiki when the officers arriving on scene came under fire from the suspect. Police believe the suspect, who may have been using an AR-15-style rifle, is dead, but they have yet to confirm that due to the fire.

The two police officers were identified as Tiffany Enriquez, a seven-year veteran, and Kaulike Kalama, a nine-year veteran. Both were wearing bulletproof vests, but were hit above them, police said.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige confirmed the officers' deaths on Twitter.

"Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning," Ige wrote. "As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy."

Police said in addition to the suspect, two other people are also unaccounted for from a house that burned to the ground.

The suspect has been identified as Jerry Hanel, who is in his 60s. Police said they will continue searching for the suspect until his remains have been recovered.

Seven homes were totally destroyed in the fire and others suffered smoke damage, officials said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell shared condolences on Facebook: "I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department. This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i."

The FBI has sent agents to the scene, ABC News has confirmed. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted that its agents are "responding to the active shooter situation in Honolulu."

Cellphone video posted on Twitter by a reporter from Honolulu ABC affiliate KITV showed police cars and ambulances swarming a neighborhood near Kapiolani Park, about 2 miles from Diamond Head Beach Park. Smoke could be seen in the video coming from several homes.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is also running for president, said on Twitter, "While we all mourn the heartbreaking loss of two of Honolulu’s finest, their fellow first responders are still out there. Our prayers are with the families of the officers we lost, and with first responders still working to keep our communities safe."

The incident comes about a month after a 22-year-old active-duty sailor opened fire on three civilian employees, killing two, before he fatally shot himself at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Navy to honor Doris Miller with first aircraft carrier named after African American

U.S. Navy(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Navy is set to announce Monday that a future aircraft carrier will be the first named in honor of an African American.

The ship will be named in honor of Doris Miller, who was serving as a ship's cook during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said in a statement Sunday. The announcement is timed to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This will be the second ship named in honor of Miller for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. When the attack from the Japanese began, Miller was collecting laundry on the West Virginia battleship. Miller headed to his battle station, but found it destroyed by torpedo damage. Miller helped move injured sailors to safety before he was ordered to help the captain of the ship, who was mortally wounded.

After that, Miller manned an anti-aircraft machine gun, a weapon he had not been trained to operate, until it was out of ammunition.

When the ship was ordered to be abandoned because of fires and flaming oil from another destroyed ship, Miller again helped move injured sailors.

Miller's actions earned a commendation from the secretary of the Navy at the time, which was presented to him by Adm. Chester Nimitz, then-commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

"This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I'm sure the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts," Nimitz said at the time.

The USS Miller, a frigate, was also named in honor of Miller. Miller also received a Purple Heart Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Miller died in action in 1943 after a torpedo hit the ship he was aboard in the Gilbert Islands.

"Doris Miller stood for everything that is good about our nation, and his story deserves to be remembered and repeated wherever our people continue the watch today," Modly said in a statement.

In a press release, the Navy said that the future USS Doris Miller will be the "premier forward asset for crisis response and humanitarian relief, and early decisive striking power in a major combat operations."

Modly is expected to officially announce the naming of the future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier at a ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New storm set to slam West Coast on Tuesday

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- January is in full swing in the eastern half of the United States where temperatures and wind chills are below zero in the Northern Plains and New England.

The arctic air spills all the way into the Mid-South where the wind chill is in the teens in Atlanta and Memphis, Tennessee Monday morning.

By Monday night into Tuesday morning, the coldest air moves into central Florida where wind chill alerts have been issued and there are wind chills in the 30s in Orlando.

After this cold blast in the East our attention turns to a new cross-country storm that's forecast to move from West to East this week with snow, ice and rain.

On Monday morning, the storm is still developing in the Pacific Ocean.

By Tuesday morning, the storm system will move into the west with heavy rain from Seattle to San Francisco and heavy snow in the mountains.

Already ahead of the storm, a Winter Storm Watch has been issued for parts of California where 1 to 2 feet of snow is possible.

This western storm will cross the country and should bring rain, snow and ice to Midwest and the Northeast by the end of the week.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Two dead, five injured as patron opens fire 'indiscriminately' at Texas bar

kali9/iStock(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- Two people are dead and five injured after a person opened fire "indiscriminately" at a San Antonio bar Sunday night.

The San Antonio Police Department responded to a shooting at a bar called Ventura, steps from the San Antonio River, at 8 p.m. local time. An altercation appears to have broken out between customers when one person pulled out a gun and began shooting, Police Chief William McManus said at a press conference Sunday night.

In total, seven people were shot. A 21-year-old man died inside the club, while a second person in critical condition was later pronounced dead.

Five people are currently being treated at area hospitals. Their conditions are unclear at this moment, police said.

All of the victims appear to be patrons, McManus said. No employees of the bar were shot.

No one is in custody, he said.

"We're working on that. I'm confident that we will identify the individual and have that person in custody sooner than later," McManus said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Off-duty police officer being driven by intoxicated woman dies in highway crash

Berwyn Police Department(CHICAGO) -- An off-duty police officer was killed as he sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by an intoxicated woman who slammed into the back of a box truck that had crashed in a separate accident.

The incident happened early Sunday morning around 6:00 a.m. when, according to Illinois State Police, Charles Schauer, 33, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was sitting in a car with Erin Zilka, 35, of Plainfield, Illinois, driving on I-55 in Will County.

Unbeknownst to Zilka and Schauer, a previous accident involving two trucks had occurred just a short time beforehand and those vehicles had come to a stop in the right two southbound lanes of I-55 just north of U.S. Route 30 in Plainfield.

Zilka, who was driving a Dodge SUV and was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence, didn’t slow down or move over when she was driving and then slammed into the rear of one of the box trucks involved in the earlier accident. Schauer was pronounced dead at the scene while Zilka was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“The subject from the Dodge Durango was not breathing … another subject was unconscious and another accident happened right in the area,” an official told ABC News’ Chicago station WLS-TV.

“The City of Berwyn Police Department is grieving the loss of a well-respected Police Officer, Charles Schauer, a ten year veteran,” said the Berwyn Police Department in a Facebook post. “Officer Schauer was a passenger in a vehicle that was in an auto accident in Will County. The accident investigation is being conducted by the Illinois State Police. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schauer family during this time of need.”

Black bunting now hangs outside the Berwyn Police Department in honor of Schauer and the city’s mayor has asked for thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.

It's not known if the two other drivers were injured in either of the accidents but the investigation into both incidents is ongoing.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Woman struck, killed by two cars running across street to get food for family

Нина Дроздова/iStock(FRESNO, Calif.) -- A 56-year-old woman who was running across the street to get food for her family has died after being struck and killed by two cars in a tragic accident.

Laura Bryant was in northeast Fresno, California, on Saturday night when she attempted to cross a busy street to get her family some food at McDonalds but, according to detectives, she didn’t use the crosswalk and poor lighting made it difficult for her to be seen.

Bryant was in the third lane of the road when she was struck by a car. The impact of getting hit then sent her into the middle lane where she was struck by a second passing vehicle. Bryant was declared dead at the scene.

"This is an absolute tragic event, but this shows the importance to not be running in the middle of the road at night on a busy road," said Lt. Bill Dooley with the Fresno Police Department to ABC’s Fresno station KFSN-TV. "There's dangers associated with that."

According to police, the driver of the first vehicle tried to stop when they saw the victim running across the road but it was too late. The driver of that vehicle was compliant with authorities and police say that he was licensed and not under the influence at the time of the accident.

The driver of the second vehicle that hit Bryant did not stop at the scene and police are currently looking for that driver to get more information from them on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Police do not currently have a description of the second vehicle and the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Pitbull attack on elderly woman may have uncovered illegal dog fighting ring

katifcam/iStock(HICKORY GROVE, S.C.) -- A vicious pitbull attack on a 71-year-old woman who was looking after 14 dogs at a family member’s property may have accidentally revealed an illegal dog fighting ring.

The incident occurred on Saturday, Jan. 18, in York County, South Carolina, when police responded to a home in Hickory Grove after reports of a dog attack.

When responding deputies arrived they found a 71-year-old woman lying on the ground after being attacked by a pitbull she was helping take care of.

Police discovered in their investigation that the woman was on the property to help look after the 14 dogs on site when the pitbull somehow managed to get loose and attack the unsuspecting woman.

The victim was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, for her injuries. The woman’s condition and the severity of her injuries is currently unknown.

Upon further investigation following the attack, deputies discovered the 14 other dogs on the premises as well as “evidence of state violations of the dogs being improperly restrained, aggressive, and lacking adequate food, water, and shelter,” said the York County Sheriff’s Office in a statement. “In addition, code enforcement officers are also investigating the possibility the animals were used for fighting. All 14 dogs were taken to York County Animal Control.”

“This incident speaks to the viciousness and violent nature of raising animals for the purpose of fighting and unfortunately caused very serious and unnecessary harm to an innocent and unintended victim. This activity is cruel, unnecessary and criminal,” said York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson.

The animals are currently being held by York County Animal Control and the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack as well as into violations discovered by authorities is ongoing.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Student found dead at Stanford University fraternity

Easyturn/iStock(PALO ALTO, Calif.) --  An investigation is underway at Stanford University in Northern California to determine how a sophomore died inside an on-campus fraternity house, authorities said.

A preliminary investigation into the male student's death found no signs of foul play, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The student's name was not immediately released, pending notification of his relatives.

Sheriff's office officials said the cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner.

The sophomore was found unresponsive about 10:21 a.m. on Friday inside the Theta Delta Chi fraternity house on the Palo Alto campus, according to The Stanford Daily, the school's newspaper.

Firefighters from the Palo Alto Fire Department attempted to revive the student, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff's department.

Susie Brubaker-Cole, Stanford's vice provost for student affairs broke the news of the death to the Stanford student body in a statement, saying she was "filled with sorrow to be writing to you with very sad and difficult news."

"We have been in touch with the student’s family ... ," Brubaker-Cole wrote. "While we are working to understand the family’s wishes, we are not in a position to share the student’s name. This is very difficult news for any family to bear. Our university community grieves with them."

She said counseling and psychological services would be available to students.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Stepfather shoots son in stomach during alleged domestic dispute

MattGush/iStock(HOUSTON) --  A 38-year-old man is in critical condition after his own stepfather allegedly shot him during a dispute in their home.

The incident occurred on Saturday evening when police responded to a call in Harris County, Texas, that a man had been shot in his stomach, according to ABC News' Houston station KTRK-TV.

When police arrived on the scene they found a man with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was immediately taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

According to authorities, however, the shooting may have been an act of self-defense.

Family members informed authorities that the 38-year-old stepson who lived with his elderly parents had been violent with them in the past and when an argument escalated on Saturday night, the stepfather allegedly pulled out a gun and shot his stepson once in the stomach.

The victim’s parents are cooperating with the police investigation.

The case is expected to be sent to the grand jury where charges against the victim’s stepfather will ultimately be decided.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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