Thursday, August 28 2014 8:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:37:58 GMT
The Montgomery area food bank will celebrate the grand opening of their newly expanded facility. The expansion was built onto the existing facility on Trade Center Street.The newly expanded facility isMore >>
The Montgomery area food bank will celebrate the grand opening of their newly expanded facility. The expansion was built onto the existing facility on Trade Center Street.More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 8:19 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:19:05 GMT
The strategically positioned southeastern Ukraine town of Novoazovsk appears firmly under the control of Russia-backed separatists as concerns grow about the opening of a new front in the Ukraine conflict.More >>
"Russian forces have entered Ukraine," the country's president declared Thursday, cancelling a foreign trip and calling an emergency meeting of his security council. Reports from analysts to separatist rebels to NATO...More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 7:28 AM EDT2014-08-28 11:28:41 GMT
The search area for a missing Malaysian airliner in the southern Indian Ocean has been refined based on the latest analysis, while the investigation into how the plane came to crash cannot proceed until the...More >>
Just weeks before the hunt for the missing Malaysian airliner is set to resume, an Australian official said Thursday that the sprawling search area in the southern Indian Ocean may be extended farther south based on a new...More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-08-28 10:47:14 GMT
A Butler County family can't believe that the man convicted of their loved one's death has been allowed to leave prison and work near where they live and where the crime happened. Bobby Ray McCombs brothersMore >>
A Butler County family can't believe that the man convicted of their loved one's death has been allowed to leave prison and work near where they live and where the crime happened.
WBTV has learned new information about how police tried to help 17-year-old Jaquaz Walker stay out of trouble.
He was a graduate of the Police Department's Gang of One program. That program helps teenagers stay out of gangs. His grandmother, LeWanda Walker, believes the program was helping her grandson.
"He was talking to us more," Walker said. "And he stayed in the house a little more, but after while that eased off because he didn't have that back."
The grandmother wished Jaquaz spent more time in the Gang of One program.
"I believe really," the grandmother said. "If they would have kept him going to that for awhile, I think he would have had a chance."
The grandmother tells WBTV the family is still upset at the shooting and they still don't understand why police shot and killed the teenager. She says they plan to sue CMPD. Despite her feelings toward the police department, she doesn't want the community to retaliate in a violent way.
"I wouldn't want nobody to feel the pain that I am feeling right now." the grandmother said.
The teenager's funeral is set for Monday at The Park Church.
Meanwhile police claim the shooting was justified. Police say they were forced to shoot in a gang-related undercover drug operation at an elementary school.
Jaquaz Walker, 17, was wearing an electronic monitoring anklet at the time of his death, according to Chief Rodney Monroe.
WBTV checked his criminal record and learned Walker faced felony breaking and entering charges and that's why he was on an electronic monitor.
Chief Monroe also told WBTV the shooting involved a marijuana drug deal between an undercover officer, informant and two teenage suspects.
Police tell us Walker shot the informant in the shoulder after attempting to rob him, and that's why police opened fire.
Walker died at Carolinas Medical Center Tuesday night.
Walker's family held a vigil in his memory Thursday night. His aunt lashed at CMPD for the way her nephew died.
"He was a normal kid," she insisted. "But he got gunned down."
But police say they had no other choice. Chief Rodney Monroe told me -- Walker opened fire first and that's why police shot back. Police also say they recovered the teen's gun at the scene.
Close friend Melik Gaines, admitted his friend's mistakes.
"He was smart," he said. "He ain't never hurt nobody. But he made a wrong decision. It cost him his life."
His aunt also lashed out at the media's portrayal of Jaquaz.
"It's ridiculous how they're portraying him," she said. "Get the facts before you put stuff on the news."
But Walker's posts on Facebook tell their own story. There are pictures of him holding guns and disturbing posts like "See I'm a shooter but I'm my brother's shooter, too" and another one that says "Hidden Valley shooter."
His Twitter page is just as revealing. One of his tweets reads "tell them boys its bullets with their names on it."
But Gaines believes that was just a persona -- and not the friend he knew.
"He wouldn't hurt nobody," he repeated.
Walker's mother, Faith Walker, told WBTV's Steve Crump on Wednesday morning that her son wasn't armed when he was shot by police.
"Yesterday at the hospital was just awful," Faith said. "I wasn't allowed to see my son one time."
But Chief Monroe says that claim is untrue as well. He told WBTV, he broke department protocol to allow Walker's parents to see him in the hospital as he lay dying.
Police have identified the second teenager involved in the undercover sting as 17-year-old Davion Drayton.
Officers say Drayton was arrested Wednesday at an associate's home in the Hidden Valley neighborhood on a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Police later searched the home and took a bullet, gun, t-shirt, pants, envelope and some photographs, according to the search warrant.
Both teens were enrolled in a CMS alternate school, according to school administrators.
"You know you have 15, 16 year old kids out here wielding firearms, that's a very dangerous situation," said Chief Monroe.
But Walker's mother wasn't so sure.
"I don't think that was the case," she told WBTV on Wednesday. "Either way, he shot my son three times, once in the head."
The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution. There was staff at the school, but no students as summer vacation started last week.
Chief Monroe defended their decision to conduct the undercover operation at an elementary school, saying at no time were staff inside ever in danger.
"Anytime you conduct an undercover operation, what's a good location," he said. "Whether it's a shopping mall or neighborhood, there's no real perfect location."
Monroe also confirmed the shooting is gang-related and part of larger undercover operation ongoing for several months. But he declined to give more details, saying it may compromise their investigation.
The shooting comes at a time when neighbors say the area was showing signs of improvement after years of battling drugs and gang violence.
"It's been quiet in this neighborhood, ain't nothing happened over here, everything been good, it's always somebody come in the neighborhood and do this, it ain't nobody in our neighborhood," said neighborhood resident Johnnie Crank.
No officers were hurt in the shooting.
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