TIME Crime

Deadly Attack on Texas Cop Was ‘Clearly Unprovoked’

There was no evidence sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth and his attacker knew each other

(HOUSTON) — The man charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a uniformed suburban Houston sheriff’s deputy will be arraigned this week, jail records show.

Shannon J. Miles, who has a criminal history that includes convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm, is due in court Monday. Court and jail records did not list an attorney for the 30-year-old Houston resident.

His arrest Saturday came less than 24 hours after authorities said he ambushed Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, at a suburban Houston Chevron station.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said the attack was “clearly unprovoked,” and there is no evidence so far that Goforth knew Miles. Investigators have no information from Miles that would shed light on his motive, Hickman said.

“Our assumption is that he was a target because he wore a uniform,” the sheriff said.

Goforth, 47, was pumping gas at a Chevron station Friday night in Cypress, a middle-class to upper middle-class suburban area of Harris County that is unincorporated and located northwest of Houston, when the gunman approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground.

A vigil was held Saturday night at the gas station, where members of the community were joined by law enforcement officers. GoForth’s wife, Kathleen Goforth, released a statement Saturday to Houston television station KPRC-TV that said her husband was “ethical; the right thing to do is what guided his internal compass.”

The killing evoked strong emotions in the local law enforcement community, with Sheriff Ron Hickman linking it to heightened tension over the treatment of African-Americans by police. Goforth was white and Miles is black.

The nationwide “Black Lives Matter” movement that formed after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri has sought sweeping reforms of policing. Related protests erupted in Texas recently after a 28-year-old Chicago-area black woman, Sandra Bland, was found dead in a county jail about 50 miles northwest of Houston three days after her arrest on a traffic violation. Texas authorities said she committed suicide but her family is skeptical of that.

Hickman and Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson pushed back against the criticism of police on Saturday.

“We’ve heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too,” Hickman said.

TIME celebrities

Neurologist and Writer Oliver Sacks Dies at 82

He had sold millions of books based on his cases

(NEW YORK) — Dr. Oliver Sacks, whose books like “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” probed distant ranges of human experience by compassionately portraying people with severe and sometimes bizarre neurological conditions, has died. He was 82.

Sacks died Sunday at his home in New York City, his assistant, Kate Edgar, said.

Sacks had announced in February 2015 that he was terminally ill with a rare eye cancer that had spread to his liver.

As a practicing neurologist, Sacks looked at some of his patients with a writer’s eye and found publishing gold.

In his best-selling 1985 book, he described a man who really did mistake his wife’s face for his hat while visiting Sacks’ office, because his brain had difficulty interpreting what he saw. Another story in the book featured autistic twins who had trouble with ordinary math but who could perform other amazing calculations.

Discover magazine ranked it among the 25 greatest science books of all time in 2006, declaring, “Legions of neuroscientists now probing the mysteries of the human brain cite this book as their greatest inspiration.”

Sacks’ 1973 book, “Awakenings,” about hospital patients who’d spent decades in a kind of frozen state until Sacks tried a new treatment, led to a 1990 movie in which Sacks was portrayed by Robin Williams. It was nominated for three Academy Awards.

Still another book, “An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales,” published in 1995, described cases like a painter who lost color vision in a car accident but found new creative power in black-and-white.

It also told of a 50-year-old man who suddenly regained sight after nearly a lifetime of blindness. The experience was a disaster; the man’s brain could not make sense of the visual world. It perceived the human face as a shifting mass of meaningless colors and textures.

After a full and rich life as a blind person, he became “a very disabled and miserable partially sighted man,” Sacks recalled later. “When he went blind again, he was rather glad of it.”

Despite the drama and unusual stories, his books were not literary freak shows.

“Oliver Sacks humanizes illness … he writes of body and mind, and from every one of his case studies there radiates a feeling of respect for the patient and for the illness,” Roald Hoffmann, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, said in 2001. “What others consider unmitigated tragedy or dysfunction, Sacks sees, and makes us see, as a human being coping with dignity with a biological problem.”

When Sacks received the prestigious Lewis Thomas Prize for science writing in 2002, the citation declared, “Sacks presses us to follow him into uncharted regions of human experience — and compels us to realize, once there, that we are confronting only ourselves.”

In a 1998 interview with The Associated Press, Sacks said he tries to make “visits to other people, to other interiors, seeing the world through their eyes.”

His 2007 book, “Musicophilia,” looked at the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, autism and Alzheimer’s.

“Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music,” he told the AP in 2008.

Oliver Wolf Sacks was born in 1933 in London, son of husband-and-wife physicians. Both were skilled at recounting medical stories, and Sack’s own writing impulse “seems to have come directly from them,” he said in his 2015 memoir, “On the Move.”

In childhood he was drawn to chemistry (his 2001 memoir is called, “Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood”) and biology. Around age 11, fascinated by how ferns slowly unfurl, he set up a camera to take pictures every hour or so of a fern and then assembled a flip book to compress the process into a few seconds.

“I became a doctor a little belatedly and a little reluctantly,” he told one interviewer. “In a sense, I was a naturalist first and I only came to individuals relatively late.”

After earning a medical degree at Oxford, Sacks moved to the United States in 1960 and completed a medical internship in San Francisco and a neurology residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He moved to New York in 1965 and began decades of neurology practice. At a Bronx hospital he met the profoundly disabled patients he described in “Awakenings.”

Among his other books were “The Island of the Colorblind” (1997) about a society where congenital colorblindness was common, “Seeing Voices” (1989) about the world of deaf culture, and “Hallucinations” (2012), in which Sacks discussed his own hallucinations as well as those of some patients.

In the AP interview, Sacks was asked what he’d learned from peering into lives much different from the norm.

“People will make a life in their own terms, whether they are deaf or colorblind or autistic or whatever,” he replied. “And their world will be quite as rich and interesting and full as our world.”

Sacks reflected on his own life in 2015 when he wrote in the New York Times that he was terminally ill. “I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions,” he wrote.

In the time he had remaining, he said, he would no longer pay attention to matters like politics and global warming because they “are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people. … I feel the future is in good hands.”

“I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. … Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

___

Associated Press writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.

Read more: Q&A: An Interview with Oliver Sacks

 

TIME Crime

Suspect Charged in Shooting of Houston Sheriff’s Deputy

Deputy Shot-Houston
Harris County Sheriff’s Office/AP Suspect in the death of Deputy Darren Goforth, who was shot several times while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station on Aug. 28, 2015.

The officer was shot from behind while filling up his vehicle

(HOUSTON) — Texas prosecutors on Saturday charged a 30-year-old man with capital murder in the killing of a uniformed sheriff’s deputy who was gunned down from behind while filling his patrol car with gas in what officials described as a “senseless and cowardly act.”

The arrest of Shannon J. Miles — who has a criminal history that includes convictions for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm — came less than 24 hours after authorities said he ambushed Darren Goforth, a 10-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, at a suburban Houston Chevron station.

“I am proud of the men and women that have worked swiftly to apprehend the responsible person who posed a significant threat to both law enforcement and the community at large,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a news conference. “Our deputies return to the streets tonight to hold a delicate peace that was shattered last evening.”

Court and jail records did not list an attorney for Miles.

Hickman said the motive for the killing had not been determined but investigators would look at whether Miles, who is black, was motivated by anger over recent killings elsewhere of black men by police that have spawned the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement. Goforth was white.

“I think that’s something that we have to keep an eye on,” Hickman said. “The general climate of that kind of rhetoric can be influential on people to do things like this. We’re still searching to find out if that’s actually a motive.”

Hickman said investigators are working on the assumption “that he was a target because he wore a uniform.”

Goforth, 47, was pumping gas Friday night when the gunman approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground.

The deputy had gone to the Chevron gas station in Cypress, a middle-class to upper middle-class suburban area of Harris County that is unincorporated and located northwest of Houston, after responding to a routine car accident earlier Friday.

Earlier on Saturday, Hickman had called the killing a “cold-blooded assassination.”

“Cops’ lives matter, too,” Hickman said then. “So why don’t we drop the qualifier and say lives matter.”

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson echoed Hickman’s sentiments.

“There are a few bad apples in every profession. That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement,” she said.

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott said “heinous and deliberate crimes against law enforcement will not be tolerated” and that the state “reveres the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve their communities.”

Hickman said Miles had been in the custody of authorities “all night.” Authorities earlier Saturday said they had been speaking with a person of interest but had not identified that individual.

Court records of Miles’ previous arrests show he lived at a home that deputies searched earlier Saturday and where a red truck, similar to one that authorities said left the scene of the shooting, was found. Hickman credited the work of investigators and “routine research” that found the truck that led to “the suspect responsible for this senseless and cowardly act.”

An impromptu memorial sprouted at the pump Goforth had used Friday night, with a pile of balloons, flowers, candles and notes, including one that said, “Gone but never forgotten R.I.P. Deputy Goforth.” The gas station was open Saturday, but that pump was closed.

Brian McCullar knew Goforth because the deputy had patrolled his neighborhood, which is about two miles from the gas station, and the two spoke often.

“He was passionate about what he did,” the 49-year-old said, adding, “We’re still in shock. … It’s a huge loss for his family. It’s a huge loss for this area.” Goforth had a wife and two children.

“You’re talking about a guy that made a difference,” McCullar said.

TIME Aviation

Flight Escorted by Fighter Jets After Disturbance Onboard

All passengers were declared safe

(DENVER) — An international flight from Las Vegas to Frankfurt made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport escorted by two F-16 fighter jets Friday night after what officials called a “disturbance on the plane.”

A pilot on the Condor Airlines Boeing 767 reported an in-flight emergency, and the fighter jets were sent as a precaution, said Air Force Capt. Ashleigh A. Peck, a spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defense.

The plane landed safely, and one person was taken off the plane.

“All passengers are fine,” airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said.

The FBI told ABC News that the incident was a “misunderstanding,” and nobody was arrested or taken into custody, but no other details were available.

Carsten Stepanowicz (ste-PAN’-o-wits), a spokesman for the airline in Germany, said the pilot requested help because of an unruly passenger on board.

“It was not possible to go on with the flight, so the pilot decided to land in Denver,” he said. He said he could not release details on the number of passengers.

The FBI did not return a phone from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m., Montgomery said. The Transportation Security Administration and Denver police met the plane at the gate, and the FBI was notified.

The plane resumed the flight to Germany after refueling.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the FBI did not meet the plane at the gate but was notified.

Read next: Pilot Dead in New York Stunt Plane Crash

TIME Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina Survivors Reflect on Their Might and Recovery

"New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken," says New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

(NEW ORLEANS) — With prayer and the somber ringing of church bells, residents in Mississippi and Louisiana gathered Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina slammed into their states — causing deadly and costly havoc.

Addressing dignitaries at New Orleans’ memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified dead, Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke of the dark days after the monstrous storm and how the city’s residents leaned on each other for support.

“We saved each other,” the mayor said. “New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken.”

In Mississippi, meanwhile, churches along coastal Hancock County tolled their bells in unison Saturday morning to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that Katrina made landfall in the state.

Eloise Allen, 80, wept softly into a tissue and leaned against her rusting Oldsmobile as bells chimed at Our Lady of the Sea Catholic Church just across a two-lane street from a sun-drenched beach at Bay St. Louis.

She said her home, farther inland, was damaged but livable. Her daughter lost her home in nearby Waveland. Many of her friends and neighbors suffered similarly.

“I feel guilty,” she said. I didn’t go through what all the other people did.”

In Biloxi, clergy and community leaders were to gather later at MGM Park for a memorial to Katrina’s victims and later that evening the park will host a concert celebrating the recovery.

The hurricane’s force and flooding ultimately caused more than 1,800 deaths and roughly $151 billion in damage across the region. In New Orleans, wide scale failures of the levee system protecting the city left 80 percent of New Orleans under water.

Katrina’s force caused a massive storm surge that scoured the Mississippi coast, pushed boats far inland and wiped houses off the map, leaving only concrete front steps to nowhere.

Glitzy casinos and condominium towers have been rebuilt. But overgrown lots and empty slabs speak to the slow recovery in some communities.

In the evening, former President Bill Clinton will headline a free concert-prayer service-celebration at the city’s Smoothie King Center. In addition to the former president the event will feature performances by the city’s “Rebirth Brass Band,” award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien and Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Wild Magnolias.

The city has framed the 10th anniversary as a showcase designed to demonstrate to the world how far the city has come. In a series of events in the week leading up to the actual anniversary, the city has held lectures, given tours of the levee improvements and released a resiliency plan.

Many parts of this iconic city have rebounded phenomenally while many residents — particularly in the city’s black community — still struggle.

Read next: New Orleans, Here & Now

TIME Illinois

Illinois Says It Can’t Pay Big Lottery Winners

Michael Jones
M. Spencer Green—AP Illinois Lottery Mega Millions lottery ticket.

Why you need to win small in the Prairie State

(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — Big-time Illinois Lottery winners aren’t getting the largesse. They’re getting left out.

Without a state budget agreement two months into the new fiscal year, there’s no authority for the state comptroller to cut checks over $25,000. That means smaller winnings can be paid out, but not the larger lottery wins.

Susan Rick, who lives in Oglesby, Illinois, planned home fix-ups and a visit to her daughter after her boyfriend won $250,000 last month. But they were told to wait.

Rick tells the Chicago Tribune that if the situation were reversed, the state would “come take it, and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head.”

Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi says state lottery, like every other state agency, is “affected by the budget situation.”

TIME Crime

Houston Sheriff’s Deputy Killed in Gas Station Ambush

"Cops' lives matter, too," said Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman

(HOUSTON) — Authorities on Saturday had yet to find the suspect in what they’re calling the “cold-blooded assassination” of a uniformed sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot while filling up his patrol car at a suburban Houston gas station.

The death of Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth prompted pleas for the public’s help in finding the shooter and also strong statements from about the recent climate of tension between civilians, law enforcement and the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

“Our system of justice absolutely requires a law enforcement presence to protect our community,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a news conference. “So at any point when the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated cold-blooded assassination of police officers happens, this rhetoric has gotten out of control.

“We’ve heard Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too. So why don’t we drop the qualifier and say lives matter.”

Goforth, 47, was pumping gas about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a man approached him from behind and fired multiple shots, continuing to fire after the deputy had fallen to the ground. Hickman said surveillance video shows there were people at the gas station and asked that they reach out with any information that could lead to the suspect.

Police have described the suspect as a male with a dark complexion, about 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts. Authorities did not say what race they believe him to be.

Earlier Saturday, Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland said officials were questioning a person of interest and had a search warrant for a two-story brick home. Hickman said authorities were looking at a red pickup truck at the house, which is about a quarter-mile from the gas station, due to the description of the suspect driving a red or maroon truck with an extended cab.

Goforth was a 10-year veteran of the force, had a wife and two children, Hickman said. As for a motive, Hickman said that until anything is known with “certainty … it’s all speculation” but later suggested that Goforth was targeted because he was in law enforcement.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson called on what she described as “the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement.”

“There are a few bad apples in every profession. That does not mean there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement,” she said.

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Greg Abbott said “heinous and deliberate crimes against law enforcement will not be tolerated” and that the state “reveres the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve their communities.”

The deputy had gone to the Chevron gas station in Cypress, a middle-class to upper middle-class suburban area of Harris County that is unincorporated and located northwest of Houston, after responding to a routine car accident earlier Friday.

An impromptu memorial sprouted at the pump he had used Friday night, with a pile of balloons, flowers, candles and notes, including one that said, “Gone but never forgotten R.I.P. Deputy Goforth.” The gas station was open Saturday, but that pump was closed.

Brian McCullar knew Goforth because the deputy had patrolled his neighborhood, which is about two miles from the gas station, and the two spoke often.

“He was passionate about what he did,” the 49-year-old said, adding, “We’re still in shock. … It’s a huge loss for his family. It’s a huge loss for this area.

“You’re talking about a guy that made a difference,” McCullar said.

Detectives were checking security camera video for possible clues. The search for the suspect includes Harris County sheriff’s deputies and homicide investigators and officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Houston Police Department.

TIME Crime

Third Victim of Virginia Shooting Is Awake and Talking, Family Says

She lost a kidney and part of her colon in shooting that killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Vicki Gardner, the third woman who was hurt during the on-air shooting of two TV journalists in Virginia this week, has survived two surgeries and is awake and talking, her family said in a statement Friday.

Gardner was being interviewed by WDBJ journalist Alison Parker when Vester Flanagan fired the shots that killed both Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Gardner was shot once in the back. Her family says Gardner’s response to the shooting and subsequent surgeries revealed her strength and determination to survive. “After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened,” they said in a statement to WDBJ.

Gardner endured two surgeries: one to address her life-threatening injuries, and the other to repair the damage done by the bullet. She lost her right kidney and had to have a portion of her colon removed, but her family said she is alert and talking.

Her family also expressed condolences to the families of Parker and Ward, and said they are “heartbroken” at their loss. “Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun,” they wrote.

TIME White House

President Obama Plans Hike on Alaskan Glacier

Obama Speaks Iran Nuclear Deal
Pete Marovich—AP United States President Barack Obama addresses American University's School of International Service in Washington on Aug. 5, 2015.

A photo op meant to send a message about global warming

Advocacy and adventure will collide when Barack Obama visits Alaska on an official trip beginning Monday.

The American President’s itinerary may include a hike across the Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, White House officials said Friday.

The visit to the glacier, which has experienced significant melting in recent years, fits in with the broader purpose of Obama’s visit: to highlight the ways in which climate change is affecting individuals, communities and the American economy. The National Park is a vital pillar of the Alaskan economy by way of tourism, and climate change threatens to derail the stream of visitors the Park sees every year.

The trip is the latest in a long line of recent Obama initiatives to battle climate change, including his endorsement of solar energy and a new Clean Power Plan that aims at a 32% cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

As part of the three-day trip, Obama will deliver a keynote address at an international conference about climate change in the Arctics and interact with local fishermen in Dillingham, a major hub of the salmon industry. The President will also survey impacts of global warming on Alaskan ice sheets from onboard a coastguard ship.

The trip, which comes a week after Obama approved an Arctic drilling project, has been called hypocritical by climate change groups. However, the White House specified that the President will not be meeting any Shell oil executives while in Alaska.

 

TIME Crime

TSA Agent Arrested for Groping Passenger During Fake Search

Allegedly lured passenger into a bathroom, then groped her in bogus search for weapons

A Transportation Security Administration agent at LaGuardia airport was charged Friday with sexually abusing a female passenger on the bogus pretext of checking her for weapons.

The incident occurred earlier this week, when the 40-year-old TSA agent allegedly told the 21-year-old woman, a college student from Korea, that he needed to screen her for weapons after she had walked out of the sterile checkpoint area and into the area where passengers no longer need to be checked.

The woman asked to be screened by a female agent, according to a press release from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, but the TSA agent allegedly insisted she come into the bathroom with him. When she asked if all passengers were screened this way, he said they were. In the bathroom, the agent groped the victim, before saying into his cell phone something like “she’s clear, she doesn’t have any weapons or knives,” according to the DA’s office.

The TSA has terminated the agent and is cooperating with the Port Authority on the investigation, a TSA spokesman said. The DA’s office has charged the agent with unlawful imprisonment and sexual abuse. If convicted, he could face a year in prison. It was not immediately clear whether he has a lawyer.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com