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The Latest: Storm-felled trees kill 5, including 2 children

The Latest on a major late-winter storm pounding the East Coast (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

An 11-year-old boy in New York state is the fifth person reported killed by downed trees in a fierce winter storm bringing high winds and heavy rain to the East Coast.

A tree crashed through a house in New York's Putnam County shortly after noon Friday.

A 6-year-old Virginia boy and adults in Virginia, Rhode Island and Maryland also died Friday due to fallen trees or tree limbs.

Meanwhile, police in New York reported that several barges broke loose in the Hudson River during the storm.

The barges were part of the construction project for the new Mario Cuomo Bridge, formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Coast Guard and the New York City Fire Department as well as commercial tugs responded.

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5 p.m.

Four people have died from falling trees amid a fierce winter storm pounding the East Coast, including a 6-year-old boy.

Police say the boy was killed when a tree fell on his Chester, Virginia home. Police say a man in James City County, Virginia, died after wind toppled a tree onto a vehicle.

Near Baltimore, a 77-year-old woman was struck and killed by a tree branch outside her home.

A man was hit and killed by a tree in Newport, Rhode Island.

The nor'easter has brought hurricane-force wind gusts to some parts of the region, reaching as much as 80 miles per hour on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

The National Weather Service warns that pedestrians will face very hazardous conditions and travel is dangerous, especially for tractor-trailers and buses.

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4:15 p.m.

More than 1.6 million homes and businesses are without power amid a winter storm stalled over the eastern U.S.

From North Carolina to Maine and westward to Michigan, the storm has felled trees, downed power lines and blown down buildings under construction.

The poweroutage.us website, reports the most outages in Pennsylvania, where 376,000 homes and businesses had no power Friday afternoon.

The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York and bridges in Rhode Island were closed to heavy trucks because of high winds.

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3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service says a winter storm hitting the Northeastern U.S. is becoming a storm "we will never forget."

In Boston's Seaport district, roads and sidewalks flooded and waves of several feet kicked up tree branches, plastic bottles and even a wooden chest. Several roads were closed because of flooding.

Meteorologist Bill Simpson of the National Weather Service in Massachusetts says the nor'easter has been causing wind gusts over 80 mph on Cape Cod and is stalling over the region, rather than moving up the coast.

New York City's airports were disrupted. About a third of the flights at Kennedy Airport were cancelled by mid-afternoon. Airport officials say flights were departing and arriving on a "limited basis" because of high winds. All inbound traffic to LaGuardia airport was also being held.

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2:15 p.m.

A fierce storm bringing high winds and heavy rain is causing problems around the northeast.

The National Weather Service says some of the highest gusts Friday had been observed in Rhode Island, where the wind toppled a container truck as it crossed the Newport Pell Bridge. The span and two other bridges in the state were closed to high-profile vehicles.

Outside Philadelphia, a tree crashed onto the roof of a commuter bus, halting traffic on one of the area's busiest highways. No injuries were reported.

The weather service says it was aware of hurricane-force wind gusts on Cape Cod, including a report of 78 mph in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Boston has reached its third highest tide since records began in 1928, at 14.67 feet. It expects the tide to crest higher during the second high tide of the storm at midnight.

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1:30 p.m.

The fierce nor'easter battering the Northeast is causing havoc with rail travel.

Amtrak announced Friday that all services along the Northeast Corridor "are temporarily suspended due to multiple weather related issues."

Service between New York City and Boston was suspended earlier due to flooding and multiple downed trees.

Amtrak also announced that one track on the Washington-Maryland corridor was out service for repairs due to weather damage. That forced trains to reduce speeds for safety.

Trains already en route will continue to Washington, New York City and Boston and hold.

In New Jersey, a downed tree that hit overhead wires has suspended some New Jersey Transit service.

NJT says the tree toppled in the area of Morris Plains on Friday, causing the suspension of service on the Morris and Essex Line in both directions between Dover and Convent Station.

It wasn't immediately known if the service would resume in time for the evening commute.

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12:50 p.m.

More than 700,000 electric customers across the Northeast are without power as a late-winter nor'easter pummels the region with high winds and driving rain.

The poweroutage.us website, which tracks utilities across the nation, reported early Friday afternoon that New York was the hardest hit state with more than 208,000 homes and businesses without electricity.

About 180,000 Pennsylvania customers and 140,000 Virginia customers were without power.

The New England area was not hit as hard, with Massachusetts experiencing nearly 27,000 outages.

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12:20 p.m.

Heavy rains are aggravating problems that Pittsburgh has been having with landslides in recent days

One home was destroyed and the back wall of another was crushed in a landslide Friday in Kilbuck Township, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh.

Tom Tomaro has lived in the 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house his entire life. The landscape contractor said he noticed signs that the land was shifting several days ago, and started to move out his belongings then. The landslide has so far plowed through his fence, yard and deck and crushed the 70-year-old home's back wall.

For now, he and his wife are staying with his mother-in-law.

Officials say all the rain is causing the clay soil underneath to move quickly.

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11:55 a.m.

A major nor'easter is combining with high tide to cause flooding along coastal areas of the Eastern Seaboard.

Water flooded onto the streets near Boston's Long Wharf just before noon Friday, while flood waters closed roads and threatened homes in Quincy just south of Boston

Firefighters in Quincy and Duxbury rescued drivers from stranded cars. Quincy police warned drivers on Twitter not to try and drive down flooded streets.

Flooded roads were also reported on Long Island, New York, and in Connecticut.

Nancy Bennett, owner of Milford Boat Works in Milford, Connecticut, says there is couple of feet of water in the yard where there is usually none.

High winds were also causing havoc across the region. In Watertown just west of Boston, police say eight utility poles were knocked over, blocking a major artery through town.

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11:30 a.m.

High winds and driving rain are causing thousands of flight cancellations at East Coast airports.

Flightaware.com was reporting more than 2,000 cancellations late Friday morning.

An American Airlines spokesman says the company has canceled about 18 percent of its flights in the Northeast, with Boston's Logan Airport and Reagan Washington National Airport the hardest hit.

Delta, Southwest, JetBlue and American were allowing travelers to change their Friday and Saturday flights to avoid delays and cancellations.

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11:30 a.m.

High winds are causing power outages, school and work closures and traffic problems across Virginia.

The winds are part of a major nor'easter that was pounding the East Coast on Friday, also packing heavy rain and intermittent snow further north.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was closed to all traffic Friday morning. Some roads were blocked by downed trees.

Dominion Energy was reporting power outages across the state, but the numbers were highest in northern Virginia. Nearly 141,000 customers there were without power Friday morning.

In central Virginia's Hanover County, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports fire-EMS crews were dispatched to a home around 2:45 a.m. for a tree that had fallen into a two-story house. Four children were trapped inside.

Authorities say there were no injuries.

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10:20 a.m.

A major nor'easter packing wet, heavy snow has sent tree limbs crashing down, closed schools and left more than 100,000 customers without power across upstate New York.

The National Weather Service says Buffalo had received more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow by 7 a.m. Friday, a record for March 2. Areas south of the city were under 20 inches (50 centimeters) or more. The Rochester area was closing in on a foot of snow.

Accumulations were lower in eastern parts of the state, but the heavy mix of snow and rain made traveling hazardous, especially in the high-elevation areas like the Catskill Mountains.

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10 a.m.

The National Weather Service is warning of possible record high tides in Massachusetts from a nor'easter hitting the East Coast.

The service says seas could top 15.5 feet (4.7 meters) at a tidal gauge in Boston Harbor, but it is anticipating a high tide of 14.5 feet (4.4 meters) to 15.1 feet (4.6 meters) in the harbor.

A storm earlier this winter brought a record high tide of more than 15 feet (4.5 meters) to Boston.

Authorities are urging residents of coastal communities to be prepared to evacuate if necessary in advance of Friday's noon high tide. The National Weather Service says all of Rhode Island is under flood and high wind watches through Sunday morning.

Wind gusts exceeding 50 mph (80 kph) are expected as the storm moves up the Eastern Seaboard.

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9:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is traveling out of Dulles International Airport, rather than Andrews Air Force Base, because of the late-winter storm battering the East Coast.

Trump is heading Friday to North Carolina for the Rev. Billy Graham's funeral. He was scheduled to leave out of Dulles midmorning.

Trump usually travels out of Andrews, but his departure location was moved due to high winds in the area.

A major nor'easter was starting to slam the East Coast with heavy rain, intermittent snow and strong winds.

___

9 a.m.

The front edge of the storm expected to pound the East Coast dropped as much as a foot of snow on parts of northeast Ohio, with heavy winds leading to power outages and school closings.

Cleveland-based National Weather Service meteorologist Marty Mullen says wind gusts from the storm passing through Thursday night into Friday morning reached 55 mph near the Lake Erie shoreline with sustained winds of 20-30 mph.

Mullen says areas in Ashtabula County in the far northeast corner of the state received 10-12 inches of wet, heavy snow while temperatures hovered around freezing. Areas west of Cleveland reportedly received less than an inch.

Winds caused power outages throughout the area with numerous school closings reported east of the city.

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7:30 a.m.

The powerful coastal storm moving along the East Coast is set to bring high winds to New Jersey, where some rain is already switching to wet snow in some areas.

The National Weather Service says winds are expected to increase drastically during the day, peaking Friday afternoon. Gusts of 50 mph to 60 mph are expected, as are downed trees and power lines.

Some flights have already been canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Significant snow accumulation is expected at higher elevations in northwest New Jersey and the Poconos.

The storm could take a chunk out of Jersey shore beaches that are still being repaired following damage from previous storms.

There's no guarantee that all the sand that washes away over the next few days will be replaced.

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7:10 a.m.

The powerful coastal storm moving along the East Coast is bringing high winds to Pennsylvania, where some rain is already switching to snow in some areas.

The winds are expected to pick up Friday afternoon and continue into the evening. Some flights have already been canceled at Philadelphia's airport.

Gusts of up to 60 mph are possible. Property owners are being urged to secure items like trash cans and patio furniture.

The change from rain to wet snow during the evening rush could cause travel issues from Harrisburg to Allentown and Philadelphia, and officials urge drivers to be cautious.

The heaviest snow could fall in the Poconos and Lehigh Valley.

The storm is affecting the entire eastern seaboard, from New England all the way down to northern Georgia.

___

12:05 a.m.

A major Nor'easter is starting to slam the East Coast with heavy rain, intermittent snow and strong winds.

Gusts exceeding 50 mph are expected as the storm moves up the Eastern seaboard on Friday.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has activated 200 National Guard members.

In New Jersey, officials are worried the storm could take a chunk out of beaches just south of Atlantic City that are still being repaired because of damage from previous storms.

Authorities are urging residents of coastal communities to be prepared to evacuate if necessary in advance of Friday morning's high tide.

The National Weather Service says all of Rhode Island is under flood and high wind watches from Friday through Sunday morning.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • White House officials are pushing back against critics of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy has led to the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. >> Read more trending news Update 11:40 a.m. EDT June 19: More than 20 state attorneys general are calling for an end to the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which has led to children being separated from their parents at the border and has sparked national outrage. The 21 Democratic state attorneys general, from states including Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Put simply, the deliberate separation of children and their parents who seek lawful asylum in America is wrong,” the attorneys general said in the letter. “This practice is contrary to American values and must be stopped. We demand that you immediately reverse these harmful policies in the best interests of the children and families affected.” The group is led by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, who on Tuesday called the immigration policy “inhumane” and “draconian.” “The Justice Department is ignoring its legal and moral obligations for the sake of a political agenda at the expense of children and the efforts of state law enforcement officials,” Balderas said. “The latest move to unnecessarily separate families is cruel and another example of this administration putting politics ahead of people.” Update 10:15 a.m. EDT June 19: President Donald Trump insisted on Twitter that “Democrats are the problem” in the immigration debate as criticism of his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the border continues. Trump wrote Tuesday morning that Democrats “don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our Country, like MS-13.” The president has blamed Democrats for the recent surge in family separations, saying that laws need to be changed in order to change the separation policy. >> Recording of crying immigrant children separated from parents at border sparks outrage “Now is the best opportunity ever for Congress to change the ridiculous and obsolete laws on immigration,” Trump said Tuesday in a tweet with the hashtag #CHANGETHELAWS. There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. The president also wrote Tuesday morning that “if you don’t have Borders, you don’t have a Country,” and reiterated a claim that crime has risen in Germany since the country started accepting migrants, despite government numbers that show crime at its lowest rate since 1992. Update 9:44 a.m. EDT June 19: The executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund called stories of children being separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s immigration policy “heartbreaking,” saying in a statement Monday that “such practices are in no one’s best interests, least of all the children who suffer their effects.” “Detention and family separation are traumatic experiences that can leave children more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and can create toxic stress which, as multiple studies have shown, can impact children’s long-term development,” said Henrietta Fore, an American who has headed UNICEF since earlier this year. She noted that the U.S. government has long supported UNICEF’s efforts to help uprooted children in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia and Haiti. >> Clergy group brings church charges of child abuse, immorality against Jeff Sessions over zero-tolerance policy “Children -- no matter where they come from or what their migration status -- are children first and foremost,” she said. “I hope that the best interests of refugee and migrant children will be paramount in the application of U.S. asylum procedures and laws.” Update 8:40 a.m. EDT June 19: Sen. John McCain called the Trump administration’s family separation policy “an affront to the decency of the American people” in a tweet Monday night. The Arizona Republican said the policy is “contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded.” “The administration has the power to rescind this policy,” he wrote. “It should do so now.” >> Is the immigration separation policy new, where did it come from, where are the detention centers? McCain is among a growing number of Republican lawmakers voicing concern over the administration's 'zero tolerance' approach to illegal border crossings. Under the policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution. With adults detained and facing prosecution, any minors accompanying them are taken away. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May. Update 7:15 p.m. EDT June 18: The nonprofit news organization ProPublica released an eight minute audio recording of wailing children, who were separated from their parents last week. >> All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border A U.S. border patrol agent can be heard laughing in the background as the 10 children from Central America are separated from their families. Update 6:00 p.m. EDT June 18: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, during a briefing Monday afternoon, said there’s nothing new about the current policy of separating undocumented children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. >> Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know 'This entire crisis is not new, Nielsen said, pointing to 'loopholes' in federal immigration laws from the past, but that could change this week with the introduction of several immigration measures in the U.S. House and Senate, including one from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz is expected to introduce the “Protect Kids and Parents Act,” according to news reports. The measure would double the number of federal immigration judges from 375 to 750. It would authorize new temporary shelters to better accommodate families.  The bill would mandate that immigrant families remain together, unless there’s criminal conduct or a threat to the children, and it would require that asylum cases are heard within 14 days of application.   Update 5:35 p.m. EDT June 18:  The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, addressed the growing backlash over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy at the southern U.S. border, which is separating undocumented children from their parents. Nielsen defended the policy and urged  Congress to fix the system and close the loopholes. >> Before Trump policy, immigrant families arrested at the border were detained together Update 5:30 p.m. EDT June 18: Two more first ladies have weighed in on the widening controversy over the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern U.S. border. Michelle Obama retweeted comments Laura Bush made that Trump’s “zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.” >> Trump border policy: How to help immigrant children separated from families Former first lady Rosalynn Carter also released a statement Monday, according to The New York Times. 'The practice and policy today of removing children from their parents' care at our border with Mexico is disgraceful and a shame to our country,' Carter said. Update 4:30 p.m. EDT June 18: The Department of Health and Human Services has released photos of the “tent city” in the Texas border outpost of Tornillo, just outside of El Paso, where the U.S. government is sending children separated from their parents at the border. There are already dozens of children at the facility, according to news reports. Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 18: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, called Monday for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen amid the ongoing debate over the Trump administration’s immigration policy. The demand came one day after Nielsen said in a tweet that, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” Nielsen echoed President Donald Trump’s claims that a law is behind the recent spike in separations of migrant children and their parents at the border. “We will not apologize for enforcing the laws passed by Congress,” Nielsen said. “We are a nation of laws. We are asking Congress to change the laws.” However, as Harris and numerous fact checkers have noted, there is no law that mandates the separation of children and parents at the border. Harris said in a statement Monday that Nielsen’s “misleading statements ... are disqualifying.” “We must speak the truth,” Harris said. “There is no law that says the Administration has to rip children from their families. This Administration can and must reverse course now and it can and must find new leadership for the Department of Homeland Security.” Update 2:30 p.m. June 18: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that President Donald Trump is telling an “outright lie” when he claims that Democrats are behind the recent surge in separations of children from their parents on the border. “This is not happening because of the 'Democrats' law,' as the White House has claimed,” Clinton said. “Separating families is not mandated by law at all.” Clinton, who ran as a Democrat against Trump during the 2016 presidential election, also appeared to chastise U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited a Bible verse last week while justifying the Trump administration’s immigration policy. “Those who selectively use the Bible to justify this cruelty are ignoring a central tenant of Christianity,” Clinton said. “Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children unto me.’ He did not say, ‘Let the children suffer.’” Update 2 p.m. EDT June 18: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged President Donald Trump to end the policy that’s allowed authorities to separate migrant children from their parents on the border, writing Monday on Twitter that 'children shouldn't be used as a negotiating tool.” “(Trump) should end this heartless policy and Congress should get an immigration deal done that provides for asylum reform, border security and a path to citizenship for Dreamers,” he wrote. The president has repeatedly called for Democrats to negotiate with Republicans to address illegal immigration after falsely claiming that the party is behind laws that mandate the separation of child from parent at the border. No such law exists.  Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, ran against Trump in 2016 for the Republican presidential nomination. In an op-ed published Sunday by the Washington Post, former first lady Laura Bush called the Trump administration policy “cruel.” 'I live in a border state,' Bush wrote. 'I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.' First lady Melania Trump has also criticized the policy, telling CNN in a statement through her spokeswoman that “She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.” Update 12:46 p.m. EDT June 18: President Donald Trump again accused Democrats of obstructing efforts to deal with illegal immigration and the separation of children and parents at the border, telling reporters Monday that “we’re stuck with these horrible laws” because Democrats refuse to sit down with Republicans. There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. “We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world,” Trump said. “Nobody has such sad, such bad – and in many cases, such horrible and tough – you see about child separation. You see what’s going on there.” “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said. Update 12 p.m. EDT June 18: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said authorities don’t want to separate children from their families but that officials have a duty to prosecute people who illegally cross the border. “When we ignore our laws at the border we obviously encourage hundreds of thousands of people a year to likewise ignore our laws and illegally enter our country, creating an enormous burden on our law enforcement, our schools, our hospitals and (our) social programs,” Sessions said Monday during the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in New Orleans. He framed the issue as a debate over “whether we want to be a country of laws or whether we want to be a country without borders.” “President Trump has said this cannot continue,” Sessions said. “We do not want to separate parents from their children. If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices. We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply legally.” Sessions’ arguments echoed those of President Donald Trump, who has blamed Democrats for passing laws that he said led to the separations. There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said earlier Monday that officials will not apologize for enforcing immigration laws. 'We have to do our job,' she said. Original report: President Donald Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Monday, writing in a series of tweets that children are being used “by the worst criminals on earth” to get into America as critics slammed the policy for separating children from their parents. “Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.” The president pointed to a rise in crime in Germany as an example of the chaos caused by illegal immigration, writing in a tweet that it was a “big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.” However, Germany’s internal ministry reported last month that criminal offenses in the country were at their lowest since 1992, according to Reuters. This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers, prompting protests nationwide. The president has blamed Democrats for not fixing the law that allows for the separations. “Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration,” the president wrote. “Change the laws!” Despite his claim that Democrats are at fault for the situation, The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration “put the policy in place and could easily end it.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • An armed civilian took down a shooter after at least two people were shot Sunday night at a Walmert in Tumwater, Washington, police said. Police said the civilian, described by officers as a good Samaritan, shot and killed the suspect at the scene.  On Monday night, KIRO confirmed the civilian is a pastor and works with the Oakville Fire Department, where he is a lieutenant and an emergency medical technician.  The shooting happened just after 5:30 p.m. at a Walmart Supercenter about 65 miles south of Seattle. “I heard two bangs. It sounded like gunshots to me,” witness Robert Berwick said. 'I looked down the aisle and saw a person running.”  That’s when Berwick ran, too. There was chaos in the parking lot, and he said the shooting suspect tried to carjack another man. That’s when the suspect was shot. “I thanked him for saving my life,” Berwick said of the attempted carjacking victim who shot the suspect. “He didn’t look like he had any regrets. I hope he doesn’t have any.' Another witness to the shooting, Megan Chadwick, said her husband saw the civilian take down the shooter. 'He said he watched him (the shooter) take his last breath,' Chadwick said. 'There were three civilians going after (the shooter) to shoot him and two of them had their guns up, and then the third guy shot him through the window of the car.' Chadwick said her husband was armed as well. She and her children were inside the Walmart during the shooting. 'I looked over and saw hundreds of people running out. Just a flood of people and everyone was screaming and frantic. When we got about to the door, I heard someone say, 'Gun. Shooter.' And I knew something was serious,' Chadwick said.
  • A recording of crying immigrant children who reportedly were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border circulated online Monday, sparking outrage among critics of the Trump administration's controversial 'zero tolerance' policy on illegal immigration. >> Click here to listen >> Jamie Dupree: Trump to meet House GOP amid furor over immigrant families The eight-minute audio clip, first published Monday by ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news site, was recorded at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection center last week, the outlet reported. Children can be heard calling for 'Mami' and 'Papa' as one girl asks to call her aunt. One man, identified by ProPublica as a Border Patrol agent, can be heard saying of the sobs: 'Well, we have an orchestra here. What's missing is a conductor.' >> Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates) According to ProPublica, the person who secretly recorded the audio gave it to civil rights attorney Jennifer Harbury, who then passed it along to the news site. >> All 5 living first ladies speak out on separation of immigrant children, parents at border According to The Associated Press, the 'zero tolerance' policy, which started last month, 'sought to maximize criminal prosecutions of people caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally,' leading to more adults in jail, separated from their children.  >> Trump's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy: 4 things to know At a White House press briefing Monday afternoon, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she had not heard the recording, which one reporter played on speaker phone during the briefing. She said the children are treated humanely and given meals, education and medical care.  >> Read more trending news  Nielsen said recordings and photos from the border facilities that have circulated online 'reflect the focus of those who post such pictures and narratives.' Read more here and here.