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Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night.

>> Read more trending news

It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed.

According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities said.

The boy’s mother and grandmother left the home, returned and “learned that the child had been murdered,” police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told WSBTV.

Three other children were inside the home at the time of the killing, but were not injured, the news station reported. 

Police have not released the names of the father and child.

"Right now, the father is in custody,” Campbell said. “He is a 25-year-old male.” 

Authorities continued to investigate the incident Thursday.

Cartoonist shares heartbreaking drawing in wake of the Florida school shooting

As people around the nation are grappling with the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Florida, one artist’s work is as heartbreaking as is it is healing.

Pia Guerra opened up about the moment she knew she had to memorialize at least one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims in her unique way.

>> PHOTOS: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

“It’s not often that an image pops in your brain and you feel a lump in your throat,” Guerra told The Washington Post. “I need to get this down before time dilutes it,” she recalled thinking in the early morning as she got the idea to create a sketch in honor of fallen hero Aaron Feis.

When the shooting started last Wednesday, Feis — a school security guard as well as assistant football coach — reportedly stepped between the shooter and students, taking bullets in the act. He was reportedly hospitalized before dying from his wounds.

>> WATCH: Florida school shooting survivors perform emotional song at CNN town hall

In Guerra's sketch, titled “Hero’s Welcome," a girl is taking Feis’ hand to lead him back to a crowd of people as she says, “Come on Mister Feis! So many of us want to meet you!”

>> See the image here

Although she considers herself an atheist and said the image isn’t meant to represent “angels and heaven,” Guerra, 46, wanted to capture the idea that “all these brave, beautiful, vibrant people should still be with us.”

“Wherever all these wonderful people are, they’re not here,” she told the Post. Guerra reportedly wanted to visually portray the sheer number of people lost in mass school shootings, while also leaving the image open for people to find their own meanings.

>> Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

“This is who they are. This is all that we lost,” she said, adding, “When you leave something open enough to interpretation, more people can find something in it.”

Although most people have been touched, Guerra’s tribute has drawn some ire from people who think she did not well-represent the various races of all those who died in mass shootings, rather than just white people.

“That was a direct result of rushing and not paying more attention to the makeup of the crowd, and maybe making a point about how these things always seem to happen in white suburbia and totally mucking it up,” Guerra said, promising to “do better.”

>> On Rare.us: Football coach died shielding students from gunfire during Florida high school shooting

In the past, Guerra has used her cartoons to vent, but this one was especially “emotional.” She plans on creating more of these works relating to the shooting, and encourages more people to remain involved in its aftermath.

“It’s more emotional, it’s more personal … a gut reaction,” she said. “This is a whole other level.”

>> Read more trending news 

She added: “We should be engaged in this. We should use our voices … whatever it is we have to amplify what’s important to us.”

Feis was one of three faculty members and 14 students killed on Valentine’s Day when authorities said former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on his high school with an AR-15. He was arrested following the shooting and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is currently being held without bond.

(H/T Indy 100)

WATCH: Florida school shooting survivors perform emotional song at CNN town hall

Survivors of last week's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, performed an emotional song Wednesday night to close a CNN town hall on gun control.

>> Watch the clip here

According to CNN, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Club wrote and performed the song, "Shine," at the event at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

>> Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

"You're not gonna knock us down / We'll get back up again / You may have hurt us but I promise we are stronger and / We're not gonna let you win / We're putting up a fight / You may have brought the dark / But together we will shine a light," the chorus says.

Minutes earlier, Max Schachter read a poem titled "Life Is Like a Rollercoaster" by his son, Alex, who was killed in the shooting. 

>> Watch the reading here

>> Read more trending news 

The tributes followed a heated town hall moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper and featuring lawmakers from Florida, including Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch also participated in the event.

Alabama police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

An Alabama police officer who was shot Tuesday night has died, authorities say.

>> Read more trending news 

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones calls arming teachers 'the dumbest idea I've ever heard'

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) called an Alabama push to arm teachers “the dumbest idea [he had] ever heard” and “crazy.”

>> 5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race

Alabama’s state House is considering a bill that would allow teachers to carry firearms. State Rep. Will Ainsworth – who is sponsoring the bill – introduced it during a press conference at an Alabama elementary school. Ainsworth, a Republican, said teachers carrying guns would be required to undergo 40 hours of training before being certified to carry a gun in the classroom, AL.com reports. The state won’t pay for a teacher’s gun.

>> Trump sends memo to DOJ asking for bump stock ban after Parkland massacre

Ainsworth said the law was about giving kids “a fighting chance.”

“The only way we can do that is to have people armed in the schools to fight back,” he said.

>> Read more trending news 

But to Jones, the new law doesn’t make any sense. He told WKRG: “I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I think it’s crazy. You don’t need 40 to 50 guns in there, and it’s a cost issue. You’re going to have to train those teachers. You don’t need to arm America in order to stop this; you just need to be smart about it.”

Jones was elected to the upper chamber in December after a heated race with Republican candidate Roy Moore. The former U.S. attorney has advocated for gun control in the past while simultaneously being a Second Amendment supporter. During the Senate race, the National Rifle Association spent almost $55,000 on mailers against him. He was the first Democrat elected to a Senate seat from Alabama in over two decades.

>> On Rare.us: A CNN panelist thinks the FBI didn’t act on the Nikolas Cruz warning because of his race

This isn’t the first time that pro-gun politicians have suggested arming educators, but the notion is getting another push in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead. A sheriff in one of Florida’s biggest counties said his department is putting together a program to train and arm teachers. Even Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been asked about the idea, although she declined to take a stand on the issue, instead saying: “I think this is an important issue for all states to grapple with and to tackle. They clearly have the opportunity and the option to do that and there are differences in how states approach this.”

Rare reached out to Sen. Doug Jones’ office but received no comment.

JROTC cadet who died saving fellow students posthumously admitted to West Point

A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School freshman who, dressed in his JROTC uniform, died while holding a door open so his fellow classmates could escape a gunman with an assault rifle, has been posthumously admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

One of Peter Wang’s life goals was to attend West Point. Though that dream died on Feb. 14 with Wang and 16 of his classmates and teachers, officials at West Point offered him admission to the prestigious program on Tuesday, the day of his funeral. 

Officials took to West Point’s Facebook page to honor Wang, who they said lost his life in service to others.

“The U.S. Military Academy honors Peter Wang with an honorary admission for his bravery and selflessness,” the post read. “One of West Point's priorities is to develop leaders of character who are committed to the values of duty, honor, and country. Peter Wang's actions on February 14th are an example of those very principles and for this reason, the academy honors his dream of being a West Point cadet with a 2025 letter of acceptance.”

“It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man,” an official statement from West Point’s public affairs office stated. “West Point has given posthumous offers of admissions in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of duty, honor and country.”

The statement also offered the officials’ deepest condolences to Wang’s family and the Stoneman Douglas community. 

Wang has also been awarded the JROTC Medal of Heroism, along with two of his fellow slain freshmen. The Miami Herald reported that Wang would be buried with the medal pinned to his chest.

“It’s my understanding that this is an open casket service and the family requested their son be buried in his JROTC uniform,” U.S. Army Cadet Command spokesman Michael Maddox told the Herald. “The JROTC heroism medal will be on his uniform, but a second ‘keepsake’ medal will be given to the family.”

Maddox told the newspaper that Alaina Petty’s family received her medal Monday at the 14-year-old’s funeral, held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Coral Springs. The family of Martin Duque, also 14, will be presented with his metal at his funeral on Saturday. 

Like Wang, Petty and Duque were members of Stoneman Douglas’s JROTC program.

JROTC.com indicates that the Medal of Heroism is a “U.S. military decoration given by the Department of the Army to a JROTC cadet who performs a heroic act.

“The achievement must be an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances,” the website states. “The performance must have involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”  

Maddox told the Herald that additional cadets at Stoneman Douglas may receive awards for courageous actions they took the day of the massacre. For example, junior Colton Haab and other cadets, upon hearing gunshots, ushered several dozen students into the JROTC room.

The cadets grabbed Kevlar sheets used for marksmanship practice and held them up in front of their terrified classmates to shield them from bullets.

“We took those sheets and we put them in front of everybody so they weren’t seen, because they were behind a solid object and the Kevlar would slow the bullet down,” Colton told CNN the day after the shooting. “I didn’t think it was going to stop it, but it would definitely slow it down to make it from a catastrophic to a lifesaving thing.”

“However, the immediate focus right now is on supporting the funerals with dignity and honor, so deserved by these cadets and their families,” Maddox told the Herald. 

Wang became one of the heroes in the shooting after witnesses reported that he held open doors for several other students to flee the gunfire coming from the AR-15 in the hands of accused gunman Nikolas Cruz. Cruz, 19, a former Stoneman Douglas student who was expelled last year, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. 

Wang’s friends and supporters established a White House petition seeking full military honors for his burial. By Tuesday afternoon, more than 66,000 people had signed the petition.

A petition must reach 100,000 signatures to get a response from the White House. 

Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probe

An attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to the FBI in the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump's campaign.

The charges against lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan are the latest in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

READ MORE: Who is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller?Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation?What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with?MORE

Officials: Woman started massive blaze after losing home in divorce

Authorities said a Georgia woman accused of setting a fire that spread to 19 houses started it in the house she lost in a divorce.

>> Read more trending news

Paulding County fire officials said Adrienne Satterly, 41, of Hiram, stacked a pile of mattresses in the living room of the home, on Rosemont Court in Hiram, early Sunday morning.

She then lit the mattresses on fire and left the house with her two cats, fire officials said.

The fire spread to 19 separate homes in the Greystone Subdivision, destroying four homes and damaging 16 others, firefighters said. The fire was reported at 3:25 a.m.

Satterly is charged with 14 counts of first-degree arson and three counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

Neighbors told WSBTV that they ran out of their homes with almost nothing but their lives.

“I lost my two dogs, which is the hardest thing because material things can be replaced, but my dogs is my -- that breaks my heart,” neighbor Auzalea Godfrey said.

Fire investigators said Satterly called 911 after walking about an hour to a nearby Walmart after starting the fire.

Satterly remained jailed Tuesday in Paulding County, where she is being held without bond.

Neighbors said she gave them no warning.

Police: Teen girl staged robbery, set up friend to be victim

A 17-year-old Texas girl and two underage accomplices are accused of staging a robbery and subsequent carjacking in a bid for cash, according to investigators.

Susan Marie Mize, of Spring, is charged with aggravated felony robbery, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The two alleged accomplices, ages 16 and 15, are also being charged in the case. 

Lt. Scott Spencer, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release Monday that deputies were called to a grocery store near Spring on Friday because two teens had reported to Harris County deputies that they’d been robbed in Montgomery County. 

The responding deputies learned that their Harris County counterparts were called to two separate homes where Mize and her friend, whose name is being withheld because he is a victim of a crime, each said they were robbed, Spencer said

Investigators learned that Mize asked her male friend if he wanted to earn $150 by driving a couple of her friends to Houston, Spencer said. He agreed, and the pair drove to a park in Montgomery County to pick up Mize’s friends.

They met with the 16-year-old boy and, while awaiting their second alleged passenger, the 15-year-old boy, wearing a mask, approached the driver’s side door of the male victim’s car and brandished what the victim thought was a handgun, according to the news release.

The 15-year-old ordered the victim into the backseat of the car while the older suspect waved a knife around and ordered that the victim be tied up with Mize’s shoelaces, Spencer said.

“The two males then robbed (the victim) of the money in his wallet while striking him numerous times and threatening his life with the knife and gun,” Spencer said

The two male suspects then drove the victim to a store and untied him so he could use the ATM inside to withdraw cash from his account, the news release stated. The 16-year-old went inside with him.

“The suspect and (victim) return to the car, at which time (the victim) is tied back up with Susan’s shoelaces,” Spencer said. “The suspects then take Susan home, per her request. Susan is dropped off at her residence, but never calls 911 to report what was happening to (the victim).”

The victim convinced the underage boys that he had more cash at home that he would hand over if they drove him there. When the trio arrived at the boy’s home, the suspects waited for him in the car while he went inside.

The victim immediately locked the door and told his parents what happened, Spencer said. His parents called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. 

>> Read more trending news

The boys fled in the victim’s vehicle, which Harris County deputies soon found at another park, along with the teens. Both were taken into custody. 

During the subsequent investigation, detectives learned that Mize was part of the plan, Spencer said. 

“Susan believed (the victim) was an easy target and the plan was for the males to rob him for the money in his wallet,” Spencer said. “Susan advised (that) tying (him) up and taking his car was not her idea or part of the plan.”

Investigators who searched the car said they found a kitchen knife and two guns, both of which turned out to be BB guns, the news release stated. 

Who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas? 13 things to know about Parkland high school’s namesake

When an accused teenage gunman opened fire on his former classmates last week, he wore a maroon polo shirt emblazoned with the logo of the school from which he’d been expelled -- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The name Stoneman Douglas has become synonymous with the tragedy that ended with 17 people dead and the accused killer, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, charged with murdering them. But who was Marjory Stoneman Douglas?

Douglas, who died in 1998 at the age of 108, was a journalist and advocate of the women’s suffrage movement. She may be most well-known, however, for her efforts to save the Florida Everglades, which are not far from the school bearing her name.

>> Read more trending news

Below are some of the details from Douglas’ remarkable life.

  • Marjory Stoneman, who was born in 1890 in Minneapolis, showed a tendency for excellence early on. According to the National Park Service, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Wellesley College, where she was elected “class orator.”
  • Following a brief marriage to a man named Kenneth Douglas, she moved to Florida in 1915 to reunite with her father, Frank Stoneman, who she had not seen since she was a child. The first publisher of the Miami Herald, Stoneman hired his daughter as a society columnist. 
  • Moving through various duties at the Herald, Douglas established herself as a noteworthy writer, the National Park Service said. It was as a journalist that she embraced activism, fighting for feminism, racial justice and conservation of nature. 
  • It was around 1917 that Douglas took on a passionate role in advocating for the preservation of the Everglades. NPR reported that most people at the time considered the Everglades “a worthless swamp,” but Douglas disagreed. 
  • “We have all these natural beauties and resources,” Douglas said in a 1981 NPR interview, when she was 91 years old. “Among all the states, there isn’t another state like it. And our great problem is to keep them as they are in spite of the tremendous increase of population of people who don’t necessarily understand the nature of Florida.”
  • Douglas in 1947 published her book, “The Everglades: River of Grass,” described by the National Park Service as the “definitive description of the natural treasure she fought so hard to protect.” Later that year, she was an honored guest when President Harry Truman dedicated the Everglades National Park, according to the National Wildlife Federation.  
  • In the 1950s, Douglas railed against a major project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a system of canals, levees, dams and pumping stations designed to protect marshland -- now used for agriculture and real estate -- from flooding. The National Park Service credits Douglas with fighting the destruction of the wetlands long before scientists realized the effects it would have on Florida’s ecosystem.
  • In 1969, she founded the nonprofit Friends of the Everglades, which continues to fight for the wetlands today. 
  • Co-author John Rothchild, in the introduction to Douglas’ autobiography, described watching her speak at a 1973 public meeting regarding a Corps of Engineers permit: “When she spoke, everybody stopped slapping (mosquitoes) and more or less came to order. She reminded us all of our responsibility to nature and I don’t remember what else. Her voice had the sobering effect of a one-room schoolmarm’s. The tone itself seemed to tame the rowdiest of the local stone crabbers, plus the developers and the lawyers on both sides. I wonder if it didn’t also intimidate the mosquitoes. The request for a Corps of Engineers permit was eventually turned down. This was no surprise to those of us who’d heard her speak.”
  • Douglas was inducted into the National Wildlife Federation’s Conservation Hall of Fame in 1999, and into the National Women’s Hall of Fame a year later
  • When discussing the issue of mankind and humans’ attitude toward nature, Douglas pulled no punches. “I’ll tell you, the whole thing is an enormous battle between man’s intelligence and his stupidity,” she told NPR. “And I’m not at all sure that stupidity isn’t going to win out in the long run.”
  • She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She later donated the medal to Wellesley College. 
  • On the same day she received the medal from President Clinton, Douglas was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, commonly called the Brady Bill, according to the Daily Beast. The bill, named for Jim Brady, the press secretary critically injured during the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, established a federal background check for those wanting to purchase a firearm.

Cruz passed a background check in February 2017 when he legally bought the assault rifle used in last week’s massacre at Stoneman Douglas. 

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