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'Sorry,' says man, 19, who opened fire at Florida high school

The 19-year-old gunman who caused panic and fear at a Florida high school when he opened fire Friday morning said he was “sorry.”

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The gunman, identified as Sky Bouche, brought a shotgun onto campus at Forest High School in Ocala and shot a 17-year-old student in the ankle, deputies said. 

The shooting happened on the day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence.

Bouche was taken into custody by school resource officer Jim Long within three minutes of the gunfire. 

“He did not hesitate. He went right in,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. 

Bouche told a WFTV reporter he didn't see anyone and shot through a door at the school.

"Anything you want to say to (the victim) or his family?” Bouche was asked.

"Sorry," Bouche said. "Doesn't make it better anyway."

He would not answer any questions about why he allegedly shot the student.

Other students were around when the gunfire broke out, but deputies did not say where in the building the shooting happened. 

“Basically, in three minutes, (Long) engaged the shooter and took him into custody,” Woods said. “(Bouche) was not tackled. He didn’t offer any resistance.” 

Woods said Long had heard a "large, loud, banging sound" and immediately responded. Long "recognized what we had at that time," he said.

Bouche was not injured.

Woods could not say if the alleged shooter was a former student or whether Bouche and the victim knew each other. 

It’s also unclear how Bouche managed to get on the campus with a gun. 

The Sheriff's Office has not identified the student who was shot, but reported that the victim said, "I am so glad it was me and not one of my friends."

Students and teachers crouched under their desks and hid as officers went from room to room making sure everyone was OK. 

“We were just under our desks crying,” said a student, who was not identified. 

After the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown, so parents were not able to pick up their children. 

Parents were urged to stay away from the school, which is protocol during a lockdown.

“Well, you’re scared to death, of course. Your heart is beating 90 mph and, you know, you’re just scared for your child,” said a parent, who was not identified. “You don’t know what’s going on.” 

As deputies evacuated the classrooms, the more than 2,300 students were loaded onto buses and brought to the First Baptist Church of Ocala, where they reunited with frantic parents. 

“Just anxious, waiting for her to get on that bus at the school, to text me, ‘I’m here,’ and just waiting for her name to be called,” parent Ashley Shell said. 

Hundreds of anxious parents gathered on the front steps of the church. 

“I’m just glad she is safe. I’m just glad that no one else got hurt,” added parent Otto Brown. 

Woods said he was proud of how first responders and school officials handled the situation. 

“It was the school system, it was law enforcement and it was Fire Rescue that saved lives today,” he said. “Our children are alive because those three things were in place.” 

Long has been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years, and has spent 10 of those years as a resource officer at the school. 

Schools in the Marion County Public Schools District remained on Code Yellow for the rest of the day and Woods sent extra patrols to campuses throughout the county.

“Marion County does everything to protect their children," Woods said.

He also stressed that any school threats or hoax school threats will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

“This is not a joking matter. What happened down south almost came to Marion County,” Woods said.

Ocala police, the Sheriff's Office, the Florida Highway Patrol and the FBI were investigating. They divided into teams that cleared all buildings, vehicles and the parking lot. Once all students were off campus, authorities began conducting a more thorough search of the campus.

The Ocala shooting comes just over two months after a gunman killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces the death penalty if he is convicted.

2 Louisiana elementary school students arrested over nude Snapchat photos

Police in Louisiana arrested a female elementary school student who took nude pictures of herself, as well as her male classmate who shared the photographs through a social media app, WGNO reported.

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The students, who are enrolled at Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell, were charged with distribution of child pornography, the Slidell Police Department said.

The nude photographs were sent and shared through the Snapchat app, police said. The male student sent the picture to other students after receiving them, WGNO reported.

“Most kids are not aware, but sending a nude photo of themselves is a crime,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a Facebook post. “Parents need to have a candid conversation with their kids about the seriousness, and the long term effects, of taking and sending nude photographs.”

Both children were released into the custody of their parents, WGNO reported.

Florida commissioner allegedly fed, housed couple in exchange for sex twice a week

A Florida county commissioner was arrested Thursday on multiple prostitution-related charges after authorities said he housed and fed a couple in exchange for having sex with the man’s wife twice a week, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with one count of operating a location for the purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution and two counts of purchasing services from a person engaged in prostitution, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

The charges are second-degree misdemeanors for a first offense, and each has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Nicholson posted $3,000 bail, records show.

Florida law allows Gov. Rick Scott to suspend an elected official through an executive order, the Times reported.

"Governor Scott expects all elected officials to behave ethically and responsibility. Our office is aware of this and reviewing the details,’’ spokesman McKinley Lewis told the Times.

The charges followed an alleged domestic dispute in February between Kendel Surette, 33, and Valerie Surette, 30, who were living at Nicholson’s home in Spring Hill. Kendel Surette told deputies that Nicholson had housed and fed the couple for six months; in exchange, Surette said, Nicholson had sex with his wife on Tuesdays and Saturdays, according to court records. Nicholson paid the Surettes $100 every Tuesday and $200 every Saturday, the Times reported.

Kendel Surette also told deputies that Nicholson allowed his wife to have sex with other clients on a mattress in the commissioner’s garage or in a car in the driveway, the Times reported.

Nicholson said in February that he met Valerie Surette at Icon Gentlemen’s Club, where she was a stripper. He denied having sex with the woman.

“She keeps me company,’’ he told the Times. “I’m just a nice guy, so they just took advantage of me.’’

New Jersey state trooper indicted for pulling women over to ask for dates

A New Jersey state trooper was indicted Thursday on charges he allegedly pulled over women on traffic stops to ask them out on dates, The Trentonian reported.

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Eric Richardson, 32, of Camden, faces charges including official misconduct, criminal coercion and tampering with records, the state attorney’s office announced.

According to the six-count state grand jury indictment, Richardson allegedly conducted improper stops of two female drivers in November and December 2016, then falsified records to hide his actions. 

“Police are given great authority and are rightly held to the highest standards of integrity,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a written statement. “When officers abuse their authority, as alleged in this case, they must be held accountable. Public trust and public safety demand it.”

The probe was initiated by the New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards, which uncovered incidents involving two women Richardson allegedly pulled over several times and harassed about initiating an intimate relationship, the Trentonian reported. He deactivated his dashboard camera during some of the stops, prosecutors said.

On May 8, 2017, Richardson illegally accessed the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services database for a male friend to do a driver inquiry on a woman the friend employed, prosecutors said. Richardson allegedly photographed her driver history and texted it to his friend, the Trentonian reported.

Richardson has been suspended by the New Jersey State Police since May 31, 2017, the newspaper reported.

AP Top Georgia Headlines at 1:34 a.m. EDT

Judge rejects condemned inmate's argument for resentencing

4 plead not guilty in drinking death at Louisiana State

Unarmed security guard sexually assaulted at Atlanta library

3-year-old's drowning death ruled accidental

USA Gymnastics settles sex abuse lawsuit

'Scarface' stars, fans reunite to say hello to their little friends

Fans of “Scarface” were more than happy to say hello to their little friends Thursday.

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Members from the 1983 movie -- known for its violence and profanity, and a cult classic -- had a reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Daily News reported. Al Pacino, who played Cuban immigrant-turned-drug-lord Tony Montana, appeared with co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer and director Brian De Palma to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the film.

The role of Montana is one of the iconic acting leads for Pacino, 77, who starred in “The Godfather,” “The Godfather: Part II,” “Serpico,” and “Dog Day Afternoon.” His signature line before spraying bullets at men attempting to break into his office -- “Say hello to my little friend” -- is a pop culture staple.

Pacino told the audience that the line — written by screenwriter Oliver Stone — never gets old.

“What you mean, ‘Say hello to my little friend?’” he repeated to the audience when asked about how the quote still resonates.

Pfeiffer, 59, was coming off her first leading role from 1982’s “Grease 2” when she took the role of Montana’s wife, Elvira Hancock, in “Scarface.” She said Thursday that she learned a great deal from Pacino and still protects her characters “at all costs,” the Daily News reported.

“I have always tried to emulate that, and I tried to be polite about it, but I think that that's what really makes great acting,” Pfeiffer said.

During a question-and-answer session, Pfeiffer was asked what her weight was when she played the Elvira character. During the movie, her drug-addict character gets thinner as the plot deepens. The question was received with boos from the audience, the Daily News reported.

"Well, OK, I don’t know (what my weight was)," Pfeiffer said. "I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels, because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros,.”

Pacino told the audience that the movie was his own idea, inspired by watching the 1932 movie of the same name, the Daily News reported.

"Bombast was part of what we were trying to say with the movie," Pacino said. "It was bigger than life."

De Palma said the acting from “Scarface” still blows him away.

"The amazing thing about is seeing this movie again and again is the amazing performances," he said.

Pacino said he had a hunch the movie -- and his role -- would be special.

"I did have a feeling, I must say it's true, because there are certain roles you feel that can challenge you ... there was something about the preparation, there was something about the text and Brian,” Pacino told the crowd.

Steyer's talk of impeaching Trump not appealing to Dems

ATLANTA (AP) - Tom Steyer is on a multimillion-dollar mission to impeach Donald Trump, but Democrats whose campaigns the California billionaire is helping bankroll aren't keen to follow his lead.

Steyer, whose appeals you may have seen on TV, is spending $40 million on his "Need To Impeach" roadshow, with advertising and town halls around the country. But Democratic leaders in Congress and many candidates hoping to wrest House control from the Republicans shun the prospect of showy impeachment proceedings. Instead, they're counting on pocketbook issues and a growing voter interest in checks on the GOP government in Washington.

The tightrope balance for Democrats underscores their dilemma. The question is how to maximize liberal anger against the president, who is under the cloud of a special counsel's investigation, while not alienating Trump Country independents and moderate Republicans who are unhappy with him but often detest his critics even more.

Steyer's largely freelancing effort is just one strain of a midterm cacophony where even tens of millions of dollars in outside spending can get lost in the noise. Trump already commands most of the attention. Republicans are eager to counterpunch. And as much as Democrats steer clear of impeachment talk, it does offer a release valve for liberal voter angst.

"It is the most important issue in the United States right now," Steyer tells a crowd, nibbling on hors d'oeuvres in Atlanta before a wide-ranging discussion of "high crimes and misdemeanors" and Trump's fitness to handle nuclear launch codes. "It's about lawlessness and danger and urgency."

But in sounding his impeachment alarms, the liberal, green-energy guru is also serving up an opportunity for Republicans to portray Democrats as having no agenda other than to undo the 2016 election.

"I hope Steyer goes everywhere in the country and I hope he buys $100 million of ads, and I hope he insists every Democrat sign a pledge to impeach the president," says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led the GOP in impeaching President Bill Clinton in 1998, only to lose seats that November.

Republicans see in Steyer a chance to extend their attacks on the liberal agenda, personified by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who could return to the speaker's rostrum if Democrats flip at least 24 GOP-held House seats this November.

Pelosi, Steyer's fellow San Franciscan, has listened to his argument on impeachment, her office said, but does not agree. She prefers to campaign for the majority with her own cold realism.

"What we're talking about is how we strengthen the financial stability of America's working families," she said recently. "That is what we are focused on."

Pelosi is certainly willing to take Steyer's help for the midterm elections. Steyer and his wife, Kat, live in Pelosi's congressional district, and the couple hosted a June 2017 dinner for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The event raised $593,500, officials said, including the couple's personal contribution of $67,800.

Recent polling could explain Pelosi's approach.

A national survey, conducted by Marist for NPR and PBS, found 47 percent of registered voters would definitely vote against a candidate who wanted to remove Trump from office, while 42 percent said such a promise would earn their vote. That's a sobering reminder given House district lines that have been tilted to GOP advantage around the country by Republican-run state legislatures - and a 2018 Senate lineup that puts 10 Democratic incumbents up for re-election in states Trump won in 2016.

Yet, in communities across America, Steyer isn't alone.

One progressive leader, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, says he's routinely peppered with "When are you going to impeach him?" questions as he travels to and from his Tucson district.

"These are random people, I wouldn't describe them as wild-hair progressives," said Grijalva, who's co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "My sense is there's going to come a point, as Trump continues to devolve, that that's going to become a more persistent question: 'If you are the majority, will you begin the process to looking at impeachment?' It won't be a nuanced question, it'll be a yes-or-no question."

Liberal House Democrats have forced two procedural votes on impeachment, but a December maneuver drew just 58 backers and another in January drew 66.

At the same time, there have been no such votes since, and even party liberals who align generally with Steyer's aggressive activism sound more like Pelosi and the Democratic establishment on the matter.

Democratic congressional hopeful Kara Eastman, running in the party's primary in Nebraska's Omaha-based 2nd District, treads carefully. "It's not a No. 1 thing," she says of impeachment.

At the Working Families Party, which backs liberals in Democratic primaries around the country, spokesman Joe Dinkin says candidates who want to "stop Trumpism" should focus on beating the president and his party at the polls.

That almost echoes the advice of former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last year. He told ABC News that "impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook" from something they are "duty-bound to do directly" in the 2020 presidential election.

Certainly, Trump could scramble the situation - for Democrats and Republicans alike - if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as he did Comey last year. In fact, some Democrats say, the Mueller investigation provides a rationale for not pursuing impeachment and allowing the probe to unfold.

"Folks back home get it," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who says he's "appalled" at Trump's presidency, but trusts Mueller's work. "We have these investigations going on for a reason - to get to the truth."

And Democrats hurling "wild" accusations and impeachment cries, Gingrich says, actually "will make this election much cleaner" for Republican voters and independents on the fence.

At his Atlanta town hall, Steyer - who is also spending millions of dollars on NextGen America, his effort to register young voters under 35 in key midterm races - scoffs.

The 2018 election is already a referendum on the president, he argues, so face it head-on. "Rather than trying to prevent their gain, why don't we play our game?"

___

Associated Press writer Steve Peoples in New York contributed to this report.

___

On Twitter, follow Barrow at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP and Mascaro at https://twitter.com/LisaMascaro

Walker inmates find inspiration, communication through music

ROCK SPRING, Ga. (AP) - Holly Mulcahy stands with her violin, her back to the wall of the gym at Walker State Prison in Rock Spring, Georgia. Next to her is Mary Corbett with her violin. Between them and 128 inmates serving time for a host of crimes big and small are a microphone stand and about 5 feet of open gym floor.

A lone female officer sits off to the side. The men are seated in chairs fanned out in a semicircle facing the stage, quiet and staring at the two women, who are smiling and relaxed.

The place is so quiet, Corbett steps to the microphone and says with a laugh, "Talk amongst yourselves. We have to tune up."

It's a relatively simple moment, but it sets the tone for how the rest of the evening will go.

A new kind of prison

Walker State Prison, home to about 400 inmates, is unique among Georgia prisons. In 2011, the facility became the testing ground for the Georgia Department of Corrections' new Faith and Character Based program, which focuses on accountability, responsibility, integrity and faith.

Inmates in the Faith and Character Based curriculum have all requested to be there and have gone through a vetting process before being allowed to participate in the two-year program. Not everyone is part of the curriculum. Others are there to learn a vocation such as welding and will remain there as long as that program takes.

"Half of the men there are lifers, but to be there, they must be eligible for parole," says Alan Bonderud. He's been volunteering there since 2010 and was involved in mentoring new mentors when the prison added the Faith and Character Based program.

"Every crime you can imagine is represented in the prison population there," he says.

The goal is to give the men skills that will help them increase their chances of reacclimating into society upon release and to reduce the chances of the men ever returning to prison.

Education is a key component as the men take a variety of classes - a few have earned Master of Divinity degrees, for example - but so is character development.

Mulcahy first visited Walker State about three years ago after a chance meeting with Bonderud at a Chattanooga Symphony & Opera-sponsored gala. When Mulcahy, the CSO concertmaster, learned that Bonderud mentored at Walker State, she expressed an interest in performing there.

"I didn't want to just go there and perform," she says. "I wanted to do more."

Bonderud says the recitals "have been very effective. They continue to increase the numbers of men who attend, and reports from the men are that they now share their programs with family members, and it gives them something new to talk about. It encourages them with their families. Some even have had family members take up the violin."

No wrong answers

Except for the men in their prison uniforms, this Sunday night performance looks like any other recital, but without the punch and mixed nuts. In fact, the gym that serves as the recital hall looks like any other gym, except there are no bleachers. Those were removed after some inmates tried to use them to go over the razor wire that is so prevalent around the grounds.

You notice it as you drive up, but especially as you go through the checkpoints to get in.

Most of that is forgotten once you enter the gym and are warmly greeted by inmates who introduce themselves with hellos and handshakes.

The program begins with "How Majestic the Expanse" by Shawna Wolf, then Mulcahy opens the floor for discussion. Two inmates move around the room delivering hand-held microphones to prisoners who have raised their hands to speak.

No one speaks except for the inmate with the microphone.

"I pictured it reminded me of icicles," he begins. "I could hear the sound of light coming through the trees and birds chirping. I heard the pulse in the music."

More hands go up, and three or four other men share their thoughts on what they heard or felt listening to the piece. Around the room, the rest of the audience listens quietly while a few nod in agreement at what they hear. For her part, Mulcahy doesn't try to lead, correct, judge or in any way influence the discussion, except to encourage the men to say what they think.

"There are no wrong answers," she says at one point.

This is the key to the whole recital, she says later, and it's the reason she believes the audiences have gotten larger each of the five times she has returned to perform at Walker State over the last three years. Twenty-five preapproved men attended the first. Now, anyone who wants to sign up to attend is allowed.

Mulcahy is there to perform, and to listen, not tell the men what to think.

"We get enough of that here," says inmate Scott Reed before the performance.

His comment draws a quick chuckle from the three other prisoners approved to talk to the media, but it serves as a reminder of the realities of where we are.

Common ground

Mulcahy is a champion for living composers, in part because she feels they are underappreciated but also because they can participate programs such as this. She also believes firmly that patrons of "high" arts, such as symphonic music, and visual arts, such as sculpture or painting, should be encouraged to formulate their own opinions about what they see or hear.

She'd rather the listener tell her what they hear in a piece she plays than the other way around.

"I think that is one of the most horrible things about my industry - somebody telling me how I should react," she says. "I think that is a very selfish thing to do."

Those were her thoughts as she first visited the prison, and they helped formulate the programs she presents. Even she couldn't have predicted the doors, and minds, it would open, however.

Reed says he did not attend the early recitals, but he couldn't help but be surprised at what he heard in the dormitories (the men live in bunk beds in large open rooms rather than cells) after the performances.

"I heard grown men talking about their feelings and their emotions that they felt hearing the music," he says.

"These are pretty hard guys from the streets."

Says inmate Garrett Anderson, "I've never heard this kind of music before. Never. And I never thought about how something made me feel. I never talked about it."

Reed says it is not at all unusual now for the men to talk about the music for days and weeks following a performance. It's those conversations that help explain the increase in audience participation, he says.

Inmate Gordon Kelly Briggs says he used to listen to classical music while driving a truck for a living.

"It helps me relax and sleep," he says. "It's very peaceful, and I can't imagine not listening to it."

During one of the earlier recitals, Mulcahy says, one of the inmates said the piece she had just played reminded him of being arrested in a Red Lobster. She was at first taken aback by the comment, but realized the work had a good bit of tension, followed by resolve, and that was what he was thinking about upon hearing it.

Widening the circle

Also in the crowd tonight are 23 guests, including Christine Bespalec-Davis from the Hunter Museum of American Art and composers Dr. Anne Guzzo and Dr. Rob Deemer, both premiering pieces they have written specifically for the evening. Guzzo, in fact, created an unfinished and untitled piece based on a painting and poem an inmate gave to Mulcahy during her last recital.

Mulcahy commissioned Guzzo to create the piece. As part of the program, Guzzo is here to ask the inmates to help her complete and name the piece. Several inmates say they heard a discussion, or argument, between two people in the early part of the piece, which then led to a more harmonious dialogue.

Guzzo takes notes, and each member of the audience has a questionnaire with an opportunity to write down his thoughts. Guzzo takes those for reference and plans to return with the finished piece at a later date.

After hearing Deemer's piece, one inmate admits that he doesn't see much hope in the world based on his own life experiences, but that the piece seems to advocate for looking for good things to happen rather than dwelling on the past.

Deemer seems awed to hear his piece so rightly interpreted.

"Spot-on," he says.

"It is important to remember the past, but also to think about what good things could happen, and to be open to them."

Bespalec-Davis is here to briefly talk about "Phenomena Royal Violet Visitation," a popular painting at the Hunter that measures 4.5 x 14 feet. Following Mulcahy's lead, she asks the men what they see. One man says the painting brings to mind a rainbow, but upside down, as if going back into the earth, and that the rainbow symbolizes God's promise to never again flood the earth.

"It looks like God changed his mind," the inmate says of his interpretation of the piece.

Corbett, Guzzo and Deemer are longtime colleagues of Mulcahy. They are people she respects, people she trusts to share her desire to present these recitals as a benefit for the inmates and not for personal gain.

That's not to say that they don't benefit from them, however. Corbett tells the audience coming to Walker is one of her favorite things to do, and both Guzzo and Deemer admit that it is rare for composers to get the kind of honest and immediate feedback they are hearing.

"I'm awed by this," Deemer says.

Mulcahy says she wants to work with composers who understand what the program is about and who want to be a part of something that benefits others.

"That's what I look for are composers who are open to 'Let's where it goes' and open to not controlling the outcome."

Because of the success of the recitals to date, Mulcahy has created Arts Capacity, a nonprofit with a board of six people. She created it to help quantify the benefit of the program and to help spread it to other prisons.

"We are finding very good early success with what we are doing, and we are looking to expand that," Mulcahy says.

Bonderud says 25 of the 128 men at the recent recital will be transferring to a prison near Atlanta, where they will serve as seed mentors for creating a similar program there.

"This will spread, but it will take time," Bonderud says.

Which, of course, is measured differently depending on which side of the razor wire you find yourself.

___

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 3 Night' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 3 Night" game were:

6-8-2

(six, eight, two)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Cash 4 Night' game

ATLANTA (AP) _ The winning numbers in Friday evening's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's "Cash 4 Night" game were:

7-0-6-6

(seven, zero, six, six)

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