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Pentagon officer charged with murder also pulled gun on homeless woman last year: Police

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Ivan Cholakov/iStockBy MARLENE LENTHANG, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon police officer charged with murder for allegedly killing two people in Maryland this week also pulled a shotgun on a homeless woman in his apartment lobby last year, police said.

David Hall Dixon, a Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer, was charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Dominique Williams, 32, and James Lionel Johnson, 38, in Takoma Park, police said Friday.

He was off-duty at the time of the shooting, which took place shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, in the parking lot of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums, according to police.

Footage from May 2020 obtained by ABC affiliate WJLA appears to show Dixon using a gun to confront a homeless woman who entered the lobby of his apartment building. Police confirmed that they reported to the apartment

Dixon appeared to retrieve a long gun and then point it at the woman while telling her to leave, according to WJLA. Video footage appeared to show him pointing it near her face and she rushed to leave. No shots were fired.

Takoma Police announced in a Friday release they will file criminal charges against Dixon for allegedly assaulting the woman in the incident.

Officials said Takoma Police were called to an apartment building to investigate a report of a homeless individual swinging sticks at people on May 6, and they interviewed Dixon upon arrival. Police said he told them a woman was blocking access to the building, and he told officers he went to his apartment to retrieve his pepper spray and concealed weapon.

Police said there was evidence in the lobby that pepper spray had been deployed. Dixon didn’t mention any use of a gun to officers, but said he pepper-sprayed the woman, according to authorities.

Officers found the woman and confirmed that she’d been pepper-sprayed. They said she also appeared to be in a “mental crisis” and soon was transported for emergency evaluation.

Following that incident, police contacted the Pentagon Protection Force Police to make them aware of the incident and Dixon’s alleged use of force outside his jurisdiction. It was investigated by Pentagon Police.

“A review of all body-worn camera footage related to the incident revealed at no time during the interview with officers or at anytime during our investigation did Mr. Dixon mention he deployed a shotgun against the involved female,” a police statement said.

Police said they were never made aware, by Dixon or anyone else, of his alleged use of the shotgun, nor was the department aware that video of the incident existed until Friday.

In the Wednesday Takoma Park shooting, Dixon said that he thought he saw a car break-in and he “engaged the suspects who failed to follow his direction,” according to police. He said he “discharged his weapon” when those suspects tried to flee, police added.

However, in a Friday press conference, Chief of Police Antonio DeVaul said Dixon’s descriptions of events were “inconsistent.”

“Our investigation revealed that Mr. Dixon’s overview of events was inconsistent with the facts in the case,” DeVaul said. “And that Mr. Dixon had no lawful or justifiable reason to shoot and kill Mr. Williams and Mr. Johnson.”

It’s unclear whether Dixon has obtained an attorney.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Cicada invasion: After 17 years underground, billions to emerge this spring

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(NEW YORK) — In April 2004, “Mean Girls” was playing in theaters and “Yeah!” by Usher was topping the Billboard music charts.

At the same time, around the mid-Atlantic region, small holes in the ground were opening up from which billions of bulky, red-eyed, winged insects would emerge, readying for a bacchanal of singing and mating — and reminding humans of a horror movie.

As the summer of 2004 waned, so did the lifespan, just a few weeks long, of those adult cicadas, and the larvae of the next generation dropped back to the earth where they would spend the next 17 years.

This spring — 17 years later — those cicadas are part of Brood X (ominous as the “X” sounds, it stands for the Roman numeral ten) and for all that time they have been underground eating and growing.

Researchers aren’t sure exactly how many will surface, except that it will be in the billions: They estimate the numbers will be at least 1.5 million per acre, which could mean as many as 30 of the creatures covering your average square foot.

Brood X, sometimes referred to as the Great Eastern Brood, is among the largest in terms of geographical areas in North America, according to the University of Connecticut’s Cicada Mapping Project.

The billions of bugs will come out, scientists say, when conditions are just right: when the soil is 64 degrees and on a night that’s humid enough, but free of wind and rain.

According to John Cooley, who runs the Periodical Cicada Mapping Project at the University of Connecticut, they start very pale and very small, even as small as “a grain of rice.” But once the cicadas are above ground, they grow — and grow fast.

“They’re going to emerge from that hole and go climb up some vegetation and undergo their final molt to the adult form, and that molting process takes about an hour and the newly emerged adult will be very pale when it comes out,” Cooley said. “And over the next couple of hours, it’ll finish very quickly finish expanding its body and then dark enough to have the adult colors.”

After that, the cicadas spend about a week maturing. Once fully grown, their primary objective is — mating.

Their quest to procreate is precipitated by a loud signature “song.” Male cicadas generate sounds with tymbals, an organ that generates sound when it contracts, the hollow body amplifies the sound.

According to a project to prevent hearing in children loss sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, cicada choruses can reach 90 decibels and ordinances in the District of Columbia, the epicenter of the brood, say any sound over 70 decibels is considered a disturbance. (That might be just enough to drown out the political noise in Washington.)

Males sing to entice females, of course, and Jenna Jadin, who has researched the insects at the University of Maryland (and even wrote a cicada cookbook “Cicada-Liscious”), likens the sound to human mating rituals.

“It’s like a bunch of guys at a frat party, they’re all singing[…]some cheesy party song, and then the college sophomore girl sees the guy and she winks at him, and so that’s the female cicada’s click,” Jadin said. “And so then he starts going, ‘hey, baby, hey, baby, hey, baby, hey, baby, hey baby,’ faster and faster and then they find each other.”

After all the singing and clicking, the cicadas mate and the females lay eggs in trees and other plants. Then, after about 4 to 6 weeks of life above ground, the party ends with dead adult cicadas and molted exoskeletons littered literally everywhere and the next generation of cicada larvae heading back underground.

Although the cicadas invade in great volume — to overwhelm the appetites of predators — they are harmless, don’t bite or sting and aren’t toxic. In fact, Jadin says they can make tasty treats.

She says the insects can substitute for nuts or raisins in traditional recipes and notes that around the world, eating insects is common and can be a sustainable and accessible form of nutrition.

She concedes, however, that raw cicadas can taste a bit bitter.

“However, if you’ve cooked them, they basically take on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked in,” Jadin said. “So, I like them dipped in chocolate, I like them fried with batter, or just fried plain with a little bit of spice on them.”

Jadin says it’s best to eat young cicadas recently emerged from the ground, but also cautions that the insects might not be organic if they’ve been living in areas treated by fertilizers or pesticides.

Despite their huge numbers, they shouldn’t do much physical damage. Cooley does recommend that people put netting over any young or delicate trees because cicadas could do damage to branches as they lay eggs and feed.

He also cautions against using and pesticide or repellent, noting it would take a lot of chemicals to ward off so many insects. Instead, Cooley urges people to appreciate the once-in-a-17-year experience and the cicada songs that won’t be heard again until 2038.

“I think the thing to really do is to sit back and enjoy and learn and understand, this is a really quite a unique thing. There are lots of species of cicadas in the world but there are not many periodical cicadas species … so this is kind of a special thing,” he said.

In other words, get used to it.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Another round of severe storms expected Saturday in South

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(NEW YORK) — Millions of people are waking up to flooding rain, damaging winds and possible tornadoes across the Deep South, where round of severe storms is expected Saturday from New Orleans to Tallahassee, Florida.

Friday’s storms continue Saturday morning, with multiple tornado warnings and flash flooding alerts.

There are still tornado watches and severe storm warnings through the morning.

So far, there have been 159 reports of hail across the South and 18 wind reports. One tornado has been spotted, but not yet confirmed, in Pelahatchie, Mississippi. Up to 67 mph wind gusts have been reported and up to 3-inch in diameter hail.

There are more than 121,000 customers without power Saturday in the South, including more than 50,000 without power in Louisiana and over 42,000 in Mississippi.

After facing back-to-back severe storms all week, more storms are hitting the South Saturday afternoon through the evening from southeast Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, extending to the western parts of Georgia.

About 6 million people will be facing damaging winds, flooding rain and a few tornadoes.

These storms move east on Sunday, impacting Northern Florida to New York City.

Up to 4 inches of rain are possible over the next couple of days with these storms.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Off-duty Pentagon police officer charged with murder for allegedly killing two

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mbbirdy/iStockBy Kate Pastor and Michelle Stoddart, ABC News

(TAKOMA PARK, Md.) — David Hall Dixon, a Pentagon Force Protection Agency police officer who was off duty at the time of a fatal shooting in Maryland, has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly killing two people, Takoma Park police said Friday.

Those killed were identified by the Takoma Park police as Dominique Williams, 32, and James Lionel Johnson, 38.

The shooting took place in a parking lot early Wednesday, according to police.

Shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, Takoma Park police responded to reports of shots fired in the parking lot area of the Takoma Overlook Condominiums, according to a department news release issued Wednesday.

An off-duty Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer approached the Takoma Park police and said he had seen what he thought was a car break-in and “engaged the suspects who failed to follow his direction,” according to the Wednesday release.

When the “suspects” tried to “flee” in a vehicle, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency officer “discharged his service weapon,” Takoma Park police said then.

The two men shot were taken to the hospital and died there, police said.

Dixon was also charged with second-degree attempted murder of Michael Thomas, 36 — the driver of the vehicle he shot into, police said Friday.

He also faces three counts for use of a handgun in commission of a felony and two counts of wreckless endangerment, police said.

Dixon was taken into custody without incident Friday morning, according to the release.

Carlean Ponder, an activist with the Silver Spring Justice Coalition, said it was a “relief” that the officer was charged.

“For us, there were many questions surrounding this incident,” Ponder told ABC News.

Ponder also said that the “biggest problem is the excessive use of force,” and the use of lethal force.

The Takoma Park Police Department has scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Friday.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Two remain in critical condition after Texas office shooting, man killed identified: Latest

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By Emily Shapiro and Mark Osborne, ABC News

(BRYAN, Texas) — Two victims remain in critical condition following a Thursday afternoon shooting at a cabinet-making business in Texas, police said Friday.

An employee of Kent Moore Cabinets in Bryan, just outside of College Station, allegedly opened fire, killing 40-year-old Timothy Smith and injuring four others at the facility, officials said.

A sixth shooting victim — a Texas Department of Public Safety officer — was shot and injured while trying to apprehend the suspect, officials said.

Police on Thursday arrested 27-year-old Larry Bollin, of Iola, Texas, and charged him with murder. He’s being held on $1 million bond, according to jail records.

Bollin was an employee of Kent Moore Cabinets, Bryan Police Department Chief Eric Buske said.

Marc Barron, a co-worker, told ABC Houston station KTRK that he’d see Bollin every day.

During the shooting, Barron said they came face to face.

“I turned around and he faces me. We made eye-to-eye contact,” Barron told KTRK. “He basically turned away from me to shoot.”

Bollin had fled the location when Bryan police arrived shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time, authorities said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said its officers tried to take Bollin into custody near Iola at about 3:30 p.m., but the suspect allegedly shot a trooper and fled. Bollin was then found and taken into custody 50 minutes later in the town of Bedias.

The trooper, Juan Rojas Tovar, “remains in critical but stable condition,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday.

A seventh victim was taken to the hospital after suffering an asthma attack.

Amelia Rodriguez, another co-worker, told ABC News, “I don’t know how to feel.”

“Two hours ago, I thought I was gonna pass out, you know, my legs are feeling weak and everything,” she said. “Life is unpredictable, and it can go in a second.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement, “I have been working closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers as they assist local law enforcement on a swift response to this criminal act.”

“The state will assist in any way needed to help prosecute the suspect,” he said. “Cecilia [the governor’s wife] and I are praying for the victims and their families and for the law enforcement officer injured while apprehending the suspect.”

Hours before the shooting, Abbott had criticized President Joe Biden’s new executive actions aimed at gun reform.

“Biden is threatening our 2nd Amendment rights. He just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns,” he tweeted. “We will NOT allow this in TX.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.