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Texas shooting: Two people killed by armed gunman at church near Forth Worth | World | News


One person died at the scene of the shooting and one en route to the hospital, the Dallas Morning News said, citing a spokeswoman for local emergency services. Authorities were rushing to the scene at White Settlement, a suburb northwest of Fort Worth, where the West Freeway Church of Christ is located, local media said. The Fort Worth Fire Department issued an “active threat” assignment at around 11.30am (17.30pm GMT) local time and was assisting operations at the scene, according to reports.

A witness told a local CBS affiliate that a man armed with a shotgun walked up to a server during communion and opened fire, before being shot by a person attending the service.

“You feel like your life is flashing before you.

“I was so worried about my little one,” witness Isabel Arreola told the network.

Authorities believe the attacker was among the three people shot but it was not known whether he had been killed or injured, CBS 11 reported.

Mike Drivdahl, spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department, said the shootings took place at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, about 10 miles west of Fort Worth.

He said he had no information on the motive for the attack.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty said one person died at the scene of the shooting and one person died en route to a hospital.

She said all the victims are male and Mr Drivdahl said that one of those shot was the gunman.

It was not immediately clear whether he was killed.

A witness told CBS11 News the gunman walked up to a server during Communion with a shotgun and began firing until another church member shot the suspect.

“It was the most scariest thing,” Isabel Arreola told the TV station.

“You feel like your life is flashing before you.

“I was so worried about my little one.”

Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement of condemnation for the “evil act of violence” at a “sacred” place of worship.

“I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” Mr Abbott said.

“I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”

White settlement is a city of about 17,000 people in Tarrant County.

Mr Drivdahl said his fire department was assisting city and county authorities in the investigation.

Bomb sniffing dogs were on the scene as a precaution, Mr Drivdahl said.

He added that he did not know how many people were attending the service when the shooting started.

“It’s a very tragic day whenever anyone in our community suffers,” Mr Drivdahl said.

“It not only affects people who were here today, it affects first responders as well.”



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Nebraska man on death row for killing 4 – but Texas woman says she’ll marry him: report


A 33-year-old Nebraska man on death row for killing four people within 10 days in 2013 has at least one friend still in his corner: a 46-year-old Texas woman who reportedly has confirmed that she and the killer plan to marry.

But Dawn Arguello of Lubbock isn’t happy that Nikko Jenkins – who authorities say committed the murders within three weeks of being released from prison on a robbery and assault conviction – recently had her name tattooed on his face.

CALIFORNIA SHOOTOUT, STANDOFF WITH COPS RESULTS IN DEATHS OF WOMAN, 2 CHILDREN

“I was very (ticked) off that he did that,” Arguello told the Omaha World-Herald. “He doesn’t need to be self-mutilating like that.”

Arguello added she isn’t happy about the way her husband-to-be has been portrayed in the local press.

“If you believe the media,” she said, “he’s the most hated man in Nebraska besides Charles Starkweather.”

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

Nikko Jenkins has been linked to four murders committed within 10 days in 2013, authorities say.

The reference was to the 1950s serial killer of 11 people whose story inspired several movies, including “Badlands” in 1973 and “Natural Born Killers” in 1994. After his conviction in one of the murders, Starkweather was executed in Nebraska in 1959 at age 20.

Jenkins is not like Starkweather at all, she said.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be,” she told the World-Herald. “He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.

“He’s not what the media has made him out to be. He’s an enigma. He has feelings. He’s very sensitive.”

— Dawn Arguello, fiancee of death-row inmate

“He’s very intelligent,” she added, “and, yes, he’s very manipulating.”

According to authorities, Jenkins received help from family members in executing the four murders to which he’s been linked. They say he convinced his sister and a female cousin to lure two men with a promise of sex acts in an Omaha park, then Jenkins himself appeared and suddenly blasted the two men in their heads with a shotgun.

A few days later, Jenkins, his sister and another man went to a neighborhood in Omaha, supposedly to commit a robbery. Instead, Jenkins killed the man, authorities said.

Then a few days after that, Jenkins pulled a mother of three out of her SUV and killed her, according to authorities.

Jenkins’ death sentence, issued in 2017, was Nebraska’s first since the state’s voters reinstated capital punishment in a November 2016 vote.

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In 2014, however, the Nebraska Legislature ordered a special investigation into Jenkins’ case because some critics noted that, while in prison prior to the murders, Jenkins had spent more than half of his sentence in solitary confinement. The critics claimed the isolation may have had an effect on his mental health, possibly resulting in the killing spree so soon after he was released.

Arguello met Jenkins while doing volunteer work for a nonprofit organization that advocates for death-row inmates and their families. She also has a criminal record of her own, with convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence, felony child abuse and felony credit card abuse, the World-Herald reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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Massive fire at chemical plant in southeastern Texas contained


Flames from a massive chemical plant fire in southeastern Texas have finally been contained, 48 hours after twin explosions rocked the Gulf Coast, officials said Friday.

“We are in a position to say it’s contained,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick told reporters near the TPC Group plant in Port Neches Texas, about 90 miles east of Houston. “We feel comfortable with the efforts that have been made by our firefighters.”

While the fires still haven’t been completely extinguished, officials said they have a handle on flames that have been burning since Wednesday.

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“We still have active fires. We are confident the fires have been contained,” TPC Group Director of Health Safety and Security Troy Monk told reporters on Friday.

“I would love to tell you that we were going to be done by the end of the day. I would not be telling you the truth if I made that statement. If is very difficult for us to quantify, in days, how long this is going to take.”

Cloud of smoke in the background from the TPC Group Port Neches Operations explosion is visible from a little league baseball park on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Port Neches, Texas.Marie D. De Jesus/Houston Chronicle / AP

A mandatory evacuation for 50,000 people was also lifted for neighbors of the TPC Group.

“If we anticipated another explosion, we would not be lifting this evacuation order,” Branick said.

The blasts happened near where TPC makes butadiene, a chemical used to make synthetic rubber and other products, company officials have said.

The blasts, which happened at 1 a.m. Wednesday and then 13 hours later, injured three employees, shattered windows, ripped doors off hinges and sent debris flying for miles.

Monk warned residents not to touch any debris and to be especially careful if they see white, chalky material — which could be asbestos from the 1940s-era plant.

“Any debris or any suspected debris needs to be left alone,” Monk said. “Any debris that you have is potentially contaminated debris and there’s two issues. One, we don’t want anyone that’s not qualified to remove that material to remove it and expose themselves and two, this debris, if it contaminated, has to be disposed of properly.”

Associated Press contributed.



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Evacuations ordered after plant explosion in southeastern Texas


Evacuations were ordered for residents near a southeast Texas refinery after a chemical explosion set off a fire early Wednesday, officials said.

A blast just after 1 a.m. ignited a fire, which moved rapidly throughout the facility, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Crystal Holmes said.

Three workers at the site were injured and are being treated, according to TPC Group, which owns the site. The company’s website says it provides a range of products to chemical and petroleum-based companies. TPC said it had accounted for all site personnel and that they had been evacuated.

“The event is ongoing, but will be brought under control as quickly and safely as possible,” it said in a statement early Wednesday.

Neighbors within a half-mile of the plant were being evacuated. The explosion from the Port Neches plant, which produces chemical and petroleum-based products, blew out windows on homes several miles away, the Associated Press reported.

Residents began making initial reports of the blast on social media about 1:20 a.m.

Shawn Dunlap, who lives in Nederland, which is next to Port Neches, told NBC News that there were two explosions, and his friend’s apartment door was blown open and windows were shattered.

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“It shook our house twice,” Dunlap said. “It was just like a bomb going off.”

William Joshua Hranicky, 20, of Port Neches, said that he told his brother goodnight and looked out the back window and “saw just orange.”

He said he told his brothers to run as the back doors blew open from the blast.

Macy Malin, 22, who was staying with a friend down the street from the site said the explosion woke her up. Her friend’s family, she said, were yelling and she realized that their home had been severely damaged.

“Their doors were blown open … doorknobs themselves were shot across rooms,” she said.

Malin then hurried home to Mauriceville, Texas, some 34 miles from the explosion, where she said her father was even woken up by the blast.

To drive home, she said, she had to travel in heavy traffic past the plant and she was worried about what would happen if there was another explosion.

“We didn’t know what had exploded and what gasses were in the air,” she said. “I’ve never seen the traffic like that ever.”

Omar Hamza, a 22-year-old student at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas was at his family’s home in Port Neches with his 19-year-old brother when the explosion happened.

“I was packing my bag in the living room and I heard this pretty loud boom and I looked out and, right after, I saw this really bright flash of light coming towards the window and then everything just kind-of exploded,” he said.

“I grabbed my brother and we just kind of got down and waited for all the glass and stuff to stop falling.”

Hamza said he called the police who advised him to stay put inside the house but that he and his brother decided to leave.

“We waited for a little bit and we kind of looked outside and everyone was running around and freaking out,” he said. “So we just grabbed the important stuff we needed, I left a note on the door, and we left.”

People on social media posted videos and images appearing to show a large fireball. One person who said he lives nearby said the “shockwave” of the blast was felt.

On its website, the TPC Group said it employs more than 175 full-time employees and 50 contractors.

Port Neches and Groves are southeast of Beaumont and not far from the Louisiana state line.

Associated Press, Kurt Chirbas and Saphora Smith contributed.





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Two injured in TPC Port Neches, Texas chemical plant blast: official


HOUSTON (Reuters) – Two workers were injured in an early Wednesday explosion at TPC Group’s chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, that felt more than 30 miles (48 kms) away from the plant, said a law enforcement official.

KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, quoted Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick saying all workers had been accounted for following the blast that shattered windows and blew doors of their hinges.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said two injured people were taken to an area hospital.

Captain Crystal Holmes of the sheriff’s office said rescuers were “able to pull two injured employees out.”

The plant employs 175 and routinely has 50 contract workers on site.

A company spokesman was not immediately available to discuss the blaze.

The extent of the injuries were unknown, said five sources familiar with the fire-fighting and rescue operations in Port Neches.

Residents within a half-mile (0.8 KM) of the plant were ordered to evacuate.

Holmes said in addition to search and rescue operations in the plant, police officers were going door-to-door in nearby neighborhoods to check for injured people.

Some homes sustained heavy damage from the initial explosion and several secondary blasts, the sources said.

Firefighters continued to battle the blaze two hours after the first explosion, which occurred at about 1 a.m. local time (0700 GMT), the sources said.

The Port Neches plant can produce more than 900 million pounds (408,233 metric tons) of chemicals, according to the company’s website.

Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Arpan Varghese, editing by Louise Heavens

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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