It’s Friday, September 24th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Police reportedly have made an arrest in the shooting last May at a northwest Miami-Dade banquet hall that left three people dead.
The Miami Herald reports 22-year-old Davonta Barnes was booked into the Miami-Dade jail late Thursday night on three counts of first-degree murder and 20 counts of attempted first degree murder. Barnes, a native of Miami Gardens, is being held without bond. The Herald reports police believe Barnes acted as a suspected lookout for the shooters. The shooting took place just after 12:30 a.m. at a release party for a local rap artist at El Mula banquet hall, located at 7630 Northwest 186th Street. The Miami-Dade Police Department said two people initially died at the scene and another died later at an area hospital.
No. 2 - A federal grand jury has indicted Brian Laundrie following the death of his fiancé Gabby Petito -- not for killing her, but for unauthorized use of a debit card after she died.
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Laundrie, however, remains missing, and the search for him has not gotten any closer to a resolution. The indictment alleges that Laundrie made unauthorized use of a debit card between Aug. 30 and Sept. 1 to access $1,000 or more in value. Paperwork filed alongside the indictment noted that Laundrie could face up to 10 years in prison on the single count - and that the government would seek his detention pending trial. Law enforcement officers and specialized dive teams returned to a Florida nature preserve for the third straight day Thursday in hopes of finding Laundrie, the fiancé of Gabby Petito, the young woman who officials say was killed while on a road trip with him.
No. 3 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday. The advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot. However, Walensky decided to make one recommendation that the panel had rejected. The panel on Thursday voted against saying that people can get a booster if they are ages 18 to 64 years and are health-care workers or have another job that puts them at increased risk of being exposed to the virus.
No. 4 - Fort Lauderdale Police believe three men are behind at least two cold and calculated murders.
On April 8, 2020, Caleb Fields was gunned down outside of a Fort Lauderdale convenience store in the 800 block of Northwest 22nd Road. Surveillance video shows two men jump out of a pickup truck and then chase Fields. A driver stays in the truck. Detectives say Fields was shot multiple times in broad daylight with innocent bystanders nearby. Sixteen days later and less than four miles away from where Fields was killed, detectives say the same trio came to an apartment complex on Davie Boulevard. They killed Ruddy Alisca and injured his friend. To hear why police don’t think either was an intended target, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Laura Rodriguez.
No. 5 - The condo collapse of Champlain Towers South along Collins Avenue in Surfside is one of the worst building failures in recent history. 98 people died in the building collapse nearly three months ago.
Investigations are ongoing by town and federal investigators. It could take months to years for an official result. Students in Florida International University’s College of Engineering and Computing want to understand more about how it happened. Professor Atorod Azizinamini leads a team of Ph.D. students at the university. Their projects include an MRI-type machine to find corrosion inside concrete and steel fibers mixed within to keep materials in place longer. Click here to see more in a report from NBC 6 investigator Phil Prazan.
No. 6 - The mental health of high school and middle school students has never been a bigger concern.
Both the Broward and Miami-Dade school districts invested more money and resources into the emotional health of their students this year, and students see the need, as well. Student identification cards for all public middle and high school students now have the suicide prevention hotline and crisis text line printed on their back sides. These can be crucial resources for any students who might be having serious issues. Students at McArthur High School won the statewide Democracy In Action contest with that proposal, to put mental health information literally in the hands of every high school and middle school student. One year later, it’s a state law. Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.