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iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The death toll from the Oakland, California, warehouse fire has now climbed to 36 as authorities continue to discover more bodies -- some of them of teens possibly younger than 17 -- after a blaze broke out during a dance party in the building that housed artist studios.

The Oakland Fire Department has searched 70 percent of the charred building so far but had to stop this morning because of unsafe conditions, Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed told Good Morning America Monday. They plan to resume their search for victims later Monday.

“The unfortunate reality of this somber Monday morning is that we’re anticipating additional bodies being recovered within the structure," Reed told GMA Monday morning. "We’re at approximately 70 percent of coverage in terms of the area that we’re able to search, and the 30 percent that’s left is 12 to 15 feet high with debris.”

When Reed spoke, 33 bodies had been found, and the number has now risen by three. Of the 36 victims, 11 have been positively identified, authorities said Monday morning.

The Oakland Fire Department first responded to reports of a structure fire at the warehouse known as the "Ghost Ship" around 11:32 p.m. Friday night. Reed told reporters the facility appeared to function as a residential building that hosted a makeshift artists' studio, as well as parties like the one that took place Friday night.

Authorities Sunday asked families with missing loved ones who attended the party to preserve DNA samples as a way of confirming the identities of those who died in the blaze, and the District Attorney's Office launched a criminal investigation into the incident.

Reed said Monday morning the history of the building is being examined for clues about how the tragedy took place.

“The city of Oakland is still looking at the history with the building. … We’ve got a vibrant community in Oakland that we embrace and we obviously want to make sure that we’re preventing any disasters like this in the future," Reed said.

The Oakland-based weekly newspaper Eastbay Express has previously blamed gentrification and rising rents in the Bay Area for putting the Northern California region's counter-cultural arts scene in a crisis of space and money.

Authorities said Monday morning that firefighters were encountering obstacles in their search due to the precarious nature of the building's structure.

Reed said Monday firefighters are taking mental health breaks as a way of coping with the exhausting and traumatic job they are undertaking.

“We set up at our union hall yesterday for the anticipation of many firefighters that just wanted to kind of watch football together and chill, eat some pizza, debrief with peers before going home to their families. Sometimes it helps to kind of offload those emotions before bringing it home," Reed told GMA.

"We’ve got our peer-support group off the scene, available offsite. We have an incredible number of new firefighters who are realizing the somber effect of a very dangerous fire and the tragic loss in our community.”

Rain is expected in the region on Wednesday, a circumstance that could further complicate recovery efforts for firefighters.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(CANNON BALL, N.D.) — The day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not approve an easement needed to permit the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, sparking a wave of celebration throughout the protest camp, efforts to protest the construction of the pipeline were expected to resume Monday.

The announcement Sunday afternoon marked a major victory for the Native American tribes and thousands of environmentalists and other activists who have demonstrated in solidarity with their cause. Many who gathered at the site of the protest met around a communal "sacred" fire to discuss the victory, and some were too overcome with emotion to put their thoughts into words.

But work on the controversial crude oil pipeline may not have been defeated by Sunday's announcement, at least not permanently, and because of this, the protest camp is expected to resume activity Monday.

Many vowed to remain at camp until a definitive rejection of the pipeline could be secured.

Additionally, at least 2,000 military veterans who arrived Sunday to act as a "human shield" between the protesters and the police have started the process of taking over camp security, a circumstance that had led to mixed emotions around the camp due to the complicated, and often brutal history between U.S. armed forces and Native Americans.

The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, are expected to be present at the camp until Dec. 7. Donations to a GoFundMe account launched by Clark in support of Veterans for Standing Rock, a group he claimed would "assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation," passed the $1 million dollar mark Sunday morning.

Native American groups and environmental activists have been protesting since summer to block construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline that would have cut across four states and transport crude oil from North Dakota's oil fields to refinery markets in Illinois.

The activists, who call themselves "water protectors," say that the pipeline traverses culturally sacred sites and poses a risk to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's water supply.

Prominent progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., applauded the Army Corps' decision to halt work on the pipeline, saying in a statement, "in the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty. We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people."

Canadian author and environmental activist Naomi Klein wrote in The Nation that the Army Corps' announcement demonstrated the efficacy of protest as a way for activists to make gains in the movement to combat man-made climate change.

"The line between resistance and results is bright and undeniable. That kind of victory is rare precisely because it’s contagious, because it shows people everywhere that organizing and resistance is not futile. And as Donald Trump moves closer and closer to the White House, that message is very important indeed," Klein wrote.

President-elect Donald Trump said last week for the first time that he supports the completion the pipeline. Trump has been accused of being dismissive of the concerns of scientists and activists regarding the potential threat posed by man-made climate change.

In a meeting last month with The New York Times, Trump appeared to soften his tone on the subject by acknowledging "connectivity" between human activity and climate change.

"I think there is some connectivity. Some, something," he said in the meeting.

House Speaker Paul Ryan voiced his disapproval last night of the Army Corps' decision, tweeting that it was "big-government decision-making at its worst."

"I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us," Ryan wrote, anticipating the start of Trump's administration next month.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who gained prominence when she left the Democratic National Committee to campaign for Bernie Sanders during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, and was among the more high profile veterans attending the protests at Standing Rock, urged caution to activists, suggesting on Twitter that more fights were likely on the horizon.

"While we celebrate today's news, we cannot be complacent. We must continue to protect our water and preserve our land," she wrote on Sunday night.

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Courtesy of Keith Papini(REDDING, Calif.) — Members of a tight-knit California community gathered over the weekend to welcome home Sherri Papini, a mother of two whose harrowing alleged kidnapping has captured worldwide attention.

Hundreds of people met at the Redding Civic Auditorium on Saturday dressed in pink, Papini's favorite color, and took a Christmas card photo to send to the family as a gift.

Despite swirling rumors and mixed reactions surrounding the family's ordeal, friends and locals rallied together to send a positive message to the Papini's after the 34-year-old's alleged three-week abduction.

Mayor Missy McArthur thanked the residents of Redding for their help, according to KRCR, a local ABC News affiliate.

"We never lost hope, we kept working, we made it happen. We're so proud of our community, and thank you so much," said McArthur.

Authorities are still hunting for the alleged kidnappers. Based on Sherri's description of her alleged captors, Sheriff Bosenko told ABC News that authorities are searching for two Hispanic female adults armed with a gun and driving a dark SUV.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Authorities arrested a man on Sunday who fired an assault rifle inside a popular Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant that has become a target after being featured in a fake news story.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina, entered Comet Ping Pong in Northwest D.C. on Sunday afternoon wielding an assault rifle — sending patrons fleeing from the popular pizza joint — before firing one shot, according to police.

The restaurant was featured in a made up news story circulated online during the presidential election.

Welch told authorities he entered the establishment to “self-investigate" a spurious theory in the story that involves Hillary Clinton.

D.C. Metro Police referred to the story as “a fictitious online conspiracy theory” — but that hasn't stopped believers from harassing the business and its patrons both online and in person.

According to police, Welch entered the restaurant around 3 p.m. and pointed a gun in the direction of an employee. That employee was able to flee and call police, who arrived shortly thereafter and arrested Welch without incident.

Welch discharged his firearm one time. There were no reports of injuries, police said.

Police found two weapons on Welch and another in his vehicle. Welch has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

“What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences,” Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis said in a statement on Sunday.

"I really hope that all these people fanning the flames of this conspiracy theory would take a moment to contemplate what has gone on today and maybe to stop,” he told WJLA, an ABC affiliate.

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Twitter / @bayreef (WASHINGTON) -- A North Carolina man who fired a gun Sunday at a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. said he was there to "self-investigate" a fake news conspiracy theory, according to police.

The online conspiracy theory "Pizzagate" has circulated since the presidential election with fake news stories alleging crimes involving Comet Ping Pong, a popular pizza place in the nation's capital, and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Around 3 p.m. Sunday, the Metropolitan Police Department said officers responded to reports of a man with a firearm at Comet Ping Pong. The man allegedy pointed a firearm in the direction of an employee at the restaurant and police said the employee was able to escape and call authorities.

The suspect then fired at least one shot inside the restaurant, police said, but there were no reported injuries. Two firearms were recovered from inside Comet Ping Pong and an additional weapon was found inside the suspect's vehicle, according to police.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina, was arrested without incident and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue said in a statement.

Police added later that in a "post arrest interview" Sunday night, the suspect said he was at Comet Ping Pong to "self-investigate 'Pizza Gate' (a fictitious online conspiracy theory)," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Initially police said they did not have any information linking the actions of the suspect to the false conspiracy theory.

Since the fake news stories about "Pizza Gate" first began, Comet Ping Pong employees said its owner, staff, and other businesses nearby received threats and have been attacked on the internet, according to the Washington Post.

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JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MANDAN, N.D.) -- The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced Sunday in a statement.

The Army claimed in a statement that Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy based her decision on a need to explore "alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing."

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell released a statement in support of the decision, saying that the "thoughtful approach established by the Army Sunday ensures that there will be an in-depth evaluation of alternative routes for the pipeline and a closer look at potential impacts."

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe also praised the decision, and thanked both the Obama administration and the many people who supported the effort to stop the pipeline from being built across Lake Oahe.

"We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing," Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement. "The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision."

The news comes on a day when at least 2,000 U.S. military veterans have arrived at Standing Rock amid frigid cold to help battle against the construction of the pipeline.

The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force Sunday to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.

They joined the months-long demonstration at what felt like a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor had issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5.

 

Today's @usarmy announcement underscores that tribal rights are essential components to analysis of #DAPL going forward.SJ pic.twitter.com/2VAiubBTLL

— Sally Jewell (@SecretaryJewell) December 4, 2016

 

But the evacuation order, which could have come with mass arrests, was made prior to Sunday's statement by the Army.

Protesters and their supporters showed little inclination to back down, prior to the announcement this afternoon.

Donations to a GoFundMe account launched by Clark in support of Veterans for Standing Rock, a group he claimed would "assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation," passed the $1 million dollar mark this morning, coming from more than 24,000 individual donors, according to a page promoting the cause.

Standing Rock protesters described the veterans' mission as serving as a kind of "human shield" between peaceful demonstrators and police.

In addition to Clark's "peaceful militia," the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights told ABC News on Friday that it would send commissioners to North Dakota to monitor for any possible civil rights violations, as clashes between protesters and law enforcement have at times turned violent.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based company behind the Dakota Pipeline, has argued that concerns about its potential to pollute water are unfounded.

He also wrote in an internal memo to staff in September that "multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route," suggesting that the construction of the pipeline would not affect Native Americans who live in the area where it is being built.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A small school bus carrying a group of high school cheerleaders from a football game collided with an 18-wheeler in West Texas late Friday night, killing one passenger and leaving two in critical condition, officials said Saturday.

The Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District bus was carrying six cheerleaders and two cheerleader sponsors, when the 18-wheeler slammed into it on Interstate 20 in Howard County, said Iraan-Sheffield School District Superintendent Kevin Allen.

 The fatality was Elizabeth Pope, a cheerleader sponsor, according to reports.

The seven injured people were hospitalized following the crash: As of Saturday afternoon, four had been treated and released. A spokesman for University Medical Center in Lubbock said three remained hospitalized — two in critical and one in satisfactory condition.

According to KMID, an ABC affiliate in Odessa, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating the collision.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- At least eight buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts, were damaged by a 10-alarm fire, officials said Saturday.

About 140 firefighters were on the scene as of 6 p.m., the Cambridge Fire Department said.

There were three or four minor injuries as a result of the fire, according to fire officials, and 60 people were displaced. Shelters for those affected by the fire were said to be opening at a local recreation center.

According to ABC affiliate WCVB-TV, at least one building had collapsed in the massive fire. The building was under construction and officials believed it was where the fire started, WCVB-TV reported.

The Cambridge Fire Department said they were thankful the incident started early in the afternoon so people were awake and aware of the situation.

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moodboard/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- Authorities have confirmed nine fatalities from a fire that swept through a warehouse in Oakland, California, where a party was taking place late Friday night, but the death toll is expected to rise as firefighters worked overnight to secure the space so they may remove the bodies of other victims.

Multiple bodies "have been seen but have not yet been reached," because the building's unstable structure has prevented firefighters from removing the bodies, Alameda County Sheriff Sgt. Ray Kelly said Saturday, adding that "a couple of dozen" of party-goers remain unaccounted.

Heavy equipment, including excavators arrived overnight to begin digging out debris. Kelly said the roof of the building had collapsed and firefighters were shoring up the charred structure to ensure it is safe before recovery crews can enter.

Kelly said authorities are prepared for a mass causality event and they will be on scene for days to come. Most of the victims were in their 20s and 30s, and some were not from the U.S., he said.

 The Oakland Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire on 31st Avenue at around 11:32 p.m. on Friday night. Most of the bodies were found on the warehouse's second floor, which was only accessible by a makeshift stairwell assembled with various materials, according to Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed.

Reed said the warehouse appears to be a work and residential building that hosts a makeshift artists' studio. It's unclear if the building is equipped with smoke alarms, the fire chief added.

"We are also working with federal partners to determine the cause of the fire and assist with the investigation moving forward," Reed said in a press release Saturday afternoon. "Due to structural damage from the fire, the ongoing investigation efforts and search for additional victims will be methodical and are anticipated to take some time."

 An official briefed on the ongoing investigation said there were stacks of wooden pallets inside the warehouse that essentially served as kindling for the fire.

Preliminary indications suggest the blaze was not caused by arson, but rather an electrical fire. The power went out inside the building when the fire began and the flames blocked the building's only exit, making it difficult for people inside to escape, the official told ABC News.

Investigators will look into the building's inspection history and will try to determine whether the owner was aware what the structure was being used for. Criminal charges could be possible depending on the outcome of the investigation, the official said.

 One person who was inside the warehouse at the time of the fire told ABC affiliate KGO that the building is home to about 18 people who use it as an artist collective.

Officials told KGO there was an event with at least 75 people inside when the flames erupted Friday night.

Footage from the scene showed the building engulfed in flames as plumes of thick, grey smoke billowed into the dark sky.

Meanwhile, a vigil had been planned for Monday evening at The Pergola at Lake Merritt in Oakland. According to the event's Facebook page, more than 800 people have RSVPed.

And a relief fund set up by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghostship Oakland Fire, has already raised more than $100,000 as of Sunday morning.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(MANDAN, N.D.) -- There may be a looming showdown in the coming days in the already contentious demonstrations in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Local authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the site near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation where hundreds of activists are camping out in protest of the controversial crude oil pipeline. Those who have not cleared out by Monday could be arrested, authorities said.

Authorities said they issued this evacuation order as a safeguard against the winter conditions.

Meanwhile, a military veterans group announced that at least 2,000 vets would "deploy" to the area on Sunday to defend the demonstrators if local authorities move in to clear out the camp this weekend. In addition, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights told ABC News on Friday that it would send commissioners to North Dakota because of the commission's civil rights concerns.

"We are concerned with numerous reports and testimony regarding the use of military-style equipment and excessive force against protesters," the USCCR said in a statement. "Our concerns are compounded by the disproportionate police use of excessive force against Native Americans, who are more likely than any other racial group to be killed by police."

Despite the looming possibility of confrontations, arrests and the below-freezing temperatures, many demonstrators said they will continue their protests.

"I'm not going anywhere," Terrell Iron Shell, 23, who came to Standing Rock from Rapid City, South Dakota, in early August, told ABC News from inside a yurt, a traditional nomadic home, erected on the contested land. "I'm willing to set my life on the line to protect this water, to protect this way of life, Unci Maka, mother earth. And so, I’m willing to do whatever it takes." Unci Maka is Lakota for "grandmother earth."

"I’m willing to give my life for this cause. I hope it doesn't come down to that. But you know Crazy Horse once said, 'Today is a good day to die,’” he added, referencing a historical Native American leader.

Iron Shell, a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, is one of the original members of the International Indigenous Youth Council, an advocacy group that has become known for its commitment to remaining peaceful during confrontations with police.

The activist is also a descendant of Chief Iron Shell, a widely respected Brule Sioux chief who was among the first tribal leaders to sign the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which established the Great Sioux Reservation, a vast territory that has since been cut down by acts of Congress into checkerboard remnants of its original version.

Iron Shell said there's a lot of talk among the protesters about what's going to happen on Monday.

Since this summer, Native American groups and environmental activists have been battling to block construction of the 1,172-mile pipeline that is slated to traverse four states and transport crude oil from North Dakota's oil fields to refinery markets in Illinois. The activists, who call themselves "water protectors," say that the pipeline traverses culturally sacred sites and poses a risk to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's water supply.

Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based company behind the project, has argued that those claims are unfounded, writing in an internal memo to staff in September that "concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded" and "multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route."

Iron Shell said it's important that people understand the protesters’ concerns.

"We've been silent for so long, with the historical trauma that we face," he said. "A lot of these things that happened to us in the past, our identities were taken from us, our voices were taken from us, and now we have them back and we're fighting for the water, we're protecting the water."

Wesley Clarke, Jr., who is among those mobilizing fellow veterans, said on the GoFundMe page he established that he and fellow organizers "are calling for our fellow veterans to assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation." That GoFundMe campaign has raised over $900,000 in support.

Their mission is to "defend water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security," Clarke added.

The leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, called on the United Nations and President Obama to "take immediate action to prohibit North Dakota from engaging in its retaliatory actions and practices," in response to the mandatory evacuation order issued for demonstrators by North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple earlier this week.

“This week is the anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. It’s time for the United States to end its legacy of abuses against Native Americans," Archambault said in a statement Thursday.

“As a tribal nation, we call on the President to take all the appropriate steps to ensure water protectors are safe and that their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly are protected," Archambault added.

The advocacy group Amnesty International, which has dispatched a delegation of human rights observers to the protest site, sent a letter earlier this week to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the "policing of the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrators."

“[T]he Civil Rights Division should deploy observers to the area to ensure that the rights of people opposed to the pipeline are respected, protected and fulfilled," Amnesty International U.S. Executive Director Margaret Huang states in the letter. "Should your investigators uncover any civil rights violations by law enforcement, individual officers should be charged and prosecuted as warranted.”

Energy Transfer Partners filed for a court order two weeks ago asking for the right-of-way to complete construction of the pipeline without further intervention from the federal government. The court has yet to rule on the matter.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  The University of Southern California has confirmed that a man stabbed to death Friday afternoon at its Los Angeles campus was a faculty member. It also confirmed that the suspect in police custody is a student.

In a letter sent to staff and students, USC president C.L. Max Nikias identified the victim as Bosco Tjan, a professor of psychology with the university's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. LAPD said the student's name would be released after he was interviewed and booked.

Tjan, also the co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging, joined the USC faculty in 2001 and was an expert in perception, vision, and vision, cognition, Nikias wrote.

According to the LAPD, Tjan was killed inside the Seeley G. Mudd building around 4:30 p.m. A male student was arrested without incident immediately after police arrived at the scene of the attack but his name was not released.

The USC Department of Public Safety said in a statement that investigators believe the attack "was the result of a personal dispute."

 USC's Nikias said in his letter, "Our Department of Public Safety officers responded immediately, and apprehended the suspect on the scene. The suspect was confirmed to be a student, and is in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department. We are extremely proud of our Department of Public Safety officers for their quick response, and our university counselors for immediately offering support at the scene."

Nikias said on Monday the school's dean of religious life, Varun Soni, "will bring the campus community together for reflection and prayer."

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Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Jury deliberations in the state murder trial of former North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager, who was arrested for the shooting death of an unarmed black man, will resume Monday.

The jury said they were deadlocked twice Friday afternoon, and after the second time, they requested additional explanation of the law in an attempt to reach a unanimous decision. Ultimately, the jury ended up breaking for the weekend without a verdict.

Earlier Friday afternoon, the jury sent three notes to the judge, indicating their divisions and that specifically there was a single holdout.

The holdup comes at the end of Slager's high-profile state murder trial. Slager, who is white, was accused of killing Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, at a traffic stop on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston while Slager was an officer with the city's police department. Witness video that surfaced shortly after the deadly encounter appears to show the moment Slager fatally shot Scott as he ran away. The video garnered national attention, propelling Slager into the spotlight.

Slager had pleaded not guilty to murder. But as the trial concluded this week, the jury was also allowed to consider a voluntary manslaughter charge, officials told ABC News. The voluntary manslaughter charge was requested by the prosecution and the judge allowed it based on testimony he heard during the trial.

"The court must let the jury decide if the force used was reasonable," Judge Clifton Newman said. "That's the essence of the case."

Slager also faces a federal trial, which is scheduled for next year.

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Courtesy Abigail Terrazzino and Jeremy Terrazzino(GATLINBURG, Tenn.) -- Amid news of death and destruction in Gatlinburg, Tennessee -- one of the hardest hit areas by the wildfires this week -- is one family's story of hope.

Jeremy Terrazzino and his wife, Abigail Terrazzino, live in a neighborhood in Gatlinburg called Chalet Village.

When flames consumed their neighborhood Monday evening, they said they were fortuitously nearly a thousand miles away in New Jersey, visiting family as part of an extended Thanksgiving holiday.

Upon hearing news of the blaze, they immediately drove back to Tennessee, the couple told ABC News Friday. However, they had not been able to check in on their home until this morning, when officials allowed homeowners and renters back into the city to assess their properties.

Jeremy Terrazzino said what his family found was "nothing short of a miracle."

"We didn't know what to expect on the drive up to the mountain to our home," he said. "All along the way we saw mansions, houses -- all completely gone."

But upon turning onto their road, Jeremy Terrazzino said he and his wife were "stunned" to discover that their home was left untouched by wildfires.

"It was a pretty moving experience," he said. "You could see the ground and land was charred all the way up to the base of our house, but it just stopped right there."

Jeremy Terrazzino added that discovering his home was spared from the fires wan't the only miracle his family experienced this week.

He said that his parents -- who stayed behind when he and his wife went to New Jersey during the past weekend -- narrowly escaped the wildfires.

When he called to check in on them on Monday evening he said, "My mom was crying, saying she loved us and wasn't sure if they were going to make it."

Jeremy Terrazzino said that his parents -- Joseph Terrazzino and Patricia Terrazzino -- immediately got in their car and tried to drive down the mountain, but the fire had spread so fast and "completely blocked" them from getting down onto the main road below.

"I was obviously really scared," he said. "I kept remembering this one saying that became my mantra, 'Let your faith be bigger than your fear.'"

Joseph Terrazzino and Patricia Terrazzino eventually stopped in the parking lot of a clubhouse near the base of the mountain, their son said.

"There weren't a lot of trees in the area and there was a pool there," he said, "so they parked there -- along with a few other cars -- and rode the fire out."

A fire rescue crew was able to help get them out early the following morning, Jeremy Terrazzino said.

"It's been crazy, unbelievable," he said. "We know that unfortunately, a few people didn't make it and a lot of houses were lost as well. It's heartbreaking and we send our deepest condolences and sympathies."

Jeremy Terrazzino said he and his family are currently staying in a cabin and will be "playing it by ear," in terms of next steps.

"It'll certainly take some time to rebuild the whole community," he said.

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Sioux Falls Fire Department(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) -- A 22-year-old woman was pulled alive from the rubble of a building that collapsed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, according to local reports.

Around 10:30 a.m. local time, the Sioux Falls Fire Department posted a photo showing the collapsed building, saying firefighters were working "as rapidly and safely as possible" to locate two people trapped in the debris.

Three hours later, firefighters rescued the woman from the pile of rubble, ABC News affiliate KSFY-TV reported. The woman was wearing only a T-shirt as temperatures hovered around 32 degrees, but authorities said she was doing well, according to KSFY-TV.

After finding the woman, firefighters announced on Twitter that they were continuing to search for the second victim. The woman was an occupant of the building, while the second victim is a construction worker, KSFY-TV reported. 

Rescue efforts need to be methodical, as there are additional structural issues. Safety for rescuers and the public is top priority.

— Sioux Falls Fire (@SiouxFallsFire) December 2, 2016

The fire department said the building collapsed due to a construction-related incident and that the structure was still at risk. Power was shut down in the downtown area where the building was located. A photo posted to Twitter showed the firefighter carrying a husky that was pulled out of the rubble. The dog was rescued minutes before the woman was found, police said. 

pic.twitter.com/pZIucXMTWH

— Sioux Falls Fire (@SiouxFallsFire) December 2, 2016

The building had been vacant since September and was slated to reopen as a drug store next spring, KSFY-TV reported.

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ABC News(HOUSTON) -- A man who posed as a UPS delivery driver and three others are wanted in a violent robbery, caught in part on camera, according to Houston police.

The robbery occurred on Nov. 22 around 8:40 p.m. local time at a residence on Willers Way in Houston, Texas, police said. A surveillance camera outside the home captured part of the incident, according to police.

In the surveillance footage, one suspect -- clad in a UPS jacket and brown baseball cap, and carrying a package -- is seen approaching the door to the residence. Police said the man rang the doorbell, claiming he needed a signature for the package.

After the homeowner opens the door, the surveillance footage appears to show the man forcing his way into the home. Three other suspects brandishing guns and wearing hoodies or masks then appear and also enter the home.

Upon entering, police said the suspects assaulted a man inside the residence with a pistol. At some point during the struggle, a shot was fired, though no one was struck, police said.

The man was later transported to a local hospital for severe neck and head injuries, police said. Two women inside the house were able to grab two small children and lock themselves in closets to stay safe, according to police.

The suspects stole several pieces of jewelry and collectible firearms before fleeing the scene in a getaway car, police said.

Authorities are cautioning homeowners in the area to not open the door if they don’t recognize their regular delivery person.

The Houston Police Department is working with UPS in the investigation, according to local ABC-owned station KTRK-TV.

"We're still trying to understand how the suspect gained access to that jacket. UPS is fully cooperating,” Houston Police Department Sgt. Tony Mora told KTRK-TV on Friday. “Their full-time employees are the ones who are normally issued that jacket.”

In a statement, UPS said it was aware of the incident in Houston and added that it is "cooperating with law enforcement as they are leading the investigation."

"We appreciate the public’s trust extended to our delivery personnel and hope the perpetrator is quickly apprehended and [brought] to justice," UPS said.

The company also offered advice: "If consumers are concerned about the identity of UPS personnel, they should ask to see a photo I.D. Consumers can also direct that the parcel be left at the door without a signature required. Residents do not have to sign for a delivery unless they specifically ordered that the delivery be made with ‘signature required.’

"Further, UPS offers online services including UPS My Choice, which provides email alerts on the delivery status and time frame for the delivery. Shipments also can be routed to a local UPS Access Point location if the consumer prefers to pick up the parcel at a nearby neighborhood UPS Store or other participating retailer, rather than having it delivered at their residence.”

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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