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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Former college soccer coach Oral "Nick" Hillary was found not guilty Wednesday in the murder of Garrett Phillips, the 12-year-old son of his ex-girlfriend.

The decision was made by Judge Felix Catena. Hillary waived his right to a jury trial and requested a bench trial.

Garrett's younger brother, Aaron Collins, burst into tears after the judge announced his decision, and Garrett's mother, Tandy Cyrus, cried softly. Hillary embraced his attorneys and left the courtroom shortly after the decision was announced.

First responders took two stretchers to the courthouse after the verdict to assist distressed family members, including Garrett's cousin Kayla Phillips, who is believed to be one of the last people who saw him alive. Kayla, who appeared distraught, was then escorted down the courthouse steps and to a waiting car.

 Garrett had just begun the sixth grade when he was found unresponsive in his Potsdam home in October 2011. Cyrus had dated Hillary for about one year, and the two broke up months before Garrett's death.

Hillary was arrested several years after Garrett's death, and the case went to trial this September in Canton, New York, a town about 10 miles from Potsdam.

Hillary told ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas earlier this year, before the trial began, that he's innocent.

 "I have absolutely nothing to do with what has happened to Garrett," Hillary said. "Why would I even want to hurt a child, after having worked with kids for over two decades? It just blows my mind."

Hillary, a father of five, was smiling and laughing with his lawyers before the verdict was read. Afterward, he cried tears of happiness.

As he prepared for trial, Hillary told Vargas earlier this year that he tried to keep his children "in as much as a normal setting, but obviously it’s impossible."

"The one good thing to always hear [was my teenage daughter] Shanna come home and say, 'You know, Dad, you know, all my friends who know who you are, who have been to the house, who have interacted with you, they are very supportive of you.'"

Hillary said he had to sit down with his children "and let them know, 'Look, your dad has absolutely nothing to do with the death of Garrett Phillips' ... My kids look back at me and [say], 'Dad, we know that’s not who you are.'"

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — The father of New York and New Jersey bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami told ABC News that his wife and one of his other sons have been detained in Afghanistan, after being pulled off a flight in Dubai and questioned for 16 hours by authorities there.

In his first in-depth broadcast interview, Mohammad Rahami said his wife, Najiba, and son, Qassim, were trying to return to the U.S. when they were held in the United Arab Emirates and eventually sent to Kabul.

"Why send my son back to Afghanistan? He is a U.S. citizen. You have any questions? Bring him home, [don't] send him to a different country," Mohammad Rahami said of Qassim.

The elder Rahami denied that anyone in his family, including Qassim, had anything to do with Ahmad's alleged bombings in New York and New Jersey on Sept. 17 that injured 29 people.

Mohammad Rahami, whose family is originally from Afghanistan but lived in New Jersey, said that he hadn't spoken with Ahmad since a falling out in May. But he knew that in the months before the attack, his son had become secretive, changed the lock on his bedroom door and became extremely angry when a young relative once tried to enter without permission.

Ahmad's wife left the U.S. in June -- for dental work in Afghanistan, according to Mohammad -- and that's when a criminal complaint says Ahmad began buying bomb components. Mohammad said that also appears to be when Ahmad started to grow out his beard.

"He did everything by himself. He buy everything by himself -- order, online, he did [it] by himself," Mohammad said.

After the bombing, Mohammad said it was the FBI that told him his son was the suspect.

Though Mohammad said he was "shocked" at the news, he also responded by telling agents, "This is [a] stupid son."

In light of the bombing, Mohammad described Ahmad as "not a human being... not a Muslim."

"If you're Muslim, you respect your father. If you're Muslim, you respect religion. If you're Muslim, you respect your country," Mohammad said.

Mohammad said that as far back as 2011 he was concerned his son may have fallen in with the "wrong kind of people" during a trip to Pakistan. Mohammad said his brother, who lived in Pakistan, warned him about suspicious characters Ahmad may have been in contact with, but neither Mohammad nor his brother knew exactly who the people were.

When Ahmad was back in the U.S. the next year, Mohammad said he caught him watching disturbing jihadist videos online. Mohammad kicked him out over it.

"I said, 'Listen, if you watch this video in my home, please leave my house,'" Mohammad said.

A U.S. official previously told ABC News that Ahmad returned to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2013 and stayed for nearly a year before coming back to the U.S. in 2014.

It was after his return in 2014 that Mohammad called the FBI on his son after a domestic dispute. Mohammad said he told federal agents they needed to "watch this guy" and that Ahmad was "not a normal person."

The FBI said last week they looked into Ahmad at the time and found no terror ties. Law enforcement officials also alleged that Mohammad had called the FBI back and recanted some of his statements about Ahmad.

In the interview with ABC News Tuesday, Mohammad said that's not true and that he never recanted.

"No. It's 100 percent wrong," Mohammad said. "They [did] not do their job."

Mohammad said FBI agents were the ones to tell him that Ahmad was not a terrorist in 2014. "I said, 'Thank you, God, that's very good,'" Mohammad said.

Coincidentally, Mohammad said the FBI agent with whom he interacted in 2014 was present when Ahmad was shot and captured last week.

Just hours before Mohammad's interview with ABC News Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey responded to a question in a Senate committee hearing about Mohammad allegedly telling the FBI that Ahmad was a "terrorist" by saying that those "facts are wrong about what [Ahmad's] father told the FBI."

"But there as well, we will go back and scrub our prior contact with that matter very, very carefully," Comey said.

Comey said it did not appear that the suspect had acted as part of a terror cell. Federal agents said, however, they're looking closely at some of the radical social media posts shared by one of Ahmad's sisters who lives in Pakistan. Mohammad was surprised when he saw what was on a Facebook page that appeared to belong to his daughter and said he did not believe it could be hers because she's "a really good person."

"No, no. She's never part of that thing," Mohammad said.

The bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami, 28, is still being treated in a hospital in New Jersey for serious gunshot wounds he purportedly sustained in a shootout with police.

Mohammad told ABC News he spoke with Ahmad's doctor Monday, who told him Ahmad was suffering from some infections. Mohammad said he was not told if his son was expected to survive.

Ahmad has been charged with a litany of crimes related to the bombing -- in which 29 people were injured -- and the police shootout. When asked about the possibility that his son could spend the rest of his life in prison, should he pull through, Mohammad said that it is all in Allah's hands.

"He needs a trial, that's what he wanted," Mohammad Rahami said. "I told him, 'If you do wrong, you're going to receive bad [things].' He didn't listen to me."

Mohammad also told ABC News he wanted to apologize to the victims of his son's purported bombing.

"I say to everybody, 'I'm sorry, forgive me,'" he said. "I don't have any connection [to the bombing] but I still say, 'I'm sorry.'"

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iStock/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) — Heat and dry conditions are stoking a fast-moving wildfire in California that has burned more than 2,000 acres in just over a day, at times sending flames shooting 100 feet up into the air.

Evacuations remained underway for hundreds of residents near California's Santa Cruz Mountains Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle the blaze.

The fire, which started Monday around 3 p.m., had scorched more than 2,250 acres and was 10 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit.

At least one home has been destroyed and another damaged, in addition to at least six smaller structures.

"We grabbed a few days' worth of clothes and that's all we've got," resident Mike Cecere said.

Record-breaking, triple-digit heat in addition to California's drought helped fuel the blaze, driving it from just a spark to more than 3.5 square miles of scorched land in barely more than 24 hours. More than 500 firefighters were working around the clock to contain it.

"After dark, as we're fighting fire in unfamiliar terrain -- with obviously dangers of the fire itself and the movement of the fire -- it definitely presents a considerable amount of danger to us, you know, besides just that firefighting aspect," Capt. Christopher Salcido told ABC News affiliate ABC7 News in San Francisco.

Cal Fire said that 300 structures were threatened, and announced mandatory evacuations for several nearby communities. The National Weather Service radar station was forced to shutter after flames started lapping near the building.

One firefighter was reportedly injured and Cal Fire said that one home had been destroyed in addition to a structure.

"I'm a little nervous," Mary Lindsay told "I can see all the smoke billowing up from the fire."

The fire's cause remained under investigation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(EL CAJON, Calif.) — Police in El Cajon, California shot and killed an unidentified black man Tuesday afternoon, sparking protests.

Police said they received a call from the man's sister saying he was “not acting like himself,” walking in traffic and endangering himself and motorists.

Two officers approached the man and instructed him to take his hand out of his pants pocket, police said.

The man did not respond to the instructions and at one point "rapidly drew an object from his front pants pocket, placed both hands together and extended them rapidly toward the officer taking up what appeared to be a shooting stance," police said.

At that point, one officer discharged a taser while the other officer shot the man several times with his firearm. The man was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A witness to the shooting provided a cellphone video that police say supports their version of events. The video has not yet been released.

El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis vowed a thorough investigation.

"This will be transparent," he said. "This will be looked at by multiple sets of eyes, and not just ours."

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Sean Rayford/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- A suspicious package was found at the headquarters of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Tuesday -- days after a black man was killed by police, sparking violent protests.

Police said an employee in the mail room noticed the package and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in to investigate.

According to Capt. Mike Campagna, the bomb squad removed the package using a robot and was trying to determine if it was dangerous.

No threat accompanied the package, which a city official said contained a light bulb, cellphone and flashlight.

Further information was not immediately available.

Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by police at an apartment complex on Sept. 20.

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Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Peaceful protesters crowded Charlotte, North Carolina's first city council meeting since the cop shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, with over 50 people speaking out against police violence.

But none of them stood out Monday quite as much as a young girl.

Zianna Oliphant, her hair done up in braids and tears streaking her face, brought into focus the stress police shootings place on children, as well as the pain the black community of Charlotte has suffered in the wake of Scott's death last week.

“I’ve been born and raised in Charlotte. And I never felt this way until now and I can’t stand how we’re treated,” the grade-school girl said, wiping away tears.

She expressed the hardship that children face when a parent dies. Scott himself, who was African-American, had seven children.

“It’s a shame that we have to go to their graveyard and bury them. And we have tears. We shouldn’t have tears. We need our fathers and mothers to be by our side,” she said.

Zianna, as well as the protesters in the room who chanted "no justice, no peace" after she spoke, helped to underscore the degree to which communal wounds have been slow to heal in North Carolina’s most populous city since the shooting.

Protests started on the streets of Charlotte after news of Scott's shooting broke last Tuesday and, occasionally, became violent as they continued deeper into the week.

The scene grew especially tense Wednesday night when police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Some people in the crowds threw bottles and rocks at officers and passing cars, blocked an interstate highway, surrounded and jumped on vehicles, looted businesses and stormed the entrance of a Hyatt hotel, injuring two of its employees.

At the city council meeting, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts called for decorum at several points during public remarks. At several points, protesters yelled criticism of her and Police Chief Kerr Putney.

After the meeting wrapped up, The Charlotte Observer reported, more than 20 protesters moved to the lobby of the Government Center.

“Release. Release. The whole damn tape,” the protesters chanted, according to the newspaper.

Ray Dotch, Scott's brother-in-law, on Monday called for the release of the entire video of his shooting in an interview with ABC News.

Chief Putney has released body and dashboard camera videos of the fatal police shooting of Scott, answering to demands made by community leaders, protesters and politicians. But it is not entirely clear from those videos or from the one taken by Scott's wife, Rakeiya Scott, that the victim had a gun on his person, as the police allege. It is also not entirely clear that he brandished it in such a way that would have posed a threat to the officers who approached him.

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Courtesy Dylan Ryder(NEW YORK) -- A man has been arrested in connection with the explosion at a house in New York City this morning that killed a veteran firefighter and injured more than a dozen people, a law enforcement source told ABC News

Julio Salcedo, 32, was arrested this afternoon in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, the law enforcement source said.

Fire officials and police originally responded to the single-family house in the Bronx this morning after receiving a report of a gas odor, Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro said at a news conference this morning.

After knocking on the door of the home, Salcedo exited the house and fled just before the home blew up and subsequently caught on fire, according to the law enforcement source briefed on the case.

A large piece of debris from the house's roof struck FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy in the head, and more than a dozen other people on the street were injured, Nigro said. Fahy and those injured were transported to a local New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where Fahy succumbed to his injuries and died.

"We lost a hero today and our members are all saddened," Nigro said. He added that Fahy and responders were able to evacuate the surrounding area before the explosion.

The New York City Police Department had been in the initial stages of investigating the home as a possible marijuana grow house at the time of the explosion, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said at the news conference.

Trained eyes saw remnants of the alleged marijuana growing operation in the wreckage Tuesday, and the house was most likely being rented by a local area distribution crew, according to the law enforcement source briefed on the case.

The source added that ConEd had turned off gas to the home when officials initially responded to the report of odor.

Investigators are now apparently looking at possible alternate gas sources, including butane hash oil production, the law enforcement source said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that it is investigating, alongside local New York City authorities, to determine whether the blast was possibly connected to the alleged marijuana growing operation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags in the city to fly at half-staff Tuesday in memory of Fahy, a 17-year veteran of the FDNY and a father of three.

Tuesday was "a very sad day for our city," de Blasio said at the news conference.

The mayor added that Fahy "made the ultimate sacrifice to this city," and that his loss was "a reminder of the dangers that our first responders face every day, the dangers that the men and women of the FDNY face and the bravery with which they do their job."

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ABC News(EUCLID, Ohio) -- The Ohio high school football player whose death came two days after he suffered a game-related injury died of peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal cavity lining, which resulted from a small-bowel laceration caused by blunt impact to his abdomen, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said.

Andre Jackson’s autopsy was performed Tuesday, as video emerged showing his collision with an opposing team member in a game last week.

In the video, Jackson, visible by his No. 48 jersey, can be seen attempting to retrieve the ball before he appears to be unintentionally kicked in his abdomen by a member of the Solon High School football team. The opposing player tumbles forward after coming into contact with Jackson.

Jackson, 17, died Sunday, two days after being injured during Friday night's game against Solon High School, district officials announced that day. His head football coach, Jeff Rotsky, told ABC Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV that Jackson was injured during a "pooch kick" when both he and another player were going for the ball.

Rotsky said he thinks Jackson either got "kicked or kneed" during the "pooch kick," a low, short kickoff that tends to bounce on the ground before the receiving team picks it up. He called the special teams play "completely normal."

After Jackson was injured in the play, he went to the hospital and was later released, the Solon City School District confirmed with ABC News. That district released the game video.

Jackson, a junior at Euclid High School, played fullback and outside linebacker for the school, according to WEWS-TV.

In a statement, Euclid High School called Jackson a "hardworking student athlete" who "brought smiles to all those with whom he came in contact."

Rotsky said that Jackson "deserved so much more, adding that "a day won't go by" that he won't think about his smile.

"He was what you want to see out of a young man who wanted more out of life," Rotsky said.

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Courtesy Melissa Barvels(NEW YORK) -- One 8-year-old has penned a hilarious, and brutally honest, how-to-guide for surviving third grade.

Christopher Bannon, of Staten Island, New York, wrote the guide, simply titled “How to Survive 3rd Grade," for a school assignment, according to his mom, Melissa Barvels.

Christopher and his third grade classmates were assigned to write their own survival guides after reading “Amelia’s School Survival Guide” by Marissa Moss.

Christopher’s tips for third graders include everything from the obvious – “Always work quietly or else” and “Do not forget your homework” – to the very specific.

“Do not lay down in the meeting area,” Christopher wrote. “Trust me I have tried it is not as comfortable as it looks.”

When Christopher brought his survival guide home, his mom found it so funny she shared it on Facebook. Christopher told his mom he got a similar reaction from his classmates and teachers.

“He said when he read it aloud his teachers and friends were laughing,” Barvels told ABC News. “He really wanted me to read it and he was really proud of it.”

Barvels, who described her son as “very witty,” said she was particularly impressed by how spot-on the tips were, especially coming from an 8-year-old.

“Look good on picture day because if you do not it is not going to look so good as a magnet on your refrigerator door,” Christopher wrote.

Another spot-on tip?

“Pick your groups wisely because there is no turning back once you get a paper,” he wrote.

“I guess he has to deal with that all the time,” Barvels said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) — Residents of Cedar Rapids, Iowa watched warily Tuesday as floodwaters continued to rise to levels not seen since record flooding in 2008 that caused some $10 billion of damages and claimed one life.

The Cedar River approached 22 ft. in the city Tuesday morning, on its way to a crest of 23 ft later in the day, according to National Weather Service predictions. The water was causing major flooding already, with a growing list of streets and highways being shut down

The city laid some 250,000 sandbags in preparation of Tuesday's crest, constructing 10 miles of temporary levees around low-lying areas of the city.

"Residents are reminded that 16 feet is considered major flooding, and the river is predicted to crest at 23 feet," city officials warned. "Temporary flood control measures have been constructed over the last 2-3 days in an effort to contain rising water, but are no guarantee of safety."

"We have seen the system working," mayor Ron Corbett told KCRG, a local ABC affiliate. "We built this [barrier] to 26 feet... so it isn't an issue of the water going over the temporary system. It's really more of pressure over a 48-hour period that we're worried about a breach or a compromise in the system."

Even as the mayor praised the city's preparations, he warned about the lingering danger of the floodwaters.

About 1,400 homes and 400 business could be inundated if the temporary flood wall fails, the Des Moines Register reported. A breach in the barrier could send a dangerous surge of water streaming into the city.

"The crest is the peak but the river is going to fall slower than it has risen," Corbett said. "So really we have this critical period now. If we can get through this, if the system works, we will have saved Cedar Rapids from the second largest disaster in our community's history."

Members of Iowa's National Guard arrived in the city on Monday to assist in the flood preparations, KCRG reported. Guardsmen helped police patrol evacuated areas, and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew.

Col. Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard told KCRG the hard lessons from 2008's disaster helped bring about a higher level of preparedness.

"2016 is a totally different year," he said. "The water is not nearly as high. The city of Cedar Rapids has done an amazing job preparing for it. They are so far ahead of this particular flood than 2008, when they were trying to play catch up."

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JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images(SANTA CRUZ, Calif.) -- Evacuations remained underway for hundreds of residents near California's Santa Cruz Mountains Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle the fast-moving Loma blaze.

The fire, which started Monday around 3 p.m., had scorched at least 2,250 acres and was 10 percent contained, according to the Cal Fire Santa Clara Unit late Tuesday.

Record-breaking, triple-digit heat in addition to California's drought helped fuel the blaze, driving the flames from just a spark to more than 3 square miles Monday. More than 500 firefighters were working around the clock, with more on the way.

"After dark, as we're fighting fire in unfamiliar terrain -- with obviously dangers of the fire itself and the movement of the fire -- it definitely presents a considerable amount of danger to us, you know, besides just that firefighting aspect," Capt. Christopher Salcido told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.

Mandatory evacuation orders were announced for Little Uvas and Croy roads, according to KGO-TV. Cal Fire said that 300 structures were threatened. The National Weather Service radar station was forced to shutter after flames started lapping near the building.

One firefighter was reportedly injured and Cal Fire said that two homes had been destroyed.

"I'm a little nervous," Mary Lindsay told "I can see all the smoke billowing up from the fire."

The fire's cause remained under investigation.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — A boater who was recently rescued after spending eight days at sea in a life raft has finally arrived back on land in Boston, where he is expected to be reunited with family and friends and interviewed by the Coast Guard. His 54-year-old mother, Linda Carman, remains missing.

Nathan Carman, 22, was dropped off in Boston's harbor Tuesday morning by a Chinese freighter called the Orient Lucky.

The freighter had been carrying Nathan Carman since Sunday, when he was found more than 100 nautical miles from Martha's Vineyard, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Nicole Groll.

It had been more than a week since the 22-year-old and his mother were reported missing by family and friends, Groll told ABC News.

Nathan Carman was found in a life raft with food and water. Linda Carman, however, was not in the raft and has been presumed dead, Groll said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The Carmans, who are from Middletown, Connecticut, had originally set out on a fishing trip from Point Judith, Rhode Island, on Saturday, Sept. 17, and were reported missing the following day after failing to return, Groll said.

The Coast Guard performed an exhaustive search for the Carmans for six days, covering an area larger than Georgia, according to Groll. The search was suspended on Friday, Sept. 23, after the Guard failed to locate them, though a freighter located Nathan two days later.

After being rescued, Nathan Carman told Coast Guard officials that his 32-foot aluminum center console boat had taken in water sometime on Sept. 18, Groll said.

He also explained to officials that when he went to escape in the vessel's life raft, he could not find his mother.

The Carmans' boat sank near Block Canyon off the coast of New York, Groll said. She added that no mayday call had been made from the boat, though it was unclear if the vessel had a radio.

Coast Guard officials are hoping to get a "clearer understanding" of what happened to the boat Tuesday.

On Monday, family and friends hung yellow ribbons and signs on the Carmans' home, ABC television affiliate WTNH reported.

Family friend Sharon Hartstein told WTNH that Linda Carman was a "momma bird" who would protect her son "at all costs."

"I was thrilled that they found [Nathan], and then I was devastated that Linda wasn’t with him," Hartstein said, adding that she and the family still hope Linda will be found.

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iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A gunman who wounded nine people near a shopping center in Houston Monday morning was dressed in a "military-style" uniform and had Nazi emblems, police said.

Police first received a call of firearm discharge at 6:29 a.m. local time. When they arrived at the scene, the suspect, a lawyer, was inside his car armed with two guns and firing randomly at people passing by. Police shot and killed the gunman and he was pronounced dead on scene, according to the Houston Police Department.

More than 75 shell casings were recovered from the scene from shots fired by both the gunman and officers, Houston Police Department Captain Dwayne Ready said at a news conference tonight.

Six people were transported to the hospital for injuries, including one in critical condition and one in serious condition who are expected to survive. Three others were treated and released, police said.

Investigators searched the suspect's vehicle and nearby apartment. Nearly 100 pieces of evidence have been collected thus far, police said.

Officials recovered a .45 semi-automatic handgun, .45 semi-automatic "Tommy Gun," 2,600 rounds of live ammunition as well as vintage Nazi emblems and civil war paraphernalia from inside the suspect's Porsche and person. Nazi emblems and military items "going back to the Civil War" were also found inside the man's apartment, Ready said.

Officials would not confirm the name of the suspect, who police say is believed to have acted alone.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI are assisting the ongoing investigation.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is in Cuba for a trade mission, told ABC-owned station KTRK-TV that the incident may have been related to the suspect's work.

"[The suspect] was either fired or had a bad relationship with this law firm," Turner said.

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Meghan Keneally/ABC News(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) -- The 2016 presidential race has turned Hofstra University into something of a campaign carnival Monday ahead of the first debate of the general election.

There was a marching band performing for cable news, cheerleaders doing routines among reporters, and college students — many of whom are going to be voting in their first election — were transported back to their childhoods with free turns in a White House-shaped bouncy castle.

The lively, fun-filled atmosphere here in Hempstead, Long Island, doesn’t hint at this year’s rather acrimonious political climate.

Erin Daley and Monica Feijoo, both 19-year-old sophomores, are planning to vote for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton respectively, but their different political allegiances didn’t stop them from enjoying the free ice cream and T-shirts being handed out near the school’s student center today.

“Peace is possible,” Feijoo joked.

Another set of sophomore roommates, Abby Salamon and Hadas Hayun, were more politically aligned, telling ABC News they’re both planning to vote for Trump.

“Even though it doesn’t seem like he has all of the knowledge or information he may need right now … I think he’ll grow into the position [once elected],” Hayun said.

Though college campuses tend to skew liberal, it comes as little surprise that the Republican scene at Hofstra is fairly vibrant. In the 2012 presidential election, President Obama did win Nassau County with 52.9 percent of the vote, but Mitt Romney was right behind him with 46.9 percent. Trump has had several large rallies on Long Island.

For an even more old-school effect, many of the students have turned to sidewalk chalk to air their opinions. Some opted for politically charged statements -- “Let Gary Debate” was one, while Black Lives Matter supporters also made their mark. There were also a number of Harambe shout-outs that served as a reminder that this is all taking place on a college campus.

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iStock/Thinkstock(VINTON, Iowa) -- Iowa residents are waiting nervously as the swollen Cedar River rises steadily to its highest levels since a devastating flood in 2008 that caused some $10 billion in damages and took one life.

The river in Cedar Rapids is now 19.4 feet, a level at which major flooding can occur, officials said Monday.

The city's mayor, Ron Corbett, said only an estimated 50 percent of residents in lower-lying areas designated for voluntary evacuation had complied. Altogether, about 5,000 people live in the evacuation area, The Des Moines Register reported.

Corbett said he "won't drag people out but please, please leave."

“It’s crunch time in Cedar Rapids," the mayor said at a news conference Monday morning. "The next 48 hours are the most critical, are the most dangerous.”

“The next 48 hours we need 100 percent cooperation from the citizens in both the evacuation area and outside the evacuation area,” he said. "I want to make sure the confidence we have doesn’t let our guard down."

Authorities had asked residents living in designated evacuation areas to leave by 8 p.m. Sunday evening in anticipation of flooding. The mayor also issued a nightly curfew within the evacuation area from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., starting Sunday evening and lasting until further notice.

The National Weather Service predicts that the river will crest Tuesday morning.

“This will likely go on record on the second-largest flood in the city's area." Jen Winter, public works director of Cedar Rapids, said at the press conference. For safety, she said, “no one should be walking, biking, or driving, within this evacuation area.”

The city is preparing for the worst, making preparations for “water rescues and water-based operations,” by staging boats on both sides of the river.

“Waters are rising, so please remember to be safe and stay out of flooded areas,” Fire Chief Mark English said. “Six inches of water can knock you down, two feet of water can sweep your car away.”

The river crested in the town of Vinton at just under 22 feet at 3 a.m. Monday, less than three feet shy of the record in 2008.

Floodwaters invaded streets, inundating homes, businesses, parks, yards and stopped traffic in parts of the town.

"I think it could have been a lot worse," resident Becci Sloan told KCRG-TV, a local ABC affiliate, hours before the river crested. "There's going to be a lot of trash left over and a lot of wood and debris."

Emergency crews stood vigil, preparing for the worst.

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