Former NFL quarterback shot after argument with girlfriends ex, police say

Former NFL quarterback Anthony Wright was shot multiple times during a domestic dispute in North Carolina on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

Wright, 43, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to his body when officers arrived on scene at a suburban home in Concord, North Carolina, about 20 miles northeast of Charlotte. He was transported to an area hospital with “life-threatening injuries” and was “rushed into emergency surgery,” according to the Concord Police Department.

His current condition is unknown.

After interviewing witnesses at the scene, investigators determined that Wright had gotten into a “verbal altercation” with his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend who had showed up at the house to drop off his daughter. An argument between the two men ensued and shots were fired, police said.

PHOTO: William Willie Moses Hooker Jr. is pictured in this undated photo.
Concord Police Depart.

William “Willie” Moses Hooker Jr. is pictured in this undated photo.

The Concord Police Department has issued a warrant on William “Willie” Moses Hooker Jr., 46, for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. Hooker is believed to be responsible for shooting Wright and was armed with a handgun at the time of the incident, according to police.

Hooker was last seen driving a black 2015 Honda Accord with a North Carolina license plate, police said. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000.

After playing college football at the University of South Carolina, Wright had a decade-long career as a quarterback in the for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants. Wright retired following a back injury.

Start Here: Harris scores big, Trump sees backlash for parade, ICE fining migrants

It’s Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Let’s start here.

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1. Party crasher

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., scored big with her first Democratic debate performance, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Harris is tied for third place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at 11%, according to the poll, with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at the top of the heap with 29% and 23%, respectively. Among respondents, 41% said Harris stood out in her performance, 15 to 22 points in front of Biden, Sanders or Warren.

“Kamala Harris is coming on very strong here and has crashed the party of the top-tier contenders,” ABC News Political Director Rick Klein says on “Start Here.” “It is a direct result, according to our poll, of the debate.”

2. ‘Salute to America’

President Donald Trump has hyped up a parade, a concert and a show of force on the National Mall for the Fourth of July, but the White House is facing a backlash over the cost of the taxpayer-funded event and whether it’s turning the holiday into a political rally.

Trump will address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial at his “Salute to America” event, a break from tradition where U.S. presidents generally avoiding the spotlight on America’s birthday.

“We’ve been told that this is not expected to be a political speech — the president has said that — but sources in the White House are cautioning [that] you never know what the president is going to do here,” ABC News’ Katherine Faulders tells us. “Democrats in Washington, D.C., already view the president trying to turn this into a political event and not a celebration of America.”

PHOTO: Guests watch a fireworks display on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Oliver Contreras/Sipa USA via AP

Guests watch a fireworks display on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

3. A fine state of affairs

The Trump administration is fining people who are living in the U.S. illegally and refusing deportation orders, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed, with some undocumented immigrants being told they owe hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The president signed an executive order upon taking office that called for collecting fines from immigrants “unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.”

Those who defy orders to leave, such as immigrants seeking sanctuary in churches, are facing up to $799 in daily fines, according to ICE. The agency said officials began issuing fines in December.

ABC News’ Anne Flaherty shares what she’s heard from immigration lawyers: “For one of these clients, they’ve been sitting in a church in North Carolina for almost a year. That fine equals $300,000.”

PHOTO: A woman originally from Guatemala sleeps on a pew bench at the El Calvario Methodist Church, after she was released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, June 3, 2019 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A woman originally from Guatemala sleeps on a pew bench at the El Calvario Methodist Church, after she was released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, June 3, 2019 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

4. War crimes

Former Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes, including the killing of a teenage ISIS prisoner in Iraq in 2017, was acquitted of all charges on Tuesday except for taking a photo with the body of a dead captive.

But the most shocking part of the trial was a fellow service member’s testimony. SEAL Corey Scott told the military jury that while Gallagher stabbed the prisoner, it was him, not Gallagher, who blocked the teen’s airway, killing the prisoner to prevent him from being tortured by Iraqi forces.

The SEAL community has been held in high esteem since the raid that captured Osama bin Laden, but this case has revealed a different side of the service members, according to ABC News’ Luis Martinez, who says the trial “exposed a lot of the SEAL community’s dirty laundry.”

“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.

Elsewhere:

‘You want to experience it as many times as you can’: In Argentina, a total eclipse of the sun is seen.

‘The printer has been instructed to begin the printing process’: The 2020 U.S. Census, after a Supreme Court decision last week, is being prepared without a citizenship question.

From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

NBA Free Agency Diary: Waiting on Kawhi could mean the Lakers miss out on everyone: Leonard has the Lakers, Clippers and Raptors on hold for the moment, as executives from those teams nervously grind their teeth while hoping for the best.

Doff your cap:

Throughout recorded history, the United States has proven quite capable of defeating England.

PHOTO: Kelley OHara of the U.S. and teammates celebrate winning the Womens World Cup Semi Final match between England and the US, July 2, 2019, in Lyon, France.
Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Kelley O’Hara of the U.S. and teammates celebrate winning the Women’s World Cup Semi Final match between England and the US, July 2, 2019, in Lyon, France.

Tuesday was no different, as goals by Christen Press and Alex Morgan propelled the U.S. to a deserved 2-1 victory over the Brits and into Sunday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Final against the winner of today’s Netherlands-Sweden matchup.

Against either, the U.S. is an overwhelming favorite, according to our friends at FiveThirtyEight.

Tanks, fighters readied for Trumps July 4th celebration but cost not being disclosed

Two M1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles were moved into place Tuesday night to be on “static display” during President Donald Trump‘s “Salute to America,” a defense official told ABC News, as part of the president’s effort to re-shape the annual July Fourth celebration on the National Mall.

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Suitable locations around the Lincoln Memorial that can bear the tanks’ 60-ton weight were being looked at as possible locations, another defense official told ABC News.

Trump was set to give a speech at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in front of the Lincoln Memorial, highlighting the U.S. military, and multiple fighters and other aircraft were preparing for flyovers above the Mall during the president’s remarks.

PHOTO: Two M1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles transported to Washington DC for July 4 festivities are seen at a rail head in Washington D.C.
Patrick OGara/ABC News

Two M1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles transported to Washington DC for July 4 festivities are seen at a rail head in Washington D.C.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday, “The Pentagon & our great Military Leaders are thrilled to be doing this & showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World. Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks!”

But one thing that’s not known is how much the military’s participation will cost taxpayers. Officials are saying little and congressional Democrats have complained their questions aren’t being answered.

The flyovers will include the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team as well as other aircraft from the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. That includes one of the Boeing 747s that serves as Air Force One and the public’s first look at the new version of the Marine One helicopter that is not yet on active duty.

Typically, the costs associated with military flyovers at civilian events are said to be covered by annual training budgets, but for now there’s no real estimate for what the final tab will be for the military’s participation in the July Fourth events.

“The cost to DoD for support to the Salute to America is undetermined at this time,” said Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman. “The DoD will collect all associated cost data from the individual services.”

PHOTO: Two M1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles transported to Washington DC for July 4 festivities are seen at a rail head in Washington D.C.
Patrick OGara/ABC News

Two M1 Abrams tanks and two Bradley Fighting Vehicles transported to Washington DC for July 4 festivities are seen at a rail head in Washington D.C.

On hand for Trump’s event at the Lincoln Memorial will be some of the nation’s senior military leaders, including some of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a defense official.

But the military’s role in the event has garnered criticism from one veterans group.

“No political candidate or party, no government office and no elected official should co-opt Independence Day for partisan agendas,” Jeremy Butler, the CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, wrote in Time magazine.

“In our increasingly divided society, Independence Day is one where all Americans can celebrate the great gift of our freedom together. To cheapen that gift with partisan actions dishonors the sacrifices of men and women who protect that freedom with their lives.”

PHOTO: An F/A-18D Hornet, with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 224, conducts an aerial refuel in Norway, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, Oct. 24, 2018.
Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Giannetti/U.S. Marine Corps

An F/A-18D Hornet, with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 224, conducts an aerial refuel in Norway, during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, Oct. 24, 2018.

At the same time, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has not seen many complaints on its social media platforms

“I can’t speak for VFW’s huge membership but on behalf of the National Organization we are not going to judge how the President of the United States chooses to celebrate Independence Day, which is one of only three military holidays (along with Memorial Day and Veterans Day),” said Joe Davis, the VFW’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs.

Most of the military aircraft participating in the flyovers will be making roundtrips to the Washington, D.C., area from their bases. They include Air Force F-22s, an Air Force B-2 Stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, the 747 that serves as Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, two Navy F/A-18Es from Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia, 2 Marine MV-22s from Quantico, Virginia, and the new Marine One VH-92 that isn’t in service yet and will be flown by its manufacturer, Sikorsky.

However, two Navy F-35C Joint Strike Fighters will fly cross country from Lemoore, California, to be in place ahead of Thursday’s events.

The military will likely call the transport of the armored vehicles and the use of military aircraft flying above the nation’s capital as training missions, the rationale being that the aircraft would be flying training missions anyway.

This is the standard used for dedicating specific aircraft to fly over major sporting events like the Super Bowl.

PHOTO: Air Force One, with President Donald Trump, lands at the Osaka International Airport for the G-20 Summit, June 27, 2019, in Osaka, Japan.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Air Force One, with President Donald Trump, lands at the Osaka International Airport for the G-20 Summit, June 27, 2019, in Osaka, Japan.

The military services include the costs of training flights into their annual budgets, so no extra costs will likely be incurred for those aircraft flying to the D.C. area from bases across America.

For example, the entire B-2 Stealth bomber fleet is stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. The aircraft’s round trip flight to Washington and back will be covered by training budgets, including the plane’s $122,000 per hour flight cost that includes the cost of fuel, the flight and overhaul costs for the aircraft and its engine.

After all the talk about the military’s role and its preparations for the new July Fourth celebration, it may all come down to the weather. As of Tuesday evening, weather forecasts called for a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms on Thursday night in the Washington, D.C., area.

Temperatures heating up as weekend storms possible

Six of the last seven days the temperatures at Chicago’s Midway airport have reached at least 90 degrees, with yesterday’s high of 92 being the hottest there so far this year.

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Other notable temperatures on Tuesday included a high of 98 in Miami.

On Wednesday, a heat advisory has been issued for much of the Southeast as the Heat Index could approach 110.

PHOTO: A heat advisory has been issued for Wednesday.
ABC News

A heat advisory has been issued for Wednesday.

The Fourth of July is forecast to be similarly scorching, with humidity creating conditions that feel like at least 100 degrees from the Plains and Gulf Coast all the way to the East Coast.

PHOTO: A heat wave is expected on Thursday for much of the U.S.
ABC News

A heat wave is expected on Thursday for much of the U.S.

In addition to the heat, storms with heavy rain are a possibility for several regions.

PHOTO: The Southeast could see more thunderstorms on the July 4.
ABC News

The Southeast could see more thunderstorms on the July 4.

Parts of the Plains and East Coast could see more than 3 inches of rain and localized flooding over the holiday weekend.

PHOTO: Lots of rain is expected over the holiday weekend.
ABC News

Lots of rain is expected over the holiday weekend.

Border Patrol packed migrants in facilities, held kids beyond legal limit: Watchdog

U.S. Border Patrol agents packed migrants into overcrowded patrol stations near the Rio Grande Valley, creating conditions so poor that one facility manager called it a “ticking time bomb,” according to a new government watchdog report made public on Tuesday.

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In one example, Homeland Security Department inspector general investigators allege that many of the detainees were held in standing-room only conditions for a week and hadn’t showered in a month.

PHOTO: Overcrowding of families observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 11, 2019, at Border Patrols Weslaco, TX, Station.
Office of Inspector General/DHS

Overcrowding of families observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s Weslaco, TX, Station.

The report makes similar allegations about border stations near El Paso, Texas.

This latest finding by the independent investigators alleges that most of the children held at children-only shelters didn’t have access to showers and were not given a change of clothes.

PHOTO: Eighty-eight adult males held in a cell with a maximum capacity of 41, some signaling prolonged detention to OIG Staff, observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 12, 2019, at Border Patrols Fort Brown Station.
Office of Inspector General/DHS

Eighty-eight adult males held in a cell with a maximum capacity of 41, some signaling prolonged detention to OIG Staff, observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 12, 2019, at Border Patrol’s Fort Brown Station.

The report states that 50 migrant children under the age of seven traveling without their parents were being held in custody at the facilities – some waiting more than two weeks before finally being transferred to a longer term shelter.

The government has wound up with thousands of these children it calls “unaccompanied alien minors” because it does not allow extended relatives such as aunts, uncles and grandparents to accompany children across the border. In the month of May alone, the government counted 11,000 “UACs” at the border.

The watchdog office inspected five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley. Children at three of the facilities did not have access to showers and some kids were not provided hot meals, a requirement outlined by government detention standards. Inspectors did find that facilities were stocked with infant formula, diapers, baby wipes as well as juice and snacks.

PHOTO: Overcrowding of families observed by Office of Inspector General, June 10, 2019, at Border Patrols McAllen, TX, Station.
Office of Inspector General/DHS

Overcrowding of families observed by Office of Inspector General, June 10, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Station.

Upon reviewing Border Patrol data, the inspectors found that more than a third of the 2,669 kids kept in the facilities had been held for longer than the 72 hours generally allowed by government regulation. Out of the total population of kids in the inspected locations, more than 1,000 were classified as unaccompanied minors and more than 1,500 had traveled with parents or guardians.

Homeland Security said the number of kids at these facilities was reduced to less than a thousand last week.

PHOTO: Overcrowding of families observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 11, 2019, at Border Patrols McAllen, TX, Centralized Processing Center.
Office of Inspector General/DHS

Overcrowding of families observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Centralized Processing Center.

“We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained,” Acting Inspector General Jennifer Costello wrote in the report.

Station managers told inspectors that some detainees had taken to clogging toilets with clothing and Mylar blankets, getting themselves released while maintenance workers made repairs.

Some detainees had attempted to escape during maintenance work, according to the report.

PHOTO: Standing room only for adult males observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 10, 2019, at Border Patrols McAllen, TX, Station.
Office of Inspector General/DHS

Standing room only for adult males observed by the Office of Inspector General, June 10, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Station.

DHS said in its response included in the report that it’s devoted to the care of individuals in its custody “with the utmost dignity and respect.”

“The current migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis are rapidly overwhelming the ability of the federal government to respond,” DHS wrote.

Pence cancels New Hampshire event without explanation, returns to White House

Vice President Mike Pence cancelled a planned trip New Hampshire at the last-minute on Tuesday and returned to the White House, without explanation, although his press secretary said there was “no cause for alarm.”

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Pence was scheduled to fly to the Granite State on Tuesday for a roundtable discussion with former patients and alumni at the Granite Recovery Center headquarters in Salem, New Hampshire, but the vice president’s plane, Air Force Two, never left Joint Base Andrews after Pence was called back to the White House.

When reporters stated asking why the sudden change, Pence’s press secretary Alyssa Farah tweeted, “something came up that required the @VP to remain in Washington, DC. It’s no cause for alarm. He looks forward to rescheduling the trip to New Hampshire very soon.”

She later added, “The @VP never left Washington, DC. There was no “emergency callback.” Something came up that required the VP to stay in DC. We’ll reschedule NH shortly.”

The reason for Pence’s change of plans was “no medical issues with the president or vice president,” according to a White House official.

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a press conference, June 18, 2019 in Miami.
Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images,FILE

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a press conference, June 18, 2019 in Miami.

His chief of staff, Marc Short, told ABC News Pence got on the plane at Joint Base Andrews, and was called back before the plane was ready to take off but he would not specify why. He added that, once Pence came back to the West Wing, he joined President Donald Trump for other high-level meetings.

Short reiterated that it was “not a national security issue,” but said the president and vice president “discussed the issue briefly.”

Gov. Chris Sununu was scheduled to attend the event in New Hampshire. His communications director Ben Vihstadt told ABC News, “The governor was not given a specific reason for the change of plans, and was notified right around the same time as the public.”

“Governor Sununu is looking forward to welcoming the Vice President to New Hampshire at a later date,” Vihstadt said.

Granite Recovery Center spokesperson David Wedge said 250 people arrived at the event but were turned away after they were told the vice president had a “diversion.”

In a statement, Granite Recovery Centers CEO Eric Spofford said, “We were so honored to host Vice President Pence to discuss the opioid epidemic, treatment, and recovery but unfortunately the event was canceled. This issue is so important and we all need to work together toward solutions. We look forward to working with the VP in the future, as well as all levels of government, as we continue to fight this epidemic.”

The White House has not offered further explanation.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders and Tara Palmeri contributed to this report.

Protesters demand the closure of immigrant detention centers

Protesters nationwide were bringing attention to the issue of immigration and demanding the closure of migrant detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The #CloseTheCamps protests on Tuesday were organized by MoveOn and other public policy and immigration advocacy organizations, including United We Dream, American Friends Service Committee and Families Belong Together. According to MoveOn, over 175 mobilizations were scheduled to take place in cities including Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Denver and Austin, Texas.

The three key demands cited by MoveOn are to close the camps, restrict all funding towards detention and deportation and reunite separated families.

Emma Einhorn, the campaign director at MoveOn, said the protests came together because “there has been mounting pressure and public advocacy around close the camps as more and more disgusting and inhumane conditions are revealed about what’s happening in our names at CBP facilities at ICE facilities across the country.”

PHOTO: Demonstrators stand during a Close the Camps rally to demand the closure of inhumane immigrant detention centers outside the Middle Collegiate Church in New York, July 2, 2019.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Demonstrators stand during a ‘Close the Camps’ rally to demand the closure of inhumane immigrant detention centers outside the Middle Collegiate Church in New York, July 2, 2019.

The protests were targeting members of Congress, Einhorn said, “because those people have a bunch of power and they are not using it to provide immediate relief to the children right now.”

“They need to be visiting these facilities, they need to be using all of their leverage in order to put pressure on the Trump administration to provide immediate relief and they need to stop funding family and detention and deportation,” Einhorn told ABC News.

The mobilizations come after recent accounts of children being denied toothbrushes and soap, lack of access to showers, children being separated from their parents, unsanitary environments and other inhumane and unsafe conditions in migrant facilities.

On Monday, members of Congress including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley visited two Border Patrol stations in El Paso and Clint, Texas, where they described people bring forced to drink water out of a toilet bowl.

Multiple members of Congress attended demonstrations across the country including New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Illinois Rep. Jesús García.

PHOTO: A demonstrator holds a sign during a Close the Camps rally to demand the closure of inhumane immigrant detention centers outside the Middle Collegiate Church in New York, July 2, 2019.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

A demonstrator holds a sign during a ‘Close the Camps’ rally to demand the closure of inhumane immigrant detention centers outside the Middle Collegiate Church in New York, July 2, 2019.

Minnesota Rep. Rashida Tlaib showcased her support for the protests tweeting, “We can’t just focus on the children anymore. I met grandmothers, mothers and fathers who are suffering. This is devastating. The look in one father’s eyes broke me. I can’t look away. #CloseTheCamps.”

Pressley also took to Twitter to demonstrate her support for #CloseTheCamps, but said that she was unable to attend the protest in her district due to travel.

“Our focus is really trying to bring our demands to members of Congress’ offices and their staff to make sure that they are hearing loud and clear that we’re talking to them and we need them to act,” said Einhorn.

The demonstrators hoped the protests would urge members of Congress to visit detention centers and find ways to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

“It’s time for all of us to use all of our powers and all of our tools in our toolbox,” said Einhorn. “This is not business as usual. And this is not a time to sit on the sidelines and watch because children and families are suffering every single day.”

Navy SEAL found not guilty of killing ISIS fighter in Iraq

Former Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher was found not guilty on Tuesday on charges of killing an ISIS prisoner during a deployment in Iraq, though he was convicted on a lesser charge of wrongfully posing for an unofficial picture with a human casualty.

Gallagher was facing a court-martial on charges of murdering the ISIS prisoner in 2017. He will be sentenced on the lesser charge on Wednesday.

During his war crimes trial in a San Diego courtroom, prosecutors described Gallagher as a soldier who regularly shot at civilians and accused him of killing an ISIS prisoner in 2017 by stabbing him in the neck. Defense lawyers argued that no blood evidence was ever found on Gallagher’s belongings and that there were no videos of the alleged incidents. They further argued that the platoon was disgruntled with Gallagher, and fabricated the allegations against him.

In a shocking twist during the trial, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a Navy medic, testified he saw Gallagher stab the ISIS prisoner, but that it was Scott who suffocated the prisoner to death as an act of mercy.

PHOTO: Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walks into military court with his wife Andrea Gallagher, July 2, 2019, in San Diego, Calif.
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher walks into military court with his wife Andrea Gallagher, July 2, 2019, in San Diego, Calif.

Scott said he “wanted to save” the prisoner from the fate he would face if turned over to Iraqi authorities, adding “I knew he was going to die anyway,” according to the New York Times.

Scott said the ISIS prisoner was stabilized after he and Gallagher treated him for wounds suffered in an airstrike, according to The Associated Press.

Gallagher allegedly stabbed the prisoner, and Scott testified that he would have lived through the stabbing had Scott not suffocated him, according to the AP. During Scott’s testimony, prosecutor Lt. Brian John reiterated several times that Scott had never said this before. John told the courtroom that Scott had immunity, and suggested he was claiming to have killed the ISIS prisoner to prevent Gallagher from going to prison. Scott responded, “Yes.”

“He’s got a wife and family,” Scott said. “I don’t think he should be spending his life in prison,” the AP reported.

The prosecution presented several text messages Gallagher sent his platoon, including one that allegedly read “I’ve got a cool story when I get back, I got him with my hunting knife.”

“I thought everyone would be cool, next time I will do it so no one sees,” Gallagher wrote to his platoon, once they allegedly turned on him. “Ready to kill the mother —— who tells on me and I’ve got s— on all of you to bring you down.”

Firefighters searching for survivors after explosion levels home

A man had to be airlifted to a local hospital after he became trapped underneath the debris left behind by a large house explosion in North Carolina on Tuesday.

The explosion occurred in the wealthy suburb of Ballantyne, just south of Charlotte, leaving behind fiery rubble and over 80 firefighters scrambling to put out the fire and find any other survivors, the Charlotte Fire Department said on Twitter.

People who were nearby when the explosion occurred told ABC Charlotte affiliate WSOC that they felt the ground shake.

“I just went out for a walk. I put my Beats on, and I walked right by the house. I walked on, maybe two minutes, and through my Beats, I heard a boom,” neighbor Lorie Porter told WSOC. “Something told me to turn around and walk back, and I started turning around, and all the neighbors started to run out of their homes. And there’s debris right where I had walked, and the house was just leveled.”

PHOTO: A home explosion, July 2, 2019, in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, resulted in one man being airlifted to a local hospital.
WSOC-TV

A home explosion, July 2, 2019, in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, resulted in one man being airlifted to a local hospital.

Multiple people called 911 about the explosion and the ensuing fire, including the man who had been trapped inside, the fire department said, adding that he was able to lead them to his location.

By Tuesday evening, firefighters had sawed through piles of wood and were using specialized listening equipment and confined space cameras to search for other possible survivors.

It’s unclear what caused the explosion, which tore into the home next door, where two occupants were injured and later treated by medics on the scene. One other survivor had also been freed after they were found to be conscious and alert, the department said on Twitter.

Activists get permit for Baby Trump balloon at July 4th events on National Mall

The activist group CODEPINK said Tuesday it has been granted a permit to fly the “Baby Trump” balloon on the National Mall on July Fourth, in a location where a National Park Service official said it might be seen by President Donald Trump.

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But as of now, because the Park Service says it has to be inflated with cold air instead of helium, it might not get higher than two feet off the ground.

PHOTO: Anti-Trump demonstrators gather around an a giant balloon depicting President Donald Trump as an orange baby in Parliament Square in London, June 4, 2019.
Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-Trump demonstrators gather around an a giant balloon depicting President Donald Trump as an orange baby in Parliament Square in London, June 4, 2019.

The group requested to fly the 20’ x 20’ balloon directly in the President Trump’s line of sight when he is scheduled to deliver a speech at 6:30 p.m.in front of the Lincoln Memorial but the group said the permit was for a location different from the one they wanted near the Washington Monument.

In a press release, the organization said, “regarding the location, we had requested a space on the large, empty expanse at the base of the Washington Monument that would not have obstructed anyone’s view but would have allowed the president to see the baby. Instead we were only given location options that were outside the line of sight. We chose the northwest quadrant just off 17th Street but feel there was no reason to deny us our right to protest the president where he could see us.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump looks on after signing a bill for border funding legislation in the Oval Office, July 1, 2019.
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump looks on after signing a bill for border funding legislation in the Oval Office, July 1, 2019.

Mike Litterst, chief of communications at the National Park Service told ABC News, “They are on the Monument grounds, very close to the area they requested on the application.”

The new location of the balloon is in the northwest quadrant of the Washington Monument grounds just off 17th street, in the southwest corner of that quadrant.

CODEPINK said it will hold a will be holding a press conference Wednesday in front of the Lincoln Memorial to protest, “the militarization of July 4 and talk about our plans to fly “Baby Trump” with helium and hold a “Trump is a Big Baby” Festival.”

PHOTO:A jogger runs past the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the July 4th Salute to America celebration, July 2, 2019, in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

PHOTO:A jogger runs past the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the “July 4th Salute to America” celebration, July 2, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The group wanted to inflate the larger balloon with helium where it could fly higher than two feet above the ground. When inflated, the balloon would be about 20 feet tall. The group argued that since the height restriction for the National Mall is 45 feet, it should be allowed to inflate the balloon with helium.

In the release, CODEPINK said, in order to fill the balloon with helium, they had to get a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration, who in turn told the group they had to see the Flight Standard District Office (FSDO).

“We are now trying to get the waiver from the FSDO, but feel this bureaucratic process is designed to force us to just keep the baby on the ground, instead of floating it in the air. It’s ridiculous that we have to contact the FAA to hoist a balloon two feet off the ground,” said CODEPINK logistics manager Tighe Barry in the release. “There is nothing dangerous about helium–there are lots of helium floats in the July 4 parade. And you certainly can’t say that a 20-foot-tall balloon is going to interfere with Trump’s Air Force One and the Navy’s Blue Angels!”

CODEPINK said members also plan to bring over 100 smaller, 2-foot replicas of the “Baby Trump” balloon, according to co-founder Medea Benjamin.