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Stephen Lam/ Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — One of the three Americans who helped stop a terrorist attack on a train this August in France is expected to make a full recovery after being stabbed.

Spencer Stone was reportedly attacked Wednesday night near a bar in Sacramento, Calif., suffering multiple stab wounds.

Dr. J. Douglas Kirk, chief medical officer at UC Davis Medical Center said on Thursday Stone remains in serious condition but will make a full recovery.

Kirk said Stone suffered three stab wounds to his torso, underwent surgery, and was admitted into the ICU.

Stone, 23, was traveling on board a train headed to Paris with two friends when the train came under attack by a gunman.

Stone ran at the gunman and later said in an interview released by the Pentagon that he remembered thinking "I'm going to get shot, I'm dead."

Stone lives in Carmichael, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento. He had to have surgery to reattach his thumb after it was cut off with a box cutter by the attacker on the train.

Stone and his friends Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler received the Legion of Honor medal, France's highest honor.

Skarlatos posted a message on Twitter Thursday morning once news broke of Stone's injury.


Everybody send prayers out to the stone family today

— alek skarlatos (@alekskarlatos) October 8, 2015

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iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- Five-month-old Aavielle Wakefield -- who was shot to death in Cleveland earlier this month -- was laid to rest on Thursday, with her heartbroken family crying as they walked behind her tiny, white coffin on the way to her gravesite.

On the night of Oct. 1, Aavielle was in her car seat riding with family when shots rang out. A bullet tore through the car door and into her chest.

Her grandmother frantically called 911, trying to get help, saying: “I need the police. I need an ambulance. Someone is shooting at our car, and they shot the baby!" But it was too late.

Aavielle was the third child under age six fatally shot in Cleveland in just over a month -– a 5-year-old and 3-year-old were also killed in drive-by shootings.Police Chief Calvin Williams says these kids are innocent victims in the epidemic of murders plaguing that city.

Cleveland’s murder rate has jumped 27 percent from last year. And Cleveland is not unique. Major cities like Baltimore, Houston, Washington, DC and Dallas are all experiencing double-digit spikes in homicide this year, and too often, officials say, the very young are caught in the crossfire.

In the days since her murder, media coverage and police statements have helped make Aavielle into something of a symbol of the young, innocent victims of gun violence in Cleveland. Her murder brought Williams to tears.

“Our babies are caught in the crossfire,” Williams said. “When are we going to stop counting dead babies out there on the street?”

FBI statistics show that from 2010 through 2013, firearm homicides took the lives of 439 children under the age of 12. The total rises to 1,437 when you add people from age 12-16. These are the latest stats available, and don’t reflect the sudden spike in homicides in major cities in 2015.

Chicago U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon spoke passionately about how young people are being cut down in his city late last month.

“These are our kids. These are our neighborhoods,” Fardon said. “This problem hits the heart of who we are, and who we want to be, as a city. We cannot abide our Chicago being one where it’s okay for kids to die and entire neighborhoods to cocoon in fear.”

Fardon, Williams and other law enforcement officials blame a resurgence of violent gangs on city streets for much of the violence. Williams said that social media disputes, turf battles, drug disputes and personal vendettas often spark drive-by shootings, like the one that killed Aavielle.

“This should not be happening in our city,” Williams said. “We’ve got to do something about it.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(GREEN BAY, Wis.) -- A police dispatcher from Green Bay helped save a Wisconsin teenager when her gas pedal stuck, all caught in 911 audio.

Olivia Crooks, 16, said she left her high school parking lot in her car on Tuesday afternoon and then realized she had lost control of the vehicle.

"I was terrified," Crooks told ABC News. "I had no idea what I was going to do. I thought the only way I was going to stop my car was to get into a car accident or just crash."

It was a harrowing experience that lasted 7 to 10 minutes for the young driver who has had her license since January.

"I heard a crack," Crooks told local TV station WLUK in Green Bay. "My gas pedal got stuck so I tried to press my brake to see if I could stop my car but I could not."

As Crooks' 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2006, which the family bought used last year, picked up speed, it reached 60 miles an hour down a busy street, she said. When she called 911, dispatcher Julia Robak answered.

"First of all, I think Olivia did an amazing job," Robak told ABC News. "I have two 14-year-old twins. I give her credit at 16 for being as calm as she was, calling 911, going to an area that was not so busy, and trusting in the fact that I was doing everything I could to help her."

Crooks headed to a cul-de-sac, where she hoped she could drive in circles until the car ran out of gas. But once Crooks told Robak the car was an automatic vehicle, the dispatcher told the teen to shift the car to "neutral."

"Don’t pump the brakes," Robak said as general advice to those in a similar situation with an automatic transmission. "You should press them."

Robak advised Crooks to apply firm, constant pressure, and not to pump the brakes when she was in neutral.

Though the tires began to smoke, eventually the car stopped and Crooks was not injured. Robak said the call lasted no more than 3 minutes.

Crooks' mother, Lori, told WLUK, "I am so thankful today."

"It could've been a lot worse than it was," Lori Crooks said. "I'm just glad it ended up the way it did."

As for Robak's cool head, she credits her training with the Brown County Public Safety.

"I think our center does wonderful things with training and preparing us to take these kind of calls. I also have a great team that is encouraging and supporting. They never want us to fail. We do the best that we can do," Robak said.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database shows no complaints about accelerator pedals for the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

A spokesman for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said in a statement, "FCA US LLC has no reports of any similar occurrence. The Company is relieved no-one was injured and commends the parties involved for their actions.”

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Frio County Sheriff's Office(SAN ANTONIO) -- Texas police officers found 39 undocumented immigrants in the back of an 18-wheeler truck, and the dramatic rescue was caught on the body cameras worn by officers.

A federal grand jury indicted Drew Christopher Potter, 33, on Wednesday for his alleged involvement, charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling for financial gain and three substantive counts of transportation of undocumented aliens.

If convicted on each count, he will face up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Frio County sheriff deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents responded to a 911 call on Sept. 18 reporting multiple people exiting a trailer of a semi truck parked outside a convenience store along Interstate 35 South, police said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Potter, and inside the trailer 28 adult males, seven adult females and four minors who were from Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico, police said. They were later transported to Laredo and are in custody with the U.S. Border Patrol, police said.

“The driver was just standing there, not a care in the world,” Sgt. Jerry Reyna told ABC News affiliate KSAT-TV in San Antonio. Reyna said he believes the group was trapped for four to five hours inside the trailer.

In the video captured by the police body cam, Potter says he was paid to simply drive the truck and that’s it.

Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson said, “HSI is dedicated to working closely with its law enforcement partners in all arenas in pursuit of identifying, arresting and prosecuting individuals involved in human smuggling.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- Shots were fired on Cleveland State University's campus early Thursday morning.

According to ABC News affiliate WEWS-TV, Cleveland police are investigating a drive-by shooting between two cars that put bullet holes in an apartment building near the main campus.

"I heard 10 to 12 shots and a pause and then I heard some tires peel out," Steven Perkio, a resident of the Langston apartment complex told WEWS-TV.

Seventeen shell casings were found in the middle of East 24th Street and six had hit the apartment, according to Cleveland police.

WEWS-TV reports no one was hit by bullets, but the bullets had entered one apartment through a window and other bullets were marked on the brick facade outside.

According to The Plain Dealer, a statement sent to students by Cleveland State University President Ronald Drake said the shooting was random and no one in the apartment building was targeted.

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WKRN-TV(GULF SHORES, Tenn.) -- Tennessee honeymooners experienced two acts of kindness in one day when their car broke down and strangers paid for their repairs.

Whitney and Sean Moore of Columbia were on their honeymoon in Gulf Shores, Alabama, after their Sept. 25 wedding when their car broke down. They had the hood of the car popped open in a hotel parking lot when a couple approached them offering to help, Sean Moore told ABC News on Thursday.

Although they were unable to get the car started, the couple offered the Moores, both 25, money to help with the repair costs.

“I don’t know if they just felt bad and saw the 'just married' sign but they ended up giving us $100 and wished us a happy life,” he said.

His wife added: “I didn’t even know what to say when it happened. It all happened so fast and then when they handed Sean and I the money, it was unbelievable.”

After finding a reliable mechanic, Sean Moore said they had the car towed to the Gulf Shores Service Center where the couple waited while it was being fixed. When the car was ready after about an hour and a half, the couple tried paying for their bill but were told it had already been covered.

“It was kind of emotional. It was happy, overwhelming,” he said.

Whitney Moore added, “I immediately started crying. I was at a loss for words. Something great had already happened and I couldn’t believe that someone else went ahead and paid for the bill.”

The couple does not know who covered their bill or why, and the mechanics refused to tell them. But they suspect it may have been the owner of the service center or the other customer waiting for his car because they knew the newlyweds were on their honeymoon, Whitney Moore said.

“It was just amazing to have wonderful blessings back to back,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

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Sabrina Pugsley (OAK RIDGE, N.J.) -- More than $15,000 has been raised by a campaign to get Pedals, a bear who roams a New Jersey town walking upright like a human due to injuries, a home at a wildlife sanctuary in New York.

The black bear, who is missing his right front paw and whose left front paw "just dangles uselessly" has been spotted and filmed walking on his hind legs around Oak Ridge, N.J., for over a year now, according to resident Sabrina Pugsley, who started a Facebook and GoFundMe page for Pedals.

"When he was first spotted last year, we were all hoping that it was a minor injury and that he would heal, but he's still not OK," Pugsley told ABC News. "You can see that walking upright is taking a toll on him. He can't run, climb or defend himself or even eat properly."

The Orphaned Wildlife Center, a nonprofit wildlife rescue and sanctuary in Otisville, N.Y., recently learned about Pedals and contacted Pugsley with an offer last week, according to board member Kerry Clair.

"From looking at videos and photos of Pedals, he appears to be severely underweight going into winter," Clair told ABC News. "Our second concern is that bears don't typically come to residential areas unless they're starving. And because he's missing his paw and can't walk right, how can he even dig himself a den and defend himself from other larger, aggressive bears?"

The center added that after "critical evaluation" it decided that it could take Pedals in and possibly rehabilitate the black bear by building an enclosure and specialized den for him.

The goal of $15,000 was reached this past Wednesday, according to Pedals' GoFundMe page, but the center is still waiting to get approval from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife for Pedals' transfer.

Last Friday, the division wrote on Facebook that its "biologists believe it is best not to intervene or make attempts to capture this bear" but if "the condition and health of the bear clearly deteriorates" then biologists would respond accordingly.

A spokesman for the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife told ABC News on Thursday that the division is now aware of the Orphaned Wildlife Center's offer and is "currently reviewing the situation."

The Orphaned Wildlife Center is currently caring for 12 adult bears, including one named Frankie, who has been rehabilitated after being in a coma due to a car accident that also killed Frankie's mom.

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Disney(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) -- Two parents are getting attention for saying "let it go" to gender stereotypes this Halloween.

Paul Henson of Chesapeake, Va., posted a photo to Facebook of his three-year-old son Caiden in his Princess Elsa Halloween dress from the Disney movie Frozen.

Henson explained why he allowed his son to dress up as a princess in the caption underneath the photo.

"Keep your masculine bulls--t and slutty kids costumes, Halloween is about children pretending to be their favorite characters," said Henson. "Just so happens, this week his is a princess."

Henson also revealed that he will be dressing up as fellow "Frozen" character Princess Anna at his son's request.

"He also wants me to be Anna. Game on," Henson wrote.

Caiden's mother Ashley Ramage responded to the outpour of support that she and Henson have received since the Facebook post went viral, saying that she "never in a million years expected this much love & support via social media."

"When Caiden said he wanted to be Elsa for Halloween we didn't think twice about it," wrote Ramage. "We knew there would be people who didn't agree with it, but there is no way we are going to let him think he is wrong for wanting to be his favorite character for Halloween."

"One day he may look back, laugh, & be like 'omg i cant believe you let me do that,' or he may look back one day and say 'thank you mom & dad for letting me be myself,'" Ramage continued. "Either way, I will never regret or feel bad about allowing him to figure out who he is on his own."

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Courtesy Philippe Morgese(DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla.) -- A Florida father is trying to change the world, one ponytail at a time.

Phillipe Morgese of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, became the top story on Reddit after photos he posted of a hairstyling class he conducted went viral.

Morgese told ABC News that he started the class, called the "Daddy Daughter Hair Factory," to teach local fathers how to style their daughter's hair.

The 33-year-old single father has created intricate hairstyles for his nine-year-old daughter Emma, and he wanted to share his tips and tricks with other dads.

"Many of them struggled with basic hair care and styling," said Morgese. "I'm not a professional, but I had the best intentions and I was sure I could help."

Morgese held his first "Daddy Daughter Hair Factory" styling class at the International Academy in South Daytona, where he says owner Mez Varol was "thrilled" about the idea.

Seven dads attended the first session, and the lesson plan included "very basic detangling, brushing, ponytails, three strand braids and a standard bun." The fathers even received hair care goody bags.

"Most of the dads picked it right up and did some outstanding stuff," Morgese said.

The devoted dad wants to continue teaching parents his hairstyling tips, and is hoping to expand the "Daddy Daughter Hair Factory" into a weekly or bi-weekly class for both men and women.

"I think it's a service to the community and it is important to do our part," said Morgese.

He added: "The bond between a parent and their child is special. I hope this story inspires others to volunteer their time to help those in their community."

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Quincy Police @quincymapolice/Twitter(QUINCY, Mass.) -- Dozens of firefighters battled a two-alarm fire that spread across at least five boats at a marina in Quincy, Massachusetts, Thursday morning, according to the Quincy Police Department.

The fire was first reported at 7:24 a.m. at the marina, where several people live on boats docked there, a Quincy Police spokesman told ABC News. The fire was finally contained about an hour later, and no injuries have been reported, he said.

Police marine units were able to tow and save five other boats next to the ones on fire, the spokesman added.

One boat may have sunk, and gasoline in the water is now being evaluated for cleanup by the Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the spokesman said. He added that officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

"This was a particularly difficult fire to fight because there was only one pier leading down to the boats, and firefighters needed to get a line from the land down to the end of the dock because the boats on fire were at the very end," the Quincy police spokesman said.

Firefighters were still hosing down smoking boats Thursday morning after the fire was put out to prevent another blaze from igniting, police said.

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Bridgeport Police Department(BRIDGEPORT, Conn.) — A teenage girl bailed out of a moving car to escape after she was abducted on her way to school in Bridgeport, Conn. in an incident captured on surveillance video, authorities said.

Despite jumping out of the Toyota, the girl emerged uninjured from the attempted abduction on Oct. 5 at 7:15 a.m.

According to police, the girl had been walking to school when a charcoal Toyota Yaris pulled up alongside her.

The driver then allegedly lured the victim into the car and assaulted her, police said.

At some point, the girl "bailed out" of the car, which made a u-turn on the road.

Police said the victim described the suspect as a Hispanic woman in her 40s with a ponytail, freckles on her face and a black leather jacket.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the Bridgeport Detective Jeff Holtz at (203) 581-5293.


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ABC News' Amy Robach sits down with Malala Yousafzai, and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, ahead of the release of the new film, "He Named Me Malala." Credit: ABC News (NEW YORK) -- Malala Yousafzai is an international activist, bestselling author and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. Now she has a new title on her resume: movie star.

He Named Me Malala, a documentary film that opens nationwide Friday, traces the arc of Malala’s life -- from her childhood in Pakistan, to the Taliban’s assassination attempt when she was 15 years old and her courageous stand for girls’ education worldwide despite continued death threats.

Recently Yousafzai, 18, sat down for an interview with Good Morning America news anchor Amy Robach at a library in the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) in Manhattan. She was joined by her father, Ziauddin and Oscar-winning film director Davis Guggenheim (who is also Robach’s brother-in-law).

Robach asked the teen whether it was easy to forgive her Taliban attackers.

“Before the attack I had a little bit fear that ‘What if I'm attacked? What would happen? How would I feel?’” she said. “But after the attack I realized that now no one can stop me and I can now speak not just [for] people in Swat Valley or Pakistan, but [for] children across the world ... I felt stronger than before. They made a mistake.”


Throughout the film, Malala is frequently shown bickering with her younger brothers. She describes the little one, 9-year year-old Atal, as “a really good boy,” but of 14-year-old Khushal, she says, he is “the laziest one.” And when Khushal describes his older sister as “the naughtiest girl in the world,” she promptly beats him at arm wrestling.

It’s one of several moments that show Malala not just a hero –- but a real-life teenage girl.

Robach asked Malala why she trusted Guggenheim to see her, flaws and all.

“I trusted him and I thought he was going to be more (about) how good I am,” Malala answered, adding jokingly: "And then what came out was that my brothers were just speaking against me."

In one scene, Malala wonders out loud whether the students at her high school like her. She says that even though she has met rock stars and celebrities -- even England's Queen Elizabeth -- she still has to do homework, just like every student.

“To be honest I don’t feel comfortable in my new school. My skirt is longer than most of the girls and then my life is quite different than their life,” she said, adding that most of her peers have already had boyfriends. “It’s quite difficult to tell girls who really I am.”

In another scene, Malala is shown looking up various celebrities online, including actor Brad Pitt, tennis player Roger Federer, and cricket star Shane Watson. She insists she’s just a fan, and when pressed about whether she would ever ask a boy out she answers that she couldn’t because her parents would be so surprised.

When asked if she dates or has a boyfriend, Malala replied: “"I don’t have much time. My focus is on my education. Being with my family, my friends and doing this campaign.""


Malala’s campaign –- to ensure that every child gets 12 years of schooling -– has taken her around the world.

The film shows her at a girls’ school in Kenya, where she describes her life in the Swat Valley and asks students what they want to be when they grow up. In Nigeria, she meets with the parents of schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram, and she celebrates her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugees at a refugee camp on the Lebanese border.

“I want to build more schools like that,” Malala told Robach, adding that world leaders should bear responsibility to see that every child goes to school.

Guggenheim said he hopes daughters will take their fathers to see the movie.

“I think they’ll learn that any girl anywhere can do something if Malala can do it,” he said.

The film, which took two years to make, is in many ways a love story between Malala and her father Ziauddin, a schoolteacher in their small village in Swat. He described making the movie as “a healing process” that helped their family move on from “the worst trauma in life.”

“We are one soul with two bodies,” he said of his relationship with his only daughter. “But the beauty of this bond is freedom. I respect her freedom and she respects my freedom.”

“A bit,” Malala interjected, laughing. “We have a lot of fights, arguments all the time.”

“When she challenges me, as a father I become happy,” Ziauddin told Robach. “If she can't challenge me, then how can she challenge the world?”

Ziauddin named his daughter after Malalai of Maiwand, a famous Pashtun warrior from Afghanistan who rallied fighters against the British troops, but his daughter said she chose her mission.

“I'm here, standing on this stage, becoming the voice of children. It's all my choice. And I want to spread this message because I want women and girls to be independent in deciding their life on their own, and -- to believe that their decisions really matter,” she said. “Through the film we want to call people to take action and to join us to ensure that every child has the right to go to school … to turn this movie into a movement.”

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Kuzma/iStock/Thinkstock(SANFORD, Fla.) -- A recently released video shows the dramatic testimony of a domestic violence victim emotionally pleading with a judge as she is sentenced to jail time for ignoring a subpoena to appear at her alleged abuser's trial.

On July 30, when the video was taken, the mother of a 1-year-old child appeared before Judge Jerri Collins in a Seminole County courtroom for a contempt of court hearing.

"Your honor, I'm very sorry for not attending the last one," she said through tears. "I've been dealing with depression and just a lot personally since this happened. My anxiety is like, this is everyday for me."

According to court documents, the victim was holding her child inside a Florida residence April 2 when the child's father allegedly choked her and grabbed a kitchen knife. He was arrested. In a statement, the State Attorney's Office said the man accused in the case had a prior domestic violence battery conviction.

Court documents said that in June, the woman was served with a subpoena to appear in court for the July 22 trial. She did not appear.

During that July 30 contempt of court hearing, the woman said she had gone to a domestic abuse class and had asked for the charges to be dropped. The woman said, in her defense during the hearing, that she did not want the alleged abuser to be convicted because when he'd been jailed previously, he'd lost his job and had been unable to pay child support. She said she'd lost her house and was now homeless.

"We're trying to separate. ... I'm trying to move on with my life. ... I'm living at my parents' house. ... I had to sell everything I owned. I'm just not in a good place right now," she said.

The judge found her in contempt of court and sentenced her to three days in jail.

"You were required to be here by a court order," Collins said before issuing her decision. "You disobeyed a court order, knowing that this was not going to turn out well for the state."

According to the Department of Justice, victims' refusal to cooperate is "the prime reason prosecutors drop or dismiss domestic violence cases."

On the video, the victim can be heard wailing as she is handcuffed.

"Judge, I'll do anything. ... I have a 1-year-old son and I'm trying to take care of him by myself. I'm begging you, please, please don't," she said.

The State Attorney's Office said in a statement that domestic violence victims' cooperation with the criminal justice system was "integral" to the successful prosecution of abuse crimes.

"The case was poised for trial and a jury was sworn. The victim refused to attend court the day of trial, going so far as to tell the State Attorney's Office that she didn't care if she was arrested as a result of her not complying with the court's subpoena. The victim's decision to thwart the court process by refusing to cooperate, despite a properly issued subpoena for her to appear in court, triggered the State to pursue an Order to Show Cause against her, and the Court's subsequent sentence," the office said.

The State Attorney's Office said the alleged abuser had received 16 days in jail for simple battery and was ordered to pay court costs.

Jeanne Gold, the CEO of SafeHouse, an organization that offers shelter to abuse victims, said she'd approached Collins after the hearing in July and had told the judge the victim should have been given community service, not jail time.

The victim has since left the alleged abuser and continues to live with her parents.


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Tough Words From Judge as She Sends Abuse Victim to Jail


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Relatives of the 33 crew members who are missing after a cargo ship sank near the path of Hurricane Joaquin said the search for the crew members will be suspended on Wednesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been in charge of the search for survivors and relatives of the missing confirmed that they had been told by authorities that the search will stop at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The ship, called El Faro, sent a distress signal Thursday morning but no rescue boats were able to get close to the ship because weather conditions at the time were so harrowing due to the hurricane.

The storm impacted the search for the survivors as well since Hurricane Joaquin stayed in the area through much of Friday and into Saturday, meaning that the first full day of search and rescue did not start until Sunday, Coast Guard chief of response Capt. Mark Fedor said on Monday.

During that time, rescue teams did find one body in a survival suit, but it was "unidentifiable."

That person's remains were not recovered, as Fedor said that the rescuers were being called to other reports of signs of life, so after checking that the individual was deceased, they moved on in hopes of saving someone else, Fedor said Monday.

During a Wednesday press conference, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said that the ship's topside hatch was allowing water in, causing the ship to list to one side. He did not, however, have information related to why the hatch would have been open.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Keisha Jenkins, a 22-year-old transgender woman from Philadelphia, was recently beaten and shot to death by a group of men, according to police, who said they are investigating whether her gender identity played a role in the slaying.

Jenkins is at least the 20th trans woman killed in the United States this year -- and the 18th trans woman of color, according to a report and statement published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HCR) in partnership with the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC).

The HCR and TPOCC are LGBTQ advocacy groups that have been working together since the beginning of the year to keep a running record of the violence transgender people face.

Jenkins was attacked and beaten by five to six unidentified men early Tuesday around 2:30 a.m., shortly after she was dropped off near Hunting Park, a Philadelphia Police Department spokesman told ABC News on Wednesday.

Police believe one of the attackers pulled a gun and fired two shots into Jenkins' back while she was on the ground.

She was unresponsive when police and medics arrived and was pronounced dead at the Einstein Medical Center at 2:53 a.m., police said, adding that the suspects are still at large and police are looking at all possible motives, including the possibility that her gender identity may have played a role in her killing.

Jenkins' death has sparked an outcry from the transgender community and advocates, including the HRC, which said in a statement that more action must be taken to address "what has become a nationwide epidemic of anti-transgender violence."

"Even in a moment of unprecedented visibility for transgender people, their right to simply live authentically is threatened daily by violence, with countless unreported or unseen cases falling behind scattered headlines," Judy Shepard wrote in an op-ed co-written with HRC President Chad Griffin for its website.

Shepard is the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay man whose murder in 1988 "became a rallying cry for LGBT advocates around issues of bias-motivated violence," the HRC said.

Shepard's death, along with the murder of James Byrd Jr., a black man killed by white supremacists, led to the passage of a federal hate crimes prevention act in 2009, which extends a previously enacted law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Though Jenkins identified as a woman and used the pronouns "she" and "her" on her personal Facebook page, her sister Ronnia Jenkins told ABC News that their family didn't think she was transgender. Ronnia said Keisha went by "Stephen Jenkins and was a boy" most of the time when with the family "and only dressed like a girl sometimes."

"[She] was loving, caring and joking," Ronnia Jenkins said. "[She] loved to draw, and [she] was an artist. We'll miss [her]."

Keisha Jenkins' death is also being mourned by high-profile transgender celebrities and advocates.

"Another tragic loss," New York Times bestselling author and TV show host Janet Mock tweeted. "The state of emergency on black & Latina trans women's lives is real. #GirlsLikeUs"

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