Gen. Kelly says Trump did best he could when talking to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow

Gen. John F. Kelly said Thursday President Donald Trump did the best he could when he expressed his condolences to the family of Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. 

Kelly, who serves as Trump’s chief of staff, also said it stunned him and broke his heart when Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, listened in on the conversation Trump had with Sgt. La David Johnson’s pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, before his body arrived at Miami International Airport. 

“I thought at least that was sacred,” Kelly said during a press conference. “When I was a kid growing up a lot of things were sacred in this country.”

Wilson was trying to comfort Johnson’s family during the return of remains ceremony in Miami Tuesday when she said Trump told the grieving widow that Johnson knew what he signed up for. Johnson’s aunt Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who adopted him when his mother, Samara Johnson, died in 1999, said she also heard Trump disrespect her family. 

Kelly also said Johnson, who is from Miami-Dade, and the three other U.S. Army soldiers who died in Africa were likely teaching Republic of Niger soldiers how to fight against ISIS. Kelly said the U.S. has soldiers all across Africa teaching their counterparts how to be better soldiers and how to respect human rights, while fighting Islamic militants. 

“He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war, and when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends,” Kelly said about the message he got from a casualty officer when his son died.

“That’s what the President tried to say to four families the other day.”

During the politicization of the soldiers deaths, Trump mentioned Kelly Tuesday with Fox News Radio when he replied, “You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?” 

Kelly said the scandal prompted him to go to Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday and “go walk among the finest men and women on this earth” to collect his thoughts for about an hour. Kelly’s son Robert Kelly, a 29-year-old U.S. Marine, was killed in Afghanistan Nov. 9, 2010. 

“I went over there for about an hour and a half, walked among the stones — some of whom I put there, because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said he told Trump that Obama didn’t call, but he didn’t hold that against the president.

“We are only one of 5,500 American families who have suffered the loss of a child in this war,” Kelly wrote to The Washington Post in an e-mail. “The death of my boy simply cannot be made to seem any more tragic than the others.”

During a ceremony on Memorial Day, Kelly and Trump visited his grave at the Arlington National Cemetery. 

“We grieve with you. We honor you. And we pledge to you that we will always remember Robert and what he did for all of us,” Trump said, singling out the Kelly family during his remarks to the nation that day. 

Kelly acknowledged many questions remain unanswered about the Oct. 4 ambush and said the ongoing investigation shouldn’t imply incrimination. 

According to a U.S. official who talked to CNN Johnson was leaving a meeting in an unarmored pickup truck Oct. 4 when enemy fighters targeted him and his team with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Johnson likely got separated when they all got off the unarmored trucks to run for cover and return fire.

“The threats at the time were deemed to be unlikely, so there was no overhead armed air cover during the engagement,” U.S. Army Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for Africa Command said during a news conference after the attack.

During the firefight, U.S. troops called in French fighter jets. According to Reuters’ sources the French responded but circled overhead without firing, because the enemy was too close to the U.S.-Nigerien patrol. Reuters also reported the incident upset French officials over the U.S. military’s lack of contingency plans. 

Johnson, who was left behind during the evacuation, was able to activate his military beacon, and the military was able to track him for a bit before the signal faded. Cheadle said U.S., French and Nigerien troops searched for him, but by the time the Nigerien troops found him  Oct. 6, he was dead.

“We had everything, jets, rotary wings, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), various platforms, human intelligence, signals intelligence — you name it,” Cheadle said. “There was a full-court press by all of the DOD, the Nigerien government, the Department of State and the French to help us recover our lost one.”

During the Oct. 7 return of remains ceremony at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Trump was playing golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham. Meanwhile Wilson, who was present at MIA and has made herself available to the family, is getting threats at her Washington office. 

Johnson’s remains were at a funeral home in Hollywood Thursday. The close-casket viewing will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, and the funeral service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Christ The Rock Church, 11000 Stirling Rd., in Cooper City. The interment will be a the Hollywood Memorial Gardens, 3001 N. 72 St.

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Gen. Kelly says Trump did best he could when talking to Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow

Gen. John F. Kelly said Thursday President Donald Trump did the best he could when he expressed his condolences to the family of Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. 

Kelly, who serves as Trump’s chief of staff, also said it stunned him and broke his heart when Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens, listened in on the conversation Trump had with Sgt. La David Johnson’s pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, before his body arrived at Miami International Airport. 

“I thought at least that was sacred,” Kelly said during a conference at the press briefing room. “When I was a kid growing up a lot of things were sacred in this country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor.”

Wilson was trying to comfort Johnson’s family during the return of remains ceremony in Miami Tuesday when she said Trump told the grieving widow that Johnson knew what he signed up for. Johnson’s aunt Cowanda Jones-Johnson, who adopted him when his mother, Samara Johnson, died in 1999, said she also heard Trump disrespect her family. 

Kelly also said Johnson, who is from Miami-Dade, and the three other U.S. Army soldiers who died in Africa were likely teaching Republic of Niger soldiers how to fight against ISIS. Kelly said the U.S. has soldiers all across Africa teaching their counterparts how to be better soldiers and how to respect human rights, while fighting Islamic militants. 

“He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war, and when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends,” Kelly said about the message he got from a casualty officer when his son died.

“That’s what the president tried to say to four families the other day.”

During the politicization of the soldiers deaths, Trump mentioned Kelly Tuesday with Fox News Radio when he replied, “You could ask Gen. Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?” 

Kelly said the scandal prompted him to go to Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday and “go walk among the finest men and women on this earth” to collect his thoughts for about an hour. Kelly’s son Robert Kelly, a 29-year-old U.S. Marine, was killed in Afghanistan Nov. 9, 2010. 

“I went over there for about an hour and a half, walked among the stones — some of whom I put there, because they were doing what I told them to do when they were killed,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said he told Trump that Obama didn’t call, but he didn’t hold that against the president.

“We are only one of 5,500 American families who have suffered the loss of a child in this war,” Kelly wrote to The Washington Post in an e-mail. “The death of my boy simply cannot be made to seem any more tragic than the others.”

During a ceremony on Memorial Day, Kelly and Trump visited his grave at the Arlington National Cemetery. 

“We grieve with you. We honor you. And we pledge to you that we will always remember Robert and what he did for all of us,” Trump said, singling out the Kelly family during his remarks to the nation that day. 

Kelly acknowledged many questions remain unanswered about the Oct. 4 ambush and said the ongoing investigation shouldn’t imply incrimination. 

“We are at the highest level of the U.S. government. The people who will answer those questions will be at the other end of the military pyramid,” Kelly said. “I am sure the special forces group is conducting — I know they are conducting an investigation. That investigation, of course under the auspices of AfriCom, ultimately will go to the Pentagon.”

According to a U.S. official who talked to CNN Johnson was leaving a meeting in an unarmored pickup truck Oct. 4 when enemy fighters targeted him and his team with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Johnson likely got separated when they all got off the unarmored trucks to run for cover and return fire.

“The threats at the time were deemed to be unlikely, so there was no overhead armed air cover during the engagement,” U.S. Army Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for Africa Command said during a news conference after the attack.

During the firefight, U.S. troops called in French fighter jets. According to Reuters’ sources the French responded but circled overhead without firing, because the enemy was too close to the U.S.-Nigerien patrol. Reuters also reported the incident upset French officials over the U.S. military’s lack of contingency plans. 

Johnson, who was left behind during the evacuation, was able to activate his military beacon, and the military was able to track him for a bit before the signal faded. Cheadle said U.S., French and Nigerien troops searched for him, but by the time the Nigerien troops found him  Oct. 6, he was dead.

“We had everything, jets, rotary wings, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), various platforms, human intelligence, signals intelligence — you name it,” Cheadle said. “There was a full-court press by all of the DOD, the Nigerien government, the Department of State and the French to help us recover our lost one.”

During the Oct. 7 return of remains ceremony at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Trump was playing golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham. Meanwhile Wilson, who was present at MIA and has made herself available to the family, is getting threats at her Washington office. 

Johnson’s remains were at a funeral home in Hollywood Thursday. The closed-casket viewing will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, and the funeral service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Christ The Rock Church, 11000 Stirling Rd., in Cooper City. The interment will be a the Hollywood Memorial Gardens, 3001 N. 72 St.

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Woman says she watched her father die outside Opa-locka business

The daughter of a man who was fatally shot outside his Opa-locka business said she watched her father die.

“Shots just came out of nowhere,” Gabrielle Gonzalez said Thursday, as she recalled the shooting that claimed her father’s life.

Surveillance video shows two men shooting into a parked car outside 2155 Opa-locka Blvd., killing Joe Gonzalez.

“My dad wasn’t the type to be in (any) drama,” Gabrielle Gonzalez said. “He wasn’t that type.”

Gabrielle Gonzalez was sitting in the car with her 1-year-old son when bullets started flying.

“He was in my lap,” she said. “I tucked him under the steering wheel.”

Gabrielle Gonzalez said she and her father were just talking when the first shot was fired.

Surveillance video from a nearby pawn shop shows the shooters running away down Opa-locka Boulevard.

Gabrielle Gonzalez said she’s confident that the killers who took her father and her son’s grandfather away will be caught.

“I know they are,” she said. “They are going to catch them. They are. I don’t know how long. I don’t know if it’s going to be today or tomorrow or a few weeks, but they are.”

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DOD launches a formal investigation into Sgt. La David Johnson’s death

The Department of Defense launched a formal investigation into the circumstances of the ambush in Africa that left Sgt. La David Johnson dead, according to an ABC News reporter who talked to source with U.S. Africa Command Thursday. 

Johnson was shot dead in the West African Republic of Niger, the DOD reported Saturday. He was working in the landlocked country’s southwest volatile area of Tongo Tongo. The DOD reported there was an ongoing investigation of the Oct. 4 incident, which involved the use of an unarmored truck, lack of air cover and questions about how Johnson was inadvertently left behind in the desert during the evacuation.

According to a U.S. official who talked to CNN, Johnson was leaving a meeting in an unarmored pickup truck Wednesday when enemy fighters targeted him and his team with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Johnson likely got separated when they all got off the unarmored trucks to run for cover and return fire.

During the firefight, U.S. troops called in French fighter jets. According to Reuters’ sources the French responded but circled overhead without firing, because the enemy was too close to the U.S.-Nigerien patrol. Reuters also reported the incident upset French officials over the U.S. military’s lack of contingency plans. 

“The threats at the time were deemed to be unlikely, so there was no overhead armed air cover during the engagement,” U.S. Army Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman for Africa Command said during a news conference after the attack.

The attack also killed Nigerien troops and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. 

Nigerien troops recovered Johnson’s body Oct. 6 and his body made it back to the U.S. for a return of remains ceremony Oct. 7 when President Donald Trump was playing golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham. 

Johnson’s body returned to Miami International Airport Tuesday. Rep. Frederica Wilson was in the car when Johnson’s pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, spoke to President Donald Trump for about 5 minutes. Wilson said Trump was “insensitive” and told her Johnson knew what “he signed up for” — a comment Trump denied. 

“Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action,” Trump tweeted adding that he had proof. 

Wilson said she wasn’t the only one in the car who heard the conversation. Johnson’s aunt Cowanda Jones-Johnson adopted him when he was a little boy and his mother died. She said she also heard Trump’s comment. 

“President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband,” Jones-Johnson said. 

Johnson’s remains were at a funeral home in Hollywood Thursday. The close-casket viewing will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, and the funeral service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Christ The Rock Church, 11000 Stirling Rd., in Cooper City. The interment will be a the Hollywood Memorial Gardens, 3001 N. 72 St.

Local 10 News’ Sanela Sabovic, Glenna Milberg, Christian De La Rosa contributed to this report. 

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2 killed after silver Nissan shot up in northwest Miami-Dade, police say

Two people were killed Wednesday afternoon when their vehicle was shot up in northwest Miami-Dade, authorities said.

The shooting was reported in the area of 7951 NW Fifth Ave.

The victims’ vehicle came to a rest in a swale with hurricane debris, Miami-Dade police said. 

Sky 10 was above the scene just after 12:30 p.m. as a tarp covered a portion of the bullet-riddled silver Nissan.

People in the area told Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon that they heard the sound of rapid gunfire in the area, but it’s unclear whether there was more than one shooter.

A woman, who didn’t want to be identified, said she’s sick of the shootings that frequently occur in the neighborhood, and she is forced to live in fear.

“Around here, it’s an everyday thing. We just hear so many gunshots. Just last week there were like another 20 gunshots right down the street from my house,” she said. “This is an almost everyday thing and it’s getting more than scary already because I like to be outside. I’m a nocturnal type of person and it’s getting to the point where I can’t even be in my yard.”

A motive for the shooting is unknown.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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Man tries to molest teenage girl at Dadeland Metrorail station, police say

Police are searching for a man who they said tried to molest a teenage girl Monday morning at the Metrorail train station on Dadeland Boulevard.

Miami-Dade police said a man approached a 14-year-old girl at about 9 a.m. and grabbed her by the wrist.

Police said he struck the girl in the stomach and dragged her to the second level of the platform, where he tried to remove her pants and touch her vagina.

The girl eventually broke free from the man’s grip and ran away, authorities said.

Police described the culprit as a black man in his 20s with long dreadlocks. Police said he was about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a medium build, full beard and a mustache. Authorities said he also had gold teeth.

He was last seen wearing a cream-colored button-down shirt, blue jean shorts and dirty sneakers.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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