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Orlando Shooter To Black Night Club Attendees: "I Don't Have A Problem With Black People"

Patience Cater, who was shot in her leg during the ordeal, says the gunman said black people have suffered enough and that this was about his country.

While many are still trying to wrap their heads around the heinous Orlando Shooting Massacre, which left 50 people dead, one survivor, Patience Carter spoke out Tuesday (June 13) to detail her account of the horrific crime.

Carter says she and two of her friends were in Orlando on vacation and Googled Pulse nightclub to enjoy what she described as the perfect night. Moment after ordering an Uber to leave, that's when Carter said she heard the shots.

"At first we didn't know they were gunshots. I didn't know. I was so confused. Like, wow, a club would do all this to get people to leave their club. I thought it was BB Gun at first, or the DJ was playing some sort of sound of gunshots, I didn't think they were actually gunshots. But the fear inside me made me drop to the floor anyway."

Thankfully, Carter was close enough to the door where she and her friend could get out, but chose to go back inside for the third girl they came with. Once inside, they were engulfed in the thick of the chaos as clubgoers scrambled to hide or take cover from the shooter-- Omar Mateen--who continued to fire off shots from his AR-15 assault rifle.

"It was shocking," Carter said to a room full of press. "We just went from having the time of our lives, to the worst night of our lives in a matter of minutes."

Carter and her two friends ran into the bathroom along with others and says it was there she realized she was shot in the leg, and another friend in the arm. Carter then says the gunman came in called 911 and explained his quarrel is with America, not with black people.

"Throughout that period of hours, the gunman was in there with us and he actually made a call to 911 and everybody could hear, who was in the bathroom who survived, could hear him talking to 911, saying that the reason why he's doing this is because he wants America to stop bombing his country, and from that conversation to 911 he pledged his allegiance to ISIS."

"After that he even spoke to us directly in the bathroom. He said "Are there any black people in here?" I was too afraid to answer. But there was an African-American male in the stall where most of my body was, and he had answered and he said 'Yes, there are about six or seven of us.' and the gunman responded back to him saying 'I don't have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys suffered enough' He made a statement saying it wasn't about black people. This isn't the reason why he's doing this, but through the conversation with 911, he said the reason why he's doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country."

As the FBI and investigators continue to piece together the timeline of events which led to the horrific tragedy on June 12, reports indicate Mateen chose Pulse--a gay nightclub--because he was irate after seeing two men kissing, but it's also reported he used a gay dating app in the past, and also frequented the club on many occasions.

Before giving her account of the night, Carter recited a poem she wrote, which she says has helped in her grieving process. Watch her read her poem below.

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Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP

Texas Appeals Court Grants Stay Of Execution For Rodney Reed Stay

A Texas Criminal Appeals Court granted Rodney Reed a stay of execution on Friday (Nov. 15). The decision came hours after the state’s parole board recommended that Reed’s lethal injection be delayed by 120-days.

Reed was scheduled to be lethally injected on Nov. 20. Although the court decision means that he no longer has an execution date, the parole board failed to approve a request to commute Reed's sentence to life in prison, the Washington Post reports.

The 51-year-old Texas native has spent that last two decades on death row for the1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Reed has filed numerous appeals over the years but his story only recently went viral catching the attention of lawmakers and celebrities including Rihanna, Oprah, Beyonce, T.I., Kim Kardashian West, the latter of whom was visiting with Reed when his execution was delayed.

Reed, who has long maintained his innocence, says Stite's was killed by her fiance, Jimmy Fennell. Fennell’s lawyer Robert Phillips “laughed off” Reed’s allegations, according to numerous reports.

Fennell served 10 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping and rape of another woman while working as a police officer in 2007. He was briefly suspected in Stite’s murder. Authorities turned their attention to Reed after his DNA was found inside Stites, from what he contends was a consensual relationship. Reed, who is black, believes that race played a part in the case because Stites was a white woman. He was convicted by an all-white jury.

Reed’s legal team has also provided evidence to prove his innocence, including new witnesses.

"We’re happy that we’re going to have an opportunity to present the compelling evidence that Rodney Reed didn’t commit the crime," Bryce Benjet of the Innocence Project, who took on Reed’s case, told The Texas Tribune. "The Court of Criminal Appeals recognized the substance of this case and the need for a special hearing where all the evidence can be considered."

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Trailblazers Portrayed In 'Hidden Figures' To Receive Congressional Gold Medals

Engineers Mary Jackson and Christine Darden, mathematician Katherine Johnson and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughn are being honored with the highest U.S. civilian award.

The four trailblazers, three of whom were depicted in the film Hidden Figures, will receive Congressional Gold Medal, ABC News reports. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) helped introduce the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act, a bipartisan bill signed by President Donald Trump last Friday (Nov. 8).

As the highest civilian award in the U.S., the Congressional Gold Medal recognizes those who have performed an achievement that has had a lasting impact on American history and culture.

Johnson, who celebrated her 101st birthday last summer, calculated trajectories for numerous NASA space missions beginning in the early 1950s. Vaughn, who died in 2008, led the West Area Computing unit for nine years, and was the first black supervisors at the national Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became NASA.

Jackson, who died in 2005, was NASA’s first black engineer. Darden became an engineer at NASA 16 years after Jackson and went on to “revolutionize aeronautic design.” She was also the first black person to be promoted to Senior Executive at NASA's Langley Research Center, and has also authored more than 50 articles on aeronautics design.

“Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Dr. Christine Darden made monumental contributions to science and our nation,” said Senator Harris. “The groundbreaking accomplishments of these four women, and all of the women who contributed to the success of NASA, helped us win the space race but remained in the dark far too long. I am proud our bill to honor these remarkable women has passed Congress. These pioneers remain a beacon for Black women across the country, both young and old.”

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Courtesy of Crawford Family, WVLT

Authorities Release Grisly Details Of Alexis Crawford’s Murder

Alexis Crawford was strangled to death before her body was thrown in a trash bin, the Fulton Country Superior Court revealed in court documents released on Tuesday (Nov. 12).

Crawford died on Oct. 31, reports the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Four days earlier, the 21-year-old Clark Atlanta University senior filed a police report against her roommate, Jordyn Jones's boyfriend, Barron Bentley, accusing him of sexual assault. Crawford had a rape kit performed on her at a local hospital. Crawford's decision to go to police caused tension between her and Jones, which erupted in a physical fight.

“As a result of the physical altercation, Barron Brantley choked the victim until she was deceased,” the Atlanta Police Department said.

After killing Crawford, Jones and Brantley, both age 21, stuffed her body into a “plastic bin” and transported it to Exchange Park in Decatur, Ga., where they left her remains.

Crawford and Jones knew each other for at least two years, and became close while studying at Clark Atlanta. The Michigan native even visited Crawford’s family’s home during the holidays.

Brantley confessed to Crawford's murder and led police to her body last Friday (Nov. 7). Jones was arrested the following day.

Brantley and Jones are both charged with felony murder and are being held without bond.

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