Aug 18

Talent Is There, But Questions Remain for Humboldt Football

While Offense Looks Loaded, Cats Will Need Defense to Play Better in 2017

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Humboldt, Iowa — As he enters his 18th season, Humboldt head football coach Greg Thomas is making some significant changes to his offensive philosophy.

Make no bones about it, the new up-tempo, no-huddle offense that Humboldt is looking to employ this season looks and feels good through the first weeks of practice, but if they cannot get stops on the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats may struggle to be competitive once again in a strong 3A-1 District.

While numbers have gone up — according to several on the staff — depth remains a key issue and has in part, played a big role in why Humboldt struggled defensively, at least last season.

The Cats gave up 33.1 points per game in 2016. Comparatively in 2015 Humboldt’s defense yielded 21.8 points per game, it was even stingier in 2014 allowing just over 17 points per game.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the stars of yesterday are no longer walking through the halls of Humboldt High School, now the coaching staff must mold the talent on the roster to become a formative defense in 2017.

That, in a nutshell, is the beauty of high school sports. No recruiting, no enticing, it’s all about internal development.

Here’s an in-depth preview of the 2017 Humboldt Wildcat football team.

Defense:

Junior defensive tackle Justin Jones enjoyed a very strong sophomore season and looks poised to wreak havoc at either tilt tackle or playing as three-technique in Tom Johnson’s unique 4-4 scheme. Jones led Humboldt with five tackles for loss and was tied for first with 51 tackles in total.

Two of Humboldt’s top three tacklers have graduated, leaving Jones and senior linebacker Logan Moser as the leading returning tacklers.

Senior Nick Bruening is being asked to assume a much larger part in the Humboldt secondary as a senior and will have to play well in an ancillary role in a position that Johnson places much pressure on.  Most plays, Bruening will play as the lone high safety in Johnson’s Cover 3 heavy scheme.

I’m excited, yeah, I haven’t really been able to play any role on defense in the past and it’s now my time to show myself and get out there and hit somebody” Bruening said at his post-practice locker, Wednesday evening.

Bruening will join the secondary with holdovers Joey Busse (more on him in a moment) and Lucas Volf. Busse took his lumps at corner last year but is a supreme athlete and an elite competitor, he may be an interesting one on defense to watch this season.

Seniors Sawyer Savery and Timmy Larson are both seeing their first varsity action at the outside linebacker position in 2017. Coached by former Hawkeye and Minnesota Viking Tyler Nielsen, Savery and Larson will look to replace the stellar play of both Colton Monson and Devon Clark who played the hybrid strong safety, outside linebacker roles last season.

Eli Sande was a newcomer to that position last year but has battled a significant calf contusion and has yet to practice this season. His week one status is uncertain, according to him.

Other names to monitor defensively are Matt Miller, Hunter Egdorf, Jamison Heinz and Traytin Harris, who missed last season with a knee.

Offense:

The question marks seem to fade rather quickly when examining the Wildcat offense in 2017. While they will undoubtedly miss the quarterbacking of now Iowa Hawkeye Drew Thomas and the receiving of Iowa Central Triton Devon Clark, the cupboard is hardly bare as far as weapons for offensive coordinator Greg Wickett to use are concerned.

Last year, Humboldt’s offensive struggles could largely be tied to their running game, or lack thereof. The Wildcats finished next to last in their district in total rushing and dead last in attempts.

Obviously, it was a Drew Thomas-centric offense, as it should have been with a player of his talent, but it remains clear that Humboldt will look to run the ball more and with better effectiveness in 2017.

Junior tailback Tyler Vitzthum, mark my words, looks poised to have an all-conference type season toting the ball this year. Vitzhum ended his season early suffering a foot injury last year, but sparkled when given the opportunity, turning his 21 carries into 124 yards — a healthy 5.9 yards per carry — and two scores. Vitzthum’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and out of the slot gives Wickett and Thomas a versatile chess piece to exploit opposing defenders.

The same can be said for sophomore wunderkind Jamison Heinz, who Thomas said “will not come off the field [offensively].” Heinz has a strong pedigree, his brother Jaxon was an-all district player, and has speed to burn. Heinz will probably see time at quarterback, running back and wide receiver and will get the ball in space as much as he can handle. It will be interesting to monitor how creative the coaching staff can be in getting him the ball.

I’m just hoping to do whatever I can to progress the team forward.” Heinz explained. “I know we got a few new guys coming up, but we will be alright. I am just going to do as best I can wherever the [staff] puts me.”

The firepower continues on the outside with returning letter-winners Eli Sande and Lucas Volf figuring to play a very large role in the air attack. The aforementioned Sande has been battling a bit of the injury bug this season, but when healthy, has the speed to completely take the lid off opposing defenses.

Sande led the team with eight touchdown receptions last year to go along with 450 yards and an insane 19.6 yards per catch average. Volf returns to the offense after hauling in two touchdowns and over 250 yards of receiving.

The offensive line which looks stronger and more in-sync, will look to pave the way for Thomas and Wickett. It’s one thing to have weapons on the outside and out of the backfield, but every smart football mind knows games are won and lost in the trenches. Fortunately for Humboldt, they have nearly everyone intact from last year’s offensive line unit.

Junior Owen Terwilliger will look to anchor the group after starting all season last year at left tackle.

I’ve put on about twenty pounds over the summer and I’ve been working on my footwork and just working the plays and I think [as a unit] having the experience from last year will help a lot” Terwilliger said.

I think this line can be really, really good. We have a lot of big guys and we know what we are doing. I think this line can be pretty good” he explained further.

One interesting nugget from fall camp so far has been the experiment of playing Justin Jones at right tackle. The question is how long will Humboldt’s coaching staff want to expose Jones as a blocker rather than resting him to expose the other team’s offensive line as a defensive tackle. It will be an interesting dichotomy to follow in the upcoming weeks.

Incumbent junior quarterback Joey Busse seemed to squelch any talks over a quarterback battle as he looks in command of the Wildcat offense. Busse inherits an offense with an embarrassment of riches with full autonomy on running plays and to some extent passing plays as well. Humboldt’s no-huddle spread offense caters a lot to Busse’s strengths as a passer. It seems as if Humboldt’s offensive coaches will accentuate moving Busse out of the pocket where he can attack the perimeter and put as much stress on the defense as possible. 

There was some grumblings of a three-way battle between Busse, Heinz and Jake Thurm, but it seems now Busse has the lead by a good margin. 

Don’t be surprised, however, if Heinz plays quarterback in spots as a Wildcat Quarterback, similar to the early Florida Gator days of Chris Leak and Tim Tebow. Heinz can run and if it’s by direct snap in the shotgun, Humboldt will exploit that as well. Jake Thurm has spun the ball well in camp but is probably a year-out as far as the varsity lights are concerned, but no doubt is his future bright.

Bottom Line:

This team offensively has all the tools to put up some gaudy numbers in 3A-1 if they execute their scheme to their max potential. It will be up to veteran offensive coaching staff to make sure that they are placing players in their best role to succeed as a unit. Are there a lot of mouths to feed on this offense? Sure. But as an offensive coordinator, Greg Wickett has to be drooling when watching opposing films tape on Sunday or Monday and coming up with a scheme each week tailored to best attack their opponent. There are so many weapons for Humboldt bludgeon their opponent with.

Defensively, Humboldt is young, but there are pieces at each level of the defense who are capable of making plays. If Humboldt can be average on defense this season, this team certainly has the ability to win five to six games and finish in the top half of their district. How they handle their players who go both ways will be a strong indicator of their defensive success in 2017.

Projected Starters:

Offense:

LT: Owen Terwilliger

LG: Jacob Volf

C: Owen Newton

RG: Hunter Egdorf

RT: Justin Jones

 

FB: Traytin Harris

RB: Tyler Vitzthum

 

X: Eli Sande Ca

Z: Lucas Volf

TE: Matt Miller

H: Jamison Heinz

 

QB: Joey Busse

 

Defense:

LDE: Jack Arndt

TT: Jacob Volf

DT: Justin Jones

RDE: Owen Newton

 

MLB: Traytin Harris

MLB: Logan Moser

 

OLB/SS: Sawyer Savery

OLB: Timmy Larson

 

CB: Lucas Volf

CB: Joey Busse

FS: Nick Bruening

 

Specialists:

PK: Lucas Volf

Holder: Jacob Thurm

LS: Owen Newton

 

Photo Courtesy: (Instagram: Lucas Volf, @volf21) 

Aug 18

Painted Rock Craze About Kindness, Spreading Joy

By: Nathan Bloechl — nathanb@977thebolt.com

Humboldt, Iowa — Maybe you’ve seen them, maybe you haven’t — but the painted rock craze is taking over Humboldt.

Carrie Spellmeyer operates the Facebook page “Painted Rocks of Humboldt” and explains how the process started, what the initiative is about and what others can do to participate.

Photo Courtesy: (Facebook — Painted Rocks Humboldt) 

Aug 18

Tony Dungy, Tampa Bay pro teams paying to move Confederate statue

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(TAMPA BAY, FL.) — Former NFL Head Coach Tony Dungy challenged Tampa Bay’s professional sports franchises to help pay to move a Confederate statue from a local courthouse.

The three teams, the Lightning, Buccaneers and Rays, said they would help. 

On Wednesday, Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 to block public funds from being used to move the statue. The county said it would cost $140,000 to move the statue and that that money would have to come from private funds.

Dungy, the former Buccaneers and Colts coach, lives in Tampa Bay and tweeted out an appeal following the county decision.

Our County says private $$ must be raised to move Confederate statue. Lauren and I are in for $5K. We challenge Bucs Rays Lightning to help! pic.twitter.com/dGRd1BTFkp

— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) August 17, 2017

The three teams issued a joint statement on Twitter saying they would assist in moving the statue.

 

A joint statement from us, @raysbaseball, & @tbbuccaneers regarding the movement to remove the Confederate monument from downtown Tampa. pic.twitter.com/U87JQsYXO4

— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) August 17, 2017

Dungy’s appeal was also heard by former Tampa Bay Storm, a professional arena football team, owner Bob Gries, who pledged $50,000 and current Tampa Bay Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who offered $1,000.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Scoreboard roundup — 8/16/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
L.A. Angels    3  Washington      2
N-Y Yankees    5  N-Y Mets        3
Boston         5  St. Louis       4
Houston        9  Arizona         5
L.A. Dodgers   5  Chi White Sox   4

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Kansas City   7  Oakland     6
Seattle       7  Baltimore   6
Toronto       3  Tampa Bay   2
Texas        12  Detroit     6
  Cleveland  at  Minnesota   8:10 p.m., postponed

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami       8  San Francisco   1
Milwaukee   7  Pittsburgh      6
San Diego   3  Philadelphia    0
Chi Cubs    7  Cincinnati      6
Colorado   17  Atlanta         2

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
L.A. Sparks   95  Washington   62
Seattle       62  Minnesota    61

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Prince William calls walking behind mom’s coffin ‘one of the hardest things I’ve ever done’

JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — Prince William has revealed how he felt walking behind his mother’s casket in a new BBC documentary to mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, that walk,” William, 35, said in “Diana, 7 Days,” which airs on Aug. 27. “It felt she was almost walking along beside us to get us through it.”

William’s brother, Prince Harry, recalled being consoled by members of the public and being struck by the fact that they, too, were grieving for his mother in their own way.

“I remember people’s hands were wet because of the tears they had just wiped away,” Harry, 32, shared.

William and Harry were just 15 and 12, respectively, when their mother died at the age of 36 in a Paris car crash on Aug. 31, 1997.

William, now a father of two young children, and Harry walked behind their mother’s coffin as the procession made its way through the streets of London on Sept. 6, 1997. They were accompanied in the procession by their father, Prince Charles, and their grandfather, Prince Philip, in addition to Lord Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother.

At one point during the procession, Spencer could be seen patting Harry on the back, appearing to give him emotional support.

“My mother had just died and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” Harry told Newsweek magazine in an interview published in July. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”

“Diana, 7 Days,” which airs four days before the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, includes tributes from many people who have rarely opened up since Diana’s death, including her brother, Spencer, and sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

McCorquodale talked about the lasting impact of Diana’s death, saying, “My sister’s dying has provoked this national, international reaction.”

William and Harry have organized several tributes to their mother this year, including a special sunken garden at Kensington Palace and a fashion exhibit that chronicles Diana’s life and includes some of her most iconic dresses.

William and Harry have also spent the last year campaigning for mental health awareness through their charity, the Heads Together Foundation. They shared for the first time publicly their own struggles as a result of their mother’s death.

Harry told the U.K.’s The Telegraph in April he “shut down all [his] emotions” for almost two decades due to the grief over Diana’s death.

He also described feeling completely overwhelmed having to live his life so publicly.

“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” said Harry, who credited William with encouraging him to seek mental health support to help him deal with his anger and pain.

William, who has generally been more guarded in sharing his emotions, has taken over as royal patron of his mother’s charity, Child Bereavement UK, which seeks to help families struggling with the loss of a family member.

It is unclear how William and Harry will spend the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death.

In July, on what would have been Diana’s 56th birthday, William and Harry joined family members at a re-dedication service at their mother’s grave at Althorp House on the Spencer estate in Northamptonshire.

William also recently reflected on how he hopes to keep his mother’s memory alive for his two children, 4-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte, with his wife, Princess Kate.

“I think constantly talking about Granny Diana, so we’ve got more photos up around the house now of her and we talk about her a bit and stuff,” William said in a documentary that aired last month. “And it’s hard because obviously Catherine didn’t know her, so she cannot really provide that level of detail.”

He continued. “So I do regularly, putting George or Charlotte to bed, talk about her and just try and remind them that there are two grandmothers, there were two grandmothers in in their lives, and so it’s important that they know who she was and that she existed.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Police operation underway but ‘under control’ after ‘possible terrorist attack’ south of Barcelona

Josep Lago/Getty Images(BARCELONA, Spain) — A police operation is underway the Spanish town of Cambrils, about 90 minutes south of Barcelona, after a “possible terrorist attack,” local officials said Thursday evening. Althought the operation is active, police said it is “under control.”

Four people were killed in the incident and one person was wounded and detained, Catalan police said. Although the police operation is ongoing, the situation is “under control,” police said.

On Twitter, police said that they “have killed the alleged perpetrators.” Catalan police told ABC News that they believe the incident in Cambrils to be related to a separate attack in Barcelona earlier Thursday.

“We work on the hypothesis that the terrorists killed in Cambrils would be related to the events in Barcelona and Alcanar,” police said. Alcanar is the location of the earlier deadly house explosion that police said was believed to be connected to the Barcelona plot.

Also, Catalunya’s Emergency Services confirmed that in addition to the terrorists, six people were injured, two of them seriously. One police officer was also injured.

At least 13 people died and more than 100 were injured after a van slammed into pedestrians in a busy tourist section of Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district

Two individuals have been detained, police said. One person is a Spanish national from Melilla and the other is from Morocco.

Neither of those detained was the driver of the van, police said.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Las Ramblas attack via its Amaq agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Catalonia’s emergency services advised the community to “stay home” and “avoid going out.”

Police have connected the incident to a house explosion in Alcanar, Spain, Wednesday night. The explosion, which caused part of the building to collapse, killed one person and injured others, police said.

The two people who were arrested were detained in the same town as the house explosion, authorities said.

Police described a separate incident in which a car trying to get past a Barcelona checkpoint hit an officer and another person, police said. The incident killed one person and broke the officer’s leg, police said.

A man inside the car was shot by police, authorities said, but they did not confirm whether the incident was connected to the attack in Las Ramblas.

A spokesperson for the Guardia Civil, Spain’s national police force, told ABC News the man who rented the van has been identified as Driss Oukabir. Police confirmed that Oukabir is one of the detained individuals.

An eyewitness told a Spanish television station that the driver of the van ran people over for nearly 1,000 feet before fleeing into a nearby Turkish restaurant.

The witness said the suspect had something in his hand but he could not tell what it was.

Police said there is no proof that the man who left the car was armed but described the incident as a terror attack that attempted to kill as many people as possible.

Some of the injured went to the hospital on their own, said Catalonia’s interior minister, Joaquim Forn, said in a press conference Thursday night. The number of dead and injured victims could go up, Forn said.

Authorities are in the process of identifying the deceased, he said.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy expressed solidarity with the victims and their families, describing the attack as “jihadist terrorism.”

Those responsible for the attack will be brought to justice, Rajoy said, stressing that the response to the terrorism needs to be global.

Barcelona residents are suffering “the same pain and the same uncertainty” as their neighbors in Madrid, Paris, Nice, Brussels and London, Rajoy said.

Forn declared three days of mourning, and a moment of silence will be held on Friday at noon local time at the Plaza de Catalunya, Forn said. The king of Spain, Felipe VI, will be present for the moment of silence, the palace’s official Twitter account announced.

 

El Rey estará hoy en la plaza de Cataluña de Barcelona para unirse al minuto de silencio en solidaridad con las víctimas del atentado.

— Casa de S.M. el Rey (@CasaReal) August 17, 2017

 

Las Ramblas is a popular tourist area in Spain’s second-largest city and was filled people at the time of the attack, police said. Catalan police ordered an evacuation of the area.

Emergency services for the Catalonia region, of which Barcelona is the capital, posted tweets in multiple languages advising individuals to use social media to inform relatives of their whereabouts.

 

#Barcelona #Rambles If you are ok, please Inform your family using social networks to avoid the collapse of phone lines

— 112 (@112) August 17, 2017

 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Barcelona terror attack follows deadly pattern of vehicular violence

David Ramos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An attacker killed at least 13 people and injured dozens more in Barcelona on Thursday using what has become a hallmark of recent terror attacks: a vehicle.

Local police say a rented van jumped the curb and plowed into pedestrians in the city’s famous Las Ramblas tourist area, and two people, one from Morocco, the other a Spanish national, are in custody in connection with the attack. Authorities say neither of them was the driver of the vehicle.

Asked if the driver remains on the loose, a Catalonia police official replied, “That is right. He is neither of the two detained.”

For more than a year, ISIS has urged its followers to carry out such vehicle attacks, even providing specific instructions on choosing the ideal vehicle and the ideal targets, including large outdoor festivals and pedestrian-congested streets.

According to John Cohen, the former principal deputy coordinator for counterterrorism at the Department of Homeland Security and an ABC News contributor, attacks on so-called “soft targets” are difficult to prevent and relatively easy to carry out.

“ISIS promotes these types of attacks because they’re easy,” Cohen told ABC News. “You can take people who have received no training, who are using items that are easy to acquire. And they can still commit mass murder.”

Thursday’s attack is the just the latest in a string of deadly incidents throughout Europe in which terrorists have drawn from that playbook, using vehicles to inflict casualties.
In August of last year, 86 people were killed on by a speeding truck driven by an ISIS follower in Nice, France. In December, 12 people killed in a vehicle attack on the Christmas markets in Berlin. And 14 people were killed in two separate incidents in London this year, one on the Westminster Bridge and the other on the London Bridge.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS took responsibility for the Barcelona attack, calling those involved “soldiers of the Islamic state” in a statement released by its ‘Amaq News Agency
“Security source for ‘Amaq Agency: The executors of the Barcelona attack were from the soldiers of the Islamic State, and the operation came in response to calls to target coalition states,” the message reads.

U.S.-backed fighters have recently driven ISIS militants from their strongholds in Raqqa and Mosul. As ISIS continues to struggle on the battlefield, Cohen says, the group could increasingly turn to these kinds of attacks.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in attacks by individuals who are inspired by ISIS or are loosely connected to ISIS in Europe and even in the U.S.,” Cohen told ABC News. “As ISIS suffers more defeats in Iraq and Syria we can only expect to see more attacks.”

The events in Barcelona have put American law enforcement officials on high alert for similar attacks, especially in New York, where the challenge of protecting the city’s many popular pedestrian walkways, like Times Square, is particularly daunting.

Nicholas Casale, a retired NYPD detective, former deputy director of counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and an ABC News contributor, said preventing a similar attack in Times Square would be extremely difficult.

“You can put up concrete barriers, you can have cameras all over the place and officers with heavy weapons, but the bottom line is Times Square, 7th Avenue, is filled with traffic, and if you have just one operator who has a sympathy, who is a lone wolf, who is an independent actor, it’s all but impossible to stop them from crashing into a crowd,” Casale told ABC News.
James Waters, the NYPD’s chief of counterterrorism, said his office is ready to meet the challenge.

“We consider NYC a target all the time,” Waters told ABC News. “We’re always ready and prepared to responds to anything that we face. We know that we’re in the crosshairs of the terrorists all the time.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Barcelona attack witness saw driver ‘knocking people over at high speed’

JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images(BARCELONA, Spain) — A tourist who witnessed the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday that left at least 13 dead and more than 50 injured, told ABC News he saw a driver “knocking people over at high-speed.”

In the incident local police called a “terror attack,” a van slammed into pedestrians near Catalunya Square in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, a busy tourist area.

Brendon Sissing told ABC News he heard screams of people to his left, and when he looked up, he saw a white van driving at what he estimated to be 50 to 60 miles per hour down a pedestrian walkway.

The van knocked people over, and some people were under the van, but the driver “just kept going,” Sissing said.

The driver stopped opposite to where Sissing was standing, he said, and then the driver kept going.
Sissing ran into a shop, he said. When he left, he heard about five gunshots, so he ran into a second building where construction workers took him in.

One witness told a Spanish television station that after the suspect ran over people in his van for nearly 1,000 feet, the suspect fled into a nearby Turkish restaurant.

Police said one man is in custody in connection with the attack.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered condolences for the “loss of life and injuries” of “so many innocent people, yet again.”

Tillerson said this incident has “the hallmarks, it appears, of yet another terrorist attack.”

To terrorists around the world, Tillerson said, we are “resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

Tillerson added that the U.S. stands ready to assist authorities in Barcelona.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Trump denounces Barcelona terror attack in tweet

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump tweeted a condemnation of the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday.

 

The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017

A van drove into pedestrians on a boulevard and public square popular with tourists in Barcelona earlier in the day on Thursday, leaving at least 13 people dead and 50 more injured. Law enforcement in the city labeled the incident an act of terror.

The president faced criticism over the weekend for not labeling a similar incident in Charlottesville, Virginia as “terrorism.” In Virginia, one woman died and 19 were injured when a car drove into a crowd during protests in the city.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told ABC News Monday, that that incident met “the definition of domestic terrorism.”

Trump’s tweet follows comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who offered U.S. condolences and assistance in remarks earlier Thursday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

US offers condolences amid deadly Barcelona terror attack

Josep Lago(WASHINGTON) — As an attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday killed at least one person and left at least 32 injured, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered condolences for the “loss of life and injuries” of “so many innocent people, yet again.”

In the incident local police called a “terror attack,” a van slammed into pedestrians near Catalunya Square in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, a busy tourist area. An eyewitness told a Spanish television station that the suspect ran over people in his van for nearly 1,000 feet before fleeing into a nearby Turkish restaurant.

Two people have been detained, police said

Tillerson said this incident has “the hallmarks, it appears, of yet another terrorist attack.”

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack.

To terrorists around the world, Tillerson said, we are “resolved to find you and bring you to justice.”

Tillerson added that the U.S. stands ready to assist authorities in Barcelona.

President Donald Trump condemned the attack in a tweet, encouraging Spain to “be tough and strong” and saying the U.S. “will do whatever is necessary to help.”

The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that he is “sickened” by the “horrific” attack and that the U.S. vows to work with allies “to find those responsible & bring to justice.”

Sickened by horrific terror attack in Barcelona. U.S. will work w/ allies to find those responsible & bring to justice. Praying for victims. https://t.co/Z4YcbtwRcy

— Vice President Pence (@VP) August 17, 2017

Pence said today while on a trip to Panama, “Whatever inspired today’s terror attack, the United States stands ready to assist the people of Spain and find and punish those responsible.

“On this dark day,” Pence added, “our prayers and the prayers of all the American people are with the victims, their families and the good people of Spain.”

First lady Melania Trump also offered her condolences, tweeting, “Thoughts and prayers to #Barcelona.”

Thoughts and prayers to #Barcelona

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 17, 2017

Former President Barack Obama tweeted, “Michelle and I are thinking of the victims and their families in Barcelona. Americans will always stand with our Spanish friends.”

Michelle and I are thinking of the victims and their families in Barcelona. Americans will always stand with our Spanish friends. Un abrazo.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 17, 2017

Flags have been lowered to half-staff at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., in memory of the victims. 

The athletic department at Clemson University in South Carolina wrote on Twitter that its men’s basketball program is in Barcelona, but the entire travel party is “safe and secure” and is expected to return to Clemson on Friday.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona and those injured at this time,” the Clemson athletic department added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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