Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

Thefts of charging cables pose yet another obstacle to appeal of electric vehicles

News

Thefts of charging cables pose yet another obstacle to appeal of electric vehicles
News

News

Thefts of charging cables pose yet another obstacle to appeal of electric vehicles

2024-06-12 21:32 Last Updated At:21:40

DETROIT (AP) — Just before 2 a.m. on a chilly April night in Seattle, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup stopped at an electric vehicle charging station on the edge of a shopping center parking lot.

Two men, one with a light strapped to his head, got out. A security camera recorded them pulling out bolt cutters. One man snipped several charging cables; the other loaded them into the truck. In under 2½ minutes, they were gone.

More Images
A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

DETROIT (AP) — Just before 2 a.m. on a chilly April night in Seattle, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup stopped at an electric vehicle charging station on the edge of a shopping center parking lot.

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

The scene that night has become part of a troubling pattern across the country: Thieves have been targeting EV charging stations, intent on stealing the cables, which contain copper wiring. The price of copper is near a record high on global markets, which means criminals stand to collect rising sums of cash from selling the material.

The stolen cables often disable entire stations, forcing EV owners on the road to search desperately for a working charger. For the owners, the predicament can be exasperating and stressful.

Broken-down chargers have emerged as the latest obstacle for U.S. automakers in their strenuous effort to convert more Americans to EVs despite widespread public anxiety about a scarcity of charging stations. About 4 in 10 U.S. adults say they believe EVs take too long to charge or don’t know of any charging stations nearby.

If even finding a charging station doesn't necessarily mean finding functioning cables, it becomes one more reason for skeptical buyers to stick with traditional gasoline-fueled or hybrid vehicles, at least for now.

America's major automakers have made heavy financial bets that buyers will shift away from combustion engines and embrace EVs as the world faces the worsening consequences of climate change. Accordingly, the companies have poured billions into EVs.

Stellantis envisions 50% of its passenger cars being EVs by the end of 2030. Ford set a target of producing 2 million EVs per year by 2026 — about 45% of its global sales — though it has since suspended that goal. General Motors, the most ambitious of the three, has pledged to sell only EV passenger cars by the end of 2035.

Any such timetables, of course, hinge on whether the companies can convince more would-be EV buyers that a charge will always be available when they travel. The rise in cable thefts isn't likely to strengthen the automakers' case.

Two years ago, according to Electrify America, which runs the nation’s second-largest network of direct-current fast chargers, a cable might be cut perhaps every six months at one of its 968 charging stations, with 4,400 plugs nationwide. Through May this year, the figure reached 129 — four more than in all of 2023. At one Seattle station, cables were cut six times in the past year, said Anthony Lambkin, Electrify America's vice president of operations.

"We’re enabling people to get to work, to take their kids to school, get to medical appointments," Lambkin said. “So to have an entire station that’s offline is pretty impactful to our customers.”

Two other leading EV charging companies — Flo and EVgo — also have reported a rise in thefts. Charging stations in the Seattle area have been a frequent target. Sites in Nevada, California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Pennsylvania have been hit, too.

Stations run by Tesla, which operates the nation's largest fast-charging network, have been struck in Seattle, Oakland and Houston. So far this year, Seattle police have reported seven cases of cable thefts from charging stations, matching the number for all of 2023. Thieves hit Tesla stations four times this year compared with just once last year, the Seattle police said.

“Vandalism of public charging infrastructure in the Seattle metro area has unfortunately been increasing in frequency," EVgo said.

The company said law enforcement officials are investigating the thefts while it tries to repair inoperable stations and considers a longer-term solution.

The problem isn't confined to urban areas. In rural Sumner, Washington, south of Seattle, thieves cut cables twice at a Puget Sound Energy charging station. The company is working with police and the property owner to protect the station.

Until a month ago, police in Houston knew of no cable thefts. Then one was stolen from a charger at a gas station. The city has now recorded eight or nine such thefts, said Sgt. Robert Carson, who leads a police metal-theft unit.

In one case, thieves swiped 18 of 19 cords at a Tesla station. That day, Carson visited the station to inspect the damage. In the first five minutes that he was there, Carson said, about 10 EVs that needed charging had to be turned away.

In very large cities like Houston, charging stations typically contain an especially large number of plugs and cables, so thefts can be particularly damaging.

“They're not just taking one," Carson said. "When they're hit, they're hit pretty hard.”

Roy Manuel, an Uber driver who normally recharges his Tesla at the Houston station hit by thieves, said he fears being unable to do so because of stolen cables.

“If my battery was really low, I’d have quite an issue with operating my vehicle,” he said. “If it was so low that I couldn’t get to another charger, I might be in trouble. Might even need a tow truck.”

The charging companies say it's become clear that the thieves are after the copper that the cables contain. In late May, copper hit a record high of nearly $5.20 a pound, a result, in part, of rising demand resulting from efforts to cut carbon emissions with EVs that use more copper wiring. The price is up about 25% from a year ago, and many analysts envision further increases.

Charging companies say there isn't actually very much copper in the cables, and what copper is there is difficult to extract. Carson estimates that criminals can get $15 to $20 per cable at a scrap yard.

"They're not making a significant amount of money,” he said. “They're not going to be sailing on a yacht anywhere.”

Still, the more cables the thieves can steal, the more they can cash in. At $20 a cable, 20 stolen cables could fetch $400.

The problem for the charging companies is that it's much costlier to replace cables. In Minneapolis, where cables have been clipped at city-owned charging stations, it costs about $1,000 to replace just one cable, said Joe Laurin, project manager in the Department of Public Works.

The charging companies are trying to fight back. Electrify America is installing more security cameras. In Houston, police are visiting recycling centers to look for stolen metal.

But it's often hard for the scrap yards to determine conclusively whether metal came from a charging cable. Thieves often burn off the insulation and just sell strands of metal.

The Recycled Materials Association, which represents 1,700 members, is issuing scrap-theft alerts from law enforcement officials so that members can be on the lookout for suspects and stolen goods.

Because charging stations are often situated in remote corners of parking lots, Carson suggested that many more security cameras are needed.

In the meantime, Electrify America said Seattle police are trying to track down the thieves in the video. And Carson said the Houston police are pursuing leads in the Tesla theft.

“We'd like to get them stopped," he said, “and then let the court system do what they're supposed to do.”

AP Video Journalist Lekan Oyekanmi contributed to this report from Houston.

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

A Tesla supercharging location is seen on Kipling Street, June 3, 2024 in Houston. Charging stations have been hit particularly hard by thieves who likely want to sell the highly conductive copper wiring inside the cables at near-record prices. But authorities and charging company officials say similar thefts are increasing across the U.S. as more charging stations are built. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)

Next Article

The Latest: New details emerge about Trump rally shooting suspect

2024-07-15 10:25 Last Updated At:10:30

A shooting at Donald Trump ’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania is being investigated as an attempted assassination of the former president and presumptive Republican nominee, law enforcement officials say.

Trump called Sunday for unity and resilience as shocked leaders across the political divide reacted to the shooting.

The Secret Service said it killed the suspected shooter, who attacked from a rooftop of a nearby building outside the rally venue.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024

Here's the Latest:

Tony Perkins, among the most influential Christian conservatives in the Republican Party, was preparing to mount a confrontation with convention planners over his disdain for how debate during the RNC’s platform committee was shut down on Monday, all but eliminating objections to the Trump campaign’s desire to soften language on abortion.

The attempted assassination changed all that, Perkins told The Associated Press after a prayer service in suburban Milwaukee Sunday evening.

“We live in a violent society. And we run the risk of becoming callous to it. And if we become callous to it, we’re going to have more of it,” Perkins said. “I’m hoping and praying it’s a wake-up call in many ways.”

“So, as a result, I’m stepping back from forcing the issue on the platform,” he added. “More divisiveness would not be healthy.”

Perkins called social media “a contagion” for toxic rhetoric passed along by people who do not feel that they’re heard by their government or leaders, and attributed the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in part to the notion of overheated online rage.

“We need to stop,” he said.

And while thanking God during the service for Trump’s survival, Perkins told more than 100 in the Pewaukee church, “Lord, I believe that our nation is at such a volatile moment that yesterday could have torn this nation right in half.”

The 20-year-old man who tried to assassinate former President Donald Trump first came to law enforcement’s attention at Saturday’s rally when spectators noticed him acting strangely outside the campaign event. The tip sparked a frantic search, but officers were unable to find him before he managed to get on a roof, where he opened fire.

In the wake of the shooting that killed one spectator, investigators are hunting for any clues about what may have drove Thomas Matthew Crooks, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, to carry out the shocking attack. The FBI said they were investigating it as a potential act of domestic terrorism, but the absence of a clear ideological motive by the man shot dead by Secret Service allowed conspiracy theories to flourish.

The FBI said it believes Crooks, who had bomb-making materials in the car he drove to the rally, acted alone. Investigators have found no threatening comments on social media accounts or ideological positions that could help explain what led him to target Trump.

Crooks graduated from Bethel Park High School in 2022. His senior year, Crooks was among several students given an award for math and science, according to a Tribune-Review story at the time.

He tried out for the school’s rifle team but was turned away because he was a bad shooter, said Frederick Mach, a current captain of the team who was a few years behind Crooks at the school.

Jason Kohler, who said he attended the same high school but did not share any classes with Crooks, said Crooks was bullied at school and sat alone at lunch time. Other students mocked him for the clothes he wore, which included hunting outfits, Kohler said.

Former President Donald Trump told The Washington Examiner that he has rewritten the speech he was set to deliver at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday after being the target of an attempted assassination at his rally Saturday.

“The speech I was going to give on Thursday was going to be a humdinger,” he told the news outlet in an article posted Sunday evening.

In the interview, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee says he will now call for a new effort at national unity, noting that people from different political views have called him.

“This is a chance to bring the whole country, even the whole world, together. The speech will be a lot different, a lot different than it would’ve been two days ago,” he said.

Trump also reflected on the moment a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. He said he was saved from death because he turned from the crowd to look at a screen showing off a chart he was referring to.

“That reality is just setting in,” he told the news outlet as he boarded his plane in Bedminster, New Jersey, for Milwaukee. “I rarely look away from the crowd. Had I not done that in that moment, well, we would not be talking today, would we?”

President Joe Biden spoke for about five minutes from the Oval Office and noted that the Republican National Convention was opening in Milwaukee on Monday, while he himself would be traveling the country to campaign for reelection.

He says that during the RNC, he has “no doubt” Republicans will “criticize my record and offer their own vision for this country.” But he promised in campaigning to lay out “our vision.”

The president said passions would run high on both sides and that the stakes of the election were enormous.

But he added, “it’s time to cool it down” and noted not just the weekend attack on Trump but also the possibility of election-year violence on multiple fronts.

He used the address to urge all Americans not to accept an escalation in political violence as normal.

“We debate and disagree, we compare and contrast ... but in America we resolve our differences at the ballot box,” Biden said in his address.

He added: “Politics must never be a literal battlefield. God forbid a killing field.”

President Joe Biden says “we can’t, we must not go down” the road of political violence in American after Saturday’s attempted Trump assassination.

In a prime-time national address, Biden said that political passions can run high but “we must never descend into violence.”

“We can do this,” Biden implored, saying the nation was founded on a democracy that gave reason and balance a chance to prevail over brute force. “American democracy — where arguments are made in good faith. American democracy where the rule of law is respected. Where decency, dignity, fair play aren’t just quaint notions, they’re living, breathing realities.”

The president is planning to deliver extended remarks to the nation in an address from the Oval Office starting at 8 p.m. EDT.

His campaign said the president would touch on “the need for every American to come together” to end political violence in the U.S.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with former President Trump on Sunday.

“The Prime Minister condemned yesterday’s appalling assassination attempt and reiterated there’s no place for political violence. The Prime Minister wished the former President well and offered condolences to the shooting victims and to the family of Corey Comperatore,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

The former president said earlier Sunday that he was going to delay his trip because of the attempted assassination, but then decided he didn’t want it to force a change in his schedule.

Trump is not expected to speak at the Republican National Convention until Thursday night.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson says one of his staff members is no longer employed after he learned of a post she made on social media.

Screenshots of her apparent Facebook post, which was related to the attempted assassination of Trump, circulated on social media after the shooting.

The screenshots showed a post in which the staffer appeared to say she does not condone violence but suggested the shooter should get “shooting lessons” and should not have missed.

The AP was not able to view the user’s private Facebook profile to identify whether the post was still up.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is asking officials to revisit a prior decision that allows people to bring guns within blocks of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee after an assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press on Sunday.

Evers believes additional steps need to be taken to keep the convention’s attendees, law enforcement and the local community safe, the person said. The person could not discuss details of the request publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The request was made to the U.S. Secret Service, which would bring it to the Republican National Committee, the person said.

The Secret Service said at a news conference Sunday that they were confident in their existing security plan and hadn’t made any changes following the shooting.

— Jesse Bedayn and Mike Balsamo

The shooter at the Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, was able to get astonishingly close to the stage where the former president was speaking, according to an AP analysis of more than a dozen photos and videos from the scene, as well as satellite imagery of the site.

Here’s some of the key moments in the timeline of the shooting:

6:02 p.m. EDT

— Trump takes the stage to the strains of “God Bless the U.S.A.” He waves at the cheering crowd and begins his regular rally speech, with spectators both in front of him and behind him on risers.

Around 6:10 p.m.

— After rally-goers notice a man climbing on the top of the roof of a nearby building, a local law enforcement officer climbs to the roof, according to two law enforcement officials.

— A man identified by the FBI as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks points his rifle at the officer, who retreats down the ladder, the officials said.

— Crooks then quickly fires, according to the officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

— As the first pop rings out, Trump says, “Oh.” He raises his hand to his right ear and looks at it before quickly crouching to the ground behind his lectern.

— Secret Service agents rush to the stage and pile atop the former president to shield him.

— Corey Comperatore, a 50-year-old former fire chief attending the rally, is shot and killed. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said Sunday that Comperatore used his body as a shield to protect his wife and daughter.

— Secret Service counter snipers fire back and shoot Crooks.

About 1 minute after the shots

— Video shows Trump getting to his feet and reaching with his right hand toward his face, which was smeared with blood. As Trump stands up, he pumps to the crowd with his right fist.

6:50 p.m.

— Secret Service says “the former president is safe.”

The Secret Service says it is “confident in the security plans” for the Republican National Convention after the attack at the Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Additionally, the FBI, the lead intelligence agency for the RNC in Milwaukee, said it has seen no known “specific and articulated threats" against the convention or anyone attending the event.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will speak Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in what will be a highly anticipated speech by former President Donald Trump’s last major challenger in this year’s GOP primary.

Haley, who was also elected twice as South Carolina governor, initially was not among the list of speakers but has since been added to the schedule, according to Haley spokesperson Chaney Denton.

The schedule change was confirmed by a Republican official who is familiar with the convention plans but was not authorized to speak publicly.

— Michelle L. Price and Meg Kinnard

The shooter’s family is cooperating with federal investigators, according to an FBI official.

Relatives of Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, have not returned multiple messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters that the Justice Department has “no tolerance for such violence and as Americans we must have no tolerance for it.”

“This must stop,” he said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray says authorities “will leave no stone unturned” in their investigation of the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

In a call with reporters Sunday, Wray called the shooting an “attack on democracy and our democratic process.”

“An attempt to assassinate a presidential candidate can only be described as absolutely despicable and will not be tolerated in this country,” Wray said.

The FBI says they believe the AR-style rifle the Trump rally shooter used was legally purchased by the gunman’s father.

Kevin Rojek, special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Field Office, told reporters that authorities don’t yet know how the shooter gained access to the weapon, and whether he took it without his father’s knowledge.

“These are facts that we'll flesh out as we conduct interviews,” Rojek said. Authorities recovered the weapon at the scene of the shooting.

The FBI says it is investigating the Trump rally shooting as an attempted assassination and also an act of domestic terrorism.

The gunman was not previously on the radar screen of the FBI. He’s believed to have acted alone.

The FBI defines domestic terrorism as acts inside the U.S. that are intended to intimidate or coerce civilians or influence government policy.

The FBI has not yet identified the shooter's ideology, but they are combing through his social media feeds and weapons. So far, they have not found any threatening writing or social media posts.

They said they have located a suspicious device and defused it. They have received more than 2,000 tips.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate says threatening online rhetoric has been “ticking up” since the attempted assassination. He says people are going online to pose as the shooter, who was killed by U.S. Secret Service.

Abbate says they are aware of the increased activity and monitoring it closely.

A crew was power-washing the front of the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company on Sunday with plans to install memorial drapery to honor the slain former chief, Corey Comperatore.

Assistant Chief Ricky Heasley of Sarver, who knew Comperatore for more than a decade, remembers him as very outgoing and full of life.

“He never had a bad word,” Heasley said.

A GoFundMe launched to support Comperatore’s family had already surpassed more than $180,000 in donations as of Sunday.

Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden extend their “deepest condolences” to the family of the man who was killed in the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

The president said Corey Comperatore was protecting him family from the bullets that were being fired “and he lost his life.”

“God love him,” Biden said.

Not long before shots rang out, rally goers noticed a man climbing to the top of a roof of a nearby building and warned local law enforcement, according to two law enforcement officials.

One officer climbed to the roof and encountered Crooks, who pointed his rifle at the officer. The officer retreated down the ladder and Crooks quickly took a shot toward former President Donald Trump, and that’s when the U.S. Secret Service counter snipers shot him, said the officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

— Colleen Long

President Biden said he’s directed an independent review of the security at the rally Saturday where a gunman apparently tried to assassinate Donald Trump.

Biden said he has also directed the U.S. Secret Service to review all security measures for the Republican National Convention which begins Monday in Milwaukee.

Biden urged Americans not to make assumptions about the motive of the shooter, who was killed by U.S. Secret Service. He says they’re working swiftly to investigate the incident.

“Unity is the most elusive goal of all,” he added, while urging the public to strive for it.

An NBC News interview between President Joe Biden and anchor Lester Holt on Monday will now occur at the White House, the network said Sunday.

Initially, the interview was scheduled to take place in Austin, Texas, but the White House announced earlier Sunday that Biden’s trip there has been postponed in the wake of the shooting at a rally for former President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden had planned to speak in Texas on the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library, the White House said.

U.S. Rep. Mark E. Green, the chairman of the House homeland security committee, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday raising questions about the Trump rally shooting and demanding information about the former president’s Secret Service protection.

“The seriousness of this security failure and chilling moment in our nation’s history cannot be understated,” Green wrote in the letter. The chairman said there were serious questions about how the “… shooter was able to access a rooftop within range and direct line of sight of where President Trump was speaking.”

Green also noted reports that the Secret Service had rebuffed requests from the Trump campaign for additional security. A spokesperson for the Secret Service, Anthony Guglielmi, said on social media Sunday that those allegations were “absolutely false” and that they had added resources and technology as the campaign’s travel increased.

The committee is demanding that the department turn over information including documents showing the security plan for Saturday’s event; any information about increases to Trump’s security detail and about how attendees were screened for the Saturday rally; documents outlining the Secret Service’s rules of engagement; and all briefing materials from after the shooting.

The man who was killed at a rally for former President Donald Trump was Corey Comperatore, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Comperatore was a former fire chief from the area who loved his family, Shapiro said.

“Corey died a hero. Corey dove on his family to protect them last night,” the governor said.

Shapiro declined to discuss the conditions of the two others hurt in the shooting.

The governor also ordered flags to be flown at half staff in Comperatore’s honor.

The fund was created by Trump campaign officials the page says it’s “a place for donations to the supporters and families wounded or killed” in Saturday’s apparent assassination attempt.

That’s the message from Rep. Mike Kelly, the Republican congressman who represents the Butler Farm area and who was sitting off to the side behind Trump when the shooting unfolded at a rally in Pennsylvania.

Kelly says he’d brought his wife and grandchildren to the Trump rally at the fairgrounds, the same place where generations of children have shown off their farm animals and baking skills – a beloved spot he himself visited as a child.

“I am in a state of bewilderment of how and what has happened to the United States of America,” Kelly told The Associated Press.

This being Sunday, he encouraged Americans to take a day, go to a house of worship, and think of how each person can make a difference in bringing more civility to political discourse.

To his colleagues and others quickly assigning blame or calling for a congressional investigation, Kelly urged everyone to let law enforcement do its work and not turn the probe into a political one.

“I just wish people -- tone it down,” he said. “Quit trying to find, to blame somebody. The blame lies somewhere in the psyche of America.”

Law enforcement officials tell The Associated Press bomb-making materials were found inside the vehicle of the man suspected in the Trump rally shooting. There were also bomb-making materials found at his home.

The two officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

— Colleen Long and Mike Balsamo

The range from which 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks fired and his clothing led to early speculation that the shooter had military experience. However, all the branches of the military searched their records Sunday and said in response to a query by The Associated Press that they had no records of him serving.

Records show 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks was registered as a Republican voter in Pennsylvania, but federal campaign finance reports also show he gave $15 to a progressive political action committee on Jan. 20, 2021, the day President Joe Biden was sworn in to office.

Authorities told reporters Crooks wasn’t carrying identification so they were using DNA and other methods to confirm his identity.

A campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty and littered with debris Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty and littered with debris Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

People take cover as U.S. Secret Service agents surround Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

People take cover as U.S. Secret Service agents surround Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped into a vehicle at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped into a vehicle at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

A United States Secret Service officer moves barricades outside the Fiserv Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

A United States Secret Service officer moves barricades outside the Fiserv Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents respond as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded on stage by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. Secret Service agents respond as Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded on stage by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump waves from the stage as he is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden speaks, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Rehoboth Beach, Del., addressing news that gunshots rang out at Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's Pennsylvania campaign rally. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A person watches news in a local bar near the Fiserv Forum watching news ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. Former president Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after apparent gunshots rang through the crowd.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Preparations are made outside the Fiserv Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Preparations are made outside the Fiserv Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Police snipers return fire after shots were fired while Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was speaking at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

People hug after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

People hug after Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump was helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Recommended Articles