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Saving Haiti; Pennsylvania Woman Charged in Terrorism Plot

Aired March 10, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: He is the kid that the country is talking about. Gunmen broke into his family's house, and, by dialing 911, he just might have saved his family's lives.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Can you come really fast? Bring cops, a lot of them.


911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. I have them coming, hon. Listen. OK?


911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. Take a deep breath. I already have the police coming.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: And bring soldiers, too.


COOPER: We are going to bring you the entire 911 story ahead.

But first up tonight: Haiti and the reality that, barely two months since the earthquake, this is an emergency that is just beginning.

I know Haiti's been out of the headlines, but it should not be. These are real lives at stake. And just because a lot of reporters have left, it does not mean the emergency is over.

President Obama made the point today, hosting Haiti's president, Rene Preval, at the White House.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The challenge now is to prevent a second disaster. And that's why, at this very moment, thousands of Americans, both civilian and military, remain on the scene at the invitation of the Haitian government.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: That second disaster he is talking about will be caused by rain. It could wash away some tent cities. It can swamp others, causing diseases to spread rapidly. Look already at how much rain has hit in some places. And the real rain is coming about a month from now.

Now, according to the U.N., seven tent cities housing as many as 200,000 people right now represent dire threats, 200,000 people. Picture the entire population of, say, a city like Rochester, New York, each and every resident in jeopardy the next time it rains. That is the reality in Haiti.

And, according to the Red Cross, only half of the more than one million people still homeless have shelter. And more than 600,000 people right now still need tarps and tents, ropes and tools to build those shelters.

The question tonight, what is the government there doing to help these people? Where is all the aid money going? Is it getting to those in need? We are going to talk to Sean Penn in just a moment, who has already spent weeks on the ground working there. He is going back there soon.

But, first, we go to Sara Sidner, joining us now from Port-au- Prince, "Keeping Them Honest."

Sara, you have been walking through a lot of these camps. Do people there -- have they heard from their government about whether or not there is a plan for them?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we talked to a lot of people today inside one of the biggest camps here in Haiti, and they are, frankly, disgusted that they have no idea where they are supposed to go and what they are supposed to do.

And they know the rainy season is fast approaching, and they are really, really concerned about what they are going to do, because, with the rain that they got last week, it came through those tents. They had the tarps. They had the tents. But it just wasn't enough shelter.

And people are extremely scared about what will happen when it really starts to rain like crazy, as it does here in this country during the rainy season.

COOPER: So, what did the Haitian government officials say to you?

SIDNER: Well, we talked to one of the leaders of the commission for reconstruction today. And, basically, he said to me this: We are not ready yet for the rain. The country is not prepared. This was a massive disaster and we are still working on it. There is a very short amount of time that we have to get more than 150,000 people out of those places you just talked about, low-lying areas were tent cities have sprung up. And he said it is going to cost more than $100 million to try and do and do this and do it quickly, he says. They just don't have the money yet -- Anderson.

COOPER: What -- what about all that money that all these countries have pledged?

SIDNER: Well, that's the thing. The government has to come up with a comprehensive plan. That plan is expected to go in front of the U.N. in New York at the end of this month, and then they are hoping that the money that has been pledged -- and we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars here -- the money that has been pledged will end up in the hands of the Haitian government, the aid organizations, and anyone else who is trying to help this country rebuild -- Anderson.

COOPER: There is obviously a lot of concern about money ending up in the hands of the Haitian government with a history of corruption.

But let's bring in Sean Penn.

Sara, appreciate your reporting.

Sean is just back from Haiti. He's returning there later on this week. He's the co-founder of the Jenkins Penn Haitian relief organization, which has just launched to relocate a campaign to house or relocate thousands of Haitians when the rains come -- is the Web site.

Sean, why isn't there a clear plan yet from the Haitian government about what to do with all these people stuck in these camps?

SEAN PENN, ACTOR: Well, I would like to make one comment on what your reporter in Haiti was just saying.

While tarps are better than nothing, it is a real fallacy when we consider the shelters accomplished or half-accomplished with the distribution of tarps that have nothing to do with the ground cover for people who are laying on the ground, and that water is rushing down and then floods. So, while it might be like an umbrella, that's about all it's going to be for these people.

When it comes to the aid being released, I think that there's -- that there's a mutual stranglehold on it that affects everyone from USAID, the Red Cross and the Haitian government. One of the problems is that, when these moneys are allocated to the Haitian government, it is only topping out at about $8 million in their hands at this point.

There's a history of aid being siphoned. This government is trusted. The leadership of this government is trusted. But I think that, in a way, to protect both the donor countries, the donor -- the private donors and the policy of the Haitian leadership, that there might be considered a U.N. resolution to deter war profit -- the equivalent of war profiteering and disaster profiteering, and in particular as it relates right now to the emergency fund release, because when they talk about rebuilding, that can sometimes get a little ahead of itself in this circumstance, because we are facing the rains right now, and most of the people in this city do not have adequate shelter.

And the aid money is there. The way to spend it and the way to get the tents into safe areas has not been done.

COOPER: And explain...

PENN: And this emergency is coming.

COOPER: Explain why -- I mean, we think of rain here, OK, yes, it is going to be inconvenient, it is going to be unpleasant for a lot of people. But this is life and death. A lot of these camps are on hillsides. Mudslides are common in Haiti when you get these monsoon rains. What kind of danger are the people there facing from rain?

PENN: Well, you know, this is a deforested country.

So, you have -- and, then, on top of that, you have got all of the structural damage with human remains inside those structures. I think one -- you know, one of the things that we have been very -- pushing and discussing -- I was able to have a good discussion with President Preval this afternoon and also with the American ambassador and the military -- is rural relocation, because, without the rain, when we -- you know this -- when you drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince, the concrete dust, which is full of toxins, chemical and as well as now you have the issues of dead bodies and all of the rainwater that will rush through that, the drying of that, we just had our 54th baby born in the hospital that -- where we administer to patients at Petionville camp.

And this is no place for them to be.


We have got to take a quick break. Sean, we are going to have more with you right after this commercial break.

The live chat is up and running. Join us at Join the conversation.

Also tonight, the Philadelphia area woman who calls herself Jihad Jane, the secret life she led, allegedly preparing for holy war with the West, and her supporters still on the streets of New York City.


YOUNES ABDULLAH MOHAMMED, REVOLUTION MUSLIM: The Koran says very clearly in the Arabic language -- language (SPEAKING ARABIC). This means terrorize them. It is a command from Allah.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: So, you're commanded...



COOPER: We are back with Sean Penn, who has made Haiti kind of his second home lately. He has been there for weeks. He's going back shortly. He's now calling on people and governments around the world to keep it on the radar, with the rainy season coming, the rain already falling, and hundreds of thousands of people facing the possibility of disease, even greater dislocation and loss of life.

A reminder: His organization is launching a new drive that you can learn about by going to

So, what's goal right now, Sean, in terms of -- you were talking about moving people out into the countryside. There's -- there's -- there's conflict with that, though, because the economic life for most people is in Port-au-Prince. That's why they have crowded into the city. So, how do you get them to move out?

PENN: Well, I think there's -- there's parallel courses.

One of the -- one of the reasons that I support some -- an autonomous fund beyond $8 million for the government itself is that we do have a very productive relationship with president Preval's administration, and -- and that creates a Haitian influence directly in the city in terms of some of the economic programs that he wants to establish with some of the skill sets of the people that would be would remain in the city.

COOPER: So, you're basically saying...

PENN: But there has to be an option.

COOPER: ... that this can't all be like international organizations, that the Haitian government has to have a big buy into this?

PENN: I think there has to be what would -- you know, the kind of fund with which the Haitian people can feel their own government's policy in their favor.

On the other hand, there has to be thresholds established for the -- for the -- for profiteering. In other words, what would be appropriate in the case of emergency would be very, very low thresholds for profiteering -- profiteering. When it came later to the rebuilding efforts, that might be another scenario and outside of my area of immediate interest right now.



PENN: Yes.

COOPER: What are you hoping to do? I mean, your organization has been doing a lot. You've been building clinics. You've been treating people. What -- in the next weeks, what's the plan for you?

PENN: Well, right now, again, I will go back on Friday to Haiti. We -- we are -- we are primarily focused in medical. We have a school and a trauma center in our camp. We have several satellite clinics and a water filter distribution.

But when I'm here in Washington and talking to you -- and thank you for doing this, because it -- it -- it really has to be known to the American people what the president said, just at the opening of your show, what you said.

The comfort that we would like to take that we have done our job would -- would -- would be a terrible mistake. There has been such an incredible effort by the United States here, and it can virtually go down the drain.

And, so, I think that -- that keeping the eye on this and to immediately create these thresholds, and get some of this money that the good American people and other countries, both private and -- and governmental, that have put into these funds can be released and be used, because, right now, these people will not have shelter.

And the -- the -- there is a high likelihood that, in this next month, tens of thousands of people will die.

COOPER: Have you felt, I mean, donations slipping away? Have you felt people you talk to kind of losing interest? I mean, as you said, there has been this incredible, incredible outpouring. There's been incredible work by volunteers from the United States and around the world, by the U.S. military, who has gone down there, done incredible work there.

But do you sense people kind of moving on?

PENN: I think that there is no precedent to understand that. And that's what our -- that's what our job is, as people who have been there, is that this was not simply an earthquake. This was a poverty earthquake, with a rainy season and a hurricane season to follow, which has -- that had a very low access to medical care in the first place, an infrastructure entirely decimated.

So many of the strongest members of government in support of President Preval died in this event. And, so, this is a country whose strength is punishing them, because, when we see images of them, they are smiling, and they are setting up fruit stands.

But virtually nothing is better enough that it will have any impact if these rains do what they are threatening to do and the eventuality of an outbreak, and God forbid if this hurricane season should hit Haiti, as it has before.

COOPER: What has made you embark on this? I mean, look, there are a lot of folks who went down there, you know, got some press attention. You have been there for weeks. You have gone back repeatedly. You are going back again.

I mean, what about Haiti -- one missionary once said something to me about, well, Haiti, it kind of -- when it gets you, it gets you.

What about Haiti has got you?

PENN: Well, you know, I -- the only reason I can answer that is -- is -- is because I have attempted to answer it, and I think I will just probably be repeating my own sophomore thought.

When you get there, you're -- you're only flying 90 minutes from your own country. And to -- to land in a world that has been so neglected, with people who have had so little experience with any of the comforts that we know, and to see their strength of character, and to see this incredible possibility within our reach, geographically, and clearly in terms of our will to help and -- and our ability to do it, we have shown it already, and now we just need to maintain it.

We could actually have the example of what happens when the developing world is -- is -- is given the -- the productive support to become the developed world. And, so, Haiti can be a model for every other country that suffers poverty.

COOPER: Well, Sean, I appreciate you keeping an eye on it, and I appreciate you talking to us tonight. Thanks.

PENN: Thank you.

COOPER: As always, you can get additional details online at, where you can read more about Sean Penn's work in Haiti, his Web site, and how you can help.

A quick programming note: Michael Moore is going to be with us tomorrow, talking health care, as President Obama launches his final push to pass a reform bill.

Up next, though, tonight, is this the face of radical Islam in America? Is it the future? Big questions being raised by the arrest of a Pennsylvania woman -- a Pennsylvania woman who goes by the name Jihad Jane -- that's what she has called herself -- and some Islamic extremists here in New York who support her.

And, later, when three gunmen broke into a little boy's house, Carlos called 911.


911 OPERATOR: How old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Seven years old.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Seven? Listen to me. Where are you at in the house?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Inside the bathroom.

911 OPERATOR: You're in the bathroom?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yes. 911 OPERATOR: Who is with you?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: It's my sister.


COOPER: We will tell you how it all ended, how Carlos kept it together, kept his cool, and what happened when he met that voice on the other end of the phone today.


COOPER: Tonight, a fascinating story: A woman who lived on Main Street in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, stands accused of trying to recruit others to wage a holy war in Asia and Europe and to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist accused of insulting Islam.

This woman's name is Colleen LaRose. That's her picture. Prosecutors say she called herself Jihad Jane on the Internet sites, where she allegedly plotted to kill the cartoonist and where she allegedly conspired to supply material support to terrorists.

She is also linked to the site of a radical Muslim group right here in the U.S., in fact, right here in New York City. One -- this is a group that called the 9/11 attacks justified. It is a group that's now supporting Jihad Jane.

Drew Griffin actually first introduced us to this group some time back.

Tonight, he has a "360 Follow."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the Web site Revolution Muslim...

(on camera): Drew Griffin.

(voice-over): ... run by this man, Younes Abdullah Mohammed, who told us just this past fall terrorizing and intimidating non-Muslims was part of his religion.

YOUNES ABDULLAH MOHAMMED, REVOLUTION MUSLIM: The Koran says very clearly in the Arabic language -- language (SPEAKING IN ARABIC). This means terrorize them. It's a command from Allah.

It says, prepare against them what you can to intimidate the believers -- the disbeliever, so they don't attack you. It is precautionary, preventative measures, like 9/11.

GRIFFIN: No one at Revolution Muslim returned our phone calls today, but, on the hate-filled Web site, there was this, a letter asking for support for Colleen LaRose, declaring "another sister" has been targeted and asking letters of encouragement be sent to the federal detention center in Philadelphia where LaRose is being held. Law enforcement sources tell CNN they are troubled that the Web site and YouTube site have turned even more radical and has seen a jump in subscribers -- one of the subscribers, Colleen LaRose.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, FELLOW, CENTER ON LAW AND SECURITY: They're certainly the most visible face of pro-al Qaeda extremism here in the United States.

GRIFFIN: CNN terrorism expert Paul Cruickshank says the fear that counterterrorism officials have is Web sites like Revolution Muslim act as go-betweens for those who support terrorism and those willing to carry it out.

CRUICKSHANK: This don't have to organize all the logistics. They don't have to hook them up with people, necessarily. They can whip them up in a frenzy, and then sit back and watch what happens.

MOHAMMED: With the liberating ideology that is al-Islam.

GRIFFIN: The FBI has told CNN the leaders of Revolution Muslim are under close watch, but agents say its leaders play a game, extending their hatred of America and support of religious violence to certain limits, cleverly using the guarantee of free speech in America as a shield.

In October, Younes Abdullah Mohammed told us, Americans will always be a legitimate target, that the attacks of 9/11 were justified, but then insisted nothing he said should encourage anyone to commit a violent act.


GRIFFIN (on camera): Do you play these word games...

MOHAMMED: It is not a word game.

GRIFFIN: ... just because you're afraid that the police will come after you or the FBI will come after you?

MOHAMMED: All you have to do is read the Koran.

I'm not afraid of the police coming after me. I'm not inciting violence. You have to understand, I'm really not calling for violence. I'm calling for Islamic identity.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): One week after this interview, a Muslim named Major Nidal Hasan walked into a troop processing center at Fort Hood, Texas, and is accused of opening fire, killing 13.

Within hours, Revolution Muslim was using its Web site to praise Hasan as an officer and a gentleman.


COOPER: So, I mean, Drew, do investigators know whether this Web site was in any way a conduit between LaRose and -- and groups overseas?

GRIFFIN: Yes, well, they are certainly looking into that.

And what -- what troubles them the most is, this is a gathering point, Anderson, for like-minded people. Based on who this woman was, or is, in prison now, there's nothing that says she would in any way meet radical Muslims overseas in her life, if it wasn't for these virtual meeting places, these virtual Web sites, like Revolution Muslim.

And we do know of past cases were people have gone on, visited the site, visited the people who produce this site, and have gone on to plot terror here in the United States.

COOPER: How do they -- I mean, they are preaching outside an actual mosque. They don't have a mosque of their own. They are basically just preaching on the streets. How -- how do they make money?

GRIFFIN: They get donations. They get support online. They get subscriptions.

And I -- I imagine they also get some money from -- from overseas donations from various -- various sites. In fact, some of the leaders have told me they get these donations. They are allowed to operate, just like anybody else can operate a Web site in the United States.

COOPER: It's -- it's fascinating stuff, disturbing to see it right here on the streets of New York.

Drew, appreciate it, keeping on them.

Still ahead, "Homicide in Hollenbeck" -- a young man who was seen as a snitch ends up dead. Did his own gang kill him?

We will also speak with boxing great Oscar de la Hoya about how he lived through the violence growing up on the streets of L.A.

Plus, a brazen crime and a very brave 7-year-old boy -- this story is just amazing. He saved his family by keeping his wits about him, running into the bathroom with his sister, calling 911. Listen.


911 OPERATOR: Nine-one-one. State your emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: There's some -- there's some guys who are going to kill my mom and dad. Can you come?


COOPER: And you will hear about the armed robbers who burst into his home and how it all played out -- ahead on 360.


COOPER: Let's get a quick check of some of the other stories we are following.

Stephanie Elam joins with us a 360 news and business bulletin -- Stephanie.


Well, Los Angeles investigators are trying to determine what caused the death of actor Corey Haim earlier today. The 38-year-old former teen movie star had a history of drug problems. Police said Haim was ill with flu-like symptoms -- symptoms before his death and was taking over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates hinted today that U.S. troops could leave Afghanistan earlier than planned. The pullout had been scheduled to begin by July 2011. Gates made the remarks while in Eastern Afghanistan and said any change in timing would have to be -- quote -- "conditions-based."

Meanwhile, House lawmakers voted today to -- to -- they actually voted down a measure today to end the U.S. mission in Afghanistan within 30 days.

On the floor, Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy ripped into the media.


REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: If anybody who wants to know where cynicism is, cynicism is that there's one, two press people in this gallery!

We're talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV. We're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives. And no press? No press. You want to know why the American public is fit? They're fit because they're not seeing their Congress do the work that they're sent to do.

It is because the press -- the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance. And that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It is despicable, the national press corps, right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gentleman's...


ELAM: We actually did see that. We caught that one.

Now, on the other side of the Capitol, the Senate today approved a Bill extending jobless benefits and a variety of expiring tax cuts. It also helps the unemployed buy health insurance.

Now, take a listen to this story. A Kentucky woman who says she didn't even know she was pregnant gave birth to a baby boy at home and even cut the umbilical cord herself. But that's not all. Then she picked up her other son at school and stopped off at Grandma's house before going to the hospital, where the newborn got a clean Bill of health.

COOPER: This is like that TV show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Have you seen this show? It's on TLC.

ELAM: Disturbing.

COOPER: Every one of the episodes is the same. It's a woman who didn't know she was pregnant and then goes to the bathroom and then realizes she's pregnant.

ELAM: Yes, but a lot of the times they actual go to the doctor. This woman managed to do 19 things before she made it to the hospital.

COOPER: Amazing that she -- yes, it's just incredible. Glad it all worked out for her.

ELAM: Indeed.

COOPER: I didn't know there was a whole TV series based around this. Apparently this happens enough that there is.

ELAM: It happens a lot. And it seems to be they all end up going to the bathroom, and it's like, a very different situation.

COOPER: All right. Time for our "Beat 360" winners. Our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to come up with a better caption for the photo that we put on our blog every day.

Tonight's photo is Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former president, Bill Clinton, testifying today at a global health hearing in Washington.

Staff winners tonight Gabe. His caption, "I lost my wait. It's black, leather, has a subway card in it, and about $600 million."

Viewer winner is Rodney. His caption: "After months of inactivity, two bills for health care passed through Congress today."

Bah-da-dah. Rodney, congratulations. Your "Beat 360" T-shirt...

ELAM: Good stuff.

COOPER: ... is on the way.

You can join the live chat right now at Let us know what you're thinking about. Talk to other viewers around the world.

Coming up next on this program, you're going to want to talk about this with some other folks. You've got to hear this tape, a very brave 7-year-old boy who police say saved his parents from an armed home invasion. Here's just part of the 911 call.


CARLOS, CALLED 911 TO SAVE FAMILY: Yes, can you come really fast. Bring cops. A lot of them! MONIQUE PATINO, 911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. I have them coming, hon. Listen, OK. Listen to me. Take a deep breath. I already have the police coming.

CARLOS: And bring soldiers, too!


COOPER: Well, soldiers didn't come, but the police did. More of the call ahead. And we'll also introduce to you this remarkable second grader.

And tonight, an accused snitch shot dead. Was he killed by his own gang? The story and the struggle to end the violence ahead as we continue our weeklong "Homicide in Hollenbeck" and also talk to Oscar De La Hoya.


COOPER: All this week, we're bringing you reports from the Hollenbeck Police Division in Los Angeles, where gang warfare is part of life and death, and it has been for generation. We were first in Hollenbeck five years ago. We've returned now to see what's changed for the community, for the cops and for the gangs.

Although the gang-related killings are down, young people continue to die on the streets. Also, because of the "stop snitching" code of silence, many of the homicides go unsolved. Even the hint that someone is talking to the cops, it to could be potentially a motive for murder, as we found out in tonight's story.


COOPER (voice-over): Gabriel Ayala was in his back yard when someone shot him in the head at close range. Ayala was a gang member. This looked like a hit. At the crime scene, Detective Dwayne Fields picked up on a telling detail.

DWAYNE FIELDS, DETECTIVE: Whoever walked up on Gabriel walked right up to him. Gabriel had a gun in his waist and never pulled it out. That tells me that he knew whoever killed him.

COOPER: Detective Fields knew Ayala well.

(on camera) so it wasn't a big surprise what happened to him?

FIELD: It wasn't if; it was when.

COOPER: It was just a matter of time?

FIELDS: Yes. Gabriel's time was coming. He was too active. He was too well known. He played too hard trying to be too tough in his gang, and it caught up to him.

COOPER (voice-over): Ayala had a lengthy criminal record and everyone in Hollenbeck seemed to know his name. (on camera) What kind of reputation did Gabriel Ayala?

FIELDS: He was a gang member. Everybody that works in this division knew the Ayala family really well.

COOPER: They were well known to you.

FIELDS: Well known to us. I've done several search warrants at that location, got guns, got dope, bulletproof vests.

COOPER (voice-over): Detective Fields believes the events leading up to Ayala's execution began long ago.

(on camera) Two years before Ayala was killed, a rival gang member named Francisco Sanchez was approached by two gunmen outside this apartment. One suspect shot him multiple times and, as he fell to the ground right here, the second suspect shot him again.

(voice-over) Authorities suspect the murder of Sanchez was in retaliation for the killing of a rival two days earlier. Gabriel Ayala was one of the suspected shooters charged with killing Sanchez. But the case against him fell apart.

FIELDS: It was a mistrial. His co-defendant, the guy that he -- was involved in the murder with him, was held on a separate charge, so he was in custody. Gabriel got released.

COOPER: This man, Ayala's co-defendant, a member of the same gang, was prosecuted and convicted of first-degree murder while Gabriel Ayala walked free.

(on camera) So what did his gang think? They thought he'd talked?

FIELDS: Thought he was a rat. They thought he'd talked.

COOPER: They considered him a snitch?

FIELDS: They considered him a snitch.

COOPER (voice-over): Richard Moya is a former gang member who knows the inner working of gangs.

(on camera) The term "snitch," what does that mean on the street?

RICHARD MOYA, FORMER GANG MEMBER: The term "snitch" is basically somebody that's talking to the cops, law enforcement, anybody that's talking to somebody to give up the information, that's a snitch.

COOPER: And what happens to snitches on the streets?

MOYA: Different consequences. Sometimes they get taken out by their own family members, which is within the gang.

COOPER: They actually call it the murder book? It's a murder book? (voice-over) When he got out of jail, Detective Fields says Gabriel Ayala was a dead man walking.

FIELDS: I believe that the gang thought that he must have had some information because his homeboy was still in jail and he wasn't. And I believe that they killed him behind that. And the truth be known, Gabriel didn't tell us anything. They killed him for nothing.

COOPER (on camera): He didn't give up information?

FIELDS: He didn't give up information and his cohort was later convicted for that murder, as would have he, had he survived.

COOPER: So Gabriel was killed by his own gang, you think?

FIELDS: I believe so.

COOPER (voice-over): In the tug-of-war between gang rivalry and gang loyalty, Gabriel Ayala became a victim of both.

(on camera) What does that say about all that talk about, you know, gangs being a family?

FIELDS: A dysfunctional family, dysfunctional as they come. They don't share. They don't spend money on one another, other than to buy beer, maybe some dope once in a while.

COOPER: So, it's not a band of brothers?

FIELDS: It is not a band of brothers, not even close.

COOPER: What will it take to solve Gabriel's murder?

FIELDS: Those are some of the toughest ones you're going to deal with. It's an inside hit. There are people in that gang that know who did it and why they did it, but for someone from his gang to tell me that a fellow gang member killed him, that's going to be a tough one.

COOPER: Unless one of them is arrested for something else and they want to try to lessen their sentence?

FIELDS: That's what I can hope for.

COOPER (voice-over): Detective Fields needs someone inside Ayala's gang to talk. Someone who has a reason to tell everything they know about who killed Gabriel Ayala.

(on camera) You'll be here waiting for him?

FIELDS: I will be here. I'm not going anywhere.


COOPER: Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya grew up near Hollenbeck in East L.A., a champion of the ring who founded a charter school in his old neighborhood. De La Hoya says he was surrounded by gangs in his youth.

So how was he able to take a different path? And what does he think is driving this whole "stop snitching" culture? Oscar De La Hoya joined me earlier for the big 360 interview.


COOPER: I read that it was your dad who sort of got you into boxing because he had heard that you had been running away from gangs or from kids who were threatening you. Is that accurate?

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, BOXING LEGEND: Well, I was -- I was one day walking -- and this is one of the incidents that happened to me when I was a kid, walking toward a friend's house at night. And I was only 14 years of age, where seven gang members come out of the car. It's pitch dark. And they pulled guns on my head, and they take away my jacket I was wearing. They take away my wallet.

And it was a scary moment. It was an eye-opener for me, because -- because, I mean, whoever thought that this can happen in your neighborhood. And so, the funny part is that an hour later, everything shows up back in my home.

And what happens is that I was already gaining recognition in my neighborhood as a fighter, wanting to go to the Olympic games in 1992 in Barcelona. So they had respect towards me. They had respect that I wanted to become something, to become somebody. If you're born in East L.A. or born in Hollenbeck, we want to do that.

But it's a matter of -- it's a matter of having choices. And right now, these kids are not -- they don't have choices. The only choice they have is -- is joining a gang or just getting in trouble.

COOPER: In terms of gang life, gangs in Hollenbeck go back generations in some cases. Did you see gangs growing up? I mean, how did you resist that pressure to join or, you know, the violence that can result from gangs?

DE LA HOYA: Well, Anderson, growing up in East Los Angeles, you're surrounded by gangs. You're surrounded sometimes by the crack houses that you hear that are on the streets, selling drugs.

But it all starts with family. It all starts at home. I had my parents who just taught me what was right from wrong. And when they gave me the opportunity, when they gave me the choice, because I could have been a kid who could have been a gang member. I could have been one of those kids who was getting in trouble, but I had a choice. And the choice was to either take the right path or the wrong path. And I just decided to take the right path because of that choice my parents gave me.

COOPER: You funded a charter school in East L.A.?

DE LA HOYA: I funded a charter school in East L.A. We're right now in the computer learning center. And these kids, when they have the opportunity, they're graduating. They're going on to college. These kids here in the Oscar De La Hoya High School, they're graduating with honors. They're moving on to college. It's incredible.

If you compare to schools in the greater Los Angeles, where kids are dropping out of school -- I believe the rate is 40, 50 percent of the kids are dropping out of school. Right here in this school, because of the opportunities, because we care, these kids are graduating with flying colors.

COOPER: That is amazing.

The other thing -- you know, we've been spending a lot of time in Hollenbeck over the last five years talking to gang members, talking to families who have lost kids, talking to police officers.

And the thing that keeps coming out is, if you talk about what you see, even anonymously, that you get labeled a snitch, whereas that used to be called, you know, good citizenship, talking to police about, you know, "Yes, I saw my best friend get mugged." No one wants to talk any more because no one wants to have that label of being a snitch.

DE LA HOYA: Anderson, it's fear. I grew up with fear in East L.A. I grew up in fear in Hollenbeck. But if we can take away that fear, you know, that's a step in the right direction.

You know, people don't want to be labeled, obviously, snitches, but it's that fear that people have because of what they've witnessed, because of what they've heard, because of what they've experienced themselves. So it's just fear that we have to take away from these people.

COOPER: Well, I appreciate you talking. I appreciate all the good work you're doing. And it's nice to talk to you at your school today. Thank you so much.

DE LA HOYA: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: You can go to AC360 for a link to the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation Web site.

Tomorrow, hope in Hollenbeck: how one man, Father Greg Boyle (ph), is reaching out to young men at risk with a way to end the gang life. Here's a preview.


COOPER: You still never write anybody off?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think this place is soaked with a sense of redemption, so you really -- because I found...

COOPER: It is soaked with the sense of redemption?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really is soaked with it. I have several of them who, not that you write off, but in your head, you toy with the idea that I'm not sure he's ever going to be able to steer this thing in another direction. And lo and behold, they do.


COOPER: A remarkable man. Actor Martin Sheen is friends with Father Martin Boyle. He's also going to join us tomorrow as our series, "Homicide in Hollenbeck," continues all this week on 360.

Still ahead, the unbelievable story about a 7-year-old boy saving his family from armed robbers with a quick call to 911.


PATINO: Can you tell me what happened?

CARLOS: They come. They ring the door, and they have guns, and they shoot my mom and dad.


COOPER: The robbers actually burst into the bathroom while he was on the phone. You're going to hear it all ahead in the 911 recording.

Plus, what the first lady of France said about her marriage that has a lot of people talking. Carla Bruni's candid comments ahead.


COOPER: Up close tonight, an amazing story that made everyone in our newsroom wonder the same thing: would we be able to do what this 7-year-old boy did yesterday when armed robbers stormed into his house? What he did was keep his cool like a hero would. But remember, he's just a kid, and he could have been killed.

Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Courage sometimes comes in small packages, like this 7-year-old from California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to introduce our hero from yesterday. His 911 call that may have saved his family's life. His name is Carlos.

KAYE: Carlos, a second grader from Norwalk, California, had a good reason for missing school yesterday morning. Three armed men entered his home through an unlocked front door. They had guns and threatened his mom and dad.

(on camera) Carlos quickly grabbed his 6-year-old sister and hid in the bathroom. From there he made this desperate call for help to 911.

CARLOS: Can you come really fast, please, please!

PATINO: Can you tell me what happened?

CARLOS: They come. They ring the door, and they have guns, and they shoot my mom and dad.

PATINO: Right now?

CARLOS: Yes, can you come really fast? Bring a cops -- lots of them.

PATINO: OK, I have them coming.

KAYE: 911 operator Monique Patino knew she had to act fast.

PATINO: Listen to me. I have them coming. Listen, OK? Take a deep breath. I already have the police coming.

CARLOS: And bring soldiers, too! Can you come really, really fast? Hurry up!

PATINO: Yes, stay on the line with me. Don't hang up. Listen to me. We're coming to help you, but listen to me, OK?


PATINO: I couldn't really think too much about the emotion. It was more the instant reaction. I needed to get help to him.

KAYE: Before help could get there, the suspects figured out someone was hiding in the bathroom. They busted open the door to find Carlos on the phone.

PATINO: Stay where you are and don't hang up, whatever you do.

CARLOS: OK. There was a guy.

KAYE: When the bad guys asked who he was talking to, the brave little boy told them straight up he called 911. The suspects took off and left Carlos' family intact, nobody injured.

PATINO: Once I heard the screams toward the end, I mean, honestly, I'm holding the phone, and I'm in tears. I can barely talk. I'm shaking. I'm in tears, because all I hear is them screaming, and it was very, very tough for me.

KAYE: Carlos told reporters it was his mom who taught him to use 911.

CARLOS: We practice it every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you scared?

CARLOS: Just a little bit.

KAYE: If Carlos was scared, there was no mistaking who got him through it a stranger on the other end of the phone line, who in just moments, became a friend. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: What a great little kid.

Coming up next, a record-setting drug bust. Thousand of pot plants found in several suburban New Jersey homes. Wait until you hear how the suspects were caught.

And some surprising words from France's first lady, Carla Bruni, about monogamy and whether her marriage to French President Sarkozy is, quote, "forever."


COOPER: Following a number of other stories tonight, Stephanie Elam has another "360 Bulletin" -- Stephanie.

ELAM: Hi, Anderson.

Yes, another Food and Drug Administration report shows a Las Vegas company knew of salmonella contamination on its equipment but continued to distribute a tainted ingredient for nearly a month. FDA inspectors say Basic Food Flavors Incorporated is linked to at least 100 recalled processed foods and nearly two million pounds of processed meat. There are no reports of anyone getting sick from the salmonella.

In New Jersey, the biggest pot bust the state has ever seen. More than 4,000 marijuana plants worth more than $10 million found in six homes. Three people are behind bars. Police are saying that they uncovered the stash when they smelled weed coming from a chimney where one of the suspects was burning unusable parts of the plants in his fireplace.

New nationwide guidelines for K through 12 math and English classes are being drafted. If adopted, students across the country could one day take the same test. So far, though, Texas and Alaska have refused to join the project. The public has until April 2 to comment on the proposal.

And first lady Carla Bruni isn't doing much to end speculation over her marriage. Here's what she told Sky News.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are quoted as having said that you were board with monogamy.

CARLA BRUNI, FRENCH FIRST LADY: I never tasted monogamy before -- before getting married.


BRUNI: Well, and I was married. Yes. So I think monogamy has to do with marriage, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just wondering if you thought Nicolas Sarkozy is a keeper, as we say in Britain. Is he for keep?

BRUNI: What's for keeps?


BRUNI: I guess marriage should be forever, but who knows what happens? I wish it could -- I wish it was forever.


COOPER: Wow. Can you imagine a first lady in the United States saying something like that?

ELAM: No. Any married person who is in the public eye saying something like that these days, it would get scrutiny.

COOPER: I've got to go back to the pot burning story. They were burning pot in a fireplace?

ELAM: Yes.

COOPER: Were they stoned? Who thought that was a good idea?

ELAM: And it was coming out the chimney. They didn't think that that would, you know, leave an aromatic field for the neighborhood.

COOPER: I guess so.

ELAM: Doesn't make a lot of sense.

COOPER: Yes, I know.

ELAM: Anderson, I know I'm new to your show here, but if it's OK with you, I'm going to handle "The Shot" tonight.


ELAM: It's from earlier this week on "Live with Regis and Kelly," a show you know well. And Kelly's husband, Mark Consuelos, was filling in for Regis. The two were playing the "Newlywed Game" with Jason and Molly. You know, they're from ABC's "The Bachelor." Take a little watch of this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jason, if your wife could marry one celebrity, who would she say she'd marry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: J.T., and she was going to leave him at the altar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Same question for you, Mark.




ELAM: Look at that. You're, like, the source of marital discord on television live.

COOPER: Yes. Pretty funny.

ELAM: Maybe you're like her TV husband sometimes. Is that it?

COOPER: Yes, I don't know about that.

We're back with more at the top of the hour. Be right back.


COOPER: Tonight, he's the kid that the country is talking about. Gunmen broke into his family's house, and by dialing 911, he just might have saved his family's lives.

CARLOS: Yes, can you come really fast. Bring cops. A lot of them!