Return to Transcripts main page


Two Arrested in Tulsa Shooting Spree; Grand Jury Might Take Up Martin Case; Interview With Mayor Dewey Bartlett; North Korea Nuclear Concerns

Aired April 9, 2012 - 05:00   ET


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. We are bringing you the news from A to Z.

It is 5:00 a.m. here in the East. So, let's get started.

BANFIELD: The terror in Tulsa appears to be over this morning. Two suspects are headed to court later this morning, after a killing spree that had people too scared to even come out of their homes for 48 hours. And a Facebook post that may point to revenge as a possible motive.

SAMBOLIN: We could know in days whether George Zimmerman will be charged for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. After 43 days, the grand jury may take up the case.

BANFIELD: Line of fire. It's not a war zone. It's I-5 in L.A.

Take a look at the pictures -- 6,000 gallons of fuel erupting into flames and shutting down the interstate on Easter Sunday.

SAMBOLIN: A guy named Bubba wins the green jacket. Bubba Watson pulls out an emotional and grinding sudden death win at the Masters. Did you watch it? And one of golf's favorites finally has a major title.

BANFIELD: Amazing pictures of him crying.

SAMBOLIN: It was. This is sweet.

BANFIELD: It is now one minute past 5:00.

We want to start with this. Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, investigating whether last week's deadly shooting spree was triggered by racism and revenge. There are two suspects who are in custody this morning after five people were shot and three of them died. All of those victims were black.

Nineteen-year-old Jake England and 33-year-old Alvin Watts are set to be arraigned later this morning. At this point, police aren't calling it a hate crime. But a Facebook post by one of the suspects suggests there may have been something that triggered this that was racially motivated. Tulsa's mayor says he's thankful this is all over.


MAYOR DEWEY BARTLETT, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: The city of Tulsa has never seen such violence in its modern history. And we're so pleased that this has now come to an end, this portion of it. And we will certainly continue to support the prosecution and the eventual going to trial that will resolve, hopefully, in this thing coming to a very good, swift and justified end.


BANFIELD: CNN's Jason Carroll is following developments for us. He's live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this morning.

So, Jason, police not calling it a hate crime, but authorities certainly still investigating this. What's the story here?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, they're leaving that open as a possibility, Ashleigh. And, you know, there's been all these references to Jake England and what he posted on his Facebook page.

Just let me give you a little bit of history of what happened there.

Two years ago, Jake England's father was killed by a black man. That happened on April 5th, 2010. And last Thursday, which was also April 5th, there was some Facebook postings on Jake England's Facebook page, where he used a racial epithet to refer to the man who had shot his father. Once again, that man was an African-American man.

And he also said the following -- he also said it might be the time to call it quits. He also made a reference to possibility there would be another funeral.

So, these are some of the things that investigators will be looking at, Ashleigh, as they put together their investigation and try to determine if hate crimes -- he's two gentlemen will be facing hate crimes in terms of what they've been accused of.

So, these are just some of the things they're going to be looking at as they proceed with their investigation -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: And those -- Jason, those two suspects are expected to make an appearance later this morning, aren't they?

CARROLL: They are. That arraignment is scheduled to happen at about 10:00 a.m. this morning. They will not actually be appearing here in the courtroom, Ashleigh. That's because we're hearing it's going to be done by video conference from the jail. They'll be read the charges.

They will not be entering a plea. That is not going to happen today. They don't have an attorney. They will certainly be assigned one today. That will be the arrangement that is scheduled for about 10:00 a.m. later on today right here.

BANFIELD: All right. Jason Carroll, live for us in Tulsa, Oklahoma, thank you for that.

And also to our viewers, a reminder that at 5:30 Eastern, a little later on, the Tulsa mayor, Dewey Bartlett, is going to join us live to talk about this case.

SAMBOLIN: It is four minutes past the hour.

A grand jury is expected to convene this week in Florida, and may take up the case of Trayvon Martin. They're meeting as soon as tomorrow, we understand. Meantime, new protests this weekend calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman. And a neo-Nazi group is claiming it has armed patrols in Sanford. But police say they have seen no such patrols, no evidence of that.

Meantime, prosecutors and defense attorneys are strategizing and trying to answer some key questions.

Martin Savidge is live in Sanford with the very latest.

And, Martin, how likely is it that the grand jury will examine this case?


Yes, we're outside of the Sanford Police Department, just to change venue for you.

It's unclear exactly how much of a role the grand jury could play in all of this and here's the reasoning for that, because special prosecutor in this case, Angela Corey, has always said that in cases like this, that she has overseen, she has never used a grand jury. So, there's no reason to think she may break that kind of string of handling the cases, in this particular case.

So, it's unclear whether a grand jury is needed. If that is true, well then may hear at any time what kind of investigation what kind of outcome she may have. So, that's why many people in this community are a little bit of on pins and needles. They are awaiting to hear whether and she has three options. That's either going to charge, clear or send it to the grand jury.

But at this point, we think that she is going to handle it on her own, excuse me. And we're waiting to hear what that is.

SAMBOLIN: And there's still a lot of protests, right? People say that they're just not going to give up, and they're going to -- they're going to keep a spotlight on this case.

SAVIDGE: And that is true. You know, there was a group that came out over the weekend. Their name are Dream Defenders. These were three actually separate colleges that combine either with students that are currently on a college, or had been recent alums.

And they marched in kind of a style of the traditional civil rights marches. It was a three-day march, 40 miles, from Daytona Beach all the way to Sanford. They stopped overnight at various churches. And, of course, they are seeking what they say justice for Trayvon Martin.

Among those who watched as they came into town was the mayor of Sanford. And he is concerned about what the ruling could be from the state attorney's office. This community has been preparing, with contingency plans.

I spoke to him. Here's what he said.


MAYOR JEFF TRIPLETT, SANFORD, FLORIDA: People that come into our city, everything's been peaceful. You know, the message that they wanted to get out, they got it out. There hasn't been any violence or any activities other than, you know, peaceful protests, peaceful march.

My expectation, you know, I'm hoping that that will continue if one way or another, or, you know, whatever the decision is. But you've got to plan for the other side of it, too.


SAVIDGE: And they have been planning for the other side. They've been reaching out to other communities and other counties, in case they need additional law enforcement, firefighters, whatever. There are also representatives from the Department of Justice that are here, monitoring as well -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Martin, what about the people who live in those communities? What are they saying about all of this?

SAVIDGE: Well, you know, of course, they believe that Sanford is, unfortunately, fallen under a very difficult spotlight. They're glad that the protests and demonstrations have been peaceful.

There are mixed opinions on this case. Some people believe that a great injustice has been served here. Others say that they think that justice needs to play out. In other words, we need a clear investigation. We don't need all the hype. We don't need all the media.

But right now, they believe this could be a critical week. And we're all waiting to see what the outcome is.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Martin Savidge, live in Sanford, Florida, for us -- thank you very much.

BANFIELD: It is now seven minutes past 5:00. This just in, you're not going to believe it, a little bit relief for you at the gas pumps. I don't usually get a chance to say this. So, I'm kind of thrilled.

Gas prices slightly down this morning. We've got a new national average for you. Are you ready?

A gallon of unleaded -- $3.93. And if you're doing the math, that's down 0.2 of a cent. Two-tenths of a cent -- fill her up.

SAMBOLIN: That's exciting.



BANFIELD: It's a big deal.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Eight minutes past the hour here.

It was a battle to the finish and beyond. Bubba Watson won the 76th Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, beating the South African Louis Oosthuizen in the second half of a sudden death playoff. Oosthuizen, excuse me, I mispronounced his name there, forces sudden death playoff with a double-eagle, only the fourth in the history of the Masters. But that's was the lead.

The 33-year-old Watson started the final round in fourth place but shot a 68 to force the playoff.


BUBBA WATSON, 2012 MASTERS CHAMPION: Going back to my childhood, going back to my wife, what my wife said to me, what my mom said to me -- just put my head down. I've done this before.

My caddie told me all the time. He said, you're a good golfer. You're here for a reason. You can do this. You've hit all these shots before. You just have to do it at this moment.


SAMBOLIN: Well, he's always been one of golf's great characters. And now, he has a green jacket. He's hugging his mom, crying. He and his wife just adopted a baby boy. And he said he can't wait to get home to him.

In his wildest dreams, he would have never imagined this.

BANFIELD: I tell you what? I don't watch a lot of golf. My family watches golf all the time. So, it's always on in the home, you know, when I'm visiting them over vacation times.

But this is the only time I've been glued to the screen at a win.

SAMBOLIN: It's amazing.

BANFIELD: I got a lump in my throat. I felt choked up for him because he was crying.



SAMBOLIN: It's just tough for him.

BANFIELD: Such an emotional moment and really just -- I don't know, just really wonderful to see someone who appreciates a win like that.


BANFIELD: Not that they don't all appreciate it, but like that.

Nine minutes now past 5:00 in the morning on the East Coast.

And coming up: some very emotional and painful days lay ahead for Jennifer Hudson because jury selection is about to get under way in the case of the man who's charged with killing her family members. And she, herself, just may end up taking the stand in the case.

SAMBOLIN: And why Ben Stiller's new movie might be a tough sell, thanks to the Trayvon Martin case.

You're watching EARLY START.


BANFIELD: Thirteen minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast. Time to get the stories making news this morning.

SAMBOLIN: In Tulsa, Oklahoma, two suspects in a deadly shooting spree will be arraigned today. Police say 19-year-old Jacob England and 33-year-old Alvin Watts shot five people, killing three of them. England's Facebook posting suggest the shooting may have been revenge for the killing of his father by a black man.

BANFIELD: Singer Jennifer Hudson is scheduled to testify in the murder trial of the man accused of killing her mother, her brother and her nephew. The jury selection gets underway today. The prosecutors are going to say that William Belfour, the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister gunned down that family in a fit of jealous rage.

SAMBOLIN: Take a look this -- parts of two L.A. freeways are reopened this morning after a tanker hauling 6,000 gallons of fuel exploded and left a river of a fire flowing down the Ventura Highway. It shut down the interchange between two of the busiest roads in the country. This was over the weekend, Ventura and I-5 freeway.

Police say a drunk driver collided with the tanker, sparking that massive explosion. The diver survived and was arrested.

BANFIELD: The New York woman accused of running a multimillion- dollar escort service is scheduled to be back in court this morning. The alleged Madame Anna Gristina, and she is trying to get her $2 million bail reduced. She's been held in solitary since her arrest in February.

SAMBOLIN: It is three-peat for the "The Hunger Games." The film was number one for the third-straight weekend. It's total box office take is now more than $300 million. "The Hunger Games" made $33.5 million this weekend.


SAMBOLIN: "American Reunion" was second with $21.5 million. "Titanic" in 3D was third with $17.5 million.

BANFIELD: "Titanic" coming back out and getting into the top three.

SAMBOLIN: Did you see "The Hunger Games" yet? I know you wanted to.


SAMBOLIN: You did. Did you like it?

BANFIELD: Yes, I was OK with it. I was OK with it. It wouldn't have been my first choice. But what I liked the most about "Hunger Games," the audience and how they reacted. All of these tweens and teenies in there.


BANFIELD: You know, crying. That was adorable. That part I found most interesting.

SAMBOLIN: I have to go and see it.

BANFIELD: You got to see it. It's a good movie and the critics like it.

So, by the way, for an expanded look of all the stuff we were just telling you, our top stories, you can just head to our blog,

SAMBOLIN: Now, let's get your travel weather. We're going to check in with Rob Marciano.

It is so nice to see you.

BANFIELD: Have you seen "The Hunger Games"?


BANFIELD: You look that age.

MARCIANO: Right. Well, my wife's read all of the books. We're going at some point.


MARCIANO: Yes. I had no idea it was such a popular --

BANFIELD: You are so hip.


MARCIANO: Yes, I haven't read it.

Good morning, guys. Listen, windy weekend and still windy in some spots. Winds whipping up flames across parts of Florida, Volusia County. These are some of the wildfires that were breaking out across parts of north-central Florida and along the coastline near Daytona as well.

There are four separate incidences but they have their hands full, Saturday and Sunday. Most of these have been contained and the winds have died down somewhat. Since the beginning of the year, Florida has sustained -- seen 20,000 acres burned by these sort of fires.

We do have a red flag warning out for the Northeast today. That's where your winds are going to be gusting 30 to 40 miles an hour at times today, dry weather, of course -- with the exemption of the extreme Northeast, where we're seeing a little bit in the way of some moisture, rotating around a pretty strong trough up here. And that's why we're seeing the cooler air and showers.

Extreme northern New England, more accumulating snow expected across parts of Maine. But south of there shouldn't be terribly cool.

On severe weather, a threat across the midsection of the country. The next two, really three days, right in the heart of tornado ally, is where we expect to see some severe weather. Today, mostly hail, slight chance of seeing some isolated tornadoes. But the storm chasers will be out there this week. And we'll probably see some video coming in as we get towards midweek time period.

Seventy-eight degrees expected in Atlanta today. Beautiful day. And 62 degrees in Chicago. And it will be windy, but not terribly cool, 64 degrees for the high in New York.

Guys, hope you enjoyed your Easter and Passover. And Bubba Masters weekend.

BANFIELD: How about that? Wouldn't that nice?

SAMBOLIN: Perfect weekend.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Rob.

BANFIELD: Thank you, Rob.

It is now 17 minutes past 5:00 on the East Coast.

And we're getting an early read of your local news that makes national headlines this morning. We got a couple papers from Los Angeles and also from good old New York.

Should we start in Los Angeles?


BANFIELD: So, there is a new study that's out. And moms to be this -- is fascinating -- they are linking, they've got a study -- at least they're highlighting a study that's putting a link between autism and obesity during pregnancy. Apparently, the study is finding that pregnant women who are obese or who have diabetes or hypertension are more than two-times more likely to have children with developmental delays. So may be not just on the spectrum, but also developmental delays.

Very troubling for women who are slightly overweight during pregnancy. When I say slightly, I mean obese.

The researchers are saying that the results are premature. But it is certainly something to look at and to be concerned about.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Hopefully, they'll do a lot more research there. So, it is troubling.

Eighteen minutes past the hour here.

And we have "The New York Times" next for you. In comedy, timing is everything. And a new Hollywood comedy couldn't have come at a worse time. FOX executives are deciding whether it'd postpone the release of a new movie. It's called "Neighborhood Watch." And, of course, they're thinking about this because of the Trayvon Martin case. It was scheduled to come out in July. And now, FOX is pulling the advertisements and the trailers, like this one.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sergeant, he assaulted us with eggs.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at him and listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to his words and look at my face but look at him while he's talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at my face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to my words --


SAMBOLIN: If FOX does put the film on hold, it won't be the first time they've done this. FOX rescheduled the sniper film "Phone Booth" after the Beltway sniper attacks.

BANFIELD: I remember that. I remember that.

SAMBOLIN: So, they're really seriously considering that -- you had a really good idea, which was change the name.

BANFIELD: Until I saw the leather jackets had "Neighborhood Watch" on them. It looks more intricate than that picture. I mean, if you shot all of the scenes.

SAMBOLIN: But they said they may focus on some other things. There's a lot of aliens in the movie perhaps and kind of do the marketing that way. We'll see what happens.

BANFIELD: That's a really unfortunate story for FOX.

SAMBOLIN: It looked like it was actually going to be very funny. So, just the timing. Timing is everything, right?

BANFIELD: I was laughing all the way through the trailer. Yes, it's timing.

So, "Wall Street Journal," you normally pick it up and read your business headlines. But if you go under the fold, this is great. A story called Hawaii turns to dog shrinks as incessant barkers enter pleas.

Are you ready for this? Apparently, a bunch of dog owners in Hawaii are really worried about their dogs barking because there's a new law that says if your dog barks incessantly for 10 minutes or intermittently for 20 minutes, you could be subject for fines up to $575. And your dog has to leave the neighborhood.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, gosh.

BANFIELD: I know. Apparently, it's barks, bays, cries and howls that are the problem. But what's really amazing about this article is that all the people who are worried about their dogs being (INAUDIBLE), they're turning to dog psychologists.

SAMBOLIN: You know, I used to have one of these in my old neighborhood in Chicago.

BANFIELD: A barker?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, all night long.


SAMBOLIN: And I tried talking to the owners. And they're like, hey, you know, that's the dog.

BANFIELD: Outside?

SAMBOLIN: Yes. It was absolutely -- yes, it was difficult.

BANFIELD: That ain't fair.

SAMBOLIN: If the psychologist can solve it, I'd say go for it.

BANFIELD: Doggy shrinks making money in Hawaii, on the big island, because of by ways there.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Twenty minutes past the hour here. Your 401(k) had a really rough day. The markets react to Friday's jobs report. A lot of people predicted this. The future's not looking good right now.

BANFIELD: Future not so bright? Can't wear shades.


BANFIELD: It's 24 minutes now past 5:00 on the East Coast.

We're minding your business news. And the markets may have some catching up -- well, they may have some explaining to do today.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, they do. They were closed for Good Friday and still have to react to that lukewarm jobs report for the month of March.

Felicia Taylor joining us now for Christine Romans.

Good morning. Nice to have you.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Nice to be here.

Unfortunately, this is the first time markets can react to what was a very disappointing jobs report. Only 120,000 jobs were created in the last month. And they were expecting more like 210,000.

So, clearly, that was very upsetting to the marketplace. And this is the first reaction they're going to have. The futures market is down about 1 percent so far in open-market trading.

So, what we're looking at is the market is now going to be focusing on earnings. We'll get Alcoa coming out tomorrow. And people are expected that the growth rate in corporate earnings is not going to be that good, either. So, this is definitely --

BANFIELD: I heard someone of record suggest that we could have actually had that jobs report on Thursday. They could have let it out early to allow numbers to have a reaction on Thursday.

TAYLOR: You mean, in terms --

BANFIELD: That could have happened Thursday morning.

TAYLOR: It could come out Thursday -- well, but generally --

BANFIELD: I had heard they had moved this in the past when they had a Good Friday or they have a Friday holiday.

TAYLOR: Not really.


TAYLOR: I mean, the Thursday jobs number is the weekly report. And the Friday number is usually the monthly report. So, that's the distinction there. So, no, they wouldn't have let it come out earlier than that. So, this is just, you know --

BANFIELD: And there I was, thinking there was strategery going on.


TAYLOR: But what is interesting and that's I think what you're really pointed at, is the fact that the number fell to 8.2 percent. It was at 8.3 percent. It's significant because 8.2 percent, obviously indicates that things are getting better. And it's not. It's because people have actually fallen out of the jobs market.

They've gotten so despondent about looking for a job that they've fallen out of the market.

BANFIELD: They stop looking. They don't get counted anymore.

TAYLOR: No, right.

BANFIELD: Which is where you get that nice spin.

TAYLOR: And that's where the 8.2 percent goes. And I think that's what you're referring to.

BANFIELD: I don't know what I'm referring to. I just know what other smart people -- what other smart people tell me, I just pass it on.


SAMBOLIN: All right. Felicia, thank you very much.

BANFIELD: Nice to see you this morning.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Still ahead. Was the Tulsa killing spree an act of racial revenge? We'll ask Tulsa's mayor about new Facebook clues when he joins us right after the break.

BANFIELD: And retracing the "Titanic." A memorial cruise 100 years after its fateful voyage.

You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 30 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BANFIELD: Hello. I'm Ashleigh Banfield. It's nice to have you with us. Time to check the top stories making news headlines this morning --


BANFIELD (voice-over): And we begin in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where police are investigating whether revenge and race were factors in a killing spree that terrorized the community over the holiday weekend. Two suspects are due in court today, and we're going to talk with Tulsa's mayor in just a few moments.

Fresh North Korea nuclear fears this morning. New overnight, South Korea now claiming that the north is planning to test its third nuclear weapon. This, as it shows of a long-range rocket that was just moved into place on the launch pad.


MORLEY SAFER, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: He was absolutely fearless. He would get to the very core of the story.


BANFIELD: A legend on the passing of a legend. Morley Safer talking about his friend and colleague, long-time CBS news man, Mike Wallace, who has died at the age of 93. Being remembered as a tough, relentless, nosey to the core journalist. We're going to have a look back on his career and what it means to all of us.

And a sentimental voyage. A cruise ship retracing the path of the "Titanic" 100 years after its maiden and only voyage. With the same amount of people onboard, many of them relatives of the passengers on the "Titanic."


SAMBOLIN: Thank you, Ashleigh.

Two men accused of going on a killing spree in Oklahoma will be in court today. Three people were killed and two injured. This was early Friday morning. All five victims were black. Officials are not calling the incident a hate crime, however. But Jake England, the suspect on the left, made a remark on his Facebook page the day before the shooting that could indicate a motive.

Here it is. Quote, "Today is two years that my dad has been gone. Shot by an expletive and racial slur. It's hard not to go off between that and Sharon. I'm gone in the head. R.I.P. dad and Sharon. I love and miss you. I think about both of you every second of the day."

Sharon was a reference to his 24-year-old fiancee, Sharon Heartwild (ph) who had recently committed suicide right in front of him. I'm joined now by Tulsa mayor, Dewey Bartlett. Thank you for being with us this morning. We appreciate your time. The two men that you have in custody, are they cooperating?

MAYOR DEWEY BARTLETT, TULSA, OK: I do believe that they have been interrogated for a very, very lengthy period of time. Their level of cooperation, I don't know. I do know that this community is very glad that they have been arrested and put behind bars. And now, we'll start a process that, hopefully, we will be able to find out what the real motives are behind this tragic event.

SAMBOLIN: So Mayor Bartlett, we haven't heard anything new overnight about a motive in this case?

BARTLETT: No, I haven't. It's really the investigation portion now and the prosecution portion that begins. And they have a lot of information to sit through. Both the district attorney's office, the city prosecutor's office, they'll be very involved as well as the police department, obviously. But it will be their observations and decisions about how they do they approach this event.

Whether or not it's a hate crime. Those issues have to be determined, but certainly, the motive. You know, what was the intent? Why the randomness of this activity. A lot of questions. And then hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of them soon so we can move on and get back to our great way of life here in Tulsa.

SAMBOLIN: Well, there's certainly some speculation here about it, perhaps, being a hate crime because of what he was writing on Facebook, and perhaps, avenging the death of his father. Do you know anything about that and about the man who was charged there, Fernell Jefferson (ph)?

BARTLETT: No, I don't know anything about it, specifically, other than what we read in the media. It obviously does point to quite a disturbance in a person's life. But that's obviously no excuse at all for the randomness and the violence of such activity. This is something that we certainly would not wish upon any city in this country.

But fortunately, in Tulsa, we've been able to come together in a very positive, united way, and that's really why, in my opinion, why this came to an end so quickly. We, as a community, united behind the effort of finding these people. And we've asked the community very directly for their help.

They participated, they gave a lot of tips, and that led directly to the arrest of these two individuals. So, we're very, very glad that the community did unite together and bring this to a -- that portion of it to a close.

SAMBOLIN: Mayor, do we know anything about the relationship between these two men, Alvin Watts and Mr. England?

BARTLETT: The only thing we know is that they are roommates. They shared the same address, the same house, but we don't know what the relationship has been prior to this point in time. There's quite a disparity in age and background. Different ethnic background, et cetera. So, it's all coming together at some point. We'll find out a lot more about it. But right now, we're really at the beginning stage of all that activity. We certainly have appreciated the media's assistance in getting the word out to bring this to a close, and that's been a very, very good result.

SAMBOLIN: Mayor, you mentioned earlier, a hate crime, right, and this being racially motivated. On Saturday, CNNs Don Lemon spoke with Warren Blakney, he's the president of the NAACP in Tulsa. This is what he said, and I want to ask you about this.


REV. WARREN BLAKNEY, PRESIENT, NAACP TULSA: -- sixth street north in Tulsa back down toward the downtown area is primarily African-American, heavily African-American. And the great majority that African-Americans who live in the city live in that particular area.

And for a white male to come that deep into the area, and that's deep North Tulsa, and start indiscriminately shooting people, African- Americans, that lends itself for me to believe that this probably was, indeed, a hate crime.


SAMBOLIN: Mayor, you were born in Tulsa. You've lived there for decades. What do you make of this? Do you think that there is some racial tension in your town that this could, perhaps, have been a hate crime?

BARTLETT: No. There's no racial tension in the town at all now. We've gone beyond that years ago, decades ago, really. For these people were -- the two individuals that were arrested, where they were found is not too far away from where the shootings occurred, for example. So, why they were there, we don't know.

But there's obviously a tie between the five African-Americans that were shot and the non-African-American status of the two that were arrested. Fortunately, in Tulsa, we've approached our governance aspect if this is one Tulsan, whatever affects a portion of Tulsa, no matter where that is or whom it is, it affects the entirety of our city, good or bad.

And so, we've had that attitude. And what we've come up with is a good approach that's united the community. Without the leadership and the commitment from the African-American community, for example, I don't believe that we'd have the success we've had in the last few days of bringing the arrests and have been the people brought into jail and continuing on the investigation to see how and why this terrible tragedy that occurred. We now focus on those families.

SAMBOLIN: You know I wanted to ask you about that before we go. We don't have a lot of time. On the two victims that were released from the hospital, are they OK and talking?

BARTLETT: Yes. They're out of hospital. They're in good shape. For having been shot, obviously.


BARTLETT: But they're in good shape. And, they are communicating with the authorities at this point and hoping that will lead us more to have better information.

SAMBOLIN: Well, Mayor Dewey Bartlett, we appreciate your time this morning, and we wish you luck.

BARTLETT: Thank you very much. We appreciate yours.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Ashleigh, back to you.

BANFIELD (on-camera): Thirty-eight minutes now past 5:00 on the east coast.

North Korea has the international community on edge this morning. New overnight, South Korea is now claiming that the North is getting ready to conduct its third nuclear test. Aside from those nuclear fears, there is the matter of a long-range rocket launch, too. Pyongyang has moved such a rocket into position, and that's triggered fears of a ballistic missile test.

North Korea is insisting it just wants to put a satellite into orbit. And in a rare move, it even showed off the hardware, inviting foreign journalists to take look at its top-secret launch site. Our Stan Grant got a chance to take a look.


STAN GRANT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is about North Korean pride. About their right to launch a satellite and also refuting any claims that this is not, in fact, a satellite launch, but in fact, a covert missile operation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very disturbed.

GRANT: He can deny that it's a missile?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look for yourselves with your own eyes, then, you can judge whether it's a ballistic missile or whether it's a --



BANFIELD: Just fascinating to be able to watch that. In the meantime, a lot of experts are saying this could also be the test of a long-range missile technology that might be used to strike the U.S. and other targets, as well.

Tough but fair. That's how Mike Wallace wanted to be remembered. The legendary newsman died over the weekend at the age of 93.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he calls you, imam, forgive me, his words, not mine, a lunatic.

The translator worried about even translating the question.


BANFIELD: Mike Wallace had a reputation like no other (ph) decades of interviewing both the notable and the notorious. He was aggressive. He was fearless in his reporting. Along with Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace was the original correspondent on CBS' "60 Minutes" dating back to 1968. And he's being remembered with fondness and with respect.


LARRY KING, FORMER HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE" (on the phone): He brought the story. He went to the action, and he gave you the story. Was it objective? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes very subjective, but he got to the core of things. And he had made review (ph) big. You almost felt like you were with him when he was in the trenches.

SAFER: People have an indefinable quality that makes people wants take to him immediately and find themselves repelled by it. It's a unique talent.


BANFIELD: Morley Safer calls Wallace a one-man truth squad. CBS is going to have a tribute to Mike Wallace on next Sunday's "60 Minutes" broadcast. Something tells me that will be one of the more highly-rated "60 Minutes" as if they needed the extra boost. One of the highest rated news magazines of all-time.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. 5:41 here on the East Coast. The world remembering the tragedy of the "Titanic." More than 1,500 people died when the "Titanic" sank 100 years ago. A commemorative cruise set sail from Britain on Sunday. It's retracing the exact steps of the ill-fated voyage. Some passengers are the descendants of actual "Titanic" victims.

Other passengers on the cruise consider themselves "Titanic" history buffs, dressing up in period costumes. The so-called unsinkable "Titanic" went down on April 15th, 1912, after it struck an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic.

BANFIELD: You know, I was reading an account of one of the survivors. This is apparently a survivor who -- he clung to a lifeboat with a number of other people. There were so many onboard, the lifeboat that was turned over. A lifeboat that was turned over that they spent the entire night calling out to all the other lifeboats, come and get us. We're floating, but we're alive. No one came to rescue them. And then, finally, when they saw the carpathia (ph) coming, it took another four hours to even be rescued by that ship as well, but he lived to tell the stories. He wrote a book, but a very limited number of copes, gave them up mostly to friends and family, and then he ended up committing suicide, after the death of one of his children.

This is just an amazing account. It's an account like I haven't seen before. The detail of watching that thing go down. Just remarkable.

SAMBOLIN: I can't imagine being on that ship, you know? Especially if your family --

BANFIELD: I know. I know. I'm trying to remember when the last "Titanic" survivor died. I think it was pretty recent that -- it's kind of creepy to see it in period clothing, too.


BANFIELD: Forty-three minutes now past 5:00 on the east coast. And still ahead, a reality check for Newt Gingrich. He's given a big nod to Mitt Romney. And yet, nod or not, not stepping aside. So, why is Newt Gingrich sticking through till the end?

SAMBOLIN: The greatest race on plastic titers (ph). Big wheels bringing out the kid and so many people on Easter Sunday. Don't you want to do this?

BANFIELD: Big wheels keep on turning.


BANFIELD: Sing it like Tina.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my -- we'll have so much more of this. You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 47 minutes past the hour. Time to check the stories making news this morning.


BANFIELD (voice-over): Two men face possible hate crime charges for allegedly gunning down three people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The suspects, 19-year-old Jake England and 33-year-old Alvin Watts, set to be arraigned later this morning. Police say England may have been out to avenge his father's killing by a Black man.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin shooting could take their case to a grand jury tomorrow. It is now 43 days since a Florida teenager was shot and killed by self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Tensions remain high as Martin's family continue to call for Zimmerman's arrest. Zimmerman, meanwhile, maintained he shot Martin in self-defense.

BANFIELD: Beginning today, the U.S. navy will begin providing compensation to those affected by Friday's military jet crash at a Virginia Beach apartment complex. First pay out will cover housing, meals, and clothing, totaling about $2,300 per individual resident, more for families. Dozens of apartment units were destroyed, but incredibly, no one was killed or seriously hurt.

And he is not going anywhere, but Newt Gingrich is making a major concession to Republican rival, Mitt Romney.


NEWT GINGRICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have to be realistic, given the size of his organization, given the number of primaries he's won, he is far and away the most likely Republican nominee. And if he does get to 1,144 delegates, I'll support him. I'll do everything I can to help him defeat Obama. This is the primary goal of the entire Republican Party has to be to defeat Barack Obama.


BANFIELD: Quite a head turning comments more than likely. But Gingrich says he's staying in the race to help the party build a solidly conservative platform. He says, if, in fact, Romney is the Republican nominee, he'll work as hard for him as he would have for himself.

SAMBOLIN: Well, it's not Easter in Washington until the eggs roll. And today, the First Family is expecting 35,000 people to join them on the South Lawn for the annual White House Easter egg roll. This year's theme is "let's go, let's play, let's move." Let's move is first lady, Michelle Obama's, campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States.

BANFIELD: I love watching those pictures.


BANFIELD: Look at them. Those kids are having a blast.


BANFIELD (on-camera): I think they're more interested in the eggs than the fact that the president is helping them.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Well, of course.


BANFIELD: Right? Can you imagine?

SAMBOLIN: The Easter bunny.

BANFIELD: Get out of my way. Get out of my way. (LAUGHTER)

BANFIELD: The president.

Forty-nine minutes now past 5:00, and Easter Sunday is typically a huge sports day, and the headliner may be the great big wheel race to the Tina Turner.


BANFIELD (voice-over): Dozens of kids and adults racing down the steep hills of San Francisco during the 11th annual BYOBW. BYOBW. That's Bring Your Own Big Wheel. It's an extravaganza. Yellow flag came out during a multi-big wheel pileup. Oh, aw, aw, aw, aw.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Oh!

BANFIELD: Watch out. Nice bunny ears, though. Look at them. They're having such a great time. Everybody cheering them on, helping them out. Everybody, apparently, OK, though, despite the pileup. Might have looked like it was painful, but they were all --

SAMBOLIN: That is so much fun.

BANFIELD: Good shape.

SAMBOLIN: It should happen everywhere.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): All right. A pastor saying he is the next-best guest to having the pope.

BANFIELD (on-camera): Wow. Really?

SAMBOLIN: Tim Tebow drawing thousands at Easter Sunday. That was an appearance in Texas. You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It is 53 minutes past the hour. Time to take a look at what is trending on the interwebs.

So, the pastor joked he is the biggest thing in Christianity right now next to the pope.

BANFIELD: That's serious.

SAMBOLIN: You know who it is. Tim Tebow. He spoke in front of a crowd of about 15,000 people during an Easter church service held outdoors in Georgetown, Texas. He says it's a good thing when people are outspoken about their faith. And he also said the country needs to get back to being one country under God. He also talked about this tebowing craze.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TIM TEBOW, FOOTBALL PLAYER: It's kind of crazy. I really don't think I was the first athlete to get on a knee and pray. And it's funny because I've actually had the same routine the last seven years. And just this year, they started calling it Tebowing, which I have no idea why.

But I've been doing the same thing for the last seven years. And this year, it just seemed to get popular. But I do think it's pretty cool because, at least, you know, prayer is being talked about.


BANFIELD: He didn't say excited. He didn't say anything about being excited.


BANFIELD: By the way, he said excited like 40-plus times when he was being announced to the New York community.


BANFIELD: Thank you, Tim Tebow.

All right. So, after the primary wins last week, Mitt Romney seems to have a stranglehold on the GOP race, but it was a very funny take offered by "SNL" on Romney's pro-everything campaign. Have a look how they played it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, Ann and I have lived and traveled all over the world, but I'll let you in on a little secret. The only place that has ever truly felt like home is right here, East St. Louis, Illinois.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you crazy? This is a hell hole.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? No, I find it to be such a lovely place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trust me, I'm the mayor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This place is a hell hole. We live in a hell hole.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We hate it here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. Unfortunately, with our schedules, Ann and I don't get to nearly as many cockfights as we'd like.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But let me tell you, cockfighting has brought us more sheer enjoyment in our marriage than anything we have ever experienced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, in all honesty, I can't remember a time when dungeons and dragons wasn't an important part of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't believe you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. All right. No one wants to get sick, you know? But, frankly, I've always thought that if I had to develop a chronic disease, you know, I hoped it would be adult onset diabetes. I mean, what a fascinating illness. You know, when people ask me, Mitt, just how many piercings do you have?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I always say, more than I need, but less than I want.



SAMBOLIN: A piercing convention.


SAMBOLIN: Well, there's a moment. That gets your day started out right. A little bit of laughter.

BANFIELD: Kristen Wiig acting as Ann Romney on the side just like mortified.


BANFIELD: She's leaving the cast.

SAMBOLIN: I didn't know that.

BANFIELD: She is. She and Jason Sudeikis and Andy Samberg all reportedly leaving the cast of "SNL." (INAUDIBLE)

SAMBOLIN: We'll miss them.

BANFIELD: What are we going to do about our late-night laughs?

SAMBOLIN: Oh, we'll still get them, I'm sure.

All right. It is 53 minutes past the hour. Still ahead on EARLY START, two White suspects could face hate crime charges for a deadly shooting spree in a Black neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A Facebook posting suggests revenge may have been the motive. We're going to have a live report from Tulsa, coming up.