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EARLY START WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Shooting Massacre At Sikh Temple; Tragedy At The Racetrack; Ernesto Heading To Gulf; Usain Bolt Is Back; Andy Murray Brings Home Gold; Mission To Mars; GOP Convention Lineup Out; "Lightning Bolt" Is Back

Aired August 6, 2012 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The search for answers this morning in Oak Creek as we learn more about the gunman and what may have motivated him to open fire on a Sikh Temple.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Zoraida Sambolin.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm John Berman. It is now 6:00 a.m. in the east and we are finding out more this morning about a possible motive in that deadly shooting spree at the Sikh temple near Milwaukee.

Seven people now dead including the suspect. The latest victim confirmed the temple leader who was shot when he tried to tackle the gunman and save others.

Law enforcement officials spent the night examining the suspected gunman's home. We don't have his identity yet, but a source tells CNN the suspect was an army veteran who may have been a white supremacist.

Police say the shooter walked into the temple parking lot yesterday morning that is where he began firing. The first officer responding to the scene was ambushed. Here's what it sounded like on the police dispatch.

(BEGI VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Ambulance up, subject's down! (Inaudible) officer's down! Bring the ambulance. We have one officer shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: David Mattingly joins us live now from Oak Creek, Wisconsin this morning. David, we're trying to piece together what we know about this suspect. We hear 40-year-old white male, may have been this 9/11 tattoo on his arm. What else are police saying?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, here's exactly what we know this morning. According to people at the temple at the time of the shooting that describe this as man around 40 years of age, bald, white male wearing a white t-shirt and black pants with 9/11 tattoo. Authorities aren't speculating about the possible motive in this case, but they are saying that they are approaching this case in a certain way that implies there may have been some kind of agenda. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, CHIEF, OAK CREEK POLICE: We're treating this as a domestic terrorist type incident and therefore the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTINGLY: As they are pursuing this as a possible domestic terrorism case, that would imply there was some kind of political motivation here.

But as of right now, the FBI not ready to talk about at all what the motivation may have been. The people at the temple at the time not are saying whether or not the shooting had anything to say while he was there.

Police officers not reporting when their confrontation with him, if he had anything to say, but again, a single law enforcement source this morning telling CNN that this suspect was an army veteran and may have been a white supremacist.

So again, we're still one step closer to that possibility of domestic terrorism here, but no clear answers about why this happened and why here and why now.

BERMAN: David, overnight we saw police raid a residence that they believe belongs to the suspect and they appeared to be doing it with great delicacy. Explain.

MATTINGLY: Right, I was there until late last night. It was a very tense situation. They evacuated the houses immediately around the house they were searching. They approached it very cautiously with weapons drawn.

They actually went up in a fire department crane at one point to get a different vantage point from high above. But they were very cautious they were approaching this house.

They did gain entry and seemed to be approaching it as if someone might still be inside. But they did gain entry into that place. When they came out they were carrying large boxes.

They left spotlights on the building and it was still lit up suggesting that they weren't finished and what they were looking for inside that building.

But we're expecting to find out that source that was telling us that the suspect was in fact in the past possibly a white supremacist, also telling us maybe later this morning they will be able to release his identity to us. BERMAN: All right, thanks, David Mattingly on the developments in Wisconsin this morning.

KEILAR: Witnesses to the massacre say the tragedy could have been a lot worse if the shooter had shown up 30 minutes later. Gunshots rang out at 10:30 yesterday morning.

And temple members say half an hour later very large crowds would have started showing up for services and meals. Still, lives have been shattered and for some innocence have been forever lost.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA, TEMPLE MEMBER: At a place that you go to find peace and find God, of all places.

MALEEN RAJPUT, TEMPLE MEMBER: I just thought it was the safest place maybe on earth. We're in Oak Creek, apparently not. I just want people to know that they shouldn't be mistaken by us. And because we have turbans and long beards too and that's our religion and it's very peaceful.

BEILAR: In the next half hour, we'll be joined by Simran Kaleka, (inaudible) Kaleka, the niece and nephew of temple president and shooting victim (inaudible) Kaleka.

Another developing story that we're following this morning, a deadly lightning strike that killed a racing fan. This happened at the Pennsylvania 400-sprint cup race at Pocono Race Way.

The 160-lap event had to be called on lap 98 when a storm moved in and a race track spokesman says about 12 minutes after Jeff Gordon was declared the winner, a lightning bolt struck in the parking lot, killing a 41-year-old and injuring nine others, one of them in critical condition.

The spokesman also said public address announcements were made before the storm and at the end of the race for fans to take shelter and evacuate the grandstands.

We're also tracking those storms that caused so much heartache there at Pocono and snarled air traffic. I know I dealt with that yesterday. You have Tropical Storm Ernesto. And Karen Maginniss is in for Rob Marciano this morning. A lot going on, Karen.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Quite a bit and yesterday this fierce line of storms moved across the northeast, a little bit of heat relief, not much though.

But this is the line of storms associated with that cold front that moved through. We've circled the area. You can see some of the lightning strikes just kind of dotting all around that race track. There were 85,000 people at the race track there.

Ten struck by lightning and so far this year. That particular fatality marks the 19th lightning fatality in the United States. Well, a clearer day as that frontal system sweeps off towards the eastern seaboard.

Now we're focusing in on the tropics with Tropical Storm Ernesto, just kind of chugging along. It slowed down and hasn't picked up any intensity and still holding at 50 miles per hour.

It is expected sometime Wednesday to make it across the Yucatan Peninsula and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. But we think it may briefly reach hurricane intensity in the next couple of days, but we'll keep you updated on that -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right thanks, Karen, we'll see you a little later.

BERMAN: Aiming for gold this morning. Jamaica's Usain Bolt is back and back in a flash. The world held its collective breath as the fastest group of 100 meter sprinters ever hit the Olympic blocks.

Both held off the field with a new Olympic record. He was amazing, 9.63 seconds. Three other sprinters finished under 9.8 seconds. That is very fast.

The other story, hometown tennis star, Andy Murray, hometown Scotland that is, winning the gold on the hallowed lawn of Wimbledon and he did it convincingly.

It wasn't even close to being close. Murray avenged his loss last month in the Wimbledon finals. In the medal count an all out dog could you tell. China is on top, but the U.S. is right behind with 60 medals, including 28 golds. Great Britain is in third place with 37 medals overall.

KEILAR: Here's what you want to watch for today. Women's gymnastics, uneven bars final, all-around champ, Gabby Douglas, going for more golds. You can see the flying squirrel. In men's basketball, Team USA versus Argentina.

BERMAN: We're pondering this question this morning, Brianna, very serious. Is there life on Mars? At this moment man is closer to finding out the answer.

Coming up, the dramatic landing of our new rover on the red planet. The truth is out there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: NASA scientists, look at that, celebrating this morning with cheers and tears and pulled off the most important space mission in over a decade.

KEILAR: I love it.

BERMAN: I've never seen a group of scientists so happy.

KEILAR: They're so excited.

BERMAN: Hugs all around. Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It's 12 minutes after the hour. I'm John Berman.

KEILAR: I'm Brianna Keilar. Just hours ago, NASA's "Curiosity" space rover landed on Mars and we have some of the very first images from "Curiosity" of the red planet.

This mission will hopefully find out once and for all if life was ever possible on Mars and if it could sustain life in the future. With all of the answers to those questions, I'm sure.

CNN's John Zarrella is in Pasadena, California at NASA's jet propulsion lab. So, John, what is the meaning of life? I'm kidding, but NASA scientists were able to get curiosity through this so-called -- calling it the seven minutes of terror. They were unable to test this method that they got the rover down to this crater in.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, and you know what's funny, not that long ago I talked to one of the chief scientists here, engineers, who was involved in this whole process of getting it down to the surface.

And he said, you know what, we're going to land between a rock and a hard place. They were going to be right between the crater wall and mount sharp on one side.

And what you're seeing there is that entire time of EDL, entry, descent and landing team members all racing out across the courtyard, after the successful landing going over to the auditorium where the news conference was being held.

Just so much joy and jubilation because there were a lot of skeptics who didn't think they would be able to pull it off. The man who heads the jet propulsion laboratory out here said, you know what, this is just the beginning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES ELACHI, JPL DIRECTOR: And tonight we just did the landing. Tomorrow, we're going to start exploring Mars. And next week and next month and next year we'll be bringing new discovery every day every week to all of you. And we're going to continue not only exploring Mars, but exploring the solar system and exploring the universe because our curiosity has no limit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZARRELLA: So again, they land it between a rock and hard place and I have to tell you, Brianna, make sure our viewers stick around because in the next couple of hours, we may get a picture that was taken by the Mars reconnaissance orbiter that was flying overhead as "Curiosity" was landing and we may actually see "Curiosity" on the end of the parachute descending through the atmosphere.

And then later this afternoon, a short movie, we may action have a short movie of the descent -- taken from the descent camera. We have not seen this since the Apollo days.

You may recall when we used to see from the descent camera of the Apollo space craft approaching the surface of the moon. We will see that again late this afternoon.

A short movie, series of 17, 18 images, showing "Curiosity" landing on the surface of Mars. First time we've had an image like that since the "Apollo" days so a lot yet ahead today on the table here from the jet propulsion laboratory -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. And that will be amazing because the graphics were pretty cool, so I bet the video will be phenomenal.

ZARRELLA: Yes.

KEILAR: And, John Zarrella, I was already excited about this, but you have me straight up geeking out sir. So, thank you for being with us this morning.

ZARRELLA: Good.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: Stay on your TV screens all day, because we'll be showing you these pictures as they come in.

It is quarter past the hour. And we want to get you up-to-date on this morning's top stories. And we have some new developments in the Sikh temple massacre.

Right now, investigators are searching the suburban Milwaukee home of the man who open fire on members of this temple yesterday. Seven people now dead, including the gunman. A law enforcement source tells CNN the shooter was an Army veteran and may have been a white supremacist.

Witnesses described as a white male in his 40s and witnesses say he had a 9/11 tattoo on his arm.

KEILAR: Still, no cause of death for the son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. Police say Garrett Reid was found dead in his room yesterday morning at the team's training camp at Lehigh University. They do not suspect foul play. The young man battled drug abuse for many year and went to prison in 2007 for a high speed crash after police found heroine and more than 200 pills in his car.

BERMAN: The London Games will remember the Munich 11 today. The 11 Israeli athletes who were taken hostage and then killed at the 1972 Munich Games. This is the 40th anniversary. Victims families have been lobbying for this. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today also called for it. But Olympic organizers took a lot of heat for rejecting the request to hold a moment of silence during the opening ceremony.

To some movie news, "The Dark Knight Rises" winning the weekend box office for a third week in a row. It took in under $36.4 million and has now made more than 350 million domestically. Whereas, "Total Recall," the remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, debuted with $26 million and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" came in third with $14.7 million.

Have you ever dreamed up an idea for an invention that you think could make money, but you didn't have the tools to create the product in real life? Well, a new startup is helping would be inventors get their ideas out of the their head and on to store shelves. It is called Quirky and its founder is 25-year-old Ben Kaufman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN KAUFMAN, FOUNDER, QUIRKY: So, I really enjoy the design and creative process and like pulling levers there and tweaking little details from a design perspective. But what really gets me excited, when I hand an inventor their product for first time, a product they conceived on a napkin and posted on the Internet. And here I am, some random dude handing it to him and it's a real life physical thing that they're going to be able to buy at Target next week. That to me is the most special part of the project.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: To find out more how Quirky turns dreams into reality, tune in to "THE NEXT LIST" this Sunday at 2:00 p.m., right here on CNN.

BERMAN: It is 18 minutes past the hour right now. And don't look now, but gas prices -- they are climbing higher this morning. Coming up, we're going to look at what's driving these prices and how long the trend could last.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: And we are minding your business this morning. We want to look at the markets, U.S. stock futures for the Dow, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 they are all trading higher. That's good news ahead of the opening bell right now.

KEILAR: And Alison Kosik is in for Christine Romans, with us this morning.

So, what are we expecting on trading? And it's going to be choppy. What do you mean?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the choppy thing means we're going to see stocks really bounce around a lot. There's not a lot for investors to really trade on as far as new reports and also not a lot of traders are in the mix. A lot of people are on vacation and stocks to kind of move quickly at any given time.

Like any headline coming out of Europe, though, that's really the wildcard mix. That could really be the market driver over the coming week.

But as the -- before the opening bell rings, here's where we're starting. The S&P 500 right now is up 9 percent so far this year. That's good news if you've got a 401(k). Your 401(k) basically tracks the S&P 500. The Dow is starting above 13,000, that's good news.

But the question is: what is moving the markets higher? It's certainly not the fundamentals of the economy, although 163,000 jobs added to the economy on Friday, that was a good start. But the reality is we need to see anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 jobs added per month.

You're seeing there how the jobs recovery had really lost momentum between April through June. So, what is moving stocks higher? There's speculation that the Fed could go ahead and step in and introduce some sort of stimulus into the economy to give that kind of Red Bull jolt not just to economy but to stocks as well.

KEILAR: But one of the things I was noticing just as I drove by the gas station the other day, you're seeing prices go up and this doesn't help when already things are very fragile.

KOSIK: Yes, the timing couldn't be worse, exactly, after we've gotten used to seeing these prices kind of come down over the past three months, July actually saw some of the highest average prices ever recorded.

So what -- let's look at today's average price sitting at $3.62 a gallon for unleaded. Prices now have gone up eight days in a row. And here's why -- oil prices are higher, oil prices, of course, factor hugely into the gas price. Right now, there's a fear premium on oil. Tensions with Iran are heating up. There are new sanctions on Iran.

We're seeing this play out in oil prices. Oil prices spiked 4 percent on Friday above $91 a barrel. That's also on stronger demand on the better than expected jobs report.

Here's what's interesting about gas prices, though, as we see them go higher, right before the election. You can bet Republicans are going to seize the moment and say, you know what, we can take care of gas prices, make them lower better than Democrats can. But the reality is, it sounds great in a campaign speech but it doesn't really happen that way because oil is traded on a global scale.

BERMAN: All right, all-knowing Alison, what is the one thing we need to know about our money today?

KOSIK: All right. The one thing you need to know about your money today, more than a dozen states are gearing up for tax-free shopping days. I'm going to go ahead and tweet a link to the CNN Money story on this week and see a list of all of the states and also the dates for tax free shopping days.

I hear you can save from 4 to 7 percent. Every little bit helps.

KEILAR: Virginia, where I live, I've seen signs in front of stores. We're going to go help the economy.

BERMAN: We're expecting gifts, so thank you.

KEILAR: OK. Well, I will do that. What did I just get myself into?

Well, coming up, we'll have some new details from inside that Sikh temple during the massacre. We're speaking to a relative of the temple leader who is being called a hero this morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: He's one of the heroes of the Sikh temple rampage. This morning, we're talking to the family of the man who tried to tackle the gunman in exchange of his life.

BERMAN: Amazing new pictures from the surface of Mars. We're talking to a NASA scientist about the dramatic landing of this new probe just hours ago.

KEILAR: And a dash for gold. In less than 10 seconds, Usain Bolt lives up to his name in dramatic 100-meter race.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is now 29 minute after the hour.

We're going to begin right now with more news on that tragedy at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. At least six worshippers are dead, three others in critical condition, after a gunman opened fire inside the temple yesterday morning. It happened in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, that's a town about half hour outside of Milwaukee.

One of the wounded was a heroic police officer, he first to report to the scene. Another police officer was able to shoot and kill the gunman outside the temple.

CNN has been able to confirm this morning that the gunman was an Army veteran who may have been a white supremacist. He was described by witnesses as a white male in his 40s, wearing a white t-shirt and having a tattoo that commemorated September 11th.

Throughout the night, investigators are searching a house six miles from the temple that is believed to have been the rented home of the suspected gunman. The chief of police of the won saying because of the nature of the crime, the FBI is going to be involved too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're treating this as a domestic terrorist- type incident and therefore the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: One of the heroes on Sunday was Satwant Kaleka, seen here in this Facebook photo. He is the president of the temple. He was killed when he tried to tackle the gunman and he was shot in the back.

KEILAR: The FBI in Denver says a suicidal person who made threats against oil and gas sites in western Colorado is in custody. Investigators have been conducting sweeps of a refinery and surrounding area but they haven't found any public safety issues. Part of highway 6 and 50 was closed for a while but has been reopened.

Those wildfires are still burning in parts of Oklahoma this morning. A monster blaze between Mannford and Kellyville in the northeastern part of the state has scorched almost 91 square miles. Dozens of homes and buildings have burned to the ground.

The flames were so intense on Friday. Three firefighters had to be treated for burns. Many families were forced to evacuate homes are being allowed to return now. And light rain and cooler temperatures helping firefighters make significant gains against the flames yesterday.

BERMAN: There is a lot of weather news to talk about between thunderstorms, lightning strikes, a hurricane or tropical storm in the Gulf.

Let's get a quick check on the weather with Karen Maginnis.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: And, John, yes, there are so many fires across Oklahoma. There are about a dozen to 18 major fires across this region. One fire in particular, 38,000 plus acres, and they'd like to say they have control over it.

But in fact it is anything beyond under control because the system moved through and blew the flames and created another front to the fires. So, they are battling it from many different fronts. And as the temperatures soared in Oklahoma City, they have spent 19 days before the temperature was 100 plus degrees.

All right. Well, across the United States, frontal system is making its way across the Northeast yesterday. And the Poconos at the race track, we had 85,000 people there. Ten people struck by lightning, one fatality reported there.

The heat is going to move a little bit further towards the South into Texas, but we look much farther to the south, across the Caribbean. This is tropical storm Ernesto. It doesn't look all that impressive on the satellite imagery, but it continues to make its way to the West.

Now, it may briefly make it to hurricane intensity. It should drop back down right before it makes landfall across the Yucatan. So, a lot of people who are vacationing there may be under the gun. We'll watch that as we go in the next several days -- John, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, bummer for a vacation when you're there and see that cruising towards you, a hurricane heading towards you.

MAGINNIS: Exactly.

KEILAR: Karen Maginnis, thanks for letting us know what's going on.

BERMAN: All right. Brianna, we've been talking about the shooting massacre in Wisconsin, at the Sikh temple.

We're joined this morning by Simran and Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka. They are the niece and nephew of Satwant Kaleka. We learned overnight that Satwant Kaleka, he passed away from his wounds in the shooting overnight.

First of all, I have to say, our sympathies are with you both. Tell me about your uncle.

SIMRAN KALEKA, NIECE OF SHOOTING VICTIM SATWANT KALEKA: Well, he was a -- we start off with he was an amazing man. He left this world protecting the church, protecting the people and now we're trying to find out who is going to protect our hearts from this pain.

KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA, NEPHEW OF SHOOTING VICTIM SATWANT KALEKA: He was definitely one of the most dedicated individuals I could ever see. One of the most happiest people in the world. And he did so much to create this community and create this temple and help involve those in the community.

And from what we understand, he basically fought until the very end and suffered gunshot wounds trying to take down the gunman. You know, he was a protector of his own people, just incredible individual who showed his love and passion for our people, our faith until the end.

BERMAN: We understand he was shot while trying to tackle the gunman -- truly a hero in this tragic, tragic episode. I understand that in the midst of all of this chaos and tragedy for your family, you were actually on the scene helping police talk to witnesses there and translate for some of them who do not speak English so well. What do the people inside the temple tell you they saw?

KANWARDEEP KALEKA: I mean, you know, there's a lot of commotion so people didn't have the most clear picture. They didn't remember exactly how many gunshots they heard. But some of the ladies who were making food in the kitchen overhead gunshots and some of them went down to the basement to where their kids were playing, to protect their kids.

One of the husbands was one of the leaders, religious leaders of the temple. He went to go see what had happened and unfortunately he was also -- killed right on the spot. And just a great man and his family just came from India three weeks ago. You know, you see a man so happy to see his kids and his wife and now he doesn't have that.

But supposedly the gunman basically came into the parking lot shooting, shot people who were standing out in front and entered the temple and open fired in the opening room. And then went into the religious room where we keep our Holy Guru Granth Sahib and open fired there. And from what I'm told, killed two more women and I believe three more males.

BERMAN: This is a holy place --

KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA: -- in critical condition.

BERMAN: This is a holy place, place of peace and place where you open your arms and welcome anyone from the community, whether they are Sikhs or not, correct?

KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA: Absolutely. Any faith, religion or creed, gender, anything -- anybody could come into our temple without any judgment and we come and feed people. Some of the homeless people around here come here just to eat. And we leave our doors open.

And when things like this happen, it just -- it sends chills down your spine, you know, what can you do for people these days?

BERMAN: We all indeed send you our sympathies right now. It's got to be a very tough morning for you. Simran and Kanwardeep Kaleka, their uncle Satwant, he died overnight. He was shot trying to protect others in the temple overnight. Thank you so much for joining us. Our thoughts and prayers of with you.

KEILAR: A true hero.

KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA: Thank you.

SIMRAN KALEKA: Thank you.

KEILAR: True hero.

We are 37 minutes after 6:00 here in the East, taking a turn next on EARLY START.

Curiosity has landed and it's looking for life and also real estate. How the mission to mars to change our future. We have a chief NASA scientist joining us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It is 41 minutes after the hour. Glad you're here. I'm John Berman.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar.

After traveling more than eight months and 352 million miles, NASA's rover Curiosity has landed now on Mars.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Touchdown confirmed. Received on Mars!

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: And they go nuts. I love that scene. It's so great.

So, immediately after touching down, Curiosity began sending images back to mission control, sparking more celebration and more tears from NASA scientists.

Jim Garvin is the chief scientist from the NASA Goddard space flight center. And he also served as chief scientist from Mars exploration from 2000 until 2004. He's joining us now.

I mean, Jim, could this have gone any better?

JIM GARVIN, NASA CHIEF SCIENTIST: Not at all. We are so thrilled. We're all speechless. And we've got to yay!

KEILAR: You are -- everyone was so excited by this. We loved your enthusiasm. It got us really into it. This is a huge mission, the biggest space mission in a decade. So, we can't really overstate now.

But tell us that we've seen the celebrating, that really hard part, the seven -- this terror moment has passed. What is Curiosity now going to do? What's in store for us?

GARVIN: Well, Curiosity is getting ready to do her job, which is going to be a two-year marathon exploring Mars, in one of the most exciting places we could ever find, Brianna. Now it's the slow warming up wake-up. It's kind of like an Olympic athlete warming up that race, that tumbling routine or whatever.

And, you know, for us we got the gold Olympics getting there. So, now, it's all gravy of doing the science that guys like are -- can't wait to do.

KEILAR: It's the gravy. It's microbial gravy, right? Because isn't that what you're looking for, looking -- tell us what we know, what we've found on Mars so far and now what we're searching for with this. I say we, because I think we all kind of want to be a part of it.

GARVIN: Of course, it's the people's mission. But what we found is Mars was a water planet. And a lot of the water story which links to the possibility of something really cool like life, you know, is buried in the rocks and past, the way we might look for ancient fossils here on Earth.

So, w have to become really good geologists. It's kind of like CSI does Mars on the rocks. That's the way we're going to look at it with Curiosity, with the tools we have.

So, this is a new class of mission for. It's Apollo without the astronauts doing science.

KEILAR: And without the astronauts, but, Jim, one of the things that this mission is going to do is testing radiation levels on Mars. Obviously, we would like to see astronauts on Mars one day.

What other obstacles may they face in such a mission like this, aside from the fact it's 352 million miles away?

GARVIN: Well, indeed, Brianna. But, the radiation mission is really important, because, you know, we people are just not good in that deep space environment. In fact, last time we've been there was with a project Apollo back in the '70s.

So, we're going to get to know what it was like to move about on Mars as explorers. Curiosity will not only measure radiation but it will pave the way in terms of landing the kind of systems that we would need to be on Mars. And it really is first bright step as a science machine, as a surface observatory, to get the way that some day women and men might go to the surface of Mars, that grand expedition.

KEILAR: Jim, you make me want to sign up for space camp. Jim Garvin, chief scientist from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, thank you so much for making the time.

GARVIN: All right. Thanks, Brianna.

BERMAN: That was the most excited scientist I've ever seen in my entire life. That was awesome.

KEILAR: Yes. He's fantastic.

BERMAN: It is now 45 minutes after the hour, and we want to get you up to date on this morning's top stories, and we have new developments in the Sikh temple massacre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (voice-over): Police could release the shooter's name in just a few hours. Investigators spending the night searching the suburban Milwaukee home of the man who opened fire on the members of the temple yesterday. Seven people now dead, including the gunman.

A law enforcement source telling CNN the shooter was an army veteran and may have been a White supremacist. Witnesses describe him as a White male in his 40s and they say he had a 9/11 tattoo on his arm.

KEILAR (voice-over): A deadly lightning strike kills a NASCAR fan. This happened yesterday at the Pennsylvania 400 Sprint Cup Race at Pocono Raceway. It's a 160 lap event, but it had to be called on lap 98 when a storm moved in.

A race track spokesman saying about 12 minutes after Jeff Gordon was declared the winner, a lightning bolt struck in the parking lot killing a 41-year-old man and also injuring nine other people, one of them critically.

BERMAN: And new just this hour, political shake-up in Syria, the country's prime minister has been discharged. That's according to Syria state television. State TV also reporting that an explosion at a building in Damascus that injured several people. Syrian rebels are claiming government war planes have launched new shelling attacks in Aleppo. They say 44 people have been killed this morning, including ten children. That's in the battle for Syria's largest city.

KEILAR: Sen. John McCain, former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, are among the first speakers named for this month's Republican National Convention in Tampa. The list first reported by the "Tampa Bay Times," we should say.

And the key know note speaker and headliners will be announced closer to the conventions at the end of the month. Of course, there's a spot reserved for the eventual VP choice, TBD, but --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Any day now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN (on-camera): All right. We're playing some musical chairs here this morning. Zoraida Sambolin is in for Soledad. And Zoraida joins us now to tell us what's ahead on "Starting Point."

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the chair feels good, but I miss you this morning.

All right. Ahead on "Starting Point," we are following all the latest developments from that tragic Wisconsin temple shooting. The Oak Creek police chief will join us for an update on who exactly the gunman was and what his motives were. The mayor of Oak Creek is also with us with more on how that community is now coping.

Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, is once again the fastest men on earth winning last night's 100-meter dash. So, what's it like to compete against him? American, Justin Gatlin did just that. He took home the bronze medal in yesterday's race, and he is going to join us.

And the man who holds one of the greatest Olympic records of all time, long jumper, Bob Beamon, joins us for his take on Bolt and the rest of the track and field events. A very popular one.

And Ty Pennington, the former host of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," he stops by with the preview of his latest project. He is working with both Republicans and Democrats to build homes for veterans.

That and much more coming up on "Starting Point." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Welcome back to EARLY START. It's 51 minutes after the hour. I'm Brianna Keilar.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman, and we are talking about the Olympics and the big drama on the track with the men's 100-meter race. Jamaican's sprinter, Usain Bolt, ran away with a new Olympic record, but, the U.S. did not leave empty handed. Justin Gatlin won the bronze, and he had a personal best, 9.7 the seconds.

But the best part is he's joining us live now from London. And Justin, 9.7 nine seconds, a personal bet, how did it feel on the track?

JUSTIN GATLIN, U.S. OLYMPIC SPRINTER: It feels good. The track is amazingly fast. I'm just glad to be a part of history once again, and you know, I'm ready to do some more damage out there.

BERMAN: You won the gold in 2004. And then, in 2006, you were suspended from racing, you were away from the track for four years. How does it feel to come back after that suspension and medal?

GATLIN: You know, it was a long road for me. It was almost half a decade away from the sport. And, to come back in the last two years and want to do this year and just be really dominant as possible and to show the world that I can be a top runner again and one of the fastest humans alive.

BERMAN: Now, you are 30 years old, which to a lot of people including me sounds young, but you're an old, old man in the world of racing. How do you get your personal best at age 30? What makes you so fast this old?

GATLIN: You know, when I was younger, I ate a lot of burgers and fries and pizza and halfway trained. But, now, I have to be more diligent in what I have to do, eat my vegetables, watch my weight, and just stay focused on the task at hand, which is going out there and running fast and being strong. And, I can say that I am the fastest oldest man in the world. So, that's me.

BERMAN: You are the fast evident oldest man in the world. Maybe if I layoff the burgers, I can catch you. Usain Bolt looks like he's 12 feet tall. He looks like a different type of creature than the rest of us. What is it like to line up in the blocks against someone like that?

GATLIN: You know, it's not even a feeling that you feel in like first part of the race. I can definitely say the last 30 meters of the race, you definitely could feel his presence coming on (INAUDIBLE) because he is 6'5". And I'm pushing 6 foot, 6'1". And to see that's probably , you know, it's amazing, definitely amazing. You have to find a way to neutralize if you're going to be a good sprinter and compete against that.

BERMAN: All right. Justin Gatlin, congratulations again on the bronze medal. You won the gold in 2004, but this one maybe just as poignant. Great to have you with us.

KEILAR: And he said he's going to do more damage, so we'll stay tuned for that.

Now, today's "Best Advice" is from an all-time Olympic great. We'll be hearing from 1996 hero, Kerri Strug, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: Just a few minutes left to go, "Starting Point" is next, but we wrap it up as always with "Best Advice."

KEILAR: And today, it's Olympic gold medal icon, Kerri Strug.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRI STRUG, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL GYMNAST: The best advice I ever got was to follow your dreams. At six years old, I watched Mary Lou Retton win her gold medal in the 1984 summer Olympic Games, and it took 12 long years, but in the 96 games, I too became an Olympic gold medalists. And you know, of course, it took a lot of perseverance, dedication and drive, but I always stick to following my dreams, and I was able to succeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Persistence.

BERMAN: That's -- every time I look at her, all I think about, that's the one who stuck the landing. She sticks the landing every time.

KEILAR: That moment where you saw she was crying and she was in so much pain and she just -- I don't know how a person puts it aside. That's what makes someone a world class athlete. Amazing.

BERMAN: And of course, they won the gold medal in 1996, and then, we did it again this time.

KEILAR: That's right.

BERMAN: So, it was fantastic. All right. It was great having you here.

KEILAR: So nice being here. Thank you.

BERMAN: Come back.

KEILAR: OK, sure, any time.

BERMAN: All right. That is all for EARLY START this morning. I'm John Berman.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar. "Starting Point" With Zoraida Sambolin in for Soledad O'Brien starts right now.