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Manhunt for a Killer; Blast Rocks Pemex Tower in Mexico City; Hagel Confirmation Hearing; Day 4 in Alabama Hostage Standoff; Markets Post Big Gains in January; Brother Versus Brother

Aired February 1, 2013 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Masked gunmen on the loose. Police say he killed a prosecutor in broad daylight right in front of the courthouse.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Holed up in an underground bunker. Tense negotiations under way to try to get a gunman to give up and let his five-year-old hostage free.

BERMAN: Did Chuck Hagel blow it? President Obama's pick for Defense Secretary roughed up by his former colleagues in the Senate. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Friday, February 1st. It's 6:00 a.m. in the East so let's get started here.

Up first, an intense manhunt going on right now for one or possibly two suspects after an assistant district attorney was gunned down outside a courthouse in Texas. Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in Kaufman County, which is about 30 miles outside of Dallas, was killed after being shot several times as he got out of his car, right in front of the courthouse in the parking lot yesterday.

Authorities are pleading for leads right now. The FBI is now helping in the case as well and his boss had a message for those responsible.


MIKE MCLELLAND, KAUFMAN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I hope that the people that did this are watching. Because we're very confident that worry going to find you, pull you out of whatever hole are you in, and bring you back and bring you back to Kaufman County and prosecute you to the full extent of the law.


SAMBOLIN: Drew Griffin is live in Kaufman, Texas for us this morning. Any leads in this case?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: You know, not really that they are telling us. Along with the FBI, the Texas Rangers are in on this, but I can tell you, Zoraida, this is such a small town, which is why this is such an odd case. I can actually hear a rooster crowing right now. We're outside the parking lot where the shooting took place yesterday morning. Mark Hasse, a lifelong prosecutor. Right now, what they are trying to do is look through all of the cases he worked on through the years and most recently to find out if this could be some kind of retribution.

His boss yesterday said, look, we know the risks involved in this. They are inherent to this business and so did Mark Hasse.


MCLELLAND: Simply the nature of the beast when you deal with bad people on a regular basis. You know that there is always the potential for these bad people to do something bad to you because they have already done something bad to somebody else.


GRIFFIN: As far as we know, they don't have any leads. There is a $20,000 reward. There's going to be a news conference at 10:00 a.m. this morning. And, Zoraida, as we have been pointing out, this guy has prosecuted just about everybody you can imagine from white supremacists to drug dealers.

He was recently working on a DUI case here at the courthouse. But no death threats, and obviously from his action yesterday, just showing up at the parking lot and walking to his office, he was not under any kind of threats that he apparently knew of -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Gunned down in broad daylight. Drew Griffin live in Kaufman, Texas for us, thank you very much.

BERMAN: We have another developing story to tell you about right now. At this very minute, crews are searching for people trapped in the Pemex complex, which includes one of Mexico City's tallest buildings.

And there's word that a survivor has been plucked from the rubble. This after an explosion that tore through the offices of the state- owned oil company sent thousands of panicked employees into the streets.

Authorities say the blast killed at least 25 people and injured more than 100. We want to bring in Nick Parker who is live in Mexico City right now. Nick, do we know what caused this blast?

NICK PARKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. At this stage, there hasn't been an official explanation for what caused this. Initially reports suggested it was an electrical explosion and investigators are currently working on a leading theory that it was a gas explosion that was caused in an electrical maintenance area in this building.

But at this stage, there's been nothing official or specific. Last night, the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was here at the scene that you see behind me. He came here with his senior security officials and cabinet ministers. In an interview afterwards, he was asked if there was a specific explanation, and he wasn't going to be drawn on that. But what he did say is that if there was anyone negligent, any case of negligence here, he will bring the full weight of the law down on anybody that might be guilty of that.

This morning, as you say, is an active search and rescue scene here in downtown Mexico City. We've seen two trucks of army officers streaming in just behind me. We've seen dozens of search and rescue workers marching in, changing shifts.

Right now at the scene, you are seeing search and rescue workers climbing through the rubble. It's a very laborious process. Bringing out boxes of paper and bringing them to the foreground.

They are still very much looking for survivors at this stage. They don't know precisely if there is indeed anyone down there at this stage. But they are combing through it to see if there are more injured to be taken to the hospital -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Nick, that search continues at this very minute. Nick Parker in Mexico City, thanks for being with us.

SAMBOLIN: I was reading on BBC Mundo that there were over 3,000 people in there. It's surprising there weren't more deaths.

All right, let's move on here. It's 5 minutes past the hour. It was a Capitol Hill grilling for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel. Now the waiting and it could be a rather long wait.

We are watching for threats of a filibuster on the Hill after Republican senators came at Hagel really hard raising concerns about past statements and positions specifically on Iran and Israel.

Hagel spent much of the day defending his record and although, one GOP senator said Hagel appeared weak and wobbly, it appears his nomination is safe. More from Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They attacked Chuck Hagel from all sides.

SEN. JAMES INHOFF (R)-OK, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be Secretary of Defense?

LAWRENCE: Calling him soft on Iran and tough on Israel.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Give me an example of where we've been intimidated by the Israeli Jewish lobby to do something done.

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: Well, I can't give you an example.

LAWRENCE: At times, Hagel stumbled through his answers and had to repeatedly correct himself.

HAGEL: By the way, I've been handed a note that I -- that I misspoke.

LAWRENCE: Leading one senator to say --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to clarify the clarify.

LAWRENCE: In the muddle, some things became clear. Hagel supports a negotiated reduction in America's nuclear weapons. He'll push for spouses of gay and lesbian troops to receive benefits, and he believes the U.S. should talk with Iran about its nuclear program.

HAGEL: That's not negotiation. Engagement is not appeasement.

LAWRENCE: The most heated exchange goes back years over a disagreement on Iraq.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: You said the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam. Were you correct or incorrect? Yes or no?

HAGEL: My reference to --

MCCAIN: The question is, were you right or wrong?

LAWRENCE: Hagel seemed surprised by questions he had to know were coming. It got so bad near the end Senator Inhoff softened his question on Iran's endorsement.

INHOFF: You consider that to be a disrespectful notion on my part?

HAGEL: No, it's a legitimate question.

INHOFF: Thank you very much.


LAWRENCE: Some senators were stunned by Hagel's performance and came out not sure if they would vote for him or not. Hagel met with about 60 senators before the hearing, and the aides will push the aggressive push, hoping personal one-on-one meetings can overcome any of the mistakes that he made. Chris Lawrence, CNN, Pentagon.

SAMBOLIN: Thanks to Chris. Next hour on "STARTING POINT," we'll talk with Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats who says he will vote no on Hagel's nomination.

BERMAN: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doesn't have to worry about any long plane trips for a while, unless going on vacation somewhere. Today marks her final day on the job at the State Department.

The former First Lady, former Senator, former presidential candidate logged almost 1 million miles in the air since taking over at the State Department four years ago. This week, the secretary told CNN she is looking forward to getting some rest. Of course, the big question is, for how long? Because many of us want to know what's going on with 2016. But that question unanswered for a while.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, it will indeed. All right, Vice President Joe Biden, dispatched in a mission overseas in the coming days. More on what is at stake, coming up.

BERMAN: Plus cough syrups being recalled. You want to pay attention especially if you have kids.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back. It's 11 minutes past the hour. It is now the fourth day underground for an Alabama gunman and his 5-year-old hostage as a tense standoff with police and the FBI continues now. It's all happening in Midland City, where the suspect boarded a school bus on Tuesday, shot and killed the driver and seized the 5-year-old little boy.

Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson says the boy appears to be unharmed. He's asking neighbors to pray for the child and to pray for his family. A local police chief says a suspect has been known to spend eight days at a time inside his underground bunker. Here is George Howell with more.


GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jimmy Davis Jr. and his family have been neighbors to Jimmy Dykes since he moved to this area and brought property here more than a year and a half ago. And Davis says he's seen the bunker first hand.

JIMMY DAVIS JR., NEIGHBOR: He told me, it's a storm shelter. I've not seen it in about probably eight or nine months. Not sure what he's done to update it or anything.

HOWELL (on camera): So when you saw that bunker, what did it look like? How wide, how deep was it?

DAVIS: It was like a 15 by 15 foot wide in length and about 12 foot deep and it was lined with bricks, like little red bricks.

HOWELL (voice-over): Davis says Dykes' travel trailer, where he lives, sits about 20 yards off the road on his property. Just behind the trailer is a massive steel shipping container that Davis says Dykes used as a shed and behind that, slightly to the left, sits the underground square bunker.

DAVIS: Actually had cinder blocks going down as steps and it was covered up with two sheets of plywood nailed together with hinges and stuff as a door to open to it.

HOWELL: Davis saw the bunker early in its development. He says it had a tarp and sand over the top. He also notices a PVC pipe buried in the ground that went from the bunker all the way to the front gate. Dykes told Davis that he put it in so that if he was in the bunker, he could hear people or cars approach the front gate.

(on camera): Did he ever give any indication as to why he built the bunker?

DAVIS: A storm shelter. He said back where he lived -- I forgot where he told me he used to live. He said back where he lived there were a bunch of tornadoes and they always hit close to his house, so he was preparing for it. Make sure he has somewhere to get in.

HOWELL: Davis says his relationship with Dykes quickly deteriorated though. Just in December, Dykes fired a pistol at him and his family while they were in a pickup truck. The two men were due in court on Wednesday, where Dykes was to face a charge of menacing.

But since allegedly kidnapping a child and killing a man, Dykes is now in much deeper, hiding out underground.


HOWELL: We know that Dykes has had other brushes with the law. We know that he was charged for improper exhibition of a firearm back in 1995 and also arrested for illegal possession of marijuana back in 2001. So he's had other brushes with the law, and at this point, everyone is just keeping a close eye on what happens, what his next move will be here.

SAMBOLIN: George, I know that we don't have a lot of information on the bunker. But the temperatures dipping into the low 30s, so we're concerned, asp I would imagine, everybody concerned about the conditions inside that underground bunker. Do you know anything about that?

HOWELL: Right. Well, you know, temperatures here, a little warmer than the other day, maybe 40 degrees outside. But, you know, a constant 50 degrees underground. So, certainly, it is cold, Zoraida, but the question, is there electricity there? Is there heat there?

No one really knows the specifics of what's inside that bunker, how much he was able to upgrade before it's gotten to this point. That's the question everyone has. We do that know investigators are keeping in touch with him.

SAMBOLIN: We are certainly hoping he releases that little boy. George Howell live for us -- thank you very much.

HOWELL: Absolutely.

HOWELL: Fifteen minutes after the hour right now. Let's get you up to speed on the top stories. Christine Romans with that.


We begin with an intense manhunt to find the person who gunned down a prosecutor outside a courthouse in Texas. And there may be more than one suspect out there. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the assistant D.A., Mark Hasse, was targeted because of a case he was working on. His boss says he was working on as many as 300 different cases.

The world of extreme sports taking a hard look at itself after the death of snowmobiler Caleb Moore. He was just 25 years old. He was injured when his 450-pound snowmobile flip on top of him during a back flip attempt at the Winter X-Games last week. ESPN, which produces the X Games, says it's reviewing the sport and will adopt appropriate changes at future X Games.

Vice President Joe Biden will meet with the leader of the Syrian opposition movement during his European trip sometime over the next few days. They'll discuss the ongoing conflict in that country, as well Syria's relationship with neighboring Russia. The nearly two- year civil war in Syria has killed more than 60,000 people and forced more than 700,000 to flee.

Check your medicine cabinets before you leave the house this morning. Drugmaker Novartis is voluntarily recalling two dozen different types of Triaminic and Theraflu cough syrup, because seals on the bottles are defective. They are not fully child proof. The company says it receives four reports of incidental ingestion. And one patient had to get medical attention but did recover. The products involved have already probably been used for most of you. Novartis says the last batch distributed was more than a year ago.

BERMAN: We're also minding your business. U.S. stock futures are up ahead of this morning's January monthly jobs report.

SAMBOLIN: And despite closing lower, markets have been on a tear so far this year. Christine Romans breaking it down.

ROMANS: Yes, really, been a great January. The best start to the year since 1994.

Let me show the numbers for what it looks like. The Dow up 6 percent. That's a great one-month performance. S&P 500 up 5 percent. The NASDAQ up 4 percent. The Dow and S&P best levels now since October 2007 and within spitting distance of record, record highs.

Why? The Fed pumping money into the system, job market slowly healing, and the housing market looks. And listen to what Zanny Minton Beddoes from "The Economist" told me.


ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, THE ECONOMIST: I think the kind of serious fear of going off the fiscal cliff is now gone. We have not solved the financial problems, and we put off a few of them, but that since of real fear that was there for a lot of 2012 has lifted.


ROMANS: A lot of investors think there's more to go. They want to get on the end of the five-year bull market and make more gains. Some investors though are saying, hey, it's been a nice, long ride. The S&P is doubled over the past five years. Some are turning more cautious. That's a decision for you to make.

Meanwhile, analysis, on the Super Bowl. Analysis like you will not hear from anyone else.

SAMBOLIN: From Christine Romans?

ROMANS: From Christine Romans. Not about the Harbaugh brothers, not about Jack and Jackie, not about Ray Lewis. I'm going to tell you about why playing the market for playing this game could be so lucrative this year.

Here's what we've got. There's an old super bowl indicator that says when an AFC team wins the Super Bowl, I'll put up a full screen, the market rises 7.3 percent. When the NFC team wins, it's 14.6 percent.

SAMBOLIN: Seriously?

ROMANS: Can I tell you -- the Super Bowl, the 49ers have won the Super Bowl five times, on average, the stock market has gained 24 percent, when the 49ers win.

SAMBOLIN: Go 49ers.

ROMANS: Here's something interesting. The Ravens actually used to be in an old -- you know more about the leagues than I do. That actually they both kind of descent from the old NFL, the old NFC, right? The old NFL part of it?

So that would mean, no matter who wins, it will be good for stocks.

SAMBOLIN: I don't know.

BERMAN: All right. Christine Romans, thank you very much with your expert football analysis.

We got quite show. You have quite a show this weekend, correct?

ROMANS: Oh, yes. We got Paul Krugman, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington all in one show.


ROMANS: Nine-thirty a.m. Saturday. So, big, big special edition of the how. We'll look at why stocks are going up, the economy keep going up. Is the economy healing? You're not going to see anything else like it on TV.

BERMAN: Not that your analysis wasn't fantastic on football, but coming up in just a moment, it is a battle of brothers at this year's Super Bowl. We're going to show how NFL coaches Jim and John Harbaugh compare to some other famous siblings.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: So the Super Bowl is this Sunday. Everyone is talking about the coaching brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, who will face off. And everyone wants to know, what is it going to do to their family? What does this mean for them?

So, we want to investigate. We take a look back at pretty much every set of brothers in history.


BERMAN (voice-over): One night, one game, one name, coach, coach, Jim, John Harbaugh, Harbaugh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had a few fights, a few arguments, just like all brothers.

BERMAN: Like first brothers, meet Cain, meet Abel, see Cain, kill Abel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice is a team sport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?

BERMAN: It means sports, football brothers, football brothers, hoops brothers, winkle brothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 6'5", 220, and there's two of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?

BERMAN: It means jokes, Marks brothers, Williams brothers, Baldwin brother, Stooge brothers.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?

BERMAN: It means power. Emanuel brothers, Castro brothers, Castro brothers, Bush brothers, Kennedy brothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be remembered simply as a good and decent man. We saw wrong and tried to right it. Saw suffering and tried to heal it.

BERMAN: It means genius -- story brothers, flight brothers, circus brothers, blues brothers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you the police?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma'am. We're musicians.

BERMAN: Someone say, musicians, Oman brothers, Jackson brothers, Everly brothers, Gibb brothers.

(MUSIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had a few fights. We've had a few arguments just like all brothers.

BERMAN: Like Romans brothers. Meet Romulus, meet Remus, see Romulus, kill Remus. Crime brothers, Car brothers, Champ brothers, Dr. Joyce brothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a blessing and a curse.

BERMAN: Jim, John, coach, coach, Harbaugh, Harbaugh.

After the big game, will they be good brothers, bad brothers? They won't be stepbrothers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, are you awake?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want you to know I hate you.

BERMAN: No, no matter what happens, Jim and John will always be super brothers.



SAMBOLIN: That's great.

BERMAN: It's a great shame that I was not able to fit in Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. I think of the only two brothers I left out. So apologize.

SAMBOLIN: No kidding, you truly went back to history.

BERMAN: Yes, you're holding a dog here.

SAMBOLIN: I've got a new co-anchor.

BERMAN: So you're moving up in the world.

SAMBOLIN: Look at his beautiful face.

I am.

SAMBOLIN: So later on EARLY START, we have canine counterprogramming to Sunday, Super Bowl canine that is. We'll meet some of the stars -- this is one of them. Max, of Animal Planet's puppy bowl. Did you know it existed?

BERMAN: I did. I'm a big fan of this guy, too. You're a nice dog.

SAMBOLIN: Adorable.

BERMAN: So, if you want to read the tease here with the puppy here.

So, how does Senator Geraldo Rivera sound to you? Coming up, what the TV host says about running for office.