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Attorney Killed for Revenge?; Hillary Ready for Some Rest; Explosion Near U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey; Fmr. NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dies

Aired February 1, 2013 - 06:30   ET



ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Armed and dangerous. The hunt is on for the masked man who gunned down a prosecutor right in front of the courthouse.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Scare in the air. A 737 makes an emergency landing after the captain passes out in the cockpit.


Hillary Clinton wakes up as Secretary of State for the very last time. She reveals her biggest regret of the past four years, that's coming up.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Friday, February 1st, about 30 minutes after the hour right now.

And our top story this morning, the manhunt is on after a prosecutor was gunned down, in an ambush outside a Texas courthouse. One or possibly two suspects on the run right now.

Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in Kaufman County, which is about 30 miles outside of Dallas, killed after being shot several times as he got out of his car in the courthouse parking lot yesterday. Authorities are pleading for leads. The FBI is now helping in the case and they want to know if this is revenge for a case that the prosecutor was handling.

Drew Griffin is live in Kaufmann, Texas, this morning. Drew, what's the latest?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, what we know, they are going through the cases that Mark Hasse has prosecuted, and he's had some tough cases, white supremacists, lots of drug prosecutions he has done. He was currently working on a DWI case.

When he showed up for work yesterday morning, 8:00 in the morning, in this parking lot where he usually parks, got out, slight altercation as you said, and then gunshots.

Here is what we know about the leads. Police are looking for a gunman obviously. Possibly a getaway driver.

And Mark Hasse's boss had this promise for whoever is behind this.


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


GRIFFIN: Mark Hasse has been a prosecutor, John, since 1982, literally thousands of cases. He would have had a caseload of about 380 cases at the time of his death yesterday. We're expecting much more in a news conference later this morning here in Texas, John.

BERMAN: A lot of leads to follow. Drew Griffin in Texas, thanks for being with us this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Fifteen people pulled from the wreckage so far in and at least 11 are dead after a truck loaded with fireworks exploded Friday on a bridge in central China. That blast caused a 260-foot portion of the overpass to collapse -- look at this -- sending several cars over the edge. State run China national radio says there could be as many as 26 fatalities.

BERMAN: A scare in the air after a pilot passes out in the cockpit. The Alaska Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Seattle had to be diverted to Portland after this happened. The first officer at the controls as flight 473 landed safely, just after 9:00 last night. Once on the ground, EMTs quickly boarded the plan to attend the pilot. Since the captain was unable to taxi the plane to the gate, the aircraft had to be towed there instead.

SAMBOLIN: Today marks Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's final day at the State Department. She will be succeeded by Senator John Kerry. Secretary Clinton says she's ready for a little rest after logging almost a million miles in the air over the last four years. Of course, questions remain about Clinton's plans for the future, especially 2016.

Jill Dougherty has a story.


JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wherever Hillary Clinton went in the world, there were rock star expectations many.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Will have you me back if I come back?


CLINTON: Oh, good.

DOUGHERTY: Her texts, her hair styles, her glasses went viral. She said she didn't care.

CLINTON: I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now, Jill, because, you know, if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I'm pulling my hair back.

DOUGHERTY: Clinton tried to press that reset button with Russia.

CLINTON: We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You get this wrong.

CLINTON: We got it wrong.

DOUGHERTY: But it got lost in translation. In Burma, she saw the birth pangs of democracy.

But the fatal attack in Benghazi, Libya, is her greatest regret she says.

CLINTON: I take responsibility.

DOUGHERTY: Prompting a rare emotional outburst.

CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make?

DOUGHERTY: She won praise from the man she tried to beat in the presidential election.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest Secretary of States we've had.

DOUGHERTY: But will she run in 2016? The answers only prompt more speculation.

CLINTON: I have absolutely no plans to run.

DOUGHERTY: She flew almost 1 million miles, visited 112 countries. Kicked up her heels, threw back a few drinks on the side. A month of illness grounded her at the end.

CLINTON: For me, it truly is a bittersweet moment to leave this room for the last time as Secretary of State.

DOUGHERTY: Enter the next Secretary of State.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE-DESIGNATE: American foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone.

DOUGHERTY: John Kerry, tall, distinguished, gray-haired, son of a foreign service officer.

KERRY: If you're trying to get some daylight between me and Secretary Clinton, that's not going to happen here today.

DOUGHERTY: As his confirmation hearing showed, the policy is likely to remain the same, but the personality will change. More straight laced with a hint of humor.

KERRY: I'm taking it for the Red Sox. I'm taking it for the Patriots.


DOUGHERTY: Belongings all packed up, and today, Hillary Clinton says good-bye at the State Department. There could be a lot of emotion there -- John, Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Jill Dougherty, live at the State Department for us. Thank you very much.

It is 36 minutes past the hour.

TV and radio show host Geraldo Rivera says he's truly contemplating a run next year as a Republican candidate for the Senate in New Jersey. The New Jersey race was shaping up as one of the most interesting ones for 2014. With Newark Mayor Cory Booker possibly challenging Frank Lautenberg, the Democratic incumbent. Lautenberg hasn't said if he plans to run for re-election. We'll see.

BERMAN: So, coming up, kicking and screaming. One woman's ugly display in the back of a police cruiser caught on camera.

SAMBOLIN: Dumb, dumb.

BERMAN: A very bad idea.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. Breaking news right now from Turkey, outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, we can report there has been explosion. We don't have any details right now on this incident. We can report that there are several injuries. Again, an explosion outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, which is the capital of Turkey. We will, of course, bring you more as it comes in.

SAMBOLIN: Soledad O'Brien is with us now for a look at what's ahead on "STARTING POINT."

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR, "STARTING POINT": Lots happening this morning.

We've got to talk a little bit more about Chuck Hagel under fire. The nominee for Defense Secretary facing some very tough questions during his confirmation hearings. Many folks not so happy with his answers. We're going to talk this morning with Indiana Senator Dan Coats, he's a Republican. He'll tell us why he says he's not going to vote for Hagel. We'll see what that means. And, oh, Baltimore Ravens cheerleader says she's being benched for the Super Bowl because she gained a couple of pounds. We're name is Courtney Lenz, and we'll ask if her if she really was, in fact, punished over her weight.

Plus, another Super Bowl ad to share with you. Hyundai is going to an ad that's going to run during the Super Bowl. And these kids, the stars, will be joining to us talk about that.

All at the top of the hour.

BERMAN: All right. Excellent, can't wait.

All right. So, happening right now, an intense manhunt to find the person who brazenly gunned down a prosecutor outside a courthouse in Texas. And there may be one more suspect out there too. Investigators are looking to the possibility that assistant D.A. Mark Hasse was targeted because of a case he was working on. His boss says he may have been working on as many as 300 different cases.

SAMBOLIN: A Georgia middle school student recovering from being shot in the head. This happened at an Atlanta middle school this Thursday afternoon. And authorities say an armed officer working there ended the school shooting when he ripped the gun from the shooter's hands. The suspect, another student, is now in custody. No one else at the school was injured.

BERMAN: Wintry weather has wreaked havoc across several highways in the Midwest. Look at this. This is a monster chain reaction involving several big rigs. It closed a seven mile stretch west of Indianapolis. Look at all those trucks. Forty and 50 vehicles were involved. No one killed. But 10 people injured.

And this was the scene near Detroit, where three people killed and up to 20 injured when whether there was another chain reaction accident this time on I-75.

And also, in Michigan, this violent crash split this car really in two, leaving half the sedan on the road, the other half in the woods. The people in the car actually survived this crash with no serious injuries.

SAMBOLIN: Don't try this at home. In fact, don't try this at all. A woman in Ohio kicking out the window of a police car, giving officer -- look at that -- a shattered glass shower. Even after the window was out, she kept kicking. Police say the woman had just been arrested for allegedly assaulting her mother, and they say this is an ugly example of the influence of too much alcohol.

BERMAN: Absolutely. And again, there is breaking news we're following at this very moment. Explosion or explosions outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, in Turkey. Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. We're still getting more details about this. Several people we believe have been injured.

Again, explosions outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara in Turkey. We'll have more when we come back. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

SAMBOLIN: We have breaking news to tell you about. Ed Koch, three- term mayor of New York City, dead at the age 88 from congestive heart failure.

BERMAN: You know, he was mayor for the entire 1980s and really synonymous with New York City, helped bring back New York from the brink, from major economic problems in the 1970s. He was a free spirit, cheery, standing outside subway stations. He had the famous phrase --

SAMBOLIN: How am I doing?

BERMAN: How am I doing?


BERMAN: And for a long time, you know, voters said, you know, really well. Very, very supportive of this man. Huge in the Jewish community as well. His endorsement was sought by many presidential candidates every four years. Mayor Ed Koch, you're seeing pictures of him there.

Also had a vast array of interests. You know, he would write movie reviews that he would e-mail out to a wide e-mail list just so people could see what he thought about all these movies.

SAMBOLIN: And made a lot of appearances, right? He appeared in "Sex and the City."

BERMAN: He was the guy who's ever hosted a show called "Street Talk," brought a lot of people on the TV for a number of years. Ed Koch, as we said. He's been battling illness for some time. Eighty-eight years old. Died of congestive heart failure. He was recently admitted to the hospital, put in intensive care.

Again, the decade of the 1980s, the old wives' tale is that kids growing up in New York City actually thought his first name was "Mayor". They didn't know that it was Ed. It was just Mayor Koch. He was that big of a figure here in this city.

SAMBOLIN: And said that after leaving city hall in January of 1990 is when he started battling these assorted of health problems. So, it seems like the job really kept him young and spry and spunky, and you know, when he stepped away is when he started really succumbing to some of his illnesses.

BERMAN: And you saw a picture there in front of a sign, the Queensboro Bridge, one of the bridges into New York City very recently named after Mayor Ed Koch. He was a congressman before he ran for mayor. Again, he became mayor in 1978, and you remember that New York City was having major economic problems and he really helped bring it back.

He had a fierce battle at one point with the transit union. There was a big subway strike. He really broke the subway union, won that battle, and serve throughout the 1980s.

SAMBOLIN: Another famous line of his, "You punch me, I punch you back. I do not believe it's good for one's self-respect to be a punching bag." So, you know, told it like it is.

BERMAN: That guy played politics, that's for sure. You know, he endorsed President Obama this last presidential election, but it wasn't as loud of an endorsement as many people in the Obama campaign were hoping for, but it shows how an 88-year-old guy still willed it a lot of influence, still willed a lot of power that the words he spoke were that important.

SAMBOLIN: Again, Mayor Koch dead at the age of 88 of congestive heart failure, and it was just yesterday that we were reporting that he was admitted to the hospital, and he was admitted into the intensive care unit.

BERMAN: We'll take one pause from this breaking news. We'll bring you a little bit more breaking news again. We've been reporting from the last few minutes there's been an explosion in Ankara in Turkey outside the U.S. embassy in Ankara, which is the capital city of Turkey, and we've reported there are injuries there. We're still getting more details about what has been going on there. We will bring them to you as soon as they come in.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. What we don't know is how many injuries are there, but we are trying to get all of those details for you.

Let's bring in Richard Socarides to talk about former mayor Ed Koch, died at the age of 88.

BERMAN: You are a New York City resident. You knew Ed Koch. For people who may not be from New York, just fill us in and how big of a deal this man is.

RICHARD SOCARIDES, WRITER, NEWYORKER.COM: He's a hero in New York for having saved New York from bankruptcy. I mean, if you lived through that, the financial crisis, the first New York financial crisis, I mean, he pretty much, with the help of some bankers, single handedly saved New York from bankruptcy.

But he was a larger than life character in New York. And actually, he lived a block from me, you know, he lived a block from where I live now. And (INAUDIBLE) neighborhood, and he -- you know, he sort of blended in, but everywhere he went, people would stop him on the street and say hello. I mean, he's definitely a larger than life figure. And, you know, in the spirit of like Fiorello La Guardia, a big mayor, a big New York mayor.

BERMAN: Three-term mayor, the entire 1980s, essentially.

SOCARIDES: Yes. And it's interesting. You know, he beat Mario Cuomo for mayor. Mario Cuomo ran before he ran for governor of New York, ran for trying to be mayor. And Ed Koch beat him. And then, Ed Koch run against Mario Cuomo and Mario Cuomo became governor of New York. So, this is really like -- this is the end of an era of the New York.

SAMBOLIN: Big Loss. Yes, big loss. You said he lived just a block away from you. And so, did you chat with him? Had you seen him recently, because you know, we did report yesterday that he was taken to the hospital and he was put in intensive care.

SOCARIDES: Yes, he -- you know, he had been sick, but you know, we saw -- people saw him. He was a fixture in the neighborhood. You saw him occasionally at events. So, you know, he was getting old and he had been sick, but I don't think he was very sick for a long time. I mean, you knew that within the last couple of days, you knew that it was not looking good, but --

BERMAN: Were you on the famous movie e-mail list. Ed Koch would see movies and famously send out his reviews to these wide and growing list expanding list of e-mail recipients.

SOCARIDES: No, I did not get the e-mail, but there is a neighborhood place, you know, where famously he would have lunch every week with ex-staffers, and it's in our neighborhood right around Washington Square Park in Lower Manhattan.

SAMBOLIN: And so, what do you think? I mean, other than, of course, saving New York City from financial crisis, how will he be remembered?

SOCARIDES: I think that he'll be remembered, you know, he was a veteran, he was a mayor for a very long time. You know, his brashness captured New York, right? I mean --

BERMAN: How am I doing?

SOCARIDES: He was as big as New York, and New York was as big as him. So, I think he'll be remembered as someone who, you know, symbolized an era in New York and saved the city.

BERMAN: Let's pause for a moment and take a look back at the life of former mayor, Ed Koch.


BERMAN (voice-over): He occupied city hall for 12 years, but never stopped asking New Yorkers if he deserved to be there.

ED KOCH, FMR MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Am I doing all right? Am I doing OK?

BERMAN: Ed Koch did well enough to be elected three terms. He was never afraid to do and say what he wanted.

KOCH: I have a wonderful job as mayor. I intend to keep it for a long time.

BERMAN: Koch won his first term in 1977, a time when New York City was bankrupt. KOCH: When I came in, the potholes were enormous, the trains -- the subways had graffiti. Crime was rampant.

BERMAN: He led the city back to financial solvency, but he did more than that, he gave New York attitude.

KOCH: I am a liberal with sanity.

BERMAN: During a subway and bus strike, Koch personally arranged other ways for people to commute. He was blushed (ph).

KOCH: Will the next cook please stand up?

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) and proud.

KOCH: I brought a spirit back to the city of New York that was absent, because New Yorkers were ashamed of living here because of what prior administrations had done.


BERMAN (on-camera): You can see some of the spirit he had right there.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my gosh. He exuded that. We have a statement here from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I'm going to read part of it.

It says, "Earlier today, New York City lost an irrepressible icon, our most charismatic cheerleader and champion, Edward I. Koch. He was a great mayor, a great man and a great friend. In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader. Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback."

That's just part of what Mayor Bloomberg has released on the passing of Mayor Edward Koch.

SOCARIDES: Yes. And there'll be a lot of tributes, right, in the next couple of days, but the truth is, you know, he was very controversial, even when he was mayor, he was not afraid to offend people. He said what was on his mind. You know, in a rare tradition, we don't see that much in politicians now, but he would tell you, you know, no matter who you were, no matter where he was, cameras rolling, whatever, he would say what he thought.

And you know, early in his career, he served in Congress and he was -- he was a liberal. I mean, he was a New York liberal -- New York Jewish liberal at its very best in the best tradition of that and then when he became mayor and then after he was mayor, you know, as some people do, he, as he got older, he became much more conservative.

Some people would say middle of the road, but he was very controversial. And while he saved the city from fiscal crisis, he also served during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and was a very controversial figure in that. SAMBOLIN: One more thing I want to add here that I neglected is that as we mourn Mayor Koch's passing, the flags of city hall buildings will be flying at half staff in his memory.

BERMAN: Again, Mayor Ed Koch, from New York, dead at the age of 88 of congestive heart failure.

That is all for EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien starts now.