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Mom And Baby Shot; Three Teens Charged with Sexual Assault; Texas Shootout Has Colorado Ties; Three Killed in Quantico Shooting; FAA to Shut Down Airport Towers

Aired March 22, 2013 - 13:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: On that note, that's it from me. Thanks for watching "AROUND THE WORLD." You're done with me but do carry on.


HOLMES: Excellent.

WHITFIELD: It was great being with you this week. Have a great weekend.

HOLMES: See you again soon I hope.

WHITFIELD: All right.

HOLMES: You too.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, Michael.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says I'm going to kill your baby. And I said, please don't kill my baby.


WHITFIELD: A baby just one year old shot dead in broad daylight. A manhunt is now underway in Georgia.

And a Frenchman is arrested at Philadelphia's airport for impersonating a pilot on a U.S. Airways flight but not before getting into the cockpit.

And texts and tweets help convict two teens of sex crimes in Steubenville, Ohio. Now social media fuels another teen sexual assault case, this time in Connecticut.

This is the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in for Suzanne Malveaux.

We begin with three deadly shootings all hitting the headlines in the last 24 hours. One in Texas, a shootout with a man who may have been involved in the killing of a Colorado prison chief. Police are expected to reveal more in a news conference scheduled to begin at any minute now. And then in Virginia, gunfire rings out at a Quantico Marine base. The victims and the gunman are Marines.

And in Georgia, a 13-month-old baby is gunned down. His mother tells police it happened during a robbery attempt that left her shot and wounded. And she says the killers are boys. We have reporters on the ground covering all these stories.

We begin with the shooting of the Colorado prison chief. Investigators are looking to Texas now for answers. And that's because a man killed in Texas after a high speed chase and shootout was a former inmate in the Colorado prison. New twists are emerging every moment.

Jim Spellman is now joining us now from Colorado Springs.

So, Jim, tell us more about the link that investigators are zeroing in on.

JIM SPELLMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The man's name is Evan Ebel. He has recently been in jail. We understand he got out sometime in early February. We don't know what he's been doing until this point. When he was in jail, he was linked to a prison gang called the two 11s. And police here are working with the department of corrections people to see if there was any link to his time in prison that may have related him to Tom Clements who was murdered here earlier in the week.

Now, we don't have a motive at all, but we -- they do have this car in Texas that very closely matches the description of a car seen near the Tom Clements crime scene right around the time of that case of the murder case there. They've sent investigators from Colorado to work with that car and try to see if the evidence in that car can link with evidence at the crime scene here -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK. Jim, I understand there's a press conference taking place right now in Texas as it relates to this case. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (live): He has been pronounced deceased. And that is our suspect. We will release through e-mail shortly. A photo if you don't have that, you can request it from our office. I believe most of you probably already do have that. Within the last 24 hours after identifying the -- identifying the suspect positively with the Tarrant County medical examiner's office, we did that through a finger print identification with investigators with the Rangers, FBI and others. We had -- the El Paso County sheriff's office in Colorado made official notice to the family. At the present time, the Colorado authorities along with the sheriff's office investigators from Wise County are at the Tarrant County medical examiner's office attending the autopsy. We have no results from the autopsy yet and probably will not for several days, but that is an update on the -- on the suspect.

As the investigation continues, we want to make very clear that everyone realizes that this is an ongoing investigation. There will be a lot of information that we gather that we, at the present time, do not want to release from Texas nor Colorado. But we will release some information, and we'll release more as the case continues. Texas Department of Public Safety and crime team out of Garland, Texas is here working with the Texas Rangers and working with our crime scene investigator, Cory Harris, and others processing the vehicle -- the suspect's vehicle. And I will also reiterate yesterday, we had mentioned the black Cadillac that is -- is a -- is a black Cadillac with Colorado plates. That is -- at the present time, that's our only connection to Colorado. We did make calls yesterday to the Colorado authorities, obviously, and they came down to -- for an inquiry to see what we had in our Texas.

Right now, we will continue with the processing of the vehicle over at the sheriff's office. Anything we learn from the vehicle, we're actually looking for any type of physical evidence, biological evidence or trace evidence. All that will be collected and analyzed. We will also share our findings with the Colorado authorities, and that, hopefully, will help them determine yes or no if this is related to any of their crimes at all.

We -- as I said a second ago the investigation is continuing. We are still asking for any of the public that saw anything, heard anything, witnessed the chase to contact the sheriff's office here in Wise County so we can follow-up with them as potential witnesses. And we'll -- we will do that aggressively and work through the weekend to do any -- anymore investigation we need to do. At the present time, I'll call for Steve or John from El Paso County sheriff's office.

JOHN ST. AUGUSTINE, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Inspector John St. Augustine with the El Paso County Sheriff's office. I just want to begin first expressing our thoughts and prayers --

WHITFIELD: All right. You're listening to a press conference there in Texas as authorities are talking about how they are cooperating in Texas with Colorado authorities as they try to look into these two separate shooting incidents and trying to determine whether indeed there is a link between the person, the suspect who was -- who died who was shot and killed there in Texas, and if there's a link between that person and the corrections chief that was shot right outside his home in Colorado Springs.

Let's go to Jim Spellman once again joining us there in Colorado Springs. So, again, Jim, give us an idea of where authorities are going from here as they try to draw a connection between these two situations.

SPELLMAN: First thing they want to do is see if they can link any evidence found at the crime scene of the Tom Clements murder here in Colorado with that car. Now, I asked specifically, does that mean shell casings, fingerprints. They wouldn't give us any details but they did tell me that there is evidence from the crime scene here in Colorado that potentially could be linked. So, they have something to go on in addition to the eyewitness seeing a car similar to that one.

There was also a third murder here that they're possibly trying to see if Mr. Evil was related to. Last Sunday, a pizza delivery man was making a pizza delivery to a sort of remote warehouse area north of Denver. He was murdered and his body was then moved to the outskirts of Colorado. They're working also with the Denver authorities to see if that case may have been related as well, apparently evidence from that crime scene as well they may be able to link to this car in Texas.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my goodness. All right, lots of pieces there in which to try to connect or at least further investigate. Thanks so much, Jim Spellman, from Colorado Springs.

SPELLMAN: Yes, you too.

WHITFIELD: All right. The other situation we are looking into, Brunswick, Georgia. It's a seaside town, a place where you don't normally hear about this type of crime. A mother saying that she was held up by two boys who then shot and killed her baby son. For more on this, Nick Valencia is joining us.

So, Nick, what are police saying about this case?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, what police are saying is slightly different than what the mother told me. I interviewed her just a short time ago. We'll get to that in a moment. But first, just a short time ago behind me at old city hall here in Brunswick, police held a press conference where they said they are following more than (INAUDIBLE) leads in their investigation. So far, no suspects or persons of interest.

Now, what happened just happened a few short blocks away from here. It happened yesterday morning at about 9:00. The mother tells me -- Sherry West tells me that she was walking along, strolling her baby, her 13 month old, when she was approached by two young boys who she says she had never seen before. She said that they were trying to rob her. Now, I want to be very clear about this. In this press conference, the police said that there is no clear motive of what happened. And they're now leading to a lot of discrepancies between the mother's story and what police are saying officially. I asked the police if they are considering Sherry West a person of interest or a suspect in this case. Listen to what they had to say at the press conference.


TODO RHODES, BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT: We are aware that there is some speculation being circulated throughout the rumor mill, however let me assure you, as I previously indicated, that we are thoroughly investigating this case. And we will not, I repeat, will not leave any stone unturned.


VALENCIA: Now, in that interview with Sherry West, she told me that there was an eyewitness, a neighbor that saw what happened. Police say otherwise. They say there were no eyewitnesses and everything that happened was from the account of the mother -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Nick Valencia, thanks so much. Keep us posted as you learn new developments. All right, now to that deadly shooting at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia. Base officials say a Marine shot and killed two comrades, a man and woman and then fatally shot himself. The victims were assigned to the keep us posted as you learn new developments.

All right, now to that deadly shooting at the Quantico Marine base in Virginia. Base officials say a Marine shot and killed two comrades, a man and woman, and then fatally shot himself. The victims were assigned to the officer candidate school on the base. Their identities have not been disclosed. The base commander told reporters this morning it has been a long and painful night.


COL. DAVID MAXWELL, COMMANDER, U.S. MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO: As we take care of our Marines and their families that are dealing with this tragedy, I'd also ask for the support of our neighbors, the community and their thoughts and prayers as well for our -- for our Marines who have lost their comrades in arms.


WHITFIELD: The gunman's identity has not been released and right now police are not speculating on a motive.

All right. Here's what else we're working on for this hour. A lot of air traffic control towers are on the chopping block. That could mean big changes when you travel. And a teen home alone when three burglars break in. The robbers so close to 911 operator could hear them.




WHITFIELD: But in the end it was a happy ending to a very terrifying story. Straight ahead.

And take a look at this, a gunman trying to force his way into a Philadelphia restaurant, but despite the gunshot, the employees inside, well, they blocked the entrance. You'll see more of that after this.


WHITFIELD: All right. Stocks are on the rise as officials in Cyprus work towards a deal. Check the Dow out right now, it is up roughly 84 points.

A government spokesperson in Cyprus says officials could make a decision later on today. Cyprus is facing a Monday deadline to come up with $7.5 billion in order to secure a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. All right, the FAA today announces that it is cutting funding to 189 air traffic control towers because of those forced spending cuts. At least three of the towers were built with federal stimulus money and have just recently opened. The FAA is furloughing employees and eliminating shifts at some towers. The agency says the towers targeted for closure are at lower volume airports with fewer than 150,000 takeoffs or landings in a year's span.

To politics now. We're seeing signs that Congress is moving closer to comprehensive immigration reform. Some leading conservatives now say they will support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Congressman Paul Ryan spelled out his position in the situation room with Wolf Blitzer.


REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: Well, I think we can get comprehensive immigration reform. I support reform. I supported the Bush reforms in 2005 and 2006. I think we can find a way of making sure that people here with an undocumented status have an ability to adjust that status. We're not going to be able to deport 12 million people. And there's a way to do this without rewarding them for breaking the line or breaking the law, without rewarding them for cutting in line so they don't have a special and unique pathway so those who came here legally who paid the fines, who waited patiently are not penalized by letting people cut in front of them. I think there's a way to do this. And I would call it earned legalization status.


WHITFIELD: Let's bring in chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Gloria, could it be that Congress might actually get a little something done here? How close are lawmakers to coming up with an immigration reform plan that everyone likes or can agree to?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I sense your skepticism here because it's hard to predict that Congress is going to accomplish something. I do think, not to be Polly Anna here, I do think that you see a lot of movement on that front. There's a gang of eight working on this in the Senate. One of the Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer, came out yesterday and said they are making a bunch of progress. You see Republicans in opinion polls moving to where a slight majority of Republicans now support some kind of immigration reform. You see the self-interest of members of Congress because you will recall from the last election by a three-to-one margin Republicans lost Hispanic voters, Mitt Romney lost Hispanic voters. So they understand it's in their self-interest to get something done. So you kind of see everything moving in that direction.

WHITFIELD: And the potential stumbling blocks?

BORGER: Of course. There are stumbling blocks. Look, it depends on what that pathway leads to. Does it lead to citizenship? Does it lead to some kind of legal status? And how can you ensure people that the border is secure first? You know, everybody -- Republicans I talk to go back to the days when Ronald Reagan passed immigration reform. And the problem with that everyone agrees was that the borders were not secure first.

So Republicans are nervous that that could happen again. And they want to make sure that doesn't occur. There's also another stumbling block in the guest worker program. How do you provide for guest workers to come into this country? That's an issue for Democrats in particular. So there are stumbling blocks, or it would have been done years ago. But again political self-interest is at stake here. When that occurs, maybe they'll actually do it.

WHITFIELD: All right. Gloria Borger, thanks so much from Washington.


WHITFIELD: Let's talk a little B-ball. March Madness, the NCAA tournament, well, it's off to a pretty incredible start. We are courtside with the CNN March Madness express.


WHITFIELD: All right. Are you ready? Are you into it? You ready for a little March Madness? Day two now, round two, and there's already been a major bracket busting upset. Last night Harvard became the tournament's Cinderella team. The 14 seed Crimson downed three-seed New Mexico 68-62. Our Rachel Nichols is following all the action from Auburn Hills, Michigan. Rachel, big move by Harvard. How did this go down? How did it happen? I guess I shouldn't be so skeptical?

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: They made their shots. Exactly. They made their shots, which sounds simple, but it's something the Harvard team hasn't been able to do at times this season and the especially weren't going to be able to do it, a lot of people predicted, against the New Mexico defense which is particularly stingy. They were great not only from the perimeter, but from three- point range you can see something Jeremy Lin (ph) celebrating in a tweet he had last night. He jokes he has his three-point goggles on.

And Jeremy hardly the only one who was celebrating this win. A lot of Harvard grads taking the opportunity to brag today. Really tells you something, Fredricka, about the sports role in our society. Harvard's a place that of course has U.S. presidents to its credit, U.S. Supreme Court justices, we didn't see the reaction when say John Roberts was confirmed on the craziness on the Harvard campus. We did see that today with the NCAA win. That tells you, a little basketball does the mind good even if it's a really smart Harvard team.

WHITFIELD: Maybe they were very excited about that but conveyed it in a very different way. Let's talk about another -- yes, a different way. Let's talk about another near upset. Number 16 seed has never beat a number one seed but a Southern University put a serious scare put in Gonzaga.

NICHOLS: And Gonzaga played well at the end which showing in the end they were the more talented team, but it raised a lot of questions. Should this small school from a small conference have been a number one seed in the first place? Gonzaga has built its reputation by being a scrappy underdog. There's a lot of people who feel maybe they're better in that role. That's the beauty of the NCAA tournament. We're going to get to find out over the next few games, are they a true number one or not? Sports is fantastic for that. All the pundits, all the politics, all the different people saying that a team should or shouldn't be in a certain place. Teams have to go out and prove it on the court. And Gonzaga this year has the chance to prove what they've been saying for a long time, that they are one of the best teams in the country. We'll see if they really deserve it. They've got their next game tomorrow.

WHITFIELD: Rachel, thanks so much. That's why it's such a fun horse race to kind of follow for everybody. That's why they call the March Madness. Anything can happen. And of course it continues today. Watch every game live on TruTV, TBS, TNT, CBS, and Lots of options.

We now know what caused the game-stopping blackout at this year's Super Sowl. And no, it was not Beyonce, people. The New Orleans power company says an independent assessment reveals a combination of technical and communication failures contributed to the outage. The power was cut off to half of the Superdome during the third quarter of the game between the Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. The game was delayed for about 30 minutes. Who can forget?

All right. John Lennon's widow using social media to take aim at gun violence. I'll explain after this.


WHITFIELD: President Obama wraps up his trip to Israel and visits another important U.S. ally in the region. He's holding a news conference this hour with Jordan's King Abdullah. Jordan is a key military intelligence partner of the U.S., but these are trying times for the kingdom. Jordan is dealing with a bad economy and a flood of refugees from nearby Syria. We'll of course update you on any developments from the conference by President Obama and King Abdullah.

All right, the National Rifle Association is taking its fight against tighter gun control laws to court. The NRA's New York state affiliate has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a gun control law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January. It strengthens the state's ban on assault weapons, limits ammunition magazines to seven bullets and tightens rules designed to keep the mentally ill from getting weapons. The NRA says the state passed the measure with no committee hearing and no public input.

John Lennon's widow is using social media to take aim at gun violence. Yoko Ono tweeted this picture of John Lennon's bloody glasses along with several statements including this one, which was promptly re- tweeted by President Obama's Twitter account. It proclaims "over 1,057,000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S. since John Lennon was shot and killed on 8, December 1980. "

And just a few days after two teens in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted of rape, another rape case involving teens is drawing a whole lot of attention because some are turning to social media to take vicious swipes at the young alleged victims. Three teenage boys in the town of Torrington, Connecticut, are accused of raping two 13- year-old girls. And at least one of the alleged victims is being attacked by other teens on Twitter.

CNN's Susan Candiotti takes a look at the powerful impact social media is having on this case.