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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Colorado Prison Chief Killing; Cuts To Close 183 Air Traffic Towers

Aired March 22, 2013 - 05:30   ET

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


SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: The shooter believed to be male, the first victim believed to be male as well, and the second victim, gender unclear. Now, let's walk through the series of events as we understand them. About eleven o'clock last night, there was a dispatch over the marines, basically, dispatch system saying that there was a shooting near the officer's candidate school.

At that point, an announcement went out over the marine base's public announcement system telling everyone on base to stay inside, to lock their doors and stay inside, that lockdown that you mentioned. Shortly after that, officials -- police officials began to apprehend the shooter.

They realized that the shooter had made his way not too far from where the shooting, the first shooting actually happened over to a barrack, essentially, where the service members actually sleep, had barricaded himself into a room.

Now, between the time that they realized that the shooter was in the barracks and the time that they actually entered the room, Christine, there was about two hours that passed they were trying to establish communication with the shooter. Unclear if they actually made that, but once they entered that room, they found yet more tragedy.

The shooter dead, apparently, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and another victim. We're not sure how that victim got into the room with the shooter. Police again -- marine base officials again are telling us that they'll provide us with whatever more details that they have, but this is essentially a crime scene investigation as we have it right now. A spokesman telling us that one message that he really is urging for the public is to pray for the families -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANXHOR: Oh, wow. Now, any word on motive? Do we know anything about the shooter or we are waiting for authorities to release that information at seven o'clock?

TRAVIS: Great question. We pressed the spokesman that we've spoken with about motive, about details, about the shooter himself. None coming emerging just yet. We hope to get those again at seven o'clock once they study this a little bit more. One question that we were keen on asking was, is there any possibility that there are any other casualties on base that they're unaware of? The officials telling us that it's just limited to just those three casualties as we've named them.

ROMANS: All right. Shannon Travis following this still developing story. Thanks.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Thirty-two minutes past the hour. Now, a developing story in Southeast Georgia. There's a hunt right now for the person who fatally shot this little 13-month-old boy in the face and reportedly shot his mother in the leg. Sherry West said she was pushing her son, Antonio, in a stroller yesterday morning near their home when two boys in their teens or younger approached her with a gun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOUIS SANTIAGO, FATHER: Why, why my little one? You know, you should have just taken what you wanted and go.

SHERRY WEST, MOTHER: He said, I'm going to kill you if you don't give me your money. And I said, I swear I don't have any. I put my arms over my baby and he shoved me, and then he shot my baby right in the head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: Authorities in the town of Brunswick say no other witnesses have come forward. Detectives have been going door-to-door. They are looking for suspects. So far, there have been no arrests.

ROMANS: A developing story out of Texas may help solve the murder of Tom Clemens. Colorado police are in Texas this morning at the scene of a police shoot-out that left the suspect dead. It may have been the last stand the suspect who allegedly killed the Colorado prison chief.

CNN correspondent, Ed Lavandera is live in Decatur, Texas. And this has been such a mystery here now spanning a couple of states. What do we know about this investigation and this shoot-out yesterday?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Well, this wild high-speed chase ending in a firefight with the driver of a Cadillac killed yesterday afternoon here. And within a very short matter of hours, the investigators in Colorado took a great deal of interest in this case. They've flown down here to take a closer look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (voice-over): This is how a high-speed chase across North Texas ended. A black Cadillac with two different Colorado license plates smashed by an 18-wheeler. But the crash didn't stop the driver from getting out of the car and firing away at law enforcement officers. He was shot and killed in the firefight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wasn't planning on being taken alive. I mean, that's obvious that he was trying to hurt somebody and he's trying to hurt the police.

LAVANDERA: The chase started when a sheriff's deputy tried to pull the Cadillac over on a remote stretch of Texas highway. Deputy James Boyd was shot twice in the chest, but he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and is expected to survive. That triggered a long high-speed chase.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he came by me, he was, I must say, probably running about 100 miles an hour and had his left arm out the window and he was just shooting. He shot four times when he passed by my car parked in the median of the highway.

LAVANDERA: The "Denver Post" quoting federal and state officials report the suspect is 28-year-old Evan Spencer Ebell (ph), a parolee from the Denver area. "The Post" says Ebell is the focus of the investigation into the murder of Tom Clemens, the director of Colorado's prison system. In a press release Thursday night, El Paso County investigators in Colorado did not deny the accuracy of the reports but instead criticized the leak of Evan Ebell's name by law enforcement sources.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know there's a lot of rumors going around and people wanting to know if this is connected to the Colorado shooting of the director of their prison system. We don't know that it is or it's not.

LAVANDERA: And in another strange twist, Denver police investigators also say there's a strong connection between the driver of the Cadillac in Texas and the murder of a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver last Sunday afternoon. Nathan Leon's (ph) body was found in a remote area outside of Denver.

His family has struggled to find out why anyone would want to kill a young father of three young girls who was delivering pizzas to earn extra money to support his family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since Sunday, we've just been a total wreck. And just when you think you've cried your tears and you can't cry anymore, it's all you do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA (on-camera): So, now, investigators from those two different murder investigations in Colorado have come down here to Texas. I'm told by law enforcement officials here in Decatur, Texas, that there is evidence inside that black Cadillac that will be of great interest to those investigators.

And now, the question is, just how those two different murders might be connected and how all of this plays to the suspect that is being looked at very closely. So, we'll wait and see how this develops today.

ROMANS: Very raw for the family as they try to draw all these pieces together and figure out what really happened here. Ed Lavandera, thank you.

SAMBOLIN: And it's a big day today for the FAA. The agency will announce which air traffic control towers will be shut down. Dozens across the country will be locked up and left because of the forced budget cuts. CNN's Rene Marsh is in Frederick, Maryland, at one of those airports that will be impacted. And we understand that that tower has not even been up and running for a year. Is this a pretty wide impact, also, the number of towers? Can you hear me?

RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- Zoraida, and here's what I can tell you. This tower that you see behind me here, we know that it was built just 10 months ago and we know that today, later on, they could find out that they will have to be shut down. So, the impacts on the flyer will simply be this, delayed flights, there could be fewer flights. And for the air traffic controllers inside, it could mean they're without jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARSH (voice-over): CNN is inside Frederick, Maryland's airport control tower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Number one (INAUDIBLE) traffic.

MARSH: It's brand-spanking new built with $5.3 million in federal stimulus money, opened just last May, and now you guessed it likely to be shut down by who else? The federal government. Frederick is one of 238 towers at small and medium airports the FAA may close because of forced spending cuts.

KEVIN DAUGHTERY, FREDERICK MUNICIPAL AIRPORT: We're awarded the money and, you know, ten months later, they say that you don't need a tower here. So, it's the world of mixed messages.

MARSH: In Florida, the government also give it and now may take it away, 1.8 million in stimulus money went to construct this new tower at Opa-locka, $1 million for this new tower in St. Petersburg, now all on the chopping block.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looks to be at three miles.

MARSH: Mami Ambrose (ph), a navy veteran, has been clearing pilots for takeoff and landing for the past 11 years. It's all she knows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary, because I'm going to have to figure out something else to do for an income. It means I'm going on unemployment and that's the only income I'll have for me and my daughter.

MARSH: While airports will remain open, she says closing towers affects safety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's going to be close calls, there's going to be mid-airs, there's going to be a runway accident.

MARSH: Some pilots agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And tragically, something is going to happen and then we're going to review this decision.

MARSH: But the FAA says fliers will be in convenience but safety won't be compromised. A tough sell for Ambrose.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why did they build this tower? In 2010, they said that safety was an issue, and then, they funded this tower. Now, we're 2013, and safety will not be affected. Which is it?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARSH (on-camera): All right. Well, the FAA says that they are choosing the towers based on the fact that they're trying to pick the ones that will have the least impact on the most passengers. Back to you.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. It's kind of crazy. I was reading that there are 14 in Southern California alone. So, you know that that will impact that region. Rene Marsh, thank you. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: All right. A teenager girl in Southern California survives a scene right out of a horror movie. Terrifying, cowering in the closet while three burglars were invading her house.

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable.

ROMANS: Fifteen-year-old (INAUDIBLE) called 911, ran into her parents' walk-in closet when the alarm system went off while she was home alone. The emergency operator told this frightened teen, don't say a word. She heard the criminals' voices just inches away from Dulian (ph) as she hid behind the clothes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, bring the bucket over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Don't talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring it over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how I did it, honestly, because when I think about it now, my heart starts beating.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow. Police arrived shortly. They arrested three teen suspects in a stolen car in the girl's driveway. This heroic high school student, thank goodness, she was not physically harmed. Can you imagine being the 911 operator on the other end where you know this girl --

SAMBOLIN: You can hear the voices.

(CROSSTALK)

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable. That's a brave girl.

All right. A late-night shuffle that could see Jay Leno booted from "The Tonight Show" again. Hear from the man most likely to celebrate Leno's fall, Jimmy Kimmel, coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. It seems as weighing in on NBC's report it (ph) late-night reshuffling, Jay Leno out, Jimmy Fallon in. And "The Tonight's Show's" cross-country move back to New York where it began actually in 1954.

ROMANS: CNNs Jake Tapper sat down with the man most likely to celebrate Leno's ouster, Jimmy Kimmel, and he got his view from the frontlines of late night.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Christine and Zoraida. If there's one place for success and job security, do not seem to go hand-in-hand. It's late night television. Take the reported decision that kicked Jay Leno to the curb and make Jimmy Fallon the new host of the tonight show in 2014.

The negative press for Leno could not be better for Jimmy Kimmel who's show just made the switch to the 11:30 timeslot, competing directly with Leno and David Letterman's late show. And while the TV host and comedian prized his best to rise above the late night drama, don't think for a second he's not crying for battle.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER (voice-over): Late-night ratings roulette is upon us with more than 10 million viewers at stake and tens of millions of dollars in network advertising on the line.s

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Things that were once thought to be extinct could now be brought back from the dead. So, there's hope for NBC. It could turn around.

(LAUGHTER)

TAPPER: But as the peacock network apparently makes moves to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel fresh from his New Year's move to 11:35 on ABC remains unphased.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": Obviously, NBC is looking to move on because they did it once already. This would be the second time that this has happened, so, I mean, it makes perfect sense and Jimmy Fallon is doing a great job.

TAPPER: And Jay Leno, well, let's just say Kimmel's respect for Jay Leno knows bounds.

(on-camera) You've had some tough things to say about Jay Leno.

KIMMEL: Yes. Yes. My mother told me to stop.

(LAUGHTER)

KIMMEL: You know, it's one of those things, I have diarrhea of the mouth and I'm asked about it, I tend to go on and on and on.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, 'THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Good heavens and hello!

(LAUGHTER) KIMMEL: My favorite host of all time is David Letterman. That's who I choose to watch if I'm choosing to watch somebody. I mean, that, for me, would be my choice. I think I choose watching him. I know I would over watching myself.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: And while Kimmel says all three shows can be successful, he's not taking it easy on his competitors. Kimmel's show recently expanded, launching its very own music channel on YouTube -- Christine and Zoraida.

ROMANS: Really interesting. Thanks, Jake.

All right. The last days of Michael Jackson has told by the King of Pop's now 14-year-old daughter. We're going to get her account of playing a key role in a big legal battle coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning, again. Fifty minutes after the hour. Let's get you up-to-date.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (voice-over): Breaking news this morning from Quantico -- marine base locked down overnight after a fatal shooting. Three people are dead this morning, including the gunman. Police say he committed suicide. It's believed all the victims are marines. The lockdown lifted just before 3:00 a.m. We're going to bring you the developments throughout the morning here on CNN.

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): The navy has ordered the cancellation of commercial flights out of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. The military says its imposing the ban because of a regulation that's been overlooked for years. Visitors will have to wait for the military's once-a-week flights.

Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees complain the move is designed to limit the flow of information coming from the camp where at least 26 inmates are on a hunger strike to protest the conditions there.

ROMANS: The now 14-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson has been questioned about her father's final days as part of the family's lawsuit against a concert promoter. Paris Jackson gave a tearful speech three years ago. You can see her there at her father's funeral. The Jackson Family is suing promoter, AEG Live, for wrongful death.

They claim the company hired Dr. Conrad Murray who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. The company says Jackson hired Murray.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And if you live anywhere from the Rockies to the east coast, brace yourself for some wet and some cold conditions. I feel like we're saying this every single day.

JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I know. Everyday.

ROMANS: Jennifer, happy spring, Jennifer Delgado. What's going on?

DELGADO: Happy spring. Yes, you're right. Zoraida is a broken record over there.

(LAUGHTER)

DELGADO: We're always talking snow and rain. And once again, we have spring showers out there. Let's start right now in the radar, notice for yourself. You're seeing some rain (INAUDIBLE) from lightning starting to die out, but all that rain is spreading even into Atlanta. So, expect a few delays out there through the morning, but we are still talking snow despite the fact that fact it is spring.

Coming down through the Central Plains, this is going to be tapering off, but we have another storm in the works. It's going to be coming in from the Pacific Northwest. And it's got a lot of energy with it. We're expecting anywhere between six to 10 inches of snowfall, especially right along interstate 70 and that includes Kansas City.

Now, that really comes this weekend. Now, let's track this for you. Here comes the low. It's going to be bringing snow late tonight through Denver. We're talking in those locations potentially 10 inches of snowfall, and then, it moves over towards the east. It's going to bring a lot of rain to the south.

One to two inches of rainfall, snow for St. Louis. We're talking potentially four inches of snow. But here's where things get very interesting. We're going to move it ahead to Monday. And guess what? Mid-Atlantic, potentially, you are looking at more snow arriving on Monday in combination with some strong winds moving right along the coast.

This is the feature that we need to watch as we go through the next couple of days. I can tell you for today it's still going to be cold out there with temperatures running 10 to 30 degrees below average. We will see a bit of sunshine coming for the northeast today, but more of that comes on Saturday, and we'll send it back over to you guys.

ROMANS: So, you know, my kid's first soccer game of the spring is on Saturday. So, you're looking to the northeast --

DELGADO: Saturday is looking good. Saturday is looking good.

SAMBOLIN: Cold.

ROMANS: Cold.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Just cold. Bundle them up. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right. This weekend, be sure to tune in to CNN. Soledad O'Brien has an in-depth look at Facebook executive, Sheryl Sandberg, author of the controversial new book, "Lean In." Soledad special, "What Women Want," Saturday at 2:30 p.m. eastern time right here on CNN.

SAMBOLIN: And coming up next, life is good for one high school senior who took to YouTube to invite supermodel, Kate Upton, to his prom. Now, folks, he has an answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to EARLY START. A look at what's trending online this morning. A follow-up on a story we brought you earlier this week. Looks like it is a date. Supermodel, Kate Upton said she'd love to go to prom with 17-year-old Jake Davidson (ph).

SAMBOLIN: The L.A. high school senior asked the supermodel in a YouTube video that instantly went viral.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't get me wrong, we have our commonalities. You like sports, I like sports, you like fun dining, I like fun dining. You're on the cover of "Sports Illustrated," I read "Sports Illustrated."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN: All right. So, Jake was doing a live TV interview yesterday when Kate Upton called and said if her schedule permits, she would love to be his prom date. Everybody has kind of sucked into this story and really excited for him, but somebody brought up on "Starting Point" the other day, a really good point and that is, that this is not so great for the other girls who are going to prom.

ROMANS: I think Jake might have really angered the other juniors and seniors who now have to compete with Kate Upton for all the attention at prom.

SAMBOLIN: Yes.

ROMANS: All right. To check out other top CNN Trends, head to CNN.com/Trends.

SAMBOLIN: March madness, the Miami Heat's amazing win streak. Hoops are hot these days.

ROMANS: But the late night wars are heating up, too. The Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno trading jabs about the past and future of "The Tonight Show."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LENO: You all excited about March madness? You into march madness?

(CHEERING)

LENO: People talk about who's in, who's out, who's going to be eliminated? And that's just here at NBC. That's not even count.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

LENO: I have never been in the paper this much. It's fantastic.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON": The Miami Heat have won an incredible 24 games in a row.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

FALLON: That has been so long since the Heat lost. The last time it happened, I had to page my friend on his beeper to tell him about it. That's how long the last time the Heat lost Honey Boo Boo is just what I said to my wife when I got a paper cut.

(LAUGHTER)

FALLON: The last time the Heat lost, Conan O'Brien was the host of "The Tonight Show."

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

SAMBOLIN: I'm loving those. We're Heat haters around here. I asked that it's unanimous. Everybody wants the Heat to lose.

ROMANS: I'm not a Heat hater. I'm not a Heat hater.

SAMBOLIN: You're alone. You're on an island.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMANS: "Early Start" continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMBOLIN (voice-over): Breaking news, three marines shot dead at Quantico, including the gunman. We are live on the scene with the very latest.

ROMANS (voice-over): A child chase and shoot-out on a highway and police say the suspect may be connected to the murder of Colorado's prison chief.

SAMBOLIN: New gun laws in New York State and the NRA already fighting back with a lawsuit.

ROMANS: A big bracket buster. A big upset on the first day of the big dance. The number three seed goes down and a top seed barely survives. All the drama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. John Berman hosts "Starting Point" a little later.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Friday, march 22nd, 6:00 a.m. in the east.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

SAMBOLIN: We are beginning with breaking news this morning. A shooting at Quantico, leaving three dead at the Virginia marine base, including the suspected shooter who apparently took his own life after a standoff with police. It is believed all the dead are marines.

Shannon Travis is live from Quantico, Virginia, this morning. What is the latest here, Shannon?