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"They Didn't Have Anywhere To Go"; "Just Don't Let Me Die"; Bloody, Fatal Attack on London Street

Aired May 22, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, seven schoolchildren killed during the tornado in Oklahoma. The mother of one of the children says those deaths could have been avoided.

Plus, a shocking twist in the Boston bombing investigation. A man being questioned about his ties to the suspects shot and killed today by FBI agents.

And a soldier hacked to death with what appeared to be a meat cleaver in broad daylight on the street. We're going to show you the suspect's alleged confession to camera before the police came. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, could the children have been saved? Seven kids who died at their school. Today we learned were crushed by tornado debris. The question is would they be alive if that school had a storm shelter?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't have anywhere to go other than an interior room.


BURNETT: Could the city, the state, or the federal government have done something to prevent the magnitude of this tragedy? Those are key questions as President Obama prepares to visit the storm ravaged area Sunday. Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was there. The death toll stands at 24 from the tornado.

John King is in Moore, Oklahoma, tonight where he got a tour of the rubble left behind Plaza Towers Elementary School. John, that key question, people seem to be asking, parents we're going to hear if later on tonight is could the deaths at that school have been prevented?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it certainly is a fair question. When you walk through that school, I don't care if you're a journalist, a human being, a parent of any kind, you're stunned at the devastation. The school was shaped like a U. Most of the two legs are gone, if you will. The crossbar still remains.

On a full day, there are more than 400 children there. It is a miracle. It's a miracle that only seven young lives perished in that school, but it is a fair question tonight. Had this been a newer school, had there been a different shelter, might it have been different?

Listen to this from our tour today. Remember, the first responders came and they flooded that school. They said they heard screaming, people yelling for help. They rescued most, but --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no -- I mean, there's no shelters here. It's just -- this school did not have a safe room, no. Some of the newer schools have safe rooms. I'm sure when this one is rebuilt it will have a safe room. They didn't have anywhere to go other than an interior room.

Which once it got to this point, I only heard this one other time and that was May 3rd, our weather forecasters are basically saying if you're not below ground, you're not going to survive the storm. When they say that, that's what it's doing. It's taking houses off. If you're in the bathroom, but there are no walls left, that's why they say that.


KING: Erin, again, to walk through to see the shattered classroom, to stand in places where the tile is down below you, but there is nothing there, the building is simply gone. There are pieces from mattresses, of course, blown from houses and to understand the devastation in that neighborhood, as walk around the school grounds, there are vehicles that came from miles away, miles away, carried in by the tornado.

So that was ground zero. That is where the storm hit hardest and certainly, again, so many were lucky to be in the safe place, to be protected by those teachers the best they could do, to be rescued by the first responders there.

But for those that have children, certainly seven lost their lives at this school that will be a question for those parents, for local officials, for the educators and governor, for Washington. Should you have a school, should a school be allowed, a school here, be allowed to have the minimal precautions that were in that school 48 hours ago?

BURNETT: John, that really does just, on an emotional level, bring so much home. We try to get answers to that question. Thanks so much to John.

And there are parents asking serious questions tonight, too, including this mother whose child was killed.


MIKKI DIXON DAVIS, SON DIED IN TORNADO: There should be a place that if this ever happened again during school that kids can get to a safe place. We don't have to sit there and go through rubble and rubble and rubble and may not ever find what we're looking for.


BURNETT: A U.S. senator from Oklahoma, Republican Tom Coburn joins me now. Senator Coburn, obviously that mother and her anguish and her grief, pointing out what other mothers are, too. That they feel there should have been a shelter. That would have made a difference. Do you think it would have?

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, nobody knows. You know, some of the shelters that were utilized, collapsed, or were destroyed by the tornado. The point is those are decisions that need to be made at the local and state level, not at the federal level. We can't second guess that.

You know, we'll never replace her child or fill that void in her heart and we ought to do what we can do to prevent this kind of result, but there is only so much we can do. And maybe that's something that, you know, we put 200 shelters in the last four or five years in Oklahoma in schools. So it's not like the state hadn't been making an effort.

BURNETT: I know, you said 200 shelters have been put in. You point out, obviously whether you look at schools, it is a local decision making process. But my understanding is there is no law that actually requires shelters or safe rooms in this area, in Moore, whether it be at homes or in the schools.

But, you know, of course, there was this horrible tragedy with the seven children dying in their school that did not have a facility to protect them. Do you think there is a need for a law at a higher level to make sure that this happens, so that we never have this kind of tragedy again or at least you do the best you can to prevent it?

COBURN: Well, I think first of all I certainly don't think there is -- there should be a requirement at the federal law. It's none of our business. Second thing is Oklahomans aren't stupid. They'll fix this problem and they'll address it. You know, first thing we want to do from Washington is reach in and put our nose in areas that I guarantee you if we make a federal law requiring shelters in schools that will cost twice as what it would cost if Oklahoma decides to do it on its own and they're doing it.

BURNETT: I understand the distinction you're making between a federal decision and state decision, but should there be a requirement? Yes, people are smart but they have decisions of yes, I have other ways to spend my money. I don't want to do this, but then when tragedy strikes, they can be devastated.

COBURN: Well, it can be. But again, and my answer is absolutely not at the federal level. You know, it's -- first of all, you have to put one in every home whether they have tornadoes or not? And what areas of Oklahoma have never experienced a tornado? You have to do all those homes? I mean, the fact is as we have a lot of common sense in Oklahoma.

A lot of people left their homes because they didn't have shelters. They were absolutely safe and their home was totally destroyed. So, you know, I don't think we ought to be about putting big government in the middle of what are obviously state decisions. And I will fight to have federal mandate not included in something like that.

BURNETT: Would you support, though, Oklahoma having a law? Because as you said even some places in Oklahoma may not need it, but would you support that?

COBURN: If, in fact, Oklahoma looks at it and based on the risk patterns and damage in the past and the cost benefit analysis, I would leave that up to the state legislature and the government in Oklahoma.

BURNETT: I guess I'm just, you know, thinking on it from an emotional point of view, a human point of view though. If the state of Oklahoma does decides not to mandate it and schools don't have it and there are ten children that die next year in a tornado because there wasn't a shelter or people think that could be a reason, isn't that unacceptable?

COBURN: Well, yes. But you're setting up all this what ifs. You know, it's kind of like homeland security, Erin. There is no way we spend enough money to protect everybody from every risk in terms of homeland security.

BURNETT: Fair point.

COBURN: And if we were to do that, we wouldn't have any money to defend our nation or to educate our kids or anything else. You know, you said it exactly right. It's an emotional response. Let's do the clear headed thinking about what is appropriate, what is risk -- cost risk base benefit for the citizens of Oklahoma and let Oklahomans decide that.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Senator Coburn. Let us know what you think about his point of view.

Still to come, Briarwood Elementary was also hit hard by the tornado, but yet every teacher and every student survived there. We're going to take you inside the school for the first time at the moment the tornado hit.


BURNETT: Two elementary schools that were struck by the tornado did not have reinforced storm shelters. It's important to say that, neither one did, but the stories at each were so different. Teachers and their students had nowhere to huddle other than bathrooms and closets as the tornado hit. Yet, everyone at Briarwood Elementary School survived.

Our Brian Todd is OUTFRONT with what you're seeing now for the first time, amazing reporting taken by teachers at the instant the tornado tore apart their school.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's the sound of the terrifying moments when the tornado hit. Lynne Breton and Jessica Orr are still shaken. Their voices still quiver when they talk about it. Monday afternoon when this massive tornado struck, they huddled with 25 kids inside a bathroom at Briarwood Elementary School. She says she covered two kids with her body and kept thinking --

LYNNE BRETON, TEACHER, BRIARWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Don't let me die. Just don't -- let me get the babies out of here.

TODD: As the roof was torn off and the ceiling caved in on the bathroom, listen to the audio recording on Breton cell phone of horrified kids. Breton trying to reassure them.

BRETON: Stay down! Stay down! You're OK. You're OK. You're OK. You're OK. You're OK. You're OK. We're OK. We're OK. I didn't know what to tell them. I just kept telling them we're OK. My mind, I was praying.

JESSICA ORR, TEACHER, BRIARWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: I said, father, protect us. I know you're stronger than this tornado and my kids were praying. The teachers were praying and I looked her in the eye and we could hear a roar.

TODD: Breton teaches sixth grade at Briarwoord. Orr teaches fifth grade. The kids they were protecting, 10 or 11 years old.

(on camera): Lynne Breton says the most intense part of the experience when the tornado was at its strongest and grinding their school apart played out over the course of only about 10 minutes. Afterward, this is what was left of Briarwood Elementary School.

(voice-over): At one point, one of the kids shouted at Breton, I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you! I love you!

BRETON: I love you, too! We're OK. We're OK.

TODD: Everyone survived, the teachers say. No one was hurt.

ORR: The sound, you could start to hear it go away. I thought we made it. We made it. Thank you, God.

TODD: Lynne Breton says the advice she would give to other teachers for a situation like that, count your kids, know who you have and stay calm although she says that is next to impossible. Brian Todd, CNN, Moore, Oklahoma.


BURNETT: Gives you goosebumps.

Well, among the frantic parents who ran to the Plaza Towers Elementary School where children did die, a mother with two children enrolled at the school feared the worst. She saw her hopes rise and then plummet into unimaginable heartache. Kyung Lah has her story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MIKKI DIXON DAVIS, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I was running out the door. And I was like, I love you, bud. And he was like, I love you, mom. And he was laying in my bed watching TV. That's the last time I seen him.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT; What followed, a disaster few can fathom. A mother's nightmare that only the parents of the children at Plaza Towers Elementary can truly understand.

DAVIS: Of course, the closer I got to the school, the harder it was. Because the houses were pretty much gone. And when I got to the school, I broke down really hard.

LAH: Mikki Davis' other child, 11-year-old Caylee, survived by hiding in the girl's bathroom. She walked out, running into her mother's arms. But still missing, eight-year-old Kyle.

DAVIS: You don't know if he's safe, if he's still stuck under all that rubble. Is he -- you know, where is he? Being a mother, you know you have to know where your babies are.

LAH: Davis collapsed from the emotional strain at the school, rushed to the er. She spent the night curled up with this picture, praying until the morning.

DAVIS: And then I got confirmation that they had him. But he didn't make it. And, you know, you cry and cry and cry. And then you feel like you're crying and there's no tears going, but you feel like they're going. And I just -- it's just something I never, ever thought in my life that we would have to go through.

LAH: Davis wanted to meet here, at the soccer field her son loved. He grew up on these fields. He loved being number 16 for the '04 Cosmos white team, where they nicknamed him The Wall for his size and ferocious defense. Holding his favorite ball, wearing the soccer trinkets her son adored, Davis, who is explained three generations of her family stopped by to meet us on the way to planning his funeral.

(on camera): Are you angry at all at anything? Is it just the overwhelming sadness that you feel?

DAVIS: I am angry to an extent. I know the schools did what they thought they could do. But with us living in Oklahoma, tornado shelters should be in every school. It should be -- you know, there should be a place that if this ever happened again during school that kids can get to a safe place. That we don't have to sit there and go through rubble and rubble and rubble and may not ever find what we're looking for.


LAH: Next month was supposed to be such a happy month. Kyle's mom getting married for the second time. Kyle was also going to celebrate his birthday. He was going to turn nine. The whole family was going to be there, Erin. Instead, the gathering this Friday for his funeral.

BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much.

Still to come, the city of Moore, Oklahoma. You just heard Kyle's mom saying every school should have a safe room. Well, now they're saying perhaps every home should. So why do only 10 percent of the homes actually have one? An investigation OUTFRONT, next.


BURNETT: Tonight the deaths of 24 people from Monday's tornado are raising new and serious questions about whether there is a way to protect people. The city of Moore's Web site states, "We at the city of Moore Emergency Management Department advocate that every resident have a storm safe room or an underground cellar." Here's the thing, they don't. And as you have seen, neither do the schools.

The city says only about 10 percent of homes in Moore actually have an underground shelter. And as we have seen and heard from survivors of the tornado, the shelters can mean the difference between life and death. Ed Lavandera is OUTFRONT with one family who is alive tonight because of their underground shelter.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hear it?


LAVANDERA: Wall of fury.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, come on. Let's get in.

LAVANDERA: The tornado shooting straight at Francis Robertson's neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in the shelter. It's right over us right now.

LAVANDERA: Robertson and five others including his girlfriend and girlfriend's daughter jumped into an underground storm shelter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounds like a plane flying by. Here it comes.

LAVANDERA: Then the recording goes dark.

That is a nerve wracking feeling to crawl in there. There's not a lot of room in there. Everything is shaking around you.


LAVANDERA: Would you do it again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, never. Hopefully this is it for me. LAVANDERA: Francis' girlfriend, Jennifer Nasser, installed this underground shelter last December. At the worst point she thought the shelter was going to collapse around her.

JENNIFER NASSER, TORNADO SURVIVOR: It was just horrendous. The noise was so loud. Stuff was clanking. I mean everything was hitting it. We had mud coming down on us. We were covered in mud when we came out.

LAVANDERA: Three massive tornadoes in 14 years struck around Moore, Oklahoma. And for Dan Hunt, that's enough. Monday's tornado grazed past his neighborhood, and we found him today buying a solid concrete safe room.

DAN HUNT, TORNADO SURVIVOR: All of our friends said oh, don't worry about it. It never strikes in the same place twice. My answer was, bullshit, because it just happened. Again. Again.

LAVANDERA: You can't take it anymore?

HUNT: I'm not going to try that again. I'm not going to do what we went through again, no.

LAVANDERA: Many storm victims we've talked with say storm shelters and safe rooms need to be even more common across Oklahoma, outfitted in schools, homes and office buildings. And the demand is growing.

ANDREW SAGORSKY, OZ SAFE ROOMS: I poured the footers, the floors, the walls and the ceiling in one continuous pour.

LAVANDERA: Andrew Sagorsky runs Oz Safe Rooms. Since Monday's tornado, he's sold 30 of these $8,000 above ground safe rooms.

And so this, things are swirling around. It's getting hit by cars, debris, flying wood.

SAGORSKY: There's no way for a room to come apart because it is seamless.

NASSER: The door felt like I was going to come off. So, we were just holding on to the door and praying it didn't come off.

LAVANDERA: Jennifer Nasser and her boyfriend Francis Robertson held on for dear life. The tornado left the house above them a splintered disaster. And they're not sure they would have survived had it not been for this hole in the ground.


BURNETT: And Ed, I'm just curious. You're looking at those shelters there. But we are talking about that family having an underground shelter. But there are different kinds, right?

Yes. You know, there is so much interest in people going out and looking at these shelters now that people need to be aware that there is not just one different kind. As you saw, there are above ground, there's below ground. And with that, there comes a difference in price. For example, that family that had the underground one there at the top of the piece, the underground was under $3,000. The above ground one, solid concrete, $8,000. So I think it's important for people to do their homework and research them and figure out there are pros and cons to all of this. They have to figure out what works the best for them and what makes them feel the most secure.

BURNETT: All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you.

Still to come, a horrifying terror attack with a meat cleaver on the street. We're going to play the suspect's alleged confession, which he had time to make on a London street before police got there.

And a shocking twist in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. A man who was being questioned, shot and killed by the FBI.


BURNETT: Let me start the second half of the show with stories where we focus on our reporting from the front lines.

And I want to start with Benghazi. Members of the House Intelligence Committee received a briefing on Benghazi today. A Republican lawmaker tells CNN the government has ID'ed, quote, "a certain number of people believed to be involved in the Benghazi attack."

Now the lawmaker says the U.S. actually has their names which we believe to be true from our sources on the ground there. But could not say how many have been identified. It has been more than eight months since the attack and the former FBI counter-terrorism agent Tim Clemente tells us the reason it's taken so long to identify possible suspects even though the CIA and a lot of information on these guys in the immediate aftermath of the attack was because the FBI's investigative team was actually withheld from going to Benghazi for weeks. So they were not able to properly conduct the primary crucial phase of the investigation.

Well, a new report shows Iran is expanding its nuclear activities. The International Atomic Energy Agency also says there is evidence that Iran has been paving over the crucial Parchin military base where inspectors suspect Iran may have conducted explosive tests. The report comes after Iran's top nuclear negotiator Said Jalili was approved to run for the presidency.

Expert Kenneth Catsman (ph) tells us Jalili and the supreme leader have worked together closely to plan Iraq's nuclear negotiating strategy.

And an OUTFRONT update on three women allegedly held captive by Ariel Castro for nearly a decade, we are told the women -- Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus -- are doing well. According to a statement released by their attorneys, it says, quote, "they are happy and safe and continue to heal."

And the statement actually went on say that they're overwhelmed by the amount of public support they received, including $650,000 for a fund created for them.

Castro has been formally charged with kidnapping and rape in the case and there could be more charges to come.

And there are new developments in the case we've been following OUTFRONT of American Shane Todd. He was found dead by hanging in his Singapore apartment.

In email to OUTFRONT, Shane's mother Mary Todd tells us she and her husband are pulling out into the inquiry into their son's death and leaving Singapore as soon as possible. As we reported, Todd was working for a government research agency in Singapore. Police there say he likely committed suicide. His parents, though, believe he was murdered.

It has been 657 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, even though hiring has actually picked up in recent months, the chief of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, wants to continue the stimulus program of the Fed to stimulate the economy. That money is intended to keep long term interest rates down which it has been successful in doing despite the loss of our credit rating. He thinks eventually if you keep them low, it will become a self-fulfilling cycle and we're going to get our credit rating back. We'll see.

Two men are in custody tonight after an unbelievable thing happened. I mean, this was a brutal and bloody attack in broad daylight on a street in London. The British government says this was an act of terrorism.

And let me show what you happened. Witnesses say that a man thought to be a British soldier was attack, hit by a car, then hacked with cleavers and his body dumped in the middle of the street. A truly gruesome crime and the two suspects were later then shot by police and taken to separate hospitals.

One of the suspects though first spoke to someone nearby before police even got there with a cell phone camera. And I want to play it for you. I caution you it is graphic, but we feel it's important as part of the story to show it to you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We swear by the Almighty Allah, we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. I apologize that women have to witness this today. But in our land, our women to see the same. You people will never be safe.


BURNETT: Becky Anderson is at the scene of the crime in London.

And, Becky, I mean, there are so many things about this that are just horrific and disturbing. But, you know, you see people walking behind him as he's making that statement with blood on his hands and a meat cleaver. They don't necessarily seem to be aware of what happened.

But the suspects had time to commit the brutal act, talk, make a statement, take pictures, all before police arrived. How did that happen?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is almost inconceivable, isn't it? It was a perfectly normal day here about 10 hours ago, Wednesday afternoon at 2:20 in the afternoon. The police were called to an assault on one man by two others -- an assault that the British government is calling a sickening and barbaric attack.

This is the scene just behind me to my right. And some army barracks and the local M.P. here, the local member of parliament said that victim in this brutal, brutal attack with a meat cleaver was a serving British soldier.

We don't know very many more details than that on the victim. Nor do we know much more on the assailants who are now hospitalized and one seems the police are awaiting to speak to them. We do know it is clear from that video that you just shown, that graphic, horrific and sickening video in the immediate aftermath of this attack.

The assailant certainly had a heavily English, London accent. So, he may have been talking about other countries in the world. But this guy at least when one listens to the video seems to have been from London.

We know no more, I say, about the assailants than that. The police as I say called to the scene. They shot the two assailants who it seems were waiting for them to arrive. And then they were hospitalized after that.

I can tell you what's happened since then. The metropolitan police have deployed riot officers on to the streets of London tonight. They have certainly learned their lesson about, you know, reacting to incidents that may be provocative very, very quickly. In fact, just down to my left here in south London, about a couple hours ago, there was quite a significant incident where you had about 50 riot police officers effectively soft kettling a number of youth who were here to protest this knife attack.

As we get more details, of course, we will bring them to you. But it just remains to be such a shocking, shocking assault in the middle of the day here in London.

BURNETT: All right. Becky, thank you very much.

Shocking and impossible to comprehend.

I want to go to Nic Robertson, who's outside the British prime minister's home at 10 Downing Street. Of course, the prime minister spoke about this today.

You know, Nic, I know authorities are calling this a terror attack. And what you just heard what the suspect said with blood on his hands, talking about eye for an eye and Allah, it would seem from a base level to fit with that. But do they know if this was long planned?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They don't. And that certainly one of the things that was discussed and will very likely have been discussed at that Cobra meeting which was the top level cabinet level meeting between police chief, the head of the army, the London mayor and the home secretary here in Britain.

And of that meeting, they decided to increase security on the bases around the city and, of course, that gives an indication that they are very concerned, that there is the possibility that these individuals weren't acting alone, that others may follow on with similar type of attacks, although we're not being told that officially. That meeting that took place here, the equivalent to the White House would be where the president goes into the Situation Room. That was the level of meeting that was held here earlier today -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Nic Robertson, thank you very much.

And, obviously, the crucial question, were they acting alone? And, obviously, not yet answers to that -- just an absolutely unbelievable act.

Well, here in the U.S., there is a surprising twist in the terror attack in the Boston bombing investigation. A Chechen national who had been granted political asylum by the United States shot and killed by an FBI agent in Florida early this morning. He was actually being investigated at the time for ties to the bombing suspects.

Now, this is important because we weren't aware how many people were being questioned and how far flung they may be to significant development.

And John Zarrella is OUTFRONT in Orlando.

So, John, what do you know about this man? What does this mean for the bombing investigation?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin, this is where it took place in the early morning hours this morning. As you mentioned, he was being questioned by the FBI and two members of the Massachusetts state police about his role or his relationship rather to the Boston bombers.

And during the course of this questioning, Ibragim Todashev, he tells the authorities that -- and admits, confesses to his role in a 2011 triple brutal murder in Waltham, Massachusetts. And at some point after that, he grabs a knife, according to the FBI, lunges at the FBI agent who then shoots and kills him. Now, one of Todashev's friends says that the FBI had been following both of them for quite a while.


KHASUEN TARAMOV, FRIEND OF IBRAGIM TODASHEV: He used to talk to them, right? Last time he had a connection with the guy was a month ago. He just spoke on the phone. After that, he never spoke to him, right? And when the bombing happened, he actually came to me the next day and say can't believe it. I can't believe they did it, you know what I'm saying? And FBI started following him, started questioning, started asking him questions, why you guys -- like what kind of connection do you have with them? You know what I mean? They were trying to like make a connection between them. You know what I mean? But there's no connection.


ZARRELLA: Now, the older of the Boston bombing suspects who is now dead, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and Todashev, apparently had a relationship that went back some time. Now, they both came from the same region in Chechnya and Todashev lived in Boston two years ago. And both Tsarnaev and Todashev both went to the same MMA studio and were friendly in Boston at that studio, the mixed martial arts studio.

And when the FBI looked at his phone, Todashev on his phone had Tamerlan Tsarnaev's cell phone number on his phone.

Now, there is also a link to the Waltham, Massachusetts, triple murder back in 2011. Now, authorities say and sources tell us that Tamerlan knew one of the victims. And as we already mentioned, Todashev has confessed to his role in the triple murders.

The FBI is now going to take the DNA from both men and try and match it to the crime scene.

One other note: apparently, Todashev had purchased a ticket to go to Russia on the 27th of May. And, Erin, the FBI told him don't get on that flight. Of course, since then, all of this transpired and Todashev is now dead.

BURNETT: Incredible when you put it together. Of course, proves that the FBI is still talking to a lot of people all around this country to get answers.

ZARRELLA: A lot of people, Erin.

BURNETT: Yes, and something that's -- I guess the key takeaway here tonight.

Still to come, two years after his career was derailed by a scandal, Anthony Weiner is throwing his hat back in the political ring. Our voters are ready for another Weiner run?

And a cell phone charger that takes 20 seconds, no joke. I was an amazing idea. But it is now a reality. We will meet the 18-year-old inventor tonight.


BURNETT: We have breaking news. We have just learned that the FBI has arrested a 37-year-old man. His name is Matthew Ryan Buquet in connection with threatening letters which allegedly contained ricin which were found at U.S. Postal Service facility in Spokane, Washington. This is the latest we've had.

As you may be aware, they were trying to find out would was responsible. But again, they have arrested a man in connection, 37- year-old Matthew Ryan Buquet. As we get more information, we will share that with you tonight.

Well, Anthony Weiner is back. After months of speculation and nearly two years after he quit, I got to put that in quotes, I wasn't exactly a quit, it was kind of a forced quit because he tweeted lewd photos of himself which included this and others of different parts of his body and then lied about it.

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner has now decided to run for mayor of biggest city in this country, New York City. He announced his candidacy this morning with a two-minute online video.


ANTHONY WEINER (D), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Look, I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down. But I've also learned some tough lessons. I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you.


BURNETT: Are voters ready to give Weiner a second chance?

OUTFRONT tonight, radio host Stephanie Miller, opinion writer Dean Obeidallah, and contributor Reihan Salam.

Great to see all of you.

Stephanie, do you buy that apology? Second chance for Mr. Weiner?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I guess so. You know, Erin, it seems to me he didn't really do anything in terms of actual infidelity. He was sort of convicted of being in eighth grade.

I don't know. It just seems to me it's more of a guy thing than a partisan thing.

REIHAN SALAM, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Which middle school did you go to, Stephanie?

MILLER: I can't picture Hillary Clinton sitting at the State Department going who wants to see a picture of my foggy bottom? You know, I just think it's a guy thing and are like, well, all right, if his wife forgives him, I guess I do.

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, COMEDIAN: As a comedian, I'm ecstatic. I think most comedians are very happy.

BURNETT: This is going to be a gift that keeps giving. Headline of this written themselves for a year, thank you Mr. Weiner. OBEIDALLAH: But he stumbled right out of the gate. He shouldn't have done a YouTube video. He should have tweeted his announcement, showing a picture of himself wearing pants, go, look, I've learned. I can wear pants now and I've learned to tweet, because that's what was downfall was, Twitter. Show people you can use it.

And I think people are forgiving, frankly. You know, the poll numbers are mixed. He's got $4 million in the bank. Half of New Yorkers don't want him to be mayor.

BURNETT: You know, Reihan, this is a case for men changing their name. He should have changed his name from Weiner to Abedin and maybe this wouldn't be as big of a story.

I just want to play some of his denials with his lewd photos. I got to say, Stephanie, I beg to differ with you. This is bizarre. But you know what? Forgiveness can happen.

Here's the Weiner denial.


WEINER: This is a Twitter hoax, a prank.

Did I send the photograph? I did not.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Did you send that picture to that college student in Washington state?

WEINER: I did not. She said she never got it and doesn't know me. I don't -- I certainly don't know her. This seems like it was a prank, to make fun of my name.

Today, I'm announcing my resignation from Congress.


BURNETT: It was not a prank to make fun of his name.

SALAM: New York City has a very generous campaign finance system. The idea is that you get matching funds. If you raise x amount of money, you get huge amounts of money in matching funds. But that money won't last forever.


SALAM: So, if you raised a bunch of money in 2005 and also in 2009 when he came very close to running again. And that money is just going to vanish into thin air unless he spends it soon. And so, that's part of what's going on here.

Let's say he comes in second place. Let's say he makes it to a runoff which looks pretty darn likely.

BURNETT: He did pop into second place -- sorry, again, every word I use somehow seems to be inappropriate -- but he did pop into second place immediately which may say something about he is looking and says this feels weak, why not?

SALAM: Exactly. Why the not give it a shot. And the thing is that he is a guy from the outer boroughs. He represented Brooklyn and Queens. And these are parts of the city that felt very neglected during the Bloomberg years. And you got Christine Quinn who is yet another politician from Manhattan.

So, again, there's that dynamic too that could work for him. So, I think that it would be crazy are him not to give this is a try. Whether or not New Yorkers are going to go for it is another question. But I think that it absolutely makes sense to do it. There is a huge opportunity for him.

OBEIDALLAH: The problem is, though, he's not likeable. I think we discussed this before. He's not a likeable guy.

And I think the question is, do New Yorkers want a punch line as mayor? Our last mayor, Mike Bloomberg, comes from financial background. Giuliani before that, respected U.S. attorney.

Do we want a guy that guys are going to snicker at when he is mayor of the city, the biggest city in this nation?

BURNETT: Well, the name like that, it's a point that he made when he was lying is, you know, going to invite that no matter what.

SALAM: You know what? A lot of people have funny names, Erin. That's not necessarily a liability here and totally fair enough.


BURNETT: Well, all right. But --

OBEIDALLAH: But the tweeting of the body part --

BURNETT: Stephanie, what about, though, the facts, Bill Clinton got forgiven. Mark Sanford just got forgiven, and a lot of people thought he wouldn't. He just sailed right into Congress. So why not, right?

MILLER: Well, yes. I mean, you know, I think the lying is always the thing, Erin. I think he has taught us one thing and that is don't say, ah, it looks like my penis, I'm not really sure, I think my Twitter was hacked. I think we know that's not a good excuse.

But I will say, he's scrappy, he's combative, he's always been a great fighter on behalf of the people. I think he'd actually be a great mayor of New York. And so, we'll see.

I mean, I think that, you know, people tend to forgive these transgressions.

BURNETT: You know what I have to say, what I love about this is as I say good night to all you have, the Democrats will defend and find a reason, like she said -- I may not like it, but he's my guy. Just like the Republicans did with Mark Sanford.


BURNETT: That's the way it works. You will put party before --

OBEIDALLAH: Hyper partisan environment.

BURNETT: -- other p words every time. Thanks, guys.


SALAM: Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. The IRS has found itself at the center of a controversy after it was found to be targeting certain organizations. This is tonight's "Outtake" and the magnitude of the scandal has been debated for almost two weeks, and people on the left and right, as you're aware, looking for answers and very angry at each other.

Lois Lerner was the director at the IRS, was invited to shed light on the subject it at a congressional hearing and here is how she chose to shed the light.


LOIS LERNER, IRS OFFICIAL: While I very much like to answer the questions today, I have been advised to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter of this hearing.


BURNETT: That was illuminating. Yes, she pled the Fifth. And we learned nothing.

Which is a shame and a bit of a surprise, especially sense just before that, Lerner said this, quote, "I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee."

She was happy to answer it then, and very strongly. If she is, as she says, innocent, then how could she incriminate herself? So perhaps she sees the Fifth as a way to protect herself as overly aggressive criticism.

The problem is, unfortunately for Lerner, the public's perception of the Fifth Amendment has changed. And what was once considered a safe haven for the innocent has become a perceived security blanket for people that other people think, rightly or wrongly, are hiding something bad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, on the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment, constitutional privilege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I respectfully decline to answer any question. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I respectfully decline to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I respectfully decline to answer your question.

BARRY CADDEN, NECC PRESIDENT AND CO-OWNER: I respectfully decline to answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We incented to assert our constitutional right to remain silent and decline to answer any questions.


BURNETT: Still to come. Charge your cell phones in 30 seconds. It's an incredible idea and guess what? We're going to meet the 18-year- old superstar woman who is making it come true.


BURNETT: Disasters like the tornado in Oklahoma often strike without warning. Cell phones are invaluable and they're often the only resource for people. That is, until they lose power.

Remember hurricane Sandy and imagine what relief it would have been for all those people who had to go, basically, stand for hours trying to wait for power in places far away from home. What if their cell phones could have been recharged in less than 30 seconds? Yes, you'd still need power, but only a quick hit of it.

Tonight, Dan Simon reports on a young woman who may have figured out how to do it.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every so often, we meet someone who you just know is destined for big things.

EESHA KHARE: I'm really interested in energy storage and nano materials for energy storage.

SIMON: That's something you typically hear out of an 18-year-old's mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From Saratoga, California, Eesha Khare.

SIMON: Eesha Khare is a senior at San Jose's Lind Brook High School. She came to our attention after winning an Intel Young Scientist Award, beating out more than 1,600 students from around the world.

(on camera): Did you think you were going to win?

KHARE: No, I actually didn't. So, only when the confetti came up did I realize I'm one of the three people.

SIMON (voice-over): Eesha created what's called a super capacitor, a tiny version of one, anyway. The idea for it came from something we all experience. KHARE: Many teenagers nowadays have cell phones, and I have a cell phone too. And my cell phone battery often dies out on me.

SIMON: The dead cell phone. Eesha's break through could one day make charging it super fast, 20 to 30 seconds fast.

KHARE: There was capacitors, batteries and super capacitors and super sounded really cool to me and I never heard of it before. So, I decided to go and see what that is.

SIMON: The judges were impressed and noted her technology was wide implications.

KHARE: This is a really big field so it could be used in wind energy, wind turbines. It could be used in electric cars. There's a lot of different storage applications for this new technology.

SIMON: Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Eesha says she was constantly inspired by those around her. But not just to pursue her goals.

KHARE: Right now, I'm a girl in science, and that's great. A lot more girls are getting into science. But I think there's a lot of stigma surrounding being a girl and being a woman in science. And I really wanted to break that in the field of science.

SIMON (on camera): Besides having a perfect grade point average and being a class valedictorian, Eesha is also a member of the school's varsity field hockey team. She's also an accomplished dancer. Not surprisingly, she had a few choices when it came to picking a college.

Can you tell me what schools, what colleges you applied to?

KHARE: OK. I applied to and accepted to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale and Cal Tech. And all the UCs I applied to. I ended up selecting Harvard.

SIMON (voice-over): Eesha's take-away from Intel, $50,000. Money that she says will help pay for college.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Jose, California.


BURNETT: An inspirational role model for all girls out there who want to do engineering, math and science.

Thanks so much of as always for watching.

"A.C. 360" starts live from Moore, Oklahoma.