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Santa Monica Shooting Rampage; NSA Leaker Revealed; Rain Soaked Weekend; Heat Sizzle in Game 2 of NBA Finals; Simon Cowell Egged in "Britain's Got Talent" Finale

Aired June 10, 2013 - 06:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Five people murdered in a Santa Monica shooting spree that ended on a college campus. The woman who tried to stop the gunman shares her story.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Extreme weather from coast to coast turning deadly this weekend. Honestly, there were moments when I didn't think it couldn't possibly rain anymore. Is there relief in sight? Full forecast, ahead.

ROMANS: A reality show contestant getting revenge against one of the meanest judges on television. Did Simon Cowell finally get what was coming to him?

BERMAN: I think there were a lot of people secretly are kind of OK with this, I have to say, including maybe me allegedly, perhaps.

ROMANS: Welcome back -- sources say.

BERMAN: Sources say.

ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START, I'm Christine Romans.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman, 30 minutes after the hour right now.

And the death toll from Friday's shooting rampage in Santa Monica, California, the death toll is now five. Twenty-six-year-old Marcela Franco was student at Santa Monica College died in the hospital Sunday. Her father Carlos Franco was also killed at a scene. The grief stricken family spoke to reporters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest decision today after 48 hours was that Marcela, we took her off life support, and she took her last breath this morning. And we spent the last 48 hours like a cocoon. We wouldn't let anybody in there. It was just us, and we were loving her and telling her how much we loved her, and that we're going to miss her, and we're going to miss her. And this world is going to miss the Marcela Franco and Carlos Franco of the world who were decent, loving, committed people.


BERMAN: It breaks your heart. Just not fair.

Authorities say the gunman murdered his father and brother and set their house on fire before taking his rampage to the streets in the Santa Monica college campus.

CNN's Kyung Lah spoke with the shooting survivor who risked her life to save another.



(voice-over): You can't help but react to the holes in Debra Fine's bloody shirt where four bullets ripped into her body. She was in her silver sedan when she found herself n the middle of a shooting spree. Fine saw the gunman, 23-year-old John Zawahri, stopped a woman in the car right in front of her.

DEBRA FINE, SHOOTING VICTIM: I was so angry that he was pointing the gun at her and she was scared. I just wanted to stand-up for her.

LAH (on camera): Debra Fine saw the gunman standing on this side of the street. She saw him raise his rifle at a woman on this side of the street.

She hit the gas and put her car in between the gunman and the woman.

FINE: I'll never forget his eyes. They were just so intense and so cold.

LAH (voice-over): First shot went right into the center of her driver's side window.

FINE: He's walking across. My front window was exploding, and then I was -- I was falling into the passenger seat to try to stay down. That's when I kept feeling bullets hitting into my other shoulder.

LAH: He struck both shoulders, her arms, shrapnel lunging two inches beneath her skin. A bullet even struck her right ear where she says the ringing won't stop.

FINE: I laid down just thinking, please stop, please stop shooting, thinking that if I just acted like I was dead, he might go away.

LAH: Zawahri did leave, carjacking the woman Fine tried to save. But Zawahri did not kill that woman. Neighbors rushed to help Fine. They also called 911, an early alert to the police about the heavily armed gunman making his way through Santa Monica.

FINE: I'm glad I did what I did. But, thank God I'm alive. And my children need me.

LAH: Just like a young woman who Debra Fine didn't know, but needed to save. Kyung Lah, CNN, Santa Monica, California.


BERMAN: Hero amongst all that sadness there.

This morning, the NSA leaker is unmasked. It is 29-year-old Edward Snowden, the defense contractor who once worked undercover for the CIA. In a 12-minute interview from Hong Kong, he explains why he revealed U.S. government secrets, saying the NSA gets intelligence however it can, wherever possible. That phone and Internet surveillance began nearly focused overseas, but more and more is happening within the U.S., he says.

He said he could have wiretapped anyone, even the president, he claims, if he had the personal e-mail. The Justice Department has officially launched an investigation into the unauthorized leaks, and intelligence committee leaders both in the House and Senate say that Snowden should be prosecuted.

ROMANS: If you spent the weekend mucking out your apartment after Andrea, you're not alone -- after your basement really after Andrea, you're not alone, because the tropical storm dropped several inches of rain in much of the east, filling streets, leaving some homes very, very wet. In Worchester, Massachusetts, officials now say they received as much rain in three weeks as they usually get in three months.

Indra Petersons is keeping an eye on the forecast.

Please some good news --

BERMAN: Please?

ROMANS: -- because I agree with John. I could not believe it could rain any harder than that. It just rained -- steady, hard rain.

BERMAN: Make it stop.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, funny. I thought you guys said you wanted more rain. That's what I threw right in the forecast for you guys. And, oh, yes, here's the low hanging out in the Midwest straight for the Eastern Seaboard today with more rain. Yes, you guessed it.


PETERSONS: Even a threat for severe weather.

Yes, a big boo here -- Maryland down to the Carolinas. And pretty much, it's the entire Eastern Seaboard. I mean, take a look at this rain. Look at this forecast here, a heavy rain at times, especially in the thunderstorms. It's going to line up just enough to produce heavier showers, and then look at the water vapor. This shows us the moisture and where it's coming from. So, all this humid, muggy air coming out of the gulf, and look, the entire Eastern Seaboard seeing that humid air. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, complete opposite problem. Look at all the dry air in place.

So, there, they're dealing with warm conditions, fire danger. Temperatures really into triple digits, well above normal. Look at Salt Lake City 20 degrees above average this time of year. So, of course, we know that fire threat remains with them.

Here's the problem. All this warm air is going to start filtering to the East.

So, first we have the rain. But eventually, look at the above average temperatures expected to really kind of push all the way to the East Coast. If it's too rainy for you, maybe you want the hot stuff. I got it for you guys.

ROMANS: So hot and muggy then just hot.


BERMAN: So hot.

ROMANS: All right. Indra, thank you.

A broken dam, rising waters forcing thousands of Germans out of their homes. Rain has been pounding the eastern part of the country for days now. The River Elbe near Magdeburg is about four times its normal levels. About 23,000 people have evacuated. Another dam reportedly on the verge of breaking.

Flooding across central Europe has claimed at least 15 lives now. Analysts think the damage in central Europe could cost billions of dollars.

BERMAN: Thousands of Syrian refugees may soon have a new home here in the United States. Obama administration is considering a resettlement plan to ease the burden on other Middle Eastern countries, 1.6 million Syrians have fled their homeland during a bloody two-year civil war. This week in Geneva, U.N. officials, diplomats, and the non-government relief groups will meet to discuss international resettlement options. The Germans have already agreed to take in 5,000 refugees, more than 1.5 million.

ROMANS: Oh, yes, wow.

The families of two young children in desperate need of life-saving lung transplant are asking an organ transplant group to set aside its 12 and order rule. Eleven-year-old Javier Acosta is one of the children, his mother says his time is running out.


MILLIE MARTINEZ, 11-YEAR-OLD SON NEEDS LUNG TRANSPLANT: Simply put, if Javier does not receive the transplant, he will die. He's 11, and he's very sick. I don't think I have to remind you guys his brother was 11 and passed away waiting. So I think he would definitely benefit from receiving a transplant right now.


ROMANS: The other child in a Philadelphia hospital who needs a lung transplant is 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan. Last week, a federal judge issued an order making Sarah an exception to a 12 and older rule. That order is set to expire on Friday.

BERMAN: Building goes boom, and Christine Romans cheers. That is building number 877 reduced to nothing. That building was on Governor's Island in New York harbor, used to be an apartment for government coast guard and their families. It's been empty for 17 years. It was time for a date with dynamite.

The island is being turned into a park. This was the first implosion here in New York City since July of 2001. And Christine Romans, you need to know this about her, loves implosions.

ROMANS: A good demolition is a sign of progress, and safely down with all the good engineering. Come on, look at it again.

BERMAN: You're ruthless.

ROMANS: A beautiful park Governor's Island is going to draw tourists and old eye sore building you don't need that.

All right. Honoring Broadway's best to the annual Tony Awards. The field of musical kinky boots featuring songs by Cyndi Lauper, that was a big winner last night. It took home six Tonys, including best musical, best score, best leading man. The award for best play went to the comedy, rather, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike."

BERMAN: Coming up, some scary moments for a group women sitting in a limo here. Look at this limo, six women, they were in their 90s, but they managed to get away safely. We'll tell you how they managed that miracle, coming up.


ROMANS: Welcome back.

For the second time in five weeks, there's been a terrifying limo fire in northern California. This time, everyone managed to escape. Just look at the damage.

Ten women, most of them in their 90s -- 90s -- they were on their way to celebrate a friend's 96th birthday Sunday morning in a limo. God love them.

BERMAN: That is crazy.

ROMANS: The idling 2009 Lincoln Town Car limo burst into flames in Walnut Creek. Care taker Mary Chapman was in the limo, and she helped the ladies escape with only seconds to spare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm speechless because this is a new car. You can see, look at my tires, brand new cars. I keep great records of the cars. This was an electrical fire that happened right there between. It's a manufacturer defect.


ROMANS: Police have launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. The limo's owner thinks he knows.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very fresh because, when I looked out, there were red flames all over the place and black smoke. Now, you can see the result.


ROMANS: Five weeks ago, another limo burst into flames on the San Mateo Bridge. Five women, including a new bride, were killed in the fire.

BERMAN: So, the ocean is closer than it appears. Check out what happened to a guy in Hawaii who clearly had too much to drink.


BERMAN: He drove his Ford pickup truck into the ocean. That's the big wet blue thing in there. You can't miss it.

The driver managed to escape without injury. He couldn't escape the law, really no joke here. He was arrested for driving under the influence. He's lucky he did not hurt anyone besides the beach.

ROMANS: And the fish.

BERMAN: And the fish.

ROMANS: Have you always wanted to slim down? Not your body, your life. You're not alone. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to a man who argues we should all live with less.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This week on the "Next List," we talk to Graham Hill, an architect and designer who says living with less can lead to happier, more compelling lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This main space transforms into five different rooms.

GUPTA: Hill is building micro housing that is anything but meager, starting with this 420 square foot apartment in Manhattan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New York City, you can have guests come. GUPTA: You can have guests here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely. Just a couple of bunk beds come out, and there's this cool ladder thing that comes down. We have so much more space and so much more stuff than we did 50 years ago that you think we'd be happier. But in fact, happiness levels have basically flat lined.

GUPTA: The best part of living with less, more freedom to do what you love. Join me Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CNN.


ROMANS: Where do you put the strollers, car seats, baby gear?

BERMAN: Exactly.

ROMANS: Hockey sticks, all of the equipment.

BERMAN: And even if I did slim down my stuff, I couldn't do that thing with the surf board and the parachute.

ROMANS: I know. I know. That's true. My grandpa, who lived through the depression, always said hunger is the best sauce. He always says you need to have less and you enjoy the things you have more. Hunger is the best sauce.


BERMAN: -- from Romans' grandfather.


ROMANS: Coming up, Simon Cowell has been called one of the meanest judges on reality TV. And I guess, this woman isn't a fan. What she did that has viewers asking why.


ROMANS: The Heat was on in South Beach last night as Lebron and company routed the San Antonio Spurs to pull even in the NBA finals. Andy Scholes joins us more in the "Bleacher Report." Berman is going to sing "The Heat Is On."

BERMAN: No, I was threatening to, but I'm not going to do it.


ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning, guys. The series shifting back to San Antonio for the next three games. Last night's game in Miami was one the Heat really had to have. This game was close for more than three quarters as Lebron struggled offensively early on. Hit only four points at the half, but he came alive late in the third quarter.

Check out this incredible block of Tiago Splitter, one of the best blocks you'll ever see. Absolutely amazing. That was during a 33-5 run by the Heat. Now, Miami would go on to win the game easily, 103- 84 to even the series. Lebron finished with only 17 points but was dominant on the defensive end of the floor.


LEBRON JAMES, MIAMI HEAT: That's just part of my game. When I'm not scoring or I'm not as efficient offensively where I feel like I'm missing some shots, I just, you know, figure out ways that I can still help the team even if it's not scoring as much.


SCHOLES: Pretty scary moment yesterday during the French Open final between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer as a protester wielding a flare came running on to the court. He was immediately grabbed by security and escorted away. Nadal said he was a little bit scared at first, but it didn't keep him from dominating the match. Nadal won straight sets to capture his record eighth French Open title. Nadal is now in amazing 59-1 all-time at Roland Garros.

When you're driving the NASCAR circuit, sometimes, you have to do things a little unconventionally like getting married on a Tuesday and then spending your honeymoon in Iowa. That's exactly what Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne, did this past week. He and his wife honeymooned in Iowa, because that's where Bayne was racing this weekend. And hey, Bayne made it worth it. He won the race. It was his first win of the year and his first chance to celebrate with his wife on victory lane.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We proudly and humbly select, redraft I.D. number 9577, Hahn Cory, Centerfielder Arizona State University, hometown, Corona, California.


SCHOLES: What a great gesture (ph) over the weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Cory Hahn in the 34th round of the major league draft. Hahn wore the number 33 at Arizona State. In just his second game, he broke his neck while sliding in the second base and was paralyzed from the chest down.

After being selected by the Diamondbacks, Hahn tweeted, "I cannot thank the D-Backs enough for what they have done. So humbled and will be forever grateful. So honored to be a Diamondback."

Guys, this past spring, Hahn is back on campus at Arizona State helping out with his former team as an assistant coach. He's also getting a business degree. So, congratulations to him for living out his dream and getting drafted by the Diamondbacks.

BERMAN: What a wonderful gesture on the part of the Diamondbacks. All right. Andy, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

So, Simon Cowell, not a particularly nice guy on the whole reality TV thing, known as the king of mean, a title he has certainly -- he certainly earned that label. But now, he may have received the ultimate reckoning, the ultimate comeuppance for Simon Cowell. Some people say, perhaps, deserve (ph). You have to watch this.


BERMAN (voice-over): A shocking moment during "Britain's Got Talent" finale. A woman hurls an egg at judge, Simon Cowell. And it wasn't part of the act. Contestants, Richard and Adam Johnson (ph) were performing "The Impossible Dream" --


BERMAN: When suddenly from behind them, the woman races to the front of the stage and starts pelting the judging panel. A stunned Cowell takes off his jacket after rubbing the egg off. The egg thrower was quickly rushed offstage, and the performance continued without a hitch, prompting a standing ovation by the judges and crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apologies for that. That is not part of the act.

BERMAN: The egg tosser has been identified as Natalie Holt (ph). She played viola as part of the orchestra accompanying the performers. Holt was also a contestant on "Britain's Got Talent" one year ago with her band, Raven Quartet.


BERMAN: But it seems they didn't have a great experience. Take a look at what her band mate wrote back then as quoted in the "Daily Mail Online." "Honestly, if you think watching those talent shows is gut wrenching, you should try being a contestant in one."

Her bandmates said they had nothing to do with this prank, but the egg throwing incident begs the question, are contestants fighting back because TV judges are just too mean? Tough critique has become a staple on many of the talent competition shows.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're a sex machine, I'm America's next top model, I'm telling you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You give me your best or go home!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This job is too rough for me. I don't really want to do it anymore. I don't want to make you cry.

BERMAN: Cowell may have created the nasty judge trend on "American Idol," and he wound up doused with water by an angry contestant.


BERMAN: Holt says she targeted Cowell for his dreadful influence on the music industry and apologized for the prank. "I've never done anything like this before, and in hindsight, I have realized it was a silly thing to do." even with egg on his face, Cowell managed to get the last word, tweeting, "I don't think eggs should be allowed on talent shows. Discuss?"


BERMAN (on-camera): A statement from the show's producers says they will not pursue charges against the egg thrower who may have been throwing, really, on behalf of millions of people out there.

ROMANS: Looks like she had a big smile on her face --

BERMAN: She was smiling the whole time, throwing again and again and again and again.

ROMANS: No stage fright for that young viola player.

BERMAN: We have no egg throwers here, luckily.

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

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. "STARTING POINT" begins after the break.