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New Clues In Washington Navy Yard Shooting; Beware The Creepy Clown; Kevin Ware Dunks Months After Injury

Aired September 18, 2013 - 05:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a case like this where you've got so many red flags over a protracted period of time, it almost seems that this is the type of thing that was bound to happen.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): History of violence. Serious mental illness. New information about the Navy Yard shooter. This morning, the warning signs that everyone might have ignored.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marty, just a great guy. You know, wonderful person.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Keep on hearing over and over again. Twelve men and women murdered just going to work. New information this morning about the victims of the massacre. We're going to be live with the very latest.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: They can look, they support me. They help me through these tough times.

BERMAN: And you are going to love this. A touching tribute on the field for a young boy who has been fighting a very big battle of his own.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, my goodness.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. That's tough to get through.

BERMAN (on-camera): It is tough, but it's a lovely story. It makes you feel good. It is 31 minutes after the hour. I'm John Berman. Great to see you this morning.

SAMBOLIN: So, this morning, there are so many questions that are still unanswered, right, about what drove a former navy reservist to bring a gun to the Washington Navy Yard and open fire, killing 12 innocent people before police could kill him? What we do know now is how Aaron Alexis got that gun into that secure facility.

And there are new clues into the state of his mental health as well. Pamela Brown is live at the Washington Navy Yard with more details for us. Good morning to you, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Zoraida. The investigation well under way, and as you mentioned there, we are learning some new details about how Aaron Alexis was able to bring that shotgun on to the Washington Navy Yard. A federal law enforcement officials telling CNN that the gunman entered Building 197 with a small bag that is believed to have carried a disassembled Remington 870 shotgun.

He's sensing on surveillance video, ducking into a bathroom with the bag, and emerging (INAUDIBLE) with the gun. Moments later, he opens fire. As investigators continue pouring over Alexis' life, a trail of red flags leading to Monday's massacre is troubling. August 7th, he calls police hearing voices coming to the walls of his hotel room.

A police sergeant says he alerted authorities at naval station about that incident. Authorities there referred CNN to the FBI which declined to comment. August 25th, Alexis arrives in the Washington area where he contacts a V.A. hospital for a second time for sleep problems. September 14th, two days before the shooting, an attorney for a small arms range in Lorton, Virginia says Alexis bought a gun there.

And on Monday, he accessed a Navy Yard with legitimate I.D. and security clearance, even more troubling, Alexis' record while serving as a navy reservist, as we're learning eight instances of misconduct. He was honorably discharged in 2011 but retained his navy issued security clearance which is good for ten years.


REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, CHIEF SPOKESMAN, U.S. NAVY: You got to secured clearance. When he enlisted in the navy shortly after that in 2007, it was good for ten years and it was at the secret level. So, the security clearance was valid when he left the navy in 2011, and because he wasn't out of work very long before he took this next job, the security clearance went with him.

But again, we're taking a look at all of these reports of run-ins with the law to see if anything should have been done differently right now.


BROWN: And in the wake of the shooting, the administration announced it is launching three investigations to review the incident, to look at security at military installations around the world, and also to examine standards for federal contractors and employees -- Zoraida and John.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much, Pamela.

BERMAN: We want to keep as much of the focus as we can on the victims this morning. And this morning, we are learning so much more of their stories. These were the people who were killed on what was supposed to be a normal day at work. Among those dead, financial analyst Kathy Gaarde (ph). She was 62. She was a die-hard fan of the Washington Capitals. Her daughter saying she would do anything for anyone that she loved.

Martin Bodrog (ph), he was 54 years old. He's retired from the navy but kept working as a civilian designing warships. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

Mary Francis Knight was an IT contractor who taught at a local community college. The 51-year-old's eldest daughter just was married two weeks ago.

And Richard Michael Ridgell (ph), he was 52, a private contractor who retired from the Maryland State Police and serve three years as a contract security worker in Iraq.


MEGAN RIDGELL, DAUGHTER OF RICHARD MICHAEL RIDGELL: I don't want people to remember him as a victim because he never was in his life, and he never will be. He's strong. I want him to be known as a dad, above the victim of a shooting because he was a great dad.


BERMAN: These stories will break your heart, and there are so many of them. We encourage you to read all of them because it's important to learn about these people. You can do that on our website,

SAMBOLIN: Rich and amazing live when you get to know them.

Thirty-five minutes past the hour. In other news this morning --


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): A Pennsylvania appeals court hearing arguments in former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky's, bid for a new trial. But the judges seem skeptical of arguments that Sandusky's lawyers were rushed to trial and that jurors were swayed by faulty instructions and comments from the prosecution. Sandusky is currently serving a 30-to-60-year sentence for molesting ten young boys.

BERMAN (voice-over): A Florida woman who made national news as a teenager because of her uncontrollable hiccupping is now on trial charged with first degree murder. Prosecutors say in October of 2010, Jennifer Mee (ph) lured Shannon Griffin (ph) to a house in St. Petersburg where he was robbed at gunpoint by two of her friends. They say Griffin was shot to death as he struggled with those suspects.

SAMBOLIN: A guilty plea could come today for the Ohio man who confessed online to driving drunk with fatal consequences. Matthew Cordle is expected back in court after entering a not guilty plea last week. But he said he will take full responsibility for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and killing Vincent Canzani earlier this year. Cordle faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison.

BERMAN: A U.S. attorney calls the seizure of a Manhattan skyscraper, the government's largest ever terrorism-related forfeiture. A federal judge authorizing the seizure and sale of the 36-storey 5th Avenue tower and a ruling this week, finding the building's owner's violated federal money laundering laws and sanctions against Iran.

The lobby foundation was originally a nonprofit organization operated by the Shah of Iran, and it says it plans to appeal the ruling

SAMBOLIN: Thirty-seven minutes past the hour, a top state department official will be on the Congressional hot seat today facing questions over the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. The House Foreign Affairs Committee will ask Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy who's in charge of day-to-day operations. Just who made the decisions around staffing and security as well?

Four Americans died in that attack, of course, as you remember, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

BERMAN: President Obama continues talking recovery today as he marks five years since the crash that nearly took down the U.S. economy. The president will address the business roundtable try to win support of corporate leaders for his economic policies. This is a group that has helped the president in the past, backing him on immigration reform and in the last round of fiscal cliff negotiations.

SAMBOLIN: And we are just a few weeks away from a possible government shutdown and both sides show little signs of budging. Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, says the administration will not negotiate on raising the debt ceiling. That is House Republicans may vote later this week on a short-term bill, almost certain to go nowhere in the Senate. A key provision would defund Obamacare, a nonstarter for Democrats.

BERMAN: Walking into yet another crisis, eyes wide open.

Meanwhile, an effort to force Wal-Mart and other large retailers to pay their employees at least $12.50 an hour in the District of Columbia, that effort has failed. City council members could not get enough votes to overwrite a veto from the mayor.

Vincent Gray says the bill which was passed originally in July, he says it was a job-killer that would have driven large retailers out of his city. The council is now considering a measure to increase the minimum wage for all workers in the D.C. area.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Thirty-nine minutes past the hour. If you're waking up in the northeast --

BERMAN (on-camera): You're cold!

SAMBOLIN: You're very cold. Indra, what's going on?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm just nervous knowing it's not even fall yet.


PETERSONS: I've never lived through a winter. Should I even admit that?


PETERSONS: I'm in trouble.

SAMBOLIN: Oh, yes.

PETERSONS: Temperatures, we have frost advisories even some warnings out there, all things for this cold air down from Canada this morning. Places are seeing temperatures into the 30s. An upstate New York, we're going to gust about 46. Now, Boston not as cool yesterday, currently about 51 degrees, but Danbury, 38 degrees, and that is a chilly start.

Here's the good news, we are warming up as we go closer to the weekend, the most important thing, right? But 78 degrees in New York City by Friday. We love that above-normal temperatures just by a couple of degrees as we start that weekend. What we are going to be watching today again is the pacific northwest, another cold front starting to slide through Colorado.

Not a huge chance of rain, but of course, any rain is never a good thing with all the flooding concerns, but about a 10 percent chance of rain, especially late afternoon in through tomorrow morning. Behind that, we'll see that front developed moved across the country. We'll see the Ohio Valley start to get some rain tomorrow. And then, eventually, yes, the northeast by Saturday, we'll start to be looking at rain here. But warm and rainy. I tried to switch it, right? Yes.

SAMBOLIN: Sorry, sorry.

BERMAN: Glass half full maybe.


PETERSONS: Yes. Cool water.

BERMAN: Thanks. Sort of, Indra. Appreciate that.

SAMBOLIN: It is 40 minutes past the hour. Football is a really big deal in Texas. A very big deal, even middle school football. So, it's not surprising so many kids have dreams of gridiron glory, right? So, it is including this little 12-year-old. Trey Sampson. All he wanted was to score a touchdown for his Box Springs Jaguars. That's near Dallas. Trey is suffering from bone cancer. It has already cost him his arm, as you're seeing.

And, doctors say there are no treatments left to try. So, the Jaguar coaches and their opponents got together and gave him a chance on the field.



TREY SAMPSON, 12-YEAR-OLD CANCER PATIENT: Like multiple emotions falling through at the time. I was happy, I was sad. It was just awesome.


SAMBOLIN: Yea for trey. His mother says Trey, as you could see, just kept smiling. And you know what he had to do? He had to remind his mom not to cry.

BERMAN: I love seeing that smile right there on his face. Keep on fighting, pal.


BERMAN: Coming up, a vastly different story.


BERMAN: A creepy clown terrifying residents of one neighborhood. We will tell you where this is happening. This is a strange one, folks, when we come back.


BERMAN: All right. Forty-four minutes after the hour right now. Pay attention to this one, folks.


BERMAN (voice-over): If you're afraid of clowns, this story is something. An anonymous man, there he is, has been standing around the streets of Northampton, England, dressed as a clown, nut the pleasant kind of, laugh-laugh, circus clowns.

This is like the nightmarish clown. I don't know. Sort of like a cross between the poltergeist clown, and I guess, the character Pennywise from the Steven King's book, "It." He also post pictures and messages to his Facebook page. His most famous one is promising a big surprise. And as you might imagine, residents there are taking notice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe it's just fun, but, you know, I wouldn't think it cause any harm to anyone or do anything. -- Yes, (INAUDIBLE) on his face and he's got quite a nasty smile on him. Looks evil.

BERMAN: So, a nasty face and he smells, apparently.


BERMAN: British folks are strange, strange senses of humor there. There is speculation that this whole thing is some sort of ad campaign or a mockumentary. And we do know people there are following his every move. His Facebook page now has more than 85,000 likes.

SAMBOLIN (on-camera): Look, that's all you have to do is dress up as some creepy looking guy and you're going to get a lot of likes, too. That's the moral of the story there.


BERMAN: Something to aspire to, folks.


SAMBOLIN (on-camera): All right. So, let's look at what's coming up on "NEW DAY." Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan joining us this morning. Good morning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Clowns are scary. I will tell you that.

SAMBOLIN: That one is a little creepy looking.

BOLDUAN: A little bit. All right. Yes.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Men in makeup cannot be trusted.


BOLDUAN: -- make-up man.

CUOMO: Except this one. All right. so, obviously, we're going to be talking about the shooting down in Washington. Why? Well, there are two big questions, why -- what was the motivation for this man to kill and how did he get security clearance? There's new information on both fronts that we're going tell you this morning. And a lot of it is very disturbing because it comes from the mouth of the shooter himself.

Calls for help that he was making that wound up not resulting in any action by the government. We're going to have lawmakers on the show today to talk about who is clearing people. How are we keeping these bases safe? We'll take you through it.

We're also going to have one of the woman who survived the shooting just feet away from this man as he was pointing a gun in her direction. You'll hear the story, really moving.

BOLDUAN: Everyone is asking the question what can be changed to make sure this doesn't happen again, and it's not an easy answer. So many contractors are used by our federal government right now.

We also have this story, a scary story coming out of the Georgia that we're following a frantic nationwide search is under way for a 14- year-old girl who was abducted in a violent home invasion. We're going to hear from the girl's terrified neighbors as authorities desperately try to find her. BERMAN (on-camera): All right. Guys, we'll see you in just a little bit.

BOLDUAN: All right. Sounds great.

SAMBOLIN: And coming up, the Astros giving us what could be the most awkward slide of the season, but did it pay off?

BERMAN: Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, yes.

SAMBOLIN: This morning's "Bleacher Report" --

BERMAN: Oh, there it is again!

SAMBOLIN: Oh, come back for more.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Fifty-one minutes past the hour. One of the Toronto Blue Jays top young pictures had a really special surprise for his mother this week and it's one she will never forget.

BERMAN: Andy Scholes is here with the "Bleacher Report." Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey. Good morning, guys. Well, Marcus Stroman, he was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round last year, and as we expect -- pretty nice sign-in bonus from the team. And this week, he put that money to good use. Check it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marcus, what did you do? Oh, no.

SCHOLES (voice-over): That's Stroman's mom, Adeline, breaking down in tears because her son paid off her mortgage. Now, Stroman posted the video on Instagram saying he wouldn't be where he is today without his parents with the #familyfirst. Good for him.

Well, just a few miles away from where the tragic Navy Yard shooting took place on Monday, baseball returned to Nationals Park. The (INAUDIBLE) playing a day/night double header to make up for Monday's postponed game. The Nationals wore Blue and Gold Navy hats during BP.

And before both games, the teams observed a moment of silence to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on Monday. Washington swept the doubleheader winning 6-5 and 4-0 keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.

Trending on today is a story about Kevin Ware's road to recovery. The Louisville junior suffered one of the most gruesome injuries ever seen on a basketball court during the NCAA tournament. But less than six months later, Ware is now back on the court, and get this, he's dunking.

After the entry, Ware vowed to play this season and with games less than two months away, looks like he's on track to reach his goal.

All right, we're seeing the butt (ph) fumble in the NFL thanks to Mark Sanchez and the Jets. Now, we have the butt fly. (INAUDIBLE)


SAMBOLIN (voice-over): That is such a moment.

BERMAN (voice-over): Oh!

SCHOLES: -- right into Brandon Phillips' behind. Guys, to add insult to injury, he was out on the play.

BERMAN: You get two outs for that.


SCHOLES: The Astros not only went on to lose 10-0 --


SCHOLES (on-camera): That was also their 100th loss of the season.



SAMBOLIN: But his neck really snapped back, too, so I was worried about him.

BERMAN (on-camera): He's OK. Just humiliation.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. Big time.

BERMAN: All right. Andy, appreciate it.


BERMAN: We'll be right back.


SAMBOLIN: -- music. I thought we were going to see a little video. The Miley Cyrus song "Wrecking Ball" must be a hit. Look, there it is. That's the video.

BERMAN: All right. Right there.

SAMBOLIN: Famously showing her riding that tool of distraction in her underwear. Well, now, officials at Grand Valley State University of Michigan have had to pull a piece of art, a public art, off their campus. Why? Because the students are using to do their own little Miley Cyrus tributes. BERMAN: I saw you doing this in your office. I was wondering what you were doing in there.

SAMBOLIN: We had a wrecking ball. Right there. Those are the pictures.

BERMAN: Talking about rating. They've skyrocketed. This sculpture on campus there has been there for 40 years, but it's now in storage.

SAMBOLIN: Oh my gosh. That's --

BERMAN: That is crazy because school officials worry it has become a safety hazards.

SAMBOLIN: That's too bad. I would actually go and ride that thing. That would be fun.

BERMAN: And there are a lot of people who would like to see you go and ride that thing.

SAMBOLIN: I didn't mean like that. I just meant just for fun. A little spoof also. Too bad it's gone. Why would they do that?


BERMAN: Zoraida Sambolin rides a wrecking ball -- action news.

SAMBOLIN: Anybody care to join me.


BERMAN: That is all for EARLY START, everyone. It is time for "NEW DAY," thankfully.

BOLDUAN: I'm sorry we have some audio issues -- no, just kidding.


BOLDUAN: Thanks, guys. We'll see you a little later in the show. Just a transition, right?

CUOMO: Oh, yes. Let's go. It's almost the top of the hour and that means here on "NEW DAY" it's time for your top news.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Washington is recovering, but Washington needs a lot more answers.

CUOMO: Lapse in security. New details on the Navy Yard shooter. What happened in his last days? A police warning to the military about him. But his clearance not taken away.

BOLDUAN: Extreme danger. A violent break-in turns into a kidnapping. A 14-year-old girl taken. Her captures armed and dangerous. The nationwide manhunt happening now. MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Higher and higher. Gas now hitting a painful record, 1,000 days above $3 a gallon. Will prices ever come back to Earth?

CUOMO: Your "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is "NEW DAY" with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to "NEW DAY." It Is Wednesday, September 18th, six o'clock in the east. We have new information on the Navy Yard shooter and we have newly released sound from emergency responders in those frantic first moments. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have an officer down. Building 197 on the third floor. Also, female shot on the roof of building 1333, female on the roof.


CUOMO: We're going to play more of that for you. Really dramatic calls coming up.

BOLDUAN: Guess so.

We're also following up on that "NEW DAY" exclusive that we first brought you, the interview with the family of Jonathan Ferrell (ph). He's the unarmed man who was shot and killed by police in North Carolina. Well, now, we are learning that he was shot ten times. And we have the dramatic 911 calls that set off the whole incident.

PEREIRA: And on a very different note, let me pause at this for you this morning. Imagine you're getting married, arguably the biggest day of your life. You're soon to be husband, the most attractive man in the building at that moment. What if, what if, Brad Pitt randomly crashes your wedding. Do you still think that's the case? That your husband is the most handsome man in the room? It happened to one couple. We'll have the story, coming up.