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Navy Yard Shooting Suspect Heard Voices; Navy Yard Shootings; Hundreds Still Missing In Colorado; A 14-Year-Old In "Extreme Danger"; U.N. Inspectors Returning To Syria; House Hearing On Benghazi; Marine Killed In Training Accident; Boardwalk Fire Ruled An Accident; Starbucks CEO Talks Gun Control; 911 Call Lead to Shooting
Aired September 18, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: 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.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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.
BOLDUAN: You can't get a break.
CUOMO: No, no. Never hear that joke about a bride. I'll tell you that.
All right, we're going to begin this morning though with new details in the investigation of the Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage. Clues to the suspect's possible state of mind, what drove him to kill, we now know the shooter recently told police he believed he was being followed, that microwaves were being used to put voices in his head. We also know police reached out to the Navy, but the shooter's access was not taken away.
CNN's Pamela Brown is live at the Washington Navy Yard with more. Good morning, Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Chris. That's right. So many red flags, just in the past month, showing that Aaron Alexis may have suffered from mental health issues, in fact, as you pointed out there, a police sergeant alerted Naval Station Newport about an incident in August yet nothing prevented Aaron Alexis from walking into Building 197 on Monday and opening fire.
BROWN (voice-over): This morning we're learning new details about how Aaron Alexis brought a gun on to the Washington Navy Yard. A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that the gunman entered Building 197 with a small bag that's believed to have carried a disassembled Remington .870 shotgun. He's then seen on surveillance video ducking into the bathroom with a bag and emerging seconds later with a gun. Moments later, he opens fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a report on the fourth floor, a male with a shotgun, multiple shots fired, and multiple people down.
BROWN: As investigators continue pouring over Alexis' life, the trail of red flags leading to Monday's massacre is troubling. August 7th, he calls Rhode Island Police, complaining of hearing voices coming through the walls of his hotel room. According to this police report, Alexis said those voices were sending vibrations into his body using some sort of microwave machine.
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, Alexis stops at this small arms range in Lorton, Virginia. An attorney for the gun range says Alexis practiced shooting and then paid $419 for a gun and two box of ammunition. On Monday, he accessed a Navy Yard with legitimate I.D. and proper security clearance.
SHAWN HENRY, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI: In a case like this where you've got so many red flags over a protracted period of time, I mean, it almost seems this is the type of thing that was bound to happen.
BROWN: Even more troubling, Alexis' record while serving as a Navy reservist, eight instances of misconduct including insubordination, disorderly conduct and unauthorized absences from work.
HENRY: It's easy now to look back and piece it all together and say, somebody should have known. If you think about it over a long period of time, it's a little more challenging.
BROWN: He was honorably discharged in 2011 and retained his Navy issued security clearance, which is good for 10 years. The Defense contractor he was working for is now pointing the finger at the military for overlooking his misconduct as a civilian and during his service.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, CHIEF U.S. ANVY SPOKESMAN: Looking at the offenses while he was in the Navy, the offenses while he was in uniform, none of those give you an indication that he was capable of this sort of brutal, vicious violence.
BROWN: Investigators are now collecting evidence from multiple crime scenes, towing away his rental car, removing boxes of materials from his hotel room, interviewing family members in Brooklyn, all in hope of understanding why he did this.
BROWN: And Congress is now reacting to a troubling report released yesterday by the Defense Department's inspector general and it lists several lapses in security at U.S. military installations, including the Navy Yard. It says, 52 convicted felons received routine, unauthorized access to military installations and nine out of 10 installations allowed contractors temporary access before background checks were completed.
The report blames budget constraint and bureaucratic bungles for the security failures. It says these lapses place military personnel, lieutenants and civilians at an increased security risk. And also the administration announced that it is launching three investigations into security at military installations around the world and also looking at standards for federal contractors -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Pamela, thank you so much for starting us off this morning. We are now hearing for the first time the emergency dispatch calls that went out after the shooting began. Release of those frantic calls comes as we are learning more about the lives that were lost on Monday. Police have identified all 12 victims of the Washington Navy Yard shootings.
Let's go live to Rene Marsh now in Washington with more on this tragedy. Good morning, Rene.
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. You know, they lost their lives just a few blocks from where I'm standing. And this morning, we're putting the faces to the names of the 12 people who were killed and also, very dramatic audio from the first responders. It paints a vivid picture of what they saw when they got on scene.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Right now, police confirm five people shot, could be others.
MARSH (voice-over): Dramatic new audio from police dispatch as the massacre unfolded at the Navy Yard Monday.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: We have an officer down, Building 197 on the third floor. Also, female shot on the roof of Building 1333, female on the roof.
MARSH: Victims found one by one as first responders rush to the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: All units in the main triage group need to move west. The ambulance is in line. Need to move west away out of the line of fire.
MARSH: Police flood the compound in fear there might be more than one gunman.
UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: We're doing a sweep for security. We still have a second suspect possibly in, so the scene is not secure.
MARSH: Law enforcement later confirming there was no additional shooter. Two days later, just miles from the site of Monday's shooting rampage, Washington pays tribute to the 12 lives cut short, 12 families forever changed by this senseless tragedy. Kathy Gaarde remembered for her selfless devotion to her 94-year-old mother who died last year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was so caring and she would do anything for anyone she loved.
MARSH: Richard Michael Ridgell served three years as a contract security worker in Iraq. He is survived by three daughters.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want him to be known as a dad, above a victim of a shooting because he was a great dad for all of us.
MARSH: Martin Bodrog, graduated from the Naval Academy and was a decorated officer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My knees just got weak, you know. Everything about Marty just a great guy, you know, wonderful husband, father.
MARSH: Michael Arnold, Frank Kohler, Vishnu Pandit, Sylvia Frasier, Gerald L. Read and Kenneth Bernard Proctor, all victims of this inexplicable tragedy.
MARSH: Chris, an update on the people who were shot but survived. A woman who was struck in the head, she was released from the hospital yesterday and that D.C. police officer who was shot in the leg we're told he underwent surgery yesterday as well -- Chris.
CUOMO: All right, we'll keep an eye on them. Rene, thank you very much for the reporting this morning.
The other big story we're following is in Colorado. Hundreds remain unaccounted for nearly a week after the start of those historic floods. The good news is that the death toll has been revised down to six people. But as the waters recede and we see what is gone, rescue workers are still trying to locate the missing.
George Howell is in Longmont, Colorado, with the latest. Good morning, George.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. Just as you mentioned, as these floodwaters surely continued to recede, the number unaccounted for is also dropping dramatically, now down to 306 people and the hope out here among officials, as the day goes on, that number will continue to drop.
HOWELL (voice-over): Rescue efforts continue in Colorado as crews remain on the lookout for survivors, still stranded in remote areas, cut off after days of deadly flooding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have a white cross on the ground.
HOWELL: A white cross signals for help as these people are air lifted to safety near Fort Carson, just one of hundreds of dramatic rescues throughout the state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I expected to see a lot more frustration and feel it with folks. Overall it was just amazing. It spoke to the spirit of the folks that live here.
HOWELL: FEMA task force teams go door to door in search of residents refusing to leave their homes, warning them of the continued risk of rising floodwaters. Some 12,000 people so far have been evacuated to shelters. For those returning to their homes for the first time, many find no house to call home. In Larimer County alone, officials estimate 1,500 homes have been destroyed, with another 4,500 damaged. Cleanup becoming an increasingly daunting task.
CHERYL SCHULER, RESIDENT, BOULDER, COLORADO: It was overwhelming, really. I didn't realize floods brought in a ton of mud. It just ruined everything.
HOWELL: In Boulder, homeowner, Michael Birdsong and his neighbors built a homemade levee to protect his house, but it was no match for Mother Nature.
MICHAEL BIRDSONG, RESIDENT, BOULDER, COLORADO: My basement filled with 5 feet of water in the first 20 minutes. That was a wall of water, this could have kept out, but we didn't know.
HOWELL: Faced with the reality of having to rebuild their wrecked homes, residents are finally coming to grips with the price of the devastating damage.
(on camera): If you were to put a dollar estimate on this, what would you think?
BIRDSONG: We're already planning for probably about $50,000, $60,000 to get it all redone.
HOWELL: So you drive around out here and you see the damage everywhere. In the residential areas, you see businesses that have sustained damage. But keep in mind, FEMA is out here, they are providing money to help people with temporary housing and also grants for family members for homeowners to rebuild.
BOLDUAN: All right, George, thank you so much for following the story all the way through and it's still not over yet. Thank you so much for that.
So there is a race against the clock this morning in Georgia. Police are on the hunt for these two men suspected of breaking into a home and abducting a 14-year-old girl. Authorities say they are armed and extremely dangerous and the FBI is now getting involved. Our Martin Savage has more on this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the name of Jesus we pray to you.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friends and classmates pray for the safe return of Ayvani Hope Perez as a frantic search for the kidnapped teen continued throughout the night. The 14- year-old Perez was violently taken from her suburban Atlanta home in the middle of the night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They pried the back door and entered the residence.
SAVIDGE: Police say the men forced their way inside and Perez's mother did what she could to spare her two teens.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She tried to hide the kids. The dog was barking and these suspects shot the dog.
SAVIDGE: The men demanded money and jewelry. When the mother said she didn't have either, authorities say the suspects grabbed Ayvani and fled in a dark blue or gray car. Now, helicopters hover overhead. Investigation trucks patrol usually quiet streets and neighbors are shocked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't make sense to me at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope they don't do nothing to her.
SAVIDGE: A suburban sense of security has been shattered thanks to a new and unexpected resident, fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought we lived in a safe neighborhood. Now we're not sure what's going on here.
BOLDUAN: All right, if you have any information, of course, call the authorities in Georgia. Here's the number you can also call 770-477- 3513. They need some help.
CUOMO: They absolutely do. There's a lot of news at this hour, though, so let's get right to Michaela for the latest -- Mic.
PEREIRA: All right, let's bring you up to date with the headlines. Good morning, everyone. New this morning, we have just learned the United Nations inspectors are going back to Syria, potentially next week, to investigate more chemical weapons claims. The U.N. team presented a report Monday that found clear evidence that sarin gas was used in Syria last month during an attack that killed more than 1,000 people. The Security Council is working on a U.S./Russian plan for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons stockpile.
The deadly attack last year on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, is the focus of a House hearing this morning. The Foreign Affairs Committee will question top State Department official, Patrick Kennedy. They want to know if enough State Department employees are being held accountable for that attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
One Marine is dead, four others injured at a training accident at a base in Southern California. No details have been released yet about what exactly what happened at the 29 Palms Base. That's about 130 miles east of Los Angeles. One of the injured Marines remains hospitalized. That accident is now under investigation.
The massive New Jersey boardwalk fire was caused by an electrical problem -- electrical wiring problem. It was not intentionally set. County officials are blaming Superstorm Sandy. They say electrical wiring may have been compromised by water and sand from the hurricane. In the wake of the Navy Yard shooting, Starbucks is asking people to not bring guns into their stores. CEO Howard Schultz says the company is not instituting a ban. It's simply making a request, through the lens of civility and respect. The company was roped into the gun debate last month when a group of gun owners announced plans online for a Starbucks Appreciation Day. We'll have the interview with Schultz in a CNN exclusive, coming up.
Powerball fever once again, hitting a fever pitch, $400 million, are up for grabs tonight. It's the fifth largest jackpot on regard in the nation. There have been 11 drawings since August 10th without a winner. Because I like to be Debby Downer, the odds of winning are amazingly 1 in 175 million. But you do have a chance because you could be the one.
CUOMO: That's why you play.
BOLDUAN: There's still a chance.
PEREIRA: You're hoping somebody else will become a millionaire, I guess. You're investing your dollar in their future.
BOLDUAN: You're generally hoping you become a millionaire.
CUOMO: Indra Petersons is keeping track of the latest forecast for us. Good morning, Indra.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm going with you're saying I have a chance. I'm playing. We're talking about cold air today. Once again, all that cold air from Canada, making its way into the area, a lot of people talking about how chilly. There's a reason for that. We have frost warnings and watches up there. All things with temperatures feeling like the 30s. We got a few 30s out there. Even some 50s.
Now, Boston, not as cool as you were yesterday, currently about 53. But notice, Upstate New York seeing 30s, Concord 30s, Danbury, 37 degrees.
Here's the upside. We are going to be warming up over the next several days. As we heads towards the weekend. We'll see above normal temperatures. It looks like New York by Friday look for 78 degrees.
So, that's the good side of this. We are going to be watching the Pacific Northwest, is a cold front once again making its way through Colorado. We're going to be watching for a chance for few showers late tonight and through tomorrow. Very minimal chance but at this point we'll be watching anything that slides through that area.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. All right. Indra, thank you so much.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, dramatic 911 calls in a deadly police shooting in North Carolina. What they could reveal in the case of an unarmed man shot nearly a dozen times. A live report, just ahead. CUOMO: Plus, remember when gas was under three bucks? Of course you don't. It's been about three years since it was that price. Why? What we're going to tell you. And we'll take a look into the future.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.
We continue to press on the story of the young man shot to death by police in North Carolina. Authorities admit the victim had just survived a car crash and was looking for help.
Now, a 911 call sheds light on the situation surrounding officers' decision to fire 12 times on an unarmed black former college football player.
CNN's Alina Machado is in Charlotte with much more.
Good morning, Alina.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.
In the 17-minute 911 call, you don't actually hear the shooting, but you do get a better sense of what police thought they were responding to.
MACHADO (voice-over): Charlotte police believe Jonathan Ferrell came to this house looking for help after surviving a car crash just down the street. It was Saturday about 2:30 in the morning.
The woman inside panicked and called 911.
CALLER: I need help!
DISPATCHER: Where are you at?
CALLER: There's a guy breaking in my front door.
DISPATCHER: There is a guy breaking in your front door?
CALLER: Yes, he's trying to kick it down.
MACHADO: The homeowner pleads for help.
CALLER: He's in the front yard yelling. Oh, my God, please.
MACHADO: Police say Ferrell was unarmed when he approached the three officers who responded. One of them used a taser to try to subdue Ferrell without success. Police say Officer Randall Kerrick fired 12 shots, 10 hit Ferrell, killing him.
Dash cam video has not yet been released but an attorney representing the Ferrell family says they have met with police and seen the video from that night. CHRIS CHESTNUT, FERRELL FAMILY ATTORNEY: You can see. You can tell he's unarmed.
He begins to approach the officers and immediately (INAUDIBLE) in the center of his chest. And I think, then he gets excited, wait, wait, stop. He's coming forward saying, "stop." And he goes off camera and you just hear shots. One, two, three, four, pause, one, two, three, four, five, six, pause. One, two.
MACHADO: Police say Officer Kerrick told investigators right after the shooting, quote, "the suspect assaulted him by unknown means" and he had, quote, "apparent minor injuries" but refused treatment.
Still, police called the shooting excessive and charged with 27-year- old officer with voluntary manslaughter, a felony less than 20 hours later.
MICHAEL GREENE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We are confident in the resolution of this case, it will be found that the Officer Kerrick's actions were justified on the night in question.
MACHADO: Ferrell's mother says she forgives the officer who killed her son.
GEORGIA FERRELL, MOTHER: I pray for him each and every day. But I do want justice.
MACHADO: Officer Kerrick is free on bond. He remains on paid leave.
It is unclear at this point if police will be releasing this dash cam video. The family attorney says it answers many questions, even though police say it does not show the actual shooting -- Chris, Kate.
BOLDUAN: It seems that dash cam video is key. There are clearly two very different stories about what happened that night.
CUOMO: Yes, and this assertion that there were minor injuries on one of the officers going to be critical, because that creates a dynamic of what happened with the victim. So, the proof of that is going to be what goes to the confidence of what we're hearing now from the police, that they feel they were justified in the situation. That seems to be a dicey proposition right now.
BOLDUAN: Alina, thank you so much for that reporting.
Coming up next on NEW DAY, a milestone that is unfortunately hitting you right in the wallet. Gas prices hit 1,000 days at $3 or higher. So, is there any relief in sight? It sounds like the answer to that one is no.
CUOMO: Plus, attention iPhone users, are you ready for an upgrade? We'll tell you what you need to know about Apple's new operation system, iOS7.
ANNOUNCER: You're watching NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.
CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, September 18th.
Coming up in the show, gas prices hit a new record -- 1,000 days above $3 a gallon. That ain't right. We're going to tell you why it is, though, and if they're going to stay there. Information you'll want to hear.
BOLDUAN: Plus, the death of a high school football player days after a helmet-to-helmet collision, raising new safety concerns among parents coast to coast, desperate to protect their kids.
CUOMO: A lot of news for you this morning. So, let's get right to Michaela with your top stories -- Mick.
PEREIRA: All right. Here we go. Making news:
More red flags coming to light about Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. Reports of mental health issues including paranoia and hearing voices, not to mention anger issues, including an arrest in 2004 for shooting out a car's tires during a rage-filled blackout. Naval investigators fully aware of the incident interviewed him and granted him security clearance anyway.
More evacuations being ordered in Colorado because of rising water levels from last week's flooding. Some residents have begun returning to assess what is remaining of their homes. Air crews still trying to rescue hundreds of stranded people, it's believed these are the largest rescue efforts of this sort in the U.S. since Katrina.
The death toll has now been revised down from eight to six, but more than 300 people remain unaccounted for.
A judge throwing out the 2011 convictions of five former police officers all found guilty of killing two people in Hurricane Katrina's wake, then trying to cover it up. That judge ordering a new trial and blasting federal prosecutors for creating, quote, "prejudicial poisonous atmosphere" by making anonymous comments on "The Times Picayune's" Web site.
A power outage in Minneapolis knocked out computerized reservation systems down for several airlines Tuesday, causing quite a mess. Navitaire helped handle reservations for some 60 airlines around the globe. Airlines affected by the outage include AirTran, Spirit and Toronto-based Porter Airlines. The problems delayed flights and prevented airlines from printing new boarding passes.
Spirit Airlines for its part says its reservation is back up and running this morning.
A burglary suspect in Dayton, Ohio, may have a new job as an escape artist. Watch this. It shows Eric Simmons reaching out the window and jumping out the door, out of a moving police car. The car was going only about 15 to 20 -- only -- 15 to 20 miles per hour when Simmons made the escape. The officers quickly caught up with him and placed him back under arrest. Dayton's assistant police says the officers made some pretty big mistakes. That suspect should have been in handcuffs and the window should not have been rolled down.
BOLDUAN: Actually impressed how quickly the police got out of the car.
PEREIRA: I think they hadn't even stopped moving completely and jumped out and got him. Thankfully.
BOLDUAN: Lessons learned when you're in the back of a police car, now you know what to do.
CUOMO: What if you're in the back of a police car, you may not be the kind of person who will stay put.
BOLDUAN: All right. Let's move now to our political gut check.
President Obama talking about the Washington Navy Yard shooting. He said in an interview with Telemundo yesterday, he's concerned these horrific mass shootings will become, in his words, a ritual that we go through every three, four months.