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Shooting in Chicago; An Encounter with the Shooter; Ten Days Until Government Shutdown

Aired September 20, 2013 - 05:00   ET


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news overnight: 13 people shot, including a 3-year-old boy. Chicago streets becoming the most dangerous in the nation.


GLYNDA BOYD, HAD ENCOUNTER WITH AARON ALEXIS: He's kept reaching towards his midriff, his waist, like he was reaching for something.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Belligerent and hearing voices -- new insight into the erratic behavior of the Washington Navy Yard, just weeks before he murdered 12 innocent people.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. Nice to have you with us this morning, Friday, September 20th, 5:00 in the East.

BERMAN: We're going to start this morning with some breaking news out of Chicago. And even in that city, which has been plagued by gun violence, this is a startling event. Police say 13 people have been shot in the park on the city's south, side including a 3-year-old child.

His family telling the "Chicago Tribune" his name is Deante Howard (ph). He's in critical condition this morning. His uncle was shot dead on Labor Day. Many in the community ran to this scene once the gunfire stopped.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just heard 20 shots. I walked over here and police over here real quick. They got over here real fast.

REPORTER: How many people did you see down on the ground over here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far, I think it's about 10, 11, 12, right up in that number.


BERMAN: Witnesses say a man drove up to the park and just opened fire. This apparently has happened at this park before with at least one witness telling the "Chicago Sun-Times" the gang members drive around this park just looking for people to shoot. So far, no one is in custody. Chicago, of course, has been dealing with gang violence for years now.

According to FBI statistics, Chicago is now the nation's murder capital and the "Chicago Tribune" says at least 315 people have been murdered in the city so far this year, more than 1,600 -- 1,600 have been shot since January 1st.

SAMBOLIN: That is just remarkable. We're getting some perspective on that. We know that there is a serious problem in Chicago, but 1,600 people since January is just outstanding so we are trying to figure how that compares to last year.

Two minutes past the hour here. New details this morning about the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left 12 people and the shooter Aaron Alexis dead. The FBI now says it took minutes for Alexis to assemble his gun inside the bathroom and emerge firing, seemingly picking his victims at random.

We are also hearing from two people who had their own frightening encounter with Alexis back in August. Glynda and Michael Boyd were at the airport in Norfolk, Virginia, when Alexis approached them with a question about one of their relatives.


GLYNDA BOYD: He said, that lady, she laughing at me? She keeps looking at me, what is she laughing at? You know? And I said she is just laughing. You know, she doesn't even see you.

He started getting a little belligerent and starts using profanity and going off and he kept reaching towards his midriff, his waist, like he was reaching for something, maybe a weapon?


SAMBOLIN: The Boyds now say they were fortunate to get away unharmed. And this Sunday, President Obama will attend a memorial service for the victims of Monday's shooting.

BERMAN: All right. Also on Washington, this is a live look at the capital. Stunning, right? Amazing that a place that look majestic and so peaceful, amazing it can wreak so much havoc in our lives. There are just 10 days left now until the federal government shuts down and it does not appear that anything that happens under that dome today will keep this from happening.

CNN's Jim Acosta reports.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With House Republicans setting a vote for today on a temporary spending bill that would defund Obamacare, Washington is edging closer to a government shutdown, now just 10 days until the government runs out of money and a possible debt default. Not far behind, White House officials say President Obama is ready to engage with Congress.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president will be in conversations with congressional leaders in the coming days about the need to deal with these pressing deadlines.

ACOSTA: That was a response to House Speaker John Boehner who complained in this web video the president is more willing to huddle with Russians than the Republicans.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: While the president is happy to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, he won't engage with the Congress on a plan to -- that deals with the deficits that's threaten our economy.

ACOSTA: Ruling our any negotiations over the debt ceiling or legislation that defunds Obamacare, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered this colorful defense of the president's outreach.

(on camera): You're obviously referring to Speaker Boehner's video, is that right?

CARNEY: It might have been.

ACOSTA: That his office put out this morning saying that the president is more willing to negotiate with Vladimir Putin than he is with House Republicans?

CARNEY: That is irrefutable false, but the video I thought demonstrated a little Putin envy.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president stayed out of the fray Thursday.

(on camera): Mr. President, are we headed towards a government shutdown?


ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House was taking note of the bruising battle inside the GOP. Texas Senator Ted Cruz seems to give up on defunding Obamacare and then appeared to reverse course.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare.


SAMBOLIN: And that was Jim Acosta reporting.

A government shutdown could lead government offices shuttered, national parks closed and thousands of workers furloughed. Does this sound familiar to you?

The head of the FBI is also issuing a warning. It could leave his agency unable to do its job. James Comey says any further budgets cut to the budget may force him to put agents on furlough and that could hit all parts of the FBI, including those who investigate crimes. BERMAN: The Assad regime plans to call for a cease-fire in a bid to end Syria's civil war. Syria's deputy prime minister making that announcement in a news release. He says the war has reached a stalemate with neither the government nor rebel forces capable of winning. The Syrian government now calling for peace talks in Geneva to resolve the dispute diplomatically.

More than 100,000 people had died in the civil war, with millions more fleeing that country.

SAMBOLIN: Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry says U.N. report released earlier this week confirms Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. Kerry claims anyone reading that report can easily connect all of the dots, and he says the onus is now on the world to stand up and speak out. Russian officials have already dismissed the report as bias and incomplete.

BERMAN: Some more potentially really big news coming out of that region, perhaps historic outreach from Iran. Their new president, Hassan Rouhani, has written an op-ed in "The Washington Post" calling for a constructive approach to thorny issues like Iran's nuclear program. He writes, "Failing to engage leads to everyone's loss." He says, "We need to aim higher and talk."

Now, the president is due in New York next week for United Nations General Assembly and honestly, this could prove to be a fascinating, fascinating visit.

SAMBOLIN: Seven minutes past the hour.

Diplomatic battle between the U.S. and the leader of Venezuela. President Nicolas Maduro claims the Obama administration has blocked him from flying over the United States air space on an upcoming trip to China. The State Department denies the claims, saying the permission was actually granted and that is he is free to fly over Puerto Rico for his trip.

BERMAN: I hope they work that out.


BERMAN: An incredible story for you this morning from China, where a woman apparently survived for 15 days in an abandoned well. She's in there somewhere down there being rescued. She apparently had fallen in that well while out picking medicinal herbs. Her family thought she had been kidnapped but passer-by heard her scream and got help. The woman says she drank well water to survive. Her condition is slowly improving.

Amazing, right?

SAMBOLIN: Yes, that's a will to survive -- a will to survive.

Coming up, nearly a hundred people killed. Towns destroyed. Tropical storm Manuel causing utter chaos. We are going to show you the hardest hit areas. BERMAN: And new information about how a rare brain eating ameba infected and killed a child who's just playing on a slip and slide


SAMBOLIN: It is 11 minutes past the hour. Welcome back to EARLY START.

In Mexico this morning, it is simply chaos, as rain continues to fall. It has been coming down now for days. It's leading to mudslides, flash floods and unfortunately some deaths.

And as Shasta Darlington reports, for those who went to Mexico hoping for a fun vacation -- of course, their trip has turned into a nightmare.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tropical Storm Manuel is still lashing northwest Mexico, leaving scores of people dead and tens of thousands of tourists stranded.

"I've been waiting in line for 12 hours," she says.

Tourists line up outside this military base scrambling to get on emergency air-lift.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's not list here. Put your name on and just wait here and hopefully help you out.

DARLINGTON: The airport has partially reopened, relieving some of the pressure.

Flooded roads and airports have left the beach resort of Acapulco cut off, plagued by looters.

And a crocodile washed up with floodwaters. Two men tried to catch it with ropes as it thrashed about.

We found much worse damage 15 miles away in the town of (INAUDIBLE).

Saturnino Medina shows us where the river broke through a container wall and washed away his kitchen.

He climbs to the roof as half his timber shack swept away.

"We don't even know what to do, to tell you the truth," he says. "So far, no government aid."

Medina and his family are left to eat eggs and tortillas donated by neighbors and drink expired cartons of juice they found in a trash dumpster.

Neighbors shovel mud off of their sidewalks and out of their homes. Here, they tell us they feel like they have been completely forgotten.

Shasta Darlington, CNN, Acapulco, Mexico.


BERMAN: So much hardship and big problems there. And, of course, the question, where is that giant weather system heading now?

Indra Petersons joins us right here in our very own weather center.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I mean, we are always watching where that tropical moisture goes. It's really enhances the amount of rainfall, especially in the Southwest.

A little bit of a different picture today. Here you can see the remnants of Manuel. And notice the stream of tropical moisture now making its way into the U.S. This time, it's not like last time where it went to Mexico and Colorado, it's shifting a little bit farther east and we are going to be looking at Texas and we are going to be looking out towards Arkansas and Louisiana and you can see the moisture headed their way.

Now, it seems like it could be a good thing since Texas had a drought and you see heavy rain and you see even more runoff and flooding potential.

And this is heavy rain we are expecting as we go through the weekend. Three to six inches of rain right around Houston. Two to five inches for Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, and this will make headlines this weekend as the heavy storms start to form.

So, again, that mixed bag. You can see the drought conditions throughout the region which, again, sounds good and they are getting that rain but it means flooding potential is high as the ground can't handle as much water as normally a place that would get more rain could.

The other thing we're going to be watching is a cold front making its way to the Midwest. Look at the temperatures difference. These are the highs from yesterday and now look at that, it's a drop. I mean, a huge drop!

We are talking about 70s in the forecast today. So, feeling a lot cooler. We will eventually see the same thing in the Northeast this weekend with what you guys love, the weekend forecast of cool temps and rain.

SAMBOLIN: And rain.

BERMAN: So, wait, when is this rain coming here?

PETERSONS: Saturday and Sunday, you're welcome.

BERMAN: All right. Indra, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

SAMBOLIN: Do you have plans?

BERMAN: She sounds like rain is coming for the weekend. I want to make sure I pinpoint exactly when, so I can be hiding. Save my nap for them.

All right. Fifteen minutes after the hour.

Authorities in Oklahoma still trying to confirm just whose remains they pulled from two cars in a lake. They are conducting DNA tests now on the remains and comparing those results to the living family members of six people missing for decades. This case had gone cold until this discovery.

The investigators say it could take up to a year to figure out these DNA matches but the makes and models of the cars actually do line up, leading the brother of one of the missing people to tell the Oklahoman how could it not be them?

SAMBOLIN: Those are remarkable images they have, right?

BERMAN: Look at the old cars just rusted out and preserved.


All right. Sixteen minutes past the hour here.

The gun-toting police chief who posted profanity-laced shoot 'em up videos on YouTube is now marked for resignation. Council members in Gilberton, Pennsylvania, voted 6-1 to fire police chief Mark Kessler. That's him right there.

But apparently, it's not a done deal yet. Kessler has the right to a public hearing and his attorney says he will take advantage of that opportunity. That hearing could happen within ten days.

BERMAN: The rare brain-eating ameba that killed a 4-year-old Mississippi boy outside of New Orleans may be linked to hurricane Katrina. Greg Smith was playing on a slip and slide during a summer trip to St. Bernard Parish. He died August 1st. Health experts say after the 2005 hurricane, reduced population in that parts of Louisiana meant less water usage which made it easier for the ameba to survive in pipes. They are adding chlorine now to try to kill off that ameba.

SAMBOLIN: OK. I'm going to switch gears here. I'm going to call this my favorite story of the day. It is so sweet. It is what they call Minnesota Nice.

It came out of a tale of not so nice behavior. A 19-year-old Joey Prusak manages a Dairy Queen in Hopkins, that's southwest of Minneapolis. He was working the cutter last week when he saw a visually impaired man drop a 20 dollar bill.

You know what he saw next? Another customer pick it up and put it in her purse!


JOEY PRUSAK, DAIRY QUEEN'S MANAGER: He just kept walking. That's when the lady picked it up. I thought she is going to give it back because she picked it up so quickly. I was like, ma'am, I'm not going to serve someone as disrespectful as you. So, you can either return the 20 dollar bill and I'll serve you or you can leave. And she goes, well, it's my 20 dollar bill. And I go, well, then you can leave.


SAMBOLIN: A 19-year-old, I love that young man. She did leave without giving the money back. So Prusak gave the visually impaired man $20 from his own pocket. Prusak didn't ask for all of the attention but a customer witnessed the exchange, wrote an e-mail to Dairy Queen praising him.

That e-mail has since made its way to Facebook and Reddit and now to us. Prusak said he felt it was the right thing to do.

BERMAN: What a great kid. Good for him not letting that lady who stole 20 bucks into Dairy Queen.


BERMAN: I hope he never gets her Dairy Queen again. Imagine that.

SAMBOLIN: But a 19-year-old to have the presence of mind to do that. Good for him. I wish we had an award for people like that, right? Good for you, mom and dad, too. That's fantastic behavior.

BERMAN: That is nice.

All right. Eighteen minutes after the hour.

And coming up, Apple launching is its new iPhone this morning. Some people may have cut into the office early just to order one for themselves. Not saying who those people are.


BERMAN: Except it was me.

But the question is, are there people lining up in the stores to get one? "Money Time" is next.


SAMBOLIN: Wake up.

BERMAN: Wake up for "Money Time."


BERMAN: IPhone "Money Time" -- this special iPhone edition of "Money Time."

SAMBOLIN: Can I just tell you, Christine, very quickly that this morning, when I came in, which is rather early, he was coming in, which was super early for him. Do you know why?


SAMBOLIN: Yes. He came in specifically to order the iPhone.

BERMAN: Order it now and I will get it that much sooner.

ROMANS: Oh, Berman.

SAMBOLIN: He got up early for the iPhone.

BERMAN: That's right.

ROMANS: At first I thought it was for a story and it really was for him and not a story?


BERMAN: For the iPhone.

ROMANS: It is iPhone day but it's also a hangover time on Wall Street, guys.

Yesterday, big party. The day before, saw records on the Dow and S&P 500 and yesterday was like, we are going to sleep in. The Dow fell 40 points as the Fed decided to keep the stimulus measures in place. But NASDAQ was able to eke out a gain, closed in highest level in 13 years.

If you to look at all the markets since the beginning of the year, I always like to look at the long term, right? Wow. Look at this run. The Dow is up 19 percent, NASDAQ up 26 percent! The S&P up 21 percent.

And checking daily Dow score card, blue chips up 826 points so far just this month, September surge.

BERMAN: Take the rest of the year off!

ROMANS: Yes. Look at your 401(k), if you're not making money in your 401(k), you need to re-evaluate.

All right. Warren Buffett thinks the Fed's eventual exit from the bond buying program could be riskier than we think. The second richest American was speaking at a panel Thursday at Georgetown and fielded questions from students on the economy, the market, the Federal Reserve. Listen.


WARREN BUFFETT, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: We are in an experiment, which really hasn't been tried before. I mean, we -- you know, we haven't -- Fed has a $3.5 trillion balance sheet and buying securities is usually easier than selling securities.


ROMANS: Yet nobody is able to tell you how this is going to turn out, folks. We've never done it before. A lot of risk out.

Buffett also went on to say he thinks stocks are more or less fairly priced now and that's why he is having a hard time finding things to buy.

It's a day for Apple fans, like John Berman, around the world get up really early and they wait in line. The new iPhones went on sale today. It's usually crowds wound up to be the first one on their block to have a shiny new 5S or 5C. Signs of strong demand, already there. The iPhone represents more than half of Apple's revenue. A majority of its profits, so this is very important for Apple and for apparently John Berman.

BERMAN: Very important.

ROMANS: Did it work? Did you get it?

BERMAN: Yes. So, it doesn't go on sale in the stores until 8:00 a.m. and I have to work then, I'm booked solid at 8:00. So, I wanted to place the order online at 3:00. It was available online at 3:00.

ROMANS: Let me guess, silver or gold?

BERMAN: I went with the dark gray. Champagne gold isn't really me. I'm not feeling the kind of the bling. So, I went with the more conservative.

SAMBOLIN: I'm surprised. I thought you would go with the bling.

ROMANS: I thought you (INAUDIBLE) gray.

All right. Home Depot guys, the latest big company that shift workers to government sponsored insurance exchanges. That move is going to affect nearly 20,000 part-timers who make up roughly 5 percent of the workforce. A Home Depot spokesman says the Obamacare precludes companies from offering the limited plans that part-time workers receive in the move.

IBM, Sears, Walgreens have recently announced they would move retirees or current employees to the exchanges. You're going to be seeing a lot of companies grapple and figure out and decide how they are going to move folks over on big exchanges if they can and how they're going to start, especially these retail and hourly companies. It's just the beginning of this.

So, two weeks until the exchanges start.

SAMBOLIN: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thanks so much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-one minutes past the hour.

Coming up, a violent night on the streets of Chicago, 13 people shot, including a toddler. The latest on this developing story coming up.


BERMAN: A bloody night on the streets -- 13 people shot, including a 13-year-old boy. How this horrific scene unfolded in a city now known for its out-of-control violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can smell all of the chemicals in the water.


SAMBOLIN: Colorado towns leveled by floods, now facing a new kind of water danger.

BERMAN: The pope sending shockwaves through the church with a new message. What he says or doesn't say about abortion, gay marriage and contraception that is raising so many eyebrows this morning. This is a conversation piece for more than a billion people this morning all around the world.

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable. He said some interesting things about women as well.

All right. Welcome back to EARLY START. We're really happy you're with us this morning. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.

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

SAMBOLIN: And more on our top story. It is gun violence wreaking a Chicago park. Thirteen people shot overnight, including a little 3- year-old boy.

His family members gave this picture of Deante Howard (ph) to the "Chicago Tribune." They say his uncle was shot to death just weeks ago on Labor Day. The boy is in critical condition this morning.