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Profile of Suspected LAX Shooter; NYU College Student Rescued; Texas Coach Collapsed on Field; "It's Time for a Woman to be President"

Aired November 4, 2013 - 05:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New details emerging this morning about the alleged gunman at LAX. He's bizarre behavior leading up to the shooting, why his family contacted the police. An explosive insight into a possible motive.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Trapped for more than a day. A college student wedged between two buildings, panicked and exhausted. The details of this dramatic rescue.

BERMAN: That's crazy.

A terrifying site on national TV. An NFL head coach collapsing in the middle of last night's game. What happened and how's he doing this morning?

ROMANS: All right. Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Christine Romans. Zoraida Sambolin has the day off.

BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Monday, November 4th and it's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Up first, we have a CNN exclusive. It was a shooting that paralyzed one of the major airports and terrorized travelers, and it shined a new light on the issue of airport security. Now, a woman who knows the alleged LAX shooter is giving us a look inside his mind in the hours leading up to Friday's deadly rampage. She says the suspected gunman Paul Ciancia misled a roommate to help him carry out his murderous plot.

Let's get more now from CNN's Miguel Marquez.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Days before Paul Ciancia's murderous rampage, this woman who knows the alleged gunman and his three roommates says Ciancia was already plotting his crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He asked one of the roommates if he could have a ride to the airport, he said that.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Why did he need a ride?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's going back home, either that his dad was kind of sick and he needed to deal with some family issues. MARQUEZ: Did anyone ever see tickets or --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. He also then mentioned what day he had to leave.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): She says Ciancia rarely left his San Fernando Valley apartment since moving here in January, describing him as awkward and heavily smoker. The day he put his alleged plan into action, she says, it took his roommate by surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That morning, he doesn't knock. Just opens the door and says, "I need to leave. Can you take me now?"

MARQUEZ: Ciancia's roommates believe this was the moment he texted family members in New Jersey, telling them he was going to commit suicide, that prompted frantic calls between police in New Jersey and L.A. Police came to Ciancia's home.

(on camera): He has a bag, gets in the car --


MARQUEZ: -- off they go. And a short time later, a knock at the door?


MARQUEZ: Police?


MARQUEZ: Why the police there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They heard that Paul was suicidal and needed to go a welfare check on him.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): She said the other two roommates were woken and handcuffed as police searched the premises. Paul already gone, no sign of a gun.

Police say Ciancia took his military style weapon, a legalized purchased Smith & Wesson .223 caliber rifle, and hopped out of his roommate's car at LAX and began seeking out TSA agents to kill.

(on camera): Did he ever express any hatred toward the government, toward the TSA?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of the findings that came out this year that he was very upset about it and he also thought that TSA abused their power.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): CNN confirmed this picture is legitimate. Paul Anthony Ciancia shot at least twice. His face and neck hit. He is wearing chinos and a polo shirt. No ballistic vest, no special clothing. He looks like any other traveler. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the moment that they are seeing this on the TV, their third roommate comes back and said, oh, I just dropped off Paul at LAX and he had to go home. That they knew, I think that you just dropped Paul off to a shooting.

MARQUEZ: Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROMANS: All right. Breaking overnight: a college student rescued after spending two terrifying days trapped between two buildings. The NYU student was found between his dorm building and the garage. The space: about two feet wide. The firefighters had to break through a wall to get to him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His legs were crossing, he was on his side, and he was moving his right arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They would not have found him for who knows how long and he would probably be dead right now.


ROMANS: Nineteen-year-old Asher Vongtau is in stable condition this morning. It's not clear how he got stuck in there but it's believed he fell out of a fifth floor window.

BERMAN: What on earth happened there?

ROMANS: I don't know.

BERMAN: All right. A lot of people asking what happened last night. It was a frightening scene at the end of the first half of last night's NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. Look there. You can see Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsing as he was walking off the field. Kubiak is just 52 years old. He was wheeled off on a cart. He was taken to a local hospital.

The team says he did not suffer a heart attack. He is said to be conscious and alert and undergoing test this morning. He is a former backup NFL quarterback. I mean, this is a guy who's in very good shape, but under a lot of pressure as an NFL head coach. And it was a terrifying scene last night.

ROMANS: All right. Hillary Clinton says she is in no hurry to make a decision about running for president in 2016. But New York Senator Chuck Schumer isn't waiting for the first lady to make up her mind. He endorsed Clinton for president during a speech Saturday night in an Ohio Democratic Party dinner, more than two years before the state's presidential caucuses.


SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: It's time for a woman to be president. And so, tonight, here in Iowa, I won't get this opportunity again -- I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president! And when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support!


ROMANS: Schumer went on to say that with Clinton, the party can, quote, "vanquish the Ted Cruz Tea Party Republicans in 2016."

BERMAN: The problem-plagued Obamacare Web site will shut down nightly now for extended maintenance, from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. No one will be able to sign up. That is according to announcement posted on site.

This as Mitt Romney -- remember him? -- takes a shot at his former rival. Romney behind a similar health care plan in Massachusetts says that President Obama failed to learn from the mistakes of Massachusetts and, worse, sold the plan under false pretenses. The whole thing, Romney says, is rotting away the president's second term.

ROMANS: The Senate is expected to vote today on ENDA. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It will be the first time in U.S. history Congress ever voted on protections for transgender Americans.

If 60 senators approve the measure in today's cloture vote, a final Senate vote on this bill could come Wednesday.

BERMAN: A terrifying moment in the skies over Wisconsin. Two planes carrying sky divers for a formation jump this weekend, these two planes collided in midair. One of the planes crashed.

Now, all 11 sky drivers -- they managed to jump to safety. Two of them did suffer minor injuries. The pilot of the plane that went down was badly bloodied and appeared to hurt his hand. But that's it. We're told he's actually OK today.

Imagine that. Two planes collide and everyone doing OK.

ROMANS: That is amazing. They all had chutes because they were going to do a jump but still a crash is certainly not what you expect to do when you do a big formation.

Let's get a quick check of the forecast this morning.

Karen Maginnis is in the CNN weather center.

Happy Monday to you. Is that an oxymoron? Happy Monday, anyway. Good morning.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you in New York. And I hope you're enjoying the nice brisk weather that we do have across the Northeast and New England, where temperatures 5 to 10 degrees below where they should be but a nice warming trend taking place. The weather is going to be quiet, but it is going to be fairly brisk. Take a look what's happening for this afternoon. For Monday in New York, temperatures in the upper 40s and by the afternoon the temperatures drop down way below where they should be for this time of year as well.

Right now, in Boston 31. Typically, you would see the morning temperatures right around 41 degrees. In Albany, 25 degrees, it should be in the 30s. So, it's cold out there but it's a whole colder that it actually should be for this time of year.

Temperatures in the 30s this morning. In New York City, it should be around 45 degrees. Very brisk morning to start out across the Midwest as well as temperatures come out of the East and the Northeast, it could be occasionally gusty, up to 25 miles per hour or even higher.

But there is a weather system that's going to be tracking across the Central United States. As it does, we'll start to see some of that much, much colder air moving in behind it so watch out for that. We could see a little bit of ice across the Central U.S. as well.

We'll be back in about 20 minutes. Back to you, John, Christine.

BERMAN: Right. Our thanks to Karen for that.

It was a cold race for the runners in the New York marathon, 26.2 miles, five boroughs, 42,000 runners. It was nice to see the marathon back. It was canceled last year because of hurricane Sandy.

The winners in the men's and women's division were Kenyans.

We want to give a special shout-out to American Tatyana McFadden. She finished first in the women's wheelchair marathon. This is her fourth marathon win this year.


BERMAN: She also finished first -- yes, in Boston, London, Chicago. So, she's kind of won the grand slam of marathons this year. So, congratulations to her.

ROMANS: I'm glad to have that marathon back after a pause last year for her Hurricane Sandy.

All right. Coming up, Toronto's embattled mayor breaking his silence. What Rob Ford is now saying about a video that appears to show him smoking a crack pipe.

BERMAN: And talk about tough to swallow. Millions of Americans using popular herbal supplements, finding out the hard way that they're are not getting what they paid for.

Plus, it is time for your morning rhyme. Tweet us with your own original verse. It can be about anything, anything at all. The hashtags are #morningstart, #morningrhyme. We're going to read the best ones on the air in the next half hour.


ROMANS: Welcome back to EARLY START.

New developments this morning in the scandal surrounding the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Ford is now apologizing, admitting he has made mistakes after a video surfaced showing him smoking what appears to be a crack pipe. The Toronto mayor is being vague about what exactly he's apologizing for -- but as Nick Valencia reports, he is making it perfectly clear, he will not step down.


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After months of bombshell headlines alleging crack cocaine abuse and erratic behavior, it is what Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had to say on his radio show on Sunday that had everyone listening.

ROB FORD, MAYOR OF TORONTO: Friends, I am the first one to admit, I am not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have made mistakes and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have gathered the evidence.

VALENCIA: In a news conference last Thursday, Toronto's police chief said they have video what appears to be the mayor smoking from a glass pipe. Ford has repeatedly denied using crack since the allegation surfaced in May. On Sunday, he said that video should be made public.

FORD: Whatever this video shows, folks, Toronto residents deserve to see it and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video.

VALENCIA: Mayor Ford was also featured prominently in more than 460- page police investigation into gang activity. The report important as much for what it says about the mayor as what it doesn't say, page after page about Ford's alleged drug abuse redacted. But there were photos, including one of Ford in front of what police say is a crack house, with three men alleged to be gang members.

Surveillance video also showed questionable behavior. The mayor seen with his onetime driver who has since been arrested on extortion charges, related to the video that alleges to show Ford using crack cocaine.

Ford hasn't been charged with anything himself but he has become the butt of jokes.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Hey, hey! Don't judge him! Maybe he is cleaning up the city -- by smoking all the crack in it!

VALENCIA: Now, the mayor is taking responsibility, even if he is quite not ready to say why he is apologizing.

FORD: There is no one to blame but myself and I take full responsibility for it. I want to move forward. But I also know to move forward, I have to make changes in my life, which I can assure you that I will do. I love the work I do and I'm going to keep doing it.

VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) there in Toronto.

ROMANS: How do you take responsibility if you don't admit to what it is you're taking responsibility for?

BERMAN: That's a very good point. I also think the politician should enter a blanket policy before they enter office, like I'm sorry in advance for my actions, and if they heard anybody but --

ROMANS: Toronto is a great city that deserves a leader who's completely focused on what's best for Toronto. This has been a very long, long running scandal and it sounds like he is staying in until next October, when he says he's going to run again and win.

BERMAN: And he denied this a long time and now sort of maybe admitting it. We'll see.

All right. Sixteen minutes after the hour.

A bitter pill for people who use herbal supplements like Echinacea and St. John's wort. That is a $5 billion a year industry with really very little government oversight. Now, new DNA testing conducted by Canadian researchers shows that many pills labeled as healing herbs are a little more than cheap fillers like powder and rice and weeds. One third of pills tested showed no trace of the supplement advertised at all. No trace at all! Yikes.

ROMANS: All right. Wal-Mart is getting a giant head start on the holidays. The retailer offering bargain basement deals normally reserved for Black Friday or Cyber Monday a month earlier than usual. Wal-Mart launched a slate of online offers the day after Halloween.

There are six fewer shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It has led other big chains like Macy's and Penney to open on Thanksgiving for the first time. You'll see 24 and 25-hour sales over Thanksgiving.

And it's so interesting, too, because there is also retailers grappling with these smaller food stamp checks, which means 15 percent of American families have less money to spend overall over the holidays. They are all watching to see how that's going to play out for them.

BERMAN: Crazy.

All right. An extraordinary move by the NFL Sunday -- the Miami Dolphins suspended a player indefinitely after allegations that he bullied a teammate. Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is reportedly now under investigation by the league. Fellow Dolphin Jonathan Martin left the team abruptly last week. He made a formal accusation Sunday. Then, the Dolphin took swift action. According to reports, the alleged harassment dates back to last season. You know, the details of these are a little murky. But the fact of the matter is if bullying happened, it shows it can happen anywhere. It doesn't have to be in school. It can be with the biggest men on the planet.

ROMANS: That is fascinating.

All right. The rally for the Red Sox fans this week gave a couple a wedding date, John, they're never going to forget. Stephanie and Matt Cahill were trying to get to the church on time, but the parade and hundreds of thousands of people lining the route were blocking their way, so they had no choice -- joining the World Series celebration in their gown and tux.

The bride says the players in the duck boats took notice, so did the fans and the police. They were getting shout-outs, hand shakes, fist pumps, officers even cleared out barricades for 'em.


STEPHANIE CAHILL, BRIDE: The parade was the biggest blessing in disguise. And it was such a cool, memorable part of our day. Everyone at the reception couldn't stop talking about it and we are huge fans. So it was so cool and, yes, I put on my flats and hiked up my dress and I was having the best time ever!


ROMANS: Needless to say, Stephanie and Matt made it to the church on time with a really great story.

Now, a question for John.


ROMANS: Is anybody from Boston not a huge Red Sox fan?

BERMAN: No, no, no, we all are. I mean, or else you have to leave.

ROMANS: We should have to say, we're huge fans. But I mean, everyone from Houston is a huge fan.

BERMAN: I think that people have their priorities in check there -- parade first and marriage second. Just no question about it.

Sorry, but congratulations to them but more so to the Red Sox.

Coming up, a backup NFL quarterback -- this is a backup -- threw seven touchdown passes! Seven! So, what does the coach do now when the first-string quarterback is healthy? We're going to get answers -- I'm talking all the answers -- from Joe Carter in "The Bleacher Report" coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: All right. This is a game a quarterback will never forget. Philadelphia Eagles backup QB Nick Foles, seven touchdown passes, that is one game, tying an NFL record. The big question now is, what will the coach do when the starter comes back?

Joe Carter is here with "The Bleacher Report."

Hey, Joe.

JOE CARTER, THE BLEACHER REPORT: You know, I just don't know, guys. I really don't know what Chip Kelly is going to do. I guess if Nick Foles goes out next week and he actually beats a good team like the Green Bay Packers, then we might have a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.

But Nick Foles is in that starting role because Michael Vick injured his hamstring a few weeks back and Foles said that he's thrown seven touchdown passes in a game before, but it was in a video game. Now, keep in mind he only played three-quarters yesterday and he could have broken the all-time touchdown record but Coach Kelly decided to pull him because they were beating the Raiders by 36 points.

Now, he is just a second-year player and he joins a list of only five other quarterbacks in NFL history to throw seven touchdown passes in one NFL game.

Now, Texans coach Gary Kubiak was walking off the field for halftime last night, the team says he became lied headed and dizzy, which caused him to collapse. He's in a Houston hospital in stable condition this morning, and CNN's Ed Lavandera is going to have much more on this story thorough the morning.

Now, in the game between the Texans and the Colts, Indianapolis was down by 18 points in the third quarter and Andrew Luck rallied them back and scoring 21 unanswered points. Luck is making a habit of late-game heroics. He has ten game winning drives in fourth quarter or overtime in his short career. The Colts won yesterday, 27-24.

And trending this morning on, the Kansas City Chiefs are 9-0! Best record in the NFL. They beat the Buffalo Bills yesterday without scoring a single touchdown on offense, but who cares when your defense can score two touchdowns?

You know, the Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL last season. They won just two games. It's been an improbable turnaround. They've now won nine in a row. Their best start in ten years. And now, the chiefs look ahead to a nice bye week, guys.

And then they will be tested because people have said, well, the Kansas City Chiefs to a 9-0 start and haven't played anybody yet and haven't beat any good teams. They do play the Denver Broncos twice in three weeks, so we'll see.

BERMAN: Yes. I mean, it's going to be hard to beat them twice in three weeks. But still, 9-0 is incredibly impressive and no one guessed that. Joe Carter, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

CARTER: You bet.

BERMAN: Coming up for us next, Edward Snowden's manifesto of truth. That's what he's calling it. The NSA leaker demanding the U.S. drop espionage charges against him. Why he is insisting he is no criminal.

ROMANS: And a bizarre, bizarre security breach at O'Hare airport. An alligator on the loose in terminal 3! Wow.


ROMANS: Shocking new details this morning as we learn more about the alleged LAX gunman and the bizarre behavior that had his friends and family in a panic.

BERMAN: So, Edward Snowden, he insists he is no criminal. Why the NSA leaker is now demanding that all the charges against him be dropped.

ROMANS: And a 6-year-old boy attacked by a shark, continuously trying to pull this little guy under the water. How two bystanders were able to save him with only seconds to spare.

BERMAN: Thank goodness they did.


BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans this morning, in for Zoraida Sambolin. It's 39 -- 29 minutes past the hour.

All right. A suspected gunman who killed a TSA agent at LAX last week apparently plotted this rampage for days. In a CNN exclusive, a woman who knows Paul Ciancia telling CNN the suspect informed his roommate days in advance he would be needing a ride to the airport because his father was sick. She describes Ciancia as a socially awkward recluse, who voiced concerns about the TSA abusing its power, as well as the NSA spying operations.

Edward Snowden is no criminal. That's according to the NSA leaker himself, who issued a so-called "manifesto of truth" Sunday. In this manifesto, Snowden says he has performed an important public service, igniting an international debate about governmental snooping. Snowden has taken refuge in Russia and says the U.S. should drop the espionage charges against him. Now, the White House is firing back.