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Shooting Inside New Jersey Mall; Election Day 2013; Dolphins Suspend Incognito; NYPD: NYU Student Fell into A Gap from Roof; LAX Shooting Investigation

Aired November 5, 2013 - 05:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were boom. And then another boom. And then another last boom right after that, right after the second one, and then glass, glass everywhere.


ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Terror in a suburban New Jersey mall as a gunman walks in and opens fire.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And it's election. And voters will decide if it's another term for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. We'll take a look at the notable races across the country.

SAMBOLIN: And on the offensive. The coach of the Miami Dolphins says he is the one to blame for the environment that led to one player leaving the team over alleged bullying.

MARQUEZ: Good morning. And welcome to EARLY START. I'm Miguel Marquez, in for the lovely John Berman who has the day off. That lucky guy.

SAMBOLIN: He actually has the week off. It's really nice to have you, Miguel. Thank you.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much. Good to be here.

All right. I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Tuesday, November 5th. It is 5:00 a.m. in the East.

And, first, we're going to start with gunfire, followed by chaos at a crowded New Jersey mall. Witnesses telling police the gunman dressed in black opened fire at 9:30 last night. This is inside the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus.

After a massive search, we are now finding out the shooter's body has just been found. These are late-breaking details here.

So, let's get straight to Nic Robertson. He is live in Paramus.

What can you tell us?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zoraida, they found -- the police found the body of the man who went into the mall shooting. A man called Richard Shoop, found his body at about at 3:20 a.m. this morning. It was at the back of the shopping mall behind a building area under construction some distance from where he entered the mall six hours earlier.

Police say that he took his own life, that he had probably laying dead there for some hours. He had entered the shopping mall, gone through the mall and arrived at a place where he took his own life.

I'm joined by the prosecutor here, John Molinelli.

Can you talk us through exactly what happened tonight?

JOHN MOLINELLI, BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, some time after 9:00 p.m., Mr. Shoop came in, dressed all in black. He was wearing a black motorcycle helmet with his rifle. And shortly after entering, let go about a minimum of six rounds or maybe more -- we've got to look at it yet -- in an area he could have easily hit individuals but chose not to.

Based upon what our investigation disclosed over the hours that followed, we believe that he went in there with the intent to either be shot by police, which we call "suicide by cop", or to take his own life, which ultimately he did.

ROBERTSON: What have you learned about this young man?

MOLINELLI: A troubled person. Someone that, you know, has a history of drug use. You know, you wouldn't think that at age 20, age 20, how much can you do in your life, but in his life, he at least thought that he had reached a point on where there was no recourse other than to take his own life.

ROBERTSON: You've talked to his family. You talked earlier indications from what they told you, you're not surprised that it ended this way.

MOLINELLI: I'm not and they are not. They were helpful. They gave us some information that allowed us to, you know, begin to put some pieces together on this.

We still didn't know whether it was Mr. Shoop until 3:20 this morning until we saw his body. But, you know, we had an indication but we also believe he was in the mall. That was very, very important.

You know, somebody comes in and shoots up a mall and then they leave, that would have been much worse.

ROBERTSON: Four hundred law enforcement officers going through the mall. You have no injuries, apart from his. You said very clearly that he didn't go in there to kill anyone. What was he shooting at?

MOLINELLI: Random. A couple of shots into the ceiling. A shot into an escalator, one into an elevator, one into a facade area for one of the retail stores. He had more than opportunity. There were thousands of people in this mall at 9:20 tonight and many of them were within five feet from him. He clearly had the ability to shoot an individual but he did not.

ROBERTSON: A disturbed man who took his own life. Prosecutor John Molinelli, thank you very much.

So, the details now we're just beginning to learn. A long night for law enforcement officers here. Some 400 people or so barricaded into their stores. Police still at this time going through the shopping mall and making sure they have accounted for everyone. The mall will remain closed today.

SAMBOLIN: Nic, are they certain nobody else was involved? Because earlier reports when you were listening to the eyewitnesses there, they were saying they heard a lot of shots, they thought maybe there were some additional people and feel confident now this was a lone gunman?

ROBERTSON: Confident a lone gunman. He had taken his brother's weapon, his brother owned the weapon legally. It was a modified rifle, .22-caliber, meant to look like an AK-47. A serious weapon stolen from his brother but he is believed to be the only person involved in this -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Nic Robertson, really great to have you there for us. Thank you.

MARQUEZ: And now to our other big story this morning. Election Day. Voters are heading to the polls to decide a number of state and local races that could impact the political landscape across the country.

Maybe the most notable contest, Republican Chris Christie expected to win the second year as -- second term as governor of New Jersey. Christie is often mentioned as a possible Republican candidate in 2016 for the presidency and comments he made at the campaign stop did little to quiet those whispers.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I need you tomorrow night. I need you badly. We've got to deliver tomorrow, because the whole country is watching, everybody. The whole country is watching. They are dispirited about the way the government works.

They look at the mess in Washington, D.C. And they say to themselves, nobody works for us anymore. Nobody cares about the regular folks anymore.


MARQUEZ: It may just be a test case for Christie.

There's another big showdown for the top job in the swing state of Virginia. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is favored against the Tea Party favorite, Ken Cuccinelli in the governor's race there. The winner there replaces Republican Bob McDonnell.

In New York City, voters are electing a new mayor. After 12 years of Michael Bloomberg, polls point to an easy win for the city's public advocate, Democrat Bill de Blasio. He is running against Joe Lhota who was credited with reviving the city's transit system quickly after Superstorm Sandy.

Did you hear about this one? Eleven conservative counties in northern Colorado are voting to secede from the state. The vote is largely symbolic. Even if the measure passes they would require statewide and congressional approval.

SAMBOLIN: It is six minutes past the hour.

The NFL is now investigating a case of suspected bullying by a Miami Dolphins lineman. Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins for conduct detrimental to the team. That's what they're calling it. His alleged victim: teammate and fellow Dolphin lineman Jonathan Martin who apparently was so desperate that he walked off the job last week.

We are going to get more from CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Miami Dolphin Richie Incognito from a team promo.

RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHIN: On the field, players have called me overly aggressive.

ZARRELLA: Now, it may be that Incognito was not only overly aggressive on the field but off the field as well, leading to his indefinite suspension. The NFL is launching an investigation into the Dolphin's workplace environment, and whether Incognito bullied another player Jonathan Martin so badly that Martin left the team.

According to ESPN and, this is the text of a voice mail sent from Incognito to Martin. Quote, "Hey, wassup, you half blank piece of blank. I saw you on Twitter. You've been training ten weeks. I'll blank in your blank mouth. I'm going to slap your real mother across the face. Blank you. You're still a rookie. I'll kill you."

The text has come out a week after an incident in the Dolphins lunch room involving Martin and other offensive linemen. Martin left and hasn't been back.

At a press conference, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he spoke several times over several days with Martin following the incident.

JOE PHILBIN, MIAMI DOLPHINS HEAD COACH: In all of my discussions with Jonathan and members of his family, at no time were there any accusations or allegations of misconduct by any members of this team or this organization.

ZARRELLA: But Sunday, a Martin representative contacted Philbin and the dolphins with concerns over what Philbin called "player conduct". That led to Incognito's suspension. Calls to Incognito, Martins, and their representatives haven't been returned.

As the HBO "Hard Knocks" video of the New York Jets shows, hazing seems part of the writ of passage for NFL rookies. Dolphin players insist theirs is a locker room with a healthy, not hurtful doze of fun, not hazing.

WILL DAVIS, MIAMI DOLPHINS ROOKIE: I've always thought the guys here are great. And since I've here, and I'm here telling my family like, I came to a good team. I don't know how it is around the league. But I said, man, I got lucky with this team, I got to sign (ph).

MIKE WALLACE, MIAMI DOLPHIN: Towards him as a person, I got a lot of respect for Richie. I love playing with Richie. I wish he was here right now.

ZARRELLA: Neither Incognito or Martin are with the team and it's unclear when or if either will be back.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


SAMBOLIN: We'll have to hear much more about that.

Nine minutes past the hour.

Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak reportedly suffered a TIA or a mini stroke, when he collapsed on the field at halftime of Sunday night's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Coach Kubiak remains hospitalized this morning. He is undergoing a battery of tests. He is said to be alert, coherent, and he's also in good spirit.

ESPN reports Kubiak is being treated with medications used to breakup clots and that is consistent with patients who suffer strokes.

MARQUEZ: So shocking.

We are learning this morning how a NYU student became trapped in a narrow between two buildings for a nightmare-ish 36 hours. Police say 19-year-old Asher Vongtau told them he was walking between the roof in the dark Saturday, didn't see the gap between the buildings. This incredible rescue came Sunday after firefighters cut through a concrete wall to free him between 18-inch space between his dorm and the parking garage.

Vongtau's mom has asked that what he told her about the ordeal.


HABIBA VONGTAU, MOTHER: Not a lot. Not a whole lot, but we'll get there eventually. He's in stable condition and he's doing OK.


MARQUEZ: Police have not said whether the student was intoxicated at the time of his fall.

SAMBOLIN: That is one lucky guy, right? Quite a rescue.

MARQUEZ: Thirty-six hours. And it's a tiny little space if you look at it. It's frightening.

SAMBOLIN: Unbelievable.

All right. Let's get a check of the forecast. Karen Maginnis is in the CNN weather center.

Good morning.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Zoraida and Miguel.

And those temperatures are not quite as cold as they were yesterday, on the other of 5 to almost 10 degrees little warmer than what we were looking at this hour yesterday. For New York, 43 degrees and yesterday morning, I was telling you the temperatures in mid-30s. We even had 20s across the eastern Great Lakes. Now, temperatures in the 30s. So, not so bad.

New York City, it topped out at 46. That was in Central Park yesterday, and temperatures going to be a little bit warmer than that. Each day for the next several days, you'll start to see that nice warm-up taking place. So, in the low 50s.

Coming up for New York City for this afternoon, but temperatures in the 60s. Now typically a high temperature there would be about 57. Pittsburgh, 66 degrees coming up for the middle of the workweek. And temperatures approaching 60 degrees in Boston.

So, enjoy it while it lasts because here comes a fairly fast moving, but very vigorous whether system pushing across the Upper Mississippi River Valley and towards the Great Lakes and you know what that means? By Thursday, you'll expect some showers and unsettled weather across northeastern New England, of the central section of the U.S. We could see, Zoraida, some areas picking up as much as six inches of snowfall from the Dakotas into the Central Plains.

Back to you.

SAMBOLIN: Well, we're going to take your advice and we are going to enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Thank you for that.

MAGINNIS: Thank you.

SAMBOLIN: And for the first time, we are hearing horrific details from one of the women held captive for 11 years by Ariel Castro inside his Cleveland home. Michelle Knight sitting down with Dr. Phil, talking about the emotional torture that came with her very long ordeal.


MICHELLE KNIGHT, KIDNAP SURVIVOR: Throw money at me. DR. PHIL MCGRAW: What was the significance of him throwing money at you?

KNIGHT: He was obsessed with prostitutes and also he thought I was a 13-year-old prostitute. When he found out my real age, he got mad.


SAMBOLIN: She is such a courageous young lady. We are going to hear more from the interview with Michelle Knight coming up in the next half hour of EARLY START.

MARQUEZ: And coming up, a TSA agent shot while protecting passengers at Los Angeles International Airport describing the moments right after the attack. We'll have his story.

SAMBOLIN: And listen to this -- a woman nine months pregnant brutally attacked right inside her home. Her husband watching in horror as he speaks with her online from overseas. We are going to have an update on her condition and also the baby's condition.

I'm switching gears here. It's time for your morning rhyme. Tweet us with your own original verse.

It could be about anything. Let's make it about Miguel Marques this morning and you'll get extra brownie points. It has to be #earlystart, #earlyrhyme. We're going to read the best one on the air in our next half hour. Get creative.

MARQUEZ: Or the worse one.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, or the worse one.



MARQUEZ: Welcome back to EARLY START.

New developments of the LAX shooting investigation. Text messages apparently alerted police to a problem with the suspect just minutes before the shooting. The FBI now confirms he was determined to kill TSA agents. One died, two others were wounded. On Monday, we heard from one of them for the first time.

CNN's Kyung Lah reports.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Walking is excruciating for TSA officer Tony Grigsby who in the chaos of terminal three took a bullet to the foot protecting a passenger.

TONY GRIGSBY, INJURED TSA OFFICER: I was injured while helping an elderly man trying to get to a safe area. I turned around and there was a gunman that shot me twice. LAH: He had just left his friend, TSA officer Gerardo Hernandez, who was shot to death standing at the pre-screening area.

GRIGSBY: Only now it has hit me that I will never see him.

LAH: Grigsby was near passenger Brian Ludmer. Ludmer's leg now shattered from a bullet. As passengers fled, Ludmer dragged himself into a closet.

DAN STEPENOSKY, LUDMER'S BOSS: Found a sweat shirt in the closet, made a make shift tourniquet out of it, to stop and slow the bleeding and closed the door and was there for about the ten minutes. He was very scared at that point. He thought that might be the end.

LAH: As the victims heal, investigators continue to piece together the time line of the crime. Ciancia's father alerted officers in L.A. and his local New Jersey Police Department after receiving suicidal texts from his son.

(on camera): Ten-o-six, a call comes in. How quickly do you respond?

CMDR. ANDREW SMITH, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPT.: The call came in 10:06 to our communications dispatch center. Our officers in the driveway at 10:12.

LAH: So, six minutes.

SMITH: Six minutes.

LAH (voice-over): Ciancia was not there. He had 50 minutes earlier entered terminal 3, unleashing horror in the terminal and frustrating in two police departments that the timing was all so wrong.

CHIEF ALLEN CUMMINGS, PENNSVILLE, NJ. POLICE DEPARTMENT: What if we could have stopped that and the officers appeared at the residence to do a well-being check on him and he hadn't left yet? It would have been a phenomenal thing if we could have prevented that.

SMITH: Well, it's extraordinarily frustrating for all of us. I think there's not a single officer in the Los Angeles department, probably across the country, that doesn't wish they were able to go there before this guy left the house and stop him from doing these terrible things.

LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Kyung Lah.

And this morning, we are hearing from a mother in Texas who was brutally attacked and stabbed by army trainee while talking online with her soldier husband online. Rachel Poole spoke with CNN affiliate KFOX 14 from her hospital bed about her long road to recovery.


RACHEL POOLE: I think the recovery is going pretty well. We have an amazingly strong daughter who is absolutely gorgeous. It means the world just being able to see her and know that she is doing just fine.


SAMBOLIN: Wow. That suspect 19-year-old Corey Moss (ph) is being held on $150,000 bail.

MARQUEZ: It's just a crazy, crazy story.

A security scare at a Connecticut University Monday night. Three people, including at least one student taken into custody following a lockdown that police say could have been caused by a student Halloween costume. Police received calls that a person carrying a sword and possibly a gun inside a dorm on Monday. Central Connecticut State University was a lockdown for several hours. No one injured.

India is hoping to beat China to the punch, launching unmanned Mars orbiter this morning. If the satellite successfully circles the Red Planet, India becomes the fourth space agency to complete a mars mission. Critics of the $74 million project say the money would have been better spent on public health or solar energy.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty minutes past the hour.

And coming up --

MARQUEZ: Coming up, the big stories, the highlights everyone is talking about. University of Kentucky freshman sinking a stunning 30- foot no-look, behind the back shot for the wrong team.

Stay tuned for "The Bleacher Report" coming up next.

SAMBOLIN: Great job! Oh, no!

MARQUEZ: Oh, dear.


SAMBOLIN: My favorite time of the morning.




MARQUEZ: But there is a favorite time.

Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL may be out the rest of the season. He injured his shoulder on the first drive of the last game last night.

Joe Carter! SAMBOLIN: Sports! For "The Bleacher Report".

MARQUEZ: He has it all -- Joe.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys.

Yes, the Packers probably start practice today wondering, how long is our star player going to be out? I mean, Aaron Rodgers, he is the centerpiece to this team. He's identity of the Green Bay Packers and without him, they are a totally different team.

Now, this injury happened just 2:30 into the game last night. You'll see the Bears Shea McClellin sacking Rodgers, and on the play, really drive his shoulder into the ground. So, he hurts his left shoulder. It's his non-throwing shoulders and head coach of Packers, Mike McCarthy, said they will wait for the doctors to determine the severity of its injury. But he hasn't missed a game because of injury for three years.

And also, the Bears, they were without their star quarterback Jay Cutler. Josh McCown, when he took over, and he hardly looks like the backup. The Bears get the win in Green Bay for the first time in six years, 27-20.

And Bronco's head coach, John Fox, is recovering this morning after successful heart surgery yesterday. The Broncos have not set a timetable for his return. They're going to leave that decision up to Fox and his wife.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, just try to comfort him and let him know that take care of himself and that family and keep this thing on the track until he gets back.


CARTER: In charge of keeping the ship straight will be Jack del Rio, the Broncos defensive coordinator. He's going to take over as the interim head coach. And this guy has had success as a head coach. He actually took the Jacksonville Jaguars to the playoffs twice in nine years.

And trending this morning on, you got to see this video. It's amazing. Kentucky freshman James Young, great hustle, sinks a stunning 30-footer, behind the back, no look shot, but it's for the wrong team.

MARQUEZ: Oh, that poor guy.

CARTER: Yes. You see the Kentucky fans love the effort. Keep in mind, this is an exhibition game and what John Calipari, the head coach, said. The shot made me laugh.

Obviously, it's a three-pointer because of the distance. But it actually goes in the books officially as a two-point layup for the other team. That is strange, huh? But good effort on that.

MARQUEZ: Who knew?

SAMBOLIN: Look at that. I love to see it. Too bad it went to the wrong team. Thank you.

CARTER: Good shot, though. You're welcome, guys.

MARQUEZ: All right. Coming up, an internal war room document detailing how the White House has been quietly stressing out over Obamacare, sticker shock.


SAMBOLIN: A gunman found dead hours after sending panicked shoppers scrambling from a suburban New Jersey mall. We're going to have a live report, straight ahead.