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Deadly LAX Shooting; LAPD Sent to Check on Shooter; Interview with Police Chief Allen Cummings; Obamacare Sticker Shocks?; Dressing Up is a Snap; Mother and Child Reunited

Aired November 5, 2013 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The case of a Utah doctor charged with killing his wife. Four inmates are expected to take the stand and testify that Martin MacNeill confessed to that killing. We always update those five things to know, so be sure to go to for the very latest.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks, Mic.

Today it's New Jersey, but just Friday it was LAX. And in that shooting, we have the first hint of a motive. The FBI now says the suspect went there to target TSA officers. And police say they got a warning about the suspect just minutes before the shooting. We're going to talk to the police chief in Paul Ciancia's home town about that just ahead. But first, CNN's Kyung Lah has the latest from Los Angeles.

Good morning, Kyung.


Investigators still working out those details of the motive, still trying to piece together exactly what the timeline is.

Meanwhile, for the very first time, we're hearing from the victims who were shot at LAX


LAH (voice-over): 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 elder man trying - trying to get to a safe area. I turned around and there was the gunman and he shot me twice.

LAH: He had just left his friend, TSA Officer Geraldo Hernandez, who was shot to death standing at the prescreening area.

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

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: He found a sweatshirt in a closet, made a makeshift tourniquet out of it to stop and slow the bleeding, closed the door and was there for about 10 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 timeline 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.

LAH (on camera): 10:06 a call comes in. How quickly do you respond?

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

LAH: So six minutes.

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

CHIEF ALLEN CUMMINGS, PENNSVILLE, N.J. POLICE DEPT.: What if we could have stopped that and the officers appeared at the residence to do a, you know, a well-being check on him and he hadn't left yet? It would have been really 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 Police Department, probably across the country, that doesn't wish that they were able to go there before this guy left the house and stop him from doing these terrible things.


LAH: Now, the LAPD says even if they were able to intercept the gunmen at his apartment, a couple of things could have happened. He could have shot the officers who responded or he had this so planned, Kate, that the officers might have simply let him go.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Kyung, thank you very much for that update.

And as Kyung mentioned, one of the most shocking parts of this story is how close law enforcement came to confronting Paul Ciancia before he opened fire at LAX Hours before the shooting, Paul's father contacted Allen Cummings, police chief of Pennsville Township, New Jersey, about some troubling text messages that he'd received from his son. Cummings contacted the LAPD but they weren't able to get to Ciancia in time, as we now know. Chief Cummings is joining us now.

ALLEN CUMMINGS, POLICE CHIEF, PENNSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ: Thank you very much. BOLDUAN: Chief, thank you very much for coming in.

This has gone on for a couple of days now, and a very long couple of days for you and all of your fellow law enforcement, but I do want to ask you about those text messages. What did those text messages say? What did they tell you?

CUMMINGS: Well, obviously, you know, the investigation is being handled by the FBI. I really can't relay what the exact messages said, but it was enough to make, you know, myself and Mr. Ciancia, the father, feel that his younger son was contemplating harming himself.

BOLDUAN: And did you immediately think when you saw those text messages that at least he was in trouble? There's no way of knowing exactly what he was going to do, but did you immediately think this is trouble?

CUMMINGS: Yes. I've got 23 years' experience. I was a detective for 13 of those 23 years. I handled a lot of cases. So, you know, when I saw that text message, I knew that we needed to make a phone call and get his son checked out and make sure he was OK in California.

BOLDUAN: And people from coast to coast now are really trying to make sense of this tragedy and what played out in the airport. You have known the family for a very long time.


BOLDUAN: What more can you tell us, first about - about Paul Ciancia, the shooter -- the man who is now in the hospital charged with these crimes?

CUMMINGS: Well, to be honest with you, I've known the father for approximately 20 years because of his business. He has a car collision business and actually fixes cars there. I've never met the son. I've never met the younger son, Taylor. And I've also never met the daughter.

So they've never been in trouble in our community. We haven't had any dealings with them in our police blotter. We've just -- just normal family. That's what's the big shock about this whole thing is that, you know, it's just like one of us having our kids go off to school or go off to another state and maybe get a job or try to work somewhere and then you get that phone call and you just can't believe it.

BOLDUAN: So what is the family saying about all this?

CUMMINGS: They're in shock. They're very upset. They're emotionally upset. They can't believe that this is their son. And that was kind of the phone call that I received that afternoon was, he said to me, 'chief, is this my son that I'm seeing on TV?' And I said, "Paul, I have to check into it. I've gotten a phone call. I haven't confirmed it yet, but I will let you know for sure as soon as I can and I'll be" --

BOLDUAN: And did you call him back? CUMMINGS: Yes. Actually, I went over to the house. The FBI was there within 30 minutes and we actually went down and spent several hours with the family and did some interviewing and talked to the family members.

BOLDUAN: And what do you even say then? It's not - it's not just part of the job. That becomes a personal thing for you, having to relay that kind of information.

CUMMINGS: Right. Well, it's - obviously, you know, he realizes that we have to ask him questions about the family and the FBI explained that to them that, you know, we have to find out some things, we have to kind of put the puzzles together, turn over -

BOLDUAN: Are they making any sense of this? Was there any warning signs, did they say?

CUMMINGS: None whatsoever. He was home in June for a wedding and - for his sister's wedding. No signs there at all. Nothing.

BOLDUAN: Which makes it all the more shocking for everyone.


BOLDUAN: He hasn't been able to answer any questions or as much as we know. He's in the hospital because of the injuries. He hasn't been able to communicate. Have you gotten any indication -- clearly the FBI is handling the investigation -- that he's at least been able to start communicating with law enforcement?

CUMMINGS: From what I understand, I don't think he's communicating. There's some injuries to his face. I know he's had some - had some issues with his throat and his neck. I don't know all the exact injuries, but I don't know how they're communicating, unless maybe they're doing something with writing. I've heard some reports that, you know, they are communicating with him, but I have not heard anything from the FBI as far as that.

BOLDUAN: Now, in a strange twist of just the way today is, your -- you work just - work and live just a couple hours from where this shooting took place in this mall in New Jersey overnight.


BOLDUAN: What are you hearing about that?

CUMMINGS: It didn't sound to me like it was - like he was going in there to injure anybody. I watched a little bit of the news this morning and my feeling was that maybe he was looking for some attention. You know, he ended up shooting himself, a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the basement. But with all those people in the mall, he obviously - he could have really done some damage in there and he didn't do that. He -- I believe he shot some surveillance cameras and then retreated to the basement.

BOLDUAN: Which makes you wonder, clearly a strange coincidence in timing, in two very different situations. But coming at it from the angle of law enforcement, is this something that police are becoming more and more concerned about, these lone gunmen in a very open, public area? Is this a pattern or a trend that you - that law enforcement are talking about?

CUMMINGS: Well, in our area, in our county, down -- we're in the southern part of New Jersey. We train on a regular basis for active shooting, whether it's schools, you know, malls, department stores. You have to. You have to train for it because, you know, when we went to school as young children, we had fire drills. And basically the fire drill would ring and you'd run out of the school and stand outside until they told you to come back in.

Now you're training for active shooters. You know, you're training for someone to come into your school and actually, you know, hurt someone. So, you know, you have to train the actual children, you have to train the teachers, you have to train the employees at their stores. They have to know what to do if this happens.

And I saw in the mall shooting that was kind of interesting is, you know how the cages close down and close the stores? I think that's really great. Once there's an announcement that there's a shooter in there, they can, you know, cage off each individual store. And I think that that was a great thing. Then, obviously, you have to get the people out of the mall as soon as possible.

BOLDUAN: Something seemed to work in that situation.


BOLDUAN: Thank you for what you did, you do every day, and thank you for what you did here -

CUMMINGS: You're welcome. Thank -

BOLDUAN: Trying to stop a shooter from -- before he could start that rampage. Thank you.

CUMMINGS: Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Thank you very much, chief.

CUMMINGS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: All right, Chris, we'll send it over to you.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, more problems for Obamacare. For weeks the story has been about the website, right? Well now we're hearing about an internal memo obtained by CNN that could be even worse.

And an emotional reunion between a mother and her baby just days after she's brutally attacked. Miraculously, both mom and baby are OK. She's speaking out for the first time from her hospital bed. We will bring you her story.


Let's talk about Obamacare, shall we, and these stunning, internal, war room document obtained by CNN. It details the administration's own worries that the health care marketplace touted for months would leave many Americans unhappy. CNN's Joe Johns is in Washington. He has more.

Joe, what do we know?


The latest document to surface is a sign that the administration can see more serious problems down the road with Obamacare than simply fixing the website and revising the president's promises to voter that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States.

JOHNS (voice-over): Outwardly, the administration is confident and optimistic when it comes to Obamacare's promise of more choice and lower-priced health insurance.


JOHNS: The president made the case for that in a Rose Garden event at the White House.

OBAMA: What we've done is essentially created competition where there wasn't competition before. And as a result of this choice and this competition, prices have come down.

JOHNS: But, privately, there is concern. A stunning internal war room document created last week submitted to Republican investigators and obtained by CNN details worries that when the website is up and running, there might be sticker shock and anger because "the media attention will follow individuals to plan selection and their ultimate choices; and in some cases there will be fewer options than would be desired to promote consumer choice and an ideal shopping experience. Additionally, in some cases, there will be relatively high cost plans."

Meanwhile, the White House was once again on defense Monday after other war room notes suggested the administration's request to consumers to call in to register for Obamacare wasn't really a way of bypassing the glitchy website. Why? Because the call centers and the website use the same computer system.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The point of the call-in centers was to reduce the frustration that individuals were having. That's what he said. That's what we were doing. That's what we're doing. In the meantime, we're, you know, busting rocks every day to fix the website.


JOHNS: These notes apparently come from meetings of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. The administration still has not released official data on how many people have actually enrolled in Obamacare. A set of notes from October 11th suggest that at that time phone operators were receiving approximately 30,000 requests for paper applications each day.


BOLDUAN: All right, Joe, I'll take it. Thank you so much for that.

Now in today's "Human Factor," Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to a man who turned his diagnosis into an opportunity with a line of clothing for those with limited mobility.


DON HORTON, SUFFERING FROM PARKINSON'S DISEASE: Right there. Good job right there.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For more than three decades now, Don Horton's life has been mostly football.

HORTON: One, two, three -- (inaudible). All very rewarding experience.

GUPTA: Then in 2006, Don became one of the 60,000 Americans diagnosed every year with Parkinson's disease. Perhaps the worst day came in 2009. That's when Don found himself unable to button his own shirt.

Russell Wilson, who is now a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks, helped Don with his buttons so their team could get back on the road.

D. HORTON: It's a humbling experience to be helped. You know you have to do something. You can see it there. You've done it before. It seems so easy for everybody else to do.

MOIRA HORTON, DON HORTON'S WIFE: There were so many challenges he was going through that I couldn't help with but this was one change I thought I could do.

GUPTA: Calling on her own experience as a children's clothing designer, Don's wife, Moira, got to work, creating a line of magnetic clothing free of buttons and zippers that would help her husband and others regain their independence.

M. HORTON: So it's as simple as lining it up.

D. HORTON: So brought it at the beginning -- (inaudible) but as it grew, the e-mails that she got were incredible, helping so many people across the nation.

GUPTA: The magna-ready magnets are strong enough to keep the shirts closed but not so strong that the shirts are difficult to open. M. HORTON: And you're dressed.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

M. HORTON: It's pretty cool, I have to say.


CUOMO: I love this.

BOLDUAN: Simple, I know.

CUOMO: That's a great idea.

BOLDUAN: Simple, but a huge, huge help. I love it.

CUOMO: I love it for me. I could get dressed so much faster. Good for her. That's a great story.

Coming up on NEW DAY, what do we have?

BOLDUAN: We've got a baby -- a mother and her baby reunited after a brutal attack when she was just nine -- when she was nine months pregnant. That story when we come back.


BOLDUAN: A true bundle of joy for a Texas woman, getting to hold her baby for the first time since a brutal attack while she was nine months pregnant. It's an amazing story. CNN's Miguel Marquez is following all the developments for us. Hi Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How are you there? Incredible story.


MARQUEZ: This is a woman who -- she was stabbed in the eye, she suffered a collapsed lung. But all that outdone by the fact that her husband watched all of this happen on FaceTime.


MARQUEZ (voice over): A tearful reunion.


MARQUEZ: For the first time, 31-year-old Rachel Poole cradles her healthy baby girl, Isabella -- a miracle in the wake of a nightmare. Mother and daughter both recovering at an El Paso hospital after Poole was stabbed multiple times in the face and stomach just two days before giving birth. The savage attack unfolded last Wednesday while Poole was FaceTiming with her husband, Justin, an Army Private deployed thousands of miles away in southwest Asia.

Police say Poole was on the phone when she was confronted by an intruder who had been inside her home. She immediately recognized the suspect, 19-year-old Cory Bernard Moss, who was waiting for her, knife in hand.

According to police, Poole repeatedly screamed his name to her husband over the phone as he stabbed her several times. The suspect then fled the scene. Her husband then frantically took to Facebook pleading with friends for help. "If you are seeing this message, find out what f-ing hospital my wife is in and tell me the f-ing whereabouts of Corey Moss. He f-ing went into my house while I'm deployed and stabbed her."

She managed to dial 911 and was transferred to the hospital where she delivered her baby two days later.

JUSTIN POOLE: Say hello, Isabella.

MARQUEZ: Her husband, Justin, now stateside.

RACHEL POOLE: 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 through everything she's doing just fine.

MARQUEZ: Investigators say the suspect's motive involved money that he owed to Poole for vehicle repairs. He's been charged with attempted murder his bond set at $60,000.

J. POOLE: She wants people of the world to continue to pray, leave messages on our Facebook pages and just everybody keep praying for our daughter to make a full recovery and praying for my wife to make a full recovery.


MARQUEZ: Now Rachel's husband Justin also said this to our affiliate KFOX "Once my wife was in the hospital, let the nation know she will speak up. she wants to be more than a number. I see her as a pillar of strength for her struggle to save not only her own life but my daughter's as well."

Tough woman, beautiful baby -- amazingly happy ending.

BOLDUAN: Thank goodness after everything she has been through and that family has been through that she's OK and that beautiful baby is OK.

MARQUEZ: Incredible.

BOLDUAN: Thanks Miguel. Thank you so much.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, a story of good stuff and bad stuff. Bad stuff, a nine-year-old gets his bike stolen again and again. The good stuff? What some high school students do to make up for it. It's much better. It's gooder. When we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CUOMO: Now before you leave the house there you go -- "The Good Stuff". Nine-year-old Atticus Seng from Fresno has a great name and a tough story. Atticus had his bike stolen, two bikes gone in the space of a month. And don't attack Atticus. He locked them up both times; thieves broke the locks. That's not the good stuff.

The good stuff is what the students at Fresno High did when they heard the news, on their own. They went classroom to classroom, raising money. And then they were through they had nearly $400 for a new bike.



ATTICUS SENG, HAD BIKES STOLEN: I was like -- I was like very happy at first. I almost cried. I really did. And I was like, oh, my God, my bike's here. And I just didn't know what to do, because I -- I was very excited.


CUOMO: Thank you for the emotive aids. And there's more. Atticus and his family have decided to pay it forward. Matching the price of the bike, giving it to a charity that helps buy bikes and locks for those less fortunate. For Atticus, it is no longer about the bike. It's about what really matters.


SENG: That's why I'm nice to people because I know how it feels so that's why I'm nice to other people.


PEREIRA: Those high schoolers, amazing what they set in motion.

CUOMO: Right. Right and then they're paying it forward.

PEREIRA: Very cool.

BOLDUAN: I love it.

CUOMO: Atticus Seng, you need say no more.

BOLDUAN: Exactly -- big name, big heart. We love you.

All right. That is unfortunately it for us today. Time for "NEWSROOM" with Carol Costello. Carol Costello -- I love you so much, I can't even say your name.

PEREIRA: Hey Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I love that about you, Kate Bolduan. Thanks so much. Have a great day. "NEWSROOM" starts right now.

Good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.

While you were sleeping, a dramatic and grim end to a shooting spree at a New Jersey mall. It began with an explosion of gunfire late last night as the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall was closing.


JOHNNY JIMINEZ, WITNESS: There were booms, and then another boom and then another last boom right after the second one. And then glass -- glass everywhere.


COSTELLO: Glass but no casualties despite a thick crowd of shoppers and mall employees.