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Pregnant Woman To Be Disconnected from Life Support; Hillary Clinton Looking More Like a Presidential Candidate; A Beatles Reunion, Beyonce, Jay-Z Expected At Grammys.

Aired January 25, 2014 - 17:00   ET


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Miguel Marquez.

It's our breaking news on CNN this hour, a man with a shotgun walked into a shopping mall in Maryland and opened fire. This is Columbia, Maryland. Three people are dead. One of them is the shooter. Police say it looks like he killed himself.

CNN's Erin McPike is just outside the mall where we just heard from the Howard County police and Howard County executives a short time ago.

Erin, they said the mall is completely clear and the investigation is on. What do we know about the investigation?

MCPIKE: Well, Miguel, it's being looked at by a variety of levels, Howard County police and also some federal investigators. What we don't yet know is when the mall will reopen.

But I want to actually go now to Lauren Stapleton (ph). She is 18 years old. She has worked here at this mall for a week. And she was a witness.

So, Lauren, can you tell us what you saw today?

LAUREN STAPLETON, MALL WORKER: When I was down stairs at McDonald's getting something for my boss, I turned around and I heard something that sounded like somebody dropping something off the top ledge. And it just continued.

And I heard something say, shots fired, get down. So, I grabbed a child and told the mom, come with me. We're leaving. You can't be here.

So I got her into Sears. I alerted everybody in Sears and told them, there's a gunman in the stores. Get out now.

I then ran all of the way upstairs and then went to my job and grabbed whatever I could and went back with the kid and took care of them while we barricaded the door so nobody could get.

MCPIKE: So, how did everyone respond to you when you said that? Did they believe you? L. STAPLETON: They did because the shots continued. It didn't stop. I don't know when they stopped. I don't know how many were done. It sounded like more than ten shots.

MCPIKE: So, have you ever experienced anything close to it? Can you tell us what it was like for you, especially, since you're so young and you just started?

L. STAPLETON: I've never been in this situation. I just started running and my asthma kicked up. I didn't know what to do except for run and try to get to safety where I could.

MCPIKE: And when did you get out of the mall? How long did it take and when -- this is your mother, robin. When were you able to talk to her?

L. STAPLETON: As soon as I tried to call 911 they didn't pick up so I called her and said, mom, there's a shooting, I'm OK. Don't come here. And it was at least an hour and a half before we could get out. We were in the back stairwell freezing, huddling with children.

MCPIKE: And you're still here. You probably want to go home.

L. STAPLETON: I've been home. I've already went home. Got warm. Got food in my belly finally. And now I'm back up here. It's freezing.

MCPIKE: Are you back up here to collect things? Were you able to goat everything you needed out of the store?

L. STAPLETON: They won't let us go back in to get anything. A S.W.A.T. guy came in, pounded down the door, told us to leave. Put our hands up and go outside. We are not allowed to go back in at all.

MCPIKE: What have they told you about when you can finally do that?

L. STAPLETON: They haven't said anything. We are still waiting from the detectives to let me know when I can get my stuff or when I can return back to work. And they are not saying anything.

MCPIKE: How do you feel about going back to work after what happened?

L. STAPLETON: I'm terrified. After what I seen today, I don't want to experience it again. I have lived here my entire life. I've been in this mall numerous times. It's just something that I never want to experience again. I mean, I'll go back to work, but it will be hard.

MCPIKE: And what did you think when she called you and told you?

ROBIN STAPLETON, MOTHER OF THE SHOOTING MALL WITNESS: My heart stopped. I just took off and left the house. Grabbed my keys, grabbed my coat and ran out the door. I was sitting out in front of the auto center of Sears waiting, texting her back and forth, making sure she was OK.

The worst terrifying part of it was the last time I talked to her on the phone there was a loud noise and she screamed and the phone went dead. And I thought something else happened. And from my understanding that's when the S.W.A.T. team broke the door down to get them out. But it breaks your heart. Scares you. She's your baby. You don't want to lose her.

MCPIKE: Well, thank you both very much for talking to us. And I must say that you have both been very composed.

And Miguel, that's the other thing I would say having been here all day is that most people obviously were able to respond very quickly and shelter in place and people have been very composed here today -- Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Well, it sounds like that young woman did the one thing that she could do, which was find a safe place and stayed there until told to leave.

Erin McPike at the scene for us. Thank you very much.

We want to bring you up to date now on everything that has happened at the Columbia -- in Columbia, Maryland, at the Howard county mall. About 11:15 a.m., a gunman with a shotgun entered that mall and in a Zumiez store shot and killed two individuals, both in 20s, one male and one female and then turned a shotgun on himself. Police not saying exactly what the motive is at the moment and pushing back on some information that CNN has learned that this may, in fact, be a domestic situation.

I do want to bring in Lou Palumbo now, though, who is a retired police officer. And the police pushed back on that fairly hard. The county executive told our Erin McPike a few moments ago that both individuals worked at that Zumiez store. This may be a case of workplace violence.

LOU PALUMBO, RETIRED POLICE OFFICER: Exactly. I mean, what I think we're going to find out here are a couple of things. First, that the police know a lot more than they're prepared to disseminate to the media right now and that's responsible on their part. They need to manage this information as responsibly as they possibly can, especially in the light of the fact that they need to make notifications to families. That's number one. Number two, I think we're going to narrow this down. It will be a domestic or workplace violence incident.

The interesting thing about if it turns out to be a domestic incident, if this had happened in a home, it might not even make the local news.


PALUMBO: And by virtue of the fact that it happened in a venue available to the public puts it on a whole different scale and scope and is scrutinized differently. So it's going to be interesting.

MARQUEZ: You typically in the news we don't report on suicides but when they happen publicly, this is the second -- there was this incident in the other mall here in New Jersey not too long ago as well. You've been in law enforcement for a few years. Why publicly? Are these things happening in a public way more often now or do we just feel that way?

PALUMBO: Well, I think you know, these incidents are no longer an anomaly, Miguel. I mean, happening far too frequently. And what we're seeing is that the incidents may not be the problem, but the symptom of a problem and that might just a degeneration of our culture or the psyche of young people in this country. If you look at the demographic that participate in these shootings on a consistent basis, they're all young people.

MARQUEZ: OK. We want to listen to one of the witnesses who was at the mall today. This person saw the shooter, heard the shots, shooting from one location in the mall to the other. Let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: This happened on the third floor?



JIMENEZ: Yes, no, it wasn't -- yes, it wasn't the first floor in the food court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: First floor of the food court.

JIMENEZ: Yes. We are on the second floor and we hear. We can see. We hear and see everybody is running. And that's all I can say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: First floor or third floor?

JIMENEZ: Third floor.


JIMENEZ: The guy shot him from the second floor but the electric steps.


MARQUEZ: Now, it sounds like that individual is saying that he was up on the third floor and witnessed the shooting from one floor to another with a shotgun. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me but perhaps you can clarify.

PALUMBO: He's really speaking to his visual vantage point that he may have mad. It doesn't necessarily lend itself to any of the elements that actually took place in the shooting itself. He's just really speaking to the vantage point he had.

MARQUEZ: And I take it as a police officer, a former police officer, you certainly know that first blush witness accounts of these things can be wildly off the mark. PALUMBO: Yes. You can interview ten people regarding one incident and get ten different accounts for what took place, oddly enough.

MARQUEZ: What is happening right now? Presumably police are trying to either identify or already know who the shooter is, who the victims are. What are they doing right now?

PALUMBO: well, they are conducting this investigation. I think first and foremost what they really want to do is know who he was and then what his relationship was with the two victims. I think that's critical to them right now because that's going to narrow down a lot of their, how would you say, avenues of investigation. It's going to make this a little more simplistic for them.

MARQUEZ: I want to indicate to our viewers and to you, Lou, that what we're looking at right now are live pictures, helicopter pictures from our affiliate WBAL in Baltimore of the mall itself looking down through a window in the mall into it. And you can see investigators inside that mall. I take it they have cleared the mall at this point, they say, but they are now beginning their investigation. How widespread will that investigation be? Will they hold individuals that may be witnesses in the mall or take them elsewhere? How does this work?

PALUMBO: Well, they'll take them out of the mall and take them into an environment where it's a little less, I would just say, volatile or stimulating for them. So they can get as clear as clear a representation of what took place as possible. But they're in collecting evidence, physical evidence. They are taking photographs. They're trying to recreate or get an idea of exactly what took place through the timeline of this shooting.

MARQUEZ: All right. Lou, stay right there. You won't miss a single detail from today's tragic shooting in Maryland. In just three minutes, we'll explore what could drive someone to do this and what, if anything, could stop them. That's right ahead on CNN.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MARQUEZ: We are still learning details from the Maryland shopping mall shooting today. A man with a shotgun killed two store employees and then turned the gun on himself while the mall was filled with hundreds if not thousands of people. We don't know yet the names of the victim or the shooter or how they are connected. At least five other people were hurt in the chaos that followed the shooting. Police have cleared and closed the mall saying they're confident the shooter was alone.

Today, is the sixth day in a row that public place or school was the scene of gun related emergency. Look at this. Every day this past week, every day, all over the country, police either responded to a school campus shooting or a lockdown on a campus. The week began with a student shot and wounded at the university in the Philadelphia area. A teacher's assistant was killed Tuesday and a student was gunned down outside a dormitory in South Carolina State University on Friday. Police have charged a 19-year-old student in that fatal shooting.

Now, investigators say Justin Bernard Singleton was arguing with a victim Friday when he pulled out a gun and shot him in the neck. The school's president described the victim Randy Robinson as a very nice, very young man. Robinson was a junior linebacker and the defensive end on the team, the football team.

These crimes leave all of us wondering what can be done. Is this the new normal in America, a nation where shootings are happening just every day and every event? Ones with we tolerate and crave but just seems never to help.

Joining me now is clinical defense attorney Holly Hughes and the clinical psychologist, Dr. Jeff Gardere.

Jeff, is there anything that can be done to stop these things?

DR. JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I think one of the most important things is to understand that mental health issues is, you know, are the problems of our time right now. And when we talk about mental health issues here, Miguel. We're not just talking about schizophrenia and someone going out and shooting 15 people because they don't know right from wrong.

What we're really talking about here is people the whole gamete, people who have rage issues, people who have their hands on guns and, yes, this is a gun issue also. But we also have to look at what is happening emotionally. Why is it that we don't have healthier outlets for people to be able to have their conflict resolution. People feel that they have to make some sort of a statement, that they have to when they hurt someone, it has to be in the presence of others, and a lot of it has to do with that rage.

And so, the real question becomes, why is it that we do have this kind of rage? Why is it that people are turning to murder and turning to mayhem instead of looking at legal ways to be able to solve some of these issues or vendettas that they may have. MARQUEZ: Yes, although we don't know exactly what led to this particular shooting.

Holly, gun laws always become an issue in these things. Is there any sort of legislation that can actually keep these things from happening?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, Miguel, there isn't because unfortunately it's not about the gun, it's about the person picking up the gun and using it in this deadly manner. And Dr. Jeff is right, we need to get to a point where we have given people a different option, a different outlet. But unfortunately, you can't legislate against future dangerousness. You can't say I suspect you might do something wrong, therefore I'm going to charge you with a crime. In our American judicial system, there is just no way to do that. So there's no law you can enact that is going to get inside of somebody's head and say if you're thinking about doing something, we can charge you with a crime. But there are public policy laws where if someone is thinking about doing it and expressing it, perhaps we can get public health people involved and stop this act from becoming a reality.

MARQUEZ: Dr. Gardere, the publicness (ph) of these things, the media doesn't typically cover murder/suicides, but when it happens in a mall that's a different dynamic. Why do we seem to see these things publicly more often?

GARDERE: Well, certainly we have cameras everywhere now. But I believe there is a statement, I don't know whether Lou would agree with me on this. And the statement is one of rage. It's also one where it's a suicide mission. When you go into a mall, you're letting everyone know that you have this vendetta, whether it's someone you know or it's a vendetta against society, you're going to take your anger out on that person. That person becomes a symbol of the society or whatever personal relationship that you may have.

But you know people are going to see you. You know that you're going to get caught. You know that either it's going to be suicide by cop or you're going to end up committing suicide yourself. So these are people when they do these things publicly, you better believe they know that near not coming back from it or that they are going to pay the consequences one way or another.

PALUMBO: If I may just say one thing. You know, what I find interesting about this is that I'm watching the culture generate and oddly enough. These, as I said earlier, these are no longer anomalies, these shootings. And it is becoming a critique of our country and the people who live here. And if you look at the demographic, that seems to be a consistent denominator to these events. It's somewhat narrow, you know, and to go back to the mental health issue, clearly that's -- we should be leading the charge in that area. It just very briefly brushed on this gun control issue. Maryland, just recently enacted some very strict legislation requiring -- regarding the acquisition of firearms, limiting magazine capacities, so on and so forth.

That's not going to fix the problem. They have to stop misleading the public as to what the problem is. I'm not thrilled about firearms in our culture. Anybody that says they are I think there's something wrong with you. But I do understand why people gravitate towards them. What I'm more concerned about is the psyche of our young people this culture, which we never experienced before.

MARQUEZ: All right. We're going to continue this conversation. Holly, hold on for one moment. We're going to continue this conversation with your answer in a moment.

We're going to be right back.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MARQUEZ: We have a little more information on that shooting, that deadly shooting in Columbia, Maryland. Police there, releasing the names of the two victims, both in their 20s. Dead are Brianna Benlolo of 21-years-old and Tyler Johnson, 25-years-old. He was from Elicit city. She was from Park, Maryland. Both of them working at that Zumiez store as well.

I want to go straight out to -- that's according to Howard county police. I want to go straight out to Holly who is a -- holly Hughes who is a criminal defense attorney.

Holly, you have defended or are defending murderers or people accuse of murder. Is there a different class of criminal out there? I don't think you think that gun laws are going to make a difference here.

HUGHES: Well, they're not going to make all the difference and this goes directly to Lou's point. If somebody wants to kill you, a gun law isn't going to stop them. They can pick up a knife and do it. They can make a bomb that they have learned how to build on the internet. So this is exactly what Dr. Jeff was talking about, the rage, the lack of respect for human life.

You know, and kids today do not have a realistic idea or respect for human life. They think, I'm just going to take a gun and wipe out somebody that's bothering me and let's look very specifically at this situation. This person, and we don't know if the shooter is male or female at this point. That hasn't been released. But this person went into the mall with hundreds, maybe thousands of people present, and only killed two people before killing themselves. They had a target. They had a rage. And unfortunately, they thought the way to resolve their problem with these two people was to take a gun in there. And a gun law isn't going to stop somebody like that. They're not looking to use the law to resolve their problems.

MARQUEZ: Lou, you put this in terms of the degeneration of society. But what prompts that? What is that from?

PALUMBO: I mean, I've watched the culturally through generations. I mean, I make no secret about how old I am. I'm in my early 60s. And I can tell you as a little boy, we didn't have this. Maybe the family unit has changed. I know the educational environment has shifted, you know. We don't have teachers, we don't have Deans of discipline, you know. We seem have less boundaries. But perhaps, more importantly, we have less outlets for these children when they do get in trouble.

GARDERE: And we do have a society breakdown. You know, a lot of people, I don't want to make this political because I am for gun restriction and gun laws. I think there are a lot of holes that need to be plugged up. I think people should to be given psychological tests before they get guns. But, it's not a gun issue. It's a multi- layered issue.

But I think the real problem here is that a society breaks down, we don't have a safety net for people. A lot of people didn't want us to have the affordable care act. Well, the affordable care act provides mental health insurance coverage for each and every single person. I mean, these are the things that we need in order to teach people conflict resolution, to deal with their anger and find better ways to be able to express whatever their issues are.

MARQUEZ: But has something changed in our culture and our society as Joe says?

GARDERE: I think we're so disconnected. There is a real culture shock in America right now. The fact is there are so many wonderful gifts through the technology and through the Internet, but we're also very disconnected. We don't speak to one another face to face anymore. Everything is through IT and, therefore, people who have issues, people who are isolated at home raising children, sending them to school, home-schooling, that I'm not saying is a bad thing, by the way, but we don't tend to know what's going on in homes and how they may be degenerating.

MARQUEZ: Holly, you defend people who have killed and you're defending a murderer now. Do you see, is there a difference with the way defendants are coming to you? Is there a difference in the way people are committing crimes today?

HUGHES: Well, with the particular folks that I defend, right now, there is a reason, there is a relationship, it is an isolated incident. I think what we're talking about in society as a whole. Yes, we do see people who are now going out and expressing this rage in public forums. Just like we talked about at the top of the program. In malls, in schools where they just go out and, for some reason, whether it's inability to cope or anger or rage or society, and they go out and do this in public and take out victims who are not related to them in any way. There is no particular relationship.

So yes, I absolutely think that society today, this didn't happen, it's just like we were talking about. This didn't happen 20, 30 years ago. You had a problem with a kid at school? You guys took it outside. You fist fight in the parking lot. The teachers pulled you apart. That's it. Now you've got 9, 10, 11 years old, when they think somebody has disrespected them, they go home and get a gun from their parents who may have legally obtained it and take it to school and knock out a bunch of people.

PALUMBO: We're also teaching our children this. And I'm not going to point the finger at Hollywood because I think Hollywood should be able to make whatever movies they want to make.

I think the issue becomes parenting. We should control and regulate what our children have access to. That's the first thing. The second thing is, you know, we're teaching them by giving them access to explicitly violent movies and video games. The resolution to their conflict. And that common denominator has become the firearm. So, we have to realize of the firearms of the problem, these incidents are not the problem, they are the symptoms of the problem and we need to start to address that.

MARQUEZ: Yes. It's an issue and a crisis that is not going to go away. Now, I'm afraid we are not going to solve it today.

Joe, Jeff, and Holly, thank you very much.

Much more ahead on today's mall shooting in Maryland.

But we want to get you up to speed on other news of the day including she's the 33-year-old who became the focus of an intense emotional debate about who is alive and who is dead. And how a pregnancy changes that equation. Now, a Texas judge has decided her fate but is it the end of the debate?

Holly and Jeff are back with us coming up in a few.


MARQUEZ: Now, police in Maryland have now revealed the names of the two people killed in the shopping mall incident there. They are Brianna Benlolo, 21 of College Park Maryland, and Tyler Johnson, 25 of Elicit City, Maryland. Both killed when a man opened fire with a shotgun. They do say the victims are a male and female, both in their 20s, of course. They both worked at this same stores Zumiez store in that mall. The shooter also dead. Apparently he killed himself. Police have not released the motive for the shooting yet.

For a Texas family, bittersweet victory in court. A judge has ruled Ft. Worth must disconnect a pregnant brain dead woman from life support. It's what her family has wanted all along.

CNN's Nick Valencia is outside John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth.

Nick, the hospital has until Monday afternoon to turn that ventilator off. Could there be more delays though?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There could be. They have until 5:00 p.m. on Monday to file an appeal. Two very crucial facts agreed upon by both sides yesterday. One is that since November 28th, Marlise Munoz has been legally brain dead. The other is that the fetus is not viable. The court records didn't expand on whether or not that lack of viability was because of the age of the fetus or abnormalities. All along, JPS Hospital maintained they've been following state law and they have done nothing wrong because there's no legal precedent for them to have gone off of. What's interesting to note, Miguel, is that one of the co-writers of that law, who is now a Southern Methodist University professor, he says the hospital, they got it all wrong.


TOM MAYOR, PROFESSOR, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: And so I don't see how we can use a provision of the law that talks about treating or not treating a patient in a case where we really don't have a patient. That's not a question of philosophical speculation. Dead is dead, in Texas and in all 50 states.


VALENCIA: It has been an agonizing weekend for the Munoz family, as well as for Erick Munoz, whose anguish was evident on his face in yesterday's court proceedings. He had to hear a lot of very graphic and gruesome details, and he himself bringing out some of the most graphic details saying his wife is, when he looks in her eyes, she's soulless, she's no longer there. Every time he touches her, her bones crack, and that he can smell the decaying organs coming from her flesh. And it's a very graphic situation for the family, and to have to relive these very painful details in the courtroom.

Erick Munoz isn't commenting to the media, but early, on he was talking to the local media and he was very upset. He doesn't understand why the hospital has, up until now, refused to take his wife off that ventilator. He says, in his words, "that the hospital is conducting a science experiment" -- Miguel?

MARQUEZ: Just horrific.

Nick Valencia in Ft. Worth for us. Thank you very much.

Now, lawyers for Marlise Munoz' family and those representing Ft. Worth's John Peter Smith Hospital squared off in court on Friday, making their case as to why the Texas mom should be kept on life support or be allowed to die.

Joining me now to discuss this is criminal defense attorney, Holly Hughes; and Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist and assistant professor at the medical school.

Holly, how likely is it that the hospital or the local D.A. there will appeal the decision?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: At this point, Miguel, I don't foresee them going any further because one of the most important things the hospital finally admitted in court on Friday was that the fetus itself is not viable. The law that they were relying on in Texas says you cannot withhold or withdraw life- saving support from a patient. And as the professor, who helped author that law, pointed out, there was no patient here. Even if the hospital were to argue that perhaps the fetus was the patient, by admitting that fetus is no longer viable and that could be from the oxygen deprivation that the mother experienced, they're basically conceding there is no one left to save. So I don't foresee them taking issue with this. I think they just need to let the family do what they need to do to start the healing process.

MARQUEZ: Jeff, I cannot imagine a more difficult situation for a family to be in. Can this family -- they must be waiting to see what happens before 5:00 p.m. But can they finally begin to say good-bye?

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think they can and I think they have said good-bye some time ago. But this is finally the vindication.

What we're looking at here is something called substituted judgment, where the husband said, listen, my wife and I, we're paramedics so we knew what it would be like if someone were on this life support. She didn't want that. And because I knew her better than anyone else, I know that she wouldn't want to live in this way. To the credit of the hospital, what they were trying to do, Miguel and Holly, is simply try to save the fetus. That is an ethical thing, which is the proper thing to do. But they found out that that fetus was not going to be normal. That information finally came out. So really, there was no other recourse but to just go ahead and pull the plug at this point.

MARQUEZ: Holly, there's been a lot of medical bills, clearly, with the treatment that she has received and the attempt to keep the fetus alive. Do you have any sense of whether the Munoz family will be getting a bill for all of that?

HUGHES: Well, I think, given the nature of this case and the high profile, even if the hospital does attempt to bill them, if the insurance has been exhausted and limits have been reached, there may be a lawsuit, because it was not the Munoz' family decision to keep that life support up and running. So I think they have a very strong argument that this decision was taken out of their hands and the hospital should be responsible for bearing those costs.

MARQUEZ: Jeff, the hospital was sort of in the middle of this, between the family and Texas law, and they were a public institution trying to do the best it can.


MARQUEZ: But what can it be like for the staff there to have to care for this woman and know all of this fear and frustration is surrounding this?

GARDERE: My guess, not knowing those individuals, but knowing that they are medical care providers and they believe in the sanctity of life, is that they were very torn about this. They knew that this woman was cortically dead, brain dead. There was no reason, no hope in keeping her alive. The only thing they wanted to do is make sure this fetus could stay alive and develop normally.

We've seen this happen before, but this started with people who were perhaps 18 weeks into the pregnancy. She was about 16 weeks into the pregnancy. Only half of the fetuses who have gone through this whole procedure where the mother has been cortically dead have come out normal. The other half have not. And then they found out, eventually some information was released that this child, if born, if born, would not be normal. The child would have had developmental, vast developmental disability. It's a tough situation for everyone involved. There are no bad guys here. It's just everyone suffers through something like this.

MARQUEZ: Heartbreaking to think of.

GARDERE: Absolutely.

MARQUEZ: Jeff, Holly, thank you very much for your help this afternoon.


MARQUEZ: American pride on display but not outside Olympic venues. Up next, why U.S. athletes have been told to keep their uniforms out of sight when they're not competing at next month's games.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MARQUEZ: Now, police in Maryland have just revealed the names of the two people killed in today's mall shooting in Maryland. According to Howard County police, Brianna Benlolo, age 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25 years old, were gunned down by a man with a shotgun inside the mall store where they worked. The shooter is also dead, apparently killing himself. Police don't yet know the motive.

24 people are still unaccounted for after a fire ripped through an apartment complex for the elderly in Quebec, Canada. At least eight people were killed in the fire Thursday morning. Freezing temperatures have made the search for victims difficult since water used to put out the flames turned into ice covering the three-story building. 52 people lived in the complex. Investigators are looking into weather a lit cigarette could have caused that blaze.

A new safety warning for U.S. athletes competing in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Russia. They're being advised not to wear their Olympic uniforms outside of Olympic event venues. This comes after word that Russian security agents are searching for a wanted terrorist suspect -- terror suspect who is believed to be in area where the games will be held. A State Department official tells CNN there's been an uptick in threat reporting to the lead up to the Olympics, which starts in two weeks.

Ukraine's opposition is saying no to an offer to end the protests that are tearing the capital, Kiev, apart.




MARQUEZ: Hundreds of protesters are camped out in the capitol's Independence Square, so-called, while riot police stand by waiting. The president's offer would have included government positions for some in the opposition but one opposition leader says he didn't trust a word the president said. Talks to end the protests are still ongoing.

The nation's largest craft store chain may be the latest big name retailer hit by a security breach. Michael's today revealed it recently learned of what it called "possible fraudulent activity" on some of its customers' payment cards. The chain's CEO says the company has not confirmed a breach but wanted to go ahead and alert its customers anyway. The company has not revealed how many customers may be affected or when those customers shopped at Michael's. Michael's operates more than 1100 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

A school teacher in California has been arrested for allegedly feeding her co-workers food laced with pot. Police arrested the elementary teacher yesterday after a six-week investigation. The 47-year-old woman is accused of bringing food with marijuana to a potluck dinner. Two victims were hospitalized after the event and others complained of feeling under the influence. The teacher allegedly confessed to what she had done to several people who were at the dinner. Now let me show you something. Yep. Freaky. That's the cover of "The New York Times" magazine titled "Planet Hillary," or as the "Time" magazine puts it, her disembodied head fashioned into a weirdly fleshy planet. The Internet, no surprise, has lost its collective mind over it and people have plenty to say. You know who else has lots to say? These guys. CNN political commentators, Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson. They'll weigh in on Hillaryplanetgate, coming right up.

Hi, guys.


MARQUEZ: Now police in Maryland have just revealed the names of the two people killed today in the mall shooting there in Maryland. According to Howard County police, Brianna Benlolo, age 21, and Tyler Johnson, age 25, were gunned down by a man with a shotgun inside the mall store where they both worked. The shooter is also dead. Apparently, killing himself. Five others were injured, not necessarily all of them by gunfire. They have all now been released from local hospitals. Police don't know yet the gunman's motive.

Hillary Clinton, she's not running for president just yet, but she sure seems like a candidate. A huge political action committee plans to raise millions on her behalf, and President Obama's last campaign manager will be in charge of it.

Marc Lamont Hill and Ben Ferguson are here, CNN political commentators.

The money is starting to line up behind Hillary Clinton as former Obama lieutenants and in this week's "New York Times" magazine published this, that fleshy, weirdly, weird planet thing on the Hillary cover.



MARQUEZ: The point, of course, is that she has gravity, a galaxy of support orbiting around her.

Marc, the covers has been creepy but the message is clear. Is the nomination hers for the taking?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That is a generous interpretation of that really creepy, weird cover.


Yes, the nomination is hers now. The nomination is hers for the taking though. Again, we learned from 2008 that you can never count your chickens before they are fully hatched. Barack Obama came out of nowhere and surprised everyone but there doesn't seem to be someone as a potential dark horse for Hillary Clinton. Some people will throw out names like warren but that's unlikely. Joe Biden is probably the greatest opposition that she faces. But it's hard to imagine Joe Biden beating her in a head-to-head race. It will be interesting to see how President Obama positions himself in relation to those two.

MARQUEZ: Yeah. Well, Ben, good question for you. It kind of seems that Obama is at least been supporting her because the whole machine that supported him now seems to be lining up behind her.


MARQUEZ: The magazine cover may be creepy, pick your adjective, but it's not meant to be, correct?

FERGUSON: But, no, and trust me, Joe Biden would love to be talked about today as being the creepy guy on the cover of "The New York Times" magazine.


Trust me, he would be more than happy if we were talking about his creepy cover today.

MARQUEZ: Good point.

FERGUSON: If you read the article, it was a glowing review, almost as if it was written by a press secretary on behalf of his own candidate in this article about Hillary Clinton.

Yes, she is the presumptive nominee in theory but, remember, she was in this exact same place when there was a guy named Barack Obama, kind of charismatic, he made some waves and then all of a sudden what happened? I mean, she lost it to him. So I'm not surprised at all that Barack Obama supporters are going to go ahead and pick her early on. One, because she can campaign a lot sooner than Joe Biden can. And, two, Joe Biden's a guy that everyone always thinks is an underachiever, and somehow he always surprises people. So I think it's too early to count him out because he likes being this guy that people kind of mess with and rip on and make fun of.

HILL: Oh, Ben.

FERGUSON: And then he can come back in. I mean, he's the vice president of the United States of America.

HILL: Listen, everybody watching at home, I want you to see what Ben Ferguson just did to you. Ben Ferguson is trying to do a Jedi mind trick to make you think that Joe Biden --


-- so you'll vote for Joe Biden can be a crash dummy, a test dummy for the Republicans runs in 2016. He's praying that Joe Biden is the nominee.

MARQUEZ: Joe, Planet Joe Biden. Now, everything --

(CROSSTALK) MARQUEZ: Everything, of course, as --


MARQUEZ: I want to show you guys -- go ahead. Go ahead.

FERGUSON: No, I was just going to say, Joe Biden is the vice president of the United States of America. And I think Marc and I would both agree on the same thing. Who would have ever thought that Joe Biden would be vice president? So for him to take a step --


HILL: I did!


FERGUSON: -- at this point? I wouldn't be shocked by it at all.

HILL: Ben, Ben, in a perfect world, who would Republicans put up against Hillary?


FERGUSON: I mean, I think pretty much any of the top people, whether it be Marco Rubio, whether it be Chris Christie, whether it be even a guy like Huckabee coming back, have got a very legitimate --



HILL: Did you say Mike Huckabee?

FERGUSON: Hold on. She doesn't have that X factor that Barack Obama had. I mean, she is that Barack Obama didn't have to transcend and Hillary is a Democrat that people cannot stand her, so I think any one of --


HILL: Oh, I love it. I love you Ben.

FERGUSON: -- will do well against her.

HILL: Ben says that a polarizing candidate can't win and then he throws out names like Chris Christie and Ted Cruz, who had a Dr. Seuss filibuster, and that is absurd.

FERGUSON: I didn't say Ted Cruz.


HILL: And certainly Chris Christie is polarizing. You have to concede that point. And to say that Mike Huckabee in 2016? You might as well throw out Alan Keys, because you are talking about people who have no shot of being president. You could runner better.

MARQUEZ: And, Marc, a tough one for you. Very quickly, very quickly, who is the biggest concern on the left, Biden or somebody like Elizabeth Warren?

HILL: Well, Warren is a threat, but she can't run. She can't beat Hillary. Biden is the guy to look for.

MARQUEZ: All right, gentlemen, I'll leave it there for now.

Thank you very much.

And this week, President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address. CNN coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern time.

A Beatles reunion and a possible duet from the music industry's power couple. That's just two of the amazing performances expected at the Grammy Awards tomorrow night. Coming up, two industry insiders will give us a sneak peek on what to expect.


MARQUEZ: Tomorrow night is the biggest night of the year in the music industry and, of course, I'm talking about the Grammys. And some of the year's most successful entertainers, McLemore and Robin Thicke, but there are some last-minute additions to the lineup that have everybody buzzing. Jay-Z and Beyonce will be performing together and what we not sure what yet. And on Friday, Madonna was also added to the list of presenters, though we are not sure who she will be performing with.

I want to bring in "Rolling Stone" contributor, Anthony DeCurtis; and Spotify music expert, Shannon Cook.

Shannon, lots of talk about the opening program and tuning early. Why?

SHANNON COOK, SPOTIFY MUSIC EXPERT: Tuning in early, why? Well, the rumor is that there is going to be an incredible opening act. We don't know who it is.


I wish I could tell you but it sounds like --



COOK: It is going to be crazy. That is the way it is going to be described. And I believe it is going to be related to Beyonce and Jay-Z.

MARQUEZ: What do you believe they will sing?

COOK: I have no idea.


MARQUEZ: Get on the phone with Jay-Z and get it for us, please. Hello.

COOK: I mean, I am sending him an e-mail as I speak. But the performances are being talked up with the Grammys and the Grammys is known for odd pairings in the performances.


COOK: And this year, one of the oddest pairings would be Metallica performing with a classical pianist.

MARQUEZ: Very interesting.

COOK: Something you would have to see to understand how that's going to work out.

MARQUEZ: That sounds brilliant. I would tune in for that.

And, Anthony, any thoughts on the opening act and who is going to be the night's big winners?

DECURTIS: Well, the opening act is a mystery, but certainly Jay-Z and Beyonce is a fair guess. I think -- I mean, Jay-Z has not been taking part in the Grammys. There has been a boycott on his part. And indeed, even for all of the nominations this year, he did get shut out of the major categories. But he is going to be there with Beyonce and that is going to be something.

I think tonight, as Shannon pointed out, the performances are as important as winning or losing. I think McLemore and Ryan Lewis will have a good night. And Lauren will have a good night. And some of the newcomers will have a huge impact on the huge audience.

MARQUEZ: And, Shannon, speaking of Lauren, she had lots of love from the Grammy, but not best new artist. How is that possible?

COOK: Well, I don't know. A lot of people are scratching their heads over that one. But the category is a strange category. Often a musician in that category who has already released several albums, and how is this person, a new artist, but confused as to why Lauren was snubbed. But in that category, it is going to go to McLemore and Ryan Lewis.

MARQUEZ: Well, it is so popular.

COOK: And they were the "US" song of the year on Spotify last year.

MARQUEZ: Anthony, any thoughts on who wasn't nominated, should are have been nominated that probably shouldn't have been?

DECURTIS: Well, what is interesting is that the Grammys, not necessarily known for the strict moral standards, kind of slapped Miley Cyrus on the wrist. Her album came out late to be considered, but she did have two big hit singles, and she got no nominations, zero. And that was a way of the Grammy maintaining any of their gravitas.

MARQUEZ: Don't dis Miley.

DECURTIS: I have emerged as one of her great defenders, it turns out.

MARQUEZ: That's going to be trouble.

So Monday morning, Shannon, what is everybody going to be talking about? What's your prediction? What is the crazy bit?

COOK: Well, you mentioned that Madonna is going to make an appearance and we don't know if she is performing on her own or with somebody else. But you can't underestimate Madonna, because she would do something outrageous. Fingers crossed.

MARQUEZ: I did once underestimate Madonna, and got into big trouble.

COOK: I'm telling you.

MARQUEZ: Anthony, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr going to be there. There's been talk if they'll perform together. They must, must be on the same stage together, wouldn't you think?

DECURTIS: Well, you hope so. There is all of the talk of the Beatles, and coming up on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States, which was certainly a powerful event in my youth. And so I think that everybody is going to want to see that. And you know, whether they do it or not, we shall see.

MARQUEZ: We should also mention that you are also a Grammy winner. Going to be at Clive Davis' party. Tell us about that.

DECURTIS: I am. Yes, indeed. I won in the best album notes category and not like the rest of the group.


MARQUEZ: And I always read your notes, Anthony DeCurtis.


DECURTIS: Well, I have a small but devoted audience. Small but devoted.

MARQUEZ: Thank you.

Shannon, Anthony, thank you very much for joining us. We will be watching the show.

DECURTIS: My pleasure. Thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: Cheers.

All right. Coming up in a few moments, we will have more here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

As promised, hello, everyone. I'm Miguel Marquez. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.