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Four Dead, 16 Wounded in Fort Hood Shooting; Mystery of Flight 370; Deadly Fort Hood Shooting

Aired April 3, 2014 - 06:30   ET




We're following the latest on the deadly shooting at Fort Hood. Four people dead including the shooter, 16 others wounded, after the second massacre at the Texas Army base in less than five years. The gunman, as I've said, shot himself in the head when confronted by military police.

He and his family had just arrived a couple of months earlier in Fort Hood, basically in February. He spent four months in Iraq in 2011. The army confirms he was being evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress disorder, what we now know as PTSD. But we don't know why he pulled the trigger and if the mental illness is what played into that.

Let's bring in retired senior FBI profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole.

Mary Ellen, thank you very much for joining us.


CUOMO: How does this situation size up to you from what we know so far?

O'TOOLE: Well, again, the facts are still coming out in this investigation, but you have risk factors here that we've seen in other cases. But they're risk factors. They're not the ones that determine violence.

So, you have the mental health history, but you also have what I thought was very interesting, that he had some behavioral issues as well.

Most of these cases, they are almost certainly males and they're males within a certain age range, like twenties and to the mid-30s.

So, as they begin to pull back this individual and his background, what they'll do is begin to look for warning behaviors that would have occurred prior to the shooting. Once we see the warning behaviors and which ones they are, we'll get a much better idea of how he planned it and what his intentions were.

CUOMO: Right now, it doesn't look like, from what we understand so far, that this is a military story necessarily. What happened in 2009 obviously had a lot to do with the shooter's feelings about the military and about the U.S. Many would argue it was a terrorist act, even though he was self radicalized.

This seems to be very different. So it's not so much about the military but the man himself. And when looking at the man himself, you make a distinction between behavioral and mental health related, and that's because you're concerned people stigmatized people all mentally -- people dealing with mental illness as being violent? Is that it?

O'TOOLE: I'm really concerned about that, because that really is the case. That's what we're faced with. For those of us that do try assessments, when we see someone that does have mental health issues, we know that those are a risk factor, but we say over and over again, people that have debilitating or serious mental health issues are not at greater risk to commit violence, because the violence you saw yesterday similar to the violence five years ago at Fort Hood, predatory, cold-blooded, well thought out violence, which tell us as behavioral scientists, that this individual was thinking very strategically when they carried out that act, which is inconsistent with someone who's debilitated by a mental illness.

CUOMO: And, again, I want to distinguish 2009 from this shooting as historically as we can. I would argue that wasn't a mental health situation at all. That was an intentional act, that's why we received the death penalty. You know, there's no excuse of behavior on the basis of diminished capacity.

But again, looking at this situation, you then have the other side of the mental health analysis which is, well, was it being properly treated? And if it wasn't, did that then allow yet another unstable person to be in proximity of a weapon and be able to use it and hurt others like we see in so many other mass shootings. What about that side of it?

O'TOOLE: Absolutely. It could be another risk factor when you have a case like this. So, if there wasn't treatment or if the individual didn't like the treatment or the individual wanted them to say you do have post traumatic stress, you do have TBI or traumatic brain injury and they weren't going to go along with that, it could have agitated him and made him angry. But that whole component of his life, along with the other parts of his life could have been part of what elevated his risk level to act out like that.

CUOMO: Mary Ellen, one push back for you on the issue of the different -- the distinction between a risk factor and a red flag. This man is being treated for depression and anxiety, he says he has TBI, self-reported, going to the process of figuring (INAUDIBLE). He is allowed to keep a concealed carry permit that gives him access to the weapon that he uses to kill himself and other people and wound all these others. He's not allowed to have a gun on base, that's a strict rule at Fort Hood. Why is someone in that situation allowed to have a concealed carry permit?

O'TOOLE: I can't answer that. I don't know why they would give him a concealed permit. But, again, if I was looking at this case as a threat assessor, the first thing that would strike me is that he's an active member of the military. That gives a person a lot of credibility.

It gives the person issuing the permit a lot of confidence to say, if he weren't active duty, if he weren't in the military, maybe that would be a problem, but that's not the case here. So I think that will become known to us as this investigation unfolds. But frankly, I can see that happening without any question being made of it.

CUOMO: There's been no note, no manifesto. There's no manifesto. Do you think that this situation is going to come down to somebody who snapped and has his own personal motivations as opposed to agenda, or terrorism, or some larger plan?

O'TOOLE: Sure. Two answers to your question, this is not snapping behavior, which means they were fine yesterday and then decided to carry out this lethal act of suicide/homicide. It's well planned, thought out behavior.

But I do think it's likely it could be for a personal cause as opposed to something that would fall more in the terrorist arena. But, again, it's not snapping behavior and once they take a look at his computer, diaries and other things where he may have left some clues, they'll have a much better sense of his motivation. It could be multiple motivations as well, in fact, I would expect that.

CUOMO: Yes, that's what we're hearing as well. It means, Mary Ellen. And, of course, the idea of being soldier on soldier, a beef gone bad is fought by the reality that he shot so many people and not just that one person.

O'TOOLE: Right. Right.

CUOMO: So, we're going to have to piece together more. Thank you for keeping us honest in what matters and what doesn't, risk versus red flag is very important, especially when dealing with mental health. We don't want to continue the stigma.

Thank you for the perspective.

O'TOOLE: You're very welcome.

CUOMO: We're going to follow-up on this story as information comes in. A lot of other news as well.

For that, let's get to Christine Romans.


Breaking overnight, a strong aftershock measuring 7.6 hits Chile, come just a day after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck Chile's northern coast. That quake is blamed for least six deaths. Now, thousands of homes damaged, nearly a million people evacuated from low-lying coastal areas. No word on injuries or damage from the latest trembler.

A flight from Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing in New York's Kennedy Airport. Now, this flight was heading to nearby LaGuardia Airport when it had indications of a problem -- some sort of a problem with the hydraulic system. The hydraulic system controls the break.

The plane was diverted to JFK, landed safely, but rolled into a grassy area while taxiing. The flight's 118 passengers and five crew members are all OK.

The Pentagon says nearly 200 marines from Camp Lejeune are being deployed to Romania, part of an effort to beef America's military presence in the region -- a region with rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The foreign minister says an extension of U.S. warships in the black sea exceeds international agreements. Meantime, NASA has been forced to suspend contacts with Russia because of the Ukraine station. Now, the International Space Station however is exempt from that order.

We're expecting a pivotal vote today over the CIA's programs after the September 11 terror attack. The Senate Intelligence Committee's vote on declassifying part of a 6,000-page report that likely happen behind closed doors. Democrats expected to vote in favor of declassifying. Most Republicans expected to vote against.

The investigation reportedly found the CIA misled the government and the public about torture, in order to justify using it.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Christine, thanks so much.

We're going to take a short break here. Next up on NEW DAY, we're going to take a look at the high-tech hardware that is being used in the desperate, ongoing search for Flight 370. A U.S. Navy pinger detector may be the best hope. But time is certainly running out on the battery life inside that pinger.

Plus, more on the deadly Fort Hood shooting that left four dead, 16 wounded. This is triggering memories of what happened there, at Fort Hood back in 2009. We're going to speak to a soldier who survived that attack.


CUOMO: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

The search for Flight 370 is a race against time with the battery life on the black box pinger inching closer to zero. Now, the Australian ship, the Ocean Shield, and British submarine HMS Tireless have the advanced technology to track it, but only to a point. At least we now know the ocean shield is on scene, and that's good.

And here to walk us through on our giant map is former adviser to the U.K. ministry of defense, lieutenant colonel in the British military, Mr. Michael Kay.

Michael, thank you for being here.


CUOMO: So, the good news is Ocean Shield on the scene bringing the equipment we need, this U.S. high-tech pinger locator, showing the cooperation of U.S. and Australia working together.

What can we expect now?

KAY: Yes, I mean, the Ocean Shield, as you rightly say, is pretty awesome. It's not the silver bullet and we shouldn't be putting all of our eggs in that basket.

Let's look at the some of the positives of the situation.

CUOMO: There's the Ocean Shield on the top.

KAY: Yes.

So, what this, we got the ping locator, which you said, but the constraints of the ping locator are five miles an hour in a search area of 130,000 square miles. Chad Myers did some brilliant research. That will take you about 3,000 years from top to tail to actually square white (ph).

So, good, but not great. The positives are the search area shifted to 900 miles off the coast, which means it's closer. So, what we really need to be doing is getting the aircraft out there, the P-8, the P-3s, getting them out there, and their transit times now are half. So they're going to have more time in the loiter.

So the Ocean Shield is wonderful, but the chances of actually finding those black boxes, the odds are stacked against us.

CUOMO: Right, and you need -- not only does it move slowly, but it needs proximity, right, to the pinger. It doesn't hear it no matter where it is. It has to be within a few nautical miles as well in order to pick it up.

KAY: Right, 1 nautical mile. The "Ocean Shield" has wonderful radar, which is automatic. It basically tracks objects and works out the speed, and works if it's going to collide with it. But that's great if you're looking for ships or land masses. It's suboptimal if you are looking for aircraft debris.

CUOMO: Now is that where the submarine comes in? You have the pinger being dragged below it then you have the submarine. How the submarine work to help? KAY: This is what's called a hunter submarine, so it carries the tom hawk missiles. It's a little bit quicker than the "Ocean Shield." What this thing has, which is really specific to its capability is the passive and active sonar and they're really sensitive. This submarine is used to track other submarines. So it's sonar systems are super, super sensitive.

CUOMO: So it gives you more range because it's faster and better capability to find things because it's more sensitive with its detection technology.

KAY: Absolutely. It is listening for those pings. As we've already pointed out, we're down to the last few days of this now. We know from experts the battery life could last up to 40 days, but we are nudging on that final 10 days.

CUOMO: It could also be 20 days based on how they're stored, but that's also not fatal because you still find the black box as in Air France 447 even once the pinger locator stops. It's just much more difficult especially when you don't know where to search. Now one thing we hopped over that we should go back to because we like to test the information that comes out.

KAY: Yes.

CUOMO: The search area has moved. The good news is it's closer, but to some, the bad news is that it used. Is that refined calculations or were they wrong? How do we interpret that?

KAY: It's a great point. What they've done is, in the first initial search area, they've managed to track it all. This is a race against time. The commander in charge of the operation has got to make the difficult decision of saying, what I've done is pretty much covered this area, let's go move to the next area. They're trying to cover such a vast expanse of ocean that they have got to keep moving.

If you ask me, why are they not moving north a little bit? The loiter times will improve with this move, but why aren't they nudging north. This is all based on how far down the southern track would have gone based on speed, altitude, endurance, fuel. What we have to do is look at the exterior lengths and start moving north wards.

Why it's gone east wards? I'm assuming is because of currents and everything else. If it was me, I'd be asking the Indonesians to track down the northern part and then you can meet in the middle just so we're eliminating all possibilities as quick as we can.

CUOMO: Hopefully that intelligence is being incorporated into the investigations as well. It's one of the things we are just not hearing about. You know, Michael Kay, thank you very much. Appreciate the perspective -- Mich.

PEREIRA: Chris, Michael, thank you so much. Next up on NEW DAY, the deadly shooting Wednesday at Fort Hood is bringing back startling memories of the 2009 massacre on the ver (ph). Ahead we're going to speak to a soldier who survived that attack. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEREIRA: Welcome back. To our breaking news, an investigation underway this morning into the deadly shooting at Fort Hood. If it sounds like something from the past, it is very much reminiscent of a situation we saw there in 2009. We know that there are four dead including the gunman identified as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez. Sixteen others were wounded, some of them critically. It's the second soldier on soldier shooting at that very military base in less than five years.

As you recall in 2009, as I mentioned, Major Nidal Hasan opened fire there killing 13 people and wounding 32 others. We want to turn to a survivor of that massacre from 2009. He is Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler and he joins us from Snowmass, Colorado where we know it's very early in the morning.

First of all, Staff Sergeant, really a delight to see you. Thank you so much. I want to ask how you are doing because we know you were seriously wounded in 2009. How are you feeling? How are you doing?

STAFF SGT. PATRICK ZEIGLER, FORT HOOD SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Well, thanks, Michaela. I'm doing really well in my recovery. I'm feeling pretty tired right now. It's a little bit early, but, you know, yesterday was a really hard day of emotions and unfortunately, I also had to go to the hospital with my wife who was feeling sick because of the altitude.


ZEIGLER: Anyways. We -- we're having a really good time here in Colorado with the Disabled Veterans Ski Clinic and I went skiing for the last two days.

PEREIRA: Fantastic. A little R&R. Much needed. Well-deserved. I'm sure all the nice snow and the time with your lovely bride was interrupted by this news yesterday. And I want to ask you what it brought back for you. Unfortunately, it was too recently that you went through all of this yourself and survived that in 2009.

ZEIGLER: Right. Well, November 5th, 2009, was obviously a terrible day as was yesterday. And, you know, it brought back a lot of emotions, very difficult time for me to look at the file footage that they have with the police and everyone running around. That was so similar. It just -- it just tore at my heart strings because it's the same exact situation except for the fact that we don't know the motivations behind this shooting.

PEREIRA: You're right. We don't know the motivation. Were you surprised that there was another shooting at Fort Hood?

ZEIGLER: I was surprised and you know you can never tell when these things are going to happen and it's just really difficult whenever it happens to just all of a sudden deal with the emotions of, you know, and you just want to -- you just want to kind of turn your back on it but you can't. PEREIRA: No, you certainly can't. Does it feel like a different kind of betrayal or worse betrayal that it's a fellow soldier? That it happens on base where you're out of harm's way and safe?

ZEIGLER: Right. Well, it does have a different dynamic with another soldier killing his fellow comrades. That was the same situation on November 5th and just hard to believe that these people that you serve with who are your brothers in arms would turn against you. And it -- it actually has happened a lot overseas. It's just incredible that at home someone in the environment of a military base would decide to do this.

PEREIRA: After the Navy Yard shooting in 2013, after the 2009 situation at Fort Hood, some changes were made. Security measures implemented, what more would you like to see change at the bases to protect our personnel?

ZEIGLER: Well, honestly, I have a few ideas about that, Michaela. The thing is that the chain of commands and the security procedures and all of that are never going to be enough to stop someone like this because if someone's determined to commit a crime like this, they're probably going to find a way to do it. It's more the responsibility of the people around him or her day in and day out to monitor their fellow soldiers' mental condition and there are tail tale signs when this is going to happen.

It takes somebody brave enough to step up and report these people in order for it to be prevented. To me, that's the biggest thing that needs to come out of this is just awareness and putting political correctness aside and just being able to, you know, be brave enough to step up and say something before something like this happens.

PEREIRA: Staff Sergeant, it could save lives. Want to thank you. We know this is one of your first times on national television. Thank you for speaking out so passionately. We want to wish you continued success in your recovery and in spending quality time out there with the folks from the wounded veterans. Thank you so much for joining us today.

ZEIGLER: Yes, Ma'am. Thank you.

CUOMO: Good morning. We do have breaking news. Welcome to our viewers from across the U.S. and the world to NEW DAY. It's Thursday, April 3rd, 7:00 now in the east. Kate Bolduan is out sick. Michaela and Christine are with me. We have to tell you that America's largest military base is reeling from yet another deadly incident of soldier- on-soldier violence.

The second shooting massacre at Fort Hood in just five years. Four service members are dead including the gunman. Sixteen others wounded, three critically. The army confirms the shooter, an Iraq veteran, who was suffering from mental illness. Why he did this still unknown.

George Howell is live at Fort Hood with the latest -- George. GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning. We know that this happened, the shooting spree happened in several different locations. First of all, it was between two buildings. The medical building and the transportation building here on base. We know that Lopez went to the first building and allegedly opened fire. Then got into his vehicle, fired shots from the vehicle. Then went into the second building, fired shots.

We know that at least 16 people were injured. They are in various states of conditions at hospitals here in this area. We know that three people were killed in this situation. That number not including Lopez. Again from what we understand, Lopez used that weapon, that .45-caliber Smith and Wesson, a semi-automatic handgun to shoot himself when he was confronted by a military officer.

Keep in mind, the trauma of this situation, Fort Hood, Texas, back in 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, shooting where 13 people were killed and injured dozens of people as well. This community had to go through it again yesterday. The base was put on lockdown. People were told to shelter in place as Fort Hood went through the trauma of yet another mass shooting.

PEREIRA: Yet another as you said they barely had time to recover from that in 2009. George Howell, thank you so much. So the question is what do we know about army Specialist Ivan Lopez, the shooter?

We've learned he may have been battling post-traumatic stress disorder, and that he and his family just arrived in February at Fort Hood in February transferring from another base. Neighbors say they were with Lopez's wife when she found out that her husband was the shooter. Take a listen.