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Shooting at George FedEx Facility; Deadly Tornadoes Tear Through South; Flight 370 Cockpit Recordings Released; NBA Commissioner Decides on Sterling Today

Aired April 29, 2014 - 08:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.


We do have breaking news coming into CNN right now. An active shooting underway in a FedEx facility in Kennesaw, Georgia. This is a live look at the scene right now.

Here's what we know: six people have been wounded, several taken to the hospital. Surgery is involved. Let's get reporting from the ground.

Rebekka Schramm is a reporter with our WGCL affiliate.

Rebekka, if you can hear us, tell us what you know.


We were the first crew on the scene and for a long time, we were right up next to all the action here in Kennesaw, Georgia. This is a suburb of Atlanta, and we were right there at the FedEx.

We've been pushed back for our own safety, because the shooter is not in custody. We have a number of law enforcement officers from all over Cobb County, Georgia who have descended upon this facility, and they are looking for this shooter. It is a very large facility. So, it could take some time for them to pinpoint exactly where he or she is inside this building.

But we know this -- there are six people, at least, who have been transported to a nearby hospital. Their injuries range from the walking wounded, meaning they have minor injuries, to people who are in surgery. So, this is a very serious situation here in Kennesaw, Georgia, just north of Atlanta.

We're trying to figure out who the shooter is. Is it someone who works for FedEx? Perhaps who was mad or angry at someone he or she works with? Or was this some sort of domestic dispute that spilled over into the workplace? We do not have those details yet. Law enforcement officers are concentrating first on capturing the shooter before they come to us and release this information.

So, we're going to continue to stay here on the ground, and try to sort out the details as best we can. Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: So, Rebekka, for now, let's stick to what we know. FedEx just put out a statement that they're aware of the situation our prime marry concern is for safety and well-being of our team members, first responders and other affected. FedEx is cooperating with authorities."

There were earlier reports about who the suspect may be. They have thought been confirmed. Let's stay away from them.

You say you were there first, Rebekka. We believe there are like 50 different vehicles on site. Were you able to see the order in which they came? That often can tell you something. Was it police first? Was it ambulance first? Fire and rescue first? What did you see?

SCHRAMM: You know, when we got here, there were already all of the above on the scene. As we said, this is a suburb of Atlanta. We were actually inside covering this weather system that was coming through here this morning.

So we had a lot to contend with, and as we made our way up here, hearing the signs of this workplace shooting, we saw all kinds of law enforcement vehicles here already on the scene. The mobile command center, as a matter of fact, was already here on the scene.

So, this is something they responded to very quickly here on the ground as they tried to locate this shooter. Now, we did see canine units, a number of dogs out sniffing the cars in the parking lot.

And at one point, we saw a FedEx employee, a person with, it was a man, and he on a FedEx shirt. He was in handcuffs at the back of an SUV, however, they released that person. Took the handcuffs off of him, and he walked back into the facility.

So, it looks like they're taking no chances as they try to figure out who this shooter is.

CUOMO: It's not unusual for the authorities to take people into immediate custody as they're trying to assess the situation. We don't want to draw too much conclusion from that.

We have also gotten word from a local hospital saying they took in six patients. No description of injuries, however, one is currently in surgery. So, we do know this has been serious enough for people to go to the hospital. We do know that it is a shooting. The suspect still at large, as you can see on your screen. A lot of different first responders were involved, whether they're National Guard, SWAT team, local police as well as medical officials.

Rebecca, have you heard any word from authorities as all about what they're saying beyond the FedEx statement that they're cooperating with authorities, but little is known?

SCHRAMM: No. All we can tell you is what we saw with our own eyes on the ground, and that was a number of law enforcement officers continuing to put on their bullet-proof vests and reaching into their trunks and grabbing their rifles.

So, as they moved into the facility, and continued to do so, we were trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

One thing we're noticing here on the ground is a number of FedEx employees who have been blocked from this area. They're not being allowed any closer either, and they're waiting desperately for word on who the injured people are. They're wondering if it's people they know. They're wondering who the shooter might have been.

So, this is a very tense situation. Many of them, the guys here, are friends with each other. So they're at least relieved to know that their close friends are not among the wounded. But yes, this has been quite a horrifying situation for many of these folks up in Kennesaw, Georgia.

CUOMO: Small measure of comfort in the fact that people who are injured did make it to the hospital, are being treated. One of them is in surgery. We're told it is an active crime scene. That's why you're seeing them prepare themselves to find out if there were one or more shooters and try to button up that situation. Early reports about the suspect having fled are unconfirmed. So, we'll keep monitoring it.

Rebekka Schramm, thank you for joining us, from WGCL. We'll get back to you. Let us know what you learn about the situation.

So, we'll stay on top of that. Unresolved and active down there in Kennesaw, Georgia.

KATE BOLDUAN: All right. We're also following other big news overnight. We want to get to.

Two days of terrifying tornadoes taking 29 lives in six states and the threat isn't over yet. Alabama and Mississippi sustaining the heaviest damage on Monday. Three people killed in Alabama. Dozens of buildings and homes flattened. In Mississippi, the death toll is up to eight at this point. At least 12 tornados, they believe, touched down in the state.

We're live in some of the hardest hit areas. Let's get to Chad Myers live in Tupelo, Mississippi.

Chad, what are you seeing now as first light comes up?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is first light, but something else has just happened. The fog has rolled in, which tells me that the humidity is still here, which tells me that Tupelo is not in the clear for today just yet.

Take a look at the tree line over there. A little earlier I could see those trees, hard to see them now. But if you notice the tops ripped off, they're not ripped off as severely as yesterday in Arkansas, which tells me the storm was probably 20 or 30 miles per hour less than yesterday, and so the humidity, the fog, is going to make this day certainly with more to come.



MYERS (voice-over): You could hear the power of this massive cloud churning just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi, on Monday. It's just one of a string of tornadoes that barreled through the Southeast with Tupelo hit hard. The threat forcing a local meteorologist to take cover mid-broadcast.




MYERS: The sheer force of the winds estimated at more than 100 miles an hour hoisted cars several feet off the ground, toppled power lines, and reduced homes to rubble. Residents struggle to pick up the pieces.


MYERS: Severe weather spawned more than a dozen tornadoes and left more than 30 dead across six states since Monday. In Louisville, Mississippi --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God. No, no, no, no, no.

MYERS: Another twister reportedly as large as a mile wide. Just look at this field littered with tossed cars.

And in Alabama, about 42,000 people are waking up without power, with the severe thunderstorms battered the state into the night. A tornado in Kimberly being blamed for ripping the roof and siding from this church.


MYERS: We'll be on the move again today, Kate, because there are more storms, about 100 miles to our east. Where we think they'll be severe again. It did rain all night in Atlanta. That could be some good news, keeping temperatures cool. It could also be bad news, putting a lot of potential humidity at the surface.

If you see sunshine today, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, you could be under the gun for more severe weather. That sunshine heats the atmosphere. The atmosphere rises and that creates all the problems, that bubbling air, just like a hot air balloon.

Let me show you what this gas station looks like from the other side. The mayor was here. Doing an interview, didn't want to interrupt with one of the local affiliates there. I didn't want to be in that car when this tornado hit this gas station. Not a pleasant sight.

More to come today, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We see it too often. Every time you see one of the images just how powerful these storms are, it is mind-blowing.

Chad, thank you very much.

Let's talk about what Chad was talking about himself. The threat continues today.

Meteorologist Indra Petersons is covering that -- Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, unfortunately, it includes more people than yesterday. Look how many are under the gun for severe weather. Seventy-three million of you have a potential for a slight risk. Remember a slight risk still mean as potential for a strong tornado. Major cities -- Detroit, Cleveland, Charlotte, Atlanta.

Then, you have places like Birmingham, that are still talking about a threat for a moderate risk, a heightened risk, Birmingham to just north of Mobile, Alabama. That 2.5 million of you today. Of course, as we go through the afternoon, typically we can see some of these advisories heighten.

What are we looking at right now? Tornado watch boxes including places like Albany. What are we monitoring through the afternoon again, that sunlight, if you get enough of the break in the cloud cover, that sunlight really fuels these thunderstorms.

Why are we still dealing with this? Look at this low. This is a low that's producing rain through the Northeast today but it has been parked here. It has not been moving. Meaning this system with a huge squall line behind it is also parked here. It is blocking the system from making a fast-moving progression.

So, with that still looking at thunderstorms into the Southeast today, in through tomorrow, same thing, D.C. back through Florida, still looking for that risk of severe weather. Not going anywhere anytime soon, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Indra, thank you for staying on top of that.

We're going now to the search for any sign of the search for Flight 370. For the first time, we're hearing those final cockpit recordings of the missing passengers families, also hearing the last words during a meeting with Malaysian officials. This is what it sounded like over that loud speaker. Take a listen.


TOWER: Malaysian 370 climb flight level three five zero.

PLANE: Flight level three five zero, Malaysian 370.

PLANE: Malaysian 370 maintaining level three five zero.

TOWER: Malaysian 370.

PLANE: Malaysian 370 maintaining level three five zero.

TOWER: Malaysian 370.

Malaysian 370 contact Ho Chi Minh 120 decimal 9, good night.

PLANE: Good night Malaysian 370.


CUOMO: Obviously, very difficult to hear, but we do know what was said. We're going to discuss what that might mean in terms of timing. There could be something significant there but also another potential we have to get some real answers on this morning. An Australian marine exploration company reports it may have found debris in the Bay of Bengal south of Bangladesh.

Let's go through this. Joining us now, CNN safety analyst and author of "Why Planes Crash," Mr. David Soucie, and CNN analyst and director of special projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, David Gallo.

Let's start with the transcript, David Soucie. We've know what said and known for some time. That's not new, however, the timing with what you hear and when the left turn was believed to be made, what are you now able to put together in terms of the atmosphere in the cockpit just nine minutes before this dramatic alteration of course? Does it mean they were off course already?

DAVID SOUCIE, CNN SAFETY ANALYST: You know, I'm not sure that I read that into it, Chris, but certainly that there's some questions raised here in my mind, and that is that they're so calm. There's nothing going on. It doesn't appear, in their voices.

Now, there is some analysis that can be done on their voices to see if there's any stress and that's forthcoming. But the fact from the time that they were that calm, to the time that had allegedly made this turn and gone back to the south was only nine minutes. So, that nine minutes, you'd think about, what would have to occur in that time?

Particularly if you think about what the radar is telling us about the altitudes. It went up in altitude, down in altitude. I don't put a lot of credibility in the altitude changes because it came from primary radar, not designed necessarily to give altitude readings but nonetheless, it's curious. So not really a lot to say about what it actually says or the recordings themselves, other than it's great that the Malaysians are sharing this with the families. I think that gives them a little bit more connectivity to the investigation, which is a good sign as well.

CUOMO: Information is always helpful when dealing in the overall realm of the unknown.

David Gallo, you banged it into my head, navigate, communicate, I believe forget it all. If you're in that cockpit, and you're under duress, you're going to hear it in their voices. You don't need a stress test analysis to tell you that, right?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Right. Positively, as David said, it sounded very calm, like this is the routine signoff.

CUOMO: All right. So, we're going to use this to piece together the timing, because again, how you are in the cockpit has to have a bearing on what's going to be done with the air plane only some minutes later. So, there's a piece in the puzzle. What it means, we don't know.

Another bit of information that comes out. GeoResonance is this company that comes out, in the exploration business. They use technology to find things. They say a month ago they undertook this search going on, and they released a report a month ago that they believe they know where something that should be the plane based on its composite of metals that they were looking for in the Bay of Bengal. Now, that's way north of where everybody else is looking.

David Gallo, have of heard of GeoResonance as a company?

GALLO: Never heard of the company, but I'm familiar with the technique, that they're looking at variations in the electromagnetic field and being able to detect what's disturbing that. So, disturbances from what it should be.

CUOMO: Real science?

GALLO: Yes, sure, real science.

CUOMO: They say using proven technology that's used in mining, they found submerged structures, ships, munitions?

GALLO: Positively.

CUOMO: This exists?

GALLO: Yes, that exists. Now, whether they have the resolution to pick up something like an aircraft are and some of the things I've read, that they've got all these different elements found on the seafloor, in the sediments, you know, I don't know. It depends on the background. You're looking at Bay of Bengal. The Ganges River, all deposited in that region. So, it's hard for me to understand what the background looks like.

CUOMO: They say they sent schematics which mean absolutely nothing to me. They look like sonogram as much as a baby as much as they look at the airplane. But they say they found it by looking for different metal composites starting with aluminum and going through different things that would be in an airplane, but not unique to an airplane, right? GALLO: Not unique to an airplane. That's just it. What's in the background and what troubles me a little about those images, that data, it looks like the shape of an airplane. That's asking an awful lot, unless the plane is in one piece.

This one right in particular, is the -- actually the shape of an airplane sitting on the bottom.

CUOMO: You see an airplane? That's not what I see in my Rorschach analysis.

GALLO: Now, I see an airplane.

CUOMO: Well, here's the bigger question. They say we're only going public because we want to help the families and didn't want publicity, we don't know for sure it's the plane but they should have been looking. We gave it to them when the batteries were still alive from the beacons so they could have found it.

But, David Soucie, the final word on this, if they are right, that means all of this ping stuff is wrong. Doesn't it have to mean that?

SOUCIE: That's right. Yes, it would have to mean that. And remember, that the pings, the Inmarsat data, every piece of evidence we have is subject to a confidence factor. That confidence factor, because of this, and I do find this credible, GeoResonance, I've used it before in a mining company I'm involved with, and they do work, and what's very credible to me is the fact they have reports before the accident and they have reports after the accident, and the fact that titanium has shown up is very different and it is, as David Gallo said, could be natural occurrences of that, but that is a metal very specific to that engine, to both of those Rolls-Royce engines.

So, to me, it's very credible and shakes the very bedrock of the assumptions and confidence factors in both the Inmarsat data, the pings, and the radar data up in Malaysia.

CUOMO: So, something you believe should be investigated. When you say "shakes the bedrock", do you believe this could be more reliable than the analysis done on the pings, done over all of those days and by all those experts?

SOUCIE: You know, I really don't. I have some confidence in the pings. I'm torn between this, Chris, because remember, we're talking about probabilities and confidence factors in each of these events. So, my confidence factor in the pings was extremely high, because I've seen no contradictory evidence or any other proof what could create those pings. So, my confidence factor was high in that, until this data.

And now that I have this data, that confidence factor has been split by about 50 percent. So, like I said, the bedrock of even my assumptions from before, are very much different, now that we have this, in my opinion, credible data.

CUOMO: Well, we're early on this. We're going to push to see if they are going to investigate these findings at all, and we will let you know as we find out.

But thank you for the background of the company on the company, David Soucie.

And thank you for helping us understand how this could be possible, David Gallo.


BOLDUAN: All right. We're going to take a break. Coming up next on NEW DAY, we're monitoring breaking news out of Georgia this morning where we have reports of an active shooting situation at a FedEx facility in the town of Kennesaw. We're going back to the scene for the very latest.

Also ahead, what will the NBA do to punish L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for alleged racist comments? What can they do, is the most important question. That's next.


CUOMO: Welcome back.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is set to hold a news conference about the racist comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Some sort of punishment is expected. The question is, will it be enough? Can it be enough, by the league rules as they stand today?

Let's get perspective.

Let's bring in Sean Gregory and Doug Eldridge to talk about this. Sean is a senior writer fro "TIME", covers sports. Doug is a sports agent and founder of DLE Sports Management Group.

Sean, let me start with you. What is the expectation of what Silver is going to do here out of the box?

SEAN GREGORY, TIME: I expect an indefinite suspension of Donald Sterling. It kind of forces Sterling's hand, the strongest possible penalty he can doll out right now. A monetary fine.

CUOMO: Meaning you can't run the company? You can't run it.

GREGORY: Yes. You can run it. You can own the asset. There's precedence a 2000 Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor suspended for circumventing the salary cap for about eight months. And it's happened in baseball, too, remember (INAUDIBLE) kicked George Steinbrenner out for a few years.

Yes, but you still own the asset, but you can't negotiate contracts, talk to reporters, do the day-to-day type things.

CUOMO: Right.

So, Doug, people are saying, kick him out. He shouldn't be able to own a team. Easy to say. Tough to do. True? DOUG ELDRIDGE, SPORTS AGENT: Very difficult to do. In many ways, it's almost a first impress, because if we talk about the stranglehold elements that would give them the ability to essentially strip a franchise, you're talking something along the lines of gambling or financial insolvency we saw with the Dodgers, which affectively created a forced sale of the asset, which is the team.

But outside one of those two narrow circumstances, it's very, very difficult. What we have to remember is that the suspension is not tantamount to a ban, and a ban certainly isn't tantamount to a forced sale. So, all of those people strumming the bass steel right now from a share legal standpoint saying, and make him sell the team, force his hand, that's much easier said than actually done.

CUOMO: Now, the question is, even if you could, if you could rally the owners and they all lean on him and say, you've got to get out, which you could argue they should have known more about him than anybody else over the years, is this warranted? Do you believe what he has said is enough, Sean Gregory, to get him to be forced to leave basketball?

GREGORY: I think it taints the brand. He's never going to be able to show up at an L.A. Clippers game again, and have a favorable reaction. So, yes. I think, you know, you can't force him out, but I think these comments, the NBA is 80 percent African-American. Sponsors are fleeing like crazy.

It's in the owner's best interests, the league best interests, should have Donald Sterling thrown out of there.

CUOMO: Do you agree with that?

ELDRIDGE: I think it's a great question and I take it one step further. There's a lot of focus on the domestic game of basketball, but in truth, one of the greatest accomplishments during the prior commissioner, Commissioner Stern's tenure, was the expansion on a global level. And here's what I mean, NBA is now broadcast in 46 languages over 216 countries around the world. In China alone, estimated revenue this year is going to be over $200 million, right?

So we're talking about bringing this into a foreign, non-English speaking and possibly non-Caucasian populous. So, the effect of this type of statement and the perceptions as we say in our agency, perception is reality, the potential perception associated with this statement if not corralled and dealt with could have a far more reaching impact than in the continental United States. We're talking about the global expansion of the game.

And when you have aggressive markets like South America, Asia and obviously the Hispanic market right here in the United States, the NBA not long ago released a statement indicating nearly 20 percent of the endemic NBA fan base is Hispanic. And when you look at markets like Miami, San Antonio and other markets, you're over 50 percent regular attendees and viewers are Hispanic speaking or Spanish fans.

So, yes, it's much broader, talk about the brand impact of this action, this is a much greater question of right and wrong. If you were to monetize the alleged indiscretion, this is going to have a global ripple effect.

CUOMO: Well, also gets much bigger than ball, right? Because this is about how we treat race and what level of accountability is. That's what I want to ask you about now, Sean, because you hear ugly terms. This is just a reflection of the plantation meant a lot that exists in ownerships. That sounds very harsh and condemnatory.

However, I'm also told that, well, the reason they're judging on sterling, don't judge him they knew things about this guy. They knew how he felt about what you should pay white players versus black players, what do you mean you knew? Do you really believe owners knew this guy harbored racist sentiments and did nothing about it?

GREGORY: Yes, I mean, there were suits that were settled. Now, hearing is believing, right? Now, it's on an audiotape in this world on TMZ where it's plain as day. So, right, you could judge the owners and you could criticize David Stern for not acting sooner.

Now, that you have real cause here when it's obvious what he's saying -- what he's saying is racist and it's clear. And again, Elgin Baylor sued him, long-term employee, for racial discrimination. The racial part of that was dropped. So, he was never convicted, and now on tape, it seems he has been convicted.

CUOMO: We know what would happen if it was a player, Doug, right? If a player were in this trouble, it would end with Silver and probably end very harshly and nobody would say anything. The question is, will an owner get dealt with as harshly?

Now, the qualifier is, Silver doesn't have power over an owner the way he does over a player and yet the expectations are reasonably high here. Do you think they'll be met, Doug?

ELDRIDGE: I think that's a great question, and unfortunately, I think that's part of what's really creating the rancor and angst among the players. They say we're reading the situation, god forbid we would be dealt with not only harshly, but quite expeditiously. But when the shoe is on the proverbial other foot, the circumstances are different.

But, Chris, this isn't (INAUDIBLE) the NBA. We're seeing something similar in the NFL right now and I know some of our NFL clients have said the same thing about the commissioner in so far as how they're treated when they step out of line versus some of the owners on the NFL side.