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Names of 19 Dead Firefighters Released; Zimmerman's Account of What Happened

Aired July 1, 2013 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Nineteen bodies now identified and tonight we'll tell you all about them.

Also tonight, the first two people to question George Zimmerman after he shot Trayvon Martin take the stand for the prosecution. The question once again, though, did strong cross-examination turn their testimony to the defense's advantage. Another compelling day in court, we'll go in depth on that.

And later Egypt, a leading newspaper there saying, quote, "Egypt is on the edge of a volcano." That's what it looks like tonight. These are live pictures. Millions now across the country protesting the government and the clock now ticking before the military steps in.

We begin, though, with the breaking news. All 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire still burning out of control north of Phoenix. They have been identified and taken to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office in Phoenix.

Nineteen members of an elite team called Hotshots. The Granite Mountain Hotshots based in Prescott, Arizona. Every member of that team but one perished. It is the deadliest single day that firefighters and their loved ones have endured since 9/11.

We're going to have more on how it came to this terrible day right now from Kyung Lah.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It began as a simple ordinary act of nature in the high desert. A lightning strike at 5:36 Friday evening, igniting an 800-acre blaze. There were twin problems -- scorching heat and low humidity. With that combination the fire exploded into a monster, devouring acres that had not burned in 40 years.

First a few dozen homes. Then 200 scorched. Firefighters across the region including the Hotshots from Station 7 of Prescott, located 30 miles away jumped into action. The Hotshots, a team of 20 sent into the heart of the fire, to cut a line on the eastern flank and save other homes.

WADE WARD, PRESCOTT FIREFIGHTER: They're highly trained, highly skilled, their situational awareness is very high. For this crew, it's very difficult to imagine what happened.

LAH: It was Sunday afternoon, the Hotshot crew was behind the fire line when like most afternoons a thunderstorm blew in. But this one was different, it packed what the fire department calls monsoon winds. And the crew was trapped on the wrong side of them.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Late in the day, a thunderstorm developed over Prescott, and the wind shifted 180 degrees on these firefighters and 40 to 50 mile per hour gusts instead of staying out of the way, the fire blew right toward them.

LAH: The Hotshots drilled for such a disaster. In this training video, they show how to deploy the fire shelter, a protective shield, a last resort move. They dove under the shelters, but it wasn't enough to save them from the ferocious wildfire. All but one were killed. The remains of 19 bodies found. Some still in their shelters.

WARD: We've lost 19 of our family members. It's a nightmare right now.

LAH: Nineteen heroes between the ages of 21 and 43 taken from the charred fields they tried to extinguish in a caravan of white vans. People lining the streets here and mourners lining the gate of Station 7 with flags and flowers. The Hotshot team's cars still parked where they pulled in three days ago. Their families retrieving the uniforms of their fallen loved ones, wives widowed in an instant.

TOM SHIPLEY, RETIRED FIREFIGHTER: They're young guys. It's the top guys that do this, you know, they've got to be in top shape. And they knew what they were doing, something just really went wrong, somewhere.


COOPER: It is an unimaginable loss. Kyung Lah joins me now live.

How did -- do we know how the one fireman was able to survive?

LAH: He survived, Anderson, because he wasn't with his crew. He's actually on the roster. It's a team of 20. But he was sent to move some crew equipment. He was jockeying with that equipment and that's he survived because he just wasn't with them. Everyone who was together in that crew perished.

COOPER: And we're going to talk to the father of one of the men who perished, a 21-year-old young man. And they were all so young, Kyung. I mean, that's -- it's just hard to imagine, so many of them first-time fathers, are about to become first-time fathers. In terms of the fire now, the homes, what are we hearing about the number of homes destroyed?

LAH: Well, the last figure that we're hearing is that 200 homes have been damaged or destroyed. The acreage now, Anderson, is at 8400 acres. The important thing to realize about this, is that firefighters are stressing this is not a final figure, they expect it to change.

COOPER: Kyung, thanks very much.

President Obama spoke by phone today with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer pledging all necessary federal assistance to state and local crews. He expressed his condolences to the families of the 19 fallen.

As we said at the top, their names have just been released. And we're learning a little about the lives that some of them led. We want to take a moment to just -- to tell you what we know about these young men.

At the very least you should know their names, Eric Marsh, Andrew Ashcraft, Anthony Rose, Chris MacKenzie, Clayton Whitted, Dustin Deford, Garrett Zuppiger, Grant McKee, Jesse Steed, Joe Thurston, John Percin, Robert Caldwell, Scott Noris, Sean Misner, Travis Carter, Travis Turbyfill, Wade Parker, Billy Warnecke and Kevin Woyjeck.

Eric Marsh was 43. He was the superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and traveled throughout the country fighting fires. He had no kids but leaves a wife behind. Andrew Ashcraft had a wife and four young children, he was 29 years old. Chris MacKenzie was like so many other Hotshots. The son of a firefighter. He loved snowboarding, living life to the fullest.

Chris MacKenzie was 30 years old. Clayton Whitted was 28. He played football and knew what a ground battle looked like on and off the gridiron. Earlier this year he said he knew this fire season would be a tough one. Dustin Deford was 24, loved the outdoors, loved to hunt. He'll be mourned by two sisters and seven brothers. Jesse Steed served in the Marines before becoming a firefighter in -- and become a Hotshot in 2002. He was 36 years old and leaves behind a wife and two young kids.

Scott Noris was 28, worked at the local gun shop. He was known around town as the ideal gentleman. Sean Misner was about to become a first-time dad. He was 26 years old. Travis Carter at age 31 was thinking about retiring this year. He was just 31 years old. Even younger at 22 Wade Parker was engaged to be married in October.

Billy Warneke had he lived would have become a father in December. He was 25 years old. Kevin Woyjeck was just 21 years old, but born to be a Hotshot. He, like Chris MacKenzie, is the son of a firefighter. That's Kevin's dad, Joe, there. He's a captain at Los Angeles Fire Department. Earlier tonight I spoke with him by phone.


COOPER: Captain Woyjeck, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. I can't imagine what you're going through at this point. What do you want people to know about your son, about Kevin?

JOE WOYJECK, FATHER OF DECEASED FIREFIGHTER (via phone): My goodness. He wanted to be a firefighter like his dad, like me. We come from a family of firefighters. And, you know, we go to work. We know there's a risk. You know. You know, you spend your whole life protecting your children. And then, you know, knowingly letting him go into harm's way, I can only imagine how my parents felt when I became a firefighter. Knew the risk was there.

Yes. He's a great kid. Infectious smile. Always laughing. Great fisherman, he loved to fish. He always had a (INAUDIBLE). Always wanted to be a fireman. He loved the outdoors. You know, sleeping in the dirt was not a big deal to him. He enjoyed it actually. I think. Just a great kid. Not a mean bone in his body. Always just, you know, working forward to become a firefighter like his dad (INAUDIBLE) fire department.

Just words can't describe the loss that our family's feeling right now. My wife and I, and my daughter, my other son, shelter (INAUDIBLE)

COOPER: Understandably.

WOYJECK: Many times I will dig in and figure out exactly what happened.


WOYJECK: But right now, I'm happy that I have my close tight family, and I'm so blessed that my family has -- my fire department family is absolutely amazing. I just -- I feel sorry for the other -- the other 18 firefighters and their families. It's a tragic loss. You know. It's real to me, and I've never been in a position where it felt like a bad dream, but my wife and I both had a sleepless night last night talking.

That word kept coming out, the nightmares kept coming out. There are nightmares. We haven't woken up. It hasn't really sunk in yet. But going to get the phone. He called me yesterday morning at about 6:45 in the morning, said, dad, we have a fire in Yarnell, Arizona. Afterwards I'll give you a call later.

COOPER: He'd already accomplished, I mean, an incredible amount, to be 21 years old and on this Hotshot crew, I mean, this is a really elite unit. It's an incredibly difficult position to have.

WOYJECK: He knew that he wanted to be in the weeds because I started out as a wild man firefighter. How hard it was. You know, we're running in the mountains. If you can run, you get yourself out of trouble. If you get in that position. So he worked out hard. He worked out as a cross country runner, and he couldn't even excel at running until he graduated from high school. Because he knew that Hotshot crews, you know, you had to be -- you had to be the best. You had to be the elite.

COOPER: And there's also got to be an incredibly close bond between the family of firefighters who are together. Your son and the people he's working with on that crew.

WOYJECK: That's correct. I -- he just started there in April, in April 1st. I haven't had time to really spend with his crew. You know, you build a bond with your crew, and your team when you're out in harm's way, that there's not -- there's no way to describe it, if you've never been there, you can't understand it.

COOPER: Well, Captain Woyjeck, again, I'm so sorry for your loss. And please, our condolences to you and your entire family. And we wish you the best and strength in the days ahead.

WOYJECK: Thank you, sir. Thank you for taking my call.


COOPER: Such a loss. So many families mourning tonight. This, of course, still a very active fire so even as firefighters are mourning, even as they're trying to come to grips with the -- with the reality of this, they can't stop working.

Joining us now is Prescott, Arizona, fire chief Dan Fraijo.

Hello, Chief Fraijo, I'm so sorry for your loss and the loss of all your comrades. So many of them were so young. I mean, seven of them under 25 years of age. Talk a little bit about the kind of people who do this work?

CHIEF DAN FRAIJO, PRESCOTT FIRE DEPARTMENT: These are very special people that are dedicated to doing good things. They're very, very physically fit, they're very dedicated. Great sense of humor for the most part. And these are the type of people that don't mind going out into the forest and hauling 50 or 60, 70 pounds of beer, and walking five or six miles, establishing fire lines or burning out areas, trying to protect property. These are just outstanding people that are truly well-conditioned, athletic young men.

COOPER: How do you go about dealing with this loss, and at the same time, you still have to fight this fire?

FRAIJO: Well, we also have a great deal of dedicated people here in the city. That despite the grief that we're going through, despite the losses that took place, and the sorrow that's extended, they're still ready to respond. The city's still covered, we're dealing with issues every day, routinely, and they separate their grief from their professionalism.

COOPER: I know it's very early, and maybe you haven't been able to investigate this, but are you any closer to understanding exactly what happened out there?

FRAIJO: Not really. Anderson, one of the things that must be understood is that that fire is about 40 or 50 miles away, and it's being handled by an incident command team at the national level, with -- through the Forest Service or through the state agency.

We send our crews wherever we're requested. They can be engines or they can be Hotshot crews. So once we send them, basically we're out of the picture until they come back. And they're re-deployed or the season ends.

COOPER: And in terms of these individual -- I apologize, I don't know the correct term, but they're basically kind of individual little tents that are fire resistant. Can you explain how those work? And -- I mean, how strong are those? What kind -- what kind of flames -- do they resist direct fire?

FRAIJO: Well, what they do is they reflect the -- they reflect the heat. When somebody has to deploy a shelter like that, is an absolute last minute. There are no other options. And what we try to do is we try to get as close to the ground as we possibly can. They're built in such a way that our hands and feet fit in them, and we try to tuck them in as -- as closely as we can, and have the fire go over top.

If it's a slower moving or very dense area, then it becomes much more serious. Deploying the shelter is a very, very last, last risk move that people take when there's no other options.

COOPER: I know that one of the firefighters sent word that all the men were deploying those shelters. Do you know, was anything else said in that message that you can say?

FRAIJO: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your question.

COOPER: Was anything -- did you receive any other kind of communication from the crew about what was going on?

FRAIJO: The only -- the only thing I know was that the crew had said that they're deploying the shelters. And then there was a long period of silence where the incident commanders could not -- did not get information.

COOPER: Well, Chief Fraijo, again, our condolences for your loss, and our thoughts are with all of you who still are battling those blazes. Thank you.

FRAIJO: Thank you for your concern and for allowing us to talk about this.

COOPER: Yes. Thank you very much.

And we're trying to give you as much information as we can about these 19 heroes who lost their lives. Let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper.

Just ahead, George Zimmerman's own words took center stage on day six of his murder trial. Prosecutors tried to highlight inconsistencies of what he told police. Today's key testimony ahead. Plus our legal panel.

And later, the heart of Cairo, Egypt, right now. Take a look at those images, extraordinary images, very ominous night there. The offices of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood have been overrun. The military has just issued an order some are saying amounts to a ticking timebomb. We'll take you there live.


COOPER: Welcome back. Day six, week two of the George Zimmerman trial. Today jurors heard the defendant give his version of what happened the night he killed Trayvon Martin. He wasn't on the stand, of course. This was all on video. Prosecution played an audio recording of the statement that Zimmerman gave to police just minutes after he shot the teenager.

A detective also testified about the written statement Zimmerman gave later that night. The lead investigator in the case also took the stand. The prosecution tried to use Zimmerman's own words to point out inconsistencies in his story and to back up their claim that he profiled Martin from the moment he spotted him. Defense tried to show that Zimmerman's statements were credible.

Just ahead, our legal panel is going to weigh in on who had a better day in court. First CNN's Martin Savidge wraps up the day's testimony.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sanford Police Officer Doris Singleton was the first to interview Zimmerman the night he shot Trayvon Martin, and said he seemed surprised to learn the teen had died.

DET. DORIS SINGLETON, SANFORD POLICE DEPARTMENT: Yes. At some point I said that we didn't -- weren't able to identify the victim and he said, what do you mean you haven't been able to identify him. I said, well, we don't know who he is. And he said, he's dead? And I said, I thought you knew that. I thought you knew he was dead. And he kind of slung his head and just shook it.

SAVIDGE: In a recording of that interview, Zimmerman again repeats the line prosecutors say went to his state of mind.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: There were times where I've seen a suspicious person in the neighborhood. We call the police, the nonemergency line, and these guys always get away.

SAVIDGE: The state contends Zimmerman instantly profiled Martin that night. Pointing to his written statement, in which Zimmerman repeatedly described Martin as the suspect. And prosecutors attempted to show how Zimmerman's account changed with each re-telling. In his first interview, Zimmerman said Martin attacked him after jumping out of the bushes.

ZIMMERMAN: So I was walking back through to where my car was. And he jumped out from the bushes. And he said, what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is wrong.

SAVIDGE: But in the re-enactment, Zimmerman makes no mention of Martin jumping out from bushes.

ZIMMERMAN: That's right about here, he yelled from behind me. He said, yo, you got a problem? And I turned around and I said, no, I don't have a problem, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was he at? ZIMMERMAN: He was about there, but he was walking towards me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What direction here?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, I believe -- like I said, I was already past that, so I didn't see exactly where he came from.

SAVIDGE: The state entered into evidence another police interview from days later, in which investigators challenged Zimmerman's account of events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What your account is that you don't seem at this point -- you haven't seen, though, right? Here's the pavement, you're looking down that way. That passage. Where were you at?

ZIMMERMAN: Once he told me not to follow him -- and I wasn't following him, I was just going in the same direction he was. Once they --


SAVIDGE: But each time on cross-examination, defense attorney Mark O'Mara always came back to the same point. That both investigators found Zimmerman credible.

MARK O'MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Were there any questions that you asked him or any changes in his story along the way that caused you concern?

SINGLETON: Not significantly, no.

O'MARA: You think he was telling the truth?


SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Sanford, Florida.


COOPER: Martin is going to join us in just a little bit to talk more about what went on inside the courtroom today. But first I want to get our legal panel's take.

Joining me now is senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, also legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin. On the defense side, criminal defense attorneys Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos, co-author of "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn't."

So all four of you, I just want to throw this question out to all four of you, if any of you -- do any of you believe that the prosecution had a particularly good day today? Does anybody believe that the prosecution is as a step closer to proving their case?

Mark, go ahead. MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Anderson, could I -- I have a theory about this. I think that was has happened here, this is -- and, you know, Jeff, I have no evidence of this, so I'll say that as a disclaimer, but I think that when the police did not arrest him, as Mark O'Mara elicited they found him to be credible, they thought that they weren't going to file.

I think that what has happened here is that when the state's attorney filed this case, they feel like the police were thrown under the bus. And I think the police are now engaging in payback, and when those questions that O'Mara asked to get those answers out of the officers, to me is stunning.

And, Anderson, I assume your question was, almost a hypothetical, because, no, there's not -- they're not a step closer, this was a disastrous day.

COOPER: Yes, Jeff, go ahead.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: For the first time and perhaps history, I can agree completely with what Mark said. I had a feeling that the cops were really going out of their way to be sympathetic to Zimmerman today. You know, of course -- he didn't ask for a lawyer. He -- he immediately talked to us, he was truthful, he was honest. We tried ,you know, our special investigative techniques.

They even asked him about the inconsistencies and he said, I didn't think they were really such big inconsistencies. Everybody tells a story somewhat different. I mean, they sounded like defense attorneys, these cops.

COOPER: I want -- let me play one more piece of an interview with the female police officer talking about whether or not George Zimmerman exhibited any ill will or malice. Let's take a listen.


O'MARA: Did he evidence that he was angry with Trayvon Martin?


O'MARA: That he had hatred for him?


O'MARA: Spite or ill will?


O'MARA: That he had anything that would suggest to you some type of bad attitude toward Trayvon Martin?


O'MARA: Rather he seemed to be affected by the fact that he realized that Trayvon Martin had passed? SINGLETON: He seemed affected by that.


COOPER: Danny, that's a state's witness.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is brilliant and it's brilliant it's so nuanced. What Mark O'Mara is doing is literally reading out of the statute. The statute defines -- the state has the burden of proof depraved heart. Well, what does that mean? They have to prove three separate things, one of those is ill will, evil hatred, that's where those questions come from.

He's literally getting his closing argument prepared by asking about that evil or ill will. So now he's establishing that at least one witness is going to negate that ill will, and if you negate one, this is a giant Jenga Game. If you negate one of those elements, the entire case fails, and it is Florida law that an impulsive overreaction to a fight or an attack is not ill will or evil.

COOPER: Sunny Hostin, do you -- did you see anything different there? Anything positive for the prosecution?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I did see some positives. But I'm going to agree with Mark as well. I mean, certainly, we got to remember that these are the same police officers that the investigation was taken from, and their power was usurped, and I'm sure that they were a little bit upset about it. And I think some of that came across on the witness stand.

But when you look at George Zimmerman's statements, he did call Trayvon Martin repeatedly a suspect. He also said these guys always get away. I think something that's very interesting to take away as well is that he talked about -- Serino said he didn't feel that George Zimmerman's injuries were life threatening.

He also said he didn't believe that George Zimmerman went down with a single punch. And so I think what's most important is that we also got out those inconsistencies when he talks about who was the first aggressor, right? Because I think that's really going to be the most important issue here. And I think it was pretty clear that at first he said, you know, well -- he told singleton, well, I got out of the car just to get an address.

Well, you know what, there are only three streets at this Retreat in Twin Lakes, so the fact that the neighborhood watch coordinator didn't know one of three streets seems very odd and incredible.

And I think the other thing is, he finally admitted sort of, that listen, he got out and he was following him. And I think that when you look at it all in context, yes, maybe his statements were consistent, they are his statements, his self-serving statements, but there was a lot for the prosecution to work with, given those statements.

COOPER: Just very briefly, is it possible -- I mean, second- degree murder is what he's charged with. Is it possible for the jury to, on their own, say, well, we don't think it's second-degree murder, but maybe it should be manslaughter? I mean, is that within the power of the jury to --



GERAGOS: If they -- the jury has to go with what's called a lesser included, they get a jury instruction. If they give lessers, the jury can -- they have to work from top to bottom, but if they acquit on second-degree and they get a lesser of manslaughter, yes, they can find him guilty or not guilty of that.

TOOBIN: You will find prosecutors who believe that you should always charge the absolute most you can and let the jury compromise to something you could live with.

COOPER: But doesn't that make the closing argument in the prosecution's case a little harder to argue?

TOOBIN: That's what other prosecutors think, which is if you overcharge, you wind up discrediting your whole case. I mean, I -- you could argue either way. The problem here is, they're not establishing any kind of case at least on a day like today as far as I can tell. But again, I don't think we should overemphasize one day. There's a lot of evidence in this case.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: But I just thought this day was not very successful.

COOPER: Our entire panel is going to come back in the 10:00 hour, we're going to go for an hour in depth on the George Zimmerman trial, as we have been all throughout this trial. So that's at 10:00. I hope you join us in about an hour and a half from now. "Self- Defense or Murder: The George Zimmerman Trial," an AC 360 special report.

Just ahead, though, more of George Zimmerman in his own words. What he told police about the night he killed Trayvon Martin. Do all of his statements and interviews match up? Sunny talked about some inconsistencies. We'll show you what he said.

Plus, we'll take you inside the dangerous world of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. What it takes to join their ranks and what they face on the job as they're all mourning the death of 19 Hotshots just yesterday.


COOPER: Welcome back. As we said, George Zimmerman's own words took center stage at his murder trial in its second week today. Zimmerman spoke to police multiple times after the shooting. The prosecution wants to expose inconsistencies in what he told them. Here's some of what the jurors themselves heard today in court. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you at any time -- did it occur to you in.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: No, I didn't have a problem. So I backed away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did have a problem, that's why you were following him is it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were afraid to tell him that?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes, ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not trying to put you on the spot. These are the questions you answered.

ZIMMERMAN: I would say --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't recognize you. Are you staying here?

ZIMMERMAN: He came up out of nowhere. I didn't see him. I walked back to my car, thinking I was going to need a police officer there. When he came up, he caught me off guard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you see how that would frighten him, he had been following --

ZIMMERMAN: What do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're watching him -- he makes it -- he may not make it clear to you, I recognize you're following me?

ZIMMERMAN: I didn't know if he was doing that or he was doubling back or what he was doing.


COOPER: George Zimmerman didn't appear to have any obvious reactions, as he listened to his own words played in court today, at least not when the cameras are on him. You have to be in the courtroom to see the jurors' reaction. Martin Savidge and CNN's legal analyst, Jean Casarez, were in the courtroom, they join me now.

So Martin, we got a firsthand account from Zimmerman today without his ever having to take the stand, didn't we?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, pretty interesting actually that by my count there were at least five different versions of George Zimmerman giving a statement as to what happened on the night that he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. I'm talking about I think four were recorded in some way, and one of them was at least written, and each one of them was introduced into court.

It was George Zimmerman, not quite taking the stand, but very much having a strong presence in everything that took place in testimony today. And what was also interesting was to see the progression. I mean, from the very first interview that he gives to authorities, about an hour, hour and a half after he shot the teen, where the officer questioning him really doesn't ask many questions at all.

Until the final session, which you just played right now, where you see that these investigators are now grilling him and going back over the inconsistencies and saying, wait a minute, this doesn't seem to match up. So to watch that evolution was very interesting.

COOPER: And Jean, in addition to the sound from the police interview, the jury also saw Zimmerman's re-enactment of event, which took place February 27th, the day after the shootings. I want to play a chunk again of what jurors saw.


ZIMMERMAN: I tried squirming again, because all I could think about was when he hit my head, it felt like my head was going to explode and I thought I was going to lose consciousness. I tried to squirm because he only had a small portion of my head on the concrete. I tried to squirm off the concrete. When I did that, somebody here opened the door. And I said, help me, help me, and they said, I'll call 911, I said, no, help me. I need help.


COOPER: That person who opened the door has already testified I was curious -- I mean, being inside the courtroom, could you tell, what was the jury's reaction?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, they had been writing notes all day, and looking up and writing notes. When this was played, Anderson, the pens were down, they were so focused on the screen, and there is a mystery that we still have here, though. Because George Zimmerman says I believed that he was using a brick to pound my head. So when I shot him, I thought he was still alive. I got on his back because I wanted to find what I thought was that brick. I put his hands up. His hands were found underneath him almost from the beginning and that's a mystery how that happened.

COOPER: I mean, I heard a lot of analysts say there's no way now, given these tapes, the multiple statements entered into evidence. There's no way he's going to take the stand to give testimony, do you agree with that?

CASAREZ: You know, this morning, I would have said, I think he will take the stand possibly now, I think I have to agree with you, at the end of the day, I have to tell you the lead detective was saying, did you think he was profiling him. He said I asked George, if he was white, would you have done the same thing? He said yes. Once I learned George Zimmerman was mentoring African-Americans, he was not profiling Trayvon.

COOPER: All right, Jean Casarez, Martin Savidge --

CASAREZ: They shouldn't have heard that.

COOPER: Yes, thanks very much. Coming up next, back to the fire lines, a look at what it takes to become of the one elite individuals known as the "Hotshots," in the wake of the tragic death of 19 people fighting fires yesterday.

Also, we're going to take you to Egypt, another kind of front lines. What's it going to take to get Egypt to pull back from the brink and save their young democracy from a military takeover or is that inevitable? We're live from Tahrir Square ahead.


COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, there you see it. The fire north of Phoenix has now destroyed 200 homes, burned about 84,000 acres and the bodies of 19 firefighters have been identified. For those 19 members, the elite granite mountain hot shot team, the fire was likely un-survivable. The heat apparently too great for the protective tents they were equipped with.

As you've heard the Prescott Fire chief described earlier this evening the tents were made of lightweight aluminum covered fabric that can often, but sadly not always save a firefighter's life. Listen to one survivor of another fire tell his harrowing story in a training video from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a period of probably 3 minutes to 5 minutes I was sure that was it, I was going to die, and that I would not survive this. There's no question in my mind. It was just a matter of when. I remember thinking very clearly at that point, should I just brave this out and make this last whatever hour or whatever time it takes for me to die from this, or should I push this shelter off and stand up and take a deep breath and get this over with. At that point I started to think about my family, I have a wife, two daughters, I thought, I need to do everything that I possibly can to go home and see them. So that's really what kept me in the shelter.


COOPER: Nineteen firefighters will never see their families again. It's incredibly tough training for one of the toughest jobs on earth. We want to take a look now at the "Hotshots," the people who risk their lives to help us all. More now from 360's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Hotshots get the call, they head to the center of a blazing wildfire, an inferno that often times only they can stop. Hotshots go where equipment can't. These elite firefighting teams are specially trained to use train saws to clear brush and cut a fire line through the dirt, a line that could stretch a mile long. It's their job to hold that line. John Segar is a former Hotshot. JOHN SEGAR, FORMER HOTSHOT: When the fire burns up to that line. The fire is going to put out embers, and some of those embers actually do cross the line, the Hotshot crews or any of our crews will patrol the line and they look for those embers and try to get to them.

KAYE: Segar likes his Hotshot teams to military special ops units. He says they are the best of the best in wildfire suppression, highly motivated and highly trained, which is why they get the toughest assignments.

SEGAR: Their physical fitness training prior to the season and if it's a slow season during the season includes running, long endurance hikes, any type of push-ups, sit-ups, the whole aerobics, cardio, physical fitness routine.

KAYE: There's a rigorous physical test that qualifies as a Hotshot including a three mile hike in 45 minutes while carrying a 45-pound pack. And a mile and a half run in 10 and a half minutes or less. Because of the physical endurance required, most Hotshots tend to be younger, in their 20s and 30s.

(on camera): It's certainly not an easy gig. Hotshot crews are on call 24-7 during fire season, about six months out of the year. They're sent to where the terrain is most severe and the weather is typically hot and dry. They're exposed to wind and dust and all kinds of poisonous plants. Crews sleep on the ground and if they're lucky, they get to shower every couple of days.

(voice-over): The job keeps them away from home for several weeks at a time, working 14 days on and two days off. The hours are long too often stretching into 16-hour shifts.

SEGAR: They travel all over the country. So it is very difficult. It is very difficult to maintain a family life. Our firefighters are just that, family as adjust to it just like families in the military service adjust to it, but it is not an easy life.

KAYE: The U.S. Forest Service says Hotshot crews began in Southern California in the late 1940s. They got their name, Hotshot from always being in the hottest part of the fire and this isn't the first devastating loss they've suffered. Back in 1994, nearly 20 years ago, nine members of the Prime Ville Oregon Hotshot team were killed when they were trapped fighting a Colorado fire on Storm King Mountain.

Some firefighters try to survive by wrapping themselves in fireproof shelters like these. Just like the 19 killed in Arizona. While all hotshot team members tend to love the outdoors and thrive on a challenge, they know the dangers and what can happen when the wind shifts. Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: We're joined now by someone who knows the danger firsthand and the training that prepares you to face it. Kyle Dickman is a former Hotshot. He is an associate editor of "Outside" magazine. He profiles California's Taho Hotshots in the current issue of Kyle. Kyle, thank you for being with us. This is so horrific, what occurred in Arizona. What's your understanding of what happened and the conditions that led to it?

KYLE DICKMAN, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "OUTSIDE" MAGAZINE: Well, you know, much of the southwest has been experiencing a pretty extreme drought over the past few years, and I think that's one major condition. The others, they're having thunderstorms. The thunderstorm that developed over Prescott Arizona and it started to move from the northwest to the southeast toward the fire, when that happened, it was -- there were 40 to 50 mile per hour winds blowing down the canyon, and the fire essentially just exploded.

COOPER: I read your article when it first came out in "Outside" magazine. The physical conditioning of these firefighters, they're training. It is incredible their strength and the positions that they willingly put themselves in?

DICKMAN: Yes, it's -- I mean, the physical fitness is a matter of safety. They put these Hotshot crews. They strive to make these guys in as good a shape as possible. The idea being, hopefully you'll be able to outrun a fire in the event that something happens and physical fitness is sort of your first line of defense.

COOPER: What kind of firefighting tactics was this crew likely attempting when the situation got out of control?

DICKMAN: Yes, I don't -- I'm not entirely sure, my guess is that what they were doing would be called building direct lines. In a case like this, they were trying to protect structures, and the idea is to build -- to remove all the fuel right next to the edge of the fire. That means using chainsaws and shovels, whatever.

Whatever you've got to clear that fuel away, and then the fire runs into that line, and theoretically it's stopped. So in the case of this fire, you can see that those winds pumped it up and they were throwing -- embers were thrown over the line, once that happened, they were really in a fight for their lives.

COOPER: It's believed they all deployed these fire shelters that they carry, have you ever used one of these? How does it work?

DICKMAN: Well, the -- every single firefighter in the country carries one of these fire shelters. Of course, I've used them in training. The way it works, it sits behind you, you carry backpacks. If you're -- if something happens, there's a spark or a spot fire or something, God forbid you have to use these, you throw the pack aside, and you run toward a place where there's no -- there's nothing to burn. No fuel and then you flick out this tent, you climb inside of it, and you frankly just hope for the best.

COOPER: But a direct flame on this, it's not built to sustain that for long?

DICKMAN: It's not actually built to sustain a direct flame at all. The way they work, they reflect the heat. It's basically, they're aluminum foil. The heat is reflected off, as soon as the flame touches it, the structure is compromised and no longer provides the safety you need.

COOPER: It's unbelievable, and there's a lot more about the situation we need to learn. I appreciate you coming on, thank you.

DICKMAN: Thank you.

Up next tonight, Egypt, gripped by angry protests again, against the year old Morsi government. Now Egypt's military has issued an ultimatum. We'll take you to Cairo after the break.


COOPER: We want to take you to Egypt now, where the military has given President Mohammed Morsi 48 hours to answer the angry demands of protesters to take to the streets or it will step in and restore the order they say. To give you an idea of how many Egyptians are already fed up with Morsi's year-old Islamist government, take a look at this, tens of thousands rallied in Tahrir Square today as they have the past few days, many calling on Morsi to include the moderate political elements into his government, and try to reduce the growing influence of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood.

Other Egyptians say he's ineffective and resign immediately and threatened civil disobedience if he doesn't. Earlier today, protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, smashing windows and setting parts of the building of fire. Clashes with police across Egypt led to at least 16 deaths, hundreds have been wounded.

And late word that five government ministers resigned today including Egypt's foreign minister. It's the middle of the night in Cairo. Thousands of protesters are camped out at this hour. It's the same tactic they used in 2011 to dislodge President Hosni Mubarak from three degeneration aids in power.

Ben Wedeman joins us now from Cairo. So this local paper there said Egypt is, quote, "on the edge on of a volcano." Does that sound right to you, based on what you're seeing?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, that's about right. What we see -- what you see behind me, of course, is tens of thousands of people. It's 3:00 a.m. in the morning here, calling on Mohammed Morsi to step down. In other parts of Cairo there are demonstrations by not so many people to support the president.

The real worry is that these two different camps are going to meet and blood could be shed. Last night you mentioned the storming of the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Eight people were killed there, eight people Sunday elsewhere in Egypt. And certainly that is the worry that these two groups are going to come together and it could be very nasty.

COOPER: Ben, while you're speaking, I don't know if it's possible for your camera operator to show some of the shots in Tahrir Square to get a sense of what it's like at this time of night. Is there a sense of what the military's going to do? They have given this ultimatum, what does that mean?

WEDEMAN: Well, basically, this is pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition to put their differences aside and start running the country properly. Analysts will tell you that what they're looking for is a more inclusive cabinet, as you say, as you have said, five ministers have resigned from the government today. They would like early presidential and parliamentary elections.

At the moment, Egypt does not have a parliament, the problem is, the opposition and the Muslim Brotherhood led government are so far apart at this point it's very difficult to envision them coming together. We saw a statement from the presidency today saying they were not consulted prior to the issuing of this ultimatum.

Clearly there's a broad gap between the president and the military and let's not forget, it's really the military in Egypt that is the biggest, strongest, most powerful institution here and when they tell the government, when they tell the politicians get your act together, they're serious.

COOPER: Fascinating days, Ben Wedeman stay safe. Thank you, Ben. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following tonight. Susan Hendricks joins us with the 360 News and Business Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin with breaking news. A statement tonight from NSA leaker Edward Snowden and he's not backing down. Snowden blasts the Obama administration for trying to block his efforts to seek asylum in another country, calling it a scare tactic and says he's unbowed in his convictions.

The stock market kicked off the second half of the year on the up side. The Dow Jones rose 65 points. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 scored gains as well.

This video showing Robert Gill, the rookie wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, running on a treadmill at 25 miles per hour. While he's apparently in tip top shape as you see, he's not a kid in NFL years. He's 29 years old now. I think he has bragging rights now.

COOPER: Do not try that at home.


COOPER: I ran on the treadmill four miles today. I would not try that in a million years.

HENDRICKS: It would not end well, thanks.

COOPER: We will be right back.


COOPER: That's it for us. We ran out of time for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, we'll see you one hour from now at 10 p.m. Eastern for our 360 special report "Self-defense or Murder, The George Zimmerman Trial." We'll take you in depth in all the day's developments in the trial that's one hour from now. Hope you'll join us. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.