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Navy Yard Shooting Survivor Speaking Out; Abducted Georgia Teen Found Alive; Surveying the Damage in Colorado; Shutdown Showdown Again?; Excessive Force?; Hurricane Manuel Hits Mexico; Skeletal Remains Found In Two Cars In Oklahoma Lake

Aired September 18, 2013 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks. Good evening, everyone.

Today, an exclusive look at the historic flooding that's devastated so many homes and lives in Colorado. The water that swallowed roads, bridges and houses, the rebuilding will take years.

Also ahead tonight, a 24-year-old man bruised and bleeding tries to get help after his car crashes in the middle of the night. Instead of help, he's shot dead by a police officer. Did race play a role?

We begin, though, tonight with breaking news. Chilling new details about the gun the Navy Yard shooter used in Monday's massacre. According to a federal law enforcement official, the killer apparently etched or carved two phrases into the shotgun. One saying, quote, "my elf weapon." The other saying, quote, "better off this way."

Investigators don't know what those cryptic messages refer to. Could they offer any insight into the killer's motive?

CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto will have more on that ahead. But first, before we spend too much time on the shooter, we're going to hear from a survivor. Tonight we've learned that the damage inside Building 197 is so extensive, it may not reopen for several weeks. One official told CNN's Barbara Starr that there is blood everywhere.

John Weaver who works in I.T. at the Navy Yard lived through that blood bath. He knows it's sheer luck that he's alive when so many of his friends have died. Nine men and three women were murdered Monday morning. John Weaver knew six of them personally. He joins me now.

So, John, can you just walk us through what happened? You were at your desk, you heard a commotion, a loud noise in the atrium, right?

JOHN WEAVER, WITNESS TO NAVY YARD SHOOTING SPREE: All right, here's the deal. All right. I sit in a cube farm that is five cubes deep and there're about 8-feet square cubes and I'm the fourth one back. And the cube behind me is the cube that's next to the atrium, OK. So what happened was somebody was rolling a large cart through the atrium, which normally occurs many times. And I remarked to one of my coworkers that it sounded like somebody was skateboarding on the ceiling. And she made a little chuckle and then a really loud bang occurred. And I thought to myself, they dropped another safe because they had done that before and it sounded similar to that. But two seconds later, there was another really loud bang. And that's when I realized that somebody was in the building shooting people.

COOPER: So you knew after that second shot that that's what it was?

WEAVER: Yes, exactly. I knew that there's no way that there would be two bangs that close together and that loud and the second one was a shot.

COOPER: And what did you do?

WEAVER: And -- well, what happened was I stupidly popped my head up and saw him reach over at the end of my cube row and diagonally shoot across the row to where one of my friends was sitting. I could not see her because it's diagonal to me, cut a corner. And he aimed and shot directly at her. And I popped my head back down and then went under my desk. And there's like a -- a cabinet with two drawers and I pulled that towards me and then hid under the desk. So if he came walking down the row, he would've just saw that desk. So --

COOPER: So you actually saw him aim at one of your coworkers.

WEAVER: I got --

COOPER: He wasn't firing randomly? He was actually aiming?

WEAVER: No, the reason that he did not see me because he was so intent on shooting her. And I spoke with her this morning and she told me the reason that was because she was looking him dead in the eye when he shot her.

COOPER: So this is a coworker who was released last night and she's doing OK?

WEAVER: Yes, she's doing -- she's doing very well.


WEAVER: I mean --

COOPER: That's good.

WEAVER: We spoke with each other this morning and I was just -- just so glad that she was alive, and that nothing else happened to her and that she got out. And then when he shot her, she told me that the force of the blast was so strong it drove her into the ground and now she has a black eye and bits of her scalp are scattered all over her cubicle.

COOPER: Oh, my gosh. WEAVER: Yes. I mean, it was that close to her being killed. Her right finger is blown off almost completely at the tip. They're trying to save it. And what she did was, she went like that. And it got her on this side of her head. And so what happened was, he shot at her and then I ducked, hid and then I heard him take another shot and that was when he shot Mary Knight.

OK. And the reason I know that was when he shot Mary Knight and it was definitely -- two shots, the first one was Frank, the second one was J.J., the third one was her, and then the fourth one was Mary Knight because after she was shot, she turned around while she was curled up and watched him shoot her. I mean, I told her she's the bravest, quickest and luckiest person on the face of the earth.

COOPER: So all in all, how many shots did you hear this guy fire?

WEAVER: Well, after I went down, that was four shots. He walked away farther west to me and it was two more shots and then he proceeded, I think, through the corridor between the kitchenettes and proceeded over into the Zero 4 Xi spaces and shot people over there, and then I called D.C. 911 at that point from my cell phone.

And there must have been 20 to 30 shots during that time. It was unbelievable how many shots were going off. And just the feeling of being so helpless that you could not help these people. And you just had to stay in place.

COOPER: And -- the point you saw -- actually saw him he was -- that's when he was using the shotgun?

WEAVER: He only -- he had the shotgun the whole time when I was there. I never heard any other type of firearm except the shotgun. So --

COOPER: So you know -- I mean, you personally, you're friends with -- you've lost a lot of friends.

WEAVER: Yes. Six people I personally knew in that building. And I reported directly to Mary Knight every day about stuff. J.J., he worked with me and submitted forms to me that I passed on to somebody else for approval. Jerry Reid, I saw him every day in the halls and worked with him, but not in a direct fashion.

Sylvia Frazier I worked with every day. And that's the person that I -- I'm most sad about. She was the nicest person in the world. And I cannot believe that that man killed her. It's just -- that's -- I can't believe that.

And Pandit, I knew him -- I knew him, too. But I hadn't worked with him. He was one of my users when I was just an admin in their group. So I've worked in this building for 13 years and worked at NAVSEA for 16. So I know a bunch of people and I know who Kathy is just by seeing her in the halls.

COOPER: Right. I spoke to Kathy, Kathy Gaarde, I spoke to her husband Doug and her daughter Jessica yesterday and obviously they are -- I mean beyond devastated. I mean --

WEAVER: It's --

COOPER: To say the least.

WEAVER: It's just something when you're -- you know, when it happened it was like -- you had to tell yourself that this was really happening while it was going on. That's how just surreal it was. I mean, it was real, but it was surreal at the same time.

COOPER: Yes, I understand that.

WEAVER: So -- so what happened when he started going away and I got off the phone with the D.C. 911, the fire alarm went off. I'd say it was about five minutes after the shooting started. So then I'd push my desk out and I said run. When I ran around the corner, I saw Mary Knight dead laying on the ground basically and what I did was kneeled over her and checked her by looking straight into her eyes to see if there was consciousness and there was none.

And I knew there was nothing I could do for her. So I just got up and I ran and I went down the stairs and I saw my friends standing there and I couldn't believe she was there. I mean, it was that shocking. And I said to her, what happened? Because I didn't want to say, have you been shot? I just said, what happened? And she goes, I was -- I've been shot. And then so I looked at her and her finger was torn off basically, it was a really bad manicure, let's say that.

And then the back of her head was scraped off. And I just looked her and I told her I've gotten a bigger scrape playing hockey, so let's get out of here. So I was running down the stairs, I'm just yelling at all these people, run for your lives. There was a guy shooting people with a shotgun in the building, please leave. Run.

And then I went down the stairs and I got down to the first floor and there's a bunch of people in the conference room and I yelled to them. And everybody just started scattering. She ran over some woman who was just -- I mean, people - went into a complete panic at that point. And then we basically ran out of the building, over to the 197 parking garage and then I saw an officer there that I recognized because I've seen these guys all the time.

And I told him, I said, there's a guy up on the fourth floor and he is slaughtering people with a shotgun and you guys need to get up there with a lot of weapons.

COOPER: I mean, as you -- as you look back on this, there are obviously a lot of questions being asked. Are -- is there --


WEAVER: I know.

COOPER: -- something you're focusing on? Is there something you particularly want answers to? WEAVER: You know -- I mean, really is how that guy got a security clearance. You know? Because if the system's supposed to work, that's stuff should have been caught by the people who were just doing his security clearance. Because I mean you guys found that information readily available.


WEAVER: So that's the -- that's the thing that I'm angry about the most. I don't blame the building security or anybody like that because, I mean, they don't expect this to happen and, you know, I mean, he came in and he's a normal worker there and those guys carry backpacks everywhere they go because they have a lot of paperwork and computer accessories that they carry when they roll out the computers.

COOPER: So he wouldn't have raised any suspicions by --

WEAVER: Oh, no, there's people carrying backpacks all the time in there.

COOPER: Right.

WEAVER: So, yes, that's not -- that doesn't raise a suspicion at all. And he'd badged in with a valid I.D. with -- what he did was I believe he badged in, went to the elevator, came up the elevator, went to the bathroom that's, like, right across the east-west corridor divide from us, came out of that bathroom, started shooting everybody there, and basically went in a clockwise fashion around the core of the building and then came back to our area and I believe he went over to the east side.

But at that point, I had already vacated the premises and was outside, probably out of the building within seven minutes after everything started.

COOPER: Well, I know beyond telling people what happened, you also just want to let people know about your friends and your coworkers who lost their lives and what they were like and honor them.

WEAVER: Every one of those people who were killed were the nicest people that you could know. They were great coworkers and would never harm a fly. And they were responsible, great people, government workers and contractors. And I just could not believe that they were subjected to that violent, horrible death that they had. And that's the most devastating part.

Me, you know, I got away, that's no problem. I got lucky. It was my birthday and I consider myself the second luckiest person on that day because my friend was the first luckiest person. But all those other people, they did not deserve that death, to die like that. And I just -- it was horrible. That's all I have to say about that.

COOPER: Well, John, I appreciate you talking and letting -- letting us know, most importantly, about your friends and your colleagues and your coworkers. Thank you very much.

WEAVER: No problem. I'm going to miss them all very much.

COOPER: John Weaver is not the only one who wants to know how the Navy Yard killer got his security clearance to begin with and then held on to it despite repeated run-ins with the police and alarming signs that his mind was to say the least troubled.

As we reported last night, the U.S. Navy gave the shooter his initial security clearance in 2007 when he enlisted. At the time the Navy knew he'd been involved in a violent incident three years earlier in Seattle but they issued the clearance anyway. It was good for 10 years.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me live now from Washington.

So we'll get to the security questions in a second, but first the breaking news about the sense of the shooting. What do we know here? The scene?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're learning now that the building where the shooting took place may not be open for several weeks because of the damage inside. And when you hear John Weaver's account, you get a sense of what that might look like.

It was both the damage from first responders who were breaking down doors trying to get in there to get at the shooter but more from the mayhem that Aaron Alexis unleashed there. There are descriptions from people who have seen it that there is, quote, "blood everywhere," there is damage everywhere. A truly gruesome scene that's testament to how violent an episode this was.

COOPER: The question that John Weaver was asking, a lot of people were asking, is how the system did not pick this guy up. Today even the defense secretary acknowledged what he called a lot of red flags -- that was a quote -- surrounding the shooter and a security clearance. Can you at this point piece together what we know?

SCIUTTO: Well, what you're getting a sense -- and I was at that briefing today with Secretary Chuck Hagel -- is that you had many warning signs here but that no one was able to connect all those dots. But when you look at them individually, it's amazing that no one was.

For instance, we learn today that when he went to the Rhode Island -- Police just a few weeks before the shooting and told them this delusional story of being followed, having himself controlled with a microwave machine, that the police reported it to the Rhode Island Naval Station, but that naval station did not then pass it on to the Navy here in Washington, where they might have been able to connect it with some of these other dots.

For instance, he went to a V.A. Hospital twice in the weeks leading up to the shooting complaining of insomnia. He was given medication. He also took and used naval insurance for ringing in his ears, that in addition to the two arrests he had in 2004, 2008, and also his discharge from the Navy for a series of episodes of misconduct.

So when you look at all those together, it's quite amazing that no one was able to piece those together to get at that again. As John Weaver was referencing, the fact that he still had a security clearance valid for 10 years from 2007 when it was issued.

COOPER: And I understand, we heard from the shooter's mother today, what did she say?

SCIUTTO: Yes. Well, she had clearly been asked many times for an interview. She refused to. This is Kathleen Alexis. But she did want to make a statement. And when you hear this statement, you hear a mother who is heartbroken but also taking on some of the guilt from her son. Let's listen to what she said.


KATHLEEN ALEXIS, MOTHER OF AARON ALEXIS: Our son, Aaron Alexis, has murdered 12 people and wounded several others. His actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on the families of the victims.

I don't know why he did what he did and I'll never be able to ask him why. Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone and for that I am glad.

To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.


SCIUTTO: Well, you hear one more person suffering from this.

And, Anderson, just a short time ago as the sun went down, I heard a soldier here playing "Taps," a quiet, sad moment that's still lingering around the Navy Yard, around Washington tonight.

COOPER: Yes. Jim Sciutto, appreciate all the latest info. Thanks.

Let's -- let me know what you think, you can follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper.

Just ahead, it could have ended in tragedy, but tonight a kidnapped Georgia teenager is safe at home. How she was found. We'll tell you, plus a new twist in the case.

Also ahead, exclusive video of the disaster that has made history in Colorado. The image is just incredible. Devastating flooding up close and the damage it's left behind.


COOPER: "Crime and Punishment" now. A 14-year-old Georgia girl who's abducted in the middle of the night from her own home in front of her family is safe tonight. Her terrifying ordeal over. Two suspects are now in custody. The investigation, though, is nowhere near over. And authorities are now looking at whether the kidnappers may have ties to the teen's family.

Martin Savidge reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a good day.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The nightmare for a Georgia teenager and her family ended 34 hours after it began.


SAVIDGE: The message delivered at a hastily called news conference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's been reunified with her family.

SAVIDGE: Authorities say 14-year-old Ayvani Perez was found at a location about 25 miles from her home and that she had never left the metro Atlanta area. Officials say two men are under arrest and at least two other suspects were still at large. Including the men thought to have carried out the brazen kidnapping.

According to authorities, it began just after 2:00 a.m. Tuesday when the men burst into a home terrorizing a mother and her two children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She tried to hide the kids, the dog was barking and these suspects shot the dog.

SAVIDGE: Police say they demanded jewelry and money, and when they didn't get it, they took something far more precious. The 14- year-old Ayvani.

Within hours, an army of local, state and federal officers descended on the subdivision whose sense of suburban security was shattered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought we lived in a safe neighborhood and now we're not really sure what's going on here.

SAVIDGE: Rumors quickly spread of ransom demands. Meanwhile, friends and classmates held a candlelight prayer vigil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This young lady, Father, we pray that you'd be with her all of the days of her life, Father.

SAVIDGE: The next day, those prayers were answered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have outstanding news --

SAVIDGE: So what was the big break? Authorities were vague.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through hard core police work. Boots to the ground.

SAVIDGE: But the number of suspects suggests something more than a random break-in. Authorities were asked about a possible link between the victim's family and the suspects. Again, the answers were vague.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have not determined the relationship between those individuals at this particular point in time.

SAVIDGE: For the moment, those questions can wait as the family gets back a daughter feared lost and a neighborhood loses some of its fear.


COOPER: Well, it's amazing that she's back. What do you know about the suspects and what if any connection they have to the victim?

SAVIDGE: Yes, this story, Anderson, definitely has a lot more to it. I think the big thing here is that at the beginning of the week, authorities said this was a random home invasion, clearly now when you've got four suspects, it goes beyond that. It smacks of a conspiracy and that raises the question, why did they really break into that home? Who were they looking for? What were they looking for?

Those are the answers still being sought tonight, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Martin, appreciate the update.

In Colorado, thousands of people are surveying the damage scene what's left of their homes, after the devastating flooding killed six people, left hundreds unaccounted for, although that number, thankfully, has been steadily dropping.

Nearly 18,000 homes have been damaged throughout the state. The sheriff of Larimer County says there are still major issues about how to get emergency services to areas where roads have been washed out.

And other issues protecting homes where owners have been evacuated. Some people choose to stay despite the evacuation orders. And for them each day presents new challenges, as well.

Kyung Lah went to Four Mile Canyon in Boulder County. Here's her exclusive report.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the flood as it roared past Jonathan Machen's home, captured it on the cell phone last week ignoring warnings to evacuate. It was so forceful it swallowed the road pounding everything in its path.

Today, that same road is caved in. This road leading to Machen's house can no longer support cars, only his bike.

JONATHAN MACHEN, FLOOD VICTIM: Empty fuel for our generator, making a tradeoff with some full fuel.

LAH: A friend that drives fuel to meet Machen, then he makes the long bike ride back into his Canyon home where his family waits.

MACHEN: There we go.

LAH: The gas runs a generator. His wife Paige collects water from the overflowing creek for their toilet. Welcome to their new normal after Colorado's historic floods.

MACHEN: As long as the generator keeps working, we're doing great.

LAH: The massive flood ripped apart northern Colorado's infrastructure. Federal officials saying hundreds of miles of highway and more than 30 bridges are destroyed or impassable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take First Street all the way to the end, where a dead end, so that's Camera 29.

LAH: Police had roadblocks, have to reroute traffic around an entire mountain community for fear of more injuries and deaths. FEMA says it will take years to rebuild at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

And then there are the structures. Across these canyons, churches sit under water and homes on their sides.

(On camera): How forceful was this flood? It actually broke through the wall of this building. And this, as the weight of the sludge that they're actually having to clean up. The water filled this business all the way up to our waist. And this is just one of some 7,000 homes and businesses in just two counties that have either been damaged or destroyed.

(Voice-over): For four days, Ann Haviland has been digging through the muck at her antique market. It never stops being hard.

(On camera): What is it like to see this place like this?

ANN HAVILAND, FLOOD VICTIM: It's devastating. It's -- sorry. To see it like this is just -- sometimes hopeless but it's not really. But it is.


COOPER: It's incredible. Kyung Lah joins me now live from Longmont, Colorado.

So to add insult to injury, I understand it rained pretty heavily where you were today.

LAH: Yes. Pretty hard, and there were people outside, we were outside at the time. And a woman ran by me with her hands in the air saying, are you kidding me? The forecast here was only 10 to 20 percent chance of rain but it still rained very hard for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Anderson, the ground here is so saturated, you can see what happens right away and one other thing we did learn the amount of rain that they've gotten this year is the most they have received in 120 years that led a forecaster here to call it biblical -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow. Kyung Lah, appreciate the update. Thanks.

For more on the story, you can go to, of course, any time.

Up next, a government shutdown looming as Republicans in Congress announced a budget plan that President Obama will not accept. We're going to have the "Raw Politics" on that.

And also ahead, a young man in North Carolina shot dead by a police officer. His family is demanding answers.


COOPER: "Raw Politics," the federal government could be on the verge of shutting down as a major battle is brewing over keeping the government funded past September 30th when the fiscal year ends. Now today House Republican leaders said they will approve a stopgap spending bill that keeps the government running through mid December but it will include a provision that blocks all money for Obamacare.

Republicans also plan to insist on new spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling next month. President Obama immediately denounced the move.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt.


COOPER: Let's get the latest now from chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.

So explain this to me. During the summer it seemed as though that the House Republican leadership did not want to -- this to happen. They didn't want to do this. What happened?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What happened is they got a lot of pushback from the conservative grassroots. For five weeks, conservative groups were out there pounding away at conservative members saying, look, this is why we got you into office. This is what we want you to do. And this is the best leverage that we have, meaning try to repeal Obamacare, even if it means shutting down the government. And this is actually something that I asked the speaker about. He wasn't ever publicly against it, but it was -- we knew from reporting that privately he was very much against it. So I asked what gives.


BASH: I know it's not been easy to be speaker over this caucus, but at this point, have you just kind of lost control over the caucus?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We've got a lot of divergent opinions in the caucus. And the key to any leadership job is to listen. We listen to our colleagues over the course of the last week. We have a plan that they're happy with. We're going forward.


BASH: So, Anderson, the bottom line is that the speaker and his fellow leaders had trouble with the same group of about 40 or so people in their caucus that they've had with lots of other issues these past 2-1/2 years. And the votes simply weren't there for them just to keep the government running without including defunding Obamacare.

COOPER: So I mean, is all of this basically for show? The House leadership knows this isn't going anywhere, just about placating their more conservative numbers.

BASH: Well, the supporters of this say it's for principle and that's why they're doing this, but I can tell you that tonight we have seen a real divide inside the Republican Party. And one of the big issues has been that House Republicans who feel like they're -- some of them, at least the leaders feel like they're sort of walking the plank for principle are pretty angry at some of the chief supporters of this idea, namely Senator Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Because they released a statement saying that they don't have the votes in the Senate and the House Republicans said, wait a minute, this suggest you're not going to filibuster. You're not even going to try, you're making us try. And I want to read you a, quote, this is a quote from a House Republican leadership aide about a fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz saying, quote, "Wendy Davis has more balls than Ted Cruz," an allusion to Wendy Davis who, of course, stood and filibustered for hours and hours on an issue there.

COOPER: Quite an interesting use of language there. When is the House expected to vote on this?

BASH: The house is expected to vote as soon as Thursday, maybe Friday, but definitely this week and then, you know, because they do seem to have the votes there, the ball is going to be in the Senate's court. And then, of course, the question does become whether or not Ted Cruz and company can filibuster. I should say in Ted Cruz' defense, I spoke with an aide to him who said that they haven't ruled out filibustering. They are going to use whatever means they have, but it is going to be -- the ball is going to be in the House's court ultimately. But all we do know is that this is so uncertain. There's no end game that this is likely to go right down to the wire. September 30th, you know, at midnight when the government would shutdown if they don't pass something to keep the government running.

COOPER: Interesting. Dana, appreciate it, Dana Bash.

Up next now, he was looking for help, killed by police. A tragic story raising a lot of questions, we've got all the angles including the dramatic 911 tape.

Also ahead tonight, some incredible video of a man trying to escape an apartment fire by dangling from the fourth floor window. See how people stepped in to save his life.


COOPER: Crime and Punishment segment now, a police officer in North Carolina is charged with voluntary manslaughter for shooting to death an unarmed 24-year-old man. However, the case is anything but open and shut. The confrontation happened in the middle of the night. Police were brought to the scene by a frantic 911 call from a woman who believed the young man was trying to break into her home.

Authorities now believe he knocked on her door seeking help. Complicating the case, the officer is white and the dead man is African-American. Randi Kaye has the story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is 2:30 in the morning this past Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jonathan Ferrell has just survived a horrific car crash. Police say he likely climbed out the back window of this mangled four-door sedan and stumbles to the nearest house for help when he knocks loudly on the door, the woman inside panics and calls 911.



UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's a guy breaking in my front door.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: There's a guy breaking in your front door?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes, he's trying to kick it down.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: You say he's a black male?


UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: We're on our way. Where are you at in the house? UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: He's yelling. He's yelling turn off the alarm.

KAYE: What happens next is hard to fathom. Keep in mind, Ferrell is unarmed. Police arrive minutes after receiving the 911 call. One officer tries to taser Ferrell, but it fails to bring him down. Then, Officer Randall Carrick opens fire.

CHIEF RODNEY MONROE, CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG POLICE: As the officers approach him just to determine if, in fact, he is the individual what's going on, he just immediately takes off and runs toward a particular officer and that officer attempted to retreat, but at the same time fired his weapon.

KAYE: The chief says Officer Carrick fired his weapon 12 times striking Jonathan Ferrell ten times. He dies at the scene. Officer Carrick said he had minor injuries and refuses treatment. Ferrell's mother wants to know why her son had to die.

GEORGIA FERRELL, VICTIM'S MOTHER: My baby don't own a gun, don't own a pocket knife. He wouldn't shoot nobody. It breaks my heart he was looking for help and no one helped him.

KAYE: The 24-year-old Ferrell was a star athlete playing football for Florida A&M University in 2009 and 2010. He was also a chemistry major. His mother says he didn't have any emotional or mental issues that would have led to a deadly run-in with police.

(on camera): The police dash cam video hasn't been released to the media, but the family's attorney says he's viewed it. On it he says Ferrell is seen running toward the officer arms outstretched hands empty. He says it is clear Jonathan Ferrell was unarmed.

MICHAEL GREENE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You can tell he's unarmed. He approaches the officers and they're immediately two dots in the center of his chest. He's like, no, no. Stop, he's coming forward saying stop. And he goes off the camera and you just hear shots, one, two, three, four, pause, one, two, three, four, five, six, pause, one, two.

KAYE: The 27-year-old officer turned himself in hours after the shooting. He told investigators the suspect assaulted him by unknown means. He's charged with voluntary manslaughter, a felony. The officer's attorney says his client had reason to shoot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're confident that at the resolution of this case, it will be found that Officer Carrick's actions were justified on the night in question.

KAYE: Justified or not, the shooting death of an unarmed black man by a white officer has outraged some in the black community. The president of Charlotte's NAACP says shooting innocent black man has become a tradition. He wants Officer Carrick charged with murder.

KOJO NANTAMBU, CHARLOTTE, NAACP: He's coming towards you. You got two other officers there to protect you and the first thing you do is to shoot him? KAYE: Officer Randall Carrick is out of jail now free on $50,000 bond. The other two officers who were also at the scene are on paid administrative leave. Randi Kaye, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: We want to dig deeper on this now. Mark Geragos is a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Sunny Hostin is a former federal prosecutor and also a CNN legal analyst and Kevin Flanagan is a retired New York City police officer and now managing (inaudible) Security Agency. So Mark, what do you make of this case?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's an exception to the rule. Generally when a cop shoots somebody, you don't see the prosecution or the cops file charges or arrest somebody, usually there's an investigation then they make some decision as to whether or not it was excessive force or anything else. I think in this case, you've got -- you've got a situation that clearly is based on race as far as I can tell and that's what's driving this.

COOPER: You're saying that because the man who was shot was African-American and the officer was white?

GERAGOS: I think there's a perception if you see a large black male running at you and you're a white cop, I hate to make it -- drill it down to that simple, that sometimes a different situation than if he had been of some other ethnicity.

COOPER: Sunny, you say you don't know how this is not a case of excessive force.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I think that's right. Excessive force certainly is generally subjective. What was the cop feeling at the time? But I don't know how you explain it as justified when someone shoots 12 times and hits an unarmed man 10 times. It just doesn't make sense. And although Mark and I generally disagree with most things, I think he has a point when he talks about, perhaps, race being a factor. What was the officer's perception? Why did he immediately feel the need to shoot? That just doesn't make much sense.

COOPER: But, Kevin, you were on the NYPD for 21 years. When you hear 12 shots, does that instantly raise red flags for you?

KEVIN FLANAGAN, RETIRED NEW YORK POLICE OFFICER: No, I would -- my guess is that's all he had in his magazine. That once he started shooting he stopped when he ran out of bullets.

COOPER: Aren't you trained to shoot once or twice and then sort of pause?

FLANAGAN: There are a tap, tap, two shots, two shots, two shots. There's a rapid fire, but it's up to the individual, their fear level and their reaction to adverse situation. And, you know, you can only assume that this officer panicked at the time and fired until he had nothing left. COOPER: A lot of these incidents happen very, very quickly and studies were shown. If they're able to deescalate or at least have a few seconds pause, it can make all the difference, right?

FLANAGAN: Absolutely. I'm of the understanding that there was a taser fired first. So there was some type of perceived threat immediately preceding the shooting where one officer fires a taser and the other officer fires his weapon. So something else happened in that little window of time. The 911 caller stayed on the phone apparently for the duration of the police arrival. So the person didn't leave. There has to be something else underlying here that nobody knows about yet.

HOSTIN: And I think Kevin's point is a good one because if the other officer shot off the taser then obviously he also perceived a risk, but then what does that mean? What does that tell us? What was, you know, Jonathan Ferrell doing? Was he approaching them? Why were they so fearful of him? Is it because he was a large black man? Perhaps. Are we, again, now talking about a police officer's fear of a large black man?

COOPER: What is police training or police procedure in terms of drawing your weapon and actually firing?

FLANAGAN: You draw your weapon to in essence -- it's a de- escalation, believe it or not, to take your weapon out to try to freeze the situation because common sense if somebody has a gun drawn on you, you're not going to approach the person. But once you have your gun drawn, you're trying to take control, you want the person to stop, you want to keep a distance of safety, protect yourself and your partner and the public.

I don't know why -- what happened that somebody fires a stun gun to taser the guy and then the second officer shoots, but I doubt that at 2:30 in the morning some cops had it in their head that they were going to go kill somebody tonight. It's not in their mind.

HOSTIN: How is that justifiable? That's what I don't understand. Yes, I think police officers are certainly trained to try to deescalate, but how is shooting off 12 rounds a de-escalation.

COOPER: Also, we don't know much about the service of this officer, how long this officer had been on the force, all of these things. The more experience you have, the more able you are to kind of think rationally in an emergency.

HOSTIN: You shouldn't be responding to this type of call if you aren't capable of handling --

FLANAGAN: But it's your job. You respond. You know, things happen.


GERAGOS: You don't get to -- right. You don't get a pass to only respond when you're out on the street to, you know, only these kinds of instances, these kinds of incidents or those kinds of incidents. I think what they're going to say I think they're already developing the defense. They're going to say, look, this officer was out there. They had a 911 call.

The woman was clearly frightened and agitated and scared. They responded, the taser was used, for whatever reason either the taser malfunctioned or didn't have the impact it was supposed to. Therefore, they fired or he fired his weapon and discharged all of it because the taser didn't work. It could be an unfortunate confluence of factors, but ultimately, it's a very tough case for the prosecution.

COOPER: Yes. We'll leave it there. Mark Geragos, Sunny Hostin, Kevin Flanagan, good to have you on. Thank you.

Well, coming up, there could be a break in two cold cases from more than 40 years ago. Imagine that after a grim discovery in Oklahoma. Skeletal remains of as many as six bodies pulled from a lake and those vehicles we have details ahead.

Also ahead tonight, a man in New York dangles from a fourth story window, his apartment on fire, daring rescue caught on video when we continue.


COOPER: Steering a 15-ton truck through treacherous terrain near a quarry is not for the faint of heart, but as it turns out under the right conditions, even a rodent can do it. "The Ridiculist" is coming up later.


COOPER: Getting caught up on some other stories we're following. Isha is here with the 360 Bulletin -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a massive storm in Western Mexico has strengthened into Hurricane Manuel. It's one of three storms that have hit the country killing at least 80 people. Heavy rains and devastating floods have stranded some 40,000 tourists, many of them in Acapulco.

Authorities in Western Oklahoma have pulled two cars from a lake that may contain the skeletal remains of up to six people. The discovery may solve two cold missing person cases dating back more than four decades. However, authorities warn positive identification could take years if it's even possible.

And, Anderson, a scary sight in New York City, a man is dangling from his fourth-story window after his apartment catches fire. He didn't have a fire escape. Some quick-thinking people came to the rescue with a ladder, thankfully. And we're told he escaped without serious injury.

COOPER: Looks like that guy wasn't attached to rope at all. That's incredible. SESAY: And you know, great bravery.

COOPER: Yes, really thanks. Isha, thanks very much. The "Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." How many times has this happened to you? You're hanging out at a quarry in Spain that's infamous for the beautiful yet treacherous terrain. And suddenly think to yourself, "I wonder what is the best way to test the dynamic steering system on this 15-ton truck?"


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is the ultimate test of the steering system. You will see a hamster steering a truck from the bottom of this quarry to the top.


COOPER: Yes. According to Volvo Trucks, the latest steering system is so easy to handle, even a hamster can do it. Now, I'm no veterinarian, but will someone tell me how a hamster is going to steer a truck when it can't even see out the window?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hamster cannot look out the window so we will have the driver guide the hamster.


COOPER: The hamster running after a carrot on a wheel to steer a truck trick. I've got to see how this one turns out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was close. OK. Be careful.


COOPER: Lesson learned. If you have a hamster, let him drive your vehicle. Got it? This represents leaps and bounds in respect for the majesty that is the hamster. For years we thought of him as only a star of a certain viral video. But it's good enough for me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite YouTube thing is animals and my favorite animal thing is hamster on a piano. Listen.


COOPER: Of course, there is as we know a tremendous amount of competition in the rodent world. I have no idea what's going on. Yes, we now have the hamster that can drive trucks, but can they skateboard? These are the skateboarding mice of radical rodents. I know what you're thinking, these are just photographs. They're not doing anything, fine, how about this one? Surfing mice. There you go. There they are hanging ten. Wait, do mice have ten toes? Do they have hooves?

I don't know. Mickey Mouse always had those big yellow shoes on so it's always very hard to count his toes. See, mice are all about leisure activities. Is everybody stoned? I don't know what's going on. Mice are all about leisure activities, ask them to test your dynamic steering system and they're all like, no way, man, I'm going surfing, smell you later.

Which is why, I believe it was Aesop who said this -- I don't know what is going on. You never send a mouse to do a hamster's job. That's what Aesop said on the "Ridiculist." Man, long night. We'll see you again one hour from now at 360, later actually, starts at 10:00. Hope you join us. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts right now.