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Texas Shooting: Suspect Charged with Capital Murder; Fan Dies from Fall at Braves Game; Presidential Race Tightens in Iowa. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired August 30, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:00] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.


Right now, the suspect facing charges in the execution-style shooting of a sheriff's deputy is in jail. Shannon Miles is facing capital murder charges, accused of shooting and killing a Texas lawman who was putting gas into his patrol car.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were really, really disturbed. The guy fell -- he fell very hard. It was not good.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning -- a fan dies after falling from the upper deck of Atlanta's Turner Field during a major league baseball game. This man tumbled out of the stadium's top level as the Braves-Yankees played below. Can you imagine what people saw?

BLACKWELL: And it's not just Donald Trump surging in the polls. Bernie Sanders now making a play for the top spot in Iowa, continuing to cut into Hillary Clinton's lead.

PAUL: All that and so much more. We are so grateful for your company, as always. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: So much more. I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this Sunday morning.

First, the grieving widow of a sheriff's deputy who was killed, as the sheriff there said, execution-style. She said her husband combined toughness and gentility.

As for the suspect, Shannon J. Miles, he's charged with capital murder in Deputy Darren Goforth's death. Miles was taken into custody yesterday.

Police say the people who lived in the area of the shooting helped lead investigators to miles. He has a criminal record. This all unfolded while Goforth was putting gas into his patrol car in Houston, and that's when he was shot in the back, shot several times Friday night.

And look at this, hundreds of people -- just imagine this community -- hundreds of people here at this vigil last night at the gas station where Goforth was killed. They prayed, lit candles here. Remember, this is a 47-year-old husband and father of two.

CNN's Nick Valencia is following this case and all the developments here.

The big question here is why? I mean, it seemed like this happened with so much passion. Have investigators been able to answer that question?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor. They have not officially announced a motive and the suspect has not given them a motive either. Authorities there in Harris County were pretty convinced as to why they believe that this 10-year veteran of the Harris County sheriff's office was murdered on Friday night.


SHERIFF RON HICKMAN, HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS: We have not been able to extract any details regarding a motive at this point. As far as we know, Deputy Goforth had no previous contact with the suspect. And it appears to be completely unprovoked.

At this moment, as this morning, our assumption is that he was a target because he wore a uniform.


VALENCIA: Sheriff Ron Hickman went onto say he believes this is absolute madness. That's why he believes this suspect was allegedly -- allegedly gunned down the sheriff's deputy.

We also heard an impassioned plea from Devon Anderson, the Harris County district attorney who said the silent majority need to step forward. It's time to support law enforcement she says. They believe there in that county there is open warfare, they called it, on law enforcement officials, not just in Texas but the entire country -- guys.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you more about the suspect, Shannon Miles. I said a moment ago that we know he has a criminal record. Do we have any details there? Or what else do we know about him?

VALENCIA: We have been taking a closer look at this man you're looking at there on your screen, Shannon J. Miles. He has a history of arrest and offenses in the state of Texas, criminal history that includes charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, evading detention and disorderly conduct with a firearm. Because of his role now, in his involvement, believed involvement of shooting and gunning down this sheriff's deputy, he's now facing a capital murder charge -- Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Could you explain the tracking that was used here? From what I understand, there was some tracking of a vehicle?

VALENCIA: That's right. So, we're hearing a couple of things. Yesterday, we heard from the Texas Department of Public Safety who said that the suspect's mother actually played an instrumental role in turning her son in. She said there was a conversation they had that led her to believe he was somehow involved in this shooting. So, that's what we heard from Texas DPS. What we heard yesterday at the press conference is that authorities used a tracking device on that Ford pickup truck that he was driving, red pickup truck he was driving, I should say. There was also local residents in the area who witnessed they say Shannon J. Miles pulling the trigger.

Again, the details of this, just really, no other way to put it, guys, just ruthless. This suspect is alleged to have fired the gunshots as this deputy was not looking, was not paying attention, so from behind, and continued to fire on the deputy as this deputy was on the ground -- guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Nick Valencia, getting us up-to-date on the story. Still getting new details here.

Nick, thanks so much.

VALENCIA: Thanks, guys.

PAUL: I want to bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Cedric Alexander with us now.

Thank you so much.

CEDRIC ALEXANDER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Thank you for having me this morning.

PAUL: So, we just heard that term open warfare on police.

[07:05:02] Do you believe that is the case right now?

ALEXANDER: Well, what we do know, there is certainly an attitude towards police that is somewhat questionable by people in the community, considering the fact over the last year, we've seen a lot of attitudes change that relate to police community relationships. So, I wouldn't go as far to say as open warfare, because there are great number of people out there across this country who thoroughly support the police department.

But do we have those elements that are out there that somehow are looking at this in a very different kind of way? Yes. And I think we've seen that clearly here.

Here's what's very encouraging after this unfortunate loss of live. His mother took part in turning him in. We also heard reports too of the community coming forth and taking part and helping local sheriff's department there identify and locate the subject. So, that says a lot about that community. It says a lot about its relationship.

But yes there are challenges going on out there. And a lot of people do have this attitude towards police that is very negative and we cannot support that. And because what we have to consider all the time is that for all of us to experience that good public safety, we have to have a police department and public that works well together.

BLACKWELL: So, the sheriff said that essentially what they believe now is that Deputy Goforth was killed simply because he was wearing the uniform. I mean, law enforcement is not going to stop wearing law enforcement uniforms. I don't think most people want them to.

What other options are there? Are there other options to protect some of these law enforcement officers?

ALEXANDER: Well, what police is going to continue to do and I even considered my own jurisdiction here in DeKalb County, is that we're going to continue to do our job. We're going to wear our uniforms proudly. We're going to protect the public as we're sworn to do. And we're not going to change any of that. We're going to continue to encourage our relationship building with our communities and our police department. And you're going to see that across the country.

But here's really what's very important is that community support their local police. That is so important to the public safety of all of us, because anyone in our communities that are violent, that's creating violence. But here the deputy who lost his life protecting that community, those lives, all lives, not some lives, all lives. And that is important to note in this case, because he lost his life. That was just a down right assassination, an execution.

And whatever becomes of this young man will be left up to the courts there in the state of Texas. But it is sad and it is tragic. We as Americans should not tolerate it by any -- by any means.

PAUL: When you look at his criminal history, charges of resisting arrest, trespassing, leading to tensions, disorderly conduct with a firearm, would you expect charges like that from a man to escalate into something like this?

ALEXANDER: Well, oftentimes we see and I think you will find the literature out there to support this fact as well, too, once a person gets on a trajectory of continuous criminal behavior, it can lead to a number of things, even to violence, and violence which leads to death. In this case the deputy who lost his life, he wasn't able to defend himself. It was a cowardly act, one in which none of us in this country should support, what should come to an aid to that community, of that family, and you saw the large turnout there in that community last night. And that speaks volumes to that community.

But the country as a whole is that we have to make sure that in our local communities, police and community are joining in making sure that we communicate with each other and we support each other, particularly when tragedy comes into our communities.

PAUL: Cedric Alexander, we always appreciate your voice on this -- thank you.

ALEXANDER: Thank you very much for having me. PAUL: Absolutely.

Well, this is some news that a lot of people have been watching, this fan tumbling off the upper deck of Turner Field where the Atlanta Braves play. He has died now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy fell and he fell very hard. It was not good. They were doing CPR from the moment they got to him and they were still doing it on him when they left.


PAUL: Police investigating what caused a man to fall head first onto that concrete walkway. They do not believe foul play was involved, we should point out.

But CNN sports anchor Andy Scholes has been following the story.

A lot of passionate fans in this game, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes, this was a big game. Sellout crowd on hand to see Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees take on the Braves, in an interleague series. And since this was in a national park, A-Rod wasn't playing the whole came since he's a designated hitter, and in the seventh inning, he came to the plate for the very first time. So this was the fans' first time in Atlanta booing and yelling at A-Rod. That's what baseball fans like to do these days.

[07:10:00] And witnesses in the upper deck section say the man who was in his 60s was at the rail yelling at A-Rod and he fell over. Now, the man dropped 50 feet down to the lower level seats. No one in that lower level was injured, but the man on his way down hit wires that hold up the net behind home plate on his way down. Witnesses say paramedics immediately begun CPR on the man. He was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The Braves released a statement saying, "We have received confirmation that the fan involved in an incident at this evening's game has passed away. The Atlanta Braves offer their deepest condolences to the family."

Now, this is not the first time a fan has fallen from the upper deck at Turner Field. In 2013, a fan died after falling 85 feet, that death was ruled a suicide. And in 2011 in Texas, firefighter Shannon Stone, he died after falling out of the outfield seats trying to catch a ball from Josh Hamilton. And after that incident the Texas Rangers did a complete review of the stadium's safety measures and made changes to all the railings and the ballpark.

It's going to be interesting what the Braves end up doing next season as their last at Turner Field before they move to a new stadium.

PAUL: Yes. Good point. I just can't help but think not just of his family but these other families, the kids that might have seen, because he fell right in front of some of them and that is tough.

Andy Scholes, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's talk about the new polling out of Iowa that is revealing some important narrowing for the Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders surging. But will the people there continue to, as his supporters say, feel the Bern?

Plus new reporting on the debris found on a French island in the Indian Ocean. Why investigators are not sure if it belongs to MH370.


PAUL: Fourteen minutes past the hour right now.

[07:15:01] And presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is continuing to cut into Hillary Clinton's lead a bit, let's say. Look at this new survey from "The Des Moines Register" and Bloomberg Politics showing Sanders -- look at that -- edging within seven points of the former secretary of state in this critical early voting state, Iowa.

Now, this doesn't just mark a remarkable eight-month climb for Sanders. But it does reveal that the secretary of state has lost one- third of her support in Iowa this year.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is live in Washington.

You've been looking at the numbers. What stood out to you?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is clearly going to be a reality check for Democrats, particularly really for the Clinton campaign, Christi. You see Clinton still holding a major lead nationally. But these numbers from Iowans is likely to cause a bit angst among Democrats. A survey from "The Des Moines Register", as well as Bloomberg Politics, that you just mentioned, finding that Senator Bernie Sanders trailing Clinton 37 percent to 30 percent.

Clinton also appears to have lost one-third of her support since May, as you mentioned. By the way, if you look at the numbers, too, what's interesting also is Vice President Biden gathering at least 14 percent of the vote there out of potential caucus-goers there. Remember, he still hasn't thrown his hat in the race.

So, why such a narrow gap between Clinton and her opponent? Well, the poll found that it may not necessarily be an opposition to Clinton as much as really the enthusiasm and also the deep support for Sanders. In fact, a whopping 96 percent of his backers saying that they support his ideas. A very small number of those potential caucus goers saying that they would actually want to use their vote to stop a Clinton candidacy.

Now, these numbers may not come as a complete surprise though for many. In fact, Clinton actually finished third in 2008 caucuses, Christie. So, this poll is also being released also as we approach -- as we see a different approach from Clinton. You remember that she really was a bit more aggressive towards Republicans. She even called them, quote, "terrorist groups" when it comes to the issue of women's health.

So, Clinton still holding onto a major lead here, but it's still very early. Nonetheless, these are some numbers they should definitely keep --

PAUL: Early and saying, you know, one-fifth of voters have a negative view of Clinton and a lot of that comes down to trustworthiness. How does she plan to overcome that?

SANDOVAL: We have clearly seen also a Hillary Clinton that has tried to be more accessible to the voters and even to reporters as well. Very different Hillary Clinton that we're seeing now compared to what we say earlier this year. We see her hosting more of these town hall events as well, and also allowing more of her personality to shine through.

So, I think that this could be an approach that we'll see from the Clinton campaign, in the months to come, especially as get closer to next year.

PAUL: All right. Thank you so much, Polo, Sandoval. We appreciate it.

SANDOVAL: You bet.

PAUL: And Sanders, by the way, is not the only candidate surging in Iowa. In about ten minutes, we're going to tell you who's inching closer to Trump's top spot in the GOP pack.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about this extreme weather in Washington blamed for at least two deaths. The unusually wicked storms, bringing down trees, knocking out power. We're going to tell you which areas are at risk today.

Plus, still no clear answer about this, this piece of an airplane's wing found on a French island. Malaysian officials claimed it was part of MH370, the missing Malaysian jet. Investigators in France now are not so sure.


[07:22:04] PAUL: Just when you thought we might have some answers, French experts say they have not figured out if this plane wing actually belonged to MH370. The airliner disappeared last year with 239 people on board. Investigators know the part comes from a Boeing 777, but they say they still need to identify that number inside the flaperon.

BLACKWELL: A rising star who made history on Broadway suddenly dies. Twenty-one-year-old Kyle Jean-Baptiste died Saturday. He fell from a fire escape. He was the first African-American to play the lead role in a Broadway production of "Les Miserables". PAUL: A memorial today for three firefighters killed while battling a

massive wildfire. The men died last week in the Twisp River Fire in Washington state torched their van. That fire is 85 percent contained now.

Look at these pictures. Fellow firefighters are going to honor those three at a citywide memorial.

Also in Washington state, at least two people in Washington have died because of wicked storms there.

PAUL: Yes, one man was killed after winds knocked a tree on his car. I believed we have pictures of it here. His daughter was in the back seat, 3 years old. She was unharmed. Another person who died was just ten years old. A little girl was playing outside a friend's house when a branch fell and hit her.

Let's bring in meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

Allison, how strong were these winds?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We had some reports, Victor, up to 90 miles per hour. That's hurricane strength even though this wasn't actually a hurricane that moved through. Here is actually a map showing all of the storm reports that we got from yesterday, and these were just wind reports. Again, very impressive numbers.

Oceanside, Oregon, that's where we had that 90 miles per hour wind gust, but a lot of areas picking up 70 or 80 miles per hour wind gusts. Even Marietta, Washington, 65 miles per hour. Now, here is a look at the forecast of those winds, again, we still expect several areas 40 to 50 miles per hour today.

Now, some of the stronger winds will be sliding into parts of Montana. But again, Washington state is still going to be dealing with that. So, more power outages could be possible throughout the day, and again, some more tree limbs could fall down as we progress through the rest of the day today.

Fire outlook -- now one perk of those storms from yesterday is we finally got some much-needed rain. So that fire risk does start to shift a little bit off towards the east. But there are some dry thunderstorms that could come out of this and the reason for that is, when you get that rain from the coast, it gets dried out and squeezes all the moisture out as it moved over the mountains. That's why the eastern half of the states really don't pick too much up.

But we are expecting around Seattle, Everett and Tacoma around two to four inches. And some other areas including Portland picking up one to two inches of rain.

But we're also keeping an eye on the remnants of Erika down in Florida. Again, you can see, it's right there position between Cuba and Florida, already starting to bring rain down towards Naples and Miami. But as we go through the day, those showers begin to shift a little bit farther north, again starting the potential for flooding. [07:25:02] That's why we have the flood watch for the southern half of

the state. And those flood watches could be extended farther north as we get into the next 24 hours. Here's what we expect in the next 36 hours. Four to six inches in parts of Sarasota, also near Miami.

A lot of areas including Orlando and Fort Myers picking up two to four inches of rain. So, again, Victor, Christi, we'll have to keep a close eye in the next couple of days to see exactly how bad the flooding does end up getting for the state of Florida.

BLACKWELL: All right. Allison Chinchar for us, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Allison.

You know, it's always interesting when the poll numbers come out. New poll numbers and we're going to take a look at who's closing gap it seems on frontrunner Donald Trump.

BLACKWELL: Plus, just hours after the arrest of a man accused of killing a Texas sheriff's deputy, hundreds turn out to remember the deputy at the gas station where he was killed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really are out here to do good. And I know the guys that I work with, these deputies out here, when there's bad guys out there, we're out here to catch them or we're out there to protect the citizens.

We love you, guys. We really do.



DEVON ANDERSON, HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It is time for the silent majority in this country to support law enforcement. There are a few bad apples in every profession. That does not mean that there should be open warfare declared on law enforcement.


PAUL: Very impassioned words there yesterday, coming from Texas, after this suspect in the killing of that sheriff's deputy is charged with capital murder. That's among several stories that are developing right now. Let's talk about suspect Shannon J. Miles.