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Armed Forces Lead Plane Investigation; Police: Cyclist & Two Women Killed by Gunman; El Faro Found. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 1, 2015 - 07:00   ET


[07:00:03] VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: This is a good one.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: This is already called the Miami miracle, right?


BLACKWELL: Thanks, Coy.

PAUL: Coy, thank you.

And thank you so much for starting your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: A lot more ahead on the next hour of NEW DAY. Stay with us.



BLACKWELL: Armed forces and relief teams now going through the wreckage of a Russian passenger jet that crashed in Egypt. Investigators now have the flight recorders. Will they reveal the cause of this crash?

PAUL: El Faro possibly found. The Navy believes it has located a cargo ship carrying American workers deep under water. How can this 800-foot long ship be brought back to the surface?

Also --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when they shot him a good 20 times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I didn't hit the ground, I would be dead.


BLACKWELL: A hail of gunfire. Police in the shoot-out with an armed suspect. In the end, three people are dead and police are trying to figure out why.

PAUL: Here we are, always so grateful for your company. Thanks for being with us this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for watching.

We're starting this hour in Egypt, where the investigation into the crash of Metro Jet Flight 9268 has resumed along the Sinai Peninsula.

PAUL: Russian and Egyptian teams are working in tandem trying to recover the bodies of the victims and combing through that crash site. Two hundred twenty-four people were on board when the plane went down and there are no survivors.

BLACKWELL: We're also getting new pictures of the wreckage, these hunks of metal, you see the luggage there as well, seats and debris spread out over six miles.

PAUL: Every inch is going to be scoured by investigative teams trying to figure out how a plane could cash security checks as this did just moments before it crashed after takeoff. We are covering the story from around the world.

We begin with senior international correspondent Arwa Damon, who's following it, the story from Sharm el-Sheikh, where the plane departed of course.

So, Arwa, we want to know what officials there are saying and what they're making of these claims by ISIS affiliated militants that they -- that ISIS shot down this plane?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, both Russian and Egyptian authorities at this stage are dismissing that ISIS claim. One Egyptian military source CNN spoke to said that the Islamic militants, whether they were affiliated with ISIS or not that operate in the Sinai, do not have the capabilities to bring down an aircraft traveling at 31,000 feet.

According to this source, the maximum distance that the missiles, the surface-to-air missiles that are within these militants hands would go to around 14,000 feet so far from being able to reach that particular aircraft. And Egyptian authorities are also going so far to say that they had absolutely no indication that anything was wrong with this aircraft.

PAUL: So do investigators, as we look at this, they are going through it so quickly, it seems. I mean, this just happened yesterday. We don't see this kind -- this expeditious, it's not so expedient as we're seeing today, as we normally do. Is that because they were able to get so the site so quickly?

DAMON: Well, within four to five hours after the aircraft disappeared from radar, they were able to identify the crash site. They were able to get there fairly quickly and begin that job of trying to recover the various body, upwards of 160 record so far, being taken to around six morgues in Cairo. From there, of course, the very grim and difficult task of identifying them and getting those remains back home. The two black boxes recovered from the site fairly quickly as well. Now, depending on the damage done to the two black boxes, we will have to wait and see. It can take days, weeks, months to actually recover vital information that they do contain. They hopefully, will give that final piece to the puzzle that will be put into place to give those families and everyone who is asking the big question what is it that took place?

Egyptian authorities are saying that there was no distress signal given out from the plane before it down, that it just simply vanished from the radar. And some analysts have been quick to criticize Egyptian authorities to a certain degree, saying that they were surprised that they dismissed foul play so early on in this investigation.

PAUL: All right. We want to go to international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson now as well. He's live at the airport in St. Petersburg.

And we've been talking here -- Arwa is talking about how the bodies are going to be processed.

[07:05:01] We are hearing some could return as soon as today to Russia. What are you hearing there from the people? Because I know there is a memorial set up behind you that continues to grow for these passengers and for the children in particular as well who were on that flight.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it's a national day of mourning here. And the first bodies are expected back today, but it is a huge day of sadness here. We are standing at the airport. We have been watching these floral tributes grow through the day. Every minute, fresh flowers arrive and more people come and children leaving toys and people lighting candles, people coming to leave flowers. There's a real sense of solidarity here, of sorrow, of sympathy, of support of people recognizing it could have been them on the plane.

The families gathered who here a few hours ago, have been taken to a nearby hotel. Government officials are briefing them and they are giving them medical help as well. There are psychologists on hand to help the families -- 65 psychologists, we are told, who are trying to help the grieving families. Ambulances were called in the night as well to help the families.

But while we have been standing here, you see so many people that are offering their support. They don't know people often who were on the plane.

But we have spoken to a mother here who arrived. She was in tears. She arrived, laid some flowers here. She almost collapsed. She told us she got off a plane from Siberia that her daughter was on the flight that crashed.

And another man, his good friend had been on the plane. He said his friend had been saving five years to take his young wife and 6-month- old child. That they've gone to Sharm el-Sheikh. The friend telling he was devastated at the shock of the loss.

Stunning around here, I look at people here, tears in their eyes. There is a real sense of sadness around us right now.

PAUL: You can't help but absorb it, I'm sure.

Nic Robertson, Arwa Damon, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN aviation analyst Les Abend, joining us.

Les, I want to bring up the FlightRadar24 information released about Flight 9268, the altitude and speed changes. Let's put up the first chart here. This is speed, climbed from 272 knots to about 405 knots, roughly 466 in miles per hour, for 20 minutes. Until suddenly, at 6:11, it just drops there. And then no data tracked after 6:13.

Now for altitude. Steady climb to just over 30,000 feet and starts to descend and nothing from radar after that.

What can you deduce from these two charts and this information?

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: You know, Victor, it's very preliminary, but -- I mean, it's disturbing to me. It indicates me that something occurred possibly in the way of aerodynamic stall. I mean, an airplane just cannot fly at those lower speeds. Apparently that data was not available at a certain point. It just couldn't compute the data.

Also, within that graphic, there's a vertical speed, mostly negative, in other words down, that indicated that it was coming down rapidly, but the speeds are unattainable to maintain lift on that aircraft. So, that's very disturbing and concerning to me.

BLACKWELL: Ultimately, we know the answers will come from these flight data recorders. Those are being analyzed. But let's put the pictures and the video if we have them -- there they are -- of the debris there at the scene. And let's drop the banner so we can see as much of it as we can.

What can be gleaned from these pictures? Anything ruled in or out?

ABEND: Once again, Victor, this is preliminary information, but you're looking at fair chunk of this aircraft to put it in those terms. Just by virtue that there was a lot of recovery of the bodies in one area, it seems, indicates something about the way the airplane broke apart and perhaps could have impacted intact, perhaps at the rate that it was falling from the sky, it's possible that there are pieces of it that came off and other parts so the remaining passengers may be found elsewhere.

But it does say something to the effect of this planned view, it would be better if there was a planned view of the entire accident site, but at this point, it's hard to say. It may have broken up in flight. It's hard to say.

BLACKWELL: All right. Les Abend, thank you so much -- as we wait for the full analysis from these two flight data recorders, we will continue to get as much information regarding the pictures and the investigation there on the ground as we can. Les, thanks so much.

ABEND: My pleasure.

PAUL: A discovery 15,000 feet under water. Now, a tiny submarine is tasked with trying to discern for sure.

[07:10:04] Is this the missing El Faro cargo ship?

Also, oh, my goodness. Such strong storms and record rainfall and water rescues. All of this across Texas as they are dealing with the damage left behind after days of rain and more on the way too.

Also up next, witnesses diving for cover when police opened fire on an armed suspect. Dozens of shots were fired here. What led to this deadly shoot-out?


[07:13:37] BLACKWELL: We've got some new details about that breaking news we are following this morning on the campus of North Carolina's Winston-Salem State University. School officials say one person was killed and another injured during a shooting. Both are believed to be students.

Now, here is the new element. The suspect has now been identified by school officials as Jared Jerome Moore (ph), not believed to be a student. Campus authorities say the gunfire erupted before 1:30 this morning. The officials there say the campus has been cleared. The earlier lockdown has been lifted. Winston-Salem city police are helping the campus police with this investigation.

PAUL: Meanwhile, police in Colorado Springs haven't determined yet the motive of its shoot-out near downtown that left four people dead, including the gunman who police tell the authorities was heavily armed. Besides fatally shooting a cyclist and two other people, witnesses say the gunman also set a house on fire.

CNN's Sara Ganim following this for us this morning.

Sara, what have you learned?


We are still waiting for many more details from police, before we can really understand what happened here. But for the information we do have, it seems that this gunman just started firing at people early on a Saturday morning. Very scary according to witnesses who described what happened.


GANIM (voice-over): It began with shots fired just east of downtown Colorado Springs. That's where police find a bicyclist dead on side of the street. [07:15:03] The gunman takes off a half mile across town and then

shoots and kills two women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me and my son were at 7-Eleven using the ATM and we -- so, we walked outside and as soon as I walked outside, I heard six gunshots. The gunshots were up the street. We get across the street and he cop cars swarm in and I saw the guy just -- he was walking with a gun in his hand.

GANIM: When police catch up with the suspect, witnesses say the gunman opened fire on the officers. One man says the bullets blew right over his head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I didn't hit the ground, I'd be dead right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They yelled, "Put the gun down", and he turned around and that is when they shot him a good 20 times. Or shot at him at least a good 20 times. There was a lot of fire.


GANIM: Now, according to our affiliate KKTV, there is a possibility that other people may have also been shot and injured near where that bicyclist was shot and killed. Police are also looking into witness accounts that the shooter may have set a small fire at an apartment complex also near that initial first location.

And, today, a lot of the areas of downtown Colorado Springs are blocked off as police are investigating. Treating it as a crime scene and trying to figure out what happened. We are hoping for more details later in the day, Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sara Ganim, thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. For all of you who are out with your kids and their costumes yesterday, listen to this one, a car jumped a curb yesterday and then plowed into a croup of trick-or-treaters and their families. Three people were killed. This happened in the Bronx Saturday afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All you heard was the vroom literally moo the gate and the car landing on top of this young kid's body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I got there, I didn't know if it was a Halloween dummy or a person.


BLACKWELL: Wow. Witnesses say that this scene was so gruesome that grown men were standing there and crying. Investigators are trying to figure out what exactly happened and why. The driver 52 years old here was hospitalized. We know he's in stable condition.

PAUL: And at least 15 people are dead after an attack at a hotel in Somalia. Authorities say gunman stormed the popular hotel in Mogadishu after setting off a series of explosions, including a suicide car bomb at the gates. The Islamist militant group al Shabaab is claiming responsibility there.

And the military surveillance blimp that was rogue last week is, as you can see here, sort of back in the air. National Guard personnel used a helicopter to fetch what was left of that blimp out of the woods in rural Pennsylvania yesterday. The blimp broke free from a military base in Maryland and drifted more than 150 miles before landing. The remaining parts are now at an armed forces reserve center near Danville.

BLACKWELL: Texas and the Gulf Coast has been hammered with record amounts of rain for days, record amounts in some places. Several people we know died in these storms. The question here -- when is all of this going to end?

Plus, a remote navy sub going deep underwater. On board, a special camera to search the wreckage of a missing cargo ship. Could this sub help determine what took down El Faro?


[07:21:43] BLACKWELL: At least six people are dead after a powerful weekend storm raced across Texas. At least 20 inches of rain drenched areas near Austin and tornadoes also posed a threat.

Look at that, high water swallow that car, trapped some drivers and there were a couple of flash flood warnings and watches. Some still in place for the eastern half of Texas. But as we know, it's not over, more rainfall likely to come to that area and along the Gulf Coast.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar at the weather center, tracking all of this.

So, what is ahead?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, more rain, Victor. The good news is not in the same spots. Now, the system is beginning to push a little bit towards the east, but it's the areas that have seen the rain, a delayed effect for recovery.

In fact, take a look beneath mere. Look at all of the rain we have had in Texas, incredible amounts. This is the past 48 hours. Now, the heaviest rain in that stretch between Austin and San Antonio where they picked up over 16 inches of rain in some spots, about 20 inches.

In fact, take a look at some of these totals. Killeen, Texas, 21 inches. Austin, San Marcos, again, 16 inches of rain. Now, in those particular areas, we are finally starting to see the rain move out.

But, now, we take a look at the next 48 hours, and you can see all of that rain just begins to push to the east. So, states like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and even into the Carolinas, you're next. Those are the areas expected to pick up now 4 to 10 inches of rain.

But it hasn't been the rain but it's also been the severe weather. And take a look at this. We had seven tornado reports yesterday. Seven! Now, not all of them confirmed yet. They will send survey crews out later today to determine more of the specifics and what strength the tornadoes might possibly be.

But we do know of damage, especially in Louisiana from where some of those storm reports actually happened. Now, here is a look. As the rain continues to push off to the east, it's also going to shift north. So, even states like Tennessee and Kentucky and West Virginia also going to sort of pick up some rain out of this as well, but the heaviest will actually be on the southern tier.

So, right along the Florida panhandle and also into southern Mississippi and Alabama, that's where we're going to see some of the heaviest rain. Because of that, that's also where we have the flood watch. You can see stretching from Louisiana all the way over towards Alabama.

This is where we expect those heaviest pockets of rain to be. We already gave you some of those totals. Here you can see the moisture. Again, just being able to surge, pulling in the moisture from the Gulf.

Here is the system. It begins to push off to the north and also into the east. And rainfall totals with this, as we mentioned, four to inches inches. But we could see as much as 10 inches.

So, similar to what we saw in Texas just now beginning to shift a little bit farther to the east.

BLACKWELL: All right. They should all prepare. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

PAUL: You know, for a month, search teams have combed the Caribbean for any sign of a cargo ship that carried dozens of American workers. Well, now, the U.S. Navy thinks it has found the El Faro. How can the ship be recovered when it's 15,000 feet below the surface of the water?

Also, hundreds of bodies now pulled from the wreckage of a Russian passenger jet, as a makeshift memorial grows outside of the airport in St. Petersburg. We'll take you there. Stay close.


[07:28:27] BLACKWELL: New this morning on CNN: A cargo ship that went down in a hurricane exactly one month ago appears to have been found. The U.S. Navy says it's about three miles below the surface. Now, a drone will likely go down maybe sometime today to confirm the ship is the El Faro which sank during Hurricane Joaquin.

We've got our Nick Valencia here covering the story for us.

How certain is the Navy that this is El Faro? NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're certain as they can be

right now. They sent a team of NTSB investigators, as well as investigators from the U.S. Navy. You mentioned, they're going to send a remote operated deep water device into the waters, at 15,000 feet down, or about three miles into that water to confirm with 100 percent certainty that this is the wreckage from El Faro.

They have been using high tech sonar technology in the area for a week the last time they spotted it off the east of the Bahamas. They believe that this is the wreckage, but they're going to go in underwater today, Victor, to figure out if this is it. It is exactly one month since El Faro went missing on that voyage from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, 33 members on board, 28 of them are Americans.

And these families of these crewmembers on board have been looking for closure this last month.

BLACKWELL: Have we heard from them all since this news broke?

VALENCIA: We have. And in the last week, actually, one of the family members of these victims has filed a lawsuit against the owner of the vessel. They are seeking damages. But because, according to local reports, because of an existing maritime law, they can only see up to $30,000 in damages which doesn't seem like that much money considering exactly what they have gone through over the course of these last four weeks.

BLACKWELL: OK. And we know that this drone will go down and that is likely to happen sometime today?

VALENCIA: As early as today it's expected to happen. They spotted these images yesterday afternoon, about 1:30 off the eastern coast of the Bahamas.