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Santa Barbara Rampage; Ukraine in Crisis

Aired May 25, 2014 - 06:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Pictures there of a candlelight vigil and scenes from that horrible incident yesterday that we are still learning so much about today. We're glad that you're saying your time with us this morning. I'm Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell. Six o'clock here now on the East Coast. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

And we're starting this hour, of course, with the devastating news from that sleepy college town in California, a town now in mourning after a madman went on a rampage, killing six members of the community before taking his own life.

PAUL: And we know the shooter's identity, it's 22-year-old Elliot Rodger. This guy apparently described a lifetime of rejection by women and sexual frustration. In a 140-page manifesto and left behind a YouTube video detailing his plan to attack.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity.


BLACKWELL: Meanwhile, the Santa Barbara community is united in anguish. Last night thousands of students and residents staged a candlelight vigil, singing "Amazing Grace" also walk through the streets of Isla Vista.

PAUL: Some of the deepest pain is being sought by those who lost the people they love Friday night, including the father of 21-year-old Christopher Martinez. He lashed out his anger at his son's death.


RICHARD MARTINEZ: Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris' right to live?


BLACKWELL: Let's go back to Friday night, because we now have a better understanding of the killing spree that took so many lives. The rampage started at Rodger's apartment where he believed to have stabbed three men to death. From there, he drove to the Alpha Phi sorority house, he shot three young women outside standing out, two of those women were killed, and here's the rob.

PAUL: Yes, Roger then continued to a local deli where he shot and killed his sixth victim and then drove down other streets, firing multiple rounds of people on the sidewalk, hitting pedestrians, crashing into bicycles. At least several points exchanged fire with police as well.

BLACKWELL: And that attack finally came to an end when Rodger crashed his BMW into several parked cars when he was dragged out of the vehicle and handcuffed, but he was already dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

PAUL: Sara Sidner has been following this story as it unfolded on that tragic night on Friday. Take a look.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police say this is where the sinister plan of a disturbed student began to unfold. Three people all stabbed to death are taken from the apartment of 22-year- old Elliot Rodger and then police say Rodger turned his rage on strangers, carrying out a chilling plan he detailed on YouTube.

ELLIOT RODGER, SUSPECT: On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house of UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled stuck-up blond (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I see inside there.

SIDNER: Police say Rodger pounded on the door but never made it inside the sorority. Instead, he began gunning people down outside. When we arrived, blood and flowers marked the spot where three young women were shot, two killed.

(on camera): So, you're there at the fraternity.


SIDNER: You're just down the street and you come around the corner after hearing gunshots and what'd you see?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So, I came up and basically there was a young girl laying right here, and she was, I could just tell immediately that she was gone. I saw a gash on her abdomen, like on her side and also one through her head. So you could tell she wasn't bleeding anymore, so that she was gone.

There was another girl right here.

SIDNER: My God, there were more than one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was three girls, yes. There was a right there and she was really, really struggling. You could tell she was just barely able to move her eyes and just moving her arms slightly, and then there was another girl right here, and she was kind of laying down crouched.

She was still conscious. She was talking. She immediately got on the phone with her mother, and was telling her mother with how much she loved her and she wasn't sure that she was going to make it. And then it probably took about a minute or two and the one right here passed away.

SIDNER (voice-over): The third victim there survived, but the drive-by shooting spree continued, snatching away life with reckless abandon, leading families in searing emotional pain.

MARTINEZ: He was the most warm, loving, kind-he kind-hearted kid you could ask for. I mean, it's just -- you talk to people that knew him, they would tell you, just a great kid. He had a beautiful soul. He was kind and thoughtful.

SIDNER: His son, 20-year-old student Christopher Ross-Martinez, just wanted to grab a bite to eat at this market. He lost his life instead. He, along with five other innocents, are dead. Police say all victims of a young man with a deadly plan -- guns, a fast car, and plenty of ammunition.


BLACKWELL: Sara Sidner joins us now live from Isla Vista. In addition to the six people that Rodger killed, what do we know about the 13 others injured in this attack?

SIDNER: We know that eight of them were shot and three of them were hit by his car. There's one person who sustained minor injuries and the police weren't quite clear what happened to that person. But there are still people in the hospital, still people dealing with those gunshot wounds and broken bones, I do want to mention here, this case has so many disturbing details to it, 10 different crime scenes, seven people killed, the shooter ending up according to authorities killing himself, likely shot himself in the head and then you see these growing memorials, and we just talked to you about Christopher Martinez.

This is the memorial to Christopher Martinez, he was killed here at the I.V. Deli Mart, with one girl, at least one person trying to save him, and throughout the evening, there have been more candles and more flowers brought to this particular site. Also at the site where the girls were walking by the sorority, where two girls died, one of the girls ended up surviving. There is a growing memorial there.

You can hear from the voices of students that they are extremely disturbed by what happened here, but also fearful. They said when they were walking down the street, right after this happened and subsequently throughout the day, they would be nervous, jumpy, as cars drove by, after witnessing such horror here in Isla Vista.

PAUL: You can imagine. You know, Sara, I want to ask you quickly about the girls in the sorority house. When you hear he pounded on door for two minutes and nobody answered, I'm wondering if there's counseling made available to them because they, I'm sure, are thinking my gosh, had we opened that door, who knows what he would have done, and that's got to be sobering to them.

SIDNER: Yes, we know there was a sign on the door saying, "We're not commenting on what's happening, please respect our privacy." We are hearing they are being given some kind of counseling assistance. All the students here so shaken by this, so concerned, and also many of them going online, trying too understand the person behind this, the suspect, Elliot Rodger, watching those videos that he posted online.

There are several but the most disturbing one is the one where he describes and details what it is he is going to do. He tried to carry that out, wasn't able to get inside the sorority but starting his shooting spree and ramming people with his car outside. It went on for about 10 minutes. Had gun battles with sheriff's deputies as well and in the end, it appeared he shot and killed himself.

This has just been a terrible time for students. There was also a vigil last night where hundreds of students showed up, some in tears, holding candles, trying to remember the victims.

BLACKWELL: We'll have more from the students understandably very difficult time for Isla Vista.

Sara Sidner live for us this morning -- thank you.

PAUL: As she mentioned we are hearing and learning new details about the terrifying moments when Rodger opened fire.

BLACKWELL: One witness says he knew something was terrible wrong when he heard gunshots in the distance. And within moments, police had arrived on the scene. Listen.


JAHANGIR IDDIQUI, WITNESS: I was inside my apartment. I heard some what sounded like gunshots in the distance, but we couldn't tell because it was faint, it was in the distance and about a minute later, the scene showed up to the place right in front of my apartment, and we heard a loud crash and about close to 30 rounds of gunfire, and I looked outside and I saw the BMW had crashed into the parked cars on the street and made its way up to the sidewalk and you know, the car has a huge hole in the windshield, with a huge dent on the roof as well.

There was a bicycle in the street. There was a bicyclist involved that may have been hit. And then when I looked outside, I saw one cop rush to the car and the policeman cleared out the car, and then very soon after, more squad cars showed up, policemen showed up with their rifles, they cleared the scene. I saw the driver get pulled out.

I think there may have been another person in the car, I'm not sure, or maybe that other person was a bicyclist, but they were kind of in the same area, and the ambulances showed up, policemen were telling us to stay inside because there were weapons involved, maybe not all the weapons were recovered at that point, and just a very chaotic, shocking scene.

It's really a shock, because this is such a beautiful place, and we're here to go to college in UC-Santa Barbara, it's a beautiful campus and here we are living on the beach, we're supposed to be enjoying a certain type of lifestyle, where everyone's like you know, not completely care-free but that's kind of like the lifestyle that we have, and we're supposed to feel safe and be able to go out and do our own thing. And I never thought that I would witness gun violence, and I would never imagine it would be here out of all places so it's a huge shock. It's very sad. And I never expected anything like this to ever take place.


PAUL: You know, another jolting fact here, police say three handguns and more than 400 rounds of unused ammunition were recovered from Rodger's vehicle.

BLACKWELL: There's more video that we want to you see. It's surveillance video, and it catches the moment that Elliot Rodger started shooting inside the deli. You'll see more of this. You'll see the stunning bravery that happened inside this deli.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we need a second ambulance for another gunshot wounded, at 6553 Pardell, I.V. Deli Mart, code three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Might be another, another gunshot to the chest.


PAUL: Those were the calls after a 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, shot a man to death outside a deli, near Santa Barbara City College.

BLACKWELL: Well, CNN has exclusive video of the moment as bullets came flying into that deli. Our Kyung Lah has the story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A normal Friday night at the I.V. Deli Mart check out line, when suddenly --

MIKE HASSAN, I.V. DELI OWNER: I'm scared just looking into the camera, I was like holy -- oh, my God.

LAH: Mike Hassan's surveillance cameras capturing the moment at his store. Customers ducking, a glass door shattering, while people run, one come tries to reach out to a victim, and calls 911 as bullets fly overhead. The gunman is just outside, mere feet away, intent on killing.

HASSAN: There's two bullets came in through the counter, the counter down here.

LAH (on camera): You can see through.

(voice-over): Holes puncture the wall, riddle the glass, chunks of counter missing.

(on camera): That's a bullet fragment.


LAH: Where did it come from?

HASSAN: It was in the back.

LAH (voice-over): And the worst of it is too gruesome to show. Christopher Ross Martinez was heading to the deli to get something to eat. Surveillance show him running inside, bullets hit him twice. The UCSB student bleeds to death on the floor as his friends try to keep him alive using CPR.

HASSAN: It was very horrible, it was very, very, like I saw some of it and I couldn't finish, like you can't (INAUDIBLE).

LAH: From the deli, the gunman drove to this apartment complex where Ellen Cotton recorded the barrage of bullets on her iPhone.

ELLEN COTTON, WITNESS: I can't find the words, horrible, sad, I'm still like in shock that like this happened here, and it was just so random.

LAH (on camera): In the angle that we can't show you, you see the victim's friends trying to comfort him, trying to resuscitate him. There's the woman who dials 911 who refuses to leave even as bullets are flying over her head. This deli, a microcosm of bravery and humanity, even in the face of such horror -- Victor, Christi.


BLACKWELL: All right. Kyung Lah in Isla Vista for us -- thank you.

PAUL: Switching gears here real quickly, because there is other news we need to talk about.

In the Ukraine, prime minister there says violent crashes are not going to keep Ukrainians from the polls. The country is picking a new president today. Some ballot boxes, though, we understand have been smashed, take a look at this latest video. We're going to take you live to Kiev in a moment.


BLACKWELL: Voters in Ukraine are choosing a new president right now.

PAUL: The country's prime minister says Ukrainians will prove to the world that, quote, "It is not possible to intimidate" them. He declared voters are defending their country against violent attacks in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian militants, as an Italian journalist was killed in eastern Ukraine yesterday.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about that.

CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now live from Kiev.

So, what more do we know about the death of this Italian journalist?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We don't know much. We know it took place in Slaviansk. This is in the part of the country that we were in just this morning, in the Donetsk region, this is the eastern part of the country, close to the Russian border where you'd have most of the violence so far.

This is one of the regions where you have pro-Russian separatists operating, armed men, we saw many of them intimidating voters, shutting down polling stations, but also crashing with Ukrainian forces and, of course, you have a lot of journalists there as well, covering these clashes and it's believed this is where the Italian journalist was killed. It's a dangerous place as you both know well, Christi and Victor, this kind of violence is difficult to identify who is targeting whom and when, but to be in the middle of it can be dangerous.

We know his family is going to come here to identify the body. We also know that a Russian journalist was killed nearby as well.

PAUL: Jim, I read that there are more than 2,400 polling sites open and at one point yesterday, only 426 of them actually were open. Do we know now that we're five hours into the polling and the voting, how it's going, what the scene is, how many are open?

SCIUTTO: Well, what we know is that it's very different depending on what part of the country you're in. Here in Kiev, the capital, the western part of the country. In some parts of the east, things are going pretty well. We've spoken to observers from the OSCE. This is the international organization that's the chief observing organization. In fact, it has a lot of Americans taking part as well, Madeleine Albright, former Congresswoman Jane Harmon and others taking part in observing the election.

In those parts of the country, the west, the capital, things are proceeding as normal. In the east where we spent the last couple of days, it's going to be very difficult. We visited a number of polling stations in Donetsk and neighboring Lugansk province, this is where a lot of the violence has been taken place -- they've been forcibly shut down by armed pro-Russian separatists.

They would take all the election materials, ballots, manuals. They would burn them, they would smash ballot boxes, et cetera, and more importantly they would threaten residents telling them, you know, you'll be in danger if you vote. And that's really part of their goal here is to keep people from voting in that part of the country and they're having some success.

BLACKWELL: All right. We'll talk more about the validity of the vote, considering ballots are being burned throughout the morning. Jim Sciutto in Kiev for us -- Jim, thank you.

PAUL: Meanwhile, Pope Francis is on a visit to the Holy Land, as we've been discussing, and he met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. He referred to his Palestinian territories as a, quote, "state of Palestine" during his visit to Bethlehem. And earlier, the pontiff celebrated mass in Jordan, promoting a message of up itty. This is his first trip to the Holy Land as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

BLACKWELL: Belgium's terror alert has been raised following a deadly shooting in Brussels. This happened yesterday at the city's Jewish museum. Three people were killed, another person was injured when that man started shooting. Two of the victims were Israeli. The shooter is still out there somewhere.

PAUL: In Thailand, several hundred protesters are demonstrating in the capital city Bangkok. Meanwhile, the military is still detaining the former prime minister and other leaders of the government. The junta overthrew the government in a coup Thursday and dismissed the Senate.

BLACKWELL: The California shooter talks about his life on a YouTube he posted. So, what did he say and what does it tell us about him and why he did this?


PAUL: Got your mortgage update: 30-year fixed rates are unchanged. Fifteen-year rates dropped slightly, though. Take a look.