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Ukraine Picks a New President; Security Footage Shows UCSB Rampage; California Shooter Leaves Behind Manifesto; Pope Francis Prays at Separation Barrier

Aired May 25, 2014 - 07:30   ET


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour now. And across Ukraine, voters have been streaming to the polls. They're choosing a new president, despite violence in the country's eastern portion and threats by pro-Russian militants.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: While there are long lines, the voters in the capital, Kiev, it's very different in the east. A lot of polling sites in eastern Ukraine aren't even open today.

BLACKWELL: CNN chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins us now from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

Jim, voting started about six hours ago. There's been a lot of violence in the east. Is that keeping people from the polls?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really a tale of two different countries. Here in Kiev, in the western part of the country closer to Europe, you have very good turnout. The first voter to cast his ballot here in the capital raised his hand and shouted "Democracy."

But in the east where we just returned from, only a fifth of polling stations are open, none of them in the capitol of the Donetsk region. People kept from the polls by threats of violence but also by feelings of pro-Russian nationalism.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): It appears that none of the people in this rally in the eastern city of Donetsk have any intention of voting. Under a statue of Lenin and waving Russian flags, they cheered for a new Russia, Nova Rusia, independent of the government in Kiev and closer to neighboring Moscow.

Traveling east of the regional capital through checkpoints manned by pro-Russian separatists, we find that many voters won't even have the chance to vote. In the eastern town of Mariyuvka (ph), the election materials sit burning outside the polling station, and inside local police looked less than interested in chasing the guilty parties.

(on camera): Who came here to burn the ballots and materials outside?

(voice-over): And witnesses are too afraid to tell their stories of an armed assault on the election headquarters.

(on camera): So who gave this order?

(voice-over): But outside a representative of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic is more than willing to claim credit, showing me papers ordering closure of all polling stations here.

(on camera): What is the reason given for shutting down the polling stations?

OLEXSANDR, DONETSK PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATIST (through translator): In this region, 98 percent of the people voted for our independence. We don't have any connection to Ukraine.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): And while residents who oppose the militants would not speak on camera, their supporters are eager to.

(on camera): Why did you vote for that?

ALEKSEY, PRO-RUSSIAN RESIDENT (through translator): We want independence. There is nothing in Kiev. So many people died because of them. I will not go to vote.

SCIUTTO (voice-over): Sunday's vote will be a test of Ukrainians' loyalties: East or west. Division or a united Ukraine.


SCIUTTO: There are more than 1,000 international observers in Ukraine now, including former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. A number of voting violations already reported, but even those observers have to be aware of the danger in the east. They only have a very small team there, in part, because they know a lot of the polling stations are closed but also because they have to be conscious, Victor and Christi, of the threat of violence.

BLACKWELL: Indeed. Jim Sciutto for us from Kiev. Thank you, Jim.

A question: Were warning signs missed with the shooter in this California rampage? And we're showing you more of the terrifying moments when the shots rang out.


PAUL: Thirty-eight minutes past the hour. We want to get back to our top story with you this morning here, that terrifying rampage in southern California, of course.

BLACKWELL: CNN has obtained exclusive video of the frightening moments when those bullets came flying into the IV Deli. Kyung Lah has that story.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A normal Friday night at the IV Deli Mart checkout line when suddenly...

MIKE HASSAN: I was just looking at the camera, like, "Holy -- oh, my God."

LAH: Mike Hassan's surveillance camera s 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, you know, the counter down here.

LAH (on camera): You can see through.

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

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


LAH: Where did that 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. The surveillance video shows 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 can't -- like I saw some of it, and I couldn't finish it. Like you cannot finish the whole movie (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Multiple gunshot victims in front of the IV Deli.

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: 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 resuscitate him, then trying to comfort him. Then there is that woman who dials 911 and reaches out to the victim, refusing to leave even as the bullets are flying over her head.

This deli, a microcosm of humanity and bravery, even in the face of such horror.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Isla Vista, California.


PAUL: Kyung, we appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Well, just moments ago the sheriff there in Santa Barbara County told us that the shooter had planned this for at least a year.

Up next, with he'll ask a clinical psychologist whether this rampage could have been prevented.



ELLIOT RODGER, GUNMAN: Tomorrow is the day of retribution. A day in which I will have my revenge against humanity.


BLACKWELL: That was 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, the man police say killed six people in California, in Isla Vista Friday night, before taking his own life. Rodger posted that video to YouTube the day before the rampage.

PAUL: This morning, police are combing through a personal manifesto called "My Twisted World." This is something that Rodger left behind, and we learned from the sheriff just last hour, or in the last hour, that he actually sent that manifesto to law enforcement. These are pictures, by the way, from Rodger's Facebook page.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere. We spoke the last hour about some of the signs, and I want to speak about something specifically mentioned in this manifesto.

The video game World of Warcraft, he mentions it 41 times by name, and he writes -- he says at age 12, when his mom moved to another apartment -- I'm going to read from it -- "I was able to play World of Warcraft on a computer, along with Halo II on Xbox Live. This was the point when my social life ended completely." He goes on to say, "The ability to play video games with people online temporarily filled in the social void. I got caught up in it, and I was too young and naive to realize the severity of how far I had fallen."

And he ends this section with, "I hid myself away in the online world of Warcraft, a place where I felt comfortable and secure." There are also two specific references in the YouTube video to something a character said in the game. The question is what is the line? Is it identifiable for parents watching to know the isolation and the videogame playing is more than just a teenaged fad or some phase they're going through? DR. JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Exactly. And it is a deadly mix, Victor. What we know is that studies have shown that kids who are consumed with playing video games may be at risk for violence, but don't engage in the violence for the most part.

However, when you have someone who is socially isolated, who doesn't have friends, who may be violent, or have a lot of anger issues, and they fall into the virtual reality of just game playing and doing it for hours upon hours, and there's nothing else going on in their lives, then that does put them at risk for acting out later. And this is the common thread that we've seen with a lot of the mass shooters, that they haven't been able to live in our world, our reality that we share, but they can live in this virtual reality, where they become gods and can control the world in any way they can, and it also increases their aggression.

PAUL: Well, we know he wasn't just doing that. He was writing this manifesto and the sheriff, Bill Brown, revealed to us just a short time ago that Rodger, based on everything they can see, was planning this attack for at least a year.


PAUL: Is that common for people, you know, who carry out mass shootings like this to plan that meticulously?

GARDERE: It really isn't common. What we see is they build up the resentment and the anger and the rage over the years, or you know, within the year before, or a few weeks before, there's a trigger and they go off.

This individual appears to have been planning this since 2013, as we can tell from the manifesto. He kept -- he kept saying, "You know what? If I can just get a girl, if I can just have intimate relations with a woman, if society would just accept me, then I won't act out. I won't have this retribution." So in his mind, he kept giving people these chances, but it was a no-win situation because in his mind, no matter what people did, it was never enough. They always slighted him, again in his mind, and that's why he was planning this for some period of time.

BLACKWELL: Jeff, we might have the opportunity to save some lives this morning, to stop something like this from happening again. If you can give parents out there who have a teenager who will wake up this morning and just start playing the game and when they're done with the game go back to sleep in that same room. This young man, 22 years old, when there was this welfare check he seemed normal. So he knew how to act as if everything was OK. How does a parent have that conversation and get to the heart of what could be a very dangerous element in their child?

GARDERE: I think this is something that parents have to have the patience to deal with over time, not get into a situation of just appeasing their kids, keeping them quiet, if they're not acting out, by allowing them to continue playing their video games. They have to confront the devil within, if you will. They have to do the hard work of saying, "Wait a minute, there's something going on. We want to you get help. We want to you get therapy, and we're going to stay in this with you."

Too often, the parents are in denial, or the work is just overwhelming, as I believe it was for these parents of this particular person, as it was for the parents of the other mass shooters. It was overwhelming. They just could not handle the enormity of the mental- health problems that their children had.

PAUL: It is -- it is a task to take hand of, certainly, and you can understand that in some regard. Dr. Jeff Gardere, thank you so much for the insight.

GARDERE: A pleasure. Yes.

PAUL: Appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: We want you to take a look at this picture. This is Pope Francis praying at the separation wall between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. How significant is this gesture?


PAUL: Welcome back. This morning Pope Francis...


PAUL: ... in Bethlehem. And what a vision this is. He made a surprise stop at the separation wall between the city and Jerusalem. Look at this. And he's already invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to come to the Vatican for a peace talk to end the conflicts in that region. This was a real moment.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And the Israeli president's office released this statement: "The Office of the President welcomes the invitation by Pope Francis. President Peres has always supported, and will continue to support, any attempts to progress the cause of peace."

Let's bring in Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher. The pope also called Palestine -- he referred to it -- and I noticed this even in the press releases -- the state of Palestine, not just the Palestinian territory. How significant is that?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very significant, Victor. I mean, it's not a terminology which Israel accepts. They call it the Palestinian territories.

However, it won't come as a surprise to the Israelis, because it's part of the Vatican's long-term stance with regards to Palestine, that they call for a two-state solution to the crisis.

So the pope calling Palestine a state is a recognition, something which Pope Benedict even did when he supported the resolution for Palestine to become an observer at the U.N., a kind of de facto recognition of statehood. So significant language.

Of course, every word of the pope has some political importance in this area. At the same time, of course, the Vatican recognizes Israel's right to exist and to exist with peace and security. And that is something that the pope will also have a chance to reiterate when he meets later today and tomorrow with the Israeli authorities.

PAUL: All right. We'll see if those two presidents do, indeed, get together with the pope. Delia Gallagher, thank you so much.

And thank you, I want to say, for, you know, carving out a little bit of your morning with us.

BLACKWELL: We're going to do a little more of this. Continue your NEW DAY after a quick break.