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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  January 10, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> next news at 6:00. tonight -- a special edition of "world news" from tucson, arizona. a startling new photo of the arizona shooting suspect who appears in court today. while the nation falls silent. mourning, reflecting. from the south lawn of the white house to the stock exchange and the isolation of space. tonight, we take you to the scene of the crime with an ominous new trail of clues from the suspect about drugs, family, dreams that obsessed him. we're with the outspoken sheriff. we go to the trauma room where doctors tell us how they raced to save the congresswoman's life. the latest on her condition tonight. and, in a moment of crisis, would you decide to take action? becoming a hero. meet three who did and learn why. tonight from arizona, full
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coverage of the tragedy in tucson. good evening from tucson, arizona. and a nation which looked on in shock and now searches for answers and meaning. in this hospital, a congresswoman tries to recover from a bullet to her brain and others who gathered to meet her saturday. that was all. are trying to heal now. and today there was a photo of the accused triggerman, jared loughner, who made his court appearance and at some point seems to have shaved his head, giving that strange smile. while across the country, a moment of silence, led by the president and first lady and observed by hundreds of members of congress and staff. the president touched on the profound sense of loss. >> as president of the united states, but also as a father, obviously, i'm spending a lot of
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time just thinking about the families and reaching out to them. >> tonight in that hospital behind me, as people gather to leave flowers and tributes, as we said, congresswoman gabrielle giffords is holding her own. she has been responding despite the see sedation and the traumatic injury. more on her condition to come. we have spent the day with the people of tucson. our reporters are covering every angle of this story. let's begin now with pierre thomas and what he has learned about the suspect. pierre. >> reporter: diane, police are still working this crime scene behind me. they say a clear picture has emerged. this was a deeply troubled young man and many who know him say he was a ticking time bomb. today, jared loughner calmly walked into federal court with a shaved head. he showed no emotion as prosecutors read the charges against him and appeared to smirk as the judge spoke to him. while many in the suburban town
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struggle with why he did it, turns out many of those who knew loughner were afraid of him because of increasingly bizarre behavior. >> he was mentally unstable. you know, he was, felt isolated, kind of a social loner, so to say, just kind of kept to himself. >> reporter: in a june 14th e-mail, one of loughner's college classmates seemed terrified. "we have a mentally unstable person in class and that scares the living crap out of me. some of his neighbors thought he was dangerous. >> i told my mother i thought he was a serial killer the first time i saw him. >> this is somewhat a dysfunctional family. and this individual has probably been troubled for some time. >> you think there's little question they knew he was troubled? >> i don't think there's any doubt about that. i think the entire neighborhood where they lived was aware. >> reporter: anyone who read loughner's online postings
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likely would have come to the same conclusion. the postings show an obsession with violence and paranoia about the government. one of loughner's favorite youtube clips is entitled "let the bodies hit the floor." in another youtube post, he writes, the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar. only hours before the shooting, he warned friends on myspace, please don't be mad at me. loughner's life was unraveling. he tried to join the military. rejected. he was arrested for drug possession. some investigators wonder if loffner became obsessed with the giffords because of their american lifestyle. loughner even met the congresswoman. >> he met gabrielle giffords once in '07. he told me he asked her a question that made absolutely no sense to me. but he said, i can't believe she doesn't understand it. >> reporter: friends say after that he became obsessed with the giffords. in a safe at loffner's house police say they found an envelope with the words, "i planned ahead." "my assassination" and "giffords." an expert in psychiatry says the evidence is clear. >> classic delusions of
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persecution. delusions of false beliefs. they're indicators of psychosis and they mean that a person is suffering from a psychotic illness, most likely paranoid schizophrenia. >> reporter: so why didn't anyone intervene? diane, where does a young man who does not have a job get $500 to buy the alleged murder weapon? >> pierre, thank you for reporting in tonight. and, as we said, it all happened on an ordinary day, in an ordinary place. a supermarket parking lot in a strip mall. at one of those small events that reaffirm democracy. people of all ages just stopping to meet their congresswoman. well, today, the man who has been sheriff of pima county for 30 years, as you saw, clarence dupnik, took me to the scene of the crime. >> he comes out, around, he goes immediately up to her, fires the first shot point blank. >> reporter: what is point blank? are we talking an inch on his left side? >> well, we're talking about
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probably this far. it was left -- over the left eye. >> you think it was an inch, two inch from -- >> i couldn't tell you that -- probably that far or so. he shoots judge roll in the back. and then he starts firing at the people, the little girl, the 9-year-old girl and indiscriminately at the other people. he runs out of ammunition in his long magazine which holds 31 rounds. and he unloads and he's trying to reload. when one of the individuals hits him over the head with a chair. two people grab him and a lady grabs the magazine. and at that point, he is subdued. >> reporter: and this is happening in a very confined space, a lot of chaos. and how fast are those rounds coming from a glock -- >> well, it's a matter of seconds. i'm told he was firing as fast as he was capable of firing. but he was pointing at people as
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he did it. so probably about 12 seconds. he had another 31 round and two smaller ones. so he was prepared to kill as many people as he could, and there's other evidence to show that was his intent. two beautiful people, one almost dead and one assassinated. that were personal friends of mine and outstanding, outstanding individuals and public servants. she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. she's a brilliant lady. and from my point of view, she's a gift to this country. >> but as you know, along with congresswoman giffords, her fight to survive, a lot has been said about two of the victims who were killed, federal judge john roll and 9-year-old christina green. the girl born on 9/11. dan harris brings us what is new in the stories of their lives tonight and others who were shot. and he's here with us now. dan. >> reporter: diane, good evening. i spent some time this afternoon at the elementary school that christina green attended.
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this is a little girl who had a precocious early interest in politics. an interest that inspired her to go meet her congresswoman saturday morning. it turned out to be a visit that cost her her life. on this, the first day of class since 9-year-old student council member christina-taylor green was killed, the flag was lowered and the fence was covered with hand-written notes from classmates like rachel cooper blackmore. >> i found her picture on the news and i just started crying my eyes out. >> reporter: today, ross zimmerman, father of victim gabe zimmerman, a recently engaged aide to congresswoman giffords, got a call from the head of fbi, who said there are indications that gabe threw himself into the fray when the bullets started flying. >> he will never grow old. never see his kids. we will remember our fine strong 30-year-old son and brother
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or fiancé. >> reporter: it now appears dorwin stoddard died heroically too, protecting his wife and high school sweetheart mavy. >> when he pulled her down, he fell on top of her. she said he saved her life. >> reporter: dorothy and george morris were high school sweethearts as well, married 55 years. george survived, dorothy, a 76-year-old homemaker, did not. >> i'm sure that she took such good care of george that he will be lost without her. >> reporter: others who died included the federal judge john roll, who had just left saturday morning mass. and phyllis schneck, who loved her volunteer work, her cooking and the son and daughter she leaves behind. >> what will you miss most about your mother? >> everything. >> reporter: all of these people were outside this safeway supermarket to see the congresswoman with an extraordinary background. she is an ivy league grad who loves reading and harley davidson motorcycles. she ran her
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family's tire business and married an astronaut. giffords is a gun-owning democrat who in november won her third election in a conservative district. just last week when the constitution was read aloud on the floor of the house, she read the first amendment. >> abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people peaceably to assemble. >> reporter: her positions were sometimes controversial with her constituents. but she pointedly refused to stop getting out and mixing with her voters after her office was vandalized when she voted for health care reform. >> my belief is you got to do your job. i mean, your job is to be a representative. that's not just a job title, it's a job description. >> reporter: it's striking when you think about the six people who died in that shooting, is that they're very different people. different ages. different political parties. different backgrounds. what they shared in common was enough interest in their congresswoman to get up on a saturday morning and spend some time with her. >> that's right, to hear what she had to say. thank you, dan. as you know, here at tucson university medical center, there
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is such incredible dedication from the people who work here, the round the clock marvel of modern medicine, the effort to save the life of congresswoman gabrielle giffords whose brain was pierced by that bullet two days ago. every moment incredibly delicate, filled with danger. tonight, it's also an effort marked by cautious optimism as i learned from her doctors, dr. peter rhee and dr. michael lemole today. when the congresswoman came in the door, did you think she'd make it? >> i knew. >> you're knew she'd make it? >> yeah. no, i mean, i knew, my mind, exactly -- >> how did you know? >> because most of the people who get shot in the head don't come here. they're already dead. >> they die in the field. >> of the people who come with a gunshot to the head, most of them can't follow commands. when i hear someone's here, shot in the head, they can follow commands, i'm thinking, this is what we're here for, this is what we're here for. >> i was told she wasn't
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speaking. >> she wasn't speaking but i know she is thinking. >> you could see it when you talk to her? >> when you tell her, squeeze your hand, she squeezes your hand. let go, she lets go. she's thinking. >> they took us inside the exact trauma room where they first saw congresswoman giffords and began the race to save her life. they say the forensic team will decide the direction of the bullet. they do know where she was hit and it made all the difference. >> we don't know if it's for sure back to front or front to back. >> we can't tell for sure. >> -- like this without going through this. is the reason why she survived. but it traversed a lot of the brain. but it probably missed the very essential life-sustaining type of structures. >> that deep center is very, very important. so if we can avoid any trajectory through that area, critical. >> so tell me about the next few days. you said we have another watchful 24 hours. >> what i really want to see is
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her wake up to the point and interact with us to the point that dr. rhee and i look at each other and say, time to get that breathing tube out. >> all day long, her mom actually saying she actually gave a peace victory sign, not just two when you ask her but the peace victory sign. >> that is -- that is what they do. it could be interpreted as a peace sign. either way, it's a good thing. >> either way, it's a -- it's a kind of victory. >> i've seen a lot of these injuries. like i said before, the full gamut. there are some spectacular members of the media who have made incredible recoveries -- >> our own bob woodruff. >> there is no science, facts, medical knowledge that proves that having a family around you while you're in that hospital in recovery, in that moment after you wake up, that it actually has a huge effect on you surviving and healing a lot faster but i really believe that it does. >> do you ever use the word miracle?
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>> i do. i do. i think she is a miracle just the way she presented to us. she's already beaten the other 999, first of all. and then she's got an opportunity to heal and recover and with good support and good care she might come, you know -- roaring back. >> as we said, incredible dedication. i don't think dr. rhee would mind if i tell you that the ring tone on his cell phone is "stayin' alive." still ahead on "world news" the sheriff here versus rush limbaugh. weighing in on that debate about civility in america. a ferocious winter storm cripples much of the south paralyzing runways, highways. where is the storm marching next? and heroes of the tucson tragedy tackling the shooter. how ordinary americans summoned the courage in that moment.
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abe: perhaps a... vo: geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent #or more on car insurance. as we all know, it was by all accounts a lone and very disturbed man who shot that gun on saturday. but nonetheless, as we all know, a lot of people began asking questions for different reasons. is this a moment we can talk about what is civility and respect in america? and jake tapper explores the
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debate. >> reporter: 220 miles above us, astronaut scott kelly, the brother-in-law of congresswoman gabrielle giffords, notice that earth is not as peaceful as it appears from the international space station. >> these days, we're constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words. we're better than this. >> reporter: kelly was repeating an argument put forward by many democrats, that the tucson tragedy is tied to ugly talk in the political arena. >> the focus right now for members of congress needs to be on toning down the rhetoric. >> the vitriol has gotten so elevated until people feel emboldened by this. >> reporter: we do not yet know what inspired this shooter. president obama has been careful in his comments. refraining from ascribing any
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motive. one acquaintance from 2007 said the shooter was liberal and his obsession with giffords predates palin's much criticized map of congressional targets for defeat, including giffords, by three years. so from the right come charges of political opportunism by the left. >> don't kid yourself. what this is all about is shutting down any and all political opposition and eventually criminalizing it. >> reporter: among the first to take up this charge, tucson's democratic sheriff who said this on saturday -- >> the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. >> reporter: today, he was singled out. >> the sheriff of pima county has made a fool of himself. >> reporter: late this afternoon in an interview with diane sawyer, the sheriff responded. >> the kind of rhetoric that flows from people like rush limbaugh, in my judgment, he's irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information, attacks people,
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angers them against government, angers them against elected officials, and that kind of behavior, in my opinion, is not without consequences. and i think he's irresponsible. >> is it right to link it to this horrible incident? >> well, that's my opinion. people can have their own opinions. the listeners, the viewers, can judge for themselves. but my feeling is that there are millions of people in this country who feel exactly as i do and nobody is saying anything. >> reporter: a nation united in its sorrow over this tragedy. but divided over what may have caused it. jake tapper, abc news, the white house. >> and after a break, we'll tell you about a monster storm. is it heading your way? r storm. is it heading your way? i was doing the corporate grind like everyone else. but to be successful, i knew i had to be different. ink, ink, ink, ink, ink. i mean, i love that card. it does things differently too.
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we're all striving for it. purina cat chow helps you nurtre it in your cat with a full family of excellent nutrition and helpful resources. purina cat chow. share a better life. tonight, across the south, winter's wrath. a rare and powerful storm blanketing a region that is usually spared but not this time. sam champion is tracking the system and where it's heading next. >> reporter: this has been a paralyzing storm, dumping up to 9, 10 inches of snow, from louisiana to the carolinas, causing four deaths and leaving thousands without power. the governors of louisiana, georgia, alabama and tennessee have all declared states of emergencies. this is peachtree street right in the heart of atlanta. and by this time of the
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afternoon, we should be in the middle of rush hour but there's no one on peachtree and it's just a sheet of ice. all across the south the storm has turned highways into a treacherous mix of ice and snow, causing spinouts and jack-knifed tractor trailers. >> 75 is real bad. trucks turned over and everything. >> reporter: parts of at least three interstates here in georgia were forced to close due to stranded cars and trucks. airlines have cancelled over 2,200 flights, most of them at hartsfield-jackson international the world's busiest airport. now, how did you get stranded in atlanta? >> after two or three plane switches, we got a flight to atlanta, but we can't go anywhere until tomorrow. >> reporter: the storm started sunday morning as moisture from the gulf met arctic air that had dropped in from the southern states, coating roads and bridges with an icy mis of snow, sleet and freezing rain. now the storm travels up the east coast and merges with another midwest snowmaker. by tuesday night, cities like washington, new york, boston, will be experiencing heavy snow with a chance of a repeat of last month's blizzard. even though the storm is pulling
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away from the southeast tonight, this ice stays. because a brand-new pocket of arctic air is coming in right behind it. temperatures throughout the southeast, particularly atlanta, will barely flirt with the freezing mark through friday. diane. >> sam, ice skating in atlanta. who could have thought? and when we come back, who runs toward danger, not away? and why the tucson heroes. their true grit. another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors
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mark twain said once that courage is not the absence of fear, it is the mastery of fear. and now some of those in tucson have put aside their fear to save others. sharyn alfonsi tells their stories. >> reporter: daniel hernandez was an intern. he'd been working for the congresswoman just a week. >> when i heard the shots being fired, my first instinct was to run towards where the congresswoman was. >> reporter: he did, towards the gunfire, to her, holding giffords until the ambulance arrived. >> i was kind of holding her against my chest and applying pressure to her wound. i would tell her, gabby, if you're still with us, just grab my hand and hold tight. >> reporter: he held her so tight it may have saved her
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life. doctors say giffords is still alive because she didn't lose much blood. bill badger was grazed by a bullet in the head but somehow was able to pull the gunman to the ground. >> i grabbed him by the wrist and back of the arm and shoved down on him. >> reporter: the 22-year-old gunman no match for the 74-year-old retired army colonel. >> every time he would move a little bit, this other individual would apply pressure with his knee and i would choke him. >> reporter: patricia maisch, 61 years old, disarmed him. >> they said, get the magazine, so i got the magazine and was able to secure that. >> reporter: and the terror of that moment, how could you do that? >> because that's what needed to be done. >> reporter: science tells us most heroes are afraid but they have the unique ability to react, to not be perilized by their fear. just like those who ran into the towers, who leapt into the floodwaters, who used whatever they had to do what they could
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when it counted. >> it's almost like flowers blooming out of carnage. we want to believe that that represents, even if it's a one or two individuals who acted heroically, that that represents the real american tradition. >> reporter: wide-eyed interns and white-haired retirees, reluctant heroes. >> i think that's enough. i'm really not a press hog. >> reporter: but heroes nonetheless. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> and now the vigil under way in tucson, as we wish you a good night. tonight a promise of no more smoke and mirrors. the governor's plan to balance the budget, what it means for your bottom line. >> san francisco's ex-mayor takes on a new role in sacramento. tonight a game of musical chairs he's launched in leaving city hall. >> lawmakers on a traj dmi
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tucson and impact koit have on free speech and congressional security. >> good samaritan finds a large sum of money and no one claims it. do they get to keep it? that controversy is straight head. >> for 10 years, the state put together it's budget with unrealistic expectation autos governor brown proposes a budget he says will return california to fiscal sol convenience yeechl but there are deep cuts and a state wide vote on tax autos unveiling the budget today, the governor acknowledged what he is proposing will require sacrifices from everyone. billions in spending cuts, pay cuts for state workers and no cuts to k-12 education and a five year extension of the sales skpin come taxes


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