tv NBC Nightly News NBC May 24, 2014 4:30pm-5:01pm PDT
ne® plus. on this saturday night, shooting rampage, a terrifying night as a gunman kills six people on and around a college campus. his motive in a chilling video promising a day of retribution. firefight. the battle to contain a massive wildfire by making it even bigger, as tourists and businesses find themselves smoked out on this holiday weekend. abortion battleground. the newest state to impose tough requirements on doctors who perform the procedure. protecting women or denying them access? and all in the family. a most unlikely living arrangement and remarkably, it works. lifelong friends and inseperable.
from nbc news headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news kwtsz with lester holt. >> police didn't have to wonder what caused a gunman to kill six people and injure seven others near a california college campus last night. the answer was a click away on youtube in a chilling manifesto. the victims were gunned down by a drive-by killer on the streets of isla vista near the university of california santa barbara. the spree of terror stretched for blocks and finally ended with the gunman himself dead. tonight the family confirms the shooter is elliott roger, who made a lengthy youtube posting hours before the rampage and calmly laid out his plan for what he vowed would be a day of retribution. revenge, he said, against the women who rejected him. already questions are being asked about whether authorities could have headed off this horrible tragedy. we have two reports, beginning
with mike taibbi on the jean for us. mike? >> reporter: hello, lester. the family of the suspect said they warned police about the youtube video before the shootings. what did happen ten minutes of carnage that left seven dead including the shooter and a college community in shock. by late this afternoon, nine separate crime scenes were on the way to being cleared, locations where just before 9:30 friday night, the usual busy scenes in and around the santa barbara campus had been pierced by gunshots. it was someone shooting from a car, a black late-model bmw here firing away in this busy intersection in the enclave known as isla vista. >> the car had pulled up in front of the deli mart. i heard between 12 and 20 shots into a group of people eating in front of it. >> hours before the shooting started, a chilling video had been posted on youtube.
>> elliott roger here. well, this is my last video. it all has to come to this. tomorrow is the day of retribution. a day in which i will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. >> reporter: roger, the 22-year-old son of associate film director peter roger of "hunger games" fame had been a student at a local community college, not ucsb. the family attorney confirmed he was the alleged gunman, a child of divorce the attorney said had been struggling with personal problems. >> we are experiencing the most inconceivable pain, and our hearts go out to everyone involved. >> reporter: roger had a life of privilege, comfortable with world travel and private country clubs. but in a 7-minute manifesto said his hatred and rage were fueled by constant rejection. by the girls he pursued and by the men who looked down at him, so he allegedly took a
semiautomatic handgun and a supply of ammunition. a drive-by shooter spraying bullets at random targets in the night. >> this atrocity was a premeditated mass murder. >> reporter: the suspect fired at people outside a deli, a sorority house, a pizza place, a 7-eleven. leaving six dead and seven others injured. one victim staggering into the home of friend dillon carr. >> he pulled his hand down and there was blood all over it. >> reporter: six minutes after the first 911 calls, police encountered the alleged shooter's car and there was an exchange of gunfire. the suspect crashing into another car and a bicyclist before dying of a gunshot to the head, perhaps self-inflicted. there were witnesses who heard those final moments. >> i heard about six gunshots, what sounded like shots, and we weren't sure if it was fireworks. >> reporter: and others who saw how it all ended. >> we saw this black car crash into a parked car like half on the sidewalk and a guy laying in the street and the cops tending to someone in the driver's seat.
>> reporter: there had been other hints of roger's manifesto troubles before the video. he had taken to twitter. why do girls hate me? on his blog he wrote, a beautiful environment could be the darkest hell if you have to experience it all alone, leading to this. >> i'll take to the streets of isla vista and slay every single person i see there. >> reporter: the father of one of the victims who died, 20-year-old christopher ross martinez was overwrought. >> chris was a really great kid. ask anyone who knew him. his death has left our family lost and broken. >> reporter: we will learn more about this terrible tragedy at a press conference at the sheriff's department scheduled for later today. lester? >> all right, mike, thank you. now to why. his youtube posting plainly revealed a tortured young man but who really was roger elliott and what led him to snap?
joe fryer has that part of our story. >> reporter: by now many students have watched the haunting youtube video posted just hours before the shootings. >> you denied me a happy life. and in turn, i will deny all of you life. >> reporter: he discussed attacking a sorority house. members believe roger may have knocked on the door to the house during the rampage. danny thompson said some of those young women sought shelter at his fraternity. >> a girl came to the door, came in and three people just got shot. >> reporter: the alleged gunman was a student at nearby santa barbara city college, the son of a hollywood assistant director, he was photographed at a red carpet event for the "hunger games." roger's family says he had asperger's, a mild form of autism. the 22-year-old's video and other postings tell the story of a young man angered by rejection. in one post roger writes "i wish
girls were attracted to me. i don't know why they aren't." former fbi profiler clint van zandt says roger's grievance echos that of the shooter responsible for the 2007 virginia tech massacre. >> i think we're seeing this shooter do the same thing. he blamed others for his inability to have personal relationships. he felt other people had committed acts against him. >> reporter: another young man tells nbc news he reached out to roger on facebook, leaving an encouraging post. roger responded on may 1st, i had to take some videos down because someone reported them to my school. i may reupload them in the future. tonight seven victims are recovering from the rampage, including the young man who is on this mangled bike. both of his legs were broken. >> he said don't worry, i'm okay. you can come visit me in the hospital today. he seems all right. >> reporter: now a 140-page written manifesto has been
circulating online. it says it is written by roger, but at this point we do not yet know if it's authentic. lester. >> joe fryer, thank you. a thousand firefighters are now battling a huge wildfire in arizona tonight. the so-called slide fire is burning in rugged terrain but as it grows, it continues to threaten hundreds of homes and businesses near sedona. our report tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: for five days, arizona's slide fire has swept across mountain ranges. flames racing up canyon walls. with 300 homes and structures threatened, the blaze is multiplying in size, now well over 10,000 acres. even with 1,000 firefighters on the ground, the inferno is difficult to reach. >> there's some very steep, rugged terrain in the middle, in the center of the fire, and we're having a hard time getting firefighters in there. >> reporter: with containment at just 5%, in certain areas crews
are letting this fire go. the blaze has everything it needs. oxygen and dry brush. with so much fuel in its path, this fire will likely burn for weeks, if not months. firefighters even loaded these ping pong balls full of napalm to be shot onto hillsides with crews can ignite a slow and controlled burn. helicopters navigate smoky skies making drops on hot spots. >> it's really crucial especially in steep, rugged terrain like we're facing here. >> reporter: with ash and smoke visible for miles, the fire is impacting businesses in the nearby resort town of sedona. on this holiday weekend, hotels and tours of the red rock country should be sold out. >> we're not yet sure what things are going to bring tomorrow, but, you know, 10% to 20% today, maybe 30% tomorrow, less than what we've been expecting. >> reporter: tonight the slide
fire is taking its toll on communities in and out of the burn zone. a blaze that could still triple in size before it's under control. miguel almaguer, nbc news, flagstaff, arizona. authorities in georgia are searching for the cause of a massive fire at a chemical warehouse that burned for hours last night. it happened in marietta just north of atlanta in a building owned by a company that makes cleaning products. several explosions caused the flames to shoot hundreds of feet high. i-75 and several roads were closed off. no reports of injuries. overseas police in belgium are investigating a deadly attack. it happened in brussels. two women and a man were shot and killed at the jewish museum there. another person was seriously injured. authorities believe the shooter drove up to the museum, went inside and fired shots. they're investigating whether an anti-semitic motive was behind the attack. tomorrow is a potential turning point in ukraine where they will hold a presidential
election that could determine whether the country finds a pathway to unity or grows even more divided. nbc's ayman mohyeldin is in the capital of kiev for us tonight. >> reporter: good evening, lester. ukrainians will go to the polls to elect a new president months after they rose up and ousted their pro-russian president viktor yanukovych but there are serious questions about whether the country will be able to hold a legitimate election. pro-russian separatists who have been rising up against the central government say they will block the vote from happening and have been seen smashing ballot boxes in the eastern part of the country. meanwhile here in kiev, though preparations have been finalized, observers and international officials are on hand to observe the voting process tomorrow, but not everyone is happy about the political landscape that has emerged in ukraine after the revolution. in fact some of the most notable revolutionaries that have demonstrated here in kiev have actually complained that the candidates running in tomorrow's election don't represent the change that they want and in
fact represent the past corrupt system. meanwhile, russia's president, vladimir putin, made a surprise announcement today saying his country, russia, would respect and deal with the winner of tomorrow's election. lester. >> ayman mohyeldin for us, thank you. pope francis began his first visit to the holy land today with a strong message of peace for a troubled land. his first stop was jordan. nbc's anne thompson is there for us tonight. hello, anne. >> reporter: good evening, lester. pope francis brings a message of peace and compassion to a region where religion has often divided with deadly consequences. he told the people it is not something that can be bought, it is a gift every person can work towards, through their actions, big and small. christians are a tiny minority in jordan. but today in the soccer stadium, they gave pope francis a welcome worthy of st. peter's square. >> what does pope francis mean to you? >> peace, love.
>> reporter: university student captured it all on her new phone. >> this is the pope because it is really windy here. >> reporter: the pope lost his cap but won the crowd, stopping to bless or kiss every child handed to him. for 1400 lucky children, this was more than a papal mass. >> can you believe your daughter is going to receive her first communion at a papal mass? >> it is really amazing. it's a very nice feeling. i never imagined my daughter would have this honor. >> reporter: 9-year-old nadine's focus wasn't on francis. >> i feel happy. it's like my first time and i don't want to mess it up. >> reporter: 20,000 people joined her in the first highlight of what the pope insists is a religious trip, but he did not ignore the region's major conflicts, meeting with king abdullah.
the pope praised jordan for welcoming refugees and called for an urgent end to the civil war in syria and a just solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict. driven by the king himself, the pope's day ended at the jordan river, praying at the spot where christ was baptized by john the baptist. then meeting with the disabled and refugees. francis once again turned to his theme of peace, asking god to convert those who seek war and those who make and sell weapons. now, despite the historic sites here, christians are a shrinking minority in the holy land. tomorrow the pope travels to bethlehem, which was 85% christian in 1947. today just 18%. lester. >> anne thompson in jordan tonight, thank you. when nbc nightly news continues on this saturday night, the battle over abortion and a controversial new law about to take effect. and later, friends like these. the remarkable story of a lion,
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nbc's kristin welker. >> we're taking steps back as opposed to progressing. >> reporter: five years ago this woman had a legal abortion at a louisiana clinic. she wants to remain anonymous but is speaking ouagainst the law passed this week by the state legislature. >> how dare you take or make that decision for me. >> reporter: the legislation requires doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place. that change could force three of the state's five abortion clinics to close. >> this legislation is about the health and safety of women. >> reporter: christina jackson co-authored the legislation, which passed by bipartisan support and governor bobby jindal has purported to sign. >> we're seeing a lot of laws pass that are thinly disguised attempts to limit access.
>> reporter: elly shiling argues that the hospital is required to admit that patient regardless of her doctor's admitting status. >> its intent is simply to close clinics and to restrict if not eliminate a constitutional right to access. >> reporter: is this really about the safety of women or is it about rolling back roe v. wade? >> it's about the safety of women. women who experience complications from abortion procedures, physicians are able to see them. >> similar laws already passed in texas and alabama. they write women in a vast stretch of this country are limited to access to abortion safely. >> it forces women back in a pre-roe versus wade state where they will be forced to seek
illegal unsafe methods. >> i would rather see a female drive five hours to shreveport to have the care and treatment that she deserves. >> opponents of the law say they're planning legal challenges which could mean a hearing here at the fifth kiir sut court of appeals and eventually the u.s. supreme court. eventually the u.s. supreme court. kristin welker, new body language can tell you all sorts of things. like someone is having a stroke. know the sudden signs. learn f.a.s.t. face drooping arm weakness speech difficulty time to call 911 and get them to a hospital immediately. learn the body language and spot a stroke f.a.s.t. honestly, the off-season isn't i've got a lot to do. that's why i got my surface. it's great for watching game film
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of the rarest sights in the animal kingdom. >> lions and tigers and bears, oh my. >> reporter: belew the bear, e leah the lion and sheer kaan, the tiger, known collectively as the blt. >> it's amazing the blt interact like they do. >> reporter: amazing because in the wild, they never would have met, the bear native to north america, the lion to africa, the tiger to asia. how did they end up here? they were found 13 years ago all together in the basement of an atlanta drug dealer. exotic animals apparently a twisted status symbol. they were in bad shape but shared a special bond. >> they've never been separated from each other and we've never told them that they're different species. they actually seek each other out for affection. they nuzzle each other, they play together.
>> reporter: now these predators are wowing visitors and teaching humans a lesson. >> they teach us how to get along and teach that it's okay. they're definitely not the same color, not the same species, they're not even from the same country. and they love each other. they're brothers. and they teach you how to love. >> reporter: enemies by nature, brothers by circumstance. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, locust grove, georgia. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. a reminder to tune in next week for brian williams' exclusive interview with edward snowden on wednesday night at 10:00, 9:00 central time. i'm leslie holt reporting from new york. i'll see you back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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