tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 10, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
for you coming up at 6:00. >> tlangs for watching. nightly news is next. again, we'll see you here at 6:00. tonight, a deadly standoff at the country's largest veterans home. what we're learning about the three victims and their suspected killer as we take a closer look at the costs of war back here at home. legal shots fired. the nra takes aim at florida after the state passed a new gun law in the wake of a deadly school shooting. parting the waters. the united states makes a show of force in a part ofhe world that hasn't seen an american warship in decades. the strong message being sent to china. what if he did do it? a newly unersed interview with o.j. simpson has him speculating about what might have happened to his murdered ex-wife and her close friend. treading new terrain in america's last frontier. we'll take you on a cool ride through snow and ice.
good evening. tonight three mental health workers, public servants who were helping american veterans, dealing with the aftereffects of their service on the front lines, are dead. killed by one of their former patients at the nation's largest veteran home in california. an infantryman who served in afghanistan and returned home with an unseen injury which more of our veterans suffer, ptsd. at this hour we're learning new details about the three extraordinary women and the long term impact their lives had on so many. matt bradley tells us what happened. >> reporter: a peaceful respite for american veterans became a frontline of its own. >> a rifle, holding three people hostage, has a semiautomatic with a lot of ammo -- >> shortly before 6:00 p.m. this evening, law enforcement personnel made entry into the room, and unfortunately made the discovery of three deceased
females and one deceased male suspect. >> reporter: authorities say 36-year-old albert wong burst into a meeting of the pathway home. a program that treats combat veterans with ptsd. wong had served in the army in afghanistan and had been a patient here, but had reportedly been asked to leave the program. it's unclear why. the home identified the victims as prom director christine loeber, dr. jenn golick and dr. jennifer gonzalez who was seven months pregnant when she died. now this wine country community is remembering their lives spent helping others. like 15-year-old zach. >> without her, i was going down the wrong path. >> reporter: he said jen golick saved his life when he was her patient two years ago at a different clinic. >> even in the situation where it came down to her life on the line, i think that she was definitely spending more of her time worrying about what was going on with him than herself. >> reporter: as america's foreign wars continue, so does the national struggle with ptsd. about 10% to 20% of iraq and afghanistan veterans suffer from
ptsd. many veterans don't seek help or refuse when it they need it most. >> soldiers will keep trying to be strong because that's what they are expected to do even if they are veterans and no longer active duty. >> reporter: jose, there's still so many unanswered questions about this shooter and why he committed this chilling crime. coming on the heels of that mass shooting at a high school in parkland, florida, this is bound to become another part of the national conversation about gun control and mental health. jose? >> matt bradley, thank you very much. just hours after the tragedy in northern california, another deadly barricade unfolded 400 miles away in los angeles, california. that second standoff ended with the death of a police officer. the 16th to die in the line of duty in this country so far this year. nbc morgan radford has details. >> reporter: tonight a suspect in handcuffs after a dramatic end to an hours-long standoff. >> we heard gunshots so and we came out.
we could smell the gun powder. >> reporter: overnight, police in pomona, california, took chase after a reckless driving suspect who then barricaded himself in an apartment complex, shoot agent two officers through the door. >> for the last 15 hours, we're attempted to make an arrest of this individual and just did so successfully. >> reporter: both wounded officers were taken to the hospital. the police chief tweeting one officer did not survive. the second officer is in stable condition. the fallen officer, 30-year-old gregory casillas. the suspect is in custody, his motive still a mystery. morgan radford, nbc news. from the west to the east coast where the nra is suing florida over its new gun law. the state's republican-controlled legislature passed the measures in response to the mass shooting in stoneman douglas that killed 17 people and ignited a national debate about gun control and safety in our schools. nbc's maya rodriguez has a closer look at this new battle.
>> reporter: barely a day old, florida's new gun law is already facing a federal lawsuit. the national rifle association sued the state citing florida's decision to raise the legal age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21. in a statement, the nra said, quote, florida's ban is an affront to the second amendment as it totally eviscerates the right of law-abiding adults between ages of 18 to 21 to bear and keep arms. the new gun law comes almost a month after 17 people were gunned down at marjory stoneman does has high school. students from there leading a movement to address school safety and put new gun restrictions in place. amidst the political pressure governor rick scott signed the bill, despite having an a-plus rating from the nra and previously supporting the expansion of gun rights. >> i began this process less than three weeks ago that we have to be very careful as we balance our individual rights with our need for public safety.
>> reporter: at a march near stoneman douglas, hundreds showed support for the victims. >> i can't even understand how people can go and sue against something that's trying to save lives. >> reporter: others seeing the new law as a potential template elsewhere. >> i hope a bunch of other states follow through, if not every single state. >> reporter: an idea this lawsuit could put to the test. maya rodriguez, nbc news. in washington, president trump expressed new confidence that a meeting with north korea's leader will take place. trump is also signaling he believes kim jong-un will keep his promises to halt nuclear tests when they meet face-to-face. our white house correspondent kelly o'donnell talked to the president tonight. >> reporter: today before he left the white house -- >> what about north korea, sir? >> it's going to be something very special. we have a lot of support. i think north korea will go very well. >> reporter: donald trump gave the rogue regime of north korea something of value.
the trust of an american president. >> they promised they wouldn't be shooting off missiles in the meantime. and they're looking to de-nuke. and that's great. >> reporter: as he publicly built expectations that the meeting he agreed to have with kim jong-un will happen. the president tweeted, north korea has not conducted a missile test since november 28th, 2017, and has promised not to do so through our meetings. i believe they will honor that commitment. by accepting north korea's word, that it will curb its aggression, the president is taking a major turn from this. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. >> reporter: the president's willingness to meet jolted his own senior team thursday when he quickly accepted the offer delivered by a south korean delegation. today, he publicized support for the kim meeting from other world leaders tweeting that japan's prime minister, abe, is
enthusiastic about talks with north korea and china's president xi appreciates the u.s. working to solve the problem diplomatically. former united nations ambassador bill richardson supports a trump summit with reasonable expectations. >> i know the north koreans. they're not going to denuclearize at the meeting or shortly thereafter, but it's worth pursuing that goal. >> reporter: senior administration officials tell me they they, along with their south korean partners, set a time trail for the trump/kim summit of over the next couple of months in order to focus and keep pressure on north korea. no time and place has been decided yet. >> kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you very much. the president's new trade policies could play a major role in a pennsylvania special election that's been thrust into the national spotlight. tonight president trump heads to that state to campaign for a republican candidate in a district that he won by a big margin, but the polls show a
tight race which could offer some clues about the political mood heading into the midterms. nbc's jeff bennett has the story. >> reporter: it's a hot race in snowy steel country pitting democrat conor lamb, a 33-year-old marine veteran and former prosecutor, against republican rick saccone, a 60-year-old retired air force officer and long-time state representative. both are vying to replace tim murphy who resigned in scandal. lamb running as a sell terrorist democrat with support from labor unions. >> we really could not ask for a better position than we're in right now. >> reporter: saccone embracing the trump agenda. >> he's done such great job and just starting to get the credit. >> reporter: in 2016, president trump won by 20 points in this conservative-leaning stretch of western pennsylvania. polling shows the special election is neck and neck. lamb supporters hope a win will
put washington on notice. how much this is election did the two candidates and how much of it is about donald trump? >> i would say it's a lot about donald trump because if we can get lamb to win that will send a very clear message. >> reporter: with so much on the line, it's thought that the president even timed the rollout of those tough new steel tariffs to gave saccone a boost with the district's blue collar voters. >> i think we need a man like saccone in there to support president trump and many of the things that he wants to accomplish. >> reporter: both sides sending in the cavalry to support their candidates. joe biden leading the charge for lamb. >> help this man win. >> reporter: president trump putting his name on the line to save the seat. giving saccone a shoutout in january. >> rick is a great buy. and special. he's a special person. >> reporter: with the election days away, democrats are looking for a win ahead of the midterms while republicans are racing to
save their candidate running in the heart of trump country. president trump is holding a campaign rally here tonight to make a closing argument for rick saccone just three days before voters here go to the polls. this race now deemed a tossup in a district that hasn't elected a democrat in 15 years. >> thank you very much. o.j. simpson is making headlines, but this time it's a 12-year-old interview that never aired until now. this weekend, fox will unearth the controversial exchange where sill son offers a hypothetical explanation for the murders he was acquitted of back in the '90s. nbc's joe friar has a preview. >> in 2006, o.j. simpson gave a no holds barred interview -- >> reporter: fox calls the special "o.j. simpson: the lost confession" with a question mark. >> i remember i grabbed the knife, i do remember that portion. where are the bloody clothes?
somebody had to get rid of the bloody clothes. >> reporter: taped in 2006, the ex-fabl star was asked to speculate about what might have happened in 1994 when his ex-wife nicole brown and her friend ron goldman was murdered. >> it's difficult they want me to do it. it's difficult because it was hypothetical. >> reporter: he has always proclaimed his innocence. >> if it doesn't fit, you must acquit. >> reporter: and during his criminal trial he was found not guilty. but later recorded the interview and detailed a hypothetical account of the crime to promote his book "if i did it." at one point he discussed going to his ex-wife's house with a so called friend named charlie. >> charlie. came by and mentioned something about what was going on at her house. i don't know why he had been by nicole's house but he told me, you wouldn't believe what's going on over there. >> reporter: after a huge public outcry the interview never aired and the book was shelved with the rights later given to the goldman family to released it under the title "if i did it:
confessions of the killer." since then, simpson served nine years behind bars for a botched armed robbery. >> i -- basically it's been a conflict-free life. >> reporter: released in october, he's been living in los angeles. >> i'm going to tell you a story you've never heard before. >> reporter: o.j. simpson back in the spotlight, revisiting the 1994 murders that continue to captivate. joe friar, nbc news, los angeles. for the first time in decades, the u.s. warship has arrived along the shores of vietnam. that move meant to send a strong message to china when it comes to disputed waters. nbc's janis mackey frayer was there as the "uss carl vinson" made the historic visit. >> reporter: it's a sight not seen since the vietnam war. an american aircraft carrier arriving in da nang, a sign of growing ties between former foes and a clear message to china. >> china is a strategic competitor for us and that's the way we best phrase it.
we watch what they are doing, they are a competitor. >> reporter: the message, the u.s. will not stand for china's claim to the south china sea. >> we're going to be exceptionally candid about the areas in which chinese behavior concerns us. that does include chinese behavior in the south china sea. >> reporter: china has built nearly 3,000 acres of manmade islands fortified with runways and ports there. the "uss carl vinson" is a 1,092-foot-long u.s. reminder that these waters are not china's alone. >> we have in the past operated here. in the future we will continue to operate here. >> the aircraft carrier strike group provides that opportunity for our decisionmakers in the states. >> reporter: the u.s. says regular freedom of november nation operations in the south china sea -- sailing ships and flying planes -- part of a strategy to blunt the influence of china. but their clout is growing. with chinese defense spending on the rise, six aircraft carriers
in the works, and lawmakers about to remove term limit forth chinese president xi jinping. >> that does not impact any of the united states navy's operations. we will sail, fly, and operate wherever international law allows. >> reporter: the "uss carl vinson" port call to vietnam did not go unnoticed in beijing. a communist party editorial warned china could easily deploy its air force or missiles as deterrents. the potential for armed conflict looms large here on a map that china hopes to change. january nice mackay frayer, nbc news, da nang, vietnam. still ahead tonight, we'll head to a school that's allowed staff to carry guns long before the president suggested arming some educators. also a bond bad guy lair blows its top. we'll look at some of the incredible images from the real volcano showcased by 007.
president trump recently sparked a national conversation when he suggested some teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons in school, but the concept isn't new, with a school district in texas credited with starting the movement more than a decade ago. nbc's steve patterson is there with a look at how it works. >> reporter: nestled among windmills and oil derricks, the harrod school district is so small it's housed under one roof.
first responders are 30 minutes away. back in 2007, superintendent david thweatt started anonymously arming employees here. after 32 were killed at virginia tech, harrold became a lone star poster child, the godfather of arming teachers with guns. what do you say to people who are going to see this and say, why put guns into schools? >> i don't know why schools need to be gun-free zones. i think we need to have guns where we need to protect people. >> reporter: here any teacher, staff, or faculty member may be trained in carrying a concealed weapon. they're called guardians, armed at all times, and ready to shoot. >> that would be hardest thing to call a parent and say i couldn't do anything to protect your kid. >> reporter: who and how many is all a secret. and that's the point. >> i like the idea that my kids are protected without my kids feeling like they're walking into a prison. >> reporter: parents say it's peace of mind and students say they feel safe. when you see these shootings, how does it make you feel? >> if they did have teachers with guns, it would have
probably helped stop it. >> you have this in place, they're not coming to your school. we had it in place for almost 11 years. they're not coming to our place. they're going somewhere else. >> reporter: he admits it's a model that may not work everywhere for everyone, but in this small town, the idea of good guys with guns is just common sense. steve patterson, nbc news, harrold, texas. we're back in a moment with a look to the skies in something that's rarely ever captured on camera.
we're back with the eruption that's lighting up the night sky in japan. a volcano on one of the country's southern islands has been active for days. it became explosive early today sending ash 15,000 feet into the air, prompting warnings of flying rocks within a two-mile radius. this volcano has been featured on the big screen before. remember that? served as a criminal lair in a james bond classic, "you only live twice." back in the united states an image of a rare cloud has been causing quite a stir. even getting the national weather service to tweet about it. see it? it's called a horseshoe vortex. they form when a flat cloud passes over a column of warm, rising air. these horseshoe clouds are hard to capture on camera because they typically only last for a couple of minutes before breaking apart. the king of wakanda is reigning over the box office.
but the wide-tread wheels are becoming a hot trend in place that's known for its cold winter weather. nbc's anne thompson has our story. >> reporter: here's one way to break up the winter blues. get on a bike with really fat tires and take off through alaska's snow and ice. >> to me it's freedom. i can go out and enjoy a nice winter day any time i want. >> reporter: janice tower, a cycling coach, started biking in the snow long before anyone thought to make the tires fat. >> we used skinny tires. it was very challenging. >> nothing like this? >> not fat tires like we have now. >> this is the first time i fat tire biked. what do i need to know? >> you're off to a good start because you're keeping your hands warm and your feet warm. if you keep your extremities warm, you're going great. >> reporter: this sport has come a long way. today there are bikes built specifically to traverse the snow and ice to give the rider a unique perspective on this wild landscape.
>> anchorage used to be a destination place to go cross country skiing. and now with lower snow coverages, we're finding that more people are interested in biking. >> reporter: the sensation is almost like floating over frozen swamps, glaciers, and hundreds of miles of bike paths to bring this group of friends together a couple of times a week. >> the light is often beautiful in the wintertime here. that's part of the magic, to be out here at 3:00 in the afternoon and have this beautiful, golden-pink light all over the trees and the mountains. >> reporter: a new way to enjoy and see the changing landscape of winter. anne thompson, nbc news, anchorage, alaska. and that's it for this saturday night. tomorrow night on "nightly news with kate snow," some dogs that have gone from the shelters to the slopes to help skiers in danger. i'm jose diaz villar reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your time. good night.
shocked and saddened and feel very bad for everybody involved. right now at 6:00, the fallout from an unthinkable tragedy. tonight we continue to learn more about the gunman who took his own life and three others in yountville. she was definitely a bright, bright, bright light. and with such a great addition to our community. she is going to be really,
really missed. and the impact of those lives lost, family, friends and loved ones reflecting on an unimaginable loss. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, everyone. thank you for joining us. i'm terry mcsweeney. >> and i'm anisha ross at that. a lot of questions tonight following yesterday's shooting. an armed man killed three hostages at the veterans home in yountville. we brought you breaking news coverage throughout the day. >> tonight we continue to learn more about the lives lost, including that of the gunman. we have team coverage of the latest developments beginning with nbc bay area's christie smith, live in napa. and christie, you are learning more about the victims. >> reporter: yeah, that's right, terry. but i have to tell you, people are grieving today. but a few of them did share stories of how remarkable these women were. very dedicated to their work of helping veterans. one of them, they say, christine loeber, showed kindness and compassion always to those who needed it most.