tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 24, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
chilling stories coming your way this hour. plus, not everyone left that oklahoma hospital before the tornado tore it apart. one mom to be in labor and the brave nurses who surrounded her as the wall literally came down, just might make you believe in miracles. and new evidence in the trayvon martin murder case. it paints a much different picture of the 17-year-old. new motion, new accusations levelled by his killer's defense team. but we start here in phoenix, arizona, where it looks like we're going to have to start all over again, almost. at least in the sentencing phase of jodi arias' trial. 12 jurors, 13 hours and 48 minutes of deliberations, almost five months of testimony and they still could not decide altogether as one whether she should get life or she should get death. the jury vote was a split of 8-4
in favor of the death penalty. >> ladies and gentlemen, i understand you have reached a verdict. >> reporter: there was confusion and surprise, even in the voice of the clerk who announced the jury in the jodi arias case was hopelessly deadlocked on the death paine penalty for the murder of former boyfriend travis alexander. >> we the jury upon our oaths, unanimously find having considered all of the facts and circumstances that the defendant should be sentenced, no unanimous agreements. >> reporter: arias' side as members of alexander's family sobbed. jurors that decide to speak with a this rong throng of the trial. >> ladies and gentlemen on behalf of the participants in this trial. i wish to thank you for your extraordinary service to this community. this was not your typical trial. >> reporter: that it wasn't. it lasted nearly five months
during which arias took the stand for 18 days and later made one last plea for her life. under arizona law, jurors were allowed to ask more than 200 questions. throughout, there were sexually graphing images and reportings. most difficult to forget, gruesome photographs with alexander's body with dozens of stab wound, a bullet hole and his neck slashed nearly ear-to-ear. >> thank you, please be seated. >> reporter: the judge set a few trial date for july 18th only on the question of the death penalty. prosecutors could be allowed to bring up arias' string of interviews, including death penalty prosecutions in arizona. for example, this statement to a ksaz reporter minutes after her conviction. >> well the worst outcome for me would be natural life. i would much rather die much sooner than later. i said years ago, i'd rather get death than life. that is still true today. >> reporter: earlier, she told
them a different story. >> to me, being if prison was the most horrible outcome. i thought i'd rather die. as i stand here now. i can't in good conscience ask you to send me to death. because of them. >> reporter: as her gesture to her family the family of the victim travis alexander struggle to agree. they won't be granting interviews until there is a, according to county sheriff, neither will be jodi arias. one is a settlement where they take death off the table in exchange by arias to accept a life in prison without the possibility of release and perhaps a waiver of her right to appeal. no one knows if arias would take that kind of deal. casey wian, cnn, phoenix. >> casey, thanks, casey. so what happened in the jury room behind closed doors and did arias do herself any favors by
taking the stand for 18 days? the jury foreman was speaking this morning about this and, in fact, amazingly said that he had not seen or heard of any of those interviews that jodi had given to the television stations. he talked a lot more about his thoughts, being a juror on this panel on abc's "good morning america" today. have a listen. >> i'm very sure in my own mind that she was mentally and verbally abused. now, is that an excuse? of course not. does it factor into decisions we make? it has to. we are charged with going into presuming innocence, right? but she was on the stand for so long, there were so many contradiction i criticing stories, but i don't think it did her any good, no, that length of time, no. >> very interesting. i want to bring in hln's correspondence, jean ka rar says and beth karas on this.
beth, it's always interesting to hear what jurors say what they are thinking when they reach their decisions, be you the fact that if juror said he wasn't aware of all these television interviews jodi had been giving during the trial, any panel that comes in at this phase, any new panel, they would have been privy to all of it. they live here, they watch television. they hadded no amod inments from any judge. >> yes. but that's not the point in picking a few jury. whether they heard about the case or been exposed to this. they will be asked if they can set aswhied they know and opinions they have and decide the case based on the evidence presented in front of them. if they can't set aside what they know and they know too much because this jury was saturated with news. i have spoken to people that believe there are plenty of meme who don't know the details of the case. >> well, you know what, it is fascinating. there is a very loyal television
following, then there are those who have absolutely no time for the fell e television coverage of this case, jean, about that prosecutor, he has been saturated with this, not for the television time, five years. he has one person he put on death row already. is there any thought that he would capitulate to any sort of deal at this point, even though the county prosecutor said they want to go ahead with the plans for retrying this phase e case, is there a chance to strike deal for any reason now? >> i think they will look at it. prosecutor juan martinez may not make the official determination. it may be the elected county attorney. i looked at the statement they said, it said we will assess and look at all the facts before us in determining what to do. that tells me they definitely will reflect on all of this. as it stands now, there will be a status conference june 20th. on july 18th, the judge ordered
a retrial of this penalty phase, but the xun is the saturated with this case. i mean, it's local reporters that got in to interview jodi arias. it is front paenl of the newspaper every day. i have talked to some people, though, that say, i don't watch it. i can't watch it. i don't want to hear all of the gruesome facts, those people, maybe they don't know about it. but they would fought be good jurors. >> beth, the jodi arias goes, once again, back to where she has been staying quite some time the county jail, sheriff in charge is one of the toughest sheriffings in the country. he's brought down the hammer on all the media interviews no more media. is there any reason to believe that that could change and we could yet again see jodi arias with hair, makeup and a nice lighting setup in the county ja jail? >> there is that possibility, i suppose.
jodi arias is the her own worsen my when she reached out to the detective and spinning him with lice, awaiting this penalty phase decision. she just keeps talking. it's in her best interest to stop. however, the sheriff is not look out for her best interest. he is looking out for himself. programs it's time to stop letting this now convicted first-degree murderer tell her tales in front of the cameras. so i don't think he will lift it, but it's always a possibility. >> so stay tuned on that. beth karas, jean ka rar says, excellent work as always, thank you for your very analyst alper spective on this very cellatious saga an soap opera. thank you so much. we will talk a little more about the case the arrogance of jodi arias, you won't believe it when you see the juxtopposed comments over this case. it's mindboggling. it might give you a five-month synopsis of who this american
was and became. in the meantime, a bridge collapse sends three people below. three people had to be pulled to safety. >> when we got there, they were taking somebody out of the truck. as you see, they were loading them on to that boat right there underneath the bridge. >> the start of this memorial day holiday just got difficult for people traveling between seattle, washington, and vancouver, canada. it amounts to tens of thousands. we are live at the scene, next. .
just imagine the terror you'd go through as a bridge collapses, plunging drivers into bone-chilling waters. now three people are in the hospital in washington state. now, listen to one man who actually drove into the water as that bridge just crumbled beneath him. >> when the dust hit, and i saw the bridge start to fall at that point, forward momentum carried us right over and as you saw the water approaching, it's just one of those, you hold on as tight
as you can and just a white flash and cold water, it was definitely cold this time of the year. >> reporter: what's perhaps the most incredible part of this story is that everybody made it out. i want to go straight to the scene right now. for more, dave chesson is with the washington state department of transportation. he's here. also is washington state police sergeant. dave, let me begin with you. there has been a lot said about the condition of this bridge, something called quote functionally deficient. while that sounds frightening for someone who might be driving over it, it doesn't necessarily mean exactly that it's dangerous. what does it mean to say something is functionally deficient in the way of a bridge? >> that means if we were to rebuild the bridge today, we would build it with different standards. this bridge was just inspected in november of last year. so we wouldn't be having drivers
drive on this bridge if we thought there were any concerns whatsoever. >> so, as i understand it, and you are going to have to clear this up for me if you could, kirk. although we are not establishing any cause officially right now as i understand it, there was an accident and there was a truck that did crash into part of the structure of the bridge. can you sort of round that out and give me the real pick? >> yes. about 7:00 last night, we had a semi that was traveling southbound on i-5, a flatbed semi. it was carrying a very large oversize load basically, equipment casing form for a drill rig and in this section of i-5, it's two lanes southbound, two lanes northbound. it was in the right-hand lane. and as the semi went onto the bridge, what the initial investigation shows is it appears the right front portion of that load that it was carrying struck one of the girders support sections of the bridge.
that seems to have been the catalyst that kicked off the following events that led to the collapse of the bridge. >> davgs idave, i'm looking at these pictures. i can't believe anybody survived falling that far and tangling up in that mess below. i don't know if you know the answer to this. how did they get out? how did they survive this? >> well, we are very fortunate that we had rescue people that were able to respond quickly and get them out. and the other important thing is that only one section of the bridge failed and went into the water. the other three sections of the steel bridge are still intact. >> it's amazing. it's truly amazing. it's very lucky. i think you definitely have your work cut out with you not only with that bridge but now obviously making sure other bridges in that state are going to be all right.
dave chesson and sergeant, thank you for your time. good luck to you. we are learning a lot more right now about the men who were accused in that brutal death and that awful attack on the british soldier in broad day lite as authorities are searching for other clues and other possible suspects. was there a conspiracy here?
checking now on some other top stories we are following on cnn. some frightening and confusing moments in britain. a british fighter jet had to be scrambled to escort a pakistani jetliner diverted to london stansted airport. all of this after a pakistan international airlines flight landed. two men were arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft. an official for the airline says the incident was caused by an unruly passenger. british officials say this is not believed to be terror-related. britain's security services are
being criticized for possibly missing signs that might have prevented an attack in which a british soldier was hacked to death in london. government sources say the security service 19 as mi5 was aware of the two men suspected of carrying out this attack but did not consider them a threat beforehand. the victim has been identified as 25-year-old lee rigby, the alleged attackers were shot by police. they're under guard by hospitals and another pan reman re -- man remains in custody under suspicion. and watch "manhunt" tonight at 9:00 on 9:00 eastern on cnn. president obama just addressed graduates at the naval academy in annapolis. we have live pictures we want to show you. this is just after his commencement speech, which, for him, was unfortunate in terms of the timing because it followed a
series of sexual assaults in the military and a growing scandal at west point with a sergeant who was charged with secretly videotaping women cadets while they were dressing or while they were in the shower. the president stressed while he made this speech, the need for moral courage. have a listen to what he said before he began this hand shaky you see on your screen. >> those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime. they threaten the trust and discipline that makes our military strong. that's why we have to be determined to stop these crimes, because they've got no place in the greatest military on earth. >> the president added that the military remains, in his words, one of the most trusted institutions in the united states. also making fuse today, openly gay boyscouts will be allowed into that organization
starting january 21st, 2014. it's policy change for the boyscouts. it's kick up fresh controversy, too, nearly 60% of the council voted to lift that plan on gay boyscouts. some say the historic policy change doesn't go far enough. those against the move are warning the scouts may face lawsuits for continuing to ban gay adults from being able to perform duties as scout leaders. a cone coney island landmark is back in business just in time for memorial day. now, that's a ribbon cutting. that's nathans. nathan's famous. it was forced to shut down for the first time in nearly a century after super storm sandy pummelled that neighborhood last october. the flagship store reopened today but, man, were there extensive repairs there. the customers were lining, up,
too, to get their oysters and the frog legs and the famous hot dogs. it's nice to see that after so long. what's happening here in phoenix surrounding jodi arias' case is not what the attorneys want in florida. there are new demands coming from the defense team of george zimmerman. plus, new photos of trayvon martin from his cellphone as the trial nears. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol
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of these descriptions of a young man shot dead on a street in florida. shot dead, pothead, gun dealer, street fighter. the person i'm talking about is trayvon martin. is that really who trayvon martin was? because the answer appears to be an emphatic yes if you talk to the defense attorneys for the man charged with killing him, george zimmerman. george zimmerman was that neighborhood watch volunteer who is now going to court on a sec degree murder charge. his lawyers are basing the case on pictures and text messages found on trayvon martin's cellphone. they just released as new evidence as discovery in this case t. lawyer for trayvon martin's family is strongly rejecting this contention saying the defense, instead, is playing with stereo types. cnn's david mattingly has more on these new developments. >> reporter: are these the photographs of a troubled and view will bet teen? pictures and text messages from trayvon martin's phone made
public by george zimmerman doofs attorney suggests the 17-year-old was no stranger to pot, to guns, and to fighting. >> i'm not sure if it's recreation or whatever. ese very used to fighting. he has used guns in the past. many 17-year-olds have. he has as well. >> reporter: three months before he encountered george zimmerman, trayvon martin sends text messages about a fight saying his opponent didn't bleed enough, only his nose. less than a week before the fatal encounter, martin texted, i hid my weed. it's wrapped. i got weed and i get.friday. the attorney for martin's family says the messages, the images and their implications are irrelevant. >> are they trying to say george zimmerman was justified in killing trayvon martin because of the way he looked? it's that same stereo typical mindset that caused george zimmerman to get out of the car and chase trayvon martin. and that just isn't acceptable
in america. >> reporter: trayvon martin was unarmed the night he was shot and killed by george zimmerman. but a week before, he seems to be trying to sell an automatic pistol and apparently turns down an off of $150. >> our david mattingly jones us now from atlanta. david, i'm only assuming that prosecutors are staying tight-lipped as they normally do. this isn't necessarily good. they can suppress the evidence. are they indicating anything yet? >> reporter: well, right now, the prosecution isn't saying anything. in fact, they would like the defense to be quiet as well. they will be renew their request for a gag order in this case. jerry selection is a couple weeks away. you are right. this is something the prosecution has to deal with. they have to argue about it before the judge. this is a way the defense is more or less firing a shot across their bow saying that if you try to attack the character of george zimmerman in this
case, then we're going to do the same thing to trayvon martin. so they're pretty much laying out a possibility here. one of the possibilities is the judge won't allow it and the jury will never see these texts or these pictures. >> all right. david mattingly, live for us, thank you for that. for more perspective, i want to turn to our legal expert minds, your u our juvenile judge hatchet joins us. she is an emmy nominated judge and a cnn federal prosecutor, sonny, let me begin with you if i can. this is the kind of evidence you can expect will be hard fought over in that him ceo. based on what it is and what the arguments that seem to be now, do you expect will be in front of a jury? >> you know, i think it's too soon to tell, ashleigh. i can tell you that every judge will make a determination to whether or not evidence is relevant and even if it's relevant, if it's too
prejudicial, that evidence usually doesn't come in, in front of a jury. i will say this, though, in october, this judge indicated that any evidence of trayvon martin's propensity for violence or characteristics for violence could be relevant, because this is, after all, a self-defense case. so that kind of evidence may come in. the judge also may consider use, prior use of drugs as relevant, only because george zimmerman on that 911 call says, hey, listen, he looks as if he is on drugs. so i think it's possible the judge will think, maybe this is relevant. but that still doesn't mean it comes in. again the balancing test; even if it's relevant, is it so prejudicial to sort of outweigh all of its rem. if you look at these text messages. if you look at tease pictures, i think it's so highly prejudicial the judge says, no, i'm not going to touch this, unless the prosecution opens up the door. >> without question it's prejudicial as is so much
evidence in the case. that's why it's brought in as evidence. it's prejudicial it shows or leads to evidence of guilt, at least on the prosecutor's side. judge hatchet, exactly that potent, when they open this case, they will zoo say, he was going to get skittles and iced taechlt look at that defendant over there, aren't they now opening the door for the defense attorneys to have that right to say, if you are bringing the prejudice up already, don't we have the right to defend that image that are you creating for this jury? >> well, i agree with sonny. i think this is going to be a balancing act. i think they will fight it out, frankly, ashleigh, on some pretile motions to see what happens. but i think the judge may well delay a decision as the trial unfolds. i mean, you got to really bring it closer to what happened that night. i think the propensity about violence, they can show that may well be admitted.
but what about implications of drug use? was there a toxicology report? was there any indication he was intoxicated and maybe enraged as a part of the self-defense, the defense will raise. i think this will be a tough one. but i'd be surprised if all of the things we now know will come into evidence and i do hope that there will be a gag order so that there will not be as we get close to selecting a jury in this matter. that's what i'm most concerned about. >> maybe they will be able to cherry-pick some of that evidence. sonny, quickly, i'm out of times, i want to get your perspective on the possibility of any jury in this case, given what florida went through with casey anthony, given what we seen in arizona with jodi arias, sequestering another jury, do you think that's a possibility in the upcoming case? >> you know, i think a lot of times sequestering the jury
comes down and judge hatchet will agree, it comes down to moevenlt you have to provide housing, transportation, food, entertainment, that sort of thing. so i actually think it's going to be very difficult. we know in florida that was a huge consideration in the casey antony trial. the judge, in particular, i spoke to him about this. that's certainly a consideration. so i'm not sure that this jury will be sequestered. i do, however, ashleigh, think it should be sequestered given the amount of media attention this case will get. >> i certainly agree with that. it's hard to hear that only because jurors work so hard. they give so much in niece big cases th -- much in these big cases. it's tough to distress their families. nice to see you enjoying your memorial day weekend. well deserved. we will take you next to oklahoma. a woman goes into labor. hard enough on its own, try
to moore, oklahoma now as a wounded town john boehner to rebid and then just try to heal. five adults and one child are still in the hospital today. the child and one of the adults are in critical condition. another child is being laid to rest today. the funeral is being held for 8-year-old kyle davis. he was inside that school, the plaza towers elementary school when the twister tore the building apart. 24 people were killed if
monday's tornado. ten of them were. in the meantime, residents are returning to their demolished homes, trying to pick through them, find anything they can, anything, anything, a belonging, a picture. president obama is set to tour that ravaged town sound. and amid the stories of the devastation in moore, oklahoma, just a remarkable story of survival and here is will. i'm going to say that, shaye la taylor went into labor as that tornado was bearing down on the hospital as the twister shook the whole building she was in, the hospital building. four nurses decided to stick it south. they stayed with we her, hughesing their bodies to shield her. cnn's brian todd with her story. >> how are you? oh my god, look how happenedsome your boy is. ro. >> reporter: a reunion that came
inches from not happening. four nurses congratulate shayela theyor on her son brayden, six people that will last the rest of their lives. as the tornado approached town, shayela taylor was dilated, going through contractions. >> she couldn't move. it numbed her enough that she couldn't walk. >> reporter: as the tornado wore down the staff moved her to the solid windowless operating room. it was too dangerous to move her anywhere else. >> her baby was fought doing the best. i needed to weigh and monitor the process, especially sense she was so far dilated. so the only place to do that would be the or. >> but within minutes the hospital was hit with massive force. now what are you thinking? >> once i felt the floor start shaking. it felt like an earthquake. i knew we were getting hit
directly. >> reporter: did you think at that moment you and brayden could survive this? >> i didn't foe we would. i was praying we would. >> reporter: the walls were ripped off the operating room. they shared these pictures. from where they were a gaping window. >> i could see the movie theatre. >> reporter: with shayela still in labor, the nurses draped blankets and their bodies over her and hung on. >> we actually were on the floor, bonnie the scrub tech was kind of leaned over her a little more. he had blankets, pillow, we were holding on to each other and the bed. >> reporter: it worked, the tornado passed. shayela's husband jerome who had taken cover on a lower floor hadn't been allowed to go to his wife. he says he didn't know how to get her. >> they were like, no, everybody is out of the building. i was like, no, my wife, my wife
is upstairs. >> reporter: and there was still danger. even though the tornado had passed, floors and ceilings were unstable. there were gas leaks. jerome taylor and the nurses were able to get shayela on a stair swell and out. she was taken to the healthplex hospital in norman. within hours, brandon emanuel brayden was born. what do you think of those nurses and what they did? >> those nurses are amazing. you know, they're definitely doing the job they were called to do. you know, to put my life before theirs, i know that's what you are supposed to do. you know, as a nurse, i went to nursing school. so i know that's what you are supposed to do. but to actually see them do it and to be more concerned about me than them. i know that's, they're definitely doing the job they're called to do. >> as for this teeny troublemaker. >> he probably will sleep through anything now. >> he does.
>> reporter: one final peels of symmetry here, shayela taylor just finished nursing school. she says she's always wanted to be a la bore and delivery nurse. this experience finally enforces that. brian todd, cnn, moore, oklahoma. >> i've had two babies. let me tell you, shayela, are you my new he. >> reporter: your babe brayden, can i get that picture up of that labor and delivery room. have we got that husseinied? i can't believe you endurendure that during labor and to those four nurses, to do what you did, you do what you do every day, but you deserve to be concanonized. unbelievable. oh, remarkable. just remarkable. mother's day will be a big deal in that house for a long time. you know, the weekend i want you to go along with anderson cooper as he gets and up close and personal look at the storm
>> if you have wondered why the country seems transfixed by a young woman named jodi arias in arizona, perhaps a condensed look at the last five years and the lies that jodi arias told and admitted to retelling and relying about. when you see them all condensed into one neat package, it might give you a picture of how this trial progressed from the moment anyone learned her name to the moment she was deemed guilty in the courtroom behind me. >> you slit his throat from ear-to-ear. >> i can't imagine slitting anyone's throat.
contrary to what everyone thinks, i'm a person of my word. i'm not proud that i left the other person there to be slaughtered. >> why are you talking to us? >> why are you talking to me. >> was going from a blon bombshell to a mousey librarian look in court, was that a defense strategy, was that your idea? >> no, they don't sell clairol hair gel in gel. >> why did you apologize. >> i don't think i used those two words. >> this is a tee-shirt which 100% of the pleads go to support nonprofit organizations which also assist other victims of domestic violence. >> the survivor tee-shirt you had in court, many people thought it was bad for you, it wasn't if great taste. it may have worked against you. what do you think about that? >> i don't see how helping a cause is working against me. >> some people don't believe i am a survivor of domestic
violence. they're entitled to their opinion. >> did you kill travis alexander? >> i absolutely did not kill alexander. i didn't harm him in anyway. >> well, the jury in this case may not have seen many of those early interviews and they certainly were told they were not to be seeing of the current interviews during the trial. nonetheless, they saw a lot of jodi, 18 days of her on the stand. at least the jury foreman told abc abc's "good morning america" eight in favor of the death penalty, four in favor of life. have a listen. >> so i'm 6-feet and if you can't feel that, then you have no emotion, no soul. and yet we couldn't allow ourselves to be emotional on the stand. we couldn't allow ourselves to show emotion though i'm sure
some came through. i'm very, very proud of my peers and my jurors that were with us because they did a fantastic job of holding it together. >> and our thanks go out to that jury foreman and the other jurors in that trial for the tremendous sacrifice they made in their lives over the last five months to sit in judgment in this case. i want to bring in hln's legal correspondents jean casarez and beth karas and also criminal defense attorney jose baez who joins us as well from florida. jose, let me begin with you. i was fascinated to hear what this juror said about jodi arias, didn't believe a thing from the stand, didn't think she did herself any favors, but in the end said you can't stand six feet away from someone and not feel something. and i have to ask you, as a defense attorney who defended a woman who was deemed one of the most hated women in america, those jurors said they didn't like casey anthony, but they
still gave her a pass. so are you surprised by hearing what you heard from this juror? >> no, i'm not surprised. i don't think her being on the stand helped her in the guilt phase. but it did help her in the penalty phase. once you get to know someone, especially someone who you have to -- who you have some interaction with, they got to ask questions and they called her jodi in their questions, so there was a lot of interaction between this defendant and this jury. so i'm not surprised at all that it had an effect on the penalty phase, but not on the guilt phase. >> jean casarez, it was hard to watch the faces of travis alexander's family and friends in that courtroom as that verdict of inability to reach consensus was passed down. are they speaking at all? have they said publicly what they would like to see happen? are they at all willing to go through yet again another phase of pain and suffering and really
disturbing evidence in order to secure a death penalty? >> i don't think we have any of those answers. they have not made any public comments at all. they were so distraught in that courtroom. they probably are on their way back to california at some point. i'm sure the prosecutor's office will discuss with them, they will be part of the decision making process because there is a victim's bill of rights here in arizona of what goes forward. but what is interesting with all of the emotion, the juror also said in this interview which i think was very, very telling that he believed that jodi arias was abused in the relationship with travis alexander, emotionally abused. that would be the text messages, those would be the e-mails, the instant messages that one day saying just discerning terms about her one day, the next day saying he loved her. and i think that also in part led to the emotion that maybe there was some attachment to
jodi. >> beth, you're a former prosecutor. and i know that jean just referenced the victim's bill of rights here, but how much does the wishes of the victim's family and friends factor into a decision by the county attorney, the people who prosecute these cases, how much weight is given to what the family wants? meaning, if the family says we just can't go through anymore, please strike a deal and send her away for life, is that really effective? >> well, i'm sure the county attorney will take their position into account, but it's the county attorney who makes the decision, not the victim's family. so i don't know if it's great weight, they'll just take it into consideration. it's a mitigator if the victim's family doesn't want death. the defense can use that as a mitigator, but in this case, you know, we know that the family couldn't ask for death, but they were supporting death. the state will take it into
consideration. >> beth karas, jean casarez and jose baez, i appreciate all three of your perspectives, your insight. and we may all meet again in these very chairs in another two months. i hope we don't, but i think we may. thank you to all three of you. when disaster struck moore, oklahoma, a cnn hero was one of the first on the scene. he sent more than $1 million worth of disaster response gear to dozens of disasters over all of the years all free of charge. going to find out more about this in just a moment. all business purchases. so you can capture your receipts, and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork. and more time doing paperwork. ink from chase. so you can.
there are so many amazing stories emerging from moore, oklahoma. among them was a team led by 2008 cnn hero tad agolia. >> i've never seen anything like this. >> watching the news and literally seeing this tornado touch downright before our very eyes. >> oh, my god! >> we knew it was powerful. >> there it is. it's a mile -- right there. >> my first response team was prepositioned. we were able to get here within two hours after the strike. we saw massive destruction right off the bat. we were able to get police escorts and we were brought right to the school. search and rescue had just begun. we had some equipment on site that really was needed.
cranes to lift up heavy debris, cat machines with buckets to move debris out of the way. we were digging through an area of the school where we thought there could be some young children trapped. seeing the desks, pieces of paper that children had written on, it just stopped me in my tracks and it reminded me of why i do what i do every day. my team has been to over 50 large scale disasters. places like the earthquake in haiti, superstorm sandy, this could be almost as bad as joplin. i'm not a scientist, but something is changing. the disasters are becoming more epic. but thanks to the news, meteorologists, thanks to technology. >> you need to be in your tornado shelter immediately. >> people are becoming more aware of how to prepare and get out of harm's way when these large scale disasters strike. we've come here to help, to be a part of the community.
but it's always vitally important for me and my team to remember every house had a family living in it. and they need a helping hand. >> speaking of helping hands, if you want to be one for tad and help those impacted by this disaster or you can find out about other cnn heroes working in moore right now, i invite you to please go to cnnheroes.com. thanks for watching, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield live in phoenix, arizona. have a lovely memorial day weekend. we'll see you right back here on monday. we are gathered here today to celebrate the union of tim and laura.
it's amazing how appreciative people are when you tell them they could save a lot of money on their car insurance by switching to geico...they may even make you their best man. may i have the rings please? ah, helzberg diamonds. nice choice, mate. ...and now in the presence of these guests we join this loving couple. oh dear... geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
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