tv Early Today NBC December 31, 2019 4:00am-4:29am PST
desperate ctustal town. gen on another they are under attack. >> nazi references, evidence police say was found at the home of the man charged with storming the house of the rabbi using a machete and knife. >> in texas we'll talk to one of the church volunteer security guards who became the hero when the man with the gun opened fire >> in florida police were able to arrest a wanted man after he outed himself on social media. we'll show you how the drama unfolded >> and on this last day of december 2019, we'll take a moment to look back at some of the amazing people we said farewell to this year. "early today" starts right now s
new year's eve i'm frances rivera >> i'm cori coffin we begin with breaking new urge. wildfires rage in some of the country's most populated arease witnessed massive flames creating columns of smoke over 8 miles high >> the columns are generating their own weather. >> now authorities also say at least four people are missing and a firefighter was killed when extreme winds flipped his truck. it's the third firefighter death there in two weeks the major concern now is for the roughly 4,000 people who are trapped by the flames along the coast. many of them fleeing to boats for safety take a look here at this video it's just w50iild to see there are reports that there may have been -- they have been told to jump into the water if the firee engh and if fire authorities sound their sirens
that's the dire situation they're dealing with now in australia. >> let's turn now to texas where an emotional vigil took place overnight. a community continues to mourn near fort worth after two churchgoers were killed when a gunman opened fire during their sunday service we are learning new details about that attack and the security team that stopped the shooter. nbc's blayne alexander joins us now with the latest. good morning, blayne >> reporter: frances, good morning to you the church goer who brought the shooter down said he walks into this church every day armed and prepared for a possible threat that he never dreamed he would have to acon it took less than 6 seconds to shatter the peace at west freeway church of christ police say 43-year-old keith thomas kinnunen walked into the sanctuary and sat among the congregation you see him exchange words with someone, then pull out a shotgun and fire twice just seconds later, he is fatally shot by armed members of the church's volunteer security
team >> i fired one round the subject went down. >> reporter: jack wilson trains that team here at his home gun range. he said the shooter immediately raised a red flag. >> the wig, the fake beard, and he kept trying to adjust there was concern that there was a possible threat. >> reporter: from the moment he walked in? >> from the moment he walked in, yes. >> reporter: officials are not releasing a motive tonight we are learning more about those in his path. 67-year-old richard white, a member of the volunteer security team from his grieving family, god placerd you where you were needed you stood up against evil and sacrificed your life and 64-year-old tony wallace, a grandfather serving communion, his daughter says, when he was shot >> he didn't have to take an innocent life. my dad was a great man >> reporter: it comes two years after 26 people were killed at first baptist church in sutherland springs, texas. soon after members here started their own security team. a controversial concept wit wil
his team saved lives >> i don't feel like i killed a human. i killed an evil and that's how i'm coping with the situation. >> reporter: and this morning we are also learning that the shooter had been arrested at least three times on charges ranging from gun possession to aggravated assault frances? >> all right, blayne, thank you. now to an update in the case of the hanukkah party stabbing attack prosecutors have filed federal hate crime charges against the man accused of bursting into a rabbi's home and stabbing five people during a hanukkah celebration. police say 37-year-old grafton thomas has pleaded not guilty to all charges. authorities have revealed they discovers one of the five victi remains in critical condition. here's nbc's kathy park. >> reporter: frances, good morning to youl prosecutors rev details about the suspect and what they found during their investigation. during the search of the suspect's home, they found a journal with anti-semitic writings
a chilling look at the moment police say grafton thomas armed with a machete launched his mission to attack a jewish congregation celebrating hanukkah court documents allege he said no one is leaving as he charged through a packed rabbi's home in southern new york. he used his table to fight off the attack >> i saw he was looking at me. i smashed it in his face >> reporter: hours later police found thomas in manhattan with his car smelling of bleach authorities say he had a machete and knife. both had traces of other dry blood. in his home the fbi said they found handwritten journals which included references to hitler and nazi culture as well as drawings of a swastika and a stan searching f nearby temples >> we're going to have patrols out of community members of different ethnic backgrounds working together t tolerated. >> reporter: local officials promised increased security amid
fears of rising anti-semitism. like the deadly attack on a jersey city deli nationwide there are more than 1800 anti-semitic incidents last year thomas's mother and his attorney said he suffers from mental illness. >> my impression from speaking with him is that he needs serious psychiatric evaluation >> reporter: of the five chassidic men injured during the attack, one is in critical condition. thomas pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder. his attorney asked that his client undergo a mental health evaluation frances? >> kathy, thank you. >> heightened tensions in teheran this morning in the wake of punishing air-strikes on an iranian-backed militia, overnight secretary of state p.m. tweeted he spoke with allies in the region as well as the u.n. secretary-general about the military action. all of this comes as president trump faces new questions about just how far he was willing to go to pressure ukraine to investigate his political rivals nbc's kristen welker has more.
>> reporter: new video of bombed out weapons storage sites after the united states launched air strikes against five targets in iraq and syria belonging to an iranian-backed militia that has taken aim at american forces >> president trump has been pretty darn patient and he's made clear at the same time that when americans' lives were at risk, we would respond >> reporter: it comes as president trump is intensifying his battle back at home over impeachment and new details about the central issue, the president's decision to withhold military aid to ukraine in exchange for investigations into the 2016 election and the bidens "the new york times" reporting the president's demands dated back to june, earlier than his july 25th call with the president of ukraine in which mr. trump asked for those investigations chief of staff mick mulvaney played a key role and the threat sent shock waves, with one white house advisor warning, expect congress to become unhinged. the times also reports on an
oval office meeting in augus esper,ecrery of state mike pompeo, and former national security advisor john bolton tried but failed to convince the president to release the aid the white house declined to comment. the senate's top democrat chuck schumer saying it all underscores the need for those officials to testify in a senate trial. cori >> all right, kristen, thank you. >> an explosive new year's match up at the orange bowl between florida and virginia, the gators but first michael scorched the calves defense with the 61-yard touchdown. it was his first of three for the night. virginia quickly countered in the air with a 44-yard dagger from quarterback brice perkins but they couldn't slow down the ga' game. fln 36-28. >> let's get a check 69 weather. nbc's janessa webb, with all you
need to know >> we have the southern storm that's been acting up since christmas eve. it's starting to finally exit. behind that system is some scattered snowfall right now northern new england, boston still dealing with that kind of wintry mix that will skirt out of here by this afternoon. we've already seen half an inch of accumulation. now, snow for the higher elevations still forecasting for toda up toy, what i can promise you, though, is things will start to dry out. we'll take a look at that 2020 forecast coming up >> great outlook for the start of the new year. new decade, too. thank you, janessa in today's quick hits, after 12 years of hosting the cma awards,
carrie underwood is stepping aside. she said one of the highlights of last year -- this year hosting with reba mcintyre it's time to pass the torch. >> arnold schwarzenegger hit the slopes he shared it on instagram. they have been friends for decades. >> and the final test of the world famous times square crystal ball ahead of tonight's ball drop. more than a million people are equity anded to watch. real people with psoriasis... look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen... or if you've had a vaccine or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur. ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. ♪ ♪
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the black eye that this gives the law enforcement profession from coast to coast. >> mcdonald's said, quote, after reviewing surveillance video, representatives were confident that no employees wrote the message. >> the wanted fugitive learned the hard way to be careful what you post online. central authority deputies say social media live stream helped bring down a suspect from our orlando affiliate wush, explains >> get on the ground >> reporter: you can see in this body camera video the moment the county sheriff's deputies arrested 20-year-old kevin gains, jr. gains had been on the run for more than a month, wanted in the county on a handful of charges including grand theft auto >> get in thhouse. he shut his here. >> reporter: finally thursday night deputies said they were able to track gains down using
instagram. gains was posting a live video on the app which deputies helped them confirm he was inside the house at that time >> hewas doing a live video. and as soon as he saw the blue lights, he shut the live video off. they said, man, hurry up, cops are here >> reporter: gains was taken into custody without incident. deputies said they found several weapons inside the house and charged gains with possession of a firearm by a delinquent in addition to the charges he was already wanted for >> and our thanks to them for that report. >> just ahead after sharon stone was kicked off the dating app. >> and before we enter 2020, a look back at those we lost in 2019 you're watching "early today." k♪ ♪ rocking the stage ♪ and we never gonna stop ♪ all strength, no sweat. ♪ just in case you forgot ♪ all strength. ♪ no sweat secret. all strength. no sweat.
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as the decade comes to a close, we want to know what you think is the biggest story of the 2010s. go to nbcnews.com/decade stories and tell us. >> on this final day of 2019, we'd also like to pause to remember some of those we lost over the last year many well known personalities and incredible talents who have left an indelible mark on our lives. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> we not only survive we can do something so valuable, so irreplaceable and that's what's worth celebrating. >> if i go tomorrow, you know i've had a good time you don't even have to ask me that ♪ ♪ ♪ diamonds are a girl's best friend ♪ ♪ ♪inng but forget about all the old times, weren't you >> oh, darling, all i want to do is get to the banquet on time. >> monster, whatu say? [ laughter ]
♪ ♪ >> if you know it's the right thing to do, even though it's tough, even though it might cost you, you've got to do it >> it's a high drive i'm trying to make it better for the kids that are coming after me ♪ ♪e spirit of motorcycling and supporting a community where we support each other >> never give in never give in. never, never, never. ♪ ♪ >> it's about loving democracy
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revealed his favorite movies and he's sharing his favorite music. he revealed his favorite songs of the year from hip-hop to country like lizzo's "juice. billy ray cyrus's old town remix. much, much more. you can check it out on his twitter feed >> i'm sure his daughters are approving of everything on that list >> it is so expansive. >> partisan politics even creeping int former president obama and donald trump poled at 18 unsurprisingly at party lines. coming in a distant third was jimmy carter michele obama topped the list of favorite woman she was the only woman to pull in double digits melania trump pulled in second and oprah third. >> where's beyonce >> she has to be on the list somewhere. >> the most admired woman at least on bumble's dating app right now might be sharon stone,
the real sharon stone. she tweeted she was on the site but they closed her account. maybe some users thought it couldn't possibly be her, it was a fake bumble responded that's the case they unblocked her if sharon stone is on bumble, there's no hope for the rest of us >> wonder if there are any matches on there >> imagine if you match with sharon stone >> netflix is revealing the list of its mostly popular releases of the past year and the adams family, jennifer aniston comedy murder mystery came out on top of the 39.9 million households watched the film in the first 72 hours that is the largest opening weekend for a film in the company's history. other titles that made the top five, third season of stranger things, underground, incredibles 2, and the irish man so there's still a lotf holiday time, three days left. we go back to work or school for a lot of us, there you go. >> binge another time.
how about this, santas burned off calories on the streets of russia shirtless temperatures as low as 5 degrees. that's fahrenheit, by the way. apparently the runners are used a winter swimming federation >> that's the way to do it that's proof right there >> oh, my gosh, we're so close to the new year, too happy new year, everyone thanks for joining us this morning. i'm cori coffin. >> i'm frances rivera. today anor waking up with us
good morning to you. it is new year's eve 2019. looking live out our window over san francisco, and the city already looking pretty festive, but what will it be like around midnight? good question. >> a lot of fun, i hope. >> pretty quiet. >> good morning to you. i'll be asleep. thanks for joining us. i'm marcus washington. >> and i'm kris sanchez in for
laura garcia. we want to show you the countdown to the new year. it is on, just 19 hours until we ring in 2020. celebrations planned all around the bay area, and maybe in your own living room and of course in the big apple. a live look at times square where preparations are under way for the big ball drop tonight. >> why don't we start