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tv   Dateline  MSNBC  June 16, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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mckenzie morgan -- survivor. and licensed pilot. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. >> this is "dateline." >> it was just chaos. >> a day at the mall descends into mayhem. armed men turn shoppers into prey. >> lots of screaming. lots of gunfire. they had a demeanor like they owned the place. >> panicked moms protecting their kids. >> i kept telling them to be quiet, like a mouse. >> cry, this is it. >> kids, forced to protect one another. >> he grabs your brother?
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>> yeah, and just ran. >> from out of the blue, a hero. could he rescue the very smallest of victims. >> when she got up and ran, did you have a moment where you thought, oh, my god? hello. welcome to "dateline." newtown, orlando, las vegas, mass shootings are all too frequent in the u.s. overseas, in kenya, mass killings in a deadlier attack. a nar mall saturday afternoon of shopping. what i merged that day were remarkable stories of courage and survivor. here is kate snow. >> reporter: it's the modern day
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town square, a gathering place that fulfills our every need, shopping, eating, socializing. a trip to the mall is an escape on weekends. not just in america, in nairobi, kenya, the upscale and modern westgate mall was the place to unwind at the end of the workweek. it was the last place you would expect something like this. [ gunfire ] gunshots, explosions, armed men taking over every floor, methodically shooting anyone in their way. [ gunfire ] that was the unbelievably brutal scene that played out in front of a shocked world september 21st, 2013. just after the smoke cleared, "dateline" traveled to nairobi. we'll take you inside the mall attack with harrowing scenes of how it unfolded and details from
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those who lived through it. you will hear from two mothers caught in the cross fire. >> it was pretty terrifying. it really was. it was very, very, very terrifying. >> reporter: two mothers caught on cal ra. >> what's going to happen? i'm going to die. the kids are going to die. >> reporter: in a matter of seconds, these moms, an american and a kenyan would go from strolling through the mall to being forced to make life and death decisions to save themselves and their children. for catherine walton it began like any other saturday with her husband phillip away on business she took their five kids to the westgate mall. it was a place they could all be entertained t teens and toddlers. her kids liked the chicken place, the candy store. >> it was an opportunity to walk around, kill a couple hours, and i knew we'd go home and have naps and everybody would be happy.
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>> they chose to move to kenya two years earlier from texas. it was like going home. they were both children of missionaries and grew up in countries in west africa. they met in boarding school in africa, married in the states and started raising their family. at the time of the attack, blaze was 14 years old, ian 10, porsche 4, gigi 2 and the baby just 13 months old, was born in kenya. their morning at the mall unfolded just as any families might. they had lunch together. after lunch, the boys decided to race down to the first floor to a big department store, sort of like a superwalmart. mom and the three young girls were finishing up lunch, so they lagged behind. as they were walking through the mall to catch up with the boys, with a baby in a sling and the two toddlers holding mom's
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hands, it happened. an explosion. >> the first thing that tells you something is wrong is a huge bang. >> yeah. >> coming from where? >> it was the main entrance, so it was off to my right and behind me. i remember turning around and looking at it and just seeing people screaming and running. >> in those first seconds, catherine was unsure what was happening. she thought it sounded like broken glass or something falling. but she immediately grasped that she and her girls were in danger. the chaos confused another mother not far from catherine. faith was in the mall with her two children, 9-year-old daughter and 21-month-old son. the researcher was shopping for an anniversary present for her husband. she was in a flower shop when she first heard the noise. >> it was so loud that i actually thought it was an
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earthquake and the building was collapsing. that was the point when i told my kids to lie down. of course i'm scanning the area wondering where we're going to go. >> scenes captured on security cameras in the mall show how quickly the attacks began. you can see machine gun bullets flashing down the main con curse as shoppers scramble and dive to the floor. >> and then i saw trace arounds starting to hit the shops straight ahead. >> catherine's first thought, protect her kids. >> it was instinct to grab the girls and run. but we must not have come too far and a kenyan woman came and scooped up porsche and we ran behind this display table, display cabinet. >> catherine, her girls and the kenyan woman took cover the only place they could. here they are crouching under a flimsy display table.
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>> petra was crying because i was laying on her and it was very loud. >> what were you hearing? >> everybody was scrambling and the shooting was like coming from all directions. >> catherine knew her boys had been headed toward that department store amid all the noise and commotion she managed to call them and yell out a quick warning. >> i said don't come out. they are shooting. go run, hide. do not come out. >> catherine knew the situation was dangerous, extremely dangerous, but at least she had some cover. faith and her kids were also trapped on the ground floor, but cowering out in the open, exposed to the gunmen stalking new victims. >> i'm telling the kids to lie down. now there is continuous loud sounds and that's when i knew there was shooting. and then i thought, wrong choice of hiding place. my daughter at one point asked
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me, mama, was this the best place we could hide? >> the assault continues. you are not hearing just one gun. >> no, it was all over. it sounded like it was all over. of course in the building it was just echoing and reverberating. >> you could look up and see other floors? >> where i was laying, i could see across and up the different levels. it was just chaos. >> what is the smell like? >> the whole mall was cloudy and smoke everywhere. gunpowder burning smell. >> did any of them come anywhere near you? >> i saw two of them that walked from the main entrance in front of the line of stores directly in front of us. >> hold on. what did you see? i mean you saw their feet go by? >> no. i saw them. i saw two whole men. you know, they were 50 yards, 30 yards away, i don't know. >> what did they look like?
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>> they had tan and gray clothing and they were carrying very, very large weapons, very large guns. >> hearing the gunfire and screams echoing through the mall, both catherine and faith could tell the gunmen were spreading out, killing people as they went along. two mothers trapped with young children worried they'd be next and a growing fear seized catherine. her boys were no longer answering their phones. where were they? coming up -- the terrifying uncertainty for those inside the mall and loved ones outside. >> i got a phone call, your wife and sons are in there and they're separated. >> soon a friend of catherine's who has been texting with her would go from worried to frantic. >> when she sent that, my heart just sunk. >> when "dateline" continues.
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dray, when he was younger, he loved to smile; and we knew he would need braces because his teeth were coming in funny. this is the picture that was on the front page of the newspaper. all you can notice is the braces! then, once he got to michigan state, he broke the retainer! my bottom teeth, they were really crooked, and i just wasn't getting braces again. then i discovered smiledirectclub. it's easy to just grab it and go and i can change it on the road. i did photoshoots with my aligners in and you can't see them. a smile is a first impression,
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armed men stormed into the westgate mall in nairobi, kenya, firing round after fatal round. catherine walton was hunkered down, near where the shooting started, crouched in a small kiosk with a stranger and her three young daughters.
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she was desperately worried about her sons who were somewhere out there, but she had to focus on keeping her daughters quiet so they wouldn't attract attention. >> are you hiding from these gunmen? >> yeah. we were laying down on the ground trying to hide from them so they couldn't see us. porsche kept her fingers in her ears. gigi said mom, i want my blanket, her mouse and flash flight. she sleeps with them every night. she said she wanted her brothers. and i told her that we'd see them later. >> catherine could only hope that was true. half a world away, a phone rang in a hotel in north carolina. catherine's husband, phillip, a tech entrepreneur, had gone back to the u.s. for business meetings, leaving his wife alone in nairobi with their five kids. >> i got woken up at about 5:00 a.m. from a dear friend, so i knew it was not good. >> do you remember what he said? >> there is an attack going on at westgate and your wife and sons are in there and they're
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separated. >> that's a call you don't want to make. >> the family friend had been at home recovering from surgery when he got an urgent text from catherine. >> what time did the first message come in? >> the first one came in at 12:52. >> what did she say? >> she said, pray, shooting in westgate. hiding. >> that's a message. >> it just blew me away. i actually wrote her back, really? and she said, yes, i don't know where the boys are. she said find blaise. >> he texted the oldest son, blaise, but he didn't answer. >> i started looking on the internet. somebody put out a statement on facebook saying don't call anybody because when the phone rings people are getting shot when their phone rings. paul didn't call but stayed in touch with catherine through text messages. it was her lifeline to the world. >> i sent a text saying get me out of here. not that i thought he could, but i was desperate. >> when she sent that one, my heart sunk. >> catherine didn't text her husband phillip because she knew
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he was too far away. she knew she would only panic him. back in north carolina, all phillip could do was wait. it was 6:00 a.m. and news of the attack hadn't hit the u.s. yet. >> i'm trying to imagine the feeling of getting that phone call and being so far away. >> i think helplessness is a pretty accurate word. you know there is nothing that you can do. i was so worried the girls would just be screaming like uncontrollably panicking and drawing attention. >> exactly what catherine was trying to prevent the girls from doing. >> i just kept telling them to stay little, to stay very quiet and the kenyan lady that was with porsche just kept patting her and soothing her and gigi was curled up in a little ball. her breathing was so quiet and so shallow, i kept rubbing her back and touching her because i was like maybe she's hurt and i don't realize it.
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>> cramped in her hiding spot, she was debt desperate to reach her boys. after trying and trying, she finally got through again. >> i was able to send a text and said, are you okay and ian told me they were okay and they were safe. >> you thought your boys had gotten out. >> i did. when he told me they were safe, i thought they had gotten out. >> but they hadn't. the boys were hiding in the back of the store. this cell phone video captured the battlefield the store became. the aisles were a bullet riddled maze. shoppers were stunned. some drawing fire. and now there were gunmen headed towards catherine's sons. faith was the other mother trapped in this nightmare. she had her two young children with her and was worried about controlling her toddler son. they heard gunfire all around
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them. >> i feel bad because i was lying on him trying to shield him at one point and i said, oh, my goodness lying on this floor and i'm pressing down on his back, he must be so uncomfortable. that is when i put my fingers in his mouth hoping to give him something to suck on. >> they remained like this, frozen in place for minutes, and then for an hour. he was terrified her son would start crying and give them away. >> i can see his face creeping into a cry. and i know, my goodness, he is going to cry. this is it. coming up, faith makes a fateful choice. i thought now our cover has been blown. >> while our other mom becomes terrified that she and her girls are moments away from being discovered. >> i knew that if those men came around behind us that they could see us. >> when "dateline" continues. he.
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catherine was still in her makeshift hiding spot on the main floor of the mall. an hour into the attack she was still trying to keep her three restless daughters contained under that flimsy table, their only protection from the roaming gunmen. it was a job that got harder as the mall got quieter. >> there was a lull. and then the shooting started again. one of them threw the phone and it got underneath our bodies and i couldn't reach it. >> you couldn't text anybody. >> i couldn't text anybody, couldn't get ahold of anybody. >> for a couple hours, i was texting her and no more texting from then. other people started calling me and saying this is really bad. we have seen pictures of people being killed.
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>> and she's not responding to you now. >> no. >> just down the corridor, another mother struggled to keep her children quiet. >> i'm here thinking about our survivor and thinking will this stop and run to an area where we can be safe. >> she told her children being quiet wasn't enough. she made an incredible decision. they would all play dead. her 9-year-old daughter could understand how important it was to stay still. her son then, too, seemed to sense it as well. he didn't move except for an occasional blink. >> men with machine guns scoured every inch of the mall. >> we were next to a corridor where we could hear them passing from time-to-time. but there was no way to change my position. >> as the minutes dragged into hours, knowing her son might stir at any minute, faith was relieved when he dozed off for a bit. >> he was lying there on the ground snoring away. i didn't know if he was alive.
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one eye was shut, the other was open. an unusual way to sleep. >> hot, cramped with numb limbs, faith urged her kids to fight the need to move. >> my daughter, whenever i felt like she was, you know, twitching or changing her position because my hand was on her arm, i would just squeeze a little bit and she understood that to mean, stay still. >> but, then, 2-year-old tye woke up. faith wondered how much longer he could hold on. she took a chance and played a game. she pretended glass and bullets were insects. >> the gunmen continued to brazenly troll the mall floors looking for victims. catherine was worried they would see her and the girls. after all, she was seeing the gunmen. >> when they walked by you, were they shooting? >> no.
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they were walking very slow. they almost had a demeanor like they owned the place. >> like they knew they were in control. did they see you? >> they looked my direction. i knew if those men came around behind us, that they could see us. >> those men had already killed dozens of shoppers. in this video captured by a security camera, a wounded person is prodded by a terrorist. other parts too graphic to broadcast show the gunmen callously shooting people throughout the mall, even the injured. as the siege dragged on, the outside world was beginning to get some idea of how terrible it was. >> good evening. loud explosions were heard tonight in the kenyan capital of nairobi. >> those still trapped inside the mall couldn't know they were part of a terrorist attack. faith and her two kids remained absolutely still. it was their only chance for survival. but her mind raced.
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>> i'm thinking about my husband, where is he? how will he get to know about this incident. i'm wondering will any of my children get shot? will i get shot and my children have no mother? >> faith was determined to protect her children at any cost. >> i remember covering the children, my son's head and my daughter's head and i said any bullet would have to pass through me first before it gets to these children. >> faith and her children had been flat on the floor for a full three and a half hours. when suddenly she heard something. >> we had heard voices from above us on higher floors asking us to get up. mother, mother with the children, you mother down there with the children. i knew now they were addressing me. but immediately, we got up on our knees and the shooting starting again. >> she thought by moving she had drawn attention to herself. >> we were scared because we thought now our cover has been
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blown because now they know we are really not dead. >> faith didn't trust anyone now, so when a man approached, she was sure it wasn't good. >> and that's when i felt somebody touching me, i knew they had come for us because now they know we are alive. so we just laid down there and i remember telling them, shh, quiet. >> faith has to make a split second decision. their lives depend on it. should she trust the man talking to her child. coming up -- >> baby, baby, touching my daughter. baby, baby. >> and then a fresh shock for catherine's husband. >> that was very traumatic to me. >> when "dateline" continues. and the safey for "most parallel parallel parking job" goes to...
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hi, tiff hour's top stories. the trump administration says nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families over a six-week period during a crackdown. the american medical association called the move inhumane and risks scarring children for the rest of their lives. a 23-year-old man killed a woman in denver. it left the teenage boy dead and mother and another in critical condition. another child was unharmed. now, back to "dateline."
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hello and welcome back to "dateline." i'm craig melvin. gunmen had taken over the westgate mall and patrolling the building, searching for victims. the two mothers in the story, both hiding with their children were hoping time was not running out. here is kate snow. for three and a half hours after armed gunmen stormed the westgate mall, two mothers had been trapped. catherine crouched for cover with three young daughters, urns a -- under a temporary kiosk with gunmen patrolling nearby. and faith and her two young children played dead all that time. they moved once and were instantly shot at. as a man approached them, faith held her position, but he wasn't a terrorist. he was a police officer. >> baby, baby, touching my daughter, baby, baby. are you okay? are you okay? and i said, wow. in my mind i'm thinking this must be a good person.
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they want to know, are you okay, not are you alive. are you okay. then he said, it's safe. it's safe. it's the police. >> faith's 9-year-old daughter was the first to move. >> my daughter put up her head. quite hesitant and asked him are you with the bad guys? because, i mean, i was still looking down. i was scared. i thought now they've come where we are. so my daughter put her head up. it was too late to tell her to put her head down, engaged the police officer in a conversation are you with the bad people, then said mama, look up. >> and then, almost against her instincts, faith began to trust. >> when i looked up and seen his civilian jacket, i didn't know who he was. and then as he sat up, then i saw his shirt. i was able to recognize the uniform. and then he said it's fine. i'm going to lead you to safety. get up.
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>> desperately afraid to move, faith agreed, it was time to make a run for it. still worried that gunfire would erupt again, faith got up and crept toward the exit with her children. >> i remember seeing a body lying there on the steps as we ran out. but i said i am focussing on where we are going. there was this policeman running too fast and way ahead. the one with my son was lagging behind and i kept on saying, my son, my son. >> after all those hours, forced to keep her children quiet, they were finally out. >> i'm crying now because i'm free, you know. there is all this tears of joy. >> in his hotel room, 6,000 miles away in charlotte. phillip could only hope his story would have such a happy ending. he was combing through news reports he saw on social media. >> i remember one specifically where they said somebody had just seen them bring a child's body out in the shopping cart
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and they said it was a 5 or 6-year-old little boy and i thought to myself, well, i don't think anybody would confuse our boys for being 5 or 6. but could they confuse one of our girls for being a little boy? and that was a -- that piece of news was very traumatic to me. >> in agony and alone, he prayed and started playing one song over and over in his mind. >> i think we do have a measure of grace that comes to us in very difficult times. for me there was a u2 song that went off in the back of my head called 40, from the 40th psalm. i just started reading that psalm over and over again and it was exactly what i needed to hear. and, so, i took a lot of comfort from that. >> it's got that great -- i know the song. >> it is an awesome song.
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>>. ♪ how long to sing a psalm". >> yeah, exactly. it gave me the inspiration of hope and gave me something to pray on during the time that i didn't know what was going on. >> he was comforted by his faith, but it was impossible not to worry. by now he knew what his wife didn't, that his entire family was caught in a carefully coordinated, full blown terrorist attack. >> you think the worst. you know. when you know that these are terrorists and you know that their intent is not, you know, to steal something and get out of there, but it's to kill people, and you know their intent is to hurt christians, you know their intent is to try and disrupt our way of life in kenya, you know, it's -- the
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realities of what that could mean are very present. >> he had no way of knowing whether his family was alive or not, no way of knowing that soon some of his prayers would be answered. >> coming up, phillip and catherine's sons are trapped in the most violent part of the mall, and a 14-year-old realizes it is up to him to protect his younger brother. >> i just thought, ian first, me second. >> when "dateline" continues. ga. a delicious chew that protects for an entire month. ask your vet for more information. reported side effects include vomiting and itching. nexgard. the vet's #1 choice.
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welcome back to "dateline." the world watched in horror as the terrorist attack on nairobi's westgate mall unfolded. many were stuck inside with little communication to the outside. philip walton was in the u.s., far from his home in kenya, when he learned his wife and children were inside the building. all he could do is wait and pray. here is kate snow. three hours had passed since phillip was awakened by a call telling him his family was trapped inside the westgate mall, pinned down by gunfire. he had been on his computer all morning checking for updates. suddenly he received a facebook message from a friend with a freeze frame of video and there, in the bottom right corner, was an unmistakable sight, his two
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sons alive and outside the mall. >> it was my two sons standing with my business partner, who is a big and noticeable man. >> paul weaver raced down to the mall area and confirmed the picture was real. the boys were out. >> and just seeing them, i mean, i don't think there was any bigger hug in the world. but it was joy. but at the same time seeing the anguish in their face. blaise, we just sat on the floor and he laid his head down and all the emotions coming through him. it was the greatest moment and one of the saddest moments at the same time. >> a joyful moment for phillip knowing his boys were finally safe. but too brief because he knew his wife and three young daughters were still trapped in that mall. the walton boys had endured three and a half hours in the most dangerous area in the department store where terrorists hunted down innocent victims, terrifying for anyone, but especially two boys separated from their mother.
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this is blaise walton. it was difficult for him to recount the story, but he wanted to tell it starting from the beginning. the two brothers just paid and were standing in the checkout line when they saw something strange. what is the first thing you hear or see that's weird? >> everybody looks to the main entrance and we all look as well. everybody in the store. and then a loud sound happens and three people go flying. that's when people realize what's going on and they run. >> three people go flying in the air. >> they just fell backwards. it was scary. >> did you think it was a bomb or something? >> i thought it was a bomb at first but when i heard the two gunfire sounds i knew it wasn't just a bomb. it was something else. >> he knew he had to protect himself and more than that, he knew he was responsible for his younger brother. you grabbed your brother?
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>> yeah. >> as fast as you could. >> yeah, and just ran. >> were you pushing him? >> yes. >> you didn't want him to see anything. that's hard -- that would be hard for me, hard for a grown up. >> yeah. >> at 14, that's pretty darn hard. >> it really is. >> clutching his brother, he raced away from the gunfire with just one thought. >> i just thought ian first, me second. >> when you headed toward the back of the store. >> other people at that time were rushing back, so we followed the crowd. >> they made it to a storeroom at the back. others were hiding there, too, including an american mother with her own kids. without catherine there to comfort them, the boys stayed with that mother. he hoped they were far enough away from the gun toting terrorists, but they weren't. surveillance video shows the terrorists made it all the way in the back hunting for more
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victims. this wise 14-year-old did something ingenious. >> i finally just pulled ian aside, sat him down behind a thing of flour. there's one by one by one meters of flour on all sides of him. >> kind of like a barricades of flour bags. >> yeah. we put toilet paper on top of our head so nobody would see us. >> why would you need to be hidden? >> we didn't know if people were going to be walking back and looking for us, so we just pulled all stops. >> 10-year-old ian walton remembers how scared he was. did you see any of the bad guys? >> no, but i did see someone close the gate to where we where and it seemed like they were going to shoot through it and throw a grenade to blow it up but they never got through. >> you heard a lot of loud sounds? >> yeah. >> yikes. and you said you were back there -- how long? >> three and a half hours. >> you thought about it a little bit, yeah. but when you were there, i know
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if it were me, i would have been really, really scared. were you pretty scared? >> all my brother and me did was pray for our family and just laid there. >> they lay there and listened. >> and every once in a while we'd hear gunfire, grenade sounds and at one point these people came in saying we're the police. it's okay. >> the gunfire the walton boys had been hearing briefly paused and those voices identifying themselves as police were encouraging people to come out. around him he heard people start moving. >> they walked out and then about 15 seconds later you just heard loud machine gunfire for 30 seconds and then it just was quiet. >> do you think it was the bad guys luring them out? >> yes. >> you did the right thing by staying where you were. >> yeah. i mean, the lady we were with told us what to do every step of the way. without her i think my brother
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and i would have gone out with that crowd. >> the boys were holed up in that back room when police were able to break down a door and get people out. this security camera shows the chaos in the crowd after being released. look closely. there's blaise in his red shirt and ian with his backpack, free after three and a half hours of being trapped. relief washed over phillip when he saw his boys and the image his friends sent him. at least his sons were okay. >> i remember thinking at that time, at least i won't be alone. you know, i remember thinking, you know, however horrific this day is, at least the boys and i will have each other if it turns out worse than we would hope or imagine. >> his wife, catherine, was still trapped under that tiny table with her three girls and now things were looking worse. a man with a gun was headed their way.
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coming up, just who was he? and then a daring escape plan from an unlikely hero. >> and then i told the lady, now. >> what happened next amazed the world. when "dateline" continues. ♪ (woman) one year ago today mom started searching for her words. and my brother ray and i started searching for answers. (vo) when it's time to navigate in-home care, follow that bright star. because brightstar care earns the same accreditation as the best hospitals. and brightstar care means an rn will customize a plan that evolves with mom's changing needs. (woman) because dad made us promise we'd keep mom at home. (vo) call 844-4-brightstar for your free home care planning guide.
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a man holding a gun approached them. the next moments would be critical. here's kate snow with the conclusion of our story. >> for more than four hours catherine walton, her girls and the kenyan woman helping them huddled in a hiding space barely bigger than a bathtub, closed off from the outside world, ca h catherine didn't know she was part of a terrorist attack. and now a man with a gun was creeping toward her. >> you were under that table for hours. at some point you hear something, you see something? >> i think there was a little bit of commotion and the kenyan woman said the cops are here. >> but it wasn't the police. it was a kenyan man.
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the businessman and father of four had received a text message from his brother earlier that morning. >> the message was very brief. it just read at westgate, terrorists, pray for me. >> abdul bolted to the mall and was stunned by what he saw when he got there. carnage everywhere. he was terrified for his brother who works for the kenyan intelligence service and had received death threats from the same terror group that was now attacking the mall. >> the magnitude of the whole situation dawned on me. >> security forces were just arriving and abdul whose licensed to carry a gun decided in an instant to join them. they entered the mall from the parking garage. abdul's brother was in the mall and not far from catherine walton and her girls on the main floor. he was hiding in a bathroom.
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abdul worked his way down and his brother managed to escape. >> i reached my phone to try and call him and i see this message on my screen, i'm out, i'm safe, please come out. >> but abdul didn't come out. despite the gruesome scene, the blood, the bodies, the smell of smoke and constant gun fire he decided to stay and help. abdul searched through the mall looking for victims. then he made a discovery that shocked him. >> i look down and i see somebody hiding behind a table. it was a lady. she looked very scared. and i'm thinking, she was right in the middle of the cross fire. >> catherine spotted abdul too, but sensed he wasn't a threat. >> how did you know they weren't terrorists? >> they weren't carrying the large guns we had seen that the terrorists had. >> with just a few words between them, catherine walton and abdul
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quickly coordinated an exit strategy. >> we opened fire toward it is door, just to scare the terrorists away. >> then it was time. >> then we hold fire and then i tell the lady, now. and suddenly this young girl appears out of nowhere and i just call to her to run towards me and she starts running. and immediately i'm thinking, what a brave girl. >> when she got up and ran, did you have a moment where you thought, oh, my god sh -- >> i think i realized it was precarious but i was also trusting that if they were telling us to run that it was safe. >> for catherine, tfrs a huge leap of faith after shielding her daughters for four and a half hours. she knew that to save them she would have to let them go. the image of four-year-old portia running to abdul was one no bun would soon forget.
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catherine wasn't far behind and they weren't alone. these images show the terror of others being rescued by the police in those same moments, their desperation to be free. phillip got a phone call from his business partner. >> i got confirmation from eric that he was standing there with them and that they were all safe. >> your whole family. >> yeah. then i broke down and cried. yeah. then it -- then it -- you know, then you can let go. you know, then you can just kind of -- you can collapse. >> later, a picture followed. his wife and children trapped in that mall for hours in terror were now in the safety of a friend's house, together. >> simply the most precious thing i could even imagine to see all of them, you know, sitting there in safety and knowing that they had -- they had come through it. >> phillip grabbed the first flight back to kenya. >> must have felt really good
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when he got off the plane. >> it was very good because you know, as a mom, when dad is not around you feel like you have to keep it together and you've got to be strong and the kids were very excited to see him. they were relieved to finally be able to touch him and hug him and have that extra security. >> these images showed the devastation and destruction of the westgate mall ravaged by a siege that dragged on for four days. terrorists with links to al qaeda claimed responsibility and the kenyan government said at least 67 people died. for the survivors it was difficult to make sense of it all, to move on. faith went home, hugged her husband and two days after the attack there was cause for celebration and time for reflection. >> i'm grateful first for being alive, for our children being
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alive. i'm grateful to be reunited with my husband. i never thought i'd see our second anniversary and this incident has brought us now closer. now we don't want to leave each other's sides. >> faith and her children were reunited with that police officer who reached out to her on that terrible day, grateful he risked his life to save theirs. the waltons, too, are grateful for friends, new and old, especially young porsche who beamed when he showed her a picture of her rescuer on a smartphone. >> he saved us! >> he saved you! >> hi. how are you? nice to see you again. >> three days after the worst day of their lives, the waltons were reunited with their hero. abdul is himself the father of a four-year-old daughter and a muslim.
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it is not lost on him he is forever linked to a christian family that chose to live in kenya. >> that's what humanity is all about. it happened that i was a muslim and they were christians but at that time what i was seeing was a little girl and her mother. i was not seeing what religion that person was. >> lots of emotion. >> as we have been able to tell this story and spend time with him and to see the courage of a man like that, it was an inspiration for me. >> at just 14, blez has a new perspective. >> you have seen the worst of humanity and the best of humanity. >> yeah, same day. just a miracle to be able to see both of those in one day. >> and for catherine and her children, as dismal and as dark as the events in that mall were, she refuses to do anything but grow and be positive for herself and her family. >> i don't want them to come out of this and hate or be angry about what happened. >> it would be easy to be angry.
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>> i don't want them to see the bad part of it. i want them to come turn that bad situation into something positive. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. >>ty'm craig melvin. >> and i'm natalie morales. >> and this is "date line." >> it was the moment that i had been fearing. devastating when it happened. >> she was a reporter who suddenly became a prisoner. >> tonight they have brought me out to kill me. >> held captive in a land of chaos. >> i was in chains hanging on by a thread. >> her best hope for freedom -- >> i love you. >> her mother an ocean away. she would turn


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