tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC July 1, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> thanks for joining us. >> thanks for joining us. >> this is "world news" tonight. courage and crises, 19 young firefighters try to combat a wall of flames 20 feet high. nowhere to run. the elite team, so many lost, why their protective tents were no match for the heat and flames. george zimmerman on trial. did the lead witness save the prosecution and on tape zimmerman's words, did trayvon martin say "you're going to die tonight"? and a child grabbed by a stranger at a walmart. see what this police officer did in an instant that saved the child's life. good evening to you on this monday night and we begin with 19 young men impossibly brave,
impossibly determined to beat back a wall of raging fire across arizona. the flames 20 feet high, gail force winds. the team was called the hot shots, the s.e.a.l. team six of firefighters. the last line of defense were the tiny tents like these designed to give them a chance against 500 degree heat. what happened and why were so many lost? we have team coverage tonight, the very latest now on the tragedy in arizona. abc's david wright starts us off. >> reporter: today at this 8,000 acre blaze burning out of control in this heat, firefighters shouldered the heaviest burden of all, recovering the bodies of so many fallen comrades. today it seemed all of press cot was hsh to salute the somber caravan. today they had 19 deaths. members of the granite mountain
hot shots. they are called hot shots because they're trained to go to hottest part of the fire, an elite team seen here in a training very. >> it's a completely different ball game. it's the real deal. >> reporter: they were just back from fighting another fire in new mexico when this one broke out. 6:30 p.m. friday sparked by lightning. a mile or so east of yarnell. high winds seen here in time lapse footage have made it especially treasure russ. late yesterday a sudden shift in the wind check mated the hot shots. for the first time ever the they were forced to take refuge as the fire burned around them. only one member of the 20-man team survived, the deadliest day for firefighters since 9/11. >> firefighters lost that day as they charged into the burning towers. we will remember the brave men of the granite mountain hot shots.
>> reporter: the average age just 27, young men like kevin whose dad is an l captain. this man's wife is pregnant. andrew ashcroft has four little kids. >> he is the best person i've ever met. he gave all for his job and it doesn't even compare to what he gave to his family. >> reporter: just devastating. here tonight 19 flags, 19 flowers plus a whole community's grief. these hot shots aren't just brave. they are the best at what they do. ginger zee has more on the tools they turn to as they fight for their lives. >> reporter: this is just like the fire shelter that those hot shots used. i want to show you what it's made of. we cut a hole in it here. you've got fiberglass insulation, sandwiched by foil on cloth. it was their last best hope. >> reporter: as the flames climbed up to 20 feet the 19 hot shots deployed their last
chance. those emergency fire shelters. the men who died trained extensively with what they called the shake and bake in them until the fire passes. they had as little as 30 seconds. they form a tight circle and keep their heads away from the fire. >> no matter what they hear, see or feel, they have to make just an absolute commitment to staying with that shelter if they want to go home. >> reporter: the tents can protect against flames up to 500 degrees, creating a pocket of breathable air. still the temperature inside can soar to 200. this firefighter survived a different wildfire, his tent protecting him from the inferno. >> it was like somebody closing a door on the oven. standing in front of the oven and shutting the door on the oven. >> reporter: yesterday those tents were no match for what's
being called a perfect storm for fire. this woman lives here now and she saw the winds suddenly shift, escaping just in time. >> the wind changed and i turned of around and the house behind me was in flames and there were. >> reporter: a nearby thunderstorm helped fuel the blaze. air rises up inside the thunderstorm from added moisture from the brush that's burning. powerful downdrafts drop to the ground and can quickly change the direction of the wind and the fire. >> the erratic nature of the fire behavior yesterday is dangerous, really dangerous. >> reporter: pair that with a severe drought and 100 degree temperatures and you've got all the ingredients for a perfect storm. ginger zee, abc news, congress, arizona. >> our thanks to ginger zee and to david wright. more than 400 firefighters are still battling that blaze right now. everyone praying for their safety tonight.
next we turn to a critical day in the trial of george zimmerman. the jury heard audio in his own words telling police in detail about the night trayvon was killed and then the lead detective took the stand, so much riding on what he said. >> reporter: george zimmerman didn't take the stand today but his voice filled the courtroom. >> he kept staring at me and looking around. >> reporter: jurors seeing for the first time zimmerman's reenactment of the shooting. >> he was like this and i shot him. i didn't think i hit him. he sat up and he said, you got me. >> reporter: the man in the circle is lead homicide investigator who would eventually recommend manslaughter charges against him. he concluded that had zimmerman not gotten out of the car and then walked up this path and not identified himself to martin all of this could have been avoided. during another interrogation
jurors hearing him ask zimmerman -- >> trayvon, trayvon? >> he was born in 1994, february 5. he was 17-year-old. a kid with a future. a kid with folks that care. >> reporter: the prosecution painstakingly chipping away at zimmerman's claim of self-defense, arguing he instigated the fight because he followed martin. >> i wasn't following him. i was just going in the same direction he was. >> that's following. >> reporter: after hours of testimony he admitted zimmerman's story was remarkably consistent. >> if we could take a pathological liar after the table just for the purposes of this question, do you think he was telling the truth? >> yes. >> matt gutman abc news. we head overseas tonight, a nation crucial to america in the middle east is seething again,
demonstrations growing larger than those who brought down mubarak. we have more from cairo. >> reporter: moments after the ultimatum was given, helicopters swooped down over protestors who erupted in cheers. huge excitement. the people feel like the military are behind them and it has given them energy for the protest. they feel like they can now take down the president. since morsi was elected a year ago, these egyptians say their lives have only gotten worse. >> the country is basically not functioning. the economy is doing badly. i have much less purchasing power. my business is not doing well. >> reporter: they accused the muslim brotherhood when morsi belongs to of imposing their islamist values on their egyptian life. >> they were changing the way we dress, the way we talk and deal in society. >> reporter: egypt gets more
than $1.5 billion a year from the u.s. and is a crucial regional ally particularly in the israeli, palestinian conflict. tonight a cable channel ran a clock counting down the seconds until the ultimatum expires. if no compromise is found before then, egypt could collapse into a bloody civil war. alex marquardt, abc news, cairo. now we head to russia where late tonight fugitive edward snowden has broken his silence tonight blasting the united states, snowden accused of leaking so many of the nation's top secrets. he has holed up in a moscow airport for more than a week, responding to president obama's pressure on those offering him help, snowden says, quote, these are the old bad tools of political aggression, their purpose is to frighten not me but those who come after me. today russian president putin said he will not get asylum
there unless he stops publishing classified documents from the u.s. now we head to africa and president obama is in tanzania. tomorrow an unusual encounter as he lynched up with former president george w. bush. we notice something else the two have in common. today the presidents dance as other american officials have done. here is george w. bush. here is bill clinton. here's hillary clinton and of course famously africa's native e son nelson mandela who loves to dance whenever he could and tonight still hospitalized. tonight the president before leaving took his daughters to the cell where mandela spent so many years and then gave his girls a history lesson about freedom fighters, including gandhi.
>> gandhi actually was a lawyer here in south africa. it was here where he did his first political organizing. now back here at home what happened at cirque du soleil. millions of families attend their shows every year including those in las vegas. but this weekend a tragic death of an acrobat. what happened? here's neal karlinsky. >> reporter: high up on a wall a battle scene was playing out, part gym analysis tics, part theatre. 31-year-old sarah guyard was suspended by wires at least 50 feet above the stage. then suddenly she was falling. >> she was screaming as she was falling down. it was sort of out of a movie where she was trying to grab for anything. >> this woman was there and said the music suddenly stopped and screams could be heard coming from the stage.
guyard, a mother of two with 20 years experience in acrobatics died on the way to the hospital. she was a member of an elite troupe, gymnasts who live and breathe precision high above the stage night after night in one of the most famous shows in las vegas. a former cirque du soleil performer says the safety wires and choreography are managed down to the smallest detail. >> we have huge safety routines, the artists, the riggers, the staff. so many safety measures in place. >> reporter: the show is suspended while a performer who spent her time training kids on the side is being mourned tonight as an incredible athlete, artist and mother. neal karlinsky, abc news, las vegas. and this of course is a family, a holiday week and congress is on vacation, but leaving a lot of american families reeling from a looming assault
on their budget, a federally funded student loan program is set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%. congress may act to change it but only when they return. by the way, the average debt for students with a loan, more than $27,500. as we count down to the fourth of july tonight we can tell you where your neighbors are probably headed for the holiday. we have the annual list of the top ten destinations on the 4th. number one orlando, home of disney world. number two, new york city with some good news for all of you coming to see us this week, the statue of liberty will re-open. repair is complete. lady liberty closed after hurricane sandy delivered a body blow 8 months ago. still ahead on "world news" caught on camera, the toddler grabbed, the standoff at a walmart and the split second move by this officer that saved a little girl. later, what is happening to
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seized a child, and abc's rob nelson takes us through what police did, and we want you to know before you watch, some of this is very intense. >> reporter: a mother and her two young daughters shopping at an oklahoma walmart. little did they know that man right there was about to strike. as the mother turns toward a grocery shelf, 37-year-old sammy wallace snatches the girl from the shopping cart. holding a knife to the toddler. here it is again the toddler in the stranger's arms. >> 9/11, what is your emergency? >> we need police. at the walmart. >> what's wrong? >> someone is with a knife holding a little girl hostage. >> reporter: the mother confronts him and another shopper blocks him in. police arrive beginning 34 minutes of a rescue operation. the hostage negotiator works to build a rapport with the spoekt who has a violent arrest record and a history of mental illness
but it doesn't work. >> every time we felt like we could use the cues, talk to him about his family, job, his interest, he would become erratic. >> reporter: the team moves in. in a carefully core yoe graphed formation. a police officer to either side of the suspect. >> it's called triangulation. we can try to get a got shot if we need to. >> reporter: next they offer him a chair, their goal to stop him from moving, a controlled target. suddenly the suspect starts counting down from 60 seconds. police fear they are out of time. >> his eyes got really wide. he moved a knife from her stomach area up to her throat. >> reporter: watch the one officer crouch down as the second officer just out of sight begins to speak, distracting the suspect who turns his head to the left just for a second but it's the opening the captain needed, moving forward, shooting the suspect at point blank range, pulling the toddler to safety. >> the captain's actions were heroic and he waited until the very last moment. >> reporter: quick thinking by police saving a lucky little girl, who tonight is back with her grateful mother. rob nelson, abc news, new york.
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finally tonight a happy ending in the story of little orphan gladys, the baby orphan gorilla rejected by her birth mother. we showed you how she was raised by some humans trying very hard to look hairy. steven osunsami proves it was a job well done. >> reporter: hard for us to understand how a mother could abandon such an adorable little creature but that's what happened to gladys. this baby gorilla, born in january in a texas zoo, she was rushed to a zoo in cincinnati where she got another shot at life with a human family. >> i always use a gorilla accent when i talk to gladys. like gladys. >> reporter: they taught her to crawl and walk on her own and how to act and think like a gorilla and they had to do it in a furry disguise. >> i groom her like a gorilla. i'm not kidding you. i'm yanking the hair, putting my fingernails in the head. the mothers do it.
when she goes with her mom she's going to do it to her and we don't want that to be the first time she speciouses that. matt gutman got close and personal. >> she paid on me. >> reporter: in june they were holding their breath when they finished their plan and introduced her to her 30-year-old mother. they were hoping to see them holding each other. here she is holding the baby and patting her back. they are confident she'll be her mother for good. gladys has quite the family tree. her biological parents and her ten human moms and dads in cincinnati and her new mother, pretty soon she'll have a new father, too, a big old silver back who the zoo expects will welcome his new daughter with open arms. steven osunsami, abc news, atlanta. >> a big blended family. we thank you for watching tonight. we always have the latest at
two-hourco, 90-minute bus ride. thank goodness it's a holiday week. >> i think everybody was expecting the worst. >> and now, it's time to go home. >> good evening, everyone. i'm carolyn johnson. >> i'm dan ashley. day one turned out to be a commuter nightmare. that is what we have. saying is up to management to get the bargaining session scheduled next. bart calls it unnecessary, no new talks have been scheduled so here we are. it's created a traffic mess around the bay area today. folks try to navigate highways. people who call themselves occupy protestors blocked buses this afternoon. after 45 minutes police uchered
them away. >> despite how long it took there were fewer cars on the bay bridge this morning. accord together commission, there was thousand fewer vehicles on the bridge. possibly because it's 4th of july week. traffic all up 4% to 5%. and morning news traffic reporter laila. how is it looking getting out of the city tonight? >> i don't know how else to put it. it's pretty much a mess. honking and yelling and people trying to get on to the bay bridge, take a look if you can down first street. there is one