tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC January 31, 2019 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. more than a dozen people dead tonight in this brutal cold. cars exploding into flames at newark airport. and this massive blaze. a college student found outside, frozen on campus. also tonight, the police officer in court facing a manslaughter charge, after shooting a fellow officer in the chest. she did not survive. police said it was a game of russian roulette. the other officer's family, they want answers. there is breaking news at this hour in the case of the 14-year-old who vanished from her bedroom in the middle of the night. president trump summons his
intelligence chiefs to the oval office after their testimony in front of the american people. contradicting the president on syria, russia, north korea and isis. the president now says they were misquoted. new developments just in tonight in the alleged attack on "empire" actor jussie smollett, after this surveillance. the hostage standoff inside this prison. you can hear the guards trying to protect one another, and what the prison librarian is able to do. and the little girl who slipped through, right into the rhino exhibit. tonight, the images for the first time, and the injuries worse than first thought. and how quickly those two rhinos pinned the girl. and the passenger jet from l.a. to new york and the lightning strike. the jet turned around. good evening and it as great to have us with you on a very cold thursday night. 40 million amerins trapped b-sug
41 below zero today. lake michigan there a frozen mass of ice. drivers facing whiteout conditions in mansville, new york. and look at this. firefighters battling freezing temperatures and exploding cars on the top deck of a parking garage. that's at newark liberty air fort. wind chills below zero stretching into the northeast through tomorrow. there is actually concern over the natural gas supply to keep families warm, some communities have been warned to turn their thermostats down. abc's whit johnson leads us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the death toll rising as the deep freeze moves east. >> what's happening here? >> stuck. >> reporter: on interstate 81 north of syracuse, vehicle after vehicle stranded after sliding off the road. whiteout conditions from lake effect snow making travel impossible. we've pulled over the car to the side of the road to wait it out. take a look in front of us. that's all you see. nothing but snow falling at a rate of two to three inches per hour. across the northeast, fires breaking out in the sub-zero
wind chills. in new jersey -- >> we need water now! >> reporter: a ten-alarm monster inferno at this paper mill. >> the wind is not helping and the cold is causing the fire to spread rapidly. >> reporter: the factory encased in ice. no one was hurt, but at least 13 people have died since this polar invasion began. tonight, police are investigating the death of 18-year-old university of iowa student gerald blez. the pre-med major discovered outside a campus building in negative 51 degree wind chill. >> i want people to remember him as a compassionate person. >> reporter: across the midwest, the cold shattering records. the chicago river completely frozen over. our alex perez is there. >> part of what makes this cold so dangerous is that it is lingering. when it's all said and done, chicago will have been under this brutal cold for more than 80 hours. >> reporter: energy companies in minnesota and michigan urging customers conserve natural gas.
>> we are appealing to all michiganders to consider reducing your thermostat as much as you can. >> reporter: back in the north country, even hearty ellisburg residents caught offguard. you knew the snow was coming, but did you expect it to be this bad? >> no, definitely not. >> and whit johnson with us live tonight from sandy creek, new york, where the sub-zero wind chills and lake effect snow have been relentless all day. not surprising tonight, whit, authorities are urging everyone to stay indoors? >> reporter: david, that's right. and that's because of the treacherous driving condition and severe threat of frostbite. some parts of upstate new york already got 20 inches of snow. 30-mile-per-hour winds, and it's not done yet. david? >> central new york, my neck of theed woos. say hi to everyone up there, whit. let's get right to ginger zee tonight. she's along the george washington bridge at this hour. ginger, i know this is going to last a little while longer, but there is relief on the horizon? >> reporter: oh, if we can just make it one more day, david, that's what we've got to do.
and this is after all-time record lows were set in places like moline, illinois, who dropped to 33 below this morning. look at the winter weather advisories in place. now they've got snow on top of that. cincinnati, indianapolis, over to maryland. tonight into tomorrow. frozen precipitation on top of this chill. one more morning like this, 5 below in boston, 1 below here in new york city. and then, we start to rebound. and rebound wbig-time. we're talking close to 70-degree differences in chicago, new york by monday will be 50 degrees warmer than we woke up this morning. >> wow, incredible whiplash. ginger, thank you. there is news tonight about the police officer charged with man slaughter for killing a fellow officer in st. louis. investigators said they were playing a version of russian roulette in his home. that officer facing a judge today. the prosecutor now suggesting the police may have rushed to call this an accident. here's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: the st. louis police officer who fatally shot
his colleague allegedly during a game, now out on bail and ordered to turn over his guns. >> the circumstances around the shooting were much more reckless and dangerous than what i had originally understood. >> reporter: court documents allege nathaniel hendren recklessly discharged a firearm resulting in the death of another officer and that he consumed alcoholic beverages while on duty. today, the police chief lashing out at the prosecutor who sent him this blistering letter, accusing police of obstructing evidence and questioning why they only took urine and breath tests from the on-duty officers but no blood tests. calling the accusations -- >> unwarrantly, certainly untimely and absolutely irresponsible. >> reporter: police say katlyn alix was off-duty when she was shot in the test. tonight, alix's parents are questioning what happened. >> we need more answers.
>> in the meantime, as this investigation plays out, and linsey is here, and there have already been charges in the department of this case? >> reporter: remember, the officer allegedly fired this fatal shot, he was on-duty. he was supposed to be out on patrol. instead, he was at home. so effective immediately, the department says they're now going to start verifying the locations of the officers hourly. >> linsey davis with us tonight. linsey, thank you. there are new developments in what police call a possible hate crime against "empire" star jussie smollett in chicago. police releasing surveillance, showing two persons of interest seen in the area where smollett said he was beaten. his manager claims they were on the phone when it happened, both men have now been asked for their cell phones. here's abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: these tonight are the best pictures so far of the two potential persons of interest chicago police are hoping to find, these dark images, in the freezing cold, shortly before actor jussie smollett says he was viciously attacked. >> ems is refused. it's at the apartments next to
the loews hotel. >> reporter: the openly gay actor was walking here, early tuesday morning, from his apartment to this 24-hour sandwich shop. on his way back, he says he was beat up by two men with covered faces who poured a chemical on him and were "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." >> i know the police department is working aggressively to come to the bottom of what happened. >> reporter: he told police one of them put a noose around his neck, and in a later interview said they yelled, "maga country," as they hit him. today end the president was asked about the incident. >> that, i can tell you, is horrible. i've seen it, last night, i think that's horrible. it doesn't get worse, as far as i'm concerned. >> reporter: a neighbor from the actor's apartment building told police that earlier, she saw someone outside carrying some kind of rope, but police say her description of this person is different from the actor's. police do tell us smollett is seen on a security camera walking back home with a rope around his neck. >> mom. really? >> reporter: he was in town filming "empire," the series
that made him famous. his manager confirms the attack, saying that he was on the phone and heard everything. police have asked for that phone and its records, but say smollett did not want to give those to police at this time. >> let's get back to steve osunsami. and we're hearing from jussie smollett's family tonight for the first time? >> reporter: we are. and a strong statement, they say that he is the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, and that this was a hate crime. they say that his story hasn't changed from the very beginning. david? >> steve osunsami, thank you. president trump summoning his intelligence chiefs to the oval office. the meeting today comes after their testimony in front of the american people, contradicting the president on syria, russia, north korea and isis. the president says they were misquoted. here's our chief white house correspondent jonathan karl tonight. >> reporter: less than 24 hours ago, the president blasted his intelligence team as naive and passive after they contradicted him in front of
congress. but today, he summoned them to the white house, and tonight, says they are all on the same panel. >> mr. president, did you talk to your intelligence chiefs today about the displeasure you had with did. they saithe totally misquoted and they were -- it was totally taken out of context. so what i do, i suggest you call them. they said it was fake news. >> reporter: but the quotes he is talking about played out on live television. the intelligence chiefs contradicting the president on several pressing issues. on isis -- >> we have won against isis. >> reporter: the director of national intelligence says isis remains a big threat. >> isis is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in iraq and syria. >> reporter: on north korea. the president has said kim jong-un is willing to give up his nuclear weapons. cia director gina haspel said, not so. >> the regime is committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that would pose a direct threat to the
united states. >> reporter: and on the president's claim that iran continues to work on developing nuclear weapons -- >> we do not believe iran is currently undertaking activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device. >> reporter: those comments so infuriated the president, he tweeted, "perhaps intelligence should go back to school." >> and then, of course that meeting today in the over always. jon karl at the white house tonight. and jon, the president is saying to call up the intelligence agencie agencies? >> reporter: we reached out to the cia. they gave us a simple no comment. and then we both e-mailed and called the office of the director of national intelligence, and we didn't get any response at all. >> intelligence chiefs usually do not like to hear from us. jon karl, thank you. in the meantime, we turn now to the growing crisis in venezuela. the struggle for power there still playing out. opposite lead eer juan
and the trump administration with a warning tonight against harming the interim president.so country.guiado declared interim president last week and strongly backed by the united states was talking in the televised address, special police forces believed connected to the man insisting he is venezuela's real president, nick has maduro, allegedly showing up at his home to ask questioning about his wife. guaido dashing home. his daughter there. "don't cross the red line," he said. "there are all types of codes. political, sports, including the mafia has codes. one is that family is sacred." this is the latest escalation in ever-rising tensions. many venezuelans live in a state of fear. where secret police round up opponents in the night. in an op-ed in "the new york times," guaido
claimed he's had secret discussions with the military. key to maduros grip on power, offering amnesty to some. you can feel the tension in the air here. david? >> ian, thank you. back here at home now, and late developments in the search for a missing teenager in madisonville, tennessee. police have arrested a relative now in connection with the disappearance of 14-year-old savannah pruitt. authorities providing few details at this hour. she vanished from her home more than two weeks ago in the middle of the night. she was last seen going to bed. investigators had pinged the location of her cell phone in kentucky. there's no word if they know where she is tonight. we turn now to newly released images of the dramatic prison standoff in indiana. an inmate trying to escape, taking a librarian hostage with a hand-made blade. tonight here, the surveillance video. can you hear the officers in the middle of all of this, and what the librarian is able to do. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: timothy monk didn't come to this prison library for research. officials say he wanted a hostage. pulling a makeshift knife on librarian allen hartzell. hartzell fights back, hitting monk with a face full of pepper
spray. >> just keep him talking. >> reporter: responding officers sneak a phone into the room. >> set this phone on the ledge over there behind the wall. it's recording. >> i told him, [ bleep ] me, i'm going to show you how bad i am. >> reporter: finally, that pepper spray is too much. >> sick to your stomach? yeah? >> reporter: a distraction long enough for an explosive takedown. after two and a half hours, the librarian is safe. monk back in chains. today, 19 arizona corrections staffers were recognized for stopping monk, including a medal of valor for the librarian. monk is facing new charges for this december incident, but even before this, he was in prison for other crimes, serving a sentence of 97 years. david? >> clayton sandell tonight. clayton, thank you. next tonight, special counsel robert mueller revealing new clues about the case against roger stone. prosecutors describing the evidence against him as volume luminous and complex, it includes e-mail accounts, bank records and devices spanning
several years. president trump's long-time ally was indicted for lying to congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. stone calls the indictment, quote, flawed and has pleaded not guilty. he's due back in court tomorrow. there's also news tonight about the largest fentanyl bust in american history. u.s. customs seized more than 2050 pounds of the synthetic opioid, 100 times more powerful than morphine. it was found in a secret come apartment of a produce truck at the port of entry between mexico and arizona. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. the jet suddenly turning back with the pilot told passengers while they were in the air. prosecutors releasing footage of this man. they say he staged a workplace accident, staging a fall, they say, in an attempt to cash in. and then, the little girl who slipped through, right into the rhino exhibit. tonight, the images for the first time, the injuries worse than first thought. and how those two rhinos pinned her within seconds.
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next tonight here, we're learning new details about the little girl pinned by two rhinos, within seconds of her slipping through the bars. abc's victor oquendo tonight with the images, the injuries and new word on her condition. >> reporter: tonight, for the first time, we're seeing a florida toddler hours after she fell into a rhino exhibit on new year's day. florida fish and wildlife today revealing in a new report just how serious those injuries were -- a lacerated liver, bruised lung, injured kidney and numerous contusions to her back, chest, abdomen and head. >> this was very unfortunate, and we're never going to let this happen again. >> we had a child fall off the african platform into a rhino exhibit. >> reporter: the girl taking part in an interactive exhibit when she fell through the eight-inch gap between these steel posts. the report describing how the rhinos then "faced the child and pinned her with their snout against a post." >> they just ran the child out. >> reporter: the girl's mother
>> reporter: the girl spending section days in the hospital. the entire encounter lasting just seconds. david, in order to prevent something like this from happening again, the zoo is now proposing a netting system they say would make it impossible for someone to fall in. david? >> all right, we're just glad she's okay. victor, thank you. when we come back tonight, the passenger jet flying from l.a. to new york suddenly forced to turn around. what the pilot told passengers. and that alleged insurance fraud. a slip and fall. prosecutors say right here this is moment, they say, this man is faking his fall to get money. back in a moment. even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin... i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. what's next? reeling in a nice one. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke.
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finally tonight here, the firefighters out in this cold, america strong. they are the brave men and women across this country tonight battling fires in the brutal cold. from pennsylvania to chicago to st. paul, minnesota, the wind chill there, 52 below. and from cameron, wisconsin, tonight, the image that got our attention. chief mitch hansen, his mustache, his beard, covered in ice, his helmet, his uniform, frozen. he and his team putting out this house fire, and we talked to him today. he described the wind chills of 50 below. >> funny thing is, sometimes your eyelids are froze shut and in weird positions and i couldn't get my gloves off, because they were froze onto my turnout gear. so, i had to have him push my eyebrow up so i could see out of
the one eye. >> reporter: and what keeps him going in all and all of those firefighters out in this cold? >> the call to duty, i guess. i don't know how to explain it as much. the heat of the moment keeps you warm while you're doing it. >> reporter: it's only when it's over do they realize the conditions. and most importantly, that family is okay tonight. the dad and his two children got out alive. and tonight, chief hansen is now dry and warm and ready for the next call. well, we salute captain hansen and all of our firefighters. i'm david muir. good night. good ht.
there. >> a well-known bay area chef says he has received multiple threats this week after a viral tweet about the controversial magga hats. he said he would refuse service if anyone came into his restaurant wearing one of these. >> beginning with this tweet. it hasn't happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a maga cap, you aren't geing -- >>s this a p choice? go to abc7news.com/vote. let us know what you think.
and these results will update in real time. >> abc7 news reporter chris nguyen is live with the story. >> reporter: this is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown san mateo. we spoke to the chef earlier off camera and he said he has been receiving multiple threats in recent days. in san mateo, a popular earlier this week, chef partner of verse hall restaurant wrote, it hasn't happened yet, but if you come to my restaurant wearing a maga cap, you aren't getting served. wrote maga hats are like white hoods except stupider.