tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 22, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
>> thanks for joining us. lesser holt joins us next. breaking news tonight. an uber driver is charged with murder and prosecutors say he admittedize the gunman who went on a vicious rampage, killing people between picking up frightened passengers. breaking news in the race for president. a major shake-up in the ted cruz campaign. a top aide fired. tonight, is donald trump unstoppae? cosby's wife forced to testify as her husband's accusers take him to court. what did she know? cancer risk from floors in so many homes across the country, the cdc says the toxic danger is worse than were first reported. and 106 years old with moves better than most teens. tonight we talk to the woman so excited at the white house, she broke out her dance moves with the president. "nightly news" begins
right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. uber says tonight there were no red flags, no warnings about the michigan driver who was formalally charged this afternoon with the murders of six people while he was on the job in the kalamazoo area on saturday night. a father and the son are among the dead. two other people were wounded in the bizarre and apparently random shooting spree that, according to the prosecutor, james dalton has admitted to. but there is still no answer as to why. nbc's blake mccoy was at today's arraignment and has details. >> reporter: accused kalamazoo shooter jason dalton appearing in court via closed circuit tv this afternoon. >> i would prefer just to remain silent. >> reporter: the 45-year-old father of two has been charged with 16 felonies, including six counts of murder. >> there is videotapes of these incidences.
he walked up on these people, and he shot them. >> reporter: a motive for the seemingly random killings remains unclear, but detectives say dalton has admitted to being involved. eight people shot in three separate locations over nearly five hours. it began at an apartment complex around 6:00 p.m. saturday where tiana carruthers, a mother of two, was shot multiple times. she managed to identify dalton as the shooter, and is expected to survive. rich smith and his 18-year-old son, tyler, were killed at a car dealership about four hours later. rich's wife laurie posting on facebook today, saying high heart is shattered, literally and utterly crushed into tiny pieces. and in a nearby parking lot, four women killed, including 63-year-old mary lou nye. >> i don't know how i'm going to explain it to my son. he doesn't get to see his grandmother ever again. >> reporter: the final victim, a 14-year-old girl, remains in critical condition, initially pronounced dead. doctors were preparing for organ donation when she suddenly
squeezed her mother's hand. her parents are asking for privacy, saying our daughter's prognosis is uncertain as she continues fighting for her life. dalton, a man with no criminal record, had a high uber rating before saturday. >> we're working to support the law enforcement investigation. we've provided them with gps logs. >> reporter: several passengers have come forward with receipts, showing dalton gave them rides even after the shooting began. one man says he took an uber with his family because he heard about the shootings and thought it would be safer than walking. >> i kind of jokingly said to the driver, you're not the shooter, are you? he shook his head or he said no. >> reporter: for an entire community, the randomness of the attacks is still difficult to comprehend. uber confirms dalton did pass a background check, and the company says it has no plans to change its procedures in the wake of these shootings. also tonight, we are hearing from the accused shooter's family for the first time. they say they are deeply sorry and will fully cooperate to learn how and why this
happened. lester. now to that breaking news in the race for president. the shake-up in the ted cruz campaign. one of his top aides fired after spreading misinformation about marco rubio. but as those campaigns squabble, donald trump is surging, locking up delegates and time is rapidly running out for his opponents to stop him. all of it as hillary clinton regains steam and bernie sanders faces an increasingly uphill battle. we have it all for you starting with nbc's hallie jackson, covering the gop in vegas. hallie. >> reporter: hi, lester. were it anybody else besides donald trump, he'd be considered a near lock for the nomination. many in the establishment still seeming stunned this now looks like trump's race to lose. but marco rubio and ted cruz hope to stop him with cruz tonight dealing with his own new campaign drama. a startling shake-up for ted cruz, firing his top aide for tweeting this inaccurate video.
wrongly suggesting marco rubio dismissed the bible. >> i have made clear in this campaign that we will conduct this campaign with the very highest standards of integrity. if other candidates choose to go into the gutter, we will not do the same. >> reporter: cruz, hoping to move past attacks from competitors that he's up to, quote, dirty tricks in donald trump's words, the front-runner wasting no time pouncing as he begins to take on an air of inevitability. the heavy favorite to win in nevada tomorrow, fresh off his victory in south carolina. >> the establishment of the republican party is waking up to the fact that within a couple weeks, donald trump could be unstoppable, fully in control and the republican nominee. >> reporter: for the establishment, the alarm now going off, and it's rubio set to benefit. today alone picking up support from gop leaders like bob dole, orrin hatch, and tim pawlenty. >> as this field continues to narrow, the numbers are going to get a lot more competitive and that's going to open the
door. >> reporter: but history is on trump's side. no modern republican has ever won new hampshire and south carolina and then lost the nomination. some now starting to accept reality. >> he's got the momentum. i think there's more than 50% chance he's the nominee. >> you think you can work with donald trump? >> oh, yeah, i think i can work with donald trump. >> any conversation at this stage about stopping donald trump is a lot of wishful thinking. right now he's leading in 10 out of 14 states. >> reporter: cruz would have to take texas and do well in other southern states next week to topple trump. rubio needs a win somewhere. looking for it in florida, but even that may not be enough. time running out for his rivals to take trump down. hallie jackson, nbc news, las vegas. >> reporter: i'm kasie hunt covering the democrats in massachusetts, where bernie sanders is struggling to keep the bern from flaming out after a stinging loss to hillary clinton in nevada. >> let me say something. the short three-letter answer is y-e-s.
>> reporter: he's spending money faster than clinton, and he's struggled to catch on with african-american voters. interrupting sunday dinner at brooklyn baptist church. >> are we behind today in the african-american vote? the answer is, yes, we are. but i would also tell you that we are making progress. >> reporter: to win the nomination, you need 2,383 delegates. today clinton has 52 delegates to sanders' 51. black voters will be critical on super tuesday when nearly 20% of delegates to the democratic national convention are up for grabs. there are 571 delegates at stake across the south, where clinton is strong. far more than the 288 delegates in states the sanders campaign believes he can win. then there are the so-called super delegates, party leaders and elected officials. right now overwhelmingly with clinton, putting her far ahead in the overall delegate count. >> the key pace with hillary clinton, bernie sanders wouldn't just have to win these primaries.
he'd have to dominate her in a lot of them. >> reporter: the clinton campaign keeping up the pressure, criticizing sanders aemz record on guns and releasing a new video focused on the flint water crisis. not taking any risk after getting burned earlier in the race. sanders tonight rallying some of his most fervent supporters at the university of massachusetts amherst, but there's a looming problem even there. many of those college kids are going to be heading out on spring break just as march voting gets started. lester. >> kasie, thank you. there's high drama tonight in springfield, massachusetts, where bill cosby's wife, camille, was forced to testify in a lawsuit brought by some of her husband's accusers. one of several lawsuits he's facing in addition to a criminal charge in pennsylvania. in this case, one of the big questions, what did camille cosby know? nbc's stephanie gosk has late details. >> reporter: despite battling the deposition from the beginning, camille
cosby testified today for hours. >> she's involved in the various aspects of his life, and so we think she's got some important information. >> reporter: cosby's 71-year-old wife, who also worked for years as his business manager, was deposed in a defamation lawsuit brought by seven women who accuse the comedian of sexual assault. a judge ruled that camille cosby could be deposed in this case because her work is not protected by law in the same way private conversations between spouses are. in a motion, the plaintiff's attorney argued in part, there is likely no single person who has more knowledge of mr. cosby's sexual proclivities than mrs. cosby. in a 1995 magazine article, she said, my husband and i function as partners not only in marriage but in terms of business. it should be that way. we are a team. for more than 50 years as his wife, camille cosby has made a point of staying out of the spotlight. this is a rare joint
interview from over a year ago, which uncomfortably turned to mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. >> there's no response. >> reporter: in a statement a month later, camille questioned the truthfulness of her husband's accusers. none of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim, but the question should be asked, who is the victim? beverly gooden is a prominent victim's advocate. >> for her to come out and speak out against these victims, to blame everyone but him for what's going on, was shocking, disheartening, and very concerning. >> reporter: his lawyers deny all of the allegations, but they were unable to keep his wife out of the fight. stephanie gosk, nbc news, springfield, massachusetts. the legal face-off between the ceo of apple and the director of the fbi is being judged in the court of public opinion over a real judge's order demanding apple help the fbi unlock an iphone used by one of the san bernardino attackers. as nbc's pete williams
tells us, a new poll out tonight shows the public is on the fbi's side. >> reporter: the two generals are now engaging each other directly in the impassioned battle over security versus privacy raging in cyberspace. in a new blog posting, the fbi's james comey says agents could not look san bernardino shooting survivors in the eye or themselves in the mirror if they didn't try everything possible to find out what was on an iphone left behind by one of the attackers, syed farook. we don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land, he says. a new poll out tonight shows 51% say apple should help the fbi unlock that phone. 38% side with apple. a former homeland security official says now that apple admits it could open the phone, the company's image as defender of privacy no longer depends on who wins this battle. >> i don't think that the chinese government or the russian government is waiting around to see whether the fbi wins this case to decide what they're going to make apple
do. >> reporter: but in an e-mail today to employees, apple's ceo tim cook says if the company is forced to create new software to help the fbi this time, it would be the equivalent of a master key that could open millions of phones. the only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn't abused, he says, and doesn't fall into the wrong hands is never to create it. washington lawyer ted olsen, representing the company, says the government has never demanded this much of apple. >> it's being asked not just to open a door, but to create a door, create a lock, and then create a new key for the lock. and once it does that, your iphone is not safe anywhere. >> reporter: the next move comes later this week when apple form alley files in court. then it's up to the judge. pete williams, nbc news, washington. a somber day at the supreme court today as the justices return to the bench for the first time since the passing of justice antonin scalia. chief justice john roberts began the session with a tribute, noting the black drapery on scalia's chair right
next to his and calling scalia our man for all seasons, saying we will miss him beyond measure. much of the deep south is on alert for a potentially powerful storms threatening 20 million people across five states. possible tornadoes, high winds, and hail. the severe weather is predicted to hit tomorrow afternoon in louisiana and will spread all the way to georgia and north florida with the threat lasting well into the evening. a day after isis claimed responsibility for a series of horrific deadly attacks in syria, the u.s. and russia have agreed to another cease-fire deal for that country. but like the first truce that failed to take hold, this new deal would not prevent the type of violence inflicted by isis yesterday. nbc's keir simmons explains. >> reporter: a little boy, his face covered in blood, is carried away from an isis suicide attack in syria's capital. almost simultaneously, burning vehicles, twisted metal, isis
targeting the city of homs. at least 129 killed in the double bombing on sunday. isis is one of several jihadist groups not included in the new syrian cease-fire announced by the u.s. and russia. field with a phone call between president obama and vladimir putin late today. it's the second truce brokered this month. the original deal was all but ignored last week. but it did allow for five towns under siege to receive desperately needed aid. children scrambling for chickpeas spilling off food trucks. >> it's a sign of progress. >> yes, it is. >> reporter: a new u.n. report is less optimistic, accusing government forces of crimes against humanity. warm crimes are rampant on many sides, the report says. tonight, the u.n. warning syria is on
the brink of collapse. keir simmons, nbc news, london. still ahead tonight, a new warning about certain flooring sold by a popular retailer. the cdc now claiming the potential risk of cancer from it is considerably higher than it first believed. also the video lifting spirits across the country. a 106-year-old woman so moved by a dream come true at the white house, she just has to dance.
the centers for disease control warned today that people who have certain types of flooring in their homes from lumber liquidators are potentially at a greater risk of cancer than previously thought. the cdc says it based an earlier estimate on incorrect data, and so the danger could be thr three times higher than first thought. here's nbc's tom kos tell lowell with a consumer alert. >> reporter: the cdc admits it simply miss calculated. it now says the potential cancer risk for people exposed to certain types of laminate floors from lumber liquidators is not 2 to 9 cases per 100,000 people as it first said, but instead it's three times that. >> it's never really a good feeling to find out that your kids are on a floor that could be potentially making them sick. >> reporter: we first met hailey and matt last year just after they spent $2,500 installing new laminate flooring. they say they've since ripped it out and settled with lumber liquidators. after chinese-made laminate flooring was shown to contain
potentially dangerously high levels of formaldehyde. hundreds of thousands of families are thought to have installed the flooring, but only a small fraction of it is believed to pose a risk. >> shares of lumber liquidators sinking about 20% in early trading. >> reporter: the company's stock under pressure today has dropped from 105 to under $12 over the past two years. it's already stopped selling laminate flooring from china, offering free test kits to all customers. today it said lumber liquidators has significantly strengthened our quality assurance procedures to product sample testing. the cdc is reviewing how it tested for exposure and says it will issue another report. meanwhile it's urging families who have the flooring to reduce the exposure by adding air-conditioning, and increasing ventilation. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with some up usual monkey business aboard the international space station.
hijinks in space and the question tonight is why is there a gorilla on the international space station? the answer, because brothers will be brothers. it's a gag gift from one twin to another. retired astronaut mark kelly september the suit up to his brother, scott kelly, who's about to complete a year in space. before he returns to earth, he's now using the suit to change other astronauts around the iss, all in good fun. just a fraction of a second made the difference in the daytona 500. the closest finish in the race's history. denny hamlin won by a nose yesterday in his first victory at day tone na. it's been a long time coming. hamlin's mother shared this essay he wrote in elementary school in which he wrote winning daytona was his fondest wish. a milestone today for america's top dog. the labrador retriever claiming that crown for the 25th year in a row according to american kennel club ranks. they're folded by
runs: sec finally tonight, a 106-year-old woman from our nation's capital says she'd never thought she'd be this famous. now that millions have been delighted by the viral video of her visit to the white house. she sat down with our ron allen and explained she was so happy, she just had to bust a move. >> how are you? >> i'm fine! >> it's so nice to see you. >> reporter: it was a moment of pure joy. virginia mclaurin, 106 years young, finally getting her chance to meet president obama. >> you are not 106! . >> reporter: grandma virginia, as she's affectionately known, giggled and celebrated every moment. >> why did you want to meet the president so much? >> after i found out it was a black president, and i didn't think that would ever happen. and i really wanted to meet him. >> when mclaurin was born in 1909, taft was
president. the american flag had 46 stars. a loaf of bread cost a nickel. she grew up a sharecropper's daughter in segregated south carolina, and now lives on public assistance, three miles but a very long way from the oval office. >> a black president. >> look at him. right there. >> a black wife. >> that's me. >> reporter: the moment went viral from 9 million views the first five hours. >> i asked him where were the kids. they said they couldn't come. >> you asked for the kids too, huh? >> they said they couldn't come. she said, they're at school. >> mclaurin had written the president. she'd even called. an invitation finally arrived to an african-american history month reception where grandma virginia and the obamas made some history of their own. ron allen, nbc news, the white house. that will do it for us on a monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. con't vo==conds ==jess//take
right now at six. sheriff lori smith talking about the changes coming to they jail - this as we get an exclusive look into the maximu security wing.. ====short open=== ===jess//2-shot=== thanks for joining us. i'm jessi aguirre.= coincidence... starting now, inmates to file a sier for i'm jessica augeri. >> i'm rob maiorathi. >> three guards stand trail for a deadly prison beating. we're joined from the county jail with the exclusive behind
the scenes access, robert? >> reporter: raj, it is a rare look inside the area but we got a chance to see inside the unit because possible solutions to the public criticism are also taking place there. >> where we headed to? >> reporter: there is very little of the jail operation the public gets to see, especially in the maximum security wing but that limited scrutiny led to public accusations some guards abuse inmates and inmates can't report the abuse without being subject to retaliation. the sheriff's office changed prospeed daughter. more than 100 lock boxes with complaint forms were installed throughout the jail starting saturday allowing officers to drop in the complaints. all inmates were supported to not only request the complaint forms from the so-call the officers on duty but turn them into the officers even if that correctional deputy was the focus of the coin