tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 2, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
not a bad gig, if can get it. >> all right. >> john, thank you very much. coming up next on "nbc nightly news," new information about the oregon school shooting tragedy. >> thanks so much for joining us. we'll see you back here at 11:00. good night. tonight, the massacre on campus here in oregon. new information about the gunman and his arsenal of weapo his hate-filled message left at the scene. tonight the victims and survivors of another senseless tragedy, the army veteran shot while protecting others and the president frustrated and furious. also the flood emergency from north to south. a historic deluge for days. warnings of a potential dister along the eastern seaboard. and tonight, rescues at sea and the research for a missing boat with dozens on board. and, what really happened in that meeting between the pope and the kentucky clerk fighting same-sex marriage? a surprise pushback from the vatican and
news of another private meeting we didn't know about until now. "nbc nightly news" begins right now. good eveng. behind me is the postcard image of which the people of the roseberg, oregon, area are justifiably proud. but at the top of the hill ands urrounded by treesb cut off by police is a scene of horror. the umpqua community college campus where nine innocent lives were taken in a mass shooting. last night president obama spoke in frustrated tones about the routineness of mass shootings in the country and the fear them. but nothing in the last 30 hours have become the same. nightmare has come to
thur team. our team on the ground is working the story. miguel almaguer begins our coverage. >> unconfirmed report that he has a long gun. >> reporter: the first calls for help came at 10:38 a.m. what followed on the college campus was nine minutes of terror. >> i'm very lucky. there is some people that didn't make it out of there. >> reporter: 17-year-old sara cobb held in a neighboring classroom, next to the professor's writing lass when chris harper mercer began shooting students and staff. >> i was terrified. absolutely terrified. >> didn't know if i would be alive o get shot. >> reporter: armed wi six guns including a rifle, mers he had body armer and extra ammunition. >> we may never completely determine what the motive was but we'll certainly look everywhere. >> one witness said
the shooter was calm and asking students what their religion was before opening fire. >> everybody was screaming, get underneath the table. one guy ran out of the classroom and i believe he got shot. >> reporter: it was chaos. two officers engaged mercer who was killed inhe gunfire. as police secure the campus, students were checked for weapons and bused to the faft of the fair grounds where parents were waiting for words, was their child alive. the college president said no one could have anticipated this. >> it is like carnage in this. >> reporter: tonight the names of the dead were released. nine innocent victims. jason johnson was 34 and was his fourth day at school. >> i wish that i would have said don't go. in i knew what i know now. >> reporter: at a vigil, hundreds mourn the dead. >> he was there for me when i really, really
needed him. he was there when i was sad. >> reporter: nine others were wounded. among the hurt, chris mitz is being called a hero. >> he was trying to block the shooter. >> an army veteran and young father said to have rushed the gunman and mayave saved lives. the victims are all seriously injured but expected to survive. as for the dead, they range in age from 18-67. the youngest was a freshman, the oldest was the professor here and late tonight we learned the gunman was enrolled in the school and supposed to attend the class where he opened fire. >> miguel, thanks. and that is somewhat of we're learned about the man what carried out this massacre. law enforcement say he was struggling with mental illness issues and he left behind a chilling final message revealing himself as someone who believed the whole world was against him. nbc's pete williams has been digging into his past. law enforcement officials say mers h
wrote a long hate-filled document found at the scen of the shooting. according to those who have seen it, said he would be welcomed in he and embraced by the devil. and in a bad way. that the world was against him and he had no life, no girlfriend. and he showed a detailed interest in other mass shootings and wrote on a blog on the recent shooting about a tv reporter and photographer saying of that gunman, so many people like him are all alone and unknown yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. that may be the reason the oregon sheriff continues to not talk about it. >> i continue to believe that the community members who pub liz ize his name will only gorefy his horrific actions and eventually this will serve to inspire future shooters. >> mercer's parents divorced in 2006. his father ian in los angeles said the killings are devastating.
ascended this southern california school for emotionally troubled children and moved with his mother t oregon two years ago. neighbors sayt was obvious he was troubled. >> i thought he was kind o a odd guy. he was a grown little kid. he would have tantrums his way. >> on his own social media he showed fascination with the military and the irish republican army. he enlisted in 2008 and was kicked out one month later. on a dating website he was associated with a oup called doesn't like associated religionch and he had an assault-style rifle jacket. >> the jacket had steel plate as long with five magazines. an additional amount of ammunition was also apartment. >> reporter: a search of the apartment where mother turned up seven more guns. officials say all of the guns that mercer had were purchased legally and nothing
from his past would have disqualified him from buying them. no court ever ruled him mentally unfit. which is the legal standard under oregon and federal law. lester. >> pete williams, tonight, thank you. and out of the horror committed on the campus behind us, we are hearing of stories that came face-to-face with the shooter and survived. these two are about as close as two siblings can be, only two years apart and both attend the college but in yesterday's commotion they couldn't have felt father apart as cory became the first to learn his sister was shot. natalie morales spoke with cory. >> i don't know how to explain the sound of someone's voice when they think they are going to die. >> he was trying to reach his sister in the classroom 500 yards away and when he finally got through on her cell phone it was terrifying. >> she was bawling her eyes out and said i have been shot and i
can't feel my legs an i was trying to keep it together for her. >> ana was shot in the back and cory sd she remembers all of the frightening moments. >> she said god was telling her to stay calm and still and don't do anything. and the gunman came up to her and said girl in the black, girl with the blondha, stand up. and she stayed still. >> so she was playing dead as she reported. >> exactly. the wherewithal and the presence a the calm it took to n lose it in a situation like at,he's so brave. she's so strong and courageous. and she didxactly what she hado do. i don't know how many people could have don that. i don't kno if i could have done that. >> his sister was blessed. the bullet to her spine narrowly missed crical nerve and her lungs. cory raced to her side at the hospital. >> theirst thing my
surgeon came in explainhe surry and she said i want one thing, i want the bullet from my gunsh wound and she started laughing. e is an amazing person. d iov l her wit all of my heart. i'm pud of her. she's my hero. >> and doctors say she should make a full recovery. one family's remarkable story giving hope in this community's time of need. in eugene, oregon, natalie, morales, nbc news. the tragedy here in roseberg is reigniting the debate over gun control. practically by the end of thisbroadcast, two more people will have been shot and killed in this country according to the cdc, one person is killed with a firearm nearly every 16 minutes in the u.s. and 92 people are killed her every day with firearms, including suicides. evidence that america' gun violence nightmare goes beyond e ms shootings that happen all too often in this country. we get more from peter
>> reporter: 5-month-old killed in a drive-by shooting in cleveland, yesterday. >> enough is enough. when are we goingo stop counting babies being killed out in the streets for nothing. >> this afternoon president obama was frustrate anded up about the never-ending toll of gun violence. >> this will not change until the politics changes and the behavior of elected officials changes. and so the main thing i'm going to do is i'm going to talk about this. >> reporter: since 2001, 153000 americans ha been lled by gun violence, compared to 3000 in terror attacks attacks. american as agree the violence must end but are bitter le divided on how to stop it. sheriff hanlin wrote vice president biden insisting gun control is not the answer to preventing school shootings. he wouldn't talk about it today. >> right now'm focused on completing this invtigation and more iorta focused on the victims
and the family of the victims. >> reporter: on the campaigntrail, the candidates reacted. jeb bushnsisting even in the wake of heartbre tragedies, new laws aren't always the solution. >> look stuff happs. there is always a crisis. and the impulse is to doomhingnd it is not necessarily the right thing to do. >> droit in an interview with "meet the press." >> y havou pple that are mentally ill and they wille through the cracks. >> the latest poll shows less than half support stricter gun control laws but 95% want background checks for all gun buyers. roseberg, painfly familiar to the principal killed at sandy hook elementary. >> how many for families and how many more people and how many more times is this going t happen. until our country does something. >> a question this tonight. >> reporter: president obama has called a failure to pass gun safety laws the
greatest frustration of his presidency. tonight he ordered the flag t f at half-staff here at the white house and on federal grounds in honor of the victims of the oregon shooting. lester. >> peter alexander at the white house. thank you. we continue to monitor a major weather event effecting much of the eern seaard as hurricane joaquin tracks out to sea. another flood emergency in several stat what forecters a lling potentially life-threateng flootding over the next severalay n a moment the forecas from al roker. butirst the later from gabe iterrez. >> reporr: tonight torrenal rtientless rain is pounding much of the east coast. 22 millioneople ar under a flash flood watch. parts of virginia and maryland under water. river gauges on the chesapeake bay at major flood levels and predicted to rise through the weekend. down the coast, historic charleston, south carolina is drenched.
people waded through fite feet water. we don't move the barricades and drive through it any way. theaying is don't drown, turn around. so if the flood is flooded, there is no reason for you to go through there. >> reporter: hurricane joaquin is still battler the bahamas and the coast guard is searching for a cargo ship with 33 people on board that disappeared from radar yesterday. hurricane hunter planes flew low in the eye of the storm to help find the missing ship. the coast guard also rescuing 12 people who abandoned another vessel that took on water near haiti. intense preparations are spanning nearly a dozen states. six has declared state of emergency. the nypd getting ready for flash flood with inflatable rafts. strong wind and heavy rf slamming into the jersey shore. >> after sandy, you hear the word hurrice and you get afraid >> sand dunes built up to keep back the storm sue. night t eastoa
haged the brunt of joaqu but it i facing another storm head on. right here at the chesapeake bay we're seng seitained winds of nearly 30 miles per hour and waves up to 11 et. severaloads in this area have been closed. and more rain is expected to pound this coast through the weekend. lester. >> gabe, let's check inith al roker now. he is monitoring the storm as it unfolds. al, where will we see the hardest hit areas. the southeast but along the east coast we are feeling the effects o high pressure and joaquin as well as it makes its way away. right now it is 15 miles west northwest of san salvador. starting to weaken. 25 mile-per-hour winds. path brings it parallel to the coast. away from it but enough to bring in some of the winds on shore that will cause problems. and loo at the moisture making its way up and down the east coast. coastal flooding expects. we have flood warning
andches for 45 million people. currently we have flash flood watches for 22 million people from d.c. to . d look at the rainfall amounts. fr 5-7 incs by saturday night and, lester, by sunday night, we're lking rainfall amounts from 10-15 inches of rain could be as much as 20. it is lifthreatening rain, lester. >> allght. al roker, thank you. still ahead tonight, what is the real story about wha mappedn -- happened when the pope ca face-to-face with same-sex marriage oppone kim davis. tal new car. nobody's ht,but there ll still be pain. ites when your iurmpanys they'llnlpa three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-arterscar? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. art. p with lerty mutual new car placement, pwe'll replace the full value of
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a surprise move from the vatican today pushing back against a description by kentucky clerk kim davis about her private meeting with pope francis during his visit to washington after days of debate about the significance of that encounter. the vatican now said davis and her lawyer got it wrong. and we're learnine about another private meeting ading to the intrigue. we get details from nbc's alley jackson. >> reporter: pope francis in america. a historic widely-praised visit, but less than 48 hours after he landed back in rome, news that raised some eyebrows. a meetingith kim davis,he controvers kentucky county crk who refused to issue rriage licenses to same-sex couples. a visno she described an abc.
>> i hugged him and he gged me and he said thank you for your courage. >> reporter: a visit praised by conservatives but disappointing to supporters of same-sex marriage. now an extraordinary statement from the veteran approved by francis himself clarifying his meeting with dis should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects. the vatican wn-playing davil' visit saying she was one of dozens who met with the pope in washington. >> pope francis is, as we know, very adept and politically savvy and will not allow himself tget entangled in bates andhis wa an effort to untangle the crism for this meeting. and a meeting with this sale cou a s artn 19 iaorme stud veeen s for a long time, he said. he knows about me being gay and he has a
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we learned today that american employers slowed down hiring in september. new numbers showing just 142,000 jobs added last month. the employment rat held steady at 5.1%. in afghanistan, the death toll stas at 14 after an american c-130 transport plane crashed during takeoff. security is right around the ene. among the dead are six rmen and five civilian contractors on board and thr civilians on the ground. enemy fire is not suspected in the crash. also nigh in president obama's new conference today, some sharp words about
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finallynight, here in roseberg, oregon, we're witnessing an ououring of suppor in the w of the tragedy. in ts comnity and from t nation beyond it. here is nbc's kevin tiles. >> reporter: on aay after so much carnage, they came by the hundreds t date gift of life. it is my duty. it is my duty as money american. >> reporter: they say they belong here. in this pretty town of 22,000, with this wooded hills and logging trucksnd caves. no one asked them to co. they just knew. >> i kind of felt helpless with the whole situation. so i fel likehis was kind the only way that i could do something. >> reporter:oday is a day for community in roseberg. where a go-fund me
page started by a in to raise 0,0 has already gatherore than $200,0. for army van chris mintz shot seven times while trying to se others. and where businesses,ome staff were kids from the college -- share a coon message. trua customers have been paying it forrdll day. a coffee for the next in line. nothing big, but oh, so significant. we've all been a augt good te to pay it fo >> something as simple as a cup of cfee might just make a difference. >> yes, definitely. coffee and a mile definitely making their day better. >> reporter: simple ings, small pernal gestures, signs this small town has pled together toegin the healing. kevin tibbles. nbc news, roseberg, oregon.