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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 1, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

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at a campus, college campus in oregon. we'll have full details coming up next on nbc "nightly news." breaking news on two major fronts. massacre on campus, a mass shooting at an oregon college. police rushing to the scene engaging the gunman in a shootout. the death toll in double digits. many others injured. we are live from the scene and all the latest in this still-developing tragedy. >> epic storm. joaquin strengthened to an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane. a race to protect the shoreline as states of emergency are declared up and down the east coast where a deadly second storm is already battering areas with rainfall and flooding, a potentially historic proportions. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc
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"nightly news with lester holt." good evening, what a day it has been. we prepared to begin with news of an explosive category 4 hurricane churning in the atlantic and another massive storm already flooding much of the east. we've got all of that covered. we will of course start with more breaking news of that mass shooting. another shooting in america, another community shattered. and more young lives senselessly taken. it happened on the campus of a small community college in roseburg, oregon. a lone shooter opening fire, killing and injuring so many before being confronted and taken down by police. this evening, a visibly emotional, angry and frustrated president obama echoed the nation's sorrow. >> somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it,
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we've become numb to this. we talked about this after columbine and blacksburg, after tucson, after newtown, after aurora, after charleston. it cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. >> president obama this evening. we begin our coverage with nbc's gadi schwartz. >> somebody is shooting through the door. >> reporter: morning classes interrupted by gun fire as students found themselves trapped with a gunman terrorizing campus. >> we do have one female that has been shot at this time. >> reporter: police scanner shows the first calls came in around 10:38 a.m. >> dispatch as many ambulances as possible to this incident. we have upwards of 20 victims. >> reporter: the rampage at umpqua
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community college lasting about ten minutes until police finally made contact. >> he's in the classroom. >> go forth. the suspect is down. >> officers engaged that suspect. there was an exchange of gun fire. the shooter threat was neutralized. >> reporter: more than 20 victims and at least 13 dead as well as the 20-year-old shooter. on campus, students posting about the chaos. one writing, "students are running everywhere. holy god." another, "i feel so sick, i can't stop shaking. this is unreal." over the phone, witnesses describe what they saw. >> i heard multiple gun shots and people screaming, he's shooting. get out of there. >> reporter: this afternoon oregon's governor kate brown said their priority is the victims. >> it's still too early to know all of the facts. i am joined by my fellow oregonians and americans at this profound dismay and heartbreak at this tragedy at umpqua
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community college. >> reporter: for hours, local, state and federal investigators worked to clear the campus. >> this is a huge stock to the entire community to have this level of crime and incident occur in our college or school system. >> reporter: police searching cars and interviewing students, checking bags before everyone was bussed to safety. in this small community this college massacre felt deep ly by everyone from first responders. >> we are all absolutely devastated. my granddaughter attends there. by the grace of god, she was home sick today. >> reporter: to reporters covering the tragedy. >> this is the largest massacre in oregon state history and it's just awful. >> reporter: clearly, an emotional day for everyone involved. at this point all we have is the shooter is a 20-year-old male. he's not been identified. school is closed until monday as this investigation continues. lester? >> gadi schwartz in our los angeles newsroom. thank you.
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our colleague from msnbc has reached the scene in roseburg. what are you seeing in here? >> reporter: good evening, lester. i'm about as close as anybody will get to umpqua community college right now the intersection of highway 99 here at douglas county. umpqua is about a mile from the road up here. the only people coming in and out of what would be a beautiful community is law enforcement and they have started to let a couple of residents through. i spoke to a state trooper. i asked him if he had seen anything like this in his life. he said not to this extent. the fbi, the douglas county sheriff, many other law enforcement agencies are here. it's only a matter of time before we see what happens a mile up the road. >> jacob soboroff, thank you. sadly, campus shootings in american have become all too common. there have been 142 incidents which a gun was fired on a school campus in this country since the massacre in newtown in december of 2012. this is the fourth
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shooting on a college campus just since the start of this school year in august. we get details from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: the scene unfolding in oregon has become all too familiar. another mass shooting again on a school campus. it's actually the 41st school shooting just this year. with gun fire on campuses nationwide in big cities and like today, small communities. until today, those shootings claimed the lives of nine people. as before, calls for more gun control or better mental health outreach that brought only minor changes. >> we are going to line up on two different sides. gun control and mental health and wind up wringing our hands one more time while we bury our dead. >> reporter: one thing that changed is the nature of the police response, much more active instead of waiting for heavily-armed s.w.a.t. teams to arrive. police in roseburg developed plans after a high school shooting nine years ago. the community college
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made its own plan in response. the fbi will soon distribute this movie-style video to the nation's police with lessons learned from other mass shootings on how to direct what is typically a massive law enforcement response, to minimize the danger evacuator lockdown potential victims and keep ambulances and other resources moving to help those injured. president obama's comments reflect his frustration with the issue of gun control, but his administration has yet to come up with an idea acceptable to congress. the shooting may also cause some states to revisit the controversial issue of guns on campus. in oregon, for example, students with the proper permits are allowed to carry concealed weapons. >> pete williams tonight, thank you. another major story, a massive hurricane churning in the atlantic. joaquin is now an extremely dangerous category 4. the sheer size of this system can be seen from space as it lashes the bahamas with brutal winds and storm surge, and whether it makes landfall in the u.s. or turns out to sea, it will wreak havoc up
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and down the eastern seaboard, potentially historic flooding. there is a state of emergency in five states and this storm will hit on top of another storm already dumping torrential rain, triggering flash floods from north to south. in a moment, we'll get the latest forecast from al roker. first to nbc's gabe gutierrez in north carolina's outer banks as the east coast prepares. gabe? >> reporter: good evening. nearly all of north carolina is under a flood watch. the surf is picking up here. so is the wind. this is an area that is used to big storms. but this could be a one-two punch. an already-drenched east coast now bracing for historic rain and wind that will drag on for days. parts of south carolina slammed with five inches of rain, fast rising water flooding roads and submerging cars. one person killed. another rescued when this road washed away, causing a massive sinkhole.
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all this because of something called a rex block, a weather pattern with a high pressure front above a low pressure front virtually locking it in place, dumping large amounts of rain in the low pressure. heavy downpours will begin in the carolinas and part of the mid atlantic tonight and last at least three days. the heavy surf already eroding beaches is expected to bring fierce rip currents and extreme rain. >> i cannot stress enough that we are talking about the real possibility of deadly flooding. >> reporter: this afternoon about 1,000 visitors were evacuated from an island on the outer banks. all this erosion happened within the past week or so? >> the loss of the dune happened within the last two weeks. >> reporter: kitty hawk mayor gary perry is used to big storms but preparing for the worst. >> we're just doing the best we can to manage and get ready for it. we'll deal with the aftermath. >> reporter: north carolina, south carolina, virginia, maryland and new jersey, all under a state of emergency.
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much of the east coast bracing for two rounds of torrential rain, even if joaquin doesn't make landfall as a hurricane. the national guard here is on alert and local emergency management officials here in north carolina plan to meet tomorrow morning to decide whether to issue more mandatory evacuations. lester? >> gabe gutierrez tonight, thank you. to the north of there, an area devastated by superstorm sandy three years ago and still recovering, they are taking no chances tonight as they brace for high water. in parts of the jersey shore, the flooding has already started. that's where we find nbc's ron allen. >> reporter: good evening, lester. you're looking at miles and miles of defense and preparation. this is a huge sand berm some 10 to 12 feet tall. it's taken several days to build. here to protect these towns along the jersey shore from any storm surge. towns devastated by sandy three years ago, that this time around are not taking any chances.
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that is surplus military equipment bought since superstorm sandy creating a huge barrier of protection just in case. stretching for miles along the jersey shore. how high is that berm going to be over there? >> anywhere from 8 to 10 feet high. >> reporter: the devastation from sandy remains fresh. homes damaged or destroyed, boardwalks torn up, intense flooding. >> everybody is scared. you don't know. if we don't get ready, it's going to hit us hard again. >> reporter: now preparing for the worst. governor christie declaring a state of emergency. >> there will be people when they start to hear this news will feel an enormous amount of stress. >> reporter: in belmar, they pumped much of the water out of the biggest lake in town, creating a place for flood waters to go. they reenforced and built a new boardwalk, the supports dug 25 feet deep. 10-year-old hanna doherty raised $5,000 selling colored sea shells to help her town rebuild.
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are you prepared yourself? >> i think we are, yes. i think belmar is a town that is prepared. >> reporter: here in jersey, they are expecting several days of heavy rain and coastal flooding. even before any impact from the hurricane may be felt. a one-two punch that they hope they're ready for. lester? >> ron allen. al roker at the weather map. what are you seeing right now? >> we see a storm that looks like it's going to be moving more out to sea. currently, a dangerous category 4 storm, 70 miles south of bahamas. 130 mile-an-hour winds, still move slowly southwest at 6 miles per hour. if you notice the path, it's slowly been drifting ice with each successive run. when you put into effect you look at the american model and the european model, those are even further east. now the national hurricane center model is coming into agreement with that. when we look at the timeline, friday, major hurricane still category 4. the rain increases over the mid atlantic states. dangerous surf along
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the south eastern coast. saturday, torrential rain in the mid atlantic states. southeast, beach erosion. cape cod to myrtle beach and coastal flooding. sunday morning, major flooding across the southeast with that rainfall 10 to 20 inches of rain in three days. coastal wind gusts 55 miles per hour. power outages, flooding a problem. sunday evening, hurricane center remains offshore. strong winds from maine to the carolinas still dangerous surf for coastal areas and monday, rain ends in the mid atlantic states. high surf, rip currents for the mid atlantic states. even though no landfall, still we have to worry about major effects. >> al roker, thanks very much. much more tonight, our nbc news investigation, cities and towns left hanging by the feds who refused to answer our questions about potential health risks from artificial turf. parents taking matters into their own hands to protect their kids. >> there it's ball. this bale of hay cannot be controlled.
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tonight, more of our investigation into the most common artificial turf that millions of american kids play on made of ground-up tires. last night we told you about parents' fears it might possibly cause cancer, and the federal government's
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failure to give any kind of guidance on whether this turf is dangerous or safe. it's leaving it up to local communities to decide. the result is confusion, concern, and we met a family who is pulling their kids out of sports all together. stephanie gosk has our report. >> reporter: john and laura pulled their boys from local sports. they would rather their kids not play at all than play on turf with ground-up car and truck tires. fairfax county outside washington, d.c., has more than 80 crumb rubber fields. this is some of the only public grass. >> right now, what we are seeing is our kids are the guinea pigs. they are going to tell whether it's safe or not. we are not willing to let our kids be those guinea pigs. >> reporter: last year they watched our report on turf. they heard soccer coach amy griffin ask the question, is crumb rubber turf causing cancer? the coach started keeping track of goal keepers with cancer.
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her list grew from 34 to 63 there are no scientific studies linking turf and cancer, but they worry those tiny black dots may be to blame. crumb rubber is made from the same chemicals found in tires, some known carcinogens. >> we have tire dumps for our kids to play on. >> reporter: they started a petition to ban crumb rubber. 2,000 parents signed but local leaders rejected the proposal, after their extensive review of peer review studies that concluded the fields do not pose a serious health concern. a quick ferry ride away is montgomery county. also a d.c. suburb, basically the same demographic with few concerned parents. their solution is completely different. this is a turf field made not with tires but with cork and coconut husks. on average, $40,000 more expensive than
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crumb rubber. montgomery county is using this alternative from now on. >> our residents let us know this made them nervous so we took it seriously and we don't want our parents nervous if we can avoid that. >> reporter: since our story aired last year, at least 50 cities and towns in 17 states have been debating whether to tear up crumb rubber fields or install new ones. the epa says this is a state and local decision, leaving officials on their own to sift through dozens of studies. >> how is montgomery county going to assess the scientific data? we look to the federal government to give us guidance. in the absence of that, all we know is it created a lot of anxiety. >> reporter: the epa and consumer product safety commission won't say crumb rubber is safe or dangerous. and both refuse multiple requests for interviews. we tracked down the epa administrator. is crumb rubber turf safe for our children to play on? >> i have nothing to say right now. >> reporter: results
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of the federal government's silence is a patch work of local decisions, which the dams say is not the way to resolve an issue that affects children's health. >> the sad thing is people think, and this is what i hear, someone is looking out for us, right? they are putting them in all over the place so it must be okay. the reality is no one really is. >> reporter: we called the federal agencies again today. they told us it is limited in what it can do without more money and legal authority from congress. the epa we asked more than ten times for an interview says it is assisting a study in california. the agency still will not answer this question, lester. if more research is needed, why are children still playing on crumb rubber turf? >> people just want answers. >> reporter: absolutely. >> thanks very much. we are back in a moment with some of the day's other news making headlines. moment with m you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him.
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targets on the ground. moscow says it's attacking terrorists, including isis, but most of the targets are believed to be in territory held by u.s.-backed rebels, including some trained by the cia who oppose russia's ally syrian president assad. there are reports of civilian casualties, quickly denied by vladimir putin. an awe-inspiring sight in mexico, a time lapse capturing the explosive eruption of a volcano. huge blast of lava and smoke. the volcano at times blowing columns of ash more than a mile into the sky. >> if you take too much luggage on to an amtrak train, be ready to pay for it. they charged $20 to passengers who don't follow bag restrictions, a tactic that generated billions for the airline industry. amtrak's rules are more generous allowing two personal items up to 25 pounds and two
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carry-ones up to 50 pounds. >> a happy 91st birthday to former president jimmy carter. having a private celebration with his family in georgia. the former president continues to remain active as he undergoes cancer treatments. the birthday celebration will continue into the weekend. when we come back, more on our top story. the massacre at an oregon campus. that massive hurricane joaquin. the massacre at an the massacre at an when you're not confident your company's data is secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at at&t we monitor our network traffic so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most. it's our song... ♪
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before we go tonight, an update on our top stories. first a mass shooting at a community college campus in roseburg, oregon. at least 13 are dead and more than 20 injured. the shooter, a 20-year-old male is also dead. he was killed in a confrontation with police. he has yet to be identified. >> also we continue to monitor that massive category 4 hurricane churning in the atlantic. it's part of a one-two punch that could trigger catastrophic flooding on the eastern seaboard. we'll be updating the latest forecast throughout the evening on and tomorrow morning on "today." that's going to do it for us on this busy thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. watching and good night.
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