tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 17, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> scrap the newscast and just have pandas. tonight, the mass shooting in florida. and now the death penalty showdown. lawyers for nikolas cruz offering a guilty plea. to avoid the ultimate punishment. but prosecutors say the death penalty was made for a case like this. also, the new trail of clues. the long list of behavioral disorders outlined in his child welfare report. demanding action. shock and mourning turning into outrage, students leading the way. >> it's time for the victims to be the change that we need to be see. asking why the attacker was allowed to have a gun. winter storm threat. more than 40 million people in its path. the fast-moving snowmaker, the dangers on the roads, from virginia to maine. sam champion standing by. deadly quake disaster. the earthquake rocking mexico. causing little harm until a military helicopter spins out of
control, killing 13 people on the ground. and, flu test failure? why some doctors and medical centers are no longer relying on the rapid flu test. what you need to know. and good evening. thanks for joining us on this saturday. i'm tom llamas. and we begin with the death penalty showdown in south florida. lawyers for the suspect in the mass shooting at the high school in parkland trying to save his life. offering to exchange a guilty plea for life in prison. the prosecutors saying this is a death penalty case. and tonight, the long list of behavioral disorders revealed in his child welfare report. that report just one more red flag warning that was missed, adding to the pain of the families of the victims. abc's adrienne bankert start us off from parkland, florida. >> reporter: tonight, no deal. attorneys for nikolas cruz offered to have their client plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and spare the community
a painful legal battle, but there's pushback from the prosecution, who says it's too early, and this is the type of case the death penalty was designed for. the public defender fighting for cruz's life tells abc this -- >> put this man in prison for the rest of his life, whether you kill him, or you give him life, it won't make one more student safe. >> reporter: that debate plays out as new details emerge about the young man who authorities say confessed to killing 17 people at this florida high school. this is a yearbook photo of cruz in middle school. classmates who knew him then say he was troubled. >> i feel like he was just alone and off, there was just something off about him. >> reporter: and now, a disturbing newly revealed report from the department of children and family services that says cruz cut himself in september of 2016, sharing video of his wounds on snapchat, and saying he wanted to get a gun. >> this kid, in his own way, was screaming out in every way that the mind knows how to scream out. >> reporter: the dcf report, first obtained by "the sun
sentinel," and confirmed to abc news by the public defender, also shows that cruz had a history of autism, adhd, depression, and was on medication, which cruz's public defender tells us he stopped taking. his attorney also detailed cruz's alleged cruelty to animals, all red flags of impending violence. >> every sign that you're asked to look at was there. >> reporter: this report, the latest in a string of what appeared to be missed warning signs. the fbi admits they dropped the ball when a tip came in january 5th about the alleged shooter's desire to kill, the agency not following up, and now they're apologizing. and in september, a youtube blogger alerted the fbi to a user with the name nikolas cruz, posting on the channel, "i'm going to be a professional school shooter." the fbi investigated, but turned up nothing. and over the past few years, the sheriff says they responded to 20 calls regarding cruz. all of this concerning for the victims and their families, like debbie hixon, who lost her husband christopher in the
shooting. >> the system is broken and it needs to be fixed. >> adrienne bankert joining us now from parkland, florida, tonight. we just heard you say officers visited cruz 20 times and state agencies were aware of serious mental issues. and none of that was flagged by the background check when he bought the ar-15. >> that's right, tom. background checks only look for those who have criminally convicted or deemed mentally ill by the courts or admitted to a mental institution. and none of those conditions applied to cruz. tom. >> adrienne, thank you. there in parkland and across the country, more tributes to the lives lost in the attack. honoring the 14 students who died and the 3 adults who gave their own lives trying to protect them. but for some, the shock and mourning is turning to outrage. students leading the way, calling for change. abc's victor oquendo is in parkland again for us tonight. >> reporter: young survivors of that shooting rampage.
>> our innocence has been taken from us. >> reporter: one by one, sounding the call for gun control. >> we know that they're claiming that there are mental health issues, and i'm not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue. he wouldn't have hurt that many students with a knife. >> reporter: hundreds gathering at a rally not far from where the massacre unfolded. >> if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see. >> reporter: this, as president trump visited the community overnight. >> what a great job you've done. and we appreciate it very much. >> reporter: speaking with the sheriff and first responders, and meeting with victims at a local hospital. today the president tweeting, melania and i met such incredible people last night. we will never forget them. as lawmakers are being asked, where does the nation go from here? florida senator marco rubio without on exact answer. >> just because i don't have an
easy answer at my fingertips doesn't mean we shouldn't try to find answer. >> reporter: florida senator bill nelson with a direct message for the president tonight. >> mr. president, listen to the students. listen to the kids. this is what is aching in their hearts, and they want action. >> reporter: those students, now activists, demanding change. hoping their call for action will prevent another mass shooting. >> every victim deserves this and more. like, they will never be able to defend themselves again. and i think that we have to do every single thing in our power to try and give them a sliver of justice. >> those students demanding action. victor joining us from that growing memorial. it's still very early in the process, but some are proposing some significant changes to help this community heal? >> tom, so many students i have spoken with have said the same thing.
they're just not sure how they're going to be able to go back to school. one thing that's being discussed that could help in the healing process, and that's tearing down the building where most of the carnage took place and replacing it with a memorial where the shooting took place. and a programming note -- on "this week," tomorrow, martha raddatz anchoring from there in parkland, florida. she'll have the latest on the mass shooting. we move on to that russia investigation after 13 russian nationals and three russian companies were accused of massive information warfare. the president tweeting the indictment vindicates him. but that conclusion, premature, for now. special counsel robert mueller is still hard at work. abc's kenneth moton is in west palm beach, near mar-a-lago. >> reporter: tonight, the president claiming vindication in the bombshell indictment of 13 russians accused of meddling in the 2016 election. tweeting, russia started their anti-u.s. campaign in 2014, long before i announced that i would run for president.
the results of the election were not impacted. the trump campaign did nothing wrong -- no collusion! a white house spokesman going a step further. >> there are two groups that have created chaos more than the russians, and that's the democrats and the mainstream media. >> reporter: still, investigators are charging the russians spread fake news on fake social media accounts, started online political groups, and allegedly lured unsuspecting americans to campaign-style rallies like this one in florida three months before the election. >> the defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the united states. >> reporter: and now, a superpower war of words. >> and as you can see, with the fbi indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible. >> reporter: president trump's national security adviser at a security conference in germany, the russians in the same room, fighting back. their foreign minister saying, until we see the facts everything else is just blabber. while this latest indictment does not mention collusion between the russians and the trump campaign, it's just one piece of the broader mueller investigation.
the probe is also looking into the 2016 trump tower meeting between donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort, and a russian lawyer, and there's a possible obstruction of justice investigation. >> just because this indictment has no mention of collusion, or of knowing participation by americans, doesn't mean it isn't going to happen in the next indictment. >> all right, let's get out to kenneth moton, who's joining us from west palm beach with the president tonight. sending out more tweets pointing to how long the accusations of russia meddling go back. >> the president focused on when the alleged meddling started in 2014, long before he announced his candidacy. but the indictment states that while the russians began their information warfare by 2014, by the summer of 2016 the candidates were set and the goal was to disparage hillary clinton and support donald trump. tom. >> kenneth, thank you. white house chief of staff john kelly making major changes
in how security clearances are handled after the scandal of rob porter and allegations of domestic abuse. the fbi will now hand deliver its background investigations and tell white house counsel about troubling accusations within 24 hours of its discovery. kelly says temporary cleeshss could be revoked by next friday. next, let's turn to the weather and the fast-moving storm with 40 million people in its path. winter weather alerts from virginia to maine. icy snow and rain a menace on the road. this accident between a pickup truck and a semi. the driver of that semi was taken away by ambulance. sam champion is in central park, where the snow is coming down. >> it's a wet accumulating snow. quick radar shot, we have gone to rain at reagan international. but harrisburg, pennsylvania,
reporting 5 inches of snow already. put this storm in motion. we'll show you how it rolls. overnight tonight, areas of purple that's where the snow accumulates. pennsylvania, new york, connecticut, even into massachusetts, and on into maine as well. look at 3:00 a.m., though, the bulk of snow is well offshore. by 7:00 in the morning, this storm is mostly offshore. just a little bit of snow still in maine. totals there will be some areas, we already got that five-inch total in those areas in blue. allow the snow to stay as snow and not mix in. some of us will see more than 5 inches of snow. probably 5 to 8 inches of snow. tom, speaking of warmer temperatures, we're 60, 70 degrees all the way into the northeast by the time we get to tuesday and wednesday of next week. >> all right, we look forward to that warm weather. sam, thanks so much. we want to head overseas, the deadly aftermath of that earthquake in mexico, striking fear but causing little damage
until a military helicopter surveying the area spun out of control, crashing to earth on top of a bus. here's abc's marcus moore with the freak accident. >> reporter: tonight, the horrifying tragedy in the middle of a major earthquake. the mexican military helicopter, carrying high-ranking government officials, slamming into vans, killing 13, including four children. that chopper dispatched to survey damage from the massive 7.2 earthquake, when it went down. all of the deaths, people who fled their homes. a relative of one of the victims says the entire town was without power. people were planning to sleep up there. friday's earthquake left nearly a million homes in mexico city without power, and south of there at least 50 homes were damaged, but authorities had said there were no fatalities until the tragic chopper crash. mexico is still recovering from another large quake last september that left hundreds of people dead, and caused widespread structural damage. tonight, we still do not what caused that helicopter to crash. that part of the investigation continues. tom. >> marcus, thank you. next tonight, your money.
a fifth trump administration cabinet level official under fire for travel expenses. the secretaries of health, treasury, interior, the epa, and now veterans affairs. va chief david shulkin, the latest to feel a heat over a trip to europe that included his wife and cost taxpayers $122,000 and that's your money. here's abc's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: tonight, the department of veterans affairs secretary david shulkin under growing pressure, his chief of staff retiring. after accusations she doctored an e-mail to pay for shulkin's wife to travel on taxpayers' dollars. >> i do recognize the optics of this are not good. i accept responsibility for that. >> it's not the optics that are not good, it's the facts that are not good. >> reporter: shulkin's own department says his european trip cost more than $122,000. shulkin and his wife took the 11-day trip in july, three and half days were spent in official
meetings, the rest of the time -- mostly sightseeing with stops at windsor castle and buckingham palace. the report says shulkin and his wife treated one va staffer as a personal travel concierge. wimbledon tickets, shulken's wife wrote in an e-mail, high tea? roman baths in bath, would want to do baths not just tour. >> this is never what it's about. there's a reason we call it public service, it's not personal service. >> reporter: shulkin's not the only cabinet member in hot water over travel. over a six-month period, epa chief scott pruitt expensed nearly $200,000, according to documents obtained by an environmental group. including frequent first-class travel. his security team said is for his safety. >> they place me on the plane where they think is best, from a safety perspective. >> tom, we learned tonight that secretary shulkin has reimbursed the government for $4,000 of his wife's travel costs and those wimbledon tickets.
tom. >> stephanie, thank you. >> still ahead on "world news tonight" this saturday -- standoff in los angeles. after hours of negotiating, why the s.w.a.t. team was forced to break down the door to catch their man. plus, flu fears. concerns the quick test doctors use to diagnose the virus could be wrong about half the time. and brawl abroad. the nightmare cruise that passengers say was all in family. stay with us. i was wondering if an electric toothbrush really cleans better than a manual. and my hygienist says it does but they're not all the same. who knew? i had no idea. so she said, look for one that's shaped like a dental tool with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's rounded brush head surrounds each tooth to gently remove more plaque. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the only electric toothbrush brand accepted by the american dental association for its effectiveness and safety. my mouth feels so clean. i'll only use an oral-b. oral-b. brush like a pro.
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days after his negative flu test. >> the guilt because i'm a mom, i'm supposed to protect my kids, and i couldn't. i couldn't protect him. >> reporter: the cdc says some rapid flu tests are only 50% to 70% accurate, and false negatives occur more frequently than false positives. >> the test will say they don't have the flu, but they do. >> reporter: that's why baylor university medical center in dallas, one of the country's leading hospitals, says their doctors aren't relying solely on the tests and are also keeping a close eye on patient symptoms. >> the saying is, if it quacks like a duck, and it sounds like a duck, it's a duck. >> reporter: this year's flu season striking hard. so far 84 children have died from the dangerous outbreak, 22 in just the last week. doctors say if your child gets a rapid flu test and it comes back negative, parents should still closely monitor their kids and tom, if those kids continue to show signs of the flu, be sure to be persistent, get back in touch with your physician.
>> erielle, thank you. up next, all that glimmers isn't gold. the trials and tribulations of team usa, tonight, the medals still within reach. and happily ever after. an incredible story, how a woman found her missing wedding dress more than 30 years later. we'll explain, stay with us. with us. your body was made for better things than rheumatiod arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests.
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time now for the index and a seven-hour s.w.a.t. standoff with a man in los angeles. police called in after he threatened his mother with a hatchet. barricading himself inside the house. after hours of negotiations failed, police there rammed the front door and filled the home with the tear gas. the man finally surrendered. police say no one was hurt. from all aboard to brawl aboard, a cruise ship in the south pacific. this video taken captured many of the fights between one large family traveling together and others abroad. terror sizing passengers over three days. the captain refusing to take them any further. docking the boat in new south wales, calling police to remove all 23 members of that family. now to the winter olympics
in pyeongchang where team usa is struggling. the men's hockey team losing to russia 4-0. they have one more chance to play next week, and it's win or go home. speed skater john-henry krueger winning silver. and still fresh from her loss in the super g, lindsey vonn gets another shot at a medal in the downhill on wednesday. an emotional reunion outside of cleveland, ohio, a woman holds her wedding dress after more than 30 years. a dry cleaner made a mistake in 1985, sending the gown home with the wrong newlywed. fast forward to a few weeks ago, that woman's daughter opens the box and discovers the mistake. she posted pictures on social media. by the end of day, the real owner makes contact, even sending along pictures of herself in the dress. glad she got it back. and when we come back -- a powerful story that starts in parkland, florida, that spreads all over the world. stay with us.
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finally tonight, a moving tribute to one of the 17 victims of this week's horrific school shooting. >> today i decided it wasn't about myself. >> reporter: that's 13-year-old jersey roth, along with other dancers at this competition today near parkland, florida, remembering shooting victim jaime guttenberg, a 14-year-old who loved to dance. the dancers wearing orange, jaime's favorite color. >> i was dancing for everyone else that aren't able to dance anymore. >> reporter: jaime's dance school starting a social media movement called "orange ribbons for jaime" to honor her memory. and responses are pouring in from all over the world. "we dance for jamie."
a message from jaime's dance troupe to one of their own, uniting before a basketball game and then this. this dance troupe in ohio paying tribute. the movement reaching all the way to oulu, finland. this group of teens joining hands before a dress rehearsal. and even a salute from the professionals, the american ballet theatre, honoring jaime at their performance tonight, their caption reading, this one's for you, jaime, but the most powerful message of all coming from jaime's father. >> parents, love your kids, hold your kids, kiss your kids, and don't ever, ever miss the chance to tell them how much you love them. >> that was fred guttenberg who just lost his 14-year-old daughter, somehow brave enough to deliver that message. our thoughts, prayers and continued reporting on all these issues facing that parkland community. i'm tom llamas in new york. good night. parkland community. i'm tom llamas in new york. good night.
ton on abc 7 news at 6:00. fire and smoke trap a man in his home high pressure his life at risk until a good samaritan steps in. >> a winner chill is coming and could mean snow. >> after a terrifying encounter with something she says isn't human process this california woman is demanding the state take action. >> abc 7 news at 6:00 starts now. live where you live, this is abc 7 news. and this just looks like the fire is right next to me. a good samaritan comes to the rescue. a man trapped by smoke and flames, saving his lime. >> i'm eric thomas. and deon lim. this fire started on pepper tree way. >> katie. >> quick thinking and bravery is what saved that man today. i want to show you behind me.
that's the charred debris from inside the apartment. and this is the office chair the neighbor used to rescue the man after she ran into the burning building. you can see smoke pouring out of the apartment on pepper tree way. samantha barnhouse saw the smoke from her apartment and realizing nobody was around to help she ran inside. smoke filled the home and she found the elderly man trapped in his room. he couldn't debt out on his own. she put a robe over his face to protect him and pulled him out in the office chair. >> the kitchen had gotten five times worse. the entire house is superblack. smoke everywhere. and i feel the heat on my back. >> reporter: and the two fell out the front door and into the arms of an officer who arrived on scene. firefighters say that burton wouldn't have survived