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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 26, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> great ending. thanks for joining us here at 5:00. as a reminder, lester holt is back for the 5:00 news. >> we'll be back at 6:00. bye. breaking news tonight, the dramatic capture of the serial bomb suspect in florida as four more pipe bombs are found in the mail, 14 in total designed to explode and kill. >> these are not hoax devices. >> nbc news learning how the fbi zeroed in on their man swarming the white van covered in stickers hailing president trump and attacking cnn. targets on hillary clinton and former president obama. the suspect a strong trump supporter. >> trump, trump, trump! >> with a history of violent threats, tonight the feds trying to figure out if he had help and cities coast-to-coast on alert for more possible bombs. also tonight, the president's stunning reaction launching new attacks while calling for harmony. megyn kelly, her
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her future with the network in doubt. we have late details. honoring matthew shepard 20 years after his brutal murder shocked the nation, tonight laid to rest in the national cathedral. >> we remember and matt welcome home. amen. >> tonight, our conversation with his parents on his legacy and the movement he started. and the powerful weekend nor'easter about to slam millions. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. in a remarkably fast-moving investigation that spanned from california to delaware, new york to florida, a fingerprint cracked the case leading to today's dramatic arrest of the prime suspect in the mailing of at least 14 pipe bombs that targeted prominent critics of president trump including two former presidents. today just hours after the discovery of four more suspicious
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devices, officials confirmed the arrest of a 56-year-old florida man who they say was behind the mailings. the fbi director making clear these were not hoax devices. the suspect's social media trail along with images emblazened on his van revealing a deep disdain toward the media and political left, including some of those targeted by the bombs. pete williams begins coverage. >> reporter: federal agents and police from new york swam today around a van parked in plantation, florida, north of miami belonging to the man they now accuse of mailing more than a dozen packages, each one containing a pipe bomb. 56-year-old cesar sayoc of aventura, florida. the announcement came after noon by president trump at a white house gathering of young black leaders. >> i am pleased to inform you that law enforcement has apprehended the suspect and taken him into custody. >> reporter: the windows of sayoc's van were plastered with stickers praising
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president trump and other republicans criticizing cnn where two of the bomb packages were sent, and showing images of hillary clinton and barack obama with targets over them. the fbi seized the van and prepared to conduct a thorough search. officials say sayoc had been living in it. they want to know where the bombs were made. the arrest followed the discovery of three more packages today, one at a mail sorting facility in midtown manhattan addressed to james clapper, the former director of national intelligence who has been a trump critic, and another to cory booker discovered at a south florida mail distribution center and a third addressed to ka mill kamala harris found in sacramento. both are democrats that have been mentioned as possible 2020 presidential candidates. investigators say the big break in the case came only yesterday when analysts at the fbi laboratory found a fingerprint on the outside of the package d congresswoman maxine waters found at a
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maryland facility screening congressional mail. because sayoc had a criminal record in florida, his fingerprints were on file and a match was quickly made and the lab found dna evidence on some of the devices. >> there is also a possible dna connection between samples collected by two pieces mailed in separate envelopes. >> reporter: in all the fbi says sayoc mailed 13 packages to ten people and court documents do not indicate if there were notes included, they say photos of george soros, barack obama, john brennan and waters were marked with a red x were included in the packages addressed to them. while none of the bombs exploded, the fbi says they were apparently designed to. >> we're still analyzing the devices in our laboratory, these are not hoax devices. >> reporter: sayoc is charged with violating federal bombing laws. investigators say his twitter account made the same misspellings as on the package addresses. hillary with one l and
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debbie schultz without the c and tweets critical of barack obama and george soros posted after the bomb package was found monday at the soros' house in new york. from monday's discovery to an arrest today, while bombs were stig being found. >> an arrest in this compressed amount of time is always impressive and the treasure trove of evidence in this case directly contributed to the speed of the arrest. >> reporter: tonight, officials say sayoc is not cooperating and refuses to say whether he made any more bombs that might still be out there, and won't say whether he had any help, though at this point officials don't think he did. late today the fbi said a 14th package bomb was found addressed to a businessman that advocates donald trump's impeachment. leer >> pete williams at the justice department, thanks. from the moment this week it was clear the bomb targets were vocal critics of trump, many on the right and left held their breath in anticipation of not just an arrest but knowing the bomber's politics. tonight some of those
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answers would appear to lie in cesar sayoc's digital trail. kerry sanders is in south florida. what are you learning? >> reporter: for the last two months, the suspect worked as a deejay at a strip club here in south florida. those who knew him well tell nbc news, above all else, he was obsessed with president trump. the portrait emerging of 56-year-old cesar sayoc jr. revealing a man obsessed with support for president trump. his tweeter feed showing him driving to trump rallies and posting crowd chants attacking cnn and cheering the president a the president spoke.go after many of the democrats who received devices saying of george soros, you will vanish, and attackingcongressw wasserman schultz. rochelle richi says he took it further contacting her on twitter. >> i received a tweet from this guy who was saying things such as,
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you know, make sure you hug your loved ones before you leave your home. >> reporter: sayoc has a history of arrests including making a bomb threat to florida power and light company in 2002 saying it would be worse than september 11th. ron lowie was sayoc's attorney then and said his climate made the phone threat when his power was cut off. >> he's not like you and i. he's missing something. i would interpret that as he suffers from one or more illnesses. >> reporter: he says sayoc's mother was in surgery when sayoc was arrested. her daughter telling her the news. they had no idea? >> they were in shock. they have not spoken to their brother and son in a long time. they love america. his mother is an active democrat. they are in shock. >> reporter: sayoc claimed to be a member of the seminole tribe although the tribe tells nbc news they have no evidence he was a seminole. tonight sayoc's family has given the fbi
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permission to search their home without a warrant. lowie saying sayoc had not been living with them, rather he had been living out of his van. kerry sanders, nbc news, florida. i'm miguel almaguer in new york city. where today there was chaos yet again. this time outside a manhattan post office. the nypd bomb squad racing in then hauling away another suspicious package. >> just completely surreal that this is happening all over and actually right next door to where we're living. >> reporter: the dangerous device discovered by a post office employee on alert like the retired nypd police officer who reported the mail bomb at robert de niro's yesterday. >> it was strange. the hair on the back of my neck stood up and i was thinking about safety and who is in the building right now. >> reporter: the city on edge, overnight rattled nerves at the time warner center. but the mass
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evacuation here was a false alarm coming two days after the real threat. >> i think the challenge really is sustaining that vigilance on and on and on into the future and incorporating this as the new normal. >> reporter: the post office after having been shut down a few hours has reopened and the message is clear. despite the threats, the city will not shut down. lester? >> miguel almaguer, in new york, thank you. tonight in the midst of a national crisis, it's the twitter president versus the one that stands before the cameras continuing his attacks on the media and lamenting, how he referred to it, this bomb stuff is slowing republican momentum. that was all on twitter, but on leprompter today, it was a different story. here is kristen welker. >> reporter: overnight, just before 3:00 a.m., president trump attacking cnn on twitter. funny how lowly rated cnn and others can criticize me at will even blaming me for the current spate of bombs.
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this morning another package bomb to james clapper, care of cnn. the former obama director delivering this message to the president. >> you can accuse other people of saying extreme things, but really the leadership for this starts with the president of the united states. he has to set the tone. >> reporter: while investigators were closing in on a suspect, the president was casting doubt about the investigation. laser focused on the politics tweeting republicans are doing so well in early voting and at the polls and now this bomb stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows. muddying the waters by putting the word bomb in quotes. at the white house, the president on teleprompter praising the swift response by the fbi. >> these terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country. >> reporter: and condemning what he called political violence aimed at his rivals. >> i'm committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it. >> reporter: later, abandoning any unifying tone. the president
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alternated from one grievance to another and told the audience of young black leaders, he's the victim. >> i get attacked all the time. in fact, i'm just thinking, come to think of it, who gets attacked more than me? >> reporter: heading to a campaign rally in north carolina tonight, pressed by reporters. asked if he'll call the obamas and clintons, also targets of the bomber. >> if they wanted me to but i think we'll probably pass. >> reporter: when asked if he'll tone down his rhetoric, the president said no adding he thinks he could tone it up all setting the stage for a raucous rally here in north carolina tonight. lester? >> kristen welker, thank you. a story concerning this network. megyn kelly will not return to her nbc morning show a spokesman said today as discussions about her future with nbc continue after her comments about black face ignited a firestorm. morgan radford has more. >> reporter: just 13
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months after the show's debut, an nbc spokesperson announcing "megyn kelly today" is not returning. next week, the 9:00 a.m. hour will be hosted by other "today" co-anchors. the move coming just days after megyn kelly made controversial comments defending black face in a discussion about halloween costumes. >> what is racist? because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on black face for halloween or a black person that puts on white face for halloween. >> yes. >> when i was a kid, that was okay if you were dressing up as a charr. day, kelly apologized. >> i learned that given the history of black face being used in awful ways by racists in this country, it is not okay for that to be part of any costume. >> reporter: enough for some, including her former fox news colleague geraldo rivera. >> she said something stupid but she didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings. >> reporter: today her
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colleague jenna bush hager said she was horrified. >> in any day in age when there is talk of something that would make somebody feel bad, it's not something we stand for ever. >> reporter: now growing speculation over what will happen to kelly's reported $69 million three-year deal. in a statement, kelly's lawyer saying megyn remains an employee of nbc news and discussions about next steps are continuing. a source familiar with the situation says conversations have already started about megyn's exit from the network. morgan radford, nbc news, new york. 20 years after his brutal murder shocked america, matthew ld to rest with some of the highest honors this nation has to offer. at the national cathedral in washington, his parents, dennis and judy shepard at the emotional service and they talked to kate snow about their son. >> reporter: matthew shepard worshipped in
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the church and today the pews were all for him. >> and matt, welcome home. >> reporter: shepard was brutally attacked in 1998 tied to a fence and left to die, targeted because he was gay. back then his family quietly took his ashes home fearing any burial ground in wyoming might be vandalized. but when the national cathedral offered to inter his ashes, his parents say it felt right. >> matt loved the church so much. he'll feel at home here. >> reporter: is it hard? >> yes, it is. he's moving away. we had him with us for 20 years, and now he's moving away. >> reporter: it is a rare honor to be interred in this magnificent space. >> reporter: reserved for presidents and helen keller, i think, is behind us. >> that's right. matt seems not in that
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category to us. >> just ordinary people. the idea they could even consider having him here we thought was an honor. >> reporter: they say they choose people that made a lasting contribution to humanity. >> pretty big. >> reporter: matt did that. >> yes, they think so. to us, he's just matt. >> reporter: months after her son's death, judy launched a foundation for equal rights for hate crimes legislation signed by president obama in 2009. under the trump administration, they worry they are losing ground. >> we're making such great progress in civil rights, not just the gay community, but marginalized communities and making a giant u-turn. >> the only good thing is, we know who the haters are because they are in public now. before they were hidden. >> reporter: it's why they're still sharing their son's story. what do you hope he continues to inspire? >> inclusivity. matt never understood the need to stereo type people or categorize them. they were just people. >> reporter: in this sacred space, their son is safe now. kate snow, nbc news,
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washington. tonight, that powerful nor'easter is closing in on millions from the carolinas up to maine expected to bring heavy rain and damaging winds. several states bracing for coastal flooding and power outages. also tonight, why did police wait days to take action after a college student warned about the man who later murdered her? plus, the urgent flu warning from the cdc. we'll be right back.
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tonight, disturbing new details about the final days leading up to the murder of a utah college student and questions about why police waited so long to investigate the man who turned out to be her killer. here is joe fryer. >> reporter: lauren mccluskey was a star athlete and scholar and now as the university of utah mourns her death, police are revealing new details about her ex-boyfriend, 37-year-old melvin rowland, the man they say killed her this week. >> he was very, very good at getting people to trust him, and lauren was no
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different. >> reporter: they dated just over a month when on october 9th police say mccluskey broke up with rowland after learning he lied about his age and was a registered sex offender and on october 13th, he said he or his friends were demanding $1,000 to not post compromising photos of her online. on october 19th, police launched a formal investigation. authorities say rowland, on parole, spent time on campus looking for lauren before confronting her in a parking lot monday while she was on the phone with her mother. mccluskey's parents quickly called 911. >> sounds like she's being attacked. >> reporter: police say rowland killed mccluskey then went to dinner with a woman he met online. hours later, he shot and killed himself. on campus, students are concerned. >> a lot of my friends have been really afraid. >> reporter: the university has awarded mccluskey a degree in communications. joe fryer, nbc news. there is more to come tonight including the warning about this season's deadly flu.
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an urgent alert from the cdc tonight warning everyone over the age of 6 months to get the flu shot. our dr. john torres explains. >> reporter: tonight a new report from the cdc finding that just 37% of americans got vaccinated against the flu last season. that low number a major reason for the nearly 80,000 flu deaths last year. >> this vaccine when given every year, which is what we recommend, does protect you. it prevents hospitalizations and deaths. >> reporter: jennifer miller nearly avoided tragedy six years ago after her daughter almost died from the flu. >> i will forever regret not getting her vaccinated. >> reporter: an important reminder as flu cases are already being reported. dr. john torres, nbc news. we're back with those who serve after this. package in a sea of mail?
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what postal workers in burlingame were told what to watch out for... plus, a man gets a call claiming
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his wife has been kidnapped. why he probably now wishes -- he had just hung up. next at 6. right now at 6: the bomb scare investigation finally, one hero with two callings. in one job he wears surgical scrubs, for the other, he wears a badge but both have something in common, saving lives and he's among those who serve. every day, this officer answers the or death decisions are made on the streets. >> how are you? >> for 100 hours a week, he leads a double life as a doctor, one of the nation's top trama surgeons. i don't know whether to call you doctor or officer. is that a common problem? >> it is. anything goes. kenji is fine, sir. >> four years ago kenji never imagined he would be called to
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duty outside the o.r. as vice chair of surgery at los angeles lacuac medical center, he was already teaching residents, training military doctors and saving lives. you see the price of violence firsthand on a regular basis, don't you? >> take care of gunshot wounds, knife wounds. there is a lot of violence out there. >> his is a rare view of l.a. and what he shared with lapd chief charlie beck that convinced him to join the force as a reserve officer. >> he's a miracle worker. >> two later he's chief of the dipd, the medical guardian of 10,000 officers. >> he's helped cops that have been shot. he's helped me with families that suffered traumatic loss including death. >> when people see you in a uniform, they see a weapon, they think of taking lives but your main job is to save lives. >> absolutely. >> in both roles. >> the uniform is different from scrubs. you're carrying a weapon but your primary role is to help others. >> one of l.a.'s finest in so many ways. that's "nightly news" for this friday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc
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news, thank you for watching and good night. suspicious packages showa postal facility on the ♪ right now at 6:00, the bomb scare investigation across the country is now hitting the bay area. suspicious packages show up at a postal facility on the peninsula and in sacramento. this as the fbi announces an arrest and issues a warning that this might not be over. good evening and thanks for being with us on this friday. >> we are learning a lot more about the man accused of sending these explosive packages. an amateur bodybuilder and former male stripper from south florida. he has an extinsive criminal record but seemed to have little interest in politics until donald trump ran for president. his name, cesar sayoc.
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he's been charged with five federal crimes. accused of mailing 14 packages, possibly more to some of president trump's most well known critics. his media accounts are full of posts supporting the president and blasting democrats including george soro he's been arrested before. he pleaded guilty. take a look at where the suspicious packages showed up. most of them right here on the east coast. the clintons, the obamas, former vice president joe biden. most on the east coast, but today workers found two packages in northern california. one addressed to senator kamala harris that showed up at the sacramento post office. the other at a mail facility addressed to democratic billionaire tom steyer. >> that's right. i can tell you


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