tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 28, 2016 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
breaking news tonight. panic at the capitol. police open fire at a man with a gun. chaos as thousands scramble to safety, and it's not the first time this suspect has triggered a major scare. stunning setback. the only person charged in the brussels bombings is set free amid a new plea for help about the mysterious man in white. playground massacre. a horrific rising toll as the taliban targets children celebrating easter. autism movie uproar. under fire, robert de niro pulls an anti-vaccine doc from his famed tribeca film festival, a new firestorm over a widely debunked link. and keyless car danger. deadly mistakes happening across america and one mother's chilling warning about how it
right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. much of the nation held its breath this afternoon at first word of gunfire ringing out at the u.s. capitol, wounding two people, sending tourists scurrying to safety and forcing government buildings into lockdown. it happened according to police after a tennessee man pulled out a weapon in the capitol visitors' center drawing fire from capitol police officers. nbc's peter alexander has late details. >> got to go. >> shooting at the u.s. capitol. >> reporter: terrifying moments at the capitol. inside the visitors' center panic. capitol police with guns drawn as tourists flee. >> this way. >> that way. >> get out of here! >> they said run. they told -- they told everybody to run. >> reporter: at the white house, entrances closed as a precaution
annual easter egg roll. police say the shooting happened shortly after 2:00 p.m. here at the entrance to the visitors' center on the east front of the u.s. capitol. when the man approached the screening checkpoint, a requirement for all visitors. >> the individual drew a weapon and pointed it at officers. an officer fired and struck the suspect. >> reporter: officials identify the man as larry dawson, age 66, from antioch, tennessee, well known to authorities. he was under a court order to stay away from the capitol. dawson was arrested last october after this outburst in the gallery overlooking the floor of the house of representatives. >> i am a prophet of god. >> reporter: a website for a community church in tennessee lists dawson as its pastor seen here advocating for a raise in the minimum wage. >> we believe that this is an act of a single person who has frequented the capitol grounds before, and there is no reason to believe that this is anything more than a criminal act. >> reporter: a woman in the visitors' center was also injured. the suspect was rushed
surgery. the visitors' center was built in part in response to another shooting here in 1998 where a mentally ill man shot and killed two capitol police officers. tonight law enforcement officials tell nbc news the suspect's weapon was a realistic looking pellet gun. today's scare came just hours after an active shooting driley here at the capitol. the chief of the capitol police says his system worked. lester? >> all right. peter alexander, thanks. turn now to the urgent manhunt overseas for the brussels terror suspect known as the man in white. we're getting a new look at him on security video just released today by police, and they are pleading again with the public for help in finding this individual. this as a man identified as the suspect by local media goes free. nbc's keir simmons has the latest. >> reporter: tonight a stunning setback for investigators. the only suspect accused of terrorist assassination, murder in connectwi
brussels attacked free. belgian media reported police favored faycal cheffou was the man in white seen in the newly released security video. now prosecutors say the evidence against him is not there. more questions for belgian investigators with the clock ticking. >> the belgian authorities are beleaguered. >> reporter: and tonight the manhunt for this suspect goes on. >> they are going to have to make a greer effort, but it will have to be a european-wide effort. it's not just one country. >> it looks like he's in disguise. >> reporter: we showed the video to a belgian analyst and isis expert who told us the man in white, with his hat and glasses, may have intended to escape. >> maybe this guy is just too important to get killed in the attacks. >> reporter: authorities conducting terror raids across europe over the weekend. meanwhile, the official number of americans who lost their lives, including justin and stephanie shults, rose to four today. >> they loved their families. they loved their friends. they were just so special, and they were so cute together. >> reporter: and tod
the victims of the attacks. among the congregation, first responders who treated the injured. ♪ prayers but few answers for families increasingly angry. >> all loved him. >> reporter: jim cane's daughter lost her husband alexander pinczowski at the airport. the former u.s. ambassador questioning europe's ability to stop attack. >> we all know that this attack could have been prevented. her husband could still be alive. there was information, intelligence that we knew these murderers were connected with isis. we know who the enemy is. >> reporter: authorities here acknowledge there was some indication that someone was coming but did not have enough specifics to head it off. meanwhile, plans to reopen the airport tomorrow have been delayed again. tomorrow morning, lester, will mark a week since the attacks. >> all right. keir, in brussels, not alone in their grief. the death toll rising in another unthinkable massacre overseas. at least 72 people are dead. half of them are children, and at least 320 others injured after a taliban suicide bomber blew
park right near a playground targeting christians as they celebrated easter in pakistan. nbc's bill neely is there. >> reporter: tonight the unbearable mourning has begun. a 16-year-old laid to rest, and she is far from even the youngest victim of the easter sunday horror. the bomb was felt by thousands. packed with shrapnel, it tore through a crowded park killing scores, most of them women and young children. >> translator: they were taking rides when the bomb exploded, he said. tiny shoes were blown off. tiny bodies shattered. >> reporter: 10-year-old sahad ali was badly injured, but he's lost his cousin, sisters, ten from his family. >> translator: what can be more painful, ask his uncle, than this?
has always been popular. packed during holidays, it would have been just like this. the suicide bombers' target was deliberate. families lining up to buy tickets for a train ride and christians celebrating easter. the bomber killed around 40 children, many christian, but most were their muslim friends. so many children dead and among the hundreds injured. hospitals overwhelmed. wounded parents in one and children in the horse. mohammed amin's wife is now in critical condition. his daughter still traumatized. she keeps screaming, bang, bang and crying for her mother, he says. a splinter group from the taliban did this. it once pledged allegiance to isis, but now murders independently. the park is now deserted, the rides abandoned and the carnage here haunting a troubled country.
tonight pakistan's prescription vowsed to avenge the bombing so an army crackdown is likely, but that has happened before and it hasn't stopped these islamist attacks. this is one of the worst in a country that feels itself in a long war. lester? >> painful images. bill neely tonight, thank you. back in this country there's growing backlash over what some call religious freedom laws and others call anti-lbgt discrimination. in georgia the governor has backed down saying he'll veto a bill that has generated a backlash from some of the biggest companies in america, but in north carolina the governor has already signed a similar bill there, and as nbc's janet shamlian reports, he says he's not budging. >> reporter: the stakes were high. with georgia's economic viability on the line, governor nathan diehl announced he'd veto a controversial religious rights bill. >> i do not think that we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based community in georgia.
legislation would have given businesses the right to deny service based on religious beliefs. diehl argued the bill went too far. for weeks major companies like coke, apple and hilton criticized the bill, and hollywood heavyweights, which generate more than $6 billion in georgia, threatened to boycott. comcast and nbc universal, our parent companies, also urged a veto. tonight disney among those cheering the decision, saying we applaud governor diehl and look forward to continuing our film production in georgia. but some lawmakers have threatened to challenge the decision. >> that the clear will of the people of georgia is in support of this legislation. >> reporter: a similar battle playing out in north carolina. >> governor mccrory, you have made a mess of our state. >> reporter: today a federal lawsuit filed over north carolina's new law limiting protections for gay and transgender people. like in georgia, major organizations like papal and the nba have led the backlash threatening to pull business. >> i don't agree with .
north carolina's governor on the hot seat. he says he's not backing down. >> and the common sense is not to have a government regulation telling business who they allow in what restroom. >> reporter: the battle over gay rights and religious freedom tonight being fought one state at a time. janet shamlian, nbc news, raleigh, north carolina. and another big battle appears to be over. there's late word of a major development in apple's battle with the fbi. the justice department is now withdrawing its legal action that was intended to force apple to unlock an iphone used by one of the san bernardino attackers. nbc's pete williams joins us right now. pete, why the turn about? >> reporter: because, lester, the justice department says tonight it has unlocked syed farook's iphone and extracted the data from it. farooq left it behind in a car. just a week ago the fbi said an outside party suggested a way to disable the phone's security feature so it could be unlocked by repeatedly guessing
there's no need to force apple to write software that would do the same thing, something that apple vigorously opposed saying that would jeopardize the security of all iphones. the fbi wants to know if others were involved in the shooting. officials tonight say the data extracted from the phone is encrypted and will take some time to decode, and now the fbi faces a dilemma. the government generally tells the tech community when it finds a vulnerability like this, but doing that could blend its usefulness in future cases. lester? >> pete williams, thank you. in the race for president, republican front-runner donald trump continues to fire shots at ted cruz in the feud over their wives but cruz today taking a new approach has tried to move beyond that nasty battle. let's get more from nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: new week, same rivalry, now playing out on the radio. >> joining me on the line -- >> reporter: donald trump versus ted cruz. >> he started it. if he didn't start it, it never would have happened. nothing like this would ever have happened. >> reporter: trump,
upset about that racy ad featuring a photo of his wife. >> he knew about it. somebody even said he's the one who bought the copyrights from "gq." >> reporter: the cruz team denies that and files show no payments from his campaign to british "gq" and cruz calls that a weird conspiracy theory even as the photographer who took the picture demand the group stops using it, and ignoring the back and forth, cruz refusing to engage. >> who cares. who cares what donald is tweeting late at night. we need real solutions for the real problems in this country. >> reporter: he's taking on trump not personally but on policy. >> and he has no idea how to keep america safe from radical islamic terrorists. so instead he yells and screams and curses and attacks people and threatens lawsuits and attacks their wives and attacks their families. >> reporter: campaigning through wisconsin cruz is talking national security and so is trump with "the washington post," still raising eyebrows
>> this was about isis. >> by the way, could i do one thing? this is a very good looking group of people. could i just go around so i know who the hell i'm talking to. >> sure. >> reporter: for these rivals the battleground now wisconsin where governor scott walker is set to make an endorsement announcement tomorrow. state eat pivotal primary just over a week away. hallie jackson, nbc news, rothschild. actor robert de niro has reversed course on a highly controversial documentary film and the prestigious tribeca film festival will no longer feature the film "vaxxed" which makes the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism. nbc's kate snow reveals the change of heart. >> reporter: acting legend robert de niro and the tribeca festival made an unprecedented decision to pull the film. >> we were delighted because it was a film that purported a discredited concept. >> reporter: de niro who has a child with autism said after conversations with experts they concluded
furthers the discussion i had hoped for. the film "vaxxed" makes the strong allegation that the centers for disease quote, knew that vaccines were actually causing autism. >> everything i've been telling my patients for the last ten years has been based on a lie and a cover-up. >> reporter: it was directed by andrew wakefield, the widely discredited researcher whose 1998 study in the british medical journal "the lancet" fueled fears about vaccines. the study was later completely retracked, and wakefield lost his medical license. in a statement about the film, wakefield said we have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth, but at least 15 studies, including an analysis of more than 1.25 million children, revealed no relationship between vaccination and autism. >> vaccines are a distraction. they divert energy, time and scientists' attention away from
valuable to helping children and families affected by autism. >> reporter: tonight autism experts say they are relieved to see wakefield's film pulled but frustrated he's still promoting debunked theories, misleading families desperate for answers. kate snow, nbc news, new york. there's a lot more to tell you about tonight, including a deadly mistake. a type of car system so many use to make life easier is also leading to life-threatening situations. also, the major announcement today from one of the biggest names in nascar. we'll be back. hair stylist starts with shoulder pain when... hey joanne, want to trade the all day relief of 2 aleve with 6 tylenol? give up my 2 aleve for 6 tylenol? no thanks. for me... it's aleve. feel free to be yourself all day.... just switch from denture paste to sea-bond denture adhesive seals. holds stronger than the leading paste all day... without the ooze. feel secure. be yourself.
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we're often reminded about the need for every home in america to have a working conditional i -- carbon monoxide alarm, but we rarely think that the danger could come from our own garage. now a warning from safety experts that keyless ignition systems so common in new cars today are leading to an increasing number of drivers who accidentally leave their cars running, filling their homes with deadly fumes. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: by her own admission, it was a careless almost deadly mistake. >> to see my son in my arms passed out from the lack of oxygen was a moment that i would never wish on anyone. >> reporter: constance pidto had just returned home still dialed into a conference call from work, distracted enough that when she pulled into the garage she forgot to push the button to shut down the car engine. over the next fi
their apartment above the garage. thankfully at 1:00 a.m. her son parker awoke screaming from an intense headache and dizzy and sick constant decided to drive them to the hospital. >> when i opened the garage door that's when i got hit with the you can heist. >> reporter: another wave of exhaust. >> reporter: a close call. firefighters said another 20 minutes could have been fatal. it's happened across the country. kids and cars.org reports as least 21 deaths and 39 non-fatal poisonings. and outside chicago the bodies of a husband and wife found by their son a firefighter. >> it's not just older drivers that are making the mistakes. we're finding younger drivers are also making the mistakes. >> reporter: it's an easy mistake to make especially if have you a key to be and there's no place to flung in. pull into garage and hit the park button but forget there's one more button to push and that's the engine stop button. i've got to say i've done it myself. safety advocates want an alarm or software patch to shut down unattended cars. >> at the end of the day what needs to happen is an automatic shutoff device. >> repor
regulators are studying the issue while the auto industry facing several lawsuits insists safety is a top priority and it's working to further develop best practices though some carmakers have already added a fix. constance is just glad she and parker learned to warn others. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with awe-inspiring images and why a flight warning has been issued over them. and why a fli
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could have a chance.
iminal justice reform, they named a center after him. and because education was his way out david offered it free to employees. and over 14 years ago began offering them partner benefits. evening the playing field has always been david's mission. in congress it'll be his job. it's not how you run, it's how you live. i'm
david trone and i approve this message. highlighting the risks of concussions in sports far beyond the football field, nascar superstar dale earnhardt jr. says he will donate his brain to science after he dies. he made the announcement on twitter after reposting a story about football players committing to do the same as doctor study the effects of concussion on brain disease.
enormous volcano eruption in alaska's aleutian islands the plume of ash began rights yesterday and is now as high as 37,000 feet. it stretches at least 400 miles per hour. the u.s. geological survey has issued a red aviation warning, the highest alert for planes flying through that region. when we come back, a former navy s.e.a.l. on a new mission to break a high-flying record.
finally tonoght, a retired navy s.e.a.l. who has broken sky diving records is flying high once again for an important cause. his extreme jumps have raised more than $100,000, but his sights are set on a million. nbc's miguel almaguer explains why the mission is so close to him in tonight's "making a difference" report. >> reporter: andy stump, a retired navy s.e.a.l., feels closest to those he lost as he soars through the heavens. he's here for them. it's why he jumps. >> it's so hard to describe the loss of somebody that that's close to you that's not your family. as far as i'm concerned he was my family. >> reporter: in 2007 stump lost his best friend jason lewis in the line of duty. the pair trained together, became s.e.a.l.s and then fought together and stood side by side in happy times.
that i made a promise to jason is that i would always be around to take care of his family. >> reporter: the navy s.e.a.l. foundation helps jason's family, so stump wanted to help the organization. his goal raise $1 million on go fund me, the challenge, set a world record for the furthest distance flown in a wing suit. at 36,000 feet where the temperature is freezing and you need oxygen. stump took the daring leap. soaring to 18 miles and the record thinking of jason and other families like special ops chief brad kavner. >> my brother brad was my best friend. >> reporter: andrea lost her brother two years ago. the navy s.e.a.l. foundation provides counseling, community and so much more. >> they promised that no one will ever be forgotten. >> reporter: stump is determined to keep raising money to honor other families like jason's. >> i'm just going to keep going until we get to $1 million. >> in three, two, one. see ya.
>> reporter: flying through the heavens, remembering those left and helping the families left behind. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san diego. >> we wish him many happy landings. 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. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good narrator: all that political mail might be overwhelming. let's simplify. only one
candidate has been endorsed by the washington post: kathleen matthews. as a journalist and progressive leader at marriott, she has a broad and deep facility with policy. emily's list praises matthews as pro-choice and the post says on gun control, clean energy, education and health research kathleen matthews
to move the ball forward." kathleen: i'm kathleen
matthews and i approve this message. you potentially could be back in the white house where you lived for eight years. what are you most excited about? >> if i today name one thing -- >> the presidential candidate's answer may just surprise you. and liz hernandez with a side of hillary clinton rarely seen. plus we know all about the tough