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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Sources: Boston Suspect Plotted to Behead Pamela Geller; Rescuers Cutting Into Sunken Cruise Ship; Police Zero In On Victim's Assistant in Mansion Murders; Baltimore Asks Feds for Help with Crime Wave. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 3, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:08] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, sources just telling CNN the Boston terror suspect plotted to behead a prominent person in New York. That person is my guest tonight.
Also breaking, the D.C. mansion murders with his story falling apart, the focus is now turning to the victim's assistant.
And the American woman tragically mauled to death by a lion. Her longtime friend is my exclusive guest. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening to all. I'm Erin Burnett. I want to begin OUTFRONT tonight with the breaking news. We are learning at this hour that the Boston terror suspect shot and killed by police had plotted to behead a prominent private citizen in New York, someone who had been the target of terror plots before. We can tell you at this hour now the person's name. That person is Pamela Geller who most recently organized the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas which ended in a deadly shootout. The suspect Usaama Rahim changed his mind and instead decided to target police. Pamela Geller is my guest tonight. She's going to join me in just a moment.
But first, I want to tell you everything we know about the story which is developing so quickly and so incredibly late tonight. In court today, a second suspect in Rahim's alleged terroring named David Wright, you see the sketch of him there, was charged with conspiracy and attempting to cover up evidence of the plan. Court documents revealed that Rahim had brought three military style knives from Amazon allegedly saying they would be good for, quote-unquote, "carving sculptures." Now we know Rahim was shot and killed by police while he was holding the knife that you see on your screen right there. That is the knife.
Pamela Brown is in Boston tonight beginning our coverage. And Pamela, you just broke the news about Pamela Geller as the target for a beheading. What can you tell us?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learned from law enforcement officials that Rahim, David Wright who was arrested and appear in court today and a third person met on a beach in Rhode Island in late May and discussed their plan to allegedly go to New York and behead the controversial figure Pamela Geller. She organized the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, where there was an attempted terrorist attack. And then we've learned from officials that Rahim changed his mind apparently and yesterday morning called David Wright and said he wanted to target police officers.
BROWN (voice-over): Tonight newly released court documents allege Boston terror suspect Usaama Rahim was about to go on a rampage to randomly kill police officers and he also was planning to behead someone in another state. These were plots Rahim and a second suspect arrested yesterday, David Wright, were planning. An FBI recorded phone call between Rahim and Wright lays out their plan to kill police officers using code words. You're attempting to go on a vacation I see. Yes, I'm going to be on vacation right here in Massachusetts. The FBI says Wright confirmed the attack was to take place yesterday or today.
Last Wednesday Rahim allegedly had a large black knife delivered to his home. He brags to Wright he got himself a nice little tool good for carving wood and like. They also separately planned to behead a victim in another state according to authorities using words such as like thinking with your head on your chest. Law enforcement officials believe that is a direct reference to terrorist beheading videos. Authorities have monitored Rahim for over two years and believe he was radicalized by ISIS. The FBI recently put him under 24/7 surveillance.
WILLIAM B. EVANS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: This guy required 24/7 surveillance so we thought the threat was severe enough that we had to approach him. We never expected what happened.
BROWN: With this information and a recent change of Rahim's behavior, officers and FBI agents approach Rahim. He suddenly turned around with a large black knife and lunged at them, authorities say. Police ordered him to drop the weapon before officers opened fire, killing him. Wright appeared in federal court today to face conspiracy charges. His neighbor told me this.
ANA CALAN, NEIGHBOR OF DAVID WRIGHT: The months that we have been here, every time, you know, we would say, hi, he just would look at you. He just would not say anything to you. It's just very eerie.
BROWN: And we have learned that the FBI is still investigating that third individual who allegedly was part of this beheading plot. But so far, we're told that no other arrests have been made. This investigation still very active -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. And Pamela Geller, the target of that planned attack, that planned beheading, joins me now on the phone, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and stop Islamization of America.
Pamela, look, thank you very much for coming on here and talking about this for the first time. CNN's reporting you were the beheading target. What's your reaction to that?
PAMELA GELLER, TARGET OF BEHEADING PLOT (on the phone): Well, they targeted me for violating Sharia blasphemy laws. They mean to kill everyone who doesn't do their bidding and abide by their law voluntarily. This is a showdown for American freedom. Will we stand against this savagery or bow down to them and silence ourselves? It won't end with me, no matter what happens to me or the cops. This is just the beginning. The one thing that's being ignored that came out of Garland, Texas, is that ISIS is here. Islamic terrorism is here. Now, will the media realize what's at stake and that their heads are next? Or will they continue to target me because they hate my message of freedom? That's the question.
[19:05:43] BURNETT: So Pamela, do you have extra security at this time? Obviously, you know, the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas, you were the ones behind that. There was obviously people died during that. There was a gun fight. Do you have extra security? Do you think that they'll going to target you again?
GELLER: A couple of corrections. A couple of people didn't die. The jihadists who came to slaughter hundreds of people were taken out as they shot at our police. That was the first thing. The second thing it was an art exhibit depicting Muhammad through the past 1400 years where he's been rendered in various pieces of artwork. And it didn't lead to slaughter. It's obviously being used now, modern jihadism is using these blasphemy laws and this violent intimidation to impose the sharia. Yes, of course, the answer to your question is since Garland, Texas, I've had an army of security. This is what is required just to show a cartoon in America 2015. It's striking. It's devastating. And people need to understand what's at stake. I mean, if we surrender on this point, then what will we surrender next?
BURNETT: So Pamela, you're talking about how you do have in your words an army of security now. On that draw Muhammad cartoon event in Texas, obviously, you know, some people see it very differently than you see it, right? You see it as an art event. They see it as showing pictures of the Prophet Muhammad who should not be drawn. You know, you obviously have done other things. You remember those ads on the New York City subways. You took the transit authority to court, you won. You were able to post some ads which included words like this, in any war between the civilized man and savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad. Are you surprised that there are some who would want to target you for words like that?
GELLER: I'm surprised that the media would side with those that would target me. Of course I'm not surprised they would target me. This is a war and they seek to impose the Sharia. The ads that I've done across the country were in response to vicious anti-Israel, anti- Semitic ads already running. And my question to you is, do we not want to defeat Jihad? I mean, what is wrong with those ads? There is nothing wrong with the cartoon. There is nothing about the cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. And if America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history.
BURNETT: Now, you know, the Southern Poverty Law Center as you are well aware has described your group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative as what they saw, quote, "is an active anti-Muslim group." They track hate groups in this country. They describe you as, quote, the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead. Again, they track hate groups. They're putting you on that list. Nothing justifies a beheading or a beheading plot. But it's important to note this. I mean, are you stoking the flames? Do you on some level relish being the target of these attacks?
GELLER: Relish being the target? Who self-promotes to get killed? That's the first thing. The second thing is, the Southern Poverty Law Center, really, Erin? Since when? Who designated them the arbiter of anything? They're an uber left group. They don't track jihadist groups, they don't track groups that actually target the slaughter. They track patriots. They track veterans. They track defense groups like myself. And their members have actually targeted and tried to slaughter family groups and leaders like Tony Perkins' family groups.
And even the shooter in North Carolina who shot three Muslims over a parking dispute was a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center. That's who you're using against me? Why don't we talk about the accomplishments and the accolades that my group got? Why do you use the Southern Poverty Law Center a notorious uber-left communist group to sly me, to smear me? I'm the hunted one. I'm the hunted one. This is incredible to me.
BURNETT: All right. As I said, I think nothing justifies a beheading, but I do think the question was a fair one. Pamela, I appreciate you very much taking the time to call in and talk to us tonight.
And I want to bring in Deborah Feyerick. Deborah, you just heard what Pamela had to say. Look, she has an incredibly strong point of view as they describe her. She's a flamboyant figurehead for the anti- Muslim movement. What's your view in terms of her saying the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn't track the other groups?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I've done a number of pieces on Pamela Geller. She was at the heart of the movement to stop building a mosque down at ground zero.
[19:10:23] BURNETT: Yes, very well known for that.
FEYERICK: Very, very vocal in terms of that, even though they had been a mosque nearby when the towers fell. So people were simply replacing it. Arguably critics will say that it's not free speech. It's hate speech and that hate begets hate. And so the fact that she was a target or potentially a target of this individual, that's exactly what happened in Garland, Texas. They saw what she was doing as inflammatory, as inciting. But the Southern Poverty Law Center, they track a whole bevy of groups, and they track hate groups. And she has also been linked to supremacists, white supremacists. And so, she is not above the criticism that is being leveled at her because of her own affiliations. So even if the Southern Poverty Law Center is a left leaning group, the scale goes the other way.
BURNETT: And what more are you learning about this beheading plot?
FEYERICK: Well, this is also very interesting. We know that Usaama Rahim the man who was shot and killed, he had a 15-inch knife. That he bought from Amazon.com. The FBI was able to intercept that package. They x-rayed it, they found the knife inside and then they had that very knife delivered to Rahim. Couple of days later he buys two more knives also on Amazon.com and those knives he received and he was planning on going to New York, we believe to killed this prominent individual. He changed his plan because he said the easier target to him was the men in blue, the police.
We have seen many warnings that police, military, law enforcement are all targets. But right now what we do know is that he had three extremely large knives on him and there's no indication from authorities that he had other types of weapons. We could learn that he did, but right now it's really the knives that were the weapon of choice.
FEYERICK: Completely modeling the ISIS pattern. How are you going to create fear? You're going to go after the disbelievers and you're going to use big knives to do it. These are the same people who think it's okay to rape women. They're also going to use the savagery of cutting somebody's head off.
BURNETT: Absolutely horrific. Nothing can justify it. All right. Thank you so much, Deborah Feyerick.
And next, a race against time. Rescue workers are drilling a hole into that ship desperately trying to find survivors from the camp site cruise ship in China. We're still in that window where they could find many survivors. We're live on the scene tonight.
Plus, breaking news. Investigators focusing on the victim's assistant in the D.C. mansion murders. A major development tonight.
And more breaking news. A desperate cry for help from Baltimore police tonight. The crime rate in Baltimore spiraling out of control.
[19:16:22] BURNETT: Breaking news. Rescuers now taking desperate measures in a race to save hundreds of people after their cruise ship they were on sank the clock is ticking. Crews are now at this hour, we'll show you these images here, they're cutting a hole in the bottom of that Chinese ship which capsized on Monday. Their hope is that they're going to find passengers trapped in an air pocket. Nearly 400 people are on the ship. It's only in 50 feet of water. We're still within the window of finding survivors. We've seen rescuers with their ears literally pressed up against to the hull of the ship trying to listen for passengers tapping or calling for help. They have heard that in prior hours.
Ivan Watson is OUTFRONT tonight in China.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A ray of hope. Rescue workers drilling through the hull of the capsized cruise ship as the search for survivors continues. This is the eastern star cruising down the Yangtze River just minutes before the ship carrying more than 450 passengers and crew ran into a violent storm. Survivors describe rain pounding the ship with such force that water seeped into cabins. One man said he only had 30 seconds to grab a life vest and get out.
Today there's increasing anger from some family members, frustrated over a lack of answers from officials. These families walk for more than four hours coming just a few hundred yards from the river before a line of police block their path. But there is reason to hope more survivors will be found aboard the ship that capsized nearly 60 hours ago. Two years ago, a cook on board a capsized Nigerian tug boat survived 60 hours before his rescue. His lifeline, a small pocket of air.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Just reassure him, give him a thumbs-up and reassure him.
WATSON: The eastern star's captain was pulled from the water downstream from the wreck, according to one Chinese newspaper. He and the first engineer are in custody. So far, no charges have been filed against them. But after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy in 2012 killing 32 people, the captain of that ship also survived, ultimately he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Chinese social media is also comparing the wreck of the Eastern Star to a South Korean vessel that sank last year, killing more than 300 people, many of them high school students. Again, the captain survived. Video showed him leaping to safety as hundreds remained trapped on board. He has since been indicted for murder. But in both the Italian and South Korean cases, bad weather was not a factor.
BURNETT: And Ivan, what are families saying about the progress of the search effort? Obviously, you know, we know that this is in deep water. We know that there could be major air pockets. We know we're within the window they could find survivors. There's nearly 400 people there. They can't be satisfied with the way things are going.
WATSON: Erin, we met families that were furious. Dozens of relatives who either their parents were on board of this boat or their spouses, and they paid their own way traveling some ten hours on a bus and then when we encountered them, they were confronting a local government official, calling him a liar to his face. And then we saw this incredible scene filed off the bus and started marching out of town asking locals which way to the river. And we followed them for more than four hours through this police checkpoint right here where there are a wall of police officers. It was before midnight. And the relatives, they just broke through and they were yelling, how would you feel if it was your parents on board that boat? These people were so desperate, so upset that they were determined to get as close as possible to the wreck to see with their own eyes the search and rescue operations, and many of them were very critical of the government and its efforts thus far -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ivan. Live in China. And I want to go right now to Captain James Staples, a retired
merchant marine captain who's very familiar with the Yangtze River where this cruise ship is under water. And let me ask you Captain, right now they're using these blow torches, you know, we had that video right of the blow torch trying to cut through the hull. Obviously they're doing this now as a point of desperation. They know they could, you know, cause pressure issues but they're trying to do anything they can. What are the dangers of cutting a hull open like this?
[19:21:02] CAPTAIN JAMES STAPLES, RETIRED MERCHANT MARINE CAPTAIN: Well, Erin, I see two dangers immediately. One is the, if they cut into a tank or some type of ballast tank or fuel tank, we always have the possibility of an explosion or a fire. So they've got to be very positive of where they're actually cutting into on this vessel. You just can't start cutting steel because you hear noise because, you know, noise comes from different areas of the ship. But we need to be very careful of that. And then we need to be careful about purging that area of the air and having the hole that get filled up with water to where the buoyancy the ship is going to be less than what it is now and possibly creating the vessel to sink even deeper.
BURNETT: I mean, what is your honest assessment of the situation here, though? I mean, you know, again, we're talking about nearly 400 people. There have only been 14 survivors that we've confirmed here at CNN. Nearly 400 people on that ship. We don't know if there are a few alive, many alive. We don't know. We do know that after the ship sank, when they were tapping on the hull, there were responses. There are people alive in that ship. Are they going to be able to rescue any of them?
STAPLES: Well, again, I mean, we've got to look at the clientele on board. You know, we're looking at people between 50 to 80 years old so they weren't moving very quickly to get to any place that they could have been saved. It would only probably be the people in the lower portion of the vessel, the engineering department most likely that's down there that was working in the engine room. Unfortunately it sounds like most people were probably in their cabins probably at the time. And when the vessel went around so quickly, they were probably flung to the overhead and they had no way to get out. Because they probably lost all the lights and different things like that, with tables floating around and bottles moving around. You know, we don't ever want to give up hope that there's still some survivors.
STAPLES: But, you know, grave is the word. This is a grave, grave situation.
BURNETT: Well, among those 14 survivors are the captain and the chief engineer. Now, we've seen this in recent ferry disasters, right, where you know, you saw the Costa Concordia, you saw it with the sea wall last year in South Korea, captains survive. In a couple of those cases now, facing life in prison. Very serious things. We don't know what's going to happen in this case. We just know they're being questioned, but they say the ship was hit by a tornado and that it flipped almost immediately. When you look at pictures of the ship from before the accident, you're skeptical that that's what happened. Why?
STAPLES: Well, I'm skeptical it might have been a tornado. I think it might have been more like what we call a microburst. There were several, several thunderstorms in the area so I think possibly he might have had a microburst that happened and possibly maybe a tornado. But, you know, for a tornado to come up that quickly like that, it seems more probable that it was a microburst is what I would say.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time very much. Thank you, sir.
STAPLES: Thank you.
BURNETT: I mean, as we said, Captain Staples there. And OUTFRONT next, stunning new details at this hour in the D.C. mansion murders. Officials now looking at the victim's assistant. Why is he story changing?
And crime in Baltimore out of control. Police saying thieves have stolen enough drugs to keep the city, quote, "intoxicated for a year." And tonight they're asking the feds to step in.
[19:28:06] BURNETT: Breaking news. Investigators zeroing in on the victim's assistant in the quadruple D.C. mansion murders. Officials looking at cell phone records of the man who was Savvas Savopoulos' assistant. Tonight we can identify him to you for the first time, his name is Jordan Wallace. Wallace had previously lied to police about his actions on the day of the murders. Now, Savvas Savopoulos along with his wife, his 10-year-old son and housekeeper were murdered inside their home.
Joe Johns is OUTFRONT.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, tonight police are identifying Savvas Savopoulos' assistant as Jordan Wallace who was hired in recent months as a driver for Mr. Savopoulos. Newly released court documents suggest investigators continue to be interested in Wallace, who allegedly dropped off $40,000 in cash just hours before the family was killed and their home set on fire. Police say after Wallace changed details of his story surrounding the drop-off of that money, they got a court order to retrieve his telephone records. Also in the documents, police seem to lay out how they believe the crime that ended with this fire began with a break-in at the Savopoulos home.
Investigator say, they found evidence suggesting whoever held the family and kept their housekeeper hostage before shaking them down for money may not have been invited in. Court documents also say, side doors when the House had, quote, "a single broken windowpane. The door is broken near the lock and a shoe or boot print is visible on the exterior, suggesting forced entry." Tonight police are still holding 34-year-old Daron Wint who was arrested two weeks ago while apparently on the run. Court records say in addition to Wint's DNA found on pizza crust at the scene, they found the blood of at least one of the victims on Wint's shoe. Wint remains the lone suspect, but police say they believe he had help.
HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I'm sure that the police, although they're tight-lipped, have some
[19:30:00] other suspects involved that they believe are involved in this case, and they are trying to track information down to link them to Wint. And that's why it's probably taking some time.
JOHNS: Investigators also got court orders to retrieve the phone records of Mr. and Mrs. Savapoulos and of the housekeeper Vera Figueroa, all of which police say have not been uncovered. Still unclear who police believe may have helped to commit these crimes, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Joe, thank you very much.
OUTFRONT now: our legal analyst Paul Callan, and Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic scientist.
So, Paul, police are zeroing in on a new person. I mean, this is a significant development today, the victim's assistant, Jordan Wallace, Joe was just telling us about him. They say he lied about when and how he was told how to get the money. He lied about where the money was, right, was it in an envelope, was it -- where was it? And then he lied about the victim's car being locked.
Why would you lie about anything in this case? That's the question here.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I'm sure police are saying, if you are lying, it's an indication of a consciousness of guilt. Obviously, if he was making something up and trying to change the way the money was gathered, very, very important fact. You know, the money ultimately is ransom money, which may be traceable. And if it turns up in his hands or somebody else's hands it would be devastating evidence.
BURNETT: Now, according to the documents, Jordan Wallace, the assistant, he didn't just get the money himself. He actually got the money from Savapoulos' accountant, that involves another person -- another person who seemingly got a request for $40,000 in cash, handed it over, no questions asked, didn't call the police, didn't say anything. I mean, either Savapoulos asked for this kind of thing all the time or this is another person, why didn't they raise a red flag?
PAUL: There's a third possibility that might make him innocent. It could in fact be that he the accountant thought that his boss was being held and was going to be killed if the police were contacted.
BURNETT: Ah, OK.
PAUL: And for that reason, it's possible that he would have done this.
But we have to see if he's changed his story. See, Wallace is different because he's changed his story. Why would you change your story? That suggests consciousness of guilt possibly.
BURNETT: And we are talking, of course, about the fact that, Lawrence, the police are saying there were other people involved other than Daron Wint, right? That's why they're focusing in on the assistant. They're focusing in on others as well.
Now, we just learned late today that blood from one of the victims was on the prime suspect Daron Wint's shoe. On his shoe a week after the murders.
So can I just ask you, how surprised are you to hear that, that the blood would still be on the shoe?
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Not at all. In the commission of a bloody crime like this, you're going to leave trace evidence. You're going to pick up trace evidence.
BURNETT: And you can pick it up a week later, walking around in a shoe? Wow.
KOBILINSKY: We can pick up a blood stain that you can't even see with the naked eye. That's the sensitivity of the testing. To do DNA analysis to tell whose blood it is, all you need is 15 cells of DNA. That's something you can't even see with the naked eye.
BURNETT: Fifteen cells. That's all you need.
KOBILINSKY: That's all you need. Or we could be dealing with stains that you can't even see with the naked eye.
BURNETT: Even if he thought he washed his shoe off or something like that in Clorox.
KOBILINSKY: Clorox is another story. That could actually do some damage to DNA.
But the bottom line is, criminals don't realize that we've got a lot of skills and technique that we can apply to a situation like this.
BURNETT: So, they keep saying there were accomplices, right, but they haven't arrested others. Now, they're honing in on this assistant as one person as we were talking about with Paul. They say there were other people in the house with Daron Wint.
So, my question with you is, why don't they have the DNA to arrest anyone? You'd think at this point they'd have a lot of DNA manufacture well, the evidence collection team, just from experience, they have to know what to collect.
Remember, there was an arson. A lot of DNA evidence could have been destroyed. Certainly, if you have anything, a glass that somebody may have had fluid from, drank out of, there is DNA there.
So, I mean, there may very well be some DNA profiles, partial profiles, not enough information to actually make an arrest. But perhaps they are investigating other people based on what they found in the house. We don't know.
CALLAN: There are two parts of it.
BURNETT: Daron Wint's DNA was in the system because he'd been charged with someone else.
BURNETT: Right. Now, Paul, they're also hunting for the victims' cell phones, because they're all missing, the housekeeper and mother and father. We presume those are the three cell phones they have. How crucial is finding them be? If they're missing, that would mean somebody hid them on purpose.
CALLAN: It absolutely would. They make specific reference, by the way, I find it interesting, to the wife's, to Amy's cell phone, saying that that one because that got some critical text messages concerning the ransom money.
So, if they know the cell towers from which those messages were broadcast, it's going to give a geographical hint as to where the suspects are.
BURNETT: All right. It could be very significant. They say there's other people involved and as of yet, no arrests. But the big news tonight, they're looking very carefully at that assistant.
Thanks so much to both of you.
[19:35:00] And OUTFRONT next, more breaking news on Baltimore. Crime there so bad police today are desperately calling for help from the feds. We're going to tell you exactly what they're saying is on Baltimore City streets tonight. It's shocking.
And a tragic twist in this story. The woman mauled to death by a lion. She was in Africa to fight against big game poaching. And my guest tonight, someone who knew her and her passions very well, a longtime friend.
BURNETT: Breaking news: Baltimore police begging for help. A city in chaos with crime at record highs pleading for federal intervention tonight. The police commissioner from Baltimore late today comes out with this damning admission. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BATTS, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: There's enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Miguel Marquez is OUTFRONT.
Now, Miguel, murders surging nearly 50 percent, drugs everywhere, you just heard the police commissioner. What else did he say?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he talked, in connection to what he talked about in the press conference and what we just heard him say, that's what he says is from pharmacies that were looted during the rioting after the death of Freddie Gray.
[19:40:01] Twenty-seven pharmacies, hundreds of businesses were looted, 27 pharmacies he says, and there's enough prescription drugs out there causing some of this violence. What Baltimore police are not saying is why they believe the prescription drugs are causing the violence. Do they get more money on the street? Are they somehow being fought over more than other drugs?
The big concern I think is the gangs and the street level violence, those already existing open air drug markets in Baltimore where they weren't in business during the rioting and the worst of it. And for some time after that because there were so many police on the street. And that seems to be the main driver of the violence here -- Erin.
BURNETT: And, Miguel, the police union says the Freddie Gray case has made police in Baltimore afraid to do their job, right? They said fear of being arrested being called racist, fear of their own safety.
Now, a police commissioner asking for federal government intervention. How unprecedented is it?
MARQUEZ: It's happened before in specific cases, even in Baltimore, it's happened before. But the question is, what exactly he wants these extra forces to do? Does he want them to investigate?
Baltimore needs police on the ground. Many police officers telling us they're doubling up, tripling up, quadrupling up, just responding to 911 calls. And that's shrinking the number of police and the ability for them to punch into these neighborhoods and provide any force there.
So, it is not clear what this plan is other than an all-out call for help from everybody and anybody. One thing that was interesting about that press conference today, the slew of federal and law enforcement officials there, nobody from the mayor's office and nobody from the Baltimore state's attorney's office, two of the main movers in that city. Not there at the chief's big press conference -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Miguel, thank you. Obviously, that's a very significant part of this as well.
Well, next, we are learning much more tonight about the American woman mauled to death by a lion. OUTFRONT tonight, her longtime friend.
And Jeanne Moos on the rescue of a French skier. This is a video you will have to see for yourself.
[19:46:13] BURNETT: Tonight, we are learning that the American tourist fatally mauled by a lion in South Africa was there on a volunteer mission to help big game animals. It's a tragic end to the life of Katherine Chappell of New York who CNN has learned was taking photos of lions through an open car window at a wildlife park when a lioness attacked her. In a moment, we're going to be joined by his close friend.
But, first, Jean Casarez is OUTFRONT with the latest.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The brutal death of American tourist Katherine Chappell came as the 29-year-old was traveling on a volunteer mission in South Africa. Her family said she loved animals and hired an independent guide to take her on a tour of the lion park outside of Johannesburg, where they advertise super close-up views guaranteed.
According to the tour company, their windows were closed, but Chappell had a camera and of her own accord rolled down the passenger window in order to take photographs, even though it was widely posted, "Notice, keep windows closed at all times."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lion approached from the left of the car, which is the passenger side here in South Africa. The lion walked to within about a meter of the car and sort of laid down and was watching them. And from what the witnesses say, it then lunged at the car.
CASAREZ: Other visitors started honking, but it was too late.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It bit the lady, and the man who was sitting in the driver's seat then tried to sort of fight the lion off. He punched it and tried to get it away.
CASAREZ: The tour company says the 66-year-old guide suffered serious injuries to his arm, and when the lion retreated he saw that the tourist had sustained extremely serious injuries. She was bleeding profusely from her neck. He tried his best to stop the bleeding and save her life.
But even with ambulances rushing to the scene, Chappell couldn't be saved and was pronounced dead.
Chappell from Rye, New York, graduated from Hofstra University on Long Island in 2008. Her young career was just taking off with visual effects credits for "Captain America", "Godzilla," and the television series "Game of Thrones."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just a shame. She had a great career. If you're on vacation, you should be able to enjoy life.
CASAREZ: Family members describe Katie as "a brilliant, kind, adventurous and high-spirited woman. Her energy and passion could not be contained by mere continents or oceans."
BURNETT: Jean, she was obviously so passionate. I know there were dispute about how many windows were down in the SUV. Was it just Katherine's or more?
CASAREZ: Well, when you enter the reserve, they give you a flyer. And it says, "Notice, do not roll down your window."
A source close to what happened says that the flyer was found to the right of her passenger's seat. And witnesses there say that all the windows, the passenger and the driver who was the independent tour operator, his window was down, too.
BURNETT: He would have known.
CASAREZ: Correct, he as you saw in the story said, that the windows were up and she on her own rolled the window down. So, it's an issue and it's a minor issue because it's her we care about and a life lost, but it makes it even sadder.
BURNETT: Oh, it sure does. Especially given that she was there to try to build awareness for these big cats.
All right. Thank you so much, Jean.
I want to bring in Geoff Yong, a longtime friend of Katherine's. And the two of them spoke just weeks ago.
Geoff, look, this is horrible. I'm so sorry for you and for your friends to lose your friend. You had spoken to her just before she went on this trip. What did she say?
GEOFF YONG, FRIEND OF KATHERINE CHAPPELL: I mean, she is just a beautiful person in general, and she was always excited to talk about anything that she was involved with, whether it was work related or personal life. And I spoke to her a few weeks prior to her leave for her trip. And she was telling me how excited she was to be able to actually, you know, get to take on such a momentous task, you know, kind of on her own.
[19:50:05] She was, you know, paying everything out of her own pocket and willing to donate all the money to charity just, you know, for the opportunity, to get to be alongside these beautiful creatures and to see something that most of us don't really get an opportunity to, you know, take the time in life to do and see. And it's really tragic how to hear how, you know, what was supposed to be a great, you know, Instagram worthy type event in her life turned out to end up taking it. It is still jarring and shocking to hear even now.
BURNETT: She told you about how she wanted to take pictures on this trip to raise awareness about these animals, right?
YONG: Absolutely. Yes. She was really, really passionate about, like, just making other people aware of the things that are interested her. And, fortunately, she had a passion for all animal life and this was something she was really excited to be on, just to, you know, take all these great photos and, you know, get up close and personal and hopefully show people, you know, the same passion she had through photographs. And, you know, it's really unfortunate that it happened so quick that she didn't get a chance to fully experience all that she wanted to.
BURNETT: And what do you think happened? The window would have been open? She was just so passionate she just wanted that perfect shot, the window had dirt on it, just something like that?
YONG: Unfortunately, coming from filmmaker and story maker background as well, it's like sometimes we have to go above and beyond to get particular shots that we are looking for and the great moment that captures everything you're looking for and sometimes we do take safety as a secondary and such in this case keeping the windows open. Unfortunately, I was not really there to say what happened, but I'd imagine she did it within safe reason to get the photo not realizing how the animal is going to react at the last minute. But, you know, it's the "should have, would have, should have", and it's really unfortunate that's how she had to pass, you know?.
BURNETT: She's only 29 years old when she died. What would you want people to know about her? You've known her for ten years.
YONG: Yes, about. She's just a beautifully open spirit. She just loved laughing. And she enjoyed partying as much as she loved working, and, you know, she was always out and about, willing to do something obscure and different just for the experience. Whether it's, you know, a college play event, or, you know, tripping to Johannesburg, to, you know, be part of a volunteer organization, or -- you know, even little things such as being a fanatic of sci-fi and anime. She followed a lot of different things.
She has a lot of different hobbies, and a lot of people that she's touched. A lot of people she's worked with. A lot of people that, you know, have seen stuff she's taken photos of or written on online -- she's going to be sorely missed. She had a lot to offer.
And forget to say it to a lot of people, just be happy and open with the friends you have and all of the things they do because they touch your lives in different ways even if it's on a minor scale and Kate is definitely one that wants to reach out to others always.
BURNETT: Well, Geoff, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
YONG: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: And next, Jeanne Moos with what an Alpine skier and a thousand pound Georgian bull have in common.
[19:57:41] BURNETT: It is true that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Here's Jeanne Moos with the story of two rescues.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a tale of two rescues -- man and beast.
First the man, a Frenchman wearing a helmet cam. He was skiing last behind his friends in the Swiss Alps when the snow swallowed him up.
Benjamin Spilthooren fell once and then once again, into a crevasse.
BENJAMIN SPILTHOOREN, SKIER TRAPPED IN CREVASSE: I was the hole, a big, dark hole. And I was very scared.
MOOS: He started yelling help in French.
But once he was able to secure himself from falling further using an ice screw, Benjamin calmed down. His fingers were too cold to use them to whistle properly.
Less than 20 minutes after he fell in, I heard what turned out to be another group of skiers near the crevasse.
"Can you hear me? I'm here."
They did. And down came a rope -- which brings us to another rope, another rescue.
While Benjamin used his rope to climb out, the bull on the end of this rope resisted. A half ton pit bull named Boy fell into an old well overnight in Fulton County, Georgia. They dug a ramp so Boy could walk out but he refused.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's taking a nap right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He thinks he's at the Hilton because he brought him water and food and now, he's laying there.
MOOS: Within half an hour of his fall, Benjamin was reaching for the hand of a Swiss guide to help him out.
(on camera): What is the first thing you said?
SPILTHOOREN: Thank you, thank you very much.
MOOS (voice-over): Benjamin was choppered out, uninjured, while a news chopper hovered above Boy the bull. After being in the well ten hours, a large animal rescue team hoisted him out with a crane and this tale of two rescues, the one with the tail seemed a lot less grateful.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Boy the bull.
All right. Thank you so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT. You can watch us any time.
I'll see you back here same time, same place tomorrow.
"AC360" with Anderson Cooper, though, begins right now.