Eyewitness News at Eleven Sept. 16, 2013

10:45 PM, Sep 16, 2013   |    comments
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But first... We begin with what we know at this hour...about the deadly shootings today in our nation's capitol...

The location...was a naval command complex...

And 13 people are dead... Including the accused gunman, Navy veteran Aaron Alexis.

An official said a few hours ago, that Alexis purchased the weapons legally and very likely acted alone.

At least three people suffered non-fatal wounds, according to the hospital treating them.

They include a city police officer.

All three are expected to recover.

Tonight... we recap the days events... Through the eyes of those who witnessed things they'll never forget.

< As he came around the corner, he aimed his gun at us, and then he fired at least two or three shots. And, we ran down the stairs to get out of the building.

He went down the hall so we couldn't see his face so we could see him with the rife, but he aimed and fired at us and he hit high on the wall. Just as we were trying to leave.

We were just standing here and we heard two more gunshots, and we went down, and that's when he ran.

Just um, gunshots. Multiple gunshots. And someone yelled gun and we ran.

Everyone said, this is no drill. Go, go go. Emergency exits, now. Go. And a whole bunch of us were able to make it to the emergency exits. And we heard several more shots.

She heard gunfire?

She saw actually the guy shooting one of her coworkers?

We frozed up for a minute because we didn't know which direction to go into. And I'm like, I'm getting out of here. I'm running, I'm running. They were trying to keep us in the cafeteria and I said no, I'm running. All I could think about was my family. >

So who is the man accused of inflicting all this hurt?

Our Gannett partner, USA today... Has profiled him tonight...

Aaron Alexis was 34 years old and a Navy veteran

He had received two routine medals for his service... The National Defense Service Medal...and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

But according to Navy officials who spoke on condition of anonymity... He had a pattern of misconduct that included two prior shooting incidents in Seattle and Fort Worth.

Those were relatively minor incidents that damaged a car and an apartment, but resulted in no injuries.

Recently, he's split his time between Texas, New York, and Washington State.

He worked most recently for a military subcontractor.

A federal law enforcement official said he'd been living in a Residence Inn in Southwest Washington.

His Linked in Profile said... He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Friends report he practiced Buddhism.

They also say he was fluent in Thai.

One of Alexis's friend's ... Says he just can't believe the day's events.

<"I would never believe this until it happened. It would never of - ever of crossed my mind that he wouldn't be capable of something like that. He seemed like the typical - like a - like my own children they love weapons, they love to go to the range, things like that. He seemed like that kind of a guy. He seemed like the kind of guy that would just, you know, he liked to have weapons but he never acted like he would hurt anyone.">

You can read more...about today's events.. about those who lived...and about those who didn't, at 13WMAZ-dot-com.

And of course the coverage continues tomorrow on Eyewitness News and CBS This Morning.

In a major local story today...Five witnesses took the stand in day one of pre-trial hearings in the Steven McDaniel case.

He is the Mercer law school graduate accused in the killing and dismemberment of a former classmate...Lauren Giddings.

Katelyn Heck spent the day in the courtroom.

Lawyers for both sides questioned a judge...and then four police officers....about the evidence against McDaniel....and how it was developed.

Defense lawyers claim officers put McDaniel under constant supervision... Without reason or reading him his rights.

Jim McDonald... An investigator with the District Attorney's office... Said his job was to assist the police department... But he also described sitting with McDaniel for several hours while officers searched his apartment.

<you were assisting them by making sure that mcdaniel was in your sight. you were't assisting them by conducting searches right? 'that's correct.' You weren't assisting them with the dogs. 'that's correct.' you didn't go get the pizza. You're sitting with McDaniel. That's your job. 'I wasn't sitting there though like guarding a prisoner if that's what you're asking.'>

The defense motions also claim McDaniel was forced to sit in the detective bureau and police mobile command center... Guarded by officers.

But investigators argued McDaniel was free to leave whenever he pleased.

Defense lawyers want evidence from several searches...and McDaniel's interviews with police....kept out of the trial.

They argued that police did not properly execute the nine search warrants.

For example... When Sergeant Charles Whitaker searched McDaniel's apartment he found two keys...

<I started to search through the drawers and saw letters from someone named Lauren McDaniel. That's what was written on the card. I thought that was odd due to the victim's name being Lauren. I later learned that Stephen had a niece or a family member named Lauren. And then on top of the dresser I observed two house, apartment keys as I was moving papers and objects on the dresser>

Whitaker says he went to Giddings' apartment... tried the keys... And both of them unlocked her door.

Court documents say police later learned one was a copy of Giddings' key... And the other... A master key to the entire complex.

However... Defense attorney Frank Hogue says those were not included in the search warrant.... And questioned Whitaker's statement about how he found them.

<that's not how I read the report. That's not how I think it happened, but that was the testimony. That's where the judge comes in. He has to decide which is the way it happened. And then it has a legal affect. It can make a difference.>

Hogue says he plans to call a few more witnesses to the stand Tuesday morning... Mostly investigators.

After that... Both sides will argue the nearly 50 motions filed in the case... But Hogue says they could wrap up the entire hearing by the end of the day.

Katelyn Heck 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.

The trial is scheduled to start in January.

Tomorrow is election day for the new consolidated government in Macon-Bibb.

For the past three weeks... Many people took advantage of Early voting for the candidates for the new commission and the mayor.

But by the end of early voting... Up to 90 people had voted in the wrong districts.

As many as 788 were affected by problems at the Bibb Board of Elections... Based on what districts people thought they were in... And what district they were listed in according to the system.

The problem led to long lines and a lot of confusion.

But Jeanetta Watson... Says she doesn't expect the long lines... Nor any voter confusion... By the time the polls open tomorrow morning.

The express poll machines for every district include only the names of the people who are eligible to vote in that district.

There will be no voting at the Board of Elections.

You should go to your assigned polling place to cast a ballot.

The Yellow Cab company will offer free rides to people who want to get out and vote.

The free service starts at 7 A.M. and ends at 7 P.M.

Changes in federal air-pollution rules.... could put a Sandersville coal-powered plant on hold.

That's what a spokesman for Power for georgians said at a press conference today.

Jennifer Moulliet was there.

we don't know what it will mean or not mean.>

Dean Alford... Spokesman for Power for Georgians is referring to the new Green house gas rule... That could come out this week.

<it can make the project move forward it could slow it down or it could bring it to a halt until we know what the rules are it's hard to say ... >

Several published reports say the new Environmental protection agency rules are intended to block the production of new coal plants unless they use new... More expensive technology.... Something Katherine Cummings says... Plant Washington couldn't afford.

<it's a dollar and cents... How are they going to pay for it who's going to buy the product and this product is already too expensive>

She's not for the clean coal plant setting up shop in sandersville.

<the air quality issues, and the impact it would have on our community and our health none of that works out to be a benefit for us>

But Alford says the economic impact is beneficial to the community.

<1600 construction jobs, over 120 jobs at the site another 200 in surrounding communities probably overall about 500 jobs for the state so it's significant by all definitions >

Alford says they were expecting the new green house rules to come down in april... And would have been close to breaking ground on the plant.

< instead the president came out in june of this year and said we're going to start over so based on that we're having to go back to square one almost like it was april 2012 again. >

Power for georgia has asked the state for a permit extension... Until the new green house gas rules are revealed.... They can either grant an extension up to eighteen months... Or they can reject it.

In Washington County... Jennifer moulliet 13wmaz eyewitness news.

Alford says the E-P-A is projected to release green house rules for the existing coal power plants in october.

Over 1.5 million dollars in grants is bringing a new health clinic to Warner Robins Northside.

City officials are partnering with First Choice Primary Care to open the clinic on North Davis Drive.

It will serve everyone.. whether or not they have insurance status.

It will offer primary, non-emergency care... Such as x-rays, blood tests, and flu shots.

City leaders are deciding where on North Davis Drive the clinic will go.

Right now, they say they're leaning toward this empty chiropractic building.

People who live in the Northside say having the clinic nearby will be helpful.

it'll be better that you go to the clinic besides taking a trip all the way out to houston medical and not having a way back but. I do recommend it to everybody if you don't have a ride... Anybody can go to the health clinic >

City leaders hope to have the clinic up and running by January.

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