tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN September 1, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
small smaller, the protesters are more aggressive, and this shows no signs of dying down. will ripley, cnn, hong kong. good afternoon. thank you so much for sticking with me this sunday. i'm fredericka whitfield. we're covering two big breaking stories today. hurricane dorian, a category 5 storm making landfall in the bahamas. new details about the track in just a moment. but first we have new information about the mass shooting in west texas that claimed the lives of seven victims yesterday. the latest victim included a 17-month-old girl who was hit by shrapnel and survived. and mary granados who's a postal worker who was shot during the hijacking. the gunman took her vehicle, shot and killed her. frustrated officials in texas wrapping up a press conference a short time ago. >> i'm heartbroken by the crying
of the people of the state of texas. i'm tired of the dying of the people of the state of texas. too many texans are in mourning. too many texans have lost their lives. the status quo in texas is unacceptable. >> police say the gunman acted alone using an a.r.-style weapon. cnn's ryan young is tracking these developments. ryan, officials updating some of the conditions, leaving a lot of unanswered questions, but at least stressing that the investigation is intensifying. >> reporter: yeah, fred. and one of the things that stood out to us, that i talked about executing a search warrant as we speak, so hopefully we'll get more information about that search warrant, but something i want to zero in on as well. when we were talking to some people outside of this area, just citizens, that i are scared. in fact, hayed two women tell me, what do you do? how do you protect your family
when something like this happens? this was a mobile shooter. when people were talking about it, that i had no idea where to go. that real fear sat out in the community. the real fear was realized when they found out it was one shooter. that's eased some people. we're not sure what the police have been able to find out. when you talk about a traffic stop, that's something everyone has been drilling down. you have officers pull someone over for not making a proper turn signal and all of a sudden with a high-powered rifle shots are being fired at officers, and then the scary part, moving toward a movie theater. you had exasperated members of law enforcement sort of talk about they'll be ready for the neck one, but a lot of people pouring their heart and their prayers to the 17-month-old who was hit during that gunfire and something the governor brought up.
>> this is all of our worst nightmare, but thank god she's alive and relatively well. she goes on to say that toddlers are funny because they can get shot but still want to run around and play. she says that we are thanking god for that. her mouth is pretty bad but will heal and can bef fixed. thankfully it doesn't seem like her jaw was hit. just lip, teeth, and tongue. she is having surgery tomorrow to remove the shrapnel from her che chest. >> reporter: we're talking about a child here and obviously an innocent child involved in this. you think about the other victims involved in this and the brave law enforcement officers who responded to the call to stop the shooter. that dramatic video that's been playing ore and over all throughout the internet, people watching howl this all broke
down, this has left a lot of people shaken. i think the most tense moment back and forth with the governor was people asking about the investigation and the ar-15. there was a little pushback there. we're hoping in the next 30, 40 minutes we'll get more information from the police department. let's forget it's not been 24 hours yet, but hopefully they identify the shooter. hopefully we can get more information. you can understand, fred, there are a lot of people taking a long look at this, especially after what's happened in the last month. i think the thing that stood out is the fbi officer saying we'll be ready for the next one. that's sort of terrifying to hear. >> very ominous, very frightening. while the police chief is saying while they know the identity of the gunman, he said he wouldn't give him the notoriety. he refuses to. all right. ryan young, thank you so much. the question so many have, why did this happen? cnn crime and justin reporter shimon prokopez.
shimon, do you know if police know? >> i don't know if they know what sparked this. but it's important to me when the head fbi guy chris combs when he was talking and the local officials, they're not entirely ruling out the possibility that the gunman planned this entire thing. there was some concern when they were speaking at the press conference that he was heading to this movie theater, sinnergy movie complex in odessa to perhaps continue his shooting spree, to target more people. just imagine what that would have been like. there is the possible of perhaps police stopping him, maybe they prevented a much worse attack. i think all of those questions are still in the air. a lot still needs to be answered, and i don't think they know 100%. i think they're working on different theories and different possibilities, and they're not ruling any of this out, but it's very clear. when you think about how this
attack took place, how this all began, those key questions, he was driving. police say they pulled him over because he failed to indicate that he was shifting lanes and for a turn signal. they pull him over. he has this rifle aimed through the back window, and as he's rolling away, as the police officers come out of their vehicle to approach his vehicle, he's rolling away and then opens fire on the officers. the fact that he had this weapon so easily accessible and ready, i think that's something that's certainly adding to some concern by law enforcement that maybe this was all planned, and that's the big question, i think, at this point. >> wow. what an extraordinary circumstance that the instinct of the officer to pull him over for what police officials described was a routine traffic stop, a failure to use a signal with the appropriate distance, and that stop would have them
zero in on someone who was poised do real harm to a lot of people. >> yeah. >> and then actually did that. >> yeah. and i think that's something that we have to consider here, and hopefully police will be able to get the answers to that. and could this stop? could this by chance perhaps -- we don't know enough yet really about this traffic stop. but could this traffic stop have prevented a much worse situation? we have seen this happen before when law enforcement instincts, they see something wrong, they go in, they talk to someone, they pull someone over, an then day stop perhaps a much worse situation. and hopefully police will be able to, the fbi through all their work and local law enforcement, again, the texas rangers -- i think the fbi made a very good point there. they've spent a lot of time working with the texas rangers. they're very good at these investigations, so hopefully within the next few hours we can get some more answers and learn more -- look. i think everyone here wants to
know more about the shooter because it can help us understand perhaps motive and what was going on in this person's mind. >> and that kind of information used to help prevent something else. >> sure. >> you know, involving someone else. >> right. and that is something, i think, we're going to learn in a short time. i also want to note -- i know a lot has been made slrn i in the last hour about why didn't police identify this individual at the press conference. chris combs, the special agent in charge of the fbi is well known in the fbi and in law enforcement as the guy who always insisted that -- and he started a campaign, this no name campaign in terms of mass shootings. he did not want shooters' names in mass shootings. he just felt it gives them notoriety that they shouldn't have, and that has always been the concern here. so i think that is what we saw during that press conference is officials not wants to name him because they don't want to give him the notoriety, but i think that i ooher going to be coming with his name soon. >> and then there are others who
say you've got to strike a balance because, you know, erasing that identity or concealing that identity could also sanitize, you know, the pers person, you know, and what they did, especially the heinous act they did. you've got to strike a balance. shimon, thank you so much. i want to bring in an active shooting expert gin kim. thank you so much. what wstruck you in the press conference about what was revealed and what was not revealed. >> first and foremost i want to express my condolences for the people whose lives were lost and this tragic pandemic that we have, growing pandemic that we have in this country moving forward. they were -- they were. they gave enough information. i'm quite surprised they did not a this point reveal who the offender is. i support the campaign.
i support it all together. at one point it should be sooner than later, the community deserves to know who this is. my only thought would be that they're still trying to confirm 100% who this offender is and everything about him before they send that information out to the public. >> and is it your -- is it your feeling that it is perplexing that they wouldn't? you do understand the reasoning on notoriety, but we had a law enforcement expert on earlier, juliet juliette kayyem there is a need to know so people are clear about who it was, what the motivation was, and how that kind of knowledge helps you identify anybody else's potential out there and it can be potentially damaging when you don't reveal enough about a
gunman. >> yeah. exactly. that may be the point. right now the fbi and postal inspector police are part of this investigation moving forward, one being federal. unfortunately a federal postal office worker lost her life. on top of that, they're looking diligently at every turn right now to not only understand and identify co-conspirators and any information they may have had at the time. this event is not one of your typical shooter events we're so used to unfortunately in this country. what has happen and what we're used to is a confined location where the offender has some type of fortified grievous toward a location or brand and to execute that retribution toward that and
manifest it in violence. what's scary in this and watching the coverage yesterday is when the offender went mobile, that really, really, really heightened and brought this problem to another level. >> yeah. in fact, the police chief underscored that. he said, you know, this is a different type of tirch shooter because he was mobile. help underscore the challenges, you know, for law enforcement to stop this and stop him in motion like this. >> yeah. and i'd like to hopefully know how this all started and deconstruct this and find out why that happen, and then you've got to think that offender made a conscious decision right there to murder two dps officers and then take off from there. what was going through that person's mind if he was on that escalation toward violence or the pathway toward violence, if he was en route to some plausible other any fanefarious
or what happened. we don't know. i high pocket size this. more than likely he wanted to get away, and these random shootings that occurred toward these ran document innocent victims were to maybe complicate the scenario that law enforcement had to respond to to dilute the response to maybe increase his chances on escaping this event that he caused. >> all right. jin kim, we appreciate your expertise. thank you so much. >> my pleasure, fredericka. and our news coverage of hurricane dorian continues. we're live in the bahamas where the massive storm is hitting right now. the latest traing of the storm, the entire state of florida also preparing to be next. >> tech: at safelite autoglass,
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excruciating to watch, to crawl over the bahamas like this. over 185-mile-per-hour winds with gusts of over 220. this is the strongest gust to every make landfall. right now over the abacos islands and it's continuing in that direction. we're waiting for it to turn to the north. it may not happen for another day or so, and that's going to be crucial when you're talking impacts to state of florida and up and down the east coast of the united states. we're already picking up the storm on the miami radar. you can see the lightning in the center of the storm, the well defined eye as it moves over the island. what what's er what what's eerie is people will see
sunshine in the middle of the eye. 20 inches of rain, not to mention the storm surge, 18 to 23 feet, even higher. as it makes a westward motion, it's going to bend to the north eventually, but the state of the cone is still in uncertainty, meaning the center of the storm could occur anywhere inside this cone, and that's why it's so important for our friends in florida to watch very closely with this storm before it makes that turn to the north because the hurricane-force winds extend 30 miles outside the center. so even if it stays offshore a little bit, you could still get those hurricane-force winds, very powerful winds. also all of the storm surge that's going to come along with it, this could basically buzz saw the entire state of florida as it travels to the north. that could be the worst case scenario, meaning all of those towns up and down the state into georgia and the carolinas could get incredible amounts of damage. and so that's why they're making
call now, fred, to evacuate people out of florida. it's still several days away, but yu can't wait too long with this storm because it's go ing to be on their doorstep in a matter of days. >> right. so many past instances show if you wait too late, you've got millions of people on the road at one time, and you can't do it. you've got to do it in phases like this well ahead of time. jennifer gray, thank you so much. appreciate it. hurricane dorian made landfall on elbow kay on abdbaco island. patrick oppmann has more. >> reporter: cars have flipped
over, houses completely submerged under water and really a terrible scene there is what we're hearing, and we'll certainly get more images as the day progresses, and we'll get more updates. again, the storm living up to the warnings that bahamian authorities and others have been issuing all along and now it will be moving to where i am and probably stall out over here where i am, grand bahamas as a category 50. the maximum amount of land is some 30 feet. some live at sea level, some below sea level, in low-lying areas in towns and poor neighborhoods here. if those people have not evacuated here, it can inundate those tounds. it may be over the roof line where many people live. where we are is on the beach,
but we're on the third story of a building here. it's high enough we should be okay with this massive storm surge, but many other people, fred, this is a storm that's already cost people their possessions, their belongings, and hopefully it won't take people's lives, but it certainly has that potential. it's the most dangerous storm the bahamas has ever had to confront. >> wow, incredible. patrick oppmann in freeport. thanks so much again. patrick reporting roughly 80 miles away in abacabacos, strucd flipped over. it's hit and possibly on the way to where you are, so be safe. be careful, patrick, you and your team. our breaking coverage continues. the entire state of florida is under a state of emergency. we'll talk with mayor in one tong along the treasured coast. are people taking this storm seriously enough?
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treasured coast. longtime residents have faced this before facing back to back hurricanes francis and jean in 2004. but it's the residents today we hope are paying attention. the mayor is joining us. mr. mayor, good to see you. >> good morning. >> okay. so what do you want the most -- i guess the newest residents really to know and to adhere by? >> i think you will be safe if you plan for the worst and you won't be disappointed if you plan for the worst and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised. i think some of the more recent residents in our community may not fully understand how bad this could be. if you were here in 2004 we had a hurricane and a few weeks later we had another one, you would know. if you only recently experienced hurricane matthew, you may not be prepared for that.
we have an emergency response system. a whole emergency protocol has been activated. i've seen our community putting up shutters now for five or six days now. i think everyone has had extra time because the storm has slowed down and now is the time to activate plans. i'm a little concerned because from the reports that the hurricane is going to sit for 24 hours approximately over grand bahama and then it's supposed to go north, but if it doesn't go north, if it doesn't follow the forecast, the state of florida is going to have a direct hit on peninsula, and that's where the problems can really come in. >> oh, yeah. >> yep. >> i'm sorry about that. big potential problems. even if there isn't a direct hit and this does seem to turn and hover along the coast, our
jennifer gray said the wind are about 30 miles and that could do significant damage along with the storm surge. you talk about preparations are under way, but for people who say don't evacuate and think the hurricane shutters are going to be enough and they've got their seven-day supplies, how concerned about are you about that approach or those the approa-- >> this is bad news. prior to that, we were expecting it with us not going to be much. everyone has their shutters and everything set up. you have to activate your plans. the city or county where vero beach is located, they'll announce at 8:00 a.m. they'll announce the emergency mandatory evacuations. a special needs shelter will open at 8:00. at 12:00 the other shelters including a pet-friendly shelter will open. if you were planning on going to a shelter, the special needs
shelter can go at 8:00. otherwise you can go at noon. if you were planning on leaving town, you've got to start thinking about that. we're expecting to get tropical storm-force winds starting between 4:00 and midnight tomorrow. once we get into that, you're running a risk when you're leaving. people need to flul on plans. i'm confident that our local citizens understand this. ite besen very clearly stated. and now's the time to start activating those plans and make plans tomorrow if you're going to be going to one of the shelters to check in, depending on what time the shelter is. i'm very worried about the storm surge, and that's where we can get into real problems. they're talking today at our emergency meeting it could be 4 to 7 feet atop of high tides and waves on top of that. >> that's some scary stuff. >> yes. >> it's big.
mayor of vero beach val zudans, we wish you the very best. we hope the storm changes its mind. wouldn't it be nice. >> we need to pray for the people of the bahamas too. they're going through crazy stuff. we wish everybody all right. >> we wish the same. there are already reports of significant damage. we wish everybody the best. thank you so much. the national hurricane center is keeping a close watch on this massive storm now, a category 5. it's made landfall. let's check in with ken graham. can you tell us what it's doing to the bahamas right now? how sig canal are the reports you're receiving thus far? >> yeah, what a dangerous life-threatening situation. 185-mile-an-hour winds in that eye wall and just devastating when it comes to the indiana with. it's not just wind. it's rain.
some areas are getting 30 inches of rain and the storm surge is incredibly dangerous. historically half of the fatalities come from the storm surge. it can be as high as 18 feet, some areas, as high as 20 feet. a very dangerous situation. >> how are you able to ascertain what the storm is doing as it continues to hover very slowly over very warm water. already it seems to be through the charts, you know, on its power. how are you able to gauge whether it's intensifying from that point or if in any way it's breaking up or being compromised as it hits land there? >> it's such a historic storm because right now ties for the strongest storm. it's a dangerous situation. this is how we do it. one is with the noaa satellites. we're keeping an yeah on the structure. we're looking at the eye, the outflow of the structure. the other part that's so
critical to us is the hurricane hunters. it's the air force and hurricane hunters. they're constantly running the airplane right through the center, right through the eyes. they're dropping drop sounds into storm and feeding us information. it's so critical because it's helping us with the wind speeds and helping us identify that the winds are higher today. while we're running from the storm, the hurricane hunters are going right toward it. they're heroes giving us that information. >> they are, ken graham, as are you from the national hurricane weather center. we appreciate it. we'll continue to monitor hurricane dorian and including the breaking news in west texas. seven people dead after another mass shooting. democrats voicing frustration. president trump saying it's all a mental problem. where the conversation about guns in america goes from here.
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sadly, if you look at the last four or five, going back even five or six or seven years, for the most part, as strong as you make your background checks, they would no have stopped any of it, so it's a big problem. it's a mental problem. it's a big problem. >> all right. let's talk. joining me right now, a washington correspondent with spectrum news and ron brownstein who's a senior editor for the "atlantic" and a senior editor at cnn. welcome to you both. you heard the comments, dismissing the need for background checks. what would promote him to flip-flop on this issue when he talked about meaningful background checks not long after el paso. >> that's what we've seen before. they're too much a part of his base to break with them. i think it's always implausible he would do so. the realtd is on background
checks specifically we have a unanimity on it. consistently for years now, 90% of the public including 90% of republicans and 90% of gun owners have said that they support requiring all gun sales to come after a background check, but because of the concentrated opposition of organized gun owners through the nra and the influence they can exert particularly in smaller more rural states, the republican is just handstrung. real quickly, they have 58 senate seats, 44 of them are republican. democrats have 33 of the 44 in the two smaller states with the smallest. but because of the filibuster, what haefr happens in the house as long as the filibuster is there, it's very hard to imagine serious gun control get through the senate. >> and on this west texas mass shooting we've now just learned
the name of the shooter. 36-year-old seth ator, a-t-o-r. we don't have any more details about him. we heard from ed lavandera earlier the police did have a search warrant to go to his residence to look through his possessions, try to learn more. we did learn from that press conference earlier with the fbi, it did not appear to the fbi he was associated with any kind of domestic or international terror group. so -- and this also comes after the police chief during the press conference said that he did not want to give him notoriety. he refused to and didn't want to reveal the name. now we do have the name. 36-year-old seth ator. so on the politics now of this as a result of yet another mass shooting here in this country, i understand that you have been talking with republicans in the midwest about gun control. what are they saying to you about the approach now when people say, okay, enough
prayers, and now it's time for action. what is the approach the republicans want to take? what's the reaction. >> i think it depends on if this latest shooting will impact the climate in washington. a lot of them are going along with the idea of wait and see just because this is a very divisive issue. i followed around congressman brian stou who ended up replacing former house speaker paul ryan when he went back for the recess and he held this impromptu mini town hall with student at thewhere nca. one of the issues was guns and where he stands on that issue. and while he said the house will consider quite a bit of legislation on the matter, where republicans stand right now is really focusing their efforts to attack mental health issues in this country. but i also wanted to take a look at what senator ron johnson was saying about this, too, because back a few months ago he held this hearing on school safety and security. he's the chair of the senate
homeland security committee, and he brought in victim -- the fathers of the victims in the parkland school shooting, and that's where he said that he would be looking forward to common sense and obvious recommendations on this gun control debate, but just two weeks ago he gaveled in and out through this performance session saying he's not sure if the debate has changed in washington, really throwing cold water on it in the hopes that congress could come together for solutions. >> now that they've become dominant, so many republicans in suburban districts there's clearly support in the house for gun control. it passed with only two democrats dissenting. they're right on the brink of 218 for the assault weapon ban. i'm not sure if they want to go through passing it. >> in the house. >> yeah, in the house. but as long as the filibuster is there in the senate, as i said,
the republican dominance in the smaller states where gun ownership is most common makes it functionally impossible, i think, to get to 60 votes. by the way, it's the same dynamic on the other big story you're watching today. why is this hurricane so powerful? it's so powerful because the water in the atlantic is warmer than it used to be, and it's warmer than it used to be because the climate is changing. the same dynamic is applied. the same states have the veto. if you look at the states that emit the most highest carbon in their economies, again, they're dominated by republican senators who reject the action on climate change. i think it's clear. if the democrats regain the house and hold the senate, two issues that are probably going to create the most pressure on them to end the filibuster are the ones we're talking about today, gun control and climate change. >> and we know many candidates are going to be tackling those
crises in the upcoming cnn debates. so that is top of mind. but then you have to wonder, taurean, gun control we hea-- wd from beto o'rourke. he was very candid. do we have that sound on beto o'rourke? okay. he was very candid and using very colorful language to explain his level of frustration. he did it wheel in front of perspective voters last night. do you see, taurean, that other candidates are going to be -- particularly democratic candidates -- as fired up about gun control or trying to lead with that issue as they race for the white house? >> yeah. i think it's a pretty united front on calls for universal background checks. that's something we've seen all candidates bring to this table in the 2020 discussion. but they're also looking at what congress would do. we'll have to see where legislative priorities would be
once congress returns to the hill. but we know the house democrats are looking at an assault weapons band. jerry nadler, chairman of the house judiciary committee, recently called for the house to return earlier to hold hearings on it as a precursor to the legislation. we know that was canceled in light of hurricane dorian. so we'll have to see what takes priority, what takes precedent here. dorian could lead to the priority shifting to disaster relief. we also have the budget coming up. so we'll have to see where democrats stand on that, what will really be the driving force for legislative efforts. >> taurean, ron, thanks to both of you. really appreciate it. all right. some strong words from south carolina's governor coming up next. the warning for his state and what he says about help already on the way because of this monster storm dorian.
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as dorian makes its west and -- as it targets along the coast of the southeastern portion of the united states, the carolinas are bracing. just moments ago, south carolina governor henry mcmaster gave an update on how they are preparing. >> good afternoon. as you know, out in the ocean there's quite a hurricane. last we know is it's about 185 miles an hour. we do not know when it will arrive here or what -- nor strength it will have when it arrives here, but we are preparing. this is our fifth year in a row we've done this. and so we are team south carolina is highly activated again. we've already begun the movement of people and material and equipment to the places where it needs to be. whatever happened, we'll be ready and we'll certainly keep you informed of what is happening. hurricane dorian is now a
category 5. that's 185 miles an hour. i issued a state of emergency declaration yesterday. that state of emergency declaration allows state and local emergency management officials to begin staging resources and assets along the coast. state law enforcement national guard and the first responders have been fully mobilized. south carolina department of transportation has increased the number of motorist assistant trucks on i-95 and i-26. all the south carolina welcome centers and rest areas are open and staffed 24 hours a day. dhec alerted all private dam owners to prepare for notification to lower water levels in advance of significant amounts of rainfall. department of social services is preparing to open their shelters across the state if and as needed and, of course, as always, we will continue to monitor the storm.
again, we're monitoring 24 hours a day, not only from this place but around the state. 24 hours a day, monitoring the storm, and we'll make further announcements as the time comes to make those announcements. >> all right. that's the governor of north carolina henry mcmasterthere updating the residents of that state to brace for hurricane dorian. up next, rising tensions along the border of lebanon and israel. whatnetanyahu is saying as he makes the case for war. this teacher always puts her students first. >> student: i did mine on volcanoes. >> teacher: you did?! oh, i can't wait to read it. >> tech vo: so when she had auto glass damage... she chose safelite. with safelite, she could see exactly when we'd be there. >> teacher: you must be pascal. >> tech: yes ma'am. >> tech vo: saving her time... [honk, honk] >> kids: bye! >> tech vo: ...so she can save the science project. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪
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than 40 rounds of gunfire hit the outskirts of a border village near the israeli border. the israeli military is mulling over next steps after a cross-border exchange with hezbollah forces in lebanon. israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu says his army is waiting to see how hezbollah will respond before any possible action. netanyahu said there were no casualties from hezbollah's strike on sunday. stay with us. an update on hurricane dorian up next. ♪ do you often wake up with chest congestion? or suffer excess mucus? try mucinex 12 hour. the bio layer tablet immediately releases to thin and loosen excess mucus. and lasts for 12 hours. mucinex 12 hour.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> hello again, everyone. thanks for being with me today. i'm fredricka whitfield. we're on top of two breaking stories. first in tex aofficials giving an update after a gunman went on a rampage saturday afternoon. law enforcement officials just telling cnn the now dead gunman has been identified as 36-year-old seth ator. seven people were killed, including mary grenados, a postal worker on the job delivering mail when she was shot as the gunman hijacked her vehicle. another 22 people were hurt, including three police officers and a 17-month-old girl who will undergo surgery tomorrow to remove shrapnel. and there are new warnings about a growing hurricane threat in the atlantic. hurricane dorian is becoming more dangerous by the minute growing to a