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CNN NEWSROOM

One Dead in L.A. Hostage Standoff; Duck Boat Tragedy; Trump Blasts Cohen Investigation. Aired 2-2:30a ET

Aired July 22, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Thank you for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier in Atlanta. We are live from the CNN Center.

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VANIER: One woman is a dead after a gunman's standoff at a Los Angeles grocery store. This is the moment both the suspect and his hostages left the Trader Joe's store at the same time. This after he kept police at bay for several hours.

Police say the gunman handcuffed himself, walked out and surrendered peacefully. During the ordeal, one woman was shot and killed.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I regret to inform you that there is one fatality, that occurred inside, of a woman. We will have details forthcoming. But, of course, family notification and trying to figure out more details, we don't have anything more than that.

But she was pulled out by the police department from the store. Fire department was able to take her, treat her onsite but she was pronounced here onsite.

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VANIER: And those wounds were from a gunfight that the shooter had with police. They say he shot his grandmother and another woman several times and then fled in her car. Police caught up with him as he crashed the car at the Trader Joe's. One employee talked to CNN about how he and others managed to escape during the standoff.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn't sure if I had a viable exit on the ground floor, so I proceeded upstairs, where we have an upstairs storage space. I moved through the storage space to a back kind of a break room that we have, where we have an emergency ladder.

Grabbed the emergency ladder, proceeded even further back to a back storage area. I grabbed a couple of my co-workers, brought them back as well. I barricaded the hallway as best I could.

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VANIER: Police say at least six people are in the hospital after the incident. Their injuries, however, are not life-threatening. CNN's Miguel Marquez was on the scene during the incident.

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MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just an incredibly tense several hours here in Los Angeles. One person dead, others shot and possibly could expire as well. All of this at a Trader Joe's, a popular grocery store in Southern California.

This is the remnants of what was a hostage barricade situation. About 1:30 Pacific time in the afternoon, the individual shot his grandmother several times. He took someone else with him, a young woman with him.

Police later in Los Angeles picked him up and started following him. They were in literally hot pursuit when the young man crashed into a pole outside this Trader Joe's with a gun in hand, starts running in, exchanges gunfire with police. That's when somebody inside the Trader Joe's, a young woman, was hit.

Police followed him in, tried to resuscitate her but she expired at the store. And for then several hours, the individual held up in the store, taking hostages at one point and then letting them all go later in the afternoon, surrendering himself to police, asking for a pair of handcuffs, which he handcuffed himself and then turned himself over to police. It has ended -- Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.

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VANIER: Investigators in the U.S. state of Missouri know that the tour boat that sank on Thursday changed its route unexpectedly while it was in the water. Now they want to know exactly when the boat's driver and captain decided to change course, when and why; 17 people died when the vessel capsized during a thunderstorm.

Severe weather whipped up powerful waves like you see on the screen. Authorities are also looking into what the captain knew about the weather forecast before his boat left its dock.

Survivors of the tour boat tragedy are left trying to cope with their heartbreak and painful memories as they wait for those answers. CNN's Kaylee Hartung spoke to one survivor, who lost nine family members, including her husband and three children.

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KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cyril, Tia Coleman's story is stunning. She spoke to reporters, emotion still very raw, while she's still in the care of the hospital here in Branson, Missouri.

She shared with us memories of her loved ones' loss, reaction to the devastation she's still processing and she recounted some details of her experience on Thursday evening.

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TIA COLEMAN, DUCK BOAT SURVIVOR: I've always loved water. I don't know if it's a Pisces or what. I always loved water, but when that water came over the boat, I didn't know what happened. I had my son right next to me. But when the water filled up the boat --

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COLEMAN: -- I could no longer see. I couldn't feel anybody. I couldn't see.

I just remember I got to get out. I got to get out. And I don't know if somebody pushed me or what happened, but I hit my head on the part of the boat. And when I got out into the water it was ice cold. And I remember as we were going into the water they said that the lake stays pretty warm like in the 80s.

So, I knew from it being so cold that I'm close to the bottom not the top. And I remember kicking and swimming, swimming up to the top and I was swimming I said, Lord please let me get to my babies. I got to get to my babies.

I was kicking. The harder I fought to get to the top. I was getting pulled down. I kept fighting and I kept fighting. I said Lord, if I can't make it, there is no use in keeping me here. And so, I just let go and I started floating.

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HARTUNG: Tia says she believes when that boat's salvaged from the lake behind me, that the life jackets will all be on board because she says the crew members never instructed the passengers to put them on.

That boat still under 80 feet of water here. The divers were able to recover the equivalent of a little black box on board. That video recording also believed to have audio. The box has been sent back to a federal office in Washington, D.C., to be processed.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, investigators spent much of the day inspecting a sister vessel provided by the owners of the boat company with the hope that they can familiarize themselves with the configuration of the boat so that when the one sunk at the bottom of this lake is salvaged, they will be able to better understand its working order.

I spoke with the state's attorney general today as well and he pled three different times with the owners of the boat company to cooperate with the investigation -- investigations, I should say, because, as he explained, there are two parallel investigations at this time.

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JOSHUA HAWLEY, MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL: This investigation's in its early stages. There are actually two parallel investigations going on. The NTSB is conducting an investigation into the sinking of the vessel and the circumstances surrounding that immediate event.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is conducting a broader investigation into the circumstances that led to this tragedy beforehand and whether or not this should be treated as a crime scene.

HARTUNG: The U.S. Coast Guard tells us they plan to raise that boat in the next couple of days -- Cyril.

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VANIER: Kaylee Hartung, reporting there from Mississippi.

U.S. president Donald Trump is at one of his golf resorts this weekend. But he still found time to blast the Russia investigation on Twitter. This as the White House remains tightlipped about what actually happened in his summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

We learned from Russia that U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo spoke by phone with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday. They discussed normalizing relations between the two countries. They also discussed North Korea and Syria.

Lavrov also criticized the arrest of Maria Butina. She's the Russian woman charged in the U.S. with acting as a foreign agent. Lavrov says the charges are fabricated and she should be released.

Mr. Trump started the day on Twitter blasting his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. But most of the presidential wrath was on a familiar topic. Our Ryan Nobles is traveling with the president.

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RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The president is spending the weekend at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

And his Twitter feed was busy on Saturday. He specifically took the opportunity to suggest that the investigation into his campaign's potential ties to the Russian government during the 2016 election could end up having an effect in the election in 2018.

The president tweeting, quote, "No collusion, no obstruction but that doesn't matter because the 13 angry Democrats were only after Republicans and totally protecting Democrats. Want this witch hunt to drag out to the November election. Republicans better get smart fast and expose what they're doing."

Now the president's tweet storm comes against the backdrop of increasing criticism for his decision to have this summit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Helsinki and subsequently his decision to invite President Putin to Washington sometime this fall.

And there's been a lot of talk about the reaction from the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, who was at a security summit in Aspen. Coats learned of the president's invitation during an interview with NBC. And Coats seemed to be a little bit shocked. Well, Coats attempted to clear the record on Saturday night. He put

out a statement that said, quote, "Some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview. My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or to criticize the actions of the president.

"I and the entire intel community are committed to providing the best possible intelligence to inform and support President Trump's ongoing efforts to prevent Russian meddling in our upcoming elections, to build strong relationships internationally in order to maintain peace, denuclearize dangerous regimes and protect our nation and our allies."

You'll note that the Director of National Intelligence makes no mention of whether or not he thinks it is a good idea for President Trump to invite Vladimir Putin to Washington sometime this fall.

But there is certainly one person who thinks that the --

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NOBLES: -- president's interactions with Russia have not been going very well and that's his former opponent, Hillary Clinton. She had some harsh criticism for President Trump during a festival on Saturday. Take a listen.

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HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The great mystery is why the president has not spoken up for our country. And we saw that most clearly in this recent meeting with Putin. We don't know what was said in the room with just the two of them.

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NOBLES: And there's no doubt that we've grown a bit accustomed to President Trump and Hillary Clinton trading barbs long after the 2016 election has been decided. But it's worth pointing out that this is really out of the norm.

Usually, after an election like this, the two sides go to their respective corners and are respectful of the jobs that they have to do after the fact. That's certainly not the case this time around and just one other example of how the Trump administration is unlike any presidency we've ever seen -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, New Jersey.

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VANIER: A dangerous tropical storm is currently thrashing China's biggest city with strong wind and heavy rain.

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VANIER: And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. We have "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" up next and back with headlines in 20 minutes will a full recap of world news at the top of the hour. Stay with us.