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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Shooter in Virginia Beach Kills 12; Texas Holding Facility to Capacity; Remains Found are Believed to be Missing Houston Child, Maleah Davis; School Student Tased, Parents to File Suit; Arkansas Areas Flooded. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired June 1, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: We are so grateful to have you with us this morning. I'm Christi Paul in Atlanta. My partner, of course, Victor Blackwell, he is live in Virginia Beach as we cover what happened late yesterday, this horrific shooting there at the municipal building. Victor?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Yes Christi, we're starting with, of course, the breaking news here in Virginia Beach. It has happened again. A mass shooting in America, this time at least a dozen people are dead, four others are injured after a gunman opened fire on his coworkers as Christi said at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. This was yesterday afternoon.
Now, we are expecting a press conference. That's at 8:00 a.m. Eastern, and of course we will bring that to you live when it happens but for right now, here's what we know. First, sources say the suspect was a disgruntled employee. He was killed in a shootout with police. They say a .45-caliber pistol was found near the shooter along with a suppresser and several empty higher capacity magazines. Again, Friday afternoon, police say the suspect started shooting on three floors on building 2 of the municipal center and officials say they found victims on all three floors. I want to turn now to CNN's Brian Todd who has been following this story since this all broke out. What have you learned overnight?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Victor, so much to process this morning. The grief and shock of this community for one, but also a lot of information we're getting this morning -- new information -- and still some of it coming in. What we can tell you this morning is that we do know from officials and police that this gunman prepared to inflict carnage in this building behind us but also he came in prepared to do battle with police.
RALPH NORTHAM, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: My deepest condolences and prayers go to the families of those who left home this morning and will not return tonight.
TODD: Tragedy in Virginia Beach Friday evening, a mass shooting at the Virginia Municipal Building; the deadliest mass shooting in America since November of 2018 when 12 people were killed at the Borderline country music bar in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is Virginia Beach's darkest hour.
JAMES CERVERA, CHIEF OF POLICE AT VIRGINIA BEACH: I have a number of officers right now who are processing through what best could be described as a war zone.
TODD: A Virginia government source tells CNN it was a disgruntled employee, 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock who worked as a certified professional engineer for the city of Virginia Beach. They say he walked into the municipal building with a.45-caliber handgun and opened fire leaving behind a trail of carnage.
CERVERA: The suspect was reloading extended magazines in that handgun firing at victims throughout the building and at our officers.
TODD: Police say they want people to remember the victims and not their killer.
CERVERA: We will release his name once. We're going to mention his name once. Then he will be forever referred to as "the suspect."
TODD: Craddock was killed during a long gun battle with police.
CERVERA: We have numerous victims. And we have numerous families. Let's make sure we keep their dignity and their respect as the number one piece of news that we're going to give out.
TODD: And some key pieces of information that police are still processing this morning and putting together and that we're trying to learn is motive. What specifically spurred this man on to come in here and target these people, Victor? Was there a specific event? Was there a specific person he had a conflict with that led him to go in there and do what he did yesterday? That's unclear this morning. But again, we hope to get that information in the coming hours.
BLACKWELL: Yes, lots of questions still. And again, that news conference at 8:00. Building two is right behind us here.
TODD: Right. BLACKWELL: And still dozens of cars in the parking lot, a real expansive crime scene here.
TODD: It's a huge crime scene. This is a large government center, this municipal center here, This building you can see is three stories and he left victims on all three floors. You see the size of this building, you also have to appreciate how quickly the police got in there and found him. They followed the gunfire. I'm not sure exactly which floor they caught him on. But he left victims on all three floors. He'd been in there for a little bit. They got to him quickly and got to him quickly. This could have been, I hate to say it but it could have been so much worse if they had not gotten there so quickly.
BLACKWELL: Yes, 12 dead, 4 injured and we can see right there at the door, a uniformed officer standing out and a lot of work still happening here. Brian Todd, thank you for that. Joining me now to discuss, CNN Law Enforcement Analyst James Galliano and CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Good morning to both of you and James, let me start with you. Police were at the suspect's home last night. We saw that they towed his car away. Give us an idea what they're looking for.
JAMES GALLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Sure Victor, so understand that from the law enforcement perspective, things happen in two phases when you have an active shooter. The first is immediately interdict and attempt to stop the damage that he's trying to inflict.
The police here obviously did a great job getting to him as quickly as possible. Sadly they couldn't stop the loss of 12 innocent lives. Now that that's handled, the second piece is to figure out the motivation and in this instance pretty early on police and sources were saying this was related to workplace violence but police cannot become so attuned to tunnel vision that they're just looking in one direction. They've got to keep all options on the table, they'll do that through two steps.
One is going to be interviewing people in the subject's family, people that knew him intimately as well as the workers he was surrounded with here at the municipal building. The second piece in the 21st Century is the digital media imprint meaning cell phone records, and ez-pass records, and where his vehicles were traveling, whether or not he spoke to anybody online. Was this somebody, you know in hate. There's a lot of options that are still on the table. I think we'll learn a lot this morning. The police did a nice job getting out quickly last night telling public that the threat was down and then having a second press conference, we'll get more details this morning Victor.
BLACKWELL: Juliet, what do you glean from the description of the shooter as a disgruntled employee about this event and the number of victims, the location of victims?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So look, workplace violence is not uncommon because there's a familiarity that the person has towards their community and their work community and so if they're triggered by something whether it is disgruntled worker, maybe they were about to get fired, maybe they thought they were about to get fired, it's that's that community they're going after. But also workplace violence is particularly hard to stop because of a couple other factors. The assailant, the murderer here would have had access to the building whether it was secure or not. So we might hear conversations about making these buildings more secure.
It's likely irrelevant in this case because he probably had a swipe card or ID that got him in. The other is there's a familiarity with the location. As James was saying, the ability to go to three different floors for whatever reason, we don't know why he did it that way and killed people indiscriminately or perhaps targeted can only be possible if you know the surroundings. This is not random in the sense you're just walking in and killing as many people at an entry point or exit point.
Those two things make these kinds of killings both more common than not and then particularly lethal. And of course there's the issue of the guns themselves. Where did he get them from? What kind of guns were they? Were they lawfully gotten? And then the larger discussion about guns in society. So there's still a lot to learn over the next couple of days, weeks, and for the U.S. in the years ahead.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you talked about the weapons recovered. James, I can't remember having covered far too many of these, a suppresser being part of that arsenal. What do you glean from that that he had a suppresser?
GALLIANO: Well, first of all, Victor, I was kind of surprised. I carried a 0.45 for 25 years in the FBI; I'm very familiar we the weapon. They come in different configurations whether it's a single- stack magazine or double-stack magazine. We know he had extended magazines. In 42 states in this country, those are not illegal; you don't need a license to own an extended magazine, so a weapon that could typically hold 7 to 15 rounds could hold an additional 10 or more rounds.
The suppresser was surprising to me. We don't normally see this in one of these typical active shooting events. What's a suppresser? You can make one of these things at home. What it basically does is, it dampens down the sound so the report of the round is not as loud. It doesn't silence it completely but in this instance, what was his plans with that? Was he going to try to do this surreptitiously? Did he think it would delay police coming? I'm not sure. Again, you can own a suppressor in 42 states in this country, you just have to pay for an ATF tax stamp so that's something we're going to have to look at.
KIEM: Can I say something to that? James is exactly right.
BLACKWELL: Go ahead.
KAYYEM: One of the problems here is any active shooter, the challenge is of course situational awareness. What the heck is going on? You hear something. You're not quite sure what it is. We've trained people as we've done in municipal buildings like the one in Virginia Beach that when they hear that that they should run. So it's the run, hide, and fight; we all know that. We all have been trained by that.
So if you don't know what the sound is or you're not hearing the sound, the entire planning process sort of falls apart. It's something we call situational awareness in crises or instances like this that actually help save lives. It also can be a challenge for law enforcement on the response side because if you can't hear, what in fact is happening or where the gun shots are coming from, it'll be hard to identify what floor it is.
So this is really - the uniqueness is also going to be a future challenge for both the people that might be impacted and their ability to respond and then of course law enforcement's ability to respond.
BLACKWELL: For people who don't know the terminology, the jargon here about gun add-ons and accessories, often a suppresser is referred to as a silencer incorrectly obviously because gunshots are never silent, but that's what we're talking about with a suppresser if you've never heard that term. And we'll talk more about the discovery of that. James Galliano, Juliette Kayyem, thank you both. We'll of course continue our breaking news this morning. A news conference coming up at 8:00 a.m. We expect to get me from law enforcement. Christi, back to you in Atlanta.
PAUL: All right, Victor thank you so much. We also want to talk this morning with you about the Justice Department releasing the transcript of a voice mail Michael Flynn turned over to the special counsel to review as part of the Russian investigation. What was in that call? We'll talk about that. And a Homeland Security report says there is standing room only essentially at a Texas border detention facility. People are standing on toilets in the cells just to make room, just to gain some breathing space. We'll have more details on that. And a 15- year-old said, quote, "I want my mom," after he was tased by a police officer at school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Turn! Put your hands up! Put your hands up!
PAUL: Fifteen minutes past the hour right now. The Justice Department released a transcript of a voice mail from one of the president's attorneys to the lawyer for the president's former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. This was part of the investigation into potential obstruction that was covered in Robert Mueller's Russia Report. In this call, the president's attorney is seeking information about Flynn's discussions with the special counsel. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz has the details of that call.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was a voice message that was sent to Michael Flynn's attorney. That attorney and Michael Flynn turned it over to the special counsel's office because there was some concern that perhaps people inside the Trump Administration, perhaps even his own lawyer -- the president's own lawyer John Dowd, was somehow trying to influence Michael Flynn's cooperation. And let me read this. It's a pretty lengthy voice mail so I'm just going to go ahead and just read it to you. It starts out with a call from John Dowd to Rob Kelner who was Michael Flynn's lawyer at the time. He says, "Hey Rob. This is John again. Maybe I'm sympathetic; I understand your situation but let me see if I can't state it in starker terms. If you have -- and it wouldn't surprise me if you went on to make a deal with and work with the government, I understand that you can't join the defense. So that's one thing. If on the other hand we have, there's information that implicates the president, then we have a national security issue or maybe a national security issue. I don't know. Some issue, we got to -- we got to deal with not only for the president but for the country. So, you know, then -- then you know we need some kind of heads up. Just for the sake of protecting all of our interests. If we can without you having to give up any confidential information and if it's in the former, then you know, remember what we've always said about the president and his feelings toward Flynn and that still remains. But -- well, in any event, let me know. And I appreciate your listening and taking the time. Thanks, pal.
PAUL: All right. So a former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst, Shan Wu with us now. Shan, good to see you this morning, thank you. I want to break that down a little bit. Dowd appears to be asking for a heads up. Is that evidence of obstruction in your opinion?
SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The phrase by itself heads up wouldn't necessarily be that problematic. But the overall context in a lot of his other specifics is pretty problematic. When he talks about the fact that they want the heads up but also he says, I want to put in quote, "starker terms," he refers to their common interests. All those things indicate that there's something off there. First of all, it's odd to leave a voice mail about that. As a defense counsel, in that situation if you think somebody else's client is going to cooperate, the only legit question is you can say is your client cooperating and are you going to stay in the joint defense agreement. Usually when they don't answer or say they're withdrawing, that gives you your answer. So some of those specifics he asks and reminding him of the president's feeling for him.
PAUL: Yes, what do you make of that? About his -- the president's feelings towards Flynn?
WU: Yes, in the context of the voice mail, it sounds if it's the former meaning you're going to have to give confidential information, you're going to have to cooperate. If you're cooperating, I want you to remember that the president likes you, wink wink. So that's problematic. You should not be trying to be sending some sort of message to somebody who is cooperating. Then when you add to that, Christi, what's in the Mueller report of the next day's conversation where they confirm that they're withdrawing from the agreement and apparently Dowd at that point is, quote, "indignant," that's what the report says and very vocal. That's really troubling.
PAUL: I want to ask you about the transcript of Flynn's calls with Russia Because the DOJ is refusing to hand those transcripts over even though, of course, that federal judge ordered prosecutors to file them publicly. What obligation is there for them to do so? Will that eventually happen?
WU: I think it will eventually happen. I read they're pleading which I thought was a little bit cryptic. I'm not sure why they didn't give more explanations for their refusal. They could be, of course, concerned this classified information and they could have flagged that. They may also genuinely feel that they don't want reveal maybe some things that are still ongoing. It certainly seems like those transcripts go to the heart of Flynn's conviction. I mean, it's all about him lying about that conversation.
So I think the judge has a right to see it. My guess is the judge is going to ask for more explanation and then they may do some sealed briefings to the judge and then they have a sealed preceding which they're trying to explain that. But on the face of it, their version of the reason which is it's just not relevant, that just doesn't really fly. That's really up to the judge to determine.
PAUL: It seems like that's actually the meat on the plate as opposed to be being irrelevant at the end of the day. Shan Wu, I'm sorry we've run out of time. Thank you so much, sir.
WU: All right. Good to see you.
PAUL: You too.
I want to take you back out to Victor. He is covering the breaking news this morning out of Virginia Beach; 12 people were killed in a mass shooting. Victor?
BLACKWELL: Yes, we are going to in just a moment hear from witnesses who were on the scene as that all happened Friday afternoon and what we're hearing and not hearing from the White House.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell live in Virginia Beach. We're starting to get some intermittent rain here as investigators continue their work here at the municipal center, the site of a mass shooting here Friday afternoon; 12 people killed, 4 injured.
We are expecting an update from investigators at 8:00 Eastern this morning. We'll bring that to you live.
But here's what we know right now. This heavily armed gunman, he walked into the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, in the afternoon, yesterday, started shooting. According to police, victims were found in a parking lot and on all three floors of the building. Sources say that this man was a disgruntled worker. Officers killed the suspect after what the chief describes as a long gun fight. Authorities say a device used to muffle the sound of gunfire was found at the scene. That's unusual for mass shootings like this, but it's unclear if this shooter used it. We've also learned in the last few minutes that there was a vigil scheduled for later this morning, that's at 10:00 Eastern. We are also hearing from some of the people who work in that building behind me. CNN affiliate WTKR was on the air live, you have to watch this. They were talking with the man whose wife was trapped in the building and here's what happened after that. Watch.
ANTHONY DANIELS, REUNITED WITH HIS WIFE: I was just praying the whole time I was headed down here. You know? So there she go right there hugging that guy, so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's your wife?
DANIELS: Yes. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This gentleman who was on the phone with his wife while the shooting was going on, he is getting ready to be reunited with her after she has been debriefed by the police department and the FBI and you can see this wonderful reunion. You know, the relief this man is feeling.
MEGAN BANTON, WITNESS: We just heard people yelling and screaming to get down and I was on the phone with 911. So I was trying to concentrate on getting -- talking to them. We put the desk up against the door because we didn't know if they were coming in or anything.
EDWARD WEEDEN, WITNESS: We heard this sound out on the stairs. We go through the corridor and there was a lady on the stairs unconscious, blood on the stairway. We didn't know what happened. When the other coworkers went upstairs to find out something else, she came back down saying get out of the building, some guy has a gun. She was shot.
BLACKWELL: Now, this entire campus behind me has been cordoned off as the investigation continues. Investigators, of course, are searching here and at the shooter's home and in other places to try to learn a motive and more about what happened here yesterday. And the White House says that President Trump has been briefed on the shooting but we've not yet heard from President Trump but the response has been swift from some of the candidates who are running for president -- those 2020 democratic presidential candidates. CNN's Kristin Holmes joins us from the White House. Anything from the White House officially, from the president personally via twitter, anything this morning?
KRISTIN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nope. Victor, the last thing we heard was last night. The White House saying that President Trump had been briefed and was monitoring the situation. In fact, you mentioned twitter. The last time President Trump tweeted was about 13 hours ago when he said that he would be officially announcing his campaign for 2020 in Orlando later this month.
So again, we're waiting to hear from him, waiting to hear anything from the White House officially, but we have heard from those 2020 democratic candidates. No surprise there. Gun control has become a huge issue on the campaign trail. I want to pull up some of their reactions starting with Joe Biden. We have that tweet for you, we'll pull it up. "Eleven innocent lives cut down, 11 more futures denied. When will we finally say enough is enough? It's long past time to hold our leaders accountable. Jill and I are heartbroken that more American families are suffering tonight in Virginia Beach."
Next we'll show you Amy Klobuchar's here, "My thoughts are with the Virginia Beach wounded and the families of those who lost loved ones today. We can't become numb to these tragedies. We must pass gun safety legislation. The vast majority of Americans agree. We just need to get people in Washington who will represent them."
And finally I'm going to read you one from Bernie Sanders, "Jane and I are grieving for the victims in Virginia Beach and their families. The days of the NRA controlling Congress and writing our gun laws must end. Congress must listen to the American people and pass gun safety legislation. This sickening gun violence must stop."
And I want to note something here. Of course, again, gun control has become a big topic on the 2020 campaign trail. Something we've heard from a lot of democrats. It's not surprising we're hearing from them again. President Trump did a lot of campaigning in the Virginia Beach area so it's likely that a lot of people there are going to want to hear from the president. And it's likely he'll go back there when he is on the campaign trail for 2020. It'll be interesting to see how exactly he does finally react to this.
BLACKWELL: Yes, beyond politics, 12 families lost someone here. There are four people in hospitals here. For a president who comments on so much nothing yet; no condolences for the families here.
We'll see if the president sends something out this morning. Kristen Holmes at the White House, thank you so much. Christi, I'm going to send it back to you in Atlanta. But we'll push forward on the breaking news here in Virginia Beach.
PAUL: Absolutely, of course we're going to see Victor throughout the morning. Victor, thank you so much. And victor talked about some of the other things we want to talk about with you, there are disturbing images we're learning this morning from a border detention camp where approximately 900 detainees are being held in a facility that's meant for just 125. A new Homeland Security report says some of these migrants are even standing on toilets just to make room. Can you imagine?
Also, President Trump threatening to slap tariffs on Mexico over immigration issues. We'll tell you what this could mean for you. What we're learning this morning. You the consumer, how are you going to be affected? We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Thirty-four minutes past the hour, so glad to have you here. Think about this. Standing room only. That's how a new report is describing conditions at an El Paso border patrol processing facility. The DHS report says the Texas facility is dangerously overcrowded with, quote, "detainees standing on toilets in the south to make room and just to gain breathing space," unquote.
The number of migrants coming across the U.S./Mexico border is skyrocketing, no doubt.
Roughly 109,000 people crossing just in April. Here's CNN's Paolo Sandoval.
PAOLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This report was published by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General on Friday. It is stunning but for many it is not surprising as we have continued to hear from the Department of Homeland Security including the interim secretary describing the reality for border patrol agents on the front line who have been basically dealing with this surge of migrant families showing up at the nation's doorstep seeking asylum.
This particular report, however, offering an independent view inside one particular location here. They made seven unannounced visits to federal facilities in the El Paso area. One of them the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center that was equipped to house about 125 people. Investigators finding that in early May it housed up to 900. We have no way of telling at this point whether or not those numbers are still the same, but at the time of the visit, investigators noted dangerous overcrowding and also standing room only conditions for these migrants. These investigators concluding that corrective action needs to be taken -- the DHS mostly agreeing with this.
At the end of the report, they responded saying that the current situation on the border represents an acute and worsening crisis. DHS going on to write, the speed in which illegal migrants are transiting through Mexico to reach the southern border is frustrating our best efforts to respond quickly. That's the latest from El Paso, Texas. Back to you.
PAUL: Paolo thank you so much. The spike of migrants coming across the southern border is having a ripple effect it seems. Secretary of State Pompeo and Mexico's foreign secretary did speak after President Trump threatened to hit Mexico with these tariffs unless the country does something to help slow the flow of those migrants.
Now the United States imported $346 billion of goods from Mexico last year. New tariffs will likely be passed onto you, the consumer. That raises prices on a lot of things - auto parts, TVs, avocados, beer. I know it's just a random -- it seems like it's random, but it's pretty much everything. Keven Robillard, senior political reporter for "The Huffington Post" with us now. Kevin, thank you so much for being here with us. First we were talking about this with China, now it's moved to Mexico. The White House insists that the Mexican government, Mexican businesses are going to pay for this. But 40 percent of imports from Mexico are from U.S.-affiliated companies. Doesn't that mean we're going to pay for it?
KEVIN ROBILLARD, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER FOR "THE HUFFINGTON POST": I mean, yes, it does. President Trump in particular often talks about tariffs like they're almost a sales tax that he can place on another country and that the other country will somehow pay for it; that's not how tariffs work. The cost ends up being borne by consumers in both countries in both China and the United States and both Mexico and in the United States. It ends up getting borne by companies in both countries.
One example here in the U.S. is Dollar Tree, the very popular dollar store, is now going to raise the prices of some of its products to as much as $5, not $1 because it imports so much from their products from China. That's an example how that stuff is already trickling down to consumers. And once those -- if those Mexican -- tariffs on Mexico do go into effect, we could see a similar effect on many, many other products like you mentioned.
PAUL: We saw the markets tank yesterday. This is a president who has a lot of bragging rights when it comes to the economy thus far. But based on what we're seeing here, how expansive and how long-term might what we're seeing in the markets be if this goes through?
ROBILLARD: It could be a real problem. You've already seen some people raise the fear of a recession. That fear has been raised a few times during the Trump presidency; it hasn't ever really come through. However, adding to that problem is that sort of simulative effect of the tax cut that he passed is also wearing off. So those combined with these new tariffs really kicking in is something that could really harm the economy as Trump heads into what's going to be a very, very tough re-election bid for him.
PAUL: Yes, yes, as we go into the 2020. I want to show you some of the trade groups that are sounding off. They're very vocal about the fact they don't like these tariffs. The National Retail Federation, Fresh Produce Association, Auto Alliance and then you've got the political consequences. Kevin, we have Senator Charles Grassley who said trade policy and border security are separate issues. Are they separate issues and politically, what effect might this have not just on the president but on republicans?
ROBILLARD: Yes, this is interesting. This has always been -- trade has always been the issue where Trump has most deviated from the longstanding republican consensus. Trump has always been very skeptical of free trade; traditional republicans have always loved free trade. You can see that in that list of groups that were opposing this.
Many of those groups like the Business Roundtable are long-standing republican allies but they don't like what Trump is doing on trade. So it will be interesting. Republicans for a long time put their heads in the sand and said, "No, Trump is just doing this as a negotiating tactic. It's the art of the deal. He's not going to implement these tariffs." And now, of course, it looks like he's going to; they're already happening.
So it will be interesting to see how republicans deal with that. In particular, there are contested Senate races in Arizona and Texas this year where republicans really need to hold onto their seats to hold onto control of the Senate. It'll be really interesting to see how those incumbent republican Senators deal with Trump's call for new tariffs on Mexico.
PAUL: Good point. Kevin Robillard, always appreciate your insight. Thank you for taking the time today.
ROBILLARD: Great to be on.
The parents of a boy with developmental disabilities want action after a deputy used a stun gun on their 15-year-old son at school. The whole thing was recorded. We're going to show you more of this. Stay close.
PAUL: Breaking news right now. The mass shooting in Virginia Beach, 12 people are dead this morning; 4 others are injured after a gunman went into a building with his coworkers and just started firing. This was at the municipal center yesterday afternoon. There is a news conference that's scheduled at 8:00 a.m. this morning. We're going to bring that to you live. Victor Blackwell is there live as well.
So we're going to be following this for you all morning long as we get more information because it's still a fluid situation there.
Meanwhile, police in Arkansas have found the remains of a child that they believe to be missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis. That little girl disappeared from Houston. I know you remember this story and this little face. The focus of the search moved after the suspect in her disappearance allegedly confessed to dumping her body hundreds of miles away.
Reporter: A shocking discovery along a highway in rural Arkansas that could bring the disappearance of little Maleah Davis to a close. Police say human remains were found inside a bag.
JAMES SINGLETON, SHERIFF HEMPSTEAD COUNTY, ARKANSAS: It was a bag disintegrating and there's what we believe to be remains, bones, things like that down there.
PAUL: The remains were taken to Houston on a flight early this morning. City officials will conduct an autopsy in hopes of identifying that 4-year-old girl.
SYLVESTER TURNER, MAYOR OF HOUSTON: We don't get - can't confirm whether the remains found today are the remains of Maleah Davis, but certainly we are trying to draw those conclusions.
PAUL: The focus of the search moved to Arkansas after the suspect in her disappearance allegedly confessed to dumping her body there. Nearly a month after Maleah was reported missing in Texas. Earlier Friday, the suspect Darian Vence talks to an activist who visited him in jail.
QUANTELL X, HOUSTON COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: What happened to Maleah was an accident. He says it was an accident and he confessed to me where he dumped her body.
PAUL: Vence was caring for Maleah while her mother was out of town. He initially told police three men knocked him unconscious and abducted Maleah May 4th. But surveillance shows she never left the apartment and he was arrested as a suspect.
TURNER: Many of us prayed for a different ending in the search for 4-year-old Maleah Davis. For more than a month her smiling face has stayed on our hearts and minds as we waited for information about her whereabouts. Maleah was everyone's child. And I underscore that, everyone's child in the city.
PAUL: And right now there is forensic testing going on to determine the identity and cause of death there. We will bring that to you when we have it.
A deputy in New Mexico is under investigation after he used a stun gun on a 15-year-old student. Now, the student had developmental disabilities and the officer was allegedly breaking up a drug deal at the time when the student was sent to the dean's office. When he was asked to empty his pockets, he refused. Well, that's when this happened. I just want to forewarn you here I want to give you a head's up. This is not easy to watch but here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he's refusing? That's fine. I'll put his little (inaudible) in handcuffs and take him to Santa Fe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to be cooperative or uncooperative?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think I'm doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to (inaudible) tase you.
LAURA SCHAUER IVES, FAMILY ATTORNEY: The video depicts child abuse and cruelty and inexplicable use of force.
PAUL: The Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Barnes(ph) says the student hit another officer and that's why he tased him. The boy's family released is a statement saying this, in part, "The deputy's cruel, grotesque, unconstitutional use of force against a young male with developmental disabilities is child abuse. We will file suit against the deputy and the educators who enabled his brutality." The state's attorney general, by the way, is investigating this.
There are thousands of homes in danger right now after the Arkansas River breached a major levee. Is this weekend's weather going to help or hurt is one of the latest questions here. We get the latest from the CNN Weather Center next.
PAUL: Let's talk about Arkansas this morning. There are hundreds of roads that are under water right now because of this record flooding that's continuing to drench the heartland. The Arkansas River broke through a major levee yesterday. Take a look at these pictures. That puts thousands of homes in danger. Experts there say these levees have never held this much water for this long. Here's CNN's Natasha Chen.
KEITH STEPHENS, ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION: This is Rogers Avenue.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the lunchtime traffic in Ft. Smith these days.
STEPHENS: We've got a doughnut shop down there. Autoparts store, tuxedo rentals, liquor store.
CHEN: It took about a week for waters to rise slowly taking over bird houses and patios typically only seen at a far distance from the usual river bank. Instead the river is now knocking on their front doors.
STEPHENS: We've had rain and it's been high but we didn't have a catastrophic flood-type rain. And so we were getting water from another state. That makes this kind of unusual.
CHEN: Not a cloud in the sky. These waters are coming from storm events in Oklahoma.
JIMMY WITT, MAYOR OF DARDANELLE, ARKANSAS: This has been the worst one because it's unprecedented. There's no history.
CHEN: After the breach of a levee Friday morning near Dardanelle, the county predicts 350 homes could either be flooded or inaccessible due to road blocks. Dardanelle's mayor is coordinating with the county, state and federal teams to come up with different strategies to prevent floodwaters from taking over the southern part of the city.
JOYCE COBB, DARDANELLE RESIDENT: There's basketball goals and everything right here, they're all under water.
CHEN: This was a park. Where the water is now is typically where Joyce Cobb likes to sit after church on Sundays to eat her lunch. Now she and fellow Dardanelle resident, Victoria Sowards(ph) is devastated by what this will do to their home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To me this is God's country.
PAUL: I want to bring in meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Not only to talk about the flooding but guess what today is, the start of hurricane season, Allison.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right. Yes. So let's start with the flooding. That is the imminent threat here because it's going to last awhile. There's not much rain expected today and that's fantastic news, but the thing is you have 300 river gauges that are either at or above flood stage and that's a long-term effect because that water doesn't just come down super quick. And to make matters worse, you also have the potential for severe storms across the central portion of the U.S., places like Texas and New Mexico, stretching all the way over towards Pennsylvania and New York.
The main threats are going to be damaging winds, the potential for some hail as well as tornadoes. But look at the long-term. You're talking about a significant amount of rain starting Monday and through all of next week. It's likely going to make that flooding concern worse. Now we switch gears to hurricane season because, yes, today is the start and we've already got a system to watch.
This particular system has a 40 percent chance of development into a tropical depression in just the next few days. Here's the thing though, this is the area of the country in the gulf specifically where you typically get development in June. Early in the season, it's the Gulf of Mexico. That becomes the hot bed Christi, for where we expect a lot of this particular activity. One thing to note, though, NOAA does anticipate that this year is likely going to be an average season; maybe perhaps about 12 storms. That's what the average is. They're forecasting 9 to 15. But Christi, we say this every year, all it takes is one bad storm to make land fall for it to be considered a bad season.
PAUL: Yes, a very good point. Allison, thank you so much for the heads up.
So see what happens when victims and offenders of violent crimes meet face-to-face. This is at a new CNN original series "The Redemption Project" with Van Jones. It's tomorrow night at 9:00 and then stay tuned for "United Shades of America" with W. Kamal Bell, 10:00 p.m., that's tomorrow right here on CNN.
PAUL: We're so grateful to have you with us here as we head into the 7:00 hour right now. I'm Christi Paul in Atlanta. My partner, Victor Blackwell, is live in Virginia Beach because that is where