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Two U.S. Mass Shootings Hours Apart Claim 29 Victims; El Paso Couple Died Protecting Their Baby; Mass Shootings Leave 29 People Dead in Oho & Texas; Mexico Weighing Legal Action Against U.S. after El Paso Shooting; Protestors Disrupt Hong Kong with General Strike. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired August 5, 2019 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, following breaking news.
Now despite the alarming regularity of mass shootings in the United States, this weekend's gun violence has left Americans stunned. At least 29 people were killed in two mass shootings just 13 hours apart; 20 of those victims lost their lives at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A further nine people died outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio.
In Texas, authorities are treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism. The alleged shooter has been charged with capital murder. Authorities say he's from the Dallas area and that he posted a racist and white nationalist manifesto online.
It's a disturbing document that lays out his reasons for an attack. It also singles out Hispanics as a target for violence. El Paso is a border town and, of the 20 people killed, Mexico says at least seven were its citizens. An FBI official briefed reporters on the case Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANETTE HARPER, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: We have members of the Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell working on this investigation as well. We did mention that we had three search warrants that were served in the Dallas area this morning.
Agents collected several pieces of evidence from each location and the forensics processing and review of that have begun.
The Domestic Terrorism-Hate Crimes Fusion Cell has assigned personnel in this investigation. The cell is comprised of subject matter experts from both the criminal investigative division in the bureau as well as the counterterrorism division.
So this will ensure that the investigation evaluates all possible investigative tools as well as looking at all available federal and state charges that we can put onto this incident scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN's Ed Lavandera has more now on the shooting from El Paso.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 10:39 Saturday morning came the first calls for help, a 21-year-old white male walked into this Walmart store in east El Paso and unleashed a deadly attack with an assault-style rifle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) And I hear boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and we all run out of here (ph).
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Thousands of shoppers, including families, simply thinking of their back to school shopping lists, filled the store and parking lot where the shooting started.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was people were running from inside the mall to Dillard's and they were just screaming to get out.
ADRIA GONZALEZ, WITNESS: I told my mother, Mom, there are gunshots, we need to go. And she just froze and did not move. And I told her, let's move, get down, get down.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Shoppers took cover; businesses went on lockdown and first responders rushed to locate an active shooter. Within hours, El Paso police spokesman Robert Gomez said an arrest had been made.
SGT. ROBERT GOMEZ, EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT: We do have one person in custody. I can confirm that it is a white male in his 20s.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The suspect lived some 600 miles away in the town of Allen, Texas, a sprawling suburb north of Dallas. The gunman was arrested without incident just a few blocks from the Walmart store. Federal sources tell CNN the shooter left an online manifesto filled with anti-immigrant views and a hatred of Hispanics.
GREG ALLEN, CHIEF POLICE, EL PASO, TEXAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates --
ALLEN: -- to some degree it has a nexus to a potential hate crime.
The FBI will be looking into that with other federal authorities. For right now, we're looking at a potential capital murder charges for this individual.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Hours after the attack, local political leaders tried to grasp the magnitude of the loss.
JOE MOODY, TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: There are 20 families that woke up whole this morning with their loved ones and, when the sun sets tonight here in El Paso, they'll go to bed without them.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): On Sunday, El Paso's district attorney Jaime Esparza announced the gunman will face the most severe punishment.
JAIME ESPARZA, EL PASO COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The state charge is capital murder. And so he is eligible for the death penalty. We will seek the death penalty.
JOHN BASH, U.S. ATTORNEY: We are treating it as a domestic terrorism case and we're going to do what we do to terrorists in this country, which is deliver swift and certain justice.
CHURCH: Ed Lavandera reporting there.
Well, now to Dayton, Ohio, where former high school classmates of the gunman say he made threats in the past that were serious enough to get police attention.
According to police, nine people, including the gunman's sister, were killed when he started shooting outside a bar early Sunday. People ran away so quickly their shoes were left behind. Police were nearby and they shot and killed the gunman within 30 seconds of him opening fire. These are the officers' calls to the police dispatcher.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired. Downtown. Shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A3, where are you at?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dispatch, we got shots fired. We got multiple people down. We're going to need multiple medics. Somebody take east side of Fifth Street. East Fifth and by the (INAUDIBLE) auditorium. (INAUDIBLE). We need to shut the whole street down. We think there's one shooter. He is down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have multiples down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I've got them coming here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're clear to come in. We have, looks like, nine or 10 shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, I got them coming. They're coming in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Terrifying moments there. Drew Griffin has details now from Dayton.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SR. INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Dayton, Ohio, police say this shooter was not on their radar. But we have learned from former high school classmates that the suspected shooter in this case actually did have a record in high school, where he had threatened on a kill list to kill or harm his fellow students.
Four of those students, who say they were on that list, according to school officials, say the list was divided in two. For men or boys, it was a kill list; for girls, it was a rape list. One of those students says, during the sophomore year of the shooter's high school career, he was on a school bus when police boarded the bus, supposedly right after finding this list, and took the suspect and arrested him. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPENCER BRICKLER, GUNMAN'S FORMER CLASSMATE: I saw him get pulled off the bus after school one day. And apparently he had made a kill list and I happened to be on it. I don't know why.
We just got off of school and we were all getting on the bus to go home and, I mean, I just sat down, me and my sister just sitting down, and he sat down. I think he was behind us. And we -- I look up and there's two police officers standing on the bus, asking him to get off the bus and go with him. I was confused.
GRIFFIN: School resource officers or -- ?
BRICKLER: Actual police officers.
Why did he make the list?
What was happening in his life that made him do it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: The students tell us that the shooter did come back to high school about a year later, appeared to be changed, got involved with band and acting in the school and actually graduated from high school in 2013.
But apparently he had a long history of threatening women, especially those who denied his advances. Police looking into all of this background as they try to search for a motive in this person, who killed nine and injured dozens here in Dayton, Ohio -- Drew Griffin, CNN, Dayton.
CHURCH: Well, CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow is with me now. He's also a former U.S. Secret Service agent.
Thanks so much for joining us.
JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Thanks, Rosemary. CHURCH: And we'll get to the Dayton shooter in just -- just a moment. Very, very disturbing details there, for sure.
But I want to start with the FBI treating the El Paso shooting as a domestic terrorism case. They don't yet know the motivation behind the Dayton, Ohio, attack but we've seen --
CHURCH: -- two mass shootings within hours of each other, three mass shootings within a week.
What's going on in this country?
WACKROW: Well, listen, there's a lot -- there's a lot to unpack here. Just look at the two shootings this weekend, 13 hours apart. We have 29 dead. Two different scenarios here, though.
In Texas, you do have this now being considered an act of domestic terrorism. That is, you know, where targeted acts of violence were caused by somebody who has a particular ideology.
And this is now, you know, in the United States, this is something that we're talking about extensively right now, is the proliferation of hate, whether it's online or within chat groups, you know, across the country. The rhetoric transcending into physical action and that's what we saw, you know, earlier on Saturday.
Sunday, Dayton, Ohio, different scenario. We still don't know the actual motive but we do know the intent. The intent of that individual was to, you know, cause destruction and harm immediately at a -- at a great amount, based upon the weapon systems that he had had.
WACKROW: Two different scenarios, Rosemary.
WACKROW: But we have to treat them, you know, cojoined to address the overarching issue of mass attacks in the United States.
CHURCH: That's exactly right. Of course the director of the FBI has ordered a new nationwide threat assessment in an effort to prevent more deadly mass attacks like this.
But how do you stop shootings on these soft targets?
And how do you prevent copycat attacks?
And how do you stop this rising hate in this country?
WACKROW: Yes, well, listen, there's a lot there. There's not one single solution. I think that's what's so frustrating for everybody. You know, we're looking for that one thing that we can do to put an end to all of this -- this terror but we can't.
We have to understand, what's the data behind it?
So we have to look backwards to look at previous, you know, mass attacks that included, you know, guns and that also did not include guns and understand, what was the motivation behind it?
Was it a motivation of grievance?
We need to understand what the patterns are.
You know, are there, you know, symptoms of mental health that are a contributing factor, yes or no?
Is there, you know, grievances?
Is it a weapons system?
Is it how they -- how individuals, you know, act online?
Are they radicalized by hate online?
So these are things that we have to dissect and we actually have to come together. It's not a law enforcement issue in isolation, it's a community issue. So we have to look at how these things, you know, you know, grow and evolve within our community and put a stop to it.
You know, Dayton, Ohio's a great example. What we've said, we don't know the actual motivation but we can see there were clear indicators of behavioral issues that this individual had for a long time. The interaction with law enforcement has to be addressed.
Why did they assess this individual as not being a threat at the time and let them go back, you know, freely?
So FBI director's taking the appropriate steps right now to go out and reassess our nation, go state by state, office by office of the FBI, to conduct a new threat assessment, to understand the means, the opportunity and the intent for individuals to cause harm against our community.
CHURCH: Yes, but still so many questions and so few answers all of the time. This just keeps happening.
Now President Trump said Sunday that hate has no place in this country but the Democrats say it's Mr. Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric that encourages attacks like this.
Do you agree with that assessment?
WACKROW: Listen, whenever you have a rhetoric that's, you know, put out there online, you know, the president has had comments that have come under question and they're interpreted by individuals, you know, all the time as a, you know, a call to action, a call to arms. But others as well. You know, what we have to do is take this, you
know, with a broad brush and we have to understand that online rhetoric or rhetoric of hate has no place in our society and we can't let that hate transcend into physical action.
And that's what we have to come together -- you know, it's easy for people to say, you know, that it's the president. You know, the president, you know, his comments can be interpreted as a contributing factor, yes, but others online as well.
You know, so we have to be able to take a broad brush and we have to address this, you know, comprehensively across the board.
CHURCH: Right. And, of course, the U.S. president will be making an announcement in the morning, Monday morning, and we will listen to hear what he has to say about these two mass shootings.
Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis. Appreciate it.
WACKROW: Thank you very much, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Well, as the U.S. mourns the loss of 29 people to gun violence, we will tell you what the communities of El Paso and Dayton are doing to honor the dead.
CHURCH: The community of El Paso, Texas, is remembering the victims of Saturday's deadly shooting. These mourners held a vigil and took part in a march against gun violence. U.S. presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, a native of El Paso, was among the marchers.
The community of Dayton, Ohio, also came together to remember the people killed in a mass shooting there. Hundreds of mourners gathered at a vigil Sunday night, holding candles, singing and praying for those who lost their lives.
Officials have identified the nine victims in that attack. Among the dead, the 22-year-old sister of the shooting suspect.
We're also getting more details on the victims from the El Paso shooting. CNN has just learned that 86-year-old Angie Englisbee was among the 20 people killed there. Her family told CNN she was in the checkout line of the store where the attack happened.
Also among the victims, 60-year-old Arturo Benavides. He was an Army veteran and bus driver, who is remembered as caring and strong-willed.
We're also learning that one of the victims in the El Paso shooting died protecting her baby. The family of Jordan Anchondo says she was shielding her 2-month-old son as the shots were being fired.
Her husband, Andre, was also killed in the shooting. But thankfully the baby survived and was treated at the hospital after suffering broken bones. Jordan's sister spoke with NBC News about her sister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETA JAMROWSKI, JORDAN ANCHONDO'S SISTER: She was incredible. She had a personality that could light up an entire room.
L. JAMROWSKI: Everybody loved her. She was an incredible mom, too. She was just a wonderful person. She'd give anything for those kids, anything, even her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And earlier, CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Jordan's aunt and uncle about their niece.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Jesse, can you just tell us about Jordan and Andre and the kind of people they were?
JESSE JAMROWSKI, JORDAN ANCHONDO'S UNCLE: They were beautiful. They were very hardworking. They were amazing parents to their three children. They gave what they could for them as far as support and most importantly they gave everything they could in love. And that's what ultimately we'll remember about them.
COOPER: And Liz, I understand that Jordan, she had dropped off one child and -- I think at cheerleading practice, correct me if I'm wrong -- and they went to the Walmart to buy school supplies.
Is that right?
ELIZABETH TERRY, JORDAN ANCHONDO'S AUNT: Yes, they were -- their oldest child, Skylin (ph), who turned 5 yesterday, was dropped off at cheer practice. And I think they had a closed practice. So Andre and Jordan and baby Paul had headed to Walmart to do some school supply shopping.
COOPER: And Paul's just 2 months old. I mean, they -- it was, I mean, it's so incredibly recent that they must have been so joyful.
TERRY: Oh, they were. They just celebrated their one-year anniversary, July 30th, their one-year wedding anniversary. Baby Paul is a beautiful baby. It was our middle brother, Jordan's father, had three girls, Jordan included, and two granddaughters. So I don't think he'd ever thought he'd see the day he would have a boy. And this was Andre's firstborn son.
TERRY: So there was a lot of joy. A lot of celebration in the family and met with obvious devastation.
COOPER: And how is Paul doing?
I understand he had some fingers broken.
TERRY: He did. He was bruised up, two fingers broken. They did an MRI this morning and everything turned out fine. He was just released from UNC Children's an hour and a half or so ago...
J. JAMROWSKI: Roughly.
TERRY: -- to his grandparents. So I guess as children are resilient, shouldn't be faced with this situation but he's doing great considering the circumstances.
COOPER: And what do you know about -- about how he -- about how he was found, about -- because I understand Jordan was alive and actually brought to the hospital.
TERRY: Correct. From what we understand, she was taken into critical condition. What little we know, we just -- with all the chaos and all of the things that have been said, is that he was pulled, baby Paul was pulled from her, still had blood, I would imagine, from what we understand, he went into the hospital as...
J. JAMROWSKI: John Doe, Baby John Doe. The details are very cloudy but, from what we understand, baby Paul was recovered from the crime scene with his mother on top of him.
And we got word that Andre had jumped in front of his wife to protect his wife and son throughout the whole circumstance.
So it's very devastating. And his mother and the son were taken to the hospital, thankfully, but --
TERRY: We lost Jordan.
J. JAMROWSKI: -- we lost Jordan yesterday and Andre as well.
COOPER: Liz and Jesse, what do you want people to know about -- about Jordan, about Andre, about what the world has lost?
TERRY: They were the light. They were definitely a contribution to this world. They will be missed.
Jordan would talk to anybody and everybody. She was every bit of a self-sacrificing mother. Obviously, Andre, an amazing father. She was the light of our life. She was the jokester. She was the contagious laugh, a smile that could light up the room and the world could know that just two amazing humans were stripped from us and their babies are left now parentless.
But we will do everything in our power to, as a family, to unite behind them and continue to remind them of the amazing parents that they had. Just there is not enough words to -- I think the ultimate sacrifice a parent can show of love is obviously shielding your children, which you shouldn't be doing --
TERRY: -- in a Walmart when you're shopping for school supplies.
CHURCH: A tragic loss for that family.
And a U.S. Army soldier was shopping by himself at the El Paso Walmart when he heard the gunfire. He put his own life at risk and carried three children to safety. As you'll see, it's very difficult for him to talk about what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARMY SPC. GLEN OAKLEY, WITNESS: I understand it was heroic and I'm looked at as a hero for it. But that wasn't the reason for me -- I'm just focused on the kids -- I just -- and the families that were lost because it hurts me, like, I lost -- like they were part of me.
I want to reach out to the families that were lost and the families that lost their children because the focus should not be on me, it should be on the world and what happened in Ohio and what happened in Chicago and what happened yesterday should not be on me.
I know what I did was heroic. But I'm more focused on the families that were lost and the kids that died and the people that died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: We'll be right back.
CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN's breaking news coverage. The director of the FBI has ordered his offices around the United States to do a new threat assessment to help thwart future mass attacks in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend. El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, are in mourning after back-to-back attacks. Twenty-nine people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in both shootings.
[00:30:17] Police say each incident involved a lone gunman who was a white male under the age of 25. Police believe both expressed extreme and violent views that they put in writing.
In El Paso, police say the suspect has been volunteering information to authorities and has shown no remorse and no regrets. His case will be prosecuted as both a capital murder and a hate crime. In Dayton, Ohio, officials are still searching for a motive. The
gunman was shot dead after he opened fire in a popular nightlife district, killing nine people, including his own sister.
Now, we are getting more reaction from the witnesses of the Dayton, Ohio, shooting. Anthony Reynolds had just left the bar where the shooting happened. He ran out back as people inside were rushing out. And this is the video he took of those moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: This is the scene outside the Ned Peppers Bar. CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with Anthony, who says he saw the shooter that night.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Anthony, I understand you left Ned Peppers just after 1 a.m., which was just seconds before the shooter opened fire. Can you just tell me where you were, and when did you realize something awful was happening?
ANTHONY REYNOLDS, WITNESS: I was leaving out of Ned Peppers at 1:05 a.m., and that's the exact time, because I had looked at my phone. I was with a family member, my cousin, and as we was walking out the door, I just remember telling -- I'm remember telling a security guard at the door -- he's there every weekend -- I usually visit the bar quite frequently -- and I remember telling him, you guys are having a heck of a party in there. And we laughed about that. And I could see that the line was still packed with people trying to get in, because the club doesn't close until, like, 2 or 2:30 a.m.
Once I walk past that line, once I get, maybe, towards the end of the line, I'm like ten to 15 feet away from the door. You hear the first -- you hear the first shot, but you're not really understanding it is a shot, because it is not a familiar sound down there.
So we're looking around to see what was going around, but then you hear the second shot. And when you hear the second shot, you realize somebody's shooting, but you still don't know what's going on.
And so then I start hearing rapid fire, just repetitive shooting, and it sounded like big guns. So I'm instantly telling my -- I'm looking for my family member, and when I looked and realized that he wasn't on the side or in front of me, I knew he was behind me, so I turned around, and I'm like, "Come on, man. There's shooting."
And as -- I'm sorry -- as I was turning around, is when I was actually able to see the guy shooting. And when I seen those people on the line's bodies start, like, falling, I knew people was getting hit. And so I kind of like -- kind of hightailed it out of there.
COOPER: What did the -- you say you actually saw the shooter.
REYNOLDS: He was a white man. He had on black. He had a long rifle- style gun. And he had a mask that covered the lower half of his face, but you could still see that top vision of his face.
COOPER: So, you know, as you say, we all think of what we would do in a situation like this, and you never really know what you're going to do until you're in a situation like this, because you can't really imagine the adrenaline, the fear, all the things, the chaos.
You -- you started videotaping at some point. Can you just kind of tell us where -- and we're going to show the video. Can you just tell us where you -- what are we looking at? This is -- this is the scene right outside the club?
REYNOLDS: What you're seeing are the people that are trying to get out of the back of Ned Peppers, because the shooter is in the front. And once we traveled around, I was on the front strip. And so once I traveled around, I was able to see the back of the club, and those are people who are just falling out of the clubs, trying to -- the security guards are doing their best to try to get people out. You see them pulling people. People are helping people. There's even more footage out there. You see people giving each other CPR, you know giving victims CPR, you know what I'm saying? And just chest compressions and everything. Like, people are just trying to help.
COOPER: And I mean, had you left the club, you know, a minute later, you could've been right in the middle of that.
REYNOLDS: Thirty seconds. I'm not even going to give myself a minute, 30 seconds. And that's what I said when I was coming out of that club and my cousin, we were having that conversation. And he said we should have stayed until 1:30, because we were having such a good time.
And we've seen that there were so many people down there everybody seemed to be having a good time. And we wished we could have stayed, but we had work planned. He had a 4 p.m. in time, and I had a 6 a.m. in time that I had to be in work, so we were leaving at that time for that reason.
[00:35:12] The security guard you talked to on the way out, who you said there was a good party inside, did that person, are they OK? Do you know?
REYNOLDS: As far as what we understand, all security were OK. There's a lot of stories going around. I hope everybody is OK, man. Just because seeing that -- seeing that firsthand, it got me shaken up. And last night, I was kind of just in shock. And I was talking to a lot of reporters just to give them the real story so we wouldn't get, like, soundbites or get -- you know what I'm saying -- wrong stores. I wanted to let people understand the truth that, like, this stuff was serious.
I see a lot of times online, when I see people say that these things are a hoax, or I see people thinking that these things are fake, because you're not going through it, these things are real.
I've got a 12-year-old daughter. I've got a ten-year-old daughter. I've got a fiance. I've got a career. I've got a family. Like, I'm happy that I was able to make it home. And I sat in my driveway all night until 6 a.m., just praising that I was able to make it home but just feeling so, like, sad that so many people wasn't able to make it home. And then understand that people in my community that we grew up with, you know, are going to be devastated and their lives are changed.
REYNOLDS: And my life changed, because even today, as I'm sitting out here, I'm just thinking -- you know what I'm saying -- that anytime somebody can come through and just take my life into their hands.
CHURCH: A chilling eyewitness report there. And in the wake of the mass shootings, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke says President Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric has fanned the flames.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a president right now who traffics in this hatred, who insights this violent, who incites this violence, who calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, who calls asylum seekers animals and an infestation. You may call a cockroach an infestation. You may use that word in the Third Reich to describe those who are undesirable, who must be put down because they are subhuman. You do not expect to hear that in the United States of America in this age, in our generation.
When we return, hear more from O'Rourke and a statement from the acting White House chief of staff.
[00:41:10] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Well, the Mexican government is looking to take legal action against the United States after seven Mexican nationals were killed in Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
Mexico's foreign secretary announced the move in a press conference in Mexico City on Sunday, adding that the country will offer its support to Mexican citizens affected by the atrocity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCELO EBRAD, MEXICAN FOREIGN SECRETARY (through translator): We consider this act a terrorist act against the Mexican-American community in the United States. Consequently, first of all, we are in contact with the families affected. It is in the interest of this office, and it's our commitment to follow them and represent them in the investigative process that should be opened by American authorities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And President Trump says he will make an official statement in the coming hours about the mass shootings. On Sunday, he offered his condolences and ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims. He also acknowledged that more can be done to address gun violence in the United States.
He's pressuring his administration to develop some type of action plan in response to the spate of deadly shootings, which he may reveal in his upcoming announcement. Mr. Trump is also pointing once again to mental health problems in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is mental illness. These are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill.
Hate has no place in our country. And we're going to take care of it. We have to get it stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke echoes Mr. Trump's sentiments that hate has no place in the United States, but he told CNN's Jake Tapper that he blames the president for encouraging a hate-filled environment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'ROURKE: We've got to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we're seeing. There's an environment of it in the United States. We see it on FOX News. We see it on the Internet. But we also see it from our commander in chief, and he is encouraging this. He doesn't just tolerate it. He encourages it.
Calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, warning of an invasion at our border, seeking to ban all people of one religion. Folks are responding to this. It doesn't just offend us; it encourages the kind of violence we're seeing, including in my hometown of El Paso yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And with so many politicians pointing to President Trump's rhetoric as inciting hate, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is trying to distance the administration from the shootings. He claims politics and the president's words have nothing to do with it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you say to Americans who look at what happened in El Paso and say that the president's rhetoric is in part to blame? What do you say to those Americans? You know there are many.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The president is just as sad as -- saddened by this as you are. The president is just as angry about this as you are and wants to do something about it just as much as everybody else does.
I hate to draw attention to the manifesto, but if you actually go and look at it, what the -- what the guy says is that he's felt this way a long time before Donald Trump got elected president. This was a sick person. The person at Dayton was a sick person. No politician is to blame for that. The people who are responsible here are the people who pulled the trigger. We need to figure out how to -- how to create less of those kinds of people as a society and not try to figure out who gets blames going into the next election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And a prominent U.S. soccer player is weighing in. Philadelphia Union Captain Alejandro Bedoya used his goal celebration on Sunday to make a plea for action on gun violence. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fabio (ph) on left, and Bedoya shot. Off the post and in. And the Union take the early lead.
ALEJANDRO BEDOYA, PHILADELPHIA UNION CAPTAIN: Congress, do something now. End gun violence! Let's go!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: In a Twitter post, Bedoya acknowledged he's not a policy maker but suggests stricter background checks and taxing ammunition as a possible way to curb gun violence.
Well, in other global news, it is the fifth straight day of protests in Hong Kong. What demonstrators are hoping to gain by holding a citywide strike. That's still to come, just after this break.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, pro-democracy protesters are trying to shut the city down today. They're holding a general strike, blocking subway trains and traffic routes. More than 100 flights out of Hong Kong's international airport have been canceled. Motor gatherings are planned next hour in seven districts across the city. Some have police permission and some don't.
So, let's get now from Kristie Lu Stout, who joins us live from Hong Kong.
Kristie, the big question now is how Hong Kong authorities will respond to all of this.
[00:50:07] KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, especially what's happening this day. Hong Kong protests are raging on with this citywide strike. That is testing the limits of both the authorities, the police and the protesters.
We saw travel chaos earlier this day and throughout the day involving the mass rapid transit system, the MTR subway system here in Hong Kong that 5 million commuters rely on. Major lines have been reported to be delayed or suspended.
More travel chaos taking place at the Hong Kong International Airport, the eighth busiest airport in the world, with over 100 cancellations and, later on this afternoon, strike action. With striking protesters deciding that there will be seven simultaneous rallies taking place in seven different districts across the city, including one outside Disneyland.
Now, this all comes after those violent, chaotic scenes played out yet again over the weekend, what started as peaceful protests, culminating and protests. Tear gas again being deployed on Saturday night and Sunday night in busy commercial and residential districts.
That violence was condemned by the chief executive, Carrie Lam, who finally spoke, gave a press conference after two weeks, in the last two hours. She condemned the violence and said that it is pushing Hong Kong into a dangerous situation, while adding that this is a time for Hong Kong to rally together without offering any concrete steps how.
We have team coverage on the Hong Kong protests and the citywide strikes this day with Ben Wedeman, live on the ground in Admiralty, as well as Anna Coren live at the airport.
Let's start first with Anna. Again, Anna, you are at the world's eighth busiest airport. Reports of travel chaos there. What have you seen?
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, as we know, this is one of the most best airports, most efficient airports in the world. It has been thrown into chaos today.
We have received confirmation that airport management has told Cafe Pacific, the local carrier here in Hong Kong, that the airport and the airspace, the runway and the air space here has been reduced to a 50 percent capacity. Now, no specific reason has been given, and we have pushed airport management time and time again this morning, but from what we can gather, it's because of the general strike.
Local reporting here in Hong Kong, local media is saying it's because there are ground crew, as well as air traffic control crew, who are joining the protests, who are striking, which is why the airport is only opportunity 50 percent capacity.
I mean, Kristie, if you happen to look at the board behind me, the departures board behind me, it shows cancellations everywhere. It really is quite extraordinary. More than 100 flights outbound have been canceled. More than 100 flights inbound have been cancelled.
And really, we have spoken to some commuters who said that their flights have been canceled, that it may take them two days to get out of Hong Kong.
And you'll see over here. This is where the assistance and inquiries line. There are people queued up, trying to work out what flight they are going to get on and how to get out of Hong Kong.
As I say, Kristie, one of the best and most efficient airports in the world, that has been thrown into chaos because of that general strike -- Kristie.
STOUT: Yes. And in turn, that will sully the international reputation of that airport, as well as Hong Kong as an international finance center. Anna Coren, reporting live from the Hong Kong International Airport. Thank you.
And we have CNN's Ben Wedeman standing by. He is in the Hong Kong district of Admiralty, which is now known the world over, because that is where Hong Kong's Parliament, the legislative council, is located, as well as the office of the embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, where in the last few hours, Ben Wedeman was there when Carrie Lam finally spoke to the press after two weeks of effective silence to the media.
Ben, it sounded, in her comments, that she was ready to offer condemnations but not necessarily concessions or a solution to what's been happening here.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact, we did not hear the chief executive offer any sort stepping down, as far as her position goes. She did not, for instance, volunteer that she would resign, which is one of the demands of many of people here.
And the main demand, the main condition of the protest movement: that there be an independent commission to investigate police brutality. She said that's not going to happen either.
She did warn, however, that with this -- we're in -- beginning our tenth week of protests here in Hong Kong -- with that the strike, that the protest movement is, she warned, playing with fire.
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[00:55:06] CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: Such extensive disruptions in the name of certain demands or uncooperative movement have seriously undermined Hong Kong's law and order and our pushing our city, the city we all love, and many of us help to build, to the verge of a very dangerous situation.
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WEDEMAN: And what we're seeing is people beginning to gather for one of those seven rallies here, right next to the Legislative Council where, of course, on the 1st of July, the protesters actually broke into.
It's a very sensitive location, not only because of the Legislative Council but also because the main office of the -- the People's Liberation Army of mainland China is just on the other side. So a very sensitive location where these protests are happening again today -- Kristie.
STOUT: Got it. Ben Wedeman reporting live from outside that sensitive location in Admiralty. Ben, thank you.
Let's take it back to Rosemary Church. And Rosemary, we will continue to keep tabs on the situation here: the strike action, which is due to gain momentum soon, as well as the situation at the airport.
Back to you.
CHURCH: Of course. Thank you so much, Kristie. Appreciate that.
And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with much more on our breaking news coverage of the two mass shootings in the United States. You're watching CNN.