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Two Separate Shootings in America; Mexico Considering Legal Action. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We continue following the breaking news. Two separate mass shootings in the United States, from Texas to Ohio, two communities are now dealing with the aftermath. Welcome to viewers here in the United States and around the world. I am George Howell at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. These two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas in total claim the lives of a least 29 people, dozens more people wounded.

The first attack started with a gunman opening fire at an El Paso Walmart in the state of Texas, 20 people were killed before the alleged shooter was taken into custody. And then hours later, another gunman struck in Dayton, Ohio. His rampage lasted less than a minute, but he claimed nine lives. The attacker was also killed by police within moments of his first shots.

The attack in El Paso is being treated as domestic terrorism. The alleged shooter is being charged with capital murder. And as for motive, authorities say that he posted a racist and white nationalist manifesto online. The disturbing document lays out of the reasons for the attack and singles out Hispanics.

That is significant because El Paso is a border town. Of the 20 people killed, Mexico says it at least 7 were its citizens. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more now on the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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: I am looking (Inaudible) to see what is going on and then people come in and then a hear boom, boom, boom.

LAVANDERA: Thousands of shoppers, including families simply thinking of their back to school shopping list filled the store and parking lot where the shooting started.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was -- people were running from inside the mall 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: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have one person in custody. I can confirm that it is a white male in his twenties.

LAVANDERA: This suspect lives 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.

CHIEF GREG ALLEN, EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now, we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates to some degree that he has a nexus to potential hate crime. The FBI will be looking into that with other federal authorities. But right now, we are looking at potential capital murder charges for this individual.

LAVANDERA: Hours after the attack, local political leaders try to grasp the magnitude of the loss.

JEFF MOODY, TEXAS STATE HOUSE: 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 will go to bed without them.

LAVANDERA: On Sunday, El Paso's district attorney, Jaime Esparza, announced the gunman will face the most severe punishment.

JAIME ESPARZA, TEXAS 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And as for the massacre in Ohio, investigators don't yet know the motive for why the gunman opened fire outside of a bar in Dayton. But his former high school classmates say that he once had a hit list of students that he wanted to either kill or hurt. When all is said and done, though, nine people were killed and many, many more were injured. Our Ryan Young has more now from Dayton, Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A flurry of shots shows the brief but deadly moments as the suspected gunman opened fire on Saturday night crows in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Police say the gunman parked his car and walked through Dayton's Oregon district, a neighborhood known for its night life, and began firing shots just after 1:00 a.m. Surveillance video shows crowds running from the shots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired, shots fired.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible)

YOUNG: Dayton police routinely patrol this area on Saturday nights, and they were able to respond in seconds.

[02:05:00] NAN WHALEY, DAYTON OHIO MAYOR: The suspect opened fire along the Oregon district. He was wearing body armor and used a 223 caliber high capacity magazine. He had additional magazines.

RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE CHIEF: The threat was neutralized in approximately 30 seconds of the suspect firing his first shots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have shots fired. We're going to need local medics.

YOUNG: Two women say they were out with girlfriends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People just started running. They started pushing us out the back door.

YOUNG: Her friend she says she remembers chatting with a woman about their outfits, but the next time she saw her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was lying on the concrete bed outside of the club we were at.

YOUNG: Robert Woodruff says he was standing several feet away from the gunman as he fired shots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was about to die (Inaudible). He was standing over top of me. Like, he started shooting at the guy, so he saved everybody that was out here.

YOUNG: Despite the quick response, at least nine were killed and more than a dozen injured. One of those killed was the shooter's own 22- year-old sister.

MIKE DEWINE, OHIO GOVERNOR: The officers who were involved in ending this tragedy, their professionalism, their quickness, their amazing courage, and their response undoubtedly saved many, many, many lives. We will never know how many lives were saved. The assailant was obviously very, very close to being able to kill dozens and dozens more people.

YOUNG: Ryan Young, Dayton, Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And now, Steve Moore is with us. Steve is CNN's law enforcement contributor joining this hour from Dallas, Texas, Steve, good to have you. STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: Let's focus in on each shooting separately. First, Dayton, Ohio, the most recent mass shooting, we know that the gunman had a minimal criminal history, and he purchased both weapons legally. Was there really anything about his background, Steve, that could have tipped off police before any of this happened?

MOORE: Not that I have seen. Of course, that is what the investigation is going to produce. When I worked these shootings in the past, you know nothing about them. And it is kind of like writing a biography about them as you go, and you find that sometimes, in fact, most of the time science were missed.

HOWELL: He killed nine people including his own sister, injured more than a dozen others. And apparently was wearing body armor, Steve, when police quickly arrived to shoot and kill him. We don't yet know the motive, but clearly his aim was to create as much carnage as possible here.

MOORE: Yes, it was. And -- if by the way, your earlier question was about the Dayton shooter, he was showing signs. I mean anybody who in high school comes up with a hit list and, you know things like that, these are strong indicators of potential violence. The other thing is the plan to get body armor in here and to wear a mask, things like that. These are all designed, believe it or not, to cause more casualties, because the longer you live the more you can kill.

HOWELL: Now, to El Paso, Texas. The alleged gunman surrendered without a shot fired, a white supremacist. He could face the death penalty. And authorities are calling this, Steve, a case of domestic terrorism. Explain to our viewers around the world that distinction. What exactly does that mean for this investigation?

MOORE: Domestic terrorism, any terrorism is considered by the FBI to be terrorism when you use violence to promote a political or social change. So when you kill based on race, when you kill based on immigration status, when you kill to make a statement that you don't agree with what your country is doing or not doing, that that is a terrorist act, rather than simply for instance in the Dayton thing.

This -- I mean he killed his sister. This guy just may have been nuts. As opposed to the kind of mental illness that the guy in El Paso had which was directed at a specific group. One is murder. One is murder with a terrorism aspect.

HOWELL: To your point there, Steve, you know, we have heard from the president of Mexico indicating that this could be, you know, an international incident situation that the suspect is a terrorist and could be extradited to Mexico. Do you have any thoughts on that?

[02:09:53] MOORE: Well, I -- the first thing I would say is Mexico does not have the death penalty. So where would you rather have him? Number two, maybe they make a point on that. However, it happened in the United States and American citizens were killed. We have custody of him, so we have primary jurisdiction, just not put too fine a legal point on it.

HOWELL: Right. And then given what has happened here, Steve, look, it has been a deadly weekend, the FBI director...

(CROSSTALK)

MOORE: Unbelievable.

HOWELL: Offices -- yeah, right around the country to basically do a threat assessment to identify risks, to possibly prevent future mass attacks. How challenging would you say it is for these authorities to monitor these hate groups, these different groups that are out there, and try to stay ahead of people who have put their words online into action?

MOORE: You know we are long overdue in looking deeper into this stuff. I used to work white supremacist matters. And people that we saw online eventually, occasionally killed people and did mass shootings. But at the same time, it is kind of like the surgeon general calling all the doctors and saying, oh, you know what we need to kill cancer this week. You can't really guarantee anything.

You might get a little marginal improvement. But too much of the time, the people who do this don't show significant signs before they go forward. Sometimes, tragically, they show massive signs that we should have picked up on. And I think what the director is doing is saying we're not going to miss any of the low-hanging fruit anymore.

But at the same time, what he is asking is don't hold too much hope. And I know he does not hold too much hope of solving the entire issue.

HOWELL: We understand that police response in both instances and incidents was very quick. In Dayton, Ohio, they responded incredibly fast. We understand and within a minute, you know, the gunman was neutralized, as the officials say. Talk to us about the training that really goes into play here for these authorities to act quickly and, you know, make sure that situations like this are brought to an end.

MOORE: This is called Active Shooter Training or Rapid Action Tactics, things that we are all trained in and after Columbine, really. And what it means is that you are taking a different tactic. Standard police tactics means you get cover. You get a position of concealment. You move carefully. You get shields. Rapid Action Tactics with an active shooter means you go to the sound of the bullets and you fire.

You are giving up your safety in order to stop that, because we know that on average one person dies for every minute that a person is allowed to shoot. These people went way above that statistic. And it reminds me of Thousand Oaks, my hometown, where we lost a Sergeant Ron Helus a few months ago when he went in using

It is very dangerous. And these officers risked their lives. When you interdict this within 30 seconds, you are not taking shelter. You're not seeking cover. You are putting your body in front of the shooter, and it is heroic.

HOWELL: Indeed. Steve Moore, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

MOORE: Thank you.

HOWELL: And, of course, you can learn much more about these different deadly shootings. A lot of information that we're covering, from everything on El Paso to the shooting in Dayton, and for any and all live updates, head to CNN.com for the latest. The survivors of the deadly shootings are speaking out. Up next, we will hear from one a man about the horror that he witnessed on Sunday in Ohio.

[02:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Recapping our top story, two cities here in the United States are dealing with the aftermath of two mass shootings after what's been a deadly weekend. In El Paso, Texas at least 20 people were killed, this when a gunman opened fired at a shopping center. And in Dayton, Ohio another shooter killed nine people at a popular nightclub, a nightlife area there.

That attack happened just 13 hours after the first one. We are getting more reaction from the witnesses of the Dayton shooting. Anthony Reynolds had just left the bar before the attack happened. He ran to the back of the building as people inside were rushing out. My colleague, Anderson Cooper, spoke with Anthony about exactly what he saw and heard. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anthony, I understand that you left (Inaudible) just after 1:00 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, SHOOTING WITNESS: I was leaving out of (Inaudible) at 1:05 a.m. And that is the exact time because I had to look at my phone. I was with a family member, my cousin. And as he was walking out the door, I just remember telling -- I remember telling a security guard at the door he's there (Inaudible) weekend. I used to visit the workout quite frequently.

And I remember telling him you guys are having a heck of a party here. And we laughed about that. And I could see that the (Inaudible) was still packed with people trying to get in because the club does not close until 2:30 a.m. And once I walked passed that line and once I get maybe towards the end of the line, I am like 10 to 15 feet away from the door.

You hear the first shot, but you are not really understanding that it's a shot because it's not a familiar sound down there. So you're looking around to see what's going on, but then you hear the second shot. And when you hear the second shot, you realize somebody is shooting but you still don't understand what is going on.

And so then I just started hearing rapid fire, just repetitive shooting. And it sounded like big guns. So I am instantly telling -- I'm looking for my family member. And when I looked and realized that he wasn't side or in front of me, I knew he was behind me so I turned around and I said come man they're shooting, and as -- I am sorry. [02:20:10] As I was turning around is when I was actually able to see

the guy shooting. And when I see those people and realize started bodies falling, I knew people were getting hit so I kind of like -- kind of high tailed it out of there.

COOPER: What did the -- you said 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 the top vision of his face.

COOPER: So, you know, as you said -- it is one thing, you know, we all think of what we would do in a situation like this. And you never really know what you are going to do until you are in a situation like this, because you can't really imagine the adrenaline, the fear, all the things, the chaos. You started videotaping at some point.

Can you just kind of tell us -- we are going to show the video. Can just you tell us where -- what are we looking at, this is the scene right outside the club.

REYNOLDS: Right. What you are seeing are the people that are trying to get out of the back of (Inaudible) 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 club, trying to -- security guard (Inaudible) trying to get people out.

You see people are helping people. There's even more footage out there. You can see people giving each other CPR, you know, giving victims CPR, you know what I'm saying? Just chest compressions and everything, like, people were 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 is what I said when I was coming out of that club with my cousin. We were having that conversation. And he said we should have stayed till 1:30 because we were having such a good time. And then we've seen so many people down there.

Everybody seemed to be having a good time. And we wished we could've stayed, but we had work planned. He had a four o'clock in time and I had a 6:00 a.m. in time that I had to be in work, so we were at that time for that reason.

COOPER: The security guard you talked to you on the way out, you know, he said he had a good party inside. Did that person -- are they OK, do you know?

REYNOLDS: As far as we understand, all the security was OK. There are a lot of stories going around. I hope everybody is OK, man, because 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 supporters just giving them the real story so we wouldn't get sound bites, you know what I'm saying?

(Inaudible) I want people to understand the truth. This stuff was serious. I see a lot of times online when I see people saying that these things are a hoax, or I see the people thinking that these names are fake because you're not going through it. These things are real. I have a 12-year-old daughter. I have got a 10-year-old daughter. I got a fiance.

I got family. I am happy that I was able to make it home. And I sat in my driveway all night till to 6:00 a.m. just praising that I was able to make it home, but just feeling so sad that so many people were not 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 in their lives.

My life changed because even today as I am sitting out here and just thinking, you know what I am saying anyone comes through and just take my life into their hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The communities of El Paso in Texas and Dayton, Ohio, they are remembering the victims of the shooting from this weekend. On Sunday, people came together to join in the march against gun violence. This is the scene there in El Paso, Texas. The U.S. presidential candidate, Beto O'Rourke keeping in mind El Paso is his town. He joined the marchers there.

And in Dayton, Ohio hundreds of people came together for a vigil. They held candles. They sang songs and prayed for those who lost their lives. We are also learning that one of the victims in El Paso died protecting her baby. The family of Jordan (Inaudible) says that she shielded her two-month old son while the shots were being fired.

Her husband, Andre, was among those killed in the shooting as well. The baby survived, though. The baby was treated at a hospital after suffering broken bones. Jordan's sisters spoke with NBC News about her sibling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LETA JAMROWSKI, VICTIM'S SISTER: She was incredible. She had a personality that could light up an entire room. Everybody loved her. She was an incredible mom, too. She was just a wonderful person. And she would give anything for those kids, anything, even her life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:25:01] HOWELL: A man who lost two of his cousins in the Ohio shooting is now calling for American gun laws to be changed. Here is his emotional plea to the U.S. president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAMON DAVENPORT, COUSIN OF TWO DAYTON SHOOTING VICTIMS: My family's lost for words. But I got to remain strong. You know, you have people in high places. You know, and I'm going to get on every news station I am going to shout this out. You know, we have gun laws. People can just go and buy guns and, you know, not even be registered or not even qualify.

You know, they can just walk into a gun store and buy high powered equipment and walk right out and kill people in broad daylight, broad night time. This has got to stop. This has got to stop. And today's going to be the day that it does stop. I am shouting now to the president of the United States. I want this to go viral.

But make sure that this is on every news station, because my cousins did not deserve to lose their life. They have children, hardworking people. All they were doing was enjoying a night on the town and they're dead, never to come home again, never to see their family again. They are gone. And I want the president to hear this. Donald Trump, I want you to hear this. You need to be here right now. You need to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The message there from Damon Davenport. The White House has not said yet whether Mr. Trump will visit that area. The president, though, has ordered American flags to be flown at half staff as a mark of solemn respect for the victims. A terrorist attack against Mexicans, those are the words of Mexico's foreign minister after Saturday's shooting in El Paso, Texas. His government is now weighing legal action.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:00] HOWELL: We continue following the breaking news from Texas to Ohio, two mass shootings in the United States, and now communities dealing with the aftermath. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta.

The director of the FBI has ordered a new threat assessment after these two mass shootings over the weekend, Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, they're both mourning after these back-to-back attacks. In all, 29 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded.

Police say that each incident had a lone gunman, a white male, under the age of 25 years old. Police believe both expressed extreme and violent views that put -- they put into writing. In Dayton, Ohio, officials are still searching for a motive. The gunman was shot dead after he opened fire in a popular nightlife district and killed nine people, including his own sister.

And in El Paso, police there say that the suspect had been volunteering information to authorities and had showed no remorse and no regrets. He's been charged with capital murder. He could possibly face hate crime charges.

In the meantime, the Mexican government is looking to take legal action against the United States after seven Mexican nationals were killed in the mass shooting in El Paso. Mexico's foreign secretary announced the move in a press conference in Mexico City, on Sunday. He added that the country will offer its support to Mexican citizens who have been affected by this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCELO EBRARD, FOREIGN SECRETARY, MEXICO (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)

HOWELL: Let's take a closer look now at this with Clarissa Martinez, Clarissa, the deputy vice president for UnidosUS, a nonpartisan Latino civil rights advocacy organization, joining us this hour in San Diego, California, Clarissa, thank you for your time.

CLARISSA MARTINEZ, DEPUTY VICE PRESIDENT, UNIDOSUS (via Skype): Thank you.

HOWELL: Look, we understand that your group just held its annual conference there in San Diego, given the timing, of course, coinciding with this shooting in El Paso, how did that weigh into the discussions there? What are people saying?

MARTINEZ: Well, UnidosUS has a network of nearly 300 community-based organizations, many of them in Texas and several of them in El Paso, so the news of the tragedy came in as we were sharing strategies and ideas on how to increase the voice of the Latino community in the United States.

And so, as you can imagine, the news of this tragedy hit this community and everybody at our conference very, very hard.

HOWELL: I want to get back to that in a moment, you say increasing the voice of many of these communities, but at the same time, we are hearing from a lot of politicians who are pointing to the inflammatory rhetoric around the immigration as a major cause of emboldening hate groups. What more do you think can be done about tamping down xenophobic rhetoric?

MARTINEZ: Well, let me say first that I agree with that sentiment, also Latino civil rights organization our heart braces at many levels about this tragedy. One, for the too many mass shootings in our country is experiencing and that affect all of us, no matter what color we are.

And then, particular with El Paso, because it's a prime example that words have consequences, and we have been seeing Latinos how an environment of toxic rhetoric and attempts to paint as does not belong in this country, is certainly a precursor and fuel for the kind of senseless violence that we saw in El Paso.

And you could say that -- some may say that it's a dotted line or a direct line, but that line goes all the way to the White House, because the President has created a rhetoric to see the fear and division among fellow Americans, and Latinos are not alone, but are only the latest victims of this kind of fuelling of hate and division that sadly is being echoed and coming from the White House.

Look, you talk also about increasing the voices of these communities to drown out that other narrative against these communities, as you say.

[02:35:03] What sort of solutions or steps did your group talk about to increase the voices?

MARTINEZ: In terms of what can be done to create an antidote to this kind of hate that we are seeing, being emboldened. I will tell you that we take great consolation and knowing that the vast majority of Americans believe, to this day, that diversity is one of our country's greatest assets.

And therefore, we are committing ourselves, as a civil rights organization, are nearly 300 affiliates, who together serve millions of immigrants and citizens every year. That we are going to lift up that very American aspiration of tapping the strength of our diversity, to take a stem against those who seek to divide us, but also to strengthen the ties that binds us to each other as Americans.

For Latinos, in particular, that also means raising our voices in our communities, creating those spaces where people come together, but also, in the voting booth, because America deserves leaders that lead us forward and not turn us against each other.

HOWELL; Just looking at what happened in El Paso, so many lives lost from this mass shooting, what would you say the overall impact is on this community, as they try to move forward?

MARTINEZ: I think our country is exhausted from the constant news of mass shootings. There is not one single thing that is going to fix those things. We know that sometimes, mental health plays a role when you know that, sometimes, as in the case of El Paso, disturbingly, hate plays a role, and in this case, hate that is being fueled by elected officials which is shameful.

We also know that the proliferation and the lack of safety measures in the ownership of guns is an issue, and we know that majority of Americans actually have concessions on what to do on all of those fronts. Latinos are incredibly reasonable, just like their fellow Americans.

And we need to keep the pressure up, so that we get our elected leaders to follow the will of the people in providing sensible solutions on all of these fronts.

HOWELL: Clarissa Martinez, we appreciate your time, thank you.

MARTINEZ: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: Monday morning here, in the United States, and two communities dealing with a tragedy. We continue to bring you coverage of the aftermath of these two shootings in Ohio and Texas, over the weekend. Plus, it is the fifth straight day of protest in Hong Kong. We're following the story what demonstrators are hoping to gain by holding a city-wide strike. It's having a big impact. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Two communities in the United States are coming to terms with tragedy after mass shootings that happened within a span of 13 hours, in Texas and Ohio. Overall, 29 people were killed and dozens more people were injured.

In Texas, authorities say the alleged shooter surrendered to law enforcement. And in Ohio, the shooter was shot and killed by police moments after opening fire on the victims.

We are also following news around the world, a developing story in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy activists are staging a city-wide strike and they are holding a massive demonstration around the city. Let's go live now to Hong Kong with Kristie Lu Stout, following develops there. Kristie?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And George, after more than nine consecutive weeks of major and highly disruptive protests, we have this day, a significant city-wide strike action taking place that is really testing the limits of Hong Kong authorities, of the police, the protesters, and the 7.4 million people who call Hong Kong, home.

There has been travel chaos this day, and the Mass Rapid Transit System, the subway system or MTR, here in Hong Kong, where a number of major lines have reported suspensions or delays. Travel chaos at the Hong Kong International Airport, the eighth busiest airport in the world.

There have been over 100 flight cancellations and reports that the runways are only at 50 percent capacity. We also know about 2,300 aviation workers are participating in the strike. The strike, now fully underway, taking place in seven districts, simultaneously, across Hong Kong.

Earlier today, we finally heard from the embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who after two weeks -- we've been waiting two weeks for her to address the press, she mentioned the Hong Kong protest, she was quick to condemn the violence, but she said the Hong Kong government is standing its ground. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE LAM, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HONG KONG: As a result of these widespread disruptions and violence, the great majority of Hong Kong people are now in a state of great anxiety. Some of them do not know whether they could still take some forms of public transport, while others are, right now, being blocked on the way to work.

The government will be resolute in maintaining law and order in Hong Kong and restoring confidence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam there. She also said that the ongoing Hong Kong protest is pushing the territory into a dangerous situation and added that from this point on, there will be daily press briefings by the Hong Kong police.

She failed to mention what's happening currently at the Hong Kong International Airport. That's where we had CNN Anna Coren who's been monitoring the travel chaos and disruptions there. She joined us, once again. Anna, what's the latest?

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, we finally got confirmation from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union to say that 2,300 aviation staff here at Hong Kong International Airport are on strike.

That is why we are seeing the chaos and the destructions and the cancellations. Just look at the departure board and you can see that there were a bunch of cancellations, obviously, they have just refreshed that.

But, earlier, there were dozens of cancellations on that screen. It looks like they have refreshed their schedule, but as you say, Kristie, 100 inbound flights cancelled and 100 outbound flights cancelled. And the airport only operating at 50 percent capacity, airspace and runway, we understand that one of the runways is not in use.

[02:45:05] Now, interestingly, the airport management authority refuses to confirm why the cancellations, why the disruption here. When we put it to them, that it is because their workers are on strike, their air traffic control, their ground operation people, their airline crews, they refused to confirm or deny.

Basically, it was just no comment. We don't know if that is an instruction from the Hong Kong government to try and pretend like everything is still in order. Hong Kong, obviously, is one of the best airports, most efficient airports, in the world. But today, it certainly was thrown into chaos.

Earlier, we saw the disruption on the trains, we were down at the train stations when protesters were holding the doors open. They did that for hours, disrupting the train system here in Hong Kong.

But, this just goes to show, Kristie, what the protesters can do when they come together. This is obviously a general strike here. This is a day when everybody is not going to work and is participating in the strikes.

As we say, 2,300 members here in the airport who work here have decided not to turn out to work. They are striking along with all those other protesters. But as we know, this is a major international hub and something like the airport that runs, you know, pretty much around the clock when that is affected. When transport is affected, when business is affected, a sentiment really is affected. Confidence is affected and the economy will suffer. That was obviously something that Carrie Lam mentioned during her speech.

(CROSSTALK)

STOUT: Yes.

COREN: Is something the Hong Kong government has reiterated over time.

STOUT: Yes.

COREN: But, certainly, things like today, Kristie, really affect the perception to the outside world.

STOUT: Absolutely, and seems like that and the number of cancellations are kind of bode well for Hong Kong's international reputation. Anna Coren, reporting live from the Hong Kong International Airport.

Let's take you to Hong Kong Island now. The scene outside the Legislative Council and Admiralty where strike action. There is underway, Ben Wedeman joins us now. Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, Kristie. What we're seeing is the thousand -- well, over 10,000 people are taking part in this police sanctions protest right next to the Legislative Council.

Now, what's interesting is that in addition to the many young people wearing black which is -- has become the color of this protest. There are also a smattering of people in their office clothings.

Those who did actually go to work but have gotten out early and have come to participate in this protest.

Now, we asked people about their reaction to chief executive Carrie Lam press conference this morning. One woman told me, it was simply B.S. that she did not respond to the minimum demands of the protest movement.

The first demand that this woman said was a final scrapping of the extradition law. And now, Carrie Lam has said that, that law is dead but it has not been officially scrapped. In addition to that, many people remain angry over what they see as police brutality in the -- pressing this protests.

They want to see the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into police brutality. Since then, over the last nine weeks, we spoke to one man who was on his way to work this morning in one of the subway stations, told us he was very upset, for instance, over a video in city circulating of police manhandling a woman yesterday.

So, there seems to be a lot of anger that is not in any way been diluted by Carrie Lam's press conference -- the first in two weeks that she held this morning in the building right next to me. Kristie?

STOUT: Yes, there was already anger because of the demands being unmet. But after that press conference earlier today that no concessions offered by the embattled chief executive, more anger fueling the protests move in. Ben Wedeman, reporting live for us from the Hong Kong district of Admiralty.

And George, before I toss it over to you, I just want to gesticulate here over my shoulder, the protest scene there in Admiralty. I'm in Kowloon side. If you look over the Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island side, so many people are taking part. It is visible from even here.

Thousands of people are taking part in the citywide strike in Admiralty. It's a scene being repeated across the city. Many people further angered by those comments by the chief executive earlier today.

About an hour ago, I spoke to one pro-democracy activist Nathan Law, who said that her comments have inflamed the people of Hong Kong. It's igniting people here, and would only make the Hong Kong protest movement now entering its 9th to 10th consecutive week even stronger. George.

[02:50:11] HOWELL: And here is the thing, it's 2:49 -- 2:50 there -- p.m. in Hong Kong. And the question is how does this play out over the coming hours?

Kristie Lu Stout and our team of correspondents all over it will stay in touch with you all. Thank you.

Again, here in the United States, two mass shootings. Two community's warning those who lost their lives over the weekend.

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HOWELL: We're following the latest on two mass shootings that happened over the weekend here in the United States. Both Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas have been holding vigils to remember the victims.

People have been singing -- of course, you see the scene there in Dayton. People praying, holding candles for those who lost their lives. CNN's Randi Kaye spoke with a woman whose nephew was killed in Dayton.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONNA JOHNSON, NEPHEW KILLED IN DAYTON MASS SHOOTING: His name was Thomas McNichols. He 25 years old, he was a father of four, ages two to eight. He was a gentle giant, loved his family, loved his kids, and he worked yesterday and just wanted to come home and have a nice time.

[02:55:10] RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And he was in line at the bar here behind us. JOHNSON: He was in line at Ned Peppers and got shot, just waiting to get into the bar.

KAYE: And one thing you were telling me -- I know you're wearing a shirt here that says, love. But love was something that he had a lot to give.

He had lots of love. Every time he left the house he always say, "I love you." That was our thing. He never left nowhere whenever he said goodbye as always I love you, and --

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: And he lived with you because he lost his mom.

JOHNSON: Yes, he lost my sister.

KAYE: Your sister.

JOHNSON: My baby sister and she -- he was her baby boy.

KAYE: So, you looked after him for years and now this.

JOHNSON: Yes, I do. And down this. And --

KAYE: What will you tell his children?

JOHNSON: I will tell his kids, they had amazing dad, and they know that their dad loved them. He was -- he loved his -- he was a loving family man, and they -- he know that -- they kids know -- his kids know that he love them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: You're watching CNN "SPECIAL COVERAGE". The aftermath of two deadly shootings in the United States. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. NEWSROOM continues right after the break.

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