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EARLY START

Twenty-Nine Killed In 13 Hours; President Trump To Address Nation; Gunman Kills 20 People In El Paso Walmart; Nine Killed By Gunman In Dayton, Ohio; Ex-Classmates, Shooter Had A Hit-List In High School; Dems Tie Shooting To Trump's Rhetoric, Trade War Fears Return To Wall Street. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're blessed. We're blessed because we're alive and I pray for all those people that died.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: America reeling again from gun violence. Two attacks that claimed 29 lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But we've done actually a lot, but perhaps more has to be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: President Trump will address the nation just hours from now. Will he take any action on gun safety? Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans in New York.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell in El Paso. It's a few minutes past the hour now. Twin horrors this weekend, 1400 miles apart, 29 people killed in 13 hours. Mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. We begin in El Paso. Police say 21-year-old Patrick Crusius shot and killed 20 people, injured 29 others at a Walmart on Saturday morning.

Now after the mass killing, the suspected gunman just walked over to police and surrendered. Officials say the shooter posted a 2300 word manifesto on the message board 8chan. Now this is filled with racist hatred, white supremacist language aimed at immigrants and Latinos.

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

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BLACKWELL: The suspect is being held without bond, the Justice Department said the case appears to meet the definition of domestic terrorism. It says, it is seriously considering federal hate crime and firearm charges which could bring the death penalty. We will talk more about the case in a moment. But Rosa Flores is with me now.

And Rosa, let's talk more about the community and because this community is really trying to figure out what is next for El Paso. The mayor says this will not define the city, but how will it change it? There was a vigil, really not long ago.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just a few hours ago. There's such profound pain, Victor, from talking to a lot of people at this vigil. They wanted to be together in the community. They wanted to show their faces, they said because they want to reclaim their city. They want to reclaim their sense of security.

Now I met this one woman, what she told me was so profound and really resonated, because her name is Christina Carrillo. She said after this tragedy and for the first time in El Paso, which is predominantly Hispanic, she feels that she is under attack. She feels that she has been targeted because of the color of her skin. Take a listen.

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CHRISTINA CARRILLO EL PASO PRESIDENT: We are being isolated for our color. We're way past that now. We are way -- we're years past color. We should be way past where we're at right now, and this is why we're here. And I share that same sentiment. We're being attacked and our government needs to step in, if not, the people here will step in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: And you can see the emotion in her eyes, Victor. And that is the same emotion that I've seen from so many people at that vigil. There were others who felt the exact same way, they just didn't want to be on camera. They didn't feel comfortable being on camera. But they told me off camera that for the first time they felt under attack, and they feel unsafe because they're Hispanic, because they're Latino.

BLACKWELL: You know, for a city of this size, from everyone I've spoken with, this is tight knit at community. I mean, this is a pretty large city to speak of something being tight knit. But people know each other. The state representatives shopped at this Walmart and we'll see how they come together. We saw it in the hours after the shooting when people got in line to donate blood and we've been seeing it in the days since. Rosa Flores, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

[04:35:15] Now we are learning more about some of those 20 victims here in El Paso. Let's start with Jordan and Andre Enchando. They were shopping for school supplies when the gunman started shooting. Jordan died at the hospital after using her body to protect her 2- month-old son. Her husband is also confirmed dead. Their baby survived. Leo Campos, and Mirabel Hernandez, they dropped off a dog off at the

groomer and then they went shopping at that Walmart. Some of the victims have now been identified as well including, Angie Englesbee, 86 years old. Arturo Vanvedez, who was 60 years old.

Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs says, has now identified at least seven victims who are Mexican citizens. They are Sarah Esther Regalado, Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Jorge Calvillo Garcia, Elsa Mendoza De la Mora, Gloria Irma Marquez, Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, and Ivan Filiberto Manzano. Christine?

ROMANS: It's just almost unbearable, Victor. And then, 13 hours after the El Paso massacre, another tragedy in American city, we have new video of the moment early Sunday morning when a gunman wearing a mask and a bullet proof vest started shooting.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, (BEEP). Dude, what the (BEEP). What the (BEEP).

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ROMANS: Saturday night people gathered just to have a good time in a popular night life district. And the question on everyone's mind now is why. Dayton police chief refusing to speculate on motive.

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CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE CHIEF: There is far too much information we have to review before we can even begin a conversation about possible motive. And I will not talk about any potential slice of evidence as value or not at this time. It's just way too early.

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ROMANS: CNN's Ryan Young is in Dayton for us. He filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEO)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christine, a lot of heartache and pain in this community of Dayton, Ohio. In fact there's a growing candlelight vigil that is just behind me. But what we do know from officers as around 1:05 Sunday morning they had to respond to a call of shots being fired. When they arrived here, within 30 seconds they were able to take down the shooter, Connor Betts.

Now through this video that you will be able to see. You can see officers responding. They responded very quickly. In that short period of time Connor Betts, according to police was able to shoot and kill nine people, wounding 27 others.

But the police chief said, they were able to make it inside the club, this could had been so much worse, but officers were able to make that stop very quickly. But for one family member who we talked to, he is so heart broken and full of pain, because he lost two family members in one fatal shootings.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My cousins did not deserve to lose their life. They had children. Hard working people. All they was doing was enjoying the night on town and they are dead. Never to come home again. Never to see their family again. They're 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)

YOUNG: And the city of Dayton really responded. On Sunday we saw the heart ache and pain here in the middle of the street as thousands really showed up to really show their pain for this community as they had a candlelight vigil.

Since then police have not been talking about a motive just yet, because they are still investigating this crime trying to figure out exactly what happened. One of the strange parts about this shooting is apparently the shooter even shot his own sister when he opened fire on the nightclub behind me. Victor and Christine.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: All right Ryan, thank you for that reporting.

We also have learned that the 24-year-old shooter in that Dayton massacre threatened classmates, putting them on the hit list back when he was in high school. According to four former students, there was a kill list for boys and a rape list for girls. All four say they were told by school officials they were on those lists. CNN's Drew Griffin has more from Dayton.

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DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR 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.

[04:40:00] 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.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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, we were all getting off the bus to go home. And I mean, I just sat down. We were just sitting down and he sat down. I think he was behind us. And I look up and there's two police officers standing on the bus asking him to get off the bus and go with them. I was confused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: School resource officers?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, 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.

(END VIDEO)

ROMANS: All right. The names of the nine victims who died in the Dayton massacre have now been released, 27-year-old Lois Oglesby was a nursing school and a mother of two, including a newborn. Also killed Sunday, 38-year-old Saeed Saleh, 57 year-old Derrick Fudge and Logan Turner, who was celebrating his 30th birthday with friends. Thomas McNichols was a 25-year-old father of four.

Beatrice Warren Curtis and Monica Brickhouse were best friends and like sisters, according to those who knew them, 25-year-old Nicholas Cumer was a grad student at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. And finally Megan Betts, the shooter's 22-year-old sister also killed in that massacre, Victor.

BLACKWELL: New action from the FBI in response to the recent mass shootings. Director Chris Wray is ordering FBI offices across the country to perform a new threat assessment for future mass attacks.

Now law enforcement sources tells CNN, Wray has formed a command group at bureau headquarters in Washington to oversee the effort, field offices now working to identify any threat similar to the mass attacks in their areas. The FBI had already set up a so-called fusion cell this past spring to focus on white supremacists and hate crimes.

President Trump set to address the nation in a few hours. New reporting on what's happening behind the scenes at the White House. That is next.

[04:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLACKWELL: Thirteen minutes till the top of the hour. President Trump is set to address the nation about the shootings in Dayton and El Paso. He will speak from the White House set 10 o'clock this morning. Now, we may have had a preview in his remarks to reporters on Sunday. Watch.

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TRUMP: Hate has no place in our country and we're going to take care of it. We have done much more than most administrations, and it's really not talked about very much, but we've done actually a lot, but perhaps more has to be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Now CNN has learned administration officials, worked through the weekend developing proposals to respond to the shootings. And sources tell us the president wants something to announce this morning, but it does not appear the options will include proposals on gun safety or white nationalism. More now from the White House. Our correspondent Kaitlan Collins there. Kaitlan, good morning.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Christine and Victor, the president addressed these shootings for the first time on camera as he was leaving his golf club in New Jersey on Sunday where he told reporters that he was praising law enforcement, that he felt that hate had no place in this country, but one phrase people noticed the president didn't use was white nationalism or white supremacy.

Even though we know that the federal authority since Sunday are investigating the shooting in El Paso as domestic terrorism. Instead, the president said that he had spoken with the Attorney General Bill Barr and the FBI Director Christopher Wray, he said he believes that in part, this is a mental health issue.

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TRUMP: This is also a mental illness problem. When you look at both of these cases, these is mental illness, these are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill.

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COLLINS: Now the president said he believes this is an issue tied to mental health, but that is as Democratic presidential candidates, including Beto O'Rourke are tying shootings like the one in El Paso directly to the president's rhetoric. But Beto O'Rourke telling Jake Tapper he believes the president is a white nationalist and that some of the things he said do contributed to the shootings like the one you saw at that Walmart in Texas.

Now the president is expected to address the nation today at 10 a.m. And we have heard from sources that here inside the White House and at the Justice Department they do feel some kind of pressure to put new proposals forward. But the question is what those proposals are going to look like.

Because we now that shootings in the past, the president has favored things like universal background checks, raising ages to buy certain kinds of guns only to later back off those stances after he spoke with members of the NRA leadership. So, right now it's still an open question of what it is that the president is going to say. Christine and Victor?

BLACKWELL: Kaitlan Collins for us there at the White House. Thank you.

Now after a gut wrenching 24 hours of blood shed this weekend in America.

[04:50:00] CNN interviewed seven of the Democratic Presidential candidate to get their views on white supremacist violence. They all tie the wave of killings to the man who occupies the Oval Office.

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SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump is responsible for this. He is responsible because he is stoking fears and hatred and bigotry. He is responsible because he is failing to condemn white supremacy and see it as it is, which is responsible for such a significant amount of the terrorist attack.

JULIAN CASTRO (D-TX), 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The manifesto that apparently this shooter wrote that says that Hispanics are taking over the state of Texas and changing the country, this echoes the kind of language that our President encourages, talking about invaders.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Do you think President Trump is a white nationalist?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have a president of the United States who uses the microphone, which is probably one of the most powerful tools in the hand of the president of the United States, and uses that microphone in a way that is about sewing hate and division in our country.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-SOUTH BEND-IN) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You don't have to use a lot of imagination to connect the dots here. It is very clear that this kind of hate is being legitimized from on high. And if that were not true, the president would be acting and speaking very, very differently than what he is doing right now.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: White supremacy is a domestic terrorism threat in the same way that foreign terrorism threatens our people. And it is the responsibility of the president of the United States to help fight back against that, not to wink and nod, and smile at it and let it get stronger in this country.

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BLACKWELL: Democrats are demanding that Mitch McConnell to take action in the Senate on long stalled gun violence bills. Among those calling for the Senate to be reconvened. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. There's even one Republican Senator joining them, Tim Scott of South Carolina. Now, Senator McConnell is facing growing calls to pass a background

check law immediately. Democrats say it could prevent the next mass shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: I hope and pray he would. And I hope the people of Kentucky and the people of America will put pressure on him to do so. You know, we just passed the 9/11 bill. Leader McConnell had resisted that for years and pressure, outside pressure and inside, Jon Stewart, John Field and the first responders finally, I think, I would put it forced him to put that bill on the floor. Let's hope the same thing can happen with guns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Leader McConnell's office is not commenting on calls to pass legislation this week. The majority leader did send prayers to the victims and their families.

ROMANS: All right, Victor. The online messaging board used by the accused El Paso killer, is now offline. CNN Business has more next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. Just about the top of the hour, so let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. Stock market declines around the world. The Hang Seng closed down nearly 3 percent. There are mass demonstrations and strikes in Hong Kong again.

The protests have also forced Hong Kong's biggest airline, Cathay Pacific to cancel more than 150 flights. Looking at live pictures there of what is now the ninth week of protests. Many passengers having to postpone nonessential travel. Again, that is a financial hub of the region. And again, those pro-democracy protesters still there on the streets.

On Wall Street taking a look at futures, down more than 1 percent for the DOW, the NASDAQ and the S&P 500, because trade war fears are back on Wall Street. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ had their worst week of the year after President Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese goods.

All right. Controversial internet message board 8chan is now offline after Cloud Flare stop providing support for the website. Now as we mentioned earlier, officials said the suspect in the El Paso shooting posted up a manifesto on the site before the attack.

In a blog post Cloud Flare said, the rational is simple. They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. The announcement was in about face after Cloud Flare told CNN earlier, Sunday, it had no plans to stop providing its services to 8chan. 8chan responded to the news on Twitter saying the downtime may make it harder to comply with law enforcement in a timely manner. It is possible 8chan may still be able to stay online if it can find other services to use. Early Start continues right now. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're blessed. We're blessed because we're alive and I pray for all those people that died.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: America is reeling again from gun violence. Two attacks that claimed 29 lives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But we've done actually a lot, but perhaps more has to be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: President Trump will address the nation just hours from now. Will he take any action on gun safety? Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans in New York where it is now 5 a.m.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. It is 3 a.m. here in El Paso, Texas. Monday, August 5th. And this morning we're talking about these twin horrors that happened this weekend, 1400 miles apart, 29 people.

END