Return to Transcripts main page


Gunman Kills 20 People In El Paso Walmart; Nine Killed By Gunman In Dayton, Ohio; President Trump To Address Mass Shootings This Morning. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 05:30   ET



[05:30:20] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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


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


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Actually, a lot. But perhaps, more has to be done.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: 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 just at the top of the hour now.

And twin horrors this weekend, 1,400 miles apart. Twenty-nine people killed in 13 hours in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and in Dayton, Ohio.

Let's start here 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, police say the suspected gunman just walked up to officers and surrendered.

Officials say the gunman posted a 2,300-word manifesto on the message board 8chan. Now, this thing was filled with racist hatred and white supremacist language aimed at immigrants and Latinos.


CHIEF GREG ALLEN, EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT, EL PASO, TEXAS: Right now, we have a manifesto from this individual that indicates, to some degree, he has a nexus to a 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.


BLACKWELL: The suspect is being held without bond. And the Justice Department says the case appears to meet the definition of domestic terrorism. It said it is -- says it is seriously considering federal hate crime and firearm charges, which could bring the death penalty.

More on the case throughout the morning.

But I want to bring in Rosa Flores now. And, Rosa has been around the community speaking with people who are trying to come to terms with what happened here and there are a lot of people who are still waiting for answers about their loved ones.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and we're really getting a sense of the lingering chaos, Victor.

There was this one woman who I met at the vigil just a few hours ago, actually, who was trying to have the community help her find the owner of a child's wheelchair. Now, we want you to take a look at this picture because here's the backstory.

She says that her brother-in-law, who is 72 years old, was at the Walmart on Saturday at 10:30 grocery shopping when the shots rang out. He was in shock. He normally walks with a cane but somehow, a police officer put him into this wheelchair and then took him home.

And so, this woman, Norena Pacheco (ph), says that she asked the police officer who does this wheelchair belong to and the police officer said well, I thought it belonged to this gentleman. And she said no, he uses a cane. Well, the 72-year-old man said actually, that he saw parents grab a child from that wheelchair and run for their lives.

And so, now, this woman is trying to figure out if the parents of this child are out there. She's trying to find them. She's hoping that someone who is watching this morning can identify this wheelchair and she's hoping that the child is alive.

BLACKWELL: I mean -- yes, the questions about if this child is still alive. And if they find the person who is waiting for this wheelchair to come back, can you imagine the moment when that empty wheelchair that their child was once in is delivered to their home? It's heartbreaking to consider.

FLORES: And she's hoping to deliver this wheelchair and she's hoping that the child is alive. So if we can show that picture one more time just in case anybody that's watching can identify that wheelchair. And hopefully, the child is alive and those parents can pick up that wheelchair.

BLACKWELL: Yes, still so many questions. A lot of people at the reunification center have questions about their cars that are still part of this crime scene, and wanting to know about their loved ones, their neighbors, their friends -- if they are in hospitals or if they're in that number of those who have deceased.

Rosa Flores, thank you so much.

Now, we're getting some information about some of the 20 victims here in El Paso, starting with Jordan and Andre Anchondo. Now, they're parents of three young children. 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 dead. Their baby survived.

[05:35:09] Leo Campos and Maribel Hernandez -- they dropped their dog off at a groomer and then they went to shop at the Walmart.

Some of the other victims have also been identified, including Angie Englisbee. She was 86 years old. Arturo Benavides was 60.

Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs has now identified at least seven victims who were Mexican citizens. They are Sara Esther Regalado, Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Jorge Calvillo Garcia, Elsa Mendoza de la Mora, Gloria Irma Marquez, Maria Eugenia Legarreta Rothe, and Ivan Filberto Manzano. More on the victims throughout the morning.

Christine, back to you.

ROMANS: Oh, Victor, it's just heartbreaking.

And then, 13 hours later -- 13 hours later in Dayton, Ohio another shooting. We have new video of the moment early Sunday morning when a gunman wearing a mask and a bulletproof vest started shooting.



IZACK JOHNSON, WITNESSED DAYTON, OHIO MASS SHOOTING: Oh, my (bleep). Dude, what the (bleep)? What the (bleep)?



ROMANS: A popular area with nightspots and bars and restaurants.

As always, the question on everyone's mind is why? Dayton's police chief refusing, at least for now, to speculate on motive.


CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT, DAYTON, OHIO: There is far too much information that 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 -- its value or not -- at this time. It's just way too early.


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


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's just behind me.

But what we do know from officers is 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'll be able to see, you can officers responding. They responded very quickly.

But 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 says if he was able to make it inside the club this could have 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 heartbroken and full of pain because he lost two family members in one fatal shooting.

DAMON DAVENPORT, LOST TWO FAMILY MEMBERS IN MASS SHOOTING: My cousins did not deserve to lose their life. They had children -- hardworking people. All they was doing was enjoying a night on the town and they're 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.

YOUNG: And the city of Dayton really responded. On Sunday, we saw the heartache 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.

Now, 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 night club behind me -- Victor and Christine.


ROMANS: Names of the nine victims who died in the Dayton massacre have now been released.

Twenty-seven-year old Lois Oglesby was in nursing school -- 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.

Twenty-five-year-old Nicholas Cumer was a grad student at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. And finally, Megan Betts, the shooter's 22-year-old sister also killed in that massacre, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Tragic to think about what happened this weekend in both areas.

Now, President Trump is set to address the nation in a matter of hours. We have new reporting on what's happening behind the scenes at the White House. That's next.


[05:43:52] BLACKWELL: Welcome back.

President Trump is set to address the nation about the shootings in Dayton and El Paso. He'll speak from the White House at 10:00 Eastern this morning.

And we may have had a preview of his remarks based on what we heard from the president yesterday.


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.


BLACKWELL: CNN has learned administration officials worked through the weekend, developing proposals to respond to the shootings. Sources tell us the president wants to do something -- announce something this morning, but it does not appear options will include proposals on gun safety or white nationalism.

More now from the White House. Our correspondent Kaitlin Collins there. Kaitlin, good morning.

KAITLIN 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.

[05:45:02] But one phrase the people noticed the president didn't use was white nationalism or white supremacy, even though we know that the federal authorities have said they 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, and he said he believes that, in part, this is a mental health issue.


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


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, with Beto O'Rourke telling Jake Tapper he believes the president is a white nationalist and that some of the things he said do contribute to shootings like the one you saw at the Walmart in Texas.

Now, the president is expected to address the nation today at 10:00 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 know that in 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.

ROMANS: All right, Kaitlin. Thank you so much for that.

Joining us here is Princeton University historian and professor, Julian Zelizer. He is a CNN political analyst. Good morning.


ROMANS: You know, the president's hometown paper, the "New York Post", which he -- we know he reads, has a very blunt, blunt message for the president here -- directly speaking to him, saying "Ban Weapons of War."

In the "New York Post" editorial it says this. "America is terrified. President Trump, you are positioned to assuage that fear. On gun control, you are a pragmatic centrist -- someone who knows there is a vast majority of Americans who are not to the extreme left or right on the issue. They just want the killings to stop." After a really emotional vigil last night in El Paso, Beto O'Rourke was stopped by a reporter and was asked specifically, what do you think the president can do right now to make this better? And this is what he said.


REPORTER: Is there anything, in your mind, that the president can do now to make this any better?

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What do you think? You now the sh*t he's been saying. He's been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.

I don't know -- like, member of the press, what the f**k? Hold on a second. You know, I -- it's these -- it's these questions that you know the answers to.

I mean, connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country. He's not tolerating racism, he's promoting racism. He's not tolerating violence, he's inciting racism and violence in this country.

So, you know, I just feel -- I don't know what kind of question that is.


ROMANS: The president, at 10:00 Eastern time this morning, is going to address the nation and he has used words like invasion, infested, thugs, animals.

In May, he was in Panama City, Florida and he said "How do you stop these people? How do you stop these people?" And someone in the crowd shouted "shoot them" and he laughed.


ROMANS: And he said, you know, "Only in the Panhandle can you get away with that."

Is this going to have to be a different President Trump who speaks to the nation at 10:00?

ZELIZER: Well, I don't think the speech would erase everything that he has said. We have to remember he has a very clear record of making these speeches, throwing this language out into the public square. And I guess he will be doing that again very soon, even if today's speech is a little different.

So we need to be very clear-headed about what he has said and the connection with this atmosphere of violence that we're now living in.

ROMANS: I'm -- I don't expect him to take any responsibility for the atmosphere of violence. In fact, Mick Mulvaney, his chief of staff, was asked on the weekend

shows, you know, is -- does the president and his tone deserve some of the blame here. This is what he said.


MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: This difficulty that we face as a nation predates this administration by many, many years.

This was a sick person. The person in Dayton was a sick person. No politician is to blame for that.


ROMANS: And top Republicans starting to frame this as a mental health issue.

ZELIZER: Yes. Well, it's more than that. White nationalism isn't simply about mental health. It's about a movement, it's about a set of ideas and too often, the president has used that language. It's not just tone, it's the actual words.

And then there's the issue of gun control. That's the big elephant in the room. And the president has sometimes given lip service to that but we haven't seen much action, nor have we seen any action from the Senate Republicans.

ROMANS: I mean, people close to the president have said that in the past, he did really favor raising minimum ages and restricting assault-style long gun sales and the like. But then -- he really meant that but then was talked out of it.

Do you think maybe he could have the courage to do something this time?

ZELIZER: I am dubious that he will do that. Now, he might say something today but, again, we really have to keep our eye on what he does.

Look, we've gone through this before. We went through Parkland. There was a lot of rhetoric, there was a lot of speculation that the president might be more pragmatic. The answer was no.

[05:50:08] In the end, politics pushed him back for sure and maybe that's where he is now, politically.

ROMANS: You've got a whole bunch of lawmakers calling for the Senate to come back immediately and take a look at this -- a whole bunch of Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Tim Scott.

Is there any chance in hell that Congress will do anything? That this time will be any different than all of the many other times we've seen a national tragedy on this scale?

ZELIZER: The odds are low. All the pressures remain the same and every time there's a crisis the NRA kicks in. The Republicans, right now, are pretty set in working with them and I don't think Sen. McConnell is willing to bend at this point.

The only thing that really changes this is grassroots pressure. It's the idea that voters will inflict the cost on politicians who don't do something.

ROMANS: I mean, the idea of going shopping for school supplies or going out just for dinner, you know, with a new baby at home -- your first time to get out --


ROMANS: -- to go for dinner, as in the Dayton case -- I mean, what will change America's psyche on this?

ZELIZER: It's going to come back to politics, meaning politics is what prevents us from dealing with it.

ROMANS: Right.

ZELIZER: Most people support doing something about this --

ROMANS: Right.

ZELIZER: -- but it will take electoral politics to actually change the way people think.

We have a traumatized nation. We have a generation of kids who think lockdowns are normal. And unlike the 50s, when you had duck and cover drills --


ZELIZER: -- kids now really see the shootings. So something has to be done.

ROMANS: All right, Julian Zelizer. Thank you so much.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

ROMANS: Nice to see you this morning.

President Trump to address the nation at around 10:00 a.m. Eastern. CNN will have live coverage.

Former Vice President Joe Biden talks guns, white nationalists, and President Trump in an exclusive interview with Anderson Cooper. That's tonight at 8:00 only on CNN.

All right, let's get a check on "CNN Business" this morning -- a check on global markets where they're all basically down here. The Hang Seng closed down nearly three percent.

Mass demonstrations and strikes in Hong Kong for a ninth week now. And I think -- these are live pictures. I'm going to take a look-- wow. Again, another morning -- it's afternoon there -- of violence.

The protests have also forced Hong Kong's biggest airline to cancel more than 150 flights and urged passengers to postpone non-essential travel.

On Wall Street, futures are lower here and it looks like it's going to be a pretty ugly day. Trade war fears are back on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted their worst week of the year after the president announced new tariffs on Chinese goods.

A controversial Internet message board, 8Chan, is now offline after Cloudflare stopped providing support for that Web site. As we mentioned earlier, officials say the suspect in the El Paso shooting posted his manifesto on that site before his attack.

In a blog post, Cloudflare said, "The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless" -- meaning 8chan --" and that lawlessness has cause multiple tragic deaths."

The announcement was actually a reversal. Cloudflare had 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 still possible 8chan may still be able to stay online using some other services.

We'll be right back.


[05:57:42] ROMANS: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine took to the stage last night at a vigil for the victims of the massacre in Dayton. Listen to the crowd in the background.


GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): And we will do everything that we can -- everything that we can --

CROWD: Do something! Do something!

DEWINE: -- to tell you that we care.

CROWD: Do something! Do something!

DEWINE: My wife, Fran, and I --

CROWD: Do something! Do something!


ROMANS: With the crowd chanting "do something, do something" Gov. DeWine quickly wrapped up his remarks and left the stage.

Watch what Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya does after scoring the opening goal against D.C. United on Sunday. The MLS star celebrating with his teammates and grabbed a field microphone -- listen.


ALEJANDRO BEDOYA, CAPTAIN, PHILADELPHIA UNION: Hey, Congress, do something now. End gun violence. Let's go.


ROMANS: Bedoya is from Weston, Florida. That's close to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where a gunman killed 17 students and faculty in that Parkland mass shooting in 2018.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" is up next.

We leave you with the names of some of those killed in El Paso and Dayton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone's been shot -- help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I heard clapping noises. We all started running. I had my mom, I had my daughter. I grabbed them both and I carried them out.

DAVENPORT: I'm shouting out to the President of the United States, my cousins did not deserve to lose their life.

TRUMP: Hate has no place in our country. We're going to take care of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is responsible for this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're being attacked. Our government needs to step in. If not, the people here will step in.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is a special edition of NEW DAY. It's Monday, August fifth. It's 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill joins me live from El Paso in Texas. Twenty people were murdered behind Erica, in the name of white supremacy, police say.

And the question this morning is really America, what are you going to do about it? Congress, what are you going to do about it?