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5 Dead, 21 Injured in Texas Mass Shooting; Florida Braces for Hurricane; Laws Easing Gun Restrictions in Texas to Go Into Effect Sunday. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired August 31, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Writing, "I'm heartbroken for the families of the victims in the Odessa and Midland shooting. Our children deserve a future without multiple mass shootings in one month. We need gun safety reform." And here's this from Senator Amy Klobuchar, saying, "More shootings, more tragic losses again in Texas. I wanted us to go back to work in the Senate weeks ago to pass the bills to start fixing this. They didn't. No more of the same playbook. One, promises made. Two, NRA meeting. Three, promises broken. We need to act."
I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Our special CNN live breaking news coverage continues now with my colleague Alex Marquardt in Washington.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Alex Marquardt in our Washington, D.C. headquarters. We are following two major breaking stories tonight. We are of course keeping a close eye on Hurricane Dorian's every move as it nears the Florida coast. As we speak it's a category 4 hurricane powering across the Atlantic.
But first tonight, yet again another mass shooting in America. It happened in this time in west Texas, a state still grieving four weeks to the day after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 dead. This time it happened in the Odessa-Midland area of western Texas.
Lots of questions still remain after a dramatic series of events starting at just after 3:00 p.m. local time this afternoon that left at least five victims dead as well as the shooter. 21 people are hurt including police officers and a child under 2 years old. The authorities are still piecing together what happened.
This is what we know so far. The rampage began shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time when a trooper tried to stop a gold Honda. Once the car was pulled over, the driver opened fire. He then took off, heading into Odessa, on the way shooting a second person. As he drove, he gunned down more victims.
At one point the shooter ditches his car and steals a U.S. Postal Service mail truck. Then the shooter heads toward a movie theater, which is then where law enforcement catches up. There's a shootout and the gunman dies, bringing an end to the rampage. But of course not the terror being felt today by the community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are there any current active shooters going on at this time?
CHIEF MICHAEL GERKE, CITY OF ODESSA, TEXAS POLICE: We have -- we've had calls, which is to be expected. Because obviously our citizens are a little jumpy after this, which is also to be expected. But once this individual was taken out of the picture, there has been no more victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Now CNN's Polo Sandoval has been following this story for us for the last several hours.
Polo, bring us up to speed, if you will, on the latest.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, your timeline laid out exactly how it all went down. Let me now fill you in on how it all started. Investigators are telling me that this figure of five dead and 21 injured, it all actually started as a traffic violation. That's according to information I received from the Texas Department of Public Safety. They're telling me that two of their state troopers were on Interstate-20 near the Midland-Odessa area when they tried pulling over a lone male occupant of a vehicle.
And as that car was slowing to a stop, investigators are telling me that male driver grabbed a rifle and then pointed it out his rear window and then opened fire, hitting one of the two state troopers, and then he fled. At one point he then opens fire on innocent bystanders and eventually wounds an Odessa police officer and a Midland officer as well. We heard in the last hour from officials at the Medical Center Health System, which treated some of those patients.
The quick breakdown that I have for you here, Alex, they took in or at least treated 13 people. Out of those 13 one of them died and 10 of them remain hospitalized. Two have already been released. As for those three officers who were wounded today, we are told that they are in serious but stable condition. We are told that they are expected to pull through. That is perhaps some positive news that is obviously desperately needed right now in west Texas -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: All right. And Polo, is there anything more that we know about the young victims? There was one I understand who was under 2 years old.
SANDOVAL: Yes, under 2 years old is actually one of those who are still being treated at that hospital, one of the 10 individuals. But hospital officials not going into great detail about who they are, obviously not identifying them for privacy reasons. But we do know that that young child under the age of 2, possibly just over a year old, is one of those 10 people. In fact, that child was life-flighted to a Texas -- rather to a Dallas area hospital. But again, these are really the stories that we begin to hear not long
after those shots are fired. And it's important also to point out this shooting is happening exactly one month after shots rang out just west of Odessa, Texas, in the city of El Paso when that crazed gunman opened fire, shooting and killing several people at an area Walmart -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: Yes. And in situations like this we focus so often immediately on the shooter and on the possible motive, and we have to remember of course that these are real lives at stake, real people, and that we have to remember the victims as well.
And Polo Sandoval, we know that you will stay on top of that in the coming hours. Thank you.
Now, one hospital treating victims of this shooting says that seven of 13 patients that it received are in critical condition. A short time ago doctors at that facility in Odessa spoke with reporters. One emergency room physician said that he learned on his combat experience in Iraq how to get through an emergency situation and respond in a situation like today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SUDIP BOSE, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Myself personally, I'm an Iraq war veteran. I served 12 years in the military and served in the second battle of Fallujah and Baghdad. And this is something that unfortunately I'm very experienced at, mass casualty situations. And this is what led us to form the preparation process, with hundreds and hundreds of people that you are not seeing here that are very intricately involved in a situation like this. So as far as for the public out there the message for them, I think what they can do to help, you know, we always say thoughts and prayers. That's great. But go out there. Take a VLS class.
Go out there and learn about how to stop bleeding. Go out there and practice safety. Don't text and drive. Don't do things where you put yourself and others in danger. And this is something that we can do as a nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: All right. Well, as those doctors there in Odessa are trying to save the lives of those in the hospital, the FBI as well as Texas Rangers, local police, even the U.S. Postal Service are all working together in the wake of this shooting spree. But of course they do not have a suspect to question since the gunman died in that shootout.
For more I'm joined now by CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.
Guys, I would say that it's good to see you but I'm losing count of how many times we've been on together after horrific incidents like this one.
So, Shimon, I want to go to you first. Let's start with the beginning. We laid out the timeline there. Polo helped us fill it in a little bit. This shooting spree started with a traffic stop. Texas authorities were fired upon by the suspect. Is there any indication of why he was stopped in the first place?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, that is a key piece of information that interestingly enough police did not put in the statement that they released. They did not indicate why the officers were stopping him. All they said was that it was a traffic stop. And even like -- they had no -- this is what's really I think, Alex, important. These officers had no way to essentially defend themselves. As they were getting out of their vehicle the suspect's car is still moving. He was still moving. And somehow he managed to point his rifle to the back window and he just started firing at these officers. Unable to defend themselves. One of them was shot.
But other than that really those facts, the fact that he had a rifle and how this shooting, just initial shooting transpired, police did not indicate much else. They didn't tell us why police stopped him. They haven't identified him. And you have to wonder, and certainly I think if you're law enforcement you have to wonder, did police by chance stop him from doing something far worse? Was this shooter on his way to do something else? The police stopped him. He freaked and perhaps opened fire on them.
It's also interesting because the weapon, his rifle, it doesn't seem like it was in a box, locked. It seems if you listen to the way police describe it here, this happened fairly quickly. So he had this weapon there right there next to him and he was able to get his hands on it and use it fairly quickly to gun these officers down.
MARQUARDT: Juliette, tell me what you read into those details that Shimon laid out there. The fact that this was instigated by a traffic stop. The fact that he did have such easy access to the weapon. Can any of that tell us about whether this was premeditated or not?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. So, and I agree with Shimon, that's -- this is like the key question right now. And as the hours pass and we don't have answers it just -- it just makes it seem like maybe the story is more complicated than the random pullover, the guy panics, he has a gun, he shoots the police officers. I think in addition to that, in most of these cases, you know, where someone is trying to evade law enforcement, they shoot at law enforcement if they're pulled over, you don't see this crime spree, this gun spree after. You don't see someone doing what we saw happen today.
So, it raises the important questions of which we're just raising at this stage, which is, did he have a previous warrant? Did they think that he was someone who was going to do something worse? How come we don't know his name yet? This is now a couple of hours since he's been dead.
[22:10:02] So, all of those issues are ones that as someone who's been in this field a long time I'm looking at to think this story may not just be the guy pulls over, he panics, he shoots some cops and then decides spontaneously to, you know, shoot at 30 people and kill five of them. So that's just the key point right now.
I guess the second is one that's just important to mention, which is of course this was not a handgun, it was a rifle. The ability to shoot people -- that many people while he's driving, you know, it just raises questions about the through line of all these massacres the three of us have been, you know, talking about all summer long, and that through line is of course just the ownership and the types of guns that are owned right now and the fact that the police officers were armed.
So, the question of whether we need to arm more people I think just has to be put to rest just from a factual, numerical basis at this stage. This is Texas again. This is not a state that's for want of gun ownership.
MARQUARDT: Shimon, to Juliette's point, when you look at the factor -- you know, we don't know specific age right now. We don't know the person's identity or name. But we know that the federal authorities are involved. When you compare this to other incidents like this, other mass shootings, are you surprised at the lack of information? How does this compare?
PROKUPECZ: No, I'm -- no, I'm not surprised at the lack of information. I think this -- they started fairly early. Putting out information. But it has suddenly gone very quiet. They came out early. I think the Odessa Police Department did a fantastic job in putting out the information. They tried to get it out there as quickly as possible. But it is interesting, to Juliette's point, that we are now several hours into this, we haven't had a press conference from police in several hours.
The Texas Department of Public Security did put out some new information about the rifle and how that traffic stop unfolded. But other than that, we have not had any other information from authorities. So, there could be something else here that they're working on, that they're trying to confirm before releasing. And when you -- this aren't -- you know, this isn't your typical mass shooting.
PROKUPECZ: Many times, and what we've covered is someone walks into a location and opens fire, killing dozens of people as we saw in El Paso. We've seen it in Dayton. This is very different. This was a car stop.
PROKUPECZ: This guy goes on this shooting spree.
KAYYEM: Yes. PROKUPECZ: So it is a little different. But I think to Juliette's
point it is interesting that we have not gotten more information from authorities.
MARQUARDT: And I'm not insinuating that they're holding any information back.
PROKUPECZ: No, I'm not either.
MARQUARDT: Oftentimes it's much easier to put information out.
MARQUARDT: In El Paso they very quickly, for example, found that manifesto. And presumably they are going through this individual's car of course, electronics. Home if they've been able to locate that.
But, Juliette, when you put aside the politics of this and you look at just the past month. I mean, we've said, I was talking to you four Saturdays ago about El Paso. And then a couple of hours after we got off the air Dayton happened. So, when you have a spate of shootings like this, which we've seen, do local and federal law enforcement do anything different in terms of a heightened state of alert or anything like that?
KAYYEM: No. It's a great question. Of course, you have the big issue of which, you know, I'm not shy about, which is just we have guns -- we have guns that kill too many people quickly, right? So I mean, in other words, just like the capacity to shoot this many people quickly is really the focus we should have in terms of gun control.
Mental state, motivation. Those are important. I get it. But if you just look at the through line, right, what's the commonality here, and I think what you're starting to see and you saw that in the press conferences coming out of the hospital is this sort of recognition that in the absence of controlling the gun violence we have to get better on response. And so we call this in homeland security, right, a boom preparation. In other words, just assume the bad thing will happen.
And so that's why you're seeing hospitals, you're seeing the kind of response that we've seen, throughout today in terms of, you know, the measure of success at this stage point is not whether people die but whether fewer people die because of the activities and the response that we're seeing by law enforcement and public health officials.
MARQUARDT: Yes. And I think it's really worth noting that there are now -- tomorrow is September 1st. There are new gun laws going into effect in Texas making it easier for people to carry guns in place like schools and churches.
MARQUARDT: Juliette, is there any evidence that looser gun laws result in safer communities? KAYYEM: No. I mean, no, because if that were the case America would
be the safest country in the world. Right? I mean, in other words, this idea that if you have more guns fewer bad things happen is -- our data proves otherwise when you compare us to other countries. And I want to say something really important here because after each of these incidents we have this discussion about, OK, well, we have to fortify schools and arm the teachers, and then we have to protect shopping malls and then we have to protect the Walmarts and the Home Depots because bad things are happening there, and we need more surveillance and cameras and all this stuff.
KAYYEM: I've been in this field for two decades now. And you can come up with every scenario in which you fortress every building, every school, and then you have a guy with a rifle driving down an interstate highway shooting at people. And so, I mean, this idea that we're going to ignore guns and the capacity to kill people quickly as part of a homeland security discussion is sort of undermined by the data at this stage and it's just important that we remember that. It's not political. It is simply I'm looking at the numbers and I'm looking at the commonality and unless you talk about, you know, the ability to kill lots of people very quickly you are missing the point here.
MARQUARDT: Right. All right, guys, well, we've got to leave it there.
Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for joining us just now in the last few hours.
KAYYEM: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: Shimon, you know that you'll stay with us as we continue to follow the breaking news this hour.
We're going to be bringing you the latest from Texas throughout the hour. Up next, the other major story we are following as category 4 Hurricane Dorian is still churning out there in the Atlantic. We will get the latest forecast. Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: Welcome back. We are following two breaking stories. First, the mass shooting in Texas that left at least five people dead. And then the path of Hurricane Dorian.
The category 4 storm is currently bearing down on the Bahamas where residents are being told to expect, quote, "life-threatening storm surges and devastating winds within the next 36 hours." Meanwhile, in Florida a tropical storm watch is already in effect for the coastline.
CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins me now.
Karen, the path of this hurricane has been highly unpredictable. What are the latest models showing?
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And it looks like it's not good news across the Bahamas. And by the way, Alex, we'll be receiving another update coming from the National Hurricane Center in just about 40 minutes or so. So, we'll have the very latest information for you regarding that and we anticipate that the news is not going to be good again, meaning that it looks like Dorian could be an even more severe or intense hurricane than we've already seen with winds at 150 miles per hour.
But we'll be getting that update for you, the latest information at the top of the hour. As it continues to move toward the west at eight miles an hour. That's bad news because it's moving fairly slowly. Yesterday it was chugging along at just about 10 miles an hour. The slower this moves the greater the impact. And for the Bahamas this means there will be catastrophic damage.
Category 4 hurricane as it chugs across the Bahamas. Already the hurricane hunters are right now investigating what's going on with Dorian. And there was a report of a 167-mile-per-hour wind gust. Now that was just for 10 seconds. They need it for longer than that. But the estimates are that this could really be intensifying across this area and could linger into the northern Bahamas, maybe for the better part of a day, perhaps even longer than that.
What we're anticipating, winds across the Bahamas into Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Great Abaco, some of the smaller islands, are wind gusts perhaps well above 100 miles per hour. And then the computer models as they have done so often over the last few days, then as they begin to push in across the Florida strait will it turn into the Florida peninsula where so many millions of people have made tremendous preparations for the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian or will it continue to trek through the gulf stream and head toward the coastal Carolinas, perhaps Georgia? Maybe the outer banks of North Carolina.
But this is what we're looking as we go into Tuesday. Those wind gusts start to pick up along coastal sections of Florida and the rainfall will be accumulating across this region. But look at Charleston. As we head on in toward Wednesday. 50-mile-an-hour winds expected there. Savannah around 36. That doesn't sound like a lot, but these could be multiple days. So it looks like the better part of this week this is what we'll be talking about regarding major Hurricane Dorian as it churns and threatens the east coast of Florida and the southeastern coast of the United States -- Alex.
MARQUARDT: Yes. So much uncertainty affecting so many along that coast.
Karen Maginnis, thank you so much for the update. We know that you will be watching the path of that storm very closely.
All right. Well, up next we will go back to the breaking news out of Texas where five people were killed in yet another mass shooting. We'll talk to an eyewitness. That's next. Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: We are back with the breaking news of a mass shooting in Odessa, Texas. It all began earlier today with a traffic stop when police say that a white man in his mid-30s opened fire, shooting the trooper that stopped him. He then drove away and kept on shooting with a rifle. Here is some really remarkable video that were shot by an eyewitness showing what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a shooting going on in Odessa, Texas. Oh, god, they're shooting right there. They hit the barrier. The cop just hit the barrier. Get down, get down, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get down, get down, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand still. He's shooting them. He's shooting them. Oh, he's killed him. He killed him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. But they're shooting. They're watching the shooting happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, they shoot him up. He hit the barrier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: The popping you hear there of course from the gunfight between the shooter and presumably the local authorities.
On the phone with me now is the man who shot that video, Alex Woods.
Alex, thanks so much for joining me tonight. I know it's been an incredibly stressful and dramatic day for you. That was some really incredible video you that got there. Tell me what happened. We've seen the video, but what unfolded in front of you that you can remember?
ALEX WOODS, EYEWITNESS: Well, we had arrived about five minutes before the shooting took place, and there was police everywhere. There was a whole line of people behind the movie theater. They were blocking the roads. And people were just walking away from the building. Everything looked relatively under control. And then all of a sudden you could hear the popping sounds. You know, of gunshot. And I turned to camera to the -- towards the movie theater and you see the cop ramming into the mail van, which was the shooter's vehicle, and then ramming into the barrier. And the cop jumped out of the vehicle and discharged his weapon into the driver's side. And the shooting stopped from there. And not in the video but later it appears to be through a flash grenade into the back of the van I would assume to make sure there was no further threat.
MARQUARDT: What, Alex, made you stop to record this? You heard the popping. You heard the shooting. And yet you kept on filming. WOODS: I thought just get the whole thing on camera. I mean, it was
such a surreal moment. I didn't even know what was going on. I just kept the camera rolling. And it's hard to explain what was going through my mind. It was just so chaotic.
MARQUARDT: Can you describe the area, the scene that we're looking at now in your video?
WOODS: It's a lot of field out there. There's some apartments and there's a hospital in the area. It's relatively open. And this movie theater is always crowded. People are always there. So, as you can imagine, it was very chaotic when the shooting began. They were all just standing around in line behind the theater. And when the shooting began, some of them ran, some of them were taking cover. It was just a very chaotic scene. A lot of screaming and people running.
MARQUARDT: Were you aware ahead of time what had been happening or was it only when you started hearing the gunshots that you knew that something was wrong?
WOODS: I had no clue what was happening. When we arrived we were just waiting. And like I said earlier, about five minutes later the gunfire was going off and that's when I realized, you know, it was a shootout. And then later in, I was hearing reports that it was the shooter who was driving from different parts of the town shooting. It was just a chaotic moment really to be honest.
MARQUARDT: Alex, are you from Odessa?
WOODS: No, I'm from Vero Beach, Florida. I'm in Odessa for work.
MARQUARDT: Were you at any point afraid for your own safety?
WOODS: No. More so for my parents and my siblings that were in the vehicle.
MARQUARDT: And after that shooting in El Paso earlier this month, you know, just you as an American citizen, you know, we've had this spate of shootings, and then you witnessed this one today. I mean, have you been having conversations with your friends, with your relatives about whether something like this could happen where you were?
WOODS: No. It never really came up. It's just kind of something that like happens and then you never think it's going to happen to you. So, right now, it's a very surreal experience that was very unfortunate. Still trying to wrap my mind around it that it has happened.
MARQUARDT: What was the reaction of the people who were around you?
WOODS: Just shocked. We were awestruck, like this can't be happening. Right? This is stuff you hear about. It never happens to you. And the next thing you know you're there witnessing it.
MARQUARDT: Right. Right. I think that's the reaction that a lot of people have, that it will never happen to them.
MARQUARDT: And then it does right there.
Alex Woods, thank you so much for coming on with us tonight. I know it's been just an extraordinary day for you. So thank you.
All right. Well, up next, this shooting is obviously hitting very close to home for some 2020 candidates. We will have reaction from the campaign trail next in our special ongoing coverage of the shooting in Midland-Odessa, Texas. Live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
MARQUARDT: As investigators work to determine what exactly happened and what the motivation of the shooter was in Texas, we are getting political reactions to the news out of Midland-Odessa today. Up first Texas Senator Ted Cruz. He tweeted, "Heidi and I are heartbroken by this heinous attack and we are lifting up in prayer all the victims, their families and the entire Midland-Odessa community. We are thankful for the law enforcement officers who heroically risked their lives and acted swiftly to stop the shooter and save others. Their courage helped prevent even more senseless deaths and we honor their tireless commitment to protecting us all. We Texans are standing together tonight united against all forms of hatred and violence."
Then there's Vice President Mike Pence, who reacted to the shooting on his way to Poland for diplomatic meetings. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts go out to all the victims, families who have loved ones lose their lives. We commend law enforcement in Odessa for their swift and courageous response. But at the president's direction we deployed the full resources of the federal government and they're on site. The president spoke to the attorney general. The FBI is already assisting local law enforcement in the investigation going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: And then there are the Democrats running for president. 2020 candidate and former San Antonio mayor, Julian Castro, offered his condolences to the victims but also called for action.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today in Midland and Odessa we saw another horrific shooting in our nation. Our hearts are heavy for the victims of today's shooting and for their families. We're thinking about them. We're praying for them. And more than thoughts and prayers, we know that we have to act to prevent gun violence. Three weeks ago in El Paso we saw one more instance of a gunman who caused such pain and loss of life that we've seen too often in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Castro's fellow 2020 candidate and Texan Beto O'Rourke is still recovering from the mass shooting in his home town of El Paso. That was a month ago. And the former congressman is mincing no words in his reaction about what happened today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Don't know what the motivation is. Do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them. But we do know this was (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
O'ROURKE: We do know --
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
O'ROURKE: We know that this has to stop in this country. There is no -- there is no reason -- there is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate. And yet functionally right now we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: And in just the past hour this tweet from the frontrunner, former vice president Joe Biden. He wrote, "I'm heartbroken, sickened and angry. Weeks after the horror in El Paso another community in Texas has been terrorized by gun violence. Enough. We must end this epidemic."
MARQUARDT: Tonight the community of Midland-Odessa is reeling of course from this mass shooting. And then tomorrow multiple new gun laws are going into effect in Texas. This is a state that has experienced two mass shootings in under a month. The new laws will ease gun restrictions in the state, everything from allowing residents to legally carry guns in places of worship to letting some foster homes to store firearms. They will also loosen restrictions about carrying firearms around schools.
Now the National Rifle Association has said that the new measures are protecting your Second Amendment Rights.
CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me again now.
Polo, you've been looking at these new laws going into effect tomorrow.
SANDOVAL: Alex, it's just the latest in many different components of gun reform that we have seen in Texas here. But of course, some critics will argue that it might not be in the most -- at least in the ideal direction here. Especially given the fact that Texas has now become the scene of at least four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent history.
And I'll break down a few more of these regulations or these laws that will kick into effect tomorrow, the day after the latest mass shooting in the state of Texas. One of them will essentially allow people who do not have a license to possess that firearm to carry that firearm as long as they are either evacuating to or from a designated local or state disaster zone like floodings or a situation that can result from a hurricane here. But again, that is as long as those weapons were legally purchased.
Another one cannot limit the number of marshals or at least school personnel who can actually carry firearms on school premises. Another one of the laws that's expected to kick into effect tomorrow, that is that homeowners will not be -- at least landlords can no longer restrict the landlord's ability to possess those firearms in their homes. So basically, they can keep those firearms any way that they can. And then finally, licensed gun owners can now -- will now have the ability to carry their firearms into a place of worship. That would come approximately two years after the Sullivan Springs shooting that ended the lives of 26 people.
SANDOVAL: Now it's important to point out here, Alex, that there's no real way of knowing whether or not these kinds of laws would become a factor in any potential shooting. However, it certainly would be part of the conversation not only after El Paso but after today, too.
MARQUARDT: And Polo, there -- Texas is an open carry state. And I understand that there are over a million licensed gun owners in Texas. Explain if you can what that means. What is an open carry state?
SANDOVAL: Ultimately, that's something that's fairly recent here in the last few years. It has now allowed people who have a license to carry a weapon to actually do so in an open carry fashion. And it's something that I've seen plenty in my home state of Texas.
SANDOVAL: And it's certainly something that has grown in popularity but has also come with some criticism of some state officials. Especially the Republican majority in the House there. That this may not necessarily be a step at the right direction. But of course, in Texas this is certainly a very sensitive issue, a very hot topic. As you just mentioned a little while ago the National Rifle Association stepped up and applauded this latest wave of regulations that -- or laws that we can see implemented tomorrow.
MARQUARDT: All right. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much for joining us again.
SANDOVAL: Thanks, Alex.
MARQUARDT: Now, coming up, we are tracking Hurricane Dorian's path as it heads closer to the United States. We will have a live update coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MARQUARDT: We are back with more of our special ongoing coverage of two major stories. The mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, this evening that left at least five people dead as well as 21 wounded. The shooter was also killed. Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian is barreling towards the Bahamas and is creating all sorts of new uncertainty over where it might hit along the southeastern U.S. coast.
To answer that questions, we have CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis live in the CNN Severe Weather Center.
Karen, you were saying earlier this is a slow-moving storm that has a lot of people wondering how and when they will be impacted.
MAGINNIS: Well, for the Bahamas it is the more immediate danger with the potential for catastrophic damage. I can't emphasize that enough. We have another update from the National Hurricane Center that's going to be available here in less than about 12 or 13 minutes. So I'll be at the top of the hour, stay right here, and I'll bring you the very latest information.
Want to show you the spaghetti models. This is what we anticipate. It looks like Dorian will essentially stall or move very slowly across the Bahamas. This is the catastrophic part of this category 4 hurricane. A strong category 4. And then the computer models have it slowly moving towards the west. And then what happens? They're in fair agreement that for the most part this is just going to ride the southeast coast of the United States. Does it bounce into the coast of Florida? Right now, only a couple of the models are suggesting that. But this is going to encounter this, being Dorian, is going to encounter the gulf stream.
The gum stream is that river of current that runs right up along the coast of the United States. When it encounters that, it has a lot of warm water associated with it. The longer this hovers across the Bahamas there's going to be upwelling. So that water becomes cooler. Now this is fairly warm water. But the more it lingers it's going to churn up that water so we might see a decrease in intensity. Not on this next go-round.
I think the National Hurricane Center might actually boost it up. That's just a guess on my part. But more upwelling here. We'll see it perhaps decrease in intensity as it interacts with the land, makes its way along the coast of Florida.
But, Alex, we've got a lot of computer models suggesting what might happen. But so far we haven't been very lucky in that regard. Back to you.
MARQUARDT: That's a really terrifying image, that eye of the storm right behind you.
Karen, thanks so much. We will be keeping an eye on, monitoring of course that major update at the top of the hour. And we will be coming back to you. So thanks very much.
Now, up next, it all started as a traffic stop in western Texas. We will take a closer look at the police response and the actions that followed that finally stopped the gunman who killed five people.
This is special CNN live breaking news coverage. We'll be right back.
MARQUARDT: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. We have more of our breaking coverage of today's mass shooting in west Texas. Here's what we know so far tonight. Police saying -- are saying that a white male in his 30s opened fire on two troopers during a traffic stop this afternoon. He then fled in his vehicle. Texas officials say that he was armed with a rifle. He killed at least five people and injured 21 others, including a police officer and a child under 2 years old. The gunman was then killed after exchanging gunfire with police in a movie theater parking lot.
For more on this I'm joined by CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz, he is back with me, as well as CNN law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining me tonight.
Charles, I want to go to you first. This all started when the gunman pulled out a rifle during a traffic stop and his vehicle didn't even come to a full stop. So, what should we read into that situation in terms of what the shooter might have had planned?
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I don't know how much you can really read into it. I'm sure the police are following up on a lot of leads. I heard it mentioned earlier that he may have been on his way to do something even far worse, but we just don't know the answer to that or why the traffic stop took place. It could have been a traffic violation, maybe they had some information about that car. I don't know if we even know whether or not that's his car, was it a stolen car?
I mean, we just don't know the answer to any of that. But clearly, he had killing on his mind. I mean, he was stopped by police. Rather than, you know, do what normal people do when stopped by police, he starts firing at them. And then he goes from there to shooting randomly at other people and even carjacking a mail truck. So, it's really difficult to figure out exactly what he had on his mind, but I'm sure law enforcement right now is going through everything to try to figure out exactly who this person is and what they had planned.
MARQUARDT: Yes, Shimon, to that point, you and I have been talking about the information that we do have, the information that we don't have. Obviously in situations like this in the hours that follow, there's a million questions. But to Charles' point, what are the authorities doing right now? And we know that there are federal authorities involved as well.
PROKUPECZ: Right. So what they would be doing now is going back. They need to go back in time and build out a timeline for what he was doing today, who he was communicating with the past week, could be the past month, to see if there were any signs that something like this was about to happen. Was there anything amiss here and what they'll do is they'll go to family members, friends, they'll go through his phone if he had a phone in his -- in the vehicle. They'd go through that.
They'd also try to build out where he traveled in trying -- pull toll records if that exists, maybe his easy pass, cell sites, they'll see if his cell phone was pinging, where it was pinging, and try to build out a timeline of where he's been, what he's done.
What we have learned, we have learned a little bit more about. This appears to have been some routine traffic violation for the reason why police were stopping him. And he gave them no time to react. Immediately as he got out of -- as they, as the police got out of their vehicle, he opened fire on them through the back window of his car. So that's going to be a very key fact for law enforcement to dig into and try and figure out, was this something that he was planning?
Why did he react the way he reacted when police pulled him over. That is the number one question I think right now that we will want answered and certainly law enforcement wants answered.
MARQUARDT: And Charles, in terms of that law enforcement reaction, we did see obviously the shooter drive off in his car, eventually switching to a USPS vehicle, eventually getting cornered by this -- by law enforcement at this movie theater, shot and killed. What do you make -- now that we have a fuller sense of how that timeline played out, what do you make of the law enforcement response?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, I -- it looks to me like law enforcement response was pretty good. I mean, they took this guy out probably as quickly as they could. These things unfold very rapidly. You have to get enough units on the scene in order to be able to track this guy down. He changed cars, so now you're not looking for a gold Honda anymore, you're looking for a mail truck. I mean, but the bottom line is they were able to bring this to an end. Unfortunately, a lot of people were killed, and a lot of people were injured. As they start to go through this, though, they'll really start to kind of pull this whole thing apart because this is unusual. Usually with mass shootings, obviously, at least the ones we've experienced so far, they've been in buildings or maybe in, you know, bars or on the street.
But not in a moving vehicle like this. So, I think he got caught short. He might have been going somewhere else. Police intercepted him and then the whole plan had to change. But he had killing on his mind, and that's what he wanted to do. And unfortunately he was able to do it.
MARQUARDT: And Shimon, there are -- you know, the FBI gets thousands and thousands of phone calls in terms of tips. And in the last week they said that the number has jumped significantly. I think it was like 70 percent. I know that you talked to your sources in the FBI all the time. What are they saying in terms of those calls that are coming in and how helpful that is in terms of being able to act on those tips from members of the general public?
PROKUPECZ: It's very helpful and they want those tips to continue to come in. I think what we're seeing also from the FBI and local law enforcement as a result of the number of shootings that we've had, you know, certainly recently since the El Paso shooting, that law enforcement is reacting much quicker to these. If they can arrest people sooner, they will arrest them. Now they won't wait. You know, there are instances where law enforcement, they like to build out these cases and they watch someone for some time.
But I think we're seeing a shift here now and that they're reacting much quicker. And no doubt that they're going to look through these databases that the FBI has to see if they've received any tips about this shooter. They know him, they know his name, I should say. So they know what to look for. So they'll run that through their databases, see if anyone's called in to give any kind of -- a tip on him. But I think in talking to law enforcement, these tips need to keep coming. They don't want it to stop no matter how many times people call them, no matter the --