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Category 5 Hurricane Makes Landfall in the Bahamas; Prime Minister of Bahamas: "Please Pray For us."; 17-Month-Old Texas Shooting Victim Will Have Surgery Tomorrow. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired September 1, 2019 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: It's 8:00 in the Freeport, Bahamas, 7:00 p.m. in Odessa, Texas. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. This is CNN's special breaking news coverage. And those two cities are where we begin tonight, to tragedy in Texas as another gunman in America claims the lives of seven people, wounding another 22. Right now a vigil is being held to honor the lives lost.
Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian brings catastrophic wind and rain. The strongest storm to ever hit the islands. And it's still setting its sights on the U.S. After Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas, instead of weakening and dying down, this storm today got stronger.
These are the northern islands of the Bahamas. The first land and homes and cities hit by Dorian as a super powerful category 5 hurricane. Emergency officials there are reporting major damage already. Houses with their roofs torn off or completely destroyed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is now my house. The water is up to my calf. The kitchen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Look at that. That is just one of many, many homes in the Bahamas torn apart by this hurricane so far. And it's just the beginning. Forecasters say this storm is moving slower than you or I can walk. We do have camera crews and correspondents in the Bahamas. But first to the Severe Weather Center and meteorologist Tom Sater.
Tom, let's talk timeline. How long now before the force of this storm is felt on the East Coast of the U.S.?
TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I think it's going to slow down overnight tonight where, as you mentioned, it's probably going to move at 2 1/2 miles an hour. This could hang around Freeport in the Bahamas for 30 hours. So I think it's really going to be, we've got another day, maybe day and a half, but if you look at this eye here, the only change in the new advisory at 8:00 p.m. is that the pressure is up just a little bit. Meaning it's going over land, a little friction. The winds are still at 185 miles per hour. In fact since 1851, we've had 90 hurricanes. Only one made landfall with this type of wind for all the Atlantic basin, and that was the Labor Day hurricane in 1935.
I mean, this is stronger than Andrew and Camille, you name it. Go through them, Irma, Maria, Michael. The eye when it moved inland devastating the area with wind gusts over 200 miles per hour. That's equivalent to a category 5 hurricane. And they just sustained those winds for hours. And now as it makes its way toward freeport, 30 feet in elevation, and they are looking at storm surge around 20. On the other end of the Bahama Islands, it was only four -- about 11 feet.
Now the models continue to have this offshore. The difference from yesterday and today was, yesterday was pulling this further eastward. Today, they shift it toward the shore. And we're going to be threading the needle here with about 30, 40 miles. It's the difference between billions of dollars in damage and possible fatalities or just some power outages and slight damage.
But if we look closer here, it stays as a 5 and as it spins for a while, that's going to be the key. How long will it spin before high pressure that's been blocking that movement to the north weakens and slides away? But still, if you look at the cone of uncertainty, it's still into Florida, which means we could still have a landfall anywhere where you see the cone of uncertainty. So it's not out of the question. But could it happen? Sure. I mean, we've been watching this change day in and day out.
But when we talk about the winds here, this is interesting. And we're going to come back and talk about this in the next half hour. This is the history of the five-day plot from the National Hurricane Center. And you can see what they've been dealing with, watching and waiting for high pressure to slowly lose its grip.
Now we could still see a landfall up in the Carolinas, like Matthew when it moved in and dropped devastating flooding a couple of years ago. But the populated coast, this is important, and again, this is where the winds and why the warnings are in effect near the space coast from Juniper Inlet up toward across the Brevard County. This is the hurricane winds in orange. It scrapes Cape Canaveral. Therefore the warning that's in place and possibly higher surge.
When you're getting closer, and we're going to dive in here, there is a color of orange on the coast. Maybe 15 miles inland and that's it. So that's the possibility of hurricane winds just from Fort Lauderdale, just north of there, through Daytona Beach. Now the colors of orange and yellow are still tropical storm force winds which could still knock out power and throw debris. So anybody in this area, if they've got a swimming pool, just throw all your furniture in the water when this thing gets closer to keep it from blowing around.
Another model closely for you, spinning around Freeport, I fear utter destruction when the sun comes out. We've already seen some video. When the eye first moved in, its initial landfall, a 20-mile wide eye allowed some of the rescuers to go in with heavy equipment and get people that were just meandering in a daze because they'd just been shell-shocked. Well, now once it moves to the north, if we can keep this offshore, that's great news. And hopefully that will be the case. But still then, we're going to have to talk about the Carolinas because this goes right into Cape Hatteras.
So coming up in the next 30 minutes, we'll talk more about that possible turn to the north. No big changes, though, in the 8:00 p.m., still a massive monster storm.
CABRERA: And I want you to say what you're expecting in Freeport because I'm about to go there live. And I want to make sure our Patrick Oppmann is listening in, Tom. Say it one more time. You said like massive devastation there?
SATER: Right. Well, if it hangs around for 30 straight hours, you are putting up with winds that -- you know, we had 200-mile-per-hour wind gusts. Shingles, roofs, brackets on your home, they can only take so much before they give. It's something to have a power like that for maybe three or four hours. But 30? It's just hard to fathom. Just hard to fathom.
CABRERA: Yes. Yes. Tom Sater, thank you for all that good information.
Let's go live to the Bahamas now where night is falling. At the same time this hurricane is hitting full force and moving closer to where CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Freeport.
Patrick, soon you will have to move to a safer place. What do you expect to see there when the sun comes up?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, from what we've heard, this is going to be all night long, into the morning and probably midday tomorrow. Could be well into the afternoon that we get the full brunt. And as Tom was saying, it could hang out. And I've covered a lot of these. Worked at CNN for 20 years. I've been in the Miami bureau, I'm based in Havana. I have done my share of hurricanes.
I don't think anyone has done a hurricane like this. And you have to have respect for these storms. You have to realize that every one is a different one. And this is a very different kind of hurricane. It's very powerful. It's moving incredibly slow. And we know that it will transform the environment around us. It will destroy houses. It will destroy buildings. It will tear off roofs. It will fell trees. And there are any number of ways that this storm could prove incredibly dangerous.
We've already seen that in the island next to us, only about 70 miles away in Abaco. And we've seen people who have lost the roofs, have had cars flipped over, and have undergone damage that we haven't seen from a hurricane in years.
This hurricane is coming here with the same power, it may be over us longer, and it is going to have a major, major impact. So you would hope that the building we're in is secure. We'll probably go to the stairwell at some point and ride it out there if we have to. We won't be out here at a certain point. We will probably lose communication. I expect the water will come up from the ocean and surround this building. And we'll be here for a little while.
All the same, we have provisions. We have a generator. We have sat phones. We have the best that CNN has to offer. Nobody else on this island has the resources that we have. They may not even be aware of the devastating storm that is on the way because I look out across this island and I don't see much power on tonight. And that is really the fear. I'm not so worried for us. We're here because it's our job. There are people who live here. There are people that do not have proper housing for this kind of hurricane. And they are in for a really rough ride. And, you know, my thoughts are with them right now because the Bahamas has never seen a storm like this.
CABRERA: Isn't that the truth? The Bahamian prime minister is asking everybody, please pray for us.
Patrick Oppmann, do take good care of yourself. We will check back with you a little bit later in this show. But we do want to make sure you stay safe. That should be the priority, of course.
Still to come --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A very large gun. And it was pointing at me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Horror unfolds in Texas as a gunman opens fire in multiple locations killing seven people. The latest on the investigation when we come back.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: Seven innocent people are dead today in west Texas, 22 others, including a baby, just 17 months old, her name is Anderson, recovering tonight from injuries, serious injuries. All of them victims of a man who went on a murderous rampage after being pulled over in a traffic stop.
We still don't know what sparked his random assault. But we do know that yet again, Americans are traumatized by a mass shooting. The FBI still looking for answers, searching a property that belonged to that shooter.
And CNN's Ryan Young has been following all the developments today in Odessa, Texas. He is joining us now from a vigil.
Ryan, how is the community coping tonight? RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really
unbelievable when you see how many people have shown up here in just the last half hour or so. They're probably talking about a few hundred people as we look in this direction. The vigil just getting underway. We've been walking through, sort of talking to people. They wanted to be here for one reason and one reason only. They wanted to talk about how much they love this community and how in shock they are about the shooting.
As we were walking through, of course there's people like this who have come out. If you don't mind, just when you heard of the shooting, what was that impact to you when you first heard of this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, my first thought was of my family and actually we didn't know all of the details. We started getting text messages from family, friends, you know, brothers and sisters of our church community. And just a mass of texts started coming in. We were actually on our way to the Permian Basin Fair. Just leaving the house, me and my wife. And --
YOUNG: How scary was it then?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was -- it was very scary. It was kind of -- we couldn't believe it was happening here in our community. Nothing like this has ever happened in Odessa, Texas, and we were just kind of blown away. We weren't sure or not, you know, if it were true. So we just kind of took the precautions and brought the family back in. Had my parents visiting from Houston. So just kind of regrouped, stayed in the house and got more information, and just waited and stood by.
You know, had our daughter that was going to eat dinner with a cousin of ours. And my grandparents were at church. So basically, everybody was on lockdown, and we're just kind of trying to figure out, you know, what's going on at the time. But it was -- it was a stressful situation. It kind of still is.
YOUNG: I appreciate that. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.
YOUNG: One of the reasons why it was stressful because everybody thought it was two shooters involved, and so that was a part of the conversation.
I want to walk you out here, though, fi you don't mind, if we can go toward the light because you can see all the people who are sitting out in this direction. Hundreds have been showing up. They're actually even lining up to pay their respects. And of course the loudest ovations so far have been for the first responders who of course were able to stop this shooting so very quickly. If you think about the idea that a postal worker was also shot and carjacked during this. And then the officers had to surround that car.
When you talk to people here, there have been so many people showing up with shirts that say "El Paso Strong." And they just remember that shooting. Now there's T-shirts being made for this incident right now.
So, Ana, as you can imagine, this community, just a little more than 24 hours later, is dealing with the ramifications of this shooting. And you can feel their pain as they have been lining up here to sort of pay their respects, especially for those who lost their lives.
CABRERA: And we are feeling for them. Our hearts go out to them this evening, Ryan. Thank you.
Let's listen in to what we're hearing at that vigil.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have heard countless stories of how citizens of Odessa went out of their way and put themselves in danger to help their fellow man. Many times, not even knowing the person's name. We had doctors and nurses that weren't called to the hospital. They went to the hospitals. They went just to serve. Citizens protecting other citizens, many bringing food to first responders. The citizens donating blood because at a time like that, blood is a valuable item. And most important, citizens doing the thing that makes the most difference is praying.
After the gunfire stopped, we were saddened to learn that 22 of our citizens were injured in this tragedy, including three officers. One officer with Odessa Police Department, one with Midland PD, and also a trooper from the DPS.
I have visited the two officers, one from Odessa and one from Midland. The Odessa officer is in fairly good shape. The Midland officer is a little bit more critical. He is stable. But he was headed for another surgery today. The trooper is doing well. He is at Midland Memorial. And so we would covet your prayers for their fast healing along with the other 22 -- I'm sorry, the other 19 that were injured.
The ones that are at Medical Center Hospital, one is in critical condition. Two in serious condition. Eight in fair condition. We have some at ORMC. I want to say just a brief word about our hospitals. All three hospitals, Medical Center Hospital, Odessa Regional and Midland Memorial, all stepped up and made a huge difference.
CABRERA: We are learning more about the gunman in west Texas responsible for the latest mass shooting in America. He is a 36-year- old white man. A neighbor tells CNN that last month he threatened her with a rifle after she put trash in a nearby dumpster. She says that he would often shoot into his backyard from a structure on top of his house and then go and retrieve dead animals. She also tells us that she called the police after that incident last month but claims they never showed up because the property's location doesn't show up on GPS. And it's hard to find. As far as a motive, that's still unknown and the FBI special agent in charge warns we may never know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER COMBS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: Frankly, there may never be an answer. If you look at the Vegas shooter, we're still trying to figure out exactly what brought him to his spiral into violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: I want to bring in former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow.
Jonathan, these new details we're learning about the gunman, the fact that, you know, he had this threatening behavior toward the neighbor, shooting animals from his rooftop. What do you make of this?
JONATHAN WACKROW, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: All red flags. Everything that we've heard about this individual that's been released, they're all, you know, behavioral red flags. Remember, behavior runs on a continuum. And, you know, it's not normal for somebody to go kill somebody. You done wake up today and decide I'm going to go shoot somebody, I'm going to shoot a police officer. That is not normal behavior.
So I think, as we look back, the special agent in charge of the FBI is correct. We may never actually come to a conclusive decision as to what was the motive. But direction I think will get there. Because we're seeing all of these red flags. You know, this doesn't have to be an act of domestic terrorism or international -- or a nexus to international terrorism. Violent acts happen every single day.
What I think will happen is that we're going to see that this individual had violent tendencies for a long time. And then just lashed out. Then that -- there was some sort of trigger at the moment of that traffic stop that led him to transcend deeper into the continuum of this behavioral problem.
CABRERA: I mean, when you talk about red flags, it seems like all too often in retrospect there were red flags. What can we do better?
WACKROW: Well, listen, we have to -- we have to take a whole community approach. You know, by the fact that a neighbor called the police on this one incident, and they didn't act, that has to be fully investigated. That's what we always talk about here at this desk in the aftermath of these crisis situations, where we look back at who these people are, and we say, look, we clearly see that there was a leading indicator of the propensity for violence. We need to, you know, stop that, along that, you know, behavioral continuum before someone transcends into an act of mass shooting and it creates these horrific events.
CABRERA: Right. There are so many questions we were discussing yesterday, 24 hours ago as we were trying to learn more information. And we all had the question about why did this traffic stop happen to begin with. Today we learned that it was a routine stop. [20:25:01]
They pulled this guy over because he didn't put his blinker on. That being said, does that make you lean more toward this being kind of a random act of violence or the fact that he had an AR-style weapon in his vehicle loaded, is that alone suspicious?
WACKROW: Listen, I think we had a convergence of a lot of different issues here. The Natural Threat Assessment Center has done some research on mass attacks and mass shootings. And they see that, you know, in over half of the incidents, there's a -- there's some sort of grievance, whether that's workplace violence, domestic violence or it could be a grievance towards law enforcement or authority. And that could have been the trigger in this moment.
That coupled with the fact that he had a high-powered weapon loaded in the front seat of his car, again, there could have been a convergence. It's still a little bit too early to understand that. But again, I think if we look back investigatively of who this individual is, the people that he has dealt with, all of these issues that, you know, neighbors are reporting, all of these behavioral issues, we're going to build a profile, and we're going to get directionally what that motivation was for this tragic incident.
CABRERA: And again, the weapon, we don't know exactly the type, but it's an AR-style weapon is our understanding. And we don't know if it was obtained legally or illegally at this point. But do you think an AR-style weapons ban would prevent a tragedy like this?
WACKROW: Listen, I mean, the gun debate is so polarizing right now. If we ban all guns today, people still have access to them. The people who want to -- you know, go and engage in this type of activity have the ability to get these weapons. I think it's a great start to start looking at really smart gun legislation and understanding what we can do today. But we have to do something. We've done nothing over all of these incidents.
You know, you and I have discussed, you know, mass shootings for the last 12 weeks. Every Saturday or Sunday night, it seems like I'm sitting here or, you know, Skyping in and we're talking about these mass shootings. We have to do something. We have to look at smart gun legislation, restricting, you know, access to weapons, to people that, you know, should not have it.
CABRERA: You're talking about the red flag legislation perhaps.
CABRERA: When, you know, a neighbor calls and this person has suspicious behavior and now we find out he has an AR-style weapon.
WACKROW: Absolutely. The problem is today, if I say, we're going to ban weapons, ban all guns, ban all assault weapons, you have this clash between the left and the right. And we're not able to have a rational discussion about the impact of what these tragic incidents are having. Look at how many people have died this summer. There's a commonality of it. And it is these high-powered weapons. OK, so how do we solve for that? We know what the problem is. But let's take an approach that's systematic, that's agreed upon by the left and the right. Let's come together. Let's not just say it has to be this or nothing else.
WACKROW: Otherwise we're not going to get there.
CABRERA: OK. Jonathan Wackrow, as always, I really appreciate you being here.
WACKROW: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
CABRERA: Your expertise, your insight is so important. Thank you.
Our other breaking story right now, destructive Dorian. The storm is crawling across the Bahamas. But the U.S. mainland is in its sights. We'll have the latest on the track.
And take a look at this. The Maryland Task Force One on their way to Florida, sending about 85 people, including doctors and structural engineers. This team will also include rescue dogs and 20 vehicles.
Stay with us.
[20:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ANA CABRERA, CNN NEWS HOST: A Category 5 hurricane, that is the most powerful kind of hurricane we are talking about, is battering the Bahamas.
The roof of this house is mostly torn off. It's one of many homes either heavily damaged or completely destroyed in the Northern Islands of the Bahamas. That was the first land mass hit by Hurricane Dorian this afternoon.
The prime minister there saying today, his country is facing a hurricane, the likes of which it has never seen. He is asking the world to pray for the people of the Bahamas. And I want to bring in Kevin Tomlinson who is a resident of Freeport, Bahamas.
Kevin, thanks for being here with us. I'm worried for you. I understand you've been through five storms before, but this one is the strongest ever to hit that island chain and it hasn't really gotten to you yet. Does this one feel different already?
KEVIN TOMLINSON, RESIDENT OF FREEPORT, BAHAMAS: Yes. Well, good evening, Ana, and thank you for having me on your show tonight. In fact, we are starting to feel, right now, the outer band of the storm. Where we are now, this morning, things changed. I moved into a shelter here because I live on the shoreline. And I had to really get out of there because the conditions had changed very drastically.
Our neighboring island, Abaco, has already felt the -- I mean, the weight of the storm. And it's so sad some of the destructive things that have happened over there, the persons losing their homes and so forth. It's really heartbreaking.
And we, here, in Grand Bahama, we are bracing ourselves, right now, for what is to come. And this is a Category 5, I think, the most powerful storm that we will experience in the north. And we are really just waiting to see what's going to happen, you know. We'll be hearing the stories of our neighbors in Abaco and we are just, you know, feeling the heaviness of this entire experience.
CABRERA: Yes, and we are looking at some of the videos that have been shared on social media and sent in to us at CNN to get an idea of some of the damage there in Abaco, and we know that the storm could, once it reaches you there, in Freeport, just sort of sit, just hover with those wind gusts up to 185 miles per hour or more, with the floods and the storm surge moving in.
Why did you decide to stay? Was it impossible to evacuate by the time, you know, this storm came on?
TOMLINSON: Well, we have been through, like you said earlier, several hurricanes before. So, this is something where I, you know, just -- I'm not going to run and just leave home. I -- we -- in 2004, we had hurricane Francis, which was only a Category 2. But when she stopped over our island for about two days, I mean, when she left, we had -- we shut down for about 10 weeks.
And this one here is a Category 5. And it has the same potential to hover over us just like Bahamas hover over us, just like Francis did, and I can't imagine the destruction. But this hurricane really and truly took us by surprise.
[20:35:11] It grew an enormous monster, so quickly. And I -- that is something that, you know, it's nature. You can't really predict what is what. But our federal government have been working hard to make sure that securities are in place to protect the people and everything and there's a lot of work to do after the aftermath of the storm, to clean up and fix up and everything, so --
TOMLINSON: So, you know, we stand --we're standing in a -- with our brothers and sisters everywhere, and we just hope that we don't get too much damage in Grand Bahama. But --
TOMLINSON: -- again, if it happens, we are resilient people and we have been through this before, and we know how to work hard together to build back our city. And like I said before, in 2004, we were out of power, out of water, food and everything, for a long time. And we built our city back up. And so, we're resilient. We did it before. We can do it again.
CABRERA: Well, stay strong and stay safe. Kevin Tomlinson, thank you very much for spending time with us. Please do keep us posted and keep in touch with us. We'll be thinking of you, especially in the next 36 hours or so. TOMLINSON: Absolutely, Ana, thank you very much.
CABRERA: Sending our best. Now, as Dorian batters the Bahamas, this Category 5 hurricane, is also inching closer to Florida southeast coast. But when and where and just for how long Dorian could strike and even if it might make landfall, we don't know just yet.
CNN's Dianne Gallagher is in Jacksonville, Florida. Dianne, Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis says 4,500 members of the national guard are activated, ready, tonight, to respond to Dorian. What else are emergency officials doing ahead of the storm?
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this point, Ana, all across Florida's eastern coast, they are enacting these emergency mandatory evacuations in these low-lying areas and counties, again, that spread down from the south -- the most southern point, all the way up here in the northeastern part of Jacksonville.
Those mandatory evacuations go into effect just a little under 12 hours from now. And, you know, look, we could still be a couple days away from seeing the true effects of Hurricane Dorian, but they need to make sure that people have time to get out, to make their plan tonight, get their things together tonight, and then start getting out of town, going north, going inland tomorrow morning.
The shelters open at 10:00 a.m. here in Jacksonville. And they've already gone ahead and made sure that they've canceled classes into next week, through Wednesday, canceled government officials and offices, making sure that people don't have any reason or any excuses to say that I felt like I couldn't leave because I had this coming up.
So, what they're doing is they're making sure that people, again, know what they're supposed to do, that they know their plans, and they're going through and they're checking these specific areas.
I've talked to an official here in Jacksonville today, who said that they were working in some of the communities that had issues with flooding in past hurricanes to do sandbagging in those communities, ahead of time, right now, and really, that's because of this river you see behind me, the St. John's River.
Ana, I've covered hurricanes in Jacksonville before, this river floods the downtown areas, some of the residential areas along the beaches, which closed tonight, to the public. They don't want anybody out there looking at them. They have also got to deal with that wind, they have to deal with damage, and some of the stuff hasn't been repaired since 2016 hurricanes.
CABRERA: OK, Dianne Gallagher, thank you for that reporting. Still ahead, celebrity chef Jose Andres, he's no stranger to the aftermath of tragedy, bringing hot meals to those in need. This time, he is literally in the eye of the storm and he's going to join us live from the Bahamas, straight ahead. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[20:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Please pray for us. That is the plea of the prime minister of the Bahamas, as the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian rips through the island, leaving absolute destruction in its path.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is now my house. The water is up to my calf. The kitchen, stove.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Celebrity chef Jose Andres is experiencing all of this, firsthand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE ANDRES, FOUNDER, WORLD OF CENTRAL KITCHEN: I want everybody to understand, we are not here in the hurricane. We are, like, 90 miles away. No matter what's going on in Abaco, and the hurricane is (INAUDIBLE) we'll never forget. This is going to be one of the biggest ever (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Chef Andres is there with his non-profit organization, World Central Kitchen, which is devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. And Chef Jose Andres joins us now live from the Bahamas. Chef, wow. I mean, you are really putting yourself out there. Tell us where you are and what you and your team are seeing and experiencing now.
JOSE ANDRES, FOUNDER, WORLD OF CENTRAL KITCHEN (via Skype): I think this is the first time I heard that video, I posted on Twitter. But, you know, we are in Nassau. And yes, when I did that video, the winds were super heavy, probably, we are talking 80, 90 miles per hour.
But, you know, we need to understand that Nassau is really on the edge of the hurricane. That I can tell you that even in Nassau, while the hurricane has not hit here, like has done in the other two islands in the north, many homes around Nassau are really full of water. Many people in many hotels, restaurants, nobody has been going to work. Many of the restaurants are closed in the island precisely because this water surge.
So, you know, we are in a comfort zone compared to the people that are suffering, obviously, the most. All the people in the Abaco and other people in the Grand Bahama, those are the people that, right now, as we speak, they are still experiencing all this power of this big hurricane.
[20:45:18] CABRERA: I mean, you talk about what is already happening and what is yet to come. And we know there are water shortages, water cut off in a lot of areas already, and I think about the work you are doing, trying to feed and nurture these people who are in need. I wonder, how do you do it without water? ANDRES: Well, I was able to meet briefly today, the prime minister of the Bahamas. I was able to be meeting with the -- will be the person in charge of what will be the FEMA of the Bahamas. I've been able to talk to the secretary of tourism and transportation. We went to visit them at the Hurricane Emergency Center. And I think they have a plan.
So, obviously, it's going to have to be a very big deployment of resources, of water, of food. More important, medical, more important, probably a lot of people are in danger as we speak.
And as soon as the hurricane passes and the sea goes down and (INAUDIBLE) strength, we're going to have to be trying to -- right there, hopefully, by boat, hopefully, maybe by plane or helicopter, to start, you know, bringing relief to all those -- more than probably 70,000 people that are in between these big two islands of Abaco and the Grand Bahama.
CABRERA: Wow. It's amazing what you are doing. Why put yourself in harm's way? Why is this so important to you?
ANDRES: Well, listen, I've been doing this for a long time. I don't feel this is in harm's way, once in the kitchen, the men and women who work in the kitchen, that is more than cooks. It's all types of people with different expertise.
That, we've been, this year alone, Indonesia, after tsunami cyclones, volcanoes, fires. So, we are safe, we know how to handle ourselves. Obviously, we don't want to become part of the problem. We don't want anybody to have to save us. But we like to be quick and fast near the action.
So, immediately, we can be part of the reconstruction. At the same time, we have teams, right now, already in Florida and South Carolina and Carolina, trying to understand how this hurricane is behaving and trying to be right there, proactive, in case the hurricane changes course. We can be there next to the people, feeding them covering the needs of our partners.
CABRERA: Chef Jose Andres, you are an inspiration. I so admire the work that you do. Thank you for joining us and sharing a little bit of what you are doing there to help the folks in the Bahamas as they now endure this Category 5 hurricane, and best of luck to you. Stay safe.
ANDRES: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Thank you. To Texas now where the tiniest victim of yesterday's mass shooting was just 17 months old. This is little Anderson Davis, she was shot in the face, but remarkably, her mom says they believe she's going to make a full recovery.
Up next, we will talk to one of the toddler's teachers who has now started a GoFundMe project for this family. That's next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: As always, when we report on a mass shooting, there's an initial focus on the numbers. In West Texas, we now know 7 people were killed, another 22 were injured, as gunfire rang out. But all of those are individual people with unique and precious lives.
Right now, it's this unique and precious life we want to focus on. Look at that face, 17-month-old Anderson Davis, she took a bullet, some shrapnel to her face and her chest during the shooting spree.
She has a hole through her bottom lip and her tongue. She lost some of her front teeth, but amazingly, she is expected to make a full recovery, is what her parents are saying and she'll have a surgery tomorrow.
Her parents released this statement to CNN. It reads in part, words cannot express the emotions we are experiencing after living through the tragic events that unfolded in our hometown yesterday afternoon. Our hearts are extremely heavy today.
Many good, innocent people lost their lives and were injured yesterday. We praise God for walking beside us during this time and our prayers go out to all of the families that are walking this same walk. We hurt so badly for the families whose loved ones didn't survive this tragedy. We are thankful for our beautiful baby girl and look forward to reuniting her at home with her twin brother soon.
Haylee Wilkerson is joining us now from Odessa. She is Anderson Davis' teacher. Thank you, Haylee, for being here. I'm sorry to meet under these circumstances. First, how is Anderson doing tonight?
HAYLEE WILKERSON, TEACHER OF ANDERSON DAVIS: She's doing really good. She's home. And she's acting like nothing has happened to her at all.
CABRERA: That's incredible. I'm so happy to hear that she's home now. So, can you share with us exactly what happened?
WILKERSON: They were driving. I don't know if they were stopped at the stoplight or if they were driving down the road. The shooter was going eastbound on 42nd Street, and I guess was shooting at the police. And they were just, you know, right spot, wrong time. And a bullet hit their vehicle along with multiple bullets going in Twin Peaks. They realized that she was hit and, you know, called the ambulance immediately, called 911. They transport her -- transported her to MCH Hospital here in Odessa, and then she was airlifted to Lubbock last night.
CABRERA: Wow. And we talked about her injuries to her face. But, I know, her mom says it looks like there'll be a full recovery. She has surgery coming up tomorrow. What can you share in addition to what we already know about her injuries?
WILKERSON: She had surgery this morning. She also -- they went in and they closed the hole on her bottom lip, they closed the hole in her tongue. They have to go see an oral surgeon for her two front teeth.
[20:55:14] On top of that, they had to open up her chest to get the shrapnel out. They left one piece in there because it was just too small to get, but she's expected to make a 100 percent recovery and she's acting like nothing ever happened.
CABRERA: And she couldn't be any cuter. That's for sure. It's hard to believe that she's acting like nothing ever happened. We heard from the governor earlier, reading a text from Anderson's mother saying, you know, it's amazing that somebody who's been through this, a little girl, a toddler, could still be, you know, so joyous and just want to play.
I know you are putting together a fundraiser on GoFundMe and the goal is $200,000. We just checked. It looked like you were, at least, to $165,000 so far. That's wonderful. What does that, kind of, response mean to you? And how will this money be able to help the family?
WILKERSON: Yes, ma'am. So, I started the GoFundMe yesterday. I called her family and asked her family, you know, I didn't want to invade their privacy in such a tragic time. She told me that she would love for that to be done. The last thing that you think about, you know, after your daughter gets shot is how am I going to pay for this?
So, I went ahead and set up a GoFundMe account. I had the goal at $20,000, and within 20 minutes, we hit that goal. So, I upped it up to $50,000, and within another hour, we hit that goal. So, I just finally upped it to $200,000, and we have almost hit that goal.
The money will go straight to the Davis family. It will help with the care flight that she had to have, you know, the surgery she has to have, the oral surgeon that she has to go see. And it will just take a whole load off of that family.
CABRERA: Oh, it's wonderful what you are doing and the generosity of people in that community and around the country. Please send our best to the family. Give that little girl a huge hug from all of us. I just want to squeeze her. She makes me think of my own children. And Haylee Wilkerson, really nice to talk with you. Thank you so much.
WILKERSON: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
CABRERA: We're back in just a moment.