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Five Dead, 21 Injured in Texas Mass Shooting; Democratic Candidates Promise Gun Action; Hurricane Dorian Nears Bahamas, U.S. East Coast; Hong Kong Protesters Hold Airport Rally after Violent Night. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 1, 2019 - 03:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): We are following the breaking news this hour on two fronts, the latest on Hurricane Dorian and the mass shooting that played out on a Texas highway.

Welcome to viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta.

And we start in the state of Texas. The cities of Midland and Odessa, the latest mass shooting that took place in that state, the shooting leaving at least five people dead, 21 others injured after a gunman started firing from inside his car.

This happened on Saturday. You see one of the scenes here and it is a large scene there between those two towns. The attack started after the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers initiated a traffic stop.

The gunman pulled a rifle, wounding a state trooper. And after that, he drove off and continued firing, eventually hijacking a mail truck. The rampage ended when the shooter was cornered and killed by police.

A man, who knows one of the people shot, spoke with CNN affiliate KOSA. He said that his friend actually had saved his life, performing CPR on him months earlier.


MIKE BARRETT, VICTIM'S FRIEND: All I know is that they were on their way home, him and his wife, and he got shot. I guess it went through the door of the car and shot him right in the -- his side. And my shop foreman is in there right now and he said his wife was just covered in blood. But he had made it to the hospital, still talking and breathing.

He was way out there in Mission Dorado, in that area, I guess, when it happened. Just dropped to my knees and hit my head on the floor and I started praying like you wouldn't believe, saying, you know, this can't happen to him. He saved my life. I'd trade my life any day for his.


HOWELL: And the story of two witnesses, Joey and Julie Vicknair (ph). They were driving when they pulled over to allow emergency vehicles to pass them and it was then the end of this mass shooting played out in front of them.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, he's fixing to shoot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Y'all get down.


Cody, are you down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you shooting at that man and lady right there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I don't know. I can't see.

Oh, my God. I think they got him.

That was a -- that looks like a --


HOWELL: So we have a lot of video that we can look at. We have few details. Let's talk about what we do know at this point with CNN's Steve Moore, a retired supervisory special agent for the FBI, joining us this hour in Vancouver, Canada.

Good to have you.


HOWELL: Good to have you, because we need some insight here. Look, we've seen too many of these mass shootings, Steve. It's noteworthy to point out that some of the key differences about this one are very clear.

The gunman seemed to have a rifle ready. He didn't fully stop his car when instructed to do so by Texas DPS troopers and he started firing.

It raises the question, Steve, as to whether the gunman's actions here, do you see it as spontaneous?

Or could he have been waiting for a moment like this?

MOORE: I think he was probably -- you know, based on what I've seen, not expecting this to happen. I think if he had planned an attack, planned this to be the initiation of his attack, he would have planned in a more efficient way.

And, as, as horrible as it is to say it that way. He could have been, he could have put a much more efficient ambush on. And I think, to me, it smacks of somebody who had realized that, you know what, if they pull me, if they arrest me, it's over. I can't go forward with this, with life. And had decided to end it all at that point.

HOWELL: The weapon here, to fire a weapon while the vehicle is moving, because, again, he didn't fully stop that vehicle, it does imply a level of skill here, doesn't it?

MOORE: Yes, it does. It doesn't necessarily mean he was military trained, although it could. But it, you know, you can get that kind of training in a civilian world. But shooting and driving and hitting things is not easy at all. So he was either at very close range or very well trained.

I spoke with one mass shooter after his capture.


MOORE: This guy was shooting thousands of rounds of ammunition a week and he had become a very good shot. And that's frightening.

HOWELL: You know, I heard you talk about this with my colleague, John Vause, in an earlier hour. You mentioned that it was also noteworthy to hear that the officials never described this as a routine traffic stop.


HOWELL: And also according to Odessa police, the department spokesperson there, he said he had an idea of who the gunman is.


HOWELL: He said that officials at this point not releasing his name.

So Steve, from those two lines, can you glean anything from that?

MOORE: Yes, you hit the nail on the head. Just reading in between the lines of how police talk, how police think, how we law enforcement people think, they would, I believe, have said a routine traffic stop to emphasize how surprised and how unexpected this was. But they don't use the term routine.

And that, to me, leads me to believe that he was being stopped for a particular reason that may have been part of this entire thing, maybe not in the way they expected.

HOWELL: And at this point, I mentioned this at the top of the broadcast, between Midland and Odessa, there's I-20 and there's quite a scene here that investigators will have to go back and comb through to speak to witnesses.

Where does this investigation proceed? Where does it pick up from here?

MOORE: You know, you're really going to have to break it down and into bite-sized pieces that different departments can handle because Midland and Odessa are fine departments but they don't have enough people, just pure and simple, to handle a crime scene this large and this spread out.

I would probably assume that they're going to give -- tag this to DPS, the crime scenes on the freeway; they're going to give Odessa and Midland, any crime scenes in their jurisdiction. And I believe that they're going to be utilizing federal resources as much as possible. And that's a big, that's a big advantage for them if they can leverage those.

HOWELL: Steve Moore with insight and perspective on this. We appreciate your time, thank you.

MOORE: Thank you for having me.

HOWELL: The White House say it is closely monitoring what happened in Texas. President Trump has been briefed and says law enforcement are on top of what happened. Our Boris Sanchez reports.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is the third time this month that President Trump has had to be briefed on a mass shooting in the United States, the second one that span of time in the state of Texas. The president closely monitoring developments from Camp David, where he's spending the weekend and where he tweeted this.

"Just briefed by attorney general Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and law enforcement fully engaged. More to follow."

We also heard from vice president Mike Pence, the vice president headed to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of World War II. The vice president saying the White House would work with Democrats to try to find some solution to the problem of these mass shootings. Listen to more of what he said.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our hearts break for the families who have loved ones who have been injured, those who have loved ones who have lost their lives in the wake of this latest mass shooting.

And the president and I and this administration remain absolutely determined to work with leaders of both parties in the Congress to take steps that we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocity in our country. Thank you all very much. We'll see you on the plane.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Sources indicate that officials at the White House have been working on some sort of plan to try to address these mass shootings and they have been since the back-to-back shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, but the specifics of what that plan entails still unclear.

The president routinely, after these shootings happen, speaks very ambitiously about passing some sort of gun control legislation, even talking about comprehensive background checks at times. Frequently that changes as days pass and he speaks directly to the leadership of the National Rifle Association.


HOWELL: The governor of New York, right here, demanding President Trump do something after the second mass shooting in less than a month there in Texas. Andrew Cuomo tweeted this at the president.

Quote, "How many more families will lose loved ones? How many more communities will be torn apart, how many more tragedies will it take before leaders act?

"The bloodshed must end now, do something."

Democratic presidential candidates --


HOWELL: -- are also weighing in to this. Joe Biden tweeted this.

"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."

And the former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke was a bit more blunt about it.


BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), 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 is (inaudible) up.



O'ROURKE: We do know that this has to stop (INAUDIBLE). 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.


HOWELL: And Senator Cory Booker saying this. "Beginning on day one in office, I will take executive action to

reduce gun violence, closing dangerous loopholes in gun sales, cracking down on gun manufacturers and investing in communities impacted by gun violence."

Keeping in mind, this shooting came just a day before Texas put new laws into effect. And here are what some of those laws mean.

Licensed handgun owners can now legally carry weapons in places of worship while schools can no longer prevent licensed gun owners from storing a firearm in a locked vehicle on a school parking lot.

Both the weapon and ammunition must be out of plain sight.

And landlords, now they can't stop residents from lawfully possessing, carrying or storing a firearm on their property.

We're also following another major story this day, this big hurricane that is churning in the Atlantic. Time running out as parts of the Bahamas prepare to evacuate. We have the latest on Hurricane Dorian for you. Stay with us.





HOWELL: We can follow, continue following, rather, the breaking news in Texas. At least five people are dead there, 21 others injured after a mass shooting that took place on a highway there between Midland and Odessa.

The gunman went on a drive-by rampage, opening fire from his car after a traffic stop. And for some context here, this happened just four weeks after the massacre in El Paso, Texas, which is in the same state, around 250 miles or 400 kilometers away from Midland-Odessa.

Police eventually cornered the attacker and they shot him, killed him outside of a movie theater. The shooter's identity has not yet been released. At this point we only know that he is a white male in his 30s. We'll continue to follow this developing story and bring you anything more that we learn.


HOWELL: All right, now tracking Hurricane Dorian. It is set to start kicking up winds and surf in the northern Bahamas. In just a few hours time, more than 70,000 residents and tourists are directly in the path of this monster category 4 storm.

The greatest threats are deadly storm surge and flooding. Basil Dean is the deputy director of the Bahamas Department of Meteorology. We spoke with him by phone just a short time ago as the storm is getting closer.


BASIL DEAN, BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY: We anticipate it will stall and has already started to. It's now down to 8 miles per hour in terms of its former speed and we expect that to reduce further as it continues to push towards the west.

And the problem with that is that it will continue to dump heavy rains over these islands, which have been receiving rainfalls from a troughing that has been over the Bahamas now for the past week or so. So the ground's already saturated from these rains. And Dorian will only add and exacerbate the rainfall situation.


HOWELL: And then once Dorian leaves the Bahamas, there's still no clear idea of when it might make landfall in the United States, if it even does make landfall. But coastal areas from Florida to the Carolinas are being warned, it could be a prolonged and damaging event, even if Dorian stays over the Atlantic.



HOWELL: Joining now to talk more about what's happening with this storm is Chef Jose Andres in the Bahamas with his organization, World Central Kitchen, to help people there who will be going through this storm. Again, thank you for taking time with us.

JOSE ANDRES, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Thank you very much for having us.

HOWELL: So usually your organization goes in to help people after these storms pass but, in this case, Chef Andres, you will be riding the storm out as well, correct?

ANDRES: Yes, here we are, in Nassau, in the Bahamas. We were trying to get to Freeport but the airport was closed around 12:00, 2:00 pm today. Here we are making sure that we are coordinating with the government of the Bahamas, with the prime minister and gathering food and learning about everything we can learn about, where we should arrive once the hurricane passes, you know, in the north of Freeport and Abaco island.

So we are here, getting the teams and volunteers ready to go in and feed anybody who may be in need of a bit of food.

HOWELL: As your team gets to work, what exactly will you do in those hours after the storm and how will you serve people?

ANDRES: Listen, we are an organization that we are a lot about software, not so much about hardware. Our plan is very easy, let's feed anybody who's hungry. We already have great plans in the Bahamas, one of the great resorts, I have a restaurant here. But they're great partners, they only care right now about helping any

person in the Bahamas that may need help. So they're giving us a lot of support.

And what we do is simple. We already have many partners, obviously, in Abaco, in the second biggest city, in Freeport. We already know where we're going to arrive. We already have assets like food. We have water. We will be bringing more food and water with us.

But we do it very simple. The government of Bahamas has many shelters in both islands, in the north. And hopefully we'll go there and we'll support the people on those shelters and anybody else that may be in the island in need of food and water.

That's what we do. That's who we are. We are many chefs and that's what we do. We believe that just adapting and feeding one person at a time, one plate at a time, we can solve an issue.

And we are looking right now, Chef Andres, we see the storm getting closer and closer to you. I want to raise this tweet that you shared on your Twitter feed a short time ago.

You said, "Hurricane Dorian threatens disaster in the Bahamas as tropical storm watches issued for coastal Florida. CNN @WCKitchen, we're here ready to support the Bahamas government with the help of Clinton Global, Bill Clinton leadership."

When you go into situations like this, what do you typically see as these storms pass through?

How desperate are those people in those hours after the disaster?

ANDRES: Well, listen, every hurricane is different. And this hurricane, you know, it's going to be a long one. It's going to be a hurricane that we're going to be following for days. Already we've been following it almost for the last week.

We had teams. Some of these amazing people behind me, they've already been in Puerto Rico. We were expecting a big hit in Puerto Rico. At the end, luckily for everybody in that island, the hurricane moved north and Puerto Rico somehow is being saved.

So the entire team went to Florida. And we began getting ready. We thought the hurricane was going south to Florida, almost going to the Keys. But as we see now, it's moving north and east.

And so we have the entire teams in Florida that is moving north and almost getting ready also to answer to South Carolina and North Carolina and, who knows, even north of that.

But right now, we felt that we had to be right here in the Bahamas, helping the great people of Bahamas. And that's what we do every time because sometimes a disaster is so big that even if the government --

[03:25:00] ANDRES: -- prepared for everything, chaos happens. And what World Central Kitchen does very well is adapt to chaos and we are able to assist anybody who may be in need of food or water. That's what usually we do. We wait but we keep moving nonstop.

HOWELL: It is an interesting and important organization, the work that you do, to go into these places and, at scale, help so many people. Chef Andres, we appreciate your time, we wish you the best of luck, riding out this storm and certainly hoping for the best for all people there. Thank you.

ANDRES: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: Still ahead, the breaking news we're following this day in the state of Texas. A second mass shooting in less than a month there. We'll have details on how it all happened. Stay with us.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

HOWELL: The breaking news in West Texas, Odessa, Texas, at this hour. Police are investigating yet another mass shooting. For context here, the shooting happened just four weeks to the day after another mass shooting in that state, in El Paso, Texas.

In this case, the gunman killed five people, wounding 21 others. According to police, they have an idea now of who the --


HOWELL: -- shooter is but not releasing his name at this point, only saying that he's a white male in his mid-30s. The attack started when a trooper stopped the car. Once the car was pulled over, the driver opened fire and then took off. And as he drove, he shot more and more victims.

At one point, the shooter ditched his car and stole a U.S. Postal Service mail truck and kept going. He was eventually cornered in the parking lot of a movie theater, cornered and killed by police.


MICHAEL GERKE, ODESSA POLICE CHIEF: The subject was contacted by law enforcement and he -- an exchange of gunfire happened and that subject is deceased.


HOWELL: And the investigation certainly under way. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more on this story from New York.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Authorities are telling me that it all started as a traffic violation. Authorities with the Texas Department of Public Safety saying two of their state troopers were attempting a traffic stop on Interstate 20 when the lone occupant of that vehicle, before the car even came to a stop, grabbed a rifle and then aimed out his rear window and then opened fire, wounding one of those two state troopers.

Well, that gunman, authorities say, then fled and then began shooting randomly at other innocent bystanders, wounding several people and that includes three additional officers, one with the Odessa Police Department and another one with the Midland Police Department.

He was eventually cornered outside a nearby movie theater and entertainment center, which is where he was shot and killed by police. As for the injured, we can only tell you what the Medical Center Health System there locally has confirmed and that is that they treated 13 people. One of them died from their injuries. And at least 10 others remain hospitalized right now.

That includes a pediatric patient, we're told, one of the younger survivors of the shooting who had to be airlifted and is being treated at an area hospital -- rather in Dallas, Texas. And we do understand that two people have been treated and released.

As for the three officers that were injured, we're told that the state trooper is in serious but stable condition. As for the other two officers, they are expected to recover from their injuries.

Investigators now still trying to determine more about the gunman. They have not officially identified this individual, only saying that he is a white male in his 30s. Authorities still trying to investigate a possible motive and why he opened fire on those state troopers.

But it is important to point out that this shooting happened exactly four weeks after the deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: Earlier, my colleague, John Vause spoke with one witness to this shooting, Alex Woods, who was right behind the movie theater when he heard the shots. Listen.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: This has been a harrowing day for you and another awful day for the people of Texas.

So, first up, how are you?

Are you doing OK?

ALEX WOODS, WITNESS: Yes, I'm still a little shook up. You know, I'm just trying to wrap my mind around this because I never thought I would witness it.

VAUSE: And this is a whole lot worse because, just four weeks ago, there was a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

Have you been able to process this?

Have you taken a moment to think all of this through?

WOODS: Yes, it's just -- I'm still a little confused why, like why it happened. Like I know they had the one in El Paso. But I just never thought it would happen here. I mean, it's a pretty calm town. There's a lot of people and all. But it just seems very unreal.

VAUSE: Yes, very, very unreal indeed. What really struck me is how quickly you reacted to what was happening right there in front of you. I want to play just the first few seconds of your video, which we have. Listen to this.


WOODS: There's a shooting going on in Odessa, Texas. They're shooting right there.

Oh, he hit the barrier. The cop hit the barrier.

Get down, get down, get down.


VAUSE: There seems to be no doubt, no hesitation. You just jump into action.

Can you explain where did that clarity of thought come from?

WOODS: From there it was just all adrenaline, just my brain wasn't really thinking. It was just saying, get it on camera because people need to see what is happening. Plus I'd like to hand this footage over to the police; maybe it would help in their investigation.

VAUSE: We look at the video, it appears there's quite some distance between you and the police and the gunman. But often camera phones can be deceptive.

In reality, how close were you?

Could you see the final moments, when the police opened fire on the gunman?

WOODS: Oh, yes. In the video, when I -- it's hard to see it but when I said the police officer hit the barrier, it hit the mail van that was driving and then he hit the barrier and, in that moment --


WOODS: -- the police officer jumped out of his vehicle and discharged his weapon into the driver's side of the mail van. And in that moment I believe that was when the shooter was killed

because there was no more shooting and it was a silence over there. It's not shown on the video but SWAT did show up and they threw a flash grenade into the back of the van. I was assuming they did that to make sure there were no further threats hiding in there.

VAUSE: Then also he was in his vehicle and there was someone driving and he got out.

Was he a regular garden variety police officer?

He wasn't from some sort of tactical team. He wasn't wearing Kevlar, for example. He was just sort of a regular cop who drew his sidearm?

Is that how you saw it?

WOODS: Yes, that's correct. He was just -- he might have been Highway Patrol. He was not like a SWAT or anything. He just rammed into that mail van and that mail van spun around and he jumped out of his vehicle and eliminated the threat.

VAUSE: And just with his regular sort of police issue sidearm.

WOODS: Yes, a pistol.

VAUSE: When you consider everything that this guy who was driving this mail van had done over the last couple of hours, the number of people he killed and wounded, this cop was incredibly brave.

WOODS: Yes, absolutely. We'd like to thank the first responders for the way they addressed the situation. They put their lives on the line. And this cop was very brave for just jumping out of his vehicle and going straight to the threat to eliminate it, to save lives.

VAUSE: And we'd like to thank you, Alex, for capturing those images for us as well, to see those final moments. Because as you said, it's important that everyone gets to see how this all plays out in the end. We thank you for, that Alex. Thank you.

WOODS: Yes, no problem.


HOWELL: And, again, the suspect was killed at the Cinergy Movie Theater in Odessa and a local news station, KOSA affiliate, was in the middle of all this. Their studios are located in the mall where that theater is.

This is when people started running, anchors had to leave the set and continued to report offscreen before returning to air. Listen and watch.


JAY HENDRICKS, KOSA ANCHOR: We just kept our microphones on so we could get you up to date because, once again, this is not something we thought would ever happen here.

There are more officers with guns in here. I just saw them. This is still active. I just saw three deputies coming by with guns drawn. So we don't know if perhaps someone is in here. Again, this is very active here in the mall. So I'm going to keep here -- let's see.

I'm being told there's more information on the Midland Facebook. So let me go back to the Midland Police Department Facebook. Bear with me because we're trying to get all the details that we can.


HENDRICKS: Uh-oh. OK. So we've got to disappear. Hang on. We're going to keep our mikes on so we can get you up to date. We're told to get out of here.


HOWELL: Jay Hendricks doing his best to keep that story out so people would know what was happening while it was playing out in front of them. We continue to follow the developments out of Texas and also other news around the world, in Hong Kong, still reeling after a night of fire and tear gas, chaos on the streets.

And now people are starting to swarm the city's airport. We'll have more on that ahead. Stand by.





HOWELL: Here's the very latest that we know about the mass shooting in West Texas. Police there say they've identified the gunman who shot people, people and officers, from his car then stole a mail truck and continued the spree of chaos. This is the scene there in Odessa, Texas.

The gunman killed five people and left 21 others injured. One of the youngest victims, a 17-month old, who's now listed in satisfactory condition. Here's a look at how all this played out.

A state trooper pulled over a gold Honda. The driver then opened fire and took off. As he drove off, he gunned down more victims. Along the way, he ditched his car and hijacked a mail truck. Police caught up with him at a movie theater. That's when the shootout happened and the gunman was killed, bringing the rampage to an end.

We're also following another story in Hong Kong, another day of protests there. Demonstrators holding an unauthorized rally at the international airport. This video taken from earlier in the day. Police telling them to leave immediately. They tweeted that they pointed laser beams at workers and have thrown

objects at officers. Crowds are coming together outside the terminal building. They're not allowed inside that building after earlier demonstrations caused massive flight disruptions and descended into violence.

Already the government has suspended the airport express train. The airport demonstrations follow a night of some of the worst violence seen in Hong Kong in these nearly three-month-long protests. Take a look.


HOWELL (voice-over): Police and demonstrators clashed in a number of train stations late Saturday, with police using batons and tear gas to try to disperse protesters; 40 people were arrested in one station alone for criminal damages and illegal assembly. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: CNN's Will Ripley has the latest reporting amid chaotic scenes of burning barricades and a lot of tear gas.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just as Hong Kong police dispersed one demonstration, down the road that way, we walked this way and found this. I thought we were walking up to some sort of a rock concert or Burning Man. There were laser beams.

You hear cheers from the crowd of possibly thousands of protesters behind this barricade of fire that they have set up in the heart of Hong Kong, one of Hong Kong's busiest streets here in Wan Chai, shut down by protesters, who burned an umbrella.

They set up barricades. And obviously there was enough propellant there --


RIPLEY: -- because this fire's been going on for quite some time. We have seen protesters use their usual tactics today, although this is one of the more dramatic things that we've seen.

They've thrown bricks at police. They have hurled petrol bombs at officers. And officers have fired back.

OK. Not sure what that was but we'll just get a little bit further back from the fire there. Police officers have used tear gas, something that's been a mainstay this summer, and they have also been using water cannons, shooting out water with blue dye to try to identify the protesters who might get sprayed with the water because, keep in mind, all of these gatherings here are illegal.

Hong Kong police did not give a permit. Demonstrators came out anyway. Smaller numbers, not the families that we saw out at the park. These are the people who are out here ready to fight. And that's exactly what they're doing here on the streets of Hong Kong. I'm Will Ripley for CNN.


HOWELL: Also with China, the newest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports is now in effect, starting midnight Eastern time Sunday. The United States started collecting a new 15 percent tax on Chinese goods. That includes everything from sneakers to clothing and televisions.

Beijing has countered with tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. The back and forth trade war continues and no end in sight at this point.

Police are piecing together more details on what happened in West Texas. A mass shooting between Midland and Odessa. We have the very latest for you on the investigation.





HOWELL: We're following the breaking news this hour. At least five people are dead and 21 others injured after another mass shooting in West Texas. The gunman went on a drive-by rampage, opening fire from inside his car after a traffic stop near Midland and Odessa, Texas, only about 250 miles or 400 kilometers from the scene of another mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, just four weeks ago.

In this case, the attacker has been identified as a white male in his 30s. He eventually abandoned his vehicle and hijacked a mail truck. After a shootout with police, he was cornered and killed outside an Odessa movie theater.

Earlier, my colleague, Ana Cabrera, spoke with Julian Castro, the Democratic presidential candidate. He says this and every other shooting that's happened in America shows it is far past time for gun control.


JULIAN CASTRO (D-TX), FORMER HUD SECRETARY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our hearts go out to the victims of the shooting tonight and their families. All of us have heavy hearts. We're thinking about them.

It is also another very powerful reminder that we have to act. We have to act to stop these kinds of incidents. The most powerful moment of the last three weeks, after what happened in El Paso and in Dayton, to me, came one or two days after Dayton.

The governor of Ohio was giving remarks about what had happened. And the crowd that was listening to him, people from every walk of life, people, I'm sure, of different political backgrounds, began to chant, "Do something. Do something. Do something."

(INAUDIBLE) do something to ensure that people who shouldn't have weapons don't get them and that certain types of weapons never get on the street.

And we don't know all the details of what happened today. But we certainly know what happened in El Paso and Dayton and at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, where I was yesterday. And we know that we have to do something.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Let me read you a part of the statement from Governor Greg Abbott, who writes, "The first lady and I are heartbroken over the senseless and cowardly attack and we offer our unwavering support to the victims, their families and all the people of Midland and Odessa,"

And he goes on to say, "We will remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence."

When you talk about do something, when you talk about taking action, what is it you're proposing specifically?

CASTRO: What we need to do is twofold.

Number one, although we don't know the details of this incident, what we do know is that extremism -- and particularly white supremacy has been on the rise -- and that's turned into violence in places like El Paso and Charleston and other places.

So we need to give our Department of Justice, of Homeland Security and our FBI the tools that they need to root out that extremism before it turns into violence.

Secondly, we need common sense gun safety legislation, universal background checks, limiting the capacity of magazines, a renewed assault weapons ban.

As your viewers know, the AR-15 especially has been, unfortunately, the weapon of choice of many of these shooters. Those are weapons of war and don't belong on the streets.

In addition to that, we need to do things like institute a seven-day waiting period for the purchase a firearm and I would actually raise the excise tax on guns and on ammunition from 10 percent to 20 percent and then use the $600 million to $700 million that that would garner in revenue every year to invest in gun violence prevention programs in local communities.

We know what we have to do. The issue is who's going to have the political courage, the political will to do it. And I think Republicans and Democrats need to work together on this.

That's true. It's also true, as much as I'd like to believe Governor Abbott's words, this is a governor that championed and signed legislation that takes effect tomorrow, eight new pieces of legislation that are going to make it easier for people to carry weapons in Texas.

So this time of reckoning has come and I really believe it's a new era in the United States, where people of different backgrounds are saying, do something, do something, do something --


CASTRO: -- and I hope that we will and I'm going to work like others will.

CABRERA: So as you argue on gun control -- and I'll quote directly from you -- that "it's possible to have common sense gun reform and still have the Second Amendment in place," what do you say to your fellow Texans, who believe a moment like this is exactly why lawful gun owners should be allowed to keep them ready and in more public places?

CASTRO: The answer is not more guns. Think about what happened in El Paso three weeks ago, for instance. You had a shooter that drove 10 hours to El Paso, knowing that he was going to go into a Walmart that had 2,000 to 3,000 people there in the state of Texas, that has concealed carry, that has open carry. It allows campus carry.

It has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the United States and people who are carrying with them. He knew that he was going into a situation where many, many people were armed and ready. And that didn't stop him. It didn't make a single difference.


HOWELL: Julian Castro speaking there with my colleague, Ana Cabrera. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live. The breaking news we're following this day on two fronts, the mass shooting that took place in West Texas between Midland and Odessa, investigators there are on the scene trying to piece it together.

And Hurricane Dorian churning in the Atlantic, getting closer and closer.

Where will it go?

The next hour of NEWSROOM right around the break.