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Five Dead, 21 Injured in Texas Mass Shooting; Hurricane Dorian Nears Bahamas, U.S. East Coast; Hong Kong Protesters Hold Airport Rally after Violent Night. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired September 1, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

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

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): At 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast we're following breaking news on two fronts this hour, the latest on Hurricane Dorian and the mass shooting that played out on a Texas highway.

Welcome to viewers here and around the world. I'm George Howell in Atlanta.

We start in the state of Texas where investigators including the FBI are searching for answers in the latest mass shooting to hit the United States. Again, this in Midland and Odessa, Texas.

The gunman went on a rampage in two vehicles, killing five people and injuring 21 others. Among those injured a 17-month-old child, we're told, is in satisfactory condition.

Police have not released the gunman's name except to say he's a white male in his mid-30s, first approached by state troopers during a traffic stop and he didn't stop the vehicle.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, they don't have him yet, come on.

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MICHAEL GERKE, ODESSA POLICE CHIEF: The situation started about 3:17 this afternoon when a DPS trooper attempted to stop a gold Honda. When the DPS troopers got the car stopped, he was then shot by the occupant of the car. The vehicle continued westbound into the city of Odessa and shot an individual at I-20 and our West Loop -- excuse me -- our East Loop

Apparently, the subject then drove on our East Loop to 42nd Street, where there are multiple scenes and multiple victims. At some point, the subject stole a mail truck, ditched his car and there were other victims after that. The victim (sic) then went eastbound, back on 42nd, toward Cinergy,

which is a local movie theater, and, at that point, was contacted by law enforcement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And when he says contacted by law enforcement, that means a gun battle played out and then the gunman was shot and killed. Joey and Julie Vicknair were near the theater when all of this happened when police cornered the shooter. Here's what they had to say.

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JULIE VICKNAIR, WITNESS: Oh, my God, he's fixing to shoot.

(INAUDIBLE)

JOEY VICKNAIR, WITNESS: Y'all get down.

JULIE VICKNAIR: Oh, my God.

Cody, are you down?

JOEY VICKNAIR: Are you shooting at that man and lady right there?

JULIE VICKNAIR: I don't know. I don't know. I can't see.

Oh, my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Take a look at the map here. You can understand how nerves are so raw. This happening in Midland and Odessa, Texas, that was just four weeks ago, less than 300 miles away. That's when another mass shooting happened in El Paso, Texas, the gunman there killing 22 people.

As the shooter weaved through traffic and fired off shot after shot, he came face to face with Shauna Saxton. The grandmother was in the car with her husband and grandson and when she heard the shots and saw the shooter and his gun, she went into action.

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SHAUNA SAXTON, WITNESS: I'm like, did that car just backfire?

And he was like confused because it didn't really sound like a car backfiring and right -- oh, God -- I looked -- I looked over my shoulder to -- left and the gold car pulled up and the man was there.

And he had a very large gun and it was pointing at me. And in that moment the only thing I could think about was driving away really fast. But there were two cars in front of me.

I started honking my horn. I started swerving, just trying to -- and we got a little ahead of them and then for whatever reason the cars in front of us parted a little and I aggressively made my way away from the gold car.

And right when I did that, I heard three more pops. Three more shots. Just right there. And the thing is, is that if I had not looked over my shoulder, I wouldn't have seen it and I wouldn't have reacted. At the moment, I was just really running for my life and we came back home.

[04:05:00]

SAXTON: And all this time we're trying to process what this guy was doing. And then we find out that it was a random shooter and we got really lucky today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: With more on this we have Republican Texas state senator Kel Seliger, whose district includes Midland and Odessa.

Thank you for taking time with us.

KELTON SELIGER (R), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: It's good to join you.

HOWELL: There was a great deal of confusion about what was happening and so many people that found themselves caught up in this chaos randomly becoming victims of gun violence.

This happened four weeks after the massacre in El Paso. Texas is my home state, too, and this is heartbreaking to watch.

SELIGER: Any loss like this is heartbreaking but in addition to the great loss and threat to the police officers and families is the fact that this is different and was kind of a moving gun battle and so many more people were in danger.

And it made the situation fluid and made it tough for the police to know when it had come to an end. For awhile people thought there were two shooters because of the fluid situation. So in addition to being tragic, it was a pretty complex situation.

HOWELL: It's different than we have seen in other mass shootings like this. The Texas state governor Greg Abbott had this to say about it.

He said, "I think the first responders, who have acted swiftly and admirably under pressure. He says, I want to remind all Texans that we will not allow the Lone Star State to be overrun by hatred and violence.

"We will unite as Texans always do to respond to this tragedy."

The governor raising the bravery of the first responders that took this man on, even cornering him to kill him.

SELIGER: It's what we expect. The police in Midland and Odessa very well trained. They have on going training now to address active shooter situations and they did what they were trained to do. The problem is that we have three of them seriously wounded right now and that's the dark side of police work because it includes that kind of risk.

HOWELL: Are you hearing anything new about possible motive?

This is very early.

But is there anything new coming out of this?

SELIGER: There's nothing new at this point because the Texas Rangers and the FBI will not engage in public conjecture.

Was he acting alone?

Did anybody know this was contemplated?

Was this just a reaction to a traffic stop or was there more to it?

What about social media?

Is there something that somebody should have seen as a warning sign?

There's just so many questions to be answered. And until they really know something concrete, I don't think law enforcement is going to say an awful lot but they'll know more in the morning.

HOWELL: Senator, of course, this raises the question about gun laws.

Should they be tightened or as Governor Abbott has done, should they be loosened by signing new laws making it easier to carry or obtain a firearm?

The National Rifle Association noted this in June. Governor Abbott signed 10 pro-Second Amendment bills into law, "all of the NRA supported legislation, which the Texas legislature sent hi during the 2019 session."

It goes on to say, "Thank you to pro-Second Amendment leaders and lawmakers in the House and Senate for their work to ensure passage of these measures."

Is the answer more guns out there?

Or does it make lawmakers reconsider when they see things like this?

SELIGER: There is no simple answer because it's something caused by the presence of guns in our community. That's why the governor has a committee to look at what are the route causes and how can we address them long before it comes to violent instances as it happened today.

As a gun owner, I find it easy enough to buy and own guns of every description. I don't know that that's necessarily the answer. But we need to understand all the options and all the things that we need to do to address situations like this.

HOWELL: Senator, we appreciate your time and, of course, we -- our hearts go out to the people there in your area.

SELIGER: Thank you, we will pull together as West Texans have always done.

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SELIGER: We will not and the families will not recover from these losses but we will do the things that we can to see that other families don't suffer this way.

HOWELL: Thank you for your time.

SELIGER: Thank you.

HOWELL: The White House says it is closely monitoring what happened in West Texas. The U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted this, "Just briefed by attorney general Barr about the shootings in Texas, FBI and law enforcement fully engaged. More to follow," says the president.

We're also hearing from the U.S. Vice president Mike Pence, who spoke to reporters before a trip to Poland. Mr. Pence says the White House is sending help and is being kept informed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just spoke to the president and he is at Camp David and he is closely monitoring the developments and the investigation in the mass shooting in Odessa.

Our hearts go out to all the victims, the families who had loved ones lose their lives. We commend the law enforcement in Odessa for their swift and courageous response. But at the president's direction, we've deployed the full resources of the federal government. They are on site.

The president spoke to the attorney general. The FBI is already assisting local law enforcement in the investigation going forward. But we will continue to monitor those events. But the president is fully engaged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Democratic presidential candidates are also weighing in after this.

Joe Biden tweeting 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 this from Texas congressman, Beto O'Rourke; that was a bit more blunt.

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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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes! (APPLAUSE)

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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: This from Cory Booker, "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."

We'll continue to bring you any more from West Texas but the other major story we're talking about today is Hurricane Dorian barreling toward the Bahamas. We'll have the latest forecast for you.

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HOWELL: The islands of the northern Bahamas are about to experience one of the worst hurricanes in years. This storm surge could be 15 feet. That's about 5 meters high or even higher.

And to add to that, several hours of punishing winds and heavy rains from the major storm that you see there. It's still unclear exactly where Dorian will make landfall, if it will make landfall in the United States. But emergency crews are ready for whatever comes.

Even if it does not make landfall in the U.S., experts warn it may cause widespread flooding and misery along the East Coast.

More than 70,000 people in the Bahamas are in the direct path of Dorian. Many people there are doing the best they can to get ready. Officials urged everyone to take refuge in storm shelters and warn what will happen if they don't.

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DEIRDRE FOX, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, LONG ISLAND, BAHAMAS: Some, of course, will refuse to leave but we made it clear to them that, if this come in as a category 4, there's only a window of opportunity of assistance. The police will not be coming for you in the middle of a hurricane.

You will have to hunker down if your head is hard and stubborn and you will not move, you'll have to hunker down after a certain time because nobody will render assistance to you. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Couldn't be more blunt or a clearer message there.

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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.

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HOWELL: "CNN @WCKitchen, we're here ready to support the Bahamas government with the help of @ClintonGlobal, @BillClinton 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 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.

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HOWELL: So we're keeping an eye on Dorian for you and we'll let you know as we learn more about where it's going but also the major breaking story out of West Texas. The FBI is there this hour investigating another mass shooting in the state after the break you'll hear what they're looking for.

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

HOWELL: We're following two breaking news stories. The latest on Hurricane Dorian and another mass shooting in the state of Texas.

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

We start in Texas where police say they have identified the gunman that fired at random from his car while speeding on an interstate and highway. In all five people were killed, 21 others injured. One of the youngest victims a 17-month-old girl that's now listed in satisfactory condition.

Here's how the shooting played out. State troopers pulled over a gold Honda and the driver opened fire and sped away and continued to shoot at other vehicles. Listen.

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LARRY SHORES, SHOOTING VICTIM: Just driving around, a normal day. And then I hear the gunshots. It was at least 10 shots. I got one on the door and one went through and ricocheted right here through my wrist and I can't get it out because it is a piece of metal.

That is where my legs normally are when I am driving and I am just thankful that both shots had missed me. That's all I'm thankful for. That's all I got to say now. That's all I'm thankful for, that all I got is a scratch with a metal piece in me and that's it instead of a bullet hole.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: At one point he ditched his car and stole a mail truck. The end came in the parking lot of a movie theater; after a shootout with police the gunman was killed. The FBI has sent resources to Midland- Odessa, Texas, to help with the investigation. A law enforcement official says the resources include forensic examiners that will help process the large crime scene there.

Former FBI deputy director and CNN contributor Andrew McCabe had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANDREW MCCABE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Each time you have one of these incredibly tragic incidents, you have the opportunity to mine it for all the intelligence you possibly can.

And some of that is a focus on understanding what that person's progress or trajectory was leading up to the incident. So, we're constantly trying to figure out, are there signs or signals that people exhibit, as they are moving down this path to radicalization or extremism in their thoughts and beliefs that, ultimately, lead to violence.

So, this will be one more opportunity to build out that entire timeline, that picture, that rich picture of this person's background and what they were saying, what they were thinking, what they were writing, what they were doing in the lead-up to this event.

And they will use that knowledge to try to be predictive in the way that we view potential future events.

I think one of the things we've seen since the last two mass shootings is a lot more forward-leaning law enforcement activity. So, you're seeing people around the country being arrested after exhibiting extremist or violent tendencies, people who are collecting firearms or explosive materials, things of that nature.

There is no question that law enforcement is taking those sorts of threats and that sort of intelligence very seriously right now, which is a very good thing.

There's no single thing that we can do to guarantee that we won't see another mass shooting in this country.

But there are many things that we can do to the current legal regime that surrounds things, like background checks and accessibility of firearms to folks. We have a system where we're trying to do the best we can, essentially, under the weight of an enormous burden of firearms sales.

So, there is no doubt, in my mind, that the background check system that we currently work in could be strengthened. It could be more effective. It could be more efficient. That's going to take legislation. Whether or not the Congress has the -- has the stomach and the political will to do that, I guess we'll have to see.

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HOWELL: Earlier, my colleague, Ana Cabrera, spoke to Julian Castro. The U.S. Democratic presidential candidate says this.

[04:35:00]

And at every other mass shooting that we have seen in the United States, shows it is far past time for gun control.

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JULIAN CASTRO (D-TX), FORMER HUD SECRETARY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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 and I hope that we will and I'm going to work like others will.

ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: 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.

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HOWELL: And as Castro mentioned, those new Texas gun laws take effect on Sunday September 1st. Here's some of what is in them.

Licensed handgun owners can now legally carry weapons in places of worship. Schools can no longer prevent gun owners from storing a firearm in a locked vehicle on a school parking lot. The weapon and ammunition must be out of plain sight and can't stop residents from lawfully possessing or storing a firearm on their property.

A senior hospital official spoke to reporters earlier. Here's what he had to say.

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RUSSELL TIPPIN, MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SYSTEMS CEO: Anybody that hears the sound of my voice, you need to grasp onto your loved ones and hold onto them and you need to pray for this town and all the towns and the families and the victims involved.

You need to hold onto them because this is a scary incident and nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. And if you are here, you can hear my voice, please take a minute to stop and give your thoughts and your prayers to all the families and the victims of this tragic incident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Now turning to the other major story we're following, the northern Bahamas are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. That storm extremely powerful. Close to a category 5 storm at this hour. It's forecast to stall over the Bahamas for at least 24 hours and bring a storm surge of up to 15 feet. That's 5 meters.

After the Bahamas, the forecast is for Dorian to turn to the north and skirt up the east coastline. There's still no clear idea of exactly when or if Dorian will make landfall in the United States but it could be a prolonged and damaging event even if Dorian stays over the Atlantic.

[04:40:00]

HOWELL: The best estimate at this point is that Dorian will turn north and not make a direct impact on Florida.

Randi Kaye is in West Palm Beach not far from where President Trump's resort is and here's the report she filed.

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RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in West Palm Beach many folks are certainly breathing a sigh of relief. They're not out of the woods yet with tropical storm force winds headed to this area. But certainly folks are out and about. Here at Two Drunken Goats, a very popular bar and restaurant in West Palm Beach, folks are back to having a good time.

General manager Ryan Brady is here.

And you're seeing an uptick in your customers returning?

RYAN BRADY, TWO DRUNKEN GOATS: Yes. I think people are starting to relax a little bit, being a little more optimistic. We're still cautious, still being -- you don't want to drop your guard just yet but I think people are being a little more optimistic.

KAYE: And for you, you were planning to shut down and you would have brought these screens up and brought all the furniture in?

BRADY: Oh, yes, we would have put all the screens up. We'd take down the lights that we got over here, we'd bring all the furniture inside, lock everything up.

KAYE: And you've been through hurricanes before.

BRADY: Oh, yes, I've lived here since I was 14 years old. So I've seen -- Andrew was the first one I went through.

KAYE: So this is just the Florida way. You panic, you worry and then hopefully it goes out to sea or somewhere else.

BRADY: Right, yes, I mean, nobody wants it. But we're ready for it.

KAYE: So you're cautiously optimistic that you won't get hit?

BRADY: Exactly, yes.

KAYE: OK, you and the rest of us. Certainly this area of South Florida, this area of West Palm Beach, as I said, breathing a sigh of relief but also keeping their eyes wide open for Dorian if it comes this way -- reporting from West Palm Beach, Randi Kaye, CNN. Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Randi, thank you.

The tension is raw in Hong Kong after a night of fire and tear gas and now crowds of people are shutting down transportation links to the city's airport. We'll have an update for you ahead.

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HOWELL: Following developments in Hong Kong, protesters are blocking transport routes to the city's airport. Police are telling protesters who made it to the airport to leave immediately. They'll soon conduct a dispersal operation. We're monitoring for that. This marks some of the worst violence in the nearly three month long protests.

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HOWELL (voice-over): There was chaos between police and demonstrators in a number of train stations Saturday. That's when they used batons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowds; 40 people in one station alone were arrested for what police called criminal damages and illegal assembly.

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HOWELL: Will Ripley is in Hong Kong.

And Will, I saw the images of what you dealt with the other day.

Tell us about the situation now.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we knew that today, George, protesters had planned to do something at the airport. We also knew that there was an injunction preventing the protesters from entering the airport. The crowds inside the airport weren't very big and haven't been so far because they check people's passports and boarding passes.

So we're at the closest train station to the airport that's open now and what's happening is protesters are streaming in here by the thousands. Public transportation directly to the airport has been suspended. The bridge to the airport is completely backlogged with traffic. People are walking. It's about an hour's walk to the airport.

What these protests have essentially done is that, even though inside the airport is relatively calm, getting to and from the airport at the moment is nearly impossible. If I had a flight today, I'd still be stuck on the road.

We have taken the train to this station and we're going to attempt to walk to the airport because that's what a lot of these protesters say they're planning to do.

What does that mean for flights in and out tonight and in the coming days?

We don't know. But what we have seen with that huge barricade of fire, when protesters use petrol bombs this to light up a barricade and block off a central street after a number of confrontations with police where there was tear gas launched by the officers and bricks and bombs hurled back by the protesters, we see this escalating.

And even though the numbers aren't hundreds of thousands, you have, many of them young people, many of them now experienced with how to deal with increasingly aggressive police tactics.

And a lot of these people out here, they have backpacks and umbrellas and their gas masks and they're ready to fight back whatever they find as they march onward to the airport. That's what we're go to do ourselves here as soon as we check in and

see what these crowds and protesters are doing but a lot of them telling us that they're going to start walking.

HOWELL: And Will, just getting into this point a bit more for viewers around the world, we're talking about a major financial city there and major airport, business travelers and you're telling us that people can't get to the airport right now.

RIPLEY: It is pretty much impossible to get to one of the world's busiest airports if you're in Hong Kong right now. And I have a contact that works at the airport that's still trying to get home after their shift ended. They had to get out of their bus and start walking across the bridge because the airport is on an island.

You can't take a boat because it's restricted waterways. You can't fly in a helicopter if you had the means to do that. Most people take the airport express but the problem is if the airport express was open, protesters would be able to flood on board and get directly into the terminal and do what they did a couple of weeks ago, where they clogged up the terminal with thousands of people and shut down flights.

So Hong Kong thought they were getting ahead of the protesters by disrupting and shutting off the direct train line to the airport. And instead we have the inability to get into the airport because of gridlock the streets.

Because they're actually walking on the roadways and that itself is obstructing traffic. So, yes, at the moment, one of the world's transportation hubs and certainly a major transport hub in this region, it is hard to find a way to get in or out of Hong Kong's airport at this point.

[04:50:00]

HOWELL: One of the things that's important to the protesters is to make an impact on city officials, on day-to-day business and clearly, Will, that is happening here. Will Ripley, live for us in Hong Kong. We'll stay in touch with you, thank you.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back after the break.

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HOWELL: We're following Hurricane Dorian and the outer bands of the storm are starting to hit the northern Bahamas. That storm extremely powerful. Close to a category 5 at this hour and it's forecast to stall over the Bahamas for at least 24 hours and bring a storm surge of up to 15 feet or 5 meters high. There's still no clear idea of exactly when or if Dorian will make

landfall in the United States but the coastal areas are being warned that it could be a prolonged and damaging event even if it stays over the Atlantic.

And another major story we're following on this day, five are dead, 21 are injured after a mass shooting. This one in West Texas. The gunman went on a drive-by rampage, opening fire from his car after a traffic stop near Midland and Odessa.

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HOWELL: That's only around 250 miles or 400 kilometers from the scene of another mass shooting in El Paso 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. It ended when police cornered the shooter at a theater package lot. Several witnesses, including Alex Woods, caught it on camera.

Then while all of this was happening a local news station, KOSA, was in the heart of it all. Their studios are located in the mall where that movie theater is. And when people started running, their anchors had to leave the set as they continued to report off screen before eventually returning to air. Listen.

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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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

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.

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HOWELL: From the deadly shooting there to Dorian in the Atlantic, that's the news this hour. CNN's "NEW DAY" takes over after the break.