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Hurricane Dorian's Track Shifts Closer To Florida Coast; Five Dead And 21 Injured In Texas Mass Shooting; Dorian Is Starting To Make Landfall In The Northern Bahamas; DOD ID's Third Special Ops Soldier To Die In Afghanistan; Seventeen-Year-Old Arrested For Shooting Nine Teens After Game; Pope Late To Service After Getting Stuck In Elevator For 25 Minutes. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 1, 2019 - 06:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden, you could hear the popping sounds, you know, gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cars with bullet holes show the path of destruction left in Midland and Odessa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got one on my door and one went through ricochet right here to my wrist. I can't get out yet. It's a piece of metal.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future and yet functionally right now we have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This storm track continues to have a lot of movement and uncertainty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time has pretty much passed if Bahamians were hoping to evacuate or seek refuge. It's now too dangerous to leave. There's simply no escaping Dorian.



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We are following two breaking news stories. We'll start with Hurricane Dorian. The National Hurricane Center says it is extremely dangerous. Category 4 storm. Already hitting the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas with tropical storm forced winds, Grand Bahama will be hit with hurricane forced winds later today and Dorian's path for the U.S. shifted slightly to the west and that brings that brings Florida's east coast more of it into that cone of uncertainty. Tropical storm warnings are in effect right now for parts of south

Florida including West Palm Beach.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And we're watching the breaking news out of Texas as the investigation is underway this morning to how at least five people were killed and 21 others injured in that mass shooting after a routine traffic stop. This happened yesterday afternoon in Midland, Texas. The rampage ended when police shot and killed the gunman in a movie theater parking lot. That shooter is said to be a white male in his mid 30s.

We do want to begin with you in West Texas. The cities between Midland and Odessa. Journalist Melisa Raney reports on what happened there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a shooting going on in Odessa, Texas.

Oh god. They're shooting right there.

MELISA RANEY, JOURNALIST (voice-over): Panic in West Texas as a gunman terrorized two cities on Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down, get down, get down.

RANEY: Cars with bullet holes show the path of destruction left in Midland and Odessa. Officials in Midland say a gunman was driving around shopping centers shooting from his car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has all happening very fast. It was all very -- it was all in movement and -- between Midland and Odessa there's about 20 miles difference.

RANEY: People scrambled to hide from the shooter unsure of where he might be headed. Anchors from KOSA in Midland abandoned their post on live TV in the chaos.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running to the mall right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- there's something going on over here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not sure what's going on here. People are running to the mall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jay, we probably need to go.

RANEY: Authorities say the shooter changed cars at one point stealing a U.S. Postal Service truck adding to the confusion in the manhunt. After nearly two tense hours police killed the shooter outside of a movie theater between Midland and Odessa. Among the nearly two dozen injured, three law enforcement officers.

Officials haven't released the gunman's name only saying he's a white male in his 30s. Vice President Pence says the White House is offering full support for Texas.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The president spoke to the attorney general. The FBI is already assisting local law enforcement in the investigation going forward but we'll continue to monitor those events. But the president is fully engaged.

RANEY: I'm Melisa Raney reporting.


BLACKWELL: Melisa Raney reporting for us there. Investigators are looking for evidence over -- I mean, this stretch between two cities. So it is a massive area.

PAUL: I mean, it's a 20 mile stretch of highway that they were talking about between Midland and Odessa that they now have to treat as a crime scene. Listen to witnesses who watched what happened here in the end when police finally cornered the gunman.


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


JOEY VICKNAIR, WITNESS: You (ph) all (ph) get down.

JULIE VICKNAIR: Oh, my God. Cody (ph), are you down?

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

JULIE VICKNAIR: 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 mail thing. Oh my --

JOEY VICKNAIR: I can smell the gun powder.


JOEY VICKNAIR: They definitely neutralized the target.


JULIE VICKNAIR: This is crazy. Somebody is on the ground.


PAUL: So CNN's Ed Lavandera is with us now from Odessa, Texas. We understand, Ed -- first of all, I want to talk about these people who were hurt. We know there was a 17 month old. Do we know the conditions of any of them and how they're doing this morning?


Well, here in Odessa, five dead and that includes a public school student here in Odessa, their identities have not yet been released but there is also among the nearly two dozen injured a 17-month-old baby that was air-flighted into Lubbock, Texas north of the Odessa- Midland area. We are told that baby is in satisfactory condition.

So a great deal of concern for many of the people who are being treated and as you drive around the city of Odessa, you come across small little crime scenes and, you know, the -- initially investigators and police were warning that this driver was driving around town sporadically shooting at people and from what we see here on the ground that is exactly what has happened. As you see like one street corner and you see one officer assigned in a little area taped off from -- by crime scene tape.

You see -- have seen that in a number of locations scattered across the city. And that is where investigators will continue to do their work today trying to gather all the bullet fragments and any other kind of evidence that might be able to gather at all of these scenes. So this is not just one crime scene. This is multiple scenes spread out over a very large area -- Christi.

BLACKWELL: Ed, before we let you go, we see you're in front of the police department there and there's so many questions that have not been answered. Have police said when they're going to answer these questions next? Any suggestion of if there's going to be a news conference at some point this morning?

LAVANDERA: We anticipate some new opportunities to ask questions here in the next couple of hours. We'll continue to see how that has been going. We do know that at the scene behind the movie theater where the rampage all came to an end, that is an area where investigators have continued to work throughout the night as well as some of the little areas that I was talking about earlier.

But as you mentioned clearly a great number of questions still remain unanswered about why and how all of this unfolded. Just exactly how much light investigators were able to shed on all of that at this point remains to be seen.

PAUL: All right. Ed Lavandera, thank you so much for the latest. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: This morning we are hearing from two men who came within inches of being shot. I want you to listen to their stories.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 his side. And my shop foreman is in there right now and he said his wife was just covered in flood. But he had made it to the hospital, still talking and breathing.

He was way out there in at Mission Dorado, in that area, you know, when it happened, I guess. Just dropped to my knees and hit my head on the floor and 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.


BLACKWELL: Let's bring in former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland and Security and CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem. And Jonathan Wackrow, a former secret service agent and CNN law enforcement analyst.

Jonathan, let me start with you.


BLACKWELL: The question of why. Of course, you know, everybody wants an answer to that but I don't know yet if we have got an answer to if this was premeditated. I mean, on one sense this started with a traffic stop and this man started shooting police say, but also we're told he had a rifle and obviously a significant amount of ammunition.

Based on what we know and there's still many questions, does this lead an investigator in one direction or another? If this was spontaneous or if this was something that was premeditated and he was just waiting for a stop.

WACKROW: Listen, there are a lot of unanswered here and unfortunately the suspect or -- actually unfortunately the suspect is dead so we cannot interview him. So finding an immediate motive is going to be difficult. So we have to rely on the investigative process and we have to start looking at the facts that we know. This -- this incident started with the traffic stop.


Unfortunately we're not aware yet of what type of, you know, precipitating event occurred that caused the DPS officers to initiate the traffic stop. Was this a violation that they saw or were they actually looking for this individual? That is unknown.

What we do know is that at the moment of that stop, that traffic stop, when the DPS officers exited the car, the suspect started firing from the rear window with a rifle. I mean, so that weapon system was at the ready. I mean, I'm looking at this -- these officers got abused at that initial moment of contact.

PAUL: Juliette, the "L.A. Times" editorial board wrote this after the Gilroy mass shooting that they wrote this August 2nd. "The inevitable debates after Gilroy will touch on the usual themes" -- and we suspect they will come into play of course now -- they wrote, "It wasn't the gun, it was the poison in the man's mind. There's some truth to that, given that firearms are inanimate objects. But without a firearm, the man couldn't have shot anyone."


PAUL: Why do mass shootings seem to be so unique to the U.S.?

KAYYEM: It's just clearly the proliferation of guns. There's just no other sort of commonality to describe all the things going on except for the capacity of people to respond to whatever ails them, mental health, some motivation, ideology, whatever with the capacity to kill lots of people quickly.

And so we will spend a lot of time as we always do on the motivation, what was his background? Did he have mental health issues? Was he a -- you know, was he a wife abuser? All of those things matter to just get an understanding of what happened. There are obviously victims who want to know what happened.

But if you just look at this summer -- right -- the only consistent thing is the -- is the ability of people in a situation where they want to cause harm to kill a lot of people very quickly. And this is a perfect example what happened yesterday.

Here's a random, you know, just a sort of traffic stop, no one is thinking much about it. The guy is fully armed and not only does he go after the police officers who are armed but he then sort of proceeds with this very unique and very violent sort of drive-by shootings. That -- you know, no amount of physical barriers, no amount of, you know, fortifying the schools or fortifying the malls is going to stop something like that.

And so until we begin to talk about what's -- you know, what I call the through line of all of the cases which is guns and in Texas the propensity of, you know, lots of guns we are not going to be able to solve the mass shooting crisis.

BLACKWELL: And more than just the lots of guns the law has changed today in Texas --


BLACKWELL: -- for six or them. We've got them here. Licensed gun owners can keep guns locked in their car, on school ground starting today. Another law allows for more armed school marshals, some foster homes can now store firearms and ammunition. Apartment manager can't ban tenants from lawfully having a gun.

A new law legalizes carrying a gun while during a disaster evacuation. Another one allows licensed handgun owners to carry in places of worship. The timing is coincidental if not ironic. Jonathan, do these laws make Texans any safer or less safe? Is there a way to determine that?

WACKROW: No, listen -- I mean, the people who are causing these mass shooting events they're not following the law to begin with. So -- I mean, so we're -- we're actually dealing with a separate, you know, group of people.

To Juliette's point, I mean, the guns are the common problem here and that's the challenge for law enforcement. And what we're seeing is not only are these mass shooting events, you know, taking place with high powered weapons but the tactics are also changing.

To me when I look at yesterday's event that really changes the paradigm on how law enforcement has to respond in the initial moments to an active shooter situation. There was a lot of confusion yesterday because law enforcement was unaware at the immediate moment that this individual was mobile. Normally when we hear a call for an active shooter situation it's at a static location where law enforcement can swarm one location, set a perimeter, cordoned off and address the threat.

Yesterday was really challenging for the first responders where they didn't know where that threat was. So they had to go out and find it. Again, a new paradigm in the active shooter model right now.

PAUL: All right. Juliette Kayyem and Jonathan Wackrow, thank you both --

KAYYEM: Thanks.

PAUL: -- so much for sharing your expertise with us this morning.

BLACKWELL: All right. Hurricane Dorian it is now starting to make landfall in the northern Bahamas. A category 4 storm, very strong winds, gusts up to 185 miles per hour. Heavy rain. Flood surge, a strong surge is coming there.

We have learned that its track has shifted closer to the from Florida coastline as well. We're live in the Bahamas when we come back.



PAUL: So we just learned that Dorian -- Hurricane Dorian is beginning to make landfall in the northern Bahamas right now.

BLACKWELL: CNN International Correspondent, Patrick Oppmann is in Freeport now. It's not happening where you are, Patrick, but tell us what you know about this first landfall of Hurricane Dorian.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well it's not happening here right now but Dorian is on its way to where I am, Grand Bahama and within the next few hours we are told we should begin to feel tropical force winds and then by this evening hurricane force winds which will continue for perhaps as long as 24 hours. And the great worry here is of course the storm will bring powerful winds, will bring lots of rain, perhaps over a foot of rain and very, very powerful storm surge.

Last night the government of the Bahamas has told people that at this point they need to evacuated and needed to found shelter. We were driving around yesterday here and people were doing their last minute shopping. And a lot of the stores were closing, a lot of the shelves were bare so people are as ready as they can ever be but, of course, when you're talking about a storm of this magnitude, a storm this powerful, you know, how ready can you really be?

And people are responding perhaps more than they have in the past. Bahamian government officials told us to (INAUDIBLE) to seek refuge to get out of the low lying areas.


You remember we're talking about a storm surge of over 15 feet. Perhaps as high as 20 feet.

The island where I am which is higher than other islands in the area, the highest point of land is only 30 feet so much of this island by tomorrow will probably be under water. There are islands around us that will be completely under water.

PAUL: I just cannot imagine. Patrick, you and the crew do take care of each other there, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

We're also staying on top of the developments in west Texas this morning. Investigators are there at the scene of a mass shooting that left five people dead and at least 21 others injured.

BLACKWELL: We'll hear from one man who says despite the recent shootings, what happened yesterday still seems unreal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James (ph), get down.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's still in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's barricaded?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They locked him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They locked him outside. You have (ph) to get (ph) (INAUDIBLE) inside (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here. Right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold (ph) on (ph). Stay down, stay down, stay down, stay down, stay down, stay down, stay down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're (ph) moving everybody back here. Hold on. Wait. They're (ph) moving everybody back here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. He's still away. Come on.



BLACKWELL: All right. Hurricane Dorian is starting to make landfall in the northern Bahamas right now.

[06:25:03] Heavy rains, severe winds are being felt in the Abaco Islands. Grand Bahama Island could experience a storm surge of up to 20 feet.

The latest forecast shows Dorian's path for the U.S. has shifted slightly to the west bringing it closer to Florida's east coast. Now tropical storm warnings are currently in effect for parts of south Florida including West Palm Beach.

PAUL: We are also watching the breaking news out of Texas where the investigation is going on this morning after at least five people were killed and 21 others injured in a mass shooting after a traffic stop yesterday afternoon in Midland, Texas. This is a rampage that ended when police shot and killed the gunman as you see here in a movie theater parking lot. Police say that shooter was a white male in his 30s.

BLACKWELL: Authorities say the shooter fired shots indiscriminately as he drove down the highway between Midland and Odessa.

PAUL: And there's an eye witness here who talks about what he calls a really unreal experience for him.


ALEX WOODS, WITNESSED ODESSA SHOOTING (on the phone): I'm still a little confused why like -- why it happened. Like I know they have 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.

It's not shown in the video but SWAT did show up and they threw a flash grenade into the back of a van. Was assuming they did that to make sure that there were no further threats hiding in there.

We'd like to thank the first responders for the way that 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.


PAUL: All right. So let's talk to retired FBI Supervisor, Special Agent and CNN Law Enforcement Analyst, James Gagliano.

James, you know, I understand that FBI resources from the bureaus in Dallas and San Antonio, they are making their way to Midland to help with this investigation but when we talk about this investigation, we usually focus on buildings. On places that are confined. We're talking about a 20 mile stretch of highway.

How do you begin that process? And what kind of time does that take?

JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, this is going to be a difficult one, Christi, and I think the FBI is the right group to handle this as far as the crime scene aspect of this. Now they have already deployed there what we call ERT or their evidence response teams to Midland and to Odessa. And to your point, this was a rolling crisis site. It was not a static site where police can cordon it off and take their time and work through it.

A couple of important things here I think for police to focus on. When you're looking at the ballistics and the weapon, there's three things that you look at. The internal ballistics meaning did that round come from that weapon. The external ballistics. Where that round went to. The trajectory. Was it one shooter and then determining the ballistics.

Where is that round so we can match it up with the weapon. And if this was a rifle as it has been -- I think as it has been proposed then that round could have travelled through people, through walls, through the skin of a vehicle, going to be very difficult to police up all those items.

The FBI will be working closely with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety and the local police. This is going to be a long process. The number one thing they want to find out, was there another shooter? Is it just the one or were there any co-conspirators? I think, Christi, that's going to be the most important thing they want to get to the bottom of.

BLACKWELL: So law enforcement right now, the chronology that we have is that after this traffic stop that a trooper was shot and a Midland officer and an Odessa officer were shot. If he's aiming for or targeting law enforcement, why shoot just indiscriminately innocent people on this road? If you're trying to get to a why, if you're trying to get to a motive, how does that fit into this equation?

GAGLIANO: Yes. It's difficult, Victor, because you and I at least profess to be sane people and we're looking at this from the perspective of what is an evil person thinking? I think the important thing here is going to be to determine whether or not this was a spontaneous eruption of violence or whether the shooter had any type of, you know, predisposed motive.

Look, the FBI is determined in studying mass shootings. Seventy-seven percent of the shooters prepare in advance. Forty-six of them actually go out and do preparations whether they're casing a location or something like that.

If this was a situation where the shooter was trying to draw law enforcement to him meaning he ran a red light when he saw a patrol car there, that's a possibility or this could have just been somebody who happened to be traveling, heavily armed, got pulled over, was triggered by that and decided to go out and do just an unconscionably heinous act.


Hard to say right now, Victor. I'm assuming that the police are going to get out today probably at some point in time, step in front of the cameras and give the public what we know to this point.

PAUL: James Gagliano, thank you so much.

BLACKWELL: Back now to Hurricane Dorian. It is now starting make landfall in the Northern Bahamas. And we've just learned that its track has shifted closer to the Florida coastline, a Category 4 storm, monster, 150 mile an hour sustained winds, gusts of up to 185.

Kevin Tomlinson is live in the Bahamas, and he has lived through five hurricanes. He'll speak with us when we come back.


BLACKWELL: Hurricane Dorian is starting to make landfall in the Northern Bahamas.

PAUL: Yes. The track of this massive Category 4 hurricane has shifted this morning. It is now going little further west, which means it's going to be closer to the Florida Coast as well.

BLACKWELL: Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is in the CNN Weather Center with the latest. What are those people who are still on those islands as it makes landfall? What are they experiencing right now?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: At times, very heavy rainfall, some gusty winds, and they've been having that off and on for about the last 6 to 12 hours. They started getting some of those heavy rain bands, the outer bands of Dorian late last night, and then off and on throughout the evening as they get some of these waves at these outer bands.


The concern will be going forward. Those bands are going to get less and less time in between and then they're going to get more frequent. They're going to get stronger. The rain is going to get heavier as it continues its approach to the west. It's moving west at about eight miles per hour. Storm surge is also going to be a major factor for the Bahamas, about 15 to 20 feet potentially as this storm continues to push in.

It's making landfall. It's going through that process right now, but it is expected to slow down. So it's going to drag on for a lot of them. It's still maintaining a Category 4 strength as it continues across and heads toward Florida.

More portions of Florida are now included in the track compared to previous runs because we have started to see the shift out to the west. The ultimate question, guys, is when does it go off to the north? They have hurricane hunter missions out there actually around the storm rather than inside of the storm.

But they're trying to get, Victor and Christi, the take on this high pressure system, because that is ultimately going to be one of the big determining factors as to when the storm finally makes that northward turn and that will help us define exactly when and where that northward turn will take place.

PAUL: All right. Allison Chinchar, I know it's been busy, thank you so much.


PAUL: So Kevin Tomlinson is a Grand Bahama resident. He has lived through five hurricanes already and he lives on the coast. He is hunkering down in his home during this storm. He has said, I'm staying put.

Kevin, first of all, a lot of people want to know what went into your determination to stay through this.

KEVIN TOMLINSON, GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND RESIDENT: Well, we have been through it before so many times and we have protocols on the island to follow for times like this. And persons on the island are stocked up with their food supply, already have gathered (ph) themselves, prepared themselves and we're just waiting for it to come.

Here in Grand Bahama we have not started to feel the gust of it yet. I understand some of our neighboring islands, like Abaco, they have already experienced some swelling of the sea and the water coming in to the end lap (ph). We have not gotten there yet. We're scheduled to really start to feel the impact around 6:00 P.M. this evening. And so right now there's scattered showers and so forth.

But like I said, we aren't new to this. Hurricanes, we've been through so many of them and I remember particularly in 2004, Frances, Hurricane Frances, the damage she did, and she was just a Category 2. She was moving so slow.

And so this one here at a Category 4, we are really bracing ourselves for it. And so I live in a kind of protective (INAUDIBLE) high rise. No, I'm not too high. I'm like from the third floor, but it's good and I'm good. So I'm going on a few minutes to make sure that we get some of our people off the streets. You know, we have some persons who live on the streets. We go on get them to some shelters and get them, be sure they are protected from harm (ph).

Like I said, we expect the impact around 6:00 this evening.

BLACKWELL: Kevin, I'm look behind you and I see your windows aren't even boarded up there, no shutters on those windows behind you. When you say that you're prepared for this, you say you got the food, you're going to check on the neighbors but why haven't you covered those windows? You're only on the third floor. And these winds are right now 150 miles an hour sustained.

TOMLINSON: You know, I live in a building where we have hurricane- proof windows.


TOMLINSON: So windows are very strong. And so we don't really need to board them up. And so -- and then, two, I'm claustrophobic. So I don't know if I can handle being in a closed space.

BLACKWELL: I understand.

PAUL: Has there ever been a moment, Kevin, though -- has there ever been a moment where you've second guessed yourself? Or do you have any of those moments right now knowing as you talk about the damage and what happened in a hurricane Category 2 and now you're looking to a Category 4 in a matter of hours?

TOMLINSON: There is always that fear of the unknown. There is always that fear. But like I said, we will (INAUDIBLE). I mean, one (INAUDIBLE) method I've been following is just waiting out to see what the end result is going to be, you know? So Where are we going to (INAUDIBLE)?

BLACKWELL: Well, Kevin, we wish you the best, stay safe and we will check back to see how you made it through this storm.

TOMLINSON: (INAUDIBLE), we have more about more stuff (ph) going on. Like I said, we expect the impact to start around 6:00 this evening.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Well, Kevin take good care of yourself and your family and all of your friends there. We're wishing you the very best.


Thank you for taking time to talk with us.

TOMLINSON: Thank you for having me in the show.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So, again, the storm, Hurricane Dorian, is now making landfall in the Northern Bahamas, but the track moving forward, it shifted west a bit, bringing a greater chance that this storm could scrape the East Coast.

PAUL: We have live reports from the Coast Of Florida all the way up to South Carolina now, and how residents are getting ready and what do you do at this point when you know that that storm is going to be hugging the coast, coming up.


PAUL: Forty-four minutes past the hour on a Sunday, and it is still unclear where or if Hurricane Dorian might make landfall in the U.S. But we know this. The East Coast from Florida to the Carolinas are preparing for what could be a prolonged damaging event even if Dorian stays just offshore because the latest models tell us that Dorian has moved further west.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Right now, South Carolina is under a state of emergency. The coastal city of Charleston is getting with temporary pumps in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.

In the meantime, mandatory evacuations in Cocoa Beach, Florida have been delayed to Monday morning as officials keep an eye on that track and the timing of Dorian.


PAUL: CNN's Nick Valencia is in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We first though want to go to CNN's Leyla Santiago in Charleston, South Carolina. And I think this is indicative of how erratic this storm has been.

Yesterday, she was in Miami. Before that, she was in Cocoa Beach. Now, she's in South Carolina. South Carolina, the Carolinas themselves, really, Leyla just became a serious part of this conversation yesterday. Do the people there feel like they have enough time to prepare?

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think they have enough time to prepare. They know it. But they also know that there is enough time for things to change, to your point, as they already have.

So I want to show you -- I want you to listen to one woman who was already preparing for her family. Here is what she had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've noticed that some people are starting to buy water and I think the traffic in the grocery store has picked up a good bit. I believe that my husband bought some water this morning and said that it looked like they were already raiding the shelves.

So I think we bought 10 gallons but we'll need it for the rest of the season.


SANTIAGO: So I think that speaks to how people are feeling here.

Now, as for local authorities, there was -- the city council had a conference call yesterday in which they were discussing ways to be prepared. As Victor mentioned, they have some pumps out in those low- lying areas because this is Charleston, so that means flooding is very much a concern.

Now, in just about an hour at 8:00 a.m., they will actually be activating the emergency operations center here and they say that that will stay open as needed. The mayor of Charleston saying this, while the exact path of Hurricane Dorian is still subject to change, this is a large, powerful storm and we need to prepare for the worst even as we hope for the best.

I'll tell you at our hotel where we are right now, we did see that they have put the flood panels up. So there is a sense of let's get ready, let's prepare for the worst but there's also still a little bit of hesitation given what we've already seen with Dorian. PAUL: All right. Leyla Santiago, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to Melbourne, Florida now. Businesses boarded up, tourists leaving ahead of Dorian. Nick Valencia is there. Nick, we know that this 5:00 A.M. update shows that it's shifted west a bit. Now, we're only, what, an hour and 45 minutes past that so we may not have a reaction from local officials yet, but how are they preparing now that this -- Florida has stayed in this cone?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the National Hurricane Center, Victor, and that advisory, reminding people there is still a scenario for this storm to track even closer to Coastal Florida, perhaps even make direct landfall. And it was yesterday when I spoke to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office that they reiterated that residents here need to stay prepared. And what they are preparing for is the high probability of tropical storm force winds, rip currents. You see there are some that are taking precautions.

This is a motel. It's clearly been here a long time, gone through a lot of storms like this before. They boarded up their windows. It is beautiful behind me right now, no doubt about that. The sun is just starting to come up. But the Brevard County Sheriff's Office being very clear that residents know all too well, this track could change at any moment.

When you drive around this community though, some are taking precautions, just like this motel in Indialantic, but a lot of people aren't. You don't see a lot of sandbagging. Though officials are reminding people this track could change at any moment and they should be prepared for the worst. Right now though, guys, Victor and Christi, it is really just a waiting game.

PAUL: All right.

BLACKWELL: Nick, we know that that hotel is boarded up. How many people, and maybe you have an idea of this, just got out of town, headed north, headed west to get out of the way of Dorian?

VALENCIA: You know, we heard a lot of people very concerned early this week, you know, when we got out here on Wednesday. We thought this storm would land initially Sunday night into Monday morning.

So you saw a lot of hotel reservations getting cancelled. A lot of people are saying that they didn't want to take chances. They were going north towards North Carolina.

The beaches here this holiday weekend, Victor, have been really, really empty. You know, we showed you that yesterday, you know, driving around town. We were in Cocoa Beach. It felt like a ghost town here in and around the Melbourne area. We're in Indialantic now specifically. You know it's quiet because the sun hasn't come up.

But even even driving around yesterday, you know, you saw a lot more emergency crew vehicles and you saw people milling around. Our hotel briefly thought about evacuating. There was plans for it to evacuate on Monday. But it gives you any sense of just how confident or the confidence of business owners here. They're planning not to evacuate, no mandatory evacuations for this area. Really, just that guarded optimism.

I want to reiterate, there are people that are taking precautions, like this motel here. But driving around, you see a lot of people that really aren't. So, no, visually, you don't really see a lot of boarded up businesses or homes just yet. Victor, Christi.


PAUL: All right. Nick Valencia, thank you so much. Take good care of yourself there.

VALENCIA: You bet.

PAUL: Listen, when we come back, an unusual situation this morning, why the Pope was 25 minutes late to his regular Sunday service.


PAUL: Well, the Pentagon identified the third Special Forces soldier to die in just over a week in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Dustin Ard was wounded during combat operations in Zabul province on Thursday and later died. Officials released only a brief statement regarding the 31-year-old's death and didn't mention specifics regarding that operation.

BLACKWELL: A 17-year-old has been arrested after allegedly shooting nine people after a high school football game in Alabama. DeAngelo Parnell is being charged as an adult with nine counts of attempted murder. A police in mobile say Parnell turned himself in yesterday. Three of the victims are still in the hospital but are all expected to be okay.

PAUL: And this is just in towards this hour. Apparently, Pope Francis was late for his regular Sunday address in St. Peter's Square today.


He wasn't sleeping in. He was stuck in an elevator for 25 minutes.

BLACKWELL: I have never heard of this.

PAUL: Nor have I.

BLACKWELL: So speaking to the crowd after he was rescued by firefighters, he said that I have to apologize for being late but I had an unexpected event. There was a drop in voltage and the elevator stopped. A round of applause for the firefighters. That was nice.

PAUL: Maybe he had a little extra motivation, a little extra meditation for his sermon today.

BLACKWELL: Yes, all right.

PAUL: Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. We love having you here.

BLACKWELL: Much more ahead on the breaking news this morning starts right after the break.