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At This Hour

Biden Discusses Taiwan With Xi In Effort To Avoid "Conflict"; Police Give Update On Manhunt For Suspect In Univ. Of Virginia Shooting. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired November 14, 2022 - 11:00   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. AT THIS HOUR, two of the world's superpowers meeting for hours and what President Biden is now saying happened behind closed doors. Plus, control of the House comes down to several key races, as more Republicans are blaming Donald Trump for the different disappointing results so far. And a manhunt for a student is underway after a deadly shooting on the campus of the University of Virginia.

This is what we're watching AT THIS HOUR. Thank you so much for being here. I'm Kate Bolduan. President Biden, he's holding high stakes meeting with China's leader. The two men meeting for more than three hours on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Indonesia, this is their first in person face to face meetings since Biden took office. This also comes at a moment when relations between the two countries are seen as really being at an all-time low fundamental differences on major issues like human rights to Taiwan, trade, and of course in the war in Ukraine.

But in a press conference just this morning, President Biden did express hope that they can repair ties. Let's begin right there with MJ Lee who's live in Indonesia for us. MJ, what did President Biden say about this meeting with Xi?

MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, President Biden described there more than three hours of conversations as open and candid, as the two leaders, he said laid out their intentions and their priorities. And he said that the U.S. laid out some of the concerns they have when it comes to China on everything from human rights to some of China's economic practices to U.S. citizens who are currently detained in China. But there was probably no other issue that was more highly anticipated as a topic of discussion than Taiwan because that is, in fact, the reason that U.S. Chinese relations have deteriorated so much in recent months, particularly following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island.

The President suggesting in the press conference after the summit, that he was perhaps able to take down the temperature a little bit on this front, take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm absolutely believe there's need not be a new Cold War. We -- I've met many times with Xi Jinping. And we were candid and clear with one another across the board. And I do not think there's any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan. And I made it clear that our policy in Taiwan has not changed at all.


LEE: Now, one major area of agreement that President Biden noted was that he said he and Xi both said that nuclear weapons was completely unacceptable, so that was another key headline from this summit. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, MJ, thank you so much. We need to jump right now over to a press conference still happening right now. Police are giving an update on the manhunt for a suspect in the deadly shooting at the University of Virginia. Let's listen in. This is the school's president.

JIM RYAN, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: A fourth year student from Miami, Florida. All three were members of the football team. Two other students were wounded and are being treated for injuries at the UVA Medical Center. One is in good condition. One is in critical condition. In order to protect their privacy, we are not releasing their names at this moment. The families of all the victims have been notified and the university is providing any and every available assistance. I have spoken with four of the families and I spoke directly to the student who is in good condition.

Law enforcement including University Police, local law enforcement agencies, and Virginia State Police continue their search for the suspect and will not stop until he is found. They have however, lifted the shelter in place order following an exhaustive building by building search of grounds and are confident that the suspect has left the area. Classes and all extracurricular activities have been canceled for today, including the men's basketball game scheduled for this evening.

Although we do not yet have a full understanding of the motive and circumstances surrounding these events, police are investigating as we speak. We will continue to keep the community notified of developments via our emergency alert system and further community wide e-mails. I'm grateful to law enforcement for their response and to our community for facilitating their work with what I realized has been a long shelter in place order.

This is an unimaginably sad day for our community. The entire university community is grieving this morning. My heart is broken for the victims and their families and for all who those who knew and love them and they are all in my prayers. As I've said before, when I see our students, I see my own kids. And I cannot imagine anything worse for a parent than to lose a child.

[11:05:14] Please know we will do everything we can to honor their lives. And we'll come together soon as a community to mourn these losses. In the meantime, if you need help, especially our students, please don't hesitate to reach out to the resources listed in the e-mail I sent early this morning. And please reach out to each other, and lend each other an ear and a shoulder even if virtually. This is an extraordinarily difficult day for our community. And we need to comfort and support each other and those closest to the victims of this horrendous shooting. Thank you. And now I'd like to turn it over to Chief Longo.

TIMOTHY LONGO SR., CHIEF OF POLICE, UNIV. OF VIRGINIA: Thank you, President Ryan. Thank all of you for assembling in here this afternoon and giving us the opportunity to tell what happened over the last several hours and perhaps even answer some of your questions. I'll say from the very beginning, there will be questions that will have no answers. And stop because I don't want to tell you it's because we just don't know. So I hope you'll be patient with that. And trust that when we do know, you'll know.

This has been an incredibly long evening, a very tragic circumstances for our university community for the city of Charlottesville, the county of Albemarle, the Commonwealth. It's especially tragic for a small number of families who we've had to break some really bad news too. And some of you tried to reach out throughout the evening, and we didn't take your calls, I apologize for that. One or more of you might even got hung up on in the midst of chaos. And so I apologize for that as well. When this call came out just after 10 o'clock last night about 10:16, and we knew the circumstances, we immediately initiated an emergency alert.

Everyone with a UVA e-mail address and the cell phone number that we have access to gets that alert and that alert is sent out by our Office of Emergency Management. It's updated every 15 minutes, which is much as much information as we can provide. And since 10:16, up until just about 30 minutes ago, our students were sheltered where they were, and so our students were sheltered where they were. And more than 500 of them were sheltered and buildings throughout grounds, studying in libraries, classrooms, and other places. And they've cooperated with the directive that they received. And we're very grateful for that as well.

And fortunately, we've been able to lift that alert. As President Ryan mentioned, we thanks to the partnership of our city, Charlottesville partners, County of Albemarle, the Virginia State Police, our federal partners, the ATF, the FBI, the U.S. Marshal Service, a host of law enforcement officers who came to us to help secure a scene, search for evidence process that scene for evidence and now secure our grounds. While we did the exhaustive search to the very best of our abilities, we're reasonably confident that the person responsible for this tragedy is not on our grounds.

But make no mistake about it, we will find him wherever he is, and bring the resources of every federal law enforcement agency in this nation who has the capacity and the ability to look for him beyond our boundaries. And if he's in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the people that are standing behind me will engage in that search as well.

The bodies of Devin and D'Sean, as President Ryan indicated, were found inside a charter bus where they had been for the day enjoying the school activity, having a meal together and coming back to our grounds, and someone amongst them chose to do an act of violence. And we found them dead inside that bus. And for hours, we had to process a crime scene. And I know I don't have to tell you how difficult that is for family to not know, to see e-mail or chat or in social media.

And we did our best to try to keep up with that. To let people know what we knew and what we were trying to do. And hopefully now that we've caught up, we'll be able to continue to share that message to the many families across this world that have young people here at our university to let them know that their young people are OK and that there will be people here for many days to take care of them.

This strong law enforcement presence that you've probably seen on our grounds for the last several hours, represented by the agencies behind me will stay here until we're reasonably comfortable that this person is in custody. Well, in addition to our local state and federal partners but the talents and skills of our colleagues in the medical center, who have been with us throughout this journey and remain with us for the two students that we have there seeking treatment, we deeply appreciate their efforts as well. We've secured arrest warrants for Mr. Jones.


We've charged him with three counts of second degree murder. And we charged him with three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a felony. Those facts and circumstances were reviewed by a judicial officer. And those are the charges that were proffered. There comes a point in time that those charges need to be amended and certain facts and circumstances arise that will cause us to do that, we'll do that. But we'll do that through the advice and counsel of our Commonwealth's attorney, and to the extent federal law applies. The Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District, Mr. Kavanaugh is present here today.

I want to give you a description of Mr. Jones. He is described as a black male. He was born on November the 19th, 1999. When he was last seen on our grounds, he was wearing a burgundy jacket, blue jeans, and red shoes. We believe he's driving a black SUV bearing Virginia registration. T as in tango, W as in whiskey, X is an x-ray, 3580, TWX 3580. We implore anyone who's on our highways and byways who should see that vehicle bearing that tag to call 911 immediately and report his whereabouts try to keep that vehicle in sight.

We believe, perhaps that Mr. Jones remains armed and he's to be considered dangerous and treated accordingly. I want to share some information with you because I want to be transparent with you. I want you to know what I know to the extent that I can share that information this afternoon. Mr. Jones came to the attention of the University of Virginia's threat assessment team in the fall of 2022. In fact in September of 2022, our Office of Student Affairs reported to the multidisciplinary threat assessment team that Mr. Jones, they received information that Mr. Jones had made a comment about possessing a gun to a person that was unaffiliated with the university, in other words, a third party.

That reporting person again unaffiliated with the university, to the best of our knowledge, never saw the gun. The comment about Mr. Jones, owning a gun was not made in conjunction with any threats. The Office of Student Affairs followed up with the reporting person and made efforts to contact Mr. Jones. In fact they followed up with Mr. Jones roommate who did not report seeing the presence of a weapon. Pardon me.

Thank you, Captain. We just received information the suspect is in custody. Just the moment to thank God, breathed a sigh of relief. Mr. Jones also had come to the attention of our threat assessment team because he was involved in a hazing investigation of some sort. I don't know the facts and circumstances of that investigation. I know that it was eventually closed due to witnesses that would not cooperate with the process.

But through the course of the threat assessment teams investigation, we learned of a prior criminal incident involving a concealed weapon violation that occurred outside the city of Charlottesville in February of 2021. What's interesting about that case is he's required as a student at the University of Virginia to report that and he never did. And so the university has taken appropriate administrative charges through the universities judiciary counsel and that matter is still pending adjudication.


I thought important to share that information with you to let you know that he had been called to our attention. And to answer any questions you might have about that, I want you to hear that, I want you to hear that from me not to hear from someone else. So I'll stop there. And we'll take any questions that you might have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll call them out. We have time for a couple of questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, chief or president. Can you discuss what where the fields that was going, the affiliation of people that were on that Boston, on that field trip and if the suspect part of that trip or step on to the bus?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for the question. The information we have at this time is that the field trip was associated with a class and the individuals that had been named were part of that trip to see a play, that is to see a play associated with the class. So it was a class field trip.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was the suspect in fact in that class or --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not have those details.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what class it was?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not. I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what play it was?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not. We're seeking out all of that information. As you can imagine the students are quite traumatized by the tragic events.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a play in Washington, D.C.?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not have the exact location. We are finalizing all of that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The three victims that died were football players?

RYAN: So the play was in Washington, D.C.


LONGO: I have not been shared that information yet. And it will come a point in time when we will share that information, I'm sure but now's not the most appropriate time.


RYAN: We're not releasing information about the patients who are still in the hospital at this time.


LONGO: I can't speak for Student Affairs. The University Police Department had no contact in with this. The University Police Department is one of many people that's on that multidisciplinary threat assessment team. And we provide some of the background with respect to individuals to come before that team. But to my knowledge, we did not have any contact with Mr. Jones with regard to that incident.


LONGO: My understanding is ballpark about 25?


LONGO: We don't know how he got away or how it was did he fled the scene and I don't have information with respect to how he was apprehended.


LONGO: We're in the process of doing that now.


LONGO: Yes, not at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When and where did the third victim died, because two were found dead on the bus.

LONGO: The third victim was transported to the medical center and died there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we know Mr. Jones's status at one point he was on the football team. He was still a student here as of this morning, was he still affiliated with the football team?

RYAN: He was still a student. But to my knowledge, he was no longer on the football team and hadn't been on the team for over a year.


RYAN: The two other victims were students.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two more. Go ahead and then I'll go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the students know at all who the suspect prior to this, was there any relationship?

LONGO: I don't know to what extent they had a relationship with him. I don't know that for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief Longo, you personally have been involved with so many tragedies that have happened here in Charlottesville. If you could just talk about how have you been able to process those feelings at all, what this community has been through over the past decade or so and how this impacts all of that right now?

LONGO: I don't know that I barely had time to process that to the extent that you speak up I can tell you that the people stand behind -- that are standing behind me now, it speaks for itself, how we get through these things. These agencies that are represented here were on these grounds very quickly. I try to do better next time. That's all I have right now. We can't do this alone. And we obviously haven't. And we --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- found on campus, off campus at least?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or where he's in custody, you know, who's brought him into custody?

LONGO: Well, I can tell you to the best of my knowledge, he was not found on campus. I cannot tell you where he was located or where he was taken into custody or where he's located now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll have more information. Thank you all very much. I'll get back to you. We'll have more information as we have it. Thank you all very much for coming.

BOLDUAN: All right, so a major development you saw just playing out in the midst of this press conference, they begin this press conference over this shooting at UVA, with the police and the president of the university, calling for help and assistance to locate a suspect. And then in the middle of this press conference, the chief of police receiving word from his deputy, that the suspect is now in custody. As we now know that all of the people who were killed in this incident and wounded students involved in this mass shooting at UVA overnight.

John Miller is here with me, John, important, the suspect is in custody, they clearly are unprepared to give more on that because the chief of police himself just found it out in the middle of the press conference. But there was a lot that we learned about previous interactions, and just what happened and how this played out just now.

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT & INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So what we learned was that this is someone who was flagged to the Threat Assessment Center at UVA. This is a pretty advanced process where they have people from student affairs, representatives from the police departments, psychologists to assess threats. The threat involved somebody reporting, Chris Jones, had made a statement that he had a gun. They interviewed his roommate, who said he had never seen a gun. They interviewed the complainant who said, well, there was no threat that came with the idea that he made a statement about having a gun. But as we peel back the layers, we see he also seems to have an arrest outside of campus for an illegal weapon the year before.

So we're starting to peel back the layers of early signs that this individual was headed for trouble. What's remarkable to me is that all of this came out in the first press conference. In other words, rather than wait for two days later, you know, early signs were missed police did this or that. For Tim Longo, the chief of police for UVA, to put that out front and say I'm telling you everything we have right now, there's a big difference from what we usually say, what we usually see. It's a high level of transparency. And I think they have to get credit for that.

BOLDUAN: Yes, but still just in also kind of laying out in as much detail as they feel comfortable. What a horrific, horrific scene playing out on a class going on a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C., they're returning to campus and then two of two of the boys that were killed were found inside the charter bus.

MILLER: I mean, you think of it as a parent, which is -- I'm sending my child off to somewhere where I know they're going to be enveloped in campus life. They're going to be safe. They're going to be with other students. They're going to be protected. And we keep hearing these stories. And look at what we've learned over the past 16 or 13 hours. I think they went on lockdown at 10:16 p.m. and came off just before 11:00. So 13 hours of fear at that school, which is they had a threat assessment team. They have a University Police Department, which is fairly robust. They have a department over there that actually does work with the FBI, Behavioral Science Unit and profilers.

But they also had the emergency notification app that went out to students that started the lockdown. They were very active, both the president, the police department, and their emergency management system over Twitter all night long and through this morning. And when we look at things like the Virginia Tech shooting from, you know, the mid 2000s. And we see how far colleges and universities have advanced in early warning systems in rapid response, even while the lockdown was going on. They were offering psychological services through people standing by on the phone to students who were -- who needed to talk. So, a very advanced approach but as you started the question, a terrible, terrible tragedy.

BOLDUAN: I mean, and you can see the emotion, the school's president, kind of, you can see the emotion on him as well as a motion from the police chief.

MILLER: They had to stop a couple of times.

BOLDUAN: He sure did. And taking a moment to kind of absorb what he was just going to be reporting which was the suspect is now in custody. Joe Johns has been on the ground. He's been on the scene since early, early, early covering this. Joe, a lot more detail we are learning about how many students were on the bus, and what really this campus has been through.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. And also, you have to point out that while the transparency of the authorities is absolutely commendable, and even unusual in situations like this, at the very beginning, it's also important to note that there will be inevitable questions about whether the authorities who were participating on that threat assessment team did enough, did enough to try to avoid a situation like this, could this situation have been avoided if the threat assessment team had done something else?

At the end of the day, that's probably going to be one of the tough questions that the University of Virginia is going to have to answer. Now just to go back over some of those facts, which are just so disturbing, three members of the football team here at UVA, shot dead, two others, one in good condition, apparently, another and critical condition, so a lot for the school to think about right now. Back to you.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And in the midst of this press conference, the chief of police saying the suspect is now in custody. So we do have that. Joe, thank you very much, John, thank you as always, I really appreciate it.

All right, we're going to get back to other news that we've been following which also includes President Biden, his three hour meeting with China's leader and what the President now says they discussed went over in any progress made in the terms of the future of U.S.- China relations, that's next.