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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Attorney: Prosecutors Plan to Dismiss Charges Against Alec Baldwin; U.S. Positions Troops Near Sudan for Possible Embassy Evacuation; SpaceX: System Triggered Explosion as Rocket Tumbled; Smartmatic Pursuing $2.7B Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox After Dominion's $787.5M Settlement; Neighbors: Man Started Shooting When a Basketball Rolled Into His Yard; Millions of Americans Can't Afford to Care for Their Elderly Parents. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 20, 2023 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Charges will be dropped against Alec Baldwin.

THE LEAD starts right now.

The Hollywood actor soon to be cleared of an advance of involuntary manslaughter charge after that gunshot on a movie set killed his colleague. But is Baldwin legally cleared for good?

And a father and daughter both shot after the six-year-old's basketball rolled into a neighbor's yard. Another case of tragedy after a child's innocent mistake. Her grandmother will join me this hour.

Plus, incredible sight as the most powerful unmanned rocket ever made explodes midair. Why Elon Musk's SpaceX says it triggered the fiery scene on purpose.

Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We start with big breaking news in our pop culture lead. Prosecutors say they plan to dismiss charges against actor Alec Baldwin after that prop gun he was holding fired doing during movie rehearsals and killed the cinematographer of his film. That update is, according to Baldwin's attorney who says that his attorneys are now pushing for a, quote, proper investigation into what exactly went wrong on the set of the film "Rust" in October 2021.

Let's get straight to CNN's Chloe Melas.

Chloe, what led to this decision?

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Well, I mean, look, this is something Jake that Alec Baldwin's attorneys and legal team have been pushing for aggressively. We know that a month ago after a court filing by Alec's attorney Luke Nikas that the special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest for holding also a job in the House of Representatives due to New Mexico's state law, you're not supposed to do both jobs. She stepped aside and the D.A. recused herself. So that sort of was the first red herring so to speak.

And then you know before that, Jake, I want to point out that the charges were downgraded so the fire enhancement charge was removed, which meant that Alec Baldwin could only face up to 18 months in prison if convicted of one of those manslaughter charges, but I just want to read you. The full statement from Alec Baldwin's attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, who just spoke to me moments ago, saying, we are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic accident.

And, Jake, we know that the filing should happen later today or tomorrow.

TAPPER: All right, Chloe Melas, thank you so much with the breaking news.

With me now to discuss, CNN's senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

And, Elie, I have to give credit where credit is due, you've always been skeptical of these charges.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, Jake. This case has been marred from the start by prosecutorial incompetence. Moments after the D.A. announced the charges in this case, our colleague Josh Campbell interviewed her, and she was utterly unable to articulate a coherent theory of the case. Josh asked her whether she knew where those live rounds came from. She said, no. I don't know how you charge a case like this without knowing that Josh Campbell asked the D.A., are you charging Alec Baldwin in his capacity as the producer or as an actor? And she said both, which is two completely different theories.

And on top of that, Jake, as Chloe just alluded to, this case was wildly overcharged that the most serious charges brought against Alec Baldwin initially was a firearms charge. That was not on the books at the time of this incident. You cannot do that. They had to dismiss that charge. So it's no surprise, given the pattern of prosecutorial incompetence we've seen throughout this case.

TAPPER: Obviously, there are a lot of people watching right now who probably are of the belief that there are two legal systems, one for the wealthy and one for everyone else. Is that a factor here or are the facts just not ones that would justify any sort of legal charge?

HONIG: I really see it as the latter, Jake. I do not think Alec Baldwin is getting any kind of special preferential treatment here. If anything, it could be that he was singled out because he's a high profile names. Sometimes prosecutors trying to advance their own names and their own political futures will do that.

But I think if you just substitute out Alec Baldwin and make this an anonymous person on a movie set someone who was unknown, I do not think that the charges would have ever justified involuntary manslaughter charges like Alec Baldwin faced.

[16:05:11] TAPPER: The armorer, I believe her name is Hannah Gutierrez, she is still facing charges. At least as of right now, do you think those will also be dismissed?

HONIG: I think they're teetering on the brink right now. I think the theory of the case can be a little more straightforward as to the armorer. She's clearly the one who had a duty of care with respect to the firearms, so it's less convoluted than the theory against Alec Baldwin. But those charges could be could be teetering as well.

TAPPER: All right. Elie Honig, thank you so much.

Big breaking news there, but we have another story, a big one in our world lead. Apocalyptic scenes in Sudan were fighting between rival armed forces continues to rage, and there is a new plan from the Pentagon to try to get some Americans out. More than 300 people are dead in this war, and 3,000 are injured after six days of fierce fighting. That's according to the World Health Organization.

Today, we saw smoke rising from the capital amid broken ceasefires between the Sudanese army and the forces it is fighting, the Rapid Support Forces, Rapid Support Forces. That's a paramilitary group that once was aligned with Sudan's army in the early 2000s until there was a coup and that ultimately forced these two rival leaders to share power. But that deal fell apart.

And now many civilians in Khartoum, including Americans are pinned down. They're stuck. They're forced to shelter in place as firefights rage throughout urban areas. Those who have tried to get out tell CNN, quote: We saw corpses in the street.

And as Pentagon officials take this all in, they have announced that they are positioning American troops closer to the border with Sudan. They are getting ready to immediately evacuate U.S. embassy personnel and their families if necessary.

CNN's Kylie Atwood is standing by at the State Department, but let's start with Oren Liebermann, who's at the Pentagon for us right now.

Oren, what kind of U.S. military presence is moving in and how close to the action?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Jake, the Defense Department says they have forces near Sudan that are ready and playing for contingencies and preparing because of the deteriorating situation you just mentioned in the event there needed for essentially emergency situations. And that would include securing the embassy and evacuating embassy personnel.

Now, DOD won't say what those forces are or where they're located. But a U.S. defense official has said there are hundreds of marines at this point at Kent Lemonier in Djibouti, and that's still about 700 miles or so from Khartoum. But that is one of the places the U.S. Has forces ready to go. And that includes an aviation element that is aircraft that can bring in forces, move in ground troops that would be used if needed to secure an embassy and evacuate embassy personnel. At the moment, according to DOD data, the Defense Department only has about 13, or 14 troops based in Sudan. Most of those marines for embassy security, clearly not enough given the situation we're seeing now. So, DOD has forces in Djibouti, perhaps elsewhere, as well, waiting for the situation to allow itself to go in and waiting for that call that it's needed and that the decision has been made to send troops in with that aviation element, if needed to secure the embassy and bring those out.

So, Jake, we'll keep you updated on how that situation goes. And if the USA adds more forces in the region as needed, or wait to see how the situation develops at this point.

TAPPER: Kylie Atwood, at the State Department for us, what are you hearing from officials there in Foggy Bottom about the current status of embassy personnel? Are they safe?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, what I'm hearing is that the conditions on the ground really matter here and a senior U.S. official told me today that they don't believe that an evacuation is imminent because of the volatile situations on the ground there. So what State Department officials are watching for is a ceasefire to actually take place. Obviously, there's one in place right now, but it is not being respected.

It's a very, very violent place to be right now. And so, they're watching for that. They're watching for a ceasefire so they could actually carry out this potential evacuation.

And then the other thing to consider is that there are about 16,000 Americans who are in the country right now. A lot of those are dual citizens and aren't going to try and leave the country. But, of course, some of them might and this is a unique situation, of course, because the main airport in the country's closed one of the borders, the Chad-Sudan border is also closed.

And so I asked the State Department deputy spokesperson if they would consider standing up any kind of support for those Americans if they want to get out of country, he said that they are planning for all contingencies, wouldn't say specifically, that was one that was on the table.

And listen to a bit of what else, he said.


VEDANT PATEL, STATE DEPARTMENT PRINCIPAL DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON: I'm just not going to get ahead of the process here as this is a very fluid and dynamic situation. But like I just said it is currently not safe to undertake a U.S. government coordinated evacuation of private U.S. citizens.


ATWOOD: And when you asked about, Jake, the U.S. diplomats if they're safe, according to Vedant, that deputy spokesperson, he said that they are all accounted for right now. But what we know is that they aren't all in one place.


So the U.S. State Department wants to get them all in one place that they could carry out some sort of evacuation, and we should note that it's not typical for the State Department to assist U.S. citizens to get out of the country. But in this unique situation, they may have to consider something -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Kylie Atwood, at the State Department, Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon, thanks to both of you.

The same brutal private Wagner mercenary army that is accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine appears to be putting its thumbs on the scales of the unrest in Sudan as well.

CNN's Nima Elbagir joins us now.

And, Nima, before we get to the Wagner Group. How likely is it is a possible new ceasefire in Sudan, do you think?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, given that most of the proposed ceasefires so far have failed to the soundtrack of aerial bombardment, people are very unwilling to trust. There were brief moments where many of those we were speaking to on the ground say that they risked the bullets outside and being caught in the mortar strikes to try and get to whatever local stores were open and resupply, but even that is becoming too dangerous.

And while that's playing out, there is a growing body of evidence, Jake, that we have uncovered that those who are seeking to opportunistically further entrench themselves in the region, Russia's paramilitary proxy group Wagner have begun to try and influence one of the parties, they -- we believe from the evidence that we've seen are resupplying have been resupplying the Rapid Support Force paramilitary group. Take a look at this.


ELBAGIR (voice-over): The Sudanese and the Libyan Army celebrated a successful joint operation Wednesday, April 19th, near the remote desert border between Libya and Sudan, having captured the Chevrolet Garrison belonging to the rival Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, the RSF.

But why is this garrison important, given how far it is from the existential fight in Sudan's capital Khartoum?

Because CNN can reveal that the fight in Khartoum is being influenced by what was happening at that garrison, a Russian resupply campaign backed by a key regional player aimed at turning the tide in Sudan's war in favor of the RSF, who have been a key recipient of Russian training and military aid. In collaboration with all eyes on Wagner, a research group focusing on Russian proxy Wagner, CNN investigated the group's current presence in Libya. You can see here on April 16th one day after the fighting began in

Khartoum, a Russian Ilyushin 76 transport plane at the al-Jufra base in Libya, previously identified by American intelligence as a Wagner base. Three days later, this same plane is spotted by flight tracker aviation expert Gerjon coming back from the Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria, before returning to the Libyan air base in Khadim.

Images of that same plane began circulating online April 17th heading in the direction of Sudan. Sudanese and regional sources tell CNN that weaponry was air-dropped to the RSF within that timeframe, April 15th to April 18th, to the Chevrolet Garrison during a period of fierce fighting, boosting the RSF.

The al-Khadim and al-Jufra bases where the Wagner planes departed from in Libya are under the control of field marshal Khalifa Haftar, who commands territory in the east of Libya. Haftar and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka Hemitte, have in common strategic alliances, one with Wagner, who Haftar is hosting in his territory in Libya and whom a previous CNN investigation exposed as working with Hemitte to extract Sudanese gold, a second with the United Arab Emirates, who tapped Hemitte to send forces to the conflict in Yemen and backed Haftar in the fighting in Libya.

What does it all mean for the ongoing misery and conflict in Sudan? It means that both a regional Libyan General Haftar and a global player, Russia, putting their thumbs on the scale, which raises the stakes for the region, for the global balance of power and for the people of Sudan caught in the crossfire.


ELBAGIR (on camera): We reached out to both Haftar and Wagner and didn't receive a response to our request for comment, and RSF spokesperson denied that they were currently receiving support from Libya or Russia, although they had previously denied when our investigation exposed their relationship with Wagner, that there was a relationship, so at least this time, they've admitted that they had a previous relationship for what that's worth, Jake.

TAPPER: Yeah, baby steps on the on the trail of the truth. Nima Elbagir, thank you so much as always, amazing journalism.

Coming up next, a massive explosion in the sky. Why SpaceX is claiming it blew up its own rocket on purpose during today's launch.


Plus, I'll speak with the lead attorney waging a different other defamation lawsuit against Fox, this one almost twice as large as the one settled with Dominion.

And the rising cost of senior care and the heavy financial burden this will put on loved ones of baby boomers as they retire.

Stay with us.


TAPPER: In our out of this world lead or kind of, SpaceX now says that that massive explosion in the sky this morning was triggered by its own system, when the rocket went off course just minutes after taking off today. Not exactly the outcome Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was hoping for the unmanned rocket was supposed to make nearly one full lap around earth and splash down off the coast of Hawaii. Instead it broke apart over the Gulf of Mexico.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is in South Padre Island, Texas, where he saw the explosion with his own eyes.

Ed, what went wrong here?

Well, this spaceship was able to take off across the launch pad for several minutes. But then about three minutes into the flight, it started tumbling, spinning out of control.


And SpaceX officials now confirm in a statement this afternoon, saying that the vehicle experience multiple engines that were out during the flight and lost altitude and began to tumble. The flight termination system was commanded on both the boosters and the ship. And essentially what they're saying there is that they hit the self- destruct button, so it was SpaceX officials that caused the explosion, ending the flight of this.

And this is, you know, as the euphoria of all of this moment has worn off, it's a reminder of the very serious stakes that are at play here. The Federal Aviation Administration says that it will oversee the mishap investigation and that future flights and this is the agency that essentially gives SpaceX the green light to travel say that those green lights will not be issued until public safety can be ensured.

So, you know, some very serious stakes here at play, Jake. Also in the crowd today, there were several members of what will eventually be the first crew members whenever humans fly aboard the starship rocket.

One of those members is a man by the name of Yemi Akinyemi Dele. And he is a Czech Nigerian multimedia artist. He witnessed this explosion with his own eyes as well. And despite that, he says he's not backing out from a future mission.


YEMI AKINYEMI DELE, DEARMOON CREW MEMBER: The experience of today surpassed my expectations. Like my expectations were here and today we went here. The wave of sound came to us and it started to tremble and my heart was skipping. I was thinking, wow, so many people tearing up I was like, wow, and we are so far from it.

And now if we are in the epicenter of it, how will that feel? You know? So that's very hard for me to imagine.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LAVANDERA: Yeah, Jake, hard for him to imagine, because eventually he might be writing in that rocket, so clearly, he wants everything to go perfectly, smoothly in the future.

Elon Musk says they learned a lot from today's launch and that they are planning to launch another test flight in the months ahead. So, a quick timeframe on pushing for the next test flight here in South Texas, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Ed Lavandera in South Padre Island, Texas, thank you so much.

Coming up, the claim made by My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell, now debunked, which now has him paying up to the tune of five million bucks. That's a lot of pillows.



TAPPER: Our money lead now, lying has consequences. And sometimes those consequences require you to pay up millions of dollars. Fox learned that lesson earlier this week, and today, as CNN's Sara Murray reports, one of Trump's biggest allies beyond Fox, a guy named Mike Lindell -- well, it's his turn.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Election denier Mike Lindell ordered to pay up after making this multimillion dollar promise to anyone who could prove him wrong.

MIKE LINDELL, MY PILLOW CEO: I give a $5 million prize for anybody that can that can prove the election data that I have from the 2020 election is false.

MURRAY: One cyber expert did and now, Lindell must pay. An arbitration panel awarded Robert Zeidman, a Trump voter and software expert, a $5 million victory Wednesday after he sued Lindell.

CNN, obtained documents and depositions in this case, according to the arbitration panel, Mr. Zeidman performed under the contract. He proved the data Lindell LLC provided unequivocally did not reflect November 2020 election data.

CARY JOSHI, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT ZEIDMAN: With everything that was happening in the Dominion case in Delaware, we were sort of sitting on the edge of our seats. I wasn't surprised, but I was relieved.

MURRAY: Lindell is a Trump ally and leading purveyor of 2020 election conspiracies who was seen at the White House in the waning days of Trump's presidency. Lindell later convened a 2021 cyber symposium.

LINDELL: This was attacked -- the whole technology was attacked.

MURRAY: Where he aired his unproven conspiracies and invited experts to debunk his data.

LINDELL: I wanted to be the most watched event ever in history because we need everyone in this country to see what I have seen.

MURRAY: It didn't take long for Zeidman to determine Lindell's data was dud.

ROBERT ZEIDMAN, CYBER EXPERT: When I got there, I found the data was just so obviously bogus. It surprised me.

LINDELL: Biggest cover up in history.

MURRAY: Zeidman says he brought his claim against the My Pillow CEO because he worries about the impact of Lindell's falsehoods.

ZEIDMAN: I just thought it could do a lot of damage to our country. If we want to investigate fraud, and I think we should we have to be able to be truthful about it, and Lindell is not being truthful.

MURRAY: The arbitration panel concluded the data provided to experts was not related to the 2020 election. Lindell and his deposition clearly never expected to pay up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you didn't have any concerns that someone might win the proof Mike wrong challenge?

LINDELL: No, because they would have to show it wasn't from 2020, and it was, you know?

In a brief interview, he vowed to CNN this will end up in court.

So, will Zeidman ever see his five million books? His attorneys are hopeful. Zeidman, not so much.

ZEIDMAN: I don't think so. I think he's going to delay this as much as possible.


MURRAY (on camera): Now, obviously, this decision is another blow to election denialism, especially in the wake, Jake, of that settlement between Fox News and Dominion. I did ask Robert Zeidman what he wants to do with the $5 million if he does get it, he says he's going to donate at least some of it to nonprofits.

TAPPER: All right. Interesting, it's so interesting that he's a Trump voter also twice.


TAPPER: Twice.

Sara Murray, thanks so much.

[16:30:02] Also in the money lead, that other defamation case against Fox after that $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems earlier this week, Smartmatic. That's another tech company that makes electronic voting machines. And Smartmatic is suing Fox for $2.7 billion, almost double what Dominion tried to get. Smartmatic claims its brand was grievously harmed because of the deranged lies Fox aired such as this baseless claim on fox two weeks after the 2020 election.

Take a listen.


SIDNEY POWELL, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: The Dominion machines run the Smartmatic software or parts of the key code of it, and that is what allows them to manipulate the votes in any way the operators choose to manipulate them.


TAPPER: I mean, just notary. But anyway, here we are.

Erik Connolly is the lead attorney on the Smartmatic cases. This is his first TV interview since Dominions settled with Fox.

So, Erik, after Tuesday settlement, you said in a statement that Dominion's case, quote, exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox's disinformation campaign. Smartmatic will expose the rest, unquote.

So you're in the discovery phase of your case. Can you use what Dominion already dug up all the depositions and text messages and emails showing that executives at Fox and hosts of Fox knew that they were airing lies for months on end?

ERIK CONNOLLY, LEAD ATTORNEY, SMARTMATIC V. FOX LAWSUIT: Absolutely, I think the evidence that Dominion brought forward is part of the evidence that we will also use to show Smartmatic case is as strong as possible. It is shocking, but we've all seen in the public domain. You've already received all that information discovery already, but it's surely paints a damning picture for Fox.

But in addition to that, what I think is really unique about the Smartmatic situation is the recklessness that was involved here, Jake. Smartmatic was in L.A. County, L.A. County only and you can confirm that we are in L.A. County only by doing about a one-minute Google search. But notwithstanding that, what Fox and the other defendants were doing was saying that we somehow masterminded an ability to rig a national election when we're only in one county. But that level of recklessness is something you don't normally see and the evidence that we will be able to put forward on this case. It's pretty overwhelming.

TAPPER: Do you have evidence like that, that we got through the Dominion discovery phase? I mean, do you have additional emails and text messages and evidence that Fox hosts and Fox executives knew that they were lying to the American people to their viewers? CONNOLLY: So, we have all the evidence that was introduced during the

Dominion case, and we'll be collecting even more. The cases are very similar and that once you are able to establish that clearly Fox knew that the election wasn't rigged, and they clearly knew the election machines weren't involved in rigging something, all that evidence is out there and we get to layer on top of that the implausibility of a company that was only in L.A. County somehow switching the votes in Georgia, Wisconsin and other states.

So --


CONNOLLY: -- discovery you're getting is as strong as I think I've ever seen in a defamation case. So I asked the Dominion CEO yesterday here on THE LEAD why the company didn't push and demand an on-air apology and correction from Fox for all the lies about the company. Take a listen to part of what he said.


JOHN POULOS, DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS CEO: The defamation part of the law is really not built around apologies. It is built to compensate for damage. The unanimous consent in our company is if we could trade this all in and go back in time and have her company reputation back, we would do so every single time.

TAPPER: Exactly. Exactly.


TAPPER: So I'm wondering if after watching the Dominion case, if Smartmatic will push for an apology and a correction if the case reaches a settlement phase. Fox viewers don't know about the $787.5 million settlement. They don't know that Hannity and all the executives acknowledged that all those lies were crazy behind the scenes.

I mean, don't you think it's important to make sure that those millions of Americans get the truth?

CONNOLLY: No, I have a -- I'll say long haul, I want -- I want everybody to think of the long haul here. Smartmatic is in this case for the long haul. They are looking to take this case through trial.


They are looking through the vindication of a jury verdict in their favor. They are in this for the long haul. That was their intention when they filed this lawsuit. That is their intention today.

But equally important to your question, they're in this business for the long haul. We're talking about a company that spent over 20 years building a global reputation as being one of the very best election technology companies in the world, and the only company that could serve countries internationally, only one. TAPPER: Uh-huh.

CONNOLLY: That reputation is critical for them. And in order for them to get back to where they were before this all started, where they can win the contracts that they're now losing, they need to get in apology. They need to get a full retraction, because they're in that business for the long haul. They're not looking to get out of that business. This is a family-owned business that has spent their whole lives building this.

TAPPER: Yeah, if --

CONNOLLY: So, you're right. (AUDIO GAP) right. They need that.

TAPPER: If Fox offered you $787.5 million as a settlement today, but no apology, no correction, no acknowledgement of having done any wrong, would Smartmatic take it?

CONNOLLY: Seven hundred and eighty-seven million was a tremendous outcome for Dominion, and from our perspective that set down a marker. And it's a marker that we think we should be exceeding. The scope of the damage done by Fox to Smartmatic is on a global scale because we operate globally. And Dominion got a tremendous settlement and the Dominion got compensated for the businesses they were losing in the United States.

Smartmatic is looking for compensation for the business they lost in the United States and globally. So I would tell you, 787 is a good start, but it's not the right finishing point.

TAPPER: So all I'll say on my way out is, don't forget about the American people. Don't forget about the people who care about democracy. Don't forget about the people who care about truth because we don't have an ability to sue for those lies. You do, but we don't. So please don't forget about us when you're -- when you're coming up with the end of this case.

Erik Connolly, appreciate it.

CONNOLLY: Thank you very much, sir. We won't.

TAPPER: Next, the latest shooting after an innocent mistake. I'm going to speak to the grandmother of his six-year-old and parents attacked after the girl's basketball rolled into a neighbor's yard.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our national lead, a manhunt is underway right now for a person who reportedly began shooting at a group of families in his neighborhood after a basketball rolled into his yard. A six-year-old girl was shot. Her father is seriously injured.


SIX-YEAR-OLD GIRL: Why did he shoot my daddy and me? He said, he's a stupid kid's dad.


TAPPER: The suspect is 24-year-old Robert Singletary. Neighbors tell CNN that on previous occasions, Singletary acted as though he hated children in the area. He reportedly would yell at kids and did so Tuesday after a basketball rolled into his yard. He was confronted by a father, and shortly thereafter, neighbors say he came out and started shooting.


JONATHON ROBERTSON, NEIGHBOR, WITNESSED SHOOTING: All the kids were down here and I was hollering and all the kids to get away. Get inside and get I mean they were all coming this way. They all through their bicycles down and we're running. Everybody was screaming and running.


TAPPER: So you can add this incident to this growing list of honest mistakes by children that escalated to gunfire.

Other innocent offenses include wrong house, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl ringing the doorbell of a home, thinking he was at the right place, picking up his siblings. He was shot. Now he's recovering.

Then there is wrong car. Two teenage cheer athletes approaching the vehicle thinking it's theirs. Then they were shot. Now one is recovering from serious injuries.

And then wrong driveway. A car full of friends got turned around in rural Upstate New York the resulting gunfire from homeowner cost 20- year-old Kaylin Gillis her life.

But let's turn back to that case in North Carolina because with us now is Debbie White, she's the mother of Jamie White, who was shot and the grandmother of Jamie's six year old daughter who we saw in that clip who was also senselessly shot.

Debbie, first of all, our deepest condolences for you, and you're going your family are going through this mindless, violent senseless violence.

Let's start with your son, Jamie. He was seriously injured, reportedly shot in the back. How's he doing right now?

DEBBIE WHITE, GRANDMOTHER, MOTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIMS: He's just trying to get better. You know, he's got a still got some bleeding from the liver. He's got a cracked -- a collapse -- well not collapsed, but, the bullet actually hit his lung and, you know, he's just got a long way to recovery, you know? But he's just looking forward to coming home to his babies. TAPPER: And speaking of his babies, your granddaughter we saw in that

-- in that clip. She was shot, thankfully. Not seriously injured physically.

WHITE: Right.

TAPPER: But, emotionally, psychologically, I cannot imagine what this is like for her. How is she doing?

WHITE: She's in good spirit. You know, she's said, I really don't want to go back to that house, you know. But, they're probably going to have to have a lot of therapy, you know, but, and with all the news and stuff, she's just overwhelmed.

TAPPER: Yeah, Look at that poor sweet angel. Well, look, look -- we're looking at a picture of her right now. Just a beautiful little girl and so awful.

And, of course, the suspect still on the run and some neighbors in your family's community tells CNN that they're afraid to sleep. They're afraid he might come back. That must be horrible.


WHITE: Right, it is. It is. It is. I've had very little sleep. You know, they found his ankle monitor behind my house, back over in the woods. So, you know, he could be anywhere at this point.

TAPPER: So if he's watching right now, and that's always possible, you never know. What would you -- what would you say to him?

WHITE: Right. He needs to turn himself in. He needs to turn himself in and not hurt nobody else.

TAPPER: Some neighbors tell CNN that he the suspect previously acted as though he hated children in general. What do you know about him in any prior interactions he may have had with people in the neighborhood?

WHITE: I've heard several of the neighbors talking when I was down there, you know, they were like he just -- he was just horrible, horrible person as far as did not look like kids at all, or people in -- just people period. He didn't like anybody. You know? Especially kids.

TAPPER: Debbie White, our love and strength, we're sending them to you. Our prayers to you and your son Jamie and your granddaughter and your community, so horrible. Nobody should have to go through this. Thank you so much for talking to us.

WHITE: You're very welcome. Thank you.

TAPPER: Coming up, a struggle so many families can relate to the burden on loved ones as they try to avoid the crushing costs of senior care.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our health lead, the oldest members of the baby boom generation defined as those born between 1946 and 1964 turned 77 this year, and there are 73 million baby boomers, 73 million. Therefore, thousands of baby boomer children and baby boomer grandchildren are facing a crippling financial and family dilemma, how to take care of their beloved aging boomers when the cost of long term or specialized care might financially ruined them. And for some, there is little government safety net to help them.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen talked to one woman who had to quit her job to take care of her 90-year-old mother.


TAMMY LA BARBERA, DAUGHTER: That's all of us when we were little. That's me. That's Peter. That's you.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ada La Barbera will be 90 years old next week, and she's lived a great life. Originally from Puerto Rico, she met her husband, Peter, an accountant in New York City. They were married for 49 years. She was a teacher had two children and two grandchildren.

And now, Ada has dementia and is often confused.

ADA LA BARBERA, DEMENTIA PATIENT: I have a great person over here. This is my mother and she is the best.

COHEN: But this is her daughter, Tammy La Barbera.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: Ready, your favorite.

ADA LA BARBERA: Thank you. This is my favorite.

It's an honor to take care of my mother.

Good job.

COHEN: But like many Americans, Tammy needs help, and she can't afford it.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: My mom needs somebody 24 hours a day.

Yummy in the tummy.

COHEN: She says Medicare pays for someone to come to the house, but only one day every other week for just 40 minutes, and Tammy's son helps, too, but Tammy has had to quit her job to care for her mother full time.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: And I'm not asking for a lot, just a few hours a week. You know, just to someone I can go to the grocery store. Or I, you know, just have a little break for myself.

COHEN: But even just a few hours is way too expensive. This AARP calculator estimates that were Tammy and Ada live in Murrieta, California, one hour with a home health care aide is $137 and residential care for Ada is even more out of the question, $4,000 a month for assisted living, and the national average for a memory care unit, nearly $7,000 a month.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: We don't have that kind of money. She deserves to be well taken care of. And we get the door shut on us. There's nowhere for her to go.

COHEN: This national council on aging report shows 80 percent of U.S. households with older adults are struggling financially today or at risk of falling into economic insecurity.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: We're care workers and we're drowning and we don't have help.

COHEN: She and her mother have only her mother's Social Security and pension just a few thousand dollars a month, so Tammy is burning through her savings.

Ada is left with her memories.

ADA LA BARBERA: That's my wonderful husband. Look at how good looking the guy is.

COHEN: She cared for her husband and her son through cancer before they both passed away.

And Tammy is left with dread.

TAMMY LA BARBERA: I love to find solutions to problems and I can't find a solution to this problem.

COHEN: A very American problem. How to afford care for the people who wants to care of us.


COHEN (on camera): Studies show that seniors who suffer from chronic diseases like dementia are especially prone to facing heavy financial burdens -- Jake.

TAPPER: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you for that important story.

Coming up, a chance to be exonerated was rejected for prisoner Richard Glossip, who is on death row in Oklahoma. Can anything else saved the life of this inmate? We'll talk to his attorney coming up.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. This hour, Richard Glossip has come within hours of execution, not once but three times and now in Oklahoma Appeals Court has denied all requests to spare his life again. His attorney will join us live.

Plus, newly uncovered information about the federal judge in Texas, who stripped FDA approval of a key abortion drug. It turns out he failed to share a radio interview where he discussed contraception before he was confirmed. What else did he not reveal before his confirmation?

And leading this hour, there's a fight brewing in the nation's capital, and it could cost you a lot of money. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unveiled his plan to raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion, while also cutting spending. But he's facing resistance from all sides. The White House refused to negotiate at all with House Republicans and perhaps most worrisome from McCarthy, Republican lawmakers who said they don't support.