Return to Transcripts main page

Don Lemon Tonight

Multiple People Dead In Shooting On Tulsa Hospital Campus; Americans Living In Fear Of Gun Violence; Rising Sea Levels Threatening Coastal Communities; Company Donates 19 Custom Caskets For Uvalde Shooting Victims. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 01, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, this is our breaking news tonight: There's another deadly mass shooting in America. This time on a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Police say four people were killed, and as many as 10 others are injured. The gunman also dead, officials believed, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This coming just a week after that horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. We're covering these stories from all angles.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is on the ground in Uvalde and Gary Tuchman is in Tulsa, Oklahoma for us this evening. Good evening to both of you. Gary, we're going to start with you with this latest shooting. We learned that this one is at a hospital campus in Tulsa. What do you know?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don, and it's really important that we don't get desensitized to this. Four people who either work inside this doctors' building on this hospital campus, Saint Francis Hospital, here in Tulsa, Oklahoma are people who are patients or going with patients, are dead after this latest rampage.

What we know is the gunman wandered into the building that's behind me. It's called the Natalie Building. It's a doctors' office that has orthopedic offices. They also have oncologists.

He went to the second floor. And we're being told by police this wasn't a random shooting. They know more information than they're telling us at this point. They said there was something that angered him, his target was on that second floor, and that's where the four people were killed.

It's critically important here, Don, unlike what we know in Texas because we've been talking about it for a few days, the police say they got on the scene inside the building within three minutes. It's critically important because they say when they got in the building, they still heard the gunshots. When they opened the door, they saw the body of one victim and saw the body of the gunman. They saw a body. The gunshots stopped just a few seconds earlier.

It's very possible, perhaps even likely, that if they hadn't gotten in the building that quick, that this guy would have kept shooting and would have killed or injured more.

Finally, I want to tell you, in addition to the four people who were killed, there is up to 10 people who are injured. None of the injuries are life-threatening. It's not clear if it was from the chaos of getting out of the building because this is a multistory building, and police had to search all the officers on all the floors to make sure people were okay.

People were obviously scared and they ran out. They could have been injured from the chaos. It is not clear. Maybe some people suffered minor gunshot wounds. Either way, there is no one in a life- threatening condition. Four people did die, though.

LEMON: So, you talked to us about what we know about the motive, right? It is what the police captain and what you just said, that the person or persons who were targeted -- this wasn't a random shooting.

But we're also hearing, Gary, that this may be connected to another incident nearby. The captain discussed that with me just a little bit in the last hour. Do you know anything about that?

TUCHMAN: Yeah. One of the reasons we're not -- they know the name of the person who did this. They're not releasing the name because they are looking at what we heard a couple of hours ago. There was a bomb threat at a home or business nearby here. And they say it is related, this bomb threat, to this man who went inside this hospital.

So, they're still figuring that out, hardening that out, and finding out why it's tied together, why that happened, and how it involved this man who was now dead after killing himself after he killed four people.

LEMON: All right. Gary is on the scene there with the latest. Gary, stand by. I want to get to Omar who is in Uvalde, Texas now. So, we're also getting new details, Omar, about the initial response to the elementary school shooting there. What can you tell us about that?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Don. So, the Uvalde mayor, Don McLaughlin, told "The Washington Post" that there is a would-be negotiator stationed across the street from the elementary school in the initial moments of this massacre who is frantically trying to reach the shooter. The mayor told the "Post" he was standing next to this negotiator whose purpose was to try or whose main goal, I should say, was to try and get this shooter on the phone.

Meanwhile, of course, there is a lot being put into what happened inside this particular school. We've heard from the Uvalde County district attorney that she is reviewing the ongoing state investigation into this and is prepared to review the results of that and determine whether criminal charges need to be filed in regards to the law enforcement, potentially response to this particular shooting, Don.

LEMON: There are major questions tonight about the man who was in charge of this Uvalde shooting response.


Is he cooperating with the investigation on that, Omar?

JIMENEZ: Well, it depends who you ask because the Texas Department of Public Safety told us yesterday that they hadn't heard from him in days in regards to their request for a follow-up interview. Then, today, only after being confronted by my colleague here on the ground, Shimon Prokupecz, the school's police chief said this.



PETE ARREDONDO, UVALDE SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF: Just to let you all know, I just spoke with them.

PROKUPECZ: You're not bluffing, right?

ARREDONDO: Just so you all know, obviously, we are not going to release anything. We have people in our community being buried. We are going to be respectful.

PROKUPECZ: I just want your reaction --

ARREDONDO: We're going -- we're going to be --

PROKUPECZ: -- to Director McCraw saying that you are responsible for the decision --

ARREDONDO: Right. We're going to be --

PROKUPECZ: -- for going into that room. How do you explain yourself?

ARREDONDO: We're going to be respectful to the family.

PROKUPECZ: I understand that, but you have an opportunity --

ARREDONDO: Sure, we're going to --

PROKUPECZ: -- to explain yourself to the parents.

ARREDONDO: And just so you know, we're going to do that eventually, obviously.


ARREDONDO: And whenever this is done, let the families quit grieving, then we will do that, obviously.


JIMENEZ: Whenever the families are done with grieving. What we've seen in this process, I don't think that is ever going to happen, because as, of course, the investigative leads have been going forward, we are continuing to see funeral after funeral, with services expected every day through the rest of this week, continuing reminders of the irreplaceable toll of this tragedy, Don.

LEMON: Uvalde, Texas, Omar Jimenez, Gary Tuchman in Tulsa, Oklahoma on both of our breaking news stories tonight. Thank you both very much. I appreciate that.

I want to bring in now Oklahoma State House Representative Melissa Provenzano. She represents the district where the hospital is located. We appreciate you joining us so much. Sorry that it's under these circumstances. Okay?


LEMON: Four people are now confirmed dead. The shooter also dead of what is believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. You were just at the hospital this morning. Tell me what is going on now in your district?

PROVENZANO: I was. It's a lot of sorrow. You know, I want to express my profound sorrow to the families of the victims. They did not deserve this. I also want to issue my sincere thanks to our Tulsa police force, the highway patrol, the county Lighthorse, and our first responders who like got the call and were in the building free minutes later because it could have been so much worse.

And this hospital is the center of our community. Like you said, I was in there this morning. In another building, I was there last year when they were trying to save my dad's life when he was admitted for COVID. And this is just one of the hallmark locations in our town.

LEMON: I understand that you know people who work at that hospital. Have you gotten a chance to speak with them?

PROVENZANO: Yes. There was just a lot of fear for a long time, connecting with loved ones or friends and family members, making sure everyone was okay. And, you know, unfortunately, for those families, not everyone can say that or make that same contact. These Oklahomans, we deserve better than this. These things are preventable and it's time we wake up and address them.

LEMON: Did you know any of the families involved? Any of the people involved?

PROVENZANO: No, sir, I don't know the identities of the families involved at this time.

LEMON: You know, in this incident, it's different than Uvalde because Tulsa police officers arrived and acted, you know, very quickly, within minutes at the hospital, three minutes --


LEMON: -- with the first call about the shooting.

PROVENZANO: Yes. LEMON: Just yesterday, they had training. Just yesterday, training on active shooter incidents. You said that you're impressed with their level of response.

PROVENZANO: I am, you know, and I just can't say enough good things about them, but you know why were they needed in the first place. We can do so much more here in Oklahoma to make these things preventable. And we have some pretty interesting laws on the books that we need to get to work addressing here, to be quite frankly.

We have permitless carry passed just three years ago where anybody can walk in and get a gun and walk out and walk down the street with it. We passed a law banning red flag laws which is somewhat confusing to me because, you know, if you know some things up, you can help and you need to be advising law enforcement right then and right there, we need to be taking action, but we can't get to that here in the state, and it is past time.

LEMON: Well, let's talk about that because police are telling us -- I'm sure they've -- you've been briefed as well -- that the shooter used a semiautomatic rifle and a handgun, a pistol, according to the captain who was on earlier. How much does that concern you, that these weapons are so readily available, as you said? In your state, anyone can walk in and just get a gun and leave?

PROVENZANO: Yes, they can. It's deeply concerning. What's more concerning is that we require no training in order to use it.


Here we are in Oklahoma and pretty much everyone has a weapon. But if you're going to have it, you need to bear the responsibility of knowing how to safely store it and use it as well. And we just -- we've kind of strip those things back here in the state of Oklahoma where it's harder to get a driver's license or a food handler's permit than it is to get a weapon these days, and we need to do better.

LEMON: Melissa Provenzano, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Be well.

PROVENZANO: Thank you.

LEMON: I want to bring now former FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Hi, Andrew. Again --


LEMON: I know. It's crazy, right? I spoke to Tulsa police captain, Richard Meulenberg, tonight and he confirmed the shooting was connected to a bomb threat in Muskogee. He couldn't say how because they're still investigating, but does that tell you anything?

MCCABE: Well, I guess, provisionally, it tells us that the authorities in Tulsa are handling their disaster in a very different way from what we've seen in Uvalde in the last week. They're trying to be as transparent as they can be at this point, very, very early on in the investigation.

We already know how many fatalities they've had, how many other injuries they've had, and we're starting to learn a little bit more about the subject in terms of being involved in that other activity.

So, I think we'll probably learn a lot more as the hours go on. This is a very, very familiar position for us to be in. You and I have had these conversations many, many times. Here we are again talking about trying to sort through the details of what happened around the mass shooting.

LEMON: Let's go back to the one that we were discussing before this one happened and that is Uvalde, the elementary school shooting there. You said that the way Chief Arredondo is handling this tragedy is horrendous and explicable. Tell me about that, please.

MCCABE: Yeah. Don, it's despicable. And I say that as someone who spent my entire professional career in law enforcement community. I have great pride in that history and the men and women that I served with. And to see how they are handling the situation on the ground at this point is just -- it's inexplicable and it's an offense to the families of the victims who were struck down in this tragedy.

It's been a series of just misinformation, essentially, incorrect facts, and ones that are not simply incorrect, but also incorrect in a way that seems intentionally designed to shine the most favorable light upon the law enforcement response, which appears to be a complete fiction. It's horrendous.

We saw the police chief, Pete Arredondo, the school police chief, talking today to Shimon and claiming that he's not gonna say anything about the decisions he made or the response that he was leading while the families are grieving, and that is essentially hiding behind the grief of families who have lost children.

I don't know that there's anything more despicable than that, but it's really -- it's an offense to the community and to all of us who are interested in the situation.

LEMON: I grew up in a very small town with two red lights. I think they added a third one when I was there. I mean, it was really small. Everybody knew everybody.

Could it be -- I think of one or two things. Either it's incompetence, right, which a lot of people -- whatever it is, they handled it wrong, according to everyone involved, all of our experts here on CNN. Or they knew the kid, and someone said, you know, I just can't go in and hurt Andy's kid. Do you understand what I'm saying? I don't know --


LEMON: It just seems -- and I don't want to speculate about that, but for someone who has lived in a small town, that's how things operate.

MCCABE: I hear what you're saying. I understand as well, having grown up in a fairly small town, southern town, Jacksonville, Florida, as a kid. You know, I mean, there is this provincial quality of small-town America where we're gonna do it our way despite what everyone else says or the media wants to know, what have you. But we are way beyond that in this situation, right?

You have 19 dead children, two dead teachers, and we still don't know some basic facts around how that happened. You have large, respectable institutions like the Texas Department of Public Safety involved investigating and we still are getting conflicted information every day, you know, a week into this tragedy.

It is really -- it's inexplicable. And whether it's due to incompetence or lack of training or preparation or just poor leadership, it's really hard to say. But the end result is, it's -- they're doing a disservice to their own community.


At the end of the day, when they finally come out with their conclusions, I don't know how or why anyone would believe what they have to say.

LEMON: Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it. So, it just keeps happening over and over, the violence and grief. Will America continue to tolerate it? I'm going to talk with a former Republican congressman who used to represent Uvalde. That's next.


LEMON: So, schools, hospitals, grocery stores, theaters, night clubs, graduation, no place is safe from mass shootings. What grieving families in Tulsa, Uvalde and Buffalo are dealing with tonight is a reoccurring nightmare.

I want to bring in former Republican Congressman Will Heard who used to represent Uvalde, Texas.


Congressman, thank you so much. I know this has to be tough for you. The cycle of violence and grief in this country has escalated to the point where people are clamoring for solutions. Do you have a message to those who seemed in denial about these shootings that keep happening over and over again?

WILL HURD, FORMER TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE: Look, the message is that we can actually do something about this. Right? This isn't, you know, folks that think nothing can be done or want to throw their hands up. They are wrong! We can do something.

But it's not just one thing. We have to do a lot of different things to address many aspects of this problem. And it is going to require us to get out of our corners. Whenever some of these things happen, we always go back to our normal talking points.

And we have to start with this realization that half of our teenagers in this country are afraid of a school shooting happening at their school. That is a crazy stat. We also got to get over the fact that -- and realize that too many parents are prematurely burying their children. And if we think that we need to address both of those things, then we can start with looking at the different aspects of this problem.

LEMON: Listen, in the effort of talking about what we can do and what we can get done, should we do something specifically about guns?

HURD: Sure. Look, an 18-year-old kid should not have been able to get access to a semiautomatic rifle. Period. Full stop. The fact that in Texas, you have to be 21 years old to buy a handgun, but you only have to be 18 in order to get a semiautomatic rifle, that is something that should be addressed.

Now, people are going to say, that is not restricting the rights of gun owners that use their guns properly. And if you also want to say, okay, there's some reason that an 18-year-old should have that, then go through some additional training similar to the kind of training that you want to have if you want to get a hunting (ph) license.

LEMON: But that's not even restricting legal gun owners because then it really you wouldn't be allowed to carry a gun at that age. So, it wouldn't be restricting legal gun owners because when someone --

HURD: And in doing that -- in doing that, you are not taking weapons and guns out of the hands of people that already have their own. This is something that is very straightforward, the issue of universal background checks. The fact that if you want to buy a lot, I will take it. Oftentimes, you have to show an I.D. if you look young.

You know, anybody who is purchasing a firearm should have to go through a background check. Every responsible gun owner that I know has been through a background check. And so, this is one of those things that we talked about, H.R. 8. This is a piece of legislation that has been brought up multiple years. When I was in Congress, I was one of eight Republicans that voted for that. This is something simple.

Now, will H.R. 8 have stopped the Uvalde shooting? No. But that is still something that we should do. And again, I go back to it is not just one issue that is going to solve all the problems in the past nor solve all the problems in the future, but we need to be talking about these things that are sensible and reasonable and start passing this piece of legislation.

LEMON: It sounds -- you know, there are countries that have offered buyback programs. People have taken advantage of them. They have actually gotten guns out of the hands of the wrong people, just out of the circulation of the civilian population, guns that didn't need to be in the hands of civilian population. Should there be buyback programs?

HURD: If somebody wants to take advantage of it, why not? You are not forcing anybody -- you're not forcing anybody to do that. And so, I don't know what the opposition to something like that. Again, I go back to responsible gun owners. They know that you are supposed to lock up your weapon when you're at home, if you have other people in your house. Again, does that -- does that -- is that going -- with that have solved the issue in Uvalde or buffalo or El Paso or Sutherland Springs? No. But again, it is not -- it is still something that we should be looking at here.

LEMON: I got you. I got you.

HURD: The issue of red flag -- red flag laws. Florida has some. Lots of other states have them. These are all the conversations that we should be having and drive to an actual solution on a number of these issues.


LEMON: I want to get to something else on this story before I let you go here, and that is the investigation in Uvalde. Chief Arredondo says that he is in touch daily with Texas DPS. But they say that he is not responding to interview request.

I mean, this is a man who decided that officers should not immediately breach the classroom where the shooter was barricaded. And again, the investigation has to play on, right? So, are you satisfied with the conduct of law enforcement officers involved so far?

HURD: Well, this is -- the fact that we have to get DOJ and somebody else then to come in and review what actually happened is not a good thing. The fact that a lot of the information that we thought was true has changed, that is not a good thing. There is an organization here in Texas that is the law enforcement officers' unions of police departments and sheriffs. They've expressed some concern.

And I spent almost a decade as an undercover officer in the CIA. I've worked with our military. I've worked with our federal law enforcement. I've worked with a lot of state law enforcement when I was in Congress. They have a very hard job but they also have some accountability when it comes to these kinds of efforts.

And so, every stone needs to be turned over to understand what happened, not only to make sure these grieving families that want to know what happened get some solutions, but it's also for us to learn to make sure this problem doesn't -- you know, I hate to say it, this is going to happen again. And so, we need to make sure that law enforcement departments across the country know what to do.

I hope that after this event, that every law enforcement division across the country review their standard operating procedures in a situation like this, so everybody knows what the tactics, techniques and procedures should be used on -- in a situation like this.

LEMON: Will Hurd, thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

HURD: Always a pleasure, Don.

LEMON: President Obama calling out the GOP and the gun lobby tonight, citing my next guest's article about why gun control never goes anywhere in this country. Ron Brownstein tells us why that is after this.




LEMON: Americans looking to their leaders after the Uvalde massacre to do something to stop the tide of mass shootings in America. But it is unclear if any deal is possible, let alone whether it would pass Congress.

The former president, Barack Obama, saying in a statement, and I quote here. "Nearly ten years after Sandy Hook - and ten days after Buffalo - our country is paralyzed, not by fear, but by a gun lobby and a political party that have shown no willingness to act in any way that might help prevent these tragedies. It's long past time for action, any kind of action."

So, joining me now to discuss, CNN senior political analyst and senior editor at "The Atlantic" Mr. Ron Brownstein. Ron, thank you so much. Thank you for writing this very thoughtful article. We really appreciate it.

So, the former president, Barack Obama, shared your article in "The Atlantic" about why gun control goes nowhere in this country. Is this all on -- should we blame this on the filibuster or does it go deeper than that?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, SENIOR EDITOR AT THE ATLANTIC: Well, I think the filibuster is the key element in it, but it really is deeper. I mean, it is part of the broader crisis of majority rule we are having as the quirks in our constitutional system that give more outsized influence to smaller, rural, predominantly white states --

LEMON: You mean minority rule?

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, minority rule. It combines with the geographical realignment we're giving -- we're living through to give those states in effect a veto over national policy.

If you look at polling, Don, it's pretty clear that Americans are in the same place as Will Hurd, your previous guest. They don't think that gun control alone is going to solve the problem of mass shootings. They think it's a multifaceted problem. But they do believe that gun control is part of the solution.

And if you look at polling, there is a clear majority support for a lot of the key ideas that are out there. Universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity magazines. Those ideas are supported not only by a majority of Democrats and a majority of independents, but even by Republicans who don't own guns. The problem is, that Republican gun owners have a veto over the policy of the Republican Party. There are virtually no Republican elected official who will support meaningful gun control anymore.

And because of the filibuster, smaller states, where the gun culture is stronger, dominated by Republicans in the Senate, they in effect have a veto over national policy. So, you have kind of a faction within a party having a veto over the ability of the entire country to act. We watch this happen again and again, and paralyze is the word that is applied for many years now.

LEMON: Yeah. As we say, it's the system, right? It's the system. Could there be a long-term consequence to the way our system is set up to favor the minority position in many cases?

BROWNSTEIN: Nope. Absolutely. I mean, look, I think we are heading toward escalating levels of social and political polarization that I think is fundamentally rooted in the crisis of minority rule.


I mean, if you look back at when Barack Obama was president, after Sandy Hook, they brought a universal background check bill to the floor in the Senate. If you assign half of each state's population to each senator, the senators who supported that bill represented 194 million people and the senators who oppose it represented 118 million people. That is about as decisive a result as you can get in a democracy and yet because of the filibuster, the 118 million prevailed.

Same dynamic is in place today. I mean, there are negotiations going on in the Senate, and they may be able to agree on the package, and they may even be able to get 60 votes for it, although, you know, color me skeptical until you see otherwise, but that at the most is going to be at the edges of the problem.

I mean, the core issues of access to weapons of war and high-capacity magazines and filling in the background check system, again, ideas with broad support among every element of the society except for Republican gunners, those ideas are off the table because of the filibuster and because of the republican dominance of states -- the smaller states that have higher gun control.

Real quick, you look at the 20 states that have the highest per capita gun ownership. Republicans hold 32 of their 40 Senate seats. You look at the 20 states that have the lowest per capita gun ownership, Democrats hold 32 of their 40 Senate seats. The difference is the 20 states with the lowest gun ownership have 190 million people in them. The 20 states with the highest gun ownership have only 70 million people in them.

LEMON: Yeah.

BROWNSTEIN: Yet in the Senate, they have equal weight and with the filibuster, that smaller group is right on the brink of a veto over everyone else. LEMON: Quickly, I just want to ask you, why should we believe there's gonna be anything meaningful to happen? Because tonight, Senator John Cornyn, tweeted -- quote -- "not gonna happen." That was in response to a tweet that claimed Cornyn might be open to passing gun restrictions. I mean, he is part of the group of senators working on possible compromise on guns.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Look, there are different -- there are different, you know, versions of what's going on coming out. But again, any deal they make, it's going to be at the edge. I mean, there simply is no capacity for 60 votes.

You know, go back to Bill Clinton's presidency, there were 54 House Republicans and 16 Senate Republicans who voted for the Brady bill, establishing universal background checks. There were 38 House Republicans and I think nine Senate Republicans who voted for an assault weapon ban.

The party has moved over the past, you know, quarter century in a direction where it has become more reliant on the most culturally conservative voters, we talked about this before, the coalition of restoration, and that has given the NRA a veto over republican policy, even as it has become institutionally weaker than it was.

They are more aligned on their voters. Those voters, they are reluctant to cross them even when other Republicans would support these measures, and because of the filibuster, above all, that has allowed it within the republican coalition to dictate policy to the majority of the country that wants to act otherwise.

LEMON: Ron Brownstein, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Home swept out to sea, an entire city at risk. Rising sea levels threatening coastal communities in this country. CNN looks into it next.




LEMON: We have got an important report for you tonight on one of the scariest side effects of climate change. Rising sea levels. And as CNN's Bill Weir reports, it's already a big problem in parts of the U.S.


UNKNOWN: This home, we have been notified by the Dare County building inspector, is in the state of potential imminent collapse.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When these houses were built in the 80s, this beach ran hundreds of feet towards the horizon.

(On camera): I don't believe it's even high tide yet.

(Voice-over): Now, the water is at the doorstep in this part of North Carolina's outer banks, and the beach is eroding by a dozen feet a year.

(On camera): You expect next year, it's going to 12 to 15 feet back.

UNKNOWN: Twelve to 15 back.

WEIR (on camera): And then the next year and the next year and the next year. I see.

(Voice-over): And while most locals understand islands move over time, few imagined this would happen this fast, especially the new owner of this $275,000-getaway who never got the chance to sleep here before a mediocre storm took it away, or the half-million-dollar place that collapsed a few days earlier and spread nail-field debris along 15 miles of public beaches. At least nine more houses on this stretch are condemned, and the sea is taking more than just houses.

DAWN TAYLOR, OUTER BANKS RESIDENT: This is our heritage --

WEIR (on camera): Look at that!

TAYLOR: -- that we want to save.

WEIR (on camera): Wow! Oh, my goodness, it is right there on the edge!

(Voice-over): As a proud daughter of the Outer Banks, Dawn Taylor spends her days trying to save the graves.

TAYLOR: We are missing the remains of our loved ones due to the tide. Up and down the coast, we have multiple cemeteries here that have met demise due to the rising sea level.

WEIR (on camera): And so, when you think about the lives, the history, the families that we are talking about, you put in those terms, the fundamental question of the age of sea level rise is, what is worth saving and who can afford to save it?

UNKNOWN: We watch the water bubble up through those vents --

WEIR (on camera): Is that right?

UNKNOWN: -- into the house.

WEIR (voice-over): Down the Carolina coast in Charleston, the (INAUDIBLE) decided to raise their 450-ton mansion with a system of hydraulic jacks.


(On camera): Can I asked what something like this cost?

UNKNOWN: My answer is many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

WEIR (on camera): Right.

UNKNOWN: It's something, hopefully, that will last another hundred years.

WEIR (voice-over): Whether it does may depend on whether Charleston can afford plans for a billion-dollar sea wall which would only protect the most valuable 20% of the city.

UNKNOWN: This house was actually moved to this -- this is a new location.

WEIR (voice-over): Back in the Outer Banks, some are moving their houses as far as they can afford.

(On camera): They moved it from right there to right there.

UNKNOWN: I think that was as far as they could go.

WEIR (voice-over): Meanwhile, NOAA predicts at least a foot of sea level rise here mid-century with 10 times as many flooding events like this one, which fill driveways with five feet of sand.

(On camera): This isn't just happening on the Outer Banks. It is happening around the world.

This is a story that is about anybody who lives anywhere near the ocean from Southern Maine to Padre Island, right?

READE CORBETT, DIRECTOR, COASTAL STUDIES INSTITUTE: Right. These processes are happening everywhere.

WEIR (on camera): Yeah.

(Voice-over): But it is not as evident on the mainland because states, counties, and towns dredge, pump, and truck millions of dollars-worth of sand so tourists and real estate buyers will keep coming.

CORBETT: If you start a nourishment program, when is the next nourishment? Five years, seven years down the road? When you get to that point and you have to think about the economics, it is $25 million, $30 million.

WEIR (on camera): So, if you play that out, it really comes down to have or have not communities fortifying themselves, right?

CORBETT: It is challenging when it comes down to the tax base. It is not that we can't work with the environment, we can't work with the change, we can, and we have for years.

WEIR (on camera): You just can't do it the way you used to do it.

CORBETT: We got to do it differently.

WEIR (voice-over): Bill Weir, CNN, North Carolina.


LEMON: Bill Weir, thank you so much to that.

Next, the artist working around the clock to pay tribute to the victims of the Texas school shooting, making and donating custom caskets for their funerals. It's a moving story that you won't want to miss.




LEMON: An amazing, incredible person who work three days straight on maybe six hours of sleep a night to make 19 caskets, 19 tributes to the victims of the Uvalde school shooting. His name is Trey Ganem, and he is the owner of SoulShine Industries. He was contacted by the Texas Funeral Directors Association on the day of the shooting and asked to make the custom caskets, right?

Now, out of respect for the families, we're not showing you the finished caskets of these victims, but I do want to show you some examples of what Ganem and his company have made before so you can understand the work that they put in here.

This tiny casket is hand-painted with a Superman logo made for a young child referred to as Drew Bear (ph). Another example, miniature casket designed to look like a construction truck.

So, joining me now is Trey Ganem. Trey, thank you so much. I -- I'm in awe of you --


LEMON: -- and what you do. Absolutely. You are based in Edna, Texas, only a few hours from Uvalde. Can you talk to me about the phone call from the Funeral Directors Association, please?

GANEM: You know, when I got the phone call, it was -- it was like a cry for help for me, you know, to me. And they know what I do and that I've been connected and they've seen my work. We helped with the Sutherland Springs shooting victims, you know. And the first thing when he started talking to me, I was just thinking to myself, please not again, you know?

I mean, this was -- I get emotional when I talk about this because, you know, we've become part of the families. And, you know, this is something that's very dear to my heart.

How we help these families, you know, I can't describe it to you unless you've actually seen one of my caskets in a service. But, you know, he asked me, you know, if anybody can do it, you know you can do it, so, are you in? And I'm like, yes, 100%.

So, I jumped in the truck and told them that I'm going down there and he was going to let the Funeral Directors know that I was coming and that we were offering every casket for every child and teacher that passed away.

LEMON: Amazing. So, I understand that you were able to speak to the families of these victims because you need to customize them. Do you mind telling me about the conversations? What were they like?

GANEM: Well, the first conversation I had was with an officer that -- his wife was a teacher there. We went straight to their house. And to sit in the living room and hear the stories, the beautiful stories and -- you know, it takes me to the place where they were. I look at pictures. They show me things, you know, personal things. And for me, that's where I start. You know, my heart is open. We hug each other, we laugh, we cry, and I get to know that person.

And just like I do on all of them, you know, if someone loved hiking, if someone loved softball, baseball games, I mean, the quirky things that they loved. I want to incorporate that in every piece that we do.

You know, it has just been a humbling experience to be able to be there, to provide a little bit of light in this dark time.


You know, that's why I started this business. And it's just -- it's been an amazing journey, but also emotional for me, mentally and physically.

You know, we worked around the clock to get these done. It took us four days. I had about six hours of sleep in those four days just because I wanted everything perfect. And, you know, there's a lot that goes into doing that many caskets in our facility in that short of time.

You know, it's just me, my son, and we have a helper, my wife. We don't have, you know, a 20-man team. It's a three-man team, which usually is less than two. Mainly, I push it all off on my son because I taught him how to paint and he's an awesome painter. We have a heated paint booth. It takes 30 minutes for that paint to dry and move on to the next one. So, it's something that we've done and we have everything here on-site to do it.

LEMON: What's your son's name?

GANEM: Billy. My son's name is Billy Ganem.

LEMON: And your wife?

GANEM: Michelle Ganem.

LEMON: So, I want to shoutout --

GANEM: And then I put my daughter --

LEMON: Your daughter is on there, too?

GANEM: Yeah, my daughter. She does a lot of the little paperwork and emails and --

LEMON: What's her name?

GANEM: Emma.

LEMON: Emma. Well, listen. You guys are -- I'm glad there are people in the world like you, okay? You have an amazing family, you're an amazing person, incredible person, and I just thank you so much for what you're doing and I really appreciate you appearing. Keep up the great work, okay?

GANEM: Thank you so much, man. Have a blessed evening.

LEMON: You, too, Trey.

And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.