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Russian Attacks on Ukraine Continue; Effectiveness of Updated COVID Shot?; Colorado Springs Shooting Suspect Set to Appear in Court; Virginia Mass Shooting. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 13:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Buenas tardes. Good afternoon. I'm Boris Sanchez live from Washington, D.C. My colleague Ana Cabrera has the day off.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM and we are grateful to have you.

We start with brand-new details coming in about the suspect in the latest mass shooting in the United States, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Sources tell CNN that a store manager armed with a pistol stormed into a break room and opened fire, killing six people, before police say he turned the gun on himself. Now, police have not named the gunman, but multiple sources tell CNN the shooter was 31-year-old Andre Bing, an overnight team lead who worked at Walmart for over 10 years.

Here's some witnesses describing how the chilling attack played out.


BRIANA TYLER, WITNESS: Yes, he just literally just started shooting throughout the entire break room. And I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor, whether they were trying to duck for cover or they were hit.

He just opened -- opened fire. He looked directly at me, but he -- luckily, he missed my head by like an inch or two.

KEVIN HARPER, WITNESS: I'm talking about, just left out the break room. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) come in there, started capping people up in there, started shooting, bro. Like, I'm whole, though, you all. Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates.


SANCHEZ: Several victims remain hospitalized. And we should note this marks the third mass shooting in Virginia in fewer than two weeks.

Let's take you to the scene now with CNN's Brian Todd, who's live there for us.

Brian, what are we learning about what happened?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Boris, and to reiterate again the new reporting from CNN that the shooter has been identified as Andre Bing.

We got a statement from Walmart a short time ago. I will read you part of it.

Walmart -- this is according to Scott Pope, senior director of global communications for Walmart, who sent CNN a statement saying: "The alleged shooter has been identified as Andre Bing. We can confirm that he was a Walmart associate. Andre's position with the company was overnight team lead. And he's been employed with us since 2010."

They go on to say they are thankful for the first responders and continue to work with law enforcement in the case. We have been pressing Walmart all day on whether there were any disciplinary proceedings ever initiated against this employee or whether any other employees had complained about him.

But what -- we have not gotten an answer from Walmart on that yet. But what we do have is an account from Briana Tyler. She is an employee who earlier spoke to ABC News, and was telling us that the shooter was a manager who she was told to -- quote -- "look out for because there was always something going on with him just having an issue with someone" -- end quote.

She said that she had been gathered with her co-workers in a break room just before their shift started. She looked up, and her manager opened the door. That's when they saw the shooter opening fire, she said. She told ABC that he was not aiming at anyone specifically, that he didn't say anything while he was shooting, and that he looked directly at her, but missed her head by an inch or two.

But this was an account from an employee who says that she was told to look out for him. And, again, we have pressed Walmart on that to see if anybody had complained about him, if there was anything that was said or enacted, any complaints filed about him to Walmart that maybe had not been acted upon. They have not responded to that yet or any questions about whether any disciplinary proceedings had ever been initiated.

But we do have the name of the suspect, Andre Bing, and, according to law enforcement sources, he killed six people inside the store and then turned the gun on himself. Boris, we were told by police that he used a pistol. We have been pressing them on whether other weapons were used. They say that, to their knowledge, they have no knowledge of other weapons -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Brian Todd, we appreciate you pressing for those answers for us. Thank you so much.

Let's discuss further now with former FBI senior profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole, and also with a CNN contributor Jennifer Mascia. She's a senior newswriter at The Trace, a nonprofit outlet dedicated to covering gun violence. Mary Ellen, I wanted to start with you, because law enforcement is

just starting to share more details now. What stood out to you about this incident. And hearing from that employee who was told to look out for that manager, what does that say to you?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, a couple of things really stand out.

And the first one is that the shooter walked into the break area, where he knew his employees were likely to be, and started shooting. That certainly suggests planning, thinking ahead of time how you're going to carry this out.


And then secondly, with the employee saying that she had been forewarned that there were some issues about this individual suggests that there might have been complaints formally filed with Walmart about this person and their behavior.

SANCHEZ: And, Jennifer, when police laid out the timeline, I thought this was interesting. There were four minutes between the 911 call and police entering the store.

It's a relatively fast response time. What does it tell you that the shooter in that short window was able to inflict that much damage with a pistol?

JENNIFER MASCIA, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he was apparently in a break room at close range, but the majority of gun violence and mass shootings are perpetrated with handguns. They're concealable.

He was able to get that far because he didn't walk in with an AR-15. He walked in, presumably, with a handgun concealed under his clothes.

SANCHEZ: Jennifer and Mary Ellen, we want you to stand by because we want to update our viewers on some new information out of Colorado Springs in the wake of the Club Q mass shooting.

Minutes from now, the first court hearing for the alleged shooter is going to take place, as we're winning more details about that suspect's tumultuous past.

So let's take you now to Colorado Springs, where CNN's Rosa Flores is tracking the story for us.

Rosa, walk us through today's hearing and what's coming to light about the suspect.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Boris, let's start with the hearing, like you suggested.

That hearing is expected to happen in the next 30 minutes. So this is the first time that we're going to be able to see the suspect since he was beaten and subdued on Saturday night by those heroes who authorities say saved countless lives. Now, this is a first appearance. And all that means is that the suspect will be read his rights.

He will also hear the charges that are on the charging documents. Now, those could include five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of hate crimes. Now, I want to be clear this is not an arraignment. Those are not the official formal charges against him. The DA warns that that won't happen until next week or the week after that.

They still have to investigate, and that the suspect is being held on no bond. Now, that is procedural here in the state of Colorado. Now, one more thing about his chaotic past. Here's what we're learning about the life of this suspect. And I'm going to start with his parents.

The mom has a criminal past. She's been arrested multiple times, including for charges involving DUI and also false reporting a crime. And then the father is -- or was a porn actor and also an MMA fighter. Now, he wasn't -- wasn't in the picture, which left the grandmother to raise the child.

Now, the suspect, by the time he was 15, online records show that there was vicious, vicious online bullying of the suspect. Before he turned 16, he changed his name. And now we know also that last year here in Colorado, his mother called police about the suspect having weapons, ammunition, a home bomb. All those charges were dropped.

And then, Boris, the last one we heard that also kind of paints a picture was from court documents last night. And those court documents revealed -- and this was the suspect's attorneys asking the court to address him by them and then saying that he identifies as nonbinary.

Now, that's new. We don't know if this is some sort of legal defense or not. But we, of course, have tried to reach out to the defendant's attorneys, and they say that, by policy, they do not comment on homicide cases -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Rosa Flores from Colorado Springs, thank you so much.

Let's talk about this shooting now with Mary Ellen O'Toole and Jennifer Mascia.

Thank you for standing by for us, ladies.

Mary Ellen, first to you.

Officials expecting bias-motivated crime charges against that suspect. Does that seem appropriate, given this new information about how this suspect identifies, as they/them, as nonbinary?

O'TOOLE: It certainly does, because, at this point, they're not sure why that has been put in, in the court documents.

So it certainly does, because it doesn't take away from what may have motivated this individual. So they really do have to be able to present that as a possible motive in this case. I think that's extremely pertinent for this case. SANCHEZ: And, Mary Ellen, going back to you, we're learning more

about this suspect's childhood, their family relationships, the tumultuous upbringing they apparently had.

What strikes you most about what we're learning?

O'TOOLE: A number of things, but, primarily, it's just a cascade of events during this person's lifetime that certainly could have aggravated his beginning to think about violence, acting out in a violent way.


And in a dysfunctional family, and if this is what this was, in a dysfunctional family, individuals can normalize behavior. And what does that mean? It means that you don't spot the warning behaviors that could have allowed family members and others to intervene to prevent this individual from acting out violently.

So, when there is this kind of dynamic in the family, other behaviors that would normally have been identified get lost in the mix.

SANCHEZ: And, Jennifer, to you.

Mass shootings have spiked in the United States in recent years. They have nearly doubled since 2018. This is news to no one who's been paying attention. Every single week of 2022 has had at least four mass shootings. Those are incidents of gun violence where at least four people have been killed or injured. And that is a per-week figure. It's not an average. It's a concrete tally. from "The Washington Post."

Obviously, this has become all too common in the United States. But, if you could, Jennifer, put it into context for us. Why are things trending in this direction?

MASCIA: Well, just three years ago, we had 39,000 gun deaths a year.

Last year, according to latest CDC figures, we had almost 49,000. Gun deaths are increasing rapidly in the United States. At the same time, we have many states have loosened their gun laws, and we have 400 million guns in circulation.

And we also have a background check system that checks criminal history, but it doesn't check for behaviors that may not rise to the level of criminality, like the behaviors that we have heard described in the Colorado and the Virginia shootings.

With those gunmen, there are -- there were warning signs. But a background check for gun purchases wouldn't cover that. In other countries, employees, co-workers, loved ones would be interviewed, those behaviors would be flagged, and a gun would not be given to a prospective gun buyer.

That level of background checking in the United States is not really a conversation, I think, politically that's been very palatable. But the data does show that gun owner licensing before the point of purchase is really the way to avoid this accelerating gun violence.

SANCHEZ: We have to leave the conversation there.

Jennifer Mascia, Mary Ellen O'Toole, thank you so much, and happy Thanksgiving.

O'TOOLE: You too. Thank you.

MASCIA: Thank you for having us.

SANCHEZ: So, Thanksgiving travel is roaring back. But how are the nation's airports handling the rush after a chaotic summer filled with cancellations and delays? We have details for you straight ahead.

Plus: horror in Ukraine, a new Russian onslaught crippling the nation's power grid and killing at least one newborn baby at a maternity ward. We're going to take you there next.

And the race to review Donald Trump's tax returns before the new Republican hold on the House of Representatives. How the Supreme Court just dealt the former president a big legal setback -- when we come back.

Stay with us.



SANCHEZ: On what is considered the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest of the year, two things to be thankful for.

After a summer of flight chaos, fliers are seeing very few cancellations, only 35, according to FlightAware. And for drivers, those hitting the road, gas prices are actually dropping.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is live for us at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Omar, I saw some very big lines behind you earlier. How's it looking now?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris, overall, right now, it's looking great. And, countrywide, there's some delays coming out of Miami creeping up, but, overall, things are going pretty well.

Now, here at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, it's one of the world's busiest, not so busy right now. But, as you mentioned, this morning, it was packed, as those first -- as that first wave of flights went out, and things have started to creep up a little since then.

Now, Chicago officials say, between here at O'Hare and Midway, Chicago's other airport, they expect about 1.7 million travelers over this Thanksgiving period, which is up almost 7 percent from last year. And, countrywide, when you look at the past two days, TSA has screened already around 4.5 million people over the two previous days, which is up from last year and is slightly down from 2019, but, at the very least, comparable to those pre-pandemic levels.

And, overall, AAA is expecting air travel to be up almost 8 percent. It's a dynamic that one passenger we spoke to you earlier this morning experienced firsthand. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were totally thinking about getting here early, which I'm so glad we did, because it's even a little more crowded than we expected, so just hoping we make our flight. We gave ourselves two hours, so I hope that's enough.


JIMENEZ: I'm also a two hours' person. I feel like it's just peace of mind, you know?


JIMENEZ: But Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was here earlier this week, and he said he's cautiously optimistic about the week ahead.

There's some weather that could trip things up a little bit later in the week, but for now, that cautious optimism is definitely holding.

SANCHEZ: It's that old adage that's kind of trite, but it rings true. Pack your patience.

Omar Jimenez live from Chicago.

Thank you so much, Omar.


SANCHEZ: And as people gather for Thanksgiving, the White House says getting boosted is the single most important thing you can do to avoid getting sick over the holidays.


But a new CDC study shows that updated COVID-19 boosters offer more limited protection than previous versions of the vaccine.

Let's bring in senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen to discuss.

Elizabeth, walk us through the study. What does it show?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris, I'm going to give you the bottom line. And this is my words, not the words of these of -- the doctors who wrote the study. This new vaccine, the booster, it's not fabulous. Is it good? Should you get it? Did I get it? Yes, yes, and yes, but it is not as great as, say, the first versions of the vaccine that were 95 percent effective. Keep that 95 percent number in your head. Take a look at this.

What this study showed is that this new Omicron booster, when people got it about eight months after their last COVID shot, it was 43 to 50 percent effective at keeping people from getting sick with COVID. So that's about the effectiveness of flu shots. It's good. You should get a flu shot too. It is not as spectacular as it once was.

Now, when are you supposed to get it? Two months after your last COVID shot or three months after your last COVID illness -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Not fabulous. Not a rave review, but, as you said, Elizabeth, you should still get it anyway.


SANCHEZ: There is a new study I wanted to ask you about, about abortion rates in 2020. That was two years before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. What did this study find?

COHEN: It's interesting.

This study goes against what you sometimes hear from anti-abortion folks. They say, oh, abortions are on the rise, and people are getting them later and later in pregnancy. This study shows that that does not appear to be true.

Let's take a look at these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They say that, in 2020, there were nearly 616,000 abortions, and, in, 2019 625,000. So that's about a 2 percent decrease from 2019 to 2020. And as far as when women got these abortions, let's take a look at this; 80 percent or more -- I'm sorry -- 80 percent or more were at or before nine weeks; 93 percent were added before 13 weeks.

So that's quite early on, contrary to what you sometimes hear from anti-abortion groups -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for walking us through all of that.

COHEN: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: And speaking about the issue of abortion rights, this just into CNN, a huge blow to proponents of abortion rights in Georgia.

That state's Supreme Court has reinstated the state's six-week ban on abortion, reversing a ruling from a lower court. Georgia's LIFE Act bans most abortions after six weeks, with some exceptions. Many women are unaware that they are even pregnant at that stage of pregnancy.

Looking overseas now, Moscow unleashing on critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine and the most innocent, one missile apparently hitting a maternity ward, killing a newborn baby. We're going to take you live to Ukraine in just moments.

Plus, phony Facebook and Instagram accounts now run by foreign governments, but tied to the U.S. military. What those fake accounts were promoting -- when we come back.



SANCHEZ: Blackouts and terror across Ukraine this hour following a large-scale attack by Russia, reportedly launching about 70 missiles so far, almost half of them directed at the capital of Kyiv.

We're told at least four people there have died, dozens more are injured, including kids. In the south of Kyiv, in Zaporizhzhia, officials say a newborn has died after rockets struck a maternity ward. An entire wing of the building appears to have been decimated.

The mass attack has plunged the country into darkness tonight. The national power company says there is an outage in every region right now. And temperatures are expected to dip below freezing.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live in Odessa for us.

Matthew, what is the power situation where you are?


Well, you can see it is not good. We're right in the middle of the city of Odessa in Southern Ukraine, and it's almost complete blackness behind me. There's not a light to be seen, apart from one we have put up for this -- for this live shot.

But, obviously, people have generators around the city. And they're providing whatever power they need sort of on a case-by-case basis. But there's a lot of people with torches in restaurants, in cafes, on the street, walking through these very dark places, as a direct result, of course, of Russia's barrage of missile strikes on the power infrastructure of this region, taking out power stations and power lines, leading to these power shortages and power cuts.

And that's something we have seen repeated across the country, with dozens of missiles, not just over the past 24 hours, but over the past week or two, coming from Russia, really striking or at least targeting power -- critical power infrastructure that has led to power shortages across the country.

And, of course, as you mentioned, this is the time of the year when power is needed more than at any other time, because it's the onset of winter, temperatures plunging below freezing in some parts of the country.