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Mass shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart occurring around 10:00 pm; Police and rescue are on scene confirming several deceased and injured in store; They believe it to be a single shooter and that he is deceased; Louise Lucas, Democratic Senator of Virginia stresses legislation needs to be passed for better gun control; Leo Kosinski gives press briefing on the shooting; Police: Multiple Fatalities in Virginia Walmart Shooting; Ukraine: Attack Causes "Colossal" Damage to Power Grid; Ukraine Braces for Brutal Winter as Fighting Grinds On; Israeli Police Investigating Two Jerusalem. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 01:00   ET





ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Anna Coren, live in Hong Kong. We begin with breaking news.

Police in Chesapeake, Virginia are reporting multiple fatalities and injuries from a shooting at a Walmart. Officers responded to the store a little less than three hours ago, just after 10:00 pm local time.

The spokesperson says he cannot confirm the number of dead, but believes it is less than 10. The statement from the city of Chesapeake confirms the gunman is deceased.

Well, let's bring in CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem. We also have Neill Franklin joining us, a former Maryland state police officer.

Juliette and Neill, we now have the lay of the land. That the gunman walked into that store a bit before 10:12 pm local time, that he opened fire, that there are multiple fatalities, multiple injuries. Police responded shortly after. We heard from the police spokesperson who said that the officers walked straight in. We don't know what sort of confrontation there was with the gunman, but the gunman is now dead. But that was an active scene for half an hour.

Neill let's start with you. Talk us through what would have happened.

NEILL FRANKLIN, FORMER MARYLAND STATE POLICE OFFICER: So again, once the officers would have arrived, and again, a half an hour active scene is a very, very long time. Again, most of these shootings don't take that much time, it's just a matter of minutes. So, if we had - I think you said earlier less than 10 hopefully have deceased, I think we are pretty fortunate. But once the police officers arrive, they'd form a team, and they

would enter the building. They would systematically go through the building trying to find the shooter to neutralize the shooter, listening for gunshots, talking to people, trying to get a direction, trying to get a description so that they can identify the shooter so that they can neutralize the shooter.

Again, we don't know what happened. We don't if the shooter took his own life. We don't know if it was done by a police officer or someone else. But as you said, it is confirmed that the shooter is deceased. And there's one other thing that I had failed to mention earlier that's going to be a significant part of building this case and the evidence and getting the information. Retailers such as Walmart, these huge retail outlets, have a plethora of cameras. They have cameras everywhere.

And so, one of the things that the police are currently doing is collecting that video and it's going to take a long time to go through each one of those - the footage for each one of those cameras to try to learn exactly what happened, where did he enter from, you know, what was carrying, where did he go first, you know, how we went about the process of shooting people in the store.

COREN: Juliette, we've heard from police. They say that the death toll is less than 19. I mean, that is yet to be officially confirmed.


COREN: But, you know, this just days out from Thanksgiving. This is a Super Walmart, many shoppers would have been there doing their last- minute, you know, shopping for this holiday. The death toll could have been much higher considering he was in the store, you know, it was an active scene for a half an hour.

KAYYEM: Yes. That's right. And so, OK, so what we'll - what we're looking for is this is such a large scene. And remember, the police are getting conflicting reports. Someone says he's here. Another person says he's there. That's just - that's common in these situations. So, when they enter, which they entered immediately. When they say 30 minutes, it does not mean that they're standing outside, like we saw with Uvalde. They're inside the building.

If they're not hearing shots, let's say that he committed suicide or was stopped in another - by another means, they don't know who he is. I mean, and they don't know what person, what individual. People are running, people are running out. They don't want friendly fire. They don't want to shoot anyone who is just a customer. So, the length of it is not as surprising if the active shooter was not ongoing, they're not hearing gunshots, they don't know where he is.


So, that's how this would have unfolded in the room until they - in the - it's not a room, in the - in the - in the - in the warehouse, essentially. These Walmarts' are huge. Until they can make sure that the -- that the killer was dead. And we'll find out how that happened. The number's no more than 10. I know - I've been watching online and

hearing some reporters comment on that. It's - they -- they've got to identify these bodies and get the family notification. It's not just - I mean, it's the holidays, it's the right thing to do.

But they're keeping that number - we'll get a definitive number. One hopes that they're accurate in the sense that that is so tragic, you just don't want it to be a higher number. And then find out more about motivation at this stage. That's going to be key. If he walked in, did he know the facility? Had he been someone who knew the facility? Is it a random Walmart? Is it an employee? There's conflicting reports.

I would say, it's 1:05, it's been about three hours. I would anticipate the police department having a press statement or a press conference relatively soon so that people can begin to understand what had happened in that room and what the - you know - what - what - what level of horror, I have to be honest with you, we're dealing with tonight as compared to what we were dealing with two days ago and two days before that.

COREN: Yes, it is just never-ending, this gun violence -


COREN: -- coming out of America. Neill, in the last hour we spoke about the spade of shootings, that many of them have been carried out by people suffering from mental illness. I mean, talk us through the possible motives. Obviously, the weekend shooting in Colorado Springs, you know, that gunman is looking at hate crimes, murder, but the motive being hate. What could the possible motives be for this gunman to walk into this Walmart, you know, on a - on a Tuesday night, shoppers going about their evening shopping in preparation for the holidays? What are the possible motives that we could be looking at?

FRANKLIN: Sure. Especially when you have possibly a foundation of mental illness, it doesn't take much in many of these cases to send the person over the edge. Again, it can be a hate crime, it - toward a particular group of people. It could be a disgruntled employee. It could be a disgruntled customer, you know, who, again, is dealing with issues.

Again, when you - when you hear about the background of the other shooter, I believe his name is Aldrich, you know, there - in his history there was some bullying that took place and we see this a lot, especially in a number of our school shootings that we have, you know, whether it's online or whether they bullying took place, you know, somewhere else.

So, there are many possibilities, many things that can send someone over the edge to strike out and just either target people or random people. But, usually, when it's in a situation like this, where you've got this large retail outlet and it just appears to be random, you know, this doesn't appear to be a targeted shooting where he was going in, you know, and just looking for a particular person.

Again, most of it - most of the time that we see shootings like this, it is someone who just went over the edge and random shooting, but multiple reasons for it. And it could be in this particular case. But we'll find out what the motive was, hopefully, in this particular case. I believe we will.

COREN: Yes, Juliette, obviously, we are still learning details and we're grabbing what we can from what police have told us, you know, over the last three hours. But certainly, you know, if we - if we look at what just happened just days ago in Colorado Springs, you know, that gunman had obviously threatened to detonate a bomb. He'd threatened his mother, he'd threatened the community. His mother called the police and warned them of what his son - of what her son was threatening to do. And yet, the red flags didn't go up.


COREN: Is this, you know, a recurring theme that we are seeing, where law enforcement is told of something and yet it is not put on the record and therefore that red flag doesn't go up?

KAYYEM: It could be. We don't know the killers, who he is, his history, his relationship with that Walmart or his relationship with anyone who may have worked at that Walmart or been in that Walmart.


This is a high-fatality event. It is, obviously, not targeted, as Neill was saying, against a particular individual or it was in terms of lots of people who fell - who perished tonight because of this sort of - the kind of attack it was. But we just don't what was motivating it.

Virginia is an open carry state or has - it has - it has areas that don't allow it and certain places that don't allow it. Walmart has its own rules about open carry. I will say Walmart is a very, very serious company when it comes to safety and security in terms of that we talked about video cameras. I'm curious if there was a security guard or someone else on duty. Who was this individual? One or two of them? It's not uncommon for Walmart to have their own security.

And then, of course, the employee protocols in an active shooter case, they are trained as well. So, there's a number of features because of a Walmart's hugeness in the United States commerce that would be - have been available as well and may have been helpful in minimizing the harm if the employees were appropriately trained.

I am curious about whether there was a security guard at this stage and how the individual was eventually killed. We will find out more, obviously, at the first press conference. There's lots of different details going on now. But we don't know right now in terms of is this an individual that might have been captured by laws and because of previous conduct that would have gotten noticed by law enforcement.

COREN: Juliette, Neill, please -

FRANKLIN: You know, Anna, just real quick.

COREN: Yes. No, please. Of course.

FRANKLIN: Yes. One other thing we don't know yet is the type of weapon or weapons that were used -


FRANKLIN: -- in this case by the assailant, which is very important relative to the number of deceased and injured.

COREN: Yes. Obviously, we are hoping that the police will provide us that information in the coming hours. Obviously, their priority are the injured, informing the families of the - of the victims, you know, and there are multiple victims we know that, and obviously carrying out this investigation.

Juliette, Neill, please -

KAYYEM: Thank you.

COREN: -- stand by. But let's now go to Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas, Chesapeake in the district that she represents. She joins us now by a phone. Louis, can you please give us the latest on what you are learning about this mass shooting?

LOUISE LUCAS (D), VIRGINIA SENATOR: Yes, yes. I've learned about a lot of it through the news just like most other people and I can just tell you, I - it's just absolutely horrible. And the thing that makes this so sad is that this gun control, this gun violence is out of control, and unfortunately, we have the power to do something about it, that just is not the will (ph) or part (ph) of many of our legislative members to do it.

But all I can say to you is that this is a sad night for us in Virginia. It's a sad night in Chesapeake. And it's going to be a really, really sad time tomorrow morning when people wake up and hear this sad news. But we can do something about gun control. There's too much easy access to firearms. And we have got to do something to bring it under control.

Many of us have been fighting in the legislature for decades to try to get gun violence - gun control amendments passed. But, unfortunately, there's always pushback, pushback, pushback. But, we've got to bring it under control. How many people will have to die before legislatures, not only in Virginia but all across this nation, come to the reality there's just too much access to firearms.

COREN: Senator, explain to us the gun laws in Virginia. You're speaking to people not just in the United States, but around the world.

LUCAS: Well, in Virginia, of course you know, we have easy access to because we're an open carry state and that's one of the problems. But the other problem is that I don't think there's enough being done to make sure that we follow the red flag laws. I think that we need to have more restrict - restrictions or how easy people have access to guns. I mean, I just don't think that the criminal history background checks

are strong enough. I mean, there's just so much more that can be done. And we can do it. But there's always that pushback. And I'm just hoping that this will be one incident that will begin to bring an end to the gun violence that we're seeing here in Virginia. I'm just horrified. I'm horrified because the access to guns is just too easy.

COREN: You say that you hope that this incident might help, you know, bring about gun reform. But we are seeing these sorts of mass shootings happen week after week in the United States. So, people not just becoming, you know, desensitized to what is going on, the gun violence in America.


LUCAS: I think that - I think that's in part the case, but I think also a lot of this violence is being driven by hate speech. A lot of this violence is being driven by people who are following other people on social media and they're just trying to mimic and mock what other folks are doing. And I just don't think there's going to be any curtailing to it until we bring some commonsense gun measures to Virginia. I mean, we've got to do more. We're losing lives every day. And it is just unconscionable that we have not done enough to try to stem this tide.

COREN: And Senator, to think, this is just days away from Thanksgiving.

LUCAS: Yes, just imagine the number of people who will be waking up this morning, the day before Thanksgiving and just want to have just some time with their loved one just to give thanks for the things that they've been able to acquire in this life and just to have to sit around a table with empty chairs and just mourn the loss of more people in our families because of these senseless killings and because we don't have the control, the wherewithal, the willingness to bring gun control measures to our legislature.

COREN: So, Senator, what is your appeal? Because if we - if we look at the polls, people support, you know, background checks, and yet it's held up, you know, at the political end. You know, the gun lobby is so powerful in the United States. The Republican Party, you know, they back that gun lobby, that very powerful gun lobby. So, how are you going to bring about reform, you know, in a country where the President of the United States is a Democrat? You know, it beggars belief to think that gun reform cannot be brought in whilst the Democrats are in power.

LUCAS: Well, you know what? And I dare to differ. I think that we can do whatever we put our mind to do here in the United States of America, no matter who is in the chair, because this is about the lives of - it doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or whether you're a Republican, it doesn't matter who you are and what faith you have in life, this gun violence is so out of control it knows no community, it knows no party, it knows no sex, and we can do something to curtail this. And I think we need to do that at all costs. Well, look at what happened in Virginia Beach, the CEs (ph) from all

over volunteered to come to Virginia Beach to help with the counseling regarding the grief. We need to do that right now. We need to have boots on the ground helping these people to deal with the trauma.

And I'm just horrified. And I'm just infuriated that we have not done more to try to bring about more gun control measures here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As I said before, many of us are working on commonsense gun control measures for decades only to get pushback year after year after year. But I'm hoping that this last event of mass killings will make people come to the realization that it's left up to us to try to do something to bring gun control measures into our legislative bodies.

COREN: Senator Louise Lucas, we certainly appreciate your time. Let's hope that there is the political will to bring about gun reform in the United States.

We'll take a short break. More on our breaking news in just a moment. Stay with CNN.




COREN: We continue to follow breaking news out of Virginia, where police in Chesapeake say there are multiple fatalities and injuries after a shooting at a Walmart store just hours ago. Police haven't confirmed the number of those killed, but say it is believed to be less than 10 and the shooter is dead.

Well, just moments ago Chesapeake police gave a news conference on the shooting, explaining what happened. Take a listen.


LEO KOSINSKI, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER CHESAPEAKE POLICE: We found - as soon as we get here, we find base the evidence that a shooting had occurred, and it was actively going on. So, we responded as a - in an active shooter fashion. We're trained for that. That's - it falls within our area of what we do.

So, we go inside and long story short, over the course of the next 30, 45 minutes, we were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties. With the Chesapeake Fire Department, we were able to put rescue and tactical teams together to go inside to provide life- saving measures rapidly and quickly. And then, through the course of the investigation, we believe it was single shooter. And we believe that shooter is deceased at this time.

Officers are still on scene right now, combing through the building just to be sure. But, as of right now we believe it's only one shooter and we believe that one shooter is deceased right now. Like is said before, there's multiple fatalities and multiple injuries. So, we're just a little over an hour into the incident, and unfortunately, it's very fluid right now and that's all I have at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to say that the shooter is a self- inflicted?

KOSINSKI: We do not know at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was the shooter an employee?

KOSINSKI: We do not know at this time. (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were any shots fired by police?

KOSINSKI: Not to my knowledge. I do not believe so.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, when you guys got here was it pretty much - I mean, over, I guess?

KOSINSKI: I do not know. I don't know the timeline just yet. I kind of got here quite a bit after the fact that it happened. I believe that the shooting had stopped when we arrived, but I'm not 100 percent sure on that. So, but we did treat it as an active threat response, which is in our - which is within our normal response tactics.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Was it just Chesapeake Police that responded?

KOSINSKI: Initially it was just Chesapeake Police, but there are - I believe I saw a state trooper vehicle outside earlier, was providing some assistance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you probably can't answer this, but when you say multiple fatalities, over five? Any age range - I mean, not age range -

KOSINSKI: I don't know. I think right now it's less than 10. I think - I think that's a pretty accurate right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the shootings happen inside the store or outside? Or do we know?


KOSINSKI: I believe it happened inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inside. So, any employees involved? I think (inaudible).

KOSINSKI: I do not know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, one - there is at least one deceased outside the building, correct?

KOSINSKI: Correct. There is one person that is deceased outside right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the shootings happened, at least inside, perhaps outside as well? KOSINSKI: Could be. Could have been. I'm not - I'm not 100 percent sure (inaudible) regarding (ph) (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your next steps?

KOSINSKI: Right now, it's just - it's an open crime scene. It's an active investigation. We have officers inside. Detectives responding. We're still combing through the building to, you know, look for more victims, both injured or deceased. And, you know, we're just kind of providing that care at this point before we turn it completely over to the criminal investigation section. At that point it becomes just a full-fledged, essentially a homicide investigation.


CORE: That's Leo Kosinski, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Police speaking to the media a short time ago.

We're going to take a short break. More on our breaking news in just a moment.




ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Returning to our top story this hour.

Police in Chesapeake, Virginia are reporting multiple fatalities and injuries from a shooting at a Walmart. We don't know the exact number of people killed, but police say it is less than ten.

Police are at the scene securing the store and gathering evidence. In a tweet, Virginia Senator Mark Warner says he is sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting. He's urging all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and to stay away from the scene.

We'll continue to follow developments and bring you the very latest.

Well now to Ukraine and a startling assessment from the head of the country's power grid who says a major Russian attack last week caused colossal damage at power stations across the country. He says more than 100 missiles were used in the assault on energy facilities.

For now, the grid is stabilized, the scheduled blackouts continue. But the destruction is widespread.


VOLODYMYR KUDRYTSKYI, CEO, UKRENERGO (through translator): The scale of the damage is colossal. Practically no thermal or hydroelectric stations have been left unscathed.

For you to understand the scale of these attacks and what we have to deal with, practically all thermal and hydro generations, meaning major power stations have been damaged by missile attacks.


COREN: As Ukraine works to keep the power running, more aid is on the way. The U.S. and World Bank are each expected to provide $4.5 billion in assistance in the coming weeks. And the European Union has announced $2.5 billion in financial aid.

Well joining me now is CNN political and national security analyst, David Sanger. He's also the White House national security correspondent for the "New York Times" and author of the book, "The Perfect Weapon".

David, great to have you with us. The head of Ukraine's national power grid says last week's missile strikes have caused quote, "colossal" damage. From your assessment how dire is the situation?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it is pretty dire because much of the power for Ukraine came from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest. That is completely shut down now at least in power generation. That was before the strikes.

The strikes themselves were interesting because we thought that when Ukraine lost power it would be because of cyber strikes that the Russians conducted. After all, they turned off the power in parts of the country in 2015. And 2016. But it turns out that while cyber is a very good (INAUDIBLE) war weapon, if you're in the middle of a war the most efficient way to turn off the power is the way the Russians have done it which is to put missiles right through substations, the generators, do as much havoc as they could.

And they've been quite systematic about it, so systematic that we're now hearing the Ukrainians asked many of the people, millions of them to leave the country for the winter. Take up residence in Poland or Romania or any place that might take them in or where they have relatives so that they are not an additional drain on already limping along grid.

COREN: David, we know Ukraine is expecting a harsh brutal winter temperatures can drop to minus 22 degrees Celsius. That's minus 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

President Zelenskyy has said, if we survive this winter and we will definitely survive it, we will definitely win this war. Do you agree with his optimism?

SANGER: Well he gave this very sort of Churchillian speech. The other day that basically said that the tide has turned here.

But when Churchill gave that speech Britain still had several years left to the war. And I suspect, the same is true on the part of the Ukrainians.

The Russians and Vladimir Putin, have long thought that the winter is their best option here. That the war with slowdown and thus their retreats. That Europe would grow fractured because of the high cost and perhaps shortages of natural gas, everything that had been flowing through Nord Stream 1 and 2. That you'll see cracks in NATO and that you might actually crack the Ukrainian drive to win the war.


SANGER: I think they've miscalculated on that. I think four Europe, it's very possible that next winter maybe more important than this. And for the Ukrainians, nothing that Putin has thought would break their will so far has tended to do it.

But we're going to have to watch this winter to see if the sheer cold actually does alter the determinations of a war. And there's going to have to be a big rush on by the U.S. And its allies to make sure that some alternative fuels get there.

COREN: David, the U.S., the World Bank, the E.U. have all announced multi billion dollars in assistance to Ukraine. I mean how long do you think this goodwill will last?

SANGER: I think it's going to last a while. I think that one of the results of the election in the United States and the failure of some of the more pro Trump Republicans to win means that the faction within the Republican Party, that was basically saying America first. Why do we need to pay for this war in Ukraine.

They are nots in this great numbers as we thought they would be. I think there may be some objections from the left, from those who think the money should be spent, largely at home. But I suspect that Biden is going to pretty much get his way with additional aid.

I think the question for the World Bank and other institutions is, how do you spend the money to rebuild while the country is still being torn apart by missile strikes?

COREN: Yes. It's a tough one.

David Sanger, as always, great for you to put this on the context for us. Many thanks for your time.

SANGER: Great to be with you, Anna.

COREN: We will return to our breaking news in just a moments, an update on the deadly shooting inside a Walmart in Virginia after this.



COREN: Back to our breaking news this hour. Police in Chesapeake, Virginia say there are multiple fatalities and injuries after a shooting inside a super Walmart store.

Police haven't confirmed how many people were killed but say it is believed to be less than ten and the shooter is among the dead. Investigators are still combing through the sprawling store looking for any more potential victims.

Walmart just issued this statement. "We are shocked that this tragic event with our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We are praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We are working closely with law enforcement and we are focused on supporting our associates."

The suspect in the mass shooting at the weekend at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub is now out of hospital and in jail. Anderson Lee Aldrich is due for an initial court appearance in the coming hours. And will face multiple murder charges. The district attorney says hate crime charges are also being considered.

CNN's Rosa Flores is in Colorado Springs.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New information is surfacing about the troubling path of the suspected gunman 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.

CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our investigators are writing search warrants and looking at any type of item such as computers, and other technology.

FLORES: The suspect was caught on camera surrendering to police during a bomb threat incident last year.

ANDERSON LEE ALDRICH, CLUB Q GUNMAN: This is your boy. I've got the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) outside. Look at that. They've got a bead on me.

FLORES: When his mother called police on him, saying he had guns and ammunition according to authorities. But the case was not adjudicated and the file was sealed which means, it would not be detected in a background check.

ALDRICH: Go ahead and come on in, boys. Let's (EXPLETIVE DELETED) see it.

FLORES: The incident failed to trigger Colorado's red flag law raising questions about the strength of a tools that allows firearms to be removed from someone at risk to themselves or others.

Until the age of 15, Aldrich was known as Nicholas F. Brink. He legally changed his name to Anderson L. Aldrich in 2016 due to courts in San Antonio Texas, quote, "record show".

Prior to that in 2015. The shooting suspect was the subject of intense online bullying on a still active Internet Parity page.

CNN has found evidence of the mocking comment that spanned a five month period when he was just a senior goal. The page resembling Wikipedia shows photos of him marked as wait and the accuses him of engaging in illegal activity.

Aldrich -- if the Grand, sent a California assemblyman Randy Votel, who initially compared the January 6 attacks to the revolutionary war. But later said he did not condone or support the violence and lawlessness that took place on January 6th.

She has not offered to come forward and speak with us.

O'DONNELL: The suspect's mother received three years probation for public intoxication and falsely reporting a crime to police in California. When Aldrich, then known as Brink was just eight years old According to court records obtained by CNN.

The court records show that she made a false report in 2008 about a break-in and burglary attempts. Where she was tied up with tight string and duck type.

Weeks later, she admitted to making up the whole incident because she was lonely, and wanted attention. In 2010 court records also show she sought custody of her son, then ten years old. When he was 12 his mother was again in trouble with the law. She was arrested for suspected arson and the charge was later reduced to criminal mischief.

Rosa Flores, CNN, (INAUDIBLE) Colorado Springs, Colorado.



COREN: We're back to Virginia in just a moment. An update on the deadly shooting inside a super Walmart store.


COREN: Returning to our breaking news out of Virginia where police in Chesapeake are reporting fatalities and injuries after a shooting at a super Walmart store.

Police received the call after 10 p.m. local time, a police spokesperson says it has believe less than ten people are dead, including the gunman.

We'll keep you updated with any new developments.

We're also following breaking news out of Jerusalem. Israeli police are investigating two explosions, one near the entrance of the city. At least 11 people were reportedly injured and the first blast.

Let's go to CNN's Hadas Gold, live for us in Jerusalem. Hadas what else are you learning?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So what we understand is less than two hours ago around 7:00 a.m. local was the first of what has been deemed a series of explosions in the Jerusalem area.

The first explosion took place at a bus station near one of the main entrances to the city, this is sort of a highway turning into a city, well apart of the city. There's a major bus stop there. And police believe that some sort of bag was placed on the ground before it exploded. We know that at least 11 people were injured in that blast.

Then a second blast took place in a different part of the city but also at a bus station. Not clear exactly whether this was another bag on the ground, or something else. But least three people are injured in that. So in total, 14 people have been injured and at least two of them are considered to be in serious, or critical condition.

Now, we've been talking about for months about how the situation here is so tense. And how there were fears of a third intifada and these types of explosions. Really helped sort of define the first and second intifada.

So there is a major here right now that we are now at the cusp. If this is the opening, to another intifada. Because explosions bombs like this -- bombs especially placed at bus stations. They have not happened in Jerusalem or in Israel proper in years.

And in recent years if there were some attacks they tended to be stabbings, shootings, or ramming attacks. These sort of explosives, these bombs, this is something we have not seen in quite a long time.

Now there is a rise of these new militant groups in the West Bank and there were reports in the last few days of a potential car bomb that may have gone off in the West Bank, sort of a failed car bomb.

So already, tensions were high. But this is, I think very surprising for a lot of people. Still despite the fact we've been talking about how tense the situation here is just because there have not been bombs like these in so long.

People are now immediately thinking back to the second intifada, to the suicide bombings on buses especially. I mean back in those days many Israelis would just completely avoid riding buses, will completely avoid bus stops.

There were regular searches at entrances to any sort of public place and there are concerns that now, Israel will be going back into that situation.

There are also concerns that there will be more explosions. There are some reports, security personnel trying to dismantle something else. We don't have that confirmed.

But right now, the situation here is very tenuous. There are concerns that there will further explosions, either in Jerusalem, or elsewhere. And concerned officials only opened up into something much larger potentially a third intifada, Anna.

COREN: Hadas Gold joining us from Jerusalem. WE appreciate the update. Thank you.

The U.N. Human Rights Council will be holding an emergency meeting on Thursday as Iran's government intensifies its crackdown on protesters continue.

The U.N. human rights chief says the situation in the country is, quote, critical. And his office has received reports of Iranian forces responding forcefully to protest in the Kurdish regions.

The U.N. human rights office estimates that more than 40 children have died. Since the protests began in September.


JEREMY LAURENCE, U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE: The rising number of deaths from protests in Iran, including those of two children at the weekenda and the hardening of the response by security forces underline the critical situation in the country.

Sources say over 40 people have been killed in mainly Kurdish cities in the past week alone. Significant numbers of security forces, have also been deployed in recent days.


COREN: Well meantime, human rights groups say the Kurdish community is being deliberately targeted.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has more and a warning some of the video is graphic, and disturbing to watch.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hundreds boarded into the streets of (INAUDIBLE) -- united in their grief and anger.

ACOSTA: A martyr for Kyrgyzstan, the crowd chants. They chant for 16- year-old protester (INAUDIBLE) one of the youngest lives lost in a week of carnage across Iran's Kurdish region.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm glad it's finished. At his Barrier whose father I can drive I just burial, his father tells mourners, I've dedicated my son to Kurdistan.

Every funeral brings more anger, more defiance, from a minority long oppressed by the ruthless republic. Iran's minorities, including the Kurds, have borne the brunt of an unforgiving crackdown.

But these cities and towns turned into war zones. The regime sent in troops and heavy weapons to suppress an uprising that has been growing stronger by the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The entire region has become very militarized. This is quiet, a planned operation against the Kurds. They very deliberately, indiscriminately, are killing the Kurds in every city of Kurdistan.


KARADSHEH: Video after video emerged Monday, capturing the horror unleashed on the town of (INAUDIBLE).

No respite from the indiscriminate heavy gun fire, not even to retrieve their dead. The regime claims it's confronting terrorists and separatists.

Activists warn it's a pretext for an even bloodier crackdown under the cover of an Internet shut down. Most of the region has now been cut off from the world

Cut off in the world.

RAMYAR HASSANI, HENGAW HUMAN RIGHTS: Whatever the Iranian government is shutting down internet; It means that they want to intensify the crack down even more. And to carry out the operations that they want to even more freely.

Karadsheh: Iran's oppressive regime has not been holding back against its own people. Many fear the worst is yet to come.

KARADSHEH: Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Istanbul.


COREN: Well, thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren. the breaking news on the Virginia mass shooting continues on CNN with my colleague, Rosemary Church After These the breaks short break. Stay with CNN.