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Walmart Shooter Identified As 31-Year-Old Store Manager; Co- Workers: VA Shooter Showed Odd, Threatening Behavior In Past; Suspect Held Without Bond After First Court Appearance; DOJ Wants To Question Pence In Jan. 6 Criminal Probe; Mexico Obtains Warrant For Friend Of NC Woman Killed In Cabo; 7 Michigan State Players Charged With Assault After Brawl; Lawsuit Provides New Details In Stanford Soccer Player Suicide; E Jean Carroll Files New Battery, Defamation Suit Against Trump. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired November 24, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Hello and Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Boris Sanchez in Washington, D.C. in for Ana Cabrera. We're grateful that you're spending this holiday with us. And sadly today, the nation is reeling from two mass shootings while President Biden has a message for the American people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. Just sick. It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except properly to the gun manufacturers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you do anything about gun laws during a lame duck, sir?
BIDEN: I'm going to try.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What will you try to do?
BIDEN: I'm going to try to get rid of assault weapons.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: There have been 609 mass shootings this year alone, most recently Tuesday in Chesapeake, Virginia, where six Walmart employees were shot by an overnight manager before he turned the gun on himself. Today, we're learning more about the shooter and his victims. The youngest is a teenager whose name has not been released.
Let's take you outside that Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, now with CNN's Dianne Gallagher who's live for us. Dianne, we're also hearing from witnesses who were inside the store during the shooting. What are they sharing? DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Boris, it is absolutely terrifying to hear those survivors discuss what happened to them in just a matter of minutes inside this Walmart, just an hour before the store was supposed to close on Tuesday night.
Now, I do want to talk about those victims to start with, let you see their faces and know their families who are missing them today and trying to figure out how to go on without them. Brian Pendleton, 38 years old. Kellie Pyle, 52 years old, Lorenzo Gamble, 43 years old, Randy Blevins, 70 years old, Tyneka Johnson, 22 years old, and that 16-year-old man who -- boy, who -- again, they're not releasing his identity at this point because he is a minor.
They were shot and killed, according to police, by 31-year-old Andre Bing. He was the overnight team lead, a supervisor position here at this Walmart. They're still trying to determine why he came into the store and began shooting. According to those survivors, they say that he approached the break room, no look on his face, really just blank and started shooting. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIANA TYLER, WALMART EMPLOYEE, SHOOTING WITNESS: He looked at me and he shot near my head and it was about inches away. I'm not going to lie.
JESSIE WILCZEWSKI, WALMART EMPLOYEE, SHOOTING WITNESS: The only thing that made it real was the vibration hitting your chest and the ringing from the gun going off. And it just kept going and going and going. And he just had the gun up to my forehead and it's just really hard. He told me to go home and he took the gun away from my forehead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Just so hard to listen to them recount those traumatic moments. There were at least 50 people in the store at the time of the shooting, according to the city. Police say that Bing was armed with a handgun and multiple magazines. There were also several people wounded.
Of the five people who were taken to a hospital in Norfolk, they say that one of those patients, Boris, has since been released. Two of them, though, remain in critical condition.
SANCHEZ: And we're hoping for their speedy recovery. Dianne Gallagher from Chesapeake, Virginia, thank you so much.
Let's dig deeper on this case with Steve Moore, he's a CNN Law Enforcement Contributor and a retired FBI Special Agent. Steve, thanks so much for joining us on Thanksgiving. We're learning that --
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Boris.
SANCHEZ: Of course. We're learning that the suspect had exhibited this odd, even threatening behavior in the past. Employees of that store telling us that they were told to be on the look for him -- on the lookout for him. What goes through your mind when you hear something like that?
MOORE: Well, I'm wondering how much of this behavior, the -- what we call leakage, the in ability to hide some type of damaging personality trait. This leakage was obvious to people. And so you wonder two things, how is it not seen by the store, and how is this guy allowed to get weapons?
SANCHEZ: When you say leakage, what does that look like, because I think we've all been around oddballs before, right? But how do we know the difference between someone who's just a little strange and someone who might actually be a threat?
MOORE: That's the big question. But there are, you know, I mean, an entire profession is growing up on threat assessment right now, and threat assessment takes all those behaviors and puts them into a matrix and comes up with a rating system. But two of the things that you -- that are just red flags here are break from reality. A belief that things are happening which don't logically or aren't logically happening. His belief that the government was surveilling him.
Well, if the government surveilled people or surveilled just random people, they probably wouldn't be surveilling a Walmart manager. And the fact that he kept black tape over the camera of his cell phone so that he wouldn't get filmed, these are breaks with reality. And then threats where he said, if I get fired, people will know my name. These are very significant indicators.
SANCHEZ: And Steve, we heard that harrowing account from the one employee who said that he held a gun up to her head and then apparently didn't want to murder her and pulled away and told her to go home. What does that reveal to you about any potential motive?
MOORE: Well, possibly, I mean, when you get people like this, it's hard to assume rational behavior in an irrational act. But a person who goes in there frequently has targets, people who he is, especially irritated with, people that he believes needs to pay a price, as horrible as that sounds.
And so when he achieves that, he stops, that's one scenario. Another scenario is sometimes these people just want violence and they excuse it by workplace disputes, but they just want violence. And when you shot six, seven, eight people, sometimes that satiates the need, and you've done what you needed to do, and there's no further need for violence because you got what you wanted. We won't know until -- or they won't know until they dig into this guy.
SANCHEZ: And, Steve, if you could quickly walk us through what that process is like as investigators try to piece together clues that might lead to a motive.
MOORE: Basically, you write a biography on him. I mean, you're going to spend a long time trying to figure out why he was the way he was, what was the way he was, who knew about it, and why the net was so wide that guns could get through it. They're going to learn everything they can about his behavior, and then they're going to take that and project it forward, saying, how can we prevent this in the future? And what ways can we prevent people in this situation right now with the laws as they are? How can we prevent people like this guy from getting weapons? And there should be adequate laws out there already to stop him from doing that.
SANCHEZ: There's still a lot of questions about his motivations and how he was able to slip through the cracks, as you say. Steve Moore, thanks so much for the insights. I appreciate it.
MOORE: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Of course. From one mass shooting to another, police in Colorado Springs have released a mugshot of the person accused of killing five people inside an LGBTQ bar last weekend. And you'll notice in these photos, the suspect has bruises on his neck and his face.
Remember, they were quickly taken down and contained by two patrons until police were able to arrive and arrest him. The 22-year-old is currently being held without bond. Formal charges are now expected for next month.
Let's go to Colorado Springs with CNN's Nick Watt, who's joining us live. Nick, what are you learning about this case?
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are trying to nail down the motive here, Boris. Listen, it looks obvious. You walk into the only gay bar, the only gay club in town, and open fire. That looks like hate. A lot of people here know that hate, they say, but prosecutors need to prove that.
So, there are warrants, searches, interviews. One guy we spoke to was a neighbor and a friend of the suspect. They lived across the hallway. They played video games together for hours and hours and hours. And this young man, Xavier Kraus, told me that the suspect would have outbursts from an angry place and he would use slurs to describe gay people. But mostly those outbursts, he said, were actually against other races.
Now, you mentioned that the suspect appeared in court by video link from this jailhouse behind me, slumped, beaten, slurring. Three heroes took this shooter down, an army vet, a naval officer, and a trans woman. And this suspect was kicked repeatedly around the head to stop him taking anymore lives, creating any more havoc. So, as I say, the motive is something that they're working on.
Now, another thing that Xavier Kraus told us was that the suspect was very proud of the weaponry, showed these guns to Kraus. Kraus expressed some concern, and the suspect said, bro, it's not the guns you've got to be worried about. It's the people.
So formal charges expected December 6. Right now, we're looking at five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of bias-motivated harm. Boris?
SANCHEZ: Nick Watt reporting from Colorado Springs. Thank you so much, Nick.
We want to turn now to some new developments in Washington, D.C. where federal prosecutors are seeking testimony from former Vice President Mike Pence as part of the Justice Department's January 6 related criminal probe. The DOJ first reached out to Pence's representatives before the Special Counsel entered the picture.
CNN's Katelyn Polantz is with us for more. Kaitlan, there's some negotiating underway right now. What can you tell us about that?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Boris, there's a starting point at the very least. The Justice Department did reach out to Mike Pence's team a few weeks ago to try and see if he would be open to testifying, providing some information as a witness in this January 6 criminal prosecution or criminal probe -- not a prosecution yet. And he's not saying no. That's what we know so far.
Our reporting is that Pence and his team, they have been open to discussing -- they were open to discussing a possible agreement with investigators to allow for him to provide information. And so there's a few things that we can take away from this. There at a starting point, but it also signals that this investigation is pretty far along.
I mean, this is not a minimal ask. This is a pretty hefty ask for prosecutors to want to go to Pence at this point in time. But then, of course, there could be many roadblocks that arise in the future. There's the question of what the Special Counsel, Jack Smith, who's just coming into the job. What he is going to want to do here? Is he going to want to push for testimony from Pence very hard? And also, will Donald Trump be speaking up at some point and trying to block Mike Pence from speaking to investigator.
So a lot could happen in the future here, Boris?
SANCHEZ: Given his litigious history, it would not be a surprise if the former president did just that. Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much.
Let's bring in former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti now. Renato, thanks for joining us on Thanksgiving. Did you anticipate that the Department of Justice would take this route?
RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. I'm not surprised, Boris. I think at some point in time, they were going to want to talk to the former Vice President because he's a witness to the events that they're investigating. In other words, we know there's an investigation. For example, Mr. Clark -- Jeffrey Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General, John Eastman, who was providing some counsel to former President Trump.
And we also know that there is an investigation of the so-called fake electors' scheme that would have resulted in potentially the former Vice President not certifying a proper electoral vote. So he's certainly a witness. It makes sense. And I think, you know, the Vice President has limited options to escape giving that testimony.
SANCHEZ: Yes, that's an interesting note. This is somewhat different than the January 6 select committee. They tried -- they failed to get Pence's testimony. Do you think a subpoena could be in play here if Pence decides he wants to fight this?
MARIOTTI: Yes. Big difference between a grand jury subpoena coming out of a criminal investigation and a congressional subpoena. So grand jury subpoena really offers the former Vice President very limited opportunities to try to evade that. He certainly can go to court if he wants to.
But the bottom line is that the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Federal Court of Appeals that would oversee this has made it abundantly clear that if federal prosecutors have a criminal, a case that's open and they need the testimony of a witness, can't get that testimony elsewhere, then that overrides executive privilege even -- and certainly, if the former president tries to intervene, similar results going to end up out of that.
SANCHEZ: Yes. It's also fascinating that Mike Pence, he published this book in recent weeks detailing conversations that he had with Donald Trump where Trump pushed him to try to reject the 2020 election results. I'm wondering how you think what Pence published might impact any testimony that he gives.
MARIOTTI: Well, certainly it potentially constitutes a waiver of any executive privilege. So to the extent that there was executive privilege, it's waived. So you had another argument. And there's also argument that none of these conversations were subject to executive privilege. There's so many arguments suggesting that he will be able to give this testimony. I can't even detail them in a short segment.
But I will say that, you know, another -- I think a point worth making is that executive privilege is a shield, not a sword. In other words, if the former President Donald Trump wants to block Pence's testimony, very difficult for him to use executive privilege to prevent Pence from testifying if he wants to. It would only be a shield that Pence could try to use if he doesn't want to. And politically, I'm not sure whether or not at this point, Pence has any interest in going out of his way to defend the former president.
SANCHEZ: Yes, that's a good point. Renato Mariotti, will let you get back to the turkey and all the fixings. Thanks so much for joining us today.
MARIOTTI: Thank you, Boris.
SANCHEZ: Of course. So seven college football players are now facing serious charges over a post-game brawl, where prosecutors say what happened after this Michigan State Michigan game is criminal. Plus, a CNN exclusive. Civilians turned resistance fighters in Ukraine explaining how they helped liberate a city from Russia. Hear their incredible stories coming up.
And an American woman found dead in her Cabo hotel room. Now police in Mexico say they've obtained an arrest warrant for her friend. Details in this case, when we come back.
SANCHEZ: Assault charges rocking a major college football program. Seven Michigan State players have been charged for their alleged role in that ugly postgame brawl last month. You might have seen it. Cameras caught a group of Spartans beating up on Michigan players in the stadium tunnel after the game.
CNN's Jason Carroll has been tracking all of this. Jason, sometimes fights break out in college sports. It rarely leads to criminal cases. Walk us through these charges.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And Boris, that's precisely why a number of players were waiting to see what was going to happen here. As you know, several Michigan State football players had already been suspended because of what had happened. Many may remember the video of that fight that broke out involving Michigan State and Michigan. You showed some of it there just a short while ago.
At one point, it shows an MSU player swinging his helmet, apparently striking one of the players from Michigan. Now come the consequences. Six MSU players are facing misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault. A 7th player, Khary Crump, who goes by KJ, is facing a felony assault charge. His attorney went to Twitter to try and defend him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE NICHOLAS, ATTORNEY REPRESENTING MSU PLAYER KHARY CRUMP: This was a gut punch to KJ being charged the day before Thanksgiving, but he's going to get through it. While you're getting up having your turkey, whatever, watching football, just think about seven young men whose lives have been upended by these criminal charges. In KJ's case, a felony charge, which is felonious assault because he allegedly used his helmet as a weapon to strike at the other player.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Imagine, the investigation into the matter took weeks and included the University of Michigan police, Michigan State police and representatives from the Big Ten. The University of Michigan Division of Public Safety, which took part in the investigation, released a statement saying at the conclusion of their investigation, "it submitted to the prosecutor's office a request for criminal charges against several individuals, all student-athletes on the Michigan State football team."
Meanwhile, the interim president of Michigan State, saying in a statement, "While we do not condone the actions taken by some football players on October 29, we will support our student athletes through this process." Adding, "Consequences are part of the learning environment."
It should also be noted that none of the players from Michigan have been charged. CNN did reach out to the players reaction to the charges. We wanted to see what they were thinking about all of, this, Boris, but they did not get back to us.
SANCHEZ: And Jason, Michigan State plays on Saturday. Do we know if any of those seven players are going to be taking the field?
CARROLL: I think the short answer to that, Boris, is no, simply because, as you know, the key players that were involved in this from Michigan State were suspended. So they were already suspended before these charges even came down. So they are not likely to be on the field anytime soon.
SANCHEZ: Right. Jason Carroll, thanks so much for bringing that down for us.
New details are emerging today in the tragic death of Stanford soccer star Katie Meyer. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming the university is to blame for her suicide. According to the filing, last year, Meyer allegedly spilled coffee on a football player who had been accused of sexually assaulting her teammate. Months later, Meyer was formally notified of impending disciplinary action stemming from that incident, and that email was received in February on the evening of her death.
The lawsuit alleges the school's handling of potential disciplinary steps caused, "caused Katie to suffer an acute stress reaction that impulsively led her to suicide." In a statement, a university spokesperson tells CNN, quote, "The Stanford community continues to grieve Katie's tragic death, and we sympathize with her family for the unimaginable pain that Katie's passing has caused them. However, we strongly disagree with any assertion that the university is responsible for her death."
We also wanted to let you know, if you or a loved one have ever contemplated suicide, you can call 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. There are folks there who already to help.
Turning now to New York. Starting today, a new state law allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers, regardless of when the statute of limitations expires. A flood of lawsuits is now expected, and one of the first ones was brought against former President Donald Trump.
Let's bring in CNN's Kara Scannell now. Kara, this lawsuit was brought by E Jean Carroll. It's the second time that she's tried to sue Donald Trump. How is this lawsuit different from that first one?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Boris. Happy Thanksgiving to you. The first lawsuit was brought in 2019, and then E Jean Carroll sued former President Donald Trump for defamation. That's when she said that he defamed her when he denied her allegations that he raped her in a dressing room of a New York department store in the mid-1990s.
At the time, Trump said that he didn't know her, she wasn't his type, and he said that she made up the assault allegations to boost sales of her book. But today, she is suing him under that new law, suing him for battery and defamation. So this is the first time she issuing him for the actual allegations of assault. And she is also suing him for a new claim of defamation, one, in a statement that he made just last month.
Now, this lawsuit came under the Adult Survivors Act. The window -- there's a one-year window for anyone who believes that they were sexually assaulted and want to seek some kind of remedy under this act. That window opens today. E Jean Carroll among one of the first of what is expected to be many lawsuits brought under that, and there'll be one year for any alleged -- any victims to make these allegations against any of their alleged attackers. Boris?
SANCHEZ: Yes. And Kara, that first lawsuit, it could be decided in the coming months. Do you know if that is going to have any outcome on this New York lawsuit, any bearing on that?
SCANNELL: It really shouldn't, because that first lawsuit is now up before a D.C. appeals court. And the issue there is whether the former president was acting within the scope of his duties when he made these statements denying the attack and the statements that Carroll says were defamatory.
Now, if the D.C. court rules in the former President's favor, that lawsuit will likely get thrown out. But these new claims are new claims about assault, as well as the defamation lawsuit, this defamation statement that Trump made just last month when he was clearly not in office, no longer president. So he won't be able to use the same legal arguments here.
And now they're both playing out simultaneously. Carroll's lawyers are hopeful that their first lawsuit will survive. And they want the judge overseeing the case to combine these and go to trial early next year.
SANCHEZ: Kara Scannell, thank you so much and happy Thanksgiving.
SANCHEZ: Of course.
Ahead, we are live in Ukraine where doctors were forced to perform surgery by flashlight after the power went out. The Ukrainian Health Ministry saying the lack of light will not stop us.
And the U.N. Human rights chief says a full-fledged crisis is underway in Iran as that country continues to clamp down on protesters. So, what happens next? Stay with us.