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More Than 600 Mass Shootings Reported in the United States This Year; Virginia Walmart Shooting; Guns in America; Gunman Was a Walmart Employee, Killed Six People; Colorado Club Shooting; Suspect in Colorado Club Shooting Being Detained Without Bail; Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday Travels; U.S. Thanksgiving Weather Forecast; CNN Predicts Rep. Mary Peltola Will Win Alaska House seat, Effectively Ending Sarah Palin's Political Comeback; Mike Pence's Witness Statement Being Sought by U.S. Justice Department; Trump Could Try to Prevent Pence from Testifying; FIFA World Cup 2022; Japan upset Germany at World Cup; Freight rail strike looming in U.S.; Railway Strike to Cost $1 billion, As Per Consultants; Mortgage Rates in the US Dropped for Second Consecutive Week; Russia's War on Ukraine; Promise of Justice in Idaho Killings'. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired November 24, 2022 - 04:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hello, and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Max Foster in London. Bianca is off again today. But just ahead on "CNN Newsroom."


JESSIE WILCZEWSKI, WALMART EMPLOYEE: Vibrations in your chest and the ringing of guns going off. And it just kept going and going.

SENATOR L. LOUISE LUCAS (D-VA): People are dying. Families are suffering. Our community is traumatized.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The Congress has no right to my testimony.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The DOJ is seeking testimony from former Vice President Mike Pence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does Mike Pence say when he's in that witness box? Does he say, I felt pressured?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Millions of Americans traveling this holiday this weekend, there is rain and snow in the forecast across the central U.S. 48.7 million people driving 50 miles or more over the next five days.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is "CNN Newsroom with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo".

FOSTER: This Thursday, November 24th, 9:00 a.m. here in London. 4:00 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast, where today's Thanksgiving holiday is being over shadowed by a dark reality with more than 600 mass shootings in the country just this year. That's the second highest total ever. And we still have more in the month to go.

And as Americans sit down at their dinner tables with families today, there are many who won't see their children, brothers or sisters. The latest mass shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia, has claimed six lives, all Walmart employees gunned down by a co-worker late on Tuesday. One of the victims was just 16 years old. Police identified the gunman as 31-year-old Andre Bing. Here's one employee's harrowing account at what happened.


JESSIE WILCZEWSKI, WALMART EMPLOYEE: It's kind of -- he aims like that. And at first it didn't even look real. It didn't register as real. It -- the only thing that made it real was the vibrations hitting your chest and the ringing from the gun going off. And it just kept going and going and going. And I got under the table. The sound of the droplets -- it replays and replays and replays and replays of how much blood was coming off the different chairs. It was making a rhythm and it was one of the most disturbing things. I was -- I think we'll never let go of that.


FOSTER: Investigators are digging through evidence and the gunman's background to try to find a motive. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more.


KEVIN C. HARPER, WALMART SHOOTING WITNESS: Little bit of coward for that murder. You kill him and then I -- you kill the people that didn't do nothing to you.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): The shooting happened just before the store closed for the night. This video was taken by employee Kevin Harper. He says, the gunman was a store manager.

HARPER: Just left out the break room. -- come in there started capping people up in there.

BRIANA TYLER, WALMART SHOOTING WITNESS: The manager just came from around the corner. He never entered the break room. But he just stood in the doorway and he just opened fire to anyone in the room. He looked at me and he shot near my head, and it was about inches away, I'm not going to lie. There were people just dropping to the floor. Everybody was screaming, gasping and -- yes, he just walked away after that.

GALLAGHER (voiceover): The Chesapeake police chief provided a time line of how it unfolded.

CHIEF MARK SOLESKY, CHESAPEAKE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our 9-1-1 dispatch center received a first call at 10:12 p.m. last night. The first officers arrived on scene within two minutes at 10:14 and entered the store approximately two minutes later at 10:16. And the scene was declared safe by 11:20 p.m.

GALLAGHER (voiceover): Police say, the gunman was a 31-year-old manager on the overnight shift. He died at the scene from a self- inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities say that he was armed with a handgun and multiple magazines. What remains unclear is why.

CHIEF SOLESKY: We don't know at this time. The investigation is still ongoing. So, there is no clear motive at this time.

TYLER: I am new but I had heard from the very beginning that he was one to watch out for. He was just really standoffish. I would say he kind of gave off like loner vibe.

GALLAGHER (voiceover): The city says, two of the victims were found in the break room, another near the front of the store. Three others died at the hospital.


This woman's relative, who works at Walmart, was injured in the shooting moments after he started his shift.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went in at 10:00 p.m. tonight and we received a phone call -- well, his wife received a phone call, we -- about 10:18 saying that he had been shot. He clocks in at 10:00, so he hadn't even been there 10 minutes.

GALLAGHER (voiceover): Walmart released a statement saying it is shocked by the tragedy. And it's, "Praying. For those impacted, the community and our associates." This is the second mass shooting in Virginia in two weeks. Something Virginia Governor, Glenn Youngkin, addressed today.

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): This is a horrendous event. It's a horrendous, senseless act of violence.

GALLAGHER (on camera): Now, look, it's also important that we center the victims in this horrific shooting. The six of them ranged in age from 16 to 70 years old. According to Walmart, they were all employed by the company. Their names are Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson, and a 16-year-old boy that the city is not releasing his name because he is a minor. Police say that there is still not a motive that they know of and it is -- remains under investigation. Diane Gallagher, CNN, Chesapeake, Virginia.


GENOVESE: The Virginia Walmart shooting, like every other night shooting before, is reviving debate of gun control in America. We spoke with several activists about what can be done.


SANDY PHILLIPS, FOUNDER, SURVIVORS EMPOWERED AND MOTHER OF AURORA SHOOTING VICTIM, JESSICA GHAWI: So, what we really need are -- is a federal law that really regulates guns in this country, and it has to be based on the states that have the strongest gun laws, not states that have the weakest gun laws. So, until we have that, we get that accomplished, we're going to continue to see these mass shootings that take the lives of children and young people and adults and your mother, your father, your daughter, your son.

It will just continue. And if it hasn't come to your door yet, you've been lucky, but it will. The way we're going, it will come to your door. So, you better start speaking up and doing something about it now before you -- it's too late.

SENATOR L. LOUISE LUCAS (D-VA): I think people are at the point where they're going to march somewhere to make sure that legislators understand that they're sick and tired of this. That they're not going to put up with it anymore. And I think a lot of it is going to be felt at the polls. Coming up at subsequent elections because people understand now that we have got to elect people who care about whether or not our constituents live or die.


FOSTER: The suspect in the mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado is being held without bond. The ruling came down during Wednesday's court hearing. CNN's Nick Watt is in Colorado with new details we are learning about the suspect now.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the suspect made a first appearance in court, Wednesday, by video link from this jailhouse behind me. The suspect was seated throughout, slumped. Two lawyers standing. The suspect wearing an orange jumpsuit and also heavy bruising around the head. Remember that the suspect was taken down in that club by a patron. Two other people, a young naval officer and a trans woman were then kicking the suspect in the head. Heavy, heavy bruising.

The suspect slurring words. Didn't say much. Just confirmed name. Said yes, when asked if they had seen the video detailing their rights, and no when asked if they had any further questions. Now, the suspect's lawyers have said in court papers that the suspect now identifies as non-binary, using they/them pronouns. During this hearing, the judge did not use they/them pronouns.

And afterward, the D.A. was asked will this non-binary status have any impact or whatsoever on the investigation or the prosecution? A categorical no. The D.A. said, this is a defendant, nonbinary, binary, no impact whatsoever.

Now, we also spoke today to a neighbor of the suspect. Not just a neighbor, a friend. They bonded over video games, played together for hours. And this young man Xavier Krause (ph) said that the suspect had never once, not once mentioned being non-binary.

Now, Krause (ph) also said that on occasion, the suspect would have outbursts. He said from a place of anger. Once, at least, an outburst was directed towards the gay community. Apparently, the suspect said they hated gay people and used a slur to describe them. But Krause (ph) said that more often than not, these outbursts were directed at other races.

Now, Krause (ph) also told us that the suspect appeared very, very proud of the weapons, the firearms. Showed them to Krause. And at point, Krause said, you know, weapons like these make me a little uncomfortable. At which point, apparently the suspect replied, bro, it's not the guns. It's the people you've got to be scared of. Back to you.


FOSTER: For today's Thanksgiving Day holiday in the U.S., an estimated 55 million people are being -- braving packed airports and highway traffic crisscrossing the country to see relatives. One tradition is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York, of course. And officials are making a safe celebration their top priority.


KEECHANT SEWELL, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: At this time, I will tell you there are no credible or specific threats to New York City, to the Thanksgiving Day holiday, or any of the surrounding events. I want to thank our civilians and uniformed officers in the NYPD for what they do every single day, particularly now around the holidays where they are away from their own families. Members of the NYPD work diligently so that everyone who lives in, works in, and visits this city can enjoy events like this and feel safe in this city.


FOSTER: The big parade features marching bands, majorettes, and enormous holiday themed balloons. Mayor Eric Adams says, it's also about tourism, urging people to do a lot of shopping. He also referred to the balloons as the only kind of inflation that we like.

Now, for those of you still traveling today, CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam will have the holiday forecast for you. But first, CNN's Omar Jimenez has a look at airline travel.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here at Chicago, O'Hare International Airport, officials are expecting this Thanksgiving travel period to be busier than last year. And that falls in line with what we're seeing across the country. Already millions, over the past few days, have passed through TSA checkpoints, up from the same few days over 2021, but down just slightly at the very least comparable to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. That said, the vast majority of people over this Thanksgiving holiday will be driving. Around 49 million projected by AAA, which is slightly above last year, slightly below pre-pandemic levels of 2019. When you look at specifically flying, we are expecting air travel to meet up eight percent compared to last year. And over the next few days, AAA is estimating that this is going to be the third busiest Thanksgiving travel period.

And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was at O'Hare a little bit earlier this week. And he said he was cautiously optimistic about how things were going to go over the course of this week. And while we do expect some weather that may trip some things up, so far so good. Omar Jimenez, Chicago, O'Hare International Airport.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Max, we have plenty to be thankful for this holiday weekend, and that also includes the weather. At least, if you're on the east coast, our major I-95 corridor from Boston through New York and D.C. all looking pleasant today.

So, as you are hitting the road to go see grandma and grandpa, friend, and family, no real travel concerns there. But you can see some precipitation that's forming across the central portions of the U.S., specifically across the deep south, that could cause travel delays, especially, when you consider the high volume of people traveling. 55 million Americans are expected to hit the roads and the skies. Just in Atlanta, Hartsfield International Airport, they're anticipating two and a half million travelers this weekend.

Now, so many of us gather around to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and the weather forecast couldn't be more perfect. In fact, temperatures in the middle 40s, but it's the wind that is so crucial for this work as, of course, considering that there are so many floats and balloons that would be impacted by strong gusts.

But that is not the case today. High pressure in control of the weather that's going to allow for tranquil conditions. There's the possibility of some heavier rainfall across the deep south and also picking up some moisture in the form of snow throughout the Rockies. And eventually from Friday into Saturday, we have a winter storm watch for eastern portions of New Mexico and into the Texas Panhandle as well.

You can see the snow showers ongoing in and around Denver. This is a more substantial precipitation, of course, being rainfall. Even a few embedded thunderstorms from Dallas to Houston, as well as little Rock and Oklahoma City. You can see the moisture picking up once again through the course of the day today for the deep south. And that moisture will spread eastward for the day on Friday.

So, if you're traveling home for family and friends, you'll want to get out the door early for Atlanta. And along the east coast as well, we'll have some precipitation move through. But this storm system you see developing a secondary cold front and low pressure will bring even heavier rainfall into the weekend across the east coast. But more for the Sunday and Monday timeframe. Here's the forecast accumulation across the deep south and a small chance of some flash flooding as well. Here's your forecast weather for Sunday, travel delays anticipated along the east coast. Be prepared for that, Max. There could be some problems up in (INAUDIBLE) as well as Dallas International Airport. Back to you.

FOSTER: Thank you. Thank you to Derek.

Now, CNN projects Alaska Democrat Mary Peltola will hang onto the U.S. House seat she won a few months ago in a special election after once again defeating Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich.


Now, Palin, the former Alaska governor had been attempting a political comeback when Alaska began using a ranked choice voting tabulation the first time this year which allows voters to pick their first through fourth choices.

The U.S. Justice Department wants Mike Pence to testify about his former boss. Sources tell CNN they're asking the former vice president to provide information on Donald Trump's efforts to prevent the transfer of power after the 2020 election and the Capital Insurrection. CNN's Katelyn Polantz has the details.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Justice Department prosecutors have reached out to former Vice President Mike Pence, seeking to now make him a possible key witness in this ongoing criminal investigation around January 6th and the 2020 election looking into Donald Trump, his White House, his top circles.

Now, this is a really important step that prosecutors took several weeks ago. We don't know what the outcome of this will be. But our reporting, Evan Perez and I, have confirmed a "New York Times" story and on our own believe that Pence is now open to discussing a possible agreement with the FBI, with the Justice Department to be able to give some sort of testimony.

So, this is a really significant step that builds on quite a few things that have been happening in this Justice Department investigation in recent weeks. We know that Pence's deputies, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, were compelled to testify to a grand jury recently. They have shared what they knew about what was happening in the west wing and in their offices around that point of time, January 6th, the Capitol riot.

And we also know that Pence, in recent weeks, has put out a book that divulges some particular conversations he had directly with Donald Trump. Those are the sorts of things he had not spoken about before. He had not been willing to testify in the House Select Committee's investigation or speak to Congress about what his side of the story was, what he witnessed those days.

But as he was doing his book tour, writing an op-ed for "The Wall Street Journal," releasing his book and talking about those things, those are the types of anecdotes that the Justice Department may be seeking to have -- to hear from him directly himself. So, we're going to have to see how much the new Special Counsel, Jack Smith, is going to be pushing forward on this. But right now, we're seeing a very aggressive step by prosecutors out of Washington. Katelyn Polantz, CNN.


FOSTER: But can Donald Trump exert -- executive privilege to keep Mike Pence from testifying? A CNN legal analyst explains why it might not be possible.


CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The stronger case of executive privilege when you are dealing with the two different branches. Congress trying to get information as part of a political or legislative process versus the Justice Department, which is part of the executive branch, conducting a criminal investigation and then using the court system to facilitate that investigation.

So, there's a huge difference there in terms of the ability to use executive privilege. The fact that the former vice president has also written some of the things that he might talk about in an interview or a testimony in his book, would even make arguments that would be made on the behalf of the former president even harder. Because if it's already out there, if he's already communicated that information publicly, then if he were to receive a subpoena to testify and then were to challenge it and use executive privilege. The fact that he's already put some of the information out in the public, I think, would make that an even weaker case. And that's not even getting into the fact executive privilege really is the domain of the current president.


FOSTER: Now, a new warning about a possible rail strike that could have a domino effect across the U.S. economy. Experts say there will be a huge price to pay if freight workers walk off their jobs.

Police are promising justice in the unsolved murders of the four college students in Idaho. But the search for a suspect remains elusive.

Japan had never beaten Germany before the World Cup until history was made on Wednesday



FOSTER: Ahead, the Blue Samurai's stunning comeback. Plus, a wonderful act of human decency by the Japanese fans.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, another day, another former world champion beaten. Japan and their supporters rightly getting plauded from the around the world. I'll be here live from Doha in just a couple of minutes.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then the second half with two quick goals. Japan really deserved it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have two games. We underestimate Japan. You win. Congratulations. Good luck.


FOSTER: German fans in despair as Japan erupts in joy. For the second straight day, an underdog took down a World Cup heavyweight, the Samurai Blue trailed after the first half but scored twice in the second.

Meanwhile, we're just minutes away from today's first match between Switzerland and Cameroon. Millions of footie (ph) fans are eagerly awaiting the tournament debut of Portugal's, Cristiano Ronaldo after he and long-time club Manchester United parted ways earlier this week. And Brazil is playing as well.

Amanda Davies is live from Doha with a preview of today's action and a close look at Japan's unexpected upset. But what's so gripping about this tournament so far is, you know, there are so many surprises.

DAVIES: Yes, Max. Another day. Another couple of games and results. They really tickled the taste buds ahead of Thanksgiving for anybody that's celebrating. And Japan's Takuma Asano, the "Jaguar" as he's known, described it as the dream come true after he scored that goal that saw his team come from behind and beat Germany, the four-time world champions, for the first time.


They thoroughly, as those fans were saying, thoroughly deserved the victory as well. At times, this felt like a Japan home game. They had such a strong showing of support inside the stadium. And the fans won a great deal of support from around the world as we saw what has become after the game that now traditional picking up of the bin bags and clearing the grounds of the litter rather than heading straight out here to celebrate.

There was something of a little win for Germany though you have to say after FIFA World Football's governing body, source (ph) sense, it seems, for maybe the first time at this tournament. They've opted not to punish Germany for that showing -- that emotive showing of them covering their mouths before the match having not been allowed without punishment to wear the one love armband. Germany took that emotive stance as they set to promote diversity and inclusion. They said they will not be silenced.

But from a footballing perspective, they are now really facing a lot of work to do if they want to avoid a second straight embarrassing group stage exit, particularly because their next match is against a Spanish side who were in the seventh heaven last night quite literally with a thumping victory over Costa Rica. Really, quite ominous that for the rest.

And speaking of ominous, well, Brazil. Many peoples' pre-tournament favorites kick off their World Cup campaign a little bit later today looking for that, what would be, record sixth World Cup victory. They're on a run. They've only been beaten once in 29 matches. And the Brazilian fans who are here even more excited than they were because of that defeat by Argentina. There's been some renditions of Ciao, Messi ringing out behind us here over the last couple of days. They take on Serbia.

But the game that we are heading to, that one you mentioned, Portugal against Ghana. All eyes on one man, Cristiano Ronaldo, to see what kind of form he'll be in, what kind of disruption that acrimonious departure from Manchester United will, of course, within the camp. Of course, they it's business as usual. It hasn't had any impact but who knows what is going on behind the scenes, Max.

FOSTER: Maybe he'll be doing another interview, Amanda, with you later on. We'll wait and see. Thanks for joining us from Doha.

The U.S. economy would lose $1 billion in the first week alone if freight rail workers go on strike. That's the estimate from a major business consulting group. It says, the strike would affect agricultural products as well as the delivery of key components to many factories. And according to the coal industry, the power grid would not be spared either because it wouldn't receive enough of the fuel and other materials needed. Four railway unions could strike as early as December 9th unless they reach a deal on a new contract.

Mortgage rates in the U.S. have dipped for a second week in a row. According to Freddie Mac, the average for a 30-year fix rate mortgage is just under 6.6 percent. That's still much higher than a year ago when rates were down there three percent. Mortgage rates have been climbing throughout the year as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to curb inflation.

Still to come, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is blasting the, "Russian formula of terror", after Moscow launches a large-scale attack on Ukraine. We're live with a report for you next.

And we'll have the latest in the mysterious and brutal killings of four college students in Idaho.