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CNN International: Former Student Kills 3 Children, 3 Adults in Nashville Mass Shooting; Grand Jury Hears from Former National Enquirer Publisher; Netanyahu Delays Judicial Overall After Protest and Strikes; Banking Regulators to Face Senate. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired March 28, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster joining you live from London. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She entered the school through a side entrance. The police department response was swift.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the most devastating losing your child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are our children still dying? And why are we failing them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The feeling of success on behalf of the protesters. Here they are united is that they don't want politicization of the judiciary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard something. I've never heard of the ski resort and that was a blood curdling scream.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was skied directly into by Mr. Sanderson.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

FOSTER: It is Tuesday, March 28th, 9 a.m. here in London three a.m. in Nashville, Tennessee, where police have released video of the attack on an elementary school that left three children and three adults dead. You can see the shooter identified by police as 28-year-old Audrey Hale, opening fire on a set of glass doors to gain access to the school. Authorities say Hale was a former student who had detailed maps of the building.

NOBILO: A few minutes later you see Hale walking through the building, pointing what police described as AR-style rifle. They say that Hail also had an AR-style pistol and a handgun. After about 14 minutes two Metro Nashville officers fatally shot Hale.


DON AARON, NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT MEDIA RELATIONS: Officers entered the first story of the school, began clearing it, they heard shots coming from the second level. They immediately went to the gunfire. When the officers got to the second level, they saw a shooter, a female who was firing, the officers engaged her, she was fatally shot by responding police officers.


FOSTER: Police say they found writings and additional material in Hale's car, as well as plans for possible second attack. Chief John Drake says investigators aren't sure yet about Hale's motive that they're following up on several leads.


CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: There's some belief that there was some resentment to having to go to that school. Don't have all the details to that just yet, and that's why this incident occurred.


FOSTER: The attack makes 130 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, and it's the deadliest school shooting since the gunman killed 21 children and adults in Uvalde, Texas last May. More from CNN's Carlos Suarez.


CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're getting our first look at the guns that police say were used in the shooting, and we're getting another look at the scene outside of the school. Late Monday, the Metro Nashville Police Department released several photos, including pictures of the two AR-style weapons and a handgun. Authorities said two of the weapons were legally obtained.

Another photo shows the car that police say was driven by the shooter and left at the school. Police say officers searched the car and found what they're calling, quote, material that was written by the shooter. They also released photos of the -- of a door at the school that authorities said the shooter used to get into the building. You can see exactly where the glass was shot out.

Police said that the 28-year-old was ready for a confrontation with police. Authorities said the shooter had several rounds of ammunition and detailed the attack in statements the shooter left behind. Police say the shooter had a map of the school, complete with entry points.

And in an interview on NBC News, the police chief said that the shooter attended the private Christian school at one time, and that there was some belief that there have been some resentment at having gone to that school. The police chief said the 28-year-old identified as transgender. The chief added that the shooter targeted random people at the school, killing three nine-year-old children and three school employees. The shooter was later killed by officers.

Police said they are working on a theory for the shooting, but they are not ready to release it just yet. Back to you.



NOBILO: Police have identified the victims as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, all just nine years old. 61-year-old Cynthia Peak was a substitute teacher. 60-year-old Katherine Koonce was the head of the Covenant School and 61-year-old Mike Hill was a member of the custodial staff.

A woman who works across the street recorded video of police escorting the children out of the school. A Nashville mother who lost one of her sons in a mass shooting in 2018 said that she was frightened when she heard about Monday's attack.


SHAUNDELLE BROOKS, MOTHER OF 2018 MASS SHOOTING VICTIM: It's something that I think about every day, you know, every time that there is a mass shooting. It's a lot. We're not safe anywhere. We're not safe in schools. We're not safe when we go out to eat. We're not safe in church. We're not safe in the Waffle House. You know, I think about it every day that I send Aldine to school.


NOBILO: Meanwhile, shooting survivors are outraged by lawmakers failure to pass new gun control laws. A telling moment unfolded in Tennessee when a mother who lived through a separate mass shooting heard about this latest bloodshed interrupted a newscast.


ASHBEY BEASLEY, HIGHLAND PARK MASS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I'm from Highland Park, Illinois. My son and I survived a mass shooting over the summer. I am in Tennessee on a family vacation with my son visiting my sister-in-law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July. I have met with over 130 lawmakers.

How is this still happening? How are our children still dying and why are we failing them?


FOSTER: She later talked with CNN about why she felt compelled to speak out just then.


BEASLEY: 77 percent of mass shooters obtained their lethal weapons legally. They buy these guns, these guns and the AR-15s, they can walk into a store. Sometimes there's no background check. You only have to be 18 years old to buy one of these weapons. And it's the access to guns that is killing us. It's the access the easy access to firearms that is causing this. And like, he said, we're not going to see any change until our lawmakers step up and passed gun safety legislation.

BOB MENDES, NASHVILLE METRO COUNCIL MEMBER AT LARGE: Tennessee unfortunately, has some of the loosest gun laws in America and we're not allowed in city government to have more restrictive measures, even though it would make more sense in in our cities. You know, absence actually having leadership at the state and federal level care enough to pass common sense gun laws. It's hard to see how this could have been stopped.


NOBILO: I've seen comparisons being made to the fatal massacre at Dunblane Elementary School in Scotland back in 1996. And in that case, 16 children were killed and they imposed strict gun laws, and there hasn't been a mass shooting in a school since in the United Kingdom.

FOSTER: Yes, I mean it's always the comparisons, and it was in New Zealand, wasn't it? They very quickly change the gun laws and frustration right outside America. Why can't you change the gun laws but also for many people in America.

NOBILO: Just a completely different view on the entire debate.

FOSTER: The U.S. president ordered flags at the White House be lowered to half staff to honor the shooting victims. And he repeated demands for Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons. CNN's Phil Mattingly picks up the story.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For president Biden it was a message painful in its familiarity, still pressing for lawmakers to do something to try and stem the overwhelming tide of gun violence in the U.S., but with little hope that something will actually get done.

Now the president over the course of the last two plus years has signed numerous executive orders related to gun safety. He's even passed the bipartisan law the first and more than two decades related to the issue. And yet once again another tragedy, one that had a visceral impact on the president, according to advisers, particularly given the fact that involves the death of three children.

As to what the president wants next. Well, this is what he said.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We have to do more to stop gun violence. It's ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation. Ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we have to do more to protect our school so they aren't turned into prisons. You know, the shooter in this situation reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol. So, I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban. It's about time that we begin to make some more progress.

MATTINGLY: Again, it's worth noting that the president nor his top advisors are naive to the political realities of this moment. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have shown no signs of reaching some kind of bipartisan compromise to further advance gun safety legislation. Certainly what they did last Congress many Republicans view as more than enough. House Republicans, now in control of the majority have made clear they have no desire to move forward on any gun control related laws.


And to some degree, there is no sense of what actually would have prevented what transpired in Nashville. And yet the fact that it continues to happen over and over again in America. The only country where it continues to happen over and over again. Certainly, creates a sense of frustration inside the West Wing -- to some degree outside the West Wing a sense of hopelessness. As to the White House advisers, they make clear that doesn't mean the president is going to stop pushing in particular for that assault weapons ban. However I don't think it has any real prospects in the near term.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


NOBILO: Last June, President Biden did sign the country's first gun safety bill in decades, but it didn't ban any actual weapons. It did help states with crisis intervention programs and red flag laws that allow courts to temporarily seized guns from anyone believed to be a danger. Two Democratic lawmakers spoke to CNN about why passing gun safety legislation is so difficult and yet so important.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I do think folks in this country are just furious about the way in which these AR-15s continue to be used in these mass shootings. I'm not saying that we have the votes in the House and the Senate right now to ban assault weapons, but I do think there are some things that could get bipartisan support. Like shouldn't you have some training on one of these weapons, before you're able to pick it up and bring it out into public?

I mean, we require you to get training to drive a boat, to drive a car, but not to have a military style weapon that can kill a hundred people in five minutes. I think you could find bipartisan support for something like that. And we'll work hard this year to try to find that common ground.

I mean, what do you say to families who have lived through this already and are now having their children still in lockdowns at nearby schools where there's been a shooting?

REP. LUCY MCBATH (D-GA): You cannot serve your community, you cannot protect them and serve them at the same time without a willingness to do the right thing to pass legislation such as universal background checks, red flag laws, assault weapons ban. Those are the pieces of policy that 95 percent of Americans in this country and law enforcement have said over and over again are needed for us to feel safe in our communities and safe in America.


FOSTER: A New York grand jury is expected to reconvene on Wednesday. They have wrapped up another meeting without an indictment of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

NOBILO: Prosecutors brought in a surprise witness to testify on Monday. The former publisher of the "National Enquirer." CNN's Paula Reid has the details.


PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: David Pecker's appearance at court Monday, shrouded in secrecy. He arrived here and departed in a car with tinted windows, holding his head down, clearly trying not to be spotted by the world's media that had been assembled at court. But Pecker could potentially be a very valuable witness for prosecutors.

Exactly one week ago, attorneys for the former president had requested that Robert Costello appear before the grand jury. And Costello's role was to attack the credibility of Michael Cohen and his version of how these hush money payments were arranged.

Now over the past week or so, prosecutors have been contemplating whether they needed to call another witness to rebut Costello's testimony and button up their case before moving on to vote on a possible indictment. Pecker would be able to rebut that testimony because he was involved in putting together these hush money schemes or Stormy Daniels and at least one other woman to get them to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with the former president.

Now at this point, the next time we know the grand jury will meet will be on Wednesday. We'll see what happens, then is unclear if they will move to vote on a possible indictment of the former president. Something that would be the first in U.S. history.

Paula Reid, CNN, New York.


NOBILO: In Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hitting pause on controversial plans to overhaul the judiciary.

FOSTER: Those plans have been dividing the country and sparking massive protests and widespread strikes. But on Monday, Netanyahu said he would delay votes on legislation in order to allow time for discussion and debate.

NOBILO: Still, protesters for and against the reforms were back on the streets. Israel's largest labor union announced its general strike would end immediately following Netanyahu's announcement. The Prime Minister did make clear the pause is only temporary, insisting an overhaul is needed. Netanyahu said that he is aware of the tensions and was making the move out of responsibility to the nation, a move welcomed by the U.S. and the U.K.

FOSTER: Let's go to Jerusalem with CNN's Hadas Gold with the latest. So, he's put off these demonstrations, the worst of them, perhaps for now, but will it last well?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I actually don't know if these protests will actually stop because the protesters still have a lot of momentum. And I have to say for the last 24-48 hours here have -- it's been a shift, I would say in the emotion amongst the protesters. Because there's been more than 12 weeks now of hundreds of thousands of Israelis taking to the streets on a regular basis to protest this judicial overhaul.


Which I will remind you would give unprecedented power into the hands of the Israeli politicians, the parties in power in the Parliament. Giving them more power in how judges are appointed, and even the ability to overturn Supreme Court decisions amongst several other parts of this massive reforms.

But what was interesting over the last 48 hours was the tone changed a little bit amongst the protesters. They got a bit angrier, especially after Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister. And of course, we saw that massive general strike the largest in Israeli history.

But also, we saw the people who were in favor of the reforms finally take to the streets at the behest of some of the more right wing ministers of Netanyahu's government to express their support for the reforms and their support for Benjamin Netanyahu. And I think that the feeling on the streets yesterday felt it was -- it felt as though we were approaching that warning line that the Israeli president warned about. About a war between brothers, about a potentially even civil war. There was a lot of fears that yesterday was going to get violent on the streets. Thankfully it wasn't nearly as bad as some people had predicted. But it has been an incredible 48 hours or so in Israeli history.


GOLD (voice-over): A political crisis and now a potential security crisis on the streets of Israel as the country was brought to a standstill by the largest general strike in Israeli history. Sparked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to weaken the Supreme Court and his firing of the country's defense minister for speaking out against the overhaul.

Fiery protests erupted Sunday and grew Monday with demonstrators descending on Jerusalem from all over Israel. Chanting for democracy as they gathered in mass in front of the country's Supreme Court and outside Israel's Parliament, the Knesset nearby. GOLD: These changes to the judiciary in Israel will be the most significant since the country's founding in 1948. Not their core, they would give the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, and therefore whatever parties and politicians are in power more control over the judiciary. From how and who the judges are who are to be selected, to even the ability to overturn certain Supreme Court decisions.

Now critics of these reforms fear that will destroy the independence of the Israeli judiciary. They would heart hurt minority rights and would also hurt human rights in Israel from everything from freedom of speech and expression to freedom of religion.

GOLD (voice-over): On Monday, flights were halted and Israel ports stopped work alongside universities, embassies abroad, malls and even McDonald's. The leader of Israel's largest union demanded the historic general strike to stop what he called this judicial revolution, this craziness. It seemed to have had the intended effect.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Out of the desire to prevent a rift in the nation, I decided to suspend the 2nd and 3rd reading of the law in this session of the Knesset to give time to try and reach a broad agreement.

GOLD (voice-over): For Netanyahu, this may be more than just a political setback. Critics say the overhaul will help Netanyahu in his ongoing corruption trial -- a charge he denies. In a Saturday evening interview with British journalist, Piers Morgan, Netanyahu denied he was pushing for autocratic rule.

NETANYAHU: To try to paint me as some third world autocrat is ridiculous. I believe in the balance. I'm a classic democrat with a small "d" -- I don't want to get into trouble with my American friends. But I'm a classic believer in the balance between the three branches of government. That's what ensures democracy and it's been thrown off balance in Israel. We have to bring it back.

GOLD (voice-over): Before his speech to the nation on Monday, he acknowledged the precarious situation the country is in. Some right- wing groups began calling for counter protests.

Tweeting: I call on all the demonstrators in Jerusalem on the right and the left to behave responsibly and not to act violently. We are brotherly people.

With the country and chaos there are fears now that this divisiveness could still lead to bloodshed.


GOLD (on camera): Now leaders of the opposition welcomed the suspension, but they're cautious about it, saying that they're happy to engage in negotiations if there are going to be real and meaningful talks mediated by the Israeli president -- guys.

FOSTER: OK, Hadas in Jerusalem, thank you. NOBILO: In France, demonstrators are continuing to protest the

government's move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. Protesters entered an airport in southwest France a short while ago setting off smoke bombs, blocking airports has been a tactic used by demonstrators nationwide.

FOSTER: They said it's going to be a big day. Authorities say around 13,000 police officers will be deployed across the country. On Tuesday amid the ongoing protests also expect public transportation including air travel to be disrupted.

Meanwhile in neighboring Germany, more than 400,000 workers participated in the countrywide strike on Monday, bringing public transport to a standstill. They are demanding a pay increase, citing rising energy and food costs.

NOBILO: The German Airports Association estimates that hundreds of thousands of passengers were impacted at major airports around the country. And some German employers criticized the strike, calling it an unprovoked escalation.


Now your trip to France with King Charles was postponed indefinitely because of the protest, but the Germany trip is still going ahead.

FOSTER: Yes, I think the French one, you know much more widespread protests and also, they're not just strikes, are they, the protests a lot of it tied to the president who would be there alongside the King. I think it's a big embarrassment, actually, for France to have to say we can't handle the first state visit. But Germany is going ahead. But I don't think they're too concerned about the public transport strike.

NOBILO: At least 37 people are dead after a fire at Mexico's migration office in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez. Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the blaze.

FOSTER: Authorities say they had picked up more than 70 migrants from around the city before the fire started. They haven't yet released the nationalities of the victims.

NOBILO: U.S. banking regulators go to Capitol Hill in the coming hours to try and explain why Silicon Valley Bank collapse. We'll have a preview of what could be a contentious hearing in the U.S. Senate.

FOSTER: Plus, new evidence and new details in the lawsuit against actress Gwyneth Paltrow. We'll bring you the latest on her ski accident trial.

NOBILO: And California is facing yet another storm system with the potential for more power outages, flooding and toppled trees.

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And the area of low pressure causing all of this off the United States West Coast continues to strengthen. We'll have rainfall totals and time frame of which that rain can occur coming up in just a few minutes. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


NOBILO: The scope of the devastation is coming into sharper focus in the southeastern U.S. after deadly storms and tornadoes tore through the region over the weekend. Entire communities have been totally demolished.

FOSTER: At least 22 people are confirmed dead, mostly in Mississippi. Amongst the victims a two-year-old girl who died whilst her mother was in the hospital giving birth.

Plus, California could be facing more flash flooding and mudslides and yet another storm system rolling in.

NOBILO: It's not as powerful as some of the other recent storms. But with so much land already saturated and so much residual damage, it could still cause some serious headaches. Let's bring in meteorologist Britley Ritz for more on that. Britley what can you tell us?

RITZ: Yes, this area of low pressure continues to deepen off the West Coast of the United States. And as it does so it brings in quite a bit of moisture. Already dealing with quite a bit of rain from the Pacific Northwest coastline and down into Northern California. Heavy snow expected too across parts of the Sierra. Not only the rain and the snow, but also the strong winds. We're dealing with winds gusting 40 to 50 miles per hour -- excuse me -- and also bringing in stronger winds through the morning.

Which is why we are dealing with the wind advisories as well as a high wind warning that are in effect. You'll see those areas highlighted in red. Excuse me, and wind advisories highlighted in that orange color. Wind and rain already bringing in heavy rain. And that rain continues to push further south and we'll hold onto quite a bit of that moisture as we roll into the upcoming hours too.

Snowfall through the higher elevations, bringing in winter storm warnings where we're highlighted in pink, winter weather advisories where we are highlighted in purple. You'll notice the darker purples, that's another 1 to 3 feet of snow on top of what we've already picked up. And rainfall amounts two to four more inches. Isolated higher amounts are possible, and we're dealing with some of the heavier rain through Northern California.

We have that excessive flood concern once again, especially for areas highlighted in yellow -- San Francisco included -- just north of LA as well. These are areas that were already inundated with rain and completely saturated. So just remember if you are traveling don't grow into flooded roadways. You just don't know how deep that water is.

FOSTER: You did it, Britley, what a trooper.

NOBILO: You are a trooper. I really sympathize as well.

FOSTER: We are ready to step in. You've got the same thing going on. NOBILO: I have Britley.

FOSTER: But only one of her. Britley thank you.

In Philadelphia officials say residents can continue to use tap water following a chemical spill in nearby Delaware River. They say they've conducted around 40 quality tests, and none of them, quote, have come back with any indication of contamination. But residents are still concerned and they're angry and they say they don't trust the city. Officials say a leak on Friday at the chemical facility in Bristol township spilled over 8,000 gallons of water and latex solution into the river.

NOBILO: Top U.S. banking regulators are due on Capitol Hill in the coming hours where they're expected to face tough questions about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank

FOSTER: The vice chairman of the Federal Reserve is expected to tell the U.S. Senators that mismanagement led to the bank's failure, but others are blaming the rollback of stricter banking rules under President Trump. While still others are focusing on why regulators didn't see the collapse coming.

Clare is going to be watching it all. Lucky you. But it is this issue, you know, whatever was in the law, whatever was going on in the board of the bank regulators should have seen sooner that this was about to happen.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so there's three things I think right. There's the issues that Silicon Valley Bank specifically what the vice chair of the Fed called a textbook case of mismanagement. He says, as we know there was too much concentration on their client base. Too much tech, too much capital. They grew too quickly. They had too many uninsured deposits. All of that we knew. They didn't address their problems quick enough.

I think the more critical issues and how Congress is hoping to prevent this happening again, are the issues with supervision. There were red flags. This is something that Michael Barr, the vice chair of the Fed discusses in his prepared remarks.

He says that is as far back as in late 2021 the supervisors saw issues with the bank's risk management. They continue to engage with them throughout 2022. Interestingly just a few weeks before the collapse, Fed staff gave a presentation on interest rate risks on banks balance sheets specifically mentioned Silicon Valley Bank. But of course, no one really saw that the speed and the scale of that bank ...