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CNN This Morning

Co-Worker Says, Walmart Shooter Exhibited Odd, Threatening Behavior; Lawyer Says, LGBTQ Club Attack Suspects Identifies as Non- Binary; One in Four Houses Without Power in Ukraine's Capital City. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 24, 2022 - 07:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Two long last nights.


So, she does --

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: No, this is not true. She always had two- day offs so that I could have tomorrow off.

LEMON: And I could have neither day off. But okay. I'm not bitter at all.

HARLOW: We're glad you made it this morning, by the way. All right.

LEMON: Thank you. It's fine. I'd love hanging out with you. Don't touch. Don't touch.

HARLOW: We have a lot of news.

LEMON: CNN This Morning continues right now.

Good morning, everyone. We're so glad you could join us on this Thursday, November 24th, Happy Thanksgiving to you. Kaitlan Collins off today. We hope that you're enjoying this thanksgiving. But there's a lot of new news that have to talk about here, the new details this morning about the Walmart manager who opened fire on fellow employees. Many ran for their lives. One woman, well, she lived and she told CNN a lot. And she's going to tell us why she -- what happened and why she survived.

HARLOW: Also a barrage of Russian airstrikes targeting Ukraine's power infrastructure. We are live in Ukraine with the latest.

LEMON: Georgia Supreme Court clearing the way for early voting on Saturday in the high-stakes Senate runoff between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.

HARLOW: And a 1957 photo resurfaced showing a young Jerry Jones in the crowd of white students trying to stop black students from integrating in an Arkansas school. What the Cowboys owner and others now say about it. LEMON: Well, this morning, we're hearing firsthand from survivors how a calm night quickly turned into a horrifying tragedy inside a Virginia Walmart. A man now identified as the overnight team leader opened fire on employees in a break room killing six people before turning the gun on himself.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He didn't say a word, he didn't point at anyone, he didn't look at anyone specific. He just had a blank stare on his face. And he just literally just looked around the room and just shot. And there were people just dropping to the floor, everybody was screaming and gasping.

He looked at me and he shot near my head. And it was about inches away. I'm not going to lie. It was about an inch or two away from my face. And I was like, oh. But in that moment, it still hadn't really kicked in, that it was real. But I worked with you. So, I was like, you're not doing anything to harm us. Why are you shooting? I didn't it was real. I genuinely didn't think it was real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just left out the break room (BLEEP) come in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting people, bro, like I'm whole, though. Sadly, we lost a few of our associates.

It was crazy because coming out from where we at, man, I hear all of this before. So, it's like I'm thinking it won't nothing. But then I started hearing them get closer so I (BLEEP). I've seen everybody run, I booked it too. I got up out of there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a body of a person they just brought out in a shopping cart. I can't tell. It really looks like there are at least three or four people, bodies on the ground.


LEMON: Now to CNN's Dianne Gallagher live for us in Chesapeake, Virginia. Hello to you, Dianne. What more are you learning about the shooting?

DIANNE GALLAHGER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, look, investigators are arriving on scene again here this morning. We just saw lots of federal and state authorities that have come back to the scene to work through evidence and trying to determine a motive.

You heard from survivors there. Look, we've spoken with many employees. We've spoken with many survivors. And, look, aside from trying to get through the shock, they also don't quite understand why, Don, their former colleague, their colleague did this. They say that they had a lot of feelings about him, they maybe didn't get along with him, but they never expected something like this.

I do want to go through really quickly the names of those victims who have passed away. We have Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendelton, Kellie Pile Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson. There's a 16-year-old who died, who authorities are not releasing his name at this time because he's a minor. But, Don, the ages of those victims, from 16 to 70 years old, all of them worked here at this Walmart.

LEMON: And, Dianne, can you please talk to us about employees talking about this shooter, how he displayed this odd behavior?

GALLAGHER: Yes. So, that's something pretty consistent with all of the survivors and the employees and former employees we've spoken with. They said that, look, the shooter, 31-year-old Andre Bing had worked at the Walmart for a long time. He was an overnight lead, a team lead, essentially like a supervisor. And they said that he relished in that power.

He was described as exhibiting odd and also threatening behavior. There were people who said that they just simply felt like he didn't like them, that they thought he was mean and they described him as paranoid. But, look, I want to be very clear, it was -- consistently, people said they didn't expect something like this. They thought that he was difficult to work with but they never anticipate something like this happening.


Don, we have reached out to Walmart about those claims from those employees, and they just haven't gotten back to us and answered that question on if he has a disciplinary record or anything like that was ever reported.

LEMON: Obviously, a lot more to be investigated. Thank you, Dianne Gallagher, I appreciate it.


HARLOW: And now to the other mass shooting at the Colorado LGBTQ nightclub. The suspect made their first appearance in court and will be held without bond. The next hearing is scheduled for December the 6th. That's where formal charges are expected to be made.

Preliminary charges though include five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime, essentially hate crime.

Ahead of that hearing, attorneys for the alleged shooter submitted a court filing stating the suspect identifies as non-binary. And when asked about whether the defendant's gender identity will impact the investigation, the district attorney who is prosecuting this case said this.


MICHAEL ALLEN, COLORADO'S FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY: In every single murder case that I have prosecuted, which have been more than I would care to talk about, I refer to every one of those as defendants, and that's what I'll do in this case. And it has no impact on the way I prosecute this case.


HARLOW: All right. Let's bring in CNN Legal Analyst, Criminal Defense Attorney Joey Jackson. We just heard from the D.A who's going to prosecute this. Your experience is with defense work. What do you make of this filing?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think he's right on, right? So, we'll have the defendant in court, and at that time, I think more charges are to come. And those charges have to reflect, Poppy, the specifics of what he did. Not only as it relates to the horrific deaths at his hands but everyone else who was in danger, everyone else whose life will not be the same.

And so the fact is that you could identify however you want, this case is going to focus on the evidence, it's going to focus on the facts and it's going to be really predicated upon his actions.

LEMON: What about in those filings the defense team talking about non-binary? Some people think that this is a ploy to sort of put stuff into the mix here, to confuse people or to make people feel sorry for him, or what have you. What do you think?

JACKSON: Good luck in doing that, right?

LEMON: Do you think it's a ploy?

JACKSON: It could be, right? So, getting back to what I said about the facts, you can call yourself whatever you want to call yourself. This case is going to focus on what you did. And even if you call yourself that, people obviously have interacted with you throughout the years. Have you identified yourself as such in that way? When there was a petition filed with respect to this name change, it appeared as though he identified as male then. And so the fact is that he could say whatever he wants. What did you do? And that's what I think this is going to be all about.

Last point and that's this. Remember these charges are murder charges. The hate crime aspect of it, which there should be, right, you want to give voice to everyone, that just goes to establish what your motivations were. At the end of the day, it is life in jail, right, because of the actions, if proven in a court of law, that he committed.

HARLOW: Right, that they'd be aggravating, right? They'd be adding into it. So, in Colorado it's called a bias-motivated crime. As I understand it so far, the suspect, the shooter has not talked to police. How high is the bar to prove a hate crime if you don't have someone talking?

JACKSON: So, interestingly enough, Poppy, they have made the bar in this jurisdiction less, and here is why I say that. In some circumstance, or at least prior to 2021 in Colorado, you had to demonstrate that it was the sole-motivating factor, the sole factor behind what you were doing. Now, it is a factor as it relates to what your activities are. So, I think that bar is different.

To your question, it's not only about getting a defendant to talk, many don't, right? And us defense attorneys don't like our clients to talk. But there are so many other circumstances, right, you could evaluate. What did you target that particular night, who did you target, why were you there, were they celebrating something, as they were on that occasion, in terms of the transgender community and a remembrance night, did you know about that, did people -- were people who are familiar with you, did they express concerns about how you felt about members of the gay community? All of that goes into. So, you don't have to talk but I think his actions speak very loudly even if he's not.

HARLOW: Joey Jackson, thank you.

LEMON: Happy Thanksgiving to you.

JACKSON: And to you, sir.

HARLOW: Happy Thanksgiving. We appreciate it.

LEMON: We're going to turn now to news overseas. Authorities are racing to get the electricity back on across Ukraine. About a quarter of the homes in Kyiv are in the dark right now. Officials say Russian missile attacks Wednesday caused blackouts across the nation's power system, and that's getting power -- that getting power restored, I should say, is taking longer because all of the nuclear plants that were shutdown at the same time.

CNN's Matthew Chance joins us now from Odessa in Southern Ukraine. Matthew, hello to you. What's the latest there? You're out and about with the crowds, I see.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm out and about because the power cuts across the country and the water shortages have really led to, you know, a humanitarian crisis across the country. You have got thousands of people on the move, moving from their sort of war-torn frontline locations to big cities like Odessa, where they can at least get some kind of felief, some shelter, some food, some electricity provided by generators.


We're in a reception center right here in the middle of Odessa, and there's a bit of big crowd of people, about 500 to 700 families from all over Ukraine that come here to try to get food and water and sort of basic sanitation supplies as well. It's a big center.

You see some people here, some of the stuff they've picked up. Can I have a look at what they've got? This woman here is from the Donetsk Oblast. Of course, that's one of the main centers of the fighting. She's come here several hundred kilometers, miles away. And she -- all right, some sweet corn or some -- whatever it is, beans. I specified can of beans, some oil, some washing up liquid here, toothpaste. A lot of this, of course, from USAID, from the United States. But there are other donors from around the world and from private companies as well.

It is all sort of helping scratch the surface at least of providing some support for these people, but the big problem is the missile strikes from Russia are continuing, electricity and water systems are being pounded by the Russians. And it means that with every day that passes this humanitarian crisis, the shortages are getting worse and worse, particularly worrying as winter, Don, starts to set in.

LEMON: Matthew Chance, thank you so much.

HARLOW: Let's turn to Indonesia, where a glimmer of hope is outside the capital of Jakarta. That's where an earthquake Monday left 271 people dead, 40 remain missing as authorities continue to search in the rubble. But this moment yesterday is bringing them some hope and hope to loved ones.

That was a six-year-old boy, rescuers pulling him from under the rubble alive after two days of searching. He is alive, he is being treated now in a nearby hospital. And authorities say that they found him near his grandmother's body. Rescuers also confirm they had taken his parents' bodies out from under the rubble. He is now an orphan but he is alive.

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake has left more than 2,000 people injured, more than 60,000 displaced.

LEMON: Now we want to get to the World Cup. FIFA says that it is investigating the Mexico Football Association after reports of derogatory chants by fans after the team's draw against Poland.

Straight now to CNN's Amanda Davies live in Doha, Qatar. Hello to you. What are you learning about this, Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi, good morning, Don, good morning to everybody who are watching. Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm afraid we don't know too many details about this at the moment. As you said, FIFA have said the disciplinary committee has opened these proceedings. We know it is against members of the Mexican supporters who were there. There are a large number of the Mexican fans here, I can tell you.

And it's being reported by Reuters that it's after abusive chants towards the Poland striker, Robert Lewandowski, after he missed the penalty in that game that ultimately ended goalless.

That's all we know I'm afraid to say at the moment. We will, of course, keep watching that. But here, we are involved in another feast of football, or soccer for those celebrating Thanksgiving. What a moment there has just been for Breel Embolo, born in Cameroon. Within the last hour, he has scored the winning goal for Switzerland, the country where he's been living since 2014. He said he feels about 60, 70 percent now Swiss. But he's just scored their opening to set them off a winning start in this World Cup.

And then we have the other match in Group G coming up a little bit later on, many people's pretournament favorites Brazil beginning their campaign for what would be a record-extending sixth title. They take on Serbia. And their coach is certainly bringing his fighting talk, saying, we are scared of nobody, not even Brazil. And there is such a sense after everything that's happened here in the last couple of days that anybody can beat anybody. LEMON: Yes. I don't know if I've ever seen you so energetic. You have the best assignment at the company, Amanda. And thank you for the Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy yourself over there. We'll see you later. Thanks so much.

DAVIES: Thank you.

LEMON: Straight ahead on CNN This Morning, we're going to be joined by FIFA World Cup Champion Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Briana Scurry. That's coming up.


Once a darling of Wall Street, Tesla's market value has cratered in the past year. What's behind the plunge? Is it Elon Musk or is there more to this?

Plus, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones identified in this 1957 photo among a crowd of white students trying to keep black students from integrating to an Arkansas high school, the reporter who broke this story is with us next.


LEMON: This is a fascinating piece of reporting that we're going to talk about now. We're going to start with this photo. It's from September 9, 1957. It shows Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones among a crowd of white students trying to keep black students from integrating at an Arkansas high school.

This is Washington Post reporting. The report said, Jones, who was 14 at the time, could be seen standing a few yards from where the six black students were jostled and repelled with snarling racial slurs by ring leaders of the mob.

So, joining us now, Sports and Feature Columnist at The Washington Post Sally Jenkins.


Sally who broke this story with her co-author, David Maraniss. We're so happy that you could join us this morning. Thank you very much. Happy Thanksgiving to you. And, again, I have to commend you on your reporting. This whole thing is --

HARLOW: It's amazing.

LEMON: I mean, it's really stunning, it's fascinating.

So, let's start with the picture, okay, and then we'll talk about how he could have move diversity along with coaching in the NFL and in sports. Let's start with this photograph though. What did you learn about this, from this photograph?

SALLY JENKINS, SPORTS COLUMNIST AND FEATURE COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think the first thing you learn is just how widespread the segregationists were in Little Rock and North Little Rock. Jerry Jones' high school was North Little Rock, which was across the Arkansas River from central high school, which was the school that got all the attention when Eisenhower sent in federal troops to protect the Little Rock nine at that school over there.

But the segregationist agitators were actually very active on both sites. And the fact that we knew that, generationally, Jerry Jones had to have experienced the events in Little Rock more generally, but to find him in the alphabet photograph and to learn that he experienced one of those incidents right on the schoolhouse steps was pretty revelatory. We were blown away, to put it mildly.

LEMON: Let me ask you about this picture just quickly here, because he was saying I was just there, I wasn't participating, I was there just sort of to observe. But the -- with the photograph, which you point out in your reporting, is that in order to get where he was at those top of the stairs and he had to get up there pretty quickly and those were sort of the students that were keeping the black students from entering, does this say anything about his participation? Are you making any sort of judgment about it or --

JENKINS: No. Well, two things. First of all -- at the time. So, he's actually younger than the ring leaders that you can see in the photographs. That's one thing that we noticed. We did look at a sequence of photos leading up to those schoolhouse steps and the white teenagers on the steps did have to move around the black students to get to the top of the steps.

Nevertheless, he is further back. He is younger than the lead participants. And so I think that you simply have to take him at his word unless something else appears that he was there more out of curiosity and fascination as opposed to being really at the epicenter of the active events.

He does remember -- one thing he told us that did not make it in the story is that he does remember that it got physical. The tough guys that you see in the center of the photograph end up really pushing the kids down off the steps. And, in fact, one of them is arrested.

HARLOW: I hope everyone takes a moment to read the reporting that you and David did as they watch football. Because the reason you did this is not just about that photo, it's about what it means with his position of power in the league now and the NFL now, and the position and power the Cowboys have, right? And this is part of what The Washington Post is doing, examining the NFL's, as you guys called, decades' long failure to equitably promote black coaches, right?


HARLOW: And I -- go ahead.

JENKINS: This story is part of a long series we've been doing called Blackout, which is examining the issues in the league about the fact that almost 70 percent of the workforce is black and yet there are only three head coaches. One of the things our data has found is that mid level -- black coaches who do manage to get head coaching jobs waited an average of nine years longer in mid level assistant coaching parts than their white counter parts. So, there's some very striking inequities within the league as the league admits.

And, by the way, Jerry Jones was the only owner to talk to us for this series in any in-depth way. We give him a lot of credit for sitting down and having this very difficult conversation.

HARLOW: Yes. I'm glad you bring that up, right? They all should have talked to you, by the way. But, look, one of the sportscasters, well known retired sportscaster in Dallas, Dale Hanson, said, what frustrates me most is he, meaning Jerry Jones, is in such a position, such a leader, that if he would takes a strong chance, he could be the force of change in the NFL. And it seems like from your reporting, Jones agrees, that he could be the change-maker here for the league.

JENKINS: He did agree. And that was one of the more interesting things in our conversation with him, which lasted well over two and a half hours. He said, I understand that, I agree with that. We discussed why he hadn't been at the forefront of this issue until now. And the short answer to that is that he's been more concerned with trying to win, you know, Super Bowls and appointing men who were old friends of his or that who he knew to the job -- college teammate. His second head coach was Barry Switzer, again, a guy he went way back to Arkansas with.


And so he's forthright in trying to address these tough questions. It doesn't mean you'll always be satisfied by his answers but, again, he was one of the only owners -- the only owner to sit down and talk to us to this extent about it.

LEMON: Right. So, you have to give him credit there. But, I mean, listen, there were failures and there are failures in the NFL, as this is pointing out.

As you have been reporting this, again, Sally, it's great, everyone should read this. It's fascinating. So, what's the solution here? What do you think should be done?

JENKINS: Well, I think one solution is the NFL has launched an inaugural accelerator program. It's not a solution. It's a tool. It's a mechanism to try to help owners get to know owners more personally. A lot of times, what they lack are the close personal relationships. That's one thing we've heard. Owners don't spend much time with them.

You know, owners talk to lots of head coaches. They talk to very few assistant coaches. If you're an owner of the New York Giants or the Dallas Cowboys, you're not probably spending a great deal of time talking to your running backs coach.

So, this accelerator program is one idea to try to get those relationships moving along. We'll see if it works. Quite frankly, a much better idea is for a team like the Dallas Cowboys, a really maker of manners, to hire a black head coach and to have a winning record and win a Super Bowl with one. When Tony Dungy was hired and won Super Bowls with the Indianapolis Colts, it definitely did trigger a moment there where the NFL looked like it was going to become much, much more diverse in its head coaching ranks. And then as our series reported, it actually moved backward. It constricted again.

LEMON: Yes. Sally Jenkins joins us, and David Maraniss is also the co-writer. It's from The Washington Post. Jerry Jones helped transform the NFL except when it comes to race. Again, it's a fascinating and in-depth read and I think everyone should check it out. Thank you, Happy Thanksgiving to you.

JENKINS: And to do you. Thank you for having me.

HARLOW: All right. Georgia's Supreme Court has just handed a big victory to the Democratic candidate for Senate there, Raphael Warnock, the incumbent. This is a high-stakes Senate runoff election. We'll explain. This comes just as the governor voices his support for the Republican candidate, Herschel Walker, in a new T.V. ad.