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Erin Burnett Outfront

Walmart Manager Kills 6 At Store, Several More Remain Hospitalized; DOJ Seeks To Question Mike Pence In January 6 Criminal Probe; Exclusive: Ukrainian Resistance Fighters Hunt Russians In Kherson; Authorities Sifting Through 1,000 Tips In Deadly Idaho Stabbings; Russian Missile Strikes Kill Multiple People In Kyiv; Police Give Update On Probe Into Killings Of Four Idaho College Students. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 19:00   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, a rash of mass shootings, eight in the past week alone. The latest inside a Walmart in Virginia leaving six people dead. I'll speak with an employee who says the shooter aimed a gun at her head before telling her to leave.

Plus, the Department of Justice asking former Vice President Mike Pence to testify in its January 6th investigations. Sources tell CNN he might.

And Russia unleashing a wave, a new wave of deadly missile strikes on Ukraine, including targeting a hospital maternity ward, killing a 2- day-old baby.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erica Hill, in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, another tragic mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. Six people are dead. Four others remain hospitalized, at least two of them are in critical condition tonight.

And we are just learning the names of those who were killed. Lorenzo Gamble, 43 years old. Brian Pendleton is being remembered as sweet, kind, the kind of person who in the words of one former co-worker, would give you the shirt off his back. He was 38.

Kellie Pyle was 52. Randall Blevins, 70 years old. Tyneka Johnson, just 22. And also a 16-year-old male, his name and photo being withheld for now because of his age.

And we also do have information about one of the injured, 24-year-old Jalon Jones was shot several times. He is in the ICU tonight in stable condition. This is the second mass shooting in Virginia in the past ten days. In the last week alone, there have been eight mass shootings in this country. And that includes another one today in Pennsylvania.

Four teenagers wounded just a block away from a local high school. So far this year, more than 600 mass shootings, hundreds have died, thousands more injured.

The Virginia gunman who is seen here in a video recording in 2016 by another employee was an overnight manager at the Walmart. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been an employee at the store for nearly ten years. And during that time, several co-workers tell CNN, he exhibited odd, even threatening behavior. You'll hear shortly from a woman who survived the shooting and the chilling moments she lived through.

All of this comes as a suspect in another mass shooting appeared in court for the first time today via video accused of shooting and killing five people and wounding 19 more at Club Q, an LGBTQ club in Colorado.


JUDGE: Anderson Aldrich, did you watch the video concerning your constitutional rights in this case?


JUDGE: Do you have any questions about those rights?



HILL: The 22-year-old suspect was released from the hospital, booked into the El Paso County jail. You can see here in the booking photo, those facial bruises. The suspect was tackled, kicked in the head, beaten with a handgun by heroic patrons that night.

Let's begin with Brian Todd who is OUTFRONT tonight in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Brian, what is the latest on that shooting and the aftermath there?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, we have new information tonight from the Chesapeake police. They are saying that the suspect, 31-year- old Andre Bing, did not wear body armor or a ballistic vest during the shooting. The police say that at least 50 people are believed to have been inside this Walmart at the time of the shooting last night.

To get you an idea of the kind of carnage and violence that was experience here, the police now say that processing this crime scene is going to take days.


BRIANA TYLER, WALMART EMPLOYEE WHO WITNESSED SHOOTING: He just looked around the room and just shot. There were people just dropping to the floor.

TODD (voice-over): Another mass shooting less than 70 hours after one in Colorado. This time at a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart, busy with holiday shoppers. Briana Tyler, an employee who witnessed the shooting, recounting the

horror of what took place last night just as she arrived for her overnight shift.

TYLER: He shot near my head, and it was about inches away. And in that moment I was thinking it was like a simulation type of thing, like this is what we do if we have an active shooter. And I think I thought that because I recognized his face.

TODD: The city of Chesapeake identifying the shooter as 31-year-old Andre Bing. Walmart confirms he was an overnight team leader. His home seen here with the door smashed in by police when they and other agents were on the scene investigating.


Police say the gunman was armed with several magazines and a pistol that he used to kill at least six people. Two of the victims were found dead in the break room along with a gunman who police believe died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Another victim was found near the front of the store. Three victims were taken to local hospitals but later died. At least six other victims were also taken to the hospital with two in critical condition.

Briana telling us of warnings she had gotten from other employees about Bing.

TYLER: They warned me that he was just a manager to look out for pretty much. He would write you up just because he could or if you did something that he wasn't a big fan of. He picked a lot. I guess that's what I heard. He was just that manager that would probably give you issues, but not anything to this extent.

TODD: Other employee witnesses in shock.

KEVIN HARPER, WALMART EMPLOYEE: Just left the break room, he started capping people up in there. Started shooting, bro.

TODD: Just two days before Thanksgiving, family members receiving frightening calls and texts from their loved ones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His wife received a phone call about 10:18 saying he had been shot. He clocks in at 10:00, so he hadn't even been there ten minutes.

Joanna Jeffrey says her mother was inside the door and sent her these text messages saying there was an active in the shooter in the store.

Those surviving the incident, thankful.

TYLER: We could be all gone in the blink of an eye. My life truly did flash before my eyes.

(END VIDEOTAPE) TODD: Now, we have asked Walmart to respond to Briana Tyler's account that she had been previously warned by other employees to watch out for Andre Bing. We have asked Walmart of whether he was the subject of any disciplinary measures or if any other employees had ever complained about him. They have not responded to those questions -- Erica.

HILL: Brian Todd, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.

OUTFRONT now, Jessie Wilczewski. She witnessed the shooting at the Chesapeake Walmart. In fact, she's working there. It was her fifth day on the job working there.

Jessie, thank you for being with us tonight.

I know this is tough. You were in that break room when the gunman came in. You saw a lot.


HILL: Can you walk us through, Jessie, what you saw and what happened in those moments?

WILCZEWSKI: So, before every shift, we have meetings in the break room at 10:00. And mostly everybody was in there. And the meeting had just started.

And all of a sudden, I looked straight instead of looking off where the other guy was talking and the other team lead is in the doorway, and he's got his hands like that, and at first, it didn't even look real, it didn't register as real. 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, and he left the room and went left down the hallway. And I -- was looking at my other co-workers around me, on the floor and leaned over in the chair.

I didn't want to be loud. I didn't want him to hear me and make him mad to make him come back because I don't even know where he went. And I didn't leave. I stayed. I couldn't -- I wouldn't want to be left alone even if they weren't there or if they were there, I don't even know. I tried really hard not to look. And the sound of the droplets, da-da-da-da, 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 will, I think, will never let go of that.

HILL: I mean, it's understandable. You're under the table then for safety. You talk about feeling the bullets as the shots rang out, feeling that in your chest, hearing the blood from your co-workers, watching them in those moments.

[19:10:12] As I understand it, the shooter did look at you at one point and basically let it go --

WILCZEWSKI: At the very end, I was hiding underneath the table, and he told me to come out. And I had my bag, and I put my bag out first as, like, a -- please, I don't have anything, you see my hands type thing. I slid out from underneath of the table and I'm shaking, and I probably looked like a Chihuahua at that point. And he just had the gun up to my forehead -- and it's just really hard.

HILL: Did he say anything to you in that moment, Jessie?

WILCZEWSKI: He told me to go home. And he took the gun away from my forehead, and he was aiming it at the ceiling. And he said, Jessie, go home.

And I got up real slow and I tried not to look at everybody on the ground. And I had to touch the door, which was covered. And I walked out the double doors to where you can see the aisles in Walmart.

And I made it right to where the egg aisle starts, and I just remember gripping my bag and thinking if he's going to shoot me in the back, well, he's going to have to try really hard because I'm running, and I booked it. I booked it and I didn't stop until I got to my car. And then I had a meltdown in my car.

HILL: I think it would be hard not to in that moment. This is all still so raw, understandably. And I know that in addition to what you saw and what you went through, you also knew at least two of the victims. And one of the reasons that you wanted to talk with me tonight was because you want their families to know something. You have a message for them.

What do you want their families to know, Jessie?

WILCZEWSKI: For the two girls' families that were sitting in front of me, and I'm not going to name any names, but I want to let you know, I could have ran out that door with everybody else that ran out that door, and I stayed. I stayed so I wouldn't be alone in their last moments because I knew there was no way, as bad as everything was, there was no way. And I stayed just so they wouldn't be alone.

HILL: And they weren't. You were there. There's been a lot of talk about this person who was your manager. I know this was only your fifth day there. And you didn't interact with him a lot. But was there anything that stood out to you, anything in those interactions where you could have imagined a scenario like this?

WILCZEWSKI: No, no. I interacted with him one time before this. And it was me bringing up my kid, how much this overnight thing is, like, really kind of toying with me and some hours, like when I look at the clock and I'm, like, man, I just want to get home.

And he asked me how old my kid was, and I told him a few months. And he said "a cute age." and we walked our separate ways. Never, never, ever in my life would I ever wish this upon anybody and it's horrible because it doesn't stop. It doesn't stop replaying when you leave the scene. It doesn't stop hurting as much. It doesn't stop.

And it sucks because you really want it to. You just want that little bit of -- that you had before all this.

HILL: You want it to have never have happened.

WILCZEWSKI: And it's hard.

HILL: Jessie, I'm so sorry that this is why we're speaking and that this is what you're going through. And I hope that you are surrounded with those who can help you in these moments.

WILCZEWSKI: I don't know how else to help, how else I could have helped. How I could have changed anything.

HILL: Don't blame yourself.

WILCZEWSKI: I don't know why he let me go. And it's bothering me really, really bad. I don't know why he did what he did. Because I could have sworn I was a goner.

HILL: Well, Jessie, I'm glad that you were able to make it out safely. I hope that --

WILCZEWSKI: So sorry for everybody.

HILL: -- staying with those co-workers brings those families comfort in knowing that they were not alone. That you wanted to make sure that they were not alone in those moments.

And, Jessie, thank you. I know there's no way this can be easy for you to talk about. But we so appreciate you taking the time. And I wish you strength on this road ahead.

So many Americans dealing with the aftermath of gun violence.

OUTFRONT next, former Vice President Mike Pence considering a request from the Justice Department to testify in the investigation into January 6th. But will Pence cooperate voluntarily?

Plus, horror in Ukraine. Russian missile strikes target another hospital, a 2-day-old baby among the victims.

And police in Idaho revealing new details tonight about the search for who killed four college students. While they don't have a suspect, officials are revealing who they believe didn't do it.



HILL: Tonight, CNN learning the Justice Department is asking former Vice President Mike Pence to testify at its January 6th investigation. One source says Pence is open to considering the request. That news comes as he's publicly criticizing Trump's actions on that day.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I must tell you the president's words and tweet that day were reckless. And they endangered my family and all the people at the Capitol. The president had decided in that moment to be a part of the problem. I decided I was determined to be a part of the solution.


HILL: Evan Perez is OUTFRONT tonight.

So, Evan, what more do we know about these discussions about Pence's potential testimony?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, we know that the Justice Department approached the former vice president's team some weeks ago, this is well before the appointment of the special counsel. And we know that at least from the vice president's point of view, he is open to having some discussion to come to an agreement for some testimony to the investigation.

Now, there's a lot of things that have to happen between now and when he might sit down with the FBI and the prosecutors. And that includes the possibility, of course, that the former President, Donald Trump, will try to intervene and try to block some of that testimony, which he has done repeatedly, including with Pence's aides, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, who have provided testimony initially providing limited testimony, and then being forced by the Justice Department after a judge's order to provide additional testimony after the former president tried to intervene.

So, there's a lot of things that could complicate this. It's a lot different, though, from Pence's position with the January 6th committee. If you remember, they were asking him to come in, and he closed the door to that I think in one of these interviews he's given in connection to his book.

Here's the thing. The fact that Pence has already talked about his interactions with the former president in his memoir that just got published really does mean that, I think, the Justice Department has a good argument to make that, you know, there are things now that you are certainly willing to talk about in your book. You should come in and talk to the FBI.

HILL: Yeah, willing to talk about on the press tour for that book. Evan, appreciate it, thank you.

PEREZ: Sure.

HILL: OUTFRONT now, Ryan Goodman, co-editor in chief of "Just Security" and former special counsel at the Defense Department.

We hear the words from the former vice president -- reckless, he endangered my family. He, meaning the former president, chose to be a part of the problem. I chose to be part of the solution.

How significant is his testimony potentially to the DOJ?

RYAN GOODMAN, FORMRE SPECIAL COUNSEL AT DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: So, I think he could be very significant. And they need to know what kind of testimony he will give. I'm not sure it's so significant in terms of filling in gaps. They probably have good visibility into all these exchanges. But they need to know what will Mike Pence be like when he testifies or if he testifies.

And so, for example, Marc Short has said to the January 6th committee that it was painful to see this pressure against pence and that they were concerned about his personal safety. And that's why Marc Short had warned Pence's security detail about January 6th, that they felt threatened in a certain sense.

But what does Mike Pence say when he's actually in that witness box? Does he say I felt pressured? And that would be consistent. Or does he say, oh, no, it's the kind of the give-and-take that the president and I have in our relationship. Those are the key questions they will have to ask.

HILL: He also talked about a conversation that he had with Donald Trump after January 6th. And he said -- he characterized Trump, he thought he felt, quote, deeply remorseful. The fact that the former vice president is characterizing the former president in those moments as, quote, remorseful, what does that tell you? What could that mean for Donald Trump?

GOODMAN: So, I'm not sure what Vice President Pence's intentions were. It could've been that he was trying to paint Trump in a charitable light. But as a legal matter, it doesn't work that way. It actually could put Donald Trump in a worse predicament. And Mike Pence is a lawyer so he should know the term remorseful is one we usually see in a sentencing hearing in which a defendant does or doesn't express remorse, meaning they acknowledge and have regret for their wrongful conduct.


So, Mike Pence says remorseful. That maybe suggests that Trump understood that he had engaged in bad behavior, if not illegal behavior.

HILL: Right. Really quickly, we're just about out of time. Do you think the appointment of the special counsel impacts this decision because he was asked prior?

GOODMAN: I think it does because Jack Smith is the type of prosecutor that will resort to what legal authorities he has to bring Mike Pence to testify. And those legal authorities are subpoenaed. That's the key. If he subpoenas Pence, I think it is basically game over.

HILL: All right. We'll be watching.

Ryan Goodman, good to see you. Thank you.

GOODMAN: Thank you. HILL: OUTFRONT next, exclusive reporting from a crucial city in Ukraine. How resistance fighters hunted down and killed Russian soldiers.

Plus, police in Idaho revealing more about the stabbing deaths of four college students as their families speak out, saying authorities aren't doing enough.


HILL: Tonight, at least seven people are dead, including children, in a barrage of Russian missile strikes across Ukraine.


A newborn baby among those killed in Zaporizhzhia where a maternity ward was struck. In Kyiv, the mayor says a 17-year-old girl is among the dead. The assault has crippled much of the country's power grid as freezing temperatures set in. This as we're learning more about how some Ukrainians in the Kherson region fought back against the Russian occupation.

Sam Kiley is OUTFRONT tonight with this exclusive report.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Archie killed twice while he was still a teenager.

If I am the guy, he stops to pee, so I'm having a pee, and then what do you do?

Oh, god, I got a chill in.

He says he left his victim to bleed on the grass in the pitch-dark. Archie struck again moments later. Another drunk Russian soldier. Another throat cut.

He acted alone, but now he was one of Kherson's resistance fighters.

ARCHIE, KHERSON RESISTANCE FIGHTER (through translator): They're wasted. It had only been a few days since they entered the city. I finished the first one immediately, and then caught up with the other one and killed him on the spot. I threw away the knife and the jacket covered with blood and just left.

KILEY: Archie was only 19 when the Russians captured his city in March. With a friend, he says, he drove around the city gathering intelligence to send to Ukraine's armed forces.

ARCHIE (through translator): At least ten Russians were slaughtered every night. I wasn't the only one in Kherson. There were a lot of athletic and clever guys.

KILEY: For eight months, Ukrainian partisans waged a psychological wars against the occupiers and their collaborates targeting Ukrainians who took top posts handed out by Russia.

KIRIL STREMOUSOV, RUSSIAN APPOINTED DEPUTY HEAD OF THE KHERSON REGION (through translator): As a result of a sneaky terrorist act today, our colleague, my friend has died.

KILEY: Stremousov himself would die in the final days of Russia's occupation of Kherson city, which ended three weeks ago.

Kherson was the only regional capital to fall to Russia. But its population made sure that the invaders were unwelcome from the start.

That's incoming.

In the last hour or so that we've been here in Kherson, there's been a constant shelling backwards and forwards. Almost all of that shelling will ultimately rely on somebody on the ground telling the gunner where to drop those bombs.

Ihor (ph) is a young father. This warehouse is wrecked because of him.

IHOR, KHERSON RESIDENT (through translator): The Russian military kept here around 20 to 30 vehicles. There were armored trucks, APCs. And the Russians live here. I was passing by this place and I saw all the vehicles.

KILEY: Ihor communicated on his phone app with his handler, code name "the smoke".

IHOR (through translator): I turned on the camera and pointed it at the building. And I was just walking and talking on the phone. And the camera was filming. I deleted the video, of course, because if they would stop me somewhere and check my videos and pictures, there would be questions.

KILEY: Less than a day later, he says, Russian vehicles were a mangled mess, as Russian rained missiles down on a newly identified target. It was a crucial step in destroying Russia's capacity to hold onto the city. With the Russians now massed on the eastern side of the Dnipro River, they're close and still control 60 percent of the province, which they claim is now part of Russia. No doubt there are many Ukrainians among them who were also prepared to prove them wrong and to kill.

Do you feel sorry for the guys you killed at all?



KILEY (on camera): Now, Erica, there the partisans of course can be assumed to be working behind Russian lines on the other side of the Dnipro River from which the Russians are firing missiles and more conventional weapons, if you like, into Kherson city. But across the rest of the country, once again has been hammered by what the government says at least 70 countries missile strikes against again the electrical infrastructure networks in the whole of Ukraine. As winter deepens, this is becoming a greater and greater problem, and

fueling more and more calls from the Ukrainian government for surface to air missiles from the international community so it can defend itself -- Erica.

HILL: Yeah, just unrelenting.

Sam, appreciate the reporting, exclusive reporting. Thank you.

OUTFRONT next, highest priority. Police in Idaho say they're working around the clock to find the person who killed four college students while they were likely sleeping.

And workers at an iPhone factory in China violently clashing with police as outrage grows in that country.



HILL: Tonight, new details about the investigation into the killing of four college students who were stabbed to death at their home near the University of Idaho. Police say they've now processed more than a thousand tips, some 103 pieces of evidence. They've conducted 150 interviews.

And in those interviews, this chilling detail.


CAPTAIN ROGER LANIER, MOSCOW POLICE: We have heard mention that Kaylee stated she may have had a stalker. Detectives have been looking into that, and to this point have been unable to corroborate the statement, although we continue to seek information and tips regarding that report.


HILL: OUTFRONT now, Chris Swecker, former assistant director for the FBI's criminal investigative division. He oversaw the FBI's five-year manhunt for the Olympic Park bomber.

Chris, good to see you tonight. I mean, we are nearly 11 days in at this point. No suspect, no murder weapon, some 150 interviews. Authorities are asking for more help, for more tips.

What does it tell you about the chances of them tracking down a suspect in this case?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER ASST. DIRECTOR, FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: Well, eventually they will track down a suspect. All of these cases eventually get solved. It's a question of when. And in this case what I got from that press conference tonight -- or late this afternoon -- was they're really not -- they don't have any good leads.


They're looking for tips from the public. They're sort of casting around looking for leads coming from other jurisdictions where there may have been similar cases or past cases that are similar.

But this notion of a targeted killing I think is starting to dissipate. And what I mean by that is if there was someone intimately involved in this inner circle that was supposedly targeting one of the victims, somewhere in these 150 interviews, that would have come out, that would have been awful hard to hide in that type of motivation and animosity. So it could be a random predator, or it could be someone who's outside that fringe, if you will, looking in and feeling sort of like left out, if you will, sort of fixated on one of these victims and not being able to get anywhere near that inner circle, and getting very resentful.

HILL: One of the other things that stood out to me is that -- well, there is no suspect at this point, as far as we know. It was interesting that there was a list of people who were considered not to be suspects. That was released. That does include the two roommates who were not harmed, who were home. Friends who were summoned to the house the morning before that first 911 call which happened just before noon. On that 911 call, we understand that the call was about an unconscious person.

The coroner said there had been blood everywhere. I remember those early interviews with the coroner who said this was gruesome, that she didn't really see anything.

If we piece all that together, what do you make of the little bits of information that are out there that don't feel like they add up in a lot of ways?

SWECKER: From the outside looking in, that may be the case. And I don't think it's a very good practice to ever publicly exonerate in the middle of an investigation because you never know what's going to come up next. And the next thing that comes in, and then you have to walk that back.

So at this stage of the investigation, I just don't think it's a great idea. But I don't have any reason to disbelieve what the police have said or the investigators have said. I think it's very plausible that they were in the house and they didn't hear anything down in the basement or what they're calling the first floor with the doors closed, or in a house where a lot of people are coming and going all the time on a Friday night. Boyfriends, people coming in to party, people leaving. Sort of that all-night party atmosphere, if you will.

And the other thing I would point out is this Internet presence that these four had. I'm taking a look at that and I'm wondering if that did something to do it.

HILL: Yeah. Well, we will be watching and waiting for more information. We'll see if more tips come in.

Chris Swecker, always appreciate your expertise. Thank you. SWECKER: Thank you.

HILL: OUTFRONT next, the most severe COVID prevention policies on earth in China. And people there have had enough.



HILL: Tonight, these are rare scenes of open dissent in China as violent protests erupt at Apple's main iPhone plant. So, in this video, you can see there, hundreds of workers were actually there to clash in with police. You see people in white hazmat suits striking a man on the ground with sticks. Workers desperate, angry after nearly a month of what they've called unsanitary living conditions and subpar pay.

And all of this coming as China's COVID restrictions are leading to despair not just at that plant but frankly across the country.

Selina Wang is OUTFRONT.


SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They sit together sobbing, shaking, looking at photos of his father, her husband, and mourning his death at their home on the outskirts of Beijing. The local government killed my dad, he tells me, breaking down in tears.

I just want to get justice for my dad. Why did you lock us down? Why did you take my dad's life away?

His 58-year-old father needed emergency medical help when their building was locked down. He says there were no COVID cases in the building but China seals off entire neighborhoods, even when there are only suspected cases nearby.

Do you blame your father's dead on this country's zero COVID policy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, very sure.

WANG: He says his father was in healthy condition when he suddenly collapsed. No one could go in or out of the building for help.

He shows me the numerous calls he and his mother made to the emergency line. He recorded one of his many calls as he became increasingly desperate.

He says the ambulance took an hour to arrive. By then, it was too late.

He shows us the way to the hospital.

It took us about five minutes to get from his house to the hospital, less than two mile as way when his father was sick, he had four relatives waiting outside his building begging to go in and drive him to the hospital. But they wouldn't let them in.

He says authorities in the hospital gave him no explanation for why the ambulance took so long. All they gave him was this document, stating the date and time of his father's death. His mother unable to speak, overcome with grief. She cries like this day and night.

Why are you taking the risk to speak to us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want this kind of thing happen again in China and anywhere in world. Because of the lockdown and the medical shortage, shortage of ambulance, caused my father's death.

WANG: Outrage in China is mounting over the human costs of the country's draconian zero COVID policy. China carefully counts every COVID death, but not the countless people who died because they couldn't get emergency care during lockdown.

Authorities have acknowledged many of those cases.


But they usually blame poor enforcement of zero COVID instead of the policy itself.

Before his father's death, he fully supported the country's zero COVID policy. But the local government's execution of the policy is beyond reasoning, he says. It's inhuman.

He shows me his favorite picture of his father surrounded by family. His son who was closest to his grandfather now struggles to eat or focus, he tells me. The quarter of his room piled with lettuce, potatoes, leeks and canned food.

He says all this food here is in case they get locked down again. The corn planted by his father is one of the few things he left behind. His grief now mixed with fury. He struggles to comprehend the meaning of it all. His father's death in the name of zero COVID.


HILL: What a heartbreaking story.

Selina, the fact that citizens are speaking out now, that they're actually criticizing the government for some of the restrictions that likely aren't going away, just give us a sense what is daily life like in Beijing right now. Has anything changed has anything changed?

WANG: Well, Erica, I feel like them getting deja vu with all of these cycles, of locking down and reopening. Right now, more and more buildings are locking down, and while at this point, I can technically step outside of my apartment, there is nowhere to go. It was to enter any public area.

There's still a lot of fear about getting COVID because if you do, you become a pariah, you and your close contacts going to quarantine, your whole building or neighborhood, locking down, Erica. HILL: Selina, appreciate the reporting as always. Thank you.

OUTFRONT next, Lisa Ling on how the pandemic prompted unconventional ways of coping with loneliness.



HILL: Lisa Ling is back with the final season of "THIS IS LIFE".

Earlier this week, she spoke with Erin about the first episode where she looks at the loneliness of the pandemic and how some people are finding ways to connect without human interaction. Take a look.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE": Tell me about when you first became aware of real doll.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, gosh, it was a special on one of the cable channels. I was thinking that was interesting.

Before I brought her home, I was not sure what to expect. I open the box and I gasped. I was so taken back. I felt her say my name is Tosha, take me home. Take me with you.

LING: Is she heavy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is about 60 pounds.

LING: You must carry her around a lot, or is she's usually pretty stationary?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has a stand where she sits in something like this.

LING: You style her or do her makeup and everything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do. A lot of youtube videos.

LING: You are doing a good job.




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Joining me as Lisa Ling, the host of "THIS IS LIFE".

You know it's jarring to watch that, Lise, I'll be honest. It is. And yet from all of this work you have done, you have seen things like this, people forming these nonhuman attachments related to the pandemic. This is obviously, as I said, a jarring example. Does Tony -- how does

he feel about this doll? Does he recognize a connection to the pandemic?

LING: Well, Erin, you are right. When the pandemic took root in this country, we all craved human connection and we were prevented from interacting with humans. A lot of companies made a lot of money, Amazon, DoorDash, Zoom, and a company outside of Las Vegas who makes life-sized dolls.

It was not just dolls that people found themselves connecting to. I mean, we all became more attached than ever to our devices, even seeking validation by way of likes on social media. I mean, I would argue that we spend much more time on our devices interacting with sometimes thousands of people we might not even know if there are people then we do with human beings. I mean, kids these days would rather forgo play dates or going out and engaging in sports because they would rather stay home on these devices.

And so, we all think are all forming relationships with these nonhuman entities at a far greater rate than human history.

BURNETT: It is incredible. One of the great gifts that bring us in and force us to think about the issue and to the detail that she is 60 pounds and carrying her around and doing her makeup, I mean, it is incredible.

Tell me about the rest of the season. What else have you been working on?

LING: It is varying with the previous seasons. We explore the mental health crisis that is playing out on streets all over America.

We also look into the biggest addiction into this country, an addiction that is greater than that of opioids and meth and cocaine combined and it is to a substance that is not only legal in America, but it is celebrated. We also look into a religion, a fascinating religion that believes the key to global harmony is through the blending of cultures through interracial marriage. And at a time of real intense racial strife in this country, it is a compelling episode.

BURNETT: It is fascinating, all of it. I cannot wait to see it. Thank you so much, Lisa.

LING: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And be sure to tune into the final season of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" premieres on Sunday night at 10:00 only on CNN.

And you can find every episode of this is life from prior seasons that Lisa talked about streaming on Discovery+.


HILL: Thank you for joining us tonight. "AC360" starts right now.