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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Police: Multiple Fatalities, Injuries in Virginia Walmart Shooting; Supreme Court Clears Way for House Committee to Get Trump's Taxes; Saudis Beat Argentina, 2-1, in Major World Cup Upset. Aired 5- 5:30a ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 05:00   ET


WHITNEY WILD, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States, and all around the world. I'm Whitney Wild, in for Christine Romans.

We begin with another mass shooting overnight, this time in Chesapeake, Virginia. That is where a gunman opened fire on employees inside a Walmart break room, leaving multiple victims dead and several others wounded.

Here's how one family member of an employee shot and hospitalized describe the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went in at 10:00 p.m. tonight, and we received a phone call while his wife received a phone call, about 10:18 saying that he had been shot. At the, time that is all we knew, that he had been shot, we did know how, and what was really strange to us is that he clocked in at ten, so he hadn't even been there ten minutes. He was shot on his side, and he is talking, breathing. We don't have a lot of details right now.


WILD: A law enforcement source tells CNN the unidentified gunman is believed to be either an employee, or a former employee and was found dead at the scene. That shooting happening just two days before Thanksgiving.


LEO KOSINSKI, CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA POLICE SPOKESPERSON: It is that we are a few days before the Thanksgiving holiday, anytime there is that it is just a bad time all around. For everybody involved, especially the victims, this is horrible


WILD: Let's bring in Brian Todd. He's live at the scene.

Brian, what do you know? BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Whitney, we have some

information tweeted out by the city of Chesapeake just a few moments ago. We have an update on the casualties. According to the city of Chesapeake, seven people are dead that includes the shooter in a tweet from the city of Chesapeake just a few minutes ago. We are also told through an affiliate WTKR who is told by a hospital spokesperson, that five people are being treated for injuries at Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, not too far away from here.

And we have a statement from Walmart that was issued just a short time ago. Quote, we are shocked at this tragic event and our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We are praying for those impacted, the community, and our associates. We're working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates. That is a statement from Walmart.

Now, as you mention a short time ago, we do have some sourced information about how this shooting unfolded a little less than seven hours ago, just to behind, me inside that story there, according to law enforcement source, through our colleague John Miller in New York, the gunman is a former employee, or possibly a current employee who walked into a brick room where other people or gather, and opened fire. The government leader turned the gun on himself, and is deceased. That is what we know now.

And it took several hours for police to process, comb through the story. You can see behind me, it is a very large or more, store as many of them are, and they had to chrome through row upon row. One of the police officials told us they had to go and see if people were hiding in some of these roads, and a big story like that that is kind of what they were up against. It took hours to process, but we now know, Whitney, the afternoon processing the scene here, going through the store and looking for people hiding and other possible victims.

We now have a casualty count at seven, that including the shooter, and at least five injured -- Whitney.

WILD: Brian Todd, thank you.

Again, as I said, we are once again starting a newscast with a mass shooting, again in just a week. So gun violence, clearly a major problem across the country, and it comes just days after the shooting in Colorado we are gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ club in Colorado this morning.

That suspect making their first court appearance, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich will appear via video link then includes five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of bias motivated crime, resulting in bodily injury. Lawyers for Aldrich say their client identifies as nonbinary, and uses the pronouns they and them.

New details have emerged in the last 24 hours about Aldrich's tumultuous upbringing. According to documents and family members, Aldrich ended up in the care of their grandmother while their mother struggled with a series of arrests and mental health issues. Aldrich was the target of online bullying, and had problems with law enforcement, that includes an arrest last year involving a bomb threat.

Let's bring in George Brauchler.


He's the former district attorney for the 18th Judicial District in Central Colorado. He has led several prosecutions, that includes for major mass shootings, targeted shootings, attempted target shootings.

So, District Attorney Brauchler, I guess my question for you this morning is, attorneys now saying that suspect identifies as nonbinary, meaning they don't identify as male or female. When you look at this case, what kind of impact could that information have on the case, and particularly on the fact that this person is now being charged with a bias motivated crime?


Once again, tragedy, we can't even get it away from these things without another one happening. In the particular case in Colorado Springs, it is a smart relief, a tactical released by the defense to indicate the decline as nonbinary I think it's hard to take a bit of wind out of the hate crime that had been developing through rumors and murmurs, the slow leaks of information that have come out, we just don't know enough about the crime to do other than guess.

And this is an opportunity for them to try to take a little bit of that hate label off of it.

WILD: We are still getting more detail here, but what -- you know, and I cover law enforcement and what I know is that when it comes to mass shootings, there are often several points along the time line where if something had been different, people would be alive. And so, right now, a lot of the discussion focuses on Colorado's red flag law.

So, I'm hoping that you can explain how that law works for us and looking back at the facts we do know about this case would enforcing that red flag had stopped the shooting?

BRAUCHLER: It's a great question, Whitney. What we have in Colorado that we can locally call red flag law is really the extreme risk protection order and it's available to close family members or law enforcement to go seek from a judge when they have reason to believe that a person is an imminent danger of other harming themselves, more others through the firearm if they have access to it.

Now, in this case, a lot of speculation and interest in whether or not this may have changed things one, what we don't, know the party information law enforcement, had the case with the -- what we don't know is, what actually happened with that case, charges never, filed dismissed by the DA, they don't proceed on to trial when something happened, we don't know yet.

But your bigger question is this, would have made a difference? And the red flag law, as great as it sounds, it only works if everybody that's part of the transaction of the firearm is law-abiding. If this gun was obtained through a friend, a neighbor, a theft, a ghost gun, a non-licensed FFL, federally license firearms dealer, if it's obtained to any of those means, there's no background check, that red flag law is meaningless

WILD: You have prosecuted in mass shootings. Notably, you prosecuted a theater government who killed 12 people and injured dozens more. You've also prosecuted cases where plans to commit a mass shooting or stopped.

So I'm wondering from your perspective, what does it take for law enforcement to actually get to stop these crimes before they end in bloodshed?

BRAUCHLER: Listen, first, you need a willing public, and by that, I mean, a public that is willing to come forward with information that is less than perfect, but got their sense up need to tell law enforcement about it. They need a law enforcement that's willing to go and take resources to look into each, sometimes thousands of these claims, it is hard to discern and then, honest to God, Whitney, sometimes you just need is luck.

Even if you have all three of those things, I think you have to wrap your mind around, this evil is like water. It will find a way. It will take the path of least resistance, and where that least resistance exists, it will do something horrible.

WILD: George Brauchler, thank you for joining us early this morning. We appreciate your insight.

BRAUCHLER: Thank you

WILD: New this morning, the Supreme Court has finally decided, yes, the House Ways and Means Committee, a Democratic-led committee, can get copies of former President Donald Trump's tax returns. That is a major setback for President Trump's treasury spokesperson tells the IRS will comply with a decision, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee want those records quickly


REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): I'm hoping we will get the my next, week this is an important victory to accountability, and the efforts have gone on for three years on the lawsuit, I've actually made the first motion to get these tax returns on February 3rd, 2017 so we are coming up on almost five years that we have been trying to get this. And, you know, Republicans in the House aided and abetted him in every way.


WILD: There were no dissenters noted in the final ruling, so let's bring in CNN political analyst Toluse Olorunnipa. He's national politics reporter at "The Washington Post".

So my, first question for you, a member of the House committee says they expect Trump's tax documents by next week, Democrats are trying to get things done before Republicans take over the House in January.


So the timeframe is really small here. How much pressure is on this committee to get these documents, and make use of them, and at that point, it will be a month and a half?

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And they face a lot of pressure in part because they realize that they are not going to be the majority in a few weeks, and in order to produce the kind of oversight they have wanted to produce for several years now if t his legal situation had played out, they need to get these tax returns in their hands, review them, and as the public, we will have to wait and see whether they allow any to become public.

But I would not be surprised if very soon, we do see Trump's tax returns which have been hidden from the public for such a long time. You have to remember that he did not disclose this tax returns when he ran for office both from 2016 and 2020. So, I wouldn't be surprised if this committee feels pressured to put these out in some way very soon.

WILD: In another investigation of Trump's attempt to overturn the election, Senator Lindsey Graham appeared before a grand jury in yesterday, that's after months of fighting a subpoena. So what do you make of that? Is that going to be -- is that going to be bad for former President Trump? Does that add to the very long list, I guess, you call them court losses before President Trump?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, this is another loss for the president, former president. This is also another loss at the Supreme Court. Lindsey Graham, senator from South Carolina, had an addition to the Supreme Court testifying to office says the process was smooth, and fair, and the grand jury, but we don't know two hours is a long time for the senator of the United States to be testifying about what is happening on January 6th.

And, if President Trump was involved in anything illegal, it would be incumbent on Senator Graham to speak the truth to the grand jury so, former president has a lot to be worried about, not knowing exactly what senator graham told the grand jury, and knowing this investigation is only going to wrap up for a few couple weeks.

WILD: So, let's move down to 2024 election, all of these things working together, right, so when you pull up that shows that voters are not supporting either Trump or actually Biden in the 2024 election registered voters who are ain't no on both of them. What do you make of, this is what does this mean as they lead up to 2024? Neither candidate seems that strong. It is pretty surprising at this point that Biden is not doing better among those registered voters that they polled

OLORUNNIPA: Yeah. You have to remember that President Biden just turned 80, former President Trump is 76, and people generally telling pollsters they do not to have a rematch of these two political figures who are both up there in the years, and who had a pretty nasty fight in 2020. Now, President Biden continues to receive majority support in terms of

approval rating among Democrats and former President Trump continues to pretty strong numbers among Republicans so doesn't appear that they are in the likely position for those nominations but anything can happen. Two years is a long time.

President Biden has not officially said he is in the race, so we will see whether or not there is another Democrat gets the nod. It does appear that we will have a high potential for a rematch in 2024 just like we had in 2020.

WILD: All right. Toluse Olorunnipa, thank you so much for joining us.

OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.

WILD: President Biden is pausing repayments on student loans while the fight over his debt forgiveness program plays out in court.

Plus, Israeli police searching for suspects after a pair of explosions in Jerusalem leaves one person dead.

And, the aftermath of the one of the most shocking upsets in the history of the World Cup. We are taking you live to Doha.



WILD: Welcome back, 5:17 is your time this morning.

Saudi Arabia shocking fans in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, rolling over Argentina 2 to 1 in the FIFA tournament in Qatar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Touchdown. Look out here. Shot taken 00 goal! Oh my!


WILD: And just to put a finer point on what a big deal this is, the South American team, Argentina, ranked third in the world, unbeaten for three years was expected to win yesterday, but the Saudis came back in the second half.

Let's bring in CNN's Amanda Davies live from Doha. How -- what happened in the stadium?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, 37 matches, it is taken for Argentina to be beaten, and they fought really asked to compete with yesterday. A public holiday has been declared in Saudi Arabia for today and I can tell you, if the party that went on here is anything to go by, there will be a lot of people who really do need that they.

It was incredible. Two goals in six minutes, really turning the game and the day on its head. Saudi Arabia absolutely not expected, the second lowest second ranked team in this competition beating Argentina and the might of Argentina with Lionel Messi, a result that their boss described as totally crazy.

But here's the hard task master, he's not letting his team get carried away, she said they were all to celebrate for 20 minutes, then focus on the job at hand which is Poland on Saturday, Argentina though for their part, Messi said no excuses, he said the morale in the camp is but asked fans to keep faith because in 1990, Argentina lost their opening game against Cameroon and then went on and still reached the final.


So not all lost for Argentina and their fans, but Saudi Arabia certainly enjoying their moment. And not just them, the entire region here. We saw the emir of Qatar flying the flag for Saudi Arabia.

In terms of day four action, I can tell you, Morocco against Croatia 20 minutes gone.

WILD: And you make a good point about the region, especially because Qatar lost to Ecuador earlier in the week. So, yes, elation around in that part of the world.

OK, great. Amanda Davies, thank you so much.

All right, coming up, Israeli police investigating two explosions in Jerusalem that killed one person and injured dozens more. We're live at the scene.



WILD: Welcome back. We are following developments out of Jerusalem this morning where Israeli police at least one person has died, and 14 others were injured after explosions at two separate blast site earlier today. Explosions are now suspected of being a combined terror attack.

CNN's Hadas Gold joins us live from Jerusalem at the sign of the first blast.

Hadas, what do you know?

HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: So, this is the scene of the first explosion, actually above station along one of the main highways along the city, we blasted place just after 7:00 a.m., the height of rush hour. Police say that a bomb exploded at this bus station, this is where one of the people were killed, identified as a 16-year-old student, then just 30 minutes later, another explosion just down the hill from here in a neighborhood called Ramot, also took place at a bus station.

Three people were injured, here is where the police are calling the fifth coordinated terrorist attack this in both instances, bags were placed at the bus stations, then detonated remotely. We've seen Israeli police, you can see behind me still gathering evidence. They've been collecting evidence.

We've seen things like nails and screws on the ground. Those may have been packed into the bumps for maximum injury. Now while it has already been a very deadly and violent year for both the Israelis and Palestinians, there's been a series of attacks targeting Israelis, and there have been nearly daily Israeli military raids into the West Bank.

An attack like this has not been seen in years that is bringing back many memories to the second Intifada in the early 2000s where there were almost regular suicide attacks and bomb attacks of targeting buses, both stations. But Israelis have been used to not seeing these types of attacks in recent years. This is a new deadly escalation that is showing technological sophistication, and coordination.

Now, the U.S. embassy has condemned these attacks, saying that terrorism is a means to no end, and the Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at this moment holding a assessment regarding the situation there are fears that could be further attacks later on -- Whitney.

WILD: Hadas Gold, thank you.

More than 40 protesters killed in Iran in the last week by government security forces, and that includes two teenagers, last weekend. The human rights chief at the U.N. warning the situation in Iran has reached a critical stage.

Jomana Karadsheh is tracking the latest developments.

Jomana, what are we learning from this U.N. official?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.N. human rights chief, Whitney, is warning the situation in Iran is critical, as the death toll is continuing to, rise and the crackdown by security forces is intensifying. According to the U.N., they say more than 300 people including more than 40 children have been killed since September, the number is believed to be much higher than that they say thousands of protesters have been arrested across the country for joining peaceful protests, at least -- have been sentenced to death recently.

And, Whitney, really disturbing information coming from the United Nations, something we've been hearing from sources for weeks now. They say authorities are holding bodies of those killed in protest, refusing to hand them over to families, and sometimes sending them over on the condition that these families not speak to the media and get false accounts of how their loved ones were killed.

And, of course, we've heard a lot of concerns about what is going on in the western part of the country, in the Kurdish region, from United Nations and more than 40 people killed in a crackdown over the past week. A lot of concern over the situation is only going to get worse. The United Nations Human Rights Council's meeting in Geneva tomorrow, on a special session on Iran. Human rights advocates and those around the world are calling on member states to take urgent action, to vote, to establish a independent investigative, and accountability mechanism to ensure the perpetrators of these horrors, they say, are held accountable for their crimes, what we are seeing right now is the result of decades of impunity, Whitney

WILD: Jomana Karadsheh, thank you.

The student loan forgiveness program under President Biden still tied up in the courts, that is not stopping President Biden from extending compare relief to millions of Americans right now.

And, a U.S. military plane forced to turn back around after a bird strike.

All that next.