Return to Transcripts main page

Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Bodycam Video Shows Louisville Officers Running Into Gunfire; Soon: President Will Speak to Ulster University Student; Investigations of Leaked Pentagon Documents Take Shape; International Monetary Fund Downgrades Worldwide Economic Forecast. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired April 12, 2023 - 05:00   ET




New revelations about the moment Louisville police took down an active shooter.

Plus, President Biden about to speak in Northern Ireland. His message of peace for a land in political crisis.

And, new rules out today on auto emissions. Will they push more Americans to buy electric cars?


ROMANS: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Christine Romans.

We begin this morning with new details and harrowing new bodycam video showing the mass shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, that left five people dead and another injured, among them, responding Officer Nicholas Wilt, who was still in critical condition.

Police officials say the gunman, a 25-year-old bank employee. Fired his recently purchased AR-15 style weapon inside the offices for only about a minute and then appeared to wait for police to arrive. It was only after the gunman shot out one of the bank's windows that an officer was able to see his position and fire a fatal shot that ended the attack.

More now from CNN's Adrienne Broaddus. She is in Louisville.



POLICE OFFICER: Goddamn it! The shooter has an angle on that officer. We need to get out there. I don't know where he's at. The glasses blocking him.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Louisville police just releasing this body camera footage. It shows the tense confrontation with 24-year-old Connor Sturgeon after he fatally shot five of his fellow bank employees.

POLICE OFFICER: Stop, stop. Back up. Back up. Back up, back up here. Stop right there. Open the trunk.

BROADDUS: The video begins with Officer Nikolas Wilt and his training officer Cory Galloway, running towards the steps of the bank. That's when more shots are fired at them.

This is when both officers are hit. We don't see Officer Wilt get hit, but we do see Officer Galloway fall backward and then down a set of concrete steps.

Moments later, more shots are fired between him and the suspect.

POLICE OFFICER: And they all got him down. I think he's down. You're doing after off now. You can do the stairs.

BROADDUS: That's when the gunman is killed.

DEPUTY CHIEF PAUL HUMPHREY, LOUISVILLE POLICE: For people to react by staying there, staying in the fire, and going back inside the scene, keeping themselves in danger, that's superhuman.

BROADDUS: Police also releasing these two still pictures, one showing the suspect inside a bank hallway before the shooting and one of him in the lobby area of the building where he waited for officers.

Authorities say it was a targeted attack with an AR-15 style rifle.

DISPATCHER: He texted a friend, called a friend, left a voice mail saying he's going to kill everyone at the bank. Feeling suicidal.

BROADDUS: And livestreamed the attack on Instagram. It was later taken down.

A city official who has seen the video tells CNN you can hear a female coworkers saying, quote, good morning to the gunman. Then the shooter is heard telling her, quote, you need to get out of here.

The official says the gunman then tries to shoot, but the safety is on and the weapon isn't loaded. And once the weapon is loaded, and the safety is off, he shoots her in the back. Her condition is not known.

More than a dozen people were shot.

Police say they have executed a search warrant on the gunman's home and determined he purchased the weapon just six days before the shooting.

JACQUELYN GWINN-VILLAROE, INTERIM CHIEF, LOUISVILLE METRO POLICE: He purchased the weapon legally from one of the local dealerships here in Louisville.

BROADDUS: Now, another community tries to wrap its head around devastating gun violence, including Dr. Jason Smith.

DR. JASON SMITH, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE HEALTH: I'm weary. There's only so many times you can walk into a room and tell someone they're not coming home tomorrow. And it just breaks your heart.

BROADDUS: Adrienne Broaddus, CNN, Louisville, Kentucky.


ROMANS: All right. In just hours, President Biden will speak at Ulster University in Belfast. We're told he'll talk about how the Good Friday Accords have given Northern Ireland a quarter century now of relative peace and prosperity.

International diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in Belfast for this trip.


Nic, what is the theme that presidents trying to convey in this speech and the rest of his activities there? It looks like it's a little bit of politics, a little bit of diplomacy and a heritage tour all wrapped together.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: And I think the diplomacy is going to be walking a fine line. It's a difficult position the president comes into here because, of course, there is a political divide here. The Good Friday agreement brought peace, but the power-sharing government which was really the sort of big achievement over the past six years, it hasn't worked for four of those years.

And right now, the main unionist pro-British party refuses to go into that power sharing government. The main pro-Irish nationalist party here is now for the first time ever the biggest party here that poised to become but -- their leaders poised to become first minister. The unionist party won't go into -- won't go into this government because they're unhappy about the way Brexit has unfolded.

So what the president's going to do today will be the talk about those 25 years of peace talk, about how they are underpinned by an improvement in the economy without directly trying to pressure those unionist politicians to go back into the government, because I think that's widely understood here would be counterproductive. They are very bristly when it comes to a president they perceive as being pro -- the other side -- the other side of the political divide, if you will.

So the message will be to them, perhaps subtly, look, this deal that's on offer over Brexit will help the economy. That's good for you overall. It may not give you everything you want politically.

But, yes, after -- after giving this very important as I say, delicate address at the university here in Belfast will be taking off south of the border, and that's when it begins to be a little bit of the family tour to visit some of the -- some of his -- his relatives, his deep and distant relatives touring a castle, touring the city right on the border. Unfortunately, the weather isn't predicted to be as nice as this later in the day, big storms rolling in.

ROMANS: Well, yeah, weather looks really magnificent where you are, Nic.

All right. In Belfast, thank you, Nic. Keep us posted.

It is -- it is becoming clearer this morning which government agencies will investigate what in the recent leaks of highly classified Pentagon documents. Three U.S. officials telling CNN a criminal probe will try to figure out just who was behind the leak of top secret documents posted on social media and gaming sites. A national security investigation will focus on whether vital sources and methods have been compromised.

More now from Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary now --

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Top U.S. officials trying to get ahead of the damage caused by a leak of highly sensitive documents.

LLOYD AUSTIN, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I will tell you that we take this very seriously and we will continue to investigate and turn over every rock until we find the source of this and the extent of it.

LIEBERMANN: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin promising results from an investigation just getting underway while Secretary of State Antony Blinken worked to reassure foreign nations.

ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: We have engaged with allies and partners at high levels over the past -- the past days, including to reassure them about our own commitment to safeguarding intelligence, and, of course, our commitment to our security partnerships.

LIEBERMANN: The Department of Justice is handling the criminal investigation of the leaks while DOD is part of a broader look into how the leaks have impacted national security.

The leaks have reached across the globe, revealing U.S. spying on adversaries, including Russia and China, but also on us allies and partners, among them Israel, South Korea and many more.

Some of the documents reviewed by CNN offers sensitive details on Ukraine's military capabilities or lack thereof, including critical shortages of air defenses and overall casualty assessments, after more than a year of war. Ukrainian officials downplayed the significance of the leaks, saying some of the information wasn't secret at all. But a source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says the military has already changed some of its plans because of the leaks. In a new set of leaked documents obtained by "The Washington Post",

the U.S. learned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was considering providing 40,000 rockets to Russia for its war in Ukraine, but to do so quietly to avoid problems with the West, since Egypt is one of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid.

CNN has not seen the documents and cannot confirm their authenticity. Egyptian state media called the report an informational absurdity while the Kremlin called it another hoax, and the U.S. says they have seen no signs of Egypt providing lethal laid to Russia.

But it underscores the far reaching consequences of the leaks.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I want a briefing on the logistics right on how this information got out there, but we also need to get briefings on the substance.

LIEBERMANN: The leaked documents appear to be part of a daily intelligence briefing prepared for the Pentagon's senior leaders, officials said. The documents can be accessed by hundreds, if not thousands of people across the government with the proper security clearance.


LIEBERMANN (on camera): It's not just a question of the number of people who had access to information like this, but how it's disseminated, either through tablets rigged to have top secret information on them, also printed out as we have seen through the documents and simply forwarded via emails, either in whole or in excerpts, depending on the classification level.


Some of that creates an electronic track that can be looked after and investigated, but not all of it, and that adds to the complications in investigating something like this and trying to figure out the motive behind it.

Oren Liebermann, CNN at the Pentagon.

ROMANS: All right. Oren, thank you for that.

A downgrade for the global economy that could have implications for your money. The International Monetary Fund, the IMF, lowering its forecast for global economic growth from 3.4 percent last year to 2.8 percent this year. In January, had expected growth this year to be slightly higher than that 2.9 percent.

International business correspondent Clare Sebastian live in London.

And, Clare, banking volatility will hinder global growth, the IMF says. And also there is that what it calls a fog for forecasters because of scarring from the pandemic, of war in Ukraine by Russia and a host of other reasons that make it very difficult to see what the outlook is. CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that

fog over the outlook, a really key point, Christine, given all the uncertainty and fragility as the IMF puts it out there. The reason for the downgrade, really two key culprits.

One is that they are no longer as confident as they were three months ago that inflation is peaking. They say that inflation, particularly core inflation, when you strip out food and energy is proving sticky, still expected to be according to the IMF, just over 5 percent globally by the end of the year. So way above target.

That means is that the IMF thinks that rates and monetary policy will have to stay higher, tighter for longer, which, of course, could contribute to a slowdown in the second thing, of course, is you say is the banking crisis that we've seen in recent weeks.

That they say translating into tighter financial conditions that could impact the availability of lending if it persists, so that they think could play into growth rates going forward.

Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary, the striking a much more optimistic tone, on Tuesday, Christine, saying that she doesn't actually see a drop in the availability of credit as of yet. Does not as yet, folks as of yet forecast a recession for the U.S. Take a listen.

I believe our banking system remains strong and resilient.


JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: It has solid capital and liquidity and the U.S. economy is obviously performing exceptionally well, with continued solid job creation, inflation gradually moving down, robust consumer spending. So I'm not anticipating a downturn in the economy, although, of course that remains a risk.


SEBASTIAN: Still there, the IMF says that the risks of what it calls a hard landing where you sort of have to live through the unpleasant consequences of the very fast monetary tightening that we've seen, the rising of interest rates remains a bigger risk than they had anticipated a few months ago. The vulnerability in the banking sector as a sign of that fragility, of course, part of that caused by that monetary tightening.

And again that line, the fog around the world economic outlook has thickened. This is an economy that is hard to forecast, Christine.

ROMANS: It sure. Fog is exactly the right metaphor.

All right, Clare Sebastian, thank you so much. Nice to see you, Clare.

A mother indicted after her six year old shoots a teacher. Could this case helped set a precedent? Plus, thousands forced from their homes by flames that could burn for days and new rules in Russia for mobilizing troops. Is it really a crackdown on draft dodgers?



ROMANS: All right. The mother of the six-year-old Virginia boy who shot his first grade teacher in January will be turning yourself into police this week. A special grand jury indicted Deja Taylor on child neglect and gun charges on Monday.

CNN's Brian Todd takes a closer look at this case.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A shocking assault inside the first grade classroom. Teacher Abby Zwerner shot in the hand and chest by her six year old student. Now, that student's mother criminally charged by prosecutors in Newport News, Virginia.

Twenty-six-year-old Deja Taylor faces charges of felony child neglect and recklessly leaving a loaded firearm so as to endanger a child. That's a misdemeanor.

MISTY MARRIS, DEFENSE AND TRIAL ATTORNEY: It's very unusual for a parent to be prosecuted for the acts of their children.

TODD: Taylor's attorney sent CNN a statement, saying in part: Deja has cooperated from the first day of the incident. She has no criminal record. We will make our best efforts so that these proceedings will be more collaborative than most.

The commonwealth's attorney previously told CNN, Taylor's 6-year-old son will not be charged in this case. Experts say there are several reasons why the boy wouldn't be charged.

MARIO LORELLO, FORMER JUVENILE PROSECUTOR: One would be whether or not he is competent to stand trial. Two would be the law really presumes that children that are that young aren't able to really form criminal intent.

TODD: Abby Zwerner's attorneys last week filed a $40 million lawsuit against the Newport News school district, alleging that administrators at Richneck Elementary School had been aware that the child was violent at home. That he had choked a teacher during the previous school year when he was in kindergarten, and that school staffers especially then assistant principal, Ebony Parker, ignored several warnings on the day of the shooting that the boy had brought a gun to school.

CNN could not reach Parker for comment.

As for the parents' responsibility --

MARRIS: This case is going to come down to where was the gun stored? How was the gun stored? And how did a six year old gain access to it?

TODD: Deja Taylor's lawyer told CNN that the boy's parents claim they kept the gun at their homes secured with a safety and kept it on the top shelf of the mother's bedroom closet.


The parents had previously issued a statement saying, quote, our son suffers from an acute disability and was under a care plan of the school that included his mother or father attending school with him and accompanying him to class every day.

The parents said the week of the shooting was the first week they were not in class with him and, quote, we will regret our absence on this day for the rest of our lives.

In an interview with NBC, Ms. Zwerner talked about that horrifying moment in her classroom.

ABIGAIL ZWERNER, TEACHER SHOT BY 6-YEAR-OLD STUDENT: I just will never forget the look on his face that he gave me while he pointed the gun directly at me. That's something that I will never forget. It's changed me. It's changed my life.


TODD (on camera): Deja Taylor's attorney tells CNN she'll be turning herself in this week. The commonwealth's attorney who indicted her is indicating that more charges possibly against others could be brought. He says his office has asked the court to impanel a special grand jury to investigate any, quote, security issues that may have contributed to the shooting.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: Let's bring in trial attorney and former prosecutor Imran Ansari.

So nice to see you this morning. Really want your expertise here because gun violence is the leading cause of death of children in this country. And we know from the Kaiser Family Foundation yesterday that, you know, virtually no family is unscathed from, you know, the marks of gun violence.

Is this a sign I guess that prosecutors are going to try to do something as an indicative of prosecutors trying to say, we need to hold parents responsible, parents need to secure their firearms. That's how we address gun violence.

IMRAN ANSARI, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Yeah, Christine, I think it's indicative of frustration of prosecutors across the country who are dealing with a rash, an epidemic if you will of school shooting that has plagued our nation for many years now, of saying, how are we going to address this problem from a criminal perspective when often, there is no recourse against the child, him or herself?

And you see now, prosecutors looking to the parents and addressing how did an individual, a minor gain access? To the gun, and if there is a route to hold the parents criminally responsible for allowing that to happen, they're going to pursue it. I think it's frustration, Christine, of prosecutors dealing with the book or set of laws they have in front of them, how to address it and how to do something to stem the violence in schools.

You see, the parents of Ethan Crumbley, for example, in the Michigan school shooting, being charged with involuntary manslaughter for that shooting, for the access to the firearm for Ethan Crumbley. I think it's something that we're going to see perhaps the precedent set that parents are going to be more careful of how they store firearms because they're going to face some criminal responsibility, culpability, if, in fact, their kids use that firearm at school.

ROMANS: Yeah, that public case is just amazing.

I mean, that was a teenager who killed four people, his parents, according to prosecutors, essentially ignoring his mental health challenges, just epic case of bad parenting. In this case, you know, this family -- this case in Virginia, the family you saw that statement in the piece, the family had said that they had been really actively working with the school, you know, with their child, that child only six years old, they're not going to charge that child that young.

ANSARI: Correct. You know, there's no -- the law typically, criminal law -- would not hold a child that young criminally responsible. They don't have the mens rea. That means the intent to form -- the intent to commit a crime like this.

So the law really doesn't afford prosecution for a child that young. So, now, you have to look at how that child gained access to that firearm. And you hear that there may be a another grand jury convened a special grand jury to look at what the cool may have or may not have done in order to prevent the shooting, where their security lapses.

Did people know something about this child in particular, a propensity for violence if you will, and they didn't do anything about it? But it's really going to come down to how this child gained access to the gun, for the charges against the parents and possible charges against school officials if there was any sort of criminal negligence on their part that allowed the shooting to happen.

ROMANS: It'll be fascinating to see if more prosecutors across the country, as you point out, with a lack of laws on the books that they can really work with, really talk about parents' responsibility in securing firearms because clearly, there is an epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

Imran Ansari, nice to see you. Thank you so much for your expertise legally on this.

ANSARI: Thanks for having me. All right. Quick hits across America now. Washington, D.C. Police

hunting for a suspect after one person was fatally shot and three others injured outside a funeral home Tuesday.

Police say evidence suggests the victims were targeted. Concerns about increased crime and worker safety, temporarily closing a flagship Whole Foods store in San Francisco this week.


The chain offered no further details on what prompted the closure. Employees will be transferred to other locations.

Live pictures now out of Richmond, Indiana, and industrial fire at a recycling plant, releasing plumes of toxic smoke. Flames forced the evacuation more than 2,000 residents in the area. Officials say they expect it to burn for days.

All right. Just ahead, the stricter new rules for cars just released by the EPA.

And Israel bans non-Muslims at a holy site in Jerusalem, hoping to curb the escalating violence.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is where the friction is. This is where the controversy lies.