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New Day

LAPD Releases Video of Shooting; CNN Covid Update from Around the World; Russia Says Talks Set for January; Four Killed in Colorado Shooting Spree; Juries Resume in Maxwell and Holmes Trials; Snow in Midwest and Record Heat in the South; College Bow Games Affected by Covid. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired December 28, 2021 - 06:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With her mother when the officers encounter the suspect and the officer-involved shooting occurred.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Police say they believe she was hit by an officer's bullet that ricochet off the tile floor and entered the dressing room wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officers found the girl and discovered she had been struck by gunfire and she was determined deceased at scene.

CAMPBELL: The girl, 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta, was shopping with her mother when she was killed. She died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The Los Angeles medical examiner listing her death a homicide.

Police also described the suspect's earlier movements as released closed circuit video from the store.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the suspect smashed a computer monitor nearby. He then moved on to hit the glass railing. Next, he took the escalator down and encountered another female. He attempted to take her bag, and as the female resisted, the suspect tackled her and hit her with the (INAUDIBLE).

CAMPBELL: The California Attorney General's Office and the California Department of Justice are now investigating the officer-involved shooting. And Valentina's family now mourning the loss of a young girl killed while out shopping just two days before Christmas.


CAMPBELL: Now, John, obviously a tragedy. This community now in mourning after the loss of that child.

This video showing what these officers were dealing with. They were trying to stop a threat, but also raising questions, of course, about whether the officer who opened fire should have known what was beyond his target. Based on a new law that was signed last year by the California governor, this matter will now be investigated by the state department of justice who will then hand over their report to state prosecutors who will determine whether any charges are warranted.


JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: It's a tragic story.

Josh Campbell, thank you very much. Be well.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: With more on all of this, let's bring in CNN legal analyst Areva Martin.

Areva, of course, there are some major questions for the LAPD right now. I want to know what it says to you about how quickly they leased this bodycam footage that Josh just showed us.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Kaitlan, it definitely says that there's a change that has happened with respect to policing in the city of Los Angeles and I think in cities across this country. Police are definitely sharing bodycam video, you know, holding press conferences and attempting to be more transparent with respect to officer-involved shootings. Just maybe a year ago, definitely several years ago, it's doubtful that we would have seen this kind of video so quickly after a shooting like this occurred.

COLLINS: An assistant chief at the LAPD said that the suspect they thought was armed, though no firearm was found on or near him. The officers did find what they said was a very heavy lock near him, which they believe was used in this assault.

But Josh was just talking about this new law, saying that because this involves the death of an unarmed person, that means this is going to be investigated now by the state attorney general?

MARTIN: Absolutely, Kaitlan. Governor Newsom, in the state of California, signed into law last year a piece of legislation that requires these types of shootings to be investigated now by the state attorney general. That legislation was offered by lawmakers in California who believe that local district attorneys oftentimes had conflicts of interests with respect to investigating police officers involved in these types of shootings.

There was also a high profile shooting in 2018 involving a clerk at a Trader Joe's grocery store. That officer was never charged, even though a civilian was shot as they were attempting to apprehend the suspect and the community was outraged by the fact that that officer didn't face consequences.

This law, signed last year, gives the public more confidence that when officers are involved in shootings, that an independent agency, in this case the state, will conduct the investigation and make determinations about whether the officer should face criminal charges.

COLLINS: So, based on what we know so far about this, after seeing this video, do you think this is a situation where this officer could face charges if it's determined that his actions rise to a level of criminal negligence or recklessness? MARTIN: I definitely think there are lots of questions, Kaitlan.

Obviously, a 14-year-old girl or anyone shouldn't be killed while shopping in a department store while trying on clothing in a dressing room. And there are questions about whether this level of force was appropriate, about whether an officer should fire a rifle in a crowded department store if he's not certain about who else may be in the line of fire. I think there are lots of questions the family is asking, the community us asking.

Right now, the city of Los Angeles is going through this process of reflection about what it wants from its police department and there are serious questions about kind of this warrior mentality that's been used to train officers and whether situations become too heightened, escalation of violence happens in situations when police can deescalate situations and avoid the kind of, you know, senseless killing that we saw with respect to this 14-year-old girl. So lots of questions to be asked. And definitely the possibility of criminal charges, I think, are on the table at this point.

COLLINS: Yes, we'll be watching to see. I mean it was a crowded department store during the holiday season. Obviously a very busy time. And so we're just so sorry to this girl and her family who is now dealing with this.


Areva Martin, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

MARTIN: Thank you, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: And, up next, China is tightening its lockdown measures in one city as that nation battles the biggest Covid-19 outbreak in nearly two years.

AVLON: Plus, talks between Moscow and Washington tentatively set for the new year. That's according to Russian state media. We'll hear what the White House is saying now. That's next.


AVLON: A city of 13 million people is under lockdown as China deals with its worst Covid-19 outbreak since Wuhan. And European nations are wrestling with more restrictions. But some are resisting lockdowns and curfews.

CNN correspondents bring you the latest headlines from across the globe as only CNN can.



Authorities in Xi'an, they insist everything is very much under control, even though the ancient capital recorded 175 new locally transmitted cases on Monday, a record for a Chinese city since March 2020. But officials say this kind of numbers is only to be expected as they continue to conduct city wide mass testing for 13 million residents. State media has also quoted experts as saying this outbreak could be over in a month with the spread of the virus being stopped as a strict lockdown for Xi'an remains firmly in place.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm Barbie Nadeau in Rome, where a spike in Covid-19 cases, fueled by the omicron variant, all across Europe has led to a variety of new restrictions.


Here in Italy, it's now mandatory to wear face masks outdoors.

We're outside of a testing center where people here aren't necessarily getting tested because they feel symptomatic, they want to meet with friends and they want to know that they're Covid free before they do that.

But some of these restrictions have been met with violence protests. In Germany especially, people gathered to protest against restrictions there. Twelve police officers were injured in clashes overnight as people there tried to resist against the restrictions ahead of New Year's.

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: I'm Elliott Gotkine in Jerusalem.

On a day when Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel is about to be hit by a Covid contagion storm, the likes of which it has never seen before. On Monday, the country's daily Covid caseload hit almost 3,000, its highest levels since early October. Omicron variant cases doubled over the weekend, which makes a just launched vaccine study even more timely. The Shiba (ph) Medical Center, just outside Tel Aviv, claims it's the world's first trial of a fourth dose of Covid vaccine on healthy patients. Results are expected by the end of the week.


COLLINS: Meanwhile, Russia state media says talks between Moscow and Washington are tentatively set for January 10th in Geneva. The White House has said talks are under discussion. They have not officially confirmed a date or location publicly yet.

But this does come amid tensions over Russia's military buildup on the border with Ukraine and Russia wants guarantees that include a binding pledge that NATO won't let Ukraine join the military alliance.

CNN's Nic Robertson is live in Moscow.

So, Nic, what are you expecting from these talks if they do go forward on January 10th?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, Russia has really pressed for these talks and has said that absent a diplomatic political track, then the only track -- left option available to them will be a military track. So, I think in that context, there is a potential here for better degree of understanding between the United States and Russia about what's happening on the border of Ukraine.

Over the weekend, Russian officials announced that they were pulling back 10,000 troops who have now completed what they say was a -- sort of a pre-planned standard winter training. They've gone back to their permanent bases. It's not clear yet what's going to happen to the other estimated 60,000 to 90,000 remaining Russian forces that are close to the border with Ukraine. That still remains a concern.

Also, we understand from Russian officials, that it looks like that they will -- or are on the path to accepting NATO invitation for talks on the 12th of January. So that would come just after those potential talks with the United States at the moment.

So there this diplomatic, political track that Russia has wanted is open, but it's still not clear what precisely is in President Putin's mind. He has made it very clear on that issue of not wanting NATO forces to put troops or military equipment inside Ukraine and obviously not allowing Ukraine to join NATO. But what else is he going to want and expect from these talks. The only indications we're getting from Russian officials right now is that the talks may go on for quite a while. I think this is a real work in progress and so unclear President Putin's final aim here.

COLLINS: Yes, and, of course, a big question is, when those troops are redeploying, are they taking the military equipment with them as well?

Nic Robertson, thank you for joining us.

A shooting spree in Colorado has left four people dead and several others injured, and we have the very latest on all of that, next.

AVLON: And, in a couple of hours, jurors in the criminal fraud trial of Elizabeth Holmes will resume deliberations. What should we expect in court today? That's next.



COLLINS: A shooting spree in Colorado spanning four locations in the Denver area and leaving four people dead. The suspected gunman has also died. Police say one officer was injured after a shoot-out with that gunman.

And CNN's Lucy Kafanov joins me now.

Lucy, what are you hearing from authorities on the latest there?


So many more questions than answers at this point.

Police say that first shooting began just after 5:00 p.m. local time in central Denver where two women were killed and a man was injured. The suspect then moved a few blocks away, killing another man. And at a third location, a gun was fired but no injuries were reported. Denver Police then spotted what they believed to be the suspect's

vehicle. They tried to pull him over. A gunfight ensued in which police -- the police vehicle itself was disabled.

The suspect then managed to flee to the nearby city of Lakewood. The police spokesman there said that they got reports of shots fired at a local business just before 6:00 p.m. local time. A gunshot victim was later found and pronounced dead at the scene there.

When police found the car and the suspect, they say he opened fire. They opened fire back. They shot back. He fled on foot to a Hyatt Hotel, where he is believed to have shot a clerk and also shot and wounded a Lakewood police officer, who's now undergoing surgery.

More gunfire was apparently exchanged and the suspect was then killed at the scene.

Now, the Denver police chief says they are just starting to piece together what happened.

Take a look.


CHIEF PAUL PAZEN, DENVER POLICE: As far as what started, that is part of the investigation. We need to really dig in and find out what the motivation behind this was.

JOHN ROMERO, LAKEWOOD, COLORADO POLICE SPOKESMAN: But at this point there's only believed to be one suspect. Again, we have our SWAT team who are diligently going through a very large area behind us to clear the area to make sure. But at this point, we do not believe there is any additional threat to the community. We do believe at this point there was only one shooter.


KAFANOV: And, Kaitlan, as the Denver police chief told reporters last night, this is the holiday season. To have this type of spree take place in this community is not normal.


COLLINS: A crazy scene playing out. And, Lucy, we'll stay with you on the latest details as we get them from police.

AVLON: That's right.

And today juries in the separate trials of Elizabeth Holmes and Ghislaine Maxwell will reconvene for another day of deliberations. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six federal counts related to what prosecutors say are her efforts to groom and traffic underage girls to be sexually abused by her close companion, the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

[06:50:03] Elizabeth Holmes faces 11 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud over charges that she lied about her company Theranos' technology while seeking investments for her business.

So let's bring in criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Bernarda Villalona to discuss the latest in these two high profile cases.

So, Bernarda, great to see you.

In both cases, we're seeing these protracted jury deliberations. So, in general, is that a good sign for the defense or the prosecution?

BERNARDA VILLALONA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, both sides live to see another day, John. So you've got to think about it that way because they haven't been convicted and they haven't been acquitted. So they have hope. Another day of hope.

What this does show us is that neither of these two cases are open and shut because the jurors are still having a tough time in reaching a unanimous verdict.

AVLON: So let's focus on the Maxwell trial because, on Monday, most of the jury notes seemed centered around victim Jane. Tell us about that and what it tells you.

VILLALONA: So in regards to victim Jane, victim Jane was the first victim that testified at the beginning of the trial. I actually was in the courtroom when Jane actually testified. So, in regards to Jane, it seems that the jury is having a tough time. There is some kind of divisiveness within the jury as to whether they can believe Jane, her testimony. How do we know that? Because aside from requesting her testimony, they also requested the testimony of Matt. Matt is the ex- boyfriend of Jane. Matt testified right after Jane. And Matt testified on the very same day. In addition to that, Matt was not cross-examined by the defense. So I wonder if the defense is thinking, wow, is this going to come back and bite us.

AVLON: I want to focus on the Elizabeth Holmes trial as well because she made the decision to testify. Ghislaine Maxwell did not testify. And in that testimony, she admitted to doctoring key documents, to using commercially available machines rather than the proprietary technology that Theranos proclaimed to have. Do you think her testimony helped or hurt her in the eyes of the jury?

VILLALONA: Well, obviously, the testimony of Elizabeth Holmes helped her because the jury hasn't reached a determination yet. But I think, Elizabeth Holmes, she didn't have a choice. She had to testify because only she could be able to avail herself because she tried to say that she was under the guise of Sunny Balwani.

Also, she needed to connect herself to the jury in the sense of, look, I was a striving inventor. Like, I was a business owner. I really believed in my invention and knew that it would make a massive breakthrough in health care. So they needed to determine, was it an act of creation or was it an act of deceit. Did she bamboozle those investors as well as patients?

AVLON: Well, I appreciate the word bamboozled, but I will say, there is a basic difference between innovating and just shear invention and misrepresentation.

One last question to you. One of the factors that straddles these two very different cases is the fact that in both cases the defense is saying that essentially these women are being made scapegoats of the bad actions of other men. In the case of Elizabeth Holmes, COO and partner, and, of course, Jeffrey Epstein. Do you think that kind of a defense will fly?

VILLALONA: In regards to Elizabeth Holmes, I don't think that's going to fly because Elizabeth Holmes, the way it was presented to the jury, Elizabeth Holmes, she's a strong woman, she's a smart woman, she can't be governed by someone else. And it takes that type of woman to be able to run a one-time $9 billion valued company. So I think it's going to fall flat for the jury, and especially since she had to testify.

I'll tell you this, that because of the defenses of where they're saying that she was under the control of Sunny Balwani, that's exactly the reason why Sunny Balwani is not sitting next to her inside of the courthouse right now being tried at the same time.

In regards to Ghislaine Maxwell, yes, she can put that out there. She was under the guise of Jeffrey Epstein. But, guess what, there was no testimony about that. That was just merely argument by the defense attorney, but there was nothing in evidence from that witness stand to show that Ghislaine Maxwell was under the hue (ph) of Jeffrey Epstein. So it's going to fall flat.

AVLON: All right, Bernarda Villalona, I appreciate the buzzer beater sound there. Thank you very much. We'll see you soon.

VILLALONA: Thank you, John.

AVLON: All right, coming up, a travel nightmare is setting up from coast to coast as holiday travelers try to return home. We're going to have a live weather report next.

COLLINS: And a fourth college football bowl game has been canceled because of Covid. Which team just pulled out and which fans are about to be disappointed.



COLLINS: Today, people in the Midwest are bracing for some more severe weather, as people in the south are as well, which could be record- breaking heat with some severe storms.

Jennifer Gray is in the meteorology room for CNN.

And, Jennifer, I know my family in Alabama, they're moving -- they're changing their travel plans, going home early because they don't want to get caught in these storms. What should people be expecting?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know what, that's really smart because we could have some severe storms as we go through the afternoon today and into tomorrow. Temperatures right now across the deep south in the upper 60s to low 70s. So, in Houston, 72 degrees right now. And then a stark contrast to the northern tier of the country where temperatures aren't even going to get above zero today.

So that's where we're going to see the wintery side of things across the northern tier of the country. This is the second storm system just on the heels of the one we had yesterday. So pretty much the same areas getting snow with this. Chicago could even get a little bit of snow. Minneapolis, that's where we could see some travel trouble.

And then as this tracks to the east, we're going to see snow continue across the Great Lakes, New England, and then those storms. The strong storms develop on the south side of this. You can see by 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, some intense storms starting to develop across the south, and they will march to the east. So that looks like a Wednesday event. And then clearing out by Thursday. Could see another round of severe weather, though as we get into the weekend.

So your main threats will be isolated tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail with this. And then there is your rain and snow forecast, several inches of snow. Could see several inches of rain as well.


COLLINS: A lot of crazy weather out there.

Jennifer, thanks so much for updating us.

GRAY: Yes.

AVLON: That's right.

And we've got bad news for Boise State fans. Looks like Covid has forced them out of their bowl game. But Carolyn Manno has perhaps a silver lining for their opponents in this morning's "Bleacher Report."


This is like a very bad game of musical chairs. I mean this isn't fun for anybody. But all of these college bowl organizers are just trying to figure this out and ensure that they can play as many games as possible and also ensure that as many players as possible have a chance to finish up their seasons, and for some finish up their careers.

But, yes, the latest news coming from Boise State, the Arizona Bowl, unfortunately, is canceled. Boise State the latest team to miss out. The Broncos were supposed to play against Central Michigan on Friday, but Arizona Bowl officials trying to scramble to find a new opponent for the match-up. They did decide instead to take the Sun Bowl slot vacated after Miami had to withdraw due to its Covid issues. So Central Michigan going to now relocate to El Paso to play Washington State on Friday.

Meantime, 96 NFL players tested positive for the coronavirus yesterday alone. Saints had two 20 men on the reserve Covid list against the Dolphins on Monday night and it certainly showed. Ian Book, the Saints' fourth starting quarterback of the season, harassed all night by the Dolphins' defense. He was picked off twice. He was sacked eight times. I mean talk about a baptism by fire.


A big moment, but he wasn't ready.

Jaylen Waddle, on the other hand, had a pretty big night, 92 yards receiving and a touchdown on this misdirection play right here. So, the Dolphins pick up the win