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New Day Saturday

NASA To Attempt Artemis I Launch Again Today; Scattered Rain Showers Possible During Artemis I Launch Window; Mar-a-Lago Inventory Reveals 49-Plus Empty Folders Marked Classified; Former Trump White House Counsel, Deputy Meet With January 6th Grand Jury. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired September 03, 2022 - 07:00   ET



AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to your NEW DAY. I'm Amara Walker.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Amara. I'm Boris Sanchez. We're counting down to lift off again. hours from now. NASA's going to attempt to launch the historic Artemis I rocket. We're going to have the latest from Kennedy Space Center and an update on those issues that forced the first launch to be scrubbed.

WALKER: And if you live out west, brace yourself. It is going to be a scorcher. More than 40 million people under heat alerts, and ahead, we'll tell you what to expect going into the holiday weekend.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the CDC giving the green light on updated COVID-19 boosters. Now, pharmacies are getting ready to roll out the new shots but who should get them and when?

WALKER: And she may have lost at the U.S. Open but all eyes are still on tennis superstar, Serena Williams, we'll show you the highlights from last night's game and discuss her undeniable impact on the sport.

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Saturday, September. It is already September. September 3rd, and it's a holiday weekend. Boris, great to see you and be with you.

SANCHEZ: Great to be with you, Amara. We hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. We're grateful to be a part of it. And all eyes this afternoon are going to be on Cape Canaveral, Florida. NASA is once again going to try to launch the massive Artemis I rocket to send its unmanned Orion spacecraft on a historic journey around the moon.

This is a live look at the Artemis I rocket as the sun is rising at Kennedy Space Center. Liftoff is scheduled for a two-hour window starting at about 2:17 p.m. Moments ago, NASA gave the go ahead to start fueling for launch. So, it looks like this is going to happen especially because the weather appears to be cooperating. Right now, there's a 60 percent chance of favorable weather during that launch window.

WALKER: But all eyes are on the Artemis rocket's third engine this morning, which along with a fuel leak forced the initial launch to be scrubbed on Monday. Engineers say, the problem was a bad sensor. And while today's launch is a little more risky, NASA is ready to give it a try. CNN's Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher with the latest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Launch Director Charlie Blackwell Thompson has called a scrub.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: NASA says, it's confident it has fixed the issues that lead to Monday scrub test flight and his go for a second launch attempt of its Artemis rocket on Saturday. The first rocket designed to take humans to the moon in more than 50 years.

It is one thing to see this rocket on T.V. or about four miles away from the viewing stance. It is another to see it right here almost directly at the launch pad. This rocket is absolutely massive, 322 feet tall. It's taller than the Statue of Liberty. And you really get a sense when you're out here that this truly is the most powerful rocket ever built.

But more power means it's also more complex. NASA says, it has repaired the hydrogen leak that delayed fueling on Monday. As for that pesky engine number three, NASA now believes its cooldown system was working and blames it on a bad sensor.

JOHN HONEYCUTT, SLS PROGRAM MANAGER, NASA'S MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER: We have convinced ourselves without a shadow of a doubt that we have good quality liquid hydrogen going through the engines, and there is no fuzz on that.


FISHER: For a mission as complicated as this, NASA's fix for a bad sensor is surprisingly simple.

Is part of the plan, is part of the, the risk posture for this second launch attempt to simply ignore it?


FISHER: Turns out, if NASA had been able to push through those technical problems on Monday, the weather would have cooperated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would have about 29 minutes at the end of windows all clear for weather.

FISHER: Captain Greg (INAUDIBLE) was the Launch Weather Commander of the 45th Weather Squadron during the first launch attempt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all sitting here and as soon as we heard scrub, we're like, oh, so it is what is.

FISHER: CNN was granted rare access inside the control room at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station where the weather go, no-go calls are made on launch days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For example, here, we'd be no-go right now for lightning roll. So, right now, we are in violation of the lightning roll.

FISHER: And look, we've got two, two no-gos now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, yes, so now we've gone no-go for cumulus --

FISHER: Clouds alone are enough to sometimes stop a launch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing folks don't understand is that rockets when they go through the atmosphere can actually trigger their own lightning strikes. So, even though we might not have a thunderstorm in the vicinity, the atmosphere can be electrified enough to have a lightning bolt trigger from the rocket launching through the atmosphere.

FISHER: If Saturday's launch attempt is a success, it will be a major milestone for NASA. And as NASA's administrator explicitly acknowledged on CNN could give the U.S. a leg up on China.

BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Yes, there's a space race.

JIM SCUITTO, CNN HOST: Who's winning?

NELSON: Well, let's see. This is the first step, and this is the largest most powerful rocket ever.

FISHER: Kristin Fisher, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center.


SANCHEZ: Thanks, Kristin. Let's get a look at the weather now around the launch with Meteorologist Britley Ritz. Britley, what is in the forecast for later today?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, within that two-hour window, we have two primary concerns that we have to keep our eyes out on, one being that surface electric field that you've heard about in the package previously, or that rocket shoots up and could create its own lightning within the second concern, which would be clouds and cumulus clouds at that. So, we have a better chance of liftoff or an all clear later in the launch, about a 20 percent shot later on, a 40 percent shot of a weather hazard as we get into the first period. We need to watch out for that lightning again and the clouds.

So, within 10 miles, we're talking about lightning, we're talking about 10 miles within cumulus clouds as well. Looking at your mission, there it is scattered showers and thunderstorms. A bit of that easterly wind, could push a few of those showers and storms on to shore. The further the storms go out inland, the better so we'll watch that wind over the upcoming hours. As it begins to push more to the east. That's a better chance for us for in all clear when it comes down to potentially getting a few thunderstorms. So, watching the thunderstorms hour-by-hour here, throughout the morning and into the afternoon. We'll have to keep a close eye on that sea breeze.

WALKER: Britley, thank you so much. All right, joining me now to discuss is retired Air Force Colonel Terry Virts. He's also a former astronaut for NASA. Terry, good morning to you. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. So, I was just reading up on these, the scrub the lodge so it looked like it was some kind of engine cooling issue, and then it turned out to be a faulty sensor. And now the team is going to ignore that bad sensor, any concerns before liftoff this afternoon?

TERRY VIRTS, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, there's, there's probably several million parts on that massive rocket. And so, I think they've got those valves and fuel lines figured out. But there's another one, there's a liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen issue they're looking at right now. So, a lot of things have to work, and they're not going to launch until they're ready to launch.

WALKER: Yes, a lot of things have to work on that very complicated rocket. But also, the weather has to cooperate. So, how, how confident do you feel about a launch between that two-hour window beginning at 2:17 Eastern, and 4:17?

VIRTS: Yes, my first shuttle flight, we scrub for a little thin cloud deck that was over the shuttle. For the last 50 years, we've been launching rockets and scrubbing for Florida thunderstorms. So, it sounds pretty good. It's not you know, there's not a big storm system moving through. But, you know, how confident do you feel that the market is going to go up or down on Monday or Tuesday, you know? I think it'll be good, but we'll see.

WALKER: Yes, depends on the minute of the day, how confident I feel about those markets, right?

VIRTS: Exactly.

WALKER: So, so this is going to be a test. If all goes well, this will be kind of a test to run and then around 2024, NASA plans to launch for astronauts, not to land on the moon, but to kind of do this long loop. So, what can we expect with Artemis II?

VIRTS: Apollo had the similar thing. You know, the first flight was a test of the -- there were some unmanned flights and there was a test of the vehicle and it was five or six flights before they landed on the moon. NASA is going to try and do that in three flights. So, this is the first nobody's onboard, it's going to spend about a month in orbit around the moon a little longer than a month.


The second flight will be similar. Only there'll be astronauts on board. They'll just do a, you know, some orbits around the moon and then flight three, they're hoping to actually land on the moon, but they have to get the lander going, which SpaceX won that contract. So, that's a big pole in the tent, if you will, for that Artemis III mission. WALKER: I mean, 2025 doesn't seem that far away. I mean, it isn't that far away, right, to actually do our first landing with Artemis III on the moon, and that NASA wants to land the first woman and the first person of color. And they want to land near the South Pole of the moon, right? That is where there were craters of ice that were found. Can you talk to us about you know how feasible for someone it is to actually land on the lunar South Pole, and why ice is such an important resource?

VIRTS: Sure, well, to put it in context, three years, three years ago was 2019. That's when COVID started. So, it's not a long time. But ice, ice is a big deal, because with water, you can drink it, you can have water, you can break it in the hydrogen and oxygen and breathe the oxygen. Or you can break it into hydrogen, oxygen and have rocket fuel the Artemis rocket, SLS, uses hydrogen and oxygen as rocket fuel. So, water is really, really valuable.

Landing at the South Pole is tricky because of rocket science, it's a little bit harder to do. Plus, they're going to go into what they call permanently shadowed craters. Because of the way the moon's orbit is, these craters never see sunlight. So, they are hundreds of degrees below zero, very, very cold. And the solar panels aren't going to work there if there's never sunlight, so there's a lot of challenges with that, plus the ice is frozen rock hard solid may be buried under, you know many meters of moon dust.

WALKER: Wow, fascinating. So, how coveted is it to be one of those astronauts to first of all, make that first loop around the moon and then also to actually land on the moon because the point is to set up shop there right?

VITS: There, there's probably going to be a lot of folks knocking on the boss's door saying, hey, I'm available for that flight. You know, there's, there's no doubt that it would be really cool to go to the moon for sure, especially the landing. But even orbiting around the moon have been a lot of fun, so there's going to be a lot of astronauts with their hands raised high for that flight.

WALKER: Are you sure you want to stay retired?

VITS: We'll see. It's, it's fun -- there's a lot of good stuff on Earth here. You know, I'm, I'm a big fan of Earth personally, but that would be a fun mission.

WALKER: Yes, I like having my feet on the ground too. But why am I telling that to retired astronaut, Terry Virts, appreciate you. Thank you so much.

VIRTS: Thanks for having me on. And make sure to stay with us throughout the morning as we count down to lift off.

SANCHEZ: So, more than 40 million people are under heat alerts this Labor Day weekend as a massive heatwave grips parts of the western United States. For the third day in a row, several states have asked their residents to conserve electricity to avoid power outages. Scorching temperatures have broken dozens of records this week from Utah to California. And the National Weather Service is warning the intensity and the duration of the heatwave is what makes it especially dangerous. Fear is growing that extreme heat could make wildfires worse too.

There is new video shows, showing a raging fire in Siskiyou County, California. That's burn more than 2500 acres so far, none of this fire has been contained. It started around noon yesterday and it has spread rapidly, causing civilian injuries and power outages destroying homes and prompting thousands of county-wide evacuations. Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency and is now receiving help from FEMA. It's still unclear exactly how the fire started but county officials say that one of the first buildings to ignite was a lumber mill. The cause of the fire is now under investigation.


WALKER: Still ahead, thousands of documents and dozens of empty folders. We'll tell you what a new court filing is revealing about the documents seized by the FBI at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the CDC signing off on updated COVID boosters, so who should get them? And how soon could they be available. More on that more when NEW DAY continues.


SANCHEZ: A newly released highly anticipated court filing reveals the FBI recovered 48 empty folders marked as having contained classified information during their search of former President Trump's Mar a Lago estate. What was in those folders remains unknown. All we know is that they were empty.

WALKER: In addition, they found more than 100 classified documents in Trump's office and a storage room mixed in with newspaper clippings, clothing and even gifts. CNN's Sara Murray with the details.



SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A newly unsealed inventory revealing the trove of materials ceased from Mar-a-Lago, including thousands of government documents, and 103 papers marked classified, intermingled with magazines, newspapers, press clippings, photos and articles of clothing.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, mostly the boxes, pictures, and newspapers, and shirts and gear, and, you know, golf balls and just it's a lot of stuff. You know, when you're there for four years, it's a long time.

MURRAY: While Trump has downplayed what was recovered by the FBI, A seven-page list takes through how sensitive the material was. 18 documents marked top secret. 54 documents marked secret and 31 documents marked confidential. Investigators also collected dozens of empty folders with a classified banner or labeled return to staff secretary, slash, military aid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of this is going to help Donald Trump.

MURRAY: A Federal Judge in Florida unsealing the inventory and pondering whether to appoint a Special Master to independently review the CS material.

BILL BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The whole idea of a special master is a bit of a red herring at this stage, since they've already gone through the documents. I think it's a waste of time.

MURRAY: The Investigators Hall which included more than 11,000 government documents without classified markings revealed just how much Trump was holding on to even after more than a year of negotiating the return of documents and 18 months after leaving office.

TRUMP: So, what you do is you accumulate a lot of stuff over a term and then all of a sudden, you're leaving, and stuff gets packed up and sent, all sorts of stuff.


MURRAY: But in Trump's office alone, investigators retrieved a number of boxes, including 27 documents marked classified in some way.

BARR: People say this was unprecedented. Well, it's also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club. OK?

MURRAY: And investigators found them after Trump's team had assured the government any potentially classified materials had been kept in a more secure storage room. And after a representative for Trump signed a document saying everything was classified markings had been turned over a month before the surge, meantime and a separate criminal investigation into the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol and the events leading up to it. Former Trump White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin appearing before a grand jury today.

Both men pushed back on efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and are key witnesses to the final days of Trump's presidency. CNN reporting, they appeared after weeks of discussion with the Justice Department over executive privilege.

Now, back to that all documents that came from Mar a Lago. We're only learning so much about this, of course, because the former president asked for a special master this independent reviewer to go over this hall of documents. The judge still has not issued her ruling on whether she will grant that request. She has suggested she's leaning toward it though asking any hearing earlier this week. What's the harm in appointing that special master? Back to you.


WALKER: All right, Sara, thank you. Now, legal experts are questioning the timing of Donald Trump's request for a special master to review those Mar-a-Lago documents. Former Attorney General Bill Barr tells the New York Times a request is a bunch of crock, as you mentioned, a federal judge is weighing that decision. And she says she is inclined to grant that request. Last hour, I asked Former Federal Prosecutor Michael Zeldin, for his, his take, and here's what he said.


MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: It's certainly a delaying tactic. If it had been filed on day one, as soon as the search occurred, and they said, look, there are attorney client privilege and executive privilege materials in there. Please appoint a special master before the justice department gets started, then it may have made sense, but two weeks filing, two weeks afterwards, the filing looks like an effort to delay. And of course, the scope that they're asking for, which is to include attorney-client privilege and executive privilege is really to use bars words, a crock.

WALKER: Yes. So, if this is a strategy to delay the investigation, I understand it would be by several weeks, and it's a motion that's been filed a much later than it usually is. Does it make sense to you that the judge is saying that she's inclined to appoint a special master?

ZELDIN: It doesn't make sense to me. I think at this point, she should let the process be as it's been, which is they had a filter team who looked at all of the records, they filtered out the stuff which is attorney-client privilege or potentially attorney-client privilege. That stuff then will be sent to the judge for review to determine final determination and let the case proceed both as a matter of the criminal investigation and more importantly, the National Security damage assessment. We don't want to delay on that back end of this thing another day.


WALKER: Zeldin says, the other big question is whether there are still documents at Mar-a-Lago that we don't know about.


SANCHEZ: The CDC has signed off on the latest COVID booster shots, so how soon can you get one? That story is up next, stay with us.


SANCHEZ: The CDC has now signed off on updated COVID-19 shots. It's the first time updated COVID vaccines have received emergency use authorization in the United States, and these new shots target the original COVID strain and two Omicron subvariants.

WALKER: So, when can you expect them? Our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the details.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we can tell you is that as soon as the FDA gave that emergency use authorization for these new shots. They began shipping to many pharmacies and health care providers around the country. So, this weekend, over the next several days, certainly, these shots should be increasingly available for people, just like they have been in the past. They should be free, you should be able to make appointments, get them from your doctors, clinics, pharmacies, et cetera. Now, a big question also comes up as to how long should you wait in between shots? When did you get this shot? That kind of depends a little bit on when you've received your last shot.


So, just broadly speaking, if you sort of look at the benefits of getting the shots versus not getting any shots at all, you've seen the standard before but for people over the age of 50, people who are unvaccinated, compare to those of had two or more shots have 14 times the risk of dying.

And people who are vaccinated with one booster at three times the risk of dying as compared to those who had two boosters.

So, that gives you some idea of the importance, first of all, of these shots. Now, how long do these shots last, is sort of the second part of the question that helps you answer than when you should get a shot.

And what we can tell you, you look at these graphs, and they're kind of busy graphs. But what we know is that the effectiveness of these vaccines do wane over time. So, at four or five months, they're about 33 percent as effective as they were when you first got the shot.

So, that could give you some insights as well as to when you might best actually benefit or get the shot.

Part of the reason that they're acting now on this, and again, the vote was 13 to one. So, it was pretty, pretty clear that they wanted to go ahead and release these booster shots now was because, if they waited until November, what they found was that the forecast, the modelling suggested there could be 130,000 or so more hospitalizations if they waited that long, and 10,000 more deaths.

So, this is a bivalent vaccine, meaning, part of it protects against the original strain, COVID strain that we started talking about in the spring of 2020. But it also protects against the new variants such as BA.5 and BA.4.

So, again, over the next several days, the shot should be increasingly available.

WALKER: And good to know. Thank you, Sanjay.

While 1000s of migrants have been bussed to New York after crossing over the southern border, how much of a strain is this putting on the city's already overwhelmed shelter system? We will discuss when NEW DAY returns.



SANCHEZ: The large influx of migrants seeking political asylum in the United States is not just affecting communities along the Texas border. It's also straining public resources in large cities like New York, Chicago, and here in Washington, D.C. And that is by design.

Texas has put more than 9,000 asylum seekers on buses under Governor Greg Abbott's plan to offer migrants free rides out of state, a program that's mostly paid for by Texas taxpayers in the millions of dollars.

The impact on New York City is especially pronounced. Right now, there are about 6,700 migrants in the city's shelter system.

We want to bring in Josh Goldfein, he's an attorney with the Homeless Rights Advocacy division at Legal Aid. He says that New York City was already facing a homeless crisis before the buses started to arrive.

Josh, we're grateful to have you this morning.

Texas Governor Abbott says that the migrants are being offered a free ride to New York that none of them are being forced onto these buses. Is that what you're finding?

JOSH GOLDFEIN, LAWYER, HOMELESS RIGHTS ADVOCACY, NEW YORK LEGAL AID: Well, we've seen people who were not expecting to go to New York City or were told that they could go to another destination on route, but still ended up in New York City because the bus didn't stop.

We've seen people who are have very serious medical needs. And yet they're put on a bus and sent to New York. So, you know, the screening here is clearly not for the benefit of the migrants.

SANCHEZ: We know that several agencies and nonprofits have been meeting with these migrants, almost as they get off the buses, providing things like free medical care, food, and supplies.

What do you see as the greatest need right now for these folks?

GOLDFEIN: Well, they certainly -- everybody we've met is anxious to get to work as soon as possible. They want to, obviously, have some someone look at their immigration case and their asylum application and make sure that that's going to be heard.

They want to be reunited with their family and a lot of cases, people have been separated from their family. But really, these folks have been through a lot of trauma. They've traveled for months, sometimes, to reach the border. Then, suddenly, they're in immigration detention for a couple of days, and the next thing they know they're on a three day bus ride. So, they're, they're exhausted, they're bewildered, they're in need of some care.

SANCHEZ: So, Texas is also busing migrants, as I noted before, to Washington, D.C. and to Chicago. Critics are blaming Abbott, saying that he's only busing these migrants to Democratic led cities.

In fact, here is some criticism from Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot. I believe we have that sound bite.


LORI LIGHTFOOT, MAYOR OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Governor Abbott's racist, and xenophobic practices of expulsion have only amplified the challenges many of these migrants have experienced on their journey to find a safe place. The governor's actions are not just inhumane, they are unpatriotic.


SANCHEZ: A racist and unpatriotic. The case that Governor Abbott makes is that if large cities like New York, and D.C., and Chicago can't handle an influx of migrants, then how could small border towns be able to cope with that?

What is the solution in your mind to this problem?

GOLDFEIN: You know, the federal government should be assisting New York City in managing the needs of people who are coming across the border for sure.


New York City should not have to pick up all the costs here. But it's just cruel to put people on buses without assessing whether or not their medic -- that's medically appropriate for them.

We had somebody get off a bus the other day, a three day bus ride with a six-day-old child.

You know, who thought that was a good idea? We've had people get off the bus and have to go directly to inpatient medical care.

It's just cruel to put people on a, you know, three-day bus ride under those conditions after what they have been through, without stopping to assess, you know. Is this -- is this somebody who actually wants to go travel to this destination?

SANCHEZ: And I also wanted to ask you about the situation for the unhoused and the shelter system in New York City. You had mentioned that -- already, that system was facing strain. Are there more resources available for you at the federal level? What's your message to lawmakers on that situation?

GOLDFEIN: This is a national issue. We have a lot of people who have arrived, you know, again, after going through just unimaginable hardship to get here. And, but they're here now.

And so, it's in everyone's interest to care for these folks. There are a lot of children, there are people who have suffered quite a bit of trauma along the way, and they need an appropriate level of care.

It doesn't do anybody any good for people now that they are here unlawfully within the United States just to leave them to suffer. SANCHEZ: And yet, it seems nearly impossible that Congress will pass comprehensive immigration reform anytime soon. A difficult situation. Josh Goldfein, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

GOLDFEIN: Thank you for having me.

WALKER: It is a piece of plastic smaller than your thumb.

WALKER (voice-over): But it can turn a regular handgun into something much more deadly. That's up next.

But first, a quick programming note. Monday night, don't miss this new CNN film, "NO ORDINARY LIFE". It shares the remarkable story of five female photo journalists who made their mark by braving the front lines to capture images from around the world.

"NO ORDINARY LIFE" premieres Monday at 10:00 p.m., right here on CNN.



SANCHEZ: Earlier this week, President Biden unveiled his safe America plan to reduce gun violence and support police. And he emphasized, yet again, his hope to ban assault weapons in the United States.

WALKER : But while Washington debates in assault weapon's ban, authorities say tiny devices are making it easier to convert handguns into automatic weapons, essentially, do it yourself machine guns as you just saw there.

In a CNN exclusive, CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin, looks into just how dangerous they can be.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the size of a Lego, come in colors of the rainbow, and in seconds, can turn America's most popular handgun from firing like this.

To this.


GRIFFIN: This is the gun range of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, where an undercover agent shows how a tiny device called an auto sear can turn almost any gun into a machine gun.


GRIFFIN: This is Houston, where a team of police officers tried to serve a warrant, body cameras on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deon! You need to step out, it's Houston police.


GRIFFIN: 30 years' experience conducting 2,500 previous major offender arrests couldn't help a cop named Bill Jeffrey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deon, its Houston police. Let's do this --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the evidence. Get the evidence.

GRIFFIN: Your father didn't stand a chance.

LACIE JEFFREY, DAUGHTER OF FALLEN HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER: No. He was completely blindsided and there is nothing that any of them could have done to change the outcome. Everything was done the way it was supposed to. But this this guy ambushed them.

GRIFFIN: What the officers couldn't see was the multi-convicted felon hiding in a dark apartment, holding a pistol that was turned into a weapon of war.

In seconds, he fired 30 rounds. Officer Jeffrey died. A police sergeant also hit, crawled for safety and survived.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, is you good? You're good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm hit. I'm hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE), Bill. Somebody get Bill.

GRIFFIN: What was your reaction when you found out what this criminal had in his hands?

JEFFREY: Disgust, disbelief, anger. We do not live in a war zone. There is no need for us to have these automatic weapons on the streets of Houston, anywhere in the United States.

GRIFFIN: But there is demand. Cheap illegal pieces first imported from China were being sold easily over the Internet. When ATF and customs crackdown, smuggling began across the southern border.

Now, thanks to cheap 3D printers like this, and how to demonstrations on YouTube, making machine guns is a simple do it yourself project says Earl Griffith of ATF.

EARL GRIFFITH, CHIEF, ATF FIIREARMS AND AMMUNITION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION: I am not a computer savvy, but one of the guy says it's easy. Watch this YouTube. Watch YouTube, in a matter of 15 minutes, I was able to do it myself the first time.

GRIFFIN: He is not kidding. We searched YouTube and found this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch at YouTube, this is all key here.

GRIFFIN: A how to demonstration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you get it 3D printed --

GRIFFIN: That was still up on YouTube's platform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bada bing bada boom (PH). That is how you install and remove a Glock auto sear.

GRIFFIN: And getting 100s of 1000s of views even though, bada bing bada boom, as he says, the guy was arrested by ATF months earlier, charged with possessing, making and transferring machine guns.

He's pleaded not guilty. YouTube took the videos down right after we asked about them.

Call them auto sears, switches, whatever. They are everywhere and spreading.


The ATF seized 1,500 machine gun conversion devices last year. That is five times as many as the year before.

Griffith says police departments across the country have confiscated modified machine guns, but many don't even know it.

GRIFFITH: A lot of them have never seen some of these devices like laying here.


GRIFFITH: And when we tell them about, they go back into their evidence vault, and they looked and check, and they find this stuff.

GRIFFIN: More and more, this stuff is being found in the slaughter it leaves in its wake.

This January, three more Houston officers were fired upon, all three wounded, when a career criminal opened fire with a machine gun style pistol.

When they arrested him --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here straight off.

GRIFFIN: They found more machine gun parts and 3D printers.

In Sacramento this April, a massacre on the city's downtown streets. Six dead, a dozen injured. One of the guns in the shootout, according to police had an auto sear or switch to make it fully automatic.

All of these in the last 24 hours.



CHITTURN: Nine rounds, 10 rounds, fifth -- 18 rounds, 27 rounds. GRIFFIN: Tom, that's like Tuesday.


GRIFFIN: Tuesday in America, we're having this?

CHITTURN: You should come here on the weekend.

GRIFFIN: This is ShotSpotter. It locates gunfire for police by listening to a network of microphones across American cities. And more and more those microphones are picking up automatic fire.

CHITTURN: The rate of fire, the number of rounds being fired in only a few seconds is very serious. Innocent bystanders are being hit by rounds that weren't intended for them.

GRIFFIN: Since 2019, the incidence of automatic gunfire picked up by ShotSpotter have increased from roughly 400 to 5,600, just last year. Just spend a few moments at Kaylan Parker's monitoring station, and you can hear the havoc.

PARKER: So, all of these ones that I'm showing you here are full automatic incidents, starting from the least of three rounds, going all the way up into 30 rounds.

GRIFFIN: 30 rounds.

PARKER: 30 rounds here in Baltimore, Maryland.

GRIFFIN: In Baltimore. This was -- sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday.

PARKER: Yes, sir. This was 4:00 p.m. yesterday.

GRIFFIN: When you sit here and listen to this and realize what's going out on the streets, what do you thinking?

PARKER: You don't believe in until you hear it. And it's just sad. Unfortunately, with a lot of these shootings, there was a victim behind these.

GRIFFIN: In fact, those sounds you heard from Baltimore, were bullets hitting two people, including a 14-year-old boy.

Back in Texas, Lacie Jeffrey is trying to do something in her father's memory.

JEFFREY: So, we're just trying to get lawmakers to look into this and just change 10 words to make it to where these switches fall under a felony offense.

GRIFFIN: She wants Texas to treat possession of these modified weapons like the federal government does as a felony.

GRIFFIN : What's the reception been?

JEFFREY: And nothing. GRIFFIN (voice-over): She hasn't heard back from a single lawmaker.

Why do you think that is?

JEFFREY: I think that, especially in Texas, with the Second Amendment, people are scared to touch upon it. I don't understand why this isn't important enough. We have lost so many officers. So many civilians are even being caught in the crossfire.

How many people have to be affected by these before you realize that a change needs to happen?

GRIFFIN: Drew Griffin, CNN, Smithville, Texas.


SANCHEZ: Thanks to Drew Griffin for that report.

Did Serena Williams just play her final professional tennis match?

SANCHEZ (voice-over): If so, she leaves behind an incredible legacy both on and off the court. We're taking a closer look at her accomplishments in just a few minutes.



WALKER: It is likely an end of an era in the sports world. Last night, Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champ and widely considered the greatest tennis player of all time, was defeated in the third round of the U.S. Open.

Nearly 30,000 people packed the stands to see her play one last time.

SANCHEZ: CNN's Don Riddell has more from Flushing, New York.

DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR : An extraordinary career came to an extraordinary end here at Arthur Ashe Stadium, or at least, we think it came to an end.

RIDDELL (voice-over): Serena Williams kept us on our toes throughout an incredible third round match against Ajla Tomljanovic. Eventually, giving out after saving numerous match points, and more than three hours of tennis.

When he was finally all over, an emotional Serena thank the crowd for their support, and her family for always standing by her.


SERENA WILLIAMS, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: It all started with my parents, and they deserve everything. So, I'm really grateful for them.

Oh, my God. These are happy tears, I guess. I don't know. And I wouldn't be -- I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't Venus. So, thank you, Venus. She is the only reason that Serena Williams ever existed.

RIDDELL: Serena will turn 41 in a few weeks' time, and she had said she wanted to evolve away from tennis to pursue her other personal and professional interests.

But after a 25-year career in which he had dominated and transcended her sport, she was in no hurry to give it up. She went down like a champion fighting for every last ball. And it was fitting that the last person to speak to her she left the court was the great Billie Jean King. Two icons who have fought so hard for the advancement of women, both on and off the court.