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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  May 27, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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even though he was firing shots outside for some 12 minutes, there are so many unanswered questions. here is what we do know. 11:28 a.m. central time the suspect crashed his truck into a ditch near the school. he exited the vehicle, fired at two witnesses across the street. at 11:40 a.m. the gunman entered the school through an unlocked door on the west side of the building. four minutes later, officers entered the school, received gunfire then retreated from the building as they called for backup. it was not until an hour later, full hour, 12:44 p.m. local time that a tactical team made entry and killed the suspect. this morning we are learning more about just what was going on inside that classroom. >> mia got some blood and put it on herself to pretend she was dead. she had bullet fragments in her back. >> that poor little girl and so
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many stories just hike it. we'll have more on mia's story in a moment. let's begin though on the investigation. cnn crime and justice correspondent shimon prokupecz is outside the school where it took place. you've been pressing for answers on this. there's been a lot of back and forth and incorrect information early on but what's consistent here are indications of a slow police response. what do we know? >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. jim, those are all indications and, look, a senior, former senior law enforcement officials who are experts are all saying this. they're saying the response here, the tactics here just do not seem right based on the way you handle active shooter situations and that it is you go towards the gunfire, you engage the shooter and need to eliminate that threat. so authorities are not answering that question. there is that hour that you spoke about between 11:44 and
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12:44 where the gunman is inside that classroom. we're hearing stories from these children inside this room hiding, having to play dead while the police are outside trying to figure out what to do. so those are the questions we have. we are trying to figure out what were the police doing in that hour. they initially have told us that the suspect, the gunman was barricaded. we don't know how he was barricaded, what led them to believe he was barricaded. did they make any effort to get inside that classroom? so we will be hearing from the police later this morning, hopefully they will answer those questions and not come here yesterday and take five questions and then say they're done. because that's just not going to be sufficient. hopefully they will take more questions and, of course, all of this is happening as we are hearing from parents, parents of children that were inside, parents who themselves were willing to go inside, take weapons, put on protective gear
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and get inside that school to rescue their children. here's one of those fathers talking about that. >> told one of the officers myself if they didn't want to go in there let me borrow a gun and vest and i'll go in there myself to handle it up. and they told me no. i mean, they -- like they say they were doing their job when they could have done it quicker before that man went in the school. >> reporter: and so, jim, we're hearing stories like that from many parents out here sobbing, screaming for the police to go inside. hopefully later this morning, we'll start to get some answers from investigators when they come here and address the media and most importantly it's for the parents, who are planning funerals now and also demanding answers, of course, jim. >> understandably so. so many more unanswered
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questions, shimon, thank you so much. accounts from inside the clas classroom. an 11-year-old girl, mia, inside the room throughout the horror. nora says mia did not want to be on camera or speak to a man because she was traumatized by visions of the male shooter but insisted on doing it because she wants people to know what kind of evil this is. so that may be something can be done to prevent this from happening again, she hopes. >> 11-year-old fourth grader mia was in miss garcia's class and they were watching "lilo & stitch," one of the last days of class and that's what they were doing. their teacher got word that there was a shooter in the building and she went out to lock the door.
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mia says the shooter was there and shot out the window in the door. she describes it all happening so fast from there, her teacher backing into the classroom and the gunman following. she says the shooter looked one of her teachers in the eye, said, good night and then shot her. then he opened fire shooting the other teacher and a lot of mia's friends and said bullets flew by her and fragments hit her shoulder and head. after shooting a lot of the students, he went through an adjoining door and heard screams and heard him shooting in that classroom. heard a lot of gunshots. after they stopped, though, she says he started playing music, sad music, i asked how would you describe it and she said, it just was sad like you want people to die. she was scared that the gunman would come back to kill her and her other few surviving friends
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so she says she actually put her hands in the blood from her friend who lay next to her, she was already dead and then smeared the blood all over herself, all over her body so she could play dead. >> she had to smear a dead friend's blood on herself to try to save her life. joining me now to discuss, daniel garcia, the former phoenix police chief. now a spokesperson for quest public safety and critical incident management. good to have you, sir. i want to ask you, we've said this many times on the air, this is a fact. training for active shooters since columbine has taught, instructed law enforcement to go in quickly, get a group together, go in, confront the shooter fast, don't wait. are there any circumstances that would explain what we saw happen in uvalde where they waited for an hour before entering the room? >> well, there's a number of questions that still need to be answered. there's more questions out there
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than answers but the fact is is that waiting an hour to engage an active shooter is unacceptable. that counter assault, let's call it what it is, it is a counter assault on the suspect should have happened immediately. as quickly as the resources and the staffing can be obtained, it needs to happen and it -- if it can't be obtained then the officers at the situation have to make a critical life decision and law enforcement has a priority of life decisions always. it's citizens first, police second and the suspect last. you make that evaluation and you go in. >> i mean one thing we know just looking at the video we're playing as you speak, there were officers present. they were armed. and they had body armor too so they had several of the things they needed. who would be responsible? there were multiple units from different agencies responding out there. i mean more than you could count as you look at the video. whose call would it be to go in
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or not to go in? >> well, jim, that's actually a great question and one of the questions that i had first and foremost, you see officers there from the independent school district police department. you see officer there is from uvalde. you see officers there from the department of public safety. you see officer there is from the federal government, from the border patrol. so you have every faction of law enforcement representative but who is in charge? that's a question that needs to be answered. it's a critical question especially when it's time to make an assessment to engage the suspect. but the first question has got to be asked by the officers engaging the suspect right now. it has to be immediate. >> the other apparent failure was the time period before the shooter entered the school, 12 minutes by the time line as provided by the police, crashes his car, fires shots, right? he wasn't just carrying the weapon but pfeifering the weapon so clearly a threat but 12 minutes before he then went into the school.
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what does that tell you about police response time to this? >> well, again, you want a response time for this type of critical incident under four minutes. again, you're talking -- look, let's be realistic, this is uvalde, a small city, less than 14,000 in population. i don't know what the size is of the uvalde police department but another point i'd like to make is when you take sandy hook, that was another small city, 10,000 in population. when an active shooter engages a small city, those resources may not be coming as quickly as you want. >> yeah. i understand. as you look at discussions now and by the way we've had these before as a country about gun legislation, lots of proposals, red flag law, expanding background checks. you've been in law enforcement and led police departments in two major cities and faced your
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share of gun crime, is there a change or a handful of changes that you believe, not going to solve all these problems, but do you believe would make a difference? >> well, first and foremost, we have to get past the situation of making sure that our officers have the resources they need to engage an active shooter like this. do they have the right weapon? do they have the technology, the live technology that, for example, our company provides, live technology that can make decisions as they're occurring. those resources are important. those are the resources that the military always had that from an officer's standpoint i'd watch and watch an example of it on tv and go, why don't we have that technology? >> they did have the resources. we saw it. i mean they had manpower there. they had body armor. they had high-powered weapons. they even had one of those big combat style vehicle, right, that was just parked out there flashing its lights. they had the tools, it seemed.
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>> absolutely. again, let's go back to the previous question, it goes back to assessment, acting and deciding, who was in charge? >> yeah. >> who was in charge? multiple agencies, let's face it, it was chaos out there. it's been chaos for the last three days. but who was in charge? >> well, we'll be seeking an answer to that question, daniel garcia, we appreciate you sharing your experience with us. >> thank you, sir. well, cnn is hearing many accounts from survivor, child survivors of this brutal attack. 10-year-old jaden perez says he's afraid to return to school. wouldn't you be? because he fears something like this may happen again. he described what it's like losing so many of his friends. >> still sad about some of my friends that died. >> who are your friends that died.
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>> jayce, mckenna, annebell. basically almost all of them. >> basically almost all of them, he says. the friends he lost. want to bring in pastor tony grubin of uvalde's baptist temple church. pastor, good to have you on this morning. i can't imagine the kinds of conversations you're having right now with people who lost loved ones, friends, family. how are they doing? >> grieving, weeping, as you would expect, questions, questions without answers, and just -- and in most cases, a lot of cases just straight shock. sometimes anger, sometimes fear, sometimes all of them rolled into one. not knowing what to do or how to
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do it and looking to each other for help and solace, perhaps, for us to provide the love and the care that they need and us trying to point them to jesus and to god that we've had a prayer service just a few days ago and the morning after having been with the families there on tuesday, and wednesday morning as i woke up, knowing that i'd have to be speaking to people as yourself and others and families that what do you say? and what do i say to myself because i too am grieving. i too am weeping and the lord just gave me a little verse, it says, god is our refuge and strength and ever present help in time of trouble, therefore, we will not fear though the earth is lay and the mountains fall into the bottom of the sea and so that's where i've been
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pointing them and also for my family, for -- i had a child that was at that school last year, so it's very close to home. >> there's sadness, of course, there's grief. there's confusion. there's anger too. i wonder how you respond to that anger and frustration we're hearing from parents. >> i've always believed that god is omnipotent, all powerful and big and can handle our anger but also don't stay there. you can't stay in your anger and -- because it will eat you up and just as this one that shot, he allowed anger to fill him so much that he would act out in such a way and we have to be careful that we too in our
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anger don't allow that to just fester and build up and then explode in actions such as this. and, you know, so it's a da dangerous thing to allow our anger to fill us. whether it's righteous or not, we have to learn to, you know, to channel it in a proper way and get over that and learn forgiveness and learn strength and learn, you know, to focus it in a positive way. >> yeah. >> the bible talks about in your anger do not seem -- that's easier said than done, i realize so that's where others of us who come in that we seek to, you know, direct the anger, i guess, to positive outcomes. >> yeah, my mom used to say, put it to good use. pastor tony gruben. i know you're probably have the first of many difficult conversations you have to have.
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we wish you the best of luck. >> i appreciate it. if you would like to offer support for those involved in the texas school shooter please go to cnn.com/impact. there are a lot of great verified ways there to help the community and they need help. it's a great resource in times like this. still to come, what we're learning about president biden's upcoming visit to uvalde on sunday and the message he will deliver to the second community rocked by a deadly mass shooting in just two weeks, the second community the president has gone to visit. plus, a significant move by senator minority leader mitch mcconnell on gun legislation. what he is trucking senator john cornyn to do and which bill is now the focus of bipartisan negotiations. that's coming up. and a teacher's cry for gun reform. what would actually make her feel safer in the classroom? we're going to speak to one coming up. s getting graded on her green investments with merrill. a-plus.. still got it. (whistle blows)
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that's decision tech. only from fidelity. once again president on his way to the scene of a mass shooting in america. president biden and the first lady will visit uvalde, texas, on sunday to meet with families of those young victims, this is the second time in just two weeks the president has had to console a community rocked by a deadly mass shooting. cnn's john harwood is traveling with the president in annapolis for the naval academy's co commencement ceremony. they just did this two weeks ago. it's an american story. what are his plans for texas? >> reporter: well, i think once he finishes this diversion of
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this commencement speech which is not expected to touch on the gun issue, the president is going to deliver a very familiar message of consolation and empathy for the family members of the victims, for other members of the community. he'll pete with religious leaders, little dicier to meet with law enforcement given the way stories have been shifting, that was not part of the announced itinerary for the president meeting with law enforcement. but we can also expect the president to continue his pitch for some sort of action in congress on gun legislation of some type, whether it's red flag laws, whether it's expanded background checks, certainly don't expect the possibility of action on assault weapons which is something that president biden helped bring about in 1994 and late their ban expired ten years later but it's really the push for gun legislation, it's out of president biden's hands and out of democrats' hands because this is really a decision for republicans who have roadblocked opposition to
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things like expanded background checks, even after the newtown massacre in 2012. the question is, are they prepared to go in a different direction and as lauren fox our colleague has reported, mitch mcconnell said he's interested in some negotiations so that's taking place, the white house is staying back from that and there's always the possibility something can change and we will see if that happens, guys. >> yeah, we'll see. john harwood, thanks so much. as we were discussing there are positive signs lawmakers could be ready to move on gun legislation. cnn learned senate minority leader mcconnell directed john cornyn to work with democrats among them chris murphy on potential legislative response. lauren fox joins me now from capitol hill. you and i have talked about this before at different moments where action did not happen after an initial sort of flurry of activity here but we are hearing, joe walsh on the air a
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short time ago, others hearing from republicans that this time may be different. i'm curious what do you hear and do you believe it? >> reporter: well, i think the context is important here, jim. we are talking about a much smaller universe of what might be possible up here on capitol hill. you are not talking about resurrecting an assault weapons ban, something that would have barred the shooter from being able to purchase an ar-15 but instead a narrow scope of options that republicans and democrats are going to try to hammer out over the next couple of days. lawmakers are away from washington for the next week. we will see if this momentum continues, but we're looking at a universe of things like universal background checks, something much more scaled back, though, something along the lines of what manchin and toomey negotiated many years ago after the sandy hook shooting in connecticut. there's also debate over red flag laws but this wouldn't be a
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national red flack law. instead it would be an opportunity for states to pass their own red flag laws and then congress would incentivize them with funding. there's also discussion about mental health. it is significant that minority leader mitch mcconnell told me yesterday after meeting with senator john cornyn that he thought that he wanted cornyn to go in and have these conversations and this is exactly what he told me, i have encouraged had him to talk with senator murphy and senator sinema and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that is directly related to the problem. i am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution. again, jim, the key line there, something that is directly related to the problem. what do republicans view as in that universe and do they argue that something larger like background checks may not be part of that, these negotiations just in their infancy, we'll have to give it time to see how they play out, jim.
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>> absolutely. and notable language there from mcconnell. lauren, thanks so much. still ahead, more survivors tell their stories about what happened during that hour, full hour the gunman was in their school killing teachers, students while survivors huddled in classrooms waiting for help plus what one teacher says would make her feel safer. starts a miro to brainstorm. “shoot it?” suggests the scientists. so they shoot it. hmm... back to the miro b board. dave says “feed it?” and dave feeds it. just then our hero has a breakthrough. "shoot it, camera, shoot a movie!" and so our humble team saves the day by working together. on miro.
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more children are speaking out about their experience in these horrific moments after a gunman stormed into robb elementary school. listen to what an 8-year-old told my colleague laura coates last night. >> well, at first the -- a lady came to the classroom and knocked on our doors with a purple shirt. she said, go and hide and we turned off all the lights and went to the back of the classroom and put a desk in front of us and we were hiding. i learned that we were having a real drill because we've practiced a lot and i think we -- we were safe because we practiced. i was praying thinking why is this happening? >> why is this happening? students will bear the burden of that trauma for years as will
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their teachers. don lemon spoke with a substitute teacher at uvalde high school which went on lockdown during the shooting. listen to what she had to tell her students. >> i had to reassure them that we were going to get through it together and promised them literally i would take the bullet to them before anything happened. i told them just to stay quiet, continue hiding, we prayed together. we hugged each other. we stayed on the floor. we stayed on the floor for almost -- it felt like i think five or six hours. >> kids are hiding in their classrooms. let's speak now to mary mcconaughey, an english teacher and new parent herself as well in maryland. she joins me live. mary, i want to ask you because you wrote an opinion piece for education week titled a devastated teacher's plea for gun reform. there are a lot of folks who say here's what teachers need to feel safer and be safer. you're a teacher. what do you need to feel safer? >> i think that, i mean, first
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and foremost i would love to live in a country that has fewer guns than it does right now, but i also know that things like anti-bullying programs need more fun funding. social, emotional, education and awareness in schools, these are all things that schools can be doing even if we can't get sweeping gun reform. >> yeah. it's a good point because so often after the fact you hear of warning signs for the students who carry out these kinds of things, not always but sometimes you hear from gun advocates that the solution is arm the teachers, put a gun in your hands. what's your reaction? >> teachers are very used to being told what is best for them and to me that sounds like a policy that was written without
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the consultation of a teacher and i can't imagine a world where more guns would make classrooms safer. >> i try to picture that myself. just as a teacher, what would that mean? what would it feel like to have a gun and a holster as you walk around the classroom surrounded by children? what would that look like? >> i think walking into schools with metal detectors is, you know, can be traumatizing for students and so to imagine that every teacher would have a gun, it would be even more of a constant reminder that the kids aren't safe, that the schools arant safe. you know, i hear about new ideas about adding trip wires to schools and making entrances feel literally like maximum security prisons, and that isn't going -- that isn't going to
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help. that if we're worried about the trauma of these drills, we're worried about, you know, students seeing this on tv, going harder in this way isn't going to help that trauma. it's not going to make them feel safer. it's just a constant reminder that that threat is real. >> you just became a parent, as well, so you experienced this as a teacher and as a mother. i want to give you a chance here because there is as we often see another debate on capitol hill, another effort to pass some sort of gun legislation. if you had a moment in the room with that bipartisan group of senators trying to work something out right now, what would you tell them? >> i guess i would ask them to be empathetic for a moment, to really put themselves in our place, i might remind them how
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teachers feel when they walk into a classroom, how they look around the room and see, you know, what can be used as a barricade, what can be used as a projectile? these are folks who just a year and a half ago went through a similar situation that our children have gone through. you know, where they were afraid for their lives and so bringing them back to that moment, you know, what was going through their minds and now as a parent, how powerless would they feel if they showed up at their school and couldn't get to their kids. >> yeah. it's a great comparison. you had lawmakers hiding behind their desks during january 6th and had children hiding under the desks yesterday or earlier this week. mary mcconnaha, thanks for joining us.
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>> thank you. still ahead, cdc data shows where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. how the u.s. stacks up globally when it comes to gun legislation and the steps other countries have taken after mass shootings that have made a difference. that's coming up. ...demands a lotion this pure. new gold bond pure moisture lotion. 24-hour hydration. no parabens, dyes, or fragrances.s. gold bond. chamampion your skin. - common percy! - yeah let's go! on a trip. book with priceline. you save more, so you can “woooo” more. - wooo - wooo. you save more, so youwooooo!!!!!” more. woohooooo!!!! w-o-o-o-o-o... yeah, feel the savings. priceline. every trip is a big deal. covid-19 moves fast,
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right now there are american lawmakers, democrats and republicans, who are expressing some optimism that this time after this latest mass shooting,
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there may be some movement on gun legislation in congress, maybe. we've been here before. nothing has happened despite enormous public pressure. just think post-sandy hook. tom forman looks at how the u.s. responds to mass shootings compares to the responses of countries around the world. >> reporter: jim, it may be very hard to unwind all these years of gun violence in this country and figure out how to fix it, but some gun control advocates say it is easy to at least look at what others are trying. when five people were gunned down in the united kingdom last summer the nation was shocked. it's had some of the world's toughest gun laws ever since a mass school shooting in 1996. gun deaths fell by half, mass shootings became extremely rare. so in the wake of the new attack, the government announced even tighter restrictions including mandatory medical tests for mental illness or instability in would-be gun
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owners. >> my thoughts are very much with the families of all those who have tragically lost their lives, absolutely appalling incident. >> reporter: large-scale shootings have triggered new limits on gun ownership and access in numerous countries and advocates for gun control point to them as proof that mass shooting incidents can be dramatically reduced. >> a gunman kills more than two dozen people and injures several others. >> reporter: 35 people were killed during an australian shooting spree in 1996. despite a strong gun culture and stiff political resistance the government launched a massive gun buyback program. banning automatic and semi auto weapon, murders and suicides with firearms plummeted and there's been only one mass shooting since. >> there is no need in canada for guns designed to kill. >> reporter: canada has enacted tough gun education, qualification and registration requirements in response to mass shootings there.
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a slaughter in nova so much that in 2020 spurred opponents to say those laws don't work but, again, gun control advocates note an overall downward trend in gun deaths over the past 20 years. >> we know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. >> reporter: after 51 people were killed in new zealand in 2019 by an australian gunman who targeted masks, the government in six days went after military-style semiautomatic weapons, high-capacity magazines and more. >> every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on friday will be banned in this country. >> reporter: and the prime minister said just this week, they are not done. >> there's still obviously guns that are misused in new zealand so i won't sit here and say that our system is perfect, but we
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saw something that wasn't right and we acted on it and i can only speak to that experience. >> reporter: gun right supporters insist you can't prove these regulations caused a decrease in mass shootings or that they would work in america. but these countries believe they have found a key to reducing gun violence and it starts with the guns. jim. >> tom foreman, thanks so much. brace yourself. this morning we are learning about more of the victims of tuesday's massacre. another identified this morning. there she is. miranda mathis, just 11 years old. her friends described her as a bright, fun and spunky girl and you can see it in her face. we're also learning about 11-year-old layla salazar who was also in fourth grade of the her family tells us layla loved and there she is, to run, climb tree, swim in the river with her two big brothers. they say she started each day by
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dancing and singing to the song "sweet "sweet child o' mine." quite a choice and she loved her family very much. >> hey, guys, today is mother's day, okay. and if you haven't said happy mother's day to your mom what are you doing. go say it right now and i just wanted to wish all the moms out there happy mother's day, even though you're not my mom and i also wanted to say i hope all the moms out there have an awesome and blessed day. >> this is not only princess, she's my everything. we went together everywhere. she was like stuck on me like glue. >> she was our world. >> she was our world. >> and we're facing that. even though we can't speak up, our hearts are shattered.
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the choice for attorney general is clear. democrat rob bonta has a passion for justice and standing up for our rights. bonta is laser focused on protecting the right to vote and defending obamacare. but what's republican eric early's passion? early wants to bring trump-style investigations on election fraud to california, and early says he'll end obamacare and guard against the growing socialist communist threat. eric early. too extreme, too conservative right now millions of americans are hitting the road for memorial day weekend. one aaa is calling the most expensive one ever. the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is now $4.60, up from $3.04 last year. a ten-year high even adjusted for inflation.
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but there's little sign those rising prices will keep americans offer the road. cnn's pete muntean reports. >> reporter: he makes $10,000 but that is not enough to afford a trip to the lake. that has kept his plans in park. >> maybe for the affluent they can afford it. for me to go anywhere as minimum $200 decision in regards to gas. >> reporter: gas prices are the highest they have been since 2012 but the pain goes beyond the pump. new data says hotels jumped 42% compared to last year. airfare is up 6%. >> this will likely be one of the most expensive memorial day travel peers we've ever seen. >> reporter: even still aaa thinks americans will not be stopped. traveling to top destinations such as orlando, miami and las vegas.
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the latest projection, 34.9 million people will drive 50 miles or more over the five days around memorial day. >> do you think the numbers will be all that far off from the projection. >> our projections have always been pretty accurate but we've never been trying to project in an environment like this. >> reporter: the new fear is this expensive start to summer travel could last. gas buddy's patrick dahon thinks it won't dip below $4.50 for months. >> it may slow down some, but certainly there's still a very healthy appetite to hit the road this summer. >> ready for school, baby girl? >> reporter: not so for eric. he says he's choosing to pay for his daughter's day care over a road trip. >> fun has been postponed for the indefinite future. while i'd like to say there'san end in sight, i just don't see one. >> when you adjust it for inflation gas prices are the highest they have been in ten
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years. not since memorial day 2012 have we seen something like this. on the roads traffic is building. it's really going to feel more like 2019 although not totally there yet. the point is, you got to be patient and really pad your wallet this time around, this memorial day weekend is going to cost you, jim. >> pete muntean in washington, thanks so much. thanks for joining us through difficult stories. i'm jim sciutto. "this hour with kate bolduan" starts after a short break. ♪ ♪ we believe there's an innovator in all of us. that's whwhy we build technoloy thatat helps everyone come to the table and do more incredible things. ♪ ♪ [ indistinct conversations ] ♪ hey, class. this is lily. ♪
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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. we are hearing now excruciating accounts directly from the children who survived the mass murder in uvalde, texas. the brave students are sharing harrowing accounts of what unfolded inside their classrooms where 12 of their classmates, sorry, 19 of their classmates and two teachers were murdered. one of those survivors, an 11-year-old girl, she is now talking to cnn laying out the horrific lengths that she had to go to to try and protect herself in the middle of all of this. rubbing her friend's blood on herself to play dead. we're going to bring you her account. her story and why she feels strongly about speaking out right now. we'll bring that to you very soon. on the investigation, police have still not provided adequate answers about their response to the massacre or even a clear time line really of what happened. why did it tak

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