tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 29, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
right direction anyway they can, it has been a family favorite, for years, i would watch that every year. >> i would watch it but never bet on it. [ laughter ] thank you for watching, nightly news is next.>> see you at 6:00. tonight, the federal probe just announced into the school shooting in uvalde the justice department now reviewing what went wrong in the delayed police response and the powerful images tonight as the president and first lady visit, wiping away tears as they grieve with families hero teacher speaks out she was inside the school with her students when the gunman opened fire >> i stayed and just kept getting kids out. >> will anything change? residents shout "do something" at the president. >> do something! new signs today, lawmakers are looking for common ground to
reform gun laws. deadly crash on the water. two boats collide, killing the five people on board. the dramatic rescue of one survivor the summer travel season off to a bumpy start with flight cancellations and delays piling up >> i just want to get home >> one of the biggest airlines announcing it's already canceled 100 flights every day for the entire season. tom cruise soaring into the record books. the new "top gun" movie is his biggest opening ever and ahead of memorial day, the emotional salute between a proud father and his heroic daughter >> announcer: this i nbc "nightly news" with kate snow good evening i'm kristen welker in for kate snow. as families across the country prepare to mark memorial day, there is only deepening grief in uvalde, texas. and tonight, the justice department is weighing in, saying it will open a review into why it took
officers nearly an hour to take out the gunman, as children were repeatedly calling 911. joe biden was in uvalde today, meeting with the community in mourning the president, emotional and promising washington will act but what will that action look like, and will it be enough to stop the next mass shooting by one count, more than 1500 people have been killed in more than 270 mass shootings since 2009 an epidemic that only happens in this country. we have multiple reports tonight, beginning with sam brock in uvalde. >> reporter: tonight, president biden paying his respects to the victims of uvalde. lying flowers at this memorial, at almost exactly the same time the u.s. justice department announced a critical incident review of the police response to the mass shooting to identify lessons learned and best practices. as this community fumes. >> you pd are cowards! >> reporter: officers waited in a hallway for more than 45
minutes before federal agents overrode guidance to stand by, unlocked the classroom, and killed the gunman, according to senior law enforcement officials. do you feel like there's been any kind of explanation >> hell no [ bleep ] no they have not explained themselves at all no explanation will change this. nothing! >> reporter: raw emotion everywhere, with long lines to see the memorial in 100 degree heat. president biden consoling those grieving, at one point wiping a tear from his eye. as for governor greg abbott, he was greeted with large jeers and screams. >> we need change! >> reporter: the head of state has repeatedly defended current gun policy and said this situation could have been much worse. hollow words for the family of eliano torres >> to me she means a lot. she means some part of my body and they took that away from me. >> she was a star that shined, and now that she's gone, it's just like, the star that just dimmed out. >> reporter: for
families who have had some irreplaceable stolen, it's time for accountability and answers. does it feel to you like police did their job? >> no. >> no, because the clock is ticking, see, every second counts. it's not minutes it's notten hour it's seconds and they never did anything i was watching them leaning on the car, see, you know, like they're protecting themselves what about those kids? >> reporter: kids whose closest cousins share their aspirations. what did eliana want to be when she grew up >> a lawyer and a nurse. >> reporter: a lawyer and a nurse? and now, their tears nurse -- does it her here, too? does it feel like there's something missing? >> it feels like a part of me just fell off. it feels like i only have one piece of my heart now. >> reporter: there's something that's gone?
>> heartbreaking to hear from that little girl and sam joins me now from uvalde. sam, you mentioned that critical incident review from the justice department how rare is that >> reporter: pretty rare, kristen. you can count on one hand the number of times the doj has taken similar action after a mass shooting, with san bernardino and orlando recent examples kristen? >> sam brock, starting our coverage tonight we are learning more tonight about the terror that unfolded inside robb elementary school it comes from a teacher who many are now calling a hero our morgan chesky spoke with her about what happened righ after she saw the gunman outside her classroom window >> i just kept hearing boom, boom, boom it kept going off in what felt -- it felt like an eternity that this was going on. >> reporter: when nicole augbern spotted the gunman outside her window, she told her kids to hit the floor just seconds before he opened fire. >> i had one student laying on top of me.
>> what were you telling the kids >> i just told them pray, pray, keep praying. >> reporter: she and her students, hiding in silence until officers evacuated them through bullet riddled windows. >> there was glass on the window sill. i stayed and kept getting kids out me and the last two kids jumped out the window and we just ran. they kept telling us run, run, run. >> reporter: it wasn't until nicole made it out with her 15 students, she realized many did not >> i've gotten text messages from parents telling me that i'm their hero and i'm not a hero in any way but i do love those kids very much >> reporter: i can see that tonight, with 21 crosses now filling her hometown square, aug burn fighting to make sure hope triumphs hate. do you think you'll ever be able to erase that image of the gunman walking towards your school?
>> i can close my eyes and i see that image of him and that gun walking up to my school and it haunts me, but at the same time, i've told myself i will not live in fear and i want to do that and teach my own children that. you can't live in fear >> reporter: morgan chesky, nbc news, uvalde >> incredible bravery there. this latest mass shooting has reignited the fierce debate over new gun laws, and there were some signs that today maybe, just maybe, both sides in congress are willing to look for some common ground. but as josh lederman reports, there is also deep skepticism. >> reporter: tonight, joe biden with a reassuring message for uvalde residents who are pleading for action [ chants of "do something" ] >> reporter: but history suggests otherwise. after nearly every mass shooting, talk of new federal gun laws, and then nothing like after columbine >> congress decided it could agree on nothing to stop the next
episode of teen violence >> reporter: and sandy hook >> support for gun control and an assault weapons ban have stalled in congress. >> reporter: but tonight, democrats pushing stricter gun laws are sounding cautiously optimistic. >> i've seen more republican interest coming to the table and talking at this time than any other moment since sandy hook >> reporter: democrat chris murphy now leading urgent bipartisan negotiations with support from president biden and senate gop leader mitch mcconnell, who says he wants solutions directly related to what happened in uvalde what's on the table? red flag laws that would deny guns to individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others. expanded background checks, which americans overwhelmingly support. but neither of those proposals would have stopped the uvalde gunman or many others. "the new york times" devoting a full page today to the long list of mass shootings where the guns were purchased legally. >> if you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the democrats have, none
of them would have stopped this >> reporter: also on the table, more dollars for mental health and school security >> i'm not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. >> reporter: the white house leading it to lawmakers to strike a deal amongst themselves over the memorial day recess. >> let's all agree, we've got something that's within our power to do it >> reporter: tonight, grieving residents of uvalde wondering whether this time will be different >> and josh joins us now from the white house. josh, what are the next steps in congress >> reporter: senators from both parties will meet virtually this week and hope to have a bill ready to vote on by next week. there may be just a short window to act before the momentum from this mass shooting fades kristen? >> it is all about the momentum josh lederman, thank you. now to another story we've been following this weekend, that deadly boat collision in georgia that killed five people, including a schoolteacher and several members of his family it happened on a river near savannah on what is typically one of the busiest boating weekends of the year katie beck has new details.
>> reporter: hoisted by helicopter to safety, this is one of four survivors in a deadly boat crash in georgia, where five others lost their lives. >> we're going to need additional ambulance >> i have unconscious victims. undoubtedly coming to you, a possible third in the water >> reporter: a memorial day weekend tragedy unfolding near savannah, georgia, saturday morning, when two center console boats traveling in opposite directions collided on the wilmington river authorities confirming savannah history teacher his chris lefler, his life, lori and their sons 23-year-old zach and 17-year-old nate died in the accident. as well as 37-year-old robert chauncey. >> there's a lot of people that are hurting right now. >> reporter: chris, known as a passionate, caring teacher and football coach >> we just looked at each other with tears in our eyes, how do you go on? >> reporter: officials
charged one driver, not on the lefler's boat, 45-year-old mark steigal, with boating under the influence. the associated press reporting lefler's daughter and her friend is among the survivors. >> she's going to have a big challenge ahead of her >> reporter: a weekend expected for celebration, ending in devastation. leaving families and communities grappling with grief katie beck, nbc news turning now to the latest developments in russia's war with ukraine. president zelenskyy made a rare visit outside of the capital to the city of kharkiv, where ukrainian soldiers had pushed russian forces from just weeks ago. it comes just hours after russia says it test fired another hyper sonic missile which can travel from 5 to 25 times the speed of sound now to our nbc news special series, "vote watch. in 2020, the number of black voters surged, helping democrats win the presidential election, but there's been a shift with
support dropping for president biden and others in the party, and it could have a big impact on the midterms here is our report from pennsylvania. >> we've got some free giveaways. >> reporter: jasir helped turn out the vote for president biden in 2020. but now -- >> we have a lot of black people that feel like we sacrificed a lot to make sure this administration came in, and we haven't collectively reaped the benefits >> reporter: the pittsburgh activist says biden has failed to deliver on his promises >> there's been a direct attack on our voting rights. that hasn't been addressed. right? we did all of this organizing around police reform. but like the opposite has happened it's almost like we're last on the agenda >> reporter: a year ago, exit polls show biden's approval rating among black voters at 87%. now, it's 63%. but ahead of the midterms, biden and democrats will need to convince voters to turn out
al sahid voted for the first time in 2020 >> democrats haven't done anything to improve my black quality, my black quality of life in the states i might have to sit this one out >> reporter: jaime harrison, chair of the democratic national committee, said the biden administration has taken a number of steps, like providing funding for black owned businesses, and historically black colleges and universities what do you say to black voters who say president biden hasn't delivered on the promises he made on the campaign trail >> i like to tell folks, rome wasn't build in a way we want to do more, but we have to have more votes in the united states senate to do it >> reporter: maya campbell agrees. the philadelphia resident is eager to to her student loans forgiven forgiven >> i think he needs more time to make change i love that he's putting a lot of african american women in positions >> reporter: still, black voters like will mega say democrats
need to get much more aggressive what would you say to president biden if you could speak to him >> i would say, mr. president, we delivered for you. it's time for you to deliver for us >> reporter: a direct message from the voters that democrats will have to win back before the midterms. coming up next, the summer travel season is already off to a rocky start are all those flight delays and cancellations this weekend a sign of things to come
we're back now with a preview of what could be a troubling start to the summer travel season. since friday, thousands of flights have been delayed or canceled we tell you what's behind the backups and how it could get worse this summer. >> reporter: the holiday weekend is kicking off summer and a chaotic start to the season's anticipated travel boom. as thousands of passengers face flight delays and cancellations amid bad weather and staffing shortages. >> i've never had anything remotely close to this. >> reporter: among the frustrated, darrell berg who resorted to driving seven hours after delta canceled the last leg of his flight >> i asked them at the service desk why it was canceled they said "we don't have a crew. >> reporter: are you worried about your trip home now? >> absolutely. >> reporter: his travel woes, a potential sign of what's to come, if demand remains high through the summer nearly 7 million taking to the skies so far this holiday weekend, up 25% from
last year, and just shy of pre-pandemic numbers. but airlines have thousands fewer employees than they did in 2019. which means even small disruptions can have a rippling effect. delta leads in cancellations, blaming bad weather and congested air space. just case after announcing it's trimming summer flights by about 2%, joining jetblue and alaska airlines in pairing back schedules to reduce disruptions. passengers stuck in hartsfield-jackson today. the average cost of a ticket, nearly $400. that's a 28% increase from 2019. and the result of the summer season, steep jet fuel prices and surging demand but will that demand hold >> at what point do people say enough? i'm going to change my plans and not go anywhere that remains to be seen >> reporter: in the meantime, expert say book early, avoid checking bags and be
the hollywood blockbuster is back big time the new "top gun" movie is flying toward a record-breaking weekend, but most surprising, it's the biggest opening weekend of tom cruise's 40-year career maggie vespa has more on the summer movie rebound. >> reporter: tonight, a heart-pumping throwback launching an industry comeback. >> good morning, aviators this is your captain speaking >> reporter: and catapulting an iconic career to new heights.
>> i just want to manage expectations. >> reporter: the highly-anticipated "top gun: maverick" on track to rake in $151 million this weekend it could even end up being the biggest memorial day weekend opener ever. but is already the highest-grossing debut of tom cruise's 40-year career the sequel comes 36 years after the original "top gun," and after years of covid-related delays >> i kept having to push off the premiere and the release dates. i was like this film is going to come out mid-spring >> reporter: cruise's commitment holding strong, even after more hollywood heavyweights turn to streaming. >> here they come. >> reporter: from tom hanks to denzel washington to the rock for theaters, "top gun: maverick" is rocket fuel. it's also poised to kick off the first normal summer movie season since the pandemic began after 2019 summer raked in $4.3 billion,
2020 saw just a meager $176 million 2021 signalled a rebound at $1.8 billion. analysts see that trend continuing, with upcoming releases like jurassic world dominion and author thor movie. >> there's nothing like that magic created in a movie theater. that's why it's coming back in a big way. >> in three, two, one -- >> reporter: theaters, summer forecast, all clear and ready for takeoff. maggie vespa, nbc news, hollywood. >> get your tickets and your aviators. when we come back, legacy of service, the emotional moment a father and daughte celebrate their shared dedication to the nation
you're looking at arlington national cemetery in virginia, where this weekend service members placed flags among the markers. it's a pre-memorial day tradition and a way to pay tribute to all those buried there, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice. and there is good news tonight ahead of this memorial day about the bond between a father and his daughter, and their legacy of service to our country. >> reporter: at home in maryland -- >> thank god i am a winner. >> reporter: they are competitors on the court. >> good shot >> reporter: but now, tamiya clark and her dad, army sergeant major mark clark, jr., are also united in service. >> the president of the united states has authorized me to commission them as second lieutenants in the united states army >> reporter: that's tamiya on the left, just weeks ago, when
the 21-year-old graduate from ft. valley state university in georgia followed in her father's footsteps, officially becoming an army officer there's tamiya's dad, facing her for the traditional first salute the two shaking hands, then sharing an embrace. the solemn ceremony marks the moment a cadet becomes a commissioned officer for this father and daughter, now bound by commitment to their country, the emotions palpable a shared experience they'll never forget >> when i raised my hand to do the salute, i lost all my military bearing, and tears were running out of my eyes i just pulled her to me because i wanted to hold her one more time before i had to -- before i had to let her go >> he gave me my first salute it was just like, oh, my gosh. he was like, i'm so proud of you i just started crying. >> it became very surreal that she
wasn't my baby anymore. >> reporter: for the clarks, this military milestone is rooted in their personal history. >> the background for my family in the military starts with my father. he served and then i was the second generation and my children were the third generation as well as my wife, who also served. she's a sergeant major. >> reporter: a family now forever linked by a pledge to protect the nation honoring those carrying on the fight for freedom. >> serving my country is probably one of the biggest honors that i think anyone can have. i gave the best that i could for our country. but at this point, i think i gave the absolute most i could ever give. and i gave it in my daughter >> that's for sure we would like to thank the clarks and all those in the military for their service. that's nbc "nightly news" for this sunday. i'm kristen welker thank you for watching, and good night.
and in virginia, arizona, and other states, fanduel and draftkings use loopholes to pay far less than was promised. sound familiar? it should. it's another bad scheme for california. right now 6:00, solidarity for the victims of the robb elementary school shooting. the bay area memorial honoring the attack in texas. >> president biden and what he heard during the visit. crowds turning up for memorial day, in the middle of a covid uptake, talking with experts about the risk of a surge. thank you for joining us, i am audrey. >> i am carrie mcsweeney, and question for
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