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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 4, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. i am paula newton at cnn center. at this hour, we are following breaking news out of michigan. after hours on the run, police say they have now arrested the parents of the suspect in tuesday's deadly school shooting. now, it comes not long after authorities announced they had found the couple's car in detroit. authorities considered james and jennifer crumbley to be fugitives after they failed to show up for their arraignment on charges of involuntary manslaughter friday afternoon. now, investigators say their son shot and killed four students at
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oxford high school earlier this week. seven others were wounded. now, legal experts have pointed out that these charges against the crumbleys are unusual, but the local prosecutor there says their behavior was egregious before the shooting led to the charges being filed. we want to go straight to detroit, michigan, where cnn's shimon prokupecz joins us live. shimon, you've been following this for several days, several hours, and now just in the last hour, this dramatic news. you're in detroit right now awaiting a police press conference. let us know what unfolded. >> reporter: so just about 11:00 or so, we got word that there was a search going on here in detroit, and so the police descended on this area. dozens of police officers, u.s. marshals have all been searching for most of the day for the parents. they found them at this -- there was a building not far from where i'm standing behind me
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here. that's where they were arrested. that's where they were apprehended on the first floor. what brought police here was that someone called 911 to report that they saw the car, the car that police were looking for. they saw a woman standing near the car that fit the description of the mother. and so police started their search, and then they found them in the building here behind me. so now we're waiting for police to brief us on what they know and how that went, the search for them. we understand they were taken into custody without incident. they're now being transported to a detention center, and at some point they're going to wind up back in oakland. we don't know why detroit, why they wound up here. this is about 40 minutes or so from oakland. they don't seem to have any kind of connections to this area, but we're waiting for police to tell us exactly. it just seems kind of strange that they would wind up here. they were in other areas of michigan, but it's still really strange that they wound up here. but it was the car, right?
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the police put out a photo of what the car looked like. they put out the license plate, and really someone here who saw something and called police, which led ultimately led to them being taken into custody. >> and i want to go through what has just been really a tough day for all the families in oxford county and of course the families of the victims. but i want to ask you, the reason that this couple ended up on the run in the first place, some people have criticized the prosecutor's office because they had a press conference and announced these charges without actually knowing that the parents were in custody. >> reporter: right. without knowing that the parents were in custody and without knowing if really the police had any idea of where they were. that was the big thing. they say they were under the impression that the sheriff's office was aware. they had indications from them that they had eyes on them. they knew where they were. so they felt comfortable announcing the charges.
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the sheriff's office says, well, you know, they never told us that they were going to do this. they never told us that they were going to announce the charges, but it's kind of strange because the prosecutor's office has been telegraphing this. they've been saying in 24 hours, we're going to have an announcement. we're going to tell you whether or not we intend to charge the parents. and everyone here really knew where this was going, that they were going to charge the parents. the prosecutor's office also said that they did tell the -- i'm sorry. i think they're going to start soon. that they did tell the sheriff's office of their plans. there were meetings, and that they were led to believe -- the prosecutor's office was led to believe by the sheriff's office that they knew where they were. clearly they didn't. but for whatever reason, they went ahead and announced the charges without them being in custody, which obviously then set off a whole host of things and this chain of events where
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they were allowed to flee. and so then the search for them. police had to go ahead and search for them. paula, i think we do need to move down because they're going to start this press conference, so the police have asked us to move down. >> understood. >> reporter: so we're going to do that and we'll come back to you once we're -- >> understood. you go ahead and cover that press conference. this is, again, in detroit, again about 40 minutes from where they were living in oxford county. at this point in time, we will let you know that we will bring you that press conference live. we are waiting to hear from police exactly the details on how perhaps these parents ended up in detroit. we are learning in the meantime new information about this shooting . cnn's tom forman takes an in depth look at the timeline of these events. >> reporter: before the gunfire that terrified students, police,
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and ambulances, there were warnings. >> there was absolute reason to believe this individual was dangerous and disturbed. >> reporter: authorities suggest the immediate trouble starts november 26th, when james crumbley takes his 15-year-old son ethan to buy a sig sauer 9 millimeter pistol at a local gun shop. although the dad filled out the paperwork, the son posted a picture on social media. >> along with the caption "just got my knew beauty today". >> the sheriff says by law, the gun can't actually belong to the boy, raising key questions. >> was it given to him? was it allowed to be picked up and taken freely at his discretion, or was it stolen? >> reporter: november 27th, prosecutors say the mother, jennifer, posts "mom and son day testing out his new christmas present." november 29th, a teacher reports
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the boy is searching for ammunition on his cell phone in class. officials say the school calls and emails the mom. no response. but jennifer texts her son, "lol, i'm not mad at you. you have to learn not to get caught." the next day, another teacher sees the boy with a note. >> a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words, quote, the thoughts won't stop, help me, end quote. in another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet. quote, blood everywhere, end quote. >> reporter: there is also, prosecutors say, a drawing of a bloody body, the words "my life is useless, the world is dead." shortly after 10:00 a.m., officials say his parents come to a meeting at the school, are told their son must get counseling, but they resist taking him out of school, don't mention the new gun, and the boy returns to class. his parents leave. >> we have to leave that he had the weapon either on his person
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in his backpack or somewhere secreted in that travel route. >> reporter: just before 1:00 p.m., investigators say ethan goes into a bathroom with his bac backpack, comes out gun in hand firing. four students are killed, seven wounded. he is apprehended minutes later. at 1:22, officials say, his mother texts, ethan, don't do it. his father -- >> upon hearing that there was an active shooter on that day, mr. crumbley drove straight to his home to look for his gun. >> reporter: 1:37, the dad calls 911 to report his gun missing and to say his son may be involved. but in the wake of the note just hours before the violence, officials clearly thought there should have been more. >> the notion that a parent could read those words and also know that their son had access to a deadly weapon that they gave him is unconscionable, and
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i think it's criminal. >> reporter: of course there are questions about whether school officials acted properly, but the prosecutor says simply anyone who saw the warning signs who could have stopped this should have done something. tom foreman, cnn, washington. >> that is the background of this story. live again, shimon prokupecz is in detroit where we are awaiting a press conference from detroit police to tell us the details now that the parents of the school shooting suspect have now been arrested. you see the press conference is just about to get under way there. shimon, if you can hear me, at this point in time, i mean, again, authorities apparently a lot of authorities on the scene there, but it was still the tip-off just from a business owner, right? from a woman who recognized the vehicle, and that's how police knew where they were. >> reporter: yeah, that is our understanding. that is how the police were able to locate the vehicle because
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there was a tip, and then i think the press conference is about to start. so let me just -- >> we will listen in here with shimon prokupecz. there is detroit police. they're beginning to give us an update. let's listen in. >> is cnn ready? >> yep, we're ready. >> okay. we're live on cnn. >> all right. good evening, everybody. thank you for being here. thank you for your patience. before we get started, i just want to once again extend my condolences to the oxford community, the school, the community. as a parent myself, just certainly a parent's worst nightmare. i will provide you with limited information about what occurred this evening. before i get into that, i want to thank the hardworking men and women of the detroit police department, who continue to provide this community with policing excellence. i could not be prouder of them than i am right now and the work that they did this evening. i also want to thank our community. it was a tip that led us to this location and allowed us to do our work. i can confirm for you this
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evening that we have -- or this morning that we have taken into custody james and jennifer crumbley. again, we have in fact taken into custody without incident james and jennifer crumbley, the fugitives involved in the oxford incident. so with that, i'll take any questions. >> what were they doing in this building? what's the connection? >> the connection, they appeared to be hiding in the building, ma'am. >> but how did they know to come here? >> so the investigation is active. i'm going to respect the oakland county sheriff's department investigation, so i'm going to provide just limited information. but it does appear -- >> were they armed, chief? were they armed? >> -- and what they said? just some more information on that. >> yeah. we got a tip that they were here or that possibly the fugitives were at this location. the vehicle was spotted. officers responded in a matter of minutes. when they got here, they set up a perimeter, did surveillance. we notified and activated our metro division, our special
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response team. they came out, and they were able to take the fugitives into custody. >> how did they know they were in this building? was there something that told them they were in this building? >> there was something that told them they were in the building. there was video that had one of the fugitives entering the building, and we were confident they were in the building. >> when they entered the building, can you describe where they were in the building and the interaction? >> it's a commercial building. they were hidden inside one of the rooms in the building. >> and they did not resist? >> they did not resist. they were taken into custody. >> were both of them found in this building or just one of them and another one was found -- >> they were both taken into custody in this building. >> did they say anything when they were taken into custody? >> they did. we're not going to get into that right now. i have to respect the fact the oakland county prosecutor has a lot of work to do on this case. >> were they armed, chief? >> they were not armed. >> chief, are they in dpd custody and they're going to be transferred to oakland county? >> they were turned over to the
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oakland county sheriff's department. >> right now? >> yes. >> chief, can you say what their state of mind appeared to be or seemed to somebody were they distressed? what was there state like? >> well, they certainly appeared to be distressed as you can imagine. and as i indicated, they were in a commercial building, in a room. we were able to take them into custody without incident, but however they were very distressed as they were walking out. >> do you know how long they were hiding out in this building? any indication of how long they were here? >> the officers arrived around 10:00, 10:30. i don't know how long they were here prior to that. >> chief, how much manpower went behind this search right here? i know the u.s. marshals, the fbi was also looking for them. was it just dpd that found them? >> so this portion of it, there were other agencies that we contacted. as i indicated, the u.s. marshals were here and also the oakland county sheriff's
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department was here. that's who we turned them over to. regarding manpower, we've got a number of victims in oxford. it takes as much manpower as it takes. i mean personnel and resources to bring that family closure is inconsequential for me. we were going to use as much personnel as necessary to give the families in oxford the closure that they need in this very, very tragic incident that really has touched not just this community, not just this state, but this country. we're tired of this. i mean this is awful. >> is this an abandoned building? >> it's not an abandoned building. it's a commercial building, and i believe they do a lot of art and artwork in this building. >> was there any indication to believe that they have -- >> it just seems -- >> were you surprised that they were here? >> certainly. i mean i'm surprised that they're here, but i'm not surprised that the work that the men and women of this department did to get them out of this building and into custody. >> can you talk about your officers? your officers have done so many amazing things recently, and
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this is just another thing that you guys are really doing. >> policing excellence. i could not be rprouder. i've been back as chief now six months, and they never fail to amaze me. their professionalism that they exhibit on a day in and day out basis, policing excellence. and what they did here tonight is just an example of that. very, very proud. >> when you say they were in distress, without get nting int what they said, can you describe more of that? were they crying? was there some -- what was going on? >> one of them, head down, had a hoodie on, and just very upset as you can imagine. i mean, you know, it's hard to paint the picture. just very distressed in light of being taken into custody and hiding in this building. >> any indication to believe they were aided in getting into the building? >> yes. yes, in fact they were aided, and we're looking into that portion of the investigation. that part is very active right now. our metro division has information that they're sharing
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with the u.s. marshals and they'll be sharing with the oakland county sheriff's department. >> do you expect there to be further charges? >> there is likely to be charges. but, again, we've got two prosecutors now that's going to be involved in that part of it. we've got the oakland county prosecutors as well as our own prosecutor in wayne county. so they'll be working together. we'll be turning over that information. i don't know who will be charging the case. >> when you say aided, did someone let them in? they did not break in? >> they did not break in. >> any relationship they had with the crumbleys, whoever let them in? >> we don't know yet. we're unpacking that information right now. that part is active, and we know who this person is. we know that subject. >> a few more questions. >> could they be facing charges? >> absolutely. >> were the crumbleys trying to escape to canada? >> we're still looking into that. we're turning over all that we have and all of the information that was gleaned here tonight. >> was there any reason to believe -- was there any reason to believe that they were intending to turn themselves in,
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or do you guys believe they were fleeing here? >> i don't know, but this isn't indicative of turning yourself in, hiding in a warehouse. so i don't know. >> a couple more questions. >> just the whole consent of see something, say something. >> again, our community has been amazing. thank you, community. thank you for working with us, partnering with this police agency. there's been a number of cases recently that we could not have gotten where we are without our community. tonight again our community came through for us, so thank you very much. >> so was someone else taken into custody besides the two? >> just the two tonight. >> but the other thing is still ongoing? >> still ongoing. >> where they were hiding, is that owned by the person who let them in? >> don't know. we did speak with the owners of the building. i don't know if that particular space was owned or leased by the person who let them in. >> sir, one more. >> is anybody else being questioned at this time actively or in police custody? >> no one else is in custody yet, but we are working an angle on one other person that may have been assisting them.
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>> all right. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, chief. >> that was chief james white. he's from the detroit police department, our shimon prokupecz was listening in there on that press conference. some really interesting developments there and perhaps the most interesting is that chief white there saying, look, someone helped them get into that building where they were hiding out. that there are charges still pending. that the couple is now in the custody of the oakland county sheriff's department where perhaps they will face arraignment tomorrow. we go now to shimon prokupecz, who was there for all of that. shimon, i mean i actually wasn't expecting that curveball that he said that, in fact, someone helped get them into that building and that they could now be facing charges. >> reporter: yeah. so that was kind of surprising because there was some question that i certainly had. okay, why did they wind up here
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in detroit? so now we know that the police are working an angle where someone told them to come here, that someone perhaps may have helped them get inside this building. they didn't break into the building. i want to show you something, paula, you may not be able to see. the car is kind of behind -- well, this guy here is standing so you can't see. but the car is parked in a parking spot. so they just came in, drove through this parking lot, parked the car, and it's just sitting there in a parking spot like nothing. so someone saw the car. it's really -- it's really striking. the car is just there, like just taking a space. so they clearly knew to come here, and we know that. we didn't know that before. they clearly knew to come here and that there would be a place for them to hide out. it didn't work because someone saw them and called 911, and the chief saying, well, thank you to the community for doing that. and as a result, the police were able to take them into custody. but, yeah, that curveball that now someone else is being investigated for essentially
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aiding them, aiding their escape or, you know, for their help on being on the run. and now that person is potentially facing charges. >> yeah. shimon, we could see the car, and actually that's troubling, right? they just basically drove right in, parked this car as if they were, you know, parking up to a mall or something, and then got into this building, which is why the chief said, look, you know, there could be other charges pending here. we're getting a much better look now at the car. as you said, it was there. they weren't even making an attempt to kind of hide it, and they were in the building right next to where that car was parked. shimon, i also want to point out -- and this is no small thing. they did say that they basically were in distress, that they surrendered to police, that they were not armed. and i have to say that when police approached them, they couldn't have known that, right? these were people that they knew had bought guns and knew how to handle guns. >> reporter: right. they couldn't have known that. but when you see the type of officers that came in here,
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s.w.a.t. team members, right? heavily armed officers. they had to come in here and they had to go through this building to look for them. there is video of them going into the building. so they knew. they had a lot of information, so they were able to prepare, suit up, and go in and look through the building. and then they found them. they found them in a particular area of the building, and so they don't know if they knew the owners of this space in the building, and so that is something they're still trying to figure out. but it is really interesting that someone let them in. so that's going to be an interesting angle once we learn who that person is. >> interesting, shimon, and just so troubling. i keep thinking of right now, people in the community of oakland county, the parents and the students, the teachers, the staff from oxford high school having to listen to us right now and know that someone helped this couple and the fact that they were afraid of what this couple might do in desperation and that they might be fugitives for quite some time. again, not there to submit to justice as they were supposed to
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on friday, but also not there obviously to help their son go through what he's going through right now, which are incredibly serious charges. shimon, i want to backtrack a little. it's been quite a day for you and everyone there in the area. obviously, again, i point to what the families are going through. take us through what they heard from prosecutor karen mcdonald and what she alleges the parents knew about the incident. >> well, they heard today from -- friday, i should say, from the prosecutor in announcing those charges, going through chilling detail about what the parents -- how they were interacting with their son, saying there were text messages, that they were aware that he was having some troubles, that they took him to the gun store with them when they purchased the weapon, essentially alleging that they bought this gun for him. we heard that on monday, the day before the shooting, that the 15-year-old was in class. a teacher saw him in class
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researching bullets and that the teacher raised this issue to school administrators. school administrators told the parents and that the mother texted the son, "lol" and then said, "i'm not mad at you that you basically got caught, but you should be more careful so that you don't get caught." so she was very much aware what was going on and certainly what he was thinking about. and then the next day there's another issue. there's drawings. he's in a class. a teacher notices that he's drawing something very disturbing, blood, talking about death, talking about wanting to kill people. and then they notify the parents to come to the school, and the parents come to the school, but the administrators tell the parents, okay, you need to maybe take him home. he needs perhaps some counseling. that doesn't happen. the parents say, well, send him back to class, and they do. then obviously we know what happens after that. and so the prosecutors are
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alleging that the parents should have done more to try and prevent this, but also saying that because they purchased this weapon and did nothing to safeguard the weapon, they're charging them with involuntary manslaughter. >> shimon, thank you so much for being there on the scene. we will continue to follow this through the next hours. again, police there telling us that they are now in custody and are in the custody of, in fact, oakland county sheriff's department. shimon, we'll let you go for now and get back to you as the story continues to develop. i want to let you know, just to kind of recap what's gone on in the last hour here, we just heard from the detroit police department. that was chief james white, who indicated that the parents -- you see them there, jennifer and james crumbley -- are now in custody, that they had a tip from someone who saw their car. and in seeing their car just parked there in a parking lot, the car that they had put out a warrant for, that they wanted people to call in if they had
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seen the car. someone did see it. they arrived on the scene where that car was, created a perimeter, and then entered the building. in that building, they saw this couple. apparently they say that they were not armed, that they were distressed, but certainly did surrender to police at that point. i also want to say that in terms of how they found out that this happened, they do say that there was surveillance video so that they knew they were in the building. but so interesting here, again, police saying someone -- at least one person -- let them in that building. they say that their investigation in that continues, and they are not ruling out further charges. the other thing that was interesting to hear the detroit police chief say there, you know, he said, look, here in detroit, in this state, in this country, his quote is "we're tired of this." and for that reason, this is also making headlines because those parents that you see right
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there have now been charged, serious charges in connection with this school shooting and could be facing as much as 15 years in prison. and that will be precedent-setting, our legal experts tell us, if, in fact, they are tried and convicted for in any way shape or form having any connection to this school shooting. we will continue to bring you up to date on these events, but for right now, i'm paula newton. for our international viewers, "african voices: changemakers" is next. for everyone else, stay here. we will have more news in just a moment. frequent heartburn? not ananymo. the prilosec otc two-week challenge
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. we want to bring you right up to date on our breaking news. the parents of the suspect in the deadly michigan school shooting are now in custody after hours on the run. james and jennifer crumbley were found shortly after police announced they discovered a car in detroit believed to belong to the couple. they were supposed to show up for an arraignment on charges of involuntary manslaughter friday afternoon. instead, authorities say they turned their phones off and withdrew $4,000 from an atm. prosecutors say the crumbleys' son opened fire at oxford high school on tuesday, killing four students and wounding seven others. joining me now from los angeles is cnn legal analyst areva martin. areva, i'm so happy to have you weigh in here because, listen, legally this does get quite
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complicated. while all of us can look at what those parents did and say to ourselves, this was not parenting, this was not nurturing, this was not in any way, shape, or form caring for your child or the people around him. in terms of the criminal case against them, it's still precedent-setting, right? >> absolutely, paula. we have not seen parents charged frequently in cases involving active shooters on school campuses. in fact, according to some research, there have only been four parents charged in similar type cases. so it really is groundbreaking for this prosecutor to come forward with involuntary manslaughter charges against these parents. but when you look at the evidence in this case, it's really overwhelming. you mentioned at the top of the show about parenting. you know, these parents are examples of everything you don't want to do with respect to a kid, and primarily it's ignore the warning signs. apparently there were really significant red flags and
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warning signs that these parents quite simply ignored. >> that text message chilling, where she allegedly, prosecutors say that the mother texted him and said, don't do it. does that perhaps intend to say that she knew that perhaps he was even having thoughts of this? >> that is a really important question, paula, and i'm sure one that the prosecutors want to learn more about. we do know that this mother sent another inappropriate text message when she was notified that her son was on his phone, looking for ammunition. she sent him an "lol, i'm not mad at you, try not to get caught" rather than saying, son, what's going on? we have to talk. this is serious. she seemed to be encouraging him. we know there's the facebook post message where she's also seemingly bragging about buying him this gun as a christmas present. so there's so many inappropriate and now what we know, according to this prosecutor, criminally
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negligent conduct engaged in by the parents of this school shooter. >> our correspondents on the ground have been indicating there is a lot of anger from parents directed toward the school as well. is there a possibility that someone at the school would still be charged in any way or perhaps even face civil litigation? >> well, let me say this, paula. i'm a parent of three kids, and i'm angry. i'm angry at these parents, and i am angry at the school because i don't think the school followed proper protocol. the police were never called. the school safety officer was never called. there was more than enough evidence to give the school a reasonable suspicion to check the backpack of this kid. they put him back in the classroom despite the disturbing images that were found on his desk by one of his teachers. seemingly no one in that conversation between the parents and the school bothered to ask, you know, where is the gun? you know, a gun has been purchased by this family. the family knew that. we don't know if they told that
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to the school district, but clearly putting that kid back in the classroom given all that the school knew was a bad mistake on their part. yeah, criminal charges, the prosecutor has said an investigation is ongoing. she hasn't ruled out the possibility of criminal charges. and most definitely i expect to see civil charges filed not only against the parents but also against school officials. >> returning to the case against parents, we discussed how it's precedent-setting. do you think even though the prosecutor -- she was very compelling in terms of giving her reasons as to why she had to bring these charges. do you still think, though, this will be a tough case no matter what? >> well, what we do know about michigan law is they don't have laws like some states that criminalize failure to protect a gun, keep a gun in a secured location. but we do know that, you know, involuntary manslaughter just requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt gross negligence that rises to the level of criminal culpability. and given the text messages, given what we know these parents
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knew about their child, i think there's enough evidence to make a case for involuntary manslaughter. and i should say in the state of michigan, these are very serious charges. they carry up to 15 years in prison, so we're not talking about a slap on the wrist if they are in fact found guilty. >> understood. before i let you go, do you have any questions for the prosecutors, for the district attorney there, for not ensuring that the parents were in custody before they had that press conference on friday? >> yeah, paula. it seems like a complete breakdown in communication between police officers and this prosecutor's office. the fact that she would go forward with a press conference and announce these charges without the police securing the whereabouts of these two individuals is shocking and quite frankly really, you know, a sign of, you know, poor handling of this entire case by the prosecutor and the police. the police have been on tv
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saying they didn't know that the prosecutor was going to announce these charges. but the fact that these two individuals were not taken into custody immediately, that the police did not know their whereabouts, and that, you know, at a certain point during this evening, they still didn't know their whereabouts is quite troubling and i think retraumatizing for this entire community. >> and areva, i'm so glad you mentioned that because that was my first thought, the anguish that these families must continually go through hour after hour. areva martin for us, thank you so much. appreciate your insights. >> thank you, paula. >> i was just talking about how traumatizing this has been. i want to remind everyone of the victims in this tragedy. they are four teenagers that had their life ahead of them. you see them there, . we do not want to lose sight of the fact that there are families in a whole heck of a lot of grief right now trying to make sense of this. we will be right back with more news here at cnn.
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so a dozen u.s. states have now reported at least one case of the omicron variant. and while nearly all covid infections in the united states are due to the delta variant, cdc director rochelle walensky is warning that omicron could become the dominant strain. cnn's nick watt has the latest from los angeles. >> reporter: omicron is in the united states. that mild case in minnesota, he was fully vaccinated and boosted. >> so far, i am reassured that this will be just a mild illness if any illness at all for those of us that are fully vaccinated. but there are a lot of people in the u.s. who are unvaccinated, and our hospitals cannot take that kind of surge again. >> reporter: and it appears is
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this variant does spread faster. >> early mutation data are telling us this may well be a more transmissible variant than delta. >> we do think it is quite infectious, quite transmissible because south africa has been reporting a very rapid increase in the number of cases. in fact, they've been doubling every day. >> reporter: still unclear if it partially evades vaccines, but -- >> the other thing that's becoming clearer is that people who were infected with other versions of the sars-cov-2 virus can be reinfected with this one. >> reporter: new travel restrictions kick in 12:01 a.m. monday. everyone coming into the u.s. will have to test negative within 24 hours of departure. some experts also advocating domestic travel restrictions. >> when you go through security, you show your vaccine card. if you haven't been vaccinated,
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you can't get onboard an aircraft. >> reporter: the biden administration has said it will not do that. >> the measures that i announced yesterday, we believe are sufficient. but we do require for travel -- we're going to continue to require people to have masks on. >> reporter: the administration is now trying to speed up the identification of variant cases. latest analysis, sample collection to i.d. takes 28 days here. much quicker in botswana, belgium, and the uk. >> it may very well be that we start to see more omicron than we have delta, and we will be following that very carefully. >> reporter: the delta variant is still very dominant in the u.s., and big picture, we're now averaging over 100,000 new infections every day. it hasn't been that high in nearly two months. hospitalizations and deaths also
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climbing. on friday, the biden administration shipped 11 million vaccine doses around the world, 9 million of them to africa. now, we suspect that the omicron variant was first detected in south africa. only 25% of south africans are vaccinated but they don't have a supply problem. like the u.s., they have a vaccine hesitancy problem. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. intensive care units in germany meantime are bracing for a surge of covid patients as health officials warn they could reach their peak around christmastime. it comes as the nation has been seeing record-breaking numbers of daily infections. germany announced a nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated thursday. i want to go now to hamburg, germany, where dr. rolf righteous joins me. he's a professor of epidemiology at the university of applied sciences in hamburg. i want to thank you for joining
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us yet again. what's alarming about this caseload is it just continues to rise, or it stabilized at a very high level each and every day. do you see any relief in sight for this trend? are the restrictions in place right now going to be enough? >> first of all, good morning from hamburg. yes, you're right. case numbers -- daily reported case numbers are pretty high constantly at the moment. and as the laboratories at the moment are at their limits, it's difficult to say how complete these reports are. we see the measures have been in place or starting to become in place even stronger in some federal states today and over the coming days. and already in some hard-hit states, you can see leveling-off
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levels or even slow decline. but it's -- it's very difficult to say at the moment because the levels are pretty high. >> and in the meantime, the hospital systems are buckling already with very little spare capacity in intensive care, if any. >> exactly. there are regional differences. in the south and especially southeast of the country, the hospitals are overcrowded, and patients have been flown out to other parts of the country in hospitals where still capacity is available. >> they're in crisis mode for sure. you're saying that you expect that in germany and perhaps else where in europe as well, given how high the infection rate is right now, that anyone who is unvaccinated will likely get covid now, that it's inevitable. what makes you say that?
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>> if -- yeah. the high infectious pressure at the moment, lots and lots of people being infected at the moment will make it almost inevitable for most people, not for everybody, but for most people to also contract covid or an infection of this due to the fact that, yeah, you have to be in contact in some way. and therefore in schools, in various other settings, at work, the numbers are proving to go up very high. and so it looks very much like that this idea is going to be reality. >> yeah, that you actually believe that most people that are unvaccinated will indeed get covid. i want to ask you the new
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variant now. omicron is going to potentially complicate things, right? we are hearing from south african authorities that perhaps this could be maybe twice as contagious as the delta variant. how would that affect europe, especially since it seems to be taking off so quickly in south africa already? >> yes. it would hit us -- if it's coming now, it will hit us at a very bad moment because we're really struggling with the delta variant at the moment. and if this new variant is going to be even more contagious, the situation is going to in somehow worsen with the figures of inf infected. we still don't know how strong the clinical impact will be. so most of the reports we hear from south africa are about mild disease. so if this is going to be the case, it it's not going to be that bad. if it's as severe as the delta variant, the situation is going to worsen. >> when you're doing your research and looking at the
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trends in germany at least, where did everything go wrong in the sense that for so many months, we were used to hearing the fact that germany had been handling it well? it just seems it's inevitable that you guys are going to go through an incredibly punishing wave once again. >> yes. there are lots of factors influencing this. first of all, the vaccination rate is too low. it's increasing now, so with booster vaccines and more and more unvaccinated are getting vaccinated at the moment. yesterday about 1 million vaccine doses were applied. but at the same time, we had a long period over the summer where not much really happened because we had general elections and so on, and it's a general fatigue about the pandemic. people are really fed up and want to forget it until the problem really came back with this big wave, so nobody can forget it. people are more aware of it now, and i'm more hopeful that things
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will turn to the better in the near future. >> yeah, and i will note a million vaccinations in the space of 24 hours, that is a lot of vaccinations. we continue to hope that program goes well. doctor, appreciate it. and we will be right back with more news in a moment.
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authorities in new mexico are eyeing late winter for potential charges in the deadly shooting on the "rust" movie set. new mexico detectives are still investigating the tragedy that killed a cinematographer. and for the first time, we are hearing new details from alec baldwin on what happened with the gun he was handling. natasha chen has our report. >> we have two people accidentally shot. >> reporter: for the first time since cinematographer halyna hutchins was shot and killed on the movie rust, alec baldwin says what he thought happened on october 21st. in an exclusive interview, baldwin says he never pulled the trigger on the gun he was holding. >> i let go of the hammer. bang, the gun goes off. >> reporter: he recounted the rehearsal just moments before
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the gun fired, saying hutchins was telling him how to position his hand, holding the gun just off camera. >> in this scene, i'm going to cock the gun. do you want to see that? she said yes. i take the gun and i start to cock. i'm not going to pull the trigger. she says cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit. i cock the gun. i go, can you see that? can you see that? then i let go of the hammer of the gun and the gun goes off. >> reporter: in the moments that followed, complete disbelief. >> everyone is horrified. they're shocked. it's loud. they don't have their earplugs in. the gun was supposed to be empty. i was told i was handed an empty gun. i thought to myself, did she faint? the notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until probably 45 minutes to an hour later. >> reporter: the attorney for assistant director dave halls says halls maintains he did not see baldwin pull the triger and
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that baldwin did not have his finger on the trigger. safety expert steve wolf showed why he believes that's not likely. >> not plausible. on a single action revolver, when you pull the hammer back, which is an intentional act, click, click, click, click. now the hammer is set. when you pull the hammer back and let go, as you can see, i'm not holding this. the hammer doesn't go anywhere. >> reporter: he says if baldwin's finger was resting on the trigger when he let go of the hammer -- >> he doesn't have to press the trigger again if he's already got pressure on it in order for the gun to fire. >> reporter: baldwin became emotional as he described his admiration for hutchins but said he does not feel responsible or guilty for her death. >> i feel that someone is responsible for what happened, and i can't say who that is, but i know it's not me. i mean honest to god, if i felt that i was responsible, i might have killed myself if i thought i was responsible.
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i don't say that lightly. >> reporter: the district attorney in santa fe says everyone on-set had a duty to behave in a manner that protected the safety of others and that certain actions or inactions led to this outcome. sources say that local prosecutors are eyeing february as a goal for making a decision about any criminal charges. back to you. >> our thanks there to natasha chen for that report. i am paula newton. i want to thank you for your company. kim brunhuber picks things up here with our breaking news. we will have more "cnn newsroom" in a moment, and we'll bring you an update from detroit. appreciate it.
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it's network management redefined. every day in business is a big day. we'll keep you ready for what's next. comcast business powering possibilities. this is cnn breaking news. cnn's breaking news coverage. out of michigan continues this hour. i'm kim brunhuber. just moments ago the are parents of the suspect in tuesday's deadly school shooting were booked into oakland county jail. james and jennifer crumbley were taken into custody after hours on the run. police say they were given a tip about the couple's whereabouts. >> we got a tip they were here. ou

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