tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC September 13, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news. the dangerous hurricane threat. tropical storm sally, already battering the florida coastline. expected to grow into a hurricane by tomorrow. mandatory evacuations ordered in the gulf region. an emergency declaration in new orleans. the latest track and timing. rob marciano standing by from the storm zone. the other natural disaster. a mass fatality incident as wildfires continue to ravage the west. at least 25 now dead. dozens unaccounted for. more than 3 million acres already scorched in california alone. and as the air quality turns dangerous, tonight, the scenes of devastation and desperation. an elderly woman pleading for her family to help as flames closed in. also new tonight, the ambush manhunt. a gunman caught on camera walking up to a police suv, shooting two deputies inside at point blank range.
then protesters assembling outside the hospital to taunt the injured officers. right now, the search for the shooter and the $100,000 reward. from the campaign trail, why president trump is describing a vicious turn in the election. the president trying to woo voters in the battleground state of nevada. holding a packed rally. few in the crowd wearing masks. telling supporters joe biden doesn't even know he's alive. at the same time, the president still facing questions about his own admission that he played down the threat of the coronavirus. the vaccine update. a leading drug maker predicting a major development could be known by the end of october. and another resumes its trials. as america moves towards 200,000 dead. the husband and wife lost to the virus within minutes of one another. the brutal confrontation. a man pinned to the ground, pleading with police. repeatedly punched in the face as his child and girlfriend watched. tonight, that department taking action. also tonight, the zoom classroom scare.
a man appearing on screen, pretending to be a student, and pulling a gun. the latest on the investigation. good evening. thanks for joining us on a very busy sunday. i'm tom llamas. we begin with the tropical threat taking shape, and taking aim at the gulf coast. tropical storm sally, already lashing south florida with heavy rains and flash flooding. by tomorrow the system is expected to intensify to hurricane strength. as it crosses the warm waters of the gulf. preparations are under way across louisiana. in low-lying grand isle, residents ordered to get out. with concerns of a possible life-threatening storm surge, emergencies declared in louisiana and mississippi. we will time out the storm in a moment. but we begin with rob marciano in biloxi.
>> the power is going out right now. >> reporter: tonight, tropical storm sally gaining strength, taking aim at the northern gulf coast. the storm hammering south florida today with high winds and more than nine inches of rain, sparking flash flooding in the keys. louisiana again on high alert. >> you got about 36 hours or so to really get yourself and your family ready for this storm. >> reporter: residents stocking up on supplies today, bracing for impact. mandatory evacuations ordered for grand isle. >> residents need to take this storm very, very, very seriously. you should be gathering your emergency supplies. >> reporter: the entire gulf coast, including biloxi, will never forget what happened here 15 years ago with hurricane katrina. local leaders not taking any chances. the mayor of new orleans issuing a state of emergency, and with 20 inches of rain and a life-threatening 11-foot storm surge, the city's levees will be tested. i recently got a firsthand look. and then there is this wall. new since katrina, just east of new orleans. designed to keep any gulf surge
out of the city. it is huge. 26 feet high and nearly two miles across. >> rob, we saw what happened there 15 years ago with katrina. this storm, not the same category. but it could still be a significant and dangerous weather event. >> reporter: it does, tom. a different storm, but a similar track to katrina. this one moving slower on bring its own set of problems. abt 23no a hard time getting itself together, and that's good. hurricane warnings up from mississippi through louisiana. forecasting for a cat 1 hundfall in mississippi, then weakening, slowing down, leading to a significant storm surge. 7 to 11 feet, and likely great in the way of rainfall. 15 to 20 inches, leading to flash flooding. all the while, hurricane paulette will hit bermuda as a
category 2 tonight. high impacts there. less than a day later, sally comes to this spot. tom? >> rob, thank you. and the west continuing to suffer through a deadly wildfire catastrophe. take a look at this drone footage from phoenix, oregon. entire neighborhoods incinerated. nearly 5 million acres burning in california, oregon, and washington state. all the smoke choking residents. a thick haze of smoke swallowing major cities like seattle. the air quality, now the worst in the world. and the human toll, at least 25 are dead and dozens remain unaccounted for. will carr is on the fire line in california. >> reporter: tonight, the death toll rising as record-breaking wildfires rage and hazardous smoke smothers the biggest cities out west. at least 25 people killed across three states in the past week, and dozens are still missing. mary joyner is fighting back tears, telling us how her beloved 92-year-old aunt violet
begged to be rescued from the home they shared in phoenix, oregon. >> she kept calling me on my cell phone at work, yelling at me to come get her, and i kept telling her, "i can't come get you, auntie vie, they won't let me in. just get the hell out of there." >> reporter: but the fire spread too fast, destroying hundreds of homes, including mary's. her grief unbearable, as she heard her aunt's last voicemails. >> i had my son take all those messages off. every time i close my eyes, that's all i hear or see. >> reporter: officials in oregon warning of a mass fatality incident. the flames incinerating at least six towns. >> we are hearing reports that as the winds start to move back onshore, we may have gusting starting this afternoon. we're very worried about that. >> reporter: seattle, san francisco, and los angeles are all reporting some of the worst air quality in the world. check out the view out the window of that thick smoke. it looks like a fog in los angeles county. at least 100 fires burning in at least 10 states tonight.
the bobcat fire near los angeles today forcing evacuations as president trump is set to visit the state tomorrow. from the air and on the ground, 16,000 firefighters are battling 29 major fires here, many working nonstop for nearly two months. more than 3.3 million acres, roughly the size of connecticut, have been scorched this year alone. 27 times the amount burned at this time last year. the north complex fire has killed at least 12 people and damaged or destroyed 2,000 structures. >> we're experiencing weather conditions the likes of which we never have experienced in our lifetime. >> reporter: back in oregon, mary tonight haunted by fears her aunt and her pets did not make it. >> i'm hoping the smoke got her. and she just went to sleep. and my dog. and the cat. i just hope they went to sleep. >> so hard to hear that. we can't imagine what they're going through. so many are dealing with this right now. will, residents dealing not only with the fire and destruction,
but also the potentially toxic air quality? >> reporter: tom, it's a choking smoke. that's the best way i can describe this. that's why i'm leaving my mask on. it came from the fire that devastated this community and destroyed the home behind me. we are expecting cooler and wetter weather up and down the west coast coming. hopefully crews can jump on top of the fires and get rid of some of the smoke. >> will, thank you. now to the shocking ambush of two los angeles county sheriff's deputies. authorities releasing this footage showing a single suspect opening fire into the window of a police suv, and then fleeing on foot. tonight, news on the condition of the deputies, with a $100,000 reward offered for the gunman. here's zohreen shah. >> reporter: tonight, the urgent manhunt under way for the suspect seen in this cold blooded shooting caught on surveillance video of two los angeles deputies in compton. >> stand by for a gsw.
it'll be a deputy involved at the blue line. >> reporter: the video showing the gunman approaching the patrol car, dressed in dark clothing, firing several shots, then running away. this, right next to the compton metro station. >> he acted like he was going to walk past the car, then made a left turn toward the car, and raised a pistol, and fired several rounds inside the vehicle, striking both sheriff's deputies. >> reporter: the deputies, a 31-year-old mother of a 6-year-old and a 24-year-old man, sworn in only 14 months ago, alert enough to radio in their own help. another deputy car rushing them to a nearby icu in critical condition. the department tweeting they were "fighting for their lives." the deputies undergoing emergency surgery. >> it pisses me off. it dismays me at the same time. >> reporter: tensions running high in the city. a small number of protesters facing off with law enforcement. one deputy's weapon drawn. authorities asking the group to leave, saying they were blocking an entrance for emergency vehicles. one protester livestreaming the
incident. people could be heard taunting the injured deputies. and trying to incite the others. >> i hope they [ bleep ] die. >> reporter: president trump weighing in on the shooting. in one tweet, saying, "animals that must be hit hard." in another, saying, if the deputies die, a "fast trial death penalty for the killer. only way to stop this!" >> zohreen, we have an update on the condition of the deputies, and news of a major reward for information? >> reporter: officials offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest. and both deputies now in critical but stable condition. tom? >> zohreen, thank you. and now to the campaign trail. president trump in nevada, a battleground he lost in 2016. last night, trump supporters packing a rally. most of them without masks. and with little social distancing. at the same time, president trump escalating his attacks on joe biden. it's his own comments about playing down the coronavirus that he's yet to escape.
here's andrew dymburt. >> reporter: tonight, joe biden and president trump intensifying their attacks. president trump threatening to get vicious after the biden campaign released this ad with allegations the president called fallen war veterans "suckers and losers." >> they put an ad like that up. they're a disgrace, but you know the good part? now i can be really vicious. i can be really vicious. >> reporter: on saturday night, trump holding a rally in nevada. with no social distancing and few supporters wearing masks. >> he is the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics. he doesn't know he's alive. >> reporter: biden, who has only recently started making public appearances because of covid-19, slamming the president, saying, "nevadans don't need more bluster from the president, and don't need his reckless rallies." this, as fallout continues from the president's interviews with bob woodward, where he admits to downplaying the coronavirus. >> i wanted to always play it down. i still like playing it down
because i don't want to create a panic. >> reporter: biden vowing to be transparent if he is elected. >> i'll take responsibility. i'll acknowledge my mistakes when i make them. i'll level with the american people. >> andrew joining us from washington. as the campaign hits the home stretch, a major announcement from mike bloomberg, once a rival to joe biden. now trying to help him win florida? >> reporter: bloomberg says he's ready to spend $100 million on joe biden in florida alone. this announcement comes on the heels of a new poll showing trump and biden in a dead heat in this critical state. tom? >> andrew, thank you. and a programming note. george stephanopoulos will moderate a town hall tuesday night with uncommitted voters asking president trump their questions directly, that's 9:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. central, here on abc. and new headlines on the race for a vaccine, as the u.s.
death toll nears 194,000 lives lost from the coronavirus. rapidly approaching that 200,000 milestone. and some doctors fearing the flu is about to make matters worse. here's trevor ault. >> reporter: tonight, new hope in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. the ceo of pfizer saying his could be given to americans by the end of the year. >> we will know by the end of october. and then of course it's the regulators' jobs to license or not. >> reporter: astra-zeneca, restarting their trial only in the uk. president trump hinting a vaccine could be ready before election day. saying the u.s. is rounding the final turn against the virus. but dr. anthony fauci taking issue with that claim. >> i'm sorry, but i have to disagree with that. if you look at the thing you just mentioned, the statistics, they're disturbing. >> reporter: hospitals across the country gearing up for a fall battle against the virus.
hundreds of nurses on strike in chicago, demanding more ppe and patient limits. in texas, doctors preparing for the worst. >> i have no question in my mind that we're going to have another surge. >> reporter: fears of a dangerous combination of covid and the flu worrying health experts. though strict measures in the southern hemisphere have successfully diminished the flu season there. >> we need to double down on prevention efforts. physical distancing, mask wearing. otherwise, the combination of covid-19 and the flu could be a particularly deadly one. >> reporter: more wrout outbreaks erupting on college campuses. michigan state university urging every student to quarantine. and the nationwide death toll rapidly approaching 200,000 lives lost. including this north carolina couple, married 48 years, dying within minutes of each other, hand in hand. their son saying, we hear people saying they refuse to wear a mask because it's uncomfortable. what is uncomfortable is burying your loved ones.
and the coronavirus remains a global problem. in the uk, the number of new cases have doubled. yesterday, france hit 10,000 new cases for the first time. tom? >> trevor, thank you. now to a brutal confrontation with law enforcement caught on camera in georgia. the officer accused of excessive force, and the department taking action. here's elwyn lopez. >> reporter: this video going viral, sparking outrage. the deputies restraining a man, pinning him to the ground as his child and girlfriend watched. at least one of them punching him in the face, while shouting that the man was biting him. that man identified as roderick walker. this video taken by a bystander released by walker's attorney. >> he's unable to breathe. he has at least two episodes where he goes unconscious. >> reporter: walker later seen in jail.
this photo released by his attorney, who says he was pulled over for a broken taillight. >> despite roderick not being the driver, he was a passenger, they immediately approached him. asked him for his i.d. he said he did not have any i.d., and he didn't need any since he was not driving a vehicle. >> reporter: the attorney says his client was asked to step out of the car. >> it escalates to him being beaten on the ground, being tased, and almost dying. they take him to jail. >> reporter: the sheriff's office has not issued their version of the incident. but in a statement, they say walker is being held because of other unrelated warrants that are keeping him in jail. but protesters gathered at the jail, declaring the incident as
another incident of police brutality. demanding change at the very top. the sheriff's office says their deputy was fired due to excessive force. and also says that walker is receiving medical care in custody. >> elwyn, thank you. still ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday, the mom missing for more than a week. and the new surveillance police hope can offer new clues. what she was doing when she was last seen. plus, the class stunned by this zoom attack. what we've just learned about the suspect. we'll be right back. this week on "the upper hands"... special guest flo challenges the hand models to show off the ease of comparing rates with progressive's home quote explorer. international hand model jon-jon gets personal. your wayward pinky is grotesque. then a high stakes patty-cake battle royale ends in triumph. you have the upper hands! it's a race to the lowest rate, and so much more. only on "the upper hands."
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time now for our "index." the hunt for the gunman who sent shoppers running for their lives in northern indiana. at least one person killed in that deadly gunfire at the university park mall outside south bend. witnesses say the gunman wore a clown mask. and chaos in a zoom class in wisconsin. police west of milwaukee on the trail of a man who in a face mask was pretending to be a student when he pulled a gun on the class camera. investigators following leads all the way to kansas city, working with police there tonight to zero in on that intruder. when we come back, he may have lost everything in the wildfire. so why does he say he feels like a new man? what he just found, amid the ashes. stay with us. stay with us. given my unique lifestyle, that'd be perfect! let me grab a pen and some paper. know what? i'm gonna switch now. just need my desk...
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finally tonight, the finally tonight, the wildfire stole nearly everything he loved. but tonight, what he found, rather, who found him, that is changing his life. it's "america strong." the lightning complex fires in northern california that began in mid-august, burning so intense, so fast. >> you've got to go now. let's go. >> reporter: local police racing against the clock to get people out. >> do not stay. your house is not going to make it! >> reporter: in vacaville, a city of 100,000 residents, one of them, noelle demartini, evacuated in the middle of the night. >> i couldn't believe how close the fire was to the house. it was just devastating. it was really sad and really horrible. >> reporter: moved by the devastation -- >> our heart goes out to all of you. >> reporter: -- noelle jumped into action. setting up a donation center at her family's pet supply store. >> we have diapers. we have so many things. toothbrushes, soap. >> reporter: but one day when she was helping families in need, she noticed a man who was
alone with just his dog, and it caught her eye. >> he looks like he's been through a lot. he looked so, so sad and so scared. >> reporter: it turned out to be dave dubay, a fellow resident who had lost everything in the fire. >> a big fire came through and burned me out. and i left with me and my dog. >> reporter: noelle and other strangers hearing his story organized to help, getting dave enough donations for a temporary hotel room, restaurant gift cards, even a new car. he also got a much-needed haircut with his dog, hunter. >> i got new friends that i never knew i had. >> reporter: dave tonight overwhelmed and grateful. >> i feel almost like a new man. i'm just overwhelmed with all the help the community has given me. >> glad he found some new friends. thanks so much for watching. i'm tom llamas in new york. "gma" first thing in the morning. david muir will be right back here tomorrow night. please stay safe. good night.
tonight, no break from the smoke but we may soon get some relief. and a traffic stop that ended with multiple police officers going to the hospital. and we're following developing news in los angeles after two deputies are ambushed. the message bay area police departments are passing on to their officers. abc7 news at 6:00 starts now. it started with a traffic stop on the golden gate bridge. then an officer and a tow truck driver began feeling sick. now investigators are looking into whether they along with other first responders were exposed to fentanyl. j.r. stone joins us now live with the latest. j.r.? >> reporter: well, i can tell you, seven people have been transported to the hospital for possible fentanyl exposure.
at last check, everyone was in stable condition. that is certainly good news right now. i want to stand out of the way. off in this distance, this is the area closed off near the marin headlands. it is has since opened in the last two hours. the highway patrol said they received a report of a driver swerving on the bridge. when they arrived, the car was stopped along a northbound lane. that driver who was inside was unconscious. officers made the decision to clear the lane by giving the car and getting the car to the first exit north of the bridge. that officer then got sick a short time later. he was transported to the hospital along with a tow truck diver and several other emergency responders. a number of chp officers. there was a white powdery substance in the vehicle and it appears that may have fentanyl in it. >> i