tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC June 7, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
alde, texas.y,to who grew up in . what he id also tonight, the ab the teacher c o wsrv ived. ex the fourth grade teacher who was shot. every student in his classroom shot, as well. what we had not heard. his description of the gunman in his room. the police on the other side of the wall. and his message tonight to law enforcement who waited well more than an hour before charging into the room to get the gunman. amy robach is here tonight. also tonight, that impassioned plea at the white house. a very rare moment. the actor from uvalde, matthew mcconaughey, and his very personal plea. rachel scott live in washington.
and if there's not enough support in the senate for president biden's push to ban assault weapons, the debate tonight. why not raise the age to buy one from 18 to 21? after uvalde, not one republican senator has publicly supported raising the age to 21. so tonight here, our matt gutman takes us inside a gun show in texas. and what he heard from the organizer to a mother shopping with her own sons. raising the age on ar-15-style rifles. the other news this tuesday night, the economy and gas prices. at least 13 states now paying at least $5 per gallon. the questions, where is this headed? and for how long? we're also tracking severe storms as we come on the air tonight across several states. damaging winds, hail, possible tornadoes. the war in ukraine tonight. the new images coming in. intense fighting in eastern ukraine. russia tonight claiming it is gaining ground. what president zelenskyy is now insisting tonight. back here at home, in new york city, the scare on the subway.
a woman thrown onto the tracks. and tonight here, remembering the artist, part of a popular duo, part of the soundtrack of the '70s. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a tuesday night. and we begin tonight with the very personal and emotional pleas today. actor matthew mcconaughey, who was born in uvalde, texas, this is personal for him. the very rare moment today when he came out to the white house podium. and our abc news exclusive tonight, amy robach with the teacher who survived in his uvalde classroom. he was shot. every one of his school children shot, too. and what we had not heard from the teacher. his description of the gunman right there in the room. the police on the other side of the wall. this is all part of our coverage of guns in america across all of our broadcasts and platforms today. and the question asked after all of these mass shootings, will anything be done? well, that moment today, matthew
mcconaughey at the white house, in very personal terms. his mother taught kindergarten. her school was just a mile from robb elementary school. what he said about responsible gun owners, and his plea for consensus and change. and tonight here, that fourth grade teacher who is making the same plea. what he told amy about that. and his message for law enforcement tonight who waited well more than an hour to storm the classroom to go after the gunman. that teacher, arnulfo reyes, was shot multiple times. he survived this. all 11 of his students were shot, too. none of them survived. authorities say the gunman bought his ar-15-style rifle the day after his 18th birthday. and tonight, take a look at this image. the faces of all of the victims from ar-15-style rifles since sandy hook nearly ten years ago in this country. more than 300 people. so tonight here, our matt gutman takes us inside a texas gun show and asks, would you be willing to support raising the age to buy one of these ar-15-style rifles from 18 to 21? and what matt heard might surprise you. some rare moments of consensus in this debate.
we have it all covered tonight, but we do begin with the teacher who survived this and his personal plea to do something to make sure his students didn't die in vain. and his message to law enforcement tonight who waited. his interview with amy robach. >> and i said, "if i die, don't let it be in vain." >> reporter: tonight, fourth grade teacher arnulfo reyes, who was shot multiple times by the gunman, says he cannot forgive law enforcement for taking more than an hour to stop the gunman, who killed every student in his classroom. mr. reyes on how the day started. >> it was going to be a good day, because it was going to be our day of awards, and some kids in my class that hadn't gotten an award, you know, all year were going to get an award that day. >> reporter: and while some students went home after the ceremony, 11 from his class stayed behind. they were watching a movie.
>> the kids started asking out loud, "mr. reyes, what is going on?" and i said, "i don't know what's going on. but let's go ahead and get under the table. get under the table and act like you're asleep." as they were doing that, and i was gathering them under the table and told them to act like they were going to sleep, is about the time when i turned around and saw him standing there. >> reporter: the gunman entering classroom 112 at 11:33 a.m., then making his way into 111 through a connecting door, opening fire. a bullet hitting him in the arm and lung, and a separate one striking his back. >> i told myself -- i told my kids to act like they're asleep, so i'm going to act like i'm asleep also. and i prayed and prayed that i would not hear none of my students talk. >> reporter: did you -- you thought you were going to die? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: then, while the gunman was still in the classroom, reyes hearing police
nearby. according to law enforcement, seven officers were in the building by 11:35 a.m. they took gunfire and retreated. reyes says a child in the connecting classroom 112 called out for help. >> one of the students from the next door classroom was saying, "officer, we're in here. we're in here." and then -- but they had already left. and then -- he got up from behind my desk and he walked over there and he shot over there again. >> reporter: at 12:03 p.m., a full 30 minutes after he entered the building, a child from room 112 calling 911, telling dispatch where she was. by this point, 19 officers were inside the building. but no one went in. at 12:10, 12:13, and 12:16, more 911 calls. >> is anybody inside of the building?
child is advising he is in the room full of victims. full of victims at this moment. >> you know that there are kids, right? they're little kids. they don't know how to defend themselves. >> reporter: you said you were praying? >> i prayed the lord's prayer. i prayed my hail mary. >> reporter: but it isn't until 12:50 p.m., 1 hour and 17 minutes after the gunman entered the classrooms, that border patrol busts in, killing the shooter. did you feel abandoned by police, by the people who are supposed to protect you? >> absolutely. after everything, i get more angry, because you have a bulletproof vest. i had nothing. i had nothing. you're supposed to protect and serve. there is no excuse for their actions. and i will never forgive them. i will never forgive them. >> reporter: how many students were in your classroom when the shooter came in?
>> 11 students. >> reporter: so the shooter killed every single student in your classroom? >> yes, ma'am. i lost 11 that day. and i -- i went to the parents and said i'm sorry. i tried my best of what i was told to do. please don't be angry with me. >> just the idea that this teacher is now hoping that the parents won't be angry with him gives you an idea of the anguish this teacher will carry with him for the rest of his life. and amy robach with us tonight. amy, you told me that the teacher also said no amount of training in the world, and they've been trained for something like this, but no amount of training could have prepared them for this because it happened so fast.
>> reporter: that's correct. and he was trained to get his students under the table. and as he looks back now, as he reflects, he feels as though he was actually setting up his students to be sitting ducks. it's a painful thought, indeed. and all the training in the world doesn't prepare you for that moment. he said, it's the laws that have to change and he's going to spend the rest of his life making sure those students and his fellow teachers did not die in vain, david. >> all right, amy robach tonight. amy, thank you. i know this was not an easy interview. his very moving plea for something to be done in this country. and that moment at the white house today, the emotional plea from actor matthew mcconaughey, who was born in uvalde. his mother was a kindergarten teacher at a school nearby. and tonight, there is a breaking headline coming in at this hour involving lawmakers on capitol hill. is the republican minority leader in the senate mitch mcconnell now considering supporting raising the age on ar-15-style rifles to 21? he's not said so publicly, but what we're learning tonight. abc's rachel scott on the hill again tonight with late reporting.
>> reporter: tonight, an impassioned plea from the white house briefing room. >> i would like to bring up matthew. >> reporter: from academy award-winning actor and uvalde native matthew mcconaughey. >> uvalde, texas, is where i was born. it's where my -- my mom taught kindergarten less than a mile from robb elementary. uvalde is where i learned to master a daisy bb gun. uvalde is where i learned responsible gun ownership. >> reporter: the actor now calling for concrete steps. >> we need background checks. we need to raise the minimum age to purchase an ar-15 rifle. these are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations. >> reporter: his family traveled to uvalde days after the school shooting. today, one by one, he honored the 21 lives lost too soon. >> now alithia, her dream was to go to art school in paris and one day share her art with the world. >> reporter: he met with the
family of teacher irma garcia. her husband joe died of a heart attack just days after irma was killed. their family saying he died of a broken heart. >> then there was the fairytale love story of a teacher named irma and her husband, joe. together, they were the glue of the family. both worked overtime to support their four kids. the money she had made two summers ago paid to paint the front of the house. the money she made last summer paid to paint the sides of the house. this summer's work was going to pay to paint the back of the house. because irma was one of the teachers who was gunned down in the classroom -- they never got to paint the back of the house. >> reporter: and then there was this moment from mcconaughey who talked about the little girl, 9-year-old maite rodriguez, and her trademark sneakers.
the horror of that weapon leaving only the sneakers to help authorities identify her. >> these are the same green converse on her feet that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting. how about that. >> reporter: mcconaughey, a proud gun owner, going door-to-door on capitol hill, lobbying for reform. echoing the words heard earlier today from the families devastated by the massacre at the tops supermarket in buffalo. the suspect in that shooting also an 18-year-old who bought an ar-style rifle after his 18th birthday. the son of 86-year-old ruth whitfield testifying before congress. >> my mother's life mattered, and your actions here today would tell us how much it matters to you. >> we cannot forget that buffalo community, the uvalde community, and so many of these communities that we have been reporting from in recent weeks. and rachel, back up live on the hill tonight, and rachel, you and the political team on the hill reporting a potential, and we underscore this word
potential, breakthrough tonight involving republican senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, that he might be open to raising the age to purchase assault-style weapons? >> reporter: yes, david. this news is just coming in. i just spoke to two sources who tell me that republican leader mitch mcconnell has privately expressed openness to raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21. but he has not advocated or pushed for any specific policy. many republicans here on capitol hill are opposed to that. they either say that it's a bridge too far or believe that that decision should be left up to the states. it's unclear tonight if this news will cause any of them to reconsider, david. >> well, rachel scott with that breaking headline tonight. rachel, thank you. so, we turn to that question tonight on ar-15-style weapons. suspects in uvalde and buffalo had both just turned 18 and both had just bought their ar-15 rifles. so, we asked our matt gutman to take us to a texas gun show to ask, would people there be willing to support the idea of
raising the age in this country from 18 to 21? and what matt heard from several people there might surprise you. matt gutman tonight with some rare moments of agreement in this country. >> reporter: just two weeks after the uvalde school shooting, we headed to a gun show in harker heights, texas, near austin. we wanted to know if they'd be open to raising the minimum age to buy an ar-15-style rifle from 18 to 21. in uvalde, authorities say the shooter turned 18 and bought his ar-style rifle the very next day. and he bought a second one three days after that. one week after his birthday, he was at that school. i'm matt with abc news, what's your name? >> hudson. >> reporter: hudson. we learned inside this gun show, the ar-15-style rifle is actually less expensive than most hunting rifles. and on this day, $100 off. jake and hudson are licensed dealers. but how many of your buyers are 18? >> i mean, percentage-wise, maybe 20%. >> i bought so many guns when i was 18. i've bought so many guns before
i was 21. and it's my right. >> reporter: and we ask, what do they tell young people, an 18-year-old customer, if they come looking to guy a gun? if someone does come in and they want to buy a firearm, a long gun at 18, would you recommend an ar-style or -- >> i would recommend it only for the hunting purposes. and because it's so lightweight, it's really good for beginning shooters. >> reporter: in an eye-opening moment, we talked with the person who is running the gun show, who was not opposed to changing the age on some of these weapons. aubrey sanders has been running gun shows for three decades. and after uvalde and after so many mass shootings, we ask, would you support raising the age to buy an ar-style rifle to 21? raising the age limit from 18 to 21, is that something that someone like you could agree to? >> i could agree to that, yes. i know that you can't buy a pistol until you're 21. >> reporter: right. >> you can't drink until you're 21. i'll be honest with you, i don't know many 18-year-olds that are -- >> reporter: responsible enough, right? >> responsible enough or mature enough.
>> reporter: and it wasn't just uvalde, texas. it was an ar-15-style weapon used in sandy hook. 20 children, six adults killed. in parkland, 14 students, three adults killed. and at that buffalo supermarket where ten were killed, authorities say the gunman bought that ar-15-style rifle days after his 18th birthday. in fact, 18-year-olds can legally purchase ar-15-style rifles in 43 states. tonight, no republican senator has publicly supported raising the age to 21. but in texas, some of the surgeons who treated children rushed in from uvalde also ask, why not raise the age? dr. ronald stewart saw what that ar-15 did to these children and sadly, he's seen it time and time again. >> at close range, with a small body, it's -- it's incredibly destructive. >> and matt gutman with us tonight from texas. and matt, you were reporting in that you had many conversations there at the texas gun show.
many talks with responsible gun owners there and there were several moments of rare agreement on this idea of raising the age on ar-15-style rifles from 18 to 21. >> reporter: and it went from the organizer, david, to this mother, felicia, who was there with her two sons shopping for a handgun, who say that owning an ar-style weapon at 18 is just too young. but there did seem to be unanimous support for some sort of mandatory education just as there is for a driver's license for anybody who wants to buy an ar-15-style weapon. david? >> really eye opening and some thoughtful convrsations you had there, matt, thank you. we should mention our reporting on guns in america will continue right here on abc news. later tonight on "nightline," and of course, streaming all evening long on abc news live. tomorrow morning, our special report on the network, live coverage of a capitol hearing, the gun violence epidemic, that begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern. and among the people the nation will hear from, a young girl, a student who survived in that uvalde school. that's tomorrow morning. we'll see you then, of course.
in the meantime, we do move onto the other news this evening and the record-shattering price of gas in this country. you don't need me to tell you about this, but the national average now $4.91 a gallon. that's up 5 cents in 24 hours, up 61 cents in a month. tonight now, this number. 13 states and washington, d.c. now have gas crossing the $5 threshold. overseas tonight and to the war in ukraine. tonight, russia now claiming major gains in ukraine's east. ukraine is still taking the fight to the russians. a grueling tug of war tonight for a critical city in the east. tonight, russia now claiming it secured a land bridge between annexed crimea and the donbas in the east. that's one of russia's long-stated goals, of course. if confirmed, it would be a major setback for kyiv. but tonight, president zelenskyy saying a stalemate with russia is, quote, not an option moving forward, asking for more help from the u.s. and the west. when we come back here tonight, we're tracking severe weather here at home at this hour. several storms, damaging wind, hail, and possible tornadoes across several states. and then here in new york
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>> dry grassland on fire. exactly what we don't want to see happen and that's exactly what is happened today. >> and the san francisco district attorney is fighting to keep his job tonight as he faces the second d.a. recalled in the city's history. >> he's feeling more at home now that the warriors are in town. getting ready for game three of the nba finals. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. >> overhead to underground, it is a simpledan: thank you fo. pg&e has begun to bury miles of power in high fire risk areas.
today work was happening in the footprint of one of the worst fires we have had. community advocates say it is about time and it is the right thing to do to prevent future disasters. cornell barnard has the story. cornell: pg&e crews were cutting asphalt and digging trenches in santa rosa, putting power lines underground to reduce wildfire risk. >> we are doing everything we can to stop wildfires. under grounding is a big part of that. we note it cuts ignition risk by 99% because the ground -- the lines are underground. >> the city says it has a goal of under grounding 10,000 miles of power lines, 170 five miles this year, 43 in the bay area. >> it is expensive right now. it is about $3.5 million per mile. >> this work happening in the very footprint of the 2