tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 27, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
rounds of ammunition and growing scrutiny on the assistant director who handled the gun. what he admitted he failed to do according to a new search warrant. also tonight, severe weather on the move the tornado outbreak in the south video of a twister crossing the highway in the northeast, the bomb cyclone bringing hurricane force winds. hundreds of thousands without power. al roker standing by. the covid vaccine and new word from the cdc that some americans could need a fourth shot. and states preparing to vaccinate kids as soon as the cdc gives the green light. what parents need to know racing for a deal. democrats dropping major components of president biden's agenda can they reach an agreement just hours before he leaves for europe the pentagon's new terror warning how soon could isis in afghanistan launch an attack on u.s. soil. our correspondent's deeply personal journey with fellow survivors inspiring america. this is nbc
"nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone authorities in new mexico are offering stunning new details about last week's deadly shooting on a movie set. the santa fe county sheriff has revealed a real bullet was in the gun that actor alec baldwin fired while rehearsing a scene, leading to the death of the film's cinematographer. authorities are now questioning baldwin and others and say they have gathered hundreds of pieces of evidence including blanks and what are believed to be real bullets. they also say the crew member who gave baldwin the gun acknowledged he didn't thoroughly check it. the investigation revealing serious safely lapses on the set. and authorities tonight are not ruling out criminal charges miguel almaguer is in santa fe for us tonight. >> reporter: on the set of "rust" investigators now say alec baldwin fired a real bullet that shot and killed the film director ha lay that
hutchins and was pulled out of the shoulder of director joel souza who was standing behind her inside this church in a scene similar to this one baldwin was handed a colt 45 that he was told was safe to use before he pulled the trigger during rehearsal. >> and if the sheriff office determines during our investigation a crime has occurred and probable cause exists, arrest -- an arrest or arrests will be made and charges will be filed. >> we have two people accidentally shot on a movie set. >> reporter: interviewing the 16 cast and crew members who were inside the church during the shooting, authorities have now seized 600 items of evidence. among them, three guns and 500 rounds of ammunition both blanks and real bullets. the single round that
killed hutchins now in the hands of the fbi. >> inside the revolver that alec baldwin used, were there other live rounds inside the chamber. >> not that we're aware of. >> reporter: with baldwin questioned multiple times, investigators have also interviewed the two other crew members who handled the gun and that are in charge of safety, armorer hannah gutierrez-reed and assistant director dave halls according to a new search warrant, when questioned by investigators, dave halls told them hannah showed him the firearm. he can only remember seeing three rounds. he advised he should have checked them all, but didn't. the two people who handled the weapon in this case, whose job it was to ensure safety, obviously made some serious missteps. shouldn't they face criminal charges >> we just can't say that at this point because the investigation is not complete we know that mistakes happened we're not exactly sure who did it >> reporter: authorities say basic safety protocols like banning live bullets from the set were clearly not followed investigators confirm they're now looking into reports staff on the set of "rust" may have taken live target practice when they weren't filming.
tonight fatal mistakes in this deepening probe. >> and, miguel, i know you were able to view some behind the scenes video of the production what did you see >> reporter: well, lester, in that behind the scenes video, we could see the handling of weapons which some experts said was questionable meantime, the governor here in new mexico is calling for stronger safety guidelines here in this state. >> all right miguel almaguer, thank you. a new extreme weather threat tonight with reports of tornadoes touching down in texas and louisiana. while in new england hurricane force winds knocked down power to hundreds of thousands. stephanie gosk on the severe weather from coast to coast. >> oh, my gosh. >> reporter: harrowing scenes on the road of texas today. apparent tornados touching down on a highway in orange county roughly 40 homes with major damage at least 8 reported tornados, 2 confirmed hitting hard in texas
and louisiana. houses in lake charles almost completely destroyed. meanwhile, that slow moving nor'easter keeps punishing new england. the wind kept blowing harder and harder last night, taking trees down and power lines here in ducksbury, an elevated station clocked a gust at 104 miles an hour. that's hurricane strength winds did you have any idea that this storm was going to be as strong as this? >> no, no. we have been through two hurricanes on this property, and we have never had the damage that we've had. >> reporter: three trees crashed into lynn larry mcdonald's roof >> i ran to the front bedroom where the children were and i literally grabbed them i thought the house was collapsing. >> reporter: the storm intensified so rapidly, it turned into a so-called bomb cyclone. >> bomb cyclones have occurred in the past, but they're occurring more frequently. and when they do occur, they're
achieving greater intensities. >> reporter: it was the same thing that happened on the west coast earlier in the week, leaving roads impassable and flipping semitrucks. both storms broke october records. >> there is an underlying factor, and that's the warming of the oceans caused by global warming. >> reporter: and there will be no rest for the weary. more stormy weather is on its way stephanie gosk, nbc news, ducksbury, massachusetts. >> in fact, those severe storms are continuing tonight across the gulf coast and southeast with millions in their paths. al roker is here al, what is the latest >> lester, we've already got tornado watches up now for a good portion of the western gulf coast and, in fact, those will extend on to late tonight. we also have a risk of severe weather stretching all the way from louisiana into florida for five million people tornados, hail, damaging winds also a problem. that moves to the southeast tomorrow from the carolinas all the way down to florida, 15 million people wind gusts of 60 miles an hour. tornados and isolated hail we're also looking at rain fall amounts stretching from the
gulf all the way into new england, lester. we're talking about 1 to 3 inches of rain and with already clogged storm drains and saturated ground, flooding could be a real problem going into the weekend. >> all right, al we'll see you with more in the morning. thank you. let's turn to some positive news now in the battle against covid. while there are still some troubling spots, new cases have plummeted across the country. but will this trend continue as we head into the holidays? here's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: after a roller coaster pandemic so far, tonight more positive signs. new covid cases in the u.s. are down 57% since their last peak on september 1st and 16% over the past week hospitalizations have dropped 54% since late august. >> we are now heading in the right direction. and, but, with cases still high, we must remain vigilant heading into the colder, drier, winter months. >> we're back to where we started. >> reporter: when we visited u.s. health in jacksonville this summer, the hospital was treating more than 200 covid patients now just 17. >> it's obviously very reassuring my hope is that the high numbers of those who are vaccinated in july and august really
have made the biggest difference in this. >> reporter: but while there is improvement across the country, a few areas with low vaccination rates are still hot spots. billings clinic in montana hopes they are plateauing still, its urging caution over the winter as more americans gather for the holidays >> we're very worried about what's going on currently and we're worried it could get worse. >> reporter: a bright spot, though the possibility that younger kids may soon get vaccinated if the cdc signs off as early as next week some states are already planning ahead. new york's governor says she does not anticipate needing mass vaccination sites. instead, relying on pediatrician offices and local pharmacies. >> parents have been waiting for this schools have been waiting for this this is really a breakthrough. >> reporter: and the updated guidelines, the cdc now says some immunocompromised adults will be able to get a fourth shot at least six months after getting their third. lester >> all right gabe gutierrez, thank
you. new tonight a so-called billionaire tax. the latest proposal to try to help end a divide among democrats to help pay for president biden's multi-trillion dollar spending plans kristen welker now with more from the white house. >> reporter: tonight, the urgent scramble by democrats to reach agreement on president biden's multi-trillion dollar spending plans that he wants to have finalized before he leaves for his high stakes trip to europe tomorrow with top negotiators shuttling back and forth between the white house and capitol hill, democrat leaders struck an optimistic note. >> an agreement is within arm's length, and we are hopeful we can come to a framework agreement by the end of today. >> reporter: but there are still a slew of unresolved issues between moderates and progressives, including how to pay for it now a newly suggested billionaire's tax that would tax the revenue of those that earn $100 million or more in three consecutive years, targeting the 700 wealthiest americans, including amazon's jeff bezos and tesla's elon musk.
but there are questions about whether it is constitutional and key moderate joe manchin is already blasting it. >> i don't like that we're targeting different people. >> reporter: while other democrats are raising questions about what could be cut out, tonight we learned negotiators have dropped paid leave from the package. >> it would be devastating. it would be devastating for working women. >> reporter: we asked would the president delay his departure time tomorrow? could that time line get pushed back if negotiators are still working at potentially close to reaching a deal tomorrow. >> there is some flexibility in the morning, but i would not suggest that he's going to delay his trip he doesn't have the space to delay it much. >> reporter: tonight key progressives tell us they don't just want an agreement but
for the first time the u.s. is publically acknowledging china's test of a suspected hypersonic missile the nation's top general mark milley saying in an interview the test was very close to, quote, a sputnik moment referring to the soviet union's 1957 satellite launch that surprised many americans. milley called the test very concerning. a school board in virginia is at the center of a firestorm. parents demanding resignations after they say a sexual assault on campus was covered up now it is a hot button issue in the state's very tight governor's race here's catie beck. >> you failed. you failed you failed you failed. >> reporter: in loudoun county, virginia last night, parents reach a boiling point. >> resign or be removed. >> reporter: many parents demanding new leadership after they say a sexual assault at a county school was covered up by administrators to
advance a transgender bathroom policy. >> all of you must go, and we will take back our schools. >> reporter: a judge finding this week a 14-year-old male student guilty on two counts of sexual assault. officials saying he wore a skirt, entered a girls bathroom and assaulted a 15-year-old female student back in may. he was later accused of assaulting another student at another school in october. school leaders say they notified authorities of both allegations immediately. though at a june meeting, the superintendent saying this. >> do we have assaults in our bathrooms in our locker rooms >> to my knowledge, we don't have any records of assaults occurring in our rest room >> shame on you! shame on you >> reporter: angry parents calling that a lie after the release of an internal e-mail sent from the superintendent to school board members in may notifying them of the incident. ian prior has two children attending loudoun schools. >> they knew this controversial bathroom
policy they were trying to pass would get derailed if this news got out. >> reporter: the superintendent recently apologized saying he wrongly interpreted the question and does not believe there was any intent to deceive. yesterday students walking out in protest saying they did not feel safe in schools it's the latest example of this divided district turning into a culture war battleground other issues include mask mandates and critical race theory. >> critical race theory, in fact, pits black people against white people. >> can we get a motion to remove masks? >> reporter: but some in the school community say the voices at board meetings don't speak for the majority of parents and that some may be trying to sway the governor's race. catrice nolan ran for a school board seat and says she faced online harassment. how would you describe what is going on >> i would describe it as created chaos i think it's been created. >> reporter: one loudoun teacher saying while there should be accountability on the
assaults, she questions the timing. >> it all came about, that's all it was. it exploded when all of the elections so close. >> reporter: virginia candidates now putting education center stage. republican glenn youngkin today. >> in loudoun county today, we have a school board that's clear guilty of gross negligence >> reporter: president obama stumping for terry mcauliffe. >> we don't have time to be wasting on these phony trumped up culture wars this fake outrage. >> reporter: do you think this is politically motivated minority >> what i have seen is parents they go out there, they're fired up they're defending their kids. >> reporter: political experts say the fiery topics are galvanizing republicans. >> loudoun is a perfect proving ground for what republicans hope to do in 2022 they need to capture the suburbs again. >> reporter: the proof comes in an election less than a week away. catie beck, nbc news. up next for us, a
♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music) ♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪ a new warning about the terror threat from afghanistan. a senior pentagon official says isis-k could regain the ability to attack the u.s. in six months with u.s. troops now gone from afghanistan. inside afghanistan tonight, the state department revealing there are 225 more americans still stranded more than they
initially announced. and thousands of afghans who helped u.s. forces during the 20-year-long war are still desperate to get out. cynthia mcfadden on one afghan ally's struggle to rescue his family >> reporter: five years ago, a top afghan translator for the u.s. military was given the chance to immigrate to america with his family. they thrived now on the brink of becoming american citizens but tonight those dreams are crumbling. >> i feel hopeless. >> reporter: the translator, we'll call him abdul for security reasons, is desperately trying to keep his family alive. stranded in afghanistan after a trip this summer now, he says, they are in grave danger, hiding from the taliban. 16 relatives in a two-bedroom apartment. the children terrified. >> i'm going to get you guys out of there. just be patient. >> reporter: his words, he says, are beginning to ring hallow even to him his children asking questions he cannot answer >> we gonna be stuck
here forever are we going to die here when you hear those conversations with your eight-year-old son, it is very difficult. >> reporter: abdul worked for the u.s. for 11 years >> i've had american soldiers wounded right alongside me i was able to drag them to safety. >> reporter: you saved some of these guys' lives. >> there was a lot of promises made. if you were loyal, you would be eligible to go to the u.s. not only you, but your family would join you. >> reporter: in months of begging for help, he says he's never heard from the state department. >> they have been sitting on these military bases. >> reporter: usually chris george resettles refugees in connecticut. but these days he's trying to help those very same people escape the taliban, including abdul's family nbc news has learned 30 refugees from connecticut are currently stranded. >> they are bargaining chips in a high-stakes game of diplomacy. >> reporter: in fact, the state department conceded there may be thousands of green cardholders still stuck.
>> of course i'm reluctant to criticize the u.s. government because they are our avenue out but we've got green cardholders stuck there from connecticut that are one year away from becoming u.s. citizens what is going on >> reporter: the state department tells nbc news, they will assist wherever possible those that have a legal right to be in the u.s. like adbul's family but so far, he says, they are still in danger is we're trying a good enough answer? >> i want to see results. i'm very american. i want to see results. >> reporter: cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, new haven, connecticut. and next for us tonight, rising above breast cancer. a deeply personal and inspiring story from one of our colleagues.
finally tonight, this is breast cancer awareness month. 1 in 5 women diagnosed will be under age 49 like our own kristen dahlgren who tonight shares a personal story and the adventure she joined to inspire others. >> reporter: sometimes surviving breast cancer can feel like just the first step. which is what led me here to the wiles of utah after two years of dealing with breast cancer and its aftermath. >> a lot of us were told you're done now you should go back to our normal life. we've been forever altered. >> reporter: i rise above breast cancer after she was diagnosed at 35. >> the day that i found out that i was
pregnant, i also found out that i had breast cancer. >> reporter: she couldn't find any resources for younger women dealing with cancer >> you know, create the world that you want to see, so i did. >> reporter: i rise above focuses on fitness, mildfulness, comradery and adventure. >> did i mention i'm petrified of heights >> reporter: pushing women to do things they think they can't. >> this is really hard. >> there is no boundaries to what you can or cannot do >> reporter: she finished chemo three days after this climb. >> i was never doing this before this all happened. >> reporter: really? >> no. so it's crazy that it takes something like this to, you know, push yourself even further. >> reporter: of course along with the summits, there are valleys. jillian's cancer returned, stage four metastatic. >> sorry i'm so petrified of it coming back. and, yet, i see you living this amazing life and doing so much
how do you do it >> i just don't want cancer to take anything more of me. >> reporter: today she has no evidence of disease and prefers the term breast cancer thriver, inspiring others to challenge expectations and rise above >> i rise! >> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news, utah. >> we're grateful to kristin for sharing her story. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
next on nbc bay area news tonight, the beef between in-n-out and local health officials. it is heating up. in-n-out burger is accused of breaking the rules. but is the strahm being singled out and what is happening at locations in the east bay? plus -- >> the governor giving a bat of to booster shot. why he along with covid expert are saying you should not wait to get yours. and facebook in the spotlight right now for not doing enough to protect its users. should we be paying closer attention to what other social media companies are doing as well?