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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

At Least Five Confirmed Dead As Hurricane Slams Bahamas, Threatens U.S.; Monster Hurricane Moves Toward U.S., Trump Goes Golfing; Hurricane Dorian Stalls Over Bahamas, Still Category 4; Bahamas Prime Minister: "We Are In The Midst Of A Historic Tragedy"; Mandatory Evacuations Ordered For 11 Counties In Florida; New Details On The Latest Mass Shooting In Texas; Texas Gunman Called FBI, 911 Before And During Shooting Rampage; Death Toll Climbs To Eight, Dozens Missing In Dive Boat Fire; Pres. Trump's Dream Leads To New Conan O'Brien Special; Dorian's Slow, Deadly March Toward Southeastern U.S. Shoreline. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired September 2, 2019 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:15]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: There is no other way to put it. One of the most beautiful places on earth is now in terrible pain, still in the teeth of Hurricane Dorian, but already counting the dead.

And what is happening right now through to the Bahamas could be a sign of things to come soon to coastal Florida. Hurricane Dorian hit the island chain as a category five storm and it is lingering. Five people are known dead on the Abaco islands. Entire communities there are badly damaged or flooded. People are trapped in their homes.

We're talking to people there, as well as in the larger towns, Nassau, Freeport, to bring you the full picture of this unfolding disaster.

And just a minute ago, we got new information on the storm from the National Hurricane Center. So, let's go right now to the CNN -- to CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

So, explain what we've just learned. What's the latest?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The latest information, really the only change in the advisories, the winds have come down from 145 to 140. It doesn't matter. It's still a very strong category four storm.

It is still stationary, and for me, that's the biggest takeaway because this storm is still sitting over Grand Bahama Island. It's been sitting there all day, and has been sitting there since yesterday when it impacted Abacos and now, it's moving to the west ever so slowly, sitting stationary. If you can imagine, it's hard to believe the fact that a storm this powerful is not moving, Anderson.

COOPER: How long -- I mean, is it likely to stay over the Bahamas? Is there any way to know?

GRAY: Well, it's definitely going to be there through the overnight hours tonight, into tomorrow morning. We should finally start to pick up a little forward speed by the time we get into tomorrow afternoon.

Look at this loop. Six hours of time that goes by and you can see the center of the storm. It doesn't move at all. It's basically just staying on Grand Bahama Island, and the bad part, the strongest winds around the eyewall, as you know, Anderson, are the strongest winds and they have been battering the island all day long.

COOPER: So, this is a dumb question but why does a hurricane just stall over an island?

GRAY: It's basically squeezed in between two areas of high pressure. There's no steering current for this storm to move. That should change, though, by the time we get into tomorrow. That's when the storm is expected to pick up a little bit of forward speed.

Now, the storm is now located about 100 miles to the east of West Palm Beach. It's still very, very close to Florida and the brush with Florida is what is so crucial because depending on how close this storm gets will depend on the impacts that Florida will see. You can already see those outer rain bands pushing on shore. When that happens, we'll get the heavier rains. We'll also get the stronger winds.

But the closer this gets to Florida is going to determine how strong the winds will ultimately be, the storm surge, as well as the rain. And you can see still a sliver of Florida within that cone of uncertainty. So, they're really not completely out of the woods yet. Most of the models do carry it just offshore.

But even then, with hurricane force winds extending 45 miles from the center, you're still going to possibly get hurricane force winds onshore and we could still have a major hurricane category three by the time Tuesday into Wednesday rolls around, and then keep in mind how vulnerable the coastline is in South Carolina and North Carolina, especially those outer banks, where we could have a category two situation on our hands by the time the storm rolls over there.

And then also, Charleston, any push of water in Charleston is going to mean a lot of devastation as far as storm surge and flooding. So, the east coast is definitely not out of the woods, even if this storm stays a little bit offshore.

COOPER: Jennifer Gray, we'll keep checking with you. Appreciate it.

Again, it is staggering because as hard as it is to imagine facing a storm this magnitude, being in the thick of it, not for minutes or hours but for a day or longer is something else entirely. That's what people are dealing with right now in the Bahamas where the official death toll stands at five.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann is in Freeport for us.

Patrick, explain what you are seeing now and what it's been like.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been hour after hour of just being battered. You know, it was early this morning, late last night that the storm came in and it sounded like an airplane taking off. And that sound, it's really been the eeriest thing about it, it's never gone away. It's just this constant whining, screaming sound all day, now back into the night.

And here we are in an island that has no electricity, and we are very fortunate to be in a place that is protected. We're next to a concrete building, have walls on two sides of us. It's protecting us. If I walked a little bit this way, I would be blown into the ocean. There are still category one or two hurricane force winds blowing just around us, 10, 12 hours after this hurricane came here.

[20:05:01]

I've never experienced anything like it.

And, you know, we think about all the Bahamians -- the tens of thousands of Bahamians that are not in such a secure place, that are now in the dark for the second night in a row, listening to this wind, perhaps watching the water rise in their home and who is going to rescue them? How are they going to survive tonight?

It's going to be the worst night of their lives if they see the dawn.

COOPER: And I mean, there was no warning that this thing was going to just stall over the island.

OPPMANN: No, there really wasn't. It came into Marsh Harbour right the next island over to us, caused a lot of damage there and moved fairly quickly to where we are last night and it just stopped moving.

And that is really, it is the worst imaginable scenario, Anderson. You have a powerful first category five, now category four storm stalled out over low lying islands and it's causing a storm surge of over 20 feet in certain places. This island, the highest spot on this island, highest point of land is 30 feet.

COOPER: Wow.

OPPMANN: So, we're running out of area and high ground.

And earlier tonight, people came into the lobby of the building we're staying and they lived in the area and their houses were just under water and it was all day long watching the water rise and rise and their neighbors had to rescue them. There's one lady who had broken her hip as she was trying to get out of her house. They carried her in.

Everybody was soaked. They were carrying pets and again, the idea that people had to rescue themselves, there is no one coming and here we are again, another night total darkness, the screaming winds.

It is desperate a situation as I've seen and I've covered a few of these and you just wonder when is it going to end? When is this hurricane going to move on? We are feeling the strongest winds in my location that we've felt all day. It's not getting better, it's getting worse. COOPER: We talked to folks in Abaco Island and we're going to play

that interview. We talked to them just a few moments ago, and they were saying that, you know, they'd had people, private citizens out in, you know, heavy earth-moving equipment trying to rescue people from their homes, but it's not like they are seeing a lot of police and authorities.

OPPMANN: No, the police -- again, these are all very small islands. There is 700 islands in the Bahamas and when you're on an island, help is not coming because the airport has been shut here. We came in on one of the last flights. You can't come by boat. So, you're on your own.

These islands have police. They do have local authorities but they are not out. It's too dangerous. So, it's falling on to people in these communities to rescue themselves if they can and many are just not able to be rescued tonight. They are on their own.

COOPER: Yes.

Patrick Oppmann, appreciate you being there. Stay safe, you and your team.

Kellie Mackey rode out the storm on Great Abaco. I spoke with him by phone just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Kellie, thank you so much for joining us. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

Can you just start by describing where you are right now and what you're seeing? Is the storm still hitting you right now?

KELLIE MACKEY, BAHAMAS RESIDENT (via telephone): Yes, it is. I'm currently inside of a car. My home, the roof is gone. It's taking in water. It's flooding everywhere, and it's unavailable (ph) to live on right now.

It's very windy. We cannot see at all.

The only thing we can really see is the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter circling around us at the moment. They are only taking out the ones who are seriously injured and pregnant women.

COOPER: We're looking at a video you shot. We see trees ripped apart. I mean, it just looks like the whole area you're in has really been devastated.

MACKEY: Yes, sir. If you were to go any more down the hill from us, you would be trapped in water. It's flooded everywhere, so basically uphill on higher ground is the best place to be at the moment. But that's only if you have a good coverage right now.

Let's say you have a good roof that's not leaking or anything. COOPER: And I saw there was a picture there of a Caterpillar vehicle.

It looked -- are there -- was that some -- was that a private citizen just trying to help move stuff around? Or is -- do you see people from the government there out and about?

MACKEY: Oh, they were actually trying to help us evacuate our homes during the eye of the storm. As you know, the eye of the storm is the most easies and the calmest part. So, they came in to try to help everybody who couldn't evacuate their homes because there were so many power lines, and flooding that we couldn't walk or drive our cars through. So, they came and just started picking up people and took us down to a shelter.

[20:10:00]

COOPER: You were able to go back to your home today. What did you find when you went home?

MACKEY: Basically, just debris everywhere. Down from my room to upstairs, downstairs, everything is completely destroyed, wiped out. There's about three or four inches of flooding inside of my home because only we're up on top of a hill. The water hasn't risen that high inside of our home.

COOPER: I'm looking at some videos of somebody driving in a vehicle and -- I mean, they are just driving through waves of water. It's almost like they are on the ocean. I guess, roads are just swamped.

MACKEY: Yes. That was before the hurricane even started and hit us fully. That was the surge. I'm sorry.

That was the surge. I'm sorry. I'm really out of it.

COOPER: It's OK.

MACKEY: Yes. I'm sorry, man, I'm really overwhelmed with everything that's going on.

COOPER: How are you holding up?

MACKEY: Pardon?

COOPER: How are you holding up?

MACKEY: I'm trying my best. We have a lot of family and friends who are currently missing at the moment. We have a lot of babies who are trapped in homes. But everybody is just separated from each other, man. It's horrible.

COOPER: Can you -- I assume you can't really communicate with other people with friends, with family or neighbors unless you go over and see them?

MACKEY: Yes, correct. And that's if they are even there or if they went somewhere else. COOPER: On a -- in a situation like this, and I know you've seen

people desperate, you know, trying to take food supplies from stores, doing whatever they can, people need supplies here.

MACKEY: Yes. We do. Supplies are actually limited now. The hurricane actually destroyed most food stores here and everything in them. So, people was actually going salvaging what they can, and it wasn't really a pretty sight.

COOPER: Have you seen -- ever seen anything like this where you are?

MACKEY: In all of my years, I have never seen anything like this at all, and I pray to god we never experience something like this again.

COOPER: Kellie, I wish you the best and I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us and I hope you find all your loved ones and all your friends and I hope help comes soon.

MACKEY: Yes, thank you so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Kellie Mackey.

Florida preparation is next as our live hurricane coverage continues this hour, next, of course, into the night on CNN.

Also tonight, there is new information coming to light in that shooting rampage in Texas over the weekend. Also, the search for survivors with dozens missing and the death toll rising after a deadly fire at sea just off the California coast. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:17:09]

COOPER: Hurricane Dorian as we've been telling is now stalled over the Bahamas, still a category four storm, still doing damage, still flooding in communities in places where as Patrick Oppmann just reported before the break, there is simply is no high ground.

Once the hurricane starts moving again, it's expected to come dangerously close to Florida's Atlantic coast. Mandatory evacuation orders are now in effect for parts or all of 11 counties in the state, including where our Randi Kaye is on Singer Island in Palm Beach County.

Randi, you are in an evacuation zone there in Palm Beach County. First of all, what's going on? What are you feeling, and what's this situation been like all day for you?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been a really strange weather day, Anderson. Right now, I'm feeling like I'm getting pelted by some pretty heavy rain that's coming in, but it's been a really weird day. We had sunshine. We had really heavy wind at some point and then that would dissipate. We had sand blowing, kicking up, but then that would calm down.

So, the weather and Dorian just can't make up their mind, I guess. But we are on the beach on Singer Island, which is part of West Palm Beach here in southern Florida and we are in that evacuation zone as you mentioned, Zone B. We were called to evacuate here yesterday afternoon, most people did.

The beach is too dark to show you now, but it's pretty quiet, there is nobody down here, but there were some folks down here earlier today, just curious about mostly the water here behind me. I don't know if you can see it but it's really rough.

It's usually very calm here. It's a great area to snorkel in. The water is really crystal clear and blue. But today, it would be a surfer's paradise, Anderson, if we weren't on a verge of a hurricane, and those heavy winds coming our way.

But here in Palm Beach, the international airport is already closed. The businesses nearby along the beach, they've all boarded up, as well. So, it's not a great situation here on Singer Island, Anderson.

COOPER: You know, and mandatory evacuations are mandatory evacuations, but they're not actually usually mandatory. Have most people left?

KAYE: Well, I'm looking -- the direction I'm looking in, I can see the high rises that dot this beach and there are probably too many lights on to be honest with you. So, that tells me that not everybody did evacuate.

The buildings here are built for hurricane winds. The building that we're staying in actually can withstand 165-mile-an-hour winds on the lower floors but high up, it's more dangerous. In fact, the building we're next to had some really serious hurricane damage years ago. The people had to move out for three years.

So, they are not all ready for a storm like this. If it does make landfall in this area, but there are plenty of lights on, probably too many for officials to be thrilled with, Anderson.

COOPER: Randi, I know it's been a long day, probably going to be a long night. Appreciate you and your team being out there. Thank you. Be careful. We'll check in with you shortly.

I want to go next to Cocoa Beach where the Mayor, Ben Malik, is overseeing operations.

[20:20:00]

Mayor Malik, your city is under mandatory evacuation. Are people actually following that order and getting out?

MAYOR BEN MALIK, COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA: Yes, for the most part, we have a lot of compliant (AUDIO GAP). Hopefully --

(AUDIO GAP) COOPER: Mr. Mayor, I'm sorry, I got to interrupt. For some reason, the audio now is clicking out on us. So, we can't really hear what you're saying.

We're going to try to reestablish contact with you because I know you're at the fire station. You're with a lot of officials. You're in the right place. We'll try to reestablish contract clearer.

That was Mayor Malik in Cocoa Beach.

As Hurricane Dorian was plowing into Bermuda, the question is, how did President Trump spend his time and what did he have to say about the devastation so far? We'll tell you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:25:00]

COOPER: Updating the breaking news. The prime minister of the Bahamas says that Hurricane Dorian has claimed lives for at least five people there.

And as the storm is now barreling towards the United States, President Trump is playing golf. He visited the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia. The 227th time he's been at a golf club as president. And when he wasn't golfing, he was attacking political foes on Twitter, including "New York Times" columnist Paul Krugman, the head of the AFL-CIO, and "The Washington Post."

In the meantime, he also retweeted warnings from the National Hurricane Center, which is nice. The president -- the White House says that the president received regular briefings about the storm while playing golf.

CNN's Pamela Brown is at the White House for us tonight.

So, what is the White House's rationale for the president being on the golf course as the hurricane moves towards the U.S.?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson. The White House is only saying he was briefed hourly while on the golf course for several hours today. It was one of his golf clubs, not far from the White House, in Sterling, Virginia.

But, Anderson, the president clearly doesn't care about the optics of being at the golf course. In fact, it was the second time he went golfing over this Labor Day weekend and that has drawn criticism for the president to go golfing while Hurricane Dorian is threatening the United States.

And critics also point to, Anderson, the past comments from Trump on President Obama --

COOPER: Right.

BROWN: -- as you recall on the campaign trail, he went after President Obama for golfing. He said it was a waste of taxpayer dollars, that he should be spending his time otherwise focusing on government work and Trump even said at the time that he would be too busy see to go golfing. Well, as you said, Anderson, to put into context, this was his 227th day at one of his golf clubs since he took office.

COOPER: Right, it would be one thing if he had not gone after the former president about golfing and said that he would never go golfing because he'd be too busy see and doing too important work and winning so much. I mean, it's not us nitpicking, it's using his own criteria of -- for judging other presidents and by his own criteria, he sure is golfing a lot.

He also made very confusing comments yesterday saying that this is not, that this is the -- I mean, this is not the first category five hurricane to threaten the U.S. since he took office and yet, he seemed to indicate that he had never heard of a -- of a category five hurricane.

BROWN: Yes, he seemed stunned by the fact that Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to a category five, saying that he didn't know a category five existed. But if you go back and look at his past comments, Anderson, he's made five such comments since 2017 and there have been four category five hurricanes since Trump has been in office.

Now, not all of those made landfall but still, it is notable so if any president should have intimate knowledge of a cat gore five hurricane, it should be President Trump which is why FEMA headquarters where you got briefing did draw scrutiny, the fact that he acted so baffled by this -- the idea that there was a category five hurricane that that even exists.

COOPER: And forgive me, if I -- I don't have the read in on this because I was overseas, but correct me if I'm wrong, at some point over the last day, was he also tweeting after Debra Messing, the actress, about comments she had allegedly once made to him about how grateful she was for "The Apprentice"?

BROWN: Absolutely right. I believe that was yesterday, if I'm not mistaken he was targeting Debra Messing over Twitter. But, I mean, just to put this into context, yes, he went after her, but then he's going after the head of a union, a prominent head of a union. He's going after James Comey once again. He's going after the media. So, he's been going after many other targets.

COOPER: Right.

BROWN: Many other issues outside of the core issue right now which is Hurricane Dorian. Remember, he cancelled his trip to Poland, this important trip to Poland over the weekend so he could stay in the United States and monitor the hurricane and get those updates, but he clearly has other things on his mind as well.

COOPER: Yes, he's monitoring the Debra Messing situation and his memory of that, and "The Apprentice", which he's bringing up again, yet again. BROWN: Yes.

COOPER: It's incredible.

Pam Brown, thank you very much.

BROWN: Yes, thank you.

COOPER: You've heard a number of our guests and reporters refer to rescue operations underway in the Bahamas, including help from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Chef Jose Andres is helping out, too. Having set up more than a dozen kitchens, he sent out this video yesterday with his crews getting ready even as the storm was intensifying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE ANDRES, CHEF, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: So, I want everybody to understand, this (INAUDIBLE)

This is going to be one of the biggest ever --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:30:00]

COOPER: Well sadly, we reported a moment ago, at least five people on Abaco Island have now lost their lives. I spoke with Chef Jose Andres who has an organization called World Central Kitchen. He worked in Houston during Harvey. He really kind of perfected it, sadly, in the aftermath of the hurricane on the devastation in Puerto Rico. I spoke to Jose Andres just a few moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jose, you're in the Bahamas right now, you actually rode out the storm from there. What was it like at the storms peak and what are you seeing now? What kind of devastation are you seeing?

JOSE ANDRES, CHEF, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Listen, the storm speak, I was in Nassau, so we were really on the edge of the hurricane. But even being on the edge of the hurricane, we saw winds in the north of 80, 90 miles per hour. Imagine what the people in (INAUDIBLE) Islands and the Grand Bahamas were going through?

So here in Nassau, you know, some water flooding but nothing compare to what we are seeing on the videos that everybody is sharing in social media right now. We cannot wait to right there, here you see already all our volunteers helping us to get food ready. We have one boat that is going to be filled up with food and equipment. We have helicopter in Fort Lauderdale and also here in Nassau and we hope that tomorrow it will be the day that we can finally arrive and see what's going on and start finding the kitchens and start cooking.

COOPER: So, I mean this is something you have been training for now for quite sometime. I mean, I saw you in Houston during Harvey, of course in your extraordinary work with a lot of chefs and a lot of volunteers in Puerto Rico. Explain how your work and where you are right now, you got -- clearly you're in the kitchen.

ANDRES: Yes.

COOPER: You already have volunteers. Do you have food? Are you already making meals?

ANDRES: We are already making sandwiches because that's very easy. Tomorrow I'm going to go in quick ride in a helicopter and we can bring a lot with us. So that's the first arrival.

But what's really we are doing is this, we have a lot of support already, the government of Bahamas was talking briefly to the prime minister yesterday, a lot of the private sector, we are in the kitchen at Atlantis, where the biggest resort and employee in the island, they're giving us all the support. And obviously we have a lot of volunteers and not so many people that are here as tourists that they decided to join us and start helping us.

So right now getting ready making sure we get communications from (INAUDIBLE) and Grand Bahamas. We know we have some hotels there that they, did OK after the hurricane. So we're going to use those hotels for making those kitchens -- the relief kitchens to start feeding the people in the different shelters and I think we're be here for quite some weeks.

COOPER: I -- you know, one of the things you said to me in Puerto Rico when I was going around with you, I remember very distinctly and I thought it was so important, is that what you're doing is not just feeding somebody, you're making a connection with somebody and you're saying to that person essentially we see you, we care about you, we're thinking about you. We know about you.

ANDRES: You know, sometimes when we start going to every community every single day in the moment that they see that food is coming, people began opening to you and you may got learning of the people I mean medicines (ph). The people that need the generator, because they need the breathing machine. All of this sudden when you do connect with the communities, you learn about the reality of those communities. And then we don't do that, but we now hold to reach to make sure that we are providing everything the communities need.

We have a kitchen ready to go in Wilmington if the hurricane keeps moving forward. So we have multiple teams ready to take care of the people in the Bahamas but also in Florida and beyond if necessary.

COOPER: What do you need from people? What do you need?

ANDRES: Listen, in this moments, you know what happens, we start in Puerto Rico. Everybody is very generous. Everybody start sending things. We need to make sure that we follow the lead of the prime minister of the government of the Bahamas.

I remember seeing entire container of Advil pills. In Puerto Rico was so much Advil that they have enough Advil for the next 100 years. We need to make sure that we follow the people that know best and that we start donating for, you know, feeling good.

COOPER: And so your plan for the coming days is what?

ANDRES: My plan for the coming days is making sure that at least we have evade (ph) one kitchen each on the islands plus this kitchen here in Nassau. So we can be sending some food through helicopters. I think we're going to have some areas that they're going to be difficult to reach by the road for the next few days, few weeks.

[20:35:04]

So I think if we can have this kitchen here and be sending the food through helicopter and doing drops, like we did in Puerto Rico in the early weeks. So we'll have three kitchens if I can in the next week 10 days and we'll reach as many people as they will need the food.

COOPER: Just so -- you know, just on a personal level, Jose, I mean you're one of the most famous chefs in the world, you got restaurants all over the place. This is not something you have to be doing. What -- I mean, I know you started this became something you were interested in doing and you kind of learned how to do it and you invented a kind of a new way of doing it, what keeps you going in this?

ANDRES: I mean Anderson, I -- you know, I don't do these because it's fun, I do this because I believe our expertise is needed. The thing is the role of every -- every citizen to do a little bit to the betterment of the lives of others. I'm blessed to have teams that they are very committed to do this, not only in America but around the world.

This year we've been in Indonesia, Mozambique, Venezuela, Colombia, where is still there. So why don't use that talent to bring relief to fellow citizens. This to me is not my work, this is a passion to provide meals to the few is great, but I love to provide meals to the many. And quite frankly, that's why I'm going to keep doing for the rest of my life.

COOPER: Jose Andres, I'm glad you're there. Thank you.

ANDRES: Thank you.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER: Well, we have more breaking news just ahead. Up next, surprising new details in the moments just before and after another devastating mass shooting. This one by a man who had been stopped for minor traffic violation in West Texas and went on to kill seven and wound 25.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:40:34] COOPER: More breaking news tonight. Authorities in West Texas where wrestling with the aftershocks of another mass shooting. Seven died, more than two dozen were injured and some truly bizarre information surfaced today in the wake of the Saturday shootings, including the fact that according to authorities, the gunman called 911 twice as the rampage was going on. Ed Lavandera has tonight's details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh god, they are shooting there.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 15 minutes before the 36-year-old gunman engage in a deadly shooting spree, he called a FBI national tip line with a rambling incoherent series of complaints. He had been fired from a truck driving job earlier in the day and also called 911 but left the office before police arrived. Even before being fired, law enforcement says he was starting to spiral.

CHRISTOPHER COMBS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: He showed up to work in a very distressed mental state, so it's not because he got fired. Right, this did not get happen he was fired which other active shooters have occurred. When he showed up to work, he was already in raged.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): There are also troubling questions about where the gunman obtained the assault style rifle used to randomly murder seven people and wound at least 25 others in Odessa, Texas. Investigators say the gunman failed a background check but still somehow managed to obtain the firearm. Investigators have not revealed why the shooter failed the background check.

JOHN WESTER, ATF ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: ATF with in partnership with the FBI-DPS and all the other federal and local agencies are aggressively following up on the source of the supply for the firearm on this.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The shooting started Saturday afternoon after a routine traffic stop. The gunman started firing randomly as he drove around the city. Authorities say he then shot and killed U.S. postal carrier Mary Granados before taking her mail truck and continuing the shooting spree through the city. Mary was face timing with her twin sister when the shooting erupted.

ROSIE GRANADOS, VICTIM'S SISTER: She was screaming, so I mean, I was hoping that he could have been just a dog bite, you know but it wasn't. It was something worse.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The call then went silent.

GRANADOS: She was laying there. I just wanted to run to her and hug her, you know, kiss her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you?

GRANADOS: I didn't. I didn't get to. They wouldn't let me get close to her. LAVANDERA (voice-over): CNN sat down for a one-on-one interview with FBI special agent in charge Christopher Combs who said he seen too many mass shootings up close. He gets emotional trying to talk about how this should be a wake up call to the country.

(on-camera): The phone rings yesterday. You get the call about this. And whatever is going through your mind is -- it makes you tear up, which is not something we normally see from the FBI.

COMB: I can't. I can't. I'm sorry, man. There's no way.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And what more can you tell us about the survivors of the attack? How are they doing?

LAVANDERA: Oh we have a couple of updates on some of the 25 people that were wounded in this shooting rampage. The 17 month old girl, Anderson Davis that you've heard so much about, she was the one that had to be airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock to receive treatment. She was wounded in the mouth. We are told that she's out of surgery and has already returned home here to the Odessa area and that she is doing well.

And we've also been told by Odessa police that their officer James Santana who was wounded here at the very end of the chase of the suspect, this is the back of the theater where it all ended on Saturday afternoon, James Santana is also doing well and that officer we are told will be released from the hospital tomorrow, Anderson.

COOPER: That's great news. Ed Lavandera, appreciate it. Thanks again. We'll talk to by the way, a teacher knows that little girl's family about how exactly she's doing. Her -- I mean, it's amazing that she is alive.

Breaking news tonight in that diving boat fire disaster off the Southern California coast. Eight people now confirmed dead after flames swept across the boat near Santa Cruz Island. It was in the middle of the night. Authorities said a short time ago that they're working to recover four of those victims from the ocean floor, more than 12 hours later, 26 people are still missing. The flames tore through the 75-foot boat as you can see after 3:00 a.m. local time.

Many victims were below deck in the sleeping area. Five crew members who were aware were rescued after they jumped off the boat.

[20:45:03]

But the fate of one crew remember isn't clear. NTSB Investigators are headed to the scene. Sara Sidner will bring us a live report from California on the many questions in this breaking story in our next hour.

The news is obviously difficult on many fronts tonight, but we're going to take a brief respite to share something fun with you. Conan O'Brien heard President Trump's wish to buy Greenland. Up next, late night comedy legend shows us how he is taking a hands-on approach to make that happen. We'll preview his news special and Conan joins us live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, may seem like light years ago that news broke that President Trump wanted to buy Greenland, such as the nature of the new cycle the Trump era, it was actually just two weeks ago. Greenland is notably not for sale. It's also technically part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The whole bizarre story prompted Conan O'Brien to make the trip over to Greenland. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[20:50:00]

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": Do you mind if I say a quick prayer?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Dear God, may Greenland soon become part of the United States, whether they want to or not. Amen. Hey, kids. Did you have a good day at school today? What did you learn? Nothing. You're going to love America. You're going to love America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Conan O'Brien's new special "Conan in Greenland" premiers tomorrow night at 10:00, 9:00 Central in TBS. He joins me now from Los Angeles with a preview.

I mean I do -- when you first heard that President Trump wanted to buy Greenland, I mean I kind of thought it was a joke and of course it turned out to be real. What made you --

O'BRIEN: Yes.

COOPER: -- decide you should go there?

O'BRIEN: Well, first of all, Trump is a real estate man, President Trump. He knows real estate. And so, yes, the media likes to mock a lot of his ideas. I thought there could be something here --

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: -- and a lot of people, like yourself, were making jokes and I thought, why make jokes. Someone should go there, someone responsible, someone revered --

COOPER: Sure.

O'BRIEND: -- someone trusted, should go to Greenland, kick the tires on this deal and see if we can make it happen.

COOPER: Yes.

O'BRIEN: So I jumped on a plane and got there and I looked into it because that's what I do.

COOPER: Yes. By the way, I should point out I was in Greenland years ago doing a story on climate change. And I pooped in an igloo, have you ever done that? That's what -- you know, an igloo.

O'BRIEN: Are you OK, Anderson? Is it the beard? What's going on with you? Are you having a breakdown of some kind? What's wrong with you? By the way, it looks good. You look like a very tiny wizard.

COOPER: It's all I can do in nine days off.

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes. No, it looks like you briefly dipped your chin into a sugar bowl. It looks fantastic, though. Everyone's loving it.

COOPER: I call it the Blitzer beard challenge, so.

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes. No, well, he won. Guess what, he won. Wolf shaves every morning and then that grows in the next two hours. That's what happens when you have a name Wolf.

COOPER: I'm going to see how long they allow me to keep it because I -- everybody is off today in management, so I feel like they're not watching. But back to Greenland.

O'BRIEN: Back to Greenland, I went there and I wanted to see how do they feel about it?

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: You know what, Americans were very self-involved. How do the people of Greenland feel about it? So I went there. It turns out they are not for it. They love their country the way it is.

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: I had a lot of difficulty. I tried to make the deal.

COOPER: Did they know who you were because when you went to South Korea, I mean I remember you getting off the plane and being greeted at the airport, I mean you were like Elvis.

O'BRIEN: Yes, yes.

COOPER: Then you were in a K-pop video. Did people in Greenland know who you were?

O'BRIEN: They thought I was Cate Blanchett. And so and I got -- and she's primary huge there. So --

COOPER: I thought they would think you were like Tilda Swinson.

O'BRIEN: Yes, no, they did think I'm Tilda Swinson until they thought I was Cate Blanchett. I'm a shape shifter. What can I say? Yes, because of -- some did not but a lot of younger people do because of YouTube.

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: So they knew -- and they actually -- what's interesting is I announced on my show I'm going to Greenland, so they knew that I was -- that I had said I was going to come.

COOPER: Right.

O'BRIEN: What's amazing is how surprised they were that I actually came. They couldn't believe that I came. They said nobody comes here except for Anderson Cooper --

COOPER: Yes, yes.

O'BRIEN: -- about 12 years ago and they talked about your little incident.

COOPER: I want to play another clip because, you know, you're very worldly. I know when you're in another culture you like to immerse yourself in that culture. You do shift in Mexico.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I do.

COOPER: You delivered your monologue in really I think perfect Spanish.

O'BRIEN: Thank you.

COOPER: You did -- you tried to read the weather on a TV show in Greenland on a news report, I believe.

O'BRIEN: This -- I didn't try. I did.

COOPER: Yes, you did. OK.

O'BRIEN: I read the weather in the Icelandic language, which is very difficult.

COOPER: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Imagine someone just poured vowels into a shotgun and shot them at you, that's what it sounds like. But I --

COOPER: I want to play this -- I want to play the clip.

O'BRIEN: I did do it and it went -- this went out all over the air.

COOPER: OK, let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Foreign Language).

O'BRIEN: Good evening. I'm Conan O'Brien and I'm bringing you the latest weather report here in Greenland. I will give the report in the Greenlandic language. Let's face it. How hard could it be? (Speaking Foreign Language). (END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:55:27]

COOPER: We left it early. I mean that's wow.

O'BRIEN: Yes. And that actually went out all over Greenland. That was their weather report for the night. And so then I left there and I was going to, you know, try and record some other segments around the capital of Nuuk and people were yelling out their car windows, just saw you do the weather. I mean it was -- and I think I actually got three words right, so good for me.

COOPER: Yes. I'm surprised they didn't like ground all of the planes after that weather report because nobody -- I don't know what you were saying.

O'BRIEN: I am -- I'm not welcomed back, let's just put it that way. I did manage when I was there to visit a real estate office because I really wanted to make this happen. I visited government officials. I attempted to bribe them. That will be in the special. I visited a real estate office and I offered to split the commission on the deal to 6% with the realtor and he agreed. And that would be $30 billion I think for each of us. So that would be his year. That would make him good for the whole year.

COOPER: Right, yes. Conan O'Brien, it's always great to have you on. Thanks.

O'BRIEN: Very nice to see you, Anderson. And keep growing that beard. You're five years from having a full beard.

COOPER: You can catch "Conan in Greenland" tomorrow night on TBS. Conan, thanks.

Tonight, we're watching Hurricane Dorian slow on ominous march of course toward the U.S. It's already claiming lives as it ravages Bahamas. We've got three teams there and across the Southeast along with the newest forecast, next.

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