tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC March 18, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
allies will stand up. >> thank you. tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the deadly shooting rampage in atlanta. authorities now revealing new details tonight about the alleged gunman charged with eight counts of murder. opening fire at three different spas. eight people killed, including six women of asian decent. tonight, growing out rage across this country. what's being done to stop the hate? and the county sheriff who will no longer be the spokesperson on this case, one day after he described what the suspect told investigators going on to say yesterday was a really bad day for him. tonight, president biden ordering flags lowered to half staff. the president and vice president traveling to atlanta tomorrow. steve osunsami with late reporting. also tonight, president biden late today revealing his goal of 100 million shots in 100
days will now be reached tomorrow on day 58 of his administration. and the warning not to let your guard down, with 15 states now seeing an increase in cases. concern tonight over variants. and in europe, their new wave worsening, after italy, now paris ordering a new month-long lockdown. the dangerous tornado outbreak. at least 30 reported tornadoes and there are new watches as we come on the air tonight. a family says they had to create a human chain as loved ones were being pulled away by the winds. that was an ef-2, winds up to 130 miles per hour. rob marciano reporting from the storm zone. the fbi tonight asking for your help, releasing disturbing new images of the capitol riot. ten suspects wanted for violent attacks on police. one man beating officers with a metal pole. another believed to be using a cattle prod. and an unknown suspect ripping off the gas mask of d.c. officer daniel hodges.
pierre thomas is standing by tonight. vladimir putin now responding to president biden after the president told our george stephanopoulos that putin is a killer. mary bruce now with putin's request and the response tonight from the white house. and the fiery collision on the tracks. an amtrak train slamming into a truck. 111 passengers and crew onboard. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. and we begin tonight with new reporting here at the deadly shootings in atlanta. three different spas targeted, eight people killed, six of them women of asian descent. tonight, we have now learned the suspect bought the gun on the day of the attack. he's charged with eight counts of murder. and with fear growing among the asian-american community, outrage growing across this country tonight, asking, what is being done to stop the hate? tonight, we are learning more about the victims, including
emily tan, she owned one of the businesses. police are trying to reach the families of several other women who worked at the spas. the surveillance showing the suspect, robert aaron long, his own parents tipping off police after seeing the surveillance. the shootings prompting an outpouring of sorrow and outrage in atlanta and across the nation. we have been reporting here on the increase in attacks on as asian-americans. on capitol hill, the house holding its first hearing on ant anti-asian discrimination in three decades. at the white house tonight, the president orderering the flag to be lowered at half staff. and news tonight involving the longer be the spokesperson on - this case, after what he said and serious questions about a post on social media. we begin here with abc's steve osunsami again tonight from atlanta. >> reporter: asian families who live in the north atlanta suburbs are frightened, angered and heartbroken tonight over the murders of the eight people here, six of them asian women and they're asking us to
remember emily tan. she owned young's asian massage where this white man with a gun was seen on surveillance video walking into her business before police say he shot four people dead. today was her 50th birthday. she's a mother with a daughter who recently graduated college. >> i can't put any reason behind someone would want to do something so horrific to such nice people. >> reporter: at the second and third murder scenes, less than an hour away in atlanta, police are still trying to reach the families of the four asian women who this same young man is accused of killing. >> we are working with the consulate office of the republic of korea also to make that verification. but as soon as we are 100% sure and notifications have been made, we will definitely release those names. >> reporter: investigators say that 21-year-old robert aaron long bought the gun he's accused of using on the day of the killings. police have charged him with eight counts of murder and he's currently in the custody of police in the atlanta suburbs.
>> we do not have a witness for that who's actually alive right now that can tell us who shot them. >> reporter: the murders tuesday night have shaken both atlanta and america. asian lawmakers in georgia and on capitol hill are demanding more attention to the thousands of physical assaults on asian-americans in the last year. they blame the racist notions that asians are responsible for the pandemic. >> there is a systemic problem here. >> we are in pain and for the last year, we've been screaming out for help. >> reporter: the police in the suburbs have had to replace the officer who runs their briefings after captain jay baker said this about the accused murderer -- >> he understand the gravity of it and he was pretty much fed up, had been kind of at the end of his rope and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did. >> reporter: saying that the 21-year-old had a bad day felt ridiculously insensitive to friends and family of the people killed. in a statement, the sheriff apologized, saying that these words "were not intended to disrepect any of the victims,"
or "the gravity of this tragedy." baker was trying, unsuccessfully, to share what the alleged gunman told investigators, but now you an old facebook post of his is causing even more concern. it reads, "place your order of t-shirts that read "covid-19, imported virus from china." it's same type of message, that people are out marching in the streets tonight trying to fight. >> a much needed conversation across this country and steve, the president and vice president will be there tomorrow? >> reporter: that's right. they're coming to the state house to meet with this state's delegation of asian-american lawmakers and community leaders. and i can tell you that the vice president and the president will get an earful of concern. david? >> all right, steve osunsami leading us off again tonight. thank you, steve. we turn next here tonight to the coronavirus here in the u.s.
president biden late today revealing his goal of 100 million shots in arms in 100 days will now be reached tomorrow on day 58 of his administration. and here are the numbers tonight. 75,325,000 people getting at least one dose now. that's more than 29% of all adults. but tonight, cases are rising in 15 states and authorities are now warning what's being seen right now in europe, if we're not careful, could easily happen here. abc's whit johnson from new york. >> reporter: tonight, the vaccine rollout more than a month ahead of schedule. president biden set to reach his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days by tomorrow, 58 days into his administration. >> behind these 100 million shots are millions of lives changed when people receive that dose of hope. this is a time for optimism, but it's not a time for relaxation. >> reporter: and with health officials warning of a possible fourth wave, the president urging americans not to let
their guards down. >> things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants. >> reporter: president biden pleading with people to avoid what's happening now in europe. this icu north of paris filled. going on lockdown for a month tomorrow. a doctor there blames the surge on new variants, warning they are seeing younger patients. >> it's related to the new variants that we have much younger patients right now and they are very seriously ill. >> reporter: back here in the u.s., cases are dropping nationally, but 15 states seeing at least a 10% increase over the last week. michigan, up 53% with hospitalizations climbing, too. >> it's been going up. >> reporter: on capitol hill, a
tense exchange between senator rand paul and dr. anthony fauci about masks. >> you've been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show. >> well, let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. masks are protective. and we ask -- >> with immunity, they're theater. if you already have immunity, you're wearing a mask to give comfort to others. you're not wearing a mask because of any science. >> i totally disagree with you. >> reporter: researchers are still studying whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus. and dr. fauci pointing to the threat of those rapidly spreading variants. vaccination sites ramaling up across the country. new york's citi field offering shots 24/7 ahead of baseball season. you can see they're drawing up the doses into the syringes. and then they're passed along to the medical professionals in this area for the vaccinations. where they're now averaging 2,000 shots per day. >> reporter: more states expanding eligibility. 15 states and washington, d.c. green-lighting the vaccine for everyone over the age of 16.
>> let's get to whit johnson tonight. there's news on schools and of course the efforts to open them across the country. we're learning tonight that the cdc is expected to release new recommendations on the social distancing in the classroom? >> reporter: yeah, david, the cdc expected to change those recommendations tomorrow from six feet of social distance to three feet inside the classroom, as long as everyone is wearing masks. now, this has huge implications, because it could allow some schools with limited space to reopen sooner, but it could also spark a renewed debate with the teachers unions. david? >> in the meantime, whit, there's news of that astrazeneca vaccine, which some european countries had temporarily halted over safety concerns. what are they saying tonight? >> reporter: david, european regulators say that the astrazeneca vaccine is safe and should be used. they also say that the evidence so far does not point to an overall increased risk of blood clots, but they say they can't rule out extremely rare cases. in the meantime, the vaccine is not authorized here in the
united states yet, but the biden administration says it's loaning out 4 million doses to canada and mexico. david? >> all right, whit johnson following it off for us. whit, thank you. meantime tonight, severe weather. the threat moving up the east coast at this hour after violent storms across the south, including at least 30 reported tornadoes across seven states. north carolina in the bulls eye at this hour. and take a look at this. drone video of a massive twister in alabama. violent winds ripping into homes in tuscaloosa, alabama, and major damage to homes and cars in this neighborhood nearby. in fact, one family describing creating a human chain of sorts as an ef-2 tornado hit. meteorologist rob marciano from raleigh tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the multiday severe weather outbreak marching toward the southeast and mid-atlantic. at least 30 tornadoes reported across seven states, including this one in chocktaw county,
alabama, wednesday. outside tuscaloosa, watch as the roof of a building is ripped off. then gets caught in power lines. the dangerous nighttime tornado threat lasting well into the early morning hours. by daybreak, major damage but thankfully, no deaths or serious injuries reported. >> i was praying the whole time. good lord. >> reporter: our victor oquendo in alabama with one family that's lucky to be alive. >> my sister that lived here came over there, pulled up to the basement, blowing the horn. she got out of the car and the tornado, it was pulling her away. so my oldest son trent went out the door, grabbed ahold of her. it was pulling both of them away. so my youngest son stepped out and grabbed hold of them. it was like a human chain. >> reporter: tonight, the national weather service rating that twister an ef-2, with winds of up to 130 miles per hour. >> just an awful 24 hours and rob, what are you watching tonight? >> reporter: well, we're just about to get hit here in raleigh, david. tornado warnings just to our
north. you can see it on the radar, as well as the tornado watches on the south carolina border all the way up to norfolk. couple more hours of the dicey stuff, but the bigger system going to take awhile. a cold rain to st. louis, dayton, philadelphia to boston. and that will change over to snow overnight as the low drags everything with it and offshore. but that won't happen, it won't clear out until tomorrow afternoon. david? >> rob marciano, thank you tonight and stay safe, rob, with the team there. in the meantime, we're going to turn next this evening to that urgent new plea from the fbi tonight. they need the public's help. they're releasing disturbing new vid yeos of the capitol riot. they need help in identifying ten suspects in some of the most brutal assaults on officers. here's our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas now. >> reporter: tonight, the fbi on the hunt for this man seen viciously beating police with a metal pole, aggressively jabbing officers trying to defend the u.s. capitol. fbi agents are urgently asking for the public's help to identify him and nine others who
violently attacked police on january 6th. they say this man assaulted d.c. police officer daniel hodges, seen here screaming for his life. the unknown suspect ripping off the officer's mask. >> did you think you might actually die that day? >> yeah. absolutely crossed my mind. i thought, you know, this could be the end. >> reporter: fbi agents also looking for this man they believe used an electric cattle prod to attack police. that buzzing sound you hear is from volts of electricity. tips from family, friends and coworkers have already helped law enforcement track down and charge more than 300 people in the violent mob of trump supporters that stormed the capitol. the fbi still pursuing more than 100 people in the capitol siege, including this man seen beating police with a piece of wood. another spraying an orange chemical at officers. and this suspect who unleashes a massive amount of fire extinguisher gas onto police. >> just incredible images.
pierre, you have reported here on the family members who have turned in suspects along the way here. and the fbi hoping tonight that this will happen again? >> reporter: absolutely, david. the fbi really needs people to help. in some ways, the only way to identify these suspects is when someone comes forward. and it's been happening. david, you recall the young man who turned in his dad. >> pierre thomas tonight in washington. thank you, pierre. overseas tonight, vladimir putin is now responding to president biden, after the president told our george stephanopoulos that putin is a killer. abc senior white house correspondent mary bruce tonight on putin's challenge to the president and the white house response. >> reporter: tonight, russia is firing back, bringing home its ambassador to the u.s. after what president biden told george stephanopoulos about vladimir putin. >> you think he's a killer? >> i do. >> reporter: this is how former president trump answered that same question in 2017. >> putin's a killer. >> we've got a lot of killers. a lot of killers. what, you think our country's so innocent?
>> reporter: today, putin making it clear biden's statement did not sit well with them. "i would say to him, be well, i wish him good health," he said. "i say that without any irony, without jokes." putin adding that when biden calls him a killer, he's really talking about himself. putin saying, "when we evacuate even other states, other peoples, we always look as though in a mirror and we always see ourselves." american intelligence agencies have determined putin once again tried to meddle in the 2020 election. biden telling george that would cost him. >> so what price must he pay? >> the price he's going to pay, you'll see shortly. >> reporter: today, putin challenged biden to talk things out, one-on-one, in a live broadcast. putin says he's available tomorrow or monday. is this something that you would consider? >> i'll have to get back to you if that is something we're entertaining. >> all right, mary bruce, the press secretary there saying she'd get back to you, but the
bottom line, this is extremely unlikely to happen. >> reporter: well, david, putin is clearly trying to needle president biden, taunting him with this invitation, but it is extremely unlikely that biden will accept. but the white house tonight says biden has no regrets about labeling putin a killer. david? >> all right, mary bruce, thank you. when we come back here tonight, the fiery collision, an amtrak train slamming into a truck. 111 passengers and crew onboard. and peloton with a new warning tonight after a deadly accident. u to schedule a screening, say, for colon cancer. humana does you one better and sends you an at-home test kit, when it's overdue. huh! one of those tests could save your life, or at least a little hassle. or both. yeah! you get it, you do it, you send it back. i get it, i do it, i send it back. you get it, you do it, you send it back. yeah, i got it. you got it! ♪ ♪ humana. a more human way to healthcare. hi. so you're the scientist here. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer
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to the index and the consumer warning tonight. peloton confirming a young child died in an accident involving one of its treadmills. the company not releasing details. the ceo urging owners to keep children away from equipment and remove the safety key. when we come back here tonight, looking for a new job and the incredible cover letter. we could all learn something from it. eaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically,
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and teach me, you'll be glad that you did. >> reporter: and tonight, we are happy to report that ryan has multiple job opportunities to consider. and right here, his promise to them. >> i will do a good job drawing and creating using my imagination. >> reporter: and his parents telling us they are extraordinarily proud. >> very proud of him. every mom wants for their children to grow up and have a life and support themselves and be independent. >> we loved what ryan asked, for someone just to take a chance on him and we can't wait to hear where you head to work. good night.
building a better bay area for a safe and secure feature. this is abc news. >> i tried to go forward and back it up. no way. he is the one that told me to get out of the truck. that train is going to hit you. >> hit him it did. he got out just in time, but the video is truly terrifying. good afternoon, thanks for joining us. the dramatic crash was caught on camera. a warning, this video is frightening, but nobody was hurt. but you know what? the driver stepped away moments before the crash. it happened near east 10th street. leslie brinkley has reaction from the driver. >> reporter: 9 am, and amtrak train hit a dump truck stuck on the tracks as recorded by a
driver waiting at the crossing. >> it was just an accident. i got stuck. >> reporter: the driver of the truck and passenger got out just before the collision. the truck driver said he had a full load, and was headed to the dump, when he tried to drive up over the track into the train crossing on fruitville avenue. >> all of a sudden i saw that i got stuck and that is when i saw the light. i said oh my god, man. i tried to back it up and go forward, no way. i got out of the truck right away and i ran all the way to that light over there to try to stop him. he could not slow down. no way. they dragged the track down