tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC April 17, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT
what the other videos from the scene reveal. and the new plea from the boy's family the first guilty plea in the deadly capitol riots. and my exclusive conversation with the acting capitol police chief. how she's responding to that scathing watchdog report on missed warnings and security failures. a team usa athlete speaking exclusively to nbc news after she became the victim of an anti-asian attack the frightening encounter she caught on video and the royal farewell for prince philip the role prince harry will play. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from washington, d.c. good evening, everyone by now even uttering the word "another" should bring chills because we know how the phrase ends. boy, do we know. after a string of mass shootings that have shattered community after community in this country this
spring the toll this time, eight dead eight people who went to work at a fedex facility in indianapolis expecting to go home at the end of their shift murdered for no good reason families clutching on to hope that their loved ones were not among the dead while survivors share their harrowing accounts of escape and mass shootings continue to carve a trail of terror and misery at least 44 lives taken in just the last month. catie beck has late details. >> reporter: an ordinary overnight shift shattered by gunfire. >> we have an active shooter currently at fedex. >> reporter: giving fedex employees like levi miller little time to react. >> he started shouting and then he started firing at random directions >> reporter: federal and local investigators now combing through the crime scene. authorities have identified the gunman as 19-year-old brandon scott hole, a former fedex employee who was known to local police and fbi for a mental health condition police say he was carrying a rifle when
he arrived at the fedex facility at 11:00 p.m., immediately opening fire in the parking lot, killing four victims, injuring others he then went inside the facility where he shot four more victims before police say it appears he turned the gun on himself and took his own life. >> there was no confrontation with anyone that was there. there was no disturbance. there was no argument. he just appeared to randomly start shooting >> reporter: investigators searched hole's home today for evidence and a possible motive, one that follows weeks of similar violence a shooting rampage at spas in atlanta, georgia. another at a boulder, colorado grocery store. and last week at a residence in south carolina >> last night was a devastating blow and its impact will be felt by our community for days and weeks to come >> reporter: and families like carol weissert spending agonizing hours waiting for word of loved ones like her husband, steve >> i would have to say maybe i'm losing a little bit of hope as more time goes on.
>> catie, do we know why it's taking so long for families to be notified? >> reporter: well, here in indiana a positive identification must be made by a family member, a dental record, and dna. so that explains why it's taking significantly longer tonight. lester >> catie beck at that grim scene thank you. now to the alarming rise in covid cases. while almost 128 million have received at least one vaccine dose, here's the problem. even with the pause of the j&j vaccine there's now more supply than demand in some areas miguel almaguer explains >> one, two, three >> reporter: a slowdown in the vaccine supply this week was expected. but tonight nationwide upwards of half a million vaccination appointments are unfilled georgia alone with some 300,000 open slots. even new york city with availability. and with growing concern over vaccine hesitancy the cdc advisory committee
won't meet until a week from today, perhaps further delaying the pause on johnson & johnson's vaccine. >> what i'm most concerned about, the numbers which are most on my mind are the rising cases and hospitalizations among those who are not vaccinated >> reporter: and the numbers are troubling. hospitalizations and e.r. visits climbing as much as 8% in the last week. the number of new daily cases is now just below 70,000, far exceeding the goal of 10,000 to better manage the pandemic. in michigan at least 35 hospitals are at 90% capacity >> patients are again lining our hallways like they were last spring this situation is very serious. >> reporter: helping to fuel the spread of the virus, say doctors, variants that are up to 70% more transmissible and the easing of restrictions new hampshire announcing it's eliminating its face mask mandate worried a devastating fourth wave could ripple across the nation, tonight
federal officials say vaccinations are more important than ever, but it comes at a time when fewer americans may want one miguel almaguer, nbc news in chicago outrage, grief, and confusion over the deadly police shooting of 13-year-old adam toledo and the seemingly conflicting images of the seconds before it happened we'll warn you here, the video is disturbing rehema ellis is there. >> reporter: responding to a call of shots fired, this is what the officer saw as he was chasing adam toledo. just moments before making a split decision >> show me your [ bleep ] hands. drop it! [ gunshot >> reporter: officer eric stillman fired, hitting the 13-year-old toledo in the chest. police have released records from that night which state toledo was armed with a weapon in edited police video authorities point out what they say appears to be a gun in toledo's right hand. surveillance video
shows toledo tossing something. it happened in less than a second. and from the body cam of a different officer there is a gun by the fence near where the teen was fatally shot. but the family's lawyer points to another image where toledo appears to be empty-handed >> he said show me your hands the child did. and there was nothing in his hands when he got shot >> reporter: people who knew toledo are asking the same question >> he had a whole life, whole future, and gone just like that >> reporter: an attorney for officer eric stillman says toledo had a gun in his hand and that his client was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation. as more demonstrations are planned, toledo's family is urging people to remain calm. no charges have been filed against the officer, who's been placed on administrative duty. lester >> all right, rehema ellis in chicago tonight. thanks in just 60 seconds, my exclusive interview with the acting chief of the u.s. capitol police. what she says about the police response to the deadly riot.
we've been telling you about the record surge of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border. well, now we're learning how many families wait weeks to hear any word about where their children end up here's andrea mitchell >> reporter: the harrowing moment was captured on surveillance cameras a smuggler dropping a 2-year-old boy over an 18-foot border fence, where he's caught by his father incredibly, border patrol officials say the boy was not injured. two weeks ago two sisters from ecuador tossed over a border wall by smugglers who then fled into mexico. >> [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: and this 10-year-old nicaraguan boy telling an agent he'd been abandoned along the border shocking videos of the record surge of unaccompanied migrant children since the biden administration changed the policy allowing them to stay in the u.s tonight more than 22,000 unaccompanied children in u.s. custody, many with families already in the u.s. who say they struggle to get information on where their children are being held
like andrea, whose 6-year-old son was first taken to one of the overcrowded border patrol facilities like this one, then placed in foster care she told nbc's dasha burns -- >> [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: "nobody would tell me anything," saying they only called her when they needed her help calming her child when he wouldn't eat or sleep. she says, "it shattered my soul. it took weeks to be reunited >> how are you feeling? >> [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: "happy," she says, and he says he never wants to be separated again. >> andrea, the biden administration also facing some backlash for its decision on refugees >> reporter: that's right. the president today issuing a directive keeping former president trump's historically low number of refugees being accepted into the u.s., breaking a promise to accept 60,000 tonight the white house says that's temporary. next month they'll have a larger number lester >> all right, andrea, thank you. a milestone today in the investigation of the deadly riot at the u.s. capitol the first guilty plea.
let's bring in pete williams pete, why is this so important? >> reporter: lester, it was a member of the far right oath keepers who has agreed to tell investigators what he knows. john schaffer of indiana, 53, pleaded guilty to entering the capitol with bear spray and trying to obstruct the electoral vote count the government dropped a charge of assaulting capitol police with the spray. in return he agrees to cooperate, which could help investigators understand the forces behind the siege he calls himself a founding life member of the oath keepers. if he does cooperate, he could get leniency when he's sentenced several months from now. lester >> all right, pete williams, thank you. now to my exclusive. 100 days after the capitol attack for the first time the acting chief of police, capitol police, is speaking about the enormous toll the attack has taken on her department and responds to criticism over the agency's preparedness we spoke on the still fenced off capitol grounds today. >> every day i think
about the well-being of the officers. what they experienced on january 6th is forever etched in our hearts and minds >> reporter: and now her responsibility yogananda pittman was thrust into the top job at the u.s. capitol police days after the attack, when the previous chief resigned she immediately inherited leadership of a department facing harsh scrutiny for its performance before and during the attack. there's been a lot of criticism. has it stung >> yes, it has it has but it's also created an overwhelming opportunity for this agency to improve and get better >> reporter: the criticism largely from the department's own inspector general. an ongoing review has found among other failures capitol police failed to disseminate relevant information obtained from outside sources despite warnings three
days before the riot that congress itself was a target that capitol police leadership did not allow officers to use heavier crowd control weapons, including stingball grenades and that the department's civil disturbance unit was operating at a decreased level of readiness. acting chief pittman says she accepts the i.g.'s assessments but argues they were aware of the intelligence. >> but did you act on it >> yes the department did act on it. we brought in essentially every employee that we had available. we had a security posture that was expanded because of that intelligence to restrict the plaza >> reporter: but what about the warning from the fbi's norfolk field office about specific threats the day before the riot? >> with the norfolk document there have been several questions
about that document. as if, though, the document itself was a smoking gun to say that we had -- we did know that these groups were going to come here and breach the capitol, and it's just not accurate >> reporter: acting chief pittman watched events unfold that day from this command center at some point you heard that officer sicknick had been killed do you recall that moment >> yes, i do and just as a mother of two sons, to have to make that call to some -- another mother to say your loved one, your child is never coming home, it's just something you're never prepared for >> reporter: and then the unthinkable. on april 2nd when a car slammed into officers manning a capitol barrier, killing capitol police officer william evans. >> awful day awful day. this department has
been through a lot in a very short period of time i am most proud of our workforce, though. they have been extremely resilient each and every day >> the chief acknowledges her department is about 200 officers below the authorized strength and remains reliant on the national guard as it works to recruit new officers let's turn now to the wave of anti-asian hate incidents it's happened to a u.s. olympic athlete heading for tokyo. here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: team usa's sakura kokumai was training for the upcoming olympics at a public park when it happened to her. >> get away from me. >> i haven't done anything >> loser >> go home >> [ bleep ] i'll [ bleep ] you up. >> i was just out there to go for a jog. >> reporter: this man accosted her, spitting, using anti-asian language. >> chinese >> when he walked
closer, that's where i did get scared a little bit because you just never know what could happen >> reporter: did you ever think that this would happen to you? >> to be honest, no. at that time i was in a fight or flight mode >> reporter: kokumai, whose japanese american, says she reported this to police and although people watched the perpetrator approach her she was surprised no one stepped in till the end. >> i know that i practice karate. but i just couldn't stop myself from thinking what if this was like somebody who was much younger what if it was a kid >> reporter: kokumai is urging her fellow americans to step up and say something. >> i want everybody to know, especially in the aapi community, that you're not alone. i think it's really important to have compassion, share love, and to look out for one another. >> reporter: how do you maintain such a positive outlook when you are being targeted in your own country? >> it makes me emotional just to think about it because at the time i did feel like i was alone
herself ahead of tomorrow's difficult day. prince charles looking tearful this week. and in the past few hours the order of service published. remembering prince philip's unwavering loyalty to our queen he planned his own funeral, even designing the land rover that will carry his coffin the emphasis on family, military and history. his children and grandchildren will walk with the cortege. william and harry separated by a cousin after that explosive oprah interview. 30 close family will be surrounded by 730 members of the armed forces inside, all will wear masks. the queen expected to sit alone. tonight the queen releasing this personal picture from 2003, as tomorrow she says good-bye to her husband of 73 years for the last time. the service here at windsor castle will last less than an
hour the end of an era. lester >> all right, keir simmons, thank you you can watch prince philip's funeral tomorrow morning starting at 9:30 eastern here on nbc. also tonight, the growing big business backlash to georgia's voting law let's get more on that from blayne alexander. >> reporter: they say their fight started as soon as georgia's voting law passed. >> was georgia kind of a wake-up call >> georgia was absolutely a wake-up call >> reporter: that's why ken chenault, former american express ceo, helped organize hundreds of business leaders including from target, bank of america, and starbucks, to sign a statement against what they call discriminatory legislation that impacts the right to vote >> how companies act, how they influence, i think is critical. >> reporter: among the names, linkedin co-founder reid hoffman. >> business leaders are leaders. they're part of the leaders in society and they're saying restricting voting is bad for business >> reporter: but similar moves are sparking backlash.
republicans say the georgia law does not suppress voting, rather secures it, by requiring an i.d. to request an absentee ballot, and they say in many places expands early voting >> i would encourage these ceos to look at other states that they're doing business in and compare what the real facts are to georgia. >> do you risk potentially alienating some people by speaking out >> you probably will alienate some people sometimes when you're doing that that means you're doing the right thing. >> standing up for an american principle is not partisan if you can't speak out on the principle and the guarantee of a right to vote, what can you speak out on >> reporter: and their focus now is beyond georgia, to 46 other states considering legislation that they say would restrict voting access. lester >> all right, blayne, thank you. up next for us, a girl scout cookie record and why it means so much.
finally, a girl scout has made history with her cookie sales. and her cause is inspiring america. lilly bumpus is just learning multiplication, but she already knows plenty about numbers >> girl scouts >> reporter: the 8-year-old just sold over 32,000 boxes of girl scout cookies, shattering the record for the most sold in a single season. what's it feel like to break the record >> it feels awesome. >> reporter: a mission that hits close to home
lilly was born with a rare form of cancer. she beat the disease at t and now she wants to help o >> my experience of childhood cancer is that it's very hard but you can get through it because you're strong. >> reporter: the third-grader and her girl scout troop have been delivering thousands of boxes of cookies to children's hospitals and nursing homes in california and raising money for cancer research too. >> it makes me feel like i'm not the only one in the world who's gone through something hard >> reporter: in fact, lilly's entire girl scout troop knows about hardship many of the members are either battling cancer or have beaten the disease and now inspirings >> whoo! >> reporter: with one message. >> never give up always try your hardest. and follow your passion. because your passion is the way >> cookies that's a good passion. that's "nightly news"
for this friday. program note, "nightly news" kids edition is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week and you can catch a new episode tomorrow right here on nbc. and on monday join us for a special edition of "nightly news" from houston as we kick off our week-long climate challenge series across all nbc news platforms. thank you for watching i'm lester holt. good night, ev ♪ ♪ ♪♪ all around me are familiar faces ♪ ♪ worn-out places worn-out
faces ♪ ♪ bright and early for their daily races ♪ ♪ going nowhere going nowhere ♪ ♪ children waiting for the day they feel good ♪ ♪ happy birthday happy birthday ♪ ♪ made to feel the way that every child should ♪ ♪ sit and listen sit and listen ♪ ♪ and i find it kind of funny ♪ ♪ i find it kind of sad ♪ ♪ the dreams in which i'm dying are the best i've ever had ♪ ♪ i find it hard to tell you ♪ ♪ i find it hard to take ♪ ♪ when people run in circles ♪ ♪ it's a very, very mad world ♪