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CNN NEWSROOM

One Officer Killed, One Wounded, Attacker Dead at U.S. Capitol; MLB Moves All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Aired 12-12:15a ET

Aired April 3, 2021 - 00:00   ET

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


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MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

For the second time in just three months, the U.S. mourning the loss of a Capitol police officer killed in the line of duty. He died after a knife wielding attacker rammed a car into a barricade.

Flags are now being flown at half-staff both at the White House and at the Capitol in the officer's honor. Another officer was wounded in the attack. The suspect was killed. Jessica Dean with the latest on where things stand.

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JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States Capitol on high alert again, as another attacked left one Capitol Police officer dead and another injured.

ACTING CHIEF YOGANANDA PITTMAN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: The suspect rammed his car into two of our officers.

DEAN (voice-over): A 25-year-old suspect, Noah Green, rammed this blue sedan into a barricade at the Capitol building, striking two officers before exiting that vehicle and charging at the officers with a knife.

PITTMAN: The suspect did start lunging toward U.S. Capitol Police officers, at which time Capitol Police officers fired on the suspect.

DEAN (voice-over): A law enforcement official telling CNN one officer was stabbed.

PITTMAN: It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries.

DEAN (voice-over): William "Billy" Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, is the second Capitol Police officer to die on duty in just the last three months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling him a, quote, "martyr for our democracy."

And President Biden ordering flags to be lowered at half-staff at the White House. This afternoon's attack bringing back memories of the January 6th insurrection, just as security measures were ramping down with fences being removed around the Capitol.

REP. ADRIANO D. ESPAILLAT CABRAL (D-NY): What it shows is that there are people out there who want to hurt us. And so we got to do more and we got to do it better.

DEAN: Authorities are still working to determine a motive in all of this, but we know in the weeks before the attack, the suspect had posted to social media about losing his job, about medical issues and also about his fear that the government had targeted him for what he called mind control -- Jessica Dean, CNN, Capitol Hill.

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HOLMES: Lawmakers offering messages of condolences for the fallen officers. The Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted this, "For his service to our Capitol, everyone who serves at and visits our Capitol and our country, we will forever be adapted to Officer Evans, who was killed today defending them, to his family, to his fellow officers and to everyone who knew and loved him."

And Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wrote, "I am heartbroken that Officer Evans was killed today in the line of duty. On this Good Friday, let's all pray for the healing for the surviving officer, comfort for Officer Evans' family and for all the officers and families of the United States Capitol Police."

I want to bring in CNN law enforcement contributor Steve Moore in Los Angeles. He's a retired FBI supervisory special agent.

Thanks for being with us. First of, all what will investigators want to learn about this man from those social media posts, which pretty clearly spoke of some illness, government mind control and so on. What are they going to be doing?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: What they are going to be doing is trying to rule out any conspiracy with anyone else, any political motive for this. And I know it sounds like a political motive.

But what it's going to boil down, I believe, based on the evidence we have so far, is we are dealing with somebody who is severely mentally ill and acted on that basis.

HOLMES: How significant do you think it was that the target was the Capitol?

A lot of talk that the January 6th insurrection has made the seat of government more of a target than it was anyway.

MOORE: I think the problem is the Capitol building itself is going to be a lightning rod for both sides. This was farthest from a right-wing attack you can get.

[00:05:00] MOORE: This person was allegedly a follower of Lewis Farrakhan, a Black separatist. So what this proves is that the people from the far left and the far right and people with mental illness in between are all going to see this as a target, much like Al Qaeda viewed the World Trade Center as a symbol of America.

This now, the Capitol building, has become a lightning rod for people on both sides.

HOLMES: I think in some ways, when we look at it, the loss of life is horrible, but the attacker was stopped and security protocols worked despite the loss of life. The barriers went up, the police acted as they should.

Does it indicate any security holes for the Capitol?

Or is it something you can't protect against?

MOORE: I think it indicates that, yes, we have very robust security measures, at least up until this point. We don't know how big threat we have out there, and the Capitol Police are going to have to deal with potentially larger threats.

This indicates there is a need for more safety for the officers. I understand that Capitol Police -- this is coming at them in a much more vivid way than it is coming at us. But had those officers had some kind of cover without being literally physically at a place where they could be assaulted, we might have had a different outcome.

Please don't take that as criticism of Capitol Police. But as we found out after 9/11, we have to adapt to every new attack.

HOLMES: This was, in many ways, a low-tech attack, a car and a knife.

In the bigger picture, how do you balance keeping open what is a symbol of American democracy and balance that with the need to keep it safe?

Is it even possible to fortify it to the point where that would have no practical vulnerabilities?

There always will be an entrance somewhere.

MOORE: Yes, and you're absolutely right. We found out with terrorism that we couldn't stop airline travel, but we could make it safe enough to where an attack became a remote possibility, not impossibility but remote.

I think it is important enough that our symbol of democracy is open and accessible to the very people of the democracy so that we actually win on that, we don't let somebody shut it down for us.

So, I think it's important and I think we are going to have to advance the state of the art so that we can keep it open and at the same time keep people safe. It cannot be done 100 percent, but it can be well up there into the 90s and close to 100. HOLMES: Steve Moore, really appreciate your time and your expertise.

Thanks so much.

MOORE: Thank you, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, baseball's All-Star game won't be played in Atlanta this summer as planned. It is the most dramatic response as yet to Georgia sweeping new election law. MLB commissioner

Rob Manfred said this, quote, "Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box."

Now LeBron James, who is now part owner of the Boston Red Sox, he tweeted out, "Proud to call myself a part of the MLB family today."

But the Atlanta Braves said they are, quote, "deeply disappointed," saying "this was neither our decision nor our recommendation." The team said it had hoped the city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.

Republican governor Brian Kemp, who signed that controversial law, of course, ripped the decision, saying the league, in his words, "caved to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies."

Now the game will still honor Braves legend Hank Aaron, who died back in January but no word yet as to where the All-Star game will now be held. Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Costas, who is a CNN contributor, says this is the latest example of sports leagues making statements about fairness, equity and politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Until relatively recently, baseball was not as apt as a sport to weigh in on social issues as perhaps the NBA, the WNBA, the NFL but that all changed. Last year was obviously a time of reckoning and it continues.

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COSTAS: There's a player's alliance now in baseball, made up primarily of players of color, primarily African American players, but also widely supported by white players around Major League Baseball. So, there are still some people who will say, stick to sports, stick to sports.

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HOLMES: Bob Costas there.

Now authorities in Taiwan say they believe they have rescued everyone trapped inside the wreckage of that deadly train crash, but they are still searching just in case.

At least 50 people were killed, more than 150 injured Friday morning, when this train, packed full of people, traveling ahead of the public holiday, derailed inside a tunnel, the impact ripping carriages apart and trapping dozens of people inside.

Grieving families gathered at a mall to honor the dead. Government officials say they are still working to identify some of the victims.

I'm Michael Holmes. Coming up for our viewers in the U.S., new details of Friday's Capitol attack and the latest in the trial of Derek Chauvin. For our international viewers, "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is next.