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At Least Eight Killed in Indianapolis FedEx Mass Shooting; U.S. Hits Russia with Sanctions, Expels Diplomats; Japan Prime Minister Will Be First Foreign Leader to Visit Biden White House; Inside the Myanmar Military's Deadly Crackdown on Bago; Guest List Released for Prince Philip's Funeral. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired April 16, 2021 - 04:30   ET



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, an update now on the breaking story we're following this hour. Another mass shooting here in the U.S. Police say eight people have been killed in a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana. An unknown number of people have been taken to hospital. As for the gunman, he, too, is dead of a self- inflicted gunshot wound. We want to play something from a police spokesperson and a witness to the attack. Listen here.


OFFICER GENAE COOK, INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: As officers responded, they arrived to an active shooter incident at that location. Preliminary information at this time is that the alleged shooter has taken his own life here at the scene. After a preliminary search of the grounds inside and out we have located eight people at the scene with injuries consistent to gunshot wounds. Those eight were pronounced deceased here at the scene.



TIMOTHY BOILLAT, FEDEX EMPLOYEE: And we heard two metal -- loud metal clangs at first, because they didn't sound like gunshots at first.

Then we heard three more shots and then my buddy Levi saw someone running out of the building and then more shots went off. Somebody went behind their car to the trunk and got another -- and got another gun and then I saw one body on the floor.


BRUNHUBER: And do stay with CNN, we'll bring you the latest on this breaking news throughout the coming hours.

Well, Joe Biden says he wants to turn down the heat after hitting Russia with strict new sanctions. They are meant as punishment for interference in the U.S. elections, the SolarWinds cyber-attack against the U.S. government and businesses and the ongoing occupation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. Ten Russian diplomats will be expelled from Washington.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We could have gone further, but I chose not to do so, I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship. If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy I'm prepared to take further actions to respond.


BRUNHUBER: Now we have more now from CNN's senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Joe Biden in what was a sweeping and pointed statement to Russia, to President Vladimir Putin, unveiling a sweeping set of sanctions. An executive order that really kind of covered the full gamut of potential targets, whether it was individuals, whether it was specific entities, whether it was Russia's sovereign debt. All covered in the sanctions that the Biden administration signed and put into place.

Now, the Biden administration makes clear they believe that they were proportionate. The reason why those sanctions were put in place, two reasons specifically, election interference in 2020, also the SolarWinds hack, that sweeping hack into U.S. systems both private and government systems. The U.S. now pointing directly at Russia, Russia's intelligence service, for that hack.

And I think the big question right now -- the sanctions are obviously out there. They've been telegraphed for a number of weeks -- is what's going to happen next. Where does the relationship go from here? It's something that I asked President Biden as he gave remarks on these sanctions. Take a listen.

BIDEN: I urged him to respond appropriately, not to exceed, because we can move as well. My hope and expectation is we'll be able to work out a modus operandi, but it's important that we have direct talks and that we continue to be in contact.

MATTINGLY: And administration officials make clear they do not want to continue to ramp up, to continue to escalate, but they are willing to respond given what they expect Russia to do in the weeks and perhaps months ahead. However, President Biden making very clear he wants to deescalate. He wants to meet face-to-face with President Putin, a summit to walk through where the U.S. and Russia can work together and how they can address contentious issues that are currently ongoing.

To this point Russia, President Putin have not responded to that invitation. White House officials say they are currently trying to see what the path forward is for that.

[04:35:00] But there is no question about it, it has been an escalatory way of doing things over the course of the last several weeks, probably last several months, the White House trying to ramp that down but at first, obviously imposing serious costs on Russia.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


BRUNHUBER: All right, let's get more reaction on this with CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson, who's live this hour in London. Nic, so a summit offer and sanctions, Biden using the classic carrot and stick approach. But Russia seems to be reacting at least openly much more strongly to the stick. What's the latest here?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Russia is going to respond. They've made that very clear. It's what's not clear is if they will escalate. Biden has said that he doesn't want that. Then he said that he can increase the U.S. and go -- essentially go tit for tat if that's the case. He did he say that President Putin had agreed with him that face-to-face conversations were the way forward for a better relationship for both countries.

The support here in the European Union for the -- for President Biden's position is very clear, it's very strong. Just as President Biden was announcing these new sanctions yesterday on Russia, the British foreign office called in the Russian ambassador to London and publicly have provided the same message. That Russia's malign interference in elections, the SolarWinds hack as well is something that cannot stand. And that Britain and the rest of the European Union, too, want a stable and consistent relationship with Russia.

So where does it go from here? Really it does wait on Russia's response to see how they will handle. Will they escalate? Are they expel diplomats? None of this is clear at the moment and neither is it clear quite when they will respond, when they will choose their moment to do that. This is very much in keeping with the way that the Kremlin has historically operated. It very clearly feels, and they've said whenever sanctions, whenever there's action taken against them, they will respond. It's just where will they draw that line? Will it be an equivalent or will it go beyond that -- Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Yes, we'll be watching. All right, thanks so much for that, Nic Robertson in London.

U.S. President Joe Biden will welcome his first foreign leader to the White House in just a few hours. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga arrived in Washington Thursday evening. He is scheduled to meet with President Biden this afternoon. Now the topics of discussion are expected to center around the two countries' opposition to China's recent aggression against Taiwan. The two the leaders will also hold a joint news conference.

So let's bring in CNN's Blake Essig who joins us from Tokyo. Blake, the prestige of being the first leader to visit the Biden White House, what message is that sending to China and to Japan? BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Kim, it really speaks to the

importance of the U.S./Japan alliance. It's a relationship that here in Japan has been called the cornerstone of diplomacy and security. Now this is the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders and President Biden's first visit from a foreign leader since taking office in January.

Now, the summit between President Biden and Prime Minister Suga on Friday is expected to cover a wide range of topics including COVID-19, the climate crisis, the Olympics, North Korea and perhaps the biggest focus, China.

Now, President Biden plans to use the summit to send a clear message to China regarding its recent aggression in the East and South China Seas, in particular towards Taiwan. Now, just earlier this week China sent 25 war planes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

From Japan's perspective a senior government official told me that Japan has three main objectives for this summit. First, to figure out how it can support President Biden's approach towards multilateralism. Second, to enhance the U.S.-Japan alliance in a free and open Indo- Pacific defined by the rule of law. And third, to establish a personal relationship between Biden and Suga.

Now just before leaving Japan last night the Prime Minister said he would like to build a relationship of trust with President Biden and further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance linked by freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

In addition to meeting with President Biden tomorrow afternoon, Suga will also meet with Vice President Harris in the morning. Now, because of COVID-19 a fraction of the normal delegation accompanied Prime Minister Suga to Washington for the summit. All of them have been vaccinated -- Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Interesting. All right, thanks so much, Blake Essig in Tokyo.

Coming up, eyewitness accounts and pictures show Myanmar's military using heavy war weapons against civilians. We will hear from survivors of a brutal raid.

Plus Britain's royal family is preparing to say a final good-bye to Prince Philip. We're live to Windsor for details on the ceremony and who is expected to attend.



BRUNHUBER: All right, the latest now on our breaking news. Another deadly incident of gun violence in the United States. Police say at least eight people have been killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, an unknown number of people have been wounded and taken to the hospital. At least one person is in critical condition. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Now, of course, CNN continues to follow this story and we will bring you updates as soon as we get them.

Myanmar's military has killed at least 726 civilians since the coup in February. That's according to an advocacy group and that number includes children. We're also seeing evidence the military is using weapons of war against unarmed protesters like in last week's deadly crackdown in Bago. Paula Hancocks spoke with some survivors and has this report.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dawn in the city of Bago, April 9th. The shooting is said to have started at 5:00 a.m. One NGO describes what happened that day as a killing field.

Protesters tell us they had six bunkers throughout the city to try and keep the military at bay. Roadblocks made of sandbags to stop the bullets getting through.

One member of the so-called defense team tasked with protecting the neighborhood from the military says they were up against far more than just bullets. An 18-year-old who says he should be starting studies in IT now, he spoke to us over the phone on the condition of anonymity. He's fled the city and is in hiding.

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER (through translator): We have heard 32 members were killed at bunker number one as we were running away. We couldn't make contact with them. As we ran the military shot at us from a monastery they were stationed at. As they were shooting continuously, I think at least 40 of us were killed at that time.

HANCOCKS: What do you have to defend yourself? What sort of weapons or shields do you have?

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER (through translator): We have gas masks, helmets, air guns, that's all we have.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): He says survivors believe 97 people were killed that day. The military says it was the protesters who attacked, not them, and claimed they had handmade guns, shields, and grenades. And they say only one person died.

Multiple sources including an advocacy group, AAPP, says a military group was using assault rifles, grenades, and heavy weaponry like RPGs, weapons you use on a battlefield. These photos taken in the aftermath in Bago would seem to support this.

This audio recorded by one protester shows the intensity of the military onslaught, an onslaught that has been widely condemned.

RAVINA SHAMDASANI, OHCHR SPOKESPERSON: The military seems intent on intensifying its pitiless policy of violence against the people of Myanmar, using military grade and indiscriminate weaponry.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): An accusation rejected by the military junta. BRIGADIER ZAW MIN TUN, MILITARY JUNTA SPOKESMAN (through translator): If we really shot at protesters using automatic rifles, the 500 you referred to could be killed within hours.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): This is not the first time the military has been shooting protesters in Bago, but everyone we spoke to said this was different.

One doctor, who wanted to hide his identity for safety, says he tried to treat the wounded that day, but was blocked by the military. He says at least one of his colleagues was arrested.

DOCTOR IN MYANMAR (through translator): We could see the wounded. We could see people fall to the ground, but we couldn't get to them. We saw a bystander killed by a gunshot to the head. He was only 18 or 19.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The military went house to house, neighborhood to neighborhood, activist and doctors telling us many were arrested from inside their homes. Their families received a call the next day to come and pick up their body, for a price. A charge of around $85 in order to be allowed to give a loved one a funeral. One activist tells us the price has now gone up to $110. The military has said nothing.

Horrifying stories slowly emerging from just one city, on just one day in Myanmar.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Bangkok.


BRUNHUBER: Well it's hard to imagine Cuba without a Castro in charge, but we are just hours away from seeing exactly that. 89-year-old Raul Castro, Fidel's brother, plans to step down on Friday this his role as head of the country's Communist Party. It will mark an end of 60 years of Castro family rule. President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Castro's hand- picked successor, will take over as Communist Party secretary, the most powerful position in the country.

The world will bid a final farewell to Britain's Prince Philip this weekend. After the break we'll go live to Windsor for details on the funeral and a possible sign of tension between Prince Harry and some members of the royal family.



BRUNHUBER: Buckingham Palace has released new details about the funeral arrangements for Britain's Prince Philip. Prince Charles, William and Harry will be among the family members who will follow the coffin in a procession in Windsor on Saturday. Now, you're watching pictures there from a Thursday rehearsal. The palace has also named the 30 relatives and friends who will attend the service which is a number limited by government COVID restrictions.

So joining me now from Windsor is CNN's Anna Stewart. Anna, so take us through the plan for Saturday.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Good morning, Kim. Well, this is going to be a ceremonial funeral, so in many things like that of the Queen Mother and Diana, but my goodness, it going to feel so different as a result of the pandemic. Just 30 people able to actually be in the congregation in St. George's Chapel and they will be wearing masks and won't be able to sing any hymns due to COVID restrictions. There will be a choir of just four.

Now for a man who didn't much like a fuss, however, this paired back funeral perhaps would be to his liking. But ahead of it there will be more pomp and pageantry, a big procession of the coffin through the grounds of Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel and that will involve 700 personnel from the military, from all branches of the military. So there are Marines, the Navy, the Army and the RAF, you saw some of the rehearsals I believe earlier.

And that will be a fitting tribute for a man who was in the Navy and it was so important to him, the career he had before he met the Queen and then honorary titles he had afterwards. Now through the procession the coffin will actually be on a Land Rover, it will be driven on a Land Rover which the Duke of Edinburgh designed himself. We can show you some pictures that painted in British army green.

And this is going to be followed by members of his family on foot behind him, his children, his grandchildren, that does include Prince William and Harry. They'll be walking together but they'll actually be separated by a cousin, Peter Philips in the middle.

This is getting lots of attention in the British press today. Lots of speculation about whether the rift that was so publicly exposed by that Orpah Winfrey interview will be healed. Although, I mean, we're really hoping that the drama of course is kept on the sidelines because tomorrow is very much about Prince Philip mourning his death but also celebrating his life and his legacy -- Kim,

BRUNHUBER: Yes, well said. Thank you so much, CNN's Anna Stewart in Windsor. Appreciate it.

And of course CNN will bring you Prince Philip's funeral live tomorrow as it happens. Our special coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time as Britain's royal family gathers in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh and again that's tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.


Well, they say the truth is out there, the U.S. Defense Department has confirmed that a series of leaked photos and videos from 2019 are indeed legitimate images of unexplained objects. Now, we're told the images were actually taken by Naval personnel and the Pentagon says it doesn't know what they show. Last year the Defense Department created the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force to investigate UFOs. Congress has told the U.S. intelligence agencies to deliver an unclassified report on UFOs in June. A Canadian member of Parliament is apologizing after revealing a

little too much skin. Quebec liberal Will Amos was naked on a videoconference call Wednesday. A female colleague pointed out he was in very good shape, but a suit and tie might be more appropriate. Amos said he made a really unfortunate mistake and is obviously embarrassed. He says he accidentally left his camera on as he changed into work clothes after a jog, and he promised it would never happen again. Could happen to any of us.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Kim Brunhuber. "EARLY START" is next with the very latest details on that deadly mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. Stay with CNN.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: I want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world, this is "EARLY START," I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, April 16th. It is 5:00 a.m. in New York.