tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 9, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
tonight, breaking news as we come on the air in the west. the verdict in the jussie smollett trial. guilty on five of six accounts. authorities said the actor staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself, after he told police he was walking home when two men attacked him, yelling slurs and putting a noose around his neck. the actor standing by his claims, taking the stand in his own defense. again, guilty on five of six accounts and alex perez with late reporting. also breaking tonight, just 24 hours after pfizer said early data shows the booster does work, bringing the level of antibodies back up to peak protection, tonight, the cdc now giving the green light for boosters for 16 and 17-year-olds. and what dr. rochelle walensky just said about 12 to 15-year-olds. as the u.s. military tonight now
helps in several states amid this new surge. still from delta and this new variant now in at least 22 states tonight. and the sobering warning in the uk. what they're seeing right now. tonight, authorities say the chilling plot, a student accused of planning another columbine, in their words. what they say they found in his bag, a high-powered collapsible rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. and how they knew to move in. also tonight, the graphic new images at the trial of former police officer kim potter, who claims she mistook her gun for her taser. police video now showing what happened seconds after officer potter shot and killed daunte wright. his girlfriend sobbing on the stand, describing how she tried to save him. we're tracking a cross-country storm tonight. heavy snow and strong winds. winter weather alerts from california now all the way to michigan. and in the northeast, the spike in temperatures, but then, what's coming right behind it. ginger zee is here. tonight, president biden and the call with ukraine's president.
and what vladimir putin said today, his alarming words. martha raddatz is here tracking it all. and here in washington tonight, that moving image. elizabeth dole, her head on her late husband's casket, as a nation honors bob dole. and good evening tonight from washington as we come on the air in the west. it is great to have you with us here on a thursday night. we're going to begin tonight with the verdict just in the trial of actor jussie smollett. found guilty on five of six counts after nine hours of deliberations. smollett had been charged with filing a false police report in 2019 and several other counts, after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. prosecutors say he staged it all. two brothers, former extras on the tv program "empire," claim smollett paid them to fake the attack. tonight, that verdict finding the actor, as i mentioned,
guilty on five out of six counts, including filing a false police report in a fake hate crime case. let's get right to alex perez live in chicago, following this case from the start for us. alex? >> reporter: david, hard to believe in january, it will be three years since this ordeal began. that jury deliberating here at the cook county courthouse for nine hours over the course of two days, delivering a split verdict just moments ago. tonight, a jury in chicago finding actor jussie smollett guilty on five counts of felony disorderly conduct and not guilty on one count of felony disorderly conduct. prosecutors argued smollett staged a racist and homophobic attack on himself back in january of 2019, when he told investigators he was walking home from this subway shop and two men attacked him, yelling racial and homophobic slurs and putting a noose around his neck. authorities began questioning smollett's story when he declined to fully cooperate with the investigation. the prosecution's star
witnesses, the osundairo brothers, who testified smollett hired them to carry out the attack. but the defense argued in court that investigators rushed to judgment. smollett himself taking the stand, telling the jury the ordeal was not a hoax. and contradicting the osundairo brothers, saying on the witness stand that they were trying to extort $2 million from him. but during cross examination then said the brothers never directly contacted him for the money. smollett also testifying he and one of the brothers, abimbola osundairo, had sexual encounters. and david, smollett could face up to three years in prison on those felony charges that he was convicted on, but he likely will not face any prison time because he has no criminal record. he's likely to face just probation or community service. the judge has said he can remain free on his bond until he is sentenced at a later date. david? >> all right, alex perez with the breaking news from chicago tonight. alex, thank you. we're going to turn now to the other major news this thursday night, with a covid surge in this country right now,
driven still by the delta variant, and now this new variant, omicron, found in at least 22 states, the fda tonight has now authorized pfizer's covid booster for teenagers 16 and 17 years old. the cdc moving quickly to say yes on this, too. it comes just 24 hours after pfizer said new data from a laboratory test showing the booster works to bring the level of antibodies in your system back up to peak protection. 3 million teens are now newly eligible for a booster six months after getting that second shot. and the cdc's dr. rochelle walensky tonight saying they will immediately look at when they can do this for 12 to 15-year-olds. and all of this tonight as the u.s. military now steps in and helps in several states amid this new surge, with the colder weather here and millions now back indoors. here's abc's whit johnson. >> reporter: tonight, the cdc giving the green light for 16 and 17-year-olds to get booster shots at least six months after their second dose. cdc director dr. rochelle walensky saying with waning
vaccine immunity and the new omicron variant, boosters are a critical tool. >> we're facing a variant that has the potential to require more immunity to be protected. >> reporter: this move comes 24 hours after pfizer revealed early data, which suggests when the standard two-dose vaccine took on the new variant, antibody levels dropped 25 times lower. but the booster shot restored high levels of antibodies that could take on the variant. 3 million newly eligible teens can start getting those third sots right away. >> there's enough real world data to suggest that the rare cardiac side effect, myocarditis, is very rare and the benefits far outweigh the risk when it comes to getting this vaccine. >> reporter: this following a new study from israel, showing people who got the pfizer booster were 90% less likely to die from a delta infection than people who got just two doses of the vaccine. officials insisting there is plenty of supply, but some are still struggling to get appointments for boosters. >> i'm past my six months and i
really wanted to get the booster. been a little stressful, especially with the holidays and stuff coming up. >> reporter: meanwhile, it's the delta variant fueling the winter surge, and a jump in hospital admissions in at least 30 states. as teams of active military fan out to hard-hit areas to help ease the strain. >> i'm tired of it. us nurses, other coworkers, respiratory therapists, all the medical team, we are tired. >> reporter: and covid cases among children are helping to drive the wave of new cases. since infections were at their lowest point oaf the summer, pediatric cases have soared 884% and children under 5 are still not eligible for the vaccine. but despite the growing safety evidence, a new poll shows roughly two-thirds of parents of elementary school-aged children are either holding off on getting their younger kids vaccinated or refuse to do so. in massachusetts, families say anti-vaccine protesters harassed them as they brought their
children to a school vaccination clinic. >> people were having things thrown at them. water bottles, things thrown at their cars. >> reporter: the experience they say left the kids terrified. >> she's upset, oh, am i going to be okay now that i got this? because now she's got old men screaming at her. >> reporter: tonight, the cdc director says they've seen no signs of serious side effects in younger children and are actively considering when they too could need booster shots. >> we're first starting to get our 5 to 11-year-olds vaccinated. we'll look again at the 12 to 15-year-olds, of course, with the fda in real time and we, again, will want to act swiftly. >> of course, all of this moving very quickly and so whit, let's drill down on this tonight. the fda and the cdc giving the green light now for boosters for 16 and 17-year-olds, along with all adults. and as we just heard from dr. walensky there, they're going to immediately begin looking at whether they can do this for 12 to 15-year-olds next? >> reporter: david, that's right. they're going to start exploring those younger groups of kids, but for now, pharmacies, thousands of them, vaccination sites, doctor's offices across
the country, will immediately start offering those booster shots for teens, and again, there is an easy way to search to find an available appointment near you. you can text your zip code to this number on your screen right there, it's 438829. we tried that text number just moments ago and it's working. david? >> whit johnson with us tonight. whit, thank you. and one more note on this tonight. the uk with an ominous warning, involving this new omicron variant, saying they could reach a million new cases with this variant by the end of the month there. the government imposing a new mask mandate for indoor public places in the uk and encouraging people to work from home. the health minister there warning the omicron variant is very different, given just how transmissible they believe it is. >> it spreads faster than any other covid variant we've seen so far. by the end of this month, we could hit about a million infections in the community throughout the uk. >> this really got our attention today. the concern of course, as we've seen before, is that what happens in europe and in the uk could eventually make it here. of course, we'll be watching this closely. meantime, back here at home tonight and chilling new details
about an alleged mass shooting plot at a university in florida. they say the student was planning another columbine, in their words, and that it was foiled possibly just hours before it was about to happen. authorities arresting a student, saying they found a gun and ammunition. other students notifying police after claiming he posted alarming messages on snapchat. here's abc's victor oquendo. >> reporter: tonight, florida police say they stopped this student, 19-year-old john hagins, who they say wanted to carry out another columbine massacre. >> we've had several mass shootings throughout the years in our country, but he specifically referenced columbine. >> reporter: the chief of daytona beach pd says they caught him at his apartment with a backpack containing this high-powered collapsible rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition that he allegedly planned to use to attack students on the campus of embry-riddle aeronautical university on the final day of school before winter break. >> this was all a part of the plan, because today, the campus will be packed, because
everybody has to be there to take their final exams. >> reporter: police saying they acted on a tip from two students, worried about snapchat group messages they received. >> by the grace of god, those two students came forward and thwarted that plan. >> reporter: and tonight, police say hagins planned on visiting a gun range before going to the school. and it appears he sold his vehicle to pay for the weapon and the ammunition. he is being held without bond and is due in court tomorrow. david? >> all right, victor oquendo in florida tonight. thank you, victor. and we're going to turn now to the trial of former minnesota police officer kim potter in the death of daunte wright. the former officer claims she mistook her gun for her taser. and tonight here, the graphic new images. police video showing what happened seconds after officer potter fired that shot. his girlfriend sobbing on the stand today, describing how she tried to save him. here's abc's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: tonight, for the first time, we see the moments after daunte wright was shot by former police officer kim
potter, when his car takes off, crashing head-on into another vehicle. >> get out of the car so we can help him! >> reporter: this new body camera video showing the chaotic aftermath. >> who else is in the car? >> nobody. >> reporter: alayna albrecht-payton, who was in the car with wright, injured and sobbing. the 20-year-old, who had recently started dating wright, taking the stand today, describing those harrowing moments. >> i just remember, like, hearing, like, just like the boom, the bang of the gun. >> reporter: albrecht-payton saying she tried to save wright's life. >> i took my belt off and i grabbed, like, whatever was in the car. put it on his chest like you see in the mu vees aovies and tv sh i didn't know what to do so i just -- i just put my hands over his chest and i just tried to hold it in. >> reporter: even taking a video call from wright's mother, who was desperately trying to reach him after being disconnected. >> i was delirious.
i was just screaming, like, they just shot him, they shot him. and then i pointed the camera on him and i was so sorry. >> reporter: during that traffic stop in april, potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, says she mistook her handgun for a taser after wright struggled to get away from another officer trying to arrest him for a misdemeanor warrant. >> i grabbed the wrong [ bleep ] gun. i shot him. oh, my god. oh, my god. >> reporter: you can see her collapse to the ground moments after the shooting. >> i'm going to go to prison. >> reporter: potter now facing first and second-degree manslaughter charges. the defense tonight pressing albrecht-payton on what wright was trying to do after he was shot, in an effort to show that wright intentionally drove away and endangered lives. >> his hands were never on the wheel. >> and stephanie ramos with us tonight. stephanie, late word coming in from the courtroom, the defense calling for a mistrial? >> reporter: right, david. the judge tonight denied the defense's request for a mistrial.
the defense saying that the state introduced irrelevant information, having nothing to do with potter's thought process. but the prosecution says it is relevant, adding that potter's actions endangered those around her. testimony continues tomorrow. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos tonight. steph, thank you. and now, to a major storm system we're tracking at this hour, taking shape in the west. and sweeping across the country. alerts already across more than a dozen states at this hour, from california all the way to the great lakes. and ahead of it, a major warmup on the east, that will also change quickly. already parts of colorado tonight getting its first significant snow of the season. hazardous driving on parts of interstate 70. and the severe weather threat including tornadoes across several states tomorrow, so, let's get right to chief meteorologist ginger zee tracking it all tonight. hi, ginger. >> reporter: hi, david. can you believe that denver has not yet had a measurable snow? their latest on record was 2 1/2 weeks ago. we might finally see that change with just less than an inch
tomorrow for denver. but back into the rockies, yes, they are going to get their first significant. you see all those winter advisories that stretch from northern michigan back through even new mexico. and watch this. it all starts happening tomorrow in the northern great lakes, but then the record highs on the southern end. we're talking from texas to kentucky. we could see record highs broken. and that's also going to help fuel the severe storms, which look like a real overnight tornado threat. indiana, kentucky, tennessee, and also mississippi. damaging wind could be a threat going into saturday morning, as well. and that all moves to the northeast by saturday night, david. >> tracking it with you. thank you, ginger. just days after hawaii dealt with those torrential rains, now a new threat tonight, the toxic water crisis now unfolding. hundreds of thousands of people could potentially be impacted by this. in fact, residents complaining water from their kitchen tap smells like gas. families now getting sick. and abc's will carr from honolulu tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the safety of the water supply for hundreds of thousands of people on oahu in question.
>> this is crossed off. >> reporter: the water in mai hall's house is off limits. >> it smelled like i was pumping gas in my car. >> reporter: hall and at least 1,500 other families in honolulu, many military, started seeing fuel in their water about two weeks ago. >> a lot of us got sick at the same time. headaches, nausea, stomach pain. >> reporter: even mai's cats were vomiting. 17-year-old jayden bonilla rushed to the emergency room with a severe rash and swelling. and residents continue to report tainted, cloudy water. >> when you let it sit, this is what you get. >> reporter: you can see that translucent sheen. according to the navy, the fuel came from the red hill fuel facility, which was built during world war ii and stores millions of gallons of fuel. and that leaky fuel facility sits only 100 feet over a major aquifer that supplies water to honolulu. >> we are on the precipice of a major disaster. we've already seen the disaster happening and it's a foreshadow of something that could be even worse if action is not taken quickly.
>> reporter: i just spoke with the chief engineer of the water board here. he says, without a doubt, fuel is in that aquifer, it's just a matter of how much. and he's calling the situation a ticking time bob. he says the navy needs to get all that fuel out of the tanks immediately. the navy says it is testing and in the meantime, it is offering water at points just like this to all the members of the military impacted. david? >> we're glad you're there reporting on this, will, thank you. overseas tonight, we continue to watch the situation unfolding in ukraine. tonight, president biden and the call with ukraine's president, and what russian president vladimir putin said today that caused new alarm. let's get right to our chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz. martha, i came to your town tonight. it's great to be with you. >> reporter: great to be with you, too, david. i know you know president biden said he hoped by tomorrow to announce meetings with at least four of our major nato allies and russia, to discuss the future of russia's concerns relative to nato. nothing has been set in stone, but that would really be a win for putin. meanwhile, you have a rhetorical
escalation with putin accusing ukraine of genocide, saying that the russian-speaking population in the east is being persecuted. but there are more worrying signs tonight, david. i just got off the phone with a u.s. official who said russia is still building up those troops, despite that virtual meeting with vladimir putin. >> and questions about what he's signaling with these new words. martha raddatz tonight, thank you. when we come back here on a thursday night, travis scott now breaking his silence about that concert tragedy, killing ten people while he was on stage. what he says he didn't know. and then the powerful images right here in washington tonight, as the nation honors bob dole. what can i du with less asthma? with dupixent, i can du more....beginners' yoga. namaste... ...surprise parties. aww, you guys. dupixent helps prevent asthma attacks... ...for 3!... ...so i can du more of the things i love. dupixent is not for sudden breathing problems.
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next tonight here, rapper travis scott breaking his silence about the tragedy at the astroworld festival in houston. ten people dying in the surging crowd while scott was on stage. scott in a new interview saying, quote, people pass out, things happen at concerts. but insisting he didn't know anything was seriously wrong until after the show. >> did you hear any of those screams? >> no, man. and, you know, it's so crazy, because i'm not -- i'm that artist, too, any time you can hear something like that, you want to stop the show, you want to make sure, you know, fans get the proper attention they need. >> more than 140 lawsuits have been filed since that concert. when we come back here tonight, the guilty verdict against reality tv star josh duggar. and those powerful images right here in washington. i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease.
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josh duggar now faces up to 40 years in prison. a jury in arkansas finding him guilty of two counts of child pornography. duggar had claimed an expert hacker remotely downloaded material onto his computer. when we come back here tonight, that powerful moment with elizabeth dole, honoring her late husband. my retirement plan with voya keeps me moving forward... even after paying for this. love you, sweetheart they guide me with achievable steps that give me confidence. this is my granddaughter...she's cute like her grandpa. voya doesn't just help me get to retirement... ...they're with me all the way through it. come on, grandpa! later. got grandpa things to do. aw, grandpas are the best! well planned. well invested. well protected. voya. be confident to and through retirement.
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members of both sides of the aisle honoring the world war ii veteran and politician as a giant of our history. president biden and first lady jill biden standing by the casket. the president saying we have lost one of our greatest patriots. >> in a sense, bob belongs here. he too was a giant of our history, and that's not hyperbole, it's real. of wit and grace, of principle and persistence, of courage and conviction. dole's wife, elizabeth, and daughter, robin, wiping away tears during the ceremony. tonight, bob dole returning to the capitol building where he served for more than three decades. a patriot honored. so moving. and the service for the late senator tomorrow. i'll see you tomorrow night. good night.
dan: police on the streets, travelers and hotels, exactly what san francisco needs at the right time. >> the lack of interest in looking for laci was very apparent. >> scott peterson is innocent. ama: >> i could see nothing wrong. then i saw over my reporter: right shoulder. reporter:reporter:reporter: the secret service agent assigned to guard jackie kennedy describes what he witnessed the moment the president was shot. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. ama: building a better bay area means making this a safer bay area. changes seen in san francisco seem to be making a difference. dan: you're watching abc 7 news at six live on abc 7, who live and wherever you stream.
safety is at the core of our effort to build a bait -- better bay area. our sense of security has been shattered lately, with videos like these. crowds of thieves running into stores and running out with all kinds of stolen goods. now, after a show of force from police, there has been a decrease in retail theft. ama: ryan curry spoke with san francisco's police chief about how long they plan to keep officers reporter: in union square. reporter:reporter: if you're planning on heading out to union square, you will likely be stranded by police. >> i did nice a place presence, i felt comfortable being out about last night. >> sfpd increase the number of officers. >> making people feel it is ok to come to union square to shop. it is really important. >> the chief says so far it is working. increased patrol his lead to crime being significantly redu