January 21st, 2010
08:40 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Gunfire, Death & Five Bags of Rice

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Shots rang out near the Port-au-Prince airport today. Two men were shot in the back by police, one was killed. The gunfire was linked to five bags of rice, which fell out of a truck.

The survivor said he didn't steal the rice. "The cops jumped on us. It was a gift. It was a gift," he told CNN's Karl Penhaul.

"A truck stopped and we jumped on and the driver gave us the rice as a gift, but the cops shot us," the man added.

The two men weren't the only ones hit by gunfire. A third man, who said he was a Christian minister waiting for the bus, was apparently wounded by a stray police bullet.

Karl Penhaul will join Anderson tonight, reporting live from Haiti, with more on the deadly chaos.

We're also demanding answers on why it is taking so long to get supplies to the survivors. It's frustrating and maddening to watch. So much aid is at the airport, while people are dying.

Last night, Dr. Sanjay Gupta had the story of two doctors, twins, who are outraged at what their patients must go through. Dr. Gupta decided to see why there's a delay in getting the hospitals and clinics much needed supplies. He went to the airport, where he's keeping them honest.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Lisa S

    Where is the Haitian Government in all this? They are alive but non-existent. Instead we see all the volunteers, the UN, The USA troops. All the aid pouring in from all over the world trying to save these people. I do not see them going to the airport like Sanje and bringing the hospitals the supplies they desparately need. Any human being could not hear the cries of suffering children and not physically go to the airport and get them pain killers. It seems leadership is still a problem in Haiti. Do we not lead by example. Not one of them are there in any of the reporting of the hospitals. They are showing the world something right now. They are in meetings and making plans, what about holding some of the children’s hands who are suffering and showing your people that you care. Why does it seem to me that the outsiders care more than their own government. I am sure they are not going hungry. To see some poor desperate hungry person get shot over bags of rice. Its just heartbreaking.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  2. cindy clevenger,WV

    I've been watching you on this topic on Haiti since the day the earthquake hit. I am so saddened by this tragedy. I just can not understand why they have to shot and kill their own suffering and starving people over rice when thats what WE sent the rice over there for was so they can eat it. I think the president in Haiti is not capable of controlling his country in this time of need!! Someone else needs to call the shots and take control!!!!!!

    January 22, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  3. Devendra R.

    I"ve been stuck to CNN since this earthquake last week. I was really excited that supplies were getting there this week only to hear night after night that the most basic of medical supplies arent reaching those that are injured. I have so many questions and find myself yelling at the television out of frustration. Why on earth are medical supplies sitting at the airport??? My god!! There are people dying – are the CNN reporters the only ones that recognise the urgency of this situation. I saw Dr. Gupta go to the airport earlier today to see what's causing the hold up. Where is Hillary Clinton? Why wasn't there a team of leaders put together earlier this week after there was word that supplies were coming? Correct me if I'm wrong but if you have an area that is hit by this thing then you split those areas up based on the amount of personnel available, then you set up specific designated areas for delivery of the basic necessities for survival (food/water etc.) in the meantime put a team together to find all the specific medical areas where the injured are being held – after this information becomes available then the next order of business would be to set up a daily delivery system to all of these medical points so as to ensure that the patients are treated! Now – for the love of god, I don't understand how or why this is not happening...its should not be this difficult...there has to be another reason why this is happening...this is utterly inhumane and disgraceful – I'm outraged!!

    January 22, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  4. Gabrielle

    I've seen people dying in movies, but have never such intimate footage of a real person dying. It was a devastating, but airing it in a way honored the man by showing the world how senseless his death was.

    Your coverage has been outstanding. Horrific, maddening, but outstanding. I will not forget the image of Sanjay Gupta being left in a field hospital with no supplies all alone to care for those patients.

    Kudos to you for telling the true stories, and for calling for answers about how poorly aid has been delivered.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  5. Eve


    Hi Anderson

    After all what the Haitian people is going through, the haitian police have noyhing else to do than killing them. This is crualty. This govrernment hadn't say a word. What is their role anyway. If a government can't protect the citizens of his country, They have no right to lead the country. People from all over the world show compassion and love for the people of Haiti while the government allowed their police agent to kill them over a bag of rice. This so call police needs to be judged.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  6. ziggy6

    its not the 3rd world anymore......its becoming the 4th world=HELL

    January 22, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  7. BG

    Thank you Anderson for continuing to raise the question, "Why is this aid still sitting at the airport???"

    I bet we could use some of the donated money to pay some able body Haitians to carry the supplies from the airport to the areas where help is needed. Wait. Forget paying – I'm sure they would do it for free if it meant saving the lives of their own family members! I'm sure they would rather carry supplies than carry corpses to mass graves! People need to stop looking for the Haitian government or anyone else for direction. The UN + the military + the Haitian government should use their brains. Adapt and overcome. You have supplies sitting at the airport and people who need them. Walk and carry them to those in need even if it takes multiple trips. Dr. Sanjay Gupta did it. Why can't the military or the residents of Haiti? Adapt and overcome!!!! Time is of the essence!!!!

    One last note – – We need Gen. Honore! He knows how to exercise common sense and can get things done!

    January 22, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  8. Kathy

    Under the conditions, being what they are in Haiti, it seems like the people, in general, are very calm. If this happened in a major US city there would have been riots, the first day of the disaster. I don't understand why these three police officers would shoot to kill over bags of rice. It's my understanding, the police have no "shoot to kill" orders. I pray this is not the start of a much bigger problem.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:12 am |


    January 22, 2010 at 12:10 am |

    Shooting over a bag of rice? Anderson i saw you helping young man while another one was bleeding after they were shot. Unbelievable and i fail to understand why would police use such crude, unthinkable and humiliating way of keeping law and order. In fact there is nothing to protect in Haiti as of now. The Haitian law enforcement should be able to understand the imbalance of devastation versus survival. Am so sad about this shooting.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  11. Odetta

    These cops should be arrested and brought for justice. It is not fair at all.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  12. Eve


    Hi Anderson,

    You and Dr Sanjay Gupta are doing such a great job in Haiti. I can see your compassion and love for my people of Haiti. My heart is broken for not being able to help financially nor physically, because i am recovering myself after a total knee replacement that I had four months ago. But give my support in prayers for now.

    As a school teacher, I owe my country to come back and help in rebuilding the education system. After living out of Haiti for 22 years, It is the time for me to come back and help to renovate the school system which focuses only on memory study (par coeur) without a good understanding of the subject studied.

    I love you dear journalists, may God bless you and keep you safe.


    January 22, 2010 at 12:04 am |
  13. Renata - Orange County - CA

    Good Night ! It is unbelievable how people doesn't respect or care about a life... Looks like the Haitian police and the government isn't doing nothing to help their own people. Congratulations Dr Grupta, keep going to the airport and getting supplies yourself !! Tonight many kids and adults are going to sleep a little better, because of you...God bless you!!

    January 22, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  14. Valerie NYC

    Extraordinary report by Karl Penhaul. Simply amazing. It was outstanding. I´m stunned. Well written, produced and extremely well edited. Fabulous piece.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  15. Jill

    Can really see the sadness in Anderson Cooper's eyes now. Can't imagine the frustration of seeing what is going wrong with relief and not being able to communicate that with the one's controlling supplies. Why can't we learn from our mistakes time and time again with major disasters.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  16. TBrittain

    Furthermore, what makes me even more angry is that President Obama hasn't said a word as to why the victims of this crises is not getting the supplies. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton isn't saying anything either. They know that President DeVal told them that they can't give those people that food and water (for whatever the reason). They want to control those people. The President in Haiti and his staff are hiding out in those broke-down buildings and the people of Haiti that really need the help are on the street fighting for scraps - a young boy killed for a bag of rice!! It's disgusting and sad. And our President is not reacting to all that we are seeing on CNN everyday–every night. Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta and the other reporters are being us those stories as they are happening. This is what is happening in Haiti. I don't geel good about million of dollars for food and water, rice and medical supplies will be donated and bought and they are not giving the stuff to the people that need it. Then I hear today that they are going to move people to a tent city. That's so the Haitian government can surround that city and take TOTAL control. They have a plan and it's not good.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
  17. Roberta Cruz

    I'm at a loss for words, as I sit here shaking my head. RIP young man!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  18. Paul Tormey

    Further to the shooting presentation, Anderson Cooper was wandering what had happened to police training provided by NY Police and or the US Army?

    Oddly enough I was asking myself the same question last week about the police work training that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (our National Police), the Sureté du Québec (our Provincial Police) and the Montreal Police have been providing for at least the last 25 years.

    Where are the obligations of results by the Government of Haiti? What questions are being asked by our Canadian Governments at all levels before deciding of pitching in additional funds in this area?

    Paul Tormey
    Montreal, Canada

    January 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  19. Danny

    The more I follow the coverage in Haiti, the more I have the impression that there are people in power who just don't want to save those injured victims, because they don't want to deal with the long term burden that poor country will endure. I wonder if all of our donations will end up in the hand of the real earthquake victims. What a sad and hopeless situation.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  20. Leslie

    No one want to say what is the obvious. The Haitian government is inept and more paralyzed than ever. A country that has the economic divide we see in Haiti did not happen over night. The goods and services are not making it to the poor in an appropriate time frame because it is the culture to withhold the goods and services from the poor. We have to stand up for their rights... the rights of all humans and the UN has to stop being so PC. The "police force" is not a police force that we know it to be...carrying and using a gun is not policing. All the money and all the goods I am praying go directly to the people and not divided out for the stock piles of the governing elite...that is an old habit...who is going to "tell" the Haitian government what to do? How about some water catchment systems, solar energy, wind turbines, convert old shipping containers into homes... time to build Noveau Port-au Prince.... and a new government "...by the people and for the people..."; hey that has always been a great idea and still is today.
    Rainy season is not very far off...the people need shelter!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  21. Marie

    Hi Anderson Cooper
    i would like to thank you and Dr. sanjay for a wonderful job. The whole CNN crew is amazing. I really appreciate what America is doing for my country. In my opinion the best solution for the country is for President Rene Preval and his cabinet to resigned. The president is not doing the country any good. Wyclef jean should become the temporary replacement as election goes on.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
  22. Phylis

    Watching Dr. Gupta trying to get supplies OUT of airport......I've been to Haiti several times.....Get Christian pastors and assign them to the areas of their churches. Give them responsibility to get supplies to their neighborhoods. They know the people - know who will get things to the people...to the places it's needed. They may already have the transportation –they'll need gasoline. Give them Short Wave or CB radios to report areas of unrest. You'll be able to map the city as to the dangerous areas and have security with convoys there. If you give these men the responsibility they could take supplies to hospitals in their area as well.

    With the Haitian government non-existent, use the natural structures that are their. The difficulty is that these networks are very local and maybe very small. But it shouldn't take that long to get the word out.

    Use what you have. Most Haitians are honest and trustworthy. Most pastors would be responsible.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  23. Donna Rothleitner

    Anderson, I agree with Sara about the President of Haiti being invisible during all of this chaos. He should be front and center and available to the press or anyone else who is carrying this story around the world, so he can get as much help to his Country, as possible. But instead, he seems to be in hiding??? And why aren't they evacuating these people out of the City? Wouldn't it be easier and safer to set up a temporary tent City outside of the disaster area, then all supplies and relief efforts could be concentrated in one area. Also, as they evacuate the people to this area, they could then better control the cleanup efforts in the city, unimpeded by trying to maintain security. Just a thought.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  24. June - in GA

    How about having some of the non-profits or the US government rent/ lease cruise ship(s). They could be moored at nearby open ports, such as Labadee, Haiti (private island of Royal Caribbean Cruise lines IF they would agree). Yes, transporation to/from the ports would have to be set up, but it's not rocket science. Take the injured, elderly and other vulnerable Haitians to ships where they can have food and shelter AND where medical volunteers can render on-going aid that doesn't require a real hospital.

    Vacation travel is down because of economic conditions. NPOs should be able to get valuable shelter for a reasonable $$, and ships have staff to cook and distribute food. Maybe we should contact cruise lines and tell them what we think. If a ship needs redecorating after this, so be it. These are human lives.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  25. Geordany Bonhomme

    Thank you for continuing your coverage on Haiti; as a Haitian American, it mean alot to me to see how passionate you are toward my people!! but i have disagree with you on Haitian police being the worst in terms of human rights in Latin America, thats ridiculous.
    What about Brasil,Jamaica, venezuala. The cops might not be the best but they are responding to the disaster.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  26. Marilyn

    Thank you Anderson and Dr. Sanjay Guptor for your continuing coverage. You must be so tired. I hope you and CNN continue with
    the coverage in the day's to come. It must be said. People need to know. Such great work your doing.

    Thank you

    January 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
  27. Robert

    What will these people do in a few months when Hurricanes and tropical storms start up?
    What kind of shelters can be set up in this time frame?
    Who will supply them or set them up?

    January 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  28. Carlos

    Me and my wife were petrified with what we saw, how can a police officer shoot someone that is getting food that fall of the truck, unbeliveble.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  29. Keith - Portland Oregon

    Why did that one young man have to gasp to death on the street? trucks and cameras and by standers were there. Not even a sheet or a blanket?

    January 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
  30. Bernice Vinson

    The people were too nice and orderly, so the demons withheld food water and medical supplies until natural human conditions kicked in, then te police started shooting people. I figure they needed to see more dead bodies.. Sick. Sad. but true.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  31. Vanessa

    It's so sad that two young men are shot because of a bag of rice...do the police involved not realize the catastrophe around them and instead shoot to kill...it's absolutely disgusting.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  32. Renee

    There are no laws to save the people. The police was probably going to sell the rice. There is no other explanation.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  33. Jasmia


    Right after this report, there was the report on the orphans of Haiti... there was an a little boy with a broken leg, another little boy, older, with two broken legs, and the girl, the 11 year old girl... broken legs, crying... crying for her mother.

    I kept hearing her scream and cry out "mama, maaamaaaa"...

    My heart is broken for her. I have an 11 year old daughter, I was combing her hair just a little while ago. Oh My God, please... if I could, I would adopt her, comfort and take care of her. I am a single mother of my 11 year old daughter and 10 year old son on about 30K a year just a few miles from the NYC area in Jersey... so I can't, but if I could I would bring her home. Please, can anyone reach out to her... many babies adopted. I pray for her that someone can come to her and comfort her and maybe provide a safe home for her (tears).

    January 21, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  34. JC

    What a horrible story. Was just watching 360 and listening to Anderson talk about how horrible the Haitian police record has been. I was curious why no one mentioned that part of the problem is that we supported a military coup in '91, invaded the country in '94 to put a now tamed Aristide back in power, only to sponsor another civil war in 2001? Not to mention that another part of the Haitian problem is that we've destroyed their economy by pushing 'free trade' and US subsidized food on them. Geeze... with so much American 'help' I can't imagine why the Haitians aren't better off...

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  35. Robert Rutherford

    I truly admire all the selfless people in Haiti who went to help the injured, homeless,and hungry.I'm sure a lot of citizens have been helped.The people of the world can see their daily suffering.Can anyone tell me why the medical relief supplies can't be airlifted fromthe offshore boats to drop centres where they are most needed?Expediency is of the utmost concern.Use the"brainpower" available to make this happen.This is easy to say with many complications involved.Persistance to prioritise is imparative.May God keep you all safe.Tomorrow give from the heart people of the wealthier nations.Help those ...who have nothing.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm |
  36. Yolanda

    Thanks Anderson Cooper and all your colleagues. You are real heroes. You have been reporting since day one and have shown so much humanity; it takes a lot of courage to be facing death and despaIr day in and day out. You have been of enormous help to the people of Haiti and you deserve the utmost respect and appreciation not only from the suffering people of Haiti but also from all your viwers. Thanks for all you do.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  37. glaucio

    Wow CNN has done an amazing job covering this quake..We are all heartbroken with the non-stop news that arrives to us.Our prayers go out to all the Haitians.I wish I could be there and help out in any way possible..Keep up the good work and let's get help to these people!!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm |
  38. Una

    Just saw the story on the bags of rice. Oh my God. What has happened to humanity. A poor man died because he was lucky enough to find food for his family. I send up prayers to his poor mother who is without a son and a protector.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  39. Kerrilg

    When I saw all the soldiers yesterday in the streets, anxiously marching to somewhere then, standing around in a large group, I thought to myself, wow, I could only imagine what the Haitians are thinking. Then after seeing the video of all the homes destroyed up on the slopes, and thinking of the helpless ones up there that can’t make it to a tent city, who’s aid may come too late, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if all those soldiers starting journeying in up the slopes on foot (like a training day’s hike) to rescue the lonely teen with younger sister, or the elderly person who may otherwise wither from starvation and dehydration. But instead today I hear a story like this that represents fear and no communication, no compassion or trust in a time when the desperate and needy will only act out of instinct and survival. There is no governing when death is looking you straight in the face.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  40. Kevin - Queens NY

    How dare these cops shoot 3 civilians just to get bags of rice slipped out of a truck in order to survive!!! No wonder these countries are so corrupt!!!

    January 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  41. Diane N.

    I've seen alot of very sad things this past week watching the earthquake footage in Haiti. Nothing has outraged me more or made me feel utterly sickened than the footage of the young men shot in the back by the Haitian police. No questions no arrests. Shot dead in the back because of rice. So many people are dying, starving and displaced. They were made into examples for everyone watching and it was sick. This can't be allowed to happen.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  42. Sara

    it's seems that the goverment (i don't know wich one) want to take this people to the edge so when they had the aid they will be so thankful that they will do anything they want them to do... I was watching you guys since the earthquake but I rarely see the Haiti president monitoring the aid or patroling the street, where is he? what I think is that the aid been holding is a politic movement

    January 21, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  43. Matt

    The bottlenecks at the airport are a logistical joke and a sham on the generosity of the aid givers. Where is the aid runners? Cameras can get around, but no aid. I give an A for effort and a D for execution. Pathetic!

    January 21, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  44. Abe Emile

    This is outrageous....why are police pulling triggers....this isn't the time to be trigger happy. There seems to be no order amongst even the police...how can there be civil restitution if the police are uncivil?

    January 21, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Kerrilg

    What were the men with the guns so afraid of?

    January 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  46. Marvin

    The sad part of this entire story is not that two individuals were shot over two bags of rice. The atrocity of the situation is that an individual laid there on the side of the street bleeding and dying and not a single emergency vehicle arrived to save him. That is a failure of a government and society. Coodos to Pres Bill Clinton!! He was the one who pushed for the current Haiti Administration. Failed American Policies at work again.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  47. Lee

    What a devastating story, I made my donation so that the people of Haiti could receive their aid within days but NO, aid is stationed at the airport and it's 8 days gone so what's keeping the distribution?. This is probably the worst relief mission carried out between the UN and the US, please they are suppose to HELP the Haitians and not take control of Haiti.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  48. Annie Kate

    This is ridiculous – its like the US sending food aid to 3rd world countries and it sits on the docks and rots because the government is too corrupt to get it out to the people so the aid doesn't get to the intended recipients who go on dying. Now in Haiti there are UN troops who are helping with the food, etc. but why is it that they can't get the medical supplies and the rest of the aid sitting at the airport delivered to where it needs to go. IF there are not enough feet on the ground to take the supplies to where they need to go let the people come and get them – it would take fewer people to keep order and be sure no one takes more than they need and that only medical personnel get medical supplies. This doesn't need to be an insurmountable problem.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  49. Eric N. Kaye

    Its like i said last night Gen. Honora should be sent down he would get things moving just like he did in the lower 4th ward

    January 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  50. Claudia Carroll

    Anderson & Maureen: thank you for continuing heartfelt coverage; but why aren't we hearing anything on CNN about medical responders such as those affiliated with Harvard University in this clip. There must be dozens (or more), medical centers & universities responding.
    Claudia Carroll

    January 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
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