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Seven Shot to Death at California College; Tale of the Tape; Who is Ann Romney?

Aired April 2, 2012 - 20:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks. We begin tonight with breaking news. Another campus shooting and sadly, another string of casualties. Young men and women who were simply at the wrong place at the worst possible time. The place this time a small Christian college in Oakland, California. Oikos University. Seven people dead, three others wounded. A suspect now in custody.

Dan Simon is on the scene for us. He's joining us now with the very latest.

Dan, what do we know about what happened and about the suspect? I take it he was a former student at this college?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what we're hearing at this point, Wolf, though that has not been confirmed by police. We were hearing that he was a former nursing student who was either expelled from the school or dropped out on his own. We know that he is described as being in his 40s. An Asian male and he was picked up at a local grocery store about 20 minutes away from here -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Any indication, Dan, as to the alleged gunman's motive? Any connection between this man and his victims?

SIMON: You know, that's the question that we're all asking at this hour. You know, did he know somebody at that school? Was he specifically targeting someone at that school? If in fact he was a former student, you would think that there was a purpose behind him going to that school this morning. But his exact motive at this point, Wolf, is unclear.

BLITZER: He reportedly admitted he shot people at the college. Is that right?

SIMON: This is one of the more bizarre things that we've heard so far in this case. According to the "San Francisco Chronicle," the suspect went into a subway, a Safeway grocery store, went to the customer service desk of that store, told the employee working there that he just shot some people.

Now it's unclear if in fact that grocery store employee alerted police or how police, you know, knew he was at that store. It is unclear. But we know that a short time after walking into that store, he was an apprehended in the parking lot.

BLITZER: Do we know anything at this time about the condition of those who were injured?

SIMON: We really don't, Wolf. We know that three people were taken to an area hospital. We know that paramedics got to the scene very quickly. But whether or not that made a difference, we don't know. We have been told that the victims were at very close range to the shooter. But their conditions, unknown at this time.

BLITZER: Dan Simon, thanks very much.

Also tonight, "Keeping Them Honest." A fresh look at two key pieces of evidence in the Trayvon Martin killing. Newly enhanced videotape and newly analyzed audio. One leading -- one lending credence to George Zimmerman's claim of self-defense. The other, perhaps, undermining a key part of his story that he cried out for help before fatally shooting the unarmed teen.

By now you're probably familiar with that grainy surveillance footage of George Zimmerman being brought in for questioning at the Sanford, Florida, police department. Tonight we've taken a higher resolution version of it and enhanced it even further so you can better decide how seriously injured George Zimmerman was.

Reports of the "New York Daily News" and local media say Sanford Police initially called for a second ambulance. Presumably to take him to the hospital. It was later canceled.

Also, remember this. Zimmerman claims that Trayvon Martin sucker-punched him. Then repeatedly slammed his head into the ground or pavement. Police say he was treated on the scene for injuries to his nose and head. However, it was hard to tell much if anything from the original videotapes about the extent of his injuries, or whether they were consistent with the story he tells.

The newly enhanced video which you'll see in a moment may shed new light on that question. Then there's the audio evidence. The 911 call. One of many that night on which you hear someone cry out three times for help. The question has always been, who is it?


ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, SR., GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S FATHER: All of our family, everyone I know who knows George knows absolutely that that is George screaming. There's no doubt in anyone's mind.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You and I talked before, you said, without a doubt that is Trayvon's voice on the 911 call crying out for help. There is now an eyewitness who says that -- who has been interviewed who says that he saw George Zimmerman crying out for help.

SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN'S MOTHER: People can say anything they want to. I just personally don't believe it. I know that it was my son that was crying out for help. So right now, we are hearing a lot of speculations and people just want to say whatever they want.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: So who is right? No one can say with absolute certainty. But today on "STARTING POINT" with Soledad O'Brien, a top forensic audio expert said the evidence points to Martin, not Zimmerman.


TOM OWEN, VIDEO/AUDIO EXPERT: We have the tape of Zimmerman. We have the tape of the screams. And then we can start the comparison. And basically, it's going to do this comparison, if you can see the screen now. And it's going to give me some false rejection rates. Some false acceptance rates. And a -- a likelihood ratio, OK. And this gray dot over here designates the very lower end of the stale which in essence has translated as it's not him.


BLITZER: Two pieces of evidence, audio and video. And we'll talk more about both shortly. We'll also be joined by Martin family lawyer Benjamin Crump who wrote today to the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, questioning whether the decision not to charge George Zimmerman was made fairly and impartially.

"We respectfully request," he writes, "that the United States Department of Justice investigate the circumstances surrounding this meeting between Chief Bill Lee and State Attorney Norm Wolfinger in which they disregarded the lead homicide investigator's recommendation to arrest George Zimmerman for manslaughter."

Late today, Mr. Wolfinger issued a statement saying, and I'm quoting now, saying, he's outraged by the outright lies, unquote, contained in the Crump letter.

As always, a lot of ground to cover tonight. We begin with the videotape. How it was enhanced and what it may show. Here again is the tape as you've been seeing it for the last several days. It's grainy and certainly not easy to make out details.

Now here is the higher resolution version the Sanford Police Department recently posted to their Web site. You can see it's much sharper, much easier to make out detail. And in addition to what you see here, we've also taken the tape into an edit bay and made some enhancements to give you a better look at what the camera saw that tonight.

Details literally from Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So I'm here with Jason Basso, one of our great editors here at CNN. And we're going to show you a surveillance tape but in a very different way. And this is the night of the shooting. So let's take a look at this now. Let's play it down.

And you can see George Zimmerman, he's sort of talking to police. The police officer right there looks at the back of his head to see if he can see anything. So take a look at this because this is something you actually do see what appears to be some sort of a bump.

JASON BASSO, CNN EDITOR: Yes. There's a few things that I can do to enhance it. I'm going to put a little contrast on it now to see if we can bring this out a little bit more. Throw in another color correction tool on it. I'm going to do some over saturate it, too, so you can see the reds.

FEYERICK: That's interesting.

BASSO: You know. And that will bring up --

FEYERICK: Because there, it definitely looks like something is popping out.

BASSO: Yes. We'll raise it. You see his jacket getting redder.


BASSO: And that area getting redder. And I'm going to lighten it up a little bit. Raise the whites. There you go.


BLITZER: Again, tonight, nothing conclusive there but a fresh look at two key pieces of evidence. Videotape showing George Zimmerman's head injury. Audio tapes suggesting he was not the voice on the 911 tape crying out for help.

Joining us now is Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump.

Mr. Crump, thanks very much for coming in. This letter that I mentioned earlier, you sent it to the Justice Department asking them to look into why the Sanford Police chief met with State Attorney Norm Wolfinger on the night of the shooting and why they allegedly chose to ignore a local detective's inclination to arrest George Zimmerman.

Mr. Wolfinger issued a statement today accusing you, directly, of lying. It reads in part, and let me read it to our viewers. "I am outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter by Benjamin Crump. No such meeting or communication occurred. I have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow State Attorney Angela Corey to complete her work."

That's a direct quote. He's flat-out calling you, Mr. Crump, a liar so we'd love to get your response.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Yes, and on behalf of the family we're outraged that his -- and for whatever reason refusal to arrest George Zimmerman for killing their son and it took our letter to finally get him to comment on why George Zimmerman has not been arrested.

We hear all these things from the media. We don't get anything from his office or the police department. So these folks have been left out in the cold when it's them who should get all the information about why Mr. Zimmerman is still free for killing their son. And we're going to keep writing letters and asking people to investigate anything that is suspicious. Because they deserve answers. This family only wants answers.

BLITZER: Mr. Crump, have you seen the affidavit that your letter this hinges upon? In other words can you prove your claim?

CRUMP: No, what we told -- stated to the special prosecutor for the Department of Justice, we're hearing all these things. Mr. Wolfinger knew that this was out in the media. The family asked these questions. Why were they overruled? Why is George Zimmerman free? Who made this decision?

This is something they've asked repeatedly, Wolf, from the beginning of this thing. Why wasn't he arrested? That's at the crux of this matter here.

BLITZER: If there was a disagreement between the investigator and the prosecutor who thought there wasn't enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, what does that tell you?

CRUMP: Well, what it really tells us, this investigator who's on the scene, he makes a decision where he recommends manslaughter. And then he is the person who's evaluating his statement. Evaluated evidence, observed it. Why would you overrule him or reject his notion if it is said that Zimmerman's claim isn't credible.

And remember, Wolf, let's be absolutely certain. Nobody is saying that he can't make a self-defense claim in a court of law. All we're saying is he should have been arrested. If that was Trayvon Martin who was accused of pulling the trigger, he would have been arrested right there on the spot.

We only want equal justice and fair and impartial to be applied across the board. And that means simply stated for again, a cry and a demand that he be arrested. And we will have a court of law decide his innocence or guilt.

BLITZER: And very briefly, Mr. Crump, there is new evidence, enhanced surveillance video, I should say, that shows what could be, could be an injury to the back of Zimmerman's head. Could this video indeed support his claim that he was in an altercation with Trayvon Martin?

CRUMP: You know, again, it's going to be at a court of law. You have to look at -- is that enough to justify deadly use of force to kill an unarmed teen? And more importantly, the crux of the matter that we keep harping on. If he does not get out of that car, if he does what a neighborhood watch person is supposed to do, report it to the proper authorities and let them deal with this matter.

Then Trayvon Martin is here living and breathing and we're not here dealing with this, his parents saying, why is my son in the ground and nobody has been arrested for killing him?

BLITZER: Benjamin Crump, as usual, thanks very much for joining us.

CRUMP: Thank you, sir.

BLITZER: As always, more on this at Let us know what you think. We're also on Facebook and Google Plus. You can follow me on Twitter @WolfblitzerCNN.

A lot more happening tonight including Ann Romney's efforts to try to bring women out to vote for her husband. And new polling that shows just how big a gender gap there is in some key swing states when it comes to a race against President Obama. That's next.


BLITZER: "Raw Politics" tonight. The gender gap. A new polling from "USA Today" and Gallup shows President Obama beating Mitt Romney by nine points in swings states and women, the reason why. Take a look at the gender breakdown. Among men, Romney has a one-point lead. Among women, though, look at this, it's an 18-point deficit.

He and the Republican Party apparently paying a price for supporting policies and making statements a lot of women simply don't like. To counter that, Governor Romney is putting his wife Ann Romney front and center with her take on what matters to women.


ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S WIFE: Do you know what women care about? And this is what I love. Women care about jobs.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She talks to women. They're concerned about the jobs their kids are going to get.

A. ROMNEY: Women are talking about jobs. Women care about the economy. They care about their children and they care about the debt.

M. ROMNEY: She's going across the country and talking with women. You've got moms that are driving their kids to school.

A. ROMNEY: Women are talking about deficit spending. Women.

M. ROMNEY: Women, women.

A. ROMNEY: Thank you, women.


BLITZER: Ann Romney trying to bring women home to the party and to her husband's campaign. She is also trying to humanize him.


A. ROMNEY: Well, you know, it's -- I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out. Because he is not, it is so funny to me that that is the perception out there because he is funny, he's engaging, he is witty. He's always playing jokes. He's -- when I met him when I was a teenager, he was the life of the party. That's why I like getting out there. It's being able to let people see the other side of Mitt.


BLITZER: More now on the woman who seized the other side of Mitt Romney from Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the Romney household, Ann Romney has a host of titles. Trusted adviser, the Mitt stabilizer, mother and grandmother. But she's also the great protector of all things Romney.

RON SCOTT, BIOGRAPHER: She's the last person on earth that you'd want to cross would be Ann Romney. If you go after one of her kids or after her husband, she is going to be there.

KAYE: Ron Scott has known Mitt Romney since 1985 and just wrote a book about him. He says Ann is no pushover.

SCOTT: She got into a tiff with one of her teenage boys, and he was being a smart mouth and she was trying to get away to go to the Cape for the weekend. And he was going back and forthwith her. And finally she got in the car, slammed the door and said, see you later. And took off and left him standing there in the driveway.

KAYE: Scott says Ann even stood up to her mother who voiced concern years ago when Ann and Mitt started having so many children.

SCOTT: Her mom said, gee, you're overpopulating the earth. And Ann at one point said, mom, if you want to see your grandsons on a regular basis, you need to knock this stuff off.

KAYE: Ann Romney humanizes her husband, calling him her most disobedient child. She often shares secrets about his love of chocolate milk and his, quote, "obsession with peanut butter," and of course, tales of romance.

A. ROMNEY: We're high school sweethearts and we still are sweethearts, which is awfully nice. We have five wonderful sons, we have 16 grandchildren.

KAYE: Like Mitt, Ann grew up wealthy in Michigan. Her father manufactured auto parts. She and Mitt fell in love in high school. Mitt proposed when Ann was just 15. They married while in college at Brigham Young University, a Mormon school in Utah. Ann had converted to Mormonism in high school.

Their love affair has been part of the campaign rhetoric, dating back to this ad for Mitt's 2002 Senate run. Simply titled, "Ann."

A. ROMNEY: Our first real date.

M. ROMNEY: The night of the senior prom. A. ROMNEY: Mitt pulls up to pick me up in some goofy looking car.

M. ROMNEY: It was an AMC Marlin.

A. ROMNEY: He was a little embarrassed about it.

M. ROMNEY: It was kind of awful.

A. ROMNEY: It was very romantic.

KAYE: Mitt admits without Ann, he's a bit lost.

M. ROMNEY: If I'm away from Ann for longer than a week or so, I just -- I get a little off course. She has to bring me back and moderate me down a bit.

KAYE (on camera): Still, Ann may not be perfect. In 1994 during Mitt's Senate campaign, she told the "Boston Globe," money was so tight in college, they considered selling stock from their portfolio. Critics painted her as out of touch.

SCOTT: Everybody that read that gasped.

KAYE (voice-over): Ann's greatest challenge, though, had nothing to do with politics. In 1998 she learned she had multiple sclerosis.

A. ROMNEY: It was a devastating thing in my life. It was very tough. I went from being a very active, involved, and hands-on mom to hardly being able to take care of myself.

KAYE: To feel better, she turned to holistic therapies and horseback riding. But her battle didn't end there. In 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Whether it's cancer or the campaign trail, Ann Romney is a fighter. She has beaten two life threatening diseases, but she knows with the GOP nomination still up for grabs, there are many more battles ahead.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: A short time ago I spoke to two members of our political panel, Republican strategist Mary Matalin and Democratic strategist, Maria Cardona.


BLITZER: Mary, how worried should the Romney campaign be about this huge swing among women voters and how crucial will Ann Romney be in trying to win them over?

MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, as we talk about often, Wolf, the numbers in the primary are not correlative or determinative or necessarily predictive for the general election. But yes, we always need to be concerned about women and the poll numbers I'm looking at now, resurgent Republic poll numbers show that women as much as men as much as anybody else are concerned about the jobs number, the unemployment, the underemployment, and the lack of jobs that are family sustaining.

So they're going to vote in the end on the same concerns that everybody else does. And those will be aired out in the fall.

BLITZER: Maria, describing Ann Romney, "Politico" today called her, and I'm quoting right now, "The Romney Democrats fear most." Is that true? How big of an asset do you think she is?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, she's a tremendous asset, Wolf. There's no question about that. But I don't think at this point fear would be a word that I would describe any Democrats have about anybody in the Romney campaign right now. It's going to will be a tough election. There's no question about that.

And Ann Romney is very charming. She is articulate. She gives the robotic Mitt Romney a humanizing factor which he definitely needs. But to Mary's point, she's not on the ballot. And as charming and articulate as she is going to be, it's going to be Mitt Romney's policies which right now and all the polls are showing this, independent women really do see those policies as anti-woman.

And that's why 53 percent of the electorate right now is not supporting Mitt Romney. And that is not the kind of chasm that you need going into the general election. With 53 percent of the electorate. That's not a trend that is going to be easy to make up.

BLITZER: Mary, you do know the gender gap was certainly one of the biggest factors behind the Obama win back in 2008. And as of right now, that gap is even bigger this time around. Here's the question. Can Republicans win the White House again without reversing this trend?

MATALIN: When Mitt Romney is running against Barack Obama and he is not being attacked every day by -- in his own party and every day by this president who's declared that he's going after women in the superficial way and talking about things as if they have no other concern on their mind about where they're going to get their next box of birth control, we have a real policy debate.

And yes, we will -- it's not a trend. We'll reverse these numbers and women will vote the way they'll vote on their pocket books. They'll vote on their gas tank. They'll vote on their grocery bags like everybody else.

BLITZER: Maria, a lot of crowing from Democrats today about these latest poll numbers that I mentioned earlier. But this sort of sudden spike, as you well know, can't necessarily be relied on, can it? It can certainly evaporate just as quickly as it appeared.

CARDONA: There's no question about that, Wolf. And yes, while these numbers make us all feel happy, we feel happy for one day, two days. But the election is not today, it's not tomorrow, it's not next week. So there's -- it is absolutely true that we cannot sleep on our laurels. That we need to be focused and this president is very focused on making sure that he continues to talk to women and frankly all voters about how he's continuing to create jobs, to create economic growth, and to focus on the issues that middle class families are really concerned about.

And this, I think, is where Mitt Romney is also running into trouble. Mary is right. Women vote on the issues that everyone else votes on. And that is, economic growth and job creation, but right now those women feel like Mitt Romney is not speaking to those issues. And it's the reason why they're supporting President Obama on all of those. And so I think right now today the Mitt Romney campaign probably not at def-con 1 because the election isn't tomorrow. But DEFCON 2. They've got to be worried about this.

BLITZER: Maria Cardona, Mary Matalin, guys, Thanks for your time. Thanks for your time.

CARDONA: Thanks so much, Wolf.

MATALIN: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Syria's government is making new policy tonight to pull its troops and heavy weapons out of Syria's cities by April 10th. The veteran war photojournalist Paul Conroy has seen the violence in Syria up close. He barely got out of -- got out of Baba Amr.

Coming up, his take on the latest promise from the Assad regime.


BLITZER: Tonight the Syrian regime is making a new promise. It now says it will withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from Syria's cities by April 10th. The latest in the string of promises President Bashar al-Assad has made. All the others have been broken. Like the other promises, this come as the death toll is rising.

Opposition activists say at least 65 people were killed in Syria today. More than half of them in Homs. This video was reportedly shot in Homs earlier today.

As always, we can't independently verify this video. We do know that Homs is still a target for Assad's troops.

Veteran photojournalist Paul Conroy was inside the Baba Amr section of homes during some of the worst shelling. Two other journalists were killed in the siege. He barely got out alive. He was hit in the leg and stomach by shrapnel. He recorded this as he was fleeing the city.


PAUL CONROY, PHOTOJOURNALIST: The shelling is immense. (INAUDIBLE) a lot of heads in the house today. Suddenly guys, Free Syrian Army run in, run in and just said, get ready to go. We've just been through that arduous journey to get out and we're now in a relatively safe place.


BLITZER: You can imagine how painful that ride must have been with his injuries. I talked to Paul Conroy earlier.


BLITZER: Let's talk about the Syrian media activist, the filmmaker whom you know well. He has been arrested by the Syrian army, allegedly tortured. You say you think he will be killed if the world doesn't come to know his name. Why would the Assad regime want to silence this man?

CONROY: This man has been instrumental. He is one of the people from the beginning who picked up a camera. He was there with the staff. He has assisted the international media in China and shining a light on the situation in Syria.

He has become a thorn in their side and I think now the city of Homs has been completed, the destruction is complete. The Assad regime is paying their attention to the very people who have given us an opportunity to look into what's happening in Syria. I think he is for them a very dangerous man.

BLITZER: You know there have been international pleas for his release, but what else can the international community do to try to help him?

BLITZE: I think keep up the pressure. As I say, the international pleas in an attempt to let the regime that we know they have them. We know he has been tortured. He's been making telephone calls and two other activists arranging meetings.

These activists have shown up and they've been arrested. So we know he is talking under duress at this point in time. Otherwise, he would never have made them telephone calls that he has done.

BLITZER: Paul, you once described the situation in Syria not as war, but as indiscriminate massacre, your words. Do you have any confidence that better days are ahead, particularly if the United Nations' peace plan gains any real traction?

CONROY: If the United Nations peace plan gains any traction, I would think there was room for optimism. I think what this regime has done, and has proved itself to do is to continually take anything they can.

Hide behind it and continue the slaughter. Continue the massacre. Continue the clampdown. I fear this is the same, Wolf. I see no realistic change in their outlook. Why change their spots now? They have a track record. I don't believe there is going to be any change.

BLITZER: As you know, the only acceptable ending for this crisis, at least as far as the Syrian opposition is concern, as well as the United States I must say, is that the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad must go. There is no indication that he is going voluntarily at any point. That he is ready to leave power, is there?

CONROY: No, and I think it's something in the minds of these dictators. Gadhafi was the same. He had many opportunities where he could have left the country and taken his money and his family and left.

There is a mental block with these people. I think he is in it for the long haul. And it will be a great day when we see him taken to the Hague to the tribunal and answering for the world for his crimes.

BLITZER: Paul Conroy, thanks very much. Thanks for everything you're doing. Thanks for your time.

CONROY: It's been a pleasure, Wolf. Thanks for having me.


BLITZER: Other news tonight, a ground breaking 360 report on kids and race. It's a window into how and when children's perceptions of race are shaped. Coming up, the results of Anderson's year-long investigation.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You've heard people talk about other people's skin color. And what kind of stuff do they say?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: They say -- they say to the teacher, I don't like their black skin. Can they go to another school?

COOPER: You've heard people say that?



BLITZER: Tonight, another ground breaking "AC360" report about kids and race. Once again, 360 has teamed up with the research experts and the results are fascinating. Here's Anderson.

COOPER: Tonight, we're debuting a really important 360 Special Report called "Kids on Race, The Hidden Picture." It's a project over a year in the making. Race relations, one of the most explosive issues in this country and for many adults, the most taboo to talk about with kids.

But what a lot of adults don't realize is that kids even as young as 6 years old are already talking about or thinking about race. What they say is making friends with kids of other races is hard and only gets harder as they grow up.

We teamed up with renowned child psychologist, Dr. Melanie Killen to scientifically measure children's attitudes on race. Take a look at this. Dr. Killen and her team showed 6-year-old children this picture and asked them questions like, what is happening here? Are these children friends? Would their parents want them to be friends?

The picture is designed to be ambiguous. What is happening is in the eye of the beholder. Then they showed them this picture and asked them the same question. Now the only difference in the pictures, the race of the children was flipped.

Both white and African-American children were tested and in addition to the 6-year-olds, the psychologist showed a similar set of pictures to 13-year-olds.

At our request, they also asked kids open-edged questions about race to try to understand how it plays into their own lives. The responses were raw. Some of the experiences they described were frankly shocking. This is the reality of what kids see, hear, and think about race. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: If you have the same skin, you can play together. But if you don't have the same skin, you can't play together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So why cannot you play together if you have different colored skin?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because your mom might not want to you play with that friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK to tell people that they can't be your friend because of the color of their skin?



UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because your mom would not want them to be the same, be different color friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it would be easy for a kid to convince his parents that it would be OK to have other types of people over? Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I don't know probably because you might get in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would a parent want you to get in trouble if you wanted someone to come over to your house who was a different skin color?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Probably because they don't allow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not? Why would some parents not allow other skin-colored kids to come over?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Probably because they might not like that skin color.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I've been bullied like the way I looked and the way my skin at my previous school that I went to. And they just kept on bullying me and I didn't like it.

I just asked them to stop over and over again. And then I tried to, I tried not to break, but I couldn't hold on anymore. So I asked my mom, can I leave?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: My grandparents have a lot of, they're very racist against African-Americans and like other races, but it's 2012 so they have to like push that aside. And they'll be like, no, that's wrong to be, you want to stick with your own race. No, I'm friends of everyone.


COOPER: Well, there was more. Our CNN study found signs of hope and progress as well. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: If somebody has a different kind of skin color, if they're their friend, you always should be friends. So like I have tons of friends that are black and I'm white.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't matter what skin color you are. It is just inside here like in your heart.


COOPER: This is the second time that 360 has scientifically studied children and race. Back in 2010, we discovered that kids as young as 5 picked up on racial attitudes in the world around them and all of the ugliness that can sometimes come with that.

At this time around, we wanted to understand why children of these attitudes on race. How those attitudes change as kids get older and how the race of their classmates may shape the adults they are going to become. We begin with the results of the younger children in our study.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You don't have the right color skin.

COOPER (voice-over): We tested 145 kids at six schools spread across three states. The schools had three different racial make-ups, the majority white, majority African-American, and racially diverse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think that Brenda pushed Sarah?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because she wanted to get on the swing.

COOPER: What the research found might surprise you. The first headline, overall, young white children are far more negative about interactions between the races than young black children.

When white children were shown these pictures, they had a negative interpretation 70 percent of the time. Meaning they were much more likely to say this --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did he fall off?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Bobby pushed him.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I think Brenda pushed Sarah off the swing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that he did something that was good or bad?


COOPER: Than they were to say this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How good would you say what Bobby is doing is?



COOPER: White kids are also far more likely to think the white child and black child in the picture are not friends and think their parents wouldn't approve of them being friends, but why? The responses like this might begin to explain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think it would be as easy to ask your mom to have someone over who is the same skin color than someone who is a different skin color?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yes, that might be hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about it might be hard?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because all my people in my family are white and not mostly people that my mom knows and dad knows are black or brown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it might be kind of hard to ask your mom to have a friend over who is black or brown?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you hear?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I don't want to be your friend because I have white skin and you have black skin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What is it about skin color that sometimes kids think they might not want to be friends?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because they don't like their color. They don't like brown so they want a white color skin friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say this is an ambiguous situation --

COOPER: Our expert, Dr. Melanie Killen says children's own experiences with race, along with the messages they hear at school and at home, the characters on the TV shows they watch, or they see online, all of those have an effect.

But the subtle messages adults might not even realize they're sending also have a huge effect on children. Dr. Killen calls it implicit bias.

DR. MELANIE KILLEN, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: When we're in a situation in public, we're in a room and we have an opportunity to ask two different people for help for something, and we might just be more likely to ask the person of the same race than somebody opposite race for help. All of that has a very powerful influence very early in children's lives, much earlier than we think.

COOPER: But if all kids internalize what they see and hear about race, why are young black children more positive about race than young whites?

Remember, 70 percent of young white kids saw these and thought something negative happened. When black children looked at the same pictures, only 38 percent saw something negative. Meaning they were much more likely to see this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on with Carey?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: She was sad that her friend got hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on with Chris?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: He was waiting for his turn.

COOPER: Positive attitudes despite experiences like this.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: My friend's mom wanted to be only her daughter's friend because he's only white and I'm black.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what happened with your friend's mom? That only wanted him to be friends with people who were the same color?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so he didn't want you to be friends?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does that make you feel?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was it something that they said? UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did they say it?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: You can't be my daughter's friend because you're not the same color.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said that you can't be friends because you're not the same color?


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: She dropped her --

COOPER: This 6-year-old was so vocal about race, I asked her more questions afterwards.

(on camera): You've heard people talk about other people's skin color and what kind of stuff do they say?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: They say, they say to the teacher, I don't like their black skin. Can they go to another school?

COOPER: You've heard people say that?

(voice-over): So why are young black children more positive about race than young whites? Dr. Killen said the misperception from some parents that kids are color blind has a lot to do with it.

KILLEN: African-American parents are very early on preparing their children for the world of diversity and also for the world of potential discrimination.

In contrast, what we find is that a lot of white parents, they sort of have this view that if you talk about race, you are creating the problem. What we're finding is that children are aware of race very early.


COOPER: We're joined now by Dr. Melanie Killen and CNN's Soledad O'Brien. You found that the racial make-up of the school can have a profound effect. How so?

KILLEN: It really can because it gives children the opportunities for having contact with other kids and potentially making friends. We found that it really makes a big difference for kids in thinking about who they're going to play with and who they're going to be friends with.

COOPER: So, I mean, if you're a white parent whose child goes to a majority white school, this study gives you a lot to worry about. What do you say to a parent who is concerned?

KILLEN: Well, we hope it gives them a lot to think about in thinking about how they're exposing their children to people of different races and ethnicities. You can think about the level of communicate.

So maybe your school isn't diverse, but the larger district we live in is more diverse. Maybe there is an opportunity to have your children encounter other kids or if not that than to use other kinds of media whether it is books or televisions, but to think about the whole issue of exposing your children, other children from different racial backgrounds.

COOPER: Soledad, for you, what was one of the big takeaways of this?

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, HOST, CNN'S "STARTING POINT": I think it is pretty fascinating how kids as young as 6, and we think of 6 as pretty young kids, are very articulate and really understands the nuance of differences in race. I mean, they were really talking very specifically about what they thought their parents may or may not like and I was surprised at the high level conversation.

You look over and the kid is 6 years old, but I do think what it sends as a message to parents is, if you're in a majority white school, that's the school you're in.

But there are many other opportunities to reach out and have your kids meet other kids. If you're not doing that then you're really limiting your kids' opportunities in a lot of ways.

COOPER: And young -- you found that young African-American kids are a lot more optimistic than white kids.

KILLEN: Yes, what was really interesting about the study was that the young African-American kids are just much more positive about the potential for friendship.

When they're looking at a picture card of a white child and a black child and you ask them, can these two be friends? They're much more likely to say, in fact, the majority would say yes, they can be friends.

Whereas we found a different finding for the white kids, much less likely that they could be friends. It really makes you think about why is that? What goes into that?

COOPER: And why do you think that is?

KILLEN: Well, I think of a lot of it has to do with children's exposure and contact. And also, the messages they get from all over.

You're going to get messages from the broader community and the media and that have a lot of stereo types, the negative stereo types often. And it is a parent's job to in a way challenge that for children and to sort of counter it.

And doing it through all those revealing interactions, the conversations you have with children about who you're going to play with, who are you going to stand with at the bus stop? The everyday interactions that are really important. O'BRIEN: But I think it is a matter of a minority, a black child who's in a white school is going to have to be friends with people who look different than they do.

A white child in a white school doesn't necessarily have to get to know children different than themselves. I think it is just in the effort extended to understand and get to know people.

KILLEN: And I think what Soledad said earlier, so fundamental and important that these kids talk about it early. I mean, at 6 years of age, they're talking about race.

COOPER: And are aware of it. I think a lot of parents you talk to will say my child is color blind or I want my child to be color blind or I'm color blind. And yet, what we're seeing in this is that kids are forming impressions about race very early on.

O'BRIEN: I have never heard a child ever in my whole life say color blind. I've only heard parents describing -- use the word color blind. I think that's really, really true. I think parents in some ways are more blind to what's happening than their kids certainly are.

COOPER: Fascinating to see. Dr. Killen, thanks. Soledad, thanks.

BLITZER: Tonight, you saw how 6-year-olds reacted to questions about race. In the next installment of our continuing series this week, you'll see how 13-year-olds handle the issue.

Tonight, new details also coming out of California right now, at least seven people dead in a shooting at a college in Oakland. Dan Simon is at the scene with the latest on this breaking story that's next.


BLITZER: We want to update you on the breaking news in Oakland, California where a shooting rampage on the campus of Oikos University killed seven people and wounded three others.

Several of the victims are students at the small religious school. Police have a suspect in custody. Dan Simon is there. Dan, describe the alleged suspect. What we might know about a possible motive at this time.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Wolf. He's described as an Asian male in his 40s. At this point, we don't have a motive. We are told that at one point, he was a student at the university, a nursing student.

Why he came here this morning and started shooting indiscriminately at people, we don't know. Perhaps he was targeting somebody specifically, but at this point, police not releasing those details if they have them at this point.

What we do know was that 10:30 local time, he went into that school and started shooting and seven people dead and three people are wounded. They're at the local hospital fighting for their lives -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, we understand he walked into a Safeway store right after the shooting. What happened then, Dan?

SIMON: This is a bit bizarre. According to the "San Francisco Chronicle," he went to the customer service counter at that supermarket and essentially confessed to the person working there.

He said that he just came from Oakland and shot a bunch of people. We know that a few minutes later in the parking lot of that grocery store, he was arrested. Whether or not that employee alerted police, we don't know, but he was taken into custody at that grocery store -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Dan Simon, thanks very much. Let's check in with Susan Hendricks right now. She has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. We start with the JetBlue pilot arrested after an apparent mid-air meltdown. Looking subdued after a Texas judge ordered him held in Jail.

The 49-year-old, Clayton Osbon, in court today after leaving the hospital where doctors treated him since last Thursday. Osbon is due back in court later this week.

And President Obama predicts the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the signature health care law. At a news conference today, leaders from Canada and Mexico, he weighed in on last week's arguments, stressing legal precedent for the justices to find the legislation constitutional.

And a Maryland McDonald's employee claimed she is one of the big Mega Millions winners. The 37-year-old Merlandi Wilson said she is hiding the winning ticket and does not plan to share the prize with co-workers in her lottery pool.

Wilson admits buying the group tickets at a local 7-11, but claims the winning ticket is from her own personal stash. She is not sharing. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right, Susan, thank you and we'll be right back.


BLITZER: That does it for this edition of 360. We'll see you again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.