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Remembering Colorado Shooting Victims

Aired July 23, 2012 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. I'm Anderson Cooper coming to you tonight from Aurora, Colorado.

It has been another wrenching day here in Aurora. As people here emerge from shock and descend into grief, they're being confronted by the grotesque cartoon-colored image of the man police say was behind their nightmare, everybody's nightmare.

We will, of course, update you on the alleged gunman's day in court and the many days ahead for him. Tonight, though, and throughout our many nights ahead, the main story will not be about that man. We're giving the suspect as little airtime as we can, giving him as little publicity as possible, trying not even to say his name. Instead, we're trying to focus on the victims, focus on the survivors, and the heroes.

And many heroes who have emerged from this horror. In this, we're taking a lesson from the people of Aurora themselves, from the mayor of Aurora, from the governor of Colorado, and from the president of the United States.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had a chance to visit with each family. And most of the conversation was filled with memory. It was an opportunity for families to describe how wonderful their brother or their son or daughter was. And the lives that they have touched. And the dreams that they held for the future.

I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations. I also tried to assure them that, although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away, and in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.


A. COOPER: Well, you saw there on your screen the pictures we have of the 12 who died in theater nine just after midnight Thursday night.

The youngest, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was just 6 years old. They said her name in a vigil here last night, her name and the names of 11 others.


GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D), COLORADO: Jon Blunk. We will remember. A.J. Boik.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Jesse Childress.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Gordon Cowden.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Jessica Ghawi.

CROWD: We will remember.


CROWD: We will remember.


CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Micayla Medek.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Alex Sullivan.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: Alexander Teves.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: And Rebecca Wingo.

CROWD: We will remember.

HICKENLOOPER: We will remember you.



A. COOPER: And we, too, will remember them tonight and in the weeks and months and years ahead. And we will speak tonight with the people who knew them and who loved them. We begin with all the latest developments starting with what we saw occurred outside the suspect's apartment, packed with explosives, rigged to kill.

For that, here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunrise, Saturday morning. Members of the ATF, FBI, Aurora Police bomb experts, even chemists, gather at the suspected shooter's apartment and device a plan to get inside. They call it a controlled detonation.

SGT. CASSIDEE CARLSON, AURORA, COLORADO, POLICE DEPARTMENT: First and foremost is we need to render the area safe. The most immediate threat is the trip wire.

KAYE: It's just after 8:00 a.m., and this team has already been at it for more than 24 hours. Trying to figure out a way to defuse or detonate explosives the suspect set inside.

(on camera): Through the window of his third floor apartment, they can see a web of trip wires. And a living room full of about 30 homemade IEDs strung together with firecracker shells. There are also jars of black powder and liquid accelerant, cans of gasoline, too.

(voice-over): At 10:33 a.m., progress.

CARLSON: We have been successful in defeating the first threat, which includes defeating the trip wire that -- and the first incendiary device.

KAYE: A robot driven by a bomb technician does the dangerous work humans can't. Spraying water on the control box in the kitchen, wired to the IEDs. Disabling explosives while preserving evidence.

DAN OATES, AURORA, COLORADO, POLICE CHIEF: This apartment was designed, I say, based on everything I have seen, to kill whoever entered it. And if you think we're angry, we sure as hell are angry.

KAYE: A couple of hours later, just before noon, firemen shout, fire in the hole, and then -- at 12:08 p.m., confirmation the most serious threat is over.

CARLSON: We have been successful in detonating the second triggering device. We are confident that we have eliminated all major threats at this point. However, there are -- there are many hazards that remain inside this apartment.

KAYE: Hazards like improvised Napalm and other flammables and accelerants. Designed to intensify the fire after an explosion. By 6:00 p.m., much of the dangerous material is hauled away to this open field outside the city limits and detonated.

(on camera): Back here at the suspect's apartment, investigators try to perverse what they can as evidence. Whatever explosives and ammunition are left go to an FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. They also take with them a Batman poster, a Batman mask and a computer, hoping it contains clues to a motive. (voice-over): Saturday evening, residents from the evacuated buildings nearby are allowed to return home. Many still jittery about what might have been.

TANYA LUJAN, EVACUEE: I didn't know, like, if they were going to be OK, if that place was going to blow up while I was at work, or, you know, what. It was just -- it was really scary.

KAYE: With the apartment secure, the focus turns to where the suspected shooter got all his materials. Investigators say in the last 60 days, he bought more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition online. Including a 100-round magazine for the assault rifle. They track a large number of deliveries to his apartment.

OATES: We also think it begins to explain some of the materials that he had in his apartment.

KAYE (on camera): Police Saturday also do a sweep of the University of Colorado Medical School where the suspect was enrolled. They have to be sure he didn't booby-trap the campus. They also do a thorough search of all biohazard and radioactive material he may have had access to and confirm it is all secure.

(voice-over): Now investigators know the suspected shooter wanted to extend the carnage beyond the movie theater. And while they have learned so much more about what he allegedly planned, they just don't know why.


A. COOPER: Now, Sunday, new information came out regarding what happened with one of the suspect's guns in the theater.

Randi, what have you learned?

KAYE: Well, yesterday, Anderson, we got some new information about one of these guns. As you know there were three guns in that theater. One was the shotgun, another was the assault rifle, and then the Glock handgun. Well, we're told by sources close to the investigation that the assault rifle actually jammed. As we know it had that extended magazine on it which carried 100 rounds of ammunition. It was capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds of ammunition per minute, and so that jammed, which really, luckily, limited the number of shots that the suspect could get off.

I'm told by our source that the after-market extended magazines, like he was using in this case, do have a tendency to jam. And thank goodness, Anderson, it did.

A. COOPER: Randi, thanks very much for that.

One of the people who lost their lives inside that theater, Alex Teves. His father, Tom, is with me right now. His mom Karen is also here in Aurora. Alex was mortally wounded while shielding his girlfriend from gunfire. Alex died a hero. His father today faced the suspect in court. In his own words, a coward. Tom joins us now, along with Alex's girlfriend Amanda, and also Alex's best friend Ryan Cooper.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I mean, it sounds like such a hollow thing to say. But how are you holding up?

TOM TEVES, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: We're all -- you've got to move forward. You know, Alex would have expected us to live. We're going to live.

You know, Alex was all about life. I can talk about being -- I didn't really dress up but there's a reason for this. Alex was the type of kid who brought people together. When he was in high school, for no reason whatsoever -- well, Alex used to wear blue jeans and a white T-shirt every day to school.

And my wife, being the anal-retentive woman that she is would have -- there'd be 16 on laundry day, T-shirts on my, you know, my hangers.


TEVES: All hung up, ironed. And he would wear them every day. Through all of high school. And then his halfway through senior year, they decided for no reason to have Alex Teves day. And 400 or 500 kids came to school in blue jeans and a white T-shirt, and there were girls that said, I love Teves, and, you know, it was pretty cool.

A. COOPER: How did you guys meet?

AMANDA LINDGREN, GIRLFRIEND OF SHOOTING VICTIM: We met in school. We went to grad school together at DU. So we started as friends. But immediately, it was so much more than that.

A. COOPER: And Ryan, how long have you guys been best friends?

RYAN COOPER, BEST FRIEND SHOOTING VICTIM: I have known Alex for about 10 years. You know, he was my best friend but, you know, saying "friend" almost doesn't even do it justice. I mean, he really was like the other part of me. I knew Alex for 10 year. We went to high school together. We lived all four years in college together. We were extremely close.

A. COOPER: What do you think it was about him that drew you to him?

R. COOPER: I don't know. You know, It's not even what drew me to him. It was about what drew everybody to him. And, you know, Tom's story about everybody that dressed up as Alex that one day in high school just shows that everybody was drawn to him. And he was so funny. Like, that's what I'm trying to tell everybody who doesn't know him, is he was just the most hilarious person wherever he would go. His jokes, and he was extremely caring. You know, we went to the University of Arizona together. And we loved going to football and basketball games together. And as much as he loved that, he would take time and miss those games to mentor kids in the community who, you know, didn't have dads and were just really hurting and -- COOPER: He wanted to be a counselor, he wanted to be a psychiatrist.

TEVES: Well, he was -- he got his master's degree in psychology. And he decided that he can do more impact that he was going to go back and get his degree in physical therapy. You know, he just wanted to help people. Alex was just one of those kids. You know, you guys do investigative journalism. I would challenge you to find someone who will say a bad word about him. And that's -- you know.


TEVES: I will come back and eat crow if you can find it.

A. COOPER: I'm obviously not going to pester you with questions about what happened that night but you feel Alex did save your life?

LINDGREN: I don't -- I mean, with every ounce of my being, he did. He -- I wouldn't be here without him.

A. COOPER: You were in the courtroom today. A lot -- I talked to a lot of family members who don't want to even look at that person. Why did you want to be there?

TEVES: Because it's -- I wanted to see what he looks like, first off. Second off, he doesn't look like much. Third off, it's not about him. It's about this poor girl who was a victim as well. It's about my son who -- this individual dressed in riot gear, whatever it is, with guns. Literally blew his head off because he was protecting her.

It's not about him. I just wanted to see him and I wanted to see there's people who care and aren't afraid of him.

A. COOPER: What is it like being here in Aurora? I mean, you...

TEVES: Awful.

A. COOPER: Awful?

TEVES: It's the worst day of my life every day. Alex was my first-born son. I love him with all my heart. Just like I like those two. I like them. I don't really love them. You know what I mean. But it's awful. It's awful. And it's senseless. And if we don't stop talking about the gunman -- so somebody took a gun and went in and shot a 6-year-old girl? Why are we talking about that person?

Why -- I would love to see, and I will give you a challenge. I would like to see CNN come out with a policy that said moving forward, we're not going to talk about the gunman. What we're going to say is, a coward walked into a movie theater and started shooting people. He's apprehended. The coward's in jail. He will never see the light of day again. Let's move on to the victims. Never talk to him again.

And I will tell you, the analysis -- the analogy -- I'm not great with words right now, OK.

COOPER: Just say it. Don't worry.

TEVES: Not been my best week. Is if you think about it, you used to see people jump on the fields all the time. Everybody would cover it and everybody would laugh, right? The networks said we're not going to cover that anymore. When was the last time you saw somebody jump on the field? Now that's completely different level, right? But there's a lot of reasons. We always say why, why. And we never know why. But we got enough data. Let's start figuring out why. And I will guarantee one of them is because they want to be on television. They want to be infamous.

We can stop it. We can't stop it. We can only get shot. CNN, FOX News, the major networks. Why don't you guys all come out with a policy that says, we're not going to show this again, we realize we made a mistake, but just so this never happens again, here's what we're going to do.

That would be my -- that would be my challenge to you and to every network. And let's see who comes out with it first.

A. COOPER: Well, I also think -- I mean, I think a start also is not using this person's name, which...

TEVES: I don't know what it is.

A. COOPER: Which we're not doing very consciously. And sadly, not everybody is following our policy but I understand why you're saying that.

TEVES: I read "USA Today" all the time because I travel and they drop it at my door, right? I can't read it because I got to rip the guy's face out every time I look at the paper so, you know...

A. COOPER: How do you -- what is the next step for you, I mean? What...

TEVES: For me, it's to make sure this little girl gets taken care of, and she heals. It's to make sure those two little -- those little guys, they're going to kill me, they're 17 -- 16 and 17, they heal, make sure my wife heals, and make sure the thousands and thousands of people who are sending me e-mails because they knew Alex at least know we appreciate their prayers.

And then I don't know. Some of the -- a lot of the victims feel the same way as I. Maybe it's time for us to rise up. Because if you guys don't do it, maybe we use the Internet. And we say, you show that, OK, whoever advertises next, we'll never buy your product. That will do it.

But I think we will be proactive. You guys should look at yourselves and say, we need to take some ownership. We're not -- it's not just us. We're not the only reason. But let's fix our own house before we blame the gun lobby or whatever. I'm not saying they're right either. You're -- I'm not making any political comments.

A. COOPER: Use the time obviously to focus on...


A. COOPER: On the survivors, on the victims.

TEVES: Exactly.

A. COOPER: The people that matter.

TEVES: It should always be on the victims. Stop making them infamous. What else are they going to do? I saw the guy today.

A. COOPER: I think it's also one of those horrible things that even years from now people sometimes remember the name of the killer and...

TEVES: Give me one person who died in Tucson besides Gabby Giffords. No one can give me an answer. There was a girl from 9/11 who died. They made her -- but nobody can remember the name. But you can still remember the face of that -- that coward. Because that's the only word I'm going to use on television.

A. COOPER: Right. Listen, I appreciate you all being on and talking about Alex and helping people to get to know him. So I think that's the most important thing what we're trying to do right now.

TEVES: Yes, I appreciate it. Thanks.

A. COOPER: Tom, thank you.

TEVES: Thanks for your time.

A. COOPER: I appreciate it. I wish you strength. All right. Thank you very much. I'm so sorry.

TEVES: Thanks for your time.

A. COOPER: We -- there's a lot more to talk about. You're going to meet other family members of people whose lives were lost.

We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter right now @AndersonCooper.

As we continue tonight from Aurora, more stories of heroes who died saving others, just like Alex, of the fallen and how this community is trying to come together.

We'll be right back.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID JACKSON, STEPFATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM MATT MCQUINN: Couldn't have asked for a better son or -- always ready to help his friends.


A. COOPER: That's David Jackson, the stepfather of Matt McQuinn who died saving his girlfriend's life. Matt McQuinn was just 27 years old. We're in Aurora, Colorado, again tonight.

When we arrived on Friday, people were dealing not only with the trauma of a mass shooting, some were during the agony of not knowing. Not knowing what had happened to their loved one.

The bodies of 10 of the 12 people killed were still inside the movie theater until late in the day on Friday. Notification of next of kin did not happen until late that night. And as you just heard from Alex's father Tom, in the previous segment, there's a whole range of emotions. And there's -- there's a lot of anger even at some of the coverage about the attention that the suspect has been getting.

Not only seeing his picture but it's really the repeating of his name that bothers many people here. And that's why we're choosing not to use it tonight. I would certainly echo a lot of what Tom's -- what Alex's father said. And hope other people in the weeks ahead try not to focus as much on the name of the suspected killer and more on those whose lives were lost.

For a time, people simply did not know whether a family member or friend was dead or alive on Friday. I spoke on Friday night with a young man named Marcus Weaver.


MARCUS WEAVER, EYEWITNESS: My friend, she's still missing, her name is Rebecca Wingo. And there was a report somewhere between -- on Goodwill where they're looking on the Internet, her friends and family, and her dad has called me. And so they have been searching the hospitals and she's yet to be found.

What happened was, when we got off of the ground, there was a moment where he stopped shooting, and so I picked her up and she had blood all over her face. And her body was bloodied. And she was unconscious. So I tried to pick her up with my left hand and get her through the row. But there were people trampling over the seating coming down. There were people in my -- in my aisle who were, like, laying down, injured, dead, crying. I mean, it was awful so I ended up tripping and then had to set her down.


A. COOPER: Well, hours later, the sad news came out. Rebecca Wingo did die in that movie theater. So did nine others. Two more died later at area hospitals.

I want to tell you about some of what we know of the 12 whose lives were lost.


A. COOPER (voice-over): Not far from the Century Theater, 12 white crosses honor those whose lives have been cut short. Airman Kevin Thao came to mourn his friend, Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress, a 29- year-old cyber systems operator, stationed at Buckley Air Force Base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I think of Jesse, I think of a big nerd, someone who was always humorous, someone who always made the office brighter.

A. COOPER: A.J. Boik is being remembered for his laughter as well. Only 18 years old, he'd recently graduated high school. His friends have made a Facebook page in his honor, posting videos of him dancing and smiling.

You can't find someone with a brighter smile and more positive outlook, one friend wrote.

Gordon Cowden was the oldest of those who lost their lives. The 51-year-old father, devoted to his kids. He owned his own business and loved the outdoors. He'd taken his two teens to see "Batman." The kids survived.

Twenty-six-year-old Jonathan Blunk was also a father. He had two young children. A Navy vet he died shielding his girlfriend. His former wife says their 4-year-old daughter now takes comfort listening to him speak on his voice mail message.

CHANTEL BLUNK, WIDOW OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Johnny was the type that always wanted to be the hero. Help anybody in any way he can. Always to make people smile and laugh. He was very optimistic and outgoing.

A. COOPER: Matt McQuinn also died protecting his girlfriend. They both recently moved to Colorado. His friends and family want to remember his great heart and his big personality.

JACKSON: I'm very proud of him. We're going to miss him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're nailing it, I'm telling you. So far so good.

JESSICA GHAWI, KILLED IN COLORADO MASSACRE: I know. I'm doing such a great job.

A. COOPER: Jessica Ghawi was a 24-year-old aspiring sports reporter. She'd moved to Denver to start her career. She was the first victim publicly identified. I spoke to her brother Jordan on Friday.

JORDAN GHAWI, BROTHER OF JESSICA GHAWI: Her dreams cut short and how we're going to be able to sustain those dreams and push them forward. She was an asset to her family, an asset to her friends. An asset to her community.

A. COOPER: John Larimer is also being remembered as an asset to his community. Like his dad and grandfather before him, he joined his Navy. He was just 27 years old.

CMDR. JEFFREY JAKUBOSKI, COMMANDING OFFICER OF JOHN LARIMER: John had that calming personality that everybody seemed to gravitate to. Everything he did either on the job or off the job, he was a true gentleman in every way, shape or form.

A. COOPER: Alex Sullivan was also 27. He was celebrating his birthday. Sunday would have also been his first anniversary with his wife Casey. Everyone says he was full of joy and was loved dearly by his friends and family.

Twenty-three-year-old Micayla Medek was known as Cayla by her friends. She attended Aurora Community College and planned to graduate in 2015. She described herself as an independent girl, just trying to get her life together while having fun.

Just a year older, Alex Teves was 24. He wanted to be a psychiatrist. And recently had earned a master's degree in counseling. He's survived by two younger brothers.

Thirty-two-year-old Texas native Rebecca Wingo has two young girls. She joined the Air Force after high school. Fluent in Chinese, she served as a translator before moving to Colorado.

HAL WALLACE, FRIEND OF REBECCA WINGO: The sweetest smile you'd ever seen. She got prettier as she grew older. In the blink of an eye, something happens and completely changes everyone's life forever.

A. COOPER: In the blink of an eye, everyone's life can change forever.

Little Veronica Moser-Sullivan's life had only just begun. The youngest of all the victims, she was just 6 years old. A vibrant little girl. She'd just learned to swim. A swimsuit, stuffed animals and candles now surround the cross placed in Veronica's memory.


A. COOPER: We're going to talk to Jon Blunk's girlfriend coming up in a little bit, he -- Jansen Young. He actually gave his life shielding her, protecting her life and saving her life. She's going to join us shortly.

There is some information we want to tell you about, about the suspect. And while we want to focus on the victims in this hour -- and we are -- there is some new information that we do think is important to tell you about. He did have his first court appearance. There's also a mug shot that has now been widely seen.

Drew Griffin has reporting on that next.

We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, as we've been saying throughout the hour, and as a lot of family members here have been really trying to impress upon us, we really do want to focus on the victims on this program. I feel very strongly they're the ones whose names should be remembered. Not the alleged shooter's name, as too often is the case in past incidents.

There is some new information to tell you about the suspect. I'm not using his name. You already know his name. We don't need to repeat it. Oftentimes, these kind of killers -- if that, in fact, is what he is; right now he's just a suspect. But oftentimes, these kinds of killers want the attention. They want their names to live on in history. I don't think his name should live on in history. I think the names of those who lost their lives should live on.

The suspect made his first court appearance today. His hair was dyed. He seemed to be in a daze. We heard from Alex's father Tom. Some of the victims and the relatives were inside that courtroom today, watching him very closely. Others had no desire to be inside, had no desire to even look at him.

After his appearance, the suspect was taken back to jail, where he is being held right now in isolation. Drew Griffin has more about what we have found out about the suspect so far.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even though the world saw him for the first time today, shock of hair dyed red and orange, at times wide-eyed, even dazed as he watched what was going on, there was little hard evidence as to who he was and what on earth could have motivated him.

Authorities over the weekend tracked the weapons, the ammunition and the protective gear he had amassed. CNN was the first to report he had purchased a protective vest, a knife, and two magazine holders for his gun from a Web site called Tactical Gear. That was July 2, three weeks ago. Everything, including thousands of rounds of ammunition, purchased legally, over the Internet, with a few keyboard strokes.

A week earlier, he had e-mailed an application to join this gun club, the Lead Valley Range. In response, the owner phoned him, not once, but three times, to get things going. But he said he was having trouble understanding the voice message at the other end of the line.

GLENN ROTOVICK, LEAD VALLEY RANGE: The answering machine was very guttural, a very deep voice. Deliberate, bizarre, kind of strange utterings. It was almost freakish.

GRIFFIN: At the Anschutz Medical campus here, we did find some people who knew him. One student who worked with him for three months told CNN, quote, "I worked near him, but I wasn't close to him. I don't think anyone was close to him." Said another, who sat in the same lecture classes, "I can't remember him uttering a single word."

None of the students wanted to be identified. School officials had told everyone not to talk with reporters unless cleared in advance.

As for reports that dozens of packages were sent to him at the school, this was the chancellor's answer.

DON ELLMAN, CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL COLLEGE: UPS and FedEx and people like that can come into the buildings and do and make deliveries directly to the departments. They don't necessarily have to go through a shipping or a receiving dock.

GRIFFIN: As an undergrad at U.C. Riverside, he received the highest academic honors. In Colorado, his federal grant from the National Institute of Health paid him about $26,000 to do postgraduate work in a select program of neuroscience: the study of nerves as they affect the brain. It was an elite program.

BARRY SHUR, DEAN, ANSCHUTZ MEDICAL CAMPUS GRADUATE SCHOOL: They recruit, from a highly competitive pool of applicants from around the country and the world, five or six students each year to enter the program.

GRIFFIN: But other than the school's official statement that he was in the process of withdrawing last month, we don't know much else about his time at school.

We have confirmed his membership in an adult Web site,

Late today, an attorney for the family said she would have no comment about his relationship with his parents.

He was silent, mysterious, even ghost-like, it seems. But on July 20, James Holmes apparently decided to no longer blend in. I talked to a survivor who had a front-row seat to the carnage inside theater nine.

CORBIN DATES, MASSACRE SURVIVOR: It seemed like this person was probably acting like a villain. To swing through the door, walk in, dressed all in black: black cap, a black gas mask, body armor. Weapon wrapped around his neck, which I thought was fake. And I'm thinking, this person's going to do something to thrill the audience and somebody dressed as Batman is going to come in and try to subdue this person and then drag him out the theater.

GRIFFIN: According to police, the suspect has barely uttered a word since. According to the police chief, he asked for attorneys shortly after being arrested, not expressing anything to one overriding question. Why?

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Drew Griffin joins me now.

Obviously, mental state is going to be something that's going to be discussed a lot as this court case develops. There was a press conference from the university. I would have thought, if there was so many problem with his mental state, it would have shown up over many months or years. But the university's saying the program he was in, he was carefully monitored.

GRIFFIN: Yes, and the news coverage got a little bit contentious when they were describing a program, Anderson, with just six students in this class, with heavily involvement, heavily monitored by faculty, staff.

And admittedly, say if any student was in trouble -- remember, this kid was going to withdraw -- if any student was in trouble, there would be more or less what they described as an intervention by the faculty to try to rescue this kid's academic career, because it is so highly unlikely anyone would withdraw.

COOPER: So -- so he had these finals, these oral finals. And then he alerted the school that he was withdrawing?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely right. Which would have triggered program development manager, his faculty staff monitor, what they are calling the family of neuroscience, to gather around this student and literally try to rescue his career.

COOPER: Do we know when that would have been?

GRIFFIN: That would have been just around June 10. June 10 is when they removed his access card from the school.

COOPER: And already, we know he had been ordering guns at that point?

GRIFFIN: He had been ordering guns. We know that just a few weeks later, he would be applying for the gun range. July 2 is when he received his tactical gear. The school is refusing to say anything about it. And actually, the chancellor said the families -- when we asked, that's not good enough for the families, the chancellor said, they'll find out the answers in court.

COOPER: Drew Griffin, appreciate the reporting.

Joining me now is -- live is CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos also joins me. And former FBI Mary Ellen O'Toole, the author of "Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us." Appreciate all of you being on.

Jeffrey, watch the suspect in court today, it would be easier to think maybe he's mentally ill or wants to be perceived as mentally ill. In terms of insanity, legally speaking, that's -- what is considered insane?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, this is an issue that the legal system has struggled with literally for centuries.

The best way I can define it is, if you don't know what you're doing, if you think you are chopping down a tree when you are killing someone, then you are legally insane.

If you know you are killing someone, even if it's for bizarre, horrible, inexplicable reasons, then you're not insane.

So the fact that this suspect purchased all these weapons, purchased all these -- all this ammunition, that would certainly argue against a finding of insanity, because it suggests he knew what he was doing, at least in terms of buying guns to shoot them.

COOPER: And Mark, in terms of what kind of punishment he might face, what about -- the death penalty's been discussed. What's the history of that in this state? Is that likely?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Colorado is a death penalty state, but I think there's only been one person executed in the last 25 years. But if you're ever going to have anybody who is a candidate for the death penalty, this would seem to be the poster child.

The problem is that I don't know that you ever get to a trial anytime soon. This -- you'll remember with the Gabby Giffords shootings, that person is not competent. That person is not -- has not stood trial yet. It could be a while yet before this person ever stands trial.

One of the interesting things is that at least it's being reported that one of the first things he did -- first things he did was ask for a lawyer. That tends to argue for competency, is that he knows or has some wherewithal to know what the proceedings are or that he's facing proceedings such that he would need a lawyer.

But I think we're a ways off before there's going to be any kind of a proceeding or a trial in this matter.

COOPER: Mary Ellen, in your past career as a profiler, I mean, you've interviewed a lot of people who have engaged in activities like what happened. A lot of shooters. Is it a myth that somebody who does something so extremely violent must be insane?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: It is a myth. It's actually one of three myths that I'm hearing over and over here as regards to this case. And the first one is that someone who engages in such extreme violence cannot also be extremely intelligent. That's one myth.

Myth No. 2 is that someone who engages in this kind of extreme violence has to be, quote/unquote, "crazy."

And then the third myth that I'm hearing is that someone who engages in this kind of extreme violence must come from an obviously dysfunctional family. So, again, those are three myths that I think are being put out there, and they're simply not my experience in working these kinds of cases.

COOPER: You know, I keep thinking about something that Alex's father, Tom, said earlier on this program, Mary Ellen, about, you know, oftentimes these people want attention. Is that, in your experience, in talking with mass killers, that they like having that attention?

O'TOOLE: It is my experience that wanting notoriety, wanting attention, is one of their motives. And it can be a very strong motive, depending on where they are in the planning stage.

But it's also my experience that there never is just one motive. And motives evolve over time. And as the individual becomes more involved in the planning and the thinking about it and how they're going to carry it out, their motives can change, and one can replace the other.

But notoriety and sensationalism and being given credit for this kind of a crime can be a very strong motivator.

COOPER: Mark, as a defense attorney, what are the steps you would go through now? And in trying to -- I guess, obviously, it's the defense attorney's job to try to prevent a death penalty.

GERAGOS: Well, that's exactly right. And I would be shocked if the public defender there or the court-appointed counsel hasn't already consulted with mental-health experts. That's the very first thing you're going to do.

You're going to take a look at what is the mental state. You're going to try and come up with whether or not this person -- you know, there's two different questions. One is was the person -- what was the mental state at the time of the crime? And then the second question is, is this person sane or able to help with the defense? Are they competent right now?

So those are the two issues that they're struggling with right now. They're not even beginning, I can't imagine, to look at the factual underpinnings of this case. That's not even on the radar yet.

TOOBIN: Anderson, I would just add, the one thing the defense is going to want to do is delay. Delay, delay, delay. Because people are so angry right now that the more time, the better for the defense. And the system is set up so that they can delay.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Mark Geragos, as well. Mary Ellen O'Toole, appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

So many questions still remain. In the hail of bullets inside that theater, heroes emerged. John Blunk is one of them. He put his own safety second, and it cost him his life. He died while shielding his girlfriend from the gunfire. We're going to talk to her in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage live from Aurora, Colorado. As we said, we've been trying to tell you the stories of many of the victims from Friday's killing as possible.

Twenty-six-year-old John Blunk. We want you to know about him. He was a Navy veteran, father of two. He was killed shielding his girlfriend, Jansen Young, from the gunfire. Jansen joins me now.

It's a dumb question, but I mean, how are you holding up? How are you getting through?

JANSEN YOUNG, BOYFRIEND KILLED IN MASSACRE: I'm doing OK. It's traumatic. It's been a traumatic experience. But today's better than yesterday. And hopefully, the worst isn't yet to come.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about John?

YOUNG: That he is a hero. And he was a hero before this, before I met him. All he wanted to do was serve his country. And, you know, help people in need. He used to say that he was born to serve his country. And he just really is. He's a true hero.

COOPER: Service is something that was really important to him?

YOUNG: Oh, yes, definitely.

COOPER: That's why he joined the Navy?

YOUNG: Uh-huh.

COOPER: And I don't -- I'm not going to -- I'm not going to pepper you for details of what happened, obviously, because I don't want you to have to relive it, because I'm sure you've been reliving it nonstop. But he shielded you?

YOUNG: Yes, he laid up against me and had the other side of my body against the concrete seating. And yes, I was pretty much boxed in due to John. And he really told me, you know, what to do and guided me in that situation and saved my life.

COOPER: You've obviously never been in a situation like this. Hardly anybody has. I mean, what -- what do you want people to know about what you and the other family members are going through now? What should people know, keep in their minds?

YOUNG: They just have to keep them close, you know, and remember the great things they've done. Remember the things that are special. And it helps to talk to people that love you, and hugs help.

COOPER: Does it help -- I lost a brother in very different circumstances many years ago. And I always find it hard to talk about him or remember how he lived his life, as opposed to how he lost his life. Do you -- do you find it helps to talk about John? YOUNG: To people that I'm close with, I find it, like, really helpful. When I get to talk about, you know, that situation and things, yes, I find it helpful. And -- but, you know, I guess everybody's a little different.

COOPER: Thank you very much for talking with us. And I can't imagine how difficult it is. I know there are many difficult days ahead. I wish you strength and peace.

YOUNG: Thank you, thank you so much.

COOPER: Thanks, appreciate you being with us.

We will remember John, of course. And all the others who lost their lives and their family members who have been left behind. Next.



PIERCE O'FARRILL, SURVIVED MASSACRE: I was just laying there. And I felt him literally standing right above me. I mean, his boot couldn't have been no more than 6 inches away from my head. And I heard a couple more shots. And at that point, the first thought going through my head was "He's just -- he's going to finish what he started right now," you know? I just laid there and I thought he's -- "that's it, this is it."


COOPER: Pierce O'Farrill, who was in the theater that night. President Obama met with him and other survivors as well as victims' families here in Aurora yesterday. And said that words are inadequate in these kinds of situations, but he wanted to let them know that the whole country is thinking about them and will continue to think about them.

Also yesterday, thousands gathered for a prayer vigil here. Here are some of the sights and the sounds from that vigil as we honor the victims and their families.


(MUSIC: "Amazing Grace")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, we come together to pray and to be with one another. Some of us are survivors, family members, or friends of those who have suffered through this senseless and evil act of violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For those who are feeling the ripple effects, their families and their friends, may you comfort them. May you walk with them in the days ahead, and may they continue to know that they have received an outpouring of new friends in this community, of new friends in this nation. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thank you, that you have not shrunk back from this challenge. And that you, with great skill and great dare, ran into the building, ran into places, willing to lay down your life for others.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We weep because we have hope that tomorrow is going to be brighter. You are Aurora. We are Aurora. We grieve together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: July 20 should never be about remembering this event or the killer. It should be about remembering those victims. John Blunk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Veronica Moser-Sullivan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will remember.



COOPER: We will remember.


COOPER: Thanks very much for joining us on our coverage. That does it for us, on this edition of 360, live from Aurora, Colorado. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.