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911 Call From School Released; Australian Student Left for Dead

Aired August 21, 2013 - 20:00   ET



Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight with breaking news -- just released 911 recordings, we just listened to them. They're unlike anything we've heard before. That's not an overstatement. They take you inside that elementary school in Decatur, Georgia, when the gunman was hold up with 500 rounds of ammunition. It puts you directly into the conversation between an emergency operator, a brave school worker, Antoinette Tuff, who's trapped with the shooter and the shooter himself, a deeply disturbed individual with nothing, he says, to lose.

Before we do, I want you to hear Miss Tuff herself describe what was at stake.


ANTOINETTE TUFF, SCHOOL BOOKKEEPER: He actually tried to go out the door where the kids was, and I called him back and kept talking to him to keep him calm, to stay inside with me.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Why did you do that?

TUFF: Because I knew that if he got outside, he was going to start shooting the kids. He had already shot a round off in the office with me and had been outside shooting at the police. So I knew that if he got outside, he was unstable enough to start shooting at anybody.


COOPER: So that's what might have happened. Now the moment-by- moment audio account of how a tragedy was prevented in no small part due to that woman, Antoinette Tuff.

Martin Savidge is on the story. He joins us now from the scene.

Martin, these 911 calls which have just been released really do take you inside this hostage situation in a way I've never heard before.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, they're incredible. I mean, Antoinette Tuff, I mean, you would have to give her some kind of medal because she is a one-person crisis management team and she's essentially a bookkeeper for the elementary school located behind me. That's the McNair Discovery Learning Center.

This all happened about 1:00 yesterday when the gunman, as you described, and he's now 20-year-old Michael Hill, comes into the building, gets in somehow, and he's got an AK-47 and he's got almost 500 rounds of ammunition. This easily could have been another potential Sandy Hook.

And then he confronts Antoinette and this is how it all begins to play out. This is her on the phone to 911 and to the gunman at the same time. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Police. What is your emergency?

TUFF: Yes, ma'am, I'm on 2nd Avenue in the school and the gentleman said tell them to hold down the police officers are coming, he's going to start shooting. So tell them to back off.


TUFF: Do not let anybody in the building including no police. Do not let anybody in the building including the police.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me, ma'am. Where are you?

TUFF: I'm in the front office. He just went outside and started shooting. Can I run?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Where -- can you get somewhere safe?

TUFF: Yes, I got to go. No, he was going to see me running. He's coming back. Oh, hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Put the phone down.

TUFF: Bye. OK. She said that she's getting the policeman to tell them to back off for you. OK? OK. OK. Stop all movement now on the ground. Stop all movement on the ground. If it's not an emergency, please do not use the radio. If it's not an emergency, do not use the radio.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Are you talking to the shooter?

TUFF: That's what he's telling me to tell them on the radio.


TUFF: Now what did you want me to tell her, sir? OK. He told me put you on hold and call the news, ma'am.


TUFF: What you want -- I'm trying to find the number for Channel 2. OK. You want me to tell them to --hello?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma'am. Yes, ma'am.

TUFF: Police?


TUFF: He said tell them to back up right now.


TUFF: OK. Hold on.


TUFF: OK. He said -- he said to tell them to back off. He doesn't want the kids, he wants the police, so back off -- what else, sir? He said, he don't care if he die, he don't have nothing to live for, and he said he's not mentally stable.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Stay on the line with me. OK? Put the phone down if you have to but don't put it on hold so I can't hear.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Can you tell me where you are?

TUFF: In the front office with him.


TUFF: He said -- he said send in one of your radios with an unarmed officer.


TUFF: She said OK, she's getting ready to tell them, or somewhere he can talk to the police. He said, but if they come armed, he's going to start shooting again.


TUFF: Only one officer.


TUFF: He said, if you have to go ahead and evacuate them homes right there in the front of the building.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. OK. Ask him, is he willing to give his name?

TUFF: She said, are you willing to give your name? He said no.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. TUFF: He said no, he knows that if he gives his name, he's going away for a long time, and he said he knows he's going away for a long time. He's on probation. Tell them to stand down now. Tell them to stand down now he said.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell him I'm going to give them the instructions.

TUFF: She said she's giving the instructions. He said that he should just shoot himself. He said -- he said call the probation office in DeKalb County and let them know what is going on.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Who are we asking for?

TUFF: She said, who is she asking for? He said he think it's Officer Scott.


TUFF: You want me to let them -- let her get by?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: What's your emergency?

TUFF: Yes.


TUFF: Yes.


TUFF: You want me to tell her to let -- let her come, sir? She sounds like she loves you a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: You on the phone with a relative?

TUFF: Yes. Yes. What you say, sir? He said he should have just went to the mental hospital instead of doing this because he's not on his medication.


TUFF: Well, do you want me -- I can help you. Want me -- do you want to talk to them? Want me to talk to them and try -- OK. Well, let me talk to them and let's see if we can work it out so that you don't have to go away with them for a long time. No, it does matter. I can let them know that you have not tried to harm me or do anything with me or anything. That you want -- but that doesn't make any difference.

You didn't hit anybody. So -- OK. Let me ask you this, ma'am. He didn't hit anybody, he just shot outside the door. If I walk out there with him -- if I walk out there with him so they won't shoot him or anything like that. He wants to give himself up. Is that OK? They won't shoot him?


TUFF: And he said he just want to go to the hospital.


TUFF: She said --

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Just hold on one moment. OK?

TUFF: OK. She said hold on and we -- and she's going to talk to the police officer and I'll go out there with you. Well, don't feel bad, baby. My husband just left me after 33 years. But -- yes, you do. I mean, I'm sitting here with you and talking -- talking to you about it. I got a son that's multiple disabled. Can I speak to her? Let me talk -- let me talk to her and let her know that I'm going to go with you.

You want me to talk to her? No, you didn't, baby. It's all going to be well. And they just going to talk to the police. OK. OK. Hold on. Hold on a second, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Uh-huh, don't hang up the phone.

TUFF: OK. Hold on. He wants me to go over to the intercom so hold the phone for me, OK?


TUFF: OK. Wait a minute. So can you talk to the police and let them know that I'm going to walk out there with him and he wants to give himself up?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. I am. Let me get an OK from them, OK?

TUFF: OK. And what -- and you let me know what we need to do? He wants me to get on the intercom and let everybody know that he's sorry, OK?


TUFF: OK. Hold on. Ma'am?


TUFF: OK. He's going to come out now but -- he wants to know what do you want him to do with the gun.


TUFF: Or do you want to send a police officer in? He said, he'll be on the ground with his hands behind the back and I'll take the gun from him and put it over here on the other side by me.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. One moment. TUFF: OK. Put -- yes, put all that over here so that way they won't see it. OK? Come over here and put it over here on this -- OK. Put it all up there. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: He's put the weapons down?

TUFF: Yes. So hold on before you come. He's putting everything down.


TUFF: So he's going to get on the floor so tell them to hold on a minute. So let him get everything together. He's getting it all together. OK. Tell me when you ready and I'll tell them to come on in. OK. He wants to drink his bottle of water so let him drink it. Let him get it together. He's -- OK.


TUFF: Did you want me to call somebody and talk to somebody for you? OK. We not going to hate you, baby. It's a good thing that you're giving up. So we're not going to hate you. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, you're doing a great job.

TUFF: So let's do it before the helicopters and stuff like that come. So --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I already hear them.

TUFF: They're here? You hear them? OK. So you want to go ahead and want me to tell them to come on in now? OK. He's getting everything out of his pockets now.


TUFF: OK. He said the gun may come back and say it's stolen but it's not. He knows the whole story about the gun and he let you all know that.


TUFF: Do you all want him to take his belt off?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: That's fine, just take all his weapons off.

TUFF: OK. She said that's fine, take all your weapons off. Your -- he said he don't have no more weapons.


TUFF: OK. So you -- OK, he's on the ground now with his hands behind the back. Tell the officers don't come in with any -- don't come on shooting or anything, so they can come on in and I'll buzz them in. UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.

TUFF: So hold on. Just sit right there, I'm going to buzz them in, OK, so you know when they coming. OK? OK? So just stay there calm. Don't worry about it. I'm going to sit right here so they'll see that you trying not to harm me. OK? OK.


TUFF: It's going to be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know that I love you, OK? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life. No, you don't want that. You going to be OK.


COOPER: Extraordinarily, heroic effort there by Antoinette Tuff, Martin.

I also want to bring in a forensic psychologist and veteran police crisis advisor, Kris Mohandie, and psychologist, Jeff Gardere.

Kris Mohandie, let me start with you. I mean, extraordinary to hear how calm she was able to remain talking to 911 operator and at the same time, talking to this gunman who had an AK-47.

KRIS MOHANDIE, FORMER LAPD PSYCHOLOGIST: She did an excellent job serving as, you know, almost an intermediary, is what we would call that. She stayed calm. She built hope in this young man who was feeling hopeless. She conveyed to him that somebody does, in fact, care. This is a desperate guy who felt like nothing was there for him.

She did everything that we would suggest. And we see hostages stepping up to the plate, doing what they need to do to survive and she did even more than that. It was an exceptional piece of human connection that she did and exactly what we'd want of a hostage victim to do to enhance their survivability in a situation like this.

COOPER: And that's only part one of the tape. We're going to take a break and -- because there's more on the other side of this.

But, Jeff Gardere, I mean, her willingness kind of reveal personal details about herself to try to connect with this man and make him feel better about what he was going through.

JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that's how she was able to draw him in and get that connection by talking about some of the challenges that she had in her own life. So it's not just about talking the talk, but it's also about walking the walk with him and so that gave a lot of credibility to what she was doing with him. Now he was able to believe her and connect with her.

COOPER: Right. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to have more of this tape. You're going to hear what happens when police finally come in. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. We're back with the breaking news, the 911 tape that has just been released recording the tense moments, to say the least, as a dispatcher, a 911 dispatcher, and school bookkeeper named Antoinette Tuff, slowly, carefully, bravely talk a would-be killer down from what might have been a deadly rampage at a school outside Atlanta.

I want you to listen now to the rest of the tape. What's happened so far is Antoinette Tuff has been talking to the 911 operator and also at the same time talking to the gunman, conveying what the gunman is telling her, saying that the police need to stand back. That he's not there to shoot children but he's there to shoot police.

He says he wishes he had gone to a mental hospital instead, and Antoinette Tuff, who remains calm throughout all of this ordeal, begins trying to relate to him on a very personal level. Explaining things that have gone on recently in her own life that have been very difficult for her. Some drama in her own life as a way of trying to make a connection to this potential killer. This is what -- where we left off with the tape.


TUFF: It's going to be all right, sweetie. I just want you to know I love you, though, OK? And I'm proud of you. That's a good thing that you're just giving up and don't worry about it. We all go through something in life. No, you don't want that. You going to be OK.

I thought the same thing, you know, I tried to commit suicide last year after my husband left me? But look at me now. I'm still working and everything is OK.

Your name is Michael what? Michael Hill? When the weather -- in the harbor? The people came in the harbor and planted a gun? Oh, the drum from in the harbor? Oh, OK. So you came with the kids that play the drums for in the harbor? Oh, for real? So you was actually in there doing all of that with them? Oh, how awesome.

So that means -- I seen -- so that means I seen you before then. Oh, OK. You all play them drums and stuff real good. OK. He said that they can come on in now. He needs to go to the hospital.


TUFF: And he doesn't have any weapons on him or anything like that. He's laying on the floor and he doesn't have any weapons. He's got everything out of his pocket. There is no -- the only thing he has on is his belt. Everything is out of his pockets, everything sitting here on the corner. So all we need to do is they can just come in. I'm going to buzz them in so he knows that they are here and everything. And they can come in and get him, and take him to the hospital.



UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Yes, she says she's going to let them know. She's talking to them now. To let know to come on in and to take you to the hospital. OK? No, you stay right there. You fine. He said, do you want him to go out there with his hands up or you want him to --


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Stay right where he is.

TUFF: OK. She said stay right there with you are. Yes -- he wants to know, can he get some of his water right quick? Yes, Michael. You said Michael Hill, right? OK. Guess what, Michael, my last name is Hill, too. You know, my mom was a Hill.

He said, what are you all waiting for? What's taking them so long to come on?


TUFF: She said, she's getting to them now. They're coming. They're coming. So just hold on, Michael. Go ahead and lay down. Go ahead and lay down. Said don't put your phone -- OK. You just got your phone? OK. That's fine. Tell them to come on. Come on. OK. He just got his phone. That's all he got is his phone.


It's just him.


OK. It's just him.



TUFF: Yes. Let me tell you something, baby, nothing so scary in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Me, either. But you did great.

TUFF: Oh, Jesus.


TUFF: Oh, god.


COOPER: Extraordinary woman, Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper of that school.

On the story for us, Martin Savidge. Also with us psychologist Kris Mohandie and also Jeff Gardere.

It's great to have you all here.

Martin, what do we know about Antoinette? I mean, how long has she been at the school? Has she been publicly recognized for the heroic work that she did?

SAVIDGE: Well, you know, I think today we knew that she had done something extraordinary but up until this moment, only until we heard this 911 call, did we really know what a remarkable person she is. I mean, this goes way beyond hero. And I -- actually it was very emotional to hear that.

This is a woman who -- you could tell that, you know, she isn't bartering for her own life here. She actually cares about this young man despite the fact that he's got an AK-47 and he's got 500 rounds of ammunition, and he's barged into a school with hundreds of children.

She is genuinely concerned about him. And that's what comes across so strongly here in that one person caring for another despite the fact that this person is armed with a gun.

COOPER: Yes. You know, often in the news we're told that we don't report on positive stories enough, that's one of the reasons we wanted to bring you the words of Antoinette Tuff tonight, because too often we don't show people who have done truly heroic things and she certainly has.

And Jeff Gardere, I mean, she's sort of a textbook case of how you should handle yourself in a situation like this.

GARDERE: She was really scared the whole time as we see at the end when she started crying.

COOPER: Right.

GARDERE: But she was able to maintain her composure and was connecting in a way where she was telling this individual, you're not the only one who has pain. I have pain. I can feel your pain and therefore you need to trust me. So it wasn't like a -- not to put down the psychologist, but it wasn't like a psychologist giving them the psych talk. This was a person who said, I'm in pain, I've gone through a lot, so have you, and that's why you can believe me. This is coming from my heart.

COOPER: And, Kris Mohandie, not at any point where she really, you know, kind of looking to, you know, jump out a window and try to escape. I mean, she really seemed engaged with him.

MOHANDIE: She was engaged with him. She was there for the long haul. He felt that. She shared her own experience with being suicidal, and having survived that. That gave him hope. This was an amazing commitment that she made and he felt that. There is no way he couldn't feel that, her genuine connection and it was just wonderful that the dispatcher recognized how helpful this was.

And she's kind of the unsung hero in the background as well, allowing and participating in this amazing negotiation using Antoinette. It was heartwarming and it made it a difference in this young man's life, as well as everybody that could have been affected by his behavior.

COOPER: I bet she's going to keep in touch with him, too, down the road.

MOHANDIE: Absolutely she will.

COOPER: Just from the kind of person.

A program note, Antoinette Tuff is actually going to be on our program tomorrow night. We're very much looking forward to meeting her.

Martin, thanks for your reporting. Kris Mohandie, Jeff Gardere as well.

Up next, you've heard the expression senseless killing, well, this one takes it to a new level. An Oklahoma town is shell-shocked after the murder of Australian college student Chris Lane. Wait until you hear what the teenagers charged with the crime told police.

We'll also speak to Chris Lane's girlfriend.

Also, allegations of an atrocity in Syria. Claims that the regime unleashed a chemical weapons attack on its own people with massive casualties. Some reports say more than 1,000 casualties. We can't independently confirm the exact numbers but we have late details ahead.


COOPER: Tonight a story that is raising all kinds of troubling questions on two continents. The shooting death of Australian college student Christopher Lane in the small Oklahoma town of Duncan, gunned down while jogging, targeted allegedly by teenagers, 15, 16, and 17 years old. Those are the suspects. Two charged yesterday with first- degree murder. A third, the driver facing lesser charges. Their alleged motivation is both mind-blowing and depressing. Said one, according to police, quote, "We were bored and didn't have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody."

Lane was gunned down while jogging. He lay dying in a ditch. The woman who found him online with 911 waiting for help.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear no sirens. I see no lights. Oh my gosh, how long is it going to be?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, all I know is they are coming. I can't make them go any faster, OK? I've got them on the way. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you don't hurry, he's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, they're coming, OK? I can't --


UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: I can't make them come any faster. They're on the way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I know you can't but it's frustrating that you need somebody. Finally I see them coming up the street. Much closer. But --

UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Has he stopped breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has he stopped breathing? Yes, yes, they said he has.


COOPER: Just so sickening.

Lane came to Oklahoma to play college -- excuse me, college baseball. Tonight back in Australia, his murder sparked calls for a tourist boycott of America. The fact is, though, the people of Duncan, Oklahoma welcomed Christopher Lane. They are mourning his loss. You'll hear from his girlfriend shortly. I spoke to her just moments ago. First how this all came to pass with 360's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this town of 23,000, it could have been anyone and the people of Duncan, Oklahoma know it.

(on camera): It was just before 3:00 p.m. Friday, the middle of the afternoon, Chris Lane was out jogging along this road. That's when the police chief says the three suspects pulled up in their car behind him and opened fire, hitting Chris once in the back. He staggered across the road and then fell to his knees, but somehow he managed to get up and take a few more steps before collapsing for good.

(voice-over): A woman saw him struggling, and called 911.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There's a young man -- he just fell over in the ditch and he's got blood on him.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Is he in the road way or is he in the ditch?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: No, he's in the ditch. He was standing in the road way and fell over and as I came by he fell over in the ditch.

KAYE: As they waited for an ambulance, Chris Lane started to turn blue.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: Is he breathing? Is he conscious? Is he talking to you?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: He's not conscious. Is he breathing? Barely.

KAYE: He was pronounced dead at the hospital leaving investigators without a clue who killed him. All they learned from witnesses is it was a black car, perhaps a Honda Civic. Police also figured whoever shot lane must have been familiar with the area since they took local roads and shortcuts to escape.

(on camera): Investigators knew the Mexican restaurant at the intersection had a security camera so quickly pulled the video. The camera showed a black car pulling into the restaurant parking lot around the time of the shooting then driving over to that hotel parking lot out of view of the security camera. The chief says the car stayed 11 minutes and then left.

(voice-over): Hours passed with no sign of the suspects and no hint if they would kill again. Then four hours after the shooting, the break investigators needed.

CHIEF DANNY FORD, DUNCAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: At 7:05 we received a call from Mr. Johnson's residence, 911 call that said there is three juveniles here with guns. I think they want to kill somebody.

KAYE (on camera): Officers in the area responded immediately and found the black car they were looking for in this church parking lot, across the street from Mr. Johnson's house, the man who had called them. The chief says the three suspects were inside the car. He said after officers spoke with them for awhile, they had enough information to arrest them.

(voice-over): The 15-year-old James Edwards and 16-year-old Chancey Luna were charged as adults with felony first degree murder and Michael Jones, 17, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon, an accessory after the fact. The two younger suspects didn't want to talk, but the chief says the oldest one, Jones, admitted it right away.

It wasn't until two days later, though, when he offered up the details. They were chilling. He gave what his version of full disclosure on it and he basically said we were at the house. The young man ran by the house. Someone said there's our target. They got in the car, followed him and they shot him. We were bored.

KAYE (on camera): Bored? They did it for fun? That's it.

FORD: That's right.

KAYE (voice-over): Killing for sport. It shocked even the most hardened of police here. But the surprise started to wear off as investigators looked closer at one of the alleged shooter's Twitter accounts. Just three days before the shooting, Edwards posted that he and his friends were ready to take some lives. Back in April, he tweeted, 90 percent on white people are nasty.

Michael Jones told police they tossed the gun at an apartment complex in town, but when police searched for it, it was gone. They did find ammunition hidden under the car's hood with a shotgun tucked away under the spare tire.


COOPER: Randi Kaye now joins us live from DUNCAN, OKLAHOMA. Randi the suspects, the teenagers, what have you learned about them on the ground there? Was there a motive here? It's totally random?

KAYE: It seemed to be random. They were looking to have some fun and in their eyes, it meant killing someone. That was their idea of fun, but we spoke with the police today and they said that these guys come from broken homes, been in trouble before. One of the investors recognized the car from another case they were working. We're learning more about them online. We mentioned the Twitter account and online through special media we found this video I want you to look at on Vine posted by James Edwards, one of the suspects.

There you see him holding a shotgun pointing him at the camera, mugging for the camera, very comfortable with that weapon in his hands. On James Edward's Facebook page, look at these pictures and you see he posted a picture of a handgun and on that table, that cash, that's 100 dollar bills spread out on that table. On Facebook, we have a couple photos of Edwards and also Chancey Luna.

It looks like they are talking on phones, but it's wads of cash. Anderson, there seems to be a theme about money and guns they seem to enjoy. Skied the chief today, I said are these guys part of a gang? Are they involved with gangs in any way? He said he doesn't think so but no doubt they want to be gangsters -- Anderson.

COOPER: So sickening. Randi, appreciate the reporting. Sarah Harper was Christopher Lane's girlfriend. They had been close for four years and just gotten back from a visit to Australia a couple days before the shooting. Sarah, I'm so sorry for your loss. I know that you and Chris were together for four years. What was he like?

SARAH HARPER, CHRIS LANE'S GIRLFRIEND: He was the mostly the -- just the most amazing person I've ever met. He was the most genuine and kind-hearted guy and would do anything for anybody at any time and I'm just really -- made everyone feel special.

COOPER: How did you two meet?

HARPER: We met at school. We both played. I was golf and he was baseball.

COOPER: Was baseball something that he loved?

HARPER: Yes, he -- he loved the competitiveness and anything and loved getting to play with so many great guys and it brought him overseas and he loved adventure aspect of that, as well.

COOPER: Was coming to the United States something that he had wanted to do for a long time?

HARPER: Yes, I believe so, he wanted to travel, and so he loved any -- any route to living somewhere new and doing something new. He had big dreams of going and living in other places, as well.

COOPER: And obviously, Chris' parents, I think you've been able to talk to them. How are they doing? How are they holding up?

HARPER: There is no way to describe what happened. I mean, it's the hardest thing you could ever imagine happening, and like there is still a lot of shock and disbelief and a lot of anger and sadness. It's just every emotion flooded in.

COOPER: He was -- I know he was visiting you on Friday when he went for that run. I understand the whole neighborhood, obviously, is in shock, the whole community. This isn't the thing that usually happens where you are.

HARPER: No, we don't have anything like this ever happen here. We're a pretty boring town, really. I mean, there is the same -- everybody loves the Friday night football games and just doing the everyday life, and everybody always runs that street, walks that street. My neighbors had been on it earlier in the day. It's amazing that something could happen like that in the middle of the day, a popular area of town.

COOPER: When you heard what some of these young men have said about why they did this, I mean, it's all just so senseless.

HARPER: Yes, it -- you can't make sense of it. It just -- so surreal that anybody could do something like this. We had only been back two days, not even, and something like this just happened, and it just doesn't make any sense.

COOPER: Will you be flying to Australia for the services?

HARPER: Yes, I'll be -- my family and I will be there to say our good-byes and be with the family during this time.

COOPER: I'm glad that you'll all be able to be together with your family and his family. I know there is a memorial set up by Chris and his friends, anybody that wants to contribute. It started with a goal of $15,000 that has to be something of a good feeling to know that so many people are paying attention and so many people are outraged and just horrified by this and want to help.

HARPER: Yes, it's incredible how many people have reached out. It's touching and it's uplifting knowing that there are so many kind- hearted people in the world. Even if they have never heard of him or knew him still want to help. I just know that he was an amazing person. That was taken away too soon and I'm so thankful to all the support and love and respect everyone has shown Christopher and his family and my family and everybody and how this town has supported everything. We really appreciate it.

COOPER: So many people's thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and Christopher and his family in this time and I wish you strength and peace in the difficult days ahead.

HARPER: Thank you.

COOPER: For more information on that memorial fund, how you can donate, go to I'll get address and put it up on my Twitter page, as well.

Up next, allegations in Syria of a deadly chemical attack, the video is hard to watch and shocking. Arwa Damon joins us with the latest.

The punishment Bradley Manning will face. We'll learn about his sentence when we come back.


COOPER: Vice President Biden weighs in on his son's medical care ahead on 360.


COOPER: Allegations tonight from Syria that the regime fired rockets carrying chemical weapons killing and injuring hundreds of people. The regime calls the allegations baseless. I want to warn you video you'll see throughout the segment may be difficult to watch. If you need to turn away, now is the time to do it. I urge you to listen and hear it. The videos were posted online by the opposition that claimed more than 1,300 people were killed in the attack.

As always, reporting on Syria's civil war, more than 100,000 dead according to U.N. CNN can't independently verify the legitimacy of the videos or the information. The U.N. says it will try to investigate. Arwa damon spent a lot of time on the ground in Syria for us and reports. Arwa, the images coming out of Syria from this attack are just sickening. What is the latest you're hearing about it?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are really hard to look at. One leading opposition member put the death toll as high as 1,300. I was speaking to a doctor earlier who said in his particular area he ran out of medicine for an hour. He could only remove the clothes, wash them and give them oxygen. What makes it heart-breaking and difficult to look at is so many victims are children. You see them on beds and makeshift clinics just grasping for air.

Other video shows bodies all over the floor, people barely able to walk through them. The opposition is saying this was a chemical attack carried out by the sir yin government targeted by areas to the east and southwest of the capital Damascus itself. The government denying the allegations, but there is one think that's difficult to deny and that is something horrendous took place in Syria.

COOPER: Yes, this is video of people twitching on the floor arriving in agony, looks like dozens of bodies of young children lying in rows. All of this comes as U.N. inspectors are on the ground to inspect alleged prior use of chemical weapons. Can they allow inspectors to decide this attack?

DAMON: Well, we're going to have to wait and see. Basically all lies as to whether or not the Security Council decides to task this team for looking into this particular attack. They went in with specific locations they were going to be visiting. If that does happen, they would then need some sort of permission from the Syrian government. They are guests of the government and would require some sort of coordination between them and rebel fighting forces, because these are areas in rebel control. One can only hope and assume they will try to gain access to these areas and figure out exactly what happened. Anderson, too much happens in Syria in this very murky space with a lot of misinformation around it.

COOPER: Arwa Damon, thanks so much.

Up next, Bradley Manning sentenced for leaking thousands of classified documents. We'll tell you what his sentence is and what could be a wild twist in the kidnapping of Hanna Anderson. The family of James DiMaggio makes a stunning request for DNA samples.


COOPER: The tragic story took the most bizarre turn yet today. The family of James DiMaggio, the accused kidnapper suspected of killing her brother Ethan and her mother Christina requested DNA samples for paternity testing. They think DiMaggio who was killed in the shootout after a massive manhunt could be Hanna and Ethan's father.

Stephanie Elam joins me now. Stephanie, a few weeks ago, this seemed like a clear case. What is the latest?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is so true, Anderson. It's a very bizarre turn in the story. The request is coming from Jim DiMaggio's sister. She wants to know whether or not he's actually the father because he was so involved in the Anderson family's life. We're here where the mother of Hanna Anderson and Hanna Anderson's brother, Ethan, passed away.

COOPER: We don't know if the family will allow this DNA test to happen?

ELAM: No, I spent a lot of time with Hanna Anderson's maternal grandparents today and they said the focus needs to be on Ethan and Christina, and Hanna's great uncle had fiery words. Take a listen.


DAVID BRAUN, HANNAH ANDERSON'S GREAT UNCLE: What I would tell the DiMaggio family, I would tell them to shut up with their accusations and implications until after my precious Tina and Ethan are buried.


ELAM: The grandparents also saying if you take a look at Brett Anderson, Hanna and Ethan's father and look at them, there is no doubt he is in fact their father. They also say they believe that Christina was about six months pregnant with Hanna before Jim came into their life. So still a lot of questions from the one request, whether or not it happens, we'll wait and see.

COOPER: So horrible the family has to deal with this while they wait to bury their family. Stephanie, appreciate the reporting, thanks.

Let's get an update to other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks has the 360 News and Business Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a military judge sentenced Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking classified government documents. He was dishonorably discharged. Manning was convicted last month on 20 charges including violating the espionage act.

The White House says Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden successfully underwent a procedure at Anderson Medical Center in Texas and is in quote great shape. Biden was admitted to the world renowned cancer facility for evaluation after feeling weak and disoriented on a family vacation.

We all know her, tough talking Judge Judy is the highest paid star in television. She tops TV's Guide earning's list, taking home $47 million a year.

COOPER: Appreciate it, Susan. We'll be right back.


COOPER: We ran out of time for "The Ridiculist." Before we go, the memorial fund set up in memory of murder victim Christopher Lane. A place to send donations for his family to travel to Oklahoma and receive his body and take him back to Melbourne, Also post it on my Twitter account @andersoncooper and We'll be back with another edition of 360 at 11:00 Eastern tonight. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.