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Fort Lauderdale Airport Attack; Interview with Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Five Killed, Eight Wounded in Fort Lauderdale Airport Attack; Trump Downplays Russia's Meddling in U.S. Elections Despite Full Intelligence Briefing; Trump: Intel Shows No Evidence Hacking Affected Election; Seventy Two Million Under Winter Advisory Or Warning; Two Victims Identified After Rampage At Terminal; Accused Shooter's Aunt: "He Changed" After Iraq. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired January 7, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The first shot, how long did it take your deputies who ended up (INAUDIBLE) your gunman?
SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: About 70 -- the question was, from the moment the first shot was fired, how long did it take our deputies to come in contact with Santiago. It was approximately 70 to 80 seconds.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sheriff, you're talking about (INAUDIBLE) secure an area like an airport, what (INAUDIBLE)?
ISRAEL: Well, I think the general safety -- the question is about, what do I think of the general safety of airports. I think the safety at airports is phenomenal. When you have a person that could be suffering from a severe mental illness or you have what call a lone wolf assassin that's ready to conduct some cowardly heinous act, there's not much law enforcement or anybody else can do about it. That's why we train.
The most important thing is mitigation and our ability to respond and lessen the loss of lives. And I think we've done a phenomenal job about that. A conversation that needs to happen certainly is we need to talk about as a country going forward, when people are on no fly list and, you know, people suffering from mental illness, you know, they're not problem people. We all know they're people with very real problems.
But if they are suffering from a mental illness or they're on a no fly zone -- on a no fly list or they're a convicted felon, they flat-out shouldn't be allowed to own handguns or rifles.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- talking about the victims, the one still -- have we identified any of them and if so do you have a name?
ISRAEL: We have and you can.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can I ask the congresswoman a question? Was it surprising to a lot of people that you can actually travel with a gun and ammunition? People who don't follow, you know, who don't know about that. I wonder as a representative of this area, a lot of people have asked the question, should that allowance be revisited given what happened here? And that it appears the shooter did everything he should have done. He followed the rules. He checked his ammunition and gun. I wonder what your opinion is whether that allowance should be revisited.
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Right. Federal rules do allow for firearms to be carried on -- carried in checked baggage. Not in carryon baggage. And there are procedures that were followed in this case. I'm going back to Washington on Monday. When we go back into session. And that is absolutely something that I think we need to revisit.
We have revisited our security measures at airports every time we've had a security breach. While we take a look at balancing the public's need to be able to freely travel, at the same time, we need to protect the traveling public who is traveling alongside someone who may decide to do them harm.
If you remember, when we had the shoe bomber, the so-called shoe bomber whom, you know, tried to light his shoes on fire in the air with a cigarette lighter and we subsequently decided to ban cigarette lighters from carryon bags. We can't travel with more than a certain amount of liquid because there was an individual on a flight who tried to use a small amount of liquid to detonate his explosive device.
And like this tragic incident, there's no question that we need to review not only the question of whether people should be able to travel with their firearm even if they're in checked baggage, but I think we need to look at -- take a hard look at the security around baggage claim areas and not just leave it at that. I mean I think it's been important over the last 12 to 15 hours that it's been pointed out that there are many unsecured areas in facilities that the public travels. Train stations. Port terminals. And baggage claim areas. So certainly those procedures need to be reviewed and I'm going to be addressing that when I go back to Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I have a question for Mark (INAUDIBLE).
ISRAEL: I just want to thank everybody from law enforcement for working together so cohesively. You know, there's a saying that when critical incidents happen that we don't rise to the occasion but we actually sink to the level of our training. And that's why it's so important to train hard and we do. Law enforcement was phenomenal yesterday. I pray and I know all of the nation prays for the families and those who have lost their lives, and we'll be telling you when our next update will be. Thank you.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You've been listening to a press conference there about that tragic shooting that led to the deaths of five people yesterday and the injuries of many others there. You heard from the sheriff there, Scott Israel, as well as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman, all talking about things to do as a country to try to identify those with mental illness, identify the holes in place.
[11:05:02] Debbie Wasserman Schultz there underscoring it is legal and lawful to check firearms. We know now the details of this 26-year-old Esteban Santiago who traveled from Anchorage to Fort Lauderdale with -- in his checked luggage his firearms. And then after collecting his luggage in baggage claim then opening fire there in baggage claim leading to the deaths of five and the injuries of many others.
Let's talk more now with our panel, CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes, Grant Whitus, a former SWAT team leader, and CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo.
Good to see all of you. All right. So I wonder if I could go to you first, Mary. Just about the protections in place for airports across the country. What are the lessons learned here in terms of helping to go about any new protection to be put in place as it pertains to airport security?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, there's kind of an age old issue is how do we protect the non-sterile areas of the airport, the areas of the airport that aren't protected by the TSA and you don't have to be screened to go into. And this new vulnerability which has come to light which has been in existence for a long time and that is traveling not only with a weapon but also with ammunition.
And for now because it's a very big hole that's been exposed, probably the short-term thing that can be done is to limit the amount of ammo. For example, Alaska Airlines allows you to travel with 50 pounds of ammunition. And each round weighs, you know, 200 rounds. That would not necessarily pass muster on some constitutional levels because you have the right to carry a firearm in interstate transportation and it's aided by the Firearm Owner's Protection Act which is a federal law.
So if you're talking short-term measures, how to secure it, I'd do it with the ammo. I'd cut the ammo out of the equation for now. That's going to open a big national debate, however.
WHITFIELD: Yes. It will of course. And Tom, because we heard from the governor yesterday who talked about hunting is a -- you know, a big past time there in Florida. And it's not unusual for people to check their firearms and then go on hunting excursions within the state of Florida. So how do you see the state's needs and of course, you know, personal safety coming to terms as a result of what happened yesterday?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, my opinion, Fredricka, I don't think much is going to change here. I think that there are enough people, sportsmen, hunters, others that travel and will want a certain amount of ammunition with them. Firearm instructors that are contractors that travel with their weapons and ammunition and others that I think that's going to continue.
And it's going to be very hard if one of them that has the authority to check a weapon and recover it at baggage claim if one of them has mental illness or other issues, or becomes a terrorist, radicalized, and chooses to launch an attack, I don't see a real effective way of completely stopping it.
WHITFIELD: And Grant, we saw in real time the response to what happened yesterday. With the kind of immediacy and we saw people on tarmac who were running into place. People inside the airport a different kind of behavior. How do you assess the response that what we saw unfold on live television yesterday and then now the assessment of, you know, what was -- what went right and what went wrong?
GRANT WHITUS, FORMER SWAT TEAM LEADER: Well, certainly Florida has great sheriff's departments, great police departments. I've trained some of them out there myself after Columbine. Have great working relationships with them. My partner at TAC has trained even more of them out there. So we've worked with them on one and two-man response to the active shooter which is the most recent training that were given everyone. So they have progressive law enforcement and it was there like you said within 80 seconds he was down there. That's fantastic.
This shooter, however, he planned to do a short-term shooting and give up without being killed. Again not typical of your shooter. Normally it's suicide or suicide by cop. So his plan was to do as much as he could with the time allowed he had and then give up after that. So the response was exactly what you should expect.
And, you know, they also alluded to their response outside because every time you have a mass shooting, you have so much information on other areas that more shootings are occurring. And they had to shut down the whole airport justifiably to take care of that.
WHITFIELD: All right. To all of you, thank you so much. Stick around. Right now I want to bring into the equation our conversation, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was part of that press conference just moments ago.
This airport where Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, airport is, this is part of your district. We heard you say you have a to do list now when you go back to Washington.
[11:10:03] And what we heard in the press conference, what we saw unfold yesterday, it really does at least shed the light on two, you know, glaring issues, that of potentially mental illness and that of the vulnerabilities of our airports across the country. So as you go back to Washington, what is it that you would like to address first?
SCHULTZ: Well, we really here on the ground in Fort Lauderdale International Airport are in a first things first situation. I mean, we need first and foremost to be able to make sure that we can get these passengers reconnected with their luggage. Many of them, many of them don't have their identification. They're going out on cruises. They're needing to get on airplanes. And so I'm working with the Department of Homeland Security and we're trying to reach out to all of the consulates in spite of the fact that it's a Saturday to help make sure that we can get all these passengers on their way and make sure they get the information they need so that they can get their belongings back. And that's going to take a few days and require everyone's patience. Fredricka, we also have the best of the best when it comes to the FBI
here in Miami. George Piro is our special agent in charge. So they are on top of the investigation. George Piro, many don't know, is the special agent who actually took down Saddam Hussein, so we are very, very fortunate here in Miami that this investigation is being managed by him and by our incredible sheriff Scott Israel.
SCHULTZ: That being said -- sorry, go ahead.
WHITFIELD: No. You go ahead.
SCHULTZ: That having been said, you know, we go back into session on Monday in Washington and there are two questions here. Both dealing with the security of airports. We deal with this kind of security question in balancing the traveling -- the ability of the traveling public to travel freely and as unencumbered as possible while at the same time trying to make sure that we can keep people safe from those who wish to do them harm. And so we address those things each time after there is an incident that exposes a glare -- you know, a glaring problem like this one.
When we had the shoe bomber, if you'll recall, we had the guy on the plane who was trying to light his shoes, you know, explosive device with a cigarette lighter, and we banned cigarette lighters at that point. When we had the individual who was trying to use a small amount of liquid to detonate an explosive device we subsequently banned larger amounts of liquids so that we could minimize the risk to passengers.
We can see, and already we're aware, but this obviously exposes it in Technicolor that baggage claim areas all across the country. I travel in and out of this airport several times a week. And I've traveled all over the country and been in most -- actually all of the major airports this country. And baggage claim areas are not secure.
The other challenge that we have is that you are able to check a firearm and the procedures here in place were followed. But we most definitely, and I am going to go back to Washington and start work on this, need to review the procedures not only the question of whether or not you should be allowed to check a firearm when you travel at all rather than ship it or transport it in some other way, but we need to more minutely examine the question of if you are going to continue to allow that, in what way are we going to reunite you with your firearm?
Because if there is still exposure to the traveling public of someone who wishes to do them harm and like this individual was reunited with their firearm and was able to wreak havoc and kill five people and wound six, it absolutely needs to be addressed.
WHITFIELD: And what more do you know about the five who were killed and the number of people who were injured? What do you know about them and what do you know about the needs of family members who are still trying to get information about their loved ones? SCHULTZ: The FBI is in the process of notifying the next of kin of
those individuals who have -- are deceased. And so that process is ongoing. So I don't have additional information because obviously it's not appropriate to share that before the next of kin are notified. Passengers are here. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of passengers who are online trying to be processed by their airlines to be able to try to continue to travel.
You've got different groups of people. You've got some people who did hold on to their identification and who are able to have identification to continue their travels once they're put on a flight and are ready to go. This is a -- this is the biggest cruise -- one of the biggest cruise ports. Port Everglades is right next to the Fort Lauderdale airport. Also in my district.
[11:15:02] And this is a good -- a big cruise changeover day. You need an I.D. to get on a cruise ship. And there -- as the airport director said, we've got 20,000 items, including I.D.'s and cell phones and bags that people have been separated from, many of which were dropped in place when people went running. And the airport is engaging in the process to make sure that we can methodically know whose belongings they are, set up a process so that people can reconnect with those belongings.
There is a form to fill out and they can -- I'll make sure, Fredricka, if you don't already have it that you get the toll free number so that people can make sure they speak with someone from our call center and communicate what they are missing. That will be filled out on a form and when the process is in place, and it's going to require people's patience because obviously we want to make sure that people -- we don't exacerbate this problem and people lose their belongings or have it stolen by it -- you know, being given or incorrectly given to the wrong person.
So that's going to require some patience. What I'm trying to do at the federal level in our jurisdiction is answer the governor's question of me is whether we can deal with any kind of a waiver process. We've got literally hundreds of these people who are supposed to go out on a cruise later today and if you don't have an I.D. You are not able to travel on a cruise ship because all of these ships travel to areas outside the country. And certainly that's the case with people who don't have an I.D. and need to get on an airplane.
SCHULTZ: So we're looking into that. We're also -- we've got some, you know, many foreign travelers. This is an international gateway. We're the gateway of the Latin Americas and many other ports of call, so we're trying to reach the consulates all of which unfortunately are closed on a Saturday to get their emergency contact information. And I'm going to try to connect with the consul generals so we can help foreign travelers as well.
WHITFIELD: All right. A lot of people in limbo and of course a lot of people still with, you know, residual questions as a result of what happened yesterday. Of course that toll free number when we get it we'll be able to share that --
SCHULTZ: So important.
WHITFIELD: Yes. We'll be able to share that toll free number that you suggest with our viewers to help people out.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thank you so much for your time. All the best.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Straight ahead, more about the victims. Stay with us.
[11:20:03] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. So we're continuing our live coverage on the latest developments in the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting investigation. But now let's turn to politic.
President-elect Donald Trump downplaying Russia's meddling in the election. This despite receiving a full briefing on the classified version of the intelligence report yesterday. That report saying with high confidence those hacking efforts were ordered directly by Russian president Vladimir Putin and that Putin's goal was to hurt Clinton and help Trump.
Trump instead turning the report into a partisan issue casting blame on the Democratic National Committee. Trump tweeting this morning. "Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big they are totally embarrassed."
He followed that tweet with, "Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election result. Voting machines not touched."
All right. Coming up we'll be talking with the former CIA director, James Woolsey, who was formerly an adviser to Donald Trump.
All right. In addition to the five people killed in the shooting yesterday at the Fort Lauderdale airport, six others wounded, 37 others were injured after the incident.
CNN correspondent Ryan Young is joining me live now from the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.
So, Ryan, we know three victims are in critical condition. Do you have any other updates?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now they're not really sharing much with us. You know, this is a level one trauma center so we know six people were brought here yesterday with that high level where they had to get them to critical condition. We know three apparently have maybe been released or put in another side of the hospital. We know three still remain in that critical condition.
This is what we know. Of course all those analysts arrived here at the same time. And people were being transported on the inside. We do know -- we talked to one man yesterday who talked about the idea that his backpack actually saved his life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE FLAPPER, AIRPORT SHOOTING WITNESS: The backpack saved my life. I was wearing a backpack on both shoulders and then when we went to the floor, I just -- you know, I dropped and the backpack was still on my back. It was turned in such a way where at one point when the shooter shot towards my direction, there was several other people around me. There was a bullet that ricocheted and I did not know this until after the -- until much later.
I felt something hit my back. And I crane around and I thought it was -- because the luggage was still coming so there was a luggage that was falling on top of me, too. And I thought it was just luggage at that time. You know, it was only later when I go to the bathroom to check myself out that the bullet had entered my backpack, hit my laptop, and then later when I gave my bag over to the FBI for investigation, they found the bullet in the pocket of my backpack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Fred, just scary details when you hear something like that. We did try to talk to a hospital spokesperson. They told us that we'd probably be getting more information from the police. Obviously they just had that news conference.
I have talked to other people around the area who were stranded last night and had no place to stay. So all of this starting to have a ripple effect throughout the community. People waiting to see what happens next obviously. We're standing outside to see if any other family members show up. And if that happens, of course, we'll pass it along to you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ryan Young, thank you so much. Reporting from the Broward Health Medical Center. Thank you so much.
All right. Straight ahead U.S. intel showing Putin directly ordered his teams to help Trump get elected. So why is Donald Trump stressing that there was, quote, "no effect on the outcome whatsoever? "
[11:26:39] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
So President-elect Donald Trump downplaying Russia's meddling in the election. This despite receiving that full briefing on the classified version of the intelligence report just yesterday. Trump tweeting this morning, quote, "Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the lost by the Dems were so big they are totally embarrassed." Well, let's talk about this divide between President-elect Trump and
the intelligence community, with a man who knows both very well. Joining me right now former CIA director, James Woolsey. He was a senior adviser to the Donald Trump transition team before announcing his resignation just this past Thursday.
Thanks so much for being with me. So let me begin with this morning's reaction from Donald Trump. Again, casting skepticism about the intel report and its real motivation. You got to know him. A, tell me about, you know, your reaction to his reaction, and why is he and why does he remain so skeptical of the intelligence community?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I think he and the community have been talking about different things. He keeps emphasizing, and I think rightly so, that there wasn't any, according to the intelligence assessment, there was no interference with voting machines or with vote totals and that sort of thing. But the report, the very fine report I think that the community issued yesterday, and which I read this morning, is not just about that. It's about what the Russians call disinformation or lying, official lying. And they're been doing it for six, seven, eight decades.
They try to influence elections in many parts of the world. They try to denigrate religious organizations, Catholics, Jews. They do all kinds of nasty things like that and they have been doing it for decades. What's happened is it looks as if they have decided to add cyber to their hand -- their list of tools for going after American elections. And so even though they apparently did not tinker with any voting totals, they certainly did some nasty stuff.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And --
WOOLSEY: And I think that's -- both of those things are important.
WHITFIELD: Right. And I realize you're not here to defend Donald Trump or you're no longer, you know, his adviser, but you have gotten to know him. And it seems as though Donald Trump is having a difficult time separating the election, November 86th, the outcome of it and you're your potentially or what the intel community says was Russian meddling and the bigger picture of Russian meddling to affairs in the United States.
WHITFIELD: Why is it he is not looking at that, the bigger picture of what this means to democracy, the influence of another country as opposed to thinking about himself and how he worries this delegitimizes his position as the president-elect and soon to be sworn in president?
WOOLSEY: The short answer is I don't know. But beginning two weeks from now, he's going to have to lead an effort for the U.S. government, the intelligence services, State Department, elsewhere, to get on top of these Russian efforts and thwart them.
[11:30:05] I would say we want to take some actions dealing with Russia that are not in the cyber area. One very good one would be to use competition and undercutting OPEC to lower the price of oil.
It would be great for American consumers and it would be a serious problem for Putin and so there are things we can do that are not within the four corners of the cyber world. We don't have to stay within that world. We can deal with the Russians far more effectively if we range into other areas such as oil prices.
WHITFIELD: Is it your concern that Donald Trump does not understand the importance and gravity of the relationship between the president and the intel community and how this information coming from the intelligence community is going to equip him with making decisions on a day-to-day basis?
WOOLSEY: I don't know. I've only -- after initial meeting to work with him and be -- agree to work with his campaign, I've really only met with him once after that and a couple phone calls. I'm not really professionally knowledgeable about his stance and belief on things.
I would say I think he learns and in the couple meetings I did have with him he got on top of issues quickly. Made good comments. It was not like he is in a football stadium with 50,000 millennials cheering. He's an able man.
I think we all need to work with him and help him and help him do the best he can in this new extraordinary set of responsibilities. One of the things that we ought to emphasize, a number of us I think, is the fact that the Russians play rough.
WHITFIELD: Is it true that reportedly at least in the "Washington Post" at reports that one of the reasons why you separated from the transition camp is because you were not always included in those meetings, did not always have the ear of Donald Trump in settings and on topics that you thought you should be involved in?
WOOLSEY: Well, what happened was I was not being utilized on things that I knew about and after some -- a month or two of that, the television kept coming up saying that I was a senior advisor to the Trump transition. I really wasn't. And so I just didn't want to fly under false colors, and so I changed that so people wouldn't say that, that I was a senior advisor to the transition. I'm not.
WHITFIELD: So what brought you on board in the first place and perhaps what is it that caused that breaking point?
WOOLSEY: I still think he was the best of the two candidates given the pay to play and all the things that came up about Hillary Clinton and I think he's a smart man and learns and I think he can be helped and I think he can be a good president.
But he's going to take I think a lot of people who are closer to him than I am are going to have to make sure that they don't turn into yes men and that they call it straight and help him learn what he needs to know quickly.
WHITFIELD: Do you have concerns that Donald Trump resisting from believing the intelligence in any way sets him back or weakens his position as president upon swearing in day?
WOOLSEY: I think we've got to give him a chance. He's two weeks away from being president. He's not somebody who's had the job for several months even. And I think, you know, anybody who comes into that job, it's a new and it's extraordinary experience to be the president of the most powerful country in the world.
One thing, we want to be is continue to be the most powerful country and the world and make sure the Russians cannot fiddle around with our voting machines and the like two years from now at our next election because you can bet now they'll try.
WHITFIELD: You're the former CIA director but you still have friends in the intel community and you still talk with them. Have any of them expressed concern, dismay over the dismissal or even disdain that has been expressed by Donald Trump about the intel as it pertains to Russia and its influence?
WOOLSEY: Yes, there's some backing and forthing about it, but I think most people are willing to start fresh and help him if he wants help and call it straight with him and not just tell him what he wants to hear, and get the job done.
[11:35:00]That we do this every four years. Sometimes every eight years with presidents, new ones, and let's get going and everybody who has an opportunity to work with him, help him get going as the new president of the United States. He's not even the new president yet.
WHITFIELD: Right. A few days away, a week and a half. Ambassador James Woolsey, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.
WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.
WHITFIELD: All right, tomorrow morning, top Trump adviser, Kellyanne Conway, will be weighing in on Russia and other matters. She'll be talking with Jake Tapper on the "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow morning, 9 a.m. Eastern Time right here on CNN. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Seventy two million Americans are still a winter weather advisory or warning at a nasty winter storm hits much of the U.S., Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee all getting socked with ice and snow. Thousands are without power. As winds move in today, that number could grow. Raleigh North Carolina was one of the cities with chance to actually break snowfall records.
Polo Sandoval joining me live now from Raleigh and Allison Chinchar is tracking this icy storm here in Atlanta. So Polo, let's go to you. You're all bundled up. It really does look beautiful, but I know the snowfall could also a big nuisance and potentially very dangerous.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred, especially until tonight, we're going to talk about that in a few minutes. But how is that saying go, when life gives you lemons, this is how the folks in Raleigh, North Carolina make some fun lemonade. Some of these families have decided to come out and enjoy some of these sledding opportunities.
Because when you're cooped up in your home and can't go anywhere, then you might as well make the best of it. And that's what we've been seen from these families here, Fred, many folks actually choosing to do some sledding here including Danielle Sailing (ph), who is getting ready to target her husband.
Danielle, you guys are trying to make the best of this right now with the kids?
[11:40:03]UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the kids were really looking forward to snow and they were really excited about it. We're trying to get out here and sled and throw snowballs.
SANDOVAL: All right, I'll let you guys have fun. So again, it looks beautiful, it looks fun, Fred, but I'll leave you with this note. It could turn into a travel nightmare tonight as temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits in and around the region. So all the rain, all the sleet, all the snow could potentially harden making getting around even harder the next couple of days.
WHITFIELD: All right, that's a big reality in a lot of places here in the south. Thank you so much, Polo.
Allison Chinchar is in Atlanta where there's been a dusting. It still looks pretty magical, you know, given the folks around here are not usually used to this kind of weather, but it's also iced up which means terribly dangerous -- Allison.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right, yes. It's what's under that dusting of snow that's been causing the most danger and that's about a quarter to half inch of ice. It's accumulated on everything from trees, cars, to even in some spots on the sidewalks and roads.
And it's still coming down in portions of Charlotte and Raleigh and even Roanoke, Virginia, that you can see on the radar, but that system is actually going to make its way up the east coast bringing snow to places like New York City and eventually into Boston where it could end up dropping as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow.
So again, that's going to be a big concern, but the concern for folks here in the southeast like Atlanta, Birmingham, and Charlotte, it's this ice. Because the wind is expected to pick up throughout the day and that means all of that ice that's weighing the trees down could come down taking power lines with it.
So Fred, unfortunately, power outages will still be a concern even though the storm has ended in cities like Atlanta.
WHITFIELD: All right, Allison, Polo, thank you so much. Bundle up. Appreciate it. We'll get the latest weather updates later on. All right, we'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Just in to CNN, we now know the identities of two of the five victims from Friday's shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
Olga Woltering seen here on the right was on a cruise with her husband, Ralph. Her pastor tells CNN that Woltering was a grandmother and beloved member of her church where she had been a member since 1978.
And Terry Andres was a Virginia shipyard employee who was in Fort Lauderdale on vacation with his wife and the couple was celebrating Andres' upcoming 63nd birthday, a friend tells CNN. Andres and his wife had been married for 40 years and he leaves behind two daughters and two granddaughters.
Six others were injured in the shooting. Three of them are in critical condition. An aunt of the alleged shooter, Esteban Santiago, says when he returned from Iraq, he changed.
CNN digital writer, Ray Sanchez, joins me now on the phone. So Ray, what more are you learning about this Army vet?
RAY SANCHEZ, CNN DIGITAL WRITER (via telephone): Yes. I spoke to Maria Ruiz Rivera, the sister of the suspect's mother by phone this morning and she indicated that when he returned from Iraq in 2011, the family noticed that in her words his mind was not right.
There were times in which he seemed normal, but at other times, he appeared lost. He talked about all the destruction that he witnessed. He talked about the killing of children. He talked about having visions.
WHITFIELD: And what did the family -- what do they feel like they were able to do or how was anyone to address these problems?
SANCHEZ: You know, that's a good question. Maria mentioned that she had been in touch with him on a regular basis, but that several months ago he just stopped calling. He wouldn't respond to her messages. She said I would text and call and he just seemed distant.
I just wouldn't hear back from him. His family spread out. His mother is in Puerto Rico. He has brothers in Florida and in Puerto Rico, and he was living in Alaska. So it seems like he was isolated somewhat.
WHITFIELD: And did anyone know anything about him planning on getting on a plane, going to Fort Lauderdale, and if so, what did they think he was going to be doing in Fort Lauderdale?
SANCHEZ: Well, according to his aunt, she was watching the news. She heard -- first, she heard the name then she heard the age, and she realized that, you know, that had to be him. She said -- she told us who would have imagined that he could do something like this and she said she doesn't say that because she's family. She says it because it's just unlike him. He was just a completely different person before he was stationed in Iraq.
WHITFIELD: So heart breaking on so many levels. All right, Ray Sanchez, thank you so much. Appreciate that.
All right, joining me now is CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes, and former Army doctor and psychiatrist, Harry Croft, an expert on PTSD. He's joining us on the phone.
So Tom, you first, hearing from Ray Sanchez, the interview with the aunt who says some things were just not right. He was hearing voices. That something -- there was some kind of disconnect.
He was an Iraq war vet from 2011 is the year in which he came back from Iraq according to all the documents and family members. So customarily, what would happen when someone comes back from deployment?
And in the case of Mr. Esteban, we know that he went to an FBI office and was behaving strangely. The FBI then called in local police. What are the options when these kinds of red flags come up on the federal level as well?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first of all, Fred, let's go back to the beginning of this, if someone, and we have tens of thousands of veterans that have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan that have had PTSD issues and other problems. You know, what is the system?
We know of the deficiencies that have been reported with the Veterans Administration to get people help. We know that about 22 veterans a day are committing suicide in this country. So we know that we have serious mental health issues not only with veterans, but with the general population.
We have a very inadequate system to deal with that. So it falls to law enforcement and law enforcement has limited options with an adult. The case of the FBI, that's not their mission to deal with mentally ill people like that so in this case when someone comes in and says they're hearing voices and being manipulated or being controlled.
Those kind of visits to FBI offices and police stations are actually very common. I think the public doesn't realize that.
[11:50:05]But in this case, the FBI did what they should have done. Referred him to the local police, but the police don't have good options either once they have him.
They'll end up taking him to an emergency room at a regular hospital and trying to get some kind of an evaluation because many of the mental health facilities that we used to have in this country, back in the day when I was a street cop in the '70s, are gone.
And they're not, we don't have the ability for the police to put somebody into a situation where they're going to be evaluated and remain hospitalized because often the person could just check themselves out and in the case of the family, there's almost nothing a family member can do.
So this is a very tragic story yet again of someone who just didn't get treatment and couldn't be forced into long-term care.
WHITFIELD: Yes. And we understand police did take Santiago to medical health facility, where he did get evaluation, but still unclear what's happened from there.
So Harry Croft, let me bring into this because clearly you have one- on-one conversations, interaction with vets all of the time and especially those of us who come from military families know that when someone comes back from deployment, they almost immediately have access to evaluations, you know, care at the Veteran's Administration, Veteran Affairs, hospitals, et cetera.
What's your understanding about the sequence of events that could have, should have been in place for Santiago, especially after family members or people around him notice that there's behavior that's gone awry, hearing voices. The aunt saying suddenly, he just didn't seem normal.
HARRY CROFT, FORMER ARMY DOCTOR AND PSCYCHIATRIST (via telephone): First of all, thanks for having me. Over the last 25 years, I've evaluated some 8,000 vets for PTSD and now TBI. Let me start by saying, Fredricka, 2011 was when he went to Iraq. He came back and his family said he was changed.
That's not uncommon after coming back from the combat zone and/or having PTSD. And at that time, he could have, he maybe should have, been evaluated for his PTSD, but apparently, from what we know now he was not.
Now fast forward, five, six years, and he starts to hear voices, telling him to watch ISIS videos and so forth. I don't think this is PTSD. This part, no. This part, the part that where he's hearing voices, that's not part generally of PTSD.
And now, he may have had other problems, substance abuse, schizophrenia, paranoia, other concept, things that developed in the interim, and then he goes and says look, I'm a veteran and I'm having all these problems.
It's at that point, Fredricka, that we would have hoped he would have been evaluated carefully and started on treatment and certainly watched from there.
WHITFIELD: So, Mr. Croft, you're actually then revealing another big obstacle, really for the mental health community for people such as yourself. Meaning if someone doesn't know to go get care or get that kind of evaluation, that would be available, then obviously, you're not able to help that person.
So, then, that also means loved ones around Santiago or people who are experiencing similar thing, would have to step in and actually physically take them to a facility such as a VA, et cetera, to help and means family members almost being put in a position where they, too, have to identify problems and proactive, Mr. Croft?
CROFT: Part of that is correct, yes, sure. If they see it, they should do something. But I'm not sure they necessarily need to take them personally. They may be need to contact the VA, need to contact the DAV, VFW, their representative in their state, that could then get the ball started, rolling, to help that person.
Now, more recently, when he goes into law enforcement, your other guest was correct. There's a limited amount that can be done and fortunately, as you know, we're now talking a lot more about fixing the mental health system to get people help that need desperately help.
[11:55:09]And I don't know what happened once this was taken to the emergency room. I would hope he would have gotten help and be followed carefully thereafter.
WHITFIELD: Yes, and Harry Croft and Tom Fuentes, we appreciate your expertise. Again, we don't have all the answers here. We only have a little bit of information on Santiago and a little bit of information about the sequence, some of the prior sequence of events and trying to have a conversation based on that.
And of course, this means we need to have another conversation when we do get more information in detail on the history of this individual and all the potential intervention that may have been attempted that we just don't know of right now. Thanks so much, Gentlemen. Appreciate it. We'll be right back.
WHITFIELD: All right, hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
All right, pursuing all motives including terrorism. We're getting new details into the investigation into Friday's shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport plus, the identities of two of the victims. More on that in a moment.
Authorities say passenger, 26-year-old Army veteran, Esteban Santiago, pulled a gun from his checked luggage and then began firing people there at the baggage claim in the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Five were killed. Six others injured.
Three of them are fighting for their lives. Passengers began running in fear right onto the tarmac sending international travel hub into chaos. Others trapped on planes and inside the airport for hours.