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Gunman Opened Fire At A Church In Sutherland Springs, Texas. Aired 7:00-8:00p ET
Aired November 5, 2017 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:00] JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: -- very easy if they have a name now, they go and look up and see if there's a DD 214 which is the government document that shows military service and go back and find out whether or not the fact that he was dressed in all black, the fact that he acted tactically was something he had done because he had military service.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: James Gagliano, Cheryl Dorsey, thank you both.
It is the top of the hour and you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
CABRERA: We are following breaking news. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for joining us.
If you are just tuning in a very tragic night in the U.S. Twenty-six people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a church in Texas. This happened in Sutherland Spring. The tiny community described as a one blinking polite kind of town. Thirty miles east of San Antonio. And tonight, there is a massive crime scene there. Officials say the gunman was dressed in all black, armed with a 223 rifle when he attacked the first Baptist church. He fired multiple shots in victims who range in age from five to 72 years old. CNN has confirmed one of those victims who killed in this tragedy is the pastor's 14-year-old daughter.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott becoming emotional as he described the magnitude of this tragedy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS: As a state we are dealing with the largest mass shooting in our state's history. There's so many families who have lost family members, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, the tragedy, of course, is worsened by the fact that it occurred in a church, a place of worship, where these people were innocently gunned down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Twenty-six lives lost. We are told the shooter died after a brief chase into a neighboring county. Still no word on a motive but we are getting new information about how the attack unfolded. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREEMAN MARTIN, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: At approximately 11:20 this morning, a suspect was scene at Lero (ph) gas station in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He was dressed in all black. The suspect crossed the street to the church. Exited his vehicle and began firing at the church. The suspect then moved to the right side of the church and continued to fire. That suspect entered the church and continued to fire.
As he exited the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect. The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Rueger AR assault type rifle and fled from the church. Our local citizen pursued the suspect at that time. A short time later as law enforcement responded, that suspect right at the Wilson county line he ran off the roadway and crashed out and was found deceased in his vehicle.
At that time - at this time we don't know if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by his local resident who engaged him in gun fire. We know this deceases in the vehicle. The suspect has not been completely identified. He was a young male. Dressed in all black tactical type gear and was wearing a ballistic vest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Now President Trump has been briefed on this situation. He is in Japan. He offered his prayers and support. We know he called Governor Greg Abbott. We are expecting to hear from the President at any moment.
In the meantime, I want to bring in CNN's Kaylee Hartung.
And Kaylee, what more are we learning now about the victims?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, for one, we have a number, 26 dead. We know the age ranges from five to 72 years old. Among them, 23 people were shot inside First Baptist church. The gunman shot two people outside of the church and one person was transported to a nearby hospital and died there.
This number 26 dead in what is the largest mass shooting in Texas's history, Ana. As we have mentioned, we have one I.D. of one of the victims that would be the 14-year-old daughter of first Baptist church's pastor and we will be standing by to learn more about those. As officials explained, their top priority right now is the victims' families as this is still an active and a complex crime scene inside first Baptist church. The process of I.D.ing the victims and sharing that information with the families is an arduous one and one that will take time.
CABRERA: Kaylee, the FBI is on scene, the ATF, Texas rangers, all assisting local officials. What are you learning about the investigation?
HARTUNG: Well, the investigation as we heard from officials in this press conference is going to take some time. Again, the first known location of that shooter at 11:20 this evening when he was seen at a gas station just across the street wearing that all black gear, officials not ready to share a name of the suspect with us as the car that he was found in deceased is part of this investigation. They say there were multiple weapons inside that vehicle that he fled the church with when he was chased by a local resident who pulled out his own rifle.
So we will be, again, standing by for more information to learn the I.D. of this suspect. And as I have had locals in this community express to meet, their fears that it will be someone they know because this is such a tight knit community. Officials keeping a lot of cards in this investigation very close to the vest as it continues. And you can only imagine that one very important piece of this investigation could be video from inside the church for the last three years.
This church has recorded its services and posted it on their You Tube channel. Let's show this video with the disclaimer that this was a video taken a week ago in last Sunday's church service but it gives you an idea of the scene inside first Baptist church any other Sunday.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
[19:06:11] HARTUNG: Again, this video from last Sunday's church service at First Baptist Church. They have been posting these videos on their You Tube channel for three years, Ana. So there is every reason to believe that today they would have been recording this Sunday morning service and that that video could be of great help to investigators.
CABRERA: Kaley Hartung, you will stay on top of the investigation for us. Thank you for that report.
I want to bring in our two law enforcement analysts who have been here with us, James Galliano, a retired FBI supervisory agent and Cheryl Dorsey who is with the LAPD retired sergeant.
Sheryl, I'll start with you. We are learning a lot about exactly what unfolded but we don't know a lot about the suspect, only that he is a white male believed to be in his early 20s according to the officials. They don't know even if he was from inside or outside the community. They were asked that question and they couldn't answer just yet. What would be the key questions you want answered about him right now?
CHERYL DORSEY, RETIRED LAPD POLICE SERGEANT: Well, you know, we want to know if he's a resident or if he's in a congregant, right? To know that this service was 30 minutes into the service and you know how sometimes noisy church service can be with singing and praise and worship, to think that he waited 30 minutes and to come dressed the way that he was dressed, having more than one weapon means that this was very deliberate, that this was something he had given some thought to and there was no sense of urgency in terms of him committing this act and then trying to flee. And so this is very troubling. I think it's very personal and I will be very interested to hear what his connection is to that church.
CABRERA: James, they made very clear we don't know a motive yet. GAGLIANO: Yes. Motive is critical again for us trying to look
forward and try to prevent something like this. Again, we can speculate on to a whole host of things. Could it have been somebody that was mentally imbalanced? Could it be someone that had a grievance and just was triggered and just committed an unspeakable act of depravity? Could that be it? Could it be an act of terrorism? Could he have been doing this inspired by or directed by someone else? Could it have been a copycat? A number of different things.
I think another interesting thing that I took away from the press conference, I was listening with a third ear, if you will. The representative from the department of public safety, now they are over the Texas rangers, pointed out that it was an assault rifle, OK. Now there's a difference between automatic rifle which means you pull the trigger one time and it just let's bullets fly. To an assault style rifle which can be a semi-automatic rifle like the Rueger that he described, that has a detachable magazine, barrel strap, it could have a flashy presser (ph) on it, but you could still just fire it semi- automatically.
Now understanding that type of weapon, this shooter could have had 20 or 30 round magazines. To do that much damage and that much cause that much carnage, again, going back to my point earlier, 680 people in the entire town, 27 are dead now. That number could rise with the number of people that are critical right now. That is four percent of the population of that town that were taken out in the shooting. Horrific.
CABRERA: No kidding. And now we know the victims range in age from five to 72 years old. It was unclear to me if that included just the people who were killed or if that was everybody, including those who were injured. And at least eight people we know are fighting for their lives at one of the hospitals.
We did hear one of the officials talk about how the San Antonio hospitals are coordinating patient care so that suggests that there are multiple victims who were we know life plighted there, many of them. We also saw a lot of ambulances on scene there.
But Cheryl, when you hear just the age range of the victims, does that tell you that this is a shooter who was indiscriminate in terms of who he shot?
[19:10:10] DORSEY: Absolutely you know. He came there with the specific intent of doing harm without any regard to age, sex, if you will. He came there to inflict great carnage and that's exactly what he did.
You know, as I'm listening, as a mom, right, because this breaks my heart. I could not imagine sending my child to church and then finding out later that this kind of event occurred, but as a mother with young sons, I'm wondering what his parents might think or know about what he was doing in the days that led up to this, were these weapons maintained at home? Was there anything going on in his personality that should have been given them pause? Did he utter something or act in a way that was very different in the days leading up to this? I mean, there's so much that we don't know.
CABRERA: We do know, according to police, this is a young man, somebody in his 20s they believe.
Cheryl, does that strike you given when we see some of these killers that we have covered in the past, these mass killers. That sounds familiar?
DORSEY: Well, he certainly seems to fit the profile, if you will. A young man with issues, why, we don't know, access to guns that, you know, I don't know why a young 20 something would have at least as its reported more than one weapon. And again as a mother, I'm the kind of person, I joke and say, I keep a search warrant, right. I go in my kids' room all the time when they were living with me. And so, I don't know how you do this and how you amass this kind of weaponry if you live with your parents and they know nothing of it. It's very troubling to me.
GAGLIANO: And I'll just differ from my colleague here respectfully and say. I don't take issue to the fact - he is in Texas and he can own as many as weapons as he wants, if he's a hunter or a shooter or gun enthusiast, you know. The second amendment's been around since 1771. We understand utility of it. My question is going to be, were these weapons legally owned? Did he have a felony conviction which would have precluded him from owning? Did he have any mental issues in his past that were precluded him? Had he been arrested for a number of different narcotics distribution investigation or cases, which would have precluded him and finally, was he dishonorable discharged from the military?
Those are all things that preclude a U.S. citizen second amendment or not from owning a weapon. I want to know was he lawfully and legally able to obtain those. And if he wasn't, where the heck did he get them from.
CABRERA: James Gagliano and Cheryl Dorsey, thank you. Please stand by.
Coming up, we will take you live to Tokyo where any minute the President is set to make his first public comment since this deadly shooting in Texas. Stay with us.
[19:16:59] CABRERA: Any minute now, President Trump will speak out publicly for the first time since today's mass shooting in a small town in Texas. Inside a church. Right now the President is in Tokyo. We have live pictures from inside the U.S. embassy in Japan where the President is expected to meet with business leaders, this is also where we expect him to make his comments. This is the first leg of this historic trip to Asia. Tragedy back home may quickly change the narrative as you can imagine. Trump was expected to focus on trade and the North Korea threat during today's question and answer session, and then a gunman dressed in all black opened fire inside a church in Sutherland spring, Texas. At least 26 people are dead. We do know the President has spoken with Texas governor Greg Abbott. I want to go live to Tokyo and CNN's Jim Acosta, senior White House
Jim, before today's mass shooting we expected to hear President Trump talk about North Korea and the nuclear situation or his views on the international economic policies but now he will likely be facing questions on another mass shooting back in the U.S.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. And we are waiting for the President to start speaking here in just the next few moments. We know the first lady, Melania Trump, has entered the room there. And we do expect the President to touch on topics that he was planning to touch on such as trade and potentially North Korea. You know, the President was an opponent of the transpacific partnership that was initiated by the Obama administration, pulled the U.S. out of that. So I suspect that the President will get into those kinds of comments during the course of this event with U.S. and Japanese business leaders.
But the real question here, Ana, is whether in the next fuel minutes we do hear the President touch on that tragic situation down in Texas, some 26 people have lost their lives there and one of the issues that is going to be confronting the President on this foreign trip across Asia is whether or not he is pressed on this issue of gun control. You will recall after the Las Vegas mass shooting about a month ago the President was telling reporters at that time he didn't really want to get into the issue of gun control and so --
CABRERA: Jim, I'm going to stop you there because the President is now speaking.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you for representing so well the interest of the American people in Japan and the incredible relationship that you have with Japan. We really appreciate. You are doing a very fantastic job. We very much appreciate it. Thank you.
Let me begin today by addressing the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of today's (INAUDIBLE) this act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they -- broken but in dark times and these are -- such as these Americans do what they do best, we pull together.
We join hands, we lock arms and through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh, so strong.
My administration will provide its full support to the great state of Texas and all local authorities investigating this horrible crime. I have spoken just a few minutes ago with Governor Abbott and we offer our thanks to the first responders, the FBI, all of the many people involved, both federal and otherwise. Ultimately, they stopped the suspect and render immediate lifesaving aid to certain victims of the shooting. I will continue to follow the developments closely. All of America is
praying to God to help the wounded and the families of the victims. We will never, ever leave their side, ever.
With that being said, we are here today in Japan with one of our closest and most cherished allies. Through bad times and good times, through rain and through shine, I want to thank --
[19:22:13] CABRERA: OK. Obviously technical problems right now with the satellite feed. This is a pool feed so you are getting what everybody else is getting, unfortunately. It froze there as the President continued to address the nation, to address also the region as he is visiting Japan and many other countries along this 13 day Asian trip. I think we have a little bit more now. I think - we have reestablished, guys, is that correct?
TRUMP: She has become a very popular first lady, I can tell you that. Whenever I speak they have hundreds of signs out in the audience, we love our first lady, which is so true. Thank you.
And our warmest admiration for this ancient cultures and its customs are ancient and it's terrific. Over the weekend, Ivanka attended the world assembly --
CABRERA: OK. We will continue to monitor the President's remarks as he is, again, continuing on his trip and will be meeting with the leaders there in this region including Japanese leaders, the leader of South Korea, other leaders as well along the way including Vladimir Putin who he will meet later this week.
I do want to bring you some new information we are getting into the investigation into this deadly mass shooting here in the U.S. We have now been able to confirm from two law enforcement sources who were briefed on this investigation, the name and the identity of this shooter.
They are identifying him at Devon Patrick Kelly, age 26. Again the man they say who opened fire inside this small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas today killing 26 people and wounding dozens of others.
I want to go back to Jim Acosta who is traveling with the President on his overseas trip.
Jim, we just heard from the President now addressing this mass shooting. And he called it an act of evil and asked for prayers.
ACOSTA: That's right. He called it an act of evil, called for prayers. Said he could not imagine the suffering that is happening right now in that small Texas town where mass shooting took place. And the President now making some other remarks that essentially getting back on the script of dealing with trade and North Korea and these other regional issues that he will be dealing with over the course of this trip to Asia.
But Ana, I think this is just demonstrates what the President is up against when it comes to this issue of these mass shootings. Keep in mind the President was dealing with this just a month ago. I was with him in Las Vegas when he was visiting the victims, the wounded who had survived that mass shooting in Las Vegas in a hospital in that city. And the President at that time was telling reporters, you know, I'm just here to comfort the wounded, to meet with the people who are suffering in all of this. We are going to talk about this issue of gun safety later on.
You know, that discussion just never took place, Ana. It did not happen. And so here we go again, another one of the most deadly shootings in U.S. history has occurred only a month or so later after that mass shooting and violence that unfolded in Las Vegas. And so, my guess is, Ana, is that when the President holds a news conference later on this afternoon with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he is very, very likely to be asked this question just when is a good time, just when is the right time for the President to take on this issue or is he content as others who support the second amendment with very little restrictions? Are they content with the status quo? Is this just the way it's going to be and we are just going to have to deal as a country with these mass shootings exploding every month or so and having to deal with the consequences? Is that -- is that the status quo? Is that the new normal that the President is comfortable with? My guess is at some point if not today in the very near future, he is going to be asked this question.
Now, after he spends the rest of the day here in japan, he is expected to spend the night and then get on a plane and head to South Korea, where as you know, Ana, he has some big issues to deal with over there, namely the nuclear crisis with North Korea and just how he plans on dealing with that crisis.
That crisis, that problem becoming so massive for him and his administration as he told reporters yesterday, he now wants to meet with the Russian President Vladimir Putin during this 13-day trip across Asia. It's likely to happen at the APEC summit in Vietnam later on this week just to deal with this issue of North Korea and try to get a handle on how to deal with the dictator there, Kim Jong-un.
But make no mistake, having been on these foreign trips a number of times, Ana, this is one of those episodes that you just can't predict, that a White House, that a President cannot prepare for. They simply happen. And it is going to be striking I think to see how the President deals with all of this because as we were just saying a few moment ago, these mass shootings seem to be happening on a more regular basis, just too frequent for too many Americans to stomach at this point, Ana.
[19:27:20] CABRERA: It is the second mass shooting in just over a month. And of course, the third major tragedy facing the U.S. in just the past 35 days with the terror attack that happened in New York City less than a week ago as well. This is a nation in mourning tonight.
Thank you, Jim Acosta, again, traveling in Tokyo with the President as he begins his trip to Asia.
We are going to take a quick break. Stay with us. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[19:32:10] CABRERA: We are continuing to follow breaking news out of Sutherland Spring, Texas at southeast Texas, a small community now shaken by a huge tragedy. Twenty-six people killed today in a mass shooting, the largest mass shooting in Texas state history according to Governor Abbott today who just briefed us a short time ago and confirmed that 26 people lost their lives. We now know one of those victims was a 14-year-old, the daughter of the pastor of this church.
And joining us on the phone is another pastor who is in the nearby community, Pastor Mike Clements. He is pastor of First Baptist church in Floresville, Texas.
Pastor Clements, thank you so much for spending time with us, first of all. Our condolences to you, to the people of Texas, to your community and you personally as I know you knew the pastor, you know the pastor and his family. Have you had pay chance to speak with them?
PASTOR MIKE CLEMENTS, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH (on the phone): No. Pastor Frank was not here today. He was out of town. And so he was not even in the church service today. So he is making his way back to Sutherland Springs as we speak.
CABRERA: My God. It is so heartbreaking to hear that his 14-year-old daughter is among the victims. What's going through your mind tonight?
CLEMENTS: I have never been through anything like this before. I have been a pastor for 27 years he. A lot of things have happened to people in ministry and trying to help people, but I have never been in a situation where you had 20 something people that have died in the same event and many of them children. And it's just -- it's heartbreaking as you see the families here.
But, you know, we're trying to pull together. We are praying for each other. And the governor just came in and gave us a wonderful talk and trying to encourage us and encourage us to not only pull together but to trust the Lord too as he had to do when he went through his experience in being a paraplegic. And I know that everyone was very encouraged with his words. But it's very difficult.
In some respects, my prayers for others as I pray for them, it feels kind of shallow because I don't know that I have the words or anybody has the words that can -- that can help someone in the immediate moment as they lost someone who was very dear to them in a very tragic way. But having said that, I think just by being here having a presence, not only the minsters but many of the friends and the neighbors, I think that helps.
[19:35:00] CABRERA: Did you know any of the victims personally?
CLEMENTS: I did, yes. I did.
CABRERA: Can you tell us about them? We want to honor their lives. CLEMENTS: Yes. You know, I hesitate to do that because they told us,
you know, please wait for the official --
CABRERA: I understand. I understand.
CLEMENTS: Documentation of that, so.
CABRERA: Officially, the law enforcement officials say that the victims range in age from five to 72 years old. We are now learning the identity of a gunman now identified as Devon Patrick Kelly, age 26. Did you know him?
CLEMENTS: No, I did not.
CABRERA: Tell us about this town and this community.
CLEMENTS: Well, Sutherland Springs, it's a little town. We have got about five little towns in our county and it's a neat little place. It's a pretty little place. And the people, they go to church, I know a lot of them. We go to camp together where we take our boys and girls in the summertime. So I know the guys that and the ladies that take the kids to camp, who give of their time, give their vacation time so they can help kids who probably never get to shoot a bow and arrow. They don't get to fish. They don't get to swim in the river. A lot of times with their family, but they go to camp and they provide not only the means to do that but the monetary means to do that.
So the church is a church that really loves people. They are not a wealthy church, you know. It's a smaller church but they have always been willing to, as far as I have known, to share with whatever they have, with people who need help. And you see, boy, even right now, they are just loving people and trying to help the best that they can.
CABRERA: What more can you tell us about the congregation?
CLEMENTS: Just people -- of course, today they were just people who went to church with their families, just trying to worship the Lord and enjoy singing and they were about to listen, from what I understand, to the scripture and how to become a better Christian, how to become a better person, how to love your neighbor, how to love the lord, they were fixing to listen to that and they were just sitting there with their little kids, their moms and dads, all of that and then this happened today and who can explain it, you know?
CABRERA: I know. It's so hard to put words into how we are all feeling and to try to make sense of this situation when we were listening to the briefing with law enforcement officials. We learned that there was a very brave citizen, a neighbor of the church who heard the gunshots and apparently grabbed his own rifle and came to confront the shooter who fled the church and this individual pursued the shooter. We know the shooter was found dead in his car when law enforcement reached to him. Still unclear exactly how he died. Do you know anything about this heroic citizen?
CLEMENTS: No, I don't. I don't know anything. I really didn't know and still don't much about the event as I have been kind of on the end of just trying to help people work through the problem itself and the aftermath.
CABRERA: And what are people saying? How is this community doing?
CLEMENTS: Really and truly, I think they are pretty much in shock. They are trying to normalize their lives a little bit as they're drinking water. They are having a piece of pizza. That kind of thing in the community center, you know. A lot of people have come to bring food and drink just to help them through it. But they are -- a lot of them are sitting there kind of on pins and needles kind of waiting to see what the authorities are going to tell them about their loved one because they don't know. So they are - there are some sobriety, a lot of that probably here.
CABRERA: Pastor Mike Clements, thank you very much, we appreciate your time. Thoughts and prayers are with you and everybody in that region tonight.
CLEMENTS: You're so welcome and thank you for calling.
CABRERA: Thank you.
Much more ahead. Up next we will talk with a former FBI special agent about the federal response to the shooting, so stay with us. This is a special CNN live coverage.
[19:44:04] CABRERA: We have an update on the tragic breaking news story we have been telling you about this evening. Texas governor Greg Abbott now says at least 26 people have been killed in a shooting during a church service in the small rural community of Sutherland springs, Texas. It happened at first Baptist church. The pastor and his wife were not at the church today, but sadly they tell us their 14-year-old daughter as one of the 26 people killed in what the governor is calling the worse mass shooting in Texas history.
CNN legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa is joining us now.
So Asha, the FBI we know is already on scene at this mass shooting. The ATF, they are working with the Texas rangers, local officials as well as they start this investigation. What would they be looking at right now?
ASHA RANGAPPA, FORMER SPECIAL AGENT, FBI: Right now the FBI is going to be providing investigative support. They are going to be using their national databases, their ability to check things like where this person may have traveled, what contents they had to additional -- to basically expand the resources that the state has in order to track this.
The ATF would be there also because there is a weapon involved to trace the weapon, to see whether this was something that was obtained legally, all of this is going to help paint a picture of what led to this. And the FBI will also be interested in the motive for this crime. It
did take place in a church. And because of that there could be certain federal hate crime statutes that could be triggered depending on what they learn about why the shooter went in and did this. And there are even statutes specifically about being able to freely practice religion and criminalizing people who have obstruct that. Now that would have to be his motive for those to be prosecuted but they may be interested in seeing whether that was at play here.
[19:45:50] CABRERA: And from a legal perspective, since you are an expert in that world as well. I mean, they aren't calling this terrorism. They aren't calling this a hate crime. What would lead to that categorization?
RANGAPPA: Right. So, you know, when something tragic like this happens, whether it was in Las Vegas or here, this is murder. And murder is generally a state crime. For something to be categorized as terrorism and to get to this, you know, federal bucket that triggers all kinds of investigative capacities, certain things need to be present.
For one thing, if there's an international connection, if there's a connection to a group abroad, even if it's someone here radicalized by an electrical group, that could become international terrorism. And here, even if someone is motivated by an extremist ideology within the United States, it's typically not going to be characterized as terrorism unless, say, they use a bomb. Legally that's considered a weapon of mass destruction, so we know with Timothy McVeigh that was considered an act of terrorism or a federal facility. But mass shootings are not enshrined in our law if they take place domestically as a terrorist act with no national connection as a terrorist acts. So.
CABRERA: So here is what we do know about the weapons that were used in this shooting. We heard from the federal -- or the investigator on scene the regional director of DPS, department of public safety describe an AR rifle. We have learned through sources who were talking to Evan Perez that this is a 223 rifle and there are additional firearms found in his car. ATF agents are also on the scene. Does the type of weapon matter in terms of this investigation?
RANGAPPA: Definitely matter because it will be traced to how he got it, what were the channels that this person obtained it, were they obtained legally? And I think from a broader perspective, there may need to be a conversation about the kinds of weapons or magazines, all of these things that can go into mass casualties in a short period of time.
But all of this is going to be data to determine exactly how this was planned and executed and how much of it with through legal channels and that will determine some of the response.
CABRERA: We have now learned the suspect is 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley. He is dead. We don't know if he shot and killed himself or if he was killed by this citizen who apparently grabbed his rifle and then pursued the suspect and this killer. Investigators seem to be holding a lot close to the vest even when it
comes to the suspect. They didn't come out in this press conference and reveal the name but clearly they have a name. Is there a reason to keep it so close to their chest?
RANGAPPA: Well, if they think that there may be connections if this was planned with potentially other people who knew about it, they are going to want to keep a little bit tighter until they uncover exactly the extent of it. Now it could be that this was a person -- this was what they call a lone Wolf, somebody that spontaneously acted alone but really no one knew what was happening.
But in the initial stages like this, I think it's normal for law enforcement to want to keep these cards close to the chest until they know more about him and his contacts.
CABRERA: And we also know that this shooter was dressed in tactical gear and ballistics vest. Does that indicate planning?
RANGAPPA: That to me tells me that this was something that was planned. Obviously, that's not someone who rolls out of bed and suddenly has, you know, a moment of craziness and goes out. This is somebody who clearly saw this as kind of some belligerent act that they were got dressed up for and prepared for. And again, that goes back to why law enforcement may take some time to actually reveal who this person is because if it was planned they are going to want to go back and look through and see how much of that plan they can piece together in order to determine how this all took place.
CABRERA: OK, Asha Rangappa, thank you so much. We really do appreciate your expertise on this.
Joining us now on the phone is Sheriff Joe Tackitt of Wilson County, the county where this church is located.
Sheriff, we know that this is a busy night for you there. Thank you for spending some time with us. Reports are circulating about the gunman's identity. Can you confirm the shooter's name? Can you tell us that his name, Devin Patrick Kelley?
[19:50:14] SHERIFF JOE TACKITT, WILSON COUNTY (on the phone): I don't have --
TACKITT: I don't have the shooter's name at this time.
CABRERA: OK. Was he from the area? Can you tell us that? Did he have a connection to this church?
TACKITT: We don't think he had any type of connection to this church.
CABRERA: You don't think he had any type of connection --
TACKITT: Yes, he was not from this immediate area.
CABRERA: What do you think brought him there? Have you been able to put together any pieces as far as that goes?
TACKITT: No, not at this time.
We learned at the press conference the shooter was wearing all black, tactical gear, a ballistic vest giving the impression that this was planned. Any idea as far as a motive goes?
TACKITT: No, we have no motive, so. He was seen before at the convenience store across the area, and the call my office got was that there was an active shooter in the church. I mean, there wean, there was no indication anything was going on until we got the call he was in the church.
CABRERA: So you are saying there was no warning.
TACKITT: There was no warning.
CABRERA: Where does the investigation stand right now?
TACKITT: Well, they are still investigating everything that we have there. We have not identified any of the victims at this time. But so far, they are trying to get family members and friends to get us photos and, you know, write the name of the person on the photos. So we'll know a little bit more. I mean, right now, there's no way especially the youngest people, because they don't have identification on them, to know who they are. So we're just waiting now to see if we can get the photos and stuff when we go in and try to take out the bodies, what we're going to have to have.
TACKITT: To identify these people.
CABRERA: So as you are working on that part of the investigation, just to identify who the victims are, obviously this is a very big investigation. There are a lot of resources --
TACKITT: Oh, yes.
CABRERA: -- now on the scene who are helping out.
TACKITT: We got a lot of resources.
CABRERA: ATF, to the FBI, to the Texas rangers we learned. A law enforcement source is telling CNN that the shooter used a 223 rifle. Do you know was it a semiautomatic weapon?
TACKITT: I don't know at this time if it was semi or totally automatic.
CABRERA: This church recorded its services. Was this service being recorded at the time of the shooting?
TACKITT: Yes, I think it was being recorded. But the person that was recording it, he was taken to the hospital.
CABRERA: The person who was recording it was taken to the hospital?
CABRERA: Oh, my.
TACKITT: He was not shot, but he was taken to the hospital.
CABRERA: I understand a neighbor confronted the gunman.
CABRERA: Can you tell us more about him?
TACKITT: Well, he was across the street. He heard the shots. He got his weapon. He went outside and the shooter dropped his rifle at the time and got in his vehicle and took off. And we still don't know at this time until the medical examiner examines his body whether he was shot by the neighbor or not.
CABRERA: Do you believe it was that neighbor, though, who stopped the shooting?
TACKITT: Well, he was coming out of the church, is our understanding, so he was probably fixing to leave. And at that point, the neighbor engaged with him. I think he had more than one weapon on him.
CABRERA: I know you are still working to identify the victims, but we do know --
CABRERA: -- that the youngest was just five years old. And can you tell us any more about this congregation, who these victims are, without even having to identify them specifically?
TACKITT: No, I can't give you any of that.
CABRERA: OK. Tell us about your town. I keep hearing -- it's a place where everybody knows everybody. People don't worry about locking their doors.
TACKITT: Pretty much. You know, but you just never know this day and time, you know, what will happen out there. You know, it's just very unfortunate, you know, for a man to walk into a church and start firing.
[19:55:10] CABRERA: Sheriff Joe Tackitt. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. Please continue.
TACKITT: OK. Just at this time, we have -- we don't know any reason why the guy came to Sutherland springs church, and, you know, opened fire. We just don't have any -- I mean, the suspect is dead. CABRERA: OK. Sheriff Joe Tackitt, thank you, again, for your time
and thank you for sharing.
CABRERA: What you could with us.
TACKITT: All right.
CABRERA: We do appreciate it. We'll continue to --
CABRERA: -- think about your community and pray for you all.
TACKITT: OK. Thank you.
CABRERA: Thanks again. We are back in just a moment. Stay with us on CNN.