Return to Transcripts main page


Authorities Give Press Conference on Texas Church Shooting; Law Enforcement: Gunman Angry at Mother-in-Law; Victims' Stories Emerging from Church Massacre; Manafort, Gates to Remain Under House Arrest; Russian Attorney: Trump Jr. Hinted U.S. Might Rethink Magnitsky Act; Paradise Papers Connect Wilbur Ross to Russia-Linked Firm. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired November 6, 2017 - 11:30   ET


[11:30:00] AUDREY GOSSETT LOUIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WILSON COUNTY, TEXAS: Everyone can help. Help by praying for these families and their loved ones. And everyone can do that.

The other thing is you can help these families financially. And so we are working and in the process of setting up two bank accounts. The Sutherland Springs Community Association has a bank account through Commerce Bank in Stockdale that will be accepting monetary donations on behalf of the families. In addition to that, Wells Fargo will have an account as well set up for the victims of Sutherland Springs. So that will be available for anyone to help.

What we do not need at this point are canned goods and nonperishable items for the families. If you want a way to help, it's through prayer and it's through financial donations. So, we appreciate you guys sharing that information.

And we are very grateful for this country and the just tremendous outpouring of support that these families are starting to receive, and we want to make sure that everybody knows how they can help.

Thank you all very much.

FREEMAN MARTIN, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Also with us today, we have two Texas Rangers majors, Cory Lane (ph) and Brian Braskinski (ph), the commanders for the investigation. So we will try to answer any of your questions you have at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What did video show and assist in the investigation?

MARTIN: Of course, the video will assist in the investigation. And, you know, it was a horrific event. And at this time, we're not prepared to talk about the video.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Director Martin, could you explain what happened after the shooting happened? Could you back up a little bit and give us a description. Reports a gas station walked up behind where you guys are sanding?

MARTIN: We know he was seen at the Valero. He was, obviously, suspicious to others. Based on the way he was dressed in all black. At that time, I'm not sure if he had the mask on or not. But he was wearing a black mask that had a white face, skull face, to it. Then he drove across the church and exited the vehicle and started the shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was he wearing body armor?

MARTIN: He was wearing a ballistic vest with a plate on the front. There was no plate on the back.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Beyond going domestic situation, you were talking about (INAUDIBLE) could you tell us a little bit more on the texts? (INAUDIBLE).

MARTIN: At this time I cannot. We know that he expressed anger towards his mother-in-law, who attends this church.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do we know if she reported its to authorities?

MARTIN: We don't.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do we know if it had anything to do with the estranged wife?

MARTIN: We can't answer that.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would the suspect continue to engage people inside the church and had it not been for the good Samaritan who stepped in.

MARTIN: We can only speculate but, you know --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you call this domestic terror?

MARTIN: Probably a better question for --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When did he buy the weapons?



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you call this domestic terror?

CHRIS COMBS, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI: At this time, we do not have a terrorism investigation open. The rangers are the lead. They have the investigation and we're supporting them.


COMBS: Chris Combs, with the FBI.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where were the weapons bought? The main weapons (INAUDIBLE)?

COMBS: So what we know is he bought four weapons in total, two of them were bought in Colorado, two of them were bought here in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When were they purchased?

COMBS: Each -- one was purchased per year in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The events (INAUDIBLE) to the church it's reported he walked up the center aisle shooting and then walked back down the center aisle shooting. Could you describe what happened there?

COMBS: The question is could you describe what happened in the church. He walked down the aisle shooting and then walked back down shooting is that correct from?

JOE TACKITT, SHERRIFF, WILSON COUNTY SHERRIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Without getting into too much detail the subject it was a -- there was some length of time that the subject spent inside that church in the shooting event. He moved around freely inside the church. I'm not going to get into exact dynamics in the church.




MARTIN: Yes. The pastor (INAUDIBLE).


MARTIN: I can only imagine what he's going through.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How many of the victims were minor?

MARTIN: We don't have all of the information. There are several that are children. Their exact ages -- yesterday we released information that the ages ranged from 5 to 73. Those were the ones being treated at the hospital. Inside the church, the deceased, actually range from 18 months to 77 years of age.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Really quick on that --


TACKITT: We will tweet follow us on Twitter please, and we will tweet something as well. We plan on having a press briefing around 7:00 this afternoon.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where did the video come from. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: There's three Academy Stores in San Antonio.

Do you know which ones the weapons were purchased?

TACKITT: We're in the going to release that information.

TACKITT: Thank you all for coming. We will brief --

MARTIN: My name is Freeman Martin. F-R-E-E-M-A-N, Martin, M-A-R-T-I- N.

With that, you all, we would like to close in prayer.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have been -- we have been listening to right there is an update from Texas officials in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on this horrific shooting. Not sure if we have the audio. We'll continue.

Some -- a lot of information coming out, none of it uplifting in any way, shape, or form. The ages of those who were killed in the church now they say was ranging from 18 months old to 77 years old. Ten people remain in critical condition in hospital. And one of the first things they said right off the bat so this number could rise.

We did earlier a lot more about maybe what was leading up to this shooting and how it played out.

Steve Moore is back with me. Art Roderick is back with me. Jonathan Wackrow here as well.

Always takes your breath away when you hear an 18-month-old was part of it, Jonathan. What stands out to you? A lot -- they told us a lot in this press conference, including that the gunman, the shooter likely may have, is the way they said it, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and he called his father on -- when he was being pursued to say he was shot and might not make it. That seems --

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes. There's a lot of unanswered questions that are coming out. But let's go to, again, what I said earlier. This individual showed up to this church with multiple weapons, body armor, tactical gear. He had a motive. What was it? Looking at possible answer the in-laws. His estranged wife. Again, in the infancy of the investigation this will start to come out and build a better, clearer profile of who this individual was.

BOLDUAN: Steve, what stands out to you in what we heard from Texas officials?

STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That it's, first of all, I was kind of devastated by the 18-month-old, too. I think that what you're going to realize here, what we're going to realize this is pretty orthodox as far as mass shooters are concerned. They have a target. They go in and they do not stop shooting until the first time somebody confronts them, and then usually they'll either flee or kill themselves. So we're finding this -- finding out it's fairly orthodox, as tragic as that sounds. I'm also, from the videos there, I'm seeing an be an external security camera at the church that might show an area in front of the church where he stood. I'd really like to see if that camera was going on. I'm more enlightened about how the attack went down that he went in and had a lot of time in it. The early accounts he was actually outside the building firing in, make no sense with the 223 because it's not really going to do much once you fire through walls.

BOLDUAN: And also not only with went in, Art, but had the ballistic vest on, wearing all black and put on a mask that had a white skull on the front of it. What's your takeaway right now.

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The black mask thing is new information. I hadn't heard that before. That shows the level of what this guy was trying to carry out. I think when it's said and done having been involved in a lot of complex investigations, and I don't mean to downplay this, but it's probably going to come down to more or less a domestic scenario.



RODERICK: I found it interesting that there was four weapons --


BOLDUAN: Hold on one second. I want to go back to Sutherland. We have parents, some family members speaking right now.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm telling everybody you lean into what you don't understand, you lean into the Lord. I would submit this to everyone, my family is here, and you guys there, but every life brings to you lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding. I don't understand. I know my God does. That's where I'll leave that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for coming.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Again, follow us on -- we will e-mail you.



[11:39:55:] BOLDUAN: We believe that somehow -- we'll get more information. These folks just came up to the camera and were sharing their thoughts. We believe they were somehow family members of some of the -- at least one of the deceased we were just, obviously, speaking about.

Art, I cut you off. Finish your thought, please.

RODERICK: Kate, I was mentioning that it's interesting that we had the ATF agent come up and talk about a purchase of weapons.


RODERICK: Over 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, that's four weapons. Only mentioned three. I'm sure the other one was back at his residence. But this is an individual that also used multiple states, as we heard during the Vegas shooting, where the individual purchased his firearms in four different states. This individual went and purchased them in Colorado and in Texas.

BOLDUAN: Also there seems to be still, even in ATF and the other officials there, still seems to be confusion, Jonathan, that they're working out. They said with all of this, in general a dishonorable discharge should not have been able to possess or purchase a firearm but still a lot of documentation and they have a lot of questions it seems themselves.

WACKROW: Absolutely. Again, we're in the infancy of the investigation. They're trying to backtrack all these weapons. We only know about these weapons that he purchased, you know, reportedly legally. We don't know if he had any other types of weapons at his house, a weapons cache, if this was a part of a larger, you know, attack. And he, obviously, was at the church and then fled. Why? That's a big question. This -- he wasn't making a final stand.

BOLDUAN: Right. Right.

WACKROW: He had body armor. He was prepared for some sort of fight with multiple weapons. Again, this will come down to, you know, ascertaining what was his true motive.

BOLDUAN: And with what -- what do you -- were they alluding to maybe what they thought was the contributing factor to why he fled, Steve, in our Texas hero, this good Samaritan that came out of his house, he lives next door. I think I heard he came out without his shoes on. John Berman speaking with someone, ran out with his gun and didn't even grab his shoes to help.

MOORE: I think whether or not the subject or whether or not Kelley had any intention of a secondary target, we're probably not going to know. As we learned from active shooter situations around the United States, when they're confronted, they usually stop shooting.

One thing I would like to put a different word in the vernacular. These guns were purchased fraudulently, not legally. He was not legally allowed to own these guns and he committed fraud to get them. So just -- I don't want to put too fine a point on it. They weren't legally purchased. They were fraudulently purchased.

BOLDUAN: Adding to the conversation.

Art, can you give me your thought on one detail that seems strange. He goes into the church, clearly with a plan. Obviously. Just look no further than the outfit he chose when he went in with weapons. He leaves, he's shot, he in the car when he's being pursued, he calls his father to say he was shot and doesn't think he's going to survive. What does that mean?

RODERICK: Yes. I mean, we've seen this in the past, unfortunately, where maybe not necessarily a phone call as the individual is dying, but generally there's a note, something left behind, an e-mail message, something on social media. This does not surprise me. I think at that particular point in time, he knew he wasn't going to make it. He was being pursued by an individual who had just shot him. He dropped his rifle, the one weapon that could have matched the good guy's weapon. I think he realized I'm going out going to say good-bye to my father.

BOLDUAN: That's one father that will faces some questions.


BOLDUAN: Face an interview now.

Steve, Art, Jonathan, thank you so very much. We learned a lot from this.


BOLDUAN: We learned a lot from the press conference.

And we have much more on the breaking news ahead.


[11:48:04] SHERRI POMEROY, WIFE OF PASTOR FRANK POMEROY WHO LOST DAUGHTER IN SHOOTING: Frank and I want to say thank you to the outpouring of love for our family from family friends and strangers.

We wanted to especially say thank you to American Airlines who took care of me from Florida, and my angel flight buddy, Chris, wherever you are.

News media have been bombarding us with requests to share and comment and appear to celebrate Belle's life. However, as much tragedy as that entails for our family, we don't want to overshadow the other lives lost yesterday. We lost more than Belle yesterday. And one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice versa. Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family. We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together, and we worshipped together. Now most of our church family is gone. Our building is probably beyond repair. And the few of us that are left behind, lost tragically yesterday.

As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family yesterday. Please don't forget Sutherland Springs.

Thank you.

FRANK POMOROY, CHURCH PASTOR WHO LOST DAUGHTER IN SHOOTING: And as the other pastor said, lift his name in Christ. Everything is in Christ.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can we get your names please?

FRANK POMOROY: Frank and Sherri Pomeroy.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Spell your last name.


[11:49:46] BOLDUAN: What you're listening to is Frank and Sherri Pomeroy, the parents of 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old girl who was killed in that shooting. The pastor, this is the pastor -- there is the picture right there of Belle Pomeroy. What you're listening to right there is Sherri also speaking about her daughter and speaking about their congregation. That is the pastor and his wife of that church that were not there yesterday when this all played out. "Most of our church family is gone," Sherri Pomeroy said, and asking for everyone's prayers.

We are learning more about victims like Belle and the other 25 victims of that massacre yesterday.

CNN's Alison Kosik is here with me now with their stories -- Alison?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kate, you think about Annabelle Pomeroy, she is 14 and her parents were not at the church. Sherri and Frank were not at the church yesterday. Still, 14-year-old Annabelle went to church. I don't know many 14-year-olds who will go to church without their parents. It says so much about who she was. So many others were lost. The visiting pastor. At least eight members of the same family, including a woman who was five months pregnant. Three of her children gunned down. Her brother-in-law, his young child. It's just amazing. That's just one family. In addition, those family members, there were three additional of the same family members who is were shot, one in the head.

One woman who lives across the street from the church said she came out when she heard the gunshots and she was there to help one of the surviving young girls who ran out of the church, apparently. Once again, she is one of the surviving members of the who died. Listen to what this woman had to say.


KATHLEEN CUNNOW, WITNESS: The first responder brought her out and brought her to me and said we don't know. Can you hold her for a minute? She had a bump on her head. She was covered in blood. I tried to get her calm. Clean her up. Luckily, one of her family members was still alive. Her aunt was on her way to the church. We are going to stop and get the family together. I will never forget those shots.


KOSIK: It's amazing that that little girl made it out alive. Anybody in the church was wounded or killed. Kate, we've learned that 12 to 14 children were in the church as the

shooting began. As we learned through the news conference, as young as 18 months old were killed -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Eighteen months old. Sherri Pomeroy saying, "Most of our church family is gone."

We are only beginning to learn the names of the victims that we will hold in our thoughts and prayers. We will be getting that information and bringing it to you as we get it.

Alison, thank you so much.

KOSIK: Sure.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.


[11:55:32] BOLDUAN: We're continuing our breaking news out of Texas.

But we want to tell you about updates we get from politics out of Washington and the Russia investigation. The president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his deputy, Rick Gates, they are in court again today to ask the judge for more lenient bail. They face 12 counts of conspiracy, money laundering and other charges.

Meantime, leaked documents, called the Paradise Papers, claim to show more links between President Trump's inner circle, this time, this time Wilbur Ross and Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle. This morning, Secretary Ross is responding. CNN's Cristine Alesci is joining me in a moment with more on the Paradise Papers.

Let's go to CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider, first, where Manafort and Gates faced a judge again today.

Jessica, what do we know?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A bit of a blow to the defense team here. The judge ordering that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates must remain under house arrest for at least another month. The federal judge saying that's because of a lack of details in their financial disclosures. There are questions as to the financial net worth as well as what their assets might be worth, or property might be worth as it pertains in collateral on their bond. The judge here saying she will see them back in court on December 11th. Their attorneys had argued for eased restrictions against them last Monday. Their lawyers wanted less restrictions and wanted to be able to get around to different states. The judge saying she will reconsider in about one month. They could be eased and both men remain under House arrest -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: There is also a new report on that now infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr who was hunting direct on Hillary Clinton coming straight from Russian officials? SCHNEIDER: That's right. An interview in "Bloomberg News," they

talked to the Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer who was at the helm of that infamous Trump Tower meeting in June of 2016. Veselnitskaya releasing new details. She says that Donald Trump Jr actually talked about the Magnitsky Act, the 2012 legislation that imposed sanctions on certain Russian official who were accused in the murder of a Russian lawyer and human rights abuses. That was something we had not heard before. Veselnitskaya disclosing that Donald Trump Jr allegedly said that if his father did take office, did take the presidency, they would reconsider the Magnitsky Act. That's something we had not heard from Donald Trump Jr before. When he had to disclose this last summer, he said the meeting had been about adoptions and the fact that he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Interestingly, Kate, Veselnitskaya also saying in this interview she would be willing to talk to Special Counsel Mueller's team. She also says she'd be willing to be questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee only if the answers are made public, something the committee has not previously agreed to -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Stand by for more on that.

Great to see you, Jessica. Thank you so much.

Now let's get to these Paradise Papers.

Cristina Alesci is here with me right now.

Millions of pages of documents. Tell us what we are learning.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: The Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, is in the headlines. These papers made a clear connection between one of the companies he owns, a shipping company, called Navigator, and Russian elites. Look, Kate, we knew that Wilbur Ross had an investment in Navigator. It's all over his financial disclosure forms, which are some of the most complicated I have seen. What we didn't know is this company's main customers were Russians with deep ties to Putin, specifically, Putin's son-in-law. Because of this, lawmakers are demanding more transparency. They're saying, look, the administration misled us in these confirmation hearings, they should have been more up front about their financial entanglements with any Russians, given the backdrop of all of the investigations both on the Hill and the special investigation.

BOLDUAN: Wilbur Ross, for his part, says, nothing is "there" there, I disclosed it, and that's what I said.


BOLDUAN: Great to see you, Cristina. Thank you so much

Thank you all so much for joining us AT THIS HOUR. We'll have much more on our coverage of the tragedy in a small Texas town, 26 people killed worshipping in church yesterday.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now. [12:00:06] JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thank you, Kate.

Welcome to INSPIDE POLITICS. I'm John King. Thank you for sharing your day with us. And quite a sad day it is.