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17 Dead, 15 Hospitalized In Florida High School Massacre; Cyril Ramaphosa Sworn In As South African President. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired February 15, 2018 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[10:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .some of my classmates, they did not know if they are leaving school alive.
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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. President Donald Trump is there to address his nation in the wake of one of America's worst school shooting.
The massacre has left 17 people many of them teenage dead on the Florida high school. We will have the latest investigators begin their search for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I declare (inaudible) Ramaphosa duly elected president of the republic of South Africa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: A new leader and a new era for South Africa, still Ramaphosa promises to not disappoint his people. Coming up we are live in Cape Town.
Hello and welcome to connect the world I am Robyn Curnow in Atlanta. Sadly we begin in the U.S. the country in mourning after a yet another deadly
school shooting. Now this time at a High School in Parkland Florida, the city named the safest in the state last year. 17 people were killed in a
gunman opened fire in a semiautomatic rifle just before school is out on Wednesday. The massacre now ranks among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in
modern U.S. history. The suspect, a 19-year-old former student is in custody and due to appear in court in the coming hours and that he been
charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Well CNN Rosa Flores has the latest on the investigation and we must warn her reports does contain
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Terrifying moments unfolding inside this Florida high school a gunman brandishing an AR 15 style semi-automatic
weapon opening fire killing at least 17.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were tears there was crying some of my classmates and not know if they are leaving the school alive.
FLORES: The chaos erupting minutes before the end of this day when the fire alarm sounded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The shooter wear a gasmask and he had smoke grenades, he went and sent off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of
the classrooms into the hall. There the carnage began.
FLORES: Students and teachers confused, because only hours earlier they had done a fire drill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was a joke and then the gunshots came out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard screaming, I heard about five, six gunshots, we thoughts they were fire crackers.
FLORES: Faculty quickly alerting the school that an active shooting was underway some students running for their lives others hiding under desk
sending frantic text messages to their loved ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said at 2:38, someone is hurt at the third floor of the 1200 building, we can hear him crying and praying.
FLORES: One teacher hiding with 19 students inside a closet for nearly an hour.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are just praying, praying, and praying it was the scariest time of my life.
FLORES: Police desperately attempting to locate the shooter.
This video shows students huddling on the floor when the SWAT team arrives. Outside first responders rushing to help the injured while anxious parents
waited to be reunited with their children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was real, it was really real.
FLORES: Over an hour after the shooting began police arrested the suspect in a neighboring city after he fled the scene by trying to blend in with
the crowd, the 19-year-old former student had been expelled for disciplinary reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had been kick out of private school, he was held back twice, he had aspirations on the military, he enjoyed hunting, and he
was very quiet and strange.
FLORES: Investigators now looking for answers in the suspects online post, police uncovering these disturbing images of the suspect on Instagram
showing him brandishing a knife and holding what appears to be a BB gun in another photo a target riddled with bullet holes.
CURNOW: Rosa Flores reporting there now. President Trump is scheduled to address the country on the shooting in the coming hour we will take that
live when he does now earlier ago he did take to twitter to highlight reports about the government's mental state saying they were many times
that he had problems well. Mr. Trump also twitted condolences after the massacre and ordered flags to be lowered half-staff.
[10:05:00] CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes joins me now from Washington with more, Tom always good to see you, but every time we speak
it's about a mass shooting the last time we chatted on air was doing Vegas, I mean what do you say that a enforcement officer on a day like today
TOM FUENTES, CNN'S SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST AND FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I noticed sounds terrible to say this but almost like here we go
again, yet again another massacre in the United States involving assault rifles and individuals that are mentally ill and you know all of the
systems that fail to allow the student to happen and continue to happen.
CURNOW: Which means that this will potentially happen again I lost track of an extraordinary amount of school shootings just in the here in alone
and where only in February, why a school so vulnerable?
FUENTES: Well one of the reason is that they are so wide open and it's almost impossible to completely lock down the school it's prohibitively
expensive to put down, you put enough magnetometers security officers to have that kind of control on every entrance of every school you would need
millions of these machines nationwide to be able to do something like that and then we have frankly idiots that run our systems that say ok work I
have off duty or retired police officers as school safety officers, but not allow them to carry guns. All you're doing with that is saying ok evidence
or happens go sacrifice yourself is nothing here to really be able to do about it walking around without even having a weapon of your own, so I
think that that we've got to take a look at the whole system we don't just have school shootings, but we have them actually the preschool, Elementary
school, high school, college we have a Minsk movie theaters which have multiple venues.
CURNOW: Let us not forget churches.
FUENTES: Churches so anywhere, shopping malls anywhere that people gather no matter what age they are there are going to be mentally ill people that
are going to attack them somehow, somewhere and we make it very easy in this country we don't -- unlike most of the countries of the world which
banned civilians from owning assault rifle, body armor, gas mask, grenades, armor piercing bullets, magazines with large capacity that's almost illegal
everywhere on earth except in the United States so and here you have to actually be judged in a court mentally ill to not be able to buy a weapon
or convicted of a felony not just arrested or accused. So when people are tweeting these messages, you know that they're going to do a bad thing and
it gets reported to the FBI or to the local police and they go to talk to the person who put the morning out and see what they know about the
individual posting the message and then I usually go talk to the person posting the message, but that's about as far as they can take it.
They don't have the ability to lock that person up for thinking bad thoughts or saying bad things that are specific like that and it certainly
can't take the gun away can't take or prohibit them from buying guns in the future even though they said these kind of warning shots in it it's going
to be that way in this society for sure as long as we value everybody's right to own these weapons, everybody that's mentally ill, but can't be put
in the hospital. If they are put in a hospital and their adult, parents don't even have a right to ask what their medical condition is, because of
privacy and then we here in Florida where this occurred that the psychiatrists are not even allowed to ask the person, if he owns a gun.
If in fact there detecting in their encounters with the individual in their sessions that he says he wants to do something bad I can't even say, do you
own a gun? So this is the kind of situation that were in and really we have the term I use for this is dynamic stagnation, we have politicians
leading authorities that are going to do all kinds of things and have all kinds of discussions in it when all this is done nothing changes it still a
CURNOW: There is an institutional inevitability which is absolutely gut- wrenching particularly if you are some of those parents yesterday. Tom Fuentes thanks so much, good to have your perspective. Standby we are
going to come back to you perhaps after the president speaks. Thank you so much Tom.
FUENTES: You're welcome.
CURNOW: As Tom and I were just saying there have been 18 school shooting in the U.S. this year alone, it is only February 15th they are more public
mass shootings in America as we know that any other country in the world.
[10:10:05] The U.S. makes up list 5 percent of the world's population that holds 31 percent of global mass shooters from 1966 two 2012 there were 19
mass shootings in the U.S. alone and condolences are pouring in from around the world in the wake of the deadly shooting. Russian President Vladimir
Putin sent a telegram to President Trump offering sincere sympathy and support to the victims and their families. British Foreign Secretary Boris
Johnson twitted quote, the U.K. mourns alongside a friend in the United States this tragic loss of life. Egypt issued this statement such shameful
acts of violence to aim at terrorizing innocent people and affect the hateful ideology and humiliates the human dignity. Next on connect the
world, quite a story it's a brand-new day in South Africa as Monday, and its chosen one finally get his turn in office and a significant change to
the political landscape in another African country. We will discuss the legacy of Zimbabwe's late opposition leader. Stay with us.
CURNOW: Check out that wonderful colorful scene in Cape Town just a few hours ago, South African lawmakers breaking out in song officially
welcoming Cyril Ramaphosa as their country's new president.
You are watching CNN and this connect the world with me Robyn Curnow, welcome back. So Mr. Ramaphosa replaces Jacob Zuma who resigned in a
televised speech on Wednesday nights it was a defiant leader that bowed out after nearly a decade on the job when you face countless scandals and
corruption allegations. Zuma had initially rejected pressure to step down after his party African national Congress basically sacked him. It has
been a torturous week for our colleague down there in South Africa, David McKenzie, Eleni Giokos has been following all the twists and turns from
Cape Town and Johannesburg, David to you first, as I said the country is being on (inaudible) there has been a lot of anxiety, but the mood now
today very different?
[10:15:05] And we are just looking at live pictures of people as we go to David. These are live pictures of the Chief Justice and the Chief Justice
is about to swear in Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president. David are you there? What is the mood in Cape Town?
(BEGIN VIDEO LIVE FEED)
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mood is very I have to speak very quietly, because we are in the middle of this moment so let us let this
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: In the purpose of everyone assembled here and in full (inaudible) of the high court I assumed as
president of the republic of South Africa, I Cyril Ramaphosa swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa and will obey, observe,
uphold and maintain the constitution and all other law of the Republic and I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always remorse all that will
advance the Republic and oppose all that may harm us, protect and promote the right of all South Africans, discharge my duties with all my strength
and challenge to the best of my knowledge and ability and through to my deep state of my conscience, do justice for all and invoke myself to the
wellbeing of the Republic and all of its people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you please raise you right hand as (inaudible).
RAMAPHOSA: So help me God.
MCKENZIE: If you are listening (inaudible) occasions here the president of South Africa sworn in at the official residence in Cape Town, Cyril
Ramaphosa is now the president of South Africa.
CURNOW: You are there, I don't know how much you can gives us detail, this is a moment and occasion kind of casual as well, a little jokes it is
lighthearted considering the anxiety of the past week or so.
MCKENZIE: My problem (BAD AUDIO) is waiting for the presidential office resigned -- hours later you have this moment in the official residence --
CURNOW: Dave I will just going to leave you for a moment I know that we hear there getting a few hits on our connections there on the sounds, we
are going to Eleni Giokos who is also in Johannesburg watching these pictures.
[10:20:22] And Eleni this is big for South Africa it has been a tough road and the president has a huge impact on South Africa's growth, economy and
international standing, not only internationally (inaudible) we will be looking at this and rubbing their hands in glee, this is a new era, a new
opportunity isn't it?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely I mean, they have already kind of given the confidence so to speak in the sense so Cyril
Ramaphosa was elected as the ANC president. It has been appreciated by 15 percent. We haven't seen since 2015 early 2015, they are doing better
which means South Africa debt is getting cheaper and the equity market and levels we haven't seen in such a long time up almost 4 percent so those are
the numbers, that is what it means basic community are thinking right now that things are going to get better with the hard work has to come in. As
you said watching what is happening today, very charismatic Cyril Ramaphosa coming out and saying all the right things, putting out his hands and
saying opposition party once it went together with you let us unite South Africa, let us fix all the problem and perhaps this is going to be the tone
of what you will see down the line where got perhaps some of this a little bit more a capsulate, a bit more technocrat but yet has this charisma to
you know speak to all South Africans even right at the bottom of the permit. People that are suffering the most where you got almost 27 percent
unemployment and poverty level and inequality is very high. He is going to have to think about business, investors and the suffering as well.
CURNOW: Yes and he also got a very tight political rope to walk, because his cabinet is still filled with Zuma's supporter. He certainly got a very
tricky balancing act in that in a month and years ahead. Let us talk about who Cyril Ramaphosa is, Nelson Mandela chosen to be his deputy -- Mandela's
wish was overridden in those early day so in the slice irony you really want to get sentimental, you know this is Mandela's wish to see this man as
the president 20 odd years later that Cyril Ramaphosa's party here is also being quite different from some people, give us a sense of the man and also
GIOKOS: Yes it interesting, I mean leaving politics when, you know could perform Nelson Mandela's wish going in to business, becoming a really
wealthy businessman, you know in mining, in (inaudible) as wells as the fast food industry, he is a self-made man on the business franchise and he
understand the industry very well. And through the years you know this is we had been asking is Cyril Ramaphosa ever going to get back into politics.
Coming back in the big question was is he ever going to go for the presidency and those position, mastering in and he is going to have an
uphill task and the question is now going to be will he be able to replace the Zuma men with his own allies. Will he be able to shake off the dark
cloud hang over the ANC and specifically the head as well, because in some way complicit in all the things that we had done in the ANC over the past
two years. So the criticisms is there perhaps you know the person behind those all, Cyril Ramaphosa is the man, the businessman, the trade union,
the politician could bring South Africa go back to those previous levels and back to South Africa's glory where you know the whole continent would
look to this country as a beacon of hope and as a spring board to the race of the continent.
CURNOW: Yes, you make an excellent point there and a perfectly lead in for our colleague Farai Sevenzo who is standing by in Nairobi Kenya with more
on that. The view from Kenya, Farai what is the reaction to the swearing in, we see (inaudible) the chief justice and Cyril Ramaphosa there nothing
fancy that also speaks a lot.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well it does especially when you consider that since now Mandela was the only man of South African president
was critical for example of Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe, trouble could took over, many consider him not so neutral, the mood is very, very upbeat
indeed it was all over social media in Kenya and Zimbabwe and Zambia agrees with the grace of paroles a David Cozart a former Senator an education
minister for (inaudible) that passed away and lost his life to cancer last night.
[10:25:08] I tweeted a few hours ago that we in Zimbabwe all know if your commitment to democracy no justice of Africa but throughout Africa and we
are excited by your elevation to this office may God bless you and keep you that the enthusiasm indeed. That is a great deal of people expecting him
to do much (inaudible) in terms of the mediation for example in Zimbabwe, the new election this year. Would he be taking off the kid gloves that so
many South African official always treated Mugabe weak? Will he actually be completely neutral on the democracy have it say. We will wait to find
out, but in general Robyn people are pretty upbeat about it.
CURNOW: Certainly a lot of goodwill and I think we have David McKenzie still on the line David can you here us just talk us through these images
we been seeing again the goodwill that is being felt towards Cyril Ramaphosa.
MCKENZIE: That is right just had this amazing moment here in town is the official residence of the presidency even take Jacob Zuma's portraits at
the entrance and you have Cyril Ramaphosa in a friendly jocular mood with all the members of the cabinet and opposition leaders as well in this room
standing up with the chief justice and swearing in as the new president of South Africa just 10 days ago Jacob Zuma seen firmly in charge and off
after tense negotiations leading up to this moment that's played out behind me just moments ago of the Ramaphosa taking the oath of office talking with
those assembled and are becoming officially the new president of the South Africa, Robyn?
CURNOW: David I was and (inaudible) inauguration it was a big old affair outside the union buildings people were lining up for miles it was a huge
old extravaganza having hurried its rush, it is casual, I mean even the famous chief justice kind of forgot his words would seem to know what he
was going to be a one elderly people thing outside parliament and across the country is the same thing the goodwill away they still in a suspicion
that most of the cabinet and the government is still belated with Zuma's acolytes and the issue of corruption is not going away.
MCKENZIE: I think the dominant feeling I am hearing in South Africa is relief. And even you feel that tension using house all the country psyche
as it were another (inaudible), maybe (inaudible) here in this room you had a general nervous tension in the happiness frankly you did have the Chief
Justice and Cyril Ramaphosa briefly (inaudible) their words, everyone having a little chuckle about it but the contrast that you described is
important to note. Normally you have this big inauguration at the union buildings in Pretoria surrounded by heads of states and military flyovers
this was a hastily organized event swearing in the president had to check on in fact whether the justice could even make it today, he clear a
scheduled to come in to Cape Town and the do the swearing and how much or how much longer we can stay here Robyn but to be amazing to be part of the
momentous occasion of the new swearing of Cyril Ramaphosa.
CURNOW: Yes, thank you so much. David, Faria and Eleni CNN has Africa covered, thank you so much guys. You are watching CNN and survivors are
speaking out, the U.S. president is also weighing in we go to Parkland Florida for new details on the deadly school shooting.
[10:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: This is Connect the World. I am Robyn Curnow and the top stories this hour. Officials in Florida are set to speak any
moment now in the school shooting that killed 17 people on Wednesday.
U.S. president is also set to weigh in over the next hour. We'll they are live to both events. In a tweet, the president said he suggested that more
could have been done to warn authorities about the suspect.
And Cyril Ramaphosa has just been sworn in as the president of South Africa succeeding Jacob Zuma who resigned yesterday. We understand that Cyril
Ramaphosa will tackle corruption as one of his first orders of business.
One teacher hid 19 students in a closet while a coach lost his life shielding kids from a hail of bullets a day after one of the deadliest
school shootings in modern U.S. history.
We are learning more about how survivors managed to escape and we are learning more about the victims who did not make it home that day. Our
Rosa Flores is at the scene in Parkland, Florida.
Rosa, just give us a sense of what people are saying. I mean, in many ways, we don't want to know what happened in that school but people are
talking and it's importance that the stories are heard.
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are hearing a lot of story that you mentioned of those heroes that were trying to say that's many lives as
possible. One of them is the assistant football coach, Aaron Feis.
He used his body as a shield to protect students and of course, he is one of the victims and we are learning very slowly about some of the others who
perhaps risked their lives to save others.
But as you mentioned, authorities are also having to dig little evidence. The school is behind me, you can see flashing lights, you can see police
cars driving by, just processing the scene, Robyn, right, as we speak.
And this is a very difficult and high due process for crime scene investigators because they are human beings, even though they are trained
to go inch by inch to make sure that every piece of evidence is listed.
This is difficult for them to scour through the bloody scene. They also collect the -- not only remains but also, the belongings of the people who
And we're learning more about that suspect as well. He is in a jail. So right now, he is expected to face a judge in a bond hearing in about 1:30
this afternoon and we're learning about the AR-15 style weapon that he purchased about a year ago.
[10:35:02] He passed the background and we are also learning that he was expelled from this school for disciplinary measures. And so, as the police
and authorities of law enforcement start to paint this picture, there is a lot of questions, Robyn, as you might imagine that surface about the
motive, why this individual do what he did and what he's accused of.
Authorities scouring through his social media trying to look for clues, I ask the sheriff yesterday, where are their clues, and were clues perhaps
missed and of course, they always say, if you see something, say something. Now we're hearing about cases of perhaps an individual with the name
Nikolas Cruz. It's unclear if it's the same Cruz but someone...
CURNOW: Somebody know that he did, Rosa. I mean, in many ways, you know, his motive is one thing, but the fact that he was able to execute 17 people
with one gun, because he had access to the gun.
But he also, I understand, have access to gas mask. Just tell us what he did. How did he gain access to the school because he was a former student
FLORES: Yes, you're absolutely right. So this is from the sheriff here in Broward County. He explained that this crime scene actually starts outside
of the school.
They found one person dead by the street and as investigators progressed and moved closer towards the school, they found two people dead outside of
the building, then investigators kept progressing, 12 people were dead inside.
And as you mentioned and this is according to Senator Nelson here from Florida, he mentioned -- he was the one that brief that this individual had
access to a gas mask, that he had smoke bombs, and that he used them.
Other law-enforcement sources have told us that he activated the fire alarm because in his mind, this was going to help increase the carnage. We've
also heard from law enforcement that he had many magazines, which means, he had a lot of ammunition and could have done more harm.
But as we've also mentioned, a lot of the teachers acted very quickly, they locked their doors, student hid under desk, and under some teachers' desks,
they started text messaging, and calling their parents that even though that they were alive.
So we are getting a lot of tidbits of information and of course, law enforcement trying to piece the entire puzzle piece all together.
CURNOW: OK, thanks. And you are there in the scene in Parkland, and we know that there is going to be a press conference where the police are
going to give more details. So, Rosa, we will come back you.
We are also going live to that press conference as soon as it start, that appears to be the location of that. So we will bring that live. But for a
moment, I just want to go back to our Tom Fuentes.
He is a senior law enforcement analyst, he joins us now from Washington. Tom, my go to schools where they practiced lockdown drills, there are
bulletproof doors at the entrance, there are policemen roaming around, you know, at the parking lot.
But the fact remains that kids in American schools are more vulnerable than kids in school anywhere else in the world. Why does this keep happening?
TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Robyn, there isn't enough desire on the part of lawmakers or the public to push lawmakers to
make changes and this does keep happening.
I was on the air five years ago with Wolf Blitzer during the Sandy Hook shooting and here we had dozens of little -- and thaw was -- yes, 4-year-
olds and 5-year-olds, dozens of them plus the school principal.
And you know at that time, the discussions came out of we're going to make changes. We're going to do something. We've got to address the situation.
Kid walks in with an assault rifle and begins shooting little children.
And not real changes since then. You've had multiple shootings. As we mentioned earlier, 18 this year alone in school, so we just have so many
weapons on the streets of America with so little control.
We have such a poor mental health control system or treatment system that that contributes to it. We have increasingly less discipline in our
schools here which leads to having to hire these schools security officers -- safety officers.
And then we don't let them be armed as if anybody in the building should have a gun that should be the people that do that and we say, no you don't
We are not going to let you carry one. We have rules of, you know, where guns are not allowed by off-duty police officers attending college classes.
CURNOW: I mean, more guns is not going to help stop this in many ways in because there are mass guns in America already. I mean the staff is --
Americans of 44.4 percent of the world's population. And this country has 42 percent of the world's guns. So a few extra, I don't think if you
[10:40:00] FUENTES: Not at all. I am not talking about extra in the hands of public. I'm talking about, if you put a law enforcement officer in the
school to protect the students, that person should be armed.
The police officers on the streets of the U.S. during our daily patrol duties are armed. Those are the people and we hear this rhetoric of
reducing these guns. We are not taking away -- nobody is doing anything to diminish the over 300 millions guns in the hands of the general public.
FUENTES: What I am saying is knowing that we already -- knowing that we already have that many guns out there, now what do we do with our schools?
You can't lock them down completely. You can't put enough magnetometers, they can't afford it.
You can't put enough security guards, they can't afford that. So we are really kind of in a stuck situation where -- and then the mental health
treatment, even with the referrals where the authorities.
I mean, I was a police office on the streets for six years before my 30 in the FBI, and years ago, when I was a patrol officer, there were much more
options for a police officer who encountered somebody or had a referral from the public of this is an insane person in my front yard, there were
much more opportunities for the police officer to have that person get treatment than today. So...
CURNOW: But I mean in many ways, I mean people have mental health problems all over the world, every country deals with people who, you know, -- they
question their stability, but the difference is the rest of the world, those people and even other citizens don't have access to the kinds of guns
that Americans do, no matter what your mental state is.
I mean, even Florida for example, you don't need a permit or a license to buy a gun Florida. And you don't actually have to register your gun. I
mean, there is a list of -- you can buy as many guns as you want at one time.
It does not regulate assault weapons, large capacity ammunition magazines. This is a very American problem and the rest of the world looks at America
and says, why -- why would Americans allow these kinds of weapons to be on the streets in such numbers.
FUENTES: Exactly. Very good question and that is what law enforcement is really in a bind because they can't solve this problem by themselves.
They can't take the guns away, they can't arrest people and force them to either seek mental health treatment or be incarcerated because they think
bad thought or do postings on social media that says they are thinking about school shootings or whatever.
The FBI goes and talks to them just like they talk to people that post that they want to join ISIS or some other domestic terrorist group but there is
only so far they can go with that. Here in this country, it is not just thinking bad thoughts, it's you have to act on them.
So, if you say I want to join ISIS and you have already bought the airline tickets to go to Turkey and Syria, then that is -- that gives you the extra
But in this case, you can say all of these things but you a lawful right, unless you are convicted of a crime, and even arresting somebody or
interviewing them is not enough, or a judge mentally judges you insane or mentally ill. And then, go into a database to prevent you from buying a
gun, those two things don't happen.
CURNOW: So there is no -- so there is no political rule. In many ways, the president's latest tweet, he is going to speak in a little while and we
also just make an op-ed while we are waiting for a press conference on the ground outside of the school for more details but the president suggested
that people around this gunman should have perhaps paid more attention his social media posts.
This is kind of insinuating that the blame is laid at friends and neighbors, because they did not tell authorities that he was making these
threatening posts on social media. What do you think of that?
FUENTES: Well in this se, we have reports that we have one report of someone forwarding the YouTube message that Cruz posted to the FBI. The
FBI sent two agent from its nearest office to interview that person, to see if that person knew more about the individual doing the postings or if he
had anymore details about it.
Now, we don't know yet, but it's pretty clear that if the FBI took the trouble to send two agents to the person making the complaint, they
probably did the same thing to the person that the complaint was about.
But then again, like they do in these cases where someone says they are going to join ISIS or a neighbor says that I know this person.
He is talking about traveling to the Middle East to join a terror group, in those cases, the FBI file is up, but they can only just expressing these
bad thoughts. That is as far as they can really take it.
CURNOW: And you talk about terrorism, and in many ways, this president in particular has scared people with the swift of terrorism, and the need for
America to defend itself from outside terrorist or terrorist within, but in many ways, the real scourge facing ordinary citizens in America, a 19-year-
old with big guns.
FUENTES: Well, the fact is, it is both. So when the president talks about international terrorism and the threat it could pose.
[10:45:00] What's radicalizing people in your country to take action drive over people with cars and do any number of methods of killing people, that
is a legitimate threat and we are still facing it because the ideology in the postings are still out there. But what you're saying is true also.
This is a threat also of mentally deranged individuals.
CURNOW: And there is no political will to deal with that.
FUENTES: But the fact is, we could -- you know, you can do a count all of all of the terror acts that have been thwarted by the FBI and other federal
FUENTES: ... and local agencies, so we don't know what the body count would be.
CURNOW: I am not minimizing the threat but I'm just saying, there seems to be, you know, some sort of disconnect between the perception of what is
dangerous, because solutions are not being offered to fix these mass shootings.
And I think that is the question that is still confuses many in the rest of the world. Tom Fuentes, we are watching the people walk towards what will
be microphones at a press. Let's just talk and I might have to interrupt you if they take to the podium or the microphones.
CURNOW: What happens next? Thoughts and prayers and we will wait for the next one.
FUENTES: Exactly. Thoughts and prayers -- we can't talk about the gun issues now. We have to wait until the period of mourning is over. We will
talk about it later. And then of course later never comes because the next one, we have another shooting.
Well, we can't talk about it during that shooting, we got to wait and talk about it later. So we keep, you know, putting off, even having this
discussion, even having maybe the assembly of a blue ribbon commission...
CURNOW: Tom, I'm just going to interrupt you and let's listen in on this press conference now.
SHERIFF SCOTT ISRAEL, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: All of the victims' families have been notified. We will be releasing the names of those who
lost their lives today. We will released throughout PIO in a very short period of time, but all of the families have been notified.
Our detectives worked through the night on this very daunting and challenging task, but it had to be done. It was the right thing to do, and
they work tirelessly. This community is hurting right now.
There's going to be a lot of conversations over the nest couple of days and weeks and I'm going to be very animated about what I think this country can
do to possibly prevent these tragedies in the future.
Today is a day of healing. Today is a day of mourning. The suspect is in custody. He will be appearing before the first magistrate today at 2:00
p.m. at Broward County court house.
This morning, we he begun working with the FBI, and you will be hearing for a special agent in-charge of the FBI, Rob Lasky in a few minutes. We are
also working with the Florida department of law enforcement under the direction of Troy Walker.
We will interview every single student or every person in that school that possibly knew something or might not know they knew something, and they
will be thoroughly brief and we will make sure that we are able to prosecute this case, and the suspect has been charged with 17 counts of
And law enforcement, we will do everything was can, the FBI, ourselves, to make sure that this person is convicted of all charges and that justice is
served. Sadly, there have been copycat threats made today at other schools.
We will respond to every threat. Every threat that we receive, we will not classify it as a copycat or a prank call. We will in full and investigate
Any call that is made fictitiously, any fake call, any call that is made to take out resources at a time like this and place them in places where we
don't need to be, we will do it the full power of the sheriff's office.
We will investigate this and charge anyone accordingly with the maximum charge if we possibly could for doing something so horrific, so pathetic.
Governor Scott is into come and speak, and then you're going to hear from Special Agent Lasky (ph) of the FBI. I will return to the microphone and
answer some question.
I think it is noteworthy that our next press conference, I will be releasing a timeline based on investigation and video that have captured as
to what happened yesterday, and I'd like to take you through it on chronological order. We are now ready to do that at this time, bit when we
are, we will be back here and we will release that.
[10:50:00] And now I would like to introduce Florida's governor, Rick Scott.
GOV. RICK SCOTT (D), FLORIDA: Thank you, sheriff. Thank you for inviting the sheriff's department for all their hard work to make sure that one,
this individual is, we have justice. And two, to make sure this never happens again.
So I think everybody up here is going to say the same thing. We -- our hearts and prayers are with these families, and the families that early
lost the loved ones, and that families that have loved ones still in the hospital.
And (Inaudible), and then also, we want to make sure that this never happens again. Next week in Tallahassee, I'm going to sit down with state
leaders, and we're going to have a real conversation about two things.
How do we make sure when a parent is ready to send their child to school and in Florida, that parent knows that child is going to be safe. Number
two, do we make sure this individual with mental illness do not touch a gun.
We need to have a real conversation, so we have public safety for schools in the state. I have spoken with the Speaker Richard Corcoran and
President Joe Negron, they're ready to provide the resources and have a real conversation about how do we maker sure that we have public safety.
I want to make sure that my children and my grandchildren, yours, everybody in the state can wake up and be safe. I'm going to stay here and do
everything I can, I know all the state resources are going to do a hearing.
I know the attorney general, everyone is going to work heard and with the sheriff's department and school district to do everything we can to go
forward, and violence has to stop losing another child in this country due violence in the school.
There is the many families grieving right now. We've got to grieve with them, mourn with them but give them their space. There will be a time that
someone want to want and tell their story but right now, it you talk to individuals and we went through this with the post attack, they want their
own time grieve.
So I want to thank everybody in the sheriff's department, (Inaudible), they are doing to keep people safe. I want to thank the attorney general for
the victim advocates that are coming down here to be helpful.
ROBERT LASKY, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN-CHARGE: Good morning, my name is Rob Lasky, special agent in-charge of the division at the FBI. First of all, I
want to express the (Inaudible) to the victims, the families, friends, the entire community. We suffer the senseless and horrible act.
The FBI continues to stand by throughout country sheriff's office to support them and give every (Inaudible) they need to investigate this
heinous crime. In 2017, the FBI received information about a comment made in a YouTube channel.
That comment simply said, I'm going to be a profession school shooter. No other information was included with the comment which will indicate a time,
location or the true identity of the person who made the comment.
The FBI conducted, data reviews, check, who enable to further identify the person who actually made the comment. Again, as native Floridian, my heart
goes out to the victims of the families and friends of the entire community. Thank you.
ISRAEL: I would like to bring up our superintended in schools, Ron Runcie.
RON RUNCIE, BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: Again, we can't say this enough. Every minute of the day is focusing on how we can support our
families, our students and our staff as we work through this horrific situation.
We are providing grief counselors at several locations for our students, two in Parkland, two in Coral Springs and you know, we are doing everything
that we can to make sure that we are supporting our students.
We are also providing counselors on-site for students and staff (Inaudible) middle school which is near here, throughout the district, we are providing
guidance to all of our schools on how to have conversations with our students on this particular event.
I will tell you that students have been reaching out to me, reaching out to staff, every board members and others to say that now -- now is the time
for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws in this country. So I still need to ask for that conversation.
[10:55:00] And I hope we can get it done in this general but if we don't, they will. The second I would say that the governor alluded to it,
something that we can do now (Inaudible) in this legislative session is some real funding for mental health support for our youth and organizations
in our community, so we can properly provide the kind of interventions.
We should not have disconnected youth wandering around in our communities and we know that they need additional support. I get on the phone with
members of the legislator, they are going to work with the leaders there and the governor to substantially increase the amount that are being put on
the table right now for mental health services, so we can have more counselors, more psychologist, more family council, state workers in our
schools are absolutely needed.
The last thing I would say is that there have been a lot of inquiries as to where individuals to provide support. I want to thank everyone in the
Broward community and around this country for your continued thoughts and prayers, acts of kindness that we see minute by minute.
There is a GoFundMe account that has been set up as we talked about yesterday there have been a lot of fraudulent type of activities set up put
there. So we worked to establish something that's credible so go find the account, (Inaudible).
Again, that's GoFundMe, that was fund with folks that made contributions, again, please keep our babies, our families and this entire community in
your prayers as we go through this healing process.
It's going to take quite a while for us to be able to do deal with this. But we are going to do everything we can, every day, the greatest amount of
responsibility we can to make sure that we are supporting out families.
Again I want to take out law enforcement agency, Sherriff Israel, the FBI, the first responders, they have been incredible. And I want to acknowledge
some heroes that have been in our schools. We have an athletic director, campus monitor who responded immediately when there were signs of trouble
in the school.
Unfortunately, those two heroes gave their lives for our kids and help prevent this from being the worst tragedy than it is today. So we need to
acknowledge the heroes that are in our school every single day, who are not only insuring that our kids are learning and (Inaudible), they need to have
a bright future.
They love them and treat them as if they are their own children. They out the put their lives on the line every single day and that's another thing
that we need to do, so figure out how we can better compensate and reward teachers in this country, and just give service to the quality of work that
they provide. Thank you.
ISRAEL: As I said yesterday when our Attorney General Pam Bondi found out about this tragedy, having dealt with the Pulse nightclub and having a lot
of expertise from this are. Unfortunately, she got on the plane and she was down here within hours, and help out -- going to help a lot of our
families out. I would like bring her up here, so can tell you about some of the great things they are doing to try and help out families in
PAMELA BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you, sheriff. Thank you, governor. And thank you, special agent. Last night, there were scenes
going on. One at the actual crime scene and Broward Sheriff sources and the FBI, (Inaudible).
They were unbelievable, what they did send. That crime scene from a prosecution point of view was meticulously detailed process and it took as
long as needed to take to make sure it was thoroughly process and accurately processed.
The other scene was at the hotel where we were with the family members. Having to tell me that the FBI advocates that a child, some 14-years-old
that it is one of the hardest things you have to do in your career.
These parents, tremendous families are grieving. And again please respect their privacy. We were there until about 3:30 in the morning with these
families. And many of them have siblings who are in the school and survived, and then a brother or a sister did not, that was extremely
But we are praying for these families, we are going to continue to pray for these families and that justice is done for the one that brutally, brutally
murdered, all of these students. My job now will continue to be, to help the victims and the families.
We have gotten to all of the victims who have lost loved ones, to be sure that we can help pay for their funeral expenses. If you are in the
hospital with your family, we will be coming to you today to help you to make sure we help with your hospital bill.
So you have nothing to worry about. They are -- we also will be on scene with the FBI and the superintendent who have done a great job. Our
advocates will be there to provide counseling.