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Man Hunt Is Still Under Way In Tennessee Following A Deadly Shooting This Morning At A Waffle House Restaurant; James Shaw Jr. Stopped The Suspect From Killing More People; Aired 4-5p ET
Aired April 22, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:02] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.
The breaking news this hour, a man hunt is still under way in Tennessee following a deadly shooting this morning at a waffle house restaurant. Four people are dead, for others injured. Authorities just gave an update and say the carnage only stopped because of the actions of James Shaw Jr., right there, that young man with the elbow injury in that photograph. In fact right now he is taking questions from reporters. We are going to take you back there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to know a little bit more about you, are you from the Nashville area? I would like to know how your world has kind of changed in the last 12 hours.
JAMES SHAW JR., CREDITED WITH DISARMING GUNMAN AFTER DEADLY RAMPAGE: I'm from Nashville, my whole life, born and raised here, went to high school, college here. I work here right now. I work for AT&T. I'm 29 years old. I have a 4-year-old daughter. And I think I'm a pretty cool guy to be around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any sort of training before? Did you know you had this in you?
SHAW: Yes, I knew I had it in me, but I haven't had any specific combat training. It is just, you know, I fight my daughter every night so I can put her to bed. But I just knew it was me or him or that type of scenario, so I chose to go with what I wanted to go with, and it worked.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you think about your daughter?
SHAW: I didn't think about my daughter. On my Instagram and Facebook everybody's calling me hero. But I want people to know that completely out of a selfish act. I was completely doing it just to save myself. Now me doing that, I did save other people, but I don't want people to think I was the terminator or superman or anybody like that. It was just I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it. So I rushed him and it actually worked out to my favor. So I actually didn't think about my daughter until I got into the ambulance. And one of the paramedics asked me about myself, and I told them I had a 4-year-old daughter. And that's when it really hit home. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell us about that, now that it's set in a
little bit more, you put your life at risk and you got a little girl at home.
SHAW: So if I didn't put my life at risk, I'm probably not here. Like I didn't know that he had extra magazines in his coat pockets, but when I seen the barrel down, you can shoot at the ground all day, that's not going to really hurt anybody. So that was my opportunity. And I went for it. So it paid off.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After your actions, your family is here supporting you here today. And obviously, I'm sure your family was very worried about your safety. How do you feel about (INAUDIBLE)?
SHAW: It's uneasy to say the least, but I don't feel like he is purposely after me now. He might be mad that I got control of his weapon and, you know, I could see that. But I don't think he will purposely come after me, but then again, I didn't think waffle house be getting shot up at 3:30 in the morning while I'm there or ever. But it's uneasy, for sure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
SHAW: He was kind of cussing when we was wrestling around from the gun. And when I finally got the gun from (INAUDIBLE) who was outside, he was doing a bunch of cussing like I was in wrong trying to save my life. But that was it. There wasn't any kind of -- any talk in between, really. I knew I had to get that away are him as soon as possible, so --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did you see his face?
SHAW: So his face, it's like a blur, like I said, when I hit him with the door, his head - it look like his head -- I think his head went down. And then after that I think I'm taller than him. So I was just, like I said, I was wrestling with him, trying to get it. When I saw his face when he walked in, it was just like he was just staring at us and he was like, I don't know, if my friends saw, but I saw him and I was like, why is he staring at us? But I don't know what that look is, it was just like a look of blank, a look of --I'm not sure, like, if this is, for lack of a better word. And I guess that's just how he felt at that time.
[16:05:38] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now that you know his history and the gun was taken away and then returned, how does that make you feel?
SHAW: That's a little uneasy too that he could just get it back from his father, so simply, if his father did give it back, he could have just took it back. But, you know, that's just -- that's kind of beyond me to think about right now. Because I'm thinking about some other stuff. But, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened to your friend?
SHAW: My friend's actually behind you all. He was actually in the bathroom and I was in the hallway. And he is there. He is unscathed and we are all good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What injuries did you get?
SHAW: So my knuckles are busted up. I don't know if that came from glass or if that came from when we were fighting and punching. My pinkie is pretty split up. When I grabbed the barrel of the weapon, it was hot from being discharged so many times. But I didn't really care because it was life or death at that time, I didn't even feel it. And then when I grab, I just do it over there. They will not kind of - we tussled and moved outside. I actually when I was going around the corner, running back up street, I actually fell and I was slipped, hit my knee. And then I also have a graze from a bullet on my upper elbow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you go to the hospital?
SHAW: I did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that there was someone watching over you that gave you some power?
SHAW: I'm actually, if you were to ask me, I'm actually not greatly religious person. I do believe in a divine entity, I just don't know if his name is God or Jesus or Buddha or Allah or whatever it is. But I know that for a tenth of a second, something was with me to run through that door and get the gun from him. Because you could probably do that ten times and you could only come out one time with the outcome I came out with. So somebody, something, some divine entity, something was looking over me, so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you just find it amazing that you (INAUDIBLE), you attacked this guy and (INAUDIBLE).
SHAW: I just wanted to persevere. I don't want this to be like the focal point of my life. I know I'm going to be seen by a lot of people because of all the different media outlets and stuff, but I don't want this to be a major moment in my life, even though I know it's going to be. But I went to church to get past it, kind of, to try to start it off on the right foot. But it only happened 12 hours ago, if that. So.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After all this happened, (INAUDIBLE) what do you want to do as you go forward with your life?
SHAW: So I'm not a hero. I'm just a regular person. And I think -- and I think anybody could have did what I did, if they are just pushed in that kind of cage and you have to either react or you have to -- or you are going to, you know, fold. And I chose to react because I didn't see any other way of me, you know, living. And that's all I wanted to do, I just wanted to live.
And I will say it again, I didn't really -- I didn't really fight that man to save everybody else. I know that might not be a popular thing, but I'm really honest. I'm going to be honest to the core. I took the gun so I could get myself out. And then I went back for my friend after I was like, to see if he was still alive because it was just so fast, like. I don't think -- I hope nobody ever has to be in those shoes again. But it was almost like light switch type fast. Like you hit a light switch and it's on so fast, before you can think. So that was my fault at that moment.
[16:11:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, James.
SHAW: Thank you, sir.
WHITFIELD: Wow, what an extraordinary gentleman, what an extraordinary way of telling his story. You know, he says he was acting on instinct. I chose, you know, to act. And he didn't -- he doesn't want to be considered a hero. He said he did this for very selfish reasons. He jumped out of that bathroom and he tackled that gunman because he says I wanted to save myself. And he did not do that because he was thinking of everybody else. He doesn't want to be considered a hero.
But he is being considered a hero, because he did indeed act on that instinct, he tackled a gunman who had an AR-15 inside that waffle house just outside of Nashville there. He was there with friends, meaning James Shaw was with friends at 3:00 in the morning, as were a number of people in that waffle house, when this one person walked in, who is being identified as Travis Reinking, he too, 29 years old. And this man Mr. Shaw, also 29 years old. And it was Mr. Shaw who describes that he saw something very peculiar, the way in which Reinking walked in and looked at the room before he really opened fire, killing four people, injuring many others.
Now with me right now on the phone, Nashville mayor, David Briley.
So Mr. Mayor, what an extraordinary -- oh, there you are, live in front of the camera, my apologies. What an extraordinary account of detail there coming from Mr. Shaw. But listening to you during that press conference, you too, you know, are challenging the status quo. You said it is time to take the weapons of war off the streets. Last night Nashvillians were terrorized by a man with an AR-15. More on your thoughts, please, Mr. Mayor?
MAYOR DAVID BRILEY, NASHVILLE: That's right. I think people have had enough of this. There are certain weapons that are out there being sold, that pees people are specifically choosing to go out and commit these acts to terrorize the people living in our country. And no matter what the law is, these kinds of guns are being used for this purpose. So we got to do more than just background checks. We got to do more than just making sure that people with mental illnesses don't get them. These kinds of guns just need to come off the street, period, because
they are only being used of this purpose. That is what we really got to do as a country. I think that is what we are learning just from this instance where somebody may have actually had the illegally or legally. It's really just about the gun itself.
WHITFIELD: And Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for being with us. I know there's a lot of people in the room. We probably have a, you know, microphone on you, but if the photographer can also hear, we may also need a boom mic so we can hear with clarity everything that you are saying.
So that extraordinary accounts that we heard about Mr. Reinking, about Travis Reinking that perhaps, you know, he was on radar before secret service had him on radar because of being in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C., his AR-15 was taken away, as well as his license to have a weapon. But now we heard from the police department, that somewhere along the way, he may have regained possession of that AR-15, perhaps even from a family member. Talk to me about what your reaction is to that after learning that kind of information.
BRILEY: Right. Well, the issue there is that clearly he had come into the net and people knew that he shouldn't have a weapon. And without regard to that he ended up with a weapon and he came to Nashville with and he ended up taking away four innocent lives here in Nashville.
It's more than just about the rules of the road and who gets a weapon and who doesn't. Certain kinds of weapons are just being used because people see them as this terroristic tool. They are being used in this country to do these kinds of things. So, I mean, it's possible that every that law enforcement agency did everything right under these circumstances and he still ended up getting the gun.
That's that problem here. Do these particular kinds of guns are really being used for something that is terroristic in our country right now. So yes, I think everybody is sort of disappointed that the system didn't work under in this circumstance. He ended up with a gun regardless, despite the fact that he had been identified as somebody who shouldn't have one. And that's why we really got to come together as a country and do something comprehensive to look at all the guns that are in our country, to start treating our country like most of the industrialized world does, where people need to demonstrate a need for a gun, and not just want it. Because these kind of guns are all about people wanting them for some purpose that we don't necessarily need in our country. We don't need people to have these guns so they can go out and shoot up a waffle house. And we know that. People need to demonstrate that they have that there are some legitimate purpose to have them, not just because they want them.
[16:16:13] WHITFIELD: Another challenge before us right now, Mayor David Briley. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
BRILEY: Thank you. WHITFIELD: Again, the man hunt is under way for Travis Reinking, who
police have just said during this press conference just may be armed with two other weapons.
James Gagliano, CNN's law enforcement analyst back with me right now.
And so, James, while we are still, you know, reeling from the details coming from James Shaw, who was a real hero here, even though he doesn't want to be called a hero. Still in the forefront are the details of Travis Reinking, who had this AR-15, who quietly walked into this waffle house, four people are dead, four others injured and then took off after being wrestled to the ground by James Shaw, not with that AR-15, but possibly with two other weapons.
Talk to me now about the man hunt, how it is, you know, goes, how it is under way, with the cooperation of people who have to be vigilant in that community and beyond.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (on the phone): Absolutely. And as we talked about earlier, Fred, this is one of the single most dangerous positions that law enforcement can be put in. And that's where you have essentially a moving crisis site. So it's not static, you can't set up around it, you can't put a perimeter around it, you can't let somebody barricade themselves in and then begin negotiations and take your time ad do it as safely as possible and making sure that there are no civilians are going to be caught inside of crossfire.
In this event, you have got somebody that's moving and he could either be on foot or he could be in a vehicle. And that is why law enforcement is going to look at this from a couple of perspective. So if he is on foot, what's the quickest he could move from the time that he left the waffle house, and then basically set up an a perimeter. That's an inner perimeter.
And then beyond that, what if he got into a vehicle, where the major thorough fairs, the expressway, the road. Where could he be headed? And setting up check points until this individual is captured.
I got to tell you, Fred. I watched that press conference with Mr. Shaw and I was moved. And I guarantee you that representatives from the Memphis FBI office, which is the office that has Nashville as part of its territory are probably thinking, man, this is a guy we need to reach out to, because his courage under fire, under pressure. And you know, the ah shucks demeanor - I mean, I have never - and I have served, I'm not one, but I have served with heroes on the law enforcement and on the military side
His response was exactly like every hero I have ever been around. They deflect. They don't want to take any credit for what they did. They just - they minimize what they did. This is somebody that law enforcement should be looking at and saying if we are going to recruit good people and brave people and courageous people and smart people, these are one of those folks.
And I tell you what, the FBI constantly teaches in active shooters that we need to, you know, teach folks, run, hide, fight in that order. And this was clearly an indication of that where he was in the hallway there near the bathroom, wasn't able to run, wasn't able to hide, and said my best chance and the best chances for everyone there is to fight. And that's what he did and he did it successfully. Kudos to him.
James Gagliano, thank you so much.
And a perfect queue in which to have that first one-on-one conversation with that hero even though he doesn't want to be called one, James Shaw Jr. there in the Nashville area.
And so, James Shaw, I mean, really kudos to you, I know you don't want to be called a hero, but your acts are very heroic. You did helped save lives. We it from a variation of people right there, from police to the mayor, et cetera.
You know, it's extraordinary to hear your very riveting account of everything you observed from when this suspect, Travis Reinking actually walked into the waffle house, as you were about to enjoy a meal with your friends thereafter, you know, early morning hours, what 3:00 in the morning. I would love for you to describe one more time, kind of the expression, why it was that Reinking did kind of catch your eye when he walked in, not knowing at the moment that he was about to unload his AR-15?
[16:20:44] SHAW: Could she say that again?
WHITFIELD: OK, I'm going to ask that one more time. Sorry that this audio is a difficult things right now. But describe for me one more time, what was it about the suspect that caught your eye when he walked in?
SHAW: So he then never really walked in. He was sitting in his car. He was sitting in his truck, actually when he made our entrance in. So if we walked in, we walked in about 3:17, I guess the shooting started at about 3:20. And then, I just saw him in the car because he was looking out and I was looking at him and I was like, OK, that's kind of odd, but I mean, I just walked in, so --
WHITFIELD: OK, and then he came in, and then he would fire away in there. And your instinct to then go into the bathroom, you said was for selfish reasons, you were, you know, really trying to save yourself, you said, you know, you weren't going in there with a plan, how do I save everyone else. What was going through your mind at that point, how are you piecing together your actions, what you were going to do?
SHAW: I was just really waiting for a moment, like, just a moment that he was going to give me. And he gave me that moment. He gave me that moment when he put the barrel, he aimed the barrel, the barrel of the gun was aimed down. And then I just had to kind of go for it and I went for it. I ran through the door and it just worked out for me. So-it worked out for me. WHITFIELD: It worked out for you and it worked out for a lot of
people. You said in that press conference, you know, that he was going to have to work to kill me. That's essentially what, you know, filled you to go after him. So now, you have wrestled him to the ground, but he is on the run. And police have said that he may be armed with two other weapons. What are your thoughts about him being on the run and a man hunt now under way? What are your concerns?
SHAW: Like I said, it's uneasy knowing that he is still out on the loose, and I didn't know that he had two weapons until the press conference, but two more guns until the press conference. But it is feeling of uneasy. But I'm hoping and praying that they get him as soon as possible. Hopefully, I can have some kind of, I don't know, assistance of law enforcement with me a little bit later on for this day until they catch him because evidently, I guess it's pretty easy to find out where people live (INAUDIBLE).
WHITFIELD: Your actions were remarkable. I know you don't seem to think so, you know, but they were indeed. And apparently is this the case, you went to church with your mom just hours after all of this happened, with your bandaged wounds and everything. You went to church with your mom, even though you say you are not greatly religious. But you know there was something, a force with you to help you get through this. What was your conversation with your mom been like since church and during church perhaps?
SHAW: So I went to -- I actually went to church with my father, my mom is actually in Chattanooga, but she will be back later on today. But our conversation was pretty, like, for lack of a better word, lucky and blessed at the same time. And, you know, he told me that it's going to take some time for you to get over that, because you are not going to forget what your eyes saw. So he said it hasn't hit me right now. And I don't think it really has hit me. But I know it is going to take time. So I'm going to try to talk to some professional help, because what I saw is probably not normal or average, what the average person would see.
WHITFIELD: And I'm sure it will take some time to sink in. In fact, while you were recounting all of the events, you did get a little choked up there, perhaps a realization of what has happened?
[16:25:02] SHAW: Yes. It was more so. Just all the lives that have been lost and it just seemed real meaningless to us because those are people's moms, cousins, brothers, sisters, you know, whatever it was. And now they are gone now. I mean, it seems for probably a selfish reason or whatever reasons for us, it is uncalled for. And just hurt because it could have been me but, you know, it was luck of the draw, I guess, it wasn't me.
WHITFIELD: All right. You are father of a 4-year-old. You are an amazing example of what it is to act on your instincts. You friends you said were there in the back row too behind some of the reporters and the cameras there, what are some of their thoughts? What that are they saying to you? What are your conversations with your friends like who were there with you at the waffle house? SHAW: The one friend that was there, he is still shaken up just like
I am. He is not really talking about it too much. We kind of joked about it earlier, just to kind of get our minds off of it. We are still joking about it. But I know it's going to hit home at some point in time. But my other friends, they are like, they just trying to be supportive of me and they are like, dude, you are a hero. Don't be hard on yourself, you know. There was nothing you could do to save the other people. And, you know, they are just being supportive and they are being there for me.
WHITFIELD: Well, James Shaw Jr., I know it's been a very long day, night, it's all running together. We really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us further. And so many appreciate all that you did. James Shaw Junior.
SHAW: All right.
WHITFIELD: Thank you so much.
SHAW: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.
[16:30:01] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN, ANCHOR: All right, welcome back. We continue to watch an active manhunt underway in the national area and surrounding areas. Police are looking for this young man, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, who went to a waffle house restaurant in the wee hours of the morning, in the national area roughly 3:00 a.m. and unloaded his AR15.
Four people were killed, four others wounded. And Travis Reinking was tackled to the ground by a young man, who perhaps you saw that interview at a press conference earlier, James Shaw Jr., who tackled him, was able to wrestle away that AR15, toss it over the counter, and then Reinking was then able to flee on foot. So the manhunt still underway, and Reinking was on radar just last year with the U.S. Secret Service, who had him detected on restricted area at the White House.
They were able to take away his weapon license in Illinois and also his AR15, but then somehow along the way, perhaps even a family member say police, his AR15 may have been returned to this 29-year-old Travis Reinking, and then -- in the early hours this morning he killed four, injuring four others at that waffle house, and now an active man hunt under way. He may have, according to police, two firearms with him in his possession right now.
All right, meantime, history will be made this week when leaders from North and South Korea meet Friday in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The talks are also expected to lay the ground work for an upcoming summit between North Korea's Kim Jong-Un and President Donald Trump. The President addressed that this morning tweeting this, "We are a long way from a conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out and maybe they won't. Only time will tell, but the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago." He also addressed it on his way back to Washington from Florida today.
All right, I want to bring in Max Baucus, Former Democratic Senator from Montana and former U.S. Ambassador to China, good to see you, Mr. Ambassador. So is it believable in your view that Kim Jong-Un does want to give up his weapons? The President there saying while boarding Air Force One, it looks good, it looks good, does all of this look good to you?
MAX BAUCUS, MONTANA, FORMER SENATOR: I am impressed that Kim Jong-Un seems to have a plan and they're taking the initiative. Number one, they extended the invitation to President Trump. That allows President Kim to be on the world stage, something that he very much desires. Second, he issued the invitation through South Korea which enables him, Kim, to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States.
And third, he has put on the table that he's willing to freeze missiles and nukes. So that's a major initiative he's undertaken. I am very impressed with it. Will he proceed, will he agree? That's a different question.
WHITFIELD: There will always be an expectation of demands or conditions, and it is our understanding that the removal of U.S. troops in the general vicinity doesn't seem to be one of North Korea's demands, a real departure perhaps from that country's historic position. What is your view on that?
[16:34:53] BAUCUS: Well, frankly, that would be anathema from South Korea, that the U.S. withdraw troops. China may want it, and China does. In my experience in three years over in China as U.S. Ambassador, it's something China very much pushed for. And China also is trying to do a deal with South Korea at the expense of the United States.
And so that's kind of very important, with American troops there. But frankly, the big enchilada is missiles and nukes in North Korea, which gives Kim a huge advantage, which I think is very unlikely to give up.
WHITFIELD: So last hour I spoke with Congressman Mike Turner. Here's what he said about China and North Korea. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE TURNER, UNITED STATES, CONGRESSMAN: I think this administration has rightly turned the pressure to China. There would not be a nuclear North Korea if it wasn't for China. Even the regime would not exist if it wasn't for China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Mr. Ambassador, is it your view that China is willing to you know pressure North Korea to come to some sort of deal that the U.S. would like?
BAUCUS: China wants stability. China wants stability in the peninsula. They don't American long-term presence there. They like to see America leave. They certainly don't want America to join with South Korea in some kind of unification in the peninsula. We asked China in the past to put more pressure in North Korea. China has done a little, not enough.
But bottom line, any solution in the peninsula does require China. China is not going to stand idly by. They're so big. They're so powerful. And they have such interest in the peninsula. And we have, as Americans, work with China to get a North Korean solution.
WHITFIELD: And that Kim Jong-Un recently went on a trip to China to meet its leaders. How is that a prelude to what's to come, whether its North Korea meeting with South Korea this week or potentially North Korea meeting with the U.S. President.
BAUCUS: Well, this is historic. And the conversations I have had with President Xi, I was very impressed with how derogatorily he spoke about Kim Jong-Un. He doesn't like Kim Jong-Un, and that's been the case for some time now. So for Kim Jong-Un to, by train visit China is an opening. It shows that China is willing to talk with North Korea. It's part of this big chess game that's going on. I think we have to remember that it's unlikely that Kim's going to want to give up his advantage, missiles and nukes.
And we have to keep that in mind as we're trying to trying to negotiate a solution here. And maybe we can get some Americans out of captivity in North Korea that would be helpful. But the big question is extremely fraught with difficulties and complexities that we have to think through in advance.
WHITFIELD: And so quickly, South and North Korea meeting in the demilitarized zone this week. Would that be the appropriate spot for President Trump and Kim Jong-Un to meet potentially?
BAUCUS: Well, China would like to -- but of course, United States could not agree with that. You know on the DMZ zone, that's fine. You know it's modern now, it's changed. I was there 23 years ago. It was really kind of backwards, now it's modern and so forth, and that might not be a bad idea. But that's up to the countries to find some way that either side has an advantage, because if one side thinks it's being taken advantage of, they're not going to negotiate so well.
WHITFIELD: Right. It would maybe that's neutral. All right, we will find out, won't we? Ambassador Max Baucus, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. And we'll be right back.
BAUCUS: Thank you.
[16:40:00] President Trump's nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State is facing an uphill battle this week. Some analysts think Pompeo might not get enough votes of recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Rand Paul says he will not support Pompeo's nomination. In the full senate, it could be a different story. One democratic Senator, Heidi Heitkamp supports Pompeo, making it more likely his nomination will get final approval. I want to bring in Congressman Warren Davidson. He is a Republican
from Ohio and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman, good to see you. So some Democrats in particular say Mike Pompeo has been less than forthcoming in the nomination process. Do you think that is a fair criticism?
WARREN DAVIDSON, UNITED STATES, CONGRESSMAN: No, I don't at all. And to think that Hillary Clinton and John Kerry each get 94 votes in the Senate and it's even a question that Mike Pompeo, who's incredibly well qualified to be Secretary of State, that his nomination would be in doubt. Shows you how far the Senate's gone. It doesn't say anything negative about Mike Pompeo.
WHITFIELD: All right. Let's turn now to Mitt Romney. And he did not win the Utah Republican Party's nomination this week to replace Senator Oren Hatch, and now he has to compete in a primary. So why do you think that he is facing such a tough challenge in Utah?
DAVIDSON: You know I am not a Utah guy. I have spent a little bit of time out there, but I think if you could relate somebody who hasn't really spent a lot of time in the state, maybe they have ties to the state. People are going to feel a little bit different about that. We got you know congressional race here where a couple of people I know well haven't lived in the district for a while. And that always is received differently by people there. Maybe that's one of the dynamics in Utah.
WHITFIELD: OK. Let me ask you now about Scott Pruitt making headlines for a variation of things. You know he is the head of the EPA. The story about him is on the cover of the New York Times. And a new controversy is swirling around him. Now reports that he purchased a house from a lobbyist, through a shell company, and when you add this on to his costly trips, other expenses. Do you think it's become a distraction for the agency, for the administration?
[16:45:06] DAVIDSON: Well, I think we have spent a lot of time talking about Scott Pruitt and apparently the good deal that he got on a place to rent. But I can tell you that the results that he's done at the EPA probably have a lot to do with the attention that people have looked for. They're looking for anything they can to derail a very successful Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. I think he's been very effective there. He has valued the environment but he has done it in a way that helps provide clarity and isn't indifferent to the impact on the economy.
WHITFIELD: So are you saying that supersedes being less than frivolous about spending as a, you know, public servant?
DAVIDSON: Well, no, it doesn't supersede it, and frankly you look at it in context. He spent a lot less money overall at the EPA and its costs less for the overall economy, and that's resulted in death threats. So he's had to spend more money on security. So a lot of the spending goes to that. There are some things that need to be answered for, and perhaps if he were an employee, I think it would be worth counseling at least, if you thought about it in terms of a corporation or an executive agency. I'm sure he's met with the President and talked about it. But you
know at this point the President's made that he supports Pruitt in the role, and I think Scott Pruitt can continue to be effective and we'll see how it goes from there.
WHITFIELD: Is your interpretation then that perhaps those things are unimportant to the President as long as Scott Pruitt continues with the agenda that the President has for the EPA?
DAVIDSON: Well, I think that will be a line of question that would be worth pursuing. You know I used to be on the EPA science committee and the EPA Director when it was under the previous administration. She came in, Gina McCarthy, and I was able to have questions for her. I am sure when Scott Pruitt comes on Capitol Hill and is questioned by the science committee, he will answer some questions.
And so I think there will be accountability from Congress, and we'll see what the administration does.
WHITFIELD: All right, Congressman Warren Davidson, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much.
DAVIDSON: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Back to the breaking news that we're following, a man hunt under way in Tennessee for a man who opened fire at a waffle house, killing four people. We'll hear from the hero who saved several lives in that restaurant next.
[16:50:00] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Now to the breaking news that we're following, a manhunt still underway in Tennessee following a deadly shooting this morning at a waffle house restaurant, four people are dead, several others injured. Authorities are searching for the suspect, 29-year-old Travis Reinking and they say he could still armed.
We're learning more about Reinking's past. U.S. Secret Service arrested him in July 2017 near the White House when he crossed a security barrier and refused to leave. He said he was trying to set up a meeting with President Trump. And later, authorities seized four weapons, including the AR15 that he used in today's shooting. Those firearms were returned to Reinking's father, who police believe gave them back to his son.
Authorities say the carnage at that waffle house only stopped because of the actions of this young man right here, also 29 years old, James Shaw Jr. whose now being hailed a hero. He doesn't call himself that. But Shaw spoke about the moment that he charged at the gunman in that waffle house. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES SHAW JR., CREDITED WITH DISARMING GUNMAN AFTER DEADLY RAMPAGE: So I first heard what I now know was the gunshots, we thought it was plates crashing because we had pretty much made in our minds that it was the plates (Inaudible). Then a second one happened then a third one happened. I think that's when the glass busted and broken through and than I saw the waffle house employees scatter.
Then I looked back and I saw a person laying on the ground right at the entrance of the door. So then I jumped pretty much and slid from the table top to the entrance of the door. And I think he let off some shots through the glass and then he proceeded to come in. And than when he proceeded to come in, I actually went behind a push door, a swivel door. And he shot through that door, I am pretty sure, and I am pretty sure he grazed my arm. A
And it was at that time I kind of made up my mind, because there's no way to lock that door. That if it was going to come down to it, he was going to have to work to kill me. So at the time that he was either reloading or the gun jammed or whatever happened, is when I ran through the swivel door. I hit him with the swivel door, and then the gun was kind of jammed up and it was pushed down.
So we were scuffling. And I managed to get him with one hand on the gun, and then I grabbed it from him, and I threw it over the counter top.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And thank goodness he did that, the reluctant hero that he is, he went on to say later you know he was selfish. He was trying to save myself. I'm quoting him now. I was selfish. I was trying to myself. He wasn't thinking of other people. He says don't call him a superman or anything like that, but most people are calling him indeed that today. James Shaw Jr., thank goodness he sprang into action the way he did. And we'll continue to bring you the updates as this story develops.
[16:55:01] Meantime, the country of Bolivia has the highest rates of sexual violence against women in South America. And this week's CNN Hero grew up there and suffered sexual abuse as a teenager. She finally gained the courage to break her silence and in the process discover her strength to take on a larger mission.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found out that I wasn't alone, that there were tons of girls that were also being sexually abused. I had to do something. I had to use the rest of my life to prevent other girls from going through what I went through. I think the biggest thing is giving the voice back to girls and allowing them to speak up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, to learn more and nominate someone who you think should be a CNN Hero, go to CNNheroes.com. And thank you so much for joining me this afternoon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The next hour of the CNN Newsroom starts right after this.