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Waffle House Shooter in Custody; Van Collision with Pedestrians in Toronto Seems to Be Deliberate; Van Driver Taken into Custody. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired April 23, 2018 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: -- you were there at the waffle house. Can you tell me what you remember seeing?
ABEDE DASILVA, BROTHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM AT WAFFLE HOUSE: I didn't really see too much, you know, just -- just heard gunshots and we just ran. And hid for cover. And I just know I kept hearing the shots get closer and closer to where I was at. So that was really most of it, what happened, until we stopped hearing the sounds. And then I came and ran looking for my brother, and he -- I couldn't find him.
So then I finally everybody ran out the Waffle House once everything was clear and then when I went to the end where we parked at, I seen him inside still. I ran back in to him and his girlfriend. They were both right there, conscious talking to me. You know. The police said he had -- was shot in the arm. And paramedics said he was shot in the arm at the time. We thought everything was going to be OK, because he was shot in the arm, and she was shot in the leg. And then -- Yes, I didn't think he was going to pass.
LANCELOT DASILVA, COUSIN OF SHOOTING VICTIM AT WAFFLE HOUSE: It's crazy the tragedy that I was made aware of that Sunday morning. And beginning when all the details started to unravel, and understanding that, you know, my cousin was there, and could have been impacted by that event as well. So special thanks to James Shaw, who was able to wrestle out that weapon from the individual, because I could have got a call that morning that two of my cousins was dead.
That morning and we come from a Caribbean background, so the way we were raised with our cousins, it's not like a cousin relationship, this is my brother. My brother was also lost in that senseless act of terrorism. And it's sad. We're definitely greatly appreciative of the love and support we've gotten from friends and family. Those who are concerned about, we'll continue to take on more and more support, because it's definitely a tough pill for our family to swallow.
BALDWIN: I am glad you said that, that your cousins are your brothers and you could have lost your other cousin, your other brother, can both of you take a moment and tell me about Akilah?
LANCELOT DASILVA: I mean, I'll start. But if you can find one person who was an enemy or had anything ill to say about Akilah, I will call that person a hater, to be exact. He didn't make any enemies, he was loved by so many. Most importantly for me, because the last conversation that we had with one another was about his artwork. He was a musician. I wouldn't just classify him as a musician, I would classify as an artist. He was a lyrical artist, a visual artist, he had so many good works and products to release to the world. And it's so sad that, you know, an act that I can't even begin to comprehend cut that short. I say cut that short, I don't know if that's the truth, hopefully this -- the platform that he has now, that the world can truly see how great of an artist he was. And the talent of -- such a talented sole that we lost. Sunday morning.
BALDWIN: Abede, can you tell me a little bit about your brother and also, his girlfriend's in the hospital, how is she doing?
ABEDE DASILVA: She's well, she had surgery earlier this morning, we've spoken to her since, we're going to see her at the hospital. She's not well, she's in pain, and traumatized about the whole situation. Akilah and she were together every day. I know it's bothering her, so we're going to go up there and support her. But he was just -- he was a good guy, man, you know he was my younger brother. Like six years apart. I respected him and looked up to him in so many ways, certain things I was like, he was real smart, humble, compassionate, loving, you know, real smart, you know, real quick thinker, fast learner, anything you put him to.
[15:35:00] He's competitive about it and real big on trying to get the mission done, so, you know, it's just -- know that he's never been in nothing, or got in any trouble. Just randomly, we're having a conversation in the car about our future and to think that was probably going to be one of our last conversations. It's unreal right now, I'm trying to process everything. Like my cousin was saying, we want to keep his name and memory, because I know that's what he would want. He would want us to push it, and to just keep his name alive. And he was talented. I just hope that -- it just sucks that lose not leer to see it, but, you know we want to keep his name alive, and his music going, and his artwork going. Just let the world see we lost someone real talented.
BALDWIN: I appreciate you all, it is senseless, but let's say his name again, Akilah DaSilva. Thank you, our best to his girlfriend who's in the hospital, and just our prayers, thank you both so much.
From one senseless tragedy to another in Toronto we know that a number of people have been injured. Unknown how many. Unknown how many deaths. Gruesome, gruesome accounts of the scene, you are looking at right there, as this white van jumped up on a curb and was mowing down innocent pedestrians late lunch hour there north of downtown Toronto. We are getting more and more eyewitness sound to describe what it is they saw, what they endured. Here's another example.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six people were on the drive and -- there underground.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see one person right at the corner at Young and Finch with an orange tarp, and some of the other articles of clothing around that person and tell me what your thoughts are when you saw this happened. What did you do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I saw this happen, I waited for a signal and I went over and called 911, I asked for an ambulance and I'm just shocked, I was with my friend. And this is ridiculous. If it was an accident. Then you would have stopped or -- the person went through the sidewalk. And he didn't stop, and it's just shocking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know you said you were standing right here at this corner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you saw the person make a left turn here on to Young?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: not sure from which side he came, I saw him making a curve.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you get a look at the driver?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not the driver, the car.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And can you tell me, you went over, called 911, what did you do next?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was -- I kept on calling 911 for around 5 minutes, and then I gave my information and stayed by the side. And I was waiting for an ambulance. And then later on, police officers asked me to get into the vehicle. And then I was asked to tell them, give a statement about what I saw, what witnesses I made.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you try to help any of the people on the curb.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I was there, there were already people trying to make help. Already people doing CPR. At the moment I was shocked, I couldn't do anything to help. But I did try to make call to 911. I wish I could have done more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you feeling right now, seeing all the police, the ambulance, the person lying there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still shocking. It doesn't feel reeling, like I saw a person die right in front of my eyes and I don't know what to say, really.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me the ages, what you think the ages were, and who the victims were?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me, the victims looked young, not teenagers, but around 20s to 30s. They were young people. That's -- even more sad like -- they didn't live their lifelong.
[15:30:00] And I heard many people died at a young age. You know. Just trying to -- a lot of young people. They tried to reach for their dreams. They go to university and college. But, you know. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you saw the person doing CPR or other
people helping, did you stay and wait for the pa paramedics for the ambulance to get there? Did stay right beside the people, the victims. And I kept on calling 911. Yes, I kept on waiting for the paramedics. Were people screaming, were they running away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the beginning I saw people screaming for help they were asking for help. A lady was asking if anyone knew CPR. She kept on doing it. It was quite terrifying.
BALDWIN: As we're hearing more and more accounts of what happened there in Toronto, I want to play more video for you of what happened. This is video of the shootout. How the whole thing ended between police and the driver of this van, who is in police custody. We cannot independently verify here that this person you're about to see was the driver of the van that plowed all these people over, but this is what CTV is showing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Get down. [siren]
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go on, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care. Get down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down! Get down!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What street is this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: All right, so there's the video, I have Josh Campbell and Matthew Fog, law enforcement, just walk us through what it is. Josh Campbell, first to you, you saw the guy dressed in black, had been described as the driver, this is from CTV and their video. What did you see, especially as far as the police were concerned and what they did?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I've got to tell you, that was dramatic, sitting there watching that video, I can tell you that law enforcement officer was probably a lot more patient than some would have been in a situation where you have someone pointing a gun at law enforcement. Some departments have the escalation of force, others if there's an imminent threat of danger to that officer or others, they can go straight to engaging the target. Here it looks as if the officer was trying to give a little more time to give commands. And we saw the subject eventually comply. That's dramatic sitting there watching that video. Coming from a by stander there.
BALDWIN: With this driver standing there with the gun, firing at the officer, and I'm assuming that that video shot, we -- I'm talking to the control room, do we know, was the video shot by another police officer in a nearby patrol car? We're not sure. I was curious. Matthew, what did you think of that?
MATHEW FOGG, CHIEF DEPUTY U.S. MARSHALL, (RETIRED): I agree with Josh, that was just amazing. But I don't think he was
firing, we would have heard those gunshots. It did appear he was -- he kept thrusting his hand forward, like he had a gun, like he wanted to fire, I was shocked the officer didn't fire back at that point in time. You certainly -- our rules of engagement say, we could have engaged him with gunfire a long time before that.
[15:45:00] bottom line is it, it was amazing to watch how many times that officer told him, get on the ground, he wouldn't comply, he waited and kept doing other things and finally he complied and laid on the ground, the officer went over singly, which I would have thought the officer would have waited for more backup, went over and handcuffed him and got him secured. That was amazing.
CAMPBELL: I can tell you also. I totally agree, this tells me, that we're now at a different stage. When these types of incidents happen, is this an accident or something that was done on purpose? A lot of times we don't know, unless you get corroborating video or you're able to conduct an interview with the subject to determine the motive. To me, as a former law enforcement officer seeing this, it's beyond clear this wasn't an accident. You don't have someone that engages in a typical traffic accident and gets out and points a weapon at officers. This takes it to a different level.
BALDWIN: Stand by for me, we're getting more sound from eyewitnesses in Toronto. Roll it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: was coming down on Young and Finch, and all I saw was right here -- I see a white van with red coloring on it, all I saw was he smashed into someone over there. And then --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK. Start again. Start again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then I see him go ahead, I thought he had a heart attack or something. And I was trying to catch up and see what happened. I saw this guy. He's going 70, 80 clicks, he's hitting people one by one going down. Oh, man, it was a nightmare. I see that, I seen a lady with her leg, oh, man, it was a gruesome scene, it's really bad out there, I couldn't believe what I seen, man everybody, all these people on the streets, getting hit one by one. Post office box getting crumbled up on people, one person got dragged on, the blood is all over. I'm so shaking, I'm still dying from this, I can't believe this is happening. This is unbelievable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Incredibly gruesome scene there, along the sidewalk in northern Toronto, just north of downtown. You heard him say 70 to 80 clicks, kilometers per hour that's roughly 35 to 40 miles an hour according to police, he ran people over for as long as a mile. Think about that. For as long as a mile, he's on that sidewalk, running innocent people over with me now, Josh Campbell is still with me. Do we want to go to Josh, guys?
All right, Christian Ali I understand you're with me in Toronto, tell me what you saw?
CHRISTIAN ALI, WITNESS TO TORONTO SCENE: I'm in Toronto and North York, I guess I happened upon the scene a couple minutes after it happened. And it first started, I guess a gentleman that was unconscious at the side of the road on the northbound. And then I figured, well, you know, it was a terrible accident. There's some debris from the car. I kept going up, and about a block over, two blocks over, I saw another gentleman unconscious in the middle of the road, and a police officer leaning over and holding his neck. And then I saw a lady who looked like she passed away, she was face down in the concrete, a lot of fluid coming out of her head. I figured something terrible has happened.
Probably 20 seconds after that, came upon a crowd of about 30 people, probably five people on the ground, bleeding. Some pedestrians performing CPR on a couple of the folks. There's a bus parked at the side, so my first thought was that there was probably an incident on a bus. It was about a mile, I think. Just saw one police car where I guess the incident started. And the one other policemen treating the man on the side of the road. Everyone was pretty much dazed and bewildered.
BALDWIN: We keep hearing precisely what you're details. Bodies injured. Mangled. We know this man is in police custody.
[15:50:00] You said something like you saw a police officer holding a man's neck. Can you go back to that? Describe that more.
ALI: Yes, so I was passing -- as we were passing by, it was I guess -- in the middle of the road, it looked like the guy might have been crossing the road and somebody hit him with a vehicle, and he was conscious, but I saw the police leaning over him trying to brace his neck looking down, like kneeling down on one knee talking to him. Shortly after that is when I saw the body on the sidewalk. Which I'm pretty sure she didn't make it.
BALDWIN: We've been looking at some of these photos, your girlfriend was taking some of these still did you see the van in motion at all or did you come upon the scene after the fact?
ALI: Just after the fact. But I did see one police car speeding down southbound on the road. But there were no other emergency response vehicles. I didn't hear any sirens from an ambulance or fire truck or any other police. So I would say for the entire distance there was probably two police vehicles that I saw.
BALDWIN: Christian, I'm so sorry that you had to see this and we're waiting to get more information from police to try to understand. Any time something happens, could it be an accident or something much worse. It seems to be looking the latter. I appreciate you picking up the phone and calling me from Toronto as we try to understand what happened and why. Josh Campbell and Art Roderick are both with me. And Art, I heard from Josh, but we played the video from CTV showing the shootout between the officer and presumably this driver and we can't independently verify that. And did you see the video and what was your assessment?
RODERICK: I did. While I saw that video right afterwards I received some information from sources that was a cell phone he had in his --
BALDWIN: The driver's hand.
RODERICK: Right. So this looks like it could have been possibly a suicide by cop scenario and law enforcement obviously did see the cell phone and did not return fire knowing that it wasn't a handgun. This is information I'm just getting in now over text.
BALDWIN: Because you see on the left side of the screen walking our viewers through that the police officer on the right side of the patrol car and the driver on the left side wearing all black with his arm out in shooting position but your sources are telling you it wasn't a gun which makes sense because you and Matthew were saying earlier, you didn't hear the gunshots. So there you go. It was a cell phone.
CAMPBELL: And that makes sense and obviously we have two things. First of which, you don't see the officer returning fire so you could identify that as a cell phone that would make sense. And he was removing himself from a tactical position of cover which he could have used that patrol vehicle there for -- if it was a weapon. So that does make sense as we gather information that they didn't think his life was in danger --
BALDWIN: Let's listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whatever measures they recommend -- thank you very much:
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We're going to pull away from that. A different officials you heard from the prime minister a little while ago weighing in. Josh, you were talking about a position of cover. You were making a point?
CAMPBELL: So law enforcement officers, if you were in a dangerous situation you're going to look for some type of cover or concealment and if you have a threat in front of you, the patrol car would serve as the barrier if you felt you were in danger. So as we get the information from Art, it does make sense if the officer doesn't feel like he was in danger and did notice a cell phone there is no need for him to find cover behind the vehicle. We see him going in and affect the arrest.
BALDWIN: What about the fact that the guy does drop and allow police to handcuff him?
CAMPBELL: At some point, the jig is up. You have officers there surrounding you and as I see that video, you see him thrusting out his arms over and over and if trying to affect suicide by cop, that is one way to do it, to set the officers up to believe they are in danger and fire on him. We didn't see that happen here thankfully. But at some point he has to realize, when you have a number of officers surrounding, there is no way to get away and if he doesn't have a weapon, he couldn't cause any more deadly action, at some point he's just -- the jig is up.
[14:25:00] BALDWIN: Got it. And so what now. Art, we talked about this a little while ago for people just tuning in, they've got him alive in custody. He has run over who knows how many people. We don't know yet the fatalities and injuries for a mile. What are they asking and looking for?
RODERICK: I think one of the first things they'll probably do is hopefully this individual will cooperate and provide them a statement. But they have to eliminate or actually confirm whether this is a terror attack, a mental health issue or just some random crime. To travel that long and hit that many people, there is got to be something really going on in this video-- in this individual's head that he's committed to and the key part is pulling all of the private security video along that stretch of road to determine where this rampage actually started. When you listen to the gut-wrenching witness testimony, it is absolutely horrendous and look at the damage done to the vehicle. The front end is practically smashed in and you see dents along the side. It is a pretty horrific scene there. And we still haven't got a casualty counter and injury count yet.
BALDWIN: It's hard -- you don't want to think about how this happened and the bodies along the way. And we have been getting these different gruesome accounts from eyewitnesses. Here is yet another one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't really describe him. The cops had everything blocked off but I think he was a darker color, I would say middle eastern.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know age? What did he look like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't. The cops blocked off pretty fast. About 20 cop cars so they wanted to block everyone off so no one could see. It sounds like -- he trying to pull something out of his pocket or trying to commit suicide or something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you hear what he said?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It was too -- everyone was screaming and everyone around me. There was a huge crowd so I was just trying to get into the crowd and seeing what was going on. So I didn't get to hear exactly what he said at all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me about the scene there? A large crowd. What were they saying? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a lot of crowd and people were crying
and some people were freaking out. Myself I was shaken up because I was just -- I can't believe this is happening in Toronto. It's insane. It is such a safe city. I can't believe it. I can't --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you look behind you, you see police and paramedics, you see that person lying on the sidewalk, what are you-- what are your thoughts?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in shock. I'm scared. What if this happens again. What will the city do? And I'm also proud to see the people come together and as a community and help people out. Because I saw people giving CPR to one of the people and it is nice to see and the shock of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We'll pull away. Let me add something else. This is one of the things where we have to be so precise in investigations such as these when we don't know a lot of information but I could report officially according to an incident brief of what happened in Toronto, it is believed to be a deliberate running over of all of these people down that highway road in Toronto. And I still have Josh and Art with me. Before we bring them back in, we have one more video I want to play for both of you to show you another advantage point of that arrest with the presumed driver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[arrest of driver by police]
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: You could see Josh, first to you, and I'm not sure what they are standing in front of. If this is a shopping mall or what, but you see him on the patrol car getting cuffed.
CAMPBELL: That is right. And here as you see an arrest taking place, it looks like mid block around buildings. At this point there is no place for the subject to go and it is a matter of time before they get him in custody and now they are doing what they call the high risk search to see if he has any weapons and do a full search before they take him fully into custody down to the police station to begin that interview and try to determine that motive. What is interesting here, is that as we look at the incidents in the past, it hasn't been that normal that we take someone into custody. That we're able to do that interview. Because in so many cases we've seen either the perpetrator takes his own life or engaged by law enforcement and succumbs to whatever wounds he has. Which to state the obvious makes it more difficult to determine the motive.
Here assuming he cooperates and does answer questions from police, hopefully that will speed things up to determine why he did what he did. And lastly, maybe mental health issues but what was the end game or his plan? As tough as this is to say and as art was mentioning the damage to the front of the vehicle, we have to keep in mind that it appears as though that vehicle was immobilized because he was running over people which is a heartbreaking thing to say, but what was the end game and how far did he think he would get and ultimately think he would die by suicide by cop or get away?
BALDWIN: People, children, one eyewitness described a stroller flung up into the air. Just awful hearing about this for the last hour this afternoon. Art Roderick and I have 30 more seconds. Your thoughts to close us out.
RODERICK: Regardless of what the motive is, they want to find out, was there anybody else that knew that he would do this attack? And I think that is going to be the key here. We still don't know what the motivation was. Again, was it mental health or a possible terror attack. But they've got to locate other people that knew about possibly -- knew about this attack or might have helped him out.
BALDWIN: Art and Josh, you both have been excellent with me here walking us through this coverage here in Toronto and of course before that the manhunt that is over in Antioch, Tennessee. I'm Brooke Baldwin. To Washington and special coverage with "THE LEAD" and --