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CNN Sources: Multiple Fatalities In Texas School Shooting; Hospital Gives Update On Multiple-Fatality School Shooting; Local Affiliates At Least Eight Killed In Texas School Shooting. Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired May 18, 2018 - 11:00   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. We're following breaking news right now. Law enforcement sources now say there are multiple fatalities at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. This is following a shooting at the school in Santa Fe, Texas, this morning.

Authorities say a suspect is in custody. But the more the details are coming out, I have to be honest with you, it is getting more troubling.

CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval, is following all of this for us and Jessica Schneider is also talking to her sources. Let's get to it. Jessica, what are you hearing?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, right now, we know at least this is no longer an active shooter scene, but as these details are coming out, they are becoming much more troubling. I have confirmed with law enforcement sources that there are multiple fatalities here.

We don't have a number on it. That's because this scene is still being processed. The technical teams are still on the ground there. We know for the most part that now though that this scene has been cleared out of these students, we know that parents have been going to a nearby hospital in Galveston, Texas.

But right now, I've been talking with law enforcement sources, they do tell me multiple fatalities. Again, this is all in an evolving investigation, evolving numbers that are coming out. We know that this all started unfolding around first period at Santa Fe High School, in Texas.

We know that as information is being beginning to come out here, we know that there are at least multiple fatalities. We know that the Harris County sheriff is on the scene there, assisting. They have called this a multiple casualty event as well. But no exact numbers that we're getting, just hearing multiple fatalities.

So, again this is no longer an active shooter situation. For the most part, the scene has been cleared out and now this is when these technical and tactic teams come in to assess the situation and find out exactly what has been going on right now.

But, Kate, this has been evolving over the past hour or two. And we're getting more and more information and it continues to look grim with my sources now telling me multiple fatalities -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Jessica, stay close with us, please. We're trying to get all the information we have and get it out to you as quickly as we can and accurately.

Polo, there are so many questions now and a lot of uncertainty. We'll update every time we get an update on this. What are you hearing from people on the ground?

Polo, can you hear me? We have been hearing a lot from eyewitnesses and students coming out of the building. One of the reports from one of the eyewitnesses telling one of our affiliates a gunman walked into an art classroom and began firing, what looked like a shotgun. We'll continue to stay on this.

Let me bring in law enforcement analyst, former FBI supervisory special agent, Josh Campbell who is joining me right now. Josh, again, a lot of uncertainty. We're trying to get a lot more information coming up. As you hear these few details that we have right now, what do you think?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So many questions now that we still have and obviously there are many things going on simultaneously, you have investigators that are moving from that phase of saving lives to now trying to process the scene, determine is there any evidence, conducting witness interviews, trying to get to the answer that question, why did this person do what they did?

A lot is also going to hinge on now we have the reporting that the person has been taken into custody. A lot of it will hinge on whether this person is being cooperative. Obviously, the law enforcement will be conducting interview to try to assess again that motive to get to why this person did what he did.

But if they're not cooperative, that will make it much more difficult. They'll dig into this person's past, social media, phone records, talking to associates and family members and then, you know, now as we have seen with so many of these incidents, this being the 22nd shooting of the year.

Law enforcement officers will be looking back to their own holdings and trying to determine is this someone that we knew that has become that standard practice, obviously, we have seen some of those heartbreaking instances where law enforcement was aware, we're not saying that's the case here, we have not positively identified the person yet.

The last thing I'll say, having gone through so many of these incidents is this is also the heartbreaking phase for the family members who don't know yet the state or condition of their loved ones.

So, you know, whether or not you're a parent who is trying to check in to see whether or not your son or daughter was involved in this, this is that heart breaking period. You can rest assure the law enforcement, the school officials will work with them to try to get that information out as fast as possible because you have a lot of concerned people right now.

BOLDUAN: And Josh, one of the things just for our viewers as we're looking at some video of -- some aerial video, it looks like some students are lined up and there is a search being conducted of probably of themselves and their belongings, that is standard, though, Josh, right. Walk us through what these students are dealing with.

CAMPBELL: Yes, it is standard. So, you'll see, you know, students being taken out, filed out in a line, a lot of times you'll see them with their hands up. This is a standard practice.

[11:05:10] This is what law enforcement officers trained for because, again, when you arrive at a scene, you don't know if there is one person, you don't know if there are multiple people, and you don't know if the person who is involved is actually among those who you are trying to get out to safety.

If you remember from Parkland, we now know that the individual was able to escape along with the crowds and was actually arrested away from the school. This is all standard practice, you see the video footage there of students being instructed to dump their backpacks and make sure they can go through what is on their person, in their baggage, to determine if there is anything that may be dangerous.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and Parkland is a perfect example of why these searches are so important right after -- as the scene is still being process and everything is still playing out. Josh, stick with me.

I want to get back over to Polo. We have been able to connect with him now. Polo, as we're learning this kind of happened just as school was getting under way, in Santa Fe, Texas, we are starting to hear from some of the people on the ground. What are you picking up?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kate, those are those young people who were the closest to what was happening today. We're hearing some of those heart breaking dramatic and emotional accounts from some students. I want you to hear from two of them before we play some of what they had to say. This was not long after the start of first period this morning when the shots rang out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard the alarms. Everybody just, you know, started leaving, following the same procedure as we did because nobody thought it would be this. Nobody thought it was a shooting. Everybody thought it was a normal procedure, practice, fire drill.

And next thing you know we just heard so many -- three gunshots, explosions and teachers telling us to run, run, go, run. Me and my friend, Ryan Calvert ran to the floor, so we could get shelter. And that's when I called my mom because I thought I was going to have an -- I was having an asthma attack and I just wanted to be safe. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was upstairs and I just, like, I heard the fire alarm go off. I thought it was a fire drill. I left my bag and stuff inside. I, like, went downstairs and then I met up with him and then all these teachers telling us to get back. I didn't know what was going on. I thought the school was on fire. And then we just heard gunshots go off. So, he grabbed my hand and we took off running towards the bushes.


SANDOVAL: Again, some of the accounts that we are hearing from these students came, we're hearing from their parents as they described those frantic phone calls from their children saying that they were being relocated to a nearby gas station where they could potentially reunite with their parents. So, still a lot happening there as this is still very active situation, but, of course, the country now dealing with the latest deadly school shooting just outside of Houston.

BOLDUAN: Again, numbers we do not have. Ages of victims we do not have. The two pieces of information that are important that we want to make sure you have are that law enforcement sources are telling CNN that there are multiple fatalities, relating to this shooting at a high school in Santa Fe High School, in Santa Fe, Texas, and law enforcement also says that a suspect is in custody.

Those are the pieces of information that we are trying very hard to get more information. What that young girl said sticks with me, everybody said to them, run, run, just run. That is where we are today.

President trump just tweeted, I want to make sure I bring it to you, as we're listening to the students speak. President Trump tweeting out just moments ago, "School shooting in Texas, early reports are not looking good. God bless all." No kidding.

I want to bring in right now a student on the phone with me. MaKenna Evans, are you on the phone?


BOLDUAN: Hi, McKenna. How are you doing?


BOLDUAN: Can you tell me what happened this morning?

EVANS: We were in first period and all of a sudden, a fire alarm went off, and we were all kind of confused because we just had one a couple of weeks ago. So, we went down the stairs, like normal, went outside, our principal is there running towards us and she said run. So, we ran out to the street, just thinking it was a fire.

And so, we crossed the street, and then we were there about five minutes and they moved us. And my aunt called me and said there was a shooting. So, that's when I started to panic a little bit, and nobody knew what was going on so.

BOLDUAN: Makenna, hold on one second. Someone from the hospital is speaking. Let's listen to what they say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other two are adults?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you expecting more patients?

[11:10:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're ready for more patients. That's a level one trauma center, we're always ready to take patients with life threatening traumatic injuries and we're ready for more if they come. We have not heard that any are en route at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard you just have done a mass casualty drill to prepare for something like this. Can you talk about what it is like right now in the emergency room?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are taking care of the patients and waiting for more. Personnel, we have additional personnel and additional trauma surgeons in and they're ready for more patients if they come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have one in surgery. The other two, did they go into surgery already or did not need surgery?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One is in the emergency department and one is already admitted to the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, will they need surgery too?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know that yet. Still assessing their conditions and I'll let you know at 11:45 when we provide the next update.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If there are parents out there that don't know where their child is at or loved one is at, should they come to the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have an area set up with our social workers in the emergency department if their parents show up and we'll have to try to help them the best we can to find out what's going on with their children. I'm sure at the scene, which I hear is very chaotic, there are resources for parents there also.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there people starting to show up? People of loved ones?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have that information. We did have a couple of family members accompany a patient, but that's all I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is it like for you guys now to see this happening in your trauma center?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is heart breaking. Our hearts go out to Santa Fe. The students and the residents. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those people that aren't in surgery, is that a sign that they are OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know their condition. They may require additional care, but I don't know the extent of their injuries or what they're going to need later on yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dr. Sherman (ph), do you have anything else to add as well?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I think as Dr. Marshall (ph) said, we are prepared, and the patients are getting excellent care and all under the best care of physicians and nursing and we don't want anything like this happening anywhere, but all of us are prepared.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the first time this happened in your trauma center. What is going through your mind now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think one of the reasons is we always think that it is never going to happen at your place, but we always prepare for it. As you know, we always prepare for these drills. We are hurricane zone, we all just prepare for these disaster, both man made as well as natural.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One more time for people tuning in now, can you go over the injuries and the patients one more time for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We received three patients, two adults and one person under 18 years of age. We know that one adult and you said that it was a male, is in our operating room undergoing surgery at this time. One patient has been admitted to the hospital. I think that was the person under 18. And the other person is in our emergency room being evaluated and treated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the message to these families now, to the community?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're here for you. We're ready to serve anybody that needs our services.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, we'll let you get back to it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another update at 11:45.

BOLDUAN: All right. So, we're just getting an update from UTMB, the University of Texas Medical Branch, Medical Center out of Galveston, Texas, I believe, and they're giving an update on the patients they received.

You heard from one of the physicians, one person under the age of 18, two adults, one adult in surgery now. The breaking news is that law enforcement sources say there are multiple fatalities following this school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.

One of the students that was in the school this morning, Makenna Evans was with me before we went to the press conference. MaKenna, are you still with me?


BOLDUAN: Thank you so much. I'm so sorry I had to jump away to get that update. You were telling me right when we were just speaking, you were telling me that the principal ran to you and said run. And when you moved across the street, your aunt actually called and informed you that it was a shooting. So when you first -- the first time you learned how dangerous the situation was, it was from your aunt giving you a phone call.


BOLDUAN: What did she tell you?

EVANS: She said that are you OK? Are you outside of the school? And I said, yes, what's going on? She said that there was a shooting and her husband is a cop in Texas City. And she said that he was on his way over there, and that they said that a cop was injured, but I'm not sure if that is correct or not.

BOLDUAN: Right. Did you see -- did you -- some of students said they heard gunshots. Did you hear gunshots?

EVANS: No, ma'am. I was on the opposite side of the school. I did not hear anything.

[11:15:03] BOLDUAN: Did you see -- did you see anyone with a gun? I assume no.

EVANS: No, I didn't.

BOLDUAN: And what are you hearing from your fellow students?

EVANS: About the same thing. They -- we were outside, they were saying four people were shot, and that kind of stuff.

BOLDUAN: Yes. MaKeena, how old are you?

EVANS: I'm 16.

BOLDUAN: What grade are you in?

EVANS: Sophomore.

BOLDUAN: You're a sophomore. This is tough for anyone no matter how old they are, what grade they're in, to deal with this. How are you doing?


BOLDUAN: Yes. Is it hard to process this still?

EVANS: Yes. It is.

BOLDUAN: Yes. All right. Well, thank you so much for getting on the phone with me. I really appreciate it. Please take care of yourself.

EVANS: I will.

BOLDUAN: OK. Thank you, sweetie. All right, let's get back to the reporting and some updates we may have for you. Back over to Jessica Schneider, working her sources, trying to get more information on this school shooting out of Santa Fe, Texas. Jessica, what do you have?

SCHNEIDER: Well, as tends to happen in these school shootings and other shootings, we're getting information, little by little, and trying to confirm it all as it comes in here. What we have from law enforcement sources that talked to me and my colleague David Shortle, they're saying at this point multiple fatalities.

We're not sure on the exact number, but that's the information we're getting right now. In addition, on the ground, out there in Texas, we're getting more information from some of the local officials there. The sheriff's department out there in particular.

So, what we just learned is via Twitter from the Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, he tweeted this out, the department tweeted this out, "one is in custody, a second one detained, and injured police officer being treated. The extent of his injuries unknown."

So, Kate, obviously in first part that tweet, one is in custody, a second one detained, that appears to refer to a gunman or gunmen. So, we're still checking on that, getting more information. It does appear that at least one gunman is in custody and second one detained.

We're working to get more information from the local officials on the ground there. So, what we do know is from the local officials on the ground there, this is no longer an active shooting scene. They have secured the high school, you can see the pictures on the ground right there.

And now they're really working to process this scene. That's why we're not getting official numbers just yet on any dead, but we do know it is multiple dead. In fact, the sheriff's office also tweeted that this is multiple casualties as well.

We heard about many of the people being treated there, the injuries going to that local hospital in nearby Galveston, Texas. So, we're working to sort all this information out. Now, I know my colleague, Evan Perez, is also getting more information from his law enforcement sources so we're working through that right now.

We might have an update in the next few minutes. Right now, multiple fatalities and the sheriff department out there in Texas saying that one in custody, another detained. We believe that may pertain to the gunman or gunmen -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right, Jessica, jump back up, you know, we'll bring the information as soon as we get it and get it confirmed and squared away. I really appreciate it.

Let's talk about this. Let me bring in CNN senior law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, assistant director, and senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI supervisory special agent, Josh Campbell.

Tom, too many times we have been talking that we get together and have to talk about this, this is all playing out. When they say it is no longer an active shooter situation, what all is happening now?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, first, Kate, that means they don't think there is another shooter on the loose that poses a risk to anybody at that school or in the general community. So, they feel that having this person in the shooter in custody and possibly one other person also being detained, that that is the extent of it, they don't think they have anybody else that may pose a threat.

Also, they would be withholding he name and hopefully they have the name, but they would withhold it anyway until they get a chance to find out where that person resides and execute search warrants at the residence.

And that would be for the purpose of obtaining information from computers, laptops, desktops, other media devices, papers, documents, posters, any other information that would lead to identifying this person as being involved in this and possibly a motivation for the person to carry out this attack.

So, those things are extremely important right now. We hope the authorities have the identity and the person's residence determined. And that they can get that accomplished and that's why they wouldn't release that information to keep the media and other curious people away from the area where they're trying to do their work.

[11:20:01] So, we're hoping that that's in progress right now and being done and they can update the public in the near future. I think there is an advantage to releasing the identity as soon as they can because all kinds of other people whether it is co-workers, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, maybe able to come forward and lend appropriate and important information to the investigation.

So, they won't do that until they finish with the residents and the searches they're conducting there.

BOLDUAN: Josh, one consistent thing that we have heard from the eyewitnesses some of the students coming out is that they heard the fire alarm going off. They thought they had -- it was a fire drill and it surprised them because they just had a fire drill. What do you think that means?

CAMPBELL: Well, I think right now it might be too soon to determine what was the cause of that. I can see two different views here. One of which being obviously if someone is trying to alert people that there is some type of situation to get out of the building, that may be something that, you know, someone might pull the fire alarm.

The more sinister view here, if the shooter is attempting to gather as many people together in one large location, and to increase the number of fatalities, that would be one way that they might do it as well to get them into the hallway, for example, which is just heart breaking to think. But too soon to tell right now. I think one thing that is interesting, among many things we have learned as the events have unfolded, is, you know, the law enforcement officers there, the sheriff department is in a precarious situation. They want to provide information to the public, get that out, but also have to ensure that information is accurate as possible.

And if you look at the wording that they used, one person in custody, another person detained, to me that doesn't say they necessarily see that person as necessarily another shooter. Otherwise, they wouldn't use that kind of language, detained is used as someone being questioned or trying to determine if there is involvement.

So, I don't think we can jump to say there are two people involved with any great certainty, but that's something that we'll learn. And another thing is that you have a law enforcement officer that is reportedly injured now, which tells me that we don't know if that's a school resource officer or deputy responding.

But there at least was some contact, assuming it is a gunshot and not some other accident, that the person made contact with the shooter and it is interesting because a lot of instances we have seen the shooter take his or her own life. The question will be what causes a person to finally give up.

BOLDUAN: I know you both know better than anybody, these early reports, it is a fluid situation, we're trying to get it all nailed down. Let's get -- I think there is more information getting in on the breaking news of the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Jessica Schneider is back with me. Jessica, what are you hearing?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Kate, we're now hearing according to local affiliates on the ground there in Texas at least eight people killed in this school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. This is a number that we're hearing from local affiliates on the ground.

We have heard from our federal law enforcement sources there were multiple fatalities. But as I talked about before, this scene is still being processed. The tactical teams are still out there.

While this is no longer an active shooter scene, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on the law enforcement side. While we report eight numbers according to our local affiliates now, there is the possibility that number could grow.

We have seen scenes unfortunately like this before. It was just a few months ago in the middle of February that we saw something like this in Parkland, Florida where 17 people ended up being killed there. This is a very fluid situation here, Kate.

And we're trying to get as many details as we can. It is a mix of local officials on the ground who have been tweeting and talking with our local affiliates there. We're getting some information from federal law enforcement officials as well.

As we mentioned, the Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, he had tweeted out that one was in custody, another one detained. We believe that pertains to the gunman here. But, again, unfortunately, the number that we're hearing coming out of the local affiliates there in Texas, eight people killed.

But, again, we are working our law enforcement sources as well, I know that my colleague Evan Perez has been in touch with law enforcement officials. And, again, unfortunately, that number could potentially grow.

This is all a bit of preliminary information as they're still working through this scene. This has only been on going now for an hour or two. This all happened, you know, as students were entering first period there at the local high school in Santa Fe, Texas.

And, of course, Kate, we heard as well from the people at the hospital, in Galveston, Texas, a lot of these people have been transported, so this is going to continue to evolve. I know that we're going to hear an update from the local officials on the ground there at the hospital. I think in like the next hour. So, again, unfortunately, the number we have right now, eight people killed in this high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.

BOLDUAN: Jessica, thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Let me get over to crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz for more on this. Shimon, eight people killed, that's the number now. What are you picking up?

[11:25:09] SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, quite sad again. Here we are, again, right, Kate, talking about another school shooting. I want to talk about what Josh Campbell was saying earlier, the idea that two people have been detained. We believe one of those people is the shooter.

We don't have any indication there was a second person involved in this. But as Josh was saying, in a lot of these situations, people are detained and questioned just to make sure they're not also involved in this.

And really, I think everything we gather in talking to officials, they're trying to figure out the motive, what connection this shooter had to the school, and really what sparked this, what started this. And that's going to be sort of the part of the investigation that is just beginning.

But it is, again, like a lot really is not known. Local affiliates reporting the number of dead and we do know the shooter is in custody. Outside of that, just a process for law enforcement there to go ahead and do their investigation and try and figure out what is going on.

And really, you know, we time and time when these things happen, just the toll this takes on the communities, and really you have another situation with law enforcement, having to deal with such a horrific scene, the number of dead inside that school, you know, one could only imagine how hard this is for that community now and law enforcement folks now trying to put together exactly why this happened. BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Shimon, stick with me. A lot more information coming in. I know you're work your sources to try to get detail coming out. The tragic news, some of it is now becoming more clear, at least eight people have been killed in a school shooting, a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, about 30 miles outside of Houston this morning just as school was getting under way.

Remember, everybody, we're in the middle toward the end of May, which means school is about to be wrapping up. Just handed some information that just to put a finer point on it, Santa Fe High School was slated to hold the class of 2018's baccalaureate ceremony tomorrow at the high school auditorium.

That just shows -- this is wrapping up the school year for these students and now we see what they're having to deal with now. Tom Fuentes, Josh Campbell, they're back with me. We're learning here and there from some of the students, what they heard and what they saw.

One witness, Tom, told CNN affiliate, KTRK, that a gunman walked into an art class and began firing what looked like a shotgun. The difference what do you think when you hear shotgun, shotgun is a whole lot different than an AR-15.

FUENTES: It is very different mainly in the amount of firepower. You have a shotgun that most of them, after five or six shots, you would have to reload it and it would take some time, whereas an AR-15, you have generally a 30-round magazine, very quick to load another 30 rounds in it.

So, if you are inflicting all of these shots, it would be much easier to do that with an assault rifle. We just don't know from the eyewitness account how familiar she is with weapons. Many kids, you know, hunt in Texas, they go out with their father, mother, and, you know, have a pretty good knowledge of weaponry.

So, we don't know if she just thought it was a long-barreled gun and called it a shotgun or was it in fact a shotgun or more than one weapon involved in the shootings. But an AR-15 would be much more devastating in terms of the number of rounds that could be fired, and the number of reloads that could be done very quickly.

BOLDUAN: That's a great point of caution. Tom, Josh, more sound from some of the students, some of the eyewitnesses who lived through this this morning. Let's listen to it together.


PRESLEY LUMMUS, STUDENT: A teacher was telling us to go, go, go. And it is like instinct, you're scared, traumatized, you're running as fast as you can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And once you got to Indian Automotive, when did it become clear something had happened?

LUMMUS: It was clear when all the cops were pulling up. We were thinking, you know, this is not a fire drill. This is something very serious. There was a lot of cops. So that's when we -- it all clicked. I was, like, oh, my gosh, something traumatic has just happened. No. I never thought this would happen in our school. School is a place you feel safe in and that you always think, that's never going to happen to me. So, it is kind of scary now that it has happened and to think about it.


BOLDUAN: It sure does. And to that point, this shooting today brings the number of U.S. school shootings just this year to 22. We also are getting sound from some of the parents, what they heard, what the phone calls they were receiving from the kids as they were trying to rush to the scene to protect their kids. Let's listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was very emotional because I was so concerned. It is one of our fears as parents to send our kids to school. Now and not know they're safe.