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At Least 8 Killed in Texas School Shooting; Trump Comments on School Shooting; Sheriff Gives News Conference on School Shooting; Witnesses Describe School Shooting. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired May 18, 2018 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:00] UNIDENTIFIED PARENT: It was very emotional. Because I was so concerned. It is one of our fears as parents to send our kids to school. And now and not know that they're safe. Almost makes you want to pull them out and home school them. But, you know this is the world we live in.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-two school shootings. That's what this shooting brings -- this school shooting brings a number to just this year.

Josh, one -- another theme that I'm hearing from the students that are coming out is that when they heard the fire alarm, they heard the fire drill -- they thought a fire drill was happening they also then were told run, run, just run, go, go, go. That seems to be somewhat different than what it used to be, which was, try to hide where you are. It seems things have changed here.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's right. There has been so much training that takes place, both within schools, with law enforcement, with hospitals, anyone who might be involved in these types of incidents where you have public places, and it has gone from that to the notion of run, hide, fight. And that is if you can get out, if you can get away from the sound of gunfire, from danger, first do that. If you can't, if you're in a classroom, for example, and there's no way you can safely escape, the next phase is to hide. And only if you have to confront that person should you engage them. So it is not unusual that you would have teachers that are shouting out to students to get out, get out, any way they can. Also worth noting that in -- Tom knows this as well in law enforcement -- you can practice, and practice a lot, and go through the drills and go through the motions, but when you're in a situation where the adrenaline is flowing, there's an incident happening right in front of you, and it is just confusion and chaos. Any amount of practice will be degraded as far as level of effectiveness and tactics. It will be protection of life and getting out, that's what we saw with the videos of the students coming out of the school.

BOLDUAN: Tom, what are your big questions now?

TOM FUENTES, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think getting back to the point first, Kate, you want the kids to hide, you want them to try to maintain, you know, a safe location. But if they're already at the exits of the building or just outside the building, you don't want them running back into -- you have the police trained to run to the sound of the gunfire. The students and faculty should not do that on their part. If they're already at the exit, keep on going and get away from that school. So, again, that's, you know it all depends, all is variable. This is different when you have students at the exit or already out of the building, compared to they're still in the classroom.

BOLDUAN: Exactly right.

Joining me now, to join the conversation, former Secret Service agent, Jonathan Macro.

Jonathan, it's great to see you.


BOLDUAN: Unfortunately, again, this is what we're here to talk about. There are a lot of details we don't know. A lot is still yet to be heard. We're waiting for any updates from law enforcement on the ground. When we hear once again as school was starting this morning in Santa Fe, Texas, someone came in, someone began firing and now at least eight people are dead.

WACKROW: It highlights the unpredictability of these type of crisis situations. How dynamic they are. How devastating they are. Regardless of the weapons system. Whether it is a shotgun, handgun, you know, any time you introduce a weapon at school, there's a dangerous situation.

I want to take a step back. You were talking about run, hide, fight. Very, very effective, very simple, methodology, we talked about it here. There's one additional step we learned in the wake of the October 1st shooting in Las Vegas. Which is situational awareness. In the moments of a crisis, you need to garner some situational awareness to understand where that threat is coming from. Run is the first -- you want to create distance from the threat as fast as possible. What you don't want is to run into a field of fire. What you don't want is to run into the threat itself. We saw that where people were running away from the concert venue towards the MGM and they basically ran into a fatal funnel. It is -- training and tactics are being introduced into schools, into corporate environments to address situational awareness, co-joined with the run, hide, fight methodology as put forth by the DHS.

BOLDUAN: We're seeing -- again, always conflicting reports and a lot of information. We're seeing some reports that there was a police officer, one officer injured in this situation. That does, as Josh or Tom was pointing out, does indicate there was some likely some engagement between officers and whoever was doing this shooting.

WACKROW: Absolutely. You know, research has shown, you know, immediate interdiction by law enforcement stops these types of events, they stop the chain of attack. If the reports are true, that could have, you know, mitigated greater damage and greater fatalities.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Stick with me.


BOLDUAN: I think we have -- we have another student and her mother on -- joining me on the phone now.

Angie, Angelica, can you hear me?

ANGIE MARTINEZ, MOTHER OF STUDENT (via telephone): Yes, ma'am.

ANGELICA MARTINEZ, STUDENT (via telephone): Yes, ma'am.

[11:35:10] BOLDUAN: Thank you so much.

Just for all of our viewers, Angie, you're the mother and, Angelica, you're the student in the school this morning.

And, Angelica, can I start with you, sweetie? Can you tell me what happened to you this morning?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: OK, so it was a normal day, we were in first period and we were just doing our work until the fire drill came on. So we all went outside, like normal procedure. And then we were just standing there for, like, five minutes and a bunch of -- a bunch of crowd of kids came running, and they said, run, run, there's somebody with a gun. Like nobody, like, believes it. So well then, the gunman shot, like, four times and then, like, everybody heard it and they all started running.

BOLDUAN: You heard shots, Angelica?


BOLDUAN: Did you see anyone with a gun?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: No, I was just running.

BOLDUAN: Did it sound like the shots were coming from inside the school?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: It sounded like it, but it also sounded like it was outside. It sounded pretty close.

BOLDUAN: Did you see anyone that was injured?


BOLDUAN: Where did you all run to?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: I ran to the Exxon gas station. And a lot of people did, too.

BOLDUAN: Did you have teachers with you or was it all students?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: It was all students. I didn't see no teachers. They were trying to get everybody out of the building.

BOLDUAN: The teachers were directing -- did the teachers tell you where to run or did you end up at the Exxon station?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: We just -- my mom told me to go there.

BOLDUAN: When did you -- when were you able to speak with your mom?

ANGELICA MARTINEZ: Like, as soon as I heard the shots, I called her, and I told her that there was an active shooter here and then she told me to just keep running and she is on her way.

BOLDUAN: Angie, I cannot imagine getting that phone call from your daughter.

ANGIE MARTINEZ: Oh, it was -- it was real heart felt. Yes, when she called me, it was a frantic call, of course, and only thing I can think of is run, hide, find safety, find shelter. And she told me they were outside because it was like a normal fire drill, they were just all with the teachers, I said, where outside? She said, we're closer to the Bushes. I said, run to the Bush. I said run to the gas station at the shell gas station and I'll pick you up there or run to the Exxon, I'll pick you up there. Me and dad are on our way. We get to the front of the school and there was nothing but traffic, of course. Police everywhere. Ambulance everywhere. Helicopters. And she -- I have her on the phone with me and I kept her on the phone until I said, we're on our way, we're stuck in traffic, just go in the store, find somewhere, daddy will find you inside the store. She got -- I guess a lot of students were outside looking. He got out of the car and ran towards her to find her and get her to safety. And I took over the driving and I was expecting that traffic for about an hour. I started to Facebook Live in that time, that moment I had her on the phone.

BOLDUAN: Angie, I can only imagine that minutes felt like hours for you while you're trying to get to Angelica. What was going through your mind?

ANGIE MARTINEZ: I said, not again, no, dear God, please protect all our children.

BOLDUAN: And then that moment, when you were able to see your daughter's face?

ANGIE MARTINEZ: Excited. We finally got to -- towards where they were at and the police officers were directing traffic all to one side. And we got out of the traffic and had her in the car with me, dad brought her with her to the car and we, you know, put her in the car and we headed home. I had a whole bunch of clients today, I just had to cancel the day because the day is going to belong to her.

BOLDUAN: To say the very least. Have you heard anything -- have you got any notification from the school at all? Have you heard from any of Angelica's friends' parents?

ANGIE MARTINEZ: Yes. They said -- it is all over social media, the children are posting up, showing pictures of their injuries. They say there's eight confirmed dead. A shooter in custody. They said there was a football player -- a linebacker at the school that came in with a gun and said, "Surprise," and started shooting, and I heard one of the girls got shot in the head. I don't know how true that is, but --


[11:40:28] Right. And, of course, we'll very, very careful because we don't have any of that information confirmed quite yet, you know. And --

ANGIE MARTINEZ: Exactly. I'm just going based on what I seen on the media as well.

BOLDUAN: Of course.

ANGIE MARTINEZ: And the students that are on social media.


BOLDUAN: Have you heard from any of parents, any of the parents that you are friends with in the school? Are their kids OK?

ANGIE MARTINEZ: Yes, thank God, their kids are OK. They were calling my daughter's cell phone to make sure they heard anything that they talked to the kids and most of her friends are safe and home now, thank God.

BOLDUAN: Thank God.

What now? What happens today?

ANGIE: What now is so aggravating that this school has been warned before, this has happened again. This is the second incident. The first incident was a prank call. You know. But they did that as a warning the first time supposedly. They said that they saw how fast the officers will get to the school. They did -- it was like they called fake news, but it was a fake act. Someone set firecrackers in the hallway.

BOLDUAN: When was this?

ANGIE MARTINEZ: This is about two months ago. This happened two months ago.


BOLDUAN: And, Angie, hold on one second, I'm being told President Trump is speaking right now.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to begin by expressing our sadness and heart break over the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas, just took place moments ago. We're closely monitoring the situation. And federal authorities are coordinating with local officials. This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now. We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack, to the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High. We're with you in this tragic hour and we will be with you forever.

My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others. Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe. May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded, and may God be with the victims and with the victims' families. Very sad day. Very, very sad.

On another note, very positive note, I'm honored to be here today with so many leaders from across the nation who committed to the crucial issue --

BOLDUAN: All right, we're going to get out of this now. The president is holding an event, actually on prison reform at the White House.

But we need to stick with the breaking news now. We'll head to more breaking news. A press conference being held in Texas with Sheriff Ed Gonzalez about this school shooting at Santa Fe high school. Let's get to it.

ED GOLZALEZ, SHERIFF, HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: -- multiagency response out here this morning at about a little bit before 8:00 a.m. There were reports of an active shooter situation here at Santa Fe High School in Galveston County. There was a shooting. Our understanding -- and keep in mind this is all still preliminary and very fluid -- but there was one person, a suspect in custody. A second possible person of interest that was detained and being questioned.

There are multiple fatalities that have been confirmed. The number varies, but it could be anywhere between eight to 10 fatalities at the school including students and some adult staff as well. There was also an injured Santa Fe ISD police officer that was injured that is being treated at a hospital. I don't know the extent of his injuries. Area law enforcement, including the Harris County Sheriff's Office, is conducting a systematic search of the school just to make sure there's no additional students that are either injured or hiding. And so that's on going right now. And then we're also making sure that we conduct a thorough search to make sure there's no other devices or anything that could be at the school.

[11:45:08] So our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Santa Fe community, to the Santa Fe ISD, all those that have been injured and suffered loss of life out here.

At this point, we do have an active crime scene that we're investigating. They could expect a large police presence out here. We're told there say family reunification center at Highway 6 where parents with reunite with their students.

And additional information will be forth coming. Right now, it is very limited. We're one of the agencies that responded out here to offer support and so that's what we have out here. There's multiple fatalities, it could be anywhere between eight to 10, majority being students.

One male is in custody. And a second one, again, was a person of interest, both are believed to be students here at the school. And that's what we have at this moment. And this happened a little bit before 8:00 this morning.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sheriff, about the type of weapon?

GONZALEZ: We don't know that yet. We're searching the entire school and it is an active crime scene so all the details about specific injuries and firearms evidence will come later.



GONZALEZ: I don't know the exact time, but it is my understanding it happened right before school started. I guess it would happen between 7:30 and 8:00 is my understanding. I don't have the exact time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How old is the shooter? How old is he?

GONZALEZ: Just that he was a student here at the high school. I would imagine in his teens.



BOLDUAN: All right, the sheriff, the Harris County sheriff giving a lot of information, but a lot of information still to get through. Let's be clear on what he said. We, CNN, has confirmed from law enforcement forces at least eight people were killed. The sheriff there saying it could be between eight and 10 fatalities and then later said majority of students.

The sheriff is still speaking. Let's go back.

GONZALEZ: I'm not sure.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us more about additional injuries?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are there additional injuries?

GONZALEZ: We don't know. Just we're still searching, so there could be additional that are injured. My only -- I was focused on the fatalities. Those deceased. And we have approximately 10. That's still not fully confirmed. I know that it could be in that range. But I'm told the majority of those are probably students.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is that something you're hearing, sheriff?

GONZALEZ: I'm not sure -- I haven't heard anything about pipe bombs.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What about explosives? Are there any explosives that are possibly there?

GONZALEZ: We always consider that a possibility with these situations. We're searching with that. Our Harris County Bomb Unit along with others are searching for that as well. So we'll conduct an active search. I just came to give some preliminary information because I know we hadn't come out yet. So as soon as we find out more, myself or somebody else will come out.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sheriff, any idea where it actually happened inside or outside?

BOLDUAN: A key question, whether it happened inside or outside. He did not answer. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, from Harris County, speaking there, giving us a lot of information.

Jonathan Wackrow, Tom Fuentes here with me still.

Jonathan, the sheriff there saying that the shooter was a student. And that means kids will know who this is really quick.

WACKROW: Knows the environment. Knows the topography of the land. Knows the angles. Knows --


BOLDUAN: Knows the timing of school.

WACKROW: Knows the time of the school, the moving of students where people gather en masse, how to launch an attack for the greatest number of victims and casualties. That's where it is devastating. When an attacker knows the environment, it puts everybody at a disadvantage.

BOLDUAN: Tom, that goes to -- we discussed this so many times in the past, was there a warning about this?

FUENTES: I think, Kate, that's one of the first things that occurs to me, the fact that it is a student in that school, that probably many other students knew of this person being challenged, let's say, or having mental problems of some kind or being a potential threat. And I've heard this from students and other school shootings where, you know, they knew, they knew that when they heard that there was a shooting, even before any details got out, they were pretty suspicious of who actually caused it. And I've talked to other family members who are students in high schools and middle, who every one of them know kids in their school that have problems that could likely lead to them carrying out some kind of attack, that they're disciplinary problems, that they've threatened other students, and the school administrations are very weak in their response to that, very reluctant to deal with it. In the case of Florida, the student was expelled. That doesn't accomplish anything because now they're on the loose and make it back into the school to carry out the attack.

This is something I'll be very interested in hearing about in the days ahead, is did other students have a clear indication this person was a threat or could be a threat in the future.

[11:50:23] BOLDUAN: Gentlemen, stick with me.

I want to go to the ground right now. Our Rosa Flores is live in Santa Fe.

Rosa, you were at that press conference with the Harris County sheriff where he gave a lot of information, none of it uplifting.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of information coming in, Kate. And the sheriff warning a lot of this is preliminary information. The sheriff saying that there are between eight and 10 fatalities. Now, they are still searching the school. They have a bomb squad. They won't go into the type of weapons, the amount of weapons that were used in this case, but they do say that one suspect is in custody and another individual is detained. They won't release the names of the individuals. But at this point, we know from the sheriff these individuals were students. So when it comes to getting access to the school, that's what they're telling us, these individuals were at the school.

Here's the timeline we know so far. According to the sheriff, the shots broke out about 8:00 a.m. According to witnesses that CNN has talked to, students said that they were in first period when they heard a fire alarm go off, or an alarm go off of some sort. We asked the sheriff about this. He said he doesn't know, but according to these witnesses, the students went outside of their classrooms and that's when the shooter started firing his weapon.

Now, there's a lot of preliminary information. Kate, you can see behind me this is a very active scene at the moment. According to the sheriff, they have the bomb squad, multiple law enforcement agencies from multiple levels scouring through the school, making sure no one else is in harm's way.

We're also getting information about injuries. He says that a law enforcement officer was injured at the school, and we don't know the details associated with how this individual, how this law enforcement officer got injured. According to witnesses, we've learned of other multiple injuries, and at least one other student, a girl, that was shot in the leg.

Now, again, Kate, this is towards the end of the school year. So when you think about this, graduation was supposed to be tomorrow. So these individuals, these families are supposed to be celebrating at this time, and instead, some of them will be arranging funerals. Again, from the sheriff, and this is the latest breaking information here coming in to CNN NEWSROOM, that eight to 10 fatalities are reported -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, Rosa Flores on the ground for us. We'll be coming back to you, Rosa, because there's a lot more to learn here.

One thing I want to get to, though, is we're getting some new sound from some of the students who lived through this, some of the students whose parents called them and told them to run. Run, run, just keeping running.

Here's another eye witness. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: While in the classroom, something about one of the students was getting a fire alarm because he pulled out the shotgun and shot the person point blank in the classroom. At least one of them tried to pull the alarm to know that everyone was getting out. But from that was very unknown to me at the time being.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you know anyone who was in the classroom at that time?

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: I don't know anybody in the classroom, no. I barely talked to anybody that was in our class except for one of my teachers that was in there. I had him for my sophomore year for ceramics. Then afterwards, I was told that it was in classroom three, but I'm still trying to get that in my head what classroom that is. It might have been one of the teachers I had or her best friend that was next door.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: People that you know, can you just tell me a little bit about where you went after the shooting? What were you told? What was the process that people were telling you to do?

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: What we were told was to go to one of the buildings for cover. And then afterwards cop cars started pulling in and everything. So I thought something else was off. So I heard there was actual gunfire and that there was three people injured at the time being. And then everybody was panicking, everybody was crying, and then I started seeing two or three students jumping over the fence, trying to get further away from all the fire. Then my mom and dad started blowing in my phone, like hey, don't go following the crowd. We're instant targets because we're in a crowd. They told me to kind of get away from it.

[11:55:05] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: As a student, what's your feeling at this moment?

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: I'm kind of calmed down, but at the same time I'm still kind of --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on a wrong number.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You said three-six.



BOLDUAN: OK. A lot of coverage, a lot of technical issues. But it was very important to hear from that student what we heard.

Jonathan is still with me.

Jonathan, one of the things sticking out is the time of year. Baccalaureate, I'm told, is happening tomorrow and student graduation is right around the corner.

WACKROW: Exactly. When you start looking at these incidents that are happening at schools, there are a lot of motivating factors that can come into play. Was the student potentially excluded from a graduation ceremony? Was the shooter subject to bullying or exclusion? There are a lot of issues that are very specific to the school environment. And again, understanding the motive of the shooter, why did this happen, why did this happen right at 8:00 at the start of the day. A lot of these issues need to be identified right away. And then, you know, broadly, we want to make sure that no copycat acts occur. Was this the first of an associated group? There are a lot of things law enforcement has to look at in the immediacy of this incident and the very dynamics.

BOLDUAN: Tom, are you still with me?


BOLDUAN: Tom, one thing I thought was interesting coming from the sheriff was there could be more injuries. They're still kind of going through the scene. Does that surprise you that they haven't made it all the way through the school yet, if you will?

FUENTES: No, it's a pretty good-sized building, but they have to look in every closet, every ventilation pipes, control room for conditioning and heating. Janitor closets. There are a lot of hidden places someone could go hide or could have been wounded or hurt and then went and hid. In order to do a methodical search, it does take time.


BOLDUAN: Tom, I'm going to cut you off and head back to the hospital, one of the hospitals taking in patients.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We don't know if that was the officer is what you're saying, right?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: That's correct. I don't know. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We're hearing things on social media of

possibly needing blood donations. Do you know anything about that?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: I've not heard that, but we'll check on that. As I said before, we're prepared for this sort of situation which includes extra blood for these sorts of multiple situations, multiple patient situations. But right now, as I mentioned, we have our social workers standing by if loved ones show up and they know their loved ones are here at the hospital, we're prepared to help them through this terrible, terrible time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How long has that critical patient been in surgery?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: We had our briefing 40 minutes ago, so -- I don't know when they actually went in, so I don't want to speculate.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: For people just joining us, can you take us into that emergency room? Obviously, chaotic. What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: I'm so proud of these folks. We had a mass casualty drill several is weeks ago. We made sure everybody knows their job. Does it get chaotic? Of course, because everyone is moving around quickly. But they all stay in the right place, they all do the right thing so know they're providing the best care they can.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We saw the chief nurse get choked up just a few minutes ago.

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: Look, it's an emotional time. We have family, we have friends, we have staff members who live in the Santa Fe area, so we're all a part of this community.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUIDBLE). Is that something referenced from the scene?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: That's what I understand. That's what I understand. That it came from the scene and landed here.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: At the time, you have three patients in this hospital, one in critical condition, who is currently in surgery.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A female who was shot in the leg.


Who is in good condition. And a male under 18 who also was shot in the leg. Do you know his condition?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What's the message to people watching at home right now from you guys here in the hospital?

UNIDENTIFIED HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR: If you need information, call the school district. We're treating our patients, the ones we know we have here. I'm sure they're doing the best they can to provide all the information of everyone that's at that school district. And I don't presume to speak to them. But that's what I would do.

And our hearts and prayers literally do go out and I really do mean that.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are any more patients on the way?

As far as I know, no more patients are on the way, but that could change. We'll keep you updated if we learn anything else.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Will we get another briefing with --

We still put out the 11:45 briefing, yes.