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Woman Wanted for Columbine Threat Found Dead; Prosecutors Say They Intend To Release The Videos Involved In Robert Kraft Case. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired April 17, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me. Let's get you right back to the breaking news out of Colorado where sources say a woman who official say was fascinated with and infatuated with Columbine and made these credible threats to local Denver schools. She is dead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SHRADER, SHERIFF, JEFFERSON COUNTY, COLORADO: The FBI recently just confirmed that they have found Ms. Pais deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
JASON GLASS, SUPERINTENDENT, JEFFERSON COUNTY PUBLICC SCHOOLS: We are relieved that the threat to our schools and community is no longer present.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: This news this afternoon coming in the wake of a massive manhunt for 18-year-old Sol Pais who flew from Miami to Denver earlier this week. The FBI considered Pais armed and dangerous after she bought a shotgun and ammunition when she arrived in town.
So let's go straight to CNN's Scott McLean. He is outside Columbine High School there in Littleton, Colorado. And so Scott, what are you hearing from law enforcement about how she took her life?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke, certainly it is a sad ending to this particular story. But obviously, this community can breathe a sigh of relief. You heard there in that press conference law enforcement saying that she was -- she had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound where they found her.
What is interesting about where she was, around the Mount Evans area, that's about an hour and a half drive from where we are and it's quite remote as well. It is ways off of the main interstate I-70. And in fact, part of the road that she likely would have been found off of is actually seasonal. It's not scheduled to open for about another month or so.
So how she would have gotten there is pretty unclear. We know that schools will be open tomorrow as per usual though there will be more security and more police officers on site. There are already officers camping out here outside of Columbine as a precaution. And one other thing, Brooke that stood out to me in that press conferences, as you heard one of those officials say that look, the April 20th, 1999 really taught them something about responding to these types of incidents about communication.
I just got off the phone earlier today with Grant White, he is one of the first SWAT team officers inside there. He says, "Look, that day taught us not just about different tactics for responding to these active shooting situations, but also just in communication in general, even for situations like this." Clearly, the silos between law enforcement the school had been broken down and this is obviously a sign of success and some real communication in that area Brooke.
BALDWIN: In addition, I've been listening today, this Saturday marks 20 years since and I know through the years, this school has been on the receiving end of threats, bizarre threats for years. But official say this one felt different. Why?
MCLEAN: Yes, they said it felt different. It was different. And obviously it caught their attention. You know, if you speak to the former principal, Frank DeAngelis, he will tell you, there have been a laundry list of threats. And you can almost sense the exasperation in the voices there in that room at that press conference with saying, "Look, Columbine is not a tourist attraction. It is not a place to go to gain some sort of bizarre inspiration." It is not a place anywhere anybody needs to be unless you are a student.
And so you can kind of sense the frustration that they have. There was one particular incident. I recall Frank DeAngelis, telling me about where a woman had come to -- she told him, this was years back that she wanted to see where her husband had died, somehow implying that she had posthumously or at least in her own mind believe that she was married to one of the shooters.
And so there's all kinds of these bizarre stories. These threats these students are certainly used to lockouts, lockdowns, and things like that, but typically when they happen, they're cleared quite quickly.
This one though, obviously felt different and it was different in the end, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Yes. Scott McLean, thank you so much, in Littleton. All of this coming, as I mentioned just days before the 20th anniversary of the April 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School where 12 students and one teacher were killed in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
Dave Cullen has been covering school shootings for two decades and as the author of the bestselling book, "Columbine." His most recent book is "Parkland: Birth of a Movement." Also with me, James Gagliano. He's a retired FBI supervisory agent. So great to see both of you.
I mean, let me just double down on Scott's point from that school resource officer reminding everyone that Littleton -- Columbine is not a tourist attraction, yet over the years, they have been on the receiving end of all kinds of threats.
[14:05:01] BALDWIN: And you make this point about -- this is -- was an 18-year-old woman, and you say women in particular are the ones who are most fascinated, to use the word, from law enforcement. Why?
DAVE CULLEN, AUTHOR: Right. And I would say girls, usually because I hear from more like 13 to 16 year old young high school girls, so I hear from them daily. It's a fandom, unfortunately, and Eric and Dylan are the center of that. They call themselves the TCC -- the Trench Coat Community.
BALDWIN: The two shooters from 20 years ago.
CULLEN: Yes, those are the biggest ones. There's a handful of others like Dylann Roof, they have the Roofies. There are sort of different subgroups who argue with the Newfies, who are their adversaries.
But Eric and Dylan are seen as sort of like the founding fathers of this movement and looked up to unfortunately by these people, and in particular, Dylan is the most common sort of the center of the idealization because he was the less maniacal one and because he's sort of like what they most look for -- the awkward, sad, introverted. The boy who just needs my love and my help and I could have loved him out of this, is that sort of thing?
Yes, you know, there's all sorts of love poetry and then some sexual stuff when they discovered I was gay. That like, "Oh, that's the reason that I like was nicer about Dylan." And so they there's a meme that I get almost every few days of like, me Photoshopped into a wedding photo, my face and Dylan's as grooms at a weddings.
BALDWIN: This is a whole inside community. It's a freakish fandom if I may. And the fact is that she was 18 years of age, she wasn't even alive when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed this atrocity at Columbine High School and my question to you is how just looking at yesterday and today did law enforcement go from wanting to find this person? Question this person? Potentially arrest this person to her taking her own life?
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: There had to be some type of actionable lead and that's law enforcement vernacular for something rose from "Okay, that's just speech issue to she's going to do something."
BALDWIN: They must have known a lot right?
GAGLIANO: They had to and I'm certain that in the last overnight and obviously throughout the day, they've obviously probably gone through tons more of evidence and things they found online. The problem is those dark recesses, those nether regions of the internet, we have Fourth Amendment protections or right to privacy and people can say things. They can get heated. They can say something hyperbole, satire. Where do you draw the line?
And obviously in something that she said, and it was her being infatuated with the Columbine folks, we know about this glorification, the mythology, but also the fact that she purchased a shotgun.
She didn't decide to buy a handgun. She didn't decide to get an AR15. She bought a shotgun.
BALDWIN: What does that tell you?
GAGLIANO: Well, if you look at the weapons that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris used 20 years ago this Saturday, two of those weapons were sawed off shotguns. So we don't know how she took her own life. Typically, a shotgun is not what somebody would choose as their garden variety tool for doing their own -- taking their own life. But in this instance, there seemed to be a certain kind of infatuation.
Law enforcement struggles with this. We struggle with how do we police the internet? We want people to have free speech. We want people to be able to go and have their own chat rooms. But if today or tomorrow or the next day when weapons comes out, Brooke, we're all going to look at this we're going to go, "My God, how could you have let that go by?"
See that's a direct threat and there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of those everyday on the internet.
BALDWIN: As we're covering this, I can't help but think of -- I've talked to four Columbine survivors the other weekend. You're still in touch with them. I mean, this time of year for any of them is difficult and that's an understatement. You do talk about the April fog and everyone has a trigger, right? But this has to be particularly profoundly difficult for them.
CULLEN: It really is. And you know, I was talking to Frank -- Mr. diAngelis --
BALDWIN: The principal.
CULLEN: Yes, just a couple of days ago and this actually -- this this one was sort of looking up and he actually told me this will probably be the last organized one we ever do.
BALDWIN: A memorial marking the anniversary.
CULLEN: Yes, and at the 10th -- most of the families of the fallen who came back, this year, only a handful are there. They've decided to move on, and people really are moving on.
Parkland really changed things for them, too, because a year ago or so, it was looking so bleak and they felt like almost two decades into this and nothing has changed and we're not doing anything about it. Parkland really gave them -- so many of them -- faith again. They feel like, "Wow, now something is happening." And so they have that. They feel like okay, the wind is at our back, the next generation is doing something about this. So that was great hope going into this one, and we could feel better about this.
And you know, this is such a backsliding moment. That's just going to make it really, really rough again. BALDWIN: Listening to the School Safety Officer though, and this is
something that we were talking to this group about the other day is what do you think the biggest difference is between then and now?
GAGLIANO: Huge differences in two decades and let's look at how 9/11 was the seminal moment for information sharing and intelligence sharing amongst the national security apparatus.
[14:10:12] BALDWIN: Yes.
GAGLIANO: The FBI has to talk to the CIA. The CIA --
GAGLIANO: Absolutely. Same thing here. Prior to Columbine, I mean, when Columbine happened, I always remember the FBI's hostage rescue team. We did not train the state and local -- they had particular ways of doing things. We had our own particular ways. And homogenous units never worked heterogeneously.
Columbine changed that. Why? Because when the first law enforcement folks showed up in that parking lot, there were 47 minutes between the first shot that went off by Klebold and Harris and the entry by the SWAT teams. Now here's the problem. You had people from different organizations there. There was no standardized training. That has changed.
All law enforcement entities from the state, local and the Federal level now work together. And now the first two or three people show up in that scene. They get into a particular formation and Brooke, they move to the sound of the guns.
BALDWIN: No, and we're going to play this clip a little bit later.
CULLEN: Can I throw in a few basic -- crucial basic things change because of that.
CULLEN: Yes, the fire alarm went off for hours and the SWAT teams couldn't even talk because the assistant principal who had the codes was flustered and couldn't remember them. So now, they've got all codes on. They went inside the wrong side of the school looking for the cafeteria and library because they didn't realize the school had been renovated and that was in the opposite side of the school. So it took a few hours to get there.
So now blueprints in every -- so very basic things like that at every police department.
BALDWIN: I want to talk more about the differences with the similarities 20 years ago versus now. Guys, thank you so much. To both of you, David and James and as I mentioned, and you will see this incredible meeting between Columbine survivors and Parkland survivors about dealing with this 20 years later, so please don't miss this incredibly important conversation also just getting into mental health.
Also just in, prosecutors say they do intend to release the videos involved in the Robert Kraft case as the NFL owner fights they're release facing charges in that prostitution sting. You are watching CNN, I'm Brooke Baldwin.
[14:16:29] BALDWIN: We're back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. More breaking news. This is involving the prostitution case here. Prosecutors in this prostitution case against the owner of the New England Patriots say that they intend to release surveillance video. They say it shows billionaire, Robert Kraft allegedly paying for sex acts at a Florida Day Spa. But Kraft and his team is fighting the release of the video.
CNN's Rosa Flores is in Miami Beach covering this one for us and I also have with me Areva Martin, our CNN legal analyst, so we'll talk legal in a second, but Rosa, you've got the breaking details. Bob Kraft lawyers just responded. What did they say?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kraft's attorney is filing an emergency motion with the court, Brooke, using the State's Attorney's own words to argue against the release.
You see, we were in court last week when the State Attorney promised not to release the video until the court issued an order. Here's the quote, quote, "Judge, I can promise the court that nothing is being released until you issue an order." Now we just got off the phone with the State Attorney's office with their spokesperson asking them that question -- do they plan to break this promise?
The spokesperson saying that that the release of this video is not eminent, but that they are not going to wait for weeks for the judge and also added that they have a conference call with a judge at 2:30 this afternoon.
But Brooke, as you might imagine, this judge is not going to be happy after the State Attorney promised in court that that this would not be released.
Now what the judge did decide this past Friday, Brooke was that both parties were going to submit a proposed order to the court and that then the judge would make a decision, but the deadline for that was last night.
And then here is the State Attorney's Office filing this motion, this notice to the court today, of course, not giving the judge very much time to process those two proposed orders and then to issue his own order.
I should add as well that there was a suppression hearing scheduled for April 26th. This is where Kraft's attorneys plan to argue that the video was obtained illegally. They have a lot of constitutional arguments as well to compel the court not to release this video, but Brooke, the State Attorney's Office in that filing that they filed today said that they are compelled by Florida's Sunshine Laws to release this video despite constitutional arguments -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: On that final point, Rosa, thank you. Areva, I want to start with you because in addition to all of what Rosa just laid out, like his defense attorneys are also saying this is explicit material. This is pornography. Not to mention this would be really embarrassing and really salacious for anyone. But this is a criminal proceeding. I mean, what is the argument for prosecutors on making these tapes public?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: What the prosecutors are arguing, Brooke is that the Florida Public Records Act compels them to release this tape. They're saying this tape is no different than any other evidence that they obtained in the course of a criminal investigation. And once that investigation is over, that evidence becomes a matter of public record.
And they're saying these constitutional arguments don't prohibit them from releasing this information. And we've seen this jostling back and forth between Kraft's legal team and these prosecutors and apparently, one prosecutor in court, as Rosa said, saying that he would not release the information until the court rule, but another prosecutor making some pronouncement today that he was going to go forward with releasing the videotape.
And this is all made more complicated, Brooke, by the fact that the owner and the manager of the spa, they are in trial -- their trial is moving forward.
[14:20:10] MARTIN: So it's not just about Robert Kraft, but as you will recall, there were dozens of people that were caught in this sting operation and all of those individuals have some or may be implicated in this video tape as well.
BALDWIN: That's right. It may not be just Bob Kraft, but at least a dozen others as well. Quickly, we know that the Kraft team, they are arguing they won't be able to get a fair trial if this is released, and we don't know if it would even be admitted as evidence. Do you think it would affect a fair trial?
MARTIN: Well, obviously if the tape is as explicit, as we've been told, it may; but again, Robert Kraft shouldn't be treated any differently than any other defendant. IF the Florida Public Records Act allows for the release of this type of information and it's been released in every other case, not involving billionaire, NFL team owners like Robert Kraft, then there's really not a legitimate argument as to why he should be treated any differently.
BALDWIN: Areva Martin, thank you so much.
MARTIN: Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: We have more on the breaking news coming to us out of Colorado. The School Safety Director at Columbine High School says the school is not a tourist attraction after this 18 year old woman is found dead this morning after making a threat. I recently sat down with survivors of the Columbine School shooting and the recent attack in Parkland, Florida and we talked about what's changed in 20 years and what these survivors can actually teach each other. We'll be right back.
[14:25:55] BALDWIN: We are following the breaking news out of Colorado where a woman who made credible threats to local Denver Schools has been found dead apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sol Pais was reportedly infatuated with Columbine High School and this Saturday marks 20 years since that awful day when 12 students and a teacher were shot and killed inside what should have been a safe space.
It is a tragedy that has happened again and again over the past 20 years. Sandy Hook, at Virginia Tech, in Santa Fe, Texas and in Parkland, Florida.
I want to focus on the survivors because I recently sat down with survivors both from Columbine and Parkland. And really, these are bookends of two terrible tragedies in our nation's history and just keeping in mind these young people in Parkland, Florida, they weren't even born when Columbine happened and I wanted to know what's changed in 20 years and what hasn't, and in the wake of three recent suicides, the father of a Sandy Hook first grader and two Parkland students, I also wanted to focus on mental health. Here is our conversation.
BALDWIN: Show of hands, how many of you have cried in the shower? Oh, wow. Every single one of you. I've talked to gun violence survivors and they say that is the place they choose to let it out. Tell me why.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's -- I don't know how to explain it. You cry because you just want to -- it's heavy. Everything is heavy.
BALDWIN: Even in this room, how many of you actually checked out where the exits are before you sat down with me? Oh, my goodness. That's just second nature. Wherever you are.
CONI SANDERS, DAUGHTER OF COLUMBINE VICTIM DAVE SANDERS: Yes, and only one of them will set off an alarm.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes.
SARI KAUFMAN, PARKLAND SURVIVOR: And even before the shooting at my school like I would still do that because I think that our generation was so used to like hearing about shootings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hillary and I are profoundly shocked and saddened by the tragedy today in Littleton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I looked out the window and there's a kid with a trench coat and a shotgun throwing pipe bombs in the parking lot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I saw was barrels of the guns just going off blazing. I saw a couple of teachers and they have been with a bunch of blood.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just heard all the gunshots. So like all the kids getting shot and we didn't know it was the kids. We thought it was the computers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Does it feel like it's been 20 years?
ZACH CARTAYA, COLUMBINE SURVIVOR: Some days that feels longer. Some days it feels like it happened in no time. It's a process. It's a constant process. Mr. DeAngelis, our principal told us on April 21st that our recovery was going to be a marathon and not a race. It is a marathon and you have to keep picking up the baton and running.
AMY OVER, COLUMBINE SURVIVOR: We were fundraising for a nonprofit and we're getting ready to get into the car and a car backfired or a cement block dropped.
CARTAYA: They were doing some construction so we weren't sure which.
OVER: So something dropped and it was super loud. And Zach and I both at the same time hit the ground. And we started laughing and you know, just trying to make light of the situation. But even 20 years later, we still are struggling.
BALDWIN: Laura, you're nodding. Why?
LAURA FARBER, COLUMBINE SURVIVOR: Yes, no, definitely. I think for me, like predictability is what I need in my life. Because, you know, I was expecting to go to lunch on the 20th, and my whole world changed.
SANDERS: In the 20 years since then, we've all experienced different levels of trauma. I have to know where all of my loved ones are at all times. I panic, I think about them being gone because I left my dad a message and he didn't return that call.
OVER: When my daughter was going to preschool. I dropped her off and she had her little backpack on and looked cute, had big bows in her hair and it was supposed to be a really exciting great time. I went to drop her off and I had my first panic attack and I just couldn't -- my husband literally, we dropped her off. He told me to pull myself together. And then he took me straight to the emergency room where I was told I had a panic attack. And so then I dealt with embarrassment and just mad -- I was like mad at myself. Like why? Why after all these years am I struggling?
SARI KAUFMAN, PARKLAND SURVIVOR: Even right now listening to -- and they've been through this 20 years and it just terrifies me to see that in 20 years like I will still be --