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11 City Workers, 1 Contractor Killed in Workplace Shooting; Political & Law Enforcement Officials Give Press Conference on Virginia Beach Shooting; Political & Law Enforcement Officials Give Press Conference on Virginia Beach Shooting; Police: Shooting Suspect Not Disgruntled Employee & Still Seeking Motive; Officials: Both Guns Used in Shooting Purchased Legally; Pelosi Interrupted by "Impeach" Chants at California Democrat Convention; Elizabeth Warren Steels Thunder at California Democrat Convention; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Will Not Challenge Trump in Primary. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 1, 2019 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:00:16] JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in CNN NEWSROOM. i'm jessica Dean, in for Ana Cabrera.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: And i'm Erica Hill, live in Virginia Beach, virginia, a city that is sadly now on the long list of American places dealing with the aftermath of senseless, deadly workplace violence.

Police, at this hour, still trying to determine just what drew a man to bring a gun to an office building and open fire. Twelve people killed, 11 of them city employees just like the gunman. And he was also killed in what the police chief described as a long-term gun battle with responding officers.

Stay close because we are waiting to hear from police in Virginia Beach. That will happen any minute now. We'll bring you that news conference as it begins.

But let's set the stage for you at this hour and just remind you how we got here. Everything happening in the building that is just behind me, just about 24 hours ago. This was as the work week was wrapping up, a friday afternoon at 4:00, employees getting ready to start their weekend.

Witnesses say the shooter walked through all three floors of that building killing and wounding people.

City leaders, understandably, still very much in shock.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE HANSEN, VIRGINIA BEACH CITY MANAGER: The lives of 12 people were cut short by a senseless incomprehensible act of violence. I have worked with most of them for many years.

We want you to know who they were. So in the days and weeks to come, you will learn what they meant to all of us, to their families, to their friends, and to their co-workers. They leave a void that we will never be able to fill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: The city manager, as you heard, wants the nation to know the people whose lives were taken who died in this massacre.

We will share those names with you. We will repeat them. Those are the ones we'll repeat for you, these 12 lives cut short.

And Laquita C. Brown, a Public Works employee, here for 4.5 years.

Tara Welch Gallagher was an engineer. She was employed by the city for the past six years.

Mary louise gayle was a right-of-way agent who worked in the department for 24 years.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev, a Public Works employee for the last nine years.

Katherine A. Nixon, also an engineer with the city for the last decade.

Richard Nettleton was a municipal employee for 28 years.

Christopher kelly Rapp, an engineer who joined the Public Works Department just 11 months ago.

Ryan keith Cox, an account clerk for more than a dozen years.

And Joshua Hardy, who was an engineering technician for the city of Virginia Beach.

Michelle Langer, who was known as Missy, spent the last 12 years working for the city.

And Bobby Williams, who worked for the city for 41 years.

Those are the 11 public employees.

Bert Snelling was also killed on friday. A contractor, he was in the building to get a permit.

President Trump sending a message to this grieving community earlier in a tweet, which reads, "Spoke to virginia Governor Ralph Northam last night and the mayor and vice mayor of Virginia Beach this morning to offer condolences to that great community. The federal government is there and will be for whatever they may need. God bless the families and all."

Survivors either were running for their lives or trying to hide in their offices.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTFIED WITNESS: We were all just terrified. It almost felt like it wasn't real. That we were in a dream. You hear this all the time in the news but you don't think it's ever going to happen to you. Then when it actually happens, it's almost like an out of body experience. You've just terrified because all you can hear are the gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: We heard it downstairs. And we go to the corridor and there was a lady on the stairs, unconscious. Blood all over the stairway. We didn't even know what happened. When they went upstairs, she came back out saying get out of the building, somebody has been shot. At that point, we all left.

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: We heard shooting. We heard shooting, but we didn't think it was that close, that close like in proximity of the building. I just thank God that they were able to alert us in time. Because if it had been 10 minutes more, we all would have been outside. So, that's what i'm grateful for today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

#: CNN correspondents brian todd, shimon Prokupecz and miguel marquez are here with me now as well.

Brian, i want to begin with you.

What have we heard from police at this hour? Any word what the motive may have been?

[15:05:10] BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Asked about motive and police have not been saying very much about that. What they have talked about is the weapons that were found at the scene and the shooter's apartment. There have been additional weapons discover at the scene and at the shooter's apartment. We hope to learn more about that.

But motive is the key question. We've been pressing them hard on this. We've been told by sources that he was a disgruntled employee.

But beyond that, we've been pressuring officials here whether he targeted anyone specifically in that building when he walked in. Police have said he was firing indiscriminately, but the question is, was he targeting anyone. Also, were there any workplace conflicts that might have spurred this on or did he make any threats. We've pressed officials on those questions as well. They're not talking about them. They may not know yet or they just don't want to talk about them, Erica.

So hopefully, some of those gaps are going to be filled in, in the coming hours and days.

#: And we'll be looking as soon as that press conference begins.

Miguel, you were at the hospital. What do we know about the four people that are wounded?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, four in total. One of them is just out of the operating room. Another one that was injured much more badly went in the operating room last night. They may go in again this afternoon and then possibly again next week. There's a third person at Sentara Virginia Beach --

(CROSSTALK)

#: A press conference right now.

RALPH NORTHAM, (R), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR: Well, good afternoon.

First, i'd like to thank the press and the media for being here and doing the work that you're doing and letting the people across virginia and this country know of the efforts as we deal with this horrific tragedy.

I'd also like to thank all of the men and women who have stepped forward and been part of this effort as we move forward in healing virginia. They are, no doubt, dedicated, professional and compassionate. And for that, i say, thank you.

To Mayor Dyer, who leads this city, to our city manager, dave Hansen, our chief of police, Cervera, thank you for your leadership, as well as the other elected officials during a very difficult time here in Virginia Beach.

We continue to focus on these families, on the victims. As we said yesterday, these are 12 individuals who came to work in the city of Virginia Beach thinking that they would go home in the evening. And they didn't return and has left a tremendous void in our families and in our community.

I've had the opportunity, along with some other elected officials, to visit our local hospitals. I am a doctor. I served in Desert Storm. I have been in situations such as this. And it was important for me to go to our hospitals and thank the doctors and nurses and staff.

And i can also let you know i had the opportunity to speak with some of the families. They send their thanks for the heroic deeds that were performed yesterday. And i want to assure you that they are all being well cared for in our local hospitals.

I want to also thank the outpouring of support and love that has come not only in hampton Roads in virginia, but, of course, this country. And it is just so, so important as we continue in this healing process.

So, i'd ask all of you that are viewing this today to continue to please lift up Virginia Beach, continue to lift up these victims and their families, as we continue this healing process which will go on, not for days, but months and years.

So, thank you.

I will turn this over to our mayor of Virginia Beach, Mayor Bobby Dyer.

Mayor? BOBBY DYER, (R), VIRGINIA BEACH MAYOR: Thank you, Governor.

It's been about 23 hours since this horror was imposed upon the city of Virginia Beach. And let me just say this. We will not be defined by this horror. We will go forward. We are a city of resiliency and resolve. The true character of our city is going to rest with our public, our citizens, and our neighbors that we share borders with.

[15:10:10] The governor just mentioned there was an outpouring of love, empathy, and willingness to help. There's no doubt, question or reservation.

Let me just say this, and i will be brief. There's one thing that is most evident that has come about. We, in Virginia Beach, are a city of heroes. We have heroes with our military. We have many members of our public that help and save lives.

But most of all, let me commend the officers, the people that ran into a building with an active shooter shooting .45-caliber bullets, and saved many people. Without doubt, question or reservation, Virginia Beach is a city of heroes.

And the strength of Virginia Beach are the people of virginia. And there's no doubt that going forward that we will define ourselves as the city with love and compassion for those neighbors that we lost and their families.

And we're not going to just do this over the next couple of weeks. This is going to be a long-term thing. This is Virginia Beach.

Thank you.

And at this point, i'd like to bring up Chief Cervera.

JAMES CERVERA, CHIEF, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: From the police end, we do not have a lot of additional information to give at this time other than the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has taken over the evidence recovery portion of this. Their EIT has responded. They've come as a group of 40 individuals assisting the city of Virginia Beach.

It's a time-consuming, meticulous process. It is not what you see on TV. It's not what will you see in the movies. It's a time-consuming process. And they have taken that assignment on magnificently. They're doing an absolutely fantastic job inside of the building.

Our forensic evidence techs are also inside the building and will be there for quite some time. We have that to give out.

The other thing is that, as the manager said earlier, we will have members of the Virginia Beach Police Honor Guard and Fire Department Honor Guard teams assigned to the families. We want to make sure that they have liaisons for just about everything they need at this point.

And we want everyone, we want the family members and the friends to know we're behind them 100 percent. That this isn't just something that's going to happen and then, suddenly, we're going back to business.

But at this time, i'd like to call the regional special agent in charge of the ATF to come forward and give us a few words on where we are with the weapons that have been recovered and the evidence that they are attempting to obtain from those weapons.

Sir?

ASHAN BENEDICT, REGIONAL SPECIAL AGENT, ATF: Thank you, Chief.

Good afternoon.

On behalf of the men and women of the ATF, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families.

Working the Virginia Beach police department, state police and partners with the FBI, we identified two weapons used in the shooting yesterday. Both weapons are .45-caliber pistols. One was purchased in 2016, one was purchased in 2018. Both pistols were purchased by the shooter and all indications are they were purchased legally.

In addition, ATF agents assisted the local police with a search warrant at the shooter's residence. Two other firearms were recovered from that location. One of the two that's been identified. Of the one that's been identified, also legally purchased by the shooter.

At this time, we're also working with our law enforcement partners to look at the ballistics from the weapons discharged and also our ballistic network of NIBIN to make sure to see if they correspond with any other shooting.

That's all I have. Thank you.

James?

CERVERO: Thank you.

The only final bit of information i can give at this time, there's been some questions concerning the time line, how long did the shoot- out occur, what was the time line that the officers first arrived on the scene. We'll put all of that together. But we do want to interview officers to get specifics. The computer dispatch time line is one piece of evidence but we're interviewing the officers to get that specific information.

Again, i want you to understand that in a situation such as this, these officers need a little bit of time to decompress before we begin to ask them about this absolutely horrific crime scene and the intense fire-fight shoot-out that they had with the suspect. So, i'll have more information on that tomorrow.

Julie?

[15:15:12] JULIE HILL, VIRGINIA BEACH COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm julie Hill. i'm the communications director for the city. I've been here for four years. And in that four years, i can tell you that this is an incident that

speaks to really the heart and soul of this city that i've come to call home. But make no mistake, we are a heartbroken city because we have lost 12 people who did not nothing more than come to work yesterday, and expect to go home, and they were not able.

We're just about a day into this event. And so, we've got a lot of plans to make. We have 12 funerals to help these families plan. And that's the work that we're about to get under way starting today. We're meeting with the families.

We're focusing on the we're going to be taking for memorials. This community has begun to stem up in that regard.

In addition to a memorial service that the city is planning for thursday evening that everyone is invited to attend at Rock Creek Church -- we'll have more information on that -- we're hearing about other vigils that are being planned for the community. Some started today. Some will be taking place over the course of the week.

So if anybody does have incidents or events and vigils that they'd like us to include in our listing, you can email those to us at news@vbgov. We will be glad to add those to our Web site.

This vigil that we've planned, the momorial service is this Thursday, the 6th, at 7:00. It will be a remembrance ceremony for those 12 victims who lost their lives in the shooting yesterday. It will be at Rock Church, at 640 Kensle Road (ph) here in Virginia Beach. And it is open to the public and we encourage anyone who wants to share in that to be able to attend.

One of the most important responsibilities i have today is to make a correction to the name of an individual. We mistook the middle initial for Joshua Hardy. We put it in as an "A." It should be an "O." i want to make sure that is corrected. If you pulled the file down from the Web site, you now have that corrected information. But I didn't want to leave today without giving you that information.

There are a lot of people who have wanted to drop by memorials and flowers and candles. And there's a designated area for us to receive those. And that's at the flag right outside of the -- right in front of the public safety, the police department, which is on Princess Ann Road, Building 11. It's to the left of the flagpole. There's the flag right there. And that's where we're going to hope that people will be able to gather and share those mementos.

And finally, the amount of support that we've received has been incredible. We're immensely grateful for the support that we've received. We hope that you'll continue to extend that our families and the rest of the employees.

You want to know more. i've been hearing from you that you want to know more about each of the individuals. I think, as we are able to work with the families, that's going to become easier as the days go by. So if you'll just give us a little bit of time. I think you'll find an awful lot of people who want to tell you everything about these people you that want to know.

What questions do you have for us this afternoon?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

HILL: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

HILL: There's not much change on them from earlier. We have three critical and one in fair condition.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

HILL: He's been treated and released. You might remember that the chief had indicated that it was his vest that saved him yesterday.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- we heard the suspect was an employee. But we're hearing from fellow law enforcement sources that he was, indeed, fired. So could we please get a clarification?

CERVERA: Can you please let me know a federal law enforcement agency that gave you that information?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: I can just tell you my sources is a federal law enforcement agency.

CERVERA: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

CERVERA: OK. You can correct your source. That's not correct.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That's not correct?

CERVERA: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: He was not fired?

CERVERA: Yes, sir, he's not been fired.

(CROSSTALK)

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

CERVERA: Where?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

CERVERA: Approximately -- well, i don't know exactly what time he entered the building. I know what time we got the first call for service. Shortly, after 4:00 p.m.

Again, I will --

(CROSSTALK)

CERVERA: One moment. i will have the exact time line as to when the first call came out. I can tell you that the call was dispatched within a timely fashion. That the first officers arrived within minutes. And i will give you the exact moment when we engaged with the suspect after that.

(CROSSTALK)

CERVERA: Hold it -- excuse me.

Yes, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

CERVERA: Did he go to work? I don't have that information. We will get that at a later time.

[15:20:07] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- Do you have any information on possible motive -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: We have interviewed co-workers and i'm not at liberty to discuss what their information was.

We have a question over here, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This is a question for the governor.

Considering now that there's an open question on motive, considering the motive is unclear right now, what do you say to government employees if -- (INAUDIBLE) -- they're unsure they'll be safe?

NORTHAM: Well, you know, this was a horrific tragedy. Right now, we want to let everyone know that they are safe. There are accommodations being made to continue our government services here in the city of Virginia Beach.

But until we gather more information, there's really not a whole lot more to say. But they are safe at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can we get the name of the ATF official who spoke? (INAUDIBLE)

NORTHAM: Ashan, A-S-H-A-N, Benedict, B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And his tile?

NORTHAM: Special agent in charge.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- with members of the community who want to do something, what do you guys need today? CERVERA: Members of our community, citizens who work for our city

need their support. When i say need support, that's a very neblulous thing to say. Come to the vigil, show up at the vigil.

For our police officers, this is an absolute horrific event of unbelievable proportions. But, you know, police officers go to work every day, and they do things not at this level, but they do things sometimes with an amount of intensity every day.

Police officers put themselves in harm's way every day for people they've never met, people they have no connection to, and for people they will never see again. So, to the citizens of our city, i would like to see the support for the police officers.

Remember, as i talked earlier today, we trained recently on such an incident as this with our fire and EMS representatives. Give them the support they also need.

Nobody gets in a public service and public safety for pay and benefits. They get into it for the intrinsic value of what they give back to their community.

Pharrell williams recently said, "Let's show the young people we have their back." Let's is the time we need to say to our cop, let's show them we have your backs.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, the shooter appeared to be shooting indiscriminately. That anyone going to work with this gentleman every day. Can you reconcile that?

CERVERA: We're working through that. What i mean by indiscriminately was, as he came upon someone, that's when he took action. So, we're working through the actual time line and the actual event, what event took place when, and we'll try and piece that together as best as we could.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We're also hear from employees from the city there's some strong sense that he had some friction or difficulty at work. Can you confirm there's some past behavior that led -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: I can't confirm that until those who are interviewing everyone can give us a complete report as to what led up to this particular event.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, with the electronics, cell phones, computers, anything like that -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: OK, as investigators, they review everything they possibly can review. Once that's all put together in a documented investigative file, it will all be reviewed and determine what led up to this incident.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any idea -- (CROSSTALK)

CERVERA: One second, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any idea that this is planned, something is that he was thinking about for days and weeks or something that sparked him in that case?

CERVERA: Again, that will all come out once we get all of the intel work, background investigation work done. We've only been 24 hours into this. And the first piece of any investigation is to make sure that we have the crime scene completely reviewed, which is what we just completed. The detectives are in that phase.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When you say where -- and this is probably a question for the FBI agent in charge -- where that second gun was found in the building?

CERVERA: I'll actually defer to the FBI in charge.

UNIDENTIFIED FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: No. We're going to hold off on where weapons were found.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: One moment. And that might not satisfy you right now, but i said as we can give information, we will release it.

Yes, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, with the officers, is there any plans to bolster security with metal detectors or security personnel?

[15:25:05] CERVERA: We have security in all of our buildings. Except, I have to say this, that's a government employee who walked into the building, so if we are going to go to metal detectors to all employees coming in, i'll defer that to higher city authorities on how the buildings can be reconfigured.

Yes, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- the time line?

CERVERA: I'm sorry?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The time line -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: I said i expect to release it tomorrow.

(CROSSTALK)

CERVERA: I just -- and again, it's not just the time that we have posted on the computer dispatch, because that's the time officers call in. But in a situation like this, they're not thinking to call in exactly what they're doing and engaged, and then they're calling it in.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any idea how many people were in Building 2 at the time?

CERVERA: I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have a sense of -- given the time of the police response, how important that was in terms of saving lives?

CERVERA: Well, i can give you, from 44 years of being a police officer, anecdotal, that was extremely important, because the longer it takes, the more carnage we would have had. Those officers got there as quick as they could. They engaged him as quick as they possibly could. And there were able to neutralize him as quick as they possibly could. And I think, in the overall scheme of things, that helped save a number of lives in that building.

Yes, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) -- to come in Monday morning -- (INAUDIBLE)

HILL: We're having those conversations right now. And we'll have specific information that will be sent out to employees once the final decisions are made.

We are absolutely looking at some modifications of the schedule. But how we're going to work that out for the logistics for some of the essential services, that's the piece we're going to work on. We'll have it out as soon as we can.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any response from the shooter's parents? Did somebody talk to the parents? Did they offer any sympathy, condolences?

HILL: I am not aware of -- receiving anything from the city side.

CERVERA: The individuals who spoke to the parents did not report back what the parents exactly had to say. We will interview them for the investigative purposes of this.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Chief, i just found that, for the purpose of the investigation, police security cameras are pointing out two windows in the apartment -- (INAUDIBLE)

CERVERA: I cannot release any of that information from the search warrant at this time.

I'll take one more question.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us if he lived by himself or was there -- (INAUDIBLE) CERVERA: Deputy Chief Gallagher?

PATRICK GALLAGHER, DEPUTY CHIEF, VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: He lived alone.

CERVERA: The information we have is that he lived along.

And, sir, since you also raised your hand at the same time, you get the last question.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: If you could think tactically about how -- i realize you can't go too far -- when you guys train, did it work out more or less to what you trained?

CERVERA: Very good question. Thank you. We train extensively. We train extensively on firearms tactics. We train extensively on self- defense tactics. We train extensively on de-escalation tactics. In this case, there was no de-escalation. He was firing his weapons as soon as he saw the officers. He engaged firing his weapons at the officers.

So we train in what we call close-quarter battle. That's the best term i can give you. That is officers position themselves to take a tactical advantage in order to use deadly force.

And i have to really accentuate that. They're the only ones in society who are allowed to use deadly force on an individual. And they take that very seriously.

In this particular case, they reverted back to their tactics, to their training. And i have to tell you, that they reverted back to their self-discipline that our officers have because they learn that in training. And they reverted back to the discipline that they have as a police agency in order to return fire as tactically and efficiently as possible, and that's what happened.

So thank you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How many times was the shooter shot?

CERVERA: I don't have that specific information. I'm not going to release that until after the investigation is concluded.

As i said that would be the last question --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)

CERVERA: I just said that was the last question. Considering you're local, we'll let you ask that.

I can't give you the exact number of hours or days but we'll be there until that investigation is completed. They have teams going in and out. They are rehabilitating themselves, i.e., with food and water. They're being housed locally. So, in police work, we stay until the job is completed.

[15:30:00]

Thank you.

JULIE HILL, VIRGINIA BEACH COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Because of the chief's desire to release the time line for tomorrow, we're not going to pin the time in the morning. We really want to see when we have can that for you. Just as soon as we have that indication, we'll send out the alert and let you know.

And the best place for you, as you know, to follow is on the Virginia Beach Police Department Twitter feed. We'll post the time of tomorrow's briefing just as soon as we have it.

Thanks very much for showing up today.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: So, you've been listening to an update from officials here in Virginia Beach.

If you're just joining us, here's some of the headlines that are coming out of that. We learned from the ATF, in fact, two .45-caliber guns were recovered on the scene. Both, by all indications, were purchased legally by the shooter, one in 2016, one in 2018. Two more were found in a search of the home.

What else do we know? We know the FBI, a team of 40, has now taken over in terms of taking the evidence out of the building that is behind me, where all of this occurred just about 24 hours ago, yesterday afternoon.

We just also heard from the police chief how long the FBI will be here. He said pretty clearly, they'll be here until the job is done.

We know that both police and fire Department officers are serving as Honor Guard to serve as liaisons for the families. That was a big focus on the press conference, that what they're really trying to do right now for what is being called a heartbroken community is to offer the support that each one of these 12 family's needs, in addition to the co-workers, the folks in that building who witnessed all of this.

The mayor saying, "We will not be defined by this horror," noting it's a city of resiliency and resolve.

He commended, a number of times, the officers who ran into that active-shooter situation, praising them for saving lives, he believes, because they did, in fact, run into that building. He went on to say, "We will define ourselves as a city of love and compassion. This is Virginia Beach."

Stay with us. You're watching CNN. We'll have much more live from Virginia Beach after this short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:35:55] HILL: Back with me now here in Virginia Beach, CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, and law enforcement expert, Art Roderick, who has also spent 25 years with the U.S. Marshall's Service.

And, Art, I just want to start with you. Part of what officials, investigators are trying to put together at this point is what the motive may have been, who this person was. As we know, what are some of the questions that we're asking.

We've just heard in this press conference, there's was some question whether he was fired, disgruntled. They're making it very clear, police saying, no, he was not fire.

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Erica, well, law enforcement want to know what the motive is, number one. But also the public wants to know what the motive is. And hopefully, the public wants to know what the motive was. Hopefully, this will not end up like the Las Vegas shooter where we never knew what the motive was for him committing that horrendous crime in Las Vegas.

I think in particular case, because we do have a connection between the shooter and a workplace, it could very well be a workplace violence or he might have had some perceived grudge. But let's see how they come out once they start looking at his friends, associates, family members and also any other social media that he might have posted any of this stuff on.

HILL: That's everything that we're looking at.

It's interesting that you bring up co-workers. We know, Shimon, one of his co-workers actually telling CNN, look, I thought he was a good person. We talked with our families and friends. Actually had an interaction with him in the bathroom on Friday afternoon and they wished each other a good weekend.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Nothing seemed wrong to this person who say in the building.

Keep in mind, he had a hard pass, a security pass, the shooter did, getting into the building. Getting into the building is one thing. But trying to get into the offices in the building, he needed his hard pass. He has it. So it was there, indicating to us that he wasn't fired, that he had this hard pass.

In talking to some folks in law enforcement, there's a lot of things they're trying to answer, a lot of little pieces that they're trying to figure out to get to the motive. It may not just be as clear cut as a disgruntled employee. There may be something else. That's why they need to fill in the period before, the days leading up to the shooting. And that's something that FBI and agents are helping with.

We've seen FBI with crime scene detectives and crime scene investigations, the FBI, leaving this building. So they've been in there. They've been in there through the night working. They're now starting to leave as the work decreases. A lot of the bodies have been removed. Now, there's just a question of putting all of these different pieces together, his movement, where was he in the last few days, what was going on, who was he talking to. And that, indeed, is what is going on right now behind the scenes. HILL: Right.

PROKUPECZ: They know the weapons were purchased, where they were purchased, how they were purchased.

And the other thing that's going to interesting, to me, is the magazines. He bought these extended clips, extended magazines. You only do that -- there has to be a reason for it, right?

HILL: Right.

PROKUPECZ: Somebody described to me they're cumbersome, they jam a lot. You don't walk around with it in a gun and just carry it around with you. So there had to be a specific reason as to why he purchased those.

HILL: And to your point, too, looking back at his history, they'll also look at when they were purchased.

PROKUPECZ: That's right.

HILL: And what was happening in his life at that moment.

We will have much more -- all right, Shimon, thank you.

We will have much more coming to you live from here in Virginia Beach throughout the afternoon, throughout the evening.

We now throw it back to Jessica Dean, in New York, who is following a number of other stories on this Saturday -- Jessica?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Erica, thank you to you and our entire crew there in Virginia Beach.

[15:39:24] Many 2020 candidates are descending on California this weekend. But we'll tell you who may have stolen the spotlight from them. And it all has to do with impeachment. Details, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DEAN: Right now, in California, a slew of presidential hopefuls have descended on the state's annual Democratic convention. And while the focus has mainly been on who will rise as the best candidate to take on the president, all eyes shifted last hour to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The president won't defend our remarks on this foreign threat. What is the press covering up?

(SHOUTING)

PELOSI: The Mueller report revealed that the president's campaign welcomed Russia's interference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: You hear the crowd there.

CNN senior national correspondent, Kyung Lah, joins me now.

Kyung, the crowd is chanting "impeach" to the one person who has been steering her party away from that move.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is rough-and- tumble San Francisco politics. Even Nancy Pelosi said, hey, it's good to be home, as people were yelling impeach at her. Every time she paused on the back end of her speech, talking about Trump and the Mueller report, people would stand up and scream "impeach." This is a progressive crowd. Unabashedly progressive.

If you look at state politics, even further to the left than the state of California and how voters respond here on the ballot. So that's what Pelosi was responding to. She's going to stick to her plans as of now.

As far as the 2020 candidates, there are 15 of them here. They want to court these California delegates. It's a delegate-rich state.

Three of them have spoken thus far, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Kamala Harris believed to be have the home state advantage, warmly received. Beto O'Rourke warmly received.

[15:45:00] But it was Elizabeth Warren who really stole the thunder here. The crowd on its feet at a number of times, especially at the end, giving her a standing ovation. She also had a strong showing at an Oakland rally last night.

So Elizabeth Warren, right now, for the morning of just those three, Jessica, appears to have stolen the progressive part in this room -- Jessica?

DEAN: Yes, she's rising in those polls, too.

Kyung Lah, thank you so much.

Meantime, as the Democrats are in California, Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan said he won't challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. Details on why he said he's no longer interested and what this means for Trump's Republican critics, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DEAN: We have a major development in the 2020 race for the White House. Today's dramatic twist is on the Republican side. CNN has learned Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will be not challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination. Hogan spent months considering a White House bid while touting his traditional Republican values.

Let's get to CNN's Sarah Westwood. Sarah, I interviewed Larry Hogan back in January when he was mulling

this over. I remember him saying, I don't want to go on a fool's errand, I don't want to go on a suicide mission. What are you hearing about the factors that led to his decision not to run?

[15:49:55] SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HIOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jessica, Governor Larry Hogan is citing as a primary reason on why he's not running, the plans that he has for the state of Maryland. He was just re-elected to a second term last year. He's very popular in that deep-blue state. He's a Republican governor.

And he's also pointing to his upcoming stint as chair of the bipartisan National Governor's Association as another reason he is not going to run.

Although, he did acknowledge, in an interview with the "Washington Post" that Trump's sky-high popularity within the GOP would have made any challenge to re-nominating Trump a real uphill battle.

As you mentioned, Hogan spent months weighing this foray into 2020 politics. He said he's been approached by Trump critics within the GOP.

And we have not yet gotten a response from the Trump campaign yet, but this is news likely to excite them. Not necessarily because Hogan was ever a real serious threat to President Trump's chances of being re- nominated but because, behind the scenes, the Trump campaign has been working at consolidating GOP support. They want the Republican convention next year to go off without a hitch. And Hogan's bid, however long shot it would have been, would have really hindered their efforts to project GOP unity -- Jessica?

DEAN: Sarah Westwood, at the White House for us. Thanks so much.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:55:07] DEAN: In the United States, domestic violence is a leading cause of injury to women. And many of these women have pets they love and don't want to leave behind if they flee that abuse. Yet, only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters will accept animals.

This week's "CNN Hero" came up with a groundbreaking solution that is keeping women and their pets together. Meet Staci Alonso.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BARKING)

STACI ALONSO, CNN HERO: Noah's Animal House is built right on the campus of the women's shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good boy.

ALONSO: So that women fleeing an abusive relationship don't have to choose between leaving and leaving their pets behind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.

ALONSO: We have had clients from 21 states. They're driving thousands of miles. That tells you the need and that tells you the power of the relationship between the woman and the pet. When you watch the woman come through the doors and then they see their pet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I missed you!

ALONSO: And everything is right in the world for a little while.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: Nothing like a dog's love. To nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero," go to CNNheroes.com.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:59:57] DEAN: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jessica Dean, in for Ana Cabrera this afternoon.

We begin with a headline we shouldn't have to bring you, 12 lives lost for no reason at all. These 12 lives lost because, yet again, there's been a mass shooting in America.

[16:00:00]