Return to Transcripts main page


At Least 12 Killed in Virginia Beach Mass Shooting; Mexican Foreign Minister Says He'll Meet Pompeo over Trump Trade Threat; U.S. Defense: North Korea "Extraordinary Threat"; Former Liverpool FC Manager Assesses Current Squad. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired June 1, 2019 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Another mass shooting in the United States and a disgruntled employee opens fire and kills 12 people at the municipal building in Virginia.

Wall Street plunges as Donald Trump doubles down on his tariff threats against Mexico.

And Tottenham versus Liverpool. The Champions League final is just around the corner, so we speak to the last manager who lifted the European trophy with the Reds.

We're live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier, it's great to have you with us.


VANIER: And we are following breaking news in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where a disgruntled city worker went on a deadly shooting rampage in the municipal building. Police responded quickly but not before the gunman opened and killed at least 12 people and seriously wounded four. He was killed after a vicious gun battle with police officers.

One of the officers was shot but was saved by his bulletproof vest. Police recovered a rifle and a semi automatic handgun with extended magazines and a silencer. People who worked in the building struggle to understand what was happening. The police scanner captured the moment officers closed in on the gunman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear the air. We have the suspect behind a barricaded door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay where you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay off the radio. We need a key or an access right now to the second story, north end of the building.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dispatcher, I have one a co-worker has the key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty-five. I'm coming from the south side. I have a key card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming down the stairwell with multiple alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have him on the other side, 504. He is on the ground. Hold the air.



MEGAN BANTON, WITNESS: I just don't know why anyone would do something like that. I don't know what with possess somebody to just come in and just start shooting at people. I have an 11-month-old baby at home and all I could think about is him and trying to make it home to him.


VANIER: Virginia Beach is a popular vacation town on the U.S. East Coast and typically jammed with tourists this time of year. The mayor spoke to CNN about what this tragedy means for his town.


BOBBY DYER, MAYOR, VIRGINIA BEACH: It's a sense of shock to many people. You know, this is not Virginia Beach, but this is an unfortunate situation that happened. And we're going to deal with it.

And we're so proud of our first responders, that really came about and it was, oh, my goodness, a tragedy of epic proportions, but that being said, once we get over the shock of it, you know, we're going to move forward as a city, as a community.

We're going to be there for the families and, you know, don't forget, you know, the people that were victims of this tragic event, you know, they were family members, they were co-workers, they were a vital part of the community of Virginia Beach and they will not be forgotten.


VANIER: Soon after the gunman was identified, police converged on his home. CNN's Brian Todd was there.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here at the home of shooting suspect DeWayne Craddock. He lived in this attached home over my left shoulder, where the porch is illuminated. The police have been here all night, looking for different clues.

This is going to be one of the key components of the investigation as they piece together parts of this investigation. And one of the key parts of that is to try to piece together a motive for the shooting that left at least 12 people dead at that municipal center in Virginia Beach.

We know that the suspect, according to police, did come in with two guns, a .45 caliber pistol, semi automatic with extended magazines and a silencer, plus a rifle. So he apparently came in ready to do battle with police and he did do battle, according to police.

This was a long, drawn-out gun battle inside that municipal center. He went up to three floors and left victims on each floor and was engaged by police fairly quickly in a long gun battle, where they were able to stop him. One police officer shot and wounded but he was saved apparently, according to police, by his bulletproof vest.

Again, a key component of what we don't quite know yet and what police are trying to learn more about is the motive.

What set him off?

Sources tell CNN that Craddock was a disgruntled employee of the Virginia Beach Public Works Department. But beyond that --


TODD: -- at this moment, we don't know a lot and officers are here, FBI agents and others here, processing some evidence. This is going to be one of those key crime scenes where they are going to try to put all that together and hopefully learn more about the specific motive and whether he actually targeted people specifically in that building.

Clearly these were coworkers, most of them, who he killed.

But was he targeting people specifically in that building?

We are told he fired indiscriminately. But again, specific motive and possible specific targets that he might have had, that's going to be pieced together in the hours and days ahead -- Brian Todd, CNN, Virginia Beach, Virginia.


VANIER: CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow joins us from New York.

Jonathan, what jumps out at you about this particular shooting?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I think what we are seeing right now is something that is really unique in what was reported earlier this evening, is that the attacker utilized a handgun that actually had a suppressor. So what that means is that --


VANIER: Is that a silencer?

WACKROW: A silencer or a sound suppressor, exactly. We haven't seen that typically in mass shooting events in the United States. But what that does is actually change the entire attack methodology.

Typically what happens in response to mass shooting events is a response to the sound of gunfire, the attacker's gunfire and Homeland Security has taught us that when you hear that sound, you either run away from the threat, hide from the threat or as a last option you fight the threat.

Here by the utilization of the sound suppressor or silencer, we're absent of this situational awareness that an attack was launched. I think what is going to happen as we try to dissect what happened in this attack, we are going to have to recalibrate the way we teach each other on how to respond to these mass shooting events.

VANIER: I hadn't connected those dots but it's true, several people who were in the building at the time said the same thing, that they hadn't realized the shooting was happening so close to them. I just hadn't connected the dots to the silencer.

WACKROW: Exactly. What happens and when we are hearing witness statements that they're hearing all of this rapid gunfire. Most likely that rapid gunfire is coming from law enforcement who were actively engaged in the gun battle. It's been reported that this was a sustained gun battle throughout the building.

What they were probably hearing was law enforcement's weapons, not the attacker's. So at the moment when the attacker first started firing, most likely people didn't recognize a threat was upon them. And that's really the most tragic aspect of the situation right now.

VANIER: A .45 caliber was used and a rifle was found although police aren't fully ready to confirm that was used by the gunman. There were multiple magazines and extended magazines. Just to be clear, that means more bullets. That means you can inflict more harm.

What does that tell us?

WACKROW: What it tells me is that this was not a spontaneous act. This was methodically planned. This individual took the time to go out and procure not only the extended magazines but the silencer on the weapon.

He had knowledge of the building, he probably knew that, because he was a municipal employee who worked or had knowledge of the building, he probably participated in active shooter drills. So he may have already known what the law enforcement response would be, further putting law enforcement behind the 8 ball in being able to put the threat down. He is anticipating what the response could have been.

VANIER: What are investigators doing now?

What's the priority?

WACKROW: There's a lot of priorities; this is a massive crime scene over multiple locations. You have the building, the car, the individuals, residents. They have a ton of evidence to comb through to actually really dial in on what was the motive of the attacker and why it occurred.

They're going to go back and look at past behavioral issues. They're going interviewing friends and family to see if there is any indicators that were potentially missed as to why this individual launched this horrific attack.

I think you have to take a step back for a second. Behavior operates on a continuum and it's not normal for somebody to wake up and walk into a building and start shooting and killing people.

There were warning signs, so we have to go back and understand what warning signs were missed and how we ensure that we never miss those again so we avoid these tragic incidents.

VANIER: All right, Jonathan Wackrow, thank you so much for joining us today, thanks.

Mexican officials --


VANIER: -- are scrambling in the face of new trade threats from Donald Trump. He's vowing to slap escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports if the country does not slow the tide of migrants coming from Central America.

Mexico's foreign minister said he will meet with the secretary of state in Washington to try to resolve the situation. They've already spoken by phone. But as Kaitlan Collins reports, inside the White House, the political wrangling is well underway.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right now President Trump is holding firm on his threat to impose those tariffs on Mexico if they don't stop the flow of undocumented immigrants coming across the southern border by June the 10th.

And that is despite getting an earful of criticism from Republican lawmakers, who are worried about what those tariffs will do to the American economy and despite what we are now learning was an internal divide inside the West Wing over whether the president should take this move.

Our sources are telling us that the president's U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, the one that has been negotiating that new trade deal with Mexico and Canada through the halls of Capitol Hill, trying to rally support from Democrats, was against the president taking this move. He was worried that it would derail what he has been trying to do for weeks, get this deal passed through Congress.

Now we're also told that the president's Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was also not on board with these tariffs, warning the president about what it would do to the stock markets if he followed through. But, of course, as we noted from the president's Twitter, he seems to

be following the advice of people like Peter Navarro, who told the president this is a move that would get Mexico's attention. That's right now what the White House is counting on.

So far the president and the president of Mexico have not spoken to discuss the president's move but we do know that people like Jared Kushner and other officials in the administration have spoken with their counterparts and so far we're waiting to see if that will yield any progress.

But right now the president is not showing any signs of backing down from this threat, although you are seeing economic experts warn of what it will do. So the question is, is the president still going to follow through with it?

Or is it going to be an empty threat to try to get Mexico to do something by June 10th? -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN.


VANIER: Joining me CNN political analyst Nathan Gonzales.

So what she triggered this threat of tariffs against Mexico?

NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So I think this is a big issue, near and dear to the president's heart and the president tries to keep everyone on their toes. I think the president was looking for something that would punish Mexico, he has been alluding to this.

But in the midst of other investigations going on I think this was a legitimate surprise to many folks involved.

VANIER: You say in the midst of the investigation; he was having a pretty bad two or three days. Robert Mueller, the special counsel spoke publicly, made headlines. Trump was interest rate, angry that was making headlines.

Do you think some of this Mexico tariff threat is a diversion?

GONZALES: It is a dangerous place to be, inside the president's head. But don't believe they're accidents and I believe the president likes to talk about being in control of the message and talk about what he wants to talk about and get things on his own terms.

It remains to be seen whether the policy will benefit him or the country or not. But for a little while, partially, he has captured the attention away from these other issues.

VANIER: One reason this is at least partly surprising is that the Trump administration is on the cusp -- or was -- of an important policy win with signing and ratifying the trade deal they've been negotiating with Canada and Mexico.

Does this kill the USMCA trade deal? GONZALES: I guess it's always possible that something comes around and it's dead until it comes back. But with the president, I'm not sure how many policies he holds closely. What I mean by that is that he is all in on tariffs against Mexico.

But if this ends up being a political disaster, an economic disaster, if he feels he's getting -- taking on water because of it, he could just turn around and do a 180 and say, you know what, it worked, I'm going to go in a different direction and change his mind within the next couple of days. I think that is a very real possibility.

VANIER: Who gets hurt by these tariffs?

GONZALES: Well, that remains to be seen because they're broad sweeping. There's a potential for a large number of Americans to get hurt. But politically, as I try to look at this from an electoral perspective, right now Republicans believe and trust in the president as a person.

Even if the policy goes poorly, they are likely to blame someone else. One of the things, Democrats are going to blame the president for everything. So it's for those people in the middle who may have previously thought that our economy was headed in the right direction --


GONZALES: -- if they feel like this is a poor decision then that could be a deal breaker for them when we get to the elections next year.

VANIER: That's interesting; politically it's dangerous for Trump, depending how long it lasts and how far he goes with it. I was thinking economically who does it hurt because we kept seeing over the last 24 hours this could hurt American consumers as the products and parts coming from Mexico into the U.S. become more expensive.

But it seems to me Mexico is going to hurt even more and even faster because a majority of what they produce goes into the U.S. So they stand to lose even more.

GONZALES: Yes, and we will see; from the initial reaction, the groups here in America that opposed it, the U.S. Chamber of Congress, the National Retail Federation, the Business Roundtable, groups on the side of American business came out against it and against the president's decision.

It could take a while for it to be felt to the American consumers and it could be a while before we know the political ramifications of this. It's not instantaneousness that this is going to happen.

VANIER: Does this tell us that this president prioritizes the immigration issue over the trade issue?

Both are important to him and his campaign and to his political persona and what he promised his voters in 2016 and when he goes back before voters in 2020, maybe he has to choose and he decides immigration is most important than a trade win.

GONZALES: I think that the president believes immigration helped Republicans in the 2018 elections. I, as a political analyst, believe Democrats had the better midterm elections. But I think the president sees it as a mixed bag and his focus on immigration was part of that.

But it is going to be -- I think the president prioritizes winning. And we are at this sort of war with Mexico in terms of immigration. I see this as he's trying to win this and trying to deliver on a campaign promise with the wall.

If he can't get that physical wall, he wants to punish Mexico for the immigration issue on the border right now.

VANIER: All right, Nathan Gonzales, thank you so much for joining us on the show. First time you and I speaking. Hopefully, many more.

GONZALES: Looking forward to it.

VANIER: Speaking of tariffs, China's retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. just got tougher in the past three hours. Let's take a look at the numbers, about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods will now be carrying tariffs of up to 25 percent.

Food, machinery and toys are among the products we will see that jump from 10 percent to 25 percent, some 2,000 other items had their tariffs doubled. However the tariffs were unchanged for items like aircraft and rare earth minerals. U.S. president Donald Trump says that he is not ready to make a deal with China.

Another alleged shakeup in North Korea, the U.S. response to reports that some of Kim Jong-un's top advisers were executed. Why it is so hard to find all the details -- when we come back.

Plus two heavyweight English teams, Tottenham and Liverpool, and a global TV audience in the hundreds of millions. We are counting down to the biggest match there is in European club football. CNN sits down with the mastermind of Liverpool's 2005 triumph, Rafa Benitez, to assess the chance of history repeating itself.







PATRICK SHANAHAN, ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: North Korea remains an extraordinary threat and requires continued vigilance.

VANIER (voice-over): A stark warning from the acting U.S. Defense chief, speaking at a security summit in Singapore. Patrick Shanahan said North Korea has the potential to strike U.S. territory, U.S. forces and American allies.

He says the U.S. hasn't given up on a denuclearization deal.


VANIER: This all comes amid reports that a top North Korean official was executed after the failed Kim-Trump summit earlier this year in Hanoi. Ivan Watson joins us now from Singapore.

What do we know, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know that the acting defense chief for the U.S. says that, despite the diplomatic overtures the Trump administration has made in Pyongyang, that North Korea is still perhaps the preeminent threat here in Asia.

While saying this, the U.S. special representative to Pyongyang, Stephen Biegun, told a conference here in Singapore that the Trump administration is still committed to that spirit of dialog that began a year ago here in Singapore with a first historic summit that took place between the North Korean dictator and President Trump.

A big question here, is there any veracity to the reports that the North Korean regime may have executed -- and this is according to a South Korean newspaper -- one of its top negotiators who's been involved in the most recent Hanoi summit?

I asked Stephen Biegun that, he told me that he simply didn't know and directed me to statements that the secretary of state has made, Mike Pompeo, that they're looking into this.

The Japanese defense minister was asked this in the hall to my left and he basically said, at the end of the day, it's Kim Jong-un who is in charge of everything in North Korea. So if you want to make progress anywhere, you have to work with him.

But there are big questions; has North Korea in fact, at the very least, punished some of its top the permits who are supposed to be part of this diplomatic overture?

VANIER: Ivan, I want to pivot to something else as well. The acting U.S. Defense Secretary Shanahan, we heard him talk about North Korea but he also talked about and to China. He's taking a stand against China's behavior in the region.

WATSON: He had some tough words for China. He was asked, how is your current Indo-Pacific strategy any different from similar comments made by other Defense Secretaries in the past years?

He said one difference is that the U.S. is going to take a harder stance basically against China. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SHANAHAN: We are not going to ignore Chinese behavior. I think in the past, people have tiptoed around that. It's not about being confrontational. It's about being open and having a dialogue.


WATSON: He talked about something he described as the toolkit of coercion that he attributed to China, doing things like militarizing islands in the South China Sea, cyber attacks, theft of intellectual property.

He singled out the Chinese telecommunication company, Huawei, saying it was simply too close to the Chinese government. But while having tough words for China, he also highlighted the fact that he had met face to face last night in Singapore with China's defense minister.

He also offered an area where they could cooperate. He said he gave a quote-unquote "beautiful book" to the Chinese defense chief, full of information about ship to ship transfers.

So he's basically highlighting alleged North Korean smuggling of fuel to evade United Nations Security Council resolutions, saying that could perhaps be an area where the U.S. and Chinese militaries could develop further trust, a fascinating moment, Cyril, when a Chinese People's Liberation Army major general in the audience asked acting --

VANIER: All right, we just lost the connection --


VANIER: -- with Ivan. We will get him back. Thank you very much, Ivan Watson in Singapore.

It's the greatest show in club football. Fans are flocking to Madrid for the Champions League final. Kickoff is just hours away and some are heading to the Spanish capital even without tickets.

There are reports that available tickets are being sold for as much as $30,000 . In the U.K., 800 extra flights have been put on ahead of the match, an all English final between Tottenham and Liverpool.

The last time Liverpool won the Champions League was 14 years ago, a victory at the time masterminded by current Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez, who's been reflecting on the current generation of stars with our own Amanda Davies.


RAFA BENITEZ, NEWCASTLE MANAGER: This is a very good team, they have a very good mentality and they are very competitive. And I think you can see, the spirit that they have in the Premier League, they score a lot of goals at the beginning of the games because they push really hard from the start.

And also they score a lot of goals at the end of the game because they push and also they have some good players coming from the bench. So the Istanbul team was really good in terms of character. This team is also very good.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How does this Liverpool side compare to the one that reached the final last year?

Jurgen Klopp has talked about the disappointment at the airport and how his side really using that as motivation for this year.

BENITEZ: I think -- I agree that will be possibly for them because they have this experience, they know how they were feeling after the game so I'm sure they will use that intention (ph) for the -- approach the game with more focus and trying to be sure that, from the first minute to the last minute --


DAVIES: Would you be using -- would you be doing --


BENITEZ: -- sure, I think there are two things here. One it's Liverpool using that, saying, OK, we were here before. We know what it means when you lose a game of this magnitude. And we have to do really well.

And at the same time you have Tottenham approaching the same, listen, we have nothing to lose. So we came here, it's a fantastic achievement to try to express yourself and play the way that you have played to be here. So both they will use these tools and I feel that both, they can be right.

DAVIES: What about Jurgen Klopp and that criticism that is being leveled at him, for all his success, he just can't quite get his teams over the line in the finals?

How fair is that?

BENITEZ: Yes, I know from experience, when we won the Champions League in 2005, we went to the final in 2007. In the meantime, we won the fait tab (ph) and the (INAUDIBLE) community. So you were creating a team starting off to compete every year.

So sometimes you can win or lose one game for one situation and on goal and after you something that decision (ph). But there are many things to be sure that you are consistent, you are there. Because if you are already there, you can win.


VANIER: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier, I will have your headlines in just a moment.