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Twenty-Nine Dead In Two Mass Shootings In Just 13 Hours; 20 Dead, 26 Injured In El Paso Mass Shooting; Official: El Paso Shooting Suspect Talking To Authorities; Border Patrol Agent: This Was A Hate Crime By A White Supremacist; Officials Hold News Conference On Ohio Mass Shooting; Nine Dead, 27 Injured In Mass Shooting In Dayton, Ohio; Shooting Suspect's Sister Among The Victims Killed At Scene; Trump Tweets But Stays Out Of Sight After Shootings; Dems Blame Trump's Rhetoric For Shootings; Mulvaney: Not Fair To Blame Trump For Shootings. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 4, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:56] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta along with my colleague, Jim Sciutto, in El Paso, Texas. And we begin with two American cities reeling today and a nation devastated.
A pair of mass shootings, one in El Paso, Texas, at a Walmart on Saturday afternoon, the other in Dayton, Ohio, overnight, which left a combined total between these two shootings 29 people dead and more than 50 injured. This horrific bloodshed taking place in the span of just 13 hours as leaders across the country struggle to make sense of the violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): This is a heart-breaking tragedy and it is the type tragedy that you pray never comes to your state or to your community.
JOHN BASH, U.S. ATTORNEY, TEXAS: My mom grew up here. My dad went to college here. I lived here when I was very young. It's been devastating for the community.
We are treating it at as a dome terrorism case and we're going to do what we do to terrorists in this country which is deliver swift and certain justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Two cities, two tragedies. My colleague, Jim Sciutto continues with our coverage there out of El Paso, Texas.
So Jim, while some families are still trying to, you know, figure out and get answers about their loved ones that they have not been able to communicate with. Are they getting answers or are they expected to get answers from that middle school down the road which is supposed to be a reunification center?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the sad fact is that all these hours later some families don't know if their loved ones are lying dead inside the Walmart there which remains a crime scene. It's the details of these shootings that could be more -- most heart stopping.
The local police chief saying that when he entered the crime seen there he was overcome by the smell of blood. Those are the details. They're disturbing. They're shocking. But that's the nature of this violence. Twenty people dead in the span of a few minutes and now the unusual circumstances of that shooter turning himself in voluntarily to local authorities, he is now in their custody.
But let's be clear about two things here, one, we are identifying him as a white supremacist. This is based on his social media postings prior to this shooting in which he said that he was targeting Mexicans here. He felt that his country was being overrun. That was his motivation.
We are also, as local authorities and federal authorities, describing this as an act of domestic terrorism. White supremacist, domestic terrorism in this community now reeling from it. And some families still wondering if their loved ones paid the ultimate price here. We hope that they'll be learning today.
I'm joined now by Ed Lavandera. He's been covering the story here, arrive within hours of the shooting yesterday and continues to talk to the families and the local authorities. What are we learning at this hour now? First about the shooter?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know he has been booked into the jail on capital murder charges which now means he could very well face the death penalty if prosecutors intend to do that. There's also a federal investigation that is ongoing as well. It's going to the on a second track, if you will.
What kind of charges emerge from that is unknown at this point, but that's obviously something we'll monitor closely. But, you know, that work continues in there and that is a gruesome scene as you're talking about the police chief's comments. And, you know, there's still a number of people waiting to hear from their loved ones.
You know, one family in particular. We spoke with their -- they're looking for their 86 year-old mother who they spoke to who was in the checkout line inside of Walmart. She was on the phone with one of her relatives four minutes before the shooting erupted. They have not heard from her. It's been now more than 24 hours.
SCIUTTO: And why would authorities not be able to give them information now? Have they not identified some of the victims here?
LAVANDERA: I think that's part of it. And I think the local authorities are trying to be very sensitive to how they kind of talk about this particular issue. You can imagine what the scene inside there looks like. So they said they're asking people for patience. That is a tedious and gruesome scene that they are having to go through. So there could be an element of that that is -- that delaying this. They're doing a forensic work in there.
[15:05:10] And really, we've also did talked to a number of local officials who kind of just upset about the way all of this is being talked about. We spoke with a man by the name of Paul Garcia who is a local law enforcement officer.
And he also served on a school board. He's a local politician. And he was getting very frustrated with the way some politicians are talking about this. He says, anyone who is not calling this what it is, is doing this entire crime a disservice.
SCIUTTO: Calling it what specifically?
LAVANDERA: He wants it to be called domestic terrorism. This is an act of white supremacists.
LAVANDERA: We have a little bit of tape. I'll let him fill in the blank there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GARCIA, U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENT: I want to challenge my colleagues. All elected officials in El Paso including the mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo to come out and say what this is. Say it for what it is.
We have got to stop the political talk. We got to let the community know exactly what's going on. This was a hate crime by a white supremacist that targeted our people, nuestra gente here in El Paso because we are Hispanic. And when our leaders or the mayor of El Paso does not come out and say that, people lose faith.
I firmly believe that our leaders set the tone for any kind of organization, any city, and for our leader, Dee Margo to say something like that is not only irresponsible, it's disgraceful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: So I think that's one of the elements a lot of these people are dealing with, you know, they live across the border from one of the most violent cities in the world, but this is a community that always prided itself on being one of the safest places in America. So being confronted with this kind of violence is really jarring for many people.
SCIUTTO: I have question there. And talking about a connection to the words from the top, I spoke to the state senator, Jose Rodriguez, who represents this area and he said the same thing that the words coming from Washington, specifically, from the President, help feed in his view, this kind of anti-immigrant behavior, anti-immigrant animus and behavior. Ed Lavandera, good to have you here. We have a live press conference now with authorities in Dayton, Ohio, the scene of yet another mass shooting just in the last 24 hours. Let's listen to it.
MAYOR NAN WHALEY, (D), DAYTON, OHIO: At 2:00, I was very appreciative that Senators Brown, Senators Portman and Congressman Turner as well as U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman, the FBI and ATF came together for a briefing with Chief Beal and Chief Carper.
We then walked to the scene of the site in the Oregon District, so the Senators and Congressmen could get a good sense of exactly what happened on the ground. And I want to say how much I appreciate their support and their calls and what can I do questions during this day.
It's meant a lot to me personally and I know it's meant a lot to the citizens of Dayton. And with that I'd like to invite Senator Sherrod Brown to come forward and say a few words.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Thank you, Mayor. This is obviously a terribly difficult time for this community. And I so appreciate especially the police and fire and the rescue operations how quickly the police department, the police officers on the scene so courageously stood up and did the right thing and saved literally potentially hundreds of lives with the amount of ammunition the shooter had and how quickly they responded and how -- what a short period of time from the first shot to the last shot. So it really does tell me a lot about local public servants, police and fire and rescue operations we had.
The Mayor tells us 20 -- I believe 20 first responders from the region came in addition to the six or seven from the city of Dayton that arrived all within 20 minutes to save lives. So that's what local communities do which come together like this.
The Mayor took us all to walk through the Oregon District. It's in many ways the center of Dayton in terms of evenings and small businesses. Every single business in that area just about is locally owned and with the vibrancy of local ownership and what that means and they're all coming together, as they will tonight at the vigil.
But for the next many days, the way that Dayton came together after the tornado and after -- in dealing with the KKK rally a few weeks ago.
My first talk with the Mayor today, the first thing she told me other than expressing the grief and the heartache of this community was how she had gotten literally dozens of texts, emails and phone calls from mayors around the country, almost all of whom have had something like this happen in their communities.
[15:10:02] And so our first response, I'll speak for myself, Connie is my first response. Of course this sadness and hearts and then prayers and thoughts for families and the community overall including police and fire and how they respond to this in the weeks ahead from the trauma that they have seen as public servants. My next thought was anger in our country and society and our Congress for not doing anything about this. The House of Representative has passed a bill to do background checks overwhelmingly bipartisanly.
I'm -- I've have called on Senator McConnell to bring the Senate back into session. We can pass that in one afternoon, background checks. The President of the United States could sign it that day. There's just no reason we shouldn't be doing that.
So we certainly pray for the victims and care about the victims but Congress needs to do something. Our State Legislature again woefully inadequate in dealing with gun violence also needs to react and respond in the right way so that these incidents just don't happen week after week after week after week in our country.
WHALEY: Thank you, Senator. Next I'd like to enter -- invite Senator Portman to come forward to say a few words. Senator Brown came from Cleveland, Senator Portman came from Cincinnati. I'm just completely amazed by people coming here to get here as soon as possible. Senator Portman.
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): The Miami valley is in mourning today after the tragedy of last night's shooting. We did walk down to the Oregon District and we saw what has been a thriving commercial section of the city and saw lots of great small businesses. We also saw workers in hazmat suits. These were EMS personnel who were having to clean the blood off the sidewalk from the tragedy of last night, shocking, shocking, unspeakable tragic.
We also have seen this community respond, as they will for the victims, for the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters who were struck down last night and those who were injured. We've seen it here in this community just since May with the KKK rally. We've seen it as this community came together after the devastating hurricanes which, you know, is still an ongoing project.
But I've talked to the mayor a lot about this and the mayor really knows that I'm impressed with what I've seen is how this community comes together and responds. And we saw it last night with these brave police officers who in the face of danger ran straight into it.
You'll learn more about this at 4:00. And all I can say is because we're not at liberty to talk about it and I think it's appropriate that law enforcement provide the perspective that you need on this. But this courage was extraordinary and saved lives, probably hundreds of lives given the situation.
There is also an effort going on in the community that I hope everybody will support which is through the Dayton Community Foundation and it's called the Oregon District Tragedy Fund. It's a fund that's been set up to help the victims.
Again, this community comes together. I'll be making a contribution to it. I'm sure everyone will behind me and I know this community is going to come together and help these victims, those who were injured, the families of those who lost lives. So this is a tragedy that requires that kind of response. My colleague, Senator Brown, has talked about legislation. We should also, of course, as we figure out what happened here, learn lessons from it just as we need to learn lessons from others.
And are there more things that could be done? I'm sure there are, but I will say there's something deeper going on here. And if you look at the suicide rates, if you look at the addiction rates, this community has done a good job in responding to it, but it's been at ground zero in terms of the opioid crisis as well.
If you look at the mental health crisis in our country today, there aren't enough laws and in fact no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems we face today as a country. And the shooting last night is an indication of that.
So I look forward to working together with my colleagues to try to respond in the most effective way possible, but we also have to look deep into our hearts and figure out how could someone point a gun at someone who he had never seen or known and pull the trigger. Thank you.
[15:15:05] WHALEY: Thank you, Senator. Next, I appreciate the Senators donation to the -- the fund that the Dayton Foundation has put together. I know there are community comes together and I know that this will be no different as the other episodes we've had in the past few months.
Next I'd like to invite Congressman Turner to come forward to say a few words. Appreciate him calling me this morning and I appreciate him being here as well. Congressman Turner.
REP. MIKE TURNER (R-OH): I want to thank the Mayor for her leadership on this day of sadness for our community. This is a strong community and I appreciate the Mayor working diligently to pull everyone together. Also I want to thank and congratulate the Mayor and the police chief on the police presence that was in the Oregon District last night. It was extraordinary that they were able to respond so quickly. As a result of the police's actions, my daughter and hundreds of others, who were down in the Oregon District last night are alive and safe today.
I also want to thank the first responders, the police and fire who came to the scene and respond unbelievably for our community.
This is an unbelievable amount of evil that we cannot comprehend. I appreciate the Mayor pulling us together for a briefing today on the investigation that's ongoing. We'll learn more about this particular case. But Senator Brown is absolutely correct and as is Senator Portman, as we look across the country and see this, we need a national conversation as to how we come together on a bipartisan basis to address legislation, culturally as a country.
I thank the Mayor for pulling us together and for her diligent work to try to find answers for the community and also for the work last night that kept so many safe. Thank you. WHALEY: Next, State Representative, we used to call him Sheriff, Phil Plummer, want to say a few words.
STATE REP. PHIL PLUMMER (R-OH): Thanks Mayor. And again, thank you for your leadership here. We've had some rough times in the city of Dayton but she's really, you know, you met the challenge and you've led the city. So thank you for your hard work your and efforts here.
So what the citizens know you have a great police department, a great fire department here. You know, I went toured the crime scene with everybody behind me here. And I was hoping it's my last crime scene I toured, but we're back in action.
But walking away from the crime scene, you know, I could stick my chest out and I'm very proud of our first responders. They answered the call. Yes, they ran towards the gunfire. You're up against weapons like that, it's tough on those guys. And they made the call and they took care of business.
So thank them when you see them. You know, we can't give them enough awards because they saved a lot of people last night. Fire Department, you guys did a great job and our kind of dispatch center. They get overwhelmed with, you know, mass situations like this. So, they did a tremendous job also.
So, you guys, let's not just -- let us keep us down. I guess yes, we had a rough year, but we always bounce back. We're a resilient community. We're in the game, we're in the fight, and we need to figure this out.
So, let me ask you guys this, am I going to give a policy discussions but we, the people, make the call. We don't work for special interest groups, we work for the people. So let's sit down and let's figure out solution to this. You know, its mental health, its guns, there's a lot of variables here, but we've got to figure this out.
So, you guys, thanks for covering this and stay strong Dayton, we're in the game here. Thank you.
WHALEY: Thank you. OK, Deputy Chief Carper will come forward to give any new information he may have. I think it will be pretty brief since we will have such a detailed briefing at 4:00.
LT. COL. MATT CARPER, DAYTON DEPUTY CHIEF OF POLICE: Yes. Thank you Mayor. Thank you for everyone's patience. We do have a comprehensive look at this coming up here at 4:00.
The only thing I will add right now, we do have a lost and found that's going to be established at the safety building downtown, 335 West 3rd Street. That's the Dayton Police Department Headquarters, beginning at 10:00 tomorrow morning. There were a lot of items that were left in the Oregon District, so if you could spread the word to the public, if any items were left, they can come and retrieve those beginning tomorrow morning. Thank you.
WHALEY: All right. Questions? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a word going to describe the people of Dayton? I mean, you guys went back to the tornados, the KKK rally, this are the work resilience -- resiliency. Is there something that sums up the spirit of the people that live here?
WHALEY: Are you asking me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anyone (INAUDIBLE).
WHALEY: Well, I will answer and then anyone else can answer. The word I use for Dayton is it has grit. And I think that that is a word that describes what this community has been through for the past 50 years, the grit of the changing economy, the grit when tough things happen.
They come together. There's resilience in grit. But I think that that is what makes us so strong and continues to make us resilient. And so I'm -- I think that describes Dayton and its people in a way that I'm very, very proud of. I think our best (INAUDIBLE).
[15:19:59] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, you know, you talked about the reaction, about the first responders really came to the need of everybody there. A lot of after the fact, talking about mental health and then, you know, gun violence. But is there any way to proactively prevent something like this from happening? You see it time and time again, but, you know, it's a question for anybody. Is there a way to proactively prevent this from happening?
WHALEY: Anybody who have a comment? OK.
PLUMMER: Yes, we need to do what's right. You know, a civilian walking around with body armor, we call that clues. So, you know, why does a civilian have body armor?
You know, somebody is not acting right and have high-powered weapons, reach out to them. I mean, we all know when somebody is having problems. We have to be a community and support people. Let's start doing what's right. You know -- I watch some of the news conferences from the shooter's neighborhood and they kind of said the guy had some problems. But we fail to step up and do what's right and address those problems. You know, the guy may need somebody to help him out, give him a hand out.
So, you know, if something doesn't seem right, make a call, call the police. That's what we're here for cause. You know, we have professionals here, counselors. You know, if it ain't right, just reached out to us.
WHALEY: Yes, Senator.
BROWN: The former sheriff said that -- sort of questioned civilians wearing body armor like that, wearing those vests, ballistic vests. And I'd say the same about civilians buying assault weapons. We tried an experiment in this country for the mid '90s to the mid next decades for about 10 years of a ban on assault weapons and it didn't get every assault weapon off the street. But it did make a difference and there are probably hundreds if not thousands of people alive today that might not have been alive if we hadn't passed, if we hadn't had a law prohibiting the purchase of assault weapons. And those weapons don't belong (ph) -- they're not weapons for hunting.
We don't question people having a gun to hunt. We don't question people having a gun to protect themselves. But civilians carrying assault weapons, it just again speaks to the courage of the police department with pistols or other weapons but nothing like taking on a guy with an assault weapon. And why do we put our police in that situation to where civilians carry these weapons of war. And it's an unfair match by any stretch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Portman, a question for you, sir. The 2019 rate, there's going to be a mass shooting tomorrow and another one the day after and everyday this year. You mentioned earlier in your comments that you're sure something more can be done. Do you have a day in mind or a week in mind? Thus, we're having a plan or something to address these issues?
PORTMAN: Well, as I said earlier. I think it requires a comprehensive approach because the tragedies you're talking about, each is different. And we don't know all the facts here yet, but what we do know, which I've seen in public reports so I can say this, he shot his sister.
We know that in a short period of time, and you'll find out the exact period of time at 4:00, I won't tell you. But I'll just tell you in that short period of time there was a burst. And I've seen public reporting on that, as to how many shots were fired. If that's true, that magazine of course would be illegal. So there's a law. So do we need more laws?
Yes, we probably do. And we did just pass something last year in 2018 to tighten the background checks. And I think there's a consensus now that we need background checks to make sure the wrong people don't have access to weapons.
You'll learn more at 4:00 about whether he would have been caught up in that background check or not. But my point is it's not just about laws. It's about something deeper. And mental health was recent -- was mentioned earlier.
We have a crisis in this country, there's no question about it. You know, people have talked about the depths of despair and they talk about the suicide rates. They talk about the addiction rates and they talk about the mental health issues that are causing some of these.
So this is a broader discussion that needs to be had. And, you know, I hope when we get back, we will have that discussion. And we'll have it at the state level. We'll have it at every level. But we also have to have it in our communities and in our homes and in our hearts.
And former sheriff, now Representative Plummer, talked about that. You know, in almost every one of these cases, there is, as you look back on it, some indication of a mental health problem. In some cases actually there have been investigations of individuals that unfortunately did not result in that person, you know, being treated the way he or she should have been.
You know, Parkland is an example of that. We don't know in this case yet enough. But again, from public reporting and what former sheriff, now Representative just told us, there were indications apparently.
[15:25:10] So how do we -- how do we, in terms of prevention, how do we actually identify those individuals, get them the help they need, which is mental health treatment, which is sometimes with these red flag laws and other things to literally keep them in a situation where they can't harm others. Sometimes that means incarcerating.
So there are -- there are needs for us to look at this on a broader basis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Turner, you've been working on the issue obviously in Congress. But can you talk (INAUDIBLE) we're going to talk about how those (INAUDIBLE) --
WHITFIELD: All right, a host of emotions being described by these leaders of Dayton, leaders of Ohio. You heard from Senator Sherrod Brown saying, you know, there is anger in our country that he's feeling that nothing is being done. From Senator Rob Porter using the word shocking, unspeakable, tragic, and of course saying so much needs to be addressed.
He's willing to get back to business, anxious to get back to business after the August recess in which to address some of these things. And then from Republican Representative Mike Turner, saying these things need to be addressed, perhaps legislatively, culturally and as a community.
All this in response to a tragic shooting taking place in Dayton, Ohio, overnight, just 13 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. And now we're seeing disturbing surveillance video coming from that shooting in Ohio just moments before and during the shooting taking place and then immediately after. You see right there, people just going about their business there in the busy district there of nightclubs, then scrambling, running for cover and many falling to the ground there. At least 27 people hurt.
We know now nine people killed, including the sister of the gunman who was also taken down by police who responded law enforcement immediately just within a minute of this taking place. And officials there are commending the rapid response of law enforcement.
CNN's Polo Sandoval is there in Dayton where we are hoping to get even more information about the shooting, the gunman, later on today at a 4:00 briefing that the Mayor was speaking of. What are you learning?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Fred, to use the words that were just used a little while ago by officials here, we expect in the next 30 minutes a more comprehensive look at this investigation. And that could potentially be a closer look at what could have led to this. What was the motive involved in this shooting that led to the deaths of nine people?
And as you hear from lawmakers, that's just one of multiple components here that certainly offer a very chilling look. And not just what happened overnight but what happened a few hours ago when some of the lawmakers made it past this yellow tape for a closer look at the scene of the sidewalk and at the street here on 5th street in downtown Dayton where it all happened.
And as you just heard a little while ago, one of those lawmakers describing this as a very thriving commercial area, full of bars and restaurants and shops. On a Saturday night you can bet that it was packed. And so it certainly is a sharp contrast with what that lawmaker, that senator from Ohio witnessed when teams in Hazmat suits were essentially scrubbing down that historic street, removing that blood in an effort to essentially open it back up to the public to try to establish a small measure of normalcy while the families of these nine people begin to grieve.
But for investigators really that -- that the tough task is still ahead as they piece this investigation together. They have hinted that they are very close to pinpointing a possible motive. A little while ago investigators also fully released the identities of all nine victims, the youngest one, 22 years old, the sister of the victim and among those nine also the boyfriend of that sister and the oldest victim 57 years old.
So, again, here at the scene right now in that historic downtown street, there is an effort now to try to clean up the street, try to restore that sense of normalcy because the people in this community certainly need that so they can begin that very difficult path to healing.
The last note I should mention, a little while ago. I did speak to Dr. Lauren Smith from nearby Grandview Hospital. She was one of many medical experts that saved the lives of some of these people. She described for me the chaotic scene inside the emergency room. However, she and her fellow medical staff using her steady hands, their steady hands to save these lives.
And as you just heard a little while ago, Fred, the death toll may have been nine but had it not been for the quick actions of law enforcement here and medical staff a few blocks away from here, we could have seen a casualty number that would have made it into the double or possibly triple digits.
[15:30:00] WHITFIELD: Yes. And this one is horrific enough at nine dead. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
All right, joining me right now is CNN Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz. So, Shimon, what are you learning about this Dayton, Ohio shooting? You know, officials there saying there will be another briefing later on. Not a lot has been revealed about the suspect, the name, the age, and that among the nine, his sister was killed.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes, certainly. So then that was one of the things that we did learn in the last hour was that his sister was killed in this. We don't know why. We don't -- it's not entirely clear if he was targeting her or if she somehow got caught up in this crowd. That's all going to come out I think in the 4:00 press conference.
The police saying that they're going to provide more information, more details about what happened. So it sounds like at 4:00 we are going to get a lot more information. We're not going to get answers to everything. I don't know that motive is going to be explained there. I think it's a little complicated in this situation, unlike what we've seen in El Paso. I don't think this is as clear cut.
We've seen some hints from some of the elected officials who just spoke that there may be information about the type of ammunition that was being used here, the magazines that were being used here. And one of the officials seemed to indicate that maybe something in that was illegal. He wouldn't get into it, but he did say that we were going to learn more about it at 4:00.
And the other thing I think at 4:00 what we're going to learn is the heroic efforts that were undertaken by law enforcement, by the police who were on scene within a minute and were able to engage the shooter and take him down. So we'll hear a lot about that.
But I think the big question that's on everyone's mind obviously, given what happened in El Paso, is this in any way connected? Did that spark this? Did this bring this -- did this somehow -- did that somehow play a role in the thinking of this shooter. I don't know if we're going to get those answers today. There's still a lot more work that needs to be done.
The FBI was at his home. They were there for a couple of hours. They did search warrants. They removed items. So they're very much involved in this investigation as well as the one obviously in El Paso. So we're going to learn a lot probably here in the next half hour, but I don't know that we're going to all of our questions answered.
WHITFIELD: Yes. So that gunman in Dayton was killed, 24-year-old Connor Betts. 22-year-old sister among the nine who were killed and we heard officials say that Betts was wearing body armor at the time of that shooting as well.
And then to El Paso, Texas where the mass shooting that took place roughly 13 hours before what unfolded there in Dayton, Ohio. We are still looking for more information on that.
What are your sources telling you about the suspect who they do have in custody? There was a manifest that does help underscore, you know, his point of view, what may have inspired this, his hate and that's why they are calling this domestic terrorism at a minimum. What else do we know about that case?
PROKUPECZ: Right. And then that -- well, we know that the suspect there has been cooperating with police, with investigators, the homicide investigators there in Texas and he's been providing information. So that could be what some of the holdup is and why we're not seeing charges yet.
He's been with them now for several hours and as the police chief there said, he has been answering questions. So they have learned a lot. They have been able to piece a lot of information because of his own words, things that he has said to investigators, to the detectives, and they're going to use those words against him and they're going to use that to help build out their case.
And once charges there are filed by the state officials, we may learn more about what he was -- what he has told officials. And so I think that right now perhaps could be what the holdup is because that's the next big thing next is --
PROKUPECZ: -- what are the charges. And in those charging documents, hopefully we will learn more about their investigation and what investigators have learned, and do they connect, do they officially connect that manifesto to him? Do they say, OK, we finally have enough evidence here to say this is his writing, these are his thoughts, he did this?
We already know that they are treating this as domestic terrorism, as a hate crime, so they have enough there where they feel that they can at least bring charges that involve that hate crimes, domestic terrorism.
And the other thing is we're going to see what does the Department of Justice do. Once the state charges are filed, does then the Department of Justice, do they file their own charges, their hate crime charges against the shooter?
WHITFIELD: And while these are separate incidents, and again all those other questions should be answered about whether in any way there is a connection, inspiration, ties, et cetera, here is a common thread just from the layman here observing it.
[15:35:02] You've got very young men here, a 21-year-old suspect in El Paso and then a 24-year-old young man involved in this Dayton, Ohio. And again, you know, we've only seen their age and we've seen their names and we're learning about their profiles. But at such a young age, these young men to have this kind of anger, angst, to inspire and follow through with these kinds of mass shootings, I mean that is very perplexing there. All right, Shimon Prokupecz, I'm going to check back with you. Thank you so much.
All right, still ahead, flags flying at half-staff at the White House now in mourning of the lives lost in these two massacres. But some are now pointing fingers at the President for his rhetoric. More on that, after this.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. We're continuing with this breaking news on two deadly mass shootings in America, both happening within a span of just 13 hours. The first in El Paso, Texas at a crowded Walmart where families were back-to-school shopping, 20 people died and dozens of others were injured. The 21-year-old male suspect has been booked on state capital murder charges.
The second shooting happening in Dayton, Ohio as people were enjoying a night out on the town in the downtown Oregon District there in Dayton, nine people were killed, including the gunman's own sister. Police shot and killed the 24-year-old male suspect in less than a minute of him actually opening fire.
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[15:40:10] DEWINE: All the victims are from our own backyard too. And so, you know, this is just an immense tragedy. You know, no matter where the victims are from, they're victims and our heart goes out to the families. But this is a Miami valley tragedy.
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WHITFIELD: All right, live pictures right now at the White House with flags lowered to half-staff in the wake of these mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Political reaction to these most recent massacres was very quick.
Shortly after the El Paso shooting, the President tweeting this, "Shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this country to condemn today's hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people."
Democrats in office and some who are running for the presidency were quick to blame largely the President's rhetoric.
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SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to say with more moral clarity that Donald Trump is responsible for this. He's responsible because he is stoking fears and hatred and bigotry. He is responsible because he's failing to condemn white supremacy and see it as it is, which is responsible for such a significant amount of the terrorist attacks.
BROWN: We've had two presidents, the two preceding presidents who've dealt with terrible terrorism and mass shootings, tried to heal, and this President doesn't. I don't -- I mean, I know that white supremacists feel empowered with this President. I know that. It's clear that they feel empowered when he attacks people.
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You don't have to use a lot of imagination to connect the dots here. It is very clear that this kind of hate is being legitimized from on high. And if that were not true, the President would be acting and speaking very, very differently than what he's doing right now.
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WHITFIELD: CNN's Kaitlan Collins is at the White House for us. So, Kaitlan, what's your understanding about whether the President is going to do more than just tweet today?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the question right now. And so far over the weekend as the President has been tweeting about these two shootings, he stayed out of the public eye while he's been at his New Jersey golf club.
He has not had any public events in front of reporters, but guess photos did show that the President stopped by several weddings held at the club on Saturday night, but that is the only time it appears that the President has been in front of people over the weekend while he's been at his New Jersey golf club.
But, of course, Fred, that's going to change here in the next hour when the President is expected to make his return to Washington. And right now aides say that's when the President could address reporters about these shootings in front of the cameras as he's at the airport getting ready to make his way back here to Washington.
But of course, right now, even though the President hasn't been in front of the cameras, there are already questions about what the President is going to say about his rhetoric as you just showed there that these Democratic presidential candidates are tying to some of these shootings and, of course, comments that the President himself has made in the Oval Office where he said he did not see white nationalism as a growing threat.
There has been all of these Democrats making these ties. You saw Beto O'Rourke earlier say today to Jake Tapper that he does believe President Trump is a white nationalist. But, of course, as those comments are going on, we're seeing the President's own aides, including his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, saying the President is not to blame for these shootings.
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MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: This difficulty that we face as a nation predates this administration by many, many years.
You cannot be a white supremacist and be normal in the head. These are sick people. You know it, I know it, the President knows it. And this type of thing has to stop. We have to figure out a way to fix the problem, not figure out a way to lay blame.
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COLLINS: Now, the President is not only going to be facing questions about white supremacy, but also about gun control and any kind of gun measures that the President favors. Because, of course, remember after the Parkland shooting, that was when the President talked about banning assault weapons, talked about raising the minimum age to purchase certain weapons, some stances that he later backed off after meeting with several officials, top officials at the National Rifle Association.
So we're waiting to see what it is the President is going to say then. But, Fred, I should also note that right now our sources inside the White House are telling us they are not tracking the President making any kind of Oval Office address that you've seen some presidents in the past make after mass shootings right now at this time. But, of course, things are fluid and that's something they're going to be figuring out as the time goes by.
WHITFIELD the man: All right. Kaitlan Collins at the White House, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.
And, of course, as we begin to learn more about these horrible acts of violence, we're also learning about y lives lost in the carnage. More coming up.
[15:48:27] SCIUTTO: We are live in El Paso, Texas, outside what remains a crime scene inside the Walmart behind me, victims still inside, family members still not certain of their loved one's fate.
This just one of three mass shootings in the last eight days in America, last Sunday in Gilroy, California, yesterday here in El Paso, Texas, overnight in Dayton, Ohio. Dozens of Americans dead, dozens of Americans injured and still recovering from their wounds. It is an all-too-familiar scene. The statistics show that attacks like this, acts of domestic terrorism, many of them driven by white supremacy, are becoming more common.
We're joined now by Charles Ramsey. He of course, himself with a long experience in law enforcement as police chief. Chief Ramsey, it's good to have you on today. I want to ask you --
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: -- as someone with such great experience in law enforcement what you are seeing here. The Anti-Defamation League, it says that attacks driven by white supremacy doubled in the last couple of years. The Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington, it found similar increases over the last decade. What do you see happening in this country and why?
RAMSEY: Well, things are certainly getting worse. We're in a very toxic environment right now. I think the rhetoric that you've heard on the part of very many people, quite frankly, has really, I think, done a lot to kind of spin things up a little bit. But there has been a serious increase. This is a perfect example of it in El Paso. It's very unfortunate, but it's very real. These websites that are out there, people being radicalized. As a result of those websites and some thing has to be done about it.
[15:50:14] SCIUTTO: It's interesting when you describe that pattern of being radicalized online. I've spent a lot of time in my career and I know you in your work dealing with incidents of international terrorism, lone wolf terrorism, driven by Islamist beliefs.
And the pattern you see there, very similar it seems to the pattern you see with white supremacists. Folks go online. They're radicalized. They read postings. They make postings. They go out and buy weapons and they kill people. Comparison can be made there, could it not?
RAMSEY: Yes, sure. A comparison can be made. The only difference is this is internal. These are Americans that are being radicalized and they kill other Americans as opposed to overseas.
RAMSEY: And the numbers now have gotten to a point where it's pretty equal if not leaning heavier toward the U.S. side than it is the overseas side.
SCIUTTO: That's right. The numbers show greater incidents of white supremacist attacks than Islamist inspired attacks. I wonder if I can ask you this and I don't mean you to get political. You're a man with an experience in law enforcement here.
But I've spoken to local politicians. You've heard some of the candidates for president, say that the President's rhetoric, anti- immigrant rhetoric, send them back kind of rhetoric makes the situation worse. And I wonder if you see leadership lacking from the top on this issue.
RAMSEY: Well, I think everybody needs to pause and realize that words have consequences. And sometimes deadly consequences especially when it comes from people in authority. It's almost like it can give a green light to someone who is already on the edge.
You know, you have a variety of people that are in your audience whenever you're speaking. Some people can kind of sort through what you're saying and not take it to an extreme. You have others that are just waiting for somebody to say something that could actually push them over the edge. And you have to be very much aware of that.
So this, this extreme on both sides is not just the President. There are a lot of other people that are guilty of it as well. And everybody needs to take pause and realize that what they say, their words have severe consequences.
SCIUTTO: Gives people license. Chief Ramsey, good to have you on this broadcast. Before we leave you this hour, I just want to say as I've been here in El Paso, we've seen many acts of kindness, people welcoming us here. But also going to this makeshift memorial you see here.
We saw a mother and her three children come a short time ago and leave flowers. That's been a constant vigil as those victims of this shooting remain on the ground inside there and what still an active crime scene.
We're going to stay on this story. We hope you'll stay with us.
[15:55:30] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Unspeakable tragedy, nine people killed and 27 others hurt in a mass shooting overnight in Dayton, Ohio. Police say, 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire in a night life district right before police shot and killed him. Among the victims, Betts's 22-year-old sister, Megan. We're learning so much more about the other victims as well.
CNN Correspondent, Alison Kosik is here with more details on that. Allison?
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Fredricka. So 24-year-old Connor Betts is the lone gunman who opened fire for less than a minute, but he wound up killing nine people, including as you said, his sister and injured 27 others. Now we've learned who the victims were, and all of the families have been notified.
And we're going to read their names and their ages for you. Lois Oglesby, 27, Megan Betts, his sister, 22 years old, Monica Brickhouse, 39, Saeed Saleh, 38, Derrick Fudge, 57, Logan Turner, 30 years old, Nicholas Cumer, 25, Thomas McNichols, 25 and Beatrice Warren Curtis, 26.
Now police shot and killed the gunman who was wearing body armor. He was holding a high-powered weapon with extra ammunition and he walked down the sidewalk or the street opening fire on people who were just out on a Saturday night in a popular downtown area called the Oregon District. It happened just after 1:00 a.m. Police say the gunman was making his way toward a bar called Ned Peppers and he was carrying as I said lots of ammunition. He was ready to kill.
Dayton's mayor, Nan Whaley says police and first responders, they were already in the area patrolling because of the district itself. And they got to the scene in under a minute and wound up neutralizing the shooter. She says if they hadn't, she says hundreds of people could be dead. But in less than 60 seconds, the gunman was able to inflict so much pain and terror.
Now later tonight around 8:00, there will be a candlelight vigil held in the Oregon District to remember those who were affected. Fredricka?
WHITFIELD: Yes, so tragic and all of this happening just 13 hours after another mass shooting.
WHITFIELD: So tragic in El Paso, Texas. Thank you so much, Alison Kosik. And of course, we continue to follow this breaking news. A nation in shocked after two mass shootings in a matter of hours leaving collectively 29 people dead. Dozens more injured.
We'll have much more right after this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
WHITFIELD: Hello again, everyone. And thank you so much for joining me this Sunday.