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Dayton Police Cite Shooter Used Rifle with 100-Round Magazine; Mother in El Paso Killed While Shielding Baby from Gunfire; President Trump to Address Mass Shootings at 10AM. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired August 5, 2019 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:00:31] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. It is Monday morning. Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto in El Paso, Texas, and here we are once again. We welcome our viewers in the U.S. and around the world. A weekend of bloodshed, another weekend of bloodshed in America. Our nation in shock once again.
Listen to that sound, the sound of gunfire becoming all too familiar to Americans young and old. And now 29 people dead, killed just 13 hours apart in two American communities. That is 29 lives gone in just a matter of seconds.
In Dayton, Ohio, video released overnight shows the speed of the massacre. It all happened in less than a minute. Nine people killed. Both how quickly the gunman was able to kill so many but also this. How quickly Dayton police were able to respond and stop him seconds before he entered a packed bar.
And Poppy, risking their own lives as they did so.
HARLOW: Absolutely. President Trump set to make an announcement in response to these shootings. That will happen in less than an hour's time. So far this morning, he has tweeted one idea, tying background checks to immigration reform. He's also gone as far as to blame the media for these attacks.
And as the political fights begin we cannot and will not, on this program, lose sight of the victims. In both shootings, parents of infants were murdered. In El Paso a mother shopping for school supplies gunned down as she tried to shield her 2-month-old baby from the bullets. That baby's father also killed in the massacre. Their innocence taken away in just moments. And among the nine victims in Dayton, Ohio, a gentle giant, a father of four young children, gone in an instant, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Think about that today as you hear others discuss this issue. There are real lives lost and there are children without parents this morning once again because of gun violence, weapons of war used with intent and deadly effect on American streets and American communities.
As for the two shooters, one posted white supremacist writings online. The other had a kill list in high school. And both of them were still able to legally purchase and obtain assault-style weapons.
I've covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that's where I've seen these weapons. And so many times I've seen these weapons on the streets of America.
HARLOW: Wait until you see the images that Jim and I will show you of what we're talking about that they legally purchased. The big question this morning is not just how the president will respond. You'll hear him live on this show. You'll hear what he says. Will he label this white supremacy? What will he do about it? Right? What will Congress do? What will the lawmakers that you pay their salaries, what will they do, Jim? That I think is the question this morning beyond the words.
SCIUTTO: What will be different this time? We've asked that question so many times after massacres like this. Will it be different? And I want to tell you what's not different. This is something I spotted this morning as I came again to the crime scene here. The Walmart in El Paso where the shooting took place, a truckload of crosses and Stars of David being prepared to honor each of the 20 victims here.
These are made by a man who has done this to honor the victims of many shootings around the country. He's traveled all over the country with memorials like this. And here he is again in one more community prepared to honor the dead.
Let's begin here in El Paso, Texas, where police say that the shooting suspect is now speaking to them. He's talking to them, volunteering information on his own and apparently showing no remorse, no regret for the massacre that left those 20 people dead.
Josh Campbell, former FBI special agent, now CNN contributor and law enforcement analyst, joins me now.
Josh, oftentimes in these shootings, the shooter dies, either by self- inflicted gunshot wound or death by cops as you'll sometimes hear. This one turned himself in after this. That's unusual. What are we learning as a result of that?
[09:05:02] JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely, Jim. As you mentioned, in many incidents we've seen the shooter go down at the hands of gunfire by police. Sometimes they turn the weapons on themselves. Here he turned himself in. And so the question remains, what was the end game and what was the motive. Now this investigation continues. As you mentioned, he has been questioned by law enforcement providing information willfully.
We are working our sources to determine what specifically he's mentioned especially as it relates to this manifesto that we've been reporting on, that investigators are trying to determine whether it's associated with this shooter. This is what can be described as a white supremacist manifesto, anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic.
One interesting and key aspect of this investigation is the fact that this subject was not from this location. He lived some 650 miles away in the Dallas area but traveled here to this border city to conduct this mass attack. So again, the question remains was he targeting Hispanics in this area. That remains a key part of this investigation.
Now we're also told, Jim, that there are two investigations that are running concurrently. There is the state investigation. The subject has been booked on state capital murder charges. But the federal government, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office here in El Paso also running domestic terrorism investigation, getting to that ideology, getting to that motive. This is clearly a white supremacist based on everything that we've seen today. What we're waiting to determine is whether authorities will be asserting any type of federal jurisdiction and federal charges in this case -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: That's right. Reminder. Texas has the death penalty. Capital murder charges could lead to the death penalty for the shooter.
Josh Campbell, thank you very much.
And Poppy, we'll be following it closely here. That scene behind me still a crime scene.
HARLOW: Absolutely. And to Ohio where unbelievably this next mass murder took place 13 hours after the mass murder and attack in El Paso. Police in Ohio say it's still too soon to speculate on a motive. Four former classmates of the gunman there, though, say he had a hit list in high school of students he wanted to hurt or kill.
Our Drew Griffin, our investigative correspondent, is live in Dayton this morning.
What more do we know about that list, Drew?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: And Poppy, we know that investigators when they searched the shooter's home just this -- yesterday found writings that they say displayed an interest in killing people. From our own reporting we've learned this is not the first time in this shooter's life. When he was a sophomore in high school not too far from here, he apparently was expelled or removed from school because he had been discovered with what those students describe was a kill list.
What they actually said was from four students who were told they were on the list by school administrators. For boys it was a kill list, for girls it was actually a rape list that this shooter had kept. And during his sophomore year Spencer Brickler shared the bus with him and was on the school bus when police came to school and actually removed this shooter from school. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPENCER BRICKLER, KNEW ACCUSED DAYTON SHOOTER: I saw him get pulled off the bus after school one day. And apparently, he had made a kill list, and I happened to be on it. I don't know why. We just got off of school and we were all getting on the bus to go home. And I mean, I just sat down, me and my sister just sitting down and he sat down, I think he was behind us, and I look up and there's two police officers standing on the bus asking him to get off the bus and go with them. I was confused.
GRIFFIN: School resource officers or regular police officers?
BRICKLER: No, actual police officers. Yes. Why did he make the list? What was happening in his life that made him do it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: And Poppy, we obviously don't know the answers to that yet. We'll be digging as to what happened in high school. But as you can imagine, all these people who knew him then are questioning why and how he could have possibly legally obtained a weapon knowing what they knew about his past and his propensity for violence in high school.
HARLOW: And that's why you have so many people this morning once again, Drew, in the wake of a tragedy, talking about these red flag laws. Right. Senator Lindsey Graham tweeting about it yesterday, Republicans and Democrats. But there's a big difference between talking about it and actually enacting it.
Drew, great reporting. Thank you very much. Jim.
SCIUTTO: Well, joining me now to talk about a city and an American community responds, tries to heal from something as horrible as this, a long way to go. The mayor of El Paso, Texas, Dee Margo.
Mayor, we appreciate you taking the time this morning.
MAYOR DEE MARGO, EL PASO, TEXAS: Sure, Jim.
SCIUTTO: I know you've been meeting with the families of the wounded and the killed, and you met the child who lost his parents here. Tell us about that moment.
MARGO: I went to the hospital yesterday afternoon to visit as many as we could or that would see us, that were capable of.
[09:10:03] And my first stop was the room of the 10-week-old little boy whose mother died protecting him. And while we were there, his grandfather got word about his son's passing. He was called over to McArthur School. So it was just -- it's a real tragedy. A useless tragedy. Evil came to El Paso from out of town.
MARGO: And we're dealing with that.
SCIUTTO: You bear a special burden here, as you take on the responsibility to try to counsel these families who've lost so much here. In those moments, what do you tell them?
MARGO: You know, I don't know. I have no training for this. I never expected this. We'll deal with it. We're resilient. I do not want this tragedy to define El Paso, it will not define El Paso. Our history goes back 250 years.
MARGO: It's bi-national and bicultural. It's a region of 2.5 million people. You know, we've been 100 years before the United States was even founded. So we'll persevere. We're one of the safest cities in the nation and we'll continue to be and -- but we're going to get through this. My concern is, I'm not sure how much healing will occur until we finish the 20 funerals that are going to be forthcoming.
SCIUTTO: Yes. You're going to attend 20 funerals in the coming days, will do your best then.
MARGO: I'll do my best to be at every one of them.
SCIUTTO: You and I have spoken before about the issue of immigration, such a divisive one here in America. And based on what we know, and we're not reporting his entire manifesto but we are citing the parts in it where he said his intention was to come here -- he's not from here, as you said. To come here and target Mexicans. Tell us about your reaction to that.
MARGO: Well, I've seen the manifesto. It is hate-filled evil. You know, I am convinced that this perpetrator or this act of useless violence and death would have never occurred from an El Pasoan. It came from out of town. It's not what we're about. It's not our culture, it's not our nature, and it never has been. We're a family friendly city that's been this way for generations. We have generations on both sides of the border. We are 84 percent Hispanic. We embrace our culture. It is a wonderful culture. People come from out of town, they can't get over how friendly we are.
MARGO: So it will not define us. We will move on. But evil visited El Paso on Saturday morning.
SCIUTTO: I will tell you our experience here has been the warmest of welcomes from people. We can't turn down all the food that's been brought here by people just to thank us for being here. So I felt that hospitality as well.
The president is going to speak shortly, about an hour, and address this. What words do you want to hear from him? Does this community need to hear?
MARGO: You know, Jim, I'm not sure. I'm just really not sure. He did call me yesterday, offered condolences, was very gracious, asked if there's anything we needed. We have applied for an emergency declaration for the state of Texas to open up funds. The governor was here with me Saturday and suggested we do that, so I declared that yesterday.
I don't know that there's a whole lot you can say. I don't know. I wish I knew. I wish I had a -- you know, a simple panacea for this whole thing and I don't. SCIUTTO: Yes, the country doesn't, but we need to find a way forward.
Listen, I know you have a tremendous burden in these coming days, your community does. You've always dealt with these issues with such circumspection and calm. We appreciate that and I wish you the best of luck.
MARGO: Thank you very much.
SCIUTTO: Thank you, Mayor Dee Margo.
MARGO: You bet.
SCIUTTO: Still to come this hour we are waiting, as we mentioned, for President Trump to speak from the White House. What will he say this morning in response to the shootings? Will he talk about the hate behind the murder here in El Paso? Will he have concrete plans to prevent this from happening again? Will he mention the word -- he hasn't yet -- in the days and hours since these, guns, gun reform, gun control?
Poppy, those are questions we're looking to be answered.
HARLOW: Yes. I think everyone is looking for those to be answered, Jim. We'll hear from the president as you said very shortly. We're also learning more about the gunman in both of these shootings. Both white men, both in their 20s, both used high-powered weapons with extended clips of ammunition legally purchased. New details this morning.
But most importantly we will not forget the victims. Today we are going to tell their stories from parents of infants to a man who just celebrated his 30th birthday to a grandmother all going about their daily lives, we will remember them right here.
SCIUTTO: Welcome back. We are live in El Paso, I'm standing in front of an active crime scene where 20 people lost their lives just a short time ago. We are now just minutes away from President Trump addressing the nation after the weekend's bloodshed, deadly mass shootings in two communities, Poppy.
HARLOW: We will see what the president will say and more importantly, what he and Congress will actually do. The president did take to Twitter this morning and he floated the idea of a gun control -- piece of gun control legislation tying it to immigration reform, no other specifics on that at this point.
[09:20:00] Joe Johns is at the White House. Do you know anything else, John about what we should expect from the president in less than an hour?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Not so far because, you know, the habit here at the White House is if the president is going to speak, staff tends not to speak for fear of getting out in front of him. Still, a scattered series of messages this morning, Poppy, from the president indicating, among other things, that the victims of these shootings cannot die in vain.
Also as you referenced, that idea of marrying gun control legislation if you will, background check legislation along with immigration reform. Of course, we also know that throughout the weekend, the president's aides here at the White House have been working together to try to come up with some action items for the president to reference after these two shootings.
And it's going to be difficult obviously for the president to strike the right tone, simply because of his language in the past. Back to you.
HARLOW: OK, Joe Johns at the White House, thank you very much, we'll wait to hear from the president. In the meantime, David Gergen is here, former presidential adviser to four sitting presidents, Mia Love; former Republican Congresswoman from Utah joins me. Good morning to both of you.
Look, the president talked about, you know, the last mass shooting, and then after Parkland, Mia, the president talked about considering banning assault rifles. And then the next day, he had a meeting with the NRA and it didn't happen. He talked about changes, but they have not happened.
His chief of staff -- his acting chief of staff was pressed on that yesterday by Jonathan Karl at "ABC". Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: These killing, these mass shootings.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: Yes, I'm saying we have to have a broad-based discussion about the causes here. Are we going to talk about the role of guns? Certainly we are. But to think that this is just a gun issue that many people make it out to be is not right.
We've had guns in this country for hundreds of years. We haven't had this until recently, and we need to figure out why?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: That to me, Mia, is a pretty clear indication of where the White House stands on this. Mick Mulvaney just said this isn't a gun issue.
MIA LOVE, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: This is a prime example of trying to fix the problem without actually fixing the problem. So, first of all, I totally agree with Julian Castro in saying that the only person responsible for the shooting is the shooter. However, it is Congress' job to make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of people who lack the ability to make a rational decision. Obviously, the shooters lack the ability to make a rational decision.
So, something has to be done with loopholes. I am a pro-Second Amendment, I believe in an individual to carry arms, but I do believe that there are things that we can do that keep these guns out of the hands of people, and that is closing some of the loopholes.
That is making sure that the prosecutions actually happen at the White House. Those who are trying to get guns illegally should not be able to -- should be prosecuted by the White House. So, there are things that we need to do. But of course, you've got Nancy Pelosi that is in the House of Representatives, she's got to start working on bills.
Those bills have to start getting some bipartisan language and bipartisan support, and the American people will have to see that they're actually going to be doing something about stopping this type of violence.
SCIUTTO: OK, but listen, let's talk about the type of gun here. I mean, Mick Mulvaney --
HARLOW: Yes --
SCIUTTO: Says we've had guns in this country for 200 years, yes, but you've not had semi-automatic weapons with giant magazines for 200 years, which enabled a shooter in Cleveland in less than a minute to kill nine people. We have a picture, I believe, of the magazine that he used for that shooting.
A magazine that carries 100 rounds. That's the weapon, the magazine, I think we have a picture of that as well. I tell you, I spent a lot of time, David Gergen in war zones, Iraq and Afghanistan, these are weapons I see there.
That magazine there, I've never seen in any war zone, let alone on the streets of America. David Gergen, are Republican lawmakers going to be willing to talk about the types of weapons, the types of magazines and address that, or are they once again going to talk about mental health?
And this is a mental health issue as the president himself referenced yesterday.
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER TO NIXON, FORD, REAGAN & CLINTON: Well, it's too early to tell, Jim. At the moment, I think what we've seen from the president, the tweets we've had from the president and what he's been proposing in strengthening a background checks falls so far short of what is needed and what the country wants.
That, you know, this is a time to remember the victims for the next two or three days as the burials go forward. But when this -- when the burials are over, it's time to act. And I think what you heard in these rallies about -- you know, especially with the governor of Ohio, the crowd chanting "do something, do something" I think reflects not only the frustration, but the anger of this built up in the country.
[09:25:00] HARLOW: Yes --
GERGEN: That we're falling so far short. One good example of that and one we ought to be talking about far more is the buyback of these assault weapons that's occurred in Australia.
They have their mandatory buyback of all big assault weapons, and the real violence has gone down significantly. That's the same thing that's now being tried in New Zealand. We need to be doing something that is far more significant than trying to hide behind simply a somewhat strengthened background check.
HARLOW: You know, David, I would argue, and I think a lot of people would, that the best way to honor the victims is to actually --
GERGEN: Yes --
HARLOW: Act, to actually change something --
GERGEN: I, too --
HARLOW: And the silence --
GERGEN: Thank you --
HARLOW: From many Republican lawmakers is deafening. I mean, it's one thing to tweet, but it's another thing to act. Jim has -- you know, we have one joining us on the show, but you know, we put like 50 requests out and there is one state --
GERGEN: Yes --
HARLOW: Senator, Republican state Senator in Nebraska, Senator McCollister, again a state senator, but he wrote -- and he's a Republican. "The Republican Party is enabling supremacy in this country, we are complicit" -- he said "our representatives look the other way, they say nothing for fear it will negatively affect our elections.
We have to be honest with what is happening in our party. We like to cite Abraham Lincoln's Republican lineage when it's politically expedient", he writes, "but now, it's the time to act like Lincoln and take a stand." But David Gergen, you've advised Republican presidents before. Is this the moment they will take a stand?
GERGEN: I see no evidence of that whatsoever --
LOVE: Yes, I do think -- I think that --
HARLOW: David Gergen --
GERGEN: I'm sorry --
HARLOW: Go ahead, David.
LOVE: I think that the weapons that we've actually seen there is that -- the weapons that we actually saw, there is no need for those weapons to be out there available on the market. I full on agree. People have got to have the courage to get down, sit down and talk about -- talk about these issues and be honest about it.
OK, like I said, there is no way that you could have legislation that is going to completely take away the Second Amendment rights of people. So, just have that conversation, go ahead and do something, make sure that you are -- this is not just about mental health, although mental health has something -- has quite a bit to do with it, right?
You have to make sure that you are keeping guns out of the hands of people who lack the ability to make a rational decision. And that is the bottom line. For this to stop happening --
SCIUTTO: But Mia Love --
LOVE: We've got to make sure that we are addressing that. And two, we've got to address the language that is being used by our leaders.
SCIUTTO: Sure --
LOVE: Giving people permission to be violent is not OK, and I'm hoping that the president will come out and say you need to stop, I will stop my Twitter rhetoric, but you don't need to stop this also because we are dividing this country, we are hurting each other, and this is what our enemies want to see happen.
SCIUTTO: Mia Love, you are -- and credit to you for saying that in such clear terms, but you're no longer in office. The Republicans in office won't make these votes. We've seen it time and time again, they're afraid of being primaried, being put on a bad list by the NRA.
And not only won't they make the vote, but as Poppy referenced, I think we have the list. We asked 50 GOP lawmakers, 50, just to come on the air and talk about the issue, one said yes, I'll be speaking to him later -- you know, forget about votes, they don't want to even talk about it in public. What changes that in your view?
LOVE: Well, I think that, you know, this is your job. Your job is to get out and to make sure that you are voicing your opinions and you are letting people know what you are willing to do. The silence is never -- is never a good thing because what it means when you're sitting back and you're not willing to actually have a conversation, that means that you're not willing to do anything.
So, I would tell my colleagues to get out and talk about it, come up with some ideas, get up and talk about them, put some legislation on the table, do the job that you were sent to do, and then discuss those. You find out what goes too far for your constituents or what hits the right mark.
And that is -- I guess that that's democracy at its best, but you can't run away from the issue, you can't sit there and say, I'm not going to talk about it because the American people see it as you're not going to do anything about it, and so, now we're going to wait for another incident like this to happen. SCIUTTO: Listen, thanks to both of you, it's a difficult
conversation, we appreciate you being straightforward, we're going to keep it up. David Gergen, Mia Love, that's all we have time for now --
HARLOW: Yes --
SCIUTTO: And please stay with us, we'll be right back.