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Domestic Terror Strikes The U.S.; Gunman In Dayton, Ohio Turned Himself In, Has Shown No Remorse, No Regret; Gunman Driven By Efforts To Stop "Hispanic Invasion Of Texas?;" President Trump Condemns The Shootings In El Paso And Dayton. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 5, 2019 - 14:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, we are in breaking coverage of these horrible attacks that are a reflection of an ugly reality in our country. I'm Chris Cuomo here in El Paso. You see Brooke there in Dayton, Ohio, the two latest -- this one here and Walmart trickling all the ugliest suspicions about the spreading of hate and extremism in this country. We are being killed from within by our own in this country.

Of course it breaks your heart. The question is, then what? If you do not recognize the problem, there is no resolve to find a solution.

So what we're finding in the investigation is that the gunman here turned himself in, has shown no remorse, no regret. Put out a manifesto detailing his hatred of an invasion of Hispanics. And that is our reality here. Brooke, you're in Dayton.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: I am, Chris. Thank you. We're in Dayton, Ohio just hours after the nation was rocked by the mass shootings there in El Paso, a similar scene played out just over this way in the middle of one of the city's most popular neighborhoods.

I am surrounded by, you know, businesses, lunch spot, bars, and movie theater, right? This is where this happened in the wee hours of Sunday morning, when it was all over, just 30 seconds after the shooting began, at least nine people were killed, including the gunman's sister -- including her.

Investigators believe the shooting in El Paso was driven by the gunman's efforts to stop a quote "Hispanic invasion of Texas," as Chris mentioned, that is according to what police our calling his online manifesto published just 20 minutes before the attack.

And it's put this renewed focus on President Trump and his rhetoric words like these from a rally last November about migrant caravan. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last week, I called up the United States Military, we're not playing games, folks. We're doing something. Because you look at what's marching up, that's an invasion. That's not -- that's an invasion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Today, the President condemned the shootings in both El Paso and here in Dayton, vowed to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future, but avoided any mention of what he said in the past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed by racist hate. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.

These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.

We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: He said "mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger and not the gun." Let's go to the White House to our senior correspondent there, Pamela Brown.

In addition to those words, you've heard him blame, you know, the internet and social media and video games. But a lot of people are left wondering, Mr. President, what are you going to do to stop these mass shootings in this country? What's his plan?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, President Trump clearly wanted to keep the focus on mental health today, not guns. And while he did propose a couple of policy ideas related to mental health and giving the death penalty to hate crimes, he also didn't call Congress back from recess to act.

And it's also notable with his attention to mental health today, that it was President Trump who rolled back an Obama era regulation that would have made it harder for people with mental health issues to buy weapons.

So, President Trump today focus repeatedly on the hate and evil that drives these acts and stayed away from linking these shootings to gun violence, Brooke. He condemned white supremacy and racism without acknowledging his own rhetoric, and whether it has fanned the flames.

The gunman in El Paso used some of the same language as the President's in his alleged Manifesto, though he says he developed his views before President Trump.

Now here at the White House, officials are defensive about linking the President's rhetoric to the shooting, saying Democrats are politicizing the shooting by doing so. But Brooke, something else the President didn't acknowledge in his

public statement today was background checks just hours after tweeting immigration reforms should be tied to background checks.

In the past, as you know, he has supported universal background checks only to back away pressure from the NRA. In fact, there was no mention of further gun reforms other than his administration's previous ban on bump stocks, but Brooke, that clearly hasn't prevented further mass shootings, as we've seen just in the last couple of days.

[14:05:14] BALDWIN: Yes, we know the House passed, you know, this sweeping bill since February and still waiting for the Senate to consider it.

Speaking of Capitol Hill, Pamela, thank you very much. Let's go to Manu Raju. We would veto that, it's such an important detail. Pamela, thank you.

That said Pamela brought up the fact that the President didn't demand or ask Members of Congress to come back from their summer recess to vote on this gun legislation, which I'm speaking about, Manu. What are you hearing from Members of Congress? Do they want to come back?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a debate behind closed doors and private conference call with House Democrats just moments ago where they discussed their next strategy in moving forward.

House Democrats did pass that Universal Background Checks Bill early this year, and now Democrats are debating what their next steps should be in the House.

Now, I am told that according to sources who were on that call that Pelosi -- Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker -- wants the focus to be trained exclusively on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to try to pressure the republicans to come back into session into August to bring up that Universal Background Checks Bill and pass it.

She believes that's where the focus needs to be. She says that people that she has spoken to, victims, family members who have been victims of gun violence want that to be the focus as well.

But there are Democrats who believe other strategies should be in play, including having the House pass other legislation to come back this session.

I'm told that some members raised the prospect of the House coming back to session in August, to pass additional measures like an assault weapons ban for one, but Pelosi and other Democratic leaders like Jim Clyburn are concerned that doing -- taking such steps, could essentially muddy the waters, take the focus off of pressuring the Republicans to move on background checks legislation.

So that's where she wants the focus to be in, Brooke. I am told that she said on the call this afternoon, that she said, "The President and Mitch McConnell have to feel public sentiment on this. We have a golden opportunity to save lives."

So, she is trying to argue push on the Background Checks Bill. Let's worry about these other legislation in a later time. But we'll see if our members ultimately agree, but at a moment, Democrats want the Senate to come back and the Senate Republicans are showing indication that they will do just that -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Yes, in the meantime, America and El Paso and Dayton waits. They wait. Manu, thank you very much. Chris, to you in El Paso.

CUOMO: All right, Brooke, thank you very much. This situation gives us the opportunity of taking care of what is easy first, rejecting right-wing extremism, folding it into what is obviously domestic terrorism and getting Congress to do its job and folding it and getting it the resources, getting it the urgency, creating that political momentum.

That cooperation could be contagious and take into what is obviously everyone in this country except our lawmakers, which is that we need to change the rules to access to weapons. They know it, but they have to feel that you know it and you demand it.

So maybe if they start with what is easy, it will get the resolve to do what is proven to be all too hard. One big reason is the human cost, our interconnectedness to the people who get hurt, and destroy these families by these situations.

So let's talk about what this did to this community. We have Jacob Cintron. He is the President and CEO of the University Medical Center of El Paso. We have Dr. Alan Tyroch, who is the Chief of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director, the Chief of Staff at UMC El Paso, and Cindy Stout, the President and CEO of El Paso Children's Hospital.

So, it's good to have all of you. I wish that I was meeting you under different circumstances. I say it, we need to be here. We need to tell the stories of what happened here and what was capable because of what was done. What is the hospital dealing with, Jacob in terms of what it's been seeing, and what it's had to deal with in the last couple of days?

JACOB CINTRON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER OF EL PASO: Well, it is a level one trauma center, the only one in the region. We plan for this. We drill for this.

So as soon as we got the call, our surgeons, our medical staff, our nurses -- everybody came in. We had people coming in that weren't even called in to come in and volunteer. We were connected with the other hospitals -- hospitals outside our region were calling it offer assistance.

Dr. Tyroch as our Chief of Staff and Chief of Trauma trained the surgeons amazingly well. So, from our standpoint, we had people lined up ready to go. Patients came in and they received the best care and sadly, we had one didn't make it that came into our Trauma already so injured -- CUOMO: Twenty two gone now. We know that Hispanics were targeted

specifically. That's about the politics and what we do moving forward. You dealt with the human cost.

This murderer made a specific point, doc, of saying, "I'm going to use the AK-47. I believe that's the weapon that does the job best in these situations." Tell people what that weapon did to the people where those rounds hit their bodies?

ALAN TYROCH, CHIEF OF SURGERY AND TRAUMA MEDICAL DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER OF EL PASO: That weapon is obviously made for the military, it causes destruction, it damages tissue. When the bullet hits somebody, it opens up in fragments and causes more tissue damage injuries, blood vessels, arteries and veins, nervous tissue.

[14:10:15] CUOMO: And in your experience, different than a handgun?

TYROCH: Most definitely. I took a fragment this big out of a patient yesterday. We're still removing bullet fragments.

CUOMO: And, you know, with what you do, you see gunshot wounds on a regular basis. Why should people care about what kind of weapon it is?

TYROCH: Because it's not meant for sport. It's not meant for deer hunting. It's not meant for really protecting yourself. It's for the military.

CUOMO: And you see that in the manifestation of what it does to the body?

TYROCH: I do.

CUOMO: And the chance of surviving contact, how does that change?

TYROCH: it makes a big difference because it's damaging more tissue. On Saturday alone, we used 110 units of blood on 14 victims that we received that day. We used 50 more units yesterday and a few more units today. So, there's a lot of damage, a lot of bleeding that goes on, especially in the first few minutes after these events.

When we had the cartel war here, just across the street, across the river there, we were getting these victims. It's just the same type of damage that we're seeing now. It is what the military sees.

CUOMO: Cindy, obviously, your mandate being with children -- children were involved hear -- the story about those two parents, who it seems the mother basically fell on top of her infant and the infant lived, the parents are gone. But you saw kids. What kind of toll does this take in your experience?

CINDY STOUT, PRESIDENT AND CEO, EL PASO CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: You know, it really takes a toll on a number of people, obviously, the family first and foremost, our hearts go out to them. We're very fortunate that we have teams that are very well trained to address these types of situations. You always hope that it never happens. But if it does, this is what

we train for. So, then we're moving into the period of really working with our staff members, our physicians and the community at large to provide them the resources and the tools with which to recover successfully.

CUOMO: Yes, you see terrible situations all the time. But this is unique, because this is the monster that was coming after them. What are you seeing in the families and the kids and the faces in what they're dealing with?

STOUT: You know, we're dealing with family members that not just one family member that they've lost, but multiple family members. It's truly changing the dynamics of the families here. And as a close knit community, they also are feeling it, too.

So it's going to be a long road ahead of us. But it's a strong community, and we'll be able to support one another to get through it.

CUOMO: Now it's this one of the sad ironies of this situation is that the hardest parts of this, we wind up having to deal with the best, our first responders show up in seconds. You know, you're a first responder, you guys are first responders. You want to build a miracle work, but it would be a much better place if you didn't have to do it.

I'm sorry, I'm holding up on you, Jacob. But this is the time that we've got to put our arms around each other, anyway, because there's a lot more that brings us together than these people who are trying to keep us apart.

Thank you for your work and God bless.

CINTRON: Thank you.

CUOMO: Thank you, doctor, God bless. Cindy, thank you so much. You know, it's a part of the story. The worst of these situations always bring out the best in humanity, our first responders, the helpful people, the communities that come together, but Brooke, it's always the same frustration. Why does it have to be this way?

Why can't we be as united in stopping the next one, as we are in dealing with the moment of crisis?

BALDWIN: It is the best in people who are those who rush toward, you know, incidents and shootings such as these. It is the best people and the nurses and the staff and the doctors who tend to these, you know, innocent people who quite simply were I suppose, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Chris, thank you. You know, we're here in Dayton in addition to Chris being in El Paso and a man who grew up in the same neighborhood as the shooter here in Dayton will join me live. Details on what he says with the gunman's troubled past and the resiliency of this community here in Dayton, Ohio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:18:35] BALDWIN: Just as the nation is morning what's happened in

El Paso, Texas, I wanted to make sure we are here in Dayton, Ohio to shine a light on the lives lost and of course, their families and the survivors.

I just want to read the names for you: Lois Oglesby, 27 years old; Saeed Saleh, 38; Derrick Fudge, 57; Logan Turner, 30; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39; Nicholas Cumer, 25 and Megan Betts, 22.

About the time it took for me to read those nine names, the gunman, we're not naming here in Dayton, Ohio took away their lives and within the same 30 seconds, police took down the gunman saving what the Mayor estimates to be hundreds of lives.

It was crowded out here. Lots of bars and restaurants. Imagine, just a Saturday night, people out enjoying themselves. As far as the why? There are still according to police and the Mayor who I just talked to, still no motive yet in the shooting. But this is what they found in the scene just across the street from me.

In the gunman's arms, a .223 caliber rifle with 100-round drum magazines. The gunman arrived here in this neighborhood with his sister and what police describe as a companion, a friend.

The gunman actually ended up killing his sister. She was one of the nine names I just read, and the friend is in the hospital, we're told that this companion is cooperating and authorities believe he had no advanced knowledge of his attack.

[14:20:14] BALDWIN: And while the shooter and his sister separated at some point in time in the evening, it's unclear whether her killing was intentional.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE CHIEF: It seems to just defy believability, he would shoot his own sister. But it's also hard to believe that he didn't recognize that was his sister. So we just don't know.

QUESTION: Can you talk more about the acquisition of that firearm and your thoughts on your citizens owning such large magazines?

BIEHL: It's problematic. It is fundamentally problematic to have that level of weaponry in a civilian environment unregulated is problematic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Fundamentally problematic says police here in Dayton. When police first identified the gunman, my next guest came to this stunning realization and he tweeted, "I now know a mass shooter. In any other country, if I told someone that they would think I'm lying. In ours, I'm nowhere close to the only one. Now they can say that." Theo Gainey, thank you so much for being here and tell me when we were

just listening to that sound from the police. You just said to me, if you hadn't been in Chicago over the weekend, finish my sentence --

THEO GAINEY, WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH DAYTON GUNMAN: Very likely I would have been right where it happened.

BALDWIN: You would have been -- you said your two favorite bars are here.

GAINEY: Blind Bob's is just around the corner, and Tumbleweed Connection are two of my favorite spots to hang out and Ned Peppers. I wouldn't say I frequent it, but I visited fairly enough.

BALDWIN: And when I read your tweet, "I now know a mass murderer or a mass shooter." How do you know him? How did you know him?

GAINEY: He lived down the block from me and he also went to the same school district as me, for I assume his whole career. I went there my whole time, K through 12. And being such a small school, for instance, I graduated the class of 205 students, you know just about everyone that goes to the school.

BALDWIN: Of course, of course. And it's my understanding you weren't good buddies. You weren't even really friends, you were acquaintances.

GAINEY: I had a lot of interactions with him just because of the proximity. I lived near him. And he also worked at the local Chipotle restaurant. I really like Chipotle, so I saw him a lot. But by no means were we friends or anything.

BALDWIN: Tell me what he was like. Tell me everything.

GAINEY: I always saw him as kind of an outcast, kind of a loner. He had -- he was just a little different than everyone else.

BALDWIN: How so?

GAINEY: I mean, it's hard to put exact words on it. He is one of those kind of guys that things he is into just isn't what the mainstream is. So naturally, he draws a smaller group of friends to start.

BALDWIN: What was he into?

GAINEY: It's hard. Like I said, he kept kind of to himself. I know he was into music and pop culture. But there's nothing I can really put out there that I knew he was into that can really give us an insight as to what he was thinking.

BALDWIN: And you mentioned where he was works, and you had seen him not too terribly long ago. Is that correct?

GAINEY: Yes, just -- at least this past week.

BALDWIN: This past week.

GAINEY: He was working in Chipotle and I came to visit the restaurant.

BALDWIN: And he said, "Hello, how are you?"

GAINEY: Yes. It was limited to that. It's just a "Hi, Theo, how's it going." I was like, "Hey, Connor, nice to see you." And that's about it.

BALDWIN: And we also have learned from police, we know he killed his sister. We have no idea if that was intentional. I mean, he was standing out here and just opened fire on anyone and everyone who was out on a late Saturday night. Had you ever met his sister?

GAINEY: I have. I did not know her well. I knew her even less well than I knew the shooter. But in the neighborhood, she would always walk by, smile and wave. So a friendly face, which makes this tragedy sadder for me because I have a friendly face die, no longer is here.

BALDWIN: Think of the parents.

GAINEY: That's what I think is really bad is not only do they have to deal with the fact that their son is not who they thought he was, but they're also mourning the loss of their daughter.

BALDWIN: Daughter. What do you want people to how about Dayton, before we go?

GAINEY: What I want people to know about Dayton is we've had some tragedies here. Tragedies -- that is in a term. We came together really well. It was amazing how well as the city we came together.

We can do that here. This city might actually be able to recover in a way that no other city has recovered before from this. I am looking forward to that going through.

BALDWIN: I'm just sorry you even having to say that and having to recover yet again. You know, thank you so much. I appreciate your time. Pleasure to meet you just under the circumstances.

CNN has vetted organizations that are helping victims of these mass shootings both here in Dayton and in El Paso. I know so many of you are reaching out, how can I help? You can you can find these organizations, go to cnn.com/impact.

So, just in to CNN, the Justice Department is now considering a proposal that would make mass shootings a capital crime. Details on that and the conversation about the epidemic of hate crimes in this country, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:29:25] BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN special live coverage here in Dayton. I'm Brooke Baldwin alongside Chris Cuomo there in El Paso. And just in to CNN, a new Federal law specifically making mass

shootings a capital crime is now among the proposals being studied by the Justice Department and this is coming today as officials look to follow President Trump's order to find legislative fixes for this crisis of mass shootings in America.

CNN Senior Justice Correspondent, Evan Perez is with me now with more on you know, just this conversation within the Trump administration. What are you hearing?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke. You know, there's a lot of pressure for the administration to do something.

[14:30:10]