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More Information Regarding El Paso Shooting; Trump Condemns Racist Hate; Bishop Talks about Effect on El Paso; Dayton Mayor Talks about Shooting. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired August 5, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:13] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: You are watching CNN's special live coverage on this Monday afternoon. I'm Brooke Baldwin, live here in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people have been killed and nearly a dozen are still in the hospital after yet another mass shooting.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Chris Cuomo in El Paso, Texas.
We've had a separate mass shooting, but it was a very different nature and quality, as we understand it thus far. This wasn't about delusion or insanity, it was about hate.
Less than 24 hours of what happened in Ohio, what happened here in a Walmart required somebody with hate in their heart and in their head driving a long way to get close to the border and taking 22 lives. At least two dozen are still injured, some of them are fighting for their lives.
Now, these two cities have joined the ranks of so many others across this country who are feeling the pain of being victimized, torn apart by a toxic mix of hate and access to weapons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Let's go, let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Let's go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go home. Run, mamas (ph). Come on, mamas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: The frustration, the sadness, the anger felt by so many Americans over the endless stream of shootings in this country and the inaction of the people we elect to lead this nation spilling out into the open during a vigil right here last evening with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Very, very deeply.
CROWD: Do something. Do something. Do something. Do something. Do something. Do something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: I will be here for the next three hours with special coverage from Dayton. We'll have much more on the victims, the survivor stories, the investigation.
But first, Chris Cuomo, over to you in El Paso.
CUOMO: All right, thank you very much.
Now, again, there is a lot that makes these two situations the same, but there is a key distinction. The 21-year-old white supremacist, who is suspected in the Walmart attack, is currently being held without bond. He's facing a charge of capital murder. The district attorney for El Paso says he will seek the death penalty. Officials say the gunman had no ties to El Paso. He was driven by his desire to stop a, quote, Hispanic invasion of Texas. That comes from him, his racist, anti-immigrant, ugly and obvious document that police say he published just 20 minutes before the shooting began.
Federal officials say they're going to treat this as a case of domestic terrorism. The Justice Department says it is seriously considering bringing federal hate crime and firearm charges.
Now, you have to pause and remember that while we're talking about who did this, we always want to remember that the reason we care is why it was done and to whom. We lost another person because of the shooting here, died this morning at a local hospital, and that's why the toll has changed. We often tell you, go slow on understanding the scope of the destruction because the numbers do change. It's now 22 dead. Among the dead, Jordan and Andre Anchondo. The couple was shopping for back- to-school supplies when this happened. And it is a terrible situation where they're with their two-month-old son. The fire started. Jordan's aunt and uncle spoke to CNN about what happened and why they are now gone.
LIZ TERRY, AUNT OF EL PASO SHOOTING VICTIM JORDAN ANCHONDO: Baby Paul was pulled from her, still had blood, I would imagine from what we understand he went into the hospital as --
JESSE JAMROWSKI, UNCLE OF EL PASO SHOOTING VICTIM JORDAN ANCHONDO: John Doe. Baby John Doe. The details are very cloudy, but from what we understand, baby Paul was recovered from the crime scene with his mother on top of him. And we got word that Andre had jumped in front of his -- his wife to protect his wife and son throughout the whole circumstance. So very devastating.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: We've heard that the infant may have even been grazed by a bullet. The family says that Jordan was also a mother to two other kids. Their ages, five and two. Think about what they have to grow up with knowing, and now not knowing.
Let's get to the latest now on that investigation. We have Erica Hill here with us in El Paso.
[13:05:00] It's good to see you. I wish it wasn't here.
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Likewise.
CUOMO: But this is where we need to be.
One interesting distinction, as I read there, the feds are considering this as domestic terror.
CUOMO: The feds are considering this as a hate crime. The problem we have is a gap in the law. If you changed out, and this isn't about politics, it's about prosecutorial discretion. If this were extreme Islamism, it would fit right into a category of resources and realities under the law that punish it in a certain way and do certain types of investigations in advance to monitor those threats.
CUOMO: We don't have that with these white nationalists.
HILL: We don't have that and that's what comes up a lot, right, not only the fact that white nationalists -- the rise of white nationalists, white supremacists, the rise in hate crimes that we've seen, we heard about from -- that from FBI Director Christopher Wray less than a month ago, but also resources, as you point out. This is approached differently.
So while it can be investigated as domestic terror, it can't be charged as domestic terror. And that's why they're looking at, as you pointed out, hate crime charges, federal firearms charges. We know that he has been charged with capital murder.
So we did get ahold of the court documents today and a couple of interesting notes in there. Not only is he being held without bond, he did request a defender, but he also wrote down that he's been unemployed for five months, which is interesting in itself, living with his grandparents. He's been in Allen, Texas, as you pointed out, hours and hours away from here, living with them for a couple of years.
And, again, when it comes to how we got here, the fact that he's alive too changes everything from what we saw in Dayton and that there was this manifesto, which police believe this 2300-word manifesto was in fact published by him. The fact that that's there. He was arrested without incident.
We're told he's cooperating, at least up until this point. What that cooperation means is what we'd all like to know.
CUOMO: Well, look, that's all about rooting it out, right? The fact that the perpetrator is no winner is no surprise. Who is going to gravitate to that kind of profound sense of hate, see it as a validating characteristic? You're always going to wind up seeing them check every box of being a ne'er-do-well.
But then it's, well, who did he learn it from? And who was motivating him? Who was helping put the ideas in his head and maybe even helping him figure out how to do it? Those are all really important.
HILL: Part of that he does talk about in this manifesto and the fact that it's attributed to him. He says that there was a switch when he read this great replacement, and that's what, for him, really lead him down this path.
I also want to let you know that we did just confirm, too, police have said while he is cooperating, he is not showing any remorse, Chris.
CUOMO: Well, he thinks he's acting in the instance of a righteous cause, which is what makes this so wicked.
And we also have to distinguish this with Dayton, where there are a lot of outside markers and indications that this was somebody who was diseased of mind. These ugly lists that this person had been keeping for a long time, killing his own sister, taking out one of his friends, injured, not killed. There's some different markers there. We don't have the same kind of connection to hate. We'll stay on it.
HILL: Great. All right.
CUOMO: Erica, thank you.
HILL: Thank you.
CUOMO: We'll be here together for a while.
This morning the president did address the nation on this front. Yes, he had gotten criticism for saying too little for too long, but he did speak and he vowed to give the FBI all the help it needs. He did not address what Erica and I were just discussing, about the obvious gap in our ability to research, investigate and attack this hatred.
Here's a little bit of what he said.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil. The cruelty, the hatred, the malice, the bloodshed and the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents, children, husbands and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fallen.
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 can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real bipartisan solutions. We have to do that in a bipartisan manner. That will truly make America safer and better for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Now, some quick points.
The assessments of the president are not about setting an unrealistic bar for him and not about saying, well, he's damned if he does, he's damned if he doesn't. The that is not a fair appraisal of the situation. The president stopped short of saying what he would do to address hate in the way he talked about with mental illness. He had ideas, red-flag laws, we have to do more.
People who are mentally ill are statistically more likely to be victims of violent crimes than perpetrators. Yes, mental illness plays a role. Yes, red-flag laws can be a part of it. But that specificity was missing from what we are seeing here as the major motivator for this crime. The president said it's mental illness and hate that pulls the trigger. Well, it's hate much more often than it is mental illness. And there are specific things you could do to call out white nationalism.
[13:10:15] Now, the second reason that he's getting criticism is that it is hard to hear the president of the United States address a dynamic that he participates in and leaving that part out.
Let's bring in Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for "The Daily Mail."
Look, whoever wrote that speech, Francesca, put most of the right things in there to be carried through and the president delivered it I would argue with a requisite amount of poignance and emotion that befits this type of tragedy. But the specificity wasn't there about what to do for white hate. And the White House keeps pushing back that it's not just white nationalism. It seems as though this is about an effort to politicize what hate is and who owns what faction of it.
What's your take?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE DAILY MAIL": Well, Chris, he did denounce white supremacy in his strongest terms yet of his presidency. But as you already pointed out, it wasn't very clear what specifically he would like to see Congress do in response. He didn't say that Congress should come back to town immediately to pass some sort of legislation. And also missing was that call we had heard this morning for stricter background check legislation.
Now, I've asked the White House what exactly he meant by that and it could be that that's what he was referring to when he talked about those red-flag law, but we're still waiting for an answer on whether or not the president does in fact believe that universal background checks, for instance, is something that Congress should seek.
CUOMO: Well, look, he has talked about background checks in the past. I mean what's creating a little bit of controversy right now is that he tied it to immigration reform. And people are seeing one as having nothing to do with the other. The White House explains it as just his raw sense of practicality. He wants something, they want something. The problem is, if anything is going to scream to unanimity of interest, of unity, this situation does because nobody is in favor of this hate.
And when you look at the crimes, why do we talk about white nationalism? They are the predominant group that is doing the violence and the killing. Obviously any organization that motivates violence to a political ending should be treated as a terroristic organization. That is the change that people are waiting to hear called for. It hasn't happened yet.
What have you heard about a what's next?
CHAMBERS: Well, the White House says that it does want Congress to pass some sort of legislation that deals with this, although, again, it is not clear what exactly would be in that legislation. Also unclear is whether the president would be willing to take some sort of executive action. He mentioned the Department of Justice and directing closer monitoring of online forums and social media channels. That is potentially something that he could do through either executive action or just through a directive. So we'll be looking to see if that happens.
But to your earlier point as well about illegal immigration, it's also not totally clear what the president was referring to when he said that this morning and whether or not he does realistically wanting Congress to pass legislation that deals with illegal immigration and background checks as part of a gun violence prevention package.
CUOMO: It's certainly a time for single focus and urgency. We'll see what comes next. Certainly it's our job to make sure something comes next and quickly.
Francesca Chambers, thank you very much.
All right, let's turn now to the other dominant component of this, which is about our kind of collective conscience and what this means to our culture. We have somebody who's spoken with the victims and their families, who understands what's happening here and what it means, Bishop Mark Seitz. He leads the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. According to the latest numbers from the diocese, 80 percent of this area is catholic.
Bishop, I'm sorry to meet you under these circumstances, but this is where we need to be right now. Thank you for joining us.
BISHOP MARK SEITZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EL PASO: Absolutely.
CUOMO: What does it mean to the community to have this kind of violence, not just the death and the injuries, 22 so far, dozens also injured, but why it happened?
SEITZ: Well, it's devastating to us because we know that it is a direct contradiction to what we believe we stand for here in El Paso. We take great pride in being a place that really contradicts the narrative that says that we have to be in opposition to each other because we live on a border. We see the people on the other side of the border as really part of our family. And so -- and of course being primarily Hispanic in this region, that hits very close to home for all of us.
But the point for us is not that this is an Hispanic region, but that we are a place with people from every race and country. We're a -- we're a place where people have passed for 400 years since the Spanish came through the first time in 1598. You know, and --
[13:15:00] CUOMO: But it's been defined differently now, bishop, is that now we are in a period of inclusion versus exclusion and definitional politics, identity politics. And there is a reason that this murderer traveled as far as he did. Who knows how many Walmart's he passed on the way down to get here. He wanted this Walmart and this place for a reason.
CUOMO: What is your message to people with that in their heart and their head?
SEITZ: Well, the message is that they will not make us fearful and they will not make us respond in hate in the same terms that they have treated us. We know that we can only conquer hatred by love and by unity with one another. And that's really a message I think for all of us, isn't it?
CUOMO: I have almost never met a right-wing extremist who did not believe themselves to be Christian. Sometimes they carve out Catholics like us from what they believe Christian. But what is your message to them?
SEITZ: They need to read the Bible again. They need to take another look at what Jesus says. Not one word of hate towards people came from his mouth. He criticizes behaviors, but he doesn't criticize people. He says about people, he says, if you love just those who love you, what good is that? Even the pagans love one another. But I say to you, love your enemies, do go to those who hurt you. I don't see anything in there that gives room or an exception to hate a certain group of people or even to exclude them from our lives.
CUOMO: This is a very trying time for you in comforting the flock. It's hard not to feel that you're not wanted here when someone comes and hunts you down where you live. I appreciate you taking the time and putting out a better message.
SEITZ: Thank you for taking the time to be here and to inform people about the true community that we have here in El Paso.
CUOMO: We are here, bishop. If we can help, please, feel free to come. Thank you, sir.
SEITZ: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right, so, Brooke, back to you, where you are in Ohio.
BALDWIN: All right, thank you. And thanks to the bishop as well.
We are live here in Dayton. I'm going to be joined by the mayor of Dayton in just a moment. You know, obviously part of her job is absolutely impossible to prepare for. How Nan Whaley is working to heal her community and what she tells the victims' families.
Plus, what we're learning about the gunman. Classmates say he had a hit list in high school with a kill list for the boys and a rape list for the girls.
You're watching CNN's special live coverage both from El Paso and Dayton.
I'm Brooke Baldwin.
We'll be right back.
[13:22:24] BALDWIN: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. In just 30 seconds, a gunman murdered nine people and left 37 injured right here in Dayton, Ohio. In just 30 seconds, police took down that gunman, saving hundreds of lives. And in just 30 seconds, you can call your elected representative and demand they do something about this.
In the gunman's arms, a .223 caliber rifle with 100-round drum magazines. Look at this photo. This is from Dayton Police. Because while the purpose of this device is to maximize harm, nine lives, 30 seconds, it is a testament to law enforcement that he did not kill what I've heard the mayor estimate hundreds more innocent lives.
The investigation in Dayton is constantly updating. This is what we've learned in -- just in the last little bit.
The gunman arrived in this neighborhood with his sister and what police describe as a companion. And while the shooter and his sister separated at some point, it's unclear whether her killing was actually intentional.
Now, the gunman's companion is still in the hospital with a wound to his lower torso. We're told he is cooperating. He -- authorities believe he had no advance knowledge of this attack.
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl just revealed more details about what he found right here at the scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHIEF RICHARD BIEHL, DAYTON POLICE: If all the magazines that we recovered from the suspect were completely full, and we have not had a chance to examine that, we just know that we have magazines with bullets in them. But if all of those were completely at full capacity, including the loose rounds found on the ground near him, as well as in a backpack that he carried, he would have had a maximum of 250 rounds in his possession at the time. We can confirm at least 41 spent shell casings from his weapon based on their location and his path of travel.
[13:25:11] QUESTION: Chief, 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 weapon in a civilian environment unregulated is problematic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Fundamentally problematic, he says. Yet when the president of the United States addressed the nation for the first time since both shootings unfolded, he used the word "gun" only once.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is with me.
And, Ms. Mayor, thank you so much for spending time with me. I am so sorry about what's happened here just in the last 24, 48 hours.
I want to begin, though, with, I don't think you can underscore the point enough that hundreds of lives were saved because of your police team.
MAYOR NAN WHALEY, DAYTON, OHIO: Absolutely. The heroic nature of Dayton Police continues to amaze me. And Saturday night was just the latest example. If you did the count, in that period of time, they were just right over there. Because we have lots of people here on Saturday night, just having a police presence, we think that's good for the community, and for them to take action and run towards the shooter. Five of these officers have only been on the force for only three years.
BALDWIN: Oh, my gosh.
WHALEY: And so they're --
BALDWIN: How are they doing?
WHALEY: You know, I'm going to call them this afternoon.
WHALEY: You know, I think that, you know, we automatically put folks on administrative leave when we do this process. And we've been following our process there. But the chief tells me they are doing OK.
BALDWIN: How about -- we just cited 37 injured. I know a number of them -- some gunshot wounds, some just from running, twisting an ankle, that kind of thing. Can you just update me on -- do you have any idea how many people are still in the hospital, extent of injuries?
WHALEY: Yes, we did that at the press conference and I don't want to give you a wrong number.
WHALEY: So I don't -- it's in the teens that are still in the hospital.
WHALEY: Most have been released. And -- and, you know, some people had injuries due to being stampeded.
WHALEY: You know, you can imagine that shoes were just like left on the streets, right? So there's been a lost and found for folks that just got off the -- got, you know, just got their bodies off the street during this process.
BALDWIN: And do you -- can you even begin to answer the question why?
WHALEY: No. You know, I mean, we don't know his motivation yet. You know, the police and FBI are doing that work. The chief said at today's press conference that the initial -- at the initial -- the initial look does not look to be racially motivated.
And, you know, honestly, I think we -- we could, on this, you know, and we don't have all the details --
WHALEY: But we might not ever really know why.
WHALEY: But what we do know is that a man attained an assault-like weapon gun legally, completely legally, and was able to do this without raising any sort of concern. And that's really my question today, why do we even have these on our streets.
BALDWIN: We showed the picture of the 100-drum magazine, right? I've heard from war correspondents saying that they've never seen them covering war zones.
BALDWIN: That said, the president addressed the nation. And I want to just quote part of him back to you because I want your response because I know you've said that this community is exhausted by a lack of action, right? And so the president today saying the Internet and social media and video games are to blame and the direct quote is, mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger and not the gun.
WHALEY: I mean I think the real key is, there would be no trigger at all if there -- if we -- if we didn't have the gun, you know? We're in southern Ohio. Dayton is, you know, in the center. And we have a long history of Appalachian roots in this community, a community that most people do have handguns and most people do have hunting rifles. That's not uncommon here. So we are not in any place that that's -- that's common.
BALDWIN: But you want to take those guns away?
But I do think most of Daytonians today are like, wait a minute, nobody hunts with the kind of weapon of death that that is. Really that's -- or a weapon of war. And -- and we don't need those on the streets of Dayton on a Saturday night. And I don't really know why any citizen would really need this kind of gun at any time.
BALDWIN: Here's my last question because I know you've -- or a number of mayors who have suffered similar mass shootings in this country have kindly reached out to you.
BALDWIN: You know, in a couple of days, we're going to leave and who knows what will be done legislatively.
BALDWIN: But, you know, you may be the mayor calling another mayor in a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Have you even stopped to think about that?
WHALEY: I have.
BALDWIN: And if nothing is done, how do you tell him or her that it's going to be OK?
[13:30:00] WHALEY: Well, I think our communities all come together. And so there's the work of a mayor, which is about bringing your community together and grieving through this process. And so like Dayton will.