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President Trump to Visit El Paso, Dayton After Deadly Mass Shootings; Police: El Paso Shooter "Found the Walmart Because He Was Hungry"; Venezuela & Uruguay Issue Travel Warning About U.S.; Mixed Emotions on Trump Visit to Dayton; Exclusive New Video of Dayton Deadly Shooting; Dayton Motive a Mystery But Warning Signs Missed; Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw (D) Discusses Missing Warning Signs of Dayton Shooter, Governor DeWine Supporter of Red Flag Laws, Strengthening Mental Health Laws, Trump's Upcoming Visit to Dayton; Biden: Trump "Abandoned The Theory That We Are One People". Aired 11- 11:30a ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 11:00   ET



[11:00:42] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thanks so much for joining me.

We are following a lot of moving parts here today with new details coming out of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the wake of the two horrific mass shootings that left now 31 people dead, dozens more wounded.

Joining me throughout the hour is CNN's Erica Hill, who is on the ground in El Paso.

Erica, thanks so much for being here.


Here in El Paso, we are getting more details on the gunman and also the violence he brought to the Walmart just behind me. We're also hearing from the survivors, including the heroes who stepped in to help strangers. And we're learning more about the 22 people who were killed. We're going to be bringing you those stories over the next two hours.

But we do want to begin with new developments about the investigation. Police here telling CNN the shooting suspect might have ended up at this Walmart by chance. We know he drove at least 10 hours to get to El Paso, a city to which he has no apparent ties.

As for this exact location, this store just behind me, police say he tells them he got lost in the neighborhood, telling them he, quote, "found the Walmart because he was hungry." The suspected shooter is charged with capital murder. He's being held without bond.

After this weekend's deadly mass shootings, two South American countries are also issuing travel warnings to their citizens. Venezuela and Uruguay warning residents who travel to the United States about violence and hate crimes here, as well as, quote, "indiscriminate possession of firearms" by the population.

Meantime, President Trump planning to visit El Paso tomorrow, a visit that's sparking vocal reaction in this city.

CNN's Rosa Flores joins me live.

Rosa, you've been talking to some people in the community. What are they telling you about the president's visit and how they feel about him coming here?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have mixed emotions. I've talked to a lot of people, for example, here at the memorial that is behind us, and they can't reconcile the president's words and his policies with his visit after this tragedy. They're having a lot of trouble reconciling that. Some of them saying that they think about the words that he's used to describe Latinos, to describe immigrants, to describe Mexicans.

And you also think about his policies. The remain-in-Mexico policy, for example, just a few miles south of us, there are hundreds of Central Americans that are waiting to seek asylum and they have to wait in Mexico because of this policy. There's a lot of dangers to these individuals.

And so people from El Paso worry about that, because when you live on a border town, Erica, you have family and friends on both sides of the border. That international line is really just that. It's an international line. But when you're from a border town, your family and your friends are from both sides of the border.

So people here feel very troubled and there's a lot of pain and raw emotion because the president has used such harsh words to speak about migrants and immigrants.

And we talked to some people and here's what one individual had to say. Take a listen.


VALERIE DELAMORE, EL PASO RESIDENT: He's our president and it is kind of difficult, especially right now, you know, just by the things that he said. It is very difficult that he is coming. And the reason for it is because there's a lot of people here today that don't want him to come. And it's one of those things where, just by what he's preached, it's very difficult that he's coming and I wasn't even sure if he was going to come.


FLORES: Now, a lot of people don't want to talk to us on camera, Erica.

But an interview that I just did with a woman resonated so much, because she said that she has a little boy, probably 7 or 8 years old, and she said I wanted to bring him to his memorial to let him know that it's the color of his skin, it's what he looks like that could put him in danger one day. And as a mother she felt the possibility to tell him that there's danger for Latinos in the United States and that if he hears gunshots that he should run and hide.

So just process that for a moment. In America, mothers are having to have those conversations with their sons.

[11:05:04] HILL: That's a conversation that's happening here in El Paso and the greater community as you point out. Because this is not a community that stops at the U.S. border. And it's happening in cities, honestly, throughout the country.

It's also coming up because we know specifically about this manifesto that police believe was posted by the shooter that talked about an "invasion of Hispanics" -- those were his words -- in Texas. What more are we learning now about the suspect, about the investigation?

FLORES: Investigators are very tight-lipped, like they usually are during a case like this.

But we do know a few more details. We know he's from Allen, Texas, that he drove 10 to 11 hours to get here to El Paso. He apparently got lost when he got in town and then he got hungry and that's why he supposedly came to this Walmart.

I'm going to tell you, from talking to people in the community, they don't buy that. They don't buy that story.


FLORES: They don't. Because they say there are other Walmarts here in this town. But this one is so symbolic because people from Mexico come here all the time and it is filled with Mexican-Americans.

So we're going to have to learn more details, but a lot of people here are not buying that story.

HILL: Rosa, appreciate it as always. Thank you.

Kate, we'll have much more to come from here in El Paso.

For now, we'll hand it back to you.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Thank you so much Erica.

Thank you so much, Rosa, as well.

Let's turn now to Dayton, Ohio. CNN has obtained some exclusive new video of the deadly shooting. Let's be honest, none of it is easy to watch. But it does help you understand just how busy that part of town was that night and how it all happened so quickly.

It's from a surveillance camera. It's blurry and grainy. It captures the moment the gunman comes out of an alleyway and begins opening fire. The area is packed with people and you can see it happened so fast. Nine people were killed in under 30 seconds there.

The shooter's motive is still a mystery at this point. But one thing is clear, there were signs of trouble. The governor talked about it just this morning, trouble dating back to high school and what fellow students called his, quote, unquote, "kill list."

Here's what a former girlfriend of his is saying now.


ADELIA JOHNSON, FORMER GIRLFRIEND OF DAYTON GUNMAN: This isn't about race. This isn't about religion. It's none of those things. This is a man who was in pain and didn't get the help that he needed. People go every day being perfectly fine with having mental illness, me included. And he just -- he got the short end of the stick. No support system.


BOLDUAN: CNN senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, is in Dayton. He's been digging into the shooter's past.

There's a lot to be learned, Drew. What are you learning?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: So much to be learned over and over again in these shootings, Kate. The warning signs that were completely missed.

And when you watch this piece, watch the surveillance video, which is amazing, frightening and disturbing, just take a look at all the warning signs that we've had for this person and ask yourself, why was he allowed to legally purchase this weapon.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): His mother's social media shows a smiling family, a brother and a sister. But Conner Betts killed that sister and was gunned down by police as he fired on a crowd in Dayton.


GRIFFIN: This surveillance video shows police shooting and killing Betts who was wearing a mask and bulletproof vest just 30 seconds after the first shot was fired. But that 30 seconds was still enough time to kill nine people and injury dozens.

Sources tell CNN a search of the gunman's home showed writings revealing an interest in killing people. And it's not the first time. The shooter had a history of violent thinking.

He was removed from Bellbrook High School after administrators found a notebook with two columns, according to former students, a kill list of boys, a rape list of girls.

Spencer Brickler says he was told he and his sister were on that list.

SPENCER BRICKLER, FORMER CLASSMATE OF DAYTON GUNMAN: 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.

I look up and there's two police officers standing on the bus, asking him to get off the bus and go with them.

GRIFFIN: David Partridge was another former high school classmate of the gunman. He says when a friend told him about the kill list and disturbing Text messages about hurting people, they both went to the police.

DAVID PARTRIDGE, FORMER CLASSMATE OF DAYTON GUNMAN: This guy could go to the school, he could kill people, he could hurt my family, he could hurt you.

GRIFFIN (on camera): So you were concerned he was a school shooter back then?

PARTRIDGE: Absolutely. She contacted the police with her parents. I got off the phone with her and I contacted the police along with my father. They took her cell phone. The photographed it for text messages. They actually never returned her cell phone to her.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): But how that turned into the terrible events of Saturday night is still being investigated.

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: There's shots fired. There's people hurt. There's somebody hurt.

[11:10:02] GRIFFIN: The gunman drove to the area with his sister and a friend who was also shot and is now hospitalized. Dayton police are still unclear on what the sister or friend knew in advance, if anything.

RICHARD BIEHL, CHIEF, DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have no information at this time to suggest that they were aware of the weapons or when they were introduced into this environment.

GRIFFIN: So far, the shooter's family has not talked. Police are outside their home.

Officially, police say they have no motive. The writings found do not appear political or have any bias. What police do say is Conner Betts was armed for mass murder.

BIEHL: If all the magazines that we recovered from the suspect were completely full, he would have had a maximum of 250 rounds in his possession at the time.

GRIFFIN: A planned massacre that ended in his death 30 seconds after it began.

(END VIDEOTAPE) GRIFFIN: Kate, add to this mystery a confusing Twitter account, which CNN has confirmed belonged to the shooter and has been taken down. It is very left-leaning, pro-AntiFa, anti-police. It seems to support progressive candidates in the Democratic Party.

But also, why I say confusing is, he re-tweets support for gun control after the El Paso shooting.

Investigators continue to dig here -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: A lot more to dig before we jump to any conclusions.

Drew, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Let's get more for what is happening in Dayton right now. Dayton City Commissioner Chris Shaw is joining me now.

Commissioner, thank you for being here.

CHRIS SHAW, DAYTON CITY COMMISSIONER: Thank you for having me, Kate.

BOLDUAN: My colleague, Drew, has gotten some really important good reporting kind of looking into this guy's past and he had a past. He had violent thinking that was known. Classmates telling CNN that they had alerted police to his, quote, unquote, "kill lists." What is your reaction to that? Did someone miss something crucial here?

SHAW: Well, it sounds like there were some missed opportunities. But it speaks to the lack of mental health services in our communities. It's problematic. We really have to get on that.

BOLDUAN: Does the motive at this point -- it sounds strange to even ask it -- but does the motive matter to you? The outcome would be the same, the tragedy would be just as horrific. Does it matter why he did this to you?

SHAW: Well, it matters. But the real problem is that we have too many weapons of war out on the streets and it's problematic. We really have to address that and I hope that Leader McConnell will address this issue and put it before the Congress. We really have to solve this problem of these high-powered weapons in our communities.

We have a very highly-skilled Dayton police that engaged this man that they were up against, but they were overpowered, outgunned. And to the extent that they were able to neutralize this threat in under 30 seconds, it just speaks to their skill and their courage.

But we need to address these issues in a more comprehensive way. And I hope that we do so. It's time to do something about this.

BOLDUAN: You mentioned Mitch McConnell in the Senate, in Washington. Even closer to home for you, the governor this morning talked about measures that he would like to see be put in place. Some fashion of what seems like a red flag measure. Also strengthening mental health services, mental health laws in the state.

What did you think of what the governor, Governor DeWine, talked about this morning? Do you welcome that?

SHAW: I welcome it. I'm so happy that he did that. It sounds like he got the message when he was here at our vigil that our citizens want him to do something about it. And I'm glad that he's engaging in that way. And we want to support his efforts.

BOLDUAN: The White House says that President Trump is going to be visiting Dayton tomorrow. He'll also be visiting El Paso, but also visiting Dayton. Do you want the president to come? If he comes, what do you want him to see?

SHAW: Well, if he's going to come, I would like him to bring Mitch McConnell with him, because I want him to see the results of what happens when you have these weapons in our community.

I wish that he were here with me on Sunday morning when they made the notifications to the family. It keeps me up at night and it should keep him up at night. And I want him to do something about this and do it right now.

BOLDUAN: What do you want people to know about Dayton? I do wonder this, as the days kind of trickle on, things really start settling in in your city. What do you want folks to know about your city, your community as it is now inextricably linked to such sadness?

SHAW: Dayton is very strong. We're a strong close-knit community. We will not be defined by this incident. We will move on and get past this. We've been through many things over the last several months and we have overcome them and we will continue to do so together.

[11:15:02] We won't be defined by this and we're going to keep on moving and doing the good things that we've been doing over the last few years. And we're going to pull together and be stronger after this.

BOLDUAN: Commissioner, thank you for being here. Really appreciate your time.

SHAW: Thank you so much.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

Coming up for us, former Vice President Joe Biden is now weighing in about the shootings, but also weighing in about President

Trump's response to it. Why the Democratic candidate says the president's scripted response in fueling division in America.

Plus, does the United States have the tools right now to confront the rise of domestic terrorism? Because that is what we saw play out. It seems we are seeing play out in El Paso at the Walmart shooting. Officials are now calling for a new approach. What that could be? That's ahead.



[11:20:39] JOE BIDEN, (D), FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES & DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're white supremacists. No doubt about it. This is domestic terrorism.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "A.C. 360": Do you blame the president in part for what happened in El Paso?

BIDEN: What I do is his rhetoric contributes to this notion that it also legitimizes people coming out from under the rocks. This is white nationalism. This is -- this is terrorism of a different sort. But it's still terrorism.

There's no question that his rhetoric has contributed to, at a minimum, at a minimum, of dumbing down the way in which we, as a society, talk about one another, the way -- we always -- look, we've always brought the country together. We've never -- we, the people, we hold these truths self-evident.

He flies in the face of all of the basic things, that we never actually met the standard, that we've never abandoned it before. He looks like he's just flat abandon the theory that we are one people.


BOLDUAN: That was Joe Biden's reaction to the horrific shootings over the weekend. The impact and influence he sees the president's words having on the country.

All of this ahead of President Trump's planned visit to the communities in El Paso and Dayton tomorrow. What kind of message will the president bring, should bring?

Joining me right now is a former Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, now a CNN senior political commentator.

Governor, thank you so much for being here.

That line from the vice president is really striking when he says that he believed that Trump has flat-out abandoned the notion that the country is one nation. Do you think that's true?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I agree with virtually all of what Joe Biden had to say in that statement.

You know, Kate, I wrote a book called "Two Paths" and it really described which way we would go in America. Would we be unifying, would we lift people up, or would they be dividing people, would we be creating or justifying victimhood? I wrote that in a book.

And you know, Kate, I have to just tell you -- and I've not said this on air. A lot of people have wondered, why didn't I support Donald Trump, why didn't I go to the convention, why did I vote for John McCain for president, why do I continue to speak out. And many of them say because he didn't win or he's bitter or whatever. That's all nonsense. What is happening now and what we are seeing is exactly what I was

concerned about. And, Kate, I talk to Republicans who are like, well, I don't like him but look at the economy.


KASICH: And I'm like, what are you talking about? Don't you understand that we have an upheaval with our culture? And he has contributed to negativity.

And yesterday, I said, OK, he made a good statement because he talked about red flag laws, he condemned white supremacy, but today, he's out tweeting again. I mean, it's just --

BOLDUAN: And he also --


KASICH: It's just a bad, bad thing. And --

BOLDUAN: And, Governor, to your point, but also noteworthy, he didn't mention one time in that Teleprompter speech "Latino" or "Hispanic" or the community that was terrorized in Texas, the people targeted by that screed that that person investigators believe wrote. That was also glaringly absent in that speech.

KASICH: Look, every one of these talks can be better. The master in the middle of tragedy was obviously Ronald Reagan. But when he talked about the fact that he wanted these red flag laws. So if you look at Dayton and you see a guy who was clearly unbalanced, the question is, if we had had a red flag law in Ohio, which I tried to -- it's not about me. We tried to get in Ohio.


BOLDUAN: But you tried. After Las Vegas, you tried to get it.

KASICH: Yes. If we would have had that, the question is, would they have been able to see a person who was truly unstable. Could you have gone to court? Now, the governor, DeWine, came out today and said he favors a red flag law. I hope the legislature will pass it.

But, look, the president's rhetoric --

BOLDUAN: Do you think it's different now than what you were facing?

KASICH: Say that again. I'm sorry, Kate.

BOLDUAN: No, no. Do you think it's a different climate now, a different moment, if you will, even looking at Ohio?

KASICH: Yes, there's no question, there's no question it is.

BOLDUAN: You think so?

(CROSSTALK) BOLDUAN: But when it comes to on the national scale --


KASICH: The problem, Kate --

BOLDUAN: Go ahead. Go ahead.

[11:25:03] KASICH: Kate, here's the problem. Is problem is, frankly, all of us in the media. We focus on this, we focus on this, we focus on it and then we forget about it. And what happens is people just get on with their lives and those who want no change in gun laws are always vigilant and those who --


BOLDUAN: Yes. Governor, does it make the media focusing on something for --


BOLDUAN: But let me just say, do it take the media focusing on something for -- what you say are politicians, elected officials, who are paid by the public to do the job and lead and keep us safe --

KASICH: I know.

BOLDUAN: -- why does it make the media to have to focus on it?

KASICH: Kate, I'm trying to explain it to you. Because I know this. I was a legislator and a governor. OK, I understand this. Because when the heat comes off and people kind of get about their stuff and the people who want no change, their voices are always loud and direct.

And in order to get these changes -- why would we get change now? Because I believe the people of our country and in our state are demanding it.

These young students down in Dayton who are saying we've had enough. One young woman said, I should be writing my college essay, I shouldn't be preparing my will.

What's happening now, is it's ground up. People are beginning to say enough already.

And unfortunately, it's taken so much of this so that politicians get -- I'll tell you, you don't fix this, then we're going to defeat you. We're going to take your job away. That's what has to happen, Kate.

And when you look at all the major movements in our country, whether it's civil rights, whether it's women's suffrage, whether it's this issue, it has to come from the people, up. Because the people in our country have the last word but they have to speak clearly, loudly and consistently.


KASICH: And I think it's what happened in Florida.

BOLDUAN: And that is something that you have talked about, all of the major movements come from the ground up and, unfortunately, it comes to -- in the face of tragedy, that is where it stands as well.

In the most immediate, after everything that we've just discussed, do you want to see the president go to Dayton? There's so much mixed emotion, very vocal reaction to him going. Do you think there's any help in that? Because we know how you feel and what you think about --


KASICH: Well, Kate, if he can go and try to be a healer and not -- you know what a lot of Republicans say to me, well, I really like him if he would just shut up.

So what he really needs to do is to go, if he's there -- and he is going to go and nobody is going to talk him out of it -- go there and understand the depth of the sorrow. I've got to think he understands that. And be a healer.

But you can't just go back to the old way. Like this morning, he's tweeting again saying, well, why did George Bush not attack Obama after Sandy Hook? Forget it. Knock it off. Just do your job.

You made promises yesterday about gathering Republicans and Democrats, you made promises about red flags, you said there were other things that needed to be done on gun control. Do it.

And frankly, I think he should assemble Republicans and Democrats and faith leaders and activists and law enforcement in the White House and hammer out a comprehensive plan and tell Mitch McConnell, tell the Republicans in the Senate, you will do this.

Now, I couldn't get everything I wanted through. There are limits to the power of an executive. But you know what? You've got to work them over and work them over.

And maybe some of the spade work we did here a year ago with my team has led to a place today where maybe it's going to be a good fighting chance to get something accomplished in my state, including expanded background checks and red flag laws. That's the way, I think, it has to go.

BOLDUAN: Keeping the attention on, and I know you will. You can always come here and we can continue to have this discussion.

Governor, thank you.

KASICH: Kate, thank you for letting me be on today. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: That you so much. [11:29:02] Coming up for us, the FBI has seen a significant rise in the number of white supremacist domestic terrorism cases in just the recent months. Now, after the mass shooting in El Paso, especially, there are new demands for a whole new way of looking at this growing problem and threat. That's next.