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Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) Presidential Candidate Discusses Trumpism And His Plan to Combat White Nationalist Gun Violence; Children of El Paso Victim David Johnson Remember Father Who Shielded Wife, Granddaughter From Gunfire; Food Festival Shooting Now Domestic Terror Investigation; El Paso Shooting Survivor Shares Experience From Hospital. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 14:30   ET



[14:30:41] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Well, he's the only Democratic presidential candidate to call President Trump a white nationalist on the CNN debate stage last week. Now Washington Governor Jay Inslee has just released his plan that he says will combat white nationalist gun violence.

Joining me now is Governor Inslee, from Seattle.

Governor, thanks very much.

Sir, your plan, multiple parts, including systems that track domestic terrorists and expanding cooperation with international law enforcement agencies. Those are things which, frankly, are not happening right now. The domestic terrorism is not a crime in the way that international terrorism is.

JAY INSLEE, (D), WASHINGTON GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes. Well, we need a national campaign against white nationalism. We need a national campaign against weapons of war that have caused so much carnage across the country, including in my state.

And I'm very committed to this because, you know, I referred to the president as a white nationalist in the White House days before this tragedy. And now to see that happen, it's not just sorrow, it's anger I feel.

I think we need an intentional national focus. That starts with removing the person who's in power and coddled white nationalism, that's Donald Trump, from office. So that's a predicate to getting this job done.

But, yes, we need to recognize that white nationalist terrorism is every bit as deadly and, as far as frequency, more so than that off our shores.

And this president has actually dismantled -- and it seems unbelievable that it's true -- he has actually dismantled numerous of the efforts we have to identify domestic terrorism and white nationalism. The FBI director just said the other day most of the arrests have been for white nationalism in domestic terrorism. He has reduced the resources. He has not put forward a screening process to identify these folks.

And he's done zip to work with the international community because this is an international threat of white supremacy movements across the country.

It's not just that. We have to get to this weapons-of-war issue. We need to ban assault weapons. And I voted for that in 1994 and lost my seat over it. But I never regretted that vote.

The country has had a belly full of this violence now. We ought to have Congress come back into session and ban assault weapons tomorrow, frankly.

COOPER: Let me ask you about --

INSLEE: I have about eight other ideas I proposed in this effort.

COOPER: Let me ask you about the assault weapon ban. That's something a lot of Democrats support.

The final study that was done on that, when it ended in 2004, essentially said that they couldn't -- they could not link banning of assault -- the law of banning assault weapons with the reduction of crime that occurred over that period of time.

And they point to the fact that it's not really a ban because all these guns that -- all these assault weapons are still out there. There's millions of them out there. And it's not as if you're confiscating those.

So does a ban -- yes, it stops new ones from being sold here in the United States. But it doesn't do anything about the millions of guns already in existence.

INSLEE: Well, look, this guy walked in, in Ohio, I'm told, with a capacity of a hundred rounds. You tell me why that's necessary.

I've seen studies of the country that has reduced mass murders while this law was in effect.

I think we need to look at it from a rational standpoint. There's no reason in this country that anyone needs a weapon of war. This has now become the choice weapon of mass murders in the United States. And it happens time and time and time again.

So I just think the American people want this and deserve it and we've got to have somebody in the White House who will stand up against the NRA. We have the NRA on the run in Washington. We need to get them on the run nationally.

But we got to go deeper than that, too, because the white nationalism effort is at the heart of this, of what we saw in Texas. And we need someone to stand up and confront Donald Trump and get somebody there that confronts white nationalism. I'm up for that job. Maybe there's others, but this country needs somebody to do that.

[14:35:18] COOPER: Governor Jay Inslee, I appreciate your time in these difficult days here in El Paso. Thank you very much.

INSLEE: Thank you.

COOPER: Still ahead, more to cover. My interview with the family of a man who died shielding his 9-year-old granddaughter, named Katelyn, and his wife from the shooter here in El Paso. What his family wants you to know about their hero.


[14:40:20] COOPER: Welcome back. We're live in El Paso.

The family of the victims here speaking out because they want you to know about their dad. They want you to know they believe their dad died a hero. His name is David Johnson. He went to the Walmart Saturday with his wife shopping for a present for their 9-year-old granddaughter, Katelyn, who was also with them when the shooting began.

David Johnson was pretty familiar with guns. He grew up with them and hunted and had been around them all his life. When the shooting began in Walmart, he knew he had to protect his wife and granddaughter. He died shielding them from the gunman. He was 63 years old.

I spoke with David's daughters, Kimberly, Crystal and Stephanie, who is Katelyn's mom.


COOPER: How's your daughter doing? How's Katelyn?

STEPHANIE MENENDEZ, DAUGHTER OF SHOOTING VICTIM DAVID JOHNSON: She's being super strong. She's -- I was expecting -- I don't know what I was expecting, but that little girl is excited to go to school. She wants to go to school.

COOPER: She understands what she saw, apparently.

MENENDEZ: According to my mom, she knew exactly what to do. From a situation at school, I don't know. But she knew what was going on.

COOPER: Do you know exactly what happened?

MENENDEZ: Just when I called my mom, I was just checking up on my daughter at my lunch and they were still being -- I guess they were being evacuated. From what my mom told me over the phone, she said he shot. I heard my daughter crying. And that they were at Walmart. There was no full sentences. It wasn't real. I asked her if she was joking. Because this stuff happens on TV but not here.

COOPER: Now do you know the full story of what happened?

KIMBERLY JOHNSON, DAUGHTER OF SHOOTING VICTIM DAVID JOHNSON: From what we've been told, like what my mom said, was that he pushed them down, my niece and my mom, and covered them.

COOPER: Your dad pushed them down.

JOHNSON: Yes. He covered them and he got shot.

COOPER: When there was shooting, he got on top of them?

MENENDEZ: He pushed them and made them hide.

CRYSTAL ALVORD, DAUGHTER OF SHOOTING VICTIM DAVID JOHNSON: My mom's memories, it happened so fast. All she did say was the gunman was two feet away.

COOPER: That close.

MENENDEZ: My daughter talks about the smoke. That's what she remembers. But other than that, they still haven't really and I'm not pushing right now.


In a situation like this, how do you proceed with your -- with the 9- year-old?

MENENDEZ: I don't know. I'm reaching out. A lot of people have reached out to help. I've already taken her to her doctor. They've given us numbers and referrals. And people to help her. Her school has reached out and agreed to help her. She has so many people behind her right now. And me and my husband were just -- we're there for her. We're staying there for her and letting her know it's OK to talk.

COOPER: When you heard what your dad had done, does it surprise you at all he sacrificed himself like that?

ALVORD: No. He is that kind of man 100 percent. He's been around guns his whole life. He used to hunt, I believe. So he knows what to do. And him saving my niece and my mom, that is him. Absolutely.

COOPER: That's great testament to him.

ALVORD: Yes. No one was surprised. They are, you know, his number ones. So he'd do that for any of us.

COOPER: What do you want people to know about your dad?

JOHNSON: He's a hero. He saved my mom and he saved my niece. And he was an amazing man.

COOPER: How about you?

MENENDEZ: The same thing. I mean, I could have lost my daughter. I was so close to losing her, but because of him she's still here. And my mom. My mom is still here. And if it wasn't for him, she'll -- his legacy will be forever with us. And I want -- he was just a hero. I wish he was here for me to tell him how thankful I am because I could have lost her.

COOPER: And he saved her.

Is there anything else you want people to know?

ALVORD: Just what a wonderful man he was. He did so much for all of us and sometimes we didn't deserve it. But he was the best dad that anyone could ask for.

[14:45:11] COOPER: And he loved his grandchildren a lot. Katelyn had him wrapped around her finger?


ALVORD: She was the first. So, yes, absolutely.

MENENDEZ: He would sit in the kitchen and do chemistry experiments with her and make her little potions. No matter how tired he was from work, he'd be there. No complaints. He'd be smiling.


COOPER: David Johnson, killed in the Walmart behind me.

We'll have more from El Paso.

Plus, just into CNN, we're going to have an update on the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, which was just over a week ago. Police now calling it a case of domestic terror.


[14:50:23] COOPER: We're covering the story here in El Paso, but I want to take you to California. Moments ago, the police and FBI agents announced they're launching a full domestic terrorism investigation into the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. That shooting on July 28th left two children, one adult dead, 16 others wounded.

Our CNN correspondent, Dan Simon, is in Gilroy.

Dan, explain what was just announced.

DAN SIMON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. Investigators just announced a short time ago that they have uncovered digital media that showed the shooter in the Gilroy incident was looking at different courthouses, political organizations, religious institutions, a whole host of organizations he was going to target.

Now, they did not list those specific organizations, but it was enough information for them to open up a domestic terrorism investigation. This is what the FBI said just moments ago. Take a look.


JOHN BERRETT, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: The FBI and the Gilroy Police Department investigators have uncovered a list of organizations on the subject's digital media that may have been potential targets of violence. These organizations from across the country include religious institutions, federal buildings, courthouses, political organizations from both major political parties, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival.


SIMON: Well, this was a shooting that took place a week ago on Sunday. The shooter identified, as 19-year-old Santino Legan, lived in the area. Three people were killed, including two children.

Investigators also detailing, Anderson, some of the weaponry that was found at the scene. They found an unspent ammunition clip that contained 75 rounds, 71 of which were unspent.

For the first time, they're also announcing that the shooter was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Again, the headline here is that the FBI opening a domestic terrorism investigation into this comment.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Dan Simon, thanks very much.

I want to listen to sound just in from a survivor in El Paso.


UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: It hurts. But this pain will end. The pain that won't end is emotional. (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

I thank the doctors for taking care of me. The doctors. I just feel grateful that I'm alive. He had the chance to kill me, but he didn't. Because God's with me who could go against me?

I did lose my nephew right in front of me. I won't go into details, but it was a horrible image. And I hope nobody ever goes through it. It's very painful.

And I just hope that my family and I get better emotionally and that everybody from the city and around the country who's been helping us and the other ones affected by the shooting, I hope they're OK as well.

UNIDENTIFIED PHYSICIAN: We know you have a long road to recovery with this. So grateful for you for entrusting us with your care around this. You're familiar with the additional surgeries that you're going to need to have around this, right?



UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Other people we didn't know. And mostly family and friends.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us about your nephew? I think you said it in Spanish, but what happened exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Well, I took him to where my manager was. I tried to pull him to where I was. He said where. I pulled him back with me. The shooter came because he heard us. He shot him.




[14:55:24] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: President Trump is planning on visiting. What are your thoughts on that? What do you think about Trump visiting?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's keep it on patient care, please.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What was the scene like after you were hit? And our hearts go out to you and your family. What did the scene look like after you realized you were hit?

UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: There was a lot of blood. That's all I could say.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's keep it on patient care.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Were you able to see your nephew?

UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I saw them one time. The police took me out of there.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've got one more question.

(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Who are the two ladies with you here today?

UNIDENTIFIED EL PASO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: This is my girlfriend. And this is my cousin.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, all, very much.



COOPER: One of the shooting survivors talking from the hospital. We don't have his name. That just came in.

We have new details coming up from El Paso about the gunman and the weapon.

We'll be back in a moment.


[15:00:02] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Welcome back. You're watching CNN special live coverage. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in Dayton, Ohio, alongside my colleague, Anderson Cooper, there in El Paso.