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Mass Shooting Aftermath; Joe Biden Speaks Out on Mass Shootings; Interview With Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). Aired 3-3:30p ET
Aired August 6, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Welcome back. You're watching CNN's special live coverage. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in Dayton, Ohio, alongside my colleague Anderson Cooper, who is there in El Paso.
And this doesn't happen very often, but we just had to run inside because of the weather, lightning, for safety reasons. And so I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Blind Bob's here in the Oregon District of Dayton.
And just to set the scene, as we all raced in and hustled to make sure we could continue to shine a light on Dayton and could continue going live, I'm standing on a stage in this bar where, just two days ago, there was a bands on the stage. People were enjoying themselves, Saturday night.
And there is still band equipment around me from when everyone dropped everything and ran. So I just wanted to thank the bar for letting us hustle in here.
Again, we're covering the shooting. In 30 seconds, Dayton police took out the shooter just across the street from me here. Nine people, though, were murdered before then.
And we're learning a bit more about the shooter's past, his troubled past, this kill and rape list he apparently had from his high school days here in Ohio, and also more about this trail he left on Twitter.
So, more on the investigation, some of these hero stories, and an update on the survivors as well -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: All right, Brooke, we will come back to you there in Dayton.
Here in El Paso, of course, of course, the grief continues. The search for answers continues. Nearly two dozen families are preparing to bury their loved ones while struggling with the fallout from one of the worst attacks on Latinos in modern U.S. history.
Now, Mexico says it's going to take part of the investigation of the shooting, which left several Mexican citizens dead. This Walmart was a place where frequently people would cross over the border to come and shop. We're also getting more details about the El Paso shooting from local officials.
First, the 21-year-old behind the attack purchased the guns legally and afterward turned himself into an El Paso motorcycle officer. He was in his car. Police say the suspect, who had no ties to the city, drove 10 to 11 hours to get here, ended up at the Walmart after getting lost, they say, in the neighborhood.
CNN's Sara Sidner joins me now.
I know you spoke with the family of people who were inside and who lost their lives. What are you hearing?
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, we sat down with the Jamrowski family.
And what they told us was remarkable. They had not buried their family members yet. They had lost their daughter and son-in-law. And yet the mother looked at me and said, "I forgive the shooter and I want his family to know I forgive them too."
SIDNER (voice-over): The Jamrowski family can't hold back their tears as they recount the loss they're experiencing.
Misti and Paul Jamrowski's son-in-law Andre Anchando and their daughter Jordan were two of 22 people killed by a suspected terrorist at an El Paso Walmart.
MISTI JAMROWSKI, VICTIM'S MOTHER: We pray a lot and have a lot of family and friends. But you're just broken. Like, you go to call her and you forget that she's not there.
SIDNER: Leta and Ashley lost their sister and brother-in-law.
ASHLEY JAMROWSKI, VICTIM'S SISTER: It's just it's like her and Andre were my heart. It's like I lost a part of me.
SIDNER: Liz Terry and Jesse Jamrowski lost a niece and nephew.
Five-year-old Skylin lost her mother and stepfather.
SKYLIN, 5 YEARS OLD: I love my mom and dad.
SIDNER: Her brother, 2-month-old Paul Gilbert, was in his mother's arms when she crashed to the ground after being shot.
M. JAMROWSKI: The shooter had aimed at Jordan, and Andre jumped in front of Jordan, and the shooter shot Andre and the bullets went through Andre and hit Jordan.
SIDNER: Both were killed, leaving Paul Gilbert orphaned and injured.
PAUL JAMROWSKI, FATHER OF VICTIM: And the sad thing is, is that even with all of us, it's mom and dad. We can't replace mom and dad. Those were -- it's just something you can't replace.
SIDNER: This is the devastating ripple effect of murder, the pain slicing across generations.
After all the hate spewed by the suspected gunman, the Jamrowskis say they are sticking to something else to get through the hurt: love, faith, and forgiveness.
Before they have even had a chance to bury the dead, they had a message for the killer.
M. JAMROWSKI: We forgive him. We honestly forgive him. We pray for him. We hope that he finds God, because God teaches you to be loving.
SIDNER: Forgiveness in the face of hate.
I should also mention that the 5-year-old, Skylin, who lost her mom and stepdad, looked at her two grandparents when they told her that both of them have been killed and said, "Is the killer coming after me too?"
The family trying to deal with how to explain to the children who have lost parents how to survive this as they deal with their own sorrow.
COOPER: Yes. How do you explain that? It's inexplicable.
Sara, thank you very much.
I also -- I want to bring Brian Todd in here.
Brian, you're having new information about the El Paso shooter and how he was actually apprehended.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson.
A police officer in the El Paso police is telling us today that the shooter essentially was able to make his way away from the scene at some point. He drove a couple hundred yards away from the facade of the building, drove up to a corner, where a motorcycle police officer from the El Paso police was setting up an outer perimeter.
There were already police on the scene. This motorcycle officer was setting up a perimeter. A police official tells us the shooter drove up in his 2012 Honda Civic, got out, put his hands up, went over to the officer and said, "I'm the shooter."
The officer had no time to call for backup, no time to do anything. Got his cuffs out, cuffed him, got him secure. A couple minutes later, two Texas Rangers arrived, secured the car and secured the scene.
But, apparently, it looks like -- I don't know if you want to say he got away.
TODD: But he was able to make his way away from the scene.
COOPER: I mean, that -- there's a lot of questions we do not know about -- obviously, it's an ongoing investigation. But we know the first officer showed up, I believe, six minutes after the first call.
We know, from the FBI, most of these active shooter situations, everybody gets killed in the first six minutes, and about half of them, it's in the first two minutes. The response time is critical.
We don't yet know, though, about the police actually going in, when that happened. And we have no idea at this point how this shooter was able to leave, get into his vehicle and drive to give himself up.
TODD: Some pieces still missing here that we have to fill in. It would appear from this new information that they didn't confront him. Right?
I mean, if they had, it would have looked different. So did he make his way out of side entrance or a back entrance? That's possible. He was able to get in his car and drive. So, again, how was he able to do that? Where did he park his car? Did he park his car on the side of the building?
COOPER: Were only a small group of officers moving in to try to find him in the Walmart, he got out another way? Again, we don't know. A lot of questions remain, but it's fascinating information that he gave himself up.
Brian Todd, thank you, Sara Sidner as well.
When President Trump visits El Paso tomorrow, as he says he's going to, he's going to come to a city in mourning, of course, a city where some residents say that his anti-immigrant rhetoric at rallies and elsewhere may have paved the way for the deadly Walmart attack.
The El Paso Democratic Party, they have asked President Trump to not come here, to cancel the trip, saying his presence will actually make things worse.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, says that the president is not welcome.
I want to bring in Ruben Gallego, a Democratic Congressman from Arizona.
Welcome, Congressman. I appreciate you being with us.
The word invasion...
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Thank you for having me.
COOPER: ... was part of what the police describe was in the racist writings of this Texas gunman.
It's also a word obviously that's been used by the president and his campaign. According to the Facebook ad archive, the Trump campaign has run more than 2,000 ads on Facebook, including some just several days after a rally held in El Paso...
COOPER: ... that use the word invasion.
And I just want to get your reaction to those ads. Do you -- I mean, do you link the rhetoric to the reprehensible -- to the murder here?
And, by the way, it's not just Donald Trump. The whole Republican Party, they have been using this theme of invasion and scare tactics to crop up and prop up their voters and to encourage them to come and vote.
Before Donald Trump, it was Jan Brewer here in Arizona with SB-1070. I have seen it in e-mails and solicitations from the Republican Party for many years describing an invasion of from the south.
So the president is the problem, but the whole Republican brand is also the problem. And they need to atone for that rhetoric that has caused this type of environment.
COOPER: Mitch McConnell has proudly referred to himself as the Grim Reaper because he's prevented, blocked so many bills passed by the Democratic House from coming up for a vote in the Senate.
I think he said he's the Grim Reaper of socialism, to ending socialism, preventing it. It includes two bills on background checks for gun sales.
What's your message to the Senate majority leader? Do you expect something now to change, him to actually be willing to, whether it's voting on the existing House bills or at least seeking some sort of bipartisan solution?
GALLEGO: No, the one thing that's very consistent about Mitch McConnell, he could care less about anybody in this country, except for himself and his donors.
And he is the Grim Reaper. It's because of his actions that he's caused so many deaths in this country by stopping commonsense gun reform laws from getting to the floor.
The majority of Americans, even the majority of NRA members support a lot of these commonsense initiatives. But you have people like Mitch McConnell and President Trump that talk a good game after every -- after every shooting, but then hope we all forget and go away and then just keep moving on. And that's unfortunate. The only way that we're ever going to stop
this is by getting rid of Mitch McConnell and getting the Senate in control of the Democrats again.
COOPER: There's no indication , though, at this point that background checks would have prevented the Dayton shooter from acquiring a weapon.
The El Paso shooter purchased his firearm legally. Even if there is an assault weapons ban, there's so many assault weapons already in circulation. Somebody can get their hands on them. So is it really fair to say that...
GALLEGO: I understand -- that's very false logic.
To begin with, we actually don't know what a very expansive universal background check would actually have to stop some of these terrorist attacks.
For example, if we had a universal background check that actually was following through with the Dayton shooter, a person who had a kill and rape list, we probably would have been able to stop him from ever having a weapon.
As for an assault weapons ban, look, the less you have weapons, the less they are used. It's just common sense. Just because we can't get something down to zero doesn't mean we don't pass laws. That's like us not having DUI laws because we can't stop all DUIs.
That's just a bunch of NRA B.S. to try to basically continue to sell as many weapons as possible.
COOPER: You're an Iraq veteran who -- you know the weapons of war. You're familiar with a combat situation.
I'm wondering, when you heard about what was used in both El Paso and Dayton, the killing that was able to be done in under 30 seconds in Dayton, it's -- I think for somebody who hasn't been in a battlefield, and maybe hasn't seen these weapons up close, I mean, the shooter in El Paso was very specific in his racist writings about the weapons he chose and thinking about the bullets and what kind of damage the bullets would do.
GALLEGO: Well, look, the AK-47 variant that was used in El Paso was the same weapon that terrorists tried to kill me with in Iraq when I was doing house-to-house fighting in Iraq. That is what they chose.
The fact that an American, especially a young American, with very little experience or discipline, can you just go and buy a weapon of that sort legally is something that we should all be worried about.
These weapons are designed to kill. That weapon, when it was designed by the Russian architect of the AK-47 was designed for a young man to quickly put up a weapon, not even have to clean it, and just be able to shoot and kill as many people as possible. The fact that we could get this at Walmart or anywhere else, it's
ridiculous. And we need to restrict this and ban some of these assault weapons.
COOPER: Congressman, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
GALLEGO: Thank you.
COOPER: When we come back, we're going to have more from El Paso.
We will also take you back live to Dayton, more information now about the shooter there.
You will also hear from a son who witnessed his father take his last breath, all the while holding him close in his arms. It is unthinkable.
We will be right back.
BALDWIN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin back here in Dayton, back outside, blue skies. The sun is shining. I know there's a metaphor in there somewhere.
I want to share this with you. CNN has gotten its hands on some exclusive footage, getting more information on the background of the shooter, a surveillance camera capturing the moments here in the wee hours of Sunday morning as the shooter rushed out of an alley and just opened fire.
And it was Saturday night, so it was packed here with thousands of people, and obviously at the sound of gunshots people were running for their lives.
Two days after this mass shooting, the shooter's motive really remains a mystery, but what we do know is that there were multiple red flags. During the search of his home, law enforcement sources tell CNN that investigators uncovered writing showing he expressed a desire to kill.
It is, of course, important to focus on the lives lost, the nine people who were so tragically killed right here in Dayton, and the dozens of others who were injured.
We're learning much more about the stories of how some of those victims lived and tragically died.
And my colleague Randi Kaye is with me now with just this heartbreaking story from a son who tried to comfort his father in his remaining moments.
Randi, tell me the story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we have heard too many of these heartbreaking stories, Brooke, over the last few days.
This is the story of Dion Green, who thought he was heading out for a night of fun on the town with his dad. In fact, even when he saw the shooter and heard the gunfire, he could hardly believe it was real. The shooter was just feet away from him.
And in just seconds, his whole world changed.
KAYE (voice-over): Dion Green had been working hard and was looking to have some fun with his dad. So he invited him out for a night on the town in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio.
His father, Derrick Fudge, jumped at the chance.
(on camera): What was your dad like?
DION GREEN, SON OF VICTIM: Man, all we do is fish, play cards, and love animals. That's that's what we do. He got a dog named Lucy Lu that's -- if he didn't have me, I would think he would love that dog more than anybody in the world. Like, I'm his only child.
KAYE (voice-over): Dion, his fiancee, and his dad were hanging out on the street, when Dion says he noticed a man wearing a mask walking nearby,
GREEN: Came around the corner. I heard two shots, pop, pop. Walked by me because I'm still thinking this is not real.
KAYE (on camera): How far from you was he when you heard the two shots?
GREEN: Hmm. Probably about six feet. And then he walked towards me to cross the street. Then, that's when you started hearing the barrage of just duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.
When he crossed the street, the guns, that's when people really started to panic. And you heard the real -- a lot of the gunshots, people start panicking, running, falling. So I finally get down to the ground. So we all get down, and hear no more gunshots, so I'm saying, get up.
We about to leave. So, I'm holding my dad. I'm talking to him, like, come on. Let's go. He's not moving. I seen him take a little gasp of air.
KAYE (voice-over): By now, Dion realized this was a real shooting. So he bent down to check his father for gunshots.
GREEN: I didn't see no blood on the body area, Soon as I get closer onto him, I grab him and get behind his head, and I see the blood just coming from both sides of his head. And I just lost it. And then I just grabbed onto my dad, until
somebody can pull me off. But it was like, I didn't want to be touched by nobody. Like...
KAYE (on camera): You were just hugging him?
GREEN: Yes. I mean, that was my last chance to really speak to him. He looked at me. He was breathing. And he just lied there with his eyes open in my arms.
KAYE: So he died in your arms?
GREEN: Yes. Yes, ma'am.
KAYE: What did you say to him?
GREEN: I just kept saying: "I love you. Get up. Get up. Just get up. I don't know what else to keep saying. Get up."
Just taking little gasps of air. And then he didn't move no more. And then I just laid across his body and just laid on him.
KAYE (voice-over): Just feet away, Dion says, was another woman who he has since come to believe is the shooter's sister, after police questioned him about her and he saw her picture on the news. She'd also been shot.
(on camera): Was the woman who was also there, was she already dead?
GREEN: No, she was still breathing a little bit, which I thought was a guy.
GREEN: She tell like: "Can you call the police? I have been shot. I have been shot."
KAYE: She was talking to you?
KAYE (voice-over): Dion says he now feels terrible guilt for inviting his father along that night, knowing he'd be alive if he hadn't.
GREEN: I think he protected me. I think he protected me, because there's no way -- this is how close we was to each other.
KAYE: Loving, caring and loyal to the end.
Derrick Fudge was just 57.
KAYE: And Dion has been dealing with a lot lately, Brooke.
A tornado ripped through his neighborhood, nearly destroyed the neighborhood, hit his house just a couple of months ago. And he always says that he feels like he's been the rock for his family. And now he tells me that he feels like God is testing him. He feels like he's crumbling recently, that he's turning into pebbles and no longer a rock.
He's trying to be strong for his daughter, but he's just like so many here trying to make sense of what happened.
BALDWIN: Have do you even begin to do that?
And, of course, the thought, I'm sure, as he mentioned, is running through his head. What if I hadn't brought my dad? What if I hadn't brought my dad?
BALDWIN: I guess at least they were together. But, obviously, we're sending him love and light.
Randi Kaye, thank you so much for sharing his story.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is certainly no stranger to tragedy. Hear his message to those reeling from the mass shootings both here in Dayton and in El Paso, and his words for the president of United States.
COOPER: Well, the front-runner in the Democratic race for president, Joe Biden, is joining his 2020 fellow Democrats, his rivals, in condemning the president, saying his rhetoric is emboldening white supremacists
Vice President Biden and the other candidates have increasingly drawn a line between Trump's past comments, the rhetoric he uses on immigrants and the rise of racist attacks, like the one here in El Paso.
Vice President Biden also talked to me on a personal level about these tragedies here and in Ohio, not about racism, but about grief and loss, since he two has suffered the loss of children. His adult son also, Beau, died of cancer. Decades before, his baby daughter and first wife were killed in a car crash.
Here's my interview with the former vice president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You experienced losses that no parent should ever experience.
I'm going to El Paso from here, will likely be talking to family members whose child or sister or brother or mother or father has been killed.
What -- as someone who has been through that and lived through that and lives with that every day, what would you -- what do you say to the people who are grieving right now?
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You understand it. You lost your brother. You understand.