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New Footage Shows Dayton Shooter at Bar Before Massacre; El Paso Attack Being Treated as Domestic Terrorism; Trump to Visit Dayton and El Paso Wednesday; Devastated El Paso Community Responds; How Putin Has Changed Russia's Role in the World. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 7, 2019 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:16] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: President Trump heading to Texas and Ohio as anger grows over two senseless mass shootings and inaction in Washington over gun reform.

Plus, a closer look at domestic terrorism in America. Young white man with extremist views and platforms to spew hate. How they have become radicalized and what can be done to stop them before they kill.

And Vladimir Putin's 20 years in power from election meddling across the globe to providing military support to Mideast dictators, how Russia's role in the world has dramatically changed under his leadership.

Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, in the wake of the two mass shootings U.S. President Donald Trump is set to visit El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the coming hours. 31 people are now confirmed dead in the twin massacres including 22 in El Paso. The suspect in that case is a white supremacist and it's believed he posted a manifesto railing against immigrants and Latinos. Members of his family have released a statement and say they are struggling to understand how he adopted such a hateful ideology.

Here's part of that statement, "His actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know and from ideas and beliefs that we do not accept or condone in any way. He was raised in a family that taught love, kindness, respect and tolerance, rejecting all forms of racism, prejudice, hatred, and violence. There will never be a moment for the rest of our lives when we will forget each and every victim of this senseless tragedy."

The El Paso case is being treated as domestic terrorism but the FBI is still trying to piece together a motive in the Dayton shooting. Video like the one you're about to see might help. It's exclusive footage of the gunman at the bar he would attack roughly two hours later. He comes in wearing shorts and a T-shirt. He is with his sister and a second companion, and he is not wearing the body armor or a mask he wore during the massacre.

Now that an hour leader he speaks to the bar staff before leaving alone. His sister and companion remained behind for about 45 minutes. The attack begins moments later. The gunman kills his sister and eight others before being shot dead by police. The companion was wounded.

For more on the case here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The FBI is taking a central role in the mass shooting in Dayton Ohio, revealing new insight into the gunman.

TODD WICKERHAM, FBI: We have uncovered evidence throughout the course of our investigation that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies. One piece of evidence does not necessarily constitute a motive.

KAYE: Police aren't giving the details of what they found, not linking crime with any racial motivations or other mass shootings.

WICKERHAM: We have not seen any evidence that the events in El Paso influenced him at this point.

KAYE: A dark picture of Connor Betts who killed his own sister and eight others is emerging. Police have uncovered violent writings from Betts' home and membership in a metal band with extremely graphic, sexually violent lyrics. The gunman's ex-girlfriend says she was worried about his mental health.

ADELIA JOHNSON, DAYTON GUNMAN'S FORMER GIRLFRIEND: And he was jealous of the support system that I had for myself, and he was jealous of how much I loved my therapist. He wanted that for himself. He wanted help.

KAYE: New terrifying cellphone video from inside Ned Peppers Bar the moment the Dayton shooter opened fire. These surveillance images show how crowded the Ohio bar was from the outside. They're grainy but you can see 24-year-old suspect Connor Betts, a hunched over figure moving between two umbrellas. As the gunfire erupts, one man crawls on the ground outside the bar using his body to shield girlfriend from bullets.

Dion Green was at the bar with his father that night and says he saw a man wearing a mask but didn't immediately notice anything else out of place.

DION GREEN, MASS SHOOTING SURVIVOR: It wasn't almost a body language, he just walked normally. Came around the corner. I heard two shots, pop, pop.

KAYE: After those shots Dionne expected his dad to get up from the ground, instead he took his last breath in his son's arms.

GREEN: I just laid across his body and just laid on him, but it was just unreal.

[00:05:05] I just kept saying, I love you, get up, get up, just get up. I mean, I don't know what else to keep saying.


KAYE: And one more note about Dionne Green, the man you saw in that story whose father died in his arms, he believes that after that attack he also spoke with shooter's sister who was also killed in that attack. He says that she said to him, I have been shot, please call 911. He didn't realize it was her, he told us, until police questioned him about the woman that he was talking to at the scene and then he saw her photo in the news.

Back to you.

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is retired supervisory special agent with the FBI and CNN law enforcement contributor, Steve Moore.

Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So the motive for the El Paso shooter was revealed in the suspect's hateful manifesto that he posted online. He gave himself up to police directly after that attack but we are still learning more about the early response from police to that shooting with some questions being raised at this time. What more are you learning about that attack and the aftermath?

MOORE: Rosemary, I think what's concerning me is not -- by the way, the bravery of the officers who went in there and were ready to put their lives on the line to stop this guy, what concerns me is the fact that it took six minutes to get officers there. This in no way is a questioning of anybody's bravery or anybody's willingness to do this. It speaks more to staffing levels and preparedness to respond to stuff like this, and as we know statistically an average of one person dies every minute it takes for the shooter to be confronted. Tragically this was more than three times that and I think we have to start thinking in terms of response times.

CHURCH: Right. OK. And they'll certainly be looking at that. Now some politicians in the meantime are pushing for domestic terrorism to be treated as a crime in the same way that international terrorism is. What's your view on that? Would it make it easier for the law to respond to attacks like this?

MOORE: Well, I worked both. I worked international and domestic terrorism probably, you know, almost a decade in each, and to me there's not a whole bunch of difference at least as far as the FBI is concerned.

You may have some extra warrant capability with the FISA courts in the international stuff, but I never had problems getting the information and the warrants I needed on the domestic side. And already, you know, federally domestic terrorism is criminalized up to the same level as international terrorism. The federal government can seek the death penalty in these cases so I don't know if the politicians who are calling for this realize that most of the tools are already there.

CHURCH: Interesting. And of course the Dayton Ohio investigation is now being handled by the FBI, focusing on the shooter's obsession with violence.

We do want to bring up that exclusive video again, showing the shooter entering the bar that he later attacked, the shooter enters with his sister and companion, everything looks very normal there. And he later talks with the bar staff before leaving by himself. Now we don't know what they talked about but we do know that a short time after that the shooter returns and starts his deadly attack.

When you look at this video with all of your extensive experience as an investigator, what do you make of this and how does this help investigators?

MOORE: On the face of it, and again, I'd have to look more deeply into this, but my first impression is, he is casing as he is going in. When he walks in, the first thing he does is he looks to where the entrance is from where the security is. Where do you go after you get security to pass you through? Then he is looking at how many security people there are, how many people are in the room, and then you see him looking up above people's heads.

And my only take on that is that he was probably looking for cameras and other security that might alert them to his presence, doesn't appear that he saw the right camera because you would -- in those cases you see them looking at the cameras directly, but I would tell the investigators in this case this is what you're going to be doing for the next few months of your life. You're going to be recreating this man's every -- or this person's steps for the last 24, 48 hours before the attack at least.

CHURCH: Right. So if you are saying that you sense that he was casing that bar then your sense is that this was a pre-meditative attack.

[00:10:02] What about that conversation he had with the bar step before he left?

MOORE: Likely asking him questions that might either give him information about -- that would help him in this attack or maybe even to disarm them in a way, in a psychological way saying this guy is a friendly guy and if he approaches again maybe we don't see him as an immediate threat unless of course he is carrying a firearm. But I have no doubt in my mind that this was planned ways before the attacks, certainly days before the attack. And maybe he was ready to do it, and maybe a couple of times he might have gone to a bar and decided not that night.

But he was ready that night to do it, and that comes to this, you know, can he be hateful, can he be psychotic, and can he -- or at least personality disorder, and still plan things? Yes, we know that to be the case. Even if they're mentally ill in some way they can still be methodical and careful in their planning. CHURCH: Right. Of course, investigators want to find out why he

selected this particular bar, what the motive was here to sort of try to get some sort of understanding about what has happened.

Let's look at some numbers from the Anti-Defamation League on domestic extremist related killings. And we see 78 percent of those killings are perpetrated by white supremacists like the El Paso shooter. 16 percent by anti-government extremists like the Dayton shooter. How does that breakdown help investigators?

MOORE: You know, it -- you know, you always go where the statistics point you, you know, as a matter of course but this evidence that you see might change your opinion. But what they need to realize is -- I mean, the last shooting I worked was a man who said that he shot people because they were Jewish. Well, he had already -- he had also spent almost a year in a mental institution because he had violent ideations. He wanted to kill people, and so what we're finding is that you can be horrifically white supremacist in your beliefs and at the same time be mentally ill. In fact, I would tell the investigators I think most of the time that will be the case.

CHURCH: Right. Indeed. Of course as investigators work to find a motive certainly in the Dayton shooting and try to find some sort of solution to this gun violence issue this country has that has confounded world leaders, and all of us in fact, we want some sort of solution to come out of this.

Steven Moore, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

MOORE: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, as the communities in Dayton and El Paso grieve, President Donald Trump is planning to visit in the day ahead.

Kaitlan Collins reports it's a move that stirs mixed feelings.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the political fallout over how to prevent mass shootings, President Trump is headed to the scenes of the last two.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tomorrow the president and the first lady will travel to Dayton and El Paso.

COLLINS: But not everyone will be happy to see him.

BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the most racist president we've had since perhaps Andrew Johnson.

COLLINS: Trump is facing major pushback from some current and local officials in El Paso and Dayton, including two Democratic presidential candidates urging him not to come.

O'ROURKE: And he is responsible for the hatred and the violence that we are seeing right now. REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he's a

polarizing figure, I think especially in El Paso.

COLLINS: El Paso's Republican mayor Dee Margo says he's received phone calls and e-mails from angry Texans but will welcome Trump over their objections.

MAYOR DEE MARGO, EL PASO, TEXAS: I don't know how we deal with evil. I don't have a textbook for dealing with evil other than the bible. I'm sorry. We're going to go through this but he -- but the president is coming down.

COLLINS: Dayton's Democratic mayor Nan Whaley says she will also welcome the president as well as anyone protesting his visit.

MAYOR NAN WHALEY, DAYTON, OHIO: He's made this bed and he's to lay on it, you know. He hasn't -- you know, his rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think the people should stand up and say they're not happy if they're not that he's coming.

COLLINS: Today White House officials are firing back at former president Barack Obama after he issued a statement calling on the country to reject language from leaders that feed the climate of fear and hatred.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Nobody blames him for Newtown, Connecticut.

COLLINS: This amid growing calls in Washington for action on gun control.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): It's a piece of paper but it's a piece of paper that could save lives.

COLLINS: Democrats want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring back lawmakers from their five-week summer recess for a vote on stalled gun legislation.

[00:15:02] RYAN: Mitch McConnell needs to get off his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and do something.

COLLINS: That sentiment heard outside McConnell's Kentucky home where protesters gathered Monday night. Despite the inaction, a source close to McConnell says he is serious about considering gun legislation.

(On camera): Now CNN is being told by sources right now that Republican leadership is not entertaining the idea of ending their recess and coming back to Capitol Hill early because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he still feels that universal background checks bill that Democrats are pushing for does not have the support of the president or most Republicans in the Senate.

Now the president has expressed some openness to expanding background checks in the wake of these two latest mass shootings but the question that some of his critics still have is whether or not that's something he continues to support or something he may back off of in the end.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And just minutes ago, President Trump tweeted about Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who as you heard has been very critical of his leadership, and here's what Trump wrote, "Beto, phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage, O'Rourke who is embarrassed by my last visit to the great state of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1 percent in the Democratic Party," primary, sorry, "should respect the victims and law enforcement and be quiet."

Well, a new poll shows Americans want lawmakers to take action to curb gun violence. The "USA Today"/IPSOS survey shows 52 percent want Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel the Senate recess and hold hearings and votes on background check bills. And even greater majority, 67 percent, say they want the background check bills passed.

On the question of blame for mass shootings, respondents are split along party lines. Democrat say racism and white nationalism are the biggest factors followed by loose gun laws, the mental health system and President Trump. Republicans put mental health at the top of the list, followed by violent videogames, racism and white nationalism, Democrats in Congress and loose gun laws.

Well, the FBI is opening a domestic terrorist investigation into last week shootings in Gilroy, California. Three people were killed and more than a dozen wounded at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Authorities say the 19-year-old gunman had a target list of religious institutions, political groups, federal buildings and court houses. But the FBI has not determined what his motivation was.

Officials say he fired an assault-style rifle at random into the crowd. Police shot him several times before he killed himself. The gunman's family released a statement Tuesday saying they were deeply shocked and horrified by his actions. They apologize to the victims' families and emphasized every member of their family is cooperating with the investigation.

Now these mass shootings are not only tragic but can also be difficult to process. One thing that isn't difficult to grasp, however, is the response from those who live in these communities.

CNN's Gary Tuchman has one such example from El Paso.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The response was immediate. When people on the El Paso area heard blood donations were needed following the shootings at Walmart, they turned out in huge numbers. 18-year-old Adrian Kladzyk has never given blood before.

ADRIAN KLADZYK, BLOOD DONOR: I feel that I just need to do my part in the city that I grew up in my whole life.

TUCHMAN: Sera Spencer just moved to El Paso from New Jersey.

(On camera): How did it make you feel when you heard what happened here?

SERA SPENCER, BLOOD DONOR: Devastated. Devastated. I started to cry.

TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel now that you're sitting in this chair giving blood and helping people?

SPENCER: Wonderful.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): In this mostly Latino city many tell us they are stunned at what happened here, and also stunned at the fact the shooter appeared to be targeting Latinos.

VINCENT GARDEA, BLOOD DONOR: It makes you angry. It really does. Sometimes it makes you cry, you know. Sometimes the day it happened it just -- I just cried because of the anger.

TUCHMAN: Jeanne and John Moore are from England but are now duel U.K.-U.S. citizens. Before moving in Texas, they lived in Colorado.

JEANNE MOORE, BLOOD DONOR: When we lived in Colorado we lived through Columbine so this isn't the first massacre that we'd experienced and unfortunately nothing much changed.

JOHN MOORE, BLOOD DONOR: It is a blight on the nation essentially in my opinion.

[00:20:03] JEANNE MOORE: I'm a schoolteacher so when I walked into classrooms and I saw children from different ethnic backrooms I really felt and still feel that diversity is the strength of this country and so I am here to support that diversity.

TUCHMAN: Supporting diversity, one of the reasons everyone we talked to was proud to be donating.

(On camera): Normally when you want to donate blood in the El Paso, Texas, area, you walk into a blood donation center. But because of this extraordinary response they're no longer able to take walk-ins. Only people with appointments. Officials wished they could take everyone who wants to donate blood but either way they are inspired by the response.

This is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in El Paso, Texas.


CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Up next, though, Vladimir Putin has had his grip on power for 20 years. We will look at how Russia has changed under his two decades of leadership.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: We are getting new details on Tuesday morning's missile launch in North Korea. According to North Korean state media leader Kim Jong-un to supervise the live fire drill that tested two newly developed missiles. The reclusive nation says the test was meant to be a warning to the U.S. and South Korea over upcoming military drills. The U.S. downplayed the launches. It is North Korea's fourth missile test in two weeks.

Well, the U.S. National Security adviser has put Venezuela's government on notice. In a speech Tuesday John Bolton warned countries against doing business with Caracas. The comments come a day after President Trump put sanctions on all goods and services going to Venezuela. The country's top diplomat called the U.S. move economic terrorism.


JORGE ARREAZA, VENEZUELAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): He attacked the food for the people and in fact we won't be able to keep importing the same products for the food handouts for the people. We are boosting local production but the handouts will be affected and those responsible for these are Donald Trump and the United States.

This is against the whole Venezuelan people. The United States are trying to make Venezuela the battlefield of their geopolitical war against Russia and China.


[00:25:04] CHURCH: For 20 years now Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics and the world stage, from meddling another country's elections to engaging in international conflicts.

CNN's Matthew Chance looks back at how the Russian president has changed his country's role in the world.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was Europe's first war of the 21st century. And it was Putin's war. A tiny Georgian enclave of South Ossetia was a backwater of the former Soviet Union, but it was here that Putin's Russia first tested the waters of international conflict. Intervening to support the breakaway region, pounding Georgian forces, and rolling its tanks across the international border.

(On camera): Well, there's been a lot of speculation about where the Russian troops are. Well, here they are. Well inside Jordan territory and outside the main conflict zone of South Ossetia. They are now on the road to Tbilisi. The big question is, how far will they go?

(Voice-over): It's an issue I discussed with Vladimir Putin himself in the weeks after the war came to a close, and a new muscular Russia had begun to emerge. (On camera): Do you think that this is a turning point in relations

between Russia and the West? Do you think that period of post-war calm has come to an end?


CHANCE (voice-over): He was right the Western backlash against the resurgent Russian never came until this.

In 2014 protesters toppled the pro-Russia president in neighboring Ukraine, and Putin moved quickly to secure Russian interests.

(On camera): What astonishing developments in Crimea because without a shot being fired Russia has moved into the Ukrainian territory and despite international condemnation effectively brought it under its control.

(Voice-over): Sanctions followed but so too did an unstoppable wave of nationalism.

"President Putin, the victor of Crimea," and for many Russians restored a sense of pride.

PUTIN (through translator): We understand that it is not about the territory which we have enough of, it is about historical roots of our spirituality and statehood, it is about what makes as a nation and a united unified nation.

CHANCE: Soon Putin unleashed his growing military swagger even further afield. The shock and awe of Russian air strikes in Syria in 2015 propped up the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Each missile helping to change the course of the Syrian conflict and sending a potent message of Russian resurgence.

(On camera): This really does feel like the center of a massive Russian military operation. The air is filled with the smell of jet fuel. And the ground shudders with the roar of those warplanes returning from their bombing missions.

(Voice-over): And the tremors are being felt far beyond Syria. For better or worse, Russia under Vladimir Putin has emerged as a key power influencing events across the globe, and perhaps setting it on a collision course with the West.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


CHURCH: Well, as the U.S. grieves over two mass shootings, we are hearing more from residents of El Paso who say they are still shaken by last weekend's attack. Their heartfelt stories next.

And an expert weighs in on how to combat violent extremism and radicalization festering on Web sites like 8chan. That's ahead.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone, I'm Rosemary Church. I wanted to update you now on the main stories we've been following.

Jammu and Kashmir is on lockdown after India's parliament voted to change it status from a state to a union territory. Tens of thousands of additional troops have been deployed. The area is also under a broad communications blackout. The move is meant to give India more control over the disputed region.

President Trump is facing pushback for planned trips to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. Thirty-one people are confirmed dead after mass shootings in both cities. Some local officials say it would be best if the president avoided their grief stricken cities.

Critics like Democratic Presidential Candidate Beto O'Rourke say, Mr. Trump stoked the hatred that inspired the shootings.

Police say the El Paso suspect posted a racist anti-immigrant document that laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants. However, those living in the grief stricken city tell our Ed Lavandera, their vision of America is anything but dark.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 100 years ago El Paso street cars crossed back and forth between Mexico and Texas. Today the vintage trolleys circle the heart of the city, and as passengers stare out the window at the border land streetscape, they reflect on the horror that rattled their hometown.

Twenty-year-old Clarissa Boone lives in Mexico and crosses the border to attend the University of Texas in El Paso. She says the Walmart shooting has cast an eerie feeling over both the cities of El Paso and Juarez.

Did you feel protected here in El Paso from racism?

CLARISSA BOONE, EL PASO COLLEGE STUDENT: Yes, because I know that we are a lot of Hispanics here and we are always like a big community.

LAVANDERA: So, you never had to face that?

BOONE: No, I mean people here are very supportive, very nice, and to have that coming here is like I don't know.

MIKE PATINO, EL PASO RESIDENT: Let's ban together, El Paso is strong and we all have a big Corazon, it means a big heart.

LAVANDERA: Big heart?

Mike Patino is a retired combat veteran turned artist and community activist. He owns the Rock House Gallery in one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city. He describes El Paso as a modern day Ellis Island. How do you make sense of what's going on?

PATINO: It's horrific to just understand that something like this could actually happen here, we've never been under siege to this bad by a local homemade terrorist.

LAVANDERA: The wound left on this city by the massacre of 22 people by a white supremacist has unleashed a wave of intense emotions. This parking lot corner by the Walmart has become a place for thousands to share in their grief.

SONIA HEREDIE, EL PASO RESIDENT: Because I wanted to pay my respects to the people who passed away at my Walmart. And it's hard, it's hitting home.

LAVANDERA: As we rode the El Paso streetcar talking with 37-year-old Rene Fierro, he felt a sense of optimism that the horrific shooting will not change the core spirit of the place he was born and raised.

RENE FIERRO, EL PAS RESIDENT: We have a very strong sense of family values.

LAVANDERA: Does this shatter that sense of security that you have here?

FIERRO: No, I don't think so. We're a -- we're a safe community because a majority of the people, they have that respect for one another, they don't cross those boundaries.

LAVANDERA: One of the things that we keep hearing over and over from people here in El Paso is that this was someone from the outside who came to inflict this kind of pain, it wasn't one of their own. And that offers a little bit of comfort for many of the people here in El Paso who says, because of that, because it wasn't one of their own, that that will go a long way in helping this community recover.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, El Paso, Texas.



CHURCH: Well, police say the gunman who terrorized the Gilroy Garlic Festival, El Paso and Dayton were all under the age of 25. All three expressed extreme violent views that they put in writing before their attacks. Their violent actions are renewing debate on how to fight domestic terrorism and hate speech that's being published online.

Jeffrey Simon joins us now from Los Angeles. He is the author of the "Alphabet Bomber: A Lone Wolf Terrorist Ahead of His Time." And he is a visiting lecturer with the UCLA Political Science Department. Good to have you with us.

JEFFREY SIMON, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: Now, in the past week and a half we have all witnessed these three white men in their early 20s, of extreme right all left views perpetrating deadly crimes against the innocent public. Why are we seeing this sudden increase in domestic terrorism and how does the country need to respond to this problem of violent extremism and radicalization?

SIMON: Well first we have to realize that domestic terrorism is not a new phenamon. We've experienced that throughout our history. In fact, one of the earliest cases of domestic terrorism was in 1910, the bombing of Los Angeles Time building. It was a rash of domestic terrorist attacks in the 1970s, so we tend to see these come in different waves.

What is happening now with the whole of question of radicalization, is that we don't exactly know what are the tipping points that make somebody who has extremist views then decide to have those views and go ahead and perpetrate a terrorist attack.

So, understanding, trying to find those early warning signs is critical, and that's where monitoring of the internet while privacy rights are protected and also identifying the early warning signs that sometimes families and friends and peers notice in these active shooting incidents or in the types of terrorists but don't report them to the authorities.

So, it's a real tough problem that we're facing, but we have to realize that while now we're talking about these mass shootings, terrorism is diverse phenomenon and the next wave may be bombings or other types of attacks.

CHURCH: Indeed. You mention, though, those early warnings and I have to talk to you about the Dayton, Ohio shooter because there were many warnings along the way. Back in high school he had a hit list, a kill list for the boys, a rape list for the girls. He was suspended, expelled from the school, he returned. There were warnings there. People were aware of this.

He had a girlfriend he showed mass shooting videos to. Everyone knew, there were teachers that were aware, but nothing was done. There's something failing in the system when it really -- it's not until the perpetrator goes out and kills that something can actually be done. What's going on here?

SIMON: Exactly. It's like learning the lessons after the fact. In that case, those are very disturbing behavioral patterns and the problem though is, from the time that this was noticed in high school until now, there was a big time lag, so the problem becomes, is he monitored? Are we -- is he put on some watch list and things along those lines? American citizens, so there's certain problems in terms of trying to identify who's going to perpetrate the attack. But in the Dayton case and in many other cases, these early warning signs of either erratic behavior, expressing tendencies to want to kill and so forth, cannot be ignored.

CHURCH: Right. And you've also said that lone wolfs are particularly dangerous. Why is that and why are these young, white men so angry? SIMON: It's not just young white men, there are people angry from all parts of the political, religious spectrum. Lone wolves are particularly dangerous, because first, being not part of a group, there's no group decision making process in what they're going to do.

Therefore they're free to think up any scenario they want, whether shooting innocent people, setting off bombs at airports and not worry about the repercussions. They're not concerned about any constraints on their violence because there'll be no crack down by a government they're concerned about. They're not alienating supporters, some groups are concerned about that. And most important also is that many of the lone wolves, not all, but a number of them have mental illness and yet very effective, and that becomes a problem.

CHURCH: Indeed. And of course, so we know that the motivation -- what the motiviation was for the El Paso shooter, but authorities -- they're more confused about the possible motive of the Dayton shooter.


From what you know so far, what do you think motivated him to kill that night and how does that get us closer to understanding what is going on in this country, because white supremacy and this sort of extremist approach, although this -- the Dayton, Ohio shooter was actually -- he was left -- he was far left, so we're trying to sort of understand what motivation there was here and what put him over the edge.

SIMON: Yes, well the thing about the Dayton shooter compared with the El Paso shooter is you do eventually identify these motivations. But, what I think about in the terms of these recent incidents is what happened a year ago in Las Vegas. That was the most horrific mass shooting in U.S. history, and yet the case is closed with no motivation uncovered.

So, we always do want to try to understand why terrorists do what they do, why mass shooters do what they do, but in some cases even knowing that is not necessarily going to reach a solution, because when you have an individual who wants to create havoc, and create panic, and do all kinds of horrific things, it sometimes doesn't even matter whether they're one part of the political spectrum or not, it's the effect and the innocent people who loose their lives, that's the important issue.

CHURCH: Yes, exactly right. Jeffrey Simon, thank you so much for your analysis, we appreciate it.

SIMON: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: Well, the world has lost a literary icon. Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Toni Morrison, leaves behind a powerful legacy. We'll remember life next.


CHURCH: As America grieves over two mass shootings, we also lost an iconic voice who captured the pain and loss in this country. Eight- eight year old author Toni Morrison died at a hospital in New York City. She was the first woman of color to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993.

President Obama awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 2012. In the wake of two national tragedies, at least one fueled by racism, her insight continues to resonate. She said the function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work, it keeps you explaining over and over again your reason for being.

And we thank you for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for World Sport. You're watching CNN.