Return to Transcripts main page


95 Wounded in Kabul, Afghanistan Explosion; Trump Plans Controversial Visits to Dayton and El Paso; Shootings Renew Debate on How to Fight Domestic Terrorism. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 7, 2019 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:26] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Waiting for the U.S. President as Mr. Trump gets ready to visit the two cities shaken by deadly mass shootings over the weekend. And India sends troops to Kashmir after its parliament scraps all measures granting the region any autonomy. Plus, we remember a legend as author Toni Morrison passes away at the age of 88.

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

In the wake of the two mass shootings, U.S. President Donald Trump is said to visit El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio in the coming hours. Thirty-one people are now confirmed dead in the twin massacres. The El Paso suspect is a White supremacist, and it's believed he posted a manifesto railing against immigrants and Latinos. That case is being treated as domestic terrorism, but the FBI is still trying to piece together a motive in Dayton.

Video like the one you are about to see might help them. It's exclusive footage of the gunman at the bar he would attack roughly two hours later. He's with his sister and a second companion, and he is not wearing the body armor or mask he wore during the massacre. Now, about an hour later, he speaks to bar staff before leaving alone. His sister and companion leave around 45 minutes after that; the attack begins moments later. The gunman kills his sister and eight others before being shot dead by police.

Well, for more on the Dayton investigation, 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, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION - CINCINNATI FIELD OFFICE: 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 (voice-over): Police aren't giving details of what they found, not linking his 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 (voice-over): 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, FORMER GIRLFRIEND OF THE DAYTON, OHIO GUNMAN: 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 (voice-over): New terrifying cellphone video from inside Ned Pepper's 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 his 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, EYEWITNESS TO THE DAYTON, OHIO SHOOTING: He wasn't showing no type of body language. He's just walking normally. I came around the corner, I heard two shots -- pop, pop.

KAYE (voice-over): After those shots, Dion 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 because it was just unreal. 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 Dion Green, the man you saw in that story whose father died in his arms. He believes that, after that attack, he also spoke with the shooter's sister who was also killed in that attack. He says that she said to him, I've 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: Randi Kaye with that report. And as the communities in Dayton and El Paso grieve, President Donald Trump is planning to visit in a few hours. Kaitlan Collins reports it's a move that stirs mixed big emotions.


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.

[02:05:03] MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tomorrow, the President and the first lady will travel to Dayton and El Paso.

COLLINS (voice-over): 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 (voice-over): Trump is facing major push back 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're seeing right now.

TIM RYAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he's a polarizing figure, I think, especially in El Paso.

COLLINS (voice-over): El Paso's Republican Mayor Dee Margo says he has 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 how to deal with people. I don't have a textbook for dealing with people other than the Bible. I'm sorry we're going to go through this, but he -- but the President is coming down.

COLLINS (voice-over): 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 got to lay in it, you know. He hasn't -- you know, his rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think that people should stand up and say they're not happy if they're not happy that he's coming.

COLLINS (voice-over): 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 feeds a climate of fear and hatred.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Nobody blames him for Newtown, Connecticut.

COLLINS (voice-over): This amid growing calls in Washington for action on gun control.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE: It's a piece of paper, but it's a piece of paper that could save lives.

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

RYAN: Mitch McConnell needs to get off his (INAUDIBLE) and do something.

COLLINS (voice-over): 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.


COLLINS: 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: Well, just before midnight in Washington, President Trump tweeted about Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke who, as you heard, has been very critical of his leadership. Basically, Mr. Trump says O'Rourke should respect the victims and law enforcement and be quiet about his upcoming trip to Texas.

The Democratic presidential candidate responded just a little while ago, tweeting this -- 22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quite and neither will I.

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. An 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. Democrats 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 video games, racism and White nationalism, Democrats in Congress, and loose gun laws.

Randy Blazak joins us now from Portland, Oregon. He is the chairman of the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime and a sociologist of extremism. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Well, as the United States grieves, many are asking, what is happening in this country? And many world leaders just can't comprehend why politicians in this country seem paralyzed and unable to come up with any solutions in the form of gun control. What is happening in the United States right now?

BLAZAK: Well, that's certainly a big question. I mean, one of the issues is the laws regulating and guiding what more can be done about domestic terrorism are dramatically different than what can be done around international terrorism, and so there is much that can be investigated. And police and their international conspiracies that really has to be left alone when it's domestic because of our First Amendment sections of free speech.

[02:10:06] So there is -- there is an opportunity there to revisit these laws around domestic terrorism. I think, finally, the nation is ready to have that conversation. There are also all these other issues, including not just the gun issue but the bullet issue. The fact that, you know, America really has a bullet problem, that we have these weapons that have high-count magazines that can fire off dozens of rounds that essentially make them automatic weapons that are easily available at gun shows and over the Internet.

And so that's one of the loopholes that really has to be looked at. Closing down --

CHURCH: Right.

BLAZAK: -- the stockpiling of weapons -- I mean, there are all these little bits and pieces that get at it. But, of course, there are the underlying issues that are much harder to tackle with the law or with a campaign promise. And so that's some of the more work that we have to do on a cultural level around why these things keep happening in this country.

CHURCH: But what's confounding here is that some 90 percent of Americans want to see background checks in place. They want to see gun controls. They want to see assault-style weapons, weapons of war, banned. So if there are so many Americans that want to see that happen, why are politicians paralyzed and unable to make that happen? What is the barrier to that?

BLAZAK: Yes, there's --

CHURCH: Explain that to us.

BLAZAK: There's two words for that, the gun lobby. The gun lobby has sort of insinuated itself in our national political landscape in terms of the money that it generates for campaigns and how it props up special interest groups around these issues. And it's just been increasingly hard to have even the most reasonable gun laws make it through state legislatures or our national Congress because of that -- just the incredible stranglehold that the NRA and the gun lobby has on politicians.

And so this is where it takes the leadership. This is where it takes courageous leaders to say, I don't need that money, I don't need that influence on my political position. And, you know, we're starting to see it from some of the candidates that are running for 2020, but it has to, you know, filter down to the local levels, not only on the national political level but running in the State Houses, running for local community leaders.

It's really just this incredible amount of money that's poured into a battle against sensible gun legislation. It's incredibly frustrating for those of us who've been studying it for years and years and years because we've been screaming about, you know, what are simple solutions that we could use that -- not eliminate this. We're not going to eliminate it completely, but we certainly could reduce the amount of carnage with some of these more sensible gun laws. So it's --

CHURCH: Right.

BLAZAK: If we were to stop -- sorry.

CHURCH: So, in essence, you're seeing these politicians are being bought off by the gun lobby?

BLAZAK: Well, you could put it that way. I mean, you know, it takes a lot of money to run a re-election campaign, and so money talks. And, you know, what else talks (ph).

CHURCH: But it's still -- it's still hard to sort of gather. Because if you've the majority of Americans wanting gun control, it doesn't make sense. I can't -- I can't take any sense from any of that. Because if you've got most Americans wanting all of this and you've these politicians accepting money from the gun lobby, that doesn't make sense.

BLAZAK: Right. Well, it doesn't. It doesn't to a normal thinking person, but when it comes down to particular issues -- you know, it could be a particular issue, regulating a sale of a particular weapon or background checks -- all of sudden, all this money pours in. And the advertising campaigns can be very persuasive in the rhetoric about, you know, your guns being taken away, your Second Amendment rights being taken away, and it becomes very powerful in that moment.

In general, Americans want sensible gun legislation. When it comes with -- to specific issues that are being decided, it's very easy to sway enough people to prevent these things from happening.

CHURCH: Well, let's see if something is done this time. We thought with Sandy Hook, it was a turning point; it wasn't. We thought with many other shootings, they were going to be turning points; and now we have these two mass shootings. We'll see what happens. Randy Blazak, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.

BLAZAK: My pleasure.

CHURCH: Well, 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 in the El Paso area heard blood donations were needed following the shootings at Walmart, they turned out in huge numbers. 18-year-old Adrian Kledzyk has never given blood before.

ADRIAN KLEDZYK, BLOOD DONOR IN EL PASO, TEXAS: I just feel that I just needed to do my part in the city that I grew up in for my whole life.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Sara Spencer just moved to El Paso from New Jersey.

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

SARA SPENCER, BLOOD DONOR IN EL PASO, TEXAS: Devastated. Devastated. I started crying.

[02:15:01] TUCHMAN (on camera): 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 IN EL PASO, TEXAS: It makes me angry, it really does. Sometimes, you know, it makes you cry. You know, sometimes, the day it happened, it just -- I just cried because of the anger.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Jeanne and John Moore are from England but are now dual U.K./U.S. citizens. Before moving to Texas, they lived in Colorado.

JEANNE MOORE, BLOOD DONOR IN EL PASO, TEXAS: When we lived in Colorado, we lived through Columbine, so this isn't the first massacre that we've experienced. And unfortunately, nothing much changed.

JOHN MOORE, BLOOD DONOR IN EL PASO, TEXAS: It's -- it is a blight on the nation, essentially, in my opinion.

JEANNE MOORE: I'm a school teacher, so when I walked into classrooms and saw children from different ethnic backgrounds, I really felt and still feel that diversity is the strength of this country. And so I'm here to support that diversity.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Supporting diversity, one of the reasons everyone we talked to was proud to be donating.


TUCHMAN: Normally, when you want to donate blood in the El Paso, Texas area, you walk into a blood donations center. But because of this extraordinary response, they're no longer able to take walk-ins, only people with appointments. Officials wish 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 are following breaking news out of Afghanistan. At least 34 people have been injured in the large explosion in the capital city, Kabul. That is according to the country's Public Health Ministry. A military spokesman says three suicide bombers in a Humvee detonated their explosives at a police headquarters' gate. Two of the attackers were killed and the third was arrested. No one has yet claimed responsibility.

Well, tensions are rising once again in one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints, Kashmir. When we return, how a major move by India's parliament is rattling India's neighbors. Back in a moment.


CHURCH: India's parliament has voted to change the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a highly contentious move that will give New Delhi greater authority over the disputed region. CNN's Sam Kiley reports.


[02:20:08] SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Indian troops moved swiftly to stifle opposition to a red line crossed, imposing total rule over the disputed Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir. A sudden vote to amend India's constitution, which had guaranteed semi-autonomy for the region --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion is adopted.

KILEY (voice-over): -- was swiftly passed, upending 70 years of Indian and international law, was reinforced with a deployment of thousands of Indian troops, and the house arrest of two former Chief Ministers of the region.

Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. The decision of the J&K leadership to reject the two- nation theory in 1947 and allying with India has backfired. The unilateral decision of the government of India to scrap Article 370 is illegal and unconstitutional, which will make India an occupational force in Jammu and Kashmir.

India has blamed years of terror attacks by Muslim separatists on Pakistan, which Pakistan denies. But the Pakistani's response to India's move was swift and threatening.

IMRAN KHAN, PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN: If India dares to try any mischief in Azad, Kashmir, by God, I tell you, every man, woman, and child will stand up with their armed forces. So, God willing, we will be making a cemetery for the Indian soldiers. God willing, God willing, inside Kashmir.

KILEY (voice-over): The danger of violent backlash prompted another former Chief Minister to tweet from house arrest. Omar Abdullah said, to the people of Kashmir, we don't know what is in store for us, but I'm a firm believer that whatever Almighty Allah has planned, it is always for the better. We may not see it now, but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe, and above all, please stay calm.

Foreigners were ordered out of Indian Kashmir were phone and Internet connections were cut immediately after the disputed annexation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More news on Kashmir.

KILEY (voice-over): Kashmir joined India with independence from Britain and partition from Pakistan in 1947. Pakistan captured about a third of its territory and still runs that; India took much of what remained and gave significant autonomy to it. But since then, India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir. Today, the stakes could not be higher. Both countries have nuclear weapons.

Sam Kiley, CNN.


CHURCH: Michael Kugelman is a senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. He's with me now from Annapolis in Maryland. Thank you so much you joining us.


CHURCH: So what does India's sudden crackdown on the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir signal to you, and where is this all going?

KUGELMAN: Well, I mean, what India has done was not a surprise. The ruling BJP Party in India had been telegraphing its intention for several years to repeal this Article 370. And I think that what it has done is, essentially, follow up on something that it always wanted to do, but I think it wanted to deliver a very strong message to a number of audiences, one being the United States. A few days ago, President Trump offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute, which is something that India has never wanted.

And so I think that India by, essentially, integrating this region into India formally, then that really sends a -- sends a message to the United States that not only does India not want mediation on the dispute but there's no -- there's no dispute at all anymore simply because India has now formally integrated it into the Union of India. So it's clearly a very bold, unprecedented, and controversial move that, in my view, is only going to complicate the dispute. It's not going to resolve it.

CHURCH: So how legal is this, and what are the possible ramifications?

KUGELMAN: Well, the legality of it is certainly in question simply because this was done unilaterally. You know, first off, there is an agreement between India and Pakistan that was signed back in the early 1970s that said that any dispute between the two countries, including the Kashmir dispute, needs to be resolved through bilateral negotiations. And yet, here is India unilaterally announcing that it is going to change the status of Kashmir. And so, you know, no one -- there was no consultation in parliament, and for sure, Kashmiris were not consulted either.

On the contrary, as you know, India cracked down very heavily, imposed this lockdown that remains in place now on Kashmir so that not only were Kashmiris not consulted about in a decision that impacts them so much, they were literally kept in the dark. They didn't know what happened. And even now, there are so many people in Kashmir that don't know what has happened. So, to me, the fact that there was no consultation or anything like that is very worrisome.

[02:25:02] CHURCH: Indeed. And Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan says India's move to downgrade the state of Kashmir and Jammu to a Union territory is an attempt to change the region's demographics and is an example of the ruling party's ideology to, what he says, ethnically cleanse India of its Muslim population. Do you agree with that?

KUGELMAN: Well, those are strong terms to use, and I'm not sure that I would endorse those terms. However, to be sure, there is a fear that India, and particularly its Hindu nationalist government which is intent on enhancing the status of Hinduism society in the state of India, is essentially going to try to alter the demographics of what is, at this point, the only Muslim majority region in India by changing the laws, changing the status of Kashmir in a way that it will allow Indians around the country to go into Kashmir and acquire land.

That was something that had been very difficult to do when Kashmir had its special autonomy status. But the fear is that you're going to have members of the -- of the majority Hindu community in India coming into Kashmir, acquiring land, setting up shop there, and thereby, affecting the demographics of the region that, again, has been majority Muslim for quite a few years.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, this has been a problem for some 70 years, and you could say it was the leadership back then that failed to make a decision that's caused all of these problems, so now here they are. They need to find sort of a solution. What is the likely future for the disputed region, and what is the possible solution? Is there one, do you think?

KUGELMAN: Well, I'm very concerned. I think, for me, the biggest question is, what happens after India eases its grip on Kashmir after it ends this lockdown that it's been placed? Once Kashmiris, and particularly Kashmiri Muslims in the Kashmir Valley, once they find out what has happened, I would imagine that there's going to be unrest. I would even argue that, perhaps, this move by India could spark a new phase of a long-running insurgency in Kashmir, so the prospects for new violence, for new unrest are significant.

How Pakistan, which, of course, rejects this decision altogether -- how Pakistan reacts is also unclear. One thing that we have to fear is that Pakistan could turn to India-focused terrorists on Pakistani soil that are close to the Pakistani state. Pakistan could encourage those militants to go into Kashmir and retaliate by blowing things up, by targeting Indian security forces. And that brings us to a point where you have to worry about another crisis between India and Pakistan.

And even a possible conflict. I mean, we know that, earlier this year, the two sides almost went to war. But given what India has done with this dramatic decision to repeal Article 370, changing Kashmir's status unilaterally, to me, that raises the likelihood significantly of not a -- of not just a crisis but a conflict, a military conflict between India and Pakistan.

CHURCH: Right. We're all concerned for the region there. We'll continue to watch that story. Michael Kugelman, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

KUGELMAN: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. In the wake of the mass shootings in the United States, the debate intensifies on how to combat violent extremism on social media forums like 8chan. An expert on the subject weighs in. That's next.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone, I'm Rosemary Church, want to update you now on our top stories, at least 95 people have been wounded in a suicide bombing in the capital of Afghanistan. The country's public health ministry says many women and children are among the injured, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

China's Central Bank says the U.S. designating it a currency manipulator, is unreasonable, and it doesn't plan to use the Yuan as a weapon in the trade war. Donald Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow says the U.S. still plans to host talks with China in September.

President Trump is facing pushback for planned trips to Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, 31 people are confirmed dead after mass shootings in both cities. Some local officials say it will be best if the president avoided the grief-stricken cities. Critics like Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke say Mr. Trump stoked the hatred that inspired the shootings.

Well, police say the gunmen who terrorized the Gilroy Garlic Festival, El Paso and Dayton, were all under the age of 25, all three expressed extreme and violence 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 been 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.


CHURCH: Now, in the past week and a half, we have all witnessed these three white men in their early 20s of extreme right or 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 phenomenon. We have experienced throughout our history, in fact, one of the earliest cases of domestic terrorism was in 1910, the bombing of Los Angeles, Times building, it was a rash with domestic terrorist attacks in the 1970s, so we tend to see these come in different waves.

What is happening now with the whole 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 perpetrated a terrorist attack, so understanding, trying to find those early warning signs is critical.

And that's where monitoring 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 a diverse phenomenon and then next week, maybe, bombings or other types of attacks.

CHURCH: Indeed. You mentioned, 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 killer 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 shootings videos to. Everyone knew. There were teachers that were aware, but nothing was done. There is 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 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?

[02:35:09] Are we -- is he put on some watch list and things along those lines, you know, American citizens, so there are 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 wolves 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 and what they're going to do.

Therefore, they are free to think of any scenario they want, whether shooting innocent people, setting off bombs at airports, and now worry about the repercussions. They are not concerned about any constraints on their violence because there'll be no crackdown by a government they're corned about.

They're not alienating supporters or 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, we know that the motivation -- what the motivation was for the El Paso shooter, but authorities, they're more confused about the possible motive of the Dayton shooter, from what do 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 are 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 a terrorist to 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 are on one part of the political spectrum or not, it's the effect, and the innocent people who lose 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: The world has lost a literary icon, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize- winning author, Toni Morrison leaves behind a powerful legacy, we'll remember her life, next.



CHURCH: Author Toni Morrison is being remembered for her vivid poetic style, and for taking on some of the toughest and touchiest issues in American society, race, gender, and love. CNN's Stephanie Elam has more on this prolific and passionate African-American woman of letters.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Toni Morrison, one of the world's most celebrated writers.

TONI MORRISON, AMERICAN NOVELIST: The point of writing is to take what's common and estrange it, make it new again, and to take what's strange and familiarize it.

Born Chloe Anthony Wolford, in 1931, Morrison had an interest in storytelling at a very young age. Her father often told her African- American folk tales, something she would later weave into her work. Morrison attended both Howard and Cornell Universities.

She began teaching at the height of the Civil Rights movement. It was then Chloe became known as Toni Morrison, Toni, her nickname, and Morrison, the last name of her ex-husband. During her time, teaching, she began sharing stories with the campus writing group.

One of those stories became her first book, The Bluest Eye, released in 1970. The novel was praised for its in-depth look at race and American beauty standards, but criticized for its explicit nature. Morrison became more widely known in 1977, with Song of Solomon, the book was a feature selection for the Book of the Month Club, the first written by an African-American in nearly 40 years.

Morrison became known for characters who challenged views on race and gender.

MORRISON: I don't describe any of my characters, I mean, a little bit, you know, this tall, short, man, woman, but nobody knows what they look like. And the reason is deliberate, because I want you to do that.

No novel had greater impact than Beloved, loosely based on a true story of a runaway slave. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. A decade later, Oprah Winfrey took the story to the silver screen, but the film tanked at the box office.

Morrison's prolific storytelling was acknowledged, internationally. In 1993, she became the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature. The same year, she nearly lost it all in a fire on Christmas Day, only a portion of her manuscripts survived.

But tragedy struck again, Christmas of 2010, her son, Slade, died of pancreatic cancer. The death weighed heavily on Morrison and she didn't write a sentence for months.

Toni Morrison left an indelible mark on literature, spanning over five decades, while presenting her with the presidential Medal of Freedom, President Obama said this.

BARACK OBAMA, THEN-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Toni Morrison's pros, brings us that kind of moral and emotional intensity that few writers ever attempt.


CHURCH: What an incredible legacy there. Thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church, remember to connect with me any time on Twitter,@rosemaryCNN and stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT." You're watching CNN.