Return to Transcripts main page
Florida Braces For Hurricane As Texas Suffers New Mass Shooting; 5 Dead, 21 Injured In Texas Mass Shooting; New Video Shows Texas Police Killing Gunman; President Trump Briefed By Attorney General On West Texas Rampage. Aired 11p-12p ET
Aired August 31, 2019 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: But I think, in talking to law enforcement, these tips need to keep coming. They don't want it to stop, no matter how many times people call, no matter the numbers, I'd say that they want that to keep coming.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN NEWSROOM: Right, all right. Shimon, Charles, thank you as always for analysis, for breaking that all down, for your expertise, and we will be coming to you in the next hour. Thank you.
You are live in the CNN Newsroom. I am Alex Marquardt in Washington.
We are following two major breaking stories. First, the breaking news on the mass shooting in West Texas, but, first, we are going to talk about the other major story, Hurricane Dorian bearing down on the Bahamas with America's East Coast in its sights. The Category 4 storm has been sustaining 150-mile-per-hour winds and its ever-changing path has residents from the Bahamas all the way to North Carolina on edge anticipating potential catastrophic damage.
For the latest on the storm's uncertain path, let's go right to our Karen Maginnis in the CNN Severe Weather Center.
Karen, what are people expecting? What can they expect from Hurricane Dorian, which has been a hugely unpredictable storm? What should they be bracing themselves for in the next 24, 48 hours?
KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you just said that. 24 to about 36 hours, this is essentially going to move very, very slowly across the Bahamas, Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, also Andros Island, those northern islands of the Bahamas. They are going to be battered for so long with Hurricane Dorian at a strong Category 4.
Now, the latest from the National Hurricane Center hasn't really changed kind of the vital statistics of what's going on here. Right now, it's about 2,500 miles just to the east of the Bahamas. Let me say that again, 125 miles to the east of the Northern Bahamas.
See these gusts? That's changed. 85-mile-an-hour gusts, and it's moving towards the west, but we think it's going to slow down. When it slows down, it's going to really impact catastrophically the area across the Northern Bahamas, those islands that I just mentioned that so many visitors go to, sailors go here, because it is stunning, it's beautiful. But they will be impacted, power outages, wind damage, storm surge, rainfall to the tune of about 15 inches of rain.
All right, for the computer models, we'll tell you about this, and then the computer models all disagree by the next model runs, they are all doing something different.
All right, across the Bahamas, for the better part of a day, maybe a day-and-a-half before it starts to make the turn towards the northwest. Will it impact the Coast of Florida, the East Coast of Florida? Probably. Will it make landfall? Right now, that is not something that's certain, but the computer model certainly bring it in close along that space close to Florida. And then we really start to diverge more.
As you can imagine, the further out we go in this forecast time period, the models don't always agree. But the fact that they're all kind of closing in right along where that jet stream is, that river of current is very warm, has been the guiding force behind other hurricanes, like Hurricane Hugo in 1989, some 30 years ago.
What we think what's happening is that, which of high pressure, the Bermuda high is going to shift. When it shifts, this hurricane will take the path of least resistance and just kind of split the difference between the low in the Gulf and the high pressure system.
So it maintains its Category 4 hurricane intensity. It looks like because of the interaction here, because it sort of stalls out across the Bahamas that the interaction with land is going to lose a little bit of its energy. I don't want to have you mistake that for something that's weaker because it's still very powerful. It looks like it threatens that central coast of Florida, the space coast, the treasure coast, and then moves up along coastal sections of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and look this, Category 2.
And, Alex, it looks like even five days from now, we'll still be talking about a major hurricane threatening the eastern coast of the United States. This has been a long slog for Hurricane Dorian, and the folks who have to prepare for it.
MARQUARDT: Yes, and prepare for it they are. There's so much to keep an eye on. Karen, we know that you will be doing that and we will check back in with you later this hour. Thanks very much.
And then in our other major story this hour, this just in to CNN, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation tells CNN that authorities believe they have positively identified the person responsible for today's shooting in West Texas.
That shooter killed five people, more than 20 others were wounded. Police finally stopped the gunman outside a movie theater and shot him dead. I'm joined by Texas State Senator Kelton Gray Seliger, whose district includes Odessa and Midland Center. Senator, thanks so much for joining me tonight. It is late. You have had an incredibly tough day. I can only imagine what it's like to be a leader in a community that experiences a tragedy like this.
First off, can you tell us how people are reacting and how the community is doing?
SEN. KEL SELIGER (R-TX): Everyone in the State of Texas and certainly the community of Odessa is reacting with a great sense of loss, not only to the loss of those lives and the injuries suffered, but to the loss of our sense of peacefulness and safety that we share with so many communities around the State of Texas.
MARQUARDT: Do you have any information about the shooter? This law enforcement official telling us that they may have positively identified the man who we now -- all we know it was a white man in his 30s. Do you know anything more?
SELIGER: I know nothing more, and law enforcement probably won't say anything else until they know exactly who the person is and some other details like that. We expect that in the morning.
MARQUARDT: Do you -- what more have you been told or what more did you observe about the reaction to this shooter and what the response was in the wake of that traffic stop when the gunman first opened fire? What was the reaction like?
SELIGER: Because it was a very fluid situation on the ground, I don't know exactly what people were thinking at that moment. But this is the first situation like that where the shooter was on the move and was shooting at other people randomly and things like that.
This is a different sort of situation which creates another set of questions, how do we react in the case of an active shooter. There are far more questions than answers at this point.
MARQUARDT: Lots of questions and not an enormous amount of answers. Do you know what investigators are doing to answer those questions? Have they been keeping you abreast of their investigation?
SELIGER: We have received some information that's been fairly widely disseminated by the Department of Public Safety. And then I have an office in Midland and they're keeping us advised of that to the extent that they know exactly what they're telling us. We're going to know a lot more because the governor and I and Representative Landgraf will all be in Odessa, and then we'll know a lot more of the facts then as they investigate who the shooter is and where the impulse to engage in this activity might have come from.
Was there anyone else involved or knew about the situation is very, very important. Was it planned in advance? Those are some of the questions that the Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers are working on now.
MARQUARDT: Senator, where were you when you heard the news and what was your reaction?
SELIGER: I was, like so many people today, sitting in my living room with my wife watching college football. And I got a call from my office that said what was going on, and my reaction was like it would be for most people, absolute horror and an immediate sense of loss.
MARQUARDT: And so what message do you have tonight as your fellow community members, your neighbors, your friends, your family grapple with this and try to come to terms with -- really, we so often say -- we often call this a senseless tragedy but it was absolutely senseless. And right now, we have absolutely no idea why this was carried out, not that it even matters because no explanation will ever justify a horrific act like this. But what message do you have for your constituents?
SELIGER: You have a good point. How do you make sense of something that is senseless? And yet we have to. That's why the governor paneled our commission on public safety to talk about this kind of behavior, see if we can get to the root causes and what we do.
What I would tell the people in communities everywhere is we still live in a great and peaceful area of the State of Texas and the United States. Don't panic. But let's start thinking about what we need to do in the case of an active shooter. I've already started that kind of discussion with my family. And I think that everyone ought to have that sort of situation because this is not the last instance like this we're going to see, very sadly.
MARQUARDT: Well, I hope you're wrong, but I fear that you may be right. Texas State Senator Kelton Gray Seliger, thank you so much for your time and our thoughts are with your community tonight.
SELIGER: Thank you very much.
MARQUARDT: All right. Well, as we mentioned, so many details remain unknown as investigators get to work.
They have lots of work ahead.
Here is just one small moment from this chaotic day in Texas. Mike Barrett is a friend of one of the victims of this shooting. Let's listen to him.
MIKE BARRETT, FRIEND OF SHOOTING VICTIM: You know, he found me dead laying on the floor of February the 18th. And if it wasn't for him doing CPR on me, I would have died. But he saved my life. And I want God to do the same thing. Please help save his life and everybody pray for him.
He's name is Collie Age (ph). You know, he's been here for his whole life, you know. It's just unreal that this happened in our town. All I know is that they were on their way home, him and his wife. And he got shot. I guess it went through the door of the car and shot him right in his side. And my shop foreman (ph) is in there right now and he said his wife was just covered in blood.
But he made it to the hospital still talking and breathing. He was way out there on Mission Dorado in that area when it happened, I guess.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow.
BARRETT: Just dropped to my knees and hit my head on the floor and I started praying like you wouldn't believe, saying this can't happen to him. He saved my life. I'd trade my life any day for his, I would.
First thing that went through my mind, I couldn't believe it. And he said it, told me again, and I still -- what? And then the third time is when I just fell to my knees, you know, because it's just unreal. I've never known anybody that's been shot in my life, you know, especially this man that saved my life, you know? I don't know what else to say.
MARQUARDT: All right. Well, stay with us. There is more chilling eyewitness video from the scene as police stopped the gunman. And we'll take a deeper look about what we're learning about the investigation. Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: This just in to CNN, chilling new video of that deadly shooting rampage today in West Texas. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God, he's fixing to shoot.
Oh, my God.
Colby (ph), are you down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you shooting that man at the (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I don't know. I can't see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: You can see police officers there in the parking lot outside that movie theater running with their guns drawn. The officers that you're looking at, they stopped and killed that gunman in Odessa, Texas this afternoon. At that point, he has, sadly, already shot and killed five people and wounded more than 20 others shooting from behind the wheel, first, of his car, a gold Honda, then he switched to a stolen postal van.
The gunman's name and possible motivation not yet released by police. CNN has learned from a law enforcement official that authorities believe they have positively identified the shooter in today's deadly rampage.
With me now again is our Crime and Justice Reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, who has been on the story all day, working his sources and breaking it all down. I can tell you, if you have to cover events like these, you want Shimon on the story. So, Shimon, thank you so much for being back with me.
As I just mentioned, there's one official saying the shooter may have been IDed. Do you know anything more?
PROKUPECZ: Yes, they have identified the shooter. So they've known this for a couple of hours now. Obviously, they have given us very little detail about him. And though he's dead, you would think authorities would be quicker in putting this name out. They have not.
It sounds like based on the guests you had in the last block that we probably won't learn officially this individual's name until the morning because it seems like authorities are still trying to figure out what happened here. I don't think they have a good idea yet, at least where they're able to release any information publicly about what led up to this.
Obviously I think that's going to be the key here, what happened, why did the shooter react this way when two troopers pulled him over? What happened? Where was he going? And perhaps that is something that authorities are still working on.
There's always a concern that someone knew that this was something was going on, that something was amiss and that didn't report it, didn't tell authorities. Those could be things the police and the FBI are now working through to try and sort out.
So I think they're still working through it. This is a little strange in that his reaction when police pulled him over, he was ready for them, it seemed. He had that rifle there pointed at his back window and shot them.
MARQUARDT: Do we have any indication, any elements that we know about this shooter prior to this shooting, anything, any mentions of red flags? And if not, how do investigators now go about digging into his background to try to come up with more on him?
PROKUPECZ: Yes. So we have not heard that there were any red flags that he's someone that was on the radar of authorities, that they knew anything about him. So public records, they'll go through court records, they'll go through traffic stops, things of that nature. And then importantly, they'll go through other databases, like at the FBI, to see if they've received tips, anyone call in to say that they were concerned about him.
Local police will go back where he's from. The authorities there will go back and look and see if any of his family members recently called, anyone else called that raised concerns. And then they're going to do a search warrant at his home, his computer, other things they may find at his home, in his car. They're going to go through and try to paint this -- kind of put this puzzle together.
It still really is a puzzle. I mean, why would someone go on this kind of a rampage after killing police who just what appears to be were merely stopping him for some kind of traffic violation? A lot of questions, but there's still a lot of work here to do, it sounds like. And authorities are not ready to put out what they believe is the motive here, the reason for all this. And they're just waiting. And it sounds like we're not going to get word until the morning on exactly what they think went on here.
MARQUARDT: All right. Well, hopefully, we will get more answers in those morning hours. Shimon, thank you so much for being on the story all night.
All right, we do have an update on one of the victims, a spokesman for the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, says that the 17- month-old baby who was injured is now in satisfactory condition. So that's some good news.
Now, up next, the Category 4 storm bearing down in the Bahamas, we are learning more about Hurricane Dorian's projected path this hour. And we will be joined by the National Hurricane Center. That's right after the break.
MARQUARDT: We have been tracking Hurricane Dorian all weekend. And it is potentially on a devastating path, making its way towards the Bahamas with 150-mile-per-hour winds and gusts that are even stronger than that.
The storm has been unpredictable, and it's also thing a wide swath of the East Coast of the United States with a tropical storm watch already in effect for the Florida coastline where it would hit first. There are residents from the Caribbean and up through the Carolinas who are all on edge tonight as authorities warn of devastating winds and catastrophic storm surges.
For more on this fluid and ever-changing situation, I'm joined by National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Edward Rappaport. Edward, thanks so much for joining us tonight as we keep an eye on Dorian.
I just want to ask you -- we keep talking about how uncertain the path is and what the various situations could be, how it could change, what the impact could be like. How typical is this uncertainty for hurricanes as they barrel into the coast?
EDWARD RAPPAPORT, METEOROLOGIST, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: This is a little bit unusual in the sense that we actually have more confidence in the intensity forecast today than we do in the track forecast, usually it's the other way around.
In this case, though, we have high confidence in where the forecast is going to take the hurricane over the next 24 to 36, even 48 hours.
And as you mentioned, that's going to bring it to near the Bahamas. Here is Great Abacos and Grand Bahama Island. And we expect that the conditions will deteriorate there later tonight. They'll tropical- storm-force winds there by morning, and then a prolonged period of hurricane-force winds perhaps even longer than six hours of 100-mile- per-hour or greater winds there.
Unfortunately, it could be devastating both in terms of the winds and the storm surge, which could reach 15 feet in the Northwestern Bahamas Islands.
MARQUARDT: When you look at that line that you've just drawn up the eastern coast, and we've been saying that the impact could extend as far north as the Carolinas, who is at most risk right now?
RAPPAPORT: Let's take a look -- a closer look at the forecast. First, here is where the center is located. Again, it's about 100 miles to the east of the Northwestern Bahamas and about 300 miles off the Florida East Coast. The forecast track takes the center, as we said, across Northwestern Bahamas and turn to the north and ultimately to the northeast.
And on this course, if you take the size of the wind field and you apply it to where the center is going to go, you can see that tropical-storm-force winds reach the Coast of Florida. If we're off at all in our forecast, let's say the track doesn't go like this. It goes 20 miles to the west, that's going to bring hurricane-force winds right up to the Coast of Florida.
So we still have some risk there, precarious forecast track, just a slight shift, which is always possible, can make it much worse for Florida than what would be expected on the current forecast.
MARQUARDT: So when can those there and that area that you're just pointing at, when can Floridians start to expect to feel the impact from Hurricane Dorian?
RAPPAPORT: Well, if you take a look again at what we've got labeled here, 8:00 P.M. on Monday, still in the Bahamas. Again, it's going to be moving very slowly there and beginning to make its closest point of approach to Southeast Florida.
So, Monday night, tropical storm-force winds are certainly possible along the southeast coast, and then to Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday, off of the Carolinas.
MARQUARDT: And so when people are looking at these different maps and listening to their different media outlets, what should they be listening for in the next 24 hours? RAPPAPORT: Well, particularly if you're along the Florida Peninsula along the East Coast, you need to be paying very close attention to the progress of the storm and the forecast and also, any statements that you're receiving from local emergency management officials. The advice that they give is potentially life-saving. Do pay close attention to your local officials.
MARQUARDT: All right. Ed Rappaport at the National Hurricane Center, thank you so much for joining me tonight.
RAPPAPORT: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: Stay with us as we continue to follow every update in this storm's path.
Up next, we will return to our other major breaking news story on this holiday weekend, the mass shooting in West Texas. We will get the latest from the White House. That's next.
MARQUARDT: In the wake of the mass shooting in Texas, we have heard from Vice President Mike Pence while President Trump, we're told, has been briefed on the situation and is monitoring it.
Our Boris Sanchez is at the White House.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Alex, it is third time this month that President Trump has had to be briefed on a mass shooting in the United States, the second one in that span of time in the State of Texas. The president closely monitoring developments from Camp David where he's spending the weekend, and where he tweeted this, the president writing, quote, just briefed by Attorney General Barr about the shootings in Texas. FBI and law enforcement fully engaged, more to follow.
We also heard from Vice President Mike Pence about the shooting. The vice president headed to Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of World War II. The Vice President is saying that the White House would work with Democrats to try to find some solution to the problem of these mass shootings. Listen to more of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Our hearts break for the families who have loved ones who've been injured, those who had loved ones who lost their lives in the wake of this latest mass shooting. And the president and I and our administration remain absolutely determined to work with leaders in both parties in the Congress to take such steps that we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocity in our country. Thank you all very much. We'll see you on the plane.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Our sources indicate that officials at the White House have been working on some sort of plan to try to address these mass shootings, and they have been since the back-to-back shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. But the specifics of what that plan entails, still unclear.
The president routinely after these shootings happens speaks ambitiously about passing some form of gun control legislation, even talking about comprehensive background checks at times. Frequently, that changes as days pass, and he speaks directly to the leadership of the National Rifle Association, Alex.
MARQUARDT: All right. Boris Sanchez on the north lawn of the White House there, thanks very much.
Now, as investigators work to determine what exactly happened and what the motivation of the shooter was, we're getting political reactions to this news from Texas. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, he tweeted that his wife, Heidi, and I are heartbroken by this heinous attack and we are lifting up in prayer all the victims, their families and the entire Midland/Odessa community. We Texans are standing together tonight united against all forms of hatred and violence.
2020 candidate and the former mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, offered his condolences to the victims, but also called for action. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO (D-SAN ANTONIO, TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today in Midland and Odessa, we saw another horrific shooting in our nation. Our hearts are heavy for the victims of today's shooting and for their families. We're thinking about them, we're praying for them. And more than thoughts and prayers, we know that we have to act to prevent gun violence.
Three weeks ago in El Paso, we saw one more instance of a gunman who caused such pain and loss of life that we've seen too often in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: And his fellow Texan, Beto O'Rourke, is still coming to terms and still pained, of course, by the mass shooting that struck his home city of El Paso exactly a month ago.
22 people killed in that shooting. And the former congressman minced no words, really, when asked about what happened today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know what the motivation is. I do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is (BLEEP) up. We do know that this has to stop. There is no reason -- there is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate. And yet, functionally, right now, we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: And then there was this tweet from former Vice President and the Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, who is now leading the pack. He wrote, I'm heartbroken, sickened and angry. Weeks after the horror in El Paso, another community in Texas has been terrorized by gun violence. Enough. We must stop this epidemic.
And when it comes to the victims of today's shooting, we have an update that we received earlier this evening from the Odessa Hospital where more than a dozen of those victims were taken.
RUSSELL TIPPIN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SYSTEM: One of the people we had was caught in the action and was not related to this incident. So the number is 13, okay? So I want to correct that, that the number is 13.
Out of those 13, we have had two that have been treated and released. We have seven that are critical. When I say critical, most of those have been in surgery and are out of surgery, seven of those, okay? Those are critical. Two serious, one deceased. And we have one transferred, a pediatric patient, under the age of two years old that was transferred out of here, okay?
So I'll go over those one more time. Seven critical, two serious, one deceased, one transferred under the age of two years old, okay? And we've had eight people total in surgery, and most of those are out and have gone very well.
Let me just talk about our blood supply. We're getting a lot of calls about blood supply. Our blood supply currently is good. We're okay right now. And we appreciate all the calls and the outpouring has been nationwide. We're getting calls all over the nation about what's going on. And first and foremost, we want to say thank you for that because that really shows the support that we have for each other. Our supplies are good, the blood is good.
Let me just comment briefly on the families. I know there's a family gathering center that's been set up here in Odessa. And I've got -- I'll get that in just a second, but I'll get that out if there's a family center that has been set up for people to gather if they have any questions, okay? You all may know that already, but I just wanted to bring that out.
But we're still on lockdown. I still think for the safety our patients and the victims and the victims' families, we're still on lockdown just to keep it under control. We hope to have that lifted before too long. But right now, I think it's in the best interest to keep it locked down where it is, okay?
Our staff has been amazing. But that's not the point here. The point right now is that these victims are being taken care of, and so we're just trying to do right by them, okay?
Let me introduce just a few people that will take just a few questions, okay? This is Matt. He's our Chief Operations Officer. Matt is here. This is Dr. Bose. He's one of our trauma doctors. And I'm going to turn it over to the Doctor Bose just for a second just to talk about gunshot victims and things like that are, and I'll let him speak to you in just a minute. We'll come back to me and then Matt for any follow-up questions, okay?
I'll hand it to Doctor Bose here for just a second.
DR. SUDIP BOSE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SYSTEM: Thank you.
Well, first of all, our thoughts are with the families. And when a situation like this happens, it's actions that come together from preparation years in advance. So over the last several years, we've formed committees where we've coordinated the many elements that will be necessary here, police, sheriffs, school departments, Odessa Fire and Rescue, the medical director, the emergency room and other parties that are involved.
Here when everyone arrived, it was well orchestrated. We received 13 patients. And because of this preparation, we were able to call in our backups, anesthesiologists, operating staffs, techs, nurses, this was a great team effort for everybody when the patients arrived.
After they arrived, we were able to do the initial stabilizing maneuvers on everyone.
And the emphasis I would give here and I think a take home point, especially for the national viewers, is I encourage everyone in every community, no matter what size, if you're in the middle of the desert, if you're in an urban area, to prepare in advance.
Unfortunately, it may not be a matter of if, it may be a matter of when. And for us, just preparation really helped us today. Our thoughts are with the families.
And another thing I would mention is whenever there is something on the national scale like this, it starts as a local response. It starts right there with the community. It starts with knowing how to stop bleeding. It starts with how to do BLS and chest compressions. And this is something we as Americans can do and we're encouraging this in the Midland and Odessa community and we really encourage this at the medical center hospital.
And you guys out there, wherever you're watching nationwide, you can make a huge difference for people, because when they arrive here, the response can stay local. Because if you practice this, you don't need to call in the state, you don't need to call the governor, you don't need to activate FEMA and national resources.
So we can do this, we can come together and I think our community here has shown how we can do that. And I think our families are going to come together and we're going to become stronger from this. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
TIPPIN: Let's turn it over to Matt. Matt?
MATT COLLINS, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SYSTEM: Hi, my name is Matt Collins. I was the incident commander for this incident.
First of all, of course, our hearts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families and our hospital staff as well. This has been a very, very difficult situation.
We really have three phases of operations inside the hospital. When this happens we have an activation phase and then operational periods. We've just completed operational period 1 and 2. And at 7:30, we went into the final phase, which is a recovery phase.
And that's where we start putting everything back together, getting back to normal operations, and taking care of our staff and to continue to take care of those patients that have gone through this horrific situation.
MARQUARDT: All right, the doctors there at that Odessa hospital reeling and calling for action.
Up next, we will be hearing from an eyewitness who watched the police engage the gunman in a shootout that left him dead. Stay with us.
MARQUARDT: We are back with the breaking news of the mass shooting in Western Texas. The harrowing deadly incident began just after 3:00 P.M. with a traffic stop, when police say that a white man in his mid- 30s opened fire, shooting the two troopers who stopped him. He then drove away and continued shooting, killing five people and injuring 21.
As shots were being fired, one eyewitness pulled out his phone and videoed as police engaged with the suspect. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX WOODS, EYEWITNESS: There's a shooting going on in Odessa, Texas.
Oh, God, they're shooting right there. Oh, he hits the barrier. The cop just hit the barrier.
Get down, get down, get down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get down, get down, get down, get down.
WOODS: Stand still. He's shooting them. He's shooting them. Oh, he's killed him. They killed him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a shooting. We're watching a shooting happen.
WOODS: Oh, he's shooting him up. He hit the barrier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: The man who shot that video, Alex Woods, told me how it all unfolded.
WOODS: Well, he had arrived about five minutes before the shooting took place. And there was police everywhere, there was a whole line of people behind the movie theater. There were blocking the roads and people were just walking away from the building. Everything looked relatively under control. And then all of a sudden you could hear the popping sounds of a gunshot. I turned the camera to towards the movie theater, and you see the cop ramming into the mail van, which was the shooter's vehicle, and then ramming into the barrier.
And the cop jumped out of the vehicle and discharged his weapon into the driver's side. And the shooting stopped from there, and not in the video, but later it appears to be through a flash grenade into the back of the van, I would assume, to make sure there was no further threat.
MARQUARDT: What, Alex, made you stop to record this? You heard the popping, you heard the shooting, and yet you kept on filming.
WOODS: Well, I just -- I thought just get the whole thing on camera. I mean, it was such a surreal moment. I don't even know what was going on. I just kept the camera rolling. And it's hard to explain what was rolling through my mind. It was just so chaotic.
MARQUARDT: Can you describe the area, the scene that we're looking at now in your video?
WOODS: It's a lot of field out there. There's some apartments and there's a hospital in the area. It's relatively open. And this movie theater is always crowded. People are always there.
So as you can imagine, it was very chaotic when the shooting began. They were all standing around in line behind the theater. And when the shooting began, some of them ran, some of them were taking cover. It was just a very chaotic scene, a lot of screaming and people running.
MARQUARDT: Were you aware ahead of time what had been happening, or was it when you started hearing the gunshots that you knew something was wrong? WOODS: I had no clue what was happening. When we arrived, we were just waiting. And like I said earlier, about five minutes later, the gunfire was going off. And that's when I realized it was a shootout.
And then later in, I was hearing reports that it was a shooter who was driving from different parts of the town shooting.
It was just a chaotic moment, really, to be honest.
MARQUARDT: Alex, are you from Odessa?
WOODS: No. I am from Vero Beach, Florida. I am in Odessa for work.
MARQUARDT: Were you, at any point, afraid for your own safety?
WOODS: No, more so for my parents and my siblings that were in the vehicle.
MARQUARDT: And after that shooting in El Paso earlier this month, just you as an American citizen, you know, we've had this spate of shootings and then you witnessed this one today. I mean, have you been having conversations with your friends, with your relatives about whether something like this could happen where you were?
WOODS: No. It never really came up. It's just kind of something that like happens and then you never think it's going to happen to you. So right now, it's a very surreal experience that was very unfortunate. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it that it has happened.
MARQUARDT: What was the reaction of the people who were around you?
WOODS: Just shocked. We were awestruck, like this can't be happening, right? This is stuff you hear about, it never happens to you, and the next thing you know you're there witnessing it.
MARQUARDT: All right. Our thanks there to Alex Woods.
Now, of course, the big question tonight is why? Why did a person who was pulled over for a traffic violation then turn his gun on the troops that pulled him over and go on to kill five people in that Odessa/Midland area?
With me now is CNN Law Enforcement Contributor and retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent Steve Moore. Steve, thanks so much for coming on with me tonight.
STEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: Sure.
MARQUARDT: It has been now -- this incident took place just after 3:00 in the afternoon there local time. So it's about seven hours since the rampage began. We did learn a short time ago from a law enforcement source that authorities believe they may have confirmed the killer's identity. What else will they be looking for tonight and then in the hours that follow?
MOORE: Well, obviously, you're going to want to know motivation because the person is -- the person is going to have a reason for doing this and the reason is going to tell you whether there are other people involved.
And, frankly, I don't think this was just obviously a routine traffic stop. There were too many police in the area. Somebody -- this may be one of those occasions where somebody has actually done something in advance to save someone.
But you have to start essentially writing a biography on this guy. Where did he come from? Why does he have guns if he's already a felon? All these things you have to answer as if you were writing a novel -- or a biography on his life.
MARQUARDT: Well, we don't know yet whether -- much about him at all. And so we don't know whether he was a felon. But, Steve, are you surprised that there aren't more details about this killer given that it's been so long?
MOORE: Well, again, I'm sorry if I misspoke, but I'm not surprised that the public doesn't have the details. I'm surprised really that, you know, we're wondering still about the details because I think the police have them. The police are going through.
And when you have one of these shootings, the information is coming at you like a fire hose. And you're going to be trying to sift through all sorts of false leads, all sorts of information that may or may not be of any value at all. And at the same time you're trying to coordinate with offices all over the country that may have information on this guy or his motive.
MARQUARDT: And one of the pieces of information that we do have is the kind of weapon that he used, not specifically. We don't have the model. But we do know that he was carrying a rifle. How important will it be to learn more about that weapon, where he got it, whether he got it legally or not?
MOORE: It's going to be crucial because the type of weapon he used is going to actually tell you a lot about him. It's going to tell you whether he -- listen, if you're going to shoot this many people in such a short time, it's going to be a semi-automatic weapon. You're going to have to find out whether he was obviously legally allowed to own it.
And, again, this is where the FBI can come in and help because they can coordinate with treasury, they can coordinate with ATF. They can coordinate even across country. A shooting I worked, we were in touch with Japanese officials within hours. And so it is just this multipronged probe going out.
And people are coming back with information, hit or miss.
And it's almost like you're putting a jigsaw puzzle together. And certain parts of the puzzle come back earlier than others. You may find out that, oh, he's affiliated with this group or he's a gun guy or he has this kind of issue.
MARQUARDT: And, Steve, as the FBI does take a bigger and bigger role or takes a role in this growing number of shootings, how has their response changed over the years?
MOORE: Well, the response has changed because when I first started working shootings, and I hate to even say it this way, they were much more startling. They were much more shell-shocking. And you had more things -- more troops motivated, or motivated quicker. You had people in the field going out.
Now, unfortunately, we've gotten better at it because we've had more experience at it. And so the good part is we kind of know where to look, first of all. We're better at tracking the weapons. We are better at identifying victims. We are better at going out and interviewing people who knew this guy.
MARQUARDT: Right, better, as you say, because this has happened so much.
Steve Moore, thanks so much for coming on with me tonight.
MOORE: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: All right. Stay with us. John Vause will continue our breaking news coverage after a quick break.