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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Prosecutors: Highland Park Gunman Confesses Considered Second Attack In Madison, Wisconsin; Couple Cared For Two-Year-Old Orphaned After Parade Shooting; Key Witness To Talk To January 6 Committee; New Report Highlights Missed Opportunities For Police To Confront Shooter; Uvalde Teacher "I Was Waiting For Anybody To Come Save Us"; Utah Sheriff Offers Six-Week-Long Active Shooter Training For Teachers And Support Staff; GOP Primary Tests Trump's Power Over Party. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 06, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: A climate change fueled mega drought is to blame and continues to tighten its grip on the west. Water usage is also responsible.

And here's the thing, if the lake continues to dry up, the impact could be toxic. Scientists predict the air surrounding Salt Lake City could literally turn poisonous for humans. The lake bed contains high levels of arsenic and as more and more of it becomes exposed, as the lake recedes, wind storms carry that arsenic.

It's a valley, right? It's a bowl there.

A Republican state lawmaker who lives by the lake told "The New York Times" it's a potential environmental nuclear bomb that's going to go off.

Thanks for joining us tonight.

AC 360 with Anderson starts now.



Authorities say the man now charged in the shooting deaths of seven people in Highland Park, Illinois has confessed to opening fire on the city's Independence Day Parade.

This video taken in the moment from inside one of the local stores just across the street from the government's location. The store's owner says the manager who helped lead people to safety, has a wife and father who were wounded, but that both are doing fine tonight.

We also learned today that police believe the gunman fled afterward to Madison, Wisconsin where he contemplated a second mass shooting. Additionally, there is new word on how his father apparently helped him obtain a gun license he likely should not have had given the red flags in his recent past, as a young man who apparently had attempted suicide and yet his father helped him get a gun license.

More on all of it shortly. First, though, because we now had the names of all seven people killed and had been learning more about their lives, we want to begin with who they were.

Eduardo Uvaldo had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary. His wife and four daughters were everything to him. His daughter telling CNN that he would have turned 70 on Friday.

Despite being the oldest victim at 88, Stephen Straus was still active, still enjoying life according to one grandson. Another agreed adding and I'm quoting here, "America's cultural worship of guns is deadly. It kills grandfathers," and it certainly did in this case.

Nicolas Toledo had eight children, countless grandchildren, one of whom describes him as a loving man who was creative, adventurous, and funny. In Highland Park from Mexico visiting family. Nicolas Toledo was 78.

Jacki Sundheim taught preschool, served on the staff of a local synagogue said one fellow congregant to local station, WLS, you just couldn't find a lovelier person. Jacki Sundheim was 63.

Katherine Goldstein was 64, fatally shot while fleeing with her daughter. Her son-in-law says she loved to go birdwatching, is devoted to her family. In his words, "I could not imagine a better mother."

And finally, there are the McCarthy's, Irina and Kevin, ages 35 and 37. They were at the parade with their two-year-old son, Aiden and they died trying to protect him.

Tonight, he is safe, thank goodness -- and surrounded by people who love him, who will do all they can for him, but who cannot take the place of his mother and his father in his life, in his memories or in his heart. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $2.6 million on his behalf for his future.

In a moment we'll be joined by husband and wife who cared for Aiden after the shooting.

First though, CNN's Ed Lavandera in Highland Park with more on the investigation. What's the latest tonight, Ed?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, earlier today, the shooter appeared in Court. He was denied bond by the Judge. He appeared via Zoom, but we have also tonight obtained an image of that second assault style rifle that we are told by authorities was inside the vehicle when the shooter was taken into custody Monday afternoon.

The image of that is quite chilling, especially in light of what authorities are telling us tonight, Anderson, that they now have reason to believe that after the shooting here in Highland Park, the shooter drove two and a half hours toward Madison, Wisconsin where he had thoughts of carrying out a second attack.

Investigators talked earlier today about what led them to the conclusion.


DEPUTY CHIEF CHRISTOPHER COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY MAJOR CRIME TASK FORCE: Certainly our investigation is gone very much. And so what happened after the shooting, what Crimo's plan was. Investigators did develop some information that it appears when he drove to Madison, he was driving around, however he did see a celebration that was occurring in Madison and he seriously contemplated using the firearm in his vehicle to commit another shooting.


LAVANDERA: Now, Anderson, investigators went on to say that they believe that the gunman didn't have enough information, hadn't researched the situation there enough to carry out the attack and then turned around and drove back to Illinois where he was taken into custody.

Investigators also say that here at the crime scene in Highland Park, they found 330 round magazines and 83 shell casings in the area here where the deadly attack took place -- Anderson.


COOPER: You know, there have been a lot of questions about how he was able to get a weapon. Talk more about this reporting that his father, despite reports of a prior suicide attempt or talking about suicide, I think, it was in 2019. Did his father sign an affidavit which helped his son get weapons?

LAVANDERA: So here in Illinois anyone obtaining a firearm has to apply for this card that allows them to do so, but we have also learned that before all of that, in 2019, in April of 2019, family members had reported to Highland Park Police an attempted suicide by the gunman. And then five months later, there was another call from family members saying that the gunman had a collection of knives and that he is threatening to, "kill everyone."

Despite all of that, we have learned also that the father sponsored the gunman's application to obtain firearms here in Illinois, and we know from authorities that this gunman had gone on to legally obtain two assault-style rifles and as well as a number of other firearms.

COOPER: And I'd also read reporting, and correct me if I'm wrong here, that when police went to respond to the second report, where he had threatened to kill everyone in his family, that his mother denied that threat took place, as did the shooter and that the father claimed the knives belonged to him, the Father, is that correct?

LAVANDERA: Yes, the knives -- right, the knives were returned to the house there because the father claimed they were his and no one in the family would file a formal complaint that would have taken the necessary next steps from what we understand at this point.

COOPER: Wow. Ed Lavandera, I really appreciate that reporting. Thank you.

Joining us now is Dana and Greg Ring. They were at the parade with their kids when gunfire erupted, came across a toddler, Aiden McCarthy as they were seeking shelter and they cared for Aiden until he could be reunited with his grandparents.

Dana and Greg, joining me now. Thank you so much for being with us. I'm so glad you and your family are safe and I'm so sorry for what you have been through.

Dana, can you just walk us through what happened after you heard shots? And did you realize what was happening right away?

DANA RING, HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING SURVIVOR: We happened to -- well, initially, we thought we had snagged, luckily, the really greatest seats maybe ever had at a parade before. Really close, unfortunately to what ended up being the epicenter of where everything was happening.

So, I saw from the start at the kiddy corner from where I was standing that there was a physical, I thought initially, maybe fireworks had gone off to close to the crowd or something.

But then the sound didn't stop, so it didn't take much time before we realized we needed to run for cover. The whole crowd around us just started stampeding and we -- I mean, we just ran as well.

COOPER: And Greg, when did you -- what happened then when you started running?

GREG RING, HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING SURVIVOR: We were there with our neighbor. We heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, like Dana said, and then we started running. My neighbor grabbed my son. I grabbed, Millie, our four-year-old and Dana grabbed Zoey, our other eight-year-old and we ran behind the Walker Brothers Pancake House underneath anyone who's from Iowa Park knows the Walker Brothers Pancake House, there's a garage underneath and that's where our car was parked, and we ran underneath to get to our car.

D. RING: We first actually ran with the crowd and initially took cover behind a brick pillar in front of Dairy Queen in a heap like a pile of so many people all together just waiting for some stop in the sound. And then when we finally did hear a pause, that's when we realized immediately we just had to get as far away from the direction where it was coming from as possible, which is how we made our way to that back staircase.

COOPER: And Dana, how did you end up finding Aiden?

D. RING: So once we got underground we put all three of our kids into our car which we happened to have parked almost right next to where the staircase comes out underground.

We were sort of standing outside the car, Greg and I waiting around.

COOPER: Sorry. We're getting a problem with signal. We'll try to correct that and we'll come right back.

Let's take a short break. We'll be right back with more.



COOPER: Back now with Dana and Greg Ring. Dana, you were telling us before the break that you and your family ran to the parking garage for safety. When was it that you found little Aiden?

D. RING: So we got the kids safely into the car and Greg and I were sort of standing outside the car kind of waiting for some kind of signal that we would feel it was okay to try and drive away, and as we're waiting and walking and sort of looking at each other like "What just happened," this lady came down the staircase we had before and she was holding a little boy and she was covered in blood as was he and she -- you could just tell it was starting to like immediately affect her.

She was shaking physically. I was concerned she might drop the boy so we walked over to see if she needed help and ended up taking the boy from her. She needed the minute, so --

G. RING: She handed the boy over to us. We could tell that it wasn't her blood, it wasn't his blood. She was shaking. She was having a hard time talking.

And we looked at each other, she handed him over to me. She then sat down and Dana attended to her.

COOPER: And I understand you first stopped at the fire department with Aiden. What did they tell you?

G. RING: So then we jumped in the car with our kids and Aiden and we decided to go to Dana's parents' house. And on the way there, we passed by the Highland Park Fire Station that we pulled in and as I pulled in the police looked like they were getting ready for war with machine guns and helmets, and I stepped outside with Aiden and I said, "He's not our boy. What should we do? Can somebody help us?"


G. RING: And somebody said, I'll never forget. He said, "You know, we can't be a babysitter." He wasn't disrespectful. He just said, "We can't be babysitters right now. Can you take care of him?" And we said, "Of course." And then we drove to Dana's parents' house, and that's where we kept Aiden for a couple of hours.

COOPER: It did -- was he saying anything to you?

D. RING: He -- I just kept trying to get his name because I wanted to be able to talk to him in a calming way. But if I -- you know, he was -- I was guessing he was somewhere between two, two and a half, three. And every time I asked his name, his response each time was "momma and dada come to get me soon. The car they come to get me soon." And I'm just like, "Yes, buddy, they're going to come so soon."

So we just kept trying to get his name out of him, you know, every so often just because, you know, obviously, we wanted to be able to talk to him and he just was seemingly, okay.

He wasn't crying. He wasn't --

G. RING: He was watching cartoons with a four-year-old.

D. RING: My dad took him in the back and was holding him watching Mickey Mouse with my daughter, and totally otherwise normal. I mean, if you didn't know where we had come from, you wouldn't guess that there had been anything wrong with him. He was markedly calm.

COOPER: And how were you finally able to get them reunited with his grandparents?

G. RING: When we went to the Fire Station, I gave a detective -- a police officer my in-laws' address and my cell phone number and then we got a text message from a detective and the detective came over and a couple of hours later took Aiden.

We put our -- my in-laws gave us their extra car seat. We put it in the squad car, and then they took Aiden to where families were being reunited.

COOPER: How are you -- how are you all doing? I mean, how are your kids doing?

G. RING: Our kids are upstairs, eating macaroni and cheese and watching cartoons with Dana's parents. So I think they're doing okay, better than it could have been.

D. RING: It's starting to come out in bits and pieces when I think they're thinking about it, and when I don't realize they might have it on their mind. My four-year-old particularly has started more frequently asking or ask me, why did we make them go to the parade? She didn't even want to go, which actually was true.

G. RING: They're alive.

D. RING: They've got a lot of questions.

G. RING: They're alive. They are upstairs, and alive.

D. RING: They have a lot of questions. We just keep trying to remind them how very incredibly lucky we were to, yes, it was a crazy scary thing. But we were so, so lucky in the end to have all made it through it okay, and we just have to keep focusing on that part of it.

COOPER: Well, you're -- I'm so glad you're okay, your whole family and for helping Aiden. We should all be lucky in that situation that people that a child finds people like you. So Dana Ring, Greg Ring, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

G. RING: Anderson, Anderson? COOPER: Yes?

G. RING: Can I have one minute to say something or I'll never forgive myself?

COOPER: Sure. Sure.

G. RING: We need to stop giving AR-15 machine guns to people with mental health issues. I'm not trying to say anything political. Right now, I'm speaking as a father, I'm speaking as a father, I'm speaking as a husband, I'm speaking for this community, I'm speaking for communities in Texas, in Florida, for synagogues, for churches.

There are damaged people walking around our society who need help. I feel empathy for them. We need to find a way to help them. I know that they shouldn't have access to an AR-15 machine gun. I understand that this bill that was just passed during the next shooting, politicians on both aisles are going to say we passed a bill.

Half measures do not work. It was a compromise by both sides and it is a compromise to try to trick the American people, our children of all communities are being shot at. It has to stop.

I don't know how, but I know that individuals who have mental health issues should not be able to get AR-15 machine guns.

D. RING: No one should.

G. RING: No should. But I under I also understand the reality of this country that I love. I love America. But sometimes, you have to criticize things you love. When I'm a jerk, my wife tells me. I accept it and I try to be better.

America, we are -- we are failing, and it is just -- it's enough.

D. RING: And this particular time it happened to be the group of most affected were all young kids that I don't even know how or when, or how long it will take to even come out or be handled in however many ways it will affect each and every child that experienced this.

In this case, it was filled. Everyone that was there. The vast majority of people that attended this parade were young children and their parents or grandparents and this moment, in the middle of their hometown, had their parents and every grown up around them, probably just exhibiting the most amount of terror they ever had felt or could possibly experience, and I can't even begin to access my own feelings about it, let alone predict my kids.

G. RING: We deserve to be safe. We all do -- everybody. That's it. Be better.

COOPER: Dana Ring and Greg ring, I appreciate it. Thank you very much. You take care.

D. RING: Thank you.

G. RING: Thank you.

D. RING: Thank you so much.

COOPER: A preview of Friday's testimony from a key witness to events surrounding the insurrection. What a former White House Counsel could tell the Committee when we come back.



COOPER: A long sought figure has agreed to talk to the January 6 Select Committee. He is former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, someone who witnesses have already put at the forefront of efforts to rein in some of the former President's worst impulses in and around the insurrection, during the insurrection, including his desire to be at the Capitol -- the President's desire to be at the Capitol with the mob he incited, the mob he knew was armed.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.


COOPER: Multiple sources tell CNN that Cipollone will give a transcribed interview behind closed doors this Friday. Two of the sources telling us the interview will be on video as well. A spokesperson for the Committee declined to comment.

Let's get perspective now from two CNN contributors, central Watergate figure and witness, John Dean; also Norm Eisen, Special Counsel in the first Trump impeachment hearings and former Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

John, you were very vocal during our coverage of the hearings last week, calling on Pat Cipollone to testify. Now, that he is going to, what do you think are the most important questions he needs to answer?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think he can tell us a lot about the state of mind of the President on the 6th, what his actions were, what he tried to intervene and get the President to do, and the President didn't want to do.

He is there in that heated atmosphere of the day itself. He also knows a lot he may or may not share that led up to that day. That's what we don't know, whether he'll try to invoke his privileges and somehow you get out of testifying.

COOPER: Norm, he was the White House Counsel. He wasn't the President's personal attorney. In terms of privilege issues, what could Cipollone plausibly refused to testify about? NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Oh, well, Anderson, the privilege

belongs to the current occupant of the White House, Joe Biden. We know there have already been broad privilege waivers. And according to press reports, there are agreed areas of testimony.

So all of that being said, the law does provide for some consultation with the former President. So if we veer out of the areas of agreement, then Cipollone can say, sorry, I have to consult and refuse to talk about it, but the main areas that we expect are things like that violent intent on January 6th, the January 3rd meeting, the corruption of DOJ, and the other issues that have already surfaced. I think, we'll hear about those.

COOPER: John, obviously, a lot of comparisons are being made between your testimony during the Watergate hearings and Cipollone's testimony. Are those fair comparisons? How important do you think Cipollone's testimony will be?

DEAN: Anderson, I think that the two of us are coming at this issue from very, very different points of view and state of mind. I was somebody who was still trying actively to end an ongoing cover up of illicit activities at the White House, and it wasn't just a bungled break in.

There were whole categories of things that described what had gone on that put all of it in context and I thought that needed to be out. It was not good behavior for a President. It was unbecoming of a White House. So I wanted to get that out.

Cipollone, on the other hand, from what I can see, wants to tell us as little as he possibly can, and not look like he is an obstructionist. So, he is walking a fine line of trying to not offend his potential clients down the road, which I don't know how you do. I would think that helping the democracy would be the best thing you could do and what would help democracy most is to explain this behavior in great detail.

COOPER: Norm, separate but related to the Committee investigation, the Fulton County DA in Georgia said today she would not rule out a subpoena for the former President in her office's investigation to interference to the 2020 election. Do you think he could successfully get a subpoena squashed? And Lindsey Graham is vowing to fight a subpoena. Can he get that quashed?

EISEN: Anderson, I don't think they can. The founding idea of America and it is expressed in the Constitution and in our laws, including Georgia State Law is that no person is above the law. These activities that President Trump and allegedly Lindsey Graham were engaged in our political activities outside their official duties.

I mean, it's not part of the job description of the President of the United States to overturn a legitimate election nor of Lindsey Graham. As the Republican Secretary of State in Georgia says, to want to throw out mail-in ballots in democratic counties.

So I think that they do not stand good odds of quashing the subpoena for Graham that we know about and the one that may be coming to Trump.


COOPER: Norm Eisen, I appreciate it Norm. John Dean as well, thank you so much.

Coming up startling revelations in a new report about what went wrong with the police response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas. This whole cover up stinks. We're going to have a live report from San Antonio.

Plus, an interview with survivor teacher who was shot spend more than an hour lying in paint on the ground waiting in the room with the shooter wondering if anyone would ever come to save him.


COOPER: A new investigative reporter what went wrong in the police response the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas highlights missed opportunities to confront the shooter both inside and outside the school. The study out of Texas State University comes the same day that state legislature says the current Uvalde sheriff has quote, refused to testify in its investigation.

Joining us from San Antonio CNN's crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz.

Shimon, first of all, just what are the headlines on this? What's the latest?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: So, new revelations here kind of in the sense of yes, it paints a picture of complete chaos, of law enforcement not in charge of the scene, a lot of what we're hearing and have heard about, but one significant piece of information issue that they've been able to learn is that there was actually a Uvalde police officer who had the gunman in sight in his rifle he can see the gunman could have taken the shot and perhaps taken out the gunman. But he was waiting for a supervisor to give him permission to do so which is not necessary. It's not needed. But by the time he spoke to his supervisor, the gunman had already been gone, and was able to get inside the school.


So certainly Anderson, a missed opportunity there, and that's what this report touches on a lot of the missed opportunities.

COOPER: And where does the investigation right -- stand right now?

PROKUPECZ: Right. So what we're waiting for now is for the Texas officials, the house investigators to do their investigation, they're waiting for more testimony. They're trying to get the sheriff, the town sheriff to come in. He's refused so far to come in voluntarily. So they're ordering a deposition for him to appear. So that's significant. And that perhaps could be the next place where we get information. Of course, the Texas Department of Public Safety continues their investigation, as well as the District Attorney.

COOPER: Why in God's name, would a sheriff refuse to testify?

PROKUPECZ: This is really significant Anderson, this is a top law enforcement official for this town and for some unknown reason he's refusing to testify. His deputies, his sheriff's deputies are at the scene that day. It's highly questionable why he's doing this. It's certainly suspicious. But we don't know, we don't have the answers to that.

COOPER: I understand you were able to speak with a teacher who survived the shooting. I just want to take a look at it and listen to that now.


ARNULFO REYES, TEACHER, ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: I started seeing like the sheet rock fly off the walls and stuff like that. That's when I had told my kids, I don't know what it is. But let's get under the table.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): Arnie Reyes was the only survivor from classroom 1-11 in Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. After a month in the hospital, 10 surgeries from bullet wounds to his arm and back, he's finally back home and talking about the day that ripped so many lives apart.

REYES: I was getting the kids under the table. I turned around and when I turned around, I saw him but I just saw like the shadow. And that's when I saw the to -- like the fire. And then I ended up on the ground as well.

PROKUPECZ (on-camera): And so you, you get hit and you go down. And what's going on in your mind at that time.

REYES: I'm just thinking and waiting for somebody to come and save us. You always think, you know, something bad happening that the cops get there so fast. They rush in and they help you, you know. And I was just waiting for that. I was waiting for anybody, anybody to come save us.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): We now know it would be a long and agonizing 74 minutes before police would enter Reyes' classroom to kill the gunman.

REYES: He did a lot of things to make me flinch or react in some way. And that was one of them where he, he like got my like, as I'm laying down like either like this, or like this tapping it, but it was splashing on my face.

PROKUPECZ (on-camera): The blood.


PROKUPECZ (on-camera): Was he trying to see if you were still alive?

REYES: I think so.

PROKUPECZ (on-camera): You're laying there for over an hour right? And no one's coming to help. What do you think of that?

REYES: That they forgot us. I mean, they probably thought that we were all dead or something. But if they would have gotten in before some of them probably would have made it.

PROKUPECZ (voice-over): It's a question many are struggling with as precious seconds tick by could lives have been saved if officers acted sooner. Nineteen students and two teachers would lose their lives that day. The subject of multiple ongoing investigations, it's been called one of the biggest law enforcement failures in recent memory. Officers feet away on the other side of the door.

REYES: A lot of the law enforcement failed because they take that oath to protect. I was in there to protect the kids but I had no bullet vest or bullet proof vest or any tactical gear that they use, and they had everything.


PROKUPECZ (on-camera): When did you realize that the children that were around your were dead? We're not going to make it?

REYES: After they shot him and the Border Patrol said anybody get up. Let's go, let's go, you know, like, try to get the kids up nobody moved but me. And then somebody else said there's children under here. The children were dead under the table there was nothing I could do, but it's just, so.

PROKUPECZ (on-camera): Your children?

REYES: Yes, my children.


COOPER: I cannot. I cannot believe watching this, the killer is splashing this man's blood in his face, taunting him to see if he's still alive. So if he could shoot him again, while police from multiple jurisdictions are standing out in the hallway heavily armed for more than an hour, we now know. And I mean, the mayor, I think yesterday call it a cover up. I mean, it is -- it's not this is not a question any longer. I mean, this has just been from the get go, they had been covering this stuff up from the earliest statements that they made, whether directly lying about it, or trying to focus reporter's attention on other activities that day, on anything but the most important activity, which is why they didn't go into that room.

PROKUPECZ: And Anderson, why didn't they go in that room and help these people. I mean you listen to this teachers story. It is horrendous. It is so painful to imagine that law enforcement police officers that are trained to save lives that are trained to go in, they allowed him to stay in that room for so long, laying on his stomach. He's bleeding, barely breathing, and he thinks that's what saved his life ultimately, because the gunman, that's how the gunman thought he was dead, because he didn't realize that he was still alive and breathing.

It's painful. You know, I really wanted to talk to this teacher because I think the story that he has to tell about, the pain that such violence causes, and the way he was able to survive it and the way he's able to live is an incredible, incredible story. But also the failures of law enforcement and the police and the story he tells here is so, so important, Anderson.

COOPER: You know, 20, more than 20 years ago, in Columbine, a teacher named Dave Saunders was shot to death and died, not immediately he bled out, while the police were forming a perimeter waiting for a SWAT team. And that was more than 20 years ago Columbine and police have learned a whole lot since then. And everybody knows they don't wait any longer. And yet these someone made the decision to wait and we still don't have answers on exactly what happened and it's very frustrating and no teacher -- this man should not have laying there. We've learned the lesson to make that not happen again.

Shimon Prokupecz as always, I appreciate you staying on this, because it's so important they want this swept away. They want nobody paying attention.

Up next, look at how teachers in another state prepare for the possibility of school shootings. They're getting active shooter training as part of the simulation drill. We'll have more details on that ahead.



COOPER: Just before the break I mentioned a teacher Columbine who was killed I said his name was Dave Saunders, it was from memory, its Dave Sanders and apologized for that. He was shot to death bled out while waiting for police to get into the school.

Just before the break we heard from Uvalde, Texas teacher who was wounded in the school massacre Robb Elementary last month. The only one in his classroom to survive. Since then there have been renewed calls to arm teachers across America. And some states including Utah, teachers and sports staff can be armed if they follow certain rules.

Gary Tuchman recently attended gun training class for teachers run by the Utah County Sheriff. We warn you, part of what you're about to see is a drill but it's still tough to watch.

Here's Gary's report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Katie Hopkins is in training, but not to be a cop or a security officer. Katie is a school teacher. She teaches PE and health at a middle school in Moroni, Utah. And because of all the school shootings in this country --

KATIE HOPKINS, MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, MORONI, UT: It's super sad that it could happen anywhere.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): She's considering taking a gun with her to school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just want to make sure you're not interrupting this slide right here because if you do it will make it so long fire.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Katie is taking a six-week course in Lehi, Utah, created by the Utah County Sheriff's Office to train teachers and other school employees to deal with the possibility of an active shooter coming into their schools.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the shooter is pointing the gun, everywhere else around them they are vulnerable to attack.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Within 40 educators they're taking the six-week- long Teachers Academy, which includes lessons like disarming and attacker. Here's Katie taking her turn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, you hear him raise the door, since you see that muzzle breach that quarter, there you go.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Some of the school employees say they do plan to bring a gun to school. But it appears that most like Katie are still just considering it.



TUCHMAN (voice-over): Either way Utah law permits it. So the sheriff who created the program says since it's allowed, he wants teachers to get the proper training.

MIKE SMITH, SHERIFF, UTAH COUNTY, UT: We're not asking them to do our jobs. We don't want them to do our jobs. We want them to lock down. But at the end of the day, if you confront a gunman, they are there to kill you and your students. What's your plan? And so, the whole purpose of this school was to help them develop that plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, he's there stay on him.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): On this day, the educators go into a vividly realistic shooting simulator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your gun on, keep your gun right off, right off. Here we go.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The scene is a school. You will see actors playing the students and perpetrators. It's easy to forget it's pretend Katie and Emily Haskell the teacher partnering with her are taught to shoot to de escalation doesn't work and they have the shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Looking, keep looking everywhere. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look all around, look all around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look carefully. Keep alert. Keep watching.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Katie and Emily are told there was also a hostage situation in the library. They are reminded try to de escalate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put the gun down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let her go. Your (INAUDIBLE) than this. Let's go (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put the gun down, and we will talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put the gun down, and we will talk.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You let her go, put your arms down. Drop the gun. Put your arms down. (INAUDIBLE) down. Drop the guns. (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job. How can if he shoot you?


HOPKINS: (INAUDIBLE) in front of him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They only gave two times where he poked his head outside.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you good enough?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. So you did. You did what you had to do to talk to him. And then you know what, as long as he's talking, he's not killing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The scenarios are intense. With constant reminders, things could go very badly for any well meaning person firing a gun.

(on-camera): So you have children who are in school?


TUCHMAN (on-camera): Would you be comfortable with one of the teachers your training or having a gun in your child's class?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Following her session in the simulator, Katie Hopkins tells us she will finish this course, get additional training and is now leaning more towards bringing a gun to school.

(on-camera): So do you think you could save lives by having a gun?

HOPKINS: After today it's -- I think so. I would hope so definitely.


TUCHMAN: Anderson the six-week course comes to an end this weekend. The teachers will get a chance to go into sheriff's office firing range. It will be their first time during this class. They shoot live ammunition. Several of the teachers Anderson like Katie told me they will finish this course then take additional training. The new school year starts in less than a month and a half the middle of August. Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Gary, appreciate it. Thank you.

Still to come, we'll look at the pending Senate primary for Republicans in Arizona and whether the candidate endorsed by the former president can win and help his benefactor gain a stronger hold of the party at large.



COOPER: Early voting started today in Arizona for the August 2nd primary. The former president has endorsed one of the leading candidates in the Senate race there, venture capitalist Blake Masters. And then CNN's Kyung Lah reports, Masters is a far cry from the Republicans like Jeff Flake and John McCain who've won Senate races in Arizona in the past.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Young, energetic and ultra conservative. U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters pledges he's part of a new generation of Republicans.

BLAKE MASTER (R-AZ) SENATR CANDIDATE: So it starts with a few of us, it's going to be a different, different ballgame.

LAH (voice-over): The 35-year-old first time candidate is a front runner and a bitter and expensive primary battle. Cutting tech bro flare, Masters tout some far right views.

MASTERS: This is designed to kill people.

LAH (voice-over): He downplays January 6.

MASTERS: It wasn't a coup. It wasn't an insurrection. This was trespassing.

LAH (voice-over): Repeats the racist great replacement theory.

MASTERS: What the left really wants to do is change the demographics of this country. They do. They want to do that so they can consolidate power, and so they can never lose another election.

LAH (voice-over): And is an election denier.

MASTERS: I think Trump won in 2020.\

LAH (voice-over): That helped land Donald Trump's endorsement.

DONALD TRUMP (R) FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Like Masters has my complete and total endorsement.

JANET MOORE, BLAKE MASTERS SUPPORTER: Why am I for Blake? Very energetic, he's young. He's very bright.

LAH (voice-over): Arizona supporter see Masters carving a new path for Republicans in a state that has elected GOP senators like John McCain and Jeff Flake.

NANCY WINTERS, BLAKE MASTERS SUPPORTER: I think he represents the younger generation is that that's what we need.

DANDRE RIPPY, BLAKE MASTERS SUPPORTER: He's younger he's coming from. He got endorsed by Peter Thiel. He will look at that as if it's a negative. That's not, I think that's a great thing.

LAH (voice-over): Masters is a protege of Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley tech billionaire and Republican Kingmaker through multimillion dollar campaign donations. Thiel dropped 10 million into JD Vance's Ohio Senate campaign. He went on to win the Republican nomination.

Thiel also plowed 13 million into Masters, a Stanford grad and venture capitalist trying to win over a mega base.

MASTERS: Peter Thiel, the one America first billionaire that we have, OK, another fan. I think he's great. OK. And you know what I'm proud of Peter.

MARCUS DELL'ARTINO, PARTNER, FIRST STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: You know, he looks like he walked right out of the Palo Alto campus, a Google. And I think that, you know, that's not something that Republican conservatives are used to. The Republican Party is having a difficult time catching up to what the definition of conservative is. And I think that we in Arizona are feeling the heart of that.

JIM LAMON (R-AZ) SENATE CANDIDATE: The last thing we need to take on big tech is somebody from big tech.

LAH (voice-over): Another leading contender in the race is solar exec and self funder Jim Lamon attacking Masters on claims he's beholden to Peter Thiel. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fake Blake Masters is the puppet of California big tech.

LAH (on-camera): Is it possible for you to win the nomination without Trump's backing?


LAMON: Oh, absolute. Look the people of this state realize that the President hasn't always made the right decisions, he's made a really bad one in this particular case. Just, you know, put on my big boy pants and let's go make sure that we continue to get our message out.

LAH (voice-over): But Masters contents Lamon and the rest of the field are a part of Arizona's past.

(on-camera): You talked a lot about bringing new blood, new vision to the Senate.


MASTERS: (INAUDIBLE) in the Senate?

LAH: Sixty four.

MASTERS: Sixty four and a half. I think we got to get some new energy, new fight right pretty soon. Like I said, we're going to have a young dynamic America first caucus.

LAH (voice-over): Kyung Lah, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


COOPER: The race goes on. The news continues. Let's hand over to Kasie Hunt in "CNN TONIGHT." Kasie.