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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Man Who Tackled Club Q Gunman Speaks Out; Colorado Governor On Club Q Shooting: This Is Horrific, Sickening, And Devastating; Special Counsel In Mar-a-Lago, Jan. 6 Investigations Begins Work With No Sign Probes Will Slow Down; New Details In The University Of Idaho Murders Investigation; CNN Inside Ukrainian Recon Team Targeting Russian Invaders. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 21, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: He said sessions in a hyperbaric chamber helped him recover. He will continue to receive outpatient treatment.

The hospital says Leno is grateful for all the good wishes coming his way and his doctors still optimistic that he will make a full recovery.

Thanks so much for joining us.

Don't forget you can watch "OUTFRONT" anytime anywhere. You just have to go to CNN Go. Until then, AC 360 starts now.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: "I was done with war."

Tonight, you will meet the retired Army Major who says he had seen a lifetime's worth of violence already in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to be confronted again with his family and friends at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub.

John Berman here, in for Anderson.

Richard Fierro says he went into combat mode to disarm the gunman who opened fire at Club Q Saturday night in Colorado Springs. Authorities late today credited him and another man, Thomas James, with saving lives.


CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE: Two absolute heroes. If not for them, I don't know how many other people would have been injured. One of them was injured and is in the hospital.

But they did an amazing job.


BERMAN: As it stands, the gunman armed with a handgun and an AR-15 style rifle killed five and wounded 17 others. Chief Vasquez named them this evening saying that too often, we lose track of the victims when focusing on the suspect, something we will not do tonight, except to say he had a previous violent encounter with the law and now faces murder and possible hate crime charges.

The victims then are Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston, and Derrick Rump -- our hearts go out to those who loved them, and then we only know a little about some of their lives.

We can tell you tonight that Ashley Paugh worked with a nonprofit helping foster children. Her husband says she was a loving mother whose daughter was her whole world and that she loved hunting, fishing, and being outdoors.

Kelly Loving's sister released a brief statement tonight calling her sweet and caring, and a wonderful person.

Derrick Rump was from Eastern Pennsylvania and worked as a bartender at the club. His sister says that in Colorado Springs, he found a community of people he loved very much. He made a difference in so many people's lives, she says, and that's where he wanted to be.

Derrick worked side by side with Daniel Aston. He was a bar supervisor, the best anybody could ask for says another bartender. Daniel moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to his parents. His mother says he thought himself shy, but wasn't. He had so much more life to give us, she said.

Raymond Green Vance's family says he had just landed a new job and couldn't wait to save enough money to get his own apartment. They say he was a kind, selfless young adult with his entire life ahead of him. He was at Club Q with his longtime girlfriend and her parents, including her father, Richard Fierro, who did help stop the gunman, but not before Raymond was fatally wounded.

Now, Richard and I spoke just before airtime and I do want to warn you, it is a raw emotional discussion and what he describes is as graphic as you might imagine.


BERMAN: Major Fierro, so take us back to when the gunman first entered the club. What happened? Because you're quoted in "The New York Times" as saying you went into combat mode. What instincts kicked in from your tours in Iraq and Afghanistan?

RICHARD FIERRO, TOOK DOWN GUNMAN IN CLUB Q SHOOTING: Listen, first of all, I just want to say this. This is in no way about me.

My daughter is grieving the loss of her boyfriend. He was in our lives for six years, Raymond was a great young man. He was on his way to do some amazing things. And for me, right now, it's about healing.

I have two friends still in the hospital that were shot my. Best friends here in this street. My whole Colorado Springs family was there. And so what I think I was doing was protecting my family, which is what I do, and sometimes to a fault, and I do things -- because, you know, I am fight or flight. I think I tend to go fight a lot more and it's not. I don't know if it's good or not, it doesn't matter.

Either way, I went to the ground because as soon as I heard the rounds, I dove down. I pushed over my friend as best I could and we both hit the ground, me and Chip.

I put my back against the -- I tried to stand up and I fell, and then I fell against -- it's like a bench seating. And I, at that point, I saw the shooter. I had no idea what was going on.

But apparently I saw him going to the patio area because I saw a lot of people in the window. It may not even have been a window. But I saw a lot of people and this guy was there and I saw the ACU pattern flag pits, and for me that was like, there's a handle, I'm getting it.

So I ran across the room, grabbed the handle, pulled them down, and then started to -- I think I went for his gun with him. His rifle flew in front of him. And the young man that tried to jump in there with me he -- we both either pulled him down or whatever, but he ended up at his head right next to the AR and then with the AR, I told him push the AR. Get the AR away from him.


The kid push the AR. I don't know what his name was. And then I proceeded to take his other weapon, a pistol, and then just start hitting him where I could, but the armor is in the way and I just started -- I found a crease between his armor in his head, and I just started wailing away with his gun.

And then I told the kid in front of me, kick him, keep kicking him. And we were -- I was guiding, I was telling people, call 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1.

I brought him down. I was in mode. I was doing what I did -- I do downrange, you know. I trained for this. I don't want to ever do this. I didn't even retire because I was just -- I was done doing this stuff. It was too much.

And you know, it came in handy and I got to protect my kid, I lost my kid's boyfriend. I tried. I tried to help everybody in there. I still feel bad that five people -- there are five people that didn't go home, and it's this [bleep] guy. This guy, I told him, while I was hitting him, I said, I am going to kill you, man because you tried to kill my friends.

My family was in there. My little girl was in there with her with her --

BERMAN: We are sorry for the loss that you and your family have gone through, for the loss of your daughter's boyfriend and we are so sorry for your two friends that are still recovering in there. And I can't imagine going through you and your family did, even with your training.

Your training was for warzone. You trained to do that in combat. You know, not out for a night on the town.

FIERRO: Yes, but it lives in you. If you actually do this stuff, it is in you. I was proud to be a soldier. I don't like these guys running around here doing GI Joe stuff, and they're not. I'm not a GI Joe. I'm just a normal guy, man.

I'm protecting my family, and I reached up and I did what I had do it. And honestly, I don't care about myself in that moment. I cared about everybody that was around me and I cared especially about my family.

As soon as I got done with that guy and the cop came in, I went across the room and started first aid with my friend who was shot in the chest and the legs and the arms, and I told her, Joanne, stay with me. Look me in the eye. Stay with me. And I moved her head so she wouldn't see her heart because she was shot.

And Chip was right there, her husband was reaching for her. I put her hand in his hand so that they can be together. I didn't know that if they were going to make it.

This guy, man. This whole thing was a lot.

My daughter and wife should have never experienced combat in Colorado Springs, and everybody in that building experienced combat that night, not to their own accord, but because they were forced to.

And I told my daughter, for me downrange, it was always, hey, get in the next patrol, get in the next patrol, and you're done. Get over it. Get in the next patrol.

They don't have that option. Nobody in that building has the option to get on the next patrol. They have to live with this now to whatever -- it is a lot for any human, man.

This kid that was helping me. He was kicking another human in the head, and I told him to do it. I don't -- I don't know what to do, you know.

There was a beautiful -- one of the performers was walking by when the kid was getting tired of kicking and she helped and kicked them with the high heels that she had on and then ran because she is probably scared. I don't know what's going on in there.

I was trying to get people to call the police and that was it. I told the mayor I'm not -- I'm not -- I'm not a hero. I'm just a guy that wanted to protect his kids and his wife and I still didn't get to protect her boyfriend.

BERMAN: Major, you helped a lot of people. You helped a lot of people and no one should ever, ever go through what you or your family or the people in that bar went through that night.

Tell us about -- tell us about Raymond Vance. Tell us about your daughter's boyfriend. How will you remember him?

FIERRO: I'm holding his hand. They're going through a lot. And she's 22, but she loved this boy. She's been with him.

So we went to go see her junior prom date, little Wyatt. The kid was with her since elementary school, we got here in 2007 when I was still in the Army. Wyatt Finn was there the whole time, her best friend, we went to go see perform a drag show. He was amazing. Great kid.


And then this happens and my daughter loses her prom date, her boyfriend that she has been with forever. His mom, we were telling her that we thought he was out there somewhere. She came by our house and we were at the hospital. I was still with the cops that I'm trying to get -- how do we get Raymond?

BERMAN: We're so sorry. I'm just so sorry. I see someone is rubbing your shoulder there. How are your wife and daughter doing?

FIERRO: They're hurting, man. They're hurting. But we have to do what we can and we're strong man. We walked out. I told the three of them when we were on our way home from the hospital. My daughter spoke to me. I said, we've got to be strong for the three of us.

And last night when me and my daughter broke down, we both told each other we're going to be there for each other the whole time, because we still have got to kick this guy, and we have to face it in Court.

I'm not. I feel no sorry for that dude. I hope he's in the hospital hurting because he killed [bleep]. He killed family.

BERMAN: Major, you've been strong for a lot of people. Now, people are going to be there for you and help take care of you and you're going to take care of each other through this.

I know it's not easy and I know it's going to be a tough several days and weeks and months and some of the pain is never going to go away. But you helped a lot of people. You helped a lot of people and I want to thank you for what you've done and I want to thank you for talking to us tonight.

And please take care of yourself, your wife and daughter, give them giant hugs for us.

FIERRO: Before you go. I do -- I want to apologize for the people that didn't get their kids, because all of them deserved to have their kids home tonight.

BERMAN: There is no question about that. All of those people deserved to be home with their families tonight, and they're not.

Former Army Major Richard Fierro, again, thank you for what you did.

FIERRO: Thank you.

BERMAN: You are a hero. Our best to you and your family.

FIERRO: Thank you.


BERMAN: As the Colorado Springs Police Chief said today, at least 17 people suffered gunshot wounds, Saturday night.

Barrett Hudson is one of them recovering tonight after being shot seven times and we spoke to him just a short time ago.


BERMAN: So Barrett, first of all, how are you doing? And where do things stand with your recovery?

BARRETT HUDSON, CLUB Q SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I am doing actually very well. I did not expect to make it. A dancer did not expect to walk. As soon as I'm walking, I walked today. They don't know whether or not I have to even actually go to do the rehabilitation thing.

BERMAN: What a miracle. Walk us through if you can what happened inside the club?

HUDSON: So, I've never been there before. I just moved to Colorado a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to check it out. I wasn't even there probably thirty, forty-five minutes.

To give you guys an example, to paint a picture, I've never heard gunshots in the club before besides that time. I've heard balloons go off, you know, when people do parties and stuff, people will pop them and that kind of sounds like a gunshot, but like a lower version of it because the music is so loud.

So then when you hear gunshots, it's like a louder version of a balloon, but it was repeatedly over, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop and then about seven to 10, I knew something was wrong.

I looked to my right. The gunman -- the door had shut. The gunman is standing there and this dude actually put his hands down. He put them up and put them like down and took a step or two back, and the gunman murdered him right in front of me.

You know, I'm all over the place right now. I apologize. I'm on a lot of pain medicine.

I actually -- everyone took off running. I took off running to the back and I got shot. I knew I got shot a few times. I fell down. He proceeded to shoot me. I got back up. I made it out of the back of the club.


I had been shot seven times this -- or seven times by now. I've been grazed once. I hopped on a table, hopped about a 10 to 12-foot chain link fence. It might have been head bar bars at the top, I don't know. I ran about 20 to 30 yards, jumped down about 10 to 15 feet off of a ledge and I ran across the street to 7-Eleven and it is where I collapsed.

These people helped me. They stopped the bleeding. They saved my life. And they had me almost completely naked because they had to cut my clothes off to find out where I was bleeding from and everything.

And once they started counting out the bullet holes, and they got past five. I reached my -- I got my phone and I called my dad, because I mean -- me and my dad are like best friends. It's really a great, weird relationship. He's always stood by me through thick and thin and that was the last person that I wanted to talk to.

And I don't know how I'm here. I do not know how I'm here. I don't know how I'm walking. All seven bullets missed my spine, missed my liver, missed my colon. They cut me in five places in my chest and put cameras in and went through everything, and I got really, really lucky. And I don't know why I'm still here, but I'm very glad to be here.

BERMAN: You've got more to do. You've got more to do...

HUDSON: Yes, sir.

BERMAN: ... in this life, Barrett. That conversation with your dad, who you call your best friend, what was that like?

HUDSON: I just remember calling him, telling him I loved him. I loved him. And I was -- and I've been shot. And after that, somebody took the phone because I couldn't really do sentences. I started shaking real bad.

And thank God, I do work out a lot and I know, I did my breathing exercises and I stopped shaking and the ambulance took like 20 to 30 minutes to get there. They had called them. I didn't call -- the gas station attendant did. And we waved down so many ambulances and that's fine. Nobody stopped.

And they were actually about to take me in a car. But finally, the police arrived, then fire, and then medic. Then the medics actually came to see me earlier today in the hospital.

BERMAN: Barrett, what do you want people to know as you sit here recovering tonight?

HUDSON: That's a great question. Well, I had no clue I would still be sitting here, but what has helped with the trauma is actually isn't the worst thing that's ever happened to me in life, it is sharing other people's stories.

So if I can help one person out of a hundred thousand people out that just one person hears this story, they help them in any way they can, then I feel like I did good. And I love -- I'm a people pleaser and I know you see me sitting here smiling always. Even before this happened, I was looking at the cup half full, not half empty, and I will never -- I don't think I'll ever look at anything to where oh, this hurts or a negative way. Everything -- so much has changed in the last 48 hours.

BERMAN: Barrett, I've got to say your smile is making us all feel better. We're so happy to see you smiling.

It's going to be a hard recovery, not just physically, but I think emotionally and mentally. Take the time you need and please take care of yourself.

HUDSON: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Thank you, guys.


BERMAN: And next Colorado's Governor, Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected Governor in this country to talk about the shooting. He joins us.

And later, new details that only deepen the mystery at the University of Idaho. Four students murdered in the middle of the night. More than a week later, still no sign of a suspect or murder weapon or answers to how someone can murder four people without waking up their roommates.



BERMAN: It's impossible to unhear what Richard Fierro said just before the break, a true hero who saved so many lives, yet, he could not stop thinking of the lives no one could have saved and those who loved them so dearly.

He said the other parents of the five who were killed in Colorado Springs including his daughter's longtime boyfriend, "All of them deserve to have their kids home tonight."

We are talking tonight about a tragedy by any definition, but also potentially a hate crime. Authorities have yet to make that determination, but if they do, it would neither be the first this year, the first this month, or even the first in the last several days. The New York City Police Department said today they are seeking a suspect in a window smashing in an LGBTQ bar on Saturday.

With us now is Jared Polis. He is the Governor of Colorado, and Governor Polis, thank you so much for being with us tonight, and I am so sorry, it is under these circumstances.

Walk us through if you can, just how big a part of the community Club Q is in Colorado Springs and how members of that community are doing?


GOV. JARED POLIS (D-CO): First, thank you to American hero, Richard Fierro and thank you for featuring him on your show. His actions along with the actions of Thomas James, who himself is recovering from bullet wounds helped save the lives of perhaps dozens of other attendees at Club Q.

Colorado Springs is our second largest city in Colorado. Club Q is the main LGBTQ+ venue. It's a respite for people across not just El Paso County, but Southern Colorado, Northern New Mexico, a place that builds community in areas of the State in the country, which are sometimes more difficult to be who you are, and be honest, and open, and even beyond the lives that were shattered, irrevocably lost.

This is just a blow to so many people who, who really saw this as a place of safety and a place of refuge.

BERMAN: So you see this attack and the threats against gays this past summer during Pride. Fundamentalist Pastors, some calling for gays to be executed.

Does something feel different this time around even maybe more dangerous for a community that has been the victim of bigotry and violence for so long?

POLIS: You know, it's easy and tempting just to tune the crazy talk out, and we all see it, whether it's your Twitter feed or Facebook page or comments in the media, but I think it's too dangerous to tune out. We need to call it out aggressively and say it's not okay to say that some group of Americans is somehow the enemy just because of who they are or who they love. We're all in this together, we need to focus on unity. We need to focus on the true belief that we all value, care about, and love one another.

BERMAN: Governor, you signed a Red Flag Law in 2019. Is it clear to you why it wasn't used against this alleged shooter prior to the attack because as you know, just last year, law enforcement arrested this person for threatening to cause harm to his mother with a "homemade bomb," multiple weapons and ammunition.

POLIS: So, you know, again, we don't have all the specifics of this case. I want to speak generally to what the Red Flag Law allows and should allow for in a case where somebody, let's say, you know, threatens to bomb or threatens to shoot something.

Let's say the charges are dropped or they're not pursued, it's a way that at least that person loses legal access to their weapons, right? If they're not going to go to prison for it, if they weren't fully convicted in a Court, at least for a period of time until they've recovered their mental health, they lose access to their weapons. This is a way to reduce self-harm and suicide, as well as to reduce violent actions.

We need our law enforcement officers across the State to really make sure that they use it when appropriate, to improve public safety. It's a powerful tool. We want to make sure we know that that's available in the State of Colorado and other States that have Red Flag Laws.

BERMAN: Should it have been used this time around?

POLIS: Well, I think look, we haven't seen the specifics of exactly what the charges were. It certainly looks like in a case where, you know, there was gun action, violence that was threatened or bomb action, violence that was threatened. That type of case would be a very good candidate for Red Flag Law, which can either be brought by the family, or it can be brought by law enforcement, by a Sheriff's Office, by a police department.

And look, there is going to be a lot of opportunities as the facts emerge from this case, to learn about what steps across the nation we need to take to improve safety.

But first of all, let's make sure we focus on a rhetoric of healing rather than a rhetoric of divisive this, right? We focus on love rather than hate. Respect our differences. We are stronger because of our diversity.

And at the same time, we need to take a solid look at our public safety laws, including Red Flag Laws to make sure that they're brought to bear when they can save lives.

BERMAN: Along those lines, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, we are thinking about the community in Colorado Springs. Thank you so much for being with us tonight. We wish you the best.

POLIS: Thank you.

BERMAN: Coming up: We are going to switch to politics for a moment. We have an update of the Special Counsel now in charge of those separate Federal investigations involving former President Trump, also Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe will join us with his insight into what that could mean for potential charges coming during a presidential campaign.



BERMAN: The Special Counsel the Justice Department appointed on Friday to oversee its separate investigations into former President Trump now that he is a presidential candidate is already getting into the files that was the message conveyed in federal court today involving one of those cases. That case involves the possible mishandling of documents marked classified found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation. Now there's a separate federal investigation into Trump's actions surrounding the attempts to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election on January 6. In another development today Manhattan prosecutors rested their tax fraud case into Trump's family business. That case could go to a jury as soon as next week.

I'm joined now by Harvard Law School Professor, Laurence Tribe. He's also the co-author of To End A Presidency The Power Of Impeachment. Professor, great to see you tonight. We haven't had a chance to talk to you. What's your reaction to the appointment of the Special Counsel by the Attorney General?

LAURENCE TRIBE, PROFESSPR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: I think it was the right move. Although I had urged doing this many months ago in March, but more recently, I thought that because Merrick Garland was apparently not really ready to proceed, that he ought to call things together and bring indictments. The evidence was clear enough and I thought appointing a special counsel might delay things. He's clearly found a special counsel who won't delay a thing. He's hitting the ground running. He clearly has enormous experience. He's come right off of the war crimes trials that he's handling in Kosovo. He's been in charge of political corruption trials. He's battle hardened, he's absolutely ready. And Garland emphasize the need for speed is clearly not comeback from The Hague in order to preside over the winding up of an unsuccessful investigation.


The marching orders, he has to conclude things as quickly as possible. And I take that to mean a very likely set of indictments arising both out of Mar-a-Lago and the attempt to overturn the election.

BERMAN: Well, how complicated would it be practically speaking, to bring indictments against a former president running for president and to do it in a timely enough fashion, that some aspect of the case won't be bumping right up against a presidential election?

TRIBE: Well, the sooner the better, because the delays that are bound to be part of the former president's strategy, will make it bump up against the election. But Merrick Garland is not going to let that deter him at all. He's made that clear. The fact that we have someone who thinks he can protect himself by claiming that he wants to be president, that that's all fine. But it's not up to him. Interestingly, he said he doesn't intend to participate in the work of the Special Counsel. Well, that's nice. No one's asking him, it's not up to him. The Special Counsel has very broad power, the ultimate decision of whether and when to indict and for which of them the many available charges, is going to be up to Merrick Garland.

But while he's running the entire Justice Department with 115,000 employees, hundreds of investigations all over the world, Garland can't be the person to handle the day-to-day decisions in this investigation and the prosecution as to which will lead and they don't need to be run up the totem pole through the bureaucracy of the Department of Justice, because the marching orders of this special counsel are to reach your conclusion, as expeditiously and fairly as possible. Put it on the Attorney General's desk. The Attorney General I think will look at it and have every reason to approve it.

BERMAN: You --


BERMAN: You brought up what the former president said he would not partake in the investigation. Obviously, that isn't his choice. I mean, he is presumably the subject of this investigation is quite clear now by the appointment of a special counsel. What do you think his legal strategy will be going forward?

TRIBE: Delay, delay and delay. That's all he's got going for him? I don't think he has any good defenses. At one point he said he was going to defend against the charges of mishandling the top-secret information by saying that it was no longer top secret. He had thought that he declassified it just by thinking that it was declassified, that telepathy defense that's not going to get him anywhere. And with respect to the attempt to obstruct the transfer of power to President Biden leading up to the violent insurrection. Originally, I think he was going to say, I didn't have much to do with it. I just made a speech.

But now we know is the result of the extraordinary work of the January 6 committee and a great deal else. We know that he was right in the middle of it. He was receiving all of the information. He was encouraging them to be violent at the Capitol. He was basically abandoning his own Vice President to the gallows. There really is no good defense for any of it. The only reason he hasn't already been indicted is that Garland is trying and I know he's always meticulous when he was my student. He was extremely careful 50 years ago, 45 years ago and guess anyway, he's trying to dot every I cross every T and now with this special counsel, I think he's got someone who's going to carry that out. And we'll see.

BERMAN: The Attorney General no doubt going to check his report card from 45 years ago. Professor Tribe thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

TRIBE: Thank you.

BERMAN: Coming up, the growing questions as police investigate the murders of four University of Idaho students but there are some new details for investigators next I'm going to speak with a retired Cold Case investigator about what the new information could tell us about the attack.



BERMAN: Today, we have more information in the investigation into the mysterious murders of four University of Idaho students and it's been more than a week since the students were found dead in an off-campus home. And at this hour, the search continues for a suspect. Moscow police say they have fielded more than 600 tips and conducted more than 90 interviews so far, and they're trying to fill in the holes in the hours leading up to the murders. According to police, two of the victims used a private party for a ride home that night. All four were back at the house by about 1:45 a.m.

The sister of one of the victims told The New York Times there were seven unanswered calls from her sister's phone to her former boyfriend between 2:26 and 2:52 a.m. that night. The sister also said their home was known to be a party house and some previous visitors might have had access to their door code. Despite this, there are still more questions and answers in this case.

Joining me now is host of HLN's Real Life Nightmare, retired Cold Case investigator Paul Holes. Paul, great to see you. What do you make of this case so far, particularly what seems to be the scarcity of information or at least lack of publicly released information? Do you think that maybe authorities know more than the revealing?

PAUL HOLES, HOST, HLN'S REAL LIFE NIGHTMARE: Well, there's no question that authorities know more than what they're revealing. But I think, you know, as I'm watching this case and watch it unfold, I think authorities are still trying to figure out exactly what they're dealing with. You know, initially they came out and said, this appears to be a targeted attack, there is no concern to the rest of the public. But then since then they've retracted that. And I believe, as they investigate this case are starting to realize it's maybe more complicated than what they first thought.

BERMAN: How so?

HOLES: Well, I believe what's happening is that you have four victims, and this is obviously a huge case. It's very complicated. And when they went into this crime scene, they likely saw that maybe one or two of the victims had more violence inflicted on them, the offender spent more time with them and they thought OK, these were the intended target. gets and that the other victims in the house were secondary.


So, they focus their initial investigation thinking OK it's going to be something a relationship, some sort of prior interaction that the offender had with those particular victims. However, when that didn't pan out, now, I think what their understanding is, is that there is a possibility that the offender, the killer, is a complete stranger to these victims, and that the reason that they're seeing that some of the victims had more violence on them was due to the circumstances as the violence was being inflicted.

BERMAN: The details we mentioned about the hours leading up to the murders, how crucial is the timeline? And maybe how far would you go back looking?

HOLES: Well, you know, the timeline is absolutely crucial. It's possible that that night that while the victims are out enjoying their, their college years that the offender could have interacted with them or have seen them and follow them back. So that is absolutely mandated to follow up on However, right now they've only released information of the victims' timelines for that evening. And oftentimes killers make the decision to kill within 72 hours, three days before the attack. So, they need to go back and actually figure out well what's been going on in these victim glide three days prior to this attack, if not further.

BERMAN: We just got about 30 seconds left. Can you wrap your head around the fact that there were two other roommates who seem to have you know, slept through the murders and were not attacked?

HOLES: Well, you know, from afar you have six people inside this house for are killed for me, it's -- where are these victims inside the house. These two roommates may have been outsets more isolated than where the other victims were. And that's why they were spared or they weren't the target of this particular offender.

BERMAN: Paul Holes, we appreciate your time tonight helping us understand which at this point is really still a big mystery. You can all see more of Paul on Real Life Nightmare Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HLN.

Just ahead, we're going to go live to Ukraine with a CNN exclusive look at how Kherson was liberated. Sam Kiley visits a recon unit that includes fighters from the west with experienced fighting ISIS in Syria to learn how they helped liberate the city.



BERMAN: A CNN exclusive now and inside look at the battle for Kherson in Ukraine, as officials now urged residents of the recently liberated city to evacuate due to issues with power and infrastructure heading into the brutally cold winter months. CNN has obtained video from reconnaissance unit involved in that fight against the Russians, many in that unit from Western countries including the U.S. and some also fought alongside the Kurds against ISIS in Syria.

Our senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley has the story.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Offensive, hypervigilance these foreign volunteers are reconnaissance soldiers, reliving weeks of fear and final victory in the battle for Kherson.


KILEY (voice-over): Many veterans of the Kurd campaigns against ISIS in Syria. Now they work beyond the frontlines. Deep into enemy territory for Ukraine.

MACER GIFFORD, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: We would get so close to the Russians that we could hear them talking. We could hear them cooking their food and chopping the wood to build their shelters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Destroy the guns (INAUDIBLE). It's like observation textbook where they wrote what's going on.

KILEY (voice-over): Andrews (ph) military callsign is Sneaky. And that's what the eight recon units under his command must be. Getting spotted here during the campaign to catch Kherson is nearly fatal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Comeback, while they were.

KILEY (voice-over): But they may cough with a trove of stolen documents in Russian technology, all leading to moments like this, the obliteration of a Russian command center and the surrender of the Russian Senior Sergeant, a paratrooper abandoned by his comrades in retreat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were shooting with artillery. He's hit and one more guy a captain, Russian take the Captain but left him.

KILEY (on-camera): Is that him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, platoon commander.

KILEY (voice-over): He tells them he's been hiding out for six days, then warns the Ukrainians that Russian aircraft could attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says, run out from here because aviation is shooting at this place.

KILEY (voice-over): They've been bombing here a lot, he says. He's injured but now safe.

Russian airstrikes on their abandoned positions were a constant danger for the recon unit during the grinding advance on Kherson over the autumn. Stinger anti-aircraft missiles the mixed blessing missing with one can attract retribution from the air.

Recon is about gathering intelligence and hunting targets using drones to fine tune artillery. For months bringing in strikes like this trying to force the Russians to run and suddenly across the whole front that's what they did run.

In chasing the Russians out, crossings like this have often been hit with artillery and there are mortar gamble. Survival that giggling relief. But the rewards they say worth it.

DAMIEN RODRIGUEZ, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: Well, yes, of course when I seen villagers, you know, they've seen the Ukrainian military for the first time and who knows how long eight months at least. Yes, of course, we got a little teary eyed you say? Everybody crying and thanking us for help, for helping their village and, yes, of course it getting.




BERMAN: Just incredible footage and Sam Kiley joins us now. What a report Sam. In addition to that, I do want to mention one area of concern over the last few days was shelling near the Zaporizhzhya power plant. What's the latest on that?

KILEY: Well, as you know, John, it's been a problem since March since the Russians captured that nuclear power station. It's got Ukrainian staff and Russian nuclear scientists also working there. But the problem is that it is also firebase used by the Russians. Now over the weekend, the International Atomic Energy Authority, which has inspectors has observers rather in that plant, precisely to keep an eye out for this sort of eventuality said that there was very heavy shelling, indeed, very close to the plant hitting a number of elements of the plant itself, not crucially, the nuclear reactors. There are six there. It's the biggest in Europe, but causing great consternation once again, John.

BERMAN: Sam Kiley, just terrific work. Thank you so much for being with us. Stay safe.

We'll be right back.


BERMAN: We want to leave you where we began tonight with the hard fact that five people with full lies ahead of them are instead being grieved over. Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, Daniel Aston, and Derrick Rump. Their lives ended over the weekend at what they thought was a place to celebrate, to laugh, to make new memories, a place they thought of community safety and love. Instead, it became a reminder of how precious those things are. A reminder now about their absence, but also, in the case of heroes, Richard Fierro and Thomas James about how even the darkest moments leave room for light and strength and grace.


The news continues. So, let's hand it over to Kasie Hunt in "CNN TONIGHT." Kasie.