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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Louisiana Gov. Declares State Of Emergency As Tornadoes Hit State; Sandy Hook Survivor On Uvalde School Shooting: "I Felt Like Nothing Had Changed"; Dad Of Kenny DeLand Talks About His Disappearance In France. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 14, 2022 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: According to a Louisiana official, we just spoke with, have already killed at least three, in that state.


COOPER: Welcome back. More now on a breaking news.

At least three people are dead, across Louisiana, with tornadoes, tearing through the state. One of them in New Orleans, at least one person is reported dead after a tornado hit her home, in St. Charles Parish, about 20 miles upriver, from the city. Several are injured.

Much of St. Charles and Jefferson Parish, are without power. Officials say they'll be out conducting search and rescue efforts throughout the night. Mayor of Gretna, Louisiana, across the river from New Orleans, calls the severe weather, worse than Hurricane Ida.

Dozens of tornadoes have battered the South, the last two days. Want to get the latest, from Jennifer Gray, who's at the CNN Weather Center.

So, what's the latest impact, in New Orleans?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, luckily, these storms are moving out of New Orleans. They have cleared the area.

But this is a look at the storms, as they came through, just with incredible fury. As you mentioned, a couple of tornadoes, touched down, around the area, a lot of damage. And I think when the sun, comes up tomorrow, we'll really see a scope of what all happened.

We've had over 40 tornadoes, reported, just since yesterday, as you remember, started in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and still going strong. We do expect this tornado threat, to last, throughout the overnight hours, into tonight, and into tomorrow morning.

Right now, we do have some watch boxes still out, no tornado warnings to speak up, but we do plan on seeing more, throughout the overnight hours. It is quite possible.

This is going to continue to head to the east, dump tremendous amounts of rain, very gusty winds, large hail, again, the possibility of tornadoes, throughout the overnight, into tomorrow.


And this is at 4:30 AM, Thursday morning. Also, have a wintry side, to this, with blizzard conditions still ongoing that we've been talking about, since yesterday, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Jennifer Gray, appreciate it.

Joining us now, Jefferson Parish President, Cynthia Lee Sheng.

I appreciate you joining us. What are you seeing, right now, in your parish? How are things?

How are things in your parish?

Hey, it's Anderson Cooper. Can you hear me?


COOPER: Great. How are things going in your parish?

LEE SHENG: It's a rough day, it really is. The tornadoes hit. It touched down in several parts of our parish. And then, within about an hour and a half, we lost daylight.

So, right now, we're getting ready to do our second assessment. We're bringing out light poles. We're trying to light up the blocks. But I'm in an area, right now, that not far from a nine-by-five block area that the tornado touched down many times. So, there's a lot of destruction.

But luckily, and fortunately, so far, we do not have any fatalities. We've been very, very blessed about that.

COOPER: So, because darkness fell so quickly, you haven't been able to kind of access the true extent of the damage, or survey everything yet, right?

You haven't been able to get to everywhere you'd like to, at this stage, have you?

LEE SHENG: We were able to initially go out, and do an initial assessment. Obviously, it's a search and rescue, just trying to identify, and make sure nobody is caught, under houses. Some neighbors were checking on other neighbors. We did rescue some people.

And now, as I said, we're going to go through our second assessment, really, look at the damage, talk to more people. And we have teams going out. And we'll be working through the night. And, as I said, we're going to bring out additional resources. We're trying to light up the blocks. The whole area's dark out here. I'm in a hangar, right now. But the whole area is dark. So, it's difficult to do the work.

But it's eerie in that, we're used to having hurricanes here. But it's the same. Look, people want to help themselves. People are already in the dark, trying to clean their houses, pull stuff, to the driveway. It's a very sad that we're dealing with this in December, when we thought we got through the hurricane season OK.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, is this -- this isn't normal for December, is it?

LEE SHENG: This is not normal for us. And tornadoes are not normal for us. We had one hit, last year. And this one seems like it kind of took the same path.

But we are not known to be a tornado kind of area. But what we say is these new weather patterns that we're seeing, in the last couple of years are very, very different. But for us, to have a tornado, this is really, really different for us.

COOPER: So, what's your message, to folks, in Jefferson Parish, and surrounding areas, right now?

LEE SHENG: I'm sorry. I lost you a little bit.

COOPER: What's your message to folks, in Jefferson Parish, and surrounding parishes?

LEE SHENG: For tomorrow, we don't want people to come sightsee. We have a lot of light poles that are down. We have a lot of exposed wires. It's a very dangerous situation, you know? So, even for us, going through it, for the last couple of hours, we were trying to be very careful.

But we're grateful, Anderson that we did not have loss of life. It's hard to look people in the eye. And I know that look well from hurricanes. It's almost like they're just so shaken up. But it's a different cry, from someone, who lost a loved one. And I just thank God that I'm not hearing that cry, tonight.


LEE SHENG: I'm seeing a different kind of shock in kind of way they're going to have to put their life, together, right before Christmas. But it could be so much worse for us. And so, we're very blessed--


LEE SHENG: --that we're not hearing that tonight.

COOPER: Well, that is some good news.

Cynthia Lee Sheng, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you. Good luck, to you, tomorrow, and to everybody there, in Jefferson Parish.

I want to go to Larry Richard. He's President of Iberia Parish, Southwest of Baton Rouge.

Mr. Richard thanks for joining us.

The pictures out of New Iberia, tonight, have been really disturbing. What's the latest you can tell us, about the situation there?

M. LARRY RICHARD, IBERIA PARISH, LA PRESIDENT: Well, we had some devastation, Anderson, here, in Iberia Parish. Our hospital got substantial damage. We have subdivisions that got pretty well messed up, at the hospital, where I'm standing, right now.

Of course, I'm in the parking lot, for employees. And we had -- I mean, the parking lot was full of people and -- excuse me, full of cars, and sort of cars been, for the most part, towed away. The hospital itself got some damage at the doctor's -- what a doctor's offices are. So, we're going to -- we're going to be down for a minute, at the hospital.

The areas that was hit was near the Port of Iberia, going to subdivision called Southport subdivision. And we had mobile homes flipped, houses just completely destroyed, families all torn apart. And it's so funny because when you look at where the tornado hit, it's total devastation. And the house right next to it had been just standing nice and--

COOPER: Right.


RICHARD: --nice like (inaudible) ever. So, it's a lot of pain, right? But the good thing about this here is we didn't have any deaths at all.


RICHARD: That's we had stuff (inaudible) people that got hurt, but no deaths.

COOPER: That's certainly great news.

I'm told we have video of a tornado, touching down, in New Iberia. I just want to play that.







COOPER: To actually see it like this, what time was the worst of it? Do you know?

RICHARD: I would say somewhere around 11, around the 11:30, something like that, is when it really got serious, around here. It came near Avery Island, which I'm sure Anderson, you don't know what I had said. But if you ever heard of Tabasco, that's where we make the Tabasco.


RICHARD: So, it came around Avery Island, from the Delcambre area, coming into the Port of Iberia, and then it came into the City of New Iberia. It was pretty well -- it was serious.

We had like two tornadoes that touched down. And so, we got some -- we got some serious damage here. So, it's going to take a while, before people are going to be, or things are going to be back to normal, for real. So today--


RICHARD: Sorry, go ahead.

COOPER: At this point, you feel -- I mean, I know, it got dark pretty quick. Do you feel like you have a sense of the full extent of the damage? At least you know what the damage is?

RICHARD: We know pretty much what the damage that we have. Tomorrow -- I was talking to the CEO of the hospital, earlier. And that's where we're going to have some serious longevity problems. Of course, everyone that got damaged is going to have problems.


RICHARD: But when you -- possibility, you got to deal with all of these.

Behind me, I don't know if you can see behind me, but that's the area where you have all of the office buildings, for the doctors. So, this area, all of this area, in the back, here, is devastated.


RICHARD: The windows are all out, thinking it's going to be at least some seven months--


RICHARD: --before they can get all the stuff (ph) that they need.


RICHARD: So, we got -- we have some problems, right here.

But listen, today I was with Catholics Services, as well as the National Guard, with Joseph (ph), I spoke to the Governor, I'm sure, two or three times today. So, we're looking to help the people. Everything here is all about safety for the people that we represent. So, we're looking to do that.


RICHARD: The Governor is all in. So, matter of fact, I will more than likely be communicating with him, a little bit later.

COOPER: Hey, Larry?

RICHARD: Tonight.


RICHARD: And also--

COOPER: I appreciate your time.

RICHARD: Well, thank you.

COOPER: Yes. I appreciate your time, and I appreciate all you're doing. And we'll check back in with you. I wish you the best, there, in New Iberia.

Still to come tonight, a CNN Special Report, at 10 PM Eastern, "SANDY HOOK: FOREVER REMEMBERED." It's 10th anniversary of the attack, at Sandy Hook.

We'll show you more of my conversation with four young people, who were little kids, back then, second grade, and fourth grade, 10 years ago. Specifically, we'll talk about what they went through, what went through their minds, when they first heard about the mass shooting, at Robb Elementary school, in Uvalde, Texas, and the impact that had on them.

And later Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us, to talk about the death of someone, who's been on this broadcast, Soccer commentator, Grant Wahl, and what we all need to know about aortic aneurysms, and whether the symptoms can be confused for bronchitis.



COOPER: Welcome back. It's been 10 years, hard to believe, since the murder of 26 children, and staff, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Earlier, in our last hour, we showed you a conversation I had, with four survivors, about what they can remember, from the day of the attack. They were in the second grade, and one of them was in the fourth grade, at the time, and how the attack then 10 years ago still affects them and their lives today. It's inescapable, one of them said.

Audrey Nichols, Saahil Ray, Cyrena Arokium were in second grade. Jordan Gomes was in fourth grade. They're now between the ages of 17 and 19. And we want to show you more of that conversation, and what went through their minds, when they heard about the murder of 21 kids, and teachers, in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year.


COOPER: Every time, there's another mass shooting, at a school, do people -- do you follow them? I mean, do you pay attention to them? Do you try not to pay attention to them?

AUDREY NICHOLS, SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I still remember the exact time I found out about Uvalde. I had just gotten off of a night shift at work. It was like 9 PM. I was in the work parking lot. And my phone had blown up. It was all "Oh my god! Are you OK? I heard what happened."

And I personally try to stay off of the news, as much as I can, because of stuff like this. But, as I was saying, my phone had blown up. And I just kind of knew.

COOPER: When you saw that, what did you think?

NICHOLS: I think mostly it was, "Oh my god, it's happened again." And it makes me so deeply sad that even Uvalde was nearly a decade after Sandy Hook, even a decade after, not much has changed.

And I wanted to hug the Uvalde survivors. I wanted to, like wrap my arms around them, and I wish I could tell them like, "You'll get through this."

SAAHIL RAY, SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Whenever I see stories on the news about Uvalde, Parkland, or more school shootings, I'm always reminded of the memories of that day. And all I could think about is my peers, who I've seen, that still have to go to therapy for this. I fortunately, don't have to myself. But seeing that in my peers, and on the news, that part really hurts me.

COOPER: Did you -- for you, was Uvalde?

CYRENA AROKIUM, SANDY HOOK SCHOOL SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Yes, it hit really close to home. My aunt actually texted me, and she's like "Sending lots of love, know today is especially hard."


And I actually woke up from a nap that day, and I opened my phone, and then I opened Instagram. And that's when I saw that Uvalde happened. And I was like, "This is so similar to Sandy Hook," and like all the memories and everything like just came back up.

COOPER: Jordan, I understand you were -- were you at an event, at the White House? Is that?



GOMES: Over the summer. I was very lucky to attend an event that was held to celebrate the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

My biggest memory, from that day, is talking with a couple of my friends, just taking it all in, feeling happy and accomplished. And somebody sort of spun me around and like, pointed over my shoulder and was like, "There she is, that's the girl. She's from Uvalde." And it was this young girl, probably 8 or 9, and, like, short, dark

hair, huge smile. And I don't want to say, it ruined the day for me, because it didn't, in truth. But looking at her, just so many emotions, just came up inside of me, I just, I felt sick.

I felt like I wanted to cry, and I wanted to go over to her to say something. But, I didn't. Because I was looking at her, and she was smiling, and laughing, and I felt like that day she was happy. And I didn't want to ruin that for her. I didn't want to dredge up these memories that were so fresh.

But to see her, I just felt like I was looking at myself. And I just felt so disappointed, and just so upset, because I felt like nothing had changed, like we had allowed this to happen again.

Everything that you know, I've been doing my own, like, gun violence prevention activism, for four or so years, at that point. And I felt like I'd accomplished so much until that point. And I looked at her, and I thought "What have I actually even done, because there's another one of me right there. There's another one of all of my peers."

And I just felt like we'd failed her, in a way, and failed her classmates. I just took some strange responsibility for it. And I know I shouldn't have, but I did.

COOPER: It was interesting, you was talking about seeing this student from Uvalde, at the White House, and you want to go up and talk to her. What would you say to somebody, who -- what do you wish somebody had said to you back then? Or what would you say to somebody now, who's just going through it?

GOMES: When I saw her, I definitely wanted, very similar to what you said, like that's why, it made me kind of like, "Oh my gosh, like I felt that too. I'm not the only one," like to go up to her, and just hug her, and just tell her that like she was so brave, and that everything would be OK, and then, I promised, it would be OK that I was living breathing proof that you could go through an event, like this, and be OK, someday.

COOPER: Do you believe things will change? Do you believe this problem of mass shootings will improve?

AROKIUM: I think so. I have hope.

COOPER: What gives you hope?

AROKIUM: Just that there's more people like me out there fighting to get things done.

GOMES: We wouldn't be here without hope. There's, me and Cyrena, we both partake in gun violence prevention activism. And I know that you guys have done some similar work as well. And we wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't an idea that things could be different one day. And I think that's the end goal. And it just involves changing the conversation.


COOPER: I'm joined now by my colleague, Alisyn Camerota, who is anchoring a Special Report, after this broadcast, at 10 PM Eastern Time, about the murders of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and how they reverberate today. It's called "SANDY HOOK: FOREVER REMEMBERED." It airs, as I said, at 10 PM Eastern.

What stood -- I mean, it's hard to -- I still can't believe it's been 10 years. What stood out to you, as you've reported this story?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, first of all, great conversation with those kids. And they give me hope. That generation actually gives me hope, because they, I think, have a different frame of reference than we do for how to move forward.

But in terms of what -- in terms of my reporting for this Special, these parents are extraordinary. They are extraordinary human beings, because even in the depth of grief, 10 years ago, they started to harness that grief, for action, and move forward. Their grief didn't go away. They were able to do it simultaneously.

And what they've accomplished is remarkable. Things that people said could never be done. They sued the gun manufacturer. I mean, every lawyer they went to said, as you'll hear tonight, said it couldn't be done. They did it. They won $73 million. They sued Alex Jones, as you know, and just won $1 billion. So, I mean, not only that. They've passed all sorts of -- helped pass all sorts of legislation, at the state level.

But first, when talking to them, we did have to go back to that awful day, and what they all remember, 10 years ago. So, here's that.


CAMEROTA (voice-over): It's been 10 years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a shooting, and it's at our school. I literally dropped to the ground, and I thought "Oh gosh! This isn't good."

MARK BARDEN, FATHER OF DANIEL WHO WAS KILLED AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: I was just running into our family van, and just flying.

CAMEROTA (voice-over): Since a lone gunman, entered Sandy Hook Elementary School, and killed 20 children, and six adults.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just so horrific what we heard, my colleagues, children begging for their lives, the entire time thinking that we're going to be next.

CAMEROTA (voice-over): And a stunned nation was left grieving.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I was sure that Sandy Hook could change everything. And how could you watch that, and not decide to do something about it?

CAMEROTA (voice-over): Tonight.


CAMEROTA (voice-over): We take you inside the victims' families' battle, against harassment and disinformation.

SCARLETT LEWIS, FOUNDER & CHIEF MOVEMENT OFFICER, THE JESSE LEWIS CHOOSE LOVE MOVEMENT: It was the hardest thing I've had to do, since my son's murder.

CAMEROTA (voice-over): Their fight for change.

BARDEN: How did a kid have his hands on an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle with a high capacity magazine?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have really hurt a generation of kids by not being able to find ways forward.

CAMEROTA (voice-over): And their vow to stop similar tragedies.

BARDEN: It's the way that I've chosen to honor Daniel, to prevent other families from having to endure a life of pain, due to preventable violence.


CAMEROTA: And Anderson, I want to make it clear that not everything, tonight, is devastating. There's also hopeful, empowering messages, because of how much they've done.

And one of the things that they've done is being able to stop 11 school shootings, around the country, because of the training that they do, by going into schools, and teaching them the signs, before they happen. So, you'll hear how they do it tonight. And, I think that there is a note of hope, from all these parents.

COOPER: Yes. It's extraordinary. Alisyn, I really look forward to it. Thanks so much.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: It's about 30 minutes from now. "SANDY HOOK: FOREVER REMEMBERED" airs at 10 PM Eastern.

Just ahead, tonight, we'll be joined by the dad and stepmom of Kenny DeLand, the American student, who's missing in France. We'll have a report from our Melissa Bell, who is in France, and spoke with DeLand's host mother, ahead.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Now, to the latest, in the missing American student in France.

The father and stepmom of Kenny DeLand are desperate for information. They've not heard from him, in more than two weeks. We're going to speak with both of them, in a moment.

French investigators say that Kenny DeLand, quote, reportedly told several people that he'd arrived in France, unprepared, and "Was having difficulty making friends." They also say he seems to have left Grenoble, the city where he was saying, quote, "Voluntarily."

CNN's Melissa Bell is in that part of southeastern France. Spoke with Ken DeLand's host mother.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Social media posts give little away, just images of a young American, enjoying his exchange program, in France. But Kenny DeLand Jr. vanished 15 days ago, without a trace, after leaving the home of the host mother, he was staying with.


BELL (voice-over): She explains that she's only spoken once, to Kenny's mother, never to his father, but agrees to speak exclusively to CNN, without the camera.

BELL (on camera): What the host mother told us was that of all the exchange students, she'd had, at her home, Kenny DeLand was the one that seemed to be having the most trouble, fitting in and settling down to life, here in Grenoble.

She also said that of course, since he's disappeared, she'd been inundating him, with messages, to which he hadn't responded. And she added that she had been reassured by that sighting of him, about an hour, south of here, in that sports shop, because she said it confirmed the possibility and her hope that in fact, he'd gone and cut off communications, voluntarily.

BELL (voice-over): It was taken on December 3. Kenny DeLand spent just over $8, before vanishing, altogether, according to his family, leaving behind only Facebook pictures, of his life, in France, from Paris to the University of Grenoble Alpes.

BELL (on camera): The last time Kenny DeLand turned up for lessons, here, at the university, he was studying at, was November 28. By the 29, when he failed to turn up, a missing persons report was filed, and it emerged that he had left his host family that morning, taking a packed lunch, a change of clothes, his wallet, and his phone. Kenny DeLand hasn't been heard from since.

BELL (voice-over): We showed Kenny's picture, around the campus, in the hope that someone may recognize him.

When we find Kenny's friends, they prefer not to speak, on camera, but tell us that "Kenny had friends that were exchange students and some that were local. We care about him and we want him to come back safely." Statements that contradict what French authorities have said that Kenny struggled to make friends.

KENNETH DELAND SR., FATHER OF MISSING U.S. STUDENT STUDYING IN FRANCE: What I'm telling you is he makes friends and he's easy to talk to, like me. If you don't know my son, then it's tough for you, to make some statement, some bold statement.

BELL (on camera): One of the things Kenny's friends told us is that he may have been stressed about the upcoming exams. Is that something that you recognize?

DELAND SR.: He's in a foreign country. He's pretty upbeat kid. You know what I mean? So, it's possible. Sure. He was anxious. He was -- he wanted to do good that he wanted to prove that he could get good grades, even on the trip of a lifetime.

BELL (voice-over): Kenny DeLand Jr. chronicled his journey, to France, in August. His father still hopes he'll be able to pick him up, as planned, on Saturday.


COOPER: And Melissa Bell joins us now.

Is there any update on the French authorities' investigation?

BELL: No, none Anderson. We keep reaching out. But for the time, we're being told that it's an ongoing investigation, they don't have updates.

So, all we have is that statement, from Monday, confirming that a missing persons investigation, is underway, but also that their working assumption is that he may have left voluntarily, pointing to his state of mind, pointing to that CCTV footage, from a few days, after he disappeared.

What we did find, really surprising, today, at the host mother's house was, when we learned that she'd only ever spoken to investigators, over the phone. They never actually came to the apartment. So, that Kenny's stuff is all still in his bedroom. His computer is still there. It hasn't been checked, Anderson. When you go to the university, there's no missing person signs up anywhere.


What we have heard, from everyone we spoke to, from his host mother, to his friends, is that they still hope that he will come back, get his stuff, and get on that plane. That may be wishful thinking.

On the part of the authorities, it does seem to be that there's a sort of lack of urgency that's frankly borne of the idea that they think he may simply have chosen to go off the grid, Anderson.

COOPER: CNN's Melissa Bell reporting. Joining me now is Kenny DeLand's father, whom you saw, on Melissa's story, Ken DeLand Sr., and his stepmother, Jennifer DeLand.

I appreciate both of you being with us. I'm sorry, it's under these circumstances. Obviously, I hope this just all is a misunderstanding, and works out.

First of all, how are you, Ken? How are you both doing, tonight?

DELAND SR.: I mean, I couldn't agree more with Melissa's statement about the lack of urgency. That's what it feels like, from our end.

I talked to the FBI, today. And I asked the FBI agent, "Is there -- do you feel like there's any progress? What's the status?" And I don't get anywhere. And it just feels like the wind has gone out of the sail, as far as what's being done, to find my son. The more time that goes by, the more worried we become.

And thank God, for investigative journalism, like what Melissa is doing, and she's boots on the ground, right at the university and, at the host mother. This type of empathetic reporting is what helps bring things to the surface, and gets awareness out there. It just, it's very frustrating, from our end.

COOPER: When was the last time that you guys heard from Kenny? Because, I know, on December 3, he was seen on that CCTV footage, going into a sporting goods store. And you're sure that's him in the footage, right?

DELAND SR.: I'm positive.



COOPER: Yes. So, when was the last time you heard from him? Because that was December 3.

DELAND SR.: So, 11:27 was the last correspondence, we had, through WhatsApp. We were just talking back and forth. And I was asking him, how he was doing. He was asking me, what's new? And, after that, it just went silent. And he was also speaking, with Jennifer. He also spoke with his mom, Carol, on that day.

We don't know what to think. What we do know, is it -- yes, it's characteristic, for Kenny, to like to go hiking, pack a bag, and take a hike. But for him to not reach out, with no correspondence, this is very uncharacteristic of my son. And this is what creates all the worry that any parent could ever feel.

And as I've said, as time goes by, it makes you worry even more. What's being done? Is there, still, resources in the French police, to look for him? Are they looking for him? What's going on?

COOPER: And his -- it's surprising that his room hasn't been checked or--

DELAND: To hear that there are no posters up the wall.

COOPER: Yes, that his room hasn't been checked out, or his computer -- that his computer is still there. Is there anybody you know, over there? Is there anybody who can go and try to access his computer?

DELAND: Well I thought Marissa (ph) was.

DELAND SR.: That, I'm not sure. I know the liaison had met with the host mom. And she had checked his room, for what belongings were left in his room, to find out, if what was left, indicated he was coming back.

And I'm not a investigator. But if I was to look at what belongings were left, especially the college laptop, it feels as though he's going to come back. And so, it just makes me worry even more it.

It looks to me, and it appears like he was going to come back. And so, where is he? How has he not reached out to us? And if in fact, nothing is a sense of urgency, on their part, then, where do we stand? I mean, how? I just--


DELAND SR.: --I can't understand.

COOPER: Well, I -- listen, I'm so sorry that we're talking under these circumstances. And I hope you get some information soon. We'll continue to follow it, and we'll continue to look into it, on the ground, as best we can as well.

So, Ken, I really appreciate. And Jennifer, thank you so much.


DELAND SR.: I have to give -- Anderson, I got to give props--



DELAND SR.: --to those investigative journalists, you have. They're -- they by far have made the most leaps, and bounds, towards the goal that of finding Kenny. So, props go to them. My hat goes off to them.

COOPER: Well, we'll continue to follow it. And again, I hope he shows up, and this all has just been a misunderstanding, and you can tell him he's a knucklehead, or something. But let's hope he shows up quickly.

Thank you so much. We'll continue to be in touch.

Still ahead, tonight, we have new details, on the death of a prominent sports journalist, Grant Wahl, who collapsed and died, last week, while covering the World Cup, in Qatar. I'll talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, about the cause of his death, next.


COOPER: The wife a prominent sports journalist, Grant Wahl, spoke out today, following her husband's death, after he collapsed, while covering the World Cup, in Qatar.

Speaking to "CBS This Morning," Dr. Celine Gounder, a CBS contributor, revealed the cause of his death.


DR. CELINE GOUNDER, WIFE OF SPORTS JOURNALIST GRANT WAHL: So, he had an autopsy done here, in New York, by the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, and it showed that he had an aortic aneurysm that ruptured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which means what? OK.

GOUNDER: So, aorta, that's the big blood vessel that comes out of your heart.



GOUNDER: Sort of the trunk of all the blood vessels. And an aneurysm is a ballooning of the blood vessel wall. And so, it's weak. And it's just one of these things that had been likely brewing, for years. And, for whatever reason, it happened at this point in time.


COOPER: Dr. Gounder also said the outpouring of tributes, for Wahl, brings her comfort, and that he was loved by many.

Joining me with prospective, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, how common are aortic aneurysms?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're not that common, thankfully. I mean, the aorta is, as Celine was just saying, the big blood vessel that comes out of your heart, supplies all these other parts of your body. And it's a pretty sizable blood vessel. So, there's different places along the blood vessel, where you can have this aneurysm.

Let me show you, if we have this image here. When you look at, where she was describing Grant's aneurysm was, it was right at where the aorta leaves the heart. And that's where that ballooning sort of occurs, and the walls of that became thin as a result of that.

That's the image on the right there, Anderson. When the wall becomes thin, you got blood coming out of it, and with a pretty good velocity, it can rupture, or it can dissect. And that seems to be what had happened here.

Let me show you quickly if I can, on this model, Anderson, same thing here. Again, the heart, this is the aorta here, in the big red blood vessel. This is the area that had ballooned, and that's right in your chest cavity, around your lungs, around your trachea, things like that. So you can have all sorts of different symptoms, as a result of that ballooning, as well.


GUPTA: As far as how common? In 2000, let me just tell you--


GUPTA: --in 2019, I think there were around 10,000 -- 9,900 or so people, who died from these aortic aneurysm ruptures. That's in a year. Mostly in men, things like smoking increase the risk, for certain types of aneurysms. But, it's rare, but catastrophic.

COOPER: And in the days leading up to his death, Grant Wahl said he was being treated for bronchitis.


COOPER: Are the symptoms similar? Or could one have led to the other?

GUPTA: Yes. No, my -- well, we don't know for sure that he didn't have bronchitis. But it is possible that just that aneurysm alone could cause those types of symptoms.

Again, if you look at the model, and just sort of think this is the -- this is where the aorta is, your trachea is sitting right there, for example. People might feel a fullness in the chest, may have difficulty breathing.

There's a whole list of symptoms that people might have that'll seem unusual. People might have just back pain, or something like that, cough, scratchy voice, shortness of breath, just pain in the chest. And if you don't know, or even think about this sort of thing, you wouldn't go to thoracic aneurysm, as sort of being the issue here. So, it can be pretty vague.

One thing, I'll tell you as well, Anderson, so he was 49-years-old. Typically, these types of things occur in people over the age of 65. But one of the first stories I -- big stories I covered here, at CNN, was John Ritter. I mean, remember that back in 2003?


GUPTA: He died. They thought he had had a heart attack. But in fact, he was 54, at the time. He also had aortic aneurysm that had dissected. That's what led to his death. So, it's unusual, typically over the age of 65, but obviously can happen younger as well.

COOPER: Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it. Thank you.

GUPTA: Thanks.

COOPER: Ukraine's capital coming under attack again, by the Russians. But then a remarkable feat, by Ukraine's air defenses, people shooting down drones. The details, next.



COOPER: Russia launched a pre-dawn attack, on Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, a barrage of strikes. But Ukraine's President Zelenskyy says his country's air defenses shot down 13 Iranian-made drones. Authorities say the drones were aimed at the already-battered electrical grid.

This comes as the Biden administration is finalizing plans, to send the Patriot missile defense system, to Ukraine, though it still needs to be approved.

Joining us now, is CNN Military Analyst, and retired Army Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.

General Hertling, good to have you on.

So, what do you make of the Patriots? I mean, I think you and I had talked about this a while back. And you talked about just the sheer cost of each Patriot missile, is incredibly huge, and it's a really complex machine to operate.


And it's also, the announcement was made, I think, a little bit premature that the U.S. was considering it, and they were building the package. But I think one of the things President Biden has told the Secretary, "Before we approve this, you have to show me the training plan, and what they -- what kind of targets they'll be firing on."

Because again, as we talk, the cost of each one of those missiles that you see firing, on the screen, right now is between $3 million and $5 million, each missile, not the launcher, but the missile.


HERTLING: And the kind of drones that Russia is sending into the territory that they bought from Iran cost about $20,000.

So, while you don't always want to do the payoff, or the value, on targeting these kind of things, because it is saving lives, but you would quickly run up a price tag, on these kind of Patriot missiles. And you have to first train the soldiers on using it, and repairing it.

And I think I hope the expectation isn't those missile systems are going to be, in Ukraine, next week, because they're not. There, it requires literally months of training. But I think it's a good first step, to prevent any kind of further Russian incursion, later on. But these are used against strategic bombers, and cruise missiles, not $20,000 drones.

COOPER: I mean, is just the future of warfare just going to be drone warfare? I mean, if it's $20,000 for a drone that can decimate an electrical system, there's potential for unlimited amount of drones, isn't there?

HERTLING: Well, there is. And you've heard of things, like drone swarms?


HERTLING: That were used in the Nagorno-Karabakh War, a couple years ago?

But what you have to do is develop anti-drone techniques. Ukraine is struggling to find everything that they have, in their inventory, to use them against Russian attacks. And it keeps changing.


So, this is what our Pentagon goes through, when it does an analysis, of what kind of things will the U.S. military face, so we don't have these last-ditch efforts, of trying to put things together.

Drones have been on the battlefield, for a long time, Anderson. It's just that the way Russia is using them, they're not swarms, but they're certainly using them against infrastructure.

And even if new weapon systems, air defense systems, are sent to Ukraine, it's going to be very difficult, to find where to place them. That's the other issue. You just don't put them, like a fence up, to capture anything that comes into your 1,500-mile territory. They have to be precisionly-laid, and it's not a good word, but laid precisely, so they hit the targets, and defend key territory.

What Russia is doing is hitting everything.


HERTLING: So, it's very difficult to defend point targets, in that case.

COOPER: Yes. General Hertling, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

HERTLING: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: CNN Special Report, "SANDY HOOK: FOREVER REMEMBERED" is next, right after a short break.