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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Cohen Speaks Out For The First Time After Testifying Against Trump; Gaza Residents: "Most Intense" Israeli Strikes Tonight; IDF: Ground Operations "Expanding" In Gaza; Israel Claims Gaza's Largest Hospital Is A Hamas Command Center; IDF Says Military "Operating Forcefully" On All Fronts; Manhunt Continues For Alleged Mass Shooter; The Tunnels Of Gaza And Fate Of The Hostages; White House Still Working To Secure Release Of Hostages In Gaza As Israel Expands Ground Operation; Israeli Spokesman: Military Targeting Hamas Tunnels In Gaza; Authorities Recover Gun, Cell Phone, Note From Car Of Mass Shooting Suspect; Shelter-In-Place Order Lifted As Authorities Search For Suspect In Maine Mass Shooting; IDF: 229 Hostages Currently Held By Hamas. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 27, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY OF DONALD TRUMP: There was some that he didn't think were even high enough that we should, you know, go back and -- you know, and increase it there, too.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Michael Cohen, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.
COHEN: Erin, it's great to see you, and please stay safe.
BURNETT: All right. I should note, Michael Cohen is the author of the book, "Revenge" and also the host of two podcasts, "Mea Culpa" and "Political Beatdown".
Thanks very much to all of you for joining us as we can hear some explosions in the background over Gaza. I'll be back tonight at 10 o'clock Eastern on CNN. But our coverage from Israel continues now with Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER: 360": It is 3:00 am now in Tel Aviv. For hours, we have been seeing and hearing signs that Israel's campaign against Hamas in Gaza is in a new phase.
Strikes, people is telling us -- people in Gaza, I should point out, telling CNN that strikes like this one now are the most intense that they have seen so far. In addition to this, air and artillery bombardment that appears to be growing in tempo, Israeli troops today launched what they are calling an expanded operation into Gaza.
An IDF spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari saying that the military is, quote, "expanding their ground operations." He also dismissed reports earlier today of a possible deal to free more hostages and said that Gaza's largest hospital, Al Shifa, was also the site of a major Hamas command-and-control center now. He offered as evidence his cell phone intercept reporting to be between two Gazans discussing the site. Instead, there was more evidence that he could not yet make public.
Admiral Hagari also had a warning, quote, "When medical facilities are used for terror purposes," he said, "they are liable to lose their protection from attack in accordance with international law."
Meantime, at another hospital, Al Aqsa, witnesses tell CNN they see and hear what they described as intensifying bombardment around them. Here in Israel, senior officials appear to be signaling that whatever comes next, the answer to what Hamas did on October 7th should be decisive.
MARK REGEV, SENIOR ADVISER TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: We will not live like that any longer. We saw what they're capable of doing. We saw the sort of gruesome, terrible, horrific violence they inflicted upon us. We refuse to live with that anymore sort of neighbor anymore. And we are now going to create a new reality -- reality in Gaza.
COOPER: So, there's a lot to get to. CNN's Nic Robertson begins our coverage. He is in Sderot, within earshot of some of what Israeli forces are now doing inside Gaza.
Nic, what have you been seeing and hearing the last couple of few hours?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, a lot of fighter jet activity right now, Anderson, and also hearing artillery to the south. It seems like most of the impacts are a little bit further south of here, perhaps towards Gaza City. But it was so intense here early on in the evening, just around sunset and through the early hours of the evening, and in picking up sort of later into the night, multiple barrages of continuous artillery fire from different artillery batteries in here, and then tank fire outgoing from here, multiple rounds fired from numerous tanks.
And this was something that we haven't heard from here before. And this area close to the northern part of the Gaza Strip is close to where there was a limited incursion two nights ago. There were other incursions last night. And it did appear -- does appear that this was a continuation of that, but also, from Hamas and perhaps Palestinian Islamic Jihad, those groups firing rockets out of Gaza to Tel Aviv towards where you are, and also here to Sderot. And this is what it looked like when they did that a few hours ago.
ROBERTSON (voice over): (Inaudible) intercepts over us. Attacks on Sderot (inaudible) over us. We're just taking cover. We'll be out in a minute. I think we're clear. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ROBERTSON: And it did pass pretty quickly, but it's really indicative, Anderson, of the fact that despite the heavy barrages and all those impacts we've seen in Gaza, Hamas able to fire rockets out, not huge numbers, but still very clear that they're sending a signal that they are not beaten yet. And they are saying, quite clearly, they are ready for any ground incursion whenever it may come, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Nic, throughout the day, there were a number of air raid sirens in Tel Aviv, which hasn't happened for several days. And I got to tell you, as you -- just as we have been seeking, I'm in -- I'm Tel Aviv, I can hear some of the munitions that are being -- that are landing in Gaza a distance away. You can actually sort of almost feel the reverberations. But certainly, you hear the loud impact that that is having.
What more have you heard from the Israeli government about the expansion of ground operations? If you're hearing tank fire, and we saw a shot -- a night vision shot from Reuters several hours ago, what appeared, according to General Mark Hertling, who was with us, appeared to be from a tank fire being fired parallel to the ground.
What do we know about ground operations?
ROBERTSON: You know, we've been able to hear some gunfire, some heavy machine gunfire and small machine gunfire. And it's very hard to tell precisely what's happening or why it's being fired.
There were some very extended bursts of gunfire and them also limited bursts, which tends to indicate that there are ground forces at work. You might be getting the heavy machine gunfire coming from the top of some of these armored personnel carriers. Some of them we've seen quite literally the crew can batten down inside and the weapon on top of the vehicle, heavy machine gun can be fired from within the vehicle.
So this really can be the troops at the sharp end of the fight. But are they just laying down covering fire so that other troops can maneuver in or are they actually engaging directly with Hamas? It's very, very hard to tell.
You're hearing several fighter jets over us now. This is a lot of fighter jet activity compared to what we were hearing earlier this evening, Anderson.
COOPER: Have you been hearing helicopters as well tonight?
ROBERTSON: You know, occasionally we do pick up -- we do hear helicopters. But I have to say, this evening, we really haven't heard any.
You know, occasionally, we hear them in the distance and they fly close to the border with Gaza. But this evening, we haven't heard that.
And we were expecting, you know, that may be the use of helicopters because the IDF said, when there's a big ground incursion, it'll be land, sea, and air. And obviously, the sea is not far away. And we know that there have been a lot of impacts along the coastal areas, so potentially there can be landings there, the ground forces, the tanks that we've been hearing here.
But that air component of it, unless they're talking about the strikes rather than helicopters coming in to support troops, as you would expect, as military analysts here in Israel have talked to us about, they would expect to see helicopters in support of troops on the ground, not seeing and hearing that at this location, but of course, the Gaza Strip stretches many miles to the south of us, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Nic Robertson. Thanks, Nic. We'll continue to check back in with you over the course of this hour in the evening.
I want to go to CNN's Jeremy Diamond, who is also along the Gaza border in Ashkelon. What are you seeing from your location?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, nearly eight hours after Israel began this expanded ground operation and intensified bombardment of the Gaza Strip, we are still hearing those very, very loud thuds coming from Gaza.
And at our location actually, we have been hearing quite a bit of helicopter activity overhead. We've also been hearing drones buzzing overhead and certainly, those fighter jets that Nic is talking about that have been going back and forth.
You hear the jets buzz by, and then a few seconds later, you hear that loud thud coming from the direction of Gaza, indicating fresh bombardments there. And so this has been going on now for more than eight hours and continuing to hear the loud thuds and the reverberations hitting our hotel six miles away from Gaza.
COOPER: And, Jeremy, as we mentioned, the Israeli government is now saying that Al Shifa Hospital, which is the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, is what they say a major command-and-control center for Hamas.
I mean, there have certainly been allegations by Israel in the past that Hamas has used -- has put command-and-control centers underneath hospitals and other sensitive locations. What more do we know about this latest claim?
DIAMOND: Well, Anderson, this really is quite an explosive allegation being made by the IDF, basically saying that one of the major command- and-control centers that Hamas uses to direct rocket attacks and also to direct its fighters around the Gaza Strip is being carried out underneath Gaza's largest hospital, which is not only a site of critical care for people who are injured in this war over the last three weeks, but also is the site for thousands of people who are displaced by this war who have been seeking shelter at this hospital. And Israel effectively saying that Hamas is operating freely within this hospital and, in particular, underground, where it has bunkers and command-and-control sites, according to the IDF.
Now, the only real concrete piece of evidence that the IDF offered for this is a recorded intercepted conversation that they claim is between two Gazans. There's no way for us to independently verify that. Beyond that, they provided a lot of 3D illustrations of these underground bunkers, as well as maps where they say that these different underground bunkers are located beneath the hospital.
Now, this all raises the question of why are they talking about this now, especially as they prepare for this imminent ground invasion? And it raises the question of, does this mean that they're going to now be targeting hospitals directly?
And while Admiral Hagari, the spokesman, didn't directly say they plan to target these hospitals, what he did say is that, quote, "We will not be able to allow terror activity against Israel from hospitals," when he was asked whether or not the military plans to target them going forward.
COOPER: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you. Perspective from Rami Igra, who joins us once again. He's a former chief of the hostages and MIA unit at the Mossad.
Rami, a reporter for Axios, Barak Ravid, was on CNN earlier talking with Wolf Blitzer and said that he has been told or hearing from multiple sources there are now thousands of Israeli troops inside the Gaza Strip near the northern outskirts of Gaza City. Does that sound feasible to you?
RAMI IGRA, FORMER CHIEF OF THE HOSTAGES AND MIA UNIT OF MOSSAD: Yes, the Israeli Army or the Israeli government has been waiting for the hostage deal that has been promised by Qatar. And remember, Qatar and Hamas are the same thing. They come from the same entity. Qatar has been nourishing the Hamas for years.
They've been waiting for this deal. And when finding out that this deal is not possible, as I've said before on your program -- and I can explain it if you want -- this -- finding out that this deal is not really possible, the Israeli army has decided to try another tactic. And the other tactic is not the full incursion that we are all waiting for, it is a -- how would you call it -- a mini-incursion, much bigger than the one before that will put our boots closer to the neck of Hamas and trying to persuade them that the only way out is to release our hostages because the hostage thing is really paramount today in the Israeli public.
COOPER: So you don't believe that this is a full-on ground operation involving all the forces that Israel has amassed? You believe this is a more limited, at this stage, operation?
IGRA: Yes, I believe it's a limited operation. But we are looking at a war that is going to last for a very long time. In order to eradicate the Hamas, the Israeli troops will have to go into Gaza, will have to fight carefully house-to-house and take care of each and every Hamas operative.
That is not going to be a blitzkrieg situation. That is going to be a long operation.
And judging the operations from the noise and the sounds, et cetera, that we're hearing today, it's just the beginning. You are, from your standpoint, going to look -- going to see a lot more of this as we go into the next days all depending, by the way, the timetables, all depending, by the way, the possibility of releasing the hostages.
If we all -- if we get -- if we are convinced that the hostages are not going to be released and the only condition that we're willing to release the hostages is a no-condition release, if this is going -- if this is going to happen, then you'll see a full incursion. And a full incursion is going to be much bigger, a lot noisier than you have been hearing now.
COOPER: So you believe it is possible, even at this phase, for there to be a large-scale release of hostages?
IGRA: Let me explain. The hostage -- the Hamas, from moment one, said, we are willing to release if you agree to a ceasefire with international guarantees, meaning a real ceasefire forever. Let us live. Don't punish us or don't try to eradicate us after the 7th of October massacre.
Once you give us an international guaranteed ceasefire, we're willing to swap all our -- all the hostages for all the prisoners in Israel.
In other words, they want us to release 7,000 prisoners or something -- somewhat, 7,000 prisoners. And these 7,000 prisoners are going to join the Hamas. And now we're going to be faced with a Hamas plus 7,000 terrorists with blood on their hands, and we will continue living this way.
You heard before from the prime minister spokesman that Israel cannot continue living with Hamas on its border. I've said this before on your program, it's a no-no situation.
Israelis cannot continue living this way. You can't be -- you can't have the limited or the essential security that a family needs, you know, raising children, knowing that across the border 20 miles away, 10 miles away, 50 miles away, there are people that can do what they did on the 7th of October.
This is impossible. And this is why you will see at the end of the day incursion to the Gaza Strip, and it's going to be a full-blast incursion.
COOPER: Rami Igra, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you. Ahead tonight, other news, the continuing search for Maine mass shooting suspected Robert Card and what we're learning about some of the people he shot and killed.
Also, from here, more on what Israeli troops will face in Hamas' tunnel networks under Gaza. And a negotiator on where all this may leave the hostages.
First, as we go to break, more of their names and faces.
COOPER: Welcome back. Before the break, former Mossad official, Rami Igra, said he believe that Israeli forces are in the middle of what he called a mini-incursion into Gaza, called it just the beginning.
With all that and all that's yet to come, there are more than 200 hostages being held somewhere in the territory of Gaza. As we've been reporting here on CNN, American officials insist they will continue to pursue negotiations to free them through Qatar, Egypt, elsewhere.
CNN's Arlette Saenz is at the White House for us tonight. What is the latest from the White House on the status of any negotiation?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, officials say they are continuing the talks related to try to get those hostages out of Gaza, as they are currently being held by Hamas and other groups. But this is a very fragile and delicate situation.
But even as these air strikes and this ground operation is continuing, the administration is intent on trying to ensure the release of these hostages. The situation is incredibly difficult, as we have been seeing these operations unfold over the course of the day.
Now, one thing that the White House has stressed is that they have been in active conversations with Israel about the potential for a pause to try to not just get hostages potentially out, but also civilians who are currently in Gaza. So, these are things that the US is in touch with close allies about as they are trying to ensure there can be some safe passage, not just for those civilians, but also for the hostages who are currently in custody. And several of them considered to be Americans is the belief here.
COOPER: Arlette, is there any explanation from the White House about why Palestinian-Americans, other Americans, who are in Gaza have not been able -- not been allowed to leave yet?
SAENZ: Well, White House and National ...
COOPER: I mean, they've been gathered down the Rafah Border Crossing since -- for more than two weeks.
SAENZ: Yes, I mean, the White House has said they have been working by the hour to try to ensure the safe passage of these civilians, potentially hundreds of Americans included in that group. But so far, the White House says that part of it is that Hamas has not been willing to allow this safe passage for these civilians.
But as you have noted, this is something that the administration said that they've been working on for weeks. They have indicated that there were some times where maybe there would be some optimism in trying to get these Palestinians, the civilians out, the Americans out. But so far that has yet to happen.
COOPER: All right. Arlette Saenz, appreciate it.
Perspective now from someone who helped secure the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011. I spoke to Gershon Baskin earlier tonight.
COOPER: Gershon, what do you think this expanded IDF ground operation means for hostage negotiations?
GERSHON BASKIN, FORMER HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR FOR ISRAEL: It's not good news, that's for sure. It seems that it's preparation for the larger incursion. But it's all very confusing now because this just might be to put the pressure on Hamas to agree to terms that Israel wants.
There's all kinds of information and misinformation out there. It's very difficult to get a grip on the true story. The Qataris announced that they're progressing behind the scenes. And my contacts with the Egyptian intelligence, I hear, that their channel is progressing.
There was a very respected Israeli correspondent tonight who said that there was actually an Egyptian offer for the release of 100 hostages in exchange for a four-day ceasefire, and Israel rejected it. I haven't gotten confirmation from that.
But in talking to one of the intelligence people in Israel, I asked, how do we get Netanyahu to agree to this offer, 100 hostages for a four-day ceasefire. The answer I got was put pressure on the Americans to put pressure on Netanyahu because he needs someone to stand in front of him and take responsibility for this because Netanyahu is so weak right now.
COOPER: If this idea of Hamas wanting a four-day ceasefire, what would that allow them to do? I mean, I know there's the -- obviously, the humanitarian idea of getting more supplies in from the south. Obviously, the IDF is concerned that a four-day ceasefire would allow Hamas, I assume, to regroup in some way.
BASKIN: Yes, I assume that's what Hamas wants. And they're mostly underground.
And Israel released intelligence information today about the major Hamas command center being under the Al Shifa Hospital, which is the largest hospital in Gaza Strip. It's always thought to be there.
I don't know what kind of evidence they found, but they brought all kinds of drawings and photographs today. I think Israel is trying to make a legal case for being able to attack or bomb the hospital, assuming that there are deep bunkers underneath the hospital where the Hamas main command is hiding. I don't know what the real story is.
Again, it's going to be very difficult to get any true information here. The Israelis are obviously making a case in case for the time when they do invade Gaza and do attack a hospital, which is considered a war crime. But if the hospital is, in fact, a cover for a military operation, then it's not a war crime.
This is all, you know -- all happening in the midst of more than 7,000 Palestinians who are dead and more than a million people who are homeless in Gaza. And Israel keeps pushing them south, and the Hamas are totally responsible.
And I learned in the last couple of days that some of the Hamas leaders from Gaza are not even in Gaza. They're in Beirut. They're in Doha.
The number two guy in Gaza is in Doha. The guy that I was negotiating with for years is in Beirut. I mean, how do these people leave their people when they know this military operation is going to happen? It says something about the quality of the Hamas leadership. They're really putting their people at risk.
And of course, Israel needs to hold back. These indiscriminate bombings are killing innocent people. And there has to be a better way of bringing Hamas down.
COOPER: Given that it's been almost three weeks since the hostages were taken and the large number of hostages, what sort of conditions do you think they're being held in?
And we've heard a little bit from Mrs. Lifshitz who returned. She talked about the condition she was in and the -- sort of the rooms she saw and seeing other people. What sort of -- I mean, is time -- in a situation like this with so many hostages, what's your biggest concern?
BASKIN: My biggest concern is the survival of the hostages, particularly in light of the Israeli bombing. Israeli bombing could be killing hostages, not only Hamas fighters. Certainly, the conditions underground can't be good.
Even Gilad Shalit who was in captivity for five years and four months was kept underground and in the basement of homes. He didn't see sunlight for five years and four months. And in his last month of captivity, because of acute Vitamin D deficiency, he wasn't digesting food.
Another month in captivity, he would have died. And he was living in a house -- in the basement of a house. There was a family above him.
So I'm sure that the conditions in the tunnels are much worse. It's damp there. There isn't fresh air. There are pumps pumping in air, but they are running out of fuel apparently as well.
They said that the hostages who were released said they ate one meal a day, which consisted of pita bread, some cheese, and a cucumber. There's hardly nutrition. They probably don't have healthy drinking water because, in all of Gaza, there's no healthy drinking water. You have to buy filtered water, desalinated water in Gaza.
And I'm sure that Hamas doesn't have a fresh supply of water for all the people they took hostage and all their fighters. It's not a place that any human being would want to be.
COOPER: Gershon Baskin, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
BASKIN: Thank you.
COOPER: You heard Gershon Baskin talk about hostages being kept underground. Just ahead, we're going to take a close look at the tunnels that stretched for miles under Gaza that Hamas has used and been building up for years to wage war.
COOPER: Earlier tonight a spokesman for the Israeli government told CNN that the country's expanded operations in Gaza are targeting Hamas' infrastructure inside Gaza, and specifically cited the tunnels under Gaza that Hamas uses to move weapons, fighters, and hold hostages.
Sources have told CNN that Hamas was able to use phone lines installed in those tunnels for more than two years to plan the October 7th attack.
Nic Robertson has more on the secret passages beneath Gaza.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): This is the invisible danger awaiting Israeli troops in Gaza. Hamas tunnels, miles of them, hiding the well-armed terror group's fighters. The video, Hamas propaganda, distributed by the Israel Defense Force shows concrete reinforced subterranean passages.
Israeli hostage, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, saw them firsthand before she was released late Monday.
YOCHEVED LIFSHITZ, FREED ISRAELI HOSTAGE (voice-over): We began walking inside the tunnels with the wet ground. It was moist all the time.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have been building tunnels under Gaza for at least a decade.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ceiling is made out of concrete. ROBERTSON (voice-over): Over the years, CNN has been shown them by both the IDF after capture, and by the terror groups themselves showing off their underground advantage as propaganda. A place to hide weapons. Estimated at dozens of miles long, they snake underneath many of Gaza's neighborhoods and have become known to Israelis as the Gaza Metro.
These new videos the IDF is sharing appear to show a progression in sophistication and therefore an increase in potential danger to troops in the event of a ground incursion into Gaza. Like a 21st century equivalent of World War I trenches, these deep burrows have dugouts for storing weapons and safe rooms for fighters to plan and gather.
Small trap doors in the desert let militants evade advancing troops, even sneak up behind them. And the danger down here, not just to the troops above, but to Israeli civilians too. Long range rockets stored on wall brackets can be rushed forward to be fired towards Tel Aviv and other cities, from hidden gun pits connected directly to the tunnels, making the launch sites even harder for the IDF to strike back at.
Only after an incursion can Israel expect to fully destroy the terror tunnels. Absent that, the so-called Gaza Metro will outfox and endanger. Israeli soldiers and civilians alike.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Sderot, Israel.
COOPER: We're going to have more on the war in a moment. We'll also be going back and show you the major story developing in the U.S. We'll have the latest on the manhunt for the suspect in the mass shootings that killed 18 people Wednesday in Maine.
Brian Todd is in Maine for us and joins us next.
COOPER: We'll return to the war in a moment. Right now, we want to turn to the manhunt for Robert Card, the suspect in the mass shootings that killed 18 people in Maine on Wednesday. CNN's Brian Todd has the latest.
MICHAEL SAUSCHUCK, MAINE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER: As that we will be putting divers in the water.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, the sweeping manhunt expanding into the water for the mass shooting suspect in Maine. Divers staged at the Androscoggin River near Lisbon, where the shooter's car was found abandoned.
SAUSCHUCK: Diver is checking for evidence, checking for potential bodies.
TODD (voice-over): But law enforcement officials stress they are not confirming there's a body in the water.
SAUSCHUCK: I'm not seer saying that the suspect we -- we know the suspect is in the water and this is what we're doing. What I'm telling you is you're going to see a lot of activity here.
TODD (voice-over): Investigators have so far recovered a cell phone that belongs to the suspect, and AR-15 rifle from his car, and a note that, according to sources, was suicidal in nature.
SAUSCHUCK: There was a note at one of these residences that does involve -- here's our mindset, here's our motive. When we can release it, we certainly will.
TODD (voice-over): Former federal agent, Tom Carey, who lives in Maine, was in the FBI for 20 years and has extensive experience with manhunts, including the D.C. sniper case in 2002. He says this search is a difficult undertaking, especially in the dense forests of Maine.
TOM CAREY, FORMER FBI AGENT: Obviously, we're getting the time of the year where the leaves are falling. You get a carpet of that coming down, and it's hard to tell what's touched and what's untouched. I mean, we just walked there. You can't tell we just walked here.
TODD (on-camera): Yes.
CAREY: You know, that's what you're dealing with.
TODD (voice-over): A search made even more difficult in this terrain because the suspect is a skilled outdoorsman and marksman.
CAREY: You could walk right by him in the woods in the thick woods and not even know he's there. And then the question is, is he gone over? Is he going to to attack and shoot somebody and try and make a stand? Or is he just going to try and lay low and hope he can can get through it?
TODD (voice-over): Although a shelter in place order was lifted Friday afternoon, officials are on high alert for any movement in the area and urge the public to be cautious.
SAUSCHUCK: If you just happen to be in the woods, minding your own business, going for a walk, that's going to make us a little concerned.
TODD (voice-over): And they mean it. Police stopped a man on a walk with his dog on a wooded path. They approached him while he was on his knees with his hands up until they let him stand and continued speaking.
As the search continues and as law enforcement has emphasized, former agent Carey stresses how important the public is in aiding the search for the mass killer. CAREY: I'm telling you from my own personal experience, you've got to speak up because that can make the difference between catching this murderer or him being in the vapor for a long time.
TODD: And Anderson, we have new information tonight about the victims. According to the main medical examiner's office, all 18 deceased victims have now been positively identified. They range in age from 14 to 76 years old. 16 out of the 18 deceased victims are males.
And Anderson, what's also significant about that is, with them now being positively identified, their families notified, that paves the way for more murder charges to be filed against this suspect if they can find him alive. Anderson?
COOPER: OK. Brian Todd, thank you.
I'm joined now by our Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst, John Miller. John, what are you hearing from sources, your sources tonight about the suspect's gun?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, it's a remarkable story. What we're learning now is that this gun was purchased on or about July 6th.
Now, this isn't a regular gun. It looks like an AR-15, which is what SWAT teams use and what the military uses. But it uses a much larger bullet. It's an AR-10, and it takes a 308 round. It's the kind of thing that snipers use for long distance shots and that big game hunters use.
It's 10 days after he legally purchases this gun in a gun store in Maine, near his home, when he is encountered by the army in New York State acting irrationally, acting belligerently. They call the state police and they take him away to a hospital. They think he may be intoxicated. He's treated there.
But as the army digs into it, the National Guard, they find out he made statements about having thoughts about hurting other soldiers, about hearing voices. So he gets basically a command referral to go back to that hospital and to be evaluated for a number of days that he spends there.
Here's the catch. What happened with that information? Was it passed on to the National Guard in Maine where he lived? Where he had access to weapons on the base? Where he was known to possess weapons on his own? And the answer is, so far, we don't know.
The New York State Police says they have no comment and they say that they're going to get to the kind of backward look on this after the manhunt is over. So right now, we're waiting for answers.
COOPER: So if he owned this firearm and another at the time of the hospitalization, among other things, having thoughts about harming other soldiers hearing voices, was the law enforcement -- I mean, would they have been able to restrict his access to those guns?
MILLER: You know, that is the question, and we had Senator Susan Collins on yesterday talking about the laws in Maine, Maine doesn't have a red flag law where anybody, a family member, an employer, a school person can come forward and say, I'm worried about this individual and I know they have guns and go to a court to say, let's remove those guns till we do this investigation.
They have a yellow flag law and that means only the police can do that by taking the individual into custody and then bringing him to a court. But to do that, they have to know about it and it's a very complicated process that really only clicks in if law enforcement is notified by somebody else. And in that -- in this case, it appears, at least, that didn't happen.
COOPER: All right, John Miller, more to learn. Thank you, appreciate it.
Jennifer Zanca was shot at the restaurant. She saw the gunman, tried to hit the floor when the shots were fired. She is back home now, thankfully. I spoke with her and her daughter, Mariah Najemy, earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, Jennifer, I knew you were just released from the hospital. How are you doing?
JENNIFER ZANCA, MAINE SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I have a lot of support with my family here. So they're all around me and helping me transfer. It's pretty uncomfortable situation. I have a lot of pain. I can't really work my arm too well after being shot with it. I guess it was an AR-10 and the bullet went in my shoulder and then out my humerus.
But they kind of -- apparently, I understand they explode in there, they're not like a regular bullet, so my humerus was shattered, and my bicep is gone. So it's just not easy to maneuver around.
COOPER: Can you -- if it's OK, can you walk us through what you saw and heard when the shooter came in?
ZANCA: So I was at the restaurant called Schemengees. And there was four of us girls that had gone to dinner after our golf outing, and I was back too. So I think I turned around last, but I -- the very first thing I heard was just the sound of assault rifles. Da-da-da-da-da-da. You know, just -- it just doesn't register, you know, in your head.
So, I turned around and I looked, and I saw a man standing there with his rifle, or his semi-automatic weapon, just cutting loose in the restaurant. So, we all dropped to the ground, right to the ground, and we were trying to crawl out. I tried to crawl out. I did crawl out with another -- the three girls.
One of the girls stayed behind with a chair over her head. I crawled around the corner, but I had been shot in the arm by that point in time, so it wasn't easy to get myself there. And then the girl in front of me said, come with me, and we -- I followed her through this dark kitchen and found our way outside.
And I didn't really know anything about anybody else because I went and hid behind a dumpster. There was another person over there too.
And when the police came, I realized that he probably wouldn't come out that door. I was safe enough to go across the street and flag down somebody to help me and take me to the hospital.
COOPER: When the shooter came in, you said you turned and you saw him. Did you see his face? What -- did you see -- was there an expression on his face?
ZANCA: I don't think there was an expression on his face. But it's -- it was so fast. I mostly saw the rifle and the rounds. So if there was an expression, it was just blank. I think I sort of feel like I saw that blank expression. Like someone focused, but doing something, you know?
ZANCA: But I didn't really (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: And Maria, did you know your mom was there?
MARIAH NAJEMY, DAUGHTER OF MAINE SHOOTING SURVIVOR: The last communication I had with her, she was golfing and her and the girls, I guess, went out after to grab food and a drink. And then, next thing I know I was cooking dinner and my brother called and just said, hey, I think mom's OK, but she was just shot.
And I just didn't really know what to say. I kind of just like dropped everything I was doing. And I was definitely in shock at that point. I didn't know if she was going to be OK, or if she's going to be alive or if she was bleeding out or what, you know, what was exactly happening.
COOPER: And Jennifer with this person still on the loose, what goes through your mind? I mean, it won't be one thing if he's apprehended. He's still out there.
ZANCA: I think the most fear for me was when it -- that first flash of the bullets and then realizing that there was somebody has an assault rifle mowing down people, I just -- that to me, that vision just keeps coming back into my head. So I don't really think about him being out there now except that I worry about other people if he could do it to anybody else.
ZANCA: It would be nice if they could find him. I think our community would feel more comfortable. But the one thing I have to say is that this community has really bonded together and I've gotten an outpouring of support from people from all over, you know, to help and all over this community. And it's just to have that love and support is really special, you know? It really -- it really helps. So --
COOPER: Yes. Is there anything else you want people to know, Jennifer?
ZANCA: I don't know. I just -- it's so random that this person would come in a bar and the place in Maine of all places where you feel safe here. I don't have an answer. I don't know this discussion about guns and things. I don't know where to go from here, because this just keeps happening and there needs to be some solutions.
I just don't know what they are. I don't know why we can't find some in our country. You know, sometimes we just disregard it until it happens to you. When it happens to you, it's a whole different story. You know, it's not over there. It's here, and I'm one of the lucky ones. I survived. I'm here today, and I know my family is so happy about that. So --
ZANCA: -- I guess I have more to do in the world.
COOPER: I'm happy about that too.
ZANCA: Right. I guess I have more to do in the world. So --
COOPER: Well, Jennifer and Mariah, thank you so much for your time. I wish you the best and a speedy recovery.
ZANCA: Thank you.
NAJEMY: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well coming up next, more from here in Israel. And my conversation with a mom whose young son is being held hostage right now by Hamas.
COOPER: In just about two and a half hours, it will be exactly three weeks since the Hamas terror attack here began. Three weeks on, and Israeli officials now say there are 229 men, women, and children being held in Gaza. It's believed one of them is a little boy named Erez Kalderon.
Take a look. This is Erez. He was just 11 years old when he was taken October 7th. His kidnapping was recorded and gunman put it online. Last week, I went to Nir Oz and found the spot where that video was made. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): This video shows Erez being dragged away by gunmen, one of whom appears to have blood on his hand. We geolocated where the video was shot.
(on-camera): This is the last known location of Erez Kalderon. He was kidnapped by Hamas gunmen and he was videotaped as they were dragging him away in this direction. This is the fence to the kibbutz, and Gaza is only about 1.5-mile away.
You can see an explosion that's just taking place in Gaza off in the distance. So the gunman didn't have far to take him in order to get him back into Gaza.
COOPER: Well, Erez Kalderon was 11 years old when he was taken, and yesterday was his 12th birthday. He's turned 12 years old in the custody of Hamas or some other group in Gaza. His mother, Hadas, wrote an open letter online that reads in part, "Each day, I've clung to the hope that on his birthday, Erez would return to my embrace.
She also spoke to him directly in the letter, writing, "My dear Erez, you were born into freedom, and to freedom, you shall return".
I spoke to Hadas, who desperately, desperately misses both Erez and her daughter, Sahar, who was also taken, and their father, Ofer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: How do you get through each day?
HADAS KALDERON, MOTHER OF EREZ & SAHAR KALDERON: When I start to think about it, I'm crushed. I can't. It's too hard.
COOPER: Because if you did, you would --
KALDERON: It's too hard. If I -- if -- it's too break my heart. If I crushed, how can I save them?
I'm not allowed to have any feelings now. I don't want to think about nothing. Not what's happening to them, what they feel, how they feel for mom, if they're together or not together. It drives me crazy. I want to go to Gaza and tell them, take me. Send the children home. That's what I want to say. That's what I want to do.
It's not easy to be a mom in this world. I feel so ashamed that I brought my children in Gaza's area and I grew them up there. So ashamed. Guilty. This is the world. I feel guilty. You know, I can hear them all the time in my ear. I hear them, mom, mom, save me. Save me. Come to pick me. I miss you. I miss you.
But I know they're coming back. This was to give me hope. I know they're coming back. I'll fight to the moon and back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: To the moon and back. That was Gaya, her oldest daughter sitting next to her.
You can see more of my interview with Hadas as part of a big picture look at the attack on Nir Oz this Sunday on The Whole Story, that's at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Sunday night. We'll be right back.
COOPER: The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.