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At This Hour

Uvalde Student's 911 Call Released, Officers Responded After 40 Minutes; North Korea Fires As Many As 23 Missiles, Highest Number Of Short-Range Missiles In One Day; Study: 1 In 5 Deaths Of Young Adults Is From Excessive Drinking. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired November 02, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Exclusive CNN reporting now on a 911 call from inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas during the attack there. CNN obtained audio of the call that came from a student made just minutes after the gunman entered the classroom.

The student is 10 years old and can be heard begging the dispatcher for help, but it would be another 40 minutes before police breached the door. By that time, 19 of this student's classmates and two teachers were dead. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins me now with this exclusive reporting. Shimon, this little girl's composure and her bravery is remarkable.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And her command of the situation, Kate, you know, I've listened to this call so many times, and it goes on for quite some time. Probably the most terrifying thing I've ever listened to just to hear these kids inside this room, begging for their lives begging to survive. Khloie, really just given all this information to the police and all she's doing is asking for help.

And her family wanted this story to come forward. They wanted the story to come out about her efforts to try and get the police to come inside that room. And of course, we're only airing this because the parents gave us permission to do so. It is disturbing to listen to and certainly our viewers could find it that way because it is just terrifying. Take a listen to some of what she was telling the 911 operators during that horrific moment.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm calling with the police department. Are you ok?

TORRES: No, there's a school shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, yes ma'am. I have multiple units there. Are you with officers or are you barricaded somewhere? TORRES: I'm in classroom 112.



TORRES: 112, yes ma'am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your name, ma'am?

TORRES: Khloie Torres. Please hurry. There's a lot of dead bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay on the line, OK? You said you're in room 112?

TORRES: Yes, ma'am. Please send help.


PROKUPECZ: And, Kate, this just goes on and on and on. And then at some point, another little girl in the classroom gets on the phone as well with a 911 dispatcher, also relaying the same information. What's really kind of sad and also so terrifying about this is that in the beginning of the call, you can hear people in the background.


But then as you get longer and longer into the call, you stop hearing those voices and you stop hearing those people. And that's one of the things where you start to wonder what happened to them. And because it took police so long and in a total of 77 minutes before they went inside that classroom and rescue those kids. And as for Khloie, you know, in her family, it's been a really rough road.

Certainly, they told us the stories -- that suffering that she's going through some of the hardship that she's now having and trying to cope with all of this having lived through all of this, and it's certainly a long road ahead. But they wanted her heroism, they wanted her story told and so, you know, here we are telling her story, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And the long road will continue because they still don't have answers. We've talked about this just last week, they promised that they're going to be given a clue into the investigation into the response, no clue into that no window into that, and very limited -- I mean, you can barely say accountability has come to that law enforcement response that we have seen so far, but, Shimon, thank you so much for bringing Khloie's story to light. Thank you.

So this afternoon, the man who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be formally sentenced in court, though there's little question of what that sentence will be after a jury spared him from the death penalty, instead recommending that he spend the rest of his life in prison.

Now that recommendation from the jury, it angered many of the victims' families. Families who have spent the last two days now in court offering victim impact statements. Heart-wrenching -- heartbreaking, gut-wrenching accounts of how this man's actions changed their lives forever.

Max Schachter's son, Alex, he was killed on that Valentine's Day in 2018. Max stood up in court and spoke directly to Nikolas Cruz's legal team and also directly to Cruz himself.


MAX SCHACHTER, FATHER OF PARKLAND VICTIM ALEX SCHACHTER: He hunted down innocent children and staff terrified. He tortured them. Blew their heads apart like a water balloon and enjoy it. That doesn't make it on your worst of the worst murderers list? You make me sick. And every November 1, I will be blowing out my birthday candles and you know my wish will be? That you just suffer a painful, painful, violent death.


BOLDUAN: And joining me right now is Max Schachter. Max, now that the final sentence is going to be handed down today, how are you feeling?

SCHACHTER: It's really, really sad. I miss -- I miss my little boy. And it's just -- it's not right -- it's not right that the worst high school shooter in U.S. history basically gets what he wants. He's had no consequences his entire life. He was a menace to all the kids in his class. His teachers were afraid of him, and he never had any consequences.

And then, you know, he goes and does this. He kills 17 innocent people. And he -- it's not like this was something that he just did on the spur of the moment. He planned this. He researched this for years, exactly what he was going to do. He knew that law enforcement wasn't going to be there. His goal was to kill 20 people. He went and committed this horrible act of violence. And then he tried to get away with it.

And he basically -- he escaped Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Police caught them an hour later. And now for the last almost five years, he's been fighting us because he doesn't want to die. He wants to live. And the defense has been perpetrating this narrative and this lie that the Parkland murderer fell through the cracks, and he got lost in the system.

And I think that's one of the things that are so upsetting is that -- is that kid never -- he got more services than anyone has ever had. He had over 200 individualized mental health sessions with professionals. He had a psychologist, multiple psychiatrists, mental health counselors, they were at his house for hours a day. And the defense is basically saying that he's mentally ill.

He's not mentally ill. He has an anti-personality disorder, and he's just evil. They tried to help him or his 18 years his mother loved him -- had love in his life, Kate, and he's just an evil, evil human being. And while Alex and the other 16 are in the cemetery, this guy gets a gift. [11:40:07]

By giving him life in prison, he gets fan mail, he gets a tablet so we can e-mail and text, he can get a college degree, watch movies, draw pictures while he has no remorse in his soul, and he still wants to kill people. It's just unbelievable. I cannot wrap my head around how this could happen.

BOLDUAN: And it's also I'm sure, other than rage and anger, which is clear and understandable at what's happened to your son, in your family, it sure is impossible to describe the emotions that wash over you at a moment's notice when this comes up again. I mean, just in thinking of standing up and speaking directly to the man who took your son, Alex, away from you, what was that like? How did you prepare for that?

SCHACHTER: It took a lot -- it took a lot of time and strength to stand in front of him. And he just sat emotionless and no remorse. Not sorry for what he did. He's still -- he's still drawing right now, he's -- in his cell. We have letters and drawings. He's drawing 666, drawing pictures and images of him killing people again. It's absolutely horrible.

I want to put this behind me, I'm going to go to court later today, and he's going to be sentenced to life, and then I will never think about this murderer again. But I really feel that the defense has done a disservice to all the people that are really suffering in this country from a mental health crisis. This individual, you know, we tried all that he had more -- he had every -- the services that was out there, he had all of it.

And so, you know, I just want -- I want the record to be set straight. And you played a clip of the defense's comments that he was -- that the death penalty is only reserved for the worst of the worst crimes committed by the worst of the worst offenders.

And it's just unbelievable that they could get up there and tell the jury that the Parkland murderer is not the worst of the worst. So, you know, I'm going to go there today, and I'm going to represent Alex and keep his memory alive and that's what all of the families are doing. And that's why we started our charity Safe Schools for Alex.


SCHACHTER: To educate schools and law enforcement. You just played the horrible tragedy in Uvalde.


SCHACHTER: So that this doesn't ever happen again,

BOLDUAN: Yes. Then you've dedicated yourself to trying to protect other children in schools, in your -- in the effort with Safe Schools for Alex after his death, and that as we see that road is a very long one ahead but your efforts are so much needed. And, Max, thank you for coming on. It is -- there is no closure. This is a phase -- a chapter in your grief that now moves on to

something else. But in this moment, I think we should all just remember Alex, and remember all the other students. Let's put their images up on the screen for everyone. Well, I say thank you, Max. Thank you so much.

SCHACHTER: Thank you for having me, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: European officials are calling a series of missile launches by North Korea "aggressive and irresponsible." The North Koreans fired as many as 23 missiles off of both coasts. And for the first time, one missile splashed down your South Korean waters. CNN's Selina Wang is tracking this for us. She joins us now. Selina, what are you hearing about this?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this is major, it's unprecedented, a huge escalation. We're talking about as many as 23 missiles launched in a single day, one of them landing near South Korean waters and it triggered a rare air raid warning on South Korea's Ulleungdo Island.

And the whole region, it's been on edge for many months now. According to CNN calculations, this is North Korea's 29th launch just this year. In response to this latest one, we saw South Korea quickly retaliate with three air-to-surface missiles from fighter jets.

Now critical here is the timing. We're seeing this latest escalation from North Korea coming just days after the U.S. and South Korea had started their previously scheduled joint military exercises involving hundreds of aircraft, thousands of military personnel from both countries. North Korea was not happy about that, called a rehearsal for an invasion, threatening even more powerful follow-up reactions.


But the big question and concern moving forward is, what is North Korea going to do next? Just last week, the United Nations nuclear watchdog had more that North Korea could be preparing for a nuclear test, its first since 2017. And the satellite imagery does show activity at North Korea's underground nuclear test site.

Remember, hear that for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, having a powerful nuclear force missile force, it is key not just to his regime's stability in his eyes, but also to making North Korea have more leverage in any future discussions with the U.S., Kate.

BOLDUAN: Selina, thank you so much. So, a new warning about drinking alcohol, there's a new study that should really serve as a wake-up call for many. That's next.



BOLDUAN: This just into CNN, police in Newark, New Jersey have made an arrest of a suspect accused of shooting two police officers. Authorities had been looking for this man, 30-year-old Kendall Howard for nearly 24 hours before taking him into custody earlier this morning. And police now say that he shot those officers yesterday, as they responded to a 911 call. Both officers are expected to survive.

Now finally, a new study is shining a fresh spotlight on the dangers of excessive drinking, researchers finding that drinking alcohol contributes to one in five deaths for adults in the United States between the ages of 20 and 49. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Tara Narula joins me now. She has been looking into this. Dr. Narula, what exactly does this study show?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it shows that excessive alcohol as we know is associated with increased morbidity and also mortality. We actually know that it is a leading cause, Kate, of preventable premature death in this country. And actually, death rates from alcohol-attributable causes have been going up for the past decade.

So, as you mentioned, researchers in this study looked at adults from 2015 to 2019 and their alcohol consumption, and they found that one in eight deaths in those ages 20 to 64 were actually attributable to excessive alcohol. And in that younger population of 20 to 49, we're talking about one in five deaths.

There was also variability in terms of gender, so this was higher in men than women. And across the country, different states saw levels that were different. So, in the South -- East, generally lower rates of alcohol-attributable deaths as opposed to the west, upper Midwest, and New England area.

And we're talking about deaths. We're talking about alcohol-induced liver disease, motor vehicle accidents, and what they called poisoning, which really meant high blood alcohol levels plus some other substance, so really important to educate about the dangers of excessive alcohol use.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Dr. Narula, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

NARULA: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: And thank you all so much for watching AT THIS HOUR. I'm Kate Bolduan. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right after this break.