Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Uvalde School Shooting Timeline; NRA Meets In Texas; On The Ground In Ukraine. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired May 27, 2022 - 17:00:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Lynda Kinkade in Atlanta, in for Bianca Nobilo. Welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

A Texas official has criticized the police response to the school shooting in Uvalde, saying that the wrong decision was made.

And the largest gun lobby organization in the U.S., the National Rifle Association, is holding its annual meeting in Houston, in the same state

where the massacre took place.

Then, Ukrainian forces are engaged in a fierce defense of the city of Severodonetsk, which officials say has been 90 percent damaged by Russian


Well, it was the wrong decision. That stunning and disturbing comment today from the director of the Texas state police about the school shooting that

killed 19 students and two teachers. He says the on-scene commander of Robb Elementary School misread the continuing danger and refused to storm the

classroom where the gunman was holed up. But even then, he says 19 officers were in the hallway there. There was gunfire and children inside that

classroom at that very same moment who were calling 911, saying some of them were still alive.


COL. STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPT. OF PUBLIC SAFETY: For the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right

decision. It was a wrong decision. Period. It was no excuse for that.


But again, I was not there. I'm just telling you from what we know that we believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can. Hey, when there

is an active shooter, the rules change. It's no longer, okay, it's no longer a barricaded subject. We don't have time.


KINKADE: Well, moments ago, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was misled about the police response during the shooting and said he is livid about

it. He says the public and the victims families deserve to know the truth.

Well, the police director also raised disturbing questions about how the gunman was even able to get into the school.

CNN's Jason Carroll is in Uvalde with the details from that media briefing.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Disturbing new details on the shooter's actions.

MCCRAW: The exterior door, suspected where we knew the shooter entered, Ramos, was propped open by a teacher.

CARROLL: Investigators clarifying the timeline.

MCCRAW: 11:28, the suspect vehicle crashes into the ditch. 11:31, suspect reached the last row of vehicles to the school parking lot. At 11:33 is

when the suspect entered the school. 11:33, the suspect begins shooting into room 111 or room 112.

It's not possible to determine from the video angle that we have at this point in time.

We do know this. That he shot more than 100 rounds based on the audio evidence at that time.

CARROLL: Officials said gunfire continued while agents were in the school hallway but did not enter the room until a janitor provided keys.

MCCRAW: They breached the door using keys that they were able to get from the janitor, because both doors were locked. Both of the classrooms he shot

into were locked when officers arrived. They killed the suspect at that time.

CARROLL: Officials admitting the incident commander made the call not to enter the classroom while the shooter was inside.

MCCRAW: Plenty of officers to do whatever needed to be done, with one exception is that the incident commander inside believed they needed more

equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach at that point. It was the wrong decision, period.

CARROLL: In that crucial time, survivors inside both classrooms made desperate calls to 911.

MCCRAW: Again, at 12:16, she's called back and said there's eight to nine students alive. She asked 911 to please send the police now.

CARROLL: Alfred Garza says his daughter Amerie may have been one of those students who tried to call 911. She was killed during the shooting.

Now that Garza knows first responders made a tragic respect in waiting to breach the door, it has triggered a range of emotions.

ALFRED GARZA, PARENT: Something has to be done now. Where do we go from here? You were wrong. What do we do now? You know, it's my question. What

are we going to do now?

CARROLL: The accountability.

GARZA: Right, the accountability. Somebody has to be responsible.

CARROLL: Those who survived and endured their wait for rescue now left to deal with the trauma.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miah got some blood and put it on herself and pretended she was dead.


KINKADE: The aunt of a shooting survivor there, describing how her young niece survived the gunman's rampage in her classroom.

The massacre of 19 children and two teachers was not enough to stop America's most powerful gun law to hold its annual convention today in the

very same state where the shootings took place. Protesters right now are gathered in Houston, Texas, accusing the National Rifle Association of

disrespecting the victims of Uvalde.

Former President Donald Trump was scheduled to address the convention, but other figures and several musicians scheduled to perform have pulled out.

One singer explained the decision.


LARRY GATLIN, COUNTY SINGER: I believe that I have the right to protect myself and my family and my home, as I believe everyone does. So on the

second amendment and -- there's no question about that. I just did not believe it was the right thing to do. It would have been a classy move on

the NRA's part if they had canceled the whole thing and said hey, we are going to go -- say a prayer for those and take a moment of silence and

we'll come back to do this later.


KINKADE: We now joined by our former executives from the U.S. firearms industry, Ryan Busse. He's the author of the book "Gunfight: My Battle

Against the Industry that Radicalized America".

Thanks so much for joining us.

RYAN BUSSE, FORMER FIREARMS INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE: Thanks. I wish I did not have to be here. But thank you.

KINKADE: Again and again, we have these conversations, because these are not rare events. They happen all the time. In the wake of this latest

shooting, Ryan, you wrote an interesting but depressing article. You wrote shootings are not a sign America is broken.


It's working exactly as intended.

What do you mean?

BUSSE: Yeah, well, come on. We are throwing the equivalent of lighted matches and gasoline into a closed room every day, and we should not act

surprised when we have explosions.

I listen to Governor Abbott's interview they're defending everything and anything that has gone on in Texas. Come on. He's the governor. Eighteen

year olds can buy these kinds of rifles. By his own law -- you have to be 21 to buy a handgun, but 18 year olds can buy these kind of rifles, and

then we allow the firearms industry, which I was a part of, but I was not a part of sort of this incendiary marketing activities that have been going

on for more than 15 years now, we've been leading to this.

We can't act shocked at this. This is what happens when you put this ingredient into the system.

KINKADE: And, Ryan, despite the fact that we continue to cover these mass shootings, these massacres we wake up month after month, year after year,

we do not see the loss improvement. You heard the Texas governor saying a few moments ago, do we expect loss to come out of this? Absolutely, yes.

The problem is when you look at what is happening in a lot of states in the U.S., including Texas, they come up with loss after a mass shooting. And a

couple of years after El Paso and Odessa (ph) they loosen restrictions yet again.

So, this continues to happen. Why is it in the interest of lawmakers, of the NRA to have zero gun regulations?

BUSSE: Well, because the gun issue and NRA's on the very tip of the United States culture war. They have the loudest mike, they send a political

discourse and they tell Republican lawmakers that the only way to move is in one direction. And you're right, Abbott talks some kind of game now, but

the only game he's played is reducing gun regulation, is making it easier with these things to happen.

There are a lot of things that were specific to this case but in general, the support of the firearms industry -- I mean, Texas is a huge firearms

market. It is welcoming to the sort of incendiary marketing that the fire industry engages in. It's a leading to a militarization of our kids in our

communities and it's ruining our politics.

KINKADE: Ryan, you worked in the firearms industry for more than two decades. You advocated the responsible gun ownership. As we speak right

now, the NRA convention is underway in Texas. They advocate the guns to be in the hands of anyone anywhere, no questions asked.

Yet no guns are allowed at the convention as they wait to hear from former President Donald Trump, and this is not the first time the NRA has banned

guns at their own convention. Are they hypocrites?

BUSSE: Yes, absolutely they are. And I should know that there are a lot of guns on the floor. There show guns for manufacturers. All of those guns

have to be disabled. They're checked by safety officers. In the factories where those guns are made, I know, because I've been inside them, there are

very under strict with gun protocols.

You can't bring your personal gun to work. When you shoot a gun in the facility you have to be in a safe -- you have to have safety equipment on.

You have to keep the muzzle downrange. We have to fill up background checks. Even when you're an employee, you have to do these things.

And so firearms companies and the industry knows full well what safety procedures look like, because they demanded in their own facilities. They

demanded in their own conferences, at their trade shows, and they fight against it for the general public? Like it's completely hypocritical.

KINKADE: Ten years ago, a 20-year-old shot 26 students and teachers at the Sandy Hook elementary. Shortly after the firearm used in that massacre was

used in an ad by Bushmaster. They showed the rifle. We have this image. It was aimed at young men saying consider your man card reissued.

This was after the Sandy Hook massacre. This company remains the leading seller of AR rifles and M16 type rifles. It's mass shooting we've just seen

recovered this week in Texas used a similar weapon. The gunman had bought two of those rifles days apart just after his birthday, on or after his


What is it going to take for Americans sick of this bloodshed to stand up to these companies?


BUSSE: Well, I think it's going to take responsible gun owners, of which I am one, and I know there are millions. They have stayed silent too long.

They have to let the NRA say that they represent all gun owners. They've let the NRA have the microphone.

They've bought into the conspiratorial crap that says this sort of progressives or Democrats are coming to get your guns. It's complete bunk.

It's time for responsible gun owners to kick the door down and stop this insanity, because it really is insanity.

We're never going to solve it, but we should not let the good be -- the perfect be the enemy of the good. We can step in, just like we have done on

cigarettes and car safety, and every other facet of our life, and make things marginally better. And gun owners need to demand it.

KINKADE: They really do.

Ryan Busse, really good to get you on the program. I really do hope we see change soon. Thanks so much for your time.

BUSSE: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, still to come, landscapes torn apart. Lives lost or changed.

Stay with us for exclusive reporting on the war in Ukraine.


KINKADE: Imagine a city of more than 100,000 people on its way to become virtually uninhabitable in a matter of weeks? That's the reality in

Severodonetsk, a Ukrainian hub in Luhansk, that's the focus of new fighting in the east of the country. Local military officials say 90 percent of

housing there is now damaged because of the war.

There may not be something we are all necessarily talking about every day, but the war in Ukraine is intensifying and in horrifying directions. In

Kharkiv a baby was killed. One of the Ukrainian officials called quote, dense shelling of a civilian area.

The Kremlin now says discussions with Russia have been -- contradictory statements from Kyiv.


The United Nations defines genocide as acts intended to destroy in whole or in part, and national, ethnic, racial or religious group. And that's what

more than 30 leading scholars and experts on the matter say it's happening right now in parts of Ukraine.

In an advanced copy shared exclusively with CNN, Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which is a U.S. based think tank and a Canada based

Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, says detailed analysis suggests aspects of this war have been genocidal in nature. These images are from

Bucha, where some of the first claims of war crimes and mass killings were reported.

Let's get more on some of the most recent violence in Ukraine as we watch the heavy shelling in Severodonetsk. CNN is in a nearby cit that's a prime

target for the next stage of this war. It is where the impact of the conflict is not being measured in global outrage or objectivity. In those

little moments and life that may never again be seen.

Nick Paton Walsh spoke to the some of the families there.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Here's how it feels when Russia is coming. This is Severodonetsk in Putin's crosshairs, only

one bridge left we are told, almost anything that moves is shelled. Across that river, next in line is here, this twin city, Lysychansk. The remnants

of its once 100,000 people facing an enemy they rarely see. Only here can you feel the loathing.

The police are here helping evacuate the last needy.

Essentially, to collect as many people with disabilities and need as much help as they can to get them out.

For Ekaterina, age 74, the war so far has swelled around her one room flat. It is time for her and her husband to go. Once and perhaps for all.

EKATERINA, LYSYCHNASK RESIDENT (translated): I didn't collect any of my things. I don't know where I will live. It's better they kill me. You know,

I have nowhere to hide. We have on room. I lie opposite the shelling. In the last minute, I thought if I'm going to suffer like this, better they

kill me.

WALSH: These moments are the correct way to measure Putin's invasion. Not in tanks lost, alliances forged or buildings hammered, but in twilight

days, totally uprooted in tiny moments of inconsolable panic.

EKATERINA (translated): When is this grief going to end?

WALSH: This briefcase carefully packed by Valentin contains all documents for whatever is that comes next.

Closer to Russian-backed separatists areas of Ukraine, loyalties are not simple. This large young family, which like so much of the town has

relatives in Russia, but no gas or electricity, seems to prefer an outdoor stove in the basement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (translated): What's the choice? Live on the street?

WALSH: They do not seem to perturbed despite the blasts and say they want peace. Sometimes you feel they don't want you to know who's side they are

on, especially this man when we mention America.

VALENTIN, LYSYCHNASK RESIDENT (translated): You arm us, so we fight Russia in our country? Have I got that right? I don't understand this war. We're

afraid of death.

WALSH: But still, their world is underground with flying dust in the damp air. Their kitten born into the war that children sleep, broken by


At the cemetery, the cost is starker. It has three types of mass graves. This line already filled with some of the 160 dead whose relatives cannot

bury them yet. This one, half filled with the bodies collected daily. Their names recorded on each back, and this one, yawning, empty, a sign of the

savagery they know is to come.


KINKADE: That was our Nick Paton Walsh reporting there from eastern Ukraine.

Well, economic inequality is one of the biggest issues facing voters in Colombia as they head to the polls this Sunday, leftist senator Gustavo

Petro is leading his center-right rival, Federico Gutierrez, in the polls. The contest is likely to go to a second round in June. The election could

also see history made if Francia Marquez is as elected as Colombia's first Black vice president, as Stefano Pozzebon has more.



STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Francia Marquez left the school at 16 due to a teenage pregnancy, she would have never

thought 25 years later her name would be chanting on the streets. It is a remarkable turnaround for a political leader whose cool rear began as a

gold miner, than as a house cleaner, environmental defender and now a candidate for the vice presidency of Colombia.

This Sunday, the same name is on the ballot as the left wing coalition tries to reach power for the first time in Colombia's history. And Marquez

could become the first vice president of Afro Colombian descent. A significant moment she is fully aware of.

FRANCIA MARQUEZ, COLOMBIAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): I was thinking of that dream with Martin Luther King. I also

have a dream. I have a dream to see my country at peace, to see my country full of joy and dignity.

POZZEBON: Her candidacy has energized the new generation under the slogan of let's have flavorful life. But it's also been a target of hate and

racist attacks.

She held rallies behind gun shields after receiving death threats, while a famous singer called her King Kong on the campaign trail.

Only the ballots this Sunday will say Francia Marquez is successful and her quest for office is a triumph. But even if it ended in defeat, her

supporters say she has already made history, because the barriers she broke to come here date back from centuries.

The Afro Colombian community traces its roots to slaves brought here in the 1600s. Marquez herself told CNN that one of her ancestors it was enslaved

in Africa and taken to Colombia to work in gold mines.

Colombia's specific coast is home to the second largest Afro descendant community in South America, but one that has been historically neglected

and marginalized. Here, people say it's easier to join the army then go to the university.

For young people like Marlin Garces, Marquez represents a change for the entire community.

MARLIN GARCES, FRANCIA MARQUEZ SUPPORTER (through translator): We are moving from struggle to power. We are showing this is not temporary. The

community identifies with this battle.

POZZEBON: Change often happens in an unexpected ways. It was 2008 when hope and change swept the first African American president into office in

the U.S.

Back then, Marquez was a single mother of two cleaning homes to make a living. Now, it is her supporters who chant, yes, we can!

Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, Buenaventura, Colombia.


KINKADE: Well, thanks so much for watching. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Stick around. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.