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The Lead with Jake Tapper
5 Killed, 19 Hurt In Shooting At Colorado LGBTQ+ Bar; Likely GOP Oversight Chair To Investigate Hunter Biden; U.S. Ties Wales In First Match In Qatar; Iranian Protesters Allege Rape, Torture Of Women & Men After Arrests; One Week Later: No Suspect, No Murder Weapon In Idaho Stabbings. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired November 21, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Five killed, 19 injured, and a gunman allegedly motivated by hate.
THE LEAD right now.
Tragedy at an LGBTQ+ nightclub. The suspected shooter now facing murder and hate crime charges. One of the victims shot seven times told CNN about the attack. Plus, the bomb threat arrest last year that might have been a warning sign.
Also ahead, House Republican sending a slew of letters to the Biden administration today as they get ready to take over key committees in the House.
And a powerful move by World Cup players from Iran as a CNN exclusive uncovers claims of widespread rape and torture of protesters in that country.
KEILAR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Brianna Keilar, in for Jake Tapper.
And we start the national lead. Prosecutors ready to charge the suspect of yet another deadly mass shooting with a hate crime. Five people died in Colorado Springs shooting and we just learned the name of a second victim, Derrick Rump, who was a bartender. He worked alongside another victim, 28-year-old Daniel Aston. At least 19 other people in that nightclub were injured when a man opened fire in this LGBTQ+ nightclub on Saturday night.
Court records show the alleged gunman will face multiple murder and hate crime charges once he is out of the hospital. An owner of the club tells CNN that the shooter entered with, quote, tremendous firepower. But the, quote, dozens of lives were saved after two people in the club confronted the shooter, disarmed him, and held him down.
Now, many are asking how this could have happened. Should Colorado's red flag law have prevented this? The suspect was apparently arrested last year for threatening to bomb his mother's home.
Colorado's attorney general saying this on CNN this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL WEISER (D), COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL: I do believe officers know we have a red flag law. We need to make sure it's top of mind and that everyone understands how it works and what the rationale and reasoning for it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: We start in Colorado Springs, where some of the victims are sharing their stories with CNN's Nick Watt.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Club Q is one of the only LGBTQ venues in the city. The community called it their safe space, until Saturday, minutes before midnight.
MICHAEL ANDERSON, BARTENDER, CLUB Q: I saw the outline of a man holding a rifle at the entrance of the club, just probably about 15 feet from me.
BARRETT HUDSON, SURVIVOR: He was wearing a black hat, black shirt, and jeans.
WATT: Barrett Hudson was sitting near the door. He was shot seven times.
HUDSON: There was a man in front of him. He put his hands up a little bit, took two steps back, and the dude just -- that is when I took off running.
WATT: Among the dead, bartender Daniel Aston, his parents told "The Denver Post" he had moved here to be near them. Another bartender Derrick Rump also killed.
TIARA KELLEY, CLUB Q PRODUCER AND PERFFORMER: They were in so many ways polar opposites, but worked so well together. They were just amazing. And every bar should have a Daniel and a Derek.
WATT: The clubs owners told "The New York Times" they review the security tapes, which show the shooter wearing a flak jacket and armed with, quote, tremendous firepower, a rifle and a handgun. 11:56 pm was the first 911 call midnight. The first officer arrived, 12:02. The suspect was detained.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One patron was able to wrestle the gun away from him and use that gun to disable him, not by shooting him, but by hitting him.
WATT: At least two club patrons were involved in taking the gunman down.
CHIEF ADRIAN VASQUEZ, COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: One of them was injured and is in the hospital. I am waiting for an update on him. HUDSON: As soon as they started counting out the bullet holes, I
called my dad. He's my best friend. We have a great relationship. And I called him -- because I wanted -- I wanted him -- I wanted him to hear my voice.
WATT: Joshua Thurman was dancing, took cover in a dressing room.
JOSHUA THURMAN, CLUB Q PATRON: Nobody moved back there. It was so scary. I heard shots, broken glass, bodies -- it was -- how?
WATT (on camera): Now, CNN has just confirmed within the past half hour or so that the 22-year-old suspect is the grandson of an outgoing California state assemblyman by the name of Randy Voepel. He was also a small town mayor at one point.
Now, Voepel gained some fame or notoriety recently by comparing the January attack to the Revolutionary War. He said, this is Lexington and Concord, first shots fired against tyranny, this according to "The San Diego Union Tribune". He said, tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear in on January 20th.
Voepel later walked those comments back a little bit on Twitter. We have not been able to reach him and we don't know how much contact he actually had with his grandson. His grandson, by the way, in the hospital right now, waiting to be charged with five counts of (AUDIO GAP) and hate crimes -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Just heartbreaking, those accounts that you shared with us there, Nick. Nick Watt, thank you so much for that report.
I want to talk now with Stephen Gutowski. He is a CNN contributor. He is the founder of the reload.com.
And, Stephen, you've heard this, police arrested the suspect in June of 2021. This was in connection to a bomb threat against his mother. He was never formally charged for the incident.
But what does this tell you about this case?
STEPHEN GUTOWSKI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Ht tells me that he should not have been able to legally purchased firearms. And that if they simply follow through on those charges and prosecuted him and convicted him, he would've been barred for life from owning firearms for the multiple felonies involved in that case. And, you know, of course, even if they hadn't gone through that, they could have fallen in the red flag law that's available in Colorado as well. But apparently, nobody did.
KEILAR: Yeah, the red flag law went into effect in 2020. Citizens and law enforcement can request that a judge remove guns from someone they think is a danger and CNN affiliate KUSA in Denver actually did an investigation that found of the 107 requests made by law enforcement, between January 2020 and January 2022, 101 were granted by judges.
So that actually means that 95 percent of the requests were approved. Considering how much this law works, I mean, this clearly should have stopped the shooting.
GUTOWSKI: Yeah, it certainly could have prevented the shooter from owning guns at least temporarily. Obviously, there's controversy politically over those laws as -- including in Colorado in the county where this happened. So that complicates things to some degree over due process, protection concerns, but they have issued red flag orders in that county in the past. It's unclear why they didn't pursue one in this case, and obviously, the results are horrific.
KEILAR: How do you think that complicates things? The state AG told CNN they're working hard to bring awareness among individuals in law enforcement. I mean, would your expectation be that law enforcement, they do know about this red flag law or do you think maybe they don't know, or is it that they're not enforcing this uniformly?
GUTOWSKI: I think it's hard to imagine they don't know. This has been a tough political issue in Colorado and throughout the country over the last several years. There was a lot of opposition to the passage of the Colorado law. A lot of concerns over the way it is implemented, but again, this law has been used in this county and so it's hard to say that they aren't aware of the usage. But even if you know, perhaps there's a difference in how the sheriff there pursues red flag orders, I think there's even less controversy about pursuing the felony charges over the bomb threat because if they have followed those through, he would have been convicted or likely convicted and wouldn't be able to own guns for life at that point.
KEILAR: The alleged suspect when you look at the guns he had. It was a handgun, an assault style rifle that he had for this attack. What were these Good Samaritans up against even as they decided they were going to go ahead and act to subdue him?
GUTOWSKI: Yeah, I mean, those two -- two men that stopped this brutal attack are absolutely heroes. We're talking about two unarmed people going up against an armed person whatever kind of weapons they may have. That's also going to put you at a disadvantage and always going to take a lot of courage to act in that situation and here we have two people who did act and very likely saved a lot of lives.
KEILAR: Such an incredible story to hear about. You have Democrats now including the president himself and they're calling again for an assault weapons ban. We do have to remember this though is the most popular rifle in America, certainly the most popular style of rifle.
Do you ever see it being banned or restricted?
GUTOWSKI: I think in Colorado, there's a chance you could see an assault weapons ban this year. Democrats have picked up seats in both the Senate and the House. They're now at a super majority in the House and one vote away from it in the Senate and, of course, the governor there is also a Democrat though he is perhaps a more moderate Democrat. They have passed other gun control measures in recent years, have stayed away trying to ban AR-15s and similar firearms.
This may, you know, add to that calculus in the state there locally for how they pursue new gun restrictions this year. I think at the national level, it's much less likely, especially with Republicans recapturing control of the house. But even when Democrats had control before the midterms, they passed an AR-15 ban, assault weapons ban through the House, but haven't voted on it in Senate because their control is very limited there as well. So I don't see it happening on the national level, but possibly in Colorado.
KEILAR: We'll be watching Colorado with you. Stephen Gutowski, thank you so much for your time.
GUTOWSKI: Thank you.
KEILAR: Ahead, what we're learning about another shocking tragedy today when a car crashed into an Apple Store.
Plus, more than 600 tips now in about the college killings in Idaho. So what police can and cannot say about what happened.
And the series of letters sent today spelling out plans when Republicans take control of the House in six weeks.
KEILAR: And we're back now with our politics lead. With just 43 days until Republicans take over the House of Representatives, GOP leaders have already teased investigations into President Biden and his son, Hunter. And today, the likely House Oversight Committee chair, Congressman James Comer, sent warning letters to the Biden administration to start preparing for a slew of additional investigations next term, and called for a, quote, relentless focus on the border and fentanyl trafficking.
CNN's Melanie Zanona is live with us here.
So, Melanie, tell us what Comer's asking for from these agencies?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Yeah. So, Comer is seeking a wide swath of documents related to how the administration is enforcing its current immigration laws and what's it doing to stop the flow of drugs at the border. And in these letters, they went out to four different agencies and officials, including Homeland Security Department, Health and Human Services, the DEA, and the White House drug czar.
But in these letters, Comer is already assigning blame on Biden, saying that their policies are to blame for the fentanyl crisis and also for all the problems at the border and what we've seen in terms of illegal immigration. But this is one of just many signs that the border's going to be a top investigative target for Republicans in their newfound majority. You have Jim Jordan, who's going to be the top Republican House Judiciary Committee. He sent a letter last week saying that they're going to be calling in people for hearings and transcribed interviews, including Alejandro Mayorkas. He's the secretary of homeland security department.
He also multiple trips to the border that Republicans have taken, including Kevin McCarthy who is going to be there tomorrow with a group of Republicans and there's been calls to impeach him. Now, Democrats say they agree the immigration system is broken, but they point out that instead of Republicans trying to use their majority to find solutions legislatively, that they're just focused on investigation.
And we should also point out, Brianna, that the Department of Homeland Security has said they have seized a record amount of fentanyl. So they are doing things to stop the flow of drugs at the border, but nonetheless, they're preparing for an onslaught of investigations, potential impeachment proceedings. They've been stepping up and taking other steps to prepare for that scenario. So, clearly, that's something everyone in Washington is anticipating right now.
KEILAR: Look, it's not unusual I think for the opposition party to create all of this work for an administration in a situation like this. And we're going to see that really unfold here.
I also want to ask you about what you could call maybe a job assistance program for Democrats because obviously there were not as many as could have been but there were a number who did lose their jobs in the midterms.
ZANONA: Yes. My colleague Megan Vasquez is reporting that the White House is prioritizing hiring defeated Democrats and their staffers for jobs. White House chief of staff Ron Klain directed the Presidential Personnel Office to look into job openings they have. See what might be a good fit for some of these people that are on their way out.
And we should also point out, this isn't entirely unusual and there are a number of high ranking White House staffers and cabinet officials who came from the hill. It's the circle of life around here.
KEILAR: The circle of life, indeed. Melanie Zanona, thank you for the reporting.
Next, President Biden's attempt as poking fun at a Republican red wave or lack thereof.
KEILAR: And we are back with our politics lead. It is decision time for President Biden. Will he or won't he run for president in 2024? Sources telling CNN he'll be mulling over the decision with his family over the coming holiday weeks.
First, though, America's first 80-year-old president reflected on Republicans disappointing midterms performance with a pretty bad, like really bad grand dad joke at the annual turkey pardon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only red wave this season's going to be a German shepherd Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: All right. Let's bring in our panel for that joke analysis. Any -- did you love that joke? What did you guys think?
AYESHA RASCOE, ANCHOR, NPR WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY: I kind of liked it. He's a grand dad.
KEILAR: We're done with ketchup. What did you think?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER & STATEGIST: I didn't know where he was going the first couple of words then when he was done, I mean, I love dogs. It was a dog joke.
KEILAR: It's the delivery for you I think is what it is.
All right. OK, moving on to very important matters here.
Michael, sources are telling CNN the Democrats are actually worried that you could have a younger Republican in a primary race against Trump and really defeat Trump and that this is someone who would give Joe Biden a bigger run for his money. Do you think that should be a concern?
MICHAEL LAROSA, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: No, I don't.
LAROSA: Well, first of all, any reason has to go through a Republican primary and not just any primary, a primary with Donald Trump. Donald Trump's also not the most loyal to the Republican Party. I think he's been a Republican for a couple of years maybe, but if he were to lose, I can imagine him running as an independent just to deny the person who beat him an opportunity at the win.
KEILAR: What do you think?
ANDERSON: I think a lot of Republicans are gearing up for a crazy primary season and if you're Joe Biden, you're probably thinking, I'm the one that's beat Donald Trump before and nothing about the midterm I think the White House would interpret as a rejection of Joe Biden. So, it's very likely if you're in his shoes, you want to run again.
I think the problem Democrats also have is what's plan B?
I don't think there's a clear if Biden say he's not going to run, who's up next? I don't think there's anybody the Republicans are particularly afraid of.
KEILAR: So, we mentioned the president's age, of course, which Democrats have talked about concerns. Some of them openly.
"The Wall Street Journal" talked to Democrats on the subject of his age. One New Hampshire Democrat said this, Tom Brady won a Super Bowl when he was like 43. I think we have to reassess hero views of aging and all of that.
Is 80 to the White House what 43 is to the NFL? What say you?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Brianna, I'm old enough to remember, and Michael, you might remember this, too, that in the original discussions over Joe Biden running, there was a lot of talk about the highest levels of the Democratic Party that he would run for one term and pick a younger running mate at VP who then would hand the baton over to. Kamala Harris at the time was offended by that because she wanted to be number one. She wanted to be the president.
That was the original calculation. Now, I think there's an element here even if Trump's going to be a spoiler no matter what, of the contrast of the generational handover that is taking place in Congress.
RASCOE: I mean, I think that both parties kind of have the same problem but in different ways. I mean, Trump is not going to walk away, right? Like he will burn everything down, take everything with him. Like that's just not in his personality.
And then when you have Biden, Biden has no reason to walk away. It's like look, we're winning. You keep underestimating me. You want to send me off. You don't have someone's -- you know, why should I go? And there's no clear person to step up and take that mantle. Like that's just the fact. They don't have someone so why should I leave when we're winning.
LAROSA: This feels very deja vu, right? I think we were talking about this four years ago when it came to Biden's age. And he's defied political gravity now three times. Winning the primary nobody thought he could. You know, beating an incumbent president and he led his party to a really strong historic overperformance the other night.
ANDERSON: I'm going to disagree a little bit. I think Democrats did better than expected in spite of Biden. If you look at the exit polls, traditionally, the power out of power wins voters who say they're disappointed with the president, right? Republicans winning over voters disappointed in Obama, voters who are disappointed in Trump voted for Democrats.
This time around, if you were somewhat disapproving of Biden, you actually voted for Democrats. It's a big problem for Republicans that they weren't able to win those folks over. But those weren't voters that were checking the blue marks on their ballot because they loved Biden. PRZYBYLA: Some of them are really, too. I was in Arizona and it was
by a hair. And the only way to read that was not that they were voting for Joe Biden because his approval ratings in Arizona are so high, but it was a rejection of extremism. So, I think it's -- we can't predict now where the country is going to be a couple of years. Are people still going to feel like Joe Biden is the bulwark against extremism?
LAROSA: None of the Republicans are going to be running to center in the primary, no matter how young they are. They're going to have a record of most likely extremism like Governor DeSantis, who, you know, he will be held accountable for his record in Florida, but he's also going to be running to the right in the primary to try to out-Trump Trump.
KEILAR: So, Ayesha, Saturday night, I'm anchoring and Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump on Twitter and I don't know if you guys were doing what I was doing, but I'm constantly refreshing the profile thinking okay, well when is the tweet going to come?
RASCOE: Did you miss him? Is that why you want to keep refreshing --
KEILAR: So I thought, but he didn't and now he's saying actually that he prefers to stay on his own platform, Truth Social. I wonder, do you think that lasts?
RASCOE: I think the reason why I think it could last a little bit is because money is involved, right? I think if something really matters to Trump, it's money. Like, his finances and because there's a lot of money sank into Truth Social and I think there are even some things like if he like has to tweet on Truth Social first before he puts it on another social media platform, social media platforms, and investors could come after him if he does that. So, I think that's part of the issue. This is a money thing. He's put a lot of money in Truth Social. So, why would he go to --
PRZYBYLA: Ayesha is 100 percent right about that. And we'll know I think pretty soon whether this merger is going to go through. It's like December 8th. If the whole thing falls apart, of course, Trump is going to come back to Twitter. And, right now, he's putting business over politics, but at some point with the investigations or with other Republicans who are getting more attraction, he's going to feel that tug of going back to putting politics and exposure over the business part.
ANDERSON: I think this is not that big a deal. One, when Donald Trump wants to put something in the news, he finds ways to put something in the news, right? I don't think there's a lot of like, well, he posted on Truth Social or he sent out a press release. So, we're not going to cover it. If it's on Twitter, so we will.
But, second, it's that secondary coverage that his tweets really mattered until the time he got kicked off. It's his ability to say things and then suddenly, we're around the table like this talking about it.
So whether it's on Twitter or another platform, I still expect him to be able to have a big microphone at his disposal.
KEILAR: I want to talk about what we're expecting. We've heard from retiring Republican Congressman Adam Kissinger. He said something very interesting to Jake Tapper about his expectations for a Kevin McCarthy speakership. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think he has cut s deals with bad people to get to this position. I think he will not be a leader at all. I think he'll be completely hostage to kind of the extreme wings of the Republican Party. And I frankly don't think he's going to last very long.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Is that how you think it might go? What do you guys think?
MICHAEL LAROSA, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: I think that Kevin McCarthy is the only person who needs to prove something here. Can he govern? Is his majority governable? Nobody has, you know, said Joe Biden doesn't know how to work with the other side. The question will be, can Kevin McCarthy get the votes to pass the debt ceiling? To pass the government funding bill?
Those are the only two main functions he has to do. But last time the Republicans have power, they held the economy hostage and our credit score was downgraded for the first time.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: I was reading John Boehner's memoir.
KEILAR: There you go.
PRZYBYLA: It made me think, he must be sitting somewhere thinking, the Tea Party, they were so pragmatic. One thing struck me. And we really have Tea Party 2.0. And there are more of these types of numbers.
What he said in there is true then and it's true today, which is a lot of his members are not here to government. They are here to throw sand in the gears and to make government not work, to wrack it down and just have here to walk it down. And just have the spending cut battles.
KEILAR: Part of that is just, unfortunately, I'm sure to observers outside of Washington because it kind of looks gross -- that is just the role of the minority, right? Gumming up the works. At least a dozen modern times here, throwing some bombs, rhetorically, at the other side. But I wonder what you think about, because you talk to people and focused groups -- what do they think and what they say, does that change any of your expectations about what will happen with Kevin McCarthy?
ANDERSON: Most voters understand that divided government means not much will get done. That is why there's so much pressure from the Republican base to say, look, we're not expecting legislation to get past. But we can have the power of investigations et cetera. That's what you will see so much pressure on McCarthy to do things like investigating the Biden administration instead of putting forward a agenda and passing legislation.
KEILAR: Thank you guys so much for the conversation. I really appreciate it.
United States is just wrapping up his first match of the 2022 World Cup. This as there's fresh controversy surrounding actions by the host country. We will be live in Qatar next.
Plus, a CNN exclusive inside Iran investigating claims that the country security forces are sexually assaulting protesters, men and women, and then blackmailing them into silence.
KEILAR: Topping our sports lead, the U.S. men soccer team just finished its inaugural 2022 World Cup match. The game capping another day of controversy at the tournament in Qatar including a crackdown on the arm bands that several European team captains had planned to wear.
CNN "WORLD SPORT" anchor Don Riddell is in Doha.
So, Don, let's start with Team USA. How do they fare?
DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST, WORLD SPORT: Well, they drew their opening game against Wales. It was the Americans first appearance in the World Cup for eight years. That seems like a long time for Wales. It was much more. This was their first World Cup match since 1958.
So, so much excitement and expectation around this young American team. They're one of the youngest teams in the draw. And they made a good start. That is really good first half. They took the lead here when the Chelsea star Christian Pulisic played -- he gave the Americans the lead. That was how it's done at halftime.
But the Wales were much improved in the second half. And they ended up getting an equalizer pretty late on. And the Americans can have no real complaints, to be honest, with the way this went down. Walker Zimmerman, absolutely clattering LAFC star Gareth Bale. And Bale then dispatched the penalty with great aplomb.
So that is how it finished, 1 all. It's not the end. Far from it, it's only the first game out of 3 in the group stage. But it now sets up an absolutely epic clash against England on Friday. That is the day after Thanksgiving and that game is expected to draw the highest ever television audience for a soccer game in the United States. KEILAR: An epic clash. I cannot wait for that, Don. I do want to get
to the newest controversy. There have been many at the World Cup. This one involved armbands that the captains of several teams plant where. But then FIFA threatened them if they did.
RIDDELL: That's right. Yeah, these are the OneLove rainbow armbands designed to promote inclusivity. And, of course, that's really, really important here in Qatar, where so many civil and human rights are denied, and homosexuality is criminalized. So, these captains, a number of them from Europe, were planning on wearing them. But at the 11th hour, FIFA made it clear that if they did, those players would be punished. That could've meant a booking or even being sent off the field.
And, so in the end, they had to switch tack. The players could not do this. And that was seen as incredibly disappointing to human rights group. Human rights groups are very disappointed. The England players did take a knee before the game and they said that was an act of inclusivity and, of course, doing that here, that was a pretty big gesture as well.
KEILAR: Yeah, so last-minute to see that happen. Don Riddell, thank you so much. Live for us from Doha.
RIDDELL: All right.
And Iran's World Cup team took a stand, regarding protests in their home country, moments before their first match today. The team did not sing as Iran's national anthem was played before the game against England got underway. Several of Iran's World Cup players have spoken out in recent weeks in support of demonstrators protesting the suspicious death back in September of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, or Zhina Amini, her banned Kurdish name that her family uses.
And that brings us to the world lead and the unthinkable happening too many of those protesters in Iran. First, with the brutal crackdowns, even deaths. Now, women and also men tell CNN, security forces are using rape and blackmail to torture them.
CNN's Nima Elbagir has their stories and a warning, their testimony is graphic and disturbing to hear.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over these mountains is Iran, a regime that has succeeded in cutting many of its people off from the outside world. But disturbing stories detailing the authorities' brutal retribution, systematic sexual violence against anti-regime protesters, have begun leaking out.
We have come here to the Kurdish region of Iraq to try to find out more. This is Hannah (ph), not her real name, a Kurdish Iranian woman recently smuggled out of Iran. She fears for her life. After taking off and burning her head scarf on the streets, she was arrested and detained by Iranian intelligence officers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They choose the women who are pretty and suited their appetites. Then, the officer would take one of them from the cell to a smaller, private room. They would sexually assault them there.
ELBAGIR: Hannah isn't only an eyewitness. She also was violated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel shy talking about this. You can still see what the policeman did. Look here, on my neck. It is purplish. That is why I am covering it. He forced himself on me.
ELBAGIR: Then, a fight broke out with another protester. Drawing away, Hannah and others could hear screams and they believe a woman was raped in an interrogation room.
Hannah sketched out the police station as she remembers it. She estimates 70 to 80 men and women were together in a main hall that accessed for private interrogation rooms. It was in these interrogation rooms, she says, that she was assaulted and others were raped.
CNN was able to locate the police station through Hannah's description, eyewitness corroboration and geolocation, using key landmarks. It's in the Eslamabad neighborhood of Urmia.
Based on this testimony and speaking to a number of sources, a pattern of repression comes into focus. Police centers use as filtration points, moving protesters from one location to another, often families left not knowing where their loved ones are held.
One Iraq-based Kurdish militant opposition party PAK identified over 240 people who they believe are missing within this maze of detention centers. Human rights organizations believe the number is higher, in the thousands. Some of the victims as young as 14. Many are men, supporting female protesters. Their punishment, as severe as the women's.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They brought four men over who have been beaten, screaming intensely in another cell. And one of the man who was tortured with sent to the waiting room where I was. I asked him what all that screaming was about. He said they are raping the man.
ELBAGIR: Based on witness testimony, CNN trace the location to an Iranian army intelligence headquarters. Voiced her by a translator, a 17 year old boy sent CNN a voice note following his imprisonment. We are withholding his name and location for his safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When a security guard heard me discussing the rape of the other inmates, he started torturing me all over again. They tortured and raped me from behind.
ELBAGIR: Even as authorities visited sexual violence on protesters, regime figures accused female protesters of prostitution, of, quote, wanting to be naked. Of the incidents of sexual violence against protesters, inside Iranian detention facilities, most occurred in the Kurdish majority areas to the west of Iran, home to historically oppressed minority.
Disturbingly in some cases, the rapes were filmed and used to blackmail protesters into silence.
There has been a real escalation where female protesters are as you can see here, being openly assaulted, often sexually. But the violence against women, like the protests, are not confined to the Kurdish areas. They're often focused on locations, where the protests are most intense, like here in the capital Tehran.
One of these stories is Armita Abbasi, a typical 20-year-old on social media sharing her love of animals.
On social media posts appearing under her name, Abbasi, like many young women in Iraq criticized the regime openly after the protests began. Unlike most, she did it without anonymity. It didn't take long for security forces to find and arrest her. Abbasi disappeared.
Soon after, whistleblowers began to post on various social media platforms. Medics, sharing eyewitness accounts of what had been done to Abbasi. First of all, they say there were few plain clothes men with her, and they did not let her out of their sight. Even during a private medical examination they were there.
She was my patient, I went to her bedside. They shaved her head. She was scared and was troubling.
When she first came in, they said, it was rectal bleeding due to repeated rape. The plainclothesmen insisted that the doctor write that the rape was prior to her arrest. And after this issue is becoming obvious to all, they changed the entire scenario altogether.
The details of these leaks were confirmed to CNN by an insider at Imam Ali hospital, where Abbasi was brought to be examined. In a statement, the government said Abbasi was treated for digestive problems. The medics who treated her said that was not true.
The Iranian regime, denies the rape, accusing her of leading protest, an allegation which could see her face the death penalty.
At this usually busy border crossing between Iraq and Iran, it is deceptively quiet. Those who can cross, tell us the noose is tightening on protesters. Authorities have for decades use sexual torture against Iranians. And it appears once more a familiar pattern, sexual violence deployed to enforce an assertion of moral guardianship.
ELBAGIR (on camera): The Iranian authorities have not responded to our request for comment. But it's really important to stress, that what you saw there, that took about two months for us to verify. There's so much more in the atmosphere of fear, and repression with the communication blackout that's happening in Iran that we don't know that's being done to people inside Iran by the Iranian regime -- Brianna.
KEILAR: Yeah, Nima, such an important look at what protesters there are dealing with.
Nima Elbagir, thank you for that report.
ELBABIR: Thank you.
KEILAR: More than a week after the brutal killings, for college students how could this be so few answers. We're live in Idaho next with the latest revelations about a call to 911.
KEILAR: A terrifying scene at an Apple Store in Hingham, Massachusetts. An SUV barreling into the store killing one person and injuring 16 others. Several victims were pinned against the wall by this car. And doctors treating patients, the hospital said multiple have life-threatening injuries. The driver is currently with police officers as they continue to investigate how this happened.
It's been more than a week now, and investigators still do not know who killed four college students at their off campus house in Idaho. Police still haven't found a murder weapon, nor do they have a clear suspect, and certainly, no motive.
CNN's Camila Bernal is in Moscow, Idaho, where the communities begging for answers.
Are there concerns, Camila, that the trail is going cold here?
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brianna, that's a great question.
But I think authorities are not ready to say that just yet, even though they're not giving us a lot of answers, and in part it's because they still have so much work to be down here. Just two hours ago, they expanded the crime scene. So, the back of the house where there's a parking lot, that is now part of the crime scene. You saw investigators taking notes, looking around, they're also going in and of the house multiple times this weekend, they searched the four cars that are left here in the parking lot.
And they're going through hundreds, and hundreds of tips. So much information coming in from this community, people that want to help, they've already talked to about 90 people, they're starting to rule people out. They say that the roommates that were in the house, other people that were there, when they made that 911 call, they've ruled them out. There is also a number of people that interacted with these girls on the night that they were killed, some of them have also been ruled out. But then the question, who's responsible for this? People still asking
that question over, and over again and not getting those answers. So, there is that frustration, even police saying it's hard for that.
Here is the captain in charge of this investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN ROGER LANIER, MOSCOW POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's been very hard from members of the community and it's been equally difficult for our officers and for the investigators. We will continue to put all of our resources towards investigating and bringing this to a resolution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERNAL: And we have seen those resources, but these families they want more. They're saying their final goodbyes, and they're asking people -- that was his favorite color.
The mom of Kaylee Goncalves saying, please just stop this and asking for the responsible person to come forward, Brianna.
KEILAR: What do we know, Camila, about that 911 call that was made by one of the surviving roommates?
BERNAL: So, first of all, Brianna, it was made at around noon on Sunday. So, that is sometime after authorities believe all of this happened. We know that the phone number, or the phone of one of the roommates was used.
But there are a bunch of people, multiple people in the house, and they were all calling and all talking to dispatch. It's unclear exactly what they told dispatch. It's really interesting to see what they saw. But so far, they're not saying what these people saw -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Camila Bernal, live for us in Moscow, Idaho, thank you.
And ahead, the question to the Supreme Court's chief justice after reports of another leak of a case before the decision came down, and religious conservatives allegedly trying to woo justices with meals and gifts.