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Don Lemon Tonight

Three People Killed, Eight Wounded In Shooting; Oakland Sheriff Gave Press Conference; Kid Uses A Gun Purchased By Father; Vaccines Are Effective Against Omicron. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 30, 2021 - 22:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (on camera): That's it for us right now. The news continues. Let's turn things over to Don and DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We have the breaking news tonight. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.

We're going to start with our breaking news. Three students dead at a school shooting in Michigan. I need to tell you we are waiting a press conference, that is supposed to happen at any moment.

You're looking now at the podium that is in Oakland County, Michigan. Again, a press conference, we're expecting to either hear from the sheriff there, or the undersheriff.

The shooting happening earlier today. Three dead, another eight people injured. Kids killed in their school. It's really happened far too many times, but we cannot become numb to this. So, we're going to continue to report on all the breaking news.

How many families have sent their kids off to school in the morning, not knowing that it was the last time that they'd see them alive? These are the questions that happen after we get have these shootings.

It is Oakland, excuse me, Oxford high school in Michigan. Shots rang out, 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, and a 17-year-old are dead in the shooting. Another eight are injured. The shooting suspect is a 15-year-old boy.

And we have some new video, this is from inside one of the classrooms, if you look at your screen, you'll see it now.

UNKNOWN: It's safe to come out.

LEMON: As students and their teacher, heard a voice from the hallway --

UNKNOWN: We're not willing to take the risk right now.

LEMON: Then they waited.

UNKNOWN: We're not taking that risk right now. LEMON: Not sure if the person on the other side of the door was friendly, --

UNKNOWN: Yes, bro.

LEMON: -- or hostile?

UNKNOWN: He said bro.

LEMON: They fled to safety.

UNKNOWN: Stand up.


UNKNOWN: Slow down! You're fine.

UNKNOWN: Slow down.

UNKNOWN: I want you to drop that --

LEMON: So again, this is all happening in Oakland County, Michigan. And again, we are awaiting a press conference here. So, I'm just going to stretch a little bit until we get to it, and bring in some of our correspondents soon.

But like I said, we cannot become numb to this. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, says his heart goes out to the grieving families tonight. Watch this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I learned about a school shooting in Michigan. We learned, as we learn the full details, my heart goes out to the families enduring the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one.


LEMON (on camera): The Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer also speaking out tonight, tweeting no one should be afraid to go to school, work, a house of worship, or even their own home. And in a news conference, her voice breaking, saying this.


GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): I think this is every parent's worst nightmare --


LEMON (on camera): It certainly is. So, as I said, we're going to get our reporters on the field. We have folks working on as we await this press conference.

So, I want to bring in now CNN's Alexandra Field. Alexandra, good evening to you. Thanks for joining. Every parent's worst nightmare, the governor said there. Three students are dead tonight, eight others wounded. What do you know about this?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And look, Don, you keep saying that we can't get numb to it, but when you look at the video you just showed, it is chilling. That's why we've got keep our eyes on it, that's why we've got to pay attention right now tonight to what other details emerged about the shooting.

A 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 17-year-old who aren't coming home tonight because they went off to their high school in America earlier today. Seven other students who were shot and injured, and then, a teacher also shot and injured.

We know that the gunshots rang out in the middle of the school day, it was just before one o'clock, 911 was flooded with phone calls, about 100 people calling in to report the active shooting situation. It all came and went in five minutes, Don, and that is because schools all over America prepare and train for this.

The response here, it was enormous. You have 25 different agents her rushing to respond. You had some 60 ambulances showing up at Oxford high school there to triage any patients who could be coming out. Any other victims who could be coming out of those doors.

We do know that the suspected shooter, a 15-year-old, sophomore at the high school was taken under arrest without resisting. But by the time authorities reached him, they say he had already fired of 15, perhaps 20 shots. We know there was a deputy that was assigned full-time, to the school. He was, that deputy did assist in the apprehension of the suspected shooter.

But even, you know, with this highly coordinated response, you still had eight people who were injured, three people who were killed in this period of just five minutes. And we are hearing, a little bit more about what it was like to be inside the halls in the classroom of this high school, so many high schools in America.


Students talking about how, you know, that training kicked in, they barricaded inside the classrooms, they got under their desks, they try to take cover. We heard one student earlier tonight on CNN, Don, talking about how students were trying to arm themselves with scissors and calculators.

LEMON: So, Alex, we're going to go now to the sheriff in Oakland. This is the undersheriff, Michael McCabe. Let's listen to him.


MICHAEL BOUCHARD, SHERIFF, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: You guys are all set from the bounce.

(OFF-MIC) BOUCHARD: OK. Just a reminder, again, if you have any phones or anything, please silence them because this is streaming and it picks up every little bit of noise, so I appreciate that.

So obviously, we are here for the worst kind of tragedy we've seen across the country and we hope that we never come to open the county but it has, had to visit itself on our community. And certainly, the first thoughts are prayers for the families and loved ones and friends that have been impacted by this unspeakable and unforgivable event.

I'd like to speak in general about school safety, you know, the one upside is that our community Oakland County, specifically has prepared I think as well as any community in the nation.

So, the first point I'd like to make is sharing information. If you hear or see something, you've got to say something, whether it's OK to say, or whether it's calling us directly, or anonymously through a variety of methodologies. We need to know what you see and hear, in case there is some credible information there.

Just in this past week, we have intervened in three different events. They were deemed not to be credible, but we checked every one of those out. And so, it's critically important. People understand that that's not a burden to us. It's something we want you to do.

Call us if there's anybody talking about things, posting about thing, writing, anything. You need to let authorities know so that there can be intervention. The first line of prevention is open communication.

We're also hearing that there are rumors that somebody had heard or said something or knew something in advance. None of that came to us prior to today. So, if we find out there was information that's exactly the kind of thing we need to get and get looked into.

In fact, we have specific phone numbers set up. If you have information about this case, whether it's previous information you're aware of, or anything that's important or relevant, please let us know at 248-858-4911. Or you can also e-mail us at OCSO, that stands for Oakland County Sheriff's Office at

And as I said, we also accept confidential or anonymous tips on anything related to schools. Secondly, I think it's important to note as we face these things across the country and now here in Oakland, training. We train regularly for active shooter scenarios and we have for years.

In fact, we created a group called Oak-Tac many years ago after the active shooter in Mumbai and all of the police agencies in Oakland County have trained together for this scenario. And we looked in and have fire departments now that train with us and our partners. And that same activity. And all of that was very evident today.

So, we've seen agencies train in our Brandon Township temporary training facility. And with the new training facility on horizon, we intend to do even more intensive training, and train with every agency in Oakland County going forward as we have in the past. But with more scenarios and more real-world pressures, if you will.

Third, after all other school shootings around the country you saw in some scenarios where the officers or deputies didn't go in. They staged, or they waited outside. After some of those scenarios were observed, I made it very clear to our staff, if they get there first, their job is to go in and neutralize the threat. If I get there first, I'm going in. If we get there together, we're both going in. There will be no staging.


And I'm proud to say that's exactly what happened today. They went in and searched out the threat. They went to the gunshots. Train, train, train is our mantra. And that also includes students, schools and staff. Oxford has been one of those districts that's been proactive and has been training.

We have literally trained hundreds of schools, businesses, as well as houses of worship. Sad, but it's necessary. If you remember many, many years ago, we used to have students climb under the desk because of the potential threat of a killer attack. Well, it was a very different threat than we had to train to, they're going to be prepared to it.

And, this kind of thing can happen anywhere. And sadly, it happened even in a sweet, quite community like Oxford. It can visit itself anywhere in America. No one is immune. But that training can, does, and did, I believe in the situation, save lives.

So specifically, to this case, on November 30th, our dispatch center received an excess of 100 phone calls in a very short period of time. Their professionalism in responding that, handling calls, and getting relevant information to get out to our deputies it was a testimony to their excellence and professionalism.

The high school has approximately 1,800 students. And cars were dispatched to 12.52. And arrived minutes later. Within two minutes, two to three minutes of their arrival they had a suspect in custody. The first deputies on scene we're joined by about 100 other deputies from the sheriff's office.

And shortly, thereafter, almost another 200 from area agencies, including numerous fire departments. I will give you a very detailed list of who showed up, so you can understand the partnership in the training that has gone into being prepared for a situation like today.

The deputies removed from the suspect, a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer SP 2022 pistol. It was loaded at the time and still contained seven rounds of ammunition. When they took it from him, he had a loaded fire arm and he was coming down the hall.

That, again I believe, interrupted what potentially could have been seven more victims. Arriving deputies and officers from other jurisdictions search the school and evacuate injured students and staff along with others that were uninjured but clearly, panicked.

Responding deputies reverted to their active shooter training that we talked about already deploying throughout the building and searching for additional assailants, because obviously at that point we didn't know if it was one or multiple assailants. While rescuing the victims with the assistance of our partner fire service agencies.

Internal and external command posts were established. Secondary searchers were conducted along with securing the inside and outside perimeters. The FBI and MSP bomb squad responded to assist, and they checked the package that my K-9 unit and explosive unit had alerted to. More than likely, the suspect had his weapon in that bag. There was nothing else on that bag that was dangerous.

Our office of special investigation and our forensic lab is currently processing the scene which is expected to take many, many hours and go all night long.

I'm extremely proud of the deputies, our partners, the fire department and EMS for their intervening actions. As I mentioned, I believe they literally saved lives, having taken down the suspect with a loaded firearm still in the building.

I also want to underscore the impact on our team and any team that faces something like this and how proud I am about them and anyone else in these situations. One of our deputies because of severity wounds, loaded up one of the children in his car, and sadly that child died in the car.

One of our employees who was in the 911 center as part of the team taking the emergency calls, had a relative killed in the attack. And so, this touches us all personally and deeply. And will for a long time. This wound will never go away. And we understand that.

But we also want the community to know that we are here for them and we will leave no stone unturned in determining all the things that led up to it, and making sure that this investigation is full and complete before it's turned over to hold this individual accountable.


As of right now, we have tragically lost three students. A 16-year-old male, the names you'll have -- the names of the deceased the families have been notified. He died in the patrol car on the way to the hospital. A 14-year-old female and a 17-year-old female.

Another eight people were injured, seven students and one teacher. Victim number four is a 15-year-old male, he is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. Victim number five is a 14-year-old male, a serious condition, John had gunshot wounds.

Number six, a 17-year-old female, she is stable with a neck gunshot wound. A 15-year-old male, excuse me, stable with a gunshot wound to the leg, the left leg. A 17-year-old male, stable condition with a hip gunshot wound. The 47-year-old teacher who has been thankfully discharged. She had a left shoulder gunshot wound, it appears to have been a grazing wound.

Tragically, we have a 14-year-old female who is in critical condition with chest and neck gunshot wounds, and she's currently on a ventilator after surgery. So, it's looking very tough for this young girl. Our 11th victim, excuse me, is a 17-year-old female, she is in critical condition with a chest gunshot wound as well.

There are multiple non-threatening life injuries from students as they were rushing out of the building. Obviously, evacuating. They got hurt, most of them were treated and released at a pre-determined staging area. And our thanks to Myer (Ph) for assisting with that and being involved in reuniting students with their parents.

Unseen counselling with our chaplains was made available to the staff, students, and certainly the families. And I have assigned a deputy to each of the victims' families to be with them as long as necessary so that they ensure they get the information they need, the comfort they need and the protection they deserve.

As I mentioned, we have the suspect in custody. He's a 15-year-old male sophomore, a resident of Oxford Village. He was not injured and he is currently lodge at children's village on campus here. Homicide, an attempted homicide with the approval of the on-duty probate court referee.

We cannot identify him at this point because he's a juvenile, and he has not been charged as an adult, so there is no ability to identify him at this point. With his parents present, he declined to speak and they have hired an attorney so there is no conversation that's going on and no cooperation at that level.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the weapon used in the shooting was purchased on November 26, four days ago by the boy's father. The gun had 15 round magazines, we found two of them, they're allegedly was three that was purchased. And he had the crime scene unit our forensic lab as unseen, obviously processing a huge crime scene, more than likely that their magazine will be found there.

At least 12 rounds we know, that's a preliminary number based on casings observed in the ground and part of the active scene that there are now processing.

So, there is a lot of stuff that we've seen on social media and different chatter, different rumors. We'll just caution people to not spread stuff unless it comes from us. Because some of the stuff we have seen has absolutely no connection or relevance to this case. And it's hurtful to the community and the families that see some of that.

So, let's try to be respectful of that, and we'll release as much as information as we can as soon as we can that won't jeopardize any potential prosecution.

I'm joined by a specialist that is from McLaren, Oakland. She can answer -- I'm sorry, I don't know your name.

UNKNOWN: Dr. Gardner.

BOUCHARD: Dr. Gardner can answer any question as it relates to the medical issues or conditions. Congresswoman Slotkin and county executive Coulter are joining us. And they have been super supportive of our efforts today. Thank you for being here.


So, with that, I guess I'll throw it open to questions and I'll answer what I can, but it's frustrating to you, I'm sure, we're not going to completely divulge our case because it's an ongoing case.

UNKNOWN: Can you tell us something about where you found -- at his house.

BOUCHARD: I don't think they've done an inventory of that. That search warrant was executed at the suspect's home. I know that we have seized a phone, and we are in the process of examining whatever was seized.

UNKNOWN: Are there any threats made by the (Inaudible) prior to the incident? That led -- maybe this would happen.

BOUCHARD: There was nothing that came to us about prior concerns or threats, and that's part of the investigation that we have hundreds of people working.

UNKNOWN: Was his first year attending Oxford high? Did he go to a different school before? I know kids were out due to COVID last year.

BOUCHARD: He's a sophomore. I honestly don't have the answer whether he was there as a freshman. We can try to run that down for you.

UNKNOWN: Did the suspect surrender to officers as they approach to him or how did they apprehend him?

BOUCHARD: As they were coming down the hall, they saw him, and he put his hands up, and they took a gun, and took him into custody.

UNKNOWN: Did he say anything?


UNKNOWN: Do you have any indication why the father bought a gun four days ago?

BOUCHARD: As I said, they're not talking to us.

UNKNOWN: Sheriff, you mentioned a social media post there appears to be one that we've seen that it come from the suspect with a picture of the gun posted. Can you tell us about that at all?

BOUCHARD: It's my understanding, again, that this was a recent weapon purchase that he had been shooting with it, and have posted pictures of a target and the weapon. That's all part of what's being looked at. We're going to do a deep dive, and the social media, and all the activities of this young man.

UNKNOWN: But the gun that you did describe appears to be the same weapon now as --


BOUCHARD: It does appear to be so, yes.

UNKNOWN: Did the shooting start in the classroom and it spill out into the hallway or was the student in class, or did he just --

BOUCHARD: The problem for us is we can't be too specific on that because they are just now getting in the processing. So, you know, we'll learn more as they process the scene of where maybe it started. We also have a tremendous amount of video footage that will be in the school.

Oxford is very proactive with cameras. Our detectives are going to have to really deep dive all of those video cameras and review exactly what exactly what, where and when. The only information I had is that he came out of the bathroom with the weapon, and I don't know where he went first. So.

UNKNOWN: Hey, sheriff, sheriff, just to be clear on the social media just once more, some students have said that they've seen, that they have seen (Inaudible) a post on social media, and some have reported those to authorities. Can you say whether that happened or not?

BOUCHARD: Well, I would love them to contact us because we got none of it.

UNKNOWN: Did they --


BOUCHARD: I can tell you that nothing came to the sheriff's office, and nothing came to our school liaison in the school.


UNKNOWN: They were at a school sending out an e-mail assuring parents that there was no threat. We have seen an e-mail like that that the school sent out.

BOUCHARD: We've been kind of busy. I'm not aware what --


UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) on November 11.

UNKNOWN: Eleven, yes.

UNKNOWN: That was related to an incident out of state --

BOUCHARD: Well, that was a different one we investigated. That was a completely different -- that's where -- there's a lot of crosspollination for some folks that are occurring on this, they're putting all posts or letters to today's event. There was one with a deer head, it had nothing to do with today.

There's all sorts of -- that's what I'm saying, please ask us, because a lot of these -- that turned out to be nothing. That was actually in a different school, had nothing to do with Oxford, and we were able to determine that and they sent out the letter so there is no threat.

UNKNOWN: Sheriff, --


UNKNOWN: Can you say at this point who --

BOUCHARD: Oops. I get too many. Say hat.

UNKNOWN: There's a lot of people who have been telling us this boy, he's 15-year-old, is bullied. Is there anything to lead you to believe that he was having trouble at school, any disciplinary action, anything before today?

BOUCHARD: We don't have anything on that. Again, we have no contact with that young man, have had nothing to suggest there's been disciplinary or problems with him at the school, so that's part of our investigation to determine what happened prior to this event, and if some signs were missed, how were they missed and why.

UNKNOWN: Sheriff, you mentioned that you have had no contact with this individual, can you say if any law enforcement or with an Oxford police had been to the suspect's --


BOUCHARD: I'm not aware of any law enforcement agency had any contact or any information that he was a concern or threat. We had not been told that by any agency. Now, social media says different things. But that's part of the investigation.


UNKNOWN: At this juncture, has the -- has the department or any department received any credible tips in terms of motive or possible warning signs.

BOUCHARD: Nothing at the moment, no. And he hasn't spoken. Obviously, that's the best place to get motive, but he is under a lawyer with his parent's refusal to allow him to talk to us.


UNKNOWN: What about the victims who they've targeted?

BOUCHARD: That charging decision once we -- so I'll back up a little bit. Once we complete the totality of our investigation and wrap up every loose end, they will be presented to the prosecution for charging determination.

UNKNOWN: Sheriff, what about the victims, were they targeted, was it just a random?

BOUCHARD: That will be part of the investigation. Again, we don't know where he went first or why. He didn't tell us. And so, we're going to have hundreds and hundreds of hours reviewing the videos of the school to look at his movements, to see if there is any pattern to it or if there's any past history to it. That's all the stuff we've got to look into.

UNKNOWN: Are there metal detectors in the school?

UNKNOWN: You mentioned he came out of a bathroom.


BOUCHARD: There are no metal detectors. Sorry?

BOUCHARD: You mentioned he came out of a bathroom he came to --


BOUCHARD: I believe that's -- no, he didn't come out firing, he came out with a handgun.

UNKNOWN: Would that seen on surveillance video or some --




UNKNOWN: Was the suspect trying to get into classrooms where students are barricaded by pretending to be an officer?

BOUCHARD: We're told that that's the case. We obviously got literally thousands of interviews to do. They were in lockdown. That goes to the training. The school district had been trained. The students and teachers had been trained going into lockdown, and how you go into lockdown is critically important.

One of the things that we brought back to our agency after I got a very detailed debrief on Parkland was what you call the safe portion of a classroom when you are in lockdown that can't be seen. And those kinds of things were all stuff that we taught in different school districts. They went into lockdown. I know they barricaded doors.

In terms of whether he was doing that, that will be part of what we have to investigate.

UNKNOWN: How brave are those students?

BOUCHARD: Well, I think everybody was brave in the situation. And they reacted with the training and with the wherewithal that I think save lives. Tragically, we have had lost lives, and we had people very seriously hurt. But again, had there not been intervention by our deputies with seven rounds in the weapon, and the students and teachers locking themselves down and barricading doors, we might be, if it's possible in a worse situation.

UNKNOWN: Do we expect arraignment as early as tomorrow?

BOUCHARD: It's hard to say. You know, we've to get enough of the basics done before the prosecutor can make an informed charging decision.

UNKNOWN: What are the chances that the parents could face any charges?

BOUCHARD: That will all be up to the prosecutor. Ultimately, we're going to present everything how it played out. And you know, whatever applicable thing, I presume they'll charge. We certainly we want to charge.

UNKNOWN: Can you give us any timeline for how the investigation (Inaudible) could be?

BOUCHARD: I can't even guess. I don't know what they are going to find in the school. I mean, it's going to take a tremendous amount of work to go through the school evidentiary, our forensic and our crime lab. And it's going to take hundreds of hours to go through videos. And then we have to individually interview everyone that was in the school. So, you can kind of see the Herculean task that is ahead to get it done right.

UNKNOWN: What is important for the students and the families to do going forward? Because this is kind of (Inaudible) to all of them. What do you want families and students to be focusing on doing as they're out in school and they process what just happened?

BOUCHARD: Well, first, reach out for support. If you are in that school or you're feeling trauma or if you're feeling any kind of depression or anxiety that's nothing to be ashamed of. It's normal. Ask for help. We've got chaplains available. We have access to counseling and psychiatric assistance. That is normal.

We encourage people not to be afraid of seeking help when you are in a traumatic situation. Lots of time you need help forward. So, we would encourage them to get that not shy away from it. Talk to their kids about it what they're feeling. Get them the help they need and let them know that it is normal to feel this way.

That it is punishing to be in a situation where you have that danger around you. I've been in a lot of terrible situations and seen a lot of deaths. And it never becomes normal. And if you've never been around it, it's even worse. So that would be my --

LEMON: That is the sheriff of Oakland County, Michael Bouchard there having a press conference. A pretty close to the end. There are some other people that are going to take questions from a mental health person.


But what we are learning is that a 15-year-old acquired a gun, according to the sheriff it was bought a couple of days ago on November 26th by the boy's father. They said when they encountered the young man in the school, the folks who arrived, the police officers who arrived on the scene they encountered him in the hallway with a loaded pistol, a Sig Sauer, 9-millimeter 2022 pistol, loaded.

They said he came out of the bathroom and not sure where he went after he came out of the bathroom. But that's where how it started when he came out of the bathroom. By the time authorities got there, they said he was in the hall, they met him, he was walking down with a loaded gun.

He raised his arms, and he surrendered to them carrying that loaded weapon. He is in custody. He is with his parents. His parents have been told, have told him not to speak to police. He's hired an attorney. They're also saying that because he is a 15-year-old they cannot identify him.

I have 16-year- old here, but double check me, I'm not sure, 15 or 16 years old. They can't identify him because he is a juvenile and he has not been charged as an adult. But whatever, we have a young person, 15 to 16 years old, a teenager, who got hold of a weapon that his father brought just three or four days ago.

They talked about the injuries of the folks. Obviously three people are dead here. A 15-year-old, excuse me. A 16-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 17-year-old. And then the number of folks who are injured including a teacher. There is a 47-year-old teacher, 17-year-old, 14- year-old, another 17-year-old, 15-year-old, 17, 14, and 18.

That is the extent in the ages of the people who were shot and killed and injured in this. So much detail, so many more details. Our reporters on the scene and I also want to get -- bring in now FBI assistant director, the former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker.

Chris, thank you for joining us here.

It's interesting, I've got a note from one of my colleagues, Josh Campbell who is watching this along with me and sending me notes here, he said what strikes him is that the kid's accuracy with the weapon. That he fired 12 rounds, and that he hit 11 people, 3 of them dead, 8 injured. He seems to be pretty accurate with a gun. Does that stick out to you in this situation?

CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: That is the first thing that came to mind when I first read about it. I had read 15 to 20 shots, and when you see and hear about the 11 very serious injuries and the 3 deaths. That's pretty good shooting.

I hate to say. And then we now find out that he posted that he was training or somewhere firing that weapon that had only been bought four days earlier by his dad, the day after Thanksgiving.

Such an unspeakable heartbreaking tragedy, Don. A lot of things come to mind here about whether there were some red flags. And the undersheriff seems to be alluding to that at the very beginning of his press conference where he started off with if you see something say something. And there is a lot of internet chatter about there being some

forewarnings. So, it will be interesting to see if some of that bears out.

LEMON: Yes. Again, looking at my notes here, he said, look, they have a training facility. And he said they have trained sadly, but you know, that, I guess it's good because at least they had the training and sad that they have to do it. Schools, houses of worship, and businesses, because these such things happen now. And even with that, you still have three people who died and then many more who were injured.

SWECKER: Yes, the training part I do school security assessments and you look at all different aspects. Especially on the prevention side, but also on the very much on the reaction side and how to react to an active shooter.

You need to have active listening on the part of the teachers, the other students, the counselors to see if there is any red flags, you know, things that are precursors to this type of active shooter. But you also have to have that really robust response. And it sounds like that's exactly what happened here.

They had a very strong response, unlike Parkland they went straight to the shooter, got him neutralized, but it's almost impossible in the first instance, in the first seconds and minutes to prevent someone from opening fire unless you put magnetometers in every locker, in every hallway, in every entrance.

They had the school resource officer there. They did a lot of things right. I'm going to be focusing in on whether there were the early warning indicators, whether other students, parents, or counselors and teachers picked up on anything and whether there were some warnings here.


LEMON: He had a lot of ammo left here. Because apparently, he had 15- round magazines, three of them, and I think he only used one, right? So, he had a lot of ammunition left, a lot -- many more people could have been injured. Sadly, the number of people were injured and a number of people were killed. I mean, he had a lot of -- he had a lot of ammunition.

SWECKER: It could have been a lot worse. I initially thought maybe they had at least one magazine change, but it sounds like maybe that's not the case. I mean, this -- I have a Sig Sauer, it probably, you know, it holds 20 rounds. There may be extended magazines for those. But it could have been a lot worse.

It sounds to me like the sheriff's department and the school resource officer responded rapidly, again, it's impossible not to compare this to Parkland. It's ironic that trial is coming up pretty soon for that deputy who didn't respond right away.

This sounds to me like they trained effectively and they responded effectively. Again, I always go back to the prevention side of it though, and whether there was some early indicators.

LEMON: They are asking for people for information, they are also saying that they have executed a search warrant. They said they seized a phone at least from the home. They have executed this warrant at the suspect's home. What are investigators looking for now, Chris?

SWECKER: They are looking for a motive. They are looking for did he communicate to others. They are looking very closely at his social network, if you will, to see what he was posting, who he was posting to on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, you name it. All the different social media sites that these high schoolers use.

They'll have, again, they will have to interview pretty much everybody at that school to piece together what actually happened, who he went to first, was he targeting somebody or something, and was -- and more importantly or equally important, was there triggering event that caused this to happen. And you know, was that visible and apparent to others?

LEMON: Well Chris, I thank you. I'm sorry that we have to speak under such circumstances. But sadly, that is -- this is the breaking news. Chris Swecker, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Don't go far.

SWECKER: Thank you.

LEMON: We are going to continue to listen. The producers are listening. They're listening at the control room at this press conference. And if any new information comes out, we will bring it to you.

I want to bring in now Rob Guzanek, his daughter attends Oxford High School.

Mr. Guzanek, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us. I'm so sorry for what you and your community are going through tonight. Your daughter is a special need student at the high school. What happened when you learned that there was a shooting there?

ROB GUZANEK, DAUGHTER ATTENDS OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL: First of all, it was like, you know, as Sheriff Bouchard said, he said all the emergency services from all the surrounding communities were just rushing to Oxford. It was nothing but sirens for at least 45 minutes after the text went out from the school that there was a lockdown at the school.

You know, it -- it was a very surreal event happening at that school. I hope no community ever has to go through this. but it was -- it was just unbelievable the mount of kids that were, you know, running out of the school coming through the field and the houses, and coming to an area where we were waiting.

There was a group of parents that were across the street from the school that you know, basically you can tell that the shock and the trauma in these kids who were all trying to, you know, describe what was going on inside the school what they saw.

LEMON: How is your daughter doing?

GUZANEK: My daughter, she's -- she's a strong gal. She is doing pretty well. I want to say what's really outstanding the work that her special needs teacher, the classes, Mrs. Desica (Ph) and Mrs. Stahl (Ph) and their new (Inaudible) who started today, her first day, a great job they did at getting the kids into their teacher's office, and locking them in that office because from what was told the shooting started right outside the special needs classroom.

LEMON: Did you, listen, I can imagine the panic and the fear that strikes when you hear something like this and a parent arriving. When you got there, what did you see?

GUZANEK: The police set up a perimeter about a quarter mile away from the high school, all we saw was, you know, in the area where I was at, there was at least 15 EMS vehicles staged there. The police said the school were cordoned off and just plenty of police helicopters and medical helicopters arriving to take injured away.

LEMON: Mr. Guzanek, thank you. I appreciate you joining us. I'm sorry again that we have to speak under the circumstances, the same thing I told Chris Swecker. But I appreciate you joining us this evening. You take care. OK?


GUZANEK: Thank you.

LEMON: So, we're going to continue to follow this situation happening in Oakland County, Michigan. Three young people dead, eight others injured, including a teacher. More that are injured, but it is just a sad situation. Well, we'll continue to follow this breaking news story coming out of Michigan. The school shooting today. We will be right back.



LEMON (on camera): The Biden administration weighing stricter COVID testing for anyone traveling to the U.S. The news comes as the Omicron variant has already been identified in at least 20 countries. But tonight, Israel's health minister saying quote, "indications show the vaccines protect against the Omicron variant."

Joining me now to discuss CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Doctor, good to see you. Thank you so much.


LEMON: So, this news tonight out of Israel seems encouraging, is there reason to be optimistic? How do you read this?

GUPTA: Yes, I think there is reason to be optimistic, because it's sort of following a pattern that we are hearing. Israel is saying this that the vaccines do appear to be protective. But we also heard this in South Africa, Don.

You know, I think they've got some 60 million people living there. About 16 and a half million have been vaccinated only, so a small percentage. But what we are seeing in terms of people who are testing positive, it is largely the unvaccinated. So that's another indicator that the vaccines do seem to be effective.

We'll get more data on that. They're going to do lab tests, where they literally take the virus, Omicron, and they put it in a test tube with the serum of vaccinated people, the blood of vaccinated people. And they'll see what happens. Do the antibodies neutralize the virus or not?

They're going to follow hospital data, and as they put it altogether, which will take, you know, about two weeks, we'll have a clear answer just how effective the vaccines are. But all indicators are that they're still very protective.

LEMON: I sure hope that they're right in Israel. I hope it turns out that they do protect against this variant. The CDC director is saying that they are expanding surveillance at four big U.S. airports to look for Omicron, Sanjay. Will they be able to find cases and contact trace to contain Omicron? What should be bracing for as this goes?

GUPTA: Well, you know, this whole idea of the testing and tracing, you know, the things that we talked about for two years ago, you know in the beginning of all this, we never really got to that point. You know, we still in this country we're doing about a million and a half tests per day.

You may remember, Don, the road to recovery was sort of counting on getting 20, 30 million tests per day. So, we're not -- we're not anywhere close to that. And it's not really a surprise to me that we have not found evidence of Omicron in the United States yet. But that doesn't mean it's not here, and it's not -- and it's probably already spreading.

So, I don't think this is going to be a question of really saying, hey, look, we're going to specifically contain, get our hands around Omicron. I think what the message is, going back to what we're seeing out of Israel and South Africa, is that, you know, the unvaccinated percentage of people in these countries, if they have been considering this at all, now is the time to go get vaccinated.

Because it can be protective, not only against Delta, which is still the biggest concern here in the United States, but also it's looking to increase against Omicron as well. So that's got to be the message and get boosted if you qualify at this point as well. Six months out from r the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

LEMON: You know, I've been wanting to talk to you about this, Sanjay, because, you know, obviously, the president has been saying, you know, we shouldn't be panicked, right? We should be concerned.

Well, the doctors treating patients in South Africa telling CNN that most cases are quite, quote, I should say, "extremely mild." You looked into this reporting, what do you have?

GUPTA: This is interesting. So first of all, if you just look at what's happening in South Africa, as you know their calendar, their climate right now is late spring. OK? So, it's past respiratory pathogen season. It's past flu season. But take a look at what's been going on -- so this is a trend that we've seen over, you know, since the last several months.

This is one of the lowest vaccinated places in the world, Don. So, when you look at this, keep that in mind that first wave, and then it gets quiet. Right? Lots of infection acquired immunity. But it only lasts a few months, because then you get the Beta wave, then it gets quiet. And then Delta.

So, this tells you two stories what you're seeing here. First, the idea of infection acquired immunity, which is a big topic of conversation. It doesn't last that long. That's what that South African data tells us. But the far right of that screen tells you something else as well.

Before Omicron really popped on to the scene here, it was quiet in South Africa. It was late spring. Omicron didn't have anything to compete against. So, we're not sure, even though Omicron has become the dominant strain in South Africa, we're not sure that it will compete against Delta here. Because it hasn't had a foot race against Delta in South Africa.

And then, when you look at hospital data, I look specifically at Gauteng province, where Johannesburg is, last three weeks, Don, numbers going up. OK?



GUPTA: Again, it's a quiet period, but the numbers have gone up. This is correlation, not causation, but is this potentially related to this new variant? Potentially. And that's the sort of data that these investigators are going to be looking at.

LEMON: You know, Sanjay, my next question maybe in a few weeks it will be moot when they get the information from the Israeli studies. But I mean, now, you know, I've heard from several people who are anxious over whether they should get their boosters now. You know, if we might need an Omicron specific booster in the next few months. What's your advice about that, and how to stay calm amid the uncertainty brought on by the new variant?

GUPTA: I think there should be a lot of solace for people who are vaccinated right now in terms of what we're seeing. That should hopefully keep people calm. I would say do not wait for any potential booster down the line. Two reasons, first of all, there was also Delta specific boosters, Don, you may remember. There's even Beta specific boosters that were being tried.

Scientists said we don't need them, because the existing vaccines work really well, and that may be the case here. In the United States, far and away, Delta is still the larger concern. Do not put off getting the booster because it can be so effective, as we're seeing from the data against Delta, which is still circulate circulating robustly. But also, potentially against Omicron in the future. So do not put off that. I'll say something else, Don.


GUPTA: Just basic non-pharmaceutical interventions.


GUPTA: We're going into winter season. You're going to go to indoor locations when you don't know people's vaccination status. It's not time to get rid of these masks. You can buy high quality, high filtration masks now, buy them, have them, carry them with you. I do. I'm sure you do as well, I know your mom does. I talk to her. And if you do that, they can be very helpful no matter what the variant is.

LEMON: Well, we talked about you today because we're planning her trip to come up here. And she's like I don't know. I was like maybe you should get here fast and just mask up on the airplane. And you'll be fine.

And by the way, it was pretty cold here in New York last night, and that mask help me on my way home, because it kept me warm. It keeps you warmer.

GUPTA: There you go.


GUPTA: Ancillary benefits.

LEMON: Yes. So, Sanjay, you answered a lot of questions tonight, but tomorrow you're going to be answering more questions. So, thank you. And Sanjay is going to be joining Anderson tomorrow with all this new Omicron variant raising new questions.

Sanjay and Anderson are going to be joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci for an all-new CNN global town hall. It's called Coronavirus, Facts and Fears. It's live, it's tomorrow night at 9. Again, our thanks to Sanjay.



LEMON (on camera): In the season of giving, we want to show you how you can help our 2021 top 10 CNN heroes continue their very important work. And have their donations matched dollar for dollar. Here is Anderson.


COOPER: I'm Anderson Cooper. Each of this year's top 10 CNN heroes proves that one person really can make a difference. And again, this year we are making it easy for you to support their great work. Just go to, click donate beneath any 2021 top 10 CNN hero to make a direct contribution to that heroes' fund-raiser on GoFundMe. You will receive an e-mail confirming your donation, which is tax deductible in the United States.

No matter the amount, you can make a big difference in helping our heroes continue their life-changing work. Right now, through January 3rd, your donations will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $500,000.

CNN is proud to offer you the simple way to support each cause and celebrate all these everyday people changing the world. You can donate from your laptop, your tablet or your phone, just go to Your donation in any amount will help them help others. Thank you.


LEMON (on camera): All of our top 10 CNN heroes will be honored at the 15th Annual CNN Heroes. All-star tribute. It's hosted by our very own Anderson Cooper. You see him right there. With special guest host, cohost, Kelly Ripa. That's live on Sunday, December 12. Tune in to be inspired. And we will be right back.