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Don Lemon Tonight

Beto O'Rourke Interrupts Tx Governor's Press Conference On Shooting; Texas School Massacre Leaves 19 Children And Two Adults Dead; Families Of Shooting Victims Speak Out; CNN Examines Laws Allowing 18-Year-Olds to Buy Assault Rifles; FBI Released Report Showing Steep Rise In 'Active' Shooters. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired May 25, 2022 - 23:00   ET



MAYOR DON MCLAUGHLIN, UVALDE, TEXAS (voice-over): I can't believe you're a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Shut up!

UNKNOWN (voice-over): This is not the place to do that.

BETO O'ROURKE, FORMER TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE (voice-over): This is on you, until you choose to do something different. This will continue to happen. somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed, just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: What do you think, mayor? Do you -- do you agree with what he did or do you think it was a mistake for him to confront officials who were updating the public on the investigation?

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON, TEXAS: I applaud Beto O'Rourke. And let me just tell you why, Don. Nineteen of our children are dead. Nineteen. Two other adults.

In 2019, in the state of Texas, the legislature raised the age to purchase tobacco in Texas to 21. And in 2021, the Texas legislature lowered the age to purchase guns to 18.

This individual who killed 19 of our children a day ago was 18 when he went and purchased those weapons. And that's because the legislature lowered the age in the state of Texas.

And so, if we don't stand up for our kids, now it happened in Uvalde, but these are our children, if we don't protect them, who will?

And the legislature passed House bill 1927, talking about the Texas legislature, that now permits permitless carry. No training, no license, no permit required, lowered the age by which people can purchase assault weapons to 18. And now, 19 of our babies are gone and families will be hurting for the rest of their lives. I applaud what Beto O'Rourke did. The time to be nuanced is over, okay? And you cannot not allow policymakers, legislatures, governors to pass bills that promote the use of guns, and then when people are killed, say we are praying and we are offering our condolences as if they are not responsible.

So, no. The time is now for people, for voters, for people like Beto O'Rourke, myself and others, Republicans alike, to stand up and say, this is crazy. Enough is enough. I applaud him. Others ought to do the same.

LEMON: Mayor Sylvester Turner, the city of Houston, the great city of Houston, thank you. I appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

TURNER: Thanks, Don. Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Let me just say this. I have two people who are sitting here on the set who I'm going to get to in a moment, and that is Linda Beigel Schulman and Neil Heslin. Linda lost -- she is a mother of a Parkland shooting victim, Scott Beigel. And Neil is a father of Sandy Hook shooting victim, Jesse Lewis.

They were hanging on every word. They were listening to what the mayor said about Beto O'Rourke. I'm going to get their response in just a moment, what they thought at that moment and what they thought -- think of what's happening now. So, please, they are standing by patiently. Thank you. We will join you in just a moment.

I want to bring in now our reporters on the scene. CNN's Boris Sanchez is in Uvalde and our CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez joins us from Washington, D.C. Good evening to both of you.

Boris, investigators say up to an hour passed between the time the shooter got to the school and when he was neutralized. What is the latest on this timeline?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened throughout those 60 minutes that you alluded to on Tuesday here at Robb Elementary School.

What we learned a short time ago was that there was a lull in the action. Apparently, when the shooter entered the school, he almost immediately started shooting at students and teachers. And then right after law enforcement arrived, he engaged with them in a standoff. There was gunfire exchanged. But then officials say that he stopped and barricaded himself. That allowed them to evacuate students from other parts of the school and slowly encircle him.

According to an official, that lull in the action, as he described it, lasted roughly half an hour. Soon after that, officials were able to encircle the shooter and neutralize him. Don?

LEMON: Evan Perez, do we know if they have surveillance footage from inside and outside the school?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's one of the things that the FBI is helping the rangers put all of this together, Don. We know that there is believed to be some footage from inside and from outside. They went to some of the neighbors to see if their -- perhaps they have ring cameras or other kind of surveillance camera footage that they could use to help put together the timeline that Boris is trying -- was just referring to because, again, a lot of this is still in flux.


We still don't know fully how this all went down yesterday.

LEMON: And Evan, Texas authorities are saying that an officer initially engaged with the shooter but the officer did not open fire. At this moment, do we know why not?

PEREZ: We don't. And that's one of the things that I think -- you know, where the -- I think you are hearing a little bit of frustration from some of the families down there.

To understand exactly how this happened, how did this shooter get into the school? You know, standard practice for a lot of schools is to have the doors locked. He was able to enter through a back door.

If there was a school resource or officer who confronted him or who tried to intervene, it appears that no shots were fired by that officer. But it appears also, Don, that this gunman was able to go in and start firing very quickly at the officers that immediately responded to the scene.

LEMON: Boris, there are too many families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones tonight. What are you learning about the victims of this terrible massacre?

SANCHEZ: Don, there is no question that the light in this community has dimmed. The people here are in shock and in mourning as they get a clearer picture of exactly who was lost here at Robb Elementary School. Most of them no older than 10 years old.


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Twenty-one lives brutally cut short. Twenty-one families now shattered by an act of violence all too common in the United States. Nineteen children now gone just days before the start of summer break. None yet out of fourth grade.

Like 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, whose uncle calls him a great kid and full of life. He loved video games and anything with wheels. Uziyah's grandfather, Manny Renfro, calling his grandson the sweetest little boy he's ever known. Renfro telling affiliate KSAT he played football with Uziyah, that he was fast, could catch well and remembered all the routes they practiced.

And Amerie Jo Garza, just 10 years old. Her father, Angel, telling CNN he finally learned his daughter's fate from a classmate covered in blood. UNKNOWN: She was hysterical in saying that he shot her best friend. She is not breathing. She was trying to call the cops. I asked the little girl the name and she -- and she told me -- she said, Amerie. I look at this girl and --


SANCHEZ (voice-over): Xavier Lopez, also 10, was excited to start middle school. His mom, Felicia Martinez, told "The Washington Post" he was recognized in an honor roll ceremony only hours before the unthinkable. She said she would never forget his smile. Quote -- "He was funny, never serious."

Jose Flores, Jr., also just 10. His father, Jose, Sr., telling CNN his son was an amazing kid and loving big brother to his younger siblings, always full of energy. He loved baseball and video games.

Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, Lexi as she was called, had just received an award for the honor roll the morning of the shooting. Lexi's parents describe her as kind and sweet with a big future ahead. They tell CNN she loved basketball and wanted to go to law school. Her mother, Kimberly Mata-Rubio, posted this to Facebook. Quote -- "My beautiful, smart Alexandria received the good citizen award. We told her we loved her and would pick her up after school. We had no idea this was goodbye."

And fourth grade teacher Eva Mireles, an educator for 17 years. Her profile on the school district's website describes her love of running and hiking and spending time with her family. A family that includes a college graduate daughter, Adalynn.

Adalynn posting a gut-wrenching tribute to her mother on Twitter, describing her mom as her best friend and twin, and calling her a hero, detailing how she tried to save the lives of her students by jumping in front of them.

UNKNOWN: She was a vivacious soul. She spread laughter and joy everywhere she went. She was a loving and caring mom, relative, teacher to her students.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): The second adult, another teacher, Irma Garcia, was finishing her 23rd year of teaching. Her school biography says she and her husband, Joe, were married for 24 years and had four kids together. She loved to barbecue and listen to music.

UNKNOWN: The teacher, Irma Garcia, was someone that was a year below me in school. I've known her probably 30 years, 25 years.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): At least 17 others were wounded. University Hospital in San Antonio is still caring for four victims. Three children and one 66-year-old woman.


The shooter's grandmother listed in serious condition. Officials say the gunman shot her in the face before he ran into school and began his shooting rampage.

UNKNOWN: It is in the news. Somewhere else. But not here. But it is happening here. You think it is big town, big community. Small town like Uvalde?


SANCHEZ: And Don, in the last few moments, CNN has been able to confirm the identities of four more victims. One of them, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez. She was 10 years old, a third grader. Her family says that she was in class with her cousin who was apparently also killed in the shooting.

There is Eliahana "Ellie" Garcia, who was just nine years old. Her family says that she loved basketball and cheerleading and that she dreamed of one day becoming a teacher.

We have also confirmed that Tess Marie Mata was killed. She was just 10 years old. Her family says that she loved Ariana Grande and was saving up money to fulfill her dream of taking her family to Disney World.

We've also learned that Eliahana Cruz Torres, she goes by Elijah, was killed. She was just 10 years old. Her family telling CNN -- quote -- "Our baby earned her wings." Don?

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Appreciate it.

I want to turn now to people who understand the heartbreak these families, the 21 victims, are experiencing tonight. Linda Beigel Schulman is the mother of Scott Beigel, the teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who died trying to protect his students. Neil Heslin is the father of Jesse Lewis, who was just six years old when he was shot and killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School. So, grateful that you guys are here. This is -- you can't get through this. What do you want to say?

LINDA BEIGEL SCHULMAN, MOTHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM, SCOTT BEIGEL: I just -- I just watched and I applaud Mayor Turner. I applaud him. And you asked about Beto O'Rourke before.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

SCHULMAN: I applaud him as well because somebody has to stand up to these people. They said that this gunman -- they said this gunman acted alone. He did not.

This gunman acted with the NRA, acted with mayor -- with Governor Abbott, excuse me, acted with lieutenant governor -- I believe his name is Patrick, acted with Texas Attorney General Paxton, acted with Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, okay, the rest of the republican Senate. They all acted with him.

Texas has not passed one gun safety law, has not even discussed it. We are not talking about gun control. You know that. You know, Don, we are talking about gun safety. And these people are right behind all of those -- they are literally like the arsonists sitting and watching these kids get murdered. Arsonists, don't they sit and watch something burn? They are watching these kids get murdered and doing nothing.

Giving thoughts and prayers. B.S. to thoughts and prayers. I am so riddled with anger. You have no idea. I mean, the tears come. I watch. I just watched them talk about all these kids. Don't they care? Are they ever going to care?

This is not new for me. I don't re-live Scott's murder when I see this. I live Scott's murder every single day of my life. There is not a day in my life that I don't hear that police officer say, when we were in the command center, 1,562 days ago, you know, Linda, your son was a hero, but he didn't make it.

These people, these people, these families, the whole town, they are going through this. They did not have to go through this, but they are going through this, and they are probably still in shock because the worst is yet to come.

They have to bear -- they are burying their kids. That family is burying their mothers or their fathers. They are burying them. I mean, this is not, oh, today's news. This is every day's news.

Somebody said to me, one reporter said to me yesterday, would you give -- would you give a news -- would you give an interview? I said, I need to process this, I need to breathe, I need to process this. I said, you know what? But it's today's news.


Are you serious? Are we really -- are we really becoming that normalized to this? It's ridiculous. Watch this. I cry. How can you not cry?

LEMON: Neil?

NEIL HESLIN, FATHER OF SANDY HOOK SHOOTING VICTIM, JESSE LEWIS: Well, it is heartbreaking to see it. It happens so frequently. We -- it has become a normal in this country. And it's wrong. We have come to accept that it's going to happen over and over again.

There is definitely room for stronger laws when it comes to guns without taking or banning weapons. Background checks. There is a lot more that we can improve on.

For me, seeing what happened in Texas, it was almost a playback of what happened in Sandy Hook. The shooting, the grandmother, the young children, the teachers. And it opened up a lot of wounds again for me. And I just can't help but think what these families are going to go through.

They are planning -- I feel guilty sitting here doing an interview because I feel it's something that it's important. But these individuals that are -- lost their lives in Texas, their families are -- they are burying them now. They are not even -- and we're -- you know, I'm sitting here thinking about what they're going to go through.

You know, I remember so clearly planning Jesse's funeral, walking in that funeral home thinking to myself, how am I ever going to do this? How can I afford this? How can I -- I have to find -- we have to find a plot to bury him. You know, it's things like that that we -- you never hear about.

We have these mass shootings and tragedies. It becomes politicized right away. These families and this community, their lives have changed forever. They need support. They need the help.

LEMON: Can I ask you about something that -- sitting here last night, I couldn't imagine it. It was hard. I kept saying -- look, this isn't about me, but I kept saying there aren't any words. You know what I was thinking? That there were people who were still there probably hoping that their kid was still alive, right? That their loved one was still alive, maybe hiding in a safe place.



LEMON: That's over.

HESLIN: You know, Don, you said that -- and I saw a news clip of people waiting like you just said. And that brought back to the night I was waiting at the firehouse. I never gave up hope that Jesse was alive, that he survived somehow. I always had that hope, that one percent chance.

SCHULMAN: I did the same. I did the same as you do. They took us to a command center like we were at a firehouse.

HESLIN: I remember sitting there and the gentleman sat down across from me and asked me how I'm doing and started rambling on. And I said to him, who in the hell are you? Just like that to him. And it was Governor Malloy.


HESLIN: And I'm like -- it blew my mind. It just -- and I am rehashing all this and thinking that there are people there doing -- sitting in the same spot in a different community that I was today. Tomorrow, they'll be at a funeral home, sadly, planning a burial. And everybody wants to help and support and reach out to the community.


I couldn't help but think of what the aftermath of a tragedy in Sandy Hook, what we went through. All these donations came into that community. And instantly, groups and organizations stood up and were exploiting that tragedy, raising donations.

And they had no intent. There were no plans of those funds going where they needed to go. And that one organization was the United Way. I have no problem calling them out on it. And it was a long battle before a small portion of that went to the people who needed it. I see they are going to have to deal with that.

LEMON: Can I -- I just want to ask you something. I think you said something that was very important. Where most people are in this country when it comes to gun legislation. That is somewhere in the middle. They are not on the extremes.


LEMON: And I had someone on earlier. I didn't want to correct the gentleman because he is there in Uvalde. He was saying, you know, we have one side that wants to take all the guns away and the other side who wants complete just, you know, no restrictions at all.

Now, to be quite honest, I don't know of anyone who wants to take all guns away. I've never heard from even the leftist of the left, the most progressive, that all guns should be taken away. I think most people are somewhere in the middle. But then you have the extremes on the right. And if you heard the mayor, Sylvester Turner --


LEMON: -- they are making the hurdle even lower. Lowering the bar to be able to get guns. Raising the bar for alcohol and for tobacco and for -- you know, when I was a kid in Louisiana, it was 15 to get a driver's license. Now, it's 16 or 17 or 18. Raising it for that. What gives here? As someone who is -- who believes in the Second Amendment, what would you like to see from our lawmakers?

HESLIN: Well, I'm 10 years into this. Ten-year anniversary is coming up. I think we definitely need better background checks. The mental health definitely needs to be addressed.

You know, even if you had a ban on weapons, certain types of weapons, individuals that are going to commit these mass shootings, these mass murders, if they couldn't legally purchase that weapon going into a sporting goods store or gun store, they are going to go to another resource. They are going to buy these guns off the street. They come through the iron pipeline. They've come from down south, the gun shows.

LEMON: I know. I lived in Illinois. That's the reason, big reason for what is happening in Chicago.

HESLIN: You know, there was some laws that have changed with the background checks for private individuals selling guns at the gun shows. But for many years, individuals could go to states that -- yes, out in Illinois, they used to have a lot of --

LEMON: So, we need uniformity. And I agree with you. We need background checks. We need uniformity around the United States.


LEMON: Listen, I am so glad that both of you are here, and I am glad that you got to talk about this. I am glad we got to talk about the outrage, the heartbreak -- HESLIN: Yeah.

LEMON: -- the legislation that we need.

SCHULMAN: We do need that. We need federal background checks. We need federal red flag laws. We cannot have different modifications of those state by state by state. That needs to be something federally passed so that it's uniform and it doesn't hurt anyone. We don't want to take away guns.

LEMON: Yeah.

SCHULMAN: We just want everybody to be responsible gun owners.

LEMON: Thank you, Linda. It's so good to see you.

SCHULMAN: Thank you.

LEMON: And I thank you for reaching out to me.

SCHULMAN: Oh, my gosh.

LEMON: For all the time. I love you so much. Thank you for all the gear, all the workout gear because Scott was a runner.

SCHULMAN: You look so good in it.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. It has helped me to lose 30 pounds. Thank you. We are not going. We are still on the air. Thank you.


LEMON: Thank you both.



LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.




LEMON: So, less than two weeks after the racist shooting at a Buffalo supermarket left 10 people dead, America is in mourning again. This time, 19 small children, two adults shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas.

I want to talk about what is happening right now in America with presidential historian Jon Meacham. Jon, appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much. I wish I could see you under better circumstances.

This cycle of violence this country is going through just seems never ending. You can hear the pain in the people's voices. So many parents sent their kids off to school and they are wondering if they were safe this morning sending kids off to school, wondering if they are safe. Are we doomed for this to be America's new reality?

JON MEACHAM, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: We're not doomed, but we have to step up. We have to acknowledge reality. We cannot fall into the pattern of reflexively partisan views of this -- I don't want to call it unimaginable because it is all too imaginable.


I don't want to call it unspeakable because we have to speak about it. Because this should not stand. This should not be a normal thing in the United States of America or anywhere.

And the fact that there is this relentless and unflinching view on the right that guns are somehow sacrosanct, that they are genuinely sacred, they are not part of a real world, they are holy objects, that's idolatry. And it is costing the lives of our children.

And, look, I cliche alert here. I own guns. I shoot birds, not very well. I give up all of that. I -- there is not a reason in the world to want the kind of gun that was used in this shooting and in so many others except to do shootings like this. It's just -- there is no other rational explanation.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

MEACHAM: And so -- am I optimistic? No. But I do live in hope because I do know that human beings have the capacity to recognize truth and to amend their ways. But they are not going to do it unless enough of us insist that it be done.

A final quick point. That wonderful line, I think you and I have talked about it before, from Theodore Parker that Dr. King used, about the arc of moral universe being long, but it bends towards justice, a lot of times, that quotation is used to sort of sit back and say, well, things will ultimately work out.

But the arc of a moral universe does not bend if there aren't people insisting that it swerve. If there aren't people pulling on that side of the dialect. And that's what we have to do.

LEMON: People helping it to bend towards justice. Jon, the president, President Biden, is set to visit Uvalde in the coming days to meet with the victims' families. He traveled to Buffalo just last week. He is having to repeatedly console the nation every time something like this happens. How do you think this is all weighing on him and what does this mean for his presidency in the moment?

MEACHAM: Yeah. Well, full disclosure, I have talked to him about this, not since Texas, but in Buffalo around that event. You know, Joe Biden is among the most empathic human beings, not just politician, but human beings that I have ever known. And this question, a question of politics and culture and law and these conflicting interests, this is what he spent 50 years working on. He came to the Senate in 1972. Gun control really became an issue in the late 1960s. So, he has lived with this.

He was instrumental in the passage of the one thing that has, in fact, worked. The passage of the assault weapon ban in 1994, which for 10 years, as he often notes, actually brought the number of mass shootings down. That's another thing. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good.

LEMON: Right.

MEACHAM: Right? What if -- I would say to people who value guns, what if one life was saved? Just one. We're called by scripture, reason, tradition, by basic morality to protect the defenseless. And if it -- certainly it won't stop, all evil. That's not going to happen until the inbreaking of the holy spirit and the end of all things.

You can't outlaw tragedy, but you can make tragedies more difficult to occur. And I think that's where the president's head is and I think that's where Americans' heads and hearts should be.

LEMON: You say that liberty is precious, but so is life. I mean, can you speak to how the interpretation of the Second Amendment has changed over time?

MEACHAM: Well, it's become as part -- kind of part of the originalist trend in constitutional interpretation. It's become scriptural for a lot of people. And the Constitution is, as many people have pointed out and argued and adjudicated, it is a living document.


It's a human -- it's the product of human hearts and hands. It's the product of a given particular historical moment. When the Second Amendment was drafted, as endless numbers of people pointed out, we were talking about muskets and civil defense and the authority of the government against the citizen. We weren't -- they were not.

I promise you this, James Madison, Gouverneur Morris, they were not thinking about AR-15s and UZIs being wielded by civilians who put on body armor and went and served (ph) children to massacre. That was not part of the original intent of the United States Constitution.

LEMON: Jon Meacham, be well, sir. Thank you. Always a pleasure.

MEACHAM: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. Buying a gun, one of the first thing the shooter did as soon as he turned 18 and it wasn't hard for him to do. We are going to take you -- we will take a look at Texas gun laws. That's next.




LEMON: Tonight, many people are wondering how an 18-year-old can buy assault-style weapons. In many states, including Texas, it's actually quite easy. CNN's Nick Watt explains.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nineteen small children slaughtered by a gunman not much older than they were. He was the legal owner of two AR-15-style rifles.

ROLAND GUTIERREZ, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: They are assault rifles. It's the first thing he did when he turned 18.

WATT (voice-over): A week ago, a day after his 18th birthday, he bought a rifle, according to the local state senator. Next day, 375 rounds of ammunition. Two days after that, a second rifle. Four days later, shot 19 kids and two adults dead. This killer couldn't legally buy a beer, too immature, but could legally buy weapons of war.

REP. COLIN ALLRED (D-TX): Maybe we could at least agree that we should raise the age for purchasing these weapons.

WATT (voice-over): Unlikely. Just last year, lawmakers lowered to 18 the age some Texans can get a handgun license. For rifles, Texas law mirrors federal. Eighteen and up, you can buy one of these after just a basic background check. But from an unlicensed dealer or at a gun show, no check required.

Here in liberal-leaning California, the legal age to buy assault-style rifles was upped to 21 in 2019, struck down two weeks ago back to 18. Why? America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army, wrote Judge Ryan Melson. Today, we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice, the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.

So, 18-year-olds in California can buy semiautomatic weapons today in part because teenage soldiers died carrying single-shot muskets in a war more than 200 years ago.

SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA: Stronger gun laws save lives. Weaker gun laws cause gun crime and gun violence. The data is in. We need our lawmakers to act.

(voice-over): This latest tragedy in Texas is very far from an isolated instance of illegally-armed teenaged attacker. Just 11 days ago, an 18-year-old white supremacist gunned down 13 people in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. Also, armed with a semiautomatic weapon that he was also legally allowed to buy and own. (On camera): And the deadliest school shooting in American history remained Sandy Hook nearly 10 years ago now. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 kids, six adults, also armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle. Now, after that, Connecticut did change some laws mainly around the type of magazine you can use in those kinds of rifles. No changes in age limits.

But, Don, you know, today, President Biden came out and said, he said the idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy a weapon of war is, he said, just wrong. Wrong maybe, but perfectly legal in all but a handful of states in this country.

Now, will Texas change anything, change any laws after today? Very, very unlikely. Governor Abbott likes to protect himself as a fierce defender of the Second Amendment. And today, at a press conference down there in Texas, seemed in absolutely no mood whatsoever to change anything. Don.


LEMON: Nick Watt, enlightening. Thank you, sir. Appreciate your reporting.

Just a day before the school shooting in Texas, the FBI releasing a report on active shooters. What the FBI found, next.




LEMON: So, just one day before a gunman opened fire at that Texas elementary school, the FBI releasing an alarming report showing a steep rise in active shooter attacks. The bureau identifying 61 active shooter attacks in 2021 that killed 103 people and injured 130 others. That is a 52% increase from just the year before.

Let's bring in now former D.C. Metropolitan police officer and CNN law enforcement analyst Michael Fanone. Michael, thank you so much for joining us. This FBI report was made all the more important after this horrific shooting in Texas. You have helped officers prepare to respond to situations like this. Explain the training for me, if you will, and how it's evolved over time.

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMETN ANALYST, FORMER D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: Well, the training evolved, I think, in part because of the optics of Columbine. I mean, that's the first time in recent history, or I guess if you consider that recent history, where Americans really watched the events unfold live and in color on television.

And after that, it no longer became acceptable for officers to wait for specially-trained teams to arrive. What I mean by that is, you know, originally, the thought process was uniformed officers were to respond to an event like this, create a perimeter, and wait for SWAT teams or specialized units to respond who would actually make entry and try to neutralize the threat.


I guess it was in the early 2000s that the active shooter program, training program, was introduced. And initially, it was teams of five officers. So, the first five patrol officers to arrive and an active shooter would form a team and make entry. Soon after that, it was reduced down to three officers. And then eventually, at least what it is in Washington, D.C. with the Metropolitan Police Department, we make entry with a single officer.

So, once an officer responds to the event, their job is to immediately enter the location, find the threat, and neutralize it.

LEMON: So, no waiting, right? Just one single officer now. Listen, I want to ask you about -- there is a state senator that tells CNN that Daniel Defense rifle was found beside the gunman's body.

That is the same gun manufacturer that posted this tweet just last week. It says, train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It included a photo of a small child holding an AR-15-style assault rifle and an adult point at him.

The company's Twitter has since been made private. We reached out for a comment, but we haven't heard back. How do you feel when you see stuff like this, Michael?

FANONE: Yeah, I saw the tweet. It's outrageous. It's irresponsible. I'm a gun owner myself, and I certainly would never, you know, photograph my children holding guns in that fashion. I teach them to respect firearms. And, you know, outside of their intended purpose, you know, it is not a prop, it is not something to publicize for, you know, social media purposes. It was disgusting.

LEMON: Yeah. Officer Michael Fanone, Michael, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us this evening. We'll be right back in just a moment.

FANONE: Thank you.




LEMON: Thanks for watching, everyone. I will be live in Uvalde, Texas for tomorrow's broadcast. There is still so much to learn and to report on this tragic story. I'll see you tomorrow night. Our coverage continues.