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Don Lemon Tonight
Mother Of Surviving Student Speaks Out On Police Response; Texas Official: On-Scene Police Commander Made The "Wrong Decision" To Not Engage The Gunman Sooner; NRA Holds Convention In Texas Days After Gunman Killed 19 Children And Two Teachers With AR-15 Style Rifle. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired May 27, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Me too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Where did Daddy go?
OLENA GNES, UKRAINIAN MOTHER SHELTERING IN KYIV (through translator): He went to defend us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To war?
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: That's from "A MOTHER'S DIARY OF WAR." And it airs Sunday night, at 8 PM, right here, on CNN.
The news continues. Let's hand it over to Pamela Brown and DON LEMON TONIGHT.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Thank you, Laura.
And this is DON LEMON TONIGHT. I am Pamela Brown, in for Don, tonight.
And what we're learning, tonight, makes the horror, of what happened, in Uvalde, even worse. It's hard to believe that it's even possible, right? 19 children, two of their teachers are dead.
And now, police admit, waiting to enter the classroom, where they died, waiting for more than an hour, while children inside, were calling 911, begging for help. Waiting, because they apparently believed, it was a barricaded subject situation, they, as in police, not an active shooter.
That was the wrong decision, a Texas official say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COL. STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: With the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period. There's no excuse for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: There are so many unanswered questions, tonight. But let's not lose sight of what this is all about. 19 children, shot to death, in their classroom, two teachers, losing their lives, as they try to save their students. And the country demanding to know, how we stop this.
CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Uvalde, tonight.
Ed, this is absolutely horrifying, this admission. What is the latest?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, one thing you need to remember, is that for officers to work on school campuses, they go through a training mission.
And part of that, essentially outlines that if officers, in these situations, are not willing, to go into these rooms, confront active shooters, and basically risk their own lives? It simply tells them, this training manual tells them, that they should find another line of work.
So, three days, after this tragedy, at this elementary school, that is the reality that so many of these families are dealing with, how drastically this story has changed.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): I was misled. I am livid, about what happened.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Explosive reaction, from the Texas governor, to new information, about law enforcement's response, on the day of the Uvalde shootings.
ABBOTT: The information that I was given, turned out, in part, to be inaccurate. And I'm absolutely livid about that.
And it is imperative that the leaders of the investigations, about exactly what happened, get down to the very seconds, of exactly what happened, with 100 percent accuracy.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Governor's press conference, coming after the Texas Department of Public Safety, said police were wrong, in waiting to go in, and eliminate an active shooter, after he'd started killing students and teachers.
MCCRAW: It was the wrong decision. Period. There's no excuse for that.
Texas embraces active-shooter training, active-shooter certification.
Every officer lines up, stacks up, goes and finds where those rounds are being fired at, and keeps shooting, until the subject is dead. Period.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The decision to back down, from an active shooter, was, according to officials, made by the School District's Chief of Police.
MCCRAW: The Incident Commander, at the time, was - believed in the - you know, that, in fact, it was a barricaded subject, that we had time, there was no kids at risk.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The admission comes, after he laid out the timeline that day.
At 11:27 AM, a teacher, he said, had propped open a door, to go outside, and grab her cell phone. Then, the gunman fired shots, at two people, near the school grounds.
MCCRAW: There was multiple shots fired, at the school, at 11:32.
At 11:33, the suspect begins shooting into Room 111 or 112.
At 11:35, three police officers, entered the same door, as the suspect entered.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Gunfire continued, while as many as 19 agents were still in the hallway, but they didn't go in the classroom, until a janitor brought the keys.
Second grader Edward Silva was in his classroom, when the shooting started.
EDWARD TIMOTHY SILVA, WITNESS: At first, they sounded like - like something like was popping.
COATES: When you were--
TIMOTHY SILVA: Like kind of like fireworks.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Just after 12 o'clock, the 911 calls began, from a child, inside the classroom, where shots were fired.
MCCRAW: She identified herself, and whispered, she's in Room 112.
At 12:10, she called back, in Room 12, advised there're multiple dead.
At 12:13, again, she called on the phone.
Again, at 12:16, she's called back, and said there was eight to nine students alive.
At 12:21, you could hear over the 911 call that three shots were fired.
At 12:36, a 911 call, it lasted for 21 seconds. The initial caller called back. The student-child called back, and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet. She told 911 that he shot the door.
At approximately 12:43 and 12:47, she asked 911 to please send the police now. LAVANDERA (voice-over): A 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, was inside the classroom, with the gunman. Her aunt said, she had to save herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miah got some blood, and put it on herself, so she can pretend that she was dead.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): By the time, the tactical team, breached the classroom, and killed the shooter, he had been in the room, for more than an hour.
LAVANDERA: And Pamela, while Texas governor, Greg Abbott, says he was misled, he would not say exactly who misled him, when he was briefed, the day after the tragedy, here, in Uvalde.
We have also made multiple attempts, to reach out, to the Uvalde ISD Police Chief. We have not been able to reach him, today.
I was able to ask the Superintendent, and the Mayor, here, in Uvalde, if he thought - if they thought that these Police Chiefs, the City and ISD Police Chief should resign or be fired. They refused to answer the questions, as they walked away.
BROWN: All right. Ed, and we're also getting this new disturbing information, tonight, about threats the gunman made, on social media. Seems like huge red flags, here. What can you tell us?
LAVANDERA: Well, we - CNN has spoken with three different social media users, of an app, called Yubo, which is popular among teenagers.
And according to these three people that we've spoken with, that the shooter, here, made threatening comments, threatening to sexually assault female teenagers that he was talking to, on this social media app, as well as live-streaming threats, to shoot a - shoot schools. And those three users also tell us, as far as they could tell, the account stayed up. It was not taken down.
We have reached out to Yubo. They say that they are cooperating, with investigators, in this case, and that they're also investigating an account that has since been taken down, and monitoring that, and checking out what was - exactly what was said on there.
But clearly, some signals that this danger was lurking out there, for sure, Pamela.
BROWN: And you know, Ed, you know, just as well as I do, this happens so often, with these mass shootings, right? When they go back and retrace their digital footprint? This - the warning signs are there, online.
Ed, thank you.
I want to bring in Jennifer Gaitan. She is one of the parents, who was waiting, outside Robb Elementary School, pleading, with police, to do something, anything, while the gunman was inside. Thankfully, her daughter survived.
Jennifer, I am so incredibly sorry, for what you, and your entire community, are going through. I know you are still going through extreme, just trauma, right now, as well as your daughter, having experienced, what she experienced.
You live just a few blocks from the school. When did you realize something was wrong?
JENNIFER GAITAN, DAUGHTER WAS IN ROBB ELEMENTARY DURING SHOOTING: Yes, I realized that something was wrong, when I saw a cop coming down, every street, for the past - the past three blocks that were, right here, down the street, from my daughter's high school - I mean, from the elementary school.
I just had a gut feeling that something was wrong. And I'm - I came. And, sure enough, I was probably one of the first parents that was on site that got here, at first. And I stayed. And I stayed, and I witnessed so much. And it was - it was horrible moment. Horrible.
BROWN: And you're outside the school, not knowing if - how your daughter is doing, inside the school. You're trying to get information. Meantime, you say your daughter, Jazlynn (ph), survived, because of a brave substitute teacher. Explain what happened.
GAITAN: Yes. My daughter had let me know that that they heard shootings, outside, that were hitting the windows, but they didn't break.
So, the teacher ought to (ph), you know, quickly told them, "Hurry! Get behind the tables! Turn off the lights!" And that's exactly what they did. And apparently, he did open the door. And he think - he nobody - he thought nobody was in there. And he went on.
And, I mean, it is - it is amazing to know that if she thought so quick to what to do, and got it? And I mean, it's amazing. It's amazing, how she could - thought so quick, in a moment of trauma, you know? It is but - yes, she is - she saved that classroom's life.
BROWN: I mean, it's just remarkable, to think, he opened the door, to your daughter's classroom. Your daughter, I mean, what is that like?
GAITAN: Yes, to know--
BROWN: Go ahead.
GAITAN: Yes, no, to know, because I had asked her, where was she, when it first started? And she says, she was by the door, sharpening her pencil. She just remembers that she got down, you know? And that they had hid behind the table, because she was like, "I was right by the front door."
And I'm like "Jazzy (ph), don't your doors automatically lock?" And she says, "No mom. She was - we had a substitute." She goes, "She didn't even have the key to lock the door."
And I mean that just made it even more horrifying, to know that these, I mean, even a substitute teacher couldn't protect her, the students of that classroom, with the right resources.
GAITAN: Because of the lack of information, or even just to let them know. I mean, they should always be prepared for that. And it's not. It's sad that she couldn't. But I'm glad that she acted the way she did, and as fast as she did, because she did save those kids, in that classroom.
BROWN: That's amazing. She did what she could, right? She did what she could, even the fact she couldn't lock the door--
GAITAN: Yes, yes, exactly.
BROWN: --and all these other issues.
How long did it take before you learned that your daughter was OK?
GAITAN: It was - we got here, about 11:00. Between 11:28, and 11:36, there was people - I mean, the cops were getting off, with their guns.
And I want to say maybe about two hours that I want to say that, because they - if anybody were - started releasing kids, they released three - three classrooms before, they started bringing out anybody, from the room, where the shooter was at.
BROWN: Wow! So two hours, you're staying outside the school, not knowing, if your daughter is alive.
And here's a video that you took.
GAITAN: Yes. And--
BROWN: Go ahead.
GAITAN: Yes, yes.
BROWN: Go ahead.
GAITAN: No, no, no, no, I just - I was just going to say--
BROWN: What was going through your mind, during those two hours?
GAITAN: --it was tragedy, because it's like, it's I mean, I wasn't just thinking of my own. I mean, they - I was trying to help kids, guide them, and help them get - because they're terrified. They're coming out crying, hysterical. And we're just trying to help all the kids get safe. And it was just unimaginable, and yes.
BROWN: "Unimaginable" is the right word for that.
I mentioned, you took a video, actually-- GAITAN: Yes.
BROWN: --of the desperate parents, pleading to go into the school, and get their children out. How did police respond?
GAITAN: Oh, honestly, it was, I think, it was probably the worst. And because, they were - we were behind the cross tape. And we're asking them, begging them to do something.
And, I mean, if you can see, in one of the videos, I mean, the cop gives me a thumbs-up. And that's after he's already had physical confrontations, with me, and tried to put me down. And, I mean, I feel like it was totally, they were not concerned, about the real trauma that was happening inside.
They were - and parents didn't start doing any type of outrageous actions, until they saw kids, getting CPR, outside. And that's because, they know that we waited, almost an hour, maybe a little bit more than an hour. And finally, seeing kids, like, I mean, you can - you can be out, in a minute, it's just a matter of seconds.
And they wait. They honestly, I think, they did. They waited too long, too long. Because I was out here. I was out here. And, I mean, I'm not the only parent that witnessed it. It's sad that a lot of parents witnessed it.
And then, to see that they're saying that it was, they got in here quick and handled business? That's not - that is not the way that happened.
BROWN: Yes. And now, the Governor is saying that he was misled. He was wrong, when he said that. He says that he was misled.
And we're finding out today that in fact 19 police officers at least waited outside in the hallway, for an hour, for more resources, and backup, to come in, before the gunman was killed.
I do want to note, we reached out, to the Uvalde Police Department, about the rough treatment that you described. We have not heard back.
But you also took this video of a parent being restrained, by an officer. And I want to play some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's trying to get his kid (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calm down. Calm down (inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey (inaudible).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: I mean, this is just so disturbing to watch. Do you know what led to this, specifically? I mean, look at this!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, man!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: So Jennifer, I don't - if you can hear me? We just watched that video. And it's so disturbing. What can you tell us about what led to that?
GAITAN: We - when that man took off running, is because he's - I don't know if it was his child or, I mean, if somebody he knew. But he tried - he ran out that way, because they were giving kids, CPR, on the sidewalk.
And, I mean, that is the moment, when parents started to flip, because we knew how long it was. We knew that kids were already being released, and he was already shot, long before they took anybody out that room. And that is where the chaos started.
And you - how do you - how do you blame a parent for acting like that, when it's not their fault, why this happened? And they're trying their best. So many - so many parents were out here, with their own weapons, ready to go into the building.
And these cops were - I mean, I understand there's - they weren't trained. This doesn't happen here. They're not trained for this type of massacre.
But, I mean, I honestly don't - I - that's their job. That is their job. And I honestly say that, I mean, I - if I can remember anything? Most of Uvalde Police Department was outside the windows.
BROWN: Yes. And you said, even after the gunman was killed, your understanding, it was - there was a gap of time, a long gap of time, before the wounded were brought out, and given CPR? How much time?
GAITAN: Yes, yes. It was - it was - OK. When kids started coming out, and that was happening, parents are going chaotic, they started moving the yellow tape back, and we all moved back or whatever.
We were about - I was about 10 yards, from the tape. And this is all - I think it was a state trooper that, he kept, like, just picking at me, and picking at me, and I'm crying.
I'm getting - I mean, I'm like, "Go save the kids! Like you're worried about us. We are not doing anything. We are not trying to cross that tape. We are," it was just so sad that we couldn't do anything, but stand and watch, because if somebody did try to do anything, they were pulling out Tasers. If you can see, in one of the videos, they were pulling on Tasers, to tase these parents, because, they're concerned about their family. And that is like, that's not - that was very - that was wrong. It was very wrong.
And I mean, like I said, there was more than a few parents that witnessed how long, it actually took, for them to even start bringing anybody. I mean, it was horrible.
And I just feel like they didn't take the - this complaint or what, the beginning of the situation, I feel like they didn't take it as serious as it got. And it's the lack of like - I mean, for one being--
GAITAN: --how that door should have never been unlocked. That door should have never been unlocked.
And that should have been the school. I mean, schools are very strict, when it comes to a lot of things. But that should have been a mandatory thing. That should have been done every morning when over 150 kids are in that, I mean, those buildings. And it's ridiculous.
BROWN: Yes, I mean, my heart goes out to you. As a parent, myself, I cannot imagine, desperately waiting, outside the school, and having been in your shoes, under those circumstances. And I am so sorry for all that you now have to process, and your daughter has to process, in the wake of this.
But thank you for coming on, to share your story, Jennifer. We appreciate your time, tonight. And we wish you the best.
GAITAN: No problem. Thank you for having me. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
BROWN: And the more we learn about what happened, at that school, the more unanswered questions there are. How could police think it wasn't an active-shooter situation, when children were making 911 calls, from inside the classroom?
TEXT: ELIAHANA 'ELIJAH' CRUZ TORRES, 10-YEARS-OLD.
TEXT: TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING.
BROWN: As Uvalde prepares, for the funerals, of 19 children, and two teachers, killed, in Tuesday's horrific Elementary School shooting, we're learning more, tonight, about how law enforcement, responded.
A Texas official, now saying, the Incident Commander made the, quote, "Wrong decision," and not immediately sending officers, into that classroom, to confront the shooter that was - the classroom that was filled with children, calling 911. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, when their agents arrived, on the scene, it had already been determined, it was a, quote, "Barricaded subject situation." The shooter remained holed-up, in that classroom, for another 35 minutes, before he was killed.
Let's bring in Chris Swecker, a former FBI Assistant Director, of the Criminal Investigative Division.
Hi, Chris. I want to ask you, first.
CHRIS SWECKER, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION: Hey, Pamela.
BROWN: We are learning, the Uvalde gunman threatened girls with rape, and vowed to shoot up schools, on social media app, Yubo. But none of the users took him seriously. Some said though, that they did report it.
Do you see this as a huge missed opportunity, for authorities?
SWECKER: Absolutely. I mean, I've always said, the first line of defense, are the people that are in contact, with the - with someone, who's later a shooter. And they're always flashing red. They're manifesting, and demonstrating, what they want to do. And they're exhibiting signs, and behaviors that people ought to pick up on, and report.
And when we say, "See something, say something," I think a lot of people, "Well, what does that really mean?" Well, if the hair on the back of your neck is up, and if people are saying, and doing things that you think, are suspicious, and could result, in actual action? Then, you need to report it.
Because, the law enforcement can't just surf the internet, and social media, looking for trouble. They have - they don't have the authority to do that. They rely on tips, and leads. So this, yes, this was a missed opportunity.
BROWN: Never just discard it as "Oh, this person is just a weirdo or a creep." "Take it seriously," is what I'm hearing from you.
BROWN: So, we're learning some more details, about the investigation. We're learning, the gun emerged from a classroom closet, and began firing, when Border Patrol agents, entered that room. One agent held a shield, and two others engaged the shooter.
The big question, why didn't they do this sooner?
SWECKER: Since Columbine, as everyone knows, the protocol is to go straight to the shooter. Every second is a life. And you got a classroom full of helpless kids. These aren't high schoolers, who can get up and run, or possibly even fight, if they have to.
[21:25:00] These are third graders, fourth graders, fifth graders, very young, can't - hard to evacuate. They rely on their teachers, and the adults, in the room, to get them, either locked down, or in a safe position.
Now, law enforcement's role is to come in, we knew this from Parkland, where it didn't happen, and go straight to the sound of gunfire. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Whether it's because of lack of training, or when the two officers went down? They simply fell back.
And frankly, I think, the fear factor kicked in, shock. And they didn't regroup quickly enough. And no one made a decision. The on- scene commander was the School District Police Chief. He apparently said, "Don't go in." And I heard a transmission that said the same thing.
So, this was a - this was a lot of things that went wrong. And I'm proud of my former colleague, Steve McCraw, for saying that, today.
SWECKER: Because that was very difficult for him to do.
BROWN: No. Absolutely, it was. We need to know the truth. And it was very important to hear that truth, today, three days after the shooting.
BROWN: But I just, I guess, I can't get over the idea that there were 19, at least 19 officers, in the hallway, and even though, the Incident Commander was saying, "Don't go in," that no one said, "OK, screw this! I'm going to - I'm going into that room, to save these children," or, if there are - see if any children are there to rescue?
Because, the understanding is, he believed that there were no children, at risk, or people, at risk, inside that room.
What do you make of that?
SWECKER: I can only think of one thing - well, actually two things.
One is they had no communications with the 911 Center. And that's inexcusable, in and of itself. If they weren't aware, and they weren't getting communications, from the 911 Center, that is inexcusable. It's a flaw. And it's not a minor flaw.
Or, they knew it, and they chose not to go in. That's even worse.
So, there's no good scenario, here. There's no good explanation for what happened. I mean, if they are not in communication, with 911, then, I might cut them a break, because there - if there weren't sounds of gunfire, coming from inside the room? But it sounds to me like that wasn't the case.
BROWN: There was sporadic gunfire.
SWECKER: That there was sporadic shooting. Right.
BROWN: And also what--
BROWN: You would think you'd want to just play it safe. Again, I know, like it's much easier to just sit here--
BROWN: --and do Monday morning quarterback, when you're not in those shoes.
But you're the expert, here. I would think that you would assume that, "Hey, there could be children in that room that are still alive, or wounded, and need medical attention, immediately," right?
SWECKER: Right. Right. It should have been The Charge of the Light Brigade. I mean, I'm sorry, two officers are down? Just keep on coming. Because every second is a life.
And these are, again, small children, who can't evacuate themselves. They can't protect themselves. You have to go in. If you can't do that? You shouldn't be a law enforcement officer. And I hate to make a harsh judgment, like that. But that's where we are.
And we've, you know, Parkland was a case in point. I thought we had learned something from that. Perhaps not.
BROWN: Well, you have to make the judgment, the way you see it. And this is the way, you see it, Chris. Thank you for coming on.
SWECKER: Thank you.
BROWN: 21 people dead, 19 of them children. But the NRA is convening their annual meeting, just days later, in the same state.
Stay with us.
TEXT: LAYLA SALAZAR, 11-YEARS-OLD.
BROWN: Well just a four-hour drive, from the site of the Uvalde massacre, former President Trump defended the rights of gun owners, at the NRA's annual convention, in Houston.
And he did so, along with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent taped remarks. His Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, backed out of his in- person experience, along with two GOP lawmakers, and several musicians.
This, as hundreds of protesters, gathered outside the Convention Center. Among them, Democratic nominee, for Texas governor, Beto O'Rourke, who had this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE, (D) TEXAS GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: To those, who are attending the NRA convention, across the street?
You are not our enemies. We are not yours. We extend our hand, open and unarmed, in a gesture of peace, and fellowship, to welcome you, to join us.
Those, who will be the victims, of the next mass shooting, unless we act, are counting on us, at this moment. So please, join us now, or be left behind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: There's no sign, however, that his message is getting through to the NRA. So, what will?
I want to bring in a former firearms executive, and gun industry insider, Ryan Busse, who is also the Author of "Gunfight: My Battle against the Industry that Radicalized America."
So Ryan, the overwhelming message, from the NRA, is that "It's not gun laws, we need to worry about. It's security and people with mental health issues. It's never about the guns."
A familiar pattern, right?
RYAN BUSSE, FORMER FIREARMS EXECUTIVE, AUTHOR, "GUNFIGHT: MY BATTLE AGAINST THE INDUSTRY THAT RADICALIZED AMERICA": Yes, it's a pretty tired message.
And, I worked in the industry, long enough. I entered the industry in 1995.
And, for the first few years, of my career, everybody in the industry knew that proliferating this kind of stuff, this tactical gear, these tactical guns - in fact, for most of the first part, of my career, these things couldn't even be displayed in the industry trade shows. It was - it wasn't a law. The industry knew that these things were dangerous.
And here we are today. They've broken all those norms. They've gone against the things that they know are right. And, I mean, I think, Beto was clear on the money. It's time for responsible gun owners, all of us, to cast off the NRA radicalization, and do the right thing, here.
BROWN: So, why do you think, they've broken the norms, and they've done all these things, you say?
BUSSE: Well, two things happened. The NRA figured out that fear, and conspiracy theory, and racism, and hatred, could drive our nation, into a furor, could keep it just one degree, below boiling, could make a group of people, do and vote in irrational ways. And we've seen that happen. And it's also - those are also the exact same things that sell guns.
And so, as we've experienced the rise, in division, tearing our families apart, and our workplaces apart, gun sales have skyrocketed, right along with that, because fear and division and conspiracy and hatred, sell guns.
BUSSE: And so, we are here now.
BROWN: So, in your view, the bottom line is, though it's about the money?
BUSSE: It's about the money. It's about the money. It's about the votes. It's about the cocktail parties after the election wins. Yes, it's about power and money, yes.
BROWN: The NRA has been substantially weakened, as you well know, as an organization, over the past few years, due to internal power struggles, and financial issues.
I mean, how much power does it actually have now? And I'm curious, what you think? I mean, are we artificially propping up this organization, when we assert their power, over politicians?
BUSSE: I think now is not the time, to underestimate the power of the NRA. And I tell people that this is much like a brush fire. Regardless of how strong the NRA is, right now, they've led a brush fire, across this country. And it's dry, and it's windy.
And so, now is not the time, for people to be complacent. You need to call. You need to stand up. You need to be decent and responsible. You need to protest. You need to call your senators, and you need to demand that we do necessary steps.
We're never going to wipe this out. People who say, "We're going to solve this stuff," all the time, we're not going to solve it. We're going to do what normal, reasonable people do. We're going to take steps, to make it better, instead of keep making it worse.
This isn't a lot different than cigarettes, 25 years ago. We still have lung cancer. We still have people that smoke cigarettes. But we took steps, to make it better. And we can do that with guns.
I own guns. I want to keep owning guns. I shoot and hunt with my boys. But this stuff is out of control. And we have to stand up and say that.
BROWN: Yes. I think, it's an important point though, that even though, not every life, will be saved, moving forward, if concrete change happens? If some lives are saved, isn't it worth it, is your point?
BUSSE: Look, this is a complex democracy. And democracy happens in the gray areas. It doesn't happen in the polls.
NRA wants you to think that there are simple answers, and pithy bumper stickers, and angry statements, and that the Second Amendment can be absolutist, and apparently that we can all own AR-15s, and A-10 Warthogs, and M1 Abrams tanks, and drones that kill people, from 35,000 feet.
But come on! That's silly!
We can do the same thing we do in every other area of our lives. And we can balance our freedoms with the responsibility. This is not rocket science.
BROWN: All right, thank you so much. Ryan Busse, appreciate you joining the show.
BUSSE: Thank you.
BROWN: 1,657 rounds! The shooter had that much ammunition, and no red flags are raised, before. That's next.
TEXT: TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING.
BROWN: Each new detail that emerges from the massacre at Robb Elementary adds to the horror. And that includes this account of a school, seemingly littered, with bullets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCRAW: Additional information that we have is that there are 58 total magazines at the school related to the crime scene. 11 of those magazines were inside the school. Three were on the suspect's body. Two in Room 112, six inside Room 111. Five were on the ground. One was in the rifle.
There were 32 magazines outside the school, but on school property, one just outside the school building, and 31 in the suspect's backpack that he did not take into the classrooms with him.
There's 15 magazines at the crash site.
There are two magazines at the suspect's residence, for a total of 60 magazines. He had purchased and had a total of 1,657 total rounds of ammunition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: And the State Senator, who represents Uvalde, said the weapons, to fire all those rounds, were the first thing, the killer bought, on his 18th birthday. His 18th birthday!
My next guest says people shouldn't have guns, until at least 25. And he's got the science, to back that up. Stay with us, for that conversation.
TEXT: TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING.
TEXT: TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING.
BROWN: As families, in Texas, grieve, for the 19 children, and two teachers, shot to death, in their classroom, we're learning, the gunman, legally purchased, two assault rifles, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, just last week, for his 18th birthday.
Let that sink in! An 18-year-old, who is legally not allowed to purchase a bottle of beer can buy weapons designed to kill people!
So, is it time, to set new age rules, for buying guns? Let's discuss this, with Drew Westen, a Professor of Psychology, at Emory University. He's the Author of "The Political Brain."
Hi, Drew. So, you believe people, under 25-years-old, should be restricted, from accessing or purchasing a gun. Tell us why.
DREW WESTEN, PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY, AUTHOR, "THE POLITICAL BRAIN" AND "THE UNDECIDED BRAIN": For two or three reasons.
One of them is that the Founders actually got this right. They said "You should be able to vote at 21. But you shouldn't be able to run for House of Representatives, until you're 25."
And they, then said, "Of course, you can't run for Senate, till you're 30, and President, until you're 75." I'm kidding on the last one!
But the point of it is that they got it - they actually got it right, in terms of what we now know, about the brain.
And that is that, by age - by about age 25, is when our frontal lobes are mature enough, to be able to allow us, to do the kind of complex thinking, to regulate our impulses, to regulate our emotions that we don't fully have developed, until about that point.
BROWN: And if you look at some of the worst mass shootings, in our country's history, the shooters are male, between the ages of 17 and 24. What do you attribute that to? Is it what you just described? Is it more? What do you think?
WESTEN: So, there's a couple of factors that seem to be involved. I mean, one of the - one of them obviously is that we have access, ready access, to guns, which, you know?
And one of the reasons I would be suggesting, changing the age to 25, instead of an assault weapons ban, reinstating it, like we had it before? Simply because, the latter is not going to happen anytime soon. Whereas, I think, there could be bipartisan support on an age change.
But the - so, the one reason is it has to do with normal brain development. And that's what I just described, about the developments of the frontal lobes, up here.
But there's another reason that has to do with development that's off the normal pathway of brain development.
And that is, in people, who are going to develop a psychotic disorder that is a disorder, in which they have a complete break, from reality? The average person who develops that, three quarters of the people, who are going to develop one, will develop one by age 25.
And, in fact, if you look at the data on, who kills, and especially who becomes a mass shooter? It's closely associated with the data on the age of between 14 and 25, which is when most first psychotic breaks happen.
BROWN: But why is it males and not females?
WESTEN: It's a really, really good question. Probably, I mean, my answer will probably sound snarky, but it's probably the most accurate, which is that testosterone is a nasty drug, probably shouldn't be available, except by prescription.
But what I mean by that, really, is that, in humans, and in other primates, males commit the vast majority of violent crimes. In the United States, they commit the vast majority of murders. We just have to look over, in Ukraine, to see what they're doing over there. And chimpanzees, and gorillas are the same way.
Just there is a - there is a component of that socialization, which is we do train boys, whether we're conscious of it or not, to be ready to be warriors, as adults. And on one hand? That has negative effects. And on the other hand? It has the positive effect of - you look at, again, in Ukraine, the fact that how many men were prepared to fight, even though they didn't know how.
BROWN: Yes. Getting back to the age, 18-years-old, I was listening to Governor Abbott, of Texas, today.
And he said, "Look, in Texas, 18-year-olds have been able to buy assault rifles, since the very beginning. It hasn't been until more recently, we're seeing these mass shootings, from these young people, with assault rifles," basically, making the case, again, that this is more about a mental health crisis that we're dealing with, right now.
So, what do you make of what he tried to argue, today?
WESTEN: Well, two things. One is, it's not true.
That the only reason we didn't see - we saw a break, of about 10 years, where we did not have the number of mass shootings that we have had, since in the last - since 2004? And that's because Bill Clinton passed an assault weapons ban, with the help of a Democratic and Republican Congress. And, during that time, the rates of mass shootings dropped substantially.
But the other is that if you look across cultures, the countries? Canada, above us, has just infinite testable rates, of murders, of any kind, but certainly of serial killings, you just don't see anything like this. Europe, you don't see anything like it. They have the same percent of people, who are seriously mentally ill that we do.
So, if this were a mental illness problem, they would have it - we would have this, all over the world.
BROWN: Yes. Evil isn't just unique to America!
BROWN: All right, thank you so much, Drew.
WESTEN: You bet. Thanks for having me on.
BROWN: Well, police now telling a whole different story, about what happened, in Uvalde, and the fallout is just beginning.
We've got much more, on the tragedy, in Texas, right after this.
TEXT: MAITE RODRIGUEZ, 10-YEARS-OLD.
TEXT: TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING
BROWN: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. I am Pamela Brown, in for Don, on this Friday.
A stunning development, tonight, in the Texas School shooting that killed 19 children, and two teachers. Police waited, out in the hallway, for more than an hour, while the gunman was holed up inside that classroom. Some students calling 911, begging for help.
Let's get right to CNN's Jason Carroll, and Shimon Prokupecz, who are in Uvalde, Texas.
And we're also joined by CNN Senior Law Enforcement Analyst, Andrew McCabe, the, former FBI Deputy Director.
And let's begin though, with you, Jason, on the scene, and more on that fateful decision, to wait. What more do you know, Jason?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And a decision, Pamela that the Governor called, quote, "Inexcusable." He also said, it was unacceptable. He says he was, like the rest of the public, misled, about exactly what happened, here, at the school, with law enforcement.
MCCRAW: It was the wrong decision. Period.
CARROLL (voice-over): Tonight, a damning new admission, from Texas authorities. The Incident Commander made the decision not to immediately enter the classroom, where the gunman was hiding.
MCCRAW: A decision was made that this was a barricaded subject situation. There was time, to retrieve the keys, and wait for a tactical team, with the equipment, to go ahead and breach the door, and take on the subject, at that point.
CARROLL (voice-over): Officials explained how the shooter, got into the school.
MCCRAW: Where we knew the shooter entered, Ramos, was propped open by a teacher.
CARROLL (voice-over): Investigators clarifying the timeline, as police arrived.
MCCRAW: The three initial police officers that arrived went directly to the door, and two received grazing wounds, at that time, from the suspect, while the door was closed.
At 11:37, there's more gunfire. Another 16 rounds was fired at 11:37, one at 11:37, and 16 seconds, 11:38, 11:40, 11:44. At 11:51, a police sergeant, and USB agents started to arrive. At 12:03, officers continued to arrive in the hallway. And there was many as 19 officers at that time, in that hallway.