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Police Chief: Shooter Was Under Doctor's Care For Emotional Disorder; Police Chief: Still No Knowledge Of Shooter's Motive; Nashville Police Chief: Shooter Bought Seven Firearms Legally; Ehud Barack, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Discusses Netanyahu Delaying Judicial Overhaul; Tense Protests Over Pension Reform In France. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired March 28, 2023 - 13:30   ET



JOHN DRAKE, CHIEF, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: To my knowledge, I do not remember if those two in particular have been in that situation. Also, Collazo has worked as a paramedic with the SWAT team, so I'm sure he's had some type of weapons training.

I was really impressed that, with all that was going on, the danger, that somebody took control and said, let's go, let's go, let's go, and went in and took care and just try to end this situation.

But as far as being in this before, I'm not sure.

You, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A friend of the family's has reported in front of the Hill families reportedly said that Audrey was autistic. Can you speak to that if you know if that's in fact true?

DRAKE: I can't confirm that. I've heard that, but I can't confirm if that's true or not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question. One more question, and we're going to stop. One more.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How are they faring today, 24 hours on?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: - indication of the significance of yesterday why the shooter may have done this yesterday?

And also do you have anything that could indicate whether the school is targeted for religious reasons?

DRAKE: Have - I can't confirm either. I'm not sure if that we're approaching holy period of Easter and all of that. I can't confirm any of that.

I do not know and so why she targeted that particular church? We do know she was a student at that - at that church at one point. But unsure right now, that was the reason why.

And I think you -


DRAKE: I'll take one more.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) officers there. How are they feeling today, 24 hours on?

DRAKE: So I talked to them earlier and they're trying to decompress, trying to make sense of all of this.

I talked to President Biden. He's going to reach out and talk to them as well.

They're just trying to do whatever they can with their families, and just kind of remove themselves from all of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all very much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN HOST: A significant update there from Metropolitan Police Department's chief, John Drake in Nashville, Tennessee.

We just learned that the shooter at that school shooting, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was under a doctor's care, according to the chief, for what he called an "emotional disorder."

Her - Audrey's parents did not think, according to the police chief, that that Audrey should have weapons.

I want to bring our legal analyst, Laura Coates, back in with us.

Laura, this update from Chief John Drake, really, quite remarkable. He said that Audrey Hale had some seven firearms that had been bought at five different stores legally.

Now we did know yesterday - I'm going to go back to this press conference.

Laura, stay with me.

All right, never mind that appears to be over.

But, Laura, there is no law in Tennessee that would have, according to the police chief, had these guns taken away from Audrey Hale, despite the fact that Hale was under a doctor's care. So this will, I imagine, prompt another conversation about Red Flag laws.

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It will, and as it should, as we continue to think about what the constraints are and what the law enforcement community needs to be armed with, relatively speaking, in order to deter crimes like this.

He also noted that the parents believe that perhaps she was in possession of only one weapon and that it had been returned or given away or sold in some capacity.

That's piercing here, because we're used to - unfortunately, the tragedy that happened in Michigan not too long ago with Mr. Crumbly, his parents charged with involuntary manslaughter. His parents charged for the responsibility of what he had done in his school shooting.

That's quite a precedent thinking about this. We're talking about the parents here, of not a minor child. That's very significant here.

This is 28-year-old person who lived with her parents. And we know that there was some connection in terms of obviously the living arrangement. But the same legal requirements we would normally have for somebody who is a minor in the care of adults will likely be different.

Red Flag, laws more broadly, are intended to alert authorities that somebody poses an extraordinary risk to themselves or other people.

And there is a period of time when a gun is removed, they're not able to have weapons to protect themselves and allow a kind of due process to unfold to determine whether the person is an ongoing threat to the community going forward.

And so, in this instance, if she was not known to law enforcement, if there was not any bridge between the police, the medical care issues receiving two then that period that gray area is going to likely be the biggest talking point about how can one deter if they do not know.

But ultimately, Alex, this tragedy that has happened, the idea of listening to yet another police chief talk about the reaction time, the response time and the lives of nine year olds and, though, and three adults who were there as well.


I mean, I'm a mom of an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old. I have to try to explain to my children gun laws in America, why they have safety drills at their school, that police officers following Uvalde will respond.

To have to describe them the Second Amendment and the Heller decision and all sorts of nuance doesn't do a whole lot to make our children or the parents of this world feel very safe.

But Red Flag laws are continuously debated in the era of, well, does it deprive somebody of the right that they have to have weapons, a notice and opportunity to be heard? And that factor really looms very large here.

MARQUARDT: And that conversation that you're having with your children is certainly one that millions of American parents are having all across the country today. Laura, stay with me.

I do want to bring in Amara Walker, who was at that press conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Amara, it's clear that the police in Nashville are still grappling with the question of a motive. The police chief saying there that the school was targeted but that individuals were not.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: That's correct. And I do want to mention, you know, just seeing Chief John Drake, you could see just in his eyes how emotionally depleted he is.

And this is obviously something that has impacted him greatly along with his officers, who he has said in interviews this morning that even his officers are questioning if they can continue to work in this line of work.

So some of the headlines from this news conference. I mean, the fact that this shooter had bought seven firearms, all legally. Three of those firearms were used in this school shooting here at Covenant School.

But they were all purchased legally and locally at several different stores here in the Nashville area.

And you heard there from Chief John Drake that they interviewed the parents. They did reveal that Audrey Hale had some emotional disorder. He wasn't sure if it was Autism. That's apparently what one reporter asked about. But had some kind of emotional disorder.

And I don't want to obviously equate Autism to emotional disorders. But that's what was asked about and he said he wasn't sure about that.

But, Chief John Drake also mentioned that, even if Audrey Hale or reported in terms of her mental fitness or emotional disorder, were there any laws in Tennessee that would have prevented her - and that's how the chief referred to Audrey Hale as a her, because, again, you know, there have been questions about, you know, how the shooter identified.

Chief John Drake said that there are no laws he currently knows of that would have prevented her from purchasing all of these guns.

But also really stuck out was the fact that the mother saw Audrey Hale leaving the house on Monday morning with the bag. Clearly, there were weapons and ammunition inside. The mother didn't stop to open the bag.

The mother did ask Audrey Hale, what's in that bag? And she basically kind of, you know, said there's nothing in here, dismissed it.

Told police that she didn't know her daughter had weapons inside and let her go off to wherever she was headed. And obviously, that was here to the Covenant School, where six lives were just horrifically taken - Alex? MARQUARDT: Yes. The chief there saying that the parents thought that

Audrey had sold the guns because, I believe one weapon had been sold, but Audrey had bought seven of them legally at five different stores. Three were used in yesterday's attack.

And, Amara, the police chief there talking about what was in Audrey's writings, saying that the school was targeted. But Audrey did talk about other locations. But it wasn't clear, it seems, to the police that those were other targets as well.

WALKER: That's correct. So the other thing - and I'm glad you mentioned this, Alex - is that we didn't learn more about any kind of motive.

Soo in these writings, apparently, it was more of a technical document where the shooter was kind of planning which targets would be feasible in this person's mind, and had mapped out, literally drew out the maps of at least this school here.

So in terms of the motive, we haven't learned much. We don't know, again - what we do know, that none of these individuals were specifically targeted. Perhaps it was the building or the school that was specifically targeted.

And we don't know if the shooter had some kind of grievance against the church or the school or the staff or the people inside.

But all in all, the big picture here is that you have this shooter who had a history of some kind of emotional or mental disorder that the parents had known about, apparently, that wasn't reported.


And still, Audrey Hale was able to purchase seven guns, seven weapons, I should say, all legally in this area.

And I think you know, obviously, this is the time that our country is going through this soul searching phase again - Alex?

MARQUARDT: It certainly is, Amara. The police chief - they're calling it an emotional disorder. Not going to any sort of detail.

Amara, stay with us.

I want to bring back in Laura Coates on this question of the motive.

Laura, you heard there Amara talking about how the police chief making clear that they're still looking into this motive. And they have learned a lot and they have shared a lot in the past 24 hours.

They have spoken to Audrey's parents. They have read Audrey's writings. How much more can they do to try to get at this question of motive?

COATES: Well, they could certainly look into social media. They could look into things that are not the tangible writings. But through documents it might be found on her computer, documents or correspondence to different people.

There might be a social circle or network that she is involved in trying to figure out if she gave warning to somebody else, if she was egged on by someone else, did she act alone in the planning of any of this, was there somebody who conspired or could have prevented?

We're talking a lot about the Red Flag laws or the absence thereof and what her parents may have been able to see.

While the police investigation now we'll look at whether this was truly foreseeable. What can they look to figure out?

And I just want to take a step back here. Every time we talk about motive, we do not use that term synonymously with justification. There is no justification for what has happened.

But the motive is what the police officers and investigators will look at as a kind of forward thinking deterrence.

What can we learn from what's happened here to either create laws or create new law enforcement protocol or to create some nuance in the law to be able to prosecute or to prevent these actions from happening in the future?

So I want to be clear. Whenever people hear that term, there is a very big cringe factor, as we look for a motive, because people think it somehow would mean you feel better about what's happened. We will not.

But what it can do is be used proactively by law enforcement and the greater legal and legislative community to try to prevent it from happening again.

MARQUARDT: There is still so much to be learned. Whether it will be acted upon is another question.

Laura Coates, thank you so much for staying with me.

We are going to take a quick break. We'll be right back after this.



MARQUARDT: In Israel, the country's largest labor union is now threatening another major strike if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revives his plans to overhaul the judicial system.

Netanyahu was forced to back off those plans yesterday as the country was brought to a standstill. Tens of thousands - you can see right there - all across the country protesting and going on strike.

Netanyahu announced that he would delay voting on that judicial overhaul, ostensibly to allow time for more debate.

Some of the proposed changes would allow Israel's parliament to overturn decisions by the state, the country's Supreme Court. I want to bring in Ehud Barak. He is, of course, the former prime

minister of Israel. He was also the country's deputy prime minister under Benjamin Netanyahu, though, I should note he is in the opposing party.

Mr. Barak, thank you so much for joining us today.

I want to ask you, first, whether you view what Netanyahu did yesterday in terms of backing down, is that a victory, even if it's just temporary?

EHUD BARAK, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: It's a major victory for the protest. There were half a million people. It's about 10 percent of the population of Israel. And kind of equivalent on 150 or more millions in America in the streets in order to block the last moment.

And Netanyahu basically capitulate the last moment. But that doesn't mean that he gave up his intention. You might try to take the steam of the winds out of the sails of the protest and review them.

Somewhere in the early summer, to resume the effort once again, but we will be on lived festive.

All the inner core of protests will continue, even while the negotiations taking place and will resume full volume the moment he will try to try anything towards (INAUDIBLE)of democracy.

MARQUARDT: And how much do you think that the prime minister risked his fragile coalition? He is, of course, aligned right now with far- right parties that gave him the prime ministership. They are not in any real mood for compromise.

So as president - Prime Minister Netanyahu kicks this can down the road, how much do you think he is losing power? And does he stand a chance of losing his position as prime minister?

BARAK: He lost a lot of popular support. His favorability number is in a threefold.

And he lost the trust of the leading groups in every way of life in Israel from the economists, leaders of the industry, leaders of fighters, for sure, within the defense forces and intelligence community where there is basically - during a part of the whole extent of the volunteering system.

So he found himself compelled. He cannot influence the economy. He cannot influence the reservists, the fighting force of Israeli inside the twin walls.

And he probably will hold somehow to his coalition because each one of the worst certain interests.


But he will end up much weaker but still alive and kicking. And will try to resume this effort, which the Supreme Court chief defined, as she said, it's not the reform, it's the attempt to crush the independence of the Supreme Court and to push Israel out of the family of democratic nations.

We are not going to be there. We are not holding that conduit.

MARQUARDT: You did mention the intelligence community. You, of course, are a former defense minister.

I want to read our viewers a little bit of what the head of the Israeli military said, the chief of staff.

He said, "This hour is different to any that we have known before. We have not known such days of external threats coalescing while a storm is brewing at home."

Mr. Barak, what are you hearing from your former military and intelligence colleagues about the security threat to Israel?

BARAK: These erode in the Middle East is a tough neighborhood. Is there nothing? Nothing to compare with the Midwest. And we have a lot of fair neighbors looking into our weaknesses.

Two days ago, the minister of defense, nominated just three months ago, is a ranking general in his path. He asked the prime minister to bring together the cabinet, the inner cabinet of the government to discuss what he defined as immediate and an apparent threat to our nation of security.

Netanyahu, in an unprecedented step, didn't convince the cabinet. Leading people to believe that BiBi is losing his - a lot of calibrating judgment of reality.

MARQUARDT: Right. Prime Minister Barak, thank you so much for joining us today at a very important moment for your country. Really appreciate your insight.

BARAK: Thank you for having me. We are going to win over the government.

MARQUARDT: Thank you, sir.

Happening right now, protesters are filling the streets of France. And here you can see what looks like, potentially tear gas being fired into this crowd. It is the 10th straight day of demonstrations in France over government pension reforms.

Our senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, joins us live from the streets of Paris.

Sam, what are you seeing there?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alex, here on the Boulevard Voltaire, at the end of that boulevard, there is the (INAUDIBLE). That's the end of the procession route, if you like, for this union-organized protests against Macron's plans to change the pensionable age from 62 to 64. Now the government here has deployed a huge number of extra police.

You can see a hand -, relatively speaking, a handful. There are very large numbers of police out on the streets of Paris. An extra five and a half thousand on the streets of Paris, 13,000 around the rest of the country.

There were deep concerns that there was going to be violence following the demonstration. There has been a lot of tear gas, a lot of throwing of rocks and stones at the police and the gendarmerie, but they seem to be containing it by the standards of Paris.

Now the whole city has got fairly used to these demonstrations. This is the 10th in a row.

But the numbers are down. According to the government, 740,000 people demonstrating around the country, 93,000 here in Paris, down from 120,000 last Thursday.

But that doesn't take away from the boiling anger that is here over these pension reforms that are opposed by about two-thirds of the country.

The problem for the opposition is that the legislation is all but done. There's almost nothing they can do to reverse it other than have street protests.

And that means the possibility of escalating violence and, of course, strikes. The problem with strikes is that the country has been on and off strike since the middle of January, and people are really suffering from strikes.

They're not getting paid, Alex. That means that even, for example, here in Paris, the garbage collections are going to restart tomorrow simply because the garbage collectors have run out of wages.

So this steam may go out of some of these protests over the next few weeks.

The problem is, for Macron, the anger against him and his legislative program is definitely not going away - Alex?

MARQUARDT: And, Sam, we do have less than a minute left. And these are just extraordinary scenes with that fire burning behind you and riot police right behind you.

But has President Macron done anything to try to attempt down this temperature?

KILEY: Well, no, not in effect. He has said that there is a right to protest peacefully. He says he's regretful that he has to do these pension reforms, that there are necessary parts of balancing the budget effectively.


And even his government has agreed to open a dialogue with the unions, but not on the matter of these pension reforms. They are absolutely not for turning on that.

And arguably, politically, after these sorts of demonstrations, the level of violence that we've seen, the clashes between the police and the protesters, he doesn't want to be seen to be doing a U-turn in response to violence on the streets - Alex?

MARQUARDT: Sam Kiley, on the streets of Paris. Thank you very much, sir.

That does it for me. Don't go anywhere. We have much more breaking news ahead. Take care.



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianna Golodryga.