Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Nashville PD Releases Bodycam Of Officers Who Killed Shooter; Sources: Pence Ordered To Testify On Pre-1/6 Trump Conversations; Senate Holds Hearing On Recent Bank Failure. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired March 28, 2023 - 14:00   ET




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

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: And I'm Boris Sanchez. We're grateful that you're sharing an afternoon with us.

We start today with a heart-pounding firsthand perspective inside yesterday's mass shooting at a Nashville Elementary School. Today, Metro Nashville police released the body cam video of two of the officers that were part of the team that encountered and neutralized the shooter identified his 28-year-old Audrey Hale.

GOLODRYGA: Hale had just gunned down three nine-year-old children and three staff members. A warning, what you're about to see is disturbing. It begins with officers entering the Covenant School after receiving the first call at 10:13 a.m.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more. One more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Metro police. Open the door. On me. On me. We do know where are you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Metro police. Open the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bathroom, bathroom. Small bathroom. Clear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Door. Door. With me. With me.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open it. I got it. I got it. Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go. Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's move right. Cover. Cover left. Cover left. Take this with me. Take this. No, that's locked. Take this door. Take this door. Take it. (INAUDIBLE)



GOLODRYGA: That is a chilling video. CNN's Amara Walker is in Nashville. And, Amara, before we talk about this heartstopping footage, we know that Nashville police just gave an update in the last hour. What did we learn?

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Yes. We just heard from the chief of police from the Metro Nashville Police Department. Look, we learned that they -- the investigators sat down with the parents of the shooter Audrey Hale, and they revealed that Audrey Hale -- excuse me, I should say, had some kind of emotional disorder. They didn't specify. And the parents told police that they didn't believe Audrey Hale should have had possession of any kind of weapon.

In fact, they didn't think Audrey Hale was in possession of any weapons because they were told by their daughter as the chief refers to Audrey Hale that Audrey Hale no longer owned any weapons. But we also learned that Audrey Hale legally and locally purchased seven firearms at several different gun stores here in the Nashville area. Three of those seven guns -- firearms I should say were used yesterday during this mass shooting here at Covenant Christian School.

We didn't learn much though, about the motive. A lot of people want to know why would anyone do this. We do know, however, from the writings that were left behind, many of those pages of writings found in the Honda Fit that Audrey Hale drove to the school on the day of the shooting, that this was a very thought-through calculated plan. These writings had the plans on -- the maps of the school, where Audrey Hale would enter the school, how the killing would play out but all these writings so far, no motive is revealed. We don't know that -- know that at this time.


We're also hearing from a former classmate of Audrey Hale from middle school who said she got a message from Audrey Hale on Monday, indicating that something bad was going to happen and intimating that she might die by suicide. And this is what that friend, Averianna, said about this whole thing. Listen.


AVERIANNA PATTON, RECEIVED MESSAGES FROM SHOOTER BEFORE THE ATTACK: I just -- I just couldn't believe it. Like, I'm in effect and know that I be -- you know, I tried to reach out, you know, not even knowing that it was her. I didn't. I just -- I don't know. I don't know. I don't know where she -- where she was, you know what she was dealing with. I just -- I don't know, like -- (END VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: So, Boris and Bianna, I have to tell you, you know, just having been on the ground here for several hours now, I mean, this is a community that has really been shattered and people are still grappling with their grief coming here to this makeshift memorial in tears just continually asking why. Back to you.

GOLODRYGA: You've done some incredible reporting there on the ground, Amara Walker. And we should also note your questioning there of the police chief and asking what the head of the school -- what they believe had happened in those final few seconds of her life and he pieced together what he believed was perhaps the head of the school running towards the shooter. And who knows, possibly saving many other lives as well by doing so. Amara, thank you.

Well, moments ago, we showed some of the body camera footage. Here is the video, this time from Officer Michael Collazo.


MICHAEL COLLAZO, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE OFFICER: Move. Move. I'm with you. Go away. Tight here -- right here -- right here.


COLLAZO: Go. Hit that stair. Hit the stairs. Go. Go stairs. Go stairs. Go.



COLLAZO: Keep pushing.


GOLODRYGA: Well, moments later, officers confronted Audrey Hale and ultimately killed the shooter.

SANCHEZ: With us now is Ed Davis, who was the police commissioner of Boston. And also with us is former FBI agent Katherine Schweit. She actually created and ran the Bureau's active shooter program after the 2012 mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary and wrote the book, Stop The Killing: How To End The Mass Shooting crisis.

Katherine, first to you. I want to get your immediate response to seeing that footage and how officers entered that scene, not knowing what they were about to confront, and went room by room chasing danger.

KATHERINE SCHWEIT, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes. I've seen a lot of body footage. And I've seen a lot of internal video footage of shootings like this. And I have always said, oh, I just -- I hate to -- I hate to have anybody see those. But I think right now, we're in a spot where it's good that Americans can see what the officers go through.

They're brave. They go in there. And I heard so many positive things about the way they responded. You can hear that alone -- alarm going over their heads. That is deafening for them as they're running through the school trying to communicate. And you can hear that there's an officer running and in charge and you can hear them communicating with each other saying go, go, push, push.

That's not because the others aren't responding. It's because they're communicating to make sure that they all know exactly what they're doing that they stay -- they're all carrying live weapons, right? They want to make sure that they stay. They -- in pace with each other.

And I hear the breathing and the alarms that are going off and I'm thinking it takes time to clear a building. It's not like you see on television. It takes time to find a shooter in a big building.

GOLODRYGA: And I'd be remiss not to note what we were seeing there as well. As you see these trained officers go in with their rifles. You also see a school that was housing children as young as four years of age. You see their backpacks and their little cubbies, and the drawings on the wall and signs that read hope, I believe I saw one that said, really a gut-punch given the reality that that we are facing and school children are facing across the country.


Commissioner, it is night and day when you look at that video and how the officers responded compared to what we saw in Uvalde. But there was something you said yesterday on our air that really stood out to me, and it was the response time. You said while -- it fit into the window of what you deem appropriate, it was rather long, in your view. That was about 14 to 15 minutes. Can you go into more detail about that? And if you think perhaps more lives could have been saved by these brave officers if they had arrived sooner?

ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, let me clarify that. When I first heard those numbers, I was under the impression that it took 14 to 15 minutes for the officers to arrive on scene. And that's what I was commenting on.

That's clearly not the case. It was 14 to 15 minutes until the incident was over. That is record-time. Incredibly courageous and effective response on the part of the police. I can tell you that as Katherine said, the complexity of searching a large building when you're clearing it room by room with any door that you're about to open possibly hiding a shooter is very difficult. So, in 15 minutes, this was an incredibly quick response, neutralizing a suspect like this.

These officers used exemplary room-clearing techniques, exemplary communication techniques, as was already stated. The tactics of shoot and move are employed. These are exactly the types of training and the types of responses that we hope for in any police department that's responding to an incident like this. And officers Engelbert and Collazo had just did -- just showed incredible courage, incredible efficiency, and effectiveness in their tactics and techniques. And they saved lives. There is no way that this could have been done faster than the 15-minute time period.

SANCHEZ: Katherine, I'm curious to get your perspective on that middle school classmate who received that Instagram message apparently from the shooter, saying that they were contemplating suicide and that it would be something that that high school classmate would see on the news. The classmate tried to contact authorities. But if you're in that situation, was there anything else she could have done?

SCHWEIT: Boy, I hate to victim shame, right? You got to be so careful. And I know, of course, you're not doing that. But I mean, that's the challenge right now is that when we look for better ways to help people out and better ways to respond, people say, well, they should have been.

We're not saying they should have but what I'm -- but to answer your question, Boris, I think one of the challenges is, it is such an urgent situation. Because so often when someone leaks that last intent and says they're going to do something, it may be just minutes before. And that's why I very much urge people to make a call to the police, make a call to 911.

They're not going to create a fuss, if a fuss -- it shouldn't be created. But it get -- might give them the extra moments to look for somebody or to look for a car, or to be prepared in case somebody's going to shoot. But we do know 30 to 40 percent of these types of shooters intend to and often do commit suicide or suicide by cop as we saw here. So, the challenge is that if they're going to kill themselves anyway if we can get to them before they do that, maybe we can interrupt that violence for their own death. And we can also interrupt the violence to others.

So, if you -- if you get an information like this, you have to call. I've so many people have said to me, well, I thought I'd wait for the weekend. I waited until later after I got off of work. Don't wait. Don't wait. Don't wait.

GOLODRYGA: You could see in just that video and the interview this morning just how pained that friend was and having to deal with this and to see how this ultimately all played out.

Commissioner, Tennessee is one of 25 states that allows for anyone over the age of 21 to open carry without a permit. They are contemplating just legislation that would even loosen those laws to 18 years of age. When you hear from the police chief that this individual had bought seven firearms from five different stores legally, talk about the pressure it puts on police officers, particularly in these types of states that allow open carry to do their jobs and protect citizens given that if they had just seen her walking down the street, there was nothing they could have done theoretically until she did open fire.

[14:15:00] DAVIS: Right. This situation sets up an almost impossible world for police to effectively do their job. We have people who are running down to the store and buying firearms that police don't have access to. Officer Collazo just had a sign-on when he went into that encounter. And he went up against a person with a military-style rifle. The other officer had a rifle.

But not everybody has those things. And we don't want to have a world where police are walking around with a rifle slung over their shoulder. Those are the kinds of things you see in other third-world countries.

We have to think very carefully when we start to argue that the Second Amendment just gives everybody the right to carry firearms everywhere at all times, it is -- it's a dangerous proposition. And it's mostly dangerous for the officers who have to try to do their job in that environment to say nothing of poor innocent children like this that are being just horrendously murdered. It is -- it's just in my mind, unconscionable that anybody would consider this.

GOLODRYGA: It is indeed an unfair position to put these officers in. They can train and train and train but nothing prepares you for actually experiencing a day like they did yesterday and as you said, courageously likely saved other lives as well. Katherine Schweit and Ed Davis, thank you.

Well, we're learning more about the people who were killed yesterday. This is nine-year-old Hallie Scruggs. Her father is the lead pastor at Covenant Church. Evelyn Dieckhaus was also just nine years old. Her family released this statement.

Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened. Evelyn was a shining light in the world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve. Nine-year-old William Kenny was also killed.

SANCHEZ: Among the adults murdered was 60-year-old Katherine Koonce. As we were discussing a moment ago with Amara, she was the head of the school. And in 2021, the school posted this video that is taking on some new meaning today.


KATHERINE KOONCE, SHOOTING VICTIM: God himself is timeless. His love is timeless.


SANCHEZ: We're also learning about 61-year-old Mike Hill. He was a custodian at the school who also helped in the cafeteria. And also a substitute teacher who was filling in for the day Cynthia Peak was killed. She was 61 years old. In the last 24 hours, we've heard the same sentiment over and over again.

Nashville is a small world. It's a city that's family. And this morning, the Mayor, John Cooper is vowing to change his community, his family for the better.


JOHN COOPER, MAYOR OF NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE I think the public is going to go back to understanding or questioning why we have so few restrictions on guns, particularly assault-level type guns that guns and gunfire, the number one cause of death with children. And we really can't tolerate that anymore. We owe it to the parents. Everybody that's attending every vigil in Nashville feels that there needs to be a public response to this kind of tragedy. And to say enough is enough.




GOLODRYGA: First on CNN. A federal judge has ordered former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a federal grand jury about conversations he had with Donald Trump in the days leading up to January 6.

SANCHEZ: That is according to sources familiar with a recent court ruling that remains under seal. CNN's Katelyn Polantz joins us now. She's part of the team that helped to break this story just a couple of hours ago. Katelyn. walk us through the details of this new order.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, we're still getting some details because this order is under seal as all of these have been in recent weeks. But this is something that puts wind in the sails of the special counsel investigation. Jack Smith has been seeking vice president -- former Vice President Mike Pence's testimony, sent him a subpoena calling him in before the grand jury. They went to court to try and fight over whether he was going to have to go, whether he was going to have to answer questions. And ultimately, Judge Jeb Boasberg of the DC district court. He said yes, Pence must testify.

Pence is going to have to testify specifically about conversations he had with Donald Trump. And we're hearing from our sources, that one of the key findings that Judge Boasberg made here is that Pence must testify about interactions where Donald Trump may have been acting corruptly.

And so, if you recall those conversations, he was having with the president at the time, Trump was pressuring him to block the election results. He was calling him names, as some of the witnesses have said. And Pence himself has talked a little bit about this in a book he's written and publicly -- but he hasn't testified before about exactly what happened and what was said in phone calls only between he and Donald Trump. And so that is what the investigators are seeking here.

Also, I should note that Pence did have a bit of a win in this in that he seems to have expanded some of the powers of the vice presidency convincing the judge that he should have some protections of Congress -- constitutional protections around him on January 6, whenever he was president of the Senate. And ultimately, Bianna and Boris, I should really note that Donald Trump did argue to close off some of the answers of Pence, citing executive privilege. And the judge said no to that, as he did in several other cases -- or this court has done in several cases in this investigation.

GOLODRYGA: And, Katelyn, do we know when the former vice president may go in front of the grand jury? I mean, it could -- he appeal this ruling as well.

POLANTZ: Yes. Well, he can appeal, of course. We don't have any indication that there was an appeal yet. This just came down yesterday.


But Evan Perez here at CNN, he just did hear from a source that there isn't a date set yet for Pence to go in to testify, and also exactly how this would play out before the grand jury. What questions they would ask and exactly what he would answer, that still could be determined as well. Back to you.

GOLODRYGA: All right. Katelyn Polantz, thank you so much for breaking this news for us. We appreciate it.

SANCHEZ: We want to turn to developments on Capitol Hill today where there was a tough grilling for some of the nation's top banking regulators on the sudden collapse and rescue of two banks. Top officials from Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC testified before the Senate Banking Committee on what led to those failures, and what the fallout means for the U.S. financial system.


MICHAEL BARR, VICE CHAIR FOR SUPERVISION, FEDERAL RESERVE: This is a textbook case of bank mismanagement. The risks the bank faced, interest rate risk, and liquidity risk, those are the bread-and-butter of banking issues. That -- the firm was quite aware of those issues. They had been told by regulators. Investors were talking about problems with interest rate and liquidity risks publicly, and they didn't take the action necessary.


GOLODRYGA: CNN's Matt Egan is here with some of the key points discussed at this hearing today. You watched it all for us so that we didn't have to at home, Matt. Talk to us about the finger-pointing really by regulators.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Boris and Bianna, you know the blame game is in full effect here. Nobody does it better than Washington. I think the big debate here is, was this just bad management, was it a bad oversight, was it bad regulation, or I don't know maybe all of the above?

As you heard in that opening clip of regulators, they're pointing the finger at bank management at Silicon Valley Bank. I'm saying that you know, they failed to get this bank ready for spiking interest rates. Some lawmakers, they kind of accused regulators of basically being asleep at the wheel. And then progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren, they blamed the 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank.

That rollback, which I should note was bipartisan, meant that Silicon Valley Bank didn't have to get stress tested, even though it was a big, large regional bank. And there was an interesting moment where Republican Senator John Kennedy, he pointed out that the Fed's stress test didn't even model for the spike in interest rates. Listen to that exchange.


SEN JOHN KENNEDY, (R-LA): You stress tested for the wrong thing.

BARR: As I said, Senator, I agree with you that it would be useful to test for higher rising interest rates. That's why in our alternative scenario, multiple scenario that we put in place for this year's stress tests we do that. These decisions were made before I arrived, but I agree with you that we better do that.

KENNEDY: But it was like somebody going in for a test for COVID and getting a test for cholera, isn't it?

BARR: I don't know enough about either of those tests to know.

KENNEDY: Yes. Well, they're different.


EGAN: So, I would note that Senator Elizabeth Warren, she did get all three banking regulators that testified today to agree that these large regional banks, they need tougher regulation to avoid problems in the future.

SANCHEZ: Well, the Fed is supposed to have this review of potential regulatory and missteps. We'll look forward to that report. It's due on May first. But in the meantime, Matt, despite all this turmoil in the banking industry, consumer confidence is actually up.

EGAN: Yes, Boris. This was a pretty big surprise because yes, we have the biggest bank failures since 2008, turmoil on Wall Street, and these major emergency interventions by regulators, and yet we learned today that consumer confidence in March did tick higher. Now, you can see on that screen. Consumer confidence is not necessarily at healthy levels.

It's still well below where it was before COVID. But it has bounced back off the lows from last year when Americans were dealing with four and five-dollar gasoline prices. This is an encouraging sign and it's probably in large part because the jobs market has held up and inflation has cooled off.

Now, consumer confidence is up but home prices, we're learning, they actually dipped. New numbers from S&P Case-Shiller show that home prices, they dipped between December and January by 0.2 percent. That is the seventh month in a row of falling home prices. Year over year, home prices were up by almost four percent. But that is a big slowdown.

When you dig into this report, you can see that just slip out -- just like everything else in real estate, it's all about location. Because some housing markets like Miami and Tampa, they're still seeing double-digit year over year home price increases. Other housing markets like San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, they've seen home prices drop. You know, going forward in the housing markets so much depends on what happens with mortgage rates.

If the Fed is able to pause its interest rate hiking campaign, maybe mortgage rates can actually start to come down a bit. And that would, of course, boost demand for housing and you could see home prices start to go back up.

SANCHEZ: Inflation, of course, complicating that process of freezing the mortgage rate hikes. Matt Egan, appreciate that update as always.

GOLODRYGA: Thanks, Matt.