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Police: Four Injured In TX High School Shooting; Manchin: "Imploring" Leaders To Work Out Debt Standoff. Aired 12:30-1p ET
Aired October 06, 2021 - 12:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ASSISTANT CHIEF KEVIN KOLBYE, ARLINGTON, TEXAS POLICE: They identify the car, make sure that you call 911, and have appropriate police response and let us bring this situation to conclusion for the safety of the public. And again, our hearts go out to those who are injured today and all the students that went through a traumatic incident at the school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know what kind of weapon it was?
KOLBYE: I do not know what type of weapon it was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking again, directly to their parents and students in the school that are watching the great interest about what's happening right now. Could you speak as best you can directly to them, they should not to come to the school, they should come to this offsite location to complete that information and give some sense that no one can hold you to when they might be able to look their students in the eyes again.
KOLBYE: Yes, we know that this was very traumatic for the parents right now. We know that they're worried about their children and their safety for their children. Right now, we believe that's the scene is secure. We're just making sure that we can orderly, in an orderly controlled fashion, make sure that we can identify all the students and make sure that we can account for everyone here. Then what we're going to do, hopefully within the next hour, don't hold me to it, for the next hour, we're going to orderly control fashion, bring them to buses right here on the south side.
And then we are going to bus them to the Mansfield Independent School District Center of Performing Arts on Debbie Lane, we ask that all the parents, please report there and your students, your children will get off the buses and then you can see them there. We have got several of the students that we have interviewed that were witnesses to this incident. So we're going to hold on to those children.
Hopefully my detectives will allow them to call their parents. And I'm sure there are many, many of the students that have reached out to their parents and ensure that they are safe and they are locked in the rooms and police are going room by room, ensuring that everybody is safe and no one else is a suspect or person of interest in this area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Big school, I mean, how many kids are in there today?
KOLBYE: I don't, I don't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have the family of the victims who have already been contacted that way parents already know that, you know, if they didn't get a call that their children are fine.
KOLBYE: I don't have that information. But I would suspect that, yes, the parents have been contacted and been asked to report to the see their loved one to be with them at the hospital, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief Aaron, are you aware of metal detectors at the school by chance?
CHIEF TRACY AARON, MANSFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT: No, sir. I'm not aware. Its Mansfield Independent School District is in charge of the school district itself. And so I'm not certain of their safety measures inside the school building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- throughout the day today and going in and out if you didn't want to see it --
AARON: I have not noticed myself inside this building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
JEFF BOSHEK, ATF SPECIAL AGENT, DALLAS FIELD DIVISION: Hi, Jeff Boshek with ATF. I'm a special agent-in-charge here for ATF for the Dallas Field Division. We're obviously here today to support our state and local partners in this tragic incident.
You know as a law enforcement officer and then as a parent is -- with the student in Arlington ISD, this is kind of your scariest moment, right, when this happens not only with your -- what you do for your job but when you have a wife who's a teacher here and several kids, they go to school in the district. So we're here -- as soon as we get the information on this firearm, we're going to track it down. We'll figure out where this individual got this gun from.
Our agents won't sleep working with our partners here to figure out how he got this weapon in his hand to come into school and cause this tragedy today. So we don't -- I don't have much information I can give you on the weapon obviously we don't have that yet. We haven't been in the school to figure out caliber, the weapon or anything like that yet. But as soon as we do we'll have something to get out to you guys. So thank you to all the victim's families, we -- you're in our thoughts and prayers, so thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, guys, you got time for a few more questions before they got to get back and continue working here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chief, would you have a sense of how many shots were fired and how long the whole incident lasted?
KOLBYE: I don't. Just based on the information, I know there were more than two or three shots that were fired. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chief, you guys have a home surrounded or got something called U.S. marshals outside the houses that are keep watching here, is that your home or what does that have to do --
KOLBYE: I do not have -- personally have the suspect or person of interests address so I wouldn't -- I can't comment on that, on that particular address. Anything else?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right guys, thank you.
KOLBYE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, gentlemen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And as we get any other updates throughout the day, we'll be updating you guys. We'll send out news releases and we'll --
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: You're listening to the police spokesman there on the ground in Arlington, Texas, a police briefing by the Arlington, the Mansfield police, state and federal partners the headlines are, the scene is secure, the suspect is at large after a school shooting in Arlington, Texas. Four people injured, three of them requiring hospitalization, their injuries still unclear to us at this point.
Let's bring in CNN's Brynn Gingras. Brynn, we were talking before this, waiting for the police briefing. We saw the students coming out. You see more and more now getting on the buses. They believe based on video, a cell phone video, that there was a fight in the classroom that then the shooter fled the school in his vehicle and they are now looking for an 18-year-old.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, John. And we just learned a whole lot of information from authorities of presumably because they are looking for that person who they say, as identified as, a suspect, 18-year-old Timothy Simpkins is his name. They even gave the car they believe he might have fled in, a driver, I'm sorry, a silver Dodge Charger that is the picture that they tweeted out just recently.
As you mentioned, the Assistant Chief there saying that he witnessed video, looked at video that was taken on a cell phone and believes this all broke out with a fight between Simpkins and another individual in that classroom. And that led to possibly two to three shots fired according to that Assistant Chief. We know that there were two police officers who are stationed in that school and were able to respond quickly to the shooting.
And then of course, we've seen just a massive amount of law enforcement arrive on the scene as we've been talking about within this last hour. As you said we also learned from this news conference, four people were injured, three were taken to the hospital, two according to this Assistant Chief with gunshot wounds though he didn't know the severity of their injuries. We did hear him say though or someone in that news conference say that they are in surgery. We also learn three of those are students. One of them possibly is a teacher. So again, learning a lot exactly what unfolded inside that school. He asked everyone to have a little bit of patience as they continue to just go classroom to classroom talking, you know, making sure that these students are in fact safe, are OK and then are able to be, you know, leave that school and get on those school buses and be reunited with their parents, which we have been seeing.
But again, the main thing here though, is they're still looking for that suspect Timothy Simpkins who they believe is not on the premises of that school. And that's why they've tweeted out that photo to have the public help with finding him. And they said a warning to the public, he may be armed and dangerous, obviously, with what they just witnessed inside the school. So certainly be careful.
KING: All right, Brynn Gingras, appreciate the reporting there. Let's get straight now to CNN's Ed Lavandera who is on the scene in Arlington, Texas. Ed, tell us what you're seeing and hearing.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are on the south side of the high school here. And across the parking lot beyond the police line, you can see all the police activity in there. And just beyond those trees, you might be able to see those school buses that officials here we're talking about. And those are the school buses where in the next hour or so the students will be cleared out of the high school here in the Mansfield school district and taken to that reunification Center at the Performing Arts Center that the police chiefs were talking about to reunify with family members.
So that process is now underway. Authorities here say they are still continuing to do a search of the school. That is as they've released the information that you have been talking about the 18-year-old suspect that authorities right now are looking for here in this area. So the question, you know, becomes the shooting happened around 9:15 Central Time, that's 10:15 Eastern Time. We're several hours after that.
So the search for this suspect continues in this area. And you heard the chief mentioned just how quickly after the incident happened, they started getting reports of -- from people in the area here telling them who they believe the suspect might be in this case. So clearly, you can kind of read between the lines there with the officers and investigators here are talking about is that they had a pretty early indication quickly after the shooting, who they were looking for.
And now the question becomes like piecing together exactly how this suspect was able to escape from the school in the midst of all of that chaos. And they're trying to track him down at this moment. Here. You can see behind me, John, more school buses starting to arrive. This is a large, high school. So it is going to take a considerable number of buses to clear all of these students out of this school safely in an organized way.
And I can tell you as we were approaching the school here this morning, parents just on the other side of the school, there's a major highway, there were cars all up and down that area. Just see here on the backside of the school, there are cars and parents lined up along the way as well. So clearly investigators here as they handle the investigation inside the school, also trying to ease the fears and the anxieties of parents who are showing up here at the school and trying to get everybody reunited in a safe place away from the campus here so that is going to take a considerable amount of time here over the next few hours as well, John.
KING: Ed just see if you can clear this up for me. You were there as the law enforcement officials were briefing. That was Chief Kolbye, I believe, of the Arlington Police Department who did most of the briefing. At one point he said this was a fight between two students in class. And then at the end he said he actually was not certain that the 18-year-old suspect was a student, although he was clearly in -- the suspect was clearly in the building. Was that just the chief being cautious? Or is there some question as to whether this was a student?
LAVANDERA: You know, it could be, you know, it's an 18-year-old suspect, you know, it without knowing exactly what that young man status is, in terms of, you know, was he still attending the school? Had he, you know, who knows what the situation might be, it's still, I think, a little too early to dell -- to tell, especially from our standpoint, speculating on what that situation might be.
So was he already inside the building, a part of a routine class there or did he not show up on time and then enter the building at a different time other than when other students were arriving here. So I think that's probably why you see the chief there kind of hedging a little bit on exact description of what the status of that student was. There's, you know, a lot of factors that could be in play here. And we'll wait and try to sift through all of that as quickly as we can.
KING: Quickly unfold the situation. Ed Lavandera, appreciate your hustle to the scene. Come back to us if you get more information to the point of what happens.
Now let's bring in our law enforcement analysts beginning with Chief Charles Ramsey, the former chief of police in Philadelphia and D.C. Chief, one of the things we learned here just before the police briefing, we did see students coming out of the building, which led us to believe that obviously they felt confident the site had been secured.
Chief Kolbye there talking about that he had seen a video that he believed was from a student's cell phone, not only of the fight, he said he did not see the actual shooting and not only of the fight, but of the suspect leaving the building and leaving then leaving the scene in his car. Walkthrough the importance of that in terms of piecing together the piece of the puzzle now from a law enforcement standpoint.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, I got an awful lot of information out very quickly, far more than I actually thought they would be able to give out. As far as the status, we don't know the status of the individual, but probably either a current or former student 18 years old, it could go either way. But clearly, he's well known, because they were able to give a name right away.
The video inside the classroom, they may have been able to pick up the vehicle and all that from outside video, I assume that particular school would have video coverage. And if he's a current student in most schools, you have to register a vehicle, if you're going to park in the lot, so they had an awful lot of information they were able to get out pretty quickly.
But it sounds like the crime scene is actually confined to that one room where the actual shooting took place. And hopefully, the injuries are not life threatening that the young people sustained.
KING: Juliette Kayyem is also still with us our law enforcement and security and terrorism analyst. Juliette, your major takeaway from the briefing, one of the things that struck me early on was that Chief Kolbye went out of his way to describe this as a fight between two students and two individuals in the classroom. Sending a message to parents in the community, this was not a random act. This was not somebody storming into the building, that this was a fight that then escalated to the use of a handgun.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. So, you know, part of it is, is we still don't have family unification complete. The police chief said to family members, please do not come to the high school because they're just trying to manage getting the kids out, they're going to move the kids to a third -- second facility, have the parents meet there that's often quite common.
Parents are hard to control for obvious reasons, because they want to see their kids. Look, this was a school shooting. And so, you know, I should retire if I ever think they're not a big deal. This is, you know, no matter what, in the United States, school shootings are a big deal. And I thought what was important is, is the explanation as we were talking about before, this sort of surge of resources that may not be consistent with the threat.
Because remember, at the moment of, you've got -- the moment you hear about gunshots, you -- in this country, you have to assume the worst case scenario, which is someone has come in the building, and is ready to kill lots of kids. And so you just search all of those resources, you can always ratchet down, but it's hard to ratchet up as someone is going through a high school.
So I thought that explanation made total sense and it's exactly how law enforcement is training right now. So I don't think there should be any apologies for anything. I mean, I think in fact, you want this kind of sort of, you know, go big or stay home attitude by police now, because you can't take anything for granted with high schools and shootings, unfortunately, in this country.
So let's -- four people were still shot. Let's not forget that. Let's hope that they are going to come out of it. And then see this is the consequences of unfortunately, lots of practice in this country.
KING: Juliette Kayyem, appreciate those important insights. Again, you're looking at the scene outside Arlington, Texas. This is Timberview High School, those buses to take to a reunification center. School shooting inside the school, the gunman has fled the school according to police as an all points bullet now for him now and his vehicle, an 18-year-old believed to be a student at the school. We'll get more details there. We'll continue to follow the live breaking news in Arlington, Texas.
When we come back, we'll also catch you up on some other big headlines including right here in Washington, President Biden about to bring CEOs and other business leaders into the White House. He's trying to get Republican help to raise the debt limit here in the United States to allow the government to borrow more money. But the President is well aware Republicans are likely to say no, Democrats now working on a plan to go it alone.
KING: We are continuing to follow the developments in Arlington, Texas, a school shooting there. The suspect still at large, but the scene is secured, three people hospitalized. We'll continue to track that breaking news throughout the day.
But now to all major development here in the nation's capital, a new warnings about the prospect of a government default and an urgent White House effort that begins in just minutes to help to find a breakthrough. President Biden about to meet with business leaders to make the case that unless Congress acts soon to raise the debt ceiling, there will be devastating consequences, a report out today from White House economists, warns of global shock and job losses in the millions here at home.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee says quote we need to act this week. One goal of this White House meeting is to bring CEO pressure on Republicans to help. But Democrats know that is most unlikely. And so the President and other party leaders are now debating going alone options that do include possibly changing filibuster rules.
With us to share their reporting and their insights, CNN's Kaitlan Collins who's at the White House, Josh Jamerson of The Wall Street Journal, and Olivier Knox of the Washington Post's. Kaitlan, to you first, the President is bringing in these business leaders, these CEOs, the goal is to pressure Republicans, but the President has to know the odds of that are just about zero.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it seems to be really a last minute effort to try to increase the pressure on these Republicans by hoping to get some support from these top business executives, on encouraging Republicans with what they've refused to do so far, and what they say today, they are still adamantly opposed to doing and that is voting with Democrats to help them lift the debt limit, which of course, we now know has less than two weeks before the essentially the federal government is going to run out of money to pay its bills.
And so you saw the White House economist saying today what -- how devastating it would be if we actually got to that here in the United States. And so they're really trying to take all of these options to avoid that. Meeting with these leaders, we'll see if it changes any Republican minds. As you said, it seems pretty unlikely. And as Democrats are trying to figure out ways to overcome this Republican blockade so far, they are considering ones that include going nuclear, which would mean changing those Senate filibuster rules to where they do not need to have 60 votes, they could get 51 votes to actually pass and raise the debt limit.
And so that is something that President Biden told me last night when he got back here to the White House is a real possibility. Of course, John, the big question with that is what is going to happen with those two moderate senators, Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema who so far have been very opposed to changing the filibuster rules. And that's something that of course, Manchin repeated today.
KING: Right, so let's come into the room and for the conversation to that point, President Biden says last night, it's a real possibility. Just moments ago, Joe Manchin, whose vote you would need. There only 50 Democratic senators, you need them all to vote to change the rules. The President says, there's a real possibility Joe Manchin moments ago says, no, it isn't.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I implore them to engage, start working, work this out. There should not be a crisis. I've been very, very clear where I stand, where I stand on the filibuster. I don't have to repeat that. I think I've been very clear, nothing changes. But the bottom line is we have a responsibility to be the adults, our leadership has the responsibility to lead. And that's what I'm asking imploring them to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I would assume the Democrats now will stop wasting their time on this filibuster idea, which means they have to use budget reconciliation, or convince 10 Republicans to vote for cloture. Sorry, America, Washington speak. That's not going to happen. So the Democrats are going to find a way to do this themselves.
JOSH JAMERSON, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: And just to take the Washington speak out of it as well. I mean, it's not just this theoretical thing the United States government would default on its debt. If you don't raise the debt ceiling, you're talking about obligations to veterans that have to be reconsidered. You're talking about the pay of federal workers that needs to be reconsidered, pay to our soldiers, that needs to be reconsidered, in addition to becoming in default. And that's why the Democrats are in a situation now where they really do need to start looking at reconciliation.
And you have people thinking about the filibuster as well in terms of whether they can do a one day pause of the filibuster. And so that's why we're at this moment, because it really is so dire for so many parts of our government and country.
KING: And right at this moment because Republicans believe the political fallout would be on the Democrats, even though this has always been a bipartisan thing. There's always been high jinx and pranks but in the end, it's a bipartisan thing. Three times during the Trump administration, for example, the debt ceiling was raised on a bipartisan basis. We could go back through previous administrations. But Republicans think let's make the Democrats look messy. Let's hurt Joe Biden's approval rating. Is there any other answer?
OLIVIER KNOX, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: No, that's exactly right. I mean, there was this undercurrent of Republicans when they're in the minority, or at least when they don't hold the White House, one of their big messages to the voters is quote, unquote, Democrats can't govern. And that's a big theme undergirding this whole thing. But they have escalated this significantly. This didn't used to happen this way. This used to be a fringe position in the Republican Party.
Republicans -- Democrats said we're not going to help you raise the debt ceiling, but we're also not going to stand in your way. This time around, Republicans aren't letting Democrats just go it by themselves. They blocked the legislation that would have let Democrats do this by themselves. What they want is they want to push this through to the reconciliation process, which is messier, more uncertain, will eat up a lot of floor time, it will make it harder for Democrats to proceed with other major parts of Joe Biden's agenda.
KING: And the leader, the Democratic leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said he does not want to do that. I assume the President of the United States seems to pick up the phone and tell Senator Schumer, you have no choice at this point, to your point the consequences of global shock wave, job losses at home, no checks for military members, and so on and so forth. We'll continue to track it.
Thanks for your time today in a very busy Inside Politics. Don't go anywhere, busy News Day. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage after this break.