Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Mass Shooting in States across U.S. Shock Country; Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Tim Kelly Interviewed on City's Experience of Two Mass Shootings in Past Two Weeks Alone; Attorney for Robb Elementary School Teacher Discusses Filing Petition for Discovery concerning Marketing Strategy of Gun Manufacturer. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 06, 2022 - 08:00   ET




POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Polo Sandoval in Philadelphia at the site of one of 10 shooting that we saw throughout the country. This particular one, according to investigators, started as a street brawl on Saturday night here in Philly's South Street neighborhood. And at one point shots were fired, sending hundreds of people the street running for cover. Investigators say just over a dozen injured, three of them fatally. Police were on scene, managed to shoot and wound who they believe to have been one of the suspects, who got away. Now the search is on for them. We heard from Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw just over the weekend, who has concerns that the rate of shootings in her city is on pace to either match or even exceed the record number of shootings that they saw last year.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Valencia in Uvalde, Texas, where local and state authorities here have not just stopped answering the media's questions, they are avoiding them altogether. When I reached her by phone earlier, the local district attorney here Christina Busbee, hung up the phone on me, saying she wouldn't be commenting on the case. Last week when Texas DPS stopped answering the media's questions, they referred all inquiries to Busbee, but she's not answering our questions either. Later today, Uvalde will get a visit from DHS Secretary Mayorkas nearly two weeks since the shooting.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nadia Romero in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. And 56-year-old Douglas Uhde, the suspect in this case, has a criminal history dating back to at least 2002 here in the state of Wisconsin for convictions of armed burglary and firearm charges. And we know that he would have crossed paths in the courtroom with former Judge John Roemer back in 2005. The community here tells me they are rattled because nothing like this ever happens in this small town. Authorities say that there is no threat to the public, but that doesn't mean people are not impacted by his death.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: The city Chattanooga, Tennessee, has experienced two mass shootings in the past two weeks alone. Here is what the city's mayor said in a news conference. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR TIM KELLY (I), CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE: I'm tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies. Chattanooga will not tolerate this in our community. Our city will put a stop to this.


KEILAR: And with us now, the mayor of Chattanooga, Tim Kelly. Mayor, first off, I'm just hoping you can update us here on the latest shooting at a nightclub. Three killed, 14 injured, early morning hours. What can you tell us?

KELLY: Well, I don't have any updates on the case itself. We're fortunate in that this appears to be driven by a small number of people. No less tragic, however. Over the last 10 days we've had three killed and something like 23 injured. So it's a terrible situation. But we hope to have some suspects in custody soon. We have got the help of the ATF and federal agencies here working with our Chattanooga police department, so we are making progress.

KEILAR: When you're talking about treating it like the crisis it is, what does that mean? What does that look like from where you stand?

KELLY: Well, it's a comprehensive approach. It's a both-and, not and either-or. It is law enforcement problem. It's also a problem with access to guns. So, and look, it goes back to -- well, my administration is focused on the economic and social roots of crime. So, it's a -- and this is not a place for partisanship. This is something where we need to come together and look at all the ways we can help solve the problem.

KEILAR: So when you're talking about gun safety, for instance, and you're someone -- you believe in the right to own a firearm, right? But you also believe in gun safety and safe gun ownership and safe gun access. What do you want to see? Where does that sweet spot, as you see it, for there to be some agreement?

KELLY: Yes. As you said, I'm a gun owner. I've been a hunter since I was a child. This is not something that -- I'm not trying to take away anybody's Second Amendment rights. But I think we can agree there are common sense approaches here. And law enforcement, again, is pretty unified in their approach to finding common sense ways to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the mentally ill. I think everybody agrees on that. The question is how.

KEILAR: So, from where you stand and many mayors stand, you're dealing with this issue, and you say, look, it's obvious. We have to address these problems in a multidimensional way. Congress can't do that. Why is that, do you think?

KELLY: Well, I hope they can. Again, I came to this office with a very, very decidedly nonpartisan approach to try to bring Chattanooga together around our common problems, and I think we need more of that. I'm hopeful, actually, that Congress can come together this week to pass some commonsense legislation, and clearly that's what we need more of at the federal level. We elect leaders to lead, and that's what we need them to do.


KEILAR: If they can't, what is at stake for cities like yours?

KELLY: Well, as I said, it's going to be a long, hot summer. And mayors look at it. Look, my job is to keep the people of Chattanooga safe and healthy and happy. And I've talked to mayors from across the country and around the world, and we all agree, right? It's been said that there are really three parties in the United States, Republicans, Democrats, and mayors. So, we will do as mayors what we have to do to keep our people safe. But we can sure use some help at the federal level.

KEILAR: Mayor Kelly, we appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

KELLY: Thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: In Uvalde, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety had initially said the school shooter entered through a door that had been propped open by a teacher. They later admitted that the teacher had closed the door, but for some reason it did not lock. Now that teacher, Emilia Marin, is taking legal action against the manufacturer of the gun used in the massacre.

Joining me is her attorney, Don Flanary. Counselor, thank you so much for being with us. I want to play for you what the Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCraw told reporters on May 27th about the door.


COL. STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: That backdoor was propped open. It wasn't supposed to be propped open. It was supposed to be locked. And certainly, the teacher that went back for her cell phone, propped it open again. So that was an access point that the subject used.


BERMAN: So, the DPS later said, again, she shut the door, it just didn't lock. But what impact did the initial impact have on your client?

DON FLANARY, ATTORNEY FOR ROBB ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER EMILIA MARIN: Well, in addition to her being completely distraught over being a part of it, she was -- she was devastated with that insinuation. It was false and they just got it wrong.

BERMAN: What did your client experience during the shooting itself?

FLANARY: So, she was one of the few witnesses that saw pretty much the whole thing. She saw the accident as it happened, and she saw him running towards her. She saw him jump the fence, come at her in the school. Then she went inside and slammed the door. And she heard all of the shots on the outside. She heard all of the shots when he shot the side of the building. She actually thought he was going to go around to the side where the other children were playing. Then she heard all the shots when he came inside. She thought he was going to come in and come into her room and kill her as well. She thought that she was going to die.

BERMAN: How is she doing this morning?

FLANARY: Every day is a little bit better, but it's been very tough. She's being treated by mental health and -- as well as other doctors. But she's slowly getting better.

BERMAN: So tell me about your lawsuit against the gun manufacturer. What are you doing here and why?

FLANARY: Right. So we haven't filed a lawsuit. What we have done is filed a petition to start discovery. In Texas we have the ability to do pre-suit discovery. We're trying to discover what were the manufacturing techniques -- excuse me, the marketing techniques of Daniel Defense. When we look at their website, we see AR-15 style rifles that have blue camouflage. They're very similar to the blue and pink and orange camouflage that you see in "Call of Duty." When we see their social media posts where they're clearly marketing to either children or parents to give their children guns, we're trying to discover, are they doing things that's way out of the mainstream? What sort of marketing practices they're doing that is just unacceptable in our society?

BERMAN: One of the questions that people might ask you is, well, why sue the gun manufacturer, not the door manufacturer, for instance? The door didn't lock.

FLANARY: Right. Well, the door didn't kill anybody. The door didn't -- isn't the reason why so many people were murdered. And we can look at that. We can look to see if the door was working properly, and if that's where the evidence leads us, then we can definitely go there. But certainly, the manufacturer is to blame if they're doing things they shouldn't be doing. Just because you sell guns to adults doesn't necessarily mean you're responsible. But if you're targeting unstable people or if you're targeting children, that's what we're really concerned about.

BERMAN: And your client, how does she feel about the police response?

FLANARY: She's quite upset. Look, we don't blame the police. We blame the people who caused this to happen and the shooter. But, obviously, if things -- if they would have acted differently, maybe there would have been a different outcome. But I think that they're going to be held accountable and law enforcement and the Justice Department will look to see what needs to be done. But the whole thing is such a tragedy, and she is just trying, just like many others, is trying to heal.


BERMAN: There was a multimillion-dollar settlement between, I believe it was Remington and the victims of the families of Sandy Hook, $73 million. Is that ultimately, you think, where this might be headed?

FLANARY: It's really hard to say. In federal court, there's such strict immunity for the gun manufacturers, and in Texas it's just as equally as difficult. There's going to have to be novel approaches if there's going to be any accountability held. And that's why we've decided to do the discovery. That's why we're trying to find out the facts, because if the facts aren't there, we won't be able to sue them. But if they did something in their marketing techniques that was unreasonable and just went beyond what should be done, then we might have ability to sue, like the Sandy Hook lawyers did.

BERMAN: Don Flanary, we do appreciate you being with us. Please give our best to your client.

FLANARY: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: French President Emmanuel Macron taking heat for what he said about not humiliating Russia.

And ahead of this week's prime time January 6th hearing, new reporting that the committee is at odds on action on what to do after the hearings.

KEILAR: And a rough few days for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, booed at the queen's jubilee, and now he could be out of a job here in a matter of hours.



KEILAR A church in Southwestern Nigeria, the scene of a bloody massacre, a local lawmaker says close to 50 people including children were killed when gunmen stormed the church in the City of Owo during Sunday Mass.

Police have not yet identified those who are behind the attack. CNN is covering developments around the world.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I am Max Foster in London, where Boris Johnson is facing a vote of confidence in his leadership today.

It follows the scandal surrounding parties in Downing Street during lockdown and internal disputes about the general direction of government. Johnson needs the support of 180 of his MPs to survive as leader. But if it's close, it'll be a big blow to his credibility. His office says Johnson welcomes the opportunity to make his case to MPs.


There is no direct communication that we know of between the Biden administration and the North Korean regime. So instead, both sides seem to be communicating through missile launches. The U.S. and its South Korean ally announced that they fired eight missiles into the East Sea before dawn on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after North Korea fired its own salvo of eight short range ballistic missiles.

Pyongyang has been stepping up missile launches. This is the 17th launch they've carried out this year, all of which are banned according to United Nations Security Council resolutions.


NATO is holding major annual naval exercises in the Baltic Sea involving not only 14 NATO members, the Alliance's two newest partner countries Finland and Sweden. Sweden is in fact hosting the exercises.

Both countries recently announced plans to join NATO as a direct result of Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine ending decades of neutrality. NATO says the exercise is now in their 51st year designed to strengthen the Alliance's combined response capability and preserve security in the Baltic Sea region.

BERMAN: So in a new interview with local papers, French President Emmanuel Macron is ruffling feathers with comments he made about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is what he said, quote: "We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops, we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France's role to be a mediating power."

Joining me now, Reena Ninan, founder of Good Trouble Productions and CNN senior global affairs analyst, Bianna Golodryga.

Emmanuel Macron says he doesn't want to humiliate Russia.

BIANNA GOLODGRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Listen, I don't know why he continues to try to play this role of mediator when it doesn't appear that Vladimir Putin is ready to negotiate or speak to him. I mean, he's constantly made fun of on Russian state television about all of his phone calls to Vladimir Putin and whether Putin will take them or not, how annoying it is that Macron keeps calling him.

Putin is a grown man. He has been in office longer than any other leader as now we know he is a dictator there for 20-plus years in Russia. He knows what he is doing.

This is coming at a time when Russia is actually making incremental inroads in the East, so for Macron to say we don't want to humiliate him, he doesn't feel humiliated at this point. He still has support at home.

And you are seeing Ukraine suffer the loss of 100, if not more soldiers a day. So this isn't a point yet in this war, where he is pinned to a corner and feeling pressure both domestically and internationally. It's coming when he is pilfering grains and commodities, stealing them, blackmailing allies in Europe by saying that you're not going to get these grains unless you lift these sanctions.

So I don't know what Macron is doing, but he is not helping the situation. And you see how angry Ukraine is by him saying this publicly, say it privately, perhaps, but not publicly.

REENA NINAN, FOUNDER OF GOOD TROUBLE PRODUCTIONS: You know, it's interesting, because now, Ukraine -- Russia controls 20 percent of Ukrainian territory at this point. But you see three of the biggest E.U. countries -- France, Germany, and Italy now saying, okay, we're open to this idea of talks, where people who have watched this region know that by giving in to Putin at this point, he just ramps up and comes back again.

And that's the big worry right now for so many people is letting him go and not continuing with sustained pressure on is not enough. You've heard the Ukrainian Defense Minister on Friday say, the weapons we are getting in is great, but it's still not enough. We still need more action and more support internationally.

BERMAN: And what has Macron actually gotten out of being so solicitous of Putin for so long?

GOLODGRYGA: Yes. He spent hours on the phone with him early into this war leading up to it and listen, I don't judge leaders by trying to call Vladimir Putin. Obviously, conversations are better than nothing, but they've gotten them nowhere and Macron faced real political challenges at home.

Remember a few months ago, with the elections where you had the populist leader there on the left really gaining ground.


GOLODGRYGA: And I thought perhaps that was going to be a turning point for him to focus more domestically. Instead, he continues to think that his saving grace will be ending this war. We all want the war to end.

But this is coming at a time where you're seeing a new missile attacks on Kyiv, where Russian officials believe that they could still win this war and are publicly saying maybe we'll make another stab at taking Kyiv. This is not at a time where Russia feels that they are desperate for a way out.

This war is going to end, we need it to end at some point, but it's going to end with Vladimir Putin, as I believe Anne Applebaum correctly writes, "When he loses." I don't know what that loss looks like for him yet, but that's how this ends, not when Macron is saying, we have to feel sorry for him so that he is not publicly embarrassed on the global stage. He did this to himself.

BERMAN: I want to turn now to the United Kingdom if I can, because there's a major political development there which is a vote of confidence or as people colloquially say a vote of no confidence for Boris Johnson within the Conservative Party.

The Tories will vote later today on whether to keep their party leader. Now, I do want to play one bit of sound because this just came in. This is from the Labour leader. He's got no dog in this fight. He doesn't have a vote today. But this is what he just said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEIR STARMER, BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: I think history tells us that this is the beginning of the end. If you look at the previous examples of no confidence votes, even when Conservative Prime Ministers survived those, and he might survive it tonight, the damage is already done.


BERMAN: So Reena, what do you make of all this? This follows Boris Johnson getting booed at the Queen's Jubilee celebration, and obviously the whole party-gate scandal where he is accused of flouting COVID restrictions.

NINAN: You know, that Minister you have just heard from was right, you know about you look at Theresa May, a predecessor to Boris Johnson and also survived a no confidence vote, but then she was ousted just months later.

So no matter what, even a month ago, there were elections, local elections, and they didn't do so well. So the party as a whole is looking at this and saying, at what point do we cut our losses and move on? And where does this go from here?

So, it just is not good however you look at it, even if he were to survive this.

BERMAN: Boris Johnson is seen as a survivor, someone who has had success in an elections. I don't know if there is a new political era in the U.K. like I think we may be in change times here in the United States where there may not be repercussions for past political scandals -- Brianna.

GOLODGRYGA: And it looks like he enjoys finding himself in scandals and landing in scandals because the attempts to come out of them, right, with his apologies, non-apologies. He's been doing this for so, so long, he is so used to it.

I don't know, maybe perhaps this time is different. I thought that early on, it benefited him, the details from these parties came out sort of piecemeal. It wasn't just one report one day damning information for the public to digest.

And also the fact that this Ukraine war came after this, right? So maybe people were saying, here's our new Churchill, our wartime leader. He became much more aggressively involved in sending military aid and saying all the right things to support Ukraine. So perhaps you would have thought this party-gate scandal would have looked trivial in the eyes of a major war on European soil.

Clearly, it's not and there are some damaging repercussions. And perhaps this is the fight of a lifetime that he is going to be facing right now and he may not win it.

BERMAN: Reena, I just want to close what we're seeing on the Korean peninsula right now. Ivan Watson, basically, you know, trading missiles for missiles is what Ivan says right now.

Ultimately, how dangerous does that get if there is these competing missile tests between the North and the South?

NINAN: Incredibly dangerous, because you know, U.S. assessment is that there could be -- North Korea could potentially be testing nuclear weapons at any point. There have been some like 17 different launches just this year alone, and when you have this new South Korean President who has come forward and said, we're going to take a tougher stance on this. We're not going to stand for this.

I mean, the mix of all of this, plus Biden's visit out there, a united front from them and Japan as well, it is not a great combination.

BERMAN: You want a last word on Korea?

GOLODGRYGA: No, I agree. I think that there's -- this is a clearly a message to the Korea that North Korean, sent but a stronger message I would say from the United States and South Korea with these joint military exercises, sending these missiles, the same number of missiles, eight missiles, right, right after North Korea tested theirs. It sends a strong message both ways.

BERMAN: And of course, what's changed now is this different position of China overlooking all of this, the U.S. relationship with China in a much different place in this game.

NINAN: Can I just say, U.K. MVP of the weekend, can we give it to Kate Middleton, who survived her son, Louis, the video that Porky --

GOLODGRYGA: Yes, yes. We've all been there.

NINAN: We've all been there.

GOLODGRYGA: But not on national television.

BERMAN: I just think the unfortunate thing is he showed real leadership skills, Prince Louis did, and he doesn't get to be King, because it's not a democracy, no matter how good he is.

GOLODGRYGA: He upstaged Boris Johnson sitting behind him.

BERMAN: That's right.

All right, thank you, both, so much for being with us.

So the findings of the January 6 Committee about to go to primetime as new reporting emerges about disagreements for what happens within the Committee after the hearings.

KEILAR: And Abbott restarts production at its baby formula plant in Michigan, but how much longer do parents still have to wait? The latest on the timeline ahead.



KEILAR: On Thursday, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack will take their case to the American public in a series of televised hearings.

While the Committee is in lockstep on connecting former President Trump and members of his inner circle to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, AXIOS is reporting the behind the scenes, Committee members are split over recommendations to make after the public hearings.

Joining me now is AXIOS national political reporter, Jonathan Swan, who broke this story.

So tell us a little bit about these disagreements and how fundamental they are, Jonathan.


Well, listen, this is a really important part of the whole story, because we're going to see these public hearings that start on Thursday night and we're going to have these public hearings. And at the end of this though, they have to produce a report and provide recommendations to hopefully prevent something like January 6 happening again.

And over the last few months, in internal private Committee conversations, there have been very strong disagreements about what needs to be done to change the election laws.