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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  May 25, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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event in this magnitude in our community is heartbreaking. it really is. we have had a lot of support from our community, surrounding counties, surrounding districts and all over the state and i appreciate you for thinking of us and sending that support. i have to relay the heartbreak of our teachers at robb campus. i meat t with them this morning but as i looked across that room, there was a group of heroes in that room. if it weren't for them along with the law enforcement that came that were willing to cradle their kids, get them out of the classroom when it was safe, when they were guided, and the trust our kids had in their teachers, that says volumes for our staff
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here in uvalde. they are heroes. they did heroic things yesterday, and they are always very humble, but they are truly humbled heroes. yesterday we lost two teachers. these two teachers i would say are the corner stone of that campus to some great degree. they were two beautiful souls. they had taught on that campus for many years. they have kids in our district, and they poured their heart and soul into what they did in educating our kids in uvalde. 19 students, 19 precious students who came to school yesterday to enjoy the day, to enjoy the awards assembly, and as i look at their pictures, you can just tell by their angelic smile that they were loved, that they loved coming to school, and they were just precious individuals. this is a difficult time for
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everybody. we are hurting. we have been cut deep here in our community. we will move forward. it's going to take some time moving forward. our faith has been shaken. we ask you to continue to pray for these families, these kids in our community and our teachers. i am a product of uvalde. i'm born and raised here. i've worked for this district for 30 years, and never thought i would be sitting in front of you doing this today. but please, pray for our teachers, pray for our community, and we will move forward. >> thank you, governor. >> thank you. >> we'll take a few questions. >> governor, you've talked a lot about -- do you think an 18-year-old should have been able to -- [ inaudible question ]
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>> so the ability of an 18-year-old to buy a long gun has been in place in the state of texas for more than 60 years, and think about during the time over the course of that 60 years, we have not had episodes like this, and why is it that for the majority of those 60 years we did not have school shootings and why is it that we do now? the reality isson the answer to that question. however, what i do know in talking to the leaders here as well as leaders in other locations around the state and that is one thing that has substantially changed is the status of mental health in our communities. what i do know is this, and that is we as a state, we as a society need to do a better job with mental health.
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anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge, period. we as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and do something about it. >> were the kids caught up in the gunfire or were all the kids shot by the gunman? >> director mccraw will have the best information on that. >> we're in the process of doing the crime scene right now, the first one being the school. the second being the vehicle and the third the grandmother's residence. where it says detailed process so i can't answer that, but for right now we believe that all the children were shot and killed by ramos. >> director in terms of the
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perpetrator -- you don't believe that there was any sort of a warning or any information that would indicate that he was posing some sort of danger? maybe not at this specific school, but weren't there warning signs that were available on social media? >> we did see some, and i think one was a concern, and that concern was, you know, relayed to -- allegedly. we haven't confirmed it yet to someone in california who didn't report it, and we're in the process of working with the fbi right now to make sure she's interviewed and find out more about it. there may be other clues out there right now we're not aware of. this is the preliminary part of the investigation. we're going to scour anything that find anything that would indicate this individual was a threat to the community [ inaudible question ] >> none, none at all. in fact, this is -- we're
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astounded at the beginning of the investigation because there's usually something out there, but right now it is as reported on the time line, if we find out something else, we'll provide that information. >> the texas school -- -- plan, what more could be done to assist -- [ inaudible question ] >> i'm going to answer in part, but we also have the commissioner mike morath with us who may be able to shed tinl li additional light. here is the information, you pointed out sb 11, people need to understand in the aftermath of the shooting i signed 17 laws to address school safety, and one of them dealt with threat assessment and preparation for threat assessment, and there are certain standards that schools are required to comply with to
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make sure that they are addressing threat assessments. i have no information as we speak at this particular time about the status of this particular elementary school or the isd about what the status was concerning threat assessments. however, to make sure that your broader question is answered sufficiently, mike, you want to come up? the person coming up is mike morath who is the commissioner for the texas education agency. >> there's significant appropriations to provided to ensure the local school systems around the state have resources, one of the components of senate bill 11, the texas school safety sfr and our agency work in collaboration to provide technical assistance and training to school district leaders, counseling team leaders, others to ensure that the threat assessment protocols and the procedures including threat response plans and the
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operational multihazard plans are practiced on a recurring basis. so there have been essentially fairly significant efforts to bolster those managerial practices and these detective or preventative practices in schools all over the state of texas. we will continue to do more after any incident like this, of course you reflect on lessons learned to ensure that we can prevent this kind of situation in schools going forward. >> if i can just add to that. >> one sec, i'll call on you next. >> if i can just add to that briefly. in 19 the house and senate worked together, put $100 million into trying to give the schools all the tools that they needed to try and protect the students. the marshals program, the forwa
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guardian programs, to arm teachers where schools wanted it. we left that optional to the parents and school boards. and they've done the best they can. you're always going to have, again, no matter what you do, there's going to be someone to find another area that's vulnerable. the legislature did act. the governor signed those pibil, but we can and need to do more in the area of mental health. we've also been working on that as well. need to do more. we've got to in our smaller schools where we can get down to one entrance, one entrance might be one of those solutions. if he had taken three more minutes to find an open door, police were there pretty quickly, but this school district has been doing a really good job in trying to protect their students, and those teachers died yesterday protecting their students and this is a continued work for us. >> governor, last night you were at a fundraiser in walker
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county. why did you not cancel that event and your press office stated that you plan on canceling all future political events going forward until further notice. does that include the nra convention in huouston on frida? >> first, with regard to yesterday, i was actually in taylor county responding to a different disaster, the disaster of fires that had ripped through taylor county and destroyed 20 homes, and that is when i learned about the shooting that was taking place pretty much at that time here. on the way back to austin, i stopped and let people know that i could not stay, that i needed to go, and i wanted them to know what happened, and get back to austin so that i could continue my collaboration with texas law enforcement to make sure that all the needs were being met
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here in the uvalde area. as far as future plans, listen, i'm living moment to moment right now. my heart, my head, and my body are in uvalde right now. and i'm here to help the people who are hurting. >> from the moment that -- [ inaudible question ] >> going to be within 40 minutes or so, an hour, i don't want to give you a particular time line. law enforcement was there. they did engage immediately. they did contain him in the classroom. they put the tactical stack together in a very orderly way, and of course breached and assaulted the individual. [ inaudible question ] >> the initial engagement? >> yeah.
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>> it was just, yeah, confronted him, and wanted to find out -- because he was -- heard the accident and was out trying to check on that particular crash when he saw it, so he followed him right in immediately, okay? when rounds were exchanged, and of course then also we had two uvalde police officers previously described that went in and was involved in also the shooting with the subject and were wounded and of course they were also responsible for containing him within that area. >> go ahead. >> yes, sir. >> where is he positioned when he first got -- >> obviously in the uvalde area because they got there so quickly and in force. and of course i'll let them answer that question. they were there in force and of course they were importantly they had some members of their tactical team, and they took the lead on that stack. but i'll defer to -- i think i have a border patrol uniform.
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>> the u.s. border patrol has a station in uvalde so we have about 150 or so agents per permanently assigned to uvalde. we have several agents in other stations that choose to live in this community as well. we had folks that came from off duty, we had folks that came from training. we had folks that were in the field and responded, so a multitude, some 80 in total border patrol agents responded. so as to where that particular individual came from, don't have that yet. the investigation will bear out. we have a large presence permanently in uvalde. >> do you have his name? >> not going to release his name just yet. >> go ahead. [ inaudible question ] >> we began talking about -- i'll just tell you one thing that we talked about, which is something we've heard in other
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regions of texas also, and that is in approximately maybe as much as a 40 county region around the area where we gather right now, there is no mental health hospital, and there's a shortage of beds for mental health in this region. if someone is suicidal, they oftentimes would have to go to someplace like san antonio. with the growing population in this region with the profound mental health challenges that were discussed with us, one takeaway i had was there is a greater need for a physical mental health care facility in this region. but we know that buildings don't treat people. people treat people so there needs to be more personnel, more strategies, a greater understanding by that mental
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health care provider community about what the needs are, and they will be best equipped to know the best way to provide or let's say meet those needs. bottom line is this, and i think it's a fair statement that legislative leaders understand about health challenges in the more rural settings in the state of texas, and we have a genuine commitment to help address those mental health care challenges. >> mental health care ask -- [ inaudible question ] >> it's one of those issues that was widely discussed in the last several sessions and in particular in the 2019 session, and pretty much every issue was
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raised by one legislator or another about potential ways to address shootings like this, and the consensus arose around those 17 bills that i did sign that they made schools safer, they addressed mental health, and issues like that, the solutions that were agreed upon by legislators at that time. and that is going to be the similar approach that i perceive. legislators will continue to focus on. we consider that what we did in 2019 to be one of the most profound legislative sessions not just in texas but we've seen in any state in addressing school shootings. that said, to be clear, we all understand our work is not done. our work must continue, and we will continue to discuss with legislators about all the potential avenues and pathways that we can take to make sure
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that schools will be even safer going forward [ inaudible question ] >> i know people like to try to over simplify this. let's talk about some real facts, and that is there are, quote, real gun laws in chicago. there are, quote, real gun laws in new york. there are real gun laws in california. i hate to say this, but there are more people who were shot every weekend in chicago than there are in schools in texas, and we need to realize that people who think that, well, maybe if we could just implement
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tougher gun laws it's going to solve it. chicago and l.a. and new york disproved that thesis. and so if you're looking for a real solution, chicago teaches that what you're talking about is not a real solution. our job is to come up with real solutions that we can implement. >> governor abbott, these 17 laws that you say you signed, in the context of those laws -- and i agree with lieutenant governor -- necessity for -- [ inaudible question ] so in the context of those laws is there a plan to secure schools more readily and with fencing and security guards? the fences around hear arre are
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low. one of the things about -- do you know in the district where my children go to school, we have a one-point entry in harper, texas, and i have family down here that were affected by this yesterday, and so that's why i'm here today. and so within the context of those 17 laws, is there a plan to address -- to apply to that? >> so the last thing first and that is all together we allocated more than $600 million, more than half a billion dollars to address school safety. as it concerns the first parts of your question, the answer is with the laws that we passed in 2019, which is three years ago, all those measures that you were talking about were included in those laws. let me give you several examples. an entire platform that was addressed is what's called school hardening or hardening
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schools. some of those strategies reduce the number of entrances. other strategies provide things like school marshals or having dps officers or others fill out the paperwork in school so that there will be a law enforcement presence in school. they involve different type of strategies that will make it -- should make it more difficult for a shooter to get into a school. that said, i can tell you what we all agree upon. we're all going to go back and look at both exactly what was passed, any shortcoming in what was passed, any shortcoming in implementation. i want you to know also that included in those laws were requirements by school districts across the state of texas to work with the school safety commission to make sure that all the strategies would be used and employed and tested including
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active shooter strategies for schools to be ready to be prepared to employ as needed, and so, yes, from pretty much every angle it was te bdebated let me go back in time, this is something where i began working up the governor's plan to respond to this a year in advance, and legislators had an entire year to be looking at that, to be debated that, getting prepared for that, that i made an emergency out of in the session, which meant everyone was going to be focusing on it. and they did. my point in saying that, that is that this took the time, effort, and mental involvement of all legislators during the course of that session to put what they consider to be the best solutions on the table. many of them were adopted, some were not, but we adopted what we considered to be the best plans that session. again, we will always and especially in this coming
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session evaluate what more needs to be done in our schools to make them even safer. [ inaudible question ] >> we understand that, now we're getting the surveillance video so we can go frame by frame and track that every minute. so that's part of the obviously investigation, and i would wait until we completed that part before we provide that information. [ inaudible question ] >> right now i don't want to say because i think we have an answer, but we haven't confirmed it yet. [ inaudible question ] >> no, he was not. he was not chased. not at all. >> what's the status --
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[ inaudible question ] have you victims all been identified? have the bodies been removed? >> all the victims have been identified. all the notifications have been made. >> recovery going on? >> yes, there's ongoing recovery team. we've got certainly a company of texas rangers with forensic background are conducting it and we've got the fbi's evidence response team and of course atf is helping as well. >> can we get you to speak up a little bit? [ inaudible question ] >> limited information. we don't see a motive or catalyst right now. we're looking scouring, we'll continue to do so [ inaudible question ] >> they were public like in addition else. they were out there. he was trying to communicate,
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and of course some of the information is -- we're going to have to continue to do interviews with people that he'd been in contact with. we're not even close to being done yet. [ inaudible question ] >> yeah, i can't -- i can't comment on that right now. >> governor you said yesterday evil visitedm. but then you also are saying this is a mental health issue, and that's what you addressed. i don't believe evil is a mental health classification. do you see this as a mental health issue or some kind of biblical battle between evil that's always going to be out there? i'm having trouble reconciling this idea of evil and mental health issues. >> and very interestingly, in the meeting that we had before coming out here i raised that exact issue because we talked about mental health, and to me
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someone who is as demented as it takes to kill little kids, it goes beyond, it seems to me, a mental health issue. that is the face of evil itself. so listen, i'm not a doctor. i can't classify these things, and i don't know the extent to which mental health would be able to address someone who has the challenges that they would shoot their grandmother and then shoot and kill all these babies, all these young kids. kind of what was pointed out at the time in our discussion earlier is there could have been a time earlier in his life when it was a more typical mental health issue that could have been addressed. i don't have any information about that. and maybe others don't either. is there a difference between a mental health challenge that can be addressing evil?
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i don't know. it's a big -- >> you're saying you think he's evil, keeping guns out of evil people's hands. that is not fixable from mental health, what you're saying is it's fixable, started straight out mental health, mental health. so you know. >> this is -- and that over simplifies things. it over simplifies it, but to just say it's evil seems to over simplify it. >> well, it obviously is a meaningful characterization, and the point is this. if you know someone more evil, i want to see what they did. but i consider this person to have been pure evil. go ahead. >> say again? >> mental health issue -- [ inaudible question ] >> well, the answer to that was given to this gentleman back here earlier. it is something we did talk specifically in our meeting before coming out here, and that
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is, for one, not just this community, but the surrounding geographic area is lacking in a mental health hospital or other physical facility, and there literally are either no beds or inadequate beds to address those with mental health challenges, and when you look at the population base and perhaps a growing population base in this geographic region, an issue that we will be taking up is going to be what ways to address the mental health issues. does it include a physical facility sauuch as a mental heah hospital. if so, how large would it be. things like that. there are many issues for us to consider and evaluate and to work on addressing. speake speaker. >> i'd like to add more o'that. in the last session, we appropriated $115 million in funds for the children's mental health consortium to part ner with campuses across the state
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of texas, higher education, four-year institution, two-year institutions to have a mental health professional on campus to contract wit h a consultation online with a mental health professional, not just in the state of texas. we passed another piece of legislation that says you can meet with professionals outside of the state of texas. were addressed late in october of this past year, and many of those programs are being rolled out right now. >> affordable care act medicine or taking that kind of dollars from the federal government.
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[ inaudible question ] >> we have other ways of addressing it and other funds available for it. >> last question -- [ inaudible question ] schools have options of taking the funding for those things. if you're going to look at more of seeing if there's something more that -- can do, be more, i guess, responsible for that? >> so i'm not exactly clear on your question, but i think i have the gist of it well enough to be able to answer it in this way, and that is we will all consider the best strategies for schools to employ, but importantly we do that in conjunction by working with schools. we won't be imposing policies on schools without working with them. we need isds and schools and school leaders and school safety professionals at the table for that discussion purposes if we are going to achieve the best
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standards that are possible. thank you all. >> thank you so much for coming. >> okay. we've just been listening there to an update from texas governor greg abbott as well as law enforcement officials and other elected leaders in texas after 19 children and two teachers were killed at robb elementary school here in uvalde. that's where i am. i'm alisyn camerota. victor, that was very interesting. we definitely learned some new things, details about the investigation, but it was very heavy on calls for healing and calls for mental health help. very scant on solutions and, in fact, the lieutenant governor, dan patrick said there will be plenty of time to analyze what happened and try to prevent the next one, but that's not what the stats show. the stats show that the next mass shooting will happen tomorrow. there have been 213 mass
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shootings this year alone. that's more than days of the year, and of course, victor, you just ten days ago were in buffalo at a different mass shooting at the grocery store, and you wondered when the next one would be, and now we know. here we are. >> yeah, and i said later this year, not next week, and for the control room i can hear myself in my ear, if you can correct that, please. listen, what we heard from the governor was a focus on mental health saying that there is a need to address a mental health crisis, but also acknowledging that there is no history of mental health issues or criminal history for this shooter. i mean, it was almost a reach talking about the lack of beds that were available for mental health patients. we heard from the lieutenant governor where he said that the problem is that the school purce
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role that that played. this is not the time to politicize this and beto o'rourke served it up on a platter to give him that opportunity. this was a political event where you had the governor focus on new york and focus on chicago when he is one day out from the latest mass shooting the second deadliest at a school in u.s. history. >> yeah, you know what would help mental health, not so many school shootings. and in fact, maybe there could be a connection between a screening for mental health because certainly this gunman was exhibiting certain symptoms that there have been reports that his friends and family may have seen and so maybe a screening from a gun shop owner to ask some questions? are you feeling isolated? do you want to hurt people? maybe something like that could
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connect the two. victor, stand by because rosa flores and shimon prokupecz are joining us right now. there's a lot to unpack in everything we heard in that press conference. let's start with the mentions of mental health. rosa, let's go to you. there was very heavy on mental health and he was tiss-- and th governor was talking about all the things he put in place in 2019 legislatively. none of those have worked i think we can conclude right now standing in front of this elementary school. >> what the governor failed to mention is the constitutional carry that was passed here in the state of texas. i've asked him this question in the past. does that send a message to individuals like this shooter that it's okay to carry on some of these acts or to even purchase weapons in the case of mental health. we know that the answer should be, no, they should not be buying these weapons, and we end up with these types of atrocities. one of the things that also really stood out to me that was
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mentioned in this press conference, and we're trying to get more clarity alisyn is when they were going through the tick tock of events as to what happened, how this shooting unfolded and the chain of events, the governor mentioned that the shooter arrived at the school and that there was a resource officer and there was an engagement but no exchange of gunfire. the question is why did this officer not have a weapon? did this officer not have a gun? why was the shooter not stopped at that point in time before he entered a school and shot and killed 19 children and two teachers? i think that's going to be one of the big questions here. >> let's go to shimon prokupecz. what did you hear that was new and did they give enough details about that? >> no, i think what's been happening here is we've been getting some contradictory
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information in some ways. we've been getting some information kind of piecemeal. we do have a better understanding of that day, of the day of the shooting. the governor talked about the gunman shooting his grandmother in the face, that he says she called police, and then he drove to the school and that he had an accident at the school. there is still that ambiguity. there's still questions about what happens in the moments of that accident. so the governor indicating as rosa said, that there was some kind of engagement. there was an approach, but it doesn't appear that at that point gunshots were fired, but then the gunman goes in, walks away and then gets into the school through a back door and then enters that classroom where he barricades himself and then obviously the horrific events. the other thing that we learned
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from the governor is that there were facebook messages. the governor calling them facebook messages where he gave indications of this plan. facebook put out a statement saying these are not public messages, that these were private messages and really, the only way for law enforcement to see that would be through some kind of legal recourses, like a subpoena or a search warrant, but those facebook private messages according to facebook now is that he says he's going to shoot his grandmother. these messages start about 30 minutes before the shooting, and then he also says that he shot his grandmother and then the third message the governor says is that i'm going to shoot an elementary school, and that post is about 15 minutes before the shooting. we don't know who these messages were for. they were private messages, so we don't have any indication yet from law enforcement or anyone else who those messages were directed to, but they were private messages is what
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facebook is saying. so there is some, again, there are some clarity on that. and then obviously the weapons. the governor and the police here are saying they're giving us a time line of when the weapons were purchased. the first rifle was purchased on march 17. then on march 18 he buys over 300 rounds, ammunition, and then on march 20th he bought the second rifle. they talk about him bringing this rifle into the school. they talk about him bringing a backpack. so we've gotten some more information, some clarity on how he got into the school. we got some information on the time leine. but there are still some questions as rosa points out, alisyn. >> yeah, of course. there are a lot of questions including what did that gun shop owner see or ask. rosa, also, we've learned about the police reaction and that one of the deputies who responded to the scene lost a daughter here. >> you've got to imagine that some of these briefings that law
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enforcement are getting right now are very emotional because that's exactly what we learned from this press conference that a sheriff's deputy lost his daughter, and so just imagine being briefed on what has happened or god forbid this deputy entering this school and seeing the carnage, seeing his daughter at that moment in time. it's unfathomable. those are some of the details that we are beginning to learn. we understand that three law enforcement officers were injured, and we also learned that it was a customs and border protection officer who shot and killed the shooter inside that classroom, and they did make the point that all of the children who died, the victims were killed by the shooter, not by law enforcement in that exchange of fire. now, of course we all know that all of that has to be thoroughly investigated, and that's why a lot of crime scene agents are
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collecting evidence, gathering evidence. the other thing that i wanted to point out. it's important to note that the grandmother of the shooter is still alive. she will be a key witness. they are looking for the grandfather. they are looking for the immediate family. again, to learn more about the signs, what they knew when and how it all fits in this puzzle. >> rosa, shimon, thank you both very much. joining us now is anthony barksdale, cnn law enforcement analyst and former acting baltimore police commissioner and greg airy, former fbi special agent in charge. it's great to have both of you here. commissioner, i just keep coming back to the governor there talked so much about the mental health crisis that this community has been having, and maybe they need to build a building that would help. what about keeping guns out of the hands of teenage boys who are having a mental health
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crisis. i mean, that seems to me to be the nexus that they don't discuss. >> that should have been the priority that was totally avoided here, complete misdirection. it was like a back the blue press conference, and it's not enough about these victims that had to lose their little young innocent lives that day. i don't see any signs that they're going to back away from their stance on weapons falling into the hands of the wrong people. and then to throw in new york, l.a., chicago, these kids, these were innocent kids. this is just amazing, and this is the leadership? these are the politicians in place that are resistant to changing things in the u.s.? we're in trouble. >> as i said, it was scant on solutions. that's what this community needs. yes, of course it needs prayers. it needs protection for their
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children, and so, greg, what -- when you listened to this, are there any solutions that seem obvious? >> alisyn, first, you asked some of the questions that need to be answered right now, and it's very early. i have to underline, very, very early in this investigation. we're not even 24 hours into this, but we're seeing a disturbing trend here. i don't think of the solutions. i always -- the press conference is what it is. i would have left it with let's tell the community what has happened and what we know factually and not go into the political stance at this point. i believe somebody said that. that's not the time for it, but they did enter into it. the question i have right now and we go into the gun purchase, why was an 18-year-old even in texas under texas laws allowed to buy over multiple days two rifles and a large amount of ammunition without anybody asking why? why is that allowed to happen? i know that the laws that exist right now, that's a red flag in itself. and then the other red flags we're seeing, i'm very anxious to see how this progresses, and
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i was impressed with the transparency of the governor and the law enforcement officials present trying to tell us the narrative they know at this point, that is a disconnect. commission. >> beto o'rourke confronted texas governor greg abbott during that press conference. cnn's ed lavandera was inside. what happened there, and what did he say after? >> well, as the governor was going through his introductory remarks, and before he started taking questions, beto o'rourke who had come into the press conference just moments before it started and sat down in the third row, then stood up and
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started confronting the governor. didn't take long if you watched the video of all of this for others in the crowd to start yelling back at beto o'rourke, but this is some of the exchange that we saw unfold just a short while ago. >> excuse me. >> sit down. >> you're out of line and an embarrassment. >> sit down. >> next shooting is right now, and you are doing nothing. you're -- >> needs to get out of here. this isn't the place to talk this over. >> this is totally predictable when you -- >> sir, you're out of line, sir, you are out of line. >> please leave this auditorium. >> get out of here. get out of here. >> leave. >> i can't believe you're a sick son of a [ bleep ] come to a deal to make a political issue. >> and that person you saw there behind the governor and the lieutenant governor yell you're out of line is the mayor of uvalde, and as he was being escorted out, beto o'rourke started telling the governor,
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turned around once again and said this is on you. as long as gun laws in this state are not changed, then there will continue to be more children killed like here in uvalde. beto o'rourke was escorted out of the press conference and out of the press briefing area, and he spoke with reporters afterwards. >> this 18-year-old who just turned 18 bought an ar-15 and took it into an elementary school and shot kids in the face and killed them. why are we letting this happen in this country? why is this happening in this state? year after year city after city, this is on all of us if we do not do something, and i am going to do something, and i am not alone. the people of texas are with us. the majority of the people of texas are with us. >> so you can clearly see the political intensity of what this event is triggering here in texas, beto o'rourke, of course, facing off against governor greg abbott in the november election.
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abbott is up for re-election this year. beto o'rourke running against him, and you can imagine that this is going to be one of the key campaign issues that beto o'rourke will continue to carry on. remember, this is a state that is extremely conservative. this is a county that voted for donald trump in the 2020 presidential election, and there have been many thoughts and, you know, beto o'rourke has talked about taking away ar-15s, he has taken a great deal of criticism on that from texas republicans, but clearly beto o'rourke leaning into that and feeling very comfortable making that a campaign issue going into the rest of this year. >> ed, i remember in 2019 hearing something similar from beto o'rourke when he was running for president after the el paso shooting there, and still, here we are several years later with another mass shooting there in texas. ed lavandera, thank you. >> alisyn, back to you there in uvalde. >> reporter: okay, victor, obviously we're learning more every hour about the young lives
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taken in this massacre, and every single one of them is gutting. like that of lexi rubio. yesterday morning felix and kimberly rubio attended an honor roll celebration for their 10-year-old daughter lexi, and then just hours later the ue eyewitn uvalde gunman took this precious child's life. >> felix and kimberly rubio showed an incredible amount of strength as you can imagine, to be able to speak with us, but they wanted to share their thoughts with everyone who was watching this about their daughter, lexi. she was 10 years old. she was in the fourth grade. she loved softball. she loved basketball. they had gone to the school. her mother was saying just about 30 minutes after they left the school yesterday morning the shooting happened. she kept saying over and over, she said i made a mistake. i made a mistake. i left her there.
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so you can imagine the incredible amount of guilt this poor woman is dealing with. her father saying that -- and he's a uvalde county sheriff's deputy, he said at this point he goes i've had enough. i've had enough with the guns. i don't want my daughter's name to be just another name. again, they took moments to share with us their thoughts about their daughter. we now want to share it with you. >> all i can hope is that she's just not a number. hopefully something gets resolved. that's all we ask. hopefully something gets resolved. >> i know this is very difficult, but what would you like to get resolved? what would you like to see resolved at this point? >> violence, guns. i'm a cop. o i'm a deputy here in uvalde county. this is enough. this is enough. no one else needs to go through this. we never needed to go through
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this, but we are. thank you. >> as you can see there, she's surrounded there by her brothers and sisters, other relatives as well. they're on the front porch. she was telling me that -- i said what did lexi want to be when she grows up? she always wanted to be a lawyer. she works at a law office as well. and so at this point it's just an incredible amount of pain that they're dealing with. we've seen pain like this before. i covered sandy hook, speaking with parents there, and one of the things i remember saying even then was my god, i hope i never have to deal with this and see something like this again and here we are again today. but again, this family wants people to know about their daughter and the overarching message that we got was that they just did not want her to be another name. >> of course not. i mean, this was their honor roll daughter. this was their honor roll student. the idea that they had to go from an honor roll celebration
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to a massacre, was that one of the spresponding officers, that deputy? >> he was one of the responding officers, and so you can imagine what he was dealing with and showing up and trying to figure out if his daughter had survived. so -- and again, it's the guilt that seeing these parents, this family deal with this overwhelming amount of guilt because she kept saying, i just left her there. she said it's my fault. i said it's not your fault. >> you're supposed to be able to leave your child at school and have them be safe. that's what you're supposed to be able to do in this country. jason carroll, thank you very much for sharing that. of course lexi is not the only young life. jose flores jr., he was 10 years old. what we know about him is he loved baseball and video games, and his father said he was always full of energy and ready to play until the night. and an amazing big brother to his younger siblings. there is 10-year-old uziah
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garcia. his grandfather described him as the sweetest little boy that i've ever known calling him a great kid, full of life, loved anything with wheels and video games. he leaves behind two sisters. s behind two sisters. javier lopez, just 10 years old. his mom told "the washington post," hajavier was funny, neve serious. that smile i will never forget. he always cheered everyone up. she had just taken this photo of him, also making the honor roll at that very same ceremony and not realizing that would be the last time she saw her son alive. he said he really couldn't wait to go to middle school. there was 10-year-old amarie garza. her father posted this message
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online, quote, thank you, everyone for the prayers and trying to help me found my baby. she's been found. my little love is flying high with the angels above. don't take a second for granted. hug your family, tell them you love them. i love you, amarie jo, watch over your brother for me. he expected three victims at most when he was called to the scene. he told us quote when i have to sign 21 death certificates, my heart drops. one of the first victims identified in the shooting was the 4th grade teacher, eva morales. officers said the suspect barricaded himself in her classroom and friends describe eva as a loving mother and wife with an adventurous spirit. with us now is a relative of eva's, amber ybarra. thank you so much for being here.
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>> thank you. >> tell us about eva. >> yeah, she was a vivacious soul. she spread laughter and joy everywhere she went. she was a loving and caring mom, relative, teacher to her students, and it's absolutely tragic what's happening, and my intention here is to make sure to shine a light on everyone's lives here that were lost. >> how long had she been a teacher? >> i can't speak to how long she's been a teacher. i've just kind of known her as eva, you know. >> do you know what it meant to her to teach 4th graders, these 10-year-olds we were talking about. >> she loved what she did. she put her whole heart into her work. it's an extension of your family when you're teaching. >> absolutely. i know that teachers consider those kids their family, and obviously would protect them, and so what about your family, what about her extended family, how is everyone?
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>> you know, i really cannot wait to speak to everyone, to eva's immediate family, to my cousins. my mom, who i'm here from san antonio to visit, our home is right down the street from robb, you know, me and my brother went to school here. >> you went to school here. >> when i was a kid. i grew up in this town, and my home is not even a full minute down the street. >> in your elementary school, this happened, can you imagine that classroom where your relative was teaching? >> i can't. you know, i'm still in the midst of reaching out to my cousins who have kids that were here and how are they going to explain to their children how to process this, how are they going to move forward and feel safe and feel comfortable again. everything is forever changed here, and i just -- it's -- i believe in prayer, and it's great to pray for people here, but what else can we do to support these families. can we donate blood. can we help bring food to the
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doors of these people to help in a bigger way. that's the intention of, you know, me being here with you all today. how can we help. >> what else can we do? what's the answer to that? how do we protect people? i'm willing to go give blood, i'd like to do that, but that's cold comfort at this point. >> again, because i'm, this is my hometown, i have a lot of people and friends that live here and family that grew up here. all we can do is support each other. this is a human level. these are children, you know, that have lost their lives. what's happened is so tragic, and just to not isolate yourself, that's why i'm here physically, you know. my mom, you know, family is just really struggling right now, and just to support, to just listen, to say you're not alone and the emotions that you're feeling right now, they're valid, and they're okay, and it's going to take time. >> correct me if i'm wrong, your cousin, eva, 44 years old, was she 44. >> i believe so, yeah. >> and did she have children?
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>> yes, and again, because she's extended family, i don't feel qualified to talk on their behalf. i'm here to shed light and lift her name up. she's a hero in what she did. in protecting those children. >> i was thinking about my 4th grade classroom, which i can visualize clearly, and how small it is. when you go back, the desks and chairs and closets, and how small it is. this school seems like that to me. tell me what it was like to go to school here. >> you know, when i was growing up trvegs pretty amazing. i would ride my bike to school, alongside my parents. the bus would pick me up on days i didn't, and it was joyful. we kept the doors open, you know. that's the times that i felt we lived in back then, and will people feel safe to do that now? it's horrific. >> it is. amber, i'm so sorry for what your family is going through.
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thank you so much for being with us and shining a light on the victims. >> thank you. >> victor, back to you. >> so the uvalde shooting marks the 213th mass shooting in america this year. today is the 145th day. that's more mass shootings than days in 2022. it's also the 30th shooting at a school k through 12 this year, and the deadliest school attack since 2012 when 26 people, 20 of them children, were murdered at sandy hook elementary school. in a new op-ed, nicole hockley who lost her son dylan wrote whenever there is a trajedly like this i'm retraumaized. i relive the murder of my son, his classmates and educators, the sadness and anger, they're crushing. nicole hockley is with us now. thank you for spending a few minutes with us. listen, when we got the news that there had been a shooting with fatalities at an elementary school, the first thing i thought, i'm sure most people thought about was sandy hook. and when you heard it yesterday,
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knowing how little has been done over the last nine and a half years to prevent another school shooting, what did you feel? what did you think? >> absolute shock and horror. i went straight into shock, and felt incredibly numb because i thought this can't be happening again, yet another school shooting, but also at an elementary school, and as more details came out, it was just, and it is, so hauntingly similar to what happened almost ten years ago. so i have absolutely been reliving this for the last day and i can't say it's unimaginable because i've lived through it and i know exactly the experiences that are happening right now. >> i know you do, nicole, because we've spoken to you before, and i'm always impressed by your strength and that you can actually articulate what you've lived through. what is ahead for these parents who we just talked about how they had just been at this school for an honor roll
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ceremony for their 10-year-olds who had made the honor roll. they were supposed to be getting out of school tomorrow for summer vacation. i mean, how will they function? >> you know, everyone's journey through this is going to be very unique and individual because everyone deals with grief and trauma in a very different way, and i hope that they have significant numbers of supporters and community and family members around them to hold them up because they're going to need that. this is a very dark path, and this is enduring pain. it's not natural for parents to have to bury their children. that's not the way things are supposed to be. it's very hard for people who have not experienced this to understand, but there is a way through it. it's just, it can be very slow and very painful, and you really do need to rely on those who love you because you don't even realize how much pain kryou're until it's too late. there were plenty of people
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who expected after sandy hook that that would be the catalyst for some legislative change, if you have such young children, the victims of a mass shooting, that would motivate lawmakers to do something. we haven't seen much. do you see that this is a moment any different than what we saw in 2012 and 2013? >> i'm always an optimist, so i believe that this is a moment because how many more years of this can we take as a country, and we have a generation now, my surviving son who was at the school the day. he was in 3rd grade then, he's a graduating senior now. this is all he's known is school shootings, active shooter drills, this kind of trauma, and that is across our nation. this is what kids have been experiencing the last ten years. they are now coming to voting age. the parkland kids, we're at a different generation curve here, and although congress has never been more divided than it has been, now is the time to actually say, you know, in the next few weeks really, before the summer ends, action has to
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be taken or yet this is just more blood on people's hands who offer thought and prayers but no action behind it, and that's just shameful. >> i mean, nicole, are you still hopeful that that can happen at congress? because it seems to me that having covered far too many of these, the local level, the state level is where in change happens. congress is just paralyzed. >> congress is paralyzed, and i'm very focused on state action, things like safe storage laws, things like extreme protection orders, things that can ensure firearms aren't in the hands of people who shouldn't have access to them or don't have the wherewithal or responsibility to have a firearm, however, i do think there's a lot of action that congress can, should and i hope do take. things like universal background checks, things like incentivizing and strengthening extremist protection orders, things like safe


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