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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  May 25, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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lemon tonight. don. anderson, it's really about remembering the victims of this and for all the family members who just really, the beginning of the grief, some of the interviews that you have conducted tonight are just -- it's heartbreaking to witness. >> yeah. we have all been through this before. we have all seen this before but it's just stunning and sickening and still a lot to be learned. i know you'll be going over what we do know. there's a lot of information to be learned about what went on here and how this was able to happen. >> anderson cooper on the scene for us. thank you so much. we appreciate that. there's a vigil tonight in texas in a town that many of us didn't know much about. we learned a lot about uvalde.
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the kids who lived and died there, the distraught parents and community trying to rally around them. a lot we haven't learned yet, maybe we never will about motive behind this senseless killing and the police response and time line of what happened in small town on awards day at the end of the school year. all those families that will never be the same again. >> she was the sweetest little girl who did nothing wrong. she listened to her mom and dad. she always brushed her teeth. she was creative. she made things for us. she never got in trouble in school. i just want to know what she did to be a victim. that's one of the interviews i mentioned to anderson. it's heartbreaking.
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a small town that will never be able to forget what happened. ever. there's so many unanswered questions tonight but we're learn more about the 18-year-old shooter and what happened yesterday morning an exclusive details about chilling warnings minutes before shooting started. the gunman texting with a teenage girl if germany who he met online describing how hi had just shot his grandmother. the grandmother was shot in the face but made it to a nearby home and called police. she's in the hospital tonight. his next text, i'm going to shoot up an elementary school right now. we've got a lot more to come on this in just moment. it tells you that this was an intentional act on children in their classroom. new tonight, also officials say the shooter was on the school premises for about 40 minutes to an hour before law enforcement burst into the classroom and killed him. we have video showing the footer
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throwing punches. a former friend and classmate said he received the video more than year ago and he would always get into fights at school. joe biden says he will go to uvalde, texas in the coming days and calls for backbone to stand up to the gun lobby. >> the idea that an 18-year-old can walk into a store and buy weapons of war designed and marketed to kill is just wrong. just violates common sense. even manufacturer, the inventer of that weapon thought that as well. you know, where's the backbone. where's the courage to stand up to a very powerful lobby? >> i want to get right now to cnn jason carol right now. hello to you.
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state officials vealing a lot of new details on how this massacre played out. what are we learning tonight? >> as you say, a lot of new details. many of the details disturbing. you heard the president just talk about one of those details. the shooter in this case just last week purchased those semi automatic weapon ons two different days last week. he was 18 years old. purchased them legally. also finding out that the gunman purchased 375 rounds of ammo. some of that ammo ended up right outside the school here as he was entering the sdchool runnin inside, he dropped a bag loaded with ammo as well. learning more details about what happened in the moments, the very few moments leading up to the shooting. apparently he sent a text message to a girl me met online saying he had just shot his grandmother. when it comes to his grandmother, it turns out she
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was one of the people who called 911 after she had been shot telling them what had happened. the gunman, right before the shooting happened had crashed his car nearby the school. got out of the car and ran into the western side of the school. as you say, we're just now learning he was able to barricade himself inside that school for some 40 minutes up to an hour before law enforccement was able to kill him. he was a border patrol agent who ended up doing that. a will the of new details coming out tonight. all of them disturbing. >> jason, i had been watch ing your interviews. talk to us about what you're hearing from the community member and the people who lost loved ones there in the attack. there was a vigil tonight. >> reporter: it was a vigil tonight. much of what you hear at the vigil is what we heard throughout the day. actually, at one point, i spoke
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to felix and kimberly rubio. their 10-year-old daughter, lexi was a 4th grader here at robb elementary school. just very quickly, what had happened is they thought it was going to a great day. they had come to the school on tuesday morning because lexi made the honor role. there was a big award celebration. they were here in morning to celebrate that. they went home and 30 minutes later they got the call that there was a shooting. turns out that lexi's father is a uvalde county sheriff's deputy. you can imagine his heart ache. he hears about a shooting, rushing to the school and finds out that his own daughter was one of the victims. i spoke to them just a short while ago. here is what they had to say. >> for someone to take her life. all i can hope is it's not a
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number. hopefully something gets resolved. >> i know this is very difficult but what would you like the get resolved? >> violence. guns. i'm a cop. 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 this, but we are. thank you. >> reporter: incredibly painful there. one of the most difficult moments to experience something like that was lexi's mother, before the interview started she came out and she kept saying over and over again, she's like this is my fault. my fault. she's like i made a mistake. i never should have left her there. no matter how many times -- i told her it was not her fault. her husband said this is not your fault. it's this overwhelming sense of guilt that her mother has at this hour. there's that hear in this
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community but there's also people here in this community who are trying the wrap their arms around each other, to help people and help every one here get through this. it's going to be a very, very long time for there community to heal. don. >> you're right about that. if ever. we're going to speak to lexi's great grandparents in just a moment here. thank you for joining us this evening. keep doing the great reporting and focusing on what matters, the victims in all of this. now i want to turn to cnn exclusive reporting. chilling texts sent about his attack plans right before they unfolded. cnn senior investigator correspondent has latest for us. >> reporter: this is the text conversation captured just moments before the 18-year-old shooter would attempt to kill his grandmother then in his word, shoot up an elementary school. you know what i'm going to do right now. tell it seems to me the response. i can't since my grandpa hasn't
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left. i'm waiting for this dude to leave. shortly after 11:00 a.m., texas time, the suspect then complains about his grandmother and his phone bill. i'm waiting for this -- i'm going to do something to her right now. he's on with at&t about my phone. it's annoying. five minute pass. then i just shot my grandma in her head. i'm going to go shoot up an elementary school right now. that last message sent at 6:21 p.m. german time, which would have been 11:21 a.m. in uvalde, texas. 11 minutes later police receive their first call of a shooting at robb elementary school. the person on the receiving end of the text, a 15-year-old girl in germany. she had never met him in person. they connected through a live streaming app called u yubo.
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she told cnn she had no idea what he was planning. she's not the only person he was communicating with. the shooter instagram account showed a photo of two ar style weapons and tagged another young woman who he messaged the morning saying i'm about to but didn't finish his sentence and then i got a little secret. the teenage girl who spoke to cnn from germany with her mother's con sent tells us her only commune kwaication had beenfbeen texting. the shooter allegedly said he throw dead cats at people's houses. sg how did this relationship begin? he was just 15. >> they started talking two weeks ago. met on this live streaming app called yubo. it's live streaming with a group
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of friends but then you can peel off with direct messages. they never met in person. they never even were on the same continent at the same time. >> wow. she didn't notice anything alarming? >> she claims no except for those unanswered questions. the ammo purchased. she asked what is it for. then she told us about that cat thing. alarming to her, she says but not enough to send a warning. >> drew griffin, thank you very much. we appreciate that. tomorrow was set to be the last day of school. parents of 19 children and two teachers are now making funeral arrangements. the parents of 10-year-old ameri jo garza. she tried calling the police during the shooting to save her friends. >> i got confirmation from two of the students in her classroom that she was just trying to call
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authorities. i guess he just shot her. how you look at this girl and shoot her? oh, my baby. how do you shoot my baby? >> the bodies of nine victims of the massacre are being released the funeral homes with the remaining bodies follow later tonight or tomorrow. that word from diaz, justice of the peace for the precinct for uvalde county. it's his job to coordinate official processing of the victims. he was present at the civic center. he joins me now.
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your people call you lalo, do you mind if we call you lalo? >> it's fine. >> i can't believe those words were coming out of my mouth. it's so heartbreaking. i'm glad that you're here. i'm so scorry to meet you under these circumstances. how are these families cope and how you coping? >> it's a tough time. it's heartbreak for a lot of families here in a small community. for myself having to go into the scene yesterday and see what i saw, it's very tough. very tough to have to live with. i had to be strong, say professional, do my job. know at that point my job was to ensure that the victims were all taken care of in a proper manner and identified properly and work
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to get them to the medical examiner's office in san antonio and now working to get them back. >> you know, i spoke with a reporter last night from our affiliate who told me that she could hear screaming from inside that civic center where you were. can you just -- if you don't mind and if you do mind, i understand. telling us what it was like being there with those families. is this something that you -- i'm in the sure this is part of your training. >> well, i was not at the civic center. i was at the crime scene. my job was to be at the crime scene, work with the bexar county medical examiner who came down to assist us with in the identification of the victims and work to process them to get them over to bexar county, working through the night. i think my last conversation with the bexar medical examiner
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was 2:00 in morning and back at 6:00 in the morning, making sure they had proper identification, names, dates of birth, next of kins so when ever they were done processing them, finished with the autopsy that they could release these victims to their families back in uvalde. that was the number one most important thing that i was working onto get them out today. >> were you thinking when am i going to wake up from this nightmare? >> of course. of course. i've lived here since i was ten. i'm 49 now. i love there town. i went to high school here. my family has grown up here. i have my daughter is a senior. my son is in 8th grade. they attend to schools here. we're embedded in this community like anybody else. it was heartbreaking yesterday because as i walked through the crime scene seeing victims that i went to high school went.
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irma garcia was a year younger than me in school and her husband was a year older than me. her husband and i worked at heb back in early 2000s. he stayed a friend of mine. they are well known in the community. i know they have kids in the system. it's heartbreaking. as i got home and i started seeing messages on facebook of the people that were missing their loved ones, i could put two and two together and start figuring out those are people that i also know. at the time, i couldn't recognize or i didn't know who the children belong to but once we started coming out, it started hitting home it's really affected a lot of people that i knew. a lot of people these were their children and grand children. >> a lot of people have been saying, talking about what happened and what needs to be
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done and what the community is dealing with. you've lived there all your life, you said. what do you think? what needs to be done? what does the community need? what do you want to see happen? >> right now everybody needs to come together and provide support not just for the victims families but for all students because everybody was affected at every age group. because everybody student was affected throughout the drikt dis -- district, it also affected the entire community. the community has the heal first. it's going to take some time. it's going to take a year, maybe a couple of years but we'll never forget may 24th. it's going to be a nightmare for us. we're going to drive by rob b school and know kwhwhat happenen there. when it's early, we get a lot of support, a lot of counselling but as time goes on, sometimes counselling stops or slows down
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and you don't get as much help. i just hope that they stay around and they assist us long term, maybe even into the next school year. the students are out of school now. they will not be around. to get the students to the civic center or the fairplex, it's hard to bring people back. for someone to admit they are feeling bad or they need help is very hard. we almost have to go out to them, out to their houses and be around when they come back to school next year. it's going to take a lot of time to heal. >> to the leaders and politician, do you have any words. >> i hope they can come together. we're so polarized right now. we're at different ends of a spe spectrum. one side says that we want complete elimination of guns. the other side seds ways we wan guns available. there's got to be something in the middle.
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if we continue to do nothing, things like this will happen. it's not 100% guaranteed it won't happen again but if we don't try, we don't flow if we can reduce it or stop it. >> thank you. i'm so sorry what you guys are having to deal with. >> thank you. the families of 19 children, two teachers in no, your honoring tonight. next, i'll talk to the great grandfather of 10-year-old lexi ru rubio. there she is up on your screen. we'll do that right after the break. cal: our confident forever plan is possible with a cfp® professional. a cfp® professional can help you build a complete financial plan. visit to find your cfp® professional. ♪
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the loss of 1 chi9 children two teachers. thank you for joining us. i'm incredibly sorry for your
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loss. we just heard your grieving family a short time ago with our correspondent. can you please tell our audience what you want every one to know about your great granddaughter. >> she was a wonderful young girl. beautiful smile. very active in sports, full of energy. >> it's hard to believe what is happened. quite frankly, many times i am in awe of people like you who can come on television and speak at the moment. why did you choose to do it? was it to honor your great granddaughter? >> i wanted to let people know the life of any great
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granddaughter. even though it's very difficult, we're heartbroken. my granddaughter and my wife and my daughters, but it's one of those things that through faith and trust in god, we know that we will survive. >> is there any way to describe to people the pain and the grief that you and your family are experiencing now? >> it is very painful especially for my granddaughter, her mother, kimberly rubio. we just don't understand all that took place. i live close by and i heard all the shooting and ran towards the school. soon realized that it was not just shooting between the perpetrator and the police.
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i heard one of the officers say the man had walked into the school and when he pointed to the building, i knew that my great grand dwauaughter was in the building. >> when did you learn that lexi was one of the victims? >> it wasn't until later on in the evening. i'm assuming after all the dna testing had been done and it was confirmed that she was not one of the survivors. >> how is kimberly, her mom? >> i'm sorry. >> her mom is kimberly, correct? >> that is right. >> how is kimberly doing? >> of course, she's heartbroken. yesterday she was in complete
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shock but today she's doing a little bit better. >> i know that lexi's dad and uncle are both in law enforcement. i cannot imagine having to deal this investigation and such an enormous personal loss at the same time. what has that been like for them? do they talk about it? >> sorry. i did not understand the question. >> i understand her uncle and another family member are in law espe enforcement and they have to deal with the investigation and this enormous loss at the same time. >> i really don't have any information on that. i've talked only to kimberly and her husband, mr. felix rubio who is a county sheriff deputy here
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in uvalde. >> we heard earlier on cnnt him speaking to anderson. this is a small community. you live in a very small community. can you tell us about it and -- >> yes we -- >> go on, sir. >> yes, the population is 16,000, i believe. we literally know of or know every family that was affected. i have lived here since 1971. i know a lot of families that were affected also. >> is there anything else you would like to say to our viewers and to the world while you have their attention at this moment?
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>> i'm sorry, would you repeat the question. >> is there anything else you would like to say, sir? >> okay. i cannot make out the question. i'm sorry. >> can you hear me? >> i can hear you now, yes. >> i said is there anything else you would like to say? >> just that to our community, i know that a lot of people are experiencing anger, anguish, heartbrokenness, for us to remain faithful and understanding that we do not understand the reasons and the whys but we do understand that we have a god that we can trust in and hopefully each family will find comfort through his presence. >> thank you so much.
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i can't express the sorrow we're feeling. >> there was a hearing issue and i want to make sure he heard me clearly. i'm sure he has a lot on his mind. his great granddaughter is lexi rubio. he wanted to come on the honor her and indeed, he did. we'll be right back. my name is austin james. as a musician living with diabetes, fingersticks can be a real challenge. that's why i use the freestyle libre 2 2 syste. with a painless, one-second scan i know my glucose numbers wiwithout fingersticks. now i'm managing my diabetes better and i've lowered my a1c from 8.2 to 6.7. take the mystery out of managing your diabetes and lower your a1c. now you know. try it for free at
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with a 2 -year price guarantee. call today. earlier today texas governor said this. >> the reality is as horrible as what happened, i could have been worse. the reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. they showed amazing courage by
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running toward gunfire. >> the shooter was inside 40 minutes to an hour. i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst. also the author of the threat. andrew, thank you very much. i appreciate you joining us. we'll get into these messages but i want to start with this reporting that a school officer encountered the shooter outside the school. he dropped a bag of ammunition as he ran inside but the school officer did not engage. why was that? >> don, we don't fknow at this point. there's a lot about this scenario and about the timeline and the events that took place leading up to this horrible killing that we just don't know. i think, you know, the investigation of this attack and everything that led to it will get us to that point. there are a will lot of questio
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about the interaction that the subject had with the school safety officer, potentially outside the school. there's some conflicting reporting about another interaction that he had with two local police officers inside the school in which gunfire was exchanged before he barricaded himself into the classroom. then there's been reporting that he was in that classroom for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before the tactical team came and made entry and killed him. there are, i think there's very many reasonable questions about what took place at each juncture in that series of events. >> my question is, since you said talking about these tactical units. how do they work and could more have been done sooner? do we just not know? do we have to wait or do you have any idea here in. >> we do need to wait. what i can tell you is that training that the fbi, dhs and
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other partners delivered to state and local police agencies, the active shooter training that's been under way for several years now and is really a development in the po post-columbine world. it emphasizes that regular patrol officers, not just elite tactical units should have the long rifles and more powerful weapons that they need to confront a shooter like this and that any officer who responds to a mass shooting should not hold up and wait for a tactical unit but go in and address that shooter as quickly as possible to try to end the killing. we know from studies that mass shootings, most of the fatalities happen in the very first few seconds and minutes interaction. that's how law officers are trained today. >> there's new reporting tonight that the shooter had a history
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of fighting with others. they according to a former friend. cnn obtained this video of the shooter throwing several punches. the former friend said that wasn't out of the ordinary but cnn has reached out the the uvalde school district for more information about that. we haven't gotten a response. we know they are extremely busy now. they dealing with a lot. how will investigators look at that? >> this is the kind of evidence that is very important to investigators. excuse me. we know that we don't have a situation here where we have a subject who is adjudicated, mentally ill or had been hospitalized for mental illness or depression. these pieces of evidence, the videos from hostile interactions all help us build a mosaic of what this person was like prior to this attack.
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what sort of things may have happened to him in his life that may have brought lhim to this place. nu none of that will bring back the victims. it's important for investigators and the fbi to know to add to their understanding of mass shoolt shootings in way that could help the fbi and a way to be better prepared to deal with these situations. >> it's all so bizarre. hours before shooting, he messaged another account on instagram saying i've got a little secret. then he posted photos of the assault rifle s on his instagra as well. how challenging is it for law enforcement to act on threatening or concerning messages. >> they're really not. if this person wasn't under
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investigation for some other reason, there's no reason to think the mezages wouldn't have come to attention of law enforcement unless the other correspondent in these conversations sent it to law enforcement which people should do and that's a message we need to get out to to public. it doesn't afear have happened in this. law enforcement is in a very tough spot. number one to even know about these kinds of conversations and two to assess them as to whether or not it's puffing or young kids kind of saying silly stuff to each other or whether it's actual planning up to an attack. he was planning this for a while. this was cooking for a while with him. >> andrew, thank you. appreciate it. >> thanks, don.
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gun legislation has been at a stalemate in congress for years. where are americans agreeing when it comes to gun reform in. >> people look in the wake of sandy hook nothing got done so people have given up. there's responsible, common sense gun reform.
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87% of americans support preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns. 85% of republicans in that number. let's look at background checks. 81% of americans. 71% of republicans. you go further, 66% of american support a federal database to track down e gun sales. 64% support banning high capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds. you see what we're dealing with. even assault weapons ban which we had from 1994 to 2004. >> i think it's fair the take a look at where there's been some serious gun reform implemented and it worked an that is vermont. >> vermont has a robust gun culture. it has a republican governor. in 2018, republican governor phil scott worked with the legislature to pass some gun control legislation. eliminating unlicensed firearm transfers, no sales to people
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under 21. ban on large capacity magazines and ban on bump stops. one year after that, according to johns hopkins university, a 27% decrease in vermont gun deaths. one year. >> in 2021, there was audio tape of top brass at nra discussing whether or not to talk about this, to cancel a convention in the wake of the columbine shooting. listen to this. >> i got to tell you, we got to think this thing through because if we duck tail and run, we'll be accepti ing responsibility f kw what happened out there. >> there's one gun argument. if you don't appear to be honoring the dead, you end up being a tremendous [ bleep ] who
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wouldn't tuck tail and run. >> got these tapes debating after how to respond a columbine. you see the tem plate being set. they see it a as pr problem for them. that's been the pattern. now they will meet in houston. same state where this occurred. donald trump will speak there. you know what not be allowed, guns. >> thank you. appreciate it. the nra is pleati meeting in ho texas. that's on friday. we'll speak with the mayor, next. parents of the victims of sandy hook and parkland shooting speak out. make sure you stay with us. i f. we've got apples and cabbageg. 7,000 dahlias, vegetables, and brbrisket for dinner. thisis is my happy place. we've been coming here, since 1868. my grandmother used to say, don't call me, don't bother me. i'm going out to mow. there's a lot of cushy desk jobs out there, but
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confirming he is going to speak at nra's convention in houston this friday three days after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in the same state. don mcclain feels differently. he released a statement saying, quote, in light of the recent events in texas, i decided it would be disrespectful and hurtful for me to perform for the nra at their convention in houston this week. i am sure the folks planning to attend be shocked and sickened by these events as well. after all, we are all americans. i share the sorrow for this terrible cruel loss and the rest of the nation. so joining me the mayor of houston, texas, sylvester turner. mayor, thank you. appreciate it. >> thanks, don. thanks for having me this evening. >> i understand you can't cancel the nra convention coming to your city on friday. what do you say to the people, including your governor and one
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of your senators coming days after this massacre? >> well, certainly they don't have to come. i think it would be respectful for the families who are planning funerals for their children for them not to come. you can't say two days ago, yesterday, prayers and condolences to the families and three or four days later appear at the nra promoting the use of guns and assault weapons. so what i would say to the governor, congressperson, legislators, elected officials, with all due respect, you should not come. and then i would -- what i would say is to the nra, even though the city cannot cancel a contract because we don't agree with their position on guns, certainly the nra can postpone their convention for a week or two to allow the families to
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b bury their children. >> legally, you can't do it. there is no emergency loophole or extraordinary loop. you can't do it, right? >> don, you know, we have looked at it. but you can't cancel conventions and conferences because you don't like the politics on positions they hold. >> i get it. i know people at home would be wondering why the mayor couldn't cancel the convention. listen, mayor, according to the nra website advertising donald trump's speech, no firearms will be permitted in the hall while trump is present. why not? guns in the hands of good guys make everyone so much safer, that is not what the secret service believes. >> well, and i think that speaks volumes. so, for the former president to come, no guns at the convention hall. but if you are attending graduations, if you are
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attending concerts and other events, guns are allowed. and in the state of texas the legislature has made it very, literally the state of texas has preempted local officials like se myself, mayors, key judges from imposing restrictions where guns can be allowed. if we say no, then we are violating state law. but the president, the former president of the united states, can come to the nra and in that particular venue no guns are allowed in order to protect the president and the other people who will be there to listen and hear. now, if that doesn't speak volumes, i don't know what does. >> listen, i have got to ask you this because i know there is -- your city has been no stranger to shootings. there have been several in the past few weeks. what are you doing in houston to deal with the rise in gun
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violence, mayor? >> well, we put forth what we call a -- in january and basically what it is, we are tackling it on all fronts. we are not just adding more police. we are through the yuuse of overtime. utilizing more technology. we are putting a great deof resources in fighting domestic abuse, which is up about 40% over year ago. we are addressing what we call crisis. people who are in crisis, people with behavioral health issues, homeless, substance abuse. and putting a great emphasis on working with the community, credible messengers programs, a lot of those as a community, plus law enforcement, working together. and what we have seen, don, since january when homicides were up 65 to 70% over last year, as of this morning when i will looked at the numbers we
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are down to 6%. and in almost every other category of violent crime, we are below where we were a year ago. so we are investing about $52 million in our one safe houston initiative. it is a holistic approach and, don, the numbers are trending in the right direction. >> well, we hope that -- >> all hands on deck. >> we hope it continues to trend in the right direction and you can be a model for the rest of the country. i have to ask ayou about this. this is -- i want your take on beto o'rourke, a democratic nominee for governor in texas, confronting the governor and officials during a press conference today on the shooting. >> you are doing nothing. you are offering up nothing. you said this was not predictable. this is totally predibltable when you choose not to do anything -- >> sir, you are out -- >>
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. >> i am trying to handle it here. this is not the place to do that. >> this will continue to happen. somebody needs to stand up for the children of the state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in uvalde yesterday. >> what do you think, mayor? do you agree with what he did or do you think it was mistake to confront officials who were updating the public on investigation? >> i applaud beto o'rourke. and let me tell you why, don. 19 of our children are dead. 19. two other adults. in 2019, in the state of texas, the legislatur


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