tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN May 26, 2022 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good thursday morning to you. i am jim shooter. >> and i'm erica hill. the nation mourns the census loss of 19 children and two teachers. new questions are emerging about the timeline of events and how police responded. cnn say the killer was on school grounds for up to an hour before officers breached the classroom and killed him. >> why did it take as long as it did for the tactical team to go in? >> we know that several officers were off duty. they still responded to the scene. again, trying to establish exactly the timeline, as far as the response time, we know that officers were on scene, as i mentioned earlier. we had the school resource
officer that was on scene. still again, they tried to establish his role. we had secondary officers that arrived on scene with gunfire upon entering the school. we know that law enforcement was there. there was immediate presence from law enforcement. again, trying to establish a timeline. we need to gather all the facts. we are trying to gather surveillance video. we are talking to witnesses. again, right now we have the accurate timeline, while we don't. >> but he did not answer there is what happened after the initial encounter. after the gunman was barricaded in the classroom of so many children in those teachers. this morning, according to the washington post, parents who rushed to the scene heard gunfire inside the school, begged officers, armed officers, to charge into the building. cnn now has new video that shows the gunman entering the school, circled their. authorities say the suspect was confronted by an officer as he made his way into the building. they say he dropped a bag full
of ammunition before he went inside. what they have not answered is whether the officer, or any officer, exchanged gunfire with that shooter. let's begin this morning with cnn's -- on uvalde texas. listening to the answers, and non answers, from the police so far, the principal question is the weight. yes, there was an initial encounter as the gunman went into the school. when the gun was fired up those officers, it injured them, but there was a long wait before anyone breach that classroom. what do we know at this point? what have they answered? what have they not answered? >> it seems like it is more that they are not answering. they are saying they do not have enough information. they are still waiting to interview more officers. they did not interview the resource officer until last night. in some ways, that is understandable. this resource officer can provide some crucial details.
we still do not have a full account from that resource officer, of exactly what transpired. really, these critical moments, the beginning of this is probably the most critical stage of this. what happened in those beginning moments? what we have learned this morning, also, was that the gunman was able to easily enter the school through an unlocked back door. no one stopped him. why is that? why is it so easy for this done man to enter the school? that is something that investigators need to figure out. of course, what happens in those moments inside the school? what happens in that hallway? there is a long hallway where police say there was gunfire. the suspect fired at them, there was an exchange of gunfire, and then he goes into this classroom where he barricades himself inside the classroom, and then we know that it takes quite a significant amount of time for
the tactical officers to respond, and neutralize. as we say, the threat. those are the key moments here. why did it take so long to get those tactical officers here? what were they doing in that time? we know 80 border patrol officers responded. what happens then? who was in charge here? who was making the decisions? >> we are still trying to get so many of those answers. there are also questions about what was happening with the parents. there were a group of parents, reportedly, who wanted to rush into the school. they felt not enough was being done. what more do we know about that? >> it is horrifying. parents are getting word of shots being fired, and the potential active shooter at the school. became here because they wanted answers. they wanted to know what was going on. parents are now speaking out saying they were here, and they saw police officers standing around. several police officers were standing around. they want, it themselves, to go
inside. they wanted to go and rescue kids. think about this, they are standing outside this building. they are hearing gunshots being fired. understandably, police did not want them to go inside. it was too dangerous. but they have questions about why these officers were standing outside and were not going to save the children. >> a lot of highly armed officers you see outside that school, for some time. thank you so much. >> we are hearing from parents, and we are also hearing more about the victims and the stories are heartbreaking. tuesday morning, jose flores jr. received this honor roll certificate. you can see how proud he was of that picture. that ceremony was hours before he was gunned down in his class through. they say he was a loving son and big brother. he dreamed of becoming a police officer. he wanted to protect others. >> when it was just me and him
i was telling him he is so good and so helpful. he would help me around the house. he was like my little shadow. he would be helping me. he helped with the baby, he had a thing or babies. he loved my friends babies. he is very good with babies, he was always nice. >> one of the rangers told me, and came to me, and so that as a father i would not let you go back there to see them. he was not recognizable. i did not good to see. they said that at the funeral they will not have an open casket for the same reason. >> a parent told the cannot see their dug child, unrecognizable. i cannot imagine the pain. president biden is set to exist visit uvalde, texas in the
following days. the president will visit the scene of the school shootings. parents and families are now planning funerals with little caskets. >> cnn correspondent adrienne broaddus is outside the school for us this morning. adrian, i know you have been learning more about the victims. what can you tell us? >> erica, three children are still in the hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson. those three children are in critical, but stable condition. also, in critical condition, the 66 year old grandmother of the shooting victim. she is stable but still critically ill and fighting for her life. on this day we spoke with the pediatric trauma leader. she told us her team was treating destructive ruins. what does that mean? my knee of you might be asking. that means the children and other patients had large areas of tissue missing from their body. they also require emergency
surgery because of the significant blood loss. also, weighing heavy on the medical staff, the patients who perished at the school. the patients who never made it to the hospital. >> in the last experience we realized that when we are dealing with high velocity firearm injuries, we may not get a whole lot. i think that is one hit us. but it is the most, not the patients we did receive, we are honored to treat them, but the patients that we did not receive. i think that is the most challenging aspect of our job right now. >> these doctors and nurses meet people on the worst day of their lives. they are trained. they know how to care for and treat these patients. it is still tough.
it is still painful. jim and erica. >> adrian, thank you, it is appreciated. as the initial shock of this tragedy sets in, so does the trauma. >> the trauma lasts, we know that from shootings like this. they often lost for many years for all involved. mary is ceo of the economical center. it is an organization helping with trauma, counseling, right now in uvalde, texas. there are so many victims of this. they are children who lost their lives. they are principal victims but there are other children who witnessed that. they may have survived and lost children, friends. first responders as well. let's begin with the children. for child survivors of trauma like this, particularly if they have witnessed it firsthand, what do you say to them? how deep are those wounds? >> certainly, it is a most
horrific tragedy. we have trauma specialist who are on the scene, and will continue to be on the scene as long as there is a need in uvalde, texas. with our children, it is important for them to find a voice. some of them can articulate and others cannot. having played therapy is an option. using play therapy and art therapy for them so they can drop pictures. they can illustrate what is on their heart. they would like to communicate. >> i know you have a lot of experience, unfortunately, with this. you've responded to shootings in el paso, in southern springs, and frankly gun violence across this country is an issue every single day. not just in these mass shootings. how much do you and other organizations rely on each other to share what you have learned so that you can help address this long term trauma? >> absolutely. after sutherland springs, which was a major mass violence setting, we were called on by
the fbi and others within our nation to come together and share experiences, and share breast practices. it is very hard to say that when we, obviously, first and foremost, these families have lost a loved one. those teachers, the folks who are in this community that are also connected, it is a very tight-knit community in ulvade. >> mary beth, the wounds are deep. you do great work trying to get to these children, in particular, early. in your experience, children are resilient. we know that. if your experience, do they recover from something like this? >> there is a long journey ahead for the children and the adults. what is really very important is to have the licensed professionals who are trained in this area to work with them. make sure those resources are available to them as they so deserve that level of care. not only this week, or next
week, but in the weeks and months to come. it is important to provide them with that level of care. in sutherland springs, as we responded, we still have offices. we have three offices in that community for individuals to receive counseling. that was in 2017. it is a long journey. >> today would have been the loss to school, as we know. summer vacation was set to start. in some ways that would've been likely to have a couple of months and school not being top of mind. it will be coming the fall. how difficult is it for the staff, the teachers of the school, and the kids as that date approaches? they have to think about what to school look like this year? >> there won't be many conversations with school officials and the support that they have. not only through our state but nationally as to what that will actually look like. they are are going to be some
difficult decisions coming up. certainly, people feel overwhelmed. many times we remind people and victims who are listening today who may have had a trauma in their past that may be triggered by this information about this tragedy in ulvade. they should make sure they are taking care of themselves, drink lots of water, that they find an outlet, that they limit information intake, and are able to maintain their own health. >> that is so important. >> as you have been talking mary beth, we are showing live pictures of those 21 crosses outside the school. that is to mark all the lives lost. i cannot tell you how many times i have seen crosses like that outside of schools in american portraits. we do appreciate the work toward, doing mary beth, we wish you the best of luck. we know that you will have tough days and weeks and encounters ahead. thank you for joining us. >> thank you jim and erica. >> still to come this hour,
there is actually, wait for it, some optimism on capitol hill about the possibility of agreement on gun reform. democratic senator richard blumenthal says for, quote, the first time we are talking seriously. who is he talking with? what might move forward? we will have an update coming up. >> plus, we will speak with texas congressman, breonna escobar, who is all too familiar with navigating the days after a mass shooting. she is also working to find an answer to the gun violence in her state. er how much i paid, it followed me everywhere. so i consosolidated it intoto a low-rate personal loan from sofi. get a personal loan with no fees, low fixed rates, and borrow up to $100k0k. sofi. get your money right. we were alone when my husband had the heart attack. he's the most important thing in my life. i'm so lucky to get him back. your heart isn't just yours. protect it with bayer aspiri be sure to talk to your doctor before y begin an aspirin regimen.
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right now, lawmakers are pushing to get gun maker legislation passed the finish line. they're planning to meet with democrats and republicans today in washington. senator richard blumenthal says they are talking seriously about red flag laws for the first time. >> the trouble is, of course, we have been here before. we see these moments. we see them after sandy hook, parkland, will this be different? it is an open question. brian todd explains how previous efforts have failed. >> erica and jim, it is a pattern that goes back. horrific school shootings occurred, action was demanded, and promised in washington. bennett fizzled under the weight of partisanship and special interests. >> another slaughter of children inside school. another instance where a shaken president pleads for an end to
inaction. >> when in god's name, will we do what we know in our gut needs to be done. >> if there is any new movement in washington after the texas mass shooting, any movement to ban or cut back the sale of assault weapons, any movement to strengthen background checks, it could join a heartbreaking list of past attempts following horrific school shootings that failed. >> we must do more to keep guns out of the hands of children. >> that was president bill clinton, three days after the massacre at columbine high school in colorado in april 1999. two students killed 12 fellow students and a teacher. federal as a sleigh shun was proposed to close loopholes for background checks at gun shows. it failed in congress. >> for president after president, since bill clinton, there are tragedies, there are calls to action, there are efforts of legislation, and that legislation falls short. >> the sandy hook elementary school shooting and newtown connecticut, in december of 2012, when 20 children were
gunned down along with six adults, was a moment so horrifying that democrats and republicans said something had to be done. >> this time the words need to lead to action. >> many believe tighter gun laws had a real chance at passing. they did not pass. not a proposed assault weapon ban. not a bipartisan meth sure for background checks. president barack obama was upset years later. >> every time i think about those kids, it gets me mad. >> four years ago after a gunman killed 17 people at douglas high school in florida, donald trump won against the nra and called for sweeping gun legislation. >> we want to be powerful and strong on background checks, especially as it pertains to the mentally ill. >> that movement lasted about a day at the federal level. the father of a parkland victim, following the texas shooting on tuesday, remain pessimistic and angry. >> it is so infuriating.
it is all of these instances. we know the next one is going to happen. we have not done anything to fix it. >> one analyst says, there is plenty of blame to go around. not just among politicians who point fingers at the other side of the aisle. >> the public has not demonstrated well to put this issue above everything else the ballot box. are they willing to prioritize that above voting on inflation or their pocketbook? >> after the school shooting, a familiar conundrum in progress. -- now, democrats in the senate can either tried to ramrod that through quickly with the likelihood that it will fail, or they can take more time to try and negotiate something more bipartisan with republicans. with the outcome of that, far from certain. erica, jim? >> thank you brian todd, thanks so much. now joining me is for onycha escobar. she represents el paso, texas. she sits on the house judiciary committee. congresswoman, thank you for joining us this morning. >> good morning jim, thank you
for having me on. >> you heard seven or blumenthal say, for the first time we are talking seriously. his words. democrats and republicans, we know that john, texas senator, is meeting with chris murphy, along proponent of gun legislation. do you believe that there is potentially a moment here? >> i will believe it when i see it, jim. i will tell you, it is our job to do everything possible to find a path forward on solutions. the republican playbook is something that i think we are all too familiar with. in that story there was a comment about the parties pointing figures at one another. the fact of the matter is, this is not a partisan statement, this is a factual statement. there is only one party in america right now that actually has led and acted on gun violence prevention legislation. that is the democratic party. there is one party in america that has consistently stood in
the way of reforming laws that make us less safe, when it comes to gun. that is the republican party. ultimately, what republicans do, and their playbook is, number one, do not talk about it right now. you are politicizing the issue by talking about it so soon after the carnage. number two, the delay basically, on any conversation, the delay works in their favor. then, the country's attention turns to something else. we will face other challenges as a country. they buy time. with that time, then, comes the energy that dissipates and democrats, again, are left being the only party working toward these solutions. there needs to be a bipartisan path, but there ultimately needs to be accountability. >> the trouble is, democrats don't have the votes. they do not have the democrat votes in the senate to do this.
clearly, they are not getting folks to vote for them on that issue. so, short of having the votes, doesn't happen in senate. they may lose the house majority in november. where, if anywhere, is the middle ground? there are discussions of red flag laws. there are discussions of expanding background checks. in your conversations, where is a potential agreement? >> i think that there could be agreement on background checks and red flag laws, which would be a very positive step forward. there is a lot we have to do, in my view, beyond that. it includes increasing the age for getting access to guns. an 18 year old should not have access to guns. that 18 year old cannot go into a bar. why can they go purchase a weapon of war? you know, there are other really good common sense pieces of legislation. i think any movement in the
right direction would be positive. jim, i think it is really important that we put some of the responsibility on voters. we have an election in november. at what point will voters finally say, i have had enough? i have had enough? i will hold accountable those individuals who refuse to act. or, who try to divert attention away from the real issue. there are a lot of people in america, right now, who need to engage in some introspection about how they are going to lose and use the power of their voice through the power of their vote in november. it is my hope that when they cast their vote, they think of those little babies who never came home. >> i cannot help but picture their faces. i still remember faces from shootings i covered two decades ago. you represent el paso. el paso had its own horrible mass shooting. i was there to cover it in
2019. when you look at the various options, there is no one gun law that will stop all shootings. what's one, do you think would make the most sense, as a difference in the first step. is it about background tracks? is it about red flag laws? is it about particular weapons? is it a bout extended magazines? is there one you believe democrats should put their muscle behind today to get something done? >> that is a great question. it is also a terrible question. the challenge that we face is so complex. when you look at the use of an assault style weapon, the fact that we have not panned assault style weapons, as the investigation of what happened on the sea of that crime, at the school, with those sweet children and teachers, the fact of the matter is one of the
things that we will learn, that will undoubtedly be true, is that local police officers probably did not stand a chance in the immediate. that security guard did not stand a chance against someone with an assault style weapon. remember, those bullets, jim, they are not meant to harm someone. they are meant to destroy tissue. they are meant to destroy bone. why are those on the street? why are they being sold? there are other low hanging fruit. background checks, really could, really close the charleston loophole. that could have saved lives. raising the age limit to 21. this is a killer who was 18. he was able to buy a gun. that is unacceptable. making it illegal for him to have purchased a gun, that would have saved those kids. >> right after his 18th birthday in, fact. >> to your point, we have tried
to trauma surgeons about what these high velocity weapons do. inside bodies, particularly tiny bodies. they say it is literally like what you see in war zones. congresswoman veronica escobar, we appreciate you taking the time. >> thank you jim. still to come, how the community is coming together to support one another and honor the victims. families are still searching for answers. >> we just do not understand all that took place. i live close by, i heard all the shooting. i ran towards the school. soon, i realized that it was not just shooting between the perpetrator and the police, i heard one of the officers say that the man had walked into the school and when he pointed to the building, i knew that my granddaughter was in that building.
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prayer vigil. that is to begin to remember those killed at robb elementary school. rosa, is in texas, and i brace myself as folks are watching you for those moments where another child victim is identified. we do have another name. >> we do. like you said, it is very difficult for all of this community. i have talked to so many people here. jim and erica, they say that there is such a mixture of emotions. they are grieving. they are in pain. they are asking why? why them? why this community? why these children? and then there is anger. they are angry because this happened here in their tiny town. i am in the times square. i can tell you, i talked to people here who have said, the hug to get out of their house. one woman was holding a ulvade strong sign. she said, she could not be in
her house anymore. she could not watch the news anymore. she had to be out here in the community with some of the other members of the community who are grieving, just like her. you see prayer circles here in this park as well. as you mentioned, a very emotional vigil last night. let's take a listen. my heart aches trying to find all these kids that were missing. finally, at the end of the day they were not able to come home to their parents. you know? that is sad. and, like i said, i can't imagine my life without my daughter. >> that was lisa, she knows multiple individuals who died in this tragedy. she was telling me that it is so difficult for her to hug her
children, to know that they are fine, yet the children of other individuals in this community are not. those families are now planning funerals. cnn's joseph, obtained a photo of another one of the victims. take a look, this is nine year old eliahna ellie garcia. her grandparents told the l.a. times that she loved the movie and canto. she loved cheerleading. she loved basketball. she dreamed of becoming a teacher. imagine, this little girl was in that classroom. in those intense moments, this terrible tragedy happened. she was there with her hero, her teacher. it is really difficult for this community to grapple with that. if you look very closely at the photograph we are showing on your screen, on the upper right hand corner, it says happy mother's day.
we are all very familiar with the drawings that children make in school. they bring them home to their mothers. imagine this mother who now has the drawings from little elie. she is now planning her funeral. >> it is in unimaginable pain in circumstance. that beautiful little face, you mentioned how she wanted to be a teacher. we have heard so much about how, rosa, her heroes in teachers did everything to protect the students, and the children in those moments. rosa, thank you. still to come here, for the survivors of tuesday's school shooting, not all of the rooms and trauma are visible. we were just hearing from rosa, sandy hook survivors say ten years later they are here ling is still ongoing. the support the families will
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he said he was yelling and he was saying mom, we need to hurry up and leave, he is coming. that right there is just -- i just couldn't take it. >> the scars from gun violence and the trauma do not heal quickly. sandy hook survivor told cnn her healing, understandably, is still a work in progress ten years later. >> all those memories, all those audio noises, all those quick visions that relate to that day, they stay with you. i can't go outside when i hear fireworks. i shudder winners a closed door. i'm always looking over my back. it's ten years later, and i don't feel safe yet. >> joining us now is john would rocks. he's a reporter who has covered the subject of child victims of gun violence almost exclusively
for five years. he's the author of children under fire in american crisis. it is an american crisis, it is a uniquely american crisis, as unfortunately we say every time. yet here we are again. as you look into that trauma for survivors, there is so much focus on the days after these tragedies. but the long term impact, do we even understand at this point, john, how deep that trauma goes? how long lasting it is for people like maggie, for example? >> we have no idea. this is a thing that researchers cannot predict, which children are going to deal with this a day afterwards, and which children are going to deal with it decades later. i have done reporting on children who many, many years later are still dealing with the effects that that young woman described. kids who are six years past shootings and they are still having to take anti psychotics
and anti depressants. they are still threatening to harm themselves. they are still dealing with guilt, that they couldn't save their classmates on the playground. these are things that even in a moment, a shooting that can last a matter of seconds can affect them for decades. this was a shooting that lasted far longer than that. so these kids are going to be dealing with this burden in some way for the rest of their lives. >> there has also been a significant increase this week in the numbers. the number of kids who have to deal with this, right? that is increasing as gun violence in this country increases. we saw before the pandemic, but certainly since. what are we seeing in terms of data specifically about school shootings? >> a few years ago, as part of the reporting for my book, i went to south carolina and reported on a school shooting that almost no one remembers. one child was shot. i found that the kids there who were just on the playground or inside the school were so
deeply, profoundly affected that it led me to think, how many kids do these children represent? that number now going back to columbine in 1999 is over 311,000 students who have been on a k-12 campus when a school shooting occurred. a meaningful number of those kids will deal with what they saw, what they heard forever. they will deal with it forever. >> it also struck me and some of your reporting, as we look at who is carrying out these shootings, that the median age of a school shooter is 16. >> yeah. yeah, it is. that is the typical age. that tells us something else. you know, there is all sorts of forms of gun violence in this country. 100 plus people a day die in america by gun violence. but for some americans, the only thing that gets their attention is a school shooting. when i tell people all the time,
it is the only thing you care about. consider this. if after columbine, the one change american made was to prevent children from getting access to firearms, more than half of the school shootings in that time would not have happened. they would just not have happened. if you only did that one thing, just prevent children from getting access to guns. so that is something that doesn't require any changes to the second amendment, it doesn't even require necessarily legislation. just ask gun owners to be responsible with the guns that they have. >> yeah. it requires to stop and listen instead of speaking first. perhaps just reading some important reporting. john woodrow cox, thank you for joining us, and thank you for the work you are doing. it can't be easy to live that every day. thank you. >> thank you for having me. >> we are happy to invite now the fda commissioner who is facing tough questions on the fda's role in the baby formula shortage when more formula is
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it has even lead to hospitalizations for some children. the fda has a lot to answer for here. it is a long timeline here, and perhaps, it seems not being conscious of shutting off half the nations supply. >> jim, yes. they do have a lot to answer for. why the supply has gone down so dramatically, and really, the big question is should they have known this? there were so many signs that happened many months ago. even before that abbott plant was closed down. let's take a look at the timeline. we can talk a little bit about the discussion and what it will be like today. in october 2021, way back in october, there was a whistleblower report to the fda citing safety problems at the abbot plant. yesterday, dr. caleb said, those reports never made it all the way to the top. there will be lots of questions about why that happened. and then, a month later, walgreens alerted customers to a possible temporary isolated
shortage. not because of the app and plant, that abbott plant was still working at that time, but because of supply chain issues. that far back there were store saying, wait a minute, we have a problem. in january, formula inventory was down 17% nationwide. between the end of january and march, the fda visited the added plants and found something bad in it. the question is, why did all of this happen? why was more action not taken? i was at frankfurt in the ramstein air force base this past week. i saw the formula be thrown in from a blood. why was it not done sooner? >> a lot of foot dragging. elizabeth, thanks so much. and thank you all for joining us. i am jim, and i am erica. >> kate starts after a quick break.
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hello everyone, i'm kate baldwin. >> i am john berman live in uvalde, texas this morning. in my hands, i am holding today's copy of the oval day leader news. you can see on the front page, it is remembering what happened here tuesday. it just says, may 24th, 2022. the whole front page is just black. the back
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