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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  February 15, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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me. i will see you again at 11:00. we got an update. what we've been talking about this morning with david hog who stephanie was just talking about who's telling us that horrific high school shooting. we'll bring that to you live when it happens. we'll bring you the president's address to the nation one hour from now. a scene that has played out too many times before. the flag on top of the white house lowered to half staff. we got our catie beck on the ground at the scene. tom costello has the latest on some of the disturbing details we're learning on the suspected shooter. alley, you're there outside the high school. you've been talking to people all morning long and we know that we're going to see the suspected shooter again later on this afternoon in court. >> reporter: right.
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yeah, so this is the school behind me. it's about 2,900 students enrolled in the school. very big school for a residential area. a lot of local notables have gone to the school. yesterday at 2:30 p.m. it just mayhem was unleashed. the shooter shooting a few people on the outside before going in and that's where it became tricky. that active shooter text went out to the students and the teachers but at the same time he went into the school pulled the fire alarm apparently which got people out of the classes. we're getting these stories from people about the conflict that they were going through. do they go out or stay in? they're hearing the shootings. a lot of students with phones. we've got images. the whole thing has sent this whole community into shock as they're learning about this young man who was the shooter. the irony is this community knew a lot about this young man who was the shooter, a troubled young man. they're all struggling with this this morning. >> we'll talk more about that in a bit. will ali we -- we think 10:15 the sheriff's office is coming
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out giving a news conference and some critical unanswered questions including the identification of all the victims. we still don't know. we still don't noel the conditions of some of those people in the hospital. what else do you expect to hear from the sheriff in a couple minutes? >> reporter: the last update we had was that there were 17 dead and this young man has been charged with premeditated murder of 17 people. 15 who were transported to hospitals, two, by the way, were transported and died. 15 people still alive in hospital at last check, five were critical. so that's where we stand with the number of dead and wounded. this makes it the third largest school mass shooting in american history and of course the 18th shooting at a school this year. police are trying to piece this all together. who knew what about this young man? he was expelled from the school and they're trying to figure out who should have known and who did know? he bought this gun legally about a year ago. you can buy an assault style rifle when you're 18-year-old in florida. this was an assault style rifle.
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one of the reasons he was expelled for getting into fights and for keeping ammunition in his bag at school. a lot of questions right now the police are investigating. >> one of the most chilling aspects have been the video, the social media videos that we've seen from teenagers in these classrooms. kids on their cell phones holding them up as s.w.a.t. teams coming in. we'll play one of these videos. we'll only play it once. we don't want to sensationalize what happened -- >> reporter: it's hard to watch. >> it's important to watch to give a sense of what happened in those classrooms, what these kids went through, so with that caveat we wanted to play this video and ali, we'll talk a little bit about the role of social media in this. >> holy -- [ gunfire ] oh, my god! [ screams ] >> it's horrific. it's terrifying for these kids. some of those kids have come out and talked with you, have talked
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with us on this network about had a they went through and this scene that is now played out more than a dozen times in schools all across the country this year alone, ali? >> reporter: so some of the students have told us that when the police got to them the police were telling them to put their phones down just because the police wanted to identify who didn't have weapons and what was going on. when they came out yesterday, many of them had to have their hands up just to see they were clear. a lot of the students had the presence of mine to take this video. it's important not only the in the documentation, it's important to see so you can get a sense so you can empathize what people go through when it gets an action when it comes to the preponderance of evidence of guns in our country. one of the things interesting was the number of texts and phone calls. students made to their parents and loved ones. a lot of texts. teachers communicating to the outside what was happening. the number of times and i can't get over it, the number of people who sent messages or called people and said, i love you, i don't know what's going to happen to me but i love you.
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i mean halley i've covered too many of these things. they never get easier or better and you always hope that you're not going to be at another unbut we live in dread that we will be. >> thank you for that. we'll come back to you later in the hour after we hear from the sheriff and that is going to happen in maybe the next ten to 25 minutes. we'll also talk about the sheer level of heart break that is coming out of parkland. savannah and hoeda over on the "today" show talked with one of the student survivors on the network. watch. >> i know your best friend was shot right next to you. >> yeah. >> do you know how she's doing? have you been able to hear what happened to her? >> yeah, unfortunately, she didn't make it. >> samantha, we're so sorry. >> we're so sorry about that, samantha, so sorry. you were -- you okay, honey? >> i'm okay.
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thank you. >> samantha's friends is one of the 17 people killed in this shooting. catie beck is at the hospital where many other victims were taken and katie, i understand we'll get an update from doctors at that news conference. what more can you tell us about these 17 people who were rushed to the hospital? >> reporter: i think that sound really says it all. just a community feeling so broken and so shattered by this tragedy this morning. yet there are still parents, still loved ones that are clinging to hope, hoping and praying that these survivors, the injured that are hospitalized are going to be able to pull through as ali said, there are 15 still hospitalized, five of them are listed in critical condition. the other ten are said to have nonlife-threatening injuries and we do believe that some of them have been discharged already. we don't have official confirmation on that. hopefully at that press conference we'll get more information. at this point we don't have ages or genders, whether those in the hospital are students or
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teachers. we assume it's a combination of both at this point but we haven't gotten official confirmation on that yet. the surgeon that is set to appear at that press conference will hopefully shed light on a lot of those questions. we also know that the shooter was actually treated at the hospital behind me yesterday. he was transported here by an ambulance, treated rather kickly and taken immediately into police custody. surgeons said he was treated just like any other patient. the only thing they could confirm for us was that all of the patients suffered gun shot wounds. they would not get into any specifics on the shooter's injuries. perhaps they will elaborate on that more today as well. there's a very somber mode. there's a very deep and saddened tone here on the ground as people are still in shock the day after. >> there are also stories of heroism, stories of these heroes starting to emerge, people who used their bodies as shields to protect some of these kids.
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>> reporter: we'll hear a lot more of these as we often do in these stories. heroes come out in the worse of times. hopefully will be able to speak to maybe survivors, some who are recovering. that is a hope that we have to really understand more of what happened but there are always is a silver lining in these moments where people put themselves on the line to save others. i expect will be hearing more of that. >> that football coach, one of them. can you very much. we'll be coming back to you for updates. we know that the president in about 52 minutes from now is set to deliver an address to the nation. it comes after the president was briefed yesterday as this was all unfolding as you saw here on this network about what was happening in florida. his homeland security secretary was delivering the news. the president this morning as you see the flag flying at half staff over the white house today. the president tweeting about this. he's going to be visiting florida actually tomorrow. he's not going to parkland.
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he was set to go to mar-a-lago. we'll be watching to see if there are any changes to that travel. the president writing, so many signs that the florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school. neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. must always report such instances to authorities again and again. so let's talk about what we though about this suspected gunman. tom costello is joining us with more on that. >> reporter: good morning. police say the picture that is emerging of the suspect is of a troubled teenager who had a preoccupation with guns. both of his parents had died. he'd been kicked out of the high school last year and wednesday he came back with a semi-automatic rifle. this morning it appears 19-year-old nikolas cruz meticulously planned the attack on his former high school. >> he had countless magazines, multiple magazines and at this point we believe he had one ar-15 rifle. >> reporter: his intention, authorities say, to cause chaos
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and kill as much people as possible. >> he wore a gas mask and smoke grenades. he set off the fire alarm so the kids would come out into the hallways. >> reporter: investigators say cruz had been expelled from the same school last year for behavioral issues including threatening other students. according to the miami herald, cruz's instagram page underscored his love of weapons and contained images of cruz wielding knives and showing off a gun. this morning buzzfeed is reporting the fbi was warned last year about the youtube post from a user named nikolas cruz, who wrote i'm going to be a professional school shooter. according to buzzfeed, acts with the bureaus mississippi field office spoke with officials who alerted them back in september and asked to follow-up once again after yesterday's shooting. fellow students said cruz was a social awkward kid and had a preoccupation with guns.
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>> he went and showed me all his guns. >> he's always been a crazy kid. i heard him -- i heard some people say that one day he would've done this and unfortunately i think that was today. >> reporter: since his mother died in november, cruz has been staying with the family of a friend. a lawyer for the family says this all came as a shock. >> he was a very mild mannered kid. he was going through tough times with losing his mom. >> reporter: the question for investigators, was anyone aware of what he was planning? veteran fbi agents and police chiefs say the m.o. is all too common. >> often times in these incidents that you have a disenfranchised young man that who is really outside of the norm in the sense as bullying an anti-social behavior. is it a romantic issue or to make a name for himself? multiple motivations. >> reporter: this morning, another mass murder at american school, yet another heavily
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armed angry young man determined to kill. this is the 18th school shooting this year alone. since the sandy hook massacre in 2012 when 26 were killed there had been 273 more school shootings. fbi profilers say there are signs of danger to look for in a potential shooter. somebody who's brooding, depressed, disenfranchised from other students, making remarks, maybe about others online, perhaps drawn to firearms and previous mass murders like columbine and almost always say the experts there are, in fact, warning signs on social media if anybody is paying attention. halley? >> we know that back in florida, broward county officials are getting ready to give an update. that press conference is expected to start in the next couple minutes. tammy leitner is there. any guidance on when we expect to hear more from the sheriff? >> reporter: we know that the governor is here, we know the sheriff is going to speak, the
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superintendent and also some of the doctors that treated these students and the patients. we're expecting also to learn more about 19-year-old nikolas cruz and also we're expecting to learn more about the teachers that are now being called heroes. i heard you mention one of the teachers earlier and we now know that football coach by the name of aaron feis, he's been called a hero by some of his students. he stepped into the line of fire yesterday. we're told and used his body as a human shield to protect two of his students from a hail of gunfire. he's the assistant football coach here. he works security at the school and he is definitely being called a hero today by many. halle? >> tammy leitner there. we expect to hear from the governor, the sheriff's office in just a couple minutes. i can see a lot of activity behind you and i imagine that there are folks who are eagerly awaiting to get more information from these guys. i want to bring in darryn
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portrid and thank you for being here. let's talk about what we know and don't know at this point as we wait for this press conference to begin in the next couple minutes. tom, you had this suspect, you had him armed with an ar-15 style automatic rifle according to the law enforcement officials on the ground. this was apparently according to the attorney jim louis, legally obtained. that's what he told the south florida sun sentnel. what the process for legally getting that kind of gun? >> halle, apparently the shooter purchased that gun legally from a licensed federal firearms licensee. he was not a prohibited person at the time that he purchased that weapon. in other words, he had no prior felony convictions. he had not been adjudicated mentally ill so there was nothing prohibiting him from buying that firearm. >> darren, you heard tom there
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in that discussion that we just had talk about the warning signs, potentially on social media, some disturbing things that had come up in cruz's for example, social media pages, what are investigators looking at now as they go back and sift through some of them? >> one of the things they're going to look at is see if there was anyone else complicit. did anyone else have an understanding or awareness. in addition to that, he was someone that was mentioned as being somewhat ostracized socially so that also going to look to connect with a lot of those people in the demographic of social structure. one of the things came up, he was constantly involved in a fight with an ex-girlfriend's boyfriend. they'll look to see if there's a correlation with that coupled with what's on his social media moving forward. >> you talk about who else may have thoen, who else investigators are looking at now. i want to play for you what the attorney for the family that took in cruz said about him. >> they took this kid in, they
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had no prediction that anything this would happen. he was a very mild mannered kid. going through tough times with losing his mom but he obeyed all the house rules. he lived here without any concerns or issues for almost three months and they are shocked and horrified by the allegations that are being made. >> go ahead. >> all the signs and symptoms were in place that he was a sociopath or someone that exhibited sociopathic behaviors. that's something that you have to take into consideration. him being expelled from the school in addition to that the family members, i know often times, law enforcement really doesn't like to go down this rabbit hole but you're going to have to take into consideration what this family knew, granted this was a friend's family that he was staying with, this wasn't his biological family. he was adopted. we also want to assess what their level of understanding or knowledge of what his acts were moving forward. >> when you talk about the
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warning signs, tom, you have the miami herald reporting that administrators considered this student enough of a potential threat that one teacher said a warning was e-mailed last year against allowing him on to school grounds with a backpack here. so how does something like this fall through the cracks? >> halle, there are a number of red flags in this case. he's obviously a sociopath. he made statements to fellow students, neighbors knew of his actions. he was shooting animals around his home. he bragged about the weapons he had. he talked about killing. he talked about killing law enforcement on social media. consider this for a second, even if he only had maybe 200 followers on social media, there are 200 red flags. those are 200 people that could have brought that to the attention of a teacher, a parent, a law enforcement. >> you had this morning that buzzfeed report that the fbi was warned last year about this
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youtube post about this user, nikolas cruz, i'm going to be a professional school shooter. the fbi has not confirmed this is cruz's account. there are people who might have seen red flags and might have been able to act on them sooner, no? >> absolutely. one of the things that come into play is law enforcement agencies and i worked in the nypd, i was a lieutenant there, there's an algorithm that a law enforcement agency will look to in connection with the social media and so that's something that they'll look too, was this -- this is a small police department so they don't have the resources of a place such as chicago or new york city or los angeles, so you have to take that into consideration. but we do have to look at and this may set forth a pathway for what types of fortifications they'll put in play this this particular jurisdiction this is a very small place and so as i look at it from a practice are's
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perspective there's a lot of work that needs to be done. there's too many holes here and i can't understand why the assessment wasn't made in an earlier stamg. >> you make an interesting point about what happens next because the mayor of parkland was out on msnbc this morning and we had her talking about the president's tweet. so many signs that the florida shooter was mentally disturbed even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. neighbors and classmates he says knew he was a big problem. let me play you how the mayor responded to that just in the last hour or so right here. watch. >> first of all, i think first and foremost we need to remember that people lost family members. i think we get so caught up in politicizing debates one way or another that we're forgetting the people who need our help now and who need our support and services right now. >> so tom, what does happen right now on the ground over the next 48 hours and over the next four to five weeks, for example? >> there's a great deal of work to be done here in this case and in other school shooting cases.
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schools should be the safest place in the world for kids to be and today is february 15th, 2018, since january 1st of 2018, there have been 18 school shootings in this country and since 1999, since the columbine massacre where i was a first responder, there have been over 150,000 kids that have been exposed to school shootings. each one of those kids is going to carry that trauma with them for the rest of their lives. we as a society are really failing our kids here if we cannot protect them in school. we used to have fire drills and we used to have tornado warning drills, now we have active shooter drills in the schools. we have to come together and
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change that. >> tom, darryn, i'm going to ask you to stay right where you are. we're watching the microphones that you're about to see here. in about ten minutes, this thing is going to start at 10:30 eastern. we'll hear from officials. this is the first time today that we'll be getting updates from thoers about the shooting that happened at parkland. we'll bring you that the second they start speaking. here in washington, we're getting of course new reaction on capitol hill. garrett hague is there. there's a lot of people wondering what the conversation is right now. there's a lot of people wondering what is different about this because this is a horif i have rick movie that we have seen before. it's the dreaded deja vu when a shooting like this happens. we hear a lot of similar things from politicians. >> reporter: yeah. a lot of this is all too familiar. the reaction is broken down into three categories so far. there are those who say we need to wait and see and gather all the facts before we do anything,
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there are knows who say this is another reminder of the gun control legislation, things that need to be passed proactively right now and people like harris, the senator from california who described this as a moral issue that demands a whole of society response to it. take a listen. >> what i'm going to say is going to sound harsh. as a prosecutor, for years, in appreciating homicide and being able to talk with the judge about it and a jury about it, i took an autopsy photographs. when you see the effect of this extreme violence on a human body and especially the body of a child, maybe it will shock some people into understanding, this cannot be a political issue. we have to be practical. i support the second amendment but we have to have -- we have to have smart gun safety laws and we cannot tolerate a society
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and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered. >> reporter: halle, i think it's the bluntness of language like that that some politicians hope will shake up their colleagues. these pictures, these imagines of kids leaving their school with their hands over their head that maybe will shake-up a slightly different batch of lawmakers than those who are here after newtown when so little got accomplished. >> what happens next? where does this gun debate go that's any different from what we've seen before? >> reporter: it's a million dollar question. there are probably a half dozen different gun legislation bills that are written in the house that are sitting around not being acted on. there's one bill that has passed the house after the shooting in texas that would help states and federal governments tighten up the national criminal background check system that is ready to go on the senate side but hasn't moved to the floor. this has never in any real
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legislative way become a priority. the kind of thing that can move quickly through both houses of congress, never after any of these shootings and in the middle of an immigration debate right now it's hard to see if that changes today. >> as we talk about gun laws, thank you for that report. i want to go over jeff sessions who is talking about this topic right now. >> intersection of mental health and criminality and violence and to identify we -- how we can stop people before these heinous crimes occur. it's just too often the case that the perpetrators have given signals in advance. we just had a brief meeting with your top leaders before this speech and they all agreed that every one of these cases we've had advanced indications and perhaps we haven't been effective enough in intervening immediately to deal with that. i suspect it appears that we've
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seen that again in this case, so you are experienced professionals. you and i know we cannot arrest everybody that somebody thinks is dangerous, but i think we can and we must do better. we owe it to every one of those kids crying outside their school yesterday and all those who never made it out of that school. our hearts are hurting today and all the law enforcement community knows that we have a challenge in front of us and i know together we'll meet it. it's also a reminder of how important the work of law enforcement is. people sometimes denigrate or don't appreciate what you do and your deputies do till we have a tragedy and then they're glad you're there and that's who is called upon. the most important thing that any government does is to protect the safety and rights of its citizens and i understand the importance in this country
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of respecting the civil rights of every american as you do. it's taught in your training academies, you teach it every day in your meetings with your deputies before they go out to work, but the first civil right is the right to life, the right to be safe in your community. that's a fundamental right that you protect every single day. everything else we do in government depends on that. we cannot allow politics or bad policy to get in the way of this mission. all of us, no matter your political party, depend upon law officers for our safety and protection. i know first hand the important work that each of you do. my experience as i indicated was first hand working directly with sheriffs and deputies and we'll continue to do that and we want to see that even further advanced under my tenure with
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the federal government in working with state government. back in mobile, i work with the sheriff and sam cochran and he -- i remember sam as a lieutenant narcotics officer. next thing you know he's sheriff. i think he's like you, sheriff judd, he doesn't have an opponents. he doesn't have opponents when he runs for reelection. good sheriffs are important to our community. you all know that. together we're a close group of teammates taking drugs off our streets, dismantling domestic and international gangs and fraud schemes. we prosecuted civil rights violation to the fullest extent. there's nothing i'm more proud of than having worked with our law enforcement community as united states attorney.
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i felt like we made a difference. we made a difference. so let us say the thin brown line not necessarily the blue line -- >> you have been listening to attorney general jeff sessions. he is speaking at the major county sheriffs of american winter conference here in washington. prior to the start -- it seemed like the start of those remarks as we bring back in darryn and tom here, the attorney general talked about needing to take action. we can and must do better. what does that mean? what does that mean? go ahead. >> i think attorney general jeff sessions is focusing on more of a multi-facetted approach. it's not a monolithic lean and just targeting the quote/unquote, gun control. he's looking to other aspects such as societal norms, socioeconomics, mental health, education, things to that effect. that's what the driving force is. does gun control come into play? sure, there's some aspects that you can target but overall i think he's looking at a more
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comprehensive strategy and i think it is necessary because these incidents keep repeating themselves over and over again and often times we look to gun control as the ante septic however we negate the other environmental factors and we need to bring this to the forefront because if not we'll repeat this conversation over again another six months later. >> tom, before we get to you, i want to remind folks here in about one to two minutes we expect to see the broward county sheriff's officials along with the governor step to some microphones that have been set up there near parkland to give us an update. the first update today on the victims, on the suspected shooter who will appear in court later on today. we also expect in 30 minutes to hear from the president himself following up on his attorney general's remarks. tom, it is likely that the president will obviously offer thoughts and prayers as he's already done to the victims in parkland but should he offer more? >> halle, at this point from a
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law enforcement standpoint, we have to determine how do we preempt another mass school shooting like this. they're becoming too commonplace in our country and i fear that many american citizens become desensitized to incidents like this. right now there's a great deal of pain and suffering and sorrow and it'll last for maybe a day or weeks or maybe a couple months but then it'll fade and people will become desensitized to it because there will be another mass shooting or another senseless killing some where else in the country. every school administrator needs to study this case in parkland in detail and look at every other school shooting that's happened throughout our -- in our country's history and make sure that those teachers and the
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administrators and the families and the students all are trained as to how to protect themselves in a situation like this. >> it seemed in this instance, tom, from the reports that we've been getting from eyewitnesses on the ground that the teachers did do everything right. these kids have practiced the lockdown drills, they had just done drills a couple weeks before this shooting happened. the students knew what to do and they executed on that. the teachers, the administrators, the staffer knew what they needed to do and they executed on that. what other onus is on the people inside the classrooms in these kinds of situations? >> no question -- >> the administrators and the students did the right thing yesterday. they did exactly how they trained, however, every situation, every critical incident is different. what happened yesterday is different from what happened at columbine high school in 1999 and every other school shooting in between. there's something unique about it. this shooter had a pre -- he was
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predisposed to killing as many students as possible. he was premeditated. he wore a mask and used smoke bombs. he wanted to create a fatal funnel where there would be mass confusion by pulling the fire alarm where kids would funnel out of their classrooms and right in the line of fire to make easy targets for him. so every situation is different. >> darryn, you're certainly to say that you believe there was a breakdown and i assume the process leading up to this. >> you have to look at the internal and the external components of security in the school. i did my doctorate research on school safety and school violence and this is one of the things that comes into play. you have educators and law enforcement officials and the two need to work together behind a strategy that works. we look at this act or this atrocity, it started off outside from the external perspective.
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that external piece could have easily been cordoned off by merely closing the doors. students have these large heavy doors. they're not screen doors. by closing that door, you would've kept that assailant outside while they were waiting law enforcement's to spont. and often times i see what schools, for example, they're very focused on minimizing violence because the oversight on school violence is something that they feel is something that's going to remove the chief executive officer. when i say the chief executive officer i'm referring to the principal so to speak where you have law enforcement that's on the other side and they're looking to come in and provide the enforcement as necessary. those two entities need to work together and there's a clear separation in both law enforcement and the educators and unfortunately, if we don't mend -- if we don't mend this riff this is going to be ever so involving process. >> tom, can you put us inside the fbi investigation, the law enforcement investigation now?
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they're going back and looking some of these red flags or warning signs that have come up about this obviously very troubled man, this suspected shooter, what do they do now? there are obviously reviewing, i would assume, his social media, looking at some of those red flags that have been missed before, but what else is there to this? >> absolutely. search warrants will be served at his residence. evidence collected. they'll look at his social media, they'll look at facebook, youtube, his iphone to glean any information they can that would indicate what drove him to carry out this mass murder yesterday. yesterday was valentine's day, did that have something to do with it? was it payback to someone that he went to school with, an old girlfriend or someone else? the positive that comes out of this is that this shooter did not take his own life. often times a shooter will once
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they realize that they are like that the end was near, there was no escape. they took their own life. he didn't do that. he had a plan to escape and in his master plan he thought that he would leave the school in all the chaos with the other kids blend in with the other kids and get away, that his master plan didn't work. he was apprehended by law enforcement and the benefit of that is from what i'm hearing is that he is talking to law enforcement and so they may be able to determine exactly what his motive was and that's where law enforcement goes at this point. >> tom and darryn, i'm going to ask you to stay right where you are. we're taking a look at where we expect to see this news conference happen at any moment. this be will be the first time today that officials will step to the microphone on the suspected shooter. on the victims, and perhaps the identities as well.
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what can a president [ do in thirty seconds? he can fire an fbi director who won't pledge his loyalty. he can order the deportation of a million immigrant children. he can threaten an unstable dictator armed with nuclear weapons. he can go into a rage and enter the nuclear launch codes. how bad does it have to get before congress does something? any minute now will hear from the broward county officials. we'll get an update on that deadly school shooting. here's what we know so far. the suspect has been identified as 19-year-old nikolas cruz. he will be making his first court appearance in about three hours from now early afternoon. he's been charged with 17 counts
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of premeditated murder. officials say cruz was expelled from school just recently for disciplinary reasons and some of his fellow students are now saying he was troubled. they used to joke about something exactly like this happening about cruz walking in and shooting up the school, clearly warning signs and red flags abounded. tammy leitner is joining us live from parkland, florida. you're just in front of where this news front is expect to happen. what are you seeing? >> reporter: we know that two doctors who treated the teachers and the students will be speaking here in just a few moments. we're expecting to get update on the condition of those people that are still in the hospital. there are 14 of them. we do know that all of the 17 victims have been identified but none of those names have been released yet. they have to notify all of the families. we also know the superintendent will be speaking most likely will be learning a little bit more about the timeline of how this happened. we now know that nikolas cruz
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who was 19 years old took an uber to the school, according to the superintendent, and he pulled the fire alarm. we're being told it was to draw students out and that he did fire some shots outside of the classrooms there and then he reportedly ran inside the classrooms following students inside. he knew that some of the students were hiding in there and he went looking for them. roaming these hallways that he knew so well because as you remember he was a former student there. halle? >> so he obviously knew the school well, tammy. he knew how to get there and get around once he was there. can you give me a sense of where you are in relation to the school in parkland? >> reporter: yeah. we're only a couple of blocks. we're not very far. it's all connected and this whole area was actually corned off and is still blocked off. this is where most of the parents showed up yesterday when i arrived at the scene. i can tell you, it was a much different atmosphere than it is today. parents arrived and they were stopped, their cars along
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theside of the road, hugging each other, crying, trying to desperately frantically find their kids. many of them had not seen their kids, a couple of them had spoken with their kids, received text messages from their kids while they were still in the school. as you and i know after covering many of these school shootings, unfortunately too many of them, it's standard procedure to take each and every one of these kids who saw something, might have seen something, might have known the shooter and question each one of them separately and to do that before too much time passes obviously before reuniting them with their parents. obviously hours can pass and these anxious parents just wanted to see their loved ones. >> and investigators tammy, are still there. they're still talking with survivors, with students, with family members and that is the expectation of what we'll hear in a couple minutes when the officials at this news conference step to the mic. there are more stories we're
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hearing about -- we talked about it a little bit before about the heroes and the people who stepped in front of these bullets to protect these kids. people like this football coach that we're learning more about, tammy. >> reporter: arguably, i think there could be two types of heroes here. there are the teachers that so bravely guided these students to safety, the football coach as you mentioned who shielded his own body two other students with his own body but then there's also the heroes who are the parents. i spoke with one parent yesterday who was on the phone with her 14-year-old son texting for the entire hour, telling him, take safety, you know, take cover, hide in the corner, hide underneath a desk. she kept him calm. she texted with him the entire hour so i think a lot of these parents are heroes as well. >> tammy, that's a great point. a lot of these parents who were sitting there wondering where their kids were, getting text messages from their kids. ali was talking about this at
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the top of the show. letting their parents know they were okay, and if they didn't make it out that they loved them and that they cared about them and that is what so striking and chilling about something like this. >> reporter: as you can imagine, these parents were frantic, here they are having to wonder what's going on and if their kids are safe and yet they're trying to keep their kids calm and have them take cover. they're not able to talk to them as you know in your situation. you don't talk to them because you might alert the shooter to where you are and so most of the time they'll send text messages and they'll do it very quietly and while these kids are hiding out in the school presumably waiting for the shooter to leave and the police to come and tell them it's okay to walk out of the school. >> and tammy, you're standing there in front of where this news conference is set to begin. ali is not too far from where you are. ali been broadcasting on the ground all morning long. tell us what you're seeing from
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your vantage point and the people you're talking to. >> reporter: there are a lot of people around here who are coming obviously to be interviewed because they were in the school but otherwise no one else is around here except for police. we're frequently seeing police cars, other investigators, city officials coming in through here. these are police lines. right behind me there's a police line. we can't go any further back. a lot of people going back and forth to the school, investigating. they have a pretty good considered of what happened in the school because there was so many witnesses and as you were just saying, there's a lot of cell phone video, shell casings all over the place. they got a good picture of it. a lot of the investigation is moving into why. what did people know? what warning signs were there from nikolas cruz to indicate that this might happen? and personal, there were warning signs. you just heard there was a statement put out by the attorney general to say we can't arrest anybody that everybody thinks is dangerous, but if the question is did we know how dangerous this young man would be? he was expelled for keeping
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ammunition in a backpack and for getting into fights last year. police have a pretty good handle of what happened at the school behind me. >> we're taking another live look at what appears to be a group of people walking to the microphones as we await this news conference now. the governor, you seem him there, governor rick scott followed by other officials from the school and the sheriff's office. we know this is going to be beginning right now presumably. we'll stay with this. tammy leitner on the scene. there's some critical questions that we still don't know that we may get answers to now. the status of some of the victims who are still in the hospital, some of them in critical condition. the identification of some of the victims killed in this shooting as well as more on the suspected gunman. we'll listen in to this news conference live happening right now in florida. it looks as though governor scott will be stepping to the microphones as well as the sheriff. let's listen. >> good morning. today's not any easier than
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yesterday was. all the victims' families have been notified. we will be releasing a list of those that lost their lives yesterday. they will be released throughout pio in a very short period of time but all the families have been notified. our detectives worked through the night on this very daunting and challenging task but it had to be done. it was the right thing to do and they worked tirelessly. this community is hurting right now. there's going to be a lot of conversations over the next couple of days and weeks and i'm going to be very animated about what i think this country can do to possibly prevent these tragedies in the future. today's a day of healing and mourning. suspect is in custody. he will be appearing before his first magistrate today at
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2:00 p.m. at the courthouse. this morning we will -- we begun working with the fbi and you'll be hearing from the special agent in charge of the fbi in a few minutes. we're also working with the florida department of law enforcement on the direction of troy walker. we will interview every single student or every person in that school that possibly knew something or might not know they know something. they will be thoroughly debriefed and we will make sure that we're able to prosecute this case, the suspect's been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and law enforcement will do everything we can, the fbi, ourselves to make sure that this person is convicted of all charges and that justice is served. sadly, there have been copycat threats made today at other
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schools. we will respond to every threat, every threat we receive, we will not classify it as a copycat or frank call. we will respond in full and investigate it. any call that is made fictitiously, any fake call, any call that's made to take out resources at a time like this and place them in places where we don't need to be, we will do the full power of the sheriffs office will investigate this and charge any one accordingly with the maximum charge we possibly could for doing something so horrific, so pathetic. governor scott is going to come up and speak and then you're going to hear from special agent in charge of the fbi. i'll return to the microphone and answer some questions. i think it's noteworthy that at our next press conference i will
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be releasing a timeline based on investigation and video that we've captured as to what happened yesterday and i'd like to take you through it in chronological order. we're not ready to do that at this time but when we are, we will be back here and we will release that. now, i'd like to introduce florida's governor, rick scott. >> thank you, sheriff. i want to thank everybody in the sheriff's department for all their hard work to make sure, one, this individual is -- we have justice and, two, to make sure this never happens again. i think everybody up here is going to say the same thing. our hearts sk s and prayers are the families. the families that lost a loved ones. other families have loved ones in the hospital. i had the opportunity to visit with some of the families last night. also, we want to make sure this never happens again. next week in tallahassee, i'm going to sit down with state leaders. we're going to have a real conversation about two things.
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how do we make sure when a parent is ready to send their child to school, that in florida, that parent knows that child is going to be safe? number two, how do we make sure that individuals with mental illness do not touch a gun? we need to have a real conversation so we have public safety for our schools in this state. i've spoken with the speaker, richa richard corcoran. they're committed to providing the resources and having a real conversation about how do we make sure we have a public safety. i want to make sure my children, my grandchildren, yours, everybody in this state, can wake up and be safe. i'm going to stay here and do everything i can. i know all the state resources are going to do that here. the attorney general and everybody is going to work with the school district, the sheriff's department, to do everything we can going forward. the violence has to stop. we cannot lose another child in
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this country to violence in a school. there's many families grieving right now. we've got to grieve with them, mourn with them but give them their space. there will be a time they'll want to sit down and tell their story. right now, as you talk to individuals, and we went through this, they want their own time to grieve. i want to thank everybody from the sheriff's department to the federal government for everybody they're doing, the school district, for everybody they're doing to keep people safe. i want to thank the attorney general for the victim advocates coming down here to be helpful. >> good morning. i'm rob lasike, special agent in charge of the miami division of the fbi. first of all, i want to express my heartfelt condolences to the victims, the families, the friends, the entire community who suffered this senseless and cowardly act. the fbi continues to stand by the broward county sheriff's
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office, support them and give them every resource they need to investigate this heinous crime. in 2017, the fbi received information about a comment made on a youtube channel. the comment simply said, i'm going to be a professional school shooter. no other information was included with the comment, which would indicate a time, location or the true identity of the person who made the comment. the fbi conducted database reviews, checks but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment. again, as a native south floridian, my heart goes out to the victims, the families and friends and the entire community. thank you. >> i'd like to bring up our superintendent of schools. >> again, and we can't say this
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enough, every minute of the day is focusing on how we can support our families, our students and our staff as we work through this horrific situation. we have provided grief counselors at several locations for our students. two in parkland. two in coral springs. you know, we are doing everything we can to make sure that we are supporting our students. we are also providing grief counselors on site for students and staff at west glades middle school, which is near here. we're providing guidance to all our schools on how to have conversations with our students on this topic. i will tell you that students have been reaching out to me, reaching out to staff, probably board members and others, saying
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that now, now is the time for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws in this country. our students are asking for that conversation, and i hope we can get it done in this generation. if we don't, they will. the second thing i would say, and the governor eluded to it, something we can do now, that we can get done in this legislative session, is some real funding for mental health support for our youth and organizations in our community so we can properly provide the right kind of interventions. we should not have disconnected youth wandering around with our communities when we know they need additional support. i've been on the phone with members of the legislature. they're going to work with the leaders there and the governor to substantially increase the amounts that are being put on the table right now for mental health services so we can have more counselors, more psychologists, more family
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counselors, caseworkers in our schools. it is absolutely, absolutely needed. the last thing i would say is that there have been a lot of inquiries as to where individuals can provide support. i want to thank everyone in the broward community and around this country for your continued thoughts and prayers, acts of kindness that we see minute by minute. there is a gofundme account that's been set up. as we talked about yesterday, there have been a lot of fraudulent type of activities set up out there. we worked to establish something that's credible. gofundme account. stoneman douglas fund, it's called. again, it's gofundme, stoneman douglas fund, which folks can make contributions. again, please keep our babies, our families and this entire community in your prayers as we go through this healing process. it's going to take quite a while for us to be able to deal with
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this. we're going to do everything we can. every day, create the greatest amount of flexibility we can to be sure we're supporting our families. you want i want to thank our law enforcement, the fbi, the first responders. they have been tremendous. i want to acknowledge heros in our schools. we had an athletic director, campus monitor, who responded immediately when there were signs of trouble in the school. unfortunately, those two heros gave their lives for our kids and probably helped prevent this from being a worse tragedy than it is today. we need to acknowledge the heros in our schools every single day. our teachers, our educators who are not only ensuring that our kids are learning and developing the skills they need for a bright future, but they love them and treat them as if they're their own children. they put their lives on the line every day. that is another thing we need to do, figure out how to better
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compensate and reward teachers in this country, and not just give list leless service to the quality they provide. thank you. >> as i said yesterday, when our attorney general found out about this tragedy, having dealt with the pulse nightclub and having a lot of expertise in this area, unfortunately, she got on a plane and she was down here within hours and helped out and has begun to help a lot of our families out. i'd like to bring her up and tell you about the great things they're doing to help out families in parkland. >> thank you, sheriff. thank you, governor. thank you, special agent lasike. last night, there were two scenes going on. one at the actual crime scene, and broward sheriff's office and fbi were second to none. they were unbelievable, what they did. the crime scene from a prosecution point of view was meticulously detailed, processed, and it took as long
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as needed to make sure it was thur r thoroughly and accurately processed. the other scene was a the hotel where we were with the family members. having to tell, with the fbi advocates and my advocates, that a child, some 14 years old, is dead, is one of the hardest things you have to do in your career. these parents, tremendous families, are grieving. again, please respect their privacy. we were there until about 3:30 in the morning with these families. many of them had siblings who were in the school and survived, then a brother or a sister did not. extremely tragic. we will continue to pray for the families and justice is done for the one that brutally, brutally murdered all of these students. my job now will continue to be to help the victims and the
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families. we've got ton aten to all of th victims who have lost loved ones, to be sure we can help pay for funeral expenses. if you are in the hospital with your family, we will be coming to you today to help you to make sure we help with your hospital bills so you have nothing to worry about there. we also will be on scene with the fbi and with the superintendent, who has done a great job. our advocates will be there to provide counseling. what we saw in las vegas, what we saw at pulse, people who we don't think were impacted were impacted. so we're going to provide counseling for all of them. i was on the phone until about 2:00 a.m. with gofundme and again this morning. it is safe to give to gofundme. they're pulling off bad swebsits and monitoring everything. one of the top people at gofundme knew a victim. that's how far-reaching this is. there is going to be one unified site. pl

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