tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC February 15, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
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. please don't be afraid to give
to gofundme and all of the victims and their families will be protected. again, governor, i cannot thank you for your support. we've been on the phone constantly. he was here the second this happened. i can't thank you, fdle, the sheriff's office and the fbi enough. this is what you don't see around the country. you see teamwork. that's what happens in florida. that's what makes us very special. thank you. >> before we take questions, i'd like to also thank congressman ted deutch for coming down from washington, d.c. the elected officials from parkland and around the county. my message to the community, to broward county, is simple. your elected officials, your commissioners, your state reps, your state senators, make sure these are people that aren't worrying about saving money. this is a time to save lives.
we need more law enforcement. we need more deputies. this isn't the time to worry about how many dollars might be saved if we don't have a deputy here or a police officer here. this is nationwide. we need more heros, more first responders, not less first responders. i know many states have different terms to help our mentally ill. we all pray for our mentally ill. we pray for them to recover. we all know someone or a family who is affected by someone suffering from a mental illness. the baker act in florida allows law enforcement or medical professionals to confine a person involuntarily while they get examined and looked at. you have to have a reason. you have to be able to articulate that they're a threat to themselves or a threat to someone else. what i'm asking our lawmakers to
do, go back to places like tallahassee, places like washington, d.c., and give police the power. if they see something on social media, if they see graphic pictures of rifles and blood and gore and guns and bombs, if they see something, horrific language, see a person talking about, i want to grow up to be a serial killer, we need to have the power to take that power and bring them before mental health professionals at that particular time, involuntarily, and have them examined. people are going to be rightfully so concerned about their rights, as am i. what about the rights of these students? what about the rights of young kids who go to schools with bookbags and pencils? don't they have the right to be protected by the united states government, to the best of our ability? that's what we will be going. any questions? >> sheriff, what about the condition of the people that have been injured? >> coach feis. >> who are the heros? >> i don't know about the
incident yet or what actually his performance was, but i know aaron personally. i coached with him. my two boys played for him. i don't know when the funeral is, but you'll get 2,000 kids there. the kids loved him, adored him. he was one of the greatest people i knew. phenomenal man. i don't know the specifics yet, but i can tell you what, when aaron feis died, when he was killed tragically, inhumanely, he did it protecting others. you can guarantee that. that's who aaron feis was. >> tell us about the condition of those injured. what were the extent? >> we are fortunate today to have our doctors who work so tirelessly and saved so many lives yesterday. we're going to bring up one of our doctors to speak about some of those questions and answer the questions.
doctor? >> good afternoon. dr. evan boyer, director and chairman of the department of emergency medicine at broward health north. i also have our colleagues from broward health main here. the three of us collectively, hopefully, could answer some of those questions. so for starters, just because we're medical professionals doesn't mean we're numb to the emotions. we send out our sympathy to all of the families involved. the worst thing as a parent is if your kid doesn't come home from school that day. hits home pretty hard. we sympathize for them. with that being said, nowadays, unfortunately, we do drills for this. nine months ago, we did a drill at our facility specifically for an active shooter. when it becomes a live event, we can work seamlessly with fire
rescue in order to ensure patient safety. i want to commend the hospital personnel yesterday for all of their efforts and the efforts at broward health north, broward health main and coral springs medical center got a couple patients, as well. specifically to broward health north, then i'll turn it over to dr. menendez about broward health main, broward health north, we had a total of nine patients. one was the suspect, treated and released. we had two patients deceased. three patients have been discharged. we currently have three patients in the hospital. one with an extremity wound, who is doing well and working with physical therapy. another patient who is still i think incubated after penetratipenetrat penetrating trauma to the chest, but is doing well and following commands. another patient in critical
condition. >> i'm dr. menendez. yesterday was a tragedy that we all as a team took care of the patients. we are a facility who received seven patients. now we have two patients in critical to stable condition. the other five are on their way home, and they're, you know, in good condition. the other two in stable condition. my trauma surgeon was dealing with them. if you have questions about those, you can ask. >> i'm the trauma director at the med sical center. unfortunately, this is the second such episode we have had in a year, which is very sad. the first thing i want to say is that this second time around, just like the first time around, the first responders did a terrific job. for those of you who understand what we do in trauma, tame isimf the essence. the delivery of the patients by the ems personnel was fantastic
yesterday. it made a huge difference in the outcomes. as dr. menendez said, we received seven patients. one was discharged last night. we had one that was in critical condition that went to surgery. we had two more stable patients that also required surgery. we have -- out of the six left in the hospital, we're hoping to be able to send home two of them today. i'm expecting them to fully recover. i'll be happy to take any questions. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> we do not know if it is the same person. we did our database check and could not positively identify him. we're going back and scrubbing the information, looking at it again. i'm not willing to say it was one and the same person. >> sheriff --
>> -- specifically targeted? is there any indication that someone was specifically targeted that started all of this? >> not at this time. that's certainly a possibility. as i said earlier, the fbi, the florida department of law enforcement and broward sheriff's office will be working conjunctively to interview as many people as we can so, down the road, we can uncover this information. right now, it is no more than a possibility. >> do you know how he entered the building? >> that'll be -- we will speak about that. we do know about that. at our next press conference, i'll take the media through a timeline and talk about video tapes. we'll match up video with the realtime information, things we know, and we'll dissimulate that. >> how did he receive the weapons? >> what can you tell us about [ inaudible ]. >> we're not going to release that until later today, if we do at all today.
that's something that alcohol, tobacco and firearms investigators are trying to track down, the history of this weapon. we believe we know where the weapon was purchased, where the weapon came from, but it is being pieced together. that will be something that we will discuss at the appropriate time. >> governor -- >> sheriff -- >> -- shootings last year and now this tragic shooting. what can you tell the people of broward county can be done? >> i talk about this all the time. it is not a phrase, it's not a term, it's the way we have to live our lives in circa 2018. if we see something, we need to say something. if the neighbor comes home every friday at 4:00 and he or she is always carrying a grocery bag, milk and eggs sticking out, and the last two fridays they've gone maybe to a range and come back with bullets in the bag on fridays, it is a change in behavior. that's different. it is something we need to know about. you're our eyes and ears. one community member who sees
something can do more in a one-minute phone call sometimes than law enforcement can do in a month. if you know somebody that says, this raises a red flag, i was thinking of calling us. don't think about it. call us. call the fbi, the florida law enforcement, the broward sheriff's office. if you have -- if there is something in your gut that tells you something is not right with this person, this person has the capabilities in my mind to do this or do that, please don't remain silent. let us know about it. >> can you explain why he was expelled? >> -- knew about his problems all the way back through middle school. he had an extended disciplinary record. was he on the school district's radar? what was done about it? he was expelled from the high school. >> you know, as a school district, we have to protect the
privacy of our students. i can't go into much detail at all about the student's record and personal information. i will tell you that it was a former student at stoneman douglas. because of issues that arose here, he was transferred to another school within the county. >> was it a troubled school? >> again, i'm not privileged to provide that information at the moment. it is a student that we have been providing supports for and recognize there certainly were challenges there. the specifics i can't get into. as far as the student coming on campus, this particular individual came on the campus at the time of dismissal. that is an open time for the campus. he entered the facility at that moment. that's -- >> are you aware of a potential
problem, having a disciplinary record, having been expelled, if the district knew he was out there and caused problems in the past -- >> let me just say this. when we have students within our care in the district, we provide the services that we can provide them. this is bigger than just the school system. our kids are out of our schools 2/3 of the time they're up. we need a community-wide approach to helping our students with challenges and mental health concerns. again, we've got to invest resources to make sure we minimize the occurrence of this ever happening again. if we don't, it's not a matter of if, it's going to be when. >> sir, do you know if there was a psychological trigger with this student for this event? >> i have no idea. >> governor -- >> sheriff -- >> the other staffer -- >> where are you in the
processing? >> there are some bodies still in the school. there is a medical -- right now, the focus of the fbi and the broward sheriff's office is on the successful prosecution of this killer. we're not going to leave any stone unturned. we're trying to process this as quickly as we can. dme is involved. investigators are involved. there is science dna and a plethora of things. we want to go fast, but we're not going to rush it. we're going to get it right before we get it fast. that's what's going on right now. >> sheriff -- >> governor scott -- >> does your -- >> is there a real conversation about -- >> say it again. >> do the students in the school know who to report concerns to? if they were concerned a about the a classmate, is there a protocol or system or something -- >> i'm sure there is. i mean -- >> did he cooperate? >> he wasn't enrolled in -- >> there is a process. get ahold of teachers, parents,
make calls to crimestoppers. if somebody knows something, there is ample way to say yes. >> governor scott, is there a wayhad a school resource deputy on campus. he was armed. he never encountered -- at this point, the only thing i can tell you definitively is he never encountered cruz. >> will we have a real conversation about how to prevent something like this from happening? does the real conversation include gun control? will it be something they'll look into? >> the two things i want to focus on when i have this conversation next week with state leaders is i want to focus on school safety. it'll focus on dollars. it's going to focus, as the superintendent said, on mental health dollars. it'll focus on, what are the things we can do in regard to school safety? on top of that, if somebody is mentally ill, they should not have access to a gun.
i want to focus on both of those things. i've spoken to the speaker of the house and the senate president. they're receptive to having the conversation about school safety. all of us have children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews. none of us want anything like this to happen again. let me also say anything i should have said in spanish earlier. [ speaking spanish ] >> is he meantally ill, is it a diagnosis? >> i think it is a pretty good assumption to start out with. yes? >> governor, thank you.
the conversations you're planning to have, how would they be different? >> right. let's remember this, first off, pulse was a terrorist attack. after pulse, we put -- i asked for money, legislature supported, adding more counterterrorism experts through our core department law enforcement. we added 46 additional counterterrorism experts. we did that. in this case, we have to think about all of our schools have to be safe. as simple as that. how do we do that? it is going to be funding. it's going to be for mental illness, counselors, security. on top of that, we have to say to ourselves, if we have somebody mentally ill, they can't have access to a gun. look, i'm open to having a conversation about things because i don't want my children, your children, my grandchildren, your grandchildren, ever go through this. i don't want a parent to say, i have to teach you now when you
start kindergarten, you have to learn how to be careful about a shooter. it's not the society we want to live in. >> is he cooperating -- >> also, we have out here today -- i'm flanked by many of our school board members, our elected officials on the board. a host of them. we appreciate them being out here. we're going to make sure they're part of the conversations, too, because they deeply care about the students and this community. i'm glad to see them here today. few more questions. >> what as crhas krooud saicrui point? >> we're not going to report any of that yet. >> the see or hear something suspicious. what could you legally have done about the fact that [ inaudible ]? >> if he legally owned a gun, we couldn't do anything about arresting him for having the gun because you used the word "legally." we can certainly follow up.
we can go to visit him. whether he legally owns a gun or not, if we think a red flag goes up and that there's something not right, and we think this person has a propensity to do a horrific act, i think police all over this nation need to be empowered to take that person and medically deliver him or her to a medical facility where they can be examined. thank you for your time. we'll be back in about an hour. >> that one hour? i'm ali velshi here in parkland, florida, where we have just been listening to the broward sheriff's office and the local -- sheriff, mayor, governor of florida, delivering the latest news on this tragedy that took place at the school behind me. we know 17 confirmed dead, 15 in hospital, 5 in critical
condition and a man under arrest. a 19-year-old who was a student from this school. this is incredibly tragic, stephanie. this is three times in the year you and i have been together where one of us or both of us have been on the site of a mass shooting. it is the 18th school shooting alone this year. this is the scene now. this is a town that many people didn't know about that's now a part of history, parkland, florida, stephanie. >> ali, one thing that i heard over and over, whether it was from the police officials, whether it was from rick scott, talking about needing resources, needing information. here's the issue, ali velshi, they have the information about this young man. the school knew it. local law enforcement knew it. the deceased adopted mother of this shooter knew it. students who you actually spoke to said, we predicted this would happen with this kid. >> yup. >> on social media, he had posted, i want to one day be a
professional school shooter. it's not about warning signs. the warning signs were there. it's about laws which will allow law enforcement to take action. as important as it is to know the signs, they knew the signs with this young man. as important as it is to pray and send condolences to the families, it needs to be more than that at this point. i'm already seeing people squabble on social media, what counts as a school shooting? it wasn't exactly 18 school shootings this year. well, it absolutely was. 25 since columbine. every day, the one place we send our children when they're out of our care is to their schools, where we hope and pray and believe -- >> they're supposed to be safe. >> exactly right. >> that's the place you worry about how you kids get to school and how they get back from school. that's where you think the danger is. you worry about what they do after school. that's where they can get into trouble, but you're not supposed to think during the school hours, when your children are at school, on school property, that
they are in danger. that is what shatters america every time we have one of these discussions. stephanie, we've had too many of them because people all say it, and i'm going to introduce you to people in a few minutes, everybody says the same thing, why can't we have laws in place that protect people from this? when we think something is going to happen. few times do we report on something where there were no clues, there was no way to deal with it, and we have to think about what happens when people, whether they're mentally ill or they are aspirational about doing this type of thing, have some easy access to weapons. you and i step in it when we say it, because people say we're in above our skis, but there are lots of regular americans who think we are out of control with gun use, gun carrying and gun ownership in this country. let's tune in for the president of the united states now for his comments. we'll come back here after that. >> my fellow americans, today i speak to a nation in grief.
yesterday, a school filled with innocent children and caring teachers became the scene of terrible violence, hatred and evil. around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, police responded to reports of gunfire at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. a great and safe community. there, a shooter, who is now in custody, opened fire on defenseless students and teachers. he murdered 17 people and badly wounded at least 14 others. our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the
victims and their families. to every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you. whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. we are all joined together as one american family. your suffering is our burden, also. no child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an american school. no parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them good-bye in the morning. each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them. a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential
and promise. each one had dreams to pursue, love to give and talents to share with the world. and each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world. today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives. we comfort the grieving and the wounded. and we hurt for the entire community of parkland, florida, that is now in shock and pain and searching for answers. to law enforcement, first responders and teachers who responded so bravely in the face of danger, we thank you for your courage. soon after the shooting, i spoke with governor scott to convey our deepest sympathies to the people of florida and our
determination to assist in any way that we can. i also spoke with florida attorney general pam bondi and broward county sheriff scott israel. i'm making plans to visit parkland, to meet with families and local officials and to continue coordinating the federal response. in these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to god's word in scripture, i have heard your prayer and seen your tears. i will heal you. we trust in that promise, and we hold fast to our fellow americans in their time of sorrow. i want to speak now directly to america's children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared. i want you to know that you are never alone and you never will
be. you have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you. if you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. answer hate with love. answer cruelty with kindness. we must also work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life that creates deep and meaningful human connections and that turns classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors. our administration is working closely with local authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. we are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle
the difficult issue of mental health. later this month, i will be meeting with the nation's governors and attorney generals. we're making our schools and our children safer. it'll be our top priority. it is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. we must actually make that difference. in times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community and country. these bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil. and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need. so, always, but especially today, let us hold our loved ones close. let us pray for healing and for
peace. and let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow. thank you and god bless you all. thank you very much. >> all right. president of the united states announcing that he will actually be coming to parkland, florida. it's not terribly far from mar-a-lago. we're in the same part of south florida where that is. he will be coming to this community. saying a lot of interesting things, stephanie. quoting scripture in which -- 2 kings, i've heard your prayers. i've seen your tears. i will heal you. but not a lot of answers to what went on. remember, people knew about the trouble that the man who has been arrested for these shootings was going through. so he was able to buy a gun. we confirmed the gun was purchased in broward county within the last year. i want to get some reaction,
steph, from some people here on the ground with me. isabella gomez is a 10th grade student here. she was here when this happened yesterday. she's unfortunately lost friends. alicia has been teaching for 18 years here. isabella, you were in class yesterday. tell me what happened. >> we were in class, and it was a normal day. the fire alarm went off. we thought nothing of it. i just thought, wow, this is a really late fire drill. so we all started rushing outside. people were screaming. we were like, oh, my gosh, maybe it is a real fire. we started going down the back staircase to the second floor. once we reached there, you hear these loud, like, pop, pop, pop, at least three. so i was about to grab the door. i turn around and we all started running. as soon as we were on our way up to the third floor, you just hear the guy open the back staircase door where we were and
shooting, screaming. we ran into our classrooms and dove in as soon as we closed the door. i don't know who couldn't maker saw, but you heard the shooting and screaming. >> you and i were looking at videos. it was tragic. you passed by people who had been shot. >> bodies were just there. >> did you know immediately what was happening when you heard the pop, pop, pop noise? >> no. i thought it was like -- we've been having a lot of drills lately. they've been strict. the teachers have been -- >> about an active shooter? >> code reds, code blacks, fire drill, all that. i thought in the beginning, we were doing a fire drill, they were trying to scare us. i heard they did it at another school. they started making noises but it was fake, to see if the drills and all that stuff. so i was like, no, way, but i wasn't going to stand there and wait to see if it was a drill. i just ran. i was so confused. guys, it's a gun. everyone get in the room. we were taking care of each other.
we dove in the back of the room in the corner and waited. we just covered our ears. it was insane. >> alicia, there was a conflict because there was an active shooter warning that went out and then a fire drill. those two things would cause you to behave differently with your students, about locking doors and evacuating versus staying in place. >> absolutely. what happened first, there was the fire alarm, which was a little bit odd because we had had a drill earlier on in the day. i thought it was a little bit odd. it was about 2:15 in the afternoon which, you know, the last half hour of school for the drill to go off again. we were already outside. it was my planning period, so i didn't have kids in the room with me. i evacuated from my room and went out to the front of the school, which is our zone where we're supposed to go. one of the administrators came out screaming, you know, code red, code red, everyone get inside. get inside. you know, one of the pe coaches also screaming loudly. we all just started running.
i grabbed as many kids as i could. you know, the kids didn't really know where to go. i sort rcorralled as many as i myself and the other spanish teachers that were with me because it is sort of our zone. we corralled them into the auditorium. i guess we had maybe, i would say, somewhere around 250 kids in there and maybe about nine or ten teachers and a couple of guidance counselors. the guidance counselors were wonderful in there. the school staff did a great job of trying to get these kids to safety, as much as they could. you know, with the information they had. i guess, from my understanding, the fire alarm went off because once he started shooting, the smoke set off the fire alarm, but he was already in the building. i guess the most frightening part was that, you know, they asked us to get down into the auditorium. what was most frightening for me was watching these kids, you know, texting their parents, telling their parents they love
them, you know, crying and trying to comfort them. at the same time -- >> trying to figure out how to stay alive. >> fearing for myself and thinking about my own kids. you know, it was a horrific scene. you know, douglas, like i said, i've been at douglas 18 years. it is a fabulous school. we're positive. we're passionate. we're proud to be eagles. that's our motto. we have such fabulous kids, you know. kids that are there to learn, to educate themselves. we have talented students. we have, you know, an award-winning band. we have kids that win national science awards. we have kids that go on to ivy league schools. i mean, douglas is a wonderful school. for these kids who were there, at the last half hour of school, to get an education, for this to happen, it's just so unfair. it's just so wrong. we need to do something. >> well, the president -- >> we need to do something as a society. >> the president said, we are here for you.
whatever you need. whatever we can do to ease your pain. what did you think of the president's comments? >> i mean, i really don't think there is anything he could do. he said that if something is happening, go to your teacher. what could our teachers do in that situation, rather than save themselves, just as we were? i feel like he really needs to take into consideration all of the gun control. there's no reason that a kid, 19 years old, that's been investigated already, not even a year ago, being able to purchase an ar-15 in broward county, right here. he only got expelled. they didn't even put him into a hospital, nothing more like mental health, nothing. something needs to be taken care of. i don't know. >> alicia, you talked to this man, nikolas cruz, probably four years ago. >> he was a sophomore, yes. >> what do you know of him? >> i remember him being a very quiet student. he has a hispanic background. i remember that he didn't really
like to speak spanish too much. i think there was some pride issue there. he didn't feel comfortable in his own skin, in his own culture. he was very quiet. he sometimes turned in assignments, sometimes not. i tried to, you know, break him a little bit and try to get into him a little bit and ask him questions. hey, what's going on with you? i believe he was in jrotc at the time. sometimes he'd come in in uniform. i communicated a couple of times with the jrotc professor and said, you know, hey, what's going on with this kid? i know the members of jrotc are usually very disciplined students. >> it was unusual for him not to be disciplined. >> right. very out of character. you know, i remember him physically. you know, small in stature. nice looking kid but very quiet.
>> did you know him? >> i'd see him around school all the time. he was just a really strange kid. actually, they wouldn't let him bring a backpack to school. he had to bring like a ziploc bag. he's always wear bandanas. he'd walk in the weirdest way, he'd stare at you. i got into an argument with him last year. we bumped into each other, and he pushed me. i was like, what are you doing? he stormed off. he was strange. i used to say, he looks like no good. >> were you one of those kids who was calling or texting their parents? what did you say to them? >> i called my mom. i texted my brother, daniel, i love you. if i don't make it home, i'm sorry. know i love you. thank you for everything. i called my mom. mom, there is a school shooter. i don't know if i'm going to make it out. i'm hiding behind a desk. i never thought i'd have to say it to my mom.
i felt bad. there was not good signal in the freshman building. it is really bad, on the third floor. i was losing connection. all they were hearing was that i was in a shooting. my dad didn't really understand what was going on. he just thought there was a shooter and then he sees the news, the cops everywhere. my brother is rushing over here. i just thought it was my last day yesterday. i didn't think i was going to make it out. >> it is a thought no student should have to have in their school. it's a text and phone call no parent should have to receive. i'm sorry for what you've been through, but thank you for sharing your views and tells us about what you saw happen. both of you. alicia blonde is a long-time teacher here at the school. isabella gomez is a student here. steph? >> my goodness, ali. these students, so eloquent and so mature, in this time of tragedy. as with most tragedies -- >> you had a similar conversation in the 9:00 hour with a young man. the wisdom that comes out of these kids when they ask us, why are these problems not solved
and why are there not better laws in place? the things i can hope for is these are the kids who will lead us into the future and they'll do something our generation hasn't been able to do. >> that is one thing, ali. after speaking to david earlier, after listening to the teacher and student you just spoke to, it gives me hope in our future. i want to talk about reaction from washington though. as with most tragedies, of course, we're hearing from lawmake lawmakers. it is no different. louisiana republican, senator bill cassidy, tweeted his sympathy and prayers, saying his heart goes out to the victims and families. according to the non-partisan center for responsive politics, the nra spent more than $2.8 million on cassidy throughout his career. that includes campaign funding and ads attacking his opponents. ohio republican senator rob portman tweeted about the heartbreaking news, sending his prayers. prayers are important. portman also has benefitted from $3 billi3 million in support fr
national rifle association. iowa republican asked for prayers and thanked the first responders. they deserve thanks. but the nra boosted her election efforts to the tune of $3.1 million. florida senator marco rube cio,o sought the presidential position, he tweeted, a terrible day you pray never comes. his campaign benefitted from $3.3 million in funding in opposition attacks thanked to the national rifle association. colorado senator cory gardner tweeted his heartbreak for the situation and prayers for the first responders. but the $3.9 million of nra funds have been spent to boost his campaign and attack his opponents. arizona republican and a great american john mccain tweeted his
prayers just a short time ago. the national rifle association has spent more than $7.7 million on john mccain, the most of any lawmaker by far. florida governor rick scott ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff, calling the shooting a senseless tragedy. scott, who is up for re-election this year, enjoys an a plus rating from the national rifle association. vice president mike pence tweeted about heart acache and prayers in the wake of the shooting. he has an a rating with the nra and enacted a number of laws as governor of indiana, including legislation allowing firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property. president trump tweeted his prayers, adding, no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an american school. well, nra spent more than $21 million supporting president trump in his 2016 election.
almost $10 million in ads and other pro-trump material. $12 million attacking hillary clinton. the thoughts and prayers are with the victims. the dollars and cents are another story. msnbc's garrett haake is live on capitol hill. garrett, we've heard a lot about thoughts and prayers. we have heard from people like paul ryan. we've heard from ted cruz. we've heard from marco rubio. i know you've not had an opportunity to speak with them, but it already surprised me when paul ryan says, what a tragedy this is, but we cannot have a knee-jerk reaction. i'm confused how paul ryan defines knee-jerk, since nothing has happened since the 25 school attacks since columbine. since steve scalise was shot during a congressional baseball practice. since the pulse nightclub and vegas shootings. knee-jerk, i don't know the definition of. i know what jerks are. knew-jerk, i guess i'm unclear. what are you hearing?
>> reporter: stephanie, what tends to happen in these cases is congress gets caught up in the moment. they get caught up in the particular issue of any given shooting, and they start to act. then they stop. after newtown, remember, there was a whole conversation about improving the background check system. that lasted for weeks. it failed. after las vegas, we were talking about banning bump stocks. the conversation has gone essentially nowhere. after the shooting at the texas church, this was a conversation about improving the national instant criminal background check system. that actually did pass the house. it has languished in the senate. in each of the shootings, there has been this faint toward action among at least one house of congress. at the end of the day, nothing. so what you're starting to hear now, what i think is somewhat different about some of the other events, is a certain degree of moral outrage from some senators i've spoken to this morning, including kamala harris from california. take a listen. >> what i'm going to say is
going to sound harsh. as a prosecutor, for years, with homicide and being able to talk with the judge about it and a jury about it, i have to look at 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 smart gun safety laws. and we cannot tolerate a society and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered. >> reporter: stephanie, the question is, can that level of outrage be sustained, and can it be translated into anything on capitol hill? history says no. everyone here, i think, is hoping, perhaps, this time is
different. >> garrett, we've got to have more than conversations. it's certainly time for action. i think we need to bring some of those eloquent high school students from down in florida. maybe they need to take a visit to the hill. thanks so much, garrett. our continuing coverage of the deadly shooting continues next, live from parkland, florida. to give you an idea of how pervasive school shooters are in america, the "washington post" estimates that since columbine, which took place 19 years ago, more than 150,000 students in at least 170 schools have experienced a shooting on campus. please think about that. these are our children. you're watching "velshi & ruhle" on msnbc. in the southern tier is helping build the new new york. starting with advanced manufacturing that brings big ideas to life. and cutting-edge transportation development to connect those ideas to the world.
it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®. see what's possible. ali velshi, live in parkland, florida. the scene of america's latest school shooting. a place that i don't want to have to be, but we have to to cover these tragic stories that keep repeating themselves. joining me now is victoria, a sophomore at marjory stoneman douglas high school behind me, and her mother, tammy. thank you to both of you for being here. tell me what happened yesterday when you first realized there was something wrong. >> well, at first, the fire alarm went off. i thought it was just a fire alarm. i walked out of my class before my teacher did, and i was
walking. i walked down the stairs, and then there was people setaying o go back up the stairs. as i was going back to my class, they made us go us go into a re room. >> did you know they were gunshots? >> i kind of assumed because they kind of pushed us into the room. i was hearing gunshots and i didn't know like what was going on and i was just hearing on the walkie talkies like code red. >> you get trained for this. you have drills? >> yeah. >> when you hear code red, what are you supposed to do? >> we're supposed to go inside a
classroom and make sure the windows are blocked off and make sure the shooter wasn't able to see through the door. >> tammy, she texted you at some point. >> yes. in the beginning when she first heard the gunshots. >> what did she say and what did you think? >> i was in disbelief. i was like there can't be a shooter in parkland in her school. >> this is a quiet, unlike some other places in south florida that our viewers might be familiar with, this is a quiet residential town. >> very, very safe area to live in. i think it's one of the top ten. >> bordering the everglades. you didn't believe there would be a shooter. >> no, i didn't. when it carried it on and she was telling me she heard gunshots and teachers are freaking out, more or less tell her be safe, hide. cover yourself. it was within minutes and then as watching some of the tv you could hear that now all of a
sudden the media is coming onto it. before that it's like i got heads up. i feel lucky knowing she did text me knowing my daughter is safe as others don't know. >> at what point did you really feel like you were safe? were you feeling like this could go wrong or you had to be out of the school before you felt you were safe? >> at a point i felt really scared. i didn't know what to do. i was freaking out and texting my mom and my dad. i felt safe at a point when the swat team came in and took us out into another room. i felt safe because they're armed so god forbid if the shooter did come, they would be there with me so i'd be safe. they escorted us out of the the media center and we had to walk down the hallways by the stairs and at a point they told us to start running because we had to
run past the freshman building which is where the shooting took place. >> you were in the other buildinbuil building? >> yeah, next to it. >> it's small community but very big school, about 2900 students. you encountered this shooter back in middle school. >> he was in 8th grade when i was in 6th grade. >> would you have known there was anything unusual? >> he seemed kind of off for a while. he just was a weird kid. i had friends that would tell me he's weird. >> tammy, what are you feeling now? >> it does not seem real. for the adults it's like this happened. it doesn't seem like something that would happen to you when you're in it. >> it didn't seem real. tammy, victoria thank you. we hope this community heals. unfortunately, stephanie, that's what we hear every time we do
one of these things. it didn't seem real. why here. this isn't the kind of place this would happen. places like parkland, florida that have no claim to wanting to be piece of history are part of american history. >> i also worry that the message from our leadership, the message from our president to a community like that is empty. when the president says tell your faith leader, tell your teacher, tell a law enforcement official, they did that. they did that in this community and what could the teachers do. the young woman who you interviewed earlier, listen to the president's words and she said straight up what on earth could our teachers have done. >> this is operating another a level higher than what students and teachers can do.
>> this man was allowed to buy an ar-15 but not allowed to bring a backpack to school. that's how dangerous the school thought he was. i want to talk a bit more about that ar-15 which he bought legally. the national rifle association has called that gun the ar-15, the most popular rifle in america and believes americans own more than 8 million of them. it's also the weapon of choice in some of the america's deadliest mass shootings. a gunman used an ar-15 rifle and injure 70 more at a dark movie theater. it was used to kill 27 people including 20 school children. young school children.
some kindergarteners at sandy hook elementary school. the gun plman also killed his o mom. in june 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and more than 50 hurt when the gunman opened fire with an ar-15 and a semi-automatic pistol at the pulse nightclub in orlando, florida. just five months ago on october 1st a gunman used an ar-15 to kill a total of 58 and injure hundreds at a country music festival in las vegas. just five weeks later, that very rifle was used to kill 26 church goers in sutherland springs, texas. the victim included eight members of one family alone and the pastor's daughter. i want to bring in msnbc terrorism veteran. malcolm, parents across the
country deserve to send their kids to school and know they're safe. we need to find a solution to this. if we accept that people have guns, if we accept people have the right to bear arms, can you walk me through what an ar-15 is. for hunting super stars you must be some kind of lousy loser hunter if you need an ar-15 to get your target. >> an ar-15 is a civilian version of the military's automatic m-16. i own one which i use when i was in the military. for hunting hurps there's a few places it's used. in texas they hunt boar. it's become politicized. it's being turned into a -- they
call it the evil black rifle. something which liberals don't want them to have. the nra itself, which i was a member for years, has called the ar-15 the american minuteman rifle. after sandy hook people started to believe that. this was something you needed to acquire that was going to be banned by the government. >> from your estimation, malcolm, we're out of time. malcolm, thank you so much for joining me. i'm going to turn to my partner. >> it's a moment we normally enjoy in our show but today it's a tough one. honoring someone who may be deserving of more recognition. today it's aaron feis. the assistant football coach who died in the shooting.
he jumped between the students and the gunman to save them from the fire. he graduated from the school in 1999 and returned as a coach in 2002. he served as head coach of the jv team for eight seasons. a twitter account wrote it's with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of aaron feis. he was our assistant football coach and security guard. he selflessly shielded students from the shooter. he died a hero. he will forever be in our hearts and memories. thank you for watching. i'll be continuing our breaking news coverage right here. >> i'm headed home to hug my kids. right now we hand you to andrea mitchell. thank you. an american nightmare. an all too familiar scene unfolding once again. this time at a high school in
florida. a gunman kills 17 people including children and teachers. other teachers struggling to protect their students from the rampage. >> my mom called me. when i picked it up and in that moment i sort of lost my composure. i told her i was okay. she needed to know i was okay but the kids needed me to be composed. it's hard to in that moment to stay composed. >> at the hospital someone came in and told me talk about it as much as you can so it can get out of your brain so we don't have nightmares about it. when ever the opportunity came and someone asked, i freely talked about it because i don't want nightmares. >> 30 minutes ago this message from the president. >> we are all joined together as one american family