tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN June 17, 2016 6:00am-8:01am PDT
of perseverance and resiliency. that's what is so sustaining. when we think of the victims and how much has been lost, we think about that, about kindness, about love. about what they stood for. >> we try. it's been great to have you here today. it has been an intense day. >> great to be here. thank you. that does it for "new day." "newsroom" starts right now. good morning, i'm pamela brown. just a few blocks from the pulse nightclub. >> and i'm fredricka whitfield at the orlando regional medical center, where 23 victims are still recovering inside. >> here in the city wrapped with pain and reeling from so much tragedy this past week, another heart wrenching day unfolds.
funeral services are scheduled for at least nine of the people killed in sunday's massacre at a gay nightclub. right now, orlando's mayor is about to hold a news conference, of course, we'll bring that to you once it is underway. today brings new questions. did the feds miss warning signs of the terrorist's deadly intentions. a gunshop owner says he alerted the fbi weeks earlier when he tried to buy body arm more. he would later go to a different gunshop and buy the weapons that killed 49 people. pamela, all of this following a visit by the president and vice-president. mr. obama telling the families of those killed, quote, our hearts are broken too. cnn's boris sanchez is here with a closer look. this is hearbreaking for so many, boris. >> it's hard to imagine what these families are going through fred. we know there is supposed to be fine funerals, the first of 49 of those killed. early sunday morning's attack.
we're also expecting a series of vigils today, at least three that we know of. this, on the heels of president obama's visit, a very emotional visit, where he met with the families ever victims, and survivo survivors, doctors, nurses, medical workers that attended to the wounded and law enforcement. we heard he thanked law enforcement for their brave efforts in responding to the attack. he laid down a bouquet of 49 roses, and talked about shortly after laying down the bouquet, what the families and parents of the victims told him. here is some of what he said. >> so today, once again, as has been true too many times before, i held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked why does this keep happening. and they pleaded that we do more
to stop the carnage. they don't care about the politics. neither do i. >> the president also later adding that sadly, he can't make any promises when he tells these family that he is going to make an effort to try to enact change, because you heard him mention, he has made this trip, you know, many times before. ten separate cities he has visited that have been scarred by these shootings. >> he did renew his commitment to prolonged comfort, especially to the lgbt community. thanks so much, boris sanchez. appreciate that. pamela. fredricka, let's turn to this investigation and haunting claims by a gunshop owner. he says he alerted the facebook to the gunman weeks before the massacre. i want to bring in cnn jessica snyder, who is here with the very latest on the investigation. very disturbing here. >> very disturbing, pamela.
robert able is the owner of lotus gun works in jensen beach, florida. two hours south of here. robert able says that a man came into his shop, looking for body armor, armored vests and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. it wasn't until after the pulse nightclub shooting that able says he realized it was omar mateen looking to make that purchase. >> when he was on his cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language that was more concerning. then he came back and he was requesting ammo. so he wanted bulk ammo only. so at that time, he declined any business, and he left the store. we had no link, no contact, we had -- didn't know who he was. but we did contact authorities and let them know, we just had a suspicious person that was in here. >> now, able says he contacted the fbi, but with no i.d. on the
suspect, no sure swra lance or purchase records, the fbi couldn't continue the investigation. now in the meantime, we're learning that mateen and his wife corresponded numerous times during that standoff inside the nightclub. in fact, around 4:00 a.m., when mateen was barricadesed in the bathroom in the standoff with police, texted his wife, have you seen the news. she responded that she loved him. we also understand she made several calls to him, but he just didn't pick up. and also, a disturbing profile of this gunman it beginning it to emerge. we understand from disciplinary from school, he was suspended. a third grade teacher wrote he had been violent. classmates say he threatened to bring a gun to school, and even after september 11th, pamela, he claimed that bin laden was his uncle. >> we know when they opened up the investigation, he was claiming to his colleagues, he
had family and was related to al qaeda members. back to the claim about this gunshop that the fbi was called, so essentially the fbi didn't have an i.d. on the gunman. they just said someone came in who was acting suspicious and no other investigative clues for the fbi? >> exactly. it was simply a matter of this man came in, robert able says he requested the body armor, requested the ammunition, 1,000 rounds, but because it hadn't gone any further, and they turned him away, they had no records of him. they say the surveillance video had been run over. it had been taped over. they just didn't have any i.d. to then give the fbi to further any investigation. >> wow, all right, jessica snyder, thank you very much for that. fred. all right, jessica, pamela, thank you so much. so hiding from a killer with no way to escape. >> shh. >> okay, okay.
>> terrifying video showing the inside of a bathroom stall at the pulse nightclub, where more than a dozen people hid from a kill killer. meanwhile, unbeknownst to those terrified men and women, an orlando s.w.a.t. team was planning their rescue. listen to s.w.a.t. commander describing the mission to brooke baldwin. >> the main goal is to try to save lives whechlt he started to talk about the bomb vest, the inclination is once you hear someone has a bomb, you want to back up. the normal protocol is to back up 1,000 feet. the officers knew they had to stay there, even though they were in jeopardy, because there was a chance we could get some of those people outside. we started thinking about, we have a good relationship with the sheriff's office here, they have a bomb disposal unit, it has the capability of creating charges for a hole through a wall. we knew the suspect was in the
north bathroom, we knew there were additional hostages from the text messages and phone calls. >> adjacent bathroom. we knew there was probably 10 to 15 people in the bathroom, alive, so the decision was made, we need to get them out as quickly as possible. we got approval from the chief, go ahead and initiate the plan. let the charge go off. it detonates. it is only partially effective. it kind of breaches the wall. >> you couldn't get in. >> we couldn't get in. so we have a baricat, which has a ram and i immediately told the guys. >> ram it in. >> they made an initial hole and they realized they were off mark and that kind of pull them in the hallway between two bathrooms. so the commander, one of my lieutenants, they made a couple of other breaches, where they were finally able to get the hole into the bathroom and -- >> were people screaming at that
time? >> they were quiet initially, and as we breached the hole, we were calling to them, come to us, so they were taking our command. >> what was the gunman doing? >> at first he is not doing anything. as he starts to realize what is going on, i think he fired a couple of shots. >> within the bathroom. >> either within the bathroom or outside the bathroom. i'm not sure of yet. we threw a couple of distraction devices in the hallway to distract him so we could finish getting the hostages out. >> gas? >> no gas because we had people in there. then as we breached another part of the wall, he came out and engaged the officers. >> on his own volition. >> so where is he exactly? a small tight space where he is outside of the bathroom? >> he comes out into the hallway. >> how far is he from your officers. >> i would say probably within 10 to 15 feet. >> and then what? >> then they engage. he fires, they fire.
it's kind of -- >> that's where he was taken down in the hallway. >> yes. >> you were one of the few people who i've talked to who was actually in there. was the music blairing. were the lights on? >> i don't remember any music when i got there. i think a lot of it we're focused on the task. some things that aren't important, you kind of block out. >> for more on the investigation, i'm here with law enforcement analyst and former assistant direc for for the u.s. marshal's office, art roderick. you heard the rescue mission. after the fire fight, the s.w.a.t. team moved in. what is your take on what unfold wou unfolded. >> when you hear this interview, this is a true story of heroism on the part of the first responders. initially, you have an active shooter situation. he was right there at the front door with the police officer who
engaged him. they moved into the room. the officer new he was outgunned, you've got an ar-15 up against a handgun, so he immediately called for back-up. when back-up showed up, they immediately responded into the room to engage according to active shooter protocols. once the individual left that area, went into the bathroom, said he had hostages, then you've got a hostage situation going on. a barricade hostage situation, which changes the whole background of what you're going to do. when the s.w.a.t. team showed up, you know, the -- one of the things you did here throughout the interviews is law enforcement was constantly coming and going and moving people out of the main room and then trying to handle the barricade hostage situation according to the protocols done by just about every s.w.a.t. team around the country. >> let's talk about that. we know he was in the bathroom for several hours, and during that time, he is claiming that he is going to strop explosive
vests on the hostages, claiming there are a come blisses. how does that change? >> it changes everything. you have to take for face value what the individual is telling you is going on. now, if there is more accomplice, especially explosives, then there is a real danger. you have to have somebody come in and negotiate with this individual. and s.w.a.t. teams main concern is the safety of those hostages. and it came to the point where after a couple of hours, three hours, they made the decision to go in and i think it was at the right point in time. when you listen to commander kanti's interview, he said when they got there, there was no shooting going on. you had a hostage barricade situation going on. >> at the same time, there was no gunfire taking place, there were still people injured in the bathroom. so some question, should they have gone in sooner. what do you have to say to that. >> that's a decision you have to make on the ground. i've been in law enforcement for
40 years, 10 years on the u.s. marshal's, as much training and as much operation, nothing can prepare you for something like this. >> the worst mass shooting in american history, no doubt these first responders are heros. art, thank you so much. fred, over to you. >> all right, pamela, thank you so much. okay, well, right now, the orlando mayor, buddy dyer, is now about to speak. let's listen in. >> the fbi's office of victim assistance and the american red cross have assembled 35 different agencies on-site to assess these victims and their families. services that the family assistance center range from grief counseling to financial assistance to obtaining visas to something that wouldn't have occurred to anybody, recoverying the deceased cars and transferring title. we can't thank these
organizations enough for their tireless efforts in these situations, and i want to personally thank them right now. [ applause ] >> over the past two days since we've opened the center, 94 families, 94 families and 256 individuals have visited us for assistance. some of the people come here, thinking they need only one or two resources. but once they see the variety, they leave with so much more. just a few of the examples. over 200 free airline tickets have been provided to grieving families to reunite them with their loved ones. so far, 85 compensation claims have been filed for victims who receive help from medical or funeral expenses. including claims from all 49 families of the deceased. we have 65 translators on-site
speaking multiple languages. one family came here not knowing what they would be able to find. they came for one simple thing. to find out about burial. they were able to get support from 27 different agencies. amy decker, with the red cross, is going to talk about that a little bit. amy. >> thank you all for being here. we're honored as the red cross to be apart of this city, and all the organizations that are represented have responded to many disasters and to see the incredible coordination of over 50 agencies to come together is such a blessing to the victims and their families. and the mayor has asked me to
just talk about one family that came in with one request, and through the coordinated efforts of everyone here, through the city of orlando, 27 different agencies identified needs of that family. by the time they left yesterday, there wasn't one single thing that the 16 family members didn't receive. and i just wanted to let everyone know that, that what is happening here -- >> this is a city exemplifying it is stronger out of tragedy. you heard from the orlando mayor, buddy dyer, people have come together not just from the city but across the country. airline tickets have been donated to get loved ones of those who have been killed or injured, to get them here. to orlando as well as assistance in other measures. translators have also dis sended on the city. we're continuing to monitor the
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welcome back. i'm pamela brown, live in orlando. we want to turn to capitol hill, because the politics of gun control are taking center stage in the aftermath of the orlando terror attack. this monday, the senate is poised to hold a series of votes on four new gun control bills. that vote comes as one of the chamber's most high profile members, john mccain, sparked swift criticism from democrats, after saying president obama is to blame for the shooting at the pulse nightclub. senior political reporter, manu raju is in washington. good morning, manu. >> reporter: good morning. a lot of posturing in the senate, but very unlikely to change the dynamics on capitol hill. earlier this week, a top democratic, diane feinstein and republican leader john corwin of
texas if there is any possibility of this, but those talks have collapsed. after a 15 hour filibuster launched by democratic senator chris murphy, this much still remains clear. the votes are just not there for new gun control measures. s. >> it is almost like they gave up on isis. >> donald trump, taking on president obama. joining fellow republicans in framing the orlando shooting, as an issue of terrorism, rather than guns. >> to a large extent, he is blaming guns. i'm going to save your second amendment, folks. >> top republican, john mccain, striking a similar tone. laying blame for the massacre squarely at the president's feet. >> barack obama is directly responsible for it. when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria, became isis, and isis is what it
is today. thanks to barack obama's failures. >> reporter: the 2008 republican nominee, clarifying within minutes that he, quote, misspoke, saying in a statement, i did not mean to imply that the president was personally responsible. i was referring to president obama's national security decisions, not the president himself. democrats quick to pounce. senate minority leader, harry reid spokesman telling cnn, senator mccain's unhinged comments are the latest proof that senate republicans are puppets of donald trump. this blame game happening as the gun debate continues to rage on capitol hill. >> is going after the second amendment how you stop terrorism? no, that's not how you stop terrorism. >> they're going to have to explain to the american people why they are just plain handmade d ens of the republicans.
>> with democrats calling for an united states right ban of sales to those on a terror watch list, something republicans say could unfairly target innocent americans. and republicans proposing to delay gun sales for three days to allow the fbi to investigate. any idea many democrats call meaningle meaningless. >> it is a fake. it is way for them to say they're doing something when they're doing nothing. >> as we expect the four gun bills to fail in the senate, watch for this fight to become a wedge issue in senate races across the country. look for it to become an issue in the florida senate race, if marco rubio decides to jump in the race and run for reelection. he voted against democratic bill to prevent terror suspects from getting gun, and i'm told democrats are planning to use that vote aggressively against him if he decides to run in the state. in the state that housed the deadly massacre in the pulse
nightclub in orlando. it is a sign that this fight is getting miered in election year politics. >> manu, thank you so much for bringing us the latest there, fred. familipamela, here to discu jason johnson, political science professor and john avalon, editor in chief for "the daily beast." he is also a cnn political analyst. good to see both of you. all right, so john, you first. john mccain. he is now saying he misspoke when you look at the transcription, and he said barack obama is directly responsible. so mccain is saying it is the president's middle east policy decisions and failures that are to blame, not the president himself. will this ongoing battle, this blame game block any action on the four bills on monday? >> i don't know that donald -- that john mccain's comments will
have an impact on the bill. it was a dim thiumb thing to sa the president has any attempt to politicize a mass shooting is dumb, tactless and tasteless. john mccain has been one of the more descent republicans. but the tone and tenor of the times are raising their rhetoric. the donald trump effect. when he has a challenger in the right, he can say things that are off center. it is to explain any implication that any person is personally responsible for the attack, other than the shooter, is insane, and not relevant, not worthy of debate in the senate chamber. >> and jason, general stanley mckristol, quoting now, one consequence of our leaders inaction is that felons domestic abusers and suspected terrorists have easy access to firearms. some opponents of closing these
gaps will continue to argue that dangerous people will obtain guns in our country, no matter what. therefore, that taking steps to make it harder for them is fruitless. that is both poor logic and poor leadership. so jason, we've heard this argument, and very similar jargon. will it resonate differently coming from general mcchrystal. >> it should, but i don't think it will. one of the things that is key to me, a year ago, we had the shooting in charleston. what have we seen change since then? that hurt thousands of people, i don't see the senate changing much. you had people saying things last year, this year. here is one key issue. even though expanding background checks they agree to, we still have the constitutionality of the no-fly list and whether to attach it to gun ownership.
tons of plans out there, not quite constitutional no-fly list, that takes us down a slippery vote that no one should be happy to vote for. >> fred, i hear what jason is saying about the no-fly zone. but i do think it is a police take to dismiss monday's vote as not going any where. let's not forget that even in the wake of newtown, 90% of americans supported closing background check loopholes. lobbyists and folks on the far right and spineless democrats ended up blocking it and most of them were trying to protect their seats, lost their seats any way. something is better than nothing. there should be moral urgency, and a guy like the general pointing out that 125 americans have been killed by guns since orlando, you know, let's keep our focus not only on the mass shootings, but on the daily toll. let's do something.
and it should be a centerpiece of this election if they fail do that in the senate. >> i agree. i don't know if i believe they will. >> you don't, you feel fairly pessimistic? >> yeah, i don't think they're going to do all that much. i would like to think some of the purple state republicans and red state democrats would change their mind. rob portman, from my home state of ohio, i wish this would make a difference, but unfortunately, my hope has been crushed. i don't think between a mixture of lobbying and political cowards, we'll continue to see the shameful level of death until perhaps it touches the personal lives of meshmbers of e house and senate. they've done nothing until now and with the heightened rhetoric we've seen, nobody will make substantive changes on monday. i'm he is disappointed, disgusted, but changed in my view. >> all right, we're going to leave it there. jason johnson, john avalon,
thanks so much, gentlemen. >> thanks, fred. still ahead, on the heels of a hearbreaking tragedy, disney plans changes to warn visitors of the dangers of alligators. is getting relief. only nicorette mini has a patented fast-dissolving formula. it starts to relieve sudden cravings fast. i never know when i'll need relief. that's why i only choose nicorette mini.
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welcome back, i'm pamela brown, live in orlando. close to the pulse nightclub, where the deadliest mass shooting in american history happened. i'm joined by the governor of florida, rick scott. governor, thank you so much for being here with us. i first want to talk about the visit with president obama. he was here yesterday. what can you tell us about that? >> i want to thank him for coming. i talked to him on wednesday. i've asked him for an emergency declaration, to make sure we have all the federal resources. i did the same thing for my state on sunday or monday. the days are, you know, going so
fast. talked to so many people. and so but i want to thank him for coming. so i spent most of my day yesterday talking to families, thanking people. i went to two viewings, to grieve with the families. and it's hard. and then that was some families outside the grieving process, or outside of the viewing, and you know, they're in shock. they're young people, they were full of life. really targeted our gay and hispanic community. my job is to help them with the grieving process, if there are any needs, make sure we have those. all the law enforcement involved in the shooting, they risked their lives to save others and they've saved others. i thanked the workers at the hospital. went to the 911 centers, talked to the lady that got the call from the shooter, how -- what an
impact it has on her life. trying to bring the state and city back to normal. grieve with the families is what i'm doing right now. >> we know the funerals are underway and will be over the next few days. there has been a lot of focus on gun control, in the wake of this shooting. did you talk to president obama about that at all? >> yesterday wasn't about politics. yesterday, you know, was, i thanked him for coming. i think it was touching that he and the vice-president brought wreaths, i had taken flowers there earlier in the week. that was a nice thing to do, for the president. my job right now is to, you know, continue to go to viewings, reach out to the families, make sure they have the resources this i can help them receive. and then just thank everybody, just so many people. this has been -- you've seen all the people that have done things since, and bring these communities back together.
>> yeah, absolutely. you said you've been meeting with the vehicles. president obama has been very outspoken against gun control opponents, and he said he dares them to meet with the vehicles and see if it doesn't change their views on gun control. has it changed your views, this experience of meeting with the victims and to walk out with an ar-15 in america than a handgun. >> nobody would think anybody on a terrorist watch list should have a gun. we all can agree we don't want somebody that is going to do something like that to be walking around with any weapons, but the second amendment didn't kill anybody. this is isis. this is evil. this is radical islam. i'm tired of what's going on in our country. we're not focused enough on isis. a journalist beheaded, when are we going to say enough is enough. let's focus on destroying isis.
when we find information about someone coming to our country, when you come into our country, this is our country. why are you coming here. then if we do that to somebody, and allow them in, why not share it with local law enforcement. if we feel like we need to, because we're responsible for public safety in our states. we're 45 year low crime rate. but i don't want anything like this to happen to any other citizen. >> while isis may have played a role, there may have -- he recently became radicalized. my question is, yes, isis, terrorism could be to blame, but can you accept any responsibility for the, you know, gun laws here in florida, the fact that it is easier to walk out of a gun store in a half an hour with an ar-15 that can kill people faster than a pistol. >> let's remember, second amendment has been around for over 200 years. it didn't, you know, that's not
what killed innocent people. evil killed innocent people. there will be a time for a conversation about what will make our country safer again. let's have a conversation how we destroy isis. where is that conversation -- >> the conversation is there. >> why are we not having that conversation. what are we doing. i was on a call after the paris attacks, with the white house. i said will you share, if you allow syrian refugee in my state, will you share that information with me background checks. they said no. come on. give me a break. i'm responsible for the public safety of the 20 million people in my state, and you have information about somebody you're allowing someone to come to my state or moving to my state and you won't share it. that's wrong. >> understandably, that's frustrating. just to put a button on this, lessons are learned, no doubt, ho hopefully there will be changes, but will you push for any changes in the gun laws in florida? >> whenever something like this
happens, you always have a conversation about what you should do, you know, afterwards, right. we're going to have that conversation. but let's have this conversation about how we're going to stop isis. i mean, where is that conversation. where is the conversation stopping rod cadical islam. >> in a situation like this, where he is being radicalized online, self-a radicalized, how do you stop that? >> destroy isis. i mean, the first thing you do, go to the core. this is caused by isis being there. what are we doing to stop them. >> now, can you -- the fbi has said that this is not only isis, but a hate crime. do you also view this as a hate crime as well in the gay community? >> this is evil, and they targeted the gay community. they targeted the hispanic community. you can just, without meeting with the families, look at the names. >> the money that's being poured in for these victims, how can you assure them that it will get
to them to help them pay their bills and funeral services. >> we're raising money at the state level and i know the city is raising money at their level. we will, you know, part of our responsibility in state government is to make sure that we can, you have to look at how you are a doing, but you as a citizen, watch where you give the money. look at the background where you're giving the money and then we ought to be transparent. i know what the state will do, will be very transparent where the money goes. i hope everybody else who raises money will do the same thing. >> governor, thank you very much. we appreciate you coming on. we'll be right back getting faster. huh? detecting threats faster, responding faster, recovering faster. when your security's built in not just bolted on, and you protect the data and not just the perimeter, you get faster. wow, speed kills. systems open to all, but closed to intruders.
>> governor, thank you ver welcome back, i'm fredricka whitfield from orlando. disney will add alligator warning signs to waterways on resort properties in the wake of a tragic attack that killed a little boy. that as autopsy results show 2-year-old lane graves died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
wildlife officials continue the hunt for the gator responsible. meanwhile, another parent is speaking about his son's close call with two gators at their disney resort last year. >> he is kind of maybe an ankle deep water, looking around and then all of a sudden, i'm looking over his head and i see this galt tore that i would estimate six feet plus or minus beelining straight for him about 15 yards back. so i quickly grabbed my son, grabbed him out of that shoreline and brought him up to safety. and then i looked over to the left and another alligator caught my eye and that gaalligar was maybe five to eight yards away going for him as well. >> that father says he has written a letter to the graves family, explaining his own experience, and offering his condolences. martin savage is following the latest developments from lake buena vista, florida.
>> reporter: no timeline when the new signage will go up. disney world is a huge property, encompassing some 44 square miles and a lot of water way. it could be sometime, and signs are likely not to the be the only thing that will change. >> the death of a 2-year-old boy at disney world is horrific. it is also rare. the only other reported incident was 30 years ago, when an 8-year-old was bitten. that doesn't mean alligators are rare. youtube videos showing run-ins, one at the splash mountain ride. at one point, what looks like a disney employee is seen using a poll pole to keep him away. another one swimming at a water hazard at a golf course. disney routinely has to are you move alligators from its
properties. >> disney has been very proactive in dealing with gaall. >> but is it enough? find out, i head off in an air boat. estimated 1.3 alligators across the tropical state. adventures makes his living off alligators and tourists. >> look right past him, he is sticking his head up. >> he has never had a problem with gators. >> alligators are more scared of you than you are of them. if you jumped in the water right now, he will run from you, not to you. >> he says when problems do occur, it is usually people who are at fault. the biggest mistake, feeding al ga -- alligators. >> if you feed him one day, you're going to continue him to associate all humans with feed. >> they show people at disney
feeding alligators. this one, a mother tossing him popcorn. the danger is so serious, that feeding alligators in the wild is against florida law. some have also wondered why disney hasn't put up fencing to keep them out of the properties. this man says he has seen them climb a chain link fence, so something i doubted, until i saw this video. >> i don't think you're getting over that fence, pal. the five-foot alligator, scaling a backyard fence with no problem. he believes what happened to 2-year-old lane graves was a perfect storm of incredibly rare tragic events. no one could have foreseen or stopped. >> disney could hire a fleet of people to do nothing but go through and eradicate alligators, you're never going to get rid >> reporter: disney is likely also going to become more aggressive to keep alligators
off their properties and away from the guests but it will require a change of mindset of tourists themselves. they can no longer come down to florida and think of them as cute residents, they are not benign as we were reminded of this week. fredricka? >> very saddening, sobering, and frightening images as well. martin savidge, thank you. appreciate it so much. >> thanks. still to come, honoring the victims. how orlando is paying tribute to the legacy, lives, and memories of those who lives were cut short. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
. today families and friends will say their final good-byes to at least nine victims of the orlando massacre. in the midst of the tragedy, today will be about honoring the lives and memories of their loved ones. it's hard to put into words the heart break and the devastation that community feels, but many people have found comfort in the way orlando has banded together. i want to bring back my colleague fredricka whitfield. she was at a memorial last night. fredricka? >> reporter: well, pamela, what a fitting tribute and how moving it is when you come close, just about two blocks away from the pulse nightclub and close to the entry of the medical center. you will see that there is a cross representing all 49 of the victims in the pulse nightclub who were killed, and when we went there last night and we saw this just at that little pond
there, there were people who were kneeling. they were putting down flowers. they were writing messages of i love you, i miss you for these 49 people. this young man that you see right there, he says he's already feeling survivor's guilt because he was to pick up his friend on monday to take him to the airport, and when he saw that his friend wasn't to be found at the hotel, that's when he put two and two together. this has become a place of mourning. it's also been a place of consoling, and so many of the loved ones of victims i spoke with last night said that the orlando community has been tight, but even out of this tragedy they feel an even greater closeness, and that's at least one of the good things that has come from such a devastating evening. >> so why does this keep happening? that's a question so many keep asking. it was the president of the united states who was asking that as well saying that grieving loved ones kept asking
him that during his visit to orlando. it's also a question many around the country continue to ask. my next guest knows that kind of tragedy. mandy piper's partner, shannon johnson, was killed in the san bernardino terror attack. he died after shielding someone else from a bullet. 14 people died that day after two shooters who had been radicalized opened fire at a holiday party. mandy now joining me live. thanks so much for being with me. >> thank you for having me. >> just the news of this tragedy last weekend had to strike fear in you, had to have you relive what you experienced in san bernardino. recall some of your thoughts. >> you know, it's interesting just sitting here and watching, you know -- watching right before i came on triggers anxiety and triggers a bunch of
heartbreak. i think the people who i have spoken to who lost loved ones or shannon's co-workers and even my friends who are with me december 2nd when we're waiting for word, that 24-hour wait and seeing those families just waiting for notification is -- it's terrifying and heartbreaking all at once. yeah. >> you had a chance to meet with president obama are a tfter the shooting in san bernardino. you saw the vice president and president in orlando yesterday. what kind of impact did that have for you, his words of comfort? we're looking at the picture right now with both the president and the first lady and you. how meaningful was that for you? >> you know, it was by far the most surreal moment of my entire life. i mean, it is the absolute worst way to meet the president and the first lady of the united
states, but they came out a couple of weeks after the massacre, and i needed comfort, and i needed to -- i needed to be comforted by somebody who had some power to change the future. it was comforting. it was confusing. people asked me what it was like to meet the president, and it's just -- it's not a story i like to talk about, you know. it's an ugly story. i wish it had never happened. that way. >> it's comforting at the same time, express to me the level of frustration you feel, the level of frustration we heard from the president who has now been to ten locations where there have been shootings, where there has been mass casualties. he spoke of the frustration. how about for you?
>> oh, it's -- you know, i happen to be in the anger stage of grief to begin with, and so my blood is boiling right now. you know, this isn't written down as part of the president's, you know, job description, but he's finding himself doing it ten times that he has to come visit families. it is so frustrating because i know that he alone can't change anything. i wish if there's a next shooting like this, i hope members of congress and the house of representatives have to go and meet with these families and with the survivors, and that is what's different about this time is that the president was able to take the time to meet with the survivors of the shooting. unlike he could do in san bernardino. the survivor guilt is
incredible, and there are a lot of people that need to be comforted, but it's so frustrating, and, you know, i won't swear on air, but it's a silent, very silent rage for now. it's silent anyway. >> mandy pifer, thank you so much. thanks for your time. appreciate it. >> you're welcome. thank you. the next hour of the cnn "newsroom" begins right now. good morning. i'm pamela brown in orlando. >> and i'm fredricka whitfield. thank you so much for joining us. here in a city reeling from so much tragedy this past week, another heart wrenching day unfolds. at least nine people that were massacred at that gay nightclub pulse will be remembered at
funerals today. they are scattered across the orlando area, the services today. this as a gun shop owner makes a haunting claim that he alerted the fbi to the killer weeks before the attack. did the feds miss warning signs of the terrorist's deadly intentions? and senator john mccain ignites a fierce new debate. does president obama deserve blame for a strategy that has struggled to fight terrorism. pam? >> fredricka, thanks. let's begin this hour with the latest on the investigation. i want to turn to my colleague, cnn's jessica schneider, here with the very latest. jessica? >> pamela, robert abel is the owner of lotus gun works in jensen beach, florida, and he tells officials that he had a man that came into his gun shop and wanted to buy 1,000 rounds of ammunition as well as body armor, but it wasn't until after the pulse nightclub shooting that abel realized it was actually omar mateen who had
tried to make that purchase and then was turned away. >> when he was on his cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language that was more concerning. then he came back and he was requesting ammo. sow wanted mulli eed bulk ammo . at that time he declined any business and he left the store. we had no link, no contact. we didn't know who he was, but we did contact authorities and let them know we just had a suspicious person that was in here. >> reporter: now abell said he called the fbi about this attempted alarming purchase, but with no purchase records or id on this person, this investigation could just not move forward. in the meantime, we're also learning omar and his wife corresponded numerous times while the attack was unfolding. at 4:00 in the morning while omar mateen was barricaded in the bathroom and the police
standoff was going on, he tekxtd his wife, have you seen the news. at one point his wife responded she loved him. she also tried to call him numerous times. we understand while the gunman was barricaded in the bathroom he also posted to twitter warning of future isis attacks. while all of this is ongoing, we're seeing a disturbing profile of the gunman. in fact, we've learned from school disciplinary records that he was suspended for 48 days during high school. he was also written up 31 different times in elementary school. in fact, his third grade teacher saying he was violent. classmates complained that he threatened to bring a gun to school, and at one point classmates say he claimed that osama bin laden was his uncle. pamela? >> jessica schneider, thank you so much for bringing us the latest. i want to bring in my panel, cnn senior law enforcement analyst tom fuentes, legal analyst lauren coats, military analyst lieutenant general mark
hertling. thank you to the three of you for coming on. i want to go to you first, tom. i just spoke to governor rick scott, and he said that isis is to blame here, this has nothing to do with guns. it has to do with isis. let's take a listen to what he had to say and i'll talk to you on the other end. >> nobody would think that anybody on a terrorist watch list should have a gun. we all can agree that we don't want somebody that's going to do something like that to be walking around with any weapons, but the second amendment didn't kill anybody. this is isis. this is evil. this is radical islam. i'm tired of what's going on in our country, that we're not focused enough on isis. >> so, tom, from what you know of all the subjects you investigated in the fbi, do you think if it hadn't been for isis and all the propaganda he was taking in recently, he wouldn't have gone on that rampage? >> well, i think, pam, that's more or less a perfect storm of a number of issues that we have
in this country. yes, number one, isis has land. they have a safe haven from which to put out thousands of social media messages every day worldwide for people to self radicalize and carry out an attack in their own country, in their own city, by whatever means, knife, hatchet, car, bomb, anything. we also have the reports of this kid, mateen, having trouble since about third grade threatening classmates and disturbing his elementary school and being disciplined 31 times, and then previous co-workers and others saying he's been a troublemaker, you know, and had anger management problems with being brutal with his first wife and his current wife. so you have mental health issues with this guy, and then, of course, you would have his hatred of gay groups or whether he was or wasn't, wanting to carry out that. so you have a combination of a terrorist act, a hate crime, and a mentally disturbed individual,
and as far as i'm concerned about anybody that espouses i s isis' philosophy of beheading, torture, murder, they're already somewhat mentally ill in the first place to do it. >> so you're saying isis may not be solely to blame here. that even if isis wasn't at play, this could have still happened? >> well, we might not have the full massacre. he might have acted out in another way, but i'm saying, yes, isis is definitely at play here in inspiring him and helping him find a self justification for carrying out this act at that club. >> yeah. and i want to turn to you, general mark hertling, because i asked the governor, what do you do about someone like this gunman who is self radicalized, he's taking in all this jihadist propaganda and he said, well, get rid of isis. eradicate isis. can we do that? >> we serge are working on that, but this is a multihydra solutions, a headed hydra. you have isis in iraq and syria and other parts of the world,
and, yes, you have to go after them. we're doing that. you have isis and terrorists who are committed to isis and who are operational agents of isis who are also flowing into various countries, but then you also have these kind of shooters, these kind of individuals who have a combination of a terrorist background who are associating with isis, who are inspired by isis, but they also have access to guns. you can't solve all these problems with just one solution. i heard the governor, and i think what the governor said was somewhat simplistic. it's going after isis on the battlefield is what he was implying, and, yes, that's part of the problem, but you also have to look at other various factors that are contributing to this problem, and i agree with tom, you know, there are many things to go after, not just isis on the battle field. >> all right. i'm going to talk about the investigation with laura coats because we know, laura, the wife is under investigation right now, that there were some text messages exchanged during this, that she had an inkling when her husband left the house on
saturday that he might go to launch an attack and apparently she tried to talk him out of it, and even during the attack apparently she was frantically calling him after she saw the news at pulse nightclub, had a suspicious he was responsible for this, but she never called police. how much trouble could she be in and what are the factors at play here? >> well, as the investigation unfolds, it looks less like she was aware of a hypothetical act that may happen and more that she may have known about a specific activity that was going to cause the massacre that did. and if that is, in fact, true, the trouble that she's facing is a lot. it would mean that she was not only aiding and abetting somebody who was going to commit not only a felony but perhaps a terroristic attack by either encouraging, inducing, or assisting by casing out pulse nightclub or by helping to purchase ammunition and knowing he spent apparently thousands of dollars in the week leading up to this event and more importantly that she was involved in the conspiracy to commit this act.
mind you, even if she somehow was involved in the conspiracy, which we still don't know, she would have an affirmative duty to try to withdraw. >> and just curious because she is claiming she didn't know any specifics about his attacks. so does that give her any protection at all? >> yes, if she does not know about the specific attack. but as the investigation is going on, it appears she was aware and feared there may be a more imminent attack and then if her involvement up to that date indicates she was somehow conspiring or that she was in any way involved in the planning or execution of the actual event, even if it wasn't a date certain, well, then she had a duty to also withdraw and to inform and try to prevent the actual commission of the act. so it all haninges on what the government knows about the timeline and the specific point in time she knew an act was going to occur and whether she
aided in trying to conceal evidence after the fact. >> all right. lauren coats, tom fuentes, mark hertling, thank you so much for sharing your perspective on this story. fredricka, back to you. >> pam, thanks so much. to today at least nine of the murder victim will be remembered at funeral services. two of them will be honored the way they lived. luis, daniel, juan carlos mendez perez were together for eight years. some friends have said they had plans to be married. boris sanchez is here with a closer look at this couple. >> reporter: initially i reported there were five funerals today. turns out there are eight funerals for nine victims. gives you an idea of how expansive and how many people this affects. we wanted to give you a closer look. christopher joseph san feliz was 24 years old. he was described as a positive guy who worked at a bank. we had a mother of two young
sons, she was 24 years old. luis velma worked at the harry potter ride. jimmy dejesus velasquez who was 50. he was a dancer that specialized in puerto rican folks music. corey james cornell, a 21-year-old and anthony louis vesla as well as joel panigua. all of these services happening on the heels of president obama's visit yesterday, a very emotional one. and the president said that the families of these victims when he met with them pleaded with him to do something about these mass shootings that seem to keep happening again and again. here is what the president said. >> i held and hugged grieving family members and parents, and they asked why does this keep happening? and they pleaded that we do more
to stop the carnage. >> reporter: the president recommitting to doing something about these shootings but saying that he can't make any promises. sadly, it's a script that we've heard before. the president has made ten trips to cities that have been scarred by mass shootings. coincidentally, today mark's one year since the shooting in charleston, south carolina. clearly it's been a problem that's been difficult to address. hopefully one we kowon't have t keep confronting in the future. >> the healing continuing in charleston and here as well. boris sanchez, appreciate that. straight ahead, we'll talk to one of the families that met with president obama right here in orlando yesterday. that interview at the bottom of the hour. still to come, the terror attack in orlando reviving calls for gun control in the nation's capital, but as republicans and democrats point fingers on the issue, can common ground be found?
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welcome back. i'm fredricka whitfield live in orlando. gun control comes up for a series of key votes in the senate on monday as the blame game over how to stop gun violence rages between republicans and democrats. john mccain right in the middle of the fight after saying this about president obama. >> barack obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled everybody out of iraq, al qaeda went to syria, became isis, and isis is what it is today thanks to barack obama's failures. >> mccain later said he misspoke and in a statement wrote, quote, i did not mean to imply that the president was personally responsible. i was referring to president obama's national security decisions, not the president himself, end quote. a spokesman for harry reid slammed the arizona republican's remarks as, quote, unhinged.
senior political reporter manu raju joining me from washington. good morning to you. quite the dust up and now the clean up. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. actually we're headed in a series of votes on monday evening in the senate on four bills, two democratic bills, two republican bills, but what we're expecting is sort of more of the same. there will be gridlock in the united states senate. the bills deal with how to prevent folks who are on the terrorist watch list from getting guns. that's what democrats are trying to do, have a blanket prohibition against folks who are on that list from getting guns. republicans believe that is much too broad. they're trying to narrow that scope and give the courts and the fbi some authority to investigate whether or not people should be on that list and whether or not they should not get guns. in both of those bills are being opposed by democrats and republicans. they actually came up for a vote last december and they failed on a party line vote, so expect more of the same on monday.
now, yesterday how speaker paul ryan had a chance to weigh in really laying out the republican concerns with the democratic approach. >> is going after the second amendment how you stop terrorism? no. that's not how you stop terrorism. we have a bill that's being voted on right now to go after homegrown jihadists. let's not take our eye off the ball here. this is a person who is radicalized by islamic radical terrorists. he claims it was by isis. >> now, this issue is going to become a major one in senate races in particular across the country after this vote on monday. democrats believe they have the upper hand on this issue and they're going to push pretty hard, especially for vulnerable republican senators, and including marco rubio of florida who is considering running for his seat re-election in florida. rubio voted against that democratic bill last december joining those concerns that we heard paul ryan just voice, but democrats believe they can really make this stick to marco
rubio if he decides to run for re-election. so watch for this to continue to play out and it's just a sign that the gun issue is not getting resolved on capitol hill but it's getting litigated on the campaign trail. fredricka? >> manu raju, thank you so much, in d.c. pamela? >> thanks so much, fred. i just want to bring in phil mattingly now for more on the politics of gun control. phil, "the washington post" had some interesting analysis on mccain's comments. this article reads in part that the effect of trump's willingness to go there raer toically is that it ups the ante for every other republican. so, phil, "the washington post" calls this trumpism and says it has had a strong influence on the republican party at large. you've been talking to gop officials. is this something that's real inside the party? >> reporter: the landscape has shifted, shifted actually might be an understatement. it's been an earthquake of sorts for republicans running up and down the bat lollot.
what does donald trump actually mean. the real question becomes on the other side. you have seen even more republicans, particularly those running in tough races in november, walk away from donald trump, criticize his statements, distance themselves on a regular basis. the reality is this, pam, if you look across the republican party. this has been a paradigm shift. you haven't seen something like this in recent history, so top republican officials, particularly those responsible for a lot of those up and down ballot races, are very uneasy and very uncertain as to what to do next. now, it's important to note, with john mccain, with his comments yesterday, what he said in his walk back statement has been his position throughout, that he criticizes the obama administration for their decision to pull troops out of iraq. that's what caused or led to isis in his telling of things. what was jarring i think to a lot of people, even republicans on capitol hill that are long-time supporters of john mccain, is john mccain has consistently been the, quote,
statesman, the guy who said i think barack obama, the president of the united states, is a good man, i just disagree for his policies. for him to diverge on that even for just a couple moments raised a lot of eyebrows, particularly john mccain, in a tough re-election battle in arizona, a state that donald trump won by 25 points. >> speaking of trump, fphil, he is weighing in on the gun control issue. he spoke at a dallas rally yesterday. let's take a listen to what he said. >> i just watched president obama, one after another we have tragedy after tragedy and it's a tough situation, but he's largely to a large extent he's blaming guns and i'm going to save your second amendment, folks. i'm going to save your second amendment. >> but, phil, trump also plans to meet with nra leaders to talk about taking away gun rights
from people on terror watch lists. that is not the view of many republicans, so how does he square -- i mean how does he reconcile those two different views? >> it's worth noting that event last night in dallas also an event on wednesday in atlanta, both following that tweet saying he was going to meet with the nra to talk about banning people on terror watch lists from buying firearms. he did not mention that tweet or that issue in either of those events. instead, saying what you just heard there. and i think it's an interesting thing here. republicans themselves are trying to reconcile what donald trump means versus what maybe donald trump tweets, and the idea that he would break ideologically or away from republican orthodoxy is not new. he's been doing it often, regularly throughout the campaign. it's bun one of the most frustrating elements for a lot of establishment republicans, but i think the question now becomes what is he going to say after his meeting with then ra? is he going to back the democratic proposal they're going to be voting on on monday or is he going to try to pull off a little bit and go with the republican position? i can tell you that when you talk to people on capitol hill,
republicans on capitol hill, they don't appreciate him on weighing in on this issue because it's such a heated fight on capitol hill but everybody is really waiting to see what happens next, pam. >> all right. phil mattingly, thank you so much for that. fred, back over to you. >> all right, pam. still to come, as orlando pays tribute to the victims, we're also hearing incredible stories of survival. up next, the family of one of those survivors joining me live. wrely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority: you
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good morning. i'm pamela brown just a few blocks from the pulse nightclub. >> and i'm fredricka whitfield at the orlando regional medical center where 23 victims are still recovering inside. so today families and friends will be saying their good-byes, their final good-byes, to at least nine victims of the orlando massacre, and in the midst of the tragedy today will be about honoring the lives and the memories of their loved ones. it's pretty hard to put into words the heart break and the devastation this community feels, but many have found comfort in the way orlando and the country really have banded together. an example of that, this memorial made of wooden crosses, one for each victim, it was set up by a man who drove all the way from illinois. 20 years ago his father-in-law was murdered, and since then he has dedicated his life to spreading love and comfort in times of crisis and last night i went to that memorial and i spoke to a number of people
there with join pant stopoignan about those they are mourning. >> i know the grieving has only begun, especially for the ones that were close, and i do want to see how humanity is going to respond in love and how we're going to keep it going because i think the outpouring has been remarkable but i'd love to see it continue, especially in my own community. like i said, this being my hometown, i want to see people continuing to do things for each other just out of love. >> i think this situation is to me to think more how you treat your friends, how you treat your family, how you treat your son, how you treat your brother, you know. and every day and every minute in our life count. you need to make sure you support your family no matter what, you support your friends no matter what.
that's it. >> william matias there saying a lesson, not taking any day for granted and expressing your love four your loved ones as often as you can. it was a somber scene indeed on thursday as president obama and vice president biden paid their respects to the victims. it's a scene all too familiar for the president. yesterday marked his tenth visit to a mass shooting site while he has been in office, and in addition to laying flours, the president also met with survivors and families including the santiagos. angel santiago survived the massacre and earlier this week he described that horrific scene. >> we dropped to the ground in the handicap stall. i hid as best as i could underneath the sink. there wasn't much protection there, but i felt it was better than nothing. my friend jeff was in front of
me. there were a couple of other people surrounding us, but i believe overall maybe about 15, maybe 15 to 20 people if i'm recalling correctly in that handicap stall just hiding. >> gloria santiago is angel's mother. we're also joined by his brother, samuel santiago. good to see both of you. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us here. >> so, gloria, ms. santiago, how is your son doing in your view? >> in my view, basically he's going to get better. i know. there is a surgery pending due to the swelling on his legs. emotionally he's shaken, and he can't sleep. he has memories, torturing memories, him and his friends, and he speaks to us, but he doesn't talk too much about the incident. he doesn't want to watch tv, the news. he doesn't want to read anything on facebook that has to do with
the event. so i just pray that he will get better emotionally. he needed to speak to a psychiatrist on tuesday before he went to the news conference because he was too shaken, and he said that speaking to the psychiatrist, that helped him a lot, so that was a good thing. >> samuel, do you feel that your brother's psychological injuries may, indeed, be worse than his physical injuries or at least the recovery will be far more difficult? >> i definitely think that. he's going to need therapy after all this is done when it comes to physical therapy, to mental therapy, but he did like spebing to the thaerapist. he said it helped calm hin down. when we're in the actual hospital room if something comes on the tv, immediately his demeanor changes, change that, change that. he doesn't want to see that, he doesn't want to think about it. friends coming, family coming, people showing their love and support, it really helps him out. that's what we're trying to do.
we're trying to show him love and that we're happy that he's alive. there's so many people that didn't make it, and we're so sorry for their losses, but today we're blessed that my brother is here. >> the young man that i spoke with that we showed at the memorial just before i introduced you all, william ma tee yas, he talked about feeling guilty. he wasn't at the club but his friend was. he wasn't there to protect his friend. he is feeling that survivor's guilt. ms. sandia tiago, do you worry t that for your son, that he hasn't talked about the incident with you? do you worry about that kind of residual feeling? >> i really do, and i know that depression is something that creeps in little by little and he might be depressed in the future. i have to go back to philadelphia, that's where i live, so i'm not going to be here with him to talk to him to comfort him. >> that's going to be particularly hard for you. >> yes, it is. it is very hard. i have a job. i have to go. i just got married a year ago. so i have another family really
that is waiting for me, but i'm leaving my heart here. i am broken. i have torn. thank god that sam is here and he will be with angel, but i have to come back. i go back home, but i have to come back. >> and samuel, how meaningful was it for your brother, angel, and for others that the president would be here, would visit with friends, family members, have that direct communication and eye contact. >> it was awesome. he was just smiling the whole time. he couldn't wait to take a selfie with obama. he kept talking about if. he's like i'm going to meet the president, the potus. he was super excited and it brought joy that day. even though it was a sad day, inside that room you heard crying, it was more -- i'm sorry, i'm losing the word right now, a funeral, but, you know, it brought joy to his life and i'm happy the president came and did that and the vice president. >> samuel and gloria santiago, we wish the best to you and your family and, of course, to angel in his recovery both psychologically and physically
and to all of the victims here at this orlando regional medical center. thank you so much for. >> thank you. thank you for your prayers. thank you. >> safe travels back to philadelphia. thank you. >> thank you very much. pamela, back to you. >> thanks so much, fred. we are just learning that fbi director james comey will be here in orlando visiting with some of the first responders and victims this afternoon. of course, we'll be keeping an eye on that. meantime, we're learning more about what unfolded at pulse nightclub has shots rang out across a crowded dance floor in orlando and then those calls started rolling in. according to the orlando sentinel, an incredible 603 calls to emergency services. some made directly to fire stations. a gunman armed with what looked like an assault rifle, revelers shot, some already dead. fire crews took 26 of the 53 victims to the hospital. we're joined lie r eed by roder williams, the fire chief for the
city of orlando. thank you sop f much for coming talk to us. tell us about that first call that was made and after they continued to pour in. what was that like for you as the fire chief? >> first of all, let me just heartfelt condolences to the families. we mourn. we hurt for them. the orlando fire department truly -- we are hurting for our community as a whole, and as this event unfolded, we received multiple calls, as you stated. we had a fire station less than 100 meters away from the actual incident. not only did we get 911 calls, we had actual victims running to the fire station, knocking onned doo the doors trying to gain access to the fire station. our personnel was just there 30 minutes prior for a medical call. >> wow. >> so when they came back to the station as they began to restock the apparatus, do reports, they heard what you call some noises, banging, bang, bang. didn't understand exactly what it was until the calls started
coming in, dispatch notified it was an active shooter right at pulse nightclub and then they began to hear the knocks from the people who were trying to get away from the gunman. >> so your men were there, men and women, were there 30 minutes prior before the shooting for a medical call? >> just 30 minutes prior. me as a fire chief i think what if the gunman had decided to unleash his terror at that point. luckily for our personnel he didn't, but it's unfortunate for the innocent people whose lives were lost in a senseless act of terrorism. >> i can't imagine the emotion for first responders and for you going through something like this and having to go in and find the victims and take them away. >> well, again, at this point we didn't actually make it into the club because it was still considered an active scene. we had potential for a bomb or some type of explosion there, so our personnel really engaged all the other patrons outside of the club as they exited the club and right around a hot perimeter of
the club less than 20 yards, 10 yards from the club. >> i imagine it was such a chaotic scene during all of this. i'm sure you train for the worst, but what was that like? >> truly chaotic. we had multiple trainings for active shooters, domestic disturbance. it was a combination of all that training that came to surface during this. it was -- you don't really prepare for it. you just train for it. so we did our best and i will tell you right now i'm very proud of the men and women of the orlando fire department as well as the men and women in blue. >> before we wrap, how are they doing? it's been such a tough week for all these first responders. how are they? >> i would tell you the community is hurting. our first responders are hurting. we have critical incidents stressing debriefing sessions set up for them so they can talk about their experience and what they went through and if they need additional counseling, we have the resources lined up for them, but i would tell you the
community is hurting. we all are hurting, but the support we have gotten from mayor dyer, from the governor, from the president himself who greeted us yesterday, the community out support is overwhelming. orlando is strong. orlando is united, and orlando is still a great place for you to come, play, work, and visit. >> the country stands behind orlando. everyone is banding together as we've seen. fire chef williams, thank y-- c thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. >> and we'll be right back. ♪
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meantime, unrelated, vladimir putin has a message to the u.s. stop meddling in russian affairs. the russian president put the u.s. on notice just a short time ago when he was asked about this year's election by cnn's fareed zakaria. >> translator: the u.s. is a great power. at the moment it is probably the only super power, and we accept this fact. we want to work with the u.s., and we are ready to do that. and no matter how these elections are held, eventually they will be held. there will be a new head of state elected. they will have brought authority. i know that there are complex economic and political processes in the united states. at the moment the world needs a country as strong as the u.s. is, and we do need the u.s. too, but what we do not need is for them to interfere with our
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well, this morning we're learning some new details about the clubgoers who hid in a bathroom at pulse nightclub. one of the survivors, miguel, took video on his cell phone as he huddled in bathroom stall with more than a dozen people for more than three hours. the video is very hard to see given the sheer terror of what was happening inside the club. anderson cooper spoke to miguel about what unfolded. >> okay, okay. >> reporter: it was dark and hot and the bathroom was full of panicked clubgoers. this grainy cell phone video is one of three taken by miguel who
got pushed into the bathroom when the shots began. >> i remember like you can smell like the blood, there was so much blood. it was like you could just smell it, and it's like everywhere you leaned, all my clothes was full of blood. we were sitting down and it was just like a huge puddle of blood, and after a while when it started drying up it started like to smell really bad. >> reporter: though some people were crying and whispering to each other, miguel said he tried to remain quiet and recorded these images to send to his girlfriend so she knew he was alive. >> the only people who are alive in the video are the people who are talking and moving. everybody else is dead. there was about 17 of us in there. only like five or six of us made it out. >> had you been hit at that point? >> yeah. i was shot in the foot. >> reporter: at one point in the video, you see it looks like people passing around a glass of water? >> we were passing water around
because there was one guy, chris, he was choking on his own blood, so we were trying to like make him swallow to make sure he was okay. >> chris, ask chris. >> shh. >> okay, okay. >> he kept asking for water, and there was other people that were shot that was just -- they needed water, and they wanted water. it was the only thing we could think of to calm them down at that moment. >> there was a sink inside the stall. >> yes. >> reporter: twice he said the gunman fired inside the stall. as the hours passed they tried to keep oeach other calm in constant fear the gunman would return, in constant fear those already wounded would die. were people talking to each other? >> we were whispering to each other trying to keep everybody quiet. >> reporter: miguel was shot twice on his right foot and his left leg and he's just been released from the hospital. he knows he's fortunate to be
alive but says he can't stop thinking of those who died beside him. >> so many people, innocent people, you know, just there to have a good time. >> looking at that cell phone video, anyone's worst nightmare. that was anderson cooper reporting. fredricka. >> very powerful. all right, pam, this summer john walsh is back as the latest season of his show "the hunt" searching for fugitives on the run. he sat down with carol costello to discuss the case of robert fisher, who has been in hiding for nine years. >> there is one guy who has been at the top of my top ten. i have my own personal ten. he slit the throats of his two children, two young children and his wife's throat because she wanted to get a divorce, burned the house down and took off for the last nine years. so robert fisher, he's right up there at the top of my ten.
so he'll be on "the hunt" this year. these are really horrible, horrible guys. >> do you ever confront these fugitives once they're caught because of your show? >> well, i know that i don't want to give them their 15 minutes of fame. many of them are low life, serious dirtbags that never accomplished anything in their life but horrible crimes, so they want to be infamous. so i don't really -- i think over the years i have only interviewed one to show what a sociopath he was. he had raped 27 women and had killed 4 people, 2 of them small children and said he was innocent, and i just had to let him have it on air, but then i said, you know what? these guys want the time. they want the media to make them infamous. they want to be the next charles manson serial killer, whatever it is. so i never give them that chance, never. >> do you ever get letters from them? >> i do. i have gotten all kinds of letters. i have gotten many, many threats over the years. i profiled a couple guys that
were on the run, one had escaped from prison, and he shot it out with the fbi. he was going to shoot me with a high-powered rifle in the studio in d.c. so fortunately the fbi got to him. the other guy called our hotline every single week and said i will kill john walsh before he catches me. another dirtbag who had murdered a 14-year-old boy. and they both paid with their lives. >> "the hunt" with john walsh returns with a new season sunday night at 9:00 eastern right here on cnn. and thanks so much for joining us today. i'll see you throughout the
weekend in the "newsroom." i'm fredricka whitfield. >> and i'm pamela brown. after the break, new details just in about the orlando shooter's travel overseas.
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a story and a song she is this day she is this moment she is this place and she belongs to you only in minnesota i'm john berman live in orlando. kate is off today. this city is grieving this morning with funerals and memorials every day for the 49 people who lost their lives nearly one week ago. one local bartender told me he's going to two memorials or funerals a day. this as we're learning new details about the killer, disturbing details that paint a picture of a man whose past was