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Stabbing Attack at Texas College; North Korea Situation Examined; Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords Speak Out; Pulling Out the Stops on Gun Control Push

Aired April 9, 2013 - 15:30   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Of the 12 that are in the hospital, two are in critical condition. Four are in fair condition.

And Mike Brooks, this is a couple of points I heard that I just -- my ears perked and I just wanted to ask you.

When they talk about how there are buildings are still being searched and, also, the buzzword I heard was the video.

So that tells me there are surveillance cameras around this building that can help them figure out what?

MIKE BROOKS, "IN SESSION" LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: That will help them in the other investigation where the shooting was. There was some video surveillance that helped them identify who the shooter or shooters were and what exactly happened. Same thing in this particular case at the Cy-Fair campus, Brooke.

It was video surveillance. It was available to them, to say this was the this one person, you know, and they know where this person may have come from.

Did this person drive a car there? That wasn't a question asked, but as an investigator, I'm thinking about it. Well, they're saying that the campus is a crime scene. So maybe they're processing a car.

Just pure speculation on my part, but then otherwise they would say, no, we just have the crime scene here in the particular building.

BALDWIN: OK. What about the weapon? Because clearly you can hear the reporters asking and the phrase they used -- let me look down. It is an unknown instrument.

BROOKS: Right. He says a knife or something else.

So, you know, we heard from one person there, one witness, that was -- they called it an Exacto knife. Is it this kind of knife?

Some people may call it a scalpel. Some people may call it an Exacto knife. I think they want to make sure they have the proper terminology for this particular edged weapon before they come out publicly and say, yes, this was an Exacto knife. No, it was a box cutter. No, it was a scalpel. They want to make sure they have the terminology right before -- because there is going to be a prosecution, most likely, after this. So they want to make sure they have crossed all their Ts and dotted all their Is.

BALDWIN: And then finally the other thing that jumped out at me is we heard at the very end that it was students and faculty who jumped on this student, who were able to subdue this student so that the police could slap some cuffs on him.

BROOKS: Yeah, I liked the way he said "actively worked to subdue the individual."

You know, saying, they jumped on him and he was very surprised that they did get him.

And, again, kudos to those students and faculty who put their life on the line to subdue this guy.

BALDWIN: Again, the number we have, 14 victims here in this stabbing situation that for all intents and purposes is at least contained, although we're hearing that the campus is a crime scene, that the one and only suspect is now in custody.

And that is -- has been what is going on this afternoon here on this campus just northwest of Houston.

You're watching CNN. We're going to take a quick break. More on the other breaking news, other news of the day right after this.


BALDWIN: Just briefly, an update on that breaking story at Lone Star College in Texas here, in Harris County, Texas.

We have now learned this suspect who is now detained is a 21-year-old male, enrolled at the college. He is a student. He is detained. It sounds like he was taken down by students and faculty according to the sheriff we just heard from in that news conference.

Again, the number is 14 that we have at the moment, 14 people wounded, stab wounds, 12 of whom being treated at hospitals at the moment.

As soon as we get more updates, I promise we'll pass them along to you.

But want to move along to Washington because, moments ago, Vice President Joe Biden let loose on Senate Republicans, 14 in particular -- take a look at them -- for threatening to launch a filibuster to prevent a debate on guns legislation.

So let me play this for you. You're going to see the vice president talking just within the past hour.


VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: It is almost mind boggling. I served in the Senate for 36 years, and you got 13 senators including the minority leader saying, I will filibuster proceeding on dealing with this national tragedy, wouldn't even proceed. Now, maybe between now and the time it gets to the floor, they will, as my mother would say, they will have seen the light. Maybe that will change, what an embarrassing thing to say.


BALDWIN: The White House is pulling out all the stops on this.

Remember, after Newtown, the president said he would do just that. And last night, he gave a lift on board Air Force One to about a dozen families of the 26 Newtown slaying victims.

He flew them from Hartford to Washington, and today they have begun to lobby members of Congress.

This is video that fed in just about an hour or so ago, one of the Newtown parents, after meeting with Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal.

Gloria Borger is our chief political analyst, and, Gloria, this isn't the first time the President Obama seems to have the public behind him.

But here he is running head first into congressional Republicans. We have seen this movie before.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, we have. And what he's doing, Brooke, and what you saw the vice president doing is really taking this issue of guns to the American public.

They know that, overall at least, nine out of 10 Americans believe that you should have some kind of expanded background check on guns.

So they believe the public is with them and what they're trying to do is point out what they consider to be and is an apparent disconnect between what lots of voters want and what some Republicans say is really overreach, and affects the Second Amendment, and leads to the taking away of your guns.

And, you know, you just saw a really impassioned Joe Biden, who has been working on this issue nonstop. You saw the president yesterday, so, you know, this is really very much -- it's not like immigration reform or the budget.

This is an issue that they believe they can take to the public and at least try to get the public behind them on this, to get a little bit of what they want.

BALDWIN: Let's talk about the Republicans here because we have these 14 Republicans, in the U.S. Senate, 14, who say they will refuse to allow a debate on the new gun restrictions.

They include Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. I know for your column, Gloria, you talked to Republican pollster who said of this filibuster -- let me quote you.

"It won't do us a lot of good. We will look like the party that's taking extremist positions," is what he told you, I should say.

Is there a price for Republicans in this in terms of launching a filibuster? Given the fact that Newtown was just in December?

BORGER: Well, there are two ways to look at it. First of all, we're not sure that even if some of those members want to, that they would actually succeed this is a very fluid situation right now, Brooke.

But on the one hand, as that Republican pollster told me, he said that this is terrible for us. We are already a party that has been labeled as inflexible, as extremist. This would not help us with women voters at all, in particular, for the party brand.

OK, so set the party brand aside. The second thing, though, when you talk to some Republicans who are in favor of a filibuster, in the back of their minds is, if you look at Republican senators who are actually up for re-election, most all of them are in states that Mitt Romney won.

So a vote against gun control is not exactly going to hurt them. In fact, it could help them.

That's a very short term view, because the long-term view of the Republican Party, according to this pollster, is that you really ought to try and expand your base and not just play to a narrow base, at least if you want to try to win a presidential campaign at some point.

BALDWIN: Yeah, we saw that Republican Party autopsy not too long ago. But at the same time, it is interesting the point you're making about the states. We'll see.

Gloria Borger, thank you very much.


BALDWIN: Read Gloria's column,

And from Gloria to Dana, Dana Bash, our chief congressional correspondent. And, Dana, just quickly, what are you hearing today about the talks, maybe the compromise talks in the Senate?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're still ongoing. Joe Manchin, the Democrat who is working with the Republican Pat Toomey, both of whom have very good ratings with the NRA, but both self-described pro gun politicians, they are going to -- at least Joe Manchin is going to have a report.

We hope it will be public. At least he's going to give it to his leader, the Democratic leader, at 5:00 Eastern, so in a little more than an hour, a status update on how that is going.

In the meantime, the Democratic leader, Harry Reid, did schedule a vote, which will take place on Thursday. And this is a vote just to bring up any kind of gun legislation. It's just to bring it up.

Our impression, Ted Barrett, and Deirdre Walsh, our producers, have been canvassing senators. Our impression is it looks like it is likely that he'll get the 60 votes, but it is definitely not a sure thing.

We don't actually have them counted right now. By then, the hope is, from their perspective, they get it or a compromise that would make 60 votes kind of moot.

BALDWIN: Yeah, just remind America. You have to vote just to debate. And then it can continue on potentially for a real vote, right?

BASH: In this case because there was a filibuster you were just talking about, yes.

BALDWIN: Finally, though -- this is what I want to get to -- you spent some time, Dana Bash, with two of the leading proponents of gun legislation. Tell me about that conversation.

BASH: It was really fascinating. I spent two days late last week with Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman, and her husband, Mark Kelly.

She, of course, had to leave, resign her seat because of her injuries after she was shot while doing her job. She has -- they both have become pretty big advocates for curbing -- putting in place new gun restrictions.

And it was most fascinating to spend time with them because they still are active gun enthusiasts. In fact, watch what happened when I went to Gabby Giffords' mother's house, what Mark Kelly was doing.


BASH: Target practice is still a form of entertainment at Giffords' mother's house deep in the Arizona desert.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Watch this. He's aiming for my pot. This is going to -- whoa!

BASH: Husband Mark Kelly using planting pots and water bottles as targets while Giffords watches from the patio with her mother, cheering him on.




BASH: And Kelly isn't shooting with just any kind of gun.

MARK KELLY, HUSBAND OF GABBY GIFFORDS: This is the same kind of gun Gabby was shot with, a Glock, a nine-millimeter Glock. But in that case, it had a magazine that held 33 rounds. This, when it is full, holds 17. He shot 33 rounds, every round hit somebody, we think.

BASH: How long have you had this gun? KELLY: Well, I gave this to Gabby as a gift.

BASH: When?

KELLY: A number of years ago. She's a gun owner. She's from the West.

BASH: Still, we asked the question a lot of incredulous people seeing this scene would ask.

Really? This guy sort of still has -- he gets his kicks or recreation for him is shooting a gun after his wife was shot through the head?

KELLY: Well, Gabby used to like shooting a gun, too, occasionally.



BASH: Now, Brooke, obviously, part of the reason why we were allowed to shoot footage of them, or at least Mark Kelly during target practice, is a big part of their push here on Capitol Hill is that they say they have credibility because they understand the gun culture.

As you could see, they still are involved with or he's still involved with guns. So that is the political reason why we were allowed to do that.

But when it comes to this issue, there is no question that Gabby Giffords understands it is very hard. She herself was a conservative Democrat who voted for issues regarding to guns, like she voted to reverse the ban on guns here in the district of Columbia.

Those are some things I talked to her about and a whole lot of other things, especially how her recovery is going and I have to tell you it is pretty remarkable.

BALDWIN: Just even that clip, the visual that you provided us, we will be watching, Dana Bash.

Let's remind everyone. Set your DVRs. Watch it live tonight, Dana's exclusive interview tonight with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly, 8:00 Eastern on "AC 360."

Dana, thank you.

And now a chilling warning today from a top U.S. commander. He says North Korea's actions are, and I'm quoting, "a clear and direct threat to American security."

This comes as the North tells foreigners in the South, get out, seek shelter, now.

Jake Tapper joins me next.


BALDWIN: North Korea has a new warning for foreigners in South Korea -- get out or take shelter. This here comes as North Korea says the peninsula is on the brink of war.

All eyes are on these two North Korean missiles, possibly ready to launch in the next 24 hours.

A top U.S. commander in the Pacific saying this about the U.S. retaliation.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Do we have the capability to intercept a missile if the North Koreans launch within the next several days?


MCCAIN: Would you recommend such action?

LOCKLEAR: If the missile was in defense of the homeland, I would certainly recommend that action.


BALDWIN: Commander Locklear also extending that same action if U.S. allies are threatened.

Jake Tapper, let me bring you in, chief Washington correspondent and anchor of "The Lead." And, Jake, we're just getting this, and just let me read my e-mail from Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.

"Obama administration now calculates it is likely that North Korea may fire mobile ballistic missiles at any time, based on the most recent U.S. intelligence showing it is likely that North Koreans have completed a launch preparation."

What do you make of that?

JAKE TAPPER, ANCHOR, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": That's the concern. And one of the theories is that he will do so on the anniversary of one of his relatives, the birth anniversary of one of his relatives.

I think it is the 15th or the 16th when John Kerry, the secretary of state, is scheduled to be in Japan and that the missile would go over Japan. That's one scenario.

There is also a concern that, as in 2010, Kim Jong-un, as his father did three years ago, might actually begin shelling or attacking South Korean various else or South Korean land.

We'll be talking about this with the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Mike Rogers, who has the latest information about North Korea and he'll talk to us about his concerns and what is different about this set of provocations by North Korea as opposed to previous years, because administration officials and others do think that this is different than what we've seen in the past.

BALDWIN: We'll look for the interview in your segment on North Korea with Congressman Rogers and why this is different. Jake Tapper, thank you. We'll see you at the top of the hour.

And we will be right back with the latest on the stabbing, 15 -- 14 or 15 people injured, Lone Star College just southwest of Houston, Texas.

More news on that right after the break.


BALDWIN: Let me bring you up to speed on a story we followed for the better part of the show, about an hour and a half, as this was unfolding on the Cy-Fair campus, this sprawling campus, one of several at Lone Star College in the Greater Houston, Texas, area.

We heard from the sheriff within this last hour, the sheriff of Harris County confirming that the one suspect they do have in custody, and again, they do believe it was one and only person here responsible for the stabbings on campus, is a 21-year-old student, so that was new that we learned a little while ago.

Fourteen people injured, 12 of whom were taken to hospitals, four of those 12 were Life Flighted with serious injuries. Two of them are in critical condition. Four are in fair condition.

The big question is the why, the motive, and this is so early in this investigation so they don't have any answers as far as the why.

They are looking at surveillance video, so that can help them determine what exactly happened inside some of these classrooms where the stabbings occurred, and, also, the weapon.

They're calling it an unknown instrument, but many of the students suffering lacerations and cuts to the face and the neck and the body and so that's what a lot of the EMS and firefighters who rushed to the scene had to take care of and then put them in those ambulances and get them away.

But again, it is a student and that student is now in custody.

Jake Tapper will have much more on that story at the top of the hour.

Meantime, coming up next, we are moments away from the closing bell as we sneak a peek, 67 points up here in the green on this Tuesday.

The Dow today hitting another record, more on that and what that means for your 401(k), next.


BALDWIN: We are about 90 seconds from the closing bell on Wall Street. The Dow could hit another record.

Alison Kosik joins me from the New York Stock Exchange. So let me look down at my notes. We are waiting for and we're obviously above it, 14,622. Oh, the last high.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I think it is safe to say the Dow is probably going to close at a new record high today at -- around 14,674.

Some positive economic reports came out of China and Europe. That, Brooke, pretty much offset concerns about a weak corporate earnings season here in the U.S. which kicked off yesterday.

So, at least for stocks, at least the way investors see it, the path of least resistance continues to be to the upside. It has a lot to do with the Fed giving momentum. The Fed continues to buy up billions of dollars of Treasury bonds every single month.

Not only does that obviously push down interest rates, makes borrowing more attractive to people, but it also pushes investors to buy into the market instead of buying bonds.

So it creates that wealth effect we are seeing right on the Big Board here at the New York Stock Exchange.

This is despite the fact we got that lousy jobs report on Friday.


KOSIK: There is, though, other data that shows, Brooke, the U.S. economy is growing. It's just at a slow pace, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I know a lot of people out there are saying that's great Wall Street is doing great, but on Main Street we certainly don't feel it. It doesn't always mirror what we see day to day, I know, Alison Kosik.

But we'll take those numbers. I know people with their 401(k) will take those numbers.

Thank you. Again, make sure you check out -- there the closing bell goes -- my blog,, for all of our interviews if you missed them on the show.

That does it for me. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts now.