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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Deadly Shooting At Washington Navy Yard; New Details On Washington Shooter; 12 Killed in Mass Shooting at DC Navy Yard; At Least Seven Dead in Colorado Flooding; Costa Concordia Hauled Off Rocks
Aired September 16, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: One of the suspected shooters also dead. About a dozen others were wounded. We have a special report on what we know about the victims this hour. The gunman who has been killed is 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor from Texas who was once in the military. He opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard this morning, sending the city in chaos.
We're learning much more about him including some late breaking news that the man you're looking right there, was arrested in Seattle for a, quote, "anger-fuelled shooting" when he was in the military. Then, when he was discharged, he was allowed to come back as a contractor. We're going to be speaking to people who knew him well and his religion affiliation as a Buddhist.
The shooting started at about 8:20 a.m. less than three miles from the White House where the flags have been lowered to half staff in honor of those killed. Law enforcement sources tell CNN that only one weapon has been received from the scene at this time. The weapon was described as a, quote/unquote, "long gun." That's the latest we have for you. We don't have details on the type of weapon.
The police say they don't know the motive yet, but friends of the shooter tell us tonight that Alexis was angry over not getting paid. Investigators are also still trying to figure out how he got into the heavily fortified Navy Yard. He didn't work there. He wasn't a contractor there. Three thousand people work at the oldest naval facility in the country, which was attacked this morning.
We are covering the story with our team of reporters. We have Chris Lawrence, Tom Foreman and Dana Bash standing by. But first, we start with Jessica Yellin outside the Navy Yard. And Jessica, a horrific day, beyond imagination, walk us through how this happened.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, a massacre at one of the most secure facilities in this town, just blocks from the nation's capitol has people across Washington asking how this could have happened.
YELLIN (voice-over): Chaos and confusion across the nation's capitol, at 8:15 a.m., an emergency call reaches Washington police, word of a shooter at the Navy Yard. CATHY LANIER, D.C. POLICE CHIEF: Within literally 2 minutes to 3 minutes, Metropolitan Police officers were on the scene. Internal security had already engaged, identified and engaged the suspect. We already had victims down at that point.
YELLIN: Inside witnesses say, a fire alarm is pulled and mayhem breaks out in Building 197.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he came around the corner he aimed his gun at us and he fired two or three shots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was far enough down the hall that we couldn't see his face, but we could see him with a rifle and he raised, aimed at us and fired.
YELLIN: A maintenance worker warns this man of a shooter and the next thing he knows --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when he got shot. Fairly certain he was dead because he was shot in the head.
YELLIN: At 8:37 a.m., the newsbreaks on Twitter. At 9:09, the Navy alerts there was one injury and orders the facility's 3,000 employees to shelter in place. A Navy official says a suspected shooter is dead. At 12:15, the Washington police chief announces shocking news. Possibly two other shooters are on the loose.
LANIER: One being a white male who was last seen around 8:35, 8:40 this morning in a khaki tan military uniform.
YELLIN: That suspect would later be cleared. A second is still wanted. At 12:30, the president shares his horror.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capitol.
YELLIN: At 4:00 p.m., almost eight hours after that first emergency call, a break. The FBI releases the name of the shooter, 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, a military contractor from Texas. Washington's mayor announces a terrible new number, 13 dead. He speaks to what's on so many people's minds.
MAYOR VINCENT GRAY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: We don't have any reason at this stage to suspect terrorism, but certainly, it has not been ruled out.
BURNETT: Now Jessica, what are they saying about the search for the possible second suspect that you mentioned there? There have been so many questions about that through the day and where this person, if that person is real, is.
YELLIN: Well, Erin, that search is ongoing. The fact that the city is not on lockdown suggests that they are not too concerned about the safety and security of the citizens here, but they're still taking it seriously. The person, they say, is until sort of military uniform. And they believe that the person was spotted on surveillance inside the facility. So they have a reason enough to be concerned and have told us all to remain on the lookout -- Erin.
BURNETT: Jessica Yellin, thank you very much. As we said, Jessica is right outside the Naval Yard.
Our second story OUTFRONT is the manhunt. The FBI and local police are still searching for at least one other possible suspect in the Washington Navy Yard shooting. The U.S. capitol, of course, on lockdown after authorities confirmed one of the gunmen, Aaron Alexis, was killed by police.
But they are looking for a second suspect and here's the way they have described it, an African-American male between 40 and 50 years of age with a medium complexion and gray sideburns. Reportedly this man was wearing an olive/drab-colored military style uniform. So what is the FBI doing to find this possible suspect?
OUTFRONT tonight, our former counterterrorism agent, Tim Clemente along with former Navy SEAL, John McGuire who is on location tonight. Good to have both of you with us. You know, from what we know, let me just start with you, Tim. I'm looking here at the bio that we have from the Navy.
Aaron Alexis at least according to this had not worked at the U.S. Naval Yard. Reports indicate, you know, you have to have security checks, I.D. checks to actually enter this facility. How do you think he got in? This is a guy, by the way, who had been discharged from the Navy for a pattern of, quote/unquote, "misconduct" and then allowed to work for the Navy again as a contractor.
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERROSIM AGENT: Well, Erin, first of all let me say that my prayers go out to the families of the victims and the victims themselves. But an individual like this, one of the ways they can get into a secure environment is, you know, if he seems like he is just an ordinary person. He seems like he belongs there. Individuals that work there every day might leave a door open for him just to be polite.
And if he's coming in right behind somebody expecting that the security personnel would then check his I.D. at the next point. This happens regularly. When I worked in the FBI right around the corner from here, we had I.D. badges we had to literally swipe and punch in a code every door. But when I saw one of my co-workers who I saw every day, who I knew very well, coming behind me, sometimes I'd leave the door open for them and let them come in with me.
So that kind of thing might be what we're looking for in this accomplice or other alleged gun man. It might be somebody that actually worked there, knew him and maybe that's the person who allowed him access.
BURNETT: And John, let me ask you. We just have some details coming in right now that I want to make sure I share with you and our viewers. They're now saying literally as you were talking Tim, the suspect drove in this morning to the U.S. Naval Yard with his military contractor I.D. and parked. Walked into the building and then made his way in to begin his shooting spree.
He was armed with an AR-15, a rifle and a semi-automatic Glock. They believed that he used the AR-15 for most of the shooting, which of course, is a weapon which has been used in recent horrible shootings including Sandy Hook as well as Aurora.
John, let me ask you though, how this happened? Is the reporting that we have now used his military contractor I.D.? How is this so? He served in the Navy and then he, while he was in the Navy, he was arrested for an anger-fuelled shooting in Seattle, still stayed in the Navy.
Finally the Navy discharges him for a pattern of misconduct and he's allowed to work again as a contractor. How does that happen? How could this guy walk in with a contractor I.D. and some kind of light go off saying this guy was sent away for a pattern of misconduct. He shouldn't be allowed in.
JOHN MCGUIRE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, I think Tim is right. First of all, we need to think about these families. They were expecting their loved ones home about this time and they are not home. So our hearts go out to them.
But how did they get in? I think Americans need to be vigilant. We live in different times. Evil does exist. I think we should have learned some lessons from Fort Hood. That's a different times. So when we're trained in teams, they say it takes everyone to succeed and one person to mess it up.
Americans need to be vigilant. If you see something, you need to say something. And even if he's your friend, don't leave the door open for him.
BURNETT: What do you know? I mean, given your experience as a Navy SEAL. I don't know your specific experience with this facility, but when he went in, would he go in through screening for weapons? Would it show up you have an AR-15, a Glock and another weapon and that is not a problem? Would you not have to clear through any kind of metal detection, et cetera, if you had that contractor I.D.?
MCGUIRE: Well, I'm not at liberty to discuss security measures on naval facilities, but I will say that based on what happened at Fort Hood, we definitely should learn our lesson and strengthen those facilities. I'll also say with the proper training, he could have a single-action rifle and do as much damage if not more.
BURNETT: All right, Tim and John, stay with me. I want to bring in Evan Perez now because Evan was the one who just broke that news that I shared with you. Even, what else can you tell us? You're finding out about the weapons that Aaron Alexis had and also how he gained access. Tell me more.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. We were told this morning that he apparently drove in, parked and made his way right over to the, right over to the location, the building where the shooting took place. He walked straight up to the location that overlooks the atrium and started shooting. He was armed with an AR-15, with a rifle and with a Glock semi-automatic.
It is believed, the FBI believes that most of the shooting was done using an AR-15. At this hour, the FBI agents have determined he was probably, he was the only shooter. As you know there is still someone else that they're trying to, the D.C. police is trying to figure out whether there's any association. But the FBI has determined there was only one shooter at the scene today.
BURNETT: And Evan, in terms of this other person, and I know you're working this story right now as we speak. Obviously they said this could have been another shooter and now you're saying a person of interest, whether this person had involvement. Do you have any the sense of what they're looking at as whether this person knew it was happening and helped Aaron Alexis gain access or is it something else or is unclear at this moment?
PEREZ: Well, it's very unclear. I think for the sake of the police, if there are witnesses who see someone running from the scene and report there was something suspicious. I think they want to make sure they talk to that person before they cross him off the list. At this point, the FBI has determined there was only one shooter. It was Aaron Alexis. Again, it looks like he drove in. He is a military contractor. He was allowed in to this property.
They're still not sure what motivated him to do this. There's no sign of any ideology, any kind of antigovernment sentiment or anything like the Fort Hood incident obviously. Right now they're still trying to figure out what could have caused this right now.
BURNETT: And we are going to have much more on this as I've told our viewers. We've been speaking to people who know Aaron Alexis and his religious affiliation as a Buddhist, his frustration as a contractor. We have a special report on that coming up.
But Tim Clemente, let me ask you about Evan's reporting there on a second person. Obviously until Evan was reporting this in D.C. there was a stand in place order for people in the area. So that they thought there could have been a second shooter. But now they're saying a second person who was involved. What do you think they're looking at?
CLEMENTE: Like I said a few minutes ago, I think this may have been a person who allowed him either access or you know, paved the way for him in some other way. The individual in question, Aaron, he had to get in there. And generally if you're not somebody who has an identification that provides you access, you can come in as a guest, but you have to be a guest of somebody.
Somebody there has to be expecting you. Maybe that's this individual they're looking for. Maybe he allowed him to come in not knowing this was his ultimate goal, and you know, because of that he's run and hidden. I mean, there are a lot of possibilities and it's going to take some time because they're going to be reviewing video. They are going to review entry logs and everything else to try and piece this together. I think we'll have some answers I would think, maybe by tomorrow.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much. Tim and John, we appreciate it. Again, our Evan Perez reporting that the shooter Aaron Alexis came in this morning by car, then cleared using his Navy contractor, I want to emphasize, I.D. with three weapons, including an AR-15, a rifle and a Glock, of course, the AR-15 used in some of the most recent horrific shootings in this country, including Aurora and Sandy Hook.
Our breaking news coverage of the Navy Yard shooting will continue. We are learning more about the shooter. OUTFRONT spoke with his landlord today. Spoke with some of his friends, some of his co- workers. They're going to tell you about this man that you see there.
Plus 12 people murdered, who lost their lives needlessly in today's horrific attack. Three others are currently being treated for their injuries. We are going to go live to the hospital for an update on their conditions and learn more about what we know about the victims tonight.
BURNETT: And our third story OUTFRONT, the suspect. Police have now identified 34-year-old Aaron Alexis as the suspect in today's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. Thirteen people, including Alexis, are confirmed dead. According to police, he massacred 12 innocent people this morning.
OUTFRONT spoke with Alexis' landlord who told us he can't believe Alexis would do something like this. He said that Alexis had never shown any signs of violence and the landlord says he wasn't even aware that Alexis owned any weapons.
And now we're learning a lot more about him, about his possible affiliation with the Buddhist faith. That he may have even spoken Thai. A lot more information coming in tonight and our reporters are breaking this story from every angle.
Joe Johns is in Washington and Ed Lavandera is in Fort Worth, Texas, near the shooter's home where a lot of people obviously knew him. And Ed has had a chance to speak with those people.
Let me start with you, though, Joe, because obviously you are in Washington where the shooter was today, where he carried out this horrific act. And I know you've had a chance to find out a little bit about his whereabouts over the past few days and people who have seen him.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's true, Erin. I spoke earlier today with a government employee, an official who lives out of town who is in town on business last week who told me that she met a man she believed to be Aaron Alexis at a hotel in southwest Washington last Tuesday and had a 15-minute conversation with him on Tuesday. Another one on Wednesday.
She indicates that he told her he worked in computer security and expected to be here in Washington, D.C. for another week or two. Now some of the other information we have about him -- did you want to ask a question before I go on, Erin?
BURNETT: No. No. No. I want you to tell us everything you know.
BURNETT: Sorry. I was just nodding, yes.
JOHNS: OK. So some of the other information we have is the government tells us he is a Navy IT contractor, 34 years old, and was a Navy reservist who entered the service around 2007 and was detached from the service in 2011, some type of aviation electrician, born in Queens, apparent last listed address in Fort Worth, Texas. That's some of the information we have about him -- Erin.
BURNETT: And, Joe, any indication on motivation? Because I know -- you know, Ed has -- is going to have much more on what he's been talking to with family and friends. But have you learned anything about what could have caused this?
JOHNS: No. But there are indications in his record that there may be what you might call some anger issues in 2010. Apparently was charged with indiscriminately firing a firearm in Texas. Also in 2004 in Seattle, firing a gun into the tires of a car. And also into the air as a result of some sort of disagreement there. So clearly firearms and anger appear to be part of the M.O. here. And that's about as far as we can go.
BURNETT: And, again, I can tell you, according to our Barbara Starr, you know, Alexis was discharged from the Navy in 2011 because of a, quote-unquote, "pattern of misconduct." Different from a dishonorable discharge, it's not that. But for pattern of misconduct. And after that was then allowed to work for the Navy as a contractor, which is another crucial aspect of this story.
Ed, you have spoken with friends of Alexis, and when you talk about profiles of people who do these horrific things, this one is very strange. What are they saying about him?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think we're kind of getting a mixed picture at this point here in this early going of trying to dig into Aaron Alexis' past. But a lot of his history here in the city of Fort Worth, Texas, swirls around this place, the Happy Bowl Thai Restaurant on the northwest side of Fort Worth.
The owner of this restaurant was Aaron Alexis' roommate for most of the last three years. They bounced around in various places. The owner then got married about five months ago and Alexis had to move out. That caused a little bit of strain in their friendship, we're told.
But as Joe mentioned, there was that 2010 arrest for firing into the apartment of a neighbor that apparently Alexis had some squabbles with over being too loud and that sort of thing, but those friends and people who have talked to him for several years here in the Fort Worth area say he was very peaceful.
In fact, the owner of the restaurant here met him at a Buddhist temple just down the road. And we just got back from the temple, and folks there say that he was a very quiet person, kept to himself.
His friends did say that they believe he had a Texas concealed handgun permit. They do know that he had at least one or two guns that he had possessed over the course of the last few years. But one of the things that struck out to me, Erin, in speaking to one of his friends, a man by the name of Michael Ritrovato.
He said he had gotten a phone call from Aaron Alexis a few months ago, that he had been work as a computer expert for a civilian contractor there in the D.C. area and that he had been sent to Tokyo, Japan, sometime within the last year and over the -- during the course of doing work for this contractor, he said that he had not been paid properly.
It's not clear if it was a salary dispute or expenses that weren't paid out in his mind. But this friend of his says that he -- that Alexis complained about that and was very frustrated about what was going on. And we asked him if he thought that could have been a motive or might have led to this shooting to take place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: You think it's frustration with the contractor over the -- over the payment. Do you think that that could have been something that led to this?
MICHAEL RITROVATO, AARON ALEXIS' FRIEND: Well, from the conversations that I have had with him, I would say that that would be a part of it, just because he really felt like they should have paid him when they took him to Tokyo.
It was -- it was, you know, he loved to be able to travel, but he -- when he came back, he talked about how they didn't give him the money that they said, and so I would think that that, you know, could be but --
LAVANDERA: Salary money wasn't paid? Or expenses?
Money that he should have gotten paid or slow pay or something. And I don't know if he ever got paid. Because the last conversation I had with him several months ago was that they did not pay him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: And Erin, one of the other things that Ritrovato said that Aaron Alexis had called him. He's a handyman. Does handyman work here at the restaurant and various other places and Alexis had called him asking him, see if he could have any kind of works or maybe there is -- questions about whether or not his financial stability or he had some financial troubles. Ritrovato thought that might have been a problem.
One of the other things said before he had left here, the Fort Worth area, Ritrovato and some other friends say that Alexis had kind of holed himself up in his room, would spend hours and hours playing violent video games and wouldn't come out. In fact, at some point before he left here at Fort Worth -- the Fort Worth area, they were giving him a hard time about that -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. That's interesting. Very interesting nugget to this conversation.
Thank you very much to Ed and Joe.
And I just want to update you, of course, as the situation is breaking and ongoing. You may have wondered when he was discharged from the Navy who took him on as a contractor. Well, we can confirm for you HP, obviously Hewlett-Packard, HP Enterprise Services, had a contract and they had a subcontractor called, quote-unquote, The Experts. And that is the company for which Aaron Alexis worked. The contractor for the U.S. Navy.
So just wanted to update you on that. We'll have more on that. But I don't want to hold back on any information as we get it for you.
Our fourth story OUTFRONT, though, is what exactly happened inside the Navy Yard today. We've explained it to you but not really showed how it's laid out. Panic gripped Washington after a gunman opened fire. This is the Navy's oldest land facility in the United States. It is a 3,000 employee facility. The annual budget of this facility is about $30 billion.
How could something like this happen inside a secure government operation?
Tom Foreman has this part of the story.
And, Tom, I know you've been looking into the security and looking into exactly moment by moment from when that gunman entered this facility what happened.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Erin, it's not just a matter of this facility. It's where it happened. Look, this is in Washington, D.C. This is mile and a half, two miles from the U.S. capitol. The Navy Yard is in fact a secure facility with the perimeter all around it. Special gates that have -- people have to come through with their badges to get into work.
And yet somehow this man, with that pass we're talking about, got into this building with a gun, according to authorities. Now some of the people who are there, as witnesses say, they were concerned a little bit about the backdoors of the building, whether or not that offered a path in, Erin, but fundamentally this is the question. How does somebody with all of that going for them wind up in this building with a gun -- Erin.
BURNETT: So -- how did that happen? I mean, how did this unfold once the shooting began? So there's this huge question of how in the world he got in with these three guns. Then he gets in, what happens?
FOREMAN: Yes. Once he got in things happened very quickly. At about 8:18 is when authorities say the first gunfire was reported and people were told to shelter in place. In a very short period of time, By about 8:21, authorities were already engaging him inside the building, so a very short period. By 8:25 other police had arrived from the city and they were in what they described as basically a running battle with him.
Nonetheless, he managed at some point to be shooting from up on the fourth floor down through an atrium at some other people down here. Some of the folks who tried to run down hallways said they actually ran essentially into the gunman and he shot back at them. But this running battle started evolving.
So you can see what's happening here. Basically in this very short window of time seems to be the biggest part of the shooting. But then, many witnesses, Erin, say, really by 9:00, all of the shootings had stopped and it had been sporadic in here. So I think we're probably going to find that this was the bulk of the shooting here. By 9:00, that may be when he was finally taken down.
And by 11:30 is when we finally received word that the shooting seemed to be over in there. And they were searching to see if anybody else might be involved. So a lot of questions here, Erin, about how this came to pass in this dreadful short period of time.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Tom Foreman.
And that's how it happened. So we're going to be talking to a witness to the shooting who described exactly how it occurred. And think about how many hours that was when there was so much uncertainly about how many shooters there were, and people were holed up, so afraid, in that building.
Three victims of the shooting are being treated for their injuries tonight. We're going to go live to the hospital for an update. We're going to tell you the latest. I can tell you in just the past few moments, we have been told by the U.S. Military that it will be 24 hours after the last family member has been notified that we will find out the name of all the 12 heroes who lost their lives today.
We will have a report on them and we will have the very latest on how it is possible this man was working for a subcontractor of Hewlett- Packard when he had already been discharged from the Navy.
BURNETT: Our fifth story OUTFRONT, we return to our breaking news coverage of the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard today. The horror unfolded this morning. Police say a 34-year-old civilian contractor entered America's oldest and biggest military installation for the Navy, and opened fire, murdering 12 innocent people.
Investors say that Aaron Alexis walked to an overlook of the main building, building 197, and then started shooting directly into the cafeteria where people were getting breakfast right below.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICIA WARD, SHOOTING WITNESS: They were quick shots, bam, bam, bam, and two seconds later, bam, bam, bam, and I just started running.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Many of those injured in the shooting had to be evacuated by helicopter. Police and SWAT teams rushed to the scene. Alexis was later killed in a gun battle with officers. And I want to emphasize that, of course, our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives, and their families. We are not able to report for you yet tonight the names of those individuals, that the Department of the Defense says they will put those names out 24 hours after they have been able to notify all the next of kin.
I want to go to Brian Todd, who is OUTFRONT in Washington.
And, Brian, one of the crucial questions and we've had new reporting on this coming out just in past few minutes on this program about Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old shooter, what we know about his discharge from the military. He was discharged for a pattern of misconduct, right, but yet he ended up getting a job as a contractor working for the Navy.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. We have new information about that. As you mentioned, discharged in 2011, according to our Barbara Starr, after a series of disciplinary pattern issues. And what we now know, we' now been confirmed that he worked for a subcontractor for Hewlett-Packard.
I'm going to read you a statement from Michael. He's with the corporate media relations department of Hewlett-Packard. He issued this statement just a short time ago. Quote, "We are deeply saddened by today's tragic event at the Washington Navy Yard. Our thoughts and sympathies are with all those who have been affected."
Here's the critical part, Aaron Alexis was an employee of a company called The Experts, a subcontractor to an HP Enterprise Services contract to refresh equipment used in the Navy Marine Corps intranet network."
HP is cooperating fully with law enforcement as requested.
So, Hewlett-Packard confirming that Aaron Alexis worked for a company called The Experts, which is a subcontractor for Hewlett-Packard and was -- he was assigned to refresh equipment used in the Navy Marine Corps intranet network. Not clear if he actually was assigned to this base, was actually working in this base, Erin, but that's the latest information that we have about Aaron Alexis' employment with a subcontractor called The Experts, working with Hewlett-Packard -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Brian Todd, thank you very much.
And really important developments there, as Brian is reporting it, because again, as we've been saying, Aaron Alexis had been discharged from the Navy for a, quote-unquote, "pattern of misconduct," after which he was hired by Hewlett-Packard and the subcontractor to do this IT work for the Navy.
Our sixth story OUTFRONT: more on what we know about the suspected gunman, because as each hour passes, we are learning more. And some of the information coming in has been down right bizarre and definitely contradictory. He, of course, was a military contractor who breached the Washington Navy Yard this morning, murdering and massacring 12 innocent people.
I want to bring in Bud Kennedy. He knew the alleged shooter. He is a columnist with the "Fort Worth Telegraph".
But, obviously, tell me first, if you could, and our viewers, how exactly you knew Aaron Alexis.
BUD KENNEDY, KNEW AARON ALEXIS (via telephone): Aaron Alexis waited on me when I went to the Thai restaurant here in White Settlement, Texas. He waited on several of our staff members. It's a very popular Thai restaurant. He was quiet, unassuming waiter. I think he was working there as part of his friendship with the owner of the restaurant, while he was a reservist here.
This is very close to a large Navy Reserve base here in Ft. Worth. He was a quiet, almost bookish kind of fellow, and I remember being surprised when I walked in. I thought this guy seems a little bit more proximity you'd see in a library rather than waiting tables at a Thai place.
BURNETT: It sure of seems like your impressions of him fit with that we've heard from those, you know, our Ed Lavandera was reporting talking to a roommate of his, who had been a roommate of Aaron Alexis for three years. He said he was a fluent Thai speaker, had been going to a Buddhist temple.
Your image of him sort of seems to fit with that portrait of Aaron Alexis, obviously not the one of a person who had been arrested in Seattle for a gun violation.
KENNEDY: We know him as a serious guy here. I talked to the owner of the Thai restaurant early in the afternoon. He was surprised. He knew Aaron owned a gun, but didn't think he would do anything to like this.
BURNETT: And did you ever see him interact with other people, other co-workers? Did he ever talk to you at all about this part of his life? That he was working as a contractor or working for the Navy? Did that ever come up? KENNEDY: I didn't know at the time that he was part of the reserve. He's only recently been working for the contractor at a time. He was a Navy reservist. This is a reserve base. We have a lot of reserve community here. I wasn't surprised that he'd be attached to the base.
But in fact, we didn't talk about it. Our other reporter who went to the restaurant a lot knew he was affiliated with the reserves somehow, but thought he was mainly interested in studying Thai and helping in the Thai restaurant. We didn't know about his, you know, exactly what he did in the military or how involved he was.
BURNETT: Bud, thank you very much for taking the time. We appreciate it adding to the portrait that we are trying to come up with about who this person was, how they could have done this horrific act and whether he could have been stopped.
And our seventh story OUTFRONT is the victims of the shooting. Now, I want to make sure you understand we are not sharing the names of the 12 who were massacred, who lost their lives heroically today, because a Pentagon official says they are going to wait until 24 hours after they are able to notify the next of kin, the last family member. That is why we out of respect, we are not going to be able to talk about those who lost their lives so tragically.
We can tell you, though, about those who are fighting for their lives tonight. Three victims are still in serious condition. Hospital officials hope that they are going to recover. And our Chris Lawrence is OUTFRONT tonight from the latest.
And, Chris, tell us about the victims and what doctors are saying about those who fought for their lives. And it's important to note that while some were killed on the spot today, there was a victim who had been fighting for their life during the day, who tragically lost that life late this afternoon.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's right.
There was someone who was taken and put in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and died on the way from his wounds. But I can tell you just in the last couple minutes, Erin, we just got an update on the condition of that Washington, D.C. police officer who had a direct confrontation with the shooter and got shot in the leg. In the last few minutes, we learned that he is now out of his surgery and is starting the process of recovery.
We're told the surgery was complex and very complicated, as the doctors have been working on him all afternoon, trying to see if they can give him the use of his legs and make sure he keeps the use of his legs. He was shot multiple times in the legs. Bullets busted through bones, busted blood vessels. It was an extremely dangerous injury and there is concern that he won't have the use of his legs. They're going to assess that in the morning and into tomorrow afternoon as they get a better handle on how the surgery went.
There was also a young woman who was shot in the shoulder. She right now is still in surgery. But a third person, a woman who was shot in the head, you would think the most dramatic trauma of all these victims may be the first one to go home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JANIS ORLOWSKI, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, MEDSTAR WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: She's a very, very lucky young lady. She actually has injury to her hand and to her head, but the bullet actually did not penetrate the skull, means it did not penetrate the bone.
So, she is, obviously, has suffered a significant wound, but she will recover without surgery. And we've done a couple of procedures to take care of her hand and her head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE: So, again, two women, civilians working for the Navy. One is still in surgery. The other is recovering from that gunshot wound to the head. There was also a process of taking photographs, looking at bullet holes and also a chain of custody of the evidence, taking those bullet fragments directly from the surgeon to the investigators as they build the investigation -- Erin.
BURNETT: Chris Lawrence, thank you, reporting from the hospital tonight.
And our eighth story OUTFRONT is the fear on Capitol Hill.
The Navy Yard is blocks away. As you've seen from the maps we've shown you, there was panic on Capitol Hill when this happened.
Our Dana Bash is OUTFRONT with the latest.
Dana, you were there all day, there was a lockdown at the Senate, and I know you were talking about how that felt, what it was reminiscent of, but it was only the Senate.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And it happened hours after the incident at the Navy Yard, but it was about an hour and a half after the D.C. police chief announced that there could be two suspects at large.
So what happened was this door and the doors around it on the Senate side, they were closed. People couldn't come in and out.
But the issue was that on this side of the Capitol, of course, it's the same building and the House, they didn't close it off. So, there was some confusion as to what people should be doing. An abundance of caution, the sergeant at arms decided to at least have a partial lockdown here -- Erin.
BURNETT: And, Dana, after the Newtown shooting, the president tried to pass gun control legislation -- obviously unsuccessful. Now, we are hearing tonight, we are reporting here at CNN just this hour, that an AR-15 used in some of those horrific mass shootings was used again in this one.
Is this going to reignite the gun debate?
BASH: Well, we should also be cautious that we don't know much about this suspect and certainly not about his motives.
But, of course, we have to talk about the gun debate because it already is reignited. People are talking about whether or not this will bring about the votes that need to be, that the Democrats need to get here who support background checks.
Right now, according to Joe Manchin who I bumped into just this afternoon, who is a conservative Democratic, who switched his position after Newtown, he said he simply does not think even after this, he's going to get the five votes needed to switch people's minds and get an and expand background checks in the Senate.
BURNETT: This will shock so many listening to you tonight. Thank you, Dana.
Well, there is more news OUTFRONT. We're going to go to Colorado, the waters and the death toll are rising. The flooding there historic.
And five years after America's financial collapse, the president today, after talking about the shooting, made the case for his recovery. He responds to Republicans who want to shut down the government because of Obamacare.
And how do you pull a 114-ton vessel upright. Two years after the Costa Concordia crew ship capsized, in which 32 died, it is finally emerging from the water. You're going to see it actually happen. That's next.
BURNETT: We're continuing to follow the latest on the shooting in Washington.
Here are, though, are some of the other major stories we are following tonight OUTFRONT:
The president spoke on the fifth anniversary of the financial collapse. He touted the 7.5 million jobs created, he says, thanks to his policies. He also says, though, Congress must pass a budget for the economy to grow.
He came out swinging in response from threats that have come from Republicans that have promised to shut the government down if Obamacare isn't repealed. Without a deal between Democrats and Republicans, the government will shut down on October 1st, and the United States will run out of money to pay its bills a couple weeks later.
And our ninth story OUTFRONT is breaking news on the deadly floods in Colorado. Tonight, a thousand people are in desperate need of food and water in the United States, in Colorado, right here as you see it. Whole communities have been cut off for days now by raging floodwaters which have swallowed roads and devastated towns and 17 communities.
At least seven people have been confirmed dead and that number is likely to rise.
Ana Cabrera is OUTFRONT tonight in Longmont, Colorado.
ANA CABRERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two teens in love, two young victims of the Colorado floods. Family members tell us 19-year- old Wesley Quinlan (ph) and Wynona Nelson (ph) were swept away in a torrent of water.
(on camera): This debris field gives you a sense of just how high and powerful the water was at the height of this storm. It was about a half-mile up the road from here where Nelson and Quinlan were swept away.
(voice-over): Their car careened off the road and got stuck on a wall of debris. Family members say they tried to escape, but the water was too swift. Nelson fell first and Quinlan tried to save her.
They're among the seven people now presumed dead across the state. Hundreds still unaccounted for. More than a thousand people have lost their homes.
CASEY KORBELY, FLOOD VICTIM: Cops and firefighters say it could be two or three weeks until they build a bridge and we can get our vehicles out.
CABRERA: Casey Korbely's home is one of those cut off. He got out just in time. These are pictures from his neighborhood, cars buried in mud and a huge hole that was once a road.
KORBELY: Reality hasn't hit quite yet.
CABRERA: Casey is determined to get home by hiking, an uphill climb fueled by a Colorado spirit that doesn't give up.
CABRERA: Now, the water is receding, and the state's drying out, but there are months of recovery ahead.
Just to give you some perspective, in Boulder County alone, where we are, there are some $150 million in damages just to roads and bridges. Statewide, some 17,000 homes have flood damage -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ana Cabrera, who has been covering this story from the beginning.
And our tenth story OUTFRONT is righting the Costa Concordia. You remember it, 20 months ago, it capsized off the Italian coast. Thirty-two people lost their lives. The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship now is finally and slowly coming out of the water. The goal is to actually raise the ship which was flat to a vertical position to tow. Officials say, though, the team of over 500 people working on this has a long way to go.
Barbie Nadeau is OUTFRONT with the latest on their progress.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the rotation of the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner is taking a lot longer than any one thought. Authorities first thought it would take about 12 hours. Now, it looks like it's going to be twice that time.
This is an unprecedented salvage operation. No ship this size this weight has ever been rotated before. Generally, they're blown up or they're dismantled on the sea. The reason for the delay is because they just don't have a precedent.
From this point forward, this will really set become a textbook case in salvage operations because of the way they are learning as they go. They hit a glitch today when there was a slack in one of the cables that was pulling the ship from underneath. That stopped operations for about an hour while a specialty crew went in and fixed that problem. But we expect to see, if everything continues to go as planned, we expect the Costa Concordia will be in upright position by dawn -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks to Barbie Nadeau there from Italy.
And still OUTFRONT, just moments after Miss America was crowned, she was attacked on social media in a vile and horrible way. The newly crowned queen, though, fighting back -- as she should. That's next.
BURNETT: Last night's Miss America's pageant made history. Miss New York, Nina Davuluri was the first of Indian-American to win the crown. And many are celebrating. Her -- she wants to be called Miss Diversity.
But sadly, as soon as Nina got the tiara, individuals took to social media to post racist comments, some even calling her a terrorist.
Now to her credit, Nina responded, "I have to rise above that." And she's taking it a step further. For the next year, she's going to travel across the country promoting her causes, healthy lifestyles and diversity.
And Nina plans to use the $50,000 scholarship she won to pay for her medical school -- which brings me to tonight's money and power, because as much as the pageant can change the life of a winner, it can change the community. For the last nine years, the Miss America pageant has been held in Las Vegas. But this year, it went back to its home, its traditional home of Atlantic City. The state of New Jersey and Atlantic City's tourism boards are putting up $21 million, to promote the event over the next three years. And over that time, Atlantic City is expected to bring in $35 million because of the pageant. That's theoretically a pretty good profit of $14 million -- and Miss America, we'll be talking to her.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Our continuing coverage of the mass shooting in Washington continues right now here on CNN with Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks.