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Shooter Heard Voices?

Aired September 17, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, breaking news, shocking new toxic secrets emerging from the D.C. Navy Yard shooter`s very -- and I mean very -- disturbing past. It now appears gunman Aaron Alexis was hearing voices through the walls, through the ceiling, through the floors. He was also hell-bent, it would appear, possibly on revenge over payments he felt he was owed for work he did.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all loved him, and we don`t know why he would do something like this at all.

PATRICIA WARD, WITNESS: We heard three shots, pow, pow, pow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aaron was a very polite, very friendly man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blood -- blood spots on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was upset with the government about all that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looked up and we saw bullet holes in the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn`t come out of his room last night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s unbelievable to think that he would do something like this.

TERRIE DURUM, WITNESS: We could see him with a rifle and he raised and aimed at us and fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re talking about the kind of guy who (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we`re learning 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, the lone shooter who gunned down 12 innocent people before being killed himself, has been acting in an increasingly deranged manner long before he unleashed his carnage yesterday at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard.

What`s emerging is a litany of chilling police reports plus eight -- count them -- eight incidents of misconduct in the Navy. Turns out this information technology naval contractor had a pattern of violent outbursts with guns and, even more shocking, just last month Aaron Alexis had a total mental breakdown in Rhode Island.

Local cops say they even warned naval authorities about him, and we`re talking just last month. Where did that warning go?

While in Rhode Island, he moved hotels three times, first staying at the Residence Inn, then at a Navy base hotel, and finally at a Marriott Hotel. The reason? Alexis told cops he heard voices, quote, "speaking to him through the floor and the ceiling." He claimed three mystery individuals were, quote -- are you sitting down? -- "using a microwave machine to send vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he could not speak."

The shooter`s friends say Alexis seemed nice but was prone to revenge whenever he felt slighted. One roommate says when she asked for the rent check once, Alexis poured sugar into her gas tank.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On July 4 we left our brand-new car in the garage, and the garage was closed. He was the only one that had access to it. We noticed the next day that our car wouldn`t work. We had to get it towed. And apparently, Honda said that someone had put sugar in the gas tank. And there was only one person that had access to our garage that was still living with us. We have a fence. It`s locked. And so apparently, we had to file a report that we think that he did that, that he put the sugar in the tank.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, and he also had two shooting incidents. Why did he have a pass so that base?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

We have an incredible panel in the Lion`s Den tonight, including Lisa Lockwood, investigator and author of "Undercover Angel." So many questions tonight. Why did naval authorities miss the many red flags that this guy was a ticking time bomb?

Straight out to Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst on the ground in D.C.

You are just outside the Navy Yard where this massacre happened yesterday. Mike, why did he still have legitimate access to this Navy Yard, given last month`s mental breakdown?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Jane, there is no way that he should have had any kind of access to the Washington Navy Yard, this high-security base here in southeast D.C. There`s in way.

You know, with the number of arrests he had, somebody dropped the ball when it came to his background investigation. He should not have had any clearances that gave him access, gave him a badge to get onto that base. Someone dropped the ball, big time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, in so many ways, Mike. I mean, that`s the thing. It`s not just dropping one ball. This guy has just an incredibly bad, bad record.

Tonight so many questions about why the shooter had -- we`re talking mid-level clearance as a contractor. And that comes with a legitimate pass. You know, like I have a work pass? He had a legitimate pass to get onto this Navy base.

Now, here`s a man who had eight cases of misconduct in the Navy before he was discharged, then two incidents of shooting guns off -- once at some tires, once at a floor -- plus a mental breakdown just last month, just a month before this rampage yesterday.

Let`s examine the security clearance process to try to figure out where did they go wrong.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arrests for gun violations should have disqualified him.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Disqualified him from getting a secret security clearance. And according to Sheldon Cohen an attorney who specializes in that. Cohen and other attorneys say a private firm does background checks on civilian contractors for the government`s Office of Personnel Management. OPM checks the information, Cohen says, then passes it to the Defense Department.

There`s one office in DOD that then determines whether someone gets the kind of security clearance Alexis had.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. So Aaron Alexis lands a job as an I.T. contractor with a company called The Experts. Now they`re a Hewlett- Packard subcontractor that updates computer systems used at naval facilities worldwide. So this guy gets a security clearance from the Department of Defense to work at several naval sites over the summer, and he`s traveling up and down the East Coast. We heard he was in Rhode Island, having a mental breakdown. And then he arrives in Washington.

Straight out to the Lion`s Den. I mean, what the heck? I got to go to Michelle Sigona. You`re an investigative reporter. You`re also on the ground in D.C., roaming around, trying to find information about how this guy managed to slip past all of these clearances.

What do you know, Michelle?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (via phone): This is something very interesting. You just spoke about that Newport, Rhode Island, Police Department report. I have in front of me right now, this is reported August 7, 2013.

And let me tell you, at the end of this report, which goes into detail about the voices and the vibrations, that the fight that he was having with these three people and two men and a woman, this particular sergeant says, "I made contact with the on-duty naval station police. I advised the reports claimed by so and so and wanted to determine if he`s, in fact, a naval base contractor. No further action at this time.

They turned this very detailed report over to police there on base in August, and here we are mid-September and look what happens.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. J. Wyndal Gordon, attorney out of the D.C. Area, basically what Michelle is saying is that he had a mental breakdown in Rhode Island last month. And the cops were called. And he`s saying, "I`m hearing voices, and they`re using a microwave machine, these people who are following me. A mystery man has sent three people to follow me and send voices using a microwave machine to my head through the walls."

J. WYNDAL GORDON, ATTORNEY: I think the question becomes whether or not the police dealt with that as a criminal issue or a mental health issue. If it was a mental health issue, there wouldn`t be -- wouldn`t be any criminal results from it. They would -- they would send him to a hospital for him to be evaluated. So I think they finally missed -- I don`t know...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And J. Wyndal Gordon, let me say this. I don`t care whether it was a mental issue or an issue of he didn`t pay his hotel bill. In the process, OK, they informed the naval base on Rhode Island that this man was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. That he had a mental breakdown, that he was listening and hearing voices. That`s somebody who`s a danger.

GORDON: Don`t get me wrong. Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Gail Saltz, I don`t care whether it was -- they told the naval base. They told the Navy there was a serious problem with this man, and where did that information go? Apparently nowhere.

I mean, Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, author of "Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Life," the Navy was informed that this man had a mental breakdown last month in Rhode Island, thought that a microwave machine was sending him voices through the ceiling. Dr. Saltz.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. Yes. Unfortunately, obviously, that is a sign of psychotic illness.

Now it`s important to know that most people who are psychotic will not commit a violent act. However, because he already had a history of committing some violent acts, combined with the fact that his delusions were of a paranoid nature, in other words, they were sort of like command auditory hallucinations. You know, do something. We`re telling you something. They had a paranoid flavor to them. He felt like he was being stalked, no matter where he went. Those are concerning factors.

And clearly, this is a man who shouldn`t have been allowed to have a weapon. I think that`s, you know, that`s a major concern, and it`s very complicated. Why wasn`t he reported in such a way that he couldn`t basically buy or own a weapon? I think we have to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen...

GORDON: Whether or not the government bureaucracy would allow them to get to him with sufficient alacrity to kind of put a stop to all of this. I mean, there are channels and people that you have to go through to even get...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, you know, let me -- let me tell you about sufficient alacrity. Come to me. OK, here`s sufficient alacrity. OK. You pick -- you pick up your phone and you dial, and you say, "Here`s a guy with a problem." I`m sorry, I don`t buy it. I mean...

GORDON: He hasn`t committed any crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The military -- the military...


GORDON: He has a citation for -- for his service.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... spends billions of dollars. We`ve all heard the story. And listen, I respect and honor servicemen and women. This is not about that. But it`s about cracks in the bureaucracy. We all hear about the $5,000 toilet bowl cover, etc., etc. There are cracks in bureaucracy that we need to address.

This guy had a mental breakdown. He had a horrible record in the Navy. He still gets a top security clearance?

I mean, Lisa Lockwood, and then he`s able to go buy a gun, which we`ll talk about in a second. But let`s talk about the fact that this man was not denied clearance after he had a mental breakdown in Rhode Island last month -- Lisa.

LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR/AUTHOR, "UNDERCOVER ANGEL": This is one of the worst unforced errors that I have ever, ever experienced in my life. Having been a military veteran with secret clearance, honorable discharge, how did this man get dismissed honorably with eight misconducts? That in itself is a disgrace to all military people out there who have earned the right for honorable discharge.


GORDON: ... question of...

LOCKWOOD: That`s the beginning. If we go all the way back to square one, that`s where the travesty began. And we wouldn`t have had this awful unforced error of a mass murder, had that been taken care of. He would not have been a civilian employee. I`m going to tell you that right now. It`s the dishonorable discharge. That`s the beginning.

On the other side of the break, we`re going to talk about how this man not only bought a gun this past Saturday, two days before yesterday`s carnage but went to target practice and practiced how to kill.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just didn`t seem like he would be that kind of person that would be that upset enough to go out and do something like this. That`s why we`re confused.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t believe that he did that. He`s not that kind of guy who kills people.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tears of joy amidst sobs of relief Monday evening as Tracina Steer Smith (ph) reunites with her husband William after spending the day locked down inside a Navy Yard office building. A touching reunion for the newlyweds after hours of fearing the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been a really rough day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How good does it feel to have her in the car?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Aaron Alexis, the I.T. contractor who shot a dozen people dead, had a legitimate pass to get into the D.C. Navy Yard and Building 197, where he unleashed his carnage, this despite an apparent mental breakdown just a month ago.

On August 7, Rhode Island cops say they warned the Newport, Rhode Island, naval base about Aaron Alexis. Cops were called when Alexis had a crazy incident while staying at the Residence Inn in Middleton, Rhode Island. He told cops someone sent three people to harass him, that he heard their voices speaking to him through the walls of his hotel room, that they were using a microwave machine to send vibrations through the ceiling. He kept changing hotels, and the voices, he said, followed him.

However, one friend said, "No, to me he seemed very sane indeed."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can honestly tell you Aaron was not hearing voices. There was no mental illness in him other than if you want to say that the posttraumatic stress disorder was mental.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to Deb Feyerick, CNN correspondent. What do you know about his mental problems and this reference to PTSD?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we do know is that back in August, about the time that you reference, he did seek some help from a V.A. facility in Rhode Island. And it seems that there was an incident around that exact same time. August 7 he called police and said that he was being harassed. He really feared that people were following him. He was hearing voices and he felt, in his words, that they were out to hurt him.

It happened at about 6:30 in the morning. He called the police, complained that he was being harassed. He said he had gotten into an argument with somebody on his flight between Virginia and Rhode Island, and he felt it was this individual who had sent others to follow him to talk to him and to keep him awake.

He moved hotels three times, but he told police that the voices simply did not go away. The second hotel, Jane, was actually on the Navy base. And he said that the same voices were talking to him through the walls, the floors as well as the ceiling.

He said he didn`t see anyone, but he told police he believed it was two men and a woman. And he believed, in his words, they were using some sort of microwave machine to send vibrations through the ceiling and into his body so that he couldn`t fall asleep.

And then we spoke to a source -- go ahead, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I wanted to ask you, Deb, any idea why, since the Rhode Island cops told the naval officials about all of this, why something wasn`t done, why it didn`t send off alarm bells like kick this guy out or get him help?

FEYERICK: Well, the Newport police were concerned. In fact, they were so concerned that they spoke to the naval station police officers and told them that there had been this incident, and they were concerned because they said he was a naval contractor. And the police at the naval station said that they would look into it.

We called the Navy. We called the FBI, but none of them would comment.

You heard that woman, Jane, refer to PTSD that he was apparently suffering from. According to his father, his family, apparently, he was down at Ground Zero when the towers fell. He was right at a community college there, working as a computer assistant. And apparently, he saw the towers fell. The college where he was at became a staging area for first responders.

So what he saw, what he experienced then, it appears that soon after he left New York, and he rarely returned, if ever. The last time he was back was in 2010. But his father really believes that that was sort of the catalyst, that that kind of put him on this path.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he was kind of transient after that, bouncing around from place to place to place. We`ve heard Texas. We`ve heard Seattle, Rhode Island and working up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Deb Feyerick, thank you so much.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Lisa, Wisconsin, your question or thought? Lisa, Wisconsin.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thank you for taking my call.


CALLER: I just want to say that, basically, I agree with your panel, but I still am a little bit upset, actually a lot upset that this man did not receive any help. Hearing voices? We wait until he has killed somebody? I mean, if it was diabetes or a heart attack, it wouldn`t have happened. It would have already been attended to.

But here again, because it`s a mental issue -- and I think there is a stereotype. There is a stereotype with people with mental issues. And I think it`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, thank you so much, Lisa. I appreciate your point. Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, what kind of mental -- is this schizophrenia? We also know that friends said he`d be really charming one day, friendly, seemingly well-balanced, and then very dark and moody the next day. That sounds bipolar to me.

SALTZ: Well, I`m so glad, first of all, that the caller brought up the issue of stigma. Because she`s absolutely right. We still stigmatize so that people don`t get the help that they need. And she`s right, if it were a medical illness, it probably would have.

But in terms of what it is, we don`t know, because psychotic thinking, hearing voices can happen in schizophrenia. It can happen in bipolar disorder and can happen in PTSD. So there are a myriad of things that can cause this symptom, and you really have to evaluate the history and the other symptoms that are occurring to know which of these things might be going on.

But the bottom line is if you are hearing voices, which sadly many people do, you do not...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You should not have a pass to a naval base.

SALTZ: You should not -- and you should not be able to buy a gun. But you should be getting into treatment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, how did this whole situation slip through the cracks? One reason, I think, is that, while he was arrested for two shoot- em-ups -- shooting tires when we was mad at somebody, shooting through a floor or a ceiling -- he was never officially charged or there was no criminal case to go along with that. So maybe that`s where things got messed up.

Stay right there. More on the other side.



GRAPHIC: Arthur Daniels, 51

Frank Kohler, 50

Gerald L. Read, 58

John Roger Johnson, 73

Kathy Gaarde, 62

Vishnu Shalchendia Pandit, 61

Martin Bodrog, 54




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you ask yourself, you go from denial to reality, to fear, to blame. Is there something I could have done? Is it something I could have solved? Is there some type of behavior that I ignored?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The shooter, Aaron Alexis, had a history of run-ins with the law, both on duty and out of uniform. 2004, he was arrested in Seattle for shooting out tires at a construction site, because he felt the construction workers were disrespecting him. 2008, he was arrested in Georgia for disorderly conduct, then arrested again in 2010 in Texas for firing a gun through his apartment ceiling.

We`re also learning he had eight misconduct incidents in the Navy, including drunkenness and disorderly conduct.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My experience with this, he absolutely should not have gotten clearance. Anybody that I`ve encountered with any kind -- even half of this record does not get a clearance.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to the Lion`s Den. And we`re going to go out to Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, who is in D.C. on the ground, as near to the Navy Yard as you can get at this point. Any theories emerging as to why he slipped through the cracks, Mike?

BROOKS: Well, I tell you, Jane, not yet. We haven`t heard yet. But I can guarantee you, whoever was doing his background check, these arrests will show up. If you do -- if you run a background check through the National Crime Information Center, these arrests will come up. It will have -- will have the date, time, place of arrest, the charge and a disposition, whether it be a elective forfeit, no paper, no pros, pled guilty.

And if you`re doing a background check, you look at these, and you go why are all these -- why are all these incidents with guns, why these violent incidents? And they will talk to him about it. And you know, I would say there was no way, no way that he should have even had the lowest level of clearance, none. But he had a secret clearance. That is totally unacceptable.


GORDON: ... whether or not...

BROOKS: Somebody really dropped the ball.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. J. Wyndal.

GORDON: Yes. The question that comes to mind is whether or not the arrest resulted in a conviction. Now, that may or may not make a difference, but I think it`s significant to note. Because if there were no convictions then yes, someone will probably give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, in this country you`re innocent until proven guilty. And if the case has been dropped for whatever reason or you`re found not guilty...

BROOKS: That doesn`t count when -- but that doesn`t count when it comes to security clearance. Look, I had a top secret...

GORDON: OK. I`ll defer to you.

BROOKS: I know. But, I`m saying, that all comes up when you`re doing a background check.

And you know what? If all these red flags are going up, then why didn`t somebody interview them, like they should have when they`re doing a background, and say, "Why are -- why all these charges here? Tell me about what happened here. Tell me what happened here."

And he should have an FBI number for each one of those and fingerprinted, photographed.

But Jane, the bottom line is here he should not have been in the Navy Yard yesterday, period.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, to me, what occurs to me -- and I`ll get Lisa Lockwood to weigh in on this -- it`s a game of telephone. OK. So he lands a job as an I.T. contractor with The Experts. But they`re a subcontractor to Hewlett-Packard.

And then here`s the statement from the experts. They say, "Well, we enlisted a service to perform two background checks, and we confirmed twice through the Department of Defense his secret government clearance."

So what I see is you got the government. Then you`ve got Hewlett- Packard. Then you`ve got The Experts, and then you`ve got the service. And between all of those there is some kind of disconnect, quite possibly, Lisa.

GORDON: No -- no one ever expected him to be involved in the situation that he`s been in. I mean, everyone said he was a nice guy, he was a, you know, a pleasant guy. And so maybe that appealed to those who interviewed him. And they say, "You know what? I may have some questions about this, but let me give this guy a shot."

I don`t know. It`s just speculation and conjecture on my part.


GORDON: But that`s my -- that`s my assessment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a good point. But Lisa Lockwood.

LOCKWOOD: And I`m absolutely livid about this, because I know what it takes to go through security clearances, to find out everything about your background. The digging is deep, and it`s -- and it`s digging wide. So to have any of these things occur is completely ridiculous and embarrassing.

GORDON: But where is medium security? That`s what he was on, medium security.

LOCKWOOD: Inspector generals are going to find out what happened here, whether it`s a private agency or government agency.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The -- the -- yes, there`s more -- there`s more security to get into a rock concert. I mean, I go into a rock concert, I`m patted down. They go through my purse. They check to see if I`ve got anything. I mean, somebody did drop the ball. Maybe a number of people.

Listen, on the other side of the break, we`re going to tell you where this guy got his gun just this past Saturday, how he went target practice.

Also, we`re also going to tell you a teen kidnapped at gunpoint from her home in the middle of the night. This is gut-wrenching. I`m going to talk to the girl`s close friend. We`re going to try to find her. That`s just in a couple of minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t even imagine what she`s going through. I can only imagine. And I just got through telling Louise (ph), my home girl, that I prayed (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I prayed for the safe return of this child, because it shouldn`t happen.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all loved him and we don`t know why he would do something like this at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard three shots -- pow, pow, pow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aaron was a very polite, very friendly man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw blood spots on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just was upset with the government about all that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We looked up and we saw bullet holes in the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn`t come out of his room much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s unbelievable to think that he could do something like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could see him with the rifle and he raised and aimed at us and fired.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not the kind of guy who kill people.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Why? Why? Why did he get in with the gun? Why did he do it? Cops say IT contractor turned mass murderer Aaron Alexis utilized a valid pass to get entry into this highly sensitive naval site.

Listen to a former friend explain how knowledgeable the shooter was with military equipment specifically rifles and hand guns.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seemed like he was very knowledgeable with all of the military equipment. He was also knowledgeable with military rifles and handguns and stuff. At least he led us to believe he was. Nobody ever had the idea that he would ever use them in a derogatory way. He seemed very militarily knowledgeable.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last Saturday -- we`re talking two days before yesterday`s mass shooting -- Aaron Alexis came to this gun shop, Sharp Shooters, in Virginia and he proceeded to buy a Remington 870 shotgun for $419 along with two cases of ammunition. That`s about 24 bullets. He also went to practice at the practice range and practice shooting.

It would turn out he was practicing killing people. He ultimately killed 12 other people before being gunned down. He was reportedly in the store for a couple of hours, and guess what, it`s all caught on tape, tape the FBI now has.

Cops say they recovered approximately three weapons from the scene. The shotgun they believe that he brought into the compound and at least one handgun that Alexis may have taken from a guard or guards at the Navy Yard.

Straight out to the "Lion`s Den" -- wow, so many apparent lapses -- how did he get the gun into the Navy Yard. I mean one thing is to have a pass; the other thing is to have a pass and a gun and get in there. And Lisa Lockwood how was he able to buy a gun in Virginia when he has a Texas driver`s license?

LISA LOCKWOOD, INVESTIGATOR: Exactly. And that`s the piece of the puzzle that`s very interesting about all of this. Also let`s look at cool- off period. That`s why states implement a 72-hour cool off. You can`t just walk into a gun store buy a gun and leave because they know that people who are getting a gun, immediately they have intention of doing something so they have a cool-off period for that. So why --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: With all due respect, Lisa, they don`t have a cool- off period. All our reports say that he legally purchased that gun in Virginia.

LOCKWOOD: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that there was no cool-off period and he was able to walk out with the gun.

LOCKWOOD: Another perfect example of a broken system.

Listen, I`m a proponent for concealed carry. I`m a proponent for open carry. As a former police officer, detective and SWAT team member, I believe that America needs to be armed and we have the right to bear arms. It is for situations just like this.


J. WYNDAL GORDON, ATTORNEY: Well, if you believe that -

LOCKWOOD: However, there needs to be a certain amount of training.

GORDON: -- you have a gentleman right here who`s armed, he`s very knowledgeable militarily with the weapon and the weaponry of choice and he ended up spraying like 12 people. So, you know --


LOCKWOOD: However, my point is the cool-off period and I believe in having a cool-off period. You don`t go into a store and just a buy gun. Unfortunately that`s where our system is broken.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: With all due respect, I don`t want to get into a debate on gun control but if you`re a nut and you`re hearing voices and microwave machines are sending --

GORDON: Let`s not call him a nut.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Isn`t that a sort of -- isn`t that the casual term --


GORDON: No. No because this person was seriously disturbed. We got to lose these labels because we just don`t understand things. This person had a mental health problem. It`s obvious. We all know it. He`s not a nut. He was a sick individual and he killed people as a result of his undiagnosed mental health.

And that should be the focus of our conversation, not calling him names because I don`t think that advances the issue that`s really at hand and that is people with mental health issues should not be ashamed or think that they will be called a nut if they choose to get help. And then --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ok. Guess what --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- I accept your critique. You`re right. You are right. I thought about it and you are correct. J. Wyndal Gordon. I shouldn`t have called him a nut. He was a person with severe mental illness who was hearing voices --

GORDON: And he tried to get help. He checked into the VA like a month before. So he knew he had issues and he was trying to get help. So he did everything that we want people with mental illnesses to do.

LOCKWOOD: So why wasn`t it reported is the issue.

GORDON: Then that`s the issue.

LOCKWOOD: Why wasn`t it reported properly through the naval system? That`s the issue right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Gail Saltz, another problem. Why didn`t the VA hospital do something? He indeed did seek out help at a hospital. Who dropped the ball there?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: There are a couple possibilities. One is that sometimes patients do come in because they are frightened and they do know they need help and then they touch base with someone and then they don`t follow up. Why? Sometimes it`s because they actually become sicker but because in this country you have legal rights. If you`re not a threat -- deemed a threat to yourself or threat to others in that moment we can`t commit you. We cannot take away your right. We cannot force you to follow up with treatment. That`s one issue.

The other issue --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to -- hold on one second -- I want to get to Robert, Kentucky who has been waiting the whole show. Robert, Kentucky -- your question or thought, Robert.

ROBERT, KENTUCKY (via telephone): My question is, who pulled the fire alarm? Because if he pulled the fire alarm to get more people into the hallway to shoot, that`s even more insane or did the military base pull the fire alarm to let people know what`s going on? That don`t make sense because more people are going to come out into the hallway. Either way did he pull the fire alarm to get more people to kill or did they make a mistake and pulled the fire alarm to file people out into the hall where there`s an active shooter? That`s my question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s an excellent question Robert. Michelle Sigona, I know this gun battle went on for half an hour and I know that people heard a fire alarm. Is it possible that somebody there panicked and thought something`s happening let me alarm everybody and pull the fire alarm. We don`t know the answer yet, do we, Michelle?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Of course, anything is possible, you know. I have not obviously had access to that particular building but I can tell you that inside of that building, just in particular areas -- you know, we talked a little bit about how people go inside and how they`re cleared.

I learned from a couple of coworkers that for instance the cafeteria area, the Building 197, you have to go in there and actually you have to get a visitor`s pass just to get into the cafeteria area. And if you`re not permitted in that building you have to have an escort to go to different levels.

They`re just talking a little bit about the security behind the scenes there. As far as the fire alarm system, how that works, to tell you the truth, I`m not too sure.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are so many unanswered questions and I know that more and more answers will come in and things have to change, systems have to change. We`re in a high-tech society. I always say we can track a package from one coast to the other; we should be able to keep track of people, people who are on a military base and children who are missing.

Up next, a manhunt for two men who kidnapped a 14-year-old Georgia girl from her home -- it`s a terrifying story. Perhaps you can help.

Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It started as a break in at 2:00 a.m.

PHONG NGUYEN, CLAYTON COUNTY POLICE OFFICER: They pried the backdoor into the residence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say they demanded money and jewelry from the small family.

NGUYEN: There was a mother and a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old son. She tried to hide the kids.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2:15 in the morning in this suburb of Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you could just stop what you`re doing for a second. Take a look at your screen right now. Abducted during a home invasion --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A frantic search underway for a 14-year-old girl kidnapped apparently in a late night home invasion.

NGUYEN: They demanded money and jewelry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have released two sketches of the suspects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The two suspects came in the backdoor. The mother actually tried to hide the two kids.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They kidnapped the 14-year-old girl.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight terror, sheer terror in suburbia. Police say gunmen snatched a 14-year-old girl in the dead of night right from inside her home as her terrified mother and brother watch completely helplessly. This happened at about 2:00 a.m. this morning outside Atlanta.

Police say the two suspects initially demanded cash and jewelry. When the victim`s mom told them she didn`t have any money or jewels, they took off with her most priceless possession, her daughter.


NGUYEN: They pried the back door into the residence. There was a mother and a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old son. She tried to hide the kids. The dog was barking and these suspects shot the dog.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dog survived being shot, was taken to the vet and now it`s a desperate race against time to find beautiful Ayvani Perez who was wearing a blue and gray super hero T-shirt and blue and gray Star Wars pajama bottoms.

Now police have released these sketches of her suspected kidnappers. They drove off in a gray dodge. Police did not specify however what model Dodge, ok, but a gray dodge.

First let me go straight out to my very special guest, Ayvani, the missing young girl`s good friend, Brigitte Starr. Brigitte, first of all thank you so much for joining us. This story makes me sick to my stomach. It`s every parent, every individuals worst nightmare -- a home invasion resulting in a kidnapping.

Can you tell us about your friend Ayvani Perez? Is she 14 going on 23 or is she 14 going on 14.

BRIGITTE STARR, FRIEND OF AYVANI PEREZ: She`s definitely 14 going on 14. She`s such a sweetheart, love for animals. She meets no stranger. I just could not imagine anything happening to her. I`m literally at a loss for words.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there are no words to describe because our imagination runs wild as to what might possibly be happening to her and that`s why it`s so very, very important that we do everything we can to find her. Now the two suspects allegedly broke into the house, as we mentioned, shot the family dog, kidnapped Ayvani. Neighbors are obviously rattled.

Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought we lived in a safe neighborhood and now we`re not really sure what`s going on here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Police have released the sketches of the two suspects and you see, there they are. Police say they were driving a dark blue, again, or gray Dodge or a Chevrolet.

Now, Ayvani is how I understand we`re now pronouncing the missing child`s name. She was last seen being pulled into that vehicle.

I want to go straight out to Martin Savidge, CNN correspondent -- you`re all over this case. What is happening in terms of the search for this young woman? Is there a dragnet? This is happening outside Atlanta. What are police doing?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s a suburban, you`re right, Jane. Of course that`s part of the fear here is that many people, it shouldn`t happen anywhere but people in the suburbs would say I would never expect it here. Home invasion, violent home invasion, shot is fired and this young girl taken away in the middle of the night.

It started off in Clayton County, Georgia. Those authorities first got involved on the scene. Then GBI -- that`s the Georgia Bureau of Investigations -- now the FBI is involved. That means that federal assets are being brought to bear. We understand that there has been some progress made and that there are leads that are being followed up on.

But the real case here Jane is that usually it`s us delivering information to the public but now it`s really the public that could prove to be the key in this particular case. Why it`s so important to look at that young girl`s face. See if you`ve seen her in the last 17-and-a-half hours or so, or if you recognize those two suspects because that could break this case wide open.

Right now authorities don`t have much to go on. You mentioned the car confusion there. They really don`t have any names and they don`t have a location, at least anything that they`re giving out publicly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much for that Martin Savidge.

On the other side of the break we`re going to talk to a neighbor who lives in this cul-de-sac. What is she seeing and what does she know about the neighborhood in terms of where they might be going?

Stay right there.


NGUYEN: They pried the back door into the residence. There was a mother and a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old son. She tried to hide the kids. The dog was barking and the suspects shot the dog.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day, send your pet pics to Lucky, I love your patch. You are just -- ah -- Izzi and Lola, what a party. Am I invited? That sounds like fun. All right. Busy, I know you keep busy. You`re probably sniffing around the house right now. And Mia -- look at her. She says I`m an artiste. Yes, I`m working in my studio as we speak.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you come out here, and you know, do a home invasion and then, you know, take a child. That doesn`t make sense to me at all.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The child was last seen at her home in Ellenwood, Georgia about 11 miles south of Atlanta. She was ripped from her mother`s arms. Her dog was shot in a home invasion turned kidnapping, and this beautiful young lady`s house right next to Interstate 675, so her kidnappers could have gotten on the freeway, gone north or straight into downtown Atlanta or south to I-75, which goes all the way through, down to Florida. So they could be almost anywhere.

Let`s go to a neighbor of the Perez family. Wandalyn Berry you live around the corner. What are you seeing in terms of investigators? Have they been there during the day? Going through the crime scene? Possibly getting fingerprints that they could try to match up with a database?

WANDALYN BERRY, NEIGHBOR: Yes. I do see plenty of police in the area. There are a number of unmarked cars. The police were going door to door earlier this morning inquiring, if anyone had any information, but they said that they, of course, had to be kept very tight-lipped about what they could give out, only providing information that we see, that`s on the news. They took our information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go back to Brigitte Starr, a close friend of this young girl, and what is she like in terms of how she might handle a situation like this? Do you think that she would become hysterical, go into shock, or perhaps remain calm and look for an opportunity, God willing, to get out of there?

STARR: I mean from what I`ve seen of her, I think she`d probably be calm. Anybody her age would be hysterical in fear, being snatched from their mom like this, but I mean I`ve seen her on horses that, you know, act up. And she usually knows how to control herself, but I just don`t know. I`ve never been in this situation. I really couldn`t tell you how she would (inaudible)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 20 seconds, Lisa Lockwood, what should cops do? Well, I`ll tell you what they are doing.

LOCKWOOD: Everybody needs to see and watch and look for this girl. Look for that vehicle. Canvassing the area, I`m sure the police are doing that, and try and find out, with a kidnapping like this usually it`s not a home invasion for jewelry and money initially. They could have been casing her. Go to the school. Find out where she`s been and talk to people and see if they`ve seen that vehicle or had any contact with her prior to that day.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s hope they find a fingerprint or some kind of DNA in that house that will lead them to a database that will lead them to these people.

Our hearts are with this family.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you know anything about missing Ayvani, call authorities immediately. If you`re involved, let her go immediately. We`re tracking all the developments. If there is big news on this case, we will bring it to you tomorrow.

Nancy Grace is next.