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Nevada School Shooting Survivor Speaks; Suspect In Custody After Shooting Near Base; Inside "Blackfish," Orca's Dark History; From YouTube Confession To Prison; McDonald's Employee Hotline Pushes Food Stamps?
Aired October 24, 2013 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, breaking news here. We've got a little bit more information on this shooting that happened after -- outside of this Naval facility in Millington, Tennessee. So this is what we have right now. We know that two people were injured after they were shot in this incident. This is how the U.S. Navy is calling it, an incident north of Millington Navy Base. This is at the Tennessee National Guard building, according to the communications person with this Navy base in Tennessee.
They say the conditions of the victims are unknown at this point in time, but they have been hospitalized. It is unclear what the relationship the shooter had with the victims, but I mean we can tell you that the suspect is in custody. This incident under investigation here, happening in Millington, Tennessee.
More breaking news for you this afternoon. We are also now hearing for the very first time from a 12-year-old who survived Monday's shooting at a middle school in Nevada. Police say one of his classmates, also 12, gunned down a teacher, that math teacher, before killing himself. And Stephanie Elam is live in Nevada for me right now.
And, Stephanie, what is this youngster saying?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, it was a very moving conversation we just had with this young man. His name is Mason. And Mason says at the time when he heard the gunshots, he thought it was in the distance and that he was trying to figure out why all of his classmates were running and then he saw that Mr. Landsberry, Mike Landsberry was down, and he went to his aid.
And then he saw that the shooter had a gun, and he said he was trying to reach for his backpack. He saw the shooter and said don't shoot me, don't shoot me, and he did shoot him in the abdomen. All of this has given Mason a new perspective on guns. Take a listen.
MASON, 12-YEAR-OLD SURVIVED SCHOOL SHOOTING: I want people to learn from what I've been through, is to -- if you ever shot a gun and you accidentally killed somebody, you would have made a very big mistake from that. I used to treat guns not poorly but a little poorly. Because I thought they were a toy, but when I got shot, I learned that they're not just a toy. They're a weapon and it could damage somebody very bad.
So I want everybody in the world to know that war and battles and anything dealing with weapons and guns and knives, they're all weapons. And they can kill you, very easily, if you hit the right spot. I'm lucky to be alive and the bullet didn't go through me. If it did, I would have been dead, but it just went around me. So I'm very lucky to be alive.
ELAM: Where were you when everything started?
MASON: I was by south hall.
ELAM: By south hall. What did you hear?
MASON: A few gunshots and I thought they were out in the distance.
ELAM: Really? You thought they were far away? So what did you do?
MASON: I was -- I really didn't do anything. I was confused why everybody was running.
ELAM: And then what -- when did you encounter your classmate with the gun? How soon after you heard the first couple of shots?
MASON: I went to try to help Mr. Landsberry and I went to go grab my backpack, but then I didn't grab it because I didn't really care about it. So then I was going to the closest building, it was in the south hall, and that's where I was shot.
ELAM: Did you see him?
ELAM: Did you come face-to-face with him? Did he say anything to you? He just shot you? How far away from you was he?
MASON: About 10, 20 feet.
ELAM: And did you realize right away you had been shot? Did you know? You knew it.
MASON: Yes, there was a very sharp pain in my stomach.
ELAM: Did you fall?
ELAM: You managed to stay standing. So what did you do?
MASON: After I was shot, I went to try to go back in the building and then I ran away from him. And there was another entrance at the end of south hall, and I tried to get in, but it was locked so I went to Agnes Grisly and there was a secret security that helped me, told me to lay down and put pressure on my wound.
ELAM: So where exactly, if you can put your hand over it, where exactly did you get shot?
MASON: It went in like this, went through my tissue and kind of tried to exit out, but then it went down and shot behind there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It went in.
ELAM: And while we were having that conversation, one thing that Mason's mom wanted to make sure that everyone knew and the reason why she really wanted to get the word out is because she thinks it's really important that there's gun safety. She said she owns a gun, but she also has a safe and that's what you need to do to keep children safe here.
Obviously that's a very sensitive topic, but that's what she wanted people to know. As for Mason, he's saying the community is really going to miss Mr. Landsberry. A person he called a friend. He said he would often go into his classroom and have lunch with him because he was such a good guy and such a good friend.
So he is dealing with a lot and I think we saw the second time he has been able to shed tears since everything that happened to him on Monday -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Stephanie, that interview was gut-wrenching. It's heartbreaking. He's 12 years young. I just have to ask, as I'm listening to him sort of breaking down in front of you, please tell me he is getting help that his classmates are talking to professionals because I can't imagine going through this, let alone being that young.
ELAM: Yes, they definitely have been putting all sorts of counseling out through the community for the students, for the teachers as well. One thing that is still up in the air at this point, Brooke, is whether or not he will go back to Sparks Middle School once he is healed. That's something where they know there will be a lot of support for him, but at the same time, there just may be too many memories and thought the kinds you want your 12-year-old son to relive day in, day out.
BALDWIN: Stephanie Elam for us in Nevada. Stephanie, thank you. Our hearts go out to all those families there at Sparks Middle School. Thank you so much for sharing that.
And coming up, we do have an update for you. More on our breaking news as we learned about this shooting near a Navy base in Millington, Tennessee. More on that after this break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin live here at Fenway Park in Boston. But I want to take you back to breaking story we are watching out of Millington, Tennessee. Reports of two people shot outside of this naval base there.
Our CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is joining me now. Barbara, what do you know?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, good afternoon. U.S. military official now confirming details of this incident in Millington, Tennessee, just outside of the fence line of the Navy base, but still on navy property, there is a National Guard armory. And by all accounts, a National guardsman got into a fight with two other guardsmen, shot one in the leg, one in the foot. Those two wounded people are being treated. The shooter is now in custody.
The Navy base is expected to reopen. It went into lockdown as a precaution. But there is no active shooter at this time, the person that fired the shots at these other two guardsmen now in custody. The local Millington, Tennessee police and the Navy law enforcement authorities responding to this incident -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Barbara, thank you very much.
Coming up tonight, CNN's highly anticipated premiere of the film entitled "Blackfish," which covers killer whales in captivity including the whales at Sea World, do the whales, as some are asking, become psychotic and snap? Is it too dangerous? You'll hear both sides in this provocative debate. This is CNN.
BALDWIN: The story of a Sea World trainer killed by a 12,000 pound orca back in 2010 sent shock waves across the world so now the CNN film which premieres tonight at 9:00 Eastern goes beyond the headlines. And it raises a lot of questions, including whether killer whales should we kept in captivity at all and whether it amounts to torture.
JOHN CROWE: It was a really exciting thing to do until everybody wanted to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What were they telling you were going to do?
CROWE: Capture orcas.
HOWARD GARRETT, ORCA RESEARCHER: They had aircraft, they had spotters. They had speed boats. They had bombs they were throwing in the water. They were lighting their bombs with acetylene torches in their boats and throwing them as fast as they could to herd the whales into coves. But the orcas had been caught before and they knew what was going on. And they knew their young ones would be taken from them. So the adults without young went east into a cul-de-sac and the boats followed them, thinking they were going that way, while the mothers with babies went north, but the capture teams had aircraft. They have to come up for air eventually, when they did, the capture teams alerted the boats and said, no, they're going north, the ones with babies.
So the speed boats caught them there and herded them in, and then they had fishing boats with nets that they would stretch across, so none could leave, and then they could just pick out the young ones.
BALDWIN: We have to talk about this. Let me bring in Howard Garrett. He is an orca researcher and the co-founder of the Orca Network, and Howard also launched the Lolita campaign that was back in 1995 to return Lolita from this marine park in Miami back to her native Puget Sound. So Lolita is the last of these orcas captured for display some four decades ago.
So Howard, welcome to you. In anticipation "Blackfish" which airs tonight, what do you think the world should take away from this film?
GARRETT: Well, I think this film is heightening awareness, knowledge and understanding of the facts. Of not only the natural history of these amazing mammals, the long, highly evolved social cohesion, their need for wide open spaces to travel hundreds of miles every day, but then contrasted with the severe stresses that they have to endure in these cramped, concrete boxes for their entire lives, which are shortened. I mean, the statistics are there. There's an abundance of evidence to show that you're really watching suffering animals when you go to these places.
BALDWIN: You know, there are so many opinions on this piece, on this specific issue. So I just want to play one side of this. This is Ken Ramirez. He's a biologist and animal behaviorist who really pushes back on the entire premise of the film because he says, look, these attacks are relative. Attacks don't happen in the wild because there aren't people in the wild. Here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEN RAMIREZ, EXECUTIVE V.P. ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING, SHEDD AQUARIUM: Killer whales are the top predator in the wild. They are an aggressive animal that kills sharks, kills seals, and kills other animals. There are not a lot of human attacks in the wild because people don't interact with them in the wild. I also think the number of accidents that have occurred in zoos and aquariums is really minimal. The film kind of portrays this happens all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: How do you, Howard, how do you respond to that?
GARRETT: Well, for one thing, there are a lot more aggressive incidents than are reported, even than Osha was able to uncover for the hearings, but really those are just a symptom, one of many symptoms of the complete incompatibility of orcas to live in captivity. Their longevity is shortened to about 10 years on average, whether born or captured in captivity.
So that and all of the other evidence, the ulcers, the deaths from infections, the deaths by mosquito bites, there's so many ways of understanding that they just cannot thrive. They cannot live well or live long in captivity.
BALDWIN: We should mention that Sea World declined CNN's request to be interviewed on camera, but we did get a statement, so let me read that statement to you if I can. Here we go. "Blackfish is billed as a documentary but instead of a fair and balanced treatment of a complex subject, the film is inaccurate and misleading and regrettably exploits a tragedy that remains a source of deep pain for Dawn Brancho's family, friends, and colleagues."
It goes on. "Perhaps most important, the film fails to mention sea world's commitment to the safety of its team members and guests and to the care and welfare of the animals as demonstrated by the company's continual refinement and improvement to the killer whale facilities, equipment, and procedures, both before and after the death of Dawn Brancho."
That is from Sea World. Howard Garrett, thank you very much for joining me here, and once again, tonight, you can see what this controversy is all about. Watch it. Set the DVR. It is a CNN premiere of the film "Blackfish" tonight, 9:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.
Coming up, Matthew Cordle of Ohio finally got the justice he was seeking, not for something done to him, but for what he did to the family of 61-year-old Vincent Canzani, a victim of Cordle's drunk driving. In September, he confessed on YouTube, he killed Canzani, just as we reported, sentenced to 6-1/2 years, Cordle spoke today from prison with CNN's Chris Cuomo.
MATTHEW CORDLE, DRUNK DRIVER WHO CONFESSED ON YOUTUBE: There is really no fair sentence when it comes to the loss of life. It's just time, and time won't bring back the victim, unfortunately. So, you know, I'm just glad that the family can have some measure of closure, and I hope that they find peace throughout this. Drinking is definitely something I have been struggling with my whole life, since I was young. I always drank heavily and drank often.
I think the bad statistic is that first-time dui offenders drink and drive 80 times before they get caught, and that is definitely a category I fall under. It's just, you know, I can't believe I didn't see something like this coming. That was one of the biggest emotions I had throughout this, is frustration with myself.
We decided to make the video and put it on social media because young drivers are the ones who mostly drink and drive, and young people are also the ones who mostly use social media, so we thought that was the best platform to raise awareness. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet because I have never been to prison.
I don't know exactly all the programs and everything offered there, but I'm going to take advantage of every educational program I can, every recreational program I can, and every work program I can. As I said, to walk out of prison a better man than the day I walked in. As far as after that, only time will tell.
BALDWIN: Matthew Cordle speaking on "NEW DAY." The victim's daughter talked to Cordle sentencing, saying her father got a, quote, "death sentence," and that Matthew Cordle will have his life back, but her dad will, quote, "will never come back."
Coming up, we're here in a very chilly but very exciting Boston, Massachusetts. We're going to take you behind the scenes, a look at tonight's special ceremony at Fenway Park, honoring the survivors of the Boston bombings.
Plus, James Taylor joins me live on a special surprise for the city tonight. We have the exclusive. Stay right here.
BALDWIN: We have been hearing a lot lately about low pay at fast food restaurants, but get this, one job's advocacy group says McDonald's has an employee hotline that helps its workers get food stamps. One woman said McDonald's pushed her to sign up.
Zain Asher listened to that phone call. She joins me now from New York with reaction from this employee and from McDonald's. What did they say, Zain?
ZAIN ASHER, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, so the help line is called the resources hotline. It's a help line that McDonald's workers can call to discuss various financial needs including how to get on public assistance. So I think the outrage here is that McDonald's wages are so low that the company even has to have a help line that their workers can call to teach them how to qualify for food stamps and Medicaid.
I'm going to play you a conversation between a McDonald's worker and a help line representative. The worker is calling, she is asking about medical help. Take a listen to the conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the doctor?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you try to get on Medicaid? Medicaid is a federal program. It is health coverage for low-income or no-income adults and children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: So by telling their workers how to qualify for food stamps and Medicaid, McDonald's is essentially asking taxpayers to supplement their low wages. That worker you just heard there, her name is Nancy Salgado. She makes $8.25 an hour. She's worked for McDonald's for ten years and never had a raise once.
There was a report that showed low wages in the fast food sector in particular costs taxpayers roughly around $7 billion a year in public assistance. We did reach out to McDonald's for comment and asked about their low wages, and they said, I'm quoting, "their jobs range from minimum wage at the salary positions and we offer everyone the same opportunity for advancement."
Obviously, advocacy groups are not buying that. They said McDonald's can and should offer their workers higher wages -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: OK, Zain Asher, thank you.
Fans in these seats have had a love affair with the Boston Red Sox for more than 100 years, but this year was different watching their beloved hometown team go from last to first, has really helped this city heal. This is the iconic green monster, but this here is no ordinary scoreboard. And today, we have this rare opportunity to go inside.
This is the oldest manually operated scoreboard still active in the game and it goes all the way back to 1914. After the bombing, the Sox were on the road in Cleveland, and they decided together that in that dugout, they wanted to hang this away jersey as a way to show solidarity for the events back home. You can see it's got the Boston area code, 617, showing this team, too, is Boston strong.
And here we are, Brooke Baldwin, top of the second hour, a special day. I see blue sky, finally. We're just outside of Fenway Park. You can see the activity. Things are -- the hustle and bustle is happening here at Vanness and Yawkey Way, but time wise, think about where the city has come because we're six months now after that terrorist attack on Boylston Street.
Tonight, the city of Boston is in the spotlight again. But this time, it's quite different because the Red Sox are on the big stage, just beyond those green walls here, playing in game two of the World Series. So a couple hours from now, this city of Boston will remember and will celebrate life, so live during the show, we'll talk to and you'll hear from several of the survivors from the bombing.
You'll hear from rescuers and also I tell you I'm a huge fan of this guy, the second interview in a couple months. So special, James Taylor will be joining me right here outside of Fenway Park, and he has a special surprise for fans of his tonight. Do not miss that, but first this.