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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Robin Williams' Final Hours; Robin Williams, A Comic's Comic; Interview with Morgan Fairchild; Police Won't Name Officer Who Shot Teen; Multiple Sources: Lauren Bacall Dead
Aired August 12, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, Anderson is off. A lot happening tonight. You're going to hear from a witness to the police shooting that left a young man dead, protesters on the march, and a police department on the hot seat.
Also, with bombs rocking Baghdad, U.S. airstrikes ongoing, there is new word that more American servicemen and women are heading back into Iraq.
But we begin with new details coming to light in the death of Robin Williams. And new reminders of what so many people, friends and fans alike are missing so deeply tonight from his comic genius to his human spirit.
Today, authorities in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, went before the cameras. Ted Rowlands is there for us. He's joining us now.
Ted, you were there at the news conference. What did the police say?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, some of the details were just disturbing. They went into detail how Robin Williams took his life. He did hang himself with a belt near a closet in a room where he was by himself.
His wife and he spent the night in their home here in Marin County. She went to bed and left the next morning thinking that her husband was just asleep. A personal assistant who was trying to get ahold of Robin Williams then eventually got into the room. She is the one that found Robin Williams and made that 911 call.
Investigators say there is no note that they can talk about right now. They wouldn't rule it out that it exists but they didn't talk about it. They are going to wait until this investigation is over, and that will not be until the toxicology results are in and that is expected between two and five weeks.
Also another disturbing detail, Robin Williams did have some cuts on his left wrist and a knife, a closed knife was found near his body, however the initial investigation has revealed that asphyxiation is the cause of death, not those cuts.
BLITZER: And the next steps in the investigations, Ted, what do we know they are?
ROWLANDS: Toxicology is number one, and then also, they say they're going to talk to people who were around Robin Williams in the days and weeks leading up to his death. They also confirmed what we had heard, that he indeed was seeking help for depression in the days before his death.
BLITZER: Ted Rowlands, thanks very much for that report.
For all his exuberance and manic energy in front of the camera, friends say Robin Williams was actually a very private, very low key person which means that whatever he said publicly about his inner battles with addiction and depression, his admissions, brash and funny as they sometimes could be, obviously did not tell the entire story.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR/COMEDIAN You get drunk, you go out for Indian food. You wake up in Bombay with a camel licking your balls. Ta-da, you are an alcoholic.
BLITZER (voice-over): He joked about it then, even though his problem was very real and very serious. For 30 years, Robin Williams battled an addiction to cocaine and alcohol that took hold soon after he became famous in the 1980s.
WILLIAMS: When I did "Mork & Mindy" it was this kind of crazy ride. And I was pretty much on everything but skates.
BLITZER: In 1982, Williams was with his friend, the actor John Belushi, when he overdosed on heroin and cocaine and died. Williams described that night as frightening and it led him, along with the birth of his first son, to get sober. He spoke about it to ABC's "Nightline."
WILLIAMS: The one thing that cleaned me up was having a kid. That's immediate if that's the thing. You know, and I didn't have any rehab or any -- you know, any groups. So I just --
BILL WEIR, ABC NEWS: Really? You did it by yourself?
WILLIAMS: On my own. Oh, totally. Just kind of took my mother's advice of, you know, vitamins and exercise. When you have a kid, you're pretty awake and smell like piss anyway so you don't need drugs.
BLITZER: Williams says he was clean for 20 years, though it wasn't easy, especially because of his craving for alcohol.
WILLIAMS: I was an alcoholic.
LARRY KING, "LARRY KING LIVE": You're a drunk.
WILLIAMS: Well -- that's nice of you to say.
KING: You said it. BLITZER: In 2006 Williams checked into rehab, calling his descent
back into alcoholism, quote, "gradual." He spoke to "Access Hollywood" shortly after he got out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you were sober for 20 years.
WILLIAMS: I was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened?
WILLIAMS: I drank.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you realize that --
WILLIAMS: I realized, yes. You keep going with this, you'll wake up in a field with a small animal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how does it feel now?
WILLIAMS: Feels good, feels dry.
BLITZER: Williams was also battling depression according to his publicists in a statement released last night. But it's something he denied in an interview with NPR in 2006.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So no clinical depression is what I'm taking away.
WILLIAMS: No clinical depression. No. No. I'm -- I get bummed like I think a lot of us do at certain times. You look at the world and go, whoa, and other moments you look and go oh, things are OK.
BLITZER: But in 2010, Williams gave an interview to a podcast with Mark Maron, where he spoke openly about his struggles not only with addiction but with thoughts of ending his life.
WILLIAMS: When I was drinking, there was only one time even for a moment where I thought, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), life.
MARK MARON: Right.
WILLIAMS: Then I went like -- then my conscious brain went like, did you really just say, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life? OK. Let's put the suicide over here in discussable. Let's leave that over there in the discussion area. We'll talk about that. First of all, you don't have the balls to do it. I'm not going to say it out loud. I mean, have you thought about buying a gun? No. What are you going to do? Cut your wrist with a water pick? Maybe.
BLITZER: His long struggle lasted up until the very end. With Williams checking himself into yet another rehab center just last month.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BLITZER: Sadly from the depression to the addiction, there is certainly a lot to talk about, especially since so many people struggle daily with one or both of these diseases.
Here to help us better understand things our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, when someone commits suicide, I think a lot of people start searching for that one reason, that one event that may have pushed them to take their own life but typically it's not that simple, is it?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not that simple. And I'll preface by saying look, I don't know that there is ever going to be an answer when you hear these sorts of stories, that's satisfactory, that somehow makes this make sense in some way and it's also important to keep in mind, as we talked about a lot, when you talk about depression, something that Robin Williams was very candid about in terms of his own -- his own disease, that it is a disease.
That it's a brain disease. And if you think about it like other physical diseases of the body -- diabetes, heart disease -- your approach to it is completely different. It's a disease we can measure the changes in the brain in ways that we couldn't before.
There is a -- there is a sense that when you talk about why someone with depression who could be adequately treated, who could go through these ebbs and flows where things look really bleak but then get better, why they -- why they resort to suicide. And, you know, it's really unclear but unlikely to be some sort of discreet event and more likely to be the accumulation of various stressors in one's life that someone feels that they just can't get from behind.
They feel overwhelmed by it, they feel helpless, they feel hopeless and they don't see light at the end of the tunnel anymore but it's usually a combination of all those things -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Sanjay, a lot of people say the same traits that may have made him a great comedian could also contributed to a suffering from depression. Do you think that's right?
GUPTA: I do. And I find this area of neuroscience to be really fascinating. This idea that some of the same traits that make someone a genius, frankly, a genius in the sense that they connect things that other people simply don't see. It's part of what makes them, the comedic sort of part of it is that they're just drawing connections that are humorous because other people just don't see those things. It's fascinating what's happening inside the brain.
They're drawing on different areas of the brain. They're drawing on different experiences. What can happen, though, sometimes, is those connections can be -- can feel very flimsy and at some point, if someone starts to feel the connections aren't there anymore, they're not feeling them, that can be quite jarring and that seems to be a connection between a creative mind and depressive mind.
BLITZER: It's amazing what's going on, that we really don't even appreciate all that much.
Sanjay, thanks very much.
GUPTA: You got it, Wolf, any time.
BLITZER: One additional note on the subject, if you would like to know more about living with and treating depression, we've got some links to some very good resources up on our "Impact Your World" Web page. Just go to the address on your screen.
Up next, Robin Williams, a comic's comic. A look at his memorable appearances on late-night talk shows and I'll speak with one of his friends, the producer of "Comic Relief."
BLITZER: Robin Williams was very much what you'd call a comic's comic. He was a friend and an inspiration to so many fellow comedians who are now mourning his passing.
Last night at the end of this show, Conan O'Brien had this to say after just finding out that Williams had died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "CONAN": We got some news during the show that Robin Williams has passed away, and by the time we aired -- we taped the shows a few hours early and by the time you see this now on TV, I'm sure that you'll know. I am sorry to anyone in our studio audience that I'm breaking this news. This is absolutely shocking and horrifying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You can hear the audience gasping when they heard the news. Such a shock. Robin Williams was certainly a fixture on late-night talk shows. He had so many memorable appearances throughout his career and kind of the iconic host of late-night television among his fans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNNY CARSON, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You know, in this business there are comedians, there are comics and once in a while, rarely somebody rises above and supersedes that and becomes a comic persona onto themselves. I'm never ceased to be amazed at the versatility and the wonderful work that Robin Williams does.
JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Please welcome, go on and yell now, everybody. Robin Williams.
DAVID LETTERMAN, "THE LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Here's Robin Williams.
WILLIAMS: They play Australian rules football which is like rugby in a thong. And it's pretty crazy, too. You have a huddle and you have to huddle, the other people holds up with you. And you bury your head in another man's ass, going, where is the ball? You know?
LETTERMAN: Yes. That's what they told you?
WILLIAMS: Yes. They said it was a game.
WILLIAMS: Look at this thing, look, flipper.
Right now there is a man saying, what are you doing?
LETTERMAN: Your mother, your mom is in an exercise video? Is that true?
WILLIAMS: Yes, it is. And it's --
LETTERMAN: I'm sorry. How did this come about?
WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess she didn't take the check I gave her and --
WILLIAMS: Mama, please. Here is all the residuals of "Mork & Mindy." Please. He does a Mork impersonator. This is crazy.
WILLIAMS: About halfway through the wedding, they go, no, that's really Mork. It's crazy.
LENO: Because we all started out together.
LENO: And we went to the first taping of this new show, "Mork & Mindy," did -- we all did the pilot. I mean, that went on to be just, just the hugest hit of all time.
WILLIAMS: I love this show.
WILLIAMS: Nice to be on your show, Dave.
I love these people. I love this show.
WILLIAMS: I have a reservation for 8:00. I figured out how to do George Bush. Basically what you do is you take John Wayne and you tighten up his (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
My favorite heckle was a guy in an English Club and there was a blind guy sitting in the back of the audience and all of a sudden he went, get off. And he waited one second and he went, is it gone?
I am so happy to be doing comedy tonight.
Two Jews walk into a bar.
Give it up, people. Give it up, people. Get up.
Take it in, honey. Take it in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Comic genius, indeed.
Back in the 1980s, Bob Zmuda produced "Comic Relief" which raised money, lots of money for the homeless. It was hosted by Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg.
Bob Zmuda is joining us now.
Bob, thanks very much for joining us. The sheer comic genius of this man incredible. I think all of us agree. And to get -- to go along, he had a huge heart. He wanted to help a lot of people in need and you say he was actually the one who insisted the funds you raise go to help the homeless. What was it that drew him to that cause?
BOB ZMUDA: Well, you know, Robin came from a well-to-do family. He was kind of brought up with a silver spoon in his mouth and I think he always felt that he was given so much and there were so many people out there that didn't have hardly anything. So when we started "Comic Relief" with Robin, Whoopi, Billy and myself, and Chris Albrecht 28 years ago, we had to decide on what would -- where would the funds go.
And Robin -- the issue of homelessness really, really made a lot of sense to Robin, a lot -- to a lot of the other comedians because in show business before a comedian or an actor hits, they are pretty much down and out. You can't really go take any real kind of a job and we heard stories of Jim Carey, of course, lived with his family for about six months in their station wagon with his mother and father. You know, Michael Keaton lived in his car behind a comedy store. And the stories go on and on. So that issue really struck a nerve with Robin, of course, with Whoopi, and Billy, also.
BLITZER: And he and Whoopi and Billy, they -- I understand that their passion for this cause didn't simply end on the stage, right?
ZMUDA: No, exactly. You know, of course, they would rehearse sometimes all week before we would do the show live on HBO and sometimes the shows were three and a half, five-hour long, but behind the scenes they would go and visit homeless project sites and that was really amazing. A lot of times without cameras or anyone. And they would just show up.
The first time we took Robin down to a center down in downtown L.A. and it was a really scary kind of skid row facility. And he got out there, Wolf. It was the only first time I saw him, he couldn't put words together, if you can believe such a thing. He looked at all these homeless people and he was so moved, he couldn't joke.
He got so tongue-tied in real and afterwards we went back to the director's office, and the director said, Robin, you know, these people are waiting for you to do something funny. He said really? I didn't want to insult anyone. He went back out and he did 20 minutes and killed. Everybody was on the ground.
Yes, so he was a big -- we raised over $70 million because of Robin, Whoopi and Billy and all the other comedians that joined us.
BLITZER: That's amazing. Great work. You knew him for 30 years. Give us a few special memories you will always keep.
ZMUDA: Well, you know, this is what is so strange because, you know, we're all trying to make sense out of this and put the pieces of the puzzle together. And it really goes back to what the doctor was saying before. There is something about the creative person, especially the American comedian. That is an art form all to itself. You're out there by yourselves, it's just you, it's your ego, you know, you're dealing with that audience.
And Robin was known for his high energy and he always delivered at high energy. And I'm wondering a part of what has happened to him is you had what they talk about, the open heart surgery and there was something -- I've known Robin for over 35 years before he was a star. I used to be Andy Kaufman's writer and he was a huge Andy Kaufman fan and he would come to the shows.
And -- but one thing, after even 35 years and I would sit down and meet with him about issues of homelessness and whatnot, and I must tell you this, I could not say this about anybody else I've ever met in my life. If you were in a room with Robin one on one, he was so uncomfortable, it was almost like being with a stranger in an elevator. And he just -- and even though you knew him that long, there had to be two or more people in the room and then he snapped -- then you were an audience.
And without that audience, that's why -- this is shocking to me but at the same time I always sense there was something he was never revealing about himself. He had this dark side that he just kind of kept to himself, and I think also getting older, you know, it's such an energy job. You know, it's like a race car driver. You cannot be driving a race car when you're 64, 65 years old, and I think -- I think it just -- it just all came together at the wrong time. The audience wasn't there. It was the middle of the night, and those dark thoughts started and he couldn't put an end to it.
BLITZER: I know he shared some of his struggles with you, particularly the addiction problem but you really had no idea he was in such trouble, did you?
ZMUDA: Well, but here's why, Wolf. This is why. Yes. And he talked to many people, you know, look at those clips you're just showing. He was talking about addiction and he was talking about depression and he was talking about alcohol, but he's making light at it at the same time. So you think, well, OK, Robin has got some problems with this stuff but it can't be that serious. He's joking about it.
It was serious and he was very good at covering what he was going through. And if anybody gets anything out of this out there with this Robin Williams situation, if you're feeling bad and you have any thoughts like this, you have to talk to somebody.
BLITZER: You need help, obviously, and despite the stigma of depression or addiction, you need to go out there and it's an illness. You got to treat it.
ZMUDA: It is.
BLITZER: Bob Zmuda, thanks so much for sharing some thoughts with all of our viewers.
Just ahead, we're going to speak with one of Robin Williams' first co- stars, Morgan Fairchild will join us. That's coming up.
Also tonight, the death of an unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb. The announcement by police today that has fueled even more anger and the witness to the shooting, Michael Brown's friend will join us, as well. That's all coming up.
BLITZER: More tributes tonight to Robin Williams including his collaborators on "Good Will Hunting." Matt Damon said this, "Robin brought so much joy into my life and I will carry that joy with me forever. He was such a beautiful man. I was lucky to know him and I will never ever forget him. I truly hope the people of the media can find it within themselves to give his family some privacy during this horrible time."
And this from Ben Affleck. "Heartbroken, thanks, Chief, for your friendship and for what you gave the world. Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything. May you find peace, my friend."
And this from former President Bill Clinton, "Grateful for the life of Robin Williams. A true talent and a wonderful friend. He will be missed by so many." People of President Clinton's generation and mine were very, very
lucky. We got a chance to see the entire sweep of his talent starting with Mork from Ork.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Well, since we're both friend of Mindy's, why can't we be friends together?
MORGAN FAIRCHILD, ACTRESS: Look, I think that's a wonderful idea. We should be friends, close friends. As a matter of fact, I think we should celebrate by going out tonight.
FAIRCHILD: You want to pick me up?
WILLIAMS: If you insist.
Is that what you do on a date?
FAIRCHILD: Yes. Well, whatever turns you on.
WILLIAMS: That did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: And joining us now, the first temptation of Mork, herself Morgan Fairchild.
Morgan, thanks very much for joining us. You worked with Robin Williams very early in his career, in fact, you signed on for your role on "Mork & Mindy" before anyone knew about the show, before anyone really knew who he was. So what drew you to him?
FAIRCHILD: Well, when I first got to L.A., one of my early jobs was on "Happy Days." And they were so lovely and so wonderful whenever I was on the Paramount lot, I try to stop by and say hi. So one day I was going over there and Henry Winkler came over and said hey, you've got to go anywhere later? And I said no, why? And he says, stay and watch our guest star, he's amazing.
So I stayed, I thought for 15 minutes, I stayed the whole afternoon just to watch this Mork thing and just to tell this guy that he was a genius. I just had to stay and tell him that as one actor to another and a few months go by and I get a call from the agent, you know, good news, you got TV movie. Bad news. I said, well, what's the bad news? He said, well, Gary Marshall has this new show and he -- nobody knows anything about it, it's all under wraps.
And we don't think you should do it. We don't want to give you a contract and blah, blah, blah. And I said, well, what is it? And he says, "Mork & Mindy." I said that's Robin Williams' show. And he said, who's Robin Williams? And I said, no joke, Robin Williams was a genius. I'd work for free to work with Robin Williams.
So I took it against everybody's advice and it was, you know, one of the most fun, creative processes in my whole life. It was a thrill just to walk on the set with him. The first time I was going to shoot the show, it was not on the air. I went over to watch them tape the show before mine. I could see robin over there with his buddies with everything pierced and purple hair and everything looking at me like, Ms. White Bread America.
So the next day, we got up and started blocking and I realized quickly that robin would go off on tangents and everybody would let him go because he was brilliant. He would throw something out and I would throw something back.
So we were pretty soon going like this and he threw me in the air. So it was just always a joy to do that, but I remember him sitting on our living room floor, my sister had gone to school the class ahead of him, sitting on the living room floor before the show.
And said Robin, when this hits, this is going to explode and be huge and you have to watch out for a lot of things. He said no, nobody is going to like this. Nobody is going to care. I said no, you're wrong.
BLITZER: A lot of people, Morgan, have said when he was with a group, two, three, four, five people, he was different than he was with someone just one on one. Did you experience that?
FAIRCHILD: Definitely. He was like that. If there were two people in the room, he had to perform. If you were just one on one, he would be much calmer and just really talk. He didn't feel that need to perform. If there were two people in the room, it was very different.
But as Mork got more and more successful, you know, he was getting pulled in so many different directions. One day he had a green parrot and he had not been going home and I guess, the parrot had gotten mad at him so one day he keep decided to bring the parrot to work.
It would dive from the rafters not at us but at Robin. One day Jonathan Winters was his big idol and one day Gary Marshall and guys had gotten Jonathan Winters to come to the set and he was hiding in Robin's dressing room and we're trying to get Robin to go to his dressing room and he's late and busy and doing all of his antics and wouldn't.
So finally Jonathan Winters falls asleep in the close set waiting to jump out and surprise him in the dressing room. I was so that thrilled later they got to work together because two creative minds like you just don't see.
BLITZER: Morgan Fairchild, thanks for sharing some memories with all of our viewers, thanks very much for joining us. Amazing memories, indeed. A lot happening in the world, just ahead, fresh outrage in the town royaling after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager. Why police changed their mind about releasing the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown, that's coming up.
Plus I'll talk to his friend who was there when the bullets were fired.
And there is breaking news as well as the humanitarian crisis in Iraq intensifies, there is a new move by the United States to lend a hand.
BLITZER: In Ferguson, Missouri, a broken promise is stoking outrage. Police officials say they will not identify the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old, Michael Brown. Just yesterday, the police chief vowed to release the shooter's name. Anger over the killing of the unarmed teenager has sparked violent protest.
In a statement today, President Obama said and I'm quoting, "The death of Michael Brown is heart breaking and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and community at the difficult time.
I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri and across the country to remember this young man through reflection and understanding.
It's the same plea Michael Brown's family has been making even as they grieve. Jason Carroll is joining us now with more on the very latest. Jason, another night coming up there in Ferguson outside of St. Louis. Are more protests expected?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we can never be quite sure, Wolf. Last night, for example, impromptu protests turned violent, at least at one point police had to use tear gas and bean bag rounds to disburse the crowd. Police are ready for that again tonight. They are hoping it will not be necessary.
As you know, the family has come forward asking for peace again and so far, so far at least tonight the community seems to be hearing what the family is saying.
BLITZER: At that press conference that the family had, they spoke out passionately. Give us a little more of what they want to happen now.
CARROLL: A couple things, you said at the top, the family at this point wants a couple things, more transparency in terms of the investigation. They want the investigation to be open. They want to know how it's proceeding along.
Second, they do want to see the release of the name of the officer involved in the shooting. The police chief out here did say the name was going to be released today. That's what he told us.
But they changed their minds and said they were fearing for the officer's safety. At some point, the officer's name will be released. It just will not be at this point -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jason Carroll, thanks very much. Witness accounts are directly at odds with what they are saying. They said Michael Brown attacked the officer and tried to take his gun. Dorian Johnson is an eyewitness. He was feet away when his friend was shot.
Just before we went on the air, I spoke with him and his attorney, Freeman Bosley Jr.
BLITZER: Dorian, first of all, let me say I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. We appreciate your talking to us tonight. I want you to walk us through what happened on Saturday. You and Michael Brown were walking down the street. So what happened next?
DORIAN JOHNSON, WITNESSED MICHAEL BROWN SHOOTING: As we're walking down the street, the squad car vehicle approaches us. We're on the side of the vehicle and the officer says get the -- out of the street verbatim was his words, and at that moment, I told the officer, my friend Big Mike didn't speak.
I told my officer that we was not, but a minute away from my destination and that we would be out of the street and at that time, me and my friend Big Mike started to walk again and the officer, he seemed like he was driving off, but in a second, he put the car in reverse and he reversed very rapidly at a fast pace.
And he slanted the car to manner that it almost hit me and my friend big mike so we had to step back. We were now front center with the officer inside the vehicle, but we were so close, almost inches away that when he tried to open his door aggressively.
The door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer. At that time, he reached out the window with his left arm, he grabbed on to my friend Big Mike's throat and is trying to pull him in the vehicle, and my friend, Big Mike very angrily is trying to pull away from the officer.
And the officer now is struggling with trying to hold a grip on my friend Big Mike as he's trying to pull away, and as in a minute, I heard I'll shoot. I'm about to shoot. And I'm standing so close to Big Mike and the officer, I look in his window and I see that he has his gun pointed at both of us.
And when he fired his weapon, I moved seconds before he pulled the trigger. I saw the fire come out the barrel and I instinctually knew it was a gun. I looked at my friend Big Mike and saw he was struck in the chest or upper region because I saw blood spatter down his side.
And at that time, we both took off running. It was almost two or three minutes, we were running and I was able to hide myself behind the first vehicle that was up on the scene, and the officer then got out his car, my friend Big Mike was still running, he ran past me and saw me in plain sight. He said to me verbatim that he said keep running, Bro, and he kept running and I was so scared and fear for my life that my body was in shock. I couldn't move. I couldn't think at that time.
And almost in an instant, my body started rising and I see the officer proceeding after my friend, Big Mike, with his gun drawn, and he fired a second shot and that struck my friend, Big Mike.
And at that time, he turned around with his hands up, beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting. But at that time, the officer was firing several more shots into my friend and he hit the ground and died.
I watched his body until he stopped moving, and then I ran, vomit in my mouth, hyperventilating, not knowing what to do. I just ran.
BLITZER: Did Michael ever try to get the weapon that the police officer had?
JOHNSON: No, sir, that's incorrect. At no point in time did they struggle over the weapon because the weapon was already drawn on us. So we were more trying to get away out of the angle or aim of the weapon besides going towards the weapon because it was drawn at us already.
BLITZER: Did either you or Michael have a weapon yourself? I understand both of you were unarmed. I just want to be precise.
JOHNSON: Yes, we were both unarmed, sir. We didn't have a sharp object on us, nothing. I didn't even have pockets on my shorts. We had nothing on us, no.
BLITZER: Did the police interview you at the scene that day?
JOHNSON: No, the police did not interview me at the scene. He -- it's almost like he wasn't paying attention to me anymore. It's like he was in shock himself, and his vision wasn't on anything but my friend, Big Mike.
BLITZER: Have the police interviewed you since this incident happened?
JOHNSON: No, sir. I have not talked to any law enforcement since the incident.
FREEMAN BOSLEY JR., DORIAN JOHNSON'S ATTORNEY: But Wolf, I do need to say the police department has reached out to us and it's a matter of us scheduling an opportunity to him to get a chance to visit with them. They did reach out to us today.
BLITZER: And what did they say to you?
BOSLEY: They said they would like for us to set up an opportunity for Dorian to come in and be interviewed. Our concern is one of the statements that was made earlier is that he didn't see what had happened, that he had run off when in fact, he did not. And therefore they had reservations about even wanting to talk to Dorian about it when it's clear Dorian is the only person that's a true eyewitness to what happened here.
BLITZER: Did you notice what the race was of the officer who shot your friend?
JOHNSON: Yes, he was Caucasian, a white male.
BLITZER: What would you like us to know about your friend?
JOHNSON: He was a gentle giant. He was big. He was careful. He cared for everybody. He was loving. I loved everything about this young man.
BLITZER: Dorian Johnson, thank you so much for joining us. I know this is a difficult, very difficult period for you. Freeman Bosley, thank you for joining us as well.
There is more breaking news tonight, sadly the passing of another Hollywood great, Lauren Bacall has died at the age of the 89. We're going to pay tribute to her that's next.
BLITZER: On a night when we're just beginning to miss Robin Williams, the world has lost another great, great talent, perhaps the last star of classic Hollywood. Lauren Bacall as in the "Big Sleep" and "To Have and Have Not," as in the first lady of the original "Rat Pack."
Lauren Bacall who had that incomparable voice and commanding presence has died. That according to multiple sources including the Twitter account, the Facebook page, the "L.A Times" reporting they spoke with an executive of the estate that confirmed her passing. She was 89.
More on her remarkable life from CNN entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner.
LAUREN BACALL: You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With those words in the film "To Have and To Have Not" audience imaginations soared, the express, downturned face and upturned eyes earned her the nickname the look. The 19-year-old struck the pose because she felt insecure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, that was what started the look, nerves, just trying to keep my head steady.
TURNER: Bacall was more than a movie legend. She was from Hollywood's golden era and the wife of actor, Humphrey Bogart. "The Big Sleep" was among a handful of films they made together, but their love affair was one of Tinsel Town's greatest romances.
Bogart died in 1957 leaving her a widow at 32 with two small children. For a time, she was engaged to Frank Sinatra. When romance fizzled, Sinatra headed to Las Vegas and Bacall fell in love again and married actor, Jason Robard with whom she had a son. She blamed his drinking for their divorce.
BACALL: I don't know if he enjoyed it. He was hooked on it.
TURNER: Bacall was born Betty Joan Persky on September 16th, 1924. Her parents were Jewish immigrants who divorced when she was just 6. As a lanky teen she modelled to earn extra money taking her mother's maiden name, Bacall, adding a second "l" to make it easier to pronounce.
Film Director Howard Hawks saw her photograph on a magazine cover, a screen test later and Hawks changed her name.
BACALL: He felt that Lauren Bacall was better sounding than Betty Bacall. He had a vision of his own. He wanted to mold me. He wanted to control me.
TURNER: Big screen or small, even her fellow actors viewed her as a legend.
ADAM ARKIN, ACTOR: John Houston, Charlie Chaplain and she just knows or has been around everyone that has formed what we know of this business.
TURNER: Bacall's film co-stars is who is who, but on Broadway she achieved the most critical acclaim.
BACALL: That was my dream to be on stage.
TURNER: She spent nearly 20 years on the stage starring in "Cactus Flower, Applause and Woman of The Year" earning two Tony Awards. In her later years, her film career saw a renaissance. She starred opposite Barbara Streisand in the "Mirror Has Two Faces" earning her only Oscar nomination.
And she was still acting in her 80s in such films as "Dogville" and "Birth" with Nicole Kidman. A diva, a film star, a Broadway jewel and a classic legend of an era gone by.
BLITZER: Nischelle Turner reporting for us. Joining us on the phone, one very lucky guy, the former talk show host, the eternal writer, Dick Cavette. I know you knew her and interviewed Lauren Bacall a number of times. What was she like?
DICK CAVETT, FORMER TALK SHOW HOST (via telephone): She wasn't like anything, Wolf. She was unique. She was just -- if you were at a party, and she was there, she would usually seek me out or I would seek her out and we would laugh and have such a good time that people wondered what was our relationship. We were great friends. I remember way back in the morning when Bobby Kennedy was shot, I put together a quick live show and she was one of the people. Don't they ever assassinate any right wingers? Not long after that George Lincoln Rockwell was shot, but her presence was tangible.
She just -- you knew you were with what you might call a cash customer when you were with her. There was no non-sense, no expectation. She wasn't tough, but she could play tough and sound tough.
BLITZER: She had --
CAVETT: Her vulnerability always showed through.
BLITZER: That husky voice was really amazing, so memorable. Give us a little flavor of what she meant to so many people who loved her over the years.
CAVETT: I think to many people, I would love to be her, she. She just was what a lot of young women would like to be, someone that can't be pushed around. Someone that can tell you where to head in as they usually say with a colorful vocabulary if she needed to fall back on it.
I remember doing my shows and she said call, went with her to Africa because it was John Houston and Boggy and said I don't want to go down there with two drunks without my friend on. They comforted each other the whole time they were there.
She was just an invaluable friend. Now, this sounds a little too spooky for creative writing class, but about 36 hours ago, my wife and I in a cab passed the Dakota, I looked up to what I know are her windows and thought I wonder how she is.
And within the short span of time, we found out she isn't. And of course, some idiot will say now, these deaths always come in threes. Well, Wolf, as you know, anything comes in threes if you wait long enough.
BLITZER: Dick Cavett, thanks for sharing some thoughts. She was amazing, an amazing actress and amazing person, Lauren Bacall, unfortunately passed away at the age of 89. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: It's once again been a night to remember, be amazed and touched by the loss of a great, great talent. We remember the actress, Lauren Bacall, who died at age 89, an amazing actress, a commanding presence, and as Dick just told us, a great friend.
And we remember, Robin Williams. This is the photo on display at the national portrait gallery taken in 1979, but Michael Dressler for "Time Magazine." It said five months ago he was a complete nobody. He became an overnight star and we're so glad he did.
That's it for me. "THE WAR COMES HOME" with Soledad O'Brien report starts right now.