Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
10 Dead in Mass Shooting in Oregon; Hurricane Joaquin Now a Category Two Storm; Russian Warplanes Launch Air Strike on Syria. Aired 8-9:00p ET
Aired October 1, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:05] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm John Berman in for Anderson.
I said good evening but it's not good, it's awful again. Another community in mourning, another normal American town suffering what should be the least normal event imaginable, a gunman on a school campus.
Tonight, it is the Roseburg Oregon where a 20-year-old man opened fire at a community college killing at least ten people. At least seven people are being treated now at two local hospitals. Students who lived through ordeal are tonight reuniting with their loved ones, their campus a crime scene. We will hear from some of those students tonight.
We also heard from the president just a short time ago, it was as frustrated or frankly, as angry as we have ever seen him. President Obama said thoughts and prayers are not enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in the after path of it, we become numb to this. We talked about this after columbine and Blacksburg, after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston.
It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. And what's become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common sense gun legislation. Right now, I can imagine the press release is being cranked out. We need more guns they will argue. Fewer gun safety laws. Does anybody really believe that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Another evening in the United States of America filled with grief. The chaos began this morning as the 911 calls started to flood in.
BERMAN (voice-over): 10:38 this morning local time the first calls come into authorities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Active shooter UCC 11:40 Umpqua College road. Somebody is outside one of the doors shooting through the door. We do have one female that has been shot at this time.
BERMAN: Within minutes, law enforcement on the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exchanging shots with him. He's in a classroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Copy. Exchanging gun shots with a male. He is in the classroom on the southeast side of Snyder hall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unconfirmed report that he has a long gun.
BERMAN: The shooter is a 20-year-old male believed to have four guns, three pistols and a long rifle according to a law enforcement official.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard like a loud bang. There was a couple girls running, like sprinting away from the building then I hear screaming after that first gunshot and then I looked out and saw the people running and said we need to get out of here right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dispatch as many ambulances as possible to the scene as possible to his incident. We have upwards of 20 victims.
BERMAN: The gunman kills at least ten before police are able to stop him.
SHERIFF JOHN HANLIN, DOUGLAS, COUNTY OREGON: Officers from around the county immediately responded to the college and upon arriving there, they located the shooter in one of the buildings. Officers engaged that suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire. The shooter is deceased.
BERMAN: All right. Survivors were evacuated to nearby fairgrounds to be reunited with family members. Oregon public broadcast reporter John Sepulvado is there. He joins us now on the phone.
John, what's the latest at the fairground? Are the students still there?
JOHN SEPULVADO, OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTER REPORTER (on the phone): There are still students here and we don't know if more students are coming. That's one thing that officials can't tell us. That they can't tell us if more people have been killed other than the ten reported. And right now for the parents who are here or for the loved ones of these students who are still at the fairgrounds being asked questions by the FBI. It's just a heartbreaking, heart wrenching process because they have gone the longest without hearing from loved ones and starting to assume the worst.
BERMAN: And we should say that number of ten, the number of ten killed, the sheriff told us a few minutes ago that it is unclear who refused to answer questions about whether the shooter himself is included in that number ten just to get that out there.
You've been talking to parents who arrived looking for their children. What are they telling you?
SEPULVADO: That's right. You know, it was interesting you just heard President Obama say that the response has become routine, but for them, this day is anything but routine. They were just enjoying their lives, doing what they do here working and then get this awful, awful message this happened and created a lot of panic.
Now, most people who had loved ones at this school were able to immediately establish contact, which again, why for the parents and loved ones who haven't this is gut wrenching. So it is an awful period of waiting and waiting to hear their loved ones are OK.
[20:05:08] BERMAN: And then it has to be simply devastated.
John Sepulvado, thanks so much for being with us.
Brady Winder was in the very next room where the shooting happened. He joins me now.
Brady, I understand you were in class when the shooting started. Take us through what happened. What did you see? Did you hear?
BRADY WINDER, HEARD GUNSHOTS AT UCC: Yes. So I was in class. We heard a really loud pop. It sounded like somebody hit the floor with a desk or a table. We didn't think too much of it. Sounded like a fight was breaking out. Kind of startled everybody in the classroom. So my teacher actually went over to the door. There is a door joining the two classrooms and was waiting and asked at the door to the other side, said is everybody in there OK? Didn't hear anything. Heard just a few more seconds of silence, heard about four or five gunshots after that and that's when we realized, OK, these are actual gunshots. Somebody said these are gunshots. We all kind of froze and bolted out the door.
BERMAN: So this all happened right next to the room you were in. What was going through your head the time?
WINDER: A lot, honestly, it was pretty fast. It wasn't really any time to think. It was fight or flight. I was just praying that everybody was OK, you know. Just hoping that everybody can make it out and just praying that I was going to make it, to be honest.
BERMAN: Did you realize it was gunshots at first?
WINDER: Not with the first one. It wasn't, it wasn't as loud as you would think. And I think that combined with the fact that it's not something you're expecting. It's the fourth day of school. Just started college this week, you're not, that's not on your list of things you expected.
BERMAN: When you ran out of the room, where did you go?
WINDER: I ran straight out just ran as far and fast as I could. I actually ran to the back of the campus towards the creek and ran down a hill where I waited for about 15, 20 minutes until it is safe to come out.
BERMAN: Were you prepared in any way for this? Is this something the school ever talked to you about?
WINDER: No, it's something that you get ready for in grade school and high school possibly. But honestly, none of the preparation really prepared you for what happens. You don't have time to think. Like I said, it is fight or flight, you just go.
BERMAN: How long --
WINDER: And in this case, I'm glad that we didn't have hallways, thank goodness, our door was facing outside. We were able to make it out of the building.
BERMAN: When did you finally feel safe?
WINDER: It took a while. I mean, it was gradual. It wasn't all at once when I saw officers, there were officers staggered all over the campus with automatic rifles. I'd say once I got on the bus, they actually made us get in single file lines and put us on a bus to take us to the fairgrounds to evacuate the campus. It kind of sunk in there. But the feeling of today doesn't really leave you.
BERMAN: How long before the police got on the scene? There was the 911 call they say, something like 10:38 a.m. your time. How long after you heard those first shots before they were there?
WINDER: I'd say within ten minutes of the shooting we heard sirens. It is kind of staggered at that point. Most of the vehicles didn't have sirens and I couldn't see, so hard to tell but definitely there was a multitude of police officers and emergency vehicles.
BERMAN: How are you doing?
WINDER: It's mixed, you know, honestly. I'm concerned for the families of those involved. I'm just praying that the people that were affected will be able to cope with this and will be doing OK. That's who I'm concerned about.
BERMAN: School is closed for the next several days. Do you think you'll feel safe again back on campus?
WINDER: It's hard to tell. It's hard to tell. It's not something I'd want to think about at this point.
BERMAN: Brady Winder, we're glad you're doing OK. Thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.
WINDER: Thank you.
BERMAN: All right. Joining me now CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, CNN law enforcement analyst and retired NYPD detective Harry Houck and former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole.
Harry, let me start with you. Just base on what we heard from witnesses describing the shots in the classroom right next to where they were, describing how the police arrived within minutes, very, very quickly. You know, we heard from the sheriff describing a shootout between the police and the man, the shooter, who is now dead. What does this tell you about the event itself?
HARRY HOUCK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it sounds like it was very quick. Apparently, the shooter himself hit the location so fast and fired weapons so fast in there and they -- once the police response was there, he was still shooting and the police had to come in and directly take him on.
Now, the active shooter protocol now for police used to be the fact that the police would gather in front of the location, get together and go in. The new protocol now is you are hearing shots fired, go right in and take the shooter on right away. That's the most important thing. Don't worry about people that are injured. Don't worry about people that are killed. You have to take that shooter out right away. And I think the police did a very good job here.
[20:10:35] BERMAN: And why is that? Why do you take the person out right away at this point?
HOUCK: Well, the fact is the longer you wait, the more he's killing. So as a police officer, you got to respond there. You to get there and run in right away because if you're delayed at any moment, two, three, five more people being killed. So as a police officer, you got to go on and you got to take him on right away. And that's what happened here. These officers are correctly. They took him on. They exchanged fire with him. And he is dead.
BERMAN: Tom Fuentes, the weapons recovered at the scene, three pistols and a long rifle. Let's talk about capacity first of all. That's certainly enough of an arsenal to carry out what he carried out. Ten dead, seven injured at this point.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, certainly, John. You know, the assault rifle would have a firing rate of about 700 rounds per minute just factoring in a second or two between each 30-round magazine, as you put them, it is magazine. And the pistols would be a little bit slower.
But even then, the Virginia Tech shooter had two pistols and killed more than 30 people in a short period of time. In his case, he prevented police from coming by chain locking exterior doors so it delayed them getting in. But that's how quick this can all happen.
BERMAN: We don't know it was an assault rifle, all we know at this point is that it was a long rifle right now. But even with the long rifle --
FUENTES: There was a report earlier today that it was in the AR class. BERMAN: OK. But at this point, CNN has not confirmed but the point
is well taken. They certainly had enough weaponry there to carry out what he did carry out.
The handguns themselves, right, you need to be 21 in the United States to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer, but there are other ways to get a handgun. Frankly, legally you can be given as a gift when you are 18. You can get it at a gun show. Does that tell us anything in itself about how this man got the guns?
FUENTES: No, because we don't even know if he's a resident of that city or that state. We heard that he's possibly through the Midwest and went through Seattle. We don't know him. We haven't identified him for sure to know where he's from, if he's even an Oregon resident where that would matter.
BERMAN: Mary Ellen, one of the questions people ask is what kind of person can do this?
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, in a case like this with this kind of lethality, this is an individual who has thought about this for a long time. It's not something that just happens yesterday and they snapped. They have been thinking and planning this for some time. When you see these kinds of cases that involve excessive firepower, a lot of ammunition, it suggests someone that's a mission-oriented shooter and that means their goal is to come in and shoot as quickly and extensively and as extensively as they can to get maximum lethality. And again, with this kind of shooter, you often see that notoriety, being famous even if it's just for a couple hours on one day becomes really important to them. But the ideation that really creates a person whose thought processes allow this kind of thing, that begins years ago. So there were warning signs all along the way and probably particularly in the last 24 to 48 hours.
BERMAN: I want to talk more about that. You say mission-oriented. What an awful mission. Our panel is going to stick around. We have lot more to discuss.
Up next, new details we are just getting about the shooter and what investigators are focusing on tonight as they try to piece together what happened and they talk about what warning signs there might have been.
And later, we have more breaking news and new advisory just issued on hurricane Joaquin, an extremely powerful storm now with winds up to 130 miles an hour. We are going to have the very latest on where Joaquin could make landfall.
[20:17:45] BERMAN: Our breaking news tonight, a deadly mass shooting in Oregon's Umpqua Community College in the town of Roseburg. As we reported, a law enforcement official says four guns were recovered at the scene.
Now, it is interesting, we do not yet know the name of the shooter. It hasn't been released yet all these hours later. We don't even know whether this guy was a student at the community college.
Our Deb Feyerick has been investigating this. She joins me now.
And Deb, as I said, there is a lot that has not been released about this which is interesting in itself. But what are you learning?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: OK. One of the reasons, authorities sometimes just don't release the name of the gunman until they know for sure. You also have to keep in mind, this is a very small town. They have one coroner who has to go to all of the victims and identify them. What we know, the coroner's sources I've been speaking with is that investigators are looking very, very closely at the gunman's online profile.
Now, they identified the gunman by a cell phone that he had with him. That cell phone allowed them to find a car in the parking lot, which authorities did search to make sure there were no explosives. Now, the sheriff is the one that decided not to release the gunman's name as they try to develop a more accurate profile who he is.
What we do know according to a source is they believe he's from the Midwest. That's what they are looking into. He traveled to the west coast within the last 48 hours. He went to Seattle, Washington. And investigators believe he was there to meet someone, unclear whether he did or not. We do know that he then drove south six hours to the area where Umpqua College is located.
Now, the medical examiner is going to have to identify all the victims. And one thing that they will do is try to figure out whether any of the victims had a connection to the shooter, whether in fact, someone on that campus was deliberately targeted by this particular gunman.
Now, he did have a prolific online life including You Tube videos, which are filled with hateful rants against women, against the people on these sort of anonymous chat boards that he is interacting with, they are filled with curses, they are very disturbing to watch. It looks like the ramblings of an insane person.
But what we do know is that these You Tube videos, John, were getting thousands of views. And this was before the shooting. So he had an online persona, he had online community of people who were at least listening to them, whether anyone was listening to him in real life, that is something investigators are looking at closely.
BERMAN: If this is the guy thousands of people saw what he was at least thinking about online. We are going to talk much more about that in a second.
First, Deb, any physical locations searched in connection with this person?
FEYERICK: Well, that's what they are going to do. That's absolutely one of the things they will do. They are going to try to go to his home and look there to see what they can determine. There was, just to set the record straight, there were postings on a
chat board. It is unclear whether those postings are real, whether they were doctored. Allegations are being made but investigators are looking very closely to the possibility that some people jumped on board the bandwagon to make the active alone gunman into something much greater within the sort of insane community of people who are quite disturbed.
BERMAN: That's deeply troubling on many levels.
I want to bring back the panel right now, Deb, stick around. CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, CNN law enforcement analyst and retired NYPD detective Harry Houck and former FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole.
Mary Ellen, you know, what we just heard from Deb there, if the shooter had been talking about his intentions online last night and was somehow encouraged by people and giving tactical advice by people, what does that say about him and what does it say about those people?
O'TOOLE: Well, it's pretty stunning if that ends up being the case. For him to talk about it makes sense because in almost every case we've seen in the past, there is what we call leakage, which means the offender tells somebody ahead of time what they are going to do. And that was social media. That's the way that they announced what they are going to do. So, leakage, I would expect in this case.
If these other people were watching this and encouraging this, then we have a real issue with people being numb to these warning signs because this is exactly the behavior that we identified almost 15 years ago that had to be -- behavior reported on. It really nullifies then the phrase see something say something because they did see something. They heard something and they did nothing. So, that's more of a failure on part of the human beings who were watching that.
BERMAN: So Deb reported, Mary Ellen, that this person was apparently very angry at women. It is notable, by the way, that this community college is more than half females, 58 percent female. But if this person was ranting about women saying to have a hatred towards women in general, what profile does that fit?
O'TOOLE: That always comes off then a shooter who is like this hates women. But they are OK with African-Americans or they are OK with this group or Jewish people but they just hate women.
In my experience and I had a lot of these cases, that's simply not true. They tend to be equal opportunity haters. They hate everyone and their view of the world is one that we call inelastic. They hate the world. The world is against them. But it is a hatred that crosses all ethnic backgrounds in both genders. So to say just women, I doubt that that's going to end up being the case.
BERMAN: Tom Fuentes, if this online chatter is accurate and it is connected to this person and this persons was announcing his intentions in a way online, should someone have said something? Obviously, I guess the answer there is yes, but should police have noticed? Is there any mechanism for law enforcement to observe this kind of thing?
We're looking, by the way, I should tell you, we are looking at live pictures right now of investigators on the campus still at work. It's still a crime scene and very large crime scene at that.
But Tom Fuentes, about the online chatter, what mechanism is there to monitor this type of thing?
FUENTES: There really is no mechanism. And many of these sites are anonymous. So even somebody chatting with him or encouraging him may not know who he is or where he's at if he doesn't reveal it. So you can have this, you know, anonymous banter going back and forth and nobody really know who the other person is would contributes to freedom to say anything, no matter how it ended. And it is really no mechanism of law enforcement to track all these sites and all these anonymous who around them. It just they are out there and there is nothing that can really be done if there is no way to the identify them.
FEYERICK: What is interesting also is when you read some of the postings, also, you know, he's egged on by a couple people in those chat rooms, you know. You're not going to do it. But if you do, here is how. Here is what you should do with the people. Here is how you should sort of, you know, how you can kill the most number of people.
So it's very bizarre as to the conversations that they are having. And even those ten people say don't do it. There was a posing of an FBI tip line, nobody called because I think there is also an expectation that as twisted or as deranged or sick as these individuals are, that nobody really has the guts to go and do it. So, it's until you see the true unraveling of the human mind that allows them to cross that line and start firing on innocent people is unfortunately one of the things like well, we didn't think he was going to do it but apparently he did.
[20:25:00] BERMAN: Harry, and the people that egged him on, if they did egg him on, are they any way, any kind of legal liability.
HOUCK: I think there has got to be some culpability here. If he stayed in the chat line, I'm going to attack this school tomorrow at 10:30. Somebody should have called the police even if they didn't know who he was just so police would be ready if something of it happen today. The fact that if the FBI who has a very good tracking to be able to track people on the internet, they will able to track down someone who actually egged him on, who actually told him how to commit this attack and was really aware of it, I think we have some culpability here and that is could be a legal question we are going to be talking about.
BERMAN: Yes. I want to bring it back to the physical investigation right now because Deb also reported something very interesting is this guy is from the Midwest may have only arrived in the area within the last 48 hours. Is it possible he has no connection to this college? HOUCK: We were talking about this earlier, the fact that he might
have been chatting with some woman who went to that school. All right? And then chatting with her and she somehow stormed him and this made him decide that he was going to on attack that school. Because here is a guy from the Midwest. How do you find the school in the middle of nowhere to attack?
BERMAN: Finding that connection has to be one of the key parts of the investigation.
HOUCK: And it could be one of the victims.
FEYERICK: Which is why they have to identify the victims and they have to see whether in fact there was any sort of communication between any of the people who died.
HOUCK: And there is going to be something there.
BERMAN: And that gives us a good sense where the investigation is tonight at 8:26 p.m. eastern time.
Deb Feyerick, Harry Houck, Tom Fuentes, Mary Ellen, thanks so much for being with us. Stick around guys. There is a lot more to talk about just ahead for us.
More on the weapons that authorities found at the scene today. The shooter came on to campus equipped to do possibly even more harm than he managed to do.
Plus, we are going to speak to Drew Pinsky about what the shooter might have in common with other mass killers.
BERMAN: Roseburg, Oregon grieving tonight along with the nation. A massacre at Umpqua Community College, ten people are dead, at least seven others hospitalized. As we've said, authorities say they recovered four weapons from the scene. Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown joins me now with the latest. And Pamela, these four guns found, what do we know about them?
BROWN: Well, we've learned, John, that officials have recovered three pistols and one long gun. Assault rifle style weapon that was recovered from that scene that they believe belonged to the gunman and we've learned at this hour that at least one of the guns has been traced. ATF, we know, is working very hard right now at this hour to figure out whether the gunman bought his guns legally. The governor, it's important to point out said that the gunman is 20 years old, which is significant because you have to be 21 to buy a gun. However, we're being told that he may be a little bit older. So there is some conflicting reports about his age, but we believe he's in his 20s, so the gun may have been gifted to him from a family member. He could have buy it at a gun show, obtained it illegally or legally. We don't have the answers to that yet. And we're also learning, John, that there were no explosive devices found at on campus near the crime scene, anything like that. We know earlier today that was a question. There have been ATF bomb-sniffing dogs there on the scene and there have been no explosive devices found and very important to point out there. John.
BERMAN: Any idea of the make or models of these guns or the capacity in terms of ammunition?
BROWN: Well, we know that clearly it had quite a capacity because at least ten people were killed in the multiple classrooms that this gunner went to, but officials at this point are staying very tight lipped. They are not giving the specifics of that and I think that also speaks to, John, the difficulty with covering this case for investigators because it is in a remote area. It's three hours south of Portland and just from my experience covering this, the information has been coming out more slowly, more piecemeal because of the location.
BERMAN: It has been coming out very slowly, Pamela, which is interesting. A lot of people are noting that right now. Any sense of when there will be more information coming out or when some of these questions will be answered?
BROWN: That's a good question. That's what we are wondering, too. You know, we just heard from the sheriff's office, though, and he didn't give what a lot of people are wondering, and that is the identity of this gunman. A lot of people are wondering, is this someone who may have been a student at the school? Were there warning signs? And that information has not been publicly available. Just speaking from my experience, I've spoken to law enforcement officials that the think that that is something that should be coming out shortly because as we know, this gunman is now deceased and even though it's a very active investigation, we still need to know the answers to those questions, John.
BERMAN: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you so much, I appreciate it.
Dead killers, they take some of their secrets with them. We can't ask the shooter why he opened fire at this college. Or whether he's hoping someone would stop him. We can't ask him any of those things. We have seen this type of thing before, though, carried out by the same type of killer. Joining me now to talk about this is Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew." Drew, what was your reaction when you heard about this shooting today?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN: My first reaction was, here we go again. I mean since Sandy Hook I've been sitting in front of the CNN cameras just lamenting that we've crossed into a new period of history that is frankly disgusting. And tonight, we've crossed into yet another zone where as was reported a few minutes ago, you heard that this man was rambling online about his intent to harm people, and the trolls and participants and social media thought it was appropriate to egg this guy on, to encourage him to murder.
PINSKY: That's how far we have sunk in social media. That is the depravity of what goes on, that is how detached people feel when they interact with one another in the social media context, where you literally can encourage a murderer to carry out their act. That is yet another line we have crossed that I don't know where we're going with this, but it's truly disturbing.
BERMAN: Drew, I want to talk about the reaction online to this person in just a moment, but first, what about the act of going online if that is in fact what happened, if this turns out to be accurate, if this person did go online saying hey, I'm thinking about a mass shooting at a school tomorrow. What kind of person does that?
PINSKY: Well, if you remember the West Virginia shooter - the Virginia Tech shooter, I'm sorry, the Virginia Tech shooter did a prolonged video where he rambled on nonsensically in a manic state. We have the videos presented here locally in southern California by the Santa Barbara shooter in La Vista, and this particular shooter has a very, the one that we are - we're reporting on today has an eerie similarity to that shooting in Santa Barbara, where it was someone that would feel socially isolated, detached, somehow special - different than other people, unable to connect and a profound empathic failure. So, when you add the two phenomenon of inability to emphasize with other people's agencies on emotion and a thought disturbance or an agitated state, you have a very serious combination that can result in this sort of crime.
BERMAN: It has the sort of disgusting performance quality to it going online beforehand, doing this, this kind of rant on a video.
PINSKY: Again, I would urge you to just think of it as the moderate incarnation of writing a manifesto, then taking a video and now it's putting it online. The only thing that is different is that it's online in real time and is interactive. He's interacting with other humans in that context and rather than them contacting the FBI, they are giving him advice on how to carry out his act. It's not funny.
BERMAN: Dr. Drew Pinsky, we always appreciate your insight. Thanks so much for being with us.
PINSKY: You bet.
BERMAN: Just ahead, we are going to have President Obama's message. He was angry when he spoke about this earlier tonight and we just got the mayor of the town where this massacre took place, he'll speak to us when we come back.
BERMAN: Ten people dead in a mass killing in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon tonight. The thoughts of the entire country with that town. Joining me on the phone is the mayor of Roseburg, Larry Rich. Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for being with us, this is something that should happen to no town in anyplace in this country. How are you and the people of Roseburg holding up tonight?
MAYOR LARRY RICH: Well, we are doing the best we can. It came as a shock. So, when we found out earlier today, it was like oh, no, here we go again with the nation shootings and it happened to be right here in our home town. I think the bigger shock is going to be when the names are released and we're going to recognize some of the names and that's going to be very hard for many of our citizens.
BERMAN: We were speaking to people at the fairgrounds earlier tonight where the reuniting is supposed to be happening, where parents are looking for their kids, and we heard how difficult it is for some of these parents who have yet to find their children. It's got to be such an awful feeling right now.
RICH: It was, and I was there towards the end when you can imagine the feeling of being a parent and a loved one and you are still sitting there realizing that yours isn't coming back. That's -- it was really emotional and very hard to be there. My heart just went out for those families that were still sitting there in that room.
BERMAN: Mr. Mayor, what questions do you have this evening? We still don't have the name of the person who carried out this act. We certainly don't know why perhaps this person did it. What do you want to know about what happened today?
RICH: Well, I think in everybody's mind is like why would somebody do this? What would drive somebody to this point and I wish we could figure it out so that this non-sense of killing one another would just stop in our country. It's just getting crazy. It's - I wish we could figure out how to put an end to it.
BERMAN: What's tomorrow going to be like in Roseburg, Oregon?
RICH: Like I said, I think it's going to be harder tomorrow than it is today. Right now we got the shock but then it's going to be - when we start recognizing those names, that's going to be even harder for so many of us. It's going to be the most difficult point what I believe will be tomorrow.
BERMAN: Mayor Larry Rich, thank you so much for being with us. Know that tonight and tomorrow and for the weeks and months ahead the entire country is thinking about you.
RICH: Well, thank you so much, I appreciate it.
BERMAN: What happened today in Roseburg has happened in so many other American cities. That is the point the president made today, when he spoke about the massacre. He was visibly angry, as angry as many of us have ever seen him and he called on Americans, people to demand changes to the nation's gun laws.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: To allow this to happen every few months in America, we collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction. When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mine safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seat belt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: We're joined now by CNN political commentator Dan Pfeiffer. Dan served as the senior adviser of President Obama. Dan, you worked for him for a number of years. What did you make of his emotions tonight?
DAN PFEIFFER, CNN COMMENTATOR: Well, this is as angry as I've seen him. Prior to the ...
PFEIFFER: Period. Prior to tonight the angriest I've seen him was after Newtown when a minority in the Senate blocked common sense gun regulation. I've had this conversation with him, exactly what he said at the podium and I've had it privately with him on countless occasions because this has become, as he points out, too routinized. Every few weeks he goes out and gets the statement. Every few weeks, the press covers, and every few weeks, Congress does nothing. He is the one who calls the families, he is the one who goes to the funerals and to be able -- to not be able to look those people in the eye and say that we cannot do anything about it, that gets the to him.
BERMAN: I've talked to several people who had worked in the administration over the years, and they all say that the biggest regret the president has, not the biggest anger, but the biggest regret he has, is that he hasn't been able to make any progress in his view on gun laws in this country.
PFEIFFER: I think that's completely true. This is, he's incredibly frustrated by this. Think about this that every other developed nation as he pointed out has a shooting like this and then they change their laws and they don't have their shootings. We have them almost every week of the second term we have one and nothing happens, and the problem is the members of Congress don't feel the pressure to do this.
BERMAN: Is it just the members of Congress, though? Does the president himself take any responsibility?
PFEIFFER: He used the word - he used the pronoun our responsibility here. He feels that he is the president of the United States, he is the captain of the ship.
BERMAN: Does he feel that he's failed here?
PFEIFFER: He feels that he's failed - people to do more. Now, the problem is, this is not exclusively a Republican problem, but it's almost entirely a Republican problem. There's Republicans in the Senate who almost unanimously block these - blocked background checks a couple of years ago. BERMAN: You know, it's interesting and I have no idea what his
political affiliation is, but Sheriff John Hanlin, who was the sheriff in Douglas County, where the shooting took place, the sheriff we've been seeing today at these news conferences, he is someone who has vocally opposed new gun laws in this country. He wrote a letter after Newtown saying that there should not be, for instance, new background checks for people doing private sales at gun shows. There are people out there, even people like this sheriff John Hanlin, now connected to these shootings who do not want the laws themselves changed.
PFEIFFER: Well, this sheriff is in the minority and the country is also in the minority in law enforcement. Sheriffs, chiefs of police have been some of the largest advocates for common sense gun regulations like background checks. Look, this keeps happening over and over and it only happens here in America. We don't have a monopoly on the mental ill. We don't have a monopoly on this disenfranchised use, but this happens here more than anywhere else in the world. And what is different in the United States and other countries? Our gun laws are more lax.
BERMAN: It was interesting. And there are people who say let's not politicize this or politicize that, the president flat out said, let's politicize this tonight. And he promised to politicize it every time it comes up again in the future. Where is the place areas for agreement here? If it's not on background checks, where can everyone get together and say, you know, we agree on these few things, let's at least do this?
PFEIFFER: Well, in the country there are lots of these agreements, assault weapons ban, changing background check laws, dealing with the gun show loophole. There are things that the entire country agrees on. Majorities of Republicans in some case s agree on. The problem we have in Congress right now, is that Republicans primarily, but not exclusively, are more afraid of the NRA than they are of majority of public opinion. And that has to change it.
What happens is, and the president was making a call to action for citizens to put pressure on their lawmakers because until people who advocate safer gun laws put, start knocking on doors, calling congressional offices we're not going to have - we're going to keep repeating what happened after Newtown, which is the country gets upset, the country mourns, the country asks for action and they don't get action.
BERMAN: All right, Dan Pfeiffer, I appreciate you being with us. Thanks so much, Dan.
PFEIFFER: Thank you.
BERMAN: Up next, we have more breaking news, a new advisory just released on Hurricane Joaquin. This is a powerful storm. And it could hit parts of the East Coast, already flooded by another system. We are here the latest tracking information when "360" continues.
BERMAN: More breaking news. A new advisory on Hurricane Joaquin. Right now, the dangerous category four storm is slamming the Bahamas with maximum winds of 130 miles per hour. All along the East Coast, millions of Americans want to know if this storm is coming for them. Meteorologist Jennifer Gray joins us now with the new details. Jennifer, what's the very latest on the storm's track?
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, the 8:00 advisory, 8:00 Eastern Time in the last hour hasn't changed much. This storm is still at 130 mile per hour sustained winds, with gusts up to 160 battering the central Bahamas. This storm basically sitting right over the Bahamas for two solid days and it's going to stay there for much of tomorrow before it starts to take that turn north. The models still not agreeing much at all, but they are coming together a little bit more and most of them taking it out to sea, which is very interesting. I want to show you the latest track from the National Hurricane Center. We won't have another update for another couple of hours, but looking at the floor, you can see staying a category four and then weakening as it travels to the north and then that cone still anywhere from North Carolina all the way up through the Northeast, however, most of those models like we said, John, are taking this out to sea.
BERMAN: So, what does that mean for the East Coast? Is the East Coast going to still feel the effects of the storm?
GRAY: Yeah, absolutely. Let me show you back over here. We are going to still see a flooding threat for possibly South Carolina, we are also going to see indirect effects from the south in the Northeast, and we are talking about strong winds, we're also talking about beach erosion. We also could see some flooding in the northeast as well. But the good news is the models are still taking it away from the east. So the farther it is from the coastline, the better off you will be.
Unrelated to the storm, though, we are talking about massive flooding across the Carolinas for the weekend all because of this upper level low.
It is expected to deepen just a little bit. That's going to suck in a lot of tropical moisture and we're talking about anywhere from ten to 15 inches of rain across South Carolina. They have already received a lot of rain over the past seven days. The topography of South Carolina, you have the mountains and then you have those coastal areas, so we're talking about flooding tremendous amount of flooding and also in North Carolina, six to ten inches of rain possible through the weekend. John?
BERMAN: Yeah, ten to 15 inches of rain of water in the low country there in South Carolina, that people down there are ready, getting ready dealing with emergency preparations there. And at this point, it doesn't matter what happens with Hurricane Joaquin, they still have serious problems. Jennifer Gray, thank you so much. Really appreciate you being with us. That does it for me tonight, but stay with us for more on the hurricane and more on the mass shooting in Oregon. Wolf Blitzer anchors the second hour of "360" when we come back. We have a team of reporters getting new information on the college campus, new information on the shooters, the investigation ongoing, ten people killed, at least seven hospitalized, the latest development when "360" continues in a moment.