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A City in Shock After Nightclub Shooting; What Led the Killer to Commit Mass Murder?; Obama Calls Massacre Example of Homegrown Extremism; Shooter's Father Speaks out. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 13, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Well, the name of the 49th victim has just been released, Geraldo Ortiz Jimenez. We remember him and all those who lost their lives here and all those who are still in the hospital struggling to recover from their wounds.
That does it for us. We'll be back here tomorrow night and throughout the day tomorrow. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The breaking news that we're getting a better picture of the Orlando nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen.
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon in Orlando.
Where President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit on Thursday, right here on Thursday. Here's what we know right now, though. According to the Orlando Sentinel, regular patrons say the killer visited the nightclub several times and he visited a Disney property two months ago.
Was he casing it for a potential attack, he may have been planning the violence for some time. Attempting recently to purchase military grade body armor. The FBI says he called 911 three times while the attack was unfolding and was likely radicalized himself online.
But did the FBI drop the ball here? Did they drop the ball? We now know that the kill was under investigation for 10 months, and tonight there is chilling new Snapchat video of attack as it's happening. You can clearly hear shots being fired.
We're going to get to all of that this evening. We have a lot to get to in the next two hours. We want to begin with CNN's Pamela Brown. And Pamela joins me now. You have been following this investigation for us, the FBI's investigation into the shooters. And you have some new information. What can you tell us?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Well, we know, Don, that investigators have been speaking to the wife of this gunman. We know at least today they've been speaking to her, they lived in Fort Pierce, Florida.
And she has actually given some helpful information to investigators, that's according to sources we've been speaking with. She's been giving them information about a locations he visit prior to the attack, and so investigators are using this information that the wife is giving in order to piece together a time line.
And, of course, one of the things that investigators want to establish is whether there was preoperational surveillance at this night club and whether there were other targets that this gunman was casing prior to the mass shooting.
We know that back in April, that the gunman went to Disney World with his family. And they're trying to figure out was this all part of his plan? He was looking at Disney World as a target or was it just a family trip?
I mean, at this point, investigators are pointing to hundreds of leads from people from witnesses, those who saw him around to try to figure those things out. And figure out when he decided to launch this attack and how long it took him to plan.
LEMON: There's a bit of new information that is fascinating, Pamela. Tell us about visiting this night apparently, according to investigators or people who are there who went there, patrons, he had visited before. He'd been there numerous times.
BROWN: Yes. And in fact, four regular patrons, Don, tell Orlando Sentinel that he had been there multiple times. And it's unclear in what capacity. Was he there to figure out if this would be a potential target or was he there for other purposes?
I mean, that is what investigators are trying to figure out. It is a line of inquiry, they're looking at that right now. But it certainly a great interest to investigators, Don.
LEMON: And if that is indeed true, then that takes the investigation into another level which we'll talk to our panel about.
LEMON: Is this, you know, a hate crime sort of masquerading or a gay hate crime masquerading as a terrorist attack? There is so much to unfold here, including reports. Not the reporting that you have but that he potentially was on a gay dating or hookup apps, to hookup apps which we will talk with the -- our panel about as well. But so much to unpack here.
LEMON: This is all new level.
BROWN: You know, investigators were looking at trying to figure out was he trying to learn more about the gay community? Was this some personal thing? Was it, you know, was all part of the planning? They don't have those answers yet.
But when it comes to his inspiration from foreign terrorist organizations, Don, it's clear that there were several influences as one source said, he was taking in a lot of propaganda online from ISIS and other terrorist groups. But what's really throwing off the investigators right now, Don, is
the fact that he clearly had some sort of allegiance to ISIS and ISIS' enemy, Al-Nusra front and talked about that in that 911 call as you'll recall during the shooting.
And so, it is sort of unclear of what exactly was driving this gunman. It's not clear cut.
LEMON: It sounds like he was conflicted in many ways over his personal views about certain things, his religious views about certain things and maybe what he just was. Maybe he was, indeed, in some way, maybe he was a gay man. Who knows? They are still investigating it.
But my question to you is, back in 2013, the FBI interviewed him. And I talked to his father today, 2013 and 2014. And at one point he was on the terror watch list. And we also know that he wanted to get body armor as well.
LEMON: But could not get body armor. What was -- do we know how he became radicalized here?
BROWN: Well, I can tell you that the FBI had looked at his comments he made to co-workers in 2013, saying that he has associations with Al Qaeda through his family and Hezbollah.
[22:05:06] And he basically told investigators that he made it up because his co-workers were taunting him, making fun of him because he was a Muslim. So, he said he made up these comments.
After 10 months of investigating, the FBI closed the investigation because they couldn't find any derogatory information. They just thought, hey, you know, this is just one of those cases where the co- workers were concerned, brought it to us and there is nothing to back it up.
And then the next year, Don, we know that after he was taken off the watch list, after the investigation was closed, they interviewed him again because there was someone he may have been associated with. And that was this American suicide bomber who was fighting with Al-Nusra front in Syria and blew himself up.
In fact, he mentioned him in that 911 call during the shooting. And so, but they didn't find anything then. And essentially, Don, the FBI just kind of moved on from there.
LEMON: What about -- and what about this firearms training camp?
BROWN: Yes. So, this is something investigators are looking at as well. Because back in 2007, he had extensive fire arms training at this law enforcement academy. I think it was something like 80 hours of training that they get there over the course of a month.
Then we've learned through talking to some of his classmates that he was actually expelled from this academy because of an episode where he became upset. Because he felt like someone was making fun of his religion. And so he was expelled.
All of these are parts of the puzzle that investigators are putting together to see if something was missed back then. How he was able to, you know, get away with all of this and then launch this worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
LEMON: All right. Stand by, Pamela. I want to bring in Juliette Kayyem, who is our national security analyst here on CNN. Juliette, you heard that the new information that she is reporting, as well as our Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez are reporting about. That he had been to this club before.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes.
LEMON: We touched on this last night with Michael Weiss about possibly this is someone who is so homophobic, that that protest too much, that maybe he had issues himself and it looks like that this is leading to that.
KAYYEM: I think that's exactly right. And apologies for the voice. I think there are multiple motivations. And it may very well be that the ISIS motivation is the least likely one. That it's a front for a guy who is very confused about himself.
And so, I've been saying since this happened, there is no singular moment that you can say that's the reason why he did this.
LEMON: But he was -- and that if he was -- here's the thing, when this first happened, I wondered if as I said to you, was this a ruse, the part about his allegiance to ISIS and then the Tsarnaev brothers and Al Qaeda?
That are we going to find out at some point that this maybe was a domestic thing? That he had a boyfriend and then he had an argument with someone in the club and had a vendetta.
LEMON: And then all of this is a ruse thrown in at the end to throw everybody off the trail?
KAYYEM: Yes. I know. I know I'm sometimes viewed as too cautious on air. But I've seen this unfold a lot of times. The story we know on day one is not the story on day 14 or the story on year two. This is going to unfold very slowly.
We will find out more about him. And that's why there's a rush to an explanation that's going to make us decide something I think is the wrong way to go.
BROWN: But I will say, and I think that the ruse notion is something that investigators are exploring. But they did see, Don, that he was over some time taking in this propaganda. So, there was something about that that intrigued him.
KAYYEM: Yes. BROWN: Now how much it, you know, play...
KAYYEM: And picking up on this point is they may all be true.
KAYYEM: Right? There is just multiple motivations with someone like this including mental health illness, homophobia...
KAYYEM: ISIS, Al Qaeda, which is a totally inconsistent things to even spoke (Inaudible)...
LEMON: You say, you know, there are some mental issues in there. So this is, I mean, this was clearly a case. There is a gay hate crime. I mean, you don't pick a club on a busy -- the busiest night of the week to go to if you don't have something -- again, or there is something in you that you, you know, you're hiding or what you have.
KAYYEM: Right. And it's important that you and others keep saying that.
KAYYEM: Because if we get still focus on ISIS, we forget what that community had happen to them. And as a community that's reeling.
LEMON: I want to bring in our terrorism expert Michael Weiss. He is senior editor at The Daily Beast. He was the person who was bold enough last night to bring this subject up to put it on the table as well.
We -- many of us had been thinking, Michael, what do you make of this new information about the possibility of these gay hook up apps that he was allegedly on, jacked and possibly grinder? And what do you make of him attending this club, coming to this club numerous times.
And then there is also a report in another newspaper the Palm Beach newspaper saying that, one of his friends saying "he asked me out romantically but he was not out."
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, I mean, it seemed a little likely to me only because, you know, the guy clearly was targeting the LGBT community. We talked about ISIS looking for so-called soft targets.
Well, you could go in and shoot up a Wal-Mart or a school or a restaurant. There was something very purposive about him targeting a largest gay nightclub in Orlando. And then all of this stuff started to creep out about him having had a drag queen friend and having been quite gemutlich with lesbian bartenders and the gay community in Orlando.
[22:09:59] It seems to me that he was probably harboring a secret. And, you know, as you know, Don, a lot of homophobes end up being, you know, closeted gay men. I mean, there is this rumor or this speculation surrounding Salah Abdeslam, one of the Paris attackers, the only one who survived by the way, who's now in custody.
He was seen in Brussels in sort of the gay hot spots in Brussels. And this came out in the European press after the Paris massacre. And the speculation was, well, look, he was either scouting targets there to hit the gay community in Brussels or, I mean, if you listen to some of the people who went on record and talked to newspapers such as the Sunday Times in Britain, they thought he might have been a gay prostitute or he just cruising these neighborhoods.
So, it wouldn't be the first time, by the way, that Jihadists, homicidal Jihadist are, you know, sort of -- they seek the radical Islamist ideology as a means of trying to contain or, you know, sort of neuter, for a lack of a better term what they considered to be sexual deviance.
It wouldn't be the first time by the way that somebody went to, you know, a far right-wing ideology for the same reasons. We've seen this in American politicians all the time, right?
LEMON: Yes. And we see this, I mean, we see this sort of homophobic, you know, the person who is the most homophobic you see them as one who is hiding the secret as we have been saying. But this is not just Islam. But it's also, most other religions, Catholicism here, Christianity in the United States, the same sort of thing.
But this person is conflicted so much by ideology and what was -- what he was naturally inside had he dealt with these -- this issue which is a possible issue for him. There may be 50 people who were alive today including himself and another 50 who may not be injured if he had just said you know what? This is who I am. And if religion, his ideology was more accepting, then we may not be dealing with this. That's just a possibility here.
WEISS: Yes, of course. And look, I mean, if you take religion or Islam out of the equation, I mean, I keep saying there is a political project undergirding the ISIS caliphate and the ISIS ideology. They are trying to reach every kind of, you know, ultra-violent or psychopathic or loosely gangster orientated individual in the world. Not even Muslims, by the way.
They want people like this. Mentally -- we've been talking about him being emotionally unstable or mentally handicapped. I mentioned last night, Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is the first incarnation of ISIS used to take mentally disabled 12-year-old girls and strap them with suicide vests and have them go and blow up checkpoints in police station in Iraq.
In Rochester New Year's Eve this past New Years, there was an abortive attempt by a guy that the New York Times described as a mentally handicapped panhandler who wanted to join ISIS and wanted to commit a terrorist atrocity in Rochester, New York.
That was thankfully interdicted by the FBI in the sting operation. It's not unusual, I mean, you know, we try to be very pack in the way we deal with something like terrorism and look for a single driver. Human beings are complicated. There is no one cause for why people are drawn to ISIS.
I've interviewed people who have been driven into ISIS fold who you and I would consider be to be secular, including people who take alcohol, smoke marijuana...
WEISS: ... do not believe in, you know, 72 virgins in the afterlife. Why are they drawn to it? For geopolitical reasons or because they hate the United States for its foreign policy.
LEMON: Yes. Michael, thank you. I appreciate your expertise. And just putting some new language here into the Lexicon. If you -- most people may not know what grinder or jack is, they are geo social sites where gay men hook up. It will tell your -- you know, a mile away, two miles way, ten miles away or what have you and they hook up.
And he was allegedly on two of these apps trying to reach people that's a reporting. So make sure you stay with me. More on our breaking news tonight. The deadliest mass shooting in American history. That's what we're reporting on at a nightclub here in Orlando, Florida.
Plus, my interview with the killer's father, coming up here on CNN.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: What? Back here in Orlando tonight. President Obama calling the massacre at the nightclub example of homegrown, an example of homegrown extremism.
The killer is American born and the head of the FBI says he was likely radicalized at least in part by extremist material found on the internet.
I want to talk about this with Fareed Zakaria. He is the host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, and here with me in Orlando, Sheriff Kevin Beary. He is the former sheriff of Orange County, Florida who is a counterterrorism expert.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining me.
KEVIN BEARY, FORMER ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF: Thank you.
LEMON: Sir, I appreciate it. I know that you're very busy. Fareed, I want to start with you. The president is going -- before we get to the president, let's talk about this new reporting that I just discussed with my panel of experts earlier including Pamela brown, or correspondent here, about the possibility that he was conflicted about his sexuality and versus his religion. Can you talk to us about homosexuality or homophobia in the Muslim world?
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Sure, Don. I mean, it's a very sad story. The truth of the matter in Muslim communities are very socially conservative and there is, you know, in a way that maybe 30 or 40 years ago was true in many Christian communities, there is a lot of homophobia. There is a great deal of suspicion. There is a great deal of discrimination and more than anything else, there is an enormous amount of repression.
Now in addition to that, you have this kind of radical Islamist ideology which ramps this up a hundred fold. You know, radical Islamist is homophobic, I should say, they hate gays but it's also misogynistic. It hates people of other religions.
And so, all of that is, you know, the operating kind of ecosystem in which somebody like this is breathing. And who knows what his own view, you know, what his own inclinations were. But certainly it would make for a very toxic environment.
And it's one of the great problems in Muslim countries which tend to have extremely repressive laws and attitudes about homosexuality. And, you know, it is a good example of how that kind of repression and intolerance can produce very, very strange, very, very damaging pathologies. So, it's not impossible at all that he is in a sense a product of all that repression, you know, and then God knows as you say what his own inclinations were.
[22:20:05] LEMON: Fareed, let's talk about the president today. The president is going to be here on Thursday, by the way. He's coming here to Orlando. But today, he says this appears to be a case of homegrown terrorism. What do you think when you hear that?
ZAKARIA: Well, I think he's exactly right. This is the scenario that people have worried a great deal about. Here's a guy who, born in the United States, American citizen, who did not really do anything that would allow him to be jailed.
You know, people have accused the FBI and I understand that, because the FBI was working on a tip and that frankly is a good example of very good work that they've done intelligence that they gathered both through electronic surveillance and also through the community, the Muslim communities they were working with.
But the guy didn't do anything. And in the United States, in a free society, you can't lock somebody up until they've done something. You know, we really have to ask ourselves, do we want to gift the police the power to on a suspicion arrest somebody I don't know.
Hillary Clinton raised the one interesting question, which is if the FBI is actively investigating someone and they think that he has ties to terrorism, should he be allowed to buy assault weapons? But even there the problem is it's a suspicion.
And so, what do you do with somebody who has not yet done something, is a U.S. citizen and, yet, you have some suspicions? This is the nightmare scenario. LEMON: Yes.
ZAKARIA: It's not clear to me that the FBI made any stumbles. So, what is the lesson going forward. It's not as easy. It's easy to blow it and engage in kind of bombast and demagoguery the way Donald Trump did. But it's not really clear what you do going forward.
LEMON: Yes. And I want to bring in the sheriff to discuss that. The president said it was homegrown terrorism. Fareed Zarakia said, you know, the FBI -- the way that our system is set up, you know, you can't just stop someone from doing something because of a suspicion.
BEARY: That is correct. but I will tell you, I've been told by friends of mine in the federal government that the Department of Justice, there are so many of these cases, they just don't have time to give them the time they need to uncover what they need to uncover.
And somehow after investigations in '13 and '14 as you've already reported, you have got to be able to connect the dots to that gun data base and if he tries to draws and tries to buy a gun, even if he ought to be -- there ought to be some kind of signal. A yellow flashlight on the computer, call the FBI, call ATF further investigation is needed.
LEMON: Yes. This person is on a -- was once on a terror watch list or there should be some sort of flag you're saying.
BEARY: Yes, sir. And I would tell you that part of the problem also is that we do not connect the dots in all our data bases. The refugees that are coming in right now, they are -- they are in the health and human services and the Department of State data bases. But that is not shared with the Department of Homeland Security or local law enforcement. And we've been asking for that since 2001. And it is time we rethink because it's time to protect the masses of people.
LEMON: Yes. What is -- what is the problem here? Is it lack of resources or lack of, you know, it's not a priority, a combination? What's the problem?
BEARY: I think we have forgotten about 9/11. Nobody wants to talk about it anymore. We're afraid to upset the apple cart. And it's -- I'll guarantee you they're going to be talking about June 12, 2016 for many years to come.
BEARY: And we've got to face it. Morocco has a very interesting situation. They will side with protecting the populous and they don't worry too much about offending those that want to hate and kill. That is their -- that is their belief system there. And it seems to work for their security.
And, you know, we've got to find a balance. And I can tell you we're also, whether we like it or not, we're in a war with radical Islam extremists. And we've got to put that back on the top priority list.
LEMON: And, of course, the two candidates arguing about using those exact terms today going back and forth. And we'll be continuing to do this up until election day.
Fareed Zakaria, thank you very much. Sheriff Beary, Kevin Beary, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining here on CNN.
BEARY: Thank you.
LEMON: We're going to be right back with more of our breaking news in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're back now live in Orlando. A city in shock at the horrible violence at the nightclub that killed 49 innocent young adults. What led the killer to commit such mass murder, that's one of the many questions remaining to be answered.
But I sat down today with someone who may offer some insight into his motives. And that's the killer's father. Who told me he last saw his son the day before the massacre. Here's more of what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The president again today, I'm going to use his words, he called this homegrown extremism and a terror attack. Why do you think your son chose that club and what do you think his motive was?
SEDDIQUE MATEEN, OMAR MATEEN'S FATHER: Well, I was shocked as you are. Because I didn't notice. I saw him always in the past two days. Didn't notice anything, irregular behavior and as far on the emotional behavior in his part. He didn't get my attention just being not normal. And if I did notice that, I would have taken care of him myself. I would have called the law enforcement.
LEMON: So, why do you think he chose -- why do you think he picked that club?
MATEEN: I wish, I wish he was alive and I wish I had an opportunity to talk to him. Why did he do what did he.
LEMON: You don't approve of it?
LEMON: But there is a Facebook post of you saying, and I'm paraphrasing here that it is not man's responsibility to punish gay people. It's God's responsibility to punish gay people.
[22:30:04] MATEEN: No. You misunderstood me. Maybe the translation was wrong. I said any -- anything any person does is between him and God. And God is the one who make a judgment. Not a human being. We have no right to make a judgment about anybody.
LEMON: And so do you think it's a sin. Does it go against your religion?
MATEEN: That's their own chosen way to live. So, in general, a rule of thumb, God created man for woman, and woman for man. So, as a teaching of religion, and that's what it is.
LEMON: So, you believe God created a woman for a man, man for a woman and not two men or two women together?
MATEEN: So, that's what they're just teaching us. That's what I say.
LEMON: Did you...
MATEEN: But I don't judge on anybody the way they live. I have no right.
LEMON: Did you teach him that? Do you think that that...
MATEEN: He was a regular -- a regular -- he was paying attention for religion issue. And Islam doesn't teach this. Discrimination or bad behavior about people.
LEMON: So, this whole thing that has been reported, and I think that you said, you said it, that he saw two gay people kissing and said he said his son had to witness that and that upset him?
MATEEN: Not that I think he just had that reaction to see, you know, in front of the whole people in playing music in downtown Miami and two men kissing each other in fronts of the kids and wife and woman and the whole thing. It was like a surprising news to him.
LEMON: So, you don't think that he had an issue with that. That he chose a gay bar packed on a Saturday night to meet.
MATEEN: I tell you, I wish he was alive. I would ask too one question, why did he do, why did he went to that club?
LEMON: He said that he -- when he called 911...
LEMON: ... twice during the standoff, that he pledged allegiance to ISIS.
MATEEN: Well, I -- based on what I've seen him coming to say hello to us and his family, the whole thing, I didn't notice anything radical and those people are -- they're the enemy of humanity. I never agree with those -- they are the killer people. They are terrorist of ISIS.
LEMON: ISIS. Enemy of humanity.
MATEEN: And humanity. And the way they conduct themselves and harming everybody. They are not a religious group. I don't know what they are. Just a killer group.
LEMON: Did you ever call for him having an issue of mental health issue.
LEMON: Were you ever concerned about that? MATEEN: No. Because I didn't see he was attentive to his work. He was
attentive towards his family, towards his -- us, coming on a regular basis and taking care of his family. So, there was nothing there that get my attention, in other words.
LEMON: Well, his ex-wife said that he had mental issues and that he was obsessive and she was -- her family had to rescue her after four months of marriage.
MATEEN: They were married for some time and if she had a problem why she didn't come to me?
LEMON: She never told you about a problem?
MATEEN: Yes. No, he is dead and she raise this -- so maybe she get some reputation or something personal grudge if she had. So, if she has a problem why as a father of Omar, why didn't she come to me and say, hey, this is a problem that you want to talk to your son. So, why?
LEMON: I want to ask you this. This is something, this is Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We may have our disagreements about gun safety regulations but we should all be able to agree on a few essential things. If the FBI is watching you for a suspected terrorist links, you shouldn't be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: She's speaking -- she is speaking directly about your son. She's saying if your son had been interviewed about by the FBI at least three times in 2013 and 2014. But yet -- and so he could buy guns and he bought two guns legally. She's saying that your son should not have been able to buy these guns legally. Do you think that he should have?
MATEEN: I think -- I think Ms. Hillary Clinton does have the facts. The facts are that he was working for a security company. And they did give him a gun. Then he had a gun license.
LEMON: You said she doesn't have the facts?
MATEEN: No. Because he was working for security company. And security company gave him a gun. And he had a license for carrying a gun.
LEMON: But he bought two guns recently. The guns that he used in this mass shooting. He bought these guns, that it wasn't given to him by his employers.
MATEEN: I think he had one gun from the job and I heard from the news and it was another gun.
LEMON: He had in still. He had in still. He bought guns. Do you think if your son, let me finish the question, do you think if your son had been interviewed by the FBI for suspected ties to terrorism, should he have been able to buy weapons and not...
[22:35:06] MATEEN: I wish it didn't happen. But base on what I know, FBI is the most professional and alert people on the face of the earth with the way that I saw them in the past few days. And they do their job wonderfully. And I think...
LEMON: Should your son have been able to buy guns?
MATEEN: If you have a gun license, I don't think that you have a problem buying some guns.
LEMON: So, he should have been able to?
MATEEN: There should not -- you should have -- what I'm asking the nation and the law -- law people like a congressman that they should have -- normally a person who has a gun license, he or she should go through the 7 days waiting period or 10 days waiting, whatever. You should get investigated for a person why a person buys a gun. I never had guns.
LEMON: Donald Trump is using this saying that this would happen at the nightclub.
LEMON: Is he's doubling down on his stance on not allowing Muslims, banning Muslims from coming into the country temporarily, do you agree with that?
MATEEN: Donald Trump has a very extreme view of this country, United States of America. Well, his speech and his behavior, I don't think it benefits the national unity like the general from Pentagon said that he's not good for national security of the United States.
Every ethnicity or religious group or Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or any religion has nothing to do with a person being a one person. My son is responsible for his behavior.
LEMON: Your son is going to be known as a person who committed...
LEMON: ... the worst terrorist act...
LEMON: ... since 9/11 and biggest mass shooting in American history. MATEEN: Right.
LEMON: As a terrorist. With sympathies to -- with sympathies to ISIS, what does that?
MATEEN: His act was a terror act. But as far as him being a terrorist, I'm not aware of. This is the worst thing that can happen for a father to see a son act like this.
LEMON: Do you feel in any way responsible for?
MATEEN: I did my job to raise him, sent him to college, send him to high school and pay for all his expenses, get him educated, get him to work, taking care of his family. And the past two days this happened like I'm sad. I'm upset. I'm really speechless what he did. And I don't forgive him as a father.
Those -- that 50 people are my family, the 52 people that got injured, they are my family. And I care for them. And I'm very sad for them. They lost their loved ones. Beside I lost him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The killer's father speaking out tonight. We're going to have more on our breaking news tonight, the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
This is a survivor story that you don't want to miss coming up right after this break.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: All right. I want everyone at home wherever you're watching to sit down and watch this. OK? This is, we're going to talk about this massacre here in Orlando and referring to the shooting inside this nightclub like somebody out of a horror movie my next guest says it was like.
I want to bring in now Angelica Jones, the lead entertainer at Pulse. Angelica, thank you for joining us. This is the first interview you've done?
ANGELICA JONES, PULSE CLUB LEAD ENTERTAINER: Yes.
LEMON: Because you were just too...
JONES: Too hard to talk about.
LEMON: So, you've been the lead entertainer there for 10 years?
LEMON: You weren't supposed to work that night but you showed up at the club.
JONES: Yes. LEMON: And what happened?
JONES: Well, just a regular Saturday night that we were on the patio. And all of a sudden, you hear gunshots. What do you? Survival mode kind of kicks in and with me being an employee, I just wanted to make sure that I could get at least every door open that I could.
I didn't, you know, you think about horror stories that you hear about in clubs and fires, people trying to get out. And that is something that we always try to pride ourselves on is make sure that people always have a way of escaping.
LEMON: So, what did do you?
JONES: So, I opened up the back door to the hallway that the employees go down. And then I saw that the other doors were opening. And then I ran to the dressing area and I saw about five other individuals, six other individuals and I just told them to get in and to duck down and to hide, get as close as we could. And then...
LEMON: What were you hearing as you were doing this what was going on?
JONES: I'm hearing about a good 50 gun shots going after back to back. And Axel, our bartender and then a friend and another performer of ours, he came in and we barricaded the door. And we just ducked down and tried to stay quiet as long as we could.
I told everyone to put their phones on silent so that if he was walking by he couldn't hear us. But we can literally hear him walking -- walking through.
LEMON: What's going through your head?
JONES: And shooting. Actually, nothing was going through my head.
LEMON: You could hear him shooting as he's walking in front of the door?
JONES: We can hear him shooting. We can hear him yelling.
LEMON: What was he saying?
JONES: I couldn't really understand what he was saying. But all I could do is pray. That's the way I'm raised. That's what I know. So, I just say to God to just shield us as much as he could until someone could get in there to get us out.
LEMON: Had you ever seen him before?
JONES: No. Actually, I didn't see him. The first time I ever saw him was actually on TV. From the reports that we've been seeing. But it's nothing you can fathom to understand. You can say it's like a movie. But when you're it in, it's not. [22:45:03] In a movie, you know what the outcome may be. And in this
situation, you didn't know. So, I called my best friend Shebel (ph) and she called my mom. And that's what kind of like broke me because you don't know if this is your last time. You have to speak to your mother.
So, Axel was on the phone with our manager Nema and he made sure that the police knew that we were in the dressing room. We have portable air conditioner there.
LEMON: How long were you in there?
JONES: For about two hours. If not longer than that, it felt like forever though.
LEMON: And you were just being quiet.
JONES: Just being quiet. I was stooped under the sink because our dressing room had actually has like sink, toilet, washer and drier.
LEMON: So, you -- there was an air -- portable air conditioner, right?
LEMON: Right. And then did you take it out of the wall? What happened?
JONES: Well, we thought to do it at first but we were trying to stay quiet.
LEMON: You didn't want to make noise.
JONES: We didn't know exactly how to get it out. So, once Axel talked to Nema and Nema talked to the police, they finally came and pushed it in. But I'm not a little girl. So I'm looking like...
LEMON: How are you going to get through that, right?
JONES: How am going to get through this? But by the grace of God, I made a way.
LEMON: And you got through.
JONES: And the rest of us did, and none of us were hurt, thank God and no bullets -- bullets don't have a name on it. So, those shots could have fired into that dressing room at any time, but...
LEMON: We heard, Angelica, people had to hide themselves under dead bodies.
JONES: I know friends that actually had to hide under dead bodies just so that he would think they were dead as well.
JONES: It's just a senseless act of violence. A true face of evil when you really think about it.
LEMON: When you think about going to a gay club, many times for those of us who are LGBT, it's a haven that where you can be yourself, where you don't have to hide. Maybe if you're closet or if your friends...
JONES: Yes, no matter what you are.
LEMON: or whatever, what you are -- and so, this is a safe spot for people, a place where people go and they feel comfort.
JONES: Exactly. That's the reason why I work at that particular club.
LEMON: Explain to the people who are watching. Because they don't -- they may not know. They may not know what the culture is like in a gay bar. They may not...
JONES: Well, the reason why the name of the club is Pulse is Barbara named that club after her brother who was gay. And when he passed away, that was her way to keep him alive. So why not work for someone who -- I'm a transgender individual. Getting work is not the easiest thing for me.
But all my life I wanted to entertain. So, I had a safe haven, a place that I could come, call work and able to pay my bills. At the same time honor someone that meant so much to our owner.
And for someone to come and try to take our safe place away from us, that's why it's an act of terrorism. That you can't let people like that win.
LEMON: And you have to speak to your mom one more time.
JONES: My mom is at my house right now. So, it's a blessing that I'm here.
JONES: By the grace of God, I'm here.
LEMON: You're going to be all right. Thank you.
JONES: We're going to be all right.
LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it.
JONES: I appreciate it, too. God bless you.
LEMON: Thank you so much. We'll be right back.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Orlando is a city that has been rocked to its core with grief, shock and sorrow. Two pillars of the community joining me now, Terry DeCarlo, the executive director of the GLBT Center for Central Florida, and also Patty Sheehan, Orlando city commissioner in District 4. I'm so glad you guys are here.
PATTY SHEEHAN, ORLANDO CITY COMMISSIONER: Thank you.
LEMON: So, you never know when it's going to hit you. And then that interview with Angelica...
LEMON: ... it just sort of hit me. Because that could been -- that could have been anyone in America. It just doesn't have to be in the gay community. Sadly it was.
LEMON: But how many millions of people go to clubs on a Saturday night, correct?
LEMON: But it hit the LGBT or the GLBT community really hard. And you said to me last night that Orlando has a hole in its heart. How you are feeling tonight?
SHEEHAN: Well, you know, I just came back from the vigil that we had. And of course, at first I was very reluctant of going because I was afraid of stretching the law enforcement resources any further. But that was an amazing -- that was an amazing situation tonight, amazing memorial and it really galvanized, brought everybody together.
And that was something that I really needed just to emotionally, you know, give myself time to experience it. And the community and the sense of love and outpouring and support. And they rang a bell for every one of the victims. What was really amazing was how long those bells tolled.
LEMON: Yes. I thought it was important, Terry, to -- as in the middle of that interview that there were many people at home who did not know what it was like to go to a gay bar and don't know a lot about the LGBT community, especially trans people.
And I have someone like Angelica here. You know, it's not just Uber wealthy people like, you know, Caitlyn Jenner or what you have. It's the people are usually struggling. It's hard for them to find work. This is her safe haven. That's how she pays her bills. And all of a sudden someone disrupts that not only her life but hundreds of lives in the process of doing that.
TERRY DECARLO, GLBT CENTER FOR CENTRAL FLORIDA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: It's been rough. We've had, speaking to the community, we've had grief counselors both on the phone and live at the center. And it's gotten so intense that we actually had to add another line this morning for people calling in. You know, we even got people with what happened on Friday here in
Orlando and then again what happened on Saturday night, we actually had people that are afraid to leave their house.
DECARLO: So, you know, at one point you have people out of work. You have bartenders. You had a lot of people who are making a living and paying their rent from this and then you have the community who is now some people are just afraid.
LEMON: And this is a diverse community. And this happened to be Latin night. Which is the most popular night of it.
[22:54:58] LEMON: But when we look at, you know this is a community that's already struggling, especially our young LGBT people of color, right? And especially our transgender brothers and sisters are also, you know, victimized more so than anyone else. And usually those of color are hit most.
You guys started a go fund me page to help with this. Tell us about that.
DECARLO: We have, in association with Equality Florida, we have started to go fund me page, and right now we're a little over $2.7 million that we have raised from around the world.
SHEEHAN: It's almost three.
DECARLO: It's up almost $3 million.
LEMON: Yes, 2.7.
DECARLO: And what we're doing is, I got off a call with Equality Florida. We're going to be looking tomorrow and start planning on how we're going to get that money to the families. We don't want the families to worry about a bill. Whether it be a hospital bill, whether it be an airline bill.
We have a couple of families that want to fly the bodies of their loved one back to their hometown. And we want to make sure that everything is paid for. As a matter of fact, as we were talking at the vigil, we got a message from an American Airlines who pledge one million air miles to us...
DECARLO: ... for the families to also take care of them. So, a lot of corporations are coming through. The GoFundMe page has been absolutely incredible. And we're making sure that those families are taken care of. LEMON: Listen, the way that you responded, you know, is there
something you want to tell our political leaders and everyone who is watching running internationally.
The way to respond to this is not hate. You don't respond to hate with hate.
SHEEHAN: You don't hate with hate.
LEMON: That's not the language that's needed here.
SHEEHAN: Absolutely not. No. And, you know, I've been very distressed to hear some of the national political commentary about hatred. I think it's ridiculous to try to capitalize on this tragedy by making yourself look better by hating others.
I think that you hate Muslims, you hate gay people, you hate is hate. And it's not acceptable and we need to embrace everyone in this community. There were members of the Muslim community at the vigil tonight, they've been here throughout this whole tragedy supporting this community.
SHEEHAN: And I think it's important to say that. There's a hole in our hearts that our hearts will heal if we work together.
LEMON: Patty, you're wonderful. Terry, you're wonderful as well. This is Los Angeles or is this in New York where we're going to now? Los Angeles. And there is a march now. And I think Lady Gaga is reading the names of the victims as we speak. And we will go to break on. We'll be right back.
LADY GAGA, SINGER: ... Thirty six. Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22. Luis...
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)