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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
President Barack Obama Met with Families of Orlando Victims; Senator: Killer Searched "Pulse Orlando" Online During Massacre; Source: Gunman Texted With Wife During Massacre; Source: Killer's Wife Texted She Loved Him, Tried To Call; Video Shows Pulse Clubgoers Hiding in Bathroom; Vote Expected On Gun Control Measures After Filibuster. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 16, 2016 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:09] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening. We are live from Orlando tonight where today President Obama met with grieving families, hugging parents who ask, why does this keep happening? Vice president Biden visited a memorial site as well in Orlando where they placed bouquets, flowers, 49 white roses, one for each of the people killed at Pulse nightclub five nights ago.
Over the next two hours, we are going to hear some of what the president said after meeting with victims' family members. I will also speak with some family members and survivors as we continue to focus on their stories, on their experiences. There is also breaking information tonight on the killer and who sources say he was texting actually during the massacre.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown joins me with the latest on the investigation.
So what about this communication?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So we have learned that he was actually texting with his wife when he was barricaded in that bathroom, Anderson. What we learned and what she has told investigators is that shortly after news broke of the shooting, she began frantically calling him, because she was concerned that he could be responsible for the shooting. And then` at some point around 4:00 a.m. we are told according to law enforcement sources he texted her and said are you seeing the news, you see what's happening. And then we are told her response was I love you and he apparently responded I love you.
Now, she claims that she didn't know anything specific that he was going to do, but that when he left the house that night to go see a friend as he said he was going to do, she was worried he might launch an attack and now we are finding out --.
COPPER: And yet did nothing about it.
BROWN: And she did not call police. And that's the lingering question, why.
COPPER: And he updated Facebook, is that right, before and even during.
BROWN: And even during. So I mean, imagine this. So he is calling, you know, calls 911 three times, calls a friend, calls a TV producer, and texts his wife, and is posting on Facebook. First off searching the terms Pulse Orlando shooting, so he wants to see if it is making headlines already on Facebook. And also posting his allegiance to ISIS, and saying that more attacks will come in the name of ISIS in the USA. And so, really disturbing when you put that together and then in May apparently he was searching about the San Bernardino shooters as well. This is all according to this letter from Senator Ron Johnson to Facebook when wanting more information about his account. Apparently there were five of them according to him.
COPPER: I mean, this is exactly, frankly, why we don't say the names - I mean, look. I know it is plenty do, and it is a small step, that's why we don't say the names. These people want notoriety. He want to become famous. I mean, he is googling himself and he is going on Facebook and, you know, looking up search engine staff on what he is doing. It is just sick.
BROWN: It is abundantly clear that he just wanted attention. That's why he did saying what he posted on Facebook because you are getting his message out there, giving him a platform.
And what's disturbing is just the signs in the weeks leading up to the attack where he apparently was starting to spin erratically and went on this like this spending spree according to his wife. And one source said he was a boiling kettle. I mean, you could see him, you know, wanting to act out, a boiling kettle and eventually something put him over the edge, that's unclear, but signs were there, no one did anything about it.
COPPER: Incredible. Pamela, thanks for the latest on that.
As you may know the shooter had been on the FBI's radar as we have discussed and was investigated in 2013, again in 2014 for comments he made in possible connection to terrorism. Now, we are getting word that someone raised a red flag about the shooter actually much more recently.
Our senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has been looking into that. He joins me.
So where did this recent red flag come from?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It came five to six weeks ago at a gun store not far from the home of the shooter that is behind me, 15 miles away, at Lotus Gun Works. They had a man come in. He asked for soft body armor, then hardened body armor, began to speak on what they have thought was Arabic on the phone, and then asked for 1,000 rounds of ammunition, the type that you would use in a rifle. That's when the owner says, his staff actually called the FBI. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT ABELL, CO-OWNER, LOTUS GUNWORKS: Our salesman got very concerned about it and just informed him we do not have this body armor. At this time he pulled away and got on the cell phone. When he was on the cell phone, he had a conversation in a foreign language that was more concerning. Then he came back, then he was requesting ammo. So he wanted bulk ammo only. So at that time he declined any business and he left the store.
We had no link, no contact. Didn't know who he was. But we did contact authorities and let them know, we had suspicious person that was in here, which we have been in regular contact with them any time any event happens, we reach out immediately and there was nothing to come of it. After the shooting, and unfortunately only then, it was recognized that's who was in the store.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[20:05:00] GRIFFIN: This gun store owner, Anderson, says his staff did the right thing. They notified the FBI in advance of suspicious activity.
COPPER: That's incredible. My understanding it was like he wanted like level three body armor initially what police wear, which is really only good against pistols, but then wanted like ceramic plated armor, is that correct?
GRIFFIN: The hardened armor that I'm sure you have worn it in war zones, the kind that you slip the actual plates in.
COPPER: For rifles.
GRIFFIN: Right. Exactly right.
COPPER: That's incredible.
GRIFFIN: The store doesn't sell any body armor.
COPPER: And no authorities actually showed up or followed up?
GRIFFIN: Well, there's a dispute. The FBI is saying they didn't receive a call. They have no record of a call. This guy says he is adamant they called. They are trying to work it now to see if a phone call slipped through the cracks, somebody didn't write something down.
But again, Anderson, we are seeing this over and over again, not just this case, but in almost every case we cover, the cracks that were just not notified, not cause in advance or one agency not talking to another and they're investigating this fully.
COPPER: You know, the fact also that he got on the phone, was talking to somebody, I assume in Arabic, which is language the people in the store didn't recognize. Do we know anything about who he may have talked to? Or I suppose that's something now that they have this phone, they are going to want to look who was he talking to from the gun store? GRIFFIN: Well, I'm sure absolutely the FBI is looking into all of
this right now. And they are trying to determine whom - to whom he was talking to at that time in that store. It was very clear that once he was talking on the phone, he hung up and then he asked for the thousand rounds of 223 ammo, the type of ammo that you would use for a rifle. So I am sure the FBI investigators are trying to find out who he was talking to. But as of right now, the FBI has no comment on what you just heard - Anderson.
COPPER: So just in terms of time line, I mean, how far back did these warning signs go?
GRIFFIN: You know, it is going to be infuriating to many people to hear this, but it could go as far back as when this guy was in third grade. He was having behavioral issues in elementary school to the point where he had 31 different disciplinary records in his grade school. And I would like to read you one, this is from third grade in which just trying to pop it up here. It was written that he is very verbally abusive, rude, aggressive, much talk about violence and sex, obscenities, hands all over the place, on other children, in his mouth.
These kind of discipline records go on and on and on. We know he was suspended from high school. He had to go to an alternative high school. There were many, many conferences between the parents and the teachers and the administrative staff. And all along the way we see this. In grade school, in middle school, in high school, in his work, in his applications and his schooling and law enforcement academy, and even when the FBI contacted him in 2013. It is just a continuous record of problematic behavior that for some reason all was not put together - Anderson.
COPPER: Drew Griffin. Drew, thank you very much. Great reporting.
Joining me now is CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick, former assistant director of U.S. marshal service, also CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Mark O'Mara, who had a long practice here, most famously defended George Zimmerman in the state.
Art, what do you make of what we learned so far on this investigation.
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, in hearing this report, another red flag goes up again. I mean, it is going to easy enough to figure out whether those phone calls are made. All you got to do is call the phone company and get your phone records.
COPPER: And to whom they were made.
RODERICK: And to whom they were made. And it is going to be just as easy other side to figure out who the shooter been called that day also, speaking in Arabic. So the bureau already has that phone. I am sure they already probably have that information that they are able to forensically take from the phone.
So I mean, you're right, that was a good question, how far back do you want to go. When did these red flags start? Apparently you do have a permanent record, because we are looking at his third grade record with all of these comments.
COPPER: And of course, I mean, look. Plenty of people have problems when they were kids. I mean, you know.
RODERICK: I mean, you got to sort of discount that. At some point you have to discount it, but add that onto what you see now.
COPPER: There's a pattern.
RODERICK: There's a pattern.
COPPER: I should point out, of course, he is of Afghan descent, so he is probably not speaking Arabic, probably something else there. Sorry, my mistake there.
Mark, just in terms - again, I'm coming back to what the wife knew, when she knew it, and how much did she know, and why, you know, for goodness sakes didn't she say anything.
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that's the real question. What she knew and when. And what they're doing right now is methodically going through all of the information.
I will give you an example. That three phone call, if they tie that phone call back to her, let's say they do, building a forensic case is sort of like fishing net. Every little knot that you makes it tighter and makes it more complete. And that's what they're doing now. They are not going to rush through grand jury. They are going to look at all this information. That will be one tight knot if he is talking to her while he is in the store and if there are other text messages and things like that.
[20:10:29] COPPER: This is a dumb question, I'm not a lawyer. You know, a wife can't be compelled to testify against a husband in court but is a wife obligated to call the police if she's aware of something her husband would do?
O'MARA: Interesting question. And I would suggest that under our law, (INAUDIBLE) found forward, yes, you do have an affirmative obligation. Don't forget there's a misnomer about the marital (ph) privilege. All that means is that communication happens within the context of the marriage, meant to be confidential because of the marriage cannot be compelled. You can't hide criminal activity under the guise of marital privilege, however.
COPPER: Right. And Art, I mean, this investigation, it could go on for a very - I mean, there's a lot to comb through here.
RODERICK: There is and they are going to take their time. There is no rush in this type of investigation.
COPPER: You know, Juliette Kayyem that we had on often, I mean, kept saying there's not going to be an a-ha moment. There is not going to be moment where everything becomes clear. Do you think that's true?
RODERICK: I think that's probably true. I mean, we are getting bits and pieces as we move through it each day. So there has been no wheel. So I would say the biggest surprise we have is this phone call from the gun shop owner. Once that's verified, and then, you know, move back to red flags again. How many red flags have gone up on the individual? And nobody is actually respondent or the response was inappropriate.
COPPER: Do you think, and as maybe even too soon for a lot of folks who have been thinking about. But I mean, are there going to be civil cases out of all this moving forward?
O'MARA: We will try. Obviously there is not much compensation is going to be there from his family. And I don't think there's anything that you can really look at the bar and say they didn't properly do it. But lawyers may find a way, even though they are my brethren. But yes, most importantly, we are looking at the criminal side of it and what FBI and government official are going to learn to try and stop from the temp of this one, what's in the future.
COPPER: Yes. Mark O'Mara, thanks. Art Roderick, as always. Thank you very much.
Just ahead, President Obama here in Orlando today meeting with family members, then saying they pleaded with him to do more to stop the carnage. We are going to hear the president's words. Also, speak with two other people who met with him today, incredibly emotional moment.
Also, another survivor story. He took video from inside the bathroom at the nightclub, hush and harrowing scene, people huddled together, hoping to stay alive. I talked to him about the video ahead.
[20:15:32] COPPER: Well, I spoke with my next guest several nights ago here in Orlando. We were all so moved by her Grace and her warmth under such tragic circumstances. She is the mom dealing with the loss of her son, her son Christopher Andrew Leinonen was killed at Pulse nightclub. He was 32 years old. His boyfriend Juan Guerrero was also killed. He was 22. They died together. They were deeply in love. Talking about getting married one day.
Christopher's mom was among the family members who met with President Obama today. And after that meeting the president said the gun debate needs to change, and those who defend the easy accessibility of assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't anticipate and catch every single deranged person that may wish to do harm to his neighbors or his friends or his co-workers, or strangers, but we can do something about the amount of damage that they do. Unfortunately, our politics have conspired to make it as easy as possible for a terrorist or just a disturbed individual like those in Aurora and Newtown to buy extraordinarily powerful weapons and they can do so legally.
So today, once again as has been true too many times before, I held and hugged grieving family members and parents and they asked why does this keep happening. And they pleaded that we do more to stop the carnage. They don't care about the politics, neither do I, neither does Joe, neither should any parent out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COPPER: Christine Leinonen is with me now along with Brandon Wolf who was in the club with her son Christopher when the shooting happened.
Thank you so much for being with us, both of you. I appreciate it.
What was it like meeting the president today and what did he say?
CHRISTINE LEINONEN, SON WAS KILLED IN ORLANDO SHOOTING: It was amazing. I hugged him and I cried on his shoulder, literally cried on his shoulder and he apologized for the lack of progress, that he tried to ban --
COPPER: He apologized?
LEINONEN: Yes, he did. And so did the vice president. Because the vice president (INAUDIBLE), not Brandon.
COPPER: Your boyfriend has come down to be with you, honestly. Yes.
LEINONEN: Yes, he did. But he said that he actually had an assault ban bill that either failed or is has passed and then it got repealed. So it's there. The ability to ban assault weapons is there. And I hear people say, well, cars kill people, we don't ban cars. (INAUDIBLE). Knives kill people, we don't ban knives, but they have other purposes. We don't have a purpose for AN assault weapon except for at war. And now, are we at war? Are we willing to let our children be massacred? Is that the war that we are fighting? Is it between some of our citizens and the rest of our citizens that a select few decide they are at war with the rest of us, incognito, nonetheless?
BRANDON WOLF, SURVIVED ROLANDO SHOOTING: I like that he didn't make it political. He didn't talk to us about politics. He didn't mention the shooter's name. I really appreciated that. And for what it was today, it was for us. And it was him saying, you know, I am tired of having the same conversation. I am just as tired as you are about having the same conversation about, you know, why do we continue to let children and brothers and sisters die in horrible tragedies and we just brush it off. It lasts for a week in the news cycle and then it is gone. You know, we fight for something for two days and then we are over it. You know, that's what he was apologizing for. Listen, I am trying. I am really trying. But, you know, here is where we are. We continue to allow this legislation to sit there or collect dust and we do no service to anyone who is in these tragedies.
COPPER: Can you tell me about Christopher?
WOLF: Yes. He was well, my best friend in theworld.
COPPER: How long you guys know each other?
WOLF: We have known each other for a few years now. And we just instantly connected. I mean, he was always there for everything, like for a laugh, for going out, for times I really needed somebody kind on my side. And so that's my -- what I decided to carry on, right, that legacy of love and compassion for other people. I don't spend my time hating people. I don't spend my time, again, thinking about the shooter or his name. I spend my time reminding those around me and those in America that might be dealing with similar things that I love them and that's it.
[20:21:07] COPPER: You know, I got so many emails from friends and family and texts from people I don't know about you when you were on the other night and about your strength and your ability to be standing here, to be upright, to be talking about your son. What do the next couple days hold for you?
LEINONEN: I have my son's viewing at the funeral home.
COPPER: That's tomorrow?
LEINONEN: Tomorrow. And then the funeral mass is Saturday. So those are the -- today was an emotional day with being at lunch funeral as well after visiting with the president was emotional, and then being at lunch.
LEINONEN: The funeral for him was today.
COPPER: I can't imagine what that was like.
LEINONEN: You know, it is funny that like about Juan, because we were talking the other day about how my son Christopher was always going to be a little antsy. He wasn't really sure that we would see, he went ahead, put in for his Illinois license. He took the exam and did the steps to put in for his Illinois mental health counselor license. And then I said you know I'm going to follow you to Chicago. But then he met Juan and he started talking about you know, mom, I'm staying in Orlando. I'm just going to stay here.
COPPER: They were so drawn together right away.
LEINONEN: Yes. That's when you knew it was --. So his mom and I, even though she speaks only Spanish, but through their relatives that speak both language languages, we had been talking about something that would unite Juan and Christopher in eternity. But right now she is very protective, she wants every piece of Juan. And at some point we might get together, and she would be willing to take part of Juan's ashes and combine them with Christopher's and we will do something.
COPPER: So they can be together.
WOLF: Yes. Together forever. That's what they always wanted. So that's what we want for them, too.
COPPER: I hope that happens.
LEINONEN: In eternity now.
COPPER: Thank you.
LEINONEN: Thank you.
COPPER: Just ahead we have a lot more. We will be right back.
[20:27:21] COPPER: Well today, Florida's governor Rick Scott presented medals of heroism to the police officers, the deputies, the SWAT team members who responded to Sunday's shooting at Pulse. Orlando's police chief and the sheriff of Orange County were also honored. There is no doubt law enforcement members who risked their lives by charging into the massacre scene are heroes. No one is questioning that at all.
It is also now clear that some of the wounded bled to death waiting for help as dozens of officers and SWAT team members waited outside the club for nearly three hours. Questions some of the survivors are have to ask is what took them so long to kill the shooter.
Here is Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): About 2:00 a.m., shots are fired at Orlando's pulse nightclub, an officer working extra duty at the club only has a handgun, the suspect has a rifle. So the officer calls for backup. There's a shootout but the gunman gets away, and slips deeper into the club.
CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLANDO POLICE: They went in rig away, exchanged gunfire with the suspect within those first few minutes. This caused the suspect to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where he was now isolated and contained.
KAYE: Isolated and contained but still armed and very dangerous. Patrons are trapped in the bathroom with him. Orlando police continue to work the scene but don't try to engage the gunman in the bathroom.
MINA: While he was in the bathroom, our officers were saving people, getting injured people out, getting many, many people out the door.
KAYE: Orlando police alert the SWAT team. By 2:30 a.m., just 30 minutes after the siege begins, there are more than 100 officers and SWAT on scene, but they stay outside.
Inside in the bathroom, victims are bleeding and dying. Time is running out. But still no one from law enforcement attempts to engage the shooter directly to take him down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was forcing for them to enter, enter the building.
KAYE: Inside, minutes turn to hours. Friends watch friends take their last breath.
CHRISTIAN ORTIZ, ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: You can see the blood less coming from under the door, it was like the water, it was getting under the door. It was very horrible.
KAYE: Still, the hours long standoff seemed to be at odds with changing tactics by departments around the country. After columbine where police sent 45 minutes setting up a perimeter while the suspects continue their killing spree, many police agencies change how they respond to active shooters.
Washington D.C.'s police chief told Anderson Cooper on "60 Minutes" there's no time to wait since active shooters kill the most victims in the first ten minutes.
This is a homicide in progress. You can't wait for backup. You can't wait for the SWAT team. You are the only thing that can stop that shooting. You have to get in there and do it.
[20:30:00]KAYE: But as Orlando's police chief explained, once the shooter was hold-up in the bathroom, active shooter training tactics no longer came into play. After all, he said, not a single shot was fired once the shooter barricaded himself.
CHIEF JOHN MINA, ORLANDO POLICE: This started out as an active shooter and then turned into a hostage situation. And our negotiators were able to talk with him.
KAYE: It was only after the gunman spoke to a crisis negotiator that police chose to take on the suspect who had told them he had explosives.
MINA: He was going to put explosive vests on four people and then blow the place up in 15 minutes.
KAYE: By then it was about 5:00 a.m., a full three hours after the first shots fired. Authorities used an armored vehicle to break through the bathroom wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a breach. That was a breach.
KAYE: When the gunman tries to flee, he finally comes face to face with police. In a brief shootout, the gunman is shot dead, but not before he killed 49 others inside the nightclub.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, joining me is Chris Voss Former Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator for the FBI and author of "Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Dependent on it". Also back with us, the CNN law enforcement analyst Art Roderick, Former Assistant Director of the U.S. Marshall Service.
Chris, let's start with you. I mean, what do you make of this? Because I mean, people look at the timeline. They say wait, it was three hours before this guy was finally taken out. Doesn't that go against most active shooter training the way it is now since columbine? But I thought it was interestingly the police chief last night saying no one was being shot in that time and police were able to get some wounded and the dead out of other rooms.
CHRIS VOSS, FOMER FBI INTERNATIONAL KIDNAPPING NEGOTIATOR: Well, one of the issues here is yeah, when the situation changes and how do they respond appropriately. The problem for law enforcement is they don't help us -- they become part of the problem.
They got to -- and shooter is now in a barricaded situation and he is actually much more dangerous at this point in time and law enforcement goes inside and gets shot now they've compounded the problem so they have to go in, they have to have essentially 100 percent success rate, they can't risk going in and getting more officer's shot and adding to the problem. That's what they had to do here.
COOPER: They also, Art, you know, there are potential hostages inside the stalls. I mean he had shot twice into the stalls, once just through the doors according to people in the stalls, and once putting his hand over with the handgun shooting in the stalls but that's also, I guess part of the consideration that the police have to take into account.
RODERICK: Right. I think that the chief was right. He started with an active shooter scenario. And I believe that law enforcement in the initial response knocked him completely ...
COOPER: Right, they engaged ...
RODERICK: They engaged him right away. I think there would have been a lot more casualties if they didn't engage him right away, to see immediately went through the crowd and went into the stalls.
That changed from an active shooter scenario to a barricade such a hostage situation and that change as the whole name of the game. And listening to the chief, officers responded inside tried to help who they could.
RODERICK: Got a lot of people out and then the SWAT team showed up about a half hour so after the shooting started, and SWAT team members are not first responders. I mean they have a whole different scenario. I did it for 10 years with Marshal Special Operations Group.
That's a whole different program than responding to an active shooter and going in and challenging in the individual right away.
COOPER: Chris, I'm wondering and we don't know the answer to this, but I wonder the fact that this guy had, you know, security guard training, had various levels of training, he probably had trained in active shooter drills I would assume and I wonder if that comes into play in the police consideration of the kind of, you know, opponent they're dealing with.
VOSS: Yeah. That's all part of the information they pulled in and clearly this guy had a predetermined plan, he really mapped this out step by step. This is what we would refer to as a killing journey and he was at the destination of the killing journey.
So as much as he planned out what do we look like when he got there he also planned his actions and his reactions to law enforcement. He did quite a number of things such as claiming he had explosives and alluding to explosives to try to keep law enforcement out and it was very planned.
And I -- from what I see it, they responded as well, as they possibly could have.
COOPER: It's interesting, Art. I mean one of the other things just in my reading of FBI studies of active shooter situations, a lot of times, particularly with the killer they want to extend the time and not only they want to extend the killing time but they want to extend the publicity of time. And this guy is checking Facebook, you know, he's checking to see calls into a T.V. producer. They want to maximize the amount of public attention they get while they're still alive.
RODERICK: And Anderson, he went way overboard with that. I mean he made 911 calls, he called the T.V. producer, he was on Facebook, he texted his wife to find out if anybody -- if he was trending or whatever on Facebook.
[20:35:05] COOPER: Insane.
RODERICK: I mean he went way overboard on this particular issue. I mean two days ago we just saw the Facebook post stabbing of the French police officer and his wife over in Paris ...
Or in town, just west of Paris, and he went on and on for an hour before the SWAT team came in and took care of him.
COOPER: Well, its also one of the things we saw in the wake of Charlie Hebdo, and when it finally culminated in those two separate hostage situations, the killer who went into the Jewish Deli, my understanding is he actually didn't kill as many people as he could have because he was trying to upload GoPro pictures onto the web.
RODERICK: That's right out of their playbook. Its right of the Jihadi playbook, this is what they do, they try to publicize it, they try to increase the terror and fear ...
RODERICK: And that's exactly the reason why they're doing.
COOPER: Yeah. Art Roderick. Thank you. Chris Voss, I appreciate your expertise. Up next, we're going to talk to a survivor who recorded the video that we just saw in part of Randi's piece as he huddled with others in the bathroom of the Pulse Nightclub.
[20:40:03] COOPER: Well, tonight we are learning new details about those who hid in one of the bathrooms of Pulse Nightclub during the shooting massacre from a survivor, Miguel Leiva. He took videos on his self phone as he huddled in the bathroom stall well he says more than about a dozen people from more than -- for several hours they were trapped, many several of the dead, they were wounded but the video is hard to see and it's hard to watch frankly, given the sheer terror of what was happening inside and what we know was happening elsewhere. All of the people you'll see did make it out alive, according to Miguel.
I talked to him earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was dark and hot and the bathroom was full of panic club goers. These grainy cellphone videos, one of three, taken by Miguel Leiva who got pushed into the bathroom when the shots began.
MIGUEL LEIVA, ORLANDO SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I just remembered like, you can smell like -- the blood -- there was so much blood, that was a -- you could just smell it. And then it's like everywhere you leaned like all my clothes was full of blood, we were sitting down and it was just like a huge puddle of blood. And after awhile when they started drying up, it just started like to smell really bad.
COOPER: There were some people were crying and whispering to each other. Miguel says he tried to remain quiet, recorded these images to send to his girlfriend so she knew he was alive.
LEIVA: The only people who are alive in the video are the people who are talking and moving. Everybody else is dead. There was about 17 of us in there. Only like five or six of us made it out.
COOPER: Had you been hit at that point?
LEIVA: Yeah. I was shot in the foot.
COOPER: One point in the video you see -- looks like people passing a glass of water.
LEIVA: Yeah, we were passing water on because there was one guy Chris he was choking on his own blood. So we were trying to like, you know make him swallow then make sure he was OK.
He kept asking for water and there was other people that was shot that were just -- they needed water and they wanted water and it was the only thing we could think of to calm them down at that moment.
COOPER: So there were just sink inside the stall?
COOPER: Twice he says the gunman fired into the stall. As the hours passed, they tried to help one another stay calm, in constant fear the gunman would return, constant fear those were already wounded would die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay with me?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
COOPER: Were people talking to each other?
LEIVA: They were whispering to each other trying to keep everybody quiet.
COOPER: Miguel was shot twice on his right foot and his left leg. He has just been released from the hospital. He knows he is fortunate to be alive but says he can't stop thinking of those who died beside him.
LEIVA: So many people -- innocent people, you know, just there to have a good time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A number of charities, gofundme pages have been setup. The city is directing people to OneOrlando.org. You can find out more information on cnn's website, @cnnimpact.
Just ahead, the, the carnage in Orlando forced the senate's hand. Votes are set for Monday on four gun control measures the action coming after a nearly 15 hour filibuster.
[20:46:15] COOPER: Earlier this morning, a couple hours past midnight, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster to force action on gun control measures. He capped the marathon debate by talking about Sandy Hook student, Dylan Hockley and his teacher, Anne Marie Murphy who died trying to protect him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT SENATOR: It doesn't take courage to stand her on the floor of the United States Senate for two hours or six hours or 14 hours, doesn't take courage to stand up to the gun lobby when 90 percent of your constituents want change to happen. It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter, instead of running, wrapping your arms around a six-year-old boy and accepting death as a trade for just a tiny little piece of increased peace of mind for a little boy under your charge.
And so this has been a day of questions. And so I ask you all, this question. If Ann Marie Murphy could do that, then ask yourself, what can you do to make sure that Orlando or Sandy Hook never, ever happens again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, hours later, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now said votes on for gun control amendments are set for Monday. Short time ago, I spoke with our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
So, Dana, the Senate votes on gun control proposals are expected next week. What can we expect?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, we should just say that ironically in a time when, you know, the Congress has been pummeled for not working, this is a situation where Senators used the Senate rules and traditions, meaning a filibuster, to try to force the Senate to work.
Chris Murphy of Connecticut waged a 15-hour filibuster and the Republicans who control the Senate relented, allowing some votes. So, to answer your question, there will be a pair of votes on -- one on background checks, a Democratic and a Republican proposal, and one on making it harder for or impossible for people on a terror watch list to the No Fly List to be able to purchase firearms.
Whether any of these will pass is an open question. Just last year three out of four had votes, Anderson, and none of them passed. So we'll see if the massacre down in Orlando, where you are, changed any votes and changed any minds.
COOPER: Well, also I want to ask you about Senator McCain. I mean, he had some harsh words for President Obama today about the Orlando terror attacks. He's now walked those back. Can you explain what happened?
BASH: Well, he was talking to reporters in the hallway and the discussion was what happened in Orlando and he put the blame right on the President, personally. Listen to the audio of what he said.
JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA, SENATOR: Barack Obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al- Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today. Thanks to Barack Obama's failures, utter failure, by pulling everybody out of Iraq, thinking that conflicts ends just because we leave.
BASH: So, it was quite clear he was putting the blame personally on the President at that moment.
[20:50:00] He was asked a follow-up question and seemed to understand that that was what he was doing. But not that long after he put out a tweet and then released a more formal statement saying that he misspoke, that he didn't mean that, what he was talking about were the President's policies and the administration's policies in Iraq vis-a- vis ISIS more specifically bringing troops, U.S. troops home from Iraq, which is McCain has adamantly opposed that that is what led to this. You know, he clearly was angry and he crossed a line that he didn't mean to cross or he certainly regretted crossing because of the backlash and also because of the timing. He did it just as the President was in Orlando, not long before he gave his remarks with the Vice President after meeting with those families, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Dana Bash. Dana, thanks for the reporting.
BASH: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: One of the amendments the Senate will vote on next week was proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, along some gun control proponent and authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. The ban, as you may know, expired in 2004. Her new proposal would allow the attorney general to block the sale of guns and explosives to people who are known or suspected terrorists.
Today, the Justice Department backed the measure. I spoke to Senator Feinstein earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Feinstein, thank you very much for joining us. Under your proposal, if someone has been on a terror watch list at any point in the five years prior to try to buy a gun, they wouldn't be able to purchase a gun, at least not promptly even if they had been mistakenly on the watch list in the first place or cleared of any suspicion. So, am I understanding it right that if someone has broken no law but still can't get a gun like everyone else?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, no. The process is that if somebody comes in and this is overwhelmingly for the Americans on this watch list, the small minority, and they go in for a background check, and the background check is evaluated quickly by the Justice Department. And in the totality of the evidence that they find, the attorney general is enabled to deny the permit to transfer a gun. The individual then has the opportunity to have an administrative review, this due process, or a court process, whichever they want. So, this would catch somebody.
Now, as far as Mateen is concerned, there's a provision in it that if within the last five years you have been under investigation for terror by the FBI, you would qualify for denial.
COOPER: But just because somebody has been under investigation, if they actually weren't found to have been guilty, they could still be denied a purchase, correct?
FEINSTEIN: Well, yes. The thing is you want to stop a potential terrorist. This morning, we listened to the Director of the FBI, who said very clearly that they believe that the attempts to attack are going to increase, not decrease, and these people that come in aren't stupid and they know they can buy a gun here, they're not going to risk it on the plane, so this is an opportunity to prevent that gun sale.
Now, I mean, do we want to stop this or try to stop it or do we want to let it continue to happen? I watched this for so long, Anderson, and it just gets worse and worse and worse. You know, since 1968 with the Texas Bell Tower and then later on with schools and businesses. Now, we're into hate/terror. And we're into the largest shooting we've ever had and killing of Americans next to 9/11. So, isn't it time to try to do something? This is just one small bit and somehow it's exaggerated into a huge thing.
COOPER: The head of the CIA, as you, John Brennan, testified today that ISIS is trying to send operatives to the west. Given that ...
FEINSTEIN: That's correct.
COOPER: ... is it time in anyway, is it time in anyway to rethink the idea of accepting thousands or more Syrian refugees? I mean, I know the administration says they undergo significant background checks. I've been on these beaches, on the island of Lesbos where when people come ashore, it's heartbreaking, there are men, women and children.
But you also find passports on those beaches ripped up, left behind, people hiding their identities. How can a background check be on someone -- how efficient can it be if someone from war-torn Syria when you don't have the cooperation from the authorities in Syria to give a criminal or intelligence information about a person?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I think, you know, this is a hard thing.
[20:55:01] And we don't admit that many people, particularly in comparison with Europe. And I think the vetting takes a long time that I get complaints on the length of time it takes. And I think the department has really toughened their vetting procedure, that's everything that I hear. So, I would be really surprised if people slip through.
Now, do we have to be vigilant? Yes. I understand the concern. I also understand what the Republican candidate for president is saying. And it's very hard when you try to be reasonable when somebody is coming up with the statements that Mr. Trump is, and that is, cut it off. You know, no immigrants that are Muslim can come into this country. So that makes it very hard to develop a considered provision when you're up against that standard.
COOPER: Senator Dianne Feinstein, appreciate your time. Thank you.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, up next tonight, the latest on the shooting investigation. An exclusive interview with one of the heroes, a police officer who helped drag out several survivors during the standoff. He met one of those survivors today at the hospital. There's the video of that. We'll show you more of that and my conversation with the police officer, what he saw and can never forget in Pulse. We'll be right back.