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NEW DAY SATURDAY
FBI Analyzes Surveillance Video, Questions Shooter's Friend; Survivor Recounts Moment He Lost His Best Friend; Iraqi Prime Minister: Most Of Falluja Retaken From ISIS; Obama: Inaction On Gun Control "Inexcusable"; Pulse; Blood Donors Step Up After Mass Killing; Minority Communities Can Be Tough For LGBT People; Family Breaks Silence After Toddler Killed; Fears of "Total Breakdown" As Olympics Loom; Tatiana Mejia. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired June 18, 2016 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:12] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Obviously. All righty, hey, Melissa, thank you so much. Good to have you here this morning and we have so much news to talk to you about this morning. Your next hour of NEW DAY starts now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The chasm among Republicans is widening.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm an outsider and historically they don't love the outsiders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going down in flames. It looks like he's taking the Republican Party with him.
TRUMP: President Obama is trying to make terrorism into guns.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If we don't act, we will keep seeing more massacres like this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands who fled Falluja wait in this camp while the battle rages nearby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Disney taking new steps to protect guests from alligators.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I quickly grabbed my son, grabbed him out of that shoreline and brought him up to safety.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Victor Blackwell live in Orlando.
PAUL: And I'm Christi Paul. We have so much news to talk about including breaking news out of Falluja where Iraqi forces are making major gains this morning. Arwa Damon is covering that for us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Iraqi government says it's well on the way to victory in Falluja planting the nation's flag for the first time in the city center in over two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: But first let's get to the terror attack in Orlando and the investigation. Forty nine people were gunned down in a senseless attack. Dozens more injured. Some still in hospitals in this community. This morning, President Obama again calling for action in his weekly address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So this past week, I've also thought a lot about dads and moms around the country who have had to explain to their children what happened in Orlando.
Time and again, we've observed moments of silence for victims of terror and gun violence. Too often those have been followed by months of silence, by inaction that is simply inexcusable.
If you're going to raise your kids in a safer, more loving world, we need to speak up for it. We need our kids to hear us speak up about the risks guns pose to our communities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: President Obama there in his weekly address. Authorities are still on the scene here at Pulse Nightclub trying to piece together the killer's motive.
Here's what we know right now. Investigators are poring over surveillance video sewing really this desperate scene, the carnage inside the nightclub.
Authorities are also questioning a friend who called the shooter during the attack. Investigators say that friend who is a medical professional saw the gunman's Facebook post calling for an attack on the U.S. And according to one official one of the things they discussed was medication.
FBI agents also are scrutinizing the killer's past and any connections he may have had. Some things we're learning make it seem as if this was a man who was preparing to die. Our Drew Griffin has more for us now.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Law enforcement sources say in the weeks leading up to the attack, the killer made numerous preparations, including making sure his wife had access to bank accounts and adding her name to important documents like his life insurance policy. He bought his wife an expensive piece of jewelry and transferred his share of a home where his sister and brother-in-law current reside for just $10. FBI agents visited the mosque where the Orlando shooter prayed.
Mosque officials telling CNN the agents were looking for anyone who knew him or know anyone he associated with. The FBI director visited the crime scene in Orlando for the first time as his investigators continue to examine what Omar Mateen's wife knew about this attack and when.
CNN has learned the couple communicated during the attack. According to law enforcement sources, Noor Salman called her husband multiple times after news broke of the shooting.
At around 4:00 a.m., two hours after the shooting began, he texted her asking if she saw the news. At one point she responded telling him she loved him. Police notified the gunman's family, first knocking on his sister's door at 4:00 a.m. She called her parents breaking the news to the rest of the family.
Sources tell us in the weeks leading up to the attack the gunman spent a significant amount of money, including money spent on weapons used for the attack. And we are learning more about the gunman's background.
According to school records obtained by CNN, Mateen was disciplined 31 times in elementary school. One report from third grade called him, quote, "verbally abusive, rude, aggressive, much talk about violence and sex."
In high school, he was suspended a total of 48 days. Among incidents are two that involved, quote, "fighting with injury."
[08:05:06]Meanwhile, in Orlando, Officer Omar Delgado was one of the first responders to Pulse Nightclub and pulled several victims from the club.
OFFICER OMAR DELGADO, EATONVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: I had my flashlight. We kind of look around. Somebody yelled out a person's moving.
GRIFFIN: A co-worker told him one of the victims he pulled to safety was in a press conference at the hospital.
DELGADO: I'm one of the ones that helped you get out of harm's way. I need a big hug from you, man.
GRIFFIN: The two reunited on Thursday.
DELGADO: Oh, my god, it was amazing. It was a feeling that you just can't describe, can't put in words, knowing that you helped save someone.
BLACKWELL: All right, our thanks to Drew Griffin for that report.
I want to now bring in Private Investigator James Copenhaver. James, hearing this new information about the moments and the days leading up to this attack, what goes through your mind, transferring property, buying expensive jewelry, making sure his wife had access to his financial accounts?
JAMES COPENHAVER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: You know, as days pass we learn more about the shooter and it's clear that this guy had everything planned out and absolutely knew that he was not going to exit that building alive.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about this phone call that came from a friend during this attack. Now, he saw the posts on Facebook, but we're told that this -- this call came during the attack so it's between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. that this friend calls about medication. As an investigator, what do you glean from that?
COPENHAVER: You know, that's the weirdest part about the entire time span between 2:00 and 5:00. Why is he texting about medication? Is he trying to get empathy? He's certainly selfish at that point, either -- many people lay dead on the floor that he had shot and murdered, but yet he's reaching out concerning medication. Very odd. It's just unhinged.
BLACKWELL: Yes, that a friend being, we're told, questioned by the FBI. Again, this friend a professional who saw the post and had this discussion with Mateen about the medication.
There also have been these reports that come out through CNN's Brian Todd about his disciplinary history in grade school going, you know, not just through high school but all the way back to third grade. What's the relevance of those reports as we look now at this man who was in his mid-20s?
COPENHAVER: You know, not being a psychologist, but that's a tell- tale sign. I mean, this guy was trouble from the third grade all the way up until last Sunday.
Every bell in the world went off. You've had many people who came across his past who said he was violent and would have these outbursts of anger. Unfortunately, though, no one picked up and actually did anything about it regarding mental health.
BLACKWELL: Now, we know that during the shooting he called police pledging his allegiance to ISIS. He also mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers who were responsible for the bombing in Boston. They have a connection to al Qaeda, discussed back in 2013, Hezbollah.
I mean, does this sound like to you and correct me if I'm wrong, someone who was determined to attack, was just looking for a reason, looking for a group to connect himself to and with?
COPENHAVER: Yes, it's almost -- you know, we don't know if he's a true ISIS sympathizer or is he just a lone wolf want to be, for instance? My concern is the same mosque that he's attended, there was a bombing suspect that was attending the same mosque.
So, you know, was he actually part of ISIS or was he just trying to fit in most likely like he was in the gay community. I mean, he came up here and visited Pulse many times and we even have people that I heard on the radio the other day that he was actually trying to pick up men.
So you know, is it an identity crisis? We know that he was crazy, but he was trying to fit in somewhere and I think he may have used this ISIS term to fit in.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and we know as investigators try to piece together this motive, that's exactly what it may end up being, pieces of different motivations, not singularly terror and not hate against a specific demographic group. That work continues here and locations I'm sure across the country. James Copenhaver, thanks so much for joining us this morning.
Now we can really only imagine and it may be difficult to imagine the horror of the attack inside pulse nightclub almost one week ago, but for survivors who were there, we understand that it's difficult to put into words.
My next guest lost his best friend in the shooting. He joins me now. First just let me express that we are sorry for your loss. Before we came back from the break, I asked you about being here. This is only the second time you've been this close to the club. What are you feeling now?
DEMETRICE NAULINGS, LOST BEST FRIEND IN NIGHTCLUB ATTACK: Victor, to be honest with you right now I'm getting chills standing here and hearing the train pass by actually.
[08:10:06]This is a devastation like, it really is. It's almost like a nightmare that you don't even want to begin. You want it to end quickly, but as you can see I'm really shaken up about it.
BLACKWELL: Understandably shaken up about it because you lost your best friend. You said he was holding your hand inside that club and -- and he saved your life you said.
NAULINGS: I feel like he saved my life because I feel like I'm here by myself without him. That was like my right-hand man. That was more than just a friend. That was like my angel I want to call it.
I don't know if you know it or not how it feels to lose someone that you just were talking to and having fun with and, you know, partying with and having a good time because you were in your safe heavens.
You know, and just like if you were at church and someone came in and shoot you. I always call it the boogie man, waiting for someone to turn on the light to tell you it's OK, but there is no one coming.
BLACKWELL: You know, this has been a busy week for you. I know you've spoken with others, but there are undoubtedly those quiet moments where you've had time to reflect and I call it digest what's happened. Take me into those moments.
NAULINGS: I'll take you into the moment of this morning. This morning coming here, knowing that I was going to be this close to the crime scene and knowing that I would see my friend's car still there in the same spot where he left it kills me.
And I cry at night because I'm not going to get to touch him anymore or go out to eat anymore or to talk to him or get that phone call to say everything is going to be OK. I'm waiting for that moment and I'm never going to get that.
I lost somebody that meant the world to me. He was a brother, not just a best friend, but I can only imagine how the other families feel at this moment.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you said that you're not going to get to talk to him again, but let me ask you an unorthodox question. In the last week, have you talked to Eddie? Have you said anything in those moments alone?
NAULINGS: Yes, I feel him around me, the presence and I always tell him, I'm going to do it for you. I'm going to continue to speak out and keep your name alive because my friend was a ball of love and joy.
He wanted to be everything he wanted to be, you know, and that's why I started a foundation for him in his name. You know, to keep him alive and to make awareness, to know that hate is out there beyond just a gay community. It's in our own community, black, white, Chinese, everywhere. It's just a hate crime.
BLACKWELL: And you have to overcome that hate and fight it with love. Let me ask you, there are two schools of thought what should happen with that space. Some say that terrorists will not stop us from living our lives.
We will continue to enjoy one another's company and dance and love here. Others say that that is a place where 49 people were killed, there should not be a club there. There should be a memorial.
Having lost a best friend, survived that shooting what do you think should happen to that space where Pulse Nightclub is now?
NAULINGS: I'm going to say this. Standing here and living this moment with you, I wouldn't go back to that club -- just my own personal thoughts if they rebuild. I understand that it has to build jobs for other people and I understand that but I personally feel that it should be a memorial site.
I could never go in that club because I would think about those 49 people that lost their lives and my friend was in that bathroom so to me it should be a memorial site, but understand why the owner wants to rebuild, to keep -- say that we will overcome this and it's something can come out of this because as a whole we can pull together.
BLACKWELL: And maybe rebuild it in another place and put the memorial there. NAULINGS: Yes, now -- rebuild in another place, I agree.
BLACKWELL: Demetrice Naulings, thank you so much for being here.
NAULINGS: Thank you, Victor.
BLACKWELL: Christi, just one man and we've heard from many here who survived this shooting but lost someone so close and this is a community that I've learned over the last week that many people are connected to someone who's in this club.
Going to the gas station, going to the mall, at restaurants, everyone has a story about that night. Maybe known people at the hospital. This community is still reeling, but on the path toward some type of healing. Never closure, but healing. Back to you.
PAUL: Very good point to make and such a touching interview. Victor, thank you so much.
And from there we have to turn to the political arena. New momentum building for the "Anybody But Trump" movement it seems with a month to go until the Republican convention. A faction of GOP delegates are now looking at changing the rules.
[08:15:12]Also ahead of Monday's Senate vote on gun control measures, President Obama voicing his support. Chris Frates is here. Hi, Chris.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN INVESTIGATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi. Well, this morning, President Obama is calling for just more than just talk about reducing gun violence and the Senate is set to vote on the subject next week, but will it make any difference? We'll explain after the break.
PAUL: It's 18 minutes past the hour right now as we follow breaking news out of Iraq at this hour. For the first time in nearly two and a half years the Iraqi flag is flying over the city of Falluja. The Iraqi prime minister declaring the city, quote, "Nearly free from ISIS control."
Now senior international correspondent, Ben Wedeman, is just outside the city bend (ph). What I understand and correct me if I'm wrong here, you actually went into the middle of the city to see what was happening and came back out. What are you seeing? What are you hearing this hour?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): That's correct. We went inside the city and inside the Iraqi Army Humvees and we got right to the middle of the city.
What we saw was that even though the Iraqi prime minister says this city is nearly liberated. What we saw and heard was intense fighting on the inside, lots of small arms fire, lots of big explosions. And now we're on the outside of the city again and we're hearing outgoing artillery. So even when we spoke to the soldiers inside the city, they said that definitely their battle is still raging and there was still some waves from actually seeing the liberation of the city.
What we didn't see was a single civilian, not one civilian in the city as far as we could tell, certainly in the areas we were in. Damage, there is a lot of damaged houses, lots of rubble and wreckage in the street. We're hearing airplanes overhead as well.
[08:20:08]We saw lots of signs of what was clearly air strikes on the roads. The soldiers saying one of the big challenges they're facing is, of course, IEDs, improvised explosive devices, left behind by is as well as car bombs.
So it's a real tricky venture going inside the city and I think it's going to be quite some time before they can declare that is has been totally crushed in town.
They told us there are small units of ISIS fighters, twos or threes still holding out. They say they're fighting to the death. There's been almost no surrender by any of these ISIS militants in Falluja.
PAUL: My goodness. All right, Ben Wedeman, do stay safe, you and the crew there. Thank you so much for bringing us the latest there just outside the city of Falluja.
Now ahead of Monday's Senate vote on gun control measures, we're hearing from President Obama. We have the latest just ahead in a live report for you just ahead.
Also, goodbyes and remembrances today for victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings. Funerals beginning in a little more than an hour, but of course, there is so much pain attached to this as a country watches these people say goodbye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIOVANNI NIEVES, LOST FIVE FRIENDS IN SHOOTING: Every day, you know you try to get some sleep. You try to maybe rest and hope that the next morning when you wake up it's like it was a nightmare that you'll hear a voice saying I'm OK and it hurts because it doesn't happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, President Obama is speaking out this moring in his weekly address after returning from Orlando where he talked to and comforted the families of victims of the worst massive shooting in modern U.S. history.
Now President Obama renewing his call for gun control legislation. CNN's Chris Frates is following this for us this morning. Good morning, Chris. I'm sure this is going to be a continued heated debate, let's say.
FRATES: Yes, that's exactly right, Christi. In fact, we saw a heated rhetoric all week long over how to stem gun violence in the wake of these terrible tragic Orlando shootings and the Senate is set to vote on several gun proposals next week.
So that's the good news for gun control advocates. Now the bad news. None of that legislation is expected to pass. Democrats and Republicans have competing proposals on both how to prevent terror suspects from buying guns and on changing how background checks are done.
And all of those proposals have been rejected by the Senate in the past. Now Republican leaders agreed to bring them back to the floor earlier in the week as for Democrats ended an almost 15-hour filibuster protesting the Senate's lack of progress on the issue.
And President Obama weighed in again today in his weekly media address.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Alongside the stories of bravery and healing and coming together over the past week, we've also seen a renewed focus on reducing gun violence. As I said a few days ago, being tough on terrorism requires more than talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRATES: He said terror suspects should be barred from buying guns and announced that he would meet with the National Rifle Association about that issue and while Republicans and Democrats are split on how to prevent terrorists from buying those guns, Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine is expected to unveil legislation on Monday aimed at trying to bridge that partisan divide and break the log jam, Christie.
You know, I have to point out, I don't know if you can see here, but I am styling with my Victor Blackwell pocket square and I need to give a shot out to Victor for keeping me cool and collected and together because I didn't get a shot out last week so I would say Victor, thanks for the pocket square.
PAUL: Victor is in Orlando right now. We'll make sure he sees it. He did notice it, by the way, Chris, last week and you both are very styling. I'm one lucky woman to be sitting here with all these men. Thank you, Chris, so much. Take good care.
Do you believe we're less than 50 days from the beginning of the Olympics in Rio and listen to this, there is a state of emergency now. The nation is strapped for cash. Why it says it needs money and quick just to pay for these games?
BLACKWELL: And of course, we know now that the people who were at Pulse Nightclub on Saturday night, Sunday morning were here for Latin night. Well, some say that there was Latin night because some in the Latin community are not accepted by their families who are in the LGBT community. They can't find each other.
Well, here's a question, will this tragedy open some hearts and minds to those who were in the LGBT community and who are gay or lesbian?
[08:31:00] PAUL: Eight thirty-one on this Saturday morning and we're so grateful for your company, as always. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell and our top story, the terror attack in Orlando. More funerals today for five of the victims of last week's shooting. In all, 49 people were killed, dozens more injured, some still in hospitals in this area. Now, authorities are still on the scene here at Pulse nightclub trying to find out more about the killer's motive, or motives, as this picture's coming together. They're also pouring surveillance video from that night.
Thousands of people lined up to give blood in the hours immediately following the massacre. Actually, tens of thousands for days. The local blood bank, OneBlood, drew nearly 20,000 units of blood in the first four to five days after the shooting. But it's the people who gave before the attack who helped save so many lives on Sunday morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN FORBES, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING, ONEBLOOD: What happens at our blood center happens across the country at every blood center. And it is vital -- vital that a ready blood supply is on hand in everybody's community because in an instant it can be needed. Blood donors are the unsung heroes in our communities. Blood recipients are all around us. They're walking around us every single day, alive today because of selfless acts of a blood donor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: OneBlood employees are working around the clock, literally 24 hours a day, to process all the donations and are doing it with heavy hearts because one of their co-workers, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, was killed in that attack.
Coming up in just a few minutes you'll hear from -- Rodi, that's what they called him -- his co-workers and one of the shooting victims who survived thanks to the work the blood bank did leading up to that massacre.
Well, this shooting also sparked some pretty interesting conversations on gun control, on mental health, and bigotry against the LGBT community. Well, some of those conversations are being had within certain communities. One of the topics, what's it like to be gay if you're black or Latino? Remember, this was Latin night here at Pulse nightclub.
We're joined now by "New York Times" columnist and CNN political commentator Charles Blow, and attorney and CNN opinion writer, Raul Reyes. Good morning to both of you. Raul, I want to start with you, with what you wrote on cnn.com. Let's put it up on the screen. "The irony here is that we Latinos value our family ties so greatly that the stakes are higher for Latino youth who come out to their families. As a result, come LGBT Latinos stay in the closet, afraid to risk rejection at home." So the question is, will this tragedy open any minds, any hearts? Raul, first to you.
RAUL REYES, CNN OPINION WRITER, ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely. Right now we are really at a transformative moment for the both LGBT and the Latino community. I'm not sure people can fully wrap their minds around this but you have to remember, for someone who is LGBT and Latino, that is to say --
That someone with a dual identity it's very often they feel distance from the broader LGBT community and, at the same time, sort of left out or invisible within the larger Latino community. So that's one of the reasons why like places this Pulse nightclub in Florida are so important because it is a place where LGBT Latinos can feel a very rare sense of belonging.
[08:35:00] And this week, for many Latinos who are perhaps used to seeing LGBT people as different or as the other, now we are seeing 49 faces that look like us. We're hearing 49 names that are our names, and we are seeing the lives of 49 people who were killed. We see our own lives reflected in theirs.
BLACKWELL: And, Charles, I don't know specifically for the Latino community, but I know as a black gay man that similar struggles are happening, and have happened for some time, in the black community.
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, OP-ED COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Right, but I do want to back up just one bit here and just focus on most recently available data because I think that this conversation can easily veer off into kind of historical stereotypes about what it is like to be a minority and LGBT.
And it's not necessarily -- the stereotypes do not line up with the most recent available data, right? So, in 2012, Gallop and the Williams Institute conducted the largest ever survey about who identifies as a LGBT, right? Just for context, a normal survey is about 1,000 people to be scientifically legitimate. This was 121,000 people surveyed. It is a monstrous survey. The margin of error is tiny.
They found that young black men were the most likely to say that they were LGBT, followed by Hispanic men, followed by Asian men. And the least likely to say they're LGBT were young white men. This flies straight in the face of what these constructs that we have around what it means to come out. It flies into the face of the constructs of what it means to be LGBT.
I think that it's really important to put -- layer the data on top of these stereotypes. The last census found that --
BLACKWELL: Let me ask you, Charles -- and I hate to jump in here. There's a delay here, but you're saying that this is the result of a survey. A survey is not filled out in front of one's mother, and grandmother, and family. That's a document you fill out and hand in to a researcher. So there is an important point there. One may personally identify as LGBT but it's a much different thing to do that in front of your family.
BLOW: Well, let me say it the other way then, right? So, this is a random -- it's not a survey you filled out, right? They were calling people -- it's a phone survey. This is a random stranger calling you on the phone and asking you this question, and these people responded to a random stranger that they identified more as LGBT than did young white men. And they didn't do -- it wasn't a small difference, either.
Young black men were 56 percent more likely than young white men to identify. Young Hispanics were 49 percent more likely than young white men. Young Asian men were 23 percent more likely than young white men to identify to LGBT to a random stranger.
What I am saying is that even in the context of whatever kind of homophobia that we may say exists within those communities, those young men are doing it in spite of that. They are exhibiting even more bravery than less, and I think that is really, really important to put into the context of this conversation.
And even in the last census, when they were looking at the number of LGBT raising children, it turns out that most of those families are actually in south, and that black and Hispanic LGBT couples were twice as likely as white LGBT couples to be raising children.
What I'm saying is that we have to stop the kind of New York, San Francisco, L.A.-centric, white-centric view of what it means to be LGBT in American and realize that there is something happening on the ground among young people in this country that is happening outside of those realms, and that there is a new kind of reality there. And by some measures, Hispanics are more open to being LGBT than other people are.
REYES: Well, Victor, it --
BLACKWELL: More open -- would you agree with that rule? More open?
REYES: I would certainly say that --
BLACKWELL: Raul --
REYES: -- within the last 15 years or so there have been tremendous strides in the Latino community in terms of the acceptance and the embrace of LGBT people. Part of that has had to do, actually, with the immigration reform movement because they have spent the last 15 years really building coalitions.
And also, from the other side, the LGBT community has been building coalitions with the ImmigrantRights Movement as they both have been pursuing same-sex marriage, marriage equality, and immigration reform.
But, the fact is -- so there have been important strides. We have increased visibility of gay Latinos in the media. People like Ricky Martin, people like the boxer, Orlando Cruz.
[08:40:00] REYES: And when we look at the statistics, even on same- sex marriage, in 2006, 56 percent of Latinos were opposed to it. Fast forward to 2012, the statistics have almost flipped. We have 52 percent of Latinos in favor. So, definitely, things are going in the right direction --
REYES: -- but there still remains enormous progress to be made.
BLACKWELL: Raul Reyes, Charles Blow, thank you so much for being with us this morning.
BLOW: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Christi, back to you.
PAUL: All right, Victor, thank you so much. The family of the toddler who was killed at a Florida resort, we have learned, has returned home to Nebraska as Disney is making moves to protect guests from new alligator attacks. We have a live report for you and a message now from that family, who is speaking out this morning.
[08:44:25] PAUL: Forty-four minutes past the hour, and the family of that toddler -- that 2-year-old little boy who was killed by a gator in Orlando -- is speaking out this morning. They're thanking everyone for their support, asking for privacy as they try to reconcile and deal with the death of their 2-year-old son, Lane Graves.
Brynn Gingras is following the story from Orlando for us. Brynn, good morning to you. What are you learning?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, good morning to you, and you said it. Matt and Melissa Graves, they are back in their home in Nebraska and what an unimaginable task they have ahead of them, which is laying their 2-year-old son, Lane Graves, to rest in the wake of this horrific incident that happened on one of the Disney properties.
[08:45:00] And they've received so much support from their community and, really, just across the country. And they did speak out in a statement, and I want to read part of that to you, and it's thanking everyone for that support.
And it says, "Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community, as well as from around the country." And in this statement they also asked for privacy as they, again, continue this coping -- this dealing process and laying their son to rest.
At that same time, Walt Disney World -- they are taking steps forward now to make their properties a little bit more safer. To make sure that this does not happen again. And CNN has seen video of workers actually putting up more signage around bodies of water on their properties, beginning with that Seven Seas Lagoon where little 2-year- old Lane was dragged into by an alligator.
Some of those signs that we've been seeing say "Danger, alligators and snakes in the area. Stay away from the water, do not feed the wildlife." Again, they're assessing all of their properties and placing that signage where it's necessary.
We're also told Disney is going to be talking to its workers, talking to its guests, and trying to sort of reinforce the importance of sort of how to interact with wildlife, to stay away, to not feed them, to make sure everyone is aware of the wildlife that could be on the property and also, again, to make sure this does not happen again -- Christi.
PAUL: Brynn Gingras, we appreciate it so much, thank you. Listen, as the world prepares to come to Rio de Janeiro for the summer games, the state government is warning there's not enough money to ensure public health and safety. We have a live report for you from Rio de Janeiro just ahead -- stay close.
[08:48:20] PAUL: Well, as Olympic projects in Brazil race to completion here ahead of the August 5th opening ceremonies, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro has declared a state of emergency over public services. Now, he's warning there's just not enough money to ensure health and security now.
CNN senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, has the very latest. So, Nick, help us understand what is the risk for travelers, in this case?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. What a state of crisis Rio finds it just under 50 days before the games here. Now, yes, as you said, the Olympic projects, themselves -- we see the stadiums, we see the vital extension to the subway from the beaches here to those parks to take people to the games. We see them rushing to complete and potentially going to meet their deadlines.
And we hear officials, today, saying that this demand for extra money, suddenly and unprecedently asked for by Rio state, isn't necessarily going to affect those projects, but what a backdrop it gives for people coming here. We've seen the hospitals in Rio, the universities, the police forces talking about the lack of funding they have.
This state has been in a dire condition for a number of months now because of the economic crisis Brazil is through. Rio state relies on oil being sold, relies on tax revenue which has simply fallen through the floor in the past months. Late last night we hear an official announcement declaring this financial calamity across the state.
It's really, I think, a bit to use the Olympics to some degree, by local officials, to get more money out of the federal government and perhaps make their job easier when it comes to simply running the state. The state of emergency means they can get away with doing things much more quickly without going through certain checks and balances.
[08:50:00] But at the end of the day, now, they're looking to the main Brazilian federal government to pump millions of dollars into the state ahead of these games. Health care, $300 million short, so the hospitals potentially in bad repair if you come here as a tourist, and a $5 billion deficit in Rio state, itself.
That is going to make many people concerned that they can get -- you know, they may be able to get you to the games on this new subway but what's happening around you when you're there. How are the police force providing security, what happens if you need to get an ambulance somewhere?
So, a lot of questions here and this massive announcement has got many people concerned. There may be more problems lurking beneath the surface here in Rio and necessary Olympic officials and those in charge of running the games won't admit to, Christi.
PAUL: So, may I ask, Nick, if you have any knowledge into this, do they have a gauge there of how many people -- a number of the influx of people they're expecting for the Olympics?
WALSH: It isn't necessarily clear at this point. Ticket sales, as far as I'm aware, number into the hundreds of thousands or so. They say they've sold 76 percent of the tickets so far. Now, a lot of those are to foreigners. I think they're expecting about half a million people to arrive here for the Olympics. It doesn't appear, necessarily, to have changed but it's all really about who actually turns up, not who necessarily is projected to arrive.
Hotel occupancy here is said to be at about 90 percent for the OlympicGames period itself, but it really comes down to these last- minute signals, you know. We have the Zika epidemic, having many athletes worried about their health. They're debating coming here. We have the political crisis, making everyone unsure of really who's in charge half the time.
And now, suddenly, we have a financial calamity declared by the very state where the Olympics are supposed to be being hosted, saying we're struggling, frankly, to provide basic public services. That doesn't build confidence when it comes to putting on a multi-national, multi- billion dollar enterprise like the Olympic Games.
Everyone's insisting it's going to go ahead. I don't think anyone thinks it's not going to happen. The real questions is are there going to be basic failings at that time which detract from what's supposed to be a proud moment for Brazil, and frankly, a seamless time for the athletes and many other nations who come here to compete, Christi.
PAUL: All right, Nick Paton Walsh. Boy, thank you so much for getting us apprised of what's happening there today, Nick. We appreciate it.
And, it's an emotional reunion for a survivor of the Orlando nightclub massacre and the police officer who went beyond the call of duty to save him. It's coming up in the CNN newsroom.
[08:56:10] BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell, live in Orlando. Consider this, more than 13,000 units of blood were donated in the first 48 hours after the Orlando shooting. But for the local blood bank, the crews there who pulled out all the stops, literally working 24 hours a day to help save the victims, the massacre inside the Pulse nightclub became tragically personal.
ANGEL COLON, PULSE SHOOTING VICTIM: There was a mixture of gunshots. There was a mixture of cuts. There was a mixture of everything mixed with the cuts because I was dragged over glass.
BLACKWELL: As Angel Colon was being dragged out of Pulse nightclub he says he was not sure he would survive. Angel had been shot six times.
COLON: That was a surprise I didn't faint, I didn't pass out because I lost so much blood.
BLACKWELL: He was one of dozens of victims rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, all with gunshot wounds, many needing massive amounts of blood. Trauma surgeon, Dr. Michael Cheatham, was in the E.R. that night.
DR. MICHAEL CHEATHAM, CHIEF SURGICAL QUALITY OFFICER, ORLANDO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We had one patient that went through almost 200 units of blood just in the first 24 hours.
BLACKWELL: One patient?
CHEATHAM: One patient.
BLACKWELL: Anticipating the hospital's need the team at OneBlood, the local blood bank, rushed over more units.
JULIANA SANTOS SANCHEZ, BIOLOGICAL MANUFACTURING, ONEBLOOD, ORLANDO: We needed to pull all hands on deck and bring everybody in.
BLACKWELL: Testing, and processing, and shipping those donations to save the lives of the Pulse shooting victims, literally, the entire team working 24 hours a day. Everyone, except Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala. TAMEKA BROWNLEE, BIOLOGICAL MANUFACTURING, ONEBLOOD ORLANDO: I started calling his phone hoping that he wasn't there.
BLACKWELL: But the supervisor and friend they called Rodi was at Pulse when the shooting started.
BROWNLEE: And when he didn't pick up I was just hoping that he probably dropped the phone and tried to run for safety.
BLACKWELL: Hours went by with no sign, no mention of Rodi.
TATIANA MEJIA, BIOLOGICAL MANUFACTURING, ONEBLOOD, ORLANDO: I knew that, you know, some people had passed and I just knew that there was a list and I kept looking at the list just hoping that his name wasn't there.
BLACKWELL: Then, on Monday, there it was, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old. His name added to the list of the dead.
BROWNLEE: I felt broken (crying). I'm sorry. I felt hurt and just sad that it happened and happened this way.
BLACKWELL: What is the space that he now leaves vacant here because I understand he had a big personality?
KADIAN MCINTOSH, BIOLOGICS MANAGER, ONEBLOOD, ORLANDO: Oh my gosh, yes. No one can fill that. No one can fill that. He definitely had a big personality. He walked in the room and you knew immediately he was there.
BLACKWELL: In the days after the shooting more than 20,000 people donated blood as a gesture of solidarity with the victims, so the workload has been heavy.
SANCHEZ: We cry, we go back to work. We cry, we go back to work, but we can't stop, you know, because it's not -- it's a lot of people, you know, that went through this tragedy.
BLACKWELL: One of them, Angel, who for the first time is hearing the story and seeing the face of the man who helped saved so many lives.
COLON: He's an angel. He's an angel.
BLACKWELL: A hero who, just days before he was killed, was shipping off life-saving blood that would heal survivors of the shooting that he would not survive.
BROWNLEE: We wasn't able to save him but I'm glad that we were able to save other lives, and I know he'll be happy that we still pulled together and made this possible even though he wasn't here with us because if he was here, he'd be doing the same thing.
BLACKWELL: Christi, when I tell you that this community is reeling it's not just the loved ones or the friends, it's the colleagues, the neighbors, the people that -- some of those who were killed you see on a regular basis just at stores, so this community is trying to heal. That's just one story. Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old.
PAUL: Oh, great story, Victor. Thank you so much for bringing it to us. And we're going to be back again at 10:00. "SMERCONISH" is with you now.