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Waffle House Shooter Arrested; Suspect Arrested after Van Jumps Curb, Hits Pedestrians in Toronto; Witnesses Describe Van Hitting Pedestrians in Toronto. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: As this is all just coming in, we have no idea of the extent of injuries, how many injured, we just know it's multiple. That is Toronto, where we're keeping a close eye. Number two, the driver of that van is now in custody.

Speaking of in custody, take a look at these photos, tweeted out by Nashville Police Department. This is the man who, naked with the exception of a jacket, walked into a Waffle House in the early morning hours of Sunday in Tennessee, and injured four people before running out. He has now been caught. He is in custody. He was found in some wooded area out behind his apartment complex, according to our correspondent.

Let's start there.

Nick Valencia, they caught him. Looks like his right shoulder is scratched up. I don't know if they caught him in some sort of tussle, but thank goodness, they got him.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He was believed to be armed with at least a handgun. Four of the guns he had. You weren't supposed to be in custody of those guns. After that 2017 incident, the FBI recommended he have those guns taken away from him. His father admitted to police he gave those guns back to his son after his moved to the area in the fall of 2017. And the A.R.-15 that he allegedly used in the mass shooting he's accused of carrying out Sunday morning.

We were live on air, reporting on our sister network, HLN, when we saw the heightened police activity, cars going in the direction of Travis Reinking's apartment complex. It was just after that, that the police department tweeted that Travis Reinking, accused of killing four people, was in custody. We have our first images of this individual, we don't know if he was taken into custody without incident. We believe he was armed, that's what police were telling us. In a press conference we were at earlier today, the police saying they believe he was armed and dangerous.

This was a man that showed a significant amount of mental -- being mentally unstable. He, in 2016, claimed that Taylor Swift was stalking him, he told police in other instances that they believe they were hacking his computers, phones, Taylor Swift was part of that as well. This is a man who was unstable, mentally unfit, perhaps even to be in possession of a handgun or a long gun. Somehow, he had that anyway, and carried out what he did on Sunday morning. But today, right now, at this hour, Travis Reinking in police custody -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Nick Valencia, excellent reporting. Thanks so much.

We're getting more details on both of these breaking stories.

Quick commercial break. You're watching CNN. We'll be right back.


[14:37:07] BALDWIN: We are back request new pictures out of Toronto, where, according to police, we can now tell you the suspect is in custody. The person who was behind the wheel of this van, jumped the curb, and whether it was intentional or not, hit a number of people along the sidewalk here in Toronto. Was this van used as a weapon, was this simply an accident? We don't know.

Jason Carroll's been working the story for us.

Jason, fill us in.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You heard the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, Brooke, a short while ago, talking to that point, saying, quote, "More to learn in the coming hours."

Clearly, the investigators do have the driver of this van in custody. They'll have a number of questions for him.

Just to recap, this happened at about 1:30. You're looking at images there on the ground shortly after this happened. The white van jumped the curb, hit a number of pedestrians. The initial report from Toronto police was that it was anywhere from eight to 10 pedestrians. They updated that and said it was too early to confirm the number of those who were hit on the ground. But a number of folks hit on the ground. A short while ago, there were images of paramedics there treating people, some of those injured on the ground. Again, the big question is, what was the motive or the cause of what happened here. That is what investigators are going to be questioning this driver about -- Brooke?

BALDWIN: Jason, thank you.

Art Roderick, just for a sense -- so we know, according to police, this driver is in custody, what are those key questions that those investigators are asking of him, to try to determine a motive?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's going to be -- what else did he have in that van with him is going to be a key. Once he got on social media, who has he been talking to. What are his coworkers there? They're going to try to get to the motive as quickly as they can. It does have some of the earmarks as we've seen in the past of a terror attack. You have a rented van, you have an individual that drives up on a busy sidewalk, and uses the van as a weapon, as it appears right now. None of this has been confirmed yet. But you know, as quick as they can get to the motive, they will let the public know.

BALDWIN: Quickly, back on what else is in the van, what do you mean?

RODERICK: What did he have as personal items with him. Did he have a backpack? What kind of identification did he have on him? Did he have any electronics with him? Was he delivering some goods? What is actually in that van? When did he rent the van? What was the purpose of the van being used for? Those are the key questions they're going to look at now.

[14:40:04] BALDWIN: Got it.

Art, thank you. Stand by.

Quick break. We're back with more of our breaking stories in just a moment.


BALDWIN: As we know, in this breaking story out of Toronto, where this van jumped the curb, hit a number of innocent pedestrians walking along, according to police, we know that the suspect is in custody as they are questioning this individual, right now, trying to determine why this happened.

We are now starting to hear from some witnesses there on the ground in Toronto. Let's take a listen to them.



UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I just saw there's a white truck. Go to the sidewalk. And so many people shouting, stop the car, but he didn't he just kept moving. People lie down. They didn't move at all.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The car kept hitting people, did it look like it was on purpose?

[14:45:04] UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I think it's on purpose, the car doesn't work, he should hit the car or something, so he can symptom. He goes through the sidewalk.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The car started hitting here, or was it up there?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: What I saw -- I think he started here. I didn't go over there.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And this is Park Home Avenue?



You saw him start hitting people here, and go down on the sidewalk, was he driving on the road?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: OK, thank you. I didn't get your name.



UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: A friend told me was the car drive -


UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: -- he started hitting people. I heard gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Gunshots, heard gunshots.

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: A gunshot. And drove from there they just keep hitting people. That's what my friend tells me.



BALDWIN: Speaking maybe about a gunshot. We haven't heard anything on that. You heard the woman talk about this van, jumped that sidewalk and careened down the sidewalk for an entire city block, hitting innocent passersby along the way. That person who is behind the wheel of that van, in custody. We're waiting to get more information on that from Toronto authorities.

Meanwhile, we're about to get a lot more information from authorities in Antioch, Tennessee. Look at the picture. This is the man who walked into the Waffle House in the early morning hours Sunday and is accused of killing four young people. They caught him a little while ago. He was in a wooded area behind the apartment complex. Here he is in the back of the cop car.

How did they find him? What did they do? And was he cooperative? We're going to find out all of that and more at a news conference that begins any moment now.

Stay with us.



[14:51:23] UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you describe what you saw?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I was just leaving my building here on Young Street. I had just stepped out and lit a cigarette. When I did that, turned up my head, I saw a van hit a man walking through the intersection at the green light. He actually rode into the road. I ran into the road to stop all the cars. Then, pandemonium broke loose. Everyone was going crazy. That's pretty much all that I saw. We stayed with the man, to make sure he was OK. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was he OK?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He was conscious, yes. He couldn't move. His eyes were closed. But he hung in there. Surprising enough, he hung in there. I hope it's going to be all right. Officers came up to the intersection, I saw three or four bodies lying on the grounds. I have to relay that information to them.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tell me what the scene looked like when you were walking through?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Just an ordinary day, just walking. Saw a man hit by a van. That was it. There were pieces of the van flying everywhere. I turned my head to make sure no cars were coming so he didn't get ran over again. I held there. That's all I could do.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you take a look at the driver?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Didn't see the driver at all. I didn't really see the van, it happened so quickly. My main concern was for the man on the road.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How fast would you say he was going?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I don't know. I would say 60, 70 kilometers an hour. Hard to say. I saw the guy go flying and heard the bang, and just wanted to stop traffic. That's all I wanted to do. That's it.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you see him hit anybody else?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I did not. No, I did not. I saw a lot of people lying on the sidewalk. There were pools of blood. I saw more people further down there. Apparently, he's been caught, so that's all I have.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where exactly did you see him hit someone?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Right at the intersection. The man was walking through the intersection. He was in the middle of the intersection, and the van went right into him, plowed right into him. And then, apparently, he drove down further, and he went onto the sidewalk by the next building and he hit more people there. He just kept going.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did he go on to the sidewalk or was he on the road?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: The man that I saw get hit was crossing the street, so he was on the road. But as he went further down, he must have gone on the sidewalk because there were people on the sidewalk that got hit.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did it look like the man that was hit had broken bones?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He couldn't move. He could just barely move. There was a little big of blood. He looked like he was all right. I'm surprised. He got hit really hard.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How old was he, would you say?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I'd say maybe 55, 55 years old, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What were you doing here today?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I was going down to North York Center. I stopped to have a cigarette. If I hadn't done that, I could have been killed as well. I would have been right there with that guy as well. So I was just going down to North York Center just to do some shopping.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How are you doing right now?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I feel sick to my stomach. What can I say? Never seen anything like this before. I'll be all right, I guess. Yes. What else can we do?

I'm actually just going to the bus right now to give a statement to the police officers. Yes, all right?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.



That was --


BALDWIN: These are the very first eyewitness accounts we're getting, from whatever this was. Was it an accident? Was it something more? As we were hearing from him recounting Police are now saying they have this driver in custody, and they're questioning him or her. Let me add to that, we always heard from police that this van was, basically, running people over for at least half a mile, they're saying, to a mile. Just think about that.

That, as we have someone else on the phone here with me. Kash Alavi is a realtor who works in this Young and Sheppard area. This is where this whole incident happened.

Kash is on the phone with me.

Kash, thank you so much for jumping on.

It's my understanding

[14:55:25] KASH ALAVI, REALTOR & WITNESS (via telephone): Hey, no problem.

BALDWIN: It's my understanding you were out eating lunch in this part of Toronto when -- what did you -- did you hear something? Run outside? ALAVI: We came out, me and my colleagues were having lunch in front

of the square. We could see bodies on the ground. Giving them CPR. This was immediately after the incident. No police or paramedics on site just yet. The crowd was trying to bring them back to life. People that were their bodies were full of blood, on their faces, their bodies, their legs. Certain parts were twisted. And you could tell he plowed through them. And maybe ran over them. The paramedics and the police showed up, they tried to bring them back to life as well. That was unsuccessful. So four of the ones I saw there, were put into body bags. And we heard that the van had started at Young and Finch, which is almost a kilometer away. And as we were walking up Young Street, there's a bunch of bodies all over the sidewalk, on the southbound side. At least eight people at Young and Finch. I could see one in front of me. They put a body bag over less than 100, 150 meters away. It continued, and there's another three there. It continues again. There's at least eight bodies I've seen in body bags. Everyone's calm and in shock. They're kind of in a panic mode right now. The paramedics try to revive the bodies. They're being covered with body bags and being taken away.

BALDWIN: My goodness, the shock is entirely understandable. Police had initially put out a bigger number, they want to be precise.

Kash, do me a favor, hang with me on the phone. Stay with me.

ALAVI: Sure.

BALDWIN: There's another witness speaking, as we try to understand what's happened. Let's listen to this.




UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I saw them go ahead. I thought he had a heart attack or something, I was trying to chase him down, trying to see what happened. All I see is this guy, he's going 70, 80 clicks, hitting people one by one going down. Oh, man, it was like -- it was a nightmare, man. I seen a lady with her leg and -- oh, man it was a gross open scene. I couldn't believe what I seen, I was like, oh, man. Everybody, all these people on the streets getting hit one by one. Post office box getting crumbled up. Their blood is all over. I'm so shaky. I can't believe this is happening, this is unbelievable. So unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was he swerving toward people?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He went on the sidewalk. He started hitting everybody, he hit everybody on his way. There's a lady in there I saw -- I stopped and looked and went after it again, all I see is crumbling up, one by one, one by one. Holy god, I've never seen a scene like this in my life. I swear.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did he look like he was doing it with purpose? UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I didn't see the person. It's one of those

white vans that are blocked. No windows, nothing on it. He's going down, crumbling up. You can't catch up to him, he's going 60, 70 kilometers on the sidewalk. Oh, wow!

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is he the driver? What did you see?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: No, I didn't see this guy.


UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Whoever did this I hope this sick person gets dealt with according when I. This is some serious terrorism stuff he did.


UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He killed 30, 40 people at least. Oh, man.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Were you driving behind him the entire time?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: Not right behind. I was 100 feet away. I see him crumbling up people, one by one, one by one.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us when you first saw him hit someone or swerve out of control, what did you think?

UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: I thought it was a heart attack. I thought somebody had a heart attack. I thought somebody had a heart attack.

Oh, my god. Oh my god. It wasn't a heart attack. This person was intentionally doing this. He was killing everybody.

I can't do this. I'm feeling really sick.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can you tell us -- can you tell us when you saw him stop, what happened?


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did you see him come to a stop.


UNIDENTIFIED WITNESS: He was going. He was just --