Return to Transcripts main page


Nashville Shooting Suspect Arrested; Van Plows Into Pedestrians in Toronto. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired April 23, 2018 - 15:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't do this. I'm feeling really sick.

QUESTION: Ali, what is your -- how do you spell your first name? A- L-I?


QUESTION: Ali, can you tell us -- can you tell us, when you saw him stop, what happened?


QUESTION: How did you see him come to an end?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stopped at Empress.

He was going. He was just going on. I stopped at Empress. I was shaking. I couldn't -- I was done. I couldn't deal with this. He kept going. He kept going. People were getting hit one after the other all the way down to Yonge and Sheppard, all the way down to Yonge and Sheppard.

I seen people get hit one by one.


QUESTION: Where did you see him climb the sidewalk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right on the sidewalk. Right on the sidewalk.

QUESTION: Where did you see him get on the sidewalk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he started from around here. He started from over there. And it's the first one -- the first one started over there. And he just went on and there was an older lady, an older man or something. And he just crumbled him, and then went down one after another.

QUESTION: Can you tell me about the victims that you saw? Who are they? How old were they?

QUESTION: Older people. I seen a stroller with a baby right about two blocks down flying in the air. I seen -- oh, man, I can't believe this. Oh, my God.

QUESTION: You saw a baby?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I seen a stroller. I didn't see a baby. I saw a stroller split in half. I seen -- I seen people.

The most gruesome scene I seen was at Yonge and Empress, a woman's leg. Her leg was on one -- oh, man. It was really bad. It was really bad.

QUESTION: Were able to talk to the police at all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I got an officer that I recognized that I have seen before.

And I told him -- he goes, come see him later. I go, I can't talk to anybody right now. I'm feeling sick. My car was parked across the street. I came and grabbed my car and I just came, saw my dad and I came out. I'm feeling really sick. I can't believe this is happening.

QUESTION: What did you say to your dad when you saw him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to -- he goes for walks on Yonge and Finch. I drove back just to make sure he's not hit, he's not walking on the street or anything. And he was laying down. I was like, thank God, pops.

Oh, man. But my mom goes for a walk, my dad goes for a walk here all the time all the way down Yonge and Finch, back and forth. They always go for walks. Oh, man. I feel sorry for those people. God bless whoever got hurt, man. This is crazy, because a lot of people got hurt. I seen a scene I never seen in my life. You see it in a war zone.

QUESTION: Can you tell us about who else you saw got hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a lot of people, a lot of people, order people, older people, a lot of older people walking

There's an older residence over there, right, that building over there, that brown building right there, the older residence building. People were sitting on the benches there. They got hit. A bunch of people got hit. I would say at least 40, 50 people, at least 40, 50 people.

Oh, my God, wow. I can't do this anymore. I'm sorry.

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you so much for that, Ali.

That's Ali describing the scene. He says he was about 100 meters away.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: So, this is obviously incredibly, incredibly difficult to listen to these different eyewitnesses describe what has amounted to a gruesome scene in Toronto, as this van careened down a sidewalk for a mile going 30, 35 miles an hour.

We're going to come back to this in just a moment.

I want to take you now, though, to Tennessee, where that Waffle House suspect is now in custody. Police have just walked up to the podium. They're about to brief the press on how they got him.

DON AARON, PUBLIC AFFAIRS MANAGER, NASHVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: At 1:07 this afternoon, Travis Reinking was taken into custody in a wooded area near here by members the police department's Specialized Investigations Division's Narcotics Unit.

From his apprehension, he was taken to the South Precinct, where he immediately requested a lawyer and refused to make a statement. Reinking has been taken to General Hospital to be checked out and then will be taken to the Nashville jail, where he will be booked on four counts of criminal homicide.

Again, the apprehension team consisted of members from the police department's Specialized Investigations Division's Narcotics Unit. Almost all of those persons are undercover. Their supervisor is Lieutenant Carlos Lara. Lieutenant Lara was there at the apprehension scene. He will describe to you what happened.

After Lieutenant Lara speaks, we will hear from Mayor David Briley and Chief Anderson and then take your questions after everyone has spoken.

Lieutenant Lara.


I want to start off by saying great job by everyone, all the different units and agencies that assisted.

This all began today. We had our unit, narcotics unit was working doing -- finding any -- or investigating any calls on suspected identification of this person.

Dispatchers Megan Barr (ph) and Christie Simmons (ph) from ECC were contacting me directly and our team was in charge of looking and investigating any of the sightings.

During one of the calls, we had a call for 5000 Mountain Springs Drive. And what the call was, there was a person who was matching the description of the suspect who went -- was going through a construction site behind the apartment complex and into the wooded area.


Our detectives on all three of our units, narcotics section -- the Narcotics Unit, the Interdiction Unit and the Major Case Task Force all responded to the scene.

When they got to the scene, there were several workers from the TVA, construction workers on the TVA that were pointing at us, saying the person went through the woods.

The detectives then all -- as well as the sergeants, all went up to the wooded area and saw a pathway in the woods. They start to walk the path, and as they went through the wooded area, they spread out. And some went one direction, some went the other.

As they were walking through the woods, one of our detectives, Kyle Williams, noticed a person, a suspect in front of him. As he was walking forward, he -- the suspect turned around, and Detective Williams saw his face and realized that that is the suspect we were looking for.

At that point, Detective Williams drew down on the suspect. The suspect proned out. He told him to get on the ground. He got on the ground immediately, proned himself out.

Other detectives came and assisted, put him into custody and put him in cuffs. At that point, detectives went and cut off -- he had a backpack on. The description we had received was a maroon shirt, dark jeans and a backpack, which is exactly what he had on. He had on a maroon shirt, dark jeans and a backpack.

Once he was in custody, the detectives went, cut off the backpack off of him because he was in cuffs. When they looked into the backpack, they had -- they saw a silver Kimber semiautomatic weapon with .45- caliber ammunition, a flashlight and a holster on his person.

During the search incident to arrest, they looked in his back pocket, and in his back poet, he had a wallet, and in that wallet, he had a Colorado I.D. that had his information on there, and which is how we were able to identify him.

AARON: Mayor David Briley.


First, I would like the say thanks to the community, to the citizens of Nashville. A tip from the community is what led to the arrest today. And their being vigilant was really an important part of what happened today.

I would like to thank the Metropolitan Police Department and Chief Anderson for all of their work over the last 36 hours. They have been relentless in searching for the shooter. And the conditions have been quite bad for the last 36 hours.

So it was tough work. And I want to thank them personally on behalf of all of the citizens of Nashville for everything that they did.

Yesterday was a horrible day for the city of Nashville. It brought home a real tragedy to this community. Today is a day where we can start to move on as a community, I hope.

But I hope everybody will share a commitment that I have to help the families who lost their loved ones and who are still suffering in the hospital right now. We are going to have to gather around them and help lift them up over the coming weeks.

Obviously, a tragedy, put an end to part of it today. And we need to move on as a community and do what we can to curb this violence in the future.

AARON: Chief Steve Anderson.

STEVE ANDERSON, NASHVILLE POLICE CHIEF: Certainly, this apprehension was the result of teamwork throughout the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Almost all of components were involved, the SWAT team, canine, flight, on and on.

We had the majority of our detectives out here in uncover cars. And, certainly, it is a teamwork effort in terms of our support from our federal and state parties.

The Department of Homeland Safety -- Safety and Homeland Security. Had a team of state troopers out here. The FBI had an enormous amount of resources. They had actually started several teams from Washington to assist us in this search, the ATF and the Secret Service likewise.

And it is a community effort. This would not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the community. And it was a citizen's tip that led to this apprehension, and the businesses that have supported us, bringing food out here to feed the officers who were out there in the rain, the cold, and the dark.

So I applaud everybody that's been involved. And, again, it was a team effort that made this possible.

AARON: Lieutenant, Mr. Gavin or Commissioner Purkey, Matt?

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matt Espenshade from the FBI.

QUESTION: Spell that?


I would just like to thank all the entities involved for this. It was great teamwork in coming together. I'm glad we came to a quick resolution.


I would just like to thank the community as well, because there is a challenge that we still have in front of us. And that is to not forget the victims. We take very seriously our victim witness services.

So those will really come into effect at this point, providing counseling services to those who were hurt and to the families who live on. So, thank you for your time.

DAVID PURKEY, TENNESSEE COMMISSIONER OF SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY: David Purkey, commissioner of safety and homeland security for the

state of Tennessee. I was telling the chief just before we walked up here justice is

relentless when it involves the partnerships that we have on the federal, state, and local levels, especially when it's working with the citizens.

And as a former mayor myself for many years, I understand what it takes for justice to prevail. And you have seen that happen today. So, congratulations to all of our partners. Department of Safety and Homeland Security was glad to be one of those.

But this is a good day. Thank you.

AARON: Special agent in charge of the ATF?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good afternoon.

Yesterday was a very tragic day in this community. Our law enforcement partners came together. We were determined to be relentless to bring this young man to justice. We worked very well together, and today is a day that we can begin the heal as a community. Thank you for your support.

AARON: Questions. Please say who you want to ask the question of.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) What was his demeanor? Did he have anything to say? Did he resist arrest?

LARA: I was actually not at the location. I was getting information relayed.

There was a little bit of miscommunication at one point. But from what I understand, as soon as the detective saw him, there was really no communication, other than the detective drawing down on him and he got on the ground and proned out and was taken into custody.

QUESTION: Did not try to resist?

LARA: Not at all. Not that I know of, sir.

QUESTION: Did he make any statements?

LARA: Not that I know, sir.

QUESTION: Did he show any remorse?

LARA: At this point, I wasn't there, so I can't say. But I haven't received news that -- or any word that he made any statements at all.

QUESTION: That location is about two miles away (INAUDIBLE). Do you have any idea how he spent the last 36 hours? Was it in those woods?

LARA: Again, a lot of that information is information I can't answer because we don't know. We believe that he possibly stayed in that same area, but, again, 5000 Mountain Springs is not far from here. It's behind where he lived. So, we won't know until the investigation continues. QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) He was able to get a backpack, he was able to

get his gun, he was able to get a shirt?

LARA: Yes, when he was caught, he did have a maroon shirt, dark jeans and a black backpack with, again, a silver Kimber semiautomatic weapon, flashlight, a holster, and some .45-cal ammunition. And that's all we have at this point.


LARA: I'm sorry.


LARA: I have no idea where that fourth gun is located. I know the one -- the silver Kimber which was missing was on his person. Any other weapons, I'm not the person with that information.


LARA: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.


LARA: I would say, as soon as the dispatcher -- I wasn't sure it was Megan Barr or Christie Simmons -- contacted me directly by phone, we got the information, and then our detectives were actually assisting on another location that they were searching.

We pulled them just due to the fact that this location was behind Cane Ridge Elementary School, we wanted to make sure that it was a priority. We pulled some of those detectives. Three of our sergeants and all of our units went to that location.

And at that point, I would say probably about 10 minutes tops between the time that we received it and the time that the guys were dispatched out there.


LARA: Matt.

ESPENSHADE: Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: Sir, how concerned are you that Travis Reinking was able to slip through the cracks?

ESPENSHADE: Are you stating from the time yesterday of the shooting until now or...

QUESTION: How concerned are you that Travis Reinking has a past mental health history and also has had many run-ins with law enforcement, including the Secret Service? The FBI is aware of him. How concerned are you that he slipped through the cracks?

ESPENSHADE: I can tell you, from our perspective, after the incident at the White House and the assessment that happened in the Springfield office, that every federal resource was brought to bear, and that we were able to effectively neutralize what we felt was the threat at the time by ensuring that he did not have the ability to purchase or own weapons and that those weapons were taken.


QUESTION: How was he able to get that gun back?

ESPENSHADE: That, I would have to refer you to either the Illinois State Police or the sheriff's office there in Illinois.


ESPENSHADE: We are investigating all the possibilities to any groups. But, right now, we have no information to provide on that.

QUESTION: Should his father have given him back those weapons?

ESPENSHADE: I can't make that assessment. Obviously, it is a very tragic thing. He was not able to possess or own those weapons, so, on its face, yes.

QUESTION: Has his father given a reason for why his weapons were given back?

ESPENSHADE: I haven't heard that.

QUESTION: Are there any gun laws that the father may have violated by giving his son the weapons?

ESPENSHADE: I would refer that over to ATF.


QUESTION: So, is it possible that his father could be subject to gun laws -- could his father have violated gun laws by giving his son the weapons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is possible. If you transfer knowingly to a person that is prohibited, that could potentially be a violation of federal law.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) has the father told you or do you know why, the stated reason for giving them back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't speak to that at this point.

QUESTION: Is he under investigation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All federal partners are looking at him for any potential violations of federal crime laws or obviously the homicides he committed.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) could face charges?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He potentially could, yes, sir.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should not have had weapons, correct.

QUESTION: In Tennessee.


QUESTION: So, he was legally stripped of his ability to purchase or possess weapons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It actually goes back to the FBI. They control the NICS system, not ATF.

QUESTION: Lieutenant Lara, if I could ask you a question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lieutenant who? Lara?


LARA: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: Give us an idea of how this man was able to survive and escape your dragnet. What do you think that he was able to do?

LARA: I have to say that I don't know. We don't have that information. I wasn't involved in a lot of the planning and a lot of the search.

I had a specific job. And our unit had a specific job. So, there is a lot of things that we have to take into account that I don't know of. All I know is that when we caught him he was at 5000 Mountain Springs in that area.

There is a good chance he had been there since this occurred, but that's information I just can't give you.

QUESTION: What was his physical condition?

LARA: I was not able to be over there, but he looked like -- again, he looked like he was tired, from what I was told.

QUESTION: Wanted to give up?


LARA: That specific area in those woods, I don't believe, at least during the time that I was working and our guys were there, we didn't work -- we didn't check that area that I know of. I know that today was the first time we actually had that call to that wooded area behind that construction site behind 5000 Mountain Springs.

QUESTION: That's where he lived, right?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) LARA: You probably want to refer to the other investigators involved.

That's something that I wasn't involved in. So...

QUESTION: You said you didn't necessarily canvass the area where he was comprehended, but that is the area right behind his apartment complex. That gives some concern to the residents there.

LARA: I did not personally. I know that there were several other units that were involved. I was not personally and none of my unit was involved in that canvassing that I know of.

I know that there were several units and agencies that were involved assisting. Absolutely, I know that at one point we were hearing just about every apartment complex out here doors were doors being knocked on and areas were being searched.

But I know that, again, that area, when this tip came in, as soon as it came in, we responded to make sure that we were able to verify if the tip was accurate or not.

QUESTION: Are you confident that he was acting alone.

LARA: I don't have that information. Again, that's something you are going to have to refer to somebody else.

QUESTION: Did he run from them (OFF-MIKE). Did they have to chase him?

LARA: From what I was told from that detectives that apprehended him, he did not try to run. As soon as the detective saw him, he pulled out his weapon and told him to get on the ground. And, immediately, from what I understand, he got on the ground, proned out.

Other officers, other detectives went, helped cuff him, search him. They found in his back pocket his I.D, and then they cut off his backpack and found the weapon in there.

AARON: Last question. Last question.

QUESTION: We have a crew over where he was captured at this moment. And it looks -- it appears that law enforcement is pulling out bags of evidence. Can you talk about at all what they have gathered so far?


LARA: I personally don't know. That may be something you would want to refer to Mr. Aaron.

AARON: Yes, we will talk about that when the article searches are done in the woods.

Let me say that this area, as you all know, was the subject of extensive searching yesterday. That's where the last sighting was around 8:30 Sunday morning.

There were police dogs. There were officers. That area was widely searched yesterday. How long he had been there, where -- the report from the citizen initially yesterday was he was shirtless. Today, he is wearing a red shirt.

So, we have a myriad of questions for him, but, as I said at the beginning, he -- when he arrived at the South Precinct, asked for a lawyer and refused to answer any questions.

Thank you all.

BALDWIN: All right, so we wanted to hear that entire thing, as we're getting a little more information as far as how police, FBI, ATF ultimately came together.

And it sounds like it was police apprehending the man who is now accused and facing four counts of homicide in the deaths of four 20- something-year-olds in that Waffle House in Tennessee in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Came from a call within the community. A tip let them to this wooded area right around where the suspect lives. And also all kinds of questions with regard to why he even had guns in the first place, given his incident in the past with the White House and the fact that authorities took his guns away and the man shouldn't have had a single gun.

Is his father in trouble perhaps violating federal gun laws? And you heard that ATF agent say yes.

With me now, I have Matthew Fogg, former U.S. Marshal, and Art Roderick, CNN law enforcement analyst.

And, Matthew, let me just start with you.

When you heard the details of how this call came in, they go to this construction site, they go on this path in the woods and find him, he's got this backpack, he has a weapon, and he's clothed, what are your questions after hearing those details?

MATTHEW FOGG, FORMER CHIEF DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: I mean, the questions I would wonder is where he came from, how did he get there, was he there at the time, or -- they said they searched this area extensively yesterday.

They didn't find him. All of a sudden he's there today. Did somebody help him get there? How did he get there? That is the biggest question on my mind. What was the motive of course for why he even did this stuff from the very beginning? That's what I want to know.

How did he get there? And then the fact that we do know that he didn't resist at all, he gave up, s, I mean, that fell in line with it, but the bottom line is, where was he yesterday? Was he in this area and we just overlooked him?

BALDWIN: Art, to you on the second point on the guns, there had been in this young man's past the incident at the White House, where he had been arrested. His guns were taken away. He couldn't purchase guns. We talk about incidents like this, where all the right steps were followed. And yet I presume the guns were somehow then handed over to his father, who then handed them over to him and we know how the rest of the story plays out. Should his father be in trouble?

ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Yes, and I think they're going to have to sort this out both in Illinois and in Tennessee.

We heard the ATF agent's assessment of that. More than likely, he will be in trouble. It's again federal law to transfer firearms to an individual who's not supposed to have them. And in this particular case, his right to possess firearms in Illinois was revoked, and I'm fairly sure he didn't have the right to possess firearms in Tennessee, although possession of long weapons, long rifles is not a violation of the law.

But the handgun probably is. So it sounds like he got back to his apartment. We had the sighting at 8:30 in the morning. He probably packed that backpack, took the last handgun or a handgun that he had, maybe stuffed the red shirt in the backpack along with a flashlight and headed out to the woods.

And that's the sighting we have at 8:30 a.m. The big question is, is, where did he but his head down for the evening if that was searched so heavily?

BALDWIN: Facing four counts, criminal homicide. Gentlemen, thank you very much.

We're going to talk to the brother of one of the victims, because I don't want the victim to be lost in any of this, four young people killed in the early morning hours in this Waffle House. I want to make sure we focus on those lives lost, which we will do in just a second.

But let me pivot.

Gentlemen, thank you.

Let me pivot over to the other breaking story out of Toronto, where we now know that police have been questioning the driver behind the wheel of this white van who basically mowed people down for as long as a mile. This is north of Toronto. This is right around 1:30 their time.


Details as far as the extent of the injuries, we heard gruesome, gruesome details from some of these eyewitnesses.

Jason Carroll, I know, has been working the story for us.

And, Jason, hearing these eyewitnesses detail the bodies, the pieces of bodies, the speed at which this van was traveling before, how did the van stop?


BALDWIN: How did the driver stop?

CARROLL: It's first of all chilling, Brooke, to hear from these eyewitness accounts.

One witness saying he saw people going down one by one. Another saying he saw multiple bodies there on the ground. Another witness describing it as "pandemonium broke loose," he said, as he saw the van hit a man who was simply walking through the intersection.

The van did come to a stop about a mile from where this all started. Still trying to get details in terms of specifically how that happened, who was responsible for that.

But just to recap, this starting at about 1:30 north of downtown Toronto in the northern section of the city. That's when this white van jumped the curb and started mowing down pedestrians who were walking on the sidewalk.

Obviously, at this point trying to get more information about the cause, the reason behind all of this. Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, weighing in on this, saying more to learn, more to say in the coming hours.

Also, Toronto's mayor, Brooke, has released a statement saying: "My thoughts are with those affected by this incident."

And the front-line responders are working to help those injured. At just about 3:30, just a few minutes from now, the security minister is going to be holding a press conference, where we should be getting a little bit more information, some more details.

At this point the driver, who once again is in custody, he was wearing all black, has not been identified. Clearly, investigators have a lot of questions for him -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Let me back up just for a minute, because we were hearing one of the eyewitnesses reporting hearing sounds of gunshots.

Can you speak to what was it? Was it a shoot-out at all between this driver and police to get the van to stop? What more do we know about that?

CARROLL: Well, that's what we're waiting for. We're waiting for some more of those details. Certainly, some eyewitnesses on the ground, they have reported that.

We're waiting to get official word from the Toronto P.D., but it is very clear that there was some sort of confrontation between the Toronto P.D. and this suspect -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: One of the eyewitnesses reported seeing a stroller flying up in the air. Do we have any idea from police how many people have been injured?


CARROLL: Yes. Initially, you will remember police said that there may have been as many as eight to 10 people who were injured. One eyewitness on the ground said that he saw a number of people giving CPR there on the ground. Paramedics helping them.

But that same witness also reported four bodies that he could identify on the ground. Initially, police came out with an estimate of eight to 10 people being injured. They then came out with another statement saying they needed more time to confirm the number of injuries there on the ground.

BALDWIN: OK. Jason Carroll, thank you very much.

As soon as we get more information, we will get you back on TV.

In the meantime, let's -- I said a second ago I really wanted to honor the lives lost at this Waffle House shooting. And I want to do that right now.

We have Abede DaSilva, the brother of one of the victims, Akilah DaSilva, and Lancelot DaSilva, Akilah's cousin.

And so I just want to thank both of you for coming on, and my sincerest condolences for the loss of your brother.



L. DASILVA: Much appreciated.

BALDWIN: Abede, if I just could begin with you, because I also know you were at Waffle House

And we have been reporting the last hour that this man has been caught and is in custody, and faces four criminal counts of homicide.

What are you thinking?

A. DASILVA: It's just -- it's just all -- I'm just still processing it in my head.

I'm just relieved. My mom is happy that he's caught. So, I'm not -- it's a sense of relief, but, at the same time, I'm still getting it all processed in my head.

BALDWIN: How are you doing? How is your mom doing?

A. DASILVA: We're holding up. We're having a lot of family support, a lot of support from everyone. So, we're just trying to stay as strong as possible with the whole situation, and trying to not let his name be in vain.

BALDWIN: You have your cousin there to help you out and give you strength. And, Lancelot, feel free to jump in.

But, Abede, if I can just continue the conversation with you, because you were -- not only have you lose your brother. You were there at the Waffle House. Can you tell me what you remember seeing?

A. DASILVA: I didn't really see too much.

You know, we just -- we just heard gunshots and we just ran and hid for cover. And I just know I just kept hearing the shots get closer and closer to --