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THE SITUATION ROOM
Ten Dead, Ten Wounded in Texas High School Shooting; Trump: School Shootings Have Been Happening 'For Decades'; Trump Claims Spy Was Placed In Campaign To Frame Him, CNN: Informant Was Not Planted Inside Trump Campaign; Giuliani: We Don't Know If There Is An FBI Informant. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired May 18, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This would not happen in my school?
[17:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. There wasn't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why so?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been happening everywhere. I felt -- I've always kind of felt like eventually it was going to happen here, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: "It's been happening everywhere. I always felt eventually it would happen here." That is a statement that would not have been made when I was a kid. Ask yourself, are we failing our children?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news. Deadly Texas shooting. Ten people are dead after a gunman opens fire inside a Texas high school. The teenage suspect, a student, is in custody. But did he act alone?
Search for explosives. Police say the gunman left behind a variety of explosive devices, and there's an urgent search underway for more, with residents urged to be on the lookout for suspicious items.
And the shooter's motive. Why would a 17-year-old turn on fellow students? Authorities say there are clues in his journal and on his cell phone. And he left a social media footprint with chilling images.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news. A mass shooting at a high school. This time in Texas. Ten people are dead, ten others are wounded. A 17-year-old suspect is in custody, along with another person held as a possible accomplice.
And it could have been worse. Police say they found improvised explosives at the school and off campus. I'll speak with the House Homeland Security Security Committee chairman, Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas. And our correspondents and specialists, they're standing by with full coverage.
But let's get right to the breaking news. A truly horrific school shooting and an urgent hunt for explosives. Brian Todd has been piecing together the details. Brian, what are you learning?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New information coming in tonight from multiple sources. Officials in Texas say it appears the prime suspect walked into Santa Fe High School this morning wearing a long coat with a shotgun under the coat and began firing shortly after school started.
TODD (voice-over): Tonight investigators are questioning 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who they say planted explosives around Santa Fe High School in Texas before opening fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: More shots fired. Additional shots fired.
TODD: The first call came into 911 at 7:32 this morning, shortly after school had started.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still have several more shots fired. (GUNSHOT)
TODD: Students say Pagourtzis, who attended Santa Fe High, seemed to have a plan. Fire alarms were pulled around the time the shooting happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in the history hallway and as soon as we heard the alarms, everybody just, you know, started leaving, following the same procedure as we did, because nobody thought it would be this. Nobody thought it was a shooting. Everybody just thought it was a, you know, normal procedure, practice fire drill.
TODD: Pagourtzis appears to have set off explosives, which officials say they believe he built himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just put IEDs -- threw them in a room. We might have eyes on a pipe bomb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just hear so many -- three gunshots and a lot of explosions. And a lot of teachers are telling us to "Run, run, go. Run."
TODD: As police began surrounding the school, inside they say he continued shooting, using a shotgun and a revolver taken from his father.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's actively shooting. He's in the art room. We've got shots fired right now, guys. We need you all up here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard three shots, and then Vaughn -- Mr. Vaughn said to run. So everybody took off. I grabbed her. I ran into the tree line.
TODD: Officials say Pagourtzis was injured at some point, though it is not clear how. He was eventually taken alive.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: The shooter has information contained in journals and his computer and cell phone that he said that -- not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting. As you probably know, he gave himself up and admitted at the time that he didn't have the courage.
TODD: Officers cleared the building, evacuating students and searching some.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me and my friend Ryan Calvert ran to the forest so we could get shelter, and that's when I called my mom.
TODD: In addition to the shooter, police say they are holding a possible accomplice, an 18-year-old fellow student. Tonight, investigators say they are focused on tracking down any other explosive devices the shooter may have planted at and near the scene. They say they have already found at least one Molotov cocktail, as well as a carbon dioxide device.
Police now have warrants to search two nearby homes, as well as the shooter's car but are proceeding carefully because of concerns about other bombs.
CHIEF WALTER BRAUN, SANTA FE SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICE: Community members should be on the lookout for any suspicious items and anything that looks out of place. Do not touch any items that look out of place.
TODD: Tonight student and parents in Santa Fe are describing moments of terror and confusion.
[17:05:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you would have heard what I heard this morning, the fear in my loved one's voice because of my son being in that classroom --
TODD: Tonight, a law enforcement official tells CNN that authorities are talking to this shooting suspect, who is being held on capital murder with no bond. Additional charges may follow -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What do we know, Brian, about how many law enforcement officers were actually on the scene when the shooting started and their response?
TODD: Wolf, officials say there were two law enforcement officers on campus when the shooting started, that they confronted the shooter very quickly; and they were quickly backed up by state police and others. Two of those law enforcement officers were wounded. At least one of them is in critical condition.
BLITZER: Brian Todd with the latest. Thanks very much. The alleged gunman is now in custody and said to be talking to investigators. Our justice correspondent, Evan Perez, is here.
Evan, what does law enforcement know, first of all, about the suspect?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as often happens in these cases, they have found very little trace of him -- there's no negative information in his background to indicate that this is something that he was thinking of doing. He hasn't had any previous significant run-ins with law enforcement that would cause him to think that he would be somebody who could carry out something like this.
It appears from talking to his classmates, at least law enforcement believes that they found him to be quiet, but nobody really thought that something stood out that would cause something like this. Obviously, now they're doing a lot of investigation. They're going to talk to his family. They believe at some point something is going to stand out, something that may have happened recently, something that he has said and spoken about. Obviously, those journals are going to be key. The information on his phone and his computer, which will indicate whether -- how long he's been thinking about this and whether or not he had any help for some of these devices.
Obviously, that trailer that they've been searching, we've been showing that on air, is one place where, apparently, they believe he manufactured these bombs. And so they want to know whether he had any help. There is also the matter of possible accomplices, which I think the governor of Texas mentioned in the press conference a couple of hours ago.
He talked about at least two people that the investigators are talking to. One of them, at least, was a person who was on scene. And so they have been interviewing that person to see whether that person had any involvement in making these devices, whether this person was there to help set up these devices they found on the scene or whether he had any role whatsoever in planning this shooting.
BLITZER: These IEDs, these improvised explosive devices, as law enforcement calls them, how sophisticated were they?
PEREZ: Well, at this point, they haven't had a chance to look at all of them, because they want to make sure that they are inert; they have to disarm them. This is a process that they're still doing at this hour. They expect it to be several hours.
We expect, Wolf, that at some point the FBI is going to take custody of them, bring them to Quantico to analyze them. One of the things they want to make sure is that nobody else's fingerprints are on them. Did anybody else have a role in setting these up?
The pressure cooker bombs, obviously, there's recipes online. At least one of them, it appears to be a rudimentary kind of grenade that was -- it's easy to make, really. That's the sad thing. A lot of this stuff you could just go online and look at YouTube and other places and find recipes that are very easy for even a 17-year-old kid to follow. BLITZER: So you're saying there was no criminal record in this
particular case. And -- and not many warning signs, at least until recently. There were a few things with hindsight that could have raised suspicion.
And some of the kids interviewed on the air talked about some stranger behavior more recently. But again, what happens and we've seen this in the cases, where there is not a lot of time lag between the time people see these things and when these kids act out.
And again, there's a lot of kids in high school who are going through things, and you can't just assume that they're going to go from just doing strange behavior to carrying out something like this.
BLITZER: Very sad, indeed. Evan, thank you very much.
Let's go to CNN's Rosa Flores right now. She's on the scene in Santa Fe, Texas.
Rosa, what are you picking up? What's the latest you're learning?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, still a very active scene, and we are being kept about half a mile from the school. Take a look behind me. We're actually prepared to move here very shortly, because they want us to move.
But let me lay the groundwork here. This is not the only crime scene, Wolf. And that's one of the things that we want to emphasize. Because as you and your experts have been talking about, according to authorities, there are multiple areas with explosive devices. Not just on campus, but off campus.
There's an adjacent area with a trailer that has been on our air, those pictures of that trailer, of authorities checking that trailer, figuring out if there were explosive devices and we've heard about two search warrants for homes, the search warrant of a vehicle, as well.
[17:10:06] And so there's a lot going on. And if you just kind of take a look at the surroundings here, this is -- this is a pretty small town. There's wooded areas, and so authorities have to be very, very careful.
We're also learning more about the explosives from the governor. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBOTT: Various different kinds of explosive devices have already been detected. One was a CO2 device. Another was a Molotov cocktail, and there are various other types of explosive devices that have been identified, both in a home as well as in a vehicle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Now here is the latest that we know about the shooter. Now we know his name, and we also know that he's 17 years old and that he attended this school. But, Wolf, here is the latest from our affiliate KTRK. We are told that his first appearance is in about an hour -- Wolf.
BLITZER: First appearance will be in about an hour. Is that what you're saying?
FLORES: Yes. That's according to our affiliate, KTRK. First appearance in about an hour at the Galveston County Jail.
BLITZER: All right. We'll monitor that, of course, and have coverage. Thanks very much, Rosa, for your reporting.
Joining us now, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas. Not very far from your district, Mr. Chairman. Thanks very much for coming in.
What are you hearing? How is the community responding?
REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: Well, sort of shocking. This is the worst school shooting in the history of the state of Texas. My heart goes out to the families and my prayers. It's a very shocking day for the state of Texas and the United States.
BLITZER: What are you learning about the suspect?
MCCAUL: We don't know a whole lot about him. He's 17 years old, so you have children killing children. This is really horrific and very tragic.
I know that he got the weapons from his father. Apparently, they were not locked up. And, you know, a 17-year-old cannot purchase a firearm legally. And so we don't really know much about -- I think when we looked through his communication devices and the Internet trafficking -- this didn't happen when you and I were growing up. Maybe get in fights in the school yard but not -- not this type of thing.
And so the Internet has changed a lot of things. You and I talked about terrorism a lot, radicalization, ISIS and al Qaeda. Now we're seeing it influence the culture and behavior of our young kids. I have five children of my own, and I can't imagine what the parents must be going through, having their children killed like this.
BLITZER: Yes. The governor, your governor, Governor Abbott, he said he didn't know whether or not the father allowed the son to get these weapons or he just took them. Do you know that the father gave the guns to his son?
MCCAUL: I don't know. But either way, he is responsible for not -- either he gave them to him or he didn't lock them up properly, as any gun owner should do.
BLITZER: What was unique, pretty unique -- and you correct me if I'm wrong --in this particular case, not only weapons, two weapons that this suspected shooter had, but also explosive devices. The governor saying CO2 device, a Molotov cocktail and other devices there in the school, near the school and perhaps elsewhere. MCCAUL: And this is why we think there were possibly one to two
accomplices to this that may have either taught him how to do this. As your previous guest said, this is all over the Internet. We dealt with this with the Boston bombing case with a pressure cooker bombs to the Boston bomber, who we think found this material online and built his own IEDs. And so this is the age of the Internet now.
BLITZER: And as far as you know, are there still -- they're still searching for these explosive devices?
MCCAUL: They're searching the home and the car as I speak for more explosive devices. They have to be very careful. They have a special team that goes in with robotics to remove these devices, and they found them at the school.
BLITZER: Are they sophisticated or relatively crude?
MCCAUL: It's unclear. Molotov cocktail is a pretty crude device. But then there's also some intimations that there could have been a pressure cooker bomb.
BLITZER: You're a former federal prosecutor. The fact that they captured the suspect alive, that he's talking right now, how important is that?
MCCAUL: It's -- I was a deputy attorney general for the state of Texas, as well. It's huge. Because now they have -- in most of these cases, as you know, they commit suicide at the scene or it's death by cop. In this case, we have the suspect alive who is talking. We'll know more if he has accomplices. That's very important. How did he learn how to do this? What were his motivations? And what would cause a 17-year-old child to do something like this?
BLITZER: Do you have any clues at all?
MCCAUL: We really don't. It's kind of a clean slate, if you will. There's nothing really to indicate what happened to him, why he woke up this morning. But I do think the Internet, in my judgment, had something to do with it. And the family, I'm sure there were signs and warning signs that could have been observed and stopped. As far as I know, the classmates and teachers didn't really notice anything.
BLITZER: Because if, in fact, he did have some explosive devices, which he clearly did have, and he may have had one or two accomplices, he didn't just wake up this morning and decide he's going to go kill students and a teacher, ten people altogether, nine students, one teacher. Ten others injured. There are several of them still in the hospital right now. At least one or two in critical condition. This has been planned for a while.
MCCAUL: Very premeditated attack. With accomplices, I think, to build bombs, to get the weapons. To wear a raincoat on a 90-degree sunny day, that is a red flag right there. And then pull this horrific tragic shooting off. I think he had thought about it for quite some time.
BLITZER: Any idea where he got the material for these explosive devices? We know where he got the two weapons.
MCCAUL: We don't. And I think, you know, as was mentioned before, these weapon -- explosive devices will be sent by the FBI to Quantico for analysis and evaluation and we'll have a better understanding.
BLITZER: I assume ATF is looking at hardware stores elsewhere to see if they can get some clues and the FBI and ATF and federal and state and local authorities, they are all deeply involved. At this point, who is in charge?
MCCAUL: At this point, it's a state charge. At this point, I know the FBI is investigating to perhaps the U.S. attorney can bring additional charges for building weapons of mass destruction. That's a federal crime.
But right now, he's charged with the ultimate penalty in the state of Texas and that is capital murder which carried with it the death penalty. And as you know, the state of Texas, we take that seriously. He's going to be charged as an adult, which I think is very significant in this case.
BLITZER: Remember in Parkland, in February, the school shooting there, there were some calls that were made to the FBI, but they really didn't follow up and made some serious mistakes at that point. Do you know if there were any calls, any warning signs given to the FBI or local police as a -- in advance of today's shooting?
MCCAUL: At least at this point in time, we don't see that. And you're right, Parkland was a law enforcement failure. The FBI was notified on the hotline, didn't respond; didn't share the information. The sheriff was notified almost 40 times. That office didn't respond. And then the resource officers didn't respond to their shooting either. In this case, the resource officers responded very quickly to the scene.
BLITZER: Your governor, Governor Abbott, said today, and I'm going to read to you what he said. He said, quote, "We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families. It's time in Texas that we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated, ever again in the history of the state of Texas."
All right. So you're a member of Congress. Congress has done nothing in the aftermath of all these other school shootings, including plenty of them this year. What, if anything, do you want to do?
MCCAUL: Well, one thing I did last week and now -- it looks, you know, sort of timely, was I introduced the Securing Our Schools Act, which provides authorities to Department of Homeland Security to come up with a strategy to secure our schools. Right now they're soft targets. We need to harden these soft targets to protect our children.
It provides grant funding to localities to look at training exercises, active shooter training exercises, IEDs, K-9s. How can we do a better job protecting our schools locally? I hope to get this passed rather soon. I think with this event happening today, it really cries out for my legislation to move forward and move forward quickly.
BLITZER: Do you have some Democratic co-sponsors?
MCCAUL: Yes, we do.
BLITZER: All right. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
Mike McCaul is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Good luck to all the people in that district in Texas but throughout Texas, indeed throughout the country who are so distraught over what happened today.
MCCAUL: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Our hearts go out to all of them.
There's more breaking news. We have new information coming in on the Texas high school shooting which left ten people dead, nine of them students and on the alleged gunman, a 17-year-old student. Did he signal his intentions on social media?
Plus, officials now say the gunman left behind a variety of explosives, and there's a hunt for more devices as residents now are getting an urgent warning.
[17:23:28] BLITZER: Breaking news, ten people are dead in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. The 17-year-old suspect is in custody, along with another person considered to be a possible accomplice. Nine of those ten people who were killed, students; one, a teacher.
We're standing by for the suspect's first appearance in court. That's expected within the hour.
Explosive devices, meanwhile, were found at the school and off campus. And police are searching for more. President Trump has expressed sadness and heartbreak.
Let's go to our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. Jim, what else is the president saying?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, President Trump vowed to have his administration do everything possible to prevent school shootings in response to the massacre in Santa Fe, Texas. Facing yet another mass shooting on his watch, the president noted earlier today that these massacres are a problem that the nation has faced for decades, and here is more of what he had to say earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has been going on too long in our country. Too many years, too many decades now. We grieve for the terrible loss of life and send our support and love to everyone affected by this absolutely horrific attack.
To the students, families, teachers and personnel at Santa Fe High, we're with you in this tragic hour, and we will be with you forever. My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others. Everyone must work together at every level of government to keep our children safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:25:19] ACOSTA: Now, it's unclear what the president will do in response to the school shooting in Texas. Mr. Trump has backed away from any kind of substantial gun-control measures, despite initially sounding supportive of those kind of laws in the days after the massacre in Parkland, Florida, back in February. That was when the president toyed with the idea of restricting firearm purchases to people under the age of 21 years old, among other measures.
But the president appeared to reverse course on the issue of gun control after meeting with the National Rifle Association. And Wolf, we should point out, speaking to the NRA earlier this month, Mr. Trump reverted to his past rhetoric on the gun issue, saying, "Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, and they will never be under siege as long as I'm your president."
So it sounds like if you go off of what the president has been saying recently, that he's not really in the mood for any kind of new gun control measures.
We should also point out, Wolf, the flag has been lowered to half- staff over here at the White House. Wolf, lots of expression of thoughts and prayers from politicians across Washington. But Wolf, unfortunately, after too many of these school shootings, these massacres across the country, no solutions coming out of Washington to solve this problem -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. It's happened again here in the United States. A school shooting, a massacre. Jim Acosta at the White House, thanks very much.
Joining us now on the phone, the mayor pro tem of Santa Fe, Texas, Corey Jannett. Thank you so much for joining us. Our hearts go out to you, to all your -- all the folks there in Santa Fe.
First of all, tell us about the moment you first learned about this shooting.
COREY JANNETT, MAYOR PRO TEM, SANTA FE, TEXAS (via phone): Well, thank you, Wolf, and thank you for having me on. And I just want to say, as a member of this community, that we never thought this would be -- be us in the news.
Looking at these videos and -- I was a member of that high school. I went to the high school for four years and graduated from there. It's just too surreal. But unfortunately, several months ago we had multiple false alarms,
and this morning, early, early this morning when we first started getting initial reports and -- and what we thought were rumors, we thought it was just a repeat of those. And after a few phone calls, we found out this was -- this was no false alarm. This was the real deal this time.
And I, myself, have two young children, luckily not in high school. But two young children, one that is in the ISD that was at school this morning. So that initial few hours, trying to get through -- get information, not knowing what's true, what's accurate, what's rumor, what's false was just horrendous. A situation no parent should have to live through.
BLITZER: Yes, it was. Have all the families, Mr. Jannett, been -- families of the victims been notified?
JANNETT: That I don't know. I'm not in any way able to speak on -- on a law enforcement side of things. I honestly do not know, and I cannot speak to that. I do know that I believe that some of that outreach has begun to occur and parents notified. But as far as the progress of that, I do not know.
BLITZER: As you know, at least one person is in critical condition at a local hospital. Have you have heard any updates on the injuries? We know at least ten people were -- were wounded.
JANNETT: No, Wolf, at this time I don't have any other additional information other than what's being reported on the news.
BLITZER: Authorities, they're also deeply concerned about explosives near the scene at the school, elsewhere, the residents of this suspect. Is there a plan in place to keep the residents of your city, of your community, Santa Fe, safe?
JANNETT: There is. And I will say that all law enforcement are -- local, state government, everybody that has responded, they've just been amazing. They're in control of all the situation. We do know that there's reports of those explosive devices, but again it is way too early to know what's false, what's true, what's accurate. And unfortunately, that continues to feed into some of the hysteria and fear.
But we -- as a community, we know that we are in safe hands. And I would just follow what the -- what the governor said at the press conference earlier today, that if anything suspicious is seen or even if you just have a gut feeling that it's not safe, to call it in and err on the side of caution.
BLITZER: As you pointed out, you yourself attended this Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. How is this affecting you on a very personal level?
JANNETT: It's extremely personal. As I said, watching the -- watching the news and -- and seeing these videos of the high school, you know, hearing the reports of the classroom that it occurred in. I walked those halls every single day for four years and graduated from that high school. And sitting in the background --the art of the stadium that I graduated from, that I received my diploma from and the field behind the school where I practiced with the marching band every day.
It's extremely harrowing and it hits very close to home. I could only imagine the scene at that high school right now. It's a place that I loved for many years and will always be a part of me.
BLITZER: Well, Mr. Janette, good luck to you. Good luck to all of the folks in your community. Our -- as I said, our heart goes out to you and we'll stay in touch. Thanks so much for joining us.
JANNETT: Thank you for having me, Wolf.
BLITZER: We're getting new information right now about the school shooting suspect. He posted some deeply troubling images on social media including a t-shirt with the slogan "born to kill". We're also hearing from some of the people who knew him.
[17:35:43] BLITZER: Our "BREAKING NEWS", 10 people are dead, 10 others wounded after a shooting at a Texas high school. The suspect is a student, 17 years old was captured alive and charged with capital murder. We're standing by for his first court appearance within the hour. During a news conference earlier today, the Texas governor, said the suspect had a pretty clean record but there were clearly warning signs. CNN's Alex Marquardt has more on that. What do you learning, Alex?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. We are learning more about the suspect, 17 year old, Dimitrios Pagourtzis. Authorities are saying there were no red flags that his record was what they called a clean slate. But CNN is learning from his social media pages that, in fact, warning signs may have been missed.
MARQUARDT: Tonight, the shooter in custody, wearing a jail's orange jumpsuit and some photos posted online, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, looks like a typical teenager with peace and love symbols on a black baseball cap. His alleged actions on Friday were anything but, and his social media profiles are offering clues to a dark side.
Less than three weeks ago on Facebook, Pagourtzis, posted this chilling picture, a t-shirt with the words, "born to kill". The same day, he posted another image of a long black coat, pinned on it among other symbols was a Nazi iron cross which he said stood for bravery. On the collar, a communist hammer and sickle, representing he claimed, rebellion. Possibly the coat he was known to often wear.
DUSTIN SEVERIN, CLASSMATE OF DIMITRIOS PAGOURTZIS: He doesn't really talk to the many people either. He keeps to himself. He wears a trench coat every day, and it's like 90 degrees our view. MARQUARDT: Today, the governor of Texas, said the guns used by the shooter, a shotgun, and a .38 revolver, were his fathers and legally bought. Journals written by Pagourtzis, also showed he planned to commit suicide after the attack.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: The shooter has an information contained in journals, on his computer, and cell phone that he said that not only did he want to commit the shooting, but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting. As you probably know, he gave himself up and admit at the time that he didn't have the courage to commit the suicide that he wanted to take his own life earlier.
MARQUARDT: It was also on Facebook that Pagourtzis confirmed that he went to Sante Fe, High School. He claimed we would be joining the Marine Corps, writing that he'd start next year. But the Marines said they don't have a record of him.
The 17 year old junior had played on the J.V. Football Team. School report indicated he was a standout player, and at one point in sixth grade, a stand-out student, as well, on the honor roll.
MARQUARDT: And Wolf, there is one more disturbing thing on Pagourtzis' Facebook page. The picture that he used for his cover image was the album cover of a French electronic music group, and on their album, there is a song called humans are easy prey. Now, that's can be part of the trove of information that investigators are sure to be pouring over tonight. Wolf.
BLITZER: Certainly, seems like -- at least, it hindsight a lot of warning signs there. Alex, thanks very much. Let's bring in our justice law enforcement, counter-terrorism experts right now, Evan Perez. I know, you've been doing some serious reporting. What are you hearing about the possibility of federal charges being leveled against this 17 year old?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we're told that, that is actually a discussion that's now in the early stages on the federal level. We know that he's facing state charges, which carry the death penalty. But the federal government is also now looking at possibly bringing charges. He's 17 years old so this would something -- this be something that would require special permission from the Justice Department and attorney general would have to approve such a step.
And again, he's already facing the likelihood of a death penalty. This is Texas where this -- where that they have the death penalty. And again, it would have to be extraordinary circumstances. The fact that there were bombs found there gives some federal jurisdiction to this -- to this crime. But again, you know, there is already state charges here.
I think that the issue here is the Trump administration wants to send the message, they want to make sure that people know that this is something that is not going to be tolerated -- you know when you have these type of shootings that keep happening around the country.
BLITZER: The federal authorities consider these kinds of improvised explosive devices, WMD's, technically, weapons of mass destruction which would qualify the federal government to take charge.
[17:39:59] PEREZ: Right. Technically this -- you know, if you have a bomb, it's considered a weapon of mass destruction. And so, therefore, you can bring those types of charges. Again, this is a discussion that's beginning in the early stages on the federal level and we'll see whether or not they go forward with this.
BLITZER: Jessica Schneider, you're also on a justice correspondent. What else are you hearing right now? You've been doing a lot of reporting on this.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Evan, brought in the piece about federal jurisdiction here, whether he might be on under that federal jurisdiction. We know that the federal authorities -- the authority out there in mass. So, right now the local authorities they've taken the lead on this.
But really, the federal authorities are out there for manpower and expertise. They've got the bomb techs out there, they've got the agents interviewed, and witnesses. And something interesting I learned we'll been talking with law enforcement officials. They've also got what's called a victim's services division.
This is a little-known division, they go out there onto the scene and they're really there to assist and support the victims, the victims' families, and when I talked to this one of these law enforcement officials, they tell me this division had gotten better and better of late. Because unfortunately, they've been going out more and more to the scenes.
I mean, we've seen it this year, 22 school shootings just this year. So, really a massive federal response in addition of the local and state authorities.
BLITZER: Very serious indeed. Josh Campbell, used to work at the FBI. You were a supervisory agent. What do you think about the Facebook posting that he had, that coat with Nazi symbol on it, a t- shirt that "born to kill". They're going to be going through all of that.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That's right. And you know, I'm perplexed by how forward-leaning authorities have been in going out and saying that there were no red flags here because I could tell you were -- what nine hours into this. How do they know?
I mean, this is going to be a very lengthy investigation, something that is going to be multi-faceted looking into not only the shooter but also his associates. You know, you mentioned the social media accounts. And obviously, someone who has -- you know, Nazi and fascist paraphernalia that's you know, posted up online and has some of the questionable things that Alex Marquardt had indicated earlier, is going to raise red flags. So, to say that -- you know, there were no warning signs now, I think, it's perplexing because it same that lets people off the hook.
This will be a lengthy investigation. Again, the focus will be where there areas, where either the public or maybe someone that this person knew. Where areas they could have stepped in to intervene, either with the shooter or to call law enforcement and say this is someone that we need to be focusing on.
One other thing I want to mention, and Jessica has spot on and -- you know, they're mentioning the office for victim services, these are the unsung heroes, the angels of the FBI, they call it. They are the ones who will be there obviously, on our screen we see -- you know, officers that show up, the tactical teams that their processing the scene that will be going through and trying to -- you know, handle these devices and detonate them, and in order to ensure they're not -- they're no longer a threat to the public.
But if these victim services advocates who will be there long before the tactical teams that are working with the victim family members in order to make them whole, in order to help them get past this in any sense that they can.
BLITZER: All right, Art Roderick, you've spent a lot of time studying this kind of mass killings. Now, what stands out in this particular case?
ART RODERICK, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, like what's -- there's a couple of things that struck me right away and when you look at the tactics that this particular individual used, you know, he had the trench coat, we saw the trench coat in columbine pipe bombs. We saw a pipe bombs in columbine but we also saw the use of the fire alarm to get everybody to come out into the hallways, that's been used in the past.
So, I think, once we start digging into his computer and also look at in his gaming devices. This is a 17 year old kid that I'm sure has been out there -- you know, either with an Xbox or a PlayStation. And has been talking to his friends online, and I wouldn't be surprised if some real good information came out of there for investigators.
But it seems like he's been studying these past active shooters and using deadly techniques that they found to be successful. But also coming from that school, he knows how the school system works and he knew those two resource officers that ended up getting wounded.
BLITZER: Phil Mudd, what stands out in your mind?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: A couple of things. I mean, frustration for one. What the heck are you going to do? We're going to look at this profile, we're going to look at a social media profile. But if you look at a kid in high school, who says things about rebellion and he wears unusual clothing, and you want to tell me that these are going to be red flags, we can pick out from a sea of hundreds of thousands or millions -- you can pick up kids across America.
I think the problem is we're going to come back and say, depending on what the interviews and Josh is right, we're early on. But the interviews point out, how do you come up with signals or school officials and police official about something to do. One question I have. What did the dad know? And what did the family know?
We know from Parkland, and that the investigation showed that a lot of people in the neighborhood, and the family, and law enforcement officials knew a lot. But this dad was in a house, where not only -- were weapons available, this kid is building improvised explosive devices. I want to see what the interviews are. Who knew, what, when?
PEREZ: And keep in mind, I mean, look, at this hour, I think of Vice President Pence is in the Minneapolis, and he's speaking to a political rally, a political event. And he says something to the effect of, we obviously have more work to do about school violence. I think that's the thing about the political response to this is that we're already seeing people that say, "Oh, this is a school violence." It's just a bigger issue, so much bigger issue because these types of shootings -- mass shootings happen just -- not just in school, they happen everywhere now in this country. And so, it's a bigger issue than just a school violence issue.
[17:45:17] BLITZER: Well, let me ask Josh. Josh, if the father knew that the son was using the .38 caliber handgun, the shotgun, gave him permission to take these weapons. Is he culpable legally right now for this mass murder?
CAMPBELL: Well a lot of it will depend on what he knew and the degree to which that he knew that these weapons would be used in the commission of a crime. Obviously, if he had any sense that, that was the case, then, you know, he's done.
You know, within Texas, obviously, there, the gun right -- gun restrictions are a little bit less than we see on other states. I mean, that's my home state, I know that even as a minor, I mean, you could use a firearm at a range for example in order to shoot.
So, it's not unusual that -- you know, parents will take their children in order to use firearms. The question is, you know, did the father know what the -- what the kid was going to do and then, issue of liability. If the firearm wasn't -- you know, locked up, if it was -- if it wasn't -- you know, protected in some way, and this kid got a hold of it and went to use it, I think the father would face legal jeopardy.
Again, a lot will let will determine, or depend on what he knew and that all the level that he knew this person was going to go and act.
BLITZER: You know, they're learning a lot already, but there is still a long, long way to go. Stay with us, we're getting updated information from the investigation into today's deadly school shooting in Texas. 10 people killed, nine of them students, one teacher. Will there be more arrest?
Also ahead, President Trump shocking allegation that the U.S. Justice Department placed a spy inside his presidential campaign. What's the truth? Stay with us.
[17:51:17] BLITZER: Following the "BREAKING NEWS" a mass killing at a Texas High School. 10 people are dead, the alleged shooter is in custody. But an urged hunt continues right now for explosives he may have left behind. President Trump, by today, addressed the shootings but he also seems preoccupied with allegations about a spy in his campaign. Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, what is all this about?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump is once again, floating unproven conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation. The president is alleging the Justice Department placed a spy inside the Trump campaign, "for a political purposes". Mr. Trump has done this before. This time, even one of his own lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, admits Mr. Trump, does not have all his facts straight.
ACOSTA: In a new rant on the Russia investigation, President Trump took more swipes at federal investigators tweeting a story that he claims could be bigger than Watergate. "Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted," the president tweeted, "for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a hot fake news story. If true, all-time biggest political scandal." And citing Fox News, the president added, "Apparently, the DOJ put a spy on the Trump campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn't commit."
But here is the problem, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, considered to CNN, both he and the president aren't sure there was an informant.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Here is the issue that I really feels strongly about with this informant if there is one. First of all, I don't know for sure nor is the president if there really was one. We're told that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Told that by whom?
GIULIANI: We're told that by people who -- for a long time we've been told that there's some -- there was some kind of infiltration.
ACOSTA: U.S. officials tell CNN, a spy was not planted inside the campaign. Top White House officials brushed aside questions about the president's claimed that his campaign was being spied on.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: So, if you guys don't know that this informant exists or not, why are you guys using it to undermine the Mueller investigation?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: So you don't know that there's Russia collusion, why have you and your network been obsessed with it and talking about it for over a year?
ACOSTA: This is not the first time the White House has struggled to explain the president's unsubstantiated claims. Last year, the president tweeted an unfounded claim about former President Obama. "Terrible, just found out that Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found this is McCarthyism!" Then White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer later walked back Mr. Trump's allegation, a claim the president has never proven.
SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: But the president has already said clearly when he referred to wiretapping, he was referring to surveillance.
ACOSTA: But it sounds like, Sean that you and the President are saying now, well, we don't mean wiretapping anymore.
ACOSTA: That's not true anymore. So now we're going to entertain other forms of surveillance. What's it going to be next?
SPICER: No, no, that's not -- no, no, Jim, I think that's cute but at the end of the day we've talked about this for three or four days. What the President had to quote wiretapping, in quote, he was referring to broad surveillance.
ACOSTA: As for the president's legal team, Giuliani was also asked about his claim that the president can't be subpoenaed by the special counsel's office. Then, CNN showed Giuliani the clip of when he said, former President Bill Clinton, would have to obey a subpoena when he was in office.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: You got to do it. I mean, you don't have a choice
GIULIANI: That's really unfair. What you're doing right now is extremely unfair.
ACOSTA: Now, the White House didn't give reporters many opportunities to ask about the president's allegations of spying during the 2016 campaign. The White House only held a couple of briefings this week. Wolf, but we should point out just in the last several minutes, I caught up with the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, asked her about the president's tweets about allegations of spying inside Trump campaign carried out by the Justice Department.
Sarah Sanders will only say, Wolf, that the president's tweets speak for themselves. They may speak for themselves, Wolf, but they don't line up with reality. They have not been proven by the president or this White House. And I gave Sarah Sanders the opportunity to prove the president's tweets. She declined. She said that the tweets speak for themselves. Wolf?
[17:55:11] BLITZER: Jim Acosta at the White House. Thanks very much. Coming up, there's "BREAKING NEWS". A shooting at a Texas High School. 10 people are dead and nine of them students, one teacher. A 17 year old suspect is in custody. Police say they found Improvise Explosive Devices, they are urgently searching for more. We're standing by for his first initial court appearance. We'll have coverage.