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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Police: At Least 5 Dead, Multiple Wounded in Newspaper Shooting. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired June 28, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:11] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
The breaking news tonight in America is once again heartbreaking. At least five people dead, multiple wounded in a shooting this time at a newsroom. The newsroom at the "Capital Gazette" newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
A suspect is in custody. A white male. Over the next hour, we're going to have the latest on the investigation and what we're learning as details emerge. The shooting did just happen about five hours ago. So, the investigation is in the very early stages.
Police officials are expected to give an update, a press conference any moment now. We're obviously going to bring it to you live as it happens. So, stay tuned for that.
Tragically, these shootings happen so often there's a danger of becoming numb to them. In the last hour, I spoke to two journalists who work in the "Capital Gazette" newsroom, who lived through this nightmare. They were there when the shots began. I just want to play you some of what they told me when they didn't know if they would all live at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Selene, where were you? And did you -- what did you first hear?
SELEN SAN FELICE, STAFF WRITER, CAPITAL GAZETTE (via telephone): So I sit pretty close to Phil, and we sit in about the same area, but I don't know what I was -- I mean, I remember I was working at my desk when I heard the shots. And it took a couple of them for me to realize what was happening.
And I looked at Anthony, the intern, and I said I'm getting out of here, and I grabbed my purse, and I went to the back door which I was only a couple steps away from, and it was locked. And I said it's locked. At that point it was me, Anthony, and then John, and Rachel.
I'm not sure exactly in the next couple of seconds what happened, but then I know that John was standing up. I heard the footsteps. And he -- John got shot. It was very close. I saw him get shot, but I didn't see the gunman or anything. He fell down, and he never came to our side, but I did hear footsteps
very closely, and then we were trying to call 911, but -- you know, I'm sure you know the rest of the story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We'll have more from both of them in a moment. Let's listen to the press conference.
ACTING CHIEF WILLIAM KRAMPF, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY POLICE: I want to first start off by saying that we have deescalated the scene. As I mentioned before, our tactical people are out of the building. Our investigative people have entered the building and they have started their investigation.
As we already stated, we have one person, a white male in his late 30s in custody. And our criminal investigation division investigators are interviewing him now. He entered the building. This was a targeted attack on the "Capital Gazette" that is located at 888 Bestgate Road on the first floor. He entered the building with a shotgun, and he looked for his victims as he walked through the lower level.
We have secured the building. We are in the process of notifying the next of kin. We have five confirmed fatales and two injuries. The injuries to my understanding are superficial, possibly from glass from the shotgun blast.
We are working on now securing his residence. He does live in the state of Maryland. We are in the process of securing that residence and preparing for search warrants.
So, this is the next phase of this scene, and that is the investigative phase. This is the part that takes the most time.
As I would assume many of you have already heard from many other police agencies in the state of Maryland and across the country, the investigative process is very difficult. We must be thorough. That's why you will not get the information from social media or from us unless it's been confirmed.
We have allowed our investigators to do their job. They are there now, and we are going to continue to provide you with information.
Hold on one second. I want to share something with you that I think is important. We mentioned before about the improvised explosive device. That is not an IED. It was actually canisters of smoke grenades that he used inside of the building when he entered the establishment.
[20:05:00] So, this person was prepared today to come in. This person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm, and as I stated before, the investigative part of this is going to be thorough, and it's going to take some time.
As you can see behind us, we opened up Bestgate Road. We thought that we may need to secure that roadway for a long period of time. And as we get further into the investigation, we realized that we don't need that roadway.
But the building, 888 Bestgate, will be secured for some time. I do not have a time frame on that yet. We're going to be inside there for quite a bit and -- until this investigation is complete. When I have more confirmed information, I will share that confirmed information with you.
REPORTER: You said he targeted specifically this newspaper. Exactly what was his beef with this newspaper?
KRAMPF: That's what we're investigating now.
REPORTER: But there are already reports he had a history with the newspaper a couple years ago.
KRAMPF: That's what I'm hearing, but before we confirm that, I need our investigators to go and look into that and make sure that's correct.
REPORTER: Does he live in Annapolis?
REPORTER: Was there difficulty initially identifying the man that you went through a process of facial recognition to get identification?
KRAMPF: No. I can't share that with you. It's the first time I've heard facial recognition.
REPORTER: Is he being cooperative? Is he answering questions?
KRAMPF: I can't answer that. He is at our criminal investigation division. Our detectives are down there with him. I've not interrupted them to ask if he's being cooperative.
REPORTER: When we get information on the suspect?
KRAMPF: You'll have the information as soon as we confirm it.
REPORTER: Is this somebody who was known to you, chief?
REPORTER: Can you confirm if the suspect had a connection? Can you tell us?
KRAMPF: The only connection I can tell you about right now is possibly, possibly through social media. I have no other confirmation.
REPORTER: Anybody in your department have any issues with this guy in the past or any other departments?
KRAMPF: We're still looking into that. I cannot confirm if our department has come in contact with him. We will have that at a later time as well.
REPORTER: Any comment from any family members?
REPORTER: Is he a resident of Maryland? Can you tell us if he's a resident of Maryland or he came from outside?
KRAMPF: He's a resident of Maryland.
REPORTER: You said he was walking and looking for --
KRAMPF: That's going to be part of the investigation. I can't confirm for you whether or not he knew employees or if he just targeted the business in general.
REPORTER: Can you tell us where in Maryland he's a resident?
REPORTER: When are you going to be able to confirm his identity, chief?
KRAMPF: Very soon. Very soon.
REPORTER: Was this a sporting shotgun, a tactical shotgun, and can you provide information about the smoke grenades, if there were commercially available or --
KRAMPF: I don't have that information. I will find out.
REPORTER: You said all the people shot in the newspaper office --
KRAMPF: I can't confirm that. They were shot on the first floor.
REPORTER: Deputy Chief, there's talk about the gunman trying to hide his identity in certain ways, maybe with his fingerprints burned off and things. Can you confirm any of that?
KRAMPF: I cannot. It's the first I heard facial recognition and the first I've heard anything about fingerprints. We have no verification on either.
REPORTER: Were there any threats on social media or directly sent to --
KRAMPF: We know there were threats sent to the "Capital Gazette" through social media.
REPORTER: By this person?
KRAMPF: He's in his late 30s.
REPORTER: By this person, those threats were sent by this person?
KRAMPF: No, the threats were sent over social media. We're trying to confirm what account that was and we're trying to confirm who actually sent them.
REPORTER: When were the threats sent?
KRAMPF: I'm sorry, what? Hold on one second. How long ago -- to my knowledge, those threats were as early as today.
REPORTER: Can you tell us about the broken windows on the fourth floor?
KRAMPF: I can't answer that. The broken windows on the fourth floor, as I mentioned before, we have a two-phase approach. One is tactical. One is investigative. Those broken windows on the fourth floor, probably, and I will confirm this, but I'm almost positive they came from our tactical guys.
REPORTER: Deputy Chief, were all the five fatalities employees of the "Capital Gazette"?
KRAMPF: I can't confirm that.
REPORTER: Have you had a chance to see the surveillance videos yet?
KRAMPF: We have not. That's a great question. In fact we're pulling them as we speak. We have property managers here. We have everybody that's associated with that building.
Here's the interesting part. Governor Hogan and Mr. Schuh, our county executive, has mentioned this numerous times. If you see this gentleman behind me from the Red Cross, we've had so much support from around this state, not only law enforcement but both private and public sector.
[20:10:05] And this gentleman is one of them from the Red Cross that has come and just asked what they can do. And that's important for us. We have to take care of a lot of people in a scene like this, not only police officers but our victims, our victims' families, and then we have to get everybody back to normal, right? That's our job.
So that's why we have these people here.
REPORTER: Chief, can you tell us anything about how he was apprehended?
KRAMPF: I can't -- that's part of the investigation. And when I'm able to give that information to you, I will.
REPORTER: Was there any security in place given the fact that they got threats?
REPORTER: How about his age?
KRAMPF: Late 30s.
REPORTER: Was there any security in the building given the fact they were dealing with threats?
KRAMPF: We don't know that yet. That's part of the investigation. We're looking into that as well. Based on the threats, not to my knowledge, no.
REPORTER: Was there any call to your department for any protection or any kind of response to a threat?
KRAMPF: If they have, I'm not aware of that personally, but we will look into that, because of the threats and we'll get back to you on that with that information.
REPORTER: Chief, were you able to take his fingerprints?
KRAMPF: Say that again?
REPORTER: Were we able to take his fingerprints?
KRAMPF: Were we able to take his fingerprints? That will be part of the booking process. Yes, eventually, his fingerprints will be taken.
REPORTER: There were reports he changed his fingerprints --
KRAMPF: Yes, I want to be really clear about this, guys. We have no information about facial recognition or anything about his fingerprints. If I had that information, I would give it to you, but we don't have that.
REPORTER: You guys are trying to verify the social media account. Can you talk about the specificity of the threat? Can you talk about the threat? What kind of threats were made?
KRAMPF: What I can share with you now is they were general threats toward the "Capital", the "Capital" as a media outlet.
REPORTER: I mean, was it saying I want to kill somebody? Was it harm they were threatening or just saying I'm never going to buy your paper again? Give me some idea of the level of threat.
KRAMPF: That's a good question. When I have that information available, I will be more specific on the threats.
REPORTER: Can you say they were violent threats?
REPORTER: Were they involving a specific story?
REPORTER: Can you say that they were violent threats?
KRAMPF: They indicated violence.
REPORTER: Was he targeting anyone specific at the paper? KRAMPF: I can't answer that. We do not have any -- we have no
knowledge at all that he was targeting anyone specific at "The Capital". No.
REPORTER: Deputy Chief, has the capital talked to you recently about threats? Had they personally talked to you? Did you guys have a conversation on that?
KRAMPF: No. Look, I want to be clear about another point. The "Capital" newspaper is our local newspaper. We interact with the "Capital" newspaper daily.
Lieutenant Frashure is our public information officer. We have friends at the "Capital" newspaper. We speak with these men and women on a daily basis to get stories out that are important to the citizens of this county.
So, we're here. We're invested. We're going to get this investigation right. And we're going to come back and we're going to give you credible, confirmed information to answer all your questions.
REPORTER: When are we going to have a name on the suspect?
REPORTER: Was there a boosted police presence after the threats were issued?
KRAMPF: Say that again.
REPORTER: Was there a boosted police presence of any kind after the threats were issued?
REPORTER: Have they been released? Are they minor injuries or --
KRAMPF: I can't answer that. We have two individuals at Anne Arundel and we have one at shock trauma.
All right. One more. That's it.
REPORTER: Was there any indication of tactical training of any kind?
KRAMPF: No, we do not know that yet.
REPORTER: Will you release the name tonight?
LT. RYAN FRASHURE, ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY POLICE: Just to update you guys, with the next briefing. We don't anticipate having any further information until tomorrow morning with releasing the suspect's name. As you know, there's a lot of investigation that's going on right now. So, we don't want to jeopardize any of that.
Again, we just from the Anne Arundel County police department. Like the chief said, we interact with these reporters every day like we do a lot of you guys that are local reporters. So, I think sometimes in the major events, that gets lost. So, you know, our thoughts and prayers go out to these victims, to the victims' families and to friends. So, these are people that we knew personally --
COOPER: If you're just joining us, we heard the latest information from authorities. There were social media threats made. That's the only kind of threats that they are aware of or confirming at this point. One of those social media threats or at least one of them was made as early as today, earlier today.
The person who is accused of this, they say is in their late 30s. They've not given out a name. They say this was a targeted attack on the "Capital Gazette." That this person looked for his victims, five fatalities, two superficial injuries from broken glass or trying to escape from the shooter.
[20:15:09] They are in the process of getting search warrants. They have secured this person's house. They haven't entered the house. They're getting search warrants first.
This person also in addition to a shotgun had smoke grenades which they used, all of which showed a level of preparation according to law enforcement. In a moment, we're going to have my complete interview with two reporters who were there when all of this happened who hid under their desks. Their accounts are chilling. We go into a lot of detail with them. So, we're going to bring you that interview in a moment.
But I want to bring in our law enforcement analyst, our former FBI supervisory agent Josh Campbell is with us, CNN legal and national security analyst and former FBI special agent, Asha Rangappa, and CNN law enforcement annals and retired FBI supervisory special agent, James Gagliano.
Josh, police are saying a targeted attack. I'm wondering at this stage, and again, this is very early hours, what stands out to you based on what we just learned?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So, that statement was a main take away for me. We've been reporting on this for a number of hours. And, obviously, the question always starts with, you know, why did this person do this? What was the motive? Was there a connection or was it random?
That was the question we've been looking to answer. Was this targeted? As my colleague Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz have been reporting, along with talking to some of our sources, that there was a connection, and as we've learned at the press conference, police are on the verge of entering a residence while they continue to gather information and no doubt will get more. But that at least answers that question.
The one remaining factor for me is obviously we look at some of the evidence that we've heard, these devices and obviously the individual there, you know, walking on the first floor and seeking to take life.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the conclusion that this was targeted was based on that evidence alone or whether the subject is indeed cooperating with the authorities. We've been talking to our sources. And, you know, the last several hours, we've learned that at one point, he wasn't cooperative, but that change at anytime when law enforcement, if they finally convinced him it's in his best interest to talk.
So, a lot of unanswered questions. The last thing, Anderson, is, you know, we have this issue of social media. That's something the law enforcement officers will look at anyway in a situation trying to determine what are the mediums that someone uses to communicate. The fact that that medium may also have been used as a threat will be of interest to law enforcement officials as this long-term investigation continues.
COOPER: Yes. James, the shooter was not carrying ID, according to sources, and as Josh was just talking about, based on sources that he reportedly wasn't cooperative. There was also a report he had somehow altered his fingerprints, though the chief of police there would not confirm that.
For you, what is all of this say about the level of preparation? The smoke canisters as well?
JAMES GAGLIANO, RETIRED FBI SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT: First of all, in crisis incidents, inaccurate information is always a problem we have to sift through. So the chief was very clear there. He said we're going to be careful. Anything we put out is going to be very accurate. We don't want to put out anything erroneous.
We heard some reports maybe fingerprints were altered. And things like that.
COOPER: Earlier reports also said potential IEDs, improvised explosive device. He's corrected that, saying no, what it was, it was smoke canisters.
GAGLIANO: Exactly. I think sometimes for civilians they look at a smoke canister and might think it's an IED. Well, it's a pyrotechnic. It could be used for that, I mean, it causes fire and obviously smoke.
What those things are used for from a military perspective, you know, you use those to signal and you use those to obscure. Now, using them in this kind of situation, did he use that as a distraction? Did he use it as something that was going to cause fear and panic? That's quite possible.
But the other thing that struck me was his selection of his weapon. It was a shotgun. Now, the chief didn't say whether it was buck shot or he had loaded with bird shot or a slug. Because a slug round is a dangerous round. They're much less accurate because it's a scatter gun type device.
And, obviously, a lot of people have shotguns for home defense. So probably didn't raise any suspicions that he purchased this or had this weapon available. But not the kind of weapon we've seen generally speaking in these types of incidence.
COOPER: Asha, I mean, again, it is very early in this investigation. The motive, which is obviously very important in every situation but in this as well, not yet determined. We don't know why this newsroom was perhaps targeted, even if the shooter knew any of the victims or editors at the paper.
The two people who lived through this who I'm going to talk to, reporters, very distinctly describe the path that this gunman took through the newsroom and where people were and who it was that he seemed to, in their opinion, be looking for. But, again, we don't know yet motive. Some threats were made over social media.
At this point what do investigators -- what do they do to try to determine motive? Obviously, there's the interview process, whether or not he's being cooperative, that's unknown at this point.
ASHA RANGAPPA, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Right. Well, obviously speaking directly with the shooter. He's still alive. He's going to be able to give them the best information.
[20:20:02] I think they're going to want to confirm this is what it sounds like, but they're going to want to know was he doing this alone? Or was this in coordination with anybody or did anybody know about this? And a lot of clues about motive might come from the people around him, friends and family.
If he was doing this alone, you know, lone wolf shooters are very difficult to identify and prevent ahead of time, because usually the people who are seeing signs of it are the people closest to this person. And just to relate this back to kind of a bigger conversation that we've had this week about civility and rhetoric, you know, lone wolf actors are often alienated individuals who are looking to displace their anger and frustration onto some kind of outside entity or enemy, and I think it's worth pointing out that we've had a constant rhetoric coming even from the president that the press is the enemy of the people, that's been repeated constantly, and I think it's worth noting that if there is a link here, that the publication was being targeted that that kind of rhetoric can be very dangerous in these times.
COOPER: And again, we don't know the history, if this person does have some sort of history with this newspaper, how far back it goes. The police chief was talking about perhaps even years but there was a social media threat made today.
Joining me right now is Lieutenant Frashure.
Lieutenant, I appreciate you being with us.
At this stage, you -- can you stay whether or not that the shooter is cooperating with authorities?
FRASHURE: At this point, we're not saying whether he is cooperative or not, but we do have him down at our CID building, our Criminal Investigation Division. He's being interviewed by our detectives and they're trying to find out as much information as possible.
So, it's still very early on in the investigation. As you know, unfortunately since we've seen these tragic incidents happen across the nation, this is the investigative part, which takes a very, very long time. So, it's something that our investigators, we have several investigators assigned to this. And, you know, they're interviewing him and witnesses.
We had approximately 170 people inside that building that we were able to get out safely that are all central witnesses. So, our detectives are interviewing all those people, as well as collecting video surveillance from the building, from surrounding buildings.
So, right now, we still have a lot of leg work to do. It's just the tip of the iceberg. But, you know, we're up to the task and we're going to make sure that we get justice for these people who have lost their lives. Certainly, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.
You know, it's interesting from a PIO standpoint, because this is our local newspaper. These are people that I had personal close relationships with. Many of the people in our department have dealt with them on a regular basis. So, it hits very close to home when it's people that you know.
FRASHURE: So, it's very unfortunate, and, again, our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
COOPER: Yes. PIO is public information officer for our viewers.
You talk about a search warrant. You're getting a search warrant right now in order to be able to enter the property. How long a process is that to get a search warrant?
FRASHURE: Yes, well, it kind of depends on the case. At this point, we don't have -- we're in the process of that. That's one of the many things that our detectives will continue to do throughout the night into tomorrow. Once we're able to identify locations that we believe we have probable cause to go in and get search warrants for, those will be served. So, it's on a case by case basis.
COOPER: But you secured the area around this person's house, is that right? House or apartment, I assume?
FRASHURE: That I can't confirm. So, I don't have that information. But it certainly is part of the process. I don't know if we're there at this moment.
But again, certainly part of the process. That's one of the steps, one of the procedures when we obtain a search warrant for an address. COOPER: I talked to two of the reporters who lived through this, who
were describing, this was all happening on the first floor. This office was on the ground floor. How easy was it to enter the building and how close was the newsroom to the entrance of the building?
FRASHURE: Yes. So, when you enter the building, the newsroom is on the first floor. It's an accessible building. When you walk into the building, there are several other businesses and places of employment there, there's doctor's offices and other businesses. So, to get in there, it's very easy, open access. So, it would have been easy for him to get inside the building.
You know, to what extent he knew about the building, we're not sure. We do know at this point that this appears to be a targeted event. It's pretty clear from the evidence that's left behind, and with the damage that was done, that he had -- he went into that building to kill people. There's no doubt in our mind with that. So, he went in there with a purpose.
And, luckily he was engaged very, very quickly by our officers. I believe we were there within a minute and quickly engaged the individual and certainly protected a lot of people in there. Who's to say how many lives could have been lost? So --
COOPER: Yes. A minute is --
FRASHURE: Certainly, we're very proud of our officers that got there.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, a minute is an extraordinary response time. Oftentimes, it takes, you know, five minutes for police to arrive on a scene like this. So, that's an extraordinary response time.
Just you talk about this as being a targeted attack and that he went there to kill individuals.
[20:25:06] To your knowledge, was he targeting individuals? Did he know specific people that he was wanting to do harm to, or was it not so directed just targeted against the paper in general? Do you know at this stage?
FRASHURE: Yes, yes. I understand. That's a great question.
To my knowledge, I don't have specifics of any individual or reporter that he targeted. It is my understanding that he had some type of conflict with the paper in general. So we don't have any information at this point that he was targeting one individual reporter or anything like that. It just seems like he was upset with the paper as a whole.
COOPER: And I know this was asked at the press conference. Can you just confirm if the shooter said something, yelled something, when he was being taken into custody? And if so, what that as?
FRASHURE: Yes. To my knowledge, I don't know of anything that he has said. So, I know detectives are continuing to try to get information from him. There's been a lot of information on social media. You know, social media can be a good thing or a bad thing.
So, at this point, it seems like a lot of information, a lot of rumors are spreading. Has he obliterated his fingers or fingerprints and stuff? That's simply not true. That stuff has kind of I guess spun out of control.
Yes, you know, we have him in custody. We're talking to him and doing everything we can to try to find out a motive. How long this was planned.
So, there's a lot of questions we still need answers to, and, you know, we're going to stay at it all night into tomorrow. We anticipate a briefing tomorrow morning with the suspect's name and some further information. So, we know it's important to get it out to the public.
But again, you know, this is a community down here in Annapolis, we're all very tight. This was our local paper. So, we had a lot of good relationships with them. Our hearts and prayers go to the victims and the victims' friends and families.
COOPER: I'm going to let you go. But just -- you said it's not true about the fingerprints and the chief had said that was the first he was hearing about it. He hadn't said that it absolutely not true. So, I'm just for clarification's sake, you're saying there was no attempt or something to do with fingerprints, altering of any kind of fingerprints?
FRASHURE: Not to my knowledge. No, we saw that on social media, and spoke to detectives down at our criminal investigation division. They had no idea where that information came from. That's not true.
COOPER: All right. Good clarification. Lieutenant Frashure, I appreciate it. I know you have a busy night ahead of you. Thank you for all of your efforts.
Just ahead, we're going to hear more of my conversation with two staff writers at the "Capital Gazette". Really, I want you to hear what they had to say to describe what they saw during this day in their newsroom, hiding under their desks. What they saw and heard, that's next.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The "Capital Gazette" is a local newspaper. You may have paper like it in your town. Some of the staff members tweeted earlier tonight that it's not a big news room. They're close and their family and they're devastated.
One staff writer, Phil Davis, wrote this tweet now long after the shooting said there's nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload. Just before air I spoke with Phil Davis, and another Capital Gazette staff writer Selene San Felice. Understandably, some of their descriptions are emotional, and there is some strong language.
COOPER: Phil and Selene, I'm so glad you're both safe. I'm so sorry for all that's gone on. Phil, if you can start just kind of walk us through what you saw, what you heard. Because I know you tweeted that the gunman shoots through the glass door to the office?
PHIL DAVIS, CAPITAL GAZETTE STAFF WRITER (via telephone): Yes. So the timeline is -- I'm struggling exactly to remember when it happened. I'm sure police described it, but one gunman shot through the glass door to our office. We are in a shared office building. We're in one of the suites. And started opening fire on several of the employees inside. Once he got entry.
COOPER: What floor are you on?
DAVIS: So we're on the first floor.
DAVIS: And we're relatively close to the main entrance, and as we're a suite that's right near the main entrance. And there's a list in the front of the building that shows where each office is, and where in the building.
COOPER: You said he shot through the front door. Did you actually see him, or did you hear that?
DAVIS: I did not see him do it, but I did see the door shatter. Essentially he shot through the front door. The glass shattered. I turned around to see it. And then once I started to realize that something was up, I didn't know what it was, I just assumed the worst, and kind of hid under my desk and didn't see anything after that until he was apprehended.
COOPER: And Phil, you said the initial shot though -- that you saw the shattering. How quickly after that were there further shots?
DAVIS: I mean, and, you know, Selene, correct me if I'm wrong but it seemed pretty instantaneous. It was going down our news room, starting from the front, and yes, just continually shooting people. At one point I'm pretty sure I heard him reload while I was still under my desk where he was only a few feet away from him, and I mean it wasn't -- it was not a long event. I mean, it's certainly felt like an eternity. And I'm sure anyone else that are going through something like this would say the same thing, but it -- in all honesty, it was probably took all of two to three minutes.
COOPER: Selene, where were you and did you -- what did you first hear?
SELENE SAN FELICE, CAPITAL GAZETTE STAFF WRITER (via telephone): So I sit pretty close to Phil. And we're staying about the same but I don't know what I was -- I mean remember I was working at my desk when I heard the shots. And it took a couple of them for me to realize what was happening. And I looked at Anthony, the intern. And I said I'm getting out of here. And I grabbed my purse and went to the back door which I was only a couple steps away from, and it was locked. And I said it's locked. And at that point it was me, Anthony, and then John McNamara and Rachael Pacella, and Anthony and I got under the desk.
[20:35:03] Rachael went to the door, but she tripped, and I think that's how she ended up getting hurt. And I think she got behind a filing cabinet, and I think John was still trying to get out the door. I'm not sure what -- I'm not sure exactly in the next couple seconds what happened, but then I know that John was standing up. I heard the footsteps, and he -- John got shot. It was very close. I saw him get shot, but I didn't see the gunman or anything. He fell down. And I mean, I heard footsteps a couple times. My purse was on the floor just away from the desk, and my sunglasses were on the floor. And I'm sure I was breathing really loud, and I was trying not to, but I just -- I couldn't be quiet, and he never came to our side, but I did hear footsteps very closely, and then we were trying to call 9-1-1, but I'm sure you know the rest of the story.
COOPER: And I know as Phil said, Selene, I mean time is difficult to tell in a situation like this. Were -- was anybody saying anything? Was the gunman saying anything? Were people being quiet? Do you remember the sounds?
SAN FELICE: I just remember the shots. I just remember -- I don't remember if it was before or after the shot John said what the fuck, and those are the only words I can remember. I don't know. I didn't hear anybody yelling. We just from the sounds we knew what was happening. But I didn't hear anything else besides the shots.
DAVIS: Yes. I would say that's accurate. It was -- I think as soon as everyone found out, everyone got it, they tried to hide under their desks, but it was clear that he went after some people that were --
COOPER: And Phil, I mean, I know you're a crime reporter. I mean, you covered this kind of stuff professionally. Obviously it's completely different thing when it's you underneath the desk. Can you just describe what was going through your mind?
DAVIS: I mean, I'll tell you when it first started to happen, I mean, you just immediately go into panic mode. You don't know why they're there, who they're going after, if it's random, if it's not family or a domestic dispute or what have you. So you just try to get yourself out of it, and then once I started hearing that he was kind of making his way up the hall, or up the alley way or whatever you want to call it that runs through the pit of desks in our office, just trying to stay quiet, hoping that the glow of my computer screen didn't point out the fact that I was hiding under my desk, hoping that the various buzzings on my phone wouldn't put out my position to him and ultimately try to get -- him try to find out where he was. You know, at some point when I was listening to him reload, it's -- you know, are we all going to die? It's not necessarily is he done. It's is he not going to leave until everyone in here is dead? SAN FELICE: Yes. That was about the same for me.
COOPER: And had you -- Selene, had you and your colleagues done any active shooter training drills, or any even fire escape kind of drills?
SAN FELICE: No. We've just -- no. We cover the drills that happen at the schools. But, like, we've never had one, and --
DAVIS: There have been some talks. Not about in too much but there have been some talks. We're part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group that I can remember of, you know -- and again, I'm not trying to attribute it to anyone, but simply a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to news rooms as to protect their own and the likes. There were some talks before, but we never went -- underwent any of that sort of training.
COOPER: And Phil, had you or any of your colleagues seen the shooter before?
DAVIS: No. Well, I don't want to speak for everyone. Because we're not all here on this call. And I know at least one other person that wasn't in the office, and I imagine some others as well, were questioned because they were with me at the police department. But when the police showed me the photo of the guy, I didn't see him until after they brought me into the department. He didn't stand out to me as someone that either we would have known or should have known.
[20:40:01] COOPER: And was anybody aware of any threats made at all to the office? Obviously you news rooms are sometimes received threats?
DAVIS: Not recently. You know, I don't know, honestly I've been there for about two years. I don't think we'd ever -- correct me if I'm wrong, Selene, I don't think we'd ever discussed any sort of real adamant threat certainly, you know, some -- you know, more animated comment every ones in while they say, you're not going to antagonize them or whatever because you just never know but never any sort of real threats or anything came across our desks to our knowledge. No.
COOPER: And --
SAN FELICE: Um.
COOPER: Sorry, go ahead, Selene.
SAN FELICE: I'm sorry. I just -- yes. I just -- we'd had maybe, like, an incident where somebody was trying to like track our boss, but -- I mean it was basically blown off as, like, oh, this is just a crazy person. And I mean we went to the police about it like they know about that, and that is not this person. And I have to say that what happened here was very calculated. But not personal enough, I think. I think that this person was going after editors, and I could be wrong, right? Like I don't know anything, but that's what happened here. Editors died. And -- but -- yes.
COOPER: You think that might have been intentional or is that based on where people were sitting?
SAN FELICE: I mean, I don't know for sure. It's just the facts. Editors died, and that's all I know.
DAVIS: Yes, the path that he took, and believe had not -- I don't know about Selene, I have not connected with some of the advertising people who are up in the front during the time that it was happening, but the path that he took, I don't know, as Selene said, John was trying to get out. Maybe it was just an opportunistic shot. But I know two of the editors that he went after were in a similar position to the other reporters where they were at their desks.
COOPER: Can you say what he looked like, Phil?
DAVIS: I can -- yes. So police showed us a photo of him once they brought us into the department. He was kind of a say maybe late 20s, early 30s. White male. Maybe 5'7", 5'10" in height long, black hair. It was kind of unkempt. Not a very descript face, like -- I mean, no distinguishing features on the face that would make him stand out in a lineup outside of his hair, really.
COOPER: And Selene, how are you holding up?
SAN FELICE: I mean, I watched someone die, so not super great. I was under the desk with Anthony, and I think we had a lot of support with each other. I could be definitely, obviously, doing worse, but it's hard for me to think past the next 30 minutes right now in my life. 30 minutes is a long time, and I just -- the answer is not good. Right? But I'm here and I'm talking to you. And I know that a lot of people are listening. I have heard that President Trump sent his prayers. We -- I'm not trying to make this political, right? But we need more than prayers. I appreciate the prayers. I was praying the entire time I was under that desk. I want your prayers, but I want something else.
DAVIS: Yes. There's -- No. It's -- and many people that don't know what it's like and certainly I would never hope anyone to go through a situation like we just went through. It makes you feel powerless. It makes you feel helpless. It removes all control from every facet of your life within only a few seconds once you understand what's happening.
And, you know, this is a situation where these are people that were working in an office doing their job who had no reason, at least to the best of our knowledge to think that someone like this would have a motive, come down and gun down employees who were just doing their job that day. Who had no seeming motive to hate this man, and were -- you know, to Selene's point about prayers, you know, you're right. I was praying when he started reloading that shotgun that there weren't going to be more bodies. And you know what? If we're going to have a position in our society where all we offer each other is prayers, then where are we? Where are we as a society? Where people die and that's the end of that story.
[40:45:26] SAN FELICE: This is going to be a story for how many days? Less than a week. People will forget about us after a week unless we keep tweeting. I don't really care about tweeting right now. People are -- this is -- I honestly didn't even expect to be talking with Anderson Cooper today. I thought people would get, like, an apple news notification, and they would just blow it off like what happens to everybody.
I reported on pulse when pulse happened. I went to school in Florida, and I remember being so upset hearing about the victims who were texting their families and there I was, sitting under a desk texting my parents, telling them I loved them, and I just -- I just don't know what I want right now. Right? But I'm going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers, because it's our whole lives have been shattered. And so thanks for your prayers, but I couldn't give a fuck about them if there's nothing else.
COOPER: Selene and Phil, again, I'm sorry it's under these circumstances, but I appreciate the strength of you both talking. Thank you.
SAN FELICE: Thank you.
COOPER: We'll have more on what happened ahead. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Again, our breaking news, police say at least five people are dead and two wounded at the shooting of a Maryland newspaper. We'll bring you any updates warranted.
[20:50:06] Some other stories happening today, President Trump proved again today that the Russia investigation is very far from his mind. In a tweet he wrote Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. Where's the DNC server? Why didn't shady James Comey in the now disgrace FBI agent taking closely, exam it? Why isn't Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption. This of course despite the nation's intelligence community declaring time again that Russia did in fact middle in the 2016 presidential campaign. The Russia investigation was back-dropped to an often contentious here on Capitol Hill today. Conservatives on the house judiciary committee squared off against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It was pretty remarkable on a lot of different fronts. Jessica Schneider has details.
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am the deputy attorney general of the United States, OK? I'm not the person doing the redacting.
REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: You're the boss, Mr. Rosenstein. Did you threaten staffers on the house intelligence committee? Media reports indicate you did. ROSENSTEIN: Media reports are mistaken.
JORDAN: Who are we supposed to believe? Staff members who have worked with, who have never misled us, or you guys who we've caught hiding information from us who tell a witness not to answer our questions? Who are we supposed to believe?
ROSENSTEIN: Thank you for making clear it's not personal, Mr. Jordan.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight Republicans on the House judiciary committee lashing out at the Trump appointed Republicans who lead the FBI and the Department of Justice.
JORDAN: You haven't complied with requests from a separate and equal branch of government that you haven't complied with subpoenas and you got seven days to get your act together?
SCHNEIDER: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein responding in a rare display of frustration.
ROSENSTEIN: If you're interested in the truth, Mr. Jordan, the truth is we have a team of folks. They're Trump appointees and career folks and they're doing their best to produce these documents. I'm not trying to hide anything from you.
SCHNEIDER: The FBI Director Christopher Wray said hundreds of thousands of pages have already been provided to the Hill including documents related to criminal investigations.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: For months we've been working with your committees to make witnesses available, answer questions and produce or make available to you and your staff over now 880,000 pages. In just the past week, for example, we've had approximately 100 employees working day and night dedicated to this project.
I didn't think I was going to be spending the first 10 months of my job staring down the barrel of a contempt citation.
SCHNEIDER: But the answers didn't seem to satisfy Republicans on the committee who continue to work to discredit the Mueller investigation. Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy who spent more than two years investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi said it was time to end the Mueller investigation that's been running for 15 months.
REPRESENTATIVE TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This country is being hurt by. We are being divided. We've seen the bias. We've seen the bias. We need to see the evidence. If you have evidence of wrong doing by any member of the Trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury, whatever you got. Finish it the hell up. This country is being torn apart.
SCHNEIDER: Republicans also continued to seize on the anti-Trump text messages between two FBI officials involved in the initial stages of the Russia probe to suggest the Mueller investigation was tinted.
GOWDY: For them it was an investigation to stop Donald Trump. SCHNEIDER: Democrats argue Republicans are only making document requests for sensitive materials now to give the President a pretext for firing Rosenstein who oversees the Mueller probe.
REPRESENTATIVE LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: They want to impeach you and indict you and get rid of you. They want to undermine this investigation. So Mr. Rosenstein, good luck. We're in the minority.
COOPER: Jessica Schneider joins us now. There was another exchange -- test exchange with the Congressman Jordan and Rosenstein where Jordan cited an unspecified media report?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's right, Anderson. So Congressman Jordan, he asked Rosenstein, did you threaten House Intelligence Committee staffers? Now, what Jordan was referring to right there was a Fox News report saying that Rod Rosenstein had threatened to subpoena phone and e-mail records of committee staffers during a January meeting.
Now, the Fox report cited staffer's e-mails, as well anonymous sources. But the DOJ and Rosenstein and even the Attorney General Jeff Sessions they have repeatedly said Rosenstein never threatened anyone. And today at the hearing Rosenstein reiterated that the Fox report was wrong and when Jordan pressed again and he asked Rosenstein, did you threat ton subpoena phone calls, well, Rosenstein responded saying, well, it's not even possible to subpoena calls themselves. That sent the room into a bit of muted laughter, but Rosenstein, Anderson, he was firm and even said it was wrong for Jordan to personally attack him. So very fiery exchanges, for sure.
COOPER: Yes, Jessica Schneider thanks very much.
[20:54:56] Coming up, first lady Melania Trump visiting a detention facility, another one for migrant children. Her second visit to a border state. This is HHS refuses to answer simple questions about the children who have separated from their families. Details on that, next.
COOPER: The past few nights, we've been looking for answers about the children still separated from their parents along the border. The Department of Health and Human Services continues just don't told reporters seeking details on the status of the migrant families. Our Sunlen Serfaty joins us now with that she did and didn't learn today. So you've been asking HHS a lot of questions this week. You ask more today, what kind of answers, if there any, did you get?
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't have many answers, Anderson. We have asked them a very specific group of questions everyday and simply -- but we have no answers as of tonight. We have asked HHS are you still receiving children who have been separated from their parents. They haven't answered that. We asked for a full accounting for the number of children who have been reunified with potentially either parent or guardian. They have not answered that. And we've asked the most basic question, what are the ages of these children that are still being held? And they have not answered that.
Now, today we got a new statement from an official at HHS, they said only that they are currently holding 11,869 kids. Now, that is not something that we asked. And that's something that we already knew. Because that includes this broader number that includes some minors that showed up at the border unaccompanied without an adult in addition to the kids who had been separated from their families. So essentially that number provides us less information than we knew a few days ago by grouping those two groups kids together.
Earlier today up here on Capitol Hill a hand full of senators were briefed by DHS, HHS and the DOJ about this and Senator Durbin left that briefing frustrated. He called it sad and embarrassing the level of information they received. Here's how he recalled that briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: How many children have we separated from their parents and have in our custody in our government? They said we don't know. How many are under the age of five? Because the court order, the decision out of San Diego two days ago said within 14 days they have to be reunited with their parents. We don't know. Well, how many parents can you identify that have given up their children into our government? They said 10. Ten. Under ICE in custody. Where are the rest of them? Those are parents of kids under the age of five. We don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERFATY: Now, we did receive some new information of the location of the kids. This was a map I want to show you. This was put together by the DHS, but it was obtained by CNN through a government source.
Now, this shows where those children who are still separated from their families currently are. You'll see them across 16 states. Most of them no surprise there, in Texas with 944 kids, and Arizona 379. New York 327.