Return to Transcripts main page


El Paso Suspect's Family: His Actions Were Influenced By People We Don't Know and Ideas We Don't Accept; Feds Taking Central Role in Dayton Investigation, Focused on Shooter's Obsession with Violence. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired August 6, 2019 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:17] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening from El Paso.

There is a press conference in Bellbrook, Ohio, we're expecting any moment, where the Dayton shooter lived. Authorities there are expected to read a statement from the shooter's family. It will be the first time we are hearing from that family.

So, we're obviously watching that very closely. We're going to bring that to you now. But it looks like the officer is about to start. Let's listen.

CHIEF DOUG DOHERTY, BELLBROOK, OHIO POLICE: Chief Doug Doherty, chief of the Bellbrook Police Department.

So this is our prepared statement from the Betts family. The Betts family is shocked and devastated by the events of Sunday morning in the Oregon district. They offer their most heartfelt prayers and condolences to all the victims, their families and friends.

They thank the first responders from the Dayton police and fire departments for their quick response to minimize casualties and to all who have provided aid and comfort to the victims.

We also thank Chief Doherty and members of the Bellbrook Police Department for providing a safe environment to their home. The Betts family is cooperating with law enforcement and their investigation into this tragedy. They respect the investigative process being conducted by the Dayton Police Department and the FBI, and will not comment further on this investigation.

The Betts family would like to express their enormous gratitude and love for everyone that has reached out and given their support during this awful time. They ask that everyone respect the family's privacy in order to mourn the loss of their son and daughter and to process the horror of Sunday's events. Thank you.

COOPER: All right. That was Doug Doherty, the police chief in Bellbrook, Ohio, which is where the Dayton killer's home is, reading a statement there from the family of the killer and also of the killer's sister, who was murdered in that shooting.

I want to introduce you to a former FBI official Katherine Schweit. She's literally written a book on active shooters for the FBI and Justice, a study of active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2010 in which she looks at every active shooter situation in that time frame. It's an extraordinary report.

Also joining us, CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.

Ms. Schweit, I'm wondering -- there's a lot we do not know about the Dayton shooter. There's a lot of conflicting reports about his motivation. He called himself a leftist. There were things he had tweeted out or forwarded or retweeted, I should say.

When we look at the situation in Dayton, when we look at this, what stands out to you? I think a lot of people think these people snap and just go and do this. In your study, it really shows the amount of time shooters put into these attacks.

KATHERINE SCHWEIT, FORMER SENIOR FBI OFFICIAL: They do, absolutely, Anderson. It takes time for them to decide. They could move on a pathway to violence and a quick pattern but more likely it's a lot slower they get an idea, they decide they have a grievance, whether it's real or perceived, and then they build on that grievance.

And sometimes, they may have a grievance that they don't really have a good cause for. So they're angry at their boss, right?

COOPER: Authorities sometimes call them grievance collectors.

SCHWEIT: Exactly. Grievance collectors who look for frustrate -- they're frustrated and looking for something to get them over that frustration. And they might be aggrieved that it's over the gas station guy and then it's this guy and then they continue to gather and gather.

So, sometimes they're looking for when you have somebody like what we're hearing where they might be looking at this Website and that Website, they're surfing, looking for somebody who agrees with them, somebody who they might be able to champion that same cause and say, yes, yes, that guy has the same frustration I do. It makes sense they might be looking in different areas. Sometimes it takes a while to settle who they want to be angry at and how they want to manifest that.

COOPER: Phil Mudd, here in El Paso, obviously, the motive is clear, if, in fact, the writings online --


COOPER: -- which I'm not even calling it a manifesto. It's basically the rantings of a white supremacist, a white nationalist, though he at one point denies that.

But there's a lot we don't know about the police response here. We know the first -- the call came in first officer arrived six minutes later. The protocol here in El Paso -- the protocol in El Paso is to wait for three officers and those three officers then go in to try to neutralize the threat. [20:05:12] We do not know at this point when three officers arrived,

when they went in or even if anybody went in. The police haven't even said if police went into the Walmart or interacted with the shooter. We do know, which we learned today, is that some 24 minutes or so or under after the officer arrived, the suspect was able to drive -- leave the Walmart, drive, and give himself up to a motorcycle officer who was on the periphery.

MUDD: Yes. If I were them, I would speak. I know it's frustrating, but let me give you a few reasons why. The most significant, as soon as they speak, they're on the record. If they change the story a day later, someone is going to say, why did you change the story? So, why is this complicated?

First, you've got to interview all the officers. What if their stories don't correspond? You got to re-interview them. That time takes time. There's a bunch of data in this.

Not only the initial cause, but every time a call goes in, how does it correspond to the initial timeline you set up?

Let's go 21st century. Everybody is going to send in their cell phone records of what went on here. How do you correspond that to what the police record is and determine whether those match up? So --

COOPER: So, you think them not saying the details they know thus far, it's out of understandable caution, in your opinion, until they make sure they lock down exactly what happened.

MUDD: Sure. I remember when I was dealing with fast breaking situations and we put out information too quickly and had to -- we had to correct it, people immediately assume you're trying to hide something. I wouldn't go too quickly.

COOPER: What -- Ms. Schweit, what your study did and did so brilliantly is really look at all these active shooter situations. And talk about the importance of response time, because so many of these incidents, they're done in less than five minutes. And you pointed out -- you and I talked earlier today. I think you said about half of them, the deaths occur in the first two minutes.

SCHWEIT: Yes. The first two minutes, they end, right. So, in the first -- we studied 160 incidents and 65 of those basically where we could figure out the time element very critically, just like Phil is saying, Phil and I used to work together, hi, Phil. Like we used to say of the 60-some, there were 40 -- 45 of them the police had to engage a shooter, right? But that's because the situation was over before that time.

So, of those -- even of those 60 some instances where we could nail down the time, half of them occurred in two minutes or less. They were over. Two minutes or less.

So, police response is part it have and it is really important, Anderson, because every minute, especially involving a rifle takes -- hundreds potentially more rounds, right? But a good -- an officer who dies at the scene doesn't do us any good. And I will say that one of the most surprising things that I found in doing -- in writing that research for the FBI is that of the incidents where the law enforcement officers engage the shooter, of 45 of the 160 incidents, in nearly half of those incidents, a law enforcement was killed or wounded, nine officers killed, 28, I think 27 wounded.

So, it's a very volatile situation for law enforcement and it's very -- it's understandable that law enforcement is not going to second- guess another law enforcement agency. But the protocol, it has been changing.


Phil -- when you say the protocol has been changing, in some cases, it's not --


COOPER: -- in some places, they don't wait for three officers, you're saying in some places, first officer on the scene is expected to go in?

SCHWEIT: Right. Yes, let me -- and I apologize for not continuing on that. But the protocol after -- the protocol for three officers before you go in, a lot of departments are trained that way, particularly on the West Coast, but certainly in big cities, they train three-member team and they wait and there have been plenty of instances. I think Navy Yard, they waited for a three-member training team and a lot of other places.

But you look at some place like LAX, where they had their shooting, the TSA officer was killed, the officers ran in one at a time, one at a time, one at a time. There are plenty of other instances where the officers go in one at a time to assault, and that's why it's more volatile for the officers.

But they -- we need to change that, and we've been training to change that since Sandy Hook from three to one.

COOPER: Interesting.

Phil, a lot of people, a lot of politicians have been looking at this and some of the Democrats are saying, look, we need to make domestic terrorism a crime in the same way that international terrorism is. Right now, it's not a crime in and of itself.

MUDD: Yes.

COOPER: And, you know, it's usually other charges, weapons charges, and the like, hate crimes.

MUDD: Yes.

COOPER: You say that can be a slippery slope and maybe people haven't really fully looked at the implications of that. MUDD: Look, I'm the counterterrorism guy. Let me tell you what's

going to happen if we go down that path. I'm not suggesting it doesn't happen. I'm suggesting we talk about it.

We declare formally a group, a terror group in the United States, a domestic terror group, as we've done in the past with foreign groups.

[20:10:04] COOPER: It could be a white supremacist group?

MUDD: Right wing, left wing, whatever it is. If you tell me as a former practitioner, go to take them down, I'm going to go up on your email, I'm going to go up on your phone. Furthermore, if someone contributes to financially, that's material support to terrorism, I don't think people understand what will happen to groups that today are considered free speech groups. I think it's fine, but be careful what you wish for.

COOPER: Because that's why this has not been done heretofore because of free speech issues. I mean, Americans have protections we don't give to foreign nationals.

MUDD: True, but let me go cultural and political for you for a second. When we were chasing al Qaeda and ISIS, people would say, well, heck yes. These are people coming from overseas, from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As soon as you're start chasing left wing, right wing, that's going to be the person next door. I think there are cultural dimensions to this that go beyond the law enforcement piece.

COOPER: All right. Lots to talk about in the future. Phil Mudd, thank you. Katherine Schweit, I appreciate it. Again, I read your report. It's really just extraordinary work what you and the others at the FBI did.

We're going to hear from a survivor shot here at the Walmart, the father of another whose daughter is now recovering from wounds that she suffered and ask her.

And later, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, whose constituents have suffered this pain and more from Sandy Hook, he joins us, to talk about how the Senate could do more in his view to tackle gun violence, but hasn't.


[20:15:27] COOPER: We met so many remarkably kind, strong and resilient people here in El Paso.

And Pastor Mike O'Grady is one of them. He's pastor to Prince of Peace Fellowship, former president of the local NAACP. His daughter, Michelle Elise (ph), was shot and severely wounded at the Walmart.

Pastor Grady joins me now.

Thank you so much for being with us. PASTOR MICHAEL GRADY, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Thank you.

COOPER: First of all, how is your daughter doing? Because it is extraordinary. She was shot outside the Walmart as the shooter first began.


COOPER: She was able to call your wife, her mom, and your wife came down within about six minutes, then you came down and you actually -- there weren't enough ambulances and people helping, you actually put her into a cart with the help of a Walmart person and got her to the hospital?

GRADY: Yes. We eventually got to the ramp where the ambulances were and we had to fight for a place. They were loading up and moving out and loading up and moving out and we wanted them to know that Michelle was precious to us and she needed to go next. So, we had to fight a little battle there, we had to raise our voice.

My wife was intentional and purposeful and making sure that Michelle was going to be taken care of. And we finally got her loaded on an ambulance. My wife rolled with the ambulance to UMC. I had to run back and I had to run down here and get the car and meet them at UMC. So --

COOPER: How is she doing?

GRADY: Today she's doing a little bit better. She's getting stronger every day.

COOPER: She was shot through the leg into her pelvis.

GRADY: Her abdomen. She's had surgery with that and she's working through that right now. She's a little bit coherent. She's speaking at much as she can, but she's got great spirits. We've been around the bed, we've been holding her hand, and we've been reminding her she's going to be all right, she's in the hands of the Lord and great doctors.

COOPER: I imagine you've been praying.

GRADY: Yes, we prayed for her. There are probably 10,000 people here praying for Michelle and other victims.

COOPER: You met your wife in El Paso.


COOPER: You served in the military, as assistant chaplain.


COOPER: You have counseled people. You've seen horrific things.

GRADY: Yes. COOPER: Now, you yourself are going through this.


COOPER: How do you counsel yourself? What do you tell yourself about how this happened, why this happened?

GRADY: I'm reminded that God is faithful and that God requires something of us as human and that this horrific tragedy was based on a programming. I remember when Trayvon Martin was shot and I watched over the years, things escalated and escalated and there was no retribution and no consequences for the actions. I knew this day was going to come, because, again, God holds us accountable. You reap what you sow.

And so, this thing unfolded, the Lord took me back to that place of a promise that judgment must begin. And the justice is on the nation because we walked away from the principles of love and peace and hope and faith.

COOPER: You -- it sounds to me that you would like to give that message to our leaders, to our president.


COOPER: He's coming here tomorrow. What would you say to him?

GRADY: I would say to President Trump that words matter. And once you speak words, whether they're good words or whether words of divisiveness and hatred and division, words matter. And once they're spoken, they can't be brought back. They may land in a place maybe that you may not even understand who is going to receive it --

COOPER: Or how --

GRADY: Or how they're going to receive it. So, you have the responsibility to filter your words with love. You're the president of all people of the United States. So, I think that if I had an opportunity to share with him, would I just ask him what's in your heart?

The scripture says out of the heart flows the issues of life. So, what he speaks is in his heart.

I watched the interview the other day when he tried to make some semblance of apology and I didn't see any passion. I see him reading from a monitor. I didn't see a real man standing up to taken advantage of an opportunity to say, I've done some things wrong. I said something. I called people shit-hole countries, I called people aliens, and that we're being invaded.

But you've got to reap what you sow. So, I would say, Mr. President, you created in the nation an environment where people feel that they have a right to act out in violence and in hatred. They feel they've been given permission. So, that's what I would share with him, that he has created this theme

that now permeates the air. You don't know who is going to grab it. It's like the Internet. You don't know who is going to read it, who's going to hear and what their thoughts are.

[20:20:03] COOPER: Yes.

GRADY: So, he has a responsibility to own up and then to try to heal this nation. Not just our city but the nation. It's often said that it takes a village to raise one child. What if the village is sick? Then the child is going to come out sick.

So, our nation is a big village but our nation is sick, and it's being taken advantage of because of the color of the skin, the ethnicity, the religious culture, and an opportunity to we could do good but we've allowed our evil to be more predominant. Instead of bringing people together, we've divided the nation.

COOPER: I can tell you're a good pastor. You're a talker. Your words have a lot of power. I appreciate you taking the time to be with us and, certainly, our thoughts are with your daughter and with your family.

GRADY: Thank you.

COOPER: All right. Take care.

Another person we talked to is a young man named Octavio Lizarde. He was at the Walmart with his 15 year-old nephew, Javier Rodriguez. Javier was shot and killed. He was the youngest victim here in El Paso.

Octavio was hit in the foot. He was on top of his nephew trying to protect his nephew. I talked to him a few hours ago. He underwent the second of what may be as many as six surgeries trying to save that foot.

I spoke to Octavio shortly before the surgery.


COOPER: Why were you in the Walmart that day?

OCTAVIO LIZARDE, NEPHEW KILLED IN EL PASO SHOOTING: I went to the bank. I was going to open an account and go cash my check. I was thinking of getting shoes and shirts.

COOPER: When did you realize something terrible was happening?

LIZARDE: I saw people running and next thing I knew, I heard shots fired.

COOPER: So you saw people running before you saw the shots?

LIZARDE: And running towards Walmart.

COOPER: Where were you in the Walmart?

LIZARDE: I was in the line to a bank.

COOPER: And was Javier right by you? Did you actually see the gunman?

LIZARDE: No. I glanced at him when she shot us. The only thing I saw was his glasses.

COOPER: How far away was he from you?

LIZARDE: From me?


LIZARE: From here to like my mom.

COOPER: So from the time you saw people running to when you got hit, do you know about how long that was?

LIZARDE: It felt like all this happened like 20 minutes but it felt like we were there for hours.

COOPER: Did you have time to run or were you --

LIZARDE: We went to the office. We ran in there. I threw my nephew down on the floor and I hugged him and I said don't move, don't move. If he shoots me, don't move.

I was laying on top of him when the manager came in and opened the door where they kept their money and stuff, and he didn't let anybody in. (INAUDIBLE)

At that point, I guess the gunman heard us and he came over the counter and shot us both.

COOPER: Did you see him coming closer?

LIZARDE: I heard him.

COOPER: You heard him?

LIZARDE: He kept shooting one by one in the bank.

COOPER: Was Javier saying anything? Were you speaking anything?

LIZARDE: No, not speaking at all. I didn't let him say a word because I didn't want him to be in danger.

COOPER: So you were right there when he got shot?

LIZARDE: Right in front of me.

COOPER: Had you been shot at that point?

LIZARDE: No, he shot me after. He came back and shot me, make sure I'm dead but he didn't.

COOPER: Why do you have think that is?

LIZARDE: The only explanation is god.

COOPER: How did you get out?

LIZARDE: A cop came by asking if anybody was injured. So I crawled from the bank to the entrance and he took me, put me in a shopping cart and took me and they showed me right there.

COOPER: That Javier was gone? You could tell by the injury?


COOPER: What do you want people to know about Javier?

LIZARDE: I just want them to know that he was very, very funny. We had very good times together. He loved soccer.

COOPER: Was he a better player than you?

LIZARDE: Yes. He was. By a lot.

COOPER: By a lot?


COOPER: Scorpion, that was his team?

LIZARDE: That was the logo for the school.

COOPER: The logo for the school.

LIZARDE: You know what's funny? He knew a lot about bugs.

COOPER: About bugs, really?

LIZARDE: Yes. He always saying, you know that it does this?


LIZARDE: You have time to learn that, you don't have time for math?


LIZARDE: I want everybody to appreciate everything they have, those who love them. You don't want it to get to a point where somebody dies and that's when your family comes together and friends.

[20:25:06] COOPER: The person who did this drove all the way here.

LIZARDE: Yes, honestly, I have no hate against him or anything.

COOPER: You don't?

LIZARDE: Because if God is able to forgive those who put him on the cross, and I forgive as well.

COOPER: I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear, you know, that you'd be willing to forgive this person.

LIZARDE: It might be hard for my family to forgive, but I went to church and I prayed to God before and I've always learned to forgive.


COOPER: We mentioned Octavio's second surgery on his foot. They're fighting to save that foot. He works in construction. It's crucial for him to be able to walk. His wife has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses. If you'd like to help, the address is there, the bottom of the screen. We'll also put the link on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

There's a lot more from here in El Paso. Still ahead, we're joined by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a staunch gun control advocate who remembers standing with the parents of the Sandy Hook victims and knows all too how difficult it is to get gun control through Congress. We'll talk to him about the pressure he hopes can be put on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


COOPER: CNN's Manu Raju reporting that Senator Republicans are scrambling for a legislative response in the wake of El Paso and Dayton. Sources say they're willing to look at bills that cover mental health issues, red flag legislation, and violent video games. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have a tough time attracting democratic supports. He has no plans to allow votes on background check legislation that passed the House earlier this year and that's just sitting there.

Joining us now is Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. And he's been pushing for new federal laws since a gunman killed 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He's met with countless times with parents, standing by their side, as they fight for new laws. He's also delivered a 15 hour filibuster to protest the lack of serious debate over the gun control issue after the 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting.

Senator Murphy, is anything going to change after this? I mean we've seen time and time again these massacres happen. And people have hopes for change, and call for change and it doesn't, for a lot of people, seem like it's going to be any different this time. What do you think?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, everybody that that everything had changed after Sandy Hook. People thought that we were not just going to get a universal background checks law but a reimposition of the assault weapons ban. And none of that happened because the gun lobby was too powerful. And the anti-gun violence movement simply wasn't strong enough back in 2013.

And so I become convinced, unfortunately, that this really is ultimately a question of political power. This is about winning enough elections so that it is 90 percent of our constituents that want things like universal background checks who get their say.

Now, I've been on the phone all weekend with my Republican colleagues. I think there is interest on their behalf in taking some small steps forward, but none of the things that are being proposed are going to change the reality on the ground when it comes to mass shootings or in places like Chicago where 50 people were shot this week.

And ultimately I think this is about taking this matter once again to the electorate and telling them that if you want to change the reality of gun violence in this country, you're going to have to change who controls the United States Senate and who's in the White House.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: You know, it was -- I mean, it was surprising and then it disappeared when President Trump, you know, before making a public announcement about this tweeted out that he thought some, you know, stronger background checks, that issue should be linked with immigration reform. Does that make any sense to you? I mean, he mentioned in a tweet, hasn't mentioned it since.

MURPHY: Yes, I think it was, you know, interesting that the President mentioned it in one tweet in a few hours later when he gave prepared remarks. There was absolutely no mention of any gun measures coming before Congress. He ridiculously blamed this all on mental illness and video games. We don't have any more mental illness in this country than any other nation, we just have all the mass shootings.

But I remember this because I was sitting two seats away from the President in the White House after the Parkland shooting, if you remember that televised meeting. He seemed to get behind universal background checks, bans on assault weapons, and then later that day the gun lobby came into his office and convinced him to take all of those measures off the table.

So it may be that in between sending out that tweet and then going before the cameras he was once again reminded of his gun lobby patrons. And I just don't think you can count on this President ever following through on backing really tough gun measures. I remain ready to be surprised on that count, but I've seen the President pull the rug out from under us before.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, in that meeting, I remember it, and there were a couple of meetings like that at that time, I remember him chiding with some Republican members of Congress saying that they were afraid of the NRA. And he was saying, you know, he would take the heat. That changed 24 hours later, you know, as you said, he seemed to meet with NRA people and that was that.

Senator Chuck Grassley reportedly said today that Leader McConnell's process is "based upon what he can get done with the least controversy." That doesn't sound like real change.

MURPHY: No, that's not real change. And I wish the Senate would, you know, remember what it used to be. I mean, this used to be the world's greatest deliberative body where we would put really tough measures on the floor and we would try to come to some compromise whereby we could get 50 or 60 votes.

I'm not really interested in a short circuited process in which Mitch McConnell only brings up the measures that will get 100 votes. I understand, it's tough to get 60 votes on background checks. But I've in contact with the Republicans over the weekend, I think there are some creative ideas that might be able to bring Republicans and Democrats together, but not if Mitch McConnell doesn't allow a background checks bill to the floor, not if doesn't allow us to have an open and full debate in the Senate.

So, I'm hopeful that that's going to happen. But, frankly, I think Mitch McConnell is really nervous about putting his members on record. He does not want Senate Republicans to have to choose between the majority, the vast majority of their constituents who want these new laws and the NRA, a legacy establishment facet of the Republican Party.

COOPER: So if the Republicans said, OK, look, we'll do some red flag laws, so-called red flag laws. Senator Lindsey Graham has talked about that and that's about it. Is that something you would get behind?

MURPHY: Well, again, I want to have a full and open debate on the floor of the Senate. I mean, if the majority leader wants to put a red flag law on the Senate, that's fine. But allow us to do what we are supposed to be able to do as senators, which is to try to amend that and make it stronger.

So, I have no problem with the majority leader starting a process with a piece of legislation that has greater consensus, but then let us try to amend it to make it a better law. Let us see if we can get 60 votes for something stronger than just an extreme risk protection order.

COOPER: Yes. Senator Chris Murphy, appreciate it. Thank you very much. Thanks for your time.

[20:35:02] MURPHY: Thanks.

COOPER: Up next, more on the Dayton investigation, plus a family's heartache after the mass shooting there. The final phone call one victim made after she was shot.


COOPER: Moments ago we heard a statement from the parents of the gunman in Dayton, Ohio massacre expressing their "heart felt prayers, condolences to all the victims, their families and friends."

Earlier today, authority said the gunman had been exploring violent ideologies and that he had an obsession with mass shootings, but they have no clear motive. Randi Kaye has some new reporting on his social media profile. So, Randi, what have you learned? What is the -- what have you seen?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, CNN's investigative unit has been looking into his Twitter feed, at least what appears to be the Twitter feed of the Dayton, Ohio shooter and it's a very leftist Twitter feed is what we found. He has retweeted extreme left- wing posts. He retweeted anti-police post. He also retweeted posts that are supporting the violent protest group, Antifa.

On August 3rd, that was his most recent tweet and that's also the day of the shooting as you know here in Dayton, and this is what the tweet said that he posted, "Millennials have a message for the Joe Biden generation, hurry up and die," Anderson.

COOPER: Did he tweet anything about other candidates or retweet?

KAYE: He did. He tweeted about Elizabeth Warren and he tweeted about Bernie Sanders. He tweeted support for both of them. I should also mention that he tweeted about ICE. He retweeted posts about ICE, calling them monsters. And all of this was mixed in with selfies and photos and other nonpolitical tweets. And that Twitter feed, Anderson, has been shutdown.

COOPER: It's so strange. I mean, his sister -- I mean, according to all reports, he murders his sister in that and shot the other person that he also -- the other person that came with. There's still a lot, obviously.

[20:40:00] Police have not identified about his motive or the reason that spot. There's still kind of a lot to learn. I know you spent time today with the family of one of the victims.

KAYE: Right. And they have so many questions still, Anderson, as you said, so much to learn. We spent some time with Lois Oglesby's mom. Her pain clearly still raw, but she did tell us that her daughter was a wonderful mother. Her children were always her top concern even as she took her last breath.



KAYE (voice-over): Saundra James is mourning her daughter, Lois Oglesby, who was struck by a bullet and killed in the Dayton, Ohio shooting. Lois has a 7-year-old daughter and had just given birth a couple of months ago to a baby girl. She was looking forward to a night out with her girl friends.

JAMES: She said, "Mommy, I can have fun, too." And I said, "Yes, you could have fun sometimes, too." She said, "I haven't been out, so I'm going to go out and I'm going to have some drinks." I said, "OK, be careful," and that was it.

KAYE (on camera): You told her to be careful.

JAMES: Be careful. I knew she was going to call me. I knew she was going to call me. Then she didn't call me.

KAYE (voice-over): Her mother says after Lois was shot, she called her boyfriend, who was watching the kids. (on camera) How did you find out what happened?

JAMES: We were asleep and her boyfriend called and he said, Mom -- Lois FaceTime him. He said she said she was grazed by a bullet and she said, "Babe, come and get me." He said, "No, you need to go to the hospital." She said, "No, I need to get to my kids," and then that was it.

KAYE: So she was able to FaceTime?

JAMES: She FaceTime him.

KAYE: Her boyfriend, after she had been shot?

JAMES: Yes. She thought she was grazed. She said, "I've been grazed by a bullet."

KAYE (voice-over): Saundra and her daughter's boyfriend rushed to the scene, but Lois' injuries were more severe than she thought. She died before they arrived.

JAMES: I couldn't get to where she was. He got to where -- he can see her laying there with the cover on her and he was angry because he wanted her off the ground.

KAYE (on camera): She was in the street?


KAYE (voice-over): Lois was just 27. This recent video shows Lois getting her baby girl to smile for the first time.


JAMES: I actually talked to a young lady who heard her say her last words, which was somebody get my kids. And she said they weren't there three minutes, they didn't have any drinks.

KAYE (on camera): Before it happened?

JAMES: They didn't even get inside the bar. They were outside.

KAYE: I'm so sorry.

(voice-over) Saundra says her daughter was a loving mom who loved not only her own children, but all children.

JAMES: This is Lois.

KAYE: Lois worked at a day care center and had dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse.

JAMES: My daughter was beautiful inside and out. And the love that she showed for kids, the compassion that she had for children, it was just amazing. KAYE: During Lois' first pregnancy years ago, she'd been carrying twins, but when only one survived, she explained to her daughter, Hanna (ph), that her twin sister had gone to heaven, now this.

(on camera) So, does Hanna now understand what's happened to her mom? Does she think she's gone to the same place?

JAMES: Yes, but she says she wants her to come down. She knows she's in heaven, but she wants her to come down just like it wouldn't happen. Every phone that rang from the people who were here, she kept asking, "Is that my mommy? Somebody call my mommy." She wants someone to call her mommy.


KAYE: Anderson, imagine how hard it must be for a 7-year-old to make sense of all of this when we as adults can't even understand or comprehend what's happened here. But Saundra does say that she does plan to help raise her two granddaughters. She just hopes that she can be as loving to them as their own mother was, Anderson.

COOPER: I mean, she's just extraordinary and that she's able to talk in this, the darkest moment of her grief. And I just keep thinking that, you know, in a few days or weeks, cameras are going to leave here and people are going to move on elsewhere and she and everybody here that has lost somebody, their lives are forever changed.

[20:45:01] And they're going to be expected to go back to work and move on with their lives and -- I mean, that's one of the saddest things of all, you know. Their lives are forever changed. Coming up next -- Randi, thank you for that.

KAYE: Forever.

COOPER: I really appreciate that you've been able to talk to Saundra.

Coming up next on the killings here, I want to talk to someone who spend a decade researching the white power movement and what we can learn from this and from her. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Much has been said already about the white nationalists, white supremacy motivation of the killings here in El Paso, that's because until now so much was left unsaid or went unheard.

Joining us now is author and University of Chicago Professor Kathleen Belew. Professor, thank you so much for being with us. You wrote a fascinating piece in "The New York Times" about how these shootings are "planned to incite a much larger slaughter by awakening other people," and that's in quotes, "awakening other people to join the movement."

We're talking about the El Paso shooting, what appears to be motivation at Gilroy shooting, not in the Dayton shooting. Can you just explain that? Because I think that's such an important concept, not only in how we cover it, but how people think about it that these aren't one-off incidences, these are incidences that are building on each other.

KATHLEEN BELEW, AUTHOR, "BRING THE WAR HOME: THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT AND PARAMILITARY AMERICA": Absolutely. And I think maybe the first thing to understand is what we mean when we say movement and especially the white power movement.

[20:50:05] What I'm talking about is a social groundswell of people who came together in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, including groups like Klan, Skinhead, Neo-Nazi and radical tax resistance groups in order to sort of come together in -- what they eventually declared as a war on the federal government.

Now, that conflict was inherently radical, not just sort of a defense of the nation, but an attempt at its overthrow. And the way that these acts of violence were used was not simply to create a catastrophic act of violence, but also to bring about political awakening for others to join the cause.

COOPER: And so when -- you know, the authorities talk about so-called manifesto. I mean, I've read it. It's more just a racist screed. I don't think calling it a manifesto gives it too much attention and too much credit, frankly, for intelligence.

But things like that, those are messages -- this is -- the person who did this, the people who do these kind of acts with white supremacy, white nationalist believes, they are trying to essentially encourage other people to do the same thing. It's not an end in and of itself.

BELEW: That's absolutely right. And in the case of this piece of writing, we see a very clear set of tactical instructions about use of weapons, selection of targets and other very specific information that's left there for future gunmen to follow in this person's footsteps.

COOPER: And it's interesting because, you know, these shooters reference it and many times these shooters, they reference shooters who have come before them and murdered people before them almost as sort of martyrs for this cause.

BELEW: Yes. We have in our reporting and in our popular understanding this idea of the lone wolf actor, that is a completely false and constructed idea in the case of white power violence.

What we're talking about instead is an ideological driven series of actions that are connected with one another and that have deep meaning to the people carrying them out. So whether or not you think that the piece of writing sort of represents a work of intellect is hardly the point. This is -- it's a piece of writing that's in a genre with other pieces of writing, just like these pieces of violence are connected with one another by this movement.

Now, when we do this kind of lone wolf story, one of the things we miss is the way that this is a big and broad social movement. It includes men, women and children. It included people all across the country, people of very different kinds of backgrounds, all coming together in what they see as a state of emergency and imminent racial annihilation. Now, that state of emergency --

COOPER: Even calling it White --

BELEW: -- has really pushed people to action.

COOPER: Even calling it white nationalism, I mean, from what I've read in you, it seems like a misnomer. I seems like, you know, that almost sounds like it's some sort of patriotic thing when, in fact, we're talking about white supremacists here.

BELEW: I actually think white supremacy is related, but is much broader than what we're talking about when we want to look at the violent fringe. White supremacy describes all kinds of different systems, structures and ideologies. What we're talking about is a small and finite radical group that poses an eminent threat to the nation.

But when people hear white nationalism, they often think about sort of just an over insertion (ph) of patriotism. The nation and white nationalism is not the United States, it's the Aryan Nation. It's fundamentally opposed to the interest of the United States.

COOPER: And that's incredibly important to remember. Professor Belew, I really appreciate your time. Your article in "The New York Times," I urge people to read it. It's really eye opening. Thank you.

Just ahead, as we look at the people gathered here behind me to remember the fallen, we'll also look at how this community is responding after a call went out for blood donors in the wake of the tragedy.


[20:57:28] COOPER: This is ahead of the top of broadcast. We've met some really just remarkable people here and so kind and open and wanting people to know the real El Paso. Our Gary Tuchman has an example. Take a look.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The response was immediate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the third time hold your fist.

TUCHMAN: When people in the El Paso area heard blood donations were needed following the shootings at Walmart, they turned out in huge numbers. 18-year-old Adrian Kladzyk has never given blood before.

ADRIAN KLADZYK, DONATED BLOOD IN EL PASO: I just feel that I just need to do my part in the city that I grew up in for my whole life.

TUCHMAN: Sera Spencer just moved to El Paso from New Jersey. (on camera) How did it make you feel when you heard what happened here?

SERA SPENCER, DONATED BLOOD IN EL PASO: Devastated. Devastated. I started crying.

TUCHMAN: How does it make you feel now that you're sitting in this chair, giving blood and helping people?

SPENCER: Wonderful.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): In this mostly Latino city, many tell us they are stunned at what happened here and also stunned that the fact the shooter appeared to be targeting Latinos.

VINCENT GARDEA, DONATED BLOOD IN EL PASO: It makes you angry, it really does. Sometimes, you know, it makes me cry. You know, sometimes the day it happened, it just -- I just cried because of the anger.

TUCHMAN: Jeanne and John Moore are from England, but are now dual U.K.-U.S. citizens. Before moving at Texas, they lived in Colorado.

JEANNE MOORE, DONATE BLOOD IN EL PASO: When we livid in Colorado, we lived through Columbine. So this isn't the first massacre that we've experienced and unfortunately nothing much changed.

JOHN MOORE, DONATED BLOOD IN EL PASO: It's a blight on the nation, essentially, in my opinion.

MOORE: I'm a school teacher, so -- and I walked into the classrooms and saw children from different ethnic backgrounds. I really felt and still feel that diversity is the strength of this country. And so, I'm here to support that diversity.

TUCHMAN: Supporting diversity, one of the reasons everyone we talked to was proud to be donating.


COOPER: It's incredible to see that kind of turnout. And we've seen that, I mean, all over. We've seen it in Dayton. But here, this a guy right here, Angel Gomez, with Operation H.O.P.E., El Paso. He's been helping people with funds for -- in need and also even just handing out these snow cones to police officers and everybody around here at the memorial. I mean, it's incredible, the outpouring.

TUCHMAN: I've been doing stories in El Paso for years. These are the kindest people and seeing the same thing just now. When it comes to these blood donation centers, here's the amazing, so many people have turned out. There's been a blood shortage here for months in El Paso area, but so many people have turned out. They can't take anymore walk-ins. The appointment books are all full.


TUCHMAN: They said ultimately they want to have walk-ins come in, but this week, too many because of such nice spirit here at El Paso.

COOPER: Yes. Wow, that's a great report. Gary, thank you so much. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?