Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Boulder Police: Multiple People Killed In Store Shooting; White House: Biden Briefed On Deadly Colorado Shooting; AstraZeneca: Vaccine 79 Percent Effective Against COVID Symptoms, 100 Percent Effective Against Severe Cases. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 22, 2021 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

MICHAEL DOUGHERTY, BOULDER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: And Chief Jokerst would be out to provide more information for family members to contact the CU Police Department for information. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This suspect, Mr. Dougherty, currently scheduled to appear in court?

DOUGHERTY: So, there is a suspect in custody. There's no scheduled court appearances just yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have there been any charges that have been filed? Will any charges be filed?

DOUGHERTY: Well, the suspect is being treated medically at the hospital right now. I can promise you that we're going to ensure the right thing happens with this case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this man from the Boulder area?

DOUGHERTY: That's all I have at this point. But I appreciate you being here. And we'll be giving out more information. The Boulder Police Department will be in charge of giving out more information.

I'm going to ask Chief Jokerst, if she will, just to let family members know where they could go for -- or calling for notifications on possible victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those people who were in the parking lot, or saw something, whom should they call to give that information (ph)?

DOUGHERTY: Thank you for that question. If there are witnesses out there, who have information, and there were many witnesses to this, who are cooperating with the investigation already, but if there are additional witnesses, they should contact the Boulder Police Department.

But let me turn it over to Chief Jokerst.

DOREEN JOKERST, CHIEF OF POLICE, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER POLICE DEPARTMENT: So, if there was witnesses that saw this event, they can contact 303-441-3333. And that's the main number to the Boulder Police Department.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say that one more time, Chief Jokerst?

JOKERST: Yes, no problem. 303-441-3333. And that's the main number to the Boulder Police Department. If there's family or loved ones that have questions as well, they can contact that main number. And they'll be sent an address in regards to additional information there. Thank you very much.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --officer we're told, he or she went back in, saved lives, by what they did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's all the questions we can take right now. I know you wanted more information, but we don't have any more information we can share at this time.

We will continue to post all information that we can, on our Twitter, and we will announce the next press conference as soon, as we know, with more information.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --how you don't know how many deaths there are?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are hoping to have more information to release later this evening, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will there be a procession for the Fallen officer?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you not know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will find out and we will let you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This area -- we will continue to ask everybody to avoid the area. This is going to be blocked off for quite some time. So, please continue, tell individuals to avoid this area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ma'am, some of these media has already reported there was six victims.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you correct that or confirm that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We will --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is already out there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a lot of it. And we will have this -- we will have more information to release soon. So, thank you for your patience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So can you help us understand --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There will be more information released tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --don't know how many there are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, there will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't the man a suspect or a woman?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Yes, we've just heard from police officials in Boulder, Colorado Commander Kerry Yamaguchi, saying that one officer has been killed, as have multiple people.

He will not specify exactly how many people though that information is known to authorities, at this point. He says there's no ongoing public threat.

This incident, as far as we know, the earliest report that we have, just talked to a eyewitness, Jessica Crumby, who heard shots, somewhere around 2:32, or 2:30 or so, this afternoon, Central Time, in Colorado.

They said that the only injured person that they know about, at this point, is the person of interest, who was arrested and was injured. His part -- was injured in the incident, and was taken for treatment, and is in custody, at this point.

This, of course, is the second mass shooting, in the United States, in the last week. On Wednesday, obviously, eight people were killed in Atlanta.

Chief Ramsey, very little limited information so far. Some folks, there in the crowd, seem frustrated by it. But it's certainly understandable that they would want to make sure that all families have been notified at this point. I'm wondering what stands out to you from what you heard?

CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER WASHINGTON D.C. POLICE CHIEF, FORMER PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I mean, it wasn't very much information, but let me start by first saying that my heart goes out to all those family members, of the victims, in this tragic incident that just took place.

But there's information that it just personally, and it's hard to be critical at a time like this, but we didn't even get a timeline, when did the call come in, that sort of thing. When you say "There are multiple fatalities," you have to assume that

they're going to ask, some reporters are going to say "How many?" But to say "I don't know" you know, that -- I just -- I think it could have been handled a little bit better, let me put it that way.

You have to know. I mean, if anything, you have to check for signs of life, when you go in, to make sure that you get someone to the hospital, if they aren't in fact deceased.

[21:05:00]

So, I'm not saying that you should give out too much information. But "I don't know! I don't know! I don't know!" in some, instances, I think, really kind of cuts out the credibility of the information that you're getting. And that's unfortunate.

COOPER: Andrew, just obviously, again, not a lot of information.

The Commander was also saying numerous law enforcement personnel in the scene, as we know, Boulder County, ATF, FBI, Denver Metro, as we're saying, one person of injured -- one person of interest, who was injured and is being treated. The Representative from the King Soopers called it a senseless act of violence.

One of the witnesses we had talked to, before this press conference, Jessica Crumby, had, who was in a store nearby, a yoga studio, had said that, that a nearby yoga studio also had a shattered window, which she thought was related to this shooting.

Somebody had asked a question whether there had been the initial reports to the Police Department had been about an active shooter in the -- outside, in the parking area. The Commander wouldn't answer that question, said he hadn't looked at the initial reports yet.

But it's very possible that this did begin outside and ended up inside.

ANDREW MCCABE, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's absolutely right, Anderson.

And if you'll recall, earlier today, we heard from one of the reporters that there were some announcements heard that the police were giving to someone, who was allegedly sitting in a vehicle.

So, it may have begun outside, gone inside, and who knows, maybe even ended outside. We just with, you know, we really don't have very much critical information at this point. But I would say that it's a wide open possibility.

And just to tail on to what Chief Ramsey said, I mean, these folks are in what will probably be the worst day of their professional careers, right? It's an absolutely nightmarish, chaotic scene to deal with. And it's made a million times worse by the fact that they lost one of their own. So my heart goes out to them.

But it's very hard to stand in front of the press, when you don't really have anything that you're comfortable saying, you're better off not standing there, and taking questions and, saying you don't know or you won't tell. So, that's something that hopefully, maybe they'll turn around in the next one.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, the loss of the life of a police officer, it is horrific.

And it is just a reminder of the difficulty in dealing with these kind of situations, Andrew, where, again, it's the first officers on the scene, have to go in, and they may not be the best-armed, they may not be in the, you know, have the best tactical gear.

But they have to go in, because of what we now know about after- shootings, and how the first few minutes is when lives are lost.

MCCABE: That's exactly right. And they may not have the best equipment. They may not have backup. They may not have the biggest gun.

But what they have is the commitment to their duty, and the courage, to know that when that moment comes, no matter how scared they are, they're going to go and do it. They're going to go in there and put themselves in harm's way and do something to try to save lives.

And aren't we all lucky that there are so many brave men and women out there that are willing to do that? And it sounds like that's probably what happened at King Soopers today, and, hopefully, we'll find out more about that as time goes on.

COOPER: Yes.

Juliette, any thoughts from what you heard today?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HOMELAND SECURITY, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The different words used by, at the press conference, as compared to what was tweeted out, just moments before, so just to be clear what the Colorado Police Department is, in fact confirming, they are confirming multiple victims, who lost their lives. That's the tweet.

The General -- the Police Chief, who was speaking, only talked about multiple victims. So, we do know that there are a number of casualties. So just to be clear, "Multiple victims" is too vague. And so, we do have a mass-casualty event, if it's multiple victims, who are in fact dead.

The second is they're -- I want to talk about this credibility issue because it's important not just because we want information or the public wants information.

There is a difference between saying "We don't know" and saying "We need to contact the families first." There's not a soul in the world, in this country that would doubt the sincerity of waiting a little bit longer, while the Police Department contacted next of kin.

[21:10:00] But saying "I don't know" makes it appear that either there are so many dead inside, which we have no reason to believe, and does not put the investigation in sort of the confidence or confidence-inspiring arena.

Look, everyone is shaken up. They've lost a police officer. But for the public watching now, that was not that they don't know. They know how many are dead. They have said "Multiple people are dead."

They are contacting their family members. And it would have been totally appropriate for the Police Department to just say so, and then acknowledge the death of the police officer, and say "We'll be back in an hour or two." That is -- we can accept that, as analyst, as media.

COOPER: Yes.

KAYYEM: And certainly as the public.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, the last thing I want to be involved with or, I think, anybody --

KAYYEM: Yes.

COOPER: --in this business wants to be involved with is having this information go over television --

KAYYEM: Right.

COOPER: --before somebody --

KAYYEM: Yes.

COOPER: --or someone's loved one has been informed.

KAYYEM: Right.

COOPER: We're going to take a quick break. We have a live report from the scene, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And we are following breaking news events, out of Boulder, Colorado. Multiple victims, multiple fatalities, including one -- at least one police officer, after mass shooting at a grocery store. A suspect is in custody.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov joins us now from the scene.

So, let's talk about what we just heard. Multiple people killed. The police are confirming one officer killed, and one person of interest is in custody, who was himself injured in this event.

[21:15:00]

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's not a lot of concrete details that we got from the officers, Anderson. We are expecting another press conference.

They did say that they probably will release more information, later this evening, including possibly the identity of the shooter. They say that they do have a person of interest in custody. As you point out, that is the only injury in this incident, which means the other people have lost their lives.

They did not name the number of lives lost in this incidents. They did say that one of them was a police officer. And they said that it's very early in the investigation.

They did actually also point out that because of the, how they described it, tremendous support from ATF, FBI, and other Denver Metro agencies, if those agencies hadn't helped respond, we could have seen a higher loss of life.

And just to recap, all of this began at around possibly 2:30-or-so P.M. local time, witnesses inside reported hearing gunshots. The police tweeted -- the Boulder Police tweeted at 2:49 local, alerting residents not to go to this area, because of reports of an active shooter.

We don't know which agencies responded first, but we know that there was footage of some individuals, motionless bodies, outside in the parking lot and then inside as well.

So, perhaps one can deduct that -- deduce that this incident began outside, before going -- moving inside. But again, it's much too early to have that as concrete information. We are waiting for that second press conference.

The D.A. called it a tragedy, multiple victims, again.

We do have some reporting to CNN, from one senior law enforcement source, who told CNN that the weapon used in the shooting was an AR-15 style rifle. That's not something that they mentioned in this press conference. But that is some reporting that came to CNN, from a senior law enforcement official.

But again, very early on, in the investigation, and it does appear that multiple people tragically lost their lives today, on a Monday afternoon, here in Boulder, Colorado, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Has there been any confirmation about the possibility of this having started outside?

Because one of the witnesses we talked to, who again was in this tattoo parlor, said that when she heard shots, and went outside, there was a nearby yoga store that there was a shattered window, which I believe she indicated there was glass on the ground, and thought that that may have been linked to what ended up happening inside King Soopers.

KAFANOV: Right, the yoga studio that was, I believe, near the tattoo parlor. Witnesses described seeing something outside. Footage of the incident that has not been cleared shows bodies

outside, and then bodies inside, or at least lifeless forms of human individuals. We can only connect the dots, but no official confirmation from officials, at this point, and no information on the suspect, or of the person of interest in charge.

What I can say is that we saw footage earlier, of one man. He was almost half-naked. He was wearing a pair of dark shorts. No shirt, no shoes, he was bleeding, down his leg. He was seen, escorted by police officers, in handcuffs, placed into a ambulance, and taken away. We have no confirmation that that is the shooter.

But the authorities, in this press conference, did say that the only injured person here was a person of interest. And after that person finishes their treatments, the D.A. said that they will prosecute to the full extent of the law, or at least indicated that that's something they'd be doing.

COOPER: Yes.

KAFANOV: Anderson.

COOPER: Again, and as you said, the police did not confirm what time this began.

But, as you said, around 2:30 -- 2:32 is when one witness that we talked to, actually texted her sister, I believe it was, or a friend, saying something's going on, after hearing shots. So, that would put it in that -- in that 2:30 timeframe that you mentioned. Lucy, I appreciate it.

Lucy just mentioned that a senior law enforcement source is telling CNN that the weapon used in today's shooting is an AR-15 style rifle.

As this tragedy unfolds in Colorado, it's also being closely watched at the White House. Want to bring in our Jeff Zeleny.

Jeff, has the White House made any comment about this?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we do know that President Biden has been briefed on this shooting in Colorado.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, just a short time ago, that the President was briefed on the shooting, after it was happening, and he would be receiving briefings, as events unfolded there. So, we do know that they are monitoring this.

And we should point out this is about the, the 60th day of the Biden presidency. In the span of less than a week, this is the second mass shooting.

[21:20:00]

This is something that President Biden has a long history with, speaking with, from his time in the Senate. Of course, his time as the Vice President, he's been very outspoken about the need to expand gun laws and background checks.

So, the White House, for now, I'm talking to officials, he does not plan to make any other statement this evening. At least that's the plan right now. They're watching to see what is unfolding, as we saw from the press conference.

There are clearly many more questions to be answered, in the investigations going on. But he has been briefed on this. And you can be sure that this is something that has been injected now into his -- into his agenda, into his time as presidency. So of course, he will respond to this.

COOPER: Yes. And obviously, it is the second major mass shooting in the United States, in just the last week. The other one --

ZELENY: Right.

COOPER: --obviously eight people killed in Georgia, in the Atlanta area.

As you mentioned, I mean, presidents don't, you know, they have the agenda that they plan to have. And then events take place, which often then affects the course of what they focus on. We've seen that time and time again.

Certainly, just with two mass shootings, in the last week, suddenly, this now becomes, on the President's desk, in a way that it perhaps had not been before.

ZELENY: No question about it. Presidents react to things that happen. And that's, in many cases, how their presidencies are judged, by reacting in real-time, to events that present themselves. And this is something that, of course, is very familiar to President Biden.

He led the way in terms of background checks. He led the way, during the Obama administration, during the Senate debate, over expanding universal background checks, for the parents of those Sandy Hook shooting victims, and he fell short.

So, this has not been a central piece of his agenda, in the early months of his administration. Now you have to wonder Anderson, will it be, at this point, this is -- that he wanted to get other things done first.

Gun control and expanding gun legislation was always on his pledge, his campaign pledge. But now, this is something that is front and center. So, we will have to see how this unfolds. But this is something that he indeed has a long history with.

And I remember well, him lobbying with the Sandy Hook parents, at the Senate, and they fell short. Will this be a different moment? Will it not? We will see how he reacts. But this is something he absolutely will have to react to. He knows that better than anyone, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. It's interesting, even when you think about the prior administration, in the wake of mass shootings, they held meetings, I think, sort of self-style listening sessions.

ZELENY: Right.

COOPER: But in the end, oftentimes, there's a lot of coverage, and in the end, not as much action, as certainly people, who would like to see something change would like.

ZELENY: No question about it. I mean, and again, there have been Parkland, of course.

We remember the images there, of President Biden sitting with the students, who survived the Parkland massacre. He had them here to Washington. After he left the vice presidency, he met with them again on Capitol Hill.

But I can still remember the images of him with those Sandy Hook parents, and some brothers and sisters of those who died, and then standing in the Rose Garden, after they lost that bill.

This is something that is very personal to him. We know that we've seen him several times, of course, already in his young presidency, have to be empathetic, have to be consoling and comforting. We will see how he turns that into a legislative move here.

I mean, this is obviously very too early. It's too early to say exactly what happened with this shooting. But we do know that guns obviously are a huge issue problem in this country. This is something that he will address in his time.

So again, not expecting anything this evening, but no question at all, this now is on his desk in a way, it certainly wasn't when this day began, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. Jeff Zeleny, Appreciate it. Thanks very much.

ZELENY: Sure.

COOPER: Again, officials in Boulder promising more information, in the hours ahead. We're going to bring that to you, and any other new details, as we learn them.

After a short break, we'll talk to Sandy Phillips, Founder of the "Survivor Network." Her daughter was killed in a mass shooting.

Later, our legal and law enforcement team is back up with the news so far in perspective.

[21:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're following developments tonight, in the wake of the second mass shooting, in less than a week, which means sadly, that many more people grieving, then many more holes in so many lives.

Sandy Phillips knows this all too well, as the Co-Founder of the "Survivors Empowered" -- of "Survivors Empowered." She's made it her calling.

Sandy Phillips joins us now by phone.

Sandy, thank you so much for -- so much for being with us. I said "Survivors Empowered." I'm sorry it's the "Survivor Network."

You and I have talked too many times, frankly, in the wake of situations like this. And I know one of the things that you've often said is that for all families, who have lost somebody, to a mass shooting, and your daughter Jessica was killed, when they hear about another one, it brings it right back.

SANDY PHILLIPS, CO-FOUNDER, SURVIVORS EMPOWERED, DAUGHTER KILLED IN 2012 AURORA, CO SHOOTING (ON THE PHONE): Absolutely. And actually, Anderson, it is "Survivors Empowered." You were right to begin with.

COOPER: OK, I'm sorry.

PHILLIPS: No, that's all right. No need to apologize.

Yes, it does bring it back. And I have heard from dozens of survivors today, back down on their knees, and being re-traumatized by what they're hearing on the news. And it's one of those moments, like we had last week that continues to replay itself in America.

COOPER: I mean, what goes through your mind? I mean, Jessica was killed in in Aurora, Colorado. And it's -- this is something that never goes away. And there are now a number of families tonight, who have gotten a call or will be getting a call, and you know what it's like to get that call.

PHILLIPS: Unfortunately all too well. And the hardest part, right now, is because of COVID, we aren't responding, like we normally would. Normally, we would be on an airplane, or in our RV --

COOPER: People are just --

PHILLIPS: --and going to the next tragedy, and reaching out to the people there.

[21:30:00]

So, I hope that the survivors of this shooting, and the one in Georgia, will reach out to our organization, because we're here for them. We already have trauma therapists in place for them.

We already have people on the ground that can reach out to them, and console them, as best as possible, but also let them know what's ahead for them. So, I hope that these people hear about us, so we can offer our services.

COOPER: What does -- what happens now for, in the wake of something like this, for families? I mean, there is -- what is the process over the next several days?

PHILLIPS: It's help. They're in shock. They're not going to be getting a whole lot of information.

Hopefully, the police departments, and the D.A.'s office, and all of the people that are involved will start reaching out to them, and making sure that they have the assistance that they need.

But it's not the same as having a survivor, who has lived through it, help them through it. And that's our job.

And we try very hard, to let them know what to expect, in the next few days, few weeks, months, and even years. And that's our -- that's what we do, is try to assist them, to define their new normal, which is very far from normal ever again.

COOPER: Does it -- yes. Does it -- it never goes away. I mean, it never -- it just changes over time.

PHILLIPS: Yes, it changes over time, except when something like this happens again, even for myself, I mean, we've been doing this for nine -- almost nine years now. And here we are, going through the same pain, because we know what they're going through.

So, it takes us -- it takes us back to the moments, and the hours, and the days, following the phone call that we got. And it's never -- it is never ever an easy process, even though it's been nine years.

It still is -- I mean, I was in tears, earlier today. I was shaking. I tried to practice mindfulness faithfully, and it wasn't -- it wasn't going to happen today.

And then, hearing from all the other survivors that we're reaching out, and their re-traumatization, it just is continuing to grow. And as it grows, there are more and more of us, who are speaking out. So hopefully, we will be able to address this situation.

Hopefully Biden will address this situation. Lonnie was in the first meeting of the Gun Violence Task Force with Biden, many years ago now. This is our third administration of trying to get something done.

And yet, we know lots and lots of other people, who have been working, in this space, for 20 years, and still, we're fighting for the lowest hanging fruit. And instead of asking for the moon, we settled for crumbs. And I'm tired of asking for the moon. I want the whole universe, and I want it fixed.

COOPER: Yes.

PHILLIPS: I don't want another family to know this pain ever, ever again.

COOPER: Sandy Phillips, I appreciate talking to you. And, as I said to you, I love talking to you, not in in these situations. But I appreciate it. And I appreciate all you're doing, and I wish you -- wish you and Lonnie, and your son Jordan the best.

PHILLIPS: Thank you, and thank you for inviting me on.

COOPER: We're back now with our legal and law enforcement team, Andrew McCabe, Charles Ramsey, and Juliette Kayyem.

In terms of, Andrew McCabe, of what happens next, I mean, again, it's -- they have, what they call the person of interest in custody. Seems pretty clear that is the suspect. They said it's the only person, who was that they know was injured other than those who were killed. And that person is now in custody.

What happens -- what is the process for that person tonight and tomorrow?

MCCABE: Well, for that person, obviously, he will resolve his medical treatment issue what -- however, he's been being treated there, and then he'll be taken into custody.

He'll be processed, which means that agents or police officers will take biographical information, so that sort of thing. They'll give him an opportunity to speak. He, of course, doesn't have to speak.

[21:35:00]

If he invokes his right to counsel, he'll be -- he won't be questioned about the events, or why he did it, or what his motive is. And then, he will likely be presented before a judge tomorrow, and charged with this crime, or some portion of the crimes that were committed at the grocery store.

Meanwhile, at that -- at that scene, they are beginning a horrific and intensive crime scene processing that will likely take the -- it could take the few days, actually, depending on how many people are in there, and how, you know, how spread out the killings are.

That could really take a while to make sure that they process those, each one of those individual sites, as it were with great care, and respect, for the people who are victimized, but also to collect all possible evidence.

COOPER: Charles Ramsey, people see these incidents, and always imagine what they would do in a situation.

One of the things that I know the New York City Police Department does is they actually send police out to large office, to companies, that wanted to talk to employees, about what to do in a situation, where there is an active shooter.

And I believe it's -- their motto is, is "Run, Hide, Fight," which is different than what it would maybe was in in the past?

RAMSEY: Right. No, there's no question about it. That is what we tell people to do now. First, you run, if you can't get out, then hide, and as a last resort, fight, because you're literally fighting for your life. And that's what people are told to do.

You never know exactly what you're going to do until you're in a situation. That includes, if you're a police officer, and you're in a tight situation. Until you there, you don't really know exactly how you're going to react, and how you're going to respond. But you hope, at least through police training anyway, that you've

been trained well enough that your instincts will take over, and that you'll do whatever it is that you need to do.

Obviously, and I don't know, the circumstances under which this officer lost his life. If he was one of the first responders, did he just happen to be in the store, shopping himself, at the time? I mean, we didn't get any information. That'll come out as time goes on.

But that's something, when you see the men and women, in uniform, responding, going towards the sound of the gunshots, I mean, do so often in policing that you really don't stop and think about it much. But there aren't many people that really will put themselves in harm's way like that.

And, as far as citizens go, I mean, there are people there that were trying to help others that were trying to help them get to safety. I mean, there's always courage and heroism that's on display, whenever you have something like this take place.

COOPER: Juliette, and again, but I think what Chief Ramsey said is, no one knows how they would react in a situation. You think you know, you think you would do some -- be one way, and oftentimes, when shots ring out, it's an entirely different matter.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. And we just simply don't know what happened in the building itself, in the market itself, and where people were in the market.

Were they at the front side, at the backsides, randomly spread out? So that will be determined, once we finally get a tick-tock of sort of what actually happened, and where the deceased bodies were found.

It's a large facility. I just looked at a map. It's a large market, sort of a mega market. So there was a lot of space for the perpetrator to maneuver.

I will say, as the specific investigation is going on, the President, and the Homeland Security team, have now two mass casualty events in a blink of an eye. And that is quick. I know we have a lot of these, but that is very fast.

And we are in the middle of a pandemic, which has impacted many people. And we are also hopefully starting to get out of that pandemic, as people go out more.

And so, I think one of the things, from the national perspective, besides the specific investigation, is because the Colorado Police told us that there is no continuing threat, so they have every reason to believe that this was a single individual with a gun. We don't know motive yet.

We do now need to position police departments, communities, schools, all the places that are opening up, theaters, for the potential for, you know, for what we've seen, at least two of, in a week. And that is quick. And that's I don't want to say it's related to COVID -- well COVID has

put a lot of stresses on our nation. And violence is one way many people respond to that. And we have lots of guns, for them to respond, in very violent ways.

[21:40:00]

And so, I would be preparing the nation, police departments, first responders, for what the spring and summer may entail.

COOPER: Andrew McCabe, Charles Ramsey, Juliette Kayyem, we're going to take a quick break. We appreciate your comments.

We've just gotten a statement from Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

It reads "My heart goes out to the families of the Coloradans, including a Boulder police officer, whose lives were tragically taken by a senseless act of gun violence. I am deeply grateful for the swift response from law enforcement and first responders.

As the investigation continues, we need to revisit a national conversation about gun violence that does not regress into partisanship. It's long past time for Congress to take meaningful action to keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.

There are steps that the overwhelming majority of Americans want us to take. And they have every right to expect us to finally do something about gun violence in our country. Enough is enough."

That's Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet tonight.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're continuing to follow and gather information on the breaking news out of Boulder, Colorado, where a mass shooter, at a grocery store, has taken multiple lives, including that of a police officer. Police say they have a suspect in custody.

We also have major developments in the Pandemic tonight. While vaccination rates and supplies are largely positive story, at this point of the Pandemic, health officials are worried about a possible fourth surge, particularly after scenes like this.

Massive numbers of unmasked students, in crowds, on a spring break, in Miami, a state that has seen the highest number of cases of a particularly virulent strain and the COVID virus.

[21:45:00]

On Saturday, police fired pepper balls into the crowd, and arrested at least a dozen. State of emergency has since been declared, and there's now an 8 P.M. curfew in the Entertainment District there. It's not just the crowds there. It's also the surge in air traffic. The TSA says that for at least 11 consecutive days, the U.S. has logged more than a million fliers daily. Today, the CDC Director warned of another possible surge, if things like mask-wearing and avoiding crowds aren't followed.

We want to get perspective now, as we often do, on all things, from our Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, Sanjay, given the scenes out of Miami, should local residents be concerned about a surge?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that we now know, in Florida, the variant that we've been talking about from the U.K. is become the dominant variant, over 50 percent of the newly- diagnosed cases are showing this variant.

I think there's a couple of concerns, and this should not feel surprising to anybody.

You have situations, scenes, like the ones you just described. There are people who are coming into that area, probably many of them coming from out of state. They may contract the virus, not know it, you know? It can take a while before they would actually diagnose positive. They could take it back to their home states.

So, Florida is a state where you have a significant percentage of these cases. While the variant is present, in many places, around the country, it is because of scenes like that, that you could start to actually really seed this variant in other places.

So Anderson, I mean, again, this should not be surprising to anybody. This is a transmissible virus. This is a particularly transmissible variant. We are so close to sort of being able to finally get our arms around this thing. Seems like that could put us backwards.

COOPER: And I mean, the news on the vaccines continues to be generally good, though not all states are moving at equal speeds.

Today, we learned that AstraZeneca is expected to apply for Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine in the coming weeks. How effective was the vaccine in trials? And I mean some of the bad headlines out of Europe, are they fair?

GUPTA: Yes, so I mean, as far as the effectiveness, the data that we're getting so far, from AstraZeneca, and this will be all validated, and reviewed by the FDA, we can show you, but basically, against basically getting symptoms, and symptomatic disease, it was pretty effective.

79 percent effective against any kind of symptomatic COVID-19, but 100 percent effective against severe disease and hospitalizations, and that's, you know, that should be pretty reassuring, Anderson.

I think for a lot of people out there who've been quite worried about this, that's the kind of efficacy that we're seeing from these other vaccines. So, it holds up there. No safety concerns in these particular trials yet, which brings you -- brings us, I guess, to your last question.

Yes, Anderson, I think that the headlines, it's not so much that they're not fair. It's just that when you have a situation like this, a newly-released vaccine, I think everyone's antenna is up, to try and find any kind of potential problems here.

What they found were, as some people developing clotting problems, what the World Health Organization and the European Medical Association have subsequently said, there does not appear to be any relationship between those vaccines and these clotting problems.

Having said that, Anderson, I mean, there's a lot of vaccine hesitancy out there. And I think it would be naive to think that this, you know, people wouldn't think twice about this vaccine.

What we will see, probably within the first couple of weeks of April, is an application for an Emergency Use Authorization. That will be an open process. People can listen in on the hearings.

And I think, just like we heard about the allergic reactions with Pfizer, you may remember that, at the end of last year, I'm sure they'll talk about, is there a clotting issue at all that they need to be concerned about? And then people will judge for themselves.

After that, I think it'd be the first week of May or so where this vaccine, if it's authorized, will become available in this country.

COOPER: CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned today that we're at a critical point, a fork in the road, she says. Both she and Dr. Fauci continue to warn of a possible fourth surge.

So, when would it be clearer about if that's going to happen?

GUPTA: I think it's within the next several weeks. I mean we are at this critical juncture. And I can show you, we put a list of sort of the things that are working in our favor, and the things that we have to worry about. If we have that, we can show it.

But basically, we're in the situation now, where obviously the vaccination rates have gone up. Pre-existing immunity, that's from people, who've been infected in the past, we know that that's a significant percentage of people. And we are going into warmer weather where we know the virus doesn't transmit as well.

I will add as well to the increasing vaccinations line that increasingly the right people are becoming vaccinated, meaning people who are at increased risk of actually getting sick, people over the age of 65, people on long-term care facilities.

On the negative side, though, the vaccine spread, you do have the hesitancy of the vaccine.

You have these variants, like we're talking about, like the one from the U.K., and also, 77 percent of the countries you know, Anderson, is looking at this in the rearview mirror, and as a result letting their guard down.

[21:50:00]

So that's really, you know, when people talk about the race, kind of laid it out for you there, that is the race. But I think over the next several weeks, we'll have a better idea of just which direction we're going.

What I would say, just so we're -- just so, you know, I'm not trying to weasel out of the question, I think the numbers may go up. But we hopefully will not see a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and deaths because of the immunity from vaccines.

COOPER: Well, Sanjay, I appreciate it. Thank you, as always.

The anger some in this nation have against masks, and the lifting in some states, of their mask mandates, has made life difficult for restaurants, and other private businesses, or the people who work in them, sometimes with dangerous consequences.

Ed Lavandera tonight has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WAYNE LACOMBE, OWNER, LEGENDS DINER: Temperature real quick.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the Texas mask mandate was lifted, nearly two weeks ago, Wayne LaCombe knew what he had to do. So, he posted this sign, at the front door, of Legends Diner, in the town of Denton, Texas.

LAVANDERA (on camera): In the interest of full disclosure, it says that "$50 if I have to explain why masks are mandatory." You haven't charged just the $50, we're just talking right?

LACOMBE: Yes, absolutely. We thought it was pretty humorous, but yet it made a point. We wanted something that let people know that we are serious.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It didn't take long for his restaurant to become the target of angry social media posts with a slew of insults.

LAVANDERA (on camera): Has the number of angry people you're dealing with gone up since the mask mandate was lifted?

LACOMBE: Absolutely. It's a tough situation to be in. But we have to stand our ground. I can't think about what is going on out there. I have to manage my business, my employees, keep everybody safe.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): I am ending the statewide mask mandate.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): When Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted, the mask mandate, many business owners feared it would turn them into the mask police.

In League City, the Manager of a Jack in the Box was stabbed three times, after escorting a man out of the restaurant, for not wearing a mask. The Manager survived, but police are still trying to find the suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you going to do? Arrest me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, for intruding on premises.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's hilarious.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): In Galveston, this woman was arrested by police, in a bank. She said she came to close her account, but refused to follow the bank's policy of wearing a mask.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Back up, back up, some old lady is getting handcuffed here.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Mike Nguyen's Noodle Tree Restaurant in San Antonio was vandalized with racist graffiti, after he spoke out against the lifting of the mask mandate.

MIKE NGUYEN, OWNER, NOODLE TREE: That's full of rage. I was shocked that stuff like that would actually happen in San Antonio. That's not a normal thing.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Nguyen says the attacks haven't stopped, from what he describes as creepy phone messages, like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, masks mean nothing. And this is -- the COVID pandemic is a hoax. And you're a fool! And I'll never come to your restaurant again.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): To what he now says are far more serious threats.

NGUYEN: They said "(Bleep) we're coming for you," and then my street address. You can tell the hate in the voice and the anger, I know that, you know, it wasn't something like someone's just trying to like troll or play around like it was real.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Mike Nguyen has hired private security, and says he worries that other small business owners are fighting the same fear.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Wow! Just trying to stay in business!

More ahead, we'll be right back.

[21:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: More now, on the breaking news, out of Boulder, Colorado, the deadly shootings at a supermarket, multiple people killed, including a police officer.

Short time ago, I spoke to someone who was there, Jessica Crumby.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jessica, thank you for being with us. Can you just tell us what you saw or heard?

JESSICA CRUMBY, COLORADO SHOOTING WITNESS (ON THE PHONE): Yes, so I was in Auspicious Tattoo, which is a little bit by King Soopers. And laying on the table, and all of a sudden, we just heard like, "Pop! Pop! Crack! Crack!" And we all kind of stopped what we're doing.

And we heard some glass shattering, so we went outside of the shop, and saw that this yoga studio, to the right of us, their window, looks like it had been shot in. And people were kind of running out of King Soopers. Everybody's looking that way.

And then, we hear the sirens coming, and I'm -- like so many police officers pulled into that place, and came out with their guns, like SWAT came in there. And they just started kind of sweeping the place, telling everybody to get back in, wherever they were, lock the doors, stay away from the windows, so that's what we did.

COOPER: If -- and I know sometimes it's hard to remember kind of time, but from the time that you heard the shots, to seeing the police come in, what sort of time frame are you talking about?

CRUMBY: Maybe five minutes, because right when the shots came, I had texted my sister, who was at a restaurant, downstairs, and was telling her to get back to the shop, because something weird is going on. And then I heard, on the phone with her, I heard the sirens already so.

COOPER: Do you --

CRUMBY: It was pretty dang quick.

COOPER: Do you know what time you texted, or what time it -- where you heard the shots?

CRUMBY: Yes. Let's see. Yes, I texted her at 2:32 P.M. And I was like "Something wild is happening outside. Come in -- come back into the shop now" so.

COOPER: So, 2:32, that's when you've heard the initial shots. And about how many shots did you hear in total?

CRUMBY: I think it was four. They both sound -- one was like a "Pop! Pop!" And then the other one was like a "Crack! Crack!" So, I'm thinking there were two different guns but not sure, obviously.

COOPER: And the shots, you said -- I'm sorry, I don't know the location well enough. You talked about the tattoo parlor, where you were, the yoga studio, and the store itself. How far is the tattoo parlor, and the -- is the or -- the tattoo parlor right next to the yoga store? The yoga -- CRUMBY: Yes, those two are right next to each other. And then, we're probably like, yes, like 200 yards, from King Soopers, at that point.

COOPER: OK. But it looked like that the window of the yoga place had been hit?

CRUMBY: Yes, because we heard that, and then we saw like shadows running, because the window is opaque. You can't really see through it. You can just see shadows and stuff.

So, we saw two shadows run to the left, and then to the right. So, it looks like they are going behind the building. And we're all kind of like "What's going on?" So, that's when we went outside, saw the window, and then the cops started showing up.

COOPER: And was there glass on the ground from the window? I mean, so it was a new break?

CRUMBY: Yes, there was glass on the ground.

COOPER: OK. So, it's unclear to you what it was that caused the shattered window, whether it was an individual, who may have been involved in an incident, inside the store or something else.

CRUMBY: Yes, the other studio is actually closed right now, because they had a pipe burst. So -- but we're not sure, if it was related to the actual shooting. That's just what got our attention.

COOPER: Right. And what's the -- where are you now? Are you -- are you still on the scene?

CRUMBY: No, we were able to leave. We were locked in there till about -- well let's see the time of it, 6:50, so probably about 5:45 is when they kind of let us go. They came to the door, and said "How many people are in there? We'll get you guys out of there." And it's about an hour later that the cops started leaving.

And then we got from like Twitter and stuff, we saw that they were heading to 17th Street, to apparently go, I don't know if it was related to the shooting or not, but they were sending SWAT there so.

COOPER: And you said it was about within a five-minute range that the police -- that you heard sirens after the shots?

CRUMBY: Yes definitely.

COOPER: Well Jessica, I really appreciate your time. I'm glad you're OK. And I appreciate you talking to us, since we're trying to have, kind of piece together information on this.

CRUMBY: Yes, no problem at all. Call if there is anything else.

COOPER: All right, you take care. Jessica Crumby, thanks so much.

Well, the breaking news coverage continues. Want to hand things over right now to Don Lemon in "CNN TONIGHT."