tv CNN Newsroom CNN July 21, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PDT
this somewhat bizarre equipment that normally you'd see soldiers or police officers wearing, armored equipment to protect him from being shot himself. online purchase, total legal under existing law. >> it is morning in aurora, colorado, and this small town and the entire country are united in shock and grief. joyful, excited fans had packed a movie theater here for what they thought was going to be a night of fun. we want to show you some of their faces. this is matt mcquinn. he covered his girlfriend when the gunman stormed in. she survived. matt did not. 23-year-old micayla medek was also in the audience on what would be the last night of her life. her aunt tells cnn she was free spirit and just a great kid. john larimer was in the navy. his father says he was serving at his first post. at midnight saturday, his family found out he had been killed
from a navy notification team. alex sullivan's friends called him a gentle giant. the young husband loved to cook. he was celebrating his 27th birthday at the theater where he also worked. he would have celebrated his first wedding anniversary tomorrow. also in the audience, jessica ghawi, the aspiring sports reporter narrowly escaped a mall shooting in canada just last month. now the country is grieving the loss of their lives and the deaths of seven others whose dreams were cut short. >> somebody shooting in the auditorium. >> 315 and 314, there is at least one person that's been shot, but they're saying there's hundreds of people just running around. >> as soon as we heard the first shots, my sister immediately grabbed my arm and wanted to leave as quick as possible. it was terrifying. >> i just remember thinking, i'm not going to die in here. me and my kids, we are not going
to die in here, i need to get them out. >> everyone was kind of in an ethereal state, just puzzled, wondering what's going on. and it wasn't until the alarm wept off that everything sank in, that there was something going wrong. and that's when everyone started forcing towards the exit. >> there was one guy on all fours crawling. there was this girl spitting up blood. there were bullet holes in some people's backs some people's arms. >> the suspect was dressed all in black. he was wearing a ballistic helmet, a tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throat protector and a grown protector and a gas mask and black tactical gloves. >> our cops went through a lot. they rushed people out of that theater into police cars. i've heard some compelling stories. >> i mean, the whole country recognizes that this is something that we don't accept, we can't explain at this point,
but we're not going to just let it happen to us. we're going to push back. >> the last thing she texted to me was "i'm so excited about your trip here next week." and "i need my mama." i was blessed, only for 25 years, but i was blessed. >> i want the victims to be remembered rather than this coward. >> good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. it is 10:00 on the east coast, 8:00 a.m. here in aurora, colorado. we're following two developing angles to this horrifying story this morning. we're expecting police to release the names of all 12 victims killed in the shooting very soon, just minutes from now, and we're waiting for a police briefing that is expected to happen in the next half hou or so. and right now, investigators are at the apartment of james holmes, the suspected gunman. it is full, we're told, of booby traps and explosives and trip
wires. they may actually send in robots to gather more video. they've already done that once yesterday. so, let's start with new information about the victims this morning. nick valencia is following that for us in atlanta. nick, what is the latest? >> good morning, randi. we just got off the phone with the aurora police department, and we had expected to get that list, as you'd mentioned, within a matter of minutes here in the 10:00 eastern hour. unfortunately, the police now are saying they're pushing that back, and they do have a 2:00 p.m. local/4:00 p.m. eastern press conference scheduled as well as that other media briefing with the police department, where our poppi harlow is, the location where suspect james holmes lived, but that's the latest. for now, we have five victims, five names of the deceased that we've been able to confirm. a short time ago, i spoke to the father of one of the victims, john larimer, 27 years old. he was in the u.s. navy. he had been in the navy less than a year, posting his first -- his first posting near aurora, colorado. and the family released a
statement, saying "we send our thoughts and prayers out to the families of other victims and those still recovering in the hospital. we love you, john, and we will miss you always." another one of the deceased that we've been able to confirm, randi, is matt mcquinn, who like many others, the family of matt mcquinn waited hours, agonizing hours, to find out that he was deceased. he was with his girlfriend at the movie as well as her brother, and from what we're hearing from reports, he shielded his girlfriend from the bullets there from suspected shooter james holmes. to make matters even worse for his girlfriend, because she was not related or a relative of her boyfriend, matt mcquinn, the hospital would not confirm his condition, so his family waited those agonizing hours. also among the deceased, alex sullivan. he was 27 years old. he turned 27 that day, on friday. he was there for a midnight showing to celebrate his birthday. to make matters even worse for him, on sunday he was expected to celebrate his first wedding
anniversary. his friends describe him as a gentle giant, a loving man, and you can see that clearly from those photos there. sullivan is described as a funny guy with a big heart. also among the deceased, cnn can confirm micayla medek, 23, also among the dead. we spoke to her aunt, an emotional interview. gary tuchman spoke to her a short time ago. she was said to be an independent girl, great fun. and this is just the saddest part, randi, if you can believe this -- the family waiting 19 hours before they found out about her status, her condition, and that's just the family there saying that just took too long for them to find out. lastly, of course, a name we've been hearing a lot, jessica ghawi, or jessica redfield. her brother, jordan, has been very active on social media, creating that trending hashtag, #ripjessica. she was an aspiring sports broadcaster and somebody who no doubt would have had a great impact on our industry and on our field. she had moved to denver from
texas within the last year to pursue that dream of becoming a sports broadcaster. she also had survived a recent shooting in toronto, canada, if you can believe that, randi. she escaped that only to perish in this shooting early friday morning in aurora, colorado. randi? >> yeah, and i had read her blog yesterday that she had written after that canada shooting, saying how blessed she was to have survived. it's really chilling. nick valencia, thank you very much for that. >> thank you, randi. >> police are searching for a motive in the colorado shootings. standing in their way is a very sophisticated trap set by the suspect himself. they have found explosives and ammunition wired to blow at his apartment. our poppi harlow is there at the apartment building this morning. poppi, what exactly did they find inside? >> reporter: what they found is pretty astonishing, randi. as you said, they sent those robots in yesterday. the video showed the law enforcement official tells me what they believe to be at least
a dozen homemade explosive devices. and what's even more troubling is that those were tied to accelerants, what they believe to be liquid accelerants, jars of black powder to exacerbate any detonation, to really fuel the fire, if you will. that's very disturbing. what i'm told by law enforcement sources is that these were victim-initiated devices, meaning they were tied -- they are tied currently in the apartment behind me to booby traps to be set off by what you would assume would be first responders that would go to this apartment. they also said that this was a unique situation, not something you'd normally see. they said this was a sophisticated setup, not something crude and amateur, that obviously, the man that set this up, believed to be james holmes, the suspected shooter, that he had knowledge of how to do this. also what was interesting is -- okay, let's go to the presser live, police presser here in aurora, colorado.
>> spokesperson for the aurora police department, that's c-a-r-l- c-a-r-l-s-o-n. the purposof this briefing is to give you an idea what's happening. the parish street address later on today. first of all, public safety is paramount in this situation, that it's public safety driven. any decision that's made is based on the safety of our community. we have tons of support here. we have federal assets that got flown in last night, the best of the best, the bomb experts are here with us, fbi, atf, of course aurora fire department heavily involved. we also have the denver police department, arapahoe county, adams county, and we have medical rural metro on standby for any medical issues that arise.
so, this is going to happen in three phases today. first and foremost is we need to render the area safe. the most immediate threat is the trip wire, the booby trap that we've been talking about over the last day. so, once that device, once that situation is mitigated, that may also include a controlled detonation that may cause a loud boom. and then from that, there may also be a fire that erupts at that point, and we have afd on standby ready to handle any situation that occurs. once that trip wire is dealt with, they'll move on to disposal. there are some incendiary devices inside, to include some aerial shells, approximately 30 of those. those will be removed from the
apartment. they will be placed in to sand trucks and taken to a disposal site. at that site, there will be a controlled detonation that occurs. evidence will be collected, and we have experts on scene there when we enter that phase as well. during any of these phases, and as this day goes on, again, there may be controlled detonations. keeping public safety in mind, we are going to do reverse 911 calls to let the community know what to expect. we'll keep the media informed on what to expect. also shut down peoria at those times as precautionary. we are confident in our evacuations at this point. those buildings that have been evacuated, they remain as such, and we're confident that this is a safe area now with the evacuation we have in place. if that changes, obviously, we'll immediately address those issues.
the third phase of this will, of course, go into the investigation part. this investigation is so in-depth, this brings another element from what was experienced at the theater, and so that will be the third and final phase of what's happening today. we will do our best to keep you informed on anything that changes, and if there is going to be controlled detonations or fires or what not. >> sergeant, what can you tell us about the timeline for this? >> there is no timeline. i can't give you an end time. we're hoping to get in there within the next hour. that's about the only time -- because we have no idea how long any of this is going to take. i can't put an end time on it, because of course, i emphasize again the importance of public safety. it's safe right now with the evacuations. we don't need to rush anything and we're going to do our best and just take our time so to keep it as safe as possible.
[ everyone talking at once ] >> -- destroyed by any fire, explosion or water? >> excellent point. one of the things that we're also in consideration, again, is this investigation. and so, we don't want to lose evide evidenteral value. anything that's in there, we're going to be using as evidence, so we'll be very cautious about how we deal with things, how we take things out, and make sure they're handled in the best manner for our investigation. >> do you think you'll be able to dismantle everything without any explosions? is that the current goal right now? to try and get it all dismantled and have it without any explosions that could damage evidence? >> again, if the experts that are involved with go about and do this safely without detonation, i'm sure that's what they would prefer. however, as far as what happens once they get inside -- again, there's still unknowns. keep in mind, we're not exactly sure of everything that's in there, so this, again, this is
fluid. >> sergeant, a question on the unknowns. i was told by a law enforcement official they believe there are liquid accelerants, some black powder in jars thought to fuel any fire. the question is, if you are doing detonations, how do you know how contained they could be? >> we are aware of some jars that may contain some acceleran accelerants. the mutual aid and the work that's happening with the partnerships of everybody involved -- we've got the bomb guys, right next to them is a fire guy, so the communication there, the incident command is amazing. so, all of those things are being taken into consideration before any move is made, before a bomb guy makes a decision, he consults a fire guy. >> and there are chemists there as well, i've been told, to sort of decipher what some of these accelerants may or may not be? >> yes, we have national experts here to handle all that. >> are you confident -- [ everyone talking at once ]
>> robot? >> aerial -- >> all right, so, that's the brief overview. i know you guys have tons of questions, and again, we're still planning a 2:00 briefing today over at our, where you were yesterday evening, at our anc building on alameda. again, we'll be here available for any updates, any breaking updates, and we'll send those out via twitter. so -- >> what's your handle? what should people follow on twitter, the public? >> oh, our twitter is @aurorapd. >> are you not able to tell us -- [ inaudible ] >> and there you have it. you've been listening to sergeant cassidee carlson. it sounds like they are hoping to get inside james holmes' apartment, the suspect's apartment, within the next hour, possibly. the most immediate threat, as we've been telling you all morning and yesterday as well, is the booby trap. this place has been rigged by james holmes, so they've been a
little careful, little nervous even, about getting inside, but they're talking about possibly having a controlled detonation. there could be fire, there could be an explosion. they plan to let neighbors there know with a 911 call, a reverse 911 call, letting them know that they do plan to detonate this, will be shutting down the streets as well. it should happen some tme today, but again, we're not exactly sure when it will happen. but of course, keep it here on cnn and we'll let you know. suspect james holmes will stand face to face with a judge in about 48 hours, which brings us to this, how in the world do you defend a suspect in the largest mass shooting in our country's history? i'll ask a well-known criminal defense attorney. down here, folks measure commitment by what's getting done. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic
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rifle, a shotgun and two glock handguns, eventually surrendered without any resistance, and he will be in court on monday, just 48 hours from now. one of the country's top criminal defense attorneys, tom mesereau, joining me now to talk about this case. tom, good morning. cnn has not confirmed who will be representing james holmes, but take us into the mind of a defense lawyer. i mean, how do you defend this guy? he was caught at the scene. there are plenty of witnesses, there are cell phone video. he even called himself with the joker with his dyed red hair, according to a source close to the case. how do you defend this? >> well, in my opinion, randi, the realistic goal of a defense attorney is not going to be outright acquittal. that's not practical. the goal is going to be to save this person from execution and have him committed to a mental health facility for the rest of his life. it's going to be a tough job, but it's what we're trained to do. i think a defense attorney is going to have him examined as soon as possible by a battery of
mental health professionals -- psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, you name it. they have to find out what was motivating him. what wa it delusion? was it paranoia? did he think he was part of this movie? did he think the people in the theater were his enemies? you have to go into every aspect of his upbringing, his education, his mental health background, his health background. they need to interview people who knew him at every stage of his life and put together an argument and portrait of someone who was completely deranged, completely insane, not in touch with reality, and who should be committed to a mental health treatment facility for the rest of his natural life. that's going to be the goal, in my opinion. >> and how much do you think they'll look at his history? i mean, prior to friday's shooting, holmes' criminal record in aurora consisted just only of a traffic summons. how critical will that be? >> well, you know, intelligence and education don't necessarily equate with sanity. you may remember the infamous
unabomber. he was an honors graduate of harvard, he taught mathematics at harvard and university of california at berkeley, and he was insane. he was mailing bombs to people. i mean, this person looks at this stage, and this is early in the game, this person looks like he had a very, very normal upbringing and was an outstanding student, an honors graduate of university of california riverside, a doctoral student, but something was wrong, something was disconnecting him from reality, something disconnected him from the feelings of others. he must have thought everybody was after him. he was becoming more and more isolated and reclusive and not in touch with reality. the person who showed up at that theater must have been living in a fantasy world that we're only beginning to try and figure out. the argument is that he was insane, he was not dealing with reality, he didn't know the difference between right and wrong. it's going to be a difficult job, because right now he's the most detested person in this
country. >> right. but when you look at that and you say he didn't know the difference between right and wrong and he didn't know what was going on, yet he was still able to do some planning, i mean, even before the shooting. he secured weapons, he purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition online, he dressed head to toe in the protective gear, he booby trapped his apartment. i mean, does that foresight almost play against a mental health defense, in some way? >> well, it does, because this was all, presumably, done with intelligence and careful planning. but an insane, delusional person can do that. did he think he was part of this "batman" movie? apparently, he dyed his hair red, he dressed the part. the question is, you know, what was motivating him? what kind of paranoia, what kind of delusion, what kind of illusion, what kind of fantasy world was he in? the defense lawyer is going to have to put all of this together and present an argument that this man was completely insane, completely deranged, not in
touch with reality, not dealing with real threats, perceived threats, and should be institutionalized. that's going to be the goal, i think. >> and when we look at monday's hearing, just a couple days from now, what can we expect? will he speak? will the judge address him? >> the judge may address him, but i don't think his defense attorney's going to let him utter a word. i think the defense attorney, as soon as one is appointed or retained, is going to be telling him not to open his mouth, not to say a word, basically to be stoic, to be respectful, to simply stand there and let the attorney be his spokesperson. nothing is gained by this person opening his mouth. anything he says could probably hurt him. you're starting to build an insanity defense, you're starting to build an administrative capacity defense, you're starting to build a mental health defense, and this person's just got to be silent. >> tom mesereau, great to have
you on the program this morning. always appreciate your insight. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> well, children were among those hit with bullets and shrapnel in friday's rampage. i spoke with a pediatric doctor this morning about how they're coming to terms with the trauma. plus, mitt romney is taking his campaign for president overseas. we'll tell you where he's going, next. package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha! ♪ it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk,
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we'll return to colorado in a moment. first, new violence is gripping syria. the sounds of fierce shelling there. there's been more fighting across the country today and a lot of deaths. opposition activists say at least 45 people have been killed today after nearly 1,000 died in the last week. and two more of syrian president bashar al assad's generals have defected to turkey, joining two dozen others already there.
the largest drought in more than half a century is tightening its grip on u.s. farmland. more than 70% of the midwest is suffering. it produces most of the nation's corn and soybean crops. prices are now reaching near record highs, which you may see next time you are in the grocery store. and in politics, mitt romney is taking his campaign overseas next week. he'll be meeting with world leaders and going to the olympics opening ceremony. cnn political correspondent jim acosta has a preview. >> reporter: mitt romney will be busy when he goes overseas. he is scheduled to leave on tuesday and arrive in great britain on wednesday. aides to the gop contender say this trip is really an opportunity for him to listen and learn, but also make what they're calling a clear and resolute stand with nations that share american values. now, in the uk, romney is expected to meet with prime minister david cameron and former prime minister tony blair. of course, the timing of this trip is no accident. romney is set to attend the opening ceremonies for the
olympics in london, so look for romney and his campaign to tout his experience in turning around the salt lake city olympic games in 2002, a story his aides say the public hasn't heard enough of. from britain, he will head to israel for meetings with israeli president netanyahu and palestinian president perez. he looks to lock arms with israeli leaders, to draw contrast of a sometimes tense relationship between netanyahu and president obama. after israel, he hits to poland to sit down with former president lech was lensa and he will have a lot on his plate when he returns from his foreign trip. there is the matter of picking a vice presidential running mate and getting ready for the republican convention in august. jim acosta, cnn, manchester, new hampshire. romney's campaign advisers also tell reporters he will not be giving any speeches or making any major announcement while he's in europe, and that is in contrast to president obama's
2008 campaign, when he delivered a speech to a massive crowd in berlin. well, this morning we're hearing heart-wrenching stories about some of the victims who died in the colorado shootings. for ours, the family of micayla medek did not know what happened to her. now they are trying to cope with the news. you'll hear from micayla's aunt. [ nurse ] i'm a hospice nurse. britta olsen is my patient. i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
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welcome back to aurora, colorado. i'm randi kaye. right now, the focus here in aurora is on the victims and the community. it is a time really to remember those that this community has lost. here at the theater, people gathered to remember those victims last night. much of their makeshift memorial is actually still here. grief counseling centers are being set up today to help people deal with the trauma and the loss. 58 people were injured in that shooting, and we're expecting to hear from the university hospital officials at 11:30 eastern time this morning for an update on the victims. we'll bring you that live. residents are being warned this morning about possible loud explosions at the suspect's apartment, which is only about four miles away from where i'm standing here at the theater. law enforcement officials say james holmes set up a
sophisticated booby trap. he had that place rigged. included in that are what they're calling aerial shells. those would likely be something like mortar rounds. they're hoping to get inside the apartment some time in the next hour. now take a look at this. this is a picture from the adult sex site, adult friend finder, it's called. police believe this is actually james holmes, the suspect in the shooting, but investigators haven't confirmed that. sources did say, though, that holmes had dyed his hair red, like you see there, before the attack. now, let's talk about the victims. 70 people shot, 12 of those died, 30 people remain hospitalized this morning with 11 of those in critical condition. 23-year-old micayla medek was one of the victims who died. her family didn't find out for 19 hours after the shooting. earlier, cnn's gary tuchman talked with her aunt, jenny
zakovich, on the telephone. >> my brother gets a call at 1:00 in the morning from micayla's friends, saying she's been shot. and he waited until, i don't know what time it was in colorado, but in milwaukee, it was almost 11:00 in the evening by the time we got the story that she was one of the dead laying in the theater. and the thoughts of her laying there for almost 20 hours -- he was such a good dad to her, they were so close. and she's just a great daughter, never gave any problems to him. >> jenny, you are her dad's sister. i just want to make our viewers aware of that. >> yes, yes. >> that's how you know how well her dad -- >> my brother comes from a family of 11 kids, so he was one of the younger. i'm one of the older. and you know, we're pretty darn close-knit family, and something like this, you know, normally tears people apart. i think it's bringing us closer.
but just, i just can't even imagine. i have five kids of my own. i can't imagine losing one of them. and he has two daughters, and this is his baby. >> no parent can imagine something like that, jenny. and you're talking to me about being close. tell me about the kind of young woman she was. >> she was just a free spirit. she was a happy person. she didn't -- she never criticized people. she just, you know, she was just working at a subway, trying to find her way. she's just a great kid. she has a very loving sister and they're very close. amanda's searched all day yesterday, hospital to hospital, looking for her, just devastated on finding out the news. and i don't know what else to say about her other than she's going to be really missed.
>> the first name that we heard yesterday in this tragedy was jessica ghawi, the aspiring sportscaster who narrowly escaped a mall shooting in canada last month. her friends and former co-workers are united in their hope that she will not be forgotten. >> she was passionate. she was fiery, you know, matched her red hair. >> she had one of the sweetest spirits that i can say i probably know. she was just a sweet, sweet girl. >> he was the kind of person that after you first met her, you never forgot her, you always remember. she was a spitfire, energetic, extroverted. >> her brother told anderson cooper that talking about the victims is important because it takes time away from talking about the suspected shooter. alex sullivan was celebrating his birthday by going to that movie. he's being remembered this morning by his family. saying "the sullivan family lost a cherished member of their
family today. alex was smart, funny, and above all, loved dearly by his friends and family. today was his 27th birthday." and according to his facebook page, he was supposed to celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary tomorrow. now take a look here. this is matt mcquinn. he covered his girlfriend when the gunman stormed in. she survived and he did not. john larimer was in the navy. his father says he was serving at his first post. at midnight saturday, his family found out he had been killed from a navy notification team. the rest of the names of the victims are expected to be released later this morning. if you would like to help the victims of the colorado shooting, be sure to check out cnn.com/impact. right there you'll find information on an organization that is accepting financial donations on behalf of the victims. despite the tragedy, a statement from amc theaters says vies will play on as scheduled, but there are some big security
changes and no more costumes allowed. our coverage from aurora, colorado, continues right after this. [ male announcer ] for making cupcakes and deposits at the same time. for paying your friend back for lunch...from your tablet. for 26 paydays triggered with a single tap. for checking your line, then checking your portfolio. for making atms and branches appear out of thin air. simple to use websites, tools, and apps. for making your financial life a little bit easier. simple to use websites, tools, and apps. so what i'm saying is, people like options. when you take geico, you can call them anytime you feel like saving money. it don't matter, day or night. use your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, whatever.
some theaters are adding dozens of security officers to prevent a copycat attack. athena jones is outside a theater in silver spring, maryland, this morning. good morning, athena. >> reporter: good morning, randi. well, we're just a few miles north of washington, d.c., and we've already seen a stepped-up police presence here at this movie theater behind me, where the first showing of "batman" was at 8:30 this morning, so a pretty early showing for this big movie. there were also a lot of police around here yesterday. just a short while ago, we saw a police cruiser pull up outside of the theater, stay there for a while and then pull away. this is the sort of thing we expect to see not only here, but around the country. in the hours just after the shooting, we spoke with some folks around here who said they were pretty shaken by the news that these people were attacked just by going to the movies. let's listen to what one of the people had to say. >> i was shocked. i mean, it's just such a senseless, senseless act of violence. i mean, people just coming -- you know, you think you're coming to see a movie, have a
good time, and then you know, your friends and family members are gone the next, you know. it's insane. >> reporter: and as i said, what you're seeing here in terms of the stepped-up police presence is the same thing we're seeing in places like new york and los angeles, where authorities say they're going to be monitoring the area in and around theaters. and of course, as you mentioned, movie theater companies say that they're also reviewing their security procedures, that guest safety is a top priority and they're going to do everything they can to make sure that movie-goers are safe. one thing authorities are saying is that if you see something, say something. so, that's what we're expecting to see this weekend. randi? >> absolutely. athena jones, thank you for the update from there in maryland. the politics of tragedy. both presidential candidates are stepping aside while saying all the right things, but will the colorado shootings spark new debate over guns? and should it? we'll examine the arguments. ♪ hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ?
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tragedies like the one here in colorado always tend to jump-start the debate on guns in this country. it is a heated discussion, to say the least, but it can also be a healthy one. joining me now is cnn contributor maria cardona and amy holmes, anchor for gbtv's "real news." i want you both to listen first to something new york mayor michael bloomberg said hours after the shooting here in colorado. listen. >> there are so many murders with guns every day. it's just got to stop. and instead of these, the two people, president obama and governor romney, talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place. okay, tell us how. and this is a real problem. >> maria, to you first, was that the best time to call out the president and mitt romney, do you think? >> well, you know, we certainly
see that mayor bloomberg always does things on his own time and on his own watch and really always talks about what he believes, and i do think that there are some people in this country that believe that a real discussion about how we keep guns out of the hands of criminals is something that is needed. you know, right now, i think, though, president obama and romney hit the right tone on friday in terms of making sure this was a time for consoling the families, consoling the communities and understanding that we are with them from an emotional standpoint. we'll see where this debate takes us, and i think that some believe that it should take us to where mayor bloomberg wants it to go. >> amy, we saw some media reports that incorrectly, in the end, we found out, linked the shooter to a political group. do you think -- i mean, are people just looking for answers, trying to find a reason why something like this would happen? >> well, i think in that extremely unfortunate case, you had a reporter rushing to air with nothing more than the fact
that this totally innocent man had the same name as the perpetrator, and james is not an uncommon name, nor, may i point out, is the last name holmes. and that this reporter on an unnamed network, would rush to smear him out of the blood of these victims out of either personal ambition or political bias is absolutely reprehensible, and i think it teaches us that we need to step back, gather the facts, and as maria said, express our support, our sympathy and our respect for those families who lost loved ones who did nothing but go to a movie theater that night for something they thought was going to be a moment of entertainment, and their lives have been extinguished. i think this is the time to show respect and to honor them, as randi, you're doing right now, by telling the stories of these victims, who they were, their precious, unique, individual lives that were so treasured. >> yeah, that is really what's important here, and that is a reason why we're here, but both
presidential campaigns certainly are trying to do the right thing. they've pulled some of their advertising in this state. marie, do you think that's a good move? >> it was exactly the right move, randi. again, right now, what america wants to see and hear from their leaders is the emotional commitment to restoring these communities who have been so hard hit by this incredible tragedy. and i think everyone around the country just wants to be there for the families. as a mother, i just, you know, i can't even, you know, speak eloquently and get the words out just because i'm thinking about what these moms and dads are going through. i think about my daughter who's here with me today, my 5-year-old daughter. and right now, that is what we need to be focusing on, is being there and consoling these families. and both, again, i believe president obama as well as governor romney, hit exactly the right tone to put politics aside for a few days. we have time to go back to the bickering, and i'm sure we'll be
back next saturday doing the same thing, but right now, this is a time to make sure that we are with these families. >> maria cardona, amy holmes, thank you so much for your time this morning. appreciate that. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and your civility at this difficult time. >> thank you. >> we are just learning new information about another service member killed in the shooting. barbara starr will join us.
and we are just learning about another military member killed in the colorado theater shooting. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr joining me by phone with this new information. barbara, what do you know? >> reporter: randi, this tragedy touching military families now across the country. the u.s. air force confirming to us the death of staff sergeant jesse childress. his family in california, they tell us that his family was notified at 1:00 in the morning from the u.s. air force at edwards air force base in california. staff sergeant childress, we are told, was a member of the air
force reserves, but on active duty stationed in colorado in an air force support unit. again, as we talked about a little while ago with the death of the petty officer john larimer of the u.s. navy, the military preparing to render full assistance to the families, full military honors to these two service members, just like they do when someone falls in a war zone. randi? >> and barbara, the reason we're talking about the service members, too, is because so many of them are based here in aurora, correct? >> reporter: yeah. you know, nearby, buckley air force base has about 10,000 military personnel, plus their families, in aurora there in colorado. all of colorado a big military state, of course, but about 10,000 at that nearby buckley air force base, many of them in the air force, but they also have personnel from the navy,
the marine corps and the army. they do a lot of cyber advanced technical work there, you know. and of course, that means families across the country have their loved ones there. an awful lot of them apparently went to the movies that night, never expecting it to turn out like this. >> certainly not. barbara starr, thank you very much for your reporting on that. and cnn has also just confirmed that 19 people still remain hospitalized from this shooting, 2 still listed in critical condition. we'll have much more on the shooting in colorado ahead in our next hour of "cnn saturday morning," which continues right morning," which continues right after this. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com that'll be $973.42. ya know, your rates and fees aren't exactly competitive. who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ spokesman ] when you refinance your mortgage with quicken loans, you'll find that our rates and fees are extremely competitive. because the last thing you want is to spend too much on your mortgage.
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