tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN June 17, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield and welcome to "legal view." it's set to be another gut wrenching day for the city of orlando after a tragic week there. the community is going to say good-bye to more victims of sunday's shooting at the pulse nightclub. funeral services for nine people, nine of the people shot dead scheduled for today. all of this happening as we hear new details from an officer who describes what he came across the night of the attack. >> when i arrived on scene and was able to go inside, what i noticed was it was kind of dark, you know, it had the disco
lights still going. and i just began yelling, hey guys. come on up, come on up. we got you, we got you. and just unfortunately, it took a minute to realize that they weren't faking. they couldn't get up. we pulled like three or four people out with all the chaos, couldn't see faces. you know, and the few faces that i saw were just covered in blood. it was so unreal because at that point in time, you know there's someone in there and he's still constantly shooting but you have bodies still that were laying there and someone moving and that was our objective to get those people out. >> that was officer omar delgado reunited here in these pictures. moving, moving pictures yesterday. reuniting with angel colon who officer delgado pulled out of the nightclub after he had been
shot three times and critically wounded. look at this. this is just, i mean, if there's any hope in humanity. fbi director james comey expected to visit today with prior investigations of the murderer. the biggest question. were there warning signs that somehow were missed? especially as the gun shop owner said he alerted the fbi weeks earlier. when that murderer tried to buy body armor and a thousand rounds of ammunition, his request was turned down. cnn's jessica schneider joins us now with more on this area of the story. so what do we know about the back and forth between the gun shop owner and the fbi? >> reporter: well, ashleigh, robert able is the owner of lotus gun works. two hours south of here. a man came into the shop. tried to buy body armor as well as a thousand rounds of ammunition and talked into his
cell phone in a foreign language before he was turned away when he abruptly left the store. the owner saying one of the employees did reach out to the fbi. they got a call back. but the problem is, it wasn't until after this pulse nightclub shooting that the gun owner realized it was actually omar ma teen who he refused the sale to. the gun shop owner didn't get an id or a purchase history or any surveillance video readily available. this fbi investigation couldn't move forward without this crucial information, ashleigh. >> another area they investigate. the text messages. this murderer mid-spree decided to have a text conversation. so work me through what happened and what they're finding. >> reporter: they're looking at the text messaging and the phone calls between the wife and omar mateen, the gunman. turns out, they had numerous communications throughout this attack. throughout this three-hour period. there was one text message at
4:00 in the morning from the gunman to his wife. he said, have you seen the news? at another point, the wife texted back and told him she loved him. she also tried to call him several times. so a lot of back and forth and we're getting word from the city of orlando that during the three hour span between 2:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the morning, there were more than 600 calls that came into emergency dispatchers. ashleigh? >> reporting live for us in orlando, thank you for that. cell phone video is giving people a brand new perspective into what it was like for all of those people who were inside of the pulse nightclub when that attack started. one of the survivors, miguel leiva, captured some chilling and graphic images from inside the bathroom stall where so many of them were hiding out in desperation. cnn's anderson cooper sat down with laiva and heard his story.
>> it was dark and hot. the bathroom was full of panicked club goers. this grainy cell phone video is one of three by miguel who was pushed in the bathroom when the shots began. >> i just remember, like, you can smell like the blood. there was so much blood. you could just smell it. and it's like, everywhere, all my clothes was full of blood. we were sitting down and it was just like, a huge puddle of blood and after a while, when it started drying up, it just started to smell really bad. >> though some people were crying and whispering to each other, miguel said he tried to remain quiet and recorded these images to send to his girlfriend so she knew he was alive. >> the only people alive in the video are the people talking and moving. everybody else is dead. there was about 17 of us in there. only like 5 or 6 made it out.
>> were you hit at that point? >> i was shot in the foot. >> at one point in the video, it looks like he was passing water. >> yes, one guy, chris, he was choking on his own blood so we were trying to, like, make him swallow it to make sure he was okay. >> oh my gosh, chris. >> okay, okay. >> they kept asking for water. and other people that were shot. they needed water and they wanted water and it was the only thing we could think of to calm them down at the moment. >> there was a sink in the stall. >> twice, he fired into the stall. as the hours passed, they tried to help one another stay calm and constant fear the gunman would return and the constant fear those already wounded would die. were people talking to each
other? >> we were whispering to each other, trying to keep everybody quiet. >> miguel was shot twice on his right foot and left leg just released from the hospital. he knows he's fortunate to be alive but can't stop thinking of those who died beside him. >> so many innocent people, you know? just there to have a good time. >> anderson cooper, cnn, orlando. >> i want to show you a picture. i have to show you this picture. without even seeing a face, this is the fear and the dread and the utter helplessness that everybody close to those people you just saw and everyone else who was in that club, in that orlando tragedy. what they were dealing with outside that club that night. that is a mother and a father on the left-hand side. police officer and the sports shirt on the right side, the brother of a young woman who was inside the club who was shot.
this is them being held back by police, not knowing what the fate of angelique caro was. at the time, her pasrents and brother had no idea whether angelique was alive or dead. but i can tell you right now, she is alive. she is still in the hospital and she's on the telephone with us right now. and the anguished man in that picture, her father, william caro, is with us as well as her mom, maribel. i am glad to have you all with us, especially your daughter, angelique. angelique, can you hear me on the telephone? >> yes, i can hear you. >> i'm so glad you're with us. i am looking at a picture of you right now in your hospital gown in the hospital. can you tell me how you're doing? >> i'm doing okay. i'm hanging in there. taking it one day at a time. >> how are you feeling? %-p,
terrible experience. you, as i understand it, you were shot twice? can you tell me the nature of your you'res and hinjuries and you're recovering in the hospital? >> one in my lung that had traveled up to my neck so right now, on my neck. bypassed all my organs and the one in my arm, they did surgery to basically stitch up my arm back. but right now, i was on the chest tube and they would bandage my arm so right now, therapy and one day at a time. >> i was mentioning this photograph of you and i believe these are your friends mariciela
and correct me if i'm wrong, wasn't one of your friends injured by shrapnel in the photograph? >> yes, they were able to take it out the day but they were with me at the nightclub and came out all together. >> i'm so glad you came out alive and i'm sure that your mother and father who are with us as well could not be more relieved. i know this is a tough question, but given the fact that you can hear your daughter's voice, she is recovering, going to be released from the hospital, there's a photo of her smiling. it must be so difficult for you to process what your community is going through and at the same time, what your family is going through. william, can you speak to that for me? >> well, i just thank god that he's giving my daughter a second opportunity to go on with her life. our concentration as a parent is just to focus on recovery and
ask god to help us with that and help her come through with flying colors with that and we just stand with her 100% to help her all the way up. hope she comes out of this and we just pray, he gives us strength to continue on in helping her and as a parent, we just want the best for our children. i just want to thank god that he still gave us that opportunity to go forth. >> and maribel, the photograph that went viral of you and william, waiting on the street, being held back by the police, i can't imagine those hours, the hours of dread. can you take me back to that night? >> well, that night was a parent's nightmare. of not knowing if your child is
dead or alive. so you were in there with that in your mind, trying to get that information, yet, there is none. at that point, we were trying to get as much as and my wife trying to calm me down and i'm trying to calm her down. i have my son on the other side. and just waiting and waiting and waiting. it was like years, but it was hours, it was like years waiting on information. that's the hardest thing that you have to go through is just knowing you don't know if she's dead or alive. >> and maribel, i want you to weigh in as well because at some point, you got the information as a mom, you were told that your daughter survived. can you tell me how that happened? when it happened, and explain to me the reunion you had with your daughter, maribel?
>> yes, i can. well, when we got the call, of course, there was uncertainty. it was the worst nightmare i had trying to reach my daughter at this point. we were overwhelmed by the news, of course, and as we were traveling there, we give god the glory as i reach my daughter but my daughter is a trooper. while she was in the room, after she was being taken care of, she asked one of the nurses which i give a lot of credit with taking care of my daughter the way they did. over the phone, i heard her say, mom, i'm okay. i'm okay, i made it through. i'm alive. and i thank god and i dropped to my knees because just to hear her voice, she asked for her
daddy. she said, first thing, daddy, i'm okay but more to it. she was well being taken care of and we know that god's hands were upon her and we give god all the glory for that. and i thank god that she's going through a speedy recovery right now and we just thank everybody for the love and support and prayers that's been out there for her. holding her up because she is overwhelmed and not only that she's going through physical therapy but she needs emotional as well. so thank you everybody for standing in for her and we thank you. >> and angelique -- >> go ahead, maribel. >> i just thank god for her. that's it. >> so angelique, if you're still with us, to see your parents reacting like this, it's just,
it's so difficult to process all of these emotions that the luck that you had and the luck that your family has to have you while at the same time, i can't imagine that first phone call that your mom just explained to us. tell me it from your side of that phone call, what that was like talking to your mom and dad. that first moment when you were able to tell them you were alive. >> of course, i was there by myself not knowing. i'm in a lot of pain, so there are people i want to speak to and tell them i wanted them there and by my side. i knew they were worried. i didn't know what was going on when it all happened. so i was just really happy that i was able to get through to them and know they were already there and that they were going to come see me as soon as they can. but i'm grateful for everyone and for them being there by my
side every single day and all my friends and family, just amazing to see everybody come together and be there. >> angelique, can you tell me, there's so much confusion as to where everyone was in the club and why some of you were injured and not killed and why some were able to run out in the first wave and some were out in the second wave. where did you fit in? where were you in the club and what did you see? >> well, the club is kind of divided into two separate dance floors. so a lot of people in the main floor, in a separate room. more of the hip-hop room, so we were in that room. and when we initially heard the shots, we didn't know what was going on and then we heard the second round and repeatedly back to back and all dropped. i didn't see the shooter. i didn't know where it was
coming from. we just know that once it stopped for like 30 seconds, it had to try to run and as we were running out, that's when i got shot and dropped outside the doors and made it out. >> and did the police get you further away from the club and into safety right away? >> after i fell, i don't remember anything else. i don't remember who picked me up or dragged me off to the side. >> i am so glad to be talking to you today and i so appreciate you taking this time. angelique, i wish you a speedy recovery and william and maribel, i wish you a remarkable homecoming when angelique gets home from the hospital and that you can be a family that heals together. thank you, all three of you, for taking the time to speak with us and my best wishes and all of cnn's going to you today as well. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you.
>> thank you, thank you all so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. time to take a break but when we return, a florida congresswoman who traveled to orlando with president obama is joining me live to talk about the experience. strawberry, strawberry... strawberry... salad with chicken. at panera. food as it should be. to buy a new gym bag. before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time. 2% back at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs. and 3% back on gas. kenny used his bankamericard cash rewards credit card to join the wednesday night league. because he loves to play hoops.
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responders were saving lives. congresswoman here descending from air force one and with the vice president as they met with those first responders and officers and thanked them for their bravery. the congresswoman is kind enough to join me live now from orlando. thank you so much, congresswoman brown, for talking to me today. i want to first ask you about your journey toorlando from washington on board air force one with the president. that is a very rare occurrence that someone has that kind of time aboard air force one, one on one, effectively. did you talk at length about what had happened and what the path forward was with the president on that trip? >> one of the things that the president mentioned, how hard it is to talk to families about this situation.
i represent orlando for 24 years and i've got to tell you, the community has really come together. it is very hard dealing with this issue. you know, families are very important and we have a problem in the united states with domestic terrorism. clearly, we need to do something in congress other than having one minute prayer. today marked one year since the same situation happened in carolina and we had a minute of solid prayer but after we finished praying, what are we going to do? >> efforts in congress right now. there will be a vote on monday but once you descended to the base of the staircase of air force one, there was that mission that you were all on. we were seeing some pictures of the president and vice president meeting privately with some of the survivors and family members and you had those meetings with the first responders. tell me a little bit of what
that was like. >> well, you know, in talking to them, they said they're not heroes. but yes, they were heroes. they did their job and our hearts go out to them and thanking them for all of their service. they put themselves in harm's way because they did not know whether or not it was a bomb inside, but they were able to do what they needed to do to get people out and get them to safety. so we want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts. it was a coordinated effort between the first responders, the polices, just the community, and the services, how this community has come together. when you say orlando love and orlando strong, this is an example. we also want to say, orlando safe. >> there was a father and a mother yesterday who lost their son, shane tomlinson and said this about the visit from the president. his words are not going to make
me feel better or bringing my son back. i was just happy he was showing compassion but you sit there and hear people talking and don't know what they're saying and when i get home, i have to make funeral arrangements and to that end, i'm sure the tomlinsons and so many other people want to know about that vote on monday and as brief as possible, if you could be, what difference will monday make when so many are saying nothing will happen? >> well, you know, i feel like the number one responsibility of members of congress whether you talk about the house or the senate is to protect the american public and i'm waiting to see that vote. who's going to stand up for the american people? how long is this going to go on? it is ludicrous. keeping in mind, in 1994, i voted to do away with assault weapons. you're not hunting. you're not protecting yourself. what are you doing?
>> congresswoman -- >> my colleagues also talk about -- many of my colleagues also talk about religion. you know, to whom god is given, much is expected. they expect us to do our job in protecting them. the community. >> we will be watching the votes on monday and i'm sorry that we're having to speak under these circumstances and i wish you and your constituents all the healing that they can muster and find. thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. >> time for a break but when we return, the takedown of the pulse nightclub killer, the murderer, as told by the s.w.a.t. team commander himself. with up to 27% more brush movements versus oral b. get healthier gums in 2 weeks guaranteed. innovation and you. philips sonicare. save when you buy the most loved rechargeable toothbrush brand in america. to be taken care of. in good hands? like finding new ways
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as chaos erupted at pulse nightclub, police officers with little regard for their own safety rushed towards a madman with an assault rifle. they were outgunned and they were unaware of exactly what they would face inside that club but they pushed forward anyway and their actions saved many people. and eventually took down a mass murderer. s.w.a.t. chief who made the decision to break through a wall to rescue those hostages takes us inside the siege now in this remarkable interview with my cnn colleague, brooke baldwin. >> as the patrol officers engage, there were other patrol officers running inside pulling out victims. while gunfire is still going on,
our officers are engaging, others are going in with no regard for their safety and pulling some of the victims out. >> reporter: tell me how large of an area where the gunfire was taking place and how those officers were then able to grab people and get them out. >> the club is pretty small and when you went back to the bathroom, you had the rest of the club so there's a larger dance area and then a smaller kind of bar. a smaller dance area where one was engaging in and the way he's doing that, the officers were going in the main part of their club and pulling them out through the main part of the club. >> how did you find out he had hostages? >> kind of knew about it and weren't sure. we had the communication center and text messages and phone calls from people inside. >> so from within the bathroom, they were communicating with 9-1-1? >> right. >> saying what? >> saying, hey, we're in here. in this location.
>> were there negotiations that took place? >> from my understanding, yes they were, but trying to talk on the phone. >> was it between the shooter and 9-1-1 or the shooter and you all? >> the shooter and 9-1-1. >> the shooter and 9-1-1. we're trying to make our position better. make sure we're in a position to react if he does anything. while we're doing this, we're also rescuing other people. >> all the while. all the while. >> i think there was at least four people in the dressing room they were able to get to and another, i think, like eight people in another dressing room that were able to actually tap on an air-conditioning unit and pop the air-conditioning out of the wall and pull them through the hole that way. >> so then walk me through the decision to breach. >> obviously, our main goal is to try to save lives. when you start talking about the
average or you hear someone has a bomb, you're going to back up. they called us to back up but my officers knew they had to stay there. they were in jeopardy because there was a chance they could get us outside. but our goal, we knew the suspect was in the north bathroom. there were some additional hostages with the text messages and phone calls given. >> and the adjacent bathroom. >> a bathroom south and knew there were 10 to 15 people in that bathroom alive so the decision was made, hey, we knew to get them out as quickly as possible. >> you're hearing he's making these threats. to put vests on people and put them in the four corners in the club and you immediately realize, we'll risk our own lives because we have got to get in there and get him. so then the explosion. >> right. i get approval from the chief to go ahead and initiate our plan to have the charge to go off, it
detonates. only partially effective so kind of partially breaches the wall. >> couldn't fully get? >> couldn't get inside. so we have an armored vehicle with a ram on the front of it and told the guys, ram it in. >> what's the gunman doing? >> at first, not doing anything. as he starts to realize what kind of what's going on, i think fired a couple of shots. >> within the bathroom. >> within the bathroom and outside of the bathroom. i'm not sure of that yet. but we see a couple of our dispatcher devices in the hallway to distract him and finish getting the hostages out. >> gas? >> no gas because of people in there and planning to breach another part of the wall, he came out and engaged our officers. >> on his own volition. >> yes. >> where exactly? a small tight space where he is out of the bathroom? >> comes in the hallway between
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it has been a horrific week in orlando and we're going to have more in a moment but we want to update you on a case of the young woman raped on the campus of stanford university. judge aaron persky continues to face backlash for the six month sentence that he gave the attacker, brock turner. prosecutors in california successfully removed that judge from a brand new sexual assault case. that happened just a little earlier this week. turner's sentencing cited as a cause for concern in that request. in the meantime, more than a thousand stanford alumni urged the california commission on judicial performance to remove persky from the bench and another million signatures were forwarded from an activist organization to that commission. i want to discuss what's happening in this case with cnn's kyung lah and paul callan and former florida circuit court judge, alex. first to you, kyung, the
documents gietting inside the head to what led him to make the decision to sentence this young man so lightly. >> getting inside his head is the exact perfect explanation for why these transcripts that were recently released are really so revealing. these are transcripts from the june 2nd sentencing hearing. we are only just recently coming across this this week these transcripts recently being released to the media. what i want to specifically focus on our a couple of phrases. there's one phrase that comes from brock turner's attorney, mike armstrong. he says, yes, his client admits to the assault but then says this. quote, in his drunken state, he remembered consent. the judge at the very same hearing does appear to believe what turner says. the judge saying, quote, i mean, i take him at his word that subjectively, that's his version of events.
the jury clearly didn't see it that way but the judge did sentence brock turner to six months behind bars when the state maximum could have been 14 years. this follows what has been a very busy week. a lot of outcry on this story, ashleigh. you mentioned a lot of it. there were 20 jurors who said they simply didn't want to serve on a jury with this judge citing the judge specifically as a hardship. there is that more than 1 million signatures on that petition to try to get him recalled and then the d.a., as you mentioned, asked that the judge be removed from one of the potential judges who might hear a sexual assault case, ashleigh. >> kyung, stand by. i want to get deeper into all of this with my two guests. paul and judge alex, i am trying to figure out what the community can do about this. there's the recall effort and that is, you can elect judges and you can unelect judges and then this other pressure that's
coming down on this judge from the prosecutor saying, we want you off the next case and that was successful to the community putting forth signatures saying we want to review with the california commission on judicial performance. let's start with that. because as i see it, you're not going anywhere with that. >> you're not. that's essentially saying that the judge did something illegal or unethical as a judge and should be removed from the bench. people may disagree with this sentence, but it was a legal sentence. now, in terms of how the judicial systems handle this. we've seen in new york a number of times, a judge does a sentence or bail that's inappropriate. a lot of times, they're moved from the criminal side over to the civil side where they just handle cases involving money damages and to get them out of the public spotlight. and there are a variety of ways that, internally, a judge can be handled. >> judge, the thinking that we're now starting to get
clarity on from judge persky comes from his own writings. and one of them, i am fascinated by. and i just want to read a few things for you, if i can. one of the things that judge persky said about his decision to sentence only six months. he said, that the letter that one of the friends of the rapist put forth to the court as a character reference, named leslie raz mussen and said if i had to choose one kid i'd graduated with to be in the position brock is, it would have never been him. the judge hung on these words of leslie, has since pulled that letter back and apologized and doesn't feel as though she should have said the things she said because she said rapists are not these kids being kids sort of thing. but judge persky said of her words, sort of corroborates the evidence of his character. up until the night of this
incident. which has been positive. as a judge, when you drink and drive, it doesn't matter what kind of great guy you are. if you drink and drive and do damage, you go down for that. doesn't matter if you're a fellow judge. why should that have mattered in brock turner's case he might have been a good guy before he did something absolutely illegal and horrifying and a jury deciding that? >> that's the problem with the judge's decision. he's rightly considering these factors and wrongly giving them a lot of weight. those factors don't deserve a lot of weight. consider the fact it's an influence of alcohol. is this his character or do this all the time or was this a result of the alcohol? if i were inclined to give someone a ten year prison sentence, maybe a nine year but not probation. and you also consider, is he the kind of person, like his friends say, this is so out of character but the bottom line is he raped this girl. this is not something other than a rape.
it's not anybody else's fault other than his that he decided to step up to the plate in the major leagues on his first offense. it is still a rape. if somebody murders somebody and totally out of character, they still murdered somebody. the problem is, he gave them so much weight. his age, he focused on his age. he was 19. he wasn't 11. and 19, i was a police officer. and at 19, he was yanking a woman behind a dumpster and raping her. we both know what we were doing at rape. >> you can fight in a war, you can be adjudicateadjudicated. we as a society decided that. paul callan, thank you for your insight as well. thls n this is not going away. there's a lot to figure out. kyung lah, thank you for your reporting on this as well. appreciate it. coming up, the hunt is back. a brand new season is kicking off this weekend here on cnn and after a break, host john walsh joining me with a preview of the
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on the season three premiere of the series "the hunt" john walsh is on the trail of william greer who is charged with killing his girlfriend. police got involved after greer's truck appeared in a ditch. he appeared to be drunk and was babbling about a gun. >> he seemed very panicked, wild-eyed. we put him in the back of the car, tried to keep him warm and try to figure things out. >> you have any idea how you got here in the ditch? >> i did it at 50 miles an hour. i was going to see my wife. >> all right. >> it was an accident. i love her with all my heart. i would give my life to have her
back. the gun went off. >> he kept repeating himself that the gun just went off. i think he even mentioned i watched her die or something along those lines. >> i love her so much. i love her so much. i can't believe it. but there's a divine reason for this. she's in heaven. she was ready. but i'm not ready for her to go. i love her with all my heart. >> what is her full name, sir? >> tammy marie meyers. >> you heard in the that clip, william greer talking about an accident with a gun. but he took those statements back. and then he just vanished. i sat down with john walsh and talked about william greer and how close police have come to catching him. >> he recanted when he got a little bit more sober.
he was coked out and drunk with his pants off in the middle of the street. i don't know what happened but i do know his two sons who his ex-wife got custody of, ten days later were dropped off by his ex-wife. and on the way to greer's house the boys said you know that night we were there, stayed overnight with our dad he was in a room with that lady he is married to. we heard a gunshot and terrible screaming and we think he killed his wife. >> the first tip they got he was in new orleans and america's most-wanted put out the production on this guy and the tips flood in. >> he left in such a hurry he left his favorite hat, the stupid cowboy hat he wore all the time. we missed him by 15 minutes. the next time he is with another lady. he always picks women, gracious and charming for a couple months
before he starts to beat them and lives off their money. next time we were a half hour behind him and found his fake i.d. and the third time, a woman saw him on "america's most-wanted" that's the guy. he is missing a toe off his foot and i have been sleeping and living with him. he started to get druchg and abuse her. we missed him three in a row. i believe he is living with a woman in plain sight somewhere. he would change his i.d. but she on the top -- i have my personal ten most-wanted and this guy should have been caught years ago. >> thanks to john walsh for this. and also don't miss his premiere of "the hunt" sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on cnn. thanks for watching today. coming up in the next hour, florida senator bill nelson gives us an update on the
orlando shooting investigation and tells us what it is like to meet with the families of the victims along with president obama. my colleague, wolf, starts right after this break. wrely on the us postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, i'm wolf blitzer thanks very much for swroining us. we start with new developments into the investigation into the orlando shooting including new questions about the fbi and what they may have known weeks before the attack. this newly released cell phone is from inside one of the bathrooms in the nightclub. the man who took this video was shot twice. a group of 20 people were huddled in there for several hours, sitle in puddles of blood. >> we kept saying we made it is