tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN January 7, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
top of the hour, i'm pamela brown in washington. in for poppy harlow. we're following two major developments on this saturday afternoon. yesterday's deadly mass shooting at a florida airport as two investigations play out on opposite sides of the country. one in the alleged gunman's state of alaska.
we're waiting to hear from the field office in anchorage. a source says esteban santiago told authorities during the visit to the fbi office, that an intelligence agency was instructing him to watch isis videos and he was hearing lots of voices in his head. this new detail emerging as police records shed light on the suspect's violent past. meanwhile in florida police are trying to get answers from santiago himself. and they tell us so far, no motive has been ruled out, including terrorism. and we're learning more about the victims. five people dead, six injured. let me begin with my colleague on the justice beat, cnn crime and justice producer simon. what are you learning? >> well now that we're into about 24 hours since the attack, the fbi has learned a lot more about the shooting suspect, about his frame of mind, perhaps what he was thinking, where he was mentally and we've learned that it appears that he had been
planning this attack for some time. this comes off interviews with family members and friends of the shooting suspect. and they've been able to learn that he had recently sold his vehicle, a red ford explorer, he had sold other personal objects, leading investigators to believe he was selling off items because he had been planning this attack for some time. today the fbi said they believe he came to ft. lauderdale to this airport, specifically to carry out this attack. they would not say what made them believe that. in talking to our sources, evan perez and i, we've learned that they have a better idea of what his life has been for the last several months, what he was thinking. this certainly changes things for the fbi. they really need to consider what motivated him and whether or not as we know, he had been, he went to the fbi back in november, said someone was making him, intelligence agency
was making him watch isis video. they're looking at his social media, his computers to see if he was actually looking at isis videos and perhaps may have been inspired by those videos. >> you say interviews with his family, friends, talking 0 to them. he had been planning this for some time. when you look at him selling off his item in kind of going m.i.a. and not responding to calls what about his social media activity have you been able to glean anything, any posts he made, before the shooting rampage, shimon? >> they do have some postings or writings, they would not go into detail about what those writings are. but they have some writings, they are looking at them. they're sort of dissecting them. this is like one big puzzle for them. i think they're getting closer to figuring out what happened. as you know how these things go. it takes quite some time to figure everything out. the postings are of particular interest to them. again, we know he had twitter
accounts and instagram. so they're going through that they have that. his facebook. but still i think the key now, is going to be, what was he doing at home? was he looking at videos? as he told the fbi back in november. >> and tom fuentes is standing by, our cnn senior law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the fbi. before i go to you, tom, i want to ask shimon, the idea that this could be terrorism, we heard last night they're not ruling that out. we know back in november he went to the fbi. he said he was hearing voices in his head, pushing to join isis. do investigators have any clear understanding of motive or whether terrorism could have played a role in this? >> i don't get the sense that they're any clearer, in talking to them they're not any clearer. i think they're just trying to really go back at everything now. from november. before november. his time in the military. what he was doing the last year. to sort of see where his mind was. i think the key is going to be the computers. they've talked to the family, they've talked to friends and they've learned a lot.
this pretty much advanced the investigation in the last 24 hours. and you know, it's just a matter of can they say this is terrorism? it's pretty difficult to do sometimes. and they're very careful in that. and you know we should see perhaps some charges today. >> i think this makes it more important to hear more about the investigation. as it goes. i think you know, unfortunately we want to get this news as fast as we can possibly get it and in a way it's better if they're methodical. we want accuracy, not speed. he's in custody, he's not goinger in, he's no longer a
danger to anybody. so let's see the authorities do the investigation thoroughly and methodically and meticulously. and be able to determine if in fact it was an act of terror. radicalization can now happen in a day. there could have been postings or searches on the computer within the last day or two before the incident, that would shed light on whether it was terrorism that even friends and neighbors may not be aware of. >> we know, tom, that he went to the fbi in november, and the fbi assessed this was someone who had mental health issues, they did not view him as a threat. they did not put him on any counterterrorism database. looking back and hindsight is easier. were there any missed opportunities here? how does the fbi handle situations where someone comes in and presents as mentally ill,
but yet talks about isis? how does the fbi differentiate and determine whether to take the case seriously, someone who could be a threat or not a threat? >> i think when someone comes in and claims they're being inspired by isis or contacted or somehow influenced, they look for the source of that. is that someone who is already radicalized. is this someone they're talking to in the community. is it emails or dark mail from overseas that it could be an isis recruiter. when they come in and say that intelligence agencies are putting this in their brain, it tends to kind of hurt the credibility of the individual if he thinks he's going to be claiming isis. so it's a difficult problem for them to try to read his mind. to analyze, is he sane or not? he is a real threat? they look into all the social media and things at that time if they don't find anything, not much they can do, with someone who just makes wild statements.
in this case they turned him over to the local police. and his weapon that he had with him. to the local police so they could get him into a medical facility for mental review. you know that's the steps they took. next thing, he's free, ehe's out, he's got his gun back from that standpoint, there's not much that can be done at that point. >> it just raises a larger question about the system, what can be done to fix the system. so someone who presents, who has mental health issues, as his family has said, cannot go out, get a gun and go on a rampage like this. i want to go to other reporters following the story. dan simon is in anchorage. and boris sanchez is at the ft. lauderdale airport. so dan, there are brand new details that we just heard from shimon, suggesting this was a premeditated attack. well that's exactly right, pamela and hopefully that when
the news conference begins here at the anchorage police department in about 30 minutes from now, some of those questions will be addressed. we're told that it will begin promptly at the bottom of the hour. as we have been reporting now, that you know, santiago came to the fbi with a weapon. actually. and it was ultimately given to the local police department, and then given back to him following his mental health evaluation that lasted about 72 hours. think some of the questions that will come about during the press conference and hopefully the authorities will answer them, were all of the procedures followed? did they miss something here? also, can they trace what santiago's whereabouts in the days leading up to this attack. those are some of the questions that are unanswered and hopefully they'll be able to shed light on some of them. >> still a lot to learn and still early in the investigation. but people want those answers. and boris, you were there on the ground, you've been there since shortly after the rampage yesterday. what's the latest there? has the airport fully reopened
yet? >> not completely. as you know we're here at terminal 2, the delta and air canada terminal at the ft. lauderdale hollywood international airport. the second level where we are now, the farther tur area. that has reopened. just about an hour and a half or so ago. security lines were open to passengers that were getting set to travel that area had been closed just about all morning long. so we're expecting flights to take off from here soon. that level that's closed is the lower level. the baggage claim area. where the shooting actually took place. it hasn't needed to be used because no flights have landed to this terminal since the shooting took place. we're expecting once they do, that will reopen, but right now the security lines are huge. in part because so many people were stranded yesterday because of the shooting. you had about 10,000 people that were taken from the airport here in ft. lauderdale. throughout the night being bussed out of here to port everglades, not far from here.
to get assistance from agencies like the red cross and others because they spent literally hours waiting to be let out of the airport. we spoke to several people yesterday who were actually on planes from about 1:30 shortly after the airport was put on lockdown after the shooting took place, until about 9:00 p.m. at night. so it's going to take a while. but things are slowly starting to get back to normal here. pam? >> ryan, what about the victims. what have you learned about them? >> what we've learned is the idea that when everyone arrived here, there were teams ready to help them. they rushed them on the inside and started treating those critical gunshot wounds, there were six people arrived here in critical condition. three have been upgraded. three still remain in critical condition. the governor told us about two hours ago, they believe one of the victims in critical condition would be released this afternoon. the hospital not getting into those details.
the governor talked about one man who was shot three times, who still felt like he could continue running to get away from the shooter. this is what the governor said during that news conference. >> mostly what you think about is the positive stories. >> i had one who told johnny damon he could outrun him. when you talk to people that have been impacted, they're appreciative, they're appreciative of the care they're giving. the people here, the caregivers here are outstanding. they very appreciatively care. if you lost somebody, you know, just traumatic. it's totally out of context. >> pamela, a few things here, we've seen several people leave the hospital with luggage. there's so many people who are traveling through the area. most of the people we talk to had nothing to do with the situation. the hospital did say, when the mass casualty situation happened
at the airport. activated the team that was drid on standby, so when people arrived here they could give them the critical care. the positive update. three remain in critical, but three have been upgraded. >> we tried to talk to them about the injuries they were suffering. but because of hipaa, they did not want to go into what gunshot wounds the people had suffered. we're trying to get in contact with some of the nurses and doctors who did an excellent job saving these lives to figure out what's going on. but as you can imagine, some of them are off today, getting the much-needed rest after a very long night here. >> we hope all the victims will be released from hospital very soon. >> stay with us, you're live in the cnn newsroom.
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five people dead, six others wounded by a man with handgun who opened fire inside the ft. lauderdale airport. that suspect is now in police custody and officials are trying to determine what motivated him and how he was able to do it. i want to talk to dwayne dickerson now, dwayne was inside that airport when the shooting started. dwayne, i imagine it has been a crazy 24 hours for you. since that shooting. first of all, how are you doing and tell us what happened yesterday. ? i'm doing all right. it's nice to be with you, pamela and thank you for asking. it was a normal day, i got to the airport around 12:45, and i walked in, terminal 2, the delta terminal. i was upstairs. i walked, i got in line. and the airport was so packed, they were starting to call passengers out of line that had flights that they needed to check bags for quickly.
so i got called out and that's how i ended up. i was the very first person in line to check my bag next. and i was standing there, and then i heard this loud bang. i looked at the other passenger the around me and it definitely startling enough for everybody to say, what was that? nobody wanted to assume yet that it was danger. and second after that, you heard a second, third, fourth, fifth shots, we looked at each other and said, they're shooting, they're shooting. we ran in all different directions. i happened to run towards the ticketing counter. i jumped over the ticketing counter and i grabbed the ticketing agent and said where are the exits, we got to get people to the exits. unfortunately she was in shock. she just froze, she didn't say anything. she didn't show, she wasn't able to, i don't think. so then i grabbed her hand and i saw two doors to the right. i said are those exits?
and she -- still wasn't able to articulate that was a safe way to get out. there were some passengers that had gotten to that doorway, they looked in and i asked, i said is that an exit. and they said no, it's not. at that point you know we all had to make the terrifying decision of are we going to go in through a one way in, one way out supply closet? would it end up being? or are we going to make a run for it through the terminal and try to find a known exit. and at the end of the day, it seemed to be based on where we could hear the proximity of the shooting coming from, it seemed to us that he was shooting upstairs in the ticketing or right outside. and so we all made the choice to go into the storage closet and huddle up. >> that is a choice that no one ever wants to make. so as you're huddled up in that room hiding, and you're hearing presumably the gunshots, what is going through your mind, what was that like? >> the first thing i did was i
text my family, and i looked back through my phone. that was about 12:58. it was a very short text it said shooting at airport, i'm hiding, i love you guys. that was going through my mind. i wanted the family to know that i love them, if for some reason i didn't make it out. >> well fortunately, you made it out alive, sadly others did not. dwayne dickerson, we appreciate you coming on, sharing that story. >> thank you for having me, pamela. police tell us the man who opened fire inside the airport did not break any laws by having a gun in his possession. he reportedly checked that weapon into a commercial flight in ft. lauderdale and collected it inside the terminal after he landed and he filled out all the necessary paperwork he was supposed to fill out. joining me now live from sarasota, florida, state senator greg stubey. thank you for coming on our show. i want to talk about the bill that you introduced last month
that would allow anyone with a permit, as this shooter had, to openly carry a gun inside any airport in florida. after what happened yesterday, are you standing by that bill? >> well that individual shooter if he was from alaska, he didn't have a concealed permit in the state of florida. what my bill does is allow people who have a concealed carry permit in the state of florida, on the nonsecure shooting side of the airport, which is where the shooting occurred, to carry a firearm. and we've seen a lot of these events, the pulse nightclub, other shootings have occurred have been in gun-free zones in that airport no -- concealed permit carry holder was legally able to carry at that airport. currently they're restricted from carrying, right now that's a gun-free zone and i don't think that law-abiding citizens should be prohibited from carrying when the facts show over 20 years of concealed carry, that it's a very
law-abiding people that have a permit. >> do you think then that the ft. lauderdale tragedy would have had fewer victims, if people -- have guns with them? >> i'm sorry? >> so then in your view, do you think that the tragedy would have been minimized or there would have been fewer victims had people with mermts been able to have guns with them in that area of the airport? >> certainly could have. and i certainly think that i as a concealed permit carry holder, should have a right to defend myself. because i walk to a college campus or a nonsecure area of an airport, my right to carry shouldn't be stripped just because there's a law that says i can't carry to protect myself. i could carry in other parts of the state. so yes, if there was somebody there was a concealed carry permit holder, they were following the law and didn't have their gun on them at the time, had the law been changed like i want it changed, it very possibly could have. >> airports in florida right now are gun-free zones.
do you want there to be zero gun-free zoneser in in florida? >> there are several different areas within the statute that we've gone in and looked at over the past several years. i filed a bill to repeal the gun-free zone on college campuses. now that i'm in the senate i'm going to try to work to repeal the gun-free zone and there are areas in our state where we've seen consistently they've been targeted by terrorists and others, wishing to cause havoc and murder our citizens. >> so to be clear, and again this suspect, he did have a permit, but it was in alaska, it is true that it was not in florida. we believe. but to be clear, after the tragedy, you have not changed your stance on the bill that you introduced, allowing people with mermts permits to carry gun in the no-gun zones. >> to be clear, no licensed
concealed carry permit holder legally could carry in that airport. and that didn't stop an individual from coming and shooting and killing individuals so why would repealing that and giving law-abiding citizens like myself and other who is have the training and the ability to protect themselves, why wouldn't we want to give them that ability just like they have in any other places in our state? >> all right. florida state senator greg steube, thank you for coming on. >> thank you. along the trail of a killer, a trail that takes all of us to anchorage, alaska, here, there's the podium. we take you there live next in search of what the motivation could possibly be behind the deadly shooting in a florida airport. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says you picked the wrong insurance plan.
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you totally nailed that buddy. simple. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. only xfinity gives you more to stream to any screen. if you're a technology fan, las vegas is a place to be this weekend. apparently. more than 150,000 people including our own andy scholes are expected to attend the consumer electronics show. >> pamela, here at c.e.s. we've gotten the chance to speak with some of the biggest names in all of sports and yesterday i sat down and talked to none other than joe montana, as this report brought to you by ford. the super bowl champ was here taking part in turner sports sports business innovation showcase, he has his own tech investment kpd and has a virtual reality game called montana 17
coming out next month. i sat down with him and asked him which nfl team he could see making a run in the playoffs. >> i'm technology, but i'm not a big techie. i have to call my son to ask him how do you do this. but it's been a lot of fun. he's the quarterback in the game. so -- well, somehow the younger body moves a lot quicker than mine. i grew up in pittsburgh. how could i not take the steelers? we go live to alaska where the fbi's anchorage field office is holding a press conference. >> special agent in charge of the fbi's anchorage field office, i would like to offer prayers and condolences to the families of the victims in yesterday's attack. there's been much media speculation about mr. santiago's interaction with our office. i want to clear up as much as i can. in november, 2016, mr. santiago
walked into the anchorage fbi office to report that his mind was being controlled by u.s. intelligence agencies. during the interview, mr. santiago appeared agitated, incoherent and made disjointed statements. although he stated he did not wish to harm anyone, as a result of his erratic behavior our agents contacted local authorities, who took custody of mr. santiago and transported him to the local medical facility for evaluation. the fbi closed its assessment of mr. santiago after conducting database reviews and interagency checks. there have been reports mr. santiago turned himself in. this is not true. he was a walk-in complaint. this is something that happens at fbi offices around the country every day. there have been concerns raised about why mr. santiago was not placed on a no-fly list. i want to be clear, during our
initial investigation, we found no ties to terrorism. he broke no laws when he came into our office, making disjointed comments about mind control. since yesterday in conduction with the anchorage police department and other agencies and our state partners, we have conducted numerous interviews plaintiff santiago's associates, executed several search warrants at multiple locations around the anchorage area. while we are early in the investigation, there's currently no indication mr. santiago was working with any other individuals when he planned and carried out yesterday's attack. i would like to stress that point. our community in anchorage is not facing any known threat in connection with mr. santiago. i would like to turn it over to chief tally. >> i'm going to cover three
things, contact mr. santiago has had with the anchorage police department in the past what we've been doing since this tragic incident occurred yesterday morning and then where we go from here. on january 11th, 2016, there was a physical disturbance, an arrest warrant was issued for criminal mischief for mr. santiago. on february 23rd, violation conditions of release, mr. santiago was restricted from his medford street address during a compliance check. officers found him there, arrested and remanded. on march 8, 2016, a physical disturbance, officers were not able to establish probable cause for an arrest. on october 15th, 2016, the domestic violence physical disturbance. officers investigated and contacted the municipal prosecutor who gave authorization not to arrest mr. santiago. on october 21st, 2016, a
physical disturbance allegation of strangulation. officers investigated and no probable cause was established for arrest. on november 7, 2016, mental health crisis at the fbi building. on that day, apd was contacted by the anchorage fbi requesting assistance with a mentally ill person having disjointed thoughts, an apd arrived on scene they were informed by investigating agents mr. santiago had arrived at the fbi building asking for help. santiago was having terroristic thoughts and believed he was being influenced by isis. santiago had a loaded magazine on him, but had left his firearm in his vehicle prior to contacting agents. also in the vehicle, santiago's newborn child. based on the statements made to the agents, on scene in their own contact with santiago, apd transported him to a mental health facility where he was
admitted. >> during this incident. santiago's weapon was logged into apd evidence for safekeeping. >> on november 30th, santiago attempt the to retrieve the firearm placed in safekeeping on november 7. at which time anchorage fbi was notified and contacted santiago while at the anchorage police department. santiago left without the firearm that day. on 11-17, a letter was sent to santiago about picking up his weapon at apd. an appointment was set for it on the 30th, matters were recoordinated with the fbi. on december 8th, the web was released to santiago. in closing, our hearts go out to the families of the five innocent people who lost their lives and the eight who were injured during the shooting in ft. lauderdale. the investigation continues and we are working tirelessly to assist our law enforcement partners from the broward county
sheriffs department and the fbi. we're asking for the continued support and assistance from the citizens of anchorage. there will be additional information provided to you on how the citizens can help. >> currently the fbi has set up a tip hotline that individuals in the area or anyone in the country can call if you have any information that may aid us in our investigation. that number is 1-800-call-fbi. and then you press the option for number 1. at this time we will go ahead and open it up for a few questions, realize that this still an active investigation. so the information we provide is going to be very limited. >> was the gun that was released to him the same gun that was in the shooting? >> i have not received that information at this time. so -- i cannot comment positive or negative on that.
>> how about you, chief, your department was the one that released that gun, correct? >> there is speculation this is the same gun. i have not received confirmation that it is in fact that gun. >> when he went into the fbi, to talk to agents, was the child left in the car? or did he bring the child in? >> the -- >> it's my understanding the child was left in the car at the time. >> his girlfriend at the time was contacted. we, we had retrieved the child and she was contacted and came and picked the child up. >> can you talk a little bit about the mental health evaluation, who conducted it and how long he was under supervision? >> at this time we have subpoenaed all the records pertaining to mental health. because it's ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to respond to that at this time. >> what do we know about the travel to south florida, what his reason was for going down there? >> at this point we're still in
the investigative phase, we're trying to make those determinations. so once we have more information on his purpose for the travel, we'll certainly put that out. >> could you tell me about alaska's policy for releasing a weapon to someone with mental health issues? >> well u.s. attorney, karen loeffler, i'm the u.s. attorney for the district of alaska. i'm sorry? i can talk to about the federal laws. obviously law enforcement operates within the statutes that are given to them. there is a federal law with regard to having a gun by somebody who is mentally ill. but the law requires that the person be quote adjudicated mentally ill. which is a difficult standard. i don't want to go into all of the details. as far as i know, there was,
this is not somebody that would have been prohibited based on the information that they have. i think that law enforcement acted within the laws that they have. we're a country of laws and they operate within them. absent a law allowing them to keep the gun, i'm not a city attorney but under federal law there wouldn't have been a basis that i'm aware of. i'm wondering if the storage was conducted to the investigation? >> we've conducted two searches locally. and both of those searches were known residence where the subject had stayed. that would be the medford street and the kubiak or however you say it? >> yes. >> as you can imagine our primary concern here is for the safety and the well-being and making sure no one in anchorage is at further risks due to the individual or possibly related
events. that's what we've been doing tirelessly for the past 28 hours since this occurred. there's been complete coordination between the federal, state and local partners. we've worked very closely, and we're grateful for the community of anchorage, their support in helping us providing information and making our community safe, thank you very much. have a good afternoon. one quick question about the gun one more time. >> we're hearing from law enforcement officials in anchorage, alaska about the investigation so far. into the suspect that opened fire at the airport in ft. lauderdale yesterday, killing five people. and laid out more information about his past contact with law enforcement. including the fbi back in november, as we heard officials say, he this was a complaint apparently, a walk-in complaint they called it.
the fbi spoke to him and they said that he ways disjointed and his thoughts. and they believed it was a mental health issue, not a terrorist concern. and he was turned over to local police, he then as we know, underwent a mental health evaluation voluntarily and he was able to get his gun back that he had with him when he went to police. we have learned from our sources that that is the same gun that was used in the shooting at that airport yesterday. so i want to bring in now, our analyst, tom fuentes, cnn senior law enforcement analyst and former assistant director of the fbi. what stuck out to you from that press conference, tom? >> the first thing, pamela is how many encounters they had with him for various incidents. we also know of the domestic violence incidents with his girlfriend. and that apparently one of the charges related to him strangling her. is still pending. you know, that's another factor for not being eligible to possess a firearm.
is if you're convicted of a felony, but he wasn't convicted yet. we understand that sentencing was scheduled or additional part of that trial was scheduled for later this year. but he hadn't been adjudicated a felon and he hadn't been adjudicated mentally ill. so again, you know we have this situation where he slipped through the cracks. >> you know, you look back and you're saying how can this happen? he was there acting with authorities, he displayed mental health issues and we heard the u.s. attorney say well law enforcement did act within the law, because you have to be adjudicated by a judge and be found mentally defective in order for you to be prevented from owning a firearm. what does it take, tom, for someone to be, to go before a judge? in the first place? clearly this didn't happen in this case, even though he walked into the fbi's office and was rambling and talking about isis and voices in his head pushing him to join isis.
>> the problem as parts of our legal system and our constitutional rights is that you have to actually break the law, not think bad thoughts. and that's what we have is over and over you hear of individuals who are expressing terrible things, they think bad thoughts. they're not stable. and yet none of that rises to the level of being able to incarcerate them. or deny them constitutional rights. until they actually do something. i'm talking about, that's okay. if you don't know the ins and outs of this, but from a mental health standpoint to be adjudicated and judged as mentally defective and having mental health issues, what does it take to go before a judge, because that didn't happen in this case. but this is clearly someone who was mentally ill and had exhibited that for quite some time. ? every state has its own set of local statutes governing the process for dealing with mentally ill people.
and i think that you know, in many of these cases, you have to first have a judge hear about what the situation is with someone, and make a ruling that he's judgmented mentally competent and that ruling has to be passed on to others. we had that with the virginia tech shooter. where a judge ruled that he was mentally incompetent. yet the authorities were never notified of that ruling. and he was able to go into a roanoke, virginia gun shop and buy the weapon that he used in the massacre at virginia tech. there's a whole series of events and basically obstacles for law enforcement to basically take someone's gun away or take their freedom away, based on what they're expressing or how they're acting or how they're thinking. it's a very, very difficult area. and law enforcement is put in a terrible situation, because the whole mental health system in the united states is completely
inadequate. then we turn it over to the police because we don't have an adequate system for family members or other members of society or law enforcement to deal with these individuals. and insure our safety. quickly before i go to my other reporters, they made the point to say he was a walk-in complaint in november. what does that mean, exactly? >> exactly that. he walked into the fbi office. >> from him or other associates. because the reporting had been that he had walked in with associates. >> well if he went into the fbi office under his own power and voluntarily, that's a walk-in. he's not in custody. he's not under arrest, nobody is forcing him into that office. and this is very common. i know from the time i was a police officer, and the time as an fbi agent, people walk in almost on a daily basis into the offices and express all kinds of things. and you know that the russians are turning their refrigerator on and off or their thermostat
on and off and you realize that you know, that's not exactly the case. and that's common. it's very common for law enforcement to deal with individuals in our society who are mentally disturbed. >> shimon, i want to bring you in because you have some new reporting that this was the belief among investigators at the early stage is that this was a premeditated act. what more can you tell us about that? >> well, and that, pam is based off their interviews with family and friends of the alleged shooter. so they've spent the last 24 hours talking to family members, his aunt, his brother. some of the closer friends, and everyone in his sort of circle, his friends, his family could tell that he was having some
difficulties. some mental issues. we even spoke to his aunt, who said he had dropped off, they had not heard from them in several months. what's also interesting is that the investigators learned that in the last several months, he had been selling his possessions. his car. other items that he was selling off. sort of indicating to them that he was planning something. something was about to happen. there was a significant change in his life. in his thinking. so he was sort of getting rid of stuff. this is not uncommon in people as you know, pam, who are planning these kinds of attacks, they tend to sort of change things in their life, get rid of stuff and you know, drop off. but they start planning and there's every indication to authorities that he was planning this. and also keep in mind he's been cooperating, he's been talking to them for several hours. >> and he surrendered. he surrendered to authorities yesterday. >> yeah, that is also an
interesting part. because it doesn't appear that he wanted to die in this attack. if he surrendered, it seems that he wanted to survive. so they do have the benefit of having a shooter, an alleged shooter surviving that normally does not happen. now they're just going back. the other thing they're looking at is to see whether or not he did use isis videos and what role that may have had. it's a little disconcerting to them. as this happens they sort of go back, you have these attacks and then they go back, what did we miss. what was going on in this person's life and they're sort of putting that all together now and getting a better idea of where he was, what he was thinking. and really, it's just a matter of you know, what could the family have done more, what could he have done more? he went for help. >> that's what's so interesting, shimon. it seems as though he was proactive, he was crying out for help back in november when he went to the fbi voluntarily. under what the psychological exam.
dan, i want to ask shimon one more question. the early belief in this investigation is that this was premeditated. but it begs the question, why would he wait until he got to florida to launch his attack? what is his connection to florida? presumably the victims there were strangers, he didn't know them. do we know anything more about that connection? >> that's right, pam, they were strangers, there's nothing to indicate he knew any of the people who he targeted. i think that's the big puzzle. >> that's the big question, that piece that perhaps maybe missing right now. that they haven't told us why he chose florida. but they were pretty direct this morning, the fbi, the special agent in charge there. in saying that they believe he went to ft. lauderdale specifically to do this attack. and i think that comes from probably his statements. that comes from everything that they're seeing from his family, from his friends, we don't know when he purchased the ticket. have not told us, i bet all of that is sort of factoring into
their thinking. >> i want to go to dan simon. you asked a great question at the press conference, dan about his mental health records and they mentioned they were subpoenaing these records. what more do we know about how long that evaluation lasted. any more insight into that? dan? >> we're hearing that it lasted for about 72 hours or even less. that it was a quick mental health evaluation and he was essentially let go. but i think the posture that you're hearing from law enforcement is they did everything according to protocol. you had somebody come in, essentially check himself in. said he was having some mental health issues and police do what they normally do. they referred him to the hospital and so from their point of view, they feel like you know, this is a situation that was really beyond our control. that we did what we're instructed to do and that is refer him to local police, the
fbi referred him to local police and referred him to the hospital. i think some of the things that you're hearing that are interesting is that when he came to the fbi, he had a newborn child in his car. and essentially left that child in the car. so that is somebody right there, who you would suggest is mentally unstable. authorities also saying that he a i peered to be disjointed. and really incoherent in his thoughts. when he talked about hearing those voices and talked about wanting to you know watch isis videos or the voices instructing him to watch isis videos. so this investigation obviously still early in its stages but you're hearing law enforcement beginning to defend how they handled this case. >> they say they followed protocol. no case they didn't. after something like this. you go back and look at whether the protocol needs to be revised and that certainly will likely happen in this case. thank you to the three of you for your perspective, insight, stick around. i want to get more insight on
santiago's state of mind. talk to terry lyles, a psychologist and stress coach who has worked with veterans suffering from ptsd. tery, listen to what the fbi anchorage field office in charge said during the press conference. >> november 2016 mr. santiago walked into the anchorage fbi office to report that his mind was being controlled by a u.s. intelligence agency. during the interview mr. santiago appeared agitated, incoherent and made disjointed statements, although he stated he did not wish to harm anyone as a result of his erratic behavior, our agents contacted local authorities, who took custody of mr. santiago and transported him to the local medical facility for evaluation. the fbi closed its assessment of mr. santiago, after conducting database reviews and interagency checks. there have been reports that mr.
santiago turned himself this. this is not true. he was a walk-in complaint. this is something that happens in fbi offices around the country every day. >> all right. terry, you hear that. what's your reaction? what's going through your mind? >> well, i mean i reported earlier on this. that you know this is where our system has to keep tightening up and learning from what's happening. because as we're talking about this right now. you and i, live real-time, these incidents are happening live real-time. 36 hours ago, this was going on. so i think we're going to learn that protocols need to be adjusted. when somebody walks in that's methly unstable. we need to be able to put parameters around them. check the right boxes and make sure due diligence is done. like how is he still aebl to carry a firearm? you no he if he's released? so. >> i want to ask you on that point, terry, sorry to cut you off there. it does beg the question, because all the authorities are
saying look we're following protocol. he had never been determined mentally defective by a zwr. judge, therefore there was nothing stopping us from giving his gun back. this is someone who was crying out for help. he went to the fbi and said he's hearing voices. and talking about isis and intelligence agencies pushing him to join isis. what more would it take to get in front of a judge and be declared mentally defective? >> i think you know, at the lowest level you put a cooling period, if someone has a firearm and they have a license, that's fine. we don't want to, circumvent their second-amendment rights. but maybe we say let's pause this for 30 days or 60 days, let's get in front of a judge, make sure everything is according to our protocol. instead, i used to live in anchorage. he just boarded a plane, flew back and did exactly what he was saying was in his head. that's a problem. >> they talked about look again, they had the gun for a month because when he went to the
hospital, they took the gun from him and then went through all the steps to give him the gun back. but something like this, and of course people can -- people in your view who have post traumatic stress, that can happen. then you start peeling back the layers, 2010, 2011, he served in iraq, his family said he had exhibited signs of post traumatic stress, he went to the fbi, he had a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. it seems like the flags are there. what can be done to prevent something similar from happening? this is a clear-cut case where the flags clearly didn't stop this from happening. >> well you're right and sadly we're having the same conversation again. i work closely with the v.a. and some of the d.o.d. and this something we've got to keep circling around and figuring out. you know i'm a stress expert, that's what i do by day. there's good stress and bad stress. ptsd is the exasperation of the bad stress.
it leaks out of us. any trauma will leak out of us unless it's processed. a lot of these individuals fall through the cracks, they don't get the proper release that they need through therapy and services. and people listening to them. and that's what we need to keep stepping up. and i mentioned earlier with connected warriors, that's part of what we do. we try to help individuals around the country that are walking into places saying i'm not sure i'm 100%, but i need help. when that happens, we go to another level protocol to say we need to pull out all the stops, to make sure their family is alerted, that they're alerted, their health care professionals are alerted. to make sure that we're not only protecting this individual, but to protecting their families, and our society at large. >> make sure, like you say, everyone is on the same page and the person who needs help is getting the help that they need. an ongoing problem, certainly the story is a tragedy, but it also raises all the larger questions we discussed. terry lyles, thank you for sharing analysis and important
pamela brown in washington, poppy harlow is off. we have breaking news, a disturbing picture emerging tonight of the war veteran accused of friday's shooting spree at the ft. lauderdale airport. a rampage that killed five people and injured six and sent hundreds running for their lives across the tarmac. officials now believe he was planning the attack for some time. moments ago, the fbi wrapped up a press conference at a field office in alaska. the same field office the suspect visited just months ago. complaining that his mind was being controlled by a spy agency, that told him to watch isis videos. his family also revealing that he returned from iraq a changed man. talking about the destruction he saw, about the killing of children and the visions that haunted him. 0 so far, no motive for friday's shooting has been ruled out that includes terrorism. at the airport in ft. lauderdale, planes are once again departing from the affected terminal 2, the baggage claim area where the shootings happened remains closed. we have live team